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Devoured by the Horde

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Mr. Krabs: Oh no! I've seen this on the late show. You ghoulish fiends hold me down and take turns nibbling on my innards. Then you eat my brain and leave my body for the buzzards!
Smitty Werbenjägermanjensen: That's disgusting! We just want the hat back.

Devoured by the Horde is when a characters gets eaten or torn apart by multiple parties. This is very common during a Zombie Apocalypse if someone is overwhelmed by zombies and they can't kill them all or escape from them. This can also happen outside a zombie apocalypse, other people, animals, or creatures can do the same thing with the right amount of numbers, regardless of size. This can also happen if a character is thrown into a Shark Pool (or more commonly in this case, a piranha pool) and actually gets eaten by the creatures. Sometimes when the body is devoured, only the skeleton will remain.

For this to count there must be at least a minimum of two people/animals/creatures devouring someone/something that is alive. They also don't have to be eaten, they can also have their body torn apart. This doesn't have to include literal zombies, any flesh-eaters will do. If the person or thing died very recently before being devoured or torn apart, it counts if the victim's body is still warm; especially if there are times where someone will shoot the person being eaten as a mercy before the horde can get very far.

A sub-trope of Eaten Alive.

Compare Torn Apart by the Mob.

See also Dog Pile of Doom, of which this is one possible result. This is usually combined with Zerg Rush.

Warning: This is a Death Trope. Expect lots of unmarked spoilers.

Zombie Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Gyo, Tadashi nearly becomes a victim of this when he lands on a huge group of undead tiny fishes. He's eventually saved offscreen.
  • Inverted in Juni Taisen: Zodiac War. Boar, after becoming a zombie, is devoured by a horde of crows.

    Comic Books 
  • Galactus' ultimate fate in Marvel Zombies, after the Silver Surfer is eaten and his power absorbed by the surviving "heroes". Also happens to Magneto.
  • In The Walking Dead, in the "Made to Suffer" volume, when Lily discovered that she shot Judith, a baby, she's furious at the Governor for making her shoot them, which makes her shoot him and shove him into the horde of walkers. His body distracts them while she leads the surviving Woodbury citizens out of danger into the prison.
  • In the chilean comic Zombies en la Moneda, on one occasion a Cult tried to sacrifice several children to appease the gods, who according to them were responsible for the zombie apocalypse. The heroes intervene and manage to save the children; the cult members are eaten by zombies.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Anger of the Dead: While being pursued by zombies up a flight of stairs, Rooker shoots and wounds his number two so he can't move, then leaves him to suffer this fate.
  • In Big Tits Zombie, a sauna-owner is literally turned into a buffet for zombies as she is laid out on a table with her insides draped over her like Body Sushi. The zombies all sit around and eat her with chopsticks.
  • In Dance of the Dead, when trying to escape the school, Jensen, one of the band members, gets caught by a horde of zombies and gets devoured by them just before he almost makes it to the next classroom.
  • George A. Romero's Living Dead Series movies will almost always have this happen:
    • In Dawn of the Dead (1978), several of the bikers get surrounded and eaten by the zombies during the shootout between them and the protagonists.
    • In Day of the Dead (1985), feeling suicidal, Miguel lures a large crowd of zombies to the underground base through the elevator and he bites on his dog tags as the zombies start devouring him and the elevator descends to the base. When the zombies have overrun the base, Torrez is torn apart while a zombie sticks two of its fingers in his eye socket and pulls his head off; Rickles is shown laughing, which later turns into screaming, as the zombies tears him apart. The most iconic scene is when Rhodes has his lower body pulled apart by a crowd of zombies — his last words to them are "Choke on 'em!".
    • In Land of the Dead:
      • While Mouse is waiting for the money drop-off, a group of zombies that Big Daddy is leading towards the city happens to be in the area and Mouse gets surrounded and devoured by them.
      • When the citizens are trapped trying to leave the city due to the electric fence, a huge crowd of zombies heads towards them. While fireworks were used to distract the zombies, the zombies no longer pay attention to the fireworks and continue heading towards the citizens. By the time Riley and his crew arrive at the fence, the zombies are already devouring them.
  • Dawning of the Dead: This is the fate of a lot of characters in the movie, both background characters and main characters like Christian and Lewis.
  • Resident Evil Film Series:
    • Subverted in Resident Evil (2002). At one point one of the Umbrella commandos, J.D., is pulled into an elevator and attacked by a group of zombies. However, when he turns up later on as a zombie he is almost completely whole, so the zombies just infected him with the T-virus and didn't eat him.
    • In Resident Evil: Apocalypse:
      • When sent to find a child named Angela in a school full of infected children and dogs, Terri is surrounded by undead children and she's eaten alive.
      • Cain puts his gun to his head when he's surrounded by the zombies. Unfortunately for him, he's out of ammo and he gets eaten alive. Among the zombies is Dr. Ashford, who Cain killed earlier, and he gets the first bite.
  • In The Return of the Living Dead Ms. Fanservice Trash gets gnawed by a bunch of zombies and becomes a zombie herself, but unlike all the other zombies she's still reasonably hot as a zombie. And still naked.
    • The paramedics and police repeatedly get attacked by the zombies every time they arrived at the mortuary.
  • Shaun of the Dead: Before he can apologize to Shaun for a rude comment after Shaun has just had to execute his zombified mother, David is torn apart by zombies reaching through the Winchester's glass windows. Attempting to pull him back in, his girlfriend ends up ripping off his leg and then uses said leg to beat her way into the zombie horde to rescue him.
  • Dawn of the Dead (2004) does this three times.
    • First time, one of the security guards is caught while the group is trying to get the downstairs generator back up.
    • Second, when the group is escaping back to the Mall through the sewer tunnels, one of them breaks their leg in the jump down and, despite the other trying to drag him to safety, the zombies catch up and start devouring him, though the others Mercy Kill him so he won't suffer.
    • And finally at the end when one of the heroes stay behind so the others can escape and lets the zombies eat him before he blows all them up, creating a firewall that keeps the other pursuing zombies back.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Deadliest Warrior, "Vampires vs. Zombies", one of the vampires gets swarmed by a mob of zombies and gets eaten and torn apart while the other two vampires watch in horror.
  • In Fear the Walking Dead, the season one finale, "The Good Man", when a large horde of walkers are invading the military base, the walkers knock down a watchtower with two guards on it. When the guards try to get back up, they were already surrounded by the walkers and they start eating them.
  • In Game of Thrones, season 5 "Hardhome", during the white walkers attack at Hardhome, Karsi encounters child wights, which horrifies her to the point that she's unable to lift her weapons at them as the children overwhelm and kill her.
  • The Walking Dead (2010): This is expected in a show that takes place during a Zombie Apocalypse.
    • Season One:
      • The first episode, Days Gone Bye, has a horse being Eaten Alive by hundreds of walkers. Anyway, its death allows Rick to weasel his way out from the horde and hide himself in a tank.
    • Season Two:
      • In "Save the Last One", when Shane and Otis are trying to outrun a horde of zombies, Shane shoots Otis in the leg with his last round and takes his supplies just before the horde surrounds and devours Otis.
      • In "Triggerfinger", when Rick, Glenn, and Hershel are attacked by a group from Philadelphia, Hershel wounds Sean and he gets mauled by a group of walkers that were attracted to the gunshots.
      • In "Beside the Dying Fire", Jimmy drives the RV near the barn and allows Rick and Carl to safely escape the burning barn, but he's killed when the walkers overrun the RV. When Patricia attempted to escape to the car with Lori, Beth, and Carol, a walker grabbed her from behind a tree and bit her on the neck and is soon grabbed by other walkers who proceeded to bite her on the arm and other areas of her body.
    • Season Three:
      • In "Killer Within", knowing he's going to die soon, T-Dog sacrifices himself to a pair of walkers to allow Carol to escape.
      • In "When the Dead Come Knocking", when Rick, Daryl, Michonne, and Oscar are fleeing a herd of walkers into a shack, they encounter a hermit who threatens to shoot them. After being disarmed, the hermit tries to leave the shack but Michonne kills him before he could let the walkers in. They throw his body to the walkers as a distraction and escape through the back door.
    • Season Four:
      • In "Dead Weight", after the Governor knocks out Martinez while they were playing golf, he drags Martinez to a pit full of walkers and lowers him into the pit for the walkers to drag him down and consume him.
      • In "A", Rick, Carl, and Michonne run into a lone man desperately crying for help and they witness him being overwhelmed and eaten by walkers.
    • Season Five:
      • In "No Sanctuary", Mary asks Carol to kill her, but Carol instead kneecaps her and leaves her to a horde of walkers.
      • In "Spend", Aiden and Noah both suffer through this. The former accidentally shoots a grenade on the walker's belt, which causes an explosion that causes him to be blown back and impaled on a broken shelf but still survive only for several walkers to descend onto him and tear him up. And the latter gets trapped in an revolving door along with Nicholas. Nicholas manages to escape, opening the side where Noah is resulting in a pack of zombies devouring him against the glass of the revolving door as Glenn watches in horror.
    • Season Six:
      • In "Thank You", Sturgess, Annie, David, Nicholas, and, sadly and possibly, Glenn dies through this. When dealing with the Walkers in the forest, Sturgess abandons the group after accidentally shooting Scott in the leg and his body was later found being devoured by Walkers in a small town. Annie sprained her ankle after tripping in the forest and this gets her in trouble when she falls in front of an oncoming herd of Walkers in a small town. The others tries to save her but Annie tells them to go on without her and the Walkers surrounds and devours her. While trying to climb over a gate, Michonne and David gets caught by the Walkers and while Michonne was able to make it David gets dragged down and gets devoured while the others watch in horror and there's a shot of his Dead Man Writing to his wife getting stomped on by the Walkers. After being cornered in an empty alleyway, Glenn and Nicholas are on top of a dumpster surrounded by a herd of Walkers. Unable to deal with the vast amount of Walkers, Nicholas shoots himself in the head and his body collapses on Glenn and they both fall into the horde and the horde starts picking apart their bodies but it's unknown whose body is getting torn apart. Revealed four episodes later to have been Nicholas.
      • In "No Way Out", when Sam starts panicking, several walkers descend on and start biting him. This causes Jessie to scream, which attracts the attention of the other walkers, who proceed to start devouring her. Rick notices she's still holding on to Carl and chops Jessie's hand off. Angry at what happened, Ron tries to shoot Carl and Rick, but Michonne stabs him in the back and the walkers descend on the corpses after he drops to the ground.
    • In the webisode "Torn Apart", after Hannah gets bit by a walker and fires a gun at it that attracts more walkers, she tells her children to go on without her as several walkers approach her and tear apart the lower half of her body. Some time later, she becomes zombified and slowly decays, and it turns out she's the "bicycle girl walker" that Rick Grimes will eventually meet in the park in season one of the TV show.
  • This happens to Joplin, Patrick, Marky and Veronica in the finale of Dead Set. In Patrick's case, he quotes Captain Rhodes from Day of the Dead while comparing the zombies eating him to the consumers of the Reality TV garbage that he had produced before the Zombie Apocalypse before he gets his head ripped off.

    Video Games 
  • ANNIE: Last Hope have numerous scenes of gorn where innocent civilians gets ripped to shreds by the zombie hordes. Though there's an Asshole Victim example with the Unhinged Shooter, a psychopath who tries shooting at Annie via machine-gun only to be bested in a boss fight. After the battle, the mortally-injured shooter actually had the gall to ask Annie to help him escape an incoming zombie swarm despite trying to kill her earlier, only for Annie to rightfully leave the Shooter to his (gory) fate.
  • Days Gone has this with Hordes of Freakers roaming around Oregon. Early in the game, it's best to ignore them. It's recommended to plan out your attack against the horde, by making sure you have enough bombs, ammo, and traps so that you can start putting a dent into the hordes, otherwise you just end up playing it straight.
  • Dead Rising
    • In the first game:
      • If the survivors you're trying to rescue takes enough damage from zombies, a cutscene will appear where the zombies are eating the survivors. Some of the cutscenes includes the zombies devouring and pulling out the survivor's guts, the zombie dog-piling on the survivor and devouring them, and four zombies pulling on the survivor's limbs.
      • After an intense fight between Frank West and Brock Mason on top of a tank that's surrounded by a huge amount of zombies, Frank kicks Brock off the tank into the zombies and they all devour him.
    • Dead Rising 3: Albert Contiello sees his death as this, thanks to his drugs. In reality, it's him cutting himself open with his own surgical saw.
  • Death Road to Canada: If a character gets mobbed by zombies, they will take damage multiple times in quick succession. This can easily kill characters, even those with up to double the standard three Hit Points. A recently-killed survivor will continue to be mobbed and bitten until only a skeleton remains, which can be a handy distraction.
  • Isle of the Dead grants you a unique death animation, should you get hopelessly cornered by zombies. Cue an animated clip where several zombies pulls you apart and feast on your flesh.
  • Plants vs. Zombies and its sequel Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time have the Wall-Nut, Tall-Nut and other defensive plants whose sole purpose is to take damage and impede the zombies, who attack your plants by biting and eating them. In levels with high zombie concentration, this trope will eventually happen as a massed group of zombies will overwhelm the nuts' high health. Ideally, you want this to happen with the Explode-O-Nut, since it also explodes on the zombies for massive damage when destroyed.
  • In The Walking Dead, it takes place during a Zombie Apocalypse and it's based on The Walking Dead, so it's bound to happen. Some deaths will vary on who you choose to save.
    • Season One:
      • In Episode One, "A New Day", when the drug store gets overwhelmed by the walkers, Carley or Doug will become the victim of this, depending on who you choose to save.
      • In Episode Two, "Starved For Help", Travis or David will suffer this fate depending on who you save. If Lee chooses to save David, who's leg is caught in a bear trap, Travis will be distracted and he'll be devoured by several walkers. If Lee doesn't save David in time, Travis will try to take Mark's hunting rifle but will get accidentally shot, forcing the others to leave David behind to be devoured by the walkers.
      • In Episode Three, "Long Road Ahead", while Lee and Kenny are searching for supplies in Macon, they see a young woman fleeing outside a building with her screams attracting the walkers which one of them bites her, Lee has the choice to shoot her to spare her from the walkers or let the walkers devour her and use her as a distraction.
      • In Episode Four, "Around Every Corner", when Ben is grabbed by a zombified Crawford Oberson who had been hung from the bell and Lee saves him from it, Ben wants Lee to let him go because of all the trouble he caused. If Lee chooses to let him go, Ben will drop down the tower and break his legs while nearby walkers will devour him alive.
    • 400 Days:
      • In Vince's Story, when a chained Vince, Justin, and Danny need to escape the prison bus, Vince has to choose between Justin and Danny on who's ankle he needs to shoot because then the chain could slip out and they'll all be free. Depending on who you choose, the other will be left behind and get devoured by the walkers.
    • Season Two:
      • In Episode One,"All That Remains", if Clementine chooses to save Nick instead of Pete, he'll be surrounded by walkers and get devoured while Nick and Clementine watch helplessly.
      • In Episode Three, "In Harm's Way", when the group is trying to leave the store, Troy holds them at gunpoint, Jane will convince Troy that she'll lead him to safety. But once Troy is distracted, Jane shoots him in the groin and leaves him to be devoured by the herd of incoming walkers. While the gang is trying to navigate their way through the walker herd, Carlo is trying to calm Sarah down, a stray bullet shot from the people from the store hits him in the neck. The blood from his neck attracts a group of walkers and they attack and devour him.
      • In Episode Four, "Amid the Ruins", no matter what choice you make, Sarah will unfortunately suffer this fate. When she separates from the group and Clementine and Jane tries to find her, they find her with Luke trapped inside a trailer as walkers try to enter. After getting inside, Clementine tries to get Sarah to leave with them but she still hasn't recovered from her panic attack. If Clementine chooses to leave her in the trailer, the walkers will break in as Sarah cries out for Clementine and reaches out to her moments before being devoured. If Clementine chooses to save Sarah, later on in the game, the observation deck they're staying on crumbles when the group is moving a cannon and Sarah falls and is trapped under the rubble while Walkers are heading towards them. Regardless of your choice, Sarah cannot be saved at this point and she gets devoured.
    • Michonne:
      • In Episode Three, after an exchange of prisoners goes horribly awry between Michonne's group and Norma's, a horde of walkers arrives, drawn by the gunfire and Norma's flare. Norma, enraged by the death of her brother, orders her gang to kill Michonne's group, breaking into the compound, closely followed by the walker horde. After engaging in brutal close combat exchange with Norma that results in Michonne cutting off Norma's arm, Norma finds herself surrounded and grabbed by several walkers. Michonne then has the option of either shooting Norma in the head to spare her the pain of being torn apart or leaving her to endure her horrifyingly painful, grisly death.
  • If you happen to die from multiple zombies in the classic/PS1 Resident Evil games, you get to see said zombies devour your corpse as your character lets out a final death cry. Similarly, a few times you'll be able to slip past a group of zombies who are too preoccupied with devouring a fresh kill to come after you.

  • Unsounded: The counteroffensive at Grenzlan is started by reanimating the piles of corpses to attack the Aldish soldiers. While several end up with only killing wounds before joining the mob of zombies themselves Mason is last seen alive screaming being swarmed by them, and next seen moments later as a zombie with most of his torso eaten with a crow still feasting on the mess.

    Western Animation  
  • In Aqua Teen Hunger Force, season 8 "Vampirus", Frylock tests to see if Master Shake's blood is the cure for the vampire-inducing virus when vampire zombies have taken over the city. When Frylock tests the cure on Carl, a lot of vampire bats starts biting Carl proving that Shake's blood isn't the cure. When Shake tries to splash the cure on Carl, the vampire bats transform into vampire zombies and they start tearing Carl apart to the point where we can see his skeleton.

Non-Zombie Examples

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan, Mike Zacharius suffers a brutal one when the Beast Titan removes his 3D Maneuver Gear and leaves him to be eaten by several Titans of differing sizes and all he can do is scream as he's devoured.
    • It turns out Eren has the power to invoke this when he used this odd scream to get a bunch of titans to gang up and tear apart the titan that killed his mother years ago.
  • This is what usually happens to anyone branded for sacrifice in the world of Berserk. During the Eclipse, Pippin goes out this way, holding back a huge horde of demons while buying Casca and Judeau time to get away.
  • Cells at Work! CODE BLACK depicts phagocytosis this way, showing the White Blood Cell team literally devouring a bacteria bite by bite.
  • Cross Ange: This can be the fate of any Norma pilot who gets knocked out of her Paramail while fighting DRAGONs. Poor, poor newbie pilot Miranda Campbell goes out this way in horrifying fashion in Episode 3 when she is knocked off hers, flung into the air, then ripped apart by numerous hungry DRAGONs. She dies screaming for Ange's help as the latter is attempting to desert.
  • The fate of Asuka and the EVA-02 in End of Evangelion, being torn apart and eaten by the mass-produced EVA series. She gets better.
  • In One Piece movie Strong World, the Guntai Ari are a group of soldier-like ants that can reduce their prey to bones in an instant as Robin, Franky, and Brook witness them do this to a giant shark monster.
  • Subaru of Re:Zero gets eaten alive by a swarm of Killer Rabbits in one of the most horrifying ways he's died so far.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Count Yorga movies love these as well.
    • In the first, Hayes is caught by Yorga's vampire brides, who proceed to knock him to the ground and feed on him as he's still screaming.
    • Happens twice in the second movie. The first time, Yorga sends his vampire brides to attack his target's family. While he makes sure they don't harm her outside of knocking her out, the rest of the family are fed upon with one of them even becoming a new bride. The second time, the boyfriend of said new bride is tricked into coming into Yorga's lair. He tries to run, but Yorga catches him and chokes him into submission before having him thrown to his brides.
  • Dog Soldiers: Spoon ends up being overwhelmed during his Dying Moment of Awesome and eaten by not one but two werewolves. All that's left of him afterwards is a mess of guts, blood, bones and a wristwatch.
  • Happens with vampires in From Dusk Till Dawn when a bunch of them grab Scott and start sucking his blood. His sister Kate has to put him out of his misery by blowing him and the vampires up with a crossbow bolt.
  • In Halo: Nightfall, the cast spends most of their time on the Alpha Halo Shard being stalked by swarms of feral Lekgolo worms (the same species of Worm That Walks which forms Hunters and Scarabs in the Halo games, but gone insane from being trapped on a Halo for 100,000 years), and most of the group is eaten by them. In fact, there's only two deaths on the Alpha Shard that don't directly involve themnote .
  • The ultimate fate of Mason Verger in Hannibal, who is fed to his own pigs and subjected to the same horrible fate he intended for Hannibal.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, when a ton of man-eating ants appears, they take out several Russian soldiers but Dovchenko suffers the most when several of those ants goes inside his mouth and then they drag him into an anthill.
  • In Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005), Andy Serkis' character is eaten by several Carnictis worms inside the chasm.
  • Jurassic Park likes this.
    • The second film, The Lost World: Jurassic Park had a scene taken from the original Jurassic Park novel, where a small child is attacked and nearly eaten by a pack of Compsognathus. The same film had Dieter Stark killed by a compy swarm later on. Another character, Peter Ludlow, is eaten by a family of T. rex. The father breaks his leg, and the juvenile finishes him off.
    • Eli Mills' ultimate fate in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Rexy snaps him up and begins tearing him apart, and the nearby Carnotaurus and compies join in, squabbling over the limbs.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, the orc pack who take Merry and Pippin to Isengard are starving, and one of them attempts to eat the hobbits. Under strict orders to bring any hobbit back in one piece, the leader of the orc pack kills one of his subordinates instead, who is then devoured by his hungry comrades.
    "Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys!"
  • The Mummy Trilogy
    • In The Mummy (1999), Beni Gabor is eaten alive by scarab beetles, which swarm over and inside of him. An earlier foreshadowing of this happened when some of the diggers were running from the scarabs, one tripped and was instantly swarmed and devoured alive.
    • In the sequel, The Mummy Returns, several Mooks suffer this fate when they uncover Imhotep's Book of the Dead. So does Anok Su Namun, Imhotep's lover, near the end when she trips and falls into a pit crawling with these and about as many scorpions.
  • In the climax of The Night of a Thousand Cats, Hugo's cats gang up on him and finish him off.
  • Near the end of Slaxx, the jerkass store manager Craig gets devoured by a horde of possessed jeans. By the time they're through with him, they've stripped off over half the flesh on his bones.

  • Animorphs: If Taxxons smell blood, they'll be upon the injured in seconds and devour any piece they can grab. If a Taxxon happens to be said injured party, it will try to consume itself even as other Taxxons are ripping into it.
  • Dungeon Crawler Carl: An unfortunate crawler is mentioned in passing to have been caught by a trap that injected him with "Finger-sized Flesh Weasels", which promptly ate him from the inside out. His companions fled from the necropolis.
  • In Explorers of Gor, Tarl exploits army ants' ability to eat anything and everything by luring them to a Cannibal Tribe's village, where his friends have been captured and are being kept to be eaten. Once the ants invade, the cannibals are too busy trying to avoid being eaten to stop Tarl's rescue. The cannibals end up eaten.
  • Halo:
    • Halo: Broken Circle: When one of the Ussans, secretly a Covenant spy, tries to kill Ussa himself, the other Ussans grab him and promptly rip him apart. Ussa is grateful for the lifesaving but wishes they hadn't killed the spy, as he could've been interrogated. A later Ussan who defects to the Covenant, Crecka, suffers the same fate from his former comrades, though the Covenant already expected that would happen after they sent him to fight the Ussans in battle.
    • Halo: Evolutions - Blunt Instruments: After Spartan Black Two frees a swarm of enslaved Drones, a Hunter that was pursuing her panics and flees for its life. But it's too slow to escape, and the Drones swarm it and tear it to individual worms. Black Two at first thinks it's odd that the Hunter would flee, as it's a powerful foe and Drones are Goddamned Bats at most. But seeing this swarm's viciousness, and a few other clues, lead her to realize that these aren't ordinary Drones, but psychotic "Unmutuals" that were imprisoned to keep them from being a danger to others.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • Dr. Henry Wu is eaten by a pack of Velociraptor, and John Hammond is devoured by a swarm of Procompsognathus after he falls and injures his leg.
    • In the sequel, The Lost World (1995), Eddie Carr is devoured by the pack of raptors after he falls from the high hide, Lewis Dodgson's associate Howard King is eaten by the raptors while attempting to escape the island, and Dodgson is eaten by the three baby Tyrannosaurus after one of the adults breaks his leg and brings him back to the nest.
  • Laughing Jack: In the mother's Nightmare Sequence, her legs walk her into a seemingly empty circus tent, then the lights suddenly reveal silhouettes of disfigured children approaching and surrounding her. She's unable to move, and the kids proceed to claw at her flesh and tear into her before she wakes up.
  • Perfume: The Story of a Murderer: At the very end, Grenouille, having lost all sense of purpose in his life, uses it to kill himself. As he approaches a group of beggars, he pours the last drop of the perfume on himself. The beggars are so enchanted by his smell that they swarm him and rip him to pieces.
  • Raptor Red has several scenes where the Utahraptors hunt prey in this manner, much as they are thought to have done in real life.
  • Kitty Norville: Kitty and the Silver Bullet features a rare non-villainous example. When Kitty stages a coup against the abusive alphas of her pack, she shoots the alpha female with a silver bullet, then the rest of the pack kills and consumes the alpha male.
  • "The Hare and the Pineapple": The story ends with the animals eating the (sentient and talking) pineapple, possibly because they were annoyed that it lost the race against the hare.
  • Star Wars Legends: "The Last One Standing: The Tale of Boba Fett" (Short Story by Daniel Keys Moran). According to Boba Fett, the New Republic has refused to admit Devaron due to considering its form of the death penalty, being torn apart by beasts in an arena, to be cruel and unusual punishment. This is the fate that awaits Kardue'sai'malloc, an Imperial war criminal, when Fett brings him in. (The event is also referenced in the entry on Devaronians in The Essential Guide to Alien Species.)
  • In 2nd Maccabees chapter 9, King Antiochus Epiphanes was being eaten from the inside by intestinal worms when he attempted to destroy the Jews, leading to his Heel–Faith Turn before his death. Another biblical example appears in 2nd Kings chapter 9 after Jezebel is thrown out a window and trampled by horses; stray dogs tear her apart before the body can be retrieved.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 100 has two members of Jaha's pilgrimage to the City of Light get eaten by giant sea eels/leeches/worms/whatever-you-call-them.
  • 1000 Ways to Die naturally features a few deaths involving this. To name a few examples:
    • An escaped convict gets stuck in a pipe and has rats eat through his eye and into his brain.
    • A slavedriver is eaten by piranha that are attracted by blood from his penis after he rips a candiru fish out of it.
    • A tourist who goes to sleep in Africa gets eaten from the inside out by driver ants.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "The Wish", Cordelia wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, so it becomes overrun with vampires. Cordelia is bitten, drained, and killed by vampire versions of Xander and Willow.
    • Angel: In the Season 5 episode "Unleashed", a women turned werewolf is hunted by an exclusive club specialized in exotic meals, who hope to serve a werewolf for their next banquet. And since werewolves by default revert back to their human form upon dying, they will have to eat her alive. She is narrowly spared this fate when the protagonists rescue her.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Extraterrestrial (2005): Once the stalkers incapacitate a skywhale, they tear it to pieces and eat it while it's still alive.
  • One of the many ways that someone overtaken by the Reavers of Firefly can be less than lucky.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In "The Old Gods and the New", when the riot breaks out in King's Landing after Myrcella is sent to Dorne, the High Septon is literally torn apart by the angry smallfolk, and it's heavily implied they'll cannibalize him to stave off starvation.
    • In Season Six "Home", after Ramsay kills his father when they learn that his wife, Walda, gave birth to a baby boy, not wanting to lose his claim, he lured Walda and his baby brother to the kennels to have his dogs devour them.
    • In Season Six "Battle of the Bastards", before their battle, Ramsay brags that he didn't feed his dogs for a week so he can have them devour Jon and his men after they lose, but in the end it was Ramsay that lost. After losing the battle, Ramsay is tied to a chair in the same room where his dogs are and Sansa reveals that the cages of his dogs are open. Ramsay is confident that his dogs won't hurt him because they are loyal, but Sansa notes that he starved them in anticipation of feeding them Jon and his men so the dogs are more hungry than loyal. Ramsay orders his dogs to stand down but they don't listen and they start devouring him, while he screams in agony.
  • MacGyver (1985): In "Trumbo's World", Trumbo's native assistant is devoured by the swarm of army ants that overwhelm the plantation.
  • Supernatural: In "Jack in the Box", Jack causes Pastor Ings, the leader of the prayer group he drafts the new angels from, to be eaten alive by worms. He survives long enough for Sam, Dean, and Castiel to interrogate him, but the worms are still infesting him.
  • Played for Laughs on Top Gear. One segment involves a combination of fox hunting and greenlaning. Jeremy drives an SUV with a fox inspired paint job and gets chased by a hunting party with dogs. The segment ends with the SUV getting stuck in a ditch and Jeremy getting swarmed by the dogs. In the host segment immediately afterward, Richard says that Jeremy was eaten by the dogs.
  • In the first episode of Walking with Beasts, a Gastornis chick is devoured by flesh-eating ants - while it is still hatching from its egg.

    Multiple Media 
  • MonsterVerse: In Kong: Skull Island and the spin-off graphic novel The Birth of Kong; the Leafwings and their relative the Psychovultures on Skull Island, being as small and swarming as they are, tend to do this, as do the Death Jackals also on Skull Island; in Kong: Skull Island and The Birth of Kong.

  • In Suddenly, Last Summer the death of Sebastian is described: a large group of underprivileged kids from the Caribbean island he was visiting descended upon him and ate him. Or so his companion at the time insists.
  • In the Broadway production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Veruca Salt ends up decapitated and torn apart by Mr. Wonka's Nut Room squirrels.
  • Implied to have happened to Chagal in Tanz Der Vampire, whose frozen corpse is discovered covered in dozens of vampire bites, in a show where every other victim (including Magda, whom Chagal himself turns in the very next scene)) is only bitten once.

    Video Games 
  • In Dishonored, the rats in the game are capable of doing this to their victims. Corvo even has the ability, "Swarm of Rats", to summon a swarm of rats onto his target to devour them.
  • In the arcade version of Donkey Kong 3, losing a life results in Stanley falling to the floor and being eaten alive by a swarm of bugs, leaving behind nothing other than his spray bottle. Home console ports tone this down by removing the devouring part, having only the fall kill him.
  • In South Park: The Stick of Truth, Princess Kenny has the ability "Swarm of Rats", in which he summons a huge wave of rats to attack his enemies, but if he fails the prompt, then the rats will devour Kenny.
  • A frequent fate for Hector and Troy of Struggling is being eaten alive by the hundreds of thousands of rats that infest the laboratory they were created in.
  • Warcraft III: After Sylvanas betrays Garithos, his body is instantly jumped on by ravenous ghouls (to add insult to injury, heroes normally don't leave corpses behind).
  • In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Annabelle was a noblewoman whose family was slaughtered by peasant looters. Using a potion given to her by her family's mage she managed to avoid their wrath by Faking the Dead, but when she comes to she's still paralyzed and eaten alive by a swarm of rats the mage kept for his experiments. The violent nature of her death and a curse accidentally placed on the island by her bereaved boyfriend led to her spirit turning into a plague maiden.
  • Writhe have the cutscene should you be overwhelmed or hopelessly outnumbered by gigantic, oversized sago worms, where a dozen or so of the worms them swarms above you and chew you to shreds.

    Web Animation 
  • Camp Camp: Three seasons after he stabbed their king through the heart, the squirrels come back with an army and devour Quartermaster. He survives thanks to some form of Resurrective Immortality (he cleans up his own headless body towards the end of the episode), but still loses the subsequent fight to them.
  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, this is the fate of Super Kami Guru. He is torn apart and eaten by the Namekians after it's revealed that the massacre of the albino Namekians he led was solely because he drank all the planet's water and blamed them. The Namekians were not pleased.

  • In the roleplays of White Dark Life, the Death by Origin Story of Annie Belnades's parents was like this — they were eaten by coyotes while Annie watched in horror from the safety of tree branches. Then the coyotes turned their attention to Annie and chased her relentlessly for six years. Annie has developed a severe phobia of both coyotes and being Eaten Alive as a result.
  • Schlock Mercenary: Given a choice between being torn apart and eaten by a mob of enraged amorphs, or a lengthy court proceeding, Schlock's human 'grandmother' chose being eaten.

    Western Animation 
  • In the series finale of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, "The Last One Forever and Ever (For Real This Time) (We Fucking Mean It)", Master Shake performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save Meatwad from the clams so he can get Frylock a new jewel by getting himself devoured by the clams.
  • In Bob's Burgers, season 5 "The Gayle Tales", in Louise's Game of Thrones inspired story, Lindaryen (Linda) unleashes the Mort-ain (Mort) to fight in the duel against Louise but she wins the duel by slapping him with her sword and making him fall into the pit of ravenous porcelain babies that eats him alive. When Bobdor (Bob), who is Lindaryen’s fool, is insulted when Lindaryen mentions that she should get a new fool as he isn’t skinny or hot, he throws Lindaryen into the pit, too.
  • A bizarre non-lethal version happens to K'nuckles in the The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack episode "Hand It Over": when Flapjack angrily insists K'nuckles stole his wooden hand, a mob become convinced that all of his body parts are stolen from him, even the real ones, so they strip him down to nothing but a pair of eyeballs. Then the one who first accused K'nuckles of stealing his hands admits he was wrong, so he gives the hand back and leaves K'nuckles as a pair of eyeballs and a hand trying to strangle Flapjack in anger.
  • In Regular Show, season 7 "Terror Tales of the Park V", in the story "Chocolatude", when a witch gives Mordecai and Rigby chocolate that slowly turns them into chocolate on Halloween, Rigby escaped from the witch but by the time he got out of the witch's house his entire body has turned into chocolate and he can't move. Several trick-or-treaters surround Rigby and start eating him.
  • In a rather shockingly Family-Unfriendly Death, in Transformers: Prime an Insecticon is killed this way by a swarm of Scraplets.
  • One of the most chilling scenes in Code Lyoko was the scene in "Marabounta" where Yumi was devoured by the out-of-control Marabounta, a colony of Nano Machines. Fortunately, it was only her Lyoko Avatar (her true self survived, just like was often the case for anyone who "dies" on Lyoko), but that didn't make the scene or the episode in general any less frightening (especially since it was after Aelita who, at the time, could not have survived if it happened to her.)
  • Nearly happens to Jack and Ashi in Episode XCIX of Samurai Jack. they manage to turn on the weapon designed to destroy Lazarus-92 right just as the swarm starts to cover them.
  • In Smiling Friends, when a demon shows up to terrorize a party everyone thinks that he's a guy in blackface. The partygoers then proceed to tear him apart and devour his flesh.

    Real Life 
  • Packs of small predators will often eat their prey alive in order to finish their meals as fast as possible. African wild dogs, hyenas, and red dogs will make you scream for several minutes, if they manage to catch you. Ironically, being caught by larger predators such as lions or tigers is a less painful way to die, for they'll "just" open your windpipe up if they don't choose to close it up.
  • Ants will swarm over their unfortunate prey, and tear them apart bit by bit.
  • Sharks such as oceanic whitetips are infamous for this, as are piranhas in a feeding frenzy. To be fair, their reputation for this far exceeds the reality, although both really will attack wounded prey en masse when starving.
  • At least one theory about the death of Amelia Earhart is that she was injured in her crash onto a Pacific island, and survived long enough to be consumed by a horde of coconut crabs. This would have most likely happened after she was already dead, though.



If you can't remember how phagocytosis works, here's an easy visual example.

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