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Attack of the Killer Whatever

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Stephen King: For my 307th book, uh... this couple is attacked by... uh... [looks at a desk] a lamp monster! Oooooooo!
Editor: You're not even trying anymore, are you?
King: [waving a desk lamp] Rawr! Rawr!
Editor: [sighs] When can I have it?

If you can think of something, there's probably a horror b-movie about it trying to kill a bunch of people. You name it. Snowmen, ice cream men, Santa Claus, dentists, clowns, dolls, books, trucks, boats, vaginas, lifts, chairs, computers, video games, clocks, toilets, vacuum cleaners, laundry machines (three of these, actually), condoms, rabbits, rats, robots, birds, bees, ticks, sharks, barracudas, flying fish, eggs, tires, tomatoes (four-movie series with a remake in the works), pieces of dry toast, leprechauns, triffids, frogs, snails, puppy dog tails... and anything that you're not usually scared of.

At the very least, if there's not a horror movie based around it, there's surely a horror short story or episode of an anthology horror series about it. Often, the titles of such films will be quite self explanatory and if it's a killer animal, there's about a 70% chance that it'll also be giant. If it grows too large, it becomes Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever.

Compare Everything Trying to Kill You and Terrifying Pet Store Rat. Depending on the object/animal, can overlap with Nightmare Fuel or Paranoia Fuel. Depending on the execution, can overlap with Narm instead. Also can overlap with Our Monsters Are Weird if the object is esoteric enough. When the "killer" is an inanimate object, it overlaps with Paranormal Mundane Item. For less exciting Real Life examples, see My Little Panzer and No Product Safety Standards.

Attack of The Killer Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Unlike the Monsters of the Day from previous seasons, the Daimons/Heart Snatchers from Sailor Moon S were normal objects infected with a Daimon egg/pod and transformed into feminine monsters. Said objects included a sport car, a vacuum cleaner, a violin, a train, a script for a TV show, a star projector (this episode was skipped during the show's first run on Cartoon Network due to the resulting daimon resembling a scantily clad carnival dancer) just to name a few. This is especially true for Kaolinite's daimons; while her successors, Eudial and Mimete, first bring the objects to their lab to infect with daimon, Kaolinite takes to the field and infect any object lying in plain sight, such as a tree and a swimming pool.
  • Pretty Cure: The Monsters of the Day are invariably possessed objects transformed into rampaging beasts whom the heroines fight, defeat and purify, albeit there are cases of animals and even people being possessed. As such, anything that can be turned into a killer beasts will be turned into a killer beast, with tree based monsters being the most common, appearing at least once per season.

    Comic Books 
  • Hack/Slash: Parasitic twin foetuses and cartoon chipmunks bring in some variety from the normal slashers and serial killers — who are all pretty weird in of themselves.
    • There was also the story about the high-tech snowblower that "ate" pets.
  • Martian Manhunter: A Silver Age comic story had the Martian Manhunter facing off against the Orchestra Of Doom, a group of maliciously sentient musical instruments that cause chaos with their Magic Music and turned out to be vulnerable to "Last Rose Of Summer". As in the song.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons! (see the page pic)
    • Calvin's bike is also out to get him.
    • And his baseball.
    • His book once ate his homework and then attacked him, but he survived by breaking its spine.
    • He's also had at least two run-ins with killer piles of autumn leaves.
    • Once even his dinner came to life, grasped his fork, and tried to eat him.
  • The Far Side has touched on this trope in several strips, including "Scene from the film Giraffes IV: This time, they're not just looking for acacia leaves." Another one that actually could be scary was "Night of the Crash Test Dummies", which showed crash test dummies shoving people into a crash test car and about to activate it. There was also Return of the Nose of Dr. Verlucci, which seems to be some kind of revenge-from-beyond-the-grave movie about a killer nose ("Egad! It's the severed nose of Dr. Verlucci — returned from the grave on the anniversary of the night we all betrayed him!"), and another one where worms go to see a killer bird movie called Beak 2 ("Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the topsoil...")
  • Peanuts approached this trope with Charlie Brown's nemesis, the kite-eating tree.
    • Also there was that time in March of 1965 when Lucy was attacked by Linus's blanket.

  • Calvin & Hobbes: The Series features several electronic appliances (along with TVs and telephone poles) all trying to kill the titular protagonists courtesy of Electro.
  • PokéBattles has this as a fairly prominent element, with AOL attacking in the second battle and trees inexplicably being particularly fearsome opponents. Other things likely to want to fight include doors and anything related to a computer.

    Film — Animated 
  • Taken to the next level with man-eating hamburgers in this animated short, "Hambuster".
  • Monster House. It's right there in the title; a group of kids investigate a Haunted House they believe to be alive.
  • Bill Plympton did a short called Shuteye Hotel, which was about a killer pillow that bites off the head of anyone who sleeps on it.
  • Twice Upon a Time has a sequence where Ralph and Mumford are exposed to a nightmare bomb and dream of getting attacked by killer office supplies.

