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.note 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.
- Fullmetal Alchemist has an interesting variation: After Lust dies, Gluttony goes on a rampage. He gets a ribcage mouth.
- 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 song contains the line "Its ribs are ceiling beams", implying this trope.
- Paintings of Jonah and the whale usually play this trope straight.
- The Womb Level in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins.
- Paper Mario 64 uses this when you go inside the whale to fight the Fuzzipede.
- Averted in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. One boss fight has Yoshi and Baby Mario shrunk down to the size of insects and swallowed whole by a frog-like enemy. The entire event takes place in exactly what the trope description lists as the means of trope aversion.
- Another Game Boy game, Balloon Kid, also has a stage set inside a whale.
- In Klonoa Advance 2: Dream Champ Tournament, there is a level that appears to take place inside a whale, complete with this.
- 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.
- Featured as an egg hiding place in Spyro: Year of the Dragon. What seems to be the tongue leads directly to the ribcage.
- Averted in the boss fight against Cerberus in Final Fantasy XIV, where party members can only be swallowed after being magically shrunk and land in a roughly correctly-proportioned stomach inside the boss.
- Cracked's #8 Real Old-Timey Photographs That Will Give You Nightmares is of an amusement park's souvenir shop themed this way.
- In Homestar Runner:
What manner of uncivilised rib-cage is this anyways?
- This trope is played straight in the Teen Girl Squad Decemberween special. It is later averted in the Stinkoman Thanksgiving special.
- Played straight again in the toon Sickly Sam's Big Outing Sickly Sam eats Strong Bad (very slowly), and Strong Bad ends up in one of these with a barrel and a game of Parcheesi.
- 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.
- Dragon Tales did this with a rhinoceros.
- The shark in the House of Mouse short "Mickey and the Seagull".
- 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.
- 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.