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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.


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.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dagomon in Digimon Adventure 02, being an expy for Cthulhu. It also applies the trope more than once - its "arms" 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.
  • The Black Mass in Soul Eater.
  • Innsmouth (himself names after another of Lovecraft's stories) from My Hero Academia is an aquatic-based metahuman with tentacles coming out of many body parts, including his face.

    Comic Books 
  • Minor Doctor Strange villain the Dweller-In-Darkness is designed around this trope.
  • The Flash had an arc where he had to face some interdimensional race of aquatic invaders that had many octopus traits.
  • In Welcome to the Jungle, a graphic novel prequel to The Dresden Files, Harry ponders which type of monster may have killed a night watchman. One panel shows a Police Lineup of the (monstrous) "usual suspects", including a stocky, long-tentacled example of this trope.
  • Mr. Fane from Nocturnals is an unusual example in that he looks mostly human, and manages to pass as an ordinary if somewhat eccentric man as long as he keeps the lower half of his face covered. Underneath that concealing scarf, though... Well, he really does have the face for tentacles.
  • Topo, an Aquaman supporting character sports this look.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • Cthulhu himself is actually depicted like this in the comic-book section of The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu. Also Starspawn, his pets and the "half-breed" also count.
  • Davy Jones is depicted this way Pirates of the Caribbean. He also has a crab pincer for a hand, and one of his legs resembles that of a crab. Designed to resemble a beard, hook and peg leg, of course.
  • The Quarrens from Star Wars.
  • 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.


    Live Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has the true humanoid form of Hive.
  • Babylon 5 has the pak'ma'ra; relatively nice, though secretive, carrion-eating, and smelly.
  • 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.
    • Dalek Sec becomes one after he merges with a human.
  • Power Rangers / Super Sentai
  • 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.
  • While they're not actually humanoid yet, the final segment of The Future Is Wild implies that the monkey-like cepalopod-descendants known as "squibbons" will one day evolve into a new humanoid race of squid people (or "squeople") and build a new civilization to rival the one that was lost when humanity either died out or fled the planet.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Trope Codifier is the 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 artwork for Ymgarl Genestealers in the latest Codex presents them as such. The unit background states the Hive Mind goes out of its way to avoid reabsorbing their biomass because they undergo physical mutations constantly and uncontrollably.
  • 50 Fathoms, a Savage Worlds setting, has the Kraken - resembling the illithid, but they're playable - and don't make bad wizards, either.
  • 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.
  • The Old World of Darkness had the Chulorvia, an underwater race of Eldritch Abominations. They have several breeds, one of which is a classic Cthulhumanoid.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, there exists a creature card that is a huge, unholy, tentacle-faced monstrosity from the deep: Wrexial, the Risen Deep. Also fits under Kraken and Leviathan.
    • Drelnoch is a mutant yeti with tentacles.
  • The Dark Eye has Gal'kzuulim, demons that serve Archdemon Charyptoroth. They are created through a ritual, from humans and krakonier(Deep One expies).

    Video Games 
  • The Mind Flayers from D&D also appear in several installments of the Final Fantasy series, since it stole much of its early bestiary from Dungeons and Dragons. In the original translation of the first game, they were simply called "Wizaard" and "Sorcerer," then in final Fantasy Tactics, became "Mindflare." The official English name for them now is "Piscodemon;" "pisco" as in "piscene" or "fish-like."
    • In the Treasures of Aht Urghan expansion of Final Fantasy XI they are known as Soulflayers, coming quite close to violating Hasbro's copyright (see Tabletop Games above).
  • 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 Ones return and have additional lore, explaining that they were created by the Old Gods to serve as their priests and commanders.
    • 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 Stormsong Valley cultists tempted by Azshara and N'zoth give into the void and transform, gaining a head resembling a Faceless One while maintaining an emaciated human body.
  • 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.
  • The Malachi from later Castlevania games looks like. It has a surprisingly-hard-to-avoid dustball attack.
    • In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, there was a monster with the same animations but no face tentacles and slightly less beastly-looking arms that was called "Ctulu" (sic). the names were likely switched by accident.
  • Subverted in 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.
    • To a lesser extent, the Meklar. In MoO 2, they 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 a Cthulhumanoid form of lesser Daedra in service to Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric Prince of Knowledge who himself takes a very Eldritch Abomination form.
  • The sligs from the Oddworld games, although only partially humanoid, as they have robotic "pants" instead of legs.
  • The prison guards in Demon's Souls, featured in a particular level, are basically miniature Cthulhus in garbs. It doesn't really help that they have a Mind Rape spell which paralyzes you, after which they rush towards you and impale you on one of their tentacles.
  • Bloodsuckers from S.T.A.L.K.E.R..
  • The rubbery men in Fallen London. Possibly a subversion, as they seem perfectly polite and civil despite not being capable of human speech. This doesn't stop everyone and their dog from trying to kill them, though.
  • 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.
  • Naturally, Kingdom Rush has a few of these.
  • 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.
  • In Quest for Glory IV, possible enemy encounters include Cult of the Dark One members who have been warped into Cthulhumanoids.
  • Oddly averted in the Shin Megami Tensei franchise. While Cthulhu himself is a recurring demon, his appearance more closely resembles a kraken than this trope.
  • Kassadin in League of Legends wears full armor and a helmet that makes him look like having Cthulhu's head. He could best be described as a gray-blue skinned man wearing gear that makes him look like Darth Cthulhu. He's a Champion that got his power from the Void, a chaotic and destructive realm not that unlike Lovecraft's works. Surprisingly, despite his power's origin and monsterous appearance, Kassadin is overall a very heroic character.
    • As a shout out to this similarity in appearance, a skin has been released called "Deep One Kassadin."
  • One unique kind of Haunted in The Evil Within which is capable of turning invisible has a unique form of Facial Horror that gives it this appearance, with meat and bone peeled away to form swaying tentacles of flesh hanging from its head.
  • Bloodborne features monsters that seem to be paying homage both to Cthulhu and the Mind Flayers. They're emancipated, robed humanoids with tentacled faces that use paralysing 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.
    • Also 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 one of these in the form of 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.
  • Faceless Void's model in Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars looks like this. DOTA 2 makes his head more similar to that of a hammerhead shark instead.
  • 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.


    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