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Real-life spiders, while able to do some remarkable things with silk, are generally somewhat limited in their ability to use it as a ranged weapon. This is not so for their fictional counterparts, who are often shown as able to shoot and launch their silk, both as individual strands and as fully formed webs, to entangle and ensnare their targets. This can be done for a number of reasons, such as dynamism — a spider patiently sitting in its web waiting for prey to pass by doesn't really make for exciting action scenes — or simple lack of research.

It's worth noting that some spiders do possess the ability to cast their webs to ensnare prey. They cannot squirt webbing directly at targets, however (they spin a kind of "net", and then pick it up and throw it with their forelegs), and the range and dexterity of their throws isn't generally on the level sometimes seen in fiction.

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While this is most often applied to spiders, as they're generally the animals most tied to silk and webbing in popular culture, other silk-producing arthropods (like caterpillars and other insect larvae) can easily be granted the ability to launch their webbing in a similar fashion.

See also All Webbed Up. Sub-Trope of Artistic License – Arachnids and Sister Trope to Net Gun. This trope can help characterize a Sneaky Spider.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Digimon:
    • Digimon Adventure: A spider Digimon called Dokugumon has an attack that consists of shooting web from its abdomen. One does so in Episode 28, spraying strands of webbing from her mouth at the start of the battle and entangling most of the heroic Digimon before they can do anything.
    • Digimon Adventure 02: The larval Wormmon relies on silk web techniques that have a myriad of uses, like trapping foes, shooting needle-like web projectiles, swinging or grabbing objects. Arukenimon, who is the Ultimate form of the aforementioned Dokugumon, also has web attacks.
  • Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest: The Dragon Eater Nebal holds the deceptively strong power of the "Adesive Dragon Slayer Magic", which allows him to produce and manipulate web from his body to tangle its victim. Furthermore, once he shoots the web, he can make it form cocoons from a safe distance without physical contact.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: The Tachikomas, while not capable of producing actual silk, have an ability reminiscent of this in the form of web-like guidewires that they can shoot from their pods to swing around as a form of mobility. As shown in episode 2 "TESTATION", they can attach the wires to other moving objects such as the HAW-201 tank in an effort to slow it down with their own body weight.
  • My Hero Academia: Speed Villain has the ability to spit out webs to catch his enemies.
  • So I'm a Spider, So What?: The main character uses this trope often over the course of the story due to being a Giant Spider in an RPG world. By the time she leaves the labyrinth, her ability to produce webs becomes a Swiss-Army Superpower capable of things like cleaving, piercing, and bludgeoning targets, binding enemies to deal a Coup de Grâce in the form of a venomous bite, setting traps, and weaving entire houses.
  • In Tamagotchi, the ability to shoot webs is one of several ninja skills Gozarutchi knows how to pull off.
  • In Toriko Mohyan Shayshay, after being turned into a Giant Spider, can attack by spitting spears made of solid web at the enemy, a technique he calls "Itoyari" (Thread Spears). Earlier, the monstrous Parasite Emperor birthed by Tommyrod can, among its innumerable attacks, shoot a thread of silk to restrain his prey and drive them to its stinger tail.

    Asian Animation 
  • Motu Patlu: In "Super Duper Man", Motu and Patlu can shoot webs out of their hands as one of their superpowers. The webs aren't very helpful, however, as they're not sticky enough for Motu and Patlu to use them to stick to walls.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: In episode 65, Wolffy has a run-in with a giant spider and gains the ability to shoot webs from his bellybutton. Wolffy uses the webs to do none other than capture the goats.

    Comic Books 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW): In The Return of Queen Chrysalis, the Giant Spiders the mane six encounter in the abandoned mines can squirt liquid silk out of their spinnerets, which forms into instant spiderwebs. They use this during the fight to bind the ponies to the mine's walls with flash-formed webbing cocoons.
  • Spider-Man: Spider-Man, while not an actual spider himself, relies heavily on his famous web-shooters, which he holds in the palms of his hands and uses to shoot large quantities of webbing to produce both thick ropes with which to swing from buildings and nets with which to trap villains. This trope is also employed by most other spider-themed superheroes, such as Scarlet Spider and Spider-Gwen. Others, like Silk, do have organic webbing. Venom has learned the trick as well, organically producing a stronger version of Spider-Man's silk to use as a weapon and a mobility tool, but creating too much too quickly taxes its resources and weakens it.
  • Julia Carpenter, the second Spider-Woman, can create "psionic-webbing", which is made of psychic energy instead of being organic.

    Fan Works 
  • Amazing Fantasy features the original web-slinger himself, who teaches a newly spider-powered Izuku how to make his own web formula and web-shooters.
  • Equestria Divided: Weblings, changelings with the bodies of Giant Spiders, can shoot extremely strong webbing from considerable range and serve as the swarms' ranged units.
  • Seventh Endmost Vision: Grashtrike Queens can do this, using it to make nests in the subways of the Plate. It can also go off after one dies; Tifa has a moment of awesome turned into a funny one after killing a Queen when the thing's body jerks and manages to web her directly to the ground.

    Films — Animation 
  • An American Tail: Fievel Goes West: Chula the spider functions as errand boy to the villain, Cat R. Waul. While Waul is welcoming some mice to the town of Green River, Chula is told to issue water. Being a recalcitrant fellow, Chula hocks a loogie at a newlywed couple, which forms an instant web, trapping them inside an old boot. Waul flicks away the webbing and continues his Affably Evil schmooze.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Bastard Swordsman: Practitioners of the "Silkworm Technique" kung fu can create strands of silk using their qi, which Fei Yang, the film's hero, displays in the final battle. He even uses his qi-generated silk to cocoon himself as an impromptu shield.
  • Eight Legged Freaks: Played with by the Giant Spiders . Some of them can squirt thick streams of liquid silk from their abdomen to immobilize prey at melee distance, but since they're so friggin' huge it still translates into a meter or two from which they can glue you to the wall behind you. The character played by Scarlett Johansson finds this out the hard way.
  • The Super Inframan: The Spider Monster can spit explosive web projectiles capable of encasing unfortunate victims, which explodes when the victim is trapped.
  • Web of Death: One of the many powers displayed by the titular weapon is the ability to eject poisonous webs that clings to the skin of it's victims, ensnaring them on the spot causing them to shrivel with copious amounts of Body Horror. Liu Shen, the Big Bad, notably uses this function to trap an entire room of rival martial artists and kills them all in one swoop.

    Franchises 
  • MonsterVerse:
    • Even as a larva, Mothra in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) can spit wads of stick silk large enough to tie a grown human to a wall — as an adult, her silk becomes copious and strong enough to be able to glue two of King Ghidorah's three heads to a building with one shot.
    • The graphic novel Skull Island: The Birth of Kong depicts two Mother Longlegs utilizing this when fighting against Kong, not that it does them much good.

    Literature 
  • Conan the Barbarian: In The Tower of the Elephant, Conan fights a Giant Spider. After its first charges at the Cimmerian fail to kill him and cost it a leg, the spider settles for webbing the door shut to trap Conan in the room with it, then trying to snare him with strands of web fired from beyond sword reach.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Blackspawn stalkers, chimeras of spiders and black dragons, can throw webs like nets to entangle creatures.
    • The obsidian dragons described in Dragon Magazine #146 (distinct from the eponymous gem dragons from later editions) can breathe out a membranous, ten-foot web three times per day, which they can launch up to sixty feet away and which on contact hardens into a shell of black ice.
    • Giant spiders can shoot webs at enemies, binding them.
  • Numenera: Grendlim, biomechanical lizard-like creatures native to the Phaeton Ring, hunt their prey by spitting sticky nets at it.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Stranglewebs are a type of Tyranid bio-weapon in the form of a spider-like creature that fires nets of sticky mucous that adhere to targets and rapidly constrict around them, usually crushing them to death. Some are coated with poison to make them more lethal. They're typically used to capture organisms to be carried back to the Hive Ships for analysis and incorporation.

    Video Games 
  • Blade & Soul: Grave spiders can shoot a whole sticky web at the player character, which can envelop the warrior like netting, pinning her to the spot until she can slash herself free. The spider can attack the PC through the webbing, inflicting damage, while the trapped PC must first cut through the webbing before getting any swipes at the grave spider.
  • Cadence of Hyrule: One of the Gohmaracas' attacks involves spitting out balls of webbing that will ensnare the player if hit.
  • Darkest Dungeon: Webber spiders can spray webbing at your heroes, which both has a chance to stun and marks the target, causing the attacks of other spiders to do much more damage.
  • Deep Rock Galactic: Glyphid Web Spitters spit out tangles of sticky webs which bind and slow down player characters.
  • Diablo II: Downplayed: wounded Giant Spider enemies will try to flee, leaving a trail of webbing behind to slow you down.
  • Donkey Kong Country: Squitter the Spider (one of the Kongs' animal friends) shoots webs, which can be used either as temporary platforms or as a projectile attack.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: Giant spiders have a long-distance web attack that immobilizes whomever they use it on for a long time. And they will use it frequently. Just one of the reason they're considered Demonic Spiders.
  • Dragon: Marked for Death: Demonpillars and Void Spiders can spit globs of webbing that immobilize enemies.
  • Earth Defense Force: Spider enemies come in two major types, both of which use projectile webs as their main weapons. Wolf Spider types jump around and spit strands of webbing that can slow or even immobilize a player character. Larger Retiarius/Aranea types spin enormous webs that can trap players, but can also draw prey into the web by throwing long lines of webbing.
  • Into the Breach: Several breeds of the Kaiju-sized Vek spray their target with immobilizing webs at close range, including creatures whose normal-sized counterparts do not produce silk at all, like Vek scorpions and the mantis-like leapers. Vek spiders, meanwhile, launch blobs of webbing across the map, which not only hatch into spiderlings after one round, but also web up all adjacent enemies until they do.
  • Kirby Star Allies: Kirby's Spider ability lets him (among other things) shoot webs at range that quickly encases minor enemies in pods.
  • Monster Hunter Online: Baelidae, a giant arthropod resembling a cross between a crab and a spider, can shoot out strands of silk to slow the player down.
  • Pokémon: Several Bug-type moves are themed around a Pokémon shooting or spitting strands of silk at its opponent.
    • The old staple String Shot is typically themed as a Pokémon shooting strands of silk from its mouth to bind its opponent. It's most often learned by Pokémon resembling caterpillars, other insect larvae or spiders.
    • This tends to be particularly evident in the anime, where moves such as Electroweb, Spider Web and Sticky Web are often depicted as the user (typically a spider-like 'mon such as Ariados, Galvantula or Dewpider) tossing fully-formed orb webs at its opponent, or alternatively as sticky globs that turn into webs on contact with a target. Notably, the moves' descriptions in the games just reference their users spinning or weaving nets around their targets — no active launching is implied.
  • Spelunky: The Giant Spiders can shoot balls of silk that turn into webbing that can impede player and other mobs.
  • Starcraft I: Zerg Queens can barf up a mass of sticky green substance over an area that greatly slows any units caught in it. It also reveals cloaked units, making it useful against Ghost nukes.
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order: Wyyyschokks, Giant Spiders native to the forests of Kashyyyk, can fire entangling web globules in several highly precise patterns.
  • Warcraft III: Crypt Fiends and some Nerubians have the Web ability, which spits a mass of webbing at an enemy flyer, bringing it down to earth where ground units can attack it.

    Webcomics 
  • Cassiopeia Quinn: In The Body-Snatchifiers, Dr. Botz's upgraded version of herself — a Cyborg Spider Person with eight mechanical limbs — can spray jets of fast-hardening webbing from her wrists.
  • In Champions of Far'aus, one of Mr.X's experiments is able to shoot webbing out of its mouth, and uses it to drag away Douglas during the fight on Mr.X's castle grounds.
  • Spinnerette: After Heather gains her superpowers following an incident involving a prototype "genetic infusion chamber" and spider DNA, she gains the ability to shoot threads of strong spider silk... from new glands at the base of her spine, in a position roughly analogous to where a spider's spinnerets are in real life.

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • "Scare Master": When Fluttershy asks him to close the windows during her initial Nightmare Night barricade, Fuzzy Legs the spider does this by shooting two thick strings of webbing at them and using them to slam the windows shut.
    • "Campfire Tales": Flyders — spiders with insect wings — can squirt strands of webbing from their spinnerets with a fair degree of accuracy. One is able to shoot out enough webbing to cover half of Sweetie Belle's face with a single shot, while another shoots out a strand accurately enough to tangle Applejack's legs bolas-style in mid-gallop.

    Real Life 
  • This is in fact Truth in Television in the case of a few families of spiders.
    • Bolas spiders create a ball of sticky webbing on the end of a silk line, which they then throw at prey before reeling them in. Appropriately, they are also known as angling or fishing spiders.
    • The Deinopids, also known as the net-casting spiders, spin webs of elastic silk that they hold in their front legs as they hang upside-down over the ground or a tree branch. When a prey item passes below the spider, the latter quickly stretches out its web and throws itself on top of its target, entangling it in the net.
    • The gnaphosid ground spiders, which hunt prey by chasing it down rather than spinning trap webs, can quickly eject strands of thick, glue-like silk to tangle and ensnare their quarries, allowing the spiders to minimize their risk of injury while subduing their prey. They cannot shoot directed streams of silk, however — rather, they run around their targets while trailing their webbing, entangling them as they go.
    • The Scytodidae, or spitting spiders, catch prey by spitting a mixture of liquid silk and venom. The mix congeals on contact, both immobilizing and envenoming the target.
  • Some of the best web-spitters are not spiders at all, but the onychophora, or velvet worms. These close relatives of arthropods possess twin "slime cannons" on their face that can squirt a fast-drying glue, immobilizing their prey.
  • Neutrophils, the most abundant white blood cell, can kill bacteria casting nets of DNA with proteines mixed in up to in suicide fashion destroying the cell, even if such procedure is also harmful for the host.

 
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The Scuttlebug spits a web at Mario.

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