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Spiders Are Scary

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Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Then along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
— "Little Miss Muffet" nursery rhyme

Some people are scared of spiders. Whenever they see a spider, they will become scared, either screaming in horror or trying to swat the spider with a rolled-up newspaper or stomp it to death if it's on the floor.

Essentially, this trope is when spiders are portrayed as being scary monsters in different forms of media. Sometimes, they can be giant monsters in horror movies, while they can be normal-sized, yet still retain the scariness that they are thought to have.

They're often portrayed as extremely venomous, capable of killing or incapacitating humans. This happens occasionally in Real Life and near constantly in stories. In these instances, the sight of a creeping spider is comparable to that of an approaching cobra or tiger. If anthropomorphic, they may be portrayed as more sneaky and manipulative. They may be Evil Puppeteers, due to the resemblance between a spider's webbing and a puppet's strings.

In reality, while there are indeed a number of deadly spiders on Earth, most of them are more likely to be found in relatively "remote" or exotic regions, such as Australia or Brazil—and even there, most spiders are harmless, and not all areas have particularly venomous spiders.note  In America, the most notorious deadly spiders are the black widow and the brown recluse, and the very name will have an air of death and apprehension. In reality, both of these spiders are extremely docile, and their bites are rarely serious — most fatalities are children or people with weak immune systems.

In lieu of either of these spiders, however, the spider most likely to be used to inspire fear and revulsion is one of a wide variety of tarantula species. Despite being relatively harmless to humans, their size and appearance is a grade of Nightmare Fuel all by themselves. Even when a spider really is dangerous to humans — such as the Sydney funnel web or Brazilian wandering spider — they won't aggressively attack people under normal circumstances (see Animal Assassin for more information). The former, in fact, has 13 total confirmed deaths to its name — all prior to the introduction of antivenom in 1981.

In reality, more people are killed each year by champagne corks or falling vending machines than spiders. A rather unimpressive record compared to, say, bears, crocodiles, venomous snakes, or even canines or sharks. However, those animals all have two eyes, internal skeletons, and red blood. When it comes to narrative effect, otherness is always scarier than practical threat.

Sadly, this trope is Truth in Television, as arachnophobia is one of the most common phobias found in people of all ages, preceded only by heights and darkness. Spiders themselves are Not Evil, Just Misunderstood, as they are very effective pest controllers and most species will not (and most often cannot) do anyone any harm and are docile creatures. Killing them is actually detrimental, especially if one has a large garden or a insect problem (and considered bad luck in some cultures). That unfortunately doesn't stop most people from instinctively wanting them dead or out of the house.

Compare Creepy Camel Spider, Giant Spider, Spider Swarm, Sneaky Spider, Scary Scorpions and Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?. Contrast Friend to Bugs, for someone who might love spiders, and Friendly Neighborhood Spider, for the opposite depiction of these animals. Compare and contrast Seductive Spider, which depicts spiders as attractive despite still being implicitly threatening.

Not to be confused with Demonic Spiders, which is a gameplay trope, though the two can certainly overlap.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Animal Crossing: The Movie, Ai gets a spider on her hand and freaks out.
  • Digimon:
    • The first three seasons had Dokugumon, a monstrous spider Digimon who served either as a guard to the bad guy's lair or just as a typical spider catching other Digimon that get caught in its web.
    • The second season also had Arukenimon, an Arc Villain.
    • The first season had what's named Kodokugumon. Those are the zillions and zillions of mini-Dokugumon that appeared with the first one.
    • You can go for an army of the full-sized ones! That's what happened in Digimon Data Squad. If Gaogamon's Mid-Season Upgrade hadn't shown up then, the team would have been screwed.
    • Digimon Ghost Game features the return of Arukenimon as a brain-eating Mad Scientist with an entire army of Dokugumon at her beck and call. She's easily one of the most terrifyingly effective villains in the series and would have killed the entire main cast had GulusGammamon not dealt with her. A later episode has a new version of Kodokugumon overrun a shopping center, attacking the shoppers en masse with corrosive venom and feeding on them to grow bigger.
  • Little Lulu: Mentioned, but not quite seen in fruition, but in Episode 6, Tubby is apparently scared of spiders.
  • Maya the Bee: There's an episode of the anime where Maya is trapped in a sinister spider's web, which boasts about how it will eat her. However, Maya is saved thanks to intervention from Flip the Grasshopper, who destroys the web with a high-powered jump.
  • While Rachnera from Monster Musume is a decent person once you scratch under the surface (well, mostly), she does get quite a bit of mileage from her potential to scare/intimidate thanks to her arachnid appearance, like the time she stopped the Attempted Rape of Centorea dead in its tracks.
  • One Piece, humorously example in the Jaya arc when Sanji, Nami and Usopp while hunting for the South Bird the trio discover a tarantula crawling up Nami's waist. Naturally Nami freaks out and even Sanji (the dude who stands up to Enel in the same arc) also is terrified but hilariously Usopp picks the spider up and pets it saying he used to train tarantulas back home.
    • Fitting for the horror-theme island of Thriller Bark, a giant fusion of a monkey and spider Tararan but he's more silly than scary. The spider mice are more creepy. They are mice the size of dogs that can silently wrap up the Monster Trio and drag them away.
    • Vice Admiral Onigumo has spider-Devil Fruit and can gain six more arms in addition to a huge spider abdomen, but it's unknown if he's Zoan who can go full spider which would be terrifying.
  • Played with in Pokémon: The Series.
    • The Johto episodes introduced Spinarak and its evolved form, Ariados, while the Unova episodes introduced Joltik and its evolved form, Galvantula. Even more frightening is that both Joltik and Galvantula have the ability, Unnerve. Likewise, Spinarak and Ariados both have the move, Scary Face.
    • The spider-type Pokémon can be considered more of an aversion to this trope due to their basic designs not being all that grotesque, especially what with Spinarak and Joltik being more cute and cuddly looking in appearance.
    • Misty is terrified of spiders but only because she's afraid of bug Pokémon in general.
    • In one episode, there was a entire police force that employed Spinarak to catch criminals.
  • So I'm a Spider, So What? also plays with the trope. Most Taratect, especially Kumoko's titanic Mother, look exactly as creepy as you'd expect giant spider monstrosities to look, but our main protagonist Kumoko looks like the cutest thing on eight legs. This turns out to be just her own view of herself - from the perspective of humans, she is just as terrifying to behold as any other Taratect, and when she tries to speak to explain herself, all that comes out is horrific screeching. What's more, as she is far more powerful than the average member of her kind, has a bunch of skills you would not expect a beast to have, and fights with a human mind as opposed to the instincts of a monster. Her encounter with a party that attempts to kill her results in a terrifying Mook Horror Show that earns her the title "Nightmare of the Labyrinth". In fact, Kumoko is so damn scary that even other monsters start fleeing from her, causing her to completely wreck the ecosystem of the Great Elroe Labyrinth just by existing.
  • Soul Eater Arachne is a major villain with a spider theme organization.

    Comic Books 
  • Avengers: The Initiative: Armory is scared of spiders. This turns out to be a bad mix with a guy who turns into whatever anyone near him is afraid of and no control over it, and a girl with a weapon that responds to her thoughts. Armory has a Freak Out, and accidentally blows out another recruit's brains.
  • Vera in Be Prepared, after her first night in camp, goes to the "Hollywood" (outdoor toilet) to poop, and while doing her business looks up to see the ceiling covered in spiders, with one coming down towards her. She takes off running and finishes outside.
  • Ice Cream Man: Issue 1 gets a lot of mileage out of this trope with a species of deadly venomous spider that a boy is keeping as a pet. It manages to gruesomely kill several people with its bite before the story is over.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW): Zig-zagged in "No Fear!... Except One" with the wolf fly-der. It's huge, tries to eat the main characters, and its spaces is supposed to be trapped in Tartarus, but it is first easily scared off by Applejack and later talked into returning to Tartarus by Apple Bloom.
  • Nightwing: Twisted and played with with Tarantula. The original was a Silver Age hero. The current day one was an Anti-Hero who raped Nightwing while he was having a mental breakdown after encouraging him to kill.
  • Red Robin: Tim finds himself fighting a cabal of bloodthirsty killers who go by spider-themed code-names and call themselves the Council of Spiders. Some of them take the creepy spider theme further, like "Sac" who controls what appears to be a swarm of thousands of little spiders that eat their way into people so he can see through the victim's eyes and when he's done he has them tear and eat their way out of the victim fatally.
  • Sonic the Comic: Sonic has a fear of spiders.
  • Spider-Man: While averted by the heroic Spider-man himself, this is played straight by his spider-motif enemies Venom and Carnage. Sort of.
    • Even then, Spider-Man is supposed to be creepy. When shown from the villains' point of view, we're shown a guy who moves and stands nothing like a human being, can come out of freaking nowhere, and no matter how far you run or how sneaky you think you're being, you will find him hanging upside down in front of you with the giant bug-eyed eyepieces staring into your soul.
    • Subverted in the Six-Arms Saga, where Peter accidentally sprouts four extra appendages after taking a serum meant to nullify his spider powers and goes into hiding, reasoning that the public and many if not all of the people he cares about will react this way upon seeing him like that.
    • In issue 1 of Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (2019), Spider-Man rescues a little girl, and when he returns the girl to her dad, the girl sees the giant spider symbol on Spider-Man's chest, and smacks it. Her dad goes up to Spidey and apologizes to him, saying that his daughter is scared of spiders.
    • An alternate universe that Deadpool encounters plays this horrifically straight. Not only has Spider-Man chosen to keep his extra arms, along with sporting fangs and engaging in cannibalism, but he has become a Horseman of Apocalypse, specifically Pestilence.
    • According to Stan Lee, Marvel publisher Martin Goodman almost squashed the Spider-Man idea for the reason that "people don't like spiders." This is why Spidey made his debut in the last issue of the cancelled Amazing Fantasy.
    • In one of the Avengers/Justice League crossovers, Wonder Woman describes Spider-Man as "creepy" and tells him that it's his own fault people are suspicious of him.
  • Tintin:
    • The Shooting Star, Tintin sees a meteorite through a telescope and nearly has a heart attack when he sees a spider covering the entire thing. It turns out it was just a spider through the telescope, which causes Snowy to laugh at him... until he sees it himself and jumps three feet in the air (which blossoms a running gag through the series). Later, Tintin ends up fighting a spider as large as him.
    • The Black Island: Snowy is shown being frightened by a spider.
  • Transformers: Sins of the Wreckers introduces its version of Tarantulas, who is generally less creepy than his cannibalistic Beast Wars counterpart, but is a morally unhinged lunatic who turns into a giant-even-by-Cybertronian-standards spider, and has an unhealthy fixation with Prowl.
  • Transformers Windblade: Subverted by Blackarachnia. She seems sinister when she's first introduced, but she's actually a Creepy Good hermit and seer who's only interest is helping Windblade and Cybertron.

    Fan Works 
  • Casey Steele: Betsy's so afraid of them that she uses plasma cannon and still doesn't think it's enough:
    "Maybe the plasma cannon is a bit over-kill with spiders Bets?"
    Betsy gave him a 'you must be nuts' look, "You think?" she asked not sounding convinced otherwise.
  • Harry Potter and the Prince of Slytherin: Diary!Tom Riddle repeatedly tortures Ron Weasley into obedience by exploiting his severe arachnophobia.
  • Heredity:
    • Amy's first encounter with Taylor is at a school "don't become a supervillain!" presentation featuring the Wards. It's deadly dull until a large spider mysteriously finds its way onto Gallant's helmet, making him loudly Freak Out as he tries to bat it away.
    • As everyone is walking away after the presentation and chatting, Dennis tries to make Taylor jump by telling her that another spider is right behind her. Since she was not only fully aware of the spider, but also in total control of it, she's of course not bothered, and says she likes them, even as the spider in question crawls onto her shoulder.
      Dennis: Why would you like spiders? They're, y'know, crawly.
  • The Nightmare House: Leni Loud's nightmare in features giant, talking spiders, which she describes as looking terrifying, especially their eyes.
  • Prehistoric Park Reimagined: While generally prone to feeling nervous around multiple different types of invertebrates during the earliest seasons of the story, and also someone who generally loves all animals as a whole, Leon Gilbertson is also not ashamed to admit that spiders are one of the few animals that he is truly unambiguously terrified of. Quite notably, even after gaining the courage to work with several other potentially unnerving prehistoric invertebrates such as pulmonoscorpius, he still shows himself to be more than willing to try to put off trying to work with the newly discovered prehistoric spider genus megalorachne.

    Films — Animation 
  • BIONICLE: Web of Shadows shows off the Visorak horde, which are essentially extremely intelligent man-sized spiders with massive mandibles who have conquered and enslaved entire islands and want to keep doing that. Best part, in their tongue, their name means "stealers of life".
  • Dreambuilders: Jenny certainly thinks so. Minna capitalizes on this by using spiders in Jenny's nightmare.
  • Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil had a giant black widow spider attempt to attack and devour Red Riding Hood and her grandma before the timely arrival of the Woodsman and his team of yodelers. Subverted in the end where the spider is befriended by Granny's redeemed rival.
  • Alex from Madagascar is spooked by a large spider on his shoulder, after it gives him a friendly "Well, howdy do." Thankfully the sounds of his horrified roars scare off the fossa, saving Mort's life in the process.
  • After all of his Death Traps fail to impress Roxanne, Megamind notices a spider dangling in front of her face and pretends it was intended. Then Roxanne nonchalantly blows on it and it lands on his face. Cue freak out.
  • The Secret of NIMH: A spider stalked Mrs. Brisby without her knowing it before it got squashed by the Great Owl.
  • The opening scene of Shrek 4D at Universal Studios has Donkey reacting in terror towards a spider that came down in front of him.
  • In Treasure Planet, Scroop, one of the main antagonists, resembles a giant spider. He is the one that acts the most threatening of all the pirates.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The ABCs of Death: The whole point of the "E" segment is about a man being menaced by a spider.
  • Annie Hall — Annie calls Alvy (Woody Allen) over late at night claiming an emergency (some months after they broke up, as an excuse to see him again) — when he finds out it's for a spider in the tub, he gets peevish and exasperated at her...he enters the bathroom and comes right out, saying "Very big spider. Lotta trouble, there's two of them!"
  • Arachnophobia was a film about a group of hybridized spiders that invaded a California town and began killing the inhabitants that lived there.
  • In The Believers, the female lead has the egg of a parasitic spider placed on her cheek by the voodoo cultists so tiny baby spiders eventually hatch from her face.
  • In Big Ass Spider!, a giant alien spider escapes from a military lab and rampages the city of Los Angeles.
  • In the 2006 adaptation of Charlotte's Web, it's averted, obviously. However, as far as Ike the horse is concerned though, it's played straight, but Played for Laughs. He mostly grows out of it at the end when Charlotte's babies hatch
    • When Ike sees Charlotte for the first time, he starts shrieking ''SPIDER! GET IT AWAY FROM ME! GET IT AWAY!"
    • Then when Charlotte reveals to Wilbur that she drinks flies' blood, Ike faints to the ground with a loud THUD. Then as Charlotte climbs down next to the fallen horse.
      Ike: Please don't hurt me.
      Charlotte: Well, since you said "please." (chuckles)
    • Also this dialogue when Charlotte is trying to get him involved to a meeting involving Wilbur
      Charlotte: Ike, this meeting involves every one of us.
      Ike: I just have...trouble looking at you. That's all.
      Charlotte: Well, this isn't about me, this is about Wilbur. And for the record, my view of you is not exactly a treat, either.
  • In Dr. No, a mook plants a tarantula in Bond's hotel room at night, clearly the most terrifying thing in the world. In the book it was a centipede known by Bond to be deadly — guess he hadn't read up on all the arthropods...
  • The 1950s sci-fi film Earth vs. the Spider was about a giant mutant spider that invaded a nearby city. No relation to a similarly-titled 2001 movie about a lowly comic book fan who injects himself with a serum in order to become a superhero with spider-like powers, but although it causes him to gain the powers of a human-sized spider, it also gives him the appearance of a human-sized spider and an endless hunger for human flesh.
  • Eight Legged Freaks is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, but it plays the whole thing for laughs with the spiders' silly voices and antics.
  • Enemy: This film is not for arachnophobes.
  • The ending scene from The Fly (1958). The sight of that otherwise normal spider slowly approaching the helpless fly-human...
  • In Hangman's Curse, it's revealed that the attacks are the result of planted pheromones causing an African Spotted wolf spider to bite the victims. Then, they breed with a brown recluse spider and infest the school...
  • The Haunted Mansion (2003) had one of a pair of siblings who suffers from crippling arachnophobia. Predictably, he's forced to overcome his phobia to save his mom from an arranged marriage with a misguided ghost by opening a door crawling with giant spiders.
  • Haunted Mansion (2023): When Travis lifts up Alistair's hat, a Scare Chord can be heard when there turns out to be a big spider underneath it.
  • Invoked in Home Alone when Kevin escapes from Marv by putting his brother's escaped tarantula on Marv's face. Marv freaks out and Screams Like a Little Girl.
  • In The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959) a tarantula is left in the shoe belonging to Henry Baskerville, which promptly crawls up his arm to his shoulder, poised to deliver a deadly bite before Holmes sweeps it off with a walking stick and kills it. Partially justified later, when Holmes remarks that a tarantula’s bite is not always deadly, but Baskerville’s heart condition would have made it so.
  • Infested is about an abnormal invasion of small venomous spiders in a French banlieue.
  • Itsy Bitsy focuses on a family menaced by an ancient entity that takes the form of a Giant Spider and plays a lot of spider horror tropes to the hilt.
  • One of the things trying to kill you in Jumanji.
    Need a hand? Well, just you wait. We'll help you out. We each have eight.
  • John Cardos' 1977 epic Kingdom of the Spiders featuring William Shatner was about a Southwestern town of Verde Valley that was overrun by a bunch of killer spiders after a pesticide kills off all the other bugs.
  • Meet the Feebles features a Giant Spider that works at the docks. It attacks Bletch, Trevor, and Barry, killing the latter by eating his head off. It ends up getting killed by having its face smashed against a hanging cargo. Regardless, it is pretty terrifying to look at! Bletch even reveals a fear of spiders when the arachnid tries to kill him.
  • The New Daughter: A spider pops out of a container hidden in the straw doll Louisa gets from the mound-walkers.
  • Nightwish: A character hallucinates having her head placed inside a glass box full of tarantulas.
  • On the Buses: After seeing how terrified a spider makes Olive, Stan decides to use spiders in his plot to get rid of the women bus drivers. He dumps a few in Vera's cab, which terrifies her when she discovers them, causing her to collide with a lorry.
  • After brushing aside an enormous web, Indiana Jones and his guide Satipo in Raiders of the Lost Ark find dozens of tarantulas crawling on them, but calmly brush them off. Tarantulas, of course, do not build webs.
  • The duology of horror films: Spiders & Spiders II: Breeding Ground.
  • The more recent Spiders 3 D. Pity any arachnophobes who dare to see this film in its original format.
  • In Tarantula!, a giant spider killed in the end by Clint Eastwood.
  • The giant mechanical spider from the Will Smith movie Wild Wild West. Earlier in the film, Gordon is terrified of the desert tarantula that is crawling up Jim's arm. Jim, unfazed, comments "he's just trying to get warm."

  • Animal Inn: Mrs. Racer and Erin certainly think so in book 6, as they have minor panic attacks when Teddy brings home Herman the tarantula, a class pet, for a short while.
  • The first couple of times wolf spider is used as a morph in Animorphs. Played straight in The Android, when Marco has to morph a wolf spider. He really, really doesn't want to.
  • Both played straight and subverted in The Ashtown Burials: the Whip Spiders are terrifying creatures which hunt in packs, with one or two stings being enough to kill a normal person while a swarm puts even immortal Nolan in agony. Arachne, however, despite controlling armies of spiders and being generally slightly creepy, is helpful, friendly and firmly on the side of the heroes.
  • Legs the Tarantula in The Bad Guys quickly terrifies the others (save for Mr. Wolf, who he's already on good terms with) purely out of being a spider. Despite this, he's a good guy with simply a bad reputation, an amazing hacker and inventor for the team, and an all-around nice guy. A major arc in the book "Mission Unpluckable", his debut book in the series, is him teaming up with Mr. Shark, who has to learn how to shake his fear of him to help the others.
  • Averted in Charlotte's Web, where Charlotte is kind and sympathetic towards Wilbur. That said, she is very frank about what her species does to survive, at one point casually mentioning how delicious the blood of insects is, which Squicks Wilbur pretty hard.
  • In The Dark Tower, Mordred is described as a sort of were-spider. Fitting, given who one of his fathers is. The Crimson King, who is sometimes called the "Lord of Spiders," and is somewhat were-spider-like in the comic adaptations.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg has serious arachnophobia as shown in The Getaway. He is completely panicked when he meets a tarantula.
  • The title character in Eden Green is a self-styled rationalist who always takes time to figure out the most logical action. This is momentarily abandoned as soon as she learns that the needle monsters invading her town can take the form of a nineteen-legged spider the size of a basketball.
  • In Forever After by Catherine Anderson, Dan would punish his wife Meredith by putting spiders in her clothes and bedding, and would have them crawl over her skin while he raped her. Even years after his death she feels the compulsion to check her bed for spiders every time before she gets in, and the sight of a chinese takeout box (which Dan used to transport the spiders) kills her appetite.
  • They are robots, each fitted with a Brain in a Jar, but the brain spiders in Galaxy of Fear unsettle and frighten Zak, especially since they seem to be stalking him. When they finally corner him, they turn out to be on his side and trying to tell him something, which is hard to do when you're a meter-tall metal spider that can't talk. He's also alarmed later in the series when there are knobby white spiders around on Dagobah. Yoda tests him by forcing him to be near one that's pacified.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Averted with Harry, who has lived in a cupboard long enough not to be bothered by normal spiders.
    • His best friend Ron however is terrified of spiders, stemming from a childhood incident where Fred cruelly turned his teddy bear into a spider. It's a fear that's shared by his actor in the films, Rupert Grint. This fear is made much worse when, in the second book, he and Harry have to brave an entire colony of Acromantula; while they got out okay, Ron spent a few minutes afterwards vomiting into Hagrid's garden.
    • In the third book when facing a Bogart — a shapeshifting creature that turns itself into a person's phobia — Ron naturally has his turn into a huge spider. The narration says "quite a few people screamed", showing he's far from the only arachnophobe in class.
    • The series feature Acromantula — which are Giant Spiders capable of human speech. They're also incredibly vicious and will happily eat humans. Hagrid's pet Aragog does not harm him out of loyalty — but he's happy to let his family eat Harry and Ron.
  • Much like Lewis's The Spiders is The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone. Spiders act more like army ants and have no respect for humans' role as being the top of the food chain.
  • Subverted in Hilda and the Mad Scientist. Dr. Weinerstein tries to scare Hilda away by dropping a spider onto a pie she's preparing. Hilda coos over it and puts it safely outside.
  • In It, Pennywise turns into a demonic Giant Spider. It's said that Its true form is incomprehensible to humans but they saw it as a spider because that was the closest thing their minds could associate it with.
  • Journey to Chaos: Team Four has to fight a knee-jerk reaction when Sathel's spiders crawl over them. They're intelligent field medic spiders but they still give the kids the creeps.
  • In The Last Continent, the land of Fourecks is filled with extremely venomous spiders. One victim dies instantly, then starts turning purple, and when the same spider bites a stick, the stick starts to dissolve. They are also known to use their webs as trampolines to go for the face.
  • Taken in a Bad Powers, Good People sense in The Lost Years of Merlin books, where the Grand Elusa is a white spider. A talking, ancient, size-shifting, teleporting, deeply magical, endlessly hungry white spider rightly seen as terrifying. She also patiently endures the main character's whining, has "love as strong as her hunger", and restricts her diet to evil things, even if she talks a lot about eating any visitors who show up. A serious case of Creepy Good, the Grand Elusa is really quite heroic as long as you only enter her home when she invites you in.
  • A Noodle Incident in Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor has Han Solo mentioning being uncomfortable when Leia was negotiating with a species which looked like giant human-headed spiders.
  • Averted in the Miss Spider books, where Miss Spider is a kindly Maiden Aunt to a town of bugs. Adorable, albeit subject to Carnivore Confusion. Spiderus, the resident Cranky Neighbor, seems like this at first, but the animated series mellows him out greatly, eventually even making him a Bumbling Dad.
  • In Morganville Vampires mad-scientist vampire, Myrnin, takes a pet house-spider and calls him Bob and gives him another spider as a friend. This is greatly to Claire's dislike, being an arachnophobe herself. Ada used the other spider as a weapon as she blew said other spider up to be the size of a stool and set him to attack Claire all because she was jealous of her. Eventually, the other spider just exploded, unable to cope with the dramatic resizing.
  • Once by James Herbert uses this trope to horrifying effect.
  • Annabeth, and all children of Athena, fear spiders in the Percy Jackson and The Heroes of Olympus book series. With good reason, as Athena created the original spider by cursing a human woman named Arachne for her hubris, and since that time her descendants have all sought revenge. It's mentioned in the books that spiders can sense Athena's offspring and will seek them out to attack them. The climax of The Mark of Athena involved Annabeth versus Arachne herself, a half-woman half-spider immortal who is so powerful that the immortal giants are afraid of her even though she cannot possibly kill them.
  • The fire-spiders in The Quest of the Unaligned. Not only are they giant foot-long spiders that shoot strands of flaming web, they also attack in swarms of five hundred or more and tend to inhabit caves where the spilt web on the walls can cook their victims alive via a notable aversion of Convection Shmonvection. The scene where Alaric and Laeshana have to cut their way through a swarm of these things is one of the book's tenser moments.
  • The Relativity character Ravenswood is afraid of spiders. One of the bad guys has the ability to control spiders... You can guess where this is going.
  • Double-subverted in Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Sadako is happy to find a spider in the first chapter and claims they bring good luck, which her brother doesn't believe. Given what ends up happening to her, the trope is being played straight.
  • The Scholomance: Sirenspiders are an arachnid variety of magical monster that likes to strike from ambush and enthralling its victims for leisurely consumption.
  • Subverted in Spellsinger. The Weavers look terrifying because they're human-sized spiders and protagonist Jon Tom is an arachnophobe, but they're actually peaceful and have no interest in joining the Plated Folk's war against the warm-blooded species- in fact they prefer staying as far away from mammals as they can, because they find the appearance of mammals such as humans to be utterly terrifying. They actually end up pulling a Big Damn Heroes moment in the climax, arriving in time to blunt a major attack by the Plated Folk.
  • Played to the absolute maximum in Richard Lewis's novel The Spiders. Imagine a spider as big as a Goliath bird-eater with masticating jaws, venom that first paralyzes and then kills, a hard crabshell-like exoskeleton, and two evil eyes that you can see looking at you. Now imagine that's just the drone in a social system similar to an ant or bee colony — its job is to find food and bring it back to the hive, which consists of some even larger spiders and an enormous queen. This is what the protagonists of the book have to deal with in order to save England, where the spiders are slowly advancing from the country into the cities.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium: Ungoliant from The Silmarillion, who's less "Giant Spider" and more "vaguely spider-shaped Eldritch Abomination." Morgoth himself became frightened of her once she got a little boost. Her mortal descendants include Shelob from The Lord of the Rings and the Mirkwood Spiders in The Hobbit, and while they're far less powerful than her, they're still pretty scary.
  • Dave Barry's column "The Web Badge of Courage" tells the story of bravely setting out, on his 41st birthday, to subdue what he calls "a spider the size of Harold C. Crittenden Junior High School" (or "Bernice" for short) that had set up a large web outside his front door, using a wooden stick and a peanut butter jar.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: Played with in an episode where Angel visits the goddess of lost things trying to find a way to locate Cordelia. She's big and spider-like and covered in webbing.
  • The Avengers (1960s): "The Fear Merchants" involves a group of people who find out their targets' worst fears and phobias and use them to devastating effect. Guess what one of those phobias is?
  • The Brady Bunch: The Hawaii trilogy had one ep with a spider sneaking into the hotel room beds and scaring some of the kids. It was crawling on one of the boys.
  • One episode of The Brittas Empire had someone try to assassinate Brittas by sending over a mating pair of extremely (as in, the poison kills in minutes) venomous spiders to the centre. The female ate the male in transit and eventually bit Colin in an unmentionable area, leading to Brittas having to Suck Out the Poison in order to save his life.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Subverted, as a student has a waking nightmare of a swarm of spiders attacking turns out he loves them, and this is a manifestation of his guilt at his pet spiders dying under the neglectful eye of his brother. Played straight by Willow, who is afraid of them. ("Why do they need all those legs anyway?")
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Averted with Aunt Hilda, whose pet spiders are her familiars. But Sabrina uses these spiders to traumatise her principal when he turns a blind eye to her friend being bullied.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Eight-Legs of Metebelis III in "Planet of the Spiders". Mutated by blue Metebelis crystals from Earth spiders that stowed aboard a colony ship, they eventually grew to several inches across and gained mental powers that allowed them to dominate (and occasionally eat) humans. Their supreme ruler the Great One became a true Giant Spider, many yards across, and attempted to take over the universe. You can probably guess how that turned out for her.
    • "Arachnids in the UK" involves the Doctor and company having to deal with very large spiders, the largest being the size of a van. Pretty much everyone involved feels this way about them, especially the arachnophobic Ryan and Robertson.
  • FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman: In the episode "Finding Eight-Legged Tights Isn't Easy", Ruff gets a panic attack when Chet plays ballet music to help him exercise to get ready to find the Lost Helmet of Victory. He recalls the time when he participated in ballet that involved using fake spiders. But Spot Spotnik replaced the fake spiders with real spiders, ruining the ballet and causing Ruff to have a fear of spiders and ballet ever since. Not only that, but Bethany Owens also has a fear of spiders. Later on in the episode, They both overcame their fears, with Bethany earning points for getting over her Arachnophobia.
  • Q from Impractical Jokers is terrified of spiders. Naturally, the other Jokers take advantage of this by covering him with tarantulas during a punishment.
  • Power Rangers and all other Toku series have a spider Monster of the Week every so often. Kamen Rider makes a point of it, as Homage. The first two Monster of the Weeks in the original series were a spider and a bat in that order, so many a modern KR will have a spider and a bat as the first monsters, or recurring enemies, or paired, or important to the story, or something. Spiders are really the ones they use to ramp up the creepy, though, so this trope is in effect whether homaging or not. Most KR monsters are People in Rubber Suits, but the spider in Kamen Rider ZO was a huge horrific Claymation drider with blood-red eyes and unhingeable jaws on its otherwise human face (looks like a Glasgow Smile, then opens its mouth, and... uh, you should run at that point.) Kamen Rider Ryuki gave us a giant CGI spider that revived as a giant CGI drider. Kamen Rider Double has a Spider Dopant in the team-up with Kamen Rider OOO, and its design wasn't too scary but its effect was pretty horrible.
  • Stargate Universe: "Human" and "Lost" have a spider-like alien animal encountered by the group. They're about the size of a small dog and have a huge mouth filled with needle-like fangs. They don't actually do anything besides hiss menacingly but are scary enough for Greer to shoot on sight.
    Col. Young: Why exactly was Greer "forced" to fire his weapon?
    Lt. Scott: There was... a spider, sir.
    Col. Young: A spider.
    Lt. Scott: It was a sizeable spider, sir.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Averted when Chief O'Brien tells Lieutenant Barclay at the end of "Realm of Fear" about how he overcame his own fear of spiders to work a repair in a spider-infested crawlspace. The episode ended with O'Brien's pet tarantula crawling on Barclay's arm.
    • The seventh-season episode "Genesis" had Barclay devolve into one for a Jump Scare.
  • The Fearnot episode of The Storyteller begins with the dog cowering in fear after seeing a spider, shot from the spider's point of view. The Storyteller is not afraid of said spider (which he then promptly kills), and in fact teases him about fearing such a thing.
  • Sweet Home (2020): One of the monsters is a giant spider with a human head. It chases Yi-kyung through the air-vents, and later attacks Du-sik and Su-yeong.
  • In The Wild Wild West episode "The Night of the Poisonous Posey" one of the bad guys uses tarantulas as murder weapons. West kills one when he sees it next to Gordon while he is taking a nap. Later, Gordon plants one in another bad guy’s glove. This bad guy spots it before it bites him, and he predictably thinks the spider guy is trying to kill him.
  • The Worst Witch: In the 1998 tv series, this is surprisingly averted by Mildred. She's terrified of heights and the dark but pretends to Miss Cackle that it's spiders she's afraid of — when asking if fear can be magicked away. Miss Cackle says it can't and one must just get used to their phobias — and conjures up a spider to make her point. Afterwards, Mildred reveals she loves them and has a pet spider at home.

  • Referred to metaphorically in the Jerry Cantrell song "Spiderbite", which compares a cocaine addiction to a spider stalking its victim in the shadows.
  • "The Spider" by Flanders and Swann is from the perspective of a man who has defeated all manner of large predators, but is petrified by "the spider in the bath."
  • The Hipgnosis cover of the 1970 Probe Records sampler Handle With Care is a closeup of a tarantula crawling on a leaf.
  • "Spiders & Snakes" by Jim Stafford.
  • "Boris the Spider" by The Who — though the narrator has the last laugh after crushing the little critter under a heavy book.

  • In Japanese Mythology, their exists a creature called the jorogumo, a spider demon. It's a yokai with the upper body of a beautiful woman and the deadly limbs of a spider (a sort of spider centaur). Almost always female, the jorogumo lures men to her nest, then turns into an enormous spider and eats them alive.

  • The "Devil's Island" table of Balls of Steel has spiders scurrying around the playfield, as well as a black widow's web at the top of the table.
  • The playfield for Metallica has black spiders with red guitar silhouettes all over the place.

  • The Magnus Archives has an episode about an arachnophobe who is plagued by one particular spider. Even though it's not particularly big, there's something horrible about it. He eventually realises that it's somehow the same spider that started his arachnophobia when he was a child.
  • In the Wolf 359-episode Extreme Danger Bug, Eiffel is exposed as an arachnophobe... By being the one who spends a big portion of the episode with a huge, hairy, slimy and VERY venomous spider in his shirt.
    Minkowski: Eiffel, don't worry. Everything is going to be alright. This thing is probably more scared of you than you are of him!
    Eiffel: (whimpering) While I normally could get on board with that train, I assure you that in this case I am definitely the more terrified party... I. Hate. Spiders!

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Tara's arrival in TNA revealed The Beautiful People were afraid of spiders, at least when they were big hairy tarantulas. Poison, as the spider was revealed to be named, only showed up when Tara was a babyface, suggesting no-one expected the audience to fear spiders. She did however use Poison to good effect when feuding with the Beautiful People — releasing her to crawl all over poor Velvet Sky. Likewise, Madison Rayne eventually found Poison in a box and was left terrified.

    Puppet Shows 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Lolth, Demon Queen (later goddess) of Spiders, is one of the game's most long-standing epic Big Bad villains. Adventures featuring Lolth or her drow minions typically revel in this trope.
    • In Ravenloft, the leader of the Nightmare Court takes the form of an aged monk wearing robes made of cobwebs, with live spiders crawling all over him.
  • Talislanta has the Crag Spider, which is 15' long, 300+ pounds, and has 12 legs.
  • In Warhammer, the goblin armies can use giant spiders, including the massive Arachnorok spider which is bigger than some warmachines.

    Video Games 
  • After the War: Certain Aliens seems to be modeled after spiders, and usually they're the creepier ones.
  • Animal Crossing: The tarantula, which is the closest thing to an actual enemy you'll ever encounter alongside the scorpion and the wasp. It makes an unnerving scratching noise as it moves, and villagers will sweat nervously and make some unsettled remarks if one is nearby. If it spots you it'll simply stare at you for a moment, then run off. However, if you have a bug net equipped when this happens, it'll instead hiss and start chasing you. If it catches you, its bite will knock you out, after which you'll wake up in front of your house no worse for wear. They only appear in autumn and winter, but that doesn't mean a break for the rest of the year, because the scorpion takes its place in spring and summer.
  • Arena.Xlsm: Spiders are a possible early-game enemy.
  • Bug Fables:
    • A (relatively) Giant Spider is the first boss of the game. It is a seemingly-immortal vicious predator that was known for being the reason every journey to Snakemouth Den ended up being the final one for many unfortunate explorers. It also ensnared Leif in its cobweb for decades, killing him and leaving his husk behind to be possessed by Cordyceps fungus. Ultimately, Team Snakemouth, together with Leif, finally manages to vanquish it, yet the tales of many explorers who fell in its hands still continue to haunt bugs.
    • Smaller spiders also appear as regular enemies, but the really creepy example has to be Mimic Spiders encountered in Forsaken Lands, who take the guise of ants to lure the team into a sense of security, only to reveal their true forms to attack and eat them.
    • Peacock Spider, another Giant Spider boss and one of the Bounty bosses, is a giant, vicious beast that basically acts as a Bugarian version of a siren, playing alluring beat to bring unfortunate travelers into its den on the Peacock Island, only to ambush and devour them. It also commands armies of Diving Spiders and can empower them in battle.
  • Born Under the Rain: A possible enemy, as seen in an official screenshot.
  • Cheese Cat-Astrophe Starring Speedy Gonzales: Spiders serve as common enemies. They scuttle back and forth, attempting to harm Speedy with Collision Damage.
  • City of Heroes has the recurring threat of Arachnos, and their leader, Lord Recluse. In City of Villains, you can work for them, if you want.
  • Dark Souls II features the Duke's Dear Freja, a massive, eight-legged abomination that nests on a hollowed-out dragon's corpse, and is accompanied by man-sized spiders. Her introductory cutscene makes a nightmarish close-up on one of her two heads, and she's none too happy about your intrusion on her territory. In fact, the other spiders react in fear to her as well; after her death, they will even run away if her head(s) is kicked anywhere near them, like they would with fire. On New Game Plus, she'll even scare the crap out of seasoned players by making an appearance outside of her boss area.
  • Devil May Cry: Phantom is a giant spider demon that is covered by rock and magma. He is a recurring boss in the first game and makes a brief cameo boss fight in the second.
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns: There's a level where spiders chase you down for disturbing their nest. Should the player get caught they are dragged into the swarm in true Nightmare Fuel fashion.
  • Dragon Age:
    • In the first game's Mage Origin there is a Giant Spider Jump Scare in the underground tunnels. When going down one of the tunnels a spider will drop down from the ceiling behind the player. That is, it jumps right over the camera and fills the entire screen.
    • The series has had giant spiders since the first game and regularly has them appear to fight the player in a Jump Scare. But in Dragon Age: Inquisition, during a sequence taking place in a nightmare realm, the Inquisitor and party have to fight off spider-like creatures sent by a creature called Nightmare. In-universe, each character is seeing something personalized, but the Inquisitor and Hawke are seeing spiders.
    • The spiders are named for various fears, Death, Abandonment, Senility, etc.; amusingly, at one point, one of them is given the title "Ironically, Spiders."
    • The Nightmare itself also looks like a horrifying giant spider to the Inquisitor. Seems like the Inquisitor is a bit of an arachnophobe.
  • EarthBound lampshades the idea that spiders are particularly scary, as the spiders that you fight are called Arachnid!s and Arachnid!!!s.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Throughout the series, Giant Spiders are a frequent enemy. They tend to pop up in dark places that already instill an air of fear, such as ruins and caves. In Skyrim, Farkas, a member of the Companions inner circle and a BFS-wielding werewolf, becomes terrified of Frostbite Spiders to the point where he won't accompany you through a spider nest during a critically important mission. Have a companion with you in these areas and they will voice their concerns, and custom voiced follower mods are nine times out of ten are even more fearful (a notable exception being Inigo, who actually finds spiders very fun to fight and kill).
    • Mephala is a Daedric Prince whose sphere is "obscured to mortals", but who is associated with manipulation, lies, sex, and secrets. She is referred to as "the Webspinner" and is associated with spiders, often with Arachnid Appearance and Attire. Her lesser Daedra servants are the Spider Daedra, which take the appearance of mutated, humanoid Giant Spiders.
  • Eternal Senia: Forest Spiders are an enemy that exists, and are Giant Spiders due to being about half of Senia's height, much bigger than normal.
  • Baels in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones are giant spider monsters, and most notable in one stage where you have to keep some defenseless NPCs safe from being killed by one, either by clearing the map before it reaches them or by rescuing them.
  • Flight Rising has a few spider food items, some of which have descriptions that reference this trope.
    Diving Aranea: To some, true terror is a spider that can swim.
    Harvestman: You are more afraid of it than it is of you.
    Black Iron Spider: The only thing more terrifying than a spider is a squish-proof armored spider.
    Grey River Jumper: Nope.
  • Fresh Minty Adventure: One-eyed, fire spitting spiders are an enemy.
  • In Gem Smashers, a spider serves as the boss of Goug Tree.
  • Subverted in the Henry Stickmin Series game Infiltrating the Airship. Henry tries to scare a Toppat Clan member with a spider on a stick, but he isn't afraid of spiders, so just gives it a friendly greeting. Henry knocks him out with the stick instead.
  • Hollow Knight: Deepnest, a giant nest of spiders and centipedes, is portrayed as the horror area of the game.
  • In the Home Alone Licensed Game for the Sega Genesis, in the Mansion, Buzz's pet spider crawls along the ceiling, occasionally knocking down either Kevin, Harry, or Marv if they get near him.
  • Jak II: Renegade has a section in the Tomb of Mar where Daxter, after having escaped from being crushed by a boulder, encounters a Giant Spider and must run from it.
  • In Kitty Powers' Matchmaker, Methodical candidates are afraid of spiders, and their date must squish them before they reach them. Inverted with Carefree candidates, though, where they'll hate it if their date does so.
  • Kirby: In both Kirby's Dream Land 3 and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, there is the enemy Mariel who looks like a black ball from far away but get too close and eight long legs sprout out of it. What makes it even more creepy is the fact that it's the only enemy in the entire series that hurts Kirby if he swallows it.
  • The spiders in Kolibri are some of the less threatening enemies since they're stuck in one spot, but they still act as hazards in a few stages.
  • Pikmin: The main species of recurring spiders are the "Long Legs" type of enemy, which are gigantic boss fights relative to the player characters who stomp Pikmin with their four legs. Other spider-like enemies are usually hostile, with the four smaller "elemental" Dweevils being the exceptions, only attacking in self-defense.
  • Spider monsters are a staple of the Resident Evil games. When people were used to the tarantula and huntsman style Giant Spider they were given several redesigns to be made scarier, and included even when they weren't needed (Resident Evil 5 had realistic, normal but still huge ones in the background, and the Lost in Nightmares DLC had some bigger than Jill's ass.)
  • Shantae: Spiders that fire pellets at Shantae are a common enemy:
  • In SimAnt, the spider is especially scary from your ant's point of view and is one of the biggest threats to your existence.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has Grabber, a robotic spider that inhabits Chemical Plant Zone. Grabber grabs the player in his legs and explodes if they don't escape him in time.
    • Sonic CD has Kumo-Kumo, a robotic spider that inhabits Quartz Quadrant Zone. Kumo-Kumo fires sticky webs at the player, slowing them down for a few seconds.
    • Sonic 3D Blast has Spider, a robotic spider who inhabits Spring Stadium Zone. He shuffles back and forth along a straight diagonal line and can only harm Sonic if the hedgehog walks straight into him.
    • The Wii U version of Sonic Lost World has Tarantula, a robotic spider that inhabits Silent Forest Zone. He hangs down from a web and cannot be destroyed by simple homing attacks at first; a flying kick is required to knock him off his web sting. Once knocked off his web, then he can be destroyed by a homing attack, but must be done so quickly before he gets back up and returns to his midair position.
    • Sonic Adventure: The second half of Red Mountain in Sonic's Story has near the end of the stage, Sonic zooming pass a hallway filled with giant spiders.
  • The Ilwrath from the Star Control are evil spider-like aliens who are famous for their fanatical devotion to their dark gods Dogar and Kazon.
  • There's a scripted event in Story of Seasons (2014) where you'll go in and find Margot and Jonas arguing over what to do with a spider that was in their house. Margot saw one and chased it with a broom trying to crush it and shoo it out, while Jonas believes that it would have left on its own so there was no need to harm it (and it could have been scooped up and taken out gently). You can agree with one or the other for a friendship boost with the one you agree with, but trying to agree with both upsets them both with your non-answer and makes you appear wishy-washy.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Spider enemies are first seen in Martel Temple.
  • Averted in TinkerQuarry with Skid, a plastic spider who is quite adorable and innocent.
  • In Undertale, this attitude drives Muffet's grudge against humans (and your character by extension). If you prove her wrong by buying one of her ridiculously overpriced items right before her fight, she won't even challenge you. Alternatively, eating one of the items from the spider bake sale in the Ruins during the battle itself will prompt her to spare you on the spot. Muffet herself is a major aversion of this trope, being a six-armed Cute Monster Girl who isn't scary at all.
  • The Final Boss of Vectorman 2 is the Spider Queen, an oversized black widow spider with an exposed brain in her thorax. In the same game, many smaller spiders appear as common enemies.

    Web Animation 
  • In Brackenwood, Bitey really doesn't like spiders, although it seems to be as much disgust as outright fear. The scene where this appears pokes some fun at his excessive arachnophobia. The view shifts between the spider, which is just sitting in its web and not doing anything, and Bitey, who is approaching the spider with a stick like it's a volatile explosive. This goes on until a leaf lands on Bitey and he freaks out, hitting himself on the head with the stick by mistake before running away. The spider then gives an Aside Glance to the camera, as if saying "really?"
  • Inverted by Lucas the Spider, who's instead quite cute given his large eyes, anthropomorphized movements, and sweet child's voice.

  • In the episode Arachhophilia of By Mistake On Purpose Norman is predictably terrified by a tarantula. However, the trope is partially subverted, by his daughter Denise who is fascinated by it, and his wife Evelyn who describes it as being quite cute.
  • In earlier installments of xkcd, the characters are sometimes attacked by swarms of red spiders. They even attack Rob and Megan while they're in a hot air balloon, talking about how the timing is off for a romantic relationship.
  • In El Goonish Shive, this is conversed by talking about how the prevalence of arachnophobia is a reason videogames shouldn't have spiders in them unless there is a good reason for it.
  • In Girl Genius, the one thing that Gil and Agatha hesitate to fight is a spider the size of one's face. Gil in all seriousness claims that handling a small army of Clanks is easier than handling one really big spider. In this case, less because it is scary, and more because it is icky when you crush them. Von Zinzer obliges with an extendible hand.
  • Allie, of Hyperbole and a Half, is here to let you know that Spiders are Scary. It's okay to be afraid of them.
  • Pixie and Brutus: Mentioned in one strip, in which Pixie finds a spider and compliments it on a pretty web. The spider first becomes confused and then tearful when she doesn't freak out about it.
  • Happens quite often in Princess Chroma. Averted with Spiders, who is actually a white rabbit nicknamed Spiders.
  • 'TheOdd1sOut'': In the comic "Spider Comic", a person calls the police just by noticing a spider in his house. The police ends up comprehending.
  • Exterminatus Now: Eastwood has a massive phobia of spiders, despite being an Inquisitor who faces down demonic horrors on a near-daily basis, and while he doesn't exactly do so fearlessly, he can do so without being reduced to a blubbering mess, which is exactly what he does when faced with a common house spider. This is a problem because The Patterner, one of the settings Big Bad quartet of evil gods, has the spider as one of his symbols, and his demons and servants occasionally takes the form as gigantic, demonic spider creatures.

    Web Original 
  • A common joke on the Internet involves someone burning their house down just to kill a single spider.
  • is known for their gross exaggeration of the threats posed by spiders.
    1. Spiders are not technically insects, but actually skeletons made of congealed hate.
    2. Men are slightly less terrified of spiders than women are, and are therefore easier prey.
    3. Spiders have 8 legs. Every one can kill you. Simultaneously.
  • Jack Vale Films has a prank involving using a fake spider to scare people with.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The Internet meme Misunderstood Spider makes fun of this stereotype, by portraying an innocent, helpful, and friendly spider who is attacked by humans out of irrational fear.
    • The NOPE meme in regards to creepy crawlies.
    • Inverted, however, by a gif of a tumbleweed spider, which runs away by curling into a ball and rolling. The spider is the one going NOPE.
  • The Onion: The otherwise stoic narrator loses it in the piece Spiders: Christ, Fucking Spiders -- Horrifying Planet.
  • Pirates SMP: As revealed during the Halloween Episode, the evil wizards Nocturnus and Eclipsa's backstory states that the the monsters of the nightmare realm have managed to escape into the real world through their cursed magic, especially in the form of spiders.
    The once resplendent Golden Isles began to warp under the unchecked influence of the rampant nightmare magic. […] The worst transformation, however, was the spiders. Emerging from the very nightmares the wizards had sought to control, these grotesque creatures roamed freely, their silken webs covering buildings and ensnaring the unfortunate.
  • Stampy's Lovely World: There is a dungeon under Hit The Target's current fortress with a spider spawner. The residents of the fortress proceed to exploit this by using the spiders spawned from the place as guards.

    Web Videos 
  • In 20 Haunting Halloween Facts by Matt Santoro, Matt says, "If you see a spider on Halloween, that's the spirit of a loved one watching over you. But reincarnated loved one or not, I still squash that son of a bitch. Those things are fucking nasty!"
  • 5 Second Films: Inverted, every spider fears Juliette Lewis.
  • On the Outside Xbox crew, Ellen is notoriously arachnophobic, a fact which is sometimes exploited for entertainment value. Jane typically keeps more of a Stiff Upper Lip, but the spider from Limbo was a bridge too far for her.
    Jane: Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope [unclips her microphone and walks off camera]
  • Pirates SMP: In the evil wizards Nocturnus and Eclipsa's backstory, the monsters of the nightmare realm have managed to escape into the real world through their cursed magic, especially in the form of spiders. The Golden Isle, warped by their magic, has also changed its form to look like a grotesque Giant Spider.
    The once resplendent Golden Isles began to warp under the unchecked influence of the rampant nightmare magic. […] The worst transformation, however, was the spiders. Emerging from the very nightmares the wizards had sought to control, these grotesque creatures roamed freely, their silken webs covering buildings and ensnaring the unfortunate.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears also featured a Monster of the Week Giant Spider called the Spinster who captures the Gummis for dinner. Fortunately, they escape in the end.
  • Beast Wars features two Predacons who transform into oversized spiders. Blackarachnia usually isn't particularly creepy, not to mention she eventually has a Heel–Face Turn, but Tarantulas tends to be creepy enough for three Predacons, so it balances out.
  • Camp Lakebottom reveals that McGee is really scared of spiders and he thinks that they are gross in the episode, "Arachnattack".
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: "A Night at the Katz Motel" features several scary spiders.
    • Six which are the pets of Katz.
    • One that is released from a box by Katz in an attempt to kill Courage.
    • One that tries to bite Muriel while she's in the bathtub.
    • A giant collection of spiders in jars located in a room that Courage enters.
    • And finally, one that Katz tries to kill Courage with, only for him to be bashed over the head by a tennis racquet from Muriel, dropping the spider in the process.
  • Danger Mouse: Penfold, the timid hamster sidekick, is scared of spiders. This is ramped up in "AIAAGGG! Spiders!" when Greenback's growth ray causes spiders to grow huge and entangle London in a network of spider webs. Even DM seems intimidated by the spider that infiltrated the pillar box.
  • Darkwing Duck: Played straight and then subverted in "Aduckyphobia" where the giant spider who gives Darkwing spider powers actually has the mind of a child and is being manipulated by the bad guy into doing his bidding.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: Bloo uses a fake spider to scare Eduardo so that he'll freak out and scare people away.
  • Franklin: Bear is badly afraid of spiders, as seen in "Franklin and the Thunderstorm." Franklin, who doesn't mind them, moves one out of the way for him.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: "Wrath of the Spider Queen" has the titular duo facing off against giant killer spiders sent by the eponymous Big Bad herself. There's also Jeff, who Billy is absolutely terrified of, but he's really a nice guy, and just wants his dad to love him.
  • "The Itsy Bitsy Spider": While the titular spider isn't scary, Adrienne, the teacher at the school Leslie McRoraty (Itsy's human friend) attends, practically soils herself whenever she sees him.
  • Kerwhizz: In one episode, Twist is really scared of meeting Kaboodle's pet spider Cynthia, but being a boy he unconvincingly pretends not to be. Averted in the end when he actually meets Cynthia and discovers that she's cute and friendly.
  • The Looney Tunes Show: In "Itsy Bitsy Gopher", Bugs is trying to get an especially large African sand spider out of his house. Lola reacts by throwing a lamp at it and leaving (Daffy tags along because he doesn't want to go near it either), and even Taz flees as soon as he sees it.
  • The Loud House: Various episodes reveal that Leni Loud, Lynn Loud Sr., and Bobby Santiago are all afraid of spiders.
  • Merrie Melodies:
    • The spider in the 1944 short "Meatless Flyday" was a slap-happy chap who sought to catch and eat a housefly. Never once did it dawn on him to spin a web to catch him; he just goes through the cartoon antagonist Humiliation Conga. At the end, it appears he would succeed until he finds out it's Meatless Tuesday.
    • Subverted in 1940's "A Gander At Mother Goose". In reciting "Little Miss Muffet", the scene goes all according to plan until Miss Muffet faces the spider... she scares it with her ghastly pallor.
  • Mickey Mouse (2013): In "Goofy's Grandma", Goofy tries to stay at Mickey's place (disguised as his grandmother) because there's a big spider in his house. When Mickey goes to his house to kill it, he opens the door to find a gigantic, live-action spider behind it, prompting them both to stay at Donald's.
  • Mighty Max: Normon is a millennia-old warrior who acts as Max's bodyguard. He fights all manner of horrific creatures, but nothing ever scares him. That is, until he fights a spider. Specifically a giant spider the size of a school bus. In the final episodes, we find out precisely why he's afraid: there's an ancient prophecy that says he will finally die by being eaten by a giant spider.
  • Mike, Lu & Og: A few episodes show that Mike is afraid of spiders.
  • Molly of Denali: In an episode, the pipes in Molly's bathroom leak causing her to resort to using the outhouse that houses many spiders, which Molly responds to with "But there's a million spiders in there." with a disgusted and hesitant expression.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • "Luna Eclipsed": Princess Luna — formerly Nightmare Moon — in a rather misguided attempt to make the ponies of Ponyville no longer afraid of her, brings several large beanie baby-esque spider toys to life. This, as the resulting spiders are large, menacing balls of hair with glowing, slitted red eyes, doesn't really calm anyone down.
    • "Castle Mane-ia": While the star spiders found crawling all over the ruined castle don't do any harm to anyone, Spike finds them intimidating and is very unnerved at the thought of having to be close to them.
    • "Maud Pie": Subverted with a spider who looks menacing... up until it pulls out a flower and offers it up as a gesture of friendship. Said spider does this to Fluttershy — showing she is indeed A Friend to All Living Things.
    • The flyders. They're spiders with insect wings, meaning they can fly, and move in swarms. They can shoot webbing with enough accuracy to tangle a fleeing pony's legs and at one point completely cover a campsite with webbing in a matter of minutes. They're also highly aggressive and seem to consider ponies to be food. When a huge swarm attacks during a camping trip in "Campfire Tales", the characters are visibly — and admittedly justifiably — terrified of them.
    • "What Lies Beneath": Yona, an arachnophobe, finds the Spider Swarm she encounters in the caves absolutely terrifying. Subverted by the episode itself, as the spiders turn out to be friendly and harmless creatures who help Yona find her friends.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: This is what Buttercup fears in "Power-Noia."
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle: a "Bullwinkle's Corner" installment had the moose reciting "Little Miss Muffet" as well as playing the role of Muffet. Rocky fills in as the spider (who is indisposed) but Bullwinkle says he's not scary. So Rocky puts on a monster mask.
  • Rose Petal Place: Nastina the spider is the villain and constantly attempts to destroy or take over the garden.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In one episode, SpongeBob is sleeping over at Patrick's. Unfortunately for SpongeBob, Patrick starts having a nightmare about spiders and uses his house to start smashing the ground where SpongeBob is sleeping. How does Patrick know about spiders? Some spiders can breathe underwater.
  • Static Shock: Subverted by Anansi, who was a Zorro-type superhero who emulates Anansi the spider from African folk tales.
  • Teen Titans (2003): Fang shoots paralysis-inflicting venom beams. His design is a doozy. Picture a giant spider... with a human body dangling from it and sorta swaying in the wind as the spider body does... stuff. He basically has a spider five times his size for a head.
  • Transformers: Animated: Optimus Prime apparently has a fear of spiders ever since the day both he and Sentinel accidentally left Blackarachnia behind on a spider-infested planet.
  • Transformers: Prime features Airachnid, a black widow-based Decepticon huntress who rules the Insecticons and delights in adding new species to the Endangered list, humans included. She was also responsible for the death of Arcee's first partner, as well as Breakdown and Silas. As if that weren't creepy enough she gets transformed into a Vampire-Terrorcon hybrid mid-series and is last seen feeding on her own subjects.
  • The Venture Bros. parodied Dr. No when henchmen of The Monarch and Baron Underbeit both deposit a tarantula and a scorpion into Dr. Venture's bedroom, unseen by each other. When the two creatures meet on Dr. V's bed, they square off against each other, as he screams in terror.
  • Visionaries has Cravex's Spider of Fear which, when summoned, bites its victim and causes him or her to suffer terrifying hallucinations.

    Real Life 
  • Arachnophobia: the irrational fear of spidersnote . It's actually one of the most common phobias out there, which might justify this trope's existence. Could be that this fear exists is due to a healthy fear of poisonous and venomous animals for most of our existence since mankind had little to no way of treating venom/poison. This also helps explain our natural fear of snakes and other "creepy crawlies".
  • A common counterargument that you can use towards people who kill harmless spiders for no other reason than them being there — besides it being needless animal cruelty, damaging to the environment, and encouraging pests to get inside your home — is that by immediately killing spiders they see, the killers are now the selection pressure that will encourage spiders to get better at hiding and become more stealthy over time. If they think spiders are scary now, just wait until one even better at hiding in the shadows comes around!
  • In 2015, Australian police were called after a neighbor heard screaming, death threats and the sounds of furniture being thrown around in the flat next door. It turned out to be a man trying to kill a spider.
  • The Brazilian wandering spider. It can grow to be as much as seven inches wide, its bite is reportedly more toxic than the black widow spider, and it tends to hide in dark places like houses and shoes. As icing on the cake, its scientific name, Phoneutria, is Greek for murderess.


Video Example(s):


Blu Gets A Spider On His Back

Blu gets a spider on his back while he and Jewel are walking through Tijuca Forest much to Jewel's annoyance though she brushes it off of him and unconvincingly tries to claim that it's just a leaf.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / SpidersAreScary

Media sources: