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Tentacle Rope

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Looks like Ariel is all tied up at the moment.

Basically when tentacles are used to grab and restrain. Can be played for laughs or horror; seeing a character get muffled by a pissed-off octopus can be hilarious, seeing a character get crushed by said octopus, not so much. Often used in cartoon Slapstick comedy such as Tom and Jerry, it's a cheap way to get some cartoon violence in without shedding blood. And often it is just a cheap way for a villain to restrain the hero.

As for the horror aspect, getting grabbed and devoured by something alien enough to have tentacles has been the subject of human nightmares probably for time immemorial.

Related to Combat Tentacles, only these are specifically for grabbing and binding, and not for other forms of attack. Often part of Typical Tentacle Tactics.

A Sub-Trope to Bound and Gagged. Compare Variable-Length Chain, Whip It Good, Standard Female Grab Area, Spider Limbs. Contrast Knotty Tentacles.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Tentacle Rope is a famous trope among people people who know hentai. And this is all we'll say about that here.
  • Sgt. Frog has tentacle-like creatures which are used as living rope to capture prisoners.
  • Haruna from Negima! Magister Negi Magi uses it on Nodoka and Yue to prevent them from fleeing before a misunderstanding could be cleared.
  • Bleach gives us a Played With example with Luppi, who captures the buxom Matsumoto this way, then appears to want to do bad things to her, but then his tentacles grow spikes.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, the Sand Worm's tentacles that almost crushed Signum earlier were later used on Nanoha and Fate as a restraining device by the Book of Darkness.
  • Used a lot in Sailor Moon by the bad guys to bind the senshi.
  • Sometimes is used by the bad guys as a weapon in Wedding Peach.
  • A very common power for a Monster of the Week in the Pretty Cure franchise.
  • Mammon (née Viper) from Reborn! (2004) is a particularly... interesting example of this trope. S/he is, physically, a baby — somewhere around one or two years old — and carries around what looks like a roll of toilet paper, using illusions to turn the paper into what is a cross between this trope and Combat Tentacles.
    • Mukuro Rokudo, who, while not usually a practitioner of this trope, finally defeats Mammon by ''turning into a suspiciously tentacle-like black mass, forcing himself into her mouth, and making her explode. All while s/he screams for mercy.
  • Used in an episode of Weiß Kreuz when Mad Scientist Masafumi Takatori mutates into a be-tentacled ape-creature and uses his new appendages to restrain most of the rest of the characters in the room.
  • Demon City Shinjuku: One of the three demons used tentacles to grab Mephisto.
  • In Digimon Tamers Jeri is tied up by the tentacles of the D-Reaper. In the original she is tied in a cross shape. This was edited (badly) in the dub to be less religious looking.
  • Squid Girl: In one instance, Ika does this to Eiko when she wanders into Eiko's room and falls asleep there... Rather, her tentacles did this all on their own. Ika herself was already long asleep.
  • Pokémon Adventures:
    • During the finale of the RS arc, Winona ends up captured by Maxie and Archie, held by Archie's Tentacruel. She ends up nearly suffocating to death as well.
    • Various grass types' Vine Whip ability has been used as rope to pull other people up from cliffsides all throughout the entire anime.
  • Penguindrum features the three penguins, in the background, fighting three octopus to make takoyaki (fried octopus). Naturally, one of the octopus manages to hold two penguins up with its tentacles at one point.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, this happened to Yusei in his first duel with Aki during the Fortune Cup, when she summoned her appropriately-named Rose Tentacles, but it was worse than most examples; it combined the trope with Combat Tentacles restraining him with four of them so it could hit him with a fifth. (And it was dangerous business, seeing as Aki is a powerful Reality Warper who could not fully control her powers at the time, making the summoned monsters every bit as capable of actually injuring him as they can in a Shadow Duel.)
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, No. 96 has used his tentacles to restrain both Yuma and Astral on separate occasions.
  • In To Love-Ru, one episode deals with Lala cooking Alien Lunch in (as always) a misguided attempt to please Rito. Somewhere mid-attempt, a huge Octopus and Kraken leave her ingridents box and begin tying her up, as well as Rito and Haruna. Hilariously, the two cetalopods then begin bickering over who gets whom, with one offering Rito only to receive a slap in the face from the pissed-off other.
  • In Umi Monogatari, Kanon is bound by an octopus woman's hair-tentacles in episode 2.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, Trents use head-roots, which work like tentacles, to restrain Celtic Guardian and Yami Yugi.
  • In the final battle of Nyaruko: Crawling With Love!'s first season, Nyarko is captured by Lloiger in this fashion and squeezed hard enough to crack her Henshin Hero form's armor (as well as breaking her helmet); she's able to break free after Mahiro throws her her crowbar. Of course, since the series is inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos, this trope's use should come as no surprise.

    Comic Books 
  • Aquaman is in the habit of using octopi to bind up his foes.
  • The Umbrella Academy has Benjamin Hargreeves AKA The Horror, who possessed tentacles coming out from his stomach. His generally sweet demeanor meant that there were no Naughty Tentacles, and not even any proper Combat Tentacles, instead he settled for grabbing and constricting his foes. Or more often than not, just using his tentacles as handy rope for pulling and holding onto things.
  • Freex, a series from Malibu Comics. One of the shy teens, a female, was just full of all long, fleshy tentacles. Fortunately they wrapped around her body so a loose T-shirt meant she could pass.
  • Doctor Octopus humiliates Spider-Man this way during their first encounter before throwing him out a window. The Hulk turned this against him.
  • X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Booster's tentacled copilot tried to restrain a young Wedge Antilles this way, but Wedge turned this against him off-panel.
  • Superboy and the Ravers: Shaar Q will restrain suspects with her tentacles before slapping teleport prevention cuffs on them with the added benefit that she can use her tentacles to partially shift planes and interfere with teleporting attempts.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Sensation Comics: A horticulturist grows "octopus plants" in his basement which reach out with long tendrils to pull in victims for consumption. Diana and Steve Trevor rescue the Holliday Girls from the things when the girls get nabbed while investigating the disappearance of a young woman and her father, who were fed to the plants by the horticulturist.
    • Wonder Woman (1942):
      • At the Holliday College dance in "Ectoplasmic Death" Dr. Psycho manages to ensnare all of his enemies in tentacle like strips of pink ectoplasm.
      • Huntress hallucinates her ankles are being wrapped in tentacles that are pulling her down after being drugged by Professor Fether.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Julianna Sazia's secondary security system is a bunch of metal tentacles which restrain Artemis just long enough for Sazia's hologram to taunt her about her impending death, then attempt to squeeze her to death.
    • Wonder Woman (2006): Circe has a number of her snake inspired bestiamorphs restrain Diana by wrapping around her and trying to envenom her.


    Films — Animated 
  • As seen in the pic, The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea has Ariel captured this way by Morgana after Melody pulls a Heel–Face Turn after finding out who she's really been working for. Furthermore, in the first version of the climax of the first movie, Morgana's fatter sister Ursula uses her tentacles to toss Ariel onto a rock and strangle Eric. Unbeknowst to her, the prince picks up the Trident from the sea bottom (courtesy of Sebastian) and throws it like an harpoon, shishkebabbing her on the chest. You can watch the video here.
  • The Brave Little Toaster music number B-Movie features a variant: power cords. They pull the heroes away from the light and lift the crazed appliances into the air at the end for a creepy crescendo.
  • Being octopi, Octavius and his minions often grab the penguins in this way with actual tentacles in Penguins of Madagascar.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Seeding of a Ghost has the Demon Fetus' final form, which has numerous tentacles allowing it to grab and ensnare victims. It's tentacles even impales a guy who tried hiding from it's rampage through a door.
  • Tokyo Gore Police has an... interesting example towards the end.
  • An exploded headless torso does this with its intestines in Re-Animator.
  • Cornstalks will often come alive in Children of the Corn films to tie people up, and maybe murder them as well.
  • The creature in Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer uses its tentacles to snatch and restrain the students.
  • In Resident Evil: Extinction, during the final battle against Dr. Isaacs, who has transformed into a Tyrant, Alice is first caught off-guard by him and briefly loses her machete. As soon as she runs to retrieve it, Isaacs quickly grabs Alice's neck with one of his tentacles and starts choking her to death. Thankfully, Alice manages to find a way to get her machete back and cut off the tentacle strangling her before she dies of suffocation.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Whenever a Monster of the Week in a Tokusatsu show, such as Kamen Rider, Super Sentai and its adaptation Power Rangers, is based on a cephalopod or has functional tentacles in general, you can expect that it will use them to constrict the heroes.
  • In the Doctor Who episode The Pandorica Opens, a Cyberman's severed head attempts to grab Amy with some metal cables from its neck.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • In Dino Attack RPG, tendrils of Maelstrom energy often act this way, wrapping around and forcibly constricting their victims.

  • In BIONICLE, the characters Kalmah and Nocturn both have Combat Tentacles, but they haven't really used them memorably for grabbing people. Kalmah did have, however, an army of gigantic squids who had done this to a mutated Brutaka. In earlier books, Gali also got assaulted by a giant squid, which later reappears in a Prequel story told by the village elders.

    Video Games 
  • There are tentacles in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica and The Remake of the first game, which grab the female protagonist at one point in each.
    • In Resident Evil 4, the flower-ish growth that devours and assimilates Salazar and his "left hand" does so by wrapping tentacles around them and pulling them into itself.
  • The boss Smorg in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is both this AND Combat Tentacles, being some weird tentacled creature that kidnaps pretty much all the passengers on the Excess Express in this way and attacking with its tentacles and whatnot.
  • The Warm-Up Boss of Beyond Good & Evil captures heroine Jade in a long column of chitinous tentacles, capturing her from the legs up and then trying to Mind Rape her.
  • Most of the creatures from the Pokémon series that learn Wrap, Bind, or Constrict, such as Tangela and Tentacool, are this way when they use those attacks, binding their foes in their tentacles. Needless to say, much illicit fan art has been made of this very concept.
  • Dead Space has these as a very annoying mini-boss to defeat. If Isaac doesn't shoot and defeat the tentacle that grabs onto him by the time he's pulled to the hole, it's instant death.
  • Although more of a Grappling-Hook Pistol than a Tentacle Rope in [PROTOTYPE], the Whipfist power enables such a utility in order to latch onto distant objects, but does not in anyway tie them up. Similarly with the consume-tendrils that hold onto lesser organic beings, which take a moment to be assimilated.
    • In the sequel, Heller gets the "Tendril" power early into the game, which he uses as Combat Tentacles in addition to this.
  • In the Left 4 Dead series, the Smoker's main attack is doing this with his tongue.
  • In Halo 2, the Master Chief wakes up to find himself wrapped up in Gravemind's tentacle arms after it saves him from death. Then The Arbiter and Monitor 2401 are also brought into the mix.
  • The Lurking Horror has a very literal example. You climb down a rope and then realize that it's a tentacle.
  • Morpha in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has a tendency to grab Link and throw him across the room.
  • There are unnamed plant tentacles in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker that rise from the ground when Link draws near and latch onto him. They don't inflict damage and merely tether him to the spot, steadily sapping his MP so long as they are attached. They'll respawn indefinitely but can be killed in one shot and aren't much of a threat.
  • Several of the tentacles used by the Watcher in the Water from The Lord of the Rings Online are strangling tentacles which a DPS character must destroy.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, Flotsam and Jetsam restrain Sora with their bodies during the "Ursula's Revenge" number, and try to strangle him to death. He gets saved by Donald and Goofy before using his Keyblade to vanquish the eels for good.
  • The Boktai series has octopi and plants that behave in almost the same manner. Both grab Django and squeeze some health out of him, while the octopus also drags him underwater to pummel him before letting go.
  • In the Day 12 flashback scene in Final Fantasy XIII, Serah is surrounded and grabbed by liquid metal tendrils that pull her into the Pulse Vestige, making her the fal'Cie's prisoner.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • The Slender Man has the ability to sprout tentacles or branchlike appendages which he sometimes uses to give his friends (victims) wonderful hugs.
  • In the Whateley Universe Carmilla has used her tentacles like this. She once wrapped up Shadowolf complete with a tentacle Neck Lift and scared him so bad he wet himself.

    Western Animation 


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