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"Why did they go away, do you think? If there ever were such things."

"Who knows? Times change. Would you call this age a good one for unicorns?"

"No, but I wonder if any man before us ever thought his time a good time for unicorns."

There was green aligators, and long-necked geese

Some humpty-backed camels and some chimpanzees

Some cats and rats and elephants, but as sure as you're born

The loveliest of all was the unicorn
—The Irish Rovers, The Unicorn Song


A Mythical Motifs representing purity, rarity and wild beauty, the Unicorn has appeared in heraldry and fairy tales for centuries. Its origins come not as a mythical creature but as a beast of natural history recorded by ancient Greek historians, or as they are commonly known: liars.

Pliny the Elder was one of the earliest writers to study unicorns and certainly one of the most influential: "The unicorn (monocerotem) is the fiercest animal, and it is said that it is impossible to capture one alive. It has the body of a horse, the head of a stag, the feet of an elephant, the tail of a boar, and a single black horn three feet long in the middle of its forehead. Its cry is a deep bellow." We recognize this today as a very fair description of a Rhinoceros.

Today's conception of a unicorn is nearer to the Medieval one: A narwhal's horn, a horse's head, a deer's body, a goat's beard and feet and a lion's tail. There also is the version of a horse with a horn and occasionally even wings to make to look like a flying Pegasus (yet another horse with wings).

As the common fare of little girls' fantasies, the origin in histories becomes quite ironic. Even in stories where All Myths Are True and obvious and are coming round for tea later, the Unicorn will still keep a mythical status, staying rare and secretive. Further irony is added by the fact that it started off as an incredibly wild and violent beast that was completely untameable before evolving into one of the softest and child-friendly motifs.

The switch is linked to one of the most common paired motifs- the Virgin and the Unicorn. Only a virgin-maiden would be able to attract the Unicorn to her. According to Terry Jones, though not conventional scholarship, in his researching of medieval folklore he found that the pairing was originally just an old Stealth Pun you send a mythical creature to find a mythical creature. Broadly, the story always goes on the lines of the maiden was duped into attracting and soothing her unicorn friend until the hunters who convinced her to do so could attack and kill the unicorn for its horn. Sometimes the maiden is just followed, sometimes knowingly involved and tricked. The implication is that the unicorn was so fierce and wild only an innocent girl's purity could conquer it.

Either way, when they're good, the most important unicorn-association is purity. Indeed, the connections with maidens is probably why the unicorn has become gentle in popular culture and myth for several centuries. In modern days, unicorns are often part of a Sugar Bowl theme. Portraying unicorns as aggressive is one of the more common fantasy subversions - or perhaps the writers of today still haven't forgotten Pliny's vicious unicorn. The Virgin and the Unicorn pairing is also open to the same harking back to the original joke. It's a resurgance not unlike the reappearance of The Fair Folk.

The ungulate-with-one-horn Unicorn is most familiar, but is certainly not the only unicorn in myth. Other variations include the Kirin, an Eastern variation that (sometimes) looks something like a cross between a typical unicorn and a dragon, the fierce, ox-like Karkadan, and the very different Al Mi'raj, a vicious rabbit-like unicorn. They each have one horn, so technically...

Overlaps with Virgin Power and All Girls Like Ponies.

Compare Pegasus. For unicorns with wings, see Winged Unicorn.

By no means to be confused with Unicron.

Examples of Unicorn include:


Anime & Manga Edit

  • In the anime and books of The Twelve Kingdoms, Kirin resemble horned or antlered horses that can take human form, among many other magical properties.
    • They're also so pure that they faint at the smell of blood, even their own. So they have a special servant monster who acts as a bodyguard/parent/older sibling. Its complicated since the monster in question is born literally minutes before the kirin, and yet immediately knows the name of its charge.
  • In Sugar Sugar Rune, the "final exam" is to fetch a unicorn horn. The unicorn takes on the form of a white-haired boy to test Chocolat and Vanilla with trickster methodology.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's introduced Team Unicorn, a trio of D-Wheelers who use Unicorn-motif decks to unbelievably awesome effect. To drive the point home: Their first duelist not only defeated, but completely wiped the floor with, both Jack and Aki on his own, and only a last-second moment of utter stupidity cost them the match. (Namely, Jean declaring an attack on Yusei, allowing a combo that took him out, when Yusei's deck had already been depleted; simply ending his turn would have clinched the victory.)
  • The symbolism of the Unicorn is milked for all its worth in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. The eponymous Mobile Suit is white and carries possibility to right the wrongs of Universal Century. Its pilot is a naive and idealistic teenager. On the other hand, it is also vicious, being a Super Prototype which goes on automatic destroy mode when it detects a New Type pilot nearby.
  • In Sailor Moon Super S although his name is Pegasus and he IS a winged horse what everyone is after is his bright golden unicorn horn.


Film Edit

  • The Last Unicorn.
  • In The Chronicles of Narnia Peter is shown riding a unicorn into battle, a detail that did not occur in the book. (Unicorn-riding comes later, see Literature below.)
  • Ridley Scott's Legend. The Big Bad shows just how evil he is by ordering a unicorn's horn to be cut off, which causes the world to freeze over.
  • In the director's cut of Blade Runner (also not coincidentally a Ridley Scott film), Deckard has a dream of a unicorn, then receives an origami unicorn from Edward James Olmos: Symbolism, and a hint that Deckerd is himself a replicant.
  • Forbidden Planet explicitly relates to Altaira and a docile tiger to the legendary virgin and unicorn.
  • A unicorn can be seen among various mythical creatures (the others being a dragon and a gryphon) that were mocking the animals that were boarding Noah's Ark in Fantasia 2000, and presumably drowned in the flood.
  • In The Cabin in the Woods a Unicorn is one of the hundreds of creatures stored under the facility to potentially be set upon the heroes. It's eventually seen stabbing a man with its horn. Fridge Brilliance will remind us that it makes perfect sense since only a virgin female can tame one.


Literature Edit

  • Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series heavily features unicorns. He goes for the "horse with a horn" image, but his unicorns can shapeshift into human and other forms, play music on their horns (accompanied by hoofbeats), dissipate body heat by breathing fire, perform crazy acrobatics, and are magic-resistant to the point where if a herd of them stand in a circle, no spells can be cast within.
  • Another series by Piers Anthony, Xanth, has a female character who can summon any kind of horse. However, after she gets to know her husband, she can no longer summon unicorns.
  • Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn. They do not really look like horned horses (they have cloven feet, lion-tails, and (possibly?) deep blue eyes), and they are immortal. One side effect of the title character's presence on her home is that it is somewhat protected from the effects of the passage of time.
  • Also by Peter S. Beagle, "Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros" where the talking rhinoceros maintains it is a unicorn. The professor, of course, says it's merely a talking rhinoceros.
  • In the third book of Holly Black's The Spiderwick Chronicles, the siblings come across a unicorn that is portrayed in the illustrations as a strange goat-like creature. It grants Mallory a vision of one of its fellows being hunted in the typical way (lured by a young girl). When animal-lover Simon acts peeved that the unicorn seems more interested in Mallory than himself, she points out that it's because she's a girl.
  • Summer Knight, the fourth in Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files, features a creepy, almost H.R. Giger-esque entity Harry believes is a Unseelie unicorn that's so aggressive, it could give Pliny's unicorn a run for its money.
  • Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger series has a minor subversion: although the male unicorn character is drawn to human virgins and somewhat protective of them, he's both gay and mainly interested in other equines (although he implies that he'd make an exception for Mudge the otter), so attempting to distract him with virgin human females simply doesn't work.
  • Neil Gaiman's Stardust contains a unicorn. They, like Yvaine, are the Moon's children.
  • In Alan Garner's book Elidor the four children are instructed to track down the unicorn Findhorn.
  • Prince Rupert's unicorn steed, Breeze, was captured when young and sold as a slave. He's freed by Rupert about halfway through Simon R. Green's Blue Moon Rising, but opts to stay with his human friend to fight the demonic invaders.
  • In P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath, rathorns (pronounced rath-orn, not rat-horn) are somewhat unicorn-like, in that they are horned equines. However, they are carnivorous, with fangs and sharp dew-claws, and ivory armor that covers their head, neck, chest and forelegs. Their eyes are red, and they are very violent and vicious, to the degree of being notorious for man-eating.
  • In Mercedes Lackey's Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series, unicorns are beautiful creatures attracted to virgins of the opposite sex. They've also got the brains and personality of a rather annoying lap dog. They're also very protective of virgins.
    • They lisp, which this troper finds amusing. The fifth book gets into a little more detail about their uses, dead or alive. Also, the complete lack of brains and personality is due to being in the presence of a virgin. Otherwise, they do exhibit some sense.
      • There's a funny bit in Fortune's Fool where three female unicorns come rushing to protect the virgin male hero (Don't say it so loudly!) from a female ghost -- but then it turns out the ghost is a virgin, too.

 "No problem.... This is a creature of darkness!"

"But..." the hesitant one said, as she dropped her head to sniff at the water. "A virgin creature of darkness..."

"I'm sure there are virgin creatures of darkness all the time," the leader retorted, stamping her forehoof.

      • And then a male unicorn shows up, intent on protecting the ghost, because she's a virgin female, after all....
    • In Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey's The Halfblood Chronicles series: "Alicorns" are ferocious predators that were created to be war steeds but were too stupid and aggressive to use. So of course, their creators released them into the wild. A pair of elves on the run find that the one who can make small modifications to animals can also make them rideable, but they're not to be trusted.
    • Lackey co-wrote The Obsidian Trilogy with James Mallory, in which unicorns are pony-sized, cloven-hooved, silky-furred, not quite like any other animal, and almost every one of them is a Deadpan Snarker. They have to adjust themselves to be in the vicinity of nonvirgins, and demons can't abide their touch. The protagonist summons one to carry him to safety, and they're bound together for a year and a day. The unicorn will castrate him if he breaks his vow of chastity within that time, and the conditions are somewhat more stringent than merely being celibate.
  • In CS Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, unicorns are otherwise normal white horses with tricolor horns. They also speak, and it's mentioned at one point that they have slightly sloping backs, whereas horses' backs are flat, which makes them harder to sit on. They only allow people to ride them as a sign of great respect or in emergencies. King Tirian's best friend in The Last Battle is a unicorn named Jewel.
  • Anne McCaffrey's series "Acorna" is a sci-fi take. A trio of asteroid miners find a Petting Zoo Unicorn Person baby in an escape pod; she goes from a baby with a vocabulary of three words to an adolescent in the space of two years. Much is made of how attractive she is. Her horn purifies water and air and heals wounds, she is an obligatory vegetarian, and it turns out she's an alien. Much later, reunited with her people, it turns out that they are descended from the last unicorns from Earth and the Sufficiently Advanced Alien race that rescued them.
    • There is the interesting detail that unicorn people on their replacement homeworld have patterned skins with different colors, and being born in space or spending a certain amount of time offworld leads to being bleached silver-white.
  • In Diana Peterfreund's Rampant series, unicorns are stone-cold killers with poisonous horns, and only virgin descendants of Alexander the Great can kill them.
  • Meredith Ann Pierce's The Firebringer Trilogy, which has unicorns as protagonists, is made of this trope. The unicorns as a species have considered themselves at war with gryphons and wyverns for the past four centuries. Their society is rigidly controlled, and it is believed that any unicorn who leaves or is exiled will turn into a horse. This turns out not to be true, of course...in fact, it's revealed that drinking from a magical pond will change a horse into a unicorn.
  • On the Discworld, unicorns, like the fairies, adhere to the more classical myths of vicious supernatural creatures (though they are still subject to Virgin Power). As in Real Life, people have misremembered unicorns and fairies as cutesy magical pals for little girls.
    • In Guards Guards, a group of professional monster hunters are conversing about their previous successes. One talks about the difficulty of capturing unicorns and the need to use virgins, followed by an old joke:

 I thought they were quite rare these days

Yep and the unicorns are hard to find too

  • Harry Potter unicorns are just about the least threatening thing you'll find in the Forbidden Forest. The foals are golden, but they turn silver when they're about two. They're described as being 'pure', and to kill one and drink its blood will save your life from anything, but the act is so evil that you are doomed to 'a half life... a cursed life.' Unknown what that actually meant. Unicorn parts have other uses without the drawback as they don't require killing unicorn to get them. For example, the hairs are used for wand cores, as well as rope. You can also apparently chisel off part of the horn and leave it alive, as there are no qualms about using unicorn horn in potions.
    • It should also be noted that unicorn blood was silver, resembling mercury.
    • And that they tend to like girls more than boys
  • We never get to see them, but Tamora Pierce's Tortall Universe has killer unicorns.
    • The most skilled of the Shang warriors take the names of magical creatures; there's a short story about the girl who eventually becomes the Shang Unicorn.
  • Mary Stanton's Unicorns of Balinor. They are horses with horns, but only Celestial unicorns are immortal and only they and the Royal unicorns possess magic. They also come in literally every color of the rainbow--except shadow unicorns, which are completely black and red-eyed. Notably, the only pure white unicorn is the Old Mare of the Mountain (possibly the first unicorn in existence).
  • Appear occasionally in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, where they're basically horned horses that speak and seem to be very narcissistic.
  • In Dragonrouge or Kesrick (I don't recall which one) Mandicardo and Calypgia encounter a monocerous (unicorn) that adheres to Pliny the Elder's description: it's very rhinocerous-looking. It's still tameable by a virgin, though.
  • In Grailblazers by Tom Holt, the heroes at one point have to find a unicorn in order to use it as bait to capture a virgin. It turns out that modern unicorns are scruffy and unpleasant feral critters.
  • In the Garrett P.I. universe unicorns are carnivorous pack hunters who are smart enough to breed and train hunting dogs.
  • The Theodore Sturgeon short story The Silken-Swift plays with this: there are two women in the story -- one is spiritually and physically virginal, and the other is a physical virgin but a total bitch. The total bitch torments and temporarily blinds the male protagonist. The other, nice woman comes upon him and he -- thinking this is the bitch -- rapes her. Guess who the unicorn approaches.
  • Bruce Coville's Unicorn Chronicles series, of course. The Virgin Power part is never explicitly mentioned, but unicorns are still instinctively drawn to "maidens".
  • James Thurber's The Unicorn in the Garden
  • One other way to catch a unicorn is known, through The Brave Little Tailor: stand between the unicorn and a good stolid tree. When it goes to stab you through, jump aside. With its horn stuck deep in the tree, it won't be able to kill you.
  • The Forestmaster in Dragonlance turns out to be a unicorn; she speaks to the party, provides them with food and instructs several pegasi to serve as temporary mounts for them, and appears to be at least somewhat aware of the ultimate fate of at least one person there.
  • Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, Alice meets the Lion and the Unicorn -- fighting for the crown.

 "This is a child!" Haigha replied eagerly, coming in front of Alice to introduce her, and spreading out both his hands toward her in an Anglo-Saxon attitude. "We only found it to-day. It's as large as life, and twice as natural!"

"I always thought they were fabulous monsters!" said the Unicorn. "Is it alive?"

"It can talk," said Haigha, solemnly,

The Unicorn looked dreamily at Alice, and said "Talk, child."

Alice could not help her lips curling up into a smile as she began: "Do you know, I always thought Unicorns were fabulous monsters, too! I never saw one alive before!"

"Well, now that we have seen each other," said the Unicorn, "if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you. Is that a bargain?"

  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter trilogy, the Lady Miranda serves is a unicorn, Miranda keeps unicorn pets, and one historical band of evil-doers hunted unicorns.
  • In Jasper Fforde's Well of Lost Plots, Perkins complains of how many unicorns careless writers of fantasy produce

 A unicorn isn't for page twenty-six, it's for eternity.

  • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. The "Hard-Boiled Wonderland" segments has the protagonist encounter a unicorn skull, while "The End of the World" segments has the protagonist read old dreams from a unicorn skull. There are also unicorn-like creatures that reside outside the Town.
  • The unicorns from Return to Neverend are the guardians of Neverend. They have the ability to conjure/control fire, and one doesn't need to be a virgin in order to ride one (although Sage seemed awfully happy to meet one).


Live Action TV Edit

  • In BBC's Merlin, one episode, "The Labyrinth of Gedref", has Prince Arthur hunting down and killing a unicorn. Although at first praised by Camelot (where the law and common belief is that all magic is evil and dangerous), his act causes the kingdom to be cursed, unless Arthur can prove he's pure of heart. He is, of course, he's the future King Arthur.
  • In the miniseries The Voyage Of The Unicorn, the crew of The Unicorn must find the real thing, in order to use its tears to restore to life a fellow shipmate who has been turned to stone. In an interesting variation, the unicorn is portrayed as black with a gold horn, although the only two characters who ever ride it are young (and therefore presumably virgin) girls.
  • Scrubs: J.D.'s girlishness is emphasised by his drawing of a unicorn on his journal in the episode "My Unicorn"

  J.D.: It's not a unicorn. It's a horse with a sword on its head that protects my hopes and dreams.

  • The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe encounter a unicorn in "The Mind Robber". It attacks them on sight.
  • The Elders from Charmed gave Wyatt a unicorn for his first birthday. The horn is supposedly made up entirely of solid magic, which comes in very useful when the sisters lose their powers.
  • In an episode of "Ally McBeal she defends a client who was fired for claiming to have seen a unicorn. During the episode it's revealed that she saw one as a child also at the end she sees one. It's implied that unlike most of her visions this one might be real.
  • An episode of the original Battlestar Galactica Classic had unicorns being used as mounts. No indication was given as to whether or not they were sapient.


Music Edit

  • In the video for Ke$ha's "Blow" unicorns are bipedal, wear clothes bleed rainbows when shot and, since they're hanging with Ke$ha apparently have no hangups about the state of one's virginity.
  • Also apparently with no hangups about virginity is the incredibly badass-looking black unicorn ridden by Voltaire on the cover of the album "Riding a Black Unicorn Down the Side of an Erupting Volcano While Drinking from a Chalice Filled with the Laughter of Small Children" (and yes, that's the full title).


Mythology Edit

  • Alexander The Great's steed, Bucephalus, is often described as a unicorn or a 'karkadann' among other things.
  • In China, the Xie Zhi, a goat-like unicorn with gold eyes and a gold horn was a symbol of law and justice, the legend goes that it can always tell the guilty from the innocent, and it would attack the guilty parties as punishment, it could also finish arguments by pointing out the person that is wrong.
  • Another Chinese mythical creature, the qilin (chilin, kirin, ki-lin, ghilen in other languages), resembles a composite between a Chinese dragon and a European unicorn.
    • Sometimes, anyway. It is also frequently depicted as a stockily-built creature with two antlers resembling a cross between a dragon and an ox (perhaps inspired by ceratopsians, as ancient Chinese alchemists are known to have had an interest in dinosaur fossils, believing them to be dragon bones). Another common variation which is especially popular in Japan is for them to be part giraffe, since a Chinese emperor once acquired two giraffes from Africa and told everybody they were qilins. Virtually the only thing consistent about qilins are that they're a combination of a Chinese dragon and some kind of ungulate.


Tabletop Games Edit

  • A creature type that's mostly under the domain of White in Magic: The Gathering.
  • In the third edition of Dungeons and Dragons, unicorns are intelligent, have magical powers (including the trademark ability to teleport once per day anywhere within their forest home) and the males have a goat-like beard and a very long mane. Celestial Chargers are unicorns from the Celestial Realms that have the power of clerics.
    • Other unicorn-like monsters from past editions include the powerful ki-rin of Oriental legend, and the al mi'raj.
    • The list of alternate mounts for Paladins in "Defenders of the Faith" says only female Paladins can ride unicorns - this doesn't turn up in later editions.
    • The Healer class trades all of the armor, weapons, and combat spells of the cleric for (arguably) improved healing ability and a unicorn companion.
  • Ravenloft has only shadow unicorns -- evil hybrids of unicorn and nightmare -- in its forests. Fanon claims they're the offspring of Addar, a unicorn who became corrupted out of pride.
  • Both subverted and played straight in Warhammer Fantasy, the Unicorns in the Wood Elf army book are cruel forest spirits but Bretonians and High Elves have been shown using more familiar Unicorns.
  • Both subverted and played straight by FASA's RPGs, as unicorns in Earthdawn are vicious, dangerous monsters, whereas those in Shadowrun are benign Awakened horses with an extreme sensitivity to pollution. It's implied that the Horrors' influence corrupted the Fourth Age unicorns, while those of the Sixth Age are free of this taint.


Video Games Edit

  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion features a unicorn, and you can actually ride it. It's not sapient, however, and Shadowmere makes a much better mount.
    • Also very aggressive to anybody wielding a weapon, as it will attack anybody with a drawn weapon. Including you. It's a lot more efficient just to kill the thing and take its horn for a quest you'll get later.
  • In Fate, dire unicorns can be battled in the Dungeon. Your pet can be transformed into one of these by feeding it the right power-ups, or into a regular unicorn (not otherwise seen in the game).
  • Several Final Fantasy games (V, VI, Tactics Advance, Tactics A2, the Chocobo series, and the spinoff-of-a-spinoff Crystal Defenders) features a Unicorn summon that remove negative status effects from the party.
    • Ixion in Final Fantasy games is usually presented as an evil-looking unicorn with a single antler-like horn. (Not always, though - in Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy XII: Revanant Wings, it's just an evil-looking horse, without a horn)
    • Chrono Cross also features a rare Unicorn summon that increases the party's Magic Defense.
  • In the Fire Emblem series, Falcoknights ride winged unicorns, although that could conceivably be part of the pegasus' armor.
  • In King's Quest IV the Perils of Rosella, the lead character must capture a unicorn for an evil sorceress. She must first obtain one of Cupid's arrows and a bridle to tame it, but the fact that she's a maiden is the only reason she can ride it.
    • There's an interesting portrayal of a unicorn in King's Quest Mask of Eternity, in which Connor comes across an ugly creature at a pond. It turns out that it's a unicorn, only it has lost its beauty and power along with the removal of its horn.
  • Nethack has unicorns of the standard horse variety, though they come in lawful, neutral, and chaotic forms. They also have a few extra quirks, like teleporting around, granting luck when given gems, and a unique sacrificing system.
  • In Overlord, one of the enemies you have to kill are the bloodthirsty Unicorns. It was eating a dead corpse when you find it, so no regrets.

 Gnarl: Unicorns! Overrated pit-ponies!

  • Rapidash from Pokémon is a unicorn on fire . Upon evolving from Ponyta, it gains access to a number of horn-based moves.
    • Blitzle and Zebstrika are electric unicorn zebras.
    • Keldeo, a Water/Fighting type legendary Pokémon. Who also appears to be the Fourth Musketeer.
  • Sigfried in Suikoden II, who you can only recruit by bringing a maiden before him.
  • Tales of Symphonia features a horse-type unicorn with a few variations; it's telepathic, its horn can cure death, it can give up its horn at the cost of its life, and when a unicorn dies, a new one is born.
    • It also follows the old only lets virgin women near it rule. Leading to a funny scene where Raine notes she shouldn't bother trying to go near it, and Kratos doubts Sheena can. She can.
      • Of course, given that Raine is hydrophobic and we don't really know much about her past, it's hard to say for sure whether she said that because she really isn't a pure maiden or if she was afraid to cross to the middle of the lake to meet the unicorn (or both).
    • A unicorn also appears in Tales of Phantasia, which takes place 4000 years after Symphonia.
  • A unicorn named Lasher (of the horned horse type) is featured in Ultima VII and it has some interesting dialog. Because his herd leader refused the summoning of a wizard who in retaliation placed the Curse of Chastity upon them, making them unable to stand the presence of non-virgins. Lasher for one has had it with being used to ruin the reputations of women.
  • In the Wild Arms series, the Guardian of Life, Odoryuk, is usually portrayed as a unicorn (except for Wild Arms 4 where he took the appearance of a snake)
  • Robot Unicorn Attack seems to be a take of 'Unicorns are Agressive', yet also throws in a heaping helping of Girliness.
  • Unicorns are part of the fauna in good lands in Dwarf Fortress, and are occasionally ridden by elves. Their horns pack a mean punch if you get in a fight, but goods and food made from their remains can fetch a very nice price.
  • They're never actually referred to as such, but there are a few unicorns running about in World of Warcraft, including the stripy Zhevras and the Quel'dorei Steeds.
  • Chewnicorns are symbols of rarity in Viva Pinata, as they are very rare in the game. They don't represent any kind of purity since they don't get along and will fight other horse-like pinatas.
  • The main character and Big Bad of Pryzm Chapter One: The Dark Unicorn are both unicorns. Instead of working with some Virgin Powered maiden, however, Pryzm has to work together with Karrok, a sarcastic old troll mage.
  • You meet unicorns in both Fantasy Quest games, luring them with carrots.
  • In Terraria the Hallow biome spawns unicorns. They are your traditional horse-with-a-horn variety and are invariably hostile. Killing them for their horns is the only purpose they seem to have.


Webcomics Edit

  • Drowtales also has odd unicorns.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob posits that cryptozoological creatures like to hang out together, so unicorns are the pets and steeds of Bigfeet. Since Bigfeet leave big obvious footprints, but unicorns leave none, they make the perfect mounts for a race that wants to remain hidden. The strip has also established that unicorns purr. The most notable unicorn in the strip is the giant mutant Kaiju unicorn Unigar.
  • Belkar of The Order of the Stick once stuck a boot on his forehead and claimed to be a unicorn when he was disoriented by a spell.
    • They also encountered a real unicorn in one of the book-only strips. Haley tried to pass herself off as a "maiden of virtue," and the unicorn fell over laughing.
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, a unicorn has seemingly been transformed into a motorcycle with seemingly magical abilities.
  • As The Perry Bible Fellowship shows us, one must never mock Unicorn Power.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal similarly implies unicorns are best left alone [1].
  • Any creature can be a unicorn in the world of Axe Cop simply by obtaining a unicorn horn. Yes, that includes humans. And avocados.
  • Mountain Time's unicorn runs a mystical bar that specializes in Windex-based drinks.
  • Exiern: Don't summon one by accident if you are an evil sorcerer. The unicorn's purity is able to defeat evil magic, and a tiara made of it's hair will thwart any attempts at mind control. It also only allows protagonist, Tiffany, ride it and gets quite angry when Peonie tries. No one appears to have explained why this is to Tiffany, given her temper it is probably for the best.
  • Dork Tower in alliance with a penumbra hulk
  • A book-only expansion to Digger tells us the story of a sculpter "commissioned" by a mad emperor, who had a forehead deformity and believed himself to be part-unicorn, to create statues of unicorns and nothing else. The artist came to hate unicorns, and dreamed of creating a perfect statue of the god Ganesh, which he accomplished after the emperor tried to eat poison and died. The epitaph on his tombstone reads, "There are no unicorns in Heaven."
  • Tales of the Questor sports a rather... prosaic version.
  • A unicorn is the second-most main character in the Go Comics strip Heavenly Nostrils. "Medieval style" with a lion tail and cloven hooves, also capable of speech (and somewhat sarcastic), has a Shield of Boringness, and can grant wishes, albeit only "realistic" ones like being a little girl's best friend.

Web Original Edit

  • Charlie the Unicorn.
  • The 700 Unicorns art project.
  • The Dragon Wars Saga has all sorts of mythical beasts including unicorns.
  • Neopets: The Uni is based on this and a Pegasus.
  • The Beauty Equals Goodness tropes that's usually associated with unicorns is completely subverted by the Bog Unicorn. Unlike the traditional beautiful unicorns, which are actually foul-tempered scavengers who lurk in dumps and cause itchy scratches with their horns, the bog unicorn is a creature pure of heart and noble in intent. It feeds only on the tenderest waterweeds while being careful not to step on anything and will go miles to cleanse fouled waters with their deformed horns. Even the accidental death of an ant or a snail will wrack it with guilt for days. The fact that their appearance makes it unlikely to attract virgins puts in practically in Woobie territory.


Western Animation Edit

  • Uni, the Team Pet from Dungeons and Dragons had the teleportation power of D&D unicorns (see above), but was too young to travel more than a few feet with it. She communicated in goat-like bleats, understood human language, and was smart enough to operate Presto's hat in a pinch.
  • The Unicorn in the Garden
  • On a Robot Chicken episode, The Nerd is visted by a Unicorn, who invites him on a "adventure" and makes some rather unusual requests. Of course the Nerd never suspects a thing.
  • A staple pony type in the My Little Pony franchise. The exact rules for how their powers work change from one incarnation of the franchise to the next.
    • In the first series, all unicorns had a special power or unique magic trick in addition to limited teleportation called "winking," which may have been a reference to Dungeons and Dragons.[1]
    • In the fourth incarnation, they have all have their unique trick in addition to some basic magic like levitation, the extent of which depends on their personal skill and dedication. Twilight Sparkle, the primary heroine, is a student of magic who's special talent is magic, allowing her to learn any unicorn magic she sees. Most unicorns have vastly less power and versatility.
  • In Regular Show, unicorns are punky/gothy Ambiguously Gay party animals who use "bro" like punctuation and are attracted by the scent of Dude Time cologne. The only way to get rid of them when they've overstayed their welcome is to put them in a flying car and blow it up.
  • Buttercup from Toy Story 3.
  • Twinkles the Terrible on Jimmy Two-Shoes, who just happens to be an Omnicidal Maniac that no one takes seriously.
  • Subverted in Camp Lazlo. Lazlo manages to call a llama to camp and, in an effort to get rid of it, sticks an ice cream cone on its head and calls it a unicorn. Somehow, the Squirrel Scouts believe it.


Other Edit

  • The Invisible Pink Unicorn is the goddess of a parody religion, the parody being that it is impossible to disprove her as she is invisible, and that her followers have faith that she exists and is pink. She's a parody of all religious beliefs that can't be tested, and also a parody of deities with contradictory traits (such as simultaneous invisibility and pinkness.)
  • Viking traders, used to sell Narwhale tusks and call them unicorn-horns. As Narwhales could easily be presented as magic beasts themselves one wonders why they bothered with calling them unicorns.
  • Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus raised a stir in the 1980s by displaying "unicorns" in its shows ... in reality, white angora goats whose horn buds had been surgically repositioned in infancy. The animals' creator, a scholar and artist deeply involved in paganism and mythology, actually holds a patent on the procedure. She's also the co-founder of the real-life Church of All Worlds, a neopagan group that uses some of the concepts introduced in Robert Heinlein's Stranger in A Strange Land.
  • Ameristar casino advertisement: "Is that a unicorn?" "No, it's a quadricorn!"

Notes

  1. Hasbro owns both franchises.

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