Clockwork Orange Juice YKTTW Discussion

Clockwork Orange Juice
A specific type of Rube Goldberg contraption designed by The Professor to make his breakfast
(permanent link) added: 2012-04-08 08:39:53 sponsor: Tohwaku (last reply: 2012-04-13 23:57:56)

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A sequence shot shows an overly intricate contraption clicking and whirring along a long chain reaction using everyday objects, but its purpose only becomes clear at the end of the sequence: making a mundane, plain breakfast with eggs, bacon, toasts, coffee and orange juice. It is a therefore always an occurrence of Auto Kitchen.

Although it is a bit of a Discredited Trope now (mainly because it was somewhat overused in the '80s), the Clockwork Orange Juice was in its heyday a pretty efficient characterization trope, and still is.

Just like the Rube Goldberg Device of which it is a Sub-Trope, it embodies the sheer wackiness of its creator (usually The Professor and more often than not the Gadgeteer Genius) while showing his/her tendancy to devise absurdly complex devices just to perform everyday tasks. This, in turn, usually means that the machine's designer is sufficiently lazy to feel the need to craft a full-fledged chain reaction instead of doing what would otherwise be done simply using their own hands, but at the same time smart and determined enough to precisely do just that. This also implies that the character to be shown may not be able to act or speak in a plain manner, even (especially?) as far simple matters are concerned.

The sequence shot typically shows one of several of the following elements: eggs or bacon stripes frying in a pan, a toaster spitting out burnt toasts, a coffee machine brewing coffee, a tin can opener, you name it. It can also be used for not-too-obvious Product Placement, since it makes sense to see branded food used to make breakfast (incidentally, said brands are unusually visible when in the hands of the machine).

An automatic way to wake up The Professor can be used for added comedic effect, especially if it involves some kind of Slapstick. Bonus Points if the chain reaction also dresses the inventor. The very fact that the machine itself makes breakfast before the character wakes up means that he/she can afford to sleep a few more minutes thanks to his genius.

Not to be confused with A Clockwork Orange.

Please only list examples of Rube Goldberg contraptions used specifically to make breakfast, meals, or at the very least some kind of food.


Anime and Manga
  • Hakase (who's name literally means The Professor) of Negima! has one of these in her lab, seen in the background of 1 panel of chapter 75.


Western Animation
  • Wallace & Gromit has one for Wallace to get him up, out of bed, dressed, and seated in front of his table for breakfast.
  • Subverted and parodied in Family Guy. One Cutaway Gag begins with Peter lighting a candle that sets off a Rube Goldberg Device.. which ends with Peter getting shot by a gun with a balloon tied to the trigger. As he lies on the floor in pain, he howls 'All it does is shoot you! It doesn't make breakfast at all!'
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