Well, it looks like this is the end. The Eldritch Abomination rears up on its ugly, misshapen limbs, and devours the lovable hero face first. The audience does a collective cringe since, as everyone knows, watching someone getting eaten alive is not a particularly pretty sight. Audiences prepare for the sickening crunch as the monster...
Wait, is that a spitting sound?
Yes, that's right. It looks like the monster doesn't want to eat the lovable hero. It seems that something about them, be it their whiny, unlikable personality, their lack of any skills for the villain to absorb, or even their really bad taste in deodorant or shampoo is enough that a monster simply does not want to eat them. Now, strictly speaking, is this being picky? Well, yeah — but it's not like you'd put just anything in your mouth, so why should a human-eating monster be any different? Just because they're a monster doesn't mean they're a savage!
Note that, broadly speaking, this trope does not just concern itself with eating. A monster could also just plain be unwilling to dignify an unworthy subject with the honor of being killed. One particularly creepy variant is that the Eldritch Abomination or similar evil devours, grabs, attacks, or just confronts the character... and is immediately terrified and runs, sometimes screaming, back to whence they came. This is usually played for laughs, but sometimes it implies that this character, or perhaps humanityas a whole, is in fact worse than any Cthulhu-esque abominations or reality-warping homicidal lunatics could ever be. This can also include an Emotion Eater being overloaded by the emotions of its victim, such as a monster who eats rage being overloaded by the hero's Unstoppable Rage.
If the "victim" is more dangerous/powerful than the monster, that's a case of Mugging the Monster. Pity the Kidnapper is the broader, typically more mundane trapping of this trope. Might overlap with Disability Immunity and Assimilation Backfire. See also Eaten Alive.
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Anime and Manga
In the Irresponsible Captain Tylor episode "The Day the Soyokaze Vanished", it is revealed that there are rumors that the Soyokaze was demoted and sent to this exact same sector of space once ten years before. During that time, a number of the crew committed suicide by flushing themselves into space, due to a combination of shame and boredom, and the captain (a former friend of Admiral Fuji, who arranged for the Soyokaze to be demoted so that he could be promoted) committed suicide. This is proven true and the ghost of the captain returns to the Soyokaze, trying first to kill Lieutenant Yamamoto (mistaking him for the captain), then Tylor. Just as he is about to kill them, Yamamoto and Tylor start arguing, revealing just how irresponsible and lacksadasical Tylor is about his commission, disgusting the ghost so much that he breaks off his murderous efforts and ends the haunting, angrily declaring them to be too pathetic to bother with.
A non-comedic example. In Hellsing, Alucard, one of fictiondoms most insanely overpowered characters, has a habit of eating his defeated enemies' souls to enslave them and assimilate their power. He's almost Killed Off for Real when he chows down on walking physics anomaly Schrodinger, whose power is so bizarre it causes Alucard to undergo a quantum existence failure. He does recover, but it takes 30 years.
Another non-comedic example in Fullmetal Alchemist. After he is critically injured, Kimblee is devoured by Pride. Not long after, however, Kimblee emerges from the thousands of tormented souls trapped within Pride to distract and weaken him at a key moment. Pride doesn't understand how Kimblee could have managed to retain his sanity in the maelstrom, but he overlooks the fact that Kimblee is already insaneand loving it.
Excalibur from Soul Eater, a memetic pain in the butt. He is a… humanoid bird-lizard-thingy in a suit◊, for lack of better words, that can shapeshift into King Arthur's legendary sword, but is too obnoxious to have a wielder apart from the king. In a universe full of Eldritch and Humanoid Abominations as well as powerful witches, no one is using Excalibur, even though one is practically unbeatable with him. Even Death and the Personification of the Madness of Power, even the first two Big Bads, even the Demon God who went mad because he was afraid of being too weak could not deal with him.
Downplayed, since Excalibur is implied to be an Eldritch Abomination himself, on par with Death and Asura.
Another non-comedic example in Slayers. The Holy Tree Flagoon was planted to absorb the evil miasma generated by demons, and in season 1 / novel 3 is able to consume the Demon Beast Zanaffar whole. In season 2 / novel 8, the tree tries to absorb the miasma of Hellmaster Fibrizo... and dies instantly.
A comedic instance occurs in the very first episode. A dragon steps over Lina rather than step on her, shortly after Lina has learned of a rather... unflattering nickname for herself relating to exactly this sort of situation. A similar joke is used in one of the OVAs, where Lina and her employer confront an army of dragons, who immediately put on Oh Crap faces and advance to the rear at full speed.
The nickname also refers to the fact that she just generally terrifies dragons... and pretty much everyone else.
A similar example appears in Axis Powers Hetalia, when England tries to curse America with an evil chair. Russia sits on it instead and 'Russia is more evil than the chair, so the chair exploded'.
When England and America capture Italy, they send him back to Germany (in a box labeled "fuck", no less) because he's a pain to take care of.
In Ichigo Mashimaro, after being tossed out the window in a tiger costume Miu returns as Dracula, and proceeds to pretend to suck Matsuri's blood. ("Nothing like the taste of a sweet virgin's young blood," she remarks.) She turns to Nobue, but stops. ("No, wait. Old lady blood? Bleh...") Nobue protests that her blood's delicious, as she's only 16.
Non-comedic example in A Certain Magical Index: Himegami Aisa possesses the ability 'Deep Blood' which makes her blood seem attractive to vampires and kills them when they drink it. A vampire attracted by this ability converted her family and friends into vampires resulting in their deaths.
In chapter 527 of Naruto, The Raikage talks about two criminals known as the Gold and Silver Brothers, who tried to seize the power of Kurama, and got eaten for their troubles. For the next two weeks, they caused him so much indigestion that Kurama couldn't stand it anymore and spit them out.
One Piece has a few examples. After Momoo's tailfin is intially kicked by the Strawhats, he will run away after preparing to attack them once he recognizes their faces.
Also, in "Little Buggy's Big Adventure" in the chapter openings in the manga and two filler episodes in the anime, Buggy is eaten by a giant bird and spat into the distance immediatly.
No one has ever managed to resist Perona's Negative Hollow attack - except Usopp. The reason was he was already such a pessimist that the ghosts couldn't bring him lower, and when Perona tried to anyway, she and the ghosts fell into depression instead.
During the final match of the Devil Chojin arc in Kinnikuman, Buffaloman manages to stal Kinnikuman's life force, killing him...and then burst into flame because the Burning Inner Strength was more than he could handle. He had to return the power to Kinnikuman's body and resurrect him to save his own life.
In one earlier anime episode, Kinnikuman is fighting a sea monster for publicity, only to find said monster FAR larger than he is and gets swallowed whole. As a funeral is held in his honor, the sea monster stomach makes some unpleasant noises...and Kinnikuman crawls out from under it. It's not hard to figure out how Kin escaped.
In Hanako and the Terror of Allegory, Kanae is being haunted by a demon which intends to take her soul as payment for granting her wish of being an idol singer. To stall for time, Kanae keeps making more extravagant wishes, forcing the demon to try and make her into an international superstar despite her lack of talent. When Daisuke finally bursts in to rescue her, the exhausted demon screams at him, "Save me, please! She's the devil!"
The Oni in Ranma ½ that spend the entire episode trying to get saintly Kasumi to be evil shifts his possesion to Happosai so he can gather evil faster. A little too fast, since Happosai turns out to be too evil for even the Oni to stomach.
As it turns out in Alice in Jails, Isaac's brazen idiocy manages to protect him from Ladd's homicidal impulses.
Firo: Hey, come to think of it, isn't Isaac the kinda guy you said you hate? The kind who think they'll never die.
Ladd: Nah. I've been keeping my eye on him for a few weeks now, and... Well, let's be honest here. There's something wrong with the guy's head. Getting mad at him'd be like getting mad at a puppy. He honestly doesn't have enough brains to know any better.
Attack on Titan has Eren first discover his ability to transform into a Titan from inside the stomach of one that had just swallowed him. His arm proceeds to burst out of its mouth, quickly followed by the rest of him (basically tearing it open in the process).
Since Titans lack proper digestive organs, they actually vomit up every human they consume once their stomach reaches full capacity (although by that point, the few that manage to be swallowed whole and alive will be long dead and partially digested).
A serious variation appears in a Batman/Final Crisis crossover. A couple of Darkseid's henchmen capture Bats and try to extract his memories in order to implant them in a clone army. Trouble is these memories are so traumatic (just roll with it) that they short-circuit said clones.
In Nextwave, Forbush Man transports four fifths of the Nextwave team into nightmare visions of their own existence conjured up from the recesses of their minds. This doesn't work on Tabby, whose mind is so utterly shallow as to render her immune. She explodes him.
The little guy did something to your heads. I gave him the explodo because I am clever
In one of Marvel Comics' goofier Captain Marvel stories in recent years, the Psycho-Man, a mind-raping emotion-controlling mad scientist, attempts to use dim-witted "hero" Drax the Destroyer as his pawn. Unfortunately, fear makes Drax cower in the corner, doubt makes him stand around baffled, and hate makes him attack whatever's in his path (such as Psycho-Man). Cue Psycho-Man musing that he's got to add some new emotions to his device.
When taken prisoner by a man who plans to use the regenerating Deadpool as an infinite source of food for his intelligent zombies, said zombies quickly find him to be completely unappetizing. Could be because he tastes like cancer. (Or more specifically, "rancid tofurkey that's been marinated in formaldehyde".)
In the last issue of DeadpoolTeam-Up, Galactus makes Wade his newest Herald after Wade sees an ad for the position in the classifieds. Though Wade does a good job as a Herald, his incessant chatter drives the mighty planet devouring entity nuts. Galactus is saved when the Silver Surfer arrives and beats the Power Cosmic out of Wade.
Not to mention the time Daredevil's Typhoid Mary got a crush on Deadpool. She made him look sane by comparison.
In Supreme: The Return, Korgo the Space-Tyrant beats up then-President of the United States Bill Clinton to take his place as "ruler of the free world." Among the spoils he claimed was Clinton's wife, Hillary. By the time Supreme could come and beat him up, Korgo breathlessly thanked him for taking him away from her.
In the first Hellboy story arc, Rasputin tried to tap into pyrokinetic Liz's powers in a bid to awaken one of the Oggru-Jahad's spawn. This backfired when Rasputin lost control of Liz's power and fried the Eldritch Abomination.
Dracula vs. Superman is resolved when Dracula hypnotizes Superman, and bites into him to gain the Kryptonian power in his blood. One problem; Superman is solar powered.
An issue of Runaways substitutes Dracula with "random vampire teenager" and Supes with Karolina, with the same results.
A Hellblazer arc has the King of the Vampires tormenting John Constantine while he's at his lowest point (homeless and alcoholic after a bad breakup) by killing the one guy he'd been friends with since his time on the street and tormenting him about the general worthlessness of humans. John finally relents and lets the King drink his blood... forgetting that he got a blood transfusion from the demon Nergal. The King's jaw dissolves, and John uses the second wind to piss on him and drag him screaming into the sunlight.
The Ultimate Galactus arc has Professor Xavier trying to make contact with Gah Lak Tus's Hive Mind, only to get hurt pretty badly, as is standard in interactions with the Planet Eater. However, he realizes that the reason Gah Lak Tus acts in such a way is because it's disgusted by organic life, so he sets up a psionic amplifier...
"Hello, Gah Lak Tus. I've brought six billion of my friends."
There are multiple theories on precisely what's going on inside Carnage's head, but we know that his personality hasn't changed in the slightest since his encounter with an alien symbiote, and we know that typically these symbiotes either coexist with the original personality (as in Venom's case) or take over completely. One interpretation is that Carnage was so Ax-Crazy that he completely overwhelmed the alien's mind.
In The Flash storyline "Hell to Pay," Satan Expy Neron bargains for Wally's love for Linda in exchange for stopping the rampage of Wally's soulless Rogues Gallery through Keystone—and thanks to Exact Words the city seems about to be flattened anyway. However, Neron finds that their love is so strong he's actually started to feel un-Satanly compassion, and consequently shows up demanding that they take it back. They refuse to do so until he agrees to hit the Reset Button on the entire business, even bringing back the people that the Rogues killed.
Similarly, a Black Panther arc had Black Panther make a deal with Mephisto for the sole thing that could save the day. Mephisto came to claim his soul... which was also the seat of the power of the Black Panther, and tied to every other noble soul that's channeled said power. And they were pissed.
In a What If story, Mephisto tried to claim the soul of the Silver Surfer. It backfired when the Incorruptible Pure Pureness of the Surfer's soul manifested as a brilliant light that burned Mephisto. Since the Surfer already agreed to spend eternity in hell, Mephisto would burn forever. In this case, Surfer isn't too powerful or too evil for Mephisto — he's too good. Ironically, that's exactly why Mephisto wanted Surfer in hell in the first place since he didn't like seeing someone that good in the universe.
In the eponymous series, Harley Quinn was exiled from Hell due her focus on joy and love.
In one story, Lobo died. The story ends with Lobo back among the livings and Heaven and Hell making him immortal for everything he did. OK, his rampage that devastated Heaven was justified, after they reincarnated him as a squirrell and he died squished by his own corpse dying his original death (it wasn't on purpose), but everything he did before that wasn't.
In the second story-arc of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) Spike is unaffected by the Nightmare forces (their powers, at any rate, he's still quite vulnerable to conventional attack) and when Nightmare Rarity uses her Lotus-Eater Machine ability on him, he quickly deduces that it's not real and escapes.
In Wrath Of The First Lantern, Volthoom tries to feed on Larfleeze's emotions by showing him what his life would be like with his family back. Larfleeze is too greedy for it to work and Volthoom just gives up and leaves him alone.
All-Star Superman has Bizarro clones running rampant through the city, converting anyone they touch into Bizarros. When one touches Steve, his steroid habit makes him immune.
In an "Alien" spoof by French Cartoonist Gotlib, a facehugger hugs Pervers Pépère. No surprise (at least to those knowing Pervers Pépère) the poor Xeno immediately needs an Alka Seltzer.
Anytime Deadman tries to possess Constantine in Justice League Dark, he feels actual pain due to how corrupted Constantine is. Inhabiting the body of the Phantom Stranger in his own series has similar results.
In The Swarm of War, the Overmind is Genre Savvy enough not to try absorbing Chaos Space Marines, despite the usefulness of the Gene-seeds for his plans.
Film - Animated
Toward the end of All Dogs Go to Heaven, Charlie is captured by the Big-Lipped Alligator, who then proceeds to eat him alive, but when the Alligator was about to take his first bite, Charlie starts howling very loudly. The Alligator, upon realizing that he can never eat anyone that can sing as good as Charlie immediately lets him go and instead starts singing "Let's Make Music Together" - the trope naming Big Lipped Alligator Moment.
Seen in the live-action Rocky and Bullwinkle: Bullwinkle is too dense for mind control to have any effect.
Also in the original cartoons. "No brain, no effect."
In Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back, R2-D2 gets swallowed by a swamp monster on Dagobah. A few seconds later, he gets spat out. Luke comments, "You're lucky you don't taste very good." (the Re Cut inexplicably changed it to "You're lucky you got out of there.")
He certainly isn't a hero, but when Boba Fett fell into the sarlacc's maw in Return of the Jedi, it was not the end of him. Another bounty hunter looking for Jabba's body found him nearby, barely clinging to life. It is hinted that he may have managed to fight his way out of the creature's belly (a feat that no-one had ever accomplished), but the next time he confronted Han Solo, he simply said that the beast had found him "indigestable".
And yet, somehow, the giant evil-eating blob that engulfs the city at the end is so repulsed by her innocence that it spits out Barbarella and a villainess who just happens to be next to her.
No wonder. 90% of Barbarella's characterization is that she is innocently sensual, with no malice. Ok, some malice.
In the film adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the chronically depressed robot Marvin connects himself to a police cruiser for a little chat. After a little while, the police cruiser shuts down because its computer committed suicide rather than continue listening to Marvin.
In Me and the Big Guy a parody of 1984, a lonely citizen tries small talking and playing board games with Big Brother and even puts on sock-puppet theater for the "Big guy" on the screen. An annoyed and disgusted Big Brother calls him out, telling him that Big Brother is supposed to be a feared and omniscient oppressor, not a personal friend, but as the citizen continuities this behavior, Big Brother turns the double-way screen off in frustration to avoid communicating with him. Of course, it is subtly suggested that this was the citizen's intention from the start.
At the end of Men In Black, K intentionally gets himself swallowed to retrieve his gun. The result is less than enjoyable for the bug...
One of the heroines winds up as the hostage of an evil wizard who is attempting to breed griffins. In this setting, griffins can only draw nourishment through eating virgin maidens. The rest of the heroes arrive "too late" to save her from being tossed into the griffin feeding pit only to discover a very alive and very annoyed princess who basically says "It had already eaten. That's the only reason I'm still alive. Understand?"
Later, she corners her boyfriend and demands an explanation for why the griffin really didn't eat her, since he assured her that some undefined (but obviously sexual) act "didn't count".
And later on, as the griffin is released on a Mayday festival equivalent, a random maiden sees the griffin as it catches her scent and makes a hurried attempt to force herself on the man whose advances she had just rejected a minute earlier in an effort to make herself inedible - all while the griffin is trying to break the house down.
The Shel Silverstein poem "Always Sprinkle Pepper in Your Hair" refers to a tactic for keeping yourself literally too spicy for a hag to make into soup: "She'll pick you up and sniff you, and then she'll sneeze 'Achooo,' and say, 'My tot, you're much too hot, I fear you'll never do'."
Harry Potter does this in several places. There are several times where Voldemort tries to touch (and later possess) Harry and can't because of this trope.
Possibly an inversion; the character in question is too pure, rather than too evil.
Azkaban is guarded by joy-eating Dementors that normally drive prisoners insane or drain their motivation to escape. Sirius was wrongly imprisoned there for alleged mass murder and for the alleged betrayal of his best friends (and Harry's parents), James and Lily Potter. But he still manages to get past the Dementors and escape. This is partly because he escapes in the form of a dog, meaning he's less intelligent and his simpler emotions are harder for Dementors to detect and consume. Also, Sirius is so unhappy already, over the deaths of Harry's parents and over his own wrongful imprisonment, that there isn't really much joy left for the Dementors to eat. His escape is motivated by desire for revenge against Peter Pettigrew, who really betrayed Harry's parents and framed Sirius. Since his desire for revenge is fueled by negative emotions, the Dementors can't drain his motivation to escape Azkaban.
Played straight when Voldemort tried to possess Harry during his fight with Dumbledore. Harry's love for Sirius and, more importantly, his desire to die and join him are anathema to Voldemort. Voldemort is defined by his inability toappreciatelove and his fear of death.
This comes back to haunt humanity after the war they were recruited to fight in by The Weave has ended: humans' resistance to mind reading and violent tendencies convince the other races of The Weave to not admit them as equal partners, and indeed to consider eliminating the human race. Fortunately another member race that is immune to the mental trauma (the Lepar, by virtue of being Too Dumb to Fool) is discovered, and humanity is admitted to The Weave because the Lepar exist as a failsafe should the humans get out of hand. For their part, humans and Lepar get along just fine.
A Year At The Movies features Kevin Murphy recalling the time he and fellow MST 3 K alum Mike Nelson went out to enjoy Hollywood's latest bomb. They, who had suffered through the likes of "Manos" The Hands of Fate, Monster A-Go Go, and Hobgoblins, ended up sweating and squirming in their seats, checking their watches anxiously. The movie they were seeing? Corky Romano.
In The Lord of the Rings, Shelob (an Eldritch Abomination in the form of a Giant Spider) finds Gollum absolutely inedible, despite the fact that she'll eat almost anything else, up to and including orc. Consequently, Gollum is able to convince Shelob to spare him - so long as he brings her more edible beings to feast on, like hobbits...
A story with a somewhat darkly comedic bent in The Hellbound Hearts had a trio of youths, who were being held captive by an extremely sadistic Outlaw Couple, summon the Cenobites using a puzzle box the couple had in their possession. The Cenobites at are first eager to take them as their new guinea pigs in exploring the realms of sensation and experience, but after one of them comes into contact with one of the three, decides against it, having sensed they've already been through pretty much every form of torture and indignity imaginable at the hands of their captors, who the Cenobites decide to take as a consolation prize.
One Goosebumps book, How To Kill A Monster, ends with the heroes captured by the monster, even after their attempts at killing it by making it fall through the stairs and poisoning it. Said monster is allergic to humans, and keels over dead after merely licking one. Unfortunately, the monster's friends are pissed off after this. Cue the chills, as the book ends with the heroes alone, far away from town, and in a marsh filled with these hungry, soon to awaken creatures. Hopefully the other monsters are allergic to humans too.
Jack C Haldeman's Home Team Advantage, published in Asimov's Science Fiction magazine, has alien Arcturians winning a baseball game, with the prizing being that they get to eat the entire human race. By the vote of fans, Julius Hawkline, the Howard-Cosell-expy is chosen to be the first devoured. After the Arcturian coach bites off and chews The Hawk's nose for long minutes, it's decided that humans are inedible and some other form of compensation will need to be worked out. The Hawk is one tough old bird.
Initially a Punch Clock Villain, Fain got touched directly by the Dark One, giving him the power to track The Hero and his companions anywhere in the world. However, this also had the side-effect of screwing things up for the undead spirit of a particularly infamous Evil Chancellor when it tried to possess Fain- unable to overcome the Dark One's taint and take over, Mordeth's spirit and Fain's ended up merging together into one superpowered Axe Crazy maniac.
Later, Fain/Mordeth travelled the Ways, which are inhabited by the Black Wind, a soul-devouring Eldritch Abomination. Upon coming into contact with Fain, not only did the Black Wind not harm him (out of what could best be described as "professional courtesy"), but he gained a limited ability to set it onto other targets (thankfully, it can't leave the Ways).
Finally, Word of God has actually invoked this by saying that if someone threw Fain as he is now into the Pit of Doom, the Dark One would simply spit him back out because he tastes bad.
In the short story "The Seven Geases" by Clark Ashton Smith, Ralibar Vooz is sacrificed to the Eldritch Abomination Tsathoggua, who happens not to be hungry at the time. Unfortunately for Ralibar Vooz, Tsathoggua decides to offer him to another Eldritch Abomination who then decides to do the same. He is eventually rejected by all the monsters in the cavern. In a Cruel Twist Ending, he falls to his death on the way to the exit.
In Piers Anthony's Tarot trilogy, an extended sequence sees the questing party sent to Hell where they are interrogated by Satan himself. Taking the form of a huge demon with two serpentine heads, Satan eats the more egregious members of the party with audible crunches and slurps, with unheeded bits falling off a woman victim, pronouncing the taste of evil people to be delicious. However, as the hero Brother Paul steels himself, Satan offers him a choice of losing one set of two paired bodily organs. Deciding eyes are of more use than testicles, Paul offers his balls, which are bitten off and spat out by one of the serpents. Then he is swallowed whole, but not eaten: apparently the taste of a truly good man is vile to Satan. Being swallowed is just a gateway to a new experience of Hell...
Patsy Stone: The last mosquito that bit me had to check into the Betty Ford clinic.
In an episode of Angel, a demonic tree drains people's body-fluids with its vines, but it becomes poisoned when it tries this on Angel, who is a vampire.
Another episode sees a small boy possessed by a rather evil demon. The boy is an even more evil psychopath, who commits all of "the demon's" crimes himself; the only thing the demon does is try to make the boy commit suicide to end its own suffering.
Another episode recycles the plot of Cast a Deadly Spell under Films - Live Action, with Angel being hired to ensure the daughter remains a virgin (with precisely the same outcome).
When she fights Angelus Faith dopes up and then lets him feed on her. The drugs she took are so strong than he promptly stops and passes out.
Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer suffers this once while she's working at the Double Meat Palace. Standard vampire fight happens, except the vampire gets the upper hand (Buffy was quite depressed this season and verged on suicidal at more than one point. She almost let a singing demon kill her once.)...but when the vamp almost bites her, he finds he 'can't stand the smell' and tries to leave.
In another episode, Angelus bites a jock, but spits out his blood in disgust. The jock was taking steroids and was mutating into a fish-monster.
One early episode centers on a Body Surfing demon which possesses Jenny Calendar. The heroes solution is for Angel to attack Demon!Jenny, causing the demon to jump into Angel's body in self defense. Too bad for him that Angel already had a demon in him, due to being a vampire. And it was rearing for a fight, killing the newcomer. Funny how Angel seems to end up in this trope a lot, huh?
The cannibal featured in the Criminal Minds episode "Lucky" originally ate prostitutes, but eventually switched to a different demographic of women since most of the prostitutes in the area used drugs, which makes them "taste funny".
In the new series episode "The Next Doctor", the Cybermen attempt to convert Mrs. Hartigan. Problem is, she's too strong-willed, and dominates them instead.
Similarly, the Cybermen tried to convert Craig. It worked... right up until he heard his child crying. His powerful daddy instincts psychically destroy the Cybermen's emotional inhibitors, and the Cybermen kill themselves out of horror at what they've become.
There are also at least two characters (namely, Oswin Oswald and Tasha Lem) who have been converted into Daleks or Dalek puppets but have resisted complete transformation and helped to defeat the Daleks.
The episode "The Lodger" has an alien spacecraft trying to repair itself using people who want to leave. When a man who is very much in love connects himself to the main controls the whole ship overloads.
"The God Complex" has an alien minotaur feeding onthe faith of those trapped in its prison by revealing their worst fears. When Rory shows up, all it does is show him the exit because he is neither religious nor superstitious and, unlike Amy, does not have an abiding faith that The Doctor will always save the day. Also, because after the events of "The Pandorica Opens"... there isn't really anything left for him to be afraid of.
Likewise, in "The Doctor's Wife", House is only shown attempting to Mind Rape Amy. Word of God says that House did try to do this to Rory, but simply gave up after he proved immune to it. Also in that episode, House dies after eating a TARDIS's soul along with the body.
In "The Rings of Akhaten", Clara defeats the Old God by feeding it her special leaf. The leaf manages to destroy it not only because it represents how her parents found each other, but also, because of her mother's death, the endless possibilities they could have had together.
From Kamen Rider Wizard, Gremlin. In a series where monsters take on a human appearance by destroying their host as they emerge from their soul, Gremlin was already so evil that he took over the Phantom instead.
An early episode of Power Rangers had the Pudgy Pig defeated when the Rangers fed him food that was literally too spicy for him. He promptly spat up their weapons, which he had eaten, allowing the Rangers to destroy him.
Another very literal example in the series was with the Invenusable Flytrap. He literally swallowed Jason, Kimberly, Zach, and Billy, but they escaped later by blasting their way out. (This was actually a sort of Achilles' Heel for this Man-Eating Plant; as his name implied he was armored, and very hard to hurt, but his insides weren't so well-protected, it seemed.)
Star Trek: Voyager introduced the Kazon, whom the Borg found so utterly unremarkable that assimilating them would add nothing to the Collective.
Presumably an in-joke reference to how audiences found the Kazon to be at best entirely uninteresting and at worst a reason to not bother watching, leading to them getting dropped from the show after barely a couple of seasons.
Also the aliens known only by the Borg designation Species 8472, whose biology makes the Borg's nanoprobes useless, and actually makes them desperate enough that Janeway is able to cut a deal with them to team up against the threat.
A Borg sphere "consumes" the Voyager by pulling it inside but Voyager just shoots its way out.
In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Obsession", the gaseous monster find's Spock's copper-based Vulcan blood inedible, and flees. McCoy wryly jokes that Spock "must have left a bad taste in its mouth" which Spock says is figuratively true.
In at least two episodes of Torchwood, the rampaging Monster of the Week encounters Owen after he was killed and resurrected, and, after a moment of disgusted inspection, rejects him as a possible victim. The first time, in "Something Borrowed", the monster doesn't eat dead meat, and the second time, "From Out of The Rain", the villain steals your last breath - and Owen had his last breath some weeks beforehand.
This trope actually forms a major part of the Series 1 finale. The Big Bad of the season, Abaddon feeds directly off life energy. So how do they kill it? The immortal Captain Jack allows Abaddon to feed off him, but Jack's life energy doesn't run out and Abbadon can't handle it.
In an episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Hercules and Iolaus have to deal with Ares' dog, a massive Hellhound that eats people and gains strength from their evil. They trick it into eating one of Ares' minions, who was so evil that the dog exploded.
Happens to Lacroix once on Forever Knight-his victim had something wrong and Lacroix couldn't drain him. The guy went on to become Jack the Ripper as a beast-like vampire. Later, the same thing happens with a small boy, and he returns as an Dhampyr like adult, a vampire hunter with sensitivity to sunlight, enhanced senses and a good vampire hunting knack.
In an episode of Red Dwarf, Lister is swallowed whole by a shark while in an AR machine. The shark soon spits him back out before sticking its tongue out and going "bleh!".
In Quest featured hypothetical battles between characters from different fictional continuities. When they set the Borg from Star Trek up against Orcs from Magic: The Gathering, the Orcs were slaughtered by the thousands... until one of them was assimilated. Then the Borg retreated, since the Orcs had nothing to offer them.
There's a folk song about an "old man who lived under a hill" whose obnoxious wife (or possibly mother-in-law) is claimed by the Devil. The old lady makes Hell so miserable that the demons beg Satan to let her go, which he does.
Another version has it being a farmer's wife, and the Devil has to give her back to her husband for reasons not explained in the song. His response to this is "What will you give me to take her back?" Eventually, he gets his entire family protected permanently from the Devil.
Calvin and Hobbes: Hobbes puts Calvin's head in his mouth, but spits him out, claiming he tastes terrible. This is also a Running Gag for every person he "eats".
Except Tommy Chestnut, who apparently did taste awful, but was eaten anyway.
Big Finish Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor in "Phobos". When facing a monster that feeds on adrenaline but is harmed by actual fear, the Doctor conquers it effortlessly by showing it his own mind. He starts by feeding it memories of all the things he's seen in the past, followed by all the evil he's seen from the future... and as a final blow, all the things he's afraid he might do someday. The whole Crowning Moment Of Awesome takes several minutes, with the Doctor continuously mocking the monster throughout. Oh, and he does it while bungee jumping into the monster's transdimensional portal.
In one old module for Call of Cthulhu, players have to stop a plot to link the mind of an Eldritch Abomination to the psyches of all humanity, by which the villains intend to reduce the human race to its gibbering worshippers. If they fail to stop it, there's a campaign-preserving GM Saving Throw option of having the villains' scheme run its course successfully... only to have the abomination be driven insane, by whatever standard of "sanity" might apply to Lovecraftian horrors, because the sheer number of human beings on Earth is so great that their cumulative psyches can overpower its own singular mind.
The Kroot in Warhammer 40,000 evolve by assimilating the genetic material of what they eat, progressing certains groups along specific developmental lines (to the point where every single animal on their homeworld Pech is a Kroot derivative, their ancestors filling all available niches). However, the Shapers (basically guides as to what should be eaten) instruct their brethren to avoid Genestealer hybrids or those tainted with Chaos due to their potential to corrupt the entire species.
An unusually literal example in the Feng Shui supplement Elevator to the Netherworld. As part of his plot to defeat an unkillable man-eating giant (it's complicated), a hero soaked his clothes in hot pepper juice, then goaded the giant into trying to eat him.
Big EaterTao (who attempts/considers eating various other characters in story mode) also chooses not to eat Arakune on the grounds of how disgusting Black Squiggly looks.
Actually happens in Call Of Cthulhu: Dark Corners Of The Earth at one point. In order to kill a "Cthulhu spawn-like monster" inside a cell you must feed it a blue flower that is apparently deadly to Cthulhu's creatures.
In Kingdom of Loathing, one year The Borg crash lands in the Kingdom. They exhume a nearby grave and reanimate the dead, then try to assimilate them. The problem was that the body was of Father Crimbo, who (because it was Crimbo time) was powerful enough to assimilate them, creating the Crimborg.
Also, one of the failed attack messages from slime monsters is:
It tries to ooze under your toenails, but is repulsed by the smell of your feet. Congratulations, you just disgusted a living booger.
In Nethack, being swallowed whole while wearing a ring of slow digestion causes the devouring monster to vomit the hero out.
The deadly Cockatrice is too spicy for most monsters, due to its petrifying touch. Most humanoid monsters can avoid touching it by using weapons, but vampires and mindflayers will supplement weapon attacks with their special bite attacks (blood drain and brain devouring) and die because of this.
In Portal 2, GlaDOS decides to let Chell go, because she's tired of Chell's killing her and wrecking the Enrichment Center.
Charlie Ho-Tep in Sam & Max: Freelance Police, the ventriloquist's dummy that unlocks Max's psychic ventriloquism power, used to belong to Junior, the youngest of the Elder Gods. Junior hated him; played with him for about ten minutes, and then chucked him aside, declaring him to be creepy as shit and wanting nothing more to do with him. That's right; he was too creepy for the brain-melting abomination against reality.
Even Max finds the dummy creepy. Max is also an abomination against reality.
Within A Deep Forest has a large catlike monster who will gobble up any ball that gets near it. Except the Pathetic Ball; it can bounce right past the beast without incident. The implied reason is that the monster wants to absorb your ball's powers, and only the Pathetic Ball has no powers worth absorbing.
In Knights of the Old Republic II, Darth Nihilus is practically crippled during his attempt to feed on the Exile. This is due to Darth Nihilus being driven by an insatiable hunger to devour the Force energy of all living things, while the Exile passively draws forth the Force from those around them, meaning that Nihilus tried to gorge himself on what is essentially a Force black hole!
Dawn of War: In Dark Crusade's Chaos stronghold level, Eliphas the Inheritor uses his sorcery to mind-speak with the enemy commander to unnerve or scare them. This works in all but three cases: Gorgutz 'Ead'unter ("Oi said, get out o' me 'ead!!"), Shas O'Kais ("I've got a buzzing in my comms. Switching channels.") and the Necron Lord, who has his only line in the game (consisting of weird chittering). Smug Snake Eliphas actually loses his composure at the last one ("I... your soul is gone...").
The basic premise of Garlic in Plants vs. Zombies. Most zombies, upon encountering a plant, will just keep chomping on a plant until one or the other goes down. But when Zombies take a bite of Garlic, they make a disgusted sound and quickly step around it.
In Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales the demon book Bebuzzu spit out Chubby's chocobo card because he was "too buttery."
Shin Megami Tensei IV has a variation of this: the demon Xi Wangmu eats a bunch of Ring of Gaea members, which turn out to be too spicy for her. Unfortunately, she only finds this out after she's swallowed them, causing her Hopeless Boss Fight to become winnable for your party.
Parodied in an early strip of The Order of the Stick with a mind flayer;afterwards, you find out that he's comparing Elan's brain to a Diet Coke, but Belkar is a better example of this trope because the mind flayer compares him to a taco and thinks, "Too angry... I'd get heartburn."
This is how Torg of Sluggy Freelance avoids getting devoured by Aylee at first contact...and the second. - "Thank god for dandruff shampoo!".
Earlier in that same Story Arc, Torg and Riff were briefly assimilated by the Borg Collective. They were soon kicked out once it became apparent their influence on the Mind Hive caused the entire Borg race to do nothing but party.
In thisDork Tower strip, Igor attacked a mind flayer with purple nurples and wedgies. Since this effectively proved his character didn't have a brain to flay, he won.
In Sam and Fuzzy, Fridge attempts to demonically possessOx. It works poorly because Ox is so dumb that it limits Fridge's own mental capabilities. For a frame of reference, Fridge's mental capabilities were higher when it was possessing fridge mold in Sam's refrigerator.
In keeping with the trope, Homestar agrees to be trapped in the painting forever in exchange for everyone else to be released from the jibblies. He then proceeds to drive Rocoulm insane, but due to the terms of the agreement, he is completely unable to release Homestar.
Despite reviewing loads of really, really bad comics, Linkara has stated that he will never, ever review Sonichu.
He also stated that he wouldn't review any webcomic, primarily because they're free entertainment mostly done as a hobby, and it's unfair to treat them the same way as mainstream comics which are meant to be brought and treated more seriously.
He also refuses to review One More Day. He doesn't want to devote any air time to it or even acknowledge its existence — he just hates it that much.
And in his defense, if you were to add together all of the screentime in separate episodes he's dedicated to explaining why he hates One More Day, you'd have a whole episode, easily.
This was later subverted, as Linkara reviewed One More Day for his 200th episode.
The Cinema Snob—or rather Brad Jones—loves him some exploitation films. His favorite movie is Caligula and he scoffs at the epithet "torture porn". However, even he felt dirty after watching A Serbian Film.
Adventure Time'sGunther the penguin is so evil that Marceline's dad considered it a great honor to suck out his soul. He backed down pretty fast when it became clear that Gunther wasn't having any of that (specifically, Gunter slapped him in the face when he tried to do so). Reminder: this is the guy who stomps on ants and sucks out their souls just because it's fun.
In Animaniacs, Yakko and Dot challenge The Grim Reaperat checkers after Wakko is declared by the Reaper to be unfit to continue living (due to how many meatballs he ate in a contest). They deliberately lose — but then The Grim Reaper realizes he'll have to host the three loons in the underworld for all eternity, and he lets them go. In other episodes, they get Dracula and Satan to let them go for the same reason. They subvert their own pattern in a later episode, as this fails to work on an Army drill sergeant; he just assigns them to worse and worse duties until their pranks result in him getting knocked out cold. Proof that if you're psychopathic or sociopathic enough, you can get away with anything.
One episode features something so horrible, even the Warner siblings can't deal with it: "Baloney" the Dinosaur.
The episode involving Satan also featured them accidentally ending up in HellHades and fleeing in terror from their assigned punishment: listening to "whiny protest songs from the sixties" for all eternity.
In Beast Wars, the Predacons infect Rhinox with a virus that turns him into a Predacon. Rhinox immediately embraces Predacon philosophy and starts plotting against Megatron (perfectly acceptable practice). However, unlike most of Megatron's underlings, Rhinox is smart. He would have defeated Megatron, if the Maximals hadn't interfered. Optimus Primal, to his credit, anticipated this outcome, knowing Rhinox.
Megatron learned his lesson in Beast Machines. When he put Rhinox's spark into the Vehicon general Tankor, Tankor was too dumb to plot against him. When his original personality resurfaces from outside intervention and becomes competent again, it's revealed that he added a Restraining Bolt when he placed Rhinox's spark inside Tankor. At the moment of truth, it left Rhinox/Tankor paralyzed and Megatron with complete control of the superweapon Rhinox practically handed to him on a silver platter.
In The Fairly OddParents, Timmy's imaginary friend Gary is eaten by an imaginary monster version of Vicky. She spits him out and says "I hate cool!"
Foop had been assigned to Vicky as his scary godchild, he quickly finds out how mean and nasty Vicky can be and is begging for his life to escape from her.
In the Futurama episode "Raging Bender," a brainslug begins feeding on Fry's brain. It dies of starvation (acknowledged by the writers as being the "Oldest. Joke. Ever."). Later, in "The Day The Earth Stood Stupid," it is revealed that Fry is The Chosen One to defeat the Brains; he's immune to their stupefaction ray, because he's the only creature in the universe who doesn't have the brain-waves used to think. The Nibblonians comment on his "superior, yet inferior brain".
The next time Fry meets them, the Nibblonians acknowledge that it's all because of him doing the nasty in the pasty leading to him being his His Own Grampa.
Hermes is literally too spicy for Roberto in "The Six Million Dollar Mon." His favorite food is so spicy that it hurts The Robot Devil while he's eating a bowl of fire.
God, the Devil and Bob: The Devil finds himself on the end of this trope more than once. When he hires Martha Stewart to help redecorate the fourth circle of Hell ("She's on the speed-dial"), she quickly takes over and leaves him painting pictures of sad clowns in a side-room. In another episode, he shapeshifts into a normal teenager and dates Bob's daughter to mess with him, only to realise he's forgotten how depressing teenagers can be and abandon the scheme without any outside interference. And in a later episode, it's revealed Nixon was so much of an unstandable person that the Devil refused to keep him and he ended up in Heaven.
God spends half an episode trying to get away from his former Prophet Sarah, whom he thinks has a crush on him. (He's right).
This is one of the central tropes of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. No matter how powerful or evil the Monster of the Week is, it can never stand Billy's ignorance or annoying personality and Mandy's rage and general level of darkness. Aside from the above, in "Creating Chaos" Eris, goddess of Chaos, plans to use Billy as a tool in driving the world insane. He promptly drives her insane by taking forever to get ready, doing such things as dripping honey on toast and watching paint dry.
In "Little Rock of Horrors", a brain-eating meteor-creature first attempts to eat Billy's brain but finds nothing. When it later devours Mandy's brain, it screams in pain, dies, and then reforms—but with Mandy in control. She comments "I guess my brain was a little too... spicy [for him]."
Another episode has a Chupacabra latching onto Billy's face, which Grim claims to be an attempt to suck out his brain. Mandy laments that the poor creature would starve.
In "Big Trouble in Billy's Basement", Billy is pulled through a dimensional portal by Yog-Sawhaw, but thrown back, and Billy explains in dejected tones "They didn't want me" (prompting everyone to say "Well I guess that makes you a total loser").
Subverted in "Brown Evil", where Mandy tries to take advantage of this by sending Billy out to fight the zombie horde, assuming he can do so successfully because he's brainless. Unfortunately, this doesn't work, because the zombies are not after brains at all. (They're actually after the brownies that Grim has hidden in his skull, that were made with something called "brown evil", which is sort of like catnip to zombies, apparently.)
An unfinished episode of Invader Zim would have had Zim being judged on trial by the Control Brains (the central decision makers of Irken society). After finding him unquestionably guilty, they try to upload Zim's Memory Drive in his Irken Pack (where his real personality is located) before deleting his memory, but his memories drive them completely insane. Before the end of the episode, the now-insane brains declare Zim the most incredible Irken ever and granted ten minutes to control a giant ship called the MASSIVE.
The Halloween episode featured Zim and Dib becoming trapped in a twisted alternate universe populated by monster versions of the regular characters. When they escape and the monster version of Sadist Teacher Bitters follows them, she's scared off when she witnesses the destruction caused by Cloud Cuckoo Lander robot Gir attacking childen out for tricks-or-treats and eating all their food.
In the Looney Tunes cartoon "The Hole Idea", an inventor has created a portable hole, which he eventually uses to get rid of his overbearing wife, which drops her all the way to Hell. Then the devil pops up to return her, protesting "Isn't it bad enough down here without her?"
In the Metalocalypse episode "Snakes N Barrels II", Dethklok consider Los Angeles to be so brutal and messed up that they would kill themselves if they lived there.
Double points for Pinkie reacting to it by breathing fire. So the rainbow was literally too spicy for Pinkie Pie.
In the Season 2 finale, the Changelings are a Fair Folk species that feeds on love. However, in the end Cadence's love spell was just too much to handle, and blasted then away off into the sky.
Literal example from The Powerpuff Girls: Following a succession of increasingly dirty encounters and not willing to wash Buttercup once became so filthy and stinky that a huge monster who tried to swallow her spat her out and refused to fight her until she cleans herself. That was the only thing that actually persuaded her to wash.
In another episode, the girls capture a brain-sucking monster...when it is desperately searching the Mayor's empty head for sustenance.
A short in "Treehouse of Horror II" had Mr. Burns putting Homer's brain inside a slave robot. Unfortunately, the robot still had Homer's laziness, gluttony, etc., so Burns eventually decides to return his brain to its original body.
Another "Treehouse of Horror" special had a zombie horde clamoring for "Braaaains" inspect Homer's head, then abandon him in disgust...He's actually offended by that turn of events.
In another "Treehouse of Horror", when the Devil is about to take Maggie away Homer tries to make a deal with him not to. The devil purposes that Homer takes part in a three way (demon,demon,Homer), Homer obliges and before they were about to start they quickly used the safeword.
Subverted in the episode "The Joy of Sect". A cult brings all of Springfield to their compound to be brainwashed into worshipping their almighty Leader. Everybody is controlled except Homer, whose attention span isn't long enough to listen to the brainwashing. The cult leaders despair over his "powerful mind." Then one of them simply sings "Leader!" to the tune of the old Batman theme song, and he is instantly brainwashed.
Then Double Subverted later in the same episode, when Groundskeeper Willie tries to de-program Homer and winds up being brainwashed himself.
In the South Park episode "Trapper Keeper", the Trapper Keeper becomes sick and is destroyed when it assimilates Rosie O' Donnell.
In the Teen Titans episode "Transformation'', a Man-Eating Plant that Starfire encounters on an alien planet tries to eat her; but it spits her out. (Ironically, this is a mixed blessing for poor Starfire. She is depressed because the Transformation she is undergoing - which is sort of like puberty to Tameranians, apparently - makes her view herself as ugly, and the experience with the plant only makes her feel worse, making her think that it finds her revolting.)
In SpongeBob SquarePants, the Flying Dutchman gave Spongebob and Patrick up as slave crewmen in "Shanghaied" because they were incredibly bad at it. In a subversion, rather than letting them go, he planned to eat them, but they escaped. Then the Dutchman catches them, but he offers them three wishes before they're eaten. After accidentally using up two of their wishes, they use their final wish to turn the Dutchman into a vegetarian. But then they appear in a blender, somehow transformed into fruit, with the Dutchman preparing to eat them.
That was one of three endings, by the way, which were also subverted. The other two alternatives had Patrick and Squidward get the third wish instead of Spongebob, but they both end with the Dutchman definitely eating them. Patrick's wish was simply stupid (sticks of gum), and Squidward's wish wasn't what he had in mind (that he had never meet those two; they were simply given amnesia).
Speaking of the Flying Dutchman, in "Born Again Krabs" Mr. Krabs trades Spongebob's soul for 62 cents. Just as he starts to feel bad about it, the Flying Dutchman comes back to return Spongebob after being annoyed by his incessant chatter about his hobbies.
In a third Flying Dutchman example, namely "Scaredy Pants", Spongebob is shaved down by Patrick to make him rounder for a sheet he uses as a Flying Dutchman costume to try to scare everyone in the Krusty Krab for Halloween. He fails miserably, but as the entire restaurant is laughing at him the real Dutchman arrives, angered by Spongebob's insulting costume and about to steal everyone's souls. He takes a moment before doing so to explain the concept of being scary to Spongebob, then removes the sheet... and flies away screaming when he sees the sponge had been shaved down to facial features, a brain, and a "spinal cord".
An interesting object case in Ben 10: Omniverse. Malware is revealed in the flashback to have been for a long time trying to absorb the Omnitrix through his Power Copying in order to upgrade himself with it. When he eventually destroys Ben's favourite alien Feedback just to hurt him, Ben, out of rage, put the Omnitrix inside him and let him try to absorb it. Its energy overloads Malware, causing him to explode and be believed dead for a while. Keep in mind that in a previous episode, Malware was shown absorbing a Tachyon Cannon, a BFG with the ability to destroy its target on a molecular level, or even destroy an entire species in one shot if used right. He could absorb something that powerful, and the Omnitrix was still too much to handle for him.
In an episode of The Real Ghostbusters, the team has to deal with a titanic ocean god that has woken up and taken up residence in the East River. After their attempts to fight him prove completely ineffective, he swallows them. After a few seconds, he makes a face, and then spits Venkman out. (As you might expect, this proves to be his undoing, because Venkman ends up picking up the Smart Ball and invent a weapon that can hurt him, convincing him to cough up the others and leave the city.)
During the French Revolution, a former prisoner in the Bastille was elected to the presidency of his "section" (roughly, a ward or electoral district) in the Paris government. The excesses of the Revolutionary Terror horrified him so much that he resigned his office after making a passionate speech denouncing the cruelty of the Revolutionaries. The name of this tender-hearted fellow? The Marquis de Sade, also known as the guy the term "sadism" is named for!