Swallowed Whole

We are two mariners/ Our ship's sole survivors
In this belly of a whale/ Its ribs are ceiling beams
Its guts are carpeting/ I guess we've got some time to kill.
The Decemberists, "The Mariner's Revenge"

An extreme version of the Big Eater which is usually fat, usually a monster of some type, eats the hero or some other innocent bystander. But they don't chew, and their stomach happens to be big and spacious, full of oxygen, devoid of acidic gastric juices, and in some cases actually well lit. It may even be a Ribcage Stomach. Our hero is fine, he just happens to be inside the monster for awhile. In erotica, it's often called vore (short for "vorarephilia"). Specifically, this type is called 'soft vore', as opposed to the hard stuff. (This is actually considered more acceptable in erotica than cannibalism as a fetish, seeing as it's impossible in reality, and most vore fans know pretty well that real life vore would be ridiculous).

At this point, one of two things happens. Either the monster is slashed open from the inside or the outside, and the hero escapes unharmed (and usually quite clean), or else he does something to cause the monster indigestion, and get vomited back out. For bonus humor, they may not even be aware they were inside the monster's gut until they provoke this dyspesia.

Whales are commonly invoked by writers for this trope across various media, simply because the huge sea mammals were poorly understood for most of human history. Many cultures, even those that have hunted them, hold the cetaceans in awe and feature them in their mythologies. Stories of whales destroying ships and swallowing humans are often heard in many folklores tales, even though nowadays we know Whales are generally shy and easily spooked by people. Not to mention that, despite their immensity, it's biologically impossible for one to devour large prey such as us. Despite all this, whales are still used, since they continue to captivate the imagination. Oceans are not required.

When a character tries to invoke this trope, it is a case of Eat Me.

This may be a case of Explosive Indigestion. When the hero himself simply proves to be inedible, it's Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth.

This is an extremely old trope and features very often in children's books, though it also shows up in other settings.

May be invoked as Nightmare Fuel or Fetish Fuel, whether as permanent digesting or harmless temporary swallowing/passing. Compare Just Eat Him and Eaten Alive.

Contrast Orifice Invasion (when the orifice is the mouth).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Roobear Koala and Betty Koala from Adventures of the Little Koala are trying to save stranded sea creatures by throwing inside a nearby pod of huge whales. Unfortunately they end up trapped inside one, and taken for a ride.
  • Mr. Stain on Junk Alley: Mr. Stain befriends a fish living in the fountain, and it grows huge over the course of the episode. Eventually, he gets eaten by it.
  • This recently happened to Miina in Cage of Eden.
  • At one point in Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed, Ling, and Envy are accidentally swallowed by Gluttony. Then, inside Gluttony's "stomach", Envy shifts to its true form and eats Ed.
    • Near the end of the series, Father does this to God.
  • In Naruto:
  • In the One Piece Skypeia arc, Luffy and some of his companions are swallowed whole by a giant snake. Once Luffy realizes he's in the snake, he figures the quickest way out is to head for the tail. His companions talk him out of this.
    • This seems to come up rather frequently in One Piece, probably because it's a world stuffed to the brim with enormous sea monsters. This includes a man who literally has a vacation home inside a massive whale's stomach and the threat of being eaten by a goldfish that literally eats islands. And if you want to avoid this trope, don't go anywhere near the Calm Belts.
  • In chapter 5 of Tokimeki Tonight, Ranze mistakenly shapeshifted herself into a bread during a race and end up swallowed by her rival, Yoko. She managed to morph back and escape in the following chapter through Yoko's mouth when she was unconscious.
  • What Mana does to Tobita to power herself up in Super Dreadnought Girl 4946.
  • Blood-C boasts a rare example in which a character is eaten whole by a ball of hair, leaving only an enigmatic puddle of blood behind. Some other episodes feature people being eaten whole, but it is much more common for them to become horribly mutilated before actually being eaten.
    • For a more traditional example; in the final episode, Saya purposefully enters the body of an Elder Bairn through it's mouth to save Kanako and to kill it from the inside.
  • In Catnapped!, the rampaging monster Papadoll swallows dozens of citizens whole. It turns out he was just carrying them to his mistress to be used in her evil plot, because when he gets back to her, he spits them all out alive and unharmed. Curiously, the heroes who witness the "swallowing" seem to understand that the victims have been taken away and can be rescued, rather than assuming (as the audience might) that they were eaten.
  • A variant in Dragon Ball Z; Buu can absorb other fighters to gain their power (gaining the outfit of the strongest person he has absorbed in the process) by engulfing them in the pink goo he's made of, doing so to Gotenks (the fusion of Goten and Trunks, who defuses while absorbed), Piccolo, and Gohan. When Vegetto, the fusion of Goku and Vegeta, is absorbed (as part of his plan to free the others), he puts up a shield, which prevents him from becoming a part of Buu, but defuses back into Goku and Vegeta, who then journey through Buu's body to free the others.
  • In episode 5 of Attack on Titan, Eren gets swallowed whole by a Titan in his attempt to save his best friend. In episode 8, he then emerges unscathed on a different Titan. It gets explained on the next episode how that happened.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, Fabia's giant bat demon does this a lot. However, it doesn't digest the people it eats. Instead, it shrinks them then spits them out in a sealed jar for its master. Most of the new cast are captured in this manner.
  • There's a benevolent version in Bleach, where Unohana Retsu's zanpakutou takes the form of a flying ray-thing that somehow heals the Shinigami it swallows.
  • In Spirited Away, this appens to quite a few of the bathhouse employees after No-Face goes nuts. Fortunately, Chihiro's medicine makes him cough them up. (Along with everything else he's eaten, much of which he spits up on Yubaba.)
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX during Judai's duel with Princess Rose, this happened to Judai's Elemental Hero Mudballman when defending against Rose's D.3.S. Frog.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Justice Society of America storyline The Return of Hawkman, Atom Smasher is eaten whole by an alien. Unfortunately for the alien, Atom Smasher's powers of Super Strength and Size Shifting...
  • The first time Spider-Man meets Mattie Franklin, the third Spider-Woman, they both arrive to fight one of the Mole Man's giant monsters, who swallows Mattie when she's distracted; only for her, to Spidey's shock, to start beating the monster up from the inside until it coughs her up.
  • In Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails, Big Johnson Bone is swallowed by a giant rat creature and escapes by starting a fire.
  • In an issue of Booster Gold, a transformed-to-rodent Blue Beetle is swallowed by an antagonist called Estrogina. After failing to free him, Booster despairs, until the spell changing Blue Beetle into a chipmunk wears off...
  • Most of the monsters in Felarya swallow their prey whole, but they do have stomach acid, and it's rare for the prey to get out alive.
  • The origin of Ultra Boy from the Legion of Super-Heroes has him being swallowed up by a giant space-living energy creature and being bombarded by its radiation before another ship blasted the side of the creature, letting Ultra Boy loose but giving him superpowers. (Because the Silver Age of comics is sometimes not very subtle, Ultra Boy's real name is Jo Nah.)
  • Played for horror in issue #33 of Grimm Fairy Tales, which adapts the obscure fairytale "The Three Snake Leaves". A scientist uses a snake-based elixir to cure his wife's fatal cancer, after being given a copy of a book containing this fairytale. Unfortunately for him, the book-giver is Belinda, the evil "Storyteller", and his wife, like the wife in the story, is overwhelmed by the instincts of the snake. Worse, just after reading this part of the story, he gets a call from the man who sold him the snake, explaining that he was given a snake-eating, offspring-cannibalizing king snake, rather than the intended coral snake. There is a Hope Spot when he sees his eldest son is alright once he rushes home... but the last panel shows he was too late to save his youngest son.
  • In Last Days of the Justice Society, Hawkman and Hawkgirl meet their (temporary) end inside the gaping jaws of the Hellhound Fenrir during the battle of Ragnarok. Atom and Power Girl try to come to the couple's rescue by tearing apart the jaws of Fenrir, but they were too late.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Wormy, Bender the salamander was swallowed alive by a long-jawed mudsucker, only to cut his way out with a knife it'd also swallowed.

    Fairy Tales 
  • "Little Red Riding Hood", in the younger versions at least — there are a couple older variants where the wolf carves up grandma and lil' Red (and they, hardly surprising, don't get out alive).
  • "The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids": The wolf devoures all of Mother Goat's children, but they are rescued in the same way Little Red Riding Hood and her Grandma are saved.
  • "The Dragon Sliced In Two": In this Swiss fairy tale, a clever young shepherd named Juri tricks a brutish but gullible giant into believing that he is as strong as him, and to help kill a ferocious dragon to stop it from eating a princess. Unfortunately, Juri gets swallowed alive by the dragon, but as he tries to hack his way out of its belly with a knife, the giant kills it with a blow on its spine that causes it to split in two, freeing the hero, who through some more fast talking cons the giant into thinking they killed it together; the giant outside, the hero inside!

    Films — Animated 
  • In Pinocchio, Gepetto, Figaro, and Cleo get swallowed whole by Monstro the Whale, and Pinocchio later does as well when trying to find them.
  • Finding Nemo. Right before finally arriving at Sydney, Australia, both Dory and Marlin are actually swallowed up by a blue whale. And then, upon reaching Sydney, are swallowed by a pelican (which they escape from by choking him) and then are carried about in the mouth of another (friendlier) pelican.
  • At the end of Astérix Conquers America Lucullus gets eaten off-screen by Caesar's pet panther.
  • In An American Tail, Fievel is almost eaten by a cat but manages to climb back up it's throat and grab its uvula, causing a gag reflex that makes it cough Fievel up.
    • In An American Tail Feivel Goes West, Five ends up in Tiger's mouth by accident. He's fine when Tiger hears him.
  • The dragon from The Pagemaster.
  • In Hercules the Hydra swallows Herc whole, who decapitates it from the inside.
  • In How to Train Your Dragon, the Red Death swallows a Gronkle whole for not bringing enough food to feed it. Also, when Hiccup, Astrid, and Toothless try to flee from it, it is also seen devouring a Hideous Zippleback.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Millennium Falcon's asteroid landing in The Empire Strikes Back.
    • Also implied to have happened to R2-D2, although we never see what it was that pulled him under the surface of the swamp.
    • And Jabba the Hutt, in various other media if not the movies themselves.
  • Burt Gummer gets swallowed by a Graboid in the third Tremors movie; he's in an oil barrel at the time, which offers a degree of protection, but he's still looking a little grotty when he's cut free from the corpse.
  • During Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Devastator uses his giant vortex thing to eat Mudflap. Shortly afterward, Mudflap punches Devastator's eye out from inside his head and starts to hit him with it.
  • Happened to Agent K in Men In Black and a mugger in Men In Black II.
  • In Where the Wild Things Are, KW hides Max from Carol by swallowing him. She pulls him back up once the coast is clear.
  • On Dude, Where's My Car?, Tommy is gulped down by the Super Hot Giant Alien. Cut from the movie is Tommy's rude comment ("Do you spit or swallow?") that let to the swallowing in the first place. At the end he survives after the Alien is blown up, Covered in Gunge.
  • One of Michael's female friends in Jaws 2 right in front of him.
  • The movie The Creeping Terror is basically seventy-odd incredibly tedious minutes of leggy ladies getting gulped down by the rug monster from outer space.
  • Gamera:
  • In Godzilla (2014), the female Muto does this to a group of soldiers on a pier, and would have done so to Ford as well had Godzilla not force-fed her his Atomic Breath.
  • Deep Rising: The creature's tentacles can eat human beings in one gulp, and function as a digestive chamber as well. One such victim falls back out after the heroes fire at a tentacle, still alive and half-melted.
  • Happens to Zara Young in Jurassic World when the Pteranodon that has her in its talons gets snapped up by a Mosasaurus.

  • The old troll in Terry Pratchett's The Light Fantastic.
  • In Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing, Peter's pet turtle Dribble is swallowed alive by his little brother Fudge. It doesn't survive of course, but Peter's first question upon learning that the turtle is out of Fudge's system is if it's alive or dead, as he'd hoped this trope might apply.
  • In a variant from The Bones Of Haven, a giant spider encountered in the sewers lands on Hawk when it's killed. While it didn't actually swallow him, he punches a hole in its descending abdomen with his ax, ends up inside its (mostly hollow) belly, then spends the next couple of minutes hacking his way out.
  • Happens sometimes in Animorphs. Rachel is once swallowed by a kronosaur, morphs grizzly, and claws her way out.
    • Also Marco, who gets swallowed in spider morph by a bird and then has to morph out of it.
  • Baron von Munchausen and a whale.
  • Happens to several main characters in Robert Silverberg's Lord Valentines Castle. Luckily for them, water-lord anatomy is weird.
  • How one travels by blimp in the Gaea Trilogy. Luckily, blimps' digestive acid has approximately the pH of strong tea; they can only digest food that's been pre-digested and crapped out again by their symbiotes.
  • In Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star, this happens to Seth, after a demon he awoke catches up to him. He lives.
  • Happens on purpose in Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo when an Earth Snake eats the gang. They get back out alive. Happens by accident in Leven Thumps and the Whispered Secret when Leven swallows Geth.
  • The Adventures of Pinocchio, again, only in the original Italian story it was a giant shark, not a whale.
  • During the course of Galaxy of Fear: The Nightmare Machine, Tash and Zak end up in the mouth of a whaladon, and know that being swallowed will kill them. It's a hologram.
  • Golly Gump Swallowed A Fly, a children's book by Joanna Cole. The title character accidentally swallows a fly (it flew into his mouth while he was yawning), then deliberately swallows a spider to catch the fly, a bird to catch the spider, a cat to catch the bird, a dog to catch the cat, and a dogcatcher to catch the dog! At the end, Golly has an idea, and angrily threatens the six: "If you don't all get out of there, I'm going to swallow a grizzly bear!" It works, and they quickly climb (or fly) back out of his mouth, alive and unharmed.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Charmed, the Big Bad Wolf does this to Piper and Grams in a fairy-tales-come-to-life episode. Piper blasts it into a cloud of fur-tufts from inside, and the two are released unharmed.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Bliss," the Voyager crew is led inside a giant bioplasmic creature who deceives them into thinking they are flying into a wormhole that will lead them straight to the Alpha Quadrant. Only Seven of Nine, Naomi Wildman, and the Doctor are unaffected, as Seven and Naomi share no interest in returning home and the Doctor was taken offline by the rest of the crew. They encounter an alien pilot of another ship who was trying to destroy the creature and work together with him in order to escape.
    • In "Basics, part 2," Hogan was killed at the mouth of a cave where a giant snakeasaurus lived in a lightning-quick Discretion Shot. Later, more of the Voyager crew were attempting to sneak across a cavern where the snakeasuraus slept in a pit. It didn't work. A nameless crewman slipped, awoke the beast, and got Swallowed Whole just like Hogan.
  • In the Dinosaurs episode "I Never Ate for My Father", Earl, Robbie, and a few mammals get eaten alive by a giant swamp monster, and are still alive, whole, inside its stomach (as it takes a week for a creature of that size to digest its meals).
  • Many Muppet characters have been eaten whole by monsters over the years. One of the most notable examples being the "Under My Skin" number.
  • One Monster of the Week on Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers who was serious Nightmare Fuel for young viewers was the Terror Toad, who was able to do this to the entire team except Kimberly; at the last moment, she was able to make him cough them up. A lesser known monster who could do this was the Invenusable Flytrap; in that case, Jason, Zach, Kimberly, and Billy were able to blast their way out.
    • Kyukyu Sentai Go Go V and Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue have a cobra monster named Vacuuma (in GoGoV) or Freezard (in Lightspeed Rescue) who shrinks down his victims, then vacuums them into a frozen chamber in his body. Both versions succeed in sucking up four of the five Rangers (save Red), but are defeated when Red weakens it and allows the others to escape so the full team can finish it off.
  • On The 100, this happens to Craig when he's pushed overboard while a mutated, giant eel-like creature is swimming about.

  • The The Chemical Brothers song "Come with Us/The Test" features Weston being approached by a curious blue whale, which she then swims into the open mouth of.
  • The Decemberists' "The Mariner's Revenge" is told from inside a whale. The speaker notes, "Its ribs our ceiling beams, its guts our carpeting. I guess we've got some time to kill."
  • Voltaire's "Goodnight Demon Slayer" contains the line "If he eats you, don't you fret/ Just cut him open with an axe."
  • The duck in Peter and the Wolf; unlike many examples of this trope, he does not escape, though he's still alive at the end of the story...

    Music Videos 
  • At the end of the music video for "Miserable" by Lit the band is picked off one-by-one by a giant Pamela Anderson who devours them all alive. The only member who wasn't swallowed whole was one of the guitarist who she chewed up before spitting out his shoe.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Miniatures of St. George and the Dragon often show George freeing a maiden (unharmed) from the dead dragon's belly.
  • Kronos swallowed all of his children whole when he found out that one of them would overthrow him the way he had his father. When Zeus (who escaped such a fate by the trickery of his mother) slips an emetic into Kronos' drink, he vomits up Zeus' siblings who help Zeus overthrow the Titans.
    • When Zeus finds out that he's to succumb to the same fate, he eats his pregnant lover. However, it is their daughter that reemerges unharmed in the end.
  • Early Mesoamerican artwork suggests that the cultures of the area had a story similar to Jonah. Statues of a man being swallowed by a large fish have been found on archaeological sites.
  • Jonah and the giant fish from The Bible.
  • At least one Native American tale has Coyote undergoing this as a deliberate strategy, being prepared he cut his way out, killing the monster and freeing all of its other victims.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Some monsters have the Swallow Whole ability. (Purple worms are likely the most notorious creatures who do so.) Victims take damage as they are digested, but can try to cut themselves out. However, "muscular action" closes the hole afterward, meaning that multiple swallowed adventurers each have to cut their own hole. Utterly ridiculous, yes, but it stops players from deliberately getting swallowed and then insta-killing the monster.
      • Advanced D&D monsters that can do this are the albino wyrm, behir, carnivorous whales, Dinichtys, froghemoth, Tyrannosaurus Rex, giant catfish, giant frog, giant gar, giant shark (Megalodon), manta ray, remorhaz, sea wyrm, verme and wereshark.
      • Basic D&D monsters with this ability include the caecilia (giant worm), large carnivorous land dinosaurs, giant sturgeon, giant manta ray, giant toad, killer whale and nightcrawler.
    • The Bag of Devouring is a classic cursed magic item which, while it appears to be a useful Bag of Holding, actually leads to the stomach of an other-dimensional monster that can drag the user in to be digested alive any time they reach into the "bag".
    • Why would anyone want to be Swallowed Whole by a monster? The Splat book The Guide to Hell mentions the Worm of Minauros, a unique creature that lurks in the swamps of the third layer of Hell that resembles an extra-large purple worm. If anyone tries to fight it, it might as well be an extra-large purple worm. (It also hates devils with a passion, killing any it comes across.) However, if a mortal with an alignment other than Lawful Evil approaches it with no weapons in an act of surrender, it opens it jaws allowing the creature to approach. Anyone brave enough to let himself be eaten at this point (it requires a Will Save to avoid fleeing in panic) and able to survive in its stomach for anywhere from two to seven rounds, is spit out. After that, his highest ability score is increased by 1 and he gains a bonus to experience points gained. (There's a catch, however. These bonuses tempt the recipient to evil deeds, and committing dark acts is required to keep them, or they eventually fade.)
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • Tyranid Mawlocs tend to do this. And their victims are still alive and conscious while they're being digested.
    • The Red Terror does it as well. Both in gameplay mechanics and fluff. In fact there is a codex story devoted entirely to the subject.
  • Skyrealms Of Jorune. The Mandare monster has an amorphous body with a large mouth at the end of its long thin neck. It can swallow prey whole before digesting it.
  • Stormbringer supplement Second Stormbringer Companion, adventure "Sorcerer's Isle". A megalodon (giant prehistoric shark) haunts the water around the island. It attacks and sinks ships, and anyone unfortunate enough to end up in the water is in big trouble. If the megalodon makes a critical hit when biting a victim, it swallows them alive.
  • Arduin RPG, The Compleat Arduin Book 2: Resources
    • The Boomer is a type of giant frog (up to 180 lbs.) that can swallow victims that have up to 3 times the Boomer's Hit Points.
    • The Gworm is a giant black earthworm up to 300 feet long. On a successful hit, any target with less than 50 Hit Points is swallowed and takes 4-48 Hit Points of acid damage while in the monster's stomach.
    • The Hell Hopper is a giant frog (up to the size of a small horse) that uses its tongue to drag victims to its mouth and swallow them. Victims take 3-24 Hit Points of damage per action taken inside the monster.
    • The Ibathene is a giant reptile (up to 400 feet long) with a tongue up to 40 feet long. Its victims are dragged to its mouth by its tongue, suffer a vicious bite (up to 80 Hit Points of damage) and are swallowed whole. The victim takes up to 40 Hit Points of damage from stomach acid.
    • The Maggoth is a giant slug that has a 75% chance of swallowing any creature with Hit Points less than or equal to 1/2 the maggoth's total and a 25% chance of swallowing larger creatures. Its stomach juices do 3-36 Hit Points of damage to the victim.
    • Muckwurms can pull a victim into their maw and swallow it. Once in its stomach the victim takes 1-8 Hit Points of damage per melee round.
    • The Silver Slyth has Combat Tentacles that it uses to grab and crush its opponents before pulling them to its mouth and swallowing them whole. Its stomach acids to 11-20 Hit Points of damage to the flesh of swallowed victims.
    • A Snow Maggoth can swallow any creature that has Hit Points equal to or less than its own. Its stomach acids do 1-20 Hit Points per melee round to its victims.
  • Varanae generic RPG supplement Monstrum 1. If a natural 20 (before any modifications) is rolled on a 20 sided die when a Snow Shark attacks a target, the victim will be swallowed whole.
  • Chaosium's supplement All the Worlds' Monsters Volume III
    • The Hell Worm is a 30 foot long black worm-like monster that can swallow an opponent man-sized or smaller. Once inside its stomach, each melee turn the victim takes 3-30 Hit Points of acid damage and loses 1-4 levels of Life Energy.
    • The Murkworm (a different version of the Arduin Muckwurm) uses its 4 large (20-30 feet long) palps to pull its prey into its mouth and swallow it. The Muckworm's stomach acid does 8-48 Hit Points damage per melee round (which cannot be regenerated) to the swallowed victims.
    • The Giant Snake is 30-40 feet long and can swallow a man-sized victim in one gulp. If the victim's body is recovered from the snake's stomach after more than two days have passed it is too badly damaged by the stomach juices to be brought back to life.
    • The Giant Toad grabs victims (of up to human size) with its adhesive tongue, pulls them to its mouth and swallows them. The swallowed creature will die in six melee turns and be digested in 2 hours. It can try to cut itself out before then.

    Video Games 
  • Rosella from King's Quest IV: The Perils Of Rosella gets swallowed up by an enormous whale. She can escape by climbing back up to the mouth and tickle its uvula with a feather to make it sneeze her out.
  • Mike in StarTropics is swallowed by a giant whale, but reunited with Baboo, who is relived to see Mike safe and sound, but dismayed they had to reunite in the belly of a whale, of all places. Together they work on escaping the huge beast by building a fire and promptly getting sneezed out.
  • The monkeys from Super Monkey Ball 2 all get swallowed up by a greedy blue whale. The monkeys later ram its stomach, upsetting the ocean giant, forcing it to eject them from its blowhole.
  • Some monsters in Science Girls will swallow one of the characters and have to be fought in order to release her. At one point, the whole party gets scooped up together and then has to force the monster to spit them back out.
  • This is the trademark attack of Pakkun Lizards in the World of Mana series. It tends to make them more of an annoyance then an actual threat, as they usually can't do anything until they spit out their victim, Legend of Mana being the only game where they don't suffer from an immobilizing Balloon Belly as a result of swallowing someone that's generally twice as big as them.
  • Inverted in the Kirby series - you're the one who swallows the enemies, even if they're bigger than the main character's entire body!
  • Replacing the Dragon class' usual flying claw strike in Disgaea 3 is their Inside Tour attack, which does this to the target (And potentially a teammate, if the dragon is using the move as part of a Combination Attack, though they're Friendly Fire Proof). The victims literally get pooped out a few seconds after being devoured.
  • The final raid boss of classic World of Warcraft swallows party members whole throughout the fight. The swallowed party members must destroy him inside out but also try to escape before the stomach acids dissolve you alive.
  • In this Youtube video, as a group of World of Warcraft players are preparing for battle, one of them unexpectedly equips himself with a Toyota pickup truck. He then charges into battle with a dragon, which promptly swallows the truck whole. After about a second, the dragon's belly explodes and the truck emerges with the dragon's heart in the bed.
    "Did you see me lay down the law? I AM DA LAWGIVAH!"
  • The boss fight concluding the Dark Ice Mines stage in Star Fox Adventures involves an enormous reptillian centaur swallowing Fox whole. Once within the cavernous stomach of the creature (illuminated with the light of a Spell Stone), the protagonist must continually assault a dangling mass of tissue before the monster regurgitates him back onto the battlefield.
  • Banjo & Kazooie get eaten by a gigantic photorealistic..ish dinosaur in Banjo-Tooie. Luckily it just wants the duo to rid its stomach of ulcers in a Mini-Game.
  • In Ōkami, Amaterasu and Issun are eaten by the Water Dragon. In another part of the game they have to dive in voluntarily to retrieve a rare artifact.
  • In NetHack, some monsters in will do this to you, though they'll spit you back out if you're wearing a Ring of Slow Digestion. You can cut yourself free or break out with a Wand of Digging, which leaves the monster with just 1 Hit Point left - meaning that against some monsters, like the Arch-demon Juiblex, getting swallowed whole is the easiest way to defeat them!
  • Happens near the end of Heart of Darkness, where Andy falls right into the mouth of a big monster. Turns out this very same monster earlier swallowed Andy's gun. You know the rest.
  • There are a handful of doujin Vore RPGs designed solely to tickle this fetish.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Link gets swallowed whole by Jabu-Jabu, leading to the Womb Level.
    • Jabu-Jabu also appears in Oracle of Ages.
    • Also in Skyward Sword, if Link fails in the missions to stop the Imprisoned reaching the Sealed Temple, the monster will swallow the Old Woman whole, and subsequently devour Zelda, inside the Temple.
    • Like-Likes are also fond of swallowing Link whole, then spitting him back out minus a tunic or shield.
    • Moldworms, that appear in one little out of the way area of The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, will swallow Link whole, push him through their entire body, and out the other end. Making it even worse is that Link comes out, ahem, "dirty".
  • Most of one chapter in Tales of Monkey Island takes place inside the belly of a giant manatee. Some of the residents are actually quite content there.
  • Bowser does this to the Super Mario Bros. in Bowser's Inside Story, and they spend a large portion of the game in various parts of his body. Later, he gets the ability to do this in battle, devouring enemies and leaving them for the bros to fight.
    • Done doubly so in the Turtle Zone of Super Mario Land 2. The titular turtle swallows Mario, though there's nothing stopping him from just leaving. The last level of said zone is inside a whale.
    • In Paper Mario, this accidentally happens to a Fuzzipede. Mario and partner go inside on purpose to fight it, and all three are shot out through its blowhole when you win.
    • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Koops tells Mario that his father went to try to slay Hooktail ten years before the game starts, but never returned and is presumed dead. When Mario's party finally does slay Hooktail, she coughs up the Diamond Star and Koops' dad, who was swallowed back then, but survived by hiding in his shell. (Presumably, the magic of the Diamond Star is what kept him from starving.)
  • Video Game/Bayonetta2 has an Elite Mook called a Resentment that can do this to the heroine after turning her into a child, inflicting a One-Hit Kill. Also, Bayonetta's summoned demon Baal does this when used as a Torture Attack (which, ironically, is used on Resentments) or a Climax Attack. Plot-wise, it happens to her before the Boss Battle with Insidious, leading to a Womb Level.
  • In the Runescape quest "Deadliest Catch", the fisherman Jones gets swallowed whole by the Thalassus, a giant sea monster. The Player Character feeds the Thalassus some nasty-tasting karambwan fish and it spits him right back out again.
  • In the CRPG Dragon Lore, the player at one point has to get himself swallowed by a large fish to retrieve a key it ate (Or you can just kill it and gut it. Rather ridiculous since the fish is not a giant, but "merely" eight feet long or so, and is also a pike, one of the few types of fish that do not swallow their prey alive, but rip them apart first.
  • God of War III has the boss fight with Cronos end with him grabbing Kratos and throwing him down his gullet, mockingly exclaiming "Trust me, eating you will be more unpleasant for me!" He has no idea how right he is.
  • In Final Fantasy II, anyone possessing a Crystal Rod seeking out the Ultima magic winds up swallowed by Leviathan. By the time the heroes wind up in Leviathan's stomach, there's a sizeable community dwelling within, including the last of the Dragoons.
  • Final Fantasy VI has the Zone Eater, who possesses 2 attacks, one of which is to simply devour a member of your team whole. Letting this happen to your entire party is the only way to get into the Womb Level where Gogo, one of the game's 2 hidden characters, resides.
  • The Rockgagong in Tales of Graces does this to the party, though only because it was agitated by an infestation of parasitic monsters. It ends up spitting them out after Asbel opens a pouch of pepper he unknowingly received from his brother. If you decide to provoke it into attacking you with the Rockggaong Flute that's found inside of it, it'll try to do it to anyone who's standing too close to its head in the resulting fight.
    • The whole episode is pretty darn hilarious because, for a while, the party had seriously considered "going with the flow" (so to speak) as their only method of escaping.
  • Both Mega Man X's Launch Octopus and Mega Man X5's Duff McWhalen levels have enemies that do this. It's more inconvenient than harmful, since the titular android can simply blast his way out.
  • The Xiaolin Showdown PS2 video game has three levels involving this trope - Dojo's Mouth, Dojo's Esophagus, and Dojo's Stomach. The entire cast is swallowed whole and must fight enemies inside him. Doubles as a Womb Level.
  • This is Yoshi's trademark ability. While it initially just got rid of enemies (Size rarely being an obstacle), later games would have them transformed into eggs, which could be used as weapons.
    • Most of the bosses in Yoshi's Island get zapped by Kamek before the fight starts, making them bigger and stronger. For the world 3 miniboss, though, Kamek zaps Yoshi and Baby Mario, shrinking them down to a convenient bite-size for Prince Froggy to eat. You beat the boss by attacking its uvula with eggs you make from other enemies the boss eats.
  • Aquaria has a small Womb Level side-quest where you can go inside a whale (after you sing to it, of course). You can enter or leave whenever you want, though.
    • Played a bit more straight with the King Jellyfish, a boss that introduces itself by engulfing you.
  • Several Resident Evil creatures will do this to a character, such as Yawn and Neptune in the first game, the mutant Sewer Gator in 2, Gravedigger in 3, the Gulp Worm in Code Veronica, the Lurker in 0, and Del Lago in 4.
  • The T-Rex in Dino Crisis will devour Regina in one bite if it gets in range.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, a data file found In-Universe in the Old World Blues expansion pack reveals that the Nightstalkers (coyote/rattlesnake hybrids) are actually capable of doing this to their victims. Of course, this never happens to you.
  • The first boss of The New Zealand Story is an ice whale that occasionally lunges forward and tries to eat you. Once inside, you need to shoot at it while avoiding drops of bile in order to beat it.
  • In A Witchs Tale, the Demon's Mouth Inn is alive, and swallows Liddell to restore her health. (It warns her that it might accidentally digest her.)
  • In Mass Effect 3, the flavor text for a shotgun called the Graal Spike Thrower explains that being swallowed whole by a thresher maw is a very real threat on Tuchanka, so the krogan designed the Graal with blades on the outside specifically so they could cut themselves out or take the thresher down with them in case that happened.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Monstro (a Space Whale version of the whale from Disney's Pinocchio) appears in four of the eight games, and each time winds up swallowing the players.
  • In Don't Starve, playable character Webber is an instance of this...with the caveat that the spider doing the swallowing couldn't digest the human prey.

