Multi-Armed and Dangerous

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
    Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii by Duffield03.jpg

    So, you've got a character that you want to show is really dangerous. You could give them the normal two arms or legs, but that's just not enough. Maybe you could replace one of those arms with a really big gun, or a sword, or have it transform into something else.

    If that doesn't work, you can always give a character extra arms... because four arms good, two arms bad, right?

    For obvious reasons, normal humans don't get this treatment, because it would look pretty awkward having to do bodily cleaning... and having four arms to go around would be a tailor's nightmare. If you're a mutant or an evil genius, you don't have to worry about this, because Freaky Is Cool.

    Multi-Armed and Dangerous characters come in two flavors:

    1) The extra arms are a regular part of the body.
    2) They're made from prosthetics/synthetic materials that are usually attached to the person.

    They're usually associated with Super Strength; Combat Tentacles are a subtrope. Occasionally, you'll see such characters fighting with a weapon for each of their hands. Can sometimes be used as Spider Limbs.

    This isn't what they mean, by the way, on the news when they say "The local bank was robbed by four armed men", but "To be forewarned is to have four arms."

    It should be noted that recent[when?] research shows the (still very expensive) technology that allows a person to control an artificial limb with the same mental process as an organic limb, can be used to control extraneous limbs with only a minimal period of adjustment. It's only a matter of time...

    If a character has extra arms and uses them to do two (or more) things at the same time, that's Multi-Armed Multitasking, which is a subtrope to this trope.

    Examples of Multi-Armed and Dangerous include:

    Anime and Manga

    • Pokémon has Machamp whose Body Slam ability allows him (or her) to grab another and slam them to pieces, who has four arms. Giovanni, the boss of Team Rocket, trains a Machamp. But anyone can train Machamp, so it may or may not be a bad thing.
      • Generation V gives us Cofagrigus, a four-armed coffin... thing.
    • One Piece has Nico Robin whose Devil Fruit ability allows her to grow vast numbers of replicas of any of her body parts (she almost always uses it to make more arms); and Hatchan, an octopus fishman, who has six arms.
      • Roronoa Zoro has also developed a technique that, via the physical manifestation of his dark feelings, grants him three heads and six arms, for a total of nine swords (one in each hand, and one in each mouth)
      • Vice Admiral Onigumo has a Spider Devil's Fruit, whose mastery of it allows use to manifest the extra arms he'd normally get in his hybrid form via his hair, allowing him to use eight swords at once.
      • During the Thriller Bark story arc, we get a brief glimpse at a zombie general who has four arms, each holding a pistol. Given the nature of the island's zombies, we can presume that these were grafted on by Dr. Hogback. Unfortunately, we never see this zombie again, and can only imagine the badassery that he could have dealt out.
    • Itsuki from Yu Yu Hakusho.
    • The battle-suit (mini-mecha) Double Edge from the anime Blue Gender has a pair of gigantic blades on its shoulder that not only allow it to Slice And Dice but also double as grappling claws.
    • Enkidudu, the final and most powerful version of Viral's Ganmen from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
      • A parody drama CD (100% official, just not canon) also has a six-armed version called Enkidududu and and an eight-armed Enkidudududu.
      • Tengen Toppa Enki Dulga has eight arms and two faces, using two clubs and six swords in the second film.
    • Kidoumaru, one of the Sound Four ninjas from Naruto.
      • Masashi Kishimoto likes this trope; one of Pain's multiple bodies has six arms, and on top of that, THREE FACES.
        • The latter, like all the other Paths of Pain, is actually a reference to Buddhism; Asura, known in Japan as Shurado, have those features. Well, at least the six arms and three faces; no cyborg stuff.
      • Host for a tailed beast are capable of making limbs out of chakra sprout from their body. Killer Bee makes Combat Tentacles while Naruto eventually learns to make them into many extra limbs that can each make their own Rasengan. This even includes making a pair of tiny hands coming from his finger that form their own tiny Rasenshuriken.
        • Sasori has the Sandaime Kazekage's puppet equipped with this, ironically being one of the examples in the series to be caused by a jutsu.
    • One of the one-off characters in Ranma ½, Rouge, fell into "The Spring of Drowned Asura". Asura is a Hindu god (or demon) with three faces and six arms. Rouge and Pantyhose Taro manage to destroy the Tendo home in a fight over therapeutic magnets.
    • Ten Shin Han used a technique that had him grow 2 additional arms to fight Goku in Dragon Ball. Goku countered by moving his arms so fast it at least looked like he had six.
    • Bleach offers Nnoitra Gilga, whose released form allows him multiple arms, as well as regeneration powers. Initially he has four arms, and four scythes to go with them. When one of his arms is promptly sliced off by his opponent, the regeneration kicks in and he also ups the arm count to six.
      • Wonderweiss's release form also lets him grow a bunch of extra arms coming from his shoulders.
    • You can't get much more dangerous than the diclonius in Elfen Lied, who have multi-arms in the form of telekinetic vectors which they use to slaughter humans in various horrifically violent ways.
    • In Franken Fran, Fran occasionally affixes as many as four extra arms to her body for particularly delicate procedures; Apparently, turning a mutilated human into a giant catterpillar with a human head is fussy work.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam has fun with this trope in several series.
      • Asura Gundam from G Gundam is an intentional Hindu reference.
      • The O, personal mobile suit to Big Bad Paptimus Scirocco of Zeta Gundam has a pair of beam saber wielding sub arms in its skirt armor, thus turning the massive Mighty Glacier looking machine into a Lightning Bruiser melee combat monster as it can wield four beam sabers at once with perfect control thanks to its mentally controlled biocomputer.
        • That's because The O was designed by none other than Mamoru Nagano, who is a great fan of this trope.
      • The Gaplant TR-5 from Advance of Zeta also has skirt-armor subarms, while Gundam Hazel can be equipped with, in addition to the aforementioned skirt-armor subarms, two giant wire-guided rocket arms developed from the Psyco Gundam on its shoulder and wire-guided arm-shield on its forearm.
      • The Xeku Zwei from Gundam Sentinel has two more sub arms for melee and shooting a giant beam bazooka.
      • The Neue Ziel from Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory has six arms, each capable of generating gigantic beam sabers.
        • UC, usually considered the most "realistic" of the various Gundam Alternate Continuities by its devotees, ironically is even more guilty of overdoing with arms than even Gundam 00.
      • Seravee Gundam from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has four BFGs, two on its shoulders and two in its knees. These all are capable of sprouting hands equipped with beam sabers in addition to the Seravee's normal pair, allowing Seravee to simultaneously fight with six beam sabers at one time. One can see that they really went out of their way to keep Seravee from suffering from its predecessor Gundam Virtue's weakness in close-range combat. That's right: Seravee is a BFG-toting long-range artillery mobile suit with multiple arms wielding multiple beam sabers as back-up weaponry.
    • Mahou Sensei Negima had a multi-armed demon as part of the Canis Niger group of bounty hunters. A one panel tournament opponent also had four arms.
    • The Orphan in the sixth episode of My-HiME had, surprise surprise, six arms.
    • Justice from Afro Samurai has three arms, one of which is kept hidden.
    • Mamoru Nagano is probably the king of this trope, because if he designs mecha the chances are that they will be multiarmed. In his own series, The Five Star Stories, the biggest, nastiest and most heavily armed mecha of all times, the Jagd Mirage, had not just two like The O, but four deployable sub-arms, which, together with its two additional sub-legs, drove the limb count to ten. These sub-arms could be used to wield swords of guns, but generally were used to manipulate shields (called veils there) to cover the mecha and brace it against the immense recoil of the two truly titanical cannons it carried as its main armament.
    • In Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0, the Ninth Angel Bardiel, in control of Eva Unit 03, reveals a second pair of arms when its first pair are already occupied.
      • The new version of Zeruel also uses this trope: when it enters the Geofront, it unfolds itself and keeps this multi-tentacled appearance.
    • The main villain of Bizenghast, Lady Hetka, has several arms where her legs should be.
    • Ran Pao Pao in 3×3 Eyes, in her monster form.
    • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie First, the Giant Mook from the original series that Nanoha and Fate worked together to take down was replaced with a six-armed Humongous Mecha. Unsurprisingly, it was a lot harder to take down than the original two-armed Giant Mook.
    • One of the teams in The Law of Ueki, which has a military theme, has a guy whose special ability is growing extra arms. To carry more guns. The upgraded form of this ability is even more arms. To shoot even more guns.
    • In Ultimate Teacher those with invertebrate genes can grow extra arms, depending what genes they were mixed with.

    Comic Books

    • The X-Men villain Spiral has six arms, she's also both a sorceress and can fight with a sword in each hand.
      • In Marvel Vs Capcom 2, the trope title is a nickname for the team of Spiral, Omega Red, and Shuma Gorath.
      • Furthermore there's henchman types Barbarus and Forearm, who are practically indistinguishable from one another. The former probably directly inspired the latter, though. Marvel likes this trope.
      • The X-Men 2099 once fought a twisted version of the original five X-Men. The Beast parallel had three arms, two on the right side and one on the left.
      • In the Earth X trilogy, Hawkeye's mutation from when everyone on Earth gained superpowers was four arms. We only see them in flashback, but he probably gained some ability to Dual Wield bows
      • Spider-man once attempted to get rid of his superpowers... but the attempt failed rather spectacularly, giving him six arms. Not conspicuous at all.
      • The Spider Doppelganger had multiple, clawed arms.
      • And let's not forget the venerable Dr. Octopus. And derivatives from his mold like Lady Octopus and the Squid. Though the Squid would probably be upset at the suggestion that he's somehow based on ol' Doc.
      • Sugarman, has four arms and is a Cephalothorax.
      • In Earth X, there is a woman with six arms that goes by the name of Black Widow (no relation to Natasha Romanoff). She had sporadic appearances within the comic, appearing either in long shots or as part of the background, as well as having no spoken dialogues.
    • Deadeye Duck, the irritable four-armed gunner from Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars's Five-Man Band. Capable of quadruple-wielding and prefers to shoot first and ask questions later.
    • Stryker from Image Comics' Cyberforce was a mutant born with four arms... three on one side. After an accident resulted in the loss of all three right arms, he was fixed up with cybernetics, once again, for all three. Not only is he a pretty normal guy aside from a slight temper problem, he gleefully uses his three right arms to tripe wield pistols in combat.
    • Rip Roar, a bad guy from Young Justice. In fact, the original YJ baddie. A wrestler from Apokolips, ol' Rip has four arms and more hair than the floor at Supercuts.
    • In the Manga Shakespeare version of Macbeth, Macduff appears to sport two extra cybernetic arms under his normal ones, allowing him to use four katanas at once.
    • Frank Miller's Ronin features a humanoid four-armed rat ninja that threatens the title character at one point. He loses one arm to the samurai almost instantly, but still puts up a good fight with the remaining three.
    • A one-shot comic that goes by the name of Chase Variant features a female lead that sports four arms.
    • The Bride from Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein and its follow-up Frankenstein: Agen of S.H.A.D.E. has four arms.
    • Bill Willingham's Ironwood features a four-armed Amazonian woman, though she only really becomes armed and dangerous after her skin, flesh and fabulous pair of chesty bulbs were disintergrated, turning her into a four-armed skeleton wielding a sword and shield with her lower pair of arms and a huge frail with her upper pair.

    Fan Works


    • General Grievous from Star Wars has arms that can both split in two. He's a cyborg, so it kind of makes sense. In Star Wars: Clone Wars he could hold lightsabers with his feet, too. So theoretically he could use 5 lightsabers at once (one foot would still be needed to stand on).
      • Obi-Wan's contact Dex had four arms, but this may just avert this trope as he didn't play any part in the main series other than an information source.
      • The Expanded Universe has more than one multi-armed alien race; the Codru-Ji, for one.
        • Gasgano appeared in Star Wars: Episode 1 as one of the podracer pilots.
    • Maybe not as dangerous, but used as a surprise: Zaphod tags Arthur with a surprise lower left (or is it centre?) in the movie version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
      • According to the novel, Zaphod had the extra arm fitted to improve his ski-boxing. Sounds dangerous to me.
    • The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. A statue of the Hindu goddess Kali is animated, "grows" a sword out of each palm of her six hands and fights Sinbad and his crew.
    • Six-Gun in the Puppet Master movies is a cowboy puppet with six arms and as many little revolvers.
    • During the final chase sequence in Terminator 2, the T-1000 can briefly be seen operating the helicopter's controls with two arms while reloading and firing his submachinegun with another two.
    • One of the assassins in Aeon Flux (based on the animated show as well) has hands instead of feet.
    • The Kraken from Clash of the Titans.
    • From the Marvel Cinematic Universe: The Iron Spider costume/armor, built by Tony Stark for Peter Parker, which gives him four extra robotic limbs.


    • Quadrus "Quad" Dominus from Duumvirate starts carrying a gun for each of his four hands after a brush with death. He's six at the time.
    • The "Moties" from Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's The Mote in God's Eye have asymmetric limbs—two small arms on the right, and one massive arm (the "gripping hand") on the left. (This is thought to be a result of having their genes cluttered with millions of years of mutations from the endless cycles of nuclear wars caused by their biological need for constant pregnancy. The latent genes for four limbs are still present, as the Warrior and Watchmaker castes still show.)
      • Which allows arguing nerds to use the phrase "on the gripping hand" where normal people might say "but on the other hand", realize they want to go on to present a third option, and be at a loss for how to do it. Sweet.
    • The Drummer from Wild Cards. His multiple arms aren't exactly combat-specific, but he can use them that way quite effectively.
    • The green Barsoomians of Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter of Mars books are four-armed killing machines fourteen feet tall. They love to quadruple-wield BFSes as well.
      • The White Apes of those stories also had four arms.
        • Technically speaking, both species have two arms, two legs, and two "intermediate limbs" that can be used as both.
    • Jack from What Is This Black Magic You Call Science can have up to eight arms, each one representing one of his eight tails, since his human form is an illusion covering his true form.
    • The Wreed from Calculating God have arms in front and back as well as two on either side. They escape the "two eyes" problem by having a single optical strip that runs around their entire "head". They suffer from multiple cognitive deficits as a (dubious) result, though.
    • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: |Zaphod Beeblebrox has three arms. He wasn't born that way; he got the third one added on to help with his "ski-boxing".
      • And according to ... And Another Thing, this may actually be so he has one hand for each of Eccentrica Gallumbits' breasts. Though it's not clear entirely.
    • The Last Battle shows that the Calormene god Tash has four arms.
    • The Shrike from Hyperion is a 3-meter tall, 4-armed, time-manipulating killing machine (literally) covered in spikes. Granted, having 4 arms instead of 2 doesn't make it much more dangerous than it would already be, as it can stop time and wipe out entire armies.
    • The Chaos creature Skarhaddoth from the Warhammer 40,000 novel Hammer of Daemons has four arms. In his first appearance he wields two meat cleavers along with two shields, and in his second he uses four scimitars. There are other multi-armed Chaos beasties stalking Draakasi. Dark Adeptus has various Techpriests with mechadendrites running around.
    • The indigenous aliens in David Weber's March Upcountry series had four arms, which along with being huge, allowed them to carry BFGs that the humans had used on their now-defunct power armor.
    • The warrior drone cho-ja in Janny Wurt's Empire trilogy. Their multiple arms also end in blades.
    • The titular character of Mikhail Akhmanov's Dick Simon novels was born in a human town on planet Tayahat whose gravity is 1.5 Earth norm. The planet is populated by a tribal race of four-armed humanoids. Their males live for combat, and boys are trained from young age to kill (as well as honor). Dick is brought to them as a boy by his father and is raised as one of them, before leaving to join the Academy, where he receives more modern training as an operative by a red-headed Texan.
    • In a bizarrely non-fantastic example, Flint Murtaugh from Robert McCammon's Gone South is a bounty hunter with three arms: his own, and the single undersized limb of his parasitic twin, Clint. Clint is near-mindless, blind, and embedded in Flint's torso, yet has been trained by his brother to point a small pistol as a hold-out surprise. Subverted in that Clint can't aim or fire it properly, but Flint's quarry seldom realizes this.
    • Ubu Roy in Walter Jon Williams's Angel Station has four muscular arms by virtue of having been genetically engineered.
    • In The Chronicles of Narnia, the Calormene patron deity Tash has four taloned arms.
    • This is one of the key plot points in the Tipping Point Trilogy , by Alan Dean Foster. Bodily manipulation is as easy as getting new custom-fitted clothing, and is often used to add extra limbs. Note that these are not necessarily weapons, or designed explicitly to carry weapons; for instance, a waiter may get an extra set of arms to improve carrying capacity.

    Live-Action TV

    • When Piper and Leo got possessed by a couple of Hindu gods in one episode of Charmed, Piper grew four more arms.
    • Michio Kaku's design for a super suit in Sci Fi Science included an extra pair of arms that were attached to the back and controlled by the user's brain (technology which is now developing.

    Kaku: Why does Dr. Octopus get to have all the fun?

    • In the fourth season episode "The Way" of Xena: Warrior Princess, Xena and Gabrielle are confronted by a demonic sorcerer named Indrajit while in India. After Xena slices off one of Indrajit's arms, it grows back and is soon joined by four more. Now a six-armed warrior, Indrajit proceeds to prove his badassery by slicing both of Xena's arms off.
      • But wait, there's more! Xena, literally disarmed at this point, calls upon the Hindu god Krishna to help her. He transforms her into an avatar of Kali Freaky Is Cool. Needless to say, if you thought Xena was wicked before, think about how dangerous she is once she becomes a four-armed goddess of death. Indrajit, surprise surprise, is no longer with us. When the battle is over, she is restored to normal.
    • Monty Python's Flying Circus. One of Terry Gilliam's animations had a mugger saying "Hands up!" to a victim. The victim puts his hands up—and then another pair of hands (and arms), and another... then slams all of his hands on the mugger's head.
    • Neil of The Young Ones was temporarily granted six pairs of hands by an unseen genie, but the genie was killed and the extra arms vanished before he could use his new appendages, or even show them to his housemates.

    Myths and Legend

    • Almost all Hindu deities, but probably most notably Kali. Giving a large number of arms to a supernatural being just seems to be a popular way of indicating it's menacing and powerful (take a gander at the hundred-armed giant Hecatoncheires of Greek mythology).
      • Hindu deities are only depicted as having multiple limbs to show their divinity and ability to do multiple things at the same time. Depending on the intent of the depiction, you can find representations of the Hindu gods with the standard 2 arms and 2 legs, rather than the typically thought of 6 arms, 2 legs.
      • There also exists a Buddha with a thousand arms.
    • Older Than Feudalism: The three Hekatonkheir brothers in Hesiod's Theogony were massive giants (or perhaps deities) who embodied natural disasters, born with a hundred arms and fifty heads each. Thankfully they were on the Greek God's side and greatly helped them in the battle against the titans by throwing one hundred mountains apiece at once at the immortal enemies.

    Tabletop Games

    • Dungeons & Dragons:
      • The "Type V" or "Marilith" demon, which was likely inspired by the above deities (and the demons they frequently battled in myth).
      • Sahuagin are a race of evil fishmen. The normal ones are dangerous enough, but some of them also sprout an extra set of arms.
      • Thri-Kreen ("mantis warriors") - Badass race of social mantis-hoppers living in arid lands, abundant in (but not limited to) Athas, the Dark Sun setting. Has inheritance memory, poisonous bite, low water requirement, hard exoskeleton, derives construction material from saliva, jumps like grasshopper, throws big shurikens... and can wield small or medium weapons in each of 4 hands.
      • A creature specific to the Athas/DarkSun setting is the Feylaar, an ape-like Neutral Evil monster with four powerful arms.
      • The Xill, insect-like outsiders based off of A.E. Van Vogt's Ixtl, have four arms.
      • Second and third edition had the Modrons, Outsiders and embodiments of Lawful Neutral and Order Versus Chaos who had geometric shapes based on their caste, and a number of limbs equal to that caste. Tridrones, Quadrons and Pentadrons, the most intelligent of the 'base' Modrons, had three, four and five arms respectively (as well as an equal number of legs).
      • Dungeon Master's Guide 2 for 3.5e had the Abberant-Limbed trait, which allowed one to gain either an extra pair of arms, or an extra pair of legs. Either way, it added a couple of level adjustments. Other options included the Insectile Creature Template from Savage Species , Arachnoid Creature Template from Underdark(didn't apply to Humanoids, but see Template stacking...) and a web enhancement for customising the Half-Fiend Template.
      • The Known World setting of Basic D&D (and the Mystara setting of AD&D) had the Bone (Skeletal) Golem. It had four arms, all capable of wielding weapons.
      • The Greyhawk setting deity Hextor had six arms, with two hands holding shields and four holding weapons.
      • The White Wolf supplement Creature Collection III: Savage Bestiary had the multi-armed template, which could be applied to...well, anything, so long as it has arms. This includes your character.
      • Fantasy Flight's Legends & Lairs: Mythic Races had the four-armed siarrans. They tended to be Chaotic Good Technical Pacifists...with a healthy dose of Beware the Nice Ones.
      • There were enough of these in 3.5 that they had their own feats: Multiattack (allowing a monster to use all of his arms with less of a penalty) and Multi-Weapon Fighting (like Two-Weapon Fighting, but for more than two weapons).
      • 3rd Edition Creature Collection supplement. The Narleth was a half-human/half-spider monster with four arms ending in strong, clawed hands.
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • Techpriests of Adeptus Mechanicus have "mechadendrites" attached to them, but they normally are not very Badass. Of course, there's your garden variety cog-head, there are heavy duty types who mout servo-arms strong enough to help with repair of heavy machinery, and then there's the Mechanicus Secutor who tends to be a walking tank with several gun mechadendrites modified to not carry holdout laspistols but anything from flamethrowers to lightning guns...
        • Techno-magos Darioq was a perfect example. He weighed four tons, had four heavy weapons (two heavy bolters and 2 plasma cannons), multiple heavy melee weapons, and around 10 mechadendrites. In the course of the novel Dark Apostle, he rips off a Chaos Terminator's arms and cuts him in half. after being bathed in flames for several seconds.
      • Then there are Techmarines - it's much the same, except the guy augmented with mechadendrites is a Space Marine to begin with.
        • And then there's Sulphus, the techmarine from Warrior Coven who has three mechanical arms and one organic one. These arms allow him to fly a speeder and use the turret at the same time as well as firing his bolter, something that would normally require three people. At one point, he uses two of his arms to hold on to a spinning Talos and the other two to rip an armour plate off. He then jumps inside, blows it up and does a walking out through the flames sequence like in the first Temrinator.
      • Also, to some extent, Warp Spider Exarchs with their armour-mounted, independently fired weapons.
      • Greater Daemons of Slaanesh (Keepers of Secrets, as they're known) have two regular arms (and often carry large swords or whips) and two arms with huge pincers. The Masque of Slaanesh is a Daemonette special character with three arms (one normal, one small pincer arm and one large pincer arm).
        • Some of the parts in the current Chaos Spawn kit have things like arms splitting into several limbs or big spiky tentacles coming off the back. But then, this is Chaos, of course there is.
      • Every Tyranid has six limbs. Some have two pairs of legs, some have six limbs that aren't much use for more than moving. The rest have two (or six) pairs of arms. And both pairs are either blades designed to rip you apart or holding guns made to shoot small organisms at you (which proceed to rip you apart).
    • Four Burning Fists and the Shiva Squadron from the "Glimpse of the Abyss" supplement of Feng Shui have multiple arms, the former having four arms and the latter having eight arms like their Hindu god namesake. In addition, anyone who has the Creature schtick "Multiple Arms" can be Multi-Armed and Dangerous as well.
      • Plus there's "Three Pistol" Sammy Chung from a Feng Shui fansite, who's a demon with three arms (the third one in the center) that, as his nickname implies, specializes in a rather freaky form of three-gun Guns Akimbo.
    • The Old World of Darkness game Werewolf: The Apocalypse has the Ananasi werespiders, whose hybrid form has either six arms, six legs, or four of each (the player picks one at character creation). However, it takes a fairly high-level spell to be proficient at multitasking. It's also worth noting that the Bagheera wereleapards/panthers' most powerful spell is the Juddho form: a 12-foot, six-armed monstrosity in a state of frenzy for the spell's duration and wielding a flaming sword in each hand. Um yeah, one of multiple reasons why Vampires were never strong in India.
      • In the New World of Darkness Promethean: The Created setting, Pandoran transmutations are capable of granting extra limbs. There is also a Sourcebook which provides a multi-armed fighting style.
        • The title of the Prometheans who work to cause decay, the Centimani, means "Hundred-Handed". Most Centimani are usually content with a few extra pairs of limbs, tentacles and maybe some redundant organs, but there isn't much that stops a truly ancient, powerful and horrific Centimanus from adopting a hundred arms and fifty heads like Hecatonchires, their namesake monster.
      • Two examples from Vampire: The Masquerade. First and foremost are the Tzimisce, whose clan specialty, Vicissitude, allows them to mold living beings - higher levels and sufficient skill could allow them to grant extra limbs to whatever they desire. And their clan-exclusive Path of Enlightenment encourages experimentation. One such experiment was the bloodline called the Blood Brothers, who were created in packs and had an ability that, at higher levels, could allow them to "borrow" body parts (frequently limbs for attacking) from others in their pack.
    • The Ahazu, in Talislanta.
    • Exalted has Sol Invictus (The Unconquered Sun), the most powerful of the gods. He's invulnerable, cannot lose at anything, and sports a pair of extra arms.
      • Further, some Lunars and Fair Folk can obtain a second pair of arms as a mutation. Even some mortals might end up afflicted with it, if they're unlucky enough to stay in the Wyld for prolonged periods (ie, more than 5 seconds).
    • In Warhammer Fantasy Battle Fantasy Battles Slaanesh is found of this. His Greater daemons have this and his heralds can be given it.
    • In the RuneQuest default world of Glorantha, the giant Grotarons (a.k.a. Trimanes and Maidstone Archers) have a third arm where their head would be (and eyes on the backs of their hands and a mouth in their solar plexus ...) They use massive bows, held in their left and right arms and drawn with their top arms.
    • The orochi-bito from Magic the Gathering's Kamigawa setting.


    Video Games

    • Some Pokémon gain extra arms in their most powerful forms—namely Machamp.
      • Oddly enough, Geodude gains an extra pair of arms (as well as a pair of legs) when it evolves in to Graveler, but goes back to having two arms (but retains legs) when it evolves again into Golem.
      • Golbat gains an extra pair of wings when it evolves into Crobat, if that counts.
      • When Ledyba evolves into Ledian, it is more noticeable that the first 4 limbs are in fact arms.
    • Another Hindu-inspired demon is the Shivarra from World of Warcraft. Despite the name, they appear to be based off of the goddess Kali (or perhaps her much less evil but not much less scary aspect Durga).
    • Subversion: Star Overlord Valvoga from Makai Kingdom certainly looks like it could be completely menacing, if not for the fact that multi-armed Micky is a complete pushover and is always bullied around by his other parts, the mad dragon-head Dryzen and the temptress Ophelia.
    • Solidus Snake does battle in a mechanized suit gives him two rocket-launching multipurpose tentacles in addition to his normal arms at the end of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Laughing Octopus wears powered armor that gives her four extra Combat Tentacles.
    • Lord Recluse from City of Heroes, who has four extra giant spider-like claw-arms affixed to his back.
      • According to the book of the game, those are part of his body. The mutated Arachnoids have the same claw-arms.
      • The extra arms of the Crab Spider Soldiers are purely mechanical, though, although they are surgically attached and connected to the soldier's nervous system.
      • While Crabs have four extra arms, Lord Recluse has a full eight.
      • And the Meat Doctors of the Freakshow, who have limbs with rotary cutting blades grafted to them.
    • Tomb Raider 3: A mini-boss encountered multiple times in the second level (a similar enemy appears in The Movie) is a Living Statue with four arms, each one with a BFS.
    • MDK: Max the six-limbed robot dog in the game series.
    • Mace: The Dark Age: Asmodeus, the Final Boss, is a four-armed dragonlike demon lord that possesses the Mace of Tanis that every one of the fighters is seeking for their own reasons.
    • The Demon-at-Arms enemies in the Dragon Quest series not only have four arms, but also have the ability to attack twice per turn.
    • Warcraft games have the above-mentioned Shivarra demons, aswell as female Nagas (male Nagas have only 2 arms). Undead abominations have a small extra arm sticking from their shoulder (they're created by patching together a bunch of corpses).
    • The bosses and Bonus Boss Kali, Ravana, and Asura from Vagrant Story are either humanoid constructs with four arms and three faces, or the actual goddess herself.
    • Insectohumanoid T'Rang race in Wizardry games. Hsssst!
    • The ?ermutant boss in Spear of Destiny has four arms holding enormous meat cleavers and a chest-mounted gatling gun.
    • Mehrunes Dagon, Daedric Prince (read: god) of destruction of The Elder Scrolls, is always shown with four arms, each holding a different weapon. Judging from his mythologies, he's apparently another Shiva-inspired example.
    • Kazdan Paratus of The Force Unleashed built himself four mechanical limbs to crawl around Raxus Prime like a mad bug.
    • Planescape: Torment has Nordom, a Rogue Modron (see the Dungeons & Dragons example above) of the Quadrone caste, who uses his secondary set of arms to allow him to use two crossbows simultaneously. This makes him unique in the game, as all of the other Quadrones seen are "Messenger" variants, who have chosen to replace their second set of arms with wings that let them fly instead.
    • Subverted in Unreal: the locals of Na Pali (the Nali) have four arms and two legs, but are Non Action Guys. It's odd considering various critters (cow and rabbit equivalents)have only two limbs total, both legs. They also have floating 'gasbags' which consist of a wide head and two arms.
    • In the trailer for the No More Heroes sequel, Desperate Struggle, a female assassin faces Travis, whose Doc Ock style Spider Limbs each ends in a Beam Saber. Then again...
