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Shell Tropes

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Shells, whether attached to the body or not, are important defense mechanisms and recognizable features of many different types of animals. As such, many tropes in fiction make use of shelled creatures. This index is for listing tropes about creatures with shells, as well as tropes about shells themselves.

Not to be confused with bullet shells.


  • Clam Trap: Clams and other bivalves can bite people or trap them in their shells.
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  • Clamshell Currency: Seashells as money.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Enormous, antagonistic crabs or other crustaceans.
  • Penny-Pinching Crab: Crabs associated with greed and materialism.
  • Perplexing Pearl Production: Pearls in fiction are often naturally created quickly and perfectly, and any bivalve can create them.
  • Removable Shell: Shells treated as detachable items of clothing.
  • Seashell Bra: A brassier made out of seashells.
  • Shell Backpack: An anthropomorphic turtle or armadillo wears clothing that covers only the front of their shell.
  • Shy Shelled Animal: Animals with shells are depicted as timid or cowardly.
  • Speedy Snail: Animals known for being slow are depicted as fast.
  • Sturdy and Steady Turtles: Fictional turtles being portrayed as preposterously slow, but patient, determined and/or well-defended.
  • Turtle Island: Fish, turtles, or whales large enough to be mistaken for landmasses.
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  • Wild West Armadillo: Armadillos associated with The Wild West.
  • Wise Old Turtle: Ancient tortoises or turtles with vast knowledge and wisdom.


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