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Handy Feet

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There's so many things that your hands can do, but if they're too busy, go take off your shoes! There's digits to spare when your feet are bare!

One of the hallmarks of being primates is that our limbs were adapted for life in the treetops. Both our front and hind limbs were modified to grasp branches. When the ancestors of modern human beings descended to the ground and started to walk upright, our front limbs remained as mobile as ever, but the back limbs were adapted for stability and aren't normally used for manipulation.

However, this character is capable of using their feet with the dexterity of a human hand. There are two flavors to it:

1) Character that have human-like feet, but they have developed enough skill and precision to use them as a pair of extra hands. The reason behind it varies from case to case; maybe their hands have been immobilized or can't be used in a particular situation, possibly they are trying to multi-task, or perhaps they're just trying to be outlandish and/or goofy. In the most extreme case, when the character doesn't have hands at all, a nimble pair of feet is the second best thing one can rely on to replace their function. Paradoxically, they don't need a lot of special equipment and are just as able-bodied as regular people despite missing two limbs.


2) Characters which have special lower appendages adapted to be used as hands. Characters based on a non-human primates tend to display this trait, (as their feet are, effectively, an extra pair of hands) but there are many variations of it, including creatures with Bizarre Alien Biology, robots/cyborgs of various kinds, and humans with Bio-Augmentation. It's also not uncommon for them to exclusively use their "feet" to manipulate their environment because their upper limbs are not appropriate for the task, such in the case of winged characters that lack Feather Fingers.

Expect this character to be the kind of individual who goes barefoot so as to keep their feet from being restrained.note 



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Skilled Feet:

  • A commercial for Vodafone smartphones shows a man performing morning tasks with his feet, leaving his hands free to use the phone.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Cowboy Bebop: Ed can type with her toes.
  • Hiro Tsukiyama from Blood-C: The Last Dark can also type with her toes.
  • Yet another toe-typist: Coorie from Bodacious Space Pirates.
  • Son Goku of Dragon Ball, being an expy of the Monkey King from Journey to the West, has uncommonly prehensile feet, frequently using them to grip things and, on one notable occasion, to fire a Kamehameha out of.
  • One of the photos Nabiki sells to Kuno in Ranma ½ shows Ranma in female form eating watermelon with her feet. Ranma also shows incredible dexterity with his feet in combat on a few occasions when his hands were tied, busy or otherwise occupied.
  • The titular protagonist from Artist Acro can use his bare feet as spare hands in certain situations. He can even make his toes form V-Signs!
  • Erza Scarlet of Fairy Tail is capable of wielding four swords at once, holding two of them between her toes.
  • Meryl Stryfe from Trigun once fires a Gatling Good with her feet, as she was tied and in her nightgown at the time.
  • Asuna from Sword Art Online tries to activate an interface with her toes after being restrained by two tentacled monsters, though she fails.
  • Sora from No Game No Life is shown controlling for separate game characters with four different controllers, holding one in each of his hands and feet and still manages to win.
  • Yuuji from Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts is subject to this in the king removed Fumizuki Academy. He is tied up and presumably his socks were removed by the others so he could hold the card with his toes.
  • Cona from Future Boy Conan always goes barefoot and often uses his feet, which share his enormous strength.
  • The main premise of Ashigei Shoujo Komurasan is that Komura can perform any task with her feet even the ones that seem the most impossible. Justified as she came from a long line of acrobats.

