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"Yeah, that's your spinal cord, baby! Dig it!"

It's never enough to kill someone by tearing out their heart. You always, always have to hold it up in front of their eyes as the life goes out of them. Bonus points if the victim doesn't actually die until the heart is destroyed somehow.

While the heart is the most common organ by far, this can be done with almost anything that it will clearly mean certain death to remove.

This trope often turns up among the Mayincatec. For extra creepy factor, add a Beat Still My Heart effect.

Unmarked spoilers. It's a death trope.

Examples of ...And Show It to You include:

Anime and Manga

  • Revy from Black Lagoon threatens to show kid hostage Garcia "the colour of his breakfast" after he throws food at her.
  • Happens to most of the main cast in Captain Harlock: Endless Odyssey (though they didn't actually lose their hearts, the Big Bad was trying to trick them into making them think it had happened so it could possess their bodies.)
  • Araya Souren does this to Touko in the fifth movie of Kara no Kyoukai. She gets better.
  • Young assassin Killua from Hunter X Hunter tears a gruesome serial killer's heart out with his bare hand, without spilling any blood for good measure. Somehow, the man doesn't die until Killua has crushed the (still beating) heart in his hand.
    • This is one of the better examples of "living until the heart is destroyed". Depending on the reader, it's either Narm, nightmarish, or hilarious (or a mix of all three) when said serial killer turns to Killua, motioning in terror to his heart, and basically says, "Hey! Give it back!", before he watches the assassin crush it.
  • In One Piece we now have Trafalgar Law using his powers to remove the heart of- of all people- Smoker. Yes, that Smoker- the badass that series protagonist Luffy never managed to defeat in a one-on-one. He had his heart taken from him by Law shortly after they started fighting in the form of cube type object with his heart inside flying from his body, leaving a square shaped hole in his chest. Law, annoyed by Smoker's questioning, then coldly quipped to him "I don't have to tell you anything..." before he slumps to the ground, defeated.
  • In Fate Stay Night's Unlimited Blade Works route, Gilgamesh kills Ilyasviel aka Ilya via subjecting her to Eye Scream, then ripping her heart out with his bare hand. It's taken to this in the UBW movies: Gilgamesh does NOT remove Illya's eyes, so now the sobbing and terrified girl has to see how he takes out her still beating heart, much to the horror of Shirou.

Comic Books

  • A Batman villain named Midnight had this as his actually a her gimmick. Everyone in Gotham seemed to be Made of Plasticine in that issue, because he could remove people's hearts just by poking them with his pointed cane. The sheer impossibility of this, coupled with Midnight's Large Ham nature, made him far too Narmy to take seriously.
  • Near the end of Emperor Joker, The Joker, as a Reality Warper, rips out Superman's heart. Superman survives for minutes, apparently either because of his super-durability or thanks to Joker using his omnipotence for keeping him alive.
  • This is the M.O. for the Black Lanterns. Atrocitus even survives due to the powers of his red ring.
  • In The Darkness, Jackie took out some dude's skeleton and showed it to him. "Pop."

Fan Fiction

  • In the Homestuck fanfic "A Wound For Two", Vriska rips out Karkat's heart. Incredulously, he still lives long enough to kiss her (and, it's implied, to be saved through cyber-prostethics).
  • In the infamously gory My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fanfic, Cupcakes, Pinkie Pie does this to Rainbow Dash's entrails while cheerfully cracking jokes. The fact that the jokes are entirely in-character makes it that much creepier.
  • It's pretty much routine in any snuff fiction that involves decapitation for the victim (almost Always Female) to be shown her own headless body before she loses consciousness. Usually while someone is still...making use of it.


  • Angel Heart. Seriously terrifying.
  • Vampire in Brooklyn: Combined with an invitation to "Put a little heart in it"
  • Ed O'Neill's character in Wayne's World suggests that a man who got fired do it to his boss. The man replies that he'd rather file a grievance with his union.
    • Wayne does it to Cassandra's father in Wayne's World 2 during a daydream squence.
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. "Kali Ma!"
  • Stamper planned to do this to James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies. Bond escapes before he can, obviously.
  • Viktor from Underworld doesn't even realise that Selene's swing had hit until she shows him the blade covered in his blood. He then dies.
  • In Dumb and Dumber, Jim Carrey's character daydreams about fighting the staff of a restaurant, culminating in him ripping the chef's heart out, putting it inside a doggy bag, closing the bag up, and handing it back to the chef just before he falls over.
  • Sin City
  • In Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Frankenstein, the daemon does this to Elizabeth, and holds it up to Victor before diving out a window.
  • The character Frost in From Dusk till Dawn rips out the heart of one of the vampires, paired with Beat Still My Heart, after which, Sex Machine kills the vampire by stabbing the heart with a pencil.
  • In Last of the Mohicans, the warrior Magua cuts out the heart of Colonel Munro in the midst of a pitched battle.
  • And, of course, there is Apocalypto.
  • The single goriest moment of the first Psycho Cop film has this, but it's not saying much.
  • In The Chronicles of Riddick, the Lord Marshall does this to a Helion Prime native who refuses to convert. Except instead of his heart, he pulls out his soul.
  • In Electra (no, not that one, the 1996 film with Shannon Tweed), the hero's Love Interest tears off the heart of a female Mook, setting up a "heartless bitch!" line.
  • The Toxic Avenger does this sort of thing with various body parts. However, the first and arguably funniest instance occurs in the first movie, in which he grabs a man's arm and rips it off with such ease that the man has time to break out of a grapple and shout a threat to the titular monster before he even realizes his arm is still in Toxie's hand. As soon as he notices, Toxie smacks him to the ground with the disembodied limb.
  • Braindead : this happens to a victim when the zombies crash the party.
  • In the film Hannibal, the title character cuts out parts of Ray Liotta's brain and feeds it to him while still alive.
  • During the climax of RoboCop 2, Murphy defeats the Robocop-ified Cain by detaching the module containing the villain's brain, then smashing it on the ground. The module is still wired up to Robocop 2's cameras, and Cain's Oh Crap expression can be seen on a video screen, confirming he's watching his own brain being spiked.



 "I think your innards are cut out and shown to you."

"What for?"

"I don't really know. To see if you recognize them, I suppose."

"What... like, 'Yep, that's my kidneys, yep, that's my breakfast'?"

  • Roger Zelazny's Creatures of Light and Darkness had a very darkly humorous scene where the god Horus consults a fortune-teller, specifically a reader of entrails. The entrails belong to the fortune-teller's chief rival, who gives accurate predictions while berating the fortune-teller for messing up. (Classic Line: "Those are my entrails! I will not have them misread by a poseur!")
  • In Wizards' First Rule, the Big Bad Darken Rahl practices divination by reading the entrails of living humans. If his prisoners won't talk, he can use this as a last resort to get information from them, but can only get one or two words, like a name or the answer to a yes/no question.
  • In Spine Of The World, a guard grabs a decapitated man's head and turns it towards the rest of the decapitated body in the hopes that the severed head lives long enough to see it.
  • Apparently occurred in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe Eighth Doctor Adventures novel The Adventuress Of Henrietta Street. The Doctor lived to have nightmares about it.
    • In the Ninth Doctor Adventures novel Only Human, the batshit insane villainess removes one of the Doctor's hearts and shows it to him. This actually isn't a problem for him, as said villainess comes from a future where medical science is ridiculously advanced, to the point where they can separate a head from a body without killing the victim, with the two parts still somehow remaining connected. The Doctor is also drugged up with some pretty trippy stuff to the point that he only registers mild discomfort at this. The scene is still strangely horrific, what with the description of the Doctor feeling his insides being mauled about and feeling that he maybe ought to be upset by this.
  • In Jurassic Park, Nedry gets his stomach slashed open and gets to see/feel his own organs before he dies. This is decidedly more graphic than the movie, which used a Gory Discretion Shot.
  • Mother Lenka, in Unto the Breach, rips the heart out of a captured Chechen fighter, and bites into it while the former owner is dying.
  • American Psycho: Patrick Bateman does this with a chainsaw and a woman's entire lower half. Maybe.
  • Non-fatal example in the My Teacher Is an Alien series: Peter undergoes a voluntary surgery to allow the aliens to study his brain, only to wake up and have them off-handedly show him it in a jar, connected back to his body with wires. He's a bit freaked out, but they put it back in shortly thereafter and he's no worse for the wear.

Live Action TV

  • Painkiller Jane: In the TV adaptation they quickly show that a neuro who can walk through walls is no Kitty Pryde Expy by having her use her power to kill needlessly.
  • In a detention-level in Angel, prisoners have their hearts torn out and shown to them regularly (once a day?) by a torture demon. They recover with no ill-effects and almost no memory of the event except a lingering sense of dread about going into the cellar.
    • Notably, Spike invokes this trope on Lindsey without even realizing it, as he holds up a human heart from a pile of them and asks whose it is.
  • In a 3rd Rock from the Sun episode, Sally asked her boyfriend how he would feel if she were suddenly out of his life. When he said he would be unhappy, she asked if it would be like "someone ripped out your heart and showed it to you", to which he replied "well... not showed it to me."
  • Vampire Eric Northman in True Blood does this to Roy, a member of Marnie's coven, who tries to pull a: "You'll have to Go Through Me " tactic. Bonus points for casually sipping his blood through the detached aorta while looking Marnie in the eye.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy kills Adam, the Season 4 Big Bad, by ripping out his Uranium-235 power core and holding it up in front of him. Adam promptly keels over dead.
  • The Evil Queen of Once Upon a Time does this with the Huntsman's heart after she pulls it out of him. However, because of her magic, she's able to do it without killing him At least not then...
  • A non-fatal example occurs in the Lexx episode "791". The prisoners on the crashed transport have their hearts removed and their bodies put on life support to make sure they can't escape- and to make matters worse, they're fully conscious when their hearts are removed.


  • The cover of Eagles of Death Metal's album Heart On.
  • The video for Gnarl's Barkley's "Who's Gonna Save My Soul Now" has a guy doing this to the girl that dumped him.
  • According to Weird Al Yankovic's song "CNR" and as demonstrated in the music video, Charles Nelson Reilly can do this to you.

Stand Up Comedy

Tabletop Games

  • One of the many bizarre things you can do in Exalted with high-powered Supernatural Martial Arts is to inflict "Jigsaw Organ Condition" on a person. This will allow you to pull their heart out and show it to them, without this necessarily doing them any permanent harm.
  • Flavor text for the Net Runner card "Black Dahlia":

 She broke my heart - but at least she showed it to me first.


Video Games

  • In Mortal Kombat, Kano and his various imitators can rip people's hearts out, while they don't directly hold the hearts in front of their victims, they do hold the hearts up for everyone to see (Including the victim, if that particular game makes him fall backward afterwards). Kobra takes it one step further by shoving the heart into the victim's mouth.
    • In Undercover Brother token white guy Lance is so enraged at being called a sissy towards the end of the movie, he performs various fatalities from Mortal Kombat on the guards; including Kano's ...And Show It to You move.
    • In MK 9, Kano's heart rip fatality actually fits the "Show it to 'em" criteria, as he spins them around, so he faces his opponent's back, and then rams his fist through their back and out their chest, clutching their heart in his hand right in front of their face.
    • Mortal Kombat X and MK 11 have Kotal Kahn, a character heavily inspired by Mayan and Aztec myths, doing this. In X (as pictured above) he rips the opponent's chest open with his ceremonial knife, extracts the heart and then squeezes it to give himself a Blood Bath; in 11 he does likewise with two short sickles, morphs into a panthera, rips the heart out of the opponent's chest with his fangs and bites on it
  • One of the many, many over-the-top finishers available in MadWorld. And it's one of the tamer ones.
  • In Revenant the player's character repeatedly threatens people with the sight of their own organs.
  • One of the Stealth kills in Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2 involves sneaking up behind an enemy, punching through their back, grabbing their heart and pushing it out through the front of their ribcage, where presumably the victim has a good view of it.
  • Beating people to death with their own severed limbs is extremely common and satisfying in Dwarf Fortress adventure mode. Even better is to beat a mother to death with the body of her child you just killed in front of her.
  • In Shadow Warrior Rippers, gorilla-like monsters who love to rip you to shreds with their claws, rip out your heart while killing you. You still see it beating in their hands as you lie dead.
  • The only reason why Gilgamesh manages to avoid this, in Fate Stay Night's UBW route, is because he forcibly removed Illya's eyes before ripping out her heart. Yes, he far worse this route than the others. And as shown above, in the UBW movie he plays it completely straight instead.
  • During the endgame of Dragon Age Origins, Oghren caps off a surprisingly touching speech (for him, anyway) to the Warden with "Let us show them our hearts, and then show them theirs!"
  • Team Fortress 2: Meet the Medic. The Medic has already removed the Heavy's heart prior to the video starting, but then accidentally blows it up. And replaces it with the heart of a Mega-Baboon, which is easily three times larger, while the Heavy is still concious. It's actually surprising that Heavy shows no knowledge that that isn't his origional heart.
  • In Serious Sam: BFE you can do this.

Web Animation

  • Tex from Red vs. Blue reportedly once beat a man to death with his own skull - his last words were, "This doesn't seem physically possible!"

Web Comics


  "The look on your face when a toddler rips out your heart and shows it to you. Priceless."

  • In the Great Outdoor Fight story arc on Achewood, one of the competitors threatens to tear off [Ray's] Legs and piss up the stumps, to which Ray replies thusly

  "Man, that's crazy talk! A leg ain't got no holes where your urine can go."

  • Butch R. Mann of Chopping Block has tried this, but the victims never live long enough to see their own hearts.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • On The Simpsons, after angering a temple of Shaolin monks, one of them rips out Homer's heart, shows it to him, and puts it back. Homer just hopes he washed his hands first.

 Bart:I learned that thing where you rip out a guy's heart and show it to him before he dies!

Homer: That'll learn 'em!

    • And then there's the time Homer becomes a tow truck driver and is warned by a rival;

  If I catch you on my turf, i'll rip your head off, vomit down your neck, rip out your heart, show your heart to your head, and shove 'em both down your neck-hole, to which I previously alluded.

  • Done for comedy in the Futurama episode "Roswell That Ends Well". Apparently, Zoidberg has a LOT of redundant organs, as he is able to provide a running commentary on his autopsy, while the doctors take out at least 5 organs and place them aside.

 Doctor: One heart.

Zoidberg: Take, I've got four of them!

    • Also:

 Zoidberg: Get ready Fry; I'm going to rip your swim bladder out AND SHOW IT TO YOU!


  "I’m gonna tear out you CPU and show it to you still processing"

  • A Family Guy episode does this as a throw-away gag/Temple of Doom homage: Stewie, annoyed by Meg's interrupting his pre-meal prayer, rips out her heart, turning her into a chanting zombie.

Real Life

  • Truth in Television (allegedly): Sir Everard Digby, one of Guy Fawkes' gunpowder plotters, was hanged, and then as the story goes, his heart was torn out by the executioner who cried "Here is the heart of a traitor!" The slightly implausible part of the story is that Digby came back to life just long enough to shout "Thou liest!"
    • This was done in the old-fashioned British execution method known as drawing and quartering, but instead of the heart they did it with the condemned's intestines and "Privy-Members". And set the aforementioned organs on fire as they did so.
  • MMA fighter Jarrod Wyatt apparently ripped out his training partner's heart (along with tongue and most of his face) because he thought Satan was in him after getting high on "mushroom tea". According to the Daily Mail (so take that as you will), Taylor Powell was still alive when the heart came out, so it might fit under here as well.
  • The Aztecs did this on a daily basis with their captives. They thrust a dagger under the ribs of the victim, yanked their heart out, and held it up as an offering of blood to their gods.
  • A prisoner named Henri Languille, condemned to the Guillotine, became part of a scientific experiment. Immediately upon decapitation, Dr. Beaurieux took the head and spoke the prisoner's name until the eyes stopped responding and looking in the doctor's eyes. Because no EEG was attached, nobody knows whether it was a conscious mental or unconscious muscle/nerve response. One might assume the prisoner got a glimpse of his own body in those few seconds between being severed and unconsciousness.
    • Which is why the Guillotine is now considered by many to be an unnecessarily cruel death.