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Lovecraftian Superpower

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Black, inky slime would appear wherever he pointed that brush. And it terrorized the warriors.
They formed gripping hands, that dragged people into pitch black pools. Or towering spikes, that seemed intent on impaling. Or large, round balls of muck that chased people around. Swallowing whoever they ran over.
All those who were touched by the ink were left in shivering, quivering, nearly catatonic states. As if their minds couldn't handle whatever it was the slime made them see.

Where Stock Superpowers make reality cry and sometimes meet Body Horror.

Usually, when you gain some special ability, it will manifest in some fairly conventional forms. Energy blasts, Psychic Powers, steel skin, control over different forms of matter and varieties of Functional Magic are all relatively common. Despite how fantastic some of these abilities may be, there is usually an underlying science or logic and at the least it seems normal or standard in the story's setting.

And then there are Lovecraftian superpowers. Now what makes abilities Lovecraftian can vary greatly but for an ability to be Lovecraftian, it usually falls under a few general rules:

  1. The power in question is used by the bad guys. If the power is used by one of the good guys, the power is shown to be bad or harmful in some way, be it to themselves, others, or the universe in general.
  2. The ability or power must be unique and/or abnormal. It is usually a power that is either not possessed by more than one person, rare, or functions in a fashion that separates it from other standard yet similar abilities. An example would be if the ability to phase through matter by slipping their molecules through an object as a common ability versus someone who can phase partially out of sync with reality to move through obstacles. Both have the same result, but one is rarer and functions in a different way.
  3. The way the character gains the power is usually disturbing, horrible, or unpleasant. While it may not be the process of gaining the power (as some characters are born with their power), the implications and circumstances surrounding the origins of the ability are almost always anything but nice.
  4. The powers themselves may or may not produce strange side effects on the user. It usually varies and depends on how the user gains his powers, the user himself or the very nature of the powers themselves. Side effects may range from small to gigantic. For example, the user could develop a dark side if the source of his powers is malevolent in nature (like Black Magic, for example).
  5. The powers may or may not require specific criteria to be fulfilled in order to be gained. A price, so to speak. For example, a dark sacrificial ritual must be performed to summon a god that may grant said powers. Another good example would be to make a literal deal with a demon so that he can give you powers at the cost of your soul.
  6. The powers may or may not be hard to control (at first, at least). This makes sense. After all, the user's powers are eldritch and alien in nature, so not only are they hard to understand, but also, nobody's really sure how they work, including the user, which will obviously make it hard for him to use them correctly. Maybe he'll destroy something he doesn't want to destroy by accident? Maybe his powers will have unexpected side-effects on whoever or whatever he uses them on? Maybe his powers will change and become different as time goes on?
  7. The last but most important rule is that the ability must clearly be unnatural or deviant in some way. Generally speaking, this means that the ability must in some way go against the internal logic of the story and what should or should not be possible. Emphasis on the word should because since the ability exists, it's not impossible, just... wrong somehow.

While the most obvious way a power could be abnormal is if it bends, breaks, or flat-out ignores the laws of science and nature, it may be more subtle. Obviously, being able to bend space would be Lovecraftian but being able to invade someone's dreams would count as well.

For the less lucky, however, such new talents will have a disturbing biological component. They find themselves able to sprout thrashing razor-tipped tentacles, drool highly corrosive acid saliva, or extrude venomous thorns from their flesh. Alas, for these people have been Blessed with Sucknote  and granted a squick-tastic Lovecraftian Superpower.

The important thing to remember is that it doesn't matter whether the abilities have a body horror element to them. While this is the most common and obvious version of a Lovecraftian Superpower, keep in mind the definition of the word "Eldritch" (a word H. P. Lovecraft seemed to love so much he used it almost like a form of punctuation). Any superpower or ability fitting the definition of eldritch — uncanny, unearthly, weird; not existing in nature or subject to explanation according to natural laws — is a Lovecraftian Superpower. In a setting where magic is unnatural (you can only get it by screwing with stuff you really shouldn't), magic would be Lovecraftian. If magic is normal to the setting, then Black Magic would count as Lovecraftian. Anything supernatural in the setting that would make even the wisest and most sagacious guru say "Holy S#@&! That ain't right!" would count.

Lovecraftian powers generally come in three seperate flavors:

Non-Physically Affecting, Horrible Perverting of Nature: This version is when the power or ability has no physical component but what it does and how it works is horrifying Squick and in defiance of nature — for example, gaining the abilities of others by eating their brains or their souls, or being able to warp, twist, and shape living organic matter like a perverse sculpter with the resulting monstrosity still alive and begging for death.

Physically Affecting, Non-Perverting of Nature: The power involves a temporary or permanent shift/change of the physical form that would make most people crap themselves in terror or make them claw their eyes out. Usually, the shape taken has grotesque features like Eyes Do Not Belong There or Too Many Mouths. It could include growing tentacles or claws. The user might develop chitinous armor or become an amorphous blob.

Both of the Above: For the last one, God help your enemies, allies or even the universe. This is a combination of the two whereby the user can twist the laws of nature around them along with their own shape. Very common among those who are an Evil Sorcerer or Wicked Witch. Not only can they use Black Magic, which itself is wrong and in defiance of the natural order, they can also become a monstrosity as from the bowels of hell itself.

The name originates from classic scifi/horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, whose characteristic creations often seem equal parts Nightmare Fuel and biology textbook.

A Sub-Trope of Bad Powers, Bad People (usually), possibly because Magic Is Evil. Alternatively, this can overlap with Bad Powers, Good People, though less frequently. May be a useful side-effect of The Virus or The Corruption. Often manifests as Combat Tentacles, cannibalistic and horrific Shapeshifting (sometimes partial shapeshifting), Bloody Murder, or a Bee-Bee Gun, and is likely not quite controllable. Can overlap with One-Winged Angel, Power-Upgrading Deformation and Shapeshifter Mashup, Spider Limbs and, on a sillier note, Fartillery. Related to Eldritch Transformation, which is often one-and-done and involuntary by comparison.


