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Floating Limbs

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Now here's an adventurer that won't get any arrows to the knee.

Floating Limbs describes a somewhat rare Lazy Artist trick for arms and legs (or lack thereof). Mainly, a character lacks anything visibly connecting their hands or their feet to the rest of their body.

A subtrope of Invisible Anatomy, although the former can be excused due to conservation of detail, while in this trope the seemingly missing pieces are clearly missing.

Combatants with these limbs may be capable of Detachment Combat and Rocket Punch.


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  • Grimace in this Pakistan Happy Meal commercial has no legs, and his feet are not attached to his body. They're just floating in front of him.
  • hh, the mascot of hhgregg, has hands and feet which are in no way attached to his body.

    Anime and Manga 

  • Street signs indicating crosswalks and similar traffic features often show stick figures with no necks, just disembodied heads floating above their shoulders. This is particularly funny when the stick figure is riding a horse with a meticulously rendered mane.
  • Fuzman and Acman Pictograms also have no necks, likely reminiscent of street signs and Olympic pictogram.

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • The Love Glove from Doom Patrol has invisible arms and the power to use magic gloves. He was part of the second Brotherhood of Dada.
  • The character of Dominus, who made his debut in the Superman story arc The Dominus Effect, appears as a humanoid wearing a cloak whose wrists and hands do not appear to have any arms attached to them. This also shows up with a few of the characters within the four realities themselves, clueing the reader into the fact that those characters are actually Dominus in disguise.

    Eastern European Animation 
  • Hungarian Folk Tales: There is a Running Gag where elderly kings are depicted with a bell-shaped body and two floating hands. The only exception is King Mathias, who makes occasional appearances in a few episodes.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • The baby oysters from Alice in Wonderland lack any legs, their feet floating freely while walking.
  • EVE from WALL•E detatches her head from her body and floats freely.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Sour Bill, as well as a few other candy denizens of Sugar Rush, has neither arms nor legs but just floating feet and hands.

    Live-Action TV 

    Music Videos 
  • The video for the song Be Faithful by Fatman Scoop features characters who are CGI heads with disconnected hands and feet.
  • Most of the characters in Klea's video to their song "Tic Toc" don't have necks, and their heads hover over their shoulders.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Some monsters have various parts of their anatomies, not necessarily limbs, that float separately from the rest of their bodies.
    • In 3rd Edition, a gibbering orb is surrounded by a cloud of hundreds of mouths and eyeballs that ceaselessly orbit around its central body.
    • Lumi are a race of 3E humanoids with no necks, instead their heads hover an absolutely fixed distance above their shoulders. While kind of freaky, it has the benefits of rendering lumi immune to strangulation or decapitation attacks, and since their heads can swivel easily, it's impossible for them to be flanked.
    • In 5th Edition, all gem dragons have spikes and/or horns that float independently of the body, reflecting their immense psionic power.
  • Pathfinder: The demon lord Sifkesh has her arms and legs severed from her torso, but still moving (mostly) in sync with it.

  • LEGO microfigures — the tiny non-articulated game pieces used in the Lego Games series — are depicted as having (featureless ball) hands, but no arms, in comics about them.

