"Vagina Dentata... What a wonderful phrase! Vagina Dentata... ain't no passin' craze! It means no wiener for the rest of your days! It's a penis-free girl cavity! Vagina Dentata!"
A classic Body Horror
, the Vagina Dentata is a folk myth of toothed female genitalia, which occurs in many cultures worldwide, from Maori to Native American. It is suspected that the concept originally came into play as part of a Scare 'Em Straight
cautionary tale, warning of the dangers of sex with strange women, but the surreality of the image, and the castration anxiety
it evokes, has made it a hallmark of psychoanalytic painters and writers. Currently, many anti-rape female condoms work along the same principle.
If you believe in deep inner subtext
, you're likely to see them in any creature that's moist, has teeth, and devours its victims (often whole and usually alive). Examples run from the Sarlaac pit
to Davy Jones' Kraken
. Sometimes there seems to be something to that
, but usually a cigar is just a cigar... so to speak.
Several women's studies professors have advanced the theory that the vagina-as-Nightmare Fuel
trope runs mainly on an inherent revulsion to female sexual power: to quote Stephen J. Ducat, "The fear of entering triumphantly, and leaving diminished." Post-structuralism might have a bone to pick with this notion, since it is based on the binary between lack and desire (i.e. a lack is somehow necessary for desire to be present), while post-structuralism (among other things) decries binarism as restrictive. But we digress.
An alternate theory suggested by some men says that the fear of the vagina dentata arises from the idea that having your penis bitten off would really, really hurt 
, but of course that doesn't even come close to explaining why they'd imagine teeth in a vagina in the first place
. Strangely enough
, this trope has not diminished the male enthusiasm for fellatio. This may be explained by the fact that most legends of Vagina Dentata show said toothed orifice as having a mind of its own
, and a rather malicious one at that, whereas the standard mouth is manifestly under the control of its owner. Others point out that the idea of a secret mouth — sharp, nasty, and ready to bite you when you least expect it — is terrifying in and of itself.
It's worth noting that if a (normal, humannote
) woman really did have teeth down there, she would still need to Kegel the crap out of her pelvic muscles
to make them strong enough to tear skin
. Otherwise, the teeth would do nothing more than just feel weird, really
, unless they were somehow exceptionally sharp
, although this would naturally run the risk of injuring the woman in question as well.
Note that a woman with a Vagina Dentata, especially one who can control it, would be an example of a Horny Devil
, as both tropes were born from legends warning against sex with strange women. Or a warning for women to not come too near in that special time of the month. Some cultures kept their women in special houses
at that time, others would just say: try anything and theirs will eat yours - or make it fall off. Subtrope to Super Sex Organs
. Raunchier Sister Trope
to Lamprey Mouth
. The Gender Inverted
version of the trope, "Penile Dentata", usually in the form of oblong objects or creatures with teeth or spikes, is not entirely unheard of and tends to symbolize masculine dominance or brutality, if not being an outright metaphor for rape or sexual abuse.
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Anime and Manga
- FLCL gives you the comedic version — Boxing Glove Vagina.
- This is a reference to a Lupin III (Red Jacket) opening credits sequence, though in the Lupin III version the spring originates behind instead of between Fujiko's legs.
- Before that episode first aired on Adult Swim, the black-screen intro warned something to the effect of "we cut one shot from this episode. Guess which one."
- The 1987 OVA Wicked City features a multitude of demons with Vagina Dentata. The most noticeable one is the local Dark Action Girl, the infamous Spider Woman, who tries to use her Vagina Dentata to eat the male lead Taki with it. Right after having sex with him. And she can also shoot spider web from it. Eeeeeep.
- In YuYu Hakusho, Kurama turns the tables against Karasu during their fight by using an Ojigi Plant—pictured here and especially here in the manga.
- Norio from Narutaru named his shadow dragon Vagina Dentata, and sure enough its head does sorta look like a toothy vagina. The fact that Norio is gay, and a tad misogynist, makes it darkly amusing.
- The Mask of Flesh from InuYasha appears to be a harmless Noh mask of a woman until you put it on, at which point it permanently attaches itself to your face and then splits open vertically to reveal a vicious set of teeth. And then comes the Body Horror (multiple Body Horror, actually)...
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, one of Marik's more usable fantastic fiends, Dark Jeroid, has two faces and a centaurian build. Of course, its forelegs look like distorted arms (complete with hands), and the second face is right at the bottom of the upright torso... with a mouth right at that crucial spot. This combined with the rest of the distorted visage, visible here, qualify it as one of the higher-octane nightmare-cards Marik handles, even if it isn't one of the strongest.
- Similarly, there's Worm King. TCG artwork has it covered up as if the mouth is closed. (In fact, vertical, toothy mouths are common in the Worm archetype.)
- The only female Gunmen (Gunwomen?) mecha, belonging to General Adiane in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has its toothy mouth below the abdomen, with fangs. Given the fact that all the male Gunmen use drills, drills, and more drills as weapons, this was definitely intended to evoke Freud Was Right.
- The Blue◊ from Blue Gender.
- The Bio-Meat in Bio-Meat: Nectar, particularly on the undersides.
- Little demon Fastener from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt has an oval head bisected by a vertical zipper that looks like a vagina dentata. This is one of the least offensive things on the show.
- One of the incidental Awakened in Claymore starts as a woman that splits into... this... while pulling a head attached to a long neck into its maw. Does This Remind You of Anything??
- In the infamous adult OVA La Blue Girl The Rival to the main character transforms into a shikima, the name of the monsters in the series, she gains this along with a tongue.
- Kill la Kill invokes this trope in particularly weird and somewhat disturbing fashion in episode 12, when Ryuko loses it and transforms into a twisted berserker form, which has a huge mouth filled with sharp teeth where her pelvis should be! It's an exception to the general rule in that it opens like a regular mouth, but the implication's still there. Take a look!◊
- Watchmen. Why do you think Ozymandias' monster only has one eye over that mouth?
- Virginia Dentata from DV 8 is intentionally meant to invoke this image, though her big, toothy, sideways mouth is on her stomach.
- In Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, Dave McKean suggested the Joker would be beared to invoke this image, to go along with Grant Morrison's idea of a very sexually fucked up Batman. In the end they scrapped the idea... not that it made the Joker any less terrifying.
- Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose has a sea witch who has a vagina with a beak. That's right. A squid beak to go with the tentacles growing out her labia.
- The Elric comic series The Balance Lost has a giant woman-monster with teeth everywhere. The Vagina Dentata is complemented by breasts that grow teeth, a mouth that grows extra mouths that all have teeth... you get the picture.
- Referenced in one issue of Rat-Man: before having his first time with a woman, Rat-Man tells his penis not to worry, because she hasn't got shark teeth "down there".
- One of ECMajor's recent (as of 2012) works depicts Queen Chrysalis' lady bits with tiny claws around her clitoris. Jury's still out on whether or not they can hurt or just stimulate.
- An old and now sadly lost Harry Potter fanfic had accidental Vagina Dentata thanks to Rouge Angles of Satin. Hermione was standing by the lake being bitten by midges, but unfortunately:
"Hermione stood in the centre of a cloud of minges
, all of them trying to bite her."
- A lengthy sequence in American Gods culminates in a succubus-like reinvention of Bilquis the fertility goddess/the Queen of Sheba devouring a man whole through her sexual organs. There is later mention of a young recently-enslaved African girl (a twin, and thereby believed to have magic powers) convincing a would-be rapist that she had this.
- K.W. Jeter's novel Dr Adder features a character with Vagina Dentata.
- In Mercedes Lackey's Jinx High, the evil magic user's artificial servant was deliberately created with this feature, and is fed through that orifice.
- In Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, Y.T. has a futuristic anti-rape device called a 'dentata', which is sort of a spring-loaded autoinjector that jabs an unwelcome penis with a tiny needle and a heavy dose of narcotics — it doesn't prevent penetration per se, but does quickly incapacitate the attacker. At one point, she forgets to remove it prior to having entirely consensual sex, which results in a somewhat awkward scene.
- A variant of this trope occurs in, of all places, The Talmud. In a discussion of why it's proper for women to shave down there, reference is made to the biblical story of Amnon, who lusted after his half-sister Tamar and raped her, then immediately afterward "hated her with a very great hatred." The Talmud says the reason his feelings changed so drastically was that his penis got caught in her pubic hair and was mutilated. So, shave, ladies. It's more comfortable for the guy who's raping you.
- The female Firvulag in the Julian May Pliocene Exile series all had this, and this was given as a source for human legends of the same.
- This◊ cover from a Doctor Who novel. Oddly enough, it doesn't have very much to do with the story.
- Warren Ellis' prose novel Crooked Little Vein features a variant of this trope when the protagonist stumbles into a conversation with a demented fellow mystery explorer that mentions a homicide by Anal Dentata. Yeah, the book is kind of like that. Warren Ellis is kind of like that.
- The Gugs of HP Lovecraft's Dreamlands qualify on a symbolic level.
"Then two pink eyes shone, and the head of the awakened gug sentry, large as a barrel, wabbled into view. The eyes jutted two inches from each side, shaded by bony protuberances overgrown with coarse hairs. But the head was chiefly terrible because of the mouth. That mouth had great yellow fangs and ran from the top to the bottom of the head, opening vertically instead of horizontally."
- In Tanith Lee's short story The Weasel Bride, this is the reason the groom murdered his bride on their wedding night.
- The Shit weasels (well, that's what the characters call them...) in Stephen King's 'Dreamcatcher are described with a vertical, jawless mouth lined with teeth. One of them uses this to chew its way out through a guy's butt (hence their nickname).
- A Shitweasel also attacks Pete's penis when he goes for a leak. He Gets Better ... for a while.
- The heroine of Richard Calder's Dead Girls develops vagina dentata (among other things) from a misaimed bioweapon originally intended to weaponise bioengineered love dolls. It's implied that they were included in the design solely for the psychological effects.
- The short story Hillbettys had a male traveller stop at a house occupied by two beautiful sisters and their equally hot mother; mom and the elder daughter try to seduce him while the third is more hesitant. Turns out all three of them have vagina dentata, with the twist that the fangs are incredibly poisonous, and two of the women use them to seduce, rob and murder men. The traveller fights back and, with the help of the good daughter, kills the mother and elder daughter. He's fallen for the good one in the process, and as the two run away together, she asks how they can be together with her poisonous pussy. He cheerfully responds by revealing his occupation: "I'm a dentist! If there's one thing I know how to do, it's pull teeth!"
- Vampires in Necroscope are capable of this, among many other bodily modifications, and have been known to use the other modifications to enhance sex before using this one to put an end to the whole thing.
- An unfortunate drunk would-be rapist encounters one of these in Rivers of London, it's implied the woman possessing it is the protagonists' Moe maid too.
- Jossed in Moon Over Soho where despite the teasing hints at the end of Rivers it turns out to be a different woman, and she racks up a string of similar killings all against Asshole Victims. The sheer physical impossibility of any human woman being able to contract her pelvic muscles enough to do any damage, even with 'false teeth', is also lampshaded by Peter and Stephanopolous.
- Polymorph by Scott Westerfeld. The main character, who can shift any part of her body at will, creates these while she is being raped by another polymorph. The results are quite... graphic.
- A rare toothless example, but fits the spirit of the trope nonetheless: in I Am America (And So Can You!), Stephen Colbert claims that Kegels will can make woman's pelvic muscles to become so strong that she can tear a man's penis off with them. Even worse, a woman you're next to could be doing Kegels right now and you wouldn't even know.
- In Tour of the Merrimack, the Marine Geneva Rhine is stated to wear an anti-rape device that functions in this manner. No details are given other than the fact that it is called a "sausage peeler".
- In the Hyperion Cantos this happens to Kassad when his girlfriend Moneta turns into the Shrike in the middle of sex. He is livid afterwards.
- In Genome by Sergey Lukyanenko a genetically engineered super agent girl turns out to have a sting in her intimate parts that administers excruciatingly painful toxin to an unfortunate wannabe rapist.
- In Sun Koh Heir Of Atlantis, Shani - a priestess of Kali - is able to use Tantric sex magic to kill a gang of slavers and rapists with her vagina.
- In The Laundry Series short story Equoid, the protagonist reads a letter by H.P. Lovecraft about his encounter with the Mother of a Thousand Young, who is using Hetty van t’Hooft (a girl the then fourteen year-old Lovecraft is smitten with) as a lure to gain victims. The encounter no doubt explains Lovecraft's later phobia about sex.
''I looked up, straight at Hetty’s female parts, & saw then what had been hidden in waiting for me: a livid appendage, either vastly expanded from her natural organ (like the clitoris of the spotted hyena) or worse, an extrusion of Shub-Niggurath itself, capped with the concentric circular jaws of a lamprey
, alternately gaping open to bite & snapping closed with vile frustration, streaked with blood & mucus, pulsing as it quested blindly from its vulval nest to seek my face—
- Played with in the German parahistory crime novel "Meckels Messerzüge" by Wilhelm Bartsch. Titular anatom Meckel makes a section of a female corpse and finds teeth in her vagina. Actually, not her teeth, and don't bother to ask how they got in there in the first place, but the allusion to this trope is obvious.
Live Action Television
- Australian electronic/rock duo Corpse Penis Eaten By Rectum use a slight variation on this theme as their logo.
- The music video for Green Jelly's "Three Little Pigs" invokes the trope offscreen, as the camera pans over a seedy part of town and passes by a movie marquee playing a film called "Her Thing Had Teeth".
- The song Jones Crusher by Frank Zappa from Sheik Yerbouti is about a girl who's able to crush male private parts during sex- which isn't exactly this trope, but still worth mentioning.
Myths and Legends
- A Japanese legend involves a demon hidden in a woman's vagina, who would bite off men's penises until he broke his teeth on a specially-made steel dildo. The legend is commemorated with the Kanamara Matsuri, Festival of the Steel Penis where people eat loads of phallic pastries. Today, it is also used to raise money for AIDS awareness and research.
- One Inuit legend involved a guy meeting some woman like this, who really, really wanted to have sex with him. He used a stick in place of his own body, and broke the teeth. Possibly then he had sex with her or he opened up a Japanese pastry shop.
- Same stuff with teeth and then breaking them out also happens in an African folktale (needs citation).
- A Norwegian ballad describes the Vagina Dentata. A boy is surprised when his hand is bitten by his lover. He asks her how many she has bitten; "first she bit a bailiff, then a priest, then she "bit a sheriff from his horse". Interpret the last part the way you will.
- According to the legends of the Amazonian Yanomami Indians, when the very first men encountered the very first women, the menfolk were very wary, and let their horny monkey mascot-pet have sex with the women, first. To the monkey's eternal sorrow, the menfolk found out that the women's vaginas were infested with/guarded by schools of piranha.
- From Maori mythology, the death of Maui. (He crawls into the vagina of Hine Nui Te Po. She kills him, although it isn't clear whether by teeth or by Kegel.)
- The first Boss in Brütal Legend is this... stuck to a tentacle... with a clitoris piercing, that apparently smells like a death whale.
- A faceless creature in Silent Hill: Homecoming has a toothed, vagina-shaped mouth◊.
- The Split Worm in Silent Hill 3 is a combination of this and a Penis Dentatus. It also goes in and out of holes, representing penetration. Also, the split-jawed Doublehead dogs.
- The Pokémon known as Cloyster, to many it does look like a giant, spiky, purple vagina with an anti-rape goblin living inside.
- Pinsir has a mouth like this.
- Guild Wars also has its own version of this, the Dreadspawn Maw located in the elite endgame area for Nightfall, the Domain of Anguish.
- Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne has the Pisaca, and take a gander at Arioch◊
- The monsters in Michigan: Report From Hell.
- Borderlands, two words: Rakk Hive.
- Lampshaded in the strategy guide for said game. The text entry for this creature describes nothing but the censorship surrounding pictures of the boss's mouth.
- A third word: Destroyer.
- If it doesn't walk on two legs and its in Borderlands, chances are it follows this trope.
- The Mook Maker in the first few levels of Bloodrayne looked like a cross between a vagina and the cocoon from Species.
- This phone card art◊ for EarthBound gives local Big Bad Giygas an... unusual face. "Is that an Eldritch Abomination in your pocket, or are you just angry to see me?"
- And then remember the fan theories about Giygas being a rape symbol...
- The Final Fantasy series' Malboros. Tentacles, teeth, bad breath...yep, Vagina Dentata.
- About half the zerg in Starcraft2 have portraits like this.
- In Dantes Inferno, the "temptress" creatures in the circle of Lust have these.
- The Iron Maidens in Resident Evil 4 have upper jaws that look like this.
- Resident Evil 5 has the split-headed Adjules, which may have been-inspired by the Doubleheads in Silent Hill 3.
- The Oozes in Pathways into Darkness, and the F'lickta in Marathon 2: Durandal. The latter's also serves as a literal vagina, according to info in S'pht terminals.
- Mantorok of Eternal Darkness.
- In Halo, the Elites have sets of mandibles similar to the Predators. Lampshaded in Arby 'n' the Chief, where Chief calls Arby Vagina Face occasionally.
- As if its sheer difficulty weren't horrifying enough, Dark Souls gives us the Gaping Dragon◊, which very obviously resembles a fifty-foot-tall toothed vagina on legs when it rears up to attack. Yes, it will try to engulf you at every possible opportunity. Even squickier, one of its attacks has the thing vomit a massive wave of acid.
- In Catherine, the second "boss" of Vincent's dreams is the Immoral Beast, a deformed torso with its limbs on backwards and various body parts (including eyes and a nose) on its ass. It also a mouth near where the split in its legs should begin. And it giggles and moans while it chases him. It's pretty obviously a manifestation of Vincent's guilt over the indescretions of his adultery.
- In Skyward Sword, Deku Babas (carnivorous plant enemies that attack by biting) are now able to open their jaws vertically as well as horizontally, giving them the appearance of this trope.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, you can attempt to convince a slave trader to give you a slave for free by mentioning that she has a dangerous disease. If you medicine skill is too low, your character will say that the slave has "vagina dentata", which will not fool the slave trader.
- Eternal Knights: Captured and shackled, Kathryn tells her captor that she can use her magic ring to form metal wherever needed. She makes it clear she has previously used this ability to chop a choke pear in half — warning him away from thoughts of sexual assault, should he have any.
- Used in a slightly different manner in Stage Select.
- The Perry Bible Fellowship naturally has its own disturbingly funny (and NSFW) take on the subject.
- Mentioned in Queen of Wands. Not nearly as gruesome, but just as disturbing, is singing its praises to the tune of Hakuna Matata, quoted above. (Warning: Not Mind Safe.)
- The fused form of Bob and Lisa, the Sin(s) of Gluttony, from Jack. Depending on which one is in control you either get a giant female reptile monster with a male face for a crotch, or vice versa.
- NSFW Comix has Entrepreneurial Dan making several unsuccessful pitches for vagina dentata devices.
- Edible Dirt, almost always a deeply NSFW comic, visits this particular brand of Squick.
- Concession invokes Predator with their resident ghostly abomination here.
- The Order Of The Black Dog, from the same author as "Concession", shows this with one of the horrors of the astral plane.
- One strip of Exterminatus Now discussed the American Gods example above, with Lothar pissed that Eastwood didn't warn him about it when recommending the book.
- Honorable Mention: The Unspeakable Vault (of Doom) features Kinky Shopping., including Ygo's Fleshdark Toy, "for use with or without teeth". (Not really NSFW.)
- The flying vagina creature in an animated short called Cumbersnatch, as well as the mouths of the penissauruses. As you might suspect, not work safe.
- "That stung like a woman with teeth in her beef portal!"
- SCP-688 can replicate this, under the right conditions.
- Whateley Universe: n "Sara's Little Purple Book" (an in-series booklet on the advantages and disadvantages of Power Perversion Potential which is clandestinely circulating among the students), the risk of a normal male having sex with a super-strong woman is discussed:
In vulgar circles, there’s a certain injury sustained by normal men during intercourse with Exemplar women that they call the ‘c**t crush’. Involuntary spasms of the vagina and legs during coitus can severely injure a man’s genitals, pelvic region and back when using certain sexual positions. Again, always insist on a reinforced brick condom, and avoid the missionary position. If you must, a special girdle can be purchased that will take the sting out.
- While not vagina dentata per se, it certainly has all the psychological horror of it for average men.
- Not to mention that Sara is perfectly capable of actually producing teeth there (and anywhere else she chooses), and has in fact castrated and transformed at least one of her opponents in the past (and even keeps his organ sealed in Lucite on the mantelpiece as a souvenir). With demons, the metaphor can become real very fast.
- Drawn Together: Princess Clara's Wicked Stepmother cursed her and now her genitalia are a tentacle monster (an "Octopussoir") that scares away potential suitors until she finds her True Love's kiss. Naturally, that event didn't go quite as planned. The vagina is later surgically removed and goes on to have a more fulfilling love life than its owner. Also subverted in that the "Octopussoir", aside from being a little jumpy, was actually a very kind creature.
- South Park:
- In the episode "Red Hot Catholic Love" after Father Maxi suggests that the laws be changed to allow priests to have sex with women, the Gelgameck cardinal protests, "A Gelgameck vagina is three feet wide and filled with razor-sharp teeth! Do you really expect us to have sex with them?" But let's just forget about the Gelgamecks.
- Hillary Clinton has... something in there, according to "The Snuke".
- The Vamp Poison Ivy's introductory episode on Batman: The Animated Series featured her Man-Eating Plant devouring Batman, and as it's shaped similarly to a giant Venus' fly trap, it of course evokes this imagery. This got adapted into the SNES game The Adventures of Batman & Robin, pictured above.
- In an episode of American Dad! where Stan is sent to prison, he decides to best way to avoid being raped is to spread a rumor about how his anus has teeth.
- This is the true form of the cute and cuddly Dimple Plant from Adventure Time.
- In an episode of Xiaolin Showdown titled "The Dream Stalker", Hannibal Bean uses two Shen Gong Wu (the Shadow of Fear and the Sapphire Dragon) to bring Raimundo's worst fears to life to use against the other monks. While Rai's fear of jellyfish was known from a previous episode, the giant jellyfish monster that Bean sets loose on the temple has, well...a gigantic fleshy, toothy sideways mouth.
- The man-eating tree on Korgoth of Barbaria has a vertical mouth. Appropriately, the tree used a bound pretty girl to lure its victims.