    Film — Live-Action 

In General:

By Movie:

  • Absentia is about an evil underpass - though more specifically, the entity - likely a troll - that lurks beneath it.
  • The later Amityville films featured such things as evil lamps, mirrors, and dollhouses.
  • Attack of the Killer Donuts
  • Attack of the Killer Refrigerator and, in a similar vein, a film titled simply The Refrigerator. It's so corny, it's So Bad, It's Good, it's the fridge from hell's logic!
  • Given some of the other examples on this page, the 1978 horror movie spoof Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! seems almost sensible in comparison. ATTAAAACK OF THE KILLER TO-MAY-TOES!
  • Attack of the Sabertooth Oh no! A crazy saber-toothed cat is running amok in the forest! Even more oh no! They somehow convinced John Rhys-Dalvies to do this movie!
  • Parodied in Brazilian movie Bacalhau, a Jaws spoof about a killer codfish.
  • Japanese film Battle Heater is about the rampage of a small electric space heater.
  • Beast (2022) is about a rogue lion attacking and trapping a recently widowed father played by Idris Elba and his daughters who are on holiday in Africa.
  • The 2016 film Bed Of The Dead is also about a killer bed.
  • Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds is an early example.
  • Black Sheep (2007), a horror movie about killer ... wait for it ... sheep. Though this one is a Horror/Comedy.
  • The 1989 horror-comedy Blades involves killings at a country club that turn out to be caused by a killer lawnmower.
  • Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • The Brain (1988) — about a giant killer brain. Really. That's not the only killer brain film. We also have The Brain from Planet Arous and Fiend Without a Face.
  • The Brass Teapot is about an evil magical teapot. It’s implied to have brought down nations and empires.
  • The Car, which features a custom-built devil-possessed automobile on the loose.
  • CarousHELL has a killer carousel unicorn.
  • Probably the quintessential "killer toy" movie is Child's Play (1988), which earned six sequels.
  • Christine has a genuinely frightening killer car.
  • Creepshow features killer cockroaches in one scene.
  • 1977's Day of the Animals - Probably the KING of this trope! There are wolves, dogs, rats, snakes, hawks, owls, mountain lions, and bears! Oh my!
  • There was a similar film called Deadly Eyes back in the '80s, where mutated rats attack random people in a city.
  • From Noboru Iguchi, Dead Sushi. Bunch of killer sushi.
  • The 1977 film Death Bed: The Bed That Eats was about... guess what? A killer bed.
  • Dial: Help has killer telephones.
  • Duel a 1971 made for TV movie directed by Steven Spielberg about a terrified motorist stalked on a lonely and remote road by a grimy and rusty 1955 Peterbilt 281 tanker truck. Spielberg intentionally made the truck driver a mostly unseen character so the audience would see the truck as the true antagonist. Remade in 1981 as Road Games, although in this version the killer van driver is caught at the end and sent to jail.
  • Empire of the Ants, about ants that have been mutated into giant, flesh-eating monsters by radioactive waste.
  • The beginning of Ernest Rides Again sees power tools in a construction yard coming to life and attempting to attack Ernest after he idly wanders in with his metal detector. No explanation for how this happened is ever given.
  • The Food of the Gods and its sequel. The first included giant wasps and rats attacking people on an island. The second featured giant rodents as well only they ran wild in a city, attacking everything they could find.
  • Frog-g-g! - also about frogs, but played humorously with a mutated frog having sex with female humans.
  • Frogs (kinda stupid since most of the victims meet their demise from animals other than frogs - turtles, lizards, snakes, spiders, alligators, birds, crabs and butterflies!)
  • Exte: Hair Extensions is a film directed by Sion Sono where haunted hair (made into, as the title suggests, hair extensions) ends up killing several people.
  • The Giant Claw. Earth is attacked by a Giant Antimatter Space Buzzard.
  • The Gingerdead Man involves a serial killer coming back as a homicidal animated cookie.
    • It had a crossover with another series like this, Evil Bong. No, really.
  • In the Japanese Mind Screw horror movie Hausu everything from a piano to pillows to a lampshade, to the title House, all because the Auntie eats young female virgins to keep herself young while she waits for her boyfriend to come home from WWII. The little problem? He died in the war. She received the news but didn't believe it.
  • I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle. A shape-shifting, murderous motorcycle terrorizes Bob the Builder in Birmingham in this 1990 B-movie. Not quite Exactly What It Says on the Tin in that the title motorbike is actually a demon-possessed Norton Commando, but still awesome.
  • Isolation involves a mutated dairy cow. A twisted, parasitic, inside-out mutated dairy cow.
  • The infamous Jack Frost (1997) movies about a snowman whose snow is infused with the DNA of a murderer. Includes a scene where the titular snowman rapes and kills a woman in the shower with his carrot.
  • Jaws, and its sequels. A Giant great white shark starts killing swimmers at the resort town of Amity. Eating people whole even. The Mayor tries to cover it up, but as the situation gets more and more dangerous a team looks into it and start hunting the shark. The sequels introduce new sharks, and the final film has a shark targeting the Ellen Brody character's family as "revenge".
  • Jumanji was a movie about both a killer boardgame and a killer jungle where everything's trying to kill you. Jumanji got a semi-sequel of its own, Zathura, which recycled the killer boardgame theme in space.
  • Killdozer!. Yes, an evil killer bulldozer. Sounds like the perfect date for Christine. It gets its evil via alien-life from another galaxy.
  • Killer Condom - And the condoms were designed by H. R. Giger, creator of the Alien. Confused yet?
  • Killer Klowns from Outer Space — try saying the title with a straight face. This one was deliberately a spoof of horror movies, however. It has developed a strong cult following.
  • Killer Mermaid (aka Nymph) is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Killer Piñata. The titular possessed piñata is even referred to as "the deadliest pinata of all".
  • The Killer Shrews: Which looks even sillier than it sounds, since it's so obvious that the 'shrews' are actually Collie dogs in bad makeup.
  • 1977 saw Kingdom of the Spiders, with William Shatner fighting billions of homicidal poisonous but normal-sized tarantulas. Normally, they are giant when they do such things.
  • The Leprechaun horror movie franchise, Lucky Charms commercials Gone Horribly Wrong.
  • The film De Lift is centered around a killer elevator ("For God's sake, take the stairs").
  • Lightning Strikes: The Sci-Fi Channel presents killer lightning.
  • The Mad: Both Attack of the Killer Beef Patties and zombies (the people who ate said patties when they were made into hamburgers)! It's a horror comedy.
