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Non-Human Head

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Just a guy who's got a good head for music.
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A being, almost always a humanoid with at least human intelligence, with an inanimate object (or, more rarely, an animal) in place of a head. Depictions of these types of creatures go back at least to Egyptian Mythology, where many deities were depicted with animal heads and human bodies to show their divine natures.

These days, they sometimes appear in Urban Fantasy stories, either as 'living technology' or as explicitly magical beings; for some reason, electronics are particularly popular choices for these characters. What exactly they are varies by depiction- they can be human in all but appearance, Mechanical Lifeforms built for specific functions, Anthropomorphic Personifications who outright embody what they're shown as having for heads, or simply as odd but normal people in a Fantasy Kitchen Sink.

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They're often shown with their heads floating above their shoulders rather than having necks, in order to save the artist from trying to make the join between a human body and non-human head seem natural; having non-human characteristics other than their heads (odd skin colors or materials, powers thematically relating to their heads, etc.) is also common. They're also always able to talk without the use of a mouth.

Subtropes include

  • Surreal Symbolic Heads, where they appear specifically to be odd and weird out the viewer (the Uncanny Valley nature of a human body without a human head is often played up with that trope)
  • Pumpkin Person, who is specifically a person with a pumpkin for a head.
  • Odd Organ Up Top, where someone has a different body part for a head.

Compare The Blank for other types of creatures that lack facial features, Half-Human Hybrid if the result is from genetic engineering, and Beast Man for the characterization trope (zoomorphism). Beast with a Human Face is the inverse, where it's a non-human body with a human head. Sometimes the subjects of Animorphism fall into this trope, if their transformation is only of their head; Skull for a Head can also sometimes overlap if the skull is not of the being's species.

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Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • Japan has a series of anti-piracy ads. In the commercial, they have a guy with a camera head and a guy with a police rotating light for his head. You can seethemhere.
  • This is often seen on beer labels, especially for India Pale Ale.
    • The label for Sierra Nevada's Hoptimum Imperial IPA features a portrait of a figure in 18th-century clothing, with a hop cone for a head.
    • The can for Revolution's Anti-Hero IPA shows a hop-headed figure in fictional military uniform, complete with Commissar Cap and Eyepatch of Power.
    • Melvin Brewery's can designs all feature humanoid figures made out of objects, including at least two different IPAs with hop-headed people.
  • One bicycle safety poster shows a human neck and torso topped by a head of cabbage. The poster reads, "You can't substitute a cabbage for your head. Don't be a cabbage-head: wear your helmet."
  • Mac Tonight was a mascot of McDonalds; he was a singer/piano player with a crescent moon for a head and a pair of Cool Shades.
    • Speaking of McDonalds two old mascots were Officer Big Mac, with a big mac head, and Mayor Mc Cheese, with a cheeseburger head.
  • The Pepsi ad "Emoticons" is about a man getting kicked off an beach where only people with monitors for heads are allowed.
  • Several ads for Sky Mexico feature people with TVs for heads. One is a couple arguing about their relationship (and his cable service), another is a group of TV-headed people at a pool party enjoying themselves.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Anpanman: A majority of the characters have things such as food, flowers, or musical instruments as their heads. The title character, for instance, has a red bean paste bun for a head, and other major characters have a curry bun, a slice of white bread, a cream roll and similar things instead of regular craniums.
  • Dead Leaves has Retro, with a TV for a head. He might be a TV Head Robot, but his body is very human.
  • In Heat Guy J, Boma has the head of a black wolf, but the body of a human. He did once have a human head, but was transformed into a "werewolf" as a Cool and Unusual Punishment for murder in his home city-state. He wears a holographic mask to cover it up in public, but removes the mask before doing battle with his katana.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Fumikage Tokoyami has a human body, but the head of a bird.
    • Fukidashi Manga's head is a speech bubble, as part of his power to make onomatopoeias manifest.
  • One Piece:
    • The manga's author Eiichiro Oda occasionally portrays himself as a guy with a fish for a head.
    • A Recurring Extra referred to as "Pandaman" appears to be a muscular man with a panda's head. Maybe it's a mask, maybe it's not.
  • Petit iDOLM@STER: the Producer is depicted with having a yellow letter P for a head.

    Asian Animation 
  • Motu Patlu: The episode "Onions" features aliens who have onions for heads.

    Art 

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: The gods of Amonkhet, like their Egyptian counterparts, have animal heads — cat for Oketra, ibis for Kefnet, crocodile for Bontu, jackal for Hazoret and cobra for Rhonas. The three gods corrupted by Nicol Bolas, the Locust God, the Scarab God and the Scorpion God, likewise have arthropod heads — the Locust God just has a locust head in addition to locust wings on his back, but the Scarab God and the Scorpion God have an entire scarab and scorpion sprouting from their necks instead.

    Comic Books 
  • Curtis Wilkins likes to read comics featuring Supercaptaincoolman, a kind of African expy of Superman, whose nemesis is Doctor Horsehead, a Mad Scientist with the body of man in a nicely tailored suit and a horse's head that whinnies when he laughs maniacally. Doctor Horsehead routinely snares The Hero in situations where Only the Author Can Save Them Now, which go unresolved, because Curtis gets his comic books confiscated for reading them in class.
  • Saga: There's an entire race of people with televisions for heads.
  • In Top 10, Officer Pete Luhan has a TV set for a head, which allows him to beam hypnotic images at other people. He uses this talent to get information out of uncooperative suspects.
  • The Wicked + The Divine: Thoth has an avian head as in myth, but due to his in-universe connection to Edgar Allan Poe it's a raven head rather than the traditional ibis one.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Bed Sitting Room, a post-apocalyptic comedy in which radiation-induced mutations cause people to simply turn into things, there exists a character with a TV for a head. He speaks in the manner of a TV announcer.
  • Im Here: The protagonist has a desktop for a head.

    Literature 
  • Bas-Lag Cycle: Khepri women have entire scarab beetles for heads; Khepri are just giant scarabs.
  • Discworld: The gods are often noted as looking like humans wearing cheap Halloween masks. Offler the Crocodile-Headed God is the one seen most often, but in Pyramids the equivalent of the entire ancient Egyptian pantheon shows up, complete with bird-headed gods, dog-headed gods, horse-headed gods and so on.
  • Doctor Who: In the short story "City of Death", the villain's true form seems to be a (elegantly-dressed) humanoid with the head of a one-eyed, green alien that resembles pasta. (He was worshipped in ancient Egypt as a god.)
  • The Kane Chronicles: The gods sometimes appear with animal heads, and most demons have objects — typically weapons, but sometimes weirder things like corkscrews — for their heads.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Jigsaw: One episode has a villain by the name of Ray Cathode, with a TV for a head.
  • A The Two Ronnies sketch showed a man seeing a doctor, who has been replaced by a video system, and has trouble with the silly instructions and system failures until he starts banging on the door demanding to see a real doctor... who may be this trope, as he enters the room speaking in the same manner as the video doctor, with the hollowed-out shell of a TV over his head.

    Music 
  • Fine Young Cannibals' "She Drives Me Crazy". The video includes cuts to a character with a TV head, with only static showing on the screen.
  • Foster the People's album Torches features a person with a burning matchstick for a head on the forefront of the cover.
  • In the music video for Kesha's "Blow", everyone but James Van der Beek and Kesha herself has a unicorn head on a human body.
  • The liner notes from Project 86's album Truthless Heroes includes a man with a television monitor for a head. The cover art is a close-up of his "face".
  • In the music video for "Get Involved" by Raphael Saadiq and Q-Tip, everyone has a monitor for a head. At one point, a bird messes up the antenna of a man with a TV head, causing his face to be briefly replaced with footage from The PJs.
  • The British band The Shapes had the cover of their album Songs For Sensible People show the five members of the band with actual shapes (a square, a half-circle, a circle, a triangle, and a star) replacing their heads.
  • The music video for Sumo Cyco's "Who Do You Want To Be" follows a woman with a TV for a head, which shows things like a yawning mouth, a blinking eye, or footage of the band at various points.
  • The album art of the Jaymes Young EP Habits of My Heart is a greyscale picture of a man with a cloud for a head sitting in a car.

