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Ah, Nessie, Nessiteras rhombopteryx, the Loch Ness Monster. Her mysterious allure and continuous camera shyness has led the Loch Ness Monster to inspire many other myths and urban legends of lake dwelling cryptids, as well as having legends of other lakes sneak back into her own. Many lakes around the world have had local stories about the secret monster that lives at the bottom and as the world was getting ready for the moving pictures, a lot of these separate myths consolidated into one shared stock trope about hidden lake creatures waiting to be found by open minded zoologists.
The creature is prone to travelling around the surface like an iceberg with a small section peeping out of the top, often making it cunningly indistinguishable from a log when seen by a Caledonian drunk, while its main body lies hidden beneath the bottom. Explanations often revolve around being some ancient or long lost creature found miles away from where it would be expected, locked in by changes of geography, in an ecology often far too small actually to support it unless it devoted itself to eating once a year and never breeding.
There is also often a plot that goes along with these beasts that decks the halls of Sy Fy Originals. Some idiot starts the plot by becoming kelpie chow, some low paid fringe scientist, with fewer peer-reviewed papers and far better looks than any normal scientist, will go or be forced out there to investigate alongside a gruff, no-nonsense local and a wacky comedy sidekick, daring to find the truth while being threatened by the locals with group buggery.
A number of myths also have their creatures as helpful or at least sufficiently beautiful to not want to kill, so there's also a softer side to the trope where the creature will be friendly. The myths of Nessie being a Plesiosaur helps play into that being a slightly more friendly looking form that a giant eel or floating turd.
Occassionally, the monster will turn out to have been something completely different.
Is not in any way related to the name of an RPG protagonist.
- The Loch Trevor Monster in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen (and later Project Cadmus-related comics).
- One of those elements used again and again and again in Disney Mouse and Duck Comics, whether in the form of an Expy or the original. Carl Barks already did it, but that didn't keep everyone else from doing it, too.
- Lake Placid had a giant crocodile, which was raised by a surprisingly foul-mouthed Betty White, and was running amok eating people. As it turns out, there's actually two of them. And they had babies. At least 10.
- The Water Horse posits that the titular creature is a dinosaur-like beast which reproduces by laying a single egg and dying, so only one is in existence at a time.
- The 1971 Irish short film The Johnstown Monster (broadcast in the US as part of the CBS Children's Film Festival) tells the story of a boy visiting the Irish village of Johnstown, who hears the local legends of a lake monster from the children he meets there. Together they build a fake monster to attract more tourists to the economically-strapped village. The film ends on a classic Or Is It? note, with what might be a genuine monster making an appearance.
- Danny Dunn and his friends once went searching for a lake monster in central Africa, thinking it might be a dinosaur. It turned out to be (no, really!) a giant electric walking catfish.
- Steve Alten writes a lot of books with Sea Monsters; his novel Meg was about a Megalodon (sixty foot prehistoric shark) that makes it to the surface after surviving down in the Marinara Trench. Hilarity Ensues. His more recent novel The Loch deals with, of course, the Loch Ness Monster. In a twist however, Nessie isn't a peaceful plesiosaur but a giant eel with a taste for tourists.
- Claire encounters one in Outlander.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them explains that the Loch Ness monster is actually a shapeshifting lake monster that turns into an otter when Muggle tourists are around.
- Erasmus Darwin had an encounter with this critter in The Amazing Dr. Darwin.
- According to the Star Trek: Stargazer novels, the trope isn't just confined to Earth. The Kandilkari have "The Lake Dweller That Roars", though it's unclear as to whether it's real or not. Nol Kastiigan seems to think so, but it's not certain.
- The Redwall novel High Rhulain features the Slothunog. It's only on one page, but it makes up for it by being the most awesome page in the book.
- Anthill: A Novel by E. O. Wilson mentions one. It's probably just a myth.
- The Skarasen (a.k.a. the Loch Ness Monster) from the Doctor Who serial "Terror of the Zygons".
- The X-Files episode "Quagmire": Mulder and Scully investigate reports of a lake serpent and find a surprisingly ordinary (albiet still deadly) crocodile. This being The X-Files, however, after they've left, a The End - or Is It? ending shows there really is a serpent in the lake.
- Truth in Television: Some of the giant fish pursued on River Monsters have a reputation for bumping boats or dragging fisherment into the water, feats often attributed to the scarier versions of this trope.
- In the Andy Griffith Show Reunion Movie Return to Mayberry some locals - including Earnest T. Bass - try to convince people there's a lake monster.
- The Loch Ness Monster, which is only the most well-known of a number of mythical or semi-mythical lake monsters, including the Canadian Ogopogo (which is actually protected under provincial legislation, just in case) and its cousin Manipogo (who lives in Manitoba). Nessie herself has spawned numerous latter-day imitators in lakes around the world, all even more dubious from a factual point of view.
- Ravenloft had an undead lake monster. One assumes it was a living lake monster at some previous point.
- The Lok Pik Monster in The Spellcasting Series. It basically serves as the You Shall Not Pass guardian of the first game's final chapter.
- While not quite a sea serpent or pleisiosaur, Psychonauts nonetheless has its own lake monster--the Hideous Hulking Lungfish of Lake Oblogata, who is... an enormous, mutated lungfish who lives at the bottom of Lake Oblongata. Her real name is Linda. She's pretty nice.
- 'Gourdy' is a monster of unknown attributes that supposedly lives in Gourd Lake inAce Attorney. Lotta Hart's attempts to get a picture of him become a key plot element in case 1-4. While there's no canon evidence of Gourdy's existence, a piece of official fanart shows the cast enjoying a picnic by the lake while a dark Nessie-like shape is seen poking out of the lake in the far background.
- In Pokémon Lapras is a plesiosaur, the sort of creature Nessie is often explained as being and its production name was Ness. Draw your own conclusions.
- Gyarados is based on legends about magic carp jumping over the Dragon gate and becoming dragons but its abode being in lakes in its appearances in Red and Blue seem to be inspired by lake monster myths.
- Earthbound has the gentle and friendly Tessie, the Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of the Loch Ness Monster.
- Mother 3 follows up both of these with the Oh-So-Snake, in the well beneath Osohe Castle. Tessie also makes a reappearance, though she's stuffed and mounted in Porky's tower.
- Shadow of the Colossus features the wading lake monster, which is rather more frustrating.
- There's also Sally, the Lake Salamanca monster in City of Heroes. Sally is peaceful, though, and dives below the water if you attack her.
- Mega Man Star Force 2 involves the legend of Messie, a sea monster supposedly found in (say it with me) Loch Mess. People have been seeing it recently, but it turns out to be a fake. There is a real Messie, though -- and its elusiveness is explained by the fact that it's an EM being, invisible to most people. It ends up fusing with the guy who created the fake Messie to become a rather nasty boss, Plesio Surf.
- Incidentally, something funny went on in translation here. The character's English name refers to the longstanding theory that the "real" Loch Ness Monster is a plesiosaur. But the original Japanese name is Brachio Wave -- referring to the Brachiosaurus, which did sorta look like a plesiosaur from the neck up, but didn't live underwater. Between this and its incredible size (40 feet tall and twice as long, making it one of the most colossal creatures ever to walk the Earth), a Brachiosaurus couldn't hide in Loch Ness if it wanted to.
- In World of Warcraft, there's an underground tram running from Ironforge to Stormwind. In the middle, the tram runs between two humongous aquaria. One aquarium contains a plesiosaur named "Nessy".
- In Danger On Deception Island, Nancy has to assemble a model of the local legendary sea monster as one of her Solve the Soup Cans tasks. It naturally resembles a plesiosaur, although the actual creature never appears in the game.
- There's an easter egg in the original Zoo Tycoon that will let you keep these in your zoo.
- In Professor Layton and the Last Specter, the titular specter is both Loosha, a Stock Ness Monster and a giant robot entangled in fight. Loosha is actually defending the village of the attacks of the robot as well as protecting its only friend Arianna.
- One level of Lemmings is titled "Hunt the Nessie", and takes place on the back of a serpentine lake monster.
- While not the plesiosaur type, Resident Evil 4 has the Del Lago, a mutant salamander.
- George the Dragon features a trope namer in his comic. And apparently her name is Gladys Vanessa of the Loch. She eventually (marries the main character and moves out of the Loch) which is why no one can find Nessie.
- In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob, Generictown recently acquired a lake monster.
- The Lake Nose Monster from Phineas and Ferb.
- The entire non-human cast of The Family Ness.
- Scooby Doo has encountered the Loch Ness monster or similar lake monsters on a regular basis but always seems surprised to learn they're fake. The direct-to-DVD movie Scooby Doo and the Loch Ness Monster reveals the monster to be a scam but at the end (like The X-Files example above) shows a real creature in the Loch. Scooby met lake monster that was compared to Nessie in The New Scooby Doo Movies episode "Loch Ness Mess" and met Nessie again (apparently out of continuity) in the Scooby's All-Stars episode "A Highland Fling with a Monstrous Thing."
- An episode of The Simpsons was actually about Homer and Mr. Burns attempting to capture the Loch Ness Monster.
- According to Dojo Kanojo Cho, the Loch Ness Monster is actually his cousin.
- According to Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc., Nessie was actually banished to the human world along with the Abominable Snowman.
- Freddie as F.R.O.7
- In the Gargoyles episode Monsters, Golith, Angela, Eliza and Bronx help save a family of Loch Ness Monsters from Dr. Sevarius.
- An episode of Godzilla: The Series features a mother Loch Ness monster teaming up with Zilla to save her baby.
- In South Park, Chef's parents (who live in a castle in Scotland for some reason) insist that they keep having run-ins with Nessie, who keeps asking for $3.50.
- The 2011 Disney short The Ballad of Nessie tells the story of how Nessie ended up at Loch Ness after her home was paved over to build a miniature golf course.
- Denver, the Last Dinosaur did this in "Monster Maze", with a local bad guy trying to convince people there was a monster in the lake, the 'Lost Lake Monster'.
- Disney's Doug had Doug and Skeeter investigate the existance of the Lucky Duck Lake Monster on occasion. Said monster is a featured character in The Movie.
- An episode of Inspector Gadget centers around this, in the end it turns out to be a Mechanical Monster created by MAD.
- Nessies in Happy Ness: Secret of the Loch.
- Minne the Lake Creature, a (statue, sadly) monster who "lives" in the lakes around Minneapolis.
- Hippo, seal, otter and manatee sightings have all been misreported as Stock Ness Monster encounters. The first, at least, occasionally do earn the "monster" part of the title, attacking swimmers or small boats in defense of their territories or young.
- Brickly, the Lego Ness Monster who inhabits the lake at Downtown Disney outside the Lego store. While Legoland already has a pair of dragon mascots (Ollie and Allie), when they began building a Legoland in Florida, enough people asked if Brickly was going to be the mascot for Legoland Florida that they decided to make it canon-and released a special edition set just for him.
Stock and Loch don't rhyme? Well for god's sake then don't tell anyone else.