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Flying Face

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"The target is just a-head!"

A fictional character or creature that is just a head (as opposed to a Waddling Head or someone who's recently lost their head) that can also fly, hover, or just get around under its own power.

Comes in a few artistic styles:

Sometimes these Flying Faces are nice, sometimes noisy Cloudcuckoolanders, often intelligent, and sometimes they don't talk.

Not to be confused with Floating Head Syndrome.


See Also: Cephalothorax, Oracular Head, and Oculothorax.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Black★Rock Shooter, Dead Master fights using flying skulls.
  • Gate Keepers 21: Yuurei Shoujo with her "pretty" skull-in-a-ball.
  • In Hell Teacher Nube, one of the Obake the eponymous Nube runs into is a human head with bat wings.
  • Jack Frost features Arvid, the Blood Pirate, a vampire that sprouted leathery wings from his Eyepatch of Power and flew away when all that was left from him was his head.
  • Mazinger Z villain Count Broken is a flying head with a headless android body... that just follows it around. He never attaches the head to his body; in fact sometimes he carries the head under his arm.
  • Ushio and Tora" The Gamin-sama are a family of five Youkai (Grandfather, father, mother, son and daughter) taking the form of huge floating heads. According to Tora, they come from China and their clan is Hitoban.

    Card Games 
  • Munchkin: One of the monsters has a Mortal Kom Bat: a flaming skull with bat wings.

    Comic Books 
  • Madballs, published by defunct Marvel Comics subsidiary Star Comics, depicts the titular Madballs as heads that can get around by flying.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Bride of Re-Animator, the already body-deprived Dr. Carl Hill gets bat wings grafted to his head, allowing him to personify this trope.
  • Mystery Men: The Bowler, has her father's skull embedded in her weapon, a bowling ball. She talks to it, and it, apparently, to her. It saves the day.
  • Zardoz: The eponymous Zardoz, an enormous flying head which is actually a vehicle.

  • Book of Imaginary Beings: The Chonchón is a Chilean creature resembling a disembodied head that flies with its prodigiously large ears.
  • Dinotopia: Fritz the robot is an hoverhead, a model whose head can detach from his body and fly around on its own.
  • Dr. Greta Helsing: Shrieking skulls are a relatively common presence in old manor homes with supernatural residents. They're a distinct species and are benign when not bothered; Varney finds a walnut-sized hatchling playing with his drapes and squeaking.

    Live-Action TV 


    Mythology and Folklore 
  • In Japanese folklore, Ōkubi are youkai that appear as giant flying human heads. Their appearances are an omen of impending disaster, which may be a typhoon, earthquake, tsunami, or fire. Despite that, they are otherwise harmless and will disappear soon after the first sighting.
  • The Penanggalan is a type of vampire from Southeast Asian folklore that appears as a floating disembodied woman's head with its trailing organs still attached. Certain witches develop the ability to become one at night in order to drink blood and terrorize people.
  • The Chonchon from Chilean folk myth is a flying human head with feathers and talons, as well as extremely large ears that serve as wings. They are created kalkus (Mapuche sorcerers) from decapitated heads and used by them to perform evil deeds and attack their enemies.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Beholderkin resemble floating heads with a single eye and fang-lined maws, and topped by a varying number of eyestalks. There is considerable speculation in-universe as to how they make this body shape work, and they have some interesting organ placement to compensate — their stomachs are in their lower jaws, for instance.
    • Demiliches, liches who have over time decayed into nothing more than a mad, flying skull studded with gems.
    • Vargouilles resemble heads flying around with bat's wings where their ears should be, and their "kiss" can turn you into one of them by making your own head sprout wings and fly away.
    • In adventure OA6 Ronin Challenge, the last manifestation of General Goyat is a 50 foot tall floating head. Once the PCs do enough damage to it the flesh flakes away, leaving a giant flying skull.
    • Forgotten Realms has Skullport, an underground city ruled by flying, spellcasting skulls that order the inhabitants to perform bizarre actions (and punish them if they don't).
  • Warhammer 40,000: Servo-skulls are human craniums embedded with machinery and turned into floating recording devices, light sources, projectors and communication terminals.

    Video Games 
  • The Battle Cats features The Face as its Disc-One Final Boss, along with other floating variants like Shy Boy and I.M. Phace. His other variants don't play this straight, however; Leggsy runs on normal human legs connected to its lower jaw, while Hannya and Black Okame simply drag themselves along the ground.
  • Castlevania:
  • Chrono Cross: Skelly, one of the many optional party members, starts out as this. You have to find and assemble the rest of him to recruit him.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: The Giga-Fortress is built as a floating pile of laser cannons and missiles, but transforms into a giant floating head with a ridiculously overpowered laser that outranges Anti-Air defenses, kills most ground units in one or two shots, does Splash Damage, and self-heals, so that the only reliable way of killing it involves lots of fighters as it can't attack air. Unless it's over water, in which case it just needs to land to take out the fighters and take off again.
  • Pokémon: Glalie resembles a floating skull, and is even classified as the "Face Pokémon".
  • Heavy Metal F.A.K.K.²: Gith the Spoiler is nothing more than giant floating gas mask.
  • Prince of Persia 2: The ever-annoying flying heads in The Shadow and the Flame.
  • Septerra Core: Ghosts are huge, ghostly floating skulls. Their damage reduction and magic attacks make them Demonic Spiders
  • Sinistar: The titular Sinistar may be the eariest Video Game example.
  • Skylanders: Dreamcatcher in Skylanders: Trap Team.
  • Something: The Yukkuri head appears as the main adversary of Yukkuri Take in Something Else. It's a sprite-swap of the Angry Sun, so it can fly and mercilessly pursue Luigi.
  • Sonic Adventure: Chaos is a character of the third type, with a liquid like main body and core organs.
  • Star Fox: Andross, the Big Bad of most games, usually appears as a flying primate head paired with disembodied hands.
  • World of Warcraft: There's a floating ghostly skull available as a non-combat pet. Floating ghostly skulls also appear during the fight against Yogg-Saron. Looking at them makes you lose sanity.
  • Spelunky: Has the final boss, Olmec, which is an enormous golden head that tries to crush the spelunker.
    • The sequel upgrades Olmec by Giving him anti-gravity engines and bomb launchers for his second phase.

    Web Animation 
  • Cat Face: Cat Face is essentially a giant floating cat head. He has a body but it is extremely small and atrophied and just hangs underneath limply.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Balloon and Evil Balloon, the sentient balloons.
  • Strong Bad Email: Strong Bad considers becoming one of these in "disconnected", on top of having an autonomous headless body.

  • Cassiopeia Quinn: Averted by Motor Minx — her (robotic) body is stolen, and the remaining detached head can't move by itself, but is carried about by Penny.
  • Schlock Mercenary:
    • Ennesby the robot, whose physical body is a spherical computer core outfitted with a face and an antigravity system.
    • Averted by the various AI characters, who (mostly) appear as flying heads but are actually holographic projections.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • the CIMON2 robot on board the international space station floats around in microgravity gently and for extra points is a TV Head Robot.


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