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[[quoteright:271:[[ComicBook/LesLegendaires http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/0fe2be538e8df339d075e1b38f3984de.jpg]]]]

A character is seen in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetal_position fetal position]] before or after going through some kind of "rebirth": legs replied against the body, head close to the knees and arms crossed in front of the legs.

This is of course highly symbolic, this position being one of an unborn child. The character will also often be nude (for reasons like NakedOnRevival or OutOfClothesExperience), and sometimes floating (in a void, in a liquid...) to better deliver the analogy with a baby in the mother's womb.

If the character is indeed naked, the fetal position is also a pragmatic excuse for [[HandOrObjectUnderwear not showing any naughty bits]], especially if filmed from the front.

Here, "rebirth" is taken in a very general sense and can mean many things: [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence ascending to a higher plane of existence]], experiencing a great revelation, [[{{Metamorphosis}} going through a massive physical transformation]], healing after a very serious mangling, [[HumanPopsicle waking up after hibernation]], being [[GirlInABox removed from storage]], etc.

It can even be an actual birth if preceding a {{Reincarnation}}, or in the case of an ArtificialHuman or {{Clon|ingBlues}}e (frequently seen floating in some PeopleJars).

To be clear, this trope doesn't concern every instance of a character curling in a fetal position, most likely after a traumatic event the latter being TroubledFetalPosition. Fetal Position Rebirth is used when illustrating a symbolic (re)birth or major upheaval for the personage.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'':
** When Griffith ascends to the Godhand, he takes this position as his body is reconstructed. Probably the darkest example here.
** Happens again when Griffith is literally reborn into the human world through [[spoiler:Guts and Casca's miscarried child, which just so happened to be tainted with evil because he had previously raped Casca while she was pregnant.]]
** Also, Jill took on a fetal position of rebirth when she almost took up Rosine's offer of becoming one of her demonic elf creatures.
* The manga adaptation of ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIV'' [[http://www.onemanga.com/Utsurowazarumono_-_Breath_of_Fire_IV/1/03/ explicitly has this]] in its opening pages [[http://www.onemanga.com/Utsurowazarumono_-_Breath_of_Fire_IV/1/16/ with Ryu]]. Justified in that it's a literal birth/reincarnation (yeah, it's complicated).[[note]]Specifically, Ryu is the temporally-displaced LiteralSplitPersonality of 600-year-old GodEmperor Fou-lu. It turns out the empire that originally summoned the god buggered up the summoning.[[/note]]
* ''Manga/{{Chobits}}'': In the picture showing Chii (or rather, Chobit 01) during construction and linked with a myriad of cables, she is unsurprisingly in a fetal position.
* Yuna of ''Anime/EarthMaidenArjuna'', when she first goes through her MagicalGirl transformation.
* ''[[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion The End of Evangelion]]'' has possibly the most symbolism-overdosed example of this trope in history: just before Asuka makes a [[CrowningMomentofAwesome triumphant recovery]] from her AngstComa during the penultimate assault on NERV HQ, she has been placed inside her Eva for protection from assassination and hidden at the bottom of the Geofront's lake (with the Eva also lying in the fetal position for good measure). When painfully roused by enemy forces deploying depth charges against her, we are treated to a gradual-zoom in on her (notably [[RuleofSymbolism flipped upside down]]) for [[LeavetheCameraRunning a full minute]] while her chanting of "I don't want to die" grows from a faint whisper into an anguished scream. She has a serene, dreamlike vision of her mother, then ''violently explodes from the lake'' and returns to the HotBlooded ScreamingWarrior she used to be, [[UptoEleven and then some.]]
* ''Anime/EurekaSeven'': The archaeologists investigating the Scub Corals uncover [[spoiler:Eureka in hibernation invoking this trope. Although that may have been her actual birth...]]
* Erza from ''Manga/FairyTail'' does it very briefly in the Tower of Heaven arc.
* Yui in ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'' after [[spoiler:Miaka uses her first wish to release her from Seiryuu's clutches]].
* Rakka in the opening of ''Anime/HaibaneRenmei'' appears like this, floating in some kind of corridor of life to her cocoon. Oddly, in the cocoon itself she doesn't take this position.
* [[http://www.body-pixel.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Icare_Moebius_Taniguchi.jpg The cover]] from the Manga ''Icare'' (''Icarus'') by Creator/{{Moebius}} and Creator/JiroTaniguchi.
* When Kikyo's naked body is resurrected in ''Manga/InuYasha'', she collapses into a fetal position shortly after being revived.
* Alicia of ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' floats in this position in her {{People Jar|s}} while [[spoiler:Precia]] [[{{Necromantic}} looks for a way to resurrect her]].
* ''Anime/MagicalPrincessMinkyMomo'': In the last episode, [[spoiler:the heroine is killed by a truck and wishes to be reborn as a normal human being in her former adoptive family]]. She is seen floating, naked and in a fetal position, while explaining this to her magical parents.
* Melfina is [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/c364c64538bbb1a4f8a19eec590cca1b.png introduced like this]] in ''Manga/OutlawStar''.
* In ''Anime/PrincessTutu'', when Ahiru undergoes her TransformationSequence, she curls into a fetal position while being enveloped in an egg made by golden feathers before the egg turns to water and she hatches as Tutu. This happens in the span of 10 seconds or so each episode.
* ''Anime/RahXephon'': When Ayato merges with the eponymous giant robot, he is seen in one of these poses in a sea of light.
* Lain at the EP of ''Anime/SerialExperimentsLain''. Bonus points for the heavy-machinery fetal.
* Towards the end of the first ''Anime/SailorMoon'' anime series, [[spoiler: the souls of Princess Serenity, Endymion and the Senshi]] [[http://xgracigloo.tumblr.com/post/143810267907 are seen like this]] ''and'' encased inside bubbles, as [[spoiler: a dying Queen Serenity uses the Silver Crystal to make sure they will reincarnate on Earth.]]
* ''Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei'': Itoshiki is seen like this in the [[RefugeInAudacity highly]] [[MindScrew bizarre]] [[SurrealThemeTune 1st Opening]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM8ODecbuhA Observe]].
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'': Simon discovers Nia in this position (albeit fully-clothed).
* ''Anime/YuGiOh'': Yami Yugi goes through one at the end of the Doma/Orichalcos Arc. [[{{Macekre}} Too bad America didn't see it.]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/{{Hellboy}}'', a few flashbacks to Abe Sapien being discovered in the water tube show him curled up in a fetal-like position.
* [[http://www.neuvieme-art.com/image.php?image=images/encyclo/albums/Le-Cycle-d-Anathos-la-Marque-du-Destin.jpg The cover from volume 10]] of the [[FrancoBelgianComics French comic book]] series ''ComicBook/LesLegendaires''.
* In the ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' storyline "ComicBook/KravensLastHunt", Peter Parker dreams of himself naked in the fetal position, floating in a white void, while drugged and BuriedAlive by Kraven the hunter. Then the drug-induced sleep turns nightmarish, with amongst other niceties Peter "birthing" out of a GiantSpider.
* The ''[[ComicBook/Supergirl2005 Post-Crisis]]'' version of ''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'' slept curled-up inside her rocket until she crash-landed on Earth, woke up and left her pod.
* In ''ComicBook/XMen'', during one of the early appearances of the Brood, ComicBook/{{Storm}} commits suicide by blowing up her space capsule when she discovers the baby Brood Queen hatching within her. She gets better because one of the space-whales the Brood MindRape with drugs and turn into living ships (the nascent space-whale ''prophet'', in fact) rescues her and psychically merges with her because it's {{just a kid}} and needs a responsible adult to look after it. She flits around psychically for a while, the reason being her actual body is curled up in the fetal position inside the space-whale to regenerate.
* In ''[[Comicbook/TheDeathOfSuperman The Reign of the Supermen]]'', this was how the Last Son of Krypton emerged from his regeneration matrix as seen on [[https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/marvel_dc/images/e/ed/Action_Comics_687.JPG/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/323?cb=20180304131333 the cover]] of ''Comicbook/ActionComics'' #687. It was also how the ''actual'' Superman was later reborn, with some sneaky writing making it look like this was the Last Son "recharging".

