Gutted Like a Fish
Sidney: How do you... gut someone?
Stu: You take a knife and you slit 'em from groin to sternum.
Billy: Hey. It's called tact, you fuckrag.One of the nastier ways to kill a character that tends to show up in a lot of Slasher Movies. Quite simply, the killer takes a knife or other blade (or if the killer is a monster, its claws will do quite nicely) and slashes the victim's belly open (often from groin to sternum), usually resulting in the poor unfortunate's insides spilling out. If the gutting is self-inflicted and a matter of honor, see Seppuku. Related to Half the Man He Used to Be. If the victim is pregnant, a Traumatic C-Section may occur. While gutting does not necessarily lead to death, the good majority of the examples are deadly, so Beware The Spoilers!
Examples:Anime and Manga
- In Saiyuki Gaiden, this is how Marshall Tenpou winds up dying: after cutting down an entire hallway's worth of soldiers and suffering only superficial wounds, he faces off against their leader in a Single-Stroke Battle. At the end of it, the other man falls down dead, but Tenpou's taken a slash to the gut that graphically drops his innards to the floor. We get to watch him gradually bleed out as he continues crawling down the hallway in a final attempt to rejoin his friends.
- Since Gaiden is actually a prequel to the main series, Tenpou's death is a deliberate mirror to the backstory of Hakkai, his next incarnation: after he slaughtered a castle full of youkai to rescue his lover, a survivor of the massacre gave him a very similar wound. Once again he winds up crawling with his entrails on display, but this one he survives, thanks to Gojyo dragging him home and getting him put back together.
- In Claymore all the titular warriors were subjected to this when they became infused with the Youma flesh that gave them their powers, and given the resulting incision is a Wound That Will Not Heal they wind up being stitched shut and the resulting scar is gruesome enough that it disgusts anyone who sees it. For worse, they're fully conscious as this is being done to them and, given the Organization's general attitude towards them, are unlikely to have been given the luxury of painkillers.
- One Nick Fury miniseries concludes in a two-sided No-Holds-Barred Beatdown between him and an ex-Soviet colonel and culminated in Nick slashing his opponent's abdomen open and strangling him with his own guts.
- Minor slasher villain Speed Freek tries this on The Incredible Hulk once. The Hulk has no problem holding his guts in, but then his skin heals over his hand...
- The Punisher: The Dragon of the "Slavers" arc ends up with his abdomen slashed open and his guts wrapped around a nearby tree.
- A similar fate befalls a wannabe crimelord who though pissing Frank off (by digging up and descreating his family's bodies) was a good idea. He takes a bullet to the gut for his troubles, and left in the wilderness to die of infection of blood loss, whichever comes first.
- Scream provides the trope name (where the killer threatens to gut Casey like a fish if she hangs up on him again) and two examples right in the opening scene, which has both Casey and her boyfriend Steve being murdered this way, with Casey's body being hung from a tree for extra nasty points.
- It happens again quite explicitly with Olivia in Scream 4. A deleted scene shows that Jenny and Marnie suffered the same fate.
- Near the beginning of Jurassic Park, Dr. Grant gives an impromptu lecture about the possible links in ancestry between the velociraptor and birds while at an archeological dig site. He gets interrupted by an obnoxious kid, who quips the raptor, "looks like a big turkey." So Grant, much to the amusement of his students, teaches the boy a lesson in respect by explaining exactly how that "turkey" hunted and killed its prey. Grant shows him the raptor's middle toe claw and swipes it across the boy's belly then down his midsection to illustrate the cutting motion it used to spill the victim's intestines; finishing his tutorial by telling him that, "The point is, you are alive when it starts to eat you."
- Hannibal from Hannibal cuts a man open then throws him out a window with a noose around his neck. His intestines fall out and splatter on the ground. A little earlier in the movie, Hannibal had described how this same method of execution was used on the person's ancestor (see the entry on the Pazzi family below under Real Life).
- One-Eye executes a man like this in Valhalla Rising. He slices him open, pulls his innards out with his bare hands and throws them to the floor at the man's feet as he dies.
- In How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch sees he has no messages on his answering machine and checks his outgoing:
- One of Candyman's preferred methods of murder, using his hooked hand to do the job.
- Happens to one of the characters in Dog Soldiers. Being something of a black comedy, a friendly Sheltie decides that his guts would make a nice plaything as he's hastily trying to reassemble himself.
- Gogo performs this maneuver on an unfortunate (albeit lecherous) Salary Man in Kill Bill.
- When Will Turner slices open Ogilvey's stomach in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, the resultant spillage of slime and live fish distracts him long enough for Crash to knock him out. Ogilvey can be seen later with the wound in his belly stitched shut.
- What happens to Mistle in Tower of the Swallow, while her lover Ciri is Forced to Watch.
- In Jurassic Park, Dennis Nedry dies in this fashion when he has the misfortune of encountering a Dilophosaurus, nicknamed a "spitter" among fans of the films. It blinds him by spitting into his eyes, then rips open his midsection, similar to the way Grant described in the film version. Likewise, Nedry was alive when it began to eat him. His final thought was to pray for a quick end.
- Henry Wu meets his end this way courtesy of an actual raptor.
- In the second book of the Sword of Truth series, Zedd heals a woman who "held her guts from spilling out of a ripping wound in her abdomen."
- Frankly, this happens a lot in the Sword of Truth series.
- In the Warrior Cats series, the Big Bad is killed in this manner when the cat he tried to order around got fed up with it - the wound is bad enough that he loses all of his nine leader's lives.
- Many Stephen King books contain this. He especially likes to have characters step on a loop of their own intestines.
- An off-screen, er, off-page example is described in the first act of Macbeth; the titular character is said to have confronted MacDonwald and in the end, "he unseam'd him from the nave to the chops / And fix'd his head upon our battlements." How lovely.
- In Seeking Who He May Devour, by Fred Vargas, it is mentioned that according to the lore, werewolves are hairless when in human form because all their hairs are inside their bodies ; cutting them open "from the throat to the balls" to check for hairs is the best way to identify them. When Massart, the asocial, hairless butcher is suspected of actually being the werewolf that killed dozens of sheep and Suzanne, it seems that Soliman and the Veilleux really want to do that to him.
- A Dry, Quiet War by Tony Daniel involves soldiers from a war at the end of time 15 billion years in the future, who are almost unkillable because their bodies extend into alternate timelines. The only way to do so is to pin down their bodies and inflict great pain on them, so they can't withdraw into other dimensions. After a deserter from the war rapes a friend of the protagonist, he does this by pulling out the soldier's intestines and tying them to a porch, breaking every bone in his body, then killing him in every alternate timeline.
- In The Elenium a particularly spiteful doctor gives Sparhawk some suggestions for what to do when he finds the ones who poisoned Ehlana; slit his belly horizontally below the bellybutton, then kick him over. Everything just falls out.
- In The Tamuli, when Mirtai is discussing past events, she refers to the revenge she took on the two men who killed a previous master: she disemboweled them (non-fatally), pulled out a few handfuls of innards, then set the building they were in alight. They didn't manage to get everything back inside in time to flee.
- When Sheriff Teasle and his deputies try to forcibly cut Rambo's hair in First Blood, he freaks out, wrenches the razor blade from Teasle, and slices open the stomach of one his deputies, spilling his guts out.
- Game of Thrones, containing a lot of Gorn, has a few instances of exposed intestines. Probably the most memorable example comes when the Hound saves Sansa from being gang-raped, he announces his presence by performing a one-handed Neck Lift on one of them and knifing him with his other hand. We don't see the wound itself, but we do see a tube of intestine drop out.
- In The Borgias episode "The Choice", Cesare takes brutal vengeance upon Giovanni Sforza for proving very ungallant toward his sister Lucrezia, who has had her marriage to Sforza annulled because of this and other jerkassery, by means of this trope.
- In the Supernatural episode "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part One" (S02, Ep21), Andy has his stomach ripped open by a demon, and they show a close up of the torn bloodied tissue in his gaping wound.
- Evisceration Plague mentions this in the second verse.
I wrench the blade from the chest to the crotchOrgans and entrails fall to the ground
- One of the possible critical hits you can inflict in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay — also an easy way to kill yourself when fighting a troll (they are the local staple of Extreme Omnivore with metabolism to match, so gutting one will get you covered in Hollywood Acid with nasty results).
For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name—Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel,Which smoked with bloody execution,Like valor’s minion carved out his passageTill he faced the slave;Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,Till he unseamed him from the nave to th' chops [from the navel to the jawbone],And fixed his head upon our battlements.
- This can happen with the endodroid in Space Quest 6.
- Kratos in God of War 3 does this as a finisher move to the Centaur Generals after bringing them on their knees. Later during the game he does the same to Kronos himself.
- If someone has their belly sliced open in Dwarf Fortress, their guts fall out. It's actually possible to survive this, but a doctor that stitches the would up might leave the guts exposed, which leads to ~ trailing behind that unit wherever they go.
- Clock Tower: In the second game (the first PS1 game) Rose either suffers this, or she is impaled, depending on whether you check the second floor bathroom or Dr. Barton's office first.
- Invoked in The Order of the Stick, where Lien threatens to do this then specifies that she literally knows how to (her parents were fishers) and will do it.
Lien: My parents were fishermen. When I was a little girl, I stood right here and learned how to clean the fish that they caught. I'm telling you this so that you know that when I say that if you take one more step, I will gut you like the catch of the day — IT IS NOT HYPERBOLE!
- Teen Girl Squad: "I gut you like sheep!"
- The Simpsons:
Squid: Knife-a goes in, Guts-a come out, That's what Osaka Seafood Concern is all about! (anguished scream)
- In a commercial for Itchy And Scratchy cereal, Itchy fills Scratchy with the cereal and then opens him up (like those single serve cereal boxes).
- This probably happens in a bunch of "Itchy and Scratchy" shorts too.
- In the episode where the family goes to Japan, a fish preparation plant feature an animation showing a cartoon squid singing about gutting fish. He guts out his own organs and dies.
- In an early episode: Moe threatens a prank-caller (who he doesn't know is Bart) that if he ever finds out who he is, he will "gut (him) like a fish and drain (his) blood."
- Happens to Claudandus at the end of Felidae.
- A rejected scene in a Ren and Stimpy cartoon where they're door-to-door salesmen has them knock on a door, and the homeowner angrily grabs them, throws them in the kitchen sink, and guts them like fish. Ren comments "This is gonna be a tough sell, man!"
- In an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Mandy tells Billy that his mom will gut him "like a trout" if he's not home in time for dinner.
- This is one of the components of Hanging, Drawing and Quartering, probably the single most cruel punishment ever given out for treason (namely the "Drawing" part, which has nothing to do with art whatsoever.)
- Francesco de' Pazzi was subjected to this after the Pazzi Conspiracy failed to kill Lorenzo de' Medici, with his body hung out a window in public.