Created By: KZN02 on March 26, 2010
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Piranha Problem

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Do We Have This One?? Up for Grabs

Everything's Even Worse with Sharks and then there's Piranhas. Piranhas are portrayed as vicious mindless eating machines that can tear through anything and leave nothing but bones. In other words, thinking of nothing except whatever "food" happens to fall in the water.

Piranhas provide an alternative to sharks for the Shark Pool, where the villain will always walk in with a bloody dripping leg of lamb or goat, dip it in the tank for two seconds, and then remove it to show a bare bone.

In real life, the piranha's viciousness is exaggerated. When they're not hungry or are asleep, they flee from anything that disturbs them. Of course, when they do become hungry they actually can leave nothing but bones when they are inclined to attack and eat.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Excel Saga: the title character was dropped at least once into a pit full of piranhas.
  • Rando hangs Yusuke over a pond of piranha-like fishes in YuYu Hakusho.
  • Speed Racer: one of the bad guys has a tank full of them in his office in a moving truck. It gets a hole shot in it, and he forces one of his Mooks to stick a finger in to keep the tank from draining. The fish all gather around with fascination.

Comic Books
  • Piranha don't smile.
  • The comic book explanation of Aquaman's hook hand. His real hand was eaten by pirahnas. Considering this is the guy who commands fish, that had to be retconned so that he didn't command, he just suggests.
  • In one Punisher story, Frank is being chased through the New York zoo by Mooks. He used the surrounding wildlife to his advantage, such as holding one upside down in the piranha tank (and pulling out his picked-to-the-bone skeleton a short while later).

Film

Live-Action TV
  • One of the episodes of the TV show Cliffhanger had the Plucky Girl reporter dangling six inches over the Amazon river, which was teeming with piranha.

Newspaper Comics
  • As noted by Gary Larson, the standard unit of hungriness in piranhas is one cow: "They can devour an entire cow on ten minutes".

Other
  • On Disneyland's Jungle Cruise ride, one stretch of the river is infested with animatronic piranha that leap out of the water toward the boat.
  • Death number four of Lucky the Cat.

Video Games

Western Animation
  • Brandy & Mr. Whiskers: Mr. Whiskers is always being attacked by piranhas anytime he gets near the water.
  • Fairly Oddparents: Timmy once placed a hungry piranha in the fishbowl with Wanda and Cosmo to get them back for something. He probably had to face man eating piranhas himself earlier in the same episode, IIRC.
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven: Carface threatens to lower Killer into a pit full of piranhas.
  • Naturally for a Trope Overdosed show, Dr. Drakken once threatened Kim Possible's Sidekick with a pool of piranhas.

Rolling Updates
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • March 24, 2010
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    The villain will always walk in with a bloody dripping leg of lamb or goat, dip it in the tank for two seconds, and then remove it to show a bare bone.

    Piranha actually can leave nothing but bones when they are inclined to attack and eat, yes.

    • One of the episodes of the TV show Cliffhanger had the Plucky Girl reporter dangling six inches over the Amazon river, which was teeming with piranha.
    • Speed Racer: One of the bad guys has a tank full of them in his office in a moving truck. It gets a hole shot in it, and he forces one of his mooks to stick a finger in to keep the tank from draining. The fish all gather around with fascination.
    • There's the Sequelitis film series: Piranha. Piranha Piranha. Piranha Piranha Piranha etc.
    • In Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon the bad guy had a tank. Bruce Leroy shoves his face into the tank for half a second, long enough to scare him and his ditzy moll.

  • March 24, 2010
    Clevomon
    They also tend to be portrayed as mindless eating machines. In other words, thinking of nothing except whatever "food" happens to fall in the water.
  • March 24, 2010
    macroscopic
    • Merely entering pirhana-infested water in the Tomb Raider series triggers a swarm that eats up your health bar in seconds.
    • Death number four of Lucky the Cat.
  • March 24, 2010
    randomsurfer
    Fun Fact Pointless trivia: Piranha II was James Cameron's first feature film directing gig.
  • March 25, 2010
    Unknown Troper
  • March 25, 2010
    Arivne
    Sometimes found in a Big Bad's Shark Pool. There are more examples on that page, such as Excel Saga, the James Bond film You Only Live Twice and Girl Genius.
  • March 25, 2010
    Medinoc
  • March 25, 2010
    arromdee
    The comic book explanation of Aquaman's hook hand. His real hand was eaten by pirahnas. Considering this is the guy who commands fish, that had to be retconned so that he didn't command, he just suggests.
  • March 25, 2010
    Karalora
    On Disneyland's Jungle Cruise ride, one stretch of the river is infested with animatronic piranha that leap out of the water toward the boat.
  • March 26, 2010
    WackyMeetsPractical
    I'm thinking the Speed Racer example is a reference for the film. I don't know if it happened in the cartoon, but I know that that exact scenario played out in the live action movie. Also, I think Speed Racer is an anime, not Western Animation, anyway.

    Piranhas are also a constant annoyance for cartoon characters.
    • Brandy And Mr Whiskers: Mr. Whiskers is always being attacked by piranhas anytime he gets near the water.
    • Fairly Oddparents: Timmy once placed a hungry piranha in the fishbowl with Wanda and Cosmo to get them back for something. He probably had to face man eating piranhas himself earlier in the same episode, IIRC.
    • Ice Age: I believe Scrat the squirrel was being chased by piranha in at least one of the movies.
  • March 26, 2010
    Chabal2
    • As noted by Gary Larson, the standard unit of hungriness in piranhas is one cow: "They can devour an entire cow on ten minutes".
    • Comic Books: In one Punisher story, Frank is being chased through the New York zoo by Mooks. He used the surrounding wildlife to his advantage, such as holding one upside down in the piranha tank (and pulling out his picked-to-the-bone skeleton a short while later), throwing another to an anaconda, and the famous "punch the dozy polar bears so they'll be angry when the Mooks come running through" sequence.
  • March 26, 2010
    FreezairForALimitedTime
    In Rayman 2, about half of all the water in the game is infested with these, making it unswimable.
  • March 26, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    All Dogs Go To Heaven: Carface threatens to lower Killer into a pit full of piranha.
  • March 26, 2010
    Doug S. Machina
    Naturally for a Trope Overdosed show, Dr. Drakken once threatened Kim Possible's sidekick with a pool of piranhas.
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