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'': In the second-to-last chapter, [[spoiler:Shinji, Asuka and Misato]] assume these positions into embryonic sacs while they are being reborn and transformed into [[spoiler:gods.]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls'': Sunset Shimmer shortly takes this posture while [[spoiler:turning into her demon form, surrounded by a black flames aura]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The end of ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'', when Dave Bowman becomes the Star Child ([[MemeticMutation SPACE FETUS!]])... obviously.
* ''Film/AustinPowers: International Man of Mystery'': The title character as he's awoken from cryosleep, as a parody of ''Demolition Man''.
* ''Film/{{Avatar}}'': Whenever the Tree of Souls is being asked to [[spoiler:permanently transfer a human into their Avatar body]], both the human and Avatar bodies are in this position. On the other hand, there otherwise wouldn't be place for both bodies, with the Na'vi being almost twice a human's height.
* In the remake of ''Film/{{The Day the Earth Stood Still|2008}}'', Klaatu is injured and taken to a human lab for treatment. The scientists cut away the placenta suit he's wearing, revealing a partially developed human form underneath. Once the suit is completely removed, he curls into a fetal position to finish the transformation into Creator/KeanuReeves.
* ''Film/DemolitionMan'': John Spartan as he's unfrozen from [[HumanPopsicle cryosleep]].
* In the space survival thriller ''Film/{{Gravity}}'', shortly after Matt Kowalski (Creator/GeorgeClooney) refuses Ryan Stone (Creator/SandraBullock)'s TakeMyHand, Stone finally reaches the International Space Station airlock and its promise of momentary safety and oxygen. Floating in the airlock in her underthings, she assumes this pose after stripping out of her space suit. The moment represents her transition from Kowalski's helpless cargo to self-rescuing DamselOutOfDistress. {{Justified|Trope}} to some extent, since this is the natural position that a relaxed body assumes in zero-g.
* A sinister example happens in the movie version of ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire''. After Lord Voldemort (in the shape of a horrific homonculus) is leveled in the mixture that will resurrect him fully, the cauldron dissolves and his misshapen body is seen in a fetal position while he's growing back to full power.
* In ''Film/TheNewDaughter'', Louisa, on the eve of her transformation into a CreepyChild, is shown in this position in the bathtub, covered in mud from having spent the day digging around in the [[IndianBurialGround Indian Burial Mound]].
* Alice in the first three ''Film/ResidentEvil'' movies. In the first one, it's where she's knocked out whem fumes come into the shower. In [[Film/ResidentEvilApocalypse the second film]] she's being resurrected (or cloned, hard to tell) at the end. In [[Film/ResidentEvilExtinction the third one]], there's hundreds of clones of her, all in the fetal position in water bubble suspension things. Naturally, she's bare-ass naked in all of these, and while her hands do hide her bits, she always moves them by the time the scene is over.

* In ''Film/TheElephantMan'', the title character has to assume this position when he sleeps, due to his oversized head and weak neck. The novel is all about him undergoing a "rebirth" as he realizes his identity as a human, and not a monster. [[spoiler:Sadly, this proves his undoing; he finally decides that he should sleep on his back and stretched out as a normal person, and his neck breaks in the night.]]
* Kahlan in ''[[Literature/SwordOfTruth Wizard's First Rule]]'', when going through [[BerserkButton Con Dar]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'': At the end of the first season, [[spoiler:when Darla comes BackFromTheDead and is in that box, when we first see her, she's curled up in a rather fetal pose.]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Angel's own return from Hell in season 3.
** Also Amy, momentarily, in "Something Blue", though she is sitting upright.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has, at the end of "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E4DaleksInManhattan Daleks in Manhattan]]", the casing of Dalek Sec opening up to reveal the HalfHumanHybrid Sec, dressed in a pinstripe suit, in a fetal position. He then unfolds and gets shakily to his feet.
* ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}''. Echo is shown floating at the bottom of a swimming pool in this position; not naked, but given the series themes of being reborn as a completely different person thanks to NeuralImplanting, the RuleOfSymbolism is obvious.
* The first episode of ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', when River comes out of frozen sleep. (The scene, by the by, is a shot-for-shot homage to the sequence from ''Manga/OutlawStar''.) In this case, the symbolism of rebirth is River finally escaping from the Academy and returning to something resembling normal life. The scene is complete with clear metaphors for birthing pains, as she starts screaming immediately afterward. In another bit of symbolism, River adopts the same pose at the end of ''Film/{{Serenity}}'', as the title ship is taking off into a new day, once she has finally begun to really overcome her own mental illnesses.
* The pilot of ''Series/JohnDoe'', when the eponymous unnamed protagonist wakes up on Horseshoe Island.
* Naomi from ''Series/{{Skins}}'', in the S4 finale when having a massive emotional epiphany about Emily. Considering the major themes of the fourth series revolved around death and rebirth ([[spoiler:well, Freddie kinda [[KilledOffForReal missed out on the rebirth part]])]], it was probably inevitable that there'd be one of these scenes at some point.
* The final shot of the third season of ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' has Clark floating in a black void, in the nude, doing this with the Superman Shield logo appearing behind him, after he has agreed to accept his inheritage and become Kal-El.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'': In the first episode of Season 7, "Fallen", Daniel Jackson is cast out by the [[NeglectfulPrecursors Ancients]] from his [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence ascended state]]. He reappears on some unknown planet, nude and in a fetal position, with no memory.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Nu-13's Arcade Mode ending in ''VideoGame/BlazBlue: [[VideoGame/BlazBlueCalamityTrigger Calamity Trigger]]'' has [[spoiler:Nu herself]] in one of these. Given the context of "waking from a dream," it's almost impossible to say what the character is being reborn into, if anything. It's really [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible artful]], in that {{Mind Screw}}y, EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory kind of way. [[spoiler:The {{Yandere}} mumbling makes it unsettling, though.]]
* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'': [[spoiler:Serge returning to his original form (not body; that one is stolen) from the shape of Lynx: he disintegrates and grows from a baby to his actual age inside of a big bubble of water]]
* Sera of ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'' spends a good portion of the early parts of the games in the fetal position.
* In the good ending of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'', [[spoiler:Tidus]] is shown waking up this way underwater.
* ''VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon'': Alma is shown adopting this form in one of the hallucinations during ''Project Origin''. This is probably quite deliberate, considering that childbirth and maternity are major themes in the series.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'': More of a Fetal Position Birth than anything, but when [[spoiler:Ventus's darkness is extracted, it takes the form of Vanitas. For a second, he's in this position.]]
* ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'':
** "Crystal Flash", a hidden ability in ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'' that restores all of Samus' energy tanks at the expense of her ammunition, does this. When used, Samus goes into a fetal position, gets surrounded by a sphere of energy and her suit temporarily disappears. To be honest, the cool animation is probably the main reason to ever use this ability, as it's [[UselessUsefulSpell not very practical]]. Although it has its usefulness: as your ammo counter (255 missiles at max) is a lot smaller than your life counter (1699 with max energy tanks), and it'd be faster to reload than it is to have to get back to some places after you die.
** In ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'', the opening cinematic has Samus in a fetal position as a small child. After a few seconds we see Samus being lifted off the ground by the baby metroid.
* At the start of ''VideoGame/PrincessMaker 2'', you get a heavenly child who is being sent to the world of mortals by her guardian deity. She is shown from a front fetal position as she is floating down in the light and to you, seemingly forgetting everything that happened in her ten years of life in Heaven. Since it's '''''not''' really'' [[HGame that kind of game]], it's artistically done and you don't actually see anything.
* ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'': [[spoiler:This is how Isamu is fused with his God Noah.]]
* This can be seen in the ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' series, in which Sonic curls up in the fetal position before going [[SuperMode Super Sonic]].
* Happens in ''VideoGame/SilentHill4'' when [[spoiler:Henry enters the "deepest part" of Walter. Rather than symbolizing rebirth, though, it symbolizes regression to a fetal stage (which is what Walter wants)]].
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny2'' ending, Reala is reborn like that.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/KisetsuODakishimete'' (the 2nd game of the ''VisualNovel/{{Yarudora}}'' series), the "[[spoiler:Spirit of the Cherry Trees]]" storyline has an event where the player character dreams of [[spoiler:Mayu]] floating in the darkness in fetal position, then [[spoiler: [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence dissolving into a storm of]] CherryBlossoms]]. Seeing this event is ''mandatory'' to get the storyline's Good Ending.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* Each chapter of ''WebAnimation/BrokenSaints'' has a "cover" animation that opens and closes the chapter, and one of them utilizes this.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/RuneHunters'': After being nearly killed and becoming one with the Master Fire Rune and turning into a being of primordial fire able to jump from fire to fire, Ada is finally reunited with her sister, jumping out of her campfire. When she return to human form in a patch of scorched forest floor, it's naked and in the fetal position.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In Episode 1 of ''Podcast/TheOrbitingHumanCircusOfTheAir'', protagonist Julian the Janitor's personal InteractiveNarrator draws attention to the posture Julian's taken in a "womb-like" AirVentPassageway, blatantly pointing out that Julian is going to be born into the role of protagonist from this moment on.
-->'''Narrator:''' ...a small figure lies curled, appropriately, in a fetal position waiting to emerge, as if he were the main character of a show, about to be born! Metaphorically, that is...

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'':
** Season 1 episode "Code Earth": Aelita is materialized for the first time, and she arrives inside the scanner in a fetal position. Since everybody thought she was an A.I. at the time, this is treated as her birth into the real world.
** Season 3 episode "Final Round": William is seen floating in fetal position above the network after his EvilCostumeSwitch, being reborn as XANA's [[TheDragon Dragon]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'', [[spoiler:when Sari is "born"]] the protoform is curled up into this position and even vaguely resembles a fetus.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', Season 3 Episode "The Doctor Is Sin": After Dr. Killinger makes Dr. Venture work through his daddy issues, Thaddeus is left nude on the floor in the fetal position. Killinger specifically says he's naked because he's been born again. Doc is more skeptical and thinks he slipped him a roofie.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'', the season 1 TransformationSequence include the girls curling in the fetal position during the BarbieDollAnatomy "naked" silhouette part.