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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) is a very popular type of evil creature to appear on Monster of the Week style shows and all too often a Knight of Cerebus among them. Expect her to be Ms. Fanservice and a Manipulative Bitch, 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, I'm a Humanitarian, Consuming Passion, Luring in Prey, Out with a Bang, and Psychosexual Horror. Despite the Animal Motif involved, not inherently related to the Black Widow trope, although a Literal Maneater who legally weds her victims before consuming them would be an example of both. For the variant where the female cannibalizes the male of her own species after mating, commonly associated with black widow spiders in real life, see Conceive and Kill, and its subtrope, Mantis Mating Meal. Compare Succubi and Incubi, 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 & 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.
  • In Orc Eroica, females of the Killer Bee race devour their males after mating.
  • Solution Epsilon, one of the Pleiades combat maids at Ainz's service in Overlord (2012), is actually a shoggoth, a normally shapeless Blob Monster that prefers the form of a beautiful woman. She exploits her charms to their fullest extent, and men who make the mistake of wishing to get "inside of her" tend to get much more than they bargained for.
  • A rare male example in Parasyte with parasite Hideo Shimada, who hunts by transforming his face into a Bishōnen appearance and going out to pick up female company... who he then devours.
  • A Thousand & One Nights: Possibly, the serpent-amazons; they seem mostly trying to keep cuddling Aldin when he starts to flee from them, but when the two of them trip whilst trying to grab him — with one showing off a mouthful of fangs in the process — one of the serpents starts swallowing the other whole.
  • 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 
  • The Cinema Purgatorio feature Code Pru has an issue where Pru has a run-in with a demon woman. She is initially sympathetic to her as she suspects she was a witness or victim at a murder scene, but the end of the issue reveals that she was the killer all along. Pru opens up the fridge in her hotel room, revealing the corpses of at least a dozen men that she's seduced and killed for food.
  • Judge Dredd: There's a very rare breed of Giant Spider somewhat akin to the black widow who will take on the appearance of humans to get close enough to devour them. It initially appears as a woman seducing hapless men, but it turns out it can take on both female and male forms to lure mates.
  • A Spider-Man villain, Shathra, is a giant spider-hunting wasp from another dimension. In her first appearance, she assumed a human form and appeared on a trashy talk TV program sharing details of an alleged affair between herself and Spider-Man to lure him to her in a fit of rage. Later, she would resurface in Scarlet Spider, hunting Peter's clone "brother", Kaine. She did so by assuming the form of his love interest, Annabelle. She only revealed herself post-coitus as the real Annabelle showed up, a police officer tried to arrest Kaine, Kaine's teenage sidekick ranted about the vision quest she had just gone on, and another crazed sexual partner of Kaine's attempted to kill them all with a missile launcher.
  • Played for laughs in one of the gag comics in Marvel's What If? Vol. 1 #34; using the suggestion "What if Spider-Man had married the Black Widow?" as its basis, it consists of a single panel with Black Widow picking her teeth with a bone and emitting a Burp of Finality, whilst Spider-man's emptied costume and a few scattered human bones make his fate evident. Ironically, this story would be obliquely referred to in another gag comic, this time depicting Spidey marrying Spider-Woman... who actually would have made more sense in this role than Black Widow, as at the time she had a backstory of being a spider turned into a human by the High Evolutionary.

    Fan Works 
  • 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.
  • Pyronica in Flat Dreams eats people (and "people") just because she's hungry or bored, but she especially tends to eat anyone who has sex with her. Bill gets warned in his first meeting that when she says "You look cute enough to eat" to somebody, she means it quite literally. It's apparently normal for Pyronica's species, or possibly for women from Dimension 47 as a rule; her own mom got arrested for eating Pyronica's dad post-impregnation in a dimension where that wasn't legal. It's noted that this behavior actually keeps Pryonica fairly safe from unwanted advances, since everyone who's survived any length of time in the Infinetentiary is aware that she considers "boyfriend" (or "rapist") and "lunch" to be interchangeable.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Jennifer's Body: Jennifer Check routinely devours her lovers as a consequence of being possessed by a succubus.
  • The Lure: Golden's first victim gets killed when attempting to have sex with her in his car.
  • Men in Black II: Serleena eats (offscreen ... well, on screen, but hidden by a bush) a would-be mugger/rapist in the first few minutes of the movie.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: Mermaids are portrayed as sirens who seduce sailors and devour them.
  • Raw: Sort of, as all protagonists are human. However, cannibalistic urges are portrayed as purely sexual urges and only involve women preying on men.
  • Trick 'r Treat: The bunch of women who show up, seemingly cruising around looking for dates turn out to be a pack of werewolves who use their looks to seduce guys — or girls, they're not picky — into following them into places where the werewolves can assume their true forms and devour them. As their latest victims find out in their focus-story.

    Folklore & Mythology 
  • In Classical Mythology, there were female monsters called Empousae that could shapeshift 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 and insulting them.
  • Many different Youkai with human-like appearances have tales to this effect:
    • The Jorogumo is a Giant Spider who shapeshifts into the form of a beautiful woman 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.
  • The Asian Fox Spirit:
    • The Chinese huli jing is sometimes portrayed this way but feeds on spiritual energy rather than flesh.
    • Some Japanese stories 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.
    • The Korean gumiho is 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 Filipino merfolk can be this way, as many are Apparently Human Merfolk who lure humans into the water to eat them or sacrifice them.

  • ALiCE (2014): Terceira, though she doesn't do this to Christopher because she doesn't have to.
  • 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.
  • In Mermaids of Eriana Kwai, mermaids appear to male sailors in the form of a beautiful woman with the tail of a fish. They use their magical allure to lure their victims over to the side. When a man gets close enough, the mermaids turn into their demon forms, kill him, and eat him.
  • Peter in The Dragon DelaSangre is a dragon who grew up in the mid-20th century and used his shapeshifting abilities to make himself look like the movie stars he saw on TV. He draws a lot of attention from human women, but they don't survive their nights out with him.

    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 his head.
    • And obviously, any female vampire who lures male prey using seduction, such as Darla and Sandy. Actually, there are surprisingly few if any examples of that shown onscreen other than Darla or Sandy. Male vampires luring girls into alleys is more common. There is an entire brothel where men are fed on by female vampires for pleasure, but they're not supposed to take enough blood to kill them.
  • In one episode of Grimm, the Monster of the Week is a spider Wesen called a Spinnetod, 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 urge to kill her husband in the literal Black Widow fashion that comes naturally to them. Some female Spinnetods abstain from feeding altogether, but it takes great self-control and making their peace with the Rapid Aging that will inevitably result.
  • 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 that 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 handsome male form to attract Lt. Uhura.
  • V.I.P.: At the end of the episode "Hard Val's Night", Val gets to play one when she guest stars in the band Lit's latest music video. In it, she's a giantess who flirts with the band before eventually eating them one by one.
  • One episode of Wolf Lake features a serial killer nicknamed "The Feeder."

  • "Cannibal" by Kesha is a pretty explicit example.
    I eat boys up
    Breakfast and lunch
    Then when I'm thirsty, I drink their blood
  • "Illusion" by aespa uses this as a metaphor for attracting a lover.
  • "Maneater" by Daryl Hall & John Oates uses this trope metaphorically.
  • “Cannibal” by Tally Hall uses this trope as a metaphor for abusive relationships.

    Music Videos 
  • The giantess in the red dress and stilettos in the video for ''Panic'' by Lucie. The lead singer develops an infatuation with her and, though she toys with him throughout the video, it's in a mostly flirtatious way. This all comes to a head at the end of the video when he decides to propose to her. She gladly takes the ring but almost immediately afterwards devours him on the spot.
  • In the video for Neon Trees' Everybody Talks, a girl in red sunglasses seduces several male patrons at a drive-in movie theater, and once she gets them alone she turns into a fire-breathing demoness and eats them.
  • The monster depicted in the video for "Don't Threaten Me with a Good Time" by Panic! at the Disco is an Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous Humanitarian that seduces and devours both men and women in order to take their form.

    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.

    Video Games 
  • Hollow Knight: If the player finishes upgrading all of their Fragile charms and returns to Leg Eater, he will travel to Dirtmouth to seek out the source of the charms' new scent. If you return to Divine, Leg Eater's claws will be on the floor and her dialogue afterwards heavily implies she ate him.
  • Ouija Sleepover has a rare human example with Linda Simons. She seduced several men, lured them to her apartment, then killed and ate them, earning her the moniker "the Catfish Cannibal". She then tries to do the same to Aiden but fails because he is gay, so she just tries to kill him.

  • 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.
  • The Perry Bible Fellowship: "Zarflax" looks like a beautiful naked woman who offers some "space sex" to an astronaut. The spaceman isn't buying it; fortunately for him, as Zarflax is an alien monster with a large Vagina Dentata.
  • Red Green Blue: In this strip, an adventurer is warned that the chest he’s about to open is a mimic by a beautiful woman chained to the wall. He rushes over to free her, but unfortunately for him, the woman is also a mimic and promptly eats him.
  • 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.

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-953 ("Polymorphic Humanoid") is an evil Korean kumiho who makes use of her shapeshifting and seduction abilities to lure in (usually male) humans to their doom, preferring to take their hearts and livers.
  • This is the core foundation of "vore" fetishism in online media; vorarephillia 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.

    Web Videos 
  • Alien Abduction Role Play: Ackt is rather blunt about her desire to eat the human within minutes of meeting them. Even after her Heel–Face Turn, her irrational desire to eat them does not go away, much to her horror. She finally gets her chance to feast on some human flesh during her second feral episode when the crew feeds her Tori's corpse in an attempt to calm her down. She is NOT happy about this.

    Western Animation 
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: A most iconic and horrifying Monster of the Week is the Queen of the Black Puddle, a water-demon/nymph of some sort whose underwater kingdom periodically becomes aligned with various physical areas through any form of water. She hypnotizes her victims with her ethereal voice and drops of water, leaving them in a sensual trance, only to next abduct them and take them to her domain, where she shows her true demonic appearance and devours them alive, after putting a certain necklace on them, as a sacrificial offering to herself. 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.

Alternative Title(s): Sexual Cannibalism