Swallowed Whole

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

    An extreme version of the Big Eater, usually a monster of some type, eats the hero or some other innocent bystander. But they don't chew, and their stomach happens to big and spacious, full of oxygen, devoid of acidic gastric juices, and in some cases actually well lit. It may even be a Ribcage Stomach. Our hero is fine, he just happens to be inside the monster for awhile. In erotica, it's often called vore (short for "vorarephilia"). Specifically, this type is called 'soft vore', as opposed to the hard stuff.

    At this point, one of two things happens. Either the monster is slashed open from the inside or the outside, and the hero escapes unharmed (and usually quite clean), or else he does something to cause the monster indigestion, and get vomited back out. For bonus humor, they may not even be aware they were inside the monster's gut until they provoke this dyspesia.

    This may be a case of Explosive Indigestion. When the hero himself simply proves to be inedible, it's Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth. When the hero puts up a fight after being swallowed, it's Kill It Through Its Stomach.

    This is an extremely old trope and features very often in children's books, though it also shows up in other settings.

    It's not limited to the Furry Fandom; may be invoked as Fetish Fuel (whether as permanent digesting or harmless temporary swallowing/passing) or Nightmare Fuel. Your Mileage May Vary as to the Squickiness factor.

    Compare Just Eat Him, Eaten Alive.

    Examples of Swallowed Whole include:


    • In 1999, there were some weird commercials for SlimJims like this one where a talking SlimJim was swallowed and then interacted with other talking food in the eater's stomach.

    Anime and Manga

    Comic Books

    • In Wormy, Bender the salamander was swallowed alive by a long-jawed mudsucker, only to cut his way out with a knife it'd also swallowed.
    • In the Justice Society of America storyline The Return of Hawkman, Atom Smasher is eaten whole by an alien. Unfortunately for the alien, Atom Smasher's powers of Super Strength and Size Shifting...
    • In Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails, Big Johnson Bone is swallowed by a giant rat creature and escapes by starting a fire.
    • In an issue of Booster Gold, a transformed-to-rodent Blue Beetle is swallowed by an antagonist called Estrogina. After failing to free him, Booster despairs, until the spell changing Blue Beetle into a chipmunk wears off...
    • Most of the monsters in Felarya swallow their prey whole, but they do have stomach acid, and it's rare they get out alive.
    • The origin of Ultra Boy from the Legion of Super-Heroes has him being swallowed up by a giant space-living energy creature and being bombarded by its radiation before another ship blasted the side of the creature, letting Ultra Boy loose but giving him superpowers.
    • The very first issue of Ythaq involved emergency landing of a habitable spaceship module (bar where protagonists got stuck) into the sea. Local fauna happened to support giant sea serpents, one of whom gulped it down whole. The module's emergency systems included manoeuvring plasma thruster, so… «One ulcer coming right up!»

    Fairy Tales

    • Little Red Riding Hood, in most versions anyways, there are a couple older editions where the wolf carves up grandma and lil' red.
    • The Wolf and The Seven Young Kids: The wolf devoures all of Mother Goat's children, but they are rescued in the same way Little Red Riding Hood and her Grandma are saved.


    • The Millennium Falcon's asteroid landing in The Empire Strikes Back.
      • Also implied to have happened to R2-D2, although we never see what it was that pulled him under the surface of the swamp.
      • And Jabba the Hutt, in various other media if not the movies themselves.
    • Burt Gummer gets swallowed by a Graboid in the third Tremors movie; he's in an oil barrel at the time, which offers a degree of protection, but he's still looking a little grotty when he's cut free from the corpse.
    • Pinocchio. The protagonist and Geppetto are swallowed by Monstro, a giant whale. They escape by starting a fire, the smoke causing Monstro to sneeze and cough them up.
    • During Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Devastator uses his giant vortex thing to eat Mudflap. Shortly afterward, Mudflap punches Devastator's eye out from inside his head and starts to hit him with it.
    • Happened to Agent K in Men in Black and a mugger in Men in Black 2.
    • In Where the Wild Things Are, KW hides Max from Carol by swallowing him. She pulls him back up once the coast is clear.
    • Just right before finally arriving at Sydney, Australia, both Dory and Marlin are actually swallowed up by a blue whale.
      • And then, upon reaching Sydney, are immediately swallowed by a pelican.
    • The dragon from The Pagemaster.
    • This is heavily implied to be Dallas's fate in Alien. Not only does the Alien resemble a snake, Parker never actually found the body. It's anyone's guess as to what happened to the flamethrower, but it is possible that the alien decided to get rid of it, since the flamethrower could hurt the creature.


    • The old troll in Terry Pratchett's The Light Fantastic.
    • In Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing, Peter's pet turtle Dribble is swallowed alive by his little brother Fudge. It doesn't survive of course, but Peter's first question upon learning that the turtle is out of Fudge's system is if it's alive or dead, as he'd hoped this trope might apply.
    • In a variant from The Bones Of Haven, a giant spider encountered in the sewers lands on Hawk when it's killed. While it didn't actually swallow him, he punches a hole in its descending abdomen with his ax, ends up inside its (mostly hollow) belly, then spends the next couple of minutes hacking his way out.
    • Happens sometimes in Animorphs. Rachel is once swallowed by a kronosaur, morphs grizzly, and claws her way out.
      • Also Marco, who gets swallowed in spider morph by a bird and then has to morph out of it.
    • Baron von Munchausen and a whale.
    • Happens to several main characters in Robert Silverberg's Lord Valentine's Castle. Luckily for them, water-lord anatomy is weird.
    • How one travels by blimp in the Gaea Trilogy. Luckily, blimps' digestive acid has approximately the pH of strong tea; they can only digest food that's been pre-digested and crapped out again by their symbiotes.
    • In the original Pinocchio, the protagonist is swallowed by a sea monster called the Terrible Dogfish (not a whale, like in the Disney adaptation) and finds his father Geppetto living in its belly, where he has survived for two years. After learning that the Dogfish suffers from asthma (and thus sleeps with its mouth open) the two manage to escape with the help of a friendly tuna.

    Live Action TV

    • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Bliss", the Voyager crew is led inside a giant bioplasmic creature who deceives them into thinking they are flying into a wormhole that will lead them straight to the Alpha Quadrant. Only Seven of Nine, Naomi Wildman, and the Doctor are unaffected, as Seven and Naomi share no interest in returning home and the Doctor was taken offline by the rest of the crew. They encounter an alien pilot of another ship who was trying to destroy the creature and work together with him in order to escape.
    • On Charmed, the Big Bad Wolf does this to Piper and Grams in a fairy-tales-come-to-life episode. Piper blasts it into a cloud of fur-tufts from inside, and the two are released unharmed.


    • The Decemberists's "The Mariner's Revenge" is told from inside a whale. The speaker notes, "Its ribs our ceiling beams, its guts our carpeting. I guess we've got some time to kill."
    • Voltaire's "Goodnight Demon Slayer" contains the line "If he eats you, don't you fret/ Just cut him open with an axe."
    • The duck in Peter and The Wolf


    • Jonah and the whale giant fish from The Bible.
    • Miniatures of St. George and the Dragon often show George freeing a maiden (unharmed) from the dead dragon's belly.
    • Chronos swallowed all of his children whole when he found out that one of them would overthrow him the way he had his father. When Zeus (who escaped such a fate by the trickery of his mother) kills him, he pulls his siblings out alive.
      • When Zeus finds out that he's to succumb to the same fate, he eats his pregnant lover. However, it is their daughter that reemerges unharmed in the end.
    • Early Mesoamerican artwork suggests that the cultures of the area had a story similar to Jonah. Statues of a man being swallowed by a large fish have been found on archaeological sites.
    • At least one Native American tale has Coyote undergoing this as a deliberate strategy, being prepared he cut his way out, killing the monster and freeing all of its other victims.

    Tabletop Games

    • Dungeons & Dragons,
      • Some large monsters have the Swallow Whole ability; purple worms are notorious for this. Victims take damage as they are digested, but can try to cut themselves out. However, "muscular action" closes the hole afterward, meaning that multiple swallowed adventurers each have to cut their own hole. Utterly ridiculous, yes, but it stops players from deliberately getting swallowed and then insta-killing the monster.
      • 5th Edition handles this a little differently; if a swallowed victim manages to inflict a certain amount of damage to the monsters insides in a single turn (in the case of a purple worm, 30 hp worth) the attack causes the beast to cough the victim up. Still unrealistic, but not so much as before.
      • Why would anyone want to be Swallowed Whole by a monster? The third-party splatbook The Guide to Hell mentions the Worm of Minauros, a unique creature that lurks in the swamps of the third layer of Hell that resembles an extra-large purple worm. If anyone tries to fight it, that's pretty much what it is, although it also hates devils with a passion, killing any it comes across. However, if a mortal with an alignment other than Lawful Evil approaches it with no weapons in an act of surrender, it opens it jaws allowing the creature to approach. Anyone brave enough to let themselves be eaten at this point (it requires a Will Save to avoid fleeing in panic) and able to survive in its stomach for anywhere from two to seven rounds, is spit out. After that, his highest ability score is increased by 1 and he gains a bonus to experience points gained. There is a catch, however; these bonuses tempt the recipient to evil deeds, and committing dark acts is required to keep them, or they eventually fade.
      • Banderhobbs are a unique example of this, as they swallow victims in order to take them alive. Monsters introduced in 4th Edition, they are servants of some unknown entity from the Shadowfell, and it's not known exactly what happens to their kidnapped victims. Victims who have been rescued after being swallowed recount a frightening experience where they end up in a cavernous area much larger than the banderhobb, with a giant face that has a very large mouth taking up an entire wall of the room. Most believe the "mouth" on the "face" is a sort of second throat that leads to the beast's true stomach.
    • Tyranid Mawlocs from Warhammer 40,000 tend to do this, and their victims are still alive and conscious while they're being digested. The Red Terror does it as well in both gameplay mechanics and fluff, with a Codex story devoted entirely to the subject.

    Video Games

    • Some monsters in Science Girls will swallow one of the characters and have to be fought in order to release her. At one point, the whole party gets scooped up together and then has to force the monster to spit them back out.
    • This is the trademark attack of Pakkun Lizards in the Seiken Densetsu series. Tends to make them more of an annoyance then an actual threat, as they usually can't do anything until they spit out their victim, Legend of Mana being the only game where they don't suffer from an immobilizing Balloon Belly as a result of swallowing someone that's generally twice as big as them.
    • Inverted in the Kirby series - you're the one who swallows the enemies, even if they're bigger than the main character's entire body!
    • Replacing the Dragon class' usual flying claw strike in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice is their Inside Tour attack, which does this to the target (And potentially a teammate, if the dragon is using the move as part of a Combination Attack, though they're Friendly Fireproof). The victims literally get pooped out a few seconds after being devoured.
    • The final raid boss of classic WoW swallows party members whole throughout the fight. The swallowed party members must destroy him inside out but also try to escape before the stomach acids dissolve you alive.
    • In this Youtube video, as a group of WoW players are preparing for battle, one of them unexpectedly equips himself with a Toyota pickup truck. He then charges into battle with a dragon, which promptly swallows the truck whole. After about a second, the dragon's belly explodes and the truck emerges with the dragon's heart in the bed.

    "Did you see me lay down the law? I AM DA LAWGIVAH!"

    • The boss fight concluding the Dark Ice Mines stage in Star Fox Adventures involves an enormous reptillian centaur swallowing Fox whole. Once within the cavernous stomach of the creature (illuminated with the light of a Spell Stone), the protagonist must continually assault a dangling mass of tissue before the monster regurgitates him back onto the battlefield.
    • Banjo-Kazooie get eaten by a gigantic photorealistic..ish dinosaur in Banjo-Tooie. Luckily it just wants the duo to rid its stomach of ulcers in a Mini Game.
    • Final Fantasy examples:
      • Firion and the gang get eaten by Leviathan and it's quite roomy, with people inside.
      • Final Fantasy VI has the Zone Eater, who possesses 2 attacks, one of which is to simply devour a member of your team whole. Letting this happen to your entire party is the only way to get into the Womb Level where Gogo, one of the game's 2 hidden characters, resides.
      • Sand Worms in Final Fantasy X are colossal beasts that can swallow a party member, removing the victim from the fight; it's relatively easy to rescue a swallowed victim (attack it five times) but that will cause a Regurgitate, which deals damage. Killing the Worm frees a victim too, of course, but if the Sand Worm is killed while a party member is inside it, that party member receives no AP from the fight, adding insult to injury.
    • In Okami, Amaterasu and Issun are eaten by the Water Dragon. In another part of the game they have to dive in voluntarily to retrieve a rare artifact.
    • Some monsters in Nethack will do this to you, though they'll spit you back out if you're wearing a Ring of Slow Digestion. You can cut yourself free or break out with a Wand of Digging, which leaves the monster with just 1 Hit Point left - meaning that against some monsters, like the Arch-demon Juiblex, getting swallowed whole is the easiest way to defeat them!
    • Happens near the end of Heart Of Darkness, where Andy falls right into the mouth of a big monster. Turns out this very same monster earlier swallowed Andy's gun. You know the rest.
    • There are a handful of doujin Vore RPGs designed solely to tickle this fetish.
    • In The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, Link gets swallowed whole by Jabu-Jabu, leading to the Womb Level.
    • Most of one chapter in Tales of Monkey Island takes place inside the belly of a giant manatee. Some of the residents are actually quite content there.
    • Bowser does this to the Super Mario Bros. in Bowser's Inside Story, and they spend a large portion of the game in various parts of his body. Later, he gets the ability to do this in battle, devouring enemies and leaving them for the bros to fight.
    • In the RuneScape quest "Deadliest Catch", the fisherman Jones gets swallowed whole by the Thalassus, a giant sea monster. The Player Character feeds the Thalassus some nasty-tasting karambwan fish and it spits him right back out again.
    • In the CRPG Dragon Lore, the player at one point has to get himself swallowed by a large fish to retrieve a key it ate (Or you can just kill it and gut it. Rather ridiculous since the fish is not a giant, but "merely" eight feet long or so, and is also a pike, one of the few types of fish that do not swallow their prey alive, but rip them apart first.
    • God of War 3 has the boss fight with Cronos end with him grabbing Kratos and throwing him down his gullet, mockingly exclaiming "Trust me, eating you will be more unpleasant for me!" He has no idea how right he is.
    • The Rockgagong in Tales of Graces does this to the party, though only because it was agitated by an infestation of parasitic monsters. It ends up spitting them out after Asbel opens a pouch of pepper he unknowingly received from his brother. If you decide to provoke it into attacking you with the Rockgaong Flute that's found inside of it, it'll try to do it to anyone who's standing too close to its head in the resulting fight.
    • Age of Wonders 2 has Glutton (Elite unit of Orcs) with "Swallow Whole" ability — on each melee strike it has a chance (depending on the target's remaining hit points, from none at 20 HP to automatic on killing strike) to remove the target unit and regenerate 1 HP. Shadow Magic adds Harvester (high level unit of Shadow Demons) with "Devour" ability, which removes the target unit… and then allows Harvester to spawn a Larva on its next turn.
    • Wizardry 8 has swallowing as an attack/status effect. The swallowed party members can be saved by killing the creature that did it (so it's probably a bad idea to cause panic or blindness that will make the monster run away). The critter with swallowing attacks likely to be met first is called simply "Swallower".
    • Swallowing one person whole is one thing, but in Gears of War 2, the Riftworm is so colossal, it swallows the protagonists' entire helicopter! This leads to a Womb Level fight where the heroes' try to fight the beast from within, eventually cutting themselves out (covered with blood and gore) when it is finally slain.
    • Bayonetta 2:
      • A Resentment is an Elite Mook that will try to do this to Bayonetta after turning her into a child; in this case, it is an OTK.
      • Bayonetta's summoned demon Baal does this to a foe when used as a Torture Attack (which, ironically, is used on Resentments) or a Climax Attack.
      • Finally, this also happens to Bayonetta before the battle with Insidious, which leads to a Womb Level.
    • Several monsters in Resident Evil can do this, the most notorious being the Yawn in the first game and the Gamma Hunters in the third.


    Web Original

    • The Resident Evil inspired short seen here combines the Trope with Ask a Stupid Question. Ironically, while this is obviously a parody, it ends better than the encounter in the actual game does.
    • SCP Foundation:
      • SCP-050-PT ("the Sackman") is a monster who usually consumes prey this way, much like a snake does. "Usually", because if an intended prey gets on its nerves, it will first beat that prey to a bloody pulp with the sack it carries.
      • The Witch Queen of Bogal Mountain is an entity mentioned in the story of SCP-2922 (“Notes From Down Under”). She is queen of the Striders (giant humanoids about 2,000 meters tall). Far more cruel and malicious than her subjects, her usual way of dealing with mortals who are brought to Bogal Mountain is to gleefully devour them, swallowing them and savoring how they scream and struggle as they go down her digestive tract. As terrifying as this is, the key to surviving is cooperate not resist; the two months spent in her belly will be a horrifying ordeal, but it will be over after two months, and victims will pass through her system, recover, and are then free to go. Those who do resist (or dare to insult or attack her) meet a much crueler fate, the specifics of which are marked DATA EXPUNGED
      • A weird example, SCP-3282. This is basically a giant centipede that is usually asleep, being awake one day out of every thirty. On that one day, it hunts for a human prey, consuming said prey this way, and then going back to sleep; the next time it wakes up, it disgorges the still-living prey, and then goes to hunt for another. Any prey that goes through this only vaguely remembers what happened, and after a week or so of insomnia, and then starts having odd dreams of a temple in a beautiful underground city. The Foundation is currently engaged in research directed at finding this city (assuming it exists) and training volunteers for this task; seeing as this would mean finding someone willing to be SCP-3282's prey (other than a D-Class), that might be difficult...

    Western Animation

    • The fact that Unicron does this to your entire fucking planet is what makes him so scary.
    • In The Simpsons parody of Paul Bunyan, a giant Homer swallows Lenny. Groundskeeper Willy swims up through the stomach juices to Lenny saying "I've found another exit. It ain't pretty, but it'll do".
    • In An American Tail, Fievel is almost eaten by a cat but manages to climb back up it's throat and grab its uvula, causing a gag reflex that makes it cough Fievel up.
      • In An American Tail:Feivel Goes West, Five ends up in Tiger's mouth by accident. He's fine when Tiger hears him.
    • Twice on Jimmy Two-Shoes. Once to Lucius, who is eaten by a large sea monster in the Beach Episode. Then done to Jimmy himself in one of the shorts. Both, naturally, make it out okay.
    • This happens several times on Brandy and Mr. Whiskers.
    • In an episode of The Flintstones, Fred and Barney went fishing, only to be swallowed by - what else - a whale, realizing it when they found graffiti in its cavern-like stomach saying "Jonah was here". After finding some large feathers, they escaped by tickling it until it coughed them up.
    • Happens to Chris twice on Monster Buster Club.
    • Hanna-Barbera's Moby Dick episode "The Sea Monster". Tug is swallowed by the title monster and finds that its interior is hollow.
    • In Teen Titans, Beast Boy turns into a whale and swallows the rest of the team inside himself when the T-Sub is destroyed to keep them from drowning. "Please don't tell me we're where I think we are," muses Raven. (As Starfire notes, Beast Boy has terrible bad breath.) At the end of the episode, when Brother Blood's base is flooding and they realize they have to leave the same way, she seriously weighs that option against drowning, but takes it at the last second.
    • In The Snorks, the Snorks are swallowed up by a giant Snork Eater that plays hypnotic music that lures its prey toward it. They manage to escape by blowing a giant bubble inside it while Tooter duels musically with the Snork Eater.
    • And before that, The Smurfs had the title characters on a sailing ship swallowed up by a whale in "Smurfs At Sea". They escape by tearing apart their boat and turning part of it into an escape raft while the rest was converted into a hydraulic lift to keep the whale's mouth open long enough for them to escape through it.
    • Man-At-Arms gets the honor twice in the 2002 version of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series, courtesy of Mer-Man's giant fish-monster. He actively struggles against bodily functions pushing him toward the acid filled stomach, but the place is still well lit, oddly lit even better than the outside the first time.
      • In the second season (which focuses on the Snake Men) King Hsss has been known to do this (via shadowy indiscretion shot) to victims just as large as he is somehow. (King Hsss is man-sized.) Unlike most examples of this Trope, such victims do not survive.
    • Tuff Puppy
    • CatDog
    • Played for laughs in a scene in Disenchantment, where Hard-Drinking Party Girl Bean is in some sort of drinking contest where she has to swallow a live fairy in a glass of beer. The fairy makes no objection, telling her, "Go ahead hon, I go down easy." Two scenes later, Bean burps and the fairy flies out unharmed. Far from the oddest thing that happens in this cartoon, by the way.