Fishbowl Helmet YKTTW Discussion

Fishbowl Helmet
Putting a fishbowl on your head allows you to breathe in space or underwater.
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(permanent link) added: 2013-04-18 18:41:29 sponsor: MyTimingIsOff (last reply: 2013-05-22 00:17:30)

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Want to be able to breathe in outer space or underwater? Easy - just place a fishbowl or a similar object on your head, and you're good to go.

Obviously, this doesn't work in Real Life.

For characters who don't even need a fishbowl, see Batman Can Breathe in Space and Super Not-Drowning Skills. Compare Artificial Gill.


Comic Books

  • In A Pail of Air by Fritz Leiber, a lot of survival equipment had to be made out of whatever was available. The EVA suits' headpieces used to be "big double-duty transparent food cans".

Video Games
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, a fishbowl is one of three components needed to craft makeshift scuba gear.
  • In MDK 2, Professor Hawkins, a scientist who works through MacGyvering all kinds of available items, uses a fishbowl (a real fishbowl - the fish was sent a few minutes earlier to override some underwater controls) and two horseshoe magnets as boots, in order to cross the space between two sections of his ship.
  • Runescape has a quest (Recipe For Disaster) that has the player turn a glass fishbowl into a diving helmet for an extended dive.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • In Super Mario Sunshine, Mario wears one during the missions, "Red Coins in a Bottle," "Eely-Mouth's Dentist," and "The Red Coin Fish." The helmet doesn't allow him to breathe underwater forever, though, it just slows down the Oxygen Meter.
    • In Super Paper Mario, Mario and his party need one to be able to breathe in space. Yes, one. Even though there's three characters in Mario's party (at the time), they apparently only need to breathe when they're the active character. It even changes size depending on who's wearing it.

Western Animation
  • Inverted in The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode "The Ugly Mermaid". A city of mer-people wears fishbowls filled with water to survive in air-filled environments -- such as inside their own city! The episode also specifically points out the decrease in visual acuity for anyone wearing this setup (due to light refraction, presumably). Finally, the mer-people are terrified by King Koopa blasting a hole in the city's dome and flooding it with ocean water.
  • In the Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episode "Out To Launch", Ditzy Genius mouse Gadget Hackwrench constructs a spacesuit from a rubber glove and a glass jar. Plausible, in that Gadget spent less than a minute outside a pressurized spacecraft.
  • There's an episode of Family Guy where a black hole is supposedly about to destroy the world, and Mayor West decides to retaliate by attacking space; he dons a jetpack, then dumps a fishbowl and puts it on his head.
  • Sebastian the cat plunks an actual fishbowl over his head in order to rescue Josie And The Pussy Cats from prison capsules on the ocean floor. Thanks to Cartoon Physics, this works.
  • Spongebob Squarepants:
    • Sandy wears one so that she can survive underwater. Although she does wear a suit, it looks more like a space suit than scuba gear, and as shown in the episode "Pressure," it doesn't really seem to do anything; it's the helmet that matters. When she takes it off to prove a point (and fails), she saves herself by putting a pickle jar on her head.
    • When Spongebob and Patrick visit Sandy's treedome, they have to wear fishbowl helmets filled with water.
  • Tuff Puppy: The Caped Cod must wear a water-filled helmet like Spongebob's if he's out of water.

Note: I'm not sure yet whether the trope should include instances of otherwise legitimate spacesuits that include fishbowl helmets or be specifically about when fishbowl helmets are the reason why the character can breathe. I would like feedback on this. For now, examples that don't fit the current description have been %% commented out.
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