Everything's Even Worse with Sharks

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
The one day you decide not to bring shark repellent...

"Everyone's always in favour of saving Hitler's brain. But when you put it in the body of a Great White shark, ooh, suddenly you've gone too far!"

Professor FarnsworthFuturama

As You Know, Everything's Worse with Bears. Want to make a situation dangerous? Just add a bear. But sometimes that's simply not enough. If you really want to make a situation utterly without hope, there's only one answer: sharks. (And if that's still not enough, there are always bears holding sharks.)

Trapped in the middle of the ocean with no realistic way of making it to civilization, likely go crazy and dehydrate in a couple days? That takes too long? No worries, the ocean is infested with sharks just waiting to devour you. Has the Big Bad got you? He won't shoot, that'd be too fast, he'll instead lower you into a Shark Pool. Want to ruin your show? Do a Shark Jump, or just introduce a Voodoo Shark. Want to cheat? GameShark. Want to ruin someone else's finances? Call in the All Devouring Black Hole Loan Sharks. Want to do the same but legally? Call in a legal shark.

If you're swimming or anywhere near water, the last thing you want to hear is "shark". In fictionland, or rather fiction-ocean, Sharks are unstoppable sea-monsters which devour everything in sight: fish, seals, people...license plates, car tires, suits of armour, car parts, severed human limbs. Sometimes they'll even attack ships: that's how Badass they are. Most animals eat to live, but sharks live to eat. Sharks are the ultimate Rule of Cool. Perhaps it's because they can sense your bioelectricity, meaning you can't hide from them. Perhaps it's because they have changed very little in the millions of years they existed, invoking a sort of reversed watery version of Everything's Better with Dinosaurs. Or maybe it's how their mouths are literally lined with hundreds of teeth. It doesn't matter, they're the most Badass animal that isn't extinct or made up. If they ever find a way to take to the land or air, it would surely be the end of us all. Really, if Sand Is Water, expect Land Sharks.

(Cool as they are, there are still ways to enhance them.)

In Real Life, it's a little different. Like most predators, they're misunderstood and not mindless killing machines. There are only a few species who have a reputation for attacking humans unprovoked (in fact, basically four species, and three will leave you alone when they taste you and realize you're not their usual food - stay out of bull shark territory, and especially open water with Whitetip Sharks), and recent studies of their behavior have shown many shark species to be very intelligent, social, curious, and even playful. Others are too small to be terribly frightening, avoid humans, or have teeth which are about as sharp as sandpaper and feed exclusively on things too small to see. Also, a shark will rarely be interested in a boat or raft provided nobody is throwing fish overboard. Ironically, the Jaws depiction of a Great White sinking small boats has some grounding in truth: Great Whites tend to 'test bite' things to determine if they're food... kinda like how infants try and eat everything they find. They are attracted to the appearance of their prey (a surfer swimming out with arms and legs in the water around the board looks like a seal) or blood. The bad reputation of sharks is not completely erroneous, but it's based mostly on most observed sharks being already attracted to food thrown overboard and on a variety of strange objects often found in a caught shark's stomach. Like many other large predators (such as bears), some sharks are prone to feeding frenzy - short periods of intense eating that ends in long sated inactivity. Thus, a very hungry shark may indeed indiscriminately bite and even swallow just about anything that fits in its mouth, up to and including an old tire, and later the same shark may be so overfed it will completely ignore a bleeding helplessly splashing swimmer in plain sight, or more conveniently sized fish, for that matter. This gave them reputation of both all-devouring and acting incomprehensibly erratic.

Their remarkably aquatic forms and resistance to disease are of great interest to science. Don't expect to see this come up in fiction, though. Also, like every other fish in the world, they are completely helpless and practically immobile on land, which for all that sharks are misunderstood and fascinating creatures is probably a mercy...

Megalodon is a recently popular prehistoric variant. Shark Man is a subtrope, caused by crossing them with humans into bipedal land monsters. See Sea Monster for other scary things in the ocean. You can relax if there are Heroic Dolphins, though. See Never Smile At a Crocodile for the rivers-and-lakes variant. Contrast Shamu Fu, the one situation where things may legitimately get better when you add a shark. See also Jump the Shark, in which this trope proved very true for the trope namer, and not in a fictional context.

Examples of Everything's Even Worse with Sharks include:


  • Sharks go from even worse to hilarious in this ad for Nicorette lozenges.
  • There's also a Snickers Peanut Butter Squared commercial.
  • Also hilariously done in this famous commercial where the shark mistakes an unfortunate tuber for a big Hostess Cupcake.

Anime and Manga

  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Viral. He is a Beastman that Gainax has explicitly stated is a shark with feline genetics. Besides his claws and cat eyes, he's got a mouth full of shark teeth. They grow back if they're pulled out. His smiles tend to make viewers rather uneasy.
  • Shark Fujishiro from Seto no Hanayome is a literal shark with a human guise from a group of mermaid Yakuza. His motto being that all problems can be solved by eating the cause of the chaos. He's constantly trying to eat the main character of the series, Nagasumi. The fact he can turn into a shark on land doesn't help matters much either.
  • The manga Gyo is about fish with mechanical legs that crawl out of the ocean and invade the city, infecting the people with poisonous gasses. Needless to say, there is a shark involved, and that's when things get really bad.
    • There is a scene where a shark kicks down a door, with a big GASHUNK sound in the English version. This has become a Motivator meme: "GASHUNK: Clearly the sound a shark makes when it kicks down a door."
  • Iron Wok Jan: The semifinal battle of the second Tournament Arc has shark as the theme ingredient. The pre-prepared shark meat is unusable. What do you do? Jump into the tank of live sharks also prepared, kick a shark out, and butcher it in front of the audience. Of course after Jan and the rival from China jump into the shark tank to secure their ingredient, one of the other contestants realizes that it would be easier to just smash the glass walls of the shark tank to drain all the water out of it.
  • Ranma ½
    • In the early manga, Ranma and Cologne fight at the beach and in the ocean. When Cologne touches down lightly on the surface of the water, everyone is astonished at how an Old Master can find footing even on a floating twig. Turns out she landed on top of a great white shark, which she somehow commandeers to do her bidding. It doesn't end well for the shark when Ranma goes into the Cat-Fist, though. The anime, for some reason, traded the beach fight (the final part of the Phoenix Pill storyline) for a fight in the mountains; apparently, they figured Cologne using telekinesis to fling showers of ice boulders would be more dramatic.
    • Both the manga and an anime episode have Akane accepting Principal "Nutjob" Kunô's offer to teach her how to swim. Plan 1: strap a big boulder to her back and toss her into the pool... which is currently home to a four-meter-long shark.
  • The Beach Chapter in Mahou Sensei Negima involves The Hero being attacked by a shark... that knows kung fu. It turns out to be his martial arts teacher Kuu Fei in a stuffed shark that she borrowed from the hotel lobby, along with Natsumi in a shark costume in a ploy to get Negi and Asuna back together by placing him in a perceived danger to be rescued.
  • Hoshigaki Kisame from Naruto is a human with shark-like traits and has an affinity for attacks that use water including several that blasts the opponent with water shaped like at least one shark. Hence the Fan Nickname Sharkman. He also has a shark-like sword, which he can merge with to become a full blown half-man half-shark creature. Unlike the animal stereotype, though, Kisame seems rather played straight. He seems to have a good sense of humor, is definitely the most mentally sound of the Akatsuki, and has a certain joie-de-vivre that his partner needed to pick up on (and on the note of his partner... Kisame seems to have been more of a father toward Itachi than Fugaku). In general, he is a polite, intelligent, and a very social man... however, his mere presence seems to announce "You lose," with natural chakra reserves rivaling the Jinchuriki, who host 100-meter-tall chakra demons. Until even more fittingly he meets Killer Bee... who has octopus traits. Kisame's shark appearance takes on even greater meaning when you consider his backstory. He kills all his comrades so that they won't get captured and interrogated by Ibiki, then kills his superior, the previous wielder of Samehada, for selling him out. After being paired with Akatsuki, he notes that they were put together because both had killed their comrades, noting how sharks' offspring kill and eat each other.
  • Bleach has Halibel's release, "Tiburon". Which she uses to cut Hitsugaya('s duplicates) clean in two.
  • One Piece
    • Of all the Fishmen, the shark ones are definitely the worst to run into. Arlong, the Big Bad of the East Blue arc, is a sawshark, and Jinbe, who is definitely making everything worse for the World Government by teaming up with Luffy and Crocodile, is a whale shark. He soon inverts this trope, summoning a whole school of friendly, grinning whale sharks to carry the escaped prisoners to safety and much later, joining Luffy's crew. Not much of a surprise, since whale sharks can't eat most mammals—they feed on krill, instead.
    • Now things are even worse with Hody Jones' crew, which has four different shark Fishmen, Jones himself being a great white shark. While Arlong was a vile piece of work, he at least cared for his men and truly did fight for Fishman rights once. Jones is basically the Fishman equivalent to a neo-Nazi and is willing to destroy Fishman Island entirely out spite towards members of his species who want to reach out to the humans that oppressed them.
    • Add on the captain of the Flying Dutchman, Vander Decken IX, who is a bullhead shark. Not as fearsome as a great white, but he's Hody's partner in crime and has a creepy, murderous obsession with Princess Shirahoshi. One that started when she was six.
    • The trope is also inverted by Prince Fukaboshi, a shark merman who the Strawhats assume is there to give them trouble and run away, when he intended to personally invite them to the royal palace and give Luffy a message from Jinbe.
  • Katekyo Hitman Reborn: Apparently inspired by the pirates of How to Kill a Mockingbird, Squalo rides a flying burning shark as his box weapon. Seriously.
  • BrokenGao in GaoGaiGar FINAL forms the right shoulder of Genesic GaoGaiGar and represents destruction in all its glory.
  • Averted in Transformers: Robots in Disguise with Sky-Byte. While one of the Predacons, Sky-Byte is an aspiring poet and quite fond of humans—between these and various comedic appearances, he's something of an Ensemble Darkhorse. He's also the only one of the Predacons or Decepticons to escape at the end of the series, so everything pretty much works out for him.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler: While Sakuya's Titanic was sinking, an already-wounded Hayate swam in the frigid water to push a raft holding Isumi to safety. Then the sharks attacked him.... But all bets were off when he saw one of them attack Nagi.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure third part, an early Stand goes past this trope with its first act: cutting a shark in half. LENGTHWISE. In part 5, the situation is played more straight with Clash, a Stand that takes the form of a metallic shark with three eyes. Its power? Teleport from one body of water (or other mostly-water liquid...like a bowl of soup or glass of wine), capture its targets, and drag them along on the teleporting trips (where, if Squalo isn't stopped quickly enough, they'll drown).
  • In Blue Submarine No. 6, not only is there an antagonist who is a shark-person but it seems as though his main mode of transportation is built on a WHALE SHARK.
  • Agito from Air Gear has sharks as his animal motifs. He's brutal in battle.
  • Inverted in Nichijou. Ask the Professor, and she'll tell you Everything's Better with Sharks.
  • Ryoga "Shark" Kamishiro of Yu-Gi-Oh Ze Xal, introduced as the school bully and a major Jerkass. He also uses a marine deck, including sharks. Later inverted after he joins Yuma's group.


Comic Books

  • Water Baby revolves around this. Brody was a surfer, one day she was riding the waves and a shark confused her with something edible. Bit off her leg up the knee and went his merry way... while Brody was left bleeding her life out, she got better but now she has nightmares of sharks, and now So Do You.
  • A From Bad to Worse story arc of Fallen Angel has a shark goring Jude's leg... in the middle.
  • The old British comic Action had a serial called Hook Jaw. The title character was a great white shark. None of the other characters lasted more than one story... Well, except for the token good human in the first story, though even he got eaten alive about two thirds of the way through the second story.
  • X-Men:
    • Cyclops of has fought sharks on occasion. Great whites, naturally.
    • The short-lived X-Men character Thunderbird III had very few badass moments, but one of those was when he fought and killed a great white shark all by himself.
  • Batman even keeps Shark-Repellent Bat-Spray in his utility belt!
    • There's also the Batman villain Great White, a former "white collar criminal". It started as a nickname due to his shady financial practices. However he gets sent to Arkham and, well... let's just say he ends up with an Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance.
  • In Watchmen the cast-away of the comic within a comic Tales of the Black Freighter suffers from this. Not only he has to escape from the island in a raft made of the bodies of her partners, he also has to fight several sharks.
  • The Punisher
    • Barracuda, a badass hitman, manages to win a brutal fight with the Punisher. Instead of just shooting him, Barracuda throws him into the ocean with a bleeding gangster and a Great White.
    • An earlier one-shot had a villain attempt to shoot Castle, who was standing in front of an Aquarium shark tank. Castle dived out of the way, and somehow, the handgun bullets managed to shatter the tank and send an angry shark right at the gangster.
  • Iron Man, or rather Tony Stark seeing he was out of his armour, was dumped into shark-infested waters once. He proceeded to fight a great white, bite into it to get it to start bleeding, which drew the other sharks in order to attack it.
  • Indiana Jones and the Tomb of the Gods: Oh, so the Big Bad Nazi has Indy at gunpoint in a seized ship miles away from the nearest coast. If he kills him there nobody will know. But does he shoot him? Naaah, that would be too easy. Better drop him in a lifeboat with no oars to starve or die of dehydration. But wait, that would be too slow. Shoot the boat with a machine gun so it'll sink sooner or later. Enough? Nope, make a cut on the Girl of the Week's arm and kick her into the water so sharks will smell her blood and do a Zerg Rush to the area. And if loads and loads of sharks aren't scary enough, don't worry, a massive Great White will show up to teach them the job.
  • In Wonder Woman, the island of Themiscyra is protected by Megalodons, who are good and even offer themselves up for a Heroic Sacrifice to save the island on one occasion.
  • DC Comics also gives us the character King Shark, the son of the Hawaiian shark god (we're assuming Ka-moho-ali'i). He's capable of regeneration, which is good because Jeanette of Secret Six breaks his jaw and rips off his arm.
  • One of the "possible" stories included in Hack Slash: Trailers feature a slasher shark named Blackfin, who was big enough to devour the great white mistaken for him in one bite.
  • Aquaman can command anything in the ocean. If he's feeling generous, he'll just send dolphins, whales and giant squid to beat you up and ensnare you. If he's not, he breaks out the sharks. Get him in a bad mood, and you can have sharks and Eldritch Abominations up your ass.
  • German comic Haiopeis.[context?]
  • Subverted in Red Rackham's Treasure, where Professor Calculus builds a small submarine in the shape of a shark. Haddock first sees it when trying to take a potshot at a bunch of circling sharks.

Fan Works

  • From Chapter 12 of Takamachi Nanoha of 2814, we have Nanoha's "Bruce" construct, a giant hundred meter long green shark with whirring chainsaw teeth and insides that look like a nightmare of spinning cutting rings. Hey, it's Nanoha, would did you expect?
  • From Divine Blood, Naiki Satomi, the daughter of Ranma Saotome and Poseidon has an affinity for sharks right down to a mouth full of sharp teeth. She is the most obviously reckless of the three Satomi siblings and, especially in early chapters, sometimes has a tendency to make situations worse by sheer accident. However, she is described as having a cute smile despite having a carnivore's dental work. In battle against her father, she summons a megalodon and a swarm of other sharks to fight him.
  • Late in Christian Humber Reloaded, the main character meets a shark/human hybrid named Chridion. Chridion manages the improbable feat of gaining the upper hand against the God Mode Sue protagonist for most of the fight, largely due to his superior speed and Shoulder Cannon, only conceding defeat when Vash powers up enough to almost destroy the world.


  • Shark Tale, obviously by its name. Features a subversion of this trope though, a vegetarian shark who actually gets nauseated at the very taste of a fish.
  • Another one for sharks that don't eat everything in sight, Finding Nemo. Not quite vegetarians, it's hinted that they eat dolphins, and they have a "slip" every now and then and eat a fish. The heroes run into three, including one named Bruce, a Shout-Out to the Jaws prop.
  • In James and the Giant Peach, there's a robot shark.
  • In Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Mort is chased by a shark. Through land. All the way into a volcano. That must be one hungry shark.
  • In the Pixar short Partly Cloudy (shown before Up), living clouds make human babies, puppies, kittens, etc., who are delivered by Delivery Storks. There's also a rain cloud who specializes in... slightly less adorable critters, and his stork seriously begins to regret their partnership when the rain cloud presents him with a model shark (which is bigger than the stork).
  • Lilo and Stitch: "Oh, look, a friendly little dolphin. They helped sailors during the war... It's a shark! It's a shark and it ain't friendly! Looks like a dolphin... Tricky fish! Tricky fish!"
  • Glut the Shark from The Little Mermaid.
    • The sequel has Undertow the tiger shark.
  • The Tintin animated film Tintin and the Lake of Sharks has, wait for it, a lake... full of sharks. Metaphorical ones, that is. It's actually a Balkan mountain lake. The villains' Underwater Base may also have a Shark Pool or two.
  • The Land Before Time V has a prehistoric shark-like swimming "sharp-tooth".
  • The Jaws series is built on this trope.
  • As is Open Water (the first one, anyway). Slight subversion, since nothing bad happens the first time a shark appears. The problem is later when it, presumably, gets curious and comes back... with friends. From then on, it just gets worse. Also notable is the fact that not only are the sharks all real (even the ones interacting with the actors), but are all species one would have a reasonably good chance of encountering in Real Life, compared to, say, the more-famous-but-rarer great white.
  • Undercover Brother: At the end, Mr. Feather falls from a helicopter and chomped by a shark just before falling into the ocean.
  • Batman: The Movie: While investigating a yacht at sea, Batman is attacked by a shark. After he uses Bat Shark Repellent to make it let go of him, it falls into the water and explodes: one of the villains had planted a bomb in it.
  • James Bond
  • Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea has a Shark Pool inside a submarine. Yes, really. A villainess meets her end in it.
  • The 1971 documentary Blue Water, White Death, for its name alone.
  • Mako, the Jaws of Death
  • Deep Blue Sea has super-intelligent sharks. If there's one creature you do not want to give super-intelligence to, you'd think it'd be sharks, but hey, there you go. (They're smart enough to know what dramatic irony is.) The official explanation was that making sharks super-intelligent would cure Alzheimer's. No, really. Most notable is how the character played by none other than Samuel L. Jackson is eaten by one of these sharks while indoors.
  • Shark Night 3D obviously centers on this trope. A group of college students spend a weekend at a lake which has inexplicably become home to various man-eating species of sharks. The kicker? The sharks were supplied by a couple of rednecks who want to cash in on the Discovery Channel's Shark Week craze...by feeding college students to the sharks, and recording video footage of the attacks to post online, sell to various channels, etc.
  • Austin Powers: Dr. Evil wanted sharks, with Frickin' Laser Beams attached to their heads no less, but logistical problems meant he had to settle for ill-tempered, mutated sea bass. He gets his laser sharks by the third movie, though.
  • My Super Ex-Girlfriend, the title ex-girlfriend throws a shark at the protagonist. The protagonist is in his new girlfriend's bedroom at the time. Several stories up in an apartment building.
  • In the film The Beach, the seemingly idyllic youth community is revealed to be anything but when one of the members is gored by a shark.
  • Shark Attack 3: Megalodon.
  • Subverted/parodied in the second Tomb Raider movie, where being surrounded by sharks, Lara Croft punches one in the nose and proceeds to ride it to the surface.
  • The French movie Le Magnifique, a parody of spy flicks, begins with a spy character "eaten by a shark while in a phone booth." Yes, that's how it is actually described in the movie. To be more specific, the phone booth was lifted up by a helicopter with the spy inside, dropped into the sea, and then a caged shark was freed to attack him while still in the phone booth. Hard to top as a needlessly complicated execution method...
  • In Jumper, one of the teleporting Jumpers assassinates the Paladins by dumping them at sea surrounded by sharks.
  • Ace Ventura goes to a tank expecting to find a stolen dolphin. He finds a shark. Hilarity Ensues. Specially when he returns to the main hall, his clothes all torn and wet: "Do NOT go in there!"
  • There have been times when the Scifi channel has shown several movies of sharks attacking people back to back. Megaladons (giant prehistoric sharks) are quite often involved, e.g.. Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus.
    • Incidentally, if the title has Shark vs. anything, it's probably by Asylum—if they make anything that isn't a Mockbuster or a bad Christian flick, it's a giant shark fighting something else equally nasty.
    • Mega Shark has returned to face off against another giant prehistoric predator: Crocosaurus.
  • Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2 has a shark fighting a zombie.
  • The Made-for-TV low-budget-gore-fest Spring Break Shark Attack. Exactly What It Says on the Tin: attractive coeds in bathing suits and sharks.
  • The pirate comedy Yellowbeard plays with this when the title character's wife is taken captive by the Royal Navy and pumped for information offscreen; when she's ready to talk, she says, "I think it was that shark that jogged my memory." "The Shark" is the handsome ensign (David Bowie in a cameo) who brings her into the office, who has a shark's fin strapped to his back; he "jogged her memory" via sex.
  • In Lethal Weapon 4, has caught a small shark (alive) while out fishing with the heroes. When their boat sinks, the shark escapes; rather than booking it for the horizon, as any sensible animal would do, its fin is shown lingering near the swimming characters to add menace to the scene.
  • One word: Sharkboy.
  • Sharktopus combines this with Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods.
  • 2-Headed Shark Attack. Double trouble!
  • Dark Tide features great white sharks
  • The Aussie film The Reef features four tourists forced to swim to an island ten miles away when their boat capsizes. Through a known shark zone. And yes they do encounter great white sharks.


  • Discworld
  • The brain sharks of More Information Than You Require.
  • The second Young Wizards novel has a ninety-foot long great white shark as a protagonist. While he doesn't make things worse for the good guys, he definitely makes things worse for the bad guys.
    • He's not a great white. He's older than that SPECIES of shark, considering that, you know, he was the original shark to accept the first Silent One's sacrifice.
  • In The Princess Bride, when Buttercup tries to swim away from the ship, Vizzini warns her that, unless she comes back immediately, he will cut his arms and legs and draw blood into a cup and throw it into the water "and sharks can smell blood in the water for miles and you won't be beautiful for long." She doesn't, he does, the sharks go mad, and the narrator interrupts to say that, of course, Buttercup doesn't get eaten at that time. (The movie replaced the sharks with shrieking eels.)
  • Sharks turn up repeatedly in The Lies of Locke Lamora: the city of Camorr features Gladiator Games where female gladiators fight them, and Camorr's top crime boss employs a Shark Pool when the need arises. The Big Bad begins a final overthrow of said crime boss by having a shark (being controlled by magic) jump out of the pool and bite his arm off.
  • The finale of Deception Point takes place on a marine biologist's rig over a massive swarm of sharks. Some baddies do find their way in, naturally.
  • Towards the end of Red Storm Rising, a Soviet pilot and an American one, both of whose planes went down during the big dogfight when NATO retook Iceland, bring their life rafts together to take advantage of the American's shark repellent. The Soviet pilot voices a distinct unease with being devoured by "a carnivorous fish".
  • At one point in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Captain Nemo invites Professor Arronax on an underwater stroll to visit a pearl fishery, and then mentions the prospect of sharks. This makes the professor quite nervous: "So there I was, daydreaming about sharks capable of cutting a man in two with their row upon row of teeth. I could already feel a pain in my side." Talking to his friends a few minutes later, he accidentally speaks of "a hundred and fifty sharks" instead of "a hundred and fifty pearls."

"I slept rather badly. Sharks played an important role in my dreams."

  • In Animorphs #15 it is revealed that Yeerks have established an underwater base where they capture hammerhead sharks and implant brain controlling chips in their heads to turn them into shock troopers for an invasion of an alien aquatic world inhabited by psychic man-frogs... *sniff* Can it possibly get anymore awesome than that? More awesomer: the brain controlling chips are mostly intended to make them smarter... smart enough to hunt in packs, like wolves do. Also to enlarge their earholes for even more convenient brain control. But... the Yeerks aren't 100% exactly the type of awesome you described. The Animorphs later go to said alien world morphed into hammerheads themselves. It proves to be an inspired choice.
  • In Pendragon, Saint dne sends a shark to attack Bobby and press on land in another DIMENSION!!!
  • The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall features a "purely conceptual" shark that swims through memes, eating memories and identities.
  • Jaws, the original book by Peter Benchley. Benchley also wrote White Shark, about a genetically-engineered Half-Human Hybrid Nazi shark. A keen environmentalist, he later regretted his contribution to the Everything's Even Worse with Sharks trope, and wrote several nonfiction books about sharks and their important place in the ecosystem.
  • Sharks often show up during the seafaring scenes in Redwall. In The Bellmaker, Finbarr Galedeep sings a silly song about sharks, and later that evening a very worried Rufe Brush comes and asks him what a shark looks like. He tells him that mostly all you'll see is a big pointy fin, to which Rufe responds "Does it look like this one circling our ship, sir?"
    • And in Triss, Krrova, Scarum and Saxtus run across a shark at least twice.
  • Subverted in the Codex Alera. At one point, Captain Demos mentions that sharks are likely to be more of a problem to a group of swimmers than leviathans... But when a shark messes with Isana, she throws it bodily out of the water and up twenty feet onto the deck of a pirate ship. Played straight in the book before that, when Tavi had his army dump the blood and guts from butchered animals in the river when he was defending a bridge, attracting sharks from miles downstream and ensuring that any Canim attempting to swim around the bridge wouldn't make it very far.
  • In Nation, sharks are practically the personification of It Got Worse:
    • While rescuing a drowning man—in the middle of a very surprising discovery—Mau is forced to confront a hungry shark. He wins, too.
    • First Mate Cox would almost certainly have died from that axe in his chest, but just to be sure he gets eaten by sharks, too.
  • The general idea behind Steve Alten's Meg series of novels.
  • Subverted in Sergey Volnov's Army of the Sun, where sharks and whales have been artificially given intelligence and develop Psychic Powers. The sharks actually become deeply philosophical, benign creatures, able to open portals from one planet to another, as long as both feature large bodies of seawater.
  • Charlie the intelligent, bipedal, amorphous mutated great white in Slimer.
  • The Terrible Dogfish from Pinocchio is supposed to be a gigantic shark given its name, but is often interpreted as a monstrous whale or a generally fish-like sea monster in various adaptations. Nonetheless, Pinocchio comes into conflict with it when he learns that it swallowed Geppetto, his father.

Live-Action TV

  • The Bionic Woman episode "Deadly Music". A villain plants a homing device on Jaime Sommers that will summon sharks to attack her. Hey, wait a minute!
  • The Six Million Dollar Man episode "Sharks". A villain group has learned how to train and control sharks.
  • "Adrift", the second episode of Lost‍'‍s second season, featured Michael and Sawyer stuck on tiny remnants of their exploded raft. Sawyer's gunshot wound eventually attracted a shark, because of course floating in the middle of the ocean on scraps of bamboo isn't jeopardy enough! At one point, Sawyer tried to get from one raft to another, with the shark nearby, which may have been a play on the phrase Jump the Shark.
  • Chevy Chase's "Land Shark" sketches on Saturday Night Live.


  • The Discovery Channel's "Shark Week" deserves a mention, since that wouldn't exist if sharks weren't so badass and awesome.
  • On said network, the MythBusters have done multiple shark myths rooted both in real life anecdotes and popular fiction.

Tracy Jordan: Live every week like it's Shark Week.

    • Fun fact: Mythbuster team member Grant Imahara is absolutely terrified of sharks. Naturally, he gets to be the one who goes into the water for every myth involving sharks.
  • Shawn Weatherly's character was killed off Baywatch in the first season by being attacked by a shark.
  • That episode of Happy Days. You know the one. Not dangerous for the characters, but the show got wounded pretty bad.
  • Kamen Rider Decade has Kamen Rider Abyss, whose motif is a shark, is the antagonist of Ryuki's World.
    • The Decade net movies claim that Kamen Rider Faiz's suit is partly shark-inspired (hence the sawtooth pattern on the mouthpiece). However, in this case it's a subversion, as Faiz is the main character and is (typically) wielded by a good guy.
  • Shows up in the occasional Monster of the Week in Super Sentai and Power Rangers, but subverted as often as not when there's a shark among the heroes: Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger/Power Rangers Wild Force has a shark-themed Blue Ranger and a hammerhead in the Sixth Ranger's Dark Is Not Evil group of zords; Juken Sentai Gekiranger/Power Rangers Jungle Fury gives the Red Ranger some shark gear; and Power Rangers Samurai has a shark-themed upgrade.[1]
  • Subverted on Walking with Dinosaurs. During "Cruel Sea", there are plenty of sharks (called Hybodus) about, but they aren't the top predator. That would be Liopleurodon, one of the few creatures that is proven to always make things even worse than they are with sharks.
    • How much worse? Try a 21-foot aquatic reptilian killing machine with a combined jaw size of just under 9.5 feet. Run.
  • Sea Monsters has sharks as well. Stethacanthus in the Devonian barely even registers as a threat. There's also the obligatory Megalodon in the Pliocene. (For reference, the babies are the size of an adult Great White.) The Jurassic still has Hybodus, and the Cretaceous has more sharks that barely register as a threat. There are also Xiphactinus (a.k.a. The Ugliest Fish in History) and giant mosasaurs, just to make the sharks look irrelevant.
  • In The Future Is Wild, a distant-future flooded Earth has as its top predator a charming critter called the Sharkopath, a highly intelligent aquatic pack hunter that communicates with its packmates using flashes of bioluminescence.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "A Christmas Carol", the Doctor and young Kazran nearly get eaten by a shark (that swims in the fog). Subverted in that the shark apparently isn't as vicious as it seems: the Doctor, in true Cloudcuckoolander fashion, harnesses it to a flying sleigh and goes for a joyride.
  • CSI has an episode where a tiger shark was released into a swimming pool full of people and bit a woman's arm off, but it turned out she was already dead.
  • Played straight in one episode of H₂O: Just Add Water, subverted in another. This show's version of Driven to Suicide has Cleo swim into the middle of a known shark breeding ground (don't worry, she lives). Another episode has Rikki deciding to enter a short film competition about heroes and make the film about sharks. Because she is a mermaid she is able to get much closer to sharks in their natural habitat with a camera than professionals (she can't use the footage however for the same reasons). When Zane runs into sharks Rikki simply uses her powers to heat up the water and scare them off.

Myth and Religion

  • Averted in Polynesian mythology, in which the sea gods are usually portrayed as benevolent shark shaped guardians of the sea. Examples include Ukupanipo, Kamohoalii and Dakuwaqa.

Newspaper Comics

Tabletop Games

  • The old Arduin Grimoire had a Air Shark monster.
  • The Hero Clix miniatures game set of Arkham Asylum had a figure of Black Manta, who while being a decent playing piece, was pushed into the category of awesome by having his sculpt feature him surfing on the head of a shark with frikkin' laser beam on it's head.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • The monster called the Bulette... better known as the "land shark". (Complete with fin cutting through the surface of the ground as it burrows toward you...)
    • D&D also has sharks that live in acid and lava. Because even when you're drowning in acid or lava, sometimes it's just too easy. The monster entry for the Acid Shark sums it up pretty well: "What's worse than a pit full of acid? A pit full of acid with a shark in it."
    • It also has regular sharks, the megalodon (giant prehistoric shark) and weresharks as well as Sekolah, the sahuagin deity in the form of a giant shark.
      • The Sahuagin themselves are sometimes depicted as basically resembling humanoid sharks.
  • In Chaosium's Stormbringer supplement Demon Magic, the adventure "Sorcerer's Isle" had a megalodon that could sink ships by biting through their hulls.
  • World Of Synnibarr, well-known for its flying bears with laser-beam eyes, also has sharks. Sharks with armor-penetrating teeth, and shapechanging abilities so they can climb aboard your ship.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse has the Rokea, the weresharks. The Garou serve as Gaia's warriors on land, and the Rokea serve as her warriors at sea. Only since most of them spend all their time away from humanity, they seem a little... off.
  • Swashbucklers Of The Seven Skies has skysharks: "Horse-sized, arrow-shaped carnivores (little more than fanged mouths with wings)".
  • Infernum has Obsidian Sharks, Spawn (a sort of proto-lifeform) that look like sharks made from living volcanic rock which swim through the seas and rivers of flame, magma and molten metal that flow just about everywhere in Hell. And, as Spawn, kill one, and more will promptly tear their way out of its carcass and attack you.
  • Cthulhu Tech has megalodons, big enough to be a threat to aquatic Humongous Mecha.
  • Minor tidbit from the history of BattleTech: The totemic animal of Clan Sea Fox got all but wiped out by a new predator introduced into its native oceans by a rival Clan. The Sea Foxes turned insult into opportunity and simply adopted said predator as their new totem instead; today, they're known as Clan Diamond Shark.
    • The Diamond Sharks somewhat subvert this however; they generally would rather do business with you than fight you and treat their civilians well by Clan standards. The Rim Worlds Republic played it straight; their government was often brutal and they eventually gave rise to an Evil Chancellor who would destroy the Star League and plunge human space into 300 years of war. The symbol of the RWR? A shark.
  • The Giant Shark and Hammerhead Shark from Magic: The Gathering. Unfortunately, since they're sharks, they can only attack if the opposing planeswalker is near a body of water (i.e. they have islands). And since your character is a planeshifting physical god, you can turn your opponents' lands into islands with certain spells.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has a few: Corroding Shark and Cyber Shark, a zombie/robot shark respectively, Metabo Shark, Deepsea Shark, Shark Cruiser, a shark ship, Man-Eating Black Shark, Great White Terror, Misairuzame, a missile shark, Abyssal Kingshark, and the Great White, a giant shark with hands.