    • Alduran Reptiloids and Ugh Zan III in Serious Sam both have four arms.
    • Level 17 of the SNES port of Prince of Persia has a monster of this type as a Giant Space Flea From Nowhere.
    • Cortez from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
    • Dragon Quest sometimes show us KingLeo, four legs and four arms all clawed.
    • Origin from Tales of Phantasia has a total of four arms, of which the lower ones hold a pair of swords and upper ones hold a pair of spears.
    • In Silent Hill Homecoming, Asphyxia is a boss monster that sports a multitude of arms that frails in every possible direction, she even has hands where her feet are suposed to be.
    • Asura from Asura's Wrath, who can grow four Extra Arms.
      • His final form plays this straight and averts this): he grows ONE THOUSAND ARMS, which then fuse together into two arms to create Mantra Asura.
      • Apart from Asura, there's also Vlitra's core and Chakravartin.
    • Dark Souls has the boss, Pinwheel [dead link] and the Pinwheel Servants.

    Web Animation

    Web Comics

    • From the Inhuman universe, Nikitaks have 4 arms, all of which can also be used as legs. And razor-sharp claws on every arm.
    • Girl Genius:
      • Boris Dolokhov is Baron Wulfenbach's secretary, since he has great memory and is good at paper shuffling jobs. He also wields four swords to great effect against the slaver wasp warriors.
      • Lady Ariadne Steelgarter in England has similar anatomy plus blue hair (though this may be dye). Later, it turns out she can fight quite well when she needs it, too.
    • Schlock Mercenary:
      • Fobott'r are tall humanoids with four hands, mostly known as wandering space mercenaries. Semi-subverted in that it's pointed out they have the same type of eyes as a human, thus even if one can handle four guns at a time, he can still only aim at a single target, like almost everyone else. Still, it helps to point downrange twice as many guns or have greater tactical flexibility - e.g., an illustration in Planet Mercenary preview shows one holding a pistol, grenade and some long arm.
      • Played straighter with Sergeant Schlock himself, who can extrude more arms as needed. We never did get to see the twin sawn-off multi-cannon and plasma gun combo in action, though. Also, amorphs can use more eyes simultaneously.[1]
      • F'Sherl-Ganni have two pairs of upper limbs that bifurcate at the elbows, for 8 hands total. Oh, and their feet are also agile enough to manipulate objects in a pinch. Make that 10 hands. Of course, by the time some species genetically engineers itself to remain functional in vacuum and zero-g despite having artificial gravity and Power Armour (and adapts for immortality by "naturally" growing encrypted long-term data storage systems), this does not make them dangerous, as much as it indicates they are already quite dangerous.
    • Grontar in the webcomic Zap is a huge four-armed mechanic.
    • In The Order of the Stick, this is one of Durkon's (as well as all the other dwarves thus far appearing in the strip) fears concerning trees: they have so many "arms" that they'd be able to attack you dozens of times per turn. That trees don't actually move doesn't dissuade his fears.
    • The Nemesites in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob, being insectoids, naturally have four arms.
    • The heroine of the Krakow Studios comic Spinnerette cribs another hero's origin story and gets four new arms out of the deal. Heather even uses her six arms to knit all at once, while using silk she produced herself.
    • Several cosmic entities in Problem Sleuth have multiple arms, most definitely inspired by Hinduism. Most notable are Godhead Pickle Inspector and Black Hole Mobster Kingpin, although GPI doesn't exactly fit the "dangerous" part.
    • In Fite!, Lucco grows six extra arms when in "God of Boxing" mode.
    • At Arm's Length: When not fighting evil, Ally, Reece and Sheila are not above using all four arms to cut corners in mundane activities. They come from Enchanter race, which is naturally four-armed and built around this trope.

    Web Original

    • From Ruby Quest, Tom has an extra pair of arms. They're much smaller than his main pair and are usually concealed under his shirt, but give at least one opponent a very nasty surprise.
    • Slendy, Humanoid Abomination that he is, is often shown with lots of arms/tentacles/branches/whatever they are.
    • 4chan gives us Ball of Arms Man. He is literally zillions of arms growing from a portal to the Elemental Plane of Arms.

    Western Animation

    • One of Ben's most frequently used forms in Ben 10 is Four-Arms, a hulking red brute with Super Strength and a really deep voice.
    • Another show by the same creative team of Ben 10 that features a multi-armed character is Generator Rex, where the character Breach, a psychotic-emo girl dressed in a sailor suit uniform with her hair draping over her face who underwent mutation with the activation of nanites that resided within her body, has a another set of arms protruding below her original set of arms (while the forearms of her original set has grown monstrously huge!). Strangely, she doesn't really seem to use her additional limbs all that much even while in combat. They usually just like to hang around while her upper limbs get the job done.
      • Occasionally, she has been seen using those extra arms of hers... to only mimic and move in concert with the gestures her upper arms perform.
      • To be fair, her overly humongous upper arms kinda blocks the use of her lower pair of arms for anything but making gestures. And besides, she also has the ability to generate and create numerous portals on a whim.
    • The Third Arm Sash in Xiaolin Showdown acts as, well, a third arm for grabbing onto things.
      • However, it is only used for its secondary ability to extend out to an arbitrarily long distance, so the characters can grab things out of reach. The only times it gets used in addition to both other arms is when the Monks use it to do chores.
    • Mecha-Shiva from The Venture Bros.
    • Gadget Boy and Heather introduces a villainess with six arms and uses a spider theme. Unsurprisingly, she goes by the name of Spydra.
    • In the cancelled series Stripperella, a supervillainess going by the name of Pushy Galore has two (hidden) extra sets of arms due to, in her words, the fringe benefits of being a genetic physicist. After revealing her six-armed frame, she even tells Stripperella to call her Octo-Pushy. Sadly, she only gets screen time in one episode, though the slight perk is that she actually uses her six arms to do a multitude of actions that are lacking in many other animations featuring multi-armed characters (such as piloting and controlling a blimp with all six of her arms).
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender had a really weird "daydream" of Aang's that had Appa standing on his backmost pair of legs while the other four each had a katana. He also saw Guru Pathik with six arms.
    • An unused (read: toy-only) character from the Beast Machines / Transformers: Robots in Disguise cartoons named Bruticus (not to be confused with the G1 gestalt of the same name) could pop out a second pair of arms in robot mode. Appropriate, since his alt-mode was Cerberus.
    • Several characters on Jimmy Two-Shoes. Molotov's unnamed wife has four arms, as do every Gnomans and the Racing Bugs.
    • In the Aeon Flux animated series, there was a very very brief shot of Trevor with a four armed assassin. However, she was beset by bees almost immediately upon her introduction and was killed shortly (due to an allergic reaction to bee stings). Talk about one-shot.
    • In an episode of Danny Phantom, we are introduced to Pandora, a ghostly version of her Greek counterpart, but with an additional pair of arms.
    • In the episode The Crawler of the Extreme Ghostbusters, secretary Janine gets abducted by an insectoid king and was transformed into a moth-like creature with four arms. She later leads the king into thinking that she's truly transformed, and unleashes a ghost trap right in front of him by hiding it with her second pair of arms and wings that she acquired through said transformation. She gets better.
    • In one episode of Jackie Chan Adventures, Arrogant Kung Fu Guy Hak Foo obtained the Bands of Shiva, a pair of bracelettes that when worn made him grow extra arms.

    Forewarned is half an octopus.

    1. Schlock couldn't try this early because those eyes are symbiotic organs that cannot be simply grown as needed, but must be gathered from the trees and procured by the amorph in question first - but went "eyestalks in all directions" for a while once he obtained his own eye tree (he keeps one in his quarters, so that the spares are readily available)