Normally in nature no creature has more than one tail. Not so in fiction.
Any creature at all can have more than one tail, often to establish its other-worldliness. Sometimes the tails look like they might come from different creatures entirely. Usually such a creature is some form of supernatural or semi-divine spirit being, elemental, Kaiju, or demon.
The tail might split partway along into two or more tips, or there might be more than one complete tail springing directly from the base of the spine.
Compare Asian Fox-Spirit and Bakeneko and Nekomata, most instances of which will fall under this trope. Doesn't have anything to do with Twin Tails. Compare and contrast Multiple Head Case for the other end of the animal.
- Kuro the demon cat from Blue Exorcist has two tails of the split version.
- In I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level, Pecora, the current Demon King, has three tails.
- In Naruto, there are nine tailed beasts, Animalistic Abominations that each have a different number of tails from one through nine. The Nine-Tailed Fox, his real name Kurama, is the strongest of the nine. Each was a creation of the primordial Ten-Tailed beast which was created by Kaguya Otutsuki to retrieve her chakra from her sons.
- Moro, the female Wolf God that raised San in Princess Mononoke, had a two-pronged split-tail.
- Right there in the first chapter of Toriko, the titular hero catches a Five-Tailed Sea Eagle (a giant eagle-creature with five reptilian tails) while catching some fish for lunch. Another notable example is the Yamata Scorpion, a monstrous scorpion with eight tails, each imbued with a different venom, which needs to be removed before consuming them.
- Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito stars a pair of kitsune, one with nine tails and one with just three.
- Yaiba has one villain taking the shape of a gigantic weasel monster with a fan of six tails.
- It appears even in Europe; in The Brothers Grimm story "The Wedding of Mrs. Fox", Mr. Fox has nine handsome tails. When he fakes his death to test his wife's faithfulness she turns down several suitors with increasing numbers of tails before accepting one who also has nine tails, then Mr. Fox crashes Mrs. Fox's would-be second wedding.
- King Ghidorah, who appears in several Godzilla movies. He has two long tails (and three heads).
- Slattern of Pacific Rim possesses three main tails and several much smaller ones. They're prone to twirling at high speeds to mislead adversaries before striking.
- The Zipplebacks from How to Train Your Dragon.
- The Harry Potter universe has (as mentioned in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) the Crup, which resembles a Jacky Russel apart from its forked tail. They normally have the ends clipped in order to preserve The Masquerade.
- "Scraps", the Frankenstein's Monster of a Big Friendly Dog created by Igor in Carpe Jugulum.
Nanny Ogg: He's as happy as a dog with two ... oh, he does have two tails.
- In the Dragonriders of Pern series Pernese dragons have forked tails.
- One of Aesop's Fables (later adapted by Jean de La Fontaine) concerns two travelers -a German and a Turk- who claim to have seen two dragons (one with a hundred heads and the other with a hundred tails) on the other side of a hedge. The multi-headed one was actually the least dangerous, because all its heads prevented it from going through the hedge, but the multi-tailed one passed through without issue (an allegory for the Holy Roman Empire having many armies each led by their princes, and the Ottoman Empire having only a single leader).
- Korean drama My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox, in the case of which the eponymous girlfriend is a magical nine-tailed fox spirit taking human form.
- Twin Tail from Return of Ultraman has Exactly What It Says on the Tin. His bizarre "upside-down" design had made him amongst the most iconic Ultra monsters and a Fountain of Expies in tokusatsu, so he tends to reappear often. Also supposedly inspired the Twin Tails hairstyle in Japan.
- Ultraman Mebius: The first kaiju of the series is Dinozaur, a two-tailed space dinosaur whose tails contains nerve clusters in them.
- Egyptian Mythology: The Seth Animal, the creature that the Egyptian god Seth is supposed to have the head of, has a forked tail.
- Japanese Mythology: Youkai especially are known for having multiple tails, the most famous example being the Kitsune, which is depicted with up to nine tails. The Nekomata is another commonly portrayed multi-tailed youkai, which has the appearance of a two-tailed cat. Aside from the Nekomata and Kitsune, there are other Youkai with multiple tails. The Orochi is a giant serpent with eight (or possibly infinite) heads and sometimes the same number of tails, and the Raiju, or Thunderbeast, is depicted as various animals, sometimes described with multiple tails. One particularly powerful nekomata is described as having seven tails rather than two, a result of its great age.
- A lion with crown and bifurcated tail◊ is the historical sign of Czech Republic.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- The demon lord Demogorgon has two tails.
- Warped Beasts have multiple flail-like tails.
- Dracohydras have multiple snakelike tails forking from a common base.
- A crystal dragon's tail forks in two about halfway down its length.
- Kitsune: Of Foxes and Fools: The players are kitsune who are awarded additional tails by the kitsune elders for tricking sinful mortals. The first one to get nine tails wins.
- Hc Svnt Dracones: "Twin Tailed" is a possible morphism. It's considered one of the more "attractive" morphisms and many Vectors have tails surgically added to mimic them. In fact it's so common among Canidae that true twin tails are assumed to have had surgery and take a social penalty among their own kind.
- Magic: The Gathering: The first generation of Slivers possessed a serpentine body that split into two or more prehensile tails. In their latest appearance, said tails appear to have evolved into legs. Their new humanoid shape comes as a bit of a shock, but considering their predilection for spontaneously sprouting all manner of extra appendages, legs are small time.
- Pathfinder: Player characters of the Kitsune race have access to a feat that grants them additional tails and associated magical abilities, and can be stacked up to 8 times for a total of 9 tails.
- Many species in Pokémon have multiple tails, such as Vulpix (six),note Ninetales (obvious), Tauros (three). Espeon has a forked tail with two tips, as do Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf. Buizel and Floatzel have two (they even use them as propellers), as well as Ambipom, Electivire and Meowstic. There are also some ambiguous cases such as Grovyle (which has branching fern leaves for a tail) and Suicune (which has two ribbon-like appendages for a tail).
- More like 'Multiple Tailed Badass Adorable', but Miles "Tails" Prower in the Sonic the Hedgehog series has two tails, and frequently uses them to helicopter around. As a nod to folklore concerning Japanese kitsune, he is the smartest character in canon and employs lots of transforming or disguised machinery as weapons and transportation.
- In the video games of Harry Potter, there are several references to the Gytrash, which are ghostly dogs with forked tails. The gytrash is a creature in English folklore, though only the Harry Potter games describe it with a forked tail.
- Sanbi from Temtem has three tails that it uses to communicate its moods and intentions.
- Touhou, with its focus on youkai, unsurprisingly has this.
- League of Legends has Ahri, the Nine-Tailed Fox. Her lore is clearly inspired by the Gumiho (Korean version of the Kitsune mythology).
- Chimaeras, the two-headed dragons(?) from Warcraft III also have two tails. This partially helps to differentiate them from their Draenor counterpart in World of Warcraft, the Rylak.
- A late-game mook in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest called the Cat O' 9 Tails is, as can be inferred, a cat-like creature with multiple tails. If Diddy or Dixie gets too close, it gets up and start spinning about, entangling and tossing them with its tails if it catches them.
- The Shaikahan in RuneScape looks like a lion with two tails.
- One of the enemie types in Miscreated is a giant quadrupedal monster that has three tails.
- A rare mutation in Wobbledogs allows dogs to have more than one tail.
- Very rarely, animals are born with extra limbs, tails included. For example, here's a twin-tailed cat found in Canada.
- Though usually born with only one tail, lizards that have the ability to regenerate their tails can end up growing more tails than they had to begin with after the original tail is broken off. This could be because the old tail was not completely severed and regrows with the new tails or if the lizard had suffered enough damage to stimulate multiple points along the tail where regeneration normally takes place, causing multiple tails to grow. Just look at some examples.
- For an example of an animal that always has more than one "tail", there's the marine polychaete worm Syllis ramosa. Each individual worm has a body that splits into multiple branches known as stolons. These can detach and travel to the surface of the ocean, where they release eggs and sperm.
- Slit-faced bats have tails that split at the end into a "T" shape, with both ends being attached to the body by a membrane. The fork at the end of the tail is made up of cartilage rather than bone.
- Some insects have multiple "tails", though they're not like vertebrate tails: Stoneflies◊ have 2 cerci, while mayflies◊ have 2 cerci and one median caudal filament.