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Fish People

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"They were mostly shiny and slippery, but the ridges of their backs were scaly. Their forms vaguely suggested the anthropoid, while their heads were the heads of fish, with prodigious bulging eyes that never closed. At the sides of their necks were palpitating gills, and their long paws were webbed."

Fish People are a specific category of (usually) intelligent, underwater fantasy species. While they're humanoids (one head, two arms, two legs), they don't look human at all; their bodies, especially the faces, have a fish-like/reptilian appearance. This means that mermaids are not true Fish People, at least not the kind described here. Neither are more human-like sea dwellers such as Aquaman or Namor the Sub-Mariner. A Fish Person's Character Alignment and ability to survive on land vary depending on the character and the work.

While Fish People are most often a pre-existing race, sometimes they are former humans (or fish) who are the result of mutation. This origin seems especially prevalent in Western Animation.

Merfolk can have a similar style, but they usually fail the critical "has legs" check — although the key word here is usually, since Our Mermaids Are Different. The "reverse mermaid" that tends to pop up in jokes (particulary Mermaid Problem-related ones), with a fish head and torso and human legs, usually qualifies as a Fish Person. Since many Fish People appear somewhat reptilian, Lizard Folk and Reptiles Are Abhorrent are also related tropes. Expect them to create breathtaking Underwater Cities. The more civilized variants may have Clothing Appendages formed from fins if they don't have actual clothes.

Like merfolk, they will frequently develop a romantic and/or sexual attraction to humans, though their more animalistic appearance tends put such attraction more in the Mars Needs Women category than Interspecies Romance, and will usually be played as more the monstrous lust of an Abhorrent Admirer than as true love. Exceptions do occur, however.

Fish people are a subspecies of Beast Man, Super-Trope to Shark Man, and cousins to both Frog Men and the above-mentioned Our Mermaids Are Different.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Zed O'Brien of Blood Blockade Battlefront is a fishman very much in the Abe Sapien mold, with legs and human limbs but a fishlike face. Having gills, he breathes through the use of a water-containing apparatus that he wears around his neck.
  • The Big Bad of Blue Submarine No. 6, Dr. Zorndyke, floods the earth in an attempt to wipe out humanity and replace it with his own races of genetically engineered animals, the most numerous of which are the aquatic varieties. Not surprisingly, all of the females are Cute Monster Girls, especially the mermaids.
  • Digimon has a few of these. The most notable one is Hangyomon/Divermon, who despite being one of these, needs a diving mask and scuba tank while underwater. Other examples include the amphibion-like Ranamon from Digimon Frontier, the squid-esque MarineDevimon, the aptly named Orcamon and Coelamon, and whatever the hell Surfimon is.
  • Doraemon: Nobita's Drifts in the Universe: The council leader of the Milky Way Drifting Fleet, Councilman Mazoura, is a fish-headed alien and a benevolent example of this trope.
  • Mazinger Z: The Chip Kamoy ("divine fishes" in Ainu idiom). They showed up in the Gosaku Ota manga, and they were a race of gigantic, bipedal, humanoid maneating fishes from another dimension who raised herds of humans as if they were cattle. Their bodies were scaly and covered with fins. However, they had depleted their homeworld's natural resources and were running out of food, so they crossed over to our dimension to find more prey.
  • The mysterious, barely-glimpsed Water Folk from Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit.
  • Naruto:
    • During the Land of the Sea filler arcs, Amachi's ambition is to create the perfect aquatic soldier, transforming humans into Fish People. Isarabi was a partially successful trial run, but could not fully switch back to human form. Amachi made himself into a perfect hybrid, but ultimately discovered that without any skills other than becoming scaly, he wasn't the ultimate warrior he'd hoped.
    • Kisame and Fuguki (Samehada's previous owner) both look very much like a shark and a puffer fish, but they're apparently just weird looking humans except when fused with Samehada.
  • One of the many denizens found in the Magic World of Negima! Magister Negi Magi is a dolphin man. A trucker dolphin man. With flippers for hands. How he is able to hold things like the postcard from Makie and Yuuna without fingers, we may never know.
  • The Fishmen from One Piece. Their sister species are the Merfolk, traditional mermaids. The two species get along pretty well and can even interbreed. Due to the mixing of both species, it's common for Fishmen children to be born from Merfolk parents and vice versa. Both races have a long history of being oppressed by humans and generally don't get along too well with them. The Fishmen tend to be more aggressive and angry towards humans while the Merfolk are light-hearted and naive. Also Fishmen are 10x stronger than humans from birth and both types can use water as a weapon, which is actually used by both races as a martial art. Merfolk are the fastest swimmers of the sea.
  • The Seafolk from One-Punch Man, which are generally giant in stature and often look more like sea creatures with a few humanoid features like faces, arms, and legs, rather than many of the more humanlike examples here.
  • Pecola: Golagola is one of these, appearing in two episodes. Being a children's anime, he is a kid-friendly version of this trope.
  • People with fish for heads (yes, that's right, fish for heads) from another planet are shown in act 47, in the fifth Sailor Moon arc. They can be seen here at about 3:36.
  • Slayers pokes fun at this trope — the standard fishman in Lina's world is basically a giant fish with stick-thin limbs.
  • Sky-Byte from Transformers: Robots in Disguise is this combined with a Transforming Mecha.

    Asian Animation 
  • One of the monsters featured working with Big M. in Happy Heroes is a blue fish humanoid who, per the rule of cats having a Stock Animal Diet of fish, attracts the hunger of the Cat Planet aliens.

