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Combat Tentacles

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Too bad the ship's insurance didn't cover attacks by mythical giant squids... suckers.

"I'm warning you, I'm armed... Eight-armed, that is! Uwee hee hee!"

Tentacles used for combat. More specifically, throwing cars at people or strangling them or impaling them or crushing them. They may also be used as (somewhat oversized) whips or bludgeoning weapons, as a tentacle is basically a flexible mass of muscle, and as such can impart a lot of force.

This may also happen with elephants' trunks, or with the whole bodies of long-bodied creatures like snakes and worms. Combat Tentacles are frequently utilized by Stock Ness Monsters and, of course, Cephalopods. Possibly because of the unusual nature, the association with strange creatures like squid, this is commonly a power associated with evil characters or at least dangerous animals that the protagonist needs to beware.

Often a form of Lovecraftian Superpower.

A Sister Trope to Tentacle Rope, Typical Tentacle Tactics, Multi-Armed and Dangerous, Spider Limbs, Partial Transformation, Tail Slap, Tentacled Terror and Tendrils of Darkness.

Compare Prehensile Hair and Vine Tentacles, which are often used this way. Can fall under Bizarre Alien Limbs.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • .hack//SIGN: The Guardias, buggy Freudian nightmare monsters from a Virtual Reality MMORPG who not only stab you with their tentacles, but put you into a short-term coma in real life.
  • Tetsuo from AKIRA develops these as his Power Incontinence grows, cranking up to Lovecraftian Superpower levels as the anime progresses.
  • Koro-sensei from Assassination Classroom has lots of tentacles that, while quite soft, can deal some damage, although anything can cause damage if you smack it at your opponents at Mach 20. The tentacles are usually used for more mundane things, though.
    • Itona, who claims to be Koro-sensei's brother, has the same tentacle cells implanted on his head, although he loses them later on because the tentacles made his mind unstable.
    • Kayano is later revealed to have also taken the tentacle serum, and joined Class E to avenge her sister by killing Korosensei, whom she mistakenly believes killed her. However, like with Itona, the tentacles threaten to take over her mind, until she is saved by Korosensei and the rest of the class.
  • There's a ninja in Basilisk who does the same thing as Wilhelmina. In fact his hair is so strong that when it gets turned against him he ends up suspended in a doorway with all his limbs shattered.
  • Bleach:
  • In Bungou Stray Dogs, H.P Lovecraft's ability is the generation of tentacles through his hand. It is later revealed that he is, in-fact, a Lovecraftian monster.
    • A vine variant also appears with Lovecraft's partner, John Steinbeck, though he tends to use his vines for restraint more than for combat.
  • Sugiura from Call Me Tonight becomes a non-hentai tentacle monster whenever he gets turned on.
  • Several of the Awakened Beings in Claymore
    • Riful of the West is nothing but these in her Awakened form. She actually uses them for...other things, tough.
    • And she is not the only one either. Standard Youma often spring spear-like tentacles from their hands, and then there is former #2 "Red Blood" Agatha, first seen in Scene 75.
  • In Code Geass, Knightmare Frames generally have rocket propelled "Slash Harkens", which are knives/anchors on retractable cables. Its spin-off, Nightmare of Nunnally, however, has Mark Nemo, whose rocket propelled Blonde Knives... float in mid air when they aren't being used, as hair-like tentacles. Zero's cape does likewise.
  • One of the first monsters encountered in Devil & Devil is a weird-ass tentacled monster. These tentacles' main use is to suck time out of their victims, reducing them to cute, helpless infants. The monster can, however, use the tentacles to attack its foes directly. It was offed very quickly though, returning its victims to normal.
  • In an interesting variation, Lucy from Elfen Lied visualizes her telekinetic powers and those of other mutants in the form of long translucent arms. To normal people they are completely invisible, simply causing everyone who gets to close to her to seemingly randomly explode in a fountain of blood.
  • The Maguar from Figure 17 Tsubasa & Hikaru fall under this trope, being as their tentacles are in all cases their primary means of defending themselves.
  • Pride of Fullmetal Alchemist is a Living Shadow / Eldritch Abomination who can form endless amounts of "shadow tentacles" which he uses to rip people apart.
    • Sloth from the first anime frequently turns her arms into liquid tentacles used to drown or immobilize people.
  • The Benizakura from Gintama, wielded by Okada Nizou before fusing with his arm like a parasite. He first takes advantage of this by strangling Matako when she talks out of turn. And then later on it gets worse.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya has Ryoko turning her arms into energy tentacles when fighting against Yuki.
  • The giant fairy/slime nautilus is the sixth episode of Humanity Has Declined uses this. Not that it has much choice, being a nautilus and all.
  • Naraku from Inuyasha mainly fights by turning parts of himself into a mess of these to immobilize, crush, impale or outright devour his foes.
  • Played with in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. It's played straight with the Vampire Bruford and his ability, "Dance Macabre" (which he controls with turgor pressure) and Yukako Yamagishi, with her stand Love Deluxe which is bound to her hair, both of whom use them in direct combat. Played with the Pillar Man Esidisi who can use his blood vessels to surround his foes or inject his boiling blood into them.
    • In Part 3, Joseph Joestar's Stand ability, Hermit Purple can be used like this. So can Noriaki Kakyoin's Hierophant Green, which maintains a human form most of the time but can unravel to form a cluster of tentacles at will.
  • Kekkaishi has Princess, a kitsune whose nine tails can be used in this fashion. She's even seen nearly mummifying opponents in them on occasion. Made even more formidable in that they can grow to a huge size.
  • KonoSuba: From the Legend of Crimson movie, Sylvia as a Growth Chimera can create tendrils that protrude out of her skin.
  • One of the magical creatures in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's had these, as did the Book Of Darkness since it absorbed its Linker Core.
  • When the demonic Yuragi of Mahou Shoujo Ai aren't using their tentacles for... other things, they're breaking bones and punching holes in people with them.
  • Several Mechanical Beasts from Mazinger Z sported Combat Tentacles: Stronger T4, Megaron P1 and its "siblings", Gumbina M5... Needless to say, so did other Robeasts from Great Mazinger and UFO Robo Grendizer. And in Shin Mazinger Zero Juzo Kabuto.
  • In My Hero Academia, Mezo Shoji's Quirk, Dupli-Arms, allows him to grow tentacles that can replicated extra parts of his body.
    • Among All For One's many Quirks is Rivet Stab which causes his fingers to turn into long tentacles of red and black and can be used for combat as well.
    • Daigoro Banjo, the fifth user of One For All, had the Quirk Blackwhip, which can release black energy tendrils that he can use to bind up enemies or swing across skyscrapers. It is inherited by Izuku, who can use it well after few months of training.
    • The anime-exclusive villain Innsmouth has a Quirk that gives him the powers of an octopus, which include this trope most prominently.
    • Tamaki Amajiki for most of his battles transforms his fingers or hands into octopus tentacles to trap his opponents.
  • Shikamaru from Naruto has his "Shadow Sewing" Jutsu, which is basically shadow tentacles. And let's not forget his Shadow Neck Bind. And, of course, Kakuzu has the ACTUAL physical version of these, being basically a human ragdoll.
    • The host of the 8-tailed demon, an ushi-oni, or, in layman's terms, an ox combined with an octopus, can use this battle style in his fully released state but he seems more fond of spitting out a giant blast of chakra. However, he does often do "partial transformations" where he just has one or a couple tentacles sprout from his body.
    • After partially mastering the Kyuubi's chakra, Naruto can use the chakra cloak to form arms for use in forming the Rasengan and its variants, eliminating the need for multiple clones.
  • Shadow type magic in Negima! Magister Negi Magi acts in this manner: creating physical darkness in the form of black tendrils which violently cut things, which one shadow-user Kagetarou used to slice the titular character's right arm clean off. Being that they were in a magic world which had advanced medicinal techniques, he had it re-attached. Recently, a shadow mage has appeared who's so powerful he's capable of pulling Haruna's Cool Airship out of the sky (along with several others). It's explicitly compared to Cthulhu.
  • Several of the Angels in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Shamshel has two tentacles instead of arms, Zeruel's "arms" are technically very long, sharp and flexible blades, and Armisael is essentially a giant, glowing-white tentacle.
  • Karasu from Noein has a power similar to Omega Red, where he has wires as extensions of his body.
  • Quite a few characters with substance-producing and/or manipulating Devil Fruit powers in One Piece use these as part of their attacks. Donquixote Doflamingo, Charlotte Katakuri, Aramaki, amongst others use these heavily in their attacks.
  • The titular creatures from Parasyte turn parts of their bodies into razor-edge Combat Tentacles capable of slicing through humans like butter.
  • Pantyhose Taro from Ranma ½, whose Jusenkyo form is a two story-tall chimera that resembles a giant ox with wings and sasquatch arms, eventually added octopus tentacles to the mishmash. He can smash through concrete with these, either by jabbing their tips at people, or whipping them down like enormous flails. At one point, he used them to rip a bathhouse's smokestack in half.
  • Reborn! (2004): Every opponent that Chrome fights uses these in some way. Mammon uses illusion tentacles, Glo Xinia uses a squid, Verde uses an octopus.
  • Used by the machine designed to implant Mr. Gentleman's consciousness into Junior at the end of R.O.D the TV to prevent the heroes from interfering with the process.
  • The Sailor Moon anime has the Makaiju tree, who uses its branches as this during the climatic fight against the Senshi. More than one Monster of the Week had similar attacks.
  • Saint Seiya: Specters of the Worm (such as Raimi, in the Sanctuary Saga) can use their Surplice's earthworm-like appendages to ensnare, whip, crush, or slice (with sufficient force.) A favorite tactic of this Specter is to burrow underground and let his tentacles burst up to entangle his foe, at which point he'll run a few more tentacles through the enemy.
  • In Saiyuki, Hakkai's demon form has vines that can be used this way, overlapping with Tentacle Rope.
  • In Shakugan no Shana, the eponymous Shana gets captured in Episode 13 by the twins using vines.
  • Medusa from Soul Eater has her "vector arrows" function half like Combat Tentacles half like a bunch of spears. Later in the manga, her son/daughter Crona develops these as a part of hir worsening Black Blood infection, with a bonus of creating poisonous thorns that infect people with madness.
  • Ika from Squid Girl has ten of those (she's a moe-fied squid girl). They are absurdly strong, faster than sound, can reach ludicrous lengths but are also precise to put a string into a needle. And they can regenerate just as fast.
  • Several Radam in Tekkaman Blade can spit tentacles. In part II, some of the alien Tekkamen have them as well.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, the kagune of many Ghouls take the form of a tentacle. The Rinkaku type, in particular, have multiple tentacles that extend from their lower back and are noted for being a Glass Cannon with exceptional offensive strength.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, a group of Trents in the second episode use these on Yami and Celtic Guardian, strangling them with head-roots.

    Comic Books 
  • Amulet: The tentacle creatures.
  • Jackie Estacado from The Darkness fights with this.
  • Due to its composition, Shinomura from the Godzilla (2014) tie-in Godzilla Awakening is able to grow two tentacles which it uses on Godzilla on Moansta Island.
  • Hybrid Force: Octo is a young Japanese girl who has cephalopod DNA spliced into her system. As a result, she has tentacles that she can use in combat. She can also use them to squirt ink in her opponents' faces.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1992), Dungeon Boss Arrghus is reimagined as a bright red jellyfish with tentacles.
  • Marvel Universe villain Constrictor has two metallic tentacles on the ends of his gauntlets.
  • In Oz (Caliber), Plant Person Jack Pumpkinhead is able to sprout vines from his body that he uses to entangle, bludgeon, toss, crush, strangle and otherwise inconvenience his opponents.
  • Robin (1993): The Humanoid Abomination that Tim Drake stumbles on while trying to track a gun smuggler to his source kills a crowd of people in a desolate part of the Appalachian Mountains range using its tentacles and eating many of them.
  • The tentacled "familiar" Suzie comes closer to killing Simon Dark than anyone else, but she lets up when she learns they're after the same cult. She then proceeds to tear through the cultists like wet tissue paper.
  • Though used more frequently in the Animated Adaptation, Spawn is capable of using both the chains that drape his bodysuit and the tendrils of his tattered, shroud-like cape as this. He particularly enjoys using his cape-tentacles to blind and smother his foes. It's eventually revealed he can do this because the costume is a living being in its own right, and the chains/tatters served a similar purpose for it before it melded to him.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Spider-Man's nemesis Doctor Octopus has a harness with four super-strong robotic arms that he uses for battering and throwing objects and opponents. The claws on each arm can rotate like miniature sawblades. The comic writers go back and forth on whether or not he can remove 'em, though Spider-Man 2 and The Spectacular Spider-Man have them fused to his spine in a Freak Lab Accident, apparently for good. Too bad about that attitude adjustment the tentacles' software gave him.
    • Spider-Man also has Dr. Smythe and son, creators of the "Spider-Slayers", as enemies. These always have multiple tentacles used pretty much the same as Doc Ock's. Even if built bipedal with two arms, Spider Slayers have hidden hatches to throw out extra appendages mid-battle, usually with some kind of trap, such as gas, electricity, webbing, etc.
    • For a short time, Spider-Man had additional mechanical limbs created by Iron Man. Though not as long and flexible as Doc Ock's tentacles, they serve a similar function.
    • A more minor Spidey foe is the Squid, who is essentially a slender, not especially bright, and organically tentacled Doc Ock.
    • Venom and Carnage are also capable of using parts of their symbiotes as combat tentacles, as well. Carnage is particularly famous for it — while Venom usually sticks to the normal humanoid number of limbs, the Viler New Villain usually has a set of bladed tentacles deployed and ready to inflict... well... carnage.
    • The Superior Spider-Man adds retractable spider-legs to his improved costume — unsurprisingly, given that he's the aforementioned Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man's body.
  • Stormwatch: As a result of his Kherubim heritage and his exposure to the Gen Factor, Marc Slayton/Backlash can sprout tentacles of pure telekinetic energy from his forearms.
  • Superman:
    • In "Brainiac Rebirth" and Superman: Brainiac, the titular villain's Skull-Ship (and robots) is armed with long, spiky metallic tentacles which he tries to catch and crush Superman with.
    • Superboy and the Ravers: Shaar Q uses her tentacles to grab, throw and strike at and through her opponents.
    • Red Daughter of Krypton: Worldkiller-1's body can form a mass of inky, gelatinous tendrils to seize his enemies and take over their bodies.
    • Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade: Lex Luthor's ship ("the Mighty Lexsoar 7") is armed with metallic tentacles, forged from psycho-reactive metals. The more their prey struggles, the tighter they squeeze.
    • Last Daughter of Krypton: Simon Tycho's synthetic androids are equipped with a kind of energy tentacle-like whips which coil around Supergirl's arms and legs during their fight. Similarly, Worldkiller Perrilus is armed with poisonous, razor green tentacles.
    • The Planet Eater Trilogy: The titular world-destroying machine is equipped with several giant, four-pronged, orange tentacles that can digest anything into energy to power the central core.
    • "The Unknown Legionnaire": When fighting the Legionnaires, the shape-shifting Proteans often grow multiple tentacles to tackle, seize and constrain their enemies with.
  • Wolverine: Omega Red's tentacles can bash and smash as well as transmit his "death spore virus" (its name changes from one appearance to the next, but he's got a fatal disease he's gotta give to victims periodically or it'll turn back upon him. It becomes his best weapon, though he doesn't appreciate it).
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Vol 1: Adult Rykornians can use the thin long leaves of their birthing stalks to attack and bind intruders.
    • Wonder Woman: Black and Gold: Eleanor's hair as a ghost turns to octopus-like tentacles, which she uses to fling Amazons away and wreck their ships before Wonder Woman finds her and her sibling's remains and tells her that her youngest brother survived being abandoned at sea long enough to be rescued.
  • X-Men: Thanks to fellow mutant Masque, Callisto's arms were altered into a set of multiple prehensile tentacles on both sides. She's unique in the fact that she generally used her tentacles to throw a barrage of knives in battle.

    Fan Works 
  • Harry Potter has something like these in A Black Comedy: he learned wandless summoning and banishing spells so well that he can manifest up to six invisible "arms", which can be used to "levitate" (think Doc Oc walking on his tentacles), block spells with handy objects or simply throw them... though their main in-story use is poking Sirius in the eye in retaliation for dumb jokes.
  • Children of an Elder God: Rei is capable of sprouting flaming tentacles from her back and impale an enemy with them.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them (Transformers): Unicron's spark has them.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: Used in the fourth story, The Diplomat's Life. As the Pony of Shadows, Rabia's main combat ability is forming these out of shadow.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail: Hop, once he becomes "Delirium", has black tentacles growing out of his body, which he uses to attack. Notably they're the only thing comes close to critically injuring Alex Shepherd/The Bogeyman.
  • Kage: The Queen is able to summon tentacles made of shadows to attack people when she takes control of Jade. She later teaches Jade how to do it.
  • The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World: Bashaban the PLMC (Partial Liquid Metal Cyborg), a minor character, can generate dozens of combat tentacles which can also combine into any object he can imagine, like hammers or glider wings. Too bad none of it is of any use when he's being telekinetically spun around high in the air with nothing to grab.
  • MLP Next Generation: Know Fear!: Wing Commander Steel Wing is capable of doing this when his Iron Defender armor switches to Metal Reaver mode, allowing him to attack rapidly with metal tentacles that are both sharp and blunt.
  • The Palaververse: In the first chapter, when Discord animates the warship Fear Nowt, he also causes it to sprout a set of tentacles with which to grapple other ships. The trope is name-dropped by the donkeys who witness the scene.
    Sections of the hull near the water's surface split then, and long lengths curved off to splay from the Fear Nowt's side. They rose into the air, and Burro saw sailors on the ship's deck pointing and yelling.
    "...Combat tentacles? Clever donkeys, our shipwrights," said Amiatina.
  • Tamers Forever Series: The "Nightmare" virus has a set of razor sharp tendrils which it uses to deadly effect.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Solvernia: Gurren Solvernia can sprout drills shaped as tendrils when using red spiral energy.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Supergirl crossover The Vampire of Steel, the heroine duo happens upon an Eldritch Abomination which utilizes its slimy tentacles to strike them and seize them.
  • White Sheep (RWBY): Jaune and his sisters each have four tentacles that can sprout out of their backs, provided and controlled by their parasites. Everyone mistakes them for Naughty Tentacles, despite Jaune insisting that they're more like flexible arms, not erogenous zones.
  • YuyaVision: Kiryu Kyosuke is augmented with "Doc Ock tentacles" because they're cool. Author notes reveal that this was a Throw It In! with her Discord friend.

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Scorpion's rope spear from the games becomes a living snake-like tentacle in Mortal Kombat: The Movie.
  • In Night of the Demons, the demons are able summon to tendrils to catch and bind their targets. Lily sprouts hers from her breasts.
  • The Moorwen from Outlander is a giant, lizardish thing, but its prehensile tail can be used to grasp, slice, or impale its victims.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • Pictured is the kraken. See Folklore.
    • In At Worlds End, Davy Jones himself pulls this one off with his tentacle beard.
    • The rigging of Blackbeard's ship from On Stranger Tides.
  • The tyrant from Resident Evil: Extinction.
  • In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, the Big Bad uses a Steampunk mechanical giant octopus to drag down a treasure ship with its tentacles so he can loot it to fund his Evil Scheme.
  • The Thing, especially in the 2011 movie where they're used to kill as well as assimilate humans.
  • While the Tripods in War of the Worlds (2005) use heat rays to wreak the majority of their havoc, they're also capable of using their long, powerful tendrils to inflict serious damage. A specialized tentacle equipped with a needle is used to kill some victims directly by draining their blood, and the more typical lifting tendrils are capable of picking up and throwing a truck where Ray seeks shelter. The orifice that hangs over a Tripod's prison basket also uses a mechanical tentacle to pull people in to feed.

  • A Shadow Bright and Burning: The Ancient known as Korozoth has tentacles that it can use to attack. They're not usually visible under the black funnel cloud he usually covers himself in.
  • Alien in a Small Town: The Jan's six-armed warrior caste is the most likely to actually be involved in combat, but we see members of the worker caste using their tentacles to fight during a mating competition. Since an upended Jan can't right himself easily, the most effective use of tentacles when fighting one another is to grab around the upper body and pull your opponent off his feet.
  • Animorphs: Visser Three's tentacle-twining morphs.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Deirdre combines this with Prehensile Hair. Razor-sharp Prehensile Hair.
    • Summer Kelpies are a straight, octopus-style example.
    • Cold Days: "Sharkface" uses these that look like strips of cloths and seem to have a mind of their own. They're basically immune to magic and shrug off bullets and shotgun shot.
  • In the short story "Epinikion" by Desmond Warzel, the alien Squids have tentacles that can effect a Clean Cut on a human — and secretions that keep the victim alive for hours after being bisected.
  • Fablehaven has a ghost lady using strips of cloth on her torn dress as these.
  • Gone: Drake. After Sam burns his arm off, the Darkness (using Lana's healing powers) replaces it with a tentacle.
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: The tentacled flying brains that Ron calls over to himself when his judgment has been ruined by a curse cause him to start screaming the moment they touch him and later on "[t]here were still deep welts on his forearms where the brain’s tentacles has wrapped around him. According to Madam Pomfrey, thoughts could leave deeper scarring than almost anything else, though since she started applying copious amounts of Dr. Ubbly’s Oblivious Unction, there seemed to be some improvement."
  • Hell's Children: "Several bloody tentacles shot out from Offal's body and proceeded to rap around Z.Y.9.0 and drag him screaming like a child into the nightmare that was Offal. A moment and quite a few screams later Offal threw up a mangled and twitching robot body."
  • Hothouse: A large number of plants have adapted their tendrils and roots into workable tentacle equivalents, and use them to great effect in hunting each other and the few remaining animals. Particularly notable is the killerwillow, a coastal plant that lives and moves entirely underground and uses its root system like the tentacles of a monstrous octopus.
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: Kthonia's primary weapon is four of these. She uses them as whips and restraints for taking hostages.
  • Lensman: In First Lensman, we get to see what the Rigellians are like in hand-to-hand combat. They have four tentacle arms with hands on the end, each arm as long and strong as an elephant's trunk. Dronvire goes into a zero-gee battle carrying four space-axes but ditches two of them, using the free arms to grasp space pirates and drag them in to be beheaded, two by two.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Watcher in the Water uses its long tentacles to try to seize and drag Frood into the water.
  • Many Armed God Of The Dalain: Yorool-Gui has really many of very strong tentacles permanently gripping, ripping and pulling into mouthes all around. The tentacles are not coordinated (what's the need if they are everywhere?) and struggle each other, which in in-universe fairy tale made their owner a symbol of war.
  • In The Mist (the novella), there is a huge mass of tentacles complete with rows of suckers that cut into human flesh.
  • These are the main weapons of The Grim in Septimus Heap. The Task of Keeper's Apprentices entails cutting off part of these tentacles.
  • In The Sister Verse and the Talons of Ruin, the Lord in White's more accurate incarnations usually have armored tentacles covered in man-sized fangs, one of which obliterates the space station of the Merlin project. Its humanoid avatar can also summon them through a portal, which it uses in the final fight against John.
  • Star Wars Legends: In Galaxy of Fear, the vines of the vesuvague tree are simultaneously this trope and Tentacle Rope. They grab unfortunate passersby, wrap them up so they can't move, and then squeeze them to death. Spore, being made partially from vesuvagues, has its People Puppets shoot vinelike black tendrils from their eyes and mouths into the skin of other people, assimilating them.
  • Tortall Universe: In the first book of The Immortals, Daine has to summon up a kraken to defeat the Carthaki "pirates" threatening the Swoop.
  • The eponymous antagonists from John Christopher's The Tripods use these to ensnare, crush or whip any opposition.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ash vs. Evil Dead: While investigating the Creepy Basement under his father's old hardware store, Ash is attacked by tentacles protruding from the wall and ceiling.
  • Babylon 5: The second Vorlon ambassador uses a blow from his tentacle to knock a security guard over a railing.
  • Buffyverse:
    • The tentacle monster in Angel that lifts Fred and Angel off the ground until Angel stabs it.
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
      • The Hellmouth creature in "The Zeppo".
      • The Plagiarus demon in Season 9.
  • In the 2009 remake of The Day of the Triffids the Man Eating Plants used these to immobilize people even more than their stings.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Claws of Axos": The Axon uses these to restrain its captives and keep them compliant, including the Doctor, the Master, Filer, and Jo Grant.
    • "The End of the World": Plant Person Jabe uses a vine to snag one of the villain's robot drones. After the Doctor compliments her, she tells him she's not supposed to use them in public.
    • "The Pandorica Opens": The severed Cyberman head that attacks Amy has a bunch of cables sticking out of the bottom that it uses for attack and entanglement.
  • Kamen Rider:
  • The smoke monster on Lost usually turns parts of itself into tentacles with which to drag people along the ground or throw them into things.
  • Once Upon a Time: The kraken attempts to strangle Hook with one of its tentacles in "Dark Waters".
  • Villainess Camille can use her tongue as one of these in Power Rangers Jungle Fury.
  • Stranger Things:
    • Will Byers gets possessed by the Mind Flayer when the monster shoves its smoke-like tendrils through the boy's eyes, nose, ears, and mouth.
    • Steve Harrington gets attacked and strangled by one of the bat-like creatures from the upside-down, while two of its fellows gnaw at his torso.
  • Numerous Ultra Series kaiju have these, and not just the cephalopod-based ones. They're often used in attempts to throttle the Ultras, which usually result in them getting ripped off.
  • This is Ben's power in The Umbrella Academy. We don't directly see them used in combat until the end of Season 1 thanks to him being a Posthumous Character, but a flashback shows him walking into a room, a lot of screaming, and then walking out covered in blood.

    Multiple Media 

    Music Videos 
  • In the animated music video for Linkin Park's "Pts.OF.Athrty" (the Reanimation remix of "Points of Authority"), an alien race invades a highly technified human outpost defended by robotic soldiers. When the aliens breach the perimeter, the humans activate a machine that causes an entire underground installation to rise up out of the ground and destroy the enemy forces with energy tentacles.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The kraken is a massive cephalod whose tentacles are big enough to sink ships.

  • The Adventure Zone: Balance:
    • One of the more dangerous spells that Taako can cast is Evard's Black Tentacles, which summons a large number of huge black tentacles to attack and restrain the target. Hilariously enough, he ends up dating the first person he uses it on, who is implied to have somewhat enjoyed the experience.
    • The Gaia Sash allows its wielder to create and control plants. The Raven creates enough vines to smother a skyscraper, which function as these in fights.
  • Davey Doomzone of Roll to Breathe has a right hand that is actually just a tentacle which he uses to slap or grab villains.
  • In episode 9 of Malevolent, Arthur and The Entity/John come into contact with a creature of unimaginable size with hundreds of massive tentacles that uses it's tentacles to tear apart a young police officer, and then goes for Arthur.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Chaosium's supplement All the Worlds' Monsters Volume III
    • The Blink Blob has 3 pseudopods that each do 4-32 Hit Points of damage.
    • The Chandelier Beast has 18 tentacles. Each does 1-2 Hit Points of damage on a hit and 1-8 constriction damage each melee turn thereafter until the victim breaks free.
    • The Dream Beast is a telepathic plant can cause any creature looking at it to see whatever it wants most. Once the target gets close enough the Dream Beast grabs it with its 5-10 tentacles (which look like black intertwined ropes) and drags it in to be eaten.
    • The Duocanth is a wyvern-like monster with two long black tentacles in place of forelegs. Each tentacle does 1-6 Hit Points of damage in combat.
    • The Henderson Horror is a horrible creature larger than an elephant. It has a long tentacle that inflicts 8-80 Hit Points of damage as well as rusting any ferrous (iron or iron-based) material it touches.
    • The Hopper has two 6 foot long tentacles growing from its mouth. Each tentacle causes 6-36 Hit Points of damage and paralyzes the creature hit. If both tentacles hit the victim is dragged to its mouth and bitten for 1-12 Hit Points of physical damage, 6-48 Hit Points of acid damage and a chance of biting the victim's head off.
    • The Lifesucker is a large beetle-like monster with two 8-foot long tentacles growing from its head that each drain one level of Life Energy on a hit.
    • The Lightning Mound is a Blob Monster with a 20 foot long tentacle extending from its center. The tentacle does 1-10 Hit Points of physical damage and 5-30 Hit Points of electrical damage. Once it hits the tentacle will not let go until the target is dead.
    • The Mantapus is a 6-foot high humanoid with six tentacles growing from its waist and two arms wielding weapons. Each tentacle does 1-10 Hit Points of damage and if two or more tentacles hit the same target the mantapus will get an automatic hit with one of its weapons.
    • Munchers have a large mouth with a 15 foot long tentacle growing out of it. The tentacle does 1-4 Hit Points of damage plus paralyzing the target.
    • The Sluggoc is a huge slug with two tentacles next to its mouth. Each tentacle does 1-4 Hit Points damage and paralyzes the victim. If both tentacles hit the Sluggoc pulls the prey to its mouth and bites it.
    • The Squig is a giant pig with eight tentacles sprouting out of its neck. Each tentacle does 1-4 Hit Points of constriction damage. Once a tentacle hits it won't let go until either the Squig or its victim is dead. If four or more tentacles hit the same creature the Squig will pull the victim to its mouth and bite it.
  • Arduin RPG, The Compleat Arduin Book 2: Resources
    • Demons
      • The Acid Fiend has 13 foot long pseudopods that each do 5-20 Hit Points of damage per hit.
      • The Creeping Doom's pseudopods are 15 feet long. They inflict 7-12 Hit Points damage, drain 1 point of Constitution and 1-3 points of Strength.
      • Swamp Demons have 13 foot long tentacles that hit for 9-16 Hit Points of physical damage and 1d6 Hit Points of rotting damage. Thereafter they constrict for 13-24 Hit Points of damage and three Hit Points of rotting damage per melee round.
      • The Greater Demon Groak, the Lord of the Swamps, has 13 tentacles on its head. One is on each side of its mouth: they are 20 feet long and do 7-12 Hit Points of impact damage and 29-48 Hit Points of constriction damage. The other 11 tentacles are six feet long and do 1-10 Hit Points of impact damage and 17-36 Hit Points of constriction damage. A hit by either type of tentacle requires any target with 280 Hit Points or less to make a saving throw vs. paralysis or be paralyzed for 21-40 minutes, with 1 melee round of paralysis even if they save. In addition, Groak's body secretes an acid that causes 21-40 Hit Points of damage per melee round of contact.
      • The Greater Demon Vathaak Troll Heart has three 8-foot long snake-like tentacles that can hit opponents for 11-20 Hit Points of damage. The next round they can wrap around the victim they struck and do 21-30 Hit Points of constriction/crushing damage thereafter. Once per melee round he can extend his tentacles up to 30 feet away to surprise an opponent who thought he was out of range.
    • Moutharms are large anemone-like amphibious plants with 11-20 tentacles that are up to 24 feet long. A hit by a tentacle paralyzes most living creatures for 11-20 minutes, and the tentacles are sticky so it's hard for even a non-paralyzed victim to escape.onents before pulling them to its mouth and swallowing them whole. The cilia paralyze almost all living creatures they touch.
    • Star Spiders are about 10-12 feet wide and long. They have 5-24 13 feet long tentacles that each do 1-12 Hit Points of damage on a hit and 4-16 Hit Points of constriction damage thereafter.
    • The following Blob Monsters have pseudopods that can attack opponents: Emerald Ooze (1-10, each does 4-40 Hit Points damage), Blue Slime (1-3, 10 feet long, do 2-12 Hit Points corrosion damage), Chartreuse Slime (1-5, each does 1-8 Hit Points acid damage), Gold Slime (x1, does 3-6 Hit Points damage and drains 1 point of Constitution) and White Slime (1-20, 13 feet long, paralyzes living tissue and does 60 Hit Points of damage per melee round).
    • Red Wraiths are soulless undead skeletons that were once priests of the evil Elder Gods. They have two 13 foot long oozy black tentacles. Each tentacle hit does 1-20 Hit Points of damage and drains 1-2 points of the victim's Constitution.
  • Call of Cthulhu: Many Cthulhu Mythos creatures have tentacles that can grab and/or damage opponents.
    • Deities: Abhoth ("appendages": grab and absorb), Azathoth ("pseudopods": 1-100 Hit Points + corrosion), Cthugha ("pseudopods": 14-84 Hit Points), Cthulhu (x4, 11-66 Hit Points), Cyaegha (8-48 Hit Points), Ghatanothoa (7-42 Hit Points), Hastur (death), Nyogtha (1-10 Hit Points or grab), Rhan-Tegoth (drain 1 Hit Point per round), Shub-Niggurath (grab), Shudde M'ell (6-36 Hit Points + 1-6 Constitution drain), Tsathoggua (grab), Ubbo-Sathla (grab and absorb), Zhar (death), Zoth-Ommog (5-30 Hit Points)
    • The Giant Squid's tentacles can do 1-6 Hit Points each plus the squid's Strength damage bonus.
    • Main Rules monsters: Beings from Xiclotl (grab + 1/2 Strength damage bonus), Chthonian (up to 3-18 Hit Points + blood drain), Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath (Strength damage bonus + Strength drain), Elder Thing (1/2 Strength damage bonus), Flying Polyp (1-10 Hit Points), Formless Spawn of Tsathoggua (Strength damage bonus), Servitor of the Outer Gods (double Strength damage bonus), Star-Spawn of Cthulhu (1/2 Strength damage bonus)
    • Dreamlands supplement adventure "Yellow Sails". The wendigo demon possessing the Oracle Mirror grabs Mironim-Mer with a tentacle and drains his Power. The Investigators can only save him by breaking the Mirror.
  • Stormbringer: In the Stormbringer Companion supplement the Kyrenee monster is made up of tentacles covered with an acid-based poison that causes serious damage to its victims and corrodes weapons that strike it.
  • A common weapon on Engels, Dagonite mecha, and monsters in CthulhuTech.
  • GDW's Dark Conspiracy main rules. The Dark Race known as the medusa have 2-12 tentacles on their heads that they use to attack opponents. Each tentacle does poiosn damage when it hits.
  • DC Heroes adventure When a Stranger Calls. While in Antarctica the PCs will be attacked by a sluggoth, an eight foot long creature with long poisonous tentacles.
  • SPI's Dragon Quest supplement The Enchanted Wood. In one of the ponds the PCs will encounter is a monster much like a giant squid. If any of them touch the surface of the pond the monster will attack with several pairs of tentacles, trying to drag the PCs into the pond to their deaths.
  • Dungeons & Dragons. Notation: (xW, X-Y/Z) means the creature has W number of tentacles and a range of X-Y Hit Points of damage per hit and/or special damage type Z.
    • The spell Evard's black tentacles can summon a bunch of these over a 20-fr radius area. Anything in the area gets grappled and suffers damage over time.
    • D&D monsters have tentacles by the bushel: phantom fungus, chaos beast, many of the Elder Evils, and dozens of others in too many splatbooks to list.
    • Players can get in on the Combat Tentacle action with a feat from the Lords of Madness (Book of Eldritch Abominations) source book. The Aberration blood feats represent a character having a common ancestry with Eldritch Abominations, and the aberration blood feat Deepspawn causes the player to sprout two tentacles which can be used for attacking.
    • 1st and 2nd Edition monsters with tentacles used in combat
      • Deities & Demigods Cyclopedia Cthulhu Mythos monsters: Cthulhu (x30 mouth), Azathoth (20 pseudopods), Cthugha (x2), Great Race (x2), Primordial One (x3), Shub-Niggurath (x1), Yog-Sothoth (x12)
      • abalin (x1), aboleth (x4), aratha (x4 1-10), beholder (death kiss (x10 blood drain), lensman (x1 1-8), watcher (x1 3-18), carrion crawler (x8 paralysis), crimson death (x? drains blood), Cryonax (x2), darklore (x6), deepspawn (x3 2-5/grab), dharculus (x6), displacer beast (x2 2-8), flail snail (x4-6), flumph (x11), froghemoth (x4), garbugs (x6), giant jellyfish (x10-40), giant nautilus (x20), giant octopus (x6 1-4/2-8), giant sea anemone (x1-3), giant squid (x8 1-6), golem - phamtom flyer (x2), grell (x10 1-6), gulguthhydra (x2), illithid/mind flayer (x4 remove brain), imorph (x2), kampfult (x6), kraken (x10 2-12/3-18), laraken (x2), magedoom (x1), mihstu (x4), neo-otyugh (x2 2-12), otyugh (x2 1-8), roper (x6 grab/Strength drain), sea demon (9-11), squark (x8), storoper (x6 poison), suwyze (x8), tako (x7 1-4), tentamort (x2), Triobrand's Automatons - Silversann (x3), vaath (x1), whipsting (x2), windghost (x2), wyste (x7), xag-ya and xeg-yi (x6) and yochlol (x8).
      • Forgotten Realms setting: banelar (x3), bellabra (x12), darktentacles (x36), golden ammonite (x10), orpsu (x1-12)
    • Dragonlance module DL12 Dragons of Faith. The monster known as the King of the Deep has six tentacles that it uses to pull victims to its mouth so it can eat them.
    • Modrons with attack-capable tentacles: decaton (x10), nonaton (x9), octon (x8)
    • Dark Sun monsters: Black Silt Horror (x8), Brown Silt Horror (x8), Cistern Fiend (x12), Floaters (x5 ), Gray Silt Horror (x12), Magma Silt Horror (x8), Red Silt Horror (x8), Silt Paraelemental Beast (x6), Stalking Horror (x7 at a time), White Silt Horror (x10).
    • The demoness Lady of Fungi Zuggtmoy had 4 pseudopods that each did 2-8 Hit Points of damage per hit.
    • 5th edition gave the Drow a new weapon called a tentacle rod. These rods had 3 tentacles that can extend 15' and grapple with the user's opponent for 1d6 damage. Drow priestesses often use them to restrain enemies that are normally too strong for them to overpower physically.
  • Exalted has these as a Wyld mutation, though Lunars can get them less riskily. Since this is Exalted, they're useful for enhancing your Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot-ness, but the main book doesn't really cover the other uses, oddly enough for this game.
    • Additionally, She Who Lives in Her Name (and some Infernals) has a psychic version of this, producing tendrils of solidified force to fight, pick things up etc. They 'look' and act like a Diclonius' vectors.
    • Tsk, tsk. Are we seriously forgetting the Celestial Circle spell Magma Kraken?
    • The queen of all offensive tentacles however, is Kimberry, better known as The Sea That Marched Against The Flame. She can create tentacles out of any liquid, including spilled blood. And they are deadly poisonous. Her shintai charms turns you into giant monster made of very naughty tentacles, i.e. a shoggoth.
  • Midkemia Press' Heart of the Sunken Lands. The March Mangler has four tentacles that each do 1-8 Hit Points of damage on the initial hit and can constrict prey to do 2-16 Hit Points damage. Once the creature has a grip on a victim it drags them into the water and drowns them.
  • Hero System supplement Fantasy Hero Companion. An Amorphous Horror demon is a Blob Monster that has 5 pseudopods that can be used to grab opponents in combat.
  • Lords of Creation RPG, Heroes magazine Volume 1 #1 article "Survival Run of the Starnomads"
    • Argilians are an alien race with four tentacles extending from their shoulders. Their extra "arms" give them an extra attack in combat.
    • Psychic Plants have tentacles disguised as branches. They use them to drag their prey closer so they can be digested in their acid-filled stomach pods.
  • Many units/monsters from the Lords of Cthul faction in Monsterpocalypse use tentacles as their main weapon, but Ancient Osheroth really takes the cake. Hell, he even has names for four of them.
  • Tentacle arms can be purchased in GURPS: Bio-Tech. There's tentacles hair in Ultra-Tech.
  • Hollow Earth Expedition supplement Mysteries of the Hollow Earth
    • The Kraken is a 100 foot long Giant Squid with tentacles powerful enough to tear open a ship.
    • The Giant Octopus has eight tentacles that can grapple and damage opponents.
  • Marvel Super Heroes supplement Uncanny X-Men boxed set "Adventure Book". In chapter 2 "Lunch Break", while the PCs are eating lunch with the Beast they're attacked by a Spider Tank that has six 12-foot long tentacles. The tank's tentacles strike at, entangle and fire a water jet at the PCs. It turns out to be a Secret Test arranged by the Beast to find out if the PCs are worthy to be superheroes.
  • Starblazer Adventures, campaign setting Mindjammer. In the adventure "Mind's Eye" the Big Bad The Entity is an extradimensional being that can inflict horrible "cold burns" with its tentacles/pseudopods.
  • Pathfinder has of course many varieties of tentacled monsters from out of the Dungeons & Dragons monster manuals, but in the technology supplement Guns and Gears - your characters can get on the act with the Tentacle Cannon. This is a 5-barrelled enchanted Hand Cannon that is made with parts from a large, tentacled monster such as a Kraken. Besides shooting normally at enemies, the user can activate the gun's special powers of spraying ink or extending out a tentacle to drag an enemy towards the gunner.
  • Avalon Hill's Powers And Perils RPG, Heroes magazine Volume 2 #2 article "The Sea of Tears". The Kraken is a sea monster with four long octopoid tentacles that extend from their head. They use them to grab and crush things they want to eat, including ships (to eat their crews).
  • Rocket Age has the Oculus, an asteroid dwelling, one eyed animal with sharp edged tentacles, Ganymedian sap-suckers are mostly made up of thorny tendrils and the Metisians are tentacled and as capable of killing as any other sophont
  • RuneQuest supplement Dorastor: Land of Doom
    • One encounter with Jack O'Bears includes Jack O'Bear #2. It has four tentacles in place of its arms, each of which can inflict 4-24 Hit Points of damage.
    • The Howler has a single tentacle in the middle of its chest that can do up to 12 Hit Points of physical damage plus up to 10 Hit Points of acid damage.
  • Clan Lasombra in Vampire: The Masquerade had the ability to grow these out of shadow with the Obtenebration Discipline.
  • Varanae generic RPG supplement Monstrum 1. The Sand Octopus lives underground and can attack creatures on the surface with its eight tentacles, each doing 1-6 Hit Points of damage.
  • Villains & Vigilantes adventure Devil's Domain
  • Examples common to Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000:
    • Daemons of Slaanesh have weaponized Naughty Tentacles, and given their nature it can quite difficult to tell how they're using them at any given time.
      • The Mutalith Vortex Beast uses the multiple tendrils of warp-putrefied flesh that extend from its hideous maw to rip its victims apart and draw their remains down its gullet.
  • Khorgoraths of Khorne from Warhammer: Age of Sigmar have horrific Bone Tentacles sprouting from their body that they use to attack those foes who attempt to stay out of reach of their monstrous claws.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Tyranids in Warhammer 40,000 have a variety of specialized, weaponized appendages, running the gamut from the flesh hooks a lictor uses to grapple up a cliff, to the feeder tendrils genestealers use to eat your brains, to skyscraper-sized tentacles their living spaceships use to break enemy vessels apart. Quite a few of them are also bladed.
    • One of the more common enhancements used by Tech-Priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus are mechadendrites, long and flexible bionic tendrils that are intended for delicate mechanical work but often see use as weapons in background material and Gaiden Games. While regular mechadendrites rarely have rules for use as weapons in the core Warhammer 40,000 games, specific sets of mechadendrites, such as the special item of wargear known as Anzion's Pseudogenetor, will occasionally receive combat rules.
    • The Transcendent C'tan used by the Necrons are surrounded by withering tendrils of crackling energy that they can use to attack their enemies. In the 8th Edition of the game, these tendrils are able to cleave through most armour and can cause massive damage to enemy models.

  • G.I. Joe had a brief toyline involving Cobra special troopers that had been altered into human-animal hybrids. One was a mixture of sea creatures and had tentacles that, with the press of a button on its back, would grab an action figure in front of it.

    Video Games 
  • In Ark Nights, Deepcolor can summon tentacles to attack enemies.
  • Cuttlefish in Battle for Wesnoth. Heck, there's even a monster called Tentacle, which is described as the tentacle of a larger, unseen monster.
  • A few enemies from Bayonetta and its sequel, most notably Alraune, Belief, Iustitia, and Worship. But given the bizarre biology of these enemies, some tentacles double as mouths as well.
  • Bloodborne
    • Augur of Ebrietas is a spell which summons tentacles from Ebrietas.
    • The Old Hunters weapon called the Kos Parasite allows you to do this, although only when combined with an Oath Rune that turns you into a lumenwood.
  • The final boss of Borderlands has two sets of tentacles. There are four purple flailing tentacles which shoot explosive spikes and two red tentacles which are slammed into the ground to create shockwaves.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm has an “Obligatory Kraken Boss” (yes, that’s its actual in-game name) in the second ship level, which obligatorily also has these.
  • City of Heroes:
    • A couple of giant monsters — Lusca (a big octopus) and the Hydra (a big slime thing) spawn extra tentacles to fight with. The Hydra is so damn big its tentacles can attack you from anywhere in the thousands of meters of tunnels making up the abandoned lower level of the city sewer network.
    • Also evoked by a few powers. The Plant Control ability Carrion Creepers causes huge vines to sprout from the ground and lash at enemies, and the summoned pet Fly Trap from the same set attacks with whip-like vine arms. And, of course, there's the Dark Blast power Tenebrous Tentacles.
  • Several enemies in Darkest Dungeon use tentacles to swipe at your allies or to pull people in the back to the front, most notably the cultists. On the hero's side, the Occultist summons tentacles to do the same.
  • Both The Darkness games have shadow combat tentacles. They become more powerful in the second game, offering several brutal methods of instant killing enemies.
  • The demonic foliage in Dark Souls have these in place of arms. The Pisaca in the Dukes Archives have this on their head, which they use to restrain you and deliver an extremely deadly attack.
  • When she's not forming blades with them, Morrigan from Darkstalkers Sometimes use her wings/bats as these (see her standing and jumping Fierce Punch attacks). This is made much more explicit in the anime OAV, when she's shown using them like that in a fight. Not to mention the official names of the said attacks are apparently stuff like Orgasm Wire.
  • In Dead Space several necromorphs have these. The lurkers are infected infants with three tentacles; which can either shoot spikes or tear into a foe that they latch onto. Guardians are corpses stuck to the walls; immature guardians can only flail their intestines at Isaac, but advanced ones can shoot out pods with tentacles similar to the lurkers. In addition, if Isaac gets too close, the lurker will decapitate him. There are also tentacles which grab Isaac around the legs; if he doens't break free in time, they'll drag him to a gory death sequence. Finally, all three bosses (the Leviathan, the Slug, and the Hive Mind) all use these as their primary means of attack.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Devil May Cry: Mundus uses tentacles in his third form, with hands at the end of them.
    • Devil May Cry 2: Jokatgulm is a water demon that attacks Dante by trying to slap him with its tentacles. Chopping them off is necessary in order to expose its body for attacks.
    • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening: Soul Eaters (the luminous tentacled Personal Space Invaders) have these. Disturbingly enough, they always attack from behind, giggling and screaming, and when they snatch Dante up with their tentacles to drain his Devil Trigger Gauge, it looks like something else.
    • Devil May Cry 5:
      • V's familiar Shadow makes liberal use of these, transforming its head into a drill or flail and even using them while drilling through the ground. Tentacles are also Shadow's usual method for dealing against airborne enemies during its basic combo string.
      • Urizen can use the demonic tree tentacles covering his body and throughout the Qliphoth to stab his enemies.
  • In an unusual variation, angels in Diablo II have those in an imitation of wings.
    • Strictly speaking, they're beams of light that assume a form resembling wings. But close enough...
  • Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten has Desco, who mainly attacks with the tentacled creature on her back. She can attack directly with them, shoot beams from them, or temporarily detach it from her in order to transform it and attack enemies with them.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: The "Tentacle Lash" Polymorph skill briefly transforms the user's arm into a tentacle to make one medium-range Unblockable Attack, which deals bonus damage and can inflict a status effect that prevents the target from using weapons.
  • Quite a few monsters in Dominions, what with it being the universal grab bag of mythologies it strives to be. Krakens, bukavacs, void lords, you name it. Oddly enough, aboleth ones are just for show - guess you don't really need base, squick weapons when you can turn brains into quivering goo at will.
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze feature the giant kraken-esque octopus Squiddicus in the levels "Stormy Shore" and "Irate Eight", respectively. His head remains in the background while his tentacles attack the Kongs throughout each level.
  • Doom³: The Commandos have tentacles they can use to attack you from a range. When they're not packing a chain gun.
  • The Broodmother from Dragon Age: Origins is stationary, but has four tentacles that can pop out of the floor to make life difficult for ranged characters. It also has a number of larger, thicker tentacles that it can use to grab anyone closing in melee. It then violently shakes them and vomits poisonous bile all over them.
  • Dungeon Crawl has the option of playing an Oktopode who can constrict up to eight oponents with these (though that is rarely a good idea). The spell Beastly Appendix can allso give you these.
  • The disembodied tentacles in Ecco the Dolphin that latch on and won't let go. Plus the giant octopus which sits on a ledge and slaps Ecco with a tentacle as he tries to pass.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric Prince of Knowledge, possesses these. Unlike most of the other Daedric Princes, who take humanoid forms when dealing with mortals, Mora forgoes anything resembling a human for a pure Eldritch Abomination form of a mass of eyes, claws, and tentacles.
    • Skyrim
      • Hermaeus Mora appears in the Dragonborn DLC to personally kill two people with his tentacles, using the Impaled with Extreme Prejudice method.
      • Dragonborn Big Bad Miraak wields a staff that summons tentacles from the ground, wields a sword that turns into a tentacle when he swings it, and randomly sprouts tentacles around him when he is attacked. Appropriate, given that he is a servant of Hermaeus Mora.
      • Lurkers are a fish-like form of lesser Daedra that serve Hermaeus Mora. They have these both in the form of a stream of tentacles coming from their mouths and a stomp that causes poisonous tentacles to appear.
  • The Kraken of Evolve has these for its melee attacks. For bonus pain, they crackle with electricity and are tipped with bony hooks.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Among the repertoire of magic attacks that the pyramid witch Blackberry has available is the Call of Abyss spell, which summons a host of otherworldly tentacles to rise from the floor and thrash the foe. In Giant Fist, you get to be on both ends of this, either as Blackberry or against her in a boss fight.
  • In the Fallout series, the Mister Handy series of robot butlers have various tools attached to the ends of their metallic tentacles, including buzzsaws and blowtorches, which can be quite lethal in combat. The military version, Mister Gutsy, has machine guns and plasma throwers mounted on its tentacles instead.
  • Octopi and squids are recurring boss creatures in Final Fantasy:
    • Ultros, from Final Fantasy VI, a recurring joke villain with an impeccable sense of timing.
      • A writhing, sentient mass of tentacles which entangles the engine room of Figaro Castle and prevents it from returning to the surface. The tentacles can ensnare individual characters and drain their HP.
    • The Final Fantasy XI playerbase has many bad memories of the Sea Horror, a 60+ monster that, while very beatable by most jobs at 75, almost always spawns when the highest level player in the area is around level 30. Fun times.
    • Kraken, Fiend of Water in Final Fantasy, Xande's minion in Final Fantasy III, and one of the Four Chaoses of Memoria in Final Fantasy IX. He can even get critical hits for each of his eight tentacles in Final Fantasy.
    • Octomammoth in Final Fantasy IV, which bars the waterway between Kaipo and Damcyan.
    • In Final Fantasy X, Yunalesca has these in her second and third forms.
    • More common occurences are creatures with tentacles-as-whips, such as Molbor and Ochu. However, they're more dangerous/annoying for the status ailments they can inflict than their tentacular assault.
    • The Cloud of Darkness in Dissidia Final Fantasy has two tentacles attached to her, which she uses to strike at mid-range opponents.
  • Early promo shots and concept art for Half-Life 2 featured translucent blue tentacles bothering the leads. The tentacles would've been the surface manifestation of a huge under-ground being bothering City 17. Ultimately it was decided that it just wasn't a fun opponent.
  • Halo:
    • Flood Combat Forms. On the higher difficulties in the second and third games, they can insta-kill the Master Chief/Arbiter with a single swat.
    • In Halo Wars, the enemy structures include Flood tentacles sticking out of the ground that will attack anything that comes close.
  • In Justice League Heroes: The Flash, some of the later enemies encountered are organic skull-robots with copious tentacles. However, instead of grabbing you, throwing objects, or other moves typical of this trope, they repeatedly slap you with them. It's surprisingly effective.
  • The final boss of KickBeat attacks you with tentacles. Some are accompanied by dark energy spears that appear in place of the power-ups that normally float over some of the mooks' heads in the other levels, and missing on a double-tap note will incur damage even if you destroy the tentacle with the first beat.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Ursula uses her tentacles for attacking (along with magic and a few other techniques) in four out of her five boss fights (excluding only her giant fight in the first game).
    • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days features the Tentaclaws, which at first seem like seperate enemies... but then it's revealed that they're part of the Leechgrave.
    • Kingdom Hearts III has the Kraken assisting Davy Jones in his boss fight, attacking Sora and the party with its tentacles periodically. After clearing the world, Sora receives the Wheel of Fate keychain, which grants him this ability - its second Formchange summons aquatic copies of the Kraken's tentacles that lash out at the enemies around him as a finisher.
  • League of Legends: Illaoi fights mostly with summoned tentacles with her passive and skills.
    • While not as physical, Vel'Koz does use his tentacles in all of his attack and ability animations.
    • Post-rework Evelynn has a pair of long prehensile tendrils tipped with sharp points sprouting from her shoulder blades, called "lashers". She uses them for stabbing, whipping, and as a makeshift chair.
  • Left 4 Dead: The Smoker can lasso the Survivors with his tongue — or at least with something resembling one, as he has six, still using only one, in the sequel.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Alex Mercer has this as a combat power, called the Whipfist. It is notably effective against helicopters, and has some particularly cool consumption animations.
    • Tendril Barrage Devastator. Area of Effect combat tentacles!
    • The Hydra enemy is just one giant Combat Tentacle that can split into three at its tip.
    • Sgt. Heller from [PROTOTYPE 2] seems to specialize in his basic combat with tentacles (As opposed to his predecessor, who only had them as a Limit Break and whipfist, and used blades the rest of the time.) He gets rather...inventive with them.
  • The Resident Evil series has Plant 42 from the first game, the lickers from the second game (which like to use their blade-tipped tongues for this), and Nemesis from the third.
    • Many enemies, like Garradores or Gigantes in Resident Evil 4 sprout "tentacles" (Actually the Plaga inhabiting their body) when hit hard enough. Also, Plagas will randomly grow their tentacles out of an almost-dead Ganado. And Resident Evil 5 gives us Uroboros which is basically nothing but a giant wriggling mass of Combat Tentacles.
    • Osmund Saddler also uses one to kill Luis, and sports a different one during the final boss fight.
    • An odd variant is the Bandersnatch in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica; it has only one arm, but that arm is apparently boneless, as it fails around like a tentacle and it can stretch out a considerable distance to either "slap" the player (a fairly damaging attack), or grab hold of the player's head and start trying to wrench it off their shoulders unless they can hammer on the buttons to wriggle free first.
    • In Resident Evil Dead Aim, the Tyrant-091 has large claws and its fingers are large tentacles.
  • The Sarlacc in Return of the Jedi probably didn't get much to eat on Tatooine. The Force Unleashed has another one on Felucia, and that one has grown much bigger, slapping at you with arms 3 meters in diameter.
  • The first scene you witness featuring the kraken in Return Of The Obra Dinn centers on it gruesomely ripping a crew member in half, complete with horrific audio. You can learn from dialogue that at least one other crew member met the same fate. Others were strangled, thrown into the sea or crushed up against parts of the ship. Bizarrely, one person managed to get shot by the monster, as it grabbed a cannon just before it fired and repositioned it. Probably not intentional on the beast's part, but the game accepts "shot with a cannon by a terrible beast" as a valid answer for the man's fate.
  • Rise of the Kasai features this as a reoccuring boss type; tentacles from an underground monster will burst out in a large area and the player has to hack them apart one at a time. Some are thin grabbers, some are spiked with mace heads, some are armored, and one has a grasper, or possibly the creature's mouth.
  • A number of instances of these show up in RuneScape, including among others the roots of the Evil Tree, the bosses Har'Aken and Agoroth, and the god Zaros (albeit offscreen - you read about it in a book). Reading the book in question gives you a number of tentacle related abilities as well.
  • The Memory of Richard Grady, a boss from Silent Hill: Origins, has several tentacles hanging from the ceiling as Travis fights it. If you're too close to them, they'll loop around Travis's throat and attempt to strangle him. Also, in Silent Hill 2, the final boss does this as well, only with some kind of scorpion tail.
  • In Skies of Arcadia, the final bosses' most devastating attack involves you being paralyzed, lifted, and impaled by fluid tentacles and blasted by the creature fused with him.
  • Wash Buckler from the Skylanders franchise is an pirate octopus who can use his tentacles to whip enemies in front of him, roll forward and do a Spin Attack with.
  • StarCraft: The Zerg base defenses, Sunken Colonies, attack with a giant burrowing tentacle.
  • One of the Sai units in the game Stormrise can generate energy tentacles from their lower arms to clobber their enemies with. They can also learn to electrolute said tentacles, further increasing the damage they do.
  • In Sundered, the monstrous creatures which make up the Eschaton faction are basically nothing but writhing masses of tentacles wearing hooded robes and masks, so naturally many of them will use their tentacles to attack the protagonist in various ways. The boss enemy Dominion can combine its tentacles into giant fists and send them through magical portals in order to punch the protagonist from multiple angles at once.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • In Super Robot Wars: Original Generation (PS2): Judecca's Final attack uses this at the end.
  • Arguably, Mr. Game & Watch's Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, when he turns into an octopus.
  • Ultimate Venom does this, though mostly in the Ultimate Spider-Man (2005) video game.
    • Mainstream Carnage can also put you under wraps, though being much more Ax-Crazy than Venom (and given some of Venom's finer moments, that's saying something!) he's just as likely to make 'em pointy and impale you.
  • Warframe features Hydroid's ultimate, Tentacle Swarm, which summons several tentacles made of water to attack enemies.
  • The Magus in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning can extrude a massive tentacle from his disc (yes, disc) to swipe across enemies' faces. The Marauder class may come under this also, as his arm can be mutated into a variety of goopy shapes, some more tentacly than others, but all quite nasty.
  • The Kayran in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is a mutant hybrid with disproportionately huge mouth tentacles attached to a smaller, crab-like body. It attacks by slamming these tentacles to the ground, using them to throw rocks and whipping them across the entire battlefield (allowing the player to grab hold with a quicktime event).
  • The World Ends with You has a Jellyfish Noise that will attack you (or your partner) with its tentacle to violate your HP. Says so in the description.
    "If you're not careful, that obscene tentacle will start violating your HP!"
  • World of Warcraft has more than one tentacled horror, although in general they stick to oversized humanoids for their dungeon monsters.
    • Notable example would be the raid boss C'thun (a literal Giant Eye of Doom), who in addition to having a nasty one shot kill eye laser, spawns tentacles, eye tentacles that fire Eye Beams and giant versions of the two. One of the items he drops is the Vanquished Tentacle of C'thun, which allows the player to summon his very own combat tentacle to attack an enemy for a short time.
    • While the attack on the tentacle has been sadly outleveled into oblivion, some people still use it for kicks.
    • C'thun's spiritual ancestor, the unnamed Forgotten One in WC3, also spawned tentacles.
    • Yogg-Saron, end boss of the Ulduar raid dungeon, also appears to use tentacles as weapons. It seems like there's a theme developing here around the Old Gods...
    • Having noticed the popularity of the Vanquished Tentacle of C'thun, Blizzard introduced an improved version, the Vanquished Clutches of Yogg-saron. The concept's the same, but now it can summon 3 types of tentacles! One of them shoots acid.
    • Continuing the tradition, the BFS Gurthalak, Voice of the Deeps, has the ability to summon a tentacle that will cast a very powerful Mind Flay on your target, sometimes more than once.

    Web Animation 
  • In the Hazbin Hotel Pilot, when Sir Pentious tries to attack Alastor with an airship armed with a giant cannon, Alastor manifest a group of giant black tentacles from the ground that tear the cannon away, crush the airship, strangle Pentious, and explode.

    Web Comics 
  • Some were seen in a battle near the final one in Adventurers!.
  • All manner of cases in Awful Hospital, including the Immense Thing and Crash, at least once the latter started to take a more active part in getting things done.
  • Mike of College Roomies from Hell!!! acquires a single tentacle early in the comic's run as a result of drinking from and swimming in a polluted lake.
  • This is a standard feature of all Terronians in Cordless. What exactly is on the end of them varies from person to person: fists, drills, rocket boosters...
  • The 'Cubi in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures can transform their wings into tentacles that may be sharp at the end or have little heads, depending on their clan.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Pandora can assume a monstrous form which involves several limb-like appendages. When she extends them in an attack, the result looks like a mass of tentacles.
  • In Grrl Power Syndey's violet power orb allows her to create a Hard Light pseudopod. After being forbidden to call it the Molestorb as a Hentai reference, she names it the Lighthook.
  • Homestuck:
    • After Rose prototypes the tentacled doll, some Underling types develop tentacles that they use to grapple and whip players during combat. This trait is most visible among the imps, some of which sport tentacles instead of hands, and liches, which instead sprout a pair of tentacles from their sides.
    • The Red Miles is an immensely powerful attack in the form of a mass of fractal-like, constantly extending red tentacles, which is capable of destroying buildings, planets, and even entire universes. Multiple characters are impaled by this attack.
  • Lovely Lovecraft: The shoggoth forms Combat Tentacles from its gelatinous body.
  • In The Order of the Stick, V once used "Evan's Spiked Tentacles of Forced Intrusion" on a chimera.
    Trigak: We're not comfortable being grappled there!
  • In Plume, Azeel has those "growing" from his back, made of the same black stuff that powers evil magic.
  • In Puzzles & Survival, the hero Marlowe has a mutated arm with tentacles that he uses in the puzzle battles to inflict damage on enemies.
  • In Spinnerette, Legion of Canadian Superheroes member Katt O' Nine Tails is able to use her... er... nine tails this way.
  • Suzanne from Surprising Octeal is defined by a transformation giving her four extra octopus-like arms.
  • Howard the Tentacle Beast in Tales Of Gnosis College suddenly manifests powerful tentacles with razor-sharp edges when a human being he cares about is threatened. The series also contains an panel in which a character imagines huge tentacles wrapping up and attacking an aircraft carrier.
  • Tower of God
    • The "Bull" has a tentacle it uses to grab its prey.
    • Karaka can summon large, metallic tentacles that can act defensively (technically, it seems to be a defensive magic item) but that he also uses to pick up and imprison people, or just impale them.
    • In the climax of the Hidden Floor arc, Jahad sends in some large, red, hard-looking tentacles through the rift leading into the Hidden Floor for a bit of Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
  • unOrdinary: Cecile's ability is called "Vines" but actually allows her to create glowing thin tentacles with which to fight or restrain opponents. She can shape the ends sharp to use them for stabbing as well.

    Web Original 
  • Alloy in The Descendants has a pair of sapient tentacles name Isp and Osp. They get extra points for themselves having Rubber Man powers.
  • EAT of The Fear Mythos. We're still not entirely sure what EAT is, but we do know there are tentacles. Tentacles that grab people and drag them, screaming, into ponds.
  • 99% of the Eldritch Abominations in Little Lenny Penguin And The Great Red Flood possess Combat Tentacles. Not only do they pack a punch, but, given the right circumstances, they can morph virtually anyone in their grasps into fellow eldritches.
  • Metro City Chronicles: Squid Kid has black, hyper-elastic tentacles that grow out of her back.
  • Especially common in Mortasheen, most notably with Malignus' homage to the Cenobites, Septacle, who also happens to be a toilet and Underfiend, whose tentacles are of both the combat and naughty variety.
  • SCP Foundation
    • Sarkists are fond of using these.
    • SCP-252 ("Humboldt Squid"). This small squid can use Mass Hypnosis to cause anyone looking at it to see it as a giant monster with up to 200 limbs, including suckered tentacles up to 5 meters long.
    • SCP-299 ("Infectious Tree"). SCP-299 has vine-like tendrils that are up to 2 meters long. It uses them to grab its prey when they get too close to it.
    • SCP-312 ("Atmospheric Jellyfish"). After SCP-312 sucks a victim into the air with its atmospheric vortex it stings it with its tentacles and paralyzes it, then digests it.
    • SCP-354 ("The Red Pool"). When the monster SCP-354-14 appeared in the Pool it used 5 octopus-like tentacles to grab several D-class personnel and pull them into the Pool.
    • SCP-440 ("Sand-Based Ecology"). SCP-440-2 ("Rocktopods") are made up of sand and look like squids or octopi. They can throw rocks with their tentacles.
    • SCP-466 ("Mobile Veins"). The vessels of SCP-466's cardiovascular systems (veins and arteries) can be used as tentacles to grasp and constrict. After it acquired additional cardiovascular systems the vessels became more powerful and developed barbs on the ends that can inflict damage.
    • SCP-610 ("The Flesh that Hates"), "SCP-610-L5 - Manned exploration of the Site A tunnels". While the assault team is escaping from the underground church a tendril emerges from the ground, grabs one of them and flings them away. The tendril came from a SCP-610 infected creature hiding under the ground.
    • SCP-783 ("Baba Yaga's Cottage"). In Interview Log 783-1 one of the animals mutated by entering the Cottage grows tentacles powerful enough to grab a human being.
    • SCP-835 ("Expunged Data Released"). SCP-835 has tentacles that it uses to grab victims and pull them into itself for conversion.
    • SCP-864 ("Efficient Washbasin"). When filled with water, SCP-864 can generate tentacles that can grab nearby people.
    • SCP-929 ("The Cuckoo"). When SCP-929 is attacked its head will split open and tentacles will emerge from it. SCP-929 uses these tentacles to strangle, strike and lash its attackers.
    • SCP-1158 ("Arboreal Jellyfish Puppeteers"). SCP-1158 is an airborne, carnivorous predator that resembles a large Portuguese man-o-war (jellyfish). It hides in treetops and dangles prehensile dactylozooid polyp bundles that look like vines down to the forest floor. When the tentacles touch an animal they wrap around its limbs and inject a paralyzing poison. When the victim is immobilized they enter all of its orifices and deliver digestive enzymes that dissolve the animal's internal organs, then absorb the residue.
    • SCP-1512 ("Irrational Root"). SCP-1512 is an Eldritch Abomination that weighs more than 80,000 metric tons and has root-like tendrils several hundred meters long. The tendrils secrete a corrosive slime that causes chemical burns, disorientation and vertigo. They are completely immune to most forms of attack and can break through concrete and steel plate.
    • SCP-1583 ("It Only Makes Us Stronger"). When a container of SCP-1583 is opened a large tentacle will come out, grab any people nearby and pull them into its mass, which will dissolve their bodies.
    • SCP-1936 ("Daleport"). One of the entities in Daleport is a creature the size of an adult human with multiple tentacles. One of its tentacles can decapitate a human being in one blow and multiple tentacles can rip a human being to shreds.
  • Carmilla (Sara Waite) in the Whateley Universe works of fiction. Not too surprising given that her father is Gothmog, demon of lust, while his mother is Shub-Niggurath — and she's related to Cthulhu on her mother's side. She can launch tentacles out of any part of her body, and those tentacles may then have mouths or eyes or worse if she wants. She has killed several people (and a LOT of animals) by thrusting her tentacles into them and eating their souls. She has used them as Naughty Tentacles too: at least one side character is now pregnant from this. Oh, by the way, she's one of the good guys in this universe.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Alpha Teens on Machines had Spider, who was basically Doctor Octopus but then with a metal mask over his top part of his head, yellowish skins, and he went by the name of Spider.
  • Dr. Dimensionpants: several of the monsters Kyle encounters in the various dimensions have these.
  • Waterbenders in Avatar: The Last Airbender frequently use a form of this that involves surrounding themselves in water that they extend into tendrils (fittingly called the "Octopus Form"). And at one point, a waterbender actually uses vines as combat tentacles, by bending the water in them.
  • Batman Beyond's shapeshifting blob Inque uses this as her primary method of attack and they're stronger than steel, no less, though in some instances, her body usually slides into either one single, thick tendril or a plethora of them at once.
  • On Futurama, Bender's jointless arms can twist and coil as freely as tentacles, and are certainly strong enough to invoke this trope if necessary. Subverted in that he's more likely to use their enhanced flexibility to pick your pocket than kick your ass.
  • Nergal and Junior from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy have retractable tentacles that can shock people with jolts of electricity and even mutate people by zapping them with red energy.
  • Doctor Drakken from Kim Possible got an equivalent to these with his mutant vines, using them in one scene to crush an enemy gun.
  • Alpha from Men in Black: The Series, who grafts alien body parts onto himself.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: In "Monster Arm", Star attempts to heal Marco's broken arm with magic and instead turns it into a giant tentacle. Marco's new "monster arm" eventually turns out to be both sentient and evil, trying to tempt Marco to the dark side so it can feast on the bowels of their enemies.
  • Teen Titans (2003): The Titans encounter these on a pretty regular basis. Alien police bots, various goo monsters, and anyone passing by a supervillain garage sale have some of these. Even Cyborg and Raven on occasion.

    Real Life 
  • Many sperm whales have heavily scarred heads from fights with giant squids. However it's now believed that in most cases the squids don't have much of a chance of winning these fights.
  • Octopi have been observed to ambush sharks and kill them. Scuba divers also have to be careful not to stumble upon octopi. The result can be fatal to one or both of them. Pacific giant octopuses, the largest of all octopodes, make this one of their specialties, and have been known to wrestle with divers, grappling using their tentacles and even trying to remove equipment like regulators, diving masks and cameras from the humans they encounter!
    • There's also the fact that some punch fish. The reasons why tend to vary but, sometimes, they might just feel like it or because that particular arm felt like it.note  It's also believed that they punch fish quite literally to punish them for misbehaving, or to make them back off from the octopus's territory!
  • Played straight with most species of Jellyfish and Anemones who line their tentacles with Cnidocytes (stinging cells) that deliver toxins into their prey. This system is so effective that they usually just wait for the prey to come to them.
  • An elephant's trunk functions very much like a tentacle in its muscle mechanics, and can be quite a dangerous weapon. It also makes for a very effective extra limb, and even a gentle shove using it is enough to knock a flimsy human to the ground, as this tourist who was dumb enough to stare one down quickly found out, though fortunately the elephant was content with just pushing him to the floor and wrecking the dinner table.
  • Constrictor snakes, such as boas and pythons. Their whole body will act as a tentacle to wrap around the body of the prey.
  • Almost all animals, including you, have millions of these as part of their immune system. Macrophages are a type of white blood cell, and though they look like the stuff of nightmares they are on our side. These real-life tentacle monsters grab hostile bacteria, devour them and disintegrate them with acid.


Video Example(s):


Gooper Blooper

The Gooper Blooper slams its tentacles to attack Mario, which the plumber hammers away.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / CombatTentacles

Media sources: