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Octopoid Aliens

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A subset of Starfish Aliens, and a popular form for aliens to take in fiction. This kind of design works because octopi already look alien enough to most people.

This kind of alien is especially popular in Japan (particularly of the Martian variety), replacing the Little Green Men and The Greys that are often seen as the archetypical aliens in American media. Japan's take on the concept usually has them with large octopus, squid or jellyfish-like Cephalothorax bodies and long tentacles usually used to stand, or to hold things.

Lovecraftian-inspired Eldritch Abominations often fall into this role, with giant tentacles (often of the octopus variety) sometimes being all you can see of the creature.

See also Cthulhumanoid.


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     Anime and Manga  
  • When Chao Lingshen from Mahou Sensei Negima! reveals that she's a Martian, everyone present reacts by imagining her as one of these.
  • Two Martian octopi appear as easily-killed villains in 'Go! Go! Ackman, and one later makes a quick cameo in Dragon Ball Z.
  • K from Puni Puni Poemy eventually discovers that he and his family are these (despite the fact that his parents don't even bother to disguise themselves, he goes to school in a UFO, and is even wearing a fake human body over his tentacles.)
  • Koro-sensei from Assassination Classroom is initially thought to be one of these, before it's revealed that he's an artificial being created on Earth, and that his octopus form isn't even his real form.
  • The king of the galaxy in Dragon Ball Super is basically an octopus wearing a crown. Interestingly, one of his tentacles is a penis, just like real-life octopuses, something Goku learns after trying to shake his "hand".

     Comic Books  

     Films — Animated  
  • Gallaxhar, the eponymous alien from Monsters vs. Aliens is an evil extraterrestrial with octopus-like tentacles instead of legs and a large head shaped like a cephalopod's body.
  • Cale Tucker of Titan A.E. gets a serving of alien spaghetti and meatballs in the scrapyard's commissary: the spaghetti resembles boiled kelp, and the meatballs are small creatures that once had tentacles, but these were obviously chopped off. Despite this handicap, they hop around madly on Cale's plate, perhaps sensing their impending doom.
  • Pleakley, the one eyed alien from Lilo & Stitch has two arms, three legs, and a long, skinny torso that have an flimsy octopus-like quality to them.
  • The Boov from Home are also like this, with multiple tentacles in place of humanoid legs and an ability to change color.

     Films — Live-Action  

  • H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds (1898) is probably the Trope Maker, as the Martian invaders are described as cephalopod-like creatures the size of bears who move around on land with their tentacles. Apparently, Wells came up with the idea by postulating that as the Martians advanced technologically, more and more of their bodies became useless and atrophied away. So by the time they invaded Earth, they're essentially reduced down to a head and a few manipulative tentacles. Oddly the creature redesigns for most of its adaptations (little creatures with multi-colored eyes in the 1953 version and three-legged The Greys in the 2005 version) actually seem less exotic by comparison.
  • H.P. Lovecraft may be the Trope Codifier with the description of the Great Old Ones and related creatures. Most of them involve tentacles of some kind, and his most famous character, Cthulhu explicitly has a face that resembles an octopus, albeit crossed with a human skull.
  • Armada: The Sobrukai are a race of aliens resembling squids and the antagonists of the Fictional Video Game. They reside in an underwater base on another planet.
  • All Jan from Alien in a Small Town have at least two tentacles, but members of the the Warrior Caste have six.

     Live-Action TV  
  • The extra-dimensional alien encountered by Crichton in the Farscape episode "Through the Looking Glass" resembled a cephalopod dwelling in a strange non-aquatic medium.
  • The Daleks of Doctor Who. The outer shells are essentially life-support/transportation devices, but on the comparatively rare occasions the actual dalek creatures inside them are shown, they are very cephalopod-like.
  • The Yip-yips of Sesame Street are like benign, childishly curious versions of Wells's Martians.
  • One foe of Ultraseven was Chibu (sometimes Chibull), who sorta looked like a giant brain with tentacles and a face. As his appearance suggests, he didn't have a lot of fighting prowess, but he was definitely one of Seven's more cunning foes.

     Religion and Mythology 
  • The Hawaiian creation myth posits that our universe is created and destroyed in cycles, and that octopi are the sole survivors of the universe that existed before the current one.

     Video Games  
  • The Mars People from the Metal Slug series are (mostly) green octopoids that stand on their tentacles while wielding rayguns. They also occasionally curl up to float through the air.
  • Octoman from F-Zero is a variation on the concept due to actually having a torso.
  • Octobrains (octopus-like alien brains with tentacles) are regular enemies in the Duke Nukem games.
  • In Insaniquarium, the Psychosquid takes this trope rather literally: it is a red alien that looks almost exactly like an octopus, only with less tentacles and more weapons.
  • Mars' native civilisation in Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony is a race of floating betentacled creatures of varying size.
  • The Alien enemies in Miitopia look a lot like octopi. Laser gun-wielding octopi.
  • In the MOTHER series, Mooks are a race of aliens with octopus-like bodies.
  • In Pokémon Sun and Moon, the first of the Ultra Beasts, Nihilego, is designed to evoke the stereotypical Japanese "jellyfish alien", but the positioning of its tentacles also causes it to resemble a long-haired girl with no face. They are implied to be one of the more common inhabitants of Ultra Space.
  • The Octospiders in Rama, so-named for being cephalopods with hair similar to a spider. They also communicate through colored light patterns, being deaf.
  • Super Mario Bros.:

  • Sam Starfall of Freefall is implied to look like an octopus or squid wrapped around a stick figure artificial skeleton under the environment suit that protects him from Earth-like atmospheres, and humans from going insane from looking at him.

     Western Animation  
  • The Simpsons: The aliens Kang and Kodos are green with helmets and have squid-like bodies and tentacles.
  • The Yugopotams from Fairly OddParents look like octopuses with faces and exposed brains.
  • The urfburgles from the Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episode "Dale Beside Himself" are small, have four or five tentacles and a single eye. They're Too Dumb to Live, and both look and act like living jelly. The spacefaring aliens that come to Earth consume them alive and whole as a snack, though Ditz tends to make a meal of these junk food critters.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: There are giant space squid from Mars. One of them wants to invade the Earth, or, in other episode, at least wants to steal an invent from InvExpo. Kowalski only thinks this. Actually, the squid wants his invention - a robotic hand.
  • Robot Chicken featured a tentacle monster like this in one of its sketches.

     Real Life 
  • Octopuses are incredibly intelligent, displaying advanced problem solving skills and even tool use. So much so in fact, that many regard them as the best exemplar we currently have of an alien intelligence on Earth.