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Scary Scorpions

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I'm Stingy the Scorpion, and I'm gonna KILL YA!


In Real Life, scorpions are mostly shy, retiring arachnids, preferring to stay out of trouble and only using their pincers and stinging tails to subdue prey (or potential mates) or defend themselves.

In fictionland, scorpions often make appearances as deadly foes. This is probably a combination of Rule of Cool and their distinctively badass appearance, but it does tend to get them a fair bit of demonization due to Animal Stereotypes. Scorpions, being of the arachnid class, are closely related to spiders, and as with spiders and their fangs, scorpions are pretty much universally known for their tails, and are, admittedly, pretty scary things to come across, large or small.

In popular culture, scorpions are often depicted as scary even by arachnid standards. While there are a number of examples of heroic or at least benign spiders in fiction, scorpions are almost invariably portrayed as evil to the point of being made out as an Unpleasant Animal Counterpart to spiders. For a given value of evil that is, as they rarely have developed enough personalities to amount to anything more than dangerous, mindless animals and often no more than tools of murder for wannabe killers: because of their venom, they are used as Animal Assassins, although where Spiders might be associated with the thief or rogue in a Fantasy setting, Scorpions tend to be associated with hunters or warriors due to their heavy armor. You can often expect scorpions in Shifting Sand Land, possibly alongside Scorpion People. Spider Tanks may have the appearance of a scorpion. May be stabbed.


However, the majority of scorpion stings are not dangerous to humans, being on average only about as dangerous as a bee sting. The Emperor Scorpion, probably the largest and most iconic scorpion species, is frequently seen, despite being one of the least venomous species and are even popular as pets or even as food (popular as far as arachnid fans go, anyway).

Compare Spiders Are Scary and Creepy Camel Spider, for other arachnids that tend to be portrayed as much more dangerous and aggressive than they are in real life.



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    Anime and Manga 

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: Unlike most "regular" animals, which tend to be Green (the color of the natural world), scorpions are almost exclusively Black (the color of rot, decay and amorality). They usually get deathtouch (meaning they destroy any creature they deal any damage to) or some way to weaken enemy creatures or players by means such as poison counters.

    Comic Books 
  • Mac Gargan/the Scorpion from Marvel Comics, of course. He was created — with funding from J Jonah Jameson, no less — to take out Spider-Man, and actually trounced Spidey in their first fight. He's been mostly B-list since then, however, eventually ditching the Scorpion suit entirely to become the new Venom, but then when the symbiote was given to Flash Thompson, he took up his old identity again. He had a female sort-of-Legacy Character, Carmilla Black, but she's been rarely seen since he retook the Scorpion mantle.
  • In Star Wars (Marvel 1977), in order to get information out of someone, Luke Skywalker once has to prove his bravery by using chopsticks in his left hand to fish something out of the same bowl as an alien scorpion creature. Though to be fair, the alien creature could be far more venomous than the normal Earthling variety.
  • Subverted by Sammy Stingtail of the Joey Fly series. While reckless and clumsy, he is also unarguably one of the good guys and loyal to the title Detective Animal.
  • The Transformers (both the original Marvel series and the IDW continuity) depict Scorponok much smaller than his city-sized animated counterparts, though he still transformers into a giant, gun-laden mechanical scorpion, and his robot mode still towers over most Transformers.
  • In The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #13, one of Indy's students on a field trip is paralyzed with fear by a acorpion on her arm. Dr. Jones picks the arachnid off her arm with his bullwhip.

    Fan Works 
  • Sunshine and Fire: Soon after arriving in Sunshine!Equestria, Twilight is attacked by a group of enormous scorpions. She assumes them to be Mutants, as, besides their size, they only have two eyes each instead of eight and more legs than they should, including atrophied ones and ones extending from their sides at useless angles.
  • The Palaververse: Gigantic wind scorpions are one of the many species of monster native to Saddle Arabia, and have the added bonus of being able to turn into wind to elude both prey and pursuit.
  • Adopted Displaced: The main villain in "Dressed To Steal" is a malicious anthropomorphic scorpion called Seft, who bears an enmity towards Sly Cooper.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: While planning (and singing about) the capture of Santa Claus, Shock has a box of large scorpions that she uses to illustrate her plan for herself and her brothers to hide in a box that Santa would open so they could kidnap him.
  • The Emperor's New Groove: Kuzco and Pacha were briefly attacked by several scorpions while trying to climb a cliff.
  • Fievel is almost killed by one in An American Tail: Fievel Goes West. Considering he's a mouse it's not that surprising.
  • DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp; the bottom of the chamber where Collie Baba's treasure is kept has quite a few big ones, which Launchpad dubs "Sumo wrestling scorpions." Scrooge dismisses them as they're at the bottom of very deep pit, but then Evil Sorcerer Merlock pulls a lever that causes the platform where the treasure is to lower...
  • Pinocchio in Outer Space. While exploring below the surface of Mars, Pinocchio and Nurtle are chased by a gigantic scorpion.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • At one point in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, the kids are attacked by a scorpion after taking shelter in a LEGO brick. Anty, an ant they befriended earlier that day, tries to save them and succeeds, though at the cost of its life, buying the kids enough time to get their act together and drive the beast off with their torches and sharpened sticks. Of course in this case, since scorpions are predators, a scorpion really would be scary and dangerous if you'd been shrunk down to the size of an insect.
  • A dentist who is part of the diamond smuggling ring in Diamonds Are Forever is assassinated with a scorpion.
  • Murder by Death. Dora Charleston is stung by an Animal Assassin scorpion. Her husband says it "can kill instantly" and she is said to only have minutes to live.
  • In Clash of the Titans (1981) the blood of Medusa causes normal scorpions to become giants (Giant Enemy Scorpion?). In Clash of the Titans (2010), there are still massive killer scorpions but it's caused by the blood of Calibos, who has been given godly powers by Hades. The scorpions seem to be better at the job than Calibos was. The scorpions kill two Argosian soldiers (as opposed to Calibos's four), but they tend to make more of an impression, being, you know, giant scorpions. They also make good mounts, once they are tamed.
  • Some giant mutated ones make a cameo in Damnation Alley.
  • The 1950's science fiction film The Black Scorpion involves a volcanic eruption in Mexico unleashing gigantic scorpions upon the land. Some closeups of goofy puppet heads aside, the stop-motion scorpions are fairly nightmarish, esp. in a scene where one attacks a telephone repair crew.
  • In Hook, the eponymous pirate locks a pirate who bet against him in a large trunk called "The Boo Box." Apparently it is a common and deathly frightening punishment for pirates on the Jolly Roger, because the man Screams Like a Little Girl, is thrown into the trunk, and has a bunch of scary scorpions dropped on him while the others scream "Boo!"
  • The opening credits of 3000 Miles to Graceland feature two cartoonishly CG scorpions duking it out.
  • In The Cave, Jack encounters a cavern full of them, upon which they try to chase him off.
  • In Dr. Phibes Rises Again one of Phibes' deathtraps involves scorpions.
  • One of the few things Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull got right was a scene in which Shia LeBeouf's character gets stung on the arm by a scorpion. He immediately flips out and screams that it was huge. Indy calmly tells him "Good, it's the small ones that kill you."
  • A scorpion is utilized as an Animal Assassin in If Looks Could Kill. It's really a harmless emperor scorpion, though.

  • The Mercedes Lackey novel Aerie has the bad guys sending a tide of black desert scorpions against the good guys. They fail.
  • Council Wars: East of the Sun, West of the Moon features giant, genetically engineered scorpions being dispatched after our heroes multiple times. During the story's climax, it is revealed that the scorpions can function in space and that they shoot acid from their tails. Worth noting, their first attack happens off-screen, and the heroes investigating after the fact only find a partial remnant, sans tail, leading them to initially assume they were giant solifugaenote  instead, in defiance of Small Reference Pools.
  • In The Dresden Files book Storm Front, a scorpion is considered dangerous only because it has been engorged to massive size. And despite receiving a huge dose of venom, one character makes a full recovery because the treatment is so basic.
  • Godspeaker Trilogy: The violent and hostile Mijaki civilization worships a god symbolized by a scorpion, and one the rituals its priests (called godspeakers) perform involves being stung by hundreds of scorpions (If they survive, the god has judged them to be worthy.).
  • The novel Scorpions by Mike Cook revolves around giant scorpions being unleashed from beneath the earth by an earthquake. They menace the Nevada town of Laughlin.
  • Scorpion by Michael R. Linaker involves people being threatened by hordes of normal-sized scorpions (Arachnophobia style). Its sequel, Scorpion: Second Generation ups the ante by having them grow gigantic.
  • Journey to the West: When Sun Wukong and his companions are traversing through a Lady Land, Xuanzang is kidnapped by a female scorpion demon who desires to marry him. Her stinger tail manages to incapacitate Wukong during their battles, eventually forcing him to consult the gods for help.
  • Mariel of Redwall has Skrabblag, a giant black scorpion found by searat Gabool the Wild, who keeps him as a pet. Eventually, Gabool, having lost his sanity throughout the book, starts siccing Skrabblag on any rat he deems a mutineer or a spy. Skrabblag nearly takes out a Badger Lord before his would-be victim flings him into the face of Gabool, and the scorpion wastes no time in stinging him to death. Dandin finishes off Skrabblag mere moments later, commenting that "evil destroyed evil, and good triumphed."
  • In The Descendants story "Little Girl Lost", the team encounters dog-sized scorpions, only to discover that killing them makes them combine into even bigger scorpions.
  • The Mummy Monster Game: In book 1, during the quest for the body of Osiris, the characters encounter scorpions whose stinging tails can kill a character in one move unless they're jumped over. Josh later runs into them in the real life area when he goes to rescue Amy, Harry and Spy, but uses his skateboard to evade them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Lami / Scorpina, of Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger / Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers fame. Her normal form is that of a beautiful woman, but when she grows to giant size, she changes a lot more than most villains....
  • Deathscorpion / Scorpix from B-Fighter Kabuto / Beetleborgs Metallix. He's the leader of the Mantrons, The Psycho Rangers of the show.
  • The Scorpion Zodiart, the first member of the Horoscopes fought in Kamen Rider Fourze.
  • Merlin has two episodes in which the heroes are attacked by giant scorpions.
  • Uchu Sentai Kyuranger zig-zags this with Stinger/Sasori Orange, a Human Alien from the Scorpio system, who is reclusive like scorpions are in Real Life, albeit for different reasons. He's certainly a fearsome opponent, but also one of the Kyurangers out to free space from the Jark Matter Shogunate and a Friend to All Children. On the other hand, he started out opposing the team and Champ/Oushi Black believes that Stinger killed his creator and mistrusts him for this reason. note  Played straighter with Stinger's older brother, Scorpio, who's top assassin of Jark Matter.
  • In Primeval the heroes are attacked by huge scorpions, which come from the prehistoric times. The spinoff series Primeval: New World also has huge scorpions from prehistoric times.

  • Iraqi thrash metal band Acrassicauda derives its name from the Latin name for the Arabian fat-tailed scorpion, Androctonus crassicauda.
  • The Wall: During the Trial sequence, the grotesque of Pink's wife starts out as a scorpion before metamorphosing into her praying mantis-like form.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • There's a very old story called "The Scorpion and the Frog." Basically, the scorpion wants the frog to get him across a river. The frog initially refuses, afraid the scorpion will sting him if he lets him on his back. But the scorpion assures him he won't, since then they'd both drown. So the frog relents and lets the scorpion hop on board. Midway across the river, the frog feels a sharp pain in his back and realizes the scorpion's stung him. He demands to know why he did it, since now they'll both drown. The scorpion replies, "It's in my nature."
    • Or depending on the Aesop, "Scorpions can swim."
    • In another version, the final line is "Because this is the Middle East."
    • Chakotay tells a version with a fox instead of a frog to make a point about an unwise alliance with the Borg.
    • In another version, it is turtle instead (which are natural enemies of scorpions). The scorpion says Better we both perish than my enemy should live!, expressing the self-destructive nature of spite.
  • In Classical Mythology, when Artemis fell for the great hunter Orion, her brother, Apollo, didn't approve, so he sent a giant scorpion to kill him. Orion and the scorpion killed each other, but Zeus was so impressed with their battle he put the two as constellations — Orion and Scorpius.
  • The girtablilu of Mesopotamian Mythology are a fearsome race of scorpion-centaur monsters.
  • The scorpion goddess Selket from Egyptian Mythology, whom the Egyptians credited with protecting them from venomous animals. But get on her bad side, and they could expect a deadly scorpion sting.
  • In Islam, the scorpion is perceived both as a symbol of both evil and protection from evil.

  • The "Devil's Island" table of Balls of Steel depicts a giant scorpion interrupting a human sacrifice ritual.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons had large, huge and giant scorpions.
    • It also had Trobriand's and Scaladar Automatons, which were sometimes made in the shape of giant scorpions.
    • The Dark Sun setting had several examples.
      • The Mastyrial came in two versions. The Desert variety was a 6 foot long with a sonar sense that could detect invisible enemies, pincers and tail that could inflict lethal damage, a tough shell that gave immunity to blunt weapons and the ability to quickly regenerate damage. The Black version was smaller (3 feet long) and did less damage, but they hunted in packs and had psionic abilities that allowed them to lure their victims closer and attack them.
      • The Scorpian also had two versions. The Barbed type was 8-12 feet long, covered with barbs that damaged anyone that attacked it from close range, and its attacks did massive damage. The Gold was much smaller (1-2 feet long) but still did tremendous damage with its sting.
    • In 3rd Edition scorpions could grow up to 80 feet long.
    • In Eberron, scorpions replace spiders as the Drow animal obsession.
  • Exalted: Gunstar Autocthonia has Ishiika, the Cosmic Scorpion, a massive space-borne terror in the shape of a whirling nebula of teeth, clicking mandibles and pincers capable of shattering worlds, surmounted by a tail the length of solar systems. It is the most powerful and feared of all the alien monsters the Gunstar has encountered.
  • Pathfinder:
    • The game has several varieties of giant scorpions, with some getting dangerous enough to go toe-to-toe with 15th level characters. There are also Skullrippers, scorpion-like constructs that have a tendency to decapitate people and add their skulls to its body.
    • The herald of Norgorber, the Neutral Evil god of thieves, poisoners and murderers, is a giant metallic scorpion known as the Stabbing Beast. It's a ferocious predator and enjoys tracking and killing targets — as, like all planar creatures, it has no need to eat, this is apparently just for the sake of killing — and is primarily called to the material plane to spread death and mayhem.
    • Pathfinder's second edition now has magma scorpions, which are Exactly What It Says On The Tin.
  • Warhammer: The Tomb kings can summon giant undead scorpions from underground.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Dark Eldar's Talos is a giant-scorpion-like skimmer, with huge claws and a weaponized tail.
    • The Apocalypse expansion also has a mechanized scorpion for Khornate Chaos Space Marines.
  • Dying Earth RPG. The Silver Desert has large scorpions (among other hazards).
  • Legend of the Five Rings: The Scorpion Clan is known for being equal parts Guile Hero, Lawful Evil, and I Did What I Had to Do. (Amusingly, one of the Clan's major families subverts the Folklore entry above — in their version of the tale, the scorpion reveals at the end that he can swim. Hence that family's motto: "I can swim.")
  • Shadowrun:
    • Paranormal Animals of Europe. The Scorpyrine is a scorpion about 40 centimeters (16 inches) long which is immune to fire and has a acidic venom that can kill a victim in five minutes.
    • California Free State. The Nova Scorpion is a meter long and its stinger has one of the deadliest animal poisons known to metahumanity — it can kill in one hour.
  • Rolemaster:
    • Space Master supplement Aliens & Artifacts. Ice Scorpions, which are found in Arctic ecosystems and are 3 meters long.
    • Shadow World:
      • Master Atlas. The Gemsting scorpion is 4-6 feet long and injects a respiratory poison.
      • Kingdom of the Desert Jewel. Giant scorpions in Gethrya inject a poison that causes delirium for 1-20 hours.
    • The Giant Scorpion in the GURPS Bestiary, which is two yards long. If its claws and bite don't kill you, its sting definitely will.
    • GURPS Space Atlas and GURPS Space Bestiary. On the desert planet called Quentin, Pressure-Scorps are huge scorpion-like alien creatures more than 12 yards long and weighing up to six tons. Their stings don't inject poison - appropriate to the planet, they suck the bodily fluids out of their victims, thus providing much-needed liquid.
  • Car Wars: Autoduel Quarterly magazine Vol. 7 #2 adventure "Mutant Zone". Hanger A in the Air Force base is home to a giant mutant scorpion, the victim of a biotoxin spill.
  • Deadlands has Vinegaroons which are scorpions about the size of a pony. (Vinegaroons aren't actually true scorpions, but when you're about be eaten by something the size of a pony, your average cowpoke ain't inclined to quibble.)
  • The Morrow Project: One of the mutant monsters walking the Earth 150 years after a nuclear holocaust is a scorpion 1.5 meters long with a poison that has about a 50% chance of killing the average human.
  • Mutant Future: giant mutant scorpions are around 6 feet long and have a sting that injects a lethal poison.
  • Atlantis The Lost World: The Kanawalla desert of Mu has scorpions that are only three inches long but have venom so virulent it can kill a mule in seconds.
  • Lejendary Adventures. The Black Scorpion's poisonous sting can inflict lethal damage.
  • Chaosium's supplement All the Worlds' Monsters
    • Volume I:
      • The giant scorpion is 10 feet long and has a sting that injects a lethal poison.
      • The whip scorpion is 6 feet long. Its nine foot long tail can shoot an acid spray that does 5-40 Hit Points of damage up to 60 feet away.
    • Volume III:
  • Hollow Earth Expedition supplement Mysteries of the Hollow Earth:
    • Giant scorpions are the size of a horse and have a paralyzing sting that can take down a Brontotherium.
    • The pterygotus is a 6 foot long aquatic scorpion with large spiked claws and a flipper tail instead of a sting.
  • It Came From The Late Late Show: the Giant Scorpion Monster is 8 feet long and is created by man's mistreatment of the environment. It can crush its favorite prey (human beings) in its Power Pincers.
  • Arduin RPG.:The Compleat Arduin Book 2: Resources describes Great Black Scorpions, which can grow larger than a Sherman tank. They have dangerous Power Pincers and a deadly poisonous sting.
  • RuneQuest:
    • Heroes magazine Volume I #3 article "Creepy Critters: Insects for RuneQuest''. Scorpions can grow up to nine meters long, including the tail. If the pincers grab the opponent, the scorpion's sting automatically hits.
    • Supplement Trollpak, "Book of Uz" part 2. Giant scorpions used by the trolls can weigh as much as 480 lbs.
  • Ares magazine #6 game "Voyage of the BSM Pandora". One possible monster an expedition can encounter is a large scorpion-like monster with a deadly tail (that is capable of killing a human in one blow), strong armor and razor-sharp talons.

  • Plenty in BIONICLE. Among the different rahi species, there are Nui-Jaga (giant, ill-tempered scorpions capable of smashing through solid rock), Kofo-Jaga (fist-sized scorpions that travel in swarms and have fiery stings), Catapult Scorpions (enormous, highly aggressive scorpions with tails that materialize stone to sling at enemies), and Skopios (massive scorpion-like predators that ambush prey from beneath the sand). There are also the Zesk and the Vorox (the former Agori and Glatorian of the Sand Tribe now reduced to mindless beasts), as well as the Skopio XV-1, which was built with Skopios in mind.
  • In LEGO's Knights' Kingdom line, each knight has an Animal Motif. Vladek, the Big Bad, is the Scorpion Lord.

    Video Games 
  • Pulmonoscorpius from ARK: Survival Evolved is a scorpion the size of a pony. It is a highly aggressive predator with a paralyzing venom, which makes it the bane of every starting player. Fortunately, you are also able to tame this creature and, with the right saddle, even ride it, making it a valuable ally.
  • A mechanical version exists in Funk Unplugged. They're robotic hats that move around on spider-like legs, and fire lasers from a blaster on a tail on their backside.
  • Gryphon Knight Epic: Zafira Faris, one of the bosses, rides a gigantic scorpion.
  • Intrepid Izzy: Scorpions serve as an enemy in the game. They'll sting Izzy if she gets too close.
  • Mega Scorpio from Mega Man X7 and Mega Scorpia from Mega Man Zero 2. Downplayed- although they are large and imposing, they are only Warm Up Bosses.
  • The Brother of Nod in the Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series follows this psychology and uses a scorpion tail as its emblem, staying hidden when they are incapable of waging war with the GDI and striking at them when their prey is vulnerable.
  • The fan-made game Mega Man X Corrupted finally uses a scorpion called Sparkling Scorpio as a proper Maverick Boss.
  • Pokémon:
    • Gligar and Gliscor cross this trope with Bat Out of Hell. Gligar, at least, has a tendency to fly straight at its targets' faces and clamping on tight before injecting them full of poison.
    • Skorupi is a fairly straight example, ambushing prey while hiding below the sand with its poison sting at the ready, but its evolution Drapion is an interesting subversion. It's stated to have a very bad reputation due to its aggressive nature, but according to some of its Pokedex entries it actively avoids using poison in combat, preferring to fight with its claws and great physical strength. Which, incidentally, is how larger scorpion species tend to hunt in real life.
    • Kincaid, The Dragon of the local villain team in Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, uses the Gligar and Scorupi lines exclusively, even both at the same time in one downloadable mission.
  • EarthBound Beginnings has your regular scorpions, as well as the more dangerous Bionic Scorps.
  • EarthBound has a creature called a Skelpion, which is basically a scorpion skeleton, which is weird because scorpions are invertebrates.
  • There are a large variety of scorpions in RuneScape.
  • Golden Sun has the King Scorpion boss and giant scorpions later on.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has an Emperor Scorpion as an edible animal during the mountainside section of the game, though it provides little stamina and in any case Snake hates the flavour. Sadly, they're also depicted as being capable of killing Snake when they sting him, despite the fact that Emperor Scorpion venom isn't fatal to humans. That said, this makes them a pretty decent (if lethal — remember the Pacifist Run option) Improvised Weapon if you capture one alive and throw it at an enemy.
  • The Neksdor Desert in Miitopia is populated with big scorpion enemies, one of them sharing its name with this very trope.
  • Warcraft's conjurers had the ability to summon scorpions.
    • They make a reappearance in Warcraft 3 under the name of Arachnathid and covered in fur, in the polar regions for some reason.
    • Giant scorpions also make a reappearance in World of Warcraft, this time called Scorpids. Hunters can tame them as pets. There are also regular sized scorpions as critters in some areas, and one scorpion non-combat pet, and now a scorpion mount. The arachnathids have inexplicably disappeared.
    • Fire scorpions appear in the Firelands, and Druids of the Flame can transform into them.
    • The Iron Juggernaut in the Siege of Orgrimmar resembles a scorpion. Its claws have a drill and buzzsaw on them, and there is a laser mounted on its tail.
    • Skorpyron, the first boss of the Nighthold, is a massive arcane scorpion with magical powers.
  • Fallout: Gigantic, radiation-mutated scorpions are a mainstay of the games.
    • In the first two games, they essentially make for an early game nuisance/slight challenge. In the third game as well as New Vegas, the regular variety is still a nuisance, though the giant ones may serve as a legitimate threat, having no head to target for additional damage and being faster then the player, hardly slowed down at all by crippled legs. Then the Broken Steel DLC gave us the albino radscoprion, every bit as big and fast as a regular giant radscorpion, but harder to see from a distance, having a much higher damage potential, and being durable enough to take a nuke on the chin and keep on going as if nothing happened (and this is not an exaggeration), regenerating all the while, being one of the DLC's three bosses in mook's clothing.
    • Fallout: New Vegas:
      • There's a radscorpion queen who is extraordinarily difficult. Tough, fast, lots of damage, and fought in extremely close quarters so that escaping damage is impossible. You fight her along with a couple of her kids, too, just for extra hurt.
      • The Old World Blues DLC has Dr. Mobius' Robo-Scorpions that can shoot Frickin' Laser Beams, with a Giant version as a boss. And by Giant, we mean Giant.
    • Fallout 4 radscorpions are not your old radscorpions. These radscorpions have no small variants, and the weakest of them is at LEAST the size of a bear, and armored to boot. They can also now burrow and pop up right in melee range. And then you get a horrifying close-up of their high-def character models as they sting you in the face for a huge amount of poison damage.
  • Tales of Symphonia had a desert that featured these.
  • Kratos fights a giant one of these in God of War III. He also fights several who are merely large before and during the aforementioned fight.
  • No More Heroes:
    • The original game has a minigame where Travis has to scoop up scorpions while avoiding stings.
    • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle has that same minigame, and scorpions are also enemies in some of the 8-bit retro minigames.
  • The Big Bad in Drone Tactics operates a giant mechanical scorpion.
  • A puzzle in episode 5 of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People involves getting a chunk of scorpion food away from a horde of 8-bit scorpions.
  • Giant Scorpions exist in Puzzle Quest, where their major abilities are (a) hiding (letting them do double damage until you damage them out of hiding) and (b) poisoning you. However, once you've clocked three of them, you can capture and tame one to act as your steed (no access to the poison, but you do get their Hide ability).
  • Sierra On-Line
    • King's Quest:
      • Graham encounters a scorpion in King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!. Despite being significantly smaller than the one Valanice comes across, it's also far more deadly, resulting in an instant death as soon as you reach the screen it shows up on (whereas Valanice's giant scorpion rather courteously gives you some time to deal with it before attacking).
      • In King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride, Valanice is attacked by a giant scorpion.
    • Sierra liked this trope. Gigantic black scorpions are also a common foe is the desert setting of Quest for Glory II, and have a powerful venom that makes them one of the more dangerous foes in the game.
    • Space Quest 3: "OH NO! A venomous scorpazoid. Watch out."
  • The second act of Titan Quest, set in Egypt, is full of large scorpions (black ones as large as a men and yellow ones big as grown elephants.) as well as the Scorpos, a hybrid of man and scorpion. Their king is the boss that protects one of the artifacts necessary to continue the story.
  • Mortal Kombat: Surprisingly, even if he's named after the creature, Scorpion isn't really heavily based on the trope, although his signature kunai on a rope can be considered as his equivalent of the namesake's stinger tail. However, he CAN turn into a literal giant scorpion for a Fatality.
  • Bug had loads of them in the desert stage. Some just walked back and forth, others tried to attack with extendable claws, and a few tried to sting bug with their tail. Thankfully, they all took one hit to die, making them not too big of a threat.
  • The Endegras from The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings are a mix of this trope and Giant Spider; they all have pincers but only Warriro Endegras also have stingers.
  • Parasite Eve: The Museum of Natural History features a particularly large, tough scorpion enemy with a stretchable tail that can reach almost across the room.
  • Moldarach in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is a positively humongous scorpion that dwells in the sands of the Lanayru Mining Facility's rotunda. Its most notable features are the eyes that are withing his pincers. Another is fought as a Degraded Boss in the Lanayru Shipyard later in the game.
  • Giant Desert Scorpions from Dwarf Fortress, who in addition to being very, very large and lethally venomousnote  have prehensile claws and a penchant for snatching weapons off attackers and using them in addition to their claws and sting.
  • The true form of the final boss of P.N.03 is a giant mecha-scorpion, although it rarely uses its "stinger".
  • Diablo III has Tormented Stingers, which look and sting like scorpions but are actually tortured human sacrifices with their body sliced open to form the legs and its legs mutilated to make the tail.
  • Dogyuun has many scorpion mechas in stage 4. The boss of that stage is a giant robot scorpion that shoots homing balls from its tail, and tries to massacre you with its claws.
  • Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures has giant, Scary Scorpions alongside giant spiders as the weakest enemies in the game. They are found in both the Amazon jungle and the caverns beneath.
  • Later Animal Crossing games include scorpions as collectible bugs. Scorpions will freak out and attack you if they see you carrying a bug net, but you can catch them if you're quick. If you're not quick, fortunately, they just knock you out and cause you to wake up in front of your house.
  • Geneforge has giant scorpion monsters called clawbugs which are available to the player as Mons and commonly show up as early mid-game enemies, usually inhabiting areas of desert and blasted wasteland. Since the premise of the series includes mage-scientists tinkering with life forms, they show up in several varieties; normal clawbugs, venemous stinging clawbugs, extra-fast plated bugs, and Boss in Mook Clothing clawbug queens.
  • Fable had Arachanox, the huge scorpion that serves as the final boss of the Arena. Unless you consider Whisper.
  • Dominions: Scorpions are part of the unit list of Xibalba, tames by their ultrasonic voices. The oldest and largest of them are considered sacred.
  • The Stinger, the Giant Space Flea from Nowhere boss from Resident Evil 0 and Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles who smashes through the roof of the train to cause some trouble. Despite its intimidating size, it goes down effortlessly if you feed a few rounds from the Hunting Gun into its face from point-blank range.
  • Dragon's Crown has cat-sized Scorpions as a common enemy encounter. They're small enough that several attacks whiff over them, but their poison still packs a punch. In fact, the art book mentions that Elves harvest their poison for their poisoned arrows and daggers. They're also large enough to be common source of nutrition for adventurers and are cooked like crabs during camp.
  • Crixalis, the Sand King, from Dota 2, was meant to be an Anthropomorphic Personification of the desert, but he took the form of a scorpion because scorpions are found in the desert commonly and his old model was a scorpion-ish Nerubian from Warcraft III. He's more about burrowing, but his stinger tail contains venom that will make those infected by it explode messily when they die as shown in his skill Caustic Finale. It's the least of your worries when it comes to Sand King.
  • Skarner from League of Legends also took form of a scorpion, and his pincers really pack a punch. He's not a venomous scorpion, but his stinger tail can inflict another breed of 'poison', in this case, encase his victim in crystal for a few seconds and he can drag them anywhere he moves.
  • The scorpion in Deadly Creatures is one of two playable arachnids, the other being a spider... thing is, this particular scorpion appears to be channeling Kratos, as it has some unusually complex and brutal kill moves for what is supposed to be a wild animal.
  • Dark Souls II has Scorpioness Nakja, an Expy of Quelaag from the first game. Nakja has the upper body of a woman, but it's attached at the waist to the head of a giant, two-tailed scorpion. There is also Manscorpion Tark, a similar blend of man and scorpion, but despite his intimidating appearance, he's completely friendly and you can hold a conversation with him. In fact, it's even possible to summon him to help you against Nakja (he's her ex-husband, and he considers her to have gone insane and wishes to prevent her from harming anyone else).
  • Nuclear Throne has scorpions in the starting area, the Desert. They have a decent amount of health and shoot acid, and will stab you with their stingers if you touch them. There are also golden scorpions, which have more health and shoot more acid — at two different speeds! And they shoot out even more acid when they die.
  • Mo' Creatures: This Minecraft mod includes scorpions as a tamable neutral mob. They’re huge, about the size of the player, and come in four variants, with will deliver different status effects if they sting you: common dirt scorpions will poison you, cave scorpions will give you nausea, ice scorpions will slow you down, and Nether scorpions will set you on fire. You can also turn them into undead scorpions with an essence of undead.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • In Donkey Kong '94, Mario encounters indestructible scorpion enemies called Scorpy in the desert stage, which will cause him to lose a life should he touch them.
    • Mario's doppelganger Wario has faced scorpion enemies on occasion, typically found in desert areas.
      • Wario Land: Shake It! features Flipstings, who keep their stingers arched over their backs and are thus immune to jump attacks.
      • Wario World has Big Scorpers, which attack by lashing with their stingers.
  • The Sand Scorpio enemy in Sword of Mana is the sole scorpion enemy in the game, with a stinging attack that can inflict poison and the ability to buff its attack power in addition to standard attacks. As a rare enemy, it also deals Scratch Damage and causes you to fall over on contact.
  • Titan Quest has giant scorpions as enemies in Egypt, coming in three variants: normal, yellow ones (about the size of your hero), slightly smaller, black Stygian Scorpions (which are much more resistant to damage, especially poison) and the colossal yellow scorpions, which are rarely encountered. The desert also offers humanoid scorpions as enemies.
  • In Unemployment Quest, you play as a young man named Chris who's trying to get a job, and fights monsters that take the form of his negative emotions. The one representing Laziness looks like a scorpion.
  • In the original Rayman, one of the bosses is Mr. Skops, a giant red scorpion who can throw his claws at you and fire lasers from the stinger on his tail.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Vectorman 2 has giant scorpion enemies that inhabit Stage 5, "Fired". When Vectorman defeats them, they leave behind power-ups that briefly give him a scorpion tail to attack with, also making him temporarily immune to lava.
  • In Little Red Hood, scorpions appear as enemies.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • In Bug Fables, Psicorps are common enemies in the Lost Sands, though they are actually pseudoscorpions. Actual scorpions also make an appearance, as the Dune Scorpion appears as a Mini-Boss, also in the Lost Sands. Not only it's a vicious, violent predator, but it manages to nearly kill Leif just when the team presumed it to be dead. In the Giant's Lair, the Roaches who live there also managed to tame scorpions as pets, even noting they are very tame when compared to the Dead Landers, much to the heroes' disturbance.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • The Deathstalker, an armored scorpion the size of several vans. The first one we see takes the combined efforts of four main characters to bring it down.
      • RWBY: Amity Arena makes for a different kind of "Scary": the Baby Deathstalker is much smaller than the one in the show, but it's a whole swarm with really quick attack, and thus can destroy what's on their path in the blink of an eye.
    • Tyrian Callows, a Scorpion Faunus with a poisonous stinger that serves as Salem's primary enforcer and assassin. A Serial Killer that terrorized multiple kingdoms, he worships Salem as a literal goddess and takes great pleasure in serving her in whatever way she desires. Even the other members of Salem's group consider him disturbing, with Tyrian just as eager to torment his "allies" as his enemies when given the opportunity. Insane and melodramatic as he is, Tyrian is far more cunning and intelligent than he seems — able to manipulate his victims and psychologically torment them before ending their lives. Inspired by the fable, "The Scorpion and the Frog", Tyrian is a sadist capable of turning the tables on the unwary, even when seemingly captured and helpless.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Jonny Quest TOS episode "The Curse of Anubis". A desert scorpion menaces the Quest team, but Race Bannon kills it with a whip.
  • A giant scorpion (actually a robot) shows up in an Ancient Egypt episode of Scooby-Doo.
  • Scorponok from Transformers transforms into a giant scorpion that's covered in guns.
    • Unless if it was Movie Scorponok, however. And Beast Wars Scorponok (Optimus Primal and Cheetor are the exact size of the animals they scanned, and Scorponok is their height, so he may not even be human-sized.)
    • However, that's still giant compared to an actual scorpion. The giantest, however, is G1 Scorponok (the transformed form of The Hive's base). Aside from Unicron and Primus, Scorponok (along with his rival Fortress Maximus) may be the tallest Transformer in the cartoon franchise.
    • Beast Wars also has Quickstrike, whose beast mode is a scorpion...with a cobra for a tail!
  • Xiaolin Showdown:
    • One episode was actually about Kimiko accidentally setting an evil scorpion demon named Sibini free after accidentally smashing a Shen Gon Wu called the "Mosaic Scale" (also Sibini's supposed prison) to pieces, and as a result, she and her partners had to put it back together again before Sibini wreaked havoc upon the entire world.
    • Another episode featured a Shen Gon Wu called the "Emperor Scorpion", which actually served as some sort of mind-control device.
  • Kulipari: An Army of Frogs has Lord Marmoo, an Evil Overlord who desires to destroy the Amphibilands so he can create his own empire, the Arachnilands.
  • Teen Titans introduces Terra by having her running from/fighting a giant scorpion.
  • In The Fairly OddParents episode "Mr. Right", Timmy wishes he was always right and comes across Francis to state that a scorpion is behind his back. The scorpion appears out of nowhere and stings Francis in the palm, causing his hand to swell up in size. Francis eventually gets back at Timmy in the end with a jar full of scorpions, as well as a beehive and a female wrestler (the former two Timmy has wished to use against Francis prior to the scene).
  • One episode of Godzilla: The Series had Zilla battle giant mutant scorpions being bred by a top-secret US military facility to kill him. The same episode also featured a disturbing vision from one of the characters foreshadowing the scorpions' origins, where he sees a giant human-headed scorpion and faceless soldiers with scorpions' tails attacking him.
  • A scorpion serves as a recurring enemy in Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness.
  • Six and Bobo encounter a nest of giant scorpions in the Generator Rex episode "Breach".
  • Averted and then played straight in the Sniz & Fondue cartoon "A Toxic Tail" on KaBlam!. Fondue buys a Madagascar Scorpion to keep Sniz out of his room. Sniz tells him that he's not scared since the scorpion is in a tank. Once it gets loose though, everyone freaks out since "one sting and it kills."
  • In one episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Grim and Dracula find themselves stranded in the desert and end up eating the scorpions. It's shortly revealed the scorpions were babies belonging to a horrified giant mother scorpion, who attacked them in retaliation.
    Giant Scorpion: My babies!''
    Dracula: Well, maybe if you didn't make your babies so delicious, Dracula wouldn't have had to eat 'em!''
  • In the Hercules/Aladdin crossover "Hercules and the Arabian Night", Jafar conjures up a giant scorpion to take on Hercules. Jafar says it is the perfect counter to Hercules, because of its incredible speed. Fortunately, Hercules anticipated this and he and Aladdin had disguised themselves as each other. Aladdin easily evades the scorpion's attacks with his agility, then he and Hercules destroy Jafar's staff of power, making the scorpion disappear.
  • In The Lion Guard, Simba gets stung by a scorpion assassin sent by Scar's spirit on his tail. As a result he becomes deathly ill. Kion and his friends go on a quest to find the cure.
  • Scorpia from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a subversion: she's a big, muscular scorpion-woman with pincers and a stinger tail, working for the evil Horde, but she has such a nice, affable personality that she barely qualifies as a villain. She can still put up a fight, though.
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In "Attack on Pinball Fortress", Robotnik attacks Sonic, Sergeant Doberman, and Wes Weasely with Boss Scorpion, a giant robot scorpion who serves a stand-in for Scorpius, the boss of Toxic Caves from Sonic Spinball.
    • In "The Mobius 5000", one of Robotnik's Race-Bots is Scorpion, a robot who stings his enemies with his scorpion tail.

    Real Life 
  • A discovery in 2020 determined that the first animals to venture from water onto land were probably primordial scorpions, evolved to crawl on the sea floor like modern crustaceans. This adaptation made it easy for them to venture onto land, and at the time, there would have been no animal competition on land to counter them.
  • Smaller scorpion species, such as the desert scorpion, are pretty dangerous. Should you come across one, the best thing to do is not to give it an excuse to attack you. But even then, it'd be no worse than a bee sting. Yes it would hurt, but it probably won't kill you unless you're allergic.
  • The Emperor Scorpion, probably the largest and most iconic scorpion species, is often used as the model for this trope, but fall for the Reality Is Unrealistic trap. They're one of the friendliest and least venomous species of scorpions. In general, the biggest scorpions, like the Emperor and the few others kept in the pet trade, are minimally venomous. This is because their claws are so big they can kill their prey with brute force and don't need venom, whereas the smaller scorpions do. This video demonstrates how docile this species is, showing a keeper handle a very curious, adventuring emperor scorpion, without once being grabbed, stung, or bitten.
  • A lot of scorpion species actually avoid using their venom in self defense, relying instead on their powerful claws and protective exoskeletons to protect themselves. This is because they want to conserve their venom for when they need it (like killing prey).
  • Make no mistake, though — there are a few scorpions whose venom is potentially deadly, especially to less healthy individuals and children. Those include some fattail scorpions (the genus' Latin name is Androctonus, which translates to "man killer"), the equally appropriately named Deathstalker scorpion (whose venom is by far the most potent of any species in the world), the Indian red scorpion, and the Arizona bark scorpion (the latter of which being the most venomous species of scorpion found in North America).
  • The aforementioned Deathstalker is one of the most dangerous species with an extremely painful venom. While very painful, though, it probably won't kill you. The venom of the Deathstalker, known as Chlorotoxin, is a heavy target of medical research. It does two, remarkable things. One, it can actually help the body regulate insulin, which can help fight diabetes. Two, a synthetic version of the toxin can be used to target brain tumors. When lined with fluorescent molecules, the venom highlights cancer cells, which makes removing them significantly easier. The venom has been known to highlight instances of cancer only 200 cells strong. 200 seems like a big number, but when you talk about brain cells, it's probably not enough to see with the naked eye.
  • While modern scorpions are strongly associated with arid environments like deserts, savannahs and scrublands, the Eurypterids, a group of ancient arthropods informally known as Sea Scorpions, lived, as the name suggests, in the ocean and other aquatic habitats. These grew to be much larger then any living scorpion, the biggest of them being 8 ft 2 in. They went extinct during the Permian-Triassic extinction event. Despite the name, they weren't actually scorpions — their closest living relatives would be the horseshoe crabs — and only resembled them in their elongated body plan and their front limbs ending in large claws. They didn't have a sting (their bodies ended in flat paddles for swimming) and would have used their claws as their primary weapons.
  • Several actual species of giant scorpions have been found in the Paleozoic fossil record.
    • Pulmonoscorpius, from the Carboniferous, grew to be a solid 70 cm (28 in) long, in large part thanks to the atmosphere's higher oxygen content at the timenote .
    • Brontoscorpio was even bigger, reaching nearly a meter in length. One of the earliest scorpions known, it is also though to have been a strictly marine animal.
  • There's a scorpion in the sky too: the zodiacal constellation of Scorpius, that in the past was even bigger — the neighboring constellation of Libra was once its claws.
  • The scorpio was a giant crossbow-like Roman Siege Engine used to kill enemies at hundreds of meters.
  • The Whip Scorpion is a subversion. They look like really creepy scorpion-like creatures, but are biologically closer to spiders due to being tetrapulmonates, making them more of a Spiders Are Scary case instead.


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