[[quoteright:317:[[WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/320_cheese1024x768.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:317:Orangey-yellow? Check. Wedge-shaped? Check. Holes? Check. Pursued by mice? Check. Yep, that's Cartoon Cheese.]]

There are ''hundreds'' of varieties of cheese in real life, in several distinct "cheese families." Not bad for what is, bluntly put, spoiled (and sometimes moldy) milk. However, regardless of anything else, almost ''all'' cartoon cheese has three main traits, plus an occasional fourth:
# It's orange or yellow, like Wisconsin Cheddar. (And that cheddar isn't even that color ''naturally.'' The yellow color comes from annatto, a dye.)
# It's full of holes, like Swiss or Jarlsberg. (For the curious, it wasn't until May 2015 that dairy scientists discovered that the holes in Swiss cheese are caused by tiny bits of hay in the milk.)
# It almost ''always'' comes in "wedge" form, as if it were cut from a cheese wheel, like Gouda, and not in block or cube form, like Havarti. Occasionally, the full wheel may be shown.
# Less commonly, it has a very strong odor (producing [[EditorialSynesthesia wavy 'scent lines']]). It may even stink, like Limburger.

Cheese which is ''not'' this strange amalgam of traits (well, at least the first three) is almost never present, except sometimes incidentally as a sandwich ingredient. The most likely trait to get skipped is the "stinky" part. Orange-yellow cheese that's full of holes is still everywhere. Cheez Whiz doesn't show up too often, perhaps because animators fear viewers will mistake it for mustard.

Of course, in addition to Swiss and Limburger just being funny, there's a practical reason behind this trope as well, which is based on the RuleOfPerception. In a cartoon, a large, nondescript block of something yellow or white could be just about anything. A bar of gold? Butter? Lard? A white brick? Giving cheese these distinct traits helps identify to the audience that "Yes! This is cheese you're looking at." Of course, this works best if you don't ''name'' the cheese in question.

Commonly seen as part of a LevelAte.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/{{Doraemon}}'' has conveniently held this kind of cheese. This trope is international. This is most likely due to American (especially Disney) influence in early anime.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* When [[ComicBook/{{Superman}} Superboy]] meets Super-Mouse, the latter is seen juggling with this kind of cheese.
* Swiss cheese features frequently in ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}} in Switzerland'', for obvious reasons.
** Corsican Cheese manifests extreme Number Four characteristics and is used to sink a ship in ''Asterix in Corsica''.
* ''ComicBook/MortadeloYFilemon'' has a painful aversion: An elderly woman mistakes a bar of soap for a piece of cheese that looks just like the soap (rectangular, not like a wedge) and gives it to [[ButtMonkey Filemón]], who unknowingly eats it...
* In ''ComicBook/{{Violine}}'', Klaas, Violine's pet mouse, thinks of this kind of cheese when first meeting her.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* This is the type of cheese that shows up most often in ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'' -- with one exception. Since Garfield likes mice and doesn't want to harm them (and would be too lazy to do so even if he did), Jon has to put out traps baited with cheese. The chunks of cheese in the traps are not round ''or'' wedged, but appear almost featureless (perhaps the most approximate shape would be "semicircle").

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/TheMuppetShow'', Gonzo auditions with Yolanda, the dancing cheese. Gonzo just clicks his heels a bit, and the cheese does the fancy steps. Wedge of circular round? Check. Yellow? [[http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/File:Yolandathedancingcheese.jpg Partial check]]. (He refers to "her" as a Gorgonzola.)
* An episode of ''Series/FamilyMatters'' had Urkel create a ''MortalKombat'' style video game with one character based on himself. One attack the character had was to yell "Have some CHEESE!" while throwing Cartoon Cheese at the opponent. Subverted, however, in another episode in which he annoyed Carl by showing a slideshow of all his favorite cheeses - some of which look nothing like stereotypical cheese. ("A bodacious Brie!")
