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Attack the Mouth

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"Next time you fuck with me I'm gonna take this mop and shove it down your throat!"

An attack at someone's mouth is one of the most intense ways to hurt or kill a person.

The mouth is one of the most sensitive parts of the body. It's where we repeatedly let foreign objects enter our body — it's just that usually those objects are nourishment of some kind. Sticking in something dangerous will likely create visceral feelings of horror and revulsion in people. It has shades of Body Horror even when that trope isn't actually happening. And being situated in the head, it's also very close to the brain,note  and thus presents an alternate direction for targeting the body's most vital organ.

This is why any kind of attack there, whether it's putting the barrel of a gun in someone's mouth, making someone unknowingly ingest poison, or an Orifice Invasion through the mouth, will likely be to show just how serious things have gotten.

Any part counts. It could be the interior of the mouth, the lips, the jaw, the teeth or inflicting Tongue Trauma.

This is largely a reason why the Depraved Dentist trope still happens even with modern medicine, since the thought of someone doing things in one's mouth is not pleasant for many people.

In fiction, this can be portrayed as a way for villains to get some fitting comeuppance. Perhaps going for the mouth may be the way to Attack Its Weak Point. If the attacking creature has a Breath Weapon this attack could cause a Superpower Meltdown. Eat Me can be a way to just bring the mouth to you so you can attack it. An Eat the Camera shot can be used for extra effect.

A Super-Trope to Jawbreaker (breaking or tearing the jaw), Ate His Gun (where the attack is tragically self-inflicted), Feed It a Bomb (toss an explosive into the target's mouth).

A Sister Trope to Eye Scream (another part of the face where attacks are considered brutal), Groin Attack, Breast Attack, Literal Ass-Kicking, Agony of the Feet (all serious attacks on sensitive areas).

Compare/contrast Palate Propping (the mouth is stopped from attacking you) or Kill It Through Its Stomach (using the mouth as an attack entry point).

See also Force Feeding, Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong.

Not to be confused with Offing the Mouth (as "mouth" here refers to a person mocking another).


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Attack on Titan: During the battle of Shiganshina District, Mikasa shoves a Thunder Spear into the Armored Titan's mouth, blowing up its head and forcing Reiner out of it.
  • In Dragon Ball Super, during the Tournament of Power, Ribrianne tries to attack Goku In the Back with her Breath Weapon during his first fight with Jiren. She instantly becomes victim of this trope, courtesy of Vegeta.
  • In Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Diamond Is Unbreakable, Sheer Heart Attack kills a tailor by getting him to scream in fear at seeing it, at which point it darts into his mouth.
  • So I'm a Spider, So What?: Kumoko frequently disposes of powerful monsters by using her Poison Synthesis skill to create a blob of her Deadly Spider Venom, while dodging out of the way, so the monster gets a mouthful of extremely potent poison when it tries to swallow her. Sometimes, she even pulls this on opponents who are tied up in her silk or otherwise restrained, but whom she doesn't feel safe in biting.

    Comic Books 
  • A story in The Punisher has Frank dealing with a corrupt CIA agent in South America. Frank fits his fist down the man's throat and shows what happens when someone opens their fist inside a person's mouth.
  • Robin (1993): When Robin and Spoiler find themselves fighting a group of mooks lead by a man who is incredibly proud of his bizarre dental work Robin immediately kicks him in the mouth when he's close enough, causing him to loose a tooth.
  • The Savage Dragon: While fighting an unstoppable monster called Chaos, Savage Dragon knocked out its partner, a mutant with high-pressure dung hoses for Arm Cannons. He shoves the guy's arm into Chaos' mouth, cries out "Eat shit and die!", and activates the shit-slingers with enough force to make Chaos' head explode.
  • X-Men Red (2022): Orrdon the Living Star is a superhuman Arakkii mutant, a Flying Brick who claims to be totally invulnerable while using his powers. He also talks a lot, which allows Isca the Unbeaten to send a perfectly placed arrow into his open mouth, up through his palate and into his brain. Apparently his invulnerability didn't include that.

     Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): This happens to the evil monsters a few times.
    • The Many end up Eating the Bomb when they try to smother Rodan's head at Yonaguni.
    • Ultimately downplayed when Vivienne violently attacks MaNi/Elder Brother's mouth and his gullet. While it does send him into a panic and while she does cause quite a bit of damage to him, it doesn't kill or seriously cripple him.
    • And later in the story, Vivienne and San execute Keizer Ghidorah's severed head the same way Mechagodzilla killed Skullcrawler Number 10.
  • Boldores And Boomsticks: Lux leaps into the mouth of a Sea Feilong and begins burning the inside with his fire attacks. While still in there, he evolves into a Combusken and starts using the more powerful Fire Spin.
  • In Child of the Storm, Doctor Strange pulls a literal Shut Up, Hannibal! by punching Gravemoss in the mouth. With an Iron Fist punch, no less.
  • In Inky Future, Orion does this to a Cohozuna in a fit of rage during a Salmon Run by wrenching open its jaw and firing a Sting Ray down its gullet, ultimately splatting it entirely.
  • Leviathan in Manehattan's Lone Guardian deals with an enemy dragon through a combination of this method and Kill It Through Its Stomach: when the dragon tries to eat her, she first fires an icy spray down its throat towards its stomach, then another at the roof of its mouth. It doesn't kill the dragon, but it does allow Levi to claim victory by inducing torpor.

    Films — Animation 
  • In How to Train Your Dragon (2010), the Red Death is defeated by Toothless spewing a plasma bolt into her mouth while she was readying her own Breath Weapon, igniting the gas within and quickly burning her wings to tatters, dooming her to crash into the ground far below. This is foreshadowed when he sees a small dragon do a similar thing to another dragon when fighting for food, but that one was nonlethal.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Beldar of Coneheads has been sentenced to fight for survival against the monstrous Grelblatt for "bonding" with inferior humans. Beldar uses his golf skills to launch one of the monster's turds into its mouth, where it lodges in its throat, asphyxiating it. This earns Beldar a royal pardon.
  • Deadpool: During the brawl inside the car at the beginning, after burning the forehead of a mook with the car's cigarette lighter, Deadpool crams it into his mouth.
    Deadpool: I never say this, but don't swallow!
  • Played for laughs in Dragonheart, where Sir Bowen stabs the last dragon into the roof of its mouth as a natural response to it trying to eat him. With him still inside the mouth, his leads to a Mexican Standoff where neither character can attack or withdraw safely. Eventually, after many hours of being stuck in this position, they agree on a truce and separate.
  • In King Kong (2005), Kong rips out the tongue of one dinosaur he fights, and then kills it by breaking its jaws.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Legolas kills the cave troll by shooting an arrow through its mouth into its brain.
  • MonsterVerse:
    • Godzilla (2014): The titular monster finishes off the female MUTO by prying her jaws open and unloading his atomic breath down her throat in what has been called the "Kiss of Death".
    • Godzilla vs. Kong: Mechagodzilla attempts to kill Godzilla with the Kiss of Death just as Godzilla killed the female MUTO.
  • Psycho II: Lila Loomis gets brutally stabbed in the mouth, the blade exiting out the back of her throat.
  • In Reign of Fire Reluctant Hero Quinn learns about the weakness of dragons from feisty Denton. Dragons' fire-breathing is done by spraying a combustible fluid and an oxider from twin ducts in their mouths. Rupturing a dragon's palate results in the fluids mixing too soon, which makes his head explode. Quinn exploits this tactic to defeat the Final Boss dragon.
  • At the end of The Rock, Stanely takes out the (true) villain of the movie by shoving a ball of the nerve gas in his mouth.
  • A segment in Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, "Cat from Hell", ends similarly to the Stephen King short story it's based on, where a hitman is hired to kill a vengeful cat, but the cat instead kills the hitman by jumping into his mouth. Here it goes even further, as the cat waits all night inside the hitman's body until its real target Drogan, an old man who did animal testing (and hired the hitman), comes home and sees the cat crawl out from the hitman's mouth, causing Drogan to have a fatal heart attack at the sight.

  • In The Alice Network, Eve bites René’s mouth. (It leaves a scar.)
  • In the Stephen King story The Cat from Hell, a hitman is hired to kill a cat (who is avenging an drug experiment which killed thousands of cats years before), but the cat takes the hitman out by leaping into his mouth, and causing the hitman to choke to death as the cat crawls all the way down his throat. The cat even manages to make sure the hitman's mouth was open by a Groin Attack with its claws, getting a yawning scream of pain from the hitman.
  • Everworld: One of the Vikings is known as Sword-eater due to having taken a sword through both cheeks.
  • The Redcrosse Knight from The Faerie Queene slays the dragon by shoving his sword down its throat just as it rushes towards him in an arrogant bid to swallow the knight whole.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's Glory Road. While Oscar Gordon and Star are fighting a dragon they fire several arrows into its mouth — one of the few places on a dragon's body where they can penetrate.
  • In Tribesmen of Gor Tarl is part of a hunt for a legendary old shark. At one point the shark grabs the leader in his jaws, and while the shark's jaws are open Tarl stabs and slashes at it with a sword.
  • In Knights of the Borrowed Dark, Vivian does this to a Brainwashed and Crazy Grey, hitting him in the mouth with a sledgehammer'' and breaking his jaw in order to incapacitate him and stop him using Cants.
  • Out of the Silent Planet: On the world of Malacandra, a river-dwelling predator called a "hnakra" is heavily armored, and can only be harmed by hurling spears at its open mouth. The main character takes part in a hunt and manages to help kill one.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: In the episode "Guise Will Be Guise", Angel realizes that Magev is an imposter just as the man steps into sunlight where Angel can't follow - so Angel grabs a fishing rod and hooks him through the mouth, then reels him back into the shade.
  • In episode 26 of Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger Mei, the Pink Zyuranger, defeats Dora Boogaranan, the Monster of the Week, by firing an arrow into its mouth, causing it to explode.
  • Strangers From Hell: Moon-jo usually tears out his victims' teeth without anaesthetic before killing them.
  • Ultra Series
    • Verokron, the most iconic monster from Ultraman Ace, has the interior of it's mouth being it's primary weakness. Ace managed to stun Verokron in the episode's battle by firing an energy blast into the monster's mouth, causing severe damage and allowing Ace to quickly finish it off. This weakness returns in a later incarnation of Verokron in Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle, where ZAP Spacy managed to assist Rei in defeating the monster by firing their ship's laser into it's mouth.
    • Ultraman Taro once deals with a giant cicada kaiju called King Zemira, which culminates in Taro hacking off it's mouth-like feeding organ.
    • The final battle of Ultraman Leo where Leo battles the last of the Saucer Beasts, Black End. Having ripped off the monster's back spikes, Leo then throws them into Black End's mouth just as it was about to breathe fire at Leo, effectively damaging the monster's mouth and cavity enough to prevent it from attacking.
    • Ultraman Nexus has a rodent-like monster, Nosferu, who can regenerate From a Single Cell… unless if it's attacked in the mouth, since that's where it's regeneration organ is located.
    • The second episode of Ultraman Trigger: New Generation Tiga has Ultraman Trigger defeating the monster Gymaira by knocking it down, and then firing his Zepperion Ray from point-blank down Gymaira's throat, probably as a nod to the more recent Godzilla movies. As usual for the franchise, Defeat Equals Explosion applies, and Trigger ends up blowing himself halfway across the city.

  • Stranger Things: The Demogorgon toy's open mouth serves as its weak point, and shooting it usually results in more progress and points than shooting the rest of its body.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition Advanced D&D Player's Handbook. The Poison section mentions the technique of throwing a poison potion into a monster's mouth, hopefully killing it.

    Video Games 
  • Broken Age: Vella fights Mog Chothra by forcing open its mouth and shooting the death ray into it.
  • Cuphead: Once Captain Brineybeard's ship takes over as a boss at the latter half of the fight, its uvula in its mouth serves as its only vulnerable spot, requiring the player to attack its mouth.
  • Several of the giant mechanical sea creature bosses in Darius are only vulnerable in their mouth when it's open, such as King Fossil (plus many of its variations) and Fatty Glutton.
  • The Dark Souls games mostly avert this, as the mouths are rarely the weak point.
    • Dark Souls 1 even tries to trick the player into thinking this can be done to Chaos Eaters, who have their mouths on top of their heads. But leaping onto them doesn't do the usual Critical Hit, but instead gets the player chewed up.
    • Dark Souls II does a variation. The Demon of Song is a giant frog, but what looks like its mouth is actually a cover for its face and extra set of arms. Yet that face within the mouth is the only vulnerable part of its body (unless the player uses poison cloud attacks).
  • In Demon's Souls the Rock Worm takes a lot more damage when hit in the mouth (done either with spells, arrows, or a long melee weapon with a vertical swing).
  • The God of War series:
    • Several Action Commands attacks involve slamming the Blades of Chaos/Athena into a monster's mouth, and pulling until either the blades tear through the mouth (to do it again) or the monster's jaw is ripped open (the killing move).
    • The finishing move against Minotaurs is to slam one of Kratos's blades down their throat.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess the Deku Toad is defeated by repeatedly attacking its tongue.
  • One of Sigma's two final forms in Mega Man X4 can only be damaged when he opens his mouth. Also present in Mega Man X5 (as the first boss) and Mega Man X6 (as the final boss), both of which are only vulnerable when he opens the mouth to attack.
  • In the Metroid series, this is used for several bosses, including the mainstays Kraid and Ridley. In Super Metroid a mini-boss named Crocomire does not take damage from any attack, but attacking its mouth pushes it back, eventually into a pit of lava.
  • Punch-Out!! has this as the first step in defeating King Hippo. When he raises an arm to attack and opens his mouth, punching him in the mouth causes him to drop his trunks, exposing his true weak point, his stomach.
  • Resident Evil 4 does this for some enemies.
    • The Del Lago (the giant beast lake salamander) takes extra damage if hit in the mouth instead of its body.
    • Salder in the "Separate Ways" missions has to be hit until the eye in his mouth is exposed, and hitting that enough times will defeat him.
  • The weak point of the Horrorboros, a King Salmonid in Splatoon 3, is the gigantic bomb that it forms in its mouth to throw at players. It can be shot at while still forming to burst it prematurely and wipe away a significant chunk of its health, just like how Steelheads, a Boss Salmonid, have the bomb on their heads as their only weak point, which they likewise lob at players.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Ridley's Neutral Special has him charge up plasma balls in his mouth before spitting them out. If he's struck in the mouth by an attack that does knockback while charging, the plasma will explode in his mouth. This will damage and stun him, but he won't take knockback.
  • Yakuza has no shortage of brutal Heat Moves that do this to the opponent: a particularly flinch-worthy one has Majima smack his foe upside the head with a baseball bat, forcing them to their knees. Then he shoves the handle of the bat into their mouth, and delivers a savage kick to the underside of their jaw. YIKES.

    Visual Novels 
  • The protagonist of Daughter for Dessert knocks out Smoking Dog like this in his flashback about rescuing Lainie. She was about to undergo some occult ritual now that she could no longer be used for her money.

  • Unsounded: Sara stabs her sister's pencil through the mouth of a wright attacking them, with it crossing through one cheek and out the other. Preventing a wright from speaking makes it so they can't cast any spellwork.

    Web Original 
  • The Mark Remark spoofed how getting punched in the mouth was treated as serious and wrong, despite such injuries being expected in professional wrestling.

    Western Animation 
  • In The New Adventures of Superman, "The Robot of Riga", Superman flies into the mouth of the Humongous Mecha to sabotage it from the inside.
  • The Venture Bros.: A particularly cringe-inducing scene from "The Incredible Mr. Brisby" has Brock pole-vault over a fence, using a live man's throat as a planting box.


Video Example(s):


Chris makes an introduction

HC agent Chris Redgrave greets Finn by shoving his sidearm into his mouth when he warns him about taking back his 2 Ace of Spades card.

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Main / AttackTheMouth

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