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Our Centaurs Are Different
aka: Centauroid Form

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Centaurs are a specific kind of Mix-and-Match Critters originating in mythology, possessing the upper body (head, torso and arms) of a man and the lower body (everything below the waist) of a horse (though other animals are common). In the original myths they tend to be a savage and brutal species: most Greek depictions show them living only to drink and... kidnapnote  women, or to attack travelers with their arrows. One possible explanation for the original myth is of a non-horse-using culture seeing horse riders for the first time and misinterpreting what they saw.

Some modern depictions will have centaurs as wise scholars; this version is inspired by the mythological centaur Chiron, who mentored several of the Greek heroes. He was very much atypical, though. note  The other common modern depiction is to make them into a Proud Warrior Race, which at least agrees with the myths that centaurs are violent, even if the whole "code of honor" thing seems to clash with the Classical centaurs' frequent depiction as drunken, dimwitted thugs. Regardless of type, fantasy centaurs tend to live apart from two-legged civilization, and are typically encountered out in the wilds. It's also common to depict them as skilled archers, which was a common trait in the myths as well.

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Physically, a few other things can vary. For one, traditional centaurs do not bother with clothing. Also, modern depictions (possibly to make them look more distinctive) sometimes have their human parts look slightly equine, which was never mentioned in the original myths.

Centaurs are often depicted as a One-Gender Race composed entirely of males (often used as an explanation for all the... kidnapping) but in fact female centaurs (kentaurides) are also mentioned in some ancient Greek and Roman myths. According to Ovid they were quite comely.

A few works of fiction include winged centaurs, sometimes as the result of a cross between a centaur and a Pegasus or a Hippogriff. Other fictions include centaurs with black skin and African features, often combining them with the body of a zebra. Centaurs with the lower bodies of non-equine animals show up from time to time, with the most common variants being based on other ungulates — deer-like "cervitaurs" are particularly common — as well as large cats and sometimes draconic reptiles.

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Sub-Trope of Vertebrate with Extra Limbs. See also Fauns and Satyrs who are half-man half-horned animal, Mermaids and Sea People who are fish from the waist down, Snake People who are snake from the waist down, Spider People who are spider from the waist down, Scorpion People who are scorpion from the waist down. Tank-Tread Mecha could be considered the mechanical equivalent, being humanoid robots which are tanks from the waist down.


Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • Old Spice advertised their new moisturizing bodywash with commercials and print ads featuring a centaur, to go with the theme of "It's two things." The ads were soon discontinued, because the male centaur's human girlfriend led to Unfortunate Implications.
  • Progressive Insurance also used a centaur to emphasize the two-in-one aspect of their bundled insurance in "The Bundler" commercial. Later commercials introduce the Motour, the motorbike version of a centaur.
  • The 2011 Preakness horse race ran the "Kegasus" ad campaign, featuring what the Baltimore Sun described as "a centaur with a nipple ring, body hair and ample beer gut," "half-man, half-horse and altogether drunk" and "a 'party manimal'" clearly going more for the frat-boy version of the myth. Kegasus returned for the 2012 running.
  • A '90s self-promotion commercial for TVE, the public television of Spain, had a man with a newspaper on his hands complaining about its programs and television schedule... until the camera zoomed out and turned out he was a centaur.

    Anime and Manga 
  • In the Golden Yarn side story of The Ancient Magus' Bride, its revealed that while you have the four-legged Centaurs as per usual, in some cases they are born with two legs like a human. As a result they take far longer to learn to walk and have weaker hearts, resulting in shorter lifespans and being frail, but they can use their hands easier. They're seen as something of a disgrace because they can't keep up with the herd, so they're sent to be raised with humans or other two-legged centaurs as babies, with it being noted that in the past they were outright killed instead. Hazel, one of the four-legged centaurs, hates that his aunt was left to live by herself because of this.
  • Locus in Berserk in his Apostle form is a faceless metallic centaur. All the demon cavalry's transformations are like this, except a giant mutated version of their mount's head appears at the waist.
  • Bleach: Nel is based on antelope and goat-antelope themes to such an extent that when she enters resurrection, her form takes on a centauroid shape. The animal part of her body is based on the gemsbok rather than a horse.
  • Pegasus Saber from The Brave Fighter of Legend Da-Garn is a Combining Mecha in the shape of a winged centaur.
  • A Centaur's Life stars Himeno, a Japanese kentauride teenager and chronicles her daily life in High School. She's a classic centaur, though with horse ears on the top of her head, and considered just as human as angels, mermaids, and long ears. Probably the biggest thing setting these centaurs apart from other kinds is their insistence on wearing clothing on their lower bodies. The centaur equivalent of a bikini is a three-piece, with an item of clothing at the base of every pair of limbs.
    • The setting of the series also features weretigers, who have human torsos on top of 4-legged tiger bodies. They went extinct before the rise of civilization (kind of like Neanderthal man) but appear in flashback stories and the Antarcticans are secretly cloning them back from extinction and controlling them for mysterious and apparently nefarious purposes.
  • In Claymore, Isley's awakened form is a gigantic, bizarrely shaped centaur. And it looks awesome!
  • Digimon:
    • Centaurmon from Digimon Adventure, Digimon Frontier and Digimon Fusion is an odd looking variety since their "human" features are hidden, are covered in odd purple pustule looking things, and are partially cybernetic with a built in arm canon despite still being considered a "nature spirit" type.
    • Gulfmon from the first Digimon Tamers movie has definitely nothing to do with a horse.
    • Also from Tamers, Vajramon and Pajiramon are the Ox and Sheep Devas respectively and both have centaur-like body plans. Vajramon has the lower body of a bull with a minotaur-ish upper body. Pajiramon's design is the same idea, except that both halves resemble sheep and the anthropomorphic upper half has Creepily Long Arms that reach to her knees.
    • Sagittarimon, which appeared as a Filler Villain in Digimon Frontier, is a Lizard Folk centaur with both Flamedramon (a biped) and Raidramon (a quadruped) based features due to its species being an armor digivolution of Veemon like both of those are. In the broader lore of the franchise, the species is also a Super Mode of Centaurmon.
    • A royal knight from Digimon Data Squad, Sleipmon or Kentaurosmon, is a 6 legged centaur with a more horse-like head on its humanoid upper body, thus having 8 limbs in total (though they also have two fake "legs" acting as a belt just in case the last two being arms "didn't count") just like the horse they are originally named after. Their weapons of choice are a shield and crossbow instead of a traditional bow though and unlike many other examples is covered head to hoof in armor. Also, Miki and Megumi's partner Digimon digivolve to KnightChessmon, chess-themed mechanical centaurs decked out in medieval-styled armor of opposite colors.
    • Digimon Fusion has two fully mechanical examples of this trope in the form of Shoutmon X4B and X5B, centaur-like upgrades to the more humanoid Shoutmon X4 and X5 respectively created by adding Beelzemon onto each. Beelzemon's legs become the centaur forms' forelegs and are on backwards, making his boots more closely resemble hooves while his guns become hip-mounted cannons and a central Wave-Motion Gun that takes up most of the quadrupedal lower body. There's also GrandGeneramon, a mindless humanoid mashup of six of the Seven Death Generals fused at the waist to the snout of Splashmon's quadrupedal Water Tiger form.
    • In Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Who Leapt Through Time, Tagiru DigiXrosses Arresterdramon with another hunter's Dobermon when fighting Ganemon. The end result is Arresterdramon body from the waist up fused to Dobermon's quadrupedal body in the style of a centaur. Their combined form also has Arresterdramon's extendable tail and is much faster and more flexible than either of the component parts despite the seemingly ungainly body plan.
    • Digimon Universe: Applimonsters has Hadesmon, a dragon-centaur that serves as Hackmon's final form. He's a massive dragon-centaur decked out in white and gold armor and able to alter both data and matter at will in addition to more ordinary attacks.
    • The Applimonsters manga has Gossipmon, a mechanical centaur dressed up like a freelance reporter, appear as a Monster of the Week alongside Gomimon in Astra's debut chapter. Gossipmon is a Consummate Liar that can make anything seem true in writing and gets caught making fake reviews of Astra's videos.
  • Future Card Buddyfight has a few dragon-centaurs. The most notable one is the second form of Genma's buddy monster Duel Sieger. The form is actually intermediate between his quadrupedal first form and anthropomorphic third form.
  • Jagaaaaaan: Medetaurus, a bride with a horse's body replacing her lower half, her right arm converted into a lance and her left into a organic crossbow, all crowned with the mother of all slasher smiles on her face.
  • Kotetsu Jeeg. The mechanical horse Antares allows Jeeg to become a powerful centaur armed with a drilling lance. The module is launched by Big Shooter, once launched the horse retracts its head to allow it to connect directly to Jeeg. The module can act independently and is able to fly in the air.
  • Mazinger Z: Mechanical Beast Kentol Γ7 was a blue, armored mechanical centaur. It was armed with a spear and a spiked shield, was capable of flying, and its helmet's horns shot beams that could control other machines.
  • Centorea Shianus from Monster Musume is a very attractive centaur knight. Male centaurs are shown once. They're so Gonkish (and generally unpleasant) that not even female centaurs find them attractive and in fact Centorea is a Half-Human Hybrid whose mother fell in love and slept with her human "teaser" instead of her husband.
  • In the anime Nessa no Haou Gandalla, the Big Bad has Lost Technology that is controlled by music, so he kidnaps promising musicians, transforming his victims into winged-centaurs (or Giger-esque monsters if they rebel). It Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.
  • One Piece:
    • In the beginning of the Thriller Bark arc , three of the characters are escorted to a mansion in a carriage. One of the horses drawing the carriage is a zombie centaur.
    • Not to mention the actual centaurs from Punk Hazard. There's giraffe centaurs, leopard centaurs, alligator centaurs... However, none of them seen to be natural centaurs, as one of them was originally introduced as a human.
  • Panzer World Galient has the entire Panzer Trampler mech line, which are naturally shaped like centaurs.
  • In Stardust Memories, Hoshino Yukinobu took an interesting take on the centaur concept in one of his series of short stories, "The Centaur of Sagittarius" in his science fiction anthology "Stardust Memories". Said centaur was an alien on a distant planet called Sagittarius Alpha that looked like a thick-tailed, headless ungulate with a circular maw filled with rows of sharp teeth. Lacking most of its brain, nervous system, and digestive organs, the creature survived by preying on the nearby amphibian-like aliens, eating everything beneath their abdomens and merging with the rest to make it appear as a hideous-looking centauroid creature. In the story, an elderly Corrupt Corporate Executive of a gigantic corporation funds an expedition to the planet Sagittarius so he can capture Chiron (the name of the alien) in hopes of using its body to give his dying body immortality and eternally rule over his vast empire. After incurring many casualties, the man is betrayed by his female assistant (whose family was one of the many victims he crushed on his bid to the top) by poisoning his pills and leaving him to die. While trying to escape on her aircraft the assistant is killed by Chiron, who discards its used-up host and gallops towards the old man, mouth wide open. The story ends with the old man becoming Chiron's new host, having finally attained his immortality at the cost of suffering excruciating pain forever.
  • Toriko has Elg, a member of the Gourmet Corp., who fused with a baby legendary horse called a Heraku, which along with the typical centaur also granted him an astonishing Healing Factor which essentially made him immortal and stopped him from aging.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Early on, the centaur "Mystical Horseman" was introduced as part of Kaiba's deck. It was immediately fused with "Battle Ox", a minotaur, and they become "Rabid Horseman", a centaur-minotaur hybrid, and its Japanese name is actually "Minocentaurus".
    • Another centaur used by Kaiba is "Chiron the Mage."

    Art 
  • One of Michelangelo's first works was the Battle of the Centaurs, based on an incident from Classical Mythology. The centaurs are so clustered together it is difficult to tell them from the humans, with the only clear indicator being that the centaurs are all above bodies that have been trampled to the floor.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: Centaurs are a recurring creature type, usually aligned with Green, the color of nature, tradition and the wilderness.
    • They're mostly fairly standard fantasy centaurs, but there are some unusual variations. Centaurs from the Gruul Clans of Ravnica, for instance, have large antlers, as did some Dominarian centaurs from the Ice Age, while other Dominarian centaurs have the heads and lower bodies of antelopes.
    • Given the plane's roots in Classical Mythology, centaurs are naturally also a major race in Theros. There, they’re divided between the civilized Lagonna Band (representing the traditionally wild but generally benevolent Magic centaurs) and the savage, aggressive Pheres Band (representing the dangerous and barbaric centaurs of Greek myth). Iroas, the god of victory, honor and war, also takes the form of a centaur with the lower body of a bull.

    Comic Books 
  • Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire in the Gallimaufry storyline briefly shows "Silverrunners" as one of engineered Human Subspecies. Little is told other than them being good at unarmed combat — on par with Heavyworlders like Buck. Since the setting also has Uplifted Animals like talking cats and dogs, half-horses would fit right in.
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics have Dawn getting turned into a centaurette. Cravings for hay are mentioned.
  • There's a Belgian series of comics by Pierre Seron named appropriately Les Centaures (The Centaurs). It's about a pair of young blue-skinned centaurs that have to wander across the Earth after being expelled from Olympus. Do not, we repeat NOT confuse it with the French comic by the same name. You will recognize that one by the interesting concept that the author tells the same story, with only slight differences, with a) centaurs b) Hell's Angels (an interesting analogy — the bike works as the horse part). Oh, and by the gratuitous porn.
  • Deadpool includes an antagonist named Marcus. He's a centaur, who was bitten by a werewolf, bonded with an alien Symbiote and later given robotic legs.
  • in Diablo (Chile), when Alex, the protagonist, travels to hell, he meets centaurs who act as guardians, preventing the damned from escaping from hell.
  • An Elseworlds story, Superman/Wonder Woman: Whom Gods Destroy sees Superman transformed into a centaur at one point, and Lana Lang turned into a centaurette.
  • In Mampato, on a trip to the time of the Trojan War, the protagonists meet centaurs, and harpies, and sphinxes. All of these creatures are actually genetic experiments.
  • In Requiem Vampire Knight, centaurs are the reincarnations of rapists, used as heavy cavalry by the Lemures against the vampires.
  • Robin Series: Tim ran up against a particularly proud centaur woman in Bludhaven who introduced herself as Equina, which is hopefully not her real name, though that might explain why she turned to villainy if it is.
  • The Golden Age comic character Speed Centaur was a centaur who fought crime in New York. His adventures were published in, of course, Centaur Comics.
  • Donna Barr's comic Stinz features the adventures of the Bavarian "half-horse" of that name (In this setting "Centaur" only refers to the barbarian nomads of the same species.)
  • Comet the Superhorse in pre-Crisis Supergirl was originally a centaur named Biron, who took a potion that was supposed to make him human, but instead made him a horse. The Post-Crisis Comet (in Peter David's Supergirl) was a jockey who'd been rebuilt with ice powers and equine DNA following an accident, and then merged with Andi Martinez in the same way as Supergirl merged with Linda Danvers. When Comet fully embraced their Earth Angel powers, they became a winged centaur.
  • A Silver Age comic of Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane had a story where Lois turns into a Centaur.
  • The short-lived 1990s comic Tiger Woman featured centaurs and other fantastic creatures. The story took place in a post-apocalyptic future where mythical creatures are descendants of humans who had been transformed while attending futuristic theme parks and became trapped in these bodies when society broke down.
  • Warren Vampirella, Fantasy Kitchen Sink as usual, has the Caliegia. Which, incidentally, means "too hot" in the Corsican language - and the hero definitely doesn't mind she is basically a centaurette goddess with wings, horns and a dragon tail. (They get each other at the end.)
  • Centaurs were different in DC Comics' Weird War Tales issue #65 story "The Last Cavalry Charge". They carried machine guns and fought tanks!
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Diana had to fight Slaughter, who is a big, blue, 12-armed cyclops centaur with a single, red eye.
    • Wonder Woman (1942): In the Silver Age Wonder Girl Impossible Tales the hidden merfolk village in the waters off Paradise Island has a longstanding feud with a herd or sea-centaurs.
    • Mustang Suzy, a sometime Hawkman foe who turned up as part of Circe's giant collective of villains in "The Witch and the Warrior", has the torso and head of a woman and a gilded motorcycle in place of legs.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Gravity Falls AU "Monster Falls", based on the premise of Gravity Falls' residents being turned into various mythical creatures by water from a cursed river, Dipper becomes a deer centaur.
  • George does a centaur frequently in The Keys Stand Alone, both to carry Ringo and to trot along with serious stamina and still be able to talk. In that shape he's extremely hairy, he's terrified of things that smell like predators, and he has good hearing and night vision. He defaults to a heavy warmblood horse-half rather than a sleek Arabian, so he's not very fast (though he could certainly do a sleeker one if he wanted).
  • An In-Universe example comes up in Daily Equestria Life with Monster Girl. The plot is about a Magic Misfire summoning Centorea Shianus to Equestria, only a few months after Tirek's rampage (see Western Animation below). While she isn't Tirek, doesn't have his magic-draining powers, and is a kind and honorable girl/filly, she still has to deal with the all-but-overwhelming terror of centaurs that Tirek had inspired.
  • Homecoming, 2026: At least one exists, working in the Whateley kitchens:
    Standing in the middle of the room was a female centaur, clad in linen barding.

    Films — Animated 
  • Fantasia: The Pastoral Symphony segment features centaurs and centaurettes. Most of them are the standard human/horse version, but there was also a dark-skinned one with the lower half of a donkey, named "Sunflower", who was shown as a servant to the others. She has since been removed from more recent releases of the film due to her racist implications. There were also two centaurettes whose equine halves were that of zebras.
  • The Fearless Four has a mechanical cyborg centaur that sings a Villain Song. In what appears to be a setting that is anything but fantasy or futuristic.
  • In Disney's Hercules, the title character battles one named Nessus when first meeting Meg. He's a rather odd-looking centaur, though, with blue skin, fangs, and a large protruding chin. More traditional centaurs also appear in certain episodes of the animated series.
  • One of the Thirteen Monsters in TMNT was a centaur-cyclops creature with a muscular humanoid upper torso, and a stocky, hippo-like lower body. It was shown emerging from the portal during the prologue and later was seen being captured by the Foot Clan in a warehouse.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • Christian legend has the enigmatic legend of St. Anthony Abbot and the Centaur, which may represent the desire of early pagan converts to have some of the more poetic elements of their beliefs adopted by the new religion.
  • Animorphs: The Andalites are best described as mouth-less blue centaurs with a scorpion tail and two extra stalk eyes. One book even has a TV show with a few seconds of a Andalite on film as a centaur.
  • In Artemis Fowl, the LEP's Insufferable Genius and Techno Wizard Foaly is a centaur. Centaurs are polygamous, so one can, if one squints, perhaps see where a reputation for kidnapping women might have came from. They're also an endangered species because they tend to be paranoid, even of each other. Foaly muses at one point that he should start dating because there are only about forty left.
  • Bas-Lag Cycle:
    • Perdido Street Station includes a Remade man who's been turned into a centaur for his crimes. Unusually cruel in that the biomancer responsible attached his human torso to the equine neck backwards, meaning he can only see where he was going if he forces his horse body to back up, which horses aren't built for.
    • Iron Council: Rahul is a lizard-bodied centaur Remade.
    • Some non-equine centaurlike beings turn up in other books, such as an aquatic lobster-bodied race in The Scar and the ravening, caterpillar-like inchmen from Iron Council.
  • Book of Imaginary Beings:
    • Borges describes most of the main Greek myths concerning centaurs, in addition to an incident where a herdsman brought an infant centaur birthed by one of his mare to the ruler of Corinth (which the ruler's court sage implied was born from… less than wholesome practices on the herdsman's part) and Lucretius' claim in De rerum natura that centaurs are impossible due to the different growth cycles of men and horses — a three-year-old centaur would be part adult horse and part babbling child, and the horse half would die fifty years before the human one.
    • Ichtyocentaurs, discussed separately, originate after the period when most myth-making took place but are very common in Greek and Roman art. They have the tail of a dolphin and the forelegs of a horse or lion, and live among the gods and sea horses in the ocean.
  • Another Chalker series, Changewinds, has the ba'ahdon, who look more like a cross between a chalicothere and a pygmy elephant from the waist down.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The centaurs are completely opposed to the classic Greek ones, as they are brave fighters in Aslan's army. The individual centaurs Glenstorm (Prince Caspian) and Roonwit (The Last Battle) are Chiron-like scholars.
    • In an interesting detail, in the movies the centaurs have pointed, horselike ears that stick out almost horizontally from their heads as well as more horselike noses.
    • The books note that they are expensive guests because they have both a human and a horse stomach "and naturally both want breakfast."note 
  • In James White's short story "Custom Fitting", which is part of the Sector General universe, we have His Excellency the Lord Scrennagle of Dutha. He is described as basically shaped like a centaur, but has two thumbs on each hand and his face is described as "dominated by two large, soft, brown eyes that somehow made the slits, protuberances, and fleshy petals which comprised the other features visually acceptable."
  • In The Darksword Trilogy, Centaurs are warchanged, humans who were turned into savage berserkers to take part in a war, with the intention of turning them back mentally and physically once the war was won. The war proved far bloodier than expected and mages capable of restoring them became quite rare. As a result the centaurs went feral and interbred with "men and beasts", becoming a new species similar in disposition to their mythological counterparts. Notably, actual horses are thought to be extinct on Thimhallan, due to most of them being as raw materials for creating centaurs.
  • In Diana Wynne Jones's novel Deep Secret, centaurs turn out to be very central to the plot, after they first appear roughly halfway through. They're standoffish and proud with a distinctive set of cultural norms, and they, like other magical creatures, can no longer live in this world for long since it's less magical than it used to be. Their human halves are the same color as their horse parts, and their culture is clannish and matrilineal. Also, female centaurs can interbreed with humans, though it's noted that a human woman could not carry a male centaur's child.
  • Dragaera has cat-centaurs, who live near the Paths of the Dead. Vlad and Morollan share a "Not So Different" Remark moment with them in Taltos.
  • Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files includes a blacksmith centaur briefly in the fourth book, depicted as being a breed of Fairy. While centaurs are Summer-aligned, he's not really what you'd call friendly, and seems to have some of the rage tendencies of more traditional centaurs.
  • In The Echorium Sequence, centaurs are one of the four races of "half-creature". They use herdstones to bend light so as to render themselves invisible to humans; obtaining one's herdstone serves as a rite of passage into adulthood.
  • The Centaurs in Fablehaven are a typical Proud Warrior Race, skilled and powerful fighters, but they're also arrogant jerks who think they should naturally be in charge and are uninterested in helping anyone but themselves, even when the fate of the world is on the line. Every character who has expressed an opinion has said they dislike dealing with them. Additionally, an alcetaur (human above and moose below) appears in book 4 as one of the inhabitants of Wyrmroost.
  • The centaurs in the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks are (mostly) intelligent and honorable, if unfriendly and avoiding contact with humans. They believe themselves to be horses who were cursed with a human appearance for angering Hunnynhan the Stallion God.
  • Centaurs from the world of Garrett, P.I. are somewhat smaller than usual (donkey-sized), and are natives of the war-torn Cantard region. Their tribes served as mercenary scouts for both sides of the war until they deserted to support Glory Mooncalled's renegade republic, which makes them even less popular with TunFaire's human majority than most non-humans in the war's aftermath.
  • Harry Potter's centaurs are a fiercely independent society of forest-dwelling stargazers, who tend to be distrustful of humans and dangerous with a bow. However, a few help out when Harry gets lost in the forest, as well as terrifying Umbridge in a most satisfying way. Despite only having males appear in the main books it is pointed out that female centaurs do exist according to the W.O.M.B.A.T test since "There are no female centaurs" was a false statement that appeared there (The seemingly true statement being "Hags eat small children" instead), and are explicitly not a hybrid species which rules out Centaur/Human breeding being a common event.
  • In Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert's Hellhole series the alien Xayans have a humanoid top half and caterpillar-like bottom half.
  • Centaurs are found in Dante's Inferno. They are armed with bows and arrows and ensure that the sinners stay in Phlegethon, a river filled with boiling blood.
  • Journey to Chaos: When Eric meets one of these in A Mage's Power, the narration takes care to make a distinction. This is not a creature with the lower body of a horse and the upper body of a human, but a horse with a human head. It also has a snake for a tail. He thinks Eric is the weirdo.
  • David Gemmell's has centaurs as human riders who can mindlink with their horses and ultimately merge with them into a composite creature, the classical centaur in his "Lion of Macedon" cycle.
  • Centaurs appear in some books by Lord Dunsany, including, obviously, The Bride of the Man-Horse, where they're rather warlike — said to have defeated some human cities and tried to play a Trojan Siege with the city of gods. Also, briefly met in The Long Porter's Tale.
  • Mercedes Lackey's The Obsidian Trilogy portrays centaurs as somewhat rustic but very intelligent farming people who are creatures of the Light along with unicorns, brownies, elves and others.
  • Ology Series: Monsterology describes classical centaurs, which are found in Greece and the lower Balkan Peninsula. They do not use tools as complex as those of even iron age humans, but sometimes craft rudimentary bows.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians has Chiron, the wise trainer to heroes. He's pretty much just like the original myths, except he can hide his horse self in a magical wheelchair. His relatives, though? The "Party Ponies" could be best described as four-legged frat boys (a young adult-acceptable version of their original portrayal in Greek mythology). In the sequel series, The Heroes of Olympus, Percy discovers another tribe of horned centaurs that are bad guys and part of Gaea's army, terribly confusing him.
  • Poul Anderson's "Polysotechnic League" stories mention centaurs being common, but they rarely appear and the ones that do are quite non-human.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's Starman Jones had centaur-like aliens. They appeared to be stupid, but the humans who landed on their planet discovered that they were highly intelligent and had other alien creatures on the planet under their control.
  • In This Immortal, centaurs are only mentioned in passing, but are said to live in the mountains of Greece and to be the product of genetic mutation caused by nuclear pollution.
  • John Varley's Titanides are different on several levels. For one thing their colors vary wildly, from normal horsey hues to patterns like checkers or plaid. For another, each one is a multiple Hermaphrodite, with both types of equipment on the horse half plus a third set on the human half. The third set determines the individual's pronoun gender (while all Titanides can give birth, those who can do so by parthenogenesis are considered female), but even the males have prominent breasts, causing most humans to mistake them for an all-female race.
  • Centaurs in the Tortall Universe look standard, but they're Immortals — creatures that live forever unless killed, never aging beyond maturity. "Killer centaurs" are just clawed monsters, but the standard variety is variable, with individual alignments. They refuse to be shod, hate crossbows, and like using Immortal feathers in their fletching. In Squire, it's shown that they keep horses, call them "slaves", and mount them. Female centaurs attack males if not given gifts, they call killing their own people "culling", and one attempts to purchase Keladry of Mindelan, believing she's stocky enough to "breed well, maybe even bear sons of my kind". Kel doesn't like them.
  • Jorkas from The Traveller in Black, is a unique variant: instead of a human upper body in place of a horse's neck and head, he consists of a complete (and purple) horse body with a young man fused thigh-deep in its back. A byproduct of Chaos, Jorkas's human and horse bodies share a single mind and reaction in concert, such that his equine portion shies when he'd insulted to his human face, and his horse portion trots and bobs its head in time as his human portion sings and plays music.
  • Harry Turtledove's short story Vilcabamba has the Krolp alien invaders with a vaguely centauroid body plan, though dark gray with tiger stripes and jack-o-lantern shaped heads, as seen in the illustration at the link.
  • The Well World series has Dillians and Rhone (which are basically the same race on two different planets; long story) as more-or-less the classic model (albeit with horse ears, and only about the size of big ponies) in the original series. Dillians also appear in the Watchers at the Well series; there, they're stated to have become a smoother synthesis of hominid and equine than the classic centaur. And then, there are the matriarchal Gekir felitaurs.
  • In A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, winged centaur-like creatures lived on the planet Uriel. Mrs. Whatsit transformed into one in order to help show Charles Wallace, Meg, and Calvin the nature of what they were fighting against.
  • Xanth: Centaurs series are a race of scholars and researchers who consider magic (which is pervasive in Xanth) to be obscenity when used by centaurs, although they generally don't have a problem with Puny Humans resorting to its use. That said, it's mostly the ones from Centaur Isle that have a problem with it. Centaurs living in Xanth proper tend to be more open-minded about one of their own practicing magic. They tend to have a superiority complex like — although not as severe as — elves, and are excellent archers.
    • They are said to have originated when a couple of human men and their female horses unwittingly drank from a love spring. But only man/mare pairings seem to produce centaurs. Woman/stallion pairings instead produce a werehorse.
    • Winged centaurs develop as an additional subspecies of centaurs. Regular centaurs tend to consider them to be dirty half breeds, which is ironic give the origin of centaurs.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Vedrans of Andromeda have four legs and a humanoid torso and arms. Only one is depicted in the series, but their quadrupedal nature is frequently alluded to, their family units are called "herds" and the bridges of Glorious Heritage ships are clearly designed to accommodate them.
    Seamus Harper: Watch your step here; the ramps can be a little tricky, but we think of it as part of the original Vedran charm.
  • The 1990s television version of Beastmaster featured an episode titled "Centaurs." The titular centaurs Sagitto and Radia were unique in that they could split into separate beings, two humans and two horses, and merge together to become the combined creature. If separated for too long, both beings would die.
  • Dobbin the Pantomime Horse in Rentaghost was occasionally turned into a Chiron-like centaur. On one occasion he became a two-headed centaur (one at either end).
  • In Wizards of Waverly Place Justin briefly dated a female centaur.
  • Centaurs often appeared in both Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess and were the most common non-human race. Episodes featuring them usually dealt with Fantastic Racism.
    • Centaurs were all male, and bred with human females. In one instance a young woman fell in love with and married a centaur, and gave birth to a (naturally male) centaur child (the human portion appeared to be equivalent in development to a 6-month-old child, to functionally complement the abilities of a newborn foal).
    • Hercules also had the Golden Hind, an all-female race in contrast to the all-male centaurs (but the two are not shown to be related). Golden Hinds have the lower body of deer, golden hooves, and golden horns on their heads. They have a healing ability and their blood can kill a god.
  • An episode of Saturday Night Live had Chris Parnell as a centaur interviewing for a typical office job. He was quite polite and well-mannered, but the boss, played by Christopher Walken, could not get past the fact that he was, indeed, a centaur; asking such questions like, "Does centaur pornography exist?" and, "If I watch centaur porn with the bottom half blocked out by a sheet of paper, would I be aroused?"
    Centaur: Are there going to be any questions regarding my aptitude or employment history?
    Walken: All the remaining questions... will be centaur related.

    Music 
  • The eponymous "Witch of the Westmereland" in the song by Archie Fisher (later covered by Stan Rogers) is described as having "one half the form of a maiden fair with a jet-black mare's body." Given that she later transforms into a fully human woman with a blue gown, she's likely actually a kelpie, a shapeshifting water spirit common in Scottish folklore.

    Mythology 
  • As noted, centaurs were something of a Barbarian Tribe in Greek Mythology, with the only exceptions being Chiron (who raised the hero Achilles) and Pholus. A straighter example is Nessus, who before being killed by Heracles' poisoned arrows, told his (Heracles') wife to dip her philandering husband's tunic in the centaur's blood, as this would make him faithful. However, this ended up killing Heracles as the poison ate him alive.
    • The Centauromachy is another well-known story: having been invited to a wedding and getting drunk, proceed to kidnap the women at the wedding, including the bride. This does not go well with the groom, and violence ensues.
    • Some early Greek vase paintings depict a bizarre variant of the centaur: a complete human body, with the rear end of a horse attached to the butt. There's no explanation for how these could walk, let alone run. One vase even depicts what's clearly supposed to be Medusa as a female one of these, with a Skull for a Head, and somehow wearing a dress.
    • There were at least two other sympathetic centaurs depicted in Ovid's The Metamorphoses, the husband and wife Cyllarus and Hylonome. They were attending the wedding feast depicted in the Centauromachy when they got swept up in the ensuing battle. No word if they were taking part in the drunken revelry with the rest of the centaurs, but Cyllarus was killed by a spear during the ensuing brawl, and heartbroken, Hylonome took her own life rather then go on without her husband.
    • Female centaurs such as Hylonome are not especially common in myth, but appear fairly often in art. They are properly referred to as centaurides.
    • Sirens, though commonly remembered as mermaids, were also depicted as bird-centaurs — they had the torsos of women (usually with exposed breasts) and the bodies of birds from the waist down. Which is also the physical description of the East-Asian Kinnara; with the exception of conflicting Indian literature of demigods with the same name, like the Mahabharata which describes the Kinnaras as horse-centaurs.
    • There are also the Ipotanes, humans with the legs and tails of horses, considered the original centaurs.
    • Ichthyocentaurs can be thought of as the mermaid version of a centaur, having the lower body of a hippocampus (a half-horse, half-fish creature) instead. Some depictions also gave them lobster claws on their heads. They do not appear in myths, and seem to have been strictly artistic motif instead.
    • Onocentaurs are creatures from medieval bestiaries depicted as centaurs with the lower bodies of donkeys.
    • The constellation of Sagittarius is traditionally depicted as a centaur wielding a bow and arrow, and bow-wielding centaurs in European heraldry are likewise referred to as sagittarii.
    • There is also the bucentaur, kind of an inverted minotaur: The Other Wiki says, "The term bucintoro [referring to the state galley of the Doges of Venice] was Latinized in the Middle Ages as bucentaurus on the analogy of an alleged Greek word boukentauros meaning "ox-centaur" (from bous, "ox", and kentauros, "centaur"). The common supposition was that the name derived from a creature of a man with the head of an ox, a figure of which served as the galley's figurehead. This derivation is, however, fanciful; the word boukentauros is unknown in Greek mythology..."
  • In ancient Persian and Mesopotamian sculpture, Always Male guardian statues called shedu and lamassu have the forms of bulls and lions, with human heads and eagle wings. The leonine ones are basically male sphinxes. Unlike centaurs, they don't have arms.
  • Much closer Mesopotamian analogs to the centaurs are the urmahlullu, which have a human torso on a lion's body.
  • Some depictions of Cernunnos, the Celtic god of fertility, are like this; with a deer's body, a man's torso and arms, and a stag head and horns.
  • The Nuckelavee, a creature from Scottish folklore, appears as a skinless man fused onto the back of a similarly flayed horse.
  • The besta-fera or "bestial beast" from Brazilian and Portuguese folklore is a demonic centaur armed with a whip which terrorizes villages at nighttime until it finds a tomb where it disappears.

    Pinball 
  • The antagonist of Bally's Centaur, who has a human/horse face, a human torso, a motorcycle lower half, a horse's tail, and some sort of clawed feline hindleg.

    Radio 
  • John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme features a centaur who has to eat constantly to maintain two almost entire metabolisms, and to make it worse can only eat things his horse stomach can digest, which his human tastebuds hate.
    Centaur: Honestly, sometimes I wonder how we even evolved!

    Tabletop Games 
  • Arcanum RPG, The Lexicon (Atlas of the Lost World of Atlantis):
    • The Dreaming Wood had the arcitenus (two headed centaurs) and malataurs (half human, half ram). The Bestiary says that malataurs are specifically a combination of human and mountain goat.
    • In the Mediterranean Sea, the islands of Delphos and Tenedos have centaurs that are skilled painters, musicians and artisans.
  • Arduin: Chaeronyx are centaurs with the upper bodies of Medusas, with rocky skin, a nest of vipers for hair and a petrifying gaze.
  • Centaurs in Ars Magica are faerie creatures concerned with exploring the boundaries of civilization/barbarism and humanity/beastliness. As with other faerie beings, rules for playing them can be found in "Realms of Power: Faerie".
  • Call of Cthulhu. The T.O.M.E. (Theatre Of the Mind Enterprises) supplement Pursuit to Kadath has the Dragon Warriors, a set of monsters created by the Cthulhu Mythos deity Yig. One of them is Choara, a giant black scorpion with the torso, arms and head of a human.
  • Chaosium's supplement All the Worlds' Monsters:
    • Volume I. The humbaba is half human, half giant scorpion with a tail 6-9 feet long.
    • Volume III. The Jushkaparick is a half man, half ass (donkey) with a jaw made of brass. It will attack any centaurs it meets on sight.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has quite a few. Many of these have actually been playable in various editions, from the classic centaur to odder species like the wemic, dracon, pegataur and bariaur.
    • Centaurs are the classic horse/human variant. They're wilderness nomads who follow long, winding paths across temperate and tropical lands, sometimes making circuits of entire continents that take generations to complete.
    • Wemics have the torsos of humanoid lions and the bodies of big cats. They mostly live as Neolithic nomads in tropical grasslands.
    • Driders have the torsos of dark elves and the bodies of giant spiders.
    • The Inevitables — interplanar Mechanical Lifeforms charged with enforcing law and order in the universe — include the Zelekhut, a (winged) clockwork centaur specifically charged with hunting down criminals who fled from their punishment and those who, for whatever reason, the law cannot touch.
    • Basic D&D has the winged pegataur (pegasus plus centaur), the chevall (horseweres, which can shapechange between horse, human and centaur forms), nuckalavee (a horse with a human torso spurting from its back and transparent skin) and the manscorpion (human top half, scorpion lower body).
    • Common Lamias are described as having the upper body of a woman and the lower body of either a lioness, a goat, a deer, or an antelope (only the lion form ever got drawn) in earlier editions of the game, but were permanently switched over to being lioness-taurs in 3rd edition. Their Noble Lamia rulers are tauric mixtures of human and snake. In 4th edition, they were depicted as skin-stealing carnivorous beetlel swarms, one of the edition's many depictions of The Worm That Walks.
    • 1E has the hybsil (half pixie/brownie/sprite, half antelope).
    • 2E has centaur-kin: dorvesh (dwarf plus donkey), gnoat (gnome plus goat), ha'pony (halfling plus pony) and zebranaur (human plus zebra).
    • 2E also has the armanite (demon tanar'ri centaur), manotaur (human plus bull) and bariaur (human/mountain sheep) from the plane of Gladsheim. The latter is a Player Character race in Planescape.
    • 2nd Edition Kara Tur Monstrous Compendium Appendix. The hannya is a Chaotic Evil monster. Its upper half is that of an ugly woman and its lower half is that of a giant constrictor snake.
    • The Spelljammer setting has several of these.
      • The Monitors are shapeshifting winged centaurs IN SPACE.
      • Dracons are human/dragon hybrids that are 10-12 feet long. They have the body of a Brontosaurus, a human torso and arms, a dragon's head and a long tail like that of a snake.
    • At least in Mystara, a pegataur is the elf/pegasus variant centaur. As to the attitude — take a guess from this:
      "I'm half elf, half mighty stallion, and half noble eagle, and more'n sum of me parts."
    • The 3.5E Monster Manual 3 describes dracotaurs (a reptilian humanoid torso coming up from the lower body of a wingless dragon) and quaraphons (a squat, muscular centaur with lumpy blue skin, elephant's feet, and two mouths and four eyes randomly placed on its face... don't look up the picture, you don't wanna know.) The former return in 4E, albeit renamed as drakkoths.
    • 3.5 has a "tauric" template that can be applied to combine still more critters with humanoids, centaur-style.
    • 3rd Edition Creature Collection: The Proud (lion bottom, human trunk, lion head), Marrow Knight (skeletal undead), Sandmasker (scorpion/human).
    • One webpage has a list of the different centauroids that populate the D&D universe. It's kind of out of date, though.
    • Dragon magazine #116 "Dragon's Bestiary". The Sea Centaur is an aquatic creature that appears to be a cross between a triton and a hippocampus.
    • MC 13 Al-Qadim Monstrous Compendium Appendix has the desert centaur. Its top half is human. Its body has a barrel-like chest (like a pony) and long antelope-like legs.
    • The 2E version of Strahd von Zarovich was the inventor of a Mix-and-Match Critter-creating spell, and was fond of combining a werewolf's upper body with a giant spider, drider-style, plus giant bat wings.
  • GURPS offers various variations on the theme in different supplements:
    • Yrth, the world of GURPS Banestorm, has fairly conventional (human/horse-like) centaurs. They're actually immigrants from Loren'dil, a world without humans or horses; the mere existence of horses (initially seen as deformed or maimed centaurs) may confuse or horrify them, and they dislike the paraphernalia of human horse-riding. They live in small nomadic herds across the plains of al-Wazif, al-Haz, Cardiel, and the Orclands. Most are brash, impetuous, footloose party animals, and not especially bright, but a few are highly intelligent and scholarly — thus reflecting both the Greek idea of thuggish centaurs (in toned-down form) and the intellectual Chiron.
    • GURPS Fantasy Folk has Onocentaurs: half human, half donkey.
    • GURPS Technomancer has two relevant chimeras: a spider centaur (Homo Sapiens Arachne) and a serpent centaur (Homo Sapiens Serpens).
  • Hc Svnt Dracones has "taur" Vectors which are based on a variety of species.
  • Kings of War has Abyssal Dwarf half breeds which are half-dwarf and half-demon.
  • Munchkin has the girl Centaur Warrior card, and that same character is featured on a few other cards including Crushinate!, DING!! and The Banhammer.
  • Mutants & Masterminds: In the earth-Prime setting, Doctor Chiron, a greek superhero, built a cybernetic horse body to replace his legs. He's essentially a cyber-centaur.
  • In Nightbane, centauroids are just one of the shape variations available for Nightbane with an animal-based Morphus. These are typically described as the body of the animal in question attached to a furred/scaled humanoid torso with the animal's head on top.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Classic centaurs are a reclusive, often semi-nomadic forest-dwelling race. They are very widespread in the modern day, but are thought to have first originated in the islands of Iblydos (a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Ancient Greece) as a nod to their origin in Classical Mythology. The Exalted Wood of the River Kingdoms is also home to a strange race of centaurs with horselike heads.
    • Svathurims are gigantic centaur-like beings with the upper bodies of horned frost giants and the lower bodies of massive eight-legged horses.
    • More exotic taurine creature include several variations of lamia with upper bodies of women mounted on lioness torsos (specifically common lamias, lamia harridans and hungerers), ichthyocentaurs (who have the upper bodies of merfolk and lower bodies of hippocampi) and the girtablillu (scorpion-centaurs inspired by Mesopotamian myth). The Legacy of Fire adventure path has buraq (winged mules with human faces).
    • Cervinals are agathions — Neutral Good outsiders whose various kinds are all based on various sorts of animals — resembling elk-based centaurs with large antlers growing from their heads. They are the warriors of agathion society, thundering onto enemy forces with powerful charging attacks.
    • Pathfinder ported Driders over from Dungeons and Dragons and added a dash of Sexy Dimorphism. Female Driders are the classic spider-centaurs, but males are based on tarantulas and have tarantula heads.
  • Rifts:
    • Centaurs visited the Earth during the ancient age of magic, entering Europe through Atlantis and hence coming to feature in later legends. In modern times they returned to Earth after the Coming of the Rifts and mostly settled the prairies and forests of North America, where they live as nomadic hunter-gatherers.
    • There are also the high-tech Cyber-horsemen from Ixion, who hail from an eponymous city rumored to be somewhere within the wildernesses of British Columbia. They're a proud and honorable people who believe that they were brought to Earth to spread knowledge and enlightenment, and are best known for their extensive use of cybernetic enhancements — all have at least a bionic limb or two, they often replace their horse bodies entirely by middle age and elderly members are often full-conversion Brain in a Jar borgs. They're allied with regular centaurs and on generally good terms with humans, but don't much trust other species.
    • Serving the Mesopotamian Gods are also the Scorpion People, who given this trope are Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Rolemaster Shadow World setting supplement Star Crown Empire and the Sea of Fates. Centaurs are not wild creatures living in the wilderness: they are full citizens of the Empire, live in buildings and practice farming and shepherding.
  • RuneQuest: The Glorantha campaign setting has scorpionmen, a human-scorpion hybrid.
  • Scion has modern-day centaurs: half-man, half-motorcycle.
  • Shadowrun: First introduced in Paranormal Animals of Europe supplement, centaurs of the Sixth World are an awakened (magical and sapient) type of horse, and 4th edition's Runner's Companion and 5th edition's Run Faster make them playable. Physically they're distinct from most centaurs in that they only have three fingers and a thumb, and standard centaurs have horse-like faces with shorter snouts, though a fraction of the population includes "lesser" centaurs with human faces that face discrimination from their common brethren. Centaurs were originally thought of as primitive and barely sapient, but in truth just prefer a less technological lifestyle and are every bit as intelligent as humans; some outliers among their kind have become well known mercenaries or started rock bands.
  • In Splicers, this is also one of the options for Host Armor, as shown here. The pilot's legs fold up inside the lower body.
  • Traveller:
    • One of the Major Races was the K'kree (alien centaurs), which lived in the Two Thousand Worlds.
    • Marc Miller's Traveller supplement Aliens Archive. The Graytch looked like six-legged spider centaurs (and were in fact nicknamed "spidertaurs").
  • Villains & Vigilantes adventure Devil's Domain. The Abomination demons had a lower half like a bent over gorilla (with 4 legs like a gorilla's) and an upper half like a gorilla's trunk, with four arms. They had four glowing red eyes and a malevolent face on their chest.
  • Generic RPG supplement Booty and the Beasts. The Masjenada is a 12 foot long lobster with the torso of a human female sticking out of it. They are powerful magicians and are fairly civilized, not normally attacking strangers.
  • Warhammer:
    • Warhammer Fantasy Battle: Centauroid creatures, like most chimeras, are typically associated with Chaos.
      • Dragon Ogres resemble giant (some can look over city walls, and the oldest one is often mistaken for a mountain) horned humanoids from the waist up and wingless dragons from the waist down.
      • The Beastmen have centigors, a sub-breed of beastmen resembling goat-bodied centaurs with horns and clawed feet instead of hooves. The are raging alcoholics, and will randomly receive bonuses according to their level of intoxication. The unnatural fusion of humanoid and ungulate bodies is explicitly something that makes life difficult for them, and combined with their lack of fine motor skills makes them unable to efficiently manufacture anything; they consequently depend on the Beastmen for even the crudest shelters and weapons, and deeply resent creatures whose minds and bodies are better matched. 3rd Edition originally had fairly straightforward, fully horse-bodies centaurs, which share all of the centigors' characterization and which were later updated into the modern incarnation to make them fit the larger Beastman faction's themes more closely.
      • The Chaos Dwarfs have Bull Centaurs, created by the Chaos Dwarves' sorcerers by mutating their people's own infants into the image of their evil bull-god Hashut. Their earliest incarnations in 3rd Edition notably had the bodies of boars instead of bulls.
    • Zoats are centaur-shaped reptilian creatures who, in Fantasy, have inhabited the world longer than any other mortal race and now live deep within ancient forests. In Warhammer 40,000, they are instead used as vanguard troops by the Tyranids in their early attacks upon the galaxy. Between wars against the Imperium, the Tyranids not needing them after the invasions' start and a failed rebellion on the Zoats' part, they are almost entirely extinct by the setting's present.
  • World of Synnibarr has Cattars, who have the lower body of a tiger and a humanoid upper body.
  • World Tree RPG: The cyarr are a form of hyena-centaurs, with the lower body of a giant hyena and the torso, head and arms of a humanoid one.
  • Zombie centaurs are nothing new when necromancy is involved. For Swords and Sorcery in-universe, magic users specializing in the dead can sew the bodies of different creatures to create one composite one, such as a skeletal undead with the upper torso of a human attached bone to bone to the body of a horse.

    Toys 

    Video Games 
  • Abyss Odyssey: Padutaurs are basically Deer-Centauresses. They wield poleaxes and can bring the hurt due to their agility and attack range. As a mook, padutaurs need support to back them up or they get "jumpy". When playing as one, use area attacks to push back the melee attackers.
  • The Centaurions of AdventureQuest were originally created by magic, but since then became a conquering race.
  • Bayonetta 2 combines this with Our Angels Are Different with a dash of Eldritch Abomination, introducing new angelic species such as the Acceptance, the Accolade, and the Allegiance, who are all depicted as bulky, headless centaurs with angelic wings and armor, and a giant marble face on their abdomens. And that's not even getting into what they look like once they start taking damage.
  • Castlevania:
  • Darkest Dungeon has pig centaurs as enemies. They're heavy damage dealers and tanks, but they lose combat effectiveness if you force them to stay in the front row of combat, preventing them from using their knight spear.
  • Defense of the Ancients/DOTA 2 has several:
    • Aiushtha, the Enchantress, a Nature Spirit that appears in the form of a perky, cute red-haired elf atop a doe (female deer).
    • Bradwarden, the Centaur Warrunner, is a fairly normal Blood Knight centaur, save the bull-like horns and tusks.
    • Atropos, the Bane is a centauric Eldritch Abomination with Dream Weaver powers.
    • Harbinger, the Outworld Devourer is a winged centaur-like alien possessing Super Intelligence.
    • Leshrac, the Tormented Soul is a ghost centaur, an insane embodiment of Gaia's Vengeance.
    • Magnus, the Magnoceroes is some cross between a Centaur, a Mammoth, and a Rhino, with powers derived Tectonic and Volcanic energies that somehow result in magnetic effects.
    • Vrogros, the Underlord is a demonic centaur-like being originating from deep underneath the earth.
    • There's also a generic Centaurs as neutral creeps, although the bigger one's blue and the smaller one's white.
  • The Dragon Quest series has a few examples, such as the sintaur from Dragon Quest VI and the balhib from Dragon Quest V.
  • Dwarf Fortress: Centaurs are one of a small number of creatures that exist as in-game myths: they have a bare minimum of game data and show up in engravings, but they do not exist as actual creatures you can encounter. Despite this, dwarves can still express a liking for their strength. A female centaur is called a centauress.
  • The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall has centaurs as an enemy, and also the player character can learn their language as a skill. This has been their only appearance in the series to date.
  • The Land Dreugh in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
  • In Fallout, centaurs are freakish mutant creatures with whiplike tongues, and are what you get when you dip multiple people and animals in a vat of FEV for awhile. As one can imagine, they are also epitomes of Body Horror.
  • Fantasy General: Centaurs appear as several types of heavy cavalry units (not horse archers). In addition to "normal" Centaurs, there are also Ogre Centaurs, who have the upper body of ogres instead of humans, and Centaur Knights, armoured Centaurs who know a spell that can bring their dead companions back to life — unsurprisingly, they're one of the most powerful units in the game. Unlike their typical mythological counterparts, Centaurs in this game are not evil, but neutral, and will serve any champion with the Beast Master trait.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In keeping with the "savage monsters" interpretation of the creature type, various Final Fantasy games have centaurs and centaur-like creatures as Mooks. If it has armor, it has a roughly 90% chance of being given a name like "Centaurion." Some Centaurions, such as the ones from Final Fantasy XIII, are fully mechanical instead of armored.
    • Seiryu in Final Fantasy XIV is humanoid from the torso up and has a four-legged serpentine lower body resembling a Chinese dragon with two snakes grafted onto the forelegs.
  • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones: the Tarvos and Maeldiun monsters who wield giant axes and bows.
  • In Gems of War, there's a kingdom inhabited mostly by centaurs. True to common form, they're avid hunters (although most of them aren't depicted using bows. Unlike some depictions, there are female centaurs, and no mention of abducting women.
  • The first God of War, as well as the third, has you kill a number of these. They match the Greek tradition, and are about a rung below miniboss.
  • Dora, the centaur girl from Golden Axe: Revenge of Death Adder. When mounting other creatures, she turns her lower body into that of a human woman.
  • Grimms Notes has Machina Prince, Shadow Dinah and Chaos Archteller.
  • Guild Wars has several "prides" of centaurs. Prides from Tyria generally like furry humans on a horse body, and are all hostile, and prides from Elona have a more bestial, catlike head and horns, and ally with you. You even get one as a party member.
    • Also present in Guild Wars 2. The centaurs, who can be male or female, live in tribes, and all the ones from Tyria are hostile and engaged in war with the humans. The only exception is Ventari, a wise healer who created (and is venerated by) the Sylvari, who is likely based on Chiron. The centaurs of Elona are all dead, due to genocide on the part of Palawa Joko.
  • The Heroes of Might and Magic series has centaurs in various forms. Centaurs in I and II are Warlock (evil) aligned archers. Centaurs in III are Rampart (good) aligned wood dwelling spear wielders. In IV, they're Might-aligned spear throwers who hate magic a la Xanth's centaurs, and in V and VI they're Half Human Hybrids created by magical experiments, allied with the orcs.
  • League of Legends: Hecarim, the Shadow of War, a champion, is certainly not your normal centaur — he's a spectral undead monstrosity that seems to be a centaurlike Animated Armor filled with baleful fire. Not a friendly chap by any means. He also wasn't a centaur when he was alive: he was a human who, after falling victim to the Black Mist, was fused with his steed to turn him into the monster he is today. Lillia, the Bashful Bloom is almost an exact Foil to Hecarim, being an adorable, sweet-natured and, as her name suggests, painfully shy and timid fawn-centaur with a slim, delicate body, as good and gentle as Hecarim is evil and brutal. She's also not actually part of any centaur race, being a nature spirit born from the dream of a magic tree.
  • The Legend of Zelda series has an enemy known as the Lynel, which usually manifests as a lion-human centaur, always with a leonine head, and occasionally has equine traits as well. Despite appearing commonly in the first game, they've only appeared in a few games since. Which is a good thing because they are extremely difficult to deal with and get progressively harder every time they appear, especially in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, where the Silver and Gold variants are even tougher to beat than the Final Boss. Breath of the Wild notably updates their typical depiction, giving them equine lower bodies (earlier games tended to stick to leonine ones), and while keeping the lion heads it also makes them horned. They're also much larger there than in previous games, reaching about the size of an elephant, and are skilled and deadly archers. During combat, Link can also mount them like horses to strike at their backs.
  • Mortal Kombat: The Centaurians, of which Motaro is a member, have whiplike scorpionish tails and a set of nasty-looking horns in conjunction tauric, reptilian-looking forms. They are the natural enemies of the Multi-Armed and Dangerous Shokan race.
  • Oddworld: Strangers Wrath features the steef, a race of centaur-like creatures with gorilla-like forearms, antlers, and leonine heads. Being the setting's equivalent to the Bison, they have been hunted down to near-extinction.
  • Overwatch: Orisa is a centaur-shaped Omnic.
  • Quest for Glory:
    • The first game has classic centaurs, who are are perfectly civilized, but also has cheetaurs, which have a panther's head on a human torso on a panther's body and are always hostile.
    • The second game introduces Rakeesh, a liontaur who becomes the hero's mentor. Liontaurs are similar to cheetaurs but have leonine features and are also civilized. The third game in the series has the player spend most of the game in their capital city, and meet his wife, Kreesha. Rakeesh also joins the hero in the fifth game.
  • Shadow Bane has them as a civilized playable race.
  • The Shining Series series featured Centaurs as a major player race. They act as Knights in both the player's force and enemy armies, being fast and heavy-hitting troops, and a few on both sides also use bows or other ranged weapons. Most party members are friendly, and the personalities are varied, though they have a reputation for arrogance among the common folk. The enemy armies also use Pegasus Centaurs(the second game features one who makes a Mook–Face Turn), as well as demonic ones with no heads.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV's centaurs looks nothing like those you are familiar with. They are bipedal blue creatures with hoofed hands and feet, a horse's tail, no head, and Winged Unicorns on its shoulders.
  • The final boss of Sin and Punishment: Star Successor turns into a huge robot centaur with a lance for the final battle.
  • Smite: Chiron, as in the original mythology. A couple of his optional skins turn him into unusual variants on this trope, such as a centaur with the lower body of a demonic Hellish Horse, or one with the lower body and the head of either a moose or a reindeer.
  • Soul Sacrifice: The centaur is an utterly grotesque mix of man, horse and wagon. It was originally a man whose limitless indolence led him to a quest to do the less as possible as he considered that even the minimal effort was an insurmountable task. While starving to death inside his wagon, even eating and drinking was too much of a bothersome thing to do for him, he saw a white chalice floating in front of him and heard a voice that told him: "An offering shall be rewarded with a wish befitting the sacrifice." The man then sacrificed his body in exchange for a body that would make his life easier. Thus this revolting aberration was born.
  • Belius from Tales of Vesperia is a giant fox-like monster with arms and four legs.
  • Total War:
    • Total War: Warhammer: Centigors, centaurs with horned heads and claws instead of hooves, are present as a cavalry analogue in the Beastmen army. They're violent and barbaric even by Beastman standards, and spend a large portion of their lives drunk out of their tiny minds. The Warriors of Chaos have access to Dragon Ogres, monstrous scaled centauroids with an affinity for lightning. They also have even bigger ones in the form of Shaggoths as well as the Legendary Lord Kholek Suneater, who has recruitment bonuses for his kind. The second installment add a few unorthodox examples such as the Necrosphinx (a centauroid sphinx) and the Zoats (more benevolent reptilian centauroids who align themselves with the Wood Elves.
    • A Total War Saga: TROY: Centaurs, a unit recruitable in Arcadia and Anatolia, are present as bronze-armored horse riders — the only cavalry unit in the game. As part of the game's focus on portraying the truth behind the classical Greek myths, these centaurs represent the first horse-riders whom the Myceneans interpreted as a horse-bodied people.
  • Warcraft's centaurs follow the brutal and savage description to a T, with a society based on Mongol hordes (their leaders are called Khans and use axes and bows), said to be the cursed offspring of Cenarius (a night elf/stag god, see Cernunnos above), whose daughters are the Dryads (night elf/doe).
    • There are also Magnataurs, a much larger polar creature that are a mix of human and mammoth.
    • Dragonspawn are draconian versions, following the same body layout as a centaur. They used to be human, but gradually evolved after centuries of serving dragons and taking in the energies they gave off.
    • Nerubians are sometimes presented as spider versions, although there's some inconsistency about whether they're a humanoid torso stuck on top of a spider-like creature or a more coherent and not particularly centaur-like form. Artwork has shown them as clearly resembling driders and holding weapons, something no Nerubian in the actual games does.
    • And then there's the Pit Lords, humongous demonic mixes of god-knows-what, with thick reptilian hides and tails, bat wings, and spider eyes.
    • The male counterparts of the dryads are the Sons of Cenarius, also night elf/stag (with an inexplicable wooden claw replacing one hand).
    • The Tol'vir were recently introduced in Cataclysm, being feline (Sphinx-like) centaurs created by the Titans to guard the (Egypt-inspired) land of Uldum. The Tol'vir used to have stone-like bodies, but most of them lost them. The Ramkahen have normal flesh bodies, while the Neferset have regained their stone forms.

    Webcomics 
  • The title characters of Accidental Centaurs are humans from Earth who find themselves transformed into centaurs after a teleporter accident.
  • 'Taurs in At Arm's Length are not a natural species, but rather beings that have been transformed. Most are mortals used for slave labor or victims of magical curses.
  • Bar'd has Vas, who became a centaur by various incidents caused by his brother. His sheer stature makes him ideal for the job of being a bar bouncer.
  • In El Goonish Shive, there is an Aberration described as a Scorpion Bull Centaur Vampire
  • Erfworld ups the ante with Unipegataurs; horned, winged centaurs. Some of which are turned undead.
  • Girl Genius: A centaur can be seen in Mechanicsburg behind Vanamonde von Mekkahn and his aide while they are discussing the city's defenses. She evidently sharpens knives, swords and tools for a living and is presumably the result of a Spark experiment, likely having started out life as an ordinary human.
  • Equius' lusus Aurthor in Homestuck is a male mustachioed centaur-shaped creature... with cow udders. His species was the only one that could handle Equius's absurd strength and acts as a sort of a butler to the boy. These creatures later propagate an island on an alternate version of earth, where it's shown they can reach sauropod-level sizes. It's worth noting that Equius's self-picked screenname is "centaursTesticle,'' which means that his home planet probably has some centaur analogue.
  • Hotblood! has a centaur protagonist. Centaurs and humans live together on Earth (even in places where horses never lived or died out). Interactions between the two run from apathy to fetishization to Fantastic Racism.
  • Briar O'Hennessey, in Magellan seems to be a fairly standard centaur. She first shows up in a set of strips featuring a support group for students who are only "superpowered" in that they are normal for their race in their own world, Briar coming from "Centaur Ireland" according to the cast page.
  • One strip in Manly Guys Doing Manly Things had some of the guys setting up a D&D campaign; Jared wanted to play as an "elephant centaur" Ranger. After the DM points out the obvious (an elephant ANYTHING isn't quite known for stealth), Jared uses his Skill dice rolls to mitigate the flaws. Cue the DM's brain giving up ("You are a dude growing out of an elephant!")... and Commander Badass laughing his ass off.
    "... You are the greatest."
  • A centaur male features in a strip in Oglaf, where a nervous young woman offers herself to him since their village cannot afford to pay him a proper reward. To her immense relief, he can detach the human part of himself from his horse half.
  • The Story of Cenzelburg is a doujinshi that features several of the horse variety in the "Grand Grass" and "Stray Dragon" prologues, as well as some half-tiger types in the "Twin Head Wolf" series. They exist in a world with all sorts of shapeshifters, primarily wolves and birds.
  • The Wotch has Allison Taverner, a human-turned-centaur who runs a convenience/grocery store in downtown Tandy.

    Web Original 
  • Tumblr artist Jay Eaton:
    • Disliking the seemingly impractical body design of the "traditional" centaur, he came up with a more realistic and biologically plausible version depicting them as sapient, six-limbed ungulates that evolved their front limbs to fuction as hands, and the humanoid "upper torso" effectively being a modified extension of the neck. While commonly walking on four limbs, keeping the frontmost pair folded out of the way, they are also capable of using all six limbs for locomotion, running with a bounding gait that keeps the legs from colliding with each other at high speeds.
    • The same artist has also designed an alien race for a webcomic called Runaway to the Stars, also known as "centaurs", though looking more like a cross between a praying mantis, a gazelle, and an elephant.
  • DeviantArt:
    • The Valley of Siyyon is a shared world populated entirely by centaurs. The twist is that the nonhuman half can be "any species of your choosing" and everyone must choose a unique species. This results in the population of Siyyon including a Kangaroo-taur, an Armadillo-taur, Poison Dart Frog-taur, Cassowary-taur, Sea Slug-taur. Ah, DeviantArt...
    • The Mantidae, drawn by IRIRIV, have only a superficial resemblance to mythical centaurs. In his description, they are actually a type of sentient bug that evolved from an era where birds didn't exist and insects became bigger and stronger until they changed into the first neovertebrates.
    • Member Doodle Buggy, drew many [1] pages devoted to mermaids based on the myriad marine animals of the sea beyond simple nondescript fish. Also counts as Our Mermaids Are Different.
  • Artist Frederik K T Andersson takes a different direction with his "Carcass Centaur". An undead horse mutated by a demonic spirit, its fleshless skull and neck split vertically into bony hooks which it uses to grab living humanoid hosts that it has chased down. The lower waist of the victim is then pulled into the creature's neck-maw, while the head up the upper waist is encased in its split skull. After taking control of the still-living body, the monster sustains itself by feeding on the host's life force while appearing as an undead centaur. Similar to the alien Chiron centaur above.
  • Chakats of Chakona Space. Female humanoid cat from the waist up, giant hermaphroditic cat from the waist down. The same universe also includes Skunktaurs and Stellaur Foxtaurs, which, other then the obvious species change, use the exact sort of physical arrangement.
  • A very NSFW web-game called Corruption of Champions has a Jerkass male centaur character named Kelt, who is incredibly abusive towards the player character, and a female centaur character named Edryn, a literal Hooker with a Heart of Gold who is friendly and affable whether she's working as a city guard or using her off-duty hours to prostitute herself for extra funds and her own pleasure.
  • RWBY: One of the many variants of the Creatures of Grimm is known as the Nuckelavee, a large horse-like creature with a horned humanoid fused to its back. One particular Nuckelavee was responsible for destroying Ren's hometown of Kuroyuri, only for him to finally kill it during the later part of Volume 4.
  • SCP Foundation, SCP-2869 ("Fuckworms"). SCP-2869 are approximately 3.5 meters long. Their lower half is a long muscular tail like that of a caterpillar, with four claw-like legs and two long gripping limbs in front. The upper half is a humanoid torso (with arms and head) at one end of the tail.
  • A Very Potter Sequel features Firenze as a parody of the "wise and noble" type of centaur. (The costume is half of a horse plushie sewn to the back of the actor's pants.) It also goes to explain that a plague caused all the female centaurs to go extinct, explaining why they are so rare. Firenze also states that centaurs have attempted to find suitable human mates, but all the women they have tried have been killed by accident during mating. Until they met Umbridge.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama:
    • Leela becomes one in the movie Bender's Game, as well as a Hermaphrodite Hermes who leads a pacifist army of them.
    • Centaurs also appear in New New York. In "The Luck of the Fryish" they can be found at the race tracks where they serve as both the jockey and the horse (they even whip themselves to go faster). Also a female centaur appears on the cover of a tabloid magazine in "The Thief of Baghead".
  • The girl's gym coach in Galaxy High was a centaur, who frequently pawed the ground when she was annoyed.
  • A centaurette is one of the students in Gravedale High, considered beautiful by monster standards.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • In "Headhunters" one of Mabel's ideas for a wax figure to replace the one that got melted is "part fairy princess, and part horse fairy princess!", resembling a centaur with human front legs and a horse's face sticking out of her torso.
    • In the episode "Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons", Mabel summons a "centaurtaur," which is essentially a centaur with another horse half where its human half would be.
      Stan: Mabel, I am so confused and so proud right now!
  • The Mighty Hercules: Hercules has his sidekick Newton (and, in one episode, a new more-competent centaur named Notwen).
  • Mike Tyson from Mike Tyson Mysteries assumes that Cormac McCarthy is one because he's a famed recluse. Not only did this turn out to be true, but he had wings too.
  • My Little Pony:
  • The New Adventures of He-Man had the heroic Saggitar, a member of a race of sort-of-centaurs who have hands on their forelegs. They can walk on their hind legs and use their forelegs as an extra set of arms.
  • The Simpsons :
    • One "Treehouse of Horror" episode involves Ned Flanders turning into a cow-centaur (with an udder!).
    • Another "Treehouse" episode involved Lisa first becoming a satyr, and later on a centaur.
  • Tigtone: Centaurs are horned, with 99 women to one fertile male, who can seemingly conceive with any sexually reproductive species, even males of those species. They reproduce by dissolving themselves in a lake from where the next generation soon emerges. At the end they do this with a horse and end up looking like horses with human faces and tiny arms on the end of their muzzles.
  • Wishfart has a centaur named Howie as a recurring character. He's the local mailman.

    Real Life 
  • As was humorously pointed out in Tumblr, praying mantises are basically a real life version of a centaur body-plan.
  • One theory of the origin of the centaur myth is that they were an embellished interpretation of mounted cavalry, which the proto-Greeks (or whoever the Greeks heard the story from) had never seen before.
  • In the early stages of the conquest of South America by the Spanish, horsemen were given orders to live, eat and sleep on their horses, so as to reinforce their "divine" appearance and reputation. note 
  • Speaking of horsemen, Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa was given the moniker "El Centauro del Norte" (The Centaur of the North, in English) for his impressive horse-riding skills.
  • The constellation Sagittarius, that contains the center of our galaxy, is a centaur archer. According to some interpretations, he used to be Chiron before being made into a constellation after death.
  • There's another centaur in the sky: the southern constellation of Centaurus, especially conspicuous as the nearest star to the Sun is there. Other interpretations consider it represents the aforementioned Chiron.
  • The traditional arms of King Stephen show either one or three "Sagittaries", which are usually, for some reason, depicted as being bow-bearing men to the waist conjoined to lion bodies.
  • The Centauro is a model of Italian tank destroyers, so named because it combines the main battery turret of a tank onto a swift moving wheeled chassis. This isn't that unusual for modern tank destroyers, but Centauro is unusually capable on uneven terrain or a wheeled vehicle, which helps along the analogy.
  • The French museum La Halle de la Machine has a huge mechanical bull-headed centaur which people can ride on.

 
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Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Beast With Two Backs, Centauroid Form, Centaurs

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Centaur Reproduction

After the 99 female centaurs perform their centennial mating ceremony with a horse (which they all die from), the next generation of centaurs comes out a little...off.

How well does it match the trope?

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