    Comic Books 
  • Abadazad: The Waterlogged Warlock, one of the Elders.
  • Billy the Kid's Old Timey Oddities puts a twist on vampires by having them change into these. The Loch Ness Monster is actually an alternate form of the most powerful vampire, Dracula.
  • Nessie from Boneyard.
  • The DCU:
    • Lagoon Boy is a friendly Expy of the Creature from the Black Lagoon with a Mysterious Past, and his abilities include molding water into various shapes and turning into a giant puffer fish, complete with quills.
    • Gill Girl, a guest star from the 2003 Teen Titans Go! comic, is something of a Distaff Counterpart to Lagoon Boy. She's basically the Creature reimagined as a cute teenager; she grew up with Aqualad and had a crush on him, but is now dating a turtle named Nero.
    • Green Lantern NautKeLoi is from an aquatic extraterrestrial species that breaths through gills and have fins on their heads.
    • In Swamp Thing volume 2, issues #38-39, a new generation of vampires are hatched in a town submerged in stagnant water that have the form of fish people (though closer to fish). Charmingly, they eat each other until only one huge newborn remains.
    • In Supergirl storyline "The Super-Steed of Steel", an invading alien race are merpeople with fish-like, finned heads and scaly bodies.
    • Superboy and the Ravers: Hero's extraterrestrial aquatic boyfriend Leander is green with gills and webbed fingers.
    • The Tangent Comics version of the Sea Devils. There's at least six or seven different species, from shark people to shrimp people, and some racial strife between them.
    • Former villain King Shark is a shark person (and he will get pissed if you call him a fish).
    • Emperor Joker: The Joker uses his godlike Reality Warper powers to turn Aquaman into an actual fish man supervillain who ironically enough hates the ocean and tries to keep everyone out of it.
  • A more literal example is the cast of Fish Police. The characters have fish-like faces, and mermaid-like bodies (humanlike upper half, fish tail for lower half) despite being fish through-and-through.
  • Fishy Pete from The Goon.
  • One of Hellboy's best friends is Abraham Sapien, a heroic fish man of mysterious origin. Ultimately, it's revealed that he Was Once a Man. Abe eventually got his own Spin-Off comic.
  • Atlanteans in Invincible are a parody of this. Marvel and DC both have Apparently Human Merfolk, or very close to it. Invincible's Atlanteans live like the Atlanteans of Namor and Aquaman - the Theme Park Version of a feudal society, Schizo Tech, frequent problems with Kaiju, and a king who unaccountably spends a lot of time on land as a superhero - but they are definitely Fish People, not apparently human.
  • In DC Comics' Looney Tunes title, Lola Bunny has a Burger Fool job with Machu Pizza, where she specializes in delivering food to strange creatures such as aliens, monsters and mythological characters. One story has her delivering pizza to an Underwater City populated by fish people.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Some of Namor's enemies are Fish People, like Tiger Shark (or whale people in Orca's case) and most of the people from Atlantis almost count as Fish People. However, Namor is a mutant, and his appearance is too human to qualify for this trope.
    • His second wife Marrina was even closer.
    • Triton Was Once a Man, but during his infancy the Terrigen Mist transformed him into a green-skinned humanoid who can only survive underwater, requiring him to wear an artificial life support system on land. By the time he was introduced in Fantastic Four (1961), he had become a member of The Inhumans' Royal Family.
  • A Deep One appears in Alan Moore's Neonomicon mini-series, based on Lovecraft's lore. As is common with this trope, he is first encountered in a gruesome sequence where he rapes the female lead, Agent Brears, repeatedly over several days. However, it is revealed later that this is just how his species reproduces, and once Brears actually attempts to communicate with him the Deep One becomes quite friendly with her, helping her escape and exacting a brutally gory vengeance on the cultists who set her up to be raped by him.
  • Primal Warrior Draco Azul: The first Diablos that Draco Azul is shown fighting is a humanoid creature with a fishlike head and fins.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles examples:
  • In the 1954 Scrooge McDuck comic The Secret of Atlantis, the protagonists discover the titular lost city deep underwater is populated with these, who have developed an advanced undersea civilization.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Avatar: The Way of Water: The seashore-dwelling Na'vis such as the Metkayina, compared to forest Na'vis like the Omaticaya. In addition to their skin being a lighter shade of blue, their tails are more akin to a fishtail, they have fin-like appendages on their arms to swim better, and they have nictitating membranes to better protect their eyes from the water.
  • The monsters from They Bite are also Fish People who interrupt the shooting of a feminist porno movie while raping the actresses.
  • One of the demons in horror B-Movie Demons At The Door looks an awful lot like this trope. He also tries to rape a girl in the shower.
  • Sandy Collara's short film "Shallow Water" features a turtle-man called the tiburonera ("he who hunts sharks"). While the tiburonera combines humanoid with reptilian (rather than fishlike) properties, it clearly pays homage to the Creature from the Black Lagoon in his design. In a Twist Ending they are revealed not to be Always Chaotic Evil; the one pursuing the protagonist was, but the rest of the tribe seem to be okay.
  • Aquaman features the denizens of the Fisherman Kingdom, who are close in appearance to mermaids, but their faces are still distinctly inhuman and their bodies are scaled. The same movie features the Kingdom of the Brine, composed of crustacean people, and the Trench, which contains swarms of monstrosities that vaguely resemble a fusion of a human with a deep-sea anglerfish, but whose demeanor is not even remotely human. Ultimately, Aquaman is able to command the Trench monsters, who fight for him in the final battle.
  • The Mad Scientist in Blood Waters of Dr. Z turn himself into this, then kills his enemies and tries to find a woman to reproduce with. He is convinced that he can start a new "master race" of weird catfish-looking people.
  • Cold Skin is about a colony of these who get into a feud with a lighthouse keeper. In an inversion of the usual trend of fish men going after human women, this guy keeps a fish woman as basically a sex slave, so it's implied that the constant attacks on his lighthouse are, at least partly, attempts to rescue her.
  • The Creature from the Black Lagoon (a.k.a. the Gill-Man) is probably the most famous (and imitated) Fish Person, and certainly the Trope Codifier for movies. He starred in three films — the self-titled first movie and its sequels Revenge of the Creature and The Creature Walks Among Us. He's become one of the Universal Horror monsters, allowing him to co-star in Spin-Offs and merchandise with Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster and The Mummy, among others.
  • Although we never see the title monster in Cthulhu, the protagonist does encounter these creatures in a pitch-dark tunnel beneath Rivermouth.
    "There were things, and they were everywhere! They were on the ground, they were on the ceiling, they were everywhere!"
  • Dagon (2001) is a loose adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft's The Shadow Over Innsmouth, with its Deep One hybrids more tentacley than the more icthyoid Half-Human Hybrids of the book (surprisingly, not every Lovecraft monster had tentacles). The actual Deep Ones never show up and are replaced with a mass of tentacles and bad CGI that we're told is Dagon himself. Like quite a few B-Movie instances of this trope (and unlike in the book), this version of Dagon likes to molest human women.
  • '60s B-Movie Destination Inner Space is about one of these terrorizing the Underwater Base of some deep sea researchers and their cook, James Hong. The monster turns out to actually be an alien, but he looks like this trope and seems a lot more comfortable in the water than on land.
  • Godzilla vs. Hedorah has a very odd and out of place scene where a man drunkenly hallucinates humans with fish heads.
  • Abe Sapien from Hellboy and its sequel, Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
  • The monsters in The Horror of Party Beach resemble this trope (with a mouthful of what look like hot dogs), though we're told they're actually giant protozoa wrapped around the bones of drowned sailors. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but then, it's a bad movie.
  • Roger Corman gave us Humanoids from the Deep, about a bunch of fish people who want to come ashore and, well, knock up the local gals. Oddly enough, this is something of a running theme in fish people-related horror stories, though this is a more explicitly rapey example than usual.
  • Island of the Fishmen, a 1979 Italian movie, is naturally full of these things. As in Aquaman above, they're supposed to be descendants of the Atlanteans who adapted to life in the water, although a Mad Scientist finds a way to turn other people into this as well, so they can help excavate some Underwater Ruins for him. They have some kind of fascination for the movie's heroine, played by Barbara Bach, which could certainly be interpreted as sexual attraction, but they seem distinctly respectful of her, even saving her life at the movie's climax.
  • The Ur-Example for visual media is probably the 1929 film version of Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island, with some really Ugly Cute undersea beings.
  • The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu has Starspawn and his pets as fish people; they're weakened from being away from the ocean. Also there was a curious "Half-Breed" show, probably offspring of one of the many rapings we hear about in the movie.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean, Davy Jones and his damned crew steadily mutate into fishy (or at least, sea-based) creatures over the decades of service on the Flying Dutchman. E.g. Davy Jones' beard has turned into tentacles like those of an octopus.
  • The Shape of Water focuses on a creature, listed in the credits simply as "Amphibian Man", who is discovered in the Amazon. He can become luminescent when touched and can heal himself and others, up to and including changing the scars on a woman's neck into gills. In an aversion to the rapey trend in the last few examples, the Amphibian Man's sexual interest in the heroine is portrayed as romantic, and indeed, is one she fully reciprocates, and there are hints that she herself might be something a bit like what he is. The film itself was adapted from a rejected pitch for a remake of Creature from the Black Lagoon in which the Creature and the girl lived happily ever after together in the end.
  • Star Wars:
    • Kit Fisto from the prequels, though he's a bit of a squidman.
    • Gungans, including the notorious Jar Jar Binks, though they're more amphibian people.
    • In the original trilogy, Mon Calamari like Admiral Ackbar ("It's a TRAP!") and this dancer. It seems odd, but they can squeeze those hands and feet into human-shaped boots and gloves as needed. From the same planet we get the Quarren, who are even more squidlike than Kit.
    • The Star Wars Expanded Universe has a number of aquatic sentients, most of whom are fishy in nature. One of them, the Rakatan species (who even bear a passing resemblance to Mon Calamari), were the very first galactic superpower in the Star Wars universe, reigning even over the primitive humans of Coruscant 30,000 years before the events of the original 1977 film as part of their "Infinite Empire."
  • The 2019 Survival Horror film Sweetheart has a woman wash up on a deserted island inhabited only by a particularly nasty (and distinctly sharklike) example of this trope.
  • Underwater: The survivors of the underwater drilling rig station attempting to escape from the devastated facility have their efforts hampered by the fact they're also being stalked and hunted by abyssal humanoid creatures. It turns out these are actually the minions of a gargantuan, tentacled Eldritch Abomination identified by the director as Cthulhu himself, meaning the fish people are actually Deep Ones.

  • The Fighting Fantasy gamebook world of Titan features the Fish Men, a race created by an Evilutionary Biologist sorcerer who blended a number of unwilling humans with fish. They tend to be solitary, cruel, and hostile to humans, attacking them with tridents when the humans intrude on their territory or simply to steal the humans' riches.
  • Stormslayer have an adventure in the Eelsea, where you drink a potion that turns you into a fish-human to explore an underwater cavern.

