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Creepy Centipedes

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Commentor 1: Arthropleura was only 3 meters in length and ate only ferns.
Two random Youtube Commentors

For many people, spiders are scary and disgusting. For many other people, snakes are scary and disgusting. So, what happens when you combine the two?

In fiction centipedes, caterpillars, and similar creatures are sometimes used as a fancy alternative for the everyday Giant Spider or Scary Scorpions, and even more so in eastern fiction. Sometimes, a human-centipede hybrid will appear, usually sporting multiple limbs and a venomous bite. In Video Game settings, expect to see it detach its own body parts and/or remove one body segment at time, as if it's some kind of organic train. Another apparent power is their ability to curl up like a ball and roll over their foe. They are particularly prevalent in Japanese media, due to centipedes being a common problem there, as well as being generally regarded as a symbol of impurity and uncleaniness.


Compare Scary Scorpions, Spiders Are Scary, Creepy Camel Spider, Big Creepy-Crawlies, Attack of the Killer Whatever and Segmented Serpent. Also Bug War if they come in mass.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Astro Boy goes up against a robot monster known as Gadem in various continuities. He's usually a Combining Mecha made out of 47 headless androids, but in the 2003 series he was redesigned as a collection of gold and jewels morphed into the shape of a centipede by a powerful electromagnet.
  • Loly's release in Bleach is called "Escolopendra", and gives her poisonous Combat Tentacles looking like giant centipedes.
  • The very first Youkai appeared in Inuyasha was the Mukade Joro (Mistress Centipede), who was partially woman. Several huge centipedes appears as recurring Cannon Fodder among Naraku's hordes. The sequel features a similar mukade youkai with three eyes.
  • Centipiedes commonly appear in Meta Knight's flashbacks as one of several different types of soldiers of Nightmare's Demon Beast armies in Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, and two of them even appeared in present times twice in two episodes. An early episode had one of said flashbacks show it spitting lightning at a random Star Warrior, and the best way to see one in full-body is in another said flashback in Knuckle Joe's debut episode.
  • In Naruto Sasuke kills an oversized centipede in the Death Forest. Later he realize that they're trapped in an illusion when he recognize the same dead bug. Also, one of Pain's summons is a colossal centipede... who's offed by Sakura.
    • In the anime he summoned numerous centipedes, one of which fought Shikamaru.
  • After Jubei in Ninja Scroll: The Series splits a random giant mook open with his Razor Wind, it turns out that it had a giant centipede inside it. Then Jubei uses his Razor Wind again and that's that.
  • Epoida from One Piece is a minor character who appears to be able to turn in a giant caterpillar-man. One of the movies shows a huge centipede-like Sea Monster amd several of the recurring Sea Kings have a centipedean design.
  • Yaiba meets a Centipede-Man during the Underworld Arc, wielding several swords at once. However, despite his fierce look he was a mere Elite Mook.
  • In Toriko, Tommyrod of the Gourmet Corps can also breed and spit out of his mouth several centipede-like monsters to fight for him, specifically a winged one called "Butterfly Worm" which gruesomly kills Yun's parents and is killed with a certain difficulty by the combined effort of Toriko, Takimaru and Match. Other huge centipedes/millipedes monsters exists in the world of Toriko, though they're rarely seen.
    • Another member of the Gourmet Corps named Boneless wears a centipede-like bug on his head and all around his body and can apparently sprout legs all over his body.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, Kaneki comes to be associated with them as his Animal Motif starting with the Aogiri Arc. Many chapters of that arc feature a seemingly-random shot of a centipede, leading up to Yamori sticking one in Kaneki's ear while torturing him. After the timeskip, he begins wearing an Eyepatch of Power with a centipede pattern on it and is given the alias "Centipede" by CCG after developing an insect-like partial Kakuja form.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann the giant submarine mecha Daigankai controlled by Aidine the Elegant resembles a giant centipede, though one that fights underwater. Fitting, considering that Aidine's own mecha can turn into a scorpion form.
  • The very first Taboo encountered by Ageha Yoshina in Psyren resembles a giant centipede with a humanoid torso whose head sported a mouth full of tentacles, as if it wasn't creepy enough.
  • In Ushio and Tora the first serious threat, the Stone Eater, is a demon in the form of a large stone samurai concealing two large centipedes. As a nod to Tawaratota's myth, Tora states that they can only be killed by stabbing their eyes with something made wet with saliva.
  • Just like in her Video Game, Bayonetta from Bayonetta: Bloody Fate summons a massive demonic centipede called Scolopendra to crush a car-shaped angel to death.
  • An episode of Yo-Kai Watch featured Irewig, a centipede Youkai that is basically a living Berserk Button. It uses its angry influence on Nathan's mom, causing her to become instantly annoyed at every little thing.
  • In the original Dragon Ball anime one of Korin's magic pots houses an immensely long centipede that bursts out when Goku opens it, coiling itself around him before the pot shows Goku visages of his past, present, and future.
  • On the desert planet of Rudeeze in Dragon Ball GT there are the gargantuan Sandipedes, Mix-and-Match Critters of centipedes and scorpions that have a Breath Weapon of sand. One in particular named Scorpulon attempts to kill Pan while she's suffering from heat exhaustion.
  • The Chairman from Assassination Classroom has centipedes as his animal motif. One particular scene is when he fires Takaoka, multiple centipedes are visualized entering Takaoka's throat as the Chairman stuffs the termination letter into his mouth.
  • From Hunter × Hunter there is a Chimera Ant soldier named Centipede. Probably born from a centipede, he did have eight pairs of arms and poisonous fangs, as well as ant-proportionate strength, giving him a centipede look, especially when seen from the front. Another Chimera Ant, Welfin, can use his Nen powers to shoot missiles that do not explode, but rather release a bunch of "Black Centipedes" inside the target. The centipedes will burrow through the target's head with growing strength and frenesy the more it tries to fight Welfin.
  • The Case Files of Yakushiji Ryoko featured large robotic centipedes built originally as counter-terrorist weapons. They included a plethora of weapons not normally associated with centipedes (since they were built for function, not necessarily for pure aesthetic appeal) including a Smokescreen, a Static Stun Gun, a Fire-Breathing Weapon, and a front-mounted Gatling Gun.
  • Bakugan features a rather common centipede-like Bakugan called Centipoid. The handbooks for the anime and game even describe the toys outright as scary and creepy.
  • An assassin codenamed "Mukade" appears in Arachnid, hiding in one of the girl's toilet stall while waiting in ambush for Alice. His modus operandi involves dangling from the ceiling and injecting his prey with a paralyzing toxin, emulating giant centipedes dangling from branches to attack bats and birds. Unfortunately for him, one of his "victims" is Sasori, who poisons him before he can poison her and murders him.
  • My Hero Academia, Hero Centipeder resembles a perfectly normal, impeccably dressed man with a massive centipede's head and body from the neck up, while his Quirk Centicoil allows him to turn his arms into a long centipede's body. Despite looking rather creepy, he's one of the good guys through and through.
  • One-Punch Man: The Centipede line of monsters are a bunch of giant centipedes with grotesque human faces on the front of their centipede heads. Centikohai is larger than a person with a single human face. Centisenpai is a Demon-level monster as tall as a building with two human faces one inside the mouth of the other. Centichoro is a Dragon-class monster several miles long and wouldn't be out of place in a Kaiju movie, complete with several old man faces inside each mouth atop a "centipede" head that looks more like some snarling insectoid demon.

    Comic Books 
  • In Lucifer, one assassin antagonist is a demon with a humanoid torso on a centipede body.
  • In the Atari Force first series, Martin Champion fights with a giant alien centipede-like creature. It's a rather subtle Shout-Out to Atari's arcade game Centipede.
  • Made much less creepy (but not much less menacing) in DC Comics' own pack-in comic book for the Atari 2600 Centipede.
  • In Ultimate X-Men there was a sub-group of mutant terrorists called the Animal Evolutionaries who were all animal-based mutants, directly affiliated with the Brotherhood of Mutant Supremacy. Among their small ranks was Kathleen, a mutant who's head was that of a beautiful woman, but had the body (from the neck down) of a centipede.
  • Dial H for Hero has Floyd Bergson, a Super Villain called Centipede. Although he doesn't actually have any stereotypical centipede powers, he instead has the powers of Self-Replication and Super Speed. This means if you see him coming at you while he's using his powers, he looks like a fast-moving humanoid monstrosity of multiple limbs, much like a centipede. He does eventually don a giant centipede-head mask though, playing this trope more straight.
  • Minor Batman villain, the Witch Doctor named the Obeah Man, kept large carnivorous centipedes as 'pets'. Batman actually uses this fact to deduce that the Obeah Man was a Haitian cult leader due to their history for having an affinity for the insects.
  • Wonder Woman:
  • Usagi Yojimbo
    • My Lord's Daughter has Usagi fighting his way through a gauntlet of monsters to rescue his lord's daughter from a Oni. In the forest, he meets a monstrous giant centipede (Mukade), which he defeats by blocking its body under a log before slicing it to pieces. Compared to the other monsters, he was much more creepy-looking and threatening.
    • Another Oomukade reappears in the Inn of Moon Shadow Hill short story, but this time the bug, along with all the other monsters, is a puppet controlled by the innkeeper's daughter to scare people and draw customers.
    • In Sumi-e Part 1, a monstrous, giant Mukade appears to threaten Usagi and Jotaro, but is killed by Demon-Queller Sasuke, who slays it with an arrow whose head was dampened with saliva, referencing the myth of Hidesato Tawaratota. This time, it was a monster created with a cursed sumi-e painting set and, given the series of suspisciously Kaiju like monster that come later, could be a nod to the Kaiju Megapede (see below).
  • Some of the illustrations in The Crawling King could be contenders for this trope's page image.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 
  • In Monsters, Inc., Randall Boggs is a lizard/snake-y creature with a long body and multiple pairs of legs. Basically, his design is a hybrid of Creepy Centipedes and Reptiles Are Abhorrent.
  • Dean Hardscrabble from Monsters University has a centipede bottom half, her top half is somewhat draconic, so she is a hybrid of Creepy Centipedes and Our Dragons Are Different. Downplayed, though, in that she's not so much evil as just strict.
  • A giant centipede can be seen chasing the explorers out of an underwater cave at one point during their journey to Atlantis in Atlantis: The Lost Empire.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Human Centipede:
    • The first film, despite not involving a real one, brings the "Hybrid" concept to a new horrorific level.
    • The sequel does have a real one, though. One who the main character, Martin, uses to attack his mother with.
  • In Attack of the Clones, after the failed assassination attempt with explosives, Zam tries to assassinate Amidala with two centipede-like bugs.
  • The Chinese fantasy-action film, Candle In The Tomb:The Wrath Of Time: the titular tomb is infested with swarms and swarms of deadly centipedes, which devours numerous Red Shirts in a treasure hunting party when they attempt to infiltrate the underground mausoleum (in a scene ripping off the scarab bits from The Mummy). Later in the climax, the surviving heroes have to do battle against the tomb's guardian, a massive winged centipede.
  • Heteromorpha Centipede is a modern-day B-movie where a kaiju-sized centipede goes on a rampage. It's head is the size of a human, for starters, as the main characters found out in the trailer.
  • Giant centipedes appear in the Peter Jackson version of King Kong (2005). According to The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island, there are actually several species of giant centipedes on Skull Island, with the biggest ones being capable of killing and eating baby dinosaurs.
  • A centipede and some spiders appear for added creepiness when the hobbits are hiding from the first Black Rider in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Although they're less creepy in themselves as it's more like the bugs are trying to get away from the Ringwraith.
  • The Sea Serpent in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader sports a centipedean body with lots of tiny legs.
  • The low budget B-Movie Centipede! involves a giant, mutated centipede along with her spawn dwelling in a cave in India.
  • Centipede Horror, in which we have an Evil Sorcerer who uses centipedes as killing tools, at one point making a woman vomit some.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Willie is afraid of reaching into a hole that contains a lot of bugs, including centipedes. Actually justified, as centipedes can be quite venomous.
  • In the American horror movie The Ring one of the scenes from the cursed videotape is of a giant centipede crawling out from under the table of the psychiatric hospital. What's particularly interesting is the original Japanese release of Ring didn't have any centipedes, despite the concept of centipedes symbolizing evil being much more commonplace in Japan.
  • In a Teaser Trailer for the Godzilla (2014) film, it featured a gigantic Centipede-Kaiju that supposedly Godzilla would have done battle with. However, when the actual movie was released, the Centipede-monster was nowhere to be found.
  • Paying homage to classic era video games, Pixels featured a scene fighting the huge centipedes from Centipede. One of the enemy centipedes even kills one of the soldiers on-screen during their encounter.

  • In one James Bond novel (Dr. No), the killer tries to murder Bond with a poisonous centipede. In the movie adaptation it was discarded in favor of a tarantula. Probably they thought that the audience ignored that centipedes are poisonous.
  • Newsflesh has a scene in Deadline wherein we discover that Rebecca "Becks" Atherton, who cheerfully goes into zones where zombies are still a threat, cannot deal with centipedes, even in closed-in lab setting. Just seeing them makes her flinch and twitch.
  • Averted with the heroic giant centipede in James and the Giant Peach.
  • Piers Anthony's Xanth series has nickelpedes. They're centipedes with 500 legs and pincers that can gouge out a slice of flesh the size of a U.S. nickel coin. They're very dangerous in large numbers.
    • There are also quarterpedes and dollarpedes, which are bigger, and dimepedes which are slightly smaller but gouge out twice as much flesh per bite as a nickelpede.
  • Prince Dhojakt from The Prism Pentad is part man and part cylops. That means that he has the body of a giant centipede from the knees down, and also unusual maws and bulging eyes.
  • The Taxxons in Animorphs.
  • The Hundred Eyed Demon King from Journey to the West is a centipede-based demon, who can master light and fire and fight with a sword. Sun Wukong is forced to summon forth Pilanpo Boddhisatva, to whom he surrenders. Rather than being Multi-Armed and Dangerous, he has multiple glowing eyes on the sides of his body, from which he fires Eye Beams. Later on, the way West is blocked because it's so infested with centipedes that none can pass safely. Again, after rescuing the local leader, Sun Wukong borrows all the chicken and roosters in the realm and sic them at the bugs, clearing the way.
  • In Wicked Bronze Ambition, the sorceress Tara Chayne conjures a black supernatural centipede to fight and spy for her.
  • Harry fights a gigantic centipede in Lea's garden in Changes.
  • Fu Manchu kills foes with a centipede that leaves a kiss-shaped blister where it bites (the Zayat Kiss) in his very first novel.
  • Doc Savage: In The Fantastic Island, the Big Bad uses venomous centipedes as his primary Animal Assassin. In one scene, Doc has to wade through a veritable sea of them.
  • One short story by Bruce Corville involves a young kids throwing a shoe at a rather short centipede in his room. Every time he sees it afterwards it's apparently grown longer and longer until one day he wakes to find every surface in his room covered in centipedes of varying length and he's strapped to his bed by them. The story closes out with the boy experiencing a Laughing Mad fit as the centipedes descend upon him.
  • In The Skin Collector, the titular serial killer has a tattoo of a red, human-faced centipede on his arm, kills hims victims by tattooing them with poisonous substances and moves in the underground to reach his victims. According to the experts called for the tattoo, the centipede represents fear, or something which looks safe but hides a danger (e.g, centipedes crawling hidden in shoes).
  • At the climax of the Fimbulwinter Game from The Barsoom Project, the Big Bad leader of the Cabal takes on the form of a terichik: a gargantuan beast from Inuit Mythology that resembles a centipede designed by horror-anime artists.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The giant prehistoric relative of centipedes Arthropleura was featured in the Carboniferous Period segment of Walking with Monsters, where it was shown chasing off the titular Mesothelae and then facing off with an unnamed crocodile-like amphibian. The "fight" with the amphibian ended with the Arthropleura losing its balance and impaling itself on a bush stump.
  • The TV series Primeval also has an arthropleurid (thought by most fans to be an Arthropleura, but probably a fictional species) in the first season. If centipedes weren't bad enough, this one is aggressive and afraid, making it very liable to lash out, has a deadly venomous bite, and is frakking fifteen feet long! It's also a herbivore, so it won't eat you; you're in for a long, slow death...
  • A number of centipedes put up their dukes on Monster Bug Wars. They tend to win, too.
  • Lost Tapes featured meter long centipedes for the Death Crawler episode. Implied to be distant relatives of Arthropleura, they survived into the modern day on an isolated island. After killing an expedition crew in the 90s and a married couple the episode follows, several hitch a ride on the boat the latter took to escape the island and escaped into Florida's wilds.
  • Invoked in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with the shady Project Centipede, that gives powers through a centipede-shaped gizmo.
  • An episode of Warehouse 13 deals with an artifact called the Spine of the Saracen, a centipede-like metallic device that attaches itself to the spine of a person, amplifying aggression and endurance, causing the person to go after those he or she really hates. The person under the control of the Spine can kill with an extremely-powerful electric shock. The artifact was originally discovered in the 60's by a Warehouse agent, who was "taken" by the Spine. The agent chose to entomb himself to keep the Spine contained. After being freed, the Spine, eventually, ends up taking control of Pete. Myka ends up using the Tesla to get the Spine to detach from Pete, at which point it's destroyed by smashing it with a fire extinguisher.
  • Power Rangers/Super Sentai really likes this trope.
  • During the 'Lost Comic' arc of the second season of Beetleborgs, new powerful allies known as the Astralborgs had their own set of Psycho Rangers named the Mantrons; of which their ranks included their leader Scorpix (based on a scorpion), Mantix (Praying Mantis), Hornix (Hornet), and, of course, Centix, who was based on a centipede.
  • Ultraman Taro had a vaguely centipede-like kaiju named Mukadender (derived from "mukade"; see Real Life), whose appearance looked like its head and tail had switched places. It was able to detach its head from its body at will to fight Taro as two separate beings.
  • An episode of Elmo's World on Sesame Street taught kids about bugs (although inaccurately, since they refer to centipedes and spiders as bugs as well), and at one point features a superimposed cartoon centipede on the screen, crawling around Elmo while he urges the children at home to count his legs, although giving up when the bug runs off-screen by around 20 legs. Of course this may be a subversion of the trope since the segment tries not to refer to any of the bugs as inherently creepy, but instead that they exist and we can learn from them.

  • Knife Party has a song called "Centipede" which first opens with a nature documentary narration that explains their hunting abilities, and wobbling basslines that couldn't be any dirtier if they tried.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Oomukade (Great Centipede) from Japanese Folklore was said to prey on dragon's hatchlings and being as large as a mountain. It was slain by Hidesato Tawaratota who pierced his eye with an arrow made wet with drool and was rewared by Ryuujin himself for it.
  • Even normal sized centipedes scare Eastern Dragons, since centipedes like to crawl up dragons' nostrils to feast on their brains.
  • In general, large centipedes (in particular the Mukade, see Real Life below) are considered symbols of evil and decay in Japan.
  • There's a type of cryptid called a "Sea Centipede" that has been reported in some parts of the world, like the Mediterranean and Vietnam, but whether these things are actual giant oceangoing centipedes or some kind of multi-limbed sea creature is unclear.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Calvin almost learns how creepy centipedes are the hard way while playing a game of Twenty Questions involving guessing what he has in his hands.
    Hobbes: Is it loathsome?
    Calvin: Yes!
    Hobbes: Is it some big centipede with poison pinchers?
    Calvin: ...Centipedes have poison pinchers?
    Hobbes: I think so.
    [Calvin climbs on Hobbes' back and looks very scared.]
    Calvin: Man, it's a good thing you guessed it so fast!

    Other Sites 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons features huge centipedes and also swarms of regular centipedes. They're pretty much on the top of the giant vermin heap thanks to their potent venom.
    • One of the earliest monsters introduced in Dungeons & Dragons is the Carrion Crawler, a bloated four-foot-long Eldritch Abomination centipede with eight drooling paralytical tentacles on its maw. Luckily, as their name implies they're normally scavengers ... but will attack adventurers if food is scarce or if its young is threatened.
    • Another D&D classic is the Remorhaz, a forty-foot-long centipede-like monster found in polar regions that has a body temperature rivaling molten iron and eats nearly any living creature it can find, up to and including frost giants and woolly mammoths. When you get Swallowed Whole by this thing (one of its favourite tactics), you're not only digested by its acids, but burned by its scalding insides.
    • The Dark Sun settings has a couple.
    • The stegocentipede from D&D 1st edition is a colossal monster with an armor-plated hide and dorsal spikes.
    • In 3rd Edition centipedes could grow up to 120 feet long.
  • Hollow Earth Expedition supplement Mysteries of the Hollow Earth
    • The Arthropleura is 6 foot long, has 50 pairs of legs and a vicious bite.
    • The giant centipede grows up to ten feet long and two feet wide and has a pair of forcipules (poison-injecting pincers).
  • Arduin RPG, The Compleat Arduin Book 2: Resources. The Yellow Peril is a bright yellow centipede up to 27 feet long. It can have up to 63 Hit Points and its bite can inject venom doing up to 126 Hit Points of damage. It can spew out a Super Spit acid spray up to 30 feet long that does up to 31 Hit Points of damage.
  • Midkemia Press' Heart of the Sunken Lands. The Spotted Green Centipede will crawl onto a PC's body and bite them, injecting a lethal poison. The poison causes a high fever which reaches its peak 2-12 hours after the bite.
  • RuneQuest
    • Heroes magazine Volume I #3 article "Creepy Critters: Insects for RuneQuest". Centipedes can grow up to 20 meters long and their bite can inject a lethal poison.
    • Trollpak boxed set, "Book of Uz" Book 2. Centipedes can grow up to 40 paces (33 yards) long and weigh up to 3,800 lbs.
  • Warhammer 40,000 gives us the Necron Tomb Stalker, a Creepy Centipede that can move like a Sand Worm.
  • Boss Monster features a Room Card called the Centipede Tunnel, a lair with an enormous centipede with the power to swap the location of two rooms in any dungeon. This makes it quite painful when played against you as it can completely destroy the synergy of your dungeon.
    • The standalone expansion Boss Monster: Rise of the Minibosses features an Advanced Monster Room called Magipede, housing a massive, magical centipede who's damage power increases by +1 for every Spell Card in the player's hand.

    Video Games 
  • Aka Manto: A centpiede the size of a snake you need to avoid crawls throughout the vents in the school.
  • Centipede and its sequel, Millipede. Centipede eventually got a Video Game Remake in 2011 called Centipede: Infestation, which re-imagined the game as an overhead Shoot 'em Up to take place After the End in a world infested with Big Creepy-Crawlies (the bosses of each level being the titular centipedes).
  • The Voracious Centipede boss from American McGee's Alice. The wise Caterpillar is a notably aversion, as he's a good guy.
  • Bug Fables has The Beast, a giant centipede and the boss of the Wild Swamplands area. It's Kabbu's Arch-Enemy for killing his old friends and seems to get some kind of sadistic joy out of attacking the party.
  • There is an Oumukade boss in Sega's Otogi Myth of Demons for Xbox. Though referred to as a "giant insect," the "foul creature" resides in the "floating tomb." This recent desecration of "a holy graveyard of Sorcerers" tasks Raikoh to "expel the demon."
  • Several Oomukade appear as a boss fight in Kisuke's story mode in Muramasa: The Demon Blade. In that case, the body of the monster function as his own health bar. And unusually for a Vanillaware game, they're not stylized at all; just completely realistic centipedes at giant size.
  • Huge caterpillar appears as enemies in Metal Slug 3.
  • In Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams, Mitsunari Ishida has a centipede theme in his clothes and armor, and can turn his arm in a bunch of centipedes. As Claudius he's a gargantuan, flying Oomukade monster with huge scythe-shaped jaws and poisonous miasma.
  • Resident Evil 0 offers us Centurion, aka this fellow. Furthermore, the stage-two Plagas and Cephalo are centipede-like. Bosses with similar attributes include Bitores Mendez (the Ganado village's mayor from Resident Evil 4) and the Popokimaru in 4 and 5 respectively.
    • In Resident Evil 6, one of the arm-mutations that J'avo can suffer transmutes the limb into Combat Tentacles that look kind of like this. Though the creature design artbook claims it was actually based off of a silkworm.
  • Bigger-than-normal centipedes are a minor enemy in some Castlevania games, including Super Castlevania IV.
  • Gigapede from Devil May Cry 3 is a giant, floating centipede with huge jaws and electrical powers. He falls to pieces when slain.
  • Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars game features a buildable centipede unit for the Scrin in the Kanes Wrath expansion where the owner can customize the centipede by making each section a different type of weapon system.
  • Parasite Eve also features a burrowing centipede as a mid-game boss. This one takes damage as a whole, but then splits into multiple independent fighting parts after taking enough damage. At least only one section can inflict poison status on the main character.
  • Contra: Hard Corps for Sega Genesis also features a centipede monster early in the first level with really tall legs, only the head is vulnerable to damage.
  • In Mega Man & Bass, Ground Man's level has some robotic centipedes as normal enemies and as a miniboss.
  • Magna Centipede from Mega Man X 2. He can grab X with his tail and glitch him, causing X to lose his charge shot, dash and jump ability. He's also an anthropomorphic ninja robot centipede, which cuts down his creepy factor a bit.
    • A more standard fare (But giant) centipede shows up as a miniboss in X3.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Black and White has the Venipede line. The final evolution Scolipede is an enormous centipede, in fact it's the second largest Bug-type Pokemon out there. And despite its bulk, it's fast with a speed of 112 and now has Speed Boost as its hidden ability- good luck trying to outrun one.
    • To a lesser extent, Giratina's altered form looks a lot more like a centipede than it does a ghost or a dragon.
    • Pokémon Sword and Shield has Sizzlipede and its evolution Centiskorch, which are centipedes mixed with a radiator, having yellow spots which they use to cook their prey alive. Centiskorch is also bigger than Scolipede and is described as being excessively hostile. Oh yeah, Centiskorch is also one of Pokémon with a Gigantamax form where it transforms into an even longer form than regular Dynamax Centiskorch and the heat generated by it is enough to destabilize air currents.
  • The first boss of Rocket Knight Adventures is a colossal robotic centipede that ambushed Spakster in the burning ruins of the castle.
  • Shadow Hearts Covenant has a giant, mutated, flesh-eating centipede appearing in the Wine Cellar in France.
  • Kingdom Hearts has Pot Centipede, a centipede made of spiders (Pot Spiders, pots with spider legs sprouting) as a miniboss of the Agrabah world.
  • In the Star Control saga we've the caterpillar-like Ur-Quan and their even nastier brothers the Kohr-Ah.
  • In Guilty Gear, Zappa, the gentleman who functions as a boarding house for ghosts, uses a twisting orb of giant centipedes as his transition between the ghosts he's using.
  • Gears of War 3 features Serapedes, massive centipede-like creatures which the Locust use as war beasts.
  • One boss in Silent Hill: Homecoming is a centipede composed of human female torsos, possibly a Shout-Out to The Human Centipede.
  • Strider
    • The first boss of the arcade game, Ouroboros, is a mechanical centipede composed of Soviet politicians.
    • The HD reboot brings in a giant mutant Millipede and a fiery variant "Magmapede" as two of its bosses.
  • AAF-04 Orchidee in P.N.03 is another robotic example, also from a Capcom game.
  • Vivid Conceptions has a centipede as a boss menacing the miniature protagonist, along with many, many other bugs.
  • Nygtilger, the second boss in Ys I and II.
  • The first boss of Impossamole.
  • Centipede enemies known as the Lanmola first appear as basic Mooks in the first Legend of Zelda game, only appearing in the Death Mountain Labyrinth. They reappear as a Dungeon Boss in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past guarding the Pendant of Power in the Desert Palace, and again in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening as a Mini-Boss in the Yama Desert.
  • One of bosses in Senran Kagura 2 are the Mikami, a pair of giant, half-centipede women what can fly.
  • Terraria has Crawltipedes fought at the Solar Pillar. They fly around, ignoring grounded players, but as soon as a player goes airborne they rapidly home in like a missile on crack, dealing incredible Collision Damage to them per hit. And like Moldorm, their only weak spot is the tail.
  • From the Bayonetta franchise is the massive Infernal Demon centipede, Scolopendra, Eradicator of Paradise, which the titular character will occasionally summon to crush her enemies to death. It's described as making it's home in a river of boiling blood and can grow over 10 kilometers in length!note  Scolopendra makes a reappearance in the sequel as well, this time in a swarm as enemies attacking Bayonetta after she enters Inferno. Also from Bayonetta 2, Jeanne gets her own version of Bayonetta's aquatic snake transformation, her's instead a giant aquatic centipede (aptly called Centipede Within) which very well may be a reference back to the Scolopendra.
  • The Final Fantasy series introduces the Ankheg, monstrous centipede enemies. They first premiered in the first Final Fantasy (where they were also known as Centipede, or simply PEDE) and their attacks caused poison. They also make an appearance in Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy Type-0, and Final Fantasy Dimensions.
  • Also premiering in the first Final Fantasy are the Crawlers, who throughout their appearances have varying aspects of centipedes, millipedes, caterpillars, and slugs. They've also appeared in Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy XIII, and Final Fantasy XIII-2.
  • Final Fantasy Adventure features the Megapede enemy. Ironically, despite not actually being a true Final Fantasy game, when the game was rereleased in 2003 as Sword of Mana the Megapede was renamed the Ankheg (as mentioned above). They also feature the Crawler enemy, also mentioned above.
  • From Final Fantasy X there's Sinspawn Gui, an enormous monster centipede that is the result of a Fusion Dance of smaller Sinspawns from the massive Mook Maker Sin. Final Fantasy X also features a Crawler enemy, but it isn't a centipede at all, instead being an unrelated Mecha Mook.
  • The Wiggler from the Super Mario Bros. franchise combines the concept of a Creepy Centipede with a Ridiculously Cute Critter ... although Wigglers get a lot less cute if you knock off their head flowers. The Mecha-Wiggler in Super Mario Odyssey, on the other hand, is the stuff of nightmares. And it can create portals to ambush Mario from angles where he least expects it.
  • Yoshi's Story features a very long, Spiked Invincible Minor Minion centipede, fortunately they only ever appear in a single level.
  • The Red Light from the Steven Universe mobile app game Attack The Light takes the form of a massive, three-headed centipede monster, somewhat reminiscent of the the Centipeedle Mother from the actual series. Its made a bit less creepy once its discovered all the light monsters aren't actually evil, just confused.
  • Yo-Kai Watch 2 introduces the Irewig (Mukamukade), one of the many Youkai Mons that's based on the Asian red-headed centipede, and has the ability in insight annoyance and anger in any human it bites. It also has the ability to evolve into the Firewig (), a Centipede-Dragon that can cause people to fly into an Unstoppable Rage with its venomous bite.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2 there are the Crawlton, Mecha-Mooks created by Dr. Eggman that burst out of the walls to attack. After being absent from the series for years, they finally make a reappearance in Sonic Lost World.
  • Pikmin 3: The first major Boss Battle is against the Armored Mawdad, a centipede-like beast with lots of amphibious legs and a thick crystalline-armored carapace.
  • Dark Souls has an optional boss called the Centipede Demon in the Demon Ruins living in a pool of magma, who has six demonic centipede heads as limbs and the ability to spit Fireballs.
  • Dark Souls III has the Sewer Centipedes, fiends that will lay face-down in the water to give the illusion of being a drowned woman, before they attack with their multitude of long, spidery legs.
  • Optional boss Megapede in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, in the arena on Joba, is a giant, robotic centipede. Interestingly, it flies around the outside of the arena with its legs nowhere to be found during the fight; said legs are only seen in its Monsterpedia entry image and on its segments once you blast them off and they stay ground-bound to blast at you.
  • The Fluorescent Flower from Bloodborne is an enormous centipede Eldritch Abomination that is a mass of chitinous limbs and a huge vertical-split maw with More Teeth than the Osmond Family. It can attack with fire up close and spit Fireballs from a distance, and fitting for being a centipede also has a Breath Weapon of poison.
  • The Nickelodeon web browser game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Dark Horizons features a giant mutant centipede called the Centibeast as one of its bosses.
  • Invoked and played straight in the PC Game The Witcher, which features an enemy called the Giant Centipede which are aggressive, 12-foot-long venomous insects that see prey through vibrations in the earth. However, townsfolk actually believe these creatures to be curses upon them, completely invincible and able to reproduce into two if split, which the beastiary calls out as complete rubbish.
  • Ninja Gaiden for the X-Box featured the Greater Fiend Alma, who in her awakened form has the lower body of a centipede-like monstrosity.
  • Tales of Vesperia features an enemy called a Wirbel, a rather odd example of Mix-and-Match Critters that has the body of a wolf and the carapace and tail of a centipede.
  • Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight has the Arthropod Demon Edea, who appears as the first boss in the game.
  • Monster World IV has an Oomukade as the boss of the Tower of Silence. She's a Warm-Up Boss, as she only has one attack and goes down with a dozen stabs.
  • Blaster Master: Overdrive has a giant centipede as the boss of Area 2.
  • Bug and its sequel Bug Too! had caterpillar and centipede enemies respectively:
    • Caterpillars in Bug! weren't exactly caterpillars. Rather, they were a purple bug sitting atop many individual segments which they fired out at Bug as bouncing projectiles, and could be destroyed. Once they lose all their segments, the bug on top would then run towards Bug.
    • Centipedes in Bug Too! were found in the quicksand areas of Lawrence of Arachnia. These sported Saddam Hussein's beret and mustache, shouted "DIE WESTERN INSECT" in stereotypical Middle Eastern accent, attacked with a rifle if Bug was close, and fired insects in Arab garb from of a rocket launcher if Bug was in the distance. Basically, Iraqi Soldier centipedes in an K-A-rated game.
  • Big Bad and Final Boss Orgodemir from Dragon Quest VII takes the form of a giant, big-brained, draconic half-centipede monstrosity in combat.
  • Shantae Half-Genie Hero has a colossal, one-eyed centipede monster living in the ruins of the deserted city of Tassel Town called Wilbur, encountered first as an Advancing Boss of Doom and later as a proper Pivotal Boss. Holly reveals that Wilbur eat memories, and she fed him the memories of Scuttle Town's inhabitants. Killing Wilbur releases the memories and causes Holly to vanish.
  • Titan Quest finally introduces giant Centipede monsters in Act V, lurking in the forests of northern Europe and among the roots of Yggdrassil. Previously, oversided, venom-spitting giant maggots were encountered as enemies in Egypt.
  • Altered Beast (the remake), has massive, mutated Centipedes living inside the abandoned mines. They're as long as Luke's tall, and can attack either by spitting poison or by forming a ring and slash at the enemies with their legs.
  • Nioh features the Oomukade/Giant Centipede as a boss, dwelling in the depths of an infested silver mine. Due to Amrita, the beast is seemingly composed of rocks, has a giant skull-shaped head with pincers protunding from the sides and attacks with poison and paralysis. Also, the first DLC features Date Shigezane, whose helmet and armor have an heavy centipede motif, to the point that his Guardian Spirit is a massive, masked Centipede called "Bishamukade", which is a symbol of perseverance and military prowess. Doesn't stop the creepiness as Shigezane mutates into a grotesque demon with a giant centipede half-merged with his back and limbs.
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has the fallen Buddhist monks of Senpou Temple trying to achieve immortality by becoming infested with grotesque centipedes, a symbol of decay in Shinto. Due to these immortal centipedes (that, more often than not, slither out of their hosts), it's impossible to permanently kill the hosts without the Mortal Blade. Other victims infested by the centipedes include Hanbei the Undying, the Corrupted Monk guarding the entrance to Fountainhead Palace, and the Guardian Ape. There are also the semi-feral humans referred to as Centipedes, who seek to mimic their namesake to the point where they have metal prongs protruding from all over their bodies in order to imitate a centipede's appendages.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved has giant millipedes, genus Arthropleura, that have become carnivorous and highly aggressive, with highly acidic blood they will intentionally spray at you to ruin your armor.
  • In Kingdom Rush Origins, one Dark Elf boss from an extra scenario rides a huge centipede monster, which is slow but occasionally can curl on itself and slide forward, taking no damage and recovering health as he does. The achievement to defeat him is a Shout-Out to the Japanese myth of Hidesato Tawaratota ("My Lord Bag of Rice").
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has Valac, a pair of serpentine demons with eight arms on each body, which evokes the centipede part, and two rows of teeth on their undersides running across the entire bodies, simulating the creepy part.
  • Just Shapes & Beats: The True Final Boss is a warped, twisted, power-crazy version of the Big Bad who seems to no longer be fully itself, and many of its attacks resemble centipedes.
  • Peter Jackson's King Kong features gigantic centipedes as common enemies, able to slither out of holes and crawl over walls before delivering sudden leaping attacks. And if you think that river levels are save, bad news, the bastards can crawl on the water surface to get you.
  • In the horro videogame Kuon, caterpillars from a special pair of Mulberry trees are the source of the titular Kuon curse: anyone wrapped in their silk will come back to life, but will slowly rot and go mad with Horror Hunger unless he merges with another being inside a cocoon. Also, Lady Fujiwara's diary mentions her waking up with a centipede besides her, which apparently merged with her body via said cocoons. When faced in combat, she sprouts a giant centipede body where her neck should be.

    Web Animation 
  • Dreamscape: Keedran's abomination form looks like a Creepy Centipede with Creepy Long Arms, one of which is a snake and the other that looks like a bear's.
  • In the Death Battle episode featuring Deadpool vs The Mask, after The Mask pulls out a massive bomb out of Hammerspace he looks at the timer through a magnifying glass, reversing the angle the audience see's The Mask's psychotic smile through the same magnifying glass with a centipede crawling around in his mouth and through a hole in his rotted teeth.

    Web Comics 
  • In The Order of the Stick Pompey use a lesser Summon Monsters to call forth several giant spiders and centipedes. When Julia face them it quickly degenerates to a Shout-Out of Centipede.
  • In Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, Commander Badass doesn't like millipedes thanks to multiple tours on the Millipede Planet during Millipede season. Highlights include swarms of millipedes in his bunk, swarms of millipedes in his boots, swarms of millipedes in his cereal box, and a giant millipede that vomited swarms of millipedes on his head. He's a good enough dad that he let his daughter buy a millipede despite his issues with them, though he wishes she would stop trying to make him play with her hideous new pet.

    Western Animation 
  • Koh the Face Stealer from Avatar: The Last Airbender looks like a giant centipede whose head was instead what looks like an eye socket with interchangeable faces inside of it, surrounded by a bunch of extra legs.
  • The first Steven Universe episode, "Gem Glow", introduces the acid-spitting gem monster known as the Centipeetle Mother. She makes a reappearance in the episode "Monster Buddy" as well, although a bit less creepy as Steven attempts to befriend her. To make her extra creepy, however, its revealed she used to be a fully sentient humanoid gem like the rest of the characters, but was corrupted over time and turned into a violent, semi-mindless monster.
    • Later we are introduced to Fluorite, an "off-color" gem fusion of six different gems. Subverted, in that although her appearance is meant to at least be semi-disturbing, she's actually incredibly kind and non-aggressive, and in fact resembles more of a caterpillar than a centipede.
  • Adventure Time introduces the Crystal Citadel, a space prison that houses the worst Cosmic Criminals in the multi-verse, one of which is a large, legless centipede creature. To qualify to be imprisoned in the Crystal Citadel the prisoner has to be guilty of a crime ranging from mass-genocide and head-eating to vivisecting entire planets.
    • One episode showed Ice King owning a monstrous centipede made of ice named Ice-o-pede. It was actually quite unruly and was just as happy trying to clamp its pincers on Ice King's head as it was attacking Finn.
  • Godzilla: The Series featured a Centipede-Kaiju named Megapede, a creature with toxic barbs and an impenetrable exoskeleton. It eventually drops the centipede-motif when it cocoons itself and turns into a giant, flying Cicada, and its actually classified as neither a centipede nor a cicada, but a "mutated caterpillar". There was a second, unrelated and unnamed Centipede-Kaiju in another episode, this one fighting in the Monster Arena.
  • From the Daria episode "My Night at Daria's", Jake Morgendorffer eats some suspect sushi from Tokyo Toby's Sushi Restaurant, a place he hopes to become a consultant for. Later he complains that the sushi gave him a parasite, before a doctor pulls out a several inch long centipede that was nesting in Jake's throat! It is by far one of the more disturbing scenes from the series.
  • Futurama features a human-sized centipede-like creature as one of the alien races living on earth. Subverted in they aren't overtly creepy or evil, although the one member of the species predominantly featured on the show was a Lower-Class Lout.
  • Ben 10: Omniverse introduced the alien species known as the Tyrannopede, enormous Mix-and-Match Critters of the Tyrannosaurus rex and centipedes. It appeared as one of the many highly predatory species in the Nemetrix, being the natural enemies of the Vaxasaurians which is same species that's Ben's Humungousaur transformation.
  • From the Star vs. the Forces of Evil episode "Quest Buy", the duo enter a magical item emporium and hear that there's a 25% off sale on all things that murder ... one of those things being a massive centipede that snatches the salesman and drags him off. Another giant centipede shows up in the Forest of Certain Death in the episode "Diaz Family Vacation", and yet another smaller and (sort of) cuter one crawls over Marco in his sleep in "Sleep Spells".
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "The South Bronx Parasite Diet" sees the team's neighbor Carl consuming parasite-filled diet bars in order to lose an extraordinary amount of weight (also taking on disturbing habits such as crawling on the ceiling and consuming dead insects). In the final scene, Carl's body finally splits down the middle and a man-sized centipede creature bursts out.
  • The Simpsons Season 24 episode "The Fabulous Faker Boy" features the Springfield Elementary's CPR dummy "Resusci-Kate" nesting a rather large centipede in it's mouth, that crawls out and burrows back into the cavity of the dummy's ear.
  • In Dragon Hunters episode It's a Dragon's Life, Lian Chu fights a Dragon resembling a giant, four-legged yellow centipede with spikes on his back, a serpent-like mouth hidden under the pincers and the ability to roll in a spiky wheel to attack. As a subtle and possible nod to the Japanese Mukade, it's fought in a bamboo grove and dies by an arrow to the head.
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, when Yoda enters the Sith crypt on Moraband in Season 6 he's greeted by a manifestation of the Dark Side/Sith lords in the form of a dark creature resembling an oversized, skull-headed centipede made of interwined worms and darkness, fitting with the image of menace and corruption.
  • A special four-part episode of Teen Titans Go! called "The Day the Night Stopped Beginning to Shine and Became Dark Even Though it Was the Day" featured the punk band Fall Out Boy being transformed into a Combining Mecha in order to fight a giant mechanical centipede.
  • The Dragon Prince under Aavros's direction, Viren conjures a creepy violet caterpillar that allows him to hear the former and talk to him. The creepiness factor increases when it's shown to be able to spin silk over Viren's eye, to allow him to see his benefactor's ghost, enter Viren's body through the ear and emerge through the mouth having grown to bigger size and being able to infect people it bites, allowing Aavros to perform a brief Grand Theft Me on the victim. By the time we see him again, the thing is now large enough to wrap itself around Viren's neck and shoulders like a scarf.

    Real Life 
  • Centipedes and millipedesnote  are poisonous. It's just that most of them in the real world are tiny and so the bite contains a (usually) negligible amount of poison.
    • An exception is the Scolopendra gigantea, who's 30 cm long and can prey upon birds, even going so far as to prey upon things as large as bats.
    • Large centipedes called "Mukade" are common in Japan, and have an extremely painful bite, which would explain the prevalence of centipede monsters in Japanese fiction. Some common worries regarding the mukade include that they like to make homes in bed linens and in toilets, that they cling to ceilings and drop down on people, and that if they find a sleeping person they will like to crawl inside one of their open cavities (mouth, nose, ears, etc.) for warmth. And even worse, if you try to kill it by smashing or cutting it the body will release a pheromone that'll attract more of them. Hot to boiling water is usually recommended as the best way of dealing with the mukade, although burning them works too. They are commonly known as the Asian red-headed centipede in English.
    • Millipedes avert this more often than centipedes do; they are mostly harmless compared to centipedes, as they aren't as aggressive and are not predators (they're herbivores and generally docile as long as you don't frighten them, which will prompt them to secrete poison depending on the species). Granted they also can't bite humans (their jaws are only useful for chewing on plant matter and are too small and weak to pierce human flesh) and are almost completely blind.
  • Arthropleura, an arthropod from the Carboniferous period and the largest known land-dwelling invertebrate, is basically a human-sized millipede, thanks to the higher amounts of oxygen in its time period. Up to 8.5 feet in length, it's practically Godzilla when compared to modern centipedes and millipedes. The largest true centipede ever was Euphoberia, which reached a more modest three feet in length (but you still wouldn't want something like that living in your basement).
  • Certain tribes use millipede poison to tip their arrows with for battle.
  • And certain species of monkey will literally use millipede secretions to get high.
  • Subverted by small, harmless centipedes that live in libraries, as they prey on silverfish that eat book-binding glue. All but the most squeamish of librarians are usually happy to have a few of them around.
  • Regular centipedes not creepy enough? Meet the Scutigera coleoptrata (house centipede). It lives in your house, hunts at night and has long, spiderly legs. That's right, it's a SPIDER CENTIPEDE. In German it's even called Spinnenläufer (spider runner) and in Swedish husspindelfoting (house spiderpede). On the flip side, it preys upon all your other creepy-crawly pests (bedbugs, silverfish, carpet beetles, termites, ants, cockroaches, wasps, flies, moths, earwigs, and spiders) while being completely harmless to humans, making them one of humanity's greatest allies. They are also constantly on the move, and are unlikely to spend more than a couple of days in your home.


Video Example(s):



The music video "Centipede" shows the activities of an exterminator facing an apartment full of vicious centipedes.

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Example of:

Main / CreepyCentipedes

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Main / CreepyCentipedes