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"They didn't want me."
Billy after being rejected by Yog Sawhaw, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy

Well, it looks like this is the end. The Eldritch Abomination rears up on its ugly, misshapen limbs, and devours the lovable hero face first. The audience does a collective cringe since, as everyone knows, watching someone getting eaten alive is not a particularly pretty sight. Audiences prepare for the sickening crunch as the monster...

Wait, is that a spitting sound?

Yes, that's right. It looks like the monster doesn't want to eat the lovable hero. It seems that something about them, be it their whiny, unlikable personality, their lack of any skills that would allow the villain to start Mega Manning instead of getting dumber, or even their really bad taste in deodorant or shampoo is enough that a monster simply does not want to eat them. Now, strictly speaking, is this being picky? Well, yeah -- but it's not like you'd put just anything in your mouth, so why should a human-eating monster be any different? Just because they're a monster doesn't mean they're a savage!

Note that, broadly speaking, this trope does not just concern itself with eating. A monster could also just plain be unwilling to dignify an unworthy subject with the honor of being killed. One particularly creepy variant is that the Eldritch Abomination or similar evil devours, grabs, attacks, or just confronts the character... and is immediately terrified and runs, sometimes screaming, back to whence they came. This is usually played for laughs, but sometimes it implies that this character, or perhaps humanity as a whole, is in fact worse than any Cthulhu-esque abominations or reality-warping homicidal lunatics could ever be. This can also include an Emotion Eater being overloaded by the emotions of its victim, such as a monster who eats rage being overloaded by the hero's Unstoppable Rage.

If the "victim" is more dangerous/powerful than the monster, that's a case of Mugging the Monster. Pity the Kidnapper is the broader, typically more mundane trapping of this trope. Might overlap with Disability Immunity. See also Eaten Alive.


Examples:

Anime and Manga

  • In the Irresponsible Captain Tylor episode "The Day the Soyokaze Vanished", it is revealed that there are rumors that the Soyokaze was demoted and sent to this exact same sector of space once ten years before. During that time, a number of the crew committed suicide by flushing themselves into space, due to a combination of shame and boredom, and the captain (a former friend of Admiral Fuji, who arranged for the Soyokaze to be demoted so that he could be promoted) committed suicide. This is proven true and the ghost of the captain returns to the Soyokaze, trying first to kill Lieutenant Yamamoto (mistaking him for the captain), then Tylor. Just as he is about to kill them, Yamamoto and Tylor start arguing, revealing just how irresponsible and lacksadasical Tylor is about his commission, disgusting the ghost so much that he breaks off his murderous efforts and ends the haunting, angrily declaring them to be too pathetic to bother with.
  • A non-comedic example. In Hellsing, Alucard, one of fictiondoms most insanely overpowered characters, has a habit of eating his defeated enemies' souls to enslave them and assimilate their power. He's almost Killed Off for Real when he chows down on walking physics anomaly Schrodinger, whose power is so bizarre it causes Alucard to undergo a quantum existence failure. He does recover, but it takes 30 years.
    • In a fight between Seras and Zorin, Victoria bites off Zorin's fingers, and spits them out saying she would never drink blood of something like her.
  • Another non-comedic example in Fullmetal Alchemist. After he is critically injured, Kimblee is devoured by Pride. Not long after, however, Kimblee emerges from the thousands of tormented souls trapped within Pride to distract and weaken him at a key moment. Pride doesn't understand how Kimblee could have managed to retain his sanity in the maelstrom, but he overlooks the fact that Kimblee is already insane and loving it.
  • Another non-comedic example in Slayers. The Holy Tree Flagoon was planted to absorb the evil miasma generated by demons, and in season 1 / novel 3 is able to consume the Demon Beast Zanaffar whole. In season 2 / novel 8, the tree tries to absorb the miasma of Hellmaster Fibrizo... and dies instantly.
    • A comedic instance occurs in the very first episode. A dragon steps over Lina rather than step on her, shortly after Lina has learned of a rather... unflattering nickname for herself relating to exactly this sort of situation. A similar joke is used in one of the OVAs, where Lina and her employer confront an army of dragons, who immediately put on Oh Crap faces and advance to the rear at full speed.
      • The nickname also refers to the fact that she just generally terrifies dragons... and pretty much everyone else.
  • A similar example appears in Axis Powers Hetalia, when England tries to curse America with an evil chair. Russia sits on it instead and 'Russia is more evil than the chair, so the chair exploded'.
    • When England and America capture Italy, they send him back to Germany (in a box labeled "fuck", no less) because he's a pain to take care of.
  • In Ichigo Mashimaro, after being tossed out the window in a tiger costume Miu returns as Dracula, and proceeds to pretend to suck Matsuri's blood. ("Nothing like the taste of a sweet virgin's young blood," she remarks.) She turns to Nobue, but stops. ("No, wait. Old lady blood? Bleh...") Nobue protests that her blood's delicious, as she's only 16.
  • Non-comedic example in To Aru Majutsu no Index: Himegami Aisa possesses the ability 'Deep Blood' which makes her blood seem attractive to vampires and kills them when they drink it. A vampire attracted by this ability converted her family and friends into vampires resulting in their deaths.
  • In chapter 527 of Naruto, The Raikage talks about two criminals known as the Kingin Brothers, who tried to seize the power of the Kyuubi, and got eaten for their troubles. For the next two weeks, they caused him so much indigestion that the Ninetails couldn't stand it anymore and spit them out.
    • And they survived by eating the Kyuubi's flesh.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho has two examples of this. The first is when a villain who eats people to absorb their powers eats someone with incredible regenerative capabilities, and is slowly taken over by him. The second is in backstory, though revealed rather late in the manga--a woman many centuries ago treated diseases by eating flesh from diseased corpses, building up antibodies, and then feeding bits of her own flesh to sick people. When a demon tried to eat her, she taunted him with the knowledge that he'd almost certainly die of it, and he wound up seducing her instead.
  • Spunky Knight's main character, Phaia is a comedic/sexy example as everything from wanted men, to hordes of mooks to Demon Lords, Eldritch Abominations and a professional Magic Knight/Mad Scientist/Slave Trader try to turn her into a sex slave only for it to horrifically backfire on them and lead to their defeat. To date, the only man capable of truly satisfying her is fellow Badass Normal, Torre.
  • One Piece has a few examples. After Momoo's tailfin is intially kicked by the Strawhats, he will run away after preparing to attack them once he recognizes their faces.
    • Also, in "Little Buggy's Big Adventure" in the chapter openings in the manga and a few fillers in the anime, Buggy is eaten by a giant bird and spat into the distance immediatly.
  • During the final match of the Devil Chojin arc in Kinnikuman, Buffaloman manages to stal Kinnikuman's life force, killing him...and then burst into flame because the Burning Inner Strength was more than he could handle. He had to return the power to Kinnikuman's body and resurrect him to save his own life.
    • In one earlier anime episode, Kinnikuman is fighting a sea monster for publicity, only to find said monster FAR larger than he is and gets swallowed whole. As a funeral is held in his honor, the sea monster stomach makes some unpleasant noises...and Kinnikuman crawls out from under it. It's not hard to figure out how Kin escaped.
  • In Hanako and The Terror of Allegory, Kanae is being haunted by a demon which intends to take her soul as payment for granting her wish of being an idol singer. To stall for time, Kanae keeps making more extravagant wishes, forcing the demon to try and make her into an international superstar despite her lack of talent. When Daisuke finally bursts in to rescue her, the exhausted demon screams at him, "Save me, please! She's the devil!"
  • The Oni in Ranma ½ that spend the entire episode trying to get saintly Kasumi to be evil shifts his possesion to Happosai so he can gather evil faster. A little too fast, since Happosai turns out to be too evil for even the Oni to stomach.
  • As it turns out in Alice in Jails, Isaac's brazen idiocy manages to protect him from Ladd's homicidal impulses.

 Firo: Hey, come to think of it, isn't Isaac the kinda guy you said you hate? The kind who think they'll never die.

Ladd: Nah. I've been keeping my eye on him for a few weeks now, and... Well, let's be honest here. There's something wrong with the guy's head. Getting mad at him'd be like getting mad at a puppy. He honestly doesn't have enough brains to know any better.


Comic Books

  • A serious variation appears in a Batman/Final Crisis crossover. A couple of Darkseid's henchmen capture Bats and try to extract his memories in order to implant them in a clone army. Trouble is these memories are so traumatic (just roll with it) that they short-circuit said clones.
    • With some of the recent retcons, I can understand this. All the silver age stories were either hallucinations due to Joker/Scarecrow gas, or part of an experiment by a younger Batman to try to understand the Joker's mind. Not to mention his past, Jason Todd, The Killing Joke, some of the things he's met and the fact that one of his Silver Age stories was Superman and him being friends as kids (before HIS PARENTS WERE DEAD!!!!!!!) and Supes building a machine that could see the future.
  • In Nextwave, Forbush Man transports four fifths of the Nextwave team into nightmare visions of their own existence conjured up from the recesses of their minds. This doesn't work on Tabby, whose mind is so utterly shallow as to render her immune. She explodes him.
  • In one of Marvel Comics' goofier Captain Marvel stories in recent years, the Psycho-Man, a mind-raping emotion-controlling mad scientist, attempts to use dim-witted "hero" Drax the Destroyer as his pawn. Unfortunately, fear makes Drax cower in the corner, doubt makes him stand around baffled, and hate makes him attack whatever's in his path (such as Psycho-Man). Cue Psycho-Man musing that he's got to add some new emotions to his device.
  • When taken prisoner by a man who plans to use the regenerating Deadpool as an infinite source of food for his intelligent zombies, said zombies quickly find him to be completely unappetizing. Could be because he tastes like cancer.
    • In the last issue of Deadpool Team-Up, Galactus makes Wade his newest Herald after Wade sees an ad for the position in the classifieds. Though Wade does a good job as a Herald, his incessant chatter drives the mighty planet devouring entity nuts. Galactus is saved when the Silver Surfer arrives and beats the Power Cosmic out of Wade.
    • Not to mention the time Daredevil's Typhoid Mary got a crush on Deadpool. She made him look sane by comparison.
  • In Supreme: The Return, Korgo the Space-Tyrant beats up then-President of the United States Bill Clinton to take his place as "ruler of the free world." Among the spoils he claimed was Clinton's wife, Hillary. By the time Supreme could come and beat him up, Korgo breathlessly thanked him for taking him away from her.
  • In the first Hellboy story arc, Rasputin tried to tap into pyrokinetic Liz's powers in a bid to awaken one of the Oggru-Jahad's spawn. This backfired when Rasputin lost control of Liz's power and fried the Eldritch Abomination.
  • Dracula vs. Superman is resolved when Dracula hypnotizes Superman, and bites into him to gain the Kryptonian power in his blood. One problem; Superman is solar powered.
    • An issue of Runaways substitutes Dracula with "random vampire teenager" and Supes with Karolina, with the same results.
  • A Hellblazer arc has the King of the Vampires tormenting John Constantine while he's at his lowest point (homeless and alcoholic after a bad breakup) by killing the one guy he'd been friends with since his time on the street and tormenting him about the general worthlessness of humans. John finally relents and lets the King drink his blood... forgetting that he got a blood transfusion from the demon Nergal. The King's jaw dissolves, and John uses the second wind to piss on him and drag him screaming into the sunlight.
  • The Ultimate Galactus arc has Professor Xavier trying to make contact with Gah Lak Tus's Hive Mind, only to get hurt pretty badly, as is standard in interactions with the Planet Eater. However, he realizes that the reason Gah Lak Tus acts in such a way is because it's disgusted by organic life, so he sets up a psionic amplifier...

 "Hello, Gah Lak Tus. I've brought six billion of my friends."

  • There are multiple theories on precisely what's going on inside Carnage's head, but we know that his personality hasn't changed in the slightest since his encounter with an alien symbiote, and we know that typically these symbiotes either coexist with the original personality (as in Venom's case) or take over completely. One interpretation is that Carnage was so Ax Crazy that he completely overwhelmed the alien's mind.
  • A Black Lantern who tried to eat the heart of The Phantom Stranger died instantly without leaving a scratch on the Stranger.
  • In The Flash storyline "Hell to Pay," Satan Expy Neron bargains for Wally's love for Linda in exchange for stopping the rampage of Wally's soulless Rogues Gallery through Keystone--and thanks to Exact Words the city seems about to be flattened anyway. However, Neron finds that their love is so strong he's actually started to feel un-Satanly compassion, and consequently shows up demanding that they take it back. They refuse to do so until he agrees to hit the Reset Button on the entire business, even bringing back the people that the Rogues killed.
  • Similarly, a Black Panther arc had Black Panther make a deal with Mephisto for the sole thing that could save the day. Mephisto came to claim his soul... which was also the seat of the power of the Black Panther, and tied to every other noble soul that's channeled said power. And they were pissed.
  • In a What If story, Mephisto tried to claim the soul of the Silver Surfer. It backfired when the Incorruptible Pure Pureness of the Surfer's soul manifested as a brilliant light that burned Mephisto. Since the Surfer already agreed to spend eternity in hell, Mephisto would burn forever. In this case, Surfer isn't too powerful or too evil for Mephisto -- he's too good. Ironically, that's exactly why Mephisto wanted Surfer in hell in the first place since he didn't like seeing someone that good in the universe.
  • In the eponymous series, Harley Quinn was exiled from Hell due her focus on joy and love.
  • In one story, Lobo died. The story ends with Lobo back among the livings and Heaven and Hell making him immortal for everything he did. OK, his rampage that devastated Heaven was justified, after they reincarnated him as a squirrell and he died squished by his own corpse dying his original death (it wasn't on purpose), but everything he did before that wasn't.
  • In Ghost Rider the spirit of vengeance uses the Penance stare, a curse that turns all the evil one had committed back on them a hundred fold on the maniac Madcap. But afterward Madcap finds he likes it! And then vows to cause as much mayhem as possible in hopes of getting another hit.


Film - Animated

  • Toward the end of All Dogs Go to Heaven, Charlie is captured by the Big-Lipped Alligator, who then proceeds to eat him alive, but when the Alligator was about to take his first bite, Charlie starts howling very loudly. The Alligator, upon realizing that he can never eat anyone that can sing as good as Charlie immediately lets him go and instead starts singing "Let's Make Music Together" aka the...
  • Transformers: the movie; Unicron gets blown to bits when Rodimus Prime opens the Matrix of leadership while inside the Chaos Bringer.


Film - Live-Action

  • In Cast a Deadly Spell, the Evil Sorcerer is ready to sacrifice his Beautiful Virgin Daughter to the Elder God. But the Elder God throws her back in disgust. It seems that her "virgin" qualification had been revoked when Daddy wasn't looking...
  • Seen in the live-action Rocky and Bullwinkle: Bullwinkle is too dense for mind control to have any effect.
    • Also in the original cartoons. "No brain, no effect."
  • In Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back, R2-D2 gets swallowed by a swamp monster on Dagobah. A few seconds later, he gets spat out. Luke comments, "You're lucky you don't taste very good." (the Re Cut inexplicably changed it to "You're lucky you got out of there.")
  • The villain in Barbarella attempts to kill her by pleasuring her to death in his Excessive Machine. She, however, can take so much pleasure that the machine overloads instead.
    • And yet, somehow, the giant evil-eating blob that engulfs the city at the end is so repulsed by her innocence that it spits out Barbarella and a villainess who just happens to be next to her.
      • No wonder. 90% of Barbarella's characterization is that she is innocently sensual, with no malice. Ok, some malice.
  • The Three Stooges get a taste of brainwashing when captured by Red China while re-enacting Around the World in Eighty Days. Result? "No brainee to washee!"
  • In Me and the Big Guy a parody of Nineteen Eighty-Four, a lonely citizen tries small talking and playing board games with Big Brother and even puts on sock-puppet theater for the "Big guy" on the screen. An annoyed and disgusted Big Brother calls him out, telling him that Big Brother is supposed to be a feared and omniscient oppressor, not a personal friend, but as the citizen continuities this behavior, Big Brother turns the double-way screen off in frustration to avoid communicating with him. Of course, it is subtly suggested that this was the citizen's intention from the start.
  • At the end of Men In Black, K intentionally gets himself swallowed to retrieve his gun. The result is less than enjoyable for the bug...
  • In Godzilla 2000 Orga attempts to swallow Godzilla whole only to get himself obliterated by Big G's atomic pulse for his trouble. And you could tell that Orga must've realized at the last moment that he'd bitten off more than he could chew because the look on his face quite simply screamed "OH, CRAP!"


Literature

  • The title character of Bobbie Faye is refused by the governor of Texas (and quite a few other states) as the governor of Louisiana tries desperately to pass her on(off).
  • John Moore's comedic fantasy novel A Fate Worse Than Dragons plays with this one quite a bit:
    • One of the heroines winds up as the hostage of an evil wizard who is attempting to breed griffins. In this setting, griffins can only draw nourishment through eating virgin maidens. The rest of the heroes arrive "too late" to save her from being tossed into the griffin feeding pit only to discover a very alive and very annoyed princess who basically says "It had already eaten. That's the only reason I'm still alive. Understand?"
      • Later, she corners her boyfriend and demands an explanation for why the griffin really didn't eat her, since he assured her that some undefined (but obviously sexual) act "didn't count".
    • And later on, as the griffin is released on a Mayday festival equivalent, a random maiden sees the griffin as it catches her scent and makes a hurried attempt to force herself on the man whose advances she had just rejected a minute earlier in an effort to make herself inedible - all while the griffin is trying to break the house down.
  • The Shel Silverstein poem "Always Sprinkle Pepper in Your Hair" refers to a tactic for keeping yourself literally too spicy for a hag to make into soup: "She'll pick you up and sniff you, and then she'll sneeze 'Achooo,' and say, 'My tot, you're much too hot, I fear you'll never do'."
  • Harry Potter does this in several places. There are several times where Voldemort tries to touch (and later possess) Harry and can't because of this trope.
    • Possibly an inversion; the character in question is too pure, rather than too evil.
  • Humanity as a whole has a unique resistance to Mind Reading in The Damned by Allan Dean Foster, causing mental trauma in any alien that tries it. Species-wide insanity has advantages.
  • A Year At The Movies features Kevin Murphy recalling the time he and fellow Mystery Science Theater 3000 alum Mike Nelson went out to enjoy Hollywood's latest bomb. They, who had suffered through the likes of Manos: The Hands of Fate, Monster a Go-Go!, and Hobgoblins, ended up sweating and squirming in their seats, checking their watches anxiously. The movie they were seeing? Corky Romano.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, Shelob (an Eldritch Abomination in the form of a Giant Spider) finds Gollum absolutely inedible, despite the fact that she'll eat almost anything else, up to and including orc. Consequently, Gollum is able to convince Shelob to spare him - so long as he brings her more edible beings to feast on, like hobbits...
  • A story with a somewhat darkly comedic bent in The Hellbound Hearts had a trio of youths, who were being held captive by an extremely sadistic Outlaw Couple, summon the Cenobites using a puzzle box the couple had in their possession. The Cenobites at are first eager to take them as their new guinea pigs in exploring the realms of sensation and experience, but after one of them comes into contact with one of the three, decides against it, having sensed they've already been through pretty much every form of torture and indignity imaginable at the hands of their captors, who the Cenobites decide to take as a consolation prize.
  • One Goosebumps book, How To Kill A Monster, ends with the heroes captured by the monster, even after their attempts at killing it by making it fall through the stairs and poisoning it. Said monster is allergic to humans, and keels over dead after merely licking one. Unfortunately, the monster's friends are pissed off after this. Cue the chills, as the book ends with the heroes alone, far away from town, and in a marsh filled with these hungry, soon to awaken creatures. Hopefully the other monsters are allergic to humans too.
  • Jack C Haldeman's Home Team Advantage, published in Asimov's Science Fiction magazine, has alien Arcturians winning a baseball game, with the prizing being that they get to eat the entire human race. By the vote of fans, Julius Hawkline, the Howard-Cosell-expy is chosen to be the first devoured. After the Arcturian coach bites off and chews The Hawk's nose for long minutes, it's decided that humans are inedible and some other form of compensation will need to be worked out. The Hawk is one tough old bird.


Live Action TV

  • In at least two episodes of Torchwood, the rampaging Monster of the Week encounters Owen after he was killed and resurrectied, and, after a moment of disgusted inspection, rejects him as a possible victim. The first time, in "Something Borrowed", the monster doesn't eat dead meat, and the second time, "From Out of The Rain", the villain steals your last breath - and Owen had his last breath some weeks beforehand.
    • This trope actually forms a major part of the Series 1 finale. The Big Bad of the season, Abaddon feeds directly off life energy. So how do they kill it? The immortal Captain Jack allows Abaddon to feed off him, but Jack's life energy doesn't run out and Abbadon can't handle it.
  • Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer suffers this once while she's working at the Double Meat Palace. Standard vampire fight happens, except the vampire gets the upper hand (Buffy was quite depressed this season and verged on suicidal at more than one point. She almost let a singing demon kill her once.)...but when the vamp almost bites her, he finds he 'can't stand the smell' and tries to leave.
    • In another episode, Angelus bites a jock, but spits out his blood in disgust. The jock was taking steroids and was mutating into a fish-monster.
  • An early episode of Power Rangers had the Pudgy Pig defeated when the Rangers fed him food that was literally too spicy for him. He promptly spat up their weapons, which he had eaten, allowing the Rangers to destroy him.
  • The cannibal featured in the Criminal Minds episode "Lucky" originally ate prostitutes, but eventually switched to a different demographic of women since most of the prostitutes in the area used drugs, which makes them "taste funny".
  • In an episode of Angel, a demonic tree drains people's body-fluids with its vines, but it becomes poisoned when it tries this on Angel, who is a vampire.
    • Another episode sees a small boy possessed by a rather evil demon. The boy is an even more evil psychopath, who commits all of "the demon's" crimes himself; the only thing the demon does is try to make the boy commit suicide to end its own suffering.
    • Another episode recycles the plot of Cast a Deadly Spell under Films - Live Action, with Angel being hired to ensure the daughter remains a virgin (with precisely the same outcome).
    • When she fights Angelus Faith dopes up then lets him feed on her. The drugs she took are so strong than he promptly stops and passes out.
  • The Doctor Who episode "The Lodger" has an alien spacecraft trying to repair itself using people who want to leave. When a man who is comfortable sitting on his sofa all day connects himself to the main controls the whole ship overloads.
    • It wasn't so much the "sitting on the sofa" as the Power of Love.
    • In the new series episode "The Next Doctor", the Cybermen attempt to convert Mrs. Harttigan. Problem is, she's too strong-willed, and dominates them instead.
    • "The God Complex" has an alien minotaur feeding on the faith of those trapped in its prison by revealing their worst fears. When Rory shows up, all it does is show him the exit because he is neither religious nor superstitious and, unlike Amy, does not have an abiding faith that The Doctor will always save the day. Also, because after the events of "The Pandorica Opens"... there isn't really anything left for him to be afraid of.
  • An episode of Charmed had an Emotion Eater defeated when Leo's Unstoppable Rage caused him to explode.
  • In Kamen Rider Double, the near omnipotent Utopia Dopant draws power from the hope and resolve of people. He meets his end when he faces Double during Philip's Last Dance. Philip's Heroic Resolve to save his sister with his final act overloads Utopia, allowing Double to defeat him.
  • In a Star Trek original series episode the crew face off against a gaseous alien that fed on blood. (yes, a vampire cloud) At one point Spock gets enveloped by it but comes out unharmed. The reason being Vulcans have copper-based blood which the creature didn't like the taste of.
  • Star Trek: Voyager introduced the Kazon, whom the Borg found so utterly unremarkable that assimilating them would add nothing to the Collective.
    • Presumably an in-joke reference to how audiences found the Kazon to be at best entirely uninteresting and at worst a reason to not bother watching, leading to them getting dropped from the show after barely a couple of seasons.
    • Also the aliens known only by the Borg designation Species 8472, whose biology makes the Borg's nanoprobes useless, and actually makes them desperate enough that Janeway is able to cut a deal with them to team up against the threat.
  • Absolutely Fabulous:

 Patsy Stone: The last mosquito that bit me had to check into the Betty Ford clinic.


Magazines

  • In Quest featured hypothetical battles between characters from different fictional continuities. When they set the Borg from Star Trek up against Orcs from Magic: The Gathering, the Orcs were slaughtered by the thousands... until one of them was assimilated. Then the Borg retreated, since the Orcs had nothing to offer them.


Newspaper Comics

  • Calvin and Hobbes: Hobbes puts Calvin's head in his mouth, but spits him out, claiming he tastes terrible. This is also a Running Gag for every person he "eats".
    • Except Tommy Chestnut, who apparently did taste awful, but was eaten anyway.


Radio

  • Big Finish Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor in "Phobos". When facing a monster that feeds on adrenaline but is harmed by actual fear, the Doctor conquers it effortlessly by showing it his own mind. He starts by feeding it memories of all the things he's seen in the past, followed by all the evil he's seen from the future... and as a final blow, all the things he's afraid he might do someday. The whole Crowning Moment of Awesome takes several minutes, with the Doctor continuously mocking the monster throughout. Oh, and he does it while bungee jumping into the monster's transdimensional portal.


Tabletop Games

  • In one old module for Call of Cthulhu, players have to stop a plot to link the mind of an Eldritch Abomination to the psyches of all humanity, by which the villains intend to reduce the human race to its gibbering worshippers. If they fail to stop it, there's a campaign-preserving GM Saving Throw option of having the villains' scheme run its course successfully... only to have the abomination be driven insane, by whatever standard of "sanity" might apply to Lovecraftian horrors, because the sheer number of human beings on Earth is so great that their cumulative psyches can overpower its own singular mind.
  • The Kroot in Warhammer 40000 evolve by assimilating the genetic material of what they eat, progressing certains groups along specific developmental lines (to the point where every single animal on their homeworld Pech is a Kroot derivative, their ancestors filling all available niches). However, the Shapers (basically guides as to what should be eaten) instruct their brethren to avoid Genestealer hybrids or those tainted with Chaos due to their potential to corrupt the entire species.


Video Games

  • In Nethack, being swallowed whole while wearing a ring of slow digestion causes the devouring monster to vomit the hero out.
  • In Blaz Blue, Arakune tends to eat vanquished opponents in his story mode... but gives Bang a pass. See, Arakune is obsessed with increasing his knowledge, and eating Bang would probably make him dumber.
    • Big Eater Tao (who attempts/considers eating various other characters in story mode) also chooses not to eat Arakune on the grounds of how disgusting Black Squiggly looks.
  • Charlie Ho-Tep in Sam and Max, the ventriloquist's dummy that unlocks Max's psychic ventriloquism power, used to belong to Junior, the youngest of the Elder Gods. Junior hated him; played with him for about ten minutes, and then chucked him aside, declaring him to be creepy as shit and wanting nothing more to do with him. That's right; he was too creepy for the brain-melting abomination against reality.
    • Even Max finds the dummy creepy. Max is also an abomination against reality.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, one year The Borg crash lands in the Kingdom. They exhume a nearby grave and reanimate the dead, then try to assimilate them. The problem was that the body was of Father Crimbo, who (because it was Crimbo time) was powerful enough to assimilate them, creating the Crimborg.
  • Within a Deep Forest has a large catlike monster who will gobble up any ball that gets near it. Except the Pathetic Ball; it can bounce right past the beast without incident. The implied reason is that the monster wants to absorb your ball's powers, and only the Pathetic Ball has no powers worth absorbing.
  • In Portal 2, GlaDOS decides to let Chell go, because she's tired of Chell's killing her and wrecking the Enrichment Center.
  • Actually happens in Dark Corners of the Earth at one point. In order to kill a "Cthulhu spawn-like monster" inside a cell you must feed it a blue flower that is apparently deadly to Cthulhu's creatures.


Webcomics

 Hag 2: Why didn't you Just Eat Him?

Hag 1: You kidding? He made me feel sick while he was outside!


Web Original

  • In the Homestar Runner Halloween cartoon "Jibblies 2", Homestar is immune to the Rocoulm's jibblies-inducing phrase "Come on in here!" presumably because he's The Ditz. The cartoon's Easter egg reveals that Cloudcuckoolander Homsar is also immune; in fact, he gives the Rocoulm a case of the jibblies.
    • In keeping with the trope, Homestar agrees to be trapped in the painting forever in exchange for everyone else to be released from the jibblies. He then proceeds to drive Rocoulm insane, but due to the terms of the agreement, he is completely unable to release Homestar.
  • Despite reviewing loads of really, really bad comics, Linkara has stated that he will never, ever review Sonichu.
    • He also stated that he wouldn't review any webcomic, primarily because they're free entertainment mostly done as a hobby, and it's unfair to treat them the same way as comics done by professionals.
    • He also refuses to review One More Day. He doesn't want to devote any air time to it or even acknowledge its existence -- he just hates it that much.
      • And in his defense, if you were to add together all of the screentime in separate episodes he's dedicated to explaining why he hates One More Day, you'd have a whole episode, easily.
  • The Cinema Snob--or rather Brad Jones--loves him some exploitation films. His favorite movie is Caligula and he scoffs at the epithet "torture porn". However, even he felt dirty after watching A Serbian Film.


Western Animation

  • In the Futurama episode "Raging Bender," a brainslug begins feeding on Fry's brain. It dies of starvation (acknowledged by the writers as being the "Oldest. Joke. Ever."). Later, in "The Day The Earth Stood Stupid," it is revealed that Fry is The Chosen One to defeat the Brains; he's immune to their stupefaction ray, because he's the only creature in the universe who doesn't have the brain-waves used to think. The Nibblonians comment on his "superior, yet inferior brain".
    • The next time Fry meets them, the Nibblonians acknowledge that it's all because he's His Own Grampa.
  • In Animaniacs, Yakko and Dot challenge The Grim Reaper at checkers to bring Wakko back to life, with their lives at stake. They lose -- but then The Grim Reaper realizes he'll have to host the three loons in the underworld for all eternity, and he lets them go. In other episodes, they get Dracula and Satan to let them go for the same reason. They subvert their own pattern in a later episode, as this fails to work on an Army drill sergeant; he just assigns them to worse and worse duties until their pranks result in him getting knocked out cold.
    • One episode features something so horrible, even the Warner siblings can't deal with it: "Baloney" the Dinosaur.
    • The episode involving Satan also featured them accidentally ending up in Hell Hades and fleeing in terror from their assigned punishment: listening to "whiny protest songs from the sixties" for all eternity.
  • This is one of the central tropes of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. No matter how powerful or evil the Monster of the Week is, it can never stand Billy and Mandy. Aside from the above, in "Creating Chaos" Eris, goddess of Chaos, plans to use Billy as a tool in driving the world insane. He promptly drives her insane by taking forever to get ready, doing such things as dripping honey on toast and watching paint dry.
    • In "Little Rock of Horror!", a brain-eating meteor-creature first attempts to eat Billy's brain but finds nothing. When it later devours Mandy's brain, it screams in pain, dies, and then reforms--but with Mandy in control. She comments "I guess my brain was a little too... spicy [for him]."
    • Another episode has a Chupacabra latching onto Billy's face, which Grim claims to be an attempt to suck out his brain. Mandy laments that the poor creature would starve.
    • In "Big Trouble in Billy's Basement", Billy is pulled through a dimensional portal by Yog-Sawhaw, but thrown back, and Billy explains in dejected tones "They didn't want me" (prompting everyone to say "Well I guess that makes you a total loser").
  • A certain Homer in The Simpsons, being the quintessential dumb sitcom character, is commonly a target of this trope:
    • A short in "Treehouse of Horror II" had Mr. Burns putting Homer's brain inside a slave robot. Unfortunately, the robot still had Homer's laziness, gluttony, etc.
    • Another "Treehouse of Horror" special had a zombie horde clamoring for "Braaaains" inspect Homer's head, then abandon him in disgust...He's actually offended by that turn of events
    • Subverted in the episode "The Joy of Sect". A cult brings all of Springfield to their compound to be brainwashed into worshipping their almighty Leader. Everybody is controlled except Homer, whose attention span isn't long enough to listen to the brainwashing. The cult leaders despair over his "powerful mind." Then one of them simply sings "Leader!" to the tune of the old Batman theme song, and he is instantly brainwashed.
      • Then Double Subverted later in the same episode, when Groundskeeper Willie tries to de-program Homer and winds up being brainwashed himself.
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants, the Flying Dutchman gave Spongebob and Patrick up as slave crewmen in "Shanghaied" because they were incredibly bad at it. In a subversion, rather than letting them go, he planned to eat them, but they escaped. Then the Dutchman catches them, but he offers them three wishes before they're eaten. After accidentally using up two of their wishes, they use their final wish to turn the Dutchman into a vegetarian. But then they appear in a blender, somehow transformed into fruit, with the Dutchman preparing to eat them.
    • Speaking of the Flying Dutchman, in "Born Again Krabs" Mr. Krabs trades Spongebob's soul for 62 cents. Just as he starts to feel bad about it, the Flying Dutchman comes back to return Spongebob after being annoyed by his incessant chatter about his hobbies.
    • In a third Flying Dutchman example, namely "Scaredy Pants", Spongebob is shaved down by Patrick to make him rounder for a sheet he uses as a Flying Dutchman costume to try to scare everyone in the Krusty Krab for Halloween. He fails miserably, but as the entire restaurant is laughing at him the real Dutchman arrives, angered by Spongebob's insulting costume and about to steal everyone's souls. He takes a moment before doing so to explain the concept of being scary to Spongebob, then removes the sheet... and flies away screaming when he sees the sponge had been shaved down to facial features, a brain, and a "spinal cord".
  • Literal example from Powerpuff Girls: Following a succession of increasingly dirty encounters and not willing to wash Buttercup once became so filthy and stinky that a huge monster who tried to swallow her spat her out and refused to fight her until she cleans herself. That was the only thing that actually persuaded her to wash.
    • In another episode, the girls capture a brain-sucking monster...when it is desperately searching the Mayor's empty head for sustenance.
  • Before the series was pulled prematurely off the air, an unfinished episode of Invader Zim would have had Zim being judged on trial by the Control Brains (the central decision makers of Irken society). After finding him unquestionably guilty, they try to upload Zim's Memory Drive in his Irken Pack (where his real personality is located) before deleting his memory, but his memories drive them completely insane. Before the end of the episode, the now-insane brains declare Zim the most incredible Irken ever and granted ten minutes to control a giant ship called the MASSIVE.
    • The Halloween episode featured Zim and Dib becoming trapped in a twisted alternate universe populated by monster versions of the regular characters. When they escape and the monster version of Sadist Teacher Bitters follows them, she's scared off when she witnesses the destruction caused by Cloudcuckoolander robot Gir attacking childen out for tricks-or-treats and eating all their food.
  • In Beast Wars, the Predacons infect Rhinox with a virus that turns him into a Predacon. Rhinox immediately embraces Predacon philosophy and starts plotting against Megatron (perfectly acceptable practice). However, unlike most of Megatron's underlings, Rhinox is smart. He would have defeated Megatron, if the Maximals hadn't interfered. Optimus Primal, to his credit, anticipated this outcome, knowing Rhinox.
    • Apparently, Megatron doesn't learn. In Beast Machines, he puts Rhinox's spark into the Vehicon general Tankor. When his original personality resurfaces, Tankor begins plotting against his master.
      • Nay! He did, in fact, learn his lesson. Tankor is a moron, An Idiot, a rube and a fool. It is obvious that this was yon Megatron's solution to the bot's questionable loyalty! It took an external intervention to restore Tankor's intellect.
      • He even added a Restraining Bolt when he placed Rhinox's spark inside Tankor. At the moment of truth, it left Rhinox/Tankor paralyzed and Megatron with complete control of the superweapon Rhinox practically handed to him on a silver platter.
  • God, the Devil and Bob: The Devil finds himself on the end of this trope more than once. When he hires Martha Stewart to help redecorate the fourth circle of Hell ("She's on the speed-dial"), she quickly takes over and leaves him painting pictures of sad clowns in a side-room. In another episode, he shapeshifts into a normal teenager and dates Bob's daughter to mess with him, only to realise he's forgotten how depressing teenagers can be and abandon the scheme without any outside interference. And in a later episode, it's revealed Nixon was so much of an unstandable person that the Devil refused to keep him and he ended up in Heaven.
  • In the Metalocalypse episode "Snakes N Barrels II", Dethklok consider Los Angeles to be so brutal and messed up that they would kill themselves if they lived there.
  • This is the entire point of Jimmy Two-Shoes. Lucius wants to break Jimmy, but not only is he Too Kinky to Torture, but he often drive Lucius crazy.
  • Adventure Time's Gunther is so evil that even Marceline's dad is afraid to suck out his life force. But isn't he so cute!
  • In the South Park episode "Trapper Keeper", the Trapper Keeper becomes sick and is destroyed when it assimilates Rosie O' Donnell
  • In Fairly Oddparents, Timmy's imaginary friend Gary is eaten by an imaginary monster version of Vicky. She spits him out and says "I hate cool!"
  • In the Looney Tunes cartoon "The Hole Idea", an inventor has created a portable hole, which he eventually uses to get rid of his overbearing wife, which drops her all the way to Hell. Then the devil pops up to return her, protesting "Isn't it bad enough down here without her?"
  • Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic spends most of her time doing utterly impossible and sometimes fourth wall breaking antics. But even she can't handle eating a rainbow.
    • Double points for Pinkie reacting to it by breathing fire. So the rainbow was literally too spicy for Pinkie Pie.
  • In Rugrats episode, Ruthless Tommy, two criminals kidnaps Tommy, thinking he was a member of a wealthy family. The duo ends up coming to this conclusion when Tommy’s natural infant behaviors cause problems from them.
  • Beavis and Butthead episode, Kidnapped, the duo “kidnaps” Steward in order to secure money for a concert only to discover how much goes into the concept, not to mention how annoying he becomes.

Real Life

  • The violence in Reservoir Dogs caused Wes Craven to walk out in disgust.
  • The violence in the Japanese movie "Audition" by Takashi Miike also caused Eli Roth, John Landis, and Rob Zombie to find the film difficult to watch.
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