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    Anime & Manga 
By author:
  • Junji Ito has blessed many of his characters with these:
    • Tomie: The eponymous girl is irresistible to men, to the point her charms drive them to madness and eventually killing and dismembering her. Her body regenerates each time, with each piece growing into another Tomie. And if these parts are grafted to another body, the poor host will slowly mutate into a clone of Tomie. Worse still, Tomie has an ugly personality for these ugly powers.
    • "Layers of Fear" has sisters Narumi and Reimi Soya, who can regress to their previous ages and back. The catch is that their bodies are composed of layers representing different stages like a tree's rings, and that if too many layers are ripped away, the regeneration will be gruesomely warped.
    • Misaki from the Voices in the Dark story "I Don't Want to Be a Ghost" can see and touch ghosts. She also feeds on a spirit's substance, and rips into them like a hungry wolf when she's hungry.
By work:
  • In AKIRA, Tetsuo manifests this trope in the Olympic Stadium when Colonel Shikishima tries to neutralize him; the flesh around the stub where Tetsuo's arm was fried off by the orbital laser shoots out in a massive bloody tentacle that attacks the Colonel. But then, later in the scene, Tetsuo gets shot by Kaneda's laser weapon. You see, Tetsuo is in so much pain that this trope suddenly combines with Superpower Meltdown. Naturally, Tetsuo's Eldritch Transformation is just as bad as you can imagine it.
  • In Attack on Titan: The Titans. The more we learn, the more horrible it gets, starting with misshapen giants who mindlessly attack and eat humans and regenerate from everything except damage to a specific spot. Titans are actually humans who manifested the ability to form giant fleshy bodies around themselves from a serum formulated from spinal fluid. The normal titans seen are an intermediary step between humans and Titan Shifters — humans who have full control over their transformed state and pilot their giant fleshy bodies like the world's most horrifying Humongous Mecha — with the next step being eating a previous Shifter alive to inherit their power. Full Titan Shifters can also regenerate their human selves, partially transform, and have an ability unique to their Titan Power.
  • Baccano!: Immortals have the power to "devour" other immortals, acquiring all of their knowledge all the way down to muscle memory. This process is not pretty.
  • Baoh: The titlar Baoh's/Ikuro's attacks are Meltedin Palm Phenomenonnote , Reskiniharden Saber Phenomenonnote , Shooting Bees-Stingers Phenomenonnote , and Break-Dark-Thunder Phenomenonnote .
  • Berserk: The Apostles. For some reason, fulfilling a person's most fervent (often dying) dream always involves turning them into a Lovecraftian horror. Rosine, the Dark Magical Girl Apostle, partially averts this by being actually kind of cute... until the final battle, where she turns into her TRUE form.
  • The Dark Triad in Black Clover have this theme. Each of them has an unsettling magic related to the body. Dante uses Body Magic to grotesquely regenerate his flesh to heal himself, Zenon uses Bone Magic that grows sharpened bones out of his body, and Vanica uses Blood Magic to congeal into different forms. Notably, these are their natural magics and unrelated to the magics of and granted by their devils, aside from their devils also giving said magics a boost.
  • Bleach:
  • Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo is about a guy who can use his hair (including body hair and nose hair) to fight enemies. His siblings can use different hairs to attack: Bebebe-be Be-bebe (Fist of Leg Hair), Bababa-ba Ba-baba (Fist of Chest Hair), Bububu-bu Bu-bubu (Fist of Armpit Hair), and Bibibi-bi Bi-bibi (Fist of Head Hair).
    • Most of Bobobo's fusions share his ability to use their nosehairs as a Finishing Move onto the opponent, save for a few who use eyelashes or do without.
  • In Bungou Stray Dogs, H.P Lovecraft's ability allows him to generate and create tentacles. It gets even more, Lovecraftian, when you realize that not only is he BASED off of the original Lovecraft, but his ability is one that is odd, even among people who can heal you when you're half-dead, turn into a white tiger and turn a cloak into an omnivorous beast capable of eating space. Not only that, but someone who can cancel abilities and makes them defunct for a period of time, can't cancel Lovecraft's ability. He also transforms into an actual monster.
  • Awakened Beings in Claymore tend to start sprouting tentacles to rip people apart with. That's only the beginning of the Body Horror here, though...
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Some of the demons and their Blood Demon Arts are fairly grotesque, but the grand prize probably goes to Muzan, who wraps up his part in the first season by sprouting a giant monstrous arm with multiple eyes and a gaping, inhuman mouth, and using it to gruesomely murder most of the remaining Lower Six for shits and giggles.
  • All the devilmen in Devilman gain their powers through Demonic Possession and Body Horror. It gets worse the more a demon takes over a human host or several merge into one body.
  • Allen Walker of D.Gray-Man has a monstrously deformed left arm that can transform itself into a much larger flexible and extendable claw arm, or an uzi/cannon arm. This only gets worse as the series progresses, with Allen's arm transforming into an even more deformed claw, only for him to later be able to remove it from his body and turn it into a sword. And that's just the main character; let's not get started on the various Noahs, Akumas and Third Exorcists.
  • Dainsleif in Even Though I'm a Former Noble and Single Mother is a sword that allows its wielder to absorb the magical energy of those they kill. If it's used on a monster, only a small amount of energy is absorbed and it doesn't qualify for this trope. If it's used on a person, on the other hand, the wielder will absorb much more energy - more than their body can handle, transforming them into a massive multi-limbed monster that spawns more monsters.
  • In Fairy Tail, the Strauss siblings' Take Over Magic has traces of this. Lisanna's Animal Soul Take Over is relatively benign, granting her the power to transform her body parts into that of various animals. Elfman's Beast Soul Take Over is a bit freakier, granting him the power to transform his body parts into that of various magical beasts. Mirajane's Satan Soul Take Over grants her the powers and forms of various demons.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
  • Tetsuya Takahashi in Genkai Level One Kara No Nariagari where is transported to another world against his will to serve as a Human Weapon to a kingdom. He's discarded as he is only level 1 and his cap is 1. However it turns out that he can gain powers, skills and stat points over absorbing the corpses of once living things. And he does absorb them. He touches them and a vortex seemingly pulls them into his hand like a black hole. He first does this to the corpse of an earth dragon and gets much stronger. Interestingly, his power itself is hinted at to be eldritch and wrong with anyone who has decent senses initially mistaking him for an abomination for a split second.
  • Guyver tends to invoke this trope, especially with the first activation of the eponymous suit.
  • Alucard from Hellsing honestly resembles something much more disturbing than a traditional vampire, like a primordial being of chaos that personifies hunger and bloodlust. Appearing as an amorphous blob full of red eyes and sharp teeth, he can turn into an ocean of blood capable of drowning an entire city, its waves made up of wailing human bodies; those engulfed in the ocean wind up impaled on spikes. He carries scores of familiars whose body parts he can materialize into form, like deforming his arm into a snout, which can then hold and fire a gun; these familiars are all individuals he has consumed, and there are thousands of them.
    • And Alexander Anderson, once he plunges Helena's Nail into his chest, becomes a creature of endlessly propagating, thorny, strangling vines that cause anything unholy to burst into flame on contact. They can block bullets and immediately repair any injury Anderson takes, even the severing of his limbs or his entire head getting blown away.
  • Mentuthuyopi from Hunter × Hunter, one of the elite Chimera Ants, has the ability to mutate his own body. There is seemingly no limit to the number of bodyparts or amount of distortion. He does some really cool stuff with this, too; his period as a centaur-thing was impressive.
  • In Inuyasha, this is Naraku's main method of attack.
  • The Fractured Humans from Jagaaaaaan, manifests their psyches through their bodies in a morbid display of Body Horror when triggered, often with lethal results for everyone around them when it happens. That their powers come from frogs merged with their bodies only makes them more disturbing.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • The Pillar Men from Battle Tendency take Master of Your Domain to Body Horror incarnate. Specific powers vary depending on the person, but they're all shown to be able to contort their bodies far beyond anything the most flexible, double-jointed human could even hope to do, and even crush their own skeletons into dust to slip through tiny spaces (fortunately, they also have an extremely powerful Healing Factor to undo it) and can effortlessly absorb any living thing into their bodies simply by touching them. More specific powers include burrowing inside other people's bodies and controlling them, extending their ribcages to impale opponents, sprouting chainsaw arm blades, rotating their arms like drills fast enough to create powerful whirlwinds and firing Razor Wind from holes in their bodies, and prehensile blood vessels that can inject literally boiling hot blood into people. When one Pillar Man is seemingly killed, his brain is able to escape his body and seize control of another person and when their leader, Kars, is transformed by the Stone Mask, he gains Complete Immortality and the power to transform any part of his body into any animal, even when said parts aren't connected to his body (for example, he grows bird wings and fires razor sharp feathers at Joseph. The feathers then transform into piranhas to continue attacking him).
    • There's also the vampires (originally created from humans by the Pillar Men with the Stone Mask as a food source), and their zombie minions who get instances of this, such as being able to contort and warp their bodies in numerous freakish ways; one of them has a nest of venomous snakes in his head, another uses his hair as a weapon, and Phantom Blood's Big Bad Dio can split open his eyes with a thought to shoot out the liquid inside with the power and accuracy of a sniper rifle.
    • And from Stardust Crusaders onward, several Stands have those types of powers (such as a minuscule Stand that enters your brain through the ear canal and wreaks havoc on your nervous system or turns its victims into People Puppets, or one that manifests as a pustulant, tumorous growth either on its wielder (which covers them from head to toe and can be altered to make them look like a completely different person) or their enemy (where it grows into a grotesque homunculus/conjoined twin who then tries its damnedest to murder its host body). Those two examples are just two from early in the first arc to use Stands, and since the freakiness of said Stands only escalates in latter arcs... It's that kind of series.
  • In King of Thorn, infection by Medusa can grant this to those with sufficient willpower. The good news: you can make all your dreams into reality! The bad news: by having them explode out of your body like chestbursters. Body Horror doesn't begin to cover it.
  • In My Hero Academia several character's Quirks qualify.
    • The most horrific is Seiji Shishikura's "Meatball" Quirk, which allows him to manipulate his flesh and transform people into disgusting meatball blobs.
    • Vlad King, Class 1-B's homeroom teacher has the ability to control his blood.
    • Kinoko Komori has the ability to grow mushrooms on people's skin and even in their throats.
    • Stain's "Bloodcurdle" Quirk has him taste the blood of his victim to paralyze them for a determined period of time.
    • Tatami Nakagame can retract her body inside itself.
    • Tamaki Amajiki can shapeshift based on what he's eaten in the past 24 hours. He can combine traits of what he's eaten into even more nightmarish forms with his "Vast Hybrid" technique.
    • Kuin Hachisuka of My Hero Academia: Vigilantes has a hole in her right eye that houses bees she can control.
    • All For One's Power Parasite ability lets him freely collect, use and bestow any number of Quirks. With it, he can level city blocks by combining an air cannon Quirk, a Quirk that lets his limbs inflate and coil grotesquely like springs, and multiple Quirks that amplify kinetic energy. His Finishing Move, made up of thirteen Quirks, swells and mutates his arm so that it's bigger than the entire rest of his body and bristling with mutated flesh. His power is acknowledged as just plain evil In-Universe, and stealing someone's Quirk is invariably traumatic. To top it off, even giving someone a Quirk their body can't handle has the potential to turn them into an Empty Shell.
  • Mushizo of Ninja Scroll is a deformed hunchback with a hornet's nest growing straight out of his back.
  • A few of the characters from Ninja Scroll: The Series are worthy of mention as well, such as a swordsman who has a hideous parasitic worm living in his stomach that attacks and kills anyone that is about to kill its host.
  • Shino and the Aburame clan in Naruto turn their bodies into living hives for their Kikkai insects, but are portrayed much more sympathetically, and with only a few tiny holes in their cheeks as the only visible indicator of their trait (they wear rather concealing clothing, so any further changes are unseen).
    • The Omake at the end of Shippuden episode 110 strongly implies that his eyes are empty sockets.
      • His eyes are seen from the side in episode 149 of Part I. The manga says nothing either way.
    • Heck, a lot of ninjas are like this. Kimimaro's blood limit is to weaponize his bones stands out as pretty freaky. But then there is any ninja who can use the 2nd level of the curse seal, that transforms their body into some monstrosity. Or Juugo, the original source of the curse seal, whose abilities are basically shifting his body into whatever the situation at hand calls for. Kakuzu passes into this territory as well, given that he is partially made of freely-controllable string and artificially extends his life by using his opponents like organ banks whenever something grows too old to work, plus there's those... things that he can create out of the string.
    • Orochimaru transformed himself into a humanoid snake-like being who can extend his body to bizarre lengths (including his neck and tongue), puke swords, eat large objects, body surf and do other nightmarish things. Also, his real form is a big snake made of other snakes with his human head on the end.
    • The ninja Pain has a lot of these. First of all, his ability to posses and use the bodies of dead people as if they were his own. Next, each body has its own unique ability. The Shurando body that Pain uses can read peoples minds by ripping out their souls which can kill them. The Jingokudo body can summon the king of hell which is a large demonic head that uses mouth tentacles to connect to a living person and if they lie, their life-force is drained and the target dies. The real big one is Gedo or "Outer Path" which allows Pain to not only manipulate the forces of life and death by resurrecting people, but he can resurrect thousands of people at once.
  • For One Piece, we have Nico Robin. It is very easy to forget that such a pretty woman consistently uses her powers to break the spines of her enemies. What are those powers, exactly? Sprouting bodyparts out of anywhere. However, unlike most other examples, we do not squirm in agony when she uses her powers, but instead relish when the bastards get what's coming for them. And as an added bonus, she's a part of the Straw Hat Pirates.
    • Of all the Devil Fruit powers that exist, Blackbeard's Dark-Dark Fruit (Yami Yami no Mi) is so far the closest to fit the criteria of Lovecraftian horror. It allows the user to become and manipulate darkness, but in a way that simulates black holes, sucking in and crushing everything that comes near it with powerful gravitational force. This essentially makes Blackbeard a walking, human black hole. Worthy of note is that the ability itself is an abnormality thanks to it having its own peculiar perks that break the usual Devil Fruit rules, such as the lack of Nigh-Invulnerability common for the Logia class it belongs to and the capacity to nullify other Devil Fruit powers.
  • The aliens in Parasyte are worm-like creatures that get into a human's brain through the ears and can transform their hosts bodies to have tentacles ending in sharp blades. Main character Shinichi gets a worm in his hand instead, which allows him to retain his free will and his parasite agrees to help him fight the other worms, since they want him dead too for botching his infestation.
  • Ashitaka in Princess Mononoke gets a cursed arm from contact with the tentacle-goop of a demon. It tends to pulse and warp bizarrely, giving him occasional Super-Strength and making his arrows considerably more lethal; he doesn't have much control over it, though, and it's going to kill him eventually if he doesn't find a way to remove the curse.
  • In Ranma ½ the character of Pantyhose (yes, really) Tarou is bad enough with his ability to turn into a giant Bull/Yeti-Thing in his first appearance. Just to show how badass (or Jerkass more like) he is, he goes and mutates his body more to add tentacles. Obviously, this is form is based on the ushi-oni of Japanese myth, but that doesn't make it any less freaky.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion also gives us examples, both with Unit 02's "The Beast" mode, which turns it into a spindly, elongated monster with a huge, grotesque mouth that opens up halfway down its neck, and new-Zeruel's literal take on the saying "you are what you eat".
  • Soul Eater, being the kind of manga that it is, has several examples of this trope.
    • Crona has had all their blood drained and replaced with Black Blood - as a result they gained the ability to solidify their blood at will, making them near impossible to cut, as well as to control it even when it leaves their body. This means that even if you manage to wound Crona, their spilled drops of blood will just skewer you. This would be just a classic case of Bloody Murder if not for the fact that their blood also serves as the host for Ragnarok, a soul-eating liquid parasite that can manifest as a massive Humanoid Abomination sprouting out of Crona's spine, or as a pitch black longsword fashioned out of Crona's blood that screams constantly when Crona is fighting.
    • Snake Witch Medusa has her entire body completely stuffed full with writhing magical snakes. She can put these snakes into others' bodies as well through their mouths, where they will serve as a parasitic case of Animal Eye Spy and messily tear them apart from the inside out at her command. After she was killed by Dr. Stein during the Kishin's awakening, she managed to pull off a risky magic, turned into a snake and came back in the body of a little girl, whose body she invaded through the mouth in her snake form. Yeah, it's not pretty.
    • While less pronounced than the rest of the examples here, the witch Arachne has her entire body composed of millions upon millions of spiders.
    • Obviously, the Kishin Asura excels at this. Aside from carrying an aura of all-permeating madness that causes anyone near him to undergo horrifying hallucinations, he wears his own stretched-out skin as a scarf and can use it as Combat Tentacles. On top of that he can messily regurgitate a vajra (which he gained by eating his Demon Weapon alive) from his throat and use it to fire off a Breath Weapon. He can also regrow lost limbs entirely, a process which is agonizingly painful for him, but he simply doesn't care.
  • In Speed Grapher, one of the Euphoricsnote  is a dentist who can make lots of tentacles made out of dental instruments sprout out of his back. Because backs sprouting tentacles and dental tools weren't terrifying enough on their own.
  • All ghouls in Tokyo Ghoul have this to some degree. Their defining trait is the ability to explosively expel a blood-like cellular structure from holes ripped in their back, forming them into a variety of extra body parts such as tentacles or razor wings. More powerful ghouls take it to an even greater extreme, being capable of gruesomely putting themselves back together when sliced, diced, disemboweled, or blown apart. Then there are the Kakuja, ghouls that have mutated as a result of serial cannibalism — sprouting protective shells or fleshy armor, and generally being driven completely insane by their own powers. The One-Eyed Owl, in particular, displays the ability to form a giant flesh mecha with numerous chattering mouths that carry on disjointed conversations with each other. The Owl explains to a helpless victim that the form a kagune can take is limited only by the user's intelligence and imagination. And few people are as intelligent and creative as a bestselling author specializing in psychological horror.
  • Variante has the main character obtain a monstrous arm that can mutate further (her arm ate a dog). She uses the arm to fight monsters.
  • Almost everyone from the Demon World in Wicked City has some kind of Lovecraftian Superpower. Main character Maki's Femme Fatalons is probably the tamest example in the movie, which says something. The only demon whose power doesn't evoke Body Horror is Dirty Old Man Giuseppe who wields lightning instead.
  • Xam'ds in Xam'd: Lost Memories. Even the most subdued use of their powers involves transforming an arm into a grotesque alien appendage or blade.
  • YuYu Hakusho:
    • Elder Toguro has the power to manipulate his physical form. This allows him to form his body into any weapon imaginable, travel unseen through the ground by liquefying his body, avoid fatal injuries by shifting his organs around, reattach severed limbs, regenerate from any non-fatal wound, and so on. Later on his body mutates to the point where he becomes truly immortal, unable to die of age due to being a demon, and being able to regenerate from anything including injuries to the heart or brain and obliteration. Since he can't die, he ends up suffering from a Fate Worse than Death...
    • Younger Toguro bulks up as he uses more power. 100% has him going outright One-Winged Angel; his skin turns grey and his body becomes over-muscled to the point of deformity.