  • Ur-Example: The titular character/monster in Robert W. Chambers' 1899 story "The Harbor-Master" is one of these, and also a good example of such creatures developing an unusual interest in human women. His fascination with the heroine comes across more as curiosity than attempted rape, and he is a classic Non-Malicious Monster. This story is thought to have been a big part of the basis for...
  • H. P. Lovecraft:
    • The Deep Ones from The Shadow Over Innsmouth are the Trope Codifier for literature. They, too, want to have sex with humans, and they bring good fortune to a remote fishing village that will give them what they want (although the story is more focused on the resulting Half-Human Hybrids than the act itself). Unlike in most adaptations of the story, Lovecraft's Deep Ones do not rape anybody; they seduce with shiny trinkets and plentiful fishing. Additionally, all the individual pairings we are told about were between female Deep Ones and human men. Also unlike most examples of this trope, they are shown to have an extremely sophisticated culture that the story goes out of its way to praise, since they live almost forever and can devote most of their time to honing their skills; in particular, they produce a lot of jewelry of an unsettling but undeniable beauty. They also have some duty to Cthulhu in bringing about The End of the World as We Know It but they don't seem to be particularly dedicated to it.
      ... but some day, if they remembered, they would rise again for the tribute Great Cthulhu craved.
    • "Dagon" (which came before Shadow Over Innsmouth) features a similiar creature of truly monstrous size. The two stories are obliquely tied together, as the people of Innsmouth are said to pray to Dagon.
    • The Doom That Came to Sarnath features the city of Ib, whose inhabitants straddle the line between this trope and Frog Men. Their human neighbours, disgusted by their nonhuman features, annihilate the Ib-folk, conquer their city and bring the idol of the Ib god, Bokrug, the detestable Water Lizard, into their own city, Sarnath, as a trophy. This proves to be a terrible mistake, as the title suggests.
    • The Dreamlands briefly mentions the Gnorri, ("Gnor" for singular), who are described as resembling coral-bearded three-armed human men from the waist up and with a lower body resembling a giant octopus' tentacle. Unlike Deep Ones, they're completely unmalicious.
  • Unsurprisingly, as the series is inspired by Lovecraftian lore, Whyborne and Griffin has the ketoi, a warrior species of fish people. Like Innsmouth, many of them are hybrids who appear human, but can return to the see and live as a fish person if they so choose. They also have different personalities and morality from fish person-to-fish person, and ketoi have their own set of culture, religion, and even a government lead by matriarchal elders.
  • Animorphs has a rather odd book (#36, The Mutation) in which the protagonists discover an underwater race of these called the Nartec. They're not aliens, but humans who have been severely mutated over generations. They're amphibians, but they've degenerated so much that few can actually live on land for long. They kill normal humans to get new DNA and keep their species going.
  • Barlowe's Guide To Extraterrestrials depicts a Guild Steersman from Dune as resembling this trope.
  • The Boojumverse has a human subspecies called "gillies", disliked by ordinary humans but valued because they are capable of surviving extreme conditions. They're the Boojumverse equivalent of the Deep Ones from the Cthulhu Mythos, complete with occasional reference to their "cold fishy gods".
  • From C. S. Lewis:
    • In The Silver Chair (the fourth installment published in The Chronicles of Narnia, and the sixth in terms of In-Universe chronology), Puddleglum the Marsh-wiggle straddles the line between this trope and Frog Men.
    • In Perelandra (the second installment in The Space Trilogy), the open oceans of Venus are inhabited with a species of bioluminescent Humanoid Aliens with gills and fins. They're not sapient, but Ransom theorises that these literal sea monkeys are the evolutionary ancestors of the King and Queen of Perelandra.
  • A race of marsh dwellers referred to as "Grik-toads" combining lizard and froglike features are encountered on an isolated island in the Destroyermen series.
  • The Diogenes Club story "The Case of the French Spy" revolves around a seaside town with a local legend about a strange gilled man who came ashore during the Napoleonic Wars and was taken prisoner on the assumption that he was a French spy. It's never established where the fish man came from, although there are a couple of hints that he might be related to Lovecraft's Deep Ones (who are known to exist in the Diogenes universe, as several stories feature Janice Marsh "of the Innsmouth Marshes").
  • Michael Reaves and Steve Perry's novel Dome 1987 is set at a futuristic undersea research lab. One of its residents volunteers to be genetically modified into a fish person in order to better survive the underwater environment.
  • The Fomor in The Dresden Files. A coalition of supernatural races that was driven into the sea by their rivals several thousand years ago, and so were forced to biologically engineer themselves to survive in their new environment.
  • David J. Schow's short story "Gills" features Manphibian, a Captain Ersatz of the Creature from the Black Lagoon who has entered Show Business.
  • Robert Fishman from Invisible Werewolf Dracula Meets Vampire Mummy Frankenstein. Much like a certain movie monster, he's also the only one of his kind.
  • The Laundry Files combines The Cthulhu Mythos with The Cold War, and in keeping with the Mythos, has its own version of the Deep Ones (codename ʙʟᴜᴇ ʜᴀᴅᴇs). Just like the original, they can interbreed with humans. Also, their civilization predates humanity by several million years and has technology to match. We take great care not to piss them off.
  • In the German booklet series Maddrax there are the hydrites. They look like upright fishes, but seem to be amphibians, as they can survive on land. The hydrites live in large cities on the seabed, and are a peaceful and highly developed civilization. Pacifism is so important to them that most of their weapons are designed to stun their opponents instead of killing them. Most of them despise the humans and call them barbarians, but some of them are also friends with humans. Hydrites also have sharp teeth, which is why, despite their generally good-natured nature, they have a terrifying effect. In their past, however, they were a very brutal and belligerent species. But the reason was that they had eaten meat. When hydrites eat meat, they become vicious and aggressive, and chase their prey because it puts them in a pleasant intoxication.
    • Some hydrites fall in love with humans, and have common descendants with them. These are called mendrites. They look almost like humans, but they have clear fish characteristics.
  • Man After Man: An Anthropology of the Future features the post-human Aquamorphs, who are humans who have been genetically altered to survive in aquatic environments. Over time, the Aquamorphs are replaced by the Aquatics, who appear closer to seals or small whales than true fish and who have the ability to reproduce more Aquatics, unlike the artificially produced Aquamorphs. By the end of the book, the Aquatics who settled the ocean floor are the only humanoids remaining on Earth, and it is implied that they will ultimately recolonize the surface (they can do this because they have, over time, developed a membranous bubble which can be attached to the wearer and hold water in a tight seal, allowing them to visit dry land for an unspecified period of time).
  • The Evilutionary Biologists in Jack Chalker's The Moreau Factor developed at least three species of aquatic Half-Human Hybrids: a race of fish people was one of them.
  • Revelation Space Series have engineered sentient species created on Europa by mixing human and fish genes called Denizens.
  • Emily Rodda's Rowan of Rin books have a race of fish-people called the Maris.
  • The Scar by China Miéville has several aquatic races, most notably the Grindylow. Also the simply-named Menfish.
  • The Kuzubis from the Kadingir series are a friendly example. They are humanoid descendants of dolphins, with blue smooth skin and both fins and lungs. They are an advanced civilization, with great Psychic Powers and very subdued emotions. They are also very calm and rational people, except when they are not; then they become pirates.
  • The Slayers novels feature this too (obviously, since the anime was based off them). There are apparently several varieties of fish people of varying degrees of icthyism, but Nunsa, the one who appears in the first novel, takes the cake; talking and walking around on land are his only concessions to the "people" part of the trope. When Zolf tells him to kiss Lina to gross her out, he comments that he's considered the most desirable mate in his school (the best catch, you might say), then sits down and waits patiently. When quizzed, he claims he's waiting for the eggs, since he's not sure what kissing is, but is vaguely aware it's related to mating.
  • A microscopic version of this trope appears in "Surface Tension", a short story by James Blish. A colony ship crashes on a planet virtually devoid of land, so they create (via genetic engineering) tiny aquatic humans to carry on their legacy after they've died.
  • The Fish Footman in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a toned-down example: simply an anthropomorphic fish in a story full of anthropomorphic animals.
  • Mermaid's Song: There are two main races of merfolk, Merras and Ghrismogs. Merras look like traditional merfolk with dolphin tails, while Ghrismogs have more fish-like upper halves.
  • The Mermaid Variations: Merfolk live in the lunar seas, but because those seas are dry, lunar merfolk are the reverse of earth merfolk — they have the legs of a human and the upper body of a fish.
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: Scaly Folk of the "fishy-snaky kinds" are found living in the seas. They can range from knee-high to ten feet tall or more, and have webbed hands. They are often very knowledgeable and wise, but may be unfriendly to the Tourists.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Beetleborgs: A Monster of the Week in the episode "Something Fishy" is one of these. Initially believed to be the local legend "Charterville Charlie", a creature described as half-man, half-tuna, it turns out to be Swamp Scumoid, the latest monster from the Beetleborgs comics. (Unlike most monsters in the series, Swamp Scumoid didn't come from the source footage of Juukou B-Fighter; its suit was later used for the gigantic title character of the movie Kraa The Sea Monster.)
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Go Fish" the Sunnydale High swim team mutates into fish dudes due to their coach giving them illegal, Soviet fish-based steroids. Unusually for monsters in a Buffy episode, they all lived Happily Ever After in the ocean — although they did lose their human personalities, so the swim team essentially died.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Fish People in "The Underwater Menace" are mutated humans: after the city of Atlantis sank below the sea, some of the citizens were modified to be able to survive underwater without protective clothing, so they could go out and gather food for the city.
    • "The Sea Devils" and "Warriors of the Deep" feature a race of sea-dwelling reptile people who evolved millions of years ago and then went into hibernation before being woken by the encroachment of the upstart mammal humans.
    • "The Doctor's Daughter": The Hath are aliens with fish-like heads and a generally humanoid body plan (just how humanoid isn't visible, since they're wearing protective suits so they can survive out of water).
    • "The Vampires of Venice": The "vampires" are actually Saturnynians, fish-like aliens with insectoid exoskeletons.
    • "The Caretaker": One of the unseen adventures the Doctor and Clara go on in the opening montage involves fish people.
    • The Expanded Universe has the Krill and the Selachians, as well as one-time Doctor Who Magazine companion Destrii.
  • The wormhole-researching Pathfinders in the Farscape two-part episode "Self-Inflicted Wounds", and Oo-Nii in another two-parter, "What Was Lost".
  • In Li'l Horrors, Webster Swampson is a piscine boy based on various sea monsters.
  • Old Gregg from The Mighty Boosh. Legendary fish. Some say he's half man, half fish. Others say it's more of a 70/30 split. Whatever the percentage, he's one fishy bastard. In keeping with the fishy theme, Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy features a character named Daddy Push who has a winkle-shell for a head.
  • Monster Warriors: In "Curse of the Lagoon Man", the legendary Lagoon Man, a nocturnal creature that's known for devouring humans whole, hits Capital City — and the gang must track him down before dawn.
  • Uncle Gilbert in The Munsters is a Creature from the Black Lagoon Expy up to even having a chest as luggage.
  • No Heroics had a character who was half fish. Specifically, he had the smell, the taste and was white meat...
  • The One Step Beyond (1959) episode "Ordeal on Locust Street" is about Jason Parish, a young man in turn of the 20th century Boston whose family hides him from the world because he has a deformity that gives him the appearance of a fish person. Or so we're told, because all we see of Jason is one scaly hand before a hypnotist somehow psychically heals him, giving him a normal appearance.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In "Trial by Fire", the aliens are an aquatic species whose ships have a liquid environment.
    • In "Rule of Law", the Medusans are crustacean-like humanoids who lay eggs.
  • The kleptomaniac (or at least both the individuals we've seen) Blowfish race in Torchwood.
  • Ragon, one of the most famous monsters in Ultra Q, is a fishy humanoid that looks sorta like a Japanese take on the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
  • Not surprisingly, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea featured fish people in a couple of episodes.
    • In "The Mermaid", Captain Crane captures, well, a mermaid. Unfortunately, her companion turns out to be a Creature from the Black Lagoon-type monster who wreaks havoc aboard the Seaview.
    • The tiutlar monsters in "Deadly Amphibians", who look like a cross between the Creature and the Mutant from This Island Earth, are even less friendly. They're an ancient race trapped in caves the beneath the ocean floor, but they invent sonic weaponry to help them escape. Their leader regards humans as "a sub-species, to be used or discarded at our will", and he wants to use the Seaview to Take Over the World. They also convert Kowalski into one of them both physically and mentally, but his physical mutation is a Bit-by-Bit Transformation and he's back to normal by the end of the story.

