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You think that's practical? Wait until she pulls that chair out of the painting...
"Do you rent space in that thing?"
A specific portable item which is Bigger on the Inside
than it is on the outside. Much bigger. It may not look it, but that's because it contains Hammer Space
. Because the holding capacity of the bag comes from internal Hammer Space
, a thoroughly-packed Bag of Holding
will weigh no more than a full normal bag. Odds are, it will weigh no more than an empty
Because of the sheer amount of goods you can store in one, trying to find something specific usually results in a Rummage Fail
. Except, of course, in videogames where time itself will stop
to let you go through your inventory in peace.
The Trope Namer
is Dungeons & Dragons
, whose "Bag of Holding" is a common and invaluable magical item; it also has an evil cousin, the Bag of Devouring, which looks the same but will eat anything you put in it.
A Portable Hole
is a similar device. In universes where the two coexist, it's never a good idea for them to intermingle (i.e. don't put the portable hole in the bag of holding...
In RPGs you can have an entire Hyperspace Arsenal
in Trouser Space
, capable of holding a Hyperspace Mallet
or... an RPG.
Compare Clown Car
and Clown Car Base
. See also Bag of Sharing
and Bag of Spilling
See also Bigger on the Inside
, for an entire room or building that is that.
open/close all folders
- Buwaro owns one of these in A Different Medius.
- Lampshaded in the fanfiction I, Eternity based on The Elder Scrolls series. The protagonist, Leon, does in fact have a magic bag that can hold an infinite amount of objects as long as he can carry the weight. It was a joke on the inventory system from Morrowind and Oblivion.
- In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Harry has a mokeskin bag that he actually calls a Bag Of Holding. His luggage counts as well.
- George's “closet” in With Strings Attached. He can store stuff in some unfathomable limbo by holding a thing and changing into himself not holding it, then retrieve it by changing into himself holding it. So far he can put anything in there that he can actually lift, though he hasn't dared try it with a living creature more complex than a plant.
- The Hypercube (a small Rubik's Cube) in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series.
- In My Little Mages: The Nightmare's Return, Twilight has her Tome, a book into which she transfers things she needs to store. Presumably, she can use it for anything, but all we see her stick in it are her airship and the box containing the Elements of Harmony.
- In The Trainer From A Far Away Land, this is justified as Sylph Co. technology has hyperspace technology to fit items in a small oval or cube shaped capsule.
- Crack Fic Kasumi's Epic Quest has a bag that holds everything. In the first chapter alone, there is a carpenter, 50-inch 1080p TV, a map showing where Kasumi's dad is being held captive, her own travel companions, a bow, 5 diamonds, a cat, a rubber band, a Holy Hand Grenade, and a memorial for the cat when it's killed. However, she can't pull out a Zillion Dollars, as she can't pull out something that doesn't exist, and later on, all the carpenters can't help, as most of them were asleep, and the ones that were awake couldn't speak English, or were ponies.
- Mary Poppins has her carpet bag. She opens it and pulls out a hat stand and a full-length mirror, followed by a plant, and an ornate and lit floor lamp. When the children Jane and Michael inspect the carpet bag, it appears to be empty.
- Harpo Marx often pulled impossibly large and numerous objects out of his coat pockets. This was most likely the inspiration for Wakko Warner, the Doctor, and probably most of the more comical examples listed herein.
- In The Mask, Jim Carrey's character Stanley Ipkiss is searched by cops while wearing the mask, and they find an impossibly huge stash of items in his trouser pockets, including (but not limited to) a bazooka, a bowling pin, giant sunglasses, and a picture of Lt. Callaway's wife.
- In Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, Eric Applebaum brings Mr. Magorium some pajamas during his stay in the hospital, and also produces a number of improbable items, such as a garden hose, a euphonium, a plank of wood, etc., from a paper grocery bag.
- In the Disney adaptation of The Sword in the Stone, Merlin casts a spell (along with a song and dance routine) to place the contents of his entire house inside his bag, because he was moving to Sir Ector's castle to tutor Arthur.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Elizabeth Swann was forced to remove numerous weapons, majority of which she easily pulls out from her trousers, including a sawed rifle.
- Both films of Temptation Island has Suzanne/Serafina's make-up box.
- In Disney Channel's Halloweentown series of movies, Agatha Cromwell has one of these that's also alive.
- At the beginning of The Little Mermaid, Sebastian takes his sheet music out of a small seashell.
- In Aladdin, Genie is seen stuffing various items into a small suitcase with no space concerns.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Hermione creates one of these out of her handbag using an Undetectable Extension Charm.
- And in a similar vein, the Weasleys own a pup tent that is the size of a 3 bedroom apartment on the inside.
- This is an ever-present theme in Harry Potter. The Ford Anglia in Chamber of Secrets was magically expanded, allowing 6 or 7 people to fit comfortably in the back seat, and all their luggage in the trunk. Also, the tiny pouch that Hagrid gives Harry shrinks both itself and the objects it contains, as it is made out of a lizard that can shrink completely if it feels in danger.
- Mad-Eye Moody has a trunk with seven different locks revealing different interiors that all co-exist with each other. The last is big enough to fit Moody himself, and he spends most of the year there while Crouch Jr impersonates him.
- And a true Gryffindor may pull Godric Gryffindor's sword out of the Sorting Hat... which kinda makes sense, since the hat itself also once belonged to Gryffindor. (If you were a wizard with a magic hat, wouldn't you keep important belongings in it?)
- In Donita K. Paul's Dragon Keeper Chronicles, Kale's moonbeam cloak has pockets like this.
- In Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, The Luggage is a vaguely malevolent version of this trope, which will regularly eat people but still give you your clothes cleaned and pressed a few seconds later. It's also fanatically devoted to its owner, able to transcend time and space (and death) to reach him, and will stomp over or eat anything that gets in its way.
- Also the Cabinet of Curiosity in Making Money "Technically it appears to be a classic Bag of Holding..."
- In an interview, Pratchett revealed that he originally created the Luggage for an actual D&D game he was running. It would carry everyone's gear and do whatever it was told, but would do ''only' what it was told and was something of a Literal Genie. Players had to word their requests very carefully, or they risked it walking of a cliff carrying the entire party inventory.
- Nakor from Raymond E. Feist's The Riftwar Cycle has an empty Bag of Holding which seems to contain infinite oranges. It's actually a regular sack with a portable rift hidden inside it, with the other end located in an orange storeroom.
- Later comments suggest the other end of the portal is just above a fruit merchant's stand.
- Eventually it starts producing apples instead, whoever's on the other side having apparently changed their storage system.
- Young Wizards features pockets in space that a wizard can access from anywhere, allowing them to put in any number of heavy or cumbersome things and just pull them out when they're needed.
- Kit has learned the trick of opening his up inside of his pocket, allowing him to retrieve and store objects even while in the presence of Muggles.
- The series combines a room sized version of Bag of Holding with Portable Hole to get wizardly "pup tents": slap the pup tent up against the nearest convenient wall and it turns into a doorway to your own personal-and-portable bedroom. Or, in a pinch, use magic to hang it off of thin air.
- In the Whateley Universe, Generator has a 'purse of holding', designed by her boyfriend, who's a size warper. She has a superpowered way of preventing Rummage Fail.
- And Phase's utility belt. Built by a deviser, it looks like a wide belt with fake pockets that couldn't possibly hold anything bigger than a matchbook. Phase routinely stuffs the pockets with all kinds of devices and weapons.
- Robert A. Heinlein
- In The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, Gwen/Hazel has a purse like this, courtesy of a small space warp.
- Rufo has a "fold box" in Glory Road, which keeps opening up, revealing more, and bigger, compartments full of the equipment needed for their quest. An unfortunate accident later destroys it and all the equipment it contained.
- In Fablehaven's fourth book, Kendra gets a knapsack that has an entire storage room inside of it.
- In Malazan Book of the Fallen, Mappo Runt was given a bag with an entire warren inside of it by the shoulderwomen of his tribe.
- A variant of this is given to Gurgi at the end of The Book of Three, the first book of the Chronicles of Prydain. His wallet holds an infinite supply of food, which magically restocks itself.
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians:
- Chiron hides his horse legs in a magic wheelchair.
- In the Sequel Series, The Heroes of Olympus, Leo, son of Hephaestus, finds an enchanted toolbelt that has a myriad of tools and supplies. But only things that could reasonably be found in garages (nothing like giant power tools or other magical items).
- Piper gets a Cornucopia which allows her to produce an unlimited supply of food and water.
- In the second book of the Finder's Stone trilogy, The Wyvern's Spur, Olive (a halfling) tries to hide in a miniature bag of holding. It doesn't work, though, because it's too small.
- The short story The Faery Handbag by Kelly Link features a bag made of dog skin. Depending on how the clasp is turned, it opens to reveal one of three things: a normal-sized handbag interior, an old village put into the bag to save it from disaster (IIRC), or a blood-soaked dimension inhabited by the skinless spirit of the dog killed to make the bag.
- Robert Silverberg's Nightwings has an overpocket, described as infinitely capacious and capable of containing the contents of an entire world, yet no larger than a man's hand.
- In Ryk E. Spoor's Phoenix Rising every well-equipped adventurer has a "neverfull pack". It's not actually true that they can never be filled up, but they do let you carry a lot more equipment around.
- In the Myth-O-Mania book Say Cheese, Medusa!, Persephone gives Hades a wallet that can hold anything.
Live Action TV
- Santa Claus carries his toys and other gifts in one of these, naturally.
- Older Than Print: Celtic Mythology has a couple:
- There's the crane bag of Aoife, owned by Manannan Mac Lir. In one story ("Manannan at Play"), he pulls out of it a long string of silk, a hare, a dog, a boy, and a woman; and you can figure out happens next.
- In the Mabinogion the crafty Rhiannon uses a what is specifically described a small bag to trick her unwanted suitor, Gwawl. It holds an entire feast's worth of food without being full and when he puts both feet into it, Gwawl himself, with enough space to tie the bag closed over his head.
- SCP Foundation
- SCP-216 ("The Safe"). Each time SCP-216 is opened using a different combination its interior is different as well. There are 10 million possible combinations to open it, so it could have up to 10 million possible interiors to store things.
- SCP-1689 ("Bag of Holding Potatoes"). SCP-1689 is a bag of potatoes that is always full. No matter how many you take out, more will appear.
- The eponymous example from Dungeons & Dragons is a sack that does pretty much exactly what the intro describes, with a few caveats. A bag of holding has a set weight, meaning that a normal empty bag would weigh less than an empty bag of holding. They also have maximum sizes and weight limits, and you don't want to put sharp objects in them without some sort of protection. To get a good idea of what a bag of holding is, just imagine a sack whose opening goes into a tiny pocket universe with a burlap border, outside of which is the vast inky void of infinity. Also do not, under any circumstances, put one Bag of Holding inside another.
- Actually, there is no limit on the number of times you can recurse with a Bag of Holding. You just have to search all of them.
- This is taken to its (il)logical extreme with the legend, told in Neverwinter Nights, of a kender founding a city in his Bag of Holding.
- Another Dungeons & Dragons example is the portable hole, a hole that can be picked up and folded like a handkerchief. Some halflings (being the smallest race) line the inside of the portable hole with thin wooden boards to build a one room apartment for camping. Many wizards fill them with well-organised folding bookshelves, which can be pulled out to form a small library. The kobolds make bigger ones that they use for portable, 50-foot deep, pit traps.
- Here's a fun trick - slap a Portable Hole onto something living, like a dragon... horrors of falling entrails aside, then throw in said Bag of Holding. Can you say, "divided by zero?"
- An alternative version of the portable hole has been changed in the latest edition. It's a five-foot circle of fabric that, when you place it against a flat surface, it instantly makes a five-foot deep hole through that surface. (This means that if it's less than 5' thick, it's open on the other end.) Anyone can grab an edge (from either side, if it's open on both) and pull it off, as long as the hole is empty at the time. It's no longer an infinite-storage item, now you can pull stunts that would make Wile E. Coyote proud.
- A third, Heward's Handy Haversack, specifically avoids the Rummage Fail problem by automatically producing the item its user is thinking of. It acts like a standard Bag of Holding otherwise.
- As this item is shaped like a backpack and holds as much as most players are ever able to carry, this is widely considered to be the "normal" backpack of any kick-in-the-door campaign.
- A fourth example is the Quiver of Ehlonna, an Archer's best friend: holds 50 arrows, and allows the wearer to carry around nearly a small armory's worth of polearms and the like. Oh, and even if you only have 1 arrow of a certain type out of the 50, you'll always grab it if you want it.
- And a fifth example is the Quiver of Plenty, which produces an infinite supply of arrows: whenever you want one, reach into the quiver and there it is.
- However...watch out for the Bag Of Devouring, which looks like a Bag of Holding, and even acts like one at first, but will eat your equipment... and you, too, if you're not careful.
- Knights of the Dinner Table produces stats and story for a magic item in every edition. One such item is a variant of the Bag of Holding, a hat which contains a home of varying size and quality on the inside. The rim expands to allow people to enter, and the inside can be anything from a comfortable, one room apartment to an immense manor house.
- A fairly low-level spell in Edition 2 was Deeppockets, which temporarily enchanted a wizard's robe with a large number of pockets so that they became miniature bags of holding. No matter how many pockets it had, the robe as a whole could hold no more than 100 pounds and 5 cubic feet, but it weighed only 10 pounds, and the pockets didn't bulge at all.
- Similarly, there's a 3.5e magic item called the Belt of Hidden Pouches, which has a grand total of thirty pouches(ten visible, twenty hidden) that all function as miniature bags of holding- none of them can hold more than five pounds or half a cubic foot, and none of them can hold an item that exceeds 6in in any dimension, but the belt itself can hold up to 150lbs while itself weighing only a single pound, and the pouches never bulge.
- GURPS: Magic has the Cornucopia enchantment which is a variation on this. The container can produce an infinite amount of any one sort of ammunition, but it has to be taken out one by one and by hand. To prevent the spell from destroying the economy created objects only last for a minute.
- Hackmaster 4E (which was based on Dungeons & Dragons 1E and 2E) had not only the Bag of Endless Storage (based on the D&D Bag of Holding) but also the Bag of Hefty Storage Capacity, which, depending on the version, could hold from 2.5 million tons and 5 cubic miles of material up to 10 billion tons and 4,000 cubic miles of stuff.
- Urban Arcana has a backpack of holding, and there also is a spell called Secret pockets allowing you to carry up to 10 pounds of stuff in a pocket for a few hours, as long as the items can fit through the opening. One of the items supplied to Department 7 agents is a piece of garment with 2 permanent secret pockets able to hold 5 pounds worth of equipment...
- The handbag in Samuel Beckett's Happy Days is strongly implied to be this, although the central character seems to be in denial about it.
- The Whateley Universe has loads. Whether it be through technological means; magical means; mutant powers to expand the insides of stuff, or shrink things to fit more in regular bags; or having sponsors who are awesome Chinese trickster gods; between bags, utility belts, pockets, cars, rooms, or simple Hammer Space, loads of characters have more holdouts and hidden gear of their own than the average platoon of soldiers.
- Most prominently, Ayla/Phase went to a secret Mad Scientist open market and met a student named Mobius, who was selling a Utility Belt whose every pocket functioned as a Bag of Holding. Phase paid four times the asking price, telling Mobius that he should charge at least that much for something that is so useful and immediately put himself forward as a marketing manager and legal advisor for ten percent of the profits.
- Sam G in Avatar Adventures has one of these. It has a much cooler name, though.
- There are several of these in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe. The "bag o' tricks" wielded by Chuckles the Happy Clown contained anything that Chuckles could imagine... but only if it was funny. The mutant wanderer known as "Pockets" could literally turn any pocket on any piece of clothing he was wearing into one of these (and more... at least once, he kept an entire alternate dimension in one of his coat pockets). Doctor Ka's mansion technically counts as one of these, being much, much bigger on the inside than on the outside.
- The party in Critical Hit have a Handy Haversack to share their stuff between them.
- Cracked Photoplasty advertises jeans with such a pocket in Ads for Products That Must Exist in Video Games.
- Raising Angels The Main Character possess a copper bracelet which she uses as a handbag, with all the things that go in one of those.
- Dora the Explorer: "Backpack, backpack!"
- The "Ghost Packs" worn by Filmations Ghostbusters, and before that (in The Ghost Busters), Tracy's carpet-bag.
- In The Legend of Zelda, Link is explicitly shown to have a pouch of this nature on his belt; items shrink when placed in the bag and grow to normal once removed.
- Simon Belmont's backpack in Captain N: The Game Master.
- In Animaniacs, Wakko explicitly has one of these, referred to in the show as his 'Gag Bag'.
- Similarly, in one episode of The Fairly OddParents, Francis shoplifts from a giant mall by shoving such things as tires, vending machines, and televisions in his pants.
- Felix the Cat had one in one of his incarnations.
- Specifically, it was the 1950s TV incarnation, which was later used for The Movie.
- Bender's internal compartment from Futurama definitely counts as one.
- Although RJ's bag in Over the Hedge may not be limitless, it is shown to contain a lot of different items, including a boomerang he pulls out whenever he's looking for things.
- Rico in The Penguins of Madagascar keeps an inordinate amount of items in his gullet, everything from dynamite sticks (pre-lit, even), to binoculars, to a flame thrower, a running chainsaw, and even a safe.
- In one episode, Mort climbs in through Rico's mouth to recover a ticking time bomb, and then he takes the elevator inside. Yes, Rico has an elevator inside his belly.
- In Transformers Animated Swindle has a compartment in his chest that hooks into his own private pocket dimension where he keeps all his wares. Because of the way Space Bridges work, it's possible for someone else to come out of his chest through a remote location.
- Wreck-Gar from the same series has a backpack like this. He can pull out many useful (and even more useless) items from it at any given time.
- Sport Billy's Super Sack is a Bag of Holding if ever there was one.
- The Dungeons & Dragons cartoon series had at least three examples of this: Presto's hat, Zandora's Box, and the Box of Balefire. Except that Zandora's Box usually acts more like a portal to other planes of existence (including ours!), and the Box of Balefire summons a very nasty Big Bad.
- In Around the World in 80 Days, Passepartout uses this to carry whatever items Phileas Fogg asks for in a particular episode.
- One of Jimmy Neutron's inventions (the Hypercube) is a small box with infinite space inside. He uses it as a Bag of Holding in some episodes.
- In the Wacky Races Spin-Off, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Pockets, one of the Ant Hill Mob, always seemed to have an unlimited amount of gadgets and gizmos in his "pockets."
- In The Super Globetrotters, Gizmo had an "afro of holding".
- Hamilton's box on Maggie and the Ferocious Beast. Not only is it Hamilton's home, he also seems to be able to pull out of it just about anything that he, Maggie or the Ferocious Beast need.
- In the animated series version of Pac-Man, Inky had a front pocket to himself that was this way. He pulled a full-length ladder from it once.
- In Wakfu, Ruel's Havresac is big enough to accommodate the whole group, with room to spare.
- In Drawn Together, Wooldor Sockbat does a literal Ass Pull, producing items from his rectum.
- In The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, The Cat in the Hat often uses his hat as one.
- Batman's utility belt seems to function as a Bag of Holding in the DCAU. When Luthor manages to open it in "Injustice For All", the Batarangs and other gadgets that spill out of of the belt are far larger than any of the pouches could possibly contain.
- In Samurai Jack, the sporran on the Scottsman's kilt acted like this. It could hold much more than its size suggested, letting him store many grenades, a very large chunk of gold, and his bagpipes inside.
- Wander over Yonder: The titular character's hat is able to hold all sorts of things (like a trophy or a picnic basket) and he even uses it as a sleeping bag. In "The Hat" in turns out he (and Sylvia) are able to summon all sorts of thing, as according to Wander "[The Hat] doesn't give you want you want, it gives you what you need."
- Orko's hat in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) has a compartment where he can store almost anything. Unfortunately, the stuff in it seems rather cluttered and unkempt (and seems to have as much junk in it as it does useful items), and it often takes him a while to find what he's looking for.
- In Ultimate Spider-Man, Deadpool's pouches functions as these. Among some of the stuff he has in them include: a parachute, a laser gun, bombs, fish sticks, and more.
- ThinkGeek.com's aptly named Bag of Holding. It is actually bigger on the inside! In that when fully loaded it can contain up to 16" x 13.5" x 8" but when empty and folded in half it is roughly 8" x 13.5" x 2".
- There are library satchels designed that have a sleeve in its bottom that can hold the entire satchel inside itself, so it can be stored in a pocket. The mini-bag when unpacked holds a satchel that can carry about 12-16 paperback books, about 5 large bound books, or one dictionary.
- There are any number of "As Seen On TV!"-type ads that want you to believe that this is true of their products.
- Possibly true for vacuum-sealing procedures (such as Space Bag, assuming it works). But that involves the actual process of compressing it down, then returning it to normal.
- Hamsters. Their cheek pouches are invisible and cannot be felt, but they can expand to huge proportions and hold almost anything.
- As noted above, a Klein bottle has no distinct "in" and "out" sides, so basically everything is inside it. Doesn't mean it's easy to retrieve, though.
- Women's purses manage to contain an improbable volume of seemingly-incongruent-yet-oddly-practical clutter, as noted by male and female comedians and humorists.
- If you type to search for this article, you get directed instead to the Laconic version with a link to the full version, making it a Self-Demonstrating Article.
- Modern day devices serve as a Bag of Holding for information, essentially. By stripping them down to their essential nature (data), an iPod can hold dozens of entire discographies, and a Kindle can hold hundreds, if not thousands, of full-length books.