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Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods

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The one-eyed alien Dianoga will consume anything. It almost looks kind of cute, in its own twisted way.

"Squid, cuttlefish, and other similarly baleful creatures are all members of the cephalopod family, characterized by HUGE EYES, BEAKS, INTELLIGENCE, and AMBITION. ... They're jet powered, did you know that? They're jet-powered animals and their heads are covered in PREHENSILE TENTACLES. They're carnivorous and most are cannibals!
T-Rex, Dinosaur Comics

This trope is about octopodes, squid, cuttlefish, nautiloids, and ammonites.

Something about these animals is just plain alien. Few Earth natives can lay claim to having anything like Bizarre Alien Biology, but cephalopods have a strong claim to it — they have two gill hearts, one systemic heart, and blue blood. They are invertebrates without carapaces, yet unlike worms and their mollusc kin such as snails and clams, they move with purpose and have large, staring eyes with Hellish Pupils. There are suckers on their tentacle-arms, and a few species like the colossal squid have hooks.

Their mouths are beaked and positioned strangely, their bodies look weirdly like heads, they expel clouds of ink to distract their predators, they move strangely, and some can leap out of the water like flying fish. Many of them can change colors and even the texture of their skin and they're somehow able to do this while being completely color-blindnote . Some species have donut-shaped brains where their esophagus runs through the "donut hole" note . And of course, they are bizarrely intelligent - on the same level as a cat or a bird. Unlike those animals, they don't learn from any parent - the parents die soon after the eggs hatch.

In fiction, sometimes they're horrible, mysterious denizens of the deep. Sometimes they're cute and funny. Largely this is a matter of size, but it's also true that generally the east favors the comical cephalopod while the west favors its big, evil cousin. Cephalopods live in every ocean.

See Flying Seafood Special if they can fly, and Cthulhumanoid if they're Half Human Hybrids.

Expect Combat Tentacles, Tentacle Rope and, in racier fare, Tentacle Rape. Bigger ones can apply for Giant Squid status, and from there it's not that big a jump to Kraken and Leviathan up to Eldritch Abomination. Not to be confused with Cephalothorax — those also have large heads and limbs spawning off them, but they're humanoid.

While you're here, also remember to introduce yourself to Great Cthulhu, the appointed spokesperson of the Cephalopod Nation. He gets very upset if people do not properly acknowledge him.


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Comical Cephalopods

See Funny Octopus.

Evil Cephalopods

    Anime & Manga 
  • Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet's Hideauze, vacuum-dwelling creatures who wage war on humanity across the galaxy. The Earthborn, sea-dwelling Hideauze do not bother the humans on Earth, suggesting that co-existence is possible with their spaceborne brethren as well.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • The Kraken creature types, which includes the Polar Kraken, one of the biggest creatures in the game.
    • The Cephalid, a race of squid-folk portrayed as physically weak but sneaky and conniving.
    • Zendikar brings us the first true legendary octopus: Lorthos, the Tidemaker.
  • Munchkin has the Level 18 Squidzilla monster (outright called Cephalopodzilla in French).

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man:
    • Spider-Man's foe Doctor Octopus. Not really squishy, though.
    • Spidey has a lesser foe called the Squid who really is all squiddly diddly.
  • Octoboss, a minor Invincible villain, is a horrifying anthropomorphic octopus who straddles the line between Humanoid Alien and Starfish Alien. His head and hands are all masses of super-strong Combat Tentacles. Since Invincible is in part a Spider-Man homage, Octoboss is probably based loosely on Doctor Octopus.
  • Ozymandias destroys New York using a giant squid at the end of the Watchmen book. The movie, however, removes the squid in favor of an energy machine that sends highly destructive blasts of energy to not just New York, but cities around the world, and makes it look as if Dr. Manhattan was responsible.
  • Sonic the Comic has Chaos' final form which is squid-like, unlike the draconic form Chaos went for in the games.
  • Diabolik had to fight octopi twice: the first time was when a millionaire, expecting Diabolik's visit, put his jewels in a chest and the chest in a pool containing seawater and a giant guard octopus (Diabolik planned to drop a large can of cyanide in the pool, but found himself in a hurry and had to jump in and knife it to death), while the second time he was peacefully swimming when a wild octopus attacked him (Diabolik knifed this one to death too).
  • There's also Shuma-Gorath, a recurring enemy of Doctor Strange, who can best be described as a pile of green tentacles with a giant eye in the middle. As the name and appearance might suggest, he's a lovecraftian chaos entity residing outside our dimension, and is constantly trying to find a way in. He is very unpleasant to deal with to say the least.
  • Hive, introduced as a leader of Hydra in Secret Avengers. Basically an ancient weird tentacle-y creature that bonded with a hapless Hydra agent, talks like Q-Bert, and can attach squid-things to other people to raise an army. When Viper is killed, Hive converts her head into a large green octopus to resurrect her.
  • The Ogdru Jahad from Hellboy, being a mix of Lovecraft and Babylonian myths, are often protrayed as enormous tentacled masses beyond our universes borders. They're also the Big Bad of the entire setting, are responsible for the creation of Hellboy and have intended for him to bring them into our reality to usher in the End of Days.

    Film — Animation 
  • Finding Dory uses both the "comical" category and the "evil" one. As mentioned above we have Hank from the "comical" category, the "evil" category is taken over by the Giant Squid that Dory, Marlin, and Nemo meet while looking for Dory's family and it attempts to eat Nemo.
  • In The Little Mermaid, Ursula is part cephalopod.
  • Dave, an octopus, is the main villain of Penguins of Madagascar.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Deep Rising has a rather disturbing example of Giant Squid size, which drinks its prey alive.
  • The Watcher in the Water from Lord of the Rings is definitely this. While the books only showed tentacles leaving the creature's physical appearance unclear, the movie actually shows that it is a gigantic squid/Octopus with a humanoid face.
  • Ray Harryhausen's The Mysterious Island based on Jules Verne's novel features a giant ammonite that attacks the characters when they're working to float a sunken ship the end of the movie.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: THE KRAKEN!
    • Its master, Davy Jones, could be considered this too. His head is basically an octopus with tentacles for a beard and a back of the octopus for the back of his head.
  • The Fetus Terrible super-facehugger thing in Prometheus.
  • Sharktopus combines this with Threatening Shark.
  • Star Wars:
    • The dianoga from A New Hope, the one in the Death Star trash compactor, happens to be octopus-like. They're also called "garbage squid". And they will invade toilets.
    • Although whether the creature is actually evil is debatable, the Mind Rape Saw Gerrera's Living Lie Detector Bor Gullet inflicts on its victims in Rogue One provides some serious Nausea Fuel and Nightmare Fuel just by watching the process from the outside. The thing would've been terrifying enough already even without that ability, being a 6-foot tall land-dwelling octopus-thing that menacingly creeps towards you with its wet tentacles eagerly reaching for your temples...
    • Solo gives us Summa-verminoth, a gigantic space octopus living in the gas nebulas of the Akkadese Maelstrom near the Maw, the unstable and mostly unnavigable cluster of black holes located near Kessel. Han Solo defeats it, by luring it into the Black Hole.
  • Italian movie Tentacoli features a giant octopus that was stirred up by an underwater tunneling project, and developed a taste for humans.
  • The famously scary giant squid from Disney's version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

  • Cthulhu Mythos: The octopus-headed star spawn, and their leader, the Dread Lord C'thulhu, Master of R'lyeh. H.P. Lovecraft had a strange thing about tentacles and invertebrates in general. There's always, always tentacles, to the extent that anything with tentacles will for better or worse be compared to a Lovecraftian horror. It might be because he was both violently allergic to pretty much all seafood and had something of a phobia about them. The reason there's such a strong "slimy creature from the sea" motif in his monsters is because, to Lovecraft, marine creatures were among the most vile and disgustingly ugly animals in the world. Of course, the Old Gods arent actually celaphods or anything else that resembles terrestrial life, its just the closest approximation of their true appearance that our brains can understand.
  • The Lord of the Rings has the Watcher in the Water (a huge squid-thing that guards the gates of Moria).
  • Michael Crichton's Sphere had "Jerry" summon a swarm of impossible squid, and later a giant squid (an homage to the one from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea) to attack the undersea station.
  • The 1957 French novel Niourk by Stefan Wul features amphibious, hyperintelligent mutant octopuses.
  • John Wyndham's The Kraken Wakes is about the invasion of Earth's oceans by a race of alien cephalopods. (Or at least the organic weapons they deploy are somewhat squid-like; it's never revealed what the actual aliens look like..)
  • Victor Hugo's novel The Workers of the Sea depicts at one point a fight between a sailor and a huge octopus.
    A greyish form drifts in the water; big as an arm and half a yard long; it's a rag; this form looks like a closed umbrella without a handle. This rag slowly moves towards you. Suddenly it opens, eight spokes swiftly spread around a two-eyed face; these spokes are alive; there is flamboyance in their dance; it's a wheel of sorts; opened up, it is four or five feet in diameter. Frightening blossom. This thing throws itself at you. The hydra harpoons the man.
    This beast crawls over its prey, covers it, ties it in its long coils. Below it is yellowish, above it is dirt-toned; nothing could adequately express this eerie dusty shade; it seems a beast made of ashes that would live in water. It is spiderlike in its shape and chameleon in its coloration. Angry, it turns purple. Horrifyingly, it is soft.
    Its knots strangle; its contact paralyzes.
    It evokes scurvy and gangrene; it's a disease made monstrous flesh.
  • Ian Fleming's Dr. No has a giant octopus at the end of the obstacle course that the eponymous villain puts James Bond through.
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea has a battle against multiple giant squid.
  • H. G. Wells' short story 'The Sea Raiders' is about some giant squid who migrate to the English coastline and start eating people. They can even walk about on the shore a bit. The evil aliens in The War of the Worlds are also distinctly squid-like.
  • The Martians in H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds are basically octopoids.
  • The Grim in Septimus Heap, which lives in the sewer pipes below the Port and which feeds upon animals falling in them. It's the initiation job (the Task) of Keeper Apprentices to cut one tentacle of off them without being eaten.
  • Not evil of themselves, but put to a nasty use: The murder weapons in The Night Season are blue-ringed octopuses, whose fatal poison has no antivenom.
  • In Pandemonium, the sequel to Fragment, the massive underground cave complex in the Urals is home to an ecosystem dominated by bizarre subterranean mollusks. The most disturbing is the puppeteer octopus: a web-tentacled creature that clings to the cave ceiling, drops onto its prey, chews through the victim's nerves with drilling tentacle-suckers, and manipulates the dead carcass like a flesh puppet.

    Live-Action TV 

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Kraken from the northern legends, though in the first incarnations it was more like a Turtle Island thing.
  • The Oodako (great octopus) is the protagonist of a sad Japanese legend where he forces a girl to marry him.
  • In the Hawaiian myth of Creation, the sun was imprisoned in the ocean by a gargantuan octopus, who was slain by a god.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons loves this trope.
    • The most popular example are the Illithids, also known as Mind Flayers. They are mostly similar to skinny grey humans but with heads that look like an octopus with four tentacles, which they use to get hold of their victims' heads and eat their brains. They are also parasitic creatures that reproduce by implanting their tadpoles into the brains of humanoids, where they slowly feed on the victim's flesh and grow around its skeleton, eventually completely absorbing and replacing the host. Any humanoids that don't get their brains eaten or have embryos implanted in their heads are used as slave labor.
    • And a more straight example would be the Krakens, a race of massive intelligent giant squids. That are also often wizards. They too like to enslave humanoids when they have the opportunity.
    • D&D also has the Aboleths, sort of giant half-fish/half-cephalopod things, with three eyes and psychic powers. Like Illithids and Kraken, they too enjoy enslaving humanoids.
  • The Old World of Darkness had a cephalopod race called the Chulorviah, who could parasitize humans and had plans for world domination.


    Video Games 
  • The Ceph from Crysis are as evil as these things come, waking up from their million-year hibernation to destroy humanity and take over the planet. They deploy terrible Freeze Rays and horrific flesh-melting bioweapons against population centers (such as New York) before invading and fucking the place up with their litho-ships.
  • Ultros from Final Fantasy VI. He's mostly comical, though.
  • Super Mario Bros.
    • In Super Mario RPG the first boss of the sunken ship is a Giant Squid that goes by the name, King Calamari. He has 800 Hit Points and his left tentacles have 200 Hit Points while his right tentacles have 260.
    • King Kaliente from Super Mario Galaxy is also of the evil cephalopod bunch. Though like most Mario enemies he's also pretty comical.
    • Brigadier Mollosque-Lanceur III Dauphin of Bubblaine, is a monstrous purple octopus with fancy clothing with a mustache and hair curls that appears as the boss of Bubblaine in Super Mario Odyssey.
    • Paper Mario series:
      • Thousand Year Door has the first boss battle against a Blooper.
      • Super Paper Mario features a boss battle against a giant Blooper during Chapter 3-2.
  • Quest for Glory IV has cephalopod imagery all over to represent the Dark One, possibly a reference to Lovecraft or Czernobog of Russian mythology. There are also "hexapods", six-legged monsters that guard the monastery.
  • Mass Effect brings us the Reapers. An entire race of horrifically powerful squid-shaped starships bent on perpetuating a cycle of extinction on the entire galaxy every 50,000 years, as they have for at least the past 37 million years. And that's 740 cycles!
    • Some theories suggests that they might have been doing this for a billion years. And that's 20,000 cycles!
    • They're shaped like cuttlefish because they were created by the Leviathans, who are giant aquatic beings, and they remade themselves in the image of their creators once they Turned Against Their Masters and started killing everything.
  • Oodako the giant octopus boss in Muramasa: The Demon Blade.
  • As well as the Watcher from the book, The Lord of the Rings Online has a giant tentacled terror in the sewers of Carn Dum.
  • Some of Ecco the Dolphin's more random enemies include giant octopodes called Eight-Arms. The Prehistoria levels have plenty of pointy ammonites, too.
    • Defender of the Future gives us first the giant octopus, and later a Giant Squid which involves a puzzle to defeat it.
  • The first boss of Ratchet and Clank 2 is a huge swamp-octopus thing. Its big brother also acts as a hidden boss.
  • Squiddicus from Donkey Kong Country Returns and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a gigantic octopus that spends most of his time attacking ships in the background, but in a few levels he'll attack Donkey and Diddy, smashing platforms and swiping with his tentacles. And he's covered with small spikes, making him invulnerable.
  • The Martians from Metal Slug series, resemble squid or octopi.
  • Ozumat, the fiend from below, a massive spawn of the Old Gods who seeks to aid the naga and faceless with their campaign in Vashj'ir in World of Warcraft. He's also the bastard who sinks your ship at the start of the zone. Suffice to say, killing him feels good.
  • The giant octopus boss of Quaria in Bug!, which stays in the background, grabs fish with its tentacles, and throws them at you. You counter by whacking them back at his head, after which he will come up close and personal, using his tentacles to hurt Bug directly.
  • The Mega Man X series have Launch Octopus and Squid Adler/Bolt Kraken. Though they are anything but squishy- the former launches homing missiles and can drain X's life, while the latter makes liberal use of Shock and Awe.
    • Sequel franchise Mega Man Zero brings us the cryokinetic Tech Kraken, who attempts to cause an earthquake by drilling a suicide submarine into the ocean floor.
  • The Xarquids from XCOM Terror From The Deep. Essentially, they're Nautiloids fed on a diet of alien steroids and have a sonic beam shoved up they're tentacles. And they swim backwards.
  • Gohma Lashers from Asura's Wrath, designed to look like a combination of Octopuses and Shelled Cephalopods. They take this to an extreme, being an entire mile or more in length from the top of the head to the end of it's tentacle.
  • The second The Dishwasher game has Squidface, a katana-wielding sword master with an octopus for a head.
  • Kirby's Epic Yarn has Capamari, the boss of Water World. During the first phase of his battle, he appears to be a squid until you unravel the knitted cap he's wearing, revealing him to be an octopus and triggering the second phase.
  • Malamar from Pokémon X and Y. Malicious-looking Dark/Psychic humanoid squids that are the Pokemon's equivalent of Mind Flayers. They can hypnotize others into doing their bidding, and it doesn't help that they are used by trainers for nefarious purposes. Its pre-evolved form Inkay is more timid and less overtly malicious, but it's still a Dark-type.
  • Some characters in The Secret World believe that the Dreamers are extra-dimensional cephalopods.
  • The single-player story mode of Splatoon features the octopus-based Octarians, who fought the Inklings in a previous war and have seemingly returned for revenge. It turns out their habitats were falling apart and running out of power, and they stole the Great Zapfish to try to fix it.
  • In the first King's Bounty game the Kraken sinks the ship of the pirate captain who lead you there. Later you have to face the whole beast, but you have to kill the tentacles.
  • Conan has a boss battle against a very Giant Squid at one point during the game.
  • The Kraken of Evolve invokes this. Its mouth is a series of fangs set in the midst of some tentacles, it had tentacles growing out of its back and head, and its 'wings' are essentially tentacles on the ends on normal limbs.
  • The Witcher series:
    • The first game has a more clear example with the boss Zeugl, who is basically an Expy of the Watcher in the Water, except that instead of having a humanoid head, it has fish head. It also has elements of Dianoga as it lives in the sewers. Geralt fights it by combating its Combat Tentacles that act like they have a mind of their own.
    • The second game has the Kayran, an enemy that is a combination of this and a Giant Enemy Crab. It has tentacles from a crab-like monster. It is the first real boss of the game and lives in the swamps.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising: The space Kraken. Pit has to shoot down its tentacles while fighting it. Despite living in space, it can shoot water from its mouth.
  • Castlevania games have enemies called Dark Octopus, a mutated octopuses tormented by black magic. The monsters were introduced in Symphony of the Night and later reappeared in Order of Ecclesia.
  • A giant, red octopus awaits the player at the bottom of the ocean in Wii Play Motion's minigame Treasure Twirl. It seems harmless at first, but when you start reeling up with the treasure chests, it suddenly appears at the bottom of the screen and comes after you, trying to impede you way up to the surface. The scary jingle, as well as the suddenness of the agression makes the whole thing very frightening.

    Web Animation 
  • The titular Kraken from The LEGO Kraken, a stop-motion film that manages the remarkable feat of creating a genuinely scary example that is literally Built With LEGO.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 

Other Cephalopods

    Anime and Manga 
  • Franken Fran: Chapter 53, "Octopus", revolves around a mimic octopus that Fran had been tinkering on that can mimic people's appearances. After Fran lost it, it was found by a young man who had recently lost his little sister; the octopus took on the form of said sister to fool him. It eventually mates with him and uses his body to host its thousands of eggs.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: The Cephalids of Otaria that showed up in the Odyssey block as a replacement to merfolk (kinda... Laquatus was still running around). They were almost humanoid squid creatures that were neutral to most of the events on the mainland, and involved in their own civil war, between the Emperor and Empress no less.
  • Yu Gi Oh: The Fiend Kraken and Flame Kraken monsters.

    Films — Animation 
  • Stretch, one of Lotso's henchmen in Toy Story 3, is a stretchy, sparkly octopus toy voiced by Whoopi Goldberg. Not evil, seeing as she abandons Lotso with the others when they learn of his past and see him for what he is.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian features a giant octopus that befriends Larry after he provides it with water, and happily sploshes into the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
  • In Oldboy (2003), the main character, after spending 15 years locked up, goes to a restaurant and orders "something still alive". He's served an octopus, which he proceeds to chew down while its tentacles squirm all over his face. Watch it here. Live octopus is a genuine South-Korean dish (called sannakji), but the critter is supposed to be cut up before serving. In the movie, he just ate it whole.

  • Stephen Baxter's novel Manifold: Time has humans breed squid for intelligence, then use them to man space probes. These squids colonize an asteroid; their species actually outlives most of humanity.
  • In the X-Wing Series, Loka Hask, the man who killed Wedge's parents, survived being shot down, but in the process a Corellian limpet got attached to his face, covering an eye and an ear and reaching tentacles into his mouth and nose. Corellian limpets look like vaguely jellyfish-ish eyeless, lumpy octopodes. Loka's limpet serves as a Red Right Hand, drawing a couple of circles around his evilness.
  • Ian Fleming's "Octopussy" features an octopus as a pivotal story device. It kills a major character, but not in any "evil" malice.
  • Similar to the Discovery Channel instance but much creepier: near the end of the Earth's life in H. G. Wells' The Time Machine, cephalopods appear to have finally gotten around to invading the land. One of them crawls out of the ocean towards the time machine as the atmosphere begins to snow out around the traveler.
  • The 'gods' of the Church of God Kraken.
  • In The Exposed, twenty-seventh book in the Animorphs series, the gang uses sperm whale morphs to capture a giant squid, and then all six morph it to access a ship in the deep ocean.
  • Sergey Pavlov's Aquanauts feature an absolutely tragic take on the trope, when the protagonist, a deep diver who's recruited to help to investigate the strange events at the automated underwater mine (one of two operators disappeared and the other had a nervous breakdown), finds what's really happens there. When he comes down, he finds there a mysterious giant squid that messes around with the equipment, and apparently shows signs of the intelligence. It turns out that the squid got injected with the consciousness of his girlfriend who recently died in an air crash, but whose brain was used by her father as a matrix for his AI research. When the plane carrying a prototype crashed near the mine, the prototype rewrites itself over the squid's brain, thus somehow awakening the girl's self-awareness. She, however, cannot cope and eventually commits suicide.
  • The Chronicles of Professor Jack Baling features a hyperintelligent cuttlefish named "Gwendolyn."
  • China Mieville's "Kraken", natch. (More of the Eldritch Abomination type, but didn't do anything evil in the book.)
  • In Orn, the second book of Piers Anthony's Of Man And Manta series, Aquilon is able to communicate telepathically with giant ammonites in the Alternate Universe.
  • In Raymond Z. Gallun's "Davey Jones' Ambassador" (1935), a human undersea explorer is captured by a deep-dwelling civilization of cephalapods who have a culture based on Organic Technology.
  • From the Evillious Chronicles' Daughter of Evil and Deadly Sins of Evil Light Novels there is the "ziz tiama", an octopus species with a face (a reference to Tako Luka) which has magical properties.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Discovery Channel The Future Is Wild project speculates on the Earth of 200 million years into the future.
    • The ecological niche primates once occupied is now filled by tree-swinging, quasi-sapient "squibbons". It is strongly suggested that the squibbons will evolve on to form a civilization. From the same habitat as the "squibbons" comes the "megasquid", an elephant-sized octopus that walks on eight pillar-like legs of pure muscle. Both are stated to come from a family called "terasquids", the land-dwelling descendants of cephalopods.
    • In the same time period as the Terasquids above comes the ocean-dwelling "rainbow squid", which resembles a current-era giant squid except with far more impressive colour-changing abilities than any current-era cephalopod.
    • 100 million years earlier, a variety of marsh-adapted octopus called "swampus" uses its color-changing abilities to hunt among reed beds, and rears its young in puddles trapped by gigantic lotus flowers.
  • In part two of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Chain of Command," Gul Madred offers a starving Picard a pink Taspar egg. Picard cracks it open, revealing a squishy, squiddy thing inside which is still alive. Undaunted, Picard upends the egg and gulps it down.
  • A seventh-season episode of House has the Patient of the Week eating sannakji, live octopus parts, still moving on the plate. Played for humorous Squick.
  • On Primeval, Helen leaves a live ammonite on Cutter's desk as a sign she's returned from the distant past via one of the Anomalies.
  • Several Mecha in Super Sentai and its adaptation Power Rangers take the shape of a cephalopod.

    Myths and Religion 
  • The Hawaiian god Kanaloa is represented by an octopus. Despite being associated with the underworld, magic, and the deep sea, he was a pretty decent guy. However, Christian missionaries associated him with evil when they recast the major deities of the ancient Hawaiians into the Holy Trinity and Satan as part of their conversion efforts.
    • In some South Pacific mythologies, the octopus is the sole survivor of the previous universe, befitting its almost alien nature.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The d20 version of Gamma World has Octhofuses — a sapient race of octopodes, their name resulting from applying simulated linguistic drift to the original animal's name, like most creatures new to the d20 version. Most of them were actually friendly and curious — although there was a large, primitive, warlike subrace, roughly to them as orcs might be to humans in a fantasy setting — and they're considered a valid Player Character option.
  • One of the starting morphs in Eclipse Phase are "Octomorphs", uplifted octopodes. Depending on the background you pick and your "fluff" choices, a character with this morph might be an actual octopus, another animal with an octopus body, a human with an octopus body, or an AI with an octopus body.
  • You can also play an uplifted cephalopod in Transhuman Space. Some of them claim to worship Cthulhu, and humans who discuss it with them aren't sure if they're more unnerved by the possibility this is octosap-humour, or the possibility it isn't.
  • Star Frontiers features a race of land-dwelling, intelligent, telepathic, purple octopuses (technically they have nine tentacles, but still) in the very first intro module. For extra awesomeness they ride DINOSAURS!


    Video Games 
  • Octoroks from The Legend of Zelda.
  • Minecraft has squids that spawn in water. They're a neutral mob, though, and quite passive.
  • The Pokémon Octillery, which as the name suggests, is like a cross between an octopus and a cannon. (it evolves from a revolver fish). There's also Omanyte and Omastar, based on the extinct ammonite.
    • Pokémon X and Y introduces Inkay and Malamar, a evolutionary line of Dark/Psychic squid.
  • The Parodius series has Takosuke and other octopuses among the main characters. The subtitle of the original MSX game translates to The Octopus Saves the Earth.
  • Endless Ocean has octopuses and squid who all act benign towards you, but the second game's giant squid can be periodically seen fighting with a sperm whale.
  • The protagonist of Swim, Ikachan! is a squid, but, as a Heroic Mime, tends not to be particularly comical.
  • Jazzpunk has a giant squid statue as a parody of the Maneki Neko.
  • Fluik Games' mascot is a squid. In Office Jerk and its Spin-Off Office Zombie, you can use the squid as a projectile.
  • The stars (and playable characters) of Splatoon are the Inklings, squids who can change shape into humanoid teens. Their main enemies are the Octarians, a race of octopus-inspired creatures that resemble octopus tentacles.
  • In Evolve many of the animals are said to be descended from cephalopod like creatures. This is most noticeable with the mammoth birds, reptilian ostriches with Cthulhu heads, and cephaladons, which are crocodiles mixed with squid.
  • Animal Crossing has Octopus villagers. They're notable for being one of three species that aren't mammals or birds (the others being alligators and frogs, one of two that are also fish that can be caught (other being frogs) and the only one that's based on an invertebrate. They're also the rarest villager as there's only 3 of them in the whole series.
  • Cuttlefishes appear as preys in Feeding Frenzy: Shipwreck Showdown. They spray ink when they see they are about to get eaten, leaving a dark cloud that will disorient the player, making the playable fish slower and much harder to control.

    Web Original 
  • PZ Myers loves cephalopods. There's even a Friday Cephalopod feature!
  • Oddly enough, there's also a Friday Squid on cryptography badass Bruce Schneier's blog.
  • The Delegation is a mysterious cuttlefish and Zoofights competitor who is ostensibly from Japan (the fact that it arrived three days before the invitations were sent out notwithstanding). The Delegation is later revealed to be just one of many bodyguards of a massive squid who was nicknamed The Representative and referred to itself as SeaNet.
  • The rare and endangered Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus (Octopus paxarbolis).
  • Orion's Arm: Has an entire planet populated by cephalopods aptly named Cephalotopia. Some of the stranger examples of intelligent species are Bitenic Squids and PsySquids, neither of which are particularly friendly to humans.
  • This story, about a Mimic Octopus who can imitate Humans (albeit unconvincingly), and then another or possibly the same one who's learned to do it well. While the octopus does try to kill the protagonist, he seems to eventually come to have some small degree of sympathy for it, since its actions were apparently the result of its habitat being overfished by Humanity.
  • The Kraken in The Adventures of The League of S.T.E.A.M. short, "Tall Tails", is a cephalopod, although since only its arms are seen it is unknown if it is an octopus, squid or something else.
  • How To Hero occasionally mentions the Octomen, which appear to be villainous cephalopods of some sort.

    Western Animation 
  • The first Superhero Episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes had Heloise create a muscle-enhancing squid that gave Jimmy superpowers. This led to Jimmy's superhero alias being Powersquid.

    Real Life 
  • The NHL's Detroit Red Wings typically celebrate the NHL playoffs by letting fans throw octopuses on the ice, a tradition that began in the 1950's (the octopus' eight arms signified the 8 wins—two best-of-seven series—needed to win The Stanley Cup in those years). The animal has been long associated with the team as a result, with even the team's mascot being one (Al the Octopus).
  • Paul the psychic octopus was a resident of a German aquarium known for having correctly predicted the outcome of every game that Germany played in the 2010 World Cup, plus the final.
  • Vampyroteuthis infernalis, the Vampire Squid from Hell.
  • In South-East Asian countries (particularly Singapore and to a lesser extent Malaysia), there is a saying "blur like sotong", meaning someone is inattentive or easily confused. The thinking is the association with blinding ink and being confused and distracted. However, as pointed out elsewhere on this page, cephalapods are very intelligent animals capable of complex thinking processes, and the ink confuses their enemies, not them.
  • Several cultures worldwide ascribe mystical properties or religious significance to Ammonite fossils; most notably Hinduism, where they are a symbol of Vishnu.
  • Chambered Nautiluses have some of the most famous shells in the animal kingdom.