    Comic Books 
  • In "Sawdust and Slow Death" in Jonah Hex #15 (original series), Jonah joins a circus and becomes the unwilling target of an armless knife-thrower who throws knives with his feet (possibly inspired by the silent movie The Unknown).
  • In Dennis the Menace (UK) book of 2001, a story involves him creating havoc in the Beano office, which results in all the Beano staff being injured, and as a result, he has to do all their jobs till they get better. He stirs the tea with one hand, and plays with a golf club in the other, while his bare feet are respectively used to draw and write the stories.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney's version of Tarzan, taking the idea of him (a human) being raised by (non-human) apes to its logical conclusion by having him grasp things with his feet.
  • Early in Zootopia, Judy Hopps is ticketing multiple cars as a meter maid. In one scene, she stretches her body between two cars to leave one ticket with her fingers and another with her toes. Such are the advantages of being a Barefoot Cartoon Animal (more or less; her police uniform includes spats that leave her toes uncovered).
  • The Aristocats: Berlioz the kitten grabs his stretched-out toes on his back feet with his other back feet in the same way he grabs his stretched-out fingers with his hand/forepaw in a scene early in the movie.
  • The wizard Avatar from Wizards has this ability, as he is frequently seen to smoke cigars with his feet.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Flower from Without a Paddle uses her "monkey feet" to answer the radio with the guys. She teaches Dan to do so as well by the end of the film.
  • Navi from Avatar, at least those who are not serving as avatars to humans anyway.
  • Allison from The Breakfast Club claims she can write, eat, and play the piano with her toes.
  • In the Lon Chaney film The Unknown Chaney plays a circus performer "Alonzo the Armless" who uses his feet to light cigarettes, throw knives, etc. But he really does have arms, he's just hiding them because he's hiding out in the circus. He falls in love with a woman who doesn't know about his arms (or about his love) so he gets a doctor to cut off his arms, but - in a typical Chaney film twist - when he goes to his love to propose she's thrilled because she has just accepted a proposal from another man.
  • Invisible Wings is a semi-autobiographical 2007 Chinese film about a teenaged girl who loses both of her arms at the shoulder and learns how to live on her own using her feet.
  • In Captain Marvel (2019), "Vers" uses her bare foot to open a door while escaping from Skrull captivity, as her hands are restrained.

  • One of the drow characters from the War of the Spider Queen novels has such dexterous toes that he's able, when Bound and Gagged, to perform the necessary gestures to cast a spell with his feet.
  • In Larry Niven's Known Space novels, people who grew up in space tend to be extremely slim and limber. One such protagonist has a habit of holding his cigarettes with his toes, leaving both hands free to work as he smokes.
  • In the Old Norse legend of the Niflungs, as related in Prose Edda, Poetic Edda and Völsunga saga, King Gunnar of the Niflungs is thrown into a Snake Pit by his brother-in-law Atli. His hands are bound, but his sister Gudrun gives him a harp which he plays with his toes, and thus puts the snakes to sleep except for one. In Saga of the Volsungs, Gunnar even plays "so excellently well [...] that few deemed they had heard such playing, even when the hand had done it".
  • The android Otho from the Captain Future books once shot a blaster with his feet when chained.
  • In Blood of the Zombies from the Fighting Fantasy series, sadist jailer Otto in the introduction neglects to open your handshackles at lunchtime, forcing your character to learn to pick up food with his feet. He even mentally jokes about doing this as a party trick should he ever return home alive.
  • A variant is used by the Houyhnhnms in Gulliver's Travels:
    The Houyhnhnms use the hollow part, between the pastern and the hoof of their fore-foot, as we do our hands, and this with greater dexterity than I could at first imagine. I have seen a white mare of our family thread a needle (which I lent her on purpose) with that joint.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played for Drama in the season 3 finale of The Walking Dead; Andrea is chained up with only her feet free, and has to attempt to pick up the lockpick that's been left on the ground near her using her toes.
  • When over-stressed due to a difficult choice on Malcolm in the Middle, Hal becomes paralyzed from the waist up for a few days. Before Lois snaps him out of it, he gets so good with his feet that he can use them to brush and floss his teeth.
  • Jonathan Creek: In "The Wrestler's Tomb", the murderer tied themselves up and shot the Victim of the Week with a gun held in their feet, thereby giving themselves the seemingly perfect alibi of having been Bound and Gagged at the time of the murder.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Idiot, a villain from Dark Champions, normally wears a straitjacket and is an expert at using his feet as hands.
  • In Crimestrikers, Nyx Marama is a bat who sometimes uses her feet to pick up objects while she's flying.

    Visual Novels 
  • Rin from Katawa Shoujo has no arms, so she's learned to do most things with her feet. Her introduction scene shows her eating a meal with her feet holding the fork, and she's later shown painting with them (and occasionally using her mouth to hold the brush instead). She is also permitted to wear trousers rather than the typical girls' uniform skirt, since a skirt would cause issues with her using her feet like that.

    Web Comics 
  • Gabe of Penny Arcade is pointed out to have monkey-like feet in one strip.

    Western Animation 
  • The Joker in The Batman for some reason.
  • Mom and Dad from Cow and Chicken. Due to being an exaggerated case of He Who Must Not Be Seen. Apparently, they're both only a pair of legs each.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Gone Abie Gone", Rita LaFleur can play piano with her toes.
    • Homer opens a wine bottle with his feet in "Homerland", and then holds a cigar with them.
  • Some Popeye cartoons have Olive Oyl grab things with her feet, such as "Hold the Wire", "Olive's Sweepstake Ticket" and "The Marry-Go-Round".
  • The Fairly OddParents! episode "Kung Timmy" features a cameo from Billy Blanks, who Timmy "rescues" from a group of "attackers". Blanks' response?
    Billy Blanks: Now gimme five... HUNDRED PUSH-UPS! With these cinder blocks on your back! [places said blocks] While I break 'em with my bare hands, and play this piano with my bare feet! [does exactly that]
    Timmy: Wow, that was amazing!
    Billy Blanks: KEEP PUSHING! [happily continues playing piano while Timmy still does push-ups]
  • Spike from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has fairly standard, stubby little feet, but in "Power Ponies", he spreads his legs and holds a comic book up with his toes, reading it on his back, implying he can be dexterous with them if he needs (or, in this case, wants) to be.
  • An episode of Teen Titans Go! has Raven becoming happier after losing her cloak and actually using her legs, and at one point, autographs a poster with her feet.
  • In an episode of Futurama Fry picks up a potato chip and dips it, twice, with his foot. Leela says that's gross, then clarifies she meant him double-dipping and uses her own foot to dip a chip.
  • In an episode of Mickey and the Roadster Racers, Goofy uses his foot to hold a tea cup.
  • In a classic Goofy cartoon, Goofy types with his toes.

    Real Life 
  • People born without or who lose their arms at an age young enough to adapt typically use their feet for hands as a matter of course. Examples include American aerobics instructor and bodybuilder Barbara Guera, who demonstrated driving a car and shopping for groceries with her feet on 60 Minutes, Chinese actress Lei Qingyao, star (and inspiration) of Invisible Wings and Italian dancer Simona Aztori, all of whom can be seen demonstrating their pedal dexterity on YouTube. Other people do have arms, but due to a disability, they are immobilized and are of little use. They can also learn to adapt to using their feet in place of their hands.
  • Some able-bodied people with flexible toes will still use their feet to pickup small items as a simpler alternative to bending over.
  • Contortionists who can touch their heads with their toes will incorporate this into their acts, such as applying cosmetic facial makeup with feet.

Adapted Feet

    Anime & Manga 
  • Daily Life with Monster Girl: Features Papi a Harpy who zig-zags with this trope as her legs are shown to be strong, dexterous, and viciously clawed while her wings contain a thumb like digit capable of grasping things if not being particularly dexterous.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman's first super powered enemy, the Ultra Humanite, could grab things with his feet.
  • Beast, from X-Men, has this as a part of his mutation.
  • As does his teammate, Nightcrawler, although his feet are shaped differently.
  • Budroxifinicus' species in Copperhead have three large toes, one of which is opposable.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, Ponyo's's feet act like hands. One scene has her toes wiggle very much like fingers, while Sosuke attempts to do the same to no avail.
  • Disney's The Jungle Book. King Louie can use his feet like hands, which makes sense since he's an orangutan.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Ivan's armor suit in the second Iron Man movie could grab things with its feet.
  • From Star Wars: The Phantom Menace we have champion podracer Sebulba, the Dug, who is an alien whose legs extend from his shoulders, and his arms extend from the bottom of his trunk.
  • The Æon Flux live-action film included Sithandra from the original animated series. See below for details.

  • The Librarian in the Discworld can shelve books with his feet usually while swinging from a high shelf by one hand. Getting magically transformed into an orangutan helps, of course.
  • Allen Steele's books include genetically modified trans-humans; a version engineered for life in the microgravity of outer space is purposefully designed with arm-like legs with hand-like feet, as more grasping appendages would be much more useful when you can't stand or walk.
  • Similarly, in the Vorkosigan Saga, the Quaddies are a genetically modified race designed to live in free-fall. They have arms (and hands) instead of legs, but are otherwise basically human. They have a very hard time getting around in gravity, and use floater chairs when they can't avoid it.
  • The Librarian of Unseen University in Discworld was transformed by a magical accident into an intelligent orangutan, and has since refused any offers to turn him back into a human. Being able to hang from the ceiling from one limb and shelve three books at once with the others is one of the many advantages.
  • Unsurprisingly, used in the original Planet of the Apes novel. Ulysse (the protagonist, roughly equivalent to Taylor in the film) is still slightly astonished to see it. Not used in the aforesaid film though, due to the apes being people in ape suits - their feet were just regular human feet in vaguely hand-shaped shoes.
  • In The Bas-Lag Cycle novels, wyrmen are bat-like urban scroungers and errand-runners, whose feet serve as hands.
  • The Twosh from Jack Chalker's Well World books are bowling pin shaped creatures with only two limbs, which they use as hands or feet as the situation requires.
  • The Gamerans in Old Man's War, being humans space-adapted to the point of no longer seeming at all human, are turtle-looking creatures with hands for each limb.
  • The Thranx in Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth works are an eight-limbed insectoid species. They have two true-hands, four true-feet, and two hand-feet between them that as the name suggests can be used for either locomotion or carrying or manipulating objects.
  • The "surge-monkeys" that Aya and the Sly Girls track in the fourth book of the Uglies series are humans who have modified their bodies in preparation for life in zero gravity to the point that their feet resemble a second set of hands:
    "But the strangest thing was the inhuman's feet. Bare and misshapen, they looked almost like hands, their long toes curled up like a dead spider's legs."

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Lanky from Donkey Kong 64 is an inversion! He can use his hands to walk up (and even run up) steep slopes.
  • While they may not be fully prehensile, Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 4 has no problems wielding a sword with his feet after he breaks one of his cybernetic arms to free himself from some rubble and loses the other while trying to hold back Outer Haven. It helps that his legs are no longer human, and it is unclear whether he can pull off similar maneuvers in mundane tasks, but it is still pretty impressive. The ability returns in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, where Raiden has several combos which involve holding his sword in his feet.

    Web Comics 
  • Implied with Ash from Latchkey Kingdom. Her feet are clearly hands, complete with finger-like toes and an opposable thumb-toe, although she has yet to use her feet as hands in the comic.
  • Shadowpalm from L's Empire has a second pair of hands for his feet (it's mentioned as being a mutation). This actually hinders him since the Mana Drain effects of his Supernatural Martial Arts requires feet flat on the ground.

    Western Animation 
  • Æon Flux has Sithandra, who had a second set of hands grafted onto her ankles—a procedure which she highly recommends to Aeon.
  • General Grievous from Star Wars: Clone Wars has this as a feature of his cyborg body. He can put all six of his limbs to good use as hands, though normally he sticks to being a humanoid, folding his extra arms and walking on his legs.
  • Louie the orangutan appears again in the TaleSpin series, and he didn't lose this skill. During "A Touch Of Glass," Louie uses his feet to remove a swindler from the pilot's seat of the Sea Duck.
  • Kim Possible villain Monkey Fist had his hands and feet surgically replaced with monkey-like appendages.
  • Coco from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
  • The titular heroes of Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys use their hands and feet interchangeably.
  • One of the many one-shot cartoons from Oh Yeah! Cartoons was Tutu the Superina. This Dance Battler used her overly long legs and feet to fight crime as well as for any kind of mundane chore.

    Real Life 
  • Many arboreal animals, especially Primates and birds. The feet of birds of prey are not only handy, they're also deadly.


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