    Mythology 
  • Classical Mythology: In the original myths, the Minotaur only had the head of a bull, and the rest of its body was human.
  • There have long been stories of people with cynocephaly — that is, dog/jackal-headed people — such as Anubis, the giant St. Christopher, or the dog-people that Marco Polo and John Mandeville allegedly met on their travels.
  • Egyptian Mythology:
    • Horus, one of the main sun gods, has the head of a hawk; the sun and moon are his eyes.
    • Bastet, a warrior goddess/goddess of cats, has the head of a lioness (or, later, a domestic cat).
    • Thoth, god of knowledge, has the head of an ibis (or sometimes a baboon when he's being A'an, the god of equilibrium).
    • Anubis, one of the most famous gods of the underworld, has the head of a jackal, a known scavenger of the dead.
    • Set, god of storms and violence, has the head of an unidentifiable (and possibly imaginary) creature usually just called a "Set animal".
  • Hindu Mythology: Ganesha is depicted with the head of an elephant; the reasons for this vary, but the most commonly accepted version is that Shiva struck off his head and had to get him a new one to appease Ganesha's mother Parvati, who was rather understandably furious about her son being beheaded.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Don't Rest Your Head: Some of the nightmares have objects in the place of a head, such as the Officer Tock (a clock) or the Tacks Man (a tack).
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Worshipers of Khorne the Blood God from Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 most commonly depict their master as a heavily muscled humanoid in full armour with the head of a mighty hound. Many of Khorne’s most powerful daemons share this monstrous visage and it is also a mutation that the Blood God sometimes grants to favoured mortal followers.
    • In the background material for Warhammer 40,000, the Fallen Daemon Prince Marbas sports the head of a lion of Caliban. The Dark Angels and their successors view this mutation as a mockery of their lost homeworld and their missing Primarch, Lion El'Jonson.
    • In Warhammer, the Tomb Kings give their ushabti the skeletal heads of assorted animals, such as birds or crocodiles.
  • Gods of the Fall: The Librarian of the Library of Memory and the seven guardians of the Tower of Wishes have human bodies, but the heads of various beasts and birds — the Librarian has a water buffalo head, for instance.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Erastil, the god of tradition and hunting, has the head of a bull elk.
    • A number of empyreal lords have animal heads, including Bharnarol (elephant), Rowdrosh (ram) and Shei (ibis).
    • Hound archons have canine heads.
    • Apollyon, the Horseman of Plague, has a ram's skull for a head, while Trelmarixian, the Horseman of Famine, has three jackal heads.
    • Trelmarixian's meladaemon servitors have jackal heads to match their lords, although in the past they had different animal heads to match previous Horsemen of Famine, while the purrodaemons who serve the Horseman of War have vulture heads on humanoid bodies. Among other fiends, raja rakshasas have the heads of various types of animals, while whisaak sahkils have entire locusts for heads.
    • Deeplits, undead who arise from miners who died trapped underground, have eerily glowing flames instead of heads.
    • Ardoc moilants, constructs built to perform heavy labor, have serrated shovel blades in place of their heads.

    Video Games 
  • The Beginner's Guide features numerous NPCs who, given the abstract and prototypical nature of many of the game's segments, have their heads replaced with brightly-colored squares. The squares have words on them, and they are sometimes able to rotate them when talking.
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine has the projectionist, an inky humanoid with a projector for a head.
  • Civilization: Call to Power: The Televangelist units have TV sets for heads.
  • Cuphead: Right there in the title, folks. Cuphead and his brother Mugman have drinking cups for heads, and the villainous King Dice's head is (naturally) a die.
  • Gingiva: The title character was born a normal woman, but had her head chopped off and replaced with a turnkey.
  • Just Dance 3: The dancer for "Video Killed the Radio Star" is a person with a television for a head, which alternates between showing footage of the older games and various cheerful expressions.
  • Little King's Story: King TV Dinnah looks like an ordinary man in a suit... except for his head, which is an old-fashioned television, with the screen displaying a large eye.
  • Lost smile and strange circus: Several of the game's characters have this, including:
    • Jack, who has a box head.
    • Billy, with a cat head.
    • Rebecca, whose head seems to be some kind of dessert on a cup.
    • Alphonse, who has a sheep head.
    • Oscar, who has what seems to be a tv for a face.
  • In OFF, Elsens, who are almost indistinguishable from humans, transform into Burnts when they become stressed; this causes their heads to transform into pillars of smoke, which further freaks them out. The higher leveled ones have more non-human characteristics, gaining smoky claws and/or fangs as well.
  • PaRappa the Rapper and features this for some of its characters, such as Sunny Funny's father having a potted plant for a head and Chop Chop Master Onion's head being, well... an Onion.
  • Runescape:
    • Several Menaphite deities have animal heads, much like their Egyptian inspiration. Icthlarin has jackal head, Crondis has a crocodile head and Amascut used to appear as a lion-headed woman, but no longer uses that form due to having developed a fear of cats.
    • Akthanakos appears in the form of a human with a camel's head, imitating the appearance of the desert gods.
  • Undertale: Several of the NPCs , including the receptionist at the MTT lobby who has a giant hand for a head and a few nameless NPCs with black and pink or yellow diamond-patterned squares for heads.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Duenkhy: Cassius, one of the main romanceable characters, has a keyboard for a head; it's noted that even among for the discriminated-against non-human community that these types of beings in particular have What Measure Is a Non-Human? applied to them, and aren't seen as people.

    Webcomics 
  • Awful Hospital:
    • Chip, the barista of Fluid State Comestibles Incorporated, has a badly cracked coffee mug for a head. Notably, this isn't actually attached to his body — he manually holds it a bit above where his neck would be. After the Q-36 Procedure, he's replaced by Joe, who has a styrofoam cup head attached to his body with a neck brace.
    • The entirety of the Blindtrain is, as it turns out, the head of a disturbingly lanky, long-limbed humanoid.
  • Ben And Winslow: A Running Gag involves Winslow replacing his head with random objects, including (but not limited to) a gumball machine, a head-sized apple, and a live pig.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's: Mx Bones's interpretation of the Phone Guy was a literal phone guy, as in a human with a telephone for a head.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: The psychopomp Muut has the head of an owl. His feet are also talons.
  • Homestuck: Doc Scratch has a large cue ball for a head; when he dies it cracks open, allowing something far, far worse to enter the universe through it.
  • In Kill Six Billion Demons, the Geas Knight INGSVLD has a leather-bound book with an eyeball in the cover floating over his shoulders — in his case, this is due to the book being his original self, and his humanoid body being something he obtained later. After losing a fight, he's left holding his "head" disconsolately.
  • My Senior, IE-kun: The characters are the anthropomorphic personifications of various internet browsers, and are just as often shown with those browers' logos as they are with human heads.
  • Nebula: Anthropomorphic Personifications of the solar system are all shown as humanoids with small versions of the celestial bodies they represent are replacing their heads and floating slightly above their necks. Most of them do tend look more like Monstrous Humanoids than actual humans, with Mars being an outright Rock Monster and Sun being constantly Wreathed in Flames.
  • The Perry Bible Fellowship:
    • People with musical instruments for heads are the characters of "Harmony"; the bassoon's father is not pleased at her settling to marry a lowly whistle.
    • People with rock, paper, or a pair of scissors for heads get into an argument over seating in "Shotgun", which they decide can only be decided one way... gladiatorial combat.
    • "Mrs. Hammer" is about a hammer-headed man discovering that his wife (a plank of wood) has a screw embedded in her.
    • While at first the characters are angled so it isn't obvious, the twist in "Sweet Deal" is that the people all have teeth for heads and can be murdered with excess sugar.
    • "Hard Read" is centered around two people with books for heads.
    • "Preserves" has a peanut butter-headed man marrying a jelly-headed woman, only to be disgusted when her 'will pop if seal is broken' doesn't pop when he takes her veil off.
    • The characters in "Bad Apple" are gangs of fruit-headed people and rival vegetable-headed people.
    • "Genius Sir" shows a war between soldiers with dice for heads and dominoes for heads.
  • Pilot: The Objectheads all have various pieces of technology in place of heads. TVs are the most common, though radios and iPhones aren't unheard of.
  • The Property of Hate:
    • RGB has a floating television for a head and no actual physical body otherwise; he animates a set of clothes that appear to be empty below the television.
    • Djal is a lanky, metallic humanoid with a retro broadcasting microphone for a head.
  • Rice Boy: T-O-E is a robot with a circular screen for a head; it tends to show scenes from films and cartoons from the 1920s to the 1940s.
  • Steve Loves Internet: The Anthropomorphic Personification of the internet is a man with a computer monitor for a head.

    Web Original 
  • Bedtime Stories (YouTube Channel) has creatures allegedly created by the SS, with one of these beings apparently having a goat's head attached to it in place of a human head.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Keyboard Strong Bad from the Strong Bad Email "crazy cartoon" is a version of Strong Bad who, as the name implies, has an electronic keyboard for a head. He appears as a character in Strong Bad's "crazy cartoon" Sweet Cuppin' Cakes; when he gets angry, his head plays "Unterlanders Heimweh".
    • One episode of "Marzipan's Answering Machine" has Strong Bad leaving a message claiming to be a guy named "Goat Face", whose explains that he's called that not because he has a face like a goat, or a goat's head, but because his face has an entire live goat sticking out of it.
  • "Idiot Box" is a short film in a world where everyone has TV sets for heads, though they always display faces.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-527 ("Mr. Fish") has a human body, except for his head which is that of a gold barb fish. Despite this, he can think and speak as well as a human being.
    • Dr. Clef's head comes out like this in pictures, usually replaced with an animal's.
  • There's an entire blog of art of these types of characters.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball:
    • Juke is a humanoid with a boombox for a head who speaks in beatboxing noises, though he could speak regularly if he could get someone to hit the switch on his back. His skin is the same shade of grey as the boombox.
    • Julius, the leader of a Gang of Bullies, has a bomb for a head on a humanoid body in the style and color of a 1920s cartoon character. If he's very mad, his head explodes and shrinks.
  • Drawn Together has The Jew Producer. He looks like a man in a suit, except with a speaker where his head should be; this is a reference the fact that prior to his first physical appearance, he was just The Voice heard on the intercom, the speaker of which looks like his head.
  • Infinity Train: Nancy looks perfectly human in every regard save her head, which is a giant rose.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: Joe Cuppa is a stand-up comic with a coffee mug for a head.
  • Regular Show:
    • Pops has a giant lollipop for a head. His father Mr. Maellard has a head shaped like a cratered moon.
    • Happy Birthday is a man with an enormous birthday cake for a head, and is possibly the personification of birthdays.
    • "Camping Can Be Cool" features an antagonistic character called Stag-man, a partially naked man with a deer head (with one of his legs being deer's). From his lines, he appears to be a Half-Human Hybrid who was left by his mother to fend for himself in the woods after a certain age.
    • "Slam Dunk" introduces the God of Basketball, a humanoid with a basketball for a head.
    • The Toilet Keeper from the episode "The Garage Door" has a toilet for a head.
  • Teen Titans features a minor villain called Fang who has a spider for a head. No, he doesn't just have the head of a spider, he has an actual entire spider (albeit with only four legs) where his head should be.
  • The Tick: Chairface Chippendale, a recurring villain, has a wooden chair leaning on its back legs in place of a face. During a brief time when he swapped bodies with Chrome Dome (roll with it), he pointed out how logically horrifying it must be, and wonders how Chairface even talks.
  • In WordGirl, Chuck the Evil Sandwich-Making Guy has a sandwich for a head. Similarly, his brother Brent has a sub sandwich for a head.

Alternative Title(s): Object Head

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