  • The "Forevers" from Planet Y in the Ayreon saga.
  • Kate Bush's label is called Fish People. Its mascot is a person whose head is a fish.
  • UK Hard trance label Tinrib stands out as having a nautical theme, complete with one of these as their mascot.
  • "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Fishmen", a musical abridgement of The Shadow Over Innsmouth
  • Barnes & Barnes' "The Fish People Of Berodenon".
  • The lyrics of Dethklok's "Go Into The Water" say that humans will someday make a mass exodus to the ocean and live underwater, where we will devolve into fish people and then build an army with which to conquer the surface and flood it.
  • The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets have a few songs relevant to the discussion, most notably "The Innsmouth Look", about a Cute Monster Girl version of this trope.

    Myths & Religion 
  • One legend pertaining to the legendary Merovingian Dynasty claims that they were descendants of Fish People. The writers of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, and The Da Vinci Code decided to interpret this as that they were in fact the descendants of Jesus Christ, since early Christians used a stylized fish as their symbol, not to mention that the Greek word for fish, icthys, formed a nice acronym of Jesus's name and titles. There isn't an ounce more evidence to prove this theory than there is to prove actual Fish People's involvement, though. It is based on a rather desperate interpretation. "Merovingian" means people of the sea, and so originally most likely referred to a people who lived on the coast, or settlers who came from overseas. The Merovingians were perfectly historical, and they're called that after an ancestor named Merovech. If Wikipedia may be believed, his name has, despite the similarity to "mere", German Meer, etc, nothing to do with the sea, but means "famed fight".
  • Similarly, some accusations against the Plantagenet dynasty include having a melusine (something like a freshwater mermaid) as an ancestor.
  • There is a report of the 16th century King of Poland being shown a fish-like creature resembling a Bishop, that gestured to be asked for release to a group of Catholic bishops. Upon its release, it made the sign of the cross and disappeared back into the sea.
  • In True History, Lucian describes his crew being swallowed by a several mile long whale or fish. Inside he finds a father and son living on an island beset by multiple tribes of fish people. There were the tuna-heads, the flounder-foots, the crawfish tribe, the crab hands, half-catfish merfolk, among others, and said to carry fish bones as swords and spears. They were demanding a tribute of 500 oysters a year from the father and son, so Lucian and his crew liberated the them by going to war with the fish people and defeating them.
  • Brazilian Folklore has the Caboclo or Negro d'Água (something like hillbilly or black man from the water), a humanoid fish-like monster covered by scales or fur who lives in the waters of the São Francisco River, disturbing fishermen by tearing up their nets, sinking the boats and even drowning swimmers. He can be driven away by sculptures in the front of the boat and appeased with oblations of food and tobacco.
  • Philippine mythology has the syokoy, generally depicted with the typical scales and fins. Sometimes they are said to be able to transform into human shape, but more often they're considered to be a separate race of humanoid merfolk. An example appears in the graphic novel The Mythology Class, by artist Arnold Arre.
  • The umibozu, a giant marine youkai resembling a hairless black-skinned humanoid with no mouth or nose that rises from the sea to wreck ships and terrify sailors. The umibozu probably served as a folkloric antecedent for the ningen, a sort of gigantic sea creature with vaguely human characteristics reported by Japanese whalers. It's probably an urban myth. Hopefully.
  • Ginny (or Jenny or Jeannie) Greenteeth, who according to British cautionary tales drowns kids who play too close to the water's edge, is usually described as a green-skinned monster.
  • According to Japanese Mythology, earthquakes are caused by a giant catfish called the namazu. Following the Great Ansei Earthquake that struck Edo (Tokyo) in 1855, a new type of watercolor blockprint, called namazu-e (catfish pictures) became popular. Examples featuring anthropomorphized catfish can be seen here.
  • Similar to mermaids, myths about bishopfish and monkfish have appeared, including reports by royalty, and it was claimed these fishes spoke. Whether or not they were exaggerated accounts of manatees, deformed fish, or an unknown species of fish is unknown, though it's likely they were pure fiction as well.

