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Fed to the Beast

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Chairface: Unfortunately, the three of you aren't going to be around to witness my historic crime, because I'm going to feed you to my pit of ferocious man-eating alligators.
Arthur: What? What? [to Tick] WHAT?!
The Tick: *ahem* Standard villain procedure.

Feeding people to monsters or man-eating animals is one of the classic perils that villains and others subject people to.

Sometimes this is a Human Sacrifice to a demon, dragon, alien creature, Eldritch Abomination, or some other monster or beast. These scenarios usually have some poor unfortunate Chained to a Rock awaiting their doom. Maybe the local religion is a Giant Animal Worship which demands this to be done to Appease the Volcano God. Maybe the monster wants tribute in the form of people to eat, such as with many dragons. Maybe this is even meant as a punishment, in the case of Daniel in the lion's den from The Bible or Andromeda from Classical Mythology.

Other times, the beast is a Right-Hand Attack Dog — a pet or other creature that the villain keeps around for some reason, which he uses to dispose of victims, and more than one villain's underling has met their end in this way, usually after they've failed him or outlived their usefulness. If a villain tries to do this to the hero, expect the hero to kill the beast or escape in some other fashion. It's also not uncommon for villains fond of feeding people to beasts to meet their end by being eaten by the beast in turn, if the hero doesn't kill the beast beforehand. If the hero is particularly lucky, or the writer wants to be funny, the villain Forgot to Feed the Monster earlier and there's nothing but an emaciated carcass in the pit.

Another possibility is that the villain may set up the hero to be killed by local wildlife to obscure his own responsibility for the death.

Fantasy villains have all kinds of monsters to choose from, ranging from dragons to giant snakes to giant vermin to demons or something even weirder. Contemporary and pulp villains will often have their victims eaten by tigers or sharks or some other large man-eating carnivore. Sci-fi villains will often have some really freaky alien monster to feed people to.

The Shark Pool and the Snake Pit are two quite common forms of this particular trope. So is Fed to Pigs, although the victim is usually already dead in that case. (Usually.) Also related as Animal Assassin, a more clandestine way of killing people using animals.

See also Just Desserts, Eaten Alive, and Eat Me. May overlap with Throw 'Em to the Wolves (although in that trope metaphorical "wolves" are also allowed) and Exit, Pursued by a Bear.

Subtrope of Eating the Enemy


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Berserk:
    • Apostles are fond of forcing their subjects to send them people to eat, such as the Baron of Koka Castle and the Count.
    • When one uses a Behelit to be reborn as a demon, The Legions of Hell kill the loved one(s) offered as a sacrifice, generally eating them alive.
  • Happens in a Doraemon movie, of all places. Specifically in Doraemon: Nobita and the Birth of Japan, where the gang - sans Nobita who's lost in a blizzard - gets captured alive by the main villain, Gigazombie, who then have them thrown into a pit containing a hungry sabre-toothed tiger until Nobita arrives with his trio of pets - Pega the Pegasus, Gri the Gryphon and Dragon the Dragon - to rescue everyone. The 2016 anime remake have the pit littered with skeletons, an indication that Doraemon and gang are not the first victims Gigazombie fed to beasts.
  • In one episode of Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta and Nappa visit a planet called Arlia where the tyrannical Arlian king regularly hosts tournaments between his guards. The loser, if he survives, is thrown into "the pit" and fed to Yenni, a giant cannibalistic Arlian. While this is not tried against the Saiyans, the king does order Yenni released from his pit when Nappa kills a whole bunch of his guards. However, the Saiyans make short work of Yenni.
  • Fushigi Yuugi:

    Audio Plays 

    Comic Books 
  • In 52, when a captive Black Adam is being tortured by Doctor Sivana he threatens to pull Sivana apart and feed him to Captain Marvel's talking tiger friend Tawky Tawny.
  • Asterix: Julius Caesar and other high ranking Romans are fond of sentencing underlings who failed them to the lions, or threaten them with this fate if they are uncooperative.
  • In The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #10, Indy is captured by Ilsa Toht and Xomec in Brazil and staked out on the river bank as a snack for the local caimans.
  • In Super Mario Adventures, Wendy Koopa gloats over her plans to feed Mario to the piranhas. She later drops the heroes into a Reznor dungeon via a Trap Door.
  • In Superman storyline Starfire's Revenge, a crimelord drops both -an apparently depowered and fainted- Supergirl and the minion carrying her in his arms into a pit leading to a wild gorilla's dungeon.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Sensation Comics: In issue 39 Empress Fausta ties up two of the Holliday Girls, "Bobby" Strong and Glamora Treat, in her coloseum and sets ravenous large cats on them to tear them apart. The girls are rescued by Diana, Etta and Steve.
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Tigra Tropica tries to escape by threatening to drop Steve Trevor into a pit of tigers to be eaten. It doesn't work, as even though she drops him Diana is right there and frees him nearly instantaneously.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): While there is no evidence the slave drivers on "Hope's End" throw living slaves to the scavenger worms its still a fear many of them hold, and Natasha in particular has had nightmares about being thrown to the things.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Parody Fic B'Elannarella, the Great Tyrant threatens to have the title character covered in honey and thrown to the lesbians.
  • Captain Proton and the Planet of Lesbians, Queen Sapphia orders that Proton be fed to the Giant Toothed Vagina of Freudian Nightmares. Fortunately it's a lesbian, and so doesn't eat guys.
  • Giovanni ends up killed and eaten by a drugged Persian in the Pokémon: The Series fanfic The Dark Side of Innocence. Mondo and Meowth planned it out specifically as revenge for him using dangerous experimental drugs on various Pokémon and humans, including James.
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Empath The Wartmonger", Princess Chamelianne threatens to feed Smurfette to a pack of hungry baby crocodiles unless Empath gives himself entirely to her.
  • Pein attempts to do this to Orochimaru before he joins Akatsuki in A Father's Wrath sending him down a trap into a pit where a Dragon waits. Naturally since this is around the beginning of the story it doesn't work.
  • The Pony POV Series sees a heroic example, as Shining Armor leads the Wolf to Makarov and lets it devour him, triggering a Cosmic Retcon to undo all the damage Makarov's done to the timeline. Also, Minuette takes out The Master by throwing the fob watch that contains his essence at the Wolf, who eats it.
  • Purple Days has, in one of its loops, an insane Daenerys who feeds her enemies to her dragon Drogon. This doesn't work on Joffrey, though: not only is he not intimidated (due to all the experience he has from previous loops, including a battle with an even tougher dragon), he actually manages to kill Drogon.
    • Earlier in the same loop, furious after Aegon killed Jon, Joff chopped off his hands and tossed him to Ghost to finish him.

    Films — Animation 
  • Ratigan feeds a hapless lackey to his pet cat Felicia in The Great Mouse Detective. Weird, because the professor himself is a rodent. (Or possibly fitting, to emphasize his cruelty, and badassery — a rat training a cat to be completely loyal is a pretty impressive thing.)
  • In The Prince of Egypt, Pharaoh Seti had his guards go to the Hebrew village and take away the newborn baby boys from their mothers. Then they would drop them in the river where the crocodiles ate them. It was depicted in hieroglyphs when Moses found out the truth of his heritage.
  • The Rescuers Down Under: Mcleach tries to feed Cody to some crocodiles.
  • In Return To Never Land, Captain Hook is actually revealed to have a pet octopus in which he will often feed unsuspecting pirates to if they disobey him. However, near the end of the film, said octopus eventually develops an obsession of eating Captain Hook as well, and as a result he actually starts to frighten the pirate by constanly bobbing its eyes upside down like you-know-who.
  • In The Tale of Despereaux the rats throw Despereaux to a chained up cat, fortunately Roscuro manages to rescue him, by claiming he wanted to eat him himself.
  • In Team America: World Police, Kim Jong-il releases his ferocious black panthers (played by adorable black kittens) on two Team America members. He also has a Shark Pool (the sharks are, in this case, played by live-action dogfish).
  • In The Thief and the Cobbler, One-Eye feeds Zigzag to his crocodiles. Zigzag manages to tame them, which impresses One-Eye enough to accept his help. Later, the crocodiles turn on him and eat him.
  • When Killer disappoints Carface one too many times in All Dogs Go to Heaven, he's lowered into a pool of pirahna.
    • Earlier, Itchy overhears two thugs talking about having to feed "Carface's little monster" and assumes this trope is in effect. Actually, the "monster" is Anne-Marie, the orphan girl Carface has captive.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Against All Flags, Hawke, Harris and Jones are tied to tidal posts to be devoured by crabs.
  • Austin Powers:
  • Barbarella: The Black Queen can dispose of those who displease her by feeding them to the Mathmos, the Eldritch Abomination that her people worship. She does this with Pygar, but it doesn't work because the Mathmos can't stomach his purity.
  • The Battle Wizard has the hero and his Love Interest being thrown into the main villain's underground dungeon, with a hungry Killer Gorilla waiting to devour them. The hero needs to learn a new kung-fu skill in order to defeat said gorilla and escape.
  • In the live-action remake of Beauty and The Beast, Gaston abandons Maurice in the woods to become meat for the wolves.
  • Black Zoo: After Joe shoots the tiger Baron, Conrad has Carl feed him to the lioness.
  • Cave Dwellers totally rips off the below-mentioned scene from Conan by having Ator kill a velour snake puppet after a whole bunch of girls are thrown to it.
  • Clash of the Titans (1981) is a movie very loosely based on the myth of Perseus. In this version, Hera orders Andromeda left to the Kraken, the last surviving Titan, threatening to order it to destroy Joppa if her mother does not comply.
  • Conan's first dungeon crawl in Conan the Barbarian (1982) ends with him killing a big-ass snake that was supposed to eat a girl that the snake cult was going to sacrifice.
  • Humorously averted in Dragonheart, in which con-man knight Bowen attempts to rid himself of a nuisance rabble-rouser by suggesting to her village that dragons can be placated with virgin sacrifices. His dragon partner finds the idea ridiculous, and even expresses disgust at the idea of eating a human. Except when he must chew in self-defense (but he doesn't swallow).
  • In Dragonslayer, the king feeds virgins to the title dragon every year in order to appease it so it will leave his lands alone. The plot kicks off when Elspeth, the king's daughter, ends up on the menu.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), the vogons attempt to execute Trillian by feeding her to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal.
  • James Bond villains like to use Shark Pools to get rid of people. This trope is so often used by James Bond parodies it's one of the things thought to happen in Bond movies a lot more often than it actually does.
    • Thunderball. Largo has one of his mooks fed to sharks after he botches an attempt on 007's life.
    • The Spy Who Loved Me. Stromberg drops his treacherous secretary into a Shark Pool to be eaten. Later when Bond turns up to visit Stromberg, he's disturbed to see her severed hand lying on the ocean floor outside the windows of his underwater lair. This may be why Bond is ready when Stromberg later tries to inflict the same fate on him. Then Bond tries to feed Jaws to the shark, only for Jaws to eat the shark.
    • You Only Live Twice. Blofeld drops a henchman who failed him into a Piranha Pool.
    • Live and Let Die. Kananga tries to feed Bond and Solitaire to his pet shark. His dragon earlier tried feeding him to crocodiles. Some villains just don't learn.
    • Moonraker. Bond falls into a pool when a man-eating anaconda slithers in. After Bond kills the snake, Drax is disappointed that he wouldn't succumb to "an amusing death".
    • Licence to Kill. Sanchez badly maims Felix Leiter by having him thrown into a Shark Pool in revenge for his role in his capture as the rest of his men murder Della, Felix's new wife. Bond starts his Roaring Rampage of Revenge by feeding Killifer, the bribed DEA agent who helped to spring Sanchez, to the shark in turn.
    • In Skyfall, Bond and a mook fall into a pit of Komodo dragons. The latter gets eaten by one of the lizards.
  • The climax of The Lair of the White Worm invokes this trope as a woman is set up as a Virgin Sacrifice to an Eldritch Abomination by a Lesbian Vampire reptilian.
  • Shao Kahn disposes of Jade this way for failing to kill the heroes in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, feeding her to a monster carving in a wall (and for extra Narm points, the carving gives out a great big burp after it's done with her).
  • Following the Christian Martyrology claims (see below), many oldschool films set in Ancient Rome include representations of Christians condemned to this. The film version of Quo Vadis has a bunch of Christian kids forced to put on sheep skins before they had a hungry lion released on them; it was such a Kick the Dog moment that the spectators were horrified (and mind you, these were all pagans who hated Christianity), and when Gentle Giant Ursui pulled a Big Damn Heroes for them, the audience pleaded with Nero to give Ursus a thumbs-up.
  • Rampage (2018): Claire has the antidote for the rampaging animals shoved into her purse, and is then pushed towards George the gorilla, who promptly picks her up, tosses her into the air, and swallows her whole (including her purse).
  • Shanghai Grand has the Dragon Lady villainess who owns a boa constrictor, which she uses for disposing of her captives. It bites her back when The Lancer managed to make her boa devour her instead.
  • Spy Hard: Parodied. After capturing the hero, General Rancor tries to have Agent Dick Steele fed to... a dinosaur. He escapes, and it feeds on Rancor's right hand-man instead.
  • Star Wars:
    • Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi:
    • In one Expanded Universe story, Jabba's father Zorba tried to throw Leia to the sarlacc, seeking revenge for his son's death; however, a fight broke out that ended with him thrown to the creature. Zorba is saved, however (though humiliated even more) when he makes the beast sick and it vomits him out.
    • Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones: The Geonosians attempt to execute Anakin, Padmé and Obi-Wan by chaining them up in an arena and setting three monsters on them: an acklay (a semi-aquatic lobster-praying mantis hybrid), a nexu (a porcupine-tiger hybrid with four eyes and two tails), and a reek (a monster like a cross between a bull and a rhino, with three horns on its head). (Although the trope doesn't really apply to the reek, which is herbivorous; the acklay and nexu, however, were most definitely not herbivorous, and try their damndest to prey on the protagonists).
    • Solo: A Star Wars Story: This turns out to be how Han and Chewbacca met; Chewie was "the beast". Fortunately Han speaks enough of his language to convince Chewbacca that they can work together to escape.
  • Street Fighter: M. Bison attempts to do this, proclaiming his idea to the would-be victims in (OF COURSE!) wonderfully hammy fashion. Blanka, the "beast" in question, has other ideas.
  • Superman: The Movie: Lex Luthor keeps a pit with some vicious beasts (that are never seen) in his lair. After his plan to destroy California fails, his Perky Female Minion is almost thrown to them (she being the one who helped Superman and enabled him to stop the missiles) but fortunately for her, Superman shows up in time.
  • Tower of Death has a savage martial artist named Lewis, who owns a personal zoo filled with tigers. Fighters who answers his challenge and subsequently defeated in combat, or attempts to cheat during their fights, will be thrown to the big cats.
  • What a Carve Up!: The killer plans to dispose of the four remaining guests by feeding them to a pack of dogs which haven't been fed for ten days. It fails because the butler Fisk has been sneaking down to vaults and feeding them.
  • Tiger Fangs: Dr. Lang's drugs cause the local tiger population to attack the locals, including the rubber manufacturers.

  • Subverted in the Pocket Books novelisation of The Adventures of Captain Proton (the Flash Gordon-homage Show Within a Show on Star Trek: Voyager). Proton and his companions are sacrificed to the Trundle Spider, but it tells them it's sick of the lousy diet and helps them escape instead.
  • Has happened to Alex Rider at least once in his career.
  • Animorphs:
  • In Dragon Bones the villain has a Basilisk to which he feeds a former ally who hasn't lived up to his expectations. Alive. Even those who were harmed by the man who is fed to the beast (and made to watch by the villain) are shocked by the cruelty.
  • In Eisenhorn: Xenos, the heretical House Glaw tries to dispose of Eisenhorn and his associates by forcing them to fight to the death against two carnodons. This backfires when Eisenhorn’s team kills one of the beasts and breaks the chains restraining the other, allowing it to leap up into the stands and rampage through the audience.
  • As the Historical Fiction book Fabiola by Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman was set in the middle of Diocletian's persecution of Christians, it happens more than once. The most noticeable victim is the local Nice Guy and Princely Young Man Pancratius (aka Saint Pancras), who's given a Slashed Throat by a black panther. Despite how Pancras's legend says he was decapitated.
  • Fire & Blood: Before dragons went extinct, the Targaryens were quite fond of feeding people who displeased them to their dragons. The most infamous example is King Aegon II, who had his half-sister Rhaenyra devoured by his dragon, but he wasn't the only one. Rhaenyra herself had one of her husband's cousins fed to her dragon after the man accused her of passing off her illegitimate children from an affair as her husband's, and during the period where she ruled King's Landing, allowed people to pay to watch criminals being devoured by the dragons housed at the Dragonpit as a way to replenish the treasury. The traitorous dragon rider Ulf the White also fed any woman who couldn't satisfy him sexually to his dragon.
  • The first book of Galaxy of Fear has the planet itself killing and consuming people so quickly that they don't suffer. The heroes manage to piss off the Enzeen enough that they carried them to the "heart" of D'vouran, where being eaten would be far slower and more painful.
    • In the second book the Big Bad tells his lackey to listen carefully or be fed to his battle dogs.
  • In the Harry Potter books, Voldemort generally feeds his victims to his snake, Nagini, although they're usually (if not always) dead first.
    • Well of course they're usually dead. He doesn't want them hurting his snake by struggling, after all. Especially since the snake is one of his many Horcruxes.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the eponymous guide mentions that the best way to annoy a Vogon is to feed their grandmother to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal. It also mentions that a Vogon won't save their grandmother unless they received an order signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters.
  • In The Inheritance Cycle, the priests of Helgrind try to feed Eragon and Arya to a pair of Ra'zac hatchlings. It doesn't work.
  • James Bond
    • Subverted in Dr. No when the eponymous villain has Honey Ryder staked out to be eaten by a swarm of crabs. However, she knew her sea life and knew them to be harmless, so she calmly let them march over her.
    • In Live and Let Die, Bond's friend and ally Felix Leiter is caught snooping around the villains' warehouse and partially fed to a shark (the basis for his maiming in the film Licence to Kill, including the "He disagreed with something that ate him" note). Later, Bond and Solitaire are to be dragged through a reef until their blood attracts sharks to eat them (this was used in For Your Eyes Only).
    • In Brokenclaw, the eponymous Brokenlaw Lee literally feeds people who have disappointed him to the wolves that he keeps in his home.
  • In Pact, Blake Thorburn employs this type of Death Trap as a method of keeping his adversary Laird Behaim contained after he's captured him. Laird is placed within a set of three magic circles, with each increasing in complexity and strength, and Blake sets loose a demonic imp between the first and second. The first circle is small enough that Laird can barely sit down, and certainly cannot afford to fall asleep, as he might unconsciously break the extremely fragile circle and expose himself to the imp.
  • In the Discworld novel Pyramids, being thrown to crocodiles is one of the standard methods of execution in Djelibeybi. When their gods manifest en masse and start trashing the country, the crowd of priests who gather to gawk start throwing each other to the reptiles whenever one of them says something that might be reckoned disparaging or skeptical about the rampaging deities.
  • In the short story 'Sandkings' by George R. R. Martin the main character gets into the habit of feeding people to his new pets, the eponymous insect-like alien monsters.
  • In Robert E. Howard's "The Scarlet Citadel," Tsotha imprisons Conan the Barbarian in the dungeons below the title citadel, with the intent of having him be eaten by Satha, another big-ass snake. The snake ends up killing a slave of Tsotha's who was planning to kill Conan in revenge for his brother's death during Conan's pirate days, when he was called Amra.
  • Septimus Heap: Twice with Magogs, without success:
    • Done with Marcia Overstrand by DomDaniel.
    • Tried with Jenna Heap by Simon Heap.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Sigzil tells of a people who give their convicted criminals a choice: Either be executed, or be set out as bait for the local greatshells, which have valuable gemhearts. If they choose the latter, they will be released if they survive a week. They rarely survive more than two days, but criminals always take the deal, because the hope of survival is better than the certainty of execution.
  • Thieves' World short story "Blood Brothers" by Joe Haldeman. The barkeep One-Thumb buys a block of krrf (an expensive drug) from a man and slips him a paralyzing drug. He then cuts up the man's body while he's helpless and feeds him to his dogs. He killed him to avoid having to pay him and because the man was a relative of the magistrate who ordered One-Thumb's thumb cut off.
  • Inverted in Wulfrik (likely a reference to Raud the Strong, below) where Wulfrik finally gets rid of Sveinbjorn by forcing a viper down his throat.
  • Young Sherlock Holmes: In Red Leech, Duke Balthassar has Sherlock, Virginia and Matty thrown to his Komodo dragons to be devoured.

    Live Action TV 
  • Batman (1966) had a couple of these.
    • During the Joker's "Zodiac Crimes" 3-parter, he fed our heroes to a giant clam. The cliffhanger has Robin in the clam's mouth.
    • King Tut attempted to feed Robin to his crocodiles, but the walkway Robin was on retracted so slowly that Batman was able to arrive and save him.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "The Beast Below", citizens who protest using the star whale to keep the ship/country afloat and children who perform poorly in school are fed to the titular beast. It doesn't eat the children, though.
  • Ramsay Bolton's highly deserved demise in Game of Thrones 6x09. At the teeth of his own dogs, no less!
  • Kingdom Adventure: Pitts' favorite means of execution is feeding prisoners to Gulp, a beast who lives under his castle. Gulp is actually a vegetarian with human-level intelligence, but Pitts doesn't know this.
  • The Merlin episode "Lancelot and Guinevere" revolves around an outlaw feeding various people to a Wilddeoren (basically, a giant naked mole rat).
  • When Hetty is captured in Vietnam in NCIS: Los Angeles, her captor threatens to feed her friend Keane to a tiger if she doesn't do what he wants. When Callen and his team show up to rescue Hetty, she then feeds her former captor to his own tiger.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In "The Sandkings, Part Two", Dr. Simon Kress, whose mind has become increasingly warped since being infected with the venom of a red sandking, feeds his former supervisor Dave Stockley to the starving sandkings.
    • In "The Camp", the Commandant threatens to feed Prisoner 98843's daughter (later named Tali in "Promised Land") to the sharrak if she does not conduct repairs on him and the other android overseers.
  • On Zoo, a small Canadian town takes up this practice to placate the hostile animals, voting among themselves each month about whom to force out past the fences.



    Religion and Mythology 
  • Classical Mythology had Andromeda Chained to a Rock to be eaten by a sea-monster called a Cetus as punishment for her mother's boastfulness about Andromeda's beauty being greater than that of the Nereids (who got pissed and complained to Poseidon, one of the many Jerkass Gods of the pantheon). She's rescued by Perseus, who turns Ceto to stone with the head of Medusa.
  • In the legend of Saint George and the Dragon, the inhabitants of a town threatened by a dragon, having already fed all their livestock to the monster, cast lots to determine whose children are to be fed to the dragon to appease it. Fortunately and on the very day the only daughter of the local king is about to be delivered to the beast, the dragon is killed by St. George.
  • Older Than Feudalism: The Bible has the story of Daniel, who was thrown into a lion's den due to a law that some princes had tricked King Darius, who liked Daniel, into passing because they were jealous of his faith and hard work. Daniel, who had always been faithful to the Lord, was protected by one of God's angels, who shut the mouths of the lions. When the king learned that Daniel was still alive after spending the entire night in the den, he had Daniel taken out of the lion's den and the princes and their families thrown in instead, where they promptly got eaten by the lions.
    • Christians in Roman times were supposedly fed to lions in the arena as well. At least, that's the excuse one Pope used for declaring the Colosseum a monument to martyrs to protect it from commercial development. The historical truth of that claim is more murky.
      • Damnatio ad bestias was the usual Roman punishment of particularly vicious murderers and those convicted of high treason.
    • According to legend, St. Margaret was sentenced to be fed to a dragon. Large constrictor snakes, such as the African rock python, are known to be able to smother and devour large prey — occasionally children and youngsters. They also often were referred to as "dragons". The Romans knew the rock python, and if Margaret was a petite lady and the snake was a large specimen, the legend may well be plausible.
  • Older Than Dirt, actually: In Egyptian Mythology, souls that were found unworthy of the afterlife were fed to the monster Ammit.
  • The Christianizing King of Norway, Olaf Tryggvason, is said to have executed a pagan Viking chief, Raud the Strong, by having a viper stuffed down his throat. (Or should that be labelled, "Had the Beast Fed to Him"?)
  • In Japanese Mythology, the Yamata no Orochi was an eight-headed and eight-tailed monster that forced a pair of earthly deities to hand over one of their daughters to be devoured by the beast every year. Their eighth and final daughter, Princess Kushinada, was saved from this fate by the storm god Susano-o, who slew the beast by impersonating her, getting it drunk on eight large bowls of sake, and then chopping off each of its eight heads.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons module Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits. Lolth disposes of prisoners by placing them in a small dimension where they're hunted and eaten by giant spiders.

    Video Games 
  • Balloon Fight: If you fly too close to the water's edge, a giant fish will leap up and eat you. The fish also occasionally eats any defeated enemies.
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine has the Human Sacrifice variety: Sammy attempts to feed Henry to Bendy, the resident Ink Demon. Instead, Bendy kills Sammy, and Henry escapes.
  • Dark Forces: Attempted in level 10. Kyle and Jan are captured and taken aboard Jabba the Hutt's star cruiser, and Kyle is thrown in a pit to be eaten by Jabba's favorite kell dragon... which he promptly punches to death, before having to face up to nine more (on the hardest difficulty setting) on his way to retrieving his gear and Nava Card, rescuing Jan from her cell and escaping the ship.
  • Drakensang 2: The River of Time: The vile commander of Thurstone Fortress Stitus Bloomfold (think of a midget version of Dom De Luise) has a taste for rare pets, which he feeds with hapless prisoners from time to time. Said critters include war hounds, wild boars, wolves and a bear. Later he tries to feed the party to his favourite beastie, a Newt Kraken, but ends up suffering a Karmic Death instead, as Forgrimm lampshades.
  • Dwarf Fortress: Players frequently build pits containing large and vile-tempered captured creatures. Sometimes these are trained, sometimes they're not. Crocodiles, zombies, wolves... people even build giant cave spider pits, and harvest the web left after a successful termination.
  • Enchanted Scepters: The punishment for violating the Copy Protection is random teleportation to an arena inhabited by a Tyrannosaurus rex.
  • Fallout 4: In the Wasteland Workshop DLC, you can capture raiders to your settlements and pit them with your pet Deathclaws.
  • Gloomwood: The Slaughtered Goat tavern is currently occupied by a Goatman, an extremely fast, tough, and persistent monster that has already slaughtered over a dozen huntsmen. Unfortunately for the player you'll need to pass through it in order to progress, and leaving is a lot harder than getting in — the huntsmen lock the door behind you in hopes that the beast will do their job for them.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Ganondorf, in his crossing of the Moral Event Horizon, tries to have all the Gorons fed to the great lava dragon Volvagia as an example of what happens to those who defy him.
  • Metroid Dread: A picture in the Chozo Archives gallery unlocked upon getting all items in Burenia shows Mawkin soldiers pushing Chozo prisoners into the maw of Drogyga.
  • Ratchet & Clank (2002): Captain Qwark has the titular duo lured to the pit of a Blargian Snagglebeast in the hopes it would eat them and get Drek's approval. It doesn't work out as intended; the Snagglebeast is killed, Drek berates Qwark for his failure, and Ratchet seeks murderous revenge.
  • Resident Evil 4: An optional cutscene has the Ganados feeding a dead police officer to Del Lago.
  • The Sims Medieval: The Pit of Judgment is home to a giant tentacled beast that eats those sentenced to death.
  • A Total War Saga: TROY: The Hydra's vitality levels are initially quite low, and so the player needs to restore the creature's strength to access its full potential. This can be done by feeding defeated enemies to the monster... or by sacrificing your own troops.
  • Yakuza 2 has Sengoku trying to feed Kiryu Kazuma to his two pet tigers after Kazuma tears through his men to get Haruka back. Kazuma, however, ends up killing both of them.

    Visual Novels 

  • Umbria/Zaedalkaah of Our Little Adventure plans to inflict an elaborate version of it on some minion who displeased her:
    I'll kill you, grind you up, feed you to starving children, then feed those starving kids to other starving kids to make a race of SUPER starving kids, which I will then eat...
  • Unsounded: The the rebels in the Foi-Hellick Affair would feed war prisoners to Shaensigin, a gaint Senet beast.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: In "Apple Thief", a gang of thugs throw Finn, Jake, and Tree Trunks to a pig to be eaten. The pig is hardly vicious, though, and seems to only want to eat them because it's his job.
  • American Dragon: Jake Long: In the episode "The Academy", if Huntsclan recruits step out of line, they are forced into an amphitheater to battle a giant Tyrannosaurus-sized sea monster, most likely to the death, to win their place back.
  • The snake-obsessed Kobra organization in Batman Beyond uses a variant of this. Any member who fails their duties, or anyone else who knows too much about their operations, is dropped into a pit of venomous snakes where they are presumably bitten to death. One member actually commits suicide by leaping in to avoid capture after believing he has exposed Batman's true identity to rest of the organization, gloating to the hero about how he'll be regarded as a martyr to the organization before doing so. They likely actually regarded him as a complete idiot; when he read a boy's mind using a computer to get an image of Terry's face, the kid replaced it with that of an action hero from a cartoon that he admired, because that's how he envisioned Batman.
  • The Joker threatens to throw people to his hyenas in Batman: The Animated Series, though whether or not he actually follows through on this threat is rather unclear.
    • In at least one case ("The Man Who Killed Batman"), he shoves a minion to the hyenas for "asking stupid questions". However, the trope is toned down; the minion shows up later with a just a few bandages.
  • Birdman (1967). In the episode "Hannibal the Hunter", Hannibal trapped Birdman in a net and arranged for him to be dropped into a pit with two lions in it so they could eat him.
  • In the Courage the Cowardly Dog episode "Courage in the Big Stinkin' City", Bushwick is a giant, anthropomorphic roach who kills people by feeding them to... something. (The monster is hidden behind a door and never actually seen in the episode.)
  • The Dreamstone: Zordrak has a pit filled with yellow, red-eyed monsters called Frazznats that the Urpneys call "The Pit of No Return". In the opening scene of the series, he throws an Urpney named Captain Crigg in there for questioning his plan to steal the Dreamstone and promotes Sergeant Blob in his place, and he does throw Blob and Urpgor in there on at least one occasion, but they somehow came back just fine.
  • In the first "Anthology of Interest" episode of Futurama which asks the question "What if Leela was more impulsive?" she actually murders every member of the cast (except Fry, who she seduces) starting with Farnsworth, who she throws to his man-eating anteaters.
  • Used as a threat in The Legend of Korra... by Korra. She probably wouldn't have actually fed the judge who railroaded her father to her polar bear dog as an afternoon snack, but he sure seemed convinced that she would! (Sticking his head in the beast's mouth might have had something to do with that.)
  • Muzzy in Gondoland: Corvax has this fate in mind for Bob when he orders the prison guard to put him in cell No. 19. He knows they are holding an alien monster in there. Fortunately for Bob, the alien is Muzzy, an intelligent and polite Gentle Giant who has no intentions to hurt him.
  • The New Adventures of Superman: In "The Mermen of Emor", the mermen attempt to do this to Jimmy Olsen and two other captured scuba divers as part of their annual games: first with lion sharks, and then a killer whale.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
  • In The Pirates of Dark Water, Bloth has a vicious monster called the Constrictus he keeps in a pool of water in his ship. Failing to fulfil his tasks (Or being someone he doesn't like) is a good way to get dumped into it. The only survivors of this fate are Ren and Konk, and the latter lost his leg doing so.
  • Done a few times in The Smurfs (1981):
    • In the episode "A Loss Of Smurf", Vanity as a Wartmonger accidentally wakes up the Creepodile in the Pussywillow Hollow swamp region, and Wartmonger legends say that it won't rest until it eats a king, so King Bullrush upon finding out who woke the creature up made Vanity king so that the beast will go after Vanity instead. The Smurflings help rescue Vanity by making the Creepodile feast on a gourd dressed up in royal clothes instead.
    • In the Season 9 episode "Gnoman Holiday", Julius Geezer has his victims be thrown into the coliseum to deal with the Felions.
  • Space Ghost episode "Clutches of the Creature King". After the title villain captures Space Ghost he puts him in an arena and forces him to fight all of the Creature King's creatures without his power bands.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars, "Lair of Grievous": Grievous sets loose his pet roggwart Gor to kill and presumably consume Commander Fil, Knight Vebb and Master Fisto (the only members of the group to survive the initial encounter with Grievous) while Grievous is being patched up by A4-D. He may have overestimated his pet, or underestimated Kit Fisto, as Gor only managed to kill Fil before Kit took it out in self defense.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): In "Turtles In Space: The Arena", the first event when the Turtles are sent to the Triceratons' gladiator games is fighting off a giant, fanged, tentacle monster called a Spasmazoid.
    Donatello: They're expecting us to fight that thing!?
    Raphael: No, they're expecting that thing to eat us!
  • Chairface Chippendale in The Tick tries to feed the heroes to his pit of man-eating alligators. According to The Tick, this is standard villain procedure.
  • The favored pass time of the Quintessons from The Transformers is sentencing the defendants/victims of their “trials” to being fed to the Sharkticons, regardless of whether they’re declared innocent or guilty.

    Real Life 
  • In Ancient Rome, convicts found guilty of heinous crimes could be "sentenced to the beasts" (damnatio ad bestias), which meant that the condemned was sent into the arena with a weapon, facing predatory animals such as lions, panthers, or bears. This was the equivalent of a death sentence, though there was a slim chance of pardon if the convict fought bravely. Damnatio ad bestias differs from objicere bestiis ("throw to the beasts"), in which the victim was unarmed and possibly fettered.
    • Also from Ancient Rome, Vedius Pollio executed a slave by throwing him into a pool full of lampreys— bloodsucking jawless fish.
  • Tribal societies that, historically, used exile as a punishment for crime usually presumed that those outcast would die from exposure or starvation. But, in regions and seasons when dangerous animals were common, expulsion from the group probably resulted in this trope for more than a few such outcasts.
  • When the Spanish started conquering the Americas, they also used dogs to help them out. While the only domesticated dogs known in the Americas were the ancestors of the Chihuahua and hairless dogs which were no larger than their descendants. Spanish conquistadors brought over large hunting dogs, including mastiffs that weighed well over a hundred pounds, and if their size wasn't intimidating enough, the Spanish would often sic their dogs on some unlucky Natives. Once the Natives were mauled to death, the Spanish just sat back and watched their dogs feed on their prey. Accounts claim that Conquistadors weren't just content with feeding adults to their dogs and would often take infants from their mothers and feed them to their hounds.
  • Idi Amin Dada, when he was President of Uganda, often ordered people executed by feeding them to crocodiles.


The Rancor

Jabba the Hutt sends Luke into the rancor pit.

How well does it match the trope?

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Main / FedToTheBeast

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