    Video Games 
  • Rayman:
    • Rayman is the Trope Codifier and (former) Trope Namer for this. Word of God is that this was actually a space-saving shortcut; eliminating Rayman's arms freed up precious kilobytes that could be used elsewhere, making this a latter-day throwback to Mario's character design, which was also influenced by the hardware's capabilities. Also, it would be hard to throw his fists around like that if they were attached to his body.... Finally given an In-Universe explanation in Rayman Origins: When he was created by a bunch of fairies, they happened to lose a few parts in making him. Namely, his limbs.
    • Globox's eyes and feet aren't attached to his body either.
  • Arizona Sunshine: Your character's hands are just floating in the air.
  • Claws of Furry: None of the characters in the game have visible arms. Their hands just float about their torsos.
  • Dynamite Headdy has a detached head. His Distaff Counterpart, Heather, (Fingy in the Japanese version) has detached fingers/hands/whatever.
  • Every character in Electronic Popple, including you (an andromorphic microchip) and your enemies, sentient Computer Virus foes, are depicted as having detached limbs floating from the bodies.
  • NiGHTS into Dreams… and its sequel, NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams applies this trope to its Big Bad, Wizeman the Wicked. Wizeman appears as a floating cloaked figure, but six disembodied hands with eyes on the palms float around him.
    • This also applies to the titular character in the first game, where their hands don’t have wrists. In the sequel, they at least have cuffs that conceal this fact.
  • The Thing-Thing series follows this, but it's never pointed out within the story.
  • Norstein Bekkler, the host of the Millennial Fair fun house in Chrono Trigger.
  • All the robots in Joy Mech Fight.
  • The robots of Vectorman are all made up of floating orbs. The title character uses this to his advantage for his shapeshifting power.
  • The title character of Plok, which actually came out 2 years before Rayman.
  • A seriously creepy example in Remorse: The List, where you encounter Torsoless Zombies - undead whose body consists of a head, two arms from the shoulders, two legs from the hips, and nothing in-between. They form a vaguely humanoid shape with a blank space where the torso should be, and if you kill them they fall apart into a mess of limbs.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros.: Bowser has invisible wrists due to NES limitations. They're supposed to be wristbands, but since his sprite, like all other 8-bit era game sprites, can only have up to three colors, what appears to be Bowser's wristbands are actually empty space.
    • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island: Yoshi in this game has floating legs. Though it's only shown whenever he's running, subverting this.
    • Mario Party 3: Tumble, who serves as the guide in most modes, was originally brought to life by the Millenium Star, and lacks arms and legs connecting the hands and feet respectively. In fact, his central body is absent as well.
    • Super Paper Mario: There are quite a few examples in the game, many NPCs lack legs and arms. Two notable ones are Dimentio and Count Bleck.
  • Pokémon:
    • Several Ghost-type Pokémon have floating body parts:
      • Haunter and Dusclops have floating hands.
      • Hoopa in both its Confined and Unbound mode has floating detached arms, though the Unbound form has six arms.
      • Blacephalon has a floating non-corporeal head it throws, explodes, and regenerates.
    • Claydol's arms can freely float, though it usually keeps them next to its body.
    • Porygon-Z's head is detached from the rest of its body, possibly due to its in-universe faulty programming.
    • Pheromosa's antennae aren't attached to it's head.
    • Celesteela has a pair that also function as additional rockets and Arm Cannons.
    • Ultra Necrozma has 2 pairs of wings that float separately from the rest of its body. Its transformations imply that its body is a crystal armor being telekinetically manipulated and arranged in various ways.
    • Meltan and its evolution Melmetal each have a single floating eye.
    • Iron Hands' hands float around its body.
  • Game & Watch: Due to system limitations, limbs on characters are not always fully attached in the earlier games, most obviously with Ball.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • The Guard Armor boss from the first game has five separate parts: two legs, two floating arms, and a floating torso. All five parts are attackable, and in some tournament matches you'll actually fight against its disembodied extremities/torso.
    • The prequel game gives it an Unversed counterpart, the Trinity Armor.
  • The "Miis", people who can be made on any Nintendo system from Wii onwards, have no limbs in certain games or apps (such as Wii Sports or the StreetPass Mii Plaza), but, oddly, clearly do have arms in other games. In Wii Sports' baseball alone, the Miis constantly switch from merely being a head and torso, to having hands, legs, and feet.
  • The character designer of Um Jammer Lammy gave Cathy Pillar, an anthropomorphic caterpillar, floating segments.
  • In The Universim, Nuggets have detached heads and hands, and no legs.
  • Psychonauts:
    • Straw Critic Jasper's head generally appears to be attached to the body, right up against the suit's collar. However, there are some scenes where the head detaches from its normal position during his grandstanding (e.g. when you first meet him). In Jasper's case it seems to be a utility thing, like Rayman's limbs; since he never actually leaves his seat, (and may indeed be too fat to move — should we mention that his surname is Rolls?) his hands and head are responsible for all his body language, so for a guy as fat as he is, not having a neck allowed the animators to make him much more expressive.
    • The dancer's in Milla's mindscape have limbs and necks that taper off to a point just short of actually connecting.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy: The Kid's feet lack legs or ankles.
  • Bongo Bongo, the boss of the Shadow Temple in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
  • Dizzy has simple circles for hands and hemispheres for legs.
  • Joka (renamed Joker in the Wii remake) in Klonoa: Door to Phantomile had no arms or legs. His appearance was modified in the remake, in which he is given thin arms and legs, but they disappear when he becomes a boss, with no reason given whatsoever.
  • Tonic Trouble, based on the same Game Engine as Rayman 2: The Great Escape, had this. Coincidentally, the General even makes a cameo in Rayman 2.
  • A ton of Kirby characters have disembodied limbs:
  • Metroid Prime: Hunters has Trace, a Kriken Bounty Hunter whose head is completely separate from his body.
  • Every humanoid player character in Legasista is designed like this in the overworld.
  • Zero Beat, the robot/alien/whatever look-a-like of Beat from Jet Set Radio Future. It has strange floating rings as its arms, floating hands, and floating leg parts.
  • In Berzerk, the gap between the humanoid's head and body is not part of a hitbox; a horizontal shot that goes through it is harmless.
  • In the Live Powerful Pro Baseball and MLB Power Pros series, every character has detached feet.
  • The hero of the Cute 'em Up Captain Tomaday throws Rocket Punches with Raymanian Four-Fingered Hands.
  • The final phase of the Final Boss of Dragon Quest VI has his two hands act as separate enemies in the battle.
  • In Nightmare in the Dark, the Final Boss has entirely detached hands in both of his forms.
  • The Final Boss of Lethal League, Doombox, has limbs that aren't attached to his body.
  • The titular character of Tyler: Model 005 has no limbs. His hands, feet, and head float around his torso.
  • The shadowlings in the Telepath RPG series are creatures composed of a smoking flying black orb for a head with two floating hands.
  • Gift: The Cosmonauts' hands and the Guardians' heads.
  • A-Tech Cybernetic: The Player Character's hands are seen floating about, independent of any arms.
  • In Wario Land 3, Rudy the Clown also has Floating Giant Hands of Doom, and you hurt him by stunning them and throwing them at his nose.
  • Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair's sixth boss, Sunglar, has two pairs of floating hands, one of which remain stationary, the other of which periodically swat at the player as well as blocking their shots.
  • The titular worms in the Worms series have Floating Arms since Worms 2, except in the intros of Worms 2 and World Party.
  • Certain Ys bosses, such as the Shrine boss, Dorman, and Jabir's final form in Ys V: Lost Kefin, Kingdom of Sand, and Galbalan in The Oath in Felghana, have floating Giant Hands of Doom.
  • The Creator Cameos in Everhood, as seen in the gnome battle, depict the two developers as just heads and floating limbs. Not even a body.
  • Deltarune: The Tasque Manager, introduced in Chapter 2, possesses floating Four-Fingered Hands.
  • In Roco Kingdom, Huomiao, a fire mon, has flame hands that aren't connected to its body.
  • In Among Us, all the players, including the imposters, possess floating hands that are always unseen where not in use.
  • Ollin from Bounty of One sports these, with his head and limbs detached from his body. It's justified in his case since he's a desert spirit.
  • Sleep Tight (2021): The Player Character's hands aren't attached to their body, but just float around.
  • The main antagonist of Disney's Magical Mirror Starring Mickey Mouse is a ghost from a parallel world who has floating hands, but no visible arms.
  • In OBAKEIDORO floating hands are a staple character design amongst the various ghostlike monsters. It's not just for show either, upon catching a human their hands will dump them off in the cell automatically and the monster has to wait for them to return before they can grab another.
  • Lonesome Village's art style depicts the Funny Animal characters with round hands and no visible arms.
  • Akuma from Puyo Puyo has a detached head, adding to his otherwordly, demonic appearance.

    Web Animation 
  • Acroboxle's hands don't have any distinguishing features, fingers thumbs, so they switch places constantly. The creators are fully aware.
  • Bento Banana: Plumpy has floating hands separate from his eggplant body.
  • Zero Punctuation characters have spherical floating hands, which has caused problems with body language, and disconnected feet. Except for the imps, who have triangular pointy limbs, which don't seem to be very solidly connected themselves. This trope is "harshly" criticized in ZP's Rayman Origins review.
  • The characters in Extra Credits have Floating Limbs with developed hands. When the main character talks from his podium though, he has full limbs.
  • Some of the characters on GoAnimate are designed like this.
  • All the robots from Retropokon are this, as they're based on the robots from Joy Mech Fight.
  • The characters of Madness Combat don't have arms or legs, merely a barely modeled head (with a cross to represent where their face would be drawn on), a simple body and floating hands with their feet directly attached to their body. Later semi-averted for Hank who gets a single arm after an Emergency Transformation with the other hand still being a floating one.
    • This is actually Played for Horror in one of the animations, An Experiment. It answers the question of what happens when those floating hands are then put as far away from a Nevadean's body as possible. Turns out that it would be extremely painful for the test subject, and would cause them to glitch out, even being driven insane to the point that their faces are scraped against the wall over and over until the only thing that can be seen is their bloodied skull and scraped off flesh. And when they get their hands back, the world starts to distort and glitch out, culminating in the lab exploding once the subject dies.
  • Floating Hand Studios uses this for all of their X-Men flash cartoons.

  • The Ask a Pony Blog Ask Piny Twilight stars creatures with no limbs between their hooves and body.
  • Freefall, where Sam's depiction of maker god Bob shows him with limbs that converge on an abscent torso.
  • The eponymous heroine of Redd has hands like this, but it's a Justified Trope in that she was born without arms and controls mechanical hands with some sort of anti-gravity technology with her thoughts.
  • In Tails of Lanschilandia, Big Bad Kakralomino appears to have no legs (there's an empty space between his feet and the rest of his body), but has perfectly normal arms.
  • In Blitzcrafter, certain scenes are rendered with predrawn sprites, which feature people's heads and limbs floating around a bean body.
  • Outsider: Exaggerated with the Emissary, an artificial intelligence who manifests a holographic body to interact with corporeal beings. Each piece of its projected body is separated from the others — its limbs and head all float apart from the main body, and its crest and lower jaw float separately from the rest of its head.

    Web Original 
  • On the website Postopia (now Team Pebbles), there was a game called Big Mouth Life where you have a mouth for a pet. You could get new designs and clothing for them. The clothing included gloves and shoes, but they didn't any visible limbs or hands and feet for that matter.
  • Fella, the mascot of DeviantArt.

    Western Animation 
  • In Invader Zim, GIR's legs are like this.
  • The characters in the animated version of Mr. Bean do not have ankles, their legs and feet being totally separated from each other.
  • VeggieTales, on the rare occasions that they're shown with any extremities at all. Justified in that they're produce.
  • The Russian cartoon character Vinni Pukh has feet but no legs.
  • In Schoolhouse Rock!, Little Twelvetoes's whole body seems to be put together this way. His hat, arms, and torso are made up of white stripe-looking segments separated by empty space. His legs are connected to his pelvis, but he can move them out of contact with his feet. Also, he can stick his hands, head, and feet on any limb he pleases.
  • Mala Mala Jong from Xiaolin Showdown, who is an evil demon warrior made entirely from Shen Gon Wu, specifically the Helmet of Jong, the Two-Ton Tunic, the Fist of Tebigon, the Third-Arm Sash, the Jetbootsu, and the Heart of Jong.
  • In Stanley and Stella in: Breaking the Ice, both birds and fish have these. The closer you inspect, the more you find.
    • Birds have:
      • The crest on their heads
      • Their legs and feet
      • Eyebrows
    • Fish have:
      • Stringless pearl necklace
      • Dorsal fin
      • Segmented pectoral fins
  • On Steven Universe, Peridot's fingers aren't actually connected to her arms, and can reconfigure to form a touchpad-like screen and even a fairly powerful blaster weapon. They also allow very elaborate gesticulations. They are, in fact, completely artificial components of her limb enhancers; her real fingers are quite normal.
  • The Owl from The Owl & Co has no legs.
  • On ReBoot, Mike the TV's mouth isn't connected to the rest of his body.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: After being imprisoned by the Galra, Shiro gets a cybernetic replacement right arm. After the team makes it back to Earth, he's given a new cybernetic arm, this time one that floats around without being attached to his body.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Raymanian Limbs


Guard Armor

The Guard Armor is an empty suit of armor with feet and hands that operate separate from the torso.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / FloatingLimbs

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