    Comic Books 
  • Arawn: After becoming the god of death thanks to the Cauldron of Blood, Arawn is able to spontaneously summon black tentacles from his body.
  • Astro City: Both Lord Sovereign and The Pale Rider derive their powers from the dark energy of the Eldritch Abominations in the Void Between the Worlds. Lord Sovereign is able to fire energy blasts and Mind Control people, while the Pale Rider is able to incinerate people instantly.
  • The DCU:
    • In Animal Man (2011), Buddy Baker becomes infused with more power from the Red (the metaphysical manifestation of the Animal Kingdom, and the animal equivalent to the Green from Swamp Thing), and his power to use animal abilities is morphed into actually physically manifesting animal characteristics. These transformations are visceral and not pleasant to look at.
    • Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham is a Cthulhu/Batman mashup that presents Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Two-Face and ultimately Batman himself as this. In particular, Harvey's scarred side becomes a flesh-portal to Lovecraftian dimensions, while his normal side is still capable of carrying on a conversation.
    • The evil Green Martian D'kay D'razz, introduced in Brightest Day, uses her shapeshifting powers to frightening and effective use via Combat Tentacles and turning her head into a Venus Flytrap. Assuming a monstrous form comes naturally to her, since she's a murderous lunatic.
    • Most of the characters from Grant Morrison's run of Doom Patrol. Perhaps most emblematically, Freak has a parasitic tentacle beast living in her body. While she has total control over its tendrils... ick.
    • The story "The Reaching Hand" from Elseworlds 80-Page Giant reinvents DC's Rubber Man characters as barely-Humanoid Abominations.
    • Green Lantern: It's possible that Guy Gardner's Warrior powers weren't supposed to invoke this trope, but the terrible '90s art in his solo series makes his transformations deeply squicky.
    • In Robin (1993), Tim stumbles across a strange thing in the Appalachian mountains that can retain human form by linking itself to a human who in turn is granted immortality through regeneration while near them but loses their ability to speak and has their memories and sense of self altered. If their linked human is killed, they revert into a mass of fleshy tentacles interspersed with giant mouths and eyes and kill everyone around them until they form a new link and make a new human form for themselves.
    • Wesley Dodds was the Golden Age Sandman. When Dream of the Endless was captured, it wreaked havoc on the dream-scape and messed with people's ability to dream or sleep. As the narrator says in Sandman #1: "The universe knows something's missing and slowly tries to replace it". Dodds became a vessel for a fraction of Dream's essence. What ability did a piece of the lord of dreams grant Dodds? Every night he dreamed of crimes and saw murders and horror with the nightmares continuing until the perpetrator was caught. After that he had no dreams for a few nights, and then the whole thing started all over again. While prophetic dreams don't seem too lovecraftian, keep in mind that Dodds was just a man and shouldn't have had a piece of the Dream-lord's soul inside of him. (The one time they met, in Sandman Mystery Theatre, the notoriously distant Dream showed pity for Dodds and his situation... but he's not known to have reclaimed the part of himself Dodds held, even after being freed; in some continuities, the dreams passed to Dodds' heirs when he died.)
  • The primary antagonists of Death Vigil are necromancers who shapeshift into and summon Eldritch Abominations that have freaky eyes, tentacles, and teeth. One of the characters on the protagonists' side is Mia, a girl who was bound to a Primordial, an elder Eldritch Abomination. She can assume her true, monstrous form to better battle necromancers and eat the horrors they summon.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Deadpool was an attempt to replicate Wolverine's Healing Factor that went wrong by having Wolverine's DNA injected into him. He had cancer that was killing him already, and they thought the healing factor would cure that. Unfortunately, the healing factor applied to his body and the cancer cells, so while his superhuman immune system is perfectly capable of killing the cancer, the cancer can recover and mutate just as quickly.
    • In The Eternals, the Celestial experiments on proto-humans that created the eponymous super-race and mutants also created the Deviants. While the Eternals are superhumans with the ability to manipulate energy, the Deviants look like horrible monsters straight out of Lovecraft's works. Fortunately, most of them aren't that bad and just want to live in peace.
    • Milder example in Fantastic Four: the Thing looks like a giant rock hulk. This produces plenty of angst for Ben Grimm, and the fact that other people in the Marvel Universe have been mutated in much worse ways isn't exactly a great consolation.
    • The first three issues of Generation Hope deal with the manifestation of the powers of Kenji Uedo, the fifth new mutant since M-Day. His power is a sort of "techno-organic" shapeshifting, but that doesn't quite convey how very Lovecraftian they can be (the first image through the link even looks like an obvious Shout-Out to Tetsuo's transformation in AKIRA above).
    • Generation X foe Emplate has mouths on his hands that let him cannibalize mutant bone marrow. In the Bad Future that Bishop comes from, Emplate's powers have become contagious, and vampiric "emplates" are a constant danger even though the original has apparently been killed.
    • Ghost Rider has had a few of these characters over the years, such as the revamped Highwayman, a demonic trucker whose rig is made up of organs from his victims and who survives decapitation by growing fingers from the bottom of his head and scuttling around like a spider.
    • The Bride of Nine Spiders from Immortal Iron Fist can summon hordes of spiders from her chest. This looks even worse than it sounds.
    • The Incredible Hulk is one of the most prominent examples of this trope, and perhaps one of the tamest. At least Bruce maintains a totally humanoid form — there are a number of gamma mutates who aren't nearly so lucky. Immortal Hulk amps up the Lovecraft, revealing gamma radiation to have supernatural aspects, playing up opportunities for Body Horror, and giving Bruce Resurrective Immortality that sends him to the "below-place" while he's dead.
    • The Inhumans are a subspecies of humanity that the Kree genetically modified long ago. Those of Inhuman lineage manifest superpowers when exposed to the Terrigen Mist. The lucky ones retain their human forms after Terrigenesis, or at least something fairly close to human. The unlucky ones don't.
    • The Midnight Sons line and the later Fearless Spin-Off of Fear Itself both featured the Comicbook/Hydra D.O.A. (Department of Occult Armaments), whose super-agents all had body horror powers, such as Rotwrap's insect-infested mummified form and Innards's ability to pull out his internal organs and attack others with them.
    • The Project Purgatory arc of New Mutants introduces the Inferno Babies, the latent mutant infants used during Inferno (1988) to open a portal to Limbo over Manhattan. Some of them have monstrous mutations fitting the hostile environment they were raised in; Scab's blood becomes body armor, Maw is covered in fanged mouths, and Alex is a Blob Monster.
    • Secret Warriors introduced Hive, a Cthulhumanoid member of the Hydra inner council who can control others by implanting Puppeteer Parasite spawn in their bodies.
    • Spider-Man:
      • Spider-Man has on at least one occasion turned into a literal multi-limbed arachnid-humanoid creature. Even normal Spider-Man, in those incarnations where the sticky white silk he shoots from his hands is organic, arguably counts.
      • Or the time when he fights Miss Arrow. Or, really, just her entire being. Bonus points for being a Lovecraftian horror in the first place, madam.
      • Minor Spidey villain the Squid can grow multiple Combat Tentacles and spew black ink from his skin.
      • Spidey villain the Sandman can sometimes appear like this, as some adaptations have him using his ability to reform himself to make an arm come out of his head or other limbs where they just don't belong.
      • The various symbiotes may as well be parasitic shoggoths, capable of forming tentacles, spines, extra mouths, and other grotesque metamorphoses. Most noticeable is Carnage, a psychopathic serial killer whose symbiote tends to turn into a cloud of barbed tentacles whenever it feels like it. Also, the reason his suit is red is that it's made up of the Venom symbiote mixed with Cletus Kasady's blood. This is taken to its logical conclusion in Absolute Carnage, where Carnage connects to a primordial god of the abyss. His powers upgrade to brainwashing unwitting followers by having symbiotic maggots burrow into their skin and mutate them into multi-limbed symbiote creatures. Going from his old, already-creepy look to an eight-foot-tall skeleton wrapped in a symbiote doesn't help.
    • The whole premise of Terror Inc. is his power to engage in Appendage Assimilation, usually by taking pieces directly off of others. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the character started out as a villain in the Alternate Continuity Shadlowine comics before being adapted tom the main Marvel Universe.
    • And of course, there are Wolverine's claws, which are bone knives that slice through his forearms and hands every time they extend. Good Thing He Can Heal indeed. The comics and adaptations make no bones about the fact that having metal bonded to your skeleton and blades made of the stuff stuck into your arms is in fact not actually a good thing. Logan's healing factor is all that allowed him to survive having it done to him, and when deprived of it by power-dampening characters or tech, the adamantium in his body starts to poison him; he'd die without his powers. At least before the bone-claw Retcon, driving those claws through his forearms and out of the back of his hands without his healing factor is insanely agonizing — surgery-without-any-anesthesia agonizing because that's kinda what's happening—- to the point of being in real danger of having a heart attack on the spot. You're expected to kindly ignore all this when he loses his adamantium and writers who don't want to deprive him of his signature weapon say "Oh, he always had 'em, they were just covered with metal." We also learn just how damaging the presence of the adamantium was during this period, though: his healing and animal-based powers were in overdrive compared to how he normally is; apparently, the overwhelming majority of his mutant might is usually not available to him because it's busy keeping the deleterious effects of the adamantium in him at bay. Even after the bone-claw retcon, it's shown that popping the claws is still very painful. The first time he popped them in Origins, he screams in agony a moment later. By the present day, he's used to the pain. Also, when the bone-claw retcon was first introduced, Wolverine popped his bone claws a few days after Magneto had ripped the adamantium out of his skeleton, which in the process had overloaded his healing factor. Meaning that in addition to the extreme pain, he started bleeding profusely out of the holes his claws had just created in his hands. When his healing factor is functioning, the wounds from popping his claws just instantly close as soon as he retracted them. With it on the fritz for a while, he treated claws like giant piercings in his hands, and kept them extended for while every day until his body adapted to having six new holes on a permanent basis.
    • X-Men:
      • Predating the Spike below the even more Lovecraftian Marrow, whose bone growths were originally uncontrollable, random, and disfiguring. She would tear them out periodically to use as melee weapons, healing the wounds left behind with her Healing Factor.
      • As well as the rest of The Morlocks living in the sewers. Their powers come with varying degrees of deformity built in, often quite hideous in nature. Hence their living in the sewers; they're so obviously mutated that they can't blend in with normal humans.
      • And then there's Tusk, who predates Marrow but is fairly similar... except that he also has pods on his back from which he can spawn Mini-Me versions of himself.
      • A one-shot Morlock is named MeMe. He absorbs people into himself physically to get bigger and stronger; at any given point, screaming humans melted into him and each other will be wriggling around on his body, with the limbs and faces of his less-intact victims jutting out every which way. As they shift and more are added, he never looks exactly the same in any two panels.
      • A former X-Man with the charming name of Maggott had two parasitic slugs that crawled out of his belly and could eat anything. He spent most of his childhood nearly starving to death until his primary digestive system (the slugs) emerged.
      • Johnny Dee of the 198 isn't a mutant, but his internalized parasitic twin is. It extends poison tentacles from his gut and makes mind-controlling zombie dolls of anyone whose DNA it eats.
    • X-Statix: The Spike's mutant ability allows him to fire bone spikes out of his body. His teammate Phat can fill himself up with extradimensional gunk, growing to grotesque proportions but increasing his strength and durability exponentially. One short-lived member of the team, Sluk (and when we say "short lived", we mean "he was already dead when his team was introduced"), has creepy tentacle things growing from his face and tentacular feet and hands. His teammates secretly hate him for a few reasons. One is that he's only handy in close combat situations and it's difficult to get him into the right spots a lot of the time. Another is that he isn't exactly Mr. Personality. Mostly, however, they don't like him because he just looks really, really weird.
  • In Monstress, anyone whose body is possessed by a Monstrum, like Maika and Sinister Minister the Mother Superior, can sprout Combat Tentacles which are capable of devouring people.
  • North 40 deals with what happens when some kid reads the Tome of Eldritch Lore in a small town's library, triggering a Mass Super-Empowering Event of this type. The lucky ones get superpowers like invulnerability, super-strength, and the ability to see through an animal's eyes. The other ones, however, get the ability to make man-powered killing machines, see through any photograph of themselves with their "new eyes" (which look like fanged maws), or just plain all-purpose Body Horror of various and sundry varieties.
  • PS238 has a minor character named Necronomik on Tyler's parents' Super Team. We don't really know his origin or power source, but it clearly has some Lovecraftian angle.
  • Sláine being a fusion of Celtic Mythology, Robert E. Howard novels and the good old-fashioned, classic 2000 AD punk aesthetic, the eponymous hero (an appropriate fusion of Cuchulainn and Conan with a punk aesthetic) has his "warp-spasm", which causes him to mutate into grotesquely ugly forms while gaining incredible strength, resilience and bloodlust.
  • Top Cow Productions seems to be fond of this, with two parts of their Triarchy — Witchblade and The Darkness — fitting the description. Combat Tentacles being just the start for both powers. The third of them, the Angelus, is more of a Holy Hand Grenade.
  • Transformers: Timelines: Ramjet was once the most powerful herald of Unicron who employed the reality warping powers bestowed upon him by his master to punish his victims. After Unicron imploded into a grand black hole, Ramjet was trapped in the Void Between the Worlds where the resident Eldritch Abomination tortured him by destroying and recreating his existence for quick laughs until they got bored and dumped him back into his dimension. This horrible experience gave Ramjet powers far greater than the ones he had, to the point that his mere existence can corrupt and twist the reality around him. Unfortunately, this also left him in a perpetual state of being and unbeing, holding himself together through sheer force of will, and pretty much shattered his mind.
  • In The Umbrella Academy, the Horror is pretty much the embodiment of this. He's said to have several monsters hidden under his skin. Whether or not they're from space or another dimension or something else has yet to be stated. However, according to some people in-universe, they're horrible and disgusting.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): The Many (a semi-manmade Undead Abomination which acts like The Virus) stands apart from Godzilla, the other Earthborn Titans, and even their genetic source Ghidorah for their abilities to radically reshape and rearrange their own biomass at will, forming natural weapons out of their own bodies a la The Thing (1982).
  • In Cave Story Versus I M Meen, the True Final Boss, DeviantArt, has the ability to transform into horrifying representations of his own fetishes. First, he transforms into a Giant Foot of Stomping as a huge swarm of flying vaginas appears in the upper part of the enormous room. Then, he gender-bends himself into a morbidly obese floating woman with a circle of eight giant, lethal, fat-dripping donuts flying around her. Finally, last but not least, four of her protective donuts suddenly grow huge amounts of mold as she sends out an array of giant blood-stained used condoms for the hero to stand on as her stomach explodes violently and gorily from overinflation, turning the vaginas into pus-oozing, tainted-blood-squirting blue waffles and prompting a bunch of naked anthropomorphic flies to crawl inside her body and feast on her endlessly regenerating entrails. Nausea Fuel at its finest.
  • In Children of an Elder God, the main characters kill cosmic horrors from the Cthulhu Mythos and steal their powers. Some examples:
    • Shinji is capable of creating and controlling insects, spiders and snakes.
    • Rei possesses people (among other things).
    • Touji bends and twists three-dimensional space.
  • Codex Equus: Various eldritch beings, divine or no, have certain powers that defy convention and make reality cry.
    • Unlike most eldritch beings and deities seen in the Codexverse, Moon Ray Vaughoof/Prince Canticum Lunae Cahaya is unique in that his very nature became tied to the four seasons following his re-Ascension. This makes him go through three cycles of death, reincarnation, and life in an endless loop, transforming him into a different god whose nature and powers corresponds with each season (i.e. death = winter; reincarnation = spring and fall; life = summer). Notably, as Kelahiran Semula Cahaya, his domain of Cycles gives him the ability to sense, create, and manipulate cycles, as well as other powers similar to those of High King Ragnarøkkr. However, he is vastly inexperienced in comparison and generally uses them for benevolent purposes.
    • As an 'Abyssal One', Queen Kthoryu's power is vaguely understood; notably, it is fueled by Dark Mana, which is not Dark Magic, but rather the magical equal of Dark Matter and/or Dark Energy. The nature of Dark Mana is so alien that it is only observable via its passive effects on the things around it. It is still being heavily researched, and it's believed that Dark Mana is the reason why her temple/palace has strange, eldritch qualities. Kthoryu's domain of Dark Energy gives her powerful anti-gravity abilities, but otherwise the full scope of it is unknown due to difficulty in observing it.
      • Kthoryu's domains of Primordial Sea and Primal Fear are also Lovecraftian, to a lesser degree. Being a goddess of Primordial Sea means that her powers are 'purer' and more potent compared to normal Sea deities, making her incredibly dangerous. Her domain of Primal Fear generally revolves around thalassophobia, the fear of oceans and/or deep bodies of water, though she is able to invoke other primal fears depending on her targets.
    • Following his transformation into an eldritch Alicorn, Prince Healing Song's Light domain gains eldritch properties, giving him new abilities such as reality-warping, transmutation, and, notably, seeing other dimensions and planes via light (which he calls the "Light of Dimensions"). His Fear domain, when combined with his Light domain, gives him the ability to inflict existential dread on his opponents and illuminate everything that they fear/hate about themselves.
  • Daily Equestria Life with Monster Girl:
    • Cerea's plastic practice sword has effectively become this. It is a weapon that destroys magic and wounds the soul itself, made of a substance that exists nowhere else in Menajeria and which only Cerea can safely handle. And at the end of the story, Cerea gains the ability to create or dismiss this weapon as her innate magic.
    • Tirek likewise fits this trope. His ability to drain magic is revealed to be the result of his brother cutting him open and surgically weaving platinum wires through his body and into his bones. This procedure appears to have technically killed him, but it left his soul trapped inside his corpse, able to keep it "alive" and moving by spending magic but still unable to generate magic in any way other than by draining it from those around him.
  • In The Dark Below, Izuku's natural quirk takes this to the next level. As do Todoroki and Tokoyami. Their powers are inherently tied to an eldritch dimension known as The Abyss. The main way Izuku in particular access the Abyss? He dies. The first couple chapters have him experimenting with various ways of killing himself to get there. He can also manipulate shadow matter that seems to defy the normal logic of reality and exposure to the Abyss's effects causes him to have an inherent understanding of higher level math and quantum physics. Those three are more than just tied to the Abyss - they're the gods of it. Yeah, that's right. They are the gods of a dimension filled with creatures that make the idea of the Cosmic Horror Story a joke. Todoroki for the godflame of order, the part of the Abyss we perceive as normal reality, Izuku for the True Dark, where the unspeakable eldritch abominations live, and Tokoyami for disparity, the places where the infinite nothingness and orderly creation meet and intermingle.
  • In Daymare this becomes Izuku's Quirk, Living Nightmare, which at its most powerful allows him to turn into an Eldritch Abomination, leaving destruction in his path. Still, having a terrifying Quirk like this left its mark, with this Izuku being a lot more messed up than his canon counterpart.
  • Imperfect Metamorphosis:
    • The resident Blob Monster qualifies. Rin Satsuki was just a young Kirin with an interesting native power, and gained the power to absorb other people and use their abilities in turn, thanks to Eirin's experiments. At the cost of her own body. It goes without saying that she really doesn't take that well.
    • In the same fanfic, Yuuka Kazami is capable of shapeshifting her own body into all kinds of horrid, twisted forms, all with a floral theme. This isn't just vine tentacles and root claws either. She can actually turn herself into Kaiju-sized plant monstrosities and weaponize every single part of her body. This power of Yuuka is justified in that she's actually an Elder God, albeit a very weakened one.
  • Fate/Gag Order's version of Don Quixote is a Servant who qualifies to be a Foreigner due to being unwittingly tormented by Hastur (The King in Yellow) while he was alive and battling his "Amber Arm" when he was still in a regular class. This doesn't crop up much in either his first and third Ascensions, but it heavily does for his second where Hastur's influence is at its strongest, especially when he uses his Noble Phantasm.
  • Leviathan (My Hero Academia): Izuku's Quirk is to change into the titular creature, an Eldritch Abomination that's almost a hundred meters long, has a dozen limbs and dozens of eyes, breathes lightning, and has a roar that inspires pure terror in anyone who hears it.
  • The Black Beast from The Missing Worlds falls under this. He used to be a human warrior who was given a blessing by his priestess: With each person he killed, he would become stronger. When he passed the limits of strength a human body could support, he began to morph into something monstrous (implied to resemble the Minotaur). Then a mob of angry villagers killed his Morality Chain. By the end of his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, he wasn't even remotely humanoid.
  • The Night Unfurls has some examples:
  • Tails of all people gets one of these in Sonic X: Dark Chaos after getting infected with Shroud parasites, complete with tremendous amounts of Body Horror. Among the highlights of his first transformation is his semen turning solid and slithering across the floor - before wrapping around him and hardening like body armor. Later on as he manages to take control of the Shroud inside him, he finds that he can do things like move his eyes out of their sockets and look around, grow his fingers into flensing claws, fire shards of his own bones from his wrists, and eventually fuse himself to the X-Tornado by connecting his nerves with its controls. Though all of his friends are utterly horrified and disgusted by his new powers, Tails thinks it's the most awesome thing ever.
  • Taylor/Starfield in Starry Eyes has one. Her superpower is to use the superpowers of various Lovecraftian entities by cutting off her skin (she can put it back). Aria, being a shoggoth, gets this the most (she’s the one with mouths and eyes in her tentacles), but Melody’s flight has been described as clawing at the air, and Rest is basically a living snowfall that eats sound.
  • Legion in We Are Legion is a "bug elemental", meaning he can control all forms of arthropods (insects, spiders, etc), use their senses, and his body is made of said arthropods. If Legion is to be believed, you'd have to almost simultaneously kill every bug in a half mile radius of him to kill him and make it stick, otherwise he just reforms a new body. As Kid Flash learns, when Legion sleeps, his human body dissolves into a mass of bugs. Later, he gains a new insectoid body due to accidentally increasing his connection with the Red, becomes a telepath due to eating Psimon, and it's revealed that he actually died a while ago and is a hive mind in the guise of a human.
  • In the Doctor Who fanfic Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf, Rose's ability to connect to the Time Vortex is treated as this. She nearly dies almost every time she uses it, she actually did die in the process of gaining it, and it's treated as so terribly wrong by the other characters that Rose chooses to hide it from the Doctor - with disastrous consequences.
  • Blood and Venom has Naruto taking Poisonous Person Up to Eleven. His saliva is poisonous (he can change the poison but has to flush his venom sac a few times to prevent cross contamination), he bleeds hydrofluoric acid, sweats nitroglycerine, and pees cyanide. What really sells it however is how Naruto replenishes his fluids from spitting poison or bleeding acid. He manipulates his spilled blood and that of others, causing it to flow into any open wounds on his body as well as his eyes, ears, mouth, and nose. Kiba mentions that he hasn't been able to sleep alone ever since seeing Naruto use an Exploding Blood Clone to take out a group of bandits then absorb their blood.
  • Izuku in The Worm That Dorks is either a nice young boy who can turn into an Eldritch Abomination or an Eldritch Abomination masquerading as a nice young boy. He can change his mass which increases his strength, sprout tentacles and teeth from his body, sees people and robots on the other side of walls more easily than he sees the walls, and has a number of lines along his body which have been noted to resemble seams more than scars. Finally, Izuku gives off an aura of dread, though how sensitive people are to varies. Some don't seem to notice, while Ochako feels the urge to flee before he's even in the room.
  • The Triptych Continuum has several examples:
    • Perhaps the biggest example is Her from Triptych itself. She is an unstable hybrid of the three pony tribes, and slowly changes from one to another. And as she changes, her body reshapes itself: her horn tears out through the skin and then recedes again, ribs break to accommodate unfolding wings, muscles tear and flesh reshapes. Worse, her mark actually rotates to reflect these changes, something so unnatural that it acts as a Brown Note to pony witnesses.
    • Other works in the series mention Kalziver's Severance, a spell that can very briefly cut the connection between pony and mark. The spell is referred to as "magical blasphemy", and using it causes excruciating agony from forcing magic to do something that fundamentally is not supposed to be possible.
    • One of the core aspects of Continuum earth pony magic is the Cornicopia Effect, charging soil with magical energies that encourage the growth of plants. However, it is also possible to invert the Effect, instead flooding the soil with energies that poison anything trying to grow there. It's rarely used, because making her magic flow in reverse like this will make an earth pony very sick.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in Glimmer. The story does a very good job of conveying the utter, sanity-destroying wrongness of Starlight's mark amputation, and the horror of having your soul torn out and a gaping hole left in its place.
    • And all of the above are contrasted with the powers of the "hybrids", ponies who have been infused with another tribe's essence and often develop unusual powers as a result. These are often bizzare (one hybrid can rewind time for weather systems, another is a pegasus who can work with unicorn Magitek but not pegasus Magitek, and of course Pinkie Pie is Pinkie Pie), but even the oddest lack the innate sanity-destroying wrongness of the other effects on this list.
  • The Dragon and the Butterfly Saga: Under normal circumstances, Pedro Madrigal's gift is the ability to draw and paint anything into reality. When under Drago's command, it's Played for Horror. Instead of goofy illustrations manifesting from a bright-golden paint, it manifests as an Ominous Obsidian Ooze that either turns into hostile Eldritch Abominations or does... something that renders anyone caught in it an Empty Shell.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In Pathfinder (2010), Rigg bonds with a Facemask. A successful bonding can benefit both parties, however there is a very high chance of ending up as a Meat Puppet. As a result of a successful bonding Rigg (who was Weak, but Skilled until this point) becomes REALLY over powered.
  • Corrupted spellcasters in The Banned and the Banished are linked to animals, but the link is always perverse in some way. The first in the series gives birth to man-eating spiders, and they scale up from there all the way to twins who grow pustules that explode into rats. The only one who initially avoids this transforms into any animal he wears the skin of, and he later skins and wears one of the protagonists.
  • In books by Clive Barker, villains (and otherwise) tend to have these.
    • In The Abarat Quintet, the Prince of Midnight, Christopher Carrion, has the ability to distill his nightmares in physical form. They come out of tubes set in his skull and into a tank around his neck, cavorting in the fluid he breathes. On command, they can grow to many times their size and attack.
      • Leeman Vole is a man who enjoys growing insects. On and in his own body.
      • Leotho is a boy with a ravenous beast form. He works for Carrion in return for the antidote, which he needs continual doses of to remain human.
      • Mater Motley, Carrion's grandmother and his eventual killer. The things she can do with needles...
    • Midianites' powers in Cabal are pretty much all different types of this.
  • A number of Jokers from the Wild Cards series. One that particularly pops to mind is Bloat. And Mother. And Ti Malice.
  • Technically the Denarians from The Dresden Files operate under willing agreements with the fallen angels that they get their powers from. Of course Fallen Angels are very very good at convincing their hosts to give things up bit by bit, and the harsher among them basically end up Mind Rapeing their hosts after enough time (although others prefer Not Brainwashed partners who happily sell their soul for power). Regardless they have the ability to transform into a demonic form, which are often a bit disturbing, the best example being the one who transforms into a giant mutated praying mantis. That bleeds praying mantises.
  • Oddly enough, the kindly, feminine protagonist of Confessions of Super-Mom has a Lovecraftian power—her warped right hand constantly leaks a mysterious living fluid. She can blast it from her hand with incredible force as a way of knocking people over or making holes in weak objects, and she discovers that it can also be used as a stain remover.
  • Another heroic example: Bes from The Kane Chronicles, whose trademark attack is scaring the crap out of his enemy by warping his face hideously. "BOO!"
  • Drake from Gone ends up with a long, dangerous whip where his arm should be.
  • As a heroic example, the Maximum Ride series give us "The Gasman," or "Gazzy" for short, who in later books gains the ability to incapacitate enemies with his super-farts.
  • The Light Fantastic: Trymon gains this ability when possessed by the Things from the Dungeon Dimensions. It's not as powerful as one would think, though, since Rincewind punches him out. Literally.
  • Imaro has the "gifts" of the Mashataan, grievous deformities like tentacles, tumors, over-sized limbs, discoloration, and more, but you get black magic and death rays in the process. Word of God is this was inspired by Wilbur Whateley's Body Horror from The Dunwich Horror but weaponized.
  • The Behemoth features symbiotes that corrupt and empower people who are lucky enough to have one. They grant horrific transformations that are themed after parts of the body — the hero has armor made out of coagulated blood, another is a Winged Humanoid with a carapace made of his own bones, and that's not even counting the Leviathan made out of human fat.
  • Inverted in The Laundry Files; in the sixth novel, ordinary humans begin to manifest superhuman abilities; while the actual source of these abilities is an unconscious version of the series's rather nasty version of Ritual Magic (with all the same downsides), they look enough like comic book superpowers that those so-empowered tend to put on spandex and capes when it happens.
  • The main characters in Eden Green are infected with an alien needle symbiote that keeps them alive no matter what. This results in some horrifying but useful mutations, such as when Eden falls from a cliff and her hand warps into a sick claw with which she can catch herself.
  • The Order of Ahriman in the Ahriman Trilogy turn their bodies into gateways between a sentient alien world, bringing in Lovecraftian horrors to do their fighting for them.
  • John Henry Booth starts manifesting these in Cthulhu Armageddon. At first he believes this is because he was experimented on by the Mad Scientist Evil Sorcerer Alan Ward. In truth, he is a Half-Human Hybrid blessed by Nyarlathotep.
  • In The Sister Verse and the Talons of Ruin, the villain's "magic" usually translates to this, often manifesting as weaponized Body Horror aided by its ability to shapeshift.
  • In Harrow The Ninth Harrowhark combines her bone necromancy with her newly-acquired Healing Factor to do things like reshape her ribcage to trap an enemy's blade after she's been stabbed, or grow claws and blades out of her arm bones as an Emergency Weapon.
  • In Animorphs, morphing is usually full of Body Horror during the transformation process, but the morph itself is just whatever animal the DNA was from. For Visser Three, that usually means an alien One-Winged Angel, often one that breathes fire or something else horrifying. The psychological effects of being shot, dismembered, disemboweled, burned, frostbitten, partially vaporized, partially digested, and even swatted while in insect morph dozens of times, only to emerge fully healed, also take a toll on the Animorphs' mental health.
  • Magic Steps has "unmagic", a form of magic that revolves around the absence of everything else: light, life, existence, true magic, and so on. Just having it used on or near you will gradually eat away your mind and leave you an Empty Shell unless you're carefully cleansed of the traces, and when Sandry has to actually spin it to make the net for the Dihanurs it gives her waking nightmares and very nearly drives her mad.
  • Pale: Horrors are magical Others whose bodies have been turned into an Eldritch Location, being copied, divided, multiplied, and folded in on themselves, all without the victim dying. The Kim family has learned how to control the process, and their family Practice involves intentionally Horrifying themselves in certain ways, leading to things like distorting their bodies, growing extra limbs, or creating copies of themselves.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who has the Slitheen, who can disguise themselves by wearing people's skins.
  • In Season 3 episode "Earshot", Buffy fears she might get a Lovecraftian superpower after touching demon blood. Instead she got Psychic Powers, though with great power came great suckiness that nearly drove her insane.
  • In one of the Heroes online novels, one man's superpower was to involuntarily grow spikes; he accidentally killed his wife this way, and then everyone in the van he was being transported to prison in (except for a guard who could turn into liquid).
    • And then, of course, there's volume 3 Mohinder, who uses his own serum to grant himself Spider Man-style powers, with the side-effect of growing scales over his skin.
    • Maya could cry toxic tears.
    • In another graphic novel, there was a character who breathed out chlorine gas instead of carbon dioxide.
  • Pathfinders in Farscape can shoot poisonous bristles from the gills in their heads.
    • Aside from the Corlata's ability to shapeshift in a particularly gruesome way, one of them apparently had the power to exude an explosive fluid from his hands.
    • The Halosians can animate their vomit into a separate entity.
    • When starved, Delvians produce venomous buds from their skin and exhale clouds of paralysing spores.
    • E'Alet, the villain from "A Prefect Murder", could grow swarms of mind-controlling sgabba flies inside his skull and emit them.
  • Hemlock Grove: Christina chooses to become a werewolf, by drinking from a werewolf's paw-print. Unlike natural werewolves, this character can change at will, not just when the moon is full—but also unlike natural werewolves, the character can't control the wolf's bloodlust. The character also shows physical manifestations even in human form, like hair gradually turning white with each change.
  • A number of Wesen in Grimm have deeply disturbing powers. For example, the Gedächtnis-esser is basically a Mindflayer down to the Cthulhumanoid Game Face.
  • Ben Hargreeves from The Umbrella Academy possesses a portal in his stomach through which he can summon eldritch tentacles. He's not fond of this.

  • The novel and webtoon Solo Leveling has the main character Sung Jin-Woo gain the power of the shadow monarch which gives him explicit control over the dead. He's effectively a Necromancer and can raise any magical being that has mana. But unlike the traditional version of a necromancer, he calls up the dead as shadows that have a physical presence but is also an example of Casting a Shadow as they can hide in people's shadows and he can see through their eyes. The Summons are also not just shells or shadows of the person they were but the actual souls and spirits of the original bound to Sung Jin-Woo and not only that but they find Happiness in Slavery as every shadow brought back by him is filled with the overwhelming desire to serve him and feels happiness simply by serving him.


  • The world of The Magnus Archives is inhabited by the Powers, fourteen eldritch gods based on humanity's primal fears. Becoming an avatar of one of the Powers grants you powerful supernatural abilities, but also makes you increasingly inhuman, both in nature and in appearance. Even the heroes aren't exempt from this once they start serving the Powers. Jon, an avatar of the Beholding, gains a Compelling Voice and limited omniscience at the expense of an increasingly insatiable Horror Hunger and eyes where eyes should not belong.

    Tabletop Games 
  • A feature of The Dreadful Secrets of Candlewick Manor, a supplement for Monsters and Other Childish Things. The more powers you have, the more creepy other people find you and the less you can pass for normal. (In the original game, you have a mon companion. In Candlewick Manor, you have an eerie power which (usually) manifests physically, or else mentally or psychically.)
  • Sorcerers in the game Sorcerer who have Parasite demons commonly have this kind of power.
  • Many of the mutations mutants and Chaos champions gain in Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 fit this, usually a physical boon specific to the chaos god they represent. If they are unlucky, however, they might get something like an eye on their navel or an emu's leg.
    • Hell, an eye or emu's leg is nothing compared to the grotesque explosions of tentacles (with breasts and tongues if we're talking about Slaanesh) that you can get stuck with!
    • Chaos Marauders, at least in their Age of Reckoning manifestation, use Chaos energies to spontaneously mutate their limbs into a variety of crablike claws and similar weapons.
    • In fact, a persistent danger to Chaos champions is that their gods will "gift" them with so many of these mutations that their minds and bodies collapse. These are known as Chaos Spawn.
    • Possessed Marines— Chaos Space Marines that invited chaos daemon into their bodies. In addition to having an incarnation of rage and hatred in their heads it also grants them extensive and very unpleasant-looking mutations. Obliterators and Mutiliators are victims of a virus that makes their bodies mutate into demonic hulking monstrosities that can grow weapons (long range and close combat respectively) and armor. The process is very painful and the result is not pretty.
    • Second generation Genestealers look like this. They are regular humans with one or several adaptations (boneswords, extra limb, chitin armor, etc.) from their Eldritch Abomination overlords. Most of them are able to pass for humans in low security areas, but have increased combat capacity.
    • Psychic powers in general fit neatly into this trope. Although they can be used by nearly all factions, including the protagonist factions, the setting's Evil Versus Evil nature means they're still not being used by any nice people. Psychic powers are fuelled by a connection to the Warp, and drawing too deeply from it invites disaster, such as opening a warp rift or suffering daemonic possession. Not to mention, the Warp is constantly tempting and influencing those who are attuned to it, forcing psykers to fight a never-ending mental battle against the gibbering voices in their mind. Consequently, even the most normal of psykers tends to come across as at least a little "off", with most being out and out crazy.
    • The augmentations which the Adeptus Astartes receive also count. Some of them just make the guy physically superior to an ordinary human, such as a secondary heart to aid with blood circulation, organs which drastically improve vision, smell/taste, and hearing, and specialized organs which filter out inhaled poison and ingested poison (this one also gives them superhuman alcohol tolerance). However, there are also weird ones, such as the Betcher's Gland, which allows the Space Marine to spit acid, and the Omophagea, which connects the stomach to the nervous system in such a way that the Space Marine can learn from his food.
  • Several Dungeons & Dragons prestige classes do this. The Alienist is very explicitly Lovecraftian, as it involves abandoning their sanity, summoning pseudonatural beings from the Far Realm, and modifying their bodies with otherworldly effects. There's also the Vermin Lord (who gets covered in bugs), the Fleshwarper (monster flesh grafts for all!) and the Cancer Mage (how does "Sentient Tumour" sound as a superpower?). You can also take Aberrant feats, which improve your body while making you look really messed up. Special mention should be made of the 3.0 Song and Silence Prestige Class "Fang of Lolth", who slowly gives over her body to the image of the above-mentioned Spider-Queen. Unhinged jaws, bug-eyes, hairy limbs, EXTRA limbs. There are also TWO versions of the Pseudonatural Creature template. As well as a Half-Farspawn template. Both of which add tentacles to an existing creature (although, the first is more of a template for creatures native to Lovecraftian dimensions that happen to bear some resemblance to their Material Plane equivalents, rather than a modification).
    • The core rules have the Phantasmal Killer spell, which essentially makes you appear to your foes as though transformed into an alien monstrosity. If it works, they die of fright.
    • Another notable one is called the Warshaper, which basically involves taking a character that can change shape in some way, and going nuts with it. Sprouting claws, horns, mouths and spikes at will, doubling the length of limbs for better reach, growing more limbs, all of the above at once...
    • The Expanded Psionics Handbook doesn't have anything explicitly aberrant (besides illithids and intellect devourers), but many of the powers available to the psychic warrior involve sprouting claws and spitting acid. One of the higher-level abilities, Form of Doom, makes the psychic warrior's body stronger and faster, "complete with an ooze-sleek skin coating, lashing tentacles, and a fright-inducing countenance".
      • Its expansion/followup, Complete Psionics, has illithid feats and the related flayerspawn psychic prestige class, which allows characters to take on mind flayer traits (up to and including brain-extracting face-tentacles).
    • Fourth Edition warlocks (particularly the Star-Pact variety) can attack foes with writhing tentacles and swarms of crawling unearthly vermin that sprout directly from the enemy's flesh, or simply attack their sanity with visions and apparitions of this nature. Gained, as the name suggests, by channeling the powers of various cosmic God-beings.
    • A Forgotten Realms special is the spellscarred multiclass feature, which has all kinds of nasty Body Horror powers. Including unhinging your jaw to take a bite out of your enemies, bleeding on your sword to make it blister with plague, and creating a rope of flesh that binds you to your target so they can't escape you.
    • Dragon #s 296 and 300 introduced the Monster Cultist prestige classes. Give yourself over to a monstrous god, and you gain the powers of their natural worshippers ... at the cost of becoming more like them. Examples include Sphere Minion (beholders); Illithidkin (mind flayers); Snake Servant (medusas); Waker of the Beast (tarrasque); Faceless Ones (doppelgangers); Deep Thrall (kraken); Shoal Servant (kua-toas); and Tiger Mask (rakashas). Anything that involves shifting your Creature Type from Humanoid to Aberration is probably applicable.
    • Both D&D and Pathfinder have The Worm That Walks, which is brought into being when a powerful dead spellcaster who was either very evil or died/was buried in a place corrupted by evil finds their consciousness and memories transferred to the bugs, worms and grubs feasting on their corpse; the vermin then forms a Hive Mind swarm that takes the approximate shape of the caster in life (only, you know, obviously made of bugs) with all their knowledge and power, and more besides such as the ability to take the form of an actual shapeless swarm or dissappear and reappear by scattering their component bugs, and a horrifically evil disposition if they didn't have one in life already. Tellingly, their creature type changes to aberration, and the method of becoming a worm that walks on purpose (as opposed to a horrible coincidence/mishap) is hinted to be even more monstrously evil than the ritual to become a lich, which is already described as jumping beyond the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Pathfinder offers sorcerers different bloodlines. One of them, the Aberrant bloodline, gives the practitioner slightly 'wiggy' anatomy (which gets progressively more so as he gets higher in level). Starts out with the ability to spit acid, ends with Aberrant Physiology, in which your character's so messed up, he's immune to critical hits.
    • The Impossible bloodline takes this one step further, as reality slowly looses its grip on a sorcerer: from their magic affecting golems, as if they were living breathing creatures, to trivial reversal of space and gravity and, finally – a replacement of their insides with bizarre impossible stuff, like nebulae, a crown of god rays or a fractal composite of their own tiny copies – making a sorcerer completely unbothered by critical hits, sneak attacks and bleeding, as well as poison and disease.
    • The Vivisection Alchemist's recommended Discoveries are things like tentacles, parasitic twins, Tumor Familliars, and vestigial arms. And their base skillset is focused on making furries from animals who piss them off.
    • Several monster classes/types have Lovecraftian superpowers. While the abberation type monsters are the most obvious, other creatures count like liches. While liches are undead, the mechanics of their undeath are pretty damn Lovecraftian. A lich's soul is kept in a phylactery and unless it's destroyed, their horrible rotted bodies just reconstruct and reform. Graveknights even moreso as they are the souls of evil warriors that won't rest and inhabit their armor. So even if you destroy the body inside it doesn't matter because the armor is the real vessel. So you might end up fighting a trashed empty suit of armor that keeps reconstructing itself much like a lich with its phylactery.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade is the Obtenebration discipline, which at a certain level allows the user to make tentacles out of shadows.
    • Don't forget what Tzimisce can do with their Vicissitude, which allows them to sculpt themselves or others into slimy pus-heaps or powerful mutant monsters, as they see fit. One sourcebook played up the Lovecraftian connections by making it a parasitic virus from the Umbra. This was not well-received and eventually struck out, but the idea remained that Vicissitude isn't so much a proper Discipline as a virus devised by the clan's antediluvian founder for some foul purpose. The Gangrel's Protean discipline also has weird shapeshifting, though usually much less spectacularly disturbing.
    • Fomori have this and The Corruption as pretty much their entire schtick in Werewolf: The Apocalypse: sure, you can get Super-Strength, but you're gonna look like a reeeally ugly Hulk for the rest of your life. Or that convenient armor power you just got takes the form of a thick, chitinous exoskeleton that covers your entire body. It doesn't stop there and Storytellers are often encouraged to go further down the Humanoid Abomination route. Justified by the fact that Fomori get their powers from being fused to a Bane on a physical and spiritual level, and that for each Power Point they get at creation, they must take on an equivalent Taint to balance it out.
    • Also from Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the Black Spiral Dancer tribe of werewolves. While other werewolf tribes get gifts that allow them to talk to spirits or heal with a touch, the gifts of the Black Spiral tribe are more likely to be hideous mutations.
    • Wraith: The Oblivion has Pandemonium, the Arcanos for the creation of classic haunting effects such as bending local time and space into pretzels or spawning various disgusting things to terrify the living.
    • Then there's Yu Huang, the emperor of the Yellow Springs, who supposedly managed to defeat a Malfean in secret combat and wrest secrets from its Corpus while it was pinned down. There are a number of stories of people stepping to the emperor and disrupting his Corpus, only for a demonic dragon-like entity to emerge and swallow the offender whole. Big surprise, it's just the Malfean wearing Yu Huang as a skinsuit.
  • New World of Darkness:
    • In Hunter: The Vigil, the Cheiron Group's "thaumatechnology" is based on implanting monster organs and body parts into a human host.
    • The reality deviant worshippers in Second Sight get a whole section of Body Horror-themed features and rituals.
    • In first edition, Sin-Eaters have the Caul Manifestation, allowing them to assume a whole range of horrifying forms. Most notable are the Industrial Caul (which allows them to implant objects in their body) and the Phantasmal Caul (which lets them transform into a living nightmare that can induce paralytic fear or outright madness). In second edition, they have several Haunts with particularly Lovecraftian effects, including the Boneyard, when they want to do a haunted house; the Caul, merging with their geist to grant them abilities like transforming into uncanny and disturbing forms, spawning a homunculus from their body, or swallowing a corpse or ghost whole to mimic their form and abilities; and the Rage, when they want to make someone suffer, physically or psychologically.
    • And then there's the Centimani of Promethean: The Created, Prometheans who turn their back on the Great Work and embrace Flux. They can buy all sorts of twisted mutations, from tentacles to extra organs to the ability to turn into a puddle of sentient liquid.
      • Similarly, first edition's Zeky get a whole bunch of unwholesome Transmutations based around atomic energy and its side effects. Three words: Mind. Control. Tumor.
    • In Vampire: The Requiem, a few of the bloodlines have these kind of abilities. Take the Carnival, whose special Discipline ranges from contortion tricks to merging with another vampire to form a hybrid. Or the Noctuku, who alter their flesh so they can absorb more blood and better digest vampiric flesh. Or the Norvegi, who lack fangs but make up for it by producing bony spines that allow them to feed through their fingers. Or...
    • In Mage: The Awakening, Mages have Branding Paradox, where the Abyss warps their body in various ways, which can include temporarily granting them strange mutations of their bodies (such as horns, claws, tails, and, of course, tentacles). There is also a Left-Handed Legacy called "the Legion", whose whole shtick is that they give up parts of their body to the Abyss, and receive mutated transplants in return.
    • The fourth clause of the Contract of Mirrors allows changelings to turn a limb into a weapon, their skin into bark, etc., in first edition.
    • Mummies are all over this, able to call up eldritch abominations or turn themselves into avatars for them.
    • Demons are basically eldritch abominations in human form, and when they need to, they can reassume their true forms.
    • A Beast's soul has been replaced with a living nightmare that takes the form of a mythic monster and its lair. As such, they have innate abilities that draw on the capabilities of the monster and its lair, and can call up fears from the collective human soul to leave their victims quivering wrecks. One particularly Lovecraftian power is Infestation, which allows a Beast with a suitable nightmare-soul to transform their body into a swarm of insects.
    • It's noted that a Beast's Atavisms (powers which essentially allow its human form to take on properties of its Soul for a moment) qualify for this in one of two different ways, depending on who's watching. Creatures with supernatural perception can see the Beast's human form sprout claws long enough to tear through metal, or turn into a dragon long enough to breath fire. Mortals, on the other hand, see an apparently ordinary man breathing fire or tearing through metal with his bare hands.
    • In Princess: The Hopeful, a lot of Darkened tend to develop abilities like this, such as growing a gigantic mouth filled with teeth, turning their arms into claws or spitting acid. Being warped by the All-Consuming Darkness will do that to your body.
    • Leviathan: The Tempest lets you play as an Eldritch Abomination. This should speak for itself.
  • In the Glorantha setting of RuneQuest, Chaos Features (powers granted by exposure to "primal Chaos") often have a physical side effect like this—But some folks get Chaos Flaws instead, all side effect and no power.
  • In CthulhuTech, Tagers and their Nyarlathotep-worshipping counterparts, the Dhohanoids, manifest a Guyver-style ability to transform into Eldritch Abominations.
  • Nightbane. A Palladium horror dark fantasy, where your Blessed with Suck powers are to transform into an inhuman, grotesque, powerful form.
  • Exalted has a fair number of horrors with these abilities. Chimera Knacks for Lunars, some of the freakier Yozi charms for Infernals, the Abyssals and their freaky undeath powers...and let's not even get into a discussion of the Wyld. (With the Broken-Winged Crane expansion, Infernals can even literally turn into a shoggoth.)
    • Voidtech Charms for the Alchemicals generally appear as a techno-Lovecraftian device made of equal parts rust, meat and scientific blasphemy.
    • 3e Infernals are slated to get still more weird things; one example Devil-Body sees the Infernal grow dozens of feet tall, with their skin turning violet, disembodied limbs manifesting out of nowhere to orbit around them, and their face tearing away to reveal a black void of dying stars.
  • You can learn the Celtic "warp-spasm" in Scion. The picture that accompanies it in first edition shows someone in the middle stages of transformation, and it isn't pretty (he's effectively turning into a mutant crow).
    • Second edition's Masks of the Mythos sourcebook, which provides rules for playing as a child of Cthulhu or one of the other Great Old Ones, is naturally filled with them.
  • One of the many consequences of taking high levels of Taint/Transcendence in White Wolf's Aberrant. Low-level aberrations might include glowing eyes or bulging muscles, while the higher levels of aberration include becoming too hideous to view or having an entire vestigial body. By the time of Trinity, set in Aberrant's future, as far as most people are concerned, all Aberrants are mutated, twisted freaks... though as the game goes on, it's revealed there are a good number who still look pretty human.
  • In general, Point Build System games such as Champions or GURPS give a player the option of building a character with a repulsive appearance in order to gain points that can be applied to extra powers.
  • GURPS lists the Battle Jaw, Tentacle Transplant and Ripsnake as potential body modifications, which can come as quite a shock to the unsuspecting.
  • Twisted Adepts from Shadowrun have embraced the dark side to gain more points to spend on powers. The effect also causes physical mutations and the game suggests that these mutations should represent the powers gained, with an example being supernatural toughness coinciding with growing scales.
  • Chaotic's Stelgar: though originally a very spiny starfish and slightly creepy, his new look makes his old look seem cute and snuggly
  • Magic: The Gathering sometimes does this with cards like Unstable Mutation and some of the versions of Unholy Strength feature frightful asymmetry. Other cards, like Fallen Angel, involve sacrificing creatures to pump them up.
  • Pandemonio's Sacraments, in large part, which let you do things like summon tentacled horrors and giant worms; cause a vicious, gigantic toothy grub to manifest by tearing itself partway out of your stomach; or rip off your skin like a tear-away dress to reveal a demonic form underneath. Blasphemies are nicer in this regard, but still let you do things like fuse people into a single grotesque entity, turn your hands into crab claws, or literally turn your guts into snakes and eels... and it's probably better not to describe what exorcisms tend to entail, though the fact that they're solely the purview of a class of magic known as "Blasphemies" is probably a hint they're not pleasant.
  • The "super powers" in Don't Rest Your Head allow you to grotesquely violate the laws of physics, causality, or basic logic, in ways ranging from surreal to nauseatingly visceral. Push them too far, though, and each one has its own unique Fate Worse than Death in store.

    Video Games 
  • Similarly to Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000, Ancient Domains of Mystery features various "corruptions" that you eventually gain after enough exposure to the forces of Chaos (from traps and Chaos beings, but also simply being deep in a dungeon). These most commonly take the form of Lovecraftian superpowers - although as "superpowers", they're mostly examples of Blessed with Suck. Also similarly to the Warhammer games, taking enough corruption will turn you into a "writhing mass of primal Chaos".
  • Baldur's Gate. In Shadows of Amn, the main character eventually gains the power to transform into the Slayer, a giant demonic creature with huge claws that's nearly unstoppable. Unfortunately, there are side effects.
  • In the first Baten Kaitos game, Geldoblame is transformed into a hideous deformed monstrosity after infusing himself with the power of Malpercio. Jiggle Physics are involved, which is as unpleasant as it sounds.
  • BioShock: Most of the plasmids, which are injected in order to rapidly modify your genetic structure, combine this with Elemental Powers.
    • The first game's "Insect Swarm" plasmid causes a small hive-like growth to form on your palm, which allows you to throw live swarms of hornets at your foes.
    • All of the Vigors in BioShock Infinite have shades of this, most notably Murder of Crows, which works similarly to Insect Swarm above and causes Booker's hands to sprout dark feathers and talons, and Undertow, a Mind over Matter-themed Vigor that causes Booker's forearms to develop cephalopod-like suckers.
  • Bloodborne has a few enemies that are the result of this. The Old Hunters introduced the means for the player to do it as well, using the Milkweed Rune (an item gained from the mind of a woman who experimented on herself until her head was so bloated with fluid that it was all that was left from her) combined with the Kos Parasite (a creature from the carcass of an Eldritch Abomination. The end result looks like this. One of the weirder things about it is how the dodge animation is changed to make it look as though the Hunter is being dragged around by their tentacles.
  • A minor example in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!: the Eye of Helios, a massive laser weapon in Hyperion's space station, is actually the eye of the Destroyer, the Eldritch Abomination Final Boss of the first game.
  • Borderlands 2's Krieg is a raging berserker whose entire powerset revolves around these. He can light himself on fire for significant power-ups, goes into a frenzy as he spills his enemies' blood, and grows more powerful from his own pain. When backed into a corner he can transform into a monstrous Super Mode that allows him to go on a near-unstoppable rampage. Even his basic playstyle, which revolves around esposing yourself to as much danger as possible and getting right up in the enemy's face, is completely unlike any other charater. He's easily the most bizarre PC in the series.
  • The Spines and Thorns powersets from City of Heroes/City of Villains.
  • From the same developer as Bloodborne comes Dark Souls III with its Pus of Man enemies - creatures that appear as typical undead shamblers but then metamorphose into hideous, oily-black masses.
  • Darkest Dungeon:
    • The cultists, more specifically those residing in the titular location, gain boons as terribly effective as they are nasty to see. Some are so distorted that they lose their Human typing, and become Eldritch-Beast.
      The Ancestor: The creature's blessings are as repulsive as they are robust.
    • On the player's side, the Occultist has access to summonable Combat Tentacles, as well as a variety of curses and debuffs. It's heavily implied these powers come from a Deal with the Devil.
    • The Abomination has an eldritch creature bound within him, allowing him to half-transform to spew corrosive bile, and also turn into a skinless werewolf creature to maul your enemies. This is understandably stressful for everyone nearby.
  • The hero of FPS The Darkness, Jackie Estacado, sprouts a pair of snapping serpentine demon-heads from his shoulders, as well as producing dark tentacles to impale foes and destroy walls as needed.
  • Dead Space: Unitologists believe that the power of the Marker will allow them to become a new, immortal form of life... and they're not wrong. It just so happens that this "immortality" involves losing your mind and having your body transmuted into a specifically-formed zombie with no purpose than to harvest biological matter to propagate your species.
  • Being what amounts to a cute little girl with an eldritch tentacled horror attached to her back, Disgaea 4's Desco naturally comes with quite a few of these.
  • Dishonored: The Outsider is "entirely ambiguous." His gifts reflect this description. Summoning flesh-eating rats to dispose of bodies and attack enemies, using tendrils of darkness as rope and hook, becoming a spindly walking shadow that can slice people's limbs off, turning the corpses of those you kill into ash, possessing other people's bodies...
  • The Elder Scrolls:
  • EXTRAPOWER: Giant Fist: The zealots in the above-ground floors of Zett's mansion have such augmentations as: the ability to whip a large prehensile tongue out of their mouths, or strike with a giant fist bigger than they are, or leap about as exceptionally leggy grandpas. They lose out on the human parts in the tunnels below.
  • A more subtle example are the deformed, Eldritch Abomination-worshipping swampfolk and tribals in the Fallout 3 DLC Point Lookout, which, while they don't have tentacles or other Lovecraftian appendages, do have superhuman durability and magical armor-ignoring weapons.
  • The Foreigner Servants from Fate/Grand Order are mostly historical figures who made contact with beings lurking in a higher realm who inspired H. P. Lovecraft's various works. Foreigners have a relatively normal stage with the power granted to them by the Outer Gods restrained and a more eldritch stage with a darker palette and far more disturbing attacks.
    • Abigail Williams at first appears to be a normal twelve-year-old girl but it's revealed that she was modified into becoming the host of Yog-Sothoth and became its Silver Key, with a literal keyhole growing on her forehead. This transforms her from a little girl to someone with the power to bring in Yog-Sothoth's tentacles into our world as she pleases, summon butterflies out of nowhere, and tap into an unearthly light for attacks. In the climax of the story she debuted, her power goes out of control, creating a dimensional breach into the universe for the Outer Gods to come through and only the protagonists beating the god inside her back into dormancy allows her to reassert control over herself. She also should've died after the protagonists resolved the crisis but her newfound temporal and spatial powers from tapping into Yog-Sothoth allow her to simply ignore that and carry on.
    • Katsuhika Hokusai made contact with Cthulhu and the artwork he and Oei reproduce contains the madness of Cthulhu, creating a disorienting dissonance (their version of Mount Fuji in this form erupts from the sky and the Great Wave off Kanagawanote  is blood-red).
    • Yang Guifei has a connection to a being that seems to be a combination of Cthuga and Formalhaut and is implied to have been twisted into a catalyst for said being due to her devotion to her Emperor.
    • Subverted with certain ones such as Mysterious Heroine XX, whose status as a Foreigner is due to her being an alien from another dimension, and Voyager, who's the Anthropomorphic Personification of the Voyager I satellite.
  • Final Fantasy XI has this in Blue Mages and the backstory's precursor experiments toward creating the Blue Mage. The original experiments included grafting monstrous appendages and material to people, which gave them power but either drove them insane, or transformed them into flan (spell-casting blobs) or soulflayers (read: D&D's mindflayers with the serial numbers barely filed off). When they attempted to just graft a portion of a monster's magic and spirit to the experiments' subjects, they created the first viable blue mages, but even then, a Blue Mage gains their power from assimilating their opponents, and if pushed too far, carries the risk of becoming a soulflayer as well. Which invites the thought: just imagine how many players have unlocked Blue Mage on any given server...? In fact, their powers are so risky and their teammates so paranoid about that risk that it's said no blue mage has ever died of natural causes.
  • Megaera in God of War: Ascension has four Spider Limbs and can secrete parasites from her chest that burrow underneath the skin of any living creatures. Once infected, these beings will grow into more twisted and horrific forms outside of anything seen in Greek myth and more like a sci-fi horror alien.
  • Guilty Gear: Zato-1 is an assassin who made a pact with a Forbidden Beast, a Shoggoth-like Living Shadow named Eddie. Eddie gives Zato a combo platter of fighting abilities: protective shadow skin on command, an Attack Reflector named Drunkard Shade, being able to conceal himself within his own shadow to disappear from view and instantaneously move around between shadows, limited flight, implied Blindfolded Vision, shaping shadow constructs into long solid blades and other weapons to attack at a distance, and conjuring shark-like shadow entities that fight independently of him. However making the pact with Eddie cost Zato greatly — he had to gouge out his own eyes and render himself blind to first bind Eddie to his will, and Eddie is continuing to ravage Zato mind, body and soul. Eddie eventually corrupts Zato and turns the man into a horrifying and ruthless cackling maniac, and then when he is killed at the hands of Millia Rage at the end of X, Eddie possesses his body and uses it as a puppet to continue attacking the living.
  • The Flood in Halo, once they've infected an organic body, have the ability to morph it into various shapes to aid in combat, most commonly sprouting Combat Tentacles and spikes. At a certain point they start developing Pure Forms: Flood creatures built out of a mishmash of organic material which can shift forms fairly drastically to fit into a variety of situations, from aptly named Tank Forms, to the intermediary Stalker Forms, to the Ranged Form.
  • The Whispers of the Old Gods expansion in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft added a lot of new cards that represent pre-existing cards - even Legendaries - imbued with the Old God's power, tentacles and all. Effects range from King Mukla giving you Bananas instead of to the opponent, or the Twisted Worgan's single extra point of Attack.
  • Being a direct and very obvious Shout-Out to Tetsuo, K9999 from The King of Fighters has this power, particularly as part of his Desperation Attack (which, yes, turns his hand into a horrifying giant tentacle of flesh). This is no longer the case however as of The King of Fighters XV, where he returns as "Krohnen", having swapped out his tentacle attack for a massive mechanical drill instead.
  • In Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, those possessed by Dark Matter gain some disturbing abilities. King Dedede in particular becomes able to sprout either a giant eye (to shoot shadow balls from) or a giant maw with razor-sharp teeth from his stomach. Y'know, for kids.
  • Some lucky Infected in Left 4 Dead gain considerable powers, at the expense of their... human appearance. May not apply because you can't "choose" to become a special infected, but the theory is there anyway.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has The Pain, who is technically covered in hornets. He attacks by spitting hornets that burrow into Snake's flesh unless removed.
  • The Wyrm Master from Nexus Clash is a demon that has witnessed the thoughts of Tholaghru, a festering pain-ridden botched deity-golem of pure sensation that doesn't distinguish between good and bad sensations at any level. The Wyrm Master's Body Horror summoning powers are its attempts to share these revelations with you.
  • [PROTOTYPE] has the main character capable of significantly altering his own body, allowing him to grow everything from claws to Combat Tentacles to better destroy absolutely everything around him... or he can eat someone to steal their appearance and blend into a crowd. Combine this with Super-Strength, Super-Speed, and Nigh-Invulnerability, and you've got one very scary Villain Protagonist on your hands.
  • Resident Evil:
    • The Las Plagas parasites usually spawn such mutations in those they infect. Even villains who don't go full-on One-Winged Angel tend to have giant claws (Krauser) and Combat Tentacles (Saddler before fully transforming).
    • The T Virus usually just creates zombies, but properly treated, victims can be turned into boss monsters such as the Tyrant and the Nemesis. The point of the virus was to mass-produce these guys—the zombies and most everything else are the result of accidents.
    • The G Virus gives you a healing factor, claws and Combat Tentacles at the cost of your higher brain functions. You also end up degrading into a giant, cancerous mass over time. Lovely.
    • As Albert Wesker, who himself gained quite a few of these powers, revealed, this was the ultimate intention of the Uroburos plague; to transform select humans into superpowered monsters and kill all others.
    • Alexia in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica has similar superpowers as a result of the Veronica-T virus.
    • The specialized variant of the C-Virus can give one unique powers for each individual, with varying results though always having a downside in compensation.
  • In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game, Todd has this attack. It's a Shout-Out to AKIRA. Is there any wonder?
  • Yuri and other Harmonixers (except Shania) in Shadow Hearts fuse with various demons, in ways that cause their bodies visible pain and take a toll on their minds. The villains tend to be even more so.
  • Saki of Sin and Punishment, as a result of absorbing Achi's blood (she turns out to be an Eldritch Abomination, incidentally), gains the ability to transform into a really scary-looking Kaiju that can teleport, shoot giant lasers out of its claws, and grow to such immense size that it is fully capable of battling entire planets. As long as he's paired with Airan, he can control it. If not... it's not pretty. After it activates, even in his human form, he has disturbing looking patches of alien flesh on his body.
  • Skullgirls:
  • The Soul Series has a couple of examples. The various forms of Nightmare have a horribly disfigured and mutated arm, and Abyss, the ultimate form of Zasalamel...yeah.
  • The Terror Mask in Splatterhouse gives its wearer this along with a Healing Factor in addition to making them a hulking giant in the remake. Rick is able to protrude bones from his body and sharpen them into blades or open his chest to siphon blood from his enemies.
  • In Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, Spider-Man's old "Black Suit" symbiote has the potential to turn into this if you buy all its upgrades. Waves of writhing, black tentacles covering half a city block is just the beginning...
  • Sundered: If Eshe uses the Elder Shards, the Shining Trapezohedron will corrupt her abilities into nightmarish versions of her regular powers — like sprouting bat-like wings to fly or arachnoid legs to climb.
  • Tales of Maj'Eyal has squicky powers for a number of classes. The Rot skill tree for Reavers revolves around infesting yourself with carrion worms. Oozemancers are druid-like defenders of nature, but the aspect of nature they emulate is oozes, slime molds, and fungi, giving them talents like Mitosis and Indiscernible Anatomy. The classes from the Forbidden Cults DLC are naturally chock-full of Lovecraftian powers, with the Writhing One focusing on summoning horror-type monsters and mutating themself into one, while the Cultist of Entropy uses spells that crack open reality and harrow the minds of their enemies.
  • Them's Fightin' Herds has the dark magic-using Oleander and the demon FHTNG. Summoning tentacles, forbidden knowledge, literal orbs of dark power, and shapeshifting is all part of the duo’s arsenal.
  • Warframe features Nidus who looks like a flayed humanoid whose power grows from consuming enemies and transforms to become even less human in appearance as a visual indicator of his current strength level.

    Visual Novels 
  • Nero Chaos in the original Tsukihime is a magus whose entire body consists of the loosely drafted together biomass of 666 wild animals, beasts and legendary monsters that he can either send out in their true form or, more in tune with this trope, use partially, such as generating black tentacles, fangs, claws and such out of his flesh.
  • Tiberius in Demonbane is a walking, immortal, perpetually rotting corpse. No matter how damaged he becomes, he can regenerate as long as his grimoire is intact (which he hides inside his soul, making it hard to get at). His methods of close combat involve using his intestines as tentacles or shooting his ribs like javelins.
  • In the Bad End of Spirit Hunter: NG, a mysterious voice transforms Akira into something non-human to free him from the guilt of his companions' deaths. When he's next seen, he has a long tentacle for an arm and glowing red eyes.

  • Black Mage of 8-Bit Theater is strongly implied to be a walking Body Horror (besides repeated jokes that he is short, fat, and doesn't bathe adequately, a glimpse at his unshrouded face is apparently enough to drive men to madness), and his Hadoken attack is powered by love. Which is to say, it sucks love out of the world and turns it into an energy beam of pure destruction. Black Mage is the only character shown to be able to use this attack (possibly due to his nature as the most evil thing in the world), and claims that the divorce rate doubles every time he uses it.
  • The Cubi in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures can reshape their back wings into Combat Tentacles with razor-sharp ends that can cut rock.
  • Debugging Destiny zig-zags this somewhat. On the one hand, everyone has unique magical abilities that are difficult to discover or activate, and that are pure Body Horror when they do activate. Fortunately, the art style obscures the worst of this. On the other hand, everyone has them, and they are part of the internal logic of the story.
  • Gerda Gives herself these in Demon's Mirror by splicing parts of demons to herself by making wounds for them to attach to, this is normal for demon parts as even detached pieces still have a will to live but the sheer extent and effectiveness that she manages to do so even slightly surprises the Master.
  • The Infernomancer from Dominic Deegan fits this trope, best seen here and here.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Pandora can partially transform into a monstrous form similar in appearance to the page image that includes what Dan describes as "chaotic limbs of madness" with claws everywhere. She can then use those limbs as Combat Tentacles.
  • Nergal demons in Grim Tales from Down Below have Combat Tentacles that can form just aboutanything! And also a gun.
  • Vorte from Hitmen for Destiny can puke up a sticky liquid and use "deadly headspikes". Also, at some point, Bianca grows a tentacle on her back.
  • Homestuck:
    • Rose Lalonde, after spending most of the early Acts communing with the Noble Circle of Horrorterrors, goes grimdark and gains a massive black aura that manifests as thorned tentacles.
    • After Rose's prototyping takes hold, all the game's enemies (including the Royalty of Derse) gain prehensile chest-tentacles. This is also a natural consequence of the prototyping of Glyb'golyb in the trolls' Session.

    Web Original 
  • Pretty much everything in Mortasheen that has a power of any sort.
  • Aquaria Innsmouth in Freedom City Play By Post is a Deep One herself, but since it's a Lighter and Softer superhero universe, she's mostly just an imposing fish-frog monster rather than a tentacled monster herself.
  • Squid Kid in the Metro City Chronicles can make indestructible tentacles sprout out of her back at will. When she leaves them out for too long, she starts turning all amorphous and inky-looking.
  • Whateley Universe: A lot of Whateleyites have such powers, due to the Mythos nature of the universe, not to mention plain(!) old mutations.
    • Carmilla is literally a Humanoid Abomination: one of her grandparents is Shub-Niggurath, and on her mother's side, she's directly related to Cthulhu and the Deep Ones. And you thought your family was freaky. She's got the Combat Tentacles and weird shapeshifting down. In one story, she splits her face open to reveal what it looks like inside, and scares a superhero so bad he wets himself.
    • Tennyo's is subtle, but she's no longer remotely human due to channeling the spirit of an ancient construct designed to destroy (or eat) Great Old Ones, has (occasionally, when she's mad) anti-matter for blood, and even when her powers are negated, can inspire pants-crapping terror merely by making eye contact. Or Fey, who is the reincarnation of a GOO-level elven sorceress, and is supernaturally, mind-controllingly pretty, and can throw around spells that other mages can't even learn.
    • More mundanely, Tool (now Demona), who used to have a body in constant flux, which occasionally reacted to his impulses by sprouting erections all over!
    • Or any mage who decides to play around with GOO powers. Or any number of GSD sufferers, who have all manner of horribly inhuman transformations to contend with, up to and including And I Must Scream levels, like Puppet, whose blood is so horribly toxic it killed her, and she now lives by occasionally malfunctioning mad science. Or... well, most of the Thornies, actually. Or the Foob, who got Mythosed fighting off something we've yet to find out about, and turned into, essentially, a mini-Cthulhu, which dramatically enhanced his psychic powers, rendering him basically unable to tune out the mind-numbing horror people experience when they see his physical form. Whateley's pretty screwed up in places.
  • Worm:
    • Night (of the villain duo Night And Fog) turns into... something incomprehensible, fast and super strong as long as nobody can see her.
    • The effect Rachel has on her dogs counts as this as well.
    • Echidna definitely counts. She absorbs any dead tissue she encounters into her body, which has accumulated over years into a massive amalgamation of jumbled body parts below her waist. When she comes into contact with something that's still alive she can create copies of it that are always distinctly wrong in some way, and homicidally insane to boot. And if she copies a parahuman, the clone will have their powers or a similar variation on them.
  • Throw a rock at the SCP Foundation and you'll probably hit something of this nature.
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, Lucius has additional tentacles. Spoofed in that he uses them to pick up the phone while holding a gun in both hands.
  • From RWBY:
    • After losing her arm to Ruby's Silver Eyes, Cinder had it replaced with a Shadow Hand, a Grimm appendage resembling a black, skeletal arm that can stretch to physically impossible lengths, impale people with its claws, regenerate and steal Maiden powers. However, it is incredibly disturbing, since its regeneration looks nowhere near natural and is excruciatingly painful, it's soulless and thus can't be protected by aura, is steadily consuming more and more of Cinder's body, and appears to have its own consciousness.
    • Salem is able to use Grimm-like abilities to augment her magical abilities. She can stretch her arms, summon Grimm hands from portals to restrain others, and fire webs of black liquid to drag Yang towards her. When she moves at inhuman speeds, it's not by moving her body; she leans at a strange angle before zooming across the ground on a plume of black smoke. Her regeneration also seems to have become linked to this, as injuries reveal her body contains a mass of black ooze that reforms her body when regenerating.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra give us bloodbending, a sub-type of waterbending which can turn victims into People Puppets or remove their bending abilities by bending their body fluids. Whereas most types of bending looks like standard martial arts, bloodbending looks very much like a puppeteer at work. A body under control of a bloodbender tends to shake and make really disturbing sounds.
  • Ben 10:
    • In Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Osmosians have the power to absorb matter and energy and use it to transform their bodies. Absorbing energy has the nastiest effects and warps body and mind. This Retcon explains the complete overhaul of Kevin's personality and powers between the original Ben 10 and the rest of the series. When we first saw that he'd gone from an energy-absorbing, murderous, sociopath (who'd absorbed the power of the Omnitrix to become a horrific mishmash of Ben's original 10 alien forms, and eventually lost the ability to turn human again) to a gruff but decent guy who can turn into any material he touches. It made no sense, but now it turns out that he could always absorb matter and energy; doing it with energy created the Kevin of the original series and once he switched to matter he went back to being the Kevin of the later series, in mind and body. In Ultimate Alien, he's forced to absorb the Omnitrix's power again, becoming a hideous mashup of Ben's new aliens instead of the original ten. (Yes, this makes him Ax-Crazy again, too.)
    • Come to think of it, Ben himself. He can turn into aliens; initially ten, eventually a lot, potentially one million, nine hundred and three (and counting! He can scan new ones.) Many of them have powers that only work under cartoon physics, and in terms of appearance, the spectrum runs from "Ugly Cute" to "Ghostfreak."note  There are no Rubber-Forehead Aliens in this bunch. And except for Ditto, the un-scary forms are the ones with the most Fridge Horror, like Alien Xnote  and Way Bignote  If anyone sees Ben in action and their initial reaction isn't to scream, we almost always find out five seconds later that they're either aliens themselves or familiar with them.
    • If Ben qualifies, then so does Khyber's pet in Ben 10: Omniverse. The Nemetrix on its collar grants the dog-like alien the power to transform into vicious non-sapient alien predators. Predators that happen to be the apex predators from the homeworlds of Ben's aliens. All of them are horrifying monsters.
      • Speaking of Omniverse, this trope gets ramped up even further in Ben's case, introducing Ball Weevil and Pesky Dust, the cutest forms on the Omnitrix to date... and also Toepick, whose face, normally kept hidden behind his mask, could leave any species in the universe pants-wettingly terrifiednote . As for the Fridge Horror-laiden introductions, we have things like Atomixnote  and Gravattacknote .
  • This is pretty much standard issue for EVOs in Generator Rex. The level of freakiness ranges from "cactus guy with vine whips" to "If there are words to describe that thing, I don't want to know what they are".
  • Alpha from Men in Black: The Series, due to grafting alien body parts onto himself. Whenever he looks like an ordinary human, you can bet he's really seconds away from sprouting tentacles - and less and less of him is human every time he reappears. Oh, and the aliens those parts came from? They didn't exactly volunteer to give them up. Worse, in his first form, he had actually stolen a few heads. And they are still alive within Alpha's body. They actually talk.
  • The Owl House: "Hunting Palismen" reveals that Belos suffers from a curse-like affliction that warps his body into a monstrous shape made of Ominous Obsidian Ooze, supposedly caused by wild magic and which he treats by absorbing Palisman essence. The end of said episode reveals he has a limited amount of control over this form to create horrific appendages, such as the one he used to intimidate Hunter into silence. "Hollow Mind" reveals that this affliction was actually caused by past attempts to carve glyphs on his skin, which backfired and made him turn into a monstrosity. He only gets relief by absorbing palismen essence, which he refers to as "souls". These souls have over time bound together as a lean, horrific, horned entity in his mindscape that is constantly plaguing him with their outcries. Even after destroying the manifestation of their souls in his mindscape, he seems to retain the shifting power, hinting there's even more to it. The Collector even implies that his cursed form is his real form now, and that his human shape is just a facsimile that he puts on.
  • Samurai Jack: Aku inherited it from the Black Mass. Any kind of body horror, physical manipulation, shapeshifting, and dark magic is at his disposal as he is the embodiment of evil. The bit of himself he gave to the Cult of Aku, when drunk by the High Priestess, caused her to become pregnant and give birth to seven daughters, all of which carried Aku's essence inside him. Aku is able to take direct control of them and, by adding some more of his power, turn them into Humanoid Abominations.
  • South Park:
    • Kenny, who has Born-Again Immortality thanks to his parents constantly attending Cthulhu cult meetings for the beer. Whenever he dies, his mom always gives birth to a new Kenny and puts him in bed. And no one else remembers that he had died.
      Kenny's dad: God, this must be the fiftieth time this has happened.
      Kenny's mom: Fifty-second.
    • Mr. Slave can fit objects as large as Paris Hilton up his ass. That's nothing compared to Cartman, though, who actually managed to fit all of Disney World up his ass (to smuggle it into prison).
  • The Big Bang from the Static Shock animated was a Mass Super-Empowering Event that gave all nearby characters varying superpowers. The Metabreed was a gang of these characters who banded together specifically because they were the unfortunate characters stuck with Lovecraftian Superpowers.
  • In Wakfu, Rushu in his true form weaponizes Body Horror, being able to sprout tentacles and fanged maws anywhere on his body. During his fight with Goultard, Goultard tried gut-punching him. This backfired when Rushu's torso simply grew a mouth and bit down hard on Goultard's hand.
  • What If…? (2021): Having summoned and then forcibly absorbed countless mystical beings into his own body during his Protagonist Journey to Villain, Strange Supreme can manifest parts of them (a cephalopod demon, fire-breathing hydra heads, etc.) from his own body, he exhibits the Voice of the Legion whenever he gets emotional, and at times it seems like his human form is only just holding together under the weight of all the inhuman extradimensional monsters he's absorbed. Few things seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are quite like it, with even the art styles applied to the entities seen before Strange absorbs them varying wildly to make them seem all the more otherworldly, and Good Strange is stunned and horrified when he sees what Strange Supreme has done to himself.
  • In X-Men: Evolution, Spykenote  eventually becomes completely covered in armadillo like plates which he can't get rid of. On the upshot, he gains the ability to launch spikes that are on fire.

    Real Life 
  • There's a species of lizard, the Texan Horned Lizard, that sprays blood from its eyes when threatened.
  • The Spanish ribbed newt can stab its own ribs through its poison glands and out of its sides.
  • Sea Cucumbers can eject part of their digestive system when threatened. They also can near-liquefy themselves to fit through small spaces.
  • Bombardier beetles can spray a small chemical explosion of boiling acid from their abdomens. And they don't have an orifice for it to come out of. It just explodes out through their skin (fortunately it's a pretty weak explosion, so they aren't really hurt by this).
  • Starfish feed by moving their stomachs out through their mouths and over whatever they're eating. They also clone themselves when they lose a limb. Some species of starfish have clams as their favorite food. How do they get to the tasty clam meat inside? By breaking open the shell with a rock like an otter? No! They latch onto the clam, Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong-style and force the shell open! The clam can only watch in horror as its only line of defense is pulled away and the starfish's stomach acids leak inside!
  • Most (if not all species) of octopuses can: strangle and crush enemies or prey with their tentacles, confuse them by spraying black ink into the water, paralyze them with potent toxins from their beak-like mouthparts, or change their coloring at will. Some species can even change their texture and limb orientation so they look like harmless seaweed or fish. It's like [PROTOTYPE], but in real life! The mimic octopus can mimic twelve species, one of them being a venomous snake.
  • Spiders inject digestive acid into their prey to make it nice and squishy before sucking out the liquefied organs. They rinse and repeat until all that's left are the totally inedible parts.
  • Marine Cone snails possess some of the prettiest shells of any mollusc. They are also extremely effective predators, several species fully capable of killing a human being. How does something limbless, nearly blind, and slow as a, well, snail hunt fast prey like fish? Obviously by tracking prey by smell and the motion of the surrounding water, and carefully aiming its organic tank turret which fires a harpoon-tooth laced with custom multicomponent neurotoxin cocktails tailored to its current target type, silly. The venom of the cone snail is being studied for medicinal uses because it apparently hacks the victim's nervous system; certain species produce a cocktail for hunting fish capable of completely paralyzing and killing an aquarium-sized fish in under half a second. Then they reel in and engulf their prey like a real-life Kirby. Which, by the way, is potentially still alive but paralyzed and slowly suffocating, if the cocktail mix wasn't perfect. Remember the part about them having pretty shells? Most reported human deaths have occurred when the person picked up that pretty shell from the bottom of the lagoon and felt a pinprick.
  • And then, of course, there's that one critter that drives away enemies, and can even temporarily blind them, with a horrible-smelling sulfuric mist from glands near its rectum.
  • There is a species of Spiny Mouse with tearaway parts of its skin, which is also covered in spikes. When a predator catches the mouse, the skin tears right off, leaving said predator with a booby prize of spike-studded mouse skin rather than lunch. The mouse then regrows its skin, Wolverine-style.
  • Some insects can bleed on command. It's often used to glue themselves to predators so they can't remove them as they're being attacked.
  • Antlers. Sounds stranger, but in 2019, a group of biologists studying the genetics behind antler formation in deer discovered they contain eight genes that play roles in tumor growth and suppression, which are theorized to be how antlers are able to grow rapidly and are then shed every year. That's right, a deer's antlers aren't simply bone, they're a weaponized form of cancer.


Video Example(s):


Iudex Gundyr

During the boss's second phase, Gundyr transforms into a horrifying eldritch abomination.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / LovecraftianSuperpower

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