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Beware My Stinger Tail

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"It counters a Zangoose's dazzling agility with its swordlike tail, which also oozes a horrible poison."
Pokédex (on Seviper), Pokémon Emerald

A tail is used for things like balance or grasping objects. Another use is a weapon, which can vary from flailing, whipping, or crushing. It is only logical then that a combatant would add things to make their tail hit harder like a club. Why just hit when you can also shoot stuff or stab with a stinger on the end, which may or may not be venomous? This trope is about weapons on tails, be they natural or not.

Part of the Anatomy Arsenal.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Mazinger Z: Several Mechanical Beasts had armed tails. For example, Danchel not only had a massive tail it used to crush things with but it also shot galons of acid.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has Adiane, who once used her scorpion-like tail to deliver a vicious beating unto Viral. It's unclear whether her stinger contains venom, since she does most of her fighting from within a giant robot.
  • Cell from Dragon Ball Z, who introduces a horrifying twist. After stabbing someone with his tail, he actually sucks up all of their internal organs through his stinger, while they're still alive.
  • One of the first villains in the second arc of New Cutey Honey had an acid-spewing tail.
  • A number of Zoids also have guns mounted in their tails, and not just the Scorpion-based ones.
    • The most notable one of course is on a Scorpion-Zoid: The Charged Particle Gun of the Death Stinger.
    • Another notable example would be the two main "sniper" zoids, the GunSniper and Snipe Master; both resemble dromeosaurs (raptors), with the tail forming the barrel of the primary sniping weapon.
  • Sasorina from Heartcatch Pretty Cure
  • Mihiramon from Digimon Tamers has an attack that can transform his tail into a sansetsukon.
  • In The Tower of Druaga, the Big Bad uses his tail in a surprise attack that kills Ahmey.
  • Sasori from Naruto, whose fighting style is to fight from inside a puppet like a suit of armor. The first puppet he is seen in has a sharp tail coated in poison.
    • While his actual "body" lacks an actual tail, it is also designed to invoke the scorpion imagery — the role of a tail is filled by a long cable wound up inside his stomach and ending with a poisoned spike
  • The Xvm-mzc Zeydars from Mobile Suit Gundam AGE is a perfect example of this. In addition to it's claws and Diffuse Beam Cannon, it also has a blade on the tip of it's tail.
    • Most Vagan designs feature a tail with a beam cannon on the end of it, allowing them to fire from unexpected directions against inexperienced opponents.
  • Not a literal case, but an analogous one in an episode of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. A prototype Spider Tank is clearly modeled after a scorpion, and in place of its tail it has a turret-mounted cannon.
  • In an episode of Sailor Moon Super S, there is a Monster of the Week, Garigari, with a drill on the tip of her tail, as Para Para's trap is dentist-themed. When she tries to drill Sailor Moon and Sailor Mini Moon's teeth with it, they use the Scream Attack which hasn't been seen since the first episode of the first season
  • Elma's full dragon form in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid has a three pronged tail, which she was shown using during her falling out with Tohru. When she shifts into a human or semi-human form, it's transformed into a trident.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • In Rango, Rattlesnake Jake, is a rattlesnake, which opts for a gatling gun instead of a traditional rattle tail.
  • The Stegosaurus in Fantasia.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Aliens, the Alien Queen uses her tail as a weapon while on board the Sulaco. The novelization makes clear that the xenomorphs secrete a paralytic venom from them which they use to pacify host organisms long enough to cocoon them.
  • In Dragonheart, Draco's tail ends in a barb.
  • Dren in Splice has one of these.
  • Men in Black: the Bug is a gigantic interstellar cockroach with a lethal stinger in its tail.
  • The Scorpion King, but only in The Mummy Returns.
  • A Stegosaurus attempts this in the second Jurassic Park film too, naturally.
  • Otachi in Pacific Rim has a claw on her tail which she uses to rip of Crimson Typhoon's head. Slattern has three extremely long spear-tipped tails. In addition to simply stabbing with them, he possesses a unique attack where he would spin his tails mesmerizingly, twisting them into tight spring-like spiral before suddenly uncoiling them, shooting them forward with incredible force.
