The Alien. The Other. The Inconceivable. The Eldritch Abomination is a type of creature defined by its disregard for the natural laws of the universe as we understand them. They are grotesque mockeries of reality beyond comprehension whose disturbing otherness cannot be encompassed in any mortal tongue. Humans suffer Brown Note or Go Mad from the Revelation effects just from witnessing their Alien Geometries. Reality itself warps around them. Any rules that they do follow are beyond our understanding, as are what motives they might have for any of their actions.
Native to the Cosmic Horror Story genre popularized by H. P. Lovecraft, the Eldritch Abomination has become a mainstay of horror and fantasy works, along with numerous others that derive inspiration from Lovecraft. They are often used as a Greater-Scope Villain, Outside-Context Problem, Mad God, Evil God or Sealed Evil in a Can. If it's truely a faithful alien however, it shouldn't even be "evil" in the typical sense. As they are defined by existing outside reality as we conceive it, most also come from somewhere beyond the stars or before the dawn of time or outside our universe.
Physically, the Eldritch Abomination is only defined by seeming somehow off, hinting at their incomprehensible nature. They can range from humanoid to animalistic to physically impossible to inconceivably bizarre. However, common physical characteristics include similarities to internal organs, genitalia, animals with tentacles, or celestial bodies.
The power of these beings can greatly vary. Some of which can be defeated by mortals, usually via a special weapon specifically meant to kill them, some of which are more powerful than gods, but are often still able to be defeated. In the Cosmic Horror Story genre, however, these beings are usually unbeatable, or are technically beatable, but will result in a Pyrrhic Victory with an incredible cost.
Subtrope of Our Monsters Are Different and Our Monsters Are Weird. Though note that a monster being really powerful, weird or ugly is not, in and of itself, an example of this trope. The monster must break the established internal logic of the work, possibly causing Go Mad from the Revelation.
For specific storylines involving Eldritch Abominations, see the Did You Just Index Cthulhu? page. More candidates for being Eldritch Abominations are: God of Evil, The Old Gods, Paradox Person, and Starfish Aliens. When regular humans look like (or legitimately are) Eldritch Abominations to other species, that's Humans Are Cthulhu. Sub-Trope of Brown Note Being, since eldritch or abomination doesn't describe every creature which causes a Brown Note, nor does every Eldritch Abomination cause one (though it is common for them). An Eldritch Location is not necessarily an Eldritch Abomination that takes the form of a Genius Loci, but it can be.
Do not confuse this with Complete Monster, which is more about evil than (physical) monstrousness, especially since a Complete Monster isn't necessarily a literal monster. However, an Eldritch Abomination who has clear agency and is sufficiently heinous by the standards of the story can qualify as a Complete Monster.
- Adaptational Abomination: An entity which was not so eldritch in the original story becomes more of an abomination in the adaptation.
- Adorable Abomination: An eldritch being which actually looks rather cute (though maybe deceptively so).
- Angelic Abomination: Angels which look extremely bizarre and alien, instead of being more humanoid. Interestingly, while most angels in The Bible look like what one would expect from religious art, some of them do appear as this type.
- Animalistic Abomination: An eldritch creature which somewhat resembles or behaves like an ordinary animal.
- Botanical Abomination: An eldritch organism which appears to be an extremely bizarre and unnatural plant.
- Draconic Abomination: A dragon-like creature which looks very bizarre and otherworldly. Probably also a demon or god.
- Eldritch Transformation: An ordinary being gets turned into a horrifying abomination.
- Humanoid Abomination: An eldritch being which superficially resembles or behaves like a human, or is at least vaguely human-shaped.
- Humans Are Cthulhu: When literal humans are viewed as being unfathomably strange or alien from the perspective of (usually more primitive) non-human creatures.
- Mechanical Abomination: A strange and powerful machine or robot which was created to go far beyond the limitations of normal technology.
- Santabomination: Santa Claus is a strange being of unfathomable power. Though considering he can travel all over the world in one day, this actually makes a lot of sense.
- Undead Abomination: A dead being which has somehow been brought back from death as an extremely bizarre and terrifying ghost or zombie.
- Anime & Manga
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- Tabletop Games
- Video Games
- Web Original
- Western Animation
- Lone Wolf: Several enemies the hero encounters could be considered as such.
- One of the creepier recurring enemies in the series is the Crypt Spawn. These are essentially swarms of human brains with batwings that, ironically enough, mindlessly attack anything in their path. They always appear in the presence of even greater evils, such as a timeless and bodyless... thing in the Graveyard of the Ancients, two of the Darklords themselves, and the King of the Darkness, Naar himself. The thing in the Graveyard is implied to be Naar.
- The Akraa'Neonor summoned by Vonotar in Book 3. It even has the Combat Tentacles.
- The Agtah on the astral plane of Daziarn boast twisted misshappen forms.
- The master, the horrific Chaos-master. Its appearance is that of a vaguely humanoid giant composed of the many parts of various animals... which keeps moving and changing shape unceasingly.
- The Kleasa from the World of Lone Wolf series. A Living Shadow from another dimension that eats souls like candy. Worse, the only way you can beat it is by setting it free, to reap evil elsewhere.
- The Big Bad of the Fighting Fantasy gamebook Beneath Nightmare Castle is one of these, a pile of limbs, organs, and tentacles fused into a massive being.
- The Hunger, the Big Bad of The Adventure Zone: Balance. It's best to let Griffin explain this one.
Griffin: We pan up, and up and up. Past the sky, past space, past the boundaries of the Prime Material Plane that this story takes place in. And we see more planes now; the Astral Plane, the Plane of Thought, the Elemental Planes, all twelve Planes that make up our Planar System moving in perfect orbit, perfect synchronicity, sustaining each other in a meticulous, demanding dance. And then we pan up, and we see a Thirteenth Plane descend. It is a disc of shimmering, living darkness, crossed with ribbons of blue, red, green, and gold. It is larger than all the other Planes combined, and as it lowers slowly bright white eyes begin to open all along the underside of this Plane millions of them, burning with malice and hunger, all of them focused inward and down, back down, all the way down to the Bureau of Balance headquarters. And somewhere in that Plane, a smile flashes across someone's face."
- The Podcast Critical Hit's main antagonists are The Void, a group of insane Gods who inhabit the world's moon. They are all insane, powerful beyond belief, and have wonderful names such as "She Who Slumbers In Agony."
- The podcast Welcome to Night Vale features plenty of these:
- Most memorably the Glow Cloud: a giant flashing cloud whose colors change depending on viewer, that rains animal carcasses down on the town and possesses Night Vale citizens. It eventually becomes Chairman of the School Board.
- And, of course, there's a couple hints that our narrator, Cecil, might be one himself. He's probably friendly, though.
- Cecil's Station Management, who never leave their office until Cecil encourages the listeners to write in to support his continued employment (and possibly continued existence). He comes to regret this when they emerge.
- The subway system, which appeared suddenly and mysteriously. This one is more ambiguous, since the Man in the Tan Jacket, who for all his weirdness appears to be a good guy, advocated for its reopening; perhaps it was supposed to do good things, but malfunctioned.
- Librarians, as hinted in several episodes and detailed in the novel, are incredibly dangerous shapeshifting shadow things with acidic white tentacles, that like to haunt the library and kill anyone who goes inside.
- The City Council is distinctly inhuman, and not in the detailed mundane sense like literal five-headed dragon Hiram McDaniels.
- Less Is Morgue has Morby. In addition to being The Assimilator, he's a kind of nostalgia parasite that gains his power through invading nostalgic media properties and feeding on people's affections for them. When he becomes sufficiently fed, he enters the physical world and begins absorbing everyone in sight. He's been known to make some pretty grandiose speeches, too.
Morby: There is no next episode, Evelyn Hooper. Morby is the first and final episode, and every episode in between. I am the vulture who feasts on time. I am the shadow of the turned page. Your innocence is my ambrosia, your lust for simplicity my bread.
- In The Hidden Almanac, many of the historical events recorded in the Almanac involve eldritch abominations, often in connection with the weirdness-magnet location of Echo Harbor. There have also been a number plot arcs in which the staff of the Almanac encounter them directly, including the time a cult attempted to summon the demon god Corvus-Wrax in the Almanac Test Garden, and the time the interns were kidnapped by a cult that worshiped a horrible many-mouthed plague god.
- Over the course of The Magnus Archives, it becomes clear that not only are the statements collected by the titular Magnus Institute the result of run-ins with these, but our protagonist works for one, and is slowly being turned into a Humanoid Abomination as a result of serving it.
- Twilight Histories has featured such beings in a couple episodes. The titular being in The Pale God is a massive bloated pale serpent that vaugly resembles the feather serpent from Mesoamerican Mythology. While The Drowned City features what is either the Mesopotamian goddess Tiamat, or the creature that inspired her legend.
- WWE's Bray Wyatt could be considered one of these, albeit assuming a simplistic human forum manifesting in the WWE Universe. He is a self-proclaimed Eater Of Worlds and has suggested that he is possessing the body of Husky Harris (Windham "Bray Wyatt" Rotunda's name as a member of The Nexus).
- Parodied by Lloyd Cthulowitz from InterSpecies Wrestling, who was based on you-know-who, was created by the Mad Scientist "Dr. Gene Spleissing" and has been billed from "Miskatonic University". Oh, and he's a lawyer.
- The Boyg from Peer Gynt. "Not dead, not living, slimy, foggy" is the only description given in-play. You Can Not Grasp The True Form, and it is nigh invincible, because it always dodges you. According to the play Peer Gynt gets mind raped, and starts to act and think like it, ending up as a quite incoherent and fractured soul at the end of the play. Avoiding this entity would seem to be a good idea - but as the creature wins through avoiding, you end up playing its game.
- The Nemesis roller coaster at Alton Towers amusement park in the UK (being the titular Nemesis).
- Nemesis comes from another dimension, a dimension beyond our imagination. There are theories, and then there is the legend... Beneath the ground at Alton Towers, something strange and horrible lurked: a creature put on the Earth 2 million years ago. The creature was disturbed during maintenance work on one of the other rides in Forbidden Valley. The creature, angry at being discovered, caused havoc, ripping up trees and buildings, sending them hurtling skyward. A security silence fell over Alton Towers as historians, archaeologists, and the Ministry of Defence nervously began some serious investigations. What they discovered was Nemesis. It had to be controlled — 250 tonnes of steel and 200 men pinned down Nemesis. The steel holding down the monster was twisted and bent into unusual shapes — the steel was the roller coaster track thrill seekers ride today — Nemesis. In a promotional comic released to advertise the ride, said creature had its own cult with its own Tome of Eldritch Lore.
- Nemesis: Sub-terra. All we know is that it explores beneath the foundations of Nemesis... and many tentacles are in evidence...
Tren Krom: You think me an alien... an "other"... But I am of the substance of this universe, and I walked here long before you or even Mata Nui himself.
- Tren Krom exists as a Shout-Out to Lovecraft. However, he actually isn't an alien or other; he was created by the Great Beings just like everything else in the Matoran world. Despite this, he's got the looks — tentacles and all — and causes insanity in those who look upon him. He was also one of the first things to exist in the Matoran world, managing it before Mata Nui, who contains the entire Matoran world in his body, was activated. Notable also that in a world of Ambiguous Robots, he's one of the only characters explicitly stated to be 100% organic meaning that his previous role was that of a Wetware CPU for the robot.
— Federation of Fear
- Makuta was described like this as first - a kicking, screaming, lashing thing of pure malevolence. As a Makuta he has the ability to shape shift into any form and can create Rahkshi from his own flesh, which are considered as his sons. Then he got retconned into a Magnificent Bastard Chessmaster more akin to The Devil than anything Lovecraftian, and Greg Farshtey himself has stated that he prefers Makuta this way.
- The web serial "The Kingdom" takes place in a parallel universe where, because of Matoro hesitating at a critical moment, the Great Spirit Mata Nui died and the majority of the Matoran universe had to be evacuated. In the climax of the story, our Takanuva and a group of heroes from this universe confront Makuta Teridaxnote , who has survived inside the wreckage of the universe for 10,000 years; he is now a proper example of this trope once more. He is described as a horrific 20-foot-tall amalgamation of the other Makuta he assimilated in order to keep himself alive; we don't get much of a description of him beyond that, which is probably for the best.
- Annona, which has been described as a small, star-like thing with tentacles and a room-chilling aura. It eats dreams.
- The first Rahi were tentacled monstrosities and other madness-inducing sea beasts. Akin to Tren Krom, they are actually naturally occurring in the Matoran world, but they are still unspeakably ancient and strange.
- The Energized Protodermis Entity was through excessive backstory rewrites and extensions turned from a one shot bad guy made of Sentient Phlebotinum into this, when it was revealed to have been a mysterious cosmic being that resided in the core of Spherus Magna, and was in fact the engine that set the entire story into motion through the Core War. It can take on many shapes, but its natural form is a silvery liquid.
- There are Cthulhu dolls. D'aww. Great, ancient evil.◊
- Unicron, the Great Devourer, the Chaos Bringer, the Planet Eater. His total goal is the reduction of all existence in every reality to nothing. He empowers his Heralds, gifting them with fleets of vehicles, vast armies, supernatural powers, and powerful insanity. Amongst his Heralds:
- Megatronus Prime, one of the Original Thirteen, a warrior of Primus charged with overseeing all Entropy in the multiverse who Unicron corrupted into betraying his brothers. Henceforth, his name would forever be "The Fallen".
- If Unicron counts, then so does Primus aka Cybertron itself. In some versions of the backstory they are even brothers. A rare example of a benevolent Eldritch Abomination.
- Funko Pop Cthulhu, it may qualify as Adorable Abomination.
- Mattel had the Inhumanoids line were the villains and the non-human good guys were disgusting abominations hidden in our planet. Check out Inhumanoids and this trope's category Western Animation for more detail about the Inhumanoids.
- Many of the Cthulhu Mythos' deities appear in Demonbane. Although the Great Old Ones are treated as just powerful monsters, the Outer Gods still play it straight.
- To elaborate, unlike in the mythos, most Outer Gods are sealed in compact universes inside the Shining Trapezohedron. But Azathoth still generates countless universes from inside, making it the center of the multiverse (and the destruction of the Shining Trapezohedron will doom everything, for Azathoth will turn the whole multiverse into an Eldritch Location once it's free). At least two Outer Gods are free, for neither of them can be sealed. One is Yog-Sothoth (being the embodiment of all time and space) and the other is Nyarlathotep (being the will of the Outer Gods, and since the multiverses come from the thoughts of Azathoth, sealing Nyarlathotep will simply drive it from your universe for a while, then it will re-emerge with another mask in an alternate universe. One of the latter's forms, Clockwork Phantom, is an elaborate version of the Tik-Tok Man in the mythos, being a mechanic abomination that assimilated whole universes into itself.
- Then there's the War God Demonbane, the hidden, second form of the titular mecha. Its sheer size destroys the universe it appears in, and collides with the multiverse. It can also manipulate and weaponize universes. However, that is nothing compared to Elder God Demonbane, the third and final form, who can create an infinite amount of the aforementioned universe-destroying, multiverse-colliding abominations.
- Would you believe that Hatoful Boyfriend has one? The sequel, Holiday Star, has The King, once an unstable and betrayed button quail named Nanaki Kazuaki, now a monstrous Hive Mind that sprouts multicolored extra heads when angry, who kidnaps our heroine and her birdy beaus to his Fisher Kingdom, and tries to absorb any souls he encounters, living or dead, out of desire for friendship without betrayal.
- The Ultimate Ones, the sentient will of every world (including each planet), and their physical incarnation, The TYPES, which hit nearly every point of this trope. Although the specifics vary, they are typically enormous, unkillable, alter the fundamental nature of reality in their vicinity just by existing, and have thought processes that are completely incomprehensible to us Puny Earthlings. Oh, and the reason the Types came to Earth during Angel Notes was to wipe out humanity as revenge for killing Gaia.
- Most of the beings included in the Dead Apostle Ancestors list (a list for the top 27 beings most dangerous to humanity as a whole). Given that most of the beings listed there are vampires (originating from TYPE-Moon), it makes sense. Special mention, however, goes to the ones in top-10 ranks: especially Forest Of Einnashe (Rank-7, a living, dimension-hopping forest who became alive after the corpse of a powerful vampire was disposed of there), ORT (who is actually TYPE-Mercury, the strongest being in the franchise, but it is listed as a Rank-5 since it annihilated the previous holder for disturbing its sleep), TYPE-Moon himself (who is ironically only Rank-3) and Primate Murder (Rank-1, a spiritual wolf created by Gaia, Ultimate One of the Earth, strong enough to annihilate the human race in mere seconds, if it is ever allowed to by his master).
- The Servants. Souls pulled out from the cycle of death and rebirth, because they're remembered in the Collective Unconscious as "heroes". When resurrected as familiar spirits, they are completely immune to anything that is incapable of harming their spiritual bodies, and can consume human souls to empower themselves. This trope is especially true for the more powerful Servants, who can warp reality with their Noble Phantasms (A Servant's signature, most distinctive weapons or skills). To emphasise their incomprehensible nature, when a human tries to use a severed Servant's arm as a transplanted organ (since his own arm was severed), not only can said human access the memories of the Servant, the memories begin to completely destroy his mind.
- Fate/stay night has Angra Mainyu, residing inside the Grail. In the Third Holy Grail War, the Einzberns tried to summon an extra Servant in addition to seven, and got the Avenger class. Unfortunately, he was nothing more than a normal nameless man, who was in life horribly tortured by his fellow villagers from birth to death, "to be the scapegoat for all the world's evil". Upon his defeat though, he can have his wish granted, since the Grail treats him as a human rather than a spirit. Naturally, he wishes for something to take his place, something to shoulder all the world's evil. He got exactly what he asked for, a being made of every evil mankind ever has, ever will, and ever could commit. It consumes Avenger, and both of them are trapped inside the Grail, corrupting it as Angra Mainyu. Immersed within it, Avenger was corrupted and hates all mankind with a passion. If it is ever released from its shell, it would bring forth about 7 billion curses towards the world in the form of a huge, organic tower that spills black mud that corrupts and burns everything in its path.
- Fate/Grand Order has the 72 Demons of the Ars Goetia. They are part of a spiritual Hive Mind created by the Lesser Key of Solomon, a magecraft ritual given will and life. Each of them can manifest across any point of history, and when all of them combine their power they can perform the "Ars Almadel Salomonis" which creates billions of destructive light across all of history to burn all living beings and turn them into magical energy for further magical rituals. Further, the kanji used for their name can be either read "Demon Gods" or "Demon Pillars", and fittingly when manifesting physically, a single demon appears as a giant pillar of putrid black flesh, encircled at intervals by glowing red eyes. Even without any apparent mouth, they are able to vocalize with a distorted, inhuman shriek. Further, they can corrupt and possess living beings and turn them into a physical avatar of their Hive Mind.
- From the same game, there are also the Evils of Humanity, also known as Beast-class Servants or Beasts of Calamity, threatening to annihilate humanity from existence. Each of them embodies a weakness of human nature (as such, the name of "Evil" is actually a bit misleading), such as Pitynote , Regression, Desire, Comparison, Regret, Stagnation, etc. Each takes the form of a certain Eldritch Abomination created by either the planet itself or humanity; the aforementioned Goetia demons is in fact part of Beast I, representing Pity, the Demon God King Goetia, and the aforementioned Primate Murder is actually a potential version of Beast IV, representing Comparison. Each Beast has their own unique way of instilling The Corruption upon all life. Their worst trait, however, is that none of them naturally has a concept of death. Whenever any one of them manifests, the Godzilla Threshold has to be passed just for a chance of victory.
- Outer Gods exist in the Higher Dimensions, worlds that exist above the parallel worlds and timelines that mankind resides in. By extension, the Foreigner class Servants - individuals who have a connection to the Outer Gods, tapping into their powers. That's right, it is one type of Eldritch Abomination drawing on the powers of even worse ones. It doesn't matter whether a given Foreigner is a vessel for the Outer Gods or managed to survive the experience of refusing them with their sanity intact - with few exceptions, Foreigners are Beast-level threats. And the Outer Gods themselves? They are every bit as incomprehensible here as they are in their source material; while everything in the Nasuverse comes from a metaphysical place called "the Root of Creation" which also records the past, the present, and the future, Fate Grand Order shows that, during the very end of time, everything returns to nothingness and becomes one with the Root - everything except the Outer Gods, that is. They don't even originate from Nasuverse's reality: Nyarlathotep compares the presence of the Outer Gods in the Nasuverse is similar to a "vacation".
- Though we never see the entire true form, Saya from Saya no Uta is implied to be a Starfish Aliens / Tentacle Monster-type alien. She also turns Yoh into one of these as her pet. Hell, in the "good" end, the one who ends up killing her ends up traumatized and having nightmares.
- Not only is Shikkoku no Sharnoth full of these in the form of the <<Metacreatures>>, but M, the protagonist's cryptic guide, benefactor, and possible love interest, is later revealed to be Nyarlathotep.
- The uncle from The Uncle Who Works For Nintendo, who is implied to be some kind of all-powerful digital being.
- In We Know the Devil, Venus, Neptune, and Jupiter when the devil takes them. They become monstrosities with symbolism based off their anxieties.
- In ClockUp's Maggot Baits, we have the titular Demonic Maggots:
Monstrous lumps of meat that infest the city. Maggots featuring human limbs, eyes, and mouths, theirs is an unsettling, viscerally repulsive appearance.
Gifted with strong regenerative abilities against physical damage, they secrete a bodily fluid with entrancing aphrodisiac properties.
They induce a powerful instinctive feeling of dread in Witches, though the reason is unknown.
They hunt human women and Witches for reproductive and predatory purposes.
- May I Take Your Order: Talaiporia is implied to be some sort of pain-consuming god from The Void. Which is a really perfect choice for a Romantic Comedy heroine.
- In The Fear Hole, the horrible thing that Antagonizer fights in Episode 7. It's never seen, but it's described with terms like "It's like a sewer had an abortion" and "It's like if cancer had leprosy", so you know it's bad.
- The thing in Episode 4 who looks like Cthulhu and has the personality of a small, fairly innocent child, but in the end turns out to be nasty.
- The Garnet and Gure animated short, "Monsters are Dwelling" introduces us to the mythos of the "Horrible Gods", as described by a surprisingly charming green, eight-armed naked lady who is apparently going door to door to spread the Word of Kar-Goom.
- Boxer Hockey: In this cartoon Rittz appears to be tormented by one of these. Don't worry, it's funnier than it sounds.
- The Aeon Worm from Bravest Warriors is a powerful, giant creature from the "see-through zone". It is never shown in full on screen, but its true appearance◊ is very alien.
- Zero Punctuation, as shown in his reviews of SimCity and The Sims 4, tends to paint EA as an evil amorphous black mass of tentacles and goo. Rather fittingly, in a wordplay way.
- In Aurora Borealis, a music video for a Lemon Demon song, otherwordly creatures are visible from almost the very first second, and serve as a backdrop throughout the whole video, with the two main characters as nearly the only humans seen. Although, it turns out they're monsters, as well.
- Dreamscape: Its Keedran's favorite form to take! She looks like a Creepy Centipede with Creepy Long Arms, one of which is a snake and the other that looks like a bear's.
- The old gods from pilot Song In The Sky—the main threat of the episode is a screeching giant elk skull...thing, and more are lurking in the shadows.
- Youtuber Lumpy Touch took 5 images of Garfield drawn by William Burke as an eldritch abomination and made a series of horror shorts based them called "Garfield Gameboy'd". While some are out of order, the shorts are still well made and feature 8-bit artwork. Music in the background is from games such as Clock Tower and EarthBound. The shorts depict a terrified Jon, hiding from a monstrous Garfield who appears to be hunting and attacking Jon while demanding lasagna. By the end of the final short, Jon has apparently lost one of his arms and his whole house, but Garfield survives and an air-raid siren plays in the background. Animations are added to almost every image including an animation of Jon shooting Garfield in the eye and a scene of Garfield's spider-body walking along the ceiling while Jon hides. Additionally, the animations feature a HUD including "Scent" "HP" and "Detection" to play into the idea that it is a videogame adaptation. You can view the first one here.