Squids! Octopi! Aliens! What do all of these things have in common? That’s right, tentacles. Okay, aliens maybe not always, but the rest are definitely tentacled. Whether or not you’re going to have a biological tentacle, or a mechanical one, these appendages are long, limber and part of many people’s fantasies. You know what I’m talking about. Anyway, here’s our Top 10 Tentacled Beings.
10) Doc Ock – Spider Man
We’re exhausting ourselves of the good Doctor Octopus early on. Yes, we feel bad about putting him here, but he almost didn’t make the list. He wasn’t born a tentacled being – But then we thought about it. He becomes a tentacled being, at least if you look at the real history of the character. Radiation caused some pipes to become attached to his body, as everything in Spider-Man is due to radiation.
These pipes became a part of Doc Ock, allowing him to control them. They effectively are an extension of himself. They can be used to help him walk without expending energy, as well as climbing buildings and more. He’s the ultimate humanoid cephalopod, except not really. He was going to be in the honourables, but when you think of tentacled superheroes or supervillains, he stands atop the list…
… It’s a very short list.
9) Gooper Blooper – mario
Mario fans will get this one, but if you’re not huge on the games, you may not even realise this exists. You must know of the bloopers, the white squids that fire ink at you? Especially annoying when you’re playing Mario Kart. The Gooper Blooper then is effectively an exceptionally large version of the blooper. Almost a kraken, but sort of falls off the wayside from that.
Either way, facing the Gooper Blooper is tricky. It’s first appearance was in Super Mario Sunshine back in 2002 and has been a staple boss of the Mario world since… Well… Sort of! Gooper Blooper may have been a great boss in Super Mario Sunshine, but in many other games, he’s just another sports personality. No, really, this giant octopus is basically nothing more than a Mario Tennis player these days. Still, you can find him in the Super Paper Mario series and more.
8) Kang and Kodos – The Simpsons
Observers of humanity, the great alien race who hovers above us all, agents of the Rigellian people who desire nothing but to eat us, enslave us, conquer us, probe us, befriend us… actually their motives are unclear, as they only ever appear in the Hallowe’en specials, the Treehouse of Horror series. As the mini-anthologies care less for coherent continuity than the show itself, our resident giant green heads have changed a lot over the years, although they still haven’t exhausted their endless supply of drool that never seems to fill up their helmets.
It takes very little for the tag team to take over the world, a smidge of advanced technology, a rudimentary understanding of our political systems, and that’s about it! That said it doesn’t take a great deal for us to take them on either, gremlins, bad habits, and generally being a gross and ignorant species is often enough for us to outmatch them. Plus, we’re probably faster, they’ve only got those little wigglers to run around on.
7) Tripods – War of the Worlds
A machine built for war, the Tripods are disturbing to see. You may think of them as giant walkers more than tentacled beings, but they do have massive tentacles, which are used to grab, lash out and generally cause carnage. Naturally named “Fighting Machines”, it moves fast, causes serious damage with its tentacles and also has a heat-ray and a poisonous tube.
The Martians use these Tripods to come to and invade the Earth. The chances of anything coming from Mars was a million-to-one, they said? Well then, they really couldn’t have been looking very hard for life on Mars, as these mechanical monstrosities stood over 100-feet tall. It’d be hard to miss that. The best quote on what a Tripod is:
“Boilers on stilts!”
6) Graboids – Tremors
Among horror B-Movie history, there’s a sandworm that rises above all the others… or digs further down? The graboids from the Tremors franchise are gigantic burrowing horrors who emerge from the desert sands and devour people whole, or in pieces, they’re not too fussy. They can sense movement on dirt from an incredible distance, and they poke out their massive beaked heads to unleash their many prehensile tongues. Every tongue has a mouth of its own, complete with teeth, and staggering strength that can pull the unsuspecting into that all powerful beak.
The graboids are capable of strange mutations, developing legs and eventually wings and a rocket-propelled digestive system, but always keeping those fast moving snakelike tentacles. The tongues are strong enough to drag a car under the ground. The film series is now decades old and still producing the occasional sequel, and more recently a TV series… but I don’t think it’s the fear that keeps people coming back.
5) Tentacruel – Pokemon
The original poison/water type, Tentacruel in Gen 1 of Pokemon was actually pretty tough. Over the years, as we gained stronger Pokemon, it really fell off the wayside… But when you think of tentacles, you’d be hard pressed to find a more tentacled monster in the world of Pokemon. Ominous, terrifying and a pretty good typing, Tentacruel was a beast to be feared. Or, you know, to be found a lot as you surf around on your Lapras.
Tentacruel is a strange one in the meta, even today. It still has a use; it can be brought in against fearsome fire types, as well as absorb Toxic Spikes, which is so prevalent in competitive. It’s abilities are Liquid Ooze and Rain Dish, which aren’t often handed out. Liquid Ooze means if a Pokemon would absorb HP from Tentacruel, then it does damage back to the Pokemon, equal to the amount absorbed. Rain Dish gives it a 1/16th of it’s health back at the end of every turn.
A truly cruel monster of the sea.
4) Watcher in the Water – Lord of the Rings
We love a good kraken and there are few as ominous as the Watcher in the Water. Massive, untamed and extremely dangerous, the Watcher in the Water is the ultimate kraken. Sure, there may be some series with more prominently placed krakens, but Lord of the Rings brought life to one of the most terrifying krakens in all of fantasy – Although I’d wager you don’t remember a huge amount about it.
The oddity of the Watcher is the difference in vision between Peter Jackson and J R R Tolkien. Tolkien never mentions what the creature is, except for the fact it had 21 tentacles. Peter Jackson however visualised a most impressive kraken. No matter what you think the watcher is, it’s just a terrifying beast, that would make Orcs look like childs play. Uruk-Hai getting you down? Just point them to the Watcher – That’ll teach ‘em!
3) Illithid – D&D
Here’s a classic from the monster manual, the cephalopodan underlords who came from outer space and dwell in enclaves deep underground, hives governed by enormous telepathic over-minds. They’re scientists, slavers, tyrants, and cephalophages… brain eating monsters, hence their better known name: the mind flayers.
Mind flayers have left behind one hell of a legacy, an imprint stamped across all of the Dungeons & Dragons back-catalogue, the war between the Gith races started after their fight for freedom from illithid overlords, the degraded dwarven races – duergar and derro – driven mad by centuries of experimentation and brought low by slavery, and the Spelljammer system in which the illithids journey from world to world in their mighty nautiloid vessels. Ultimately the mind flayers are the ultimate evil behind the scenes of most activity in the history of the game.
2) Purple Tentacle – Day of the Tentacle
A classic adventure game by the giants of the genre, LucasArts. Day of the Tentacle was a cool, funny game which featured a zany cast who were summoned to stop the primary antagonist of the game. The antagonist, of course, being Purple Tentacle, who was morphed into this pretty perfect being of chaos. With excellently planned ploys and plots, the Purple Tentacle is a huge threat to the protagonists.
As a sequel to Maniac Mansion, this game was all about being as funny as it could possibly be – and it was a major success. With constant ranting and ravings about the classic title, the Purple Tentacle is an enemy that’s hard to forget. After all, apparently, a sentient single tentacle for an enemy isn’t bad enough… It just gets a whole lot worse for everyone when it gets exposed to toxic sludge.
The high priest who sleeps deep and eternal beneath the crushing waters of the world, he who offers up the prayers of mewling mortals from his sunken city of R’lyeh, the bridge to the stars, the creature whose slumberous stirrings drive sensitive minds to madness from across continents. Frequently reduced to plushies and a cheap IP on whom to base board games.
He’s an enormous squid/dragon/kraken monster with psychic powers, I mean he is literally the rest of this list rolled into a mountain-sized horror that sleeps under the pacific ocean, and perhaps one of the greatest monsters of the 20th century. We’re a species terrified of the future and the enormity of the universe around us, and the prospect of our own insignificance haunts us! Cthulhu is the least of Lovecraft’s creations in terms of scale and power, but he’s the only one for whom we have a solid enough description. There are definitely tentacles.
We’re getting ourselves in a wrap with these beings, so before we bind ourselves, we need to find two more entries. Fortunately, we have two more cephalopods who deserved to be mentioned… Wait, no, these are totally normal humanoids, nothing to see here folk. Uh, uh. Nothing wrong here.
Squidward – Spongebob Squarepants
The cantankerous neighbour to a pair of rowdy young gentlemen with nothing better to do than bother him with their hijinks, poor Squidward is stuck in his dead end job, with only his meagre hobbies like clarinet playing and grumpiness to ease the perpetual horror of day to day living.
Between his back pain, his incredulity, cynicism, and disdain, he’s the most relatable character by far, and while he can – at times – be a little mean to Patrick and Spongebob when their shenanigans go over the top, he’s usually willing to go to bat for them when times are hard, and seems almost too readily swept up in their madness. There comes a time, dear Mr. Tentacles, where one must accept responsibility, and while that Easter Island head apartment may be cushy, there are other places in Bikini Bottom you could move to instead.
Honestly not sure about this one, I’ve been checking, this guy seems normal, a little clumsy maybe, bad time keeping but he seems fine. The moustache is a little over the top, and the hair is a little 60’s for modern tastes, but he seems like a great man, just out to please his wife, raise a loving family, and live an ordinary life.
Oh sure, we’ve all heard the whispers around the street, the office gossip, “he’s an octopus trying to pass himself off as a human being by wearing a suit and having a job” “the wife and kids are a cover story”, but there are bigger things in life to worry about. Y’know Sherry from the book club? She ate a whole wedding cake, and no one was even getting married!
Quick, it’s okay, the tentacled beasts and humanoids of our list aren’t looking our way any more. We can now rest at ease, as we look back at the list. These guys aren’t all that bad, right? Well, okay, pretty much all of these are villains to some capacity, but at least Octodad is on our side, right? Tentacruel? Gah, before they slap me with their long limbs, choose your pick for next week’s Top 10.
Another week, another list and a long, thin appendage has been appreciated. Don’t you dare make that dirty. Anyway, did you agree with our tentacled beings, or did you think we forgot an important one? Was the order of our list right, or absolutely not? As ever, share your thoughts with us in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.