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Uvula Escape Route

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Chowder: Um... did we just get upchucked?
Jenny: The uvula. Nature's emergency exit.

So our hero finds themselves against a notably-sized obstacle. It could be the Monster of the Week that's twice the size of them. It could be an Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever if it's on a grand scale. The hero could even be the Incredible Shrinking Man. Whatever the situation, the hero is vulnerable either to being Eaten Alive or unwittingly committing Orifice Invasion.

With that, the hero must react quickly to avoid being Swallowed Whole. But, wait! What's that, hanging down at the back of the throat? The hero has the option to pull off one last act of defiance in order to force their predator to spit them back out. They can either treat the uvula like their own personal punching bag, or they can grab hold of it and hold on for dear life.

Either way, taking advantage of the uvula's sensitivity is enough to force the would-be consumer to cough or spit (or, in rare cases, sneeze) their unwitting prey to safety. If the swallowing creature is a whale, the hero will likely be Blown Upward by a Blowhole.

Not to be confused with Attack the Mouth, where the hero directly intends to strike their target's mouth as a direct action, rather than a reaction.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The first episode of Monster Rancher has Suezo partially trap Genki inside his mouth to prove his existence. Genki then grabs Suezo's uvula and starts tickling it, causing Suezo to release him.
  • Technically a Chinese animated series, but in 1998's Journey to the West: Legends of the Monkey King, Sun Wukong famously gets swallowed by Princess Iron Fan, briefly grabbing her uvula twice.
    • The first time is as he enters her mouth in which he tries to avoid getting swallowed by grabbing her uvula as she drinks him, but gets hit by a leaf and falls down her throat.
    • The second time, after giving her a stomachache, he flies up her throat then swings from her uvula to land onto her tongue and hops out of her mouth.

    Comic Strips 
  • In one Garfield comic strip, Garfield almost swallows a mouse that was hiding in his mouth when Jon slapped him on the back. The punchline reveals that the mouse has a death grip on his uvula.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 
  • An American Tail: Fievel Goes West: Fievel is almost swallowed by Tiger after falling into a bowl of water, but manages to grab his uvula before being swallowed.
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs sees Buck telling the story of how he lost his eye and obtained his tooth dagger, which entails him having to escape from a dinosaur's mouth by swinging on its uvula.
  • In Monster House, soon after the kids sneak into the titular house while it sleeps, Chowder spots a bulbous lantern filled with glowing orbs hanging from the ceiling. He and DJ shoot water guns at it, mistaking it for the house's heart, which they have to destroy in order to kill it. Instead, a huge chasm opens up in the floor and water gushes out, prompting Jenny to realize that the lantern is actually the house's uvula. Not long after this, the house wakes up and tries to swallow them, but Jenny manages to grab the uvula and swing from it, causing a huge gush of water from the house's gullet that washes all three out of the door.
  • A scene in Tom and Jerry: Robin Hood and His Merry Mouse has Jerry run into Tom's mouth, and escapes soon after by using Tom's uvula as a slingshot.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Osmosis Jones: Ozzy and Drix (a white blood cell and a cold pill, respectively) have the virus Thrax cornered in Frank's uvula, which serves as an observation deck for the mouth. Thrax escapes by triggering a sneeze from Frank with a pollen speck; Ozzy has himself launched at him, and the two have their climactic battle on the eyelashes of Frank's daughter.

  • The music video for the The Living Tombstone song My Ordinary Life has a lion cub getting eaten by a whale, who then tries throwing him into its throat with its tongue. The cub grabs onto the uvula and bites down, making the whale shoot him up out of its blowhole.
  • Towards the end of the music video for J Balvin's song Verde, the singer gets stuck in a bowl of guacamole and is unknowingly scooped into the mouth of one of the party-goers. Balvin hits the girl's uvula with his gold chain, causing her to spit him out.

    Video Games 
  • In Burly Men at Sea, your characters get swallowed by a whale (which is apparently a routine means of transport). The whale will eventually spit you out at another location, but you can get to different locations by punching the whale's uvula to get it to cough you out earlier.
  • Played with in Cuphead: While at no point does it swallow you, the only way to do damage to Captain Brineybeard's ship in its final phase is to shoot its uvula.
  • King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella contains a puzzle in which Rosella is swallowed by a whale, and must use a peacock feather to tickle its uvula in order to escape.
  • Inverted in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time when Link is swallowed by Jabu-Jabu. He can exit the beast any time he wants through its mouth, and hitting Jabu-Jabu's uvula unlocks a "door" over its throat allowing him to progress deeper into its body.
  • In Ōkami, Amaterasu has to go inside the Emperor's body to heal the sickness that is plaguing the entire city of Sei'an. The way to leave his body (besides beating the boss Blight) is by striking his uvula.
  • OMORI: The fight against Humphrey instantly ends when you strike his uvula.
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island has a boss fight where Prince Froggy swallows Yoshi and Baby Mario. As part of the battle, Yoshi must hit the uvula at the top of the screen several times in order to win the fight and escape.
  • In Wandering Hamster, Bob the Hamster and the new friend he made while trapped inside the Jormungandling manage to escape from said serpent by giving its uvula a solid beatdown.

    Web Animation 

    Western Animation 
  • Alluded to in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius episode "Journey to the Center of Carl". Jimmy and Sheen are going down Carl's throat and spot his uvula. Sheen almost uses it as a punching bag before Jimmy tells him that'll make Carl throw up.
  • An early episode of Celebrity Deathmatch sees Roseanne Barr literally swallowing Kelsey Grammer whole. When Roseanne implies that he's giving her indigestion, Grammer takes advantage of this information by repeatedly punching her uvula until she vomits him up.
  • In the Classic Disney Short Brave Little Tailor, Mickey Mouse is swallowed by the giant when he eats from a pumpkin cart Mickey was hiding. Mickey hangs onto the giant's uvula to keep from being swallowed. This gives the giant hiccups, so he picks up an entire well and drinks from it; Mickey escapes by hanging on to the well's bucket.
  • In the Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart episode Sick Mao, after Mao Mao is eaten by an ice dragon, he retaliates by spreading his germs around the dragon's mouth to make it sick, and one of these methods included punching its uvula.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: In "The Boy Who Cried Rat", Ren is inside Stimpy's mouth. When a woman gives Stimpy some milk so that he can swallow Ren, Ren clings to Stimpy's uvula so he won't be washed down.
  • The Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird short I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat features a scene where Tweety is trapped in Sylvester's mouth. Tweety starts punching Sylvester's uvula like a boxing speed-bag in order to escape.
  • Timon & Pumbaa:
    • The episode Beetle Romania has Timon being transformed into a bug; Pumbaa manages to catch him in his mouth, but Timon grabs Pumbaa's uvula in an attempt to avoid being swallowed. It doesn't end well.
    • The episode Unlucky in Lesotho has Pumbaa trying to hide a panther cub from Timon by putting it in his mouth. The cub starts hitting Pumbaa's uvula, eventually causing him to spit it out when Timon isn't looking.
  • In the Trolls: The Beat Goes On! episode "Finn Cascade", Branch is swallowed by the episode's titular fish after trying to impress him several times so that he would befriend him. With fellow captive Baha, he eventually finds the way to escape from Finn's mouth by blocking his blowhole and hanging onto his uvula.
  • The Wacky Races episode Eeny, Miny Missouri Go sees Dick Dastardly divert the other racers into an aquarium and into the mouth of a whale. However, the drivers' cars repeatedly hit the whale's uvula as they enter its throat, causing the whale to sneeze them back out.