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Ribcage Stomach

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Well, It looks as though our heroes have been Swallowed Whole and must find a way to escape. The predator in question may be a whale, a dinosaur, a dragon, an Eldritch Abomination, or... wait, why is the creature hollowed out?

This is a subtrope of Artistic License – Biology, when the interior of the predator looks like the inside of the ribcage, devoid of any internal organs. Sometimes even WITH organs, as if the esophagus led to the creature's body cavity and not the stomach itself. In videogames, this can be seen in the Womb Level. This trope can be averted by a depiction of the inside of the stomach as the inside of a meaty balloon, with acid dripping down the walls for good measure. When not, as long as it belongs to some fantastical and/or supernatural creature it can hide behind the legit argument of Bizarre Alien Biology.

Compare Just Eat Him and Getting Eaten Is Harmless.


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  • This Mountain Dew commercial.
  • This Geico customer seems really happy about the money he saved on his car insurance, even though it's not going to do him much good while he's still in that whale's gut.

    Anime & Manga 

    Films — Animated 
  • In Disney's Pinocchio, the inside of Monstro is depicted like this.
  • In a brief post-credit gag in Shrek, Lord Farquaad is singing "Stayin' Alive" in the Dragon's stomach which looks like this.
  • In Finding Nemo, after getting lost in the Pacific Ocean, Marlin and Dory get swallowed by a Blue Whale. Interestingly, the trope is slightly inverted in that they are trapped inside the enormous mouth instead of the stomach but since the whale is so massive Marlin treats it as such and the baleen is practically solid bone. Fortunately for Marlin and Dory, the whale is carrying them to Sidney to help Marlin on his quest.


    Live Action TV 
  • The swamp monster in Dinosaurs that eats Robbie and Earl in one episode.

  • In "The Mariner's Revenge Song" by The Decemberists, the protagonist has just been swallowed by a whale, and the lines "Its ribs our ceiling beams, its guts out carpeting” imply this trope.

    Real Life 
  • When Tarrare died, his stomach was discovered to take up most of his abdominal cavity, and his gullet was wide enough that doctors could see into his stomach through his mouth. Given its size (the result of a medical condition he had), the outlines of his ribs might have been visible from inside, especially if he was full. (Too bad they didn’t have modern cameras back then!) However his stomach was also covered with ulcers, unlike most examples of this trope.
    • Tarrare frequently ate live animals. Given that his gullet would have let light through when his mouth opened, one of them might have been able to actually see what his stomach looked like from the inside. Before dying, of course.


    Video Games 
  • Another Game Boy game, Balloon Kid, also has a stage set inside a whale.
  • Fossil Fighters: When Swallowed Whole by the Bonehemoth, the players navigate the inside of the whale, complete with visible ribs.
  • Jörmungandr in God of War (PS4), during the mission that requires Kratos to venture inside him. A bit more justified than usual since a) Jörmungandr is an explicitly magical creature whose anatomy already makes about as much sense as a harpy's, and b) he is a titanic serpent, so his skeleton is essentially one massive rib cage that could conceivably show through his guts depending on the thickness of the surrounding musculature.
  • In Klonoa Advance 2: Dream Champ Tournament, there is a level that appears to take place inside a whale, complete with this.
  • In Rogue Legacy 2, the fight against Estuary Tubal takes place inside the body of a large dragon named Ladon. How Ladon could be slowly poisoned by Estuary Tubal, when he has no innards is an exercise for the reader.
  • Featured as an egg hiding place in Spyro: Year of the Dragon. What seems to be the tongue leads directly to the ribcage.
  • The Star Fox Adventures boss Galdon, how he manages to puke Fox out twice with that roomy and rigid a stomach is anyone's guess.
  • Mario:
    • Paper Mario 64 uses this when you go inside the whale to fight the Fuzzipede.
    • The Womb Level in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins features visible ribs.
    • Averted in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. The "Prince Froggy" boss fight has Yoshi and Baby Mario shrunk down and swallowed by a Froggy enemy. The entire battle takes place inside the stomach which is entirely fleshy, has droplets of acid raining down from the roof that must be dodged, and a distinct lack of any visible bones. AKA, a word-for-word example of what the trope defines as an aversion.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Camp Lazlo takes this trope even further by incorporating a ribcage and a uvula into a giant bird's stomach. The latter has some plot relevance.
  • A few Eat the Camera moments in CatDog show the titular hybrid's stomach like this.
  • Dragon Tales did this with a dragonoceros.
  • The Goldie & Bear episode, "Whale of a Tale", has a moment where Goldie, Bear and Big Bad are Swallowed Whole by a giant fish with a ribcage interior.
  • Season 5 of Ninjago reveals that the Cursed Realm introduced in Season 4 is a living creature called the Preeminent, and the inside of it, or at least what is shown, has a ribcage structure. Justified since it's more of an Eldritch Abomination than a realistic creature.
  • In the "Game of Peril" episode of The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, this trope is in play when the Ant Hill Mob are swallowed by a whale.
  • Happens in the Phineas and Ferb episode "Perry Lays an Egg", when Doofenshmirtz's ex, who dumped him for a whale, is shown living inside of it.
  • In an episode of Xiaolin Showdown, Dojo is accidentally let out of his cage during the periodic hour when he becomes evil, and then he swallows the four Xiaolin Monks whole. They eventually escape, and Dojo got better.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episode "Billy Ocean", in which Billy is swallowed by a whale in the vein of Pinocchio. He even meets the same Pinocchio he met in the fairy tale episode, who, again, is trying to consume his flesh so he can become a real boy.