* On the competition show ''Fake Off'', the team chosen to act out disaster-movie themes depicted the story of three mice whose pursuit of a piece of CartoonCheese was repeatedly interrupted by an earthquake, a shark's fin, a tyannosaurus and an AlienAbduction (of the cheese).

* [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague Green Bay Packers]] fans wear cheeseheads which are wedge-shaped, yellow like Cheddar, and holey like Swiss.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Stinky Cheese Wedge in ''VideoGame/BanjoTooie'' is exactly what it sounds like: A giant piece of cheese, yellow and full of holes. It serves as [[LevelAte part of the level.]]
* One ''VideoGame/MarioKart'' racetrack is composed of nothing ''but'' this sort of cheese. ''Even the ground!''
* ''[[{{Creator/Nitrome}} Cheese Dreams]]'' features as its protagonist a sentient moon made of this stuff. More of it ([[FridgeHorror hopefully not originally sentient]]) can be seen in liquefied form powering the mouselike antagonists' spaceship.
* Rare aversion: Except for the first game, the cheese in most ''VideoGame/{{Creatures}}'' games is a white wedge-shaped cheese, as is common for real-world cheeses.
* The first puzzle in ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxSaveTheWorld'' involves getting some Swiss cheese to bribe Jimmy Two-Teeth. The problem is that the generic cheese Max bought is solid, and the solution is to have Sam whip out his huge revolver and plug it full of holes himself. According to the easy-to-trick Jimmy, generic cheese + holes = Swiss, which hews close enough to this trope to count.
* ''VideoGame/JamesPond 3: Operation [=Starfi5h=]'' was set on the moon, which is of course made entirely out of this kind of cheese. Interestingly, although most of the area names are puns on many different cheese varieties, all the levels are the same bright-yellow-holey stuff.
* In the NES game ''Series/TheAddamsFamily'', it's a health bonus.
* In a low-budget Expert Software game compilation, Cheesy Pursuit and Maze Race both have many kinds of cartoon cheese.
* The original ''VideoGame/PerfectDark'' for the N64 had small chunks of this type of cheese hidden in each level as an EasterEgg.
** And the Xbox 360 DLC version too.
* In at least one entry of the ''VideoGame/TheIncredibleMachine'' series, you can use this cheese to lure Mort the mouse. Or just as a dead weight. It's also the kind of cheese Sid E. Mouse eats in ''VideoGame/SidAndAlsIncredibleToons''.
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'', cheese comes in either cheese wheels (that are missing a wedge) or wedges that seem to be cut from a wheel. Both are pale yellow. In one quest this trope is played 100% straight when you steal a bright orange cheese wedge with holes and use the smell to summon rats from miles around.
* ''VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay'' had apparently sentient Cartoon Cheese.
* One of the standard icons for ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' fits this trope (for example, the Completed Wine and Cheese Platter in the daily Dalaran cooking quest "Cheese for Glowergold"), but there are many different varieties of cheese. Darnassian Bleu, Dalaran Sharp, Alterac Swiss...wait a second. Alterac ''Swiss''? [[OrphanedEtymology How did Swiss cheese end up in Azeroth?]]
* The MacGuffin in every stage of ''{{Transformice}}''
* The old IBM game, ''VideoGame/AlleyCat'', featured levels where the eponymous feline tried to catch mice peeking out of the holes of a giant wedge of CartoonCheese.
* ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' has cheese - and the edible item is indeed a yellow wedge with holes in it. The shape, at least, is justified, as the only method of making cheese known to players (involving a churn) produces a cheese wheel, which is then sliced into wedges.
* A rather disturbing example appears in ''VideoGame/TheJourneymanProject 2: Buried In Time''. There's a commercial for a spray cheese product called "Cheese Girl", whose ConspicuousCG model has holes in the product and is colored yellow orange. (You need this item to propel yourself through space to reach a damaged space station).
* The cheese wedges that will summon [[MoneySpider Gold Mice]] in ''Videogame/LuigisMansion''.
* In ''Videogame/DungeonsOfDredmor'', at first you might think, looking at the wide variety of cheeses available in the dungeons (havarti, brie, blue, gouda, smoked applewood cheddar, parmigiano reggiano...), that this trope is {{averted}}. Nope! Amongst all the different kinds of unique cheeses, there is one cheese known simply as "Cheese". It's yellow-orange and wedge-shaped, with holes in it.
* Most forms of bait in the Facebook game ''[=MouseHunt=]'' come in CartoonCheese-style wedges, even fantastical ones with crystals, seaweed, bits of metal or other weird stuff embedded in them.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[http://www.hlcomic.com/index.php?date=2006-08-04 Concerned #178]]: Frohman holds an orange item that he believes is "a delicious wedge of Bournes Pasturized (sic) Organic Chesire Cheese!" It's not really a wedge nor does it have holes because the artist only had so many 3D items to work with in his sandbox, and he chose [[spoiler: a human clavicle bone]]. The thing turns out to not even be cheese, but shades of the trope are quite present.
* KarateBears love [[http://www.karatebears.com/2011/12/cheese-it.html cartoony looking cheese]]
* Lars from ''WebComic/GirlGenius'' was a cheesemaker's apprentice who stopped to watch a play and joined the circus. This is illustraded in his flashback as him carrying wheels of yellow swiss on a big stick over his shoulder.
* The villlain "[[SpellMyNameWithAThe The Cheese]]" from ''WebComic/ItsWalky'' is a godlike robot constructed from a material that looks exactly like cartoon cheese( but is implied to be a golden metal pitted from aeons of use). Which gives him his name.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The [[http://www.pixeljam.com Pixeljam]] online game Rat Race and Rat Race 2 both plays it straight and averts this, every single piece of cheese is uniquely shaped and colored, but there are a few suspiciously yellow, holey looking ones.
* At one point, [[http://moon.google.com Google Moon]] (a map of the Moon with all the Apollo landing sites marked), if you zoomed all the way in, would change the background to green holey cheese.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Quite possibly the default in ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry.''
* ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' is perhaps noteworthy in that it mentions ''varieties'' of cheese (other than the old standbys) rather than generically calling it "cheese" and leaving it at that (thanks in part to having a character [Monterey Jack] whose WeaksauceWeakness is cheese). Monty even has a favorite cheese: Brie '86 (even though the pilot movie "To The Rescue," reveals that Monty doesn't really have a favorite kind of cheese, as any kind will send him into that cheese attack trance).
** In "Short Order Crooks", the cheese of choice is cheddar, so the color is right, given the annatto, but the holes...
** In "Mind Your Cheese And Qs", all the cheese is yellowed Swiss, while all the cheese being exchanged for gold is yellowed baby Swiss, judging by the hole size. Even though Monty smells Edam (which is yellow, but usually pressed into balls and covered with red wax) and brie (which is white and molded into a flat disc), this is all he finds in the vault. The brie which Rat Capone uses to lure Monty away from saving Gadget loses the holes, but there's that yellow again...
** Hell, Monty's name (Monterey Jack) is an actual type of cheese, as are the Cheddar (in Cheddarhead Charlie) and the Camembert (in Camembert Kate).
* WesternAnimation/BugsBunny cartoon ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unruly_Hare The Unruly Hare]]''. At the end, Bugs tells Elmer Fudd that only a big fat rat would shoot a guy in the back. Elmer does so and says "So I'm a big rat!". Bugs appears out of the smoke from the shot and says "Ah! Have some cheese, rat!" and shoves a [[KarmicTricksters wedge of cheese]] in his mouth.
* ''Partially'' averted in the WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes ''Cheese Chasers'' which opens with mice Hubie and Bertie at the end of a binge at a cheese warehouse, eating paths through a variety of cheeses. Later, though, Claude Cat, trying to get them to leave him alone, offers them some Cartoon Cheese.
* Lampshaded in ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'', in the episode "Band Geeks" when the titular character is referred to as "the talking cheese."
** In fact, the creator, Stephen Hillenburg, decided to include the word "Sponge" in the character's name specifically because he believed that, if he didn't, audiences would think [=SpongeBob=] was an anthropomorphic block of cheese.
* Limburger cheese examples:
** ''WesternAnimation/FlipTheFrog'' in ''Chinaman's Chance''; the smuggler Chow Mein is easy to track because he's got smelly feeteven his ''footprints'' stink, and when Flip or his dog smell them, the image of stinky Cartoon Cheese is superimposed.
** ''WesternAnimation/AHamInARole'': A would-be Shakespearean actor gets stinky Limburger cheese dropped on him as he's reciting the "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" line from ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet''.
** ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepe_Le_Pew#Relationship_with_Penelope_Pussycat Really Scent]]'': a female cat locks herself in a Limburger factory so she can match Pepe Le Pew's scent.
** ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' cartoon ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tall_in_the_Trap Tall in the Trap]]''
** ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoppity_Hooper Hoppity Hooper]]'' episode "Colonel Clabber" has a Limburger Cheese Statue.
* Swiss Cheese examples:
** "Babbit and Catstello" cartoon ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babbit_and_Catstello#A_Tale_of_Two_Mice A Tale of Two Mice]]''
** ''WesternAnimation/MaggieAndTheFerociousBeast'': Rudy the Mouse lives in a large wheel of Swiss cheese.
* Vlad Masters from ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' is a Cheesehead and wore the cheesehead hat.
* Pinky and the Brain had a short in ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' about the cheeses from around the world, and most of those were in wheel form. For the record: some cheeses don't have this shape at all, such the Cur de Neufchâtel, where "cur" is the French word for "heart" due to its shape.
* Done in ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents''. In particular the episode "Power Mad", where ninja bunnies shoot carrots right through fairy Cosmo, riddling him with holes - he reappears later after the simulation with holes still in his body. Cosmo: "look I'm cheese." Also used in "Cheese and Crockers" where Crocker gains cheese powers - the cheese he uses are all orange.
* Averted in the Franchise/WallaceAndGromit short, ''WesternAnimation/AGrandDayOut''.
** "Everyone knows the moon's made of cheese ..." (and indeed it is.)
** Wedges of cheese in the sequels do sometimes have the holes, however, despite Wallace's [[TrademarkFavoriteFood Trademark Favorite Cheese]] being established as Wensleydale (a white, crumbly cheese).
* ''WesternAnimation/TheGarfieldShow'': Slightly averted where TV star and chef, Eddie Gormon, opens "Cheese Land", an amusement park made entirely out of cheese. Slightly averted, where there's slightly more cheese varieties seen (bleu, cheddar, american) but are overshadowed by most of the cartoon cheese making up the amusement park.
* Cartoon Network released a marathon called "Cartoon Network Invaded", where every animated series had a special episode involving the same type of aliens looking for cheese as construction material for the moon. Most of the cheese is either cartoon cheese or orange spray cheese.
* Filbert from ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife'' initially designed "The Cheese" character as a highly stylized version of this before Heffer redesigned him in "Wacky Delly".
* Shows up on ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', during the ZombieApocalypse episode.
* Justified in the ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' episode "Stuck in Ed". Rolf was drilling holes in a cheese wheel.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' built the ''CHEESETOPIA'' in the episode Remains of a Platypus, guess which shape and form it had? Though partially averted in that more cheese varieties are also present.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutronBoyGenius'': Jimmy Neutron once built the Cheese-Ray (which kept being brought up through the series) which turned items into yellow hole-filled cheese.
* On ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', Peter and friends joined the police academy. When Peter performed a practice rectal search on Quagmire, a block of cartoon cheese was one of the many, ''many'' objects to fall out of Quagmire's ass.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Ratz}}'', the cheese is explicitly Gouda, but it's shown holier than usual.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Emmentaler cheese is probably the closest thing to Cartoon Cheese in real life. It's the Swiss cheese after which so-called "Swiss cheese" is named, it comes in wheels, and it's full of holes. It's not as bright a shade of yellow as in cartoons, however, and has a pretty mild taste & smell.
* In Sweden, this type of cheese (1 (yellow), 2, and 3 together) is a very common type.