In fiction, any time a character is chewing gum it's usually bubblegum, and when there's bubble gum a character is probably going to blow a bubble. The bubble will then will pop for comedic effect, often covering the face and clothes of the person chewing gum or in extreme cases their entire surroundings. The bubbles being blown are often far larger than what is possible in real life. This can also be used to indicate that a character isn't taking a conversation or issue seriously; they will blow and then pop a bubble during a conversation to draw attention to how casually they are taking the issue.
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- Averted in the American ad campaign for Hubba Bubba bubble gum that ran from 1979 to 1984. These television ads featured the Gumfighter in the Wild West. The Gumfighter would blow a fair-sized bubble which would pop...and then easily peel off from the face. The point of this ad campaign was to pitch to consumers that Hubba Bubba made big bubbles and would not stick to one's face.
- Averted in an early-to-mid 1980s TV commercial for Bubblicious parodying Risky Business - it even had four teens in sunglasses doing the "Risky Business" Dance. They all are blowing bubbles, but the commