[[quoteright:340:[[WesternAnimation/FindingNemo http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/PufferFish_9063.jpg]]]]

Pufferfish, also known as puffers, balloonfish, or blowfish, are well known to swell up into a ball-like shape as a defense mechanism in order to appear larger and scare away predators. They also have SpikesOfDoom to go along with it.

Some pufferfish also have the added bonus of being pretty damn poisonous to go with it. The majority of their bodies are steeped in toxin, and if you were to eat one, you'd die pretty dang quickly. Of course, in places like Japan where people consider them a delicacy, professional chefs have to be extremely careful in cooking them. [[labelnote:Note]]In fact, pufferfish, or ''fugu'', is actually listed by name in Japanese law as the only food the Emperor of Japan is forbidden to eat, due to the risk of poisoning.[[/labelnote]] Farm-raised blowfish with no toxin are also available, so one can enjoy blowfish without the threat of death.

Pufferfish have recently become a popular aquarium pet due to their goofy appearance, curious personality, and being rather intelligent as far as fish go (they are able to recognize their owners and can learn basic tricks). Did we mention they also like to be petted? [[labelnote:Note]]Be cautious as puffers have very sharp teeth and may confuse your fingers with their next meal.[[/labelnote]] However, due to their specialized diets (They need to eat shellfish to keep their beak-like teeth healthy), they are best left to more experienced fish owners.

It should be noted that there are actually two groups of puffers. The first are known as the "True Puffers" (Tetraodontidae). Their spikier cousins are known as "Porcupine Puffers" (Diodontidae) or "Porcupine Fish". Many people, and even various forms of media tend to confuse the two. Remember, porcupine puffers are the ones with the spiny bodies (hence how they got their name).



* Bloat from ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo''
** Specifically, he's a [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/Diodon_nicthemerus.jpg Slender-Spined Porcupinefish]], a species of porcupine puffer found in Australia.
* ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'': "...and let that blowfish blow!"
* Skyes, the manager of the Whale Wash from ''WesternAnimation/SharkTale'' was a puffer fish that blew up when scared.

* In ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', the ''Bloat'' blowfish is ridiculously poisonous, making it a favorite weapon of some professional assassins. - its "puffing" mechanism seems to be chemically based so if you get stabbed by something covered with its poison (or eat one - unless prepared by an expert), you will... puff. They say after blowfish poison is used, you don't need to remove the body, merely repaint the room. And, of course, it's also a popular [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Agatean]] dish - although ''Nanny Ogg's Cookbook'' claims that the recipe involves disposing of the blowfish as thoroughly as possible (an incinerator is a good idea, if the wind isn't blowing towards people you like), and making something else. (But if you just don't bother ''having'' a blowfish, you aren't doing it right.)

[[folder: LiveActionTelevision]]
* The ''Series/{{Columbo}}'' episode ''Murder Under Glass" centers around the killer- a trained chef- using blowfish poison to kill a victim. Columbo is tipped off to the exact poison and method later in the film when the killer is serving fugu sashimi and is revealed to be licensed and trained to prepare the fish.
* On ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'', Dr. Phlox's species have a reflexive ability to inflate their heads when threatened, in a manner similar to a puffer fish expanding its body. It only gets used the once, and while his assailant was certainly ''surprised'', a fellow sentient with a gun is less easily deterred than a predator...
* The AnimalPlanet series ''Series/{{Tanked}}'' often features at least one puffer fish being added to an aquarium.
* In an episode of ''Series/BreakingBad'', Walt pulls Jesse out of a slump by [[ItMakesSenseInContext comparing him to a blowfish]].

* Swellbelly in ''[[VideoGame/BanjoKazooie Banjo-Tooie]]''
* ''VideoGame/CrashBandicoot3Warped'' has pufferfish enemies in the underwater levels.
* ''Franchise/DonkeyKong'':
** Puftup from ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry 2''
** Puftoss from ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong64''
** Fugu the Frightening from ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryTropicalFreeze''
* Appear as a type of ChestMonster in ''VideoGame/EccoTheDolphin'', appearing in the midst of schools of otherwise-tasty fish. They're actually safe to eat if you can catch them un-puffed.
* ''VideoGame/FeedingFrenzy'' includes puffer fish, which can only be eaten when unpuffed; trying to eat a puffed one just causes you to bounce off and lose points.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' has the Gulpfer enemy, which sucks in water and in the process attempts to [[SwallowedWhole swallow X whole]].
* Puffer fish mecha also appear in ''VideoGame/MegaManZero 4''. They explode into spikes if left long enough.
* One serves as a boss in the SNES version of ''VideoGame/{{Parodius}} Da!'' It continues to inflate until it fills the entire screen.
* Qwilfish from ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}''
* ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles Sonic 3]]'' has the "Pointdexter" enemy in Hydrocity Zone. Naturally, don't jump into it when it inflates with its spikes out. And a fair few more in the series.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'': Puffer-Cheeps (''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi Mario & Luigi]]''), Cheep-Cheep Pufferfish (''VideoGame/MarioPinballLand''), Porcu-Puffer (''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' and ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBrosWii'') and Spike Bass (''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBros'').
* ''VideoGame/{{Awesomenauts}}'' has Vinnie's mount, Spike.
* A {{Mook|s}} in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' is a pufferfish that can float in water and in air. [[StuffBlowingUp And if it's knocked into a wall, it explodes]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'':
** As of the 1.7 Update, you can fish these up. Eating these will obviously give you bad poisoning, but you can brew them into [[ArtificialGill Potions of Water Breathing]].
** Both the Guardian and [[KingMook Elder Guardian]] mobs resemble these. If they're attacked when their spikes are out, [[TheSpiny the player takes damage as well]].
* Gobul in ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter Tri'' and its expansion ''Ultimate'' is a hybrid between a puffer fish and an AlluringAnglerfish.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/BugMartini'' shows an office worker trying to sneak a bite of a puffer fish sandwich in [[http://www.bugmartini.com/comics/one-mans-treat-is-another-mans-poison/ a comic]] stating that they'd be extremely easy to poison.

* ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers'': in the episode "[[ShoutOut Samurai Quack]]", it goes one step further that he doesn't eat poorly prepared sushi....he takes a big bite out a whole and totally unprepared Blowfish after slapping it for a bit MushroomSamba.
* Uncle uses one in ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' in order to cast spells.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Homer Simpson's one and only exposure to sushi ended with a cut of fugu (pufferfish) prepared by an apprentice sushi chef. Dr. Hibbert said he would die in 24 hours, [[spoiler:but judging from him surviving in the end it apparently wasn't as ill-prepared as they thought.]]
* Mrs. Puff from ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants''
** Her husband apparently was fished up and made into a lamp. She doesn't like to talk about it.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' episode "Beach Party", the MonsterOfTheWeek is a giant puffer fish with SuperBreath and spikes that shoot out.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/JamesBondJr'', one of the goons working for the episode's villain is also a sushi chef. James notes that the chef is preparing a cut of blowfish (fugu), mentioning that it's lethal if not cut just right. James overpowers the chef and makes a quick cut of fugu, then threatens to make him eat it unless he talks. After the chef reveals what he knows, James promptly eats the fugu himself, revealing that fugu preparation is yet another one of his many talents.