Follow TV Tropes


Man Bites Man

Go To
Two scoops of Eye Scream, please!

"In a wrestling match, nobody bites like Gaston!"

Fists incapacitated? Feet otherwise occupied? Never fear, thirty-two weapons are still available to you: the teeth!

This trope is about biting someone in combat. Biting is typically a desperate last resort employed when limbs are pinned. However, it is a move that can turn the tables in an instant. The true Combat Pragmatist will bite any time they fancy: an unexpected bite to the throat can take a foe down quickly. That kind of savagery can also be a sign of being Raised by Wolves or being outright Ax-Crazy. Strangely, despite the brutal nature of the attack, there are far more heroic examples than villainous.

A bite can result in some of the worst flesh damage a character can do to another, without a weapon. Most other unarmed attacks depend on blunt force. Expect the bitten to react with pain, shock, and horror. As this is a trope about pragmatism, only humans and other organisms not expected to bite should be listed. No dogs, no vampires, etc. On the other hand, it can go quite wrong for the biter if it's countered or botched.


It is especially bad if the biter is some sort of carnivorous animal with sharp fangs like a cat or dog.

For a detailed analysis of the plausibility of this trope see the analysis page.

See Now That's Using Your Teeth! when the teeth are used for less meaty purposes. See also You Taste Delicious. Butt Biter is when this is done for comedy, and not necessarily to get the upper hand in a fight — and, of, course, in the butt. Contrast Bite of Affection.

Taking this one step further leads you into Eating the Enemy or I'm a Humanitarian territory.



    open/close all folders 
    Anime & Manga 
  • Attack on Titan:
    • Most titans already do this, what with all the human-chomping that goes around. The rogue titan takes it much, much further, however, when it spots a certain titan who ate Thomas, and charges it despite his arms having been ripped off earlier, bites down on the back of its neck, then proceeds to swing the corpse around to hit the other titans.
    • This is also Eren's usual (self-inflicted) method of transforming. When he's particularly desperate and the transformation won't kick in (such as in "Wall" and "Scream"), he goes so far as to bite chunks of flesh off his own hand.
  • In Baccano!, Creepy Child Czeslaw Meyer tells world-renowned assassin and complete lunatic Claire Stanfield that he's not afraid of him, having been hurt and tortured in horrible ways for years. Claire's response is to grab Czeslaw's hand and bite his fingers off.
  • In one chapter of Blade of the Immortal, a crazed Itto-Ryu attempts to finish off Hyakurin this way by biting her throat.
  • In one Carnival Phantasm skit, Illya bites Rin Tohsaka's head.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, Index bites anyone who irritates her. Usually Touma.
  • Cross Ange:
  • Used in Cyborg 009, when Phil bites 002's Gag Nose to avoid capture.
  • In Dragon Ball, Goku is prone to use this.
    • At one point, he bites King Piccolo's thumb to escape a Neck Lift.
    • In Dragon Ball Z, Goku, last hope of the universe, is locked in battle with Kid Buu, a mindless five-million-year-old force of galactic destruction, and the latter bites Goku on the arm mid-brawl. Goku retaliates by biting Kid Buu right back, much to his shock. Two of the most powerful, god-like forces in the universe biting each other. What makes it even better is, it happens in the middle of an inner monologue by Vegeta where he finally admits that Goku is better than him. Even further, the opening of Dragon Ball Z Kai features this exact sequence redone in high-quality animation.
    • Dragon Ball Super shows that Goku still hasn't learned any better, as he bites Beerus the God of Destruction's tail during their battle. And then even later, he bites the hand of Whis during a training match, aka Beerus's angelic teacher.
    • In Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Goku bites Broly's hand to escape a hold.
    • In Dragon Ball GT, Goku bites Baby Vegeta during one of their earlier fights (prior to regrowing his tail).
  • Invoked in the first Hellsing anime, after Alucard shoots off Anderson's arms but Anderson still charges at him, prompting Alucard to taunt him: "Are you gonna bite me next?" Anderson decides to retreat with dignity after hearing this (from a vampire, no less).
  • Ubogin from Hunter × Hunter bites through the skull of one enemy and spits the fragment out with enough velocity to punch a hole in a second opponent.
  • Hakuryuu takes a chunk out of his mother Gyokuen's neck in Magi: Labyrinth of Magic, since she's got the upper hand in their fight, his weapon is broken, and one arm is useless. It's also a sign of how desperate and unhinged he's becoming.
  • In the second season of The Mysterious Cities of Gold, Zia bites Gaspar in the arm to save Tao.
  • In Nabari no Ou, Shijima occasionally bites people in combat.
  • In Naruto, Sakura bites one of the Sound Ninja rookies while trying to defend the incapacitated Naruto, Sasuke, and Lee from them while desperately outclassed. Even when her enemy punches her repeatedly on the head, Sakura refuses to let go of him.
  • In One Piece:
    • In Filler Arc "Little East Blue", Yoko uses biting as her way to attack.
    • Luffy, the main character (who's quite child-like), has no qualms about biting his opponents. Two examples include Arlong (was blocked) and Jimbei (who sat on him). When he tries it against Rob Lucci, Lucci dodging it oddly results in Paper Cutting. In the anime, he also tries it on Crocodile in their first fight. Of course, Crocodile being what he is, this only ticks him off. Especially notable because Luffy doesn't just bite him — he stretches his mouth out and tries to swallow Crocodile whole. Luffy also tries it against the villain of one of the movies, but that makes more sense (though is no more effective) since the villain is made of candy.
  • This is Turtle's signature attack in Rainbow. He doesn't get much opportunity to use it, but the bite wounds we see are brutal.
  • Rurouni Kenshin:
    • Big Bad Shishio Makoto takes a chomp out of Kenshin to show that he's serious about his Social Darwinist philosophy ("The flesh of the weak is the food of the strong.").
    • Played for Laughs much earlier with Yahiko getting pissed off at Sanosuke and biting on his head to retaliate.
    • In the manga version of his debut, Yahiko bites the thug Gasuke on the groin.
  • In Sailor Moon S episode 107, Chibi-Usa's friend's pure heart crystal is taken by the enemy Eudial, but since Chibi-Usa cannot transform into Sailor Chibi Moon in public, she resorts to charging Eudial and biting her arm, causing Eudial to release the heart crystal.
  • Shut Hell has a tendency to rip her enemies' throats out with her teeth. Initially it's because her hands are bound or something like that, but later on she seems to develop a taste for it.
  • In Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online, LLENN manages to beat Pitohui by getting launched towards her and depleting her HP by biting her neck with sheer force.
  • Tiger Mask has a few examples. The most famous, being a Real Life wrestler, is Freddie Blassie, whose main shtick was to bite his opponent's forehead (or fingers, depending on what he could reach with his mouth). Interestingly, the series uses his appearances to show the problems with this technique: the first time, Blassie is neutralized as soon as Tiger Mask decides to go for the teeth (something he wouldn't have done if Blassie did not insist in biting him), both because his style revolves around biting his opponent and because having someone dance on your teeth hurts a lot; the second time, Blassie shows us that trying to bite the forehead of a taller opponent is a stupid move when said opponent has no concept of fighting fair, and ends with Blassie getting bitten on the forehead; the third time Blassie discovers both that his tactic is getting old and that you should only bite exposed skin when he bites the forehead of the masked wrestler Fantomas and breaks his teeth on the steel plate he had placed there just for this occurrence.
  • Many characters from Toriko use biting in combat. While most of them are animals, some human characters don't hesitate to use that, when necessary:
    • Tommyrod prefers to stand back and let his giant bugs do the killing for him, but if they fail he is more than willing to show what several rows of his razor-sharp teeth are for.
    • Neo, and Acacia after he's consumed Neo, use this as their main method of attack. Their sharp teeth, ability to increase the size of their jaws, the latter's ability to grow extra mouths all over his body, and the fact that everything that they consume gets completely removed from existence makes this very effective.
    • The main character is also quite fond of this tactic — in fact, he uses it at least once against all former examples.
  • In the manga Trash, Francesca had her teeth replaced with boron nitride alloys that allow them to be employed as deadly weapons.
  • In a more comedic bend, Lum of Urusei Yatsura will sometimes bite Ataru if she's pissed off enough. Not only does she have pointy canines, but she usually follows this up with an electrical discharge.
  • In a flashback within a Yu-Gi-Oh! episode, Anzu bites the arm of a rapist (thief in the dub) after he knocks Yugi down.

