I mean, crap, man! Look at that! That's, like, his stomach plug on the ground back there. Tch. You don't see that every day. I mean, that doesn't even seem possible if you think about it, with body organs and cartilage and bones. I mean, I'm no doctor or nothin', but that was, like, one clean chunk.
Have you ever had one of those days when you're just walking along and then suddenly something bites you in the ass? Or the stomach? It eats your partially digested breakfast, a few major organs, and maybe a good segment of your spine. Now you have a massive hole running through your body and your day is ruined. What else can you do but to keep walking and ignore it
Fortunately, as you are a fictional character, you do not fall down due to your loss of support structure. Nor do you die before you hit the ground because your organs just got ripped out. However, most real-life living bodies have a very specific anatomy, with most vital systems in the torso and the head. If a hole ever got punched through any of that, you would crumple over. And die. Yes, very specific.
This trope is about bodily integrity. For this trope to work, the character does not necessarily have to survive, nor does it have to be the torso. A multi-inch or more hole running through any vitally important part of the body will do. The most important factor is that their body remains stable as if nothing happened.
This trope works for- or against- either Made of Iron
or Made of Plasticine
, Depending on the Writer
. Similar to a bigger version of Invisible Holes
. Sometimes paired with Made of Explodium
for whatever reason
, and frequently caused by Impaled with Extreme Prejudice
or an Impact Silhouette
Not to be confused with Totem Pole Trench
where the bottom person looks through the coat.
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- A Sidekicks Pediasure TV commercial ends with the aesop "Kids are what they eat." Then it shows a donut-girl.
- Bleach is the king of this trope. Most of the villain characters have holes going clear through very important parts of their body. Justified in that Hollows and Arrancar are spiritual beings without actual physical form, so theoretically the laws of biology don't apply (although many apparently still do). Most have one through the middle of their chests where the heart is, because the process of Hollowfication transforms the heart into a Hollow's mask. Even when Arrancarisation shatters most of the mask, the hole does not reform.
- Luppi has a Hollow hole somewhere, though it is never revealed. It definitely is not in the spot where Grimmjow shoves his hand clear through Luppi's stomach, giving him a second and decidedly more painful hole.
- Aaroniero's Hollow hole is located on his left thigh. Pretty important bone right there, probably some major veins as well. Has no problems.
- Grimmjow in particular has one taking up most of the space between his ribcage and his pelvis.
- Nnoitra has a hole through his brain. The difference between a Hollow hole and a regular hole is emphasized when Kenpachi stabs through Nnoitra's eyepatch, leading to the reveal of his Hollow hole and causing Nnoitra to comment something along the lines of, "you're right, no one could survive a stab to the head. But your sword didn't stab me, it passed right through!"
- Ulquiorra's hole is an interesting case, as it starts in his neck before migrating down over the course of the story. His usage of the trope is mildly lampshaded in the story as Ulquiorra tends to punch a hole in his enemies exactly where his own hollow hole is located (and when he does it to Ichigo, Ichigo almost dies).
- When Ulquiorra blasts a hole through Ichigo's chest with a point-blank cero, the anime has a nice slow pan across the area so you can see the landscape through it.
- Played two different ways with Aizen. During his and Ichigo's final battle, Aizen has three (presumably Hollow) holes in his torso. He's no more affected by these than any other Hollow, but his body slumps over earlier on when Gin's poison eats a hole out of the majority of his torso.
- One of the most stretching moments has Byakuya Kuchiki blowing a baseball-sized hole clean through Tsukishima's chest and back, (which had to take segments of his spine, lungs, and heart, etc.), and outside of his Fullbring, Tsukishima is a normal human. Rather than it being an insta-kill, Tsukishima's co-conspirator points out that he'll die in "ten minutes,"* during which he's still able to get up, try to sneak attack Ichigo, and afterward endure a massive Villainous Breakdown. Later chapters reveal that he did indeed die from the wound, but you gotta give him credit.
- White is a notable aversion, whose Hollow hole has been filled with a veiny substance. However, Masaki starts growing one when she inadvertently assimilates him.
- Rose gets a star-shaped one courtesy of Mask de Masculine's Star Flash attack.
- Komamura gets one of these when he cuts out his heart to gain a more powerful human form. It's only visible when an attack scorches the skin off his chest, however.
- Nimaiya gets this courtesy of Lille Barro shooting him in the chest.
- One Piece:
- Minor character Farafra is introduced in the Alabasta arc. He's missing so much of his shoulder that his arm shouldn't be attached anymore.
- Whitebeard gets half his head blasted off before dying, and it's not even what kills him!
- Portgas D. Ace gets an arm through his chest, leaving a fist-sized hole, and is able to briefly stand before falling over and then talking for a while before dying.
- Several characters in the Punk Hazard arc have their hearts removed by Trafalgar Law, leaving a fist-sized square-shaped hole in their chests. The only reason they don't immediately keel over and die is because of Law's Devil Fruit power sustaining the heart and its functions.
- In Dragon Ball, there's when Goku finally kills Demon King Piccolo. Basically, Goku blasts a hole in him big enough for him to fly through. Piccolo gets to say a few lines, spit an egg far away, and say a few more words about it. All while still flying. Then he explodes.
- Then Piccolo later blasts a hole through the right side of Goku's chest. Goku still manages to win.
- Happens again in Dragon Ball Z after Raditz and Goku get drilled through the stomach by Piccolo's Special Beam Cannon. Both of them manage to linger for a little while before dying.
- There is also Trunks, who gets a hole blasted through his chest by Cell after he comes back from his near-death experience. By the text, he doesn't die right away, but he isn't conscious either.
- Vegeta also gets a hole blasted in his chest by Krillin in a gamble to get Denda to heal him so he'll become strong enough to beat Frieza. He is literally seen walking with a hole where his spine should be.
- Happens to Lordgenome in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. He gets better. Sort of.
- Daitarn 3: Used after Daitarn 3 uses a Sun Attack on a megaborg and crashes through them, leaving a massive hole in their body before exploding. The penultimate episode poked fun at this by using a scatter attack version, literally filling Nendol (the Monster Of The Week in the episode) with holes before exploding.
- In Darker Than Black, when Wei blasted holes in people, one ended up like this. Bonus points for having this right over a peephole viewed from another side.
- Naruto: During his fight with Kidoumaru, Neji has a hole blasted through one of his shoulders. Though it obviously causes him a lot of pain, he is able to continue fighting, even when he takes another similar blow to his side.
- Soul Eater:
- Shinigami gets part of his head blasted off during his battle with the Kishin. He's fine.
- Sid has one of these going through his head. He's a zombie, so it's presumably how he died.
- Over the course of the series, Alphonse from Fullmetal Alchemist gets bits and chunks removed from his body, some with very nice rounded edges. Justified in that he's a magically animated suit of armor. At one point he does crumple over.
- Nagi in Deadman Wonderland dies from one of these, but manages to hold down The Dragon so that the protagonists can kill him.
- In the first episode of Cowboy Bebop, a potential red-eye buyer is shot in the head, and his assailants are shown through the hole.
- Punctures by Shintaro Kago uses this in its main plot, where people puncture items or even themselves to solve various daily issues. In the series, people have dug holes through their hands, their chests or even straight through their face, but can still seem to function completely normally.
- In an early chapter of Claymore, Clare gets a hole punched in her stomach by a yoma. She does something (not clear what) to stop the bleeding, then finishes off her opponent.
- Hellsing's Alucard frequently lets this happen to him. Alucard being Alucard, he doesn't really care. Otherwise one of the more realistic portrayals of this trope, as pieces will fall off of him.
- The main character in Kaiba has a large, permanent hole right through his chest, which is eventually revealed to have been caused by acidic poison.
- The surrealistic classic The Madonna of Port Lligat by Salvador Dali features Saint Mary and Baby Jesus... both with holes in their bodies that don't seem to be hampering them at all. Then again, this is a painting by Dali.
- Dali's Homage to Newton◊, in Plaza, Singapore, has holes in the torso and head. They represent open-heartedness and open-mindedness, respectively.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe gives us Gargonn the Hutt, who had half his head eaten off. You can see his brain.
- It also gives us the Adarian, a species of aliens with a large, naturally occurring hole in their head.
- Batman villainess Una Nemo AKA "The Absence", currently the trope picture on the Who Even Needs a Brain? page. Una was shot in the head by gangsters and now has an enormous hole in her forehead and extending all the way through, with no visible brain, yet functions just fine, and may be smarter than before the hole happened. It appears to be a combination of a previously undiagnosed freak medical condition (which resulted in the brain lining the skull rather than sitting in the middle of it) and Gotham City's water supply being seriously tainted.
- In the meta-parody of Julius Caesar from MAD #17, Caesar's assassins have to repeatedly blast "huge, round, clean-cut holes" in him with "38 cal. swords" before he, having more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese, finally says "then fall, Caesar" and topples over.
- The zombies in the graphic novel series FUBAR sometimes get this. A notable example has a big hole in its torso with its skeleton showing, with a vertebrate missing for good measure.
- Judge Dredd:
- In Half-Life, Sandra/Cassandra Anderson does this to Judge Death by blasting a hole in his rib cage after the witches Phobia and Nausea completed their ritual on him. As he's already achieved immortality by that point, he reminds her of his Catch Phrase: You cannot kill what doesss not live...
- Batman tried this on Judge Mortis as well in a crossover comic, but he still kept coming.
Film (Live Action)
- Blaine from Predator gets blasted by the Predator's superweapon. He doesn't survive, but his body doesn't seem to notice it's no longer with spine.
- Near the beginning of Kung Pow! Enter the Fist, the protagonist punches a clean hole straight through a mook's stomach, leaving a solid, cylindrical "stomach plug" lying on the ground, to the Narrator's astonishment. The mook makes a reappearance during the Sequel Hook, swinging the plug as a weapon from a chain connecting it to his body.
- Goldie Hawn's character in Death Becomes Her plays this for laughs, and it's featured in the film's poster, which shows Bruce Willis' arm holding a candlelabra through the opening.
- In the Dukes Of Hazzard film, Bo Duke is shown a turkey that has a nice hole blown through it.
- During the climax of The Quick and the Dead, Gene Hackman's character doesn't think he's been shot until he sees the hole in his shadow.
- Happens to Freddy (via a laser beam shot by Alice) in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. He fixes himself up with just a wave of his hand.
- At the beginning of Van Helsing, the title character and Mr. Hyde are conversing about their previous encounter, particularly the hole in Hyde's arm curtesy of Helsing.
- In Iron Man, Tony Stark is only alive because of the hole in his chest (and what he put in it).
- In Shaun of the Dead Shaun and Ed encounter a zombie woman in their yard, they only realize she's a zombie after they knock her onto a pipe impaling her through the midsection, she then gets up and pulls it out of her and we get a view of them looking through the hole.
- Iceman in X-Men: Days of Future Past, by three Sentinels in the climax.
- Mulan: During the "A Girl Worth Fighting For" number, Yao's line is about how his girlfriend will tend his battle scars. The accompanying visual is of the girlfriend peeking through a hole in Yao's chest.
- In Space Jam, Marvin as the referee accidentally fires his starter gun through Sylvester. Tweety flies through the hole and comments "Holey putty tat!"
- In Osmosis Jones, Thrax tries to jab a prone Jones in the chest with his lethal-touch fingers, only to find he's stuck his nails into the floor underneath him. As a white blood cell, Osmosis has a mutable body, and made a hole through his own torso for Thrax's hand to pass harmlessly through.
- In Wreck-It Ralph, one of Sugar Rush's candy-themed denizens is a cop named Duncan. He's a donut.
- Played with in Harry Potter. Nearly-Headless Nick was decapitated, but not all the skin got cut. The remaining skin should tear apart from the weight of his head, but instead acts as a very sturdy hinge. Justified since he's a ghost and his head doesn't actually have any weight.
- Averted as much as possible in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, when Harry has the bones in his forearm magically removed. It doesn't leave a hole, but his forearm goes all Gumby, and he can't use his hand because the muscles aren't attached to anything.
- In the Star Wars Dark Nest Trilogy, R2-D2 starts complaining about damage he suffered during a firefight. When Han and Luke inspect him, they discover a hole in his dome that they can see each other through.
- The Dresden Files: After Tessa critically injures Michael, infuriated Harry burns her through with a gargantuan blowtorch of anger-fueled magical fire. Being a fallen angel, she survives, but only barely.
- Happens to a villain in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. His species had a highly decentralized internal body structure that granted them this ability.
- An elaborate magic trick sometimes performed where the magician's assistant will be run through with a large 12"+ diameter drill. The drill is removed and they're fine! Averted magically!
- Mentioned in the Firefly episode "Safe", when Shepherd Book is shot. Zoe talks about a soldier she knew in the war who had a hole shot clean through his shoulder that "used to keep a spare hanky in there."
- In Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, the Dragon Zord Fighting Mode's Finishing Move is to use its staff - tipped with the Dragonzord's tail drill - to stab straight through the Monster of the Week. We get a view of the Zord as if you were looking through the hole from behind the monster, until it falls over and only then does Defeat Means Explosion kick in. The hole shows no sign of the monster having organs or bone or being anything but solid straight through. The monsters are, of course, clay figures brought to life, so they kinda aren't supposed to have organs.
- On Community Jeff meets one of his old law associates, played by Drew Carey, who has a hole through the palm of his hand due to a childhood accident.
- Don Flack in CSI NY, when a bomb drove debris into his torso. Played realistically that time, though, as Mac had to use his combat first aid skills to keep him from bleeding to death before he was rescued.
- In the Doctor Who episode The Time Of The Doctor, the Doctor tricks a wooden Cyberman to turn it's flamethrower onto itself and fire. This happens.
- In Kamen Rider Gaim, the Pine Arms' Finishing Move is to perform a Diving Kick. When Gaim uses this on a giant Monster of the Week in episode 2, he goes straight through, leaving behind an energy projection of a pineapple ring around the wound, followed by Defeat Equals Explosion.
- Project 86: The cover of their album Songs to Burn Your Bridges By features a man in a suit with a gaping hole through his chest, holding a knife behind his back so the blade is visible through the hole. Then their music video for "The Spy Hunter" (the first track of that album) ended with vocalist Andrew Schwab getting shot with a cannon and reenacting the album cover pose. Then their video for "My Will Be a Dead Man" was a sequel and showed Andrew making a full recovery.
- Paranoia. A picture in an early edition book showed a Troubleshooter with a huge hole in his body calmly walking around. It was jokingly said to be an example of someone with a large Macho Bonus (ability to withstand injury).
- Commandant Steele dies from a huge tentacle through the chest in the main campaign of Borderlands. When she's brought back for the final Downloadable Content, the resulting hole in her torso is still there, but doesn't seem to slow her down.
- In Mass Effect 2, the Geth platform dubbed "Legion" has a gaping wound in its torso, which it partially patched up with a salvaged piece of Shepard's N7 armour. Legion explains this wound was acquired whilst traveling to worlds visited by Shepard in the first game, when it failed to take into account that after the attack on Eden Prime by Saren's Geth, the colonists would not take too kindly to seeing another Geth platform wandering around.
- In Team Fortress 2's "Meet The Pyro", the ending shows the BLU Soldier having a gaping hole in his chest and dying among the aftermath of the Pyro's visit. Ouch.
- He is even clutching his organs in his hands.
- In-game, the Voodoo-Cursed Soldier Soul cosmetic turns the Soldier into a zombie, complete with a hole in his torso modeled after the one from the above-mentioned Meet The Pyro.
- Several Heartless (like Darkside, for example) in Kingdom Hearts have this motif, with the hole obviously being heart-shaped. Since they're creatures made from the darkness in people's hearts, they likely don't have any real organs in there, anyway.
- It is possible for a gunshot wound to heal this way, assuming the bullet was high-enough caliber. One photograph of a Civil War soldier shows the soldier sticking a ramrod through a bullet wound that healed as a hole.
- In some cattle farms, the caretakers will surgically install a porthole in the side of the cow to allow them to monitor its digestion.
- Body piercings can be stretched to a large degree, leading to the infamous saucer-in-the-ear look.
- The curious case of Alexis St. Martin (1798-1880), whose stomach was ventilated by a musket ball at close range. Surprisingly, he survived some forty years after his accident, and his perforated guts allowed surgeon Dr. William Beaumont to study the mechanics of human digestion firsthand, by dangling food into the abdominal fistula on the end of a piece of cord and observing the stomach acids at work.
- This guy ◊
- A horse on Animal Cops Houston, which survived mostly unaffected with a hole completely through its neck, possibly resulting from a dominance fight with another stallion (it was not deemed abuse-caused as is the norm on these shows.)