  • Kevin Moore's Wanderlost "Out to Sea" chapter has Sheldon the pig getting gulped down by a friendly whale called Tuvia, who was rescuing him from being mauled by sharks.
  • In George the Dragon, the Loch Ness Monster (aka Gladys) has a stomach which is full of all manner of undigested sea critters who have created a civilization in her stomach and who in fact are going to war.
  • Whether the predators in Kevin & Kell swallow their prey whole or kill and carve them first seems to depend mostly on Rule of Funny.
  • Two members of The Order of the Stick find themselves swallowed whole by black dragons. Haley is rescued when Vaarsuvius casts Suggestion on the dragon and orders it to vomit, and V deals with being swallowed by casting Shapechange. The results aren't pretty.
  • Bob and George In the simulation.
  • Cassandra Kam, in Tales Of Gnosis College, arranges for this to happen to herself, apparently as part of a Self-Sacrifice Scheme.
  • Kaz the Jester in Work Sucks is a collector of monsters, so this happens fairly often. He’s invented several methods to get out of those situations,one of which being a pill called "Pukitol”
  • In Bloody Urban, Shannon (a ghoul) swallowed one of his classmates in the 6th grade because he wanted to assume the other kid's identity. Unlike with most uses of this trope, it's implied that the boy's face was badly burned by Shaz's stomach juices, and when you see him as an adult he still has some noticeable scars.
  • The team get swallowed by ... something large and aquatic in an episode of Genocide Man.
    Giriii: My dad took me whale hunting once. Never thought I'd be swallowed by one.
    Jacob: This isn't a whale. Whales don't have card tables, chemical toilets, or crates of MREs.
    Girii: It smells like a whale.
  • Tower of God - The solution or winning condition in the Ball Test and the Submerged Test was to be swallowed whole by the White Steel Eel and the Mangdol Madame, respectively.

    Western Animation 
  • The Orbots from Mighty Orbots end up inside Leviathan, a gigantic alien whale. The criminal organization 'Shadow' intent to use the creature flatten the native underwater cities via an implanted Mind-Control Device in its brain. They have to journey inside its vast anatomy to shut down the device, and revert Leviathan back to its normal-self.
  • Leela and the Planet Express crew from Futurama get devoured in "Möbius Dick" by the eponymous four-dimensional space whale. What's worse is they discover it has an infinite gut, and they may never escape.
  • Rather benign example in one episode of Teen Titans. Aqualad leads the Titans to Brother Blood's undersea base to destroy the sonic cannon he built with Cyborg's blueprints, but the T-Sub is destroyed on the way; Beast Boy gets the smart - but disgusting - idea of turning himself into a whale and swallowing the others to save them from drowning. ("Please don't tell me we're where I think we are," muses Raven. At the end of the episode, when the base is flooding and they realize they have to leave the same way, she seriously weighs that option against drowning, but takes it at the last second.)
  • Happens in New World of the Gnomes, "A Whale Song" where David and Tomte are accidentally engulfed by a blue whale. The same whale even rescues the daughter of a whaler who has been hunting him!
  • In King Arthur's Disasters King Arthur, Merlin and his men are swallowed by a blue whale on an ill-fated voyage. Inside they meet Pinocchio, and later start a fire. They are sneezed out to Spain, which is coincidentally exactly where they wanted to go.
  • In The Garfield Show Garfield is put on trial by fish everywhere for his crimes against them. He's found guilty, and sentenced to Larry. Garfield is naturally confused, until a massive whale named Larry arrives to swallow him up.
  • In The Simpsons parody of Paul Bunyan, a giant Homer accidentally swallows Lenny. Groundskeeper Willy swims up through the stomach juices to Lenny saying "I've found another exit. It ain't pretty, but it'll do".
  • In the Super Mario World cartoon, Hip, Hop and King Koopa are swallowed by a giant Piranha Plant which is then eaten by Yoshi. After Yoshi complains of being sick, he spits the Koopas out.
    • This entire scene is lampshaded by the episode's song, "Rockin' the High School."
    One big tree's gonna steal the show,
    Goin' down easy,
    Gonna swallow you whole!
  • Twice on Jimmy Two-Shoes. Once to Lucius, who is eaten by a large sea monster in the Beach Episode. Then done to Jimmy himself in one of the shorts. Both, naturally, make it out okay.
  • In one episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Irwin is swallowed whole by a giant alien bug creature. When he turns up alive and rather disoriented at the end of the episode, and they ask him how he got away from it, he says, "Try not to dwell on it too much..."
  • This happens several times on Brandy & Mr. Whiskers.
  • Happens to Chris twice on Monster Buster Club.
  • Hanna-Barbera's Moby Dick episode "The Sea Monster". Tug is swallowed by the title monster and finds that its interior is hollow.
  • Kenny in South Park was once swallowed whole by a giant reptilian bird.
  • In The Snorks, the Snorks are swallowed up by a giant Snork Eater that plays hypnotic music that lures its prey toward it. They manage to escape by blowing a giant bubble inside it while Tooter duels musically with the Snork Eater.
  • And before that, The Smurfs had the title characters on a sailing ship swallowed up by a whale in "Smurfs At Sea". They escape by tearing apart their boat and turning part of it into an escape raft while the rest was converted into a hydraulic lift to keep the whale's mouth open long enough for them to escape through it.
  • "Man-At-Arms" gets the honor twice in the 2002 He-Man series. Actively struggles against bodily functions pushing him toward the acid filled stomach but the place is still well lit, better than the outside the first time.
    • In the second season (which focuses on the Snake Men) King Hsss has been known to do this (via shadowy indiscretion shot) to victims just as large as he is somehow. (King Hsss is man-sized.) Unlike most examples of this Trope, such victims do not survive.
  • In T.U.F.F. Puppy, during a flashback to one of Kitty's horrible birthday parties it's shown that once she ate a mouse magician that her parents had hired, then coughed up a bunch of scarves.
  • Lemongrab 2 of Adventure Time fame gets swallowed whole three times by his brother, Lemongrab 1. First time around, he loses a chunk of his head and his legs, but the other two times leave him relatively unscathed, and able to literally fight his brother from the inside.
  • CatDog had this several times.
  • "A Day At The Zoo" from 1939 ends with Egghead inside the lion's stomach, still alive.
  • In Tex Avery's "Jerky Turkey" (1945), a bear named Joe swallows the pilgrim and the turkey alive.
  • In Avery's Northwest Hounded Police, the Wolf tries to escape the ever-present Mc Poodle of the Mounties (Droopy) by feeding himself to a lion. Guess who shows up in there with him.
  • In Xiaolin Showdown, the episode 'Enter the Dragon' involves Dojo becoming evil for a day, turning into a giant two-headed dragon and swallowing the main cast whole. As Clay tells Omi, "Good thing Dojo never learned to chew his food." They eventually make it out safe when Omi gets sweated out and defeats Dojo in a Xiaolin Showdown.
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Buster and the Wolverine", the wolverine swallowed Babs, Plucky, Hamton, Furball, Sweetie, and the Myna Bird after taking them to his cave, they later managed to escape after beating him up from the inside and playing their instruments knocking him out, then Buster hits his butt with a mallet causing him to spit them out.
  • On Taz-Mania, Taz often eats Wendell T. Wolf whole. Fortunately for Wendell, Taz doesn't like the taste of Tasmanian wolves, and is quick to spit him out. One time he swallowed both Bull and Axel at once; he spit them out when the director advised against "alligator eating" in the cartoon.
  • On an episode of Inch High, Private Eye, the diminutive detective is captured by a criminal mastermind who also makes robots, one of which he has swallow Inch whole. But Inch manages to bounce his way back up to the robot's mouth, and by using a feather, gets it to sneeze him out. As he comments immediately afterwards, "...[You] can't keep a good man down!"
  • On an episode of The New Adventures of Huck Finn which combined elements of "Moby Dick" and "Fantastic Voyage", Huck and his friends Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher are swallowed by a giant whale while trying to escape a mad Ahab-like sea-captain who was trying to force them to help him kill it. The whale also swallows the captain when he falls overboard while trying to harpoon it, and the kids go on a strange and perilous journey through the insides of the beast, trying to evade the villain and find a way out, which they eventually do through its blowhole, leaving their pursuer to be presumably digested or trapped forever.
  • In the Steven Universe episode "Giant Woman", Steven (and a goat) getting swallowed by a giant bird prompts Pearl and Amethyst to do their Fusion Dance to save him (after he'd been begging them to do it for the whole episode).
  • Happens to Sweetie Belle during a Nightmare Sequence in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils", c.o. Rarity.
  • In an episode of The Flintstones, Fred and Barney went fishing, only to be swallowed by - what else - a whale. (Realizing it when they found graffiti in its cavern-like stomach saying "Jonah was here".) After finding some large feathers, they escaped by tickling it until it coughed them up.
  • Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater adaptation of "Pinocchio" has both Pinocchio and Geppetto get accidentally swallowed up by Geoffrey the humpback whale, who they mistook for a cave.
  • In a Rupert episode "Rupert and the Missing Snow", Rupert, Polar and Will were adrift on a small iceberg only to be swallowed up by accident by a massive whale. She was suffering from a terrible toothache for mistaking the North Pole as a piece of candy. They were fortunately blown out her blowhole.

    Real Life 
  • The trope happens in Real Life in regard to large frogs and toads. Unlike snakes, which crush their prey either by strangling or during eating it whole, the frog or toad swallows the prey (which may be anything from insect to mouse to smaller frog) in a fraction of a second, before the hapless animal even realizes what happened to it (it has to be filmed in slow motion for human eyes to discern). This means the prey is alive and conscious for at least a second before digestion begins.
    • Large constrictors (pythons and boas) have been filmed eating small, weak prey live rather than spend the effort to subdue and kill it.
  • Taken to the extreme by the pelican eel, a deep-ocean predator that's pretty much a gargantuan maw with a stringy little tail hanging down from it. It pretty much has to swallow prey whole, as its teeth are tiny and its jaws built to engulf, not bite. The black swallower , another freakish deep-sea monster, can swallow things ten times its own size, so large that it cannot digest them before they rot, forcing the beast to the surface.
  • From Pelican eels to Pelicans. In fact a lot of bird species that live on a fish diet have to swallow the critters whole. Pelicans that live in or close by human settlements will even go for pigeons.
  • Most advanced species of predatory bony fishes feed this way, using specially-adapted jaw articulation to expand their mouths so rapidly that prey is sucked inside.
  • In fact, outside of mammals, most carnivorous vertebrates will swallow huge chunks of flesh in a go rather than chewing it, and thus relatively small prey often goes down in a go. Relatively, because sauropsids (reptiles incluiding birds) have wide and thick walled esophagus, and thus stuff that doesn't seem to even fit can go down.
  • Averted with carnivorous arthropods, annelids and mollusks: Due to the fact their brain develops from a ring surrounding their digestive tube rather than from the endpoint of a dorsal cord, they have to swallow very small chunks of food, or they risk being brain damaged.
  • Just when you thought reality TV couldn't get any weirder, the Discovery Channel will be showing a man swallowed alive by an anaconda. Thankfully, the show has already been filmed and the man is still alive.