  • How Alice first tries to kill Sam in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
  • In X-Men: First Class, Azazel's tail ends in an arrow and he stabs an agent with it.
  • The Bugs in High Plains Invaders have a scorpion-like tails that fire sharpened mineral projectiles (which might be radioactive).
  • King Ghidorah of Godzilla fame, in every single incarnation, has a tail that splits into two at the halfway point, with the tips being decorated with spikes. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) looks to up the ante by making him able to close and open them at will.

  • Animorphs: Andalites and their super-fast scythe tails.
  • Piers Anthony's Xanth novel "A Spell For Chameleon". The manticora has the tail of a scorpion (and is featured on the cover).
  • Redwall: Cluny the Scourge has a poisoned blade he attaches to his long tail.
  • In Spellsinger, the gatekeeper of Polistrindu is an intelligent beaver, whose personal armament includes a spiked metal plate that turns his flat tail into an intimidating weapon.
  • Naturally becomes a worry in The Magic School Bus book where the teacher shrinks the class and sends them into a beehive.
  • Chimeras are one of the confirmed magical beasts of the Harry Potter setting. Hagrid's Blast-Ended Skrewts also have stingers among their many unpleasant attributes.
  • Vornskrs, first appearing in The Thrawn Trilogy, are vaguely wolflike creatures with heavy venom-bearing tails. When the tails are amputated, the creatures become calmer and are easier to domesticate.
  • Semi-the-fish in Dr. Franklin's Island is a creature similar to a manta ray, with a tail that can lash and splash about dramatically when she's at the surface of the water. There is a sting in it, she doesn't know if it's lethal. She never gets the chance to find out.
  • In Deathtrap Dungeon, one of the paths can lead you to fight in an arena against a giant scorpion. If it manages to get attacks in with both its pincers it would follow up with a stinger, which guaranteed a near instant kill for the reader.
  • During Dinoverse Bertram is put into the body of an Ankylosaurus, and naturally his clubbed tail comes in handy several times. It's not his only rear-mounted offensive talent, just the one that's actually dangerous.
  • In Robert R. McCammon's novel Stinger the alien antagonist and the biomechanical replicants it creates have segmented tails ending in a heavy ball of spikes which are used as brutal weapons (and in the case of the larger replicants, they are also used to demolish buildings and cars like a wrecking ball).
  • In Miranda Leek's Twisted, Static the living bumper car can sting people with his cable-tail, apparently vis an electrical shock.
  • Rat, a shapeshifter (or Latex Perfection user, depending on the book) Space Pirate from Alice, Girl from the Future books, resembles a fly-like insect with scorpion tail in his default form. However, since the poison works only on those of his own species, which is mostly extinct, the only known use for it in the books is for stinging himself and Playing Possum.
  • The hiri-hiri from After Man: A Zoology of the Future has a Prehensile Tail so strong, it strangles its prey with it.
  • In the third book of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians, 'The Titan's Curse' — the heroes meet a character named Dr. Thorn who is actually a manticore and as such has the ability to shoot poison spines from his tail.
  • In Below, Brenish discovers that water nymphs have stinger tails—by accidentally burning one just before it could strike, ruining the camouflage. He theorizes this is how nymphs incapacitate their victims to rob them of trinkets and valuables.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In That Mitchell and Webb Look, not the Armored Scorpion of Death. Its tail simply fires "helpful bullets".
  • Several characters and mecha from Super Sentai and its adaptation Power Rangers have this as a weapon. Most of the time, when a Monster of the Week is based on a scorpion, it has a stinger tail.
    • Lami in Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger AKA Scorpina from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers has a deadly tail capable of electrocution in her giant, monstrous form. On the side of the good guys, Dragon Ceasar/Dragonzord also has a drill on the end of its tail.
    • Both the Tyrannosaurus and Ankylosaurus mecha from Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger (which is adapted into Power Rangers Dino Thunder) have drills for their tails. The Parasaurolophus has a tail that opens like a pair of scissors.
