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Literal Maneater

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"Oh, oh, here she comes;
Watch out boy, she'll chew you up!
Oh, oh, here she comes;
She's a maneater!"

Alice and Bob meet up at a bar. Alice is dressed very provocatively and is acting rather seductively towards Bob, which Bob is obviously enjoying. Things start to heat up between the two and they exit the bar and slip out to somewhere nearby that's dark and quiet. Things start getting intimate. Alice seems Ready For Love Making, and Bob is ready to comply but suddenly things take a horrible turn for Bob. Alice's mouth gets inhumanly wide as she seizes Bob before he can run away. Bob lets out a final scream as she eats him whole and alive.

Bob has fallen prey to a Literal Maneater. She is some sort of monster (alien, demon, vampire, etc.); who (at least superficially) resembles a beautiful woman, in order to attract obliviously unlucky men and then devour them. She (and they're usually a she, though not always) is a very popular type of evil creature to appear on Monster of the Week style shows. Expect her to be Ms. Fanservice, because that's how she lures in victims; although it's not too surprising if she turns out to be a hideous shapeshifter who's only pretending to look like a beautiful human.


Sub-trope of To Serve Man, Consuming Passion, and Death by Sex. Despite the Animal Motif involved, not inherently related to the Black Widow trope, though a Literal Maneater who legally weds her victims before consuming them would be an example of both. Compare Horny Devils, who have sometimes been portrayed as seducing people before eating them.

Also see the Femme Fatale and The Vamp, who may also use their sexuality for evil purposes, but they don't eat their lovers (at least not literally). For a type of female monster that preys on women rather than men, see the Lesbian Vampire.



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     Anime and Manga 
  • The unnamed female Apostle that Guts kills in the very first scene of Berserk behaves this way, luring lustful men to her so that she can transform into her true demonic form and eat them. The page pic shows her in action during the Eclipse, luring in and devouring Corkus, who is delirious after watching everyone in his crew get killed and eaten, knowing that she is most likely another demon but not being able to help himself.
  • Miroku from Inuyasha meets a female mantis-demon who has killed and eaten a young princess and disguises herself in a human being's skin. She makes Miroku an erotic offer first, but then she shows her true form. However, as an inversion of this trope, Miroku can kill that demon.
  • Tokyo Ghoul:
    • In the very first chapter, Cute Bookworm Kaneki scores a date with the beautiful Rize Kamishiro. They spend their date going to bookstores and discussing literature, then she asks him to walk her home because of recent Ghoul Attacks in the area. He complies, and when it's time for them to part ways, the couple ends up in an embrace... and Rize sinks her teeth into his shoulder. Turns out, she is the Ghoul responsible for all the recent killings and uses her beauty to attract young men to eat. He only escapes with his life due to a cruel twist of fate.
    • In the sequel, Nutcracker uses her job as an employee at a hardcore S&M club to find male victims. She arranges for a "private session" outside of work, then kills and eats them.

    Comic Books 

  • Leavanny in Dear Diary do this, owing to how that Pokémon species is based on actual mantids. The author actually Shows their work by noting only some percentage of Leavanny actually do this (as in the case for the real insects in question), rather than it being a universal feature of Leavanny sex.


  • In American Gods, Bilquis the Queen of Sheba is a literal and figurative example. She acts as a prostitute to have sex with people... Who she subsequently devours with her own vagina as her form of Human Sacrifice to keep some power.
  • In The Draco Tavern by Larry Niven, female Grey Mourners have the irresistible urge to try to eat their partners during sex. Since the rest of the time they and their partners would prefer that they didn't succeed, they practice polyandry so that a male not involved in the current sex act can give the female a prey animal to eat instead.
  • A predator in Stanley Weinbaum's A Martian Odyssey is telepathic/hypnotic and makes its prey "see" something highly desirable to lure it within reach.

     Live Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "Teacher's Pet", Xander is smitten by the substitute biology teacher, Ms. French, who turns out to be a giant praying mantis who needs a virgin male to fertilize her eggs before she devours him.
  • In one episode of Grimm, the Monster of the Week is a spider Wesen, who is involuntarily compelled to periodically suck the guts out of men to maintain her youthful appearance. Interestingly, she maintains a monogamous relationship with a male member of her species, and moonlights as a serial killer, mostly to stave off her natural urge to kill her husband.
  • Lexx: Lyekka is a Plant Person Shapeshifter who takes the form of a seductive woman. She gives her victims a pleasant, sexy fantasy to subdue them as they are devoured. This seems to be her species' predation strategy.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): The stranded alien fugitive in "Stranded" at one point transforms himself into a hot girl to lure a teenage boy closer so he can eat him.
  • The salt vampire from the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Man Trap" mostly operates this way, though there is one exception where it takes on a hunky male form to attract Lt. Uhura.

     Music Videos 

  • In Greek Mythology, there were female monsters called Empousae that could shape shift and would take on the appearance of beautiful women in order to seduce men and then eat them alive. Luckily, it seems that a man could repel them by cursing at them.
  • Many different Youkai with human-like appearances have tales to this effect, but perhaps the most prominent is the Jorogumo; this "whore spider" is a Giant Spider who shapeshifts into the form of a beautiful woman or Geisha to seduce men, only to eat them or feed them to her children.
    • The Bakeneko and Nekomata, who are malevolent ghostly cats, also commonly feature in stories where they use the forms of beautiful women to attract human men for food.
    • Although normally innocuous and innocent, the Kawauso (a shapeshifting otter) does have at least one story where a female used the guise of a human maiden to lure men to a pond, where she drowned and ate them after tiring of their dalliance.
    • Some stories also depict the Kitsune as a shapeshifting predator, but these are comparatively rare and they are more commonly seen as tricksters, pranksters and loving spouses instead.
  • Speaking of Fantastic Foxes, the Korean Gumiho is, unlike the Japanese Kitsune, traditionally depicted as a vicious man-eating fox that uses its guise of a beautiful human maiden to get men alone so it can feast on their livers or hearts. The Chinese Huli Jing is also sometimes portrayed this way, but feeds on spiritual energy rather than flesh.

     Tabletop Games 
  • Extremely common in Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder, where almost every Always Female One-Gender Race of monsters does this — it's honestly easier to point out aversions or subversions, such as Pathfinder's Thriae and Sirens, than to list them all. Often overlaps with Conceive and Kill.
    • Averted in Pathfinder's Second Edition with several of the monsters that used to be this trope. Lamias and Harpies are both specifically noted to include males of their species, so they no longer rely on seducing and killing humanoid males for their reproduction. They're still savage monsters, of course, so they may very well still eat you. Just not as a sex thing.
  • In the Shadowrun universe, the Incubus is a large octopus-like creature that has magical powers that can make it appear as a desirable person to its prey. The critter's actual form isn't changed, only how others perceive it. One runner describes an encounter with it at the docks in the middle of the night, where his partner saw a beautiful naked woman and as he approached it, it attacked him and revealed itself as an Incubus.

  • In Charby the Vampirate Adria has a preference for seducing men before killing and eating them, not necessarily in that order.
  • Does Not Play Well With Others has Naga, who is both a carnivore with a distinct preference for human flesh and a huge slut, so she frequently uses sex appeal to draw in potential meals. And if this results in her getting pregnant, she just eats her egg as soon as she lays it. Nikki the vampire is also implied to do this, at least sometimes.
  • Sluggy Freelance: In "On the Run", Dr. Crabtree does this once, although she's not built around doing it all the time. She's a human whose body is so suffused with experimental nanites that she can change shape and gain other people's knowledge by eating their brains. When trying to find out what Sam knows, she goes out on a date with him and soon suggests they can go outside so she can eat his brain. Being a Casanova Wannabe who's dumb as a box of rocks, he agrees, thinking it sounds kinky.

     Western Animation 
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: One of the most iconic and horrifying Monster of the Week was the Queen of the Black Puddle, a water-demon/nymph of some sort whose underwater kingdom periodically became aligned with various real-world areas through any form of water. She hypnotized her victims and left them in a sensual trance, which made it easier for her to abduct them and take them to her domain, where she would show her true demonic appearance and devour them alive. She snatches Muriel Bagge's husband Eustace and tries to eat him, before Courage (reluctantly) rescues him.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Road to Rupert", Brian admits to Stewie that he accidentally sold the latter's teddy bear Rupert, and Stewie says that the act was more horrible than sex with Sharon Stone, who is depicted as just having had sex with a guy and finishes by devouring his head, praying mantis-style.
  • The villain of the Gravity Falls episode "Roadside Attraction" was a Giant Spider disguised as a human woman who lures in and eats men. Oddly, rather than take a young, beautiful form, she looks like a middle-aged woman with caked-on makeup. She apparently targets older men, especially "pick-up artists", and she manages to turn the tables on self-proclaimed charmer Grunkle Stan.
  • The Teaser for the Men in Black: The Series episode "The Inanimate Syndrome" features a gender inverted example. Agents J and K follow a young couple into a Tunnel of Love ride at an amusement park, and they have to save the young lady by killing her boyfriend (who was really a Tresfin alien disguised as a human); as he doesn't "break hearts", he eats them.
  • The Simpsons episode "Bart's Friend Falls in Love" had a Show Within a Show example, where one victim in Space Mutants 7 is preyed on by a shapeshifting mutant disguised as his wife.
  • In the Team Galaxy episode "The Matchmaker", team member Yoko's well-meaning attempt to set up their teacher Mr. Spzoerscliipw' on a blind date goes horribly wrong when it turns out the attractive, if gluttonous, Green-Skinned Space Babe she pairs him with is actually a member of a race of shapeshifting alien praying mantises who seduce males to feed on them. The team has to rescue Mr. Spzoerscliipw' before she grows bored with her "appetizers" and moves on to the main course.

     Real Life 
  • The females of some species of firefly imitate the flashes of females of different species in order to lure males of that species to them. Once the male gets close enough, the female then proceeds to eat him.
  • The scientific term for this is sexual cannibalism, in which the female devours the male either before or during the act of mating. So far, it has only been observed in insect and arachnid species; the redback and black widow spiders are so named for this behavior (and gave the Black Widow trope its name), though it also shows up in praying mantis species. It's also gender inverted in one species of wolf spider, where it's the male that eats the female. Even more bizarrely, the male redback spider at least doesn't even mind getting eaten, and sometimes even "helps" by crawling into the female's mouth.
  • This is literally the core foundation of the dominant form of "vore" fetishism in online media; voraphillia is a sexual fetish for the consumption of living prey, and the primary form of vore fetish art consists of a beautiful woman who plays on their appearance to attract suitors, who end up being eaten involuntarily as part of the sexual act. Such cannibalistic lovemaking doesn't necessarily have to be fatal, as the common depiction involves the "prey" being Swallowed Whole without dying (known as "soft vore") and it is a purely fantastical form of fetishism, but the majority of more serious works do result in the prey's death, usually from being digested alive.
  • The infamous American Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer was a gay example, luring male victims into his home under sexual pretenses before murdering and partially consuming them.

Alternative Title(s): Sexual Cannibalism


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