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix: In Asterix in Spain, Bratty Half-Pint Pepe is prone to biting anyone who tries to restrain him or doesn't do what he wants.
  • One of the usual tactics for Batman foe Killer Croc.
  • In Batwoman (Rebirth), Kate bites Scarecrow's shoulder while drugged, having forced herself free of his attempted manipulation and visualizing herself as a giant bat.
  • Empowered does it when her suit doesn't work anymore (and she's depowered). Well, at the beginning. Later she stops it because bitten mooks tend to have grudges.
  • In The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #20, Marion is clinging to the door of a truck as a crook attempts to flee in it. The crook reaches out the window in an attempt to swat her off. Marion sinks her teeth into his arm, causing him to crash the truck.
  • In Invincible, this is how Mark finishes the final battle against ex-regent Thragg. At this point in the battle, both of them are burning up on the surface of the sun and Mark's arms are broken. Mark uses the last of his strength to hurl himself upon his enemy and tears his throat with his teeth.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes: Matter-Eater Lad mostly just eats weapons, but push him far enough...
  • In Preacher, Jesse breaks free of a headlock by biting out a chunk of the holder's arm. Later, Jesse gets one of his eyes bitten out by God.
  • In The Punisher MAX, Castle is fighting a guy whose face was blown off with a bomb, and since losing the prosthetic that holds it on, he's now attached it to his skull with tape. Frank is cornered and tears his face off with his teeth.
  • Secret Six: Being a team of Combat Pragmatists, the Six like this one. Bane kills a guard by biting his jugular, Ragdoll deactivates an opponent's power armor and gleefully chomps into his face, King Shark has it as his fighting style (naturally), Scandal bites off and swallows Fatality's ear, and Catman takes down Bronze Tiger with an artery bite and later, as pictured above, bites out a kidnapper's eyes, while earlier in that arc, former team member Cheshire chowed down on the faces of two kidnappers, killing them with poison in the process.
  • In the Sin City story "The Big Fat Kill", Gail does this to Becky, nearly ripping her throat out, after learning that she sold her and the girls of Old Town out to the mob to save her own neck.
    Gail: Your neck, your neck, your precious little neck...
  • The Ultimates: Jan bites Hank during their fight, and breaks his skin by doing so.
  • In The Walking Dead, Michonne bites off the governor's ear and later bites him on the neck. Later, Rick rips out a bandit's throat with his teeth. Much later, Eugene tops them both by biting a Neganist in the dick.
  • Welcome to Hoxford: Ax-Crazy killer Ray Delgado of the horror comic has a strange fixation with biting, though notably he isn't a cannibal. In addition to being superhumanly strong, he uses this trope to great effect throughout the story, chomping down on both his fellow inmates and the werewolves that run the Hoxford prison. When one of the transformed guards enters his cell, he smiles and then tears out its tongue with his teeth.

    Fan Works 
  • In Arrow: Rebirth, serial killer the Huntsman is not only a cannibal who likes to take his time preparing his victims, but when he tries to kill Laurel, he takes a bite out of her hand and actually swallows it right in front of her when she proves to be a trickier target than he was expecting.
  • Avenger of Steel features Hulk Bites Alien; when the Hulk fights the Kryptonian soldier Nam-Ek on the Helicarrier, at one point the Hulk is reduced to trying to bite Nam-Ek when they're wrestling with each other. Naturally the Hulk can't do much against Nam-Ek's skin, but he is able to damage Nam-Ek's helmet before his teeth start to crack, which leaves Nam-Ek to deal with the "trauma" of his suddenly-enhanced senses while his head is still in the Hulk's mouth.
  • Bird: Taylor does this in the confusion and panic of the sunroom fight, latching on until her assailant crawls away.
  • The Bridge:
    • Being a transformed Kaiju that is a mutated type of omnivorous dinosaur, Godzilla Junior and Xenilla have no qualms about using their teeth even after being turned into ponies like four other kaiju. Xenilla later chomps down on King Sombra's front leg hard enough to break it.note 
    • It's later revealed King Sombra's red horn was caused by him having to regrow it with red crystals tissue grew over because King Caesar bit his original horn off.
  • In Children of the Stars, Keleria threatens to do this to the throat of a smith who is withholding her equipment (which she previously gave to him for free), which gives her a healthy dose of Ax-Crazy to go along with her previously very calm behaviour in the last scene.
  • In Dead-Eyed Tsuna, Tsuna bites Zeni after "draining" his false immortality.
  • In the Gungrave fanfic Decisions, Consequences, and a Second Chance, Mika bites a Millennion guardsman's hand for trying to bring her back to Millennion Tower. And it works on a grown-up man who is trained to be a Professional Killer. Said guardsman is appalled by this, considering that Mika's father is the founder of Millennion. Biscoe, the current boss, is moved instead of terrified because it shows him that Mika truly loves Brandon and is very afraid of losing him. This is, after all, her desperate attempt to reach Brandon and save him from execution. The realization of Mika being an orphan and how much she wants to protect her beloved Parental Substitute causes Biscoe to change his mind and stop the assault on Brandon, who is supposed to be executed for betraying Millennion by siding with Harry.
  • In Diaries of a Madman, Luna tasks Navarone with doing this to Shining Armor, in retaliation for capturing her during a war games exercise. While it doesn't truly kill him, it does embarrass him in front of his men, and shocks those who see it.
  • Fates Collide:
    • When Frankenstein jumps on Heracles's back and tries to choke him, he bites her arm and crushes it.
    • Penthesilea is prone to biting her opponents.
  • Fire!: At the end of their final battle, Red Skull bites Captain America's hand as Cap is throttling him. Since he had laced his teeth with poison, his bite was venomous.
    The Skull bit Captain America's hand. In his teeth were secreted elements of the Dust of Death. Cap felt the flesh of his face beginning to tighten.
  • Hellsister Trilogy: During one of their battles, Satan Girl bites Supergirl in the neck and attempts to rip her throat.
    Satan Girl gave Kara superficial burns with heat-vision, tore at her hair, raked her eyes with her claws, even bit her in the neck.
  • A Minor Miscalculation:
    • Ryuko bites Satsuki's cheek during their third fight to get her to stop restraining her.
    • Chapter 32 has two examples: Jakuzure bites into Nui's leg as one last taunt when she believes she's about to be killed, and Ryuko tears off part of Ragyo's face with her teeth before headbutting her.
  • In Son of the Sannin, Deidara grabs Kurenai by the wrists when she tries to engage him in hand-to-hand combat, then bites down with the mouths on his palms, leaving her unable to use her hands for the remainder of the fight. Not that it matters, since backup arrives almost immediately afterwards.
  • In The Ultimate Evil, Valerie Payne is trapped by Tohru in a bear hug during their first confrontation. When his neck becomes exposed, she bites it as hard as she can. The shock makes him loosen his grip enough for her to free her arm, point the needle of the syringe that has stone-turning-venom in it, and make him release her by threatening to inject the venom into him.
  • In Webwork, Jade frees herself from Jackie's grip by biting his hand during their confrontation in Drew's home, much to his disbelief.

    Films - Animation 
  • Beauty and the Beast: "In a wrestling match, nobody bites like Gaston!"
  • Brave: When Lord Dingwall orders his son to attack, Wee Dingwall bites Lord Macintosh in the neck.
  • Mr. Peabody & Sherman: Sherman bites Penny during their fight at school, "confirming" her accusation that he's a dog like his adoptive father.

    Films - Live-Action 
  • The ABCs of Death: In "D is for Dogfight", after the dog latches on to his arm, the protagonist retaliates by sinking his teeth into the dog's throat.
  • ABCs of Death 2: In "M is for Mastication", the man bites the bystander he knocked down and rips his ear off.
  • In Alice in Murderland, Dee — who is having a bad trip — attempts to strangle Pima multiple times. Pima snaps her out of each time by biting her. Dee then asks Pima why she bit her.
  • Black Widow bites Hawkeye during their fight in The Avengers.
  • Batman Returns: The Penguin reacts to the jibes of one of Shreck's image consultants by sinking his teeth into his nose.
    Penguin: Still, could be worse — my nose could be gushing blood!
  • In Black Swan, Nina gets the main role for biting Thomas while he forcibly kissed her.
  • The Blade (1995): Ding-on kills one of the Flying Dragon's mooks by chewing out his throat.
  • In The Bone Collector, Denzel Washington finishes off the killer this way. Denzel's character is paralyzed from the neck down.
  • In Bunraku, the anonymous drifter chomps down on a killer while caught in a grapple. It forces him to let go.
  • The Butchers: When Jeffery Dahmer and Kip are fighting, Dahmer keeps biting chunks out of Kip. He later bites a chunk out of Brian's leg after capturing him.
  • Circus: While expressing his displeasure to Arnie, Bruno leans in close to whisper to him, then bites his ear off.
  • Conan the Barbarian (1982): Shortly after he is crucified upon the Tree of Woe, Conan is pecked at by a vulture and bites into the animal's neck, killing it. This scene was also borrowed from the original story "A Witch Shall Be Born". They swapped in a dead vulture for the live one when filming this scene, and Arnold Schwarzenegger actually bit into its neck. He had his mouth washed out immediately after to protect him from disease.
  • In Conspiracy Theory, Mel Gibson's character bites off a baddie's nose while otherwise restrained, using the resulting confusion to escape.
    "Now he knows! Now he knows!"
  • Sarah rips out a crawler's throat with her teeth near the end of The Descent.
  • In Die Hard 2, John McClane bites the hand of a terrorist... and spits out a bloody piece.
  • In Dirty Work, Chris Farley plays a man whose nose was bitten off by a Vietnamese whore.
  • Dog Bite Dog: Pang kills at least one cage fighter by chewing the neck out, which is depicted on the film's official poster.
  • Played with in Ella Enchanted. When Ella tries to get a group of girls to stop picking on her friend Areida, the leader of the group tells her "bite me". Because of Ella's "gift of obedience", which forces her to obey every direct order given to her, she does exactly that.
  • Roper from Enter the Dragon bites down while in a leg lock, forcing his opponent Bolo to let go. See the Bruce Lee quote in the Real Life section.
  • Enter the Eagles: In the final fight, Mandy subdues the main villain by biting his ankles. Could be a Shout-Out to Fist of Fury below — Mandy is portrayed by Shannon Lee, Bruce Lee's daughter, and both father and daughter bite their opponents in the exact same spot.
  • In Even Lambs Have Teeth, Katie kills the redneck left to guard them by coming on to him and then biting out his jugular.
  • In The Fallen Ones, a wimpy geek defeats a mook by biting his leg and crippling him with pain. Later, this tactic becomes an Epic Fail when he tries it on a mummy. As he's spitting out the decayed flesh in disgust, The Hero takes out the mummy and tells him he really needs to learn how to fight.
  • Fist of Fury: In the final battle, the fight between Petrov and Chen Zen has Petrov attempting to choke Chen with his legs. Chen responds by biting Petrov's ankles.
  • The Force Awakens: Rey bites one the thugs trying to kidnap BB-8 hard enough that you can hear a slight crunch.
  • In Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Maggie bites Freddy's nose during their fight at the end.
  • In From Beyond, the heroine chews off one of her monster boyfriend's tentacles.
  • Goosebumps: Champ rescues Taylor from a werewolf by biting it, causing it to retreat. He then reveals his teeth have silver fillings.
  • In Grim Prairie Tales, the dying Indian bites Colby's ear and tears a big chunk out of it.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: In a case of Green-Skinned Space Babe bites anthropomorphic raccoon, Gamora gives one to Rocket during a Mêlée à Trois, to the latter's outrage. Ironic considering Rocket's rap sheet mentions he himself is prone to biting.
  • Hot Fuzz: Near the end, Simon Skinner grabs a little boy and tries to hold him hostage, but the boy bites his hand and escapes.
  • In Jumanji, Peter bites Hunter Van Pelt in the hardware store so that he'll release Sarah.
  • Whoopi Goldberg does this in Jumpin' Jack Flash. Let's just say see also Groin Attack and leave it at that.
  • In Kill Bill, the Bride's first kill upon getting out of her four-year coma is a trucker who tried to rape her, whose tongue she rips out with her teeth.
  • In The Kunoichi: Ninja Girl, Kanna bites Higetsu's finger when he attempts to use her as a living ventriloquist doll.
  • In The Last House on the Left, one of the victims dupes the kidnapper/rapist into a sex game, then performs fellatio on him... you can guess what happens.
  • In A Life Less Ordinary, Frank Naville bites Robert's leg after Robert shoots him.
  • Lock Up: During Frank's fight in the yard with Chink Weber (the thuggish convict played by Sonny Landham), he bites the man's arm when he nearly drives his shiv through Frank's neck.
  • In Midnight Express, Billy (the protagonist) rips out a rapist's tongue.
  • Much like The Bone Collector example above, the killer monkey in Monkey Shines is chomped to death by a quadriplegic.
  • In Monster Party, Mickey uses his teeth to kill Iris by biting out her throat.
  • Not shown, but a security guard in Ocean's Thirteen is decoyed away from his post by a fake phone call from his son's school, claiming that his kid just bit the lunch lady. Again.
  • Ong-Bak: In the third movie, at one point Ting kills an enemy soldier by chewing out his throat and spitting out the chunk of flesh before he continues fighting. It's less bloody than it sounds though due to the fight being in semi-darkness.
  • Phantasm: The main protagonist, Mike, bites the mausoleum worker's arm when grabbed, drawing blood in the process, after which said worker is promptly dispatched by the film's central plot device, the flying metallic sphere.
  • Indiana Jones bites the Giant Mook German soldier he fights in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • Rovdyr: When a hunter applies a Hand Gag to Mia during the ambush on the road, Mia bites him with enough ferocity to force him to let go. Her newfound freedom does not avail her very much, however.
  • In Saving Private Ryan, Mellish is forced to bite the German he's fighting (it briefly stops him, but then the Nazi gets the upper hand and a knife).
  • A disturbingly graphic example in the opening of Shanghai Grand, when the Dragon Lady villainess kills a captive by chewing his throat out... and then gleefully licks the blood from the corner of her lips with a twisted smile on her face.
  • Used in Shanghai Noon during a brawl sequence between Chon Wang, a.k.a Jackie Chan, and several Native American warriors. Wang pins one of the guys on the ground, but the warrior is still able to get his arm up with an axe in it. So what does Jackie do to prevent getting hacked to pieces? He bites the guy, of course.
  • The Silence of the Lambs:
    • In a rare villainous example, Hannibal Lecter bites a guard on the face. It's mentioned in the novel that he'd previously done this to a nurse who was administering a medical test, which cost her an eye and most of her face. Why do you think they put that mask on him?
    • In Red Dragon the police tries to identify the title killer based on his toothmarks on the victims' corpses, implying that it was a major part of his modus operandi. It doesn't work since he was wearing specially made dentures during the killings, which gave him a hideous, shark-like bite.
  • Snuff Movie: After Jack is dragged into the van by X, Teeth, and Youth, Teeth uses her sharpened teeth to bite his throat out.
  • Soldier: When Todd puts Caine in a chokehold, Caine bites his arm, but Todd doesn't flinch and gouges his eye.
  • In The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, this is Jaws' specialty, as he has razor-sharp metal teeth.
  • The Terminator: Sarah Connor bites Kyle Reese's hand to little effect when she tries to escape from this madman raving about killer robots from the future. It does hurt, however, as he testily points out, and Kyle wears a bandage for the rest of the film.
  • Sometimes used by The Three Stooges in their shorts, often Played for Laughs.
  • In War, Inc., some guys ambush Hauser and beat him up. He turns the tables after he bites the leader's finger off.
  • The Young Vagabond: In the final battle, the hero, Su-Chan, defeats the main villain, Master Centipede, by chewing his throat out. The film even ends with a lovely freeze-frame of Su roaring with blood all over his lips.

  • In And I Darken, Lada uses her teeth, which are mentioned at least twice to be small and sharp, when fighting. Most memorably, in a desperate fight against Mehmed's first assassin, a skilled and stronger adult male (she's twelve), she bites through his arm while stabbing him to death, and even after he's dead, she can't get her jaw to release the corpse at first.
  • The Bloody Road To Death: While fighting in a narrow trench with a Soviet officer on a night raid, Sven Hassel has to resort to biting the man's throat out after his SMG misfires. His fellow soldiers are impressed; Sven throws up.
  • Lincoln Rhyme in The Bone Collector performs this against the villain. Given he's only barely above quadriplegic, it's one of his few options.
  • Egil's Saga: Fighting a judicial duel with Atli, Egil finds that his sword is useless because Atli is magically protected against iron weapons. Egil wrestles Atli down with his bare hands and kills him by biting through his windpipe.
  • Family Skeleton Mysteries: While the second book's villain is holding his detached skull, Sid bites him and holds on until the rest of him gets there.
  • Happens during Galaxy of Fear: Clones, when someone comes up behind Tash and circles her neck with his arm, cutting off her air.
    Briefly, Tash considered trying to use the Force to lift up a nearby rock and hurl it at his head. But she couldn't concentrate, so she settled for something simpler.
    She bit him.
  • In The Hunger Games, this is Enobaria's preferred method of combat — killing people with her cosmetically-sharpened teeth.
  • In the Diablo tie-in novel Legacy of Blood, the villain is bitten on the neck by a woman he's about to torture. He starts to panic, thinking she might be a vampire, then realizes she's just acting out of desperation.
  • The Lord of the Rings: When Gollum wrestles with Frodo at Mount Doom over the possession of the Ring, Gollum wins by biting Frodo's finger off.
  • One of Norm's favorite attacks, and apparently also erotic for him, in Rose Madder.
  • The Saga of Arrow-Odd: The long and hard single combat between the half-troll Ogmund and Vignir is decided when Ogmund tears out Vignir's throat with his teeth, killing him.
  • In the Star Trek novel Section 31: Rogue, the Tellarite Doctor Gomp takes on a Chiarosian warrior by biting into his arm.
  • In the Star Wars Legends novel Shatterpoint, Kar Vastor pulls this on Mace Windu, biting Mace's neck and unsuccessfully trying to tear out his jugular in a vicious unarmed brawl.
  • The Snow Queen: When the robbers' leader attempts to kill Gerda with a knife, her daughter, the Robber Girl, saves Gerda by biting her mother on the ear.
  • Solomon Kane is not above ripping an opponent's throat out with his teeth when necessary.
  • Jeremiah toward squad leader The Stoic Asher in Someone Else's War. Jeremiah is seven, so perhaps it's a little more justified.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • When Vargo Hoat tries to rape his captive Brienne of Tarth, she bites off his ear. The wound becomes infected and he goes mad with fever, leaving him helpless to fight or flee when the Mountain attacks his castle. Later in the novels, Brienne gets blindsided by Biter (one of Vargo's men whose teeth have been filed to points), who's able to pin her down and gnaw large chunks out of her face. She's only saved by the intervention of a third party.
    • Even after being filled with enough booze to knock out any mortal man, the Greatjon still has to be subdued by eight men — of whom he manages to kill one, wound two others, and bite half the ear off another.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On The 100, when Raven is strapped down to a table to have her bone marrow extracted, she bites the guy strapping her down hard enough to draw blood. Doesn't save her, though.
  • Jack Bauer kills a terrorist guard this way in the Season 6 premiere of 24, biting the guy's throat out.
  • On the action-drama series Banshee, in the episode "Meet the New Boss", the main character, Lucas Hood, uses this tactic twice in a fight against a mixed martial arts prizefighter. Hood bites the fighter's ear, drawing blood, after being pummeled on the floor repeatedly, and also bites his leg to break a wrestling hold, making a characteristic cracking sound as he sinks his teeth into him.
  • In Battlestar Galactica (2003), a rape is averted when the intended victim bites off her attacker's ear.
  • Black Sails: Dufresne, the mild-mannered accountant of the Walrus, is drafted into a boarding party and surprises even himself by ripping out an enemy's throat with his teeth.
  • Cordelia in Buffy the Vampire Slayer holds off a vampire by sinking her teeth into his arm at one point.
    Cordelia: See how you like it!
  • CSI Verse:
    • CSI: In one episode, Greg Sanders gets bitten by a perp who has delusions that a large number of authority figures are reptilians.
    • CSI: NY:
      • In "A Man a Mile", a miner bites off part of another's ear. Danny says he got "Tysoned".
      • In "Uncertainty Rules", the team encounters a little person who makes his living as a wrestler and who is known for biting his opponents on the thigh.
  • Idris in the Doctor Who episode "The Doctor's Wife", described by the Doctor as "a bitey, mad lady."
    Idris: Biting's excellent. It's like kissing, only there's a winner.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Lacking any other weapon, Catelyn Stark uses her teeth against an armed assassin intent on murdering her comatose son Bran. Fortunately, this is followed up by Bran's direwolf, who has far more effective teeth for the job.
    • Biter puts his filed teeth to good use by savagely biting people.
  • Hannibal:
    • During a dinner where Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter are being held prisoner by Mason Verger and are told the ways in which they will be tortured and eaten, a very done-with-this-shit Will Graham bites off a piece of Cordell's face.
    • Later in the same season, Hannibal bites out the throat of Dolarhyde while Will is stabbing him.
  • In Hill Street Blues, this is Mick Belker's go-to move in a fight. Along with growling, it helps cement his mad-dog image.
  • Horatio Hornblower: In "Loyalty", Woolfe, who has been revealed as The Mole in the Royal Navy who works for the Irish rebels, bites Styles in the leg during the showdown on the beach in France. Woolfe actually manages to run away because of this move.
  • Kamen Rider Amazon regularly bites the shit out of his foes. Along with the gore, this is likely one reason Moral Guardians complained; a bite to the neck is a heck of a lot easier for kids to imitate than a Rider Kick.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent: In "Revolution", a banker being kidnapped attempts to escape from the thug holding him at gunpoint by biting him on the arm. Although he makes the thug drop the gun, he still gets shot by one of the other kidnappers.
  • In the Leverage episode "The French Connection Job", Hardison warns the mark's Dragon that he'll bite him if he doesn't let go, then proceeds to do so.
  • Luther follows a suspect into a derelict building, only to get tasered. As the killer crouches over a helplessly twitching Luther, ready to finish the job with a very large knife, Luther bites his wrist. It doesn't stop him (he pepper-sprays Luther, then flees as backup arrives), but it does provide useful DNA evidence.
  • M*A*S*H: An antsy patient in post-op finally loses his shit during artillery fire. Hawkeye gropes with the guy to keep him from pulling his tubes out, and the patient resorts to biting Hawkeye's arm.
  • Psych: Physically outmatched by The Mantis, Shawn resorts to chomping down on the man's wrist while trying to fight him.
  • Rome has a very squicky example where Pullo bites off a man's tongue.
  • An episode of Seinfeld has a Running Gag of Kramer acting like a dog after attempting to avoid going to the doctor for his cough by getting a similar prescription from a vet. Pretty soon Newman, a mailman, reports that Kramer bit him in what was seemingly not a physical fight to begin with.
    Newman: We had an argument about me moving to Hawaii and he locked onto my ankle like it was a soup bone!
  • In Sons of Anarchy, expect this every time Tig gets in a fight.
  • The Umbrella Academy (2019): In "Changes", Diego and Hazel get into a fight, during which Diego ends up biting Hazel. This is what prompts Five to finally stop watching from the sideline and step in to break up the fight; he hates biting.
  • In a non-zombie example from the The Walking Dead, Rick dispatches the leader of a group of bandits by sinking his teeth into his neck and letting him bleed out.
  • In Wild Boys, "Mad Dog" Morgan is said to have got his nickname by biting a man's ear off during a fight, and later does exactly this during the episode.
  • The X-Files:
    • The episode "Eve" has the Eye Scream variety.
      Eve 6: I paid too much attention to a guard. Bit into his eyeball. [chatters her teeth] I meant it as a sign of affection. [laughs]
    • In "Grotesque", a Serial Killer who claims that he's possessed by an evil spirit bit Agent Nemhauser's hand when the FBI was arresting him. It's important plotwise as a Red Herring.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • A move traditionally used by Heels (especially those with a "savage" gimmick), but may be employed by smaller, weaker Faces as well. As with any comparisons of Heels and Faces, expect some Moral Dissonance.
  • Dean Ambrose once bit John Cena in order to get out of an STF.
  • Shayna Baszler once bit the back of Becky Lynch's neck, drawing a lot of blood.
  • Classy Freddie Blassie began his performance career biting the heads off small animals, it only made sense he'd start biting other people when he wrestled.
  • Sami Callihan is prone to biting his opponents.
  • At Bound For Glory 2005, Christopher Daniels bit AJ Styles to get out of a Muta Lock.
  • Delirious and Jimmy Jacobs were reduced to biting one another in their efforts to cause the first laceration in an IWA Mid-South first blood match.
  • Dementia of GLOW always did this, more than any of the other rude ones. It only worked on jobbers or wrestlers unfamiliar with her; more technical wrestlers would use it to their advantage.
  • At Ring of Honor's third-anniversary show, Ebessan, who had come out with and as Cactus Jack, found that the mandible claw had no effect on Samoa Joe, who then bit down.
  • Hornswoggle tended to bite people in ass.
  • AJ Lee sometimes bit people while fighting.
  • At Ladies Night Out 5, Miranda bit Scarlett Bordeaux's hand.
  • One time, Kenny Omega attempted his Flash Man Time Stopper on Kevin Steen, only for Steen to bite his hand. Omega retaliated by biting Steen's nose.
  • TNA, Sting told Hulk Hogan (or was it Ric Flair?) not to point his finger at him; otherwise, Sting would bite it off. This would have been an out-of-character moment for Steve Borden at any time in the past, but it perfectly fits his then-new "Insane Icon" gimmick.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The 3.5th edition Prestige Class Fist of the Forest can enter an enraged state, which gives, among other bonuses, a bite attack for humanoids usually lacking one.
    • One of the Rage Powers available to a Barbarian in Pathfinder is "Animal Rage", which gives your Barbarian a bite attack and allows them to execute this trope on their enemies.
  • Magic: The Gathering: The Shadows over Innistrad expansion features the card Rabid Bite.

  • Fangirls: When Jules removes the gag from Harry's mouth, he bites on on the arm, causing her to scream and the others to panic.
  • In The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Johnny Brown introduces himself to Molly by brazenly throwing his arms around her. Molly reacts by sinking her teeth into them. After he wrestles her to the ground, she bites him on the leg, and The Bartender says: "Here now, Molly. No bitin' the customers."

    Video Games 
  • In Bayonetta, Cereza escapes from a Joy Angel impersonating Bayonetta by biting her arm.
  • This trope crops up in Dwarf Fortress combat all the time. In fact, in adventure mode, players regularly defeat Boogymen by biting them, then shaking them around until their lower body is ripped off.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series' backstory, Pelinal Whitestrake, the legendary 1st Era hero of mankind/racist berserker, did this during his Duel to the Death with the Ayleid lord, Haromir of Copper of Tea. Pelinal bit out Haromir's "neck veins", though it wasn't a last resort. Famed for his fits of Unstoppable Rage, Pelinal did it merely because he could.
  • The boxing arena in Fallout 2 has a boxer named The Masticator who you fight as your final opponent in the boxing tournament. If the fight goes on long enough, he'll bite your ear off in a reference to the infamous Mike Tyson/Evander Holyfield match (see Real Life, below). Once this happens, if your boxing skill is high enough, it becomes possible that you'll turn around and bite his ear off upon defeating him.
  • In Kindergarten, Cindy will furiously attack the janitor if she finds out that he killed her dog Biscuit to use as the secret ingredient in his Biscuit Balls, biting his ear off before ripping his head off. The actual biting happens off-screen, but she does get blood all around her mouth on her character portrait in the dialogue box.
  • LISA:
    • Brad can improvise with this if he loses at least one of his arms.
    • Most of the Joy Mutants, due to their feral states and/or their horrifically distorted bodies, commonly use biting as an attack. One biting attack known as Fatal Chomp, which is commonly used by the Mutants, will instantly and permanently kill a party member.
    • Additionally, a handful of non-mutant enemies can use Fatal Chomp, namely Hawk Hollywood.
  • Pokémon has a variety of bite-based attacks, which range from a basic Bite to elementally-charged attacks that can inflict status ailments. Some Pokémon use their teeth as their primary weapon, like Tyrantrum, Mawile, and Mightyena.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: If Arthur Morgan went for the loot in High Honor mode, then he manages to bite Micah Bell's hand before punching him, right after stabbing him in the eye with his knife.
  • Rimworld: Sufficiently nasty weaponless brawls will have colonists chomping their opponents, amid all the punching and kicking. Many a social fight ends with an unlucky pawn on the floor bleeding to death from several bite wounds.
  • Shadowrun Returns: In Dragonfall, Eiger is charged while reloading, and rips the attacker's throat out with her tusks.
  • In Siren: Blood Curse, little Bella Monroe bites a Shibito's hand to make it release her mother.
  • Street Fighter:
    • Veterans should be familiar with seeing this as a grapple from Wild Child mutant Blanka.
    • Husky Russkie Zangief can get in on the delicious face chomping action too. Yummy!
  • In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Wario has his Chomp special, which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin to anyone who touches his open mouth. His head inexplicably doubles in size while using this move and as a result, his victims are in his mouth up to the torso while he does the biting. It's the only time he's seen using this tactic in his history, but it's not terribly out of place, considering how bizarre his fighting style is.
  • Side-scrolling Beat 'em Up Warriors of Fate features this as an option for one of the heroes, in-game known for his love of eating. Enemies count for his appetite, it seems.
  • In Wolfenstein: The New Order, B.J. takes a chunk out of Bubi's neck when he gets a little too close during his Evil Gloating.

    Web Comics 
  • At one point in Dominic Deegan, Luna bites the lips off her opponent to mess up their ability to cast spells.
  • In Hero Oh Hero, Aude retaliates against an elf who punted her away by biting his ear off.
  • Newheimburg has Jack biting into a mugger's leg hard enough to draw blood.
  • One Newshounds story arc has Lorna thinking she's a dog, and watching a bad man (her father) chewing out Kevin. One of the other dogs compliments her technique (while watching in shock).
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: When several factors cause the normally friendly Reynir to grab Lalli by his shirt and yell at him (in a language he doesn't understand, to make things worse), Lalli's response is to bite his arm despite the thick leather gloves Reynir is wearing. The reaction is in keeping with Lalli's frequent lapses into cat-like behavior.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Central Park episode "Hot Oven", Helen learns from a dog therapist that Shampagne, Bitsy's dog, can be removed from Bitsy's life if he bites her. After attempts to get Shampagne to bite Bitsy, Helen turns out the light and bites her on the hand. The dog therapist, however, quickly points out that it looked like a human bite on her hand.
  • In the episode "Just Wait in the Car", Clarence isn't allowed to go with his mother while she does her errands because he bit an old lady who cut in line while buying groceries.
  • This happens in the unaired pilot for Constant Payne when Amanda stops a parachuting mook from trying to grab her out of her father's airship by snapping his goggles into his eyes to stun him, before biting his hand.
  • A non-combat example occurs in the DuckTales (1987) episode "Where No Duck Has Gone Before"; after being demoted to a candy vendor, Major Courage gets bitten by one of the children.
  • Justice League: Wonder Woman bites a Thanagarian.
  • Happens in the The Legend of Korra episode "The Ultimatum", where Bumi, who still hasn't learnt how to attack with airbending, fights Ghazan physically, even biting him on the shoulder.
  • This, along with wood abilities, makes up the elemental theme of the Fang Gang in Mixels.

     Real Life 
  • The infamous "Bite Seen 'Round The World" during the 1997 Mike Tyson/Evander Holyfield match, where Tyson got disqualified for biting Holyfield's ears, one bite severe enough to rip off a piece of his right ear. The incident in question did not help Tyson's image at all and made him look like even more of a savage, to the point where the incident was mocked in a Snickers commercial.note 
  • Another famous sports-related biting is that by Uruguay striker Luis Suárez, who famously bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder during the group stage at the 2014 World Cup. As Suárez had bit opposing players on the pitch on two previous occasions and had several other black marks on his record, FIFA instituted a nine-international-match, four-month ban, the longest ever placed on any footballer, effectively excluding him from the rest of the World Cup and potentially the South American championship in 2015 as well.
  • A woman in South Africa bit off her rapist's tongue and handed it to police as evidence.
  • The field of forensic odontology, in addition to Identification by Dental Records, also deals a lot with bite mark analysis in cases where a criminal or a victim bit the other during the commission of a crime. Cases where such evidence played a key role included the case of serial killer Ted Bundy as well as the case of Jesse Timmendequas (the Megan's Law case).
  • This is a debated topic amidst self-defense instructors. On the one hand, it can be quite successful: along with eye-gouging, ear-twisting, and the classical Groin Attack, biting is considered by experts to be one of the most basic and effective methods of self-defense. Fun fact: Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, even harder than bone. You can do a lot of damage with those things. Although, given the amount of blood-carried diseases running amok nowadays (and the fact that you make your jaw and the rest of your head completely vulnerable to perform this), some self-defense instructors now discourage it and recommend only using it as a last resort.
  • Although advertised as having "no rules", the very first UFC event did have a number of rules, including one against biting, as have all Mixed Martial Arts events since then.
  • The Icelandic Viking warrior Egil Skallagrimson did this once in a duel after his sword broke.
  • An Apache woman named Gouyen avenged her husband's death by biting out the throat of his killer, a Comanche chief.
  • Quite famously in a sparring session, someone put Bruce Lee in an armbar and asked what he'd do if an opponent trapped him in a real fight like that. He responded, "Why, I'd bite your leg, of course." He never actually followed through with it as it was just a demonstration, but it goes to show that past the fancy film ass-kickings and funny noises, Lee was a serious Combat Pragmatist in real life.
  • One of the most serious offenses a child can commit in preschool, with punishment ranging from verbal reprimand of the offender and notes home to both sets of parents to expulsion of the offending child, depending on the school.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Take A Bite Out Of Crime


Could be worse...

My nose could be gushing blood!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / ManBitesMan

Media sources:

Main / ManBitesMan