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"Grimmer than these scarce any prodigy, nor any plague e'er rose at the wrath of the gods from the Stygian waves: a winged thing with maiden’s face, belly o'erflowing and most foul, a hooked hand, and face hunger-pale forever."
Virgil, The Aeneid, Book III, ll. 253-257.

Like centaurs, mermaids, Fauns and Satyrs, harpies are mythical creatures that take the form of part-human, part-animal creatures — in this case, one half is a woman and the other half is a bird, usually a bird of prey. They originated in Greek Mythology, where they often took the job of punishing mortals for their misdeeds. This punishment frequently took the form of snatching away or befouling people's food, hence their name which comes from the Greek word for "snatcher." They also can be considered as Anthropomorphic Personifications of violent winds.

They can vary widely in appearance. They may or may not be subject to the Gorgeous Gorgon effect, or even be a Cute Monster Girl, but they were originally described as ugly and grotesque before the mix up. The subjective ratio of human to bird can also vary from woman's body shape with wings in place of the arms and a birds' feathers and feet to a woman with winged forearms, a feathered body, clawed hands, and birds' feet. In many classical depictions, their arms are their wings. They often come in groups of three, and are often given the names of Aello, Ocypete, and Celaeno.note  Their wings are usually avian and feathered, but may sometimes be those of bats instead.

This is a Sub-Trope of Monstrous Humanoid and Winged Humanoid.

Related to the other mythological half-woman half-bird creatures, Our Sirens Are Different. Sirens and harpies are confused almost as much as sirens and mermaids, usually by giving harpies beautiful or hypnotic voices, a characteristic that only sirens possessed in Greek myth. This is probably due to the harpies often being portrayed as bird-like, and of course birds are well known for singing. (On the flip side, harpies may be depicted as unpleasantly shrill.)

Harpies should also not be confused with furies. Those are a different kind of evil flying women — a trio of goddesses, technically, with power of men and gods alike.

Harpies frequently appear as relatively small Giant Flyers, almost always as the "Leathery-Winged Avians" variant, of which they may well be the Trope Codifier.

See also Bird People and Bat People.

The harpy eagle is named for them, and their tendency to be Always Chaotic Evil has led the word "harpy" to be used to describe any unpleasant woman.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Delicious in Dungeon, the Lunatic Magician sends a group of harpies to attack Team Touden and Team Shuro. They deal with them, but then she sends in Falin...
  • The Elven Bride: Harpies play a major role in the first episode, in which the protagonist attempts to capture a traditional monstrous harpy in order to farm it for its secretions, which are rumored to be the "ultimate lubricant" that would enable him to consummate his marriage to the titular elf (the initial attempt at doing this failed due to the bride possessing an unusually small receptor). However, the attempt leads to him being abducted by the harpy's mother, a Cute Monster Girl called a Harpian.
  • Fairy Tail
    • Lisanna Strauss's Animal Soul can change her arms into wings and her lower part of the body into bird legs and tail.
    • Kyôkahas Cool Mask looks vaguely like a bird's head, hair that resembles wings, and talons. Her Etherious form adds feathers onto her back and horns.
  • Humanoid Monster Bem has one as the monster of episode 4.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure provides a rare male example with Kars's ultimate form, where he changes his arms into wings, and considering that he's a Pillar Man.
  • Monster Girl Doctor, taking cues from Monster Musume, has Illy, who has birdlike legs with talons at the feet, wings in place of arms, and lays eggs periodically. Unlike most examples of this trope, the series explicitly shows male harpies.
  • Monster Musume: Papi and her fantasy expys, Aero of Deadline Summoner and a different Aero of 12 Beast, are humanoids with birdlike legs and wings instead of arms. In lieu of hands, they possess a single taloned on their wings. 12 Beast also has several harpies as part of Eita's mercenary army. Unlike in Monster Musume, 12 Beast and Deadline Summoner depict harpies with their wings on their backs akin to angels, and with an additional set of human arms to supplement them. This is justified, as Monster Musume is set more in the real world, whereas the other two are in fantasy land settings.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Mass-produced Evangelions in The End of Evangelion resemble harpies with their wings, monstrous appearance, and vulture-like behavior.
  • One Piece introduces us to Monet in the Punk Hazard arc. Usopp identifies her as a harpy at first sight but the truth is a bit more complicated. She is an otherwise normal human who had her arms and legs replaced with wings and bird-like talons with the aid of Trafalgar Law's Op-Op Fruit.
    • Additionally, Marco the Phoenix, former First Division Commander of the Whitebeard Pirates, possessed the Tori Tori no Mi, Model: Phoenix Devil Fruit. When Marco transforms into his human-beast hybrid form, his arms are completely replaced by fiery Phoenix wings and his feet are replaced by bird feet with wickedly sharp talons.
  • The h-manga Otherworldly Maidens: Monster Girls from Another World has a chapter focusing on a harpy named Tui Cook who works in the air delivery branch of a parcel service. Her story begins with her confessing her feelings for her crush, Dr. Herman Schmidt, the local physician, that she frequently delivers medical supplies to and has gotten to know on a personal level, by happily giving him an egg she laid that morning. Not knowing what to with it, Dr. Schmidt awkwardly accepts her gift, leaving Tui devastated, and the narrating text mentions that female harpies will give a freshly laid egg to a person they cherish, often a male harpy, as a symbol of their love, but that custom is barely known outside the harpy community, and the uninitiated may find it unsettling instead of romantic. Some time later, Tui hesitantly makes a delivery to Doctor Schmidt's office and she's relieved there's no real awkwardness between them. However, when Tui says she has an abdominal pain, he quickly examines her and determines that she's suffering from "egg binding," a stress induced malady which causes an egg to become stuck in the sufferer's reproductive duct and can cause organ damage if it breaks. After a non-surgical, though very invasive, procedure, the egg is extracted intact, and she starts crying because she "got off" during the procedure and is not worthy of being a bride anymore, which is when Dr. Schmit proposes to her saying he read up on harpy customs and happily accepts her gift and everything it symbolizes. Since he didn't have any other patients that day, they spend the afternoon having sex, however, when the sun goes down, Dr. Schmidt asks Tui to stop, because he has a patient that insists on being tended to only at night.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: "Sky Queen" Frey is a Demon Lord who rules the Harpy Kingdom of Fulbrosia. Harpies are a race of winged majin who almost allnote  resemble beautiful women (Frey in particular is considered In-Universe to be Ms. Fanservice), with their legs ending in talons but their arms being both human and separated from their large wings attached to their back. Harpies also possess the Intrinsic Skill "Magic Jamming", which allows them to disrupt the flow of Magicules around them to both cancel out/weaken magic and (in the case of Frey) outright disable nearly all forms of magical flight. Their natural speed and flight capabilities make them highly feared as masters of aerial combat. Since their race is almost exclusively female, they rely on either the few males or another powerful majin of a different race for genetic diversity. A queen-type harpy like Frey is also capable of parthenogenesis (virginal birth) with no partner required. Frey's twin sister Nazim is a queen-type harpy whose possesses multiple pairs of wings and great inherent power due to a genetic mutation, but consequently is sterile, which disqualified her from inheriting the royal title.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has the Harpie Lady cards, the signature monsters of Mai Kujaku. Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V adds the Lyrical Luscinia archetype used by Ruri Kurosaki, which overlap with Our Sirens Are Different with their songbird motif.

  • Francisco de Goya: Everyone will fall, in his The Caprices (Spanish: Los Caprichos) series, shows a group of winged males circling around a half-woman, half-harpy. Down below the fallen males are plucked by a group of women, thus providing Book Ends in how both sexes prey upon each other.

    Card Games 
  • In a Russian TCG Berserk (no relation to manga) harpies, Depending on the Artist, run the gamut from birds with woman's head and breasts to a large, armored monstrosity that needs help to fly. The majority of them, however, are essentially slightly feathery humans with bird-like legs. Abilities of these cards tend to be themed around flight, or at least large jumps, as well as support of fellow harpies.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Harpies, resembling giant vultures with women's heads, exist on the planes of Mercadia and Theros, with at least one making it to Dominaria during the Invasion. They are generally foul, vicious creatures; the harpies of Theros, in particular, are filthy and hideous scavengers who live on the edges of civilization and attack travelers to steal their belongings. They have no true concept of value, however, and as a result their lairs are filled with treasure, trinkets, broken objects and garbage piled haphazardly together with the remains of the harpies' meals. They are distinct from sirens, which are generally more intelligent, civilized and humanoid.
  • Munchkin harpies are depicted as harp-playing Dreadful Musicians.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: The above-mentioned Harpie Lady monsters. As in the anime, they have winged forearms and claws/talons in place of fingers and toes.

    Comic Books 
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: In the Uncle Scrooge comic The Golden Fleecing by Carl Barks, Harpies (renamed "Larkies" for the story, as the editor objected to the word "Harpy") are the guardians of the Golden Fleece, and are also portrayed as horrible cooks. They kidnap Scrooge and Donald in order to get them to judge their revolting recipes. The story was loosely adapted into a DuckTales (1987) episode.
  • In Gold Digger, Charlotte, aka "Charlie", is a genetically engineered harpy. She was created by a villain as a disposable mook, but after he was defeated, She stopped moving, no longer connected to his will. Penny adopted her, allowing her to develop a will and personality of her own. Despite being the size of an adult, she is only a few years old and has the emotional maturity of a child. She's both attractive (in a fuzzy-yellow-feathers-all-over-her-body kind of way) and very sweet-natured, but she also has big scary bionic claws on her arms.
  • The Incredible Hulk:
    • M.O.D.O.K. once turned Betty Ross into a Gamma-powered harpy. After being shot in the head, she then resurrected as a crimson-skinned version of her original harpy person, thus combining her two Gamma Mutate identities into one.
    • In World War Hulk's "Gamma Corps", the Hulk's old enemy the Clown was turned into the Griffin with Gamma technology, specifically based on Betty as the Harpy.
  • Rulah, Jungle Goddess: In "The Harpies from Hades" (Zoot Comics #10) battles a race of harpies who are beautiful Caucasian women with bat wings who dress in Fur Bikinis. They dwell in the remote mountains and abduct men in order to feast on their flesh.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Volume 1: Wingo the Bird Boy is a Cute Monster Boy harpy with a crush on Wonder Girl who despises his merfolk rival for her attention Ronno.
    • Volume 2: The second unexpected obstacle during the race that settles The Contest are a flock of harpies that attack the contestants as they reach the top of the cliffs.

    Fan Works 
  • The Weedverse: Harpies are minions of Grogar created from phoenix eggs corrupted by the Rainbow of Darkness. Celaeno is the only harpy who is on the heroes' side.
  • Blessed with a Hero's Heart: Izuku purchases two demihuman slaves, one of which is a Black Harpy who he names Chika (her former master hadn't bothered to give her a name). It is mentioned that harpies have become a Slave Race after they drove to extinction several other races favored by the Goddess Eris in the last demihuman great war.
  • Vow of Nudity: In one story, a tribe of harpies cause no end of grief for Haara and the zeppelin she stowed away on.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Disney's Hercules a harpy is one of many monsters shown during the "Zero To Hero" number. Hercules puts it in a cage. The same creature appears as part of a puzzle game on the tie-in "Animated Storybook" CD Rom.
  • The Last Unicorn contains Celaeno (based on the character of the same name in The Aeneid), a harpy that looks less like a harpy and more like a ugly, eared and toothed vulture with three Non-Mammalian Mammaries that are way too detailed for a G-rated children's cartoon. She was captured by Mommy Fortuna for the old hag's traveling circus and the unicorn sets her free. She then reveals herself to be just as evil and nasty as most harpies, and attacks the unicorn. Oddly enough, she speaks with a male-sounding voice despite being female.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (2017): Captain Celaeno and her parrot pirates appear to be based on harpies, but are never referred as such and are more like Bird People... with reptilian tails.
  • Spirited Away: Yubaba has a small, entirely bird-bodied one as a pet.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Clash of the Titans (2010): Harpies show up as Hades' flying, devilish minions. Although they don't resemble bird-women at all, they do serve the purpose of snatching people up and pulling them into the Underworld.
  • Jason and the Argonauts: True to the original myth, they taunt the blind prophet Phineus. Every day on his island, a huge banquet is laid out but the harpies take the food every day. There are only two instead of the traditional three. They are caught in a net by the Argonauts and locked in a cage while Phineus now eats the food in front of them.
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Hideous, haggard harpies with bat wings instead of arms appear as part of Jadis' army of monsters in the movie version.

  • The "Great Arms" of the Imperial City of Nuremberg originally depicted an eagle with a king's head; over the decades this was Flanderized into a harpy.

  • The Aeneid: Celaeno first appears here alongside her fellow harpies, where she prophesies that before Aeneas and his men find their home, they will become so hungry that they will eat their tables.
  • The Black Jewels trilogy includes harpies as the new forms of dead women who were killed violently by men.
  • Book of Imaginary Beings: Harpies are woman-headed vultures with a filthy smell and insatiable hunger, who raid others' food to gorge themselves and befoul with excrement that which they do not carry off.
  • Cretan Chronicles, being in an Ancient Grome-inspired setting, has a race of monsters called Furies, humanoid birds with woman's head and breasts, which are supposed to resemble classical harpies.
  • Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I.: Esther is a harpy working as a waitress. A terrible waitress, who's so unpleasant and vindictive that diner patrons leave her tips in gratitude if she doesn't lift a finger to serve them.
  • The Divine Comedy: Dante puts them in Hell, where flocks of harpies — here in their classical form, as hideous birds with women's heads — inhabit the Wood of Suicides, a ring of Hell where those who took their lives are transformed into trees in a dense forest, with the Harpies to torment them by feeding on their boughs.
  • A Fantasy Attraction: Herbert is a scholarly harpy with magic glasses.
  • Greyhawk: A rare heroic (and gorgeous) harpy, Chewppa, is the lead female protagonist of Book 5 of the Adventures novels.
  • Harry Potter: There is a Quidditch team called the Holyhead Harpies, which is made up entirely of women. As to whether actual harpies exist in the setting, no confirmation has been received so far (Though other teams are known to be named after magical creatures that do exist). The veela are vaguely similar, although they're more reminiscent of sirens or banshees.
  • His Dark Materials: Harpies guard the underworld. They were told by the Authority to feed off the misery of the dead by taunting them with whatever they did wrong in life. One harpy betrayed evil by helping Lyra and Will cut open a portal for the dead to escape through. As thanks, Lyra gave her a name — Gracious Wings.
  • The Iron Teeth free web serial has harpies. They are large birdlike animals with a second pair of claws on their wings and mouths full of teeth instead of beaks. They are also natural mimics similar to parrots.
  • Last Exit to Brooklyn: Harpies make an appearance in a Dream Sequence.
  • The Last Unicorn includes the harpy Celaeno as the only real monster in Mommy Fortuna's traveling circus.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians:
    • Harpies help keep curfew at Camp Half-Blood... by eating any camper stupid enough to break it.
    • In The Son of Neptune, the main characters meet Ella, a harpy who remembers everything she reads and has no interest in eating the kids, as well as a large flock of more traditional harpies tormenting the blind seer Phineas.zz
  • Princesses of the Pizza Parlor: Harpies appear in The Cutest Harpy On The Cliffs, where they have Psychic Powers along with being Winged Humanoids.
  • The Secret of Platform 13 has them as the Island's Good Is Not Nice police force. Eventually, a team is dispatched to rescue the prince when the less nightmarish team of rescuers seem to be failing.
  • Sir Apropos of Nothing, by Peter David, has male harpies called "harpers", mainly as an excuse for a "Harper's Bazaar" pun.
  • The Solomon Kane story "Wings in the Night" has them pop up in Africa. They're called akaanas, and they like to eat people, and are notable for being the only time that Solomon Kane has gone berserk. In a rare twist to the traditional One-Gender Race, they are all male, their females having died off a generation ago.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, the harpy is the symbol of the fallen civilization of Old Ghis.
  • The Tortall Universe has Stormwings: female and male harpy-like creatures with sharp steel feathers and talons, who desecrate bodies of those slain on the battlefield and are so odoriferous that they repel most humans. As they're in a class of beings called Immortals, they live forever or until accident or malice kills them. Stormwings were dreamt up by a traveler who wanted to make people realize that War Is Hell by taking any glamour out of the fate of the war dead. Some are evil but many aren't, merely tending to be quite offputting to many humans, and in turn they're often put off by humans's tendency to kill each other. They also tend to be Friends To All Children as they lay few steel eggs and even fewer hatch, so they have a soft spot for others' young and will often befriend children or rescue them.
    • In The Immortals, a Stormwing gives the Big Bad a Stormwing feather and tells him that if he plunges it into his flesh, it will allow him to escape any danger "on wings of steel". The Big Bad uses it when cornered and is transformed permanently into a Stormwing himself. In Tortall: A Spy's Guide Daine says any shed Stormwing feather can do this - considering that the feathers are also sometimes used to fletch arrows to give them Mage Killer properties, this suggests humans transforming into them happens more than once in an era.
  • Unseen Academicals: The Sisters of Perpetual Velocity are technically Furies, but they're angry bird women described by one observer as looking like a cross between a person and a chicken, and talk in squawks.
  • Xanth harpies are ugly old hags who attack via curses. The One-Gender Race and Gorgeous Gorgon aspects of them are played with, in that there are a few rare male harpies who are the good-looking ones; this is in explicit contrast with the goblins, which in Xanth are mostly ugly males with a few beautiful females. The two races war with each other frequently, but one recurring character is a winged gobliness with a harpy father and a goblin mother. It also becomes clear in one of the novels that young female harpies are actually very pretty; it's not until they grow up (which tends to also entail becoming embittered by the dearth of males and losing all regard for hygiene) that they become ugly.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Adventures of Sinbad frequently includes them as monsters.
  • In Charmed (1998), harpies appear as a minor demon in the episode "Bite Me". They're identified by their long sharp talons. Both the harpy mook and her leader are played by black women.
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, naturally based on their classical-mythology settings, both include harpies.
  • Jason and the Argonauts: True to the original myth, they taunt the blind prophet Phineus. Every day on his island, a huge banquet is laid out but the harpies take the food every day. There are only two instead of the traditional three. They are killed when the bricks from their temple crush them.
  • Played for Laughs in Lost Girl. Bo is trying to apologize for being insensitive.
    Lauren: Well, physically you're fine.
    Bo: But emotionally I'm a level 10 harpy. [one of Lauren's medical staff slams something down and storms off, giving Bo a dirty look]. Is she...?
    Lauren: Of the Boston harpies.
    Bo: Great.
  • Mahou Sentai Magiranger: One Monster of the Week is called Peewee Harpy — its equivalent in Power Rangers Mystic Force is Screamer.
  • Philippines TV series Dyosa has a woman who can change into a flying harpy, where her arms become feathered wings and the rest of her body remains human.
  • Ultraman Dyna has a Monster of the Week called Kokakucho, a giant bird-woman with wings and avian talons, resembling a classic harpy (if kaiju-sized).

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Harpies are from Greek Mythology, where they seem to be personifications of malevolent storm-winds that abduct people to take them to the Underworld and spread pollution and filth. They were one of the obstacles faced by Jason and the Argonauts.
  • The Tulevieja or Tulivieja from the folklore of Costa Rica and Panama is usually portrayed as having the top half of an elderly woman with obscenely large, rotten breasts carrying excessive amounts of breast milk which drips and the lower half of a bird, with long talons, feathered legs and a tail. Some stories also give her a pair of bird-like or bat-like wings, which, despite their small size, are deceptively strong and allow her to fly. Her role often varies depending on the tales she appears in. She's usually depicted as a figure similar to La Llorona, but in other myths she can also be either a demon or an outright Humanoid Abomination.
  • Slavic folklore has a handful or harpy-like creatures. The Alkonost, named after Queen Alcyone from Greek lore, and her counterpart, the Sirin, are both woman-headed birds whose beautiful songs give humans Laser-Guided Amnesia. In the sirin's case, her songs foretold great fortune to saints but caused mortals under her spell to fruitlessly follow her and die. However, sirins eventually took on a more positive connotation, being portrayed as symbols of harmony, eternal joy and happiness. The Gamayun was a symbol of wisdom and knowledge. All of these beings were based on legends of harpies and sirens from Greek stories.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has had harpies throughout the various editions as Chaotic Evil Monstrous Humanoids with hypnotic singing voicesnote , though their appearance has varied considerably. Similarly, their status as an Always Female One-Gender Race has fluctuated, from being always female and depending on parthenogenesis/crossbreeding with humanoid men/a combination of the two, to having males who are simply less common and/or expected to Stay in the Kitchen.
    • 2e harpies are ugly, resembling nasty-looking crone-like women who have the lower bodies and wings of vultures, but with beautiful, enrapturing voices.
    • 3e harpies are, similarly, ugly creatures who combine the worst aspects of crones and vultures and contrast them with hypnotic voices. In 3.5, they become fully inhuman monsters with draconic legs and wings.
    • 4e harpies take a swing into the Gorgeous Gorgon territory, with bird wings and claws but otherwise regular humanoid appearances. In the default Nentir Vale setting, they're given an origin as the descendants of an evil elf queen whose family misused magic to assume the form of birds in order to spy upon their tyrannized subjects. When their people revolted, the magic went haywire and trapped them as half-elf, half-bird beings.
    • In 5th edition, harpies keep the Cute Monster Girl looks, with human-like bodies but monstrous claws. They're also given a new origin story as an elven maiden who learned a beautiful song to woo the god Fenmarel Mestarine. When her trick didn't work, she got mad and used magic to turn herself into the first harpy, corrupting her love into a predatory hunger for the flesh of others.
    • The Greco-Roman themed 3rd party settings Arkadia and Odyssey of the Dragonlords both put their own spin on harpies. In Arkadia, harpies are a race of oft-malicious but not always evil fae who appear as half-woman, half-bird, and it's possible to play a Phaedran (half-fae) with harpy ancestry. In Odyssey of the Dragonlords, harpies are sirens — here a race of half-human half-birds whose civilization was ruined by the cruelty of a deity — who went mad and became murderous bandits. Sirens are a playable race; harpies aren't.
  • Games Workshop:
    • A very early issue (now long discontinued) was a set of assemble-and-paint Harpy figures with the distinct faces and hairstyles of Margaret Thatcher, Nancy Reagan, Ronald Reagan and Edwina Currie.
    • Warhammer 40,000: Harpies are a kind of flying Tyranid organism with broad leathery wings, a hollow body for lightness in the air, either organic guns or scythelike talons growing from their forearms, and the ability to drop payloads of explosive spores. The swarms use them mainly as a combination of bombers, strafers and mid-sized air support.
    • Warhammer Fantasy: Bat-winged harpies appear as a flying unit for the Dark Elves and Beasts of Chaos. They're a One-Gender Race of winged female humanoids, a bunch of scavengers and snatcher. In terms of beauty, they're depicted as attractive but only from the belly up to the neck as a "parody of a woman's body". They often lair in desolate islets and sea stacks and use their entrancing songs to lure sailors to their doom, but others follow Dark Elf armies or Beastman warherds around to feed on the carnage that follows them.
  • Godforsaken: Harpies are hideous, filthy creatures with human heads and vulture bodies. Their breath reeks of decay, their wings and talons drip with unpleasant oils, and their eyes shed acrid tears. They love to torment people and lure them to their deaths, and can place people under a magical trance with their song.
  • Palladium Fantasy: Harpies are vicious, savage creatures that live only to despoil beautiful things. They are literally living embodiments of envy and hatred, as they're believed to be a divine curse upon the world.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Harpies aren't necessarily ugly — in fact, their artwork tends to make them look fairly attractive, if inhuman — but they have absolutely no sense of hygiene (and powerful musk). They may not be bad to look at, but you can usually smell them coming a mile away. They are explicitly a One-Gender Race that must mate with humanoids to procreate... unfortunately, not only do they tend to be sadists, they usually eat their partners when they're done. In fact, it's mentioned in one sourcebook on Classical Monsters that in Harpy society, not eating the father of one's daughter is a shameful event, unless said male is strong enough that he's more worthwhile if kept alive. They also possess captivating songs that they use to lure victims into their clutches. Second Edition does away with their One-Gender Race status — in fact, the illustration in the Bestiary is of a male harpy.
    • Pathfinder also includes a siren species, which are bird-women like their harpy cousins (a woman's head, the body of a giant eagle/hawk/owl), but more benevolent. For starters, they don't eat their lovers, and in fact have been known to commit suicide if their lovers are stolen away from or leave them.
  • RuneQuest: Harpies are repulsive creatures of Chaos whose heads and breasts are that of human females, while the rest of their bodies resemble those of vultures.
  • Shadowrun: Harpies are monstrous, gigantic Awakened bats with long tails. They're all female, primarily scavengers and carriers of a great variety of diseases. It's not clear how they actually breed.

  • The Tempest: Ariel disguises himself as one to deliver a message.

    Video Games 
  • Afterimage: Chained Harpies are purple harpy-like creatures with red eyes, long "ears", a tail, an sickle attached to one of their legs.
  • Akuji the Heartless has fire-breathing harpies as enemies in later levels in the jungles of the underworld. They resemble winged women larger than an adult human.
  • In Breath of Fire II, a group of three harpy sisters are the first Mini-Boss. They spend the second turn arguing and attacking each other and only attack Ryu, won they want to eat because he's more attractive than Bow.
  • Castlevania: Harpies are recurring enemies, appearing in most games.
  • The Crystal of Kings have a harpy-woman as the third boss, attacking you as you're in a pit. She's one of the fastest bosses in the game, and can launch dozens of feather projectiles which can be quite difficult to dodge.
  • Dark Souls has its own variant of harpy: a creature with a head and wings of a crow and body of a man or woman.
  • Dragon's Crown has a harpy as the first boss you fight. Its head is an armless woman from the waist up, but the rest it is a big, colorful bird. It's also about the size of a station wagon with wings attached.
  • Dragon's Dogma: Generally speaking, the game has harpies almost everywhere and they behave like sirens, known for being both beautiful and hideous. Their depictions are actually accurate to the source materials due to their bird-like proportions. Harpies and their variants sing to hypnotise their prey to sleep and snatch them away. However, what makes them truly annoying is how the Pawns overreact to almost every single harpy.
    • The Snow Harpy is a variant which can freeze its prey with a chilling breath.
    • The Succubus, surprisingly, does not have horns. Instead, it's a harpy with bat wings and they can curse its prey with its seductive song and bite them.
    • The Gargoyles also falls under this category since they also behave like harpies, except they have tails which can petrify their prey.
    • As for the literal Siren, their singing can heal nearby creatures instead of hypnotising prey.
    • And there's Strigoi, the large red Gargoyle.
  • Drakensang has Harpies as ugly, though monsters which can easily inflict Wounds with each attacks: not only each wounds weakens your character, but once you reach 5 wounds you're K.O.... and the Harpies tend to come in flocks of at least four. To cup it all, they have a hatchery in Moorbridge Swamp, the first area you have to visit outside of Ferdok, when you're still low level and badly equipped. The sequel has harpies, but at least they're located near the end of the game, when you should be though enough to get rid of them.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
  • Final Fantasy: Starting from Final Fantasy XI and continuing with XIV, XV, and XVI, the wind summon Garuda has the appearance of a harpy
  • God of War had these as easy to kill but annoying enemies. They are typically seen scavenging off corpses and their behavior implies that they are not sentient. Also, like most female monster in this game, they have exposed breasts, but not very nice ones.
  • Golden Sun has the Harpy, Virago and Harridan monsters. Amusingly enough, all three terms can refer to a spiteful, shrill woman.
  • Guild Wars has harpies as an enemy type.
  • Hero of Sparta, befitting the Greek theme, have harpies as enemies. They're depicted as giant birds with a woman's upper body, and wings for hands.
  • In King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!, Graham is abducted by harpies, and has to play on a harp to distract them from eating him.
  • King's Raid: Naila subverts this trope, being a Proud Warrior Race Girl instead. In fact, she turns against the harpy queen and joins Kasel's crew.
  • Last Armageddon: A Harpy acts as one of your party members, taking the form of a woman with wings on her back and feathed legs with clawed feet. Overlapping with sirens, she gets some voice-based abilites and magic that charms enemies.
  • Luna Online has harpies as mid-level enemies. You can also get a baby version of them as a pet in the expansion.
  • Maldita Castilla: Stage 2 is called "Road of the Harpies", that's all that you need to know.
  • Mega Man Zero: Harpuia is based on this. His name is derived from the ancient Greek word for Harpy.
  • Might and Magic: Harpies appear as enemies in several games and as recruitable creatures in the Heroes of Might and Magic spin-off series.
  • Miitopia: Here, harpies look more like a Ridiculously Cute Critter, as they are winged creature with Cat Smile and small claw-like feet. They are notoriously bothersome because of their Tornado Move, which can temporarily remove a non-guest party member from the battlefield.
  • Monster Girl Quest has harpies of the Cute Monster Girl variety. They're actually among the nicest and least dangerous of monsters, and most of them live peacefully with humans.
  • Monster World IV has a harpy that appears as the mid-boss of Handera Volcano who flies around and drops fireballs on the ground.
  • The first Nightmare Creatures has harpies as Airborne Mook enemies in later levels.
  • Nosferatu Lilinor: A harpy serves as one of the bosses of the game. She attacks by swooping down at Lilinor, and shooting feathers.
  • In Persona 4, Yukiko's Shadow takes a form similar to a harpy for her boss battle- a giant, red phoenix-like bird with Yukiko's face and long black hair, and vaguely humanlike breasts.
  • Pokémon Black and White introduces Vullaby and Mandibuzz, a species of all-female, Dark-type vulture Pokémon who wear bones as clothing and certainly seem to have been created with the concept of a harpy in mind.
  • Puyo Puyo has a character called Harpy in reference to the mythical harpy, but her appearance and mannerisms are more comparable to an angel. In the PC-98 version of Madou Monogatari 1-2-3, she's an actual harpy, thus fitting this trope.
  • Pyre: Has a race called "Harps" that look like elves with wings in place of arms and birdlike legs. They may or may not be a One-Gender Race; nobody in the Commonwealth has seen a male Harp (leading to a nasty rumor that the females eat their mates), but your Harp party member claims they have a prince. Their country is currently at war with the Commonwealth, so Harps residing there often face discrimination. Harp criminals are often punished by having their wings clipped before being tossed into Downside; it’s to keep them from using their flight to escape, but it also leaves them effectively crippled for life.
  • Serious Sam: Harpies are Weak but annoying emeies, as usual. The game lampshades the use of breasts on a bird monster (they don't actually produce milk, they're just there to attract prey), and the liberal use of Nightmare Face makes it clear the series is rooted in the Fan Disservice side of the harpy lineage.
  • Shantae: In Shantae (2002) and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, this is the last required transformation that the heroine can get. It grants her Video Game Flight and a short-ranged attack with her talons if she finds the necessary upgrade. Naturally, she's a Cute Monster Girl in this form.
  • In Skullgirls, Eliza transforms into a harpy (actually the Egyptian goddess Nekhbet) during her air throw. She also has a Blockbuster version of the attack.
  • Tales Series: Harpies have been a recurring enemy type from the very first game. It's not uncommon for them to have a singing attack that induces the Confuse or Charm status on your party members.
  • Sylphia have harpies as a recurring Airborne Mook enemy, and a powerful gigantic harpy serving as a Queen Mook.
  • Terraria has harpies as a relatively common enemy at the heights where sky islands usually form. They are humanoid creatures with feathered wings instead of arms, and if their Dungeon Defenders appearance is to be believed, talons for feet. Despite a relatively friendly appearance, they are always hostile and will shoot feathers at players. When killed, they drop feathers used for Gravitation potions.
  • Titan Quest: Harpies are some of the standard Mooks, encountered in Greece (where they're more bird-like) and Egypt, where they're called "Sand Hags" and are featherless creatures with batwings and vulture-like beaks. Both are classified as Beasts rather than Beastmen, implying that they're not sentient.
  • Total War:
    • Total War: Warhammer: Bat-winged harpies are present as quick, fragile flying units for the Beastmen and the Dark Elves. They're very well-suited for shutting down archers and artillery units and for swarming light enemy infantry when it's isolated or tied up in combat, but lack the bulk or armor to do well in long-term melee and can be devastated by focused ranged fire or being caught by a large flying monster.
    • A Total War Saga: TROY:
      • In Truth Behind the Myth mode, harpies are a unit of human women, wreckers and pirates recruitable from coastal regions, who smear their faces with soot, wear clothes and headdresses decorated with feathers and bird skulls — their elite variant, the harpy fiends, wear winged headdresses — and fight with javelins. The implication is that, over centuries of retellings after the events of the game's time, memories of these harpies became distorted into the monstrous half-bird women of Greek myth.
      • In Mythos mode, harpies are creatures with bodies of women but the wings and legs of birds. In battle, they serve as a mobile flying unit.
  • The original Valkyrie Profile features harpies as enemies in many dungeons. They are depicted with the upper bodies and heads of women with the lower bodies of birds and huge wings for arms. Lenneth describes them as "abominations" and "an insult to all natural birds", implying that they may have been created through sinister magical experiments. In one scene, resident Evil Sorcerer Lezard Valeth summons one and rides on its back as a flying mount.
  • Vagrant Story: Harpies look like turkeys with a woman's face on the torso. These creatures are extremely dangerous as they can use the Banish spell on you.
  • Warcraft has harpies as taloned, arm-winged enemies both in the RTS and the MMORPG. They are thought to descend from Aviana, the goddess of flying creatures, who herself takes the form of a white-feathered harpy.
  • In Wargroove Harpies form the Cherrystone aeronaut unit. Despite having wings for arms and talon for feet, they have the Cute Monster Girl vibe going on. They also thoroughly subvert the usual personality of the race — they get along famously with humans, form rescue teams to help people trapped in the mountains they inhabit, and the deployable aeronauts are there because they voluntarily enlisted with Cherrystone's regular military. (Other factions' aeronauts have a similar body shape, but pull more heavily from In-Universe lore.)
  • Wayward: Harpies appear as enemies. Unusually, they are mostly found in caves. Killing one rewards you with chicken meat and lots of feathers.
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings features harpies as enemies, especially down this one road where you encounter hordes and hordes of them, along with a variant called erynias. One Fetch Quest has you harvesting their feathers for a merchant who is essentially a member of the Furry Fandom.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess, much like the TV series the game is based on, has harpies as enemies in the Mount Olympus levels near the end of the game, where they attack by swooping all over the place trying to knock Xena off to her death.

  • Archipelago has many varieties of bird-people. Three particularly malicious female ones work for the Raven, referred to as harpies by their exasperated husband.
  • Champions of Far'aus: In #2, "Over the sea and through the air", The main characters are attacked by harpies while traveling through some mountains.
  • The Horrifying Experiments of Dr. Pleasant!: Joselyn has a more warm and friendly disposition than her macabre appearance would imply. Also, an accomplished cook.
  • Skin Deep: Many harpies live in the Avalons and get on in society just like all of the other creatures; the most notable example being the bar tender Abby. They're also among the species that do not possess enchanted medallions to allow them to take human shape, which is both a significant inconvenience and a source of Fantastic Racism in the magical community.
    • They come in four distinct subspecies, representing different depictions of harpies in mythology and heraldry:
      • Aellean harpies resemble human women with bird legs, tails and wings; they only possess four limbs, and their wings double as their arms — they still possess taloned, scaly hands, but these are part of their wings and possess limited dexterity; their feet are actually more dextrous and useful than their hands.
      • Okepetian harpies resemble the aellean kind in most respects, but possess distinct arms and wings for a total of six limbs; their forearms and hands are scaled and tipped with birdlike talons. Abby is an okepetian harpy.
      • Podargian harpies are the smallest kind, and the least humanoid — they're essentially birds with human heads.
      • Celean harpies are the most monstrous kind, possessing taloned hands and four wings — a birdlike pair and a batlike pair.
    • Anthony is something of an odd case — he transformed into an aellean harpy after being exposed to the magic of an Avalon, despite harpies being Always Female and his transformation not involving any Gender Bender. As it turns out, his mom was an aellean harpy who permanently took on human shape to be with her human husband, and this combined with humans being easily affected by transformative magic likely caused a weird, unique reaction when he was first exposed to the magical world.
  • Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic has Innocent Fanservice Harpy Nike and her hot sisters, plus not-so-hot mom, who is a bit of a harpy in the colloquial sense as well.

    Web Original 
  • The Iron Teeth has a particularly odd interpretation of them, where they are large birds of prey with sharp teeth instead of beaks and claws on the tips of their wings.
  • Mind My Gap has an interesting variation where the maiden is half plane.
  • UniCreatures: One of the collectable pets is a harpy, although they aren't evil due to being in an exaggerated Sugar Bowl.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The term "harpy" nowadays is a very nasty insult towards a woman one considers to be unpleasant.
  • The harpy eagle, the largest eagle alive today, is named after the harpy. The name is very appropriate, as like all raptors the female harpy eagle is larger and more aggressive than her male counterpart.
  • And speaking of dinosaurs, the name of the ornithomimid Harpymimus translates to "Harpy Mimic". Here, the name is less appropriate, as Harpymimus couldn't fly and was most likely a herbivore.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Harpy, Harpies


Harpy Eda

As a result of making peace with the Owl Beast in her dream, Eda gains access to a half-woman half-bird harpy form.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / HarpingOnAboutHarpies

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