Video Games

  • Pokémon
    • Sharpedo. (It doesn't help that its pre-evolved form is a piranha.) Huge attack power and nice speed, but in return it dies from the weakest Electric attack.
    • There's also the hammerhead land shark/dragonish Garchomp, which has phenomenal attacking power, blinding speed, and decent defenses as well. It also has a respectable movepool. It's sufficiently powerful that some parts of the competitive battling community have now moved it from standard play to the "Uber" tier. Even the 4x ice weakness it gets from being Dragon/Ground-type (its self a good combo, evening out ground's other 2 weaknesses while completely nulling electric attacks, including the crippling thunder wave, while ground is one of the best types on offense as well) doesn't slow it down because it already gets paired with something (Sand Stream to use its ability) that kills the accuracy (and its ability hurts it further) of the only ice move strong enough to OHKO it with the right item. Bizarrely, the anime shows (and the 'Dex suggests) that Garchomp can fly at sonic speeds. That's right. It's a fast, powerful, and bulky Hammerhead Landshark-Dragon that can fly at the speed of sound! May Arceus have mercy on us all.
    • Don't forget about Axew, Fraxure and Haxorus and Garchomp's relatives Gible and Gabite, all of which are actually a cross between Dragons and Land Shark(s).
  • Disgaea
    • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness also has a land shark dragon in the form of the Serpent monster class (Or shark dragon, as it was more appropriately called in Japanese), though it's considerably more shark-like in appearance (But still remarkably similar). Like, it's one of the stronger monster types, boasting a high attack stat and good values in everything else, and it flies for some of its special attacks. It later makes an appearance as an enemy in the second Prinny game (Where it's now properly called a shark dragon), and has a couple of cameo appearances in Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten, though it's possible that it might become more then that in the future.
    • Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories has Sammy (he's called Same in Japanese, which literally means shark), the land shark/news reporter. He's one of Plenair's friends, and appears in her third attack in Dark Hero Days.
  • Banjo-Kazooie has two.
    • The first, Clanker, is a subversion; he's an ally of the titular characters, and being "swallowed" by him (or entering his stomach via his gills, or dropping down his blowhole) don't harm you in any way, and indeed are required to get 100% Completion. He's a mechanical shark that floats in one place and eats garbage by grinding it up. No need to worry about any biology failings there.
    • The second example is played straight. Snacker lives in Treasure Trove Cove, and will spawn anytime you fall into the water and will bite at you until you return to shore...or die. He also has a message every time he spawns about how much he'll love eating you. He can be killed with ordinary attacks, but that will only save you for that time in the ocean. Go in the ocean again, and he'll be back like nothing ever happened. Snacker also shows up in Rusty Bucket Bay. In oily water that makes Banjo suffocate on the surface.
  • In the Tales (series), the Sahagin monsters and their kin in the 3D games are anchor or harpoon wielding shark men.
    • There's also the Baitojoh from Tales of Vesperia, which is basically a winged, flying shark.
  • In Tsukihime, Shiki can get killed at one point by opening a door, while on land, to find a shark behind it (it's one of Nero Chaos's 666 familiars). The doorshark has become something of a meme among the fans.
  • Super Mario
  • The shark noise in The World Ends With You. Furthermore the Swing Shark of Week 1 Day 4 provides the first Player Punch of the game by killing off Rhyme, Beat's partner, during a sneak attack at Towa Records.
  • Ecco the Dolphin
    • Sharks are, of course, some of Ecco's natural enemies, and tough ones, to boot. One of the crazier levels from the first game is Open Ocean: you, a lone little dolphin, vs. about a million sharks, with nowhere to hide. The Open Ocean is cold and dangerous.
    • The second game turns this on its head at points by transforming Ecco into a shark, mostly so you can rampage about the level eating everything.
    • The Playstation entry to the series, Defender of the Future, ups the ante to including a boss fight with a shark capable of devouring you whole. (Ramping up the insanity factor? In order to hurt him, first you have to swipe a power-up right from out of his mouth.)
  • The Japan-exclusive game Fighting Layer a.k.a. Where Blair Dame's Bus Stopped features a shark as one mid-level boss that you must defeat to move on. It's as hard as you might imagine, but the satisfaction of leaping into its tank and clobbering a shark on its own turf simply is too awesome for words. Oh sure, Ryu and Akuma might act grumpy, throw fireballs and yell a lot, but how many sharks have they kicked the crap out of? That's right, none.
  • SharkMan.EXE from Mega Man Battle Network.
    • Diveman's stage from Battle Network 6 has some pesky sharks that must be avoided in order to progress.
    • Mega Man X 6 is worse with Metal Shark Player in more ways than one.
  • Gran Bruce from Viewtiful Joe. His entrance is even done with a Jaws First Person Perspective.
  • Some of the aquatic levels of Indiana Jones and The Emperor's Tomb.
  • The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker has the Gyorg, which is very shark-like and competes with the Seahat for title of "most annoying enemy". Both have the distinction of being in a position to knock you into the water, where you cannot fight and must (find and) get back into the boat. Sometimes it's not a second later that they knock you right back in again. Grrr!
  • The sharks in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins are nearly invincible. But how do they swim with boxing gloves on?
  • Ty the Tasmanian Tiger has sharks show up whenever you step off the beach into deep enough water; you can encounter entire schools of them this way. They'd be far, far more intimidating if they weren't each a One-Hit-Point Wonder...
  • The strongest monster in zOMG! is the Landshark, affectionately referred to as Landy by many players. And Bruce by the devs. The April Fool's 2009 event also resulted in the "Airshark" meme.
  • One of the signature villains in City of Villains is Captain Mako, a mutated shark-like Pirate and Psycho for Hire known for tearing his enemies apart.
  • The sheep-herding game Sheep has, as a possible sheep-killing device, shark-infested ice-cream.
  • T-Virus infected Sharks appear in many of the Resident Evil games.
  • Knights of the Old Republic
    • Firaxen sharks, a.k.a. firaxa, on those underwater levels of Manaan. You can one-hit-kill them, but: you are in a pressure suit at the bottom of the ocean, which slows your movements to a torturous crawl. The suit and the water pressure mean that you can't use any of your usual weapons or Force abilities. The sonic emitter is your only weapon, and although you can fire it repeatedly in quick succession, it only works at close range. When the firaxa notice you, they immediately glide after you, mouths open, and that's the only time you can strike. Sometimes you don't get the chance to see them coming.
    • There's also the Progenitor, the giant firaxan whose cry drove the smaller firaxa into a frenzy and made the Selkath researchers on that underwater base homicidally insane. She's not actually evil, though, and if the machinery is destroyed she lets you pass. Poisoning her means dooming pretty much the entire biosphere.
  • Jaws Unleashed is a alright-to-downright-terrible sandbox adventure game, based on the movie Jaws. The upshot? You play as the Great White Shark. Controls are a mess and it is sometimes frustrating, but still you play as the great white shark. And you can kill/destroy everything from seals, to smaller sharks, to whales, to fishing boats, to a fricking oil platform! There were also less thrilling Jaws games for the NES and PC.
  • World of Warcraft
    • There's a a few sharks, generally patrolling the border between shallow sea (where players can swim) and deep ocean (where they can drown of fatigue). In classic Azeroth, most sharks are elite (and thus very strong, but killable), but the coasts of Northrend (WotLK expansion) have many non-elite sharks. Their level and variety differs depending on the level of the zone where you are.
    • Also the immense raid boss shark named Maws. He's gained a Cataclysm cousin in Gnaws, who has a model more closely resembling a real-life great white shark.
    • Unfortunately they have failed biology forever in Cataclysm by having the patrolling gigantic shark that keeps you from swimming into certain areas be a whale shark—long noted as one of the gentlest things in the ocean, which eats krill. This is a shark known for not only letting divers swim around it, but specifically folding its fins back (even when it inconveniences the whale shark) to avoid running into them. Why they didn't create a fictional shark type for this (Dragon Shark anyone? Or maybe Wyrm Shark?) we may never know.
      • The Whale Shark actually is quite docile: it doesn't aggro unless you attack it, now Mobus <The Crushing Tide>, which shares a model and animations with the Whale Shark, is incredibly hostile: If you enter its waters and it's there (it's a rare mob), be prepared for a boss fight or be prepared to die.
    • Considering that Azeroth's oceans contain many huge and frightening beasts, monsters, humanoids, and abominations, carnivorous whale sharks are the most mundane seagoing terror. Hell, in Vashj'ir the whale sharks share the waters (and "giant OHKO-ing beasts" title) with a titanic eel and a monstrous leviathan.
    • Then there is Epicus Maximus which is almost certainly an inversion of this trope.
    • In "Shark Tank" one of the Tol Barad Peninsula daily quests, players are sent to fight a shark named Tank. Tank has over 450,000 HP and as possibly the strongest quest boss in Tol Barad, generally requires a group of two or three people to kill. If players have the "Captain P. Harris" or "Boosting Morale" quests, they will also have to avoid him while going after the captain or the rum, and the questgiver admits to being scared of the shark in the latter.
  • The Big Bad in Crayola Treasure Adventure is a shark pirate.
  • Miami Shark, a Flash game on Newgrounds where you play as a shark who eats people and animals, makes boats explodes and pulls down things from helicopters to a stealth bomber. It has a sequel set in Sydney. And somehow, the Shark manages to get at Koalas, Kangaroos and a nuke.
  • Naturally, you can summon sharks in Scribblenauts. A single Scribblenauts shark is enough to defeat Cthulhu. You can also summon Megalodon.
  • In Hitman: Blood Money, 47 sets a lady on fire at a party. She then manages to fall into a shark pool and the crowd applauds 47. And the more corpses you throw in that tank, the bigger that shark gets.
  • Wacky Wheels has Razer the shark. Just like everybody else, he runs over hedgehogs and throws them at other racers.
  • You would think that being in a fire fight is bad enough. But what if your enemy has a gun that fires sharks which seeks out enemies at will? Yeap, you're screwed.
  • One of boss-fights of Alundra 2 is a giant orange shark with vacuum powers.
  • The Endless Ocean franchise features many, many types of sharks. In the first game, they're all harmless, but Magu Tapah (a very large great white) is good old-fashioned Nightmare Fuel. In the sequel, Blue World, the carnivorous species will now attack you, and the new "special" shark—this one named Thanatos—cranks Magu Tapah's scariness Up to Eleven.
  • Illusion of Gaia subverts this when Will and Kara's raft is circled by sharks, only to have them swim away without attacking, leading Kara to conclude they aren't hungry because (she believes) only humans hunt for sport
  • Monster Hunter Tri gives us the Sharq, which inhabits the waters on the northern end of the Deserted Island area. A subversion in that they don't make things worse, and only attack when you invade their territory. Then again, they're among the least dangerous things you can find in the water...
  • Scarface: The World Is Yours has sharks in the ocean, which appear if you swim for too long. You get treated to a scene of Tony floating, looking about, then getting mauled by a shark that literally comes out of nowhere. You've Fucked Up.
  • King's Quest
    • In King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella you are a princess trapped on an island. You may swim to a few limited locations, but it takes a lot of trial and error, swim into the wrong screen and Jaws music starts and you get mowed over by a shark fin. Que the Have a Nice Death screen. This is especially unnerving when you're going at top speed. That fin comes out of nowhere!
    • King's Quest III has a similar Jaws-inspired death.
  • In Dubloon, you can meet sharks when sailing between islands. They attack by charging forward.
  • Of Command & Conquer fame, the Red Alert series gives us the aptly named Akula (Shark) subs. Some GameMods add actual sharks into the games, like Mental Omega for Yuri's Revenge and Red Alert 3 Paradox gives us sharks with radiation guns.
    • Of course you can't forget the Kirov Airship, a flying shark that drops bombs.
  • EVO Search for Eden has the Kuraselache, King of the Sea, as the antagonists for the last part of the first epoch, the Age of Fish. The Mook Kuraselache are about your size and are annoying, but their leader is three times your size, attacks by biting, body-slamming and slapping you with his tail, and doesn't want the world above the water to become inhabitable. As the first major boss and, he's tough. Later on in the final epoch, you meet normal enemy versions of King Kuraselache in the Rogon section, who are still annoying but nowhere near as strong since you're far more evolved now.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighters features a shark named Armaggon as a playable character, whose fighting style resembled an odd mix of Guile and Dhalsim.
  • EverQuest has a few sharks of various power. In Erud's Crossing, the Killer Sharks are especially deadly, since not only are they in the mid-40s, but they also can see through invisibility and guard one of several underwater scepters that wizards need for the Staff of the Wheel quest.
  • A rare inversion is 101 Shark Pets, in which the sharks are playfull like puppies.
  • In Batman: Arkham City, you must cross a half-frozen lake inside the Penguin's museum. This, of course, has a gigantic shark in it. Amusingly, you must quietly walk around on the ice, just as you needed to in Killer Croc's lair in Batman: Arkham Asylum. What's worse than a croc? Exactly.
  • In League of Legends, Fizz the Tidal Trickster's Ultimate summons a giant shark. Out of freaking nowhere.
  • In Fantasy Quest, a shark appears out of nowhere and attacks. It's particularly bizarre because every other threat in the game comes from mythological creatures.
  • Half-Life has "Ichthyosaur", which is an aquatic alien creature - shark-like, except with big head and claws, moves in circles and sometimes slightly breaks the surface. They mostly ignore you until provoked, but not enough that you could ignore them, and they are quite tough. That's where you get crossbow in the first game, too:

Did you see it? They said it was hauled from the Challenger Deep, but I'm positive that beast never swam in terrestrial waters until a week ago. There's a tranquilizer gun in the shark cage, but I'm not sure it would work on this species. You're welcome to try.

  • Murderous Fat Bastard Roadhog from Overwatch has two skins where his pig motif is replaced with a shark-focused one, complete with a nasty-looking shark mask in place of his usual gas mask.

Web Animation

  • Homestar Runner
    • This is combined this with its land-bound cousin in the form of the Bear Holding A Shark. Really just a cardboard standee that pops out from behind Strong Bad's fence, but a valid meta-character all the same.
    • And there is, of course, our resident parenting expert, Hungry Shark. He's gonna eat your kids.
  • How to Kill a Mockingbird: The pirates use flying, burning sharks as personal transports.

Web Comics

Web Original

Western Animation

  • The Venture Brothers
    • In episode "The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part 1)", the maritime-themed villain Go-Fish tries to kill Brock Samson by chumming the water to attract sharks.
    • The Monarch teaches a lesson to a treacherous minion by putting him into a shark tank. However, since he'd previously replaced the guy's blood with acid, the sharks won't touch him. So... "Lower the giant HAIR DRYER!!!"
  • The Bugs Bunny cartoon Rabbitson Crusoe, which features Yosemite Sam, a pair of desert islands (1 Castaway, 1 Palm Tree), and the shark Dopey Dick.
  • Scooby-Doo once got involved with a prehistoric shark (or so it seemed).
  • In The Mask, when ineffectual villain Fish Guy (who is half-fish, half-really dumb adolescent) puts on the Mask, he becomes "Shark Dude".
  • In Code Lyoko Season 4, XANA controls shark-like monsters called "Rekins" in the Digital Sea. They fire torpedoes.
  • Street Sharks was essentially the unholy bastard child of this trope and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. No, really.
  • And back in 1976, DePatie-Freleng gave us Misterjaw, a top-hatted, German-accented Great White, no less. Igotcha!
  • Who could forget the marvelous subversion in Jabberjaw!!
  • 11 years before the first Austin Powers movie, Centurions actually had sharks with Frickin' Laser Beams. In the episode "Man or Machine", Max Ray is menaced by a "Cybervore", a shark that Cyborg Mad Scientist Doc Terror has outfitted with high tech weaponry.
  • Eek! The Cat had that gag about a shark that can chase you on land on it's "The Thunder Lizards" segment.

"Darn this evolution thing!"

  • Much like Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Beast Wars provides an aversion with Cybershark. A Maximal, his bio describes him as a swashbuckling hero who chases after space pirates. He never appeared in the series however, and only appears in the IDW comics. Played straight elsewhere, however, particularly with the Seacon Overbite. He did appear, in a fashion, as the Predacon Sky-byte in Transformers: Robots in Disguise.
  • Aladdin TV series
    • Two episodes deal with a gigantic, shark-like beast that swims through sand like water and has a fortune of treasures pressed into its underside. In the first episode it attacks Agrabah and Aladdin and friends joins with a hunter who had been after the shark for years, and they succeeded in driving it off. In the second episode the shark is slain by a race of Ewok-like desert hunters working for an evil wizard, but Aladdin and the hunter uses its skeleton to repair the hunter's ship and fight the wizard.
    • In another episode, Aladdin actually becomes a shark via a transformation spell from a Clingy Jealous Girl mermaid and is forced to attack Genie, Iago, and Abu.
  • In Family Guy Joe gets a past life reading and finds out he was once an octopus. He thinks this is great until a shark swims past and bites off all his tentacles.
  • Timmy on The Fairly OddParents has to dive into shark-infested waters. Good thing he is missing his emotions at the time.

Shark 1: He's not scared!
Shark 2: He's weird, he's weird! (sharks run off)

  • Sealab 2021
    • In the episode "Tinfins", Dr. Quinn placed a shark's brain into a robot shark's body.

Quinn: What I did was I took nature's most perfect killing machine, and needlessly turned it into a robot.

    • And then there's the episode where they are trapped in an underwater cave with their oxygen supply running out, with a very persistent Great White waiting for them at the only way out. They end up dying at the end of the episode when they run out of air.
  • Kenny the Shark, where the titler shark is a household pet, subverts this trope and somewhat plays it straight. While Kenny does cause a bit of trouble, he usually has good intentions when causing it.
  • ReBoot
    • A season 2 episode features a game set underwater. The User's submarine is very shark-like. Not to mention a scene where mer-Bob and mer-Dot are surrounded by a school of sharks until Bob cuts one in half and scares the rest off.
    • One of those sharks reappears in "System Crash", only it's completely helpless with no water to swim in.
  • Played with in an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants where SpongeBob accidentally becomes the new lifeguard.

SpongeBob: Emergency! Everybody out of the water!
Bather: What's the problem?
SpongeBob: Um... there are sharks in there!
(cut to a nerdy-looking shark and his family)
Shark: Hey, that's my family you're talking about.

  • Total Drama Island featured fresh water sharks.
  • Turns up as Nightmare Fuel in My Little Pony Tales of all places. Schoolgirls Patch and Bon-Bon, through a major lapse in judgement by the former, find themselves floating over the ocean in a hot-air balloon, which is then damaged by birds. Just when they think they've hit their bleakest moment (and this isn't even the first time Bon-Bon's been in a life threatening situation), they look down and see shark fins in the water.
  • Subverted in an episode of American Dragon: Jake Long where Jake is tasked with guarding a shark-woman who holds in possession (in her stomach) Posedion's trident. Despite her compulsive eating, the shark-woman means well and claims that all shark-people are misunderstood and friendly. The only evil shark-men Jake fights are a group of escaped delinquents who want to flood the world with Poseidon's trident.
  • A shark can be seen chasing Scrooge McDuck's submarine in the DuckTales (1987) opening theme.
  • Averted with Shark from Word World.
  • Averted with Sharko from Zig and Sharko, who protects Marina from Zig who always tries to eat her.
  • On The Real Ghostbusters, the Ghostbusters encounter a Megalodon while time-skipping and landing in a prehistoric ocean.

Peter: What does a Megalodon eat?
Egon: Anything smaller than itself.
(cue frantic swimming away)

Real Life

  • The sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the fate of many of its crew. This was carried out primarily by Whitetip Sharks, who are notorious for launching feeding frenzies as soon as food is available. They're responsible for the most human deaths of any species of shark, namely because they would be the ones to swarm shipwreck survivors. It was even they that mariners nicknamed "Sea dogs" because of their slow and cautious but curious pace when investigating something new. Here's some horror: you know that "If a shark bites you, it will leave you alone because it won't like your taste" thing? Yeah, Bull Sharks will attack out of sheer aggression, but Whitetips apparently missed the memo on this one. They'll devour you if they even think that you're food and someone else might eat you before they can.
    • Many people only know about this from hearing it recounted in Jaws. Or the Made for TV Movie Mission of the Shark.
    • There were a number of shark attacks after the Samar Island battle. In both cases it was a matter of a large number of desperate people in the water many of them dead or injured rather then a few confidant swimmers or surfers.
  • The Megalodon, a fifty foot long prehistoric super shark. As well as a number of other large (and often freakish-looking) prehistoric sharks. Megalodon in particular is believed to still exist in remote parts of the ocean by hardcore cryptozoologists, but the lack of evidence for even a small population's effect on potential prey animals means that their continued survival is highly unlikely at best.
  • The most modern Russian attack submarine, the Project 671B Schuka-B has the NATO name "Akula" (Russian for shark).
    • The "Typhoon" class ballistic missile submarine is designated Akula in Russia.
    • Also, the Russians have the Kamov KA 50 helicopter, known as the "Chornaya Akula" (Black Shark).
  • The Tiger shark. It's not all stereotyping.
  • Bull sharks are known for their unpredictable and aggressive behavior, and have been known to attack people without provocation. Oh, and It Gets Worse—they have a certain level of tolerance for fresh water. Just when you thought it was safe to go in the rivers... Just read about the Jersey Shore Attacks of 1916. Pure terror; it was so scary, it was the main inspiration for Jaws!
    • It should be noted that they did catch a Great White Shark that had human remains in its stomach. Which means that there was more than one shark involved, since great whites can't tolerate fresh water (two attacks occurred several miles upriver).
    • What's really scary? Bull sharks are among the most dangerous sharks despite being generally in the six-to-eight-foot range. A thirteen-footer was caught, three full feet longer than the biggest anyone had seen before that.
    • Whitetip sharks are probably even scarier. At least bull sharks will leave you alone if you keep your distance. Whitetips will follow you (hence the nickname "Sea dogs"), and if they even think that you're edible, they will eat you. And not stop. That "sharks don't like human taste" thing doesn't apply. Hence why Whitetips have a higher human body count than all other species combined.
      • That's primarily because Oceanic Whitetip sharks are the species that are typically involved in attacking victims of shipwrecks or airplane crashes. They rarely come close to shore, much less far into river systems the way bull sharks do.
  • Ragged tooth sharks bear live young... which eat each other while still in their mother's womb. Out of the original 15 fetuses, only two generally survive until birth, and even that is only because the womb is split in two sections.
  • There is a certain South African tourist spot where you can feed great whites by hand from a boat. They act like big, aquatic, tooth-filled puppies!
    • A tourism ad for another place that'll let you feed sharks by hand included a quote from one of the locals: "Even the sharks are friendly here."
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, as Cracked.com tells us in its "Top 6 Real Islands Way More Terrifying than the One on Lost" article, is a great big patch of garbage floating in the Pacific, formed from garbage that gets into the ocean and pushed by currents to this one spot. The writer starts with how this means that fish from there are probably eating more plastic than plankton. He then goes on to describe what would probably happen if you stepped on the island, involving falling through and either being buried by garbage that fills in the hole, or being left to tread water as the sharks circle. (Still not sure why that places it above the Ilha de Queimada Grande, Ranree Island, or even the Izu Islands, which sounds like something out of the old Twilight Zone series. But hey, subjectivity.)

Oh, right, also there are sharks. We should've opened with that before we told you to go stand on the garbage island.

  • Shark Knife. That is all.
  • Subverted by the Whale Shark. It's even more like a whale than the name implies—it's the largest existing shark on earth, and feeds entirely on plankton. It's a Gentle Giant of the seas that lets divers pat it.
    • You can also hitch a ride on a Whale Shark by holding its fin.
    • Basking sharks are harmless to humans, too. Though they look damned weird when their mouths are fully open.
    • Don't forget the Megamouth Shark.
    • Also subverted by dogfish, the smallest sharks. Most are just one or two feet long, and they're about as cute as fish ever get.
    • A number of shark species are harmless to humans because it's simply implausible for a human to ever share their environment, like the goblin shark which occurs at extreme depths, or the Greenland Shark which lives in frigid arctic waters.
  • To be fair, some sharks can be dangerous to deep sea divers, which is why many who visit sharks in the seas learn to read their body language. Despite essentially being a living torpedo in shape, sharks can convey their intentions by arching their back, shifting their jaws and eyes back, and by swimming in particular patterns. Any diver who ignores or fails to act upon such body language is in danger of failing to spot an impending attack. If a diver learns the tricks, however, they can not only know when best to leave the water, but also, with some species, know how to avoid inviting an attack in the first place. One example is to swim below the shark - sharks usually attack from below, so if a diver gets below them, the shark will be wary and will treat the diver as a fellow predator rather than as prey.
  • Because Australia wasn't dangerous enough yet, the 2010-2011 Queensland flooding disaster has allowed aggressive bull sharks to roam the streets of Brisbane.
  • The San Jose Sharks hockey team.
  • Beware! It's the Shark Attack Cupcake ... Mountain?
  • During the Battle of Midway, three U.S. pilots who had to ditch their fighters were floating around in a couple of inflatable life rafts. When a shark came swimming by, the fliers discovered the scary way that the shark's dorsal fin was sharp -- it sliced through the bottom of one of the rafts, dumping the two guys inside into the water ... and slashed one's hand open at the same time. Then, for some reason, despite the blood in the water, the shark just swam away.
  • Sharks eat humans once in awhile? Yeah. Guess what eats sharks? Humans!
  1. It was originally a dinosaur in Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, but the US production did some tweaking.