Edit: Crowner for name
; add note in title
A character needs to do something with an object, and instead manages to entangle themselves in said object. Not just make a hopeless mess, but making themselves part of the hopeless mess.
The classical version is for Comedy
and uses celluloid meant for a film projector, where it was a Stock Joke
, but other long, narrow, and possibly sticky objects are also possible to use, eg cassette tape, bandages, duct tape, or just a long string.
This is a Comedy
trope where the above will happen to the unfortunate victim, be it a Butt Monkey
or The Chew Toy
- In an invoked example, Victor from Moving Pictures used octo-cellulose film to entangle and restrain the giant Dungeon-Dimensional duplicate of himself that emerged from the theater's screen.
- In The Night of Wishes, Maurizio and Jacob wants to toss a piece of pergament with a spell on it into the fire. The pergament becomes animate and starts to strangle the two like a python.
- Poor old Charlie Brown of Peanuts fame not only never manages to keep his kite in the air, but often ends up incapacitated by the kite string, ranging from a few strands wrapped around him to a huge snarl of twine that hides him completely from view.
- In an episode of Thunderbirds, International Rescue erases a television videotape with a remote magnetic pulse device in order to protect their secrets. When the cameraman unloads the (now smoking) tape from the truck-mounted camera, the tape starts to unravel all over the announcer standing below.
- At the end of the lost episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, Patchy the pirate tries to replay the VHS tape of the lost episode, only for the film to become unraveled while the tape is still in the VCR, and for Patchy to get tangled up in the film.
- Done without a film reel in the Peanuts animated special She's A Good Skate, Charlie Brown. When Snoopy is trying to get the music ready for Peppermint Patty's skating session, the cassette tape breaks with the celluloid getting everywhere and all over Snoopy.
- Happens in the first act of the Mr Bogus episode "Class Clown Bogus", where Tommy's teacher is the poor victim of this trope when the tape gets unraveled while in the VCR.
- Animaniacs: In the first Slappy Squirrel cartoon, Slappy "accidentally" gets a dog wrapped up in a videotape's tape. When she re-winds the tape to get it back in the cassette the dog ends up Trapped in TV Land.
- At the end of the Roger Rabbit Short "Roller Coaster Rabbit", Roger crashes into the camera and is tangled up in film.
- Super Friends 1973/74 episode "Dr. Pelagian's War". While Miss Caraway is checking stock market reports on a ticker tape machine, Dr. Pelagian takes control of it and makes it spew out yards of ticker tape that entangles her.
Needs More Examples