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Kratos finds himself caught in the shadow of the colossus.
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Living statues are a varied league of fantastic artificial creatures. Common roles they fulfill are as guardians of places of importance, as doomsday devices Hidden in Plain Sight, and as (wanted or unwanted, but Always Female) romantic partners. The size of living statues and the material they're made from, which is usually stone or metal, means immense strength and endurance are a likelihood as long as the Conservation of Ninjutsu is not in effect. How a living statue comes to be differs per story.

In case the origin lies with the statue, a regular statue is cursed, enchanted, or haunted. The latter is particularly likely to happen between the statue likeness and the soul of the same person. A special case is when the statue doesn't necessarily house the soul, but does serve as its anchor. This always requires the statue to be of the soul's owner. Think of it as a statue being in a permanent state of Astral Projection. In some cases, the statue doesn't just anchor the soul, but is what calls it back from the dead.

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A living statue could be a robot or a golem if they spend time in the role of statue, such as lying in wait for trespassers. Another possibility is for a statue to be the starting material for either. All that said, the distinction between a living statue and a golem is flimsy. Generally speaking, a living statue has an artistic element to it that informs its shape, whereas a golem will be more rudimentary of form.

A third possibility is for someone to be turned into a statue. Take note that if this is a regular statue it's Taken for Granite, which is not a living statue, while if they retain their awareness but cannot move the result is a living statue. In the opposite scenario, where a statue being brought to life becomes organic, it still qualifies as a living statue until it takes successfully part in a Pinocchio Syndrome plot.

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Living statues are a common occurence in European or American action stories set outside of the West because they make for recognizable creatures that still come across as native to the setting. Kali statues are a notable example of that, foregoing the actual goddess in favor of her image.note  Another noteworthy case of living statues occurs when a mythological creature is exclusively present in history as a statue. While the creature may not be meant to be a living statue, the association is a strong one and fiction may choose to merge the two. Gargoyles and other grotesques are the prime example of this phenomenon.

There are many different types of statues made for different purposes by different cultures in different periods from different materials. Which is why Living Statue is a busy Super-Trope, covering Our Gargoyles Rock, Living Figurehead, Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moai, and technically Snowlems and Scary Scarecrows. In turn, it's a Sub-Trope to Anomalous Art. Might be a specific version of Chekhov's Gun in case of Mistaken for Granite and Weaponized Landmark. See also Taken for Granite, Sculpted Physique, Nobody Here but Us Statues, Pygmalion Plot, and Genius Loci. Depending on the material the statue is made of, further see Rock Monster or Treants.


Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • Because caryatids are Always Female and a supporting architectural component, they're a go-to visual tool.
    • A typical political cartoon that uses caryatid imagery consists of a female politician as the caryatid, a roof above her that has a word on it relating to the female politician's beliefs, and then something else that endangers her ability to keep the roof up. Most often this will be a negative message about the politician's skills or goals, but the imagery is also used to depict the politician as the last fighter for a good cause.
    • Advertisement may use caryatids to send a message about the importance of female teamwork by depicting a variety of women holding up a roof.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Ghost Stories:
    • The Ninomiya statue is the very first ghost encountered in the series, and while scary seemingly not hostile. It stands outside the Old School Building, but later is found on the second floor wearing Momoko's hat. Hajime retrieves the hat, obtusely asserting it's just a statue, when it opens its eyes and closes its book. The children make a run for it.
    • The ending credits depict a Hyakki Yagyou in which a Ninomiya statue participates.
  • In Gakkou no Kaidan (Anime Video Joukan), Ninomiya Kinjiro is one of the eight hosts presenting the horror story segments. He does not appear in the story segments himself. He and Hanako are in love but Twice Shy, while the rest of the group totally supports them.
  • Junji Ito's Bronze Statue multitasks the premise of living statues made through lost-wax casting and has one case of Taken for Granite.
    • The first example is a fake-out, because the bust in Seidou City Central Park that the children know talks actually contains video and audio equipment through which the rich selfmade widow Sonobe eavesdrops on park-goers. The "talking statue" depicts her in her long-gone prime. It's contrasted by the bust of her husband, which depicts him as he was at the time of creation, two years before his murder. When Sonobe overhears four women mock her for her vanity, she kills them with the help of her vaguely romantic partner-in-crime, the sculptor Tsuchiya.
    • About a week later, the children ask the "talking statue" if she knows where their mothers are. Sonobe lies, but example two occurs as suddenly her husband's bust speaks and reveals Sonobe as a murderer.
    • Distraught, Sonobe searches the pond in her backyard for her husband's corpse and hands it to Tsuchiya for burning. He, however, notices the body has turned into adipocere and sculpts it into the form of a handsome young man (which Sonobe guesses depicts Tsuchiya in his younger days). He uses it as the basis for a bronze statue, which he gifts to Sonobe. Sonobe is elated and places it next to a full body statue of her younger self. Then, for example number three, both statues come to life and tell Sonobe to go away because they want alone time. Sonobe's warning to her younger self is met with derision, because a statue never ages.
    • Inspired, Sonobe writes a letter to Tsuchiya, explaining that she'll kill herself in the pond and requesting him to retrieve her in three years and use the adipocere to create a beautiful statue of gold of her. At his end from the harsh working conditions, Tsuchiya stays alive long enough to create the plaster cast, but dies before he can add the gold, leaving Sonobe's spirit trapped inside.
  • In the Library Island arc of Mahou Sensei Negima!, one of the giant statues standing before the Book of Melusedek naturally turned out to be one of these. Although after the fact it's implied that it's the principal in disguise.
  • The statue of the Godor, the Guardian God of Boazan in Voltes V, turned out to be a powerful ancient Humongous Mecha that could be piloted by a soul who's brave enough to jump into its blue flame.
  • In chapter 166 of School Rumble, Hanai awakes a statue of kuta panda.
  • The 3rd mission in Gantz saw the team fighting an assortment of statues on the grounds of a Buddhist temple, including a giant Buddha statue bigger than the daibutsu at Nara's Tōdai-ji! They kill the entire'' team except Kurono. Another mission has lizard creatures coming out of statues.
  • Episode 170 of Sgt. Frog has the Keroro Platoon and the Hinata siblings investigate The Seven Mysteries at Kishou Academy after rumors go around that the Ninomiya statue stabbed someone to death. All of the mysteries are proven to be fake, but there is truth to the Ninomiya statue. Some time ago, Keroro had it placed. It's actually a well-disguised spy robot that can also make sashimi, a program that is left on permanently so the platoon can enjoy a midnight snack. However, they forgot about the robot.
  • Kakurenbo has kids playing hide and seek in a seemingly abandoned town, who are being hunted down by mechanical demonic-looking Asian statues.
  • In the Pokémon Best Wishes episode "An Epic Defense Force", Ash and company make a movie where the statue of a Golurk comes to life to protect the inhabitants of an island from an alien invader.
  • Naruto has the greatest attacks created by the First Hokage's Wood Style as immense wooden statues of famous Buddhist imagery that come to life to do battle.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, the statues the group must mimic in Episode 4 turn out to be alive.
  • Kaidan Is Dead has The Seven Mysteries concerned they'll cease to exist if children no longer believe in them. Among the mysteries is a Ninomiya statue, who is the only one convinced they should keep on haunting the school because it is their duty as the local ghosts. He vows to continue opening his eyes at four o'clock no matter what, inspiring the other mysteries. The next day, the school administration has the statue removed because parents complained it encouraged children to walk and read simultaneously, which is dangerous to do.
  • In the song "Yamiko-san mo Kuru!?" of Gakkou no Kowai Uwasa: Hanako-san ga Kita!!, Ninomiya's statue plays the synthesizer. To illustrate his statue-ness, he's rendered with dimensionality while the default style of the show is a flat look.
  • Episode 45 of Arabian Nights: Adventures of Sinbad commences with a village terrorized by huge statue from the nearby ruins, which depicts a headless and winged horse. Sinbad and his friends cannot tame it, but find a stone head buried in the ruins' sands. As it turns out, they're dealing with a lamassu and the head asks to be reunited with its body. They help him out, only to discover the lamassu is truly evil and now back to full power. Out of gratitude, it lets them ride him and if they can stay on he'll let them go. Otherwise, he'll freeze them in place and let nature turns them into mummies. None of the three manage to stay on, but when a storm rolls in they see a chance to have the lamassu hit by lightning, causing it to split apart and the curse to be lifted.
  • In the tenth episode of the sixth series of GeGeGe no Kitarō, the focus is on the Seven Mysteries at Mana's school. Among them are a Ninomiya statue and a plaster bust. The Mysteries get taken prisoner by one of them, Yousuke, who is after Hanako. The protagonists defeat him and and allow the Mysteries to return to their parts of the school.
  • In Chapter 46 of Hell Teacher Nube, Makoto thinks the Ninomiya statue is out to kill him because he hates studying. Nube isn't convinced of this because Ninomiya is a god of studying and therefore a benevolent youkai, so he seemingly refuses to help. Makoto then sets a trap for the statue, almost casting it to the bottom of the river, when Nube jumps in to save it. He reveals it isn't Ninomiya who's hunting the boy, but the vengeful ghost of a neighboring town's teacher who died due to a student's prank. The ghost appears and attacks Makoto, but Ninomiya wakes and self-destructs after absorbing the ghost. It is deduced that the Ninomiya statue was following Makoto to protect him and not to harm him. With its goal met, what's left of the statue has become normal stone.
  • In Episode 112 of Detective Conan, the plaster busts of the art room are witnessed moving around at night, but this turns out to be a misinterpretation of a teacher moving them.
  • In the sixth episode of Love Tyrant, the protagonists visit a school building at night. They are harrassed by the local spirits, among which a plaster bust that floats after them, but Guri and Akane beat them into a pulp.
  • Rather than being alive as a statue, Ninomiya statues in Haunted Junction are anchor points for Ninomiya spirits. Saitou High School has its own spirit-statue as one of The Seven Mysteries of the school tasked with aiding the Sato Holy Student Council in defeating evil spirits. He is associated with the yellow badge.
  • The protagonists of Sekkou Boys are an idol band composed of four busts based on real-life statues: Saint Giorgio, Medici, Hermes, and Mars. Their manager is a former art student named Miki Ishimoto. Not only does she have to ensure their success, but she's also their primary mode of transportation, because as busts, they can't move on their own (except when they can).

    Comic Books 
  • In the XXXenophile story "Now Museum, Now You Don't", statues of four goddesses come to life to help a museum guard deal with her man troubles in a rather "hands-on" fashion.
  • Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! has one robotified example and one interpreted example:
    • In the third issue of the original series, the villain Brother Hood takes control of the statue of Abraham Linkidd (Earth-C's Abraham Lincoln, a goat) from the Linkidd Memorial in Waspington DC, presumably by rebuilding it into a robot, and uses it to attack the heroes. They defeat it by beheading it, which forces Brother Hood out.
    • In the second issue of the 2007 miniseries Captain Carrot and the Final Ark!, the monster Frogzilla mistakenly believes the Statue of Ribbity (Earth-C's Statue of Liberty) to be alive and picks her up for a date. He ends the date before reaching third base when his boss orders him back to work.
  • The story "Rasputin's Revenge!" from Iron Man has a Tiva-worshipping Rasputin as main villain. He owns the Tavistick and uses it to bring to life a recently unveiled statue to wreak havoc. Said statue is Fangor and it's conveniently designed to represent all of humanity's evil. Iron Man freezes and shatters both the statue and the staff.
  • In the Godzilla Color Special from Dark Horse Comics, Godzilla faces an ancient demon known as Gekido-jin, whose spirit was contained within a statue on a remote island in the Pacific. The two clash violently until they fall off a cliff into the sea. Godzilla destroys Gekido-jin with his atomic ray, and with Godzilla off the island, Gekido-jin's spirit returns to its stone prison.
  • Obscure Marvel Universe hero It, the Living Colossus was Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • In one Li'l Abner storyline, Jubilation T. Cornpone's statue is filled with Kickapoo Joy juice, which brings it to "life." It then goes on a rampage, beheading all the statues of Union Army generals. The U.S. Army can't destroy it because it's a federally protected National Monument, so Mamy Yokum tries pouring the Jy Juice Kickapoo into a Union statue, which then charges the Cornpone statue, causing both to destroy each other. (At Mammy Yokum's urging, the Dogpatch residents super-glue them back together.)
  • In the album The Rameses Revenge of Papyrus, the gods, in the disguise of the high priest, bring to life the four statues of Rameses II decorating the Great Abu Simbel temple. They do so to punish a group of ruthless templerobbers and save their hostage, Papyrus. However, the statues (and the weather) go out of control when one of the thieves "kills" the "high priest". Theti rushes into the chaos to retrieve Papyrus. The two almost get stepped on by one of the statues, but at Theti's scream, it halts midwalk, topples, and breaks, providing an in-story explanation why the second Abu Simbel statue is as it is today. When the storm has died down, the statues are already back in their seats at the temple.
  • "The Dark Goddess of Doom", published in Ghosts #3, is an adaptation of "The Venus of Ille". Rather than a marble statue of Venus, it stars a bronze statue of Kali. Said statue is illegally obtained by Chris Morton, who manages an art collection as investment plan. He also gains much of his wealth by fooling women. One of them has finally seen through Chris's lies and throws him back the engagement ring. In jest, Chris places the ring on Kali's statue, exclaiming that only the Queen of Evil would do for him. That night, the statue comes to live and squeezes Chris to death. It's left up to the reader whether the statue acted out of vengeance or love.
  • Published in Plop! #5, "Molded in Evil" presents the story of a famous Parisian sculptor, Pierre Gouny, whose speciality is gargoyles. In his spare time, he's developed a potion to bring his statues to life. His first creation is a silly bird he immediately dotes, but which is destroyed by his wife who is unaware of Pierre's invention. She orders him to only make gargoyles, since those bring in money. Seeking revenge Pygmalion-style, Pierre sets out to create a new wife to run off with. However, still unaware of the life added to the clay, Clothilde again destroys the statue while Pierre is away. This time, he murders her for it. Pierre opts to hide the body within one of the gargoyles she wanted him to create so badly. He doesn't realize he's using his treated clay until the creature attacks him.
  • In "The Night the Statues Walked", part of Web of Mystery #19, Edward Tillston seeks revenge on the judge who sentenced his brother to death. When a statue in the museum he works at breaks, he finds a parchment by Pygmalion inside containing a chant to bring marble statues to life. Moreso, they are loyal to whomever brought them to life, will reassemble upon destruction as long as their master is alive, and are incredibly strong. In the end, Detective Max Dorne's one chance at saving himself and the judge comes down to killing Edward by throwing a paperweight into his face.
  • The statue in "Terror of the Sleeping Monster!", published in Mystrious Adventures #5, is not directly alive, but rather the other body of a vampire who was killed and can now only exist as long as there's a perfect, immutable likeness of his old body around. His spirit, meanwhile, can take over any human and make it look like him. The statue is the work of a sculptor the vampire, Sharal Maroff, tricked and gave a magical chisel. Once the sculptor understands he made a grae mistake, he uses the chisel to destroy the statue, which forces the Maroff's spirit back into the realm of the dead.
  • The rivaling sculptors Raimondo and Cavitti in "His Final Glory" each try to create the most beautiful statue known to Italy. Raimondo's created a mighty stallion, while Cavitti's marble-ized the likeness of Liana, the woman Raimondo loves. Most people are certain Cavitti will be judged the better sculptor, so in rage Raimondo swears he'd give anything to outdo Cavitti. Then his own stallion statue come to life, possessed it seems by a Mephistopheles, and asks if he means it. Upon the affirmative, Raimondo himself is turned into a statue that, indeed, becomes known as better than Cavitti's work.
  • Tales of the Mysterious Stranger #10 contains "The Statues that Came to Life", in which the cruel king Pellas hears of Pygmalion's feat and orders the sculptor Phidias to create him a beautiful wife too. Phidias succeeds in sculpting beauty and, satisfied, Pellas tries to love it to life. The statue does become a person, but not because of Pellas's selfishness. It's Phidias's dedication that originated her and so she loves him. Heartbroken, Pellas exiles himself, leaving his throne to Phidias and the statue.
  • In "The Golden Eyes" of Grimm's Ghost Stories #11, the cruel count Sforda is murdered by his wife, Renata. With the help of the sculptor Pietro di Sorento, she encases his corpse within the golden statue Pietro was to make of the count. Pietro then flees, but Renata stays, only to find the statue's golden eyes to be following her. She chisels them out and crushes them, but they take on ghostly form and chase her off a cliff.
  • A Kali-like Bengali Orchid Goddess named Droseracea is the Big Bad of "Slaves of the Orchid Goddess" in Baffling Mysteries #14. She is or manifests through a six-armed statue and has carniverous orchids, spirit tigers, and priests to serve her. She tricks two florists, Ralph Bartram and Eugene Harper, into taking one of her young orchids with them back to America. Gene wants to get rid of it ASAP, but Ralph comes under the flower's influence, going from feeding it insects, to mice, to dogs, to people. The souls of those eaten become the Orchid Goddess's spirit tigers. In the end, Gene destroys the orchid and therefore the Droseracea's danger to America.
  • Marvel Comics superhero the Destroyer goes up against a stone-man in "The Stone-Man Slayer!". The stone-man began as a statue by Nazi sculptor Lubitch, who was so impressed with the result that he asked his friend Professor Shultz to animate it as an ally. Though both lost their lives in the procedure, the statue did come to life. Its strength was no match for the Destroyer's, though, and in the end life was knocked out of him by a big explosion.
  • "Heart of the Snow Maiden" in Adventures into the Unknown #40 features one ice sculpture and one (probably) ice elemental. The sculpture, the Snow Maiden, has no feelings for the elemental, the Ice King, which he is fine with as long as she doesn't love another either. But she falls in love with a human twice. The first time, the Ice King kills the entire human village and the Snow Maiden with an avalanche. Her heart remains and decades later another human resculpt her form and places her heart inside, reviving her. Upon sensing this, the Ice King returns and tries to wrecak havoc again, but he is, for the time being, destroyed. The Snow Maiden then banishes herself from society to avoid the Ice King's ire from befalling anyone ever again.
  • The titular specter in "The Specter in the Show Window" of Adventures into the Unknown #24 is Eve Lawson. She and the sculptor Ray Manning have a difficult relation, and after a fight Eve leaves only to die in a plane crash. Distraught, Ray abandons all his commissions to perfectly recreate Eve's image in stone. Unbeknownst to him, this forces back her spirit. She doesn't mind at first, until Ray, persuaded by Eve's stardom and his need for money, agrees to rent the statue for window display purposes. This angers Eve's spirit and she shows herself to instruct Ray to destroy her likeness. He does so, looking like a burglar and vandal in the process. Running from the police, he's hit by a car and subsequently reunited with Eve in death.
  • "The Statue!", published in Ghostly Tales #99, is a humorous deconstruction of the Pygmalion Plot. A man has learned sculpting and magic to create a statue to bring to life as his lover. But she wants nothing to do with him and uses his own spell to turn him into a statue.
  • In "And a Sea Specter Answered" of Ghosts #72, close friends Wendy and Phyllis are on vacation in Greece. Wendy asks the Oracle of Delphi what's in store for her and the spirit of Poseidon himself warns her not to disturb those who sleep in the depths. Wendy takes it seriously, but not Phyllis, who didn't even see the spirit. Phyllis later buys a mass-produced statuette of the son of Poseidon, much to Wendy's displeasure as she feels watched by it. Phyllis also convinces Wendy to go wreck-diving with her. Following a sudden tremor, they find a human-sized version of the statuette Phyllis bought and she comes close to examine it. It comes to life and grabs her. With andrenaline-improved strength, Wendy wrenches her friend free, but then then the statue grabs her instead and another tremor recloses the surrounding rock. Phyllis reaches the surface, but Wendy and the statue are never seen again.
  • At first the villain of Mickey Mouse adventure Kali's Nail seems to be an animated statue of Kali, but it turns out to be a spy in disguise. It's not explained how he got the second set of arms to move, because when the abandoned outfit is found it's only cloth.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): After Diana passes through Doom's Doorway she comes across Hercules bound in punishment as a giant immobile statue aware of his surroundings and supporting the weight of Themyscira while birds and monsters scratch painfully away at him. He's been trapped this way as punishment for centuries, which helps explain his regularly unhinged way of looking at the world after Diana frees him.
  • InThe Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #2, the gold statute that has been the MacGuffin of the story turns out to be a magically powered avenger. When Indy (who had a month to study and translate the inscription on the statue's base) speaks a specific incantation aloud, the statue comes to life to punish the wicked: in this case, the two villains attempting to murder Indy and steal the statue. As the statue attacks, Indy bails out, leaving the statue, bad guys, and plane to crash into the Atlantic Ocean.

    Fairy Tales 
  • The first third of The Metal Pig is all about the statues of Florence. The titular pig is the Il Porcellino fountain. One night, a poor boy falls asleep on its back and wakes up to the pig running off with him. The pig explains that it can only come to life when an innocent child rides him. It takes the boy on a tour past all the statues, architecture, paintings, and frescos the city holds dear, each of which comes to life, whether fully or partially. This instills a love for art in the boy, which later sets him on the path of drawing. Yet the boy is never again able to ride his dear friend the pig and it's left ambiguous whether that one night he dreamed or if he's lost his innocence (he's noted to have teased a dog shortly after his ride on the pig).
  • In The Happy Prince, a deceased prince's spirit has taken up residence within the bejeweled and gold-coated statue erected of him. In life, he wasn't allowed to know unhappiness and was kept from the people, which makes him suffer all the more when as a statue he sees pain but can't do anything about it. By chance, when summer's gone, he meets a sparrow whom he cajoles into scouting the city for him and bringing the jewels and gold to those who need it. Once all is given away, he bids the sparrow to leave before the cold comes, but it's well too late for the sparrow to escape and it dies at the prince's feet. Its corpse causes people to notice in how bad a shape the prince's statue is and they melt it down in the same oven they throw the sparrow's remains into. By some manner of fortune, this means the two are welcomed in heaven together.
  • Pintosmalto has a merchant's daughter build herself a husband from marzipan and uses valuables as facial details: hair of gold thread, eyes of sapphires, teeth of pearls, and lips of rubies. Recalling the story of Pygmalion, she prays to the Goddess of Love to bring her statue to life too. It works.
  • Prince Agib of The Strange Adventures of Prince Agib of Arabian Nights fame faces (and fails) many trials, the first of which deals with living statues. His ship is caught by the pull of the mountain island made of loadstone that has wrecked many a ship. At the top of the mountain stands a brass dome that holds up the brass statue of a man on horseback. The man has a plate of lead with incantations attached to his chest and as long as he stands, the island will make victims. Prince Agib survives the sea and makes it to the top of the mountain, where he falls asleep and in his dream is advised to dig up a brass bow and three leaden arrows and shoot the man with it. If done right, the man will fall off his horse into the sea below and the horse will topple off the dome. The horse then is to be buried where the bow was dug up, which will cause the sea to rise up to the dome and another statue similar to the one shot down to come get the prince by boat. He will bring the prince to shore, but only if he does not mention Allah. Agib gets everything right except for that last bit, setting off the rest of his ordeal.

    Fan Works 
  • In With Strings Attached, when the four arrive in Ehndris, they quickly learn that someone has brought life to about half the inanimate objects there. This includes a row of howling statues along a once-glorious temple avenue. Most of these statues are fused to pedestals and cannot attack the four on the ground; however, they do come across one statue that had fallen with its feet intact off its plinth before being brought to life. It has a penis as long as its leg, and it's using it like a sword to fight As'taris.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Statue of Liberty winks at the end of An American Tail.
  • The stone guardians in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, which come to life to protect the city from flowing lava.
  • The William Shakespeare statue from Gnomeo and Juliet.
  • Hercules contains two examples:
    • Zeus speaks to Hercules on Earth by possessing a giant statue of himself that resides in the temple honoring him.
    • Meg and the muses sing "I Won't Say I'm In Love" within a statue garden. The muses take the place of many varieties of statues as they pursue Meg. They start as regular statues, become caryatids, take place atop a fountain, show up as busts (mimicking the Singing Busts of The Haunted Mansion), and end as reliefs on another fountain.
  • Lord Farquaad's ghost brings a stone dragon to life to attack Shrek and Donkey in Shrek 4-D.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Bake-Jizō is one of the two oldest Japanese horror movies, being released in 1898. The movie is thoroughly lost, but the title suggests that a Jizō statue would have played a role, quite likely as the monster.note 
  • Eli in Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest causes Father Nolan to see a statue of Virgin Mary come alive and attack him (offscreen).
  • Old Chief Wood'nhead from Creepshow 2 is a cigar store Indian. It comes alive to punish the youths that killed its owners.
  • The opening scene of The Exorcist III has a malevolent gust of wind break open the doors to the church to show the return of evil to Georgetown. The break-in causes a statue of a crucified Jesus to open its eyes in shock.
  • In The Draughtsman's Contract, there's a living statue—or possibly a man in disguise as a statue, it's not made clear—who moves around the estate and seems to eavesdrop on the characters' conversations. Only a couple of characters ever seem to notice, his presence is never explained, and it never affects the plot.
  • Ghostbusters
    • Zuul and Vinz Clortho in the first film.
    • Followed by the Statue of Liberty being animated in order to break Vigo's slime barrier around the museum in Ghostbusters II.
  • A life-sized crucifix statue becomes temporarily alive in Happy Hell Night in a vision, signifying that Father Malus has been released from his imprisonment.
  • Hot Fuzz had an actual Living Statue — that is, a street performer in gold makeup — that was "terrorizing" the town (at least the Neighborhood Watch thought so).
  • The giant bronze statue "Talos" in Jason and the Argonauts, and before that the Greek myth it's based on. Although in the myth, Talos is technically a machine and was merely in an inactive state instead of being an actual statue.
  • From The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, the Evil Sorcerer Koura animates the figurehead on Sinbad's ship. Later, he does the same thing to a statue of Kali to impress some natives and do battle with the heroes. In a twist, the statue turns out to contain a MacGuffin once broken.
  • The Night at the Museum has the mannequins of museum exhibits coming to life at night. The second film, Battle of the Smithsonian, includes animate versions of Rodin's The Thinker, a Jeff Koons balloon animal, and, yes, the Lincoln Memorial. The third film has the lions of Trafalgar Square come to life when the characters are chasing after the magic tablet until they get distracted by a flashlight.
  • In Prom Night IV: Deliver Us From Evil, after Father Jonas finishes his prayer at the church and leaves to commit his first murders, a statue of Jesus turns its head to stare at him.
  • The Djinn brings statues of various warriors to life at the end of Wishmaster.
  • A literal example in The World's End, in which the "modern art" statue is revealed to have been brought to life by the Blanks and assists them in chasing Gary, Andy and Steven.
  • There's the temple of the Wheel of Time in Cambodia in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Once the six swords held by a large triple-faced and six-armed statue are placed in the correct slots and the clock artifact is placed in the keyhole, a battering ram falls loose and breaks open a cauldron held by the aforementioned statue. Liquid seeps from it until the crystal at the bottom is free to redirect light to the podium at the center of the six swords. This unleashes both one half of the story's core MacGuffin and an animating fluid that brings to life the gryphon and ape statues all around the temple. Lara and the Illuminati fight them off well enough, but then the large statue gets up too. Out of bullets, Lara changes the direction of the still swinging battering ram to shatter it. Only one gryphon statue remains, but it falls apart on its own once outside the temple.
  • There are two examples in Beauty and the Beast (1946).
    • The castle where the Beast lives is not his home castle, but rather a castle owned by the spirits that changed him into a beast. This spirit castle is a Genius Loci and manifests its liveliness through serving arms sticking out of the walls and furniture as well as the carvings and pillar statues observing the guests. Statues that aren't connected to the castle itself do not appear to be alive.note 
    • A special part of the castle is Diana's Pavilion, set up in honor of the Roman Goddess of the Hunt and housing a full-body statue of her armed with a bow. When Avenant breaks in to the pavilion to rob the treasure there, the statue looks up, aims the bow, and shoots. This transfers the curse of the beast from the prince to Avenant.
  • In Beauty And The Beast (1987), Beauty's accidental wish for the paintings to come to life makes her understand that when she was told she can have everything she asks for (except freedom), that honest-to-goodness meant any wish or command of hers will be answered by the castle's magic. The next day while strolling around outside, she comes across a statue and orders it to dance. The statue needs a few seconds to learn to move, but is ecstatic about it and wordlessly asks permission for the other statues to dance along. Beauty grants this, leading to a musical number about dancing as all the statues join in.
  • In a shock-induced hallucination, Freder of Metropolis imagines the eight statues of The Grim Reaper and the Seven Deadly Sins he'd seen in the cathedral earlier come to life. The Reaper plays the bone flute while the other statues fade out of existence. Then the Reaper swings his scythe and cries out: "Death descends upon the city — !" before Freder snaps out of it.
  • The short Statues Come to Life takes inspiration from the Indian folklore that states that "when the sun sets, and the moonlight rains down, the temple figurines come to life and dance for gods' amusement". A boy and his sister observe a temple in secret until moonlight hits the two statues at the entrance, resulting in an Odissi dance performance. When the statues notice their non-divine audience, they return them safely to their home.

    Folklore 
  • In Japan, the bodhisattva Kṣitigarbha is known as Jizō Bosatsu, protector of all who died before reaching adulthood. Jizō statues, sometimes rows of them, are commonly founds along roads, in particular near shrines and graveyards, so of course there are plenty of tales about these being more than mere statues. Sometimes they aid, sometimes they laugh, sometimes they prank, sometimes they appear and disappear, sometimes they stalk, and sometimes they attack. The collective name for statues that act this way is "Bake-Jizō", "bake" being a term for youkai that undergo a transformation, which in this case is from normal statue to living statue.
  • One of the lesser used candidates for The Seven Mysteries is the plaster bust that is at home in the art room. At its least malevolent, which is the common situation, it'll move around a few inches or cry blood. At its worst, it'll float up to human height and give chase.
  • Ninomiya Kinjirō (later in life Ninomiya Sontoku) was a 19th Century peasant who combined his time working the land with study, eventually working himself up to a noted agricultural leader, philosopher, moralist and economist who received honors unusual to someone of his social origin. Many schools in Japan have a statue of him reading a book while carrying wood on his back to inspire the students to similar greatness. Ninomiya's statue coming to life is one of the many school ghost stories and regularly featured in works of fiction, usually as the Token Good Teammate of The Seven Mysteries.
  • In Korea, the statue commonly seen at schools is of Ryu Gwan-sun, a woman who at age 16 was an organizer of the March 1st Movement against the Japanese occupation. She was imprisoned, tortured, and died in 1920 at age 17, never giving up on the fight. A symbol due to her young age, her statue’s reoccurrence is to inspire the students to heroism like hers. The ghost story regarding it is that every March 1st, her statue walks around chanting "Long Live Korean Independence".
  • The South Asian tale of The Four Travelers is about the wooden statue of a beautiful woman created by four men. The carpenter sculpted her, the tailor made her clothes, the goldsmith made her jewelry, and the ascetic asked Allah to bring her to life. When she is alive, they fight over her, each claiming ownership on account of their contribution. They choose to settle the matter by means of an arbiter, which ends up being the Tree of Knowledge. The tree splits open and the woman steps inside to return to her origins. The tree then closes.

    Jokes 
  • There's an old joke involving this trope. There's a pair of statues in a park who for decades have been frozen in a position of looking longingly toward each other. One day, an angel descends and grants them life for an hour. They rush off into the bushes and there's much rustling and giggling. When they emerge after a half hour, the angel reminds them they have more time whereupon the male statue turns to the female one and says, "OK, this time I hold down the pigeon and you shit on it."

    Literature 
  • In a shock-induced hallucination, Freder of Metropolis imagines the eight statues of The Grim Reaper and the Seven Deadly Sins he'd seen in the cathedral earlier come to life. The Reaper grows large enough to sit down on top of the New Tower of Babel. Freder eventually snaps out of it and later returns to the cathedral, where he curiouslt finds the statue of the Reaper gone. It's left ambiguous if the Reaper is active or if the statue is just undergoing repairs.
  • Preceding "The Venus of Ille" is "The Ring" by Thomas Moore, in which the statue is one of two bodies controlled by an unnamed regal female entity, who's either supernatural or undead. A man named Rupert is soon to be married and while out playing tennis with his friends, he's afraid he might break or lose the wedding ring. He places it on the finger of a marble statue for safekeeping, but when he returns to retrieve it he sees the finger bend and lock the ring in place. Not wanting to seem mad to his friends, he leaves it be and returns at night to break it off if need be, but the wedding ring is straight up gone. He gets another ring and lets whatever this is be, but at his wedding night finds a phantom between him and his bride. Neither of them can see it, but Rupert can feel and hear it, learning from the voice that it is she whom he gave the wedding ring at the tennis court. Rupert goes to ask what possibly is Death himself to annul the marriage. He is compliant and tells the spectre in his entourage whose looks are identical to the statue to let Rupert go. Sadly, she returns the ring and declares the two of them no longer married.
  • "The Venus of Ille" by Prosper Mérimée: A man puts a ring on the finger of an ancient statue; she becomes possessive of him and takes revenge when he gets married by squeezing him to death between her arms and legs during the wedding night. The statue is melted down and turned into church bells afterwards, but it's stated the crops froze twice in the years since.
  • The poem The Bronze Horseman by Alexander Pushkin deals with the equestrian statue of Peter the Great in the Senate Square in Saint Petersburg. Upon the death of his beloved in a storm, a man by the name of Evgenii curses the statue of Peter to which the statue responds by coming to life, giving chase, and killing him. Incidentally, the popularity of this poem is why the statue nowadays is known as the Bronze Horseman.
  • My Laughing Philosopher by Eden Phillpotts deals with a man who purchases an antique bronze bust that he learns is alive a week later when it sneezes upon smoke reaching its face. The bust is nameless, but referred to as my Laughing Philosopher or my Laugher by the unnamed man. The bust was created in Greece when the country was young and brought to Egypt when the country was old. It was in Egypt that it was given life with "magic from the mornig of the world". That is, once every 500 years it gains the ability to speak the language of its then-owner to communicate with them only for fifty midnights to exchange viewpoints. The rest of the time, the bust is aware but separate from humanity. It arrived in England fifty to sixty years before the events of the book and this marked its first visit to said county. "Laughing Philospher" is a title given because the bust is a philosopher and old enough that no sentiment remains but laughter. The bust's owner argues that if he were a full statue with a heart, he would have been left with more than laughter, but the bust disagrees and over the course of fifty midnights helps the man understand him.
  • The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers features another ring-on-finger example, likely based on "The Venus of Ille", although in this case, the statue turns out to be a silicon-based lifeform: a female nephil/gorgon/vampire/whatever.
  • In The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, Nils meets two statues when he visits Karlskrona: King Karl XI and Rosenbom, the latter a pauper statue. Because Nils is rude to the former, he seeks revenge, but Rosenbom hides the boy until the king's initial anger has passed.
  • In The Spirit Ring, a bronze statue is temporarily inhabited by the spirit of the dead man who was its model in order to lead an army to save the city while molten-hot!
  • The guardian type is parodied in Pyramids; the Brass Bridge has eight wooden hippopotami of which it is said that "if danger ever threatens the city, they will run away." Mind, this is clearly no more than a legend seeing as danger routinely threatens the city, oftentimes the rest of the Disc along with it, and the statues are still there.
    • Discworld gargoyles are living statues; they're related to the trolls, but far more sedentary. Most of hem have names that indicate their position or function, such as the Watch's Constable Downspout.
    • A character with an Oh, Crap! moment is described having the look of a pigeon who's not only heard that Nelson's statue stepped down from its column, but was last seen buying a shotgun and birdshot.
    • In one tale, city witch Mrs Proust is pursued by a mob who are nostalgic for the old witch-burning days; she persuades an equestrian statue to come to life and gallops off on it, leaving her pursuers a long way behind.
    • Golems on the Disc are completely deactivated if their chem is removed from their head. Because they were usually designed with a single task in mind, it turns out that for them, the ideal afterlife is waiting and doing nothing.
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore magically animates the statues located in the Ministry of Magic.
    • That is nothing compared to the defenses of Hogwarts, which include Minerva McGonagall activating every statue in the castle to defend the castle.
  • Near the end of So You Want To Be A Wizard, Kit animates basically every statue in New York City (including the statue of Prometheus from Rockefeller Center, the New York Public Library lions Patience and Fortitude, and Lady Liberty) to take on the Lone Power. Since It is an eternal Power That Is, and the creator of entropy, they only slow It down, but it's an impressive show.
  • In The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, there's an originally human prince who's stuck as a living statue. He went on a quest to free people who'd been turned to stone and had to fetch water from an enchanted spring to fix them. He was offered the choice of using a plain or a gem-encrusted ladle to fetch the water, and realized that the second one had to be a trap. However, he presumed it couldn't hurt to just look at the fancy ladle, which started turning him to stone before he even tried to use it. So he stuck his other hand in the magical spring, which stopped him being Taken for Granite.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Tower of the Elephant" the idol comes to life while Conan is in the room. Conan is actually surprised enough not to move for moments.
  • In the last Percy Jackson and the Olympians book, The Last Olympian, a good example is almost every statue in Manhattan, who are actually mechanical automatons that can be activated to defend the island.
  • In Thorne Smith's The Night Life of the Gods the inventor of a gadget which can turn flesh to stone encounters one of the Furies. After she teaches him how to turn stone to flesh, they decide to carry out the process on the statues of Roman deities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • As mentioned in The Lost Heir entry of Wings of Fire, first-born Orca possessed animus magic in addition to a talent for sculpting. She "programmed" the statues she made in the Royal Hatchery to kill all female heirs before they hatched to eliminate the competition and to spite her royal mother. Second-born Tsunami has to fight for her life against one of these.
  • Those Who Must be Kept from The Vampire Chronicles are essentially these in their dormant state. Akasha and Enkil are in statue form when they are "asleep" only to move when its time to feed or something interesting happens for them. They are worshiped as gods by younger vampires, they enjoy feeding on mortals and immortals alike. Their blood is very powerful and potent, so they are "kept" by many younger vampires in their statue form to make sure nothing bad happens to them.
  • The Saga of the Faroe Islanders: Before Sigmund sails off to the Faroes, Jarl Hakon urges him to seek the support of Hakon's personal patron goddess, Thorgerd Hordabrud. He takes him to a temple where there is a statue of Thorgerd, wearing a ring of gold on her arm, and says that Thorgerd will give him that ring if she favours him. After Hakon has prayed to the statue and has made Sigmund offer a sum of silver, Hakon tries to take the ring off the statue, but "it seems to Sigmund that she is clenching her fist towards it", and the Jarl cannot take it. The Jarl then prays more ardently until he is weeping, and when he tries to take the ring again, it comes loose.
  • The protector of The Green Knowe Chronicles is a living statue of St. Christopher carrying the child Jesus. In The Children of Green Knowe, they fight and defeat Green Noah, a cursed topiary tree that has it out for the male members of the Oldknow Family.
  • The Stoneheart Trilogy is all about living statues. Their alive selves exist on another plain of existence from which they can observe humans, but only rare gifted humans can see them. Statues are divided between Spits and Taints, which are at war. "Spit" is from "spitting image" and is the group comprised of statues of historical people which soul copies inhabit them. Taints are all other statues and they are soulless. Of course, there's a few who've switched sides, a few that are in-between and, of course, the spits are the heroes. The story commences when a boy, George, breaks off the Temple Bar Dragon's head and is brought into the statues' dimension.
  • An ambiguous case is Charley the Lawn Jockey in Duma Key, which liveliness is tied to multiple factors. The real Charley is just a statue that John Eastlake used to mark the grave of the victims of Perse. But Charley as a living creature was also one of the first things Perse made Elizabeth draw into reality. Ever since, the Eastlake children have been afraid of Charley and in the present Perse has made its image one of the main guards of her hiding place. This Charley is larger than the actual statue, being about five and a half feet tall, and it moves around rapidly by means of Ghostly Glide because it cannot move its limbs. Because of this, its role a guard is to scare off intruders, but it can't actually harm anyone.
  • Mayka, a young girl, is the titular protagonist of The Stone Girl's Story. She is the last living statue created by the stonemason she and her siblings now only as Father. Father's first creation was Turtle (turle), and between him and Mayka he also created a school of fish, Badger (badger), Jacklo and Risa (two birds), Nianna (owl), Dersey and Harlisona (two rabbits), Kalgrey (cat), and Etho (lizard). Their life comes from storified personalities carved into their stone and various capabilities like speech and high jumping are granted by symbols placed on the appropriate body parts. At the start of the story, Father has been long dead and the statues are suffering fading and chipped marks. Turtle, the oldest, and most of the fish, which suffer erosion worse, have already "gone to sleep". Seeing as they are all doomed if nothing changes, Mayka sets off from the secluded mountain they live on to find a stonemason to fix them in the city of Skye in the valley below, from which Father originated. She estimates it should take her a week, but once in Skye she finds that the living statues there are servants to their organic keepers by means of an enslaving mark. From this horrific lesson also follows understanding that she and her stone kind have freedom of interpretation when it comes to the stories that give them existence, which changes the relationship between the stone and the flesh creatures for the better.
  • Two stories by E. Nesbit deal with living statues:
    • In Man-Size in Marble, Brenzett in England is the location of a church that houses two marble statues that mark the final resting places of those they are sculpted after: two knights who terrorized the area in their time. Although their names are lost to time, the legend goes their deeds were so foul that their home was struck by lightning as a form of divine intervention. That same legend also says that on 11 o'clock on All Saints' Eve, the statues get up and visit the location of their former home, where nowadays a cottage stands. Any who meets them won't be there for sunrise. Of course, the narrator, who rented the cottage with his wife Laura, believed nothing of it and chose not to tell Laura either because of her frail state of mind at the time. Come All Saints' Eve and he felt like going for a walk, happening upon the church past 11 o'clock and noticing the statues gone. Once back home, he found Laura dead, though still clutching a marble finger in her hand.
    • The marble statues of the manor in The Enchanted Castle come to life in moonlight, but humans can't see them do that. The only way to get in on the spell is to wear the magic ring or to use the ring to wish yourself to be a statue for the duration of the night. The statues know of this and if given the chance happily welcome humans and instruct them how to use the ring properly. The statues represent dinosaurs and Greek deities and by the rules of their magic are all (this includes statue-fied guests) athletically gifted. Each night, they enjoy a divine banquet on an island they swim to.
  • In The Haunted Mask of Goosebumps, Carly Beth Caldwell receives a plaster bust in her image from her mother. She doesn’t think much of it, but takes it along trick-or-treating as a decapitated head prop to go along with the theme of her new horrifying mask. Something of a supernatural identity split occurs as the mask slowly takes over her body from her sense of self, while her actual self finds residence within the bust. When Carly confronts her two bullies, the bust cries out to them begging for help.
  • The Ice Maiden's Tale by Lisa Preziosi revisits the myth of Galatea with an ice sculpture. She is carved from a block of ice by Gabriel, who had a vision of her appearance and a dream about her asking him to set her free. However, Gabriel can't get rid of the feeling he has to do more for her than creating her and playing her songs, so he sets out on a journey to bring her to life. Shortly after he's left, the ice maiden is discovered by a wandering sorcerer, who also sets his mind to bringing her to life. None of the spells and potion recipes in his arsenal are enough for the gift of life, however, so he too sets out on a journey to bring her to life.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The entity known as The Head is a living bust and the secondary host of Art Attack up to series 17, after which he was replaced by Vincent van Coconut. His thing was to follow the instructions by primary host Neil on how to create your own art, but he'd inevitably mess it up, if not always for the worse.
  • Maxwell Smart takes on an animated wax dummy of Jack the Ripper in the Get Smart episode "House of Max."
  • CSI: NY had an episode with a living statue performer. The guy was revealed to have grabbed himself a day off by dressing up a dead guy as the statue, with some kind of supportive brace. However, despite Danny's refusal to let the case go, he did not actually kill the guy, just tampered with the body, a misdemeanor.
  • Doctor Who
    • In "The Keeper of Traken," a statue in a garden turns out to be the Master's TARDIS, with the Master stuck inside.
    • Immortality is not all it's cracked up to be in "The Five Doctors." When Borusa puts on the Ring of Rassilon, the immortality it grants is revealed to be becoming one of the carvings on Rassilon's altar. With Borusa turned to stone, the carving count becomes four. It's unknown if the carvings are aware at all times, but they at least are for the few minutes when another carving is added.
    • "Blink" introduces the now-notorious Weeping Angels, who freeze whenever anyone — including the audience — is looking at them, but can move with great speed between blinks. It was implied that every humanoid statue in the series to date has been an Angel patiently waiting for a chance to strike. As of "The Angels Take Manhattan," this is confirmed — including the Statue of Liberty being an Angel.
  • In Juken Sentai Gekiranger, a statue at a villain's Hong Kong digs is shown prominently early on in The Movie. You just know it's going to come to life and go stompy. It does. Actually, it hides a Humongous Mecha belonging to said villain.
  • Mister Ed: In "Love and the Single Horse," Mister Ed runs away and hides in a wax museum, disguising himself as a wax horse. The episode features a Crossover with The Beverly Hillbillies as Granny chooses this day to visit the museum.
  • Our Miss Brooks:
    • In "Living Statues," Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton, Mr. Conklin and Walter Denton are accidentally glued into place.
    • In "Hobbies," Mr. Boynton and Mr. Conklin pretend to be wax figures in order to dodge Mr. Stone.
  • Monk also had an episode with a living statue performer working in view a bank. Monk and Co. get trapped inside the bank's vault over the weekend, Randy remembers the guy, and they rig the scrolling outdoor sign to get a message to him so they can be rescued.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The myth of Pygmalion and Galatea starts with the sculptor Pygmalion swearing off women because he's disgusted by all of them. One day, he carves a female form from ivory that is so beautiful he falls in love with it. Taking pity, the Goddess of Love Aphrodite brings the statue to life and as the story goes Pygmalion and Galatea enjoyed a happy marriage.note 

    Music Videos 

    Pinballs 

    Podcasts 
  • The four Judges in The Adventure Zone: Balance. During "The Stolen Century", the IPRE crew land on a plane ruled by four massive statues that kneel over the city. They judge the heroes for their sins, past and future - and find all of them guilty. The judges return when the Hunger arrives in Neverwinter as the titans of it's army, coming from each of the cardinal directions and converging on the Bureau headquarters and the city of Neverwinter itself.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Pseudo-Egyptian statues had some fun creeping out Ernie and Bert in one Sesame Street sketch.
  • The mannequin Jeff from Today's Special comes to life when he's wearing his magic hat on the grounds of the department store where he lives.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The City of Waterdeep in the Forgotten Realms setting is guarded by eight colossal Walking Statues in various designs. They're free-willed and intelligent, but are content to spend the centuries motionless and lost in thought until called to defend the city.
  • The Galateids of Promethean: The Created trace their origin to Galatea. Some versions of the legend state she was a reanimated corpse, while other versions agree with the legend that she was a statue of marble brought to life.

    Theatre 
  • The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest was the first written entry of the Don Juan legend and may or may not be the version that added the haunted statue of the Commander, named Don Gonzalo. Don Gonzola is killed by Don Juan and swears revenge with his dying breath. Don Juan later passes his gravesite and mockingly invites Don Gonzola's tomb's statue to dinner. Then the statue actually shows up for the appointment and Don Juan, everything but a coward, has dinner with him. In return, he is invited to dinner in the churchyard, which he agrees to. The statue serves him live vipers and scorpions on his tomb, which still isn't enough to give Don Juan a fright. Either way, the statue strikes him dead, disappearing along with the corpse and his own tomb.
  • In Don Giovanni, the Commander goes unnamed. He is killed by Don Giovanni and in jest his tomb's statue is invited to dinner. When he actually arrives, the statue offers a last chance to repent, but Don Giovanni refuses. In response, the statue disappears and Don Giovanni knows he messed up when he gets dragged down to Hell by a chorus of demons.
  • A case of Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane ends The Winter's Tale. King Leontes is convinced his wife, Hermione, cheated on him, causing abundant harm to his family amongst which her death. Sixteen years later, he finds a peculiarly lifelike statue of Hermione within the house of Paulina, Hermione's dear friend and the one who convinced Leontes not to ever remarry. Leontes is struck with regret and this reaction is answered by the statue coming towards him. It is Hermione, back from the grave to reunite with her husband and (remaining) child. The story leaves it open just what this is all about. On one hand, she may have faked her death and with the aid of Paulina waited for the right moment to return to her family. On the other hand, perhaps Hermione's return is magical, whether by Paulina's hand or Hermione's will, not in the least because the scene echoes the myth of Galatea.
  • The 1917 play Sinbad the Sailor: His Adventures with Beauty and the Peacock Lady in the Castle of the Forty Thieves by Percy MacKaye mixes several fairy tales, but predominantly follows the plot of Beauty and the Beast. The one who put a curse on the prince, Florimond, in this iteration is his own mother, the Stately Lady. She is something of a spring & summer goddess who can manifest in several ways but has a permanent presence as a stone statue seated in a throne and holding up a cloudy crystal sphere. It's this form she uses to talk with the painting of her son that houses his original appearance and becomes his body for one hour each night.
  • In the musical One Touch of Venus, a 3000-year-old statue of the goddess Venus came to life because a barber decided to slip his fiancée's engagement ring onto its finger.
  • Friendly statues standing outside the gates of Neverland Ranch come to life early on in Michael Jackson The IMMORTAL World Tour.

    Theme Parks 
  • The Haunted Mansion in Disneyland features several examples.
    • The more famous one is the quintet of Singing Busts. They are named Rollo Rumkin, Uncle Theodore, Cousin Algernon, Ned Nub, and Phineas P. Pock, an they sing "Grim Grinning Ghosts" during the graveyard portion of the ride. Uncle Theodore's head has broken off and lies next to the bust.
    • The other set is a quartet of Staring Busts, in scripts named Edgar Allan, Elizabeth Barrett, Alfred Lord, and Henry Wadsworth. They always stare at the guests no matter where they go and depending on the version, either all four reside in the library (that follows on the portrait corridor) or only two of them reside at the end of the portrait corridor. Elizabeth later appears in the grand hall, where she is located on the mantle in the embrace of a ghost.
    • Both these sets may have descended from another bust that was part of the very early plans for the foyer. He'd have been the Ghost Host and before the eyes of the guests gone from looking normal with angel imagery to looking demonic with devil imagery. Some of this made it into The Story and Song from The Haunted Mansion, in which the protagonists hear the voice of the Ghost Host coming from a marble statue.
    • Within the cemetery next to the queue in the Walt Disney World version, Leota has a gravestone in which her countenance is chiseled. On occasion, it opens its eyes and looks around.

    Toys 
  • There are no explicit living statues among the cast of Monster High, but plenty of possible ones.
    • There are gargoyles aplenty and they are made of stone and one expresses a dislike of pigeons, but whether they are true living statues or natural rock monsters is left unclear.
    • Volume 2 introduced many backgrounders with notable designs. Among these are a boy made of stone and a girl made of either ice or glass.note  They might be living sculptures, but just as easily golems or elementals.
    • The servants of the mummified DeNile Family are Anubis-like entities who never speak and all look alike. They aren't explained, but the common interpretation is that they're shabti.
    • In the webisode "Scare-itage", the Hexican calacas of long ago live alongside creatures designed after Central American statues. They might be living statues, they might be not.

    Video Games 
  • There's the Walking Statue (Ninomiya) in Yomawari: Night Alone. It walks back and forth on school grounds reading its book. It's not hostile and won't even affect the protagonist's heartbeat.
  • In Guild Wars Factions, stone guardians are statues guarding an area, that come to life when the player passes.
    • The dwarves have to become this and face extinction in order to defeat the Great Destroyer in Eye of the North. Some have survived by the time of Guild Wars 2, like Ogden Stonehealer.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Link obtains a magic flute that awakens a bird stored inside a weather vane. It will then carry him to certain spots on the map.
    • A curious case occurs in regards to the cabana in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. It is a solitary cabana located on a small island. Painted on both sides of the front door is the image of a valet. There are also three wooden cutouts inside depicting said valet (one of them dressed as a maid). Either the valet specifically or the cabana as a whole is alive and talks to people who drop by, though it seemingly only shows respect to the rightful owner. It could be the cabana is haunted, because beneath it reside ReDeads.
    • The Command Melody in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker lets Link control statues as easily as people.
    • The Dominion Rod in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess lets Link bring certain statues to life and control them.
    • Throughout the games, the Armos enemy class are statues that come to life when Link touches them or enters a room hosting them. In The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, they are said to be creations of the Minish.
  • At the end of Escape from Monkey Island, LeChuck possesses a giant statue of his alter-ego Charles L. Charles, turning it into a giant statue of himself so he can squash the heroes (and his former partner-in-crime Ozzie Mandrill).
  • In Golden Sun, the mines of Altin Peak overlap with an ancient temple that houses several living dragon-like statues. The common ones are green and called Living Statues, while the final one is purple and called the Hydros Statue. They are responsible for the high water level surrounding the mines, which is lowered each time a Living Statue is defeated. The Hydros Statue provides the Boss Battle. Beating it saves Altin and nets the protagonists the Lifting Gem for the ability to lift up large boulders.
  • The first boss battle in Lunar: Eternal Blue is of this type. Also, the Big Bad's colossal Eldritch Abomination initial form. Fortunately he converts to travel-size before you have to fight him.
  • Two boss battles in Skies of Arcadia are with giant monsters that you thought were statues until they stood up and came at you. Naturally the villains were looking for said statues the whole time to try and control them.
  • In The World Ends with You, one of Shiki and Neku's first missions is to "free the statue of its curse". The duo head over to Hachiko and, deciding it's filthy, proceed to polish it. As they continue to polish, the statue gradually turns silver, gains blue streaks, and growls menacingly. Turns out the curse was a pack of canine Noise possessing the statue.
  • Living statues are a regular enemy in the Tomb Raider series.
    • The last two levels in Tomb Raider II, the Floating Islands and the Dragon's Lair, are mystical realms guarded by jade warriors seemingly based on both the real-life Terracotta Army and the mythological guards of the Heavenly Palace of the Jade Emperor. They appear as regular statues until approached and then break out of their jade shell. They have grey skin, "mechanical" footsteps, and become jade again when killed.
    • Inside the Temple Ruins of India in Tomb Raider III, there are Multi-Armed and Dangerous living statues about twice as tall as Lara herself. They carry scimitars, with which they attack but also block incoming bullets. The statues are undefined, but commonly referred to as "Shiva Statues" by the fandom. However, their appearance and behavior make them much more a rudimentary depiction of Kali.
    • The area of Rome in Tomb Raider Chronicles features three kinds of living statues. The first is a trio of serpents, possibly gargoyles, which seem part of a gate until they slide out of their niches when all four keys are inserted. They still won't stray far from the gate and attack with fire bolts. The second is a full-body statue of a Roman soldier about twice as tall as a human. Lara encounters three of them. The first has a sword but doesn't come to life. The second has a sword too but does come to life. And the third comes to life armed with a hammer. The final type of living statue might actually be a robot. It's a huge head of a Roman soldier floating above a claw. It generates laser beams.
    • Among the enemies found inside the Babylonian ruins of the Sahara in the Desert Ruins level of Lara Croft: Relic Run are the Stone Warriors, which were renamed Animated Golems in a later patch. They are armed with either throwing discs, whips, or fire projectiles.
  • MOTHER 3 features a giant statue of Porky as a Bonus Boss. It also appeared in one of the segments in the Subspace Emissary on Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  • Compulsory Pokémon examples:
    • Regigigas was originally a Pok­émon that (somehow) was locked away in Snowpoint Temple. However people eventually forgot about it and it was thought to be a statue. When the player gathers Regirock, Regice and Registeel, Regigigas awakens and attacks. Its long time spent as a statue is shown in its ability, Slow Start.
      • It later appears in Clay Tunnel in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. It's the same deal as before.
      • Also noteworthy is the boss battle in Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky's Aegis Cave. Regigigas plus a slew of Bronzong and Hitmonlee that appear to be statues come to life and attack the player's party.
      • Regigigas was also shown to have become statue-like in the 11th Pokémon movie before awakening to hold back a glacier.
    • Claydol, according to the Diamond/Pearl/Platinum Pokédex, is "An ancient clay figurine that came to life as a Pokémon from exposure to a mysterious ray of light." By extension, this also applies to its unevolved form, Baltoy. There's also Nosepass, a Moai statue mixed with a compass, as well as its evolved form Probopass.
    • Pokémon Black and White were kind enough to give a better example in Golett and Golurk, genderless man-made Pok­émon of the Ground/Ghost type that look like animated guardian statues. They were built to protect the ancient civilizations of both people and Pokemon, and can even learn to Fly.
  • There's an unexplained bit in Clive Barker's Undying where to get to the upper floor of a room in Oneiros, the scrying spell must be used on the central statue. This causes it to expose a human heart in its chest and moan "Help me". The heart has to be attacked to retrieve it, after which blood pours out of the statue that raises the player to the upper level. The statue has parts that look like flesh, but its feet seem to emerge from stone.
  • Grandia II had statues of gargoyles at the start that broke open and turned into moving stone Gargoyles. In fact, it has a couple of times when statues or things in the walls come to life and attempt to kill you. Then it's subverted by having a suspiciously large statue in one of the towns that the characters comment on; when all hell breaks loose nothing happens apart from the main character shouting at it.
  • In Legacy of Kain: Defiance, many of the reaver forges contain statue guardians that spend the first half of the level as inanimate decorations. Kain's narration shows that he knows damn well that they'll come alive before he leaves.
  • Played with in Dark Sun: Shattered Lands. An evil defiler asks you to bring him several pieces missing from a statue. Once the statue is complete the defiler lets you kill him, which is a ploy because this allows him to occupy the statue. Either you fight the statue then and there or during the final battle.
  • The Dragon Quest series features a recurring enemy class that depending on the game is called Living Statue, Great Keeper, Stone Guardian, or Ice Sculpture. No matter the name, they always look like a big man in a toga with one fist raised and one leg lifted. They cannot or only barely change this pose, but they can hop around to do damage by their sheer size and weight.
    • Stone Guardians and Living Statues are the common ones. Under these names, the creatures are made from stone. In its first appearance in Dragon Quest III only, Stone Guardians are a bright green, while later they'd be depicted as merely darker than Living Statues.
    • Great Keepers only appear in four games, starting with Dragon Quest III. They're made of gold.
    • Ice Sculptures are unique to Dragon Quest Heroes II: Twin Kings And The Prophecy's End. Needless to say, they're made of ice.
  • In the Sam & Max Season 1 videogame episode "Abe Lincoln Must Die", the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln memorial is alive and ambulatory. And seeking re-election. Well, that will not stand! He makes several more appearances after that episode as just a head and no longer evil, and ends up marrying another recurring character.
  • Titan is trapped in a statue in the town of Chocobo's Dungeon 2
  • Lost Odyssey makes frequent mention of a large monster that one of the characters turned to stone to save her kingdom. Sure enough, someone wakes it up again.
  • Final Fantasy VI:
    • This happened to Odin and The Queen. Odin comes back to fight; The Queen just gives you tears from a stone.
    • More noticeably, the Warring Triad (often referred to as "The Statues") which caused worldwide devastation in the War of the Magi 1000 years ago. They sealed themselves in stone voluntarily and set themselves in balance; breaking the balance breaks the world again. At the end of the game, the deities of the Triad are enslaved and robbed of their power by Kefka, allowing the party to finally destroy them.
  • The Miriam Guardians in Final Fantasy XII. There are two types: tall, Egyptian looking statues and giant heads which seem to shout "Damn!" when you destroy them. The Clan Primer says that the heads are all that are left of massive ancient statues. In addition to those, there are the Demon Wall bosses in Raithwall's Tomb earlier on in the game.
  • Actraiser: the Master (i.e. God, i.e. you) animates a statue to serve as an earthly avatar, and as the warrior with which to defeat the evil roaming the world.
  • The second boss in La-Mulana is a reanimated statue of an extinct race of giants.
  • Both the good and the evil variety appears in Legend of Kay. In keeping with the game's vaguely Chinese feel, the dungeon contains clay warriors that animate and attack when Kay gets too close. In the city above, Kay must reanimate two ancestor statues to solve a puzzle.
  • Nethack has statues which come to life as a regular trap in the lower levels. In fact, any statue that depicts a fleshy monster can be brought to life with the spell "stone to flesh".
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, the mages encounter the immobile but speaking statue of Eleni Zinovia, an ancient Tevinter lady who has been turned to stone for delivering Cassandra Truth prophecies, in their Origin story. She is then revisited in the Witch Hunt DLC to provide vital information.
    • Shale from another DLC, The Stone Prisoner, is technically a Golem, but when introduced she's spent the past thirty years as an immobile statue in a town. Incidentally, she really hates pigeons.
  • During the final battle in Dragon Age II, Meredith brings the statues in the Gallows to life to fight for her.
  • In the Hunt has a giant statue that chases you up the seabed ruins. Once you manage to damage it enough using the stone blocks at the top of the screen, part of its face gets ripped off and you see flesh beneath, complete with dangling eye sockets...
  • These often guard the homes of wizards in the Avernum games. A few of them talk to you, but most just hurl lightning bolts at you. Oddly, although they're on plinths and are usually still in combat they prove perfectly capable of sliding around.
  • As seen in the picture, the entire first level of God of War II is an epic battle against the Colossus of Rhodes come to life.
  • Tak, the Mighty Glacier from War Gods, is a statue brought to life. Since he's not human and lacks blood or internal organs, many of the finishing moves work differently on him. For example, Pagan's "Medusa's Head" fatality initially doesn't work on him for obvious reasons. He'll laugh and taunt her until the head shoots him with Eye Beams.
  • At the end of the Age of Mythology campaign, Arkantos has to fight an evil statue of Poseidon. There's also the metal Colossus unit, and Leto's Automatons in the Titans expansion pack.
  • In Rockman 4 Minus Infinity, statues of Fire Man, Heat Man and Flame Man near the entrance to the Boss Battle of Pharaoh Man's stage come to life and only use their signature attacks.
  • Dark Souls has several. Most dangerous are the Titanite Demons, which the game uses as MiniBosses. They are extremely strong and surprisingly quick with lots of jump attacks despite only having one leg. There are also the Stone Guardians, likely protectors of the lost nation of Oolacile. Then there are the demon statues which are the most insignificant of the bunch.
  • As one of the few elements in Resident Evil 4 that evoke the originally envisioned pseudo-paranormal angle, there is the Salazar statue, also known as Robo-Salazar. It's located within the castle's cathedral and breaks out to come after Leon when he crosses the bridge. The agent barely makes it to the other side while the statue collapses into the chasm.
  • At one point in Shining Soul there's a long corridor with statues of playable characters on one side and statues of enemies on the other. Naturally, the statues of enemies come alive and attack you.
  • The Bronze Colossus is the straightest example from Dwarf Fortress, but there's a couple of other creatures that are at least somewhat similar.
  • Smashmuck Champions has Rook as a playable character. His backstory is that the building period of the Forest Ruins Arena was plagued by mysterious events. The final piece of these was the appearance of a stone statue on the day of the inaugural match. Soon after, light burst forth from the base of the statue, which floated up and introduced itself as a SmashMuck player.
  • Galatea has the title statue, which you can hold a conversation with.
  • Monument Valley has Totem, who can be distinguished from the non-living statues by his distinctive yellow-and-blue coloration; the rest of the statues are various shades of gray.
  • In Gems of War, one of the units from Whitehelm is the Archon Statue, an animate statue of an angel-like being with a big sword.
  • Agamo of War of the Monsters is a statue of an ancient god. It becomes animated when exposed to the alien fuel.
  • The seal guard Renegade in Monolith is one. It looks like a humanoid corpse with bound legs. It only engages in combat when the seal is picked up.
  • In A Hat in Time, there are angel statues in Subcon Forest that are completely harmless, and headless but otherwise identical statues that will chase you down and attack you if you stay in their proximity long enough.
  • Jack the Ripper appears in the Sega platform game Master of Darkness, where he is revealed to be an animated wax doll upon defeat.
  • Among the hidden animals in the Marine Mania expansion of Zoo Tycoon are mermaids. To obtain them, a mermaid statue needs to be purchased and placed inside an aquarium. It will then break apart to reveal an actual mermaid.
  • Two characters of Touhou are living statues.
    • Aunn Komano from Touhou Tenkuushou ~ Hidden Star in Four Seasons is a komainu statue of the Hakurei Shrine brought to life by a god. That said, she did have some consciousness before the change, because she has memories from back then, including things she saw through the eyes of other statues. As a youkai, Aunn has the ability to create a duplicate of herself, because komainu statues come in pairs.
    • Also from Four Seasons is Narumi Yatadera, a living Jizō statue. Her status as a youkai comes from the influence of the Forest of Magic, going so far as to grant Narumi magical powers of her own. Narumi's snow-covered hat references the folk tale of a poor man donating six hats to six Jizō statues in the cold and being rewarded for his generosity.
  • There are two towering statues in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 that serve as (new) bosses. The first is the Buddha Statue and the second the Statue of Liberty. They use physical and energy-based attacks in combat.
  • Two bosses in Red Earth are living statues.
    • Ravange from Sangypt started out as a normal (small) sphinx surrounded by other statues in the form of busts and pillar carvings, among which a lion, a dragon, an eagle, and a goat. The sorceress Clara Tantra infused the sphinx with the other four statues and then brought it to life by infusing it with herself. Ravange is a chimera with the heads of the four statues (the lion replaces the sphinx's original human face) and a cobra for a tail, which by process of elimination is Clara herself. This is further made likely by the fact her name is a reference to Cleopatra VII and Cleopatra is for reasons of dramatization associated with snakes.
    • Gi Gi from Zonama is a South American (although the four arms are more South Asian) guardian statue. It is hinted to be a robot, but if so its outer layer still appears to be stone. It rests on a throne inside a temple, only getting up to attack whomever dares enter.
  • Lady Liberty in Clayfighter 63⅓ is the Statue of Liberty turned into sapient clay by Dr. Kiln. She immediately had no intention of serving him and joined the battle against him. In her ending, she begins dating the cyborg T-Hoppy.
  • There's a homage to the Weeping Angels of Doctor Who in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. There are some angel statues standing around on the grounds of the church near Lindenvale. Enter and leave again and they'll stalk you by means of Offscreen Teleportation.
  • Several living statues try to stop Greendog from taking the treasure from the Caribbean temples in Greendog The Beached Surfer Dude. The first certain living statues are encountered in Mustique. They are birds. In Saba, human-like statues appear. Then there's also several carvings and totems, but whether they are alive or not is unclear. At least the totem composed of multiple heads seems to be alive.
  • Incredibly Ugly Statues are a pair of statues found in Ittle Dew depicting, as best as can be described, a troll's head and a donkey-dragon. For the most part they seem regular statues, but one, found in the swamp, does talk. They also appear as card characters in Card City Nights 2 along with their counterpart Beautiful Creatures.
  • One of the easiest sanity effects to trigger in Eternal Darkness is the bust on the second floor of the Roivas Mansion. At anything less than full sanity, it will stare at Alex wherever she goes. The object cannot be interacted with any other way. The statue also shows up in Paul Luther's chapter, but it doesn't respond to low sanity there. It's not explained how it ended up in the Roivas Mansion.
  • Male busts are among the aggressive NPCs in The Witch's House. They menacingly glide after Viola or block her path, and several encounters can end up with one of them stomping her to death.
  • The Relic color variant for pets was introduced in Website/Neopets in 2010. It makes the pet look statue-like and even includes a simple pedestal.
  • There's the zombie-like Shakesfear Bust in Moshi Monsters. It's purchased at Horrods and when on display rolls its eyes a full 360 degrees.
  • Living statues are enemies in the Old Monastery in ''Child of Light. Gargoyles are regular encounters, while the boss fight features two statues of headless angels. The are armed with a trumpet for stabbing, a horn for blow attacks, and their own heads to throw like they're playing dodgeball.
  • In Borderlands 2, Handsome Jack calls the player up to taunt them with how absurdly rich he is by buying a "diamond horse" which he names Butt Stallion in honor of you. He's not exaggerating: the horse is real, and in Tales from the Borderlands you can encounter the actual Butt Stallion (who has gone comatose and frozen like an actual statue when Handsome Jack died) and, as a distraction, shoot her. She bleeds.

    Visual Novels 
  • Long ago in The Fountain, Areanna fell in love with a dying leper, Luca. On her parents' insistence and Luca's advice, she married another, but he abused her until she drowned herself in the sea. Her parents had a Memorial Statue built and Areanna's spirit, concerned that she had disappointed Luca by taking the path of least resistance, came to inhabit it and influenced the statue to look sad. She was also capable of talking if addressed by her name, but otherwise couldn't move. In modern-day, she met Ethan, who came to the conclusion that the pigeons that always were perched on Areanna's statue were the descendents of Luca's pigeons and his message to her that he just wanted her to be happy. The statue then turns lifeless as Areanna's spirit leaves the stone, locking it with a happier countenance.

    Web Animation 
  • There's the five-to-six caryatid sisters of Gods' School, of which they are the gatekeepers, in God's School. They love gossip and have mercy on almost no one, which ties into the missing sixth sister. Officially, she's on vacation, but rumor has it that she ticked off the titans and been reduced to dust. As an aside, the caryatids are without arms in reference to the modern state of the caryatids of the Erechtheion.

    Web Comics 
  • In A Beginner's Guide to the End of the Universe Chairman Jack, a Cyborg sparrow, runs out of power and ends up resting upon a city's marketplace as a statue of himself for hundreds of years, having become a legendary mythical character in the meantime. When the protagonist shows up, he figures it out quickly and restores Jack to life by connecting him to an outlet.
  • In The Illustrated Guide To Law the concepts of the State and Justice are anthropomorphized as living statues.
  • In Kill Six Billion Demons, angels manifest in the normal world by inhabiting and animating statues made specifically for this purpose. The statues are humanoid, while the angels' real forms generally are not.

    Web Original 
  • The SCP Foundation has a few:
    • SCP-173, the original anomalous item, is a statue that can only move and attack when it's not being watched.
    • SCP-650 is similar, but only moves to scare people, not kill them.
    • SCP-689 is another statue that moves and kills when not being watched, except that it must be constantly observed or else anyone who has ever viewed it directly will die.
    • SCP-011 is more benign, though, typically only moving to defend itself from birds (key word: "typically").
    • SCP-014 is an inversion, a man who essentially willed himself into becoming a statue.
    • SCP-2101 is a group of thousands of living statues, created by men who sacrificed themselves to keep their dangerous emperor imprisoned forever. It's actually the Terracotta army.

    Western Animation 
  • There's two iconic statues in the Springfield of The Simpsons. Both have (possibly) come to life over the course of the series.
    • In The Telltale Head, inspired by "The Tell-Tale Heart", Bart cuts off the head of Jebediah Springfield's monument in a misguided attempt to be popular with the bullies. From the vandalism to the restoration, Bart hears the statue talk to him. Whether this is in his head or real is left ambiguous.
    • The Lard Lad mascot statue has come to life twice, the first time being in "Attack of the 50 Foot Eyesores". Springfield is at the mercy of living mascot statues and billboard images when an odd storm strikes them with lightning. Lisa asks the ad agency that made the statues and billboards for help and they surmise that, like all commercials, the creatures derive power from being paid attention to. The citizens of Springfield are told to ignore them and the statues and billboards promptly collapse lifelessly.
    • The second time the Lard Lad mascot statue came to life was in the intro sequence of "Treehouse of Horror XXIV". As before, the cause is lightning and his cause is destruction. But then he and his donut get eaten by a monstrous Chief Wiggum.
  • Episode "Hercules and the Dream Date" of Disney's Hercules features a Pygmalion Plot. Pygmalion is a Dirty Old Man with a gorgeous young wife named Mrs. Pygmalion (seemingly based on Geriatrix and Mrs. Geriatrix) he made himself from clay. Hercules is inspired to make himself a date for the upcoming dance with clay too, although as Aphrodite brings it to life she notes that "beautiful and crazy about Hercules" is a shallow instruction for her personality. The statue, named Galatea, proves herself a clay-type Elemental Shapeshifter and a dangerous Clingy Jealous Girl. The only way to stop her is fire, which bakes her and therefore immobilizes her. Aware that he is to blame, Hercules has Aphrodite revive her and make her her own person. Galatea immediately dumps him. Hercules then learns that Pygmalion has the exact same problem with his wife, but he's too perverted to care that she's loco.
  • In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, a giant statute is brought to life an used in an attempt to kill Batmanicus in ancient Rome in "Time Out for Vengeance!"
  • In Dexter's Laboratory, Mandark animates the head of George Washington from Mount Rushmore and gives him a giant robot body. Dexter's response is to do the same to Abraham Lincoln and fight back.
  • In the G.I. Joe miniseries "The Revenge of Cobra", one of the pieces of the Weather Dominator ends up in some ancient ruins. Said ruins have a giant statue that, of course, comes to life when the heroes (and villains) go in to retrieve the Plot Coupon.
  • The figures from the wax museum in Gravity Falls come to life during the waxing moon. The collection comprises Sherlock Holmes, Lizzie Borden, Groucho Marx, HM The Queen, Robin Hood, Thomas Edison, William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Genghis Khan, Coolio, Larry King, Richard Nixon, Abraham Lincoln, and John Wilkes Booth. Stan acquired the lot years ago from a garage sale, unaware that they were sapient. They brought in good money and at night could roam around in peace, so everything was well. Then people stopped coming and Stan boarded the wax figures up. The collection was rediscovered in "Headhunters" by Soos and the exhibit reopened, but at night the vengeful figures set out to murder Stan. Dipper and Mabel destroyed them with sunlight and fire, although Larry King's head escaped.
  • Animating metal statues was how Metlar from Inhumanoids acquired his Mook armies.
  • The New Adventures of Superman: The Warlock brings a Civil War statue to life to attack an armoured car in "The Wicked Warlock".
  • In the Pinky and the Brain episode "Ambulatory Abe", Brain rigs the Lincoln Memorial statute with a hidden microphone and speakers, plus movable wheels, to trick the public into believing Abraham Lincoln had come back to life (and was ready to resume being president again).
  • The statue of Grouchy Smurf that comes to life in The Smurfs episode "The Monumental Grouch".
  • An episode of South Park features the episode's villain, magician David Blaine, using superpowers to bring the Lincoln Memorial statue to life. The heroes' solution: build a giant John Wilkes Booth statute to stop the Lincoln statute.
  • Granite Man from The Super 6 is a super heroic version of this trope.
  • Parodying Talos in Jason and the Argonauts (see Film), in The Venture Bros., Dean reads an inscription that wakes a giant statue guardian of a sacred crafts box (at least he says he did).
  • Two Starfire Gems in Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic are capable of animating statues, although one is situational.
    • The Opal Starfire Gem is recovered in "Through the City Darkly". It is capable of granting life to inanimate objects. Jana and Jason first get their hands on it at an ice rink and use it to animate the ice sculptures flanking the rink to fight the Guardians. These sculptures depict gryphons and minotaurs. When Tenko takes the gem from Jana, she has the ice sculptures attack her and Jason.
    • The Emerald Starfire Gem is the key to unleash an Eldritch Abomination onto this dimension. Its role as key seems to be because the emerald is in direct contact with the being and therefore can channel its power. Powell, a human who seeks to free the being, uses the emerald to bring to life five gladiator statues to delay Tenko, aware they wouldn't be enough to actually top her.

    Real Life 
  • Living Statues in Real Life refer to street performers who wear special makeup and stand still for hours at a time in public places, only coming to life to freak people out or when someone gives them money. The job isn't without risks: standing perfectly still for prolonged periods is not good for the circulation, and combined with heat and dehydration from a long day's performance, there's a very high risk of passing out. Amanda Palmer worked as one of these in Boston under the name "The Living Bride", a fact she refers to on the Dresden Dolls song "Perfect Fit."
  • A variant is a living Wax Museum piece. Since the sculpture is more life like than a stone statue, it requires only an appropriate costume to pull off and avoids the heat issues as Wax Museums are often colder due to the constant use of AC to keep the figures from melting.
  • The talking statues of Rome are six statues citizens secretly leave political and religious commentary on in the form of notes as if these are the statues' opinions (thus shielding the actual poster from persecution). This practice goes back to the start of the 16th Century and commenced with Pasquino.note  Guards were assigned to the statue to prevent notes being added, but this only caused more statues to be used as political bulletin boards. Those statues are Marforio, Madama Lucrezia, Abbot Luigi, Il Babuino, and Il Facchino, and together with Pasquino they are known as the Congregation of Wits.
  • In Detroit, Michigan, there's a bronze statue called "Spirit of Detroit". Nearby, there's a statue of similar scale of a nude female. One night, a local prankster painted footprints in a tint of green matching Spirit of Detroit's patina, leading to the nude female statue. Even the city's police chief voiced his admiration of the pranksters' wit!

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