  • The mermaids of Barracora are an unorthodox scaleless hybrid of humans and barracudas.

  • In The Fallen Gods, the party finds a merman at the bottom of the ocean. It's covered in scales and fins, has large sharp teeth, and a natural 20 dick.

    Pro Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Blood Bowl has multiple references to Fishmen in its background material, even during the periods when its parent game considered them a running gag. The 5th Edition Sourcebook Death Zone: Season Two!, for instance, mentions the Southstorm Squids, a former Sea Elf team who suffered a hostile takeover at the fins of a group of Fishmen.
    • Warhammer 40,000: Pelagers are abhumans adapted for live in water-covered worlds. They possess fins and scaly skins, and are often large and heavily muscled in order to withstand the crushing pressures of the deep ocean.
    • Warhammer Fantasy Battle: The very first edition has a race actually called the Fishmen. The 8th Edition book reintroduced some references to them, causing no small amount of Epileptic Trees.
  • The Sea Folk, a playable race in Blue Rose, are technically more like Dolphin People — they can't actually breathe underwater (but can hold their breath for an hour or more), aren't scaly, and are portrayed as graceful and elegant rather than repulsive. They can also live on land and interbreed with normal humans, although they need to immerse themselves in water daily and usually stick near the coasts.
  • Call of Cthulhu, in addition to hosting the classic Deep Ones, also dabbled in other takes on this trope in the Blood Brothers books, which present one-off horror adventures unrelated to the main Cthulhu Mythos.
  • Chaotic has several, all of whom can use water attacks:
    • Nauthilax is a rare aquatic Underworlder and is one of the uglier examples of this trope, having a face based on the real-life monkfish.
    • Thonder, an Overworlder, looks like a mix between a catfish and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
  • Crimestrikers is set on Creaturia, a World of Funny Animals where one of the species is the Hydrerans, a race of (usually) ocean-dwelling amphibious humanoids. Fantastic Racism exists between Hydrera and the land-dwellers — not among most people, but enough to cause trouble for the titular team. One of the heroes, Donacina, is a Hydreran who acts as a role model for Interspecies Friendship; the villains include Emperor Rasavanto (a Hydreran tyrant who wants to conquer the surface world) and PARCH (a violent, racist gang of anti-Hydreran terrorists).
  • Dungeons & Dragons has several varieties, most of which are amphibious enough to appear in adventures that aren't set in the ocean itself:
    • The locathah are consciously designed after the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and their depictions tend to lean more towards "fish" than "man," so that their 5th Edition depiction strongly resembles a bipedal fish that has leaned to walk on overly-large fins. They tend towards neutrality and are generally inoffensive, with a history of being enslaved by other aquatic races.
    • The sahuagin have strong shark characteristics (i.e. going into a frenzy when they taste blood in the water), and are also known as "sea devils" for their tendency to raid and slaughter their neighbors. They're Lawful Evil and worship Sekolah, the god of sharks. The sahuagin's most hated enemies are the sea elves, either despite or because of a strange connection between the races - about 1 in 100 sahuagin is born a mutant called a malenti, and appears indistinguishable from a sea elf. Those malenti that aren't eaten by their parents are raised to be infiltrators that work to undermine sea elf communities before an attack.
    • The kuo-toa are subterranean fish men heavily inspired by the Deep Ones from the Cthulhu Mythos, with bulging eyes and a hunched, almost batrachian posture. They are as a race degenerate and insane, the result of generations of slavery by the mind flayers. They invent their own deities, such as the Neutral Evil goddess Blibdoolpoolp the Sea Mother, theorized to have been created when a kuo-toa replaced the head and limbs of a humanoid statue with a crustacean head and claws. But due to the kuo-toa's belief in their deities, their spellcasters are able to wield divine magic in their name.
    • The Savage Species supplement introduced the anthropomorphic animal template, which can be applied to any creature with the Animal type, including mundane fish.
  • Exalted:
    • Fish-based beastmen, resembling any mix of human and piscine body parts, are not uncommon in the oceans.
    • Wyld mutants in the West often sports traits such as fishlike scales, webbed hands and feet, sharp teeth and fish belly-white skin.
  • Fate of Cthulhu: True to its source material, the game has "Descendent of Dagon", which includes a frog-like appearance/ability aspect called "The Innsmouth Look".
  • 50 Fathoms has fish people, crab people, squid people, dolphin people, seal people and (villainous) octopus people.
  • GURPS: The Triton parahumans in GURPS: Bio-Tech have their gills on their chests in order to function properly. The extensive modifications needed to let them survive underwater required making them inhuman inside and out.
  • The Madness Dossier draws heavily on Mesopotamian Mythology, including the kulullû, a devious and manipulative aquatic race who act as lieutenants to the leadership of the horrifying, mind-controlling Anunnakku.
  • The Merfolk of Magic: The Gathering are more fishlike than most, featuring scales all over their bodies, and some have legs instead of fish tails. There are also Homarids, who are lobster-people, and Cephalids, octopus-people.
  • The Homebrew New World of Darkness game Leviathan: The Tempest allows the player to play demigod fishmen descendants of beings such as Dagon. It originally began as a joke that White Wolf should complete the Universal Monsters stable by making a "Creature of the Black Lagoon" Splat, but then it took a turn towards Ancient Mediterranean mythology and The Shadow Over Innsmouth...
  • Numenera:
    • The Joirans are a species of tall humanoids with grey skin, large red crests on their heads, a pair of fins down their sides and the ability to breathe both air and water, although they're best suited for living very deep in the ocean, where the island-sized crustacean their city-state is build on spends most of its time.
    • The inhabitants of the Underwater City of Ahmas are descended from humans melded with various sea creatures by ancient captors, and are very prone to mutation besides. As a result, they resemble a very varied and monstrous take on this trope, with each having a humanoid frame with scales, fins, gills, tails, heads, tentacles, legs or pincers from sharks, bony fish, arthropods, cephalopods and other sea life, no two looking truly alike.
    • The heeldra are a race of man-eating, aquatic abhumans — the descendants of humans who were heavily modified by forces unknown — with scaly skin, fishlike heads, finlike feet and tubes along their spines that secrete copious amounts of mucus, which they use to communicate with each other.
  • In Pathfinder, there are several varieties of fish people, such as D&D's sahuagin, and locathah and others such as the anglerfish-inspired ceratioidi, who can mesmerize other creatures with their glowing lures, and the shark-like adaros. Many of these races are products of the Aboleth's influence on ancient human history. Most obvious are the degenerate survivors of an ancient and abandoned slave race, who are technically named Ulat Kini but known by everyone, including themselves, as Scum.
    • Bestiary 5 brought in Lovecraft's Deep Ones, along with the enormous and godlike Elder Deep Ones and, as a playable race, Deep One Hybrids.
    • There's also a type of agathion (a category of Neutral Good celestials associated with animals and nature) called a Bishop, clearly modelled on the bishopfish listed above under the Myths & Religion heading.
  • Rifts:
    • The Idie Swamp Men, a race of humanoid catfish native to the swamps of the Deep South and the eastern seaboard of North America and known for being extremely skilled spearfishers and wilderness guides through swamps.
    • Loaks are slender, predatory fish people with mouths full of shark-like fangs, huge black eyes and webbed hands tipped with razor-sharp claws. They were genetically engineered to hunt down practitioners of magic and psionic powers, and eagerly hunt down mages, psychics and supernatural creatures throughout the Mississippi basin and eastern North America.
  • Rocket Age's Titan is inhabited by two intelligent species, a race of literal Starfish Aliens and the H'ykar. Described as a cross between a man, a frog and a fish, the H'ykar live in semi-submerged communities and have only just began to practice agriculture.
  • Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos reimagines the gnorri from the Cthulhu Mythos as a race resembling man-sized four-eyed eels with prominent gills (often mistake for a beard), gripping suckers lining the underside of their tails, and a peculiarly morphic anatomy that allows them to extrude and absorb arms; they can condense their bones and muscles to create a singular arm, or stretch themselves thin to create up to four arms at once. Most prefer to keep three arms, which gives them the advantage of an extra limb without the physical strain and weakness of deploying four. They have three sexes; males, females, and sterile androgynous builders who are still essential to procreation. They're also divided into multiple subraces that are easily distinguished by their coloration; blue "common" gnorri, black "abyssal" gnorri, red "deep-water" gnorri, white "arctic" gnorri, and mottle "freshwater" gnorri. As in the novels, they're a peaceful and inoffensive race, and they're even presented as a playable race.