    • Gozyujin, the Humongous Mecha belonging to the Sixth Ranger in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger (adapted as Power Rangers Super Megaforce) has one transformation based on a theropod dinosaur, which, like Dragon Ceasar and the Abaranger Mecha above, has a drill at the tip of its tail. The similarity in this case is justified, as this mecha is meant to be an expy to both the Zyuranger and Abaranger Mecha, as Gokaiger is an anniversary series.
    • Yet another dinosaur based example happens in Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger (and its adaptation Power Rangers Dino (Super) Charge, where each of the dinosaurs capable of transforming into an arm has its weapon inside its tail. These weapons include a claw, gun, hammer, wrecking ball and, yet again, a drill.
    • The aptly named Stinger from Uchu Sentai Kyuranger is a Humanoid Alien with a poisonous tail, which he can extend at will to execute sneak attacks. His Ranger powers are based on the Scorpius constellation, so naturally, his Mecha is based on a scorpion and has a laser shooting tail.
  • The slashers on Terra Nova have tails tipped with hard, serrated blades that they wield like whips.
  • Merlin had the Manticore, a creature of legend, and the serkets, giant scorpions, both with stinger tails.
  • Many Ultra Series kaiju use their tails as weapons, so it comes as no surprise some of them are tipped with deadly weapons too.
    • Antales from Ultraman Leo is a scorpion-like alien from the constellation of Scorpius (where else?) able to assume a human disguise that makes its pincer-stinger invisible in order to strike Gen in the head when he challenges him to a martial arts duel. Additionally, in kaiju form, it can use its tail like a flamethrower.
    • Grantella from Ultraman Nexus is a scorpion Space Beast that shoots lasers from its stinger tail.
    • Ruganogar from Ultraman Max could use its needle-tipped tail to stab Max in battle and drain his Color Timer's energy.
    • Kelbeam from Ultraman Mebius possessed a spiked club on its tail. Additionally, it could spin itself like a tornado to recklessly destroy its surroundings with said weapon.
    • The Bezelbs from Ultraman Orb: The Origin Saga used their stinger tail to inject victims with Kugutsu venom, causing them to become mindlessly violent slaves to their Hive Queen.
  • A hypothetical species of predator with a pair of stinger-tails appeared on an alien life-themed episode of Into The Universe With Stephen Hawking.
  • Young Hercules gives the hydra a spiked tail.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Thanks in no small part to Mix-and-Match Critters, many mythical and legendary creatures are described as having barbed, spiked, or otherwise dangerous tails. Some go so far as to have a snake for a tail.
    • The Chimera of Classical Mythology is often portrayed with its snake head as being on its tail. As does the Sphinx.
    • The dread Yokai known as the Nue also possesses a snake for a tail, which is one reason for common nickname the "Japanese Chimera".
    • The Manticore is described as either having a tail loaded with deadly spines or simply having a scorpion's tail. Either way, it's agreed upon that being hit means instant death.
    • Among the Fearsome Critters of American Folklore is the Ball-Tailed Cat (also called Digmaul, Dingmaul, Silvercat, or Slivercat), which uses its clubbed tail to bash prey.
    • The Ahuizotl of Aztec myth possessed a hand on the end of its tail, which it used to snatch humans and pull them into the water to be eaten.

  • In Flash Gordon, Flash is shown reaching into a hollow stump that contains a giant Wood Beast, complete with deadly stinger.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The villain Ankylosaur from Champions is a man wearing powered armor with a Grenade Launcher in his tail.
  • In some versions of Dungeons & Dragons dragons could use their tails as weapons (usually to hit creatures directly behind them).
    • Wyverns have a stinger with very strong poison.
    • So do giant scorpions.
    • Purple worms too.
    • In the Oriental Adventures supplement, members of the Nezumi race can equip tail spikes as an exotic weapon.
    • The catoblepas, although infamous for its Deadly Gaze, also sports a bony club on the end of its long tail. As adventurers' favored method of killing this swamp herbivore is to attack it when it's grazing on water weeds and its head is submerged, a tail attack comes in handy.
  • A common form of Striker in GURPS.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Kobolds can attach weapons to their tail, with the appropriate feat.
    • Digmauls are big cats with tails ending in spiked, bony clubs, which they use to batter prey to death and to message to each other by drumming them on logs.
  • The "Tsunami" Dragon Borg in Rifts has a particle-beam cannon for a tail.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • In Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000, the daemonic Fiends of Slaanesh have long, sinuous tails that are tipped with a viciously sharp barbed stinger. These stingers constantly drip a highly venomous liquid capable of bringing exquisite agony and death to any mortal creature.
    • Like their representations in other works of fiction, Wyverns from Warhammer and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar have tails that end in a wickedly barbed, poisoned stinger. In some versions of the rules a wyvern who was slain could make one last Taking You with Me attack with the stinger before it fell.
    • The Fimir from Warhammer, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar have tails that end in a bony club perfect for bludgeoning any enemies who approach too close.
    • In Mordheim, Mutants and Possessed of the Cult of the Possessed warband can purchase the scorpion tail mutation, giving them a long tail that ends with a barbed stinger that drips deadly venom from its tip. Models with this mutation are able to use it to make an extra attack during close combat.
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • From the 4th Edition of the game onwards, the Tyranid Carnifex has the option of has either a scythe or mace tail upgrade option. The difference? The scythe tail has multipe weak attacks while the mace tail has one strong attack.
      • The Brass Scorpion daemon engines of Khorne mount a rapid fire scorpion cannon at the end of their tails that is capable of unleashing a hail of bullets to shred their enemies.


    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy VII has The Guard Scorpion of Midgar's Sector 1 Mako Reactor. Attack while its tail is up, and it will tear you a new arse.
  • Many Notorious Monster Species in Final Fantasy XI have special attack for players who get hate from behind, such as Behemoth with "Kick Out", Hydra with "Serpentine Tail", and Khimaira with "Plague Swipe". But the absolute kings of this trope are the Wyrms with Spike Flail which is virtually an "Instant Death" Radius for the Alliance fighting the mob if someone pulled hate from behind, or for anyone who happens to be near by in the case of certain powerful monsters like Nidhogg.
  • One boss from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, the Helmasaur King, can attack with its spike tail.
  • Succubi from Disgaea can attack with their tail, draining hit points.
  • The first stage in disabling Final Fantasy X-2's Vegnagun is destroying its vicious tail. Its attack is called Noli Mi Tangere.
  • Vertigo in Primal Rage.
  • Tail attacks are commonly given to Xenomorphs in Aliens vs. Predator games as well.
  • Dizzy's tail in Guilty Gear games.
  • Trypticon in Transformers: War for Cybertron uses his enormous tail for both projectile attacks (two rows of cannons along the underside fire at you when he has it curled up over himself) and physical attacks (slamming his tail down on one side of the stage, you have to get out of the way AND jump to avoid taking damage).
  • The giant scorpion boss from God of War III can attack with its sting.
  • Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow had two souls you could get that allowed your character to grow a tail. It would strike whenever you attacked for an additional hit.
  • In the DonPachi series, Hibachi, the eponymous Angry Boss Bee can shoot Eleventy Billion bullets at you from her stinger and shoot the stinger itself and then pull it back with a chain that also shoots bullets.
  • The Skorp Badnik from Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Charmy from latter games, being a bee.
  • Most dragon bosses in World of Warcraft do this in some manner.
  • One of the possible monster powers available in Crush, Crumble, and Chomp!
  • In The Legend of Spyro, Cynder has a metal blade at the end of her tail that can be used as a weapon in various ways, including imbuing it with her Poison element. Being she's the only Black Dragon shown, it's unknown if this is simply natural or something Malefor had done to her.
  • A few Pokémon attacks, such as Seviper's Poison Tail as described in the page quote.
    • Though it doesn't make much use of it in the main series games, Charizard's tail attacks in Super Smash Bros. series cause the most damage when striking with the flame on the tip.
  • Most Wyverns and other types of monsters in Monster Hunter can and will smack you with their tails. The Rathian and Rathalos can even poison you with theirs like the Wyvern of legend. Luckily, you can usually cut the tails of most monsters off, greatly reducing their effectiveness (or range, at the least).
    • Standout examples include the Duramboros, which uses its tail like a hammer; Nargacuga, which throws long-range spines by flinging his tail around; and Rathian, who can do an aerial back flip to poison you with it.
    • The Nerscylla from Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate has a stinger in its abdomen that can induce the Sleep status effect.
    • The Glavenus from Generations has a razor-edged sword tail that it uses for the majority of its attacks. It's dangerous enough as is, but it'll occasionally decide to superheat its tail with its flame breath, granting its attacks fiery after-effects for extra pain, but also softens it and makes it vulnerable to being cut off.
  • You'd better beware the Radscorpion's stinger tail!
  • Bug had the eponymous character, who defeated his enemies by jumping on them with his stinger tail. There were also literal army ants that fired grenades out of their stingers, as well as scorpions (who rarely used their tail, preferring to attack with their claws instead).
  • Black Scorpion from City of Heroes has one of these, as his name would imply. His tail is used for firing energy beams, not stinging, though.
  • Dark Souls has beast-based enemies that use their tails to knock the player off their feet, and deal significant damage if there is a weapon attached to the tail. Said tail can usually be cut off and collected as a rare weapon...
    • Which makes the optional killing of the cute dragon girl and cutting off her really short tail very cruel and violent.
  • Ridley of Metroid fame has a vicious serrated tail, in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate he impales Mega Man with it.
    • Other adherents of this trope in the Metroid series include Kanden, the War Wasps and the Kihunters.
  • Tail eaters from the Dragon Quest games, as well as mad hornets.
  • The worms and arrowheads from Monster Rancher have extendable stings.
  • Giant Scorpions wander the Shapeir desert in Quest for Glory II, and are deadly combatants, the second-toughest random monsters you can fight. Their tails are particularly deadly: when it starts to shake, you'd better either run away, prepare to dodge, or prepare to die, as a single strike will kill you no matter how many health points you have left. Poison cure pills can make you temporarily immune to the scorpion's tail strike, but due to the way the game is coded, it will always wear off when the stinger starts to shake, making the pills functionally useless.
  • Dante's Inferno: Horny Devils from the Lust Circle have deadly scorpion tails. Just not in the usual place...
  • Shantae features scorpion people in the desert outside Oasis Town. The female variant just swipes at you when you come close, but the males will jab their stinger through the ground to hit you from farther away.
  • League of Legends:
    • Skarner is a giant, sentient crystal scorpion, so this clearly applies. One of his lines is "Beware my sting!"
    • Vel'koz doesn't exactly have a tail, but one of his tentacles is in the same place, and he lifts it over his head like a scorpion for one of his autoattack animations and for his ultimate.
  • The Iskai are a sentient humanoid race native to the planet of Albion with distinctive feline characters, including long tails. Iskai characters in your party, like Drirr, may use their tails as an additional weapon slot.
  • Egyptian venom Goddess Serqet as portrayed in Smite is supposed to represent most of the venomous animals like scorpions or snakes. Well, for that, she has a HUGE scorpion tail right on her back.
  • Gaining this is a possible result of drinking too many mutagens in Cataclysm.
  • In Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder, one of the Powerup Mounts is a giant scorpion that attacks with an electrified stinger.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, this is a tactic of Winged Twilights, a bat-like form of lesser Daedra with some harpy-like traits. Their primary method of attack is to fly slightly above their target and whip around their sharp, hooked tail. Otherwise, they kick with their taloned feet.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • There are a couple of Dawn of Time strips involving barbed stegosaurus tails.
  • One of the alternate universe Kin from Goblins is half-scorpion instead of half-snake. She goes on at length about how her armored, razor sharp, venomous tail is superior to "our" Kin's fleshy, soft, weaponless tail. until that fleshy, soft tail manages to wrap itself around Scorpion!Kin's throat.
  • Invoked in one of The Perry Bible Fellowship's crueler moments.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Grace's Omega form has spikes on each of its three tails but only when she's angry.
  • In Captain Ufo, the scorpion pirates have, appropriately, scorpion stingers at the end of their tails. The admiral's champion uses his stinger as a weapon during the duel with Commander Grishko, toward the end of season one.
  • The earth demon Iratu has a massive scythe-like blade at the end of his tail, however when his moon pendant isn't activated it changes to a spearhead shape and his tail becomes proportionally shorter and thicker.
    • Also when Sakido goes berserk she sprouts a long bladed tail which we see her use to skewer a demon.
  • Lezzaria of Charby the Vampirate has a barbed tail from which she spins her webs and can use to impart a powerful paralyzing sting.
  • In Champions of Faraus, Kasyzons, which are some sort of predatory creature, have scorpion-like tails.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! although Galatea's tail does not actually have a stinger, when she's really angry she crouches down and her tail arcs forward over her head threateningly like a scorpion tail.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Many prehistoric creatures are know to have had structures on their tails that could be used as weapons:
    • Perhaps the most famous are the club wielded by Ankylosaurus and its relatives and the spikes carried by Stegosaurus and its relatives. The Other Wiki has a page for the stegosaurian versions specifically under its official name, "Thagomizer" (taken from a strip from The Far Side).
    • Sauropods are thought to have used their tails as weapons against predators. The last bit of many sauropods' tails lack the ossified tendons that hold the rest of the tail rigid and are very slim, which would have let them use their tails like whips to crack at enemies to discourage them. Some other herbivorous dinosaurs like hadrosaurs and iguanadons may have also used their tails as bludgeoning weapons. There was even on sauropod, Shunosaurus, that independently evolved a spiked tail club like those used by the ankylosaurs.
    • Gyptodonts were giant, heavily armored armadillos who inhabited the Americas during the late age of mammals. Their armor extended to their tails — most had armored tails that could be swung like bludgeons, and a few developed Ankylosaurus-like bony clubs. However, due to the fact that their bodies were too broad and inflexible for them to see behind themselves, they probably didn't use the tail clubs for defending themselves from predators and instead used them for sparing with rivals of the same species, smacking each other in the bodies. Damage to their side armor supports this as well.
  • There are small vipers that have similar spiky tails, but they don't use them to attack. It's still the other end of the viper you should beware of; the thagomizer, which resembles a small invertebrate, is used to attract prey towards the viper.
  • Some bees, wasps, and ants can spray formic acid from the end of their abdomens. One of them, the Asian Giant Hornet, is one of the most dangerous flying insects in the world.
  • Stingrays. Peaceful fish, but bothering them is a very bad idea. Depending on the species, they may have a spike up to 40 cm long stabbing with force enough to pierce a wooden boat's bottom, and it's often poisonous as well.
  • Those pretty blue or yellow tangs seen in saltwater aquariums? They get their name from the "tangs" protruding from the hilt of a dagger, because they have retractable spines on each side of their tails that they use to discourage pursuing predators. As do their cousins, the surgeonfishes. And Dory is one of them!
  • Scorpions, of course, have poisonous stingers at the end of their tails.
  • Porcupines defend themselves by turning their backs on their attackers and lashing their spine-filled tails in the would be-predator's face. Note that this only applies to the Canadian Porcupine native to Canada and the United States. Other species of porcupines either lack long tails (like the African and Asian species), or have a spineless, prehensile tail (South American arboreal porcupines).
  • Crocodilians can use their tails to swipe at enemies if they're caught on land. Monitor lizards also use their tails a lot against enemies and predators.
  • Thematically similar are aircraft tail gunners, much more common in WWII bombers but still extant in modern Russian bombers, to fight off chasing fighters. Descriptions of them often reference them as the "stinger in the tail".

Alternative Title(s): Armed Tail


Example of: