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Murder Water

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If Hazardous Water indirectly trying to kill you gets even worse, you may be unfortunate enough to deal with the extreme: The water itself has apparently developed a mind of its own. Not content to be simply flow downhill, it has decided to defy gravity and pursue a sinister desire: kill.

For obvious reasons, ordinary water acting on its own will is hard to believe. This can be Justified with the explanation that someone or something is Making a Splash: the water is being possessed or manipulated by a malevolent force. If this thing or person can be stopped, the water will probably return to normal.

Compare Elemental Embodiment, Elemental Powers, Kill It with Water. Sister trope to Evil Living Flames and Living Lava.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Monster of the Week Splashmon in Digimon Ghost Game is an aquatic Ultimate-level Digimon with Making a Splash powers allowing it to turn into water or control water in its surroundings. It starts using its powers to terrorize humanity, ambushing people at water sources and transforming them into water with the intent of using them to make cosmetics.
  • Numawatari (Wandering Swamp) from Inuyasha is a powerful Yokai made entirely of water, usually pretending to be a pond in order to eat anything getting too close. Being made of water, he proves to be too powerful for Inuyasha to handle, as he can simply disperse into water and reform even when struck by the wind-based Wind Scar and even Bakuryuuha. It's eventually defeated by Sesshomaru using Meido Zangetsuha to suck him into the Netherworld.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: The last Jewel Seeds, which were activated over the sea and proceeded to take the form of several water spouts to try and kill the characters with.
  • In Naruto, Suigetsu can not only turn himself into water, but he can control and shape up to a lake's worth at will. Kisame has a variation on this trope in that he creates the water from his chakra, allowing him to flood areas and drown people wherever he is.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • The Hungry Sea in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World. Fall in or swim in it, and you soon begin to babble incomprehensibly and act crazy. Not a problem for three of the four, sitting in a boat... but John is in the water, pushing them along. And the Hungry Sea also eats boats and is full of sea monsters, and their boat falls apart in the middle of the stormy sea. And George's ring chooses to stick at that moment, trapping him in his own form at the worst possible time. He drowns. It's all a carefully choreographed moment by Durothé, though, to kick at least one of them out of gameworld-C'hou and into the real C'hou so they can finally learn what's really going on.

    Films — Animated 
  • An American Tail: During a storm that Fievel's ship travels through, the waves of the ocean take on a sinister humanoid shape that looks like it's deliberately trying to sink the ship.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Creepshow 2: The Raft segment is about a malevolent oil slick in malevolent water. "I beat you!" It's not actually water, though, but some sort of slime mold-like creature.
  • Final Destination: In the first movie, the toilet that Tod has just used leaks a puddle of water that actively follows him until he slips on it and strangles himself on the clothesline. Then it retreats quietly into the crack under the toilet.
  • Jack Frost (1997): A serial killer who's turned into a snowman turns himself into bathwater to kill a teenage girl.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: The flash flood that Arwen summons to wash away the Nazgûl pursuing Frodo and the Ring is represented by a herd of watery horses charing down the river and sweeping the Nazgûl away, in a rare heroic version of this trope.
  • In The Mummy Returns, Imhotep can control the waters of the Nile, causing it to flood at will, which is useful for him as the Nile is the fastest way for the protagonists to seek their destination. Controlling the Nile flood was a power actually attributed to the Pharaohs (which Imhotep never was).
  • Prince Caspian: The sequence where the bridge is destroyed (though the water-god is on the good side).


    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Waters of Mars" has an ancient contagion released from beneath the surface of Mars that's so virulent that just one single drop can infect a victim completely. Oh, and turn them into a walking, bloated, terrifying zombie.
    • Inverted in "Death in Heaven", in which rainwater contaminated by Cyberpollen brings the dead back to life as Cybermen.
    • "The Ghost Monument": The water on the planet Desolation isn't safe to even touch because of the huge numbers of flesh-eating bacteria in it.
  • H₂O: Just Add Water: The overarching plot of the third season is a strange water tentacle that appears out of any body of water during the full moon and drags one of the girls to the Moon Pool. Rikki is grabbed and nearly drowns during the first encounter (mermaids breathe air, like dolphins), and when Bella is captured in a later episode, she's nearly dissolved into water by the tentacle. Eventually subverted; the tentacle was the Moon Pool's means of getting the girls to see a prophecy involving a comet heading towards Earth.
  • Round the Twist: A non-lethal example appears in an episode featuring a vengeful water spirit using her water-controlling abilities against those she perceived as having damaged her stream by building a dam in it.
  • The Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Naked Time" has Polywater, which renders crewmen recklessly uninhibited. Normally, this just makes them seem obnoxiously drunk and short-tempered, but it causes one crewman (lightly implied to be a Death Seeker) to literally lose the will to live. This is not the case in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Naked Now", which is otherwise pretty much a revisiting of the episode — polywater was a proposed substance in the mid-late '60s, but it had been disproven only a few years after the original series went off the air, so "The Naked Now" retcons it to a virus found in water.
  • In an episode of Supernatural, the ghost of a murdered boy is possessing the water in a town and drowning the families of the men responsible for his death. Everything with water, including the kitchen sink, is a potential threat.
  • The X-Files: The episode "Aqua Mala" (Latin for "bad water") seems to have this in the most literal form. Mulder speculates that there was a sea monster carried from the sea by the hurricane. As usually, his guess is confirmed.
  • One of the artifacts in Warehouse 13 is a tank of water that moves to envelop whoever's nearby, drowning them. Claudia almost falls victim before Leena neutralizes it. Supplementary materials suggests it was intended to form a hydrodynamic shell for increased speed in water but went wrong.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • In Japanese folklore, the Umibōzu is a Youkai that attacks any sailor who dares to trespass its waters. It usually resembles the shaved head of a Buddhist monk, and some portrayals depict it as a sentient mound of water.

  • William, the protagonist of the concept album "The Hazards of Love" by The Decemberists, pledges his life to a wild, magical river in return for allowing him to cross safely. After rescuing his beloved, William and Margaret attempt to cross back, but the river demands that the debt be repaid.
  • "Lake Pontchartrain" by LUDO details how the singer and his two friends were traveling to the titular lake in Louisiana, making a stop along the way to get some food. The two friends both ate shrimp, but the singer chose a chicken meal instead. When they get back on the road, the weather kicks up and their car just barely makes it through the dark rains to the shore of the lake. The two friends then got out of the car and ran toward the shore for no reason, as if the lake was calling for them. The singer watches in terror as the lake swallowed them up.

  • In The Adventure Zone: Amnesty the antagonist of the second arc is a water elemental, an ethereal being that forms various bodies out of water in order to attack its victims.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 13th Age has the Iron Sea, the reason nobody in the Dragon Empire can explore the rest of the world. Why? The Wizard King, now known as the Lich King, managed to make the entire ocean itself the enemy of the Empire. It takes it one step beyond by actively provoking the evolution of new Sea Monsters to vent its ire.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Abalins are fluid oozes sometimes known as "living water," virtually indistinguishable from a large puddle in their passive state. They have a knack for lying inert over a shiny pile of coins or other treasure until prey draws near, then the ooze attacks, rearing up and forming pseudopods to try and pull prey into its mass to drown. Despite their watery appearance, abalins are actually comprised of a weak acid, so the lack of fish or other life in a "puddle" can give their true nature away.
    • Brine oozes resemble large patches of animated briny water with a taste for blood.
    • Shaboaths are constructs akin to golems create by aboleths by mixing seawater with their own mucus, creating an amorphous, animated mass of water used chiefly to dispose of mortals that have made annoyances of themselves.
    • Water elementals are living masses of water and often have poor attitudes towards flesh-and-blood mortals, especially when on a rampage trying to kill the summoner whose leash they've just slipped.
    • The water weird is a monster that lies in wait looking for all the world like a harmless pool of water until some careless adventurer approaches closely enough to make the effort of suddenly turning into a watery snake and trying to drown them worthwhile.
  • Shadowrun has Toxic Water Spirits, water spirits who were perverted by pollution.

    Video Games 
  • Apidya has mutated sewer water that tries to attack you.
  • Brütal Legend has the Sea of Black Tears, which is Hazardous Water taken to its logical extreme. If someone is thrown into it, they are dragged underwater by what appears to be the sea itself to join the ranks of the world's Goth faction, called the Drowning Doom. Both Brutal Legend and Psychonauts were written by Tim Schafer. One wonders if he can swim...
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, the Heavy Rains Challenge Path has the bosses replaced by deadly, sentient watery versions of themselves. Except Ed the Undying, who curbstomps his own doppelgänger.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time had Morpha, a boss that is effectively a pool of water. It has a round ball as a weak point and is subtitled as a "Giant Aquatic Amoeba", though it's unclear if only the ball is the boss and it's hydrokinetic, or if the whole pool is the boss and the ball is just its nucleus. After it's defeated, the entire room dries up with astonishing quickness, supporting the latter idea.
  • The Lord of the Rings Online: Darkwaters — spirits of long-undead people who animate water in such a way that it resembles a skeleton with a sword.
  • Nioh portrays the boss Umibozu and its lesser spawns as yokai made entirely of seawater gathered around and Amrita core. The sequel's first DLC has Uminyuudo, who's essentially a more physical-looking and humanoid counterpart of Umibozu.
  • Pokémon: Manaphy, who is made up almost entirely of water, can become this if you give it Tail Glow, Rest and a couple of attacking moves, and partner it with Kyogre.
  • Psychonauts has Raz's entire bloodline cursed by another psychic family to die in water, which forms a ghastly arm when Raz is near to drag him to his doom. Oddly, this even applies to fake water inside other people's minds. Psychonauts 2 reveals that the curse is actually a form of hydrophobia implanted within Raz's grandmother by Ford Cruller that she passed down to her family and that the hand is actually a psionic manifestation of that fear.
  • Sonic Adventure has Chaos, the God of Destruction (allegedly), a Chao mutated by Chaos Energy seemingly made of water and with mainly water-based skills. When he grew to his full power in said game, he caused Station Square to become completely flooded.
  • Tales of Legendia: The water deity, Nerifes seeks to flood the world, both to reverse the damage caused by the Orerines' terraforming and to avenge the fallen Ferines.
  • zOMG!: One Aquatic Mook family is the Water Spouts, animated sirens made of water, which hung around Gold Beach and in the first undersea section. This was a game where the enemies were all inanimate objects that suddenly became sentient and actively murderous, so they were par for the course.

  • In Between Two Worlds, all water except around the safe island and what comes from the guardian oaks is suffused with the essence of Mordolarg. It will make you sick and possibly a wraith.
  • One-Punch Man: Being set in a world full of monsters, this story has its own evil aqua-based entity: Evil Natural Water. Being merely a mass of sentient water with a pair of eyeballs, it's primary means of attack is to shoot out tendrils of high-velocity water at its opponent, hoping to pierce or otherwise harm them. It isn't as evil as it is bloodthirsty, and merely lies around until it senses murderous killing intent nearby.

    Web Original 
  • Antlers, Colorado: The possessed lake in Chapter Two requires a blood sacrifice twice a year to stay dormant.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Cell is an evil watery cell who will pull you into his body to drown you.
  • EAT, of The Fear Mythos. As soon as you touch the water, you're probably gonna get grabbed by tentacles. As soon as you get a drop of that water in you, you're absorbed into the great and almighty Hive Mind.
  • SCP Foundation has SCP-3280, sentient water that turns ordinary water into more of itself. It has a fondness for live human prey and uses a silent Orifice Invasion to enter its victims, followed by a violent expulsion to kill them. Worse still, it is mentioned that it will cause an XK-scenario if it ever escapes containment and infects all of Earth's water.
  • The Slender Man Mythos: Although he's normally given connection to trees, the Slender Man is often thought of to have some connection to water; likely due to his fluid form (see: tentacles, variable height).

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: One of the legendary hero Billy’s feats was the slaying of an “evil ocean”. The only thing we see of it is a rolling wave with a ghastly face on it.
  • Brady's Beasts revealed that the Loch Ness Monster is actually sentient water.
  • Darkwing Duck: As a hydrokinetic, Liquidator is easily able to do this. However, in the comic revival, a strange force (other than Liquidator) has taken over the entire bay in St. Canard, pulling people into it and seemingly regurgitating all the negative emotions of the citizens as tidal waves and currents. Turns out Paddywhack, a Monster of the Week from the original show, is possessing the bay.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: H2Olga, a member of the Crimson Chin's Rogues Gallery, is a woman made entirely of water who wants to sink the entirety of Chincinnati. When given access to large bodies of water, including ones in the real world (e.g. by dropping a Crimson Chin comic in a full bathtub), she becomes one of the Crimson Chin's deadliest threats.
  • Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes: The constantly irate tenant of the Fantastic Four mentioned that water from her sink once attacked her.
  • G.I. Joe: A two-part episode features a plot to make Shipwreck believe he'd just woken from a decade-long coma as part of a plan to obtain the missing ingredient from a chemical formula that turned water into a weapon-grade explosive.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: One of the mutant hazards on the surface is a hive mind colony of tardigrades, named Tad Mulholland, that inhabit one water supply and can freely shape it to their will. They induce an idyllic dream state when drunk, to feed on mental energy, as well feeding on bodies once they die. Once confronted at the end of his debut episode, Tad is talked out of continuing to feed in this manner and becomes an ally for the rest of the series.
  • Mummies Alive!: One episode has Scarab unleash Nuhn, the spirit of primeval waters, on the town to capture Presley. Nuhn quickly decides he'd rather just absorb every last drop of water to flood the entire world just for kicks.
  • The Pirates of Dark Water: The titular Dark Water consumes anything that touched it. The main quest is to find the 13 artifacts required to neutralize it.
  • The Secret Saturdays: "Where Lies the Engulfer" features a microscopic cryptid that can turn the lake it lives in into a terrifying monster.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: The special "SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One" has the eponymous "Big One", a sentient and evil gigantic wave with a demonic face that forms every 1000 years, known for always demanding a Heroic Sacrifice and literally eats and kills anyone who rides it.
  • Superfriends: One episode of Challenge of the Superfriends has members of the Legion of Doom, using a helmet that turns dreams into reality, transform the ocean into an anti-Superfriends weapon that, surprisingly, the Superfriends can't figure out how to defeat. Don't worry, though: Despite having possession of an apparently invincible superweapon, the Legion managed to find a way to screw it up.
  • Wakfu: The Puddlies are a whole race of humanoid pygmies made of water and able to melt into puddles of water when they like. Normally shy and fearful, they can become a threat when they get serious, with their legendary hero Percemool being an actual warrior.

    Real Life 
  • 2006 Russian documentary Water (or The Great Mystery of Water, as it was also called) starts with the claim that drinking water purposefully murdered several scientists discussing weapons of mass destruction. It gets worse.


Video Example(s):


Dr. Splash

Fista Puff has to fight Dr. Splash, who's a huge, sentient body of water. Fista Puff defeats him by absorbing him through her puffs and draining him into the sewer.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / MurderWater

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