  • Mae bia - Thai film about a family attacked by a deadly cobra.
  • The Mailman ("Pray you're not on his route!")
  • Mammoth - A meteor, bearing an alien, crash lands on a museum and resurrects the bones of a Mammoth. It rampages around and kills people by stepping on them. Beware his soul-sucking trunk of doom!
  • The Mangler (based on a short story published in the collection Night Shift), a killer laundry machine.
  • Inhumanwhich features a giant, carnivorous sandwich
  • Man's Best Friend is a film about a killer mutant puppy. A ridiculously cute one, at that.
  • Maximum Overdrive! Practically every mechanical object known to man turns on their creators after earth passes through the tail of a mysterious comet... or was it the flying saucer that the military shot down in the epilogue? Apparently the test screen of a scene of a boy getting ran over by a steamroller actually made George A. Romero throw up. Later remade under the story's original title Trucks.
  • The Mildew from Planet Xonader. Need we say more?
  • The giant snail creatures from The Monster That Challenged the World.
  • The killer roach flick from the '80s called The Nest.
  • Night of the Lepus. It's a movie about Giant Killer Bunny Rabbits. And they're adorable real bunnies jumping around in little sets, and then closed-up for maximum dramatic effect. You've never witnessed terror until you see a furball gnawing ketchup.
  • A short parody of Night of the Living Dead (1968) called... Night of the Living Bread.
  • Nightwing has killer vampire bats running amok on the Hopi Reservation.
  • The Nun, about a demon disguised as a nun.
  • Oculus is about a haunted mirror. The mirror causes hallucinations that are indistinguishable from reality to make people injure themselves or others, for example, causing a man to tear off his fingernails by making him think he was removing Band-Aids from them. The mirror itself cannot move and protects itself by making people see it in the wrong place if they try to attack it.
  • One-Eyed Monster is a film about a killer penis. We wish we were making this up.
  • Orca: The Killer Whale - Our adorable Shamu turned vengeful and bloodthirsty. Bonus points for "Killer Whale" being the actual name of the animal in question.
  • The Paper Boy ("He's bad news!") Surprisingly unrelated to the aforementioned film The Mailman.
    • And now there's Rosewood Lane, another evil paper boy flick.
  • Paper Jam is a short film about killer printers. You read that right.
  • For attacks of man-eating piranhas see the movie Piranha.
  • For normal sea-life transformed into vicious carnivorous killers, look no further than the Italian movie Plankton (1994) (a.k.a. Creatures from the Abyss, a.k.a. Sea Devils), where feeding on plankton poisoned by toxic waste has mutated fishes so that they can jump out of the water and eat sailors and a bunch of dumb tweens on a yacht. Nom, nom, nom.
  • Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead: Played for all the squick, potty humor, gorn, and black comedy it's worth.
  • The Japanese horror film Premonition (unrelated to the Sandra Bullock-starring psychological drama of the same name) is about a killer newspaper. The newspaper predicts peoples' deaths before they happen by way of the obituary section. The trailer alone was so disturbing that a mother wrote in to a local, uh, newspaper, complaining that the trailer should not have been screened on jumbotrons in the middle of crowded streets. She was probably very right.
  • A killer electromagnetic pulse causes appliances in a suburban neighborhood house to go all homicidal in Pulse. The creep factor is way up, especially due to the shower scene, because none of the appliances really seem to be doing anything unexpected. It's actually quite plausible that your sink wouldn't stop running, or that your water heater would get broken and the temperature would rise to scalding, or that the washing machine/TV could give you a fatal shock.
  • Somewhere in the region of 50% of Full Moon productions; they're most famous for milking the Puppet Master series (killer puppets) for all it's worth.
  • The Rats (2002). A clan of evil rats overtakes a Manhattan department store and threatens to overrun the city
  • Razorback is a 1984 film about a large man-eating feral pig rampaging through the Australian Outback.
  • Rectuma. It's about a giant ass, and we don't mean a donkey (though that would also be strange).
  • The Red Shoes (2005) - South Korean horror movie about evil, possessed high heel shoes. See here. Possibly related to the fairytale of the same name.
  • Resident Evil: Extinction has flocks of killer zombie crows! We'd call it a "Take That!" but it's more akin to Laserblast taking its potshot at Star Wars: picking on someone WAY out of their weight class.
  • Road Train (Road Kill outside Australia) A movie about a spirit/demon possessed road train (a truck with multiple trailers) roaming the Australian Outback and demanding blood for fuel.
  • Quentin Dupieux's Rubber: A film about an angry car tire (no, really) with deadly psychokinetic powers, rolling down the desert exploding the heads of anyone it doesn't like. Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.
    • Since then he made Reality (2014), which is about a director who plans to make a film about killer tv sets.
  • The Sand. Although to be fair, there is actually a giant alien jellyfish under the sand, but what we actually see is people getting sucked into the sand, so.
  • The Shaft: A killer elevator.
  • Shake Rattle And Roll is a Filipino horror Anthology Film, whose second segment is about a killer refrigerator. The segment would later be remade as a feature film, Pridyider.
  • Sharknado combines this with Disaster Movie in a premise so preposterous that no one will be afraid of the dark, or water, or wind, as a result of it.
  • Slaxx has a pair of jeans that are possessed by a ghost of an Indian child laborer and killing people.
  • Slugs has man-eating slugs mutated by toxic waste.
  • Snakes on a Plane follows this trope.
  • Squirm, with its masses of biting worms.
  • Stay Alive (2006) is just one of many movies about killer videogames. One wonders how such a game gets out of beta testing...
  • Horror Anthology Film Strange Events includes a segment called "The Toothbrush", about a killer electric toothbrush.
  • Terminator: The first three movies are about a mother and/or son being hunted by a killing machine (literally) sent back in time to eliminate the protagonists and change the future.
  • The demonic turkey from ThanksKilling.
  • Ticks, horror movie where cat-sized ticks in a forest jump on people and cause Body Horror.
  • The Burgess Meredith film Torture Garden featured a sequence about a killer piano.
  • Videodrome. Snuff television gives you tumours!
  • When Cars Attack is a Mockumentary about, well, killer cars.
  • The Wig. When it comes to horror, there really is no limit on what the subject could be.
  • Due to the PCP in the city's water supply all manner of animals have gone crazy in Wild Beasts, mostly big cats from the local zoo.


In General:

  • "Animal attack" stories were one of the key subgenres of the Men's Adventure Magazines of the 1960s and '70s. Some of these picked the typical dangerous animals, like big cats, sharks, or bears. Others instead focused on more improbable threats like cryptids, Living Dinosaurs, or small, harmless animals. The most famous of these - and possibly the most famous Men's Adventure story of all time - was "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" (from the magazine Man's Life), in which a farmer's efforts to protect his ducks get him torn almost to shreds by wicked weasels.

By Author:

  • Stephen King seems to be the master of this:
    • The short story "Trucks" in which trucks become sentient and attack their creators. Twice adapted for film, as Maximum Overdrive and again under its original title.
    • Christine, the infamous story of a homicidal (and rather possessive) car.
      • And From a Buick 8, which is about another evil car. Only this one isn't so much possessed as it is... wrong.
      • And let's not forget the short story Mile 81, which is about another evil car. A car from space that eats people and is vulnerable to light.
    • The Mangler, which was spun off into a trilogy of movie adaptations - that's right, three movies about a killer laundry press. It's immobile, too, so it comes down to people being stupid enough not to learn to keep from walking up to the damn thing. Although the original short story implies the thing does become mobile, in a Twist Ending.
    • In various Stephen King short stories, he has had people attacked by novelty chattering teeth, paintings, a toy monkey, evil toads... If it can be seen as even vaguely creepy by anybody in the Western world, chances are it's killed somebody in a Stephen King story.
    • In The Tommyknockers, there are myriad Killer Whatevers, which are ordinary devices adapted into death-dealers by the residents of Haven, in order to protect themselves from the outside world. These include a brush-trimmer, smoke detectors that fly like Frisbees and emit deadly ultrasonic sound, televisions that shoot fire, and a lumbering 600-lb. Coke machine which crushes a man's skull and breaks his back.
    • King also wrote the screenplay to Creepshow, listed above under Film.
  • H. P. Lovecraft's works:
  • John Wyndham:
    • The Day of the Triffids. In the film version, the only thing that gives the immobile killer plants a fighting chance is the fact that the meteor shower on which they arrive also blinds nearly everyone on Earth. In the original novel, it's a bit more sensical, as they were, when fully-grown, just barely mobile... and the focus wasn't on them, but on the reaction of the survivors to the apocalypse to which the plants contributed, and the humans' attempts to cope. They didn't invade — people were farming them for their commercially-useful oil, then the strange blindness-causing meteor shower eliminates the ability to keep them from being a danger, and they started rampaging. It's still a good movie, though.
    • Web, the inspiration for/prequel to the Arachnophobia movie(s), involves an island full of mutated spiders that are: a) more poisonous; b) have fangs/mandibles that are stronger and sharper than normal; c) more intelligent and d) have a rabidly cannibalistic, yet simultaneously highly co-operative society that apparently crosses species barriers. Oh, and some of them are as big as dogs.

By Work:

  • Parodied in The Areas of My Expertise when the author proposes that someone make a movie with the simple premise of ALL ANIMALS VS. ALL HUMANS. He assures the reader that the scene with the killer platypus alone will be worth the price of admission.
    • In the sequel, More Information Than You Require, he learns that screenwriter Mike Sobel has sold a script with this exact premise (although it seems to have fallen into Development Hell since the book's publication), and asks if he can be cast in a cameo role as "The Man Who Gets Venomous-Foot-Spurred To Death By the Platypus."
  • There is actually a book called Attack of the Killer Potatoes, according to The Other Wiki. The tomatoes should sue.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has a somewhat lighter take on this concept. Spoiled Brat Veruca's attempt to steal one of the Nut Room's squirrels results in all 100 of them swarming her and tossing her down a rubbish chute, and when her parents try to rescue her the squirrels kick them down it too. This is a potentially deadly fate since said chute ends in an incinerator, but the humans do survive — besides, Veruca and her parents aren't the most sympathetic potential victims anyway. In certain adaptations the squirrels qualify as Rodents of Unusual Size to boot: in the 2010 opera The Golden Ticket they're human-sized. In the 2013 musical, while most of them are normal-sized, there are several large ones (big enough to have Oompa-Loompa riders) that emerge to confront Veruca.
  • Demonic Household: A lot of stories in the anthology feature killer household objects in one way or another. There's a swarm of electrical power cords in "Cords", a killer tea set in "Shattered Love", a killer garbage disposal in "Gamma Ray's GD Sink", a killer oven in "Just Desserts", a demon-possessed computer mouse in "It's Just a Little Mouse", and a killer egotistical sofa in "Sofa King Tired of This". The title of "Killer K-Cups" is also a reference to this trope, although the story's villain is a more conventional demon.
  • Some of the grimoires turn people into other tomes (thus killing them) in Pratchett's Discworld.
    • There's a short story in one of the Alfred Hitchcock story collections that uses that plot.
    • Terry Pratchett also used a swarm of "killer" rats, with the rat-king in The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. The titular rodents themselves (as well as Maurice, a talking cat) are all good guys, though.
  • In John Byrne's Fearbook, a catalogue that arrives in the mail convinces people to kill others or themselves.
  • Discussed in "Genre Savvy", where two horror movie buffs talk about what animals native to the Mojave Desert could become the Killer Whatever; Edgar has a giant rattlesnake on his mind, Charlotte suggests killer roadrunners, then they combine them into the crossover of Killer Roadrunner vs. Giant Rattlesnake.
  • Goosebumps books had dummies, lawn gnomes, egg monsters, snowmen, and a small sponge-like creature found underneath a sink.
  • De Griezelbus: In one of the stories, a Sadist Teacher punishes his students by sitting them down in a big, soft chair and hitting the chair with a ruler since he cannot physically punish them. Eventually, the chair becomes so fed up with the teacher that it eats him.
  • "Leiningen Versus the Ants" is arguably a part of this genre.
  • The short story "Lonely Train A-Comin'" by William F Nolan (later expanded into the novel Helltracks) is about a man hunting what he thinks is a serial killer wandering isolated railway lines, seeking revenge for the death of his sister. It finally turns out that what he's hunting is a man-eating steam train that somehow developed organic parts and a taste for blood.
  • The Lord of the Rings has the Ents, sentient (and ambulatory) trees. They're good guys, but you definitely don't want to be on their bad side. The Huorns (trees that have become a bit ent-like, or ents that have become more tree-like, it seems to work both ways) are possibly even more dangerous, since they're less alert and easier to anger. And of course there's Old Man Willow.
  • Older Than Radio: "The Malice of Inanimate Objects" by M. R. James suggests that small accidents with everyday items (mentioning: the collar stud, the inkstand, the fire, the razor, the extra step on the staircase, the needle, the egg, the duck, the cat, the millstone...) are the result of the angry dead trying to exact revenge on the living. The particular example most of the story is dedicated to is a killer razor blade.
  • Ratman's Notebooks, its two film adaptations, and the first film's sequel are all about killer rats.
  • The Ring: Killer videotapes! (Okay, it's a ghost using a videotape, but...)
  • The Ragnarok Publications horror novel Tuskers is about the aporkalypse. Yes, a small town gets destroyed by an army of sentient javelinas (i.e. boar).
  • "The Twonky" by Lewis Padgett (joint pseudonym of Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore) is about a killer ... well ... twonky, which is a future appliance that looks like a console radio (and performs the functions of one, until it starts refusing to play certain music that it considers "harmful.") When the owners don't take well to its re-education attempts, things escalate.
  • In the political satire The Year of the Angry Rabbit by Russell Braddon, rabbits are infected with a highly toxic (to humans) strain of myxomatosis. Rather than trying to wipe them out, however, the Australian government is more than happy to possess the most feared biological weapon in the world. Inspired the movie Night of the Lepus (which turned out nothing like the book).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Both Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Goosebumps (1995) had suspiciously similar stories about killer cameras, and got two of the actors to play the same roles in both adaptations. Both were more than likely inspired by The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "A Most Unusual Camera".
  • The Twilight Zone (1959) has a guy killed by an evil slot machine ("The Fever") and killer home appliances plus a killer car ("A Thing About Machines").
  • In-universe example in The Big Bang Theory: Penny works in a series of movies about a killer/rapist gorilla named Serial Apist.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a killer puppet except he was a good guy, a cursed demon hunter and killer eggs. The spin-off show Angel also had killer puppets.
  • The Chronicle has an episode ("Let Sleeping Dogs Fry") where electrical devices in a town start killing people. Turns out they were possessed by the ghost of a dead poolboy, who was out for revenge.
  • Doctor Who has a long and colourful history of people getting killed by ridiculous crap:
    • One of the most enduringly insane traditional monsters would be the Yeti from "The Abominable Snowmen" — giant killer robotic Yeti controlled by floating metal spheres in their backs which themselves are controlled by a sort of Lovecraftian pyramid. Then, in "The Web of Fear", they get stuck in the London Underground, making them even more ridiculous.
    • Killer seaweed ("Fury from the Deep").note 
    • The Nestene Consciousness encourages this, due to being an abomination with the ability to convert any items made out of plastic into murderous Autons:
      • "Spearhead from Space": Attack of the killer 1970s shop window mannequins!
      • "Terror of the Autons" has killer inflatable chairs, killer plastic daffodils, killer Brand X Troll-dolls, killer advertising eyesores... Robert Holmes cited his inspirations for the story as the preponderance of cheap disposable plastic fad items that began to really take off in the '70s, and realising you would only need four inches square of plastic sheet to suffocate someone.
      • "Rose" features killer 2005 shop window mannequins and involves a main character getting consumed by a man-eating wheelie bin.
    • "The Seeds of Doom" features a 'plant revolution' in which people get killed by kale, suffocated by hedges, whipped by trees, and drowned by malevolent pondweed.
    • "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" has a killer ventriloquist's dummy.
    • "The Stones of Blood" has killer, blood-drinking rocks moving around and killing villagers.
    • "The Christmas Invasion" has the protagonists come under threat from a Christmas tree.
    • Killer televisions ("The Idiot's Lantern")
    • Killer drawings ("Fear Her")
    • Killer statues ("Blink")
    • Killer diet pills ("Partners in Crime")
    • Killer shadows ("Silence in the Library")
    • Killer satnavs ("The Sontaran Stratagem")
    • Killer Wi-fi ("The Bells of Saint John")
    • Killer cloth, technically called "Remnants" ("The Ghost Monument")
    • Killer bubble wrap ("Kerblam!")
  • The spoof horror show Garth Marenghis Darkplace has a telekinetic attack by various implements, including an attack by a whisk. A later episode has an attack by a killer set of bagpipes.
  • An episode of the early 90s American horror show called Monsters had an artist who owned a killer bed that ate his dates when he took them home, until he met a girl who had a killer fridge in her apartment, which then ate him. Played completely straight.
  • An episode of Haven called "Love Machine" involves machines and appliances turning killer. The cause of this turns out to be a Troubled mechanic who is unaware of his "uniqueness".
  • In the episode "Alien Appliance Outbreak" of the I Was a Sixth Grade Alien TV series, Pleskit tampering with the vacuum somehow causes all of Tim's household appliances to come to life and attack.
  • Monster Warriors had to deal - among other things - with a giant carnivorous butterfly that hypnotised people with its beauty, a living and very hungry blob, living radioactive junk (not that kind), giant (again) cockroaches, predatory vines, an army of giant frogs... Well, what do you expect from the show with a deranged and Brainwashed By Aliens ex-B-Movie director as a villain, anyway?
  • An animated sketch on Monty Python's Flying Circus introduces the Killer Cars, which hide behind poles and jump on unsuspecting pedestrians. The cars are defeated "thanks to the miracle of atomic mutation" by an enormous bipedal cat, which displaces them as the town's reigning terror. This monster is then defeated by a giant hand. Animator Terry Gilliam intended this sequence to be a parody of 1950s monster movies.
    • Another of the show's animations has a house roaming about the countryside, gobbling people up through its doors, until it is found by "The House Hunters" ("These are house droppings... fresh ones, too!") who slap a Condemned notice on it, causing it to collapse.
    • A sketch in another episode revolved around killer sheep.
    • The Science Fiction sketch has killer blancmanges from Outer Space, which turn people into Scotsmen as part of a convoluted scheme to win the Championships at Wimbledon.
    • The vicious gangs of "Keep Left" signs from the "Hell's Grannies" sketch.
    • The film-within-a-show from the "Scott of the Sahara" sketch includes a giant killer penguin and a man-eating roll-top desk for no apparent reason.
    • The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog from Monty Python and the Holy Grail which rips peoples necks out, causing their heads to simply fall off.
  • Power Rangers has some truly bizarre monsters at times - it comes with having to do a new one every episode over years and years and years. Killer rhinos and robots? Standard fare. But go long enough and you get killer spray bottles, killer buses ("Everyone who's ever stuck gum under one of my seats is going to PAY for it now!!") killer lawnmowers, killer radios (several!), killer chickens, killer lanterns, lipsticks ,walls, roulette wheels, baseball players, bowlers, fleas, hats, fire trucks, pumpkins (rapping pumpkins!)... there's nothing that hasn't battled a Megazord in the middle of town yet! Including tomatoes.
  • Parodied in a Saturday Night Live skit titled "Attack Of The Masturbating Zombies".
  • The X-Files' episode "Teso Dos Bichos" is the attack of the Killer Kitties. Sewer cats prove quite deadly in large numbers.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 featured a number of movies like this, to the point where, in the Earth vs. the Spider episode, Crow started writing his own movie screenplay for something called Earth vs Soup, in which a Greasy Spoon's careless storage of uranium-235 in a soup pot turns a batch of California cornucopia vegetable jubilee into something resembling a Blob Monster that "slithers on all fours" ("What, you think soup is a biped?"). Posters for Earth vs. Soup became a popular subject for Fan Art.
    • A few of Crow's rejected concepts include Earth vs. The Giant Wendy O. Williams, Earth vs. A Muffin, and Earth vs. Peter Himmelman.


  • Find Us Alive: The Dash Two monsters, which mutate from harmless plants or insects such as lemon trees and ants.

  • Son of Cliché featured a parody of B-list horror movies called Attack Of The Killer Italian y-fronts, in which the world is terrorised by underpants which, once donned, develop evil sentience and "start holding on too goddammed tight". This was later rewritten as a plot in an episode of Red Dwarf, also created by the same writers.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons gets a lot of mileage from this:
    • There is an adventure that has a "library that turns patrons into books" plot. This plot also shows up in JAGS Wonderland.
    • Cats crop up again in 3rd Edition housecats, which can, it has been famously pointed out, kill 1st level commoners.
    • You have monsters that pretend to be the floor, monsters that pretend to be the ceiling, monsters that pretend to be walls, and mimics can pretend to be whatever the hell they feel like. It is entirely possible for an apparently unoccupied room to cause a Total Party Kill even without traps or invisibility.
    • Cloakers are weird manta ray-like flying aberrations that look exactly like a hung-up cloak when they cling to walls, right down to claws that resemble a cloak-clasp and twin rows of eyespots that look like buttons. No word on whether killer boots (booters?) or hats (hatters?) are also available to complete the killer-accessory ensemble...
    • Killer rats showed up as a sentient rat hive-mind called the Us.
    • The spell Animate Objects lets player characters create their own killer objects. (The rules for these only really cover combat.)
    • One module had you attacked by a Gazebo, obviously from someone fed up of people attacking one without realising what it is.
  • A Gazebo is also a monster in Munchkin. There are some other bizarre enemies in Munchkin that probably qualify as Killer Whatevers, like Zom-Bees, a Baseball Bat (it's not a sentient baseball bat that's trying to kill you, it's a baseball with bat wings) and a Thesaurus, which causes you to become deceased, moribund, lifeless, exanimate, and dead.

    Video Games 
  • Agent USA: Attack of the Killer Television.
  • Angry Birds: Alfred Hitchcock's avian menace-with a motive!
  • Apple Panic, a Space Panic clone by Brøderbund Software, had apples trying to kill you.
  • An advertised but not released game for the ZX Spectrum was going to be called Attack of the Mutant Zombie Flesh-Eating Chickens from Mars.
  • Armory & Machine has an enemy that's a sentient Giant Hogweed, which tries to destroy your fighters with corrosive venom. There's also the Pebble Swarm enemies, swarms of floating pebbles trying to destroy your fighters.
  • Invoked in The Curse of Monkey Island with the horror novel-loving gravedigger Mort, who is apparently writing his own horror story... titled "The Grog that Drank People".
  • The Dragon Quest series has this in spades, with everything from platypi to skewered bell peppers to pots and books.
  • In Dwarf Fortress, carp is the deadliest animal ever found in water. Yeah, carp.
    • Carp then passed the torch of "deadliest aquatic animal" on to the even more hardcore, even more ridiculous indestructible killer giant sea sponges. Later, the sea sponges were toned down a little — they are no longer indestructible — though they are still far more dangerous then a sessile animal has any right to be.
  • Mother:
    • A number of enemies in EarthBound (1994) could qualify for this trope: Killer hippies, road signs, fire hydrants, paintings, cars, cups of coffee, goats, Salvador Dali clocks....
    • It says something about the game that Insane Cultists are some of the more reasonable enemies therein.
    • In EarthBound Beginnings, the first enemy you face is a possessed lamp.
    • Mother 3, though it emphasizes chimera animals more, has a number of inanimate objects, like rocks and trees that can attack.
  • The Final Fantasy series tends towards this in most games, with monsters ranging from squirrels to bunnies to cacti to tablewares to children's toys to doors and walls. In one game, the Big Bad was a tree.
  • The Five Nights at Freddy's series has killer animatronics at a Suck E. Cheese's.
  • Kingdom of Loathing is jam-packed with this; you can fight killer canned vegetables, blobs of burnt meat, and murderous macaroni, all in the same place. Elsewhere, not only are there homicidal desks, there are several different kinds of them. Deadly pinatas, calculators, wallpaper, constellations, hedges, snowmen... The list goes on.
  • The first boss of Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story is the Sea Pipe Statue, a mechanized killer water fountain that Fawful created to stop Bowser from messing with his plans.
  • Jitsu Squad have living koinbori flags as enemies right in the first stage.
  • Nanashi no Game is about a killer 8-bit RPG.
  • Revenge of the Beefsteak Tomatoes
  • Overlord: Raising Hell has Killer Pumpkins.
  • The VGA remake of Quest for Glory II has the Pizza Elemental as an Optional Boss, a giant killer pizza.
  • Roombo: First Blood is a game about a robot vacuum cleaner that viciously kills packs of burglars that break into its owner's house and then sucks up their blood and corpses before its owners get home.
  • Super Mario 64 has the infamous mad piano.
  • Team Fortress 2's short film "Expiration Date" features killer bread. Teleporting bread too much causes it to mutate into an angry sharp-toothed loaf of bread covered with spikes and green tumors. Four weapons inspired by the short consist of normal items re-skinned to be made out of or including these little monsters. In the finale of "Expiration Date," the Soldier teleports a ridiculous amount of bread over the three days of the short, and ends up creating an enormous tentacled bread monster.
  • The background of Tokyo Jungle has animals of all sorts, from house pets to farm animals to zoo animals, suddenly becoming more aggressive.
  • Tonic Trouble has killer vegetables, who even have their own headquarters.
  • Splatoon 2 has the Octo Oven, a gargantuan industrial grade bread oven armed with deadly loaves and lethal glazing guns as the first boss.
  • Yokai Hunter Shintaro has an Oboroguruma yokai boss - a possessed sentient horse-carriage.


    Web Original 
  • The SCP Foundation has quite a lot of these, ranging from the silly to the surprisingly horrifying.
    • SCP-743 is a chocolate fountain... that replenishes itself by releasing a swarm of ants that will cut up any organic material, alive or dead, and carry it back to the fountain. It has a tendency to favor humans that have consumed the chocolate from the fountain...
    • The original SCP is 173, a bizarre-looking statue that can kill people if they aren't looking directly at it, not unlike the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who.
      • SCP-689 is similar to SCP-173, but is much more dangerous. It able to teleport to and instantly kill anybody who has previously seen it, if it is not being constantly watched.
    • I, SCP-426, am a killer toaster and also one of the most popular pages on the site. I kill people by making them think that they are toasters so that they kill themselves trying to do things that toasters do, like I, SCP-426, am doing right now to me, the troper that wrote this and to you too as you read this.
    • SCP-1048 is a happy and adorable sentient teddy bear that likes to make copies of itself. Three of them exist, which are made of ears, a uterus, and scraps of rusted metal, respectively. Directly opposite of SCP-1048, they're murderous and inflict all kinds of Body Horror on others.
    • Played for laughs with SCP-504, a species of tomato plant that kills people for making bad jokes by launching its fruit at them at high speed. It works with recordings, too.
    • SCP-871 is a bunch of cakes that replicate endlessly if they are not eaten.
    • SCP-002, the killer hotel room from outer space that contains furniture made of human materials.
    • SCP-647 is a man eating cardboard box that preys on homeless people.
    • SCP-835 a colony of killer coral made from human flesh.
    • SCP-956 is an evil piñata that kills children by turning their insides into candy and then bludgeoning them open like a piñata, and if a child eats the candy it makes this way, they turn into a copy of it.
    • SCP-1155 is a man eating graffiti.
    • SCP-1361 is a man eating Mystery Meat like lifeform.
    • SCP-1609 was a harmless chair that could teleport and enjoyed being sat on, until somebody threw it into a woodchipper. Now it is the remains of a destroyed chair that teleports pieces of itself into the lungs of anybody it feels threatened by.
    • This story is about a man gloating to an unspecified SCP about how in the Foundationverse, Killer Whatevers don't win in the end the way they frequently seem to do in horror movies. The writer of this story was inspired to write this after watching a lot of these films, including the movie Oculus.
  • Topless Robot had a list about ridiculous monsters called "Ten Creatures That Have No Business Starring in Horror Flicks", this included infected fetus cows from 2005's Isolation, the bloodthirsty sheep from the horror comedy Black Sheep, radiated deep sea worms from Deep Rising, goblin sharks from Malibu Shark Attack, giant shrews in 1959's The Killer Shrews, badly CG animated beetles from Caved In: Prehistoric Terror, a giant Slurpasaur style gila monster from Exactly What It Says on the Tin The Giant Gila Monster, and humongous grasshoppers from The Beginning of The End.

    Western Animation 
  • Ace Ventura: Pet Detective: In an episode, the folks of a small town in the forest are attacked by a were-moose.
  • The very first episode of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius was "When Pants Attack". Other episodes were like this, such as one where a giant evil lima bean comes from Carl's nightmares or an evil pizza that turned out to be a Dream Within a Dream within a dream within a dream within a dream.
  • An episode of American Dad!! had a homicidial hot tub voiced by Cee Lo Green, in a parody of Little Shop Of Horrors.
  • ATTAAAAAAAAAACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES!!! No, really, they actually did make a cartoon series of it.
  • There's a parody of Night of the Living Dead with the name "Night of the Living Bread"—it's an episode of a Claymation TV series called Bump in the Night has the two main characters going up against a mutated, ambulatory, semi-carnivorous slice of bread, which they finally beat by flinging peanut butter at it while it's standing on the edge of a cupboard so it falls onto the floor and sticks.
  • The Centsables had bank ATMs come to life and attack people in the episode "Attack Of The ATMs"
  • Code Lyoko: since XANA's main abilitie rely on taking control of various things on Earth in order to attack the Lyoko-Warriors, it frequently made use of this trope: killer trees, a giant food monster, a giant teddy bear, laughing gas, an Alien-like prop, killer music, gas that petrifies people for some reason, a wild boar, electrified black sludge, an airplane (to be fair, the airplane was going to be used as a guided missle), small robot dogs, spheres that look like they came from Phantasm, a virus that spreads via cellphones...
  • The Danny Phantom episode title, "Attack of the Killer Garage Sale". It's Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Technus uses machinery from Danny's garage sale to wreck havoc.
  • Danger Mouse episode "Mechanised Mayhem" involves a supercomputer causing all mechanised objects to become sentient and start rebelling against their owners.
    • Similarly, Darkwing Duck has the episode called "A Revolution In Home Appliances", which has the same basic idea except the appliances are made animate by Megavolt's power.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: The plot of the episode "Robostus" sees the titular villain turning ordinary household appliances and vehicles killer.
  • A killer house appears in the same vein as Monster House in an episode of Extreme Ghostbusters entitled "Home is Where the Horror Is". Before that The Real Ghostbusters did it with "Mrs Faversham's Neighborhood". The EG Bs have also fought possessed machines ("The Infernal Machine") and vehicles ("Ghost In The Machine").
    • The Real Ghostbusters have several episodes like this actually, including a giant Mantis, living balloons, a killer Rollerghoster, a giant geranium and, of course, the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man. They've also fought killer electrical devices ("Killerwatt"), a possessed Ecto-1 ("Follow That Hearse"), and possessed household objects of all stripes ("Loose Screws").
  • Jumanji: The Animated Series has the title boardgame and a boardgame inside the boardgame called "Brantford: The Game" (which evokes another trope; Fill-in-the-blanks: The something), so you get a killer board game, a killer jungle, a killer city and a list of killer things in everything is trying to kill you.
  • Kim Possible had evil snowmen animated by water from a toxic lake, monkey ninjas, spliced animals made after a popular brand of mixed animal Cuddle-buddies, and Draken's girlfriend robots.
  • In the Monster Farm episode "Tractor Terror", the farm's tractor comes to life and goes on a rampage after being struck by lightning.
  • Phineas and Ferb has "Day of the Living Gelatin", where a swimming pool full of grape gelatin is turned evil by one of Doofenshmirtz's inventions. The boys also get attacked by sentient potato-human hybrids in "Lotsa Latkes".
  • Played for laughs in the Regular Show episode "Ello Gov'nor", where Rigby and Mordecai watch an old movie entitled Ello Gov'nor, about a killer British taxi. No, really. It even gives Rigby nightmares, to boot!
  • Parodied in Rocko's Modern Life with a fake B-movie called "The Do" (about a killer hairdo).
  • Sushi Pack: In one episode, a villain develops the ability to turn anything from traffic lights to a jungle gym to bagels into murderous monsters.
  • In the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, household appliances (and also vehicles) become killer in "The Mean Machines" and then killer again in "Casey Jones: Outlaw Hero".
  • In Treehouse of Horror episodes, The Simpsons have dealt with killer cartoon characters (Itchy and Scratchy), a killer Krusty doll, a killer "evil" twin, killer giant advertising statues (like Lard Lad), killer cannibalistic teachers, killer bus gremlins, two killer houses (a supernatural one from I, and a robot house in XII), killer Homer clones, three cases of zombies (killer corpses of long-dead outlaws, zombies summoned by magic, and living humans turning into zombies from tainted hamburgers), killer blob (who happens to be a mutated Homer), killer golem, killer Transformer parodies, killer Pumpkin monsters, killer ghost celebrities, killer Jumanji parody, and a few alien invasions. There were also killer dolphins which even caught Lenny by surprise.
    Lenny: [surrounded by fins] Sharks! The assassins of the sea! [the dolphins stick their heads out of the water] Oooh. You're not sharks. You're dolphins. The clowns of the sea.
  • Wunschpunsch episode "Appliance Alliance" sees Bubonic and Tyrannia's latest spell make the town appliances come to life and attack.


Video Example(s):


Maximum Overdrive with Clothes

The Observer shows Rick and Morty the time Clothes took over the World.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / AttackOfTheKillerWhatever

Media sources: