"You're nothing but a smear on the Sports page to me, you slimy, gut-sucking, intestinal parasite! Eat me! Eat me!"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 Assimilator 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. Let's Meet the Meat is the trope for when the meal really does want to be eaten, and presumably what this one looks like from the eater's perspective, until they start having trouble digesting it. For the explosive version, see Feed It a Bomb. For versions where the hero wasn't counting on getting eaten but busts out anyway, see Kill It Through Its Stomach. If Satan or a senior member of the infernal hierarchy is doing the eating, this can lead to a tour of the Bloody Bowels of Hell. Not to be confused with Schmuck Banquet. Contrast Regret Eating Me.
— Agent K, Men in Black
Examples of being Physically Eaten:
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Anime and Manga
- In Digimon: The Movie, Magnamon and Rapidmon let Cherubimon swallow them so they can attack the virus within it. Though this only happens in the Dub. In the original, Cherubimon tricked them into thinking they beat him, but instead materialized behind them and munched them. However a nose variation was used by War Greymon to finish off Metal Seadramon,even cooler though is that he deflected another attack to this.
- Kinkaku and Ginkaku of Naruto seem to have had this plan. Two warriors of Kumogakure, who engaged the Kyuubi in battle long ago. We find they were eaten by the Kyuubi. Looking at some panels in the manga, it looks as if they basically went into his mouth on their own. While inside, they ate the meat of his stomach for two weeks before the creature regurgitated them. This event allowing them to acquire some of it's chakra for themselves, which allows them to dawn a bijuu shroud like that of a Jinchuriki, though we only got to see Kinkaku use his.
- 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.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion has Unit-02 hold open Gaghiel's mouth so that two battleships can smash into it and fire their guns into its soft insides.
- Dead Leaves has this happen at the end of the film, with the giant space caterpillar eating Pandy's rapidly aging baby, and the baby blows it up from the inside and sacrifices itself. It... actually makes even less sense in context.
- One Piece,
- In some of the mid-Alabasta arc filler in Portgas D. Ace hops into a giant lizard's mouth so he can roast it from the inside.
- Vice-Admiral Momonga allows a Sea King to eat him, and just cuts his way out in the most badass way possible.
- In the 12th movie, Lily's plan to defeat Shuzo is to shrink herself to the size of a pebble so Usopp can use his slingshot to propel her into the villain's mouth. Then she plans to expand. (A rather gory idea, but effective.) However, Usopp misses, and Luffy swallows her. Okay, Time for Plan B; Lily decides to expand anyway, and due to Luffy's own stretchable nature, he grows to giant size (uh-huh, Sure, Let's Go with That...), and is able to fight Shuzo mano-a-mano.
- Dragon Ball:
- In Dragon Ball, Piccolo had sealed Kami-sama in a bottle and then swallowed it. Therefore, Goku couldn't attack him at full power. When Piccolo shows his ability to become a giant, Goku provokes him to grow to his maximum size, and then shoots himself down Piccolo's throat. Piccolo vomits him as quickly as he could, but not before Goku hits his insides and recovers the bottle.
- In Dragon Ball Z, Super Buu turned Vegetto into candy in DBZ and made the mistake of trying to eat him. Super Buu was also fond of pulling a forced Eat Me on his opponents, turning himself into goo and flying down their throats until they explode. This backfired on him when he tried to go down Vegetto's throat; Vegetto was able to contain him and beat the crap out of him from the outside by punching himself.
- In Dragon Ball GT, Majuub has his own attack reflected against him by the Big Bad, Baby, turning him into chocolate. Baby promptly swallows him whole. Later, when Baby has The Hero Goku on the ropes, Majuub reveals that he planned for that to happen, so he could attack Baby from within his own body.
- In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Joseph Joestar lets Santana partially absorb him so he can activate his ripple inside Santana's body, bypassing Santana's impervious skin.
- 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.
- During the "Return of Hawkman" arc in Justice Society of America, Atom Smasher is swallowed whole by one of the main villain's lieutenants. He gets free by literally bursting him open from the inside.
- In DC: The New Frontier, Death Seeker Joe kills the T-Rex that murdered his friends by jumping down its throat while holding live grenades.
- Spider-Man once defeated a one-shot villain named Skinhead this way, a white supremacist gang leader who could turn himself into a Blob Monster after a chemical accident. Once Spidey realized that what his body was consisted of his skeleton surrounding a mass of protoplasm, he let himself be absorbed, and then punched him in the jawbone from the inside, knocking him out and shocking him back to human shape.
- Nightwing does this to defeat the final monster in Night of the Monster Men. Once inside, he injects it with a serum that dissolves it.
- Men in Black, the Trope Namer: Agent K goads the Bug into eating him so that he can retrieve his gun at the climax of the film.
- Godzilla in Godzilla 2000: When Orga tries to swallow him, Godzilla obligingly sticks his head in the monster's mouth — then blows Orga up with a supercharged blast.
- Hellboy is swallowed up by the Ogdru Jahad monster and blows it from within with a handful of grenades.
- The Avengers (2012): During the final battle scene Iron Man asks Jarvis if he has ever heard of the story of Jonah and flies into the mouth of the Leviathan and blasts his way out.
- Mega Snake: This is the only way the Mega Snake can be killed; by standing completely still and calm, allowing it to swallow you whole so you can cut its heart out.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Drax the Destroyer has the "brilliant" idea of killing the extradimensional monster through its stomach when its skin proves too tough to puncture. Gamora points out to Drax (or at least tries to) that the skin would be just as thick as it would be on the inside (which Star-Lord helpfully points out to Gamora). When Gamora guts it by using a tiny wound to get in, Drax pops out of the belly covered in Alien Blood and other fluids and full of the idea that he was the only one who killed it.
- Subverted in Kong: Skull Island. One character carrying a bandolier of grenades decides to make a Heroic Sacrifice this way, only to get smashed aside by the creature's tail instead.
- 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.
- Also used in Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth, when Razor Eddie lets a gigantic centipede-monster from the Street of the Gods swallow him so he can tear it up from within
- In Tangled Webs a berserker with a BFS was devoured by a giant squid — not as a deliberate provocation, he just didn't care in his battle frenzy. It was a very unlucky squid.
- In The Strain, Abraham Setrakian allows The Master to infect him, knowing that vampires cannot vomit to expel poisons, and thus swallows blood thinner to poison The Master. The bastard cheats, though.
- In Observation On The Spot by Stanisław Lem it is mentioned as a method of fighting some huge monsters.
- Jonas tries this on the giant shark in Meg: A Novel Of Deep Terror. It works.
- In Gateways, Oyv is swallowed whole by Devil the mutant alligator, then fatally wounds it by chewing his way free. At least on the surface, Oyv looks like a chihuahua, but is definitely something more.
Live Action Television
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: In his last battle as the Green Ranger, Tommy tricks Turbanshell into swallowing him so that he can weaken Turbanshell from the inside with a heat blaster. He collapses from heatstroke briefly before getting back up to finish the job. It's an awesome scene - Turbanshell is walking along, saying "Hm, what should I destroy next..." and then suddenly cries out in pain as "Go Green Ranger Go" starts playing.
- 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.
- 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 Dungeons & Dragons, this can actually be a good strategy for fighting very large monsters, as they're generally not armored nearly so well on the inside as the outside! But since the stomach of a creature that regularly swallows its food whole is not exactly a hospitable place, you'd better have a lot of HP. Usually swallowed people may use only short weapons, though. What isn't a good strategy is deliberately getting swallowed, cutting your way out, and letting the creature bleed to death, because "muscular action" instantly closes the hole behind you, pretty much specifically to prevent this.
- In addition many creatures with Swallow Whole have multiple attacks, the end result being that its stomach is less damaging than being the focus of its attacks. The most notable example is the Tarrasque; you're safer in its stomach than within arm's reach of its claws.
- In the History of Ashes arc in the Pathfinder campaign setting, the players are given the quest of provoking a giant fiery sandworm into eating them and then cutting their way out to win over a xenophobic tribe of Sclar Qua. It Makes Sense in Context.
- The Purple Worm - a gargantuan purple earthwormlike creature - is the archetypical D&D monster for this trope, in that it's one of the few creatures - if not the only creature - who has both a "swallow whole" attack that doesn't incapacitate the victim and detailed rules for what happens to anyone inside the creature and how they can affect it in every edition of the game.
- To defeat an early boss in Star Fox Adventures you have to let him eat you then, uh, beat the hell out of his heart with a stick.
- God knows that it wasn't on purpose, but Delta Squad makes the most out of what they get.
- The second half of the C'thun boss fight in World of Warcraft involves being swallowed by one of the boss's tentacle mouths, attacking its weakpoint inside the stomach, then getting out before taking too much damage from digestive juices.
- Not the only time Wo W has invoked the Eat Me. The final quest in a Mist of Pandaria zone has the player use a large rhino-like animal to launch them a great distance into the mouth of a mountain sized bug (repeatedly) where you literally punch it to death from the inside.
- One of the quicktime sequences in Dante's Inferno involves having Cerberus' middle head devour Dante in order to destroy the creature.
- The Queen Metroid from Metroid 2. The most common way to beat her is to be eaten by her, plant bombs in her gut... and get spit up so you can repeat the process multiple times.
- A certain maggot demon in Devil May Cry 2 is a bore to kill since it spends so much time burrowing under the ground. Get eaten, however, and Dante will burst out and destroy the creature, even if you do take damage in the process.
- Eat Me can be invoked by the player against Nightmare in DMC 1. It's dangerous inside that thing, but you can get a health item by destroying the enemies inside.
- In Tales of Legendia, some of the largest monsters in the game are too big for Senel to throw, so instead of throwing them, he'll invoke the trope by jumping into their mouths and pummeling them from the inside.
- In the final fight of Batman: Arkham City, Batman leaps into Clayface's mouth to retrieve the cure for the sickness he and the Joker have been suffering from. He gets it, and slices his way out of Clayface with Talia's scimitar.
- In Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Momohime convinces the Big Oni to swallow her whole, which lets her start fighting it from inside its stomach. That doesn't necessarily discourage it from swallowing her again.
- To defeat the Final Boss in Lollipop Chainsaw, Juliet has to trick him into swallowing her and Nick, then destroy his heart.
- 8-Bit Theater had Red Mage (unintentionally) do this at least twice.
- In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, in a Bad Future conquered by superintelligent dinosaurs, Dan and Mitzi McNinja battle the Horrorsaurus. It swallows Mitzi whole, and then Dan dives in after her. While being digested in its stomach, Mitzi asks Dan why he followed her, revealing that she's decked out with explosives and got swallowed in order to kill it from within. Dan whips out his own vest of explosives, and replies, "You didn't pack enough."
- In Tower of God, there is a test that require people to evade a White Steel Eel in very dense Shinsoo to get to a ball. So Baam lets himself get eaten by the hungry beast and stabs it's tongue, so that it won't attack him anymore.
- In El Goonish Shive, Ellen Dunkel jumped into monster's maw and discharged a force blast. Let's just say everyone present had to bathe before debriefing.
- In Delve Bree "surrenders" to a giant white snake and allows it to swallow her, then of course cuts her way out. Later Paraxyss the naga is fighting the Jakaali king for the right to eat the main characters, eventually the Jakaali realizes that she's too tough to beat normally and tells her to eat him. But afterwards she mentions that she had her digestive system permanently stoneskinned.
- In one episode of Unforgotten Realms, the group ends up having to fight an ogre. The ogre is too strong for them to hurt with anything besides poison, and it's doing more damage than they can handle. So Sir Schmoopy casts an enlarging spell on Petey the rat and tells him to swallow the rest of them in order to wait for the poison to finish the ogre.
- In FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Krysta flies into Hexus's mouth, carrying a single seed. With everyone's help, that seed sprouts into a tree in a matter of seconds, and Hexus is sealed away once again.
- In The Ant Bully Zoc saves Lucas after he gets eaten by a frog by getting the frog to eat him while he's carrying an alka root (gives one serious gas).
- Walt Disney Presents episode "Mars and Beyond". One segment about the plant men in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom stories has a bird drop an egg on the plant man's head. The plant man swallows it, then a baby bird with a saw-beak cuts its way out.
- In the Looney Tunes cartoon "The Unexpected Pest", Sylvester forces a mouse to be chased in front of his owners to keep from being kicked out, and if he doesn't it's "down the hatch". Eventually, the mouse catches on and realizes that if something were to happen to him, Sylvester was out on the street. So he jumps into Sylvester's mouth and dares him to eat him. "Down the hatch? I dare ya! I double dare ya!" A cowed Sylvester refuses.
Examples of being Assimilated:
Anime and Manga
- Schrodinger from Hellsing is a villain example. Eating his soul (temporarily) destroys Alucard due to Schrodinger's nature as a paradoxical being who is "everywhere and nowhere" turning him into a living Logic Bomb.
- Dragon Ball Z:
- In the Majin Buu arc, 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.
- Vegetto lets Super Buu absorb him so he can rescue the other people who were absorbed; this turns into an entire "Fantastic Voyage" Plot. Since unlike the previous victims, Vegetto was prepared to be swallowed (as well as being really freaking powerful), he was able to cover himself with a ki barrier that allowed him to move freely inside Buu's body instead of being trapped like the other absorbees.
- Hohenheim's plan for destroying Father in Fullmetal Alchemist. Hohenheim has spent the past three hundred years getting to know each of the 536,329 individual souls within his philosopher's stone body. When Father, the one responsible for turning them into a philosopher's stone, attempts to absorb Hohenheim's stone into himself, the souls seize their chance for vengeance and tear his body apart from the inside. It didn't work. Fortunately, Hohenheim had a backup plan...
- In InuYasha, Naraku feigns being beaten at his own game and lets himself be absorbed by Moryomaru when Moryomaru tries to prove that he has surpassed him. Naraku promptly regenerates inside Moryomaru, removes his core, and then assimilates him. Probably shouldn't have assimilated the guy who came up with the idea to assimilate people in the first place, Moryomaru.
- Clare, mortally wounded by Priscilla and the Destroyer, allows the latter to absorb her before taking over it and using it to defeat her nemesis.
- 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. Neo then allows Smith to assimilate him so that Smith will die with him when the machines use the Prime Program Neo has been carrying to reboot the Matrix.
- 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 Jugulum, 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 "I haven't been vampired. 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".
- In Dark Of The Moon, the second book of The Chronicles Of The Kencyrath by PC Hodgell, Torisen does this to a Darkling Changer during a blood-binding ritual. It was completely accidental on both sides: Tori didn't know that the person he thought he was performing the ritual with wasn't exactly who he looked like (if he had been the ritual would have merely created an almost-unbreakable emotional bond between the two), and the Changer didn't know that Tori was a Shanir blood-binder and that ingesting any of his blood would be fatal.
- In The Saga of the Noble Dead, the Fay-born canine Chap's Spirit is so strong that any vampire which he allows to drink his blood will immediately perish. He twice uses this method to destroy vampires in Child of a Dead God and The Dog in the Dark.
- In Hammerjack's sequel, Prodigal, Avalon joins the SEF Hive and asks them to assimilate her. She secretly injected herself with Ascension-grade Flash, which is incompatible with the Mons virus used to link the Hive together; trying to assimilate her creates a fatal resonance which kills every member of the Hive.
Live Action Television
- Star Trek: Voyager introduced several instances (including Future!Janeway in the finale) involving people letting themselves be assimilated as they had anti-Borg viruses in them.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Smith and Jones", the Doctor lets an alien absorb his genetic code (by drinking his blood through a straw!) so that it will show up as non-human on the Judoon scanners (it was drinking human blood to fool them).
- Inverted somewhat in Buffy: The Scoobies are fighting against a demon that can possess corpses. So, Angel lets the demon enter his body and Angelus destroys the intruder in a matter of seconds.
- Done another way in Angel. Angel is confronted by a necromancer who specializes in giving ghosts and demons a new physical body. In order to do this, the necromancer allows the ghost to pass through him first. In order to help Angel, a newly resurrected and incorporeal Spike plays Fake Defector and convinces the necromancer to put him into Angel's body. Once in the necromancer's body, Spike possesses him and stops him using his powers, letting Angel kill him easily. (The more direct approach against someone who controls corpses had not gone well for a vampire.) Though Spike keeps attacking until Angel chops his head off.
That was you hitting me?The last bit, yeah. Hainsley's been dead since he hit the table. Oh, come on. Had to get a few licks in, didn't I?
- In one episode of Dollhouse, Echo plugs herself into the neural network of a group of super-soldiers so that she can overload and control it with her many personalities.
- Magic: The Gathering has the Plague Sliver. The slivers all manifest each other's abilities; Plague Slivers are simply slivers suffering from some horrific disease that the rest of the slivers will start to manifest. In game this is crippling for sliver decks, as an opponent playing this card will basically cause your own creatures to deal damage to you.
- In Sluggy Freelance, the Anthropomorphic Personification of the year 2003 goads the Groundhog's Shadow into killing him and claiming his power by right of caste. This grants the Groundhog's Shadow all of 2003's considerable power, but also means that it will die when the year ends — which is in twenty seconds...
- Incidentally, this would also kill the switchblade-wielding mini-lop that the Shadow was bound to.
- An episode of Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures, "DNA Doomsday", has Jonny letting the Monster of the Week absorb him while he's in Quest World in order to short-circuit it.
- In The Grim Adventures of the KND, Mandy intentionally allows herself to be assimilated by the Delightful Reaper knowing she can take it over from the inside.
- Inverted in The Savage Dragon, where Dragon convinces The Fiend to possess him. Once he does so, The hate-feeding Fiend tries to turn Dragon's great strength upon whatever Dragon hates the most, only find out that IT is the thing Dragon hates most.