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Long Neck

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"What's that about Silly Putty?"

One way of making a character look bizarre or comedic is to give them a long neck. They can be born with it due to some strange birth defect, acquire it temporarily due to Amusing Injuries, or simply belong to a species that naturally has one: giraffes, geese, swans, sauropod dinosaurs, snakes, tortoises, or even aliens.

In comedic stories, a long neck is usually stretched out by accident. The neck can be fully erect, or it can be bent into all kinds of shapes like a snake. Long-necked characters are usually able to see things from great distances. Or when swimming, they're able to use their neck as a periscope. Disadvantages of this condition are that the character's neck will frequently be tied in knots or bump against lower objects or people.

Also a frightening type of Body Horror in horror movies, because it is such an unusual sight. Compare other creepy long body parts: Creepy Long Fingers, Creepily Long Arms, Sinister Schnoz, Thin Chin of Sin, and sometimes Villainous Cheekbones.

On the other hand, in women, a subtly long neck is sometimes seen as a sign of beauty. There are cultures where women artificially lengthen the appearance of their necks by wearing heavy necklaces. Compare Statuesque Stunner.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kanojo Wa Rokurokubi is a manga starring a Rokurokubi schoolgirl named Kinoi Natsuki. Her neck normally looks just like a human's, but it can stretch if she wants it to, or as a reflex to express surprise, embarrassment, or other things. She uses it for all kinds of mundane things like standing outside her balcony and talking to her next-door Love Interest in the face.
  • Orochimaru from Naruto can stretch his neck out like a snake, drawing from the rokurokubi discussed below.
  • One Piece has the Snakeneck Tribe, a who are distinguished by their long thin necks.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Jinzoningen Psycho Shocker (aka Jinzo) has a very long and thick neck, which makes it look intimidating and alien. His neck is even thicker than his limbs. In a few video games, his neck is explicitly mentioned in his profiles.

  • Francisco de Goya: The largest woman on Hilan delgado (They spin finely) has a long neck.
  • Amedeo Modigliani frequently painted women with exaggeratedly long necks.
  • Madonna with the Long Neck by Italian renaissance painter Parmigianino.

    Comic Books 

    Film — Animation 
  • Quite a few of the dragon species from the How to Train Your Dragon franchise have this feature, most prominently including the Night and Light Fury, Monstrous Nightmare, Boneknapper, and Razorwhip. The Hideous Zippleback has two, being two-headed.
  • Melman the Giraffe from Madagascar, justified given his species. However, his neck is noticeably crooked compared to the other giraffes in the second movie.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Shown briefly towards the end of Black Swan during a surreal and disturbing depiction of the main character's transformation into the 'swan' of 'Swan Lake'.
  • One of the monsters in C.H.U.D. starts extending its neck, which makes it all the more easy to decapitate.
  • The baby from Eraserhead has an abnormally long neck, among other deformities. Its neck gets even longer in the scene where it pops out from underneath Spenser's head.
  • Ditto for the Henrietta Deadite in Evil Dead 2, whose neck starts extending when it escapes the fruit cellar.
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: E.T. is able to make his neck longer. He usually does this when he is frightened, but near the end when he has to say goodbye to Elliott's older brother he does this too.
  • Star Wars:

  • When Alice starts to grow after drinking from a magic potion in Alice in Wonderland her entire body stretches, including her neck.
  • Many illustrations of the Jabberwock give it a long, snaky neck.
  • Pierson's Puppeteers from Known Space are described as having two heads atop long necks with mouths that they use as hands, as well as for eating. Their brain is actually in their body, not either of their heads. Their species name comes from the fact that their heads apparently look similar to sock puppets.
  • Rubber Girl could stretch her neck. She once stretched her neck to eavesdrop on Dr. Biaz firing Dr. Plastique at the hospital.
  • The Brothers Grimm story The Six Servants has a character with a very long neck who's able to see things from great distances. At the fairy tale theme park Efteling, he is named Langnek ("Long neck"), and one of most iconic features of the park is an animatronic statue of him in Fairy Tale Forest that raises and lowers its neck.
  • Stick Cat: Stick Cat's owner, Goose, has a long neck. It's how he got that name.
  • The Hammerheads in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: Mentioned by the Doctor in "School Reunion" that Monster of the Week the Krillitanes used to have extremely long necks, but due to the fact they constantly take on other species' traits, they now look like giant bats.
  • Before the first X-Men movie, Fox aired a making-of special with a Framing Device of Senator Kelly telling the rest of the Senate about the mutant threat. In a presumably non canon moment, the special ends with Kelly's daughter greeting him and revealing herself as a Rubber Man creepily stretching her neck out about a foot. Even with the dated effects, it's still kind of horrifying.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Questing Beast, pursued by several knights from Arthurian Legend, was described as having a snake-like head and long neck.
  • The Rokurokubi appears as a normal woman at first, but she can elongate her neck like a snake. According to the tales, this happens while the Rokurokubi is asleep.
  • A very popular interpretation of what the Loch Ness Monster looks like. Sometimes, the head and neck are the only parts of the animal people see!

    Video Games 
  • Dark Souls III has the Dancer of the Boreal Valley, who's basically just a giant warrior woman...except her proportions are just off, including a neck that's noticeably longer and more flexible than a human's should be.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Giant Fist: Among the Body Horror augmentations given to the Latourian followers in Zet's manor are people who can whip their necks forward several feet to headbutt you.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: The Dead Hand enemy has about as much nightmare fuel as the N64 graphics could create, and the fact that its neck, shoulders and head are of roughly equal proportions to those of the image above is a major part for that. It makes biting Link that much easier...
  • Little Nightmares II has the Teacher. She initially seems like a normal woman, larger-than-average head aside... but if she spots you, her neck elongates to catch you.
  • Monster Hunter (2004): Khezu can stretch its neck to bite from a long distance.
  • Puppeteer (2013)'s Nebula Oblongata is the Rukurokubi daughter of the Headless Horseman, Mayor of Hallowee Ville. Despite her stretching neck, she insists that she's a cosmic traveler trapped in a normal human's body in the middle of a town of monsters.
  • A number of Pokémon, but the absolute king of this trope is the Alola Form of Exeggutor. It's a 35-foot-tall palm tree, with thirty of those feet being its neck/trunk.
  • Riot have a giant cat boss who can inexplicably extend it's neck to chew at you while staying at the background.
  • Creatures in The Sapling can have necks up to 5/7 of their entire body length with nothing but a mouth on one end and a pair of legs on the other should the player really want to do so. This actually serves a purpose in gameplay, since it allows them to reach high up leaves on plants that have evolved bark.
  • In Undertale, the Lesser Dog enemy will stretch its neck out more and more when you pet it. This can go on for quite some time.
  • Sam & Max Hit the Road has Bruno the Bigfoot's girlfriend, Trixie the Giraffe-Necked Girl from Scranton, who has rings around her neck like a Ndebele tribeswoman.
  • Titania from Warframe has one, which makes her more... off compared to the rest of the frames.

    Visual Novels 
  • Rei from Sable's Grimoire is a rokurokubi as mentioned above in Mythology and Religion, though in her world the species can extend their neck at will and control it's movements.
  • Spirit Hunter: NG:
    • When confronting her face-to-face, it's clear that the Urashima Woman's neck is far longer than it should be. This makes for a chilling scene when Akira is escaping her by boat and she can be seen in the water, her long neck slowly rising out of the water.
    • If Rosé dies in the Screaming Author case, then their neck is unnaturally elongated by razor wire to give them a grisly resemblance to a crane, the motif of the chapter.

    Web Animation 

  • Shihoka of Contemplating Reiko appears to be a Rokurokubi, and comes with a comically long neck that is frequently the punchline of any panel starring her.
  • Erma: Erma is related to a large and diverse family of Youkai on her mother's side, and her aunt Yori is a rokurokubi with a hugely stretchy, flexible neck. However, she can retract it to a normal length when she wants to pass for human.
  • Baraquiel, the right hand of God and main antagonist of My Best Friend Marneao, not only has a giraffe-looking face, but an absurd long neck too. In the non-canon Halloween Special, he tells a woman he plays basketball thanks to being very tall...and then kills her for giving him gum among his candy.
  • Star Impact's Dove has a large and thick neck.
  • The titular protagonist of Swan Boy has a long, thin neck that is often looped.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • One of Wakko's abilities from Animaniacs is to stretch his neck to ridiculous lengths usually so his siblings can measure something or use him as a ladder.
  • The BoJack Horseman crew didn't realize how long Diane's neck was until they gave her a haircut.
  • Inspector Gadget is able to stretch his neck to great lengths.
  • In Mixels, the character Hydro, being a living firetruck, has a double-jointed ladder for a neck. This lets him stretch his already long neck even higher for rescues.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Run Away Runway", Candace becomes a model because she's got a naturally long neck that goes with the high collar on a fashion designer's newest outfit.
  • Ren & Stimpy: In the "Royal Canadian Yaksmen" episode one of the yaks that accompanies Ren and Stimpy suddenly freaks out in a psychotic frenzy. During what is already a frightening scene his neck suddenly elongates several metres.
  • Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner: The Road Runner has a long neck. In the cartoon, "Chariots of Fur", he even extends it at one point to startle Wile E. from behind, then signs "Road Runners are extremely flexible".
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Treehouse of Horror X": In "Stretch Dude and Clobber Girl in: Desperately Xeeking Xena", Bart as "Stretch Dude" is able to stretch out his body parts, including his neck.
    • In another "Treehouse of Horror" short, a gypsy curse makes Bart's neck stretch until he's too weak to support it and drowns in a bowl of cereal across the table.
  • Steven Universe: A Dream Sequence in "Together Alone" portrays Yellow Diamond with a long, snaking neck much like a rokurokubi. This was most like an Ascended Meme and Self-Deprecation towards how her first (and, for about a year, only) appearance drew her with a bizarrely thin neck.
  • Also characteristic for many characters in Tex Avery's universe.

    Real Life 
  • Many animals have long necks, probably inspiring this trope:
    • Geese, swans, giraffes, flamingos, storks, ostriches, llamas, tortoises, turtles,...
    • Sloths are an odd example: while their necks aren't especially long, at least outwardly, they have ten neck vertebrae as opposed to the typical seven of mammal necks. Yes, a sloth has more neck bones than a giraffe.
    • Many dinosaurs as well: sauropods (actually called 'long necks' in The Land Before Time), protosauropods, coelophysids, therizinosaurids, ornithomimosaurs, spinosaurids, Miragaia...
      • For those curious, the longest known neck of any animal belongs to the sauropod Xinjiangtitan shanshanesis, one fossil of which preserved a complete neck over forty-seven feet long (there are some sauropods which may have had longer necks, but they're known from far more fragmentary remains).
    • Not just dinosaurs; Azhdarchid pterosaurs (like Quetzalcoatlus) had very long (and very stiff) necks, as well as equally long beaks. These were ideal for snatching small animals off the ground.
    • Plesiosaurs. It was once speculated that a relic plesiosaur was the source of Loch Ness Monster sightings, but later evidence revealed that plesiosaurs would not have been capable of bending their necks the way Nessie is often reported to do.
    • The utterly bizarre-looking Tanystropheus, a type of prehistoric reptile with a neck that made up most of its body. Scientists believe that it used said neck as a built-in fishing rod.
    • Long necks are a component of the breed standard for many dog breeds, particularly tall, lightly-built hunting breeds.
    • Interestingly, giraffes have the same number of neck vertebrae that almost all mammals (including humans) have, which is 7. In birds and reptiles, the number varies.
    • Subverted by mantids, snakeflies, and giraffe weevils, which only look like this trope applies because their head and/or prothorax is elongated. Technically, their "neck" is only the very short bit of membrane that attaches the two.
  • African women of the South Ndebele tribe, and certain tribes in Burma, traditionally wear many rings around their necks. Little girls are given one ring on top of the other each year until their necks actually resemble that of a giraffe's. It's an Urban Legend that if they were to commit adultery, the rings would be removed and their necks would immediately collapse, but this is not true, a woman can remove the rings without risking a neck injurynote . Also contrary to popular belief, the rings don't actually lengthen the women's necks so much as they displace their shoulders downwards.
  • Actor Alan Ruck.