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Vicious Vac
Vacuum cleaners being depicted as sentient yet monstrous beings.
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(permanent link) added: 2013-06-23 13:21:10 sponsor: CaveCat (last reply: 2013-10-29 09:02:13)

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Vacuum cleaners are one of the staples of good housecleaning dating all the way back to the mid-20th century, making them Older than Television. However, sometimes in media, vacuum cleaners can also seem monstrous in the eyes of small children or pets. Be prepared to be sucked in by this trope.

Related to Weapons That Suck.

Can be a part of A.I. Is a Crapshoot.

Not to be confused with Vacuum Mouth.


  • In Goldfish commercials, the vacuum cleaners are portrayed as monsters by the goldfish living under the bed.
  • Some animated commercials for Eureka vacuum cleaners were like this. This early-70s ad has "dirt blobs" on patrol against the Eureka.

Anime and Manga
  • The vacuum in Haiyore! Nyarko-san, which seems like a normal vacuum, but can shout "CYCLONE!!" for some reason.
  • Invoked in one episode of Pokémon, Ash, Dawn and Brock explore a haunted house and get pursued by kitchen appliances, being controlled by a pokemon named Rotom, one of them being a vacuum cleaner.

  • This was part of a scene in the film Mister Mom starring Michael Keaton. An old-style vacuum cleaner goes out of control and rolls forward, devouring a poor boy's woobie blanket. For good measure another boy is "attacked" by a washing machine lurching forward on its legs.

  • Not exactly killer or sentient per se, but the Hank the Cowdog book "The Case Of The Vampire Vacuum Sweeper" involved Slim Chance using a vacuum to tease Hank.
  • In Terry Pratchett's novel The Carpet People, the microscopically small civilization living in the Carpet are periodically subject to catastrophe caused by a massive and invisible demon-god called Fray, whose advent is heralded by changes in air pressure and a mighty wind destroying everything in its path...
  • Zenna Henderson's short story "Hush!" is about a small boy who, after being told to keep quiet, imagines a sentient vacuum cleaner designed to suck up sound—only to see his imagined invention actually become real, and start sucking up every sound possible—including heartbeats.

Live-Action TV
  • In a long Horror Movie sketch on The Benny Hill Show about various electric devices coming alive, a vacuum cleaner kills a maid by strangling her with its hose.
  • In the one-season wonder TV series Testees, wherein the protagonists are employed as product testers for a weird range of products, episode 4, "Vac Attack," has them testing out a military vacuum cleaner imbued with artificial intelligence, which becomes more and more aggressive as it deals with their slovenliness, until it sets out to kill them and must be destroyed with their giant collected hairball.

Newspaper Comics
  • There was an arc of Mother Goose and Grimm strips from the early-to-mid 1990s where Grimm and Attila find themselves being pursued by Mother Goose's vacuum cleaner. They tried to stop it by sticking it in the toilet and flushing it, but unfortunately, that only caused the vacuum bag to inflate before the chase resumes once again.
    • A 1999 arc had Grimm and Attila find a broom vacuum cleaner in the closet before it also goes on a rampage throughout the house.
  • In one strip of Get Fuzzy, Rob, Bucky, and Satchel are going to a Halloween party. Satchel goes to change into his costume, and comes out dressed as a vacuum, with a sign reading "Dirt devil! Run away!" Bucky congratulates him for making a really scary costume.
  • Marmaduke, despite being a huge dog, is known to be terrified of vacuum cleaners. and

Video Games
  • In Little Big Planet 2, the intro movie features a close up of a vacuum cleaner sucking up the small floating images that represent imagination. Also, the Negativitron resembles a vacuum cleaner.
  • In Ar tonelico, one of Aurica's cosmosphere levels depicts a cat on a vacuum cleaner that has been sucking away her power. Once that is discovered, another her comes and redirects the cat-vacuum toward Misha and Shurelia. The rest of the level is spent dealing with Aurica's inferiority complex with the other two potential love interests.
  • In Bart's Nightmare, one of the levels features killer vacuum cleaners.
  • In Pajama Sam 2: Thunder and Lightning Aren't So Frightening, the vacuum cleaner is depicted as a very friendly dog that eats soil wherever Sam places it. This is required for one puzzle.
  • A sub-boss of Fur Fighters was a vacuum cleaner. Said vacuum cleaner was designed by dinosaurs to detect dirt and apparently you're dirty.

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • Similar to the original comics, an episode of the Mother Goose and Grimm animated series had Grimm and Attila try to stop Mother Goose's vacuum cleaner while she is out of the house.
  • The second act of the Mr. Bogus episode "Meet Mr. Bogus" had Bogus rewiring the TV remote so that it could control other appliances other than the TV, but unfortunately, when Kevin the family bulldog takes the remote from him, this also causes a broom vacuum to bust out from the closet and start going on a rampage, even pestering the repairman hired by Mrs. Anybody.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons Bart causes mayhem at Lenny's birthday party by switching all the Roombas (which Lenny had given everyone as party favors) from "off" to "Malevolent Sentience."
  • On Family Guy Brian, being a dog, is scared of the vacuum cleaner. At one point Peter shoots the vacuum (for unrelated reasons); Brian comes in and sees the "dead" vacuum and says "whoever did this, thank you."
  • In Earthworm Jim, as part of Peter Puppy's origin, he tried to stand up against a vacuum cleaner, only to get sucked up and find himself in Planet Heck, home of Evil the Cat.
  • Rocko's Modern Life had the Suck-O-Matic, a giant vacuum cleaner that also literally had a mind of its own.
  • Subverted in The Brave Little Toaster. Kirby the vacuum cleaner is the Grumpy Bear of the group, but he turns out to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and a reliable teammate, rather than a villain.
  • In one episode of FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman, the kids are sent to the island of Dogtopia/Catlantis, where cats and dogs used to live in harmony until a civil war broke out between them. They use their clue finding skills to solve the mystery of what caused the conflict, eventually finding that both sides blamed each other for a horrible howling that was terrifying everyone. On a smaller island nearby, the kids find the answer: the howling was caused by evil vacuum cleaners living there.

Real Life
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