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Kill It Through Its Stomach

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"It has exposed its weak, fleshy underbelly to me in the form of its digestive tract!"
Red Mage, 8-Bit Theater

Bob is devoured by a monster. Monster looks pleased at its victory and goes to eat Alice. Alice is terrified until the monster stops, gives her an odd look, and screams as Bob cuts his way out of its stomach.

This often ends up being the undoing of many a villain and monster that tried to kill their enemies by eating them. If Bob had yelled "Eat Me!" moments before, then he was almost certainly planning to do this, and obviously, it doesn't work unless said monster swallows people whole. Let that be a lesson to all you monsters out there: Always chew your food properly.

A Sub-Trope of Orifice Invasion (just that the monster doesn't realize the invasion until it's too late).

See also Attack the Mouth, Chest Burster, Just Eat Him, and Feed It a Bomb. It's often also a Disney Death.

Not to be confused with Through His Stomach.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Near the start of the 3×3 Eyes is a variation. Yakumo doesn't really have any powers yet, but manages to kill a monster (temporarily anyway) by shoving a summoning staff into its mouth and summoning Takuhi inside it to burst its stomach from within.
  • In Attack on Titan, the first time Eren discovers his ability to transform into a Titan, he's inside the stomach of one. The Titan actually falls over and Eren bursts out from its back.
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Sosuke usually eats Life Energy through a spectral mouth he manifests separate from his body, but it can't handle the spiritual energy exorcist ninjutsu are made of. Matsuri ends up shoving a powerful wind spell down the mouth, bypassing Sosuke's newly developed Super-Toughness to grievously wound him from the inside.
    Matsuri: Glad I carried out what I intended. I said so in the beginning, right? That I'd open up a windhole in your stomach.
  • At one point in the manga (but not anime, it got cut) of Buso Renkin, Tokiko faced an opponent who could make his enemies shrink six inches every time he hit them. After round one of the fight, she went from 5'2" to 1'2". In round two, she deliberately got hit twice and then jumped down his throat while only two inches tall, at which point she proved her catchphrase (I'll splatter your guts!) wasn't hyperbole as she carved her way back out, breaking the effect and restoring her original size.
  • In one chapter of Cells at Work!, Neutrophil U-1146 gets swallowed whole by a Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria, but manages to slay it from the inside.
  • Dandadan: Technological variation. Psychic protagonist Momo Ayase is facing down an alien invader whose exo suit can collapse space and matter into a storage space on its back. Telekinesis and beams have fallen short, so Momo allows herself to get scooped up by one of the alien's space-eating moves and blasts it from inside the storage space.
  • Kinnikuman did this to defeat the Bottomless Alien in one of his few genuine victories before the Genre Shift.
  • One episode of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! has Dedede order a demon beast named Power Stomach, which turns out to be a giant stomach. During the fight, it ends up swallowing Kirby, Dedede, and Escargon. Thankfully, Dedede’s limo happens to have a supply of Cartoon Bombs that allows Kirby to gain his bomb ability and defeat Power Stomach before they end up being digested.
  • Naruto was once swallowed by a gigantic snake summoned by the Big Bad. He escaped by making so many clones of himself that it burst.
  • In the first Queen's Blade Grimoire OVA, Zara and her grandmother get swallowed by The Big Bad Wolf. Just as it's about to attack Alicia, Zara suddenly rams her fist right through the wolf's stomach and crawls out. Unfortunately, her grandmother was already dead.
  • In Rebuild World, the Overgrown Snake swallows Akira and his vehicle whole in an attempt to digest them. While Akira panics from losing his connection to Alpha and having stomach acid dripped all over him, his Cornered Rattlesnake instincts are kicked into overdrive without her help, allowing him to aim straight down the snake's vulnerable gullet and rip it apart from the inside with minigun rounds.
  • In The Rising of the Shield Hero, Filo is eaten whole by a zombified dragon, but survives and manages to eat her way out. It helps that Naofumi manages to weaken the dragon from outside using the Rage Shield as well.
  • In Rosario + Vampire, Moka is eaten by a plant monster. Inner Moka then literally kicks her way out of the monster's stomach.
  • In The Seven Deadly Sins, Hawk the Pig gets swallowed by a dragon, then chews his way out.
  • Ushio and Tora: This is how Ushio and Tora kill the gigantic Ayakashi from the inside, bisecting the whole monster lengthwise thanks to the sudden power up of the Beast Spear. This is also how Hyo finally kills Guren for good, tricking him into devouring his Magical Eye (which was filled to the brim with energy) and his arm, filled with Paper Talisman which he used to blow up the former.
  • YuYu Hakusho: In the Three Kings Arc, Shishiwakamaru does this to a Giant Mook.

