Follow TV Tropes


Funnel-Mouthed Cephalopod

Go To

These cartoony depictions of octopi and squid are very common in Japanese culture and other parts of Asia, with a distinct Q*Bert-like design featuring a tube-like mouth/snout on their faces, inspired by the siphons located on the backs of these animals. While the aforementioned organ serves to allow locomotion for cephalopods by expelling water in real life, in this case the siphon is subjected to some artistic liberty and made into a stylized mouth, which mainly serves to anthropomorphize them. Given how this gives the funnel-mouthed cephalopod a turret-like appearance, you can also expect its "mouth" to shoot or spit out all sorts of projectiles besides ink.

Most examples of octopi given this treatment are often colored bright red to resemble a steamed octopus, and as such are commonly used as cheerful mascots for takoyaki stands and the like.


This type of portrayal, despite what you'd initially believe, is actually Older Than They Think. The earliest example is likely The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife, an ukiyo-e piece published in 1814 depicting an octopus with its back depicted as its "face", making this trope Older Than Radio.note  Octopoid Aliens in Japan tend to sport this look as well.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Ikalgo from Hunter × Hunter is an Octopus-based Chimera. While he doesn't have a funnel mouth directly, his actual mouth is still placed in the same way as this trope, and his big pronounced lips still somewhat resemble a funnel mouth.
  • Octacon, the monster that Kirby fights in the very first episode of Kirby: Right Back at Ya!. It's able to shoot fiery hot breath from its mouth.
  • Hatchan the octopus Fish-Man from One Piece is designed to look like this, having an elongated, funnel-like mouth from which he can shoot ink. Later it is shown to be a trait of Octopako (an octopus Fish Woman) and Hyouzo (a blue-ringed octopus merman).
  • Battle Angel Alita: Alita's usually-pursed lips earn her the nickname "Octopus Lips" in reference to this trope, which is pictured for comedy on many of the occasions she's called it.
  • Mara from Oh My Goddess! uses these octopi as her minions.
  • Played With by a giant, man-eating octopus that Goku briefly encounters in Dragon Ball. When Goku throws a rock into the funnel that appears to be the mouth, the octopus shoots it out and reveals that his real mouth is in the same spot as on a real-life octopus, albeit full of razor-sharp fangs instead of having a beak.
  • Famous mangaka Masamune Shirow uses such an octopus as his Author Avatar.
  • Haruhiko Ichijo of Myriad Colors Phantom World can summon phantoms to fight others based on creatures in his sketchbook. One of them is Cthulhunote ...who just ends up looking like a cartoonish octopus of this kind, with Pokémon Speak. It still kicks ass, though. What makes it a notable example is in the final episode, when Haruhiko summons it again, it looks far more menacing, as he originally drew it, and more worthy of its namesake (but still more octopus than a Cthulhumanoid), but still has a sort of spout behind its fanged mouth.
  • In Yaiba, Seikai Miyoshi's One-Winged Angel form is a giant red octopus with a funnel mouth he can use to spit jets of ink. Later in the series, one of the Moon Rabbit generals fuses with a giant squid, and while its funnel it's usually pointing downward and floppy, he can use it to shoot out ink and is revealed to contain teeth when he screams.


    Asian Animation 
  • In episode 13 of Happy Heroes, Sweet S. saves a group of octopi from a lake polluted with oil by using her Sweet Protection Bubbles to purify the water. The octopi all have funnel mouths.
  • In Nana Moon, one of the recurring Moon Haven residents is a blue octopus with a funnel-shaped mouth.

    Video Games 
  • Octoman in F-Zero has a funnel mouth lined with sharp teeth on his face, though he also has siphons on his head like a real octopus.
  • In Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds, the octopi in the Feeding Frenzy mini-game are depicted with funnel mouths.
  • The Game & Watch game "Octopus" features the titular cephalopod with the trope's distinctive funnel mouth.
  • Kirby:
  • Pictured above are Takosuke and Belial, two of the playable characters from Parodius.
  • In the Mega Man X series, Launch Octopus is redesigned to resemble this trope, possessing a funnel-shaped vent shaft below his eyes.
  • Octillery from Pokémon resembles this. Octillery even takes shooting things out of its mouth a step further by being designed after a tank, and as such it learns a wide variety of shooting or beam-type moves by level, such as Bubble Beam, Aurora Beam, Psybeam, Bullet Seed, and Gunk Shot. Its Signature Move is called Octazooka, where it damages the opponent by firing ink from its mouth, which also lowers the opponent's accuracy.
  • Octopus villagers in Animal Crossing all resemble funnel-mouthed octopi.
  • Octoroks in The Legend of Zelda are one of the series's staple enemies, appearing in nearly every game since the first. They are characterized by their habit of spitting rocks at Link with their mouths, and often act like turrets in some incarnations.
  • The Messenger (2018) DLC Picnic Panic features one of these as a first boss, spitting globs of ink out of its mouth for the protagonist to reflect back.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and later Sonic Mania have the Octus badnik in Oil Ocean Zone. This enemy is octopus based, and is built with a funnel mouth, which is used to shoot energy balls.
  • Super Mario Bros.
    • Super Mario Galaxy: Octoombas, Octoguys, and their King Mook equivalents are the Mario series' answer to The Legend of Zelda's Octoroks, having an identical method of attack.
    • Super Mario Odyssey averts this with the octopus-like Gushens in Seaside Kingdom, which resemble real octopi and propel themselves in the air by shooting water from their bottom. Played straight with King Mook Mollusque-Lanceur, however.
    • Super Mario Sunshine: Throughout the series, the recurring black-and-white, squid-like Bloopers avert this too, but the ones from Sunshine do play it straight:
      • Recurring Boss Gooper Blooper has a funnel-shaped mouth that's stuffed with a cork, which Mario must pull on in order to get it to snap back and hit him in the face. Once the cork comes off, he spits ink-like goop around the battlefield to keep Mario at bay, which Mario must wash away with water-pump F.L.U.D.D. if he wants to get close.
      • The smaller Bloopers also share their boss' funnel-shaped mouths and spraying capabilities, shooting graffiti from their mouths at Mario whenever he passes by and spreading pollution everywhere.
      • The aquatic, colorful variety of Bloopers you see in Ricco Harbor's surfing missions also have funnel-shaped mouths, but this time pointing downward so when viewed from above, they resemble more like actual siphons.
    • Zigzagged in Super Princess Peach, where King Mook Gooper Blooper reappears as a boss and must be defeated similar to Super Mario Sunshine, where his tentacles must be Goomba Stomped in order to attack his funnel-shaped mouth. However, the trope is Averted with the game's smaller bloopers, which lack visible mouths.
    • Bloopers in Paper Mario: Sticker Star also resemble their Sunshine counterparts.
  • The Wonder Boy series and the derivative Adventure Island series both feature octopi with funnel mouths as recurring enemies.
  • Ocho from Mother 3, also making a cameo appearance in the Nintendo D Si game A Kappa's Trail, is a bright red octopus with a funnel mouth.
  • Tamagotchi: The predator octopus on the Tamagotchi Ocean has a funnel-shaped mouth.

    Web Comics 
  • Noted in a Let's Speak English strip when, in an animal guessing game, one of the students gives "I have kiss face" as a clue, confusing Mary. Then another student gives "octopus" as an answer, reminding her of the Japanese stereotype of octopodes.

    Western Animation 
  • Played Straight with Sheila, a grey squid background character from SpongeBob SquarePants who stands out with her funnel-shaped mouth and realistic design compared to other cephalopods on the show. Initially, fans have passed this off as a species-exclusive trait, since prior to Season 11, she was the only actual squid character in the show compared to octopods like Squidward, whom are drawn with normal mouths or, in the case of Dr. Charley Horse from "My Leg!", beaks. Averted with One-Shot Character Squidina in Season 11's "Goons on the Moon", a squid who has a normal mouth like the rest of the main cast.
    • While they aren't mouths, the long noses that octopus characters such as Squidward are drawn with also call this trope to mind.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: