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Oxymoronic Being

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What do you get when you cross living fire with a fish?

Aya: By the way, you're also a living human, aren't you? Why do you work in the Netherworld?
Youmu: Me? I've never thought of that. But I'm a dead human, too, so... hmm.
Bohemian Archive in Japanese Rednote 

Starfish Aliens and Eldritch Abominations are plenty strange, but an Oxymoronic Being's mere existence is self-contradictory, like a tall dwarf or a short giant or a kind demon (in the Christian sense) or an Anthropomorphic Personification of nothing. To make one, take any two mutually exclusive characteristics; anything that somehow has both is an Oxymoronic Being.

An Elemental Embodiment of an Elemental Fusion may be this if it represents opposing elemental forces, such as fire and ice or air and earth.

For the record, no, "honest politician" and "military intelligence" don't count.

Compare and contrast the Paradox Person, whose existence actually defies the natural order. See also Hybrid-Overkill Avoidance, which aims to stop this, as well as Hybrids Are a Crapshoot, where Hybrid Overkill Avoidance is averted but not quite to this extreme. May be vulnerable to disappearing in a Puff of Logic if their self-contradictory nature is pointed out.


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  • Starburst had been running advertisements with people like this for a while; for example, an albino lifeguard or zombies as "living dead". One of them managed to be stunningly offensive by having the "contradictory" traits being Korean ancestry and Scottish nationality. It basically amounted to a painful national stereotype going off on a racist tirade against a kid. Strangely, this is one of the most commonly-run of the series of ads.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Beastars:
    • Melon is the hybrid child of a leopard and a gazelle. The resulting mix-and-match grab-bag of contradictory biology and instincts is part of why he ended up an unstable serial killer.
    • There's a minor character who is a trypophobic giraffe. She is afraid of her own reflection because she is triggered by the sight of her own spots.
  • Chainsaw Man usually follows Devil, but No God, but somehow one devil embodies the rather bizarre fear of angels. The resulting "devil angel" looks like a stereotypical (humanoid) angel, holds no ill will to humans, but doesn't really care about them either, and is a Walking Wasteland who would kill them on contact.
    • Justified, as people being terrified of angels in The Bible gave birth to the angel's introduction phrase: "Be Not Afraid", which has reached memetic status nowadays.
  • Dragon Ball Super: Near the end of the Future Trunks Saga, we're met with Fusion Zamasu, who is this trope on two levels: He's a fusion, that much is true. But the weird thing is that he's basically the fusion of the exact same being; one of his components, Goku Black is a version of Zamasu who stole Goku's body using the Super Dragon Balls. Because of this, he has an echo effect on his voice instead of his components speaking in unison like other fusions. He's also essentially an immortal who is partially mortal, as while Goku Black was mortal (since his wish was taking over Goku's body), Future Zamasu wished for Complete Immortality. This combination of paradoxes has serious effects on his battle with the heroes, though what exactly it was varied between the manga and anime. In both cases it proved to be so much of a threat that the heroes had to summon the Omni-King of that timeline to delete all reality in order to kill him.
    • Anime: Because Goku Black's body uses injury to constantly adapt and improve itself, while Zamasu's body has Complete Immortality which attempts to render his body static, Fused Zamasu becomes increasingly deformed as he takes damage, swelling in size and regenerating wounded body parts as a purple goopy mess. Eventually Trunks is able to destroy his body entirely, killing him... but this just causes him to become an even more extreme oxymoron - with Zamasu now being both immortal and dead, his distorted Healing Factor spikes to infinite levels and begins expanding his disembodied spirit until it consumes the entire multiverse.
    • Manga: His fusion has a time limit, but his two components were integrated so perfectly (especially after losing and regenerating much of their shared body while fused) that his Healing Factor became confused and interpreted splitting back into two people as an injury, causing Zamasu and Goku Black to "regenerate" into two Fused Zamasus. Things go from bad to worse as the battle continues, as it turns out that any part of his body separated from him will now regenerate into another Fused Zamasu, with no upper limit.
  • Gundam Build Fighters is a show about miniature models of giant robots. That's fine. Most of the models exist at the 1/144 scale. Where this gets weird is an episode where a Zaku model appears that dwarfs the rest, being a 1/48 scale model. This machine is part of the Mega Size Model line, but is described as a Giant Zaku...making it a giant miniature model of a giant robot.
  • Karin is basically a human vampire; she doesn't drink blood (she injects it into others instead), is unaffected by sunlight and doesn't have any cool powers, but her blood parents are vampires!
  • In Naruto, Kisame's personal amount of chakra is great enough to draw comparisons to the Tailed Beasts, and thus he has been given the oxymoronic nickname "The Tailed Beast Without a Tail".note  To make this even more hilarious, in spite of his nickname when he fuses with Samehada he does have a tail(fin), though it's possible that those don't "count" as tails in Japanese.
  • One Piece:
    • Buggy is a pirate who dresses like a clown and calls himself one, but despises comments made about his clown-like nose. Though he employs blades in combat and his powers revolve around him being immune to them, his true worth lies in his proficiency with explosives. He's a Starter Villain who actually served in one of the most infamous pirate crews in history during his youth and is now the leader of a group of people who are vastly stronger than him.
    • Señor Pink is a disgusting slob who somehow has women fawning over him, is an adult man wearing a baby bonnet and sucking on a pacifier, acts like he doesn't care for his crew mates when his actions and words say otherwise, and has the power of the Swim-Swim Fruit, which lets him swim through solid objects, even though the standard price to pay for eating a Devil Fruit is losing the ability to swim in water.
  • Tanaka-kun is Always Listless: Tanaka has put considerable time and effort into doing as little as possible. Even his attending class and dutifully doing his homework come into the equation to make things as easy for himself as he can possibly muster. One of the things that Ohta finds out about Tanaka is that his attention to detail towards this goal is surprisingly manicured, and he strikes a very delicate balance in order to laze out inconsequentially and without drawing too much attention to what he's doing. The guy excels at being a Lazy Bum.

    Card Games 
  • In Magic: The Gathering, the Izzet League's Weirds combine two opposing elements — typically a Red element such as fire, lightning or rock and Blue one such as ice or water — into a single creature. They also make great pets!
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • The Anteatereatingant is a (giant) ant that eats (regular-sized) anteaters. The somewhat-confusingly written name is supposed to be parsed as "Anteater-eating Ant". It's translated hilariously wrong in German, where it's now called "Anteating Anteater".
    • The Fire Kraken, a Fire element, Aqua type monster. Fire breathing squids seems to be a recurring theme in Japanese media.
    • The Chemicritters are similar to Fire Kraken in that their Type/Attribute combinations make little sense; Carbon Crab is a Fire Aqua Type and Oxy Ox is a Wind Beast Type, and Hydro Hawk is a Water Winged Beast Type. (While there are a few of those combinations in the game, most have an ice theme; Hydro Hawk is a bird made of fluid.) The higher-level Chemicritters make more sense, however.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Daredevil: Technically speaking, Daredevil's super senses allow him to see as well or better as a person with regular vision. So he's a blind superhero without actually being completely blind. Subverted in that these super senses basically give him omnidirectional vision - he can see in all directions at once.
    • Loki is technically a small giant, since he's the son of the Frost Giants' king and is about the same size as an average Asgardian.
    • Nightcrawler of the X-Men is a deeply pious Christian whose mutation makes him look like a demon. It helps that he has a good sense of humor about his life.
    • The Ultimates (2015) points out that Lord Chaos, an Anthropomorphic Personification of chaos, doesn't make a whole lot of sense if he's part of a balanced system with his counterpart, Master Order, and is therefore inherently weaker than his brother.
    • In their quest to find the Scarlet Witch during Avengers: The Children's Crusade, the Young Avengers are accompanied by Magneto, and Patriot half-jokingly calls him the "oldest living Young Avenger".
    • Infinity Wars (2018): The finale of the Secret Warps miniseries sees the Cosmic Flaw in Warpworld forcibly fuse characters further, resulting in the creation of Weapon Peace, who fights for both free will and rigid determinism...somehow. The disconnect is so bad, she has to cast a spell on her brain to basically surgically remove her own past!
  • Oxymoron: The Big Bad Oxymoron has a modus operandi where he "corrects" (murders) other people for being contradictory. Like a dangerous criminal who's prone to philanthropy or a police commissioner who's supporting a criminal to use as a mole and taking a pay cut for their child's school expenses. By his own logic, he himself is not an oxymoron since he strives to be pure evil. This is just in his head, however, and he'll come up with any excuse to kill someone, no matter how far-fetched or as a proxy to use against an intended victim.
  • A Tales of Suspense comic has a scientist proudly proclaim to have "created a Living Hulk!", which doesn't make a whole lot of sense — a "hulk" is the husk of a dead ship. What he meant was that he managed to revive an alien with cybernetic parts, but at that point he hardly could be considered a hulk, then, could he?note  Many other old-time Marvel monsters had similar names such as The Living Mummy, and much later we would be introduced to a Living Vampire.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird have claimed that they at first came up with the idea of the titular Turtles because they wanted to create an absurd satire and thought that "turtle" and "ninja" were pretty oxymoronic. (A turtle is a slow, clumsy creature, not one that suggests a martial artist that relies on stealth.) To their surprise, the concept turned out far better received than they thought it would.
  • A Disney Ducks Comic Universe story about beauty pageants mentions "Miss Housewife". To make it explicit, Miss technically implies unmarried, wife implies married.

    Comic Strips 
  • FoxTrot: One series has Roger purchase a mobile phone that isn't "mobile" in any sense of the word: it's about three feet tall, weighs a metaphorical ton thanks to its solid steel construction, and it has to be plugged into a wall socket for power (or if you're on the go, you can use the ten built-in cigarette lighter adapters...).
  • One The Far Side strip featured a duck who was allergic to down feathers and is covered in hives as a result. His wife remarks to a friend that he's gotten used to it as his own personal cross to bear.

    Fan Works 
  • A Hero's Wrath: When it is revealed that Izuku is the reincarnation of Gohma Vlitra and possesses the Gohma's Primordial Mantra, yet still possesses his father's Wrath Mantra, makes him equal parts Gohma and Demigod, something that confounds Kalrow beyond reason.
  • In If Wishes Were Ponies, Luna Lovegood encounters Discord in the Hogwarts Station and is given an Animagi form due to the fact that among the 43 attending Pony students heading to Hogwarts: not a single one of them were either a Night Pony or a Crystal Pony. Discord resolves this by transforming Luna Lovegood into a Crystal Night Pony: meaning that she literally sparkles in the light and has been called exceptionally beautiful, not exactly optimal for a Night Pony who are normally quite intimidating, presumably nocturnal, and dark colored as well.
  • In Thieves Can Be Heroes!, Izuku's status as a phantom thief gets discussed because of this trope. Heroes are widely recognized and popular guardians of the law. The fact that his dream of becoming a Hero is his catalyst for becoming a shifty thief who continuously subverts the law seems contradictory. But it's explained that it's his desire to become a Hero in spite of everything that says he can't is what makes his desire rebellious enough to awaken his Persona.
  • Touken Ranbu has quite a few fan works that feature female touken danshi. Touken danshi can't be female by definition.
  • In The Weaver Option, Malal, the biggest candidate to replace Slaanesh as Fourth Chaos God, represents the idea of Chaos as self-destructive: to him, the idea of Chaos gods and their followers planning and working together is the antithesis of Chaos itself. Malal thus seeks to bring anarchy to everything that could be restrictive of freedom - such as religion itself, even if it causes its own destruction.
  • Voyages of the Wild Sea Horse has Miriam, a "giant midget". Ordinary giants are 12 meters tall, minimum, and even half-giants average about 6 meters in height. Miriam, a tiger shark wotan, is only 426 centimeters tall, or just 4 and 1/4 meters. This is even odder because fishmen are known to be capable of growing as large as giants in their own right.
  • In You With Me, Stretch is a ghost, a being that's defined in the original movie as the lingering soul of someone with Unfinished Business, whose cause of death was shooting himself in the head.

    Films — Animation 
  • Ne Zha: The Chaos Pearl is a fusion of heavenly and demonic magic, and manifests as a being of fire contained within a shell of ice.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Avengers: Infinity War: Eitri, the sole surviving dwarf... who is on the order of ten feet tall, making him taller than the Hulk or Thanos, to say nothing of everybody he actually interacts with in the film. Made even better by him being played by Peter Dinklage, a very short actor who refuses to play small fantasy creatures because he finds it demeaning.

  • In Alien in a Small Town, Barney Estragon is a robot Old Order Mennonite.
  • The Belgariad: As a massive intimidation measure in one scene, Belgarath claims to be summoning the King of Hell. The illusion he creates of it appears to be a gargantuan being made of hollow ice, filled with living flames and yet impossibly not melting.
  • Confessions: To demonstrate that You Cannot Grasp the True Form, the opening juxtaposes the necessary characteristics of God that seem impossible to maintain together, like His extreme activity and extreme restfulness or His ability to cause change and His immutability.
  • The Cosmere: Harmony holds the Shards of Ruin (making him the cosmic embodiment of destruction) and Preservation (making him the cosmic embodiment of permanence and protection). As a result, despite being the most powerful being in the Cosmere, he can barely do anything since Preservation won't let him destroy and Ruin won't let him keep anything from being destroyed... which of course makes him a contradiction in that sense, too. The fact that he's got the general demeanour of a Grandpa God while also being a eunuch might also count.
  • Discworld:
    • Due to his being adopted, Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson is a dwarf who stands at 6 feet 3 inches in his socks. The other dwarfs accept him as one of them because he is devoutly observant of their traditions and even tries to teach his girlfriend to speak Dwarfish. He's just a tall dwarf.
    • Bloody Stupid Johnson can create circles where "the pi is exactly 3". Pi (the ratio of diameter to circumference) is, by definition, always 3.14159265358979323846264338 and a bit. The only way to make this possible is to imagine a circle being drawn in a non-euclidean 2D world. Even in a non-Euclidean world, pi stays the same. The ratio of circumference and diameter of circle is not fixed in non-Euclidean geometry, but it converges to pi (with its regular value) for small radii. His architecture is very weird as a result. He also created a thirteen-inch foot. A foot is, by definition, 12 inches, and if something is thirteen inches long, then it must be an inch greater than a foot ... unless, apparenlty, you're Bloody Stupid Johnson. And he achieved all this stuff by accident; he was so bad at maths that it warped spacetime.
    • There are also occasional mentions in the Discworld of mystics who can see "four-sided triangles" when they meditate.
    • Some werewolves are born without the ability to transform, making them indistinguishable from a human or a wolf except for any offspring they have still being werewolves since they are still biologically werewolves even if they don't fit the definition of werewolf.
    • Vimes is noted by Vetinari to be very anti-authority (growing up poor then having to deal with the Upper Class Twits of Ankh-Morpork on a daily basis will do that to you) even though, as Commander of the Watch, he is authority.
    • Openly female dwarves like Cheery Littlebottom are originally treated as oxymoronic (since every dwarf regardless of gender — they all have beards, by the way — is treated as both genderless and male, itself a bit of an oxymoron), but that begins to change as the series and the society progresses.
    • Neilette in The Last Continent joins a troupe of Drag Queens in her brother's place, so she's a female female impersonator (-impersonator).
    • The God of Evolution in The Last Continent and The Science of Discworld III sort of embodies evolution, but he's actually creating living beings from nowhere, the opposite of their being evolved.
    • The Auditors of Reality are roughly the personification of natural law, which comes pretty close to being personifications of impersonality — and if they weren't that already, they try really hard to be it because they hate personality and think individuality means death. This causes them to frequently disappear in a puff of flawed logic, just from accidentally using first-person singular.
  • The Divine Comedy: Saint Bernard opens up the final canto by referring to Mary as the "Virgin Mother, daughter of your Son." The theological strangeness of Mary has never been so concisely put as in this opening prayer by her greatest devotee.
  • Dragon Bones has Oreg, who is a solid ghost. He can vanish and materialize himself elsewhere and all that, but when someone touches him feels solid like a normal human being. And he isn't entirely dead, either. It's very complicated.
  • At the end of Canto X of The Faerie Queene's third book, Malbecco becomes a being both alive and dead, sustained by deadly poisons that eat away at his life while barely sustaining him.
  • A recurring note in Lord of the Rings is the title of the world's tallest hobbit — hobbits being the shortest beings in Middle-Earth. Bandobras Took held the record for a while at four foot five, which Merry and Pippin surpass after drinking ent-draught.
  • In The Lost Years of Merlin, Shem in the first book is a tiny person (even shorter than child Merlin) who claims he is a giant. This is confirmed when Shem sacrifices himself to destroy the Cauldron of Death to save Merlin. He immediately comes back to life and starts getting bigger and bigger... It turns out he was born to giants, but apparently had dwarfism.
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Jack's paradoxical nature is actually a plot point; a weapon that was designed to not be used as a weapon, a sword that's most effective when he's let go rather than held.
  • The Phantom Tollbooth:
    • Milo meets an average-looking man who claims to be "the smallest giant in the world", who lives next door to "the tallest midget in the world", the thinnest fat man and the fattest skinny guy. They're all the same guy.
    • Canby, warden of the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), is among other things smart as can be and stupid as can be.
    • The triple demons of Compromise are described as "one fat, one thin, and a third exactly like the other two" — the illustrations show it as fat in part of its body and skinny in another part — as a representation of why the Golden Mean Fallacy is often logically incoherent.
  • Thursday Next's daughter's boyfriend is, like her, a mathematical genius who discovered a three-digit prime number which is even. That is, a number where the only divisors are itself and 1, but which can also be divided by 2. Since Thursday's entire world Runs on Nonsensoleum, this is pretty typical.
  • In Witch Week, a novel by Diana Wynne Jones, Simon unintentionally turns himself into one while under a "Simon Says" spell that makes everything he says true. He first claims that he doesn't know anything, then mindlessly repeats a teacher who says he's not that much of a fool, resulting in him being both stupid and clever at the same time.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Galavant: One episode has Galavant getting caught up in a clash between a tribe of very tall dwarves and a tribe of very short giants. They're two bunches of guys of average height and not even they can keep track of who is which.
  • Kamen Rider Build rides on this logic. The theme of Build's forms are one half "inorganic" and one half "organic" in general (for example, Build's default RabbitTank form), somehow causing a "Best Match" that allows the two halves to work off each other's qualities.
  • Brain Guy/Observer from the later seasons of Mystery Science Theater 3000 is this. He claims to be an evolved being (specifically, a brain in a pan carried around by a "host body"), but in practice, his "powers" barely do anything. At one point, he even goes "I'm not that omnipotent, Pearl."
  • Weird Science: In one episode, Gary and Wyatt ask Lisa to make them into vampires so that they can invoke Vampires Are Sex Gods (or at any rate become cool enough to be admitted inside a nightclub). She points out they probably don't want to start feeding on the innocent, so they ask her to make them into vampires that don't suck blood at all. She does.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place has the character Hugh Normous, a "giant" that is between Alex and Justin's height and uses miniature versions of everyday items to help his self-esteem. It's later revealed that Hugh is a normal wizard that was adopted by giant parents. Funny enough, he is quite taller than his biological parents.

  • "Weird Al" Yankovic: 'I Can't Watch This' mentions a "Transexual Nazi Eskimo". The outdated and offensive terminology by today's standards makes the intentional and absurd self-contradiction even more egregious.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Undead, in all of their various forms. Despite the fact that they are dead and shouldn't be able to do anything but rot in their graves, they somehow can still interact with the living. This contradictory nature is also what makes them such formidable foes. Not even death itself could stop them. What makes you think the heroes can? Undead that heal themselves quickly or even regenerate (common in video games and RPGs) make even less sense. How exactly can something that's dead heal? Then you start wondering how they can eat (do their digestive tracts even work?) see, hear, and all of a sudden the whole concept makes no sense at all. One possible response would be saying they are no longer dead, but they only used to be, and they're alive once more (albeit in a different form).
  • Christianity:
    • The doctrine of the Trinity states that God is one god, and yet also three persons simultaneously. No one's entirely certain just how that works, and no one's supposed to, either; that's why it's called a divine mystery. Everyone who's tried to make sense of it has, without fail, been condemned for heresy by the orthodoxy — see Arianism for one of the big ones.
    • Nearly all Christians accept that Jesus is both fully God and fully man. How exactly that works is an argument that has been ongoing for nearly a millenium and a half (between the Chalcedonian positionnote  that Jesus is one person with two natures, one human and one divine, held in "hypostatic union"; and the Miaphysite positionnote  that Jesus has one person of one nature that is both entirely human and entirely divine, without either nature "overwhelming" the other). The possibility that these formulations are different ways of saying the same thing was raised relatively recently (i.e. during the 20th century); until then, Chalcedonians and Miaphysites each regarded each other as heretics (and technically still do, since neither side has formally accepted this compromise).
    • The philosopher Søren Kierkegaard thought that God becoming human was such a perfect oxymoron that it made a great target for faith that was specifically not based on reason.
    • Both the Incarnation and Trinity, mentioned earlier, have been argued as being contradictions, thus logically impossible. Other attributes of God have also been argued to be incompatible, such as being perfect vs. a creator (a perfect being has no reason to create things), changeless vs. omniscient (a changeless being cannot know things different times, but it's required for omniscience), transcendent vs. omnipresent (a transcendent being must be outside space-time, but an omnipresent being must be everywhere), and the limits of being "all-powerful" (can an all-powerful being do something that would negate its own complete power where by not doing so would also void its power, i.e. "Could God make a rock so big He couldn't lift it?") to name a few of them. Responses have been made of course, and new arguments after that, so the debate continues.
    • The Book of Job makes mention of the Myrmecoleon, a half-ant half-lion creature. The ant part can only consume grain and the lion part can only eat meat, thus the Myrmecoleon is doomed to starve to death. The monster is supposed to be product of a mistranslation found in the Septuagint (First Greek translation) of the Old Testament, from the Book of Job.
  • In Classical Mythology, the hippogriff is half horse and half griffin. However, since griffins hate horses and attack them on sight, it's hard to imagine how this could happen. That was the point, originally. The Roman poet Virgil referred to the birth of hippogriffs alongside several other Cue the Flying Pigs-style metaphors for things that couldn't happen in real life, akin to "the lion shall lie down with the lamb" or "dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!"
  • In medieval heraldry, there are many imaginary beasts composed by mixing up two unlikely animals. This is possibly based on the concept of splitting a shield down the middle and having half of each noble family's device on each half of the shield.
  • In Norse Mythology: Alviss, a 5'9" giant. A giant dwarf. Norse mythology also includes "giants" who are portrayed as being of rather ordinary size, like Loki. Bear in mind, the identification of Norse "dvergar" and "jötnar" with "dwarves" and "giants" is most likely a product of later writers who were not themselves Norse pagans.
  • In the Yoruba mythology, the supreme god is composed of three separate entities (Olodumare, Olorun and Olofi) who despite having separate roles are considered the same being. Further adding to the confusion is that unlike Jesus, it/they aren't given any sort of personification, as beyond their roles and names the three supreme being aspects are considered "unknowable" and are properly referred to as an "it" with no gender pronouns, as it is considered the "all-encompassing" aspect of existence.
  • The common Parody Religion known as the "Invisible Pink Unicorn": If it's always invisible, what does it even mean it's pink? (It's a combination of reason and faith: we know that she is invisible because we can't see her, but we believe that she is pink.) Also the Invisible Red String of Fate, which is one of the things the Invisible Pink Unicorn references.
  • The ancient Epicureans argued that centaurs could not exist (the belief in them was common at the time, and they also appear in many myths) since, if you really think about it, they make no sense. How could a man eat what a horse needs? Along with that, how does their body even work, since they have two stomachs? Etc.
  • The mythical cockatrice worked along these lines. In medieval thought, everything was assumed to have a final purpose and to happen for a reason and along certain preordained lines. Every part of a cockatrice's origin story, however, defies or breaks this order. It hatches from a rooster's egg; roosters don't lay eggs. Its egg is missing some integral part, such as a yolk or a shell. It's then hatched by a snake or a toad; animals don't brood each other's eggs.note  A cockatrice is thus the warped result of natural laws breaking down and things happening that never should, and the creature is as a result a Walking Wasteland completely incompatible with the natural world.note 

  • Communication: Louise is described as a "series of dichotomies", a fact she is all too aware about herself.
    Benevolence: Immensely proud with nothing of her own to be proud about. A wonderful person to know well and an awful person to know of. Desperately lonely but instinctively refusing contact with others. She was made this way, as you probably know and she is difficult to work with but if you can get her to listen...

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Spelljammer has enormous hamsters living between the worlds, appropriately known as giant space hamsters. There's also a lesser-known tiny variety, the miniature giant space hamster, which for most intents and purposes is merely a hamster. They're best known for appearing in Baldur's Gate, in which Minsc has one as a pet. (For a long time, this was in the category of Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane, but Baldur's Gate III makes it explicitly on the "magic" end.)
    • Planescape: The xeg-yi is a strange creature native to the Negative Energy Plane, a dimension of, well, negative energy, something associated with death. Most inhabitants of the plane are undead, but the xeg-yi is explicitly a living creature somehow composed of "unlife" energy, something even its introductory sourcebook points out as contradictory. It has a counterpart in the xag-ya, a similar creature native to the Positive Energy Plane, which doesn't make much sense for a different reason: a living being shouldn't be able to have that much individuality in a plane that is life incarnate.
    • From 3rd edition onward, "Giant" is a creature type, which is independent from size. Although most giants are at least of Large size, it is perfectly possible to have Medium-sized giants not much bigger than humans (notably, half-giants and forest trolls). Similarly, fire giants are described as looking like giant dwarves in terms of their body proportions.
    • Third edition also mechanizes Made of Evil/Good/Law/Chaos by making it a creature subtype. Just ascending/falling (rare but possible and given examples on both sides) doesn't remove the subtype despite your alignment now being opposite of whatever it is, and the subtype makes you count as that alignment for many effects, with the result that fallen celestials and ascended fiends metaphysically are and detect as both good and evil (fortunately for both, there are rituals to go full celestial/fiend and switch the subtype, and just sticking it out for long enough is implied by some devil backstories to be enough too).
    • On the subject of outsiders, slaadi are toad-like humanoids from the Ever-Changing Chaos of Limbo who embody the Chaotic Neutral alignment. However, since total randomness has the paradoxical potential to create order and structure, a slaadi subtype known as gormeel have the Lawful Neutral alignment instead. Naturally, the two kindreds spend their time killing each other.
    • Elementals aren't alive in a conventional sense, yet there are somehow undead elementals. Cinderspawn are undead fire elementals, creatures of cold flame that attack the living to drain their warmth. Desiccators were once water elementals, but are now shriveled, parched little horrors that can blast other creatures with a dehydrating breath. Dust wights are former earth elementals, crumbling creatures that petrify things around them. And voidwraiths were once air elementals, but are now defined by air's absense, living patches of shadowy vacuum that suck the breath from living creatures' lungs.
    • Similarly, outsiders — beings from the Outer Planes, such as angels or demons — tend to be incarnations of their home plane's essence, and so can't normally be raised from the dead, and don't normally leave bodies behind when destroyed. But when the demon prince Orcus was slain, he somehow returned as Tenebrous, an undead demon, and threatened the cosmos in that form before being defeated and fully restored to life.
    • In fourth edition's Elemental Chaos, which replaces the strictly defined mono-elemental Elemental Planes of previous editions, it's normal to find two or more elements merged into a singular mass, or an element acting in strange ways (solid water, liquid air and earth, fire that burns cold, etc). Due to this, the 4e bestiary includes myriad elementals which are oxymoronic hybrids, such as the ashfrost (burning hot ashes and freezing cold ice mixed into a single ooze-like organism), the chillfire destroyer (fire held within a a shell of ice and prone to exploding upon death) and the diamondstorm (razor-sharp gems in a living whirlwind).
  • In Exalted, the Yozi Oramus is the embodiment of paradox. Cytherea is the first of the Primordials to awaken, yet when she did, Oramus basically said, "What took you so long? I thought you'd never wake up."
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay:
    • 1st edition features one of the most oxymoronic of beings: Necoho, the Chaos God... of Atheism. Who gets less powerful the more followers he has, and actively works towards spreading skepticism and disbelief. Going by the fact his hypothetical avatar would always bear a smirk of ironic amusement, he probably finds this oxymoronic existence hilarious.
    • Malal/Malice is a Chaos God whose ultimate goal is the annihilation of Chaos itself.

  • The Fates of Hadestown are described as three old women all dressed the same when they're young, dressed anywhere from asymmetrically to radically different from each other, and aren't always played by women. This is done deliberately to show them as otherworldly voices-in-the-head as much as characters.

  • Transformers: Action Masters are Transformers who are unable to transform after consuming Nucleon. Then there are Action Master Elites, who can still transform, making them Transformers that can't transform which can transform. There's something not quite right about any of that.
  • Monster High: In the Freaky Fusion line and associated movie, four pairs of the ghouls get fused together. One of the fusions is between Lagoona, a Sea Monster, and Jinafire, a fire-breathing Draconic Humanoid.

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate: Minsc has a pet hamster named Boo whom he claims is a Miniature Giant Space Hamster. The strange thing is, this isn't impossible. Giant Space Hamsters do exist in Dungeons & Dragons (albeit in Spelljammer, which also has things like civilized Illithids, although it and the Forgotten Realms are connected), and one of the myriad subspecies engineered by their Bungling Inventor creators is a miniaturized strain. It's still more likely that this is just another sign of Minsc's mental instability due to taking one too many blows to the head.note 
  • The Battle Cats has special "Lil'" versions of the standard cats you get during the begining stages. Among these standard cats you get the Titan Cat. Which means you can get a "Lil' Titan Cat", which is barely taller than the normal cat.
  • In the second installment of the Boktai series, Red Durathror is a Sol-aligned Immortal — in short, a vampire associated with the Power of the Sun. Ironically, this makes her weak to the Darkness element — and at the point in the game where she's faced, the protagonist has just been changed into a Dhampyr with Darkness-based abilities.
  • Borderlands 2 features goliaths, a kind of Giant Mook, and midget enemies, which are Exactly What It Says on the Tin. You will eventually encounter midget goliaths. Depending on what you do, you could well get your ass handed to you by a Giant Midget of Death.
  • In Discworld II, a poster outside the cinema advertises Attack of the 50-Foot Dwarf.
  • Dwarf Fortress features Forgotten Beasts, creatures created by primordial chaos. In-game, they're created by randomly mixing any animals, materials, limbs, and strange attacks. Sometimes this can result in paradoxial creatures, the most famous being the "six-legged quadrupednote ."
  • Fate/Grand Order features Jeanne d'Arc Alter Santa Lily, a "Lily" (younger and idealized) version of an "Alter" (darker Alternate Self) Servant. The goodness of the "Lily" part of her overrides the darkness that comes with being an Alter, resulting in her being a regular sweet kid.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: The Ascian Elidibus is a person who is heavily aspected towards darkness and not just because he is the heart of Zodiark, the GOD of Darkness.. So what is the form he chooses to take to strike down the Warrior of Light in their final battle? The form of the ORIGINAL Warrior of Light, representing the aspect that is diametrically opposed to Darkness.
  • In God of War (PS4), it's mentioned at one point that not all of the Giants are actually gigantic in size. Atreus aka Loki for example is the same size as any other little boy despite being half-Giant on his mother's side.
  • Kingdom Hearts: The members of Organization XIII are Nobodies, people without hearts, who by all rights of the rules of the series, they should not exist, and yet are able to do so through sheer force of will (with a good dose of Nothingness).
  • League of Legends has Vex, a perpetually gloomy yordle. To explain, yordles are magical spirits born out of and personifying happiness and companionship, but Vex is a major exception as she's almost completely incapable of feeling either, confused and disgusted by joy and preferring to sulk on her lonesome. This ends up making her instrumental to the return of Viego, the Ruined King, as she's the only known yordle who wields magic and doesn't at all mind using it for apocalyptic purposes.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons: Frypolar is a spirit of burning fire and chilling cold, and alternates between these opposite states during its battle.
  • The Monster Girl Quest series has a few monsters who worship Ilias, a goddess who hates monsters. In Monster Girl Quest: Paradox, this even alters their elemental weaknesses: Ilias-worshipping monsters are weak to Dark instead of Holy like other monsters.
  • Persona:
    • Ryoji and Teddie from Persona 3 and Persona 4. Shadows are described as the subconscious opposite of human conscious in the games and various official materials, yet Ryoji and Teddie somehow manage to be Shadows with a human heart.
    • In Persona 5, Morgana swears that he's human and fights to "regain his human form" and his memories to go with it — but he keeps having dreams that imply that he's a shadow of some kind, similar to the above. In the end, it turns out that he isn't a shadow, but he isn't human either - he is the embodiment of hope that was somehow given a human-like heart and has a nature that is similar to, but not the same as, a shadow.
  • Pokémon: It's not uncommon for dual-typed Pokémon to combine seemingly opposed types.
    • Ferroseed and Ferrothorn are Grass/Steel types. Plants are organic while metal armour generally isn't, especially among plants. Kartana is also this type, although being an Ultra Beast, it makes more sense for it to have a conflicting type.
    • Durant has a Bug/Steel typing. This presents the same problem as Ferrothorn, but you could probably hand wave it as exoskeleton. What you can't ignore, however, is that it evolved its Steel shell to protect itself from its long-time rival Heatmor. Both Bug and Steel types are weak to fire.
    • Mawile, Klefki, Magearna and Zacian in its Crowned Form are Steel/Fairy types. Fairy types are weak to steel, but these ones are made of it. The Tinkatink line has the same types, though more justified in that they're less made of steel, and more a fairy hauling around an increasingly huge steel hammer.
    • The Dark-type has long been thought to be the polar opposite of the Psychic-Type, being immune to Psychic attacks with Dark attacks being Super Effective against Psychic Pokémon. Behold Inkay and its evolved form, Malamar, the first dual-type Dark/Psychic Pokémon, introduced in Pokémon X and Y. Of course, this little guy seems to be all about opposites, called the Revolving Pokémon, with an ability called Contrary (moves that lower its stats increase it instead, and vice versa), and attacks with names like Topsy-Turvy and Switcheroo. The craziest part? In order for it to evolve when it reaches the right level, you have to hold the game system (yes, the one you're holding to play the game) upside-down.
    • Regular Stunfisk is Ground/Electric. Electric-type moves have no effect against Ground-type Pokémon, and the nullification of latent electricity is called grounding.
    • There is a glitch Pokémon referred to in the community as "Invisible Shiny Bulbasaur". Similar to the Invisible Pink Unicorn above, how can you know that it's shiny if it's invisible? (the answer is that shiny Pokémon have sparkles surround them when they appear; the Pokémon is invisible, but the sparkles aren't!)
    • Gligar, Gliscor and both forms of Landorus are Ground/Flying. Ground-type moves have no effect against Flying-types.
    • The Fairy type was introduced in Generation VI to serve as The Dragonslayer type, being super-effective against and immune to a former Game-Breaker. Then Altaria received a Mega Evolution, which is Dragon/Fairy. Humorously, this also gives Mega Altaria a double type advantage against other Dragon-types, as Dragon-type moves are also super effective against Dragon.
    • Larvesta and Volcarona are Bug/Fire — moths that can survive being drawn to a flame.
    • Volcanion is Fire/Water type. Reasonably enough, it's basically an incarnation of steam and geysers.
    • Galarian Weezing is Poison/Fairy, thus representing both corruption (Poison) and purity (Fairy).
    • Galarian Darmanitan hidden ability gives it a Zen Mode that is Ice/Fire type, being a direct contrast of two temperature elements. It's shaped like a snowman with fire coming out where its carrot nose would usually be.
    • The Mix-and-Match Critter Fossil Pokémon from Galar have a couple very unfortunate cases of this. The Fossils of Galar are broken into top halves of birds and fish and bottom halves of dragons and aquatic dinosaurs; the Galarian 'expert' in fossil revival is Cara Liss, who will take any top and bottom you give her, throw them in her machine, and assume the result was a prehistoric Pokémon.
      • Dracovish has the head of an ancient fish and the body of a land-based dragon. Its legs give it +40mph running speeds on land, but its head is incapable of breathing unless it's underwater. So what we have is a high-speed sprinter that can't breathe.
      • Arctozolt has the upper body of a primitive bird or raptor-like creature and the lower body of an aquatic reptile that lives in cold climates. Its upper body is constantly suffering hypothermia due to the cold its lower body produces and it is very sluggish because it waddles around on flippers that are more suited for swimming.
    • The Impidimp line is a line of Dark/Fairy-type Pokémon, which subverts this. A prominent element of the Fairy type is light and goodness, while the Dark-type is associated with, more so than literal darkness, underhanded and amoral behaviornote . However, there are also elements of The Fair Folk; Impidimp and its evolutions are based on malignant fae.
    • Hisuian Zorua and Zoroark are Normal/Ghost, two types that are immune to each other. Ghost-types generally revolve around incorporeal spirits, possessed objects, or representations of the dead. Normal-types, meanwhile, are usually rooted in mundanity of some description. Hisuian Zorua and Zoroark are the spirits of migrant Zorua and Zoroark that have come to Hisui, been killed by raw nature, and been reborn out of sheer malice, thus combining mundane emotions and the power of the dead.
    • Scovillain is a Fire/Grass type, justifying itself by its composition being just that spicy.
    • Paradox Pokemon Sandy Shocks is a prehistoric version of Magneton, itself a Mechanical Lifeform. It's also Ground/Electric, the same type combination that qualifies regular Stunfisk for this trope (and the introduction of Sandy Shocks makes regular Stunfisk no longer the only Ground/Electric Pokemon in existence).
    • Of particular note is Walking Wake, a past Paradox Pokémon, meaning its Protosynthesis ability increases its best stat in sunlight. But it’s a Water type, and Water moves are normally weakened by this weather condition. But Walking Wake has a move, Hydro Steam, that is itself oxymoronic; a Water move that gets a power-up in harsh sunlight when other Water-type moves are weakened.
  • Scribblenauts: Adjectives can be used to modify summoned creatures, which can result in fairly odd creations. Want to summon a Tiny Giant? A Pacifistic Terrorist? A Gentle Demon? A Vegetarian Cannibal? A Genius Dunce? An Aquaphobic Fish? A Friendly Cthulhu? It's all possible.
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne presents the Demi-fiend as one. As a Messiah, he holds the power to liberate humanity and guide them to a better future. However, as a Fiend, he is destined to bring an end to all that exists. This gets implied in the DLC of Apocalypse, where the Demi-fiend has followed the True Demon ending, where he becomes a pure demon and allies with Lucifer. As Stephen only helps Messiahs, whose actions are in humanity's best interests, it becomes a point of confusion for many players.
  • Splatoon: The Inklings and Octolings are evolved sea creatures that dissolve in water, being living ink blots and all. For an extra layer of oxymoron, their cultures are so stylish and fashion-forward that areas like lake/seaside buildings and clothes designed for swimming are completely normal for them.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Horseless Headless Horsemann, a headless horseman(n) with a makeshift head and no horse.
  • Temtem: A few species are described as such in the Tempedia:
    • Pupoise, a Digital and Nature type, is a meeting of nature and advanced circuitry. It evolves into Loatle, a Liminal Being that straddles the line between natural and artificial intelligence.
    • Turoc, a Wind and Earth type, is described as a rock on wings, a meeting of opposites that should be impossible.
  • Touhou:
  • Undertale: Inside Temmie Village, there is one Temmie who is allergic... to Temmies. Immediately after saying this, they break out in "hOIVS!"
  • World of Warcraft: The backstory reveals that humans are oxymoronic beings since, they are heavily implied to be corrupted Vrykul, a species of Viking-like beings who are themselves a stunted offshoot of giants. In other words, humans are miniature giants.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • asdfmovie: A very short sketch stars two apparently normal men, one of whom then claims to be a "very tall midget".

    Web Comics 
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja:
    • Dr. McNinja's calling as both killer and healer is so contradictory his soul is literally split in two.
    • Benjamin Franklin's clone becomes a headless horseman, but he manages to avoid the horse and keep his head on for a fairly long time.
  • Axe Cop:
    • The vampire man baby kid. What age is he again? (The illustration shows him as having body parts of different ages.) In addition to this, he's a sun vampire. Vampires are supposed to be afraid of the sun, not fly right into it.
    • Axe Cop himself in his capacity as the perfect man who's a perfect match for all women in the universe (and also doesn't like girls). When he's looking for a wife, he goes to get scanned in a love scanner to find out what women are the closest match for him. But since he's a perfect match for everyone, he just gets a random, indefinitely long list of women. So it's natural that he meets women he doesn't like, since they're just randomly chosen. So because he's a perfect match for all women, he ends up meeting women who aren't right for him...
    • Mr. Stocker, the Super Hero with no powers. Well, sure, there are plenty of superheroes that don't actually have powers, but he also doesn't wear a costume, and he's not a Badass Normal or any kind of badass. He's exaggeratedly ordinary in every respect and dies immediately. Twice.
    • The hero Sockarang gains the powers of Bad Santa and becomes... good bad Santa.
  • Darths & Droids:
    • In episode 21, Sally makes up the details about the queen of Naboo: She's an elected queen who's old and wise as well as fourteen years old. With the "old" part removed, of course, this matches the way the character was described in the original.
    • Kyle Katarn's neutral partisans in the "Butch Cassian and the Sundance Droid" (Rogue One) campaign. From the cast page: "Kyle Katarn is a neutral partisan leader. His partisans refuse to take sides in the ongoing conflict between the Empire and the Rebellion. He is not concerned whether this is consistent with the definition of 'partisan' or not."
  • Homestuck: GCATavrosprite is 50% cat, 50% someone who's allergic to cats.
  • Himself from Kill Six Billion Demons. According to the internal logic of the universe, Devils exist in one of two forms. In their primal form, devils are unnamed, unbound and unmasked; mindless Eldritch Abominations devoid of anything but the pure need to feed. By being summoned and bound by others, they are named, bound and masked, at which point they take on a form, gain sentience and the ability to form memories. Bound Devils live to collect names (through Deals With Humans), with a Fantastic Caste System where a Devil's power and mask colour is tied to how many names they have collected and shed from themselves; the most powerful Bound Devils have only a few, high-tier names for themselves while lower-caste ones have a large collection they haven't been able to sieve through for the really good ones yet; the most powerful ones have only one name, which is their own. Then there's Himself. His name is, well, "Myself". In other words, he appears to be a Devil who has named and bound himself, an oxymoron since Devils inherently lack the sentience to do that. However it is that he achieved that, it was such a violation of the rules of reality it just severed him from all the other rules, turning him into a casual Reality Warper.
  • League of Super Redundant Heroes has licensed vigilantes, Defendress being one of them. Vigilantes, by definition, have no legal authority, so if you started licensing them, they would no longer be vigilantes.
  • In Oglaf, Ivan has never actually had sex, but has found himself involved in non-penetrative sex acts (blowjobs, massages, etc) with a great deal of regularity. For this reason, one group labels him a "virgin harlot."
  • The Order of the Stick: An exchange invokes this when two characters witness a battle between an evil druid turned into a bear and the dwarf Durkon, who used magic to turn giant.
    Police Chief: So, the giant bear is...
    Julia: Evil.
    Police Chief: And the giant dwarf is...
    Julia: An oxymoron.
  • Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan features a Christian fairy. That is, a member of The Fair Folk — very much associated with paganism, including in-universe, and rather resentful for the encroachment of the new faith — who converted to the Christian religion.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:
    • Handi-man is a quadraplegic superhero with the power to move like an able-bodied person.
    • One strip shows the Nothingverse, an alternate universe where it is impossible for anything to exist. This did not prevent sapient life forms from emerging there. Spoofed in the Alt Text.
      Entity 1: What are we, anyway?
      Entity 2: Shhh...
    • A Buddhist monk protestor. Don't think that's oxymoronic? Consider his sign:
      What do we want?
      An end to the feeling of desire!
      When do we want it?
      Time is a delusion.
    • A strip about a pedantic pirate points out that the pirate talk phrase "scurvy dog" refers to an oxymoronic being, because scurvy is vitamic C deficit and dogs generate their own vitamin C.
  • Terror Island: The Obvious Dentist, a super villain whose power is that everyone knows he's a dentist. He's not a dentist, but everyone still knows he is.
  • In Tower of God, "Chosen Regulars" are those who have been chosen to ascend the Tower, and "Unchosen Irregulars" are Paradox Persons who enter the Tower from the outside without being chosen. However, an Irregular could still climb the Tower in the status of a Regular, such as in the case of the protagonist Baam. That makes such a person both Regular and Irregular, Chosen and Unchosen, having both a status defined by the Tower's rules and another one defined by defying them.

    Web Original 
  • Chuck Norris Facts: Chuck Norris holds every record in the Guinness Book of World Records, which means, among other things, he's a planet, a pizza, a spider, and a distance.
  • Japanese Twitter came up with the paradoxal concept of "Yuri BL" (that is to say, Yaoi that is Yuri), defined sporadically as either a relationship between two Uke archetypes or two male characters with a romantic arc matching ones commonly found in yuri. The yuri fans didn't like their term being co-opted (along with the Unfortunate Implications of bottom = "the woman"), so they made their own equally paradoxal concept: "BL Yuri", a lesbian relationship matching stock yaoi plots or one between two tachi.
  • SCP Foundation: Pattern Screamers are things that exist despite being nothing. The nothing is fine as long as it's left to non-existence, but human minds have a tendency to see patterns where none exist, and when confronted with Nothing, that is what they do, giving non-existence an existence as this pattern they see. This is why they scream, and why they're so dangerous; they try to destroy the minds forcing them to exist (i.e. people who know about them) so they can go back to non-painful nonexistence. Pattern Screamers can gain a complete existence with time, but this is an extremely painful process and most don't bother or don't realize that existence can not hurt. At least one Pattern Screamer has gone through with this completion and decided to integrate with human society by becoming a VTuber.

    Web Videos 
  • JourneyQuest features Carrow, the Undead Cleric... of an undead-hating god. (Not his fault, it was a botched resurrection spell.) Notably, he has to be careful when using his Turn Undead power, lest he'd affect himself....
  • In Jreg's Centricide, there's the Anarcho-Monarchist, who wants both anarchy and an absolute monarchy.
  • Steam Train gives us Dinkles, who's both a nerd and a Jerk Jock.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The spider-fly, which commonly gets caught in its own web. It's noted in the creator commentary as "the most paradoxical animal in the world of Avatar."
    • There is also the two-headed rat viper. This is used by the Air Nomads as an analogy of consequences of anger: "Revenge is like a Two-Headed Rat Viper; while you watch your enemy go down, you are poisoned yourself."
  • Ben 10: In one of his many attempts to understand it, Ben pulls off the Omnitrix's faceplate, causing it to glitch out and combine his alien forms whenever he transforms. The final hybrid transformation is one between Heatblast (living magma) and Ripjaws (a fish), which Dr. Animo laughs at and refers to as a "walking fish fry". Needless to say, the Heatblast part dries out the Ripjaws part, and going underwater to let the Ripjaws part breathe extinguishes the Heatblast part. Even so, Ben somehow managed to balance the hybrid form and save the day anyway.
  • Danny Phantom: Danny Fenton and his Arch-Enemy Vlad Masters are both "Halfas", Ghost/Human hybrids that are both alive and dead at the same time.
  • Drawn Together:
    • Amongst Captain Hero's Rogues Gallery is The Gigantic Midget. He looks just like a normal guy wearing small clothes.
      Gigantic Midget: You've never faced a midget as big as me!
    • There's also the Jewish Conservative Pro Life Born Again Overweight Asian Indian Homophobic Lesbian Broad Who Cuts Herself.
  • Futurama:
  • Justice League Action combines this with Hoist by His Own Petard; Calythos absorbs Martian Manhunter's abilities, including the latter's weakness to fire. Problem is, Calythos is made of fire, so the fight ends pretty quickly from there.
  • Justice League Unlimited:
    • The episode "Dark Heart" features The Atom versus a giant nanomachine.
      Atom: He's bigger than my car now, Katie. Personally, I blame you.
    • Another episode has Solomon Grundy come Back from the Dead (long story), and when Green Lantern tells Vixen about it ("Funny thing is, he's supposed to be dead!"), she points out "Aren't all zombies, by definition, dead?" GL isn't quite sure how to respond to that.
  • The Life and Times of Juniper Lee: In one episode, June meets a giant ("You know, a giant," he said, "as in fee, fi, foe, fum?") who is only three feet tall. June gets a laugh out of it at first, but it really isn't funny to the poor guy; his condition has caused him to be the subject of ridicule all his life by the other giants. (June tries to make a growing potion for him, but suffice to say, things go a little haywire.)
  • Rick and Morty:
    • Abrodolph Lincoler, a being Rick created by mixing the DNA of Abraham Lincoln and Adolf Hitler. His idea was to create a morally neutral superleader. Instead, he created a being who is constantly feeling cognitively dissonant and morally confused about his very conflicting ideas (for example, believing in the emancipation of African-Americans, but also believing in eradicating inferior genes).
    • There's also the Sperm Queen, a female example of an inherently male cell.
  • Robot Chicken had a spoof of Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever movies called Attack of the Giant Midget. Said giant midget was about 6'5"... which is pretty tall, for a midget.
  • Sabrina and The Groovie Goolies: In a song about how "noises are the strangest things in the world," one of the reasons give for their strangeness is that they're things that can scare you but you can't even see them. However, during the accompanying animation, Hagatha accidentally creates a being that is implied to be an embodied noise — making it also a visible noise.
  • Sheep in the Big City has military characters with Punny Names that are usually oxymorons: General Specific, Private Public, Major Minor (who is a baby) and Corporal Ethereal (a hippy).
  • The Simpsons: In one episode, Bart and Lisa are watching a new McBain movie where the action heroes' latest foes are "Commie Nazis". This would suggest a combination of Communism and Fascism, which are actually on completely opposite sides of the political spectrum. (Of course, the McBain movies tend to push the boundaries of belief even more than usual for the show as a whole.)
  • South Park has the Mexican Staring Frog of Southern Sri Lanka.
  • In Steven Universe, every type of Gem has a power unique to that type. When Gems are born with defects of some sort (Off-Colors), this trope is usually the result; for instance, Sapphires have the power of predicting events, but Padparadscha's defect causes her to only be able to predict things that already happened.
  • Sushi Pack: One villain, Paradoxter, enjoys things that are perfect paradoxes, such as sweet-and-sour sauce. His henchmen are jumbo shrimp (as in, man-sized), and in one episode he created animixes by splicing together two different animals, such as a sheep and wolf. One of his henchshrimp points out that he should call himself Oxymoron, since he's a Man-Ox, but Paradoxter does not appreciate this input.
  • Uncle Grandpa: The titular character; he's both the uncle and the grandpa of everyone on Earth.
  • The Venture Bros. features Dr. Entmann, who suffered from Gigantism and fought alongside the original Team Venture as "Humongoloid". But as a side-effect, he had severe health problems due to his condition, and Dr. Venture tried to shrink him down to normal proportions. It was too successful, and he wound up insect-sized. He is now a minuscule giant.

    Real Life 
  • Auto-antonyms, or contronyms, a term for words that have two separate meanings that are contradictory or even outright opposite—due to either them being homonyms from different etymologies, or persistent linguistic drift and metaphor. A classic example is the verb "dust", which can mean either "to put dust on something" (as in, dusting for fingerprints) or "to clean dust from something" (as in, dusting the plates).
  • They Might Be Giants: Referenced — when an interviewer called them "the biggest indie act in the world", they said it was like being "the world's tallest midget".
  • A quantum computer could be considered oxymoronic: quantum phenomena can only occur when a subatomic particle is not observed. However, a computer's programs must be observed, as the whole purpose of a computer is to compute things. This is one reason why quantum computers have proven so difficult to design.
  • The No-Eyed Big-Eyed Spider. note 
  • Similar to the No-Eyed Big-Eyed Spider, a contradictory name can happen when you have to describe an animal whose common name has a color in it but which is actually a different color because of a mutation. For example, if you saw the description "red green iguana" you might stop and wonder what color it really is, or if perhaps it's both. It's predominantly red, but it's still a Green Iguana, i.e. Iguana iguana. This problem is perhaps most well known with the "gray" wolf, which can be pure black or pure white without any traces of gray. Also a problem with the "red" fox, which can be other colors such as black and silver.
  • One of the largest cephalopods (besides the giant squid and the even bulkier colossal squid) is called the seven-arm octopus, which is an oxymoron because "octopus" means "eight feet" in Greek. Even weirder, this creature actually has eight tentacles like every other octopus species. It's called the seven-arm octopus because the male keeps one of its tentacles (used in reproduction) tucked away when it's not mating.
  • In the world of music, an "indie label" is this. Going by the original definition of the term, an artist isn't actually indie unless they don't have a record label (meaning that they produce and distribute all of their music by themselves). The definition of "indie" started to get a bit fuzzy after several pop artists in the indie scene developed a distinct, recognizable sound, and said sound became popular enough that several record labels started working to capitalize on it.
  • An Everything Is Big in Texas joke goes "A Texan is someone who can't decide whether his state has the biggest or the smallest midgets in the world".
  • One popular animation website is named Albino Blacksheep.
  • Similarly, people descended from sub-Saharan Africa (especially countries like Tanzania and Malawi in East Africa's Great Lakes region) have the highest rates of albinism among humans outside of a few Native American communities and South Pacific islands. This makes the odd phrase "black albino" surprisingly accurate in a lot of cases, with "black" describing broader ethnic origins and "albino" describing actual coloration.
  • On January 28, 2020, a highway in Colorado was blocked for a few hours by a "large boulder the size of a small boulder". This was later clarified to be a typo: the boulder was the size of a small car.
  • Predator-prey reversal is when an animal that would normally be prey instead eats its own predator. A famous example of this are Epomis beetles, which feed on amphibians such as frogs, even though amphibians normally eat beetles and other insects. Another famous example is the Australian meat ant, a carnivorous ant species that's one of the few animals on the continent that can safely prey on the invasive cane toad, as the ants are immune to the toad's toxins and can overwhelm immature toads that have just finished metamorphosing from their tadpole stage.
  • Amphibians get their name (meaning "of both kinds of life") from the fact that they start life as fish-like water-breathing animals but become reptile-like air-breathing animals as adults. The axolotl is one of a few examples of an amphibian that doesn't have a two stage lifecycle. It (at least normally) never matures out of its larval stage, which other amphibians have to do before they become sexually mature. So this means that a mature axolotl is both an adult and a larva at the same time and is an animal of two kinds of life that is of only one kind of life.


Video Example(s):



A broken Omnitrix turns Ben into a fusion of two aliens. Heatblast plus Ripjaws equals a fish made of fire, and a being whose components are unfortunately lethal to each other.

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5 (18 votes)

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Main / OxymoronicBeing

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