    Comic Books 
  • This is how Stephen manages to defeat the magic-eating Eldritch Abomination named the Peregrine Child in The Death of Doctor Strange. He astral projects to allow himself to be eaten by the Child, then destabilizes the massive amount of magic it had already consumed to detonate it from the inside.
  • In the series Demon Knights, Etrigan climbs inside a dragon's mouth to cast a spell and make it explode from the inside.
  • In Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. Frankenstein is swallowed by a mountain-sized monster. A page later he bursts out of its body with his sword in one hand and its heart in the other. The "why didn't it chew him" factor is justified here as the creature is so gargantuan Frankenstein's not much more than a crumb to it.
  • Averted in Fray. After being swallowed by a giant demon monster, Fray has to get caught in its throat as ending up in the stomach would be a dead sentence. She ends up hacking her way through the brain and out of its eyeball.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Phyla-Vell gets fed to the Dragon of the Moon by Maelstrom. A few pages later, she slices her way out, holding her girlfriend Moondragon, and sporting a much darker look than she had going in (turns out she made a deal with Oblivion so she could live).
  • Invoked in Nextwave, where the plan to defeat Fing Fang Foom involves Aaron Stack jumping into the monster's mouth specifically so he can cut it apart from the inside.
  • Wolverine:
    • Wolverine kills the mutant-killing monster Predator-X this way. In this case, the monster may have chewed him a bit, but his Healing Factor could easily fix that.
    • This is how Wolverine kills The Hulk in Old Man Logan as well.
  • Wonder Woman (2006): After Alkyone's first apparent death, where they Never Found the Body, a megalodon that made the mistake of eating her washes ashore with a large hole cut through its side from the inside.
  • Multiple Man of the X-Men would do this by sticking his hand in an enemy's mouth and creating a bunch of duplicates of himself, effectively bursting the person from the inside out.

    Eastern Animation 

    Fan Works 
  • This doesn't occur in The Rigel Black Chronicles, but that's how the Animators reinterpret Harry's confrontation with the basilisk, when they recreate (their idea of) the scene by animating everyone's dinner into giant food golems.

    Films — Animation 
  • Hercules defeats the hydra this way in the Disney adaptation of the legend. Unfortunately, it comes back to life with three more heads ...
  • The dragon scene from The Pagemaster. After Richard is eaten by a dragon, he makes a beanstalk appear by opening a book entitled Jack and the Beanstalk that was also inside the dragon's stomach, and uses it to escape.
  • In the Planet Hulk animated film, the angry green giant himself jumps into the flaming mechanical jaws of a robot worm only to pop out minutes later through its chest, tearing out what could be assumed to be its intestines with it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Overlapping with Feed It a Bomb, Iron Man in The Avengers (2012) kills a Chitauri Leviathan by letting it eat him and destroying it from the inside.
    Tony: J.A.R.V.I.S., you ever heard the tale of Jonah?
    J.A.R.V.I.S.: I wouldn't consider him a role model.
  • Subverted in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Drax willingly lets himself get eaten by a monster whose hide is too tough to damage with their weapons in order to cut it apart from the inside. As Gamora and Quill both realize, that plan makes no sense since the hide will be equally tough to cut from either direction. We see Drax inside the monster's stomach fruitlessly hacking away and still doing no damage, and when the monster is defeated (from the outside), he is convinced his plan worked.
  • Just before the climax of the first Live-Action Guyver film, while the Guyver is undergoing its regeneration, its Control Metal is accidentally swallowed by an unfortunate Zoanoid, who has his gut sliced open by the revived Guyver.
  • In Hellboy (2004), the titular hero kills the monster at the end by letting it grab him and yanking the pins out of an entire belt of grenades just before the monster swallows.
  • K in Men in Black does this when he talks Edgar the Bug—who had earlier eaten both his and J's guns — into swallowing him whole. His explanation to J prior to doing this was "I'm goin' to get my gun back." He does, and proceeds to blast Edgar in two from the inside out.
    J: You better ease up out of my face before something bad happen to you.
    [a glow appears in Edgar's stomach as K's BFG warms up]
    J: [smirking] Too late.
  • Serleena from Men in Black II is tricked into flying down Jeff the giant worm-creature's gullet, but grows large enough to burst out of him for a final battle with J.
  • In Underwater, the main character is attacked by a ten-foot tall sea monster that attempts to swallow her headfirst by unhinging its jaw like a snake. She blasts it from the inside with a flare gun and then forces her way out through the hole in its back.

  • Animorphs:
    • In "The Stranger" the group are morphed as cockroaches and get eaten by a Taxxon, after a brief conversation with The Ellimist they start demorphing inside the Taxxon's guts, causing it to burst open.
    • In "The Android", Marco is swallowed by a crow while in spider morph. He starts demorphing and causes the crow to explode.
    • Megamorphs #2
      • Tobias and Rachel are swallowed whole by a Kronosaur while in dolphin morph. Rachel proceeds to use her grizzly bear morph to rip her way out.
      • Jake is swallowed by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. When acquiring its DNA didn't give him enough time to escape, he morphs into a tiger while in its throat. The T-Rex doesn't die immediately, but is rendered nearly catatonic with pain, and the damage to its esophagus guaranteed that it wouldn't be able to eat or even breathe for much longer.
  • In the Book of Swords novel Woundhealer's Story, Zoltan is swallowed whole by an enormous dragon. Fortunately, he happens to be carrying the magic sword Dragonslicer, and is able to cut his way out.
  • Fenghshen Yanyi: during Yang Jian's introduction, he slays the Flowery Marten by letting the beast eat his torso whole (he's able to survive thanks to his magic powers), then as soon as the beast is far from its master he chokes her heart from within and then burst out of her body by turning into a giant. He uses a similar trick with the hog demon Zhu Zizhen, letting himself being swallowed whole, only to threaten to squeeze his heart from within and forcing him to surrender and be executed.
  • Journey to the West: Sun Wukong can use his transformation powers to trick enemies into eating him whole and then wrecking havoc on their insides until they finally give up.
  • Mordant's Need. How Space Marine Darsint kills a gigantic Sand Worm.
  • In Starlight and Shadows, the berserker Fyodor is swallowed whole by a giant squid. He proceeds to cut his way out of it, killing it in the process.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Book of Boba Fett: After Boba Fett was eaten by the Sarlacc in Return of the Jedi, he used his flamethrower to burn his way out of the beast. It would survive, however, as he and Fennec Shand find out when they go back to search for Boba's armor years later. Fennec finishes it off once and for all with a seismic charge.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: While it's unclear whether Buffy is actually ingested by the monster, in "Bad Eggs", she defeats the mother of some body snatching-beasts by slicing it with a pickaxe, presumably from the inside out.
  • Charmed (1998):
    • Piper and Grams were once eaten by the Big Bad Wolf. Piper uses her power to blow the fairy tale beast to smithereens while she was still inside of it.
    • Earlier in the series, Piper's plan to defeat a demon was to let it eat both her and her sisters. Prue would then use her powers to blow it up. Fortunately, they didn't have to do it this way.
  • The Witcher (2019): In the opening of episode 4, a merchant is in a tavern, telling the woeful tale of how a monster swallowed an entire village, and the poor Witcher he hired to slay it. Cue Geralt coming in covered in monster guts and demanding his payment.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In the Golden Legend, this is how Saint Margaret of Antioch survived her first martyrdom phase. She was to be eaten alive by a huge snake (for some, Satan in the form of a dragon), but her cross pendant irritated the dragon/snake's innards and it burst open, with an unharmed Margaret popping out of it.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • PCs that get eaten by huge monsters sometimes have to cut their way out. Sometimes it's actually a good idea, as its stomach does less damage than its outside. Savvy players will elect to attack the giant beast's heart or other internal organs while inside, and presumably after cutting through its stomach. Your GM will have to decide how well it works.
    • This was completely and hilariously averted in 3.0 and 3.5, where any number of things (Tyrannosaurs, giant sharks, purple worms) could swallow you whole, requiring you to cut your way out... but slicing a giant hole in the critter didn't deal any actual damage to it, and "Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out."
    • One Spelljammer module has a gammaroid (colossal turtle) who met a primary Witchlight Marauder. Which is the first stage of an artificial Horde of Alien Locusts — it's designed to spawn monsters that end up stripping a whole planet of everything organic. Gammaroids in average are five times bigger than this, so the turtle had a nice snack. Then secondaries hatched. All that remained is an enormous shell with bones inside.


    Video Games 
  • The entire plot of the old ZX Spectrum game Gutz where the protagonist following a failed First Contact, is now trying to stop a ravenous alien the size of the Moon from devouring Earth, by shutting down its organs from the inside.
  • In Dante's Inferno, Dante finishes off Cerberus' last head by letting it grab him, then blasts it with his Cross before it has a chance to swallow.
  • Dead Space 3 has a late-game Boss Battle against a Necromorph Nexus, the same type of monstrous creature that served as the first game's Final Boss. The final stage of the battle takes place inside of it after it vacuumed the hero(es) into its digestive tract.note  It ends with the Nexus spitting out its mostly unharmed victims after it had its hearts exploded from the inside.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: When fighting Cerberus, one of the bosses in the World of Darkness raid, one stage of the battle requires some of the players to get deliberately swallowed by Cerberus so they can subdue him from within.
  • The Riftworm in Gears of War 2 meets its end after swallowing the protagonists, who return the favor by making their way through its body and cutting out its hearts.
  • Kratos does this to Cronos in God of War III in probably the mother of all Colossus Climb battles.
  • In the backstory for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Prince Sidon is stated to have defeated a giant Octorok that had swallowed him and many other Zora warriors this way.
  • The key to beating the Metroid Queen in Metroid: Other M is to allow it to swallow you in Morph Ball mode, then set off a Power Bomb. Unfortunately, Power Bombs have been deactivated since the Justified Tutorial, and the game fails to tell you that you can use them again.
  • In NetHack this is in fact the safest way to kill some of the bosses.
  • Halfway through the first boss fight in The NewZealand Story, the ice whale you're fighting swallows you. You have to shoot it while avoiding the drops of acid in order to destroy it from within.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Xi Wangmu has the terrible habit of eating people whole. This bites her back in the ass when the Ring of Gaea members she ate keep fighting from the inside, crippling her and destroying her once-flawless defense.
  • Starfox Adventures: The first boss, Galdon, swallows the first Spellstone at the start of the boss fight and later Fox himself, so Fox has to attack the Spellstone that is in the creature's gut until he upchucks both of them.
  • In Tales of Legendia, the largest monsters in the game are too big for Senel to throw, so instead of throwing them, he'll invoke the trope by jumping into their mouths and pummeling them from the inside while they're dazed from being knocked down.
  • In The Visitor, the alien's first victim is a frog who thinks it looks tasty and slurps the little guy up with its tongue. The frog explodes a second later, and the alien is noticeably larger. The visitor later flies into a sleeping guy's open mouth. He doesn't fare any better than the frog.
  • During one boss fight in Yoshi's Island, Yoshi and Baby Mario are shrunk and eaten by a frog, in an inversion of the Make My Monster Grow tactics that Kamek had been using up to that point. You then "defeat" the frog from within its stomach by throwing eggs at a uvula-like appendage.
  • In Legend Of Legrand (a 360 rpg) the newly introduced rogue PC defeats a certain boost by dramatically, rashly, and with seeming comical exasperation, leaps into the monster's jaws and "takes it out" from the inside. Particularly noteworthy as an rpg element because of the monster's high armor rating and the use of the battle mechanic of waiting for the beast to expose it's weak point in primal frustration.
  • Shantae and the Seven Sirens: How the Guardian Genie of Arena Town's island managed to defeat a Life Drinker. She allowed herself to be drank and attacked her from the inside. While not a kill, it disabled part of the life-drinking abilities, such that only Genie Life Force could sustain the villain after that.
  • Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin: Jack defeats the Greater Malboro by crystalizing it from the inside out, after it swallows him.
  • Sunset Overdrive: How the DL-Sea Monster is defeated, the player is Swallowed Whole then they "Melee Monster Internally", as the button prompt says.

    Visual Novel 
  • In Slay the Princess, this is one of the ways the Beast route can end, with the Princess swallowing the protagonist whole but him acting quickly enough to stab her heart from the inside.

  • 8-Bit Theater:
    • Red Mage does this to a dragon using frost magic. Interestingly, the dragon was only acting in self-defense and was perfectly happy to help the remaining Light Warriors when they didn't attack. Indeed RM killed him halfway through, making them some fireproof armour.
    • Later, he defeated Kraken this way, bisecting him from the inside with his sword.
  • In Charby the Vampirate Charby uses his hooks to dig his disgusted way out of the monster from the trash pit and a bonus comic reveals he had to drink some of the things revolting blood while inside it to regain his strength.
  • In Chirault, Kiran gets swallowed by a demon, then hacks his way out with his spear.
  • In The Order of the Stick, V gets eaten by a dragon (though they do cast several protective spells first), and uses a Shapechange spell to burst his/her way out... appropriately enough, by transforming into a dragon.
  • Schlock Mercenary has a few incidents of this happening.
    • An amphibious monster once chomped Tagon in the middle of his talk about security. The critter had just enough time to worry about the leg in Powered Armor it can't bite through before Tagon used his sidearm to make a new exit out of its mouth.
    • Lieutenant Commander Der Trihs was once eaten by a giant shark. He perforated its stomach with his sidearm and then tore his way out. Previously a grunt who wasn't armored was not so lucky.
  • Happens a few times in Delve, with varying degrees of success—
    • Played straight when Bree offers herself to a giant snake, then cuts her way out of its stomach with an enchanted dagger.
    • Subverted a chapter later, when a Jakaali warrior hopes to try the same trick on a naga. He tells the naga to eat him, which she happily does. Only after the warrior tries cutting his way out does the naga tell him that she's had her digestive system permanently skoneskinned.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: Finn must slash his way out of the gullet of a... something, after Marceline tells him, "Use my axe bass."
  • The titular character from Duck Dodgers employs a non-lethal version of this trope, Played for Laughs naturally. Daffy, unable to beat the enemy (played by Taz), decides the best answer is cooking himself, then serving himself up to his foe explicitly saying "Eat me!" After this, he proceeds to stand up fully inside Taz's stomach. Complete with obligatory Lampshade Hanging, but not in the usual manner.
  • This happens in Generator Rex. Rex is Swallowed Whole by an E.V.O. but gets out by cutting a hole in her torso with his BFS.
  • Heavily implied in the Timon & Pumbaa episode "Washington Applesauce". The titular duo end up getting Swallowed Whole by a giant worm, but they prepare to dine while inside the worm's stomach. The next scene has the duo, now fat and gigantic, declaring to the townsfolk that they have gotten rid of the worm.
  • Wander over Yonder: In 'The Bounty', Peepers realizes the bounty hunter that swallowed him, Wander, and Sylvia will get all the credit for capturing them and take Peepers' place among Lord Hater's army. So he uses the lightning-bolt on the top of his helmet to slice through the bounty hunter all the way around its body and throttle it, which ironically allows Wander and Sylvia to escape capture.
  • In one segment of the Robot Chicken eighth season premiere "Garbage Sushi", Godzilla and Jason Voorhees jump at each other in the air as Jason flies up to Godzilla's mouth, getting Swallowed Whole. After Godzilla regurgitates the hockey mask, Jason gets out by cutting a tear through his abdomen with his machete.

    Real Life 
  • Many species of poisonous newts can do this: the predator tries to eat them whole, then succumbs to the poison they secrete on their skin and dies. The newt then proceeds to climb out of the dead predator's mouth.
  • A poisonous cane toad was once swallowed whole by an over-eager dog who thought it was a pastry. Both survived, though.
  • A centipede managed to eat its way out of a small snake, though it died in the process. The original scientific paper on the subject (titled "Two Fangs Good, One Hundred Legs Better"), can be found here (warning: potentially disturbing images).
  • There is a famous picture depicting the aftermath of a large python dead after it tried to swallow an alligator and the gator exploded out of the snake's stomach.
  • Some species of pufferfish are covered with spikes which bristle in all directions when the fish puffs up, making it nigh impossible to take a bite of. Larger predators, however, can swallow it whole... after which it will try to gnaw its way out with its sharp beak, usually successfully. Notably, critters who manage to digest the pufferfish before it gives them a Torso with a View don't fare well either, as pufferfish are among the most poisonous creatures in the world.
  • Deep-sea amphipods are extremely common, but would-be predators had better beware: the little crustaceans have been known to eat their way right through the mouth and throat of anything that tries to swallow them whole. Predators that specialize on amphipods, like deep-sea snailfish, have secondary jaws consisting of hard, crushing plates that smash the little buggers into paste after they've been sucked into the snailfish's mouth.


Video Example(s):


Carnivorous Plant

Buck tries to kill a Man-Eating Plant that is about to digest Manny and Diego. He dives inside, goes to the center of the stem and there's a red root and a blue root. He decides to cut the red root which only makes things worse as it speeds up the digestion process. Fortunately Buck is just barely able to cut the correct root the blue one which kills the plant causing it to spit them out

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Example of:

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