Created By: Xelloss08 on December 21, 2009
Troped

Let Yourself Be Eaten

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Rolling Updates, Needs a Better Title Current top contender for title is "Eat Me!"; please comment if you like it, dislike it, or wish to suggest an alternative.

Agent K: You're nothing but a smear on the Sports page to me, you slimy, ugly, intestinal parasite! Eat me! Eat me!
Men In Black

This is a strategy by which a character intentionally allows his enemy to consume him so that he can attack it from the inside.

There are two basic variations on this. The first type is typically used against Extreme Omnivore monsters which have no compunction against just eating the hero. The hero allows the monster to swallow him whole so that he can blast its unprotected insides. The second type is used against villains in the You Will Be Assimilated mold. The hero lets the villain assimilate him or absorb his powers, which turns out to actually hurt the villain by in some way; through poisoning, or passing on an infection or curse, or by being just so Blessed with Suck that gaining his power is actually a hindrance to the villain.

This strategy can also be used by villains, but is much rarer, mainly because as a result of Bad Powers, Bad People few heroes have abilities that involve eating or assimilating their opponents.

When the result is unexpected rather than planned or is played for laughs, that's Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth.


Examples of being Physically Eaten

Anime & Manga
  • In Digimon: The Movie, Magnamon and Rapidmon let Cherubimon swallow them so they can attack the virus within it.
  • In Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok, as part of a Cooking Duel episode, the villains try to feed Loki a shapeshifted monster (one of the four stags that eat the branches of Yggdrasil), as Loki will be unable to block an attack from within. Loki spots it right away, though, and doesn't bite.
  • In King of Thorn, Marco and Kasumi have to jump down the mother monster's throat to reach the Big Bad, Zeus.

Comics
  • In Nextwave Machine Man lets Fin Fang Foom eat him, the better to defeat Foom from the inside.
  • The Incredible Hulk let the Galaxy Master eat him, for the same reason.

Film
  • Agent K letting the bug eat him so he can retrieve his gun at the climax of Men in Black.
  • Godzilla in Godzilla 2000. When Orga tries to swallow him, Godzilla obligingly sticks his head in the monster's mouth -- then fires his atomic breath...

Literature
  • In The Nightside novel Nightingale's Lament, John lets the Primal swallow him, knowing they'll try to possess his body and won't be able to handle it.

Live-Action Television
  • In Star Trek: The Original Series, this strategy is used to destroy the planet-eating Doomsday Machine, by self-destructing a ship just as the machine swallows it.
  • In the Power Rangers Wild Force episode "Forever Red" the then-current Red Ranger flies into the mouth of Lord Zedd's zord in order to blow it up from the inside.

Theater
  • In the stage version of Little Shop of Horrors, after failing to destroy Audrey II from the outside, Seymour determines he has to go inside in order to kill the plant, and so he willingly goes into Audrey II's mouth, and gets eaten.

Video Games
  • To defeat an early boss in Starfox Adventures you have to let him eat you then, uh, beat the hell out of his heart with a stick.
  • In Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Momohime lets herself be eaten to rescue Jinkuro's soul. Considering what was about to do the eating, she wisely told it that it was currently fashionable to eat humans quickly and in one bite.

Web Comics

Examples of being Assimilated

Anime
  • Schrodinger from Hellsing is a villain example. Eating his soul (temporarily) destroys Alucard.
  • In the Majin Buu arc of Dragon Ball Z, the leader of the Kaioshin let Buu eat him. Absorbing his personality changed the Omnicidal Maniac Evil Kid Buu into the far more affable Fat Buu.
    • Also in Dragon Ball Z, Vegeto lets Super Buu absorb him so he can rescue the other people who were absorbed; this turns into an entire "Fantastic Voyage" Plot.

Film
  • In The Matrix Revolutions, Neo allows Smith to assimilate him so that Smith will die with him when the machines electrocute his real-world body.
    • Also from The Matrix: Revolutions, the Oracle allows Smith to assimilate her so he'll gain her power of precognition and be set up for the final confrontation with Neo. When Oracle!Smith says "Everything that has a beginning has an end" (which the Oracle had said to Neo earlier), Neo realizes he needs to let Smith assimilate him.

Literature
  • In the eleventh Slayers light novel (not yet translated to English, unfortunately), Aria lets the Bell-Doolgofa chimera kill her so that it will absorb her pacifism, causing it to stop fighting.
  • In the Barbara Hambly novel Those Who Hunt the Night (a.ka. Immortal Blood), a character injects himself with a lethal dose of silver nitrate before allowing his blood to be drained by a vampire; silver being lethal to vampires in this setting.
  • In the Discworld novel Carpe Juguleum, Granny Weatherwax is bitten by a vampire who is trying to turn her into another vampire. He is surprised to discover himself craving tea. As Granny puts it "You've been Weatherwaxed".
  • In Forgotten Realms / Planescape cycle Lost Gods the illithid god agreed to let protagonists go only for a ransom of "unique information", draining it right from the victim's mind. The bard paid, naturally, with a not-yet-performed song. By the time illithids across the whole Multiverse began to rhythmically twitch, Ilsensine decided it would be better off without this sort of "unique information".

Live-Action Television
  • In the finale of Star Trek: Voyager, Future!Janeway lets herself be assimilated by the Borg in order to infect the Collective with a virus.
  • Doctor Who, the episode "Smith and Jones". The Doctor lets an alien absorb his genetic code (by drinking his blood through a staw!) so that it will show up as non-human on the Judoon scanners.

Western Animation
  • An episode of The Real Adventures Of Jonny Quest, "DNA Doomsday", has Jonny letting the Monster of the Week absorb him while he's in Quest World in order to short-circuit it.

Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • December 16, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Varsuvius in Order Of The Stick does this to defeat a dragon enemy.
  • December 16, 2009
    foxley
    In the Barbara Hambly novel Those Who Hunt the Night (a.ka. Immortal Blood), a character injects himself with a lethal dose of silver nitrate before allowing his blood to be drained by a vampire; silver being lethal to vampires in this setting.
  • December 16, 2009
    random surfer
    • In Nextwave Machine Man lets Fin Fang Foom eat him, the better to defeat Foom from the inside.
    • The Incredible Hulk let the Galaxy Master eat him, for the same reason.
  • December 16, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    In the Discworld novel Carpe Juguleum, Granny Weatherwax is bitten by a vampire who is trying to turn her into another vampire. He is surprised to discover himself craving tea. As Granny puts it "You've been Weatherwaxed".
  • December 16, 2009
    Chabal 2
    I've seen this discussed as a strategy in Dn D: cover yourself in poison and get swallowed by the monster. Of course, you only find out whether or not it's immune to poison once you're inside...
  • December 17, 2009
    Kayeka
    Hmm? This isn't a trope yet? I sure thought it was, but the memory is rather vague. Anyhow, another example from Dragonball Z would be the part where the fused Goku and Vegeta let's themself get eaten by Super Buu, in order to save their friends. With the must badass quote that should be on this page: 'Im no ordinary candy, I'm a jawbreaker! The strongest candy there is!'
  • December 17, 2009
    Arivne
    Film
    • Another example from The Matrix: Revolutions: The Oracle allows Smith to assimilate her so he'll gain her power of precognition and be set up for the final confrontation with Neo. When Oracle!Smith says "Everything that has a beginning has an end" (which the Oracle had said to Neo earlier), Neo realizes he needs to let Smith assimilate him.
  • December 17, 2009
    fzzr_miller
    I suggest a joke be made about I Thought It Meant (If You Know What I Mean)
  • December 17, 2009
    Chabal 2
    That's an easy one; Eat Me!
  • December 17, 2009
    Evalana
    In the stage version of Little Shop Of Horrors, after failing to destroy Audrey II from the outside, Seymour determines he has to go inside in order to kill the plant, and so he willingly goes into Audrey II's mouth, and gets eaten.
  • December 17, 2009
    Cidolfas
    Your party has to do this in Final Fantasy VI in order to get one of the Secret Characters.
  • December 17, 2009
    DarkSasami
    Partially covered by Fantastic Voyage Plot (though somehow it's missing that one episode of The Tick involving Dinosaur Neil, large amounts of rotten meat, and a submarine).
  • December 17, 2009
    random surfer
    In the Power Rangers Wild Force episode "Forever Red" the then-current Red Ranger flies into the mouth of Lord Zedd's zord in order to blow it up from the inside
  • December 17, 2009
    Xelloss08
    @Kayeka: No, we don't have this yet. There's "Fighting From The Inside", but that's about mentally struggling against possession rather than literally fighting a monster from the inside. There's "Just Eat Him", but that trope is kind of ill-defined and seems to be more about how being eaten is generally less lethal than you'd expect rather than the hero intentionally getting himself eaten. How Did We Miss This One?

    @Dark Samasmi: I don't see much resemblance to Fantastic Voyage Plot at all, since the "physically eaten" examples of this trope usually consist of a short one-two punch of "get eaten, blast the stomach" rather than a whole journey through the interior of the body. In fact, I think that only one of the examples suggested so far would fall under both tropes (Vegeto letting Super Buu eat him in Dragon Ball Z, since Goku and Vegeta end up wandering around for quite a while before finally finding Buu's weak point).
  • December 17, 2009
    macroscopic
    To defeat an early boss in Starfox Adventures you have to let him eat you then uh beat the hell out of his heart with a stick.
  • December 17, 2009
    TBeholder
    • In El Goonish Shive Ellen Dunkel jumped into monster's maw and discharged force blast. Let's just say everyone present had to bath before debriefing.

    • In Forgotten Realms/ Planescape cycle Lost Gods the illithid god agreed to let protagonists go only for a ransom of "unique information", draining it right from the victim's mind. The bard paid, naturally, with a not-yet-performed song. By the time illithids across the whole Multiverse began to rhythmically twitch, Ilsensine decided it would be better off without this sort of "unique information".
  • December 17, 2009
    wanderlustwarrior
    In Muramasa The Demon Blade, Momohime lets herself be eaten to rescue Jinkuro's soul. Considering what was about to do the eating, she wisely told it that it was currently fashionable to eat humans quickly and in one bite.
  • December 17, 2009
    Assistant
    nevermind, it was already listed
  • December 20, 2009
    Smokie
    Dragonball Z: Vegeto versus Buu.
  • December 20, 2009
    JAF1970
    Bite Me Its Fun. The comedy version of this trope.
  • December 20, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Jack Sparrow allows himself to be eaten by the Kraken in Pirates of The Caribbean.
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