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A monster with a face of tentacles resembling everyone's favorite Eldritch Abomination, Cthulhu. Using the official pronunciation of "Cthulhu" given by H.P. Lovecraft, the closest thing to the correct pronunciation a human can manage is "Khlulhloominoid". Now say that five times fast.

Different variations exist. The being(s) may have tentacled fingers, or they may have completely normal fingers. They almost always have an unusual skin pigmentation such as green, grey, greenish grey, or orange. They might have a beak within their mass of tentacles like a real octopus, or a Lamprey Mouth concealed among them; alternately, they might have a humanoid mouth just above or below the tentacles. Their strength varies, but they are almost never of the same power level as the Eldritch Abomination that inspired them. In fact, they may act nothing at all like the original Cthulhu, but still, expect them to be compared to such by fans.

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Also note, while examples may or may not be supernaturally enhanced, this is not about Eldritch Abominations, but about humanoids who look vaguely like Cthulhu.

Related to Unscaled Merfolk, Fish People, Petting Zoo People, Humanoid Abomination, Animalistic Abomination.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dagomon in Digimon Adventure 02 has "arms" that are a bound mass of tentacles, and above where those tentacles connect with the shoulders are a pair of eyes.
  • In Franken Fran, the mimic octopus that Fran tinkered with starts out as a blobby body with a head that has a human face but octopus arms for hair. It eventually develops a fully humanoid body and proceeds to mate with the man who had adopted it. At the end of the chapter, he's possibly dead and definitely serving as the nursery for thousands of mutant octopus eggs.

    Comic Books 
  • Superboy 1994: The two most common alien species seen amongst Kossak's slaves are both relatively humanoid with a bunch of tentacles on their lower faces. The first group just has prehensile tentacles as a sort of mustache/beard combo and four eyes while the other has an opening starting where a human nose would be and widening down to their chin full of short stubby tentacles that are a darker tone than their skin.
  • Thanks to the tendrils covering his mouth and his connection to fear, Man-Thing is a heroic example of this trope.
  • Ullux'yl Kwan Tae Syn, the being responsible for the obscure Marvel character Ulysses Bloodstone becoming an immortal monster slayer, was a green-skinned humanoid with a tentacled head.
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    Film 
  • The proto-Prawns from Niell Blomkamp's short film Alive In Jo'burg, which inspired District 9, look like this instead of the insectoid appearance of the big budget adaptation.
  • The Bodati (the alien whose tentacle is accidentally stepped on by Alex in the briefing room) in The Last Starfighter.
  • Dagon: All the Dagon cultists in the village are various types of Fish People. Xuia's father has a face that resembles an octopus.
  • The howling ghost that emerges from the subway entrance in the original Ghostbusters (1984) appears to have a face full of tendrils, if it can said to have a "face" at all.

    Literature 

    Live Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Ood are an interesting sort of double subversion in that despite their creepy appearance, they're perfectly cheerful and friendly, but their psychic hivemind also makes them prone to takeover by genuine Eldritch Abominations.
  • Grimm has Gedächtnis Esser. An octopus-like Wesen that can use the four arms on its head to steal all your memories and leave you suffering dementia. Basically, it's a Wesen race of Human-sized Cthulhu. Interestingly for a fairy tales and folklore-themed series, they were based on/inspired by Beholders.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Trope Codifier is the tentacle-faced Mind Flayers/Illithids in Dungeons & Dragons as pictured above, but despite the similarities Gary Gygax did not base his creations directly on Cthulhu, but on a novel cover.note 
  • The Tyranids from Warhammer 40,000:
    • Lictors always have "feeder tendrils," but many other units in the army list have the option of buying that upgrade to create a giant chitinous army of slavering, gibbering mini-Cthulhus.
  • The Solar queen K'Tula is said to have eventually warped her body into a cephalopod horror, a change so drastic that it was too far removed from the human potential that Solar Charms work off of for her to make any that could enhance it.

    Video Games 
  • In Resident Evil: Revelations there's a new type of infected, the Ooze, who are mixed with genetic material from sea creatures, so, many of those resemble Cthulhumanoids.
  • In Warcraft 3 the Faceless Ones have tentacles both for heads and hands. Bonus points in that The Faceless are the servants of the Old Gods, Shouts Out to the Cthulhu mythos.
  • World of Warcraft:
  • The Faceless General model resembles Cthulhu even more than the standard Faceless thanks to its more hulking build and the presence of two vestigial claws on the back that resemble wings.
  • In Mass Effect, the species depicted in sculptures found on Ilos and seen in Shepard's dreams resemble this. Initially assumed to be the Protheans, they're actually the inusannon — the precursors to the Protheans themselves.
  • Master of Orion 2:
    • The game has the aquatic, transdimensional race of Trilarians. When you add the fact planets named "Arkham" and "Rlyeh" (and "Arlyeh") are there as well, you realize somebody at the developers must've really wanted to do a Shout-Out. The manual also suggests that they were descended from a colony of the main Big Bad race of the game. At the same time they tend towards the "Pacifistic" personality-type, and can often be convinced to simply hand over planets to you if you ask them nicely. Their diplomacy music is also one of the mellowest tunes in the whole game, and even their physical appearance may seem quite beautiful rather than terrifying to you.
    • The Meklar have a mass of tentacles on their face.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind: High ranking Sixth House members who are able to control their transformations after being afflicted with the Corprus disease will sprout tentacles from their faces. Ascended Sleepers are a prime example.
    • In Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC, Seekers are hulking, tentacled lesser Daedra in service to Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric Prince of Knowledge who himself takes a very Eldritch Abomination form.
  • You have the option to make yourself one in Champions Online. Just get the facial feature "tentacles," and for bonus points webbed or tentacled hands and/or feet.
  • Pokémon X and Y has a kid-friendly version in Malamar. A humanoid upside-down squid-thing with tentacles as hair and hands, Dark/Psychic typing, and has the ability to make its foes bend to its will.
  • One unique kind of Haunted in The Evil Within which is capable of turning invisible has a unique form of Facial Horror with meat and bone peeled away to form swaying tentacles of flesh hanging from its head.
  • Bloodborne:
    • Emaciated, robed humanoids with tentacled faces that use paralyzing magic attacks and try to grab the player, and upon succeeding grown an extra, funnel-like tentacle from top of their head and use it to suck out both health and Insight.
    • Amygdala, which is (by Great One standards) pretty damn humanoid. It's also got lots of arms, six fingers on each of its hands, and the bulbous be-tentacled head is a mostly-exposed brain that's (sometimes) also covered in eyes...
  • The point and click adventure game series A Matter of Caos available on Kongregate features Mr. Gilbert, a private detective with tentacles growing out of his face as the protagonist. The setting is such that Mr. Gilbert doesn't come across as too odd. He is actually a depowered Eldritch Abomination who had long ago grown attached to mortals and appointed himself as a guardian of sorts. Between various jobs he hunts down the remaining artifacts of his race and destroys them so that they cannot endanger anyone. For a brief moment in the final game he regains his full power, and he looks almost exactly like Cthulhu himself. Since "Mr. Gilbert" is just an alias, he might actually be Cthulhu.
  • The Ultimate Haunted House has the Squid Creature, which resembles a cross between Medusa and Cthulhu, and is one of the monsters roaming around the house waiting to curse you.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X: The Prone have humanoid bodies, but their faces have six eyes, several tentacles on the cheeks and sides of the head, and an enormous cavity where their mouth should be (the actual mouth is suggested to be further in). Doesn't stop one human in the game from falling in love with a Prone woman (who reciprocates).
  • Overwatch: The 2017 Halloween Terror event added a bonus Cultist skin for the robot monk Zenyatta, which transforms him into a robotic version of this trope. Besides a purple paint job, he gets a set of cultist robes and a Cthulhoid, tentacled head, in addition to his orbs getting decorated with slitted green eyeballs. He also gets some exceptionally creepy voice lines like "Zenyatta is everywhere", "Listen to the whispers of madness" and "Be consumed by the shadows" to go with this look.
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine gives us the Lost Ones: humanoid, skeletal ink beings with strands of ink dangling from their faces, sort of looking like tentacles. They're completely harmless, thankfully, however it's implied they're actually former studio employees.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Vilgax from Ben 10.
  • Futurama:
    • Decapodians like Zoidberg have tentacles on the part of their faces where human have noses/upper lips, though they are smaller than those of most Cthulhumanoids in fiction.
    • Spoofed when Leela crawls through the radioactive muck in the sewers of New New York. We see her body with an octopus for a head, and the initial assumption is that she mutated. However, she is immune, and when she gets to shore she disgustedly pulls off the octopus that got stuck to her face. Said octopus says (in its best Baby Hermann voice) that before being mutated it was a little blonde girl named Virginia.
    • A gag in one episode shows a Cthulhu-like alien buying the Milky Way Galaxy off eBay.
  • The Glorft in Megas XLR have octopus-like heads and cybernetic humanoid bodies. A few of them have organic tentacles instead of mechanical legs.
  • A few of the Sea Tribe characters from Gormiti: The Lords of Nature Return are just like this.
  • The Rahkshi in BIONICLE: The Mask of Light could split their faces open to reveal a mass of writhing tentacles.
  • In Freakazoid!, villain Waylon Jeepers summons a Cthulhu Expy named "Vorn the Unspeakable", who fits this trope to a "T".
  • Squid of Generator Rex fits this trope, having quite a few features taken from his namesake.
  • Karkull in Superman: The Animated Series.
  • Filmation's Ghostbusters had the Affably Evil Mr. Squid, who successfully captured the Ghostbusters even though Prime Evil didn't believe him. Just before Jake dematerialized him, he asked if he might one day join the 'Busters. Interestingly enough, his character design anticipates Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean by almost twenty years!
  • Many of the M'arrillians in Chaotic, especially G'harlag, who is just like Cthulhu.
  • Wander over Yonder episode “The Good Bad Guy” has Major Threat AKA Jeff, Lord Hater’s former idol that got him into evil, before preforming a Heel–Face Turn. Concept art reveals that he was planned to be even more Cthulhu-like, with actual Tentacles, and a more octopus-like head.
  • In the Star vs. the Forces of Evil episode "By the Book", Star, Marco, and Glossaryck see a movie where the male lead is in love with a woman who is revealed to be this. Before they leave, Glossaryck spoils to the whole room that she dies in the end.


Need a Stinger? Why not Zoidberg? note 


Alternative Title(s): Tentacle Head

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