  • The Barraki and Karzahni in BIONICLE are of the mutated former land dwellers kind, save for Ehlek the Eel Barraki, who was aquatic to begin with.
  • Lagoona Blue from Monster High, who has a pretty strong case of the Innsmouth Look going on- blue skin, protruding eyes, full lips, a nose so flat as to be virtually nonexistent, fins on her arms and legs and serving as her ears, and webbed fingers. There's also her boyfriend, Gillington "Gil" Webber.

    Video Games 
  • In Amea, Mish is implied to be one of these. He has blue skin, Valde calls him "fish-lips", his name rhymes with "fish" and a fish tank can be found in a room in the house right above the Infested Dungeon.
  • The heroine of Aquaria is a fish person.
  • Athena has these as enemies in the Under the Sea level.
  • Alani from Battleborn who's a Green-Skinned Space Babe Warrior Monk that uses Water manipulating Nanotechnology to attack enemies and heal allies.
  • The Gill Beasts from the Blood series, bipedal pisceoid creatures with a resemblance to the Deep Ones.
  • The inhabitants of the Fishing Village in the Downloadable Content of Bloodborne. Persecuted and experimented on by Byrgenwerth College, they made a deal with mother Kos, a godlike seafaring creature, to save themselves. The men of the village have become transformed into hulking, barnacle-encrusted fish monsters, while the women have become human-sized snail creatures who endlessly breed and cultivate the parasites which spread Kos's "blessing." Kos's "orphan," the creature birthed from her washed-up corpse, mostly resembles an emaciated full-grown human man with bits of embryo and placenta still stuck to it, but it does have fishlike qualities such as long fins which resemble a cape or wings.
  • Carrie's Order Up! is a strange case; it's a World of Funny Animals where all the characters are various forms of marine life, despite taking place on dry land.
  • Fireball-spewing Fishmen are one of the staple enemies of the Castlevania series.
  • City of Heroes The Arachnos Archvillain Captain Mako is "a mutant who evolved into something that can only be described as a shark-human hybrid."
  • The Cove area in Darkest Dungeon is littered with various eldritch sea beasts and Giant Enemy Crabs. The "Pelagic" class of enemies in particular seem to be inspired by Lovecraft's Deep Ones and are implied to be transformed from humans.
  • Darkstalkers: Rikuo Aulbath and the other mermen (the few that are left) resemble this more than traditional merfolk. Rikou is named after Ricou Browning, the stuntman who played the Creature from the Black Lagoon in underwater sequences, as a Shout-Out.
  • Dominions 3:
    • There are several species that fit into this, including the Icthyids, Merfolk, Tritons, Amber Clan Tritons, Kappa, and others. The Icthyids and Amber Clan Tritons are the most notable, the first because they live on shorelines and under the sea, making useful troops for water entry; and the second because they are terrifying beings armored in Amber that can and will massacre armies bigger than them.
    • Dominions 3 also has the nations Atlantis, Oceania, and R'leyh, all of which have fish people, though Atlantis and especially R'leyh have plenty of full blown sea monsters as well.
  • Dota 2 has four heroes that are examples of this trope.
    • Silithice the Naga Siren is a Slithereen (sort of an eel-mermaid with an anglerfish-like lure) with a siren song and illusion-making abilities, who was exiled by her honourbound people for losing a single piece of treasure in their undersea vaults.
    • Slardar is of the same species as Naga Siren, but much uglier. He is also a guardian of undersea treasure, using his lure light to search for intruders, sees faults in their armor, and draw them to their doom.
    • Slark is a small, vaguely shark-like fellow who spent most of his life in cutthroat Dark Reef Prison and is now its only escapee. His gameplay reflects his escape artist nature, being able to slip out of many a sticky situation if not dealt with appropriately.
    • Tidehunter is a hulking anthropomorphic Sea Monster who worships an Eldritch Abomination called Maelrawn the Tentacular. His most notable traits are his burning hatred for Admiral Kunkka as well as his ability to summon Maelrawn when needed.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online's Noob Cave is crawling (or would that be swimming?) with sahuagin.
  • Dwarf Fortress: Cave fish men, small, amphibious tribal humanoids with the heads of blind cave fish found in watery areas Beneath the Earth. They’re not very dangerous by themselves, but the poisons they smear on their blow darts and spearheads can be quite nasty, and their ability to swim up your water reservoirs gives them an edge the other underground animal races lack.
  • EarthBound (1994)'s Deep Darkness has Manly Fish. And occasionally, his big brother.
  • Eastern Exorcist have deformed, aquatic demons resembling humanoid fishes appearing in water-themed areas, like the pier and when you're crossing a lake. They range from having arms and legs like humans, to having a fish's tail for their lower bodies, the latter which can't move and relies on spitting watery projectiles.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In addition to their many Lizard Folk traits, Argonians also possess some fish-like traits including gills which allow them to breath underwater and various forms of fin as part of their Alien Hair.
    • The Dreugh are an aquatic race of humanoid octopi with leathery hides and pincers on their primary "arms". For one year of their lives, Dreugh undergo a process known as "karvinasim," in which they emerge onto land to breed. During this period they are known as "Land Dreughs". Unlike their aquatic counterparts, the Land Dreughs show no signs of their usual intelligence and kill indiscriminately. In an early era of creation before linear time existed, the Dreugh were said to have ruled the world while serving Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of Domination and Rape. However, that world (known as "Lyg") was destroyed and the remnants were one of the 12 worlds assembled to create Nirn during the Dawn Era as described in many Tamriellic creation myths. Conflicts with hunters (particularly the Dunmer) over thousands of years are believed to have contributed to the destruction of Dreugh civilization as well as their devolved intelligence.
    • Lurkers are a fish-like form of lesser Daedra in service to Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric Prince of Knowledge. Lurkers stand much taller than even the tallest of the playable races, possess several forms of Combat Tentacles, powerful physical attacks including a Shockwave Stomp, and Acid Spit. Additionally, their faces appear to be modeled after angler fish.
  • The males of one underwater world in Endless Frontier are fishmen. The females are mermaids. Incredibly stacked mermaids. Turns out, much to Haken's humiliation, the females like scales on their men.
  • Trident of Eternal Champions is a Fishman — from Atlantis, of course.
  • E.V.O.: Search for Eden has the Rogons, a tool-wielding, fish-riding aquatic species that evolved from fish. They call whales their enemy because whales evolved from land creatures.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce: The mer people of Deep Heaven are either adorable half-human hybrids of various sea-life... or they're very much this. Nimon and the unnamed generic Deep Heaven NPCs are of the Fish People variety.
  • Fallout:
    • In Fallout 3 the mirelurks are crabs that have become huge and bipedal due to radiation, but the mirelurk kings are former snapping turtles that look exactly like the Creature from the Black Lagoon. In Fallout 4, their model is tweaked to be more reminiscent of mutated fish, including fins along their backs and arms and gills on their necks.
    • Lakelurks from Fallout: New Vegas are reskins of the aforementioned mirelurk kings, and possess the same stereotypically finned, ichthyoid appearance. They also retain the mirelurk kings' powerful attacks and tendency to cluster in areas near water.
    • The Fallout 4 DLC Far Harbor has the Anglers, mutated angler fish that hide in bodies of water to bait prey with their glowing lures, which resemble the glowing stems of local mutated plants. Their most notable mutation, besides their size, is their gain of humanoid arms and legs, although they walk with a more apelike than strictly humanoid stance. Being mutant animals, they're not too bright when compared to others on this page.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has the Sahagin species inhabiting the region of La Noscea, who worships the primal Leviathan. After the Calamity, their spawning grounds were destroyed, so they were forced to advance into the territory of Limsa Lominsa seeking a new habitat. Except for Novv and his clutch, most of the Sahagins have a hostile relationship with the Lominsans.
  • In The Goonies II, you may occasionally find a distinctly Creature from the Black Lagoon-looking character lurking in the watery areas. He's a good guy, and will give you helpful items and extra lives if you find him.
  • Hero-U has spear-wielding fish people called "Gogs" as mooks Shawn faces in the game.
  • Hero of Sparta II has fish-men enemies in the level where you sail from Egypt to Sparta. They infest a Derelict Graveyard and tries roughing you up on your ship.
  • The Hierophant in House of the Dead 2, which is a fish-humanoid who attacks the player in Venice by bursting out of a canal. It wields a trident as its primary weapon, can summon piranhas as backup, and periodically dives in and out of the water to ambush the player during the battle.
  • The finfolk of King of the Castle are a sapient, amphibious, humanoid species who live in the seas surrounding the Kingdom. One story event involves an Interspecies Romance between the prince of the finfolk and the Archduke of the nearby island of Saal (which the King can sabotage by sending their Chancellor to seduce the prince - or by doing so themself!).
  • The Last Remnant has the Yama race, which is the largest of the four races in the game.
  • Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver has the rahabim, a specialized breed of vampire that not only overcame the usual vampiric weakness to water, but adapted fully to it. While their progenitor, Rahab, is more of a merman with a humanoid vampire upper torso and a shark-like tail instead of legs, his progeny are classic gill men with flipper-like feet, froggy faces and a pair of dorsal fins.
  • The Zora from The Legend of Zelda games are much better looking and friendlier than most fish people in the post-Ocarina of Time games, being elegant, finned blue or red humanoids with head-crests resembling trailing fish tails. The 2D games on the other hand generally portray them as ugly, Black Lagoon-type monster enemies, while the Ku, their Dark World counterparts in A Link to the Past, are a cyclopean variant. They're also almost all hostile, with a few exceptions. Oracle of Ages explains this by stating that the two species are different kinds of Zora: the sleek and friendly ones are Sea Zoras, while the ugly enemies are River Zoras. Queen Oren of A Link Between Worlds is a sort of hybrid between the two designs, sporting the color scheme and secondary features of the River Zoras but being friendlier and more humanoid like the Sea Zoras. She herself is likely a well-disposed River Zora, as that is the kind she rules over and resembles most. The Zora design in Breath of the Wild is also somewhat of a hybrid, having more Shark Man attributes added to the humanoid variant yet portraying them as friendlier with Hylians (despite some Fantastic Racism on the part of their elders).
  • The Merian race from Lusternia. They are decidedly non-human in appearance, being scaled, hairless, blue and finned, but are a highly attractive, intelligent and noble race with a proud history of scientific accomplishment. Interbreeding with humans has resulted in a few crossbreeds, some even having hair - but however diluted the Merian genealogy, all "real" Merians can breathe underwater.
  • Trilarian, the aquatic race from Master of Orion 2. It isn't clear when they debut, but they're confirmed to be fish in Master Of Orion 3.
  • The Mega Man X series has a number of humanoid animal Mavericks who are based on fish, such as Toxic Seahorse, Volt Catfish, Jet Stingray, Metal Shark Player (also a Shark Man), and Splash Warfly. One mook type in X4's jungle stage also resembles a more traditional fish person and it uses a trident to attack.
  • Monster Hunter (PC) has the Lagoon Creature enemies being the second of several monster types introduced. They're spawned from wells and can be petrified by salt.
  • One enemy in Round 2 of Monster Party is a fish with human legs.
  • Miranda from the Monster Prom series is a princess of the Merkingdom. Her and her sisters are all fish people, as are most of their subjects. Adrian in the third game, who is a knight of the Merkingdom, serves as an example as well.
  • The Silth Mouse from Mousehunt, except the man part is replaced with a mouse. It's also very hard to catch.
  • Referred to in MySims Kingdom, when you go to Cowboy Junction. Lyndsay replies that it's probably inhabited by a race of fish-men. He doesn't grasp the subtle art of sarcasm...
  • Fish from Nuclear Throne, as a result of mutation. Pre-mutation, he was a police officer who had who was one day away from retiring right before the apocalypse hit. He is amphibious, able to breathe both in air and in water in the Oasis secret area. His aquatic nature is exemplified with his "Throne Butt" mutation, which allows him to boost himself with water.
  • Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas: This game has the Gillfolk, a race of humanoid fish people who live in the waters of the world. They have the Water Emblem, which the Player Character needs to collect on his quest.
  • Blue Minions in the Overlord series get very close to this at least, being the only ones that can go in water and not drown.
  • Perfect World has the Tideborn and (more correctly) the Lochmur.
  • The titular character of Pronty is a fish-boy, exploring a ruined underwater city filled with hostile marine life.
  • Resident Evil: Revelations takes place on an abandoned cruise ship and has you fight half-fish zombies.
  • Resident Evil Village has Lord Moreau, one of the Four Lords that Ethan has to contend with who's been severely mutated to be a hunchbacked fish-like humanoid. When fought as a boss he fully mutates into a giant fish.
  • Rift features Deep Ones as common Water Plane-aligned foes. They look part gill-man, part crustacean.
  • Schwarzerblitz introduces the Fishface Crime Syndicate: a mob exclusively composed by various mutant fish people (including lobsters and shark men) which is lead by the squid man Go Ottari and manages the smuggling of goods and drugs between Ireland and the U.K. All the fish mutants have been produced by a MegaCorp for a TV show, and suddenly released when said show flopped.
  • Fish Men appear as enemies at Rocky Bay in Episode 3 of Scooby-Doo! First Frights.
  • The Draug in The Secret World are former Vikings who, while fighting in their North American Vinland outposts, got mutated by the Filth, which turned them into creatures based on the draugr of Norse Mythology. They have been prowling the seas ever since, responsible for many stories of abandoned ghost ships whose crews disappeared without a trace. The story involves them attacking an island off the coast of Maine, zombifying most of the locals in order to turn them into more Draug.
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has the residents of Fountainhead Palace, who have been transformed into somewhat carp-like beings with blue skin. They come in two main flavors: the squishy Palace Nobles, who look more like mutant space aliens than humans and can inflict debilitating status effects with their magic flutes, and the much tougher Okami Warriors, who are still mostly humanoid and have a fighting style that resembles a ceremonial dance.
  • The Dagonian race of Skullgirls qualifies, though the females of the race (or the one we've seen so far, at least) fall under Cute Monster Girl. They even have their own city in The Canopy Kingdom known as "Little Innsmouth".
  • In Sonic Adventure 2, a tiny version of these appears as one of the animals you can give to your Chao.
  • The Inklings from Splatoon are anthropomorphic squids who can switch between human and squid forms at will. Various other aquatic species are represented by NPCs, such as Spyke the sea urchin and Sheldon the horseshoe crab. Splatoon 2 adds Octolings (the Inklings' octopus counterparts) as playable characters, alongside literal fish people (at least outside of in-universe bands) in the form of the Salmonids, aggressive mutant salmon who are the main antagonists of Salmon Run.
  • Starbound has the Hylotl, a species of East Asian-like pacifists. They, however, have an enormous ego and aren't quite fond of other species, especially with the Glitch and the Floran.
  • The Vendeeni from Star Ocean: Till the End of Time.
  • Stellaris: The Aquatics expansion lets you create these for your spacefaring alien race, with species that resemble anthropomorphized fish, sharks, jellyfish, crabs, dolphins, and even coral available among the aquatic selections. The expansion also comes with a unique aquatic spaceship set, and lets you start your species on an ocean paradise world with bonuses to living on ocean worlds but stiff penalties for settling drier ones, along with the ability to terraform other planets by inundating them with water mined from ice asteroids (an ability that can, of course, be weaponized). In the base game, some of the molluscoid species options also resemble squids and octopi.
  • Suikoden:
  • Super Mario Odyssey has the Lochladies, a One-Gender Race variant who are obsessed with chic fashion.
  • Terraria:
    • The player turns into one if you equip the Neptune's Shell and enter water, allowing you to move through it as if it were air.
    • Creatures from the Deep, which spawn during Solar Eclipses. They can move around fine on land, but they're faster in water.
    • Icy Mermen are found in the ice biome underground in hard mode.
  • Undyne from Undertale is a rare example in that she is a sympathetic character and is very human-like in personality, like all of the game's monsters.
  • Warcraft:
    • The murlocs, primitives who resemble piranhas with arms and legs in place of fins and tail, are a staple low-level enemy. They're found almost everywhere that has coastline and are generally considered pests by the smarter races due to their typically aggressive nature and high rate of reproduction.
    • Gorlocs are a related species found in Northrend. The Oracles, a reputation faction hostile to and mutually exclusive with the Frenzyheart wolvar, were gifted with intelligence from Titan artifacts in the Sholazar Basin.
    • Mur'guls are a spikier, more powerful variation who work with/are enslaved by the Naga.
    • The continent of Pandaria has the jinyu, whose murloc ancestors became magically uplifted Transhumans. The jinyu are larger, more humanoid, and much more intelligent than the murloc, being able to speak the common tongue and integrate themselves into society.
  • In The Witcher, there is a boss battle against Dagon, a Physical God straight out of the Cthulhu Mythos.
  • In Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, one of the forms the titular hero can transform into is Piranha Man, a half-fish/half-human hybrid who can explore and fight underwater.
  • The Gillmen from X-COM: Terror from the Deep, which were inspired by the Creature from the Black Lagoon. These guys make Goombas look like Brock Lesnar in comparison. More dangerous are Lobstermen: Their thick armor makes them impervious to gunfire, forcing you to get in melee range so they can claw you to death.
  • The X-Universe's Boron are squid people.


    Web Original 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Tide. Although his face looks more human than fish.
  • In Freedom City Play By Post, Aquaria Innsmouth is a Lovecraftian Deep One straight out of the Cthulhu Mythos, albeit a considerably more cheerful one than the usual
  • They appear in early on in Hundred Companions, seemingly charging towards the ship the mercenaries are aboard. Turns out they're not so much charging as being chased.
  • The Legatum series has fiscians, bipedal fish-like creatures that can survive in water as well as on land.
  • Long Gone Gulch: Mako and his gang are fish mutants.
  • Mahu: In "Frozen Flame", prince Arius battles bands of merfolk while exploring half-submerged temples and cities. Known as "Kappa", they have humanoid bodies and the heads of fish. Though they know how to wield weapons and fight together, they stand no chance against the disciplined veterans of the colonial army.
  • In Mortasheen there are several of these, created as servants for the mostly aquatic vampires. You've got your requisite Creature From The Black Lagoon homage and man-shark, but the others are somewhat stranger
  • Pretending to Be People has a race of fish men, who come in three forms.
    • There's Marvin Glass' security staff, who wield fishhook-like scythes. They sing in harmony. yes, really.
    • Their larger form, a colossal aquatic terror, is mostly used as corpse disposal.
    • Then there's Peter Deter, an Ugly Cute miniature version of his larger bretheren, who is indiscriminately friendly to anyone he meets.
  • Cooper from SMPLive is an anthropomorphic fish.
  • Tales From My D&D Campaign features the Kua-Toa, who thanks some major divine blessings have conquered the entire ocean and a good part of the land.

    Western Animation 
  • The eponymous creature from the ISART Digital short cartoon Creature from the Lake turns out to be a humanoid, spindly-limbed fish/frog monster. Fortunately, he turns out to be oddly vulnerable to Groin Attacks and whatever's in Shelby the camera-woman's inhaler.
  • The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode "The Ugly Mermaid" features a race of water-breathing fish people who live in a domed city under the water.
  • In the Adventure Time episode "Susan Strong", after finding what he believed to be the last tribe of true human beings in the Land of Ooo, Finn discovered that they were merely fish people with hats, save for Susan herself.
  • Darwin, Gumball's brother from The Amazing World of Gumball, is a fish that grew arms and legs but still has a head connected to his body. At one point he was cursed to turn into a "reverse mermaid", but nothing happens because that's basically what he already was.
  • Episode "The Satanic Saturnians" of The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure have the eponymous Saturnians as fish people.
  • Arcane: Some of the characters in background shots or very minor characters are unremarked upon fish people. Jericho the food vendor is the most prominent and one of the thugs Vi beats up for their outfit is another.
  • In Ben 10, one of Ben Tennyson's alien forms, Ripjaws, is a combination of this trope and Our Mermen Are Different.
  • The Plutarkians in Biker Mice from Mars are a race of fish-like aliens.
  • Mako, one of Doc Terror's Evil Minions in Centurions.
  • Cleopatra in Space: Akila Theoris is a pink-haired, blue-skinned alien fish girl with fairly large lips and fin- or gill-like structures on the sides of her face; her mothers have a similar appearance. Interestingly, neither Akila nor her moms seem to need water.
  • Neptunia from Darkwing Duck is another mutant fish person. She starts out as a Well-Intentioned Extremist who wants revenge against the surface world for polluting her ocean home, which caused her to mutate from an ordinary fish. However, she does a Heel–Face Turn and eventually joins Darkwing's Super Hero team the Justice Ducks — even though, as she protests any time anybody mentions the name, she's not a duck.
  • Two DuckTales (1987) episodes feature fish people.
  • On Futurama we have the lobster-esque Decapodians (Zoidberg's race), as well as the residents of a submerged 31st Century Atlanta, who evolved into Mermaids as a result of the Coca-Cola factory causing massive amounts of caffeine to end up in the water.
  • The sea monster from the Jonny Quest episode "The Sea Haunt". It is humanoid in shape and walks like a man, makes noises like a mammal (not a fish), and is clearly at least somewhat intelligent.
  • In Kim Possible, Gill (another one!) is a once-human mutant transformed into a fish person by toxic waste.
  • Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire: The "Hatima" short is about is about a conflict between humans and a race of brightly colored humanoids who have fins and live underwater.
  • The absolutely pathetic Fish Guy from The Mask, who is an Expy of Garth from Wayne's World.
  • Mer-Man and his fellow Aquaticans from the various Masters of the Universe series.
  • The cast of Monster Force included animated versions of several old school Universal Horror monsters, including the Creature from the Black Lagoon. This is common in other Monster Mash cases including Gill in Gravedale High, who is also presented as the stereotypical Surfer Dude, and Gill (yes, the same name) in the Mini-Monsters segment of The Comic Strip.
  • In The Prince of Atlantis we have the Atlanteans.
  • Rankin Bass' TigerSharks (another segment of The Comic Strip) are human heroes who can transform into fish-like Half-Human Hybrids to fight underwater criminals.
  • The Triceraquins from the Samurai Jack episode "Jack Under the Sea".
  • Sealab 2021 gives us half-shark, half-Eric Estrada Sharko. Then there's Dolphin Boy, who looks perfectly human but speaks dolphin.
  • The people of Kumari Kandam in The Secret Saturdays are humanoid fish who live underwater.
  • The Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Ambergris Element" has Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock transformed into water breathers by the planet Argo's undersea inhabitants, the Aquans.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987):
    • Mona Lisa from the episode "Raphael Meets His Match" was originally a human — specifically, a physics major in college. In short order, she was kidnapped by modern day pirate-cum-genetic engineer Captain Filch, forced to help with his evil experiments, and mutated while escaping from his ship. The result was a fish/reptile Mix-and-Match Critter who was smart and strong enough to help the Turtles stop Filch — and cute enough to become Raphael's Girl of the Week. Her action figure adds to the fishiness by giving her gills.
    • The Teen Titans (2003) episode "Deep Six" has Trident, an Atlantean criminal who looks something like a humanoid shark with catfish whiskers, and Aqualad's little mechanic friend Tramm, who has the same puffer-fish abilities as Lagoon Boy.
    • Ray from the episode "Rebel Without a Fin" is a male example that is more fish-like, being a mutant manta ray, with abilities from other marine animals; in the same episode, April O'Neil is also turned into a mutant fish.
  • Otto Aquarius from The Venture Brothers is a fish-man, to go with his being a parody of Aquaman and/or Namor the Sub-Mariner.
  • Sammy Fishboy from What It's Like Being Alone is a mutant orphan who resembles the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
  • Most humanoid water-breathing heroes and villains in Young Justice (2010) don't really look like fish, but Kaldur'ahm has prominent gills as well as webbed hands and feet. The series also features a version of Lagoon Boy, as mentioned under Comics.

For the fishman I really fear
Is the one who's in the mirror
And he looks like me
He looks just like me!

Alternative Title(s): Fish Person, Fishmen


The Gill-Man

The legendary creature from the black lagoon stalks a beautiful woman as she swims.

How well does it match the trope?

4.71 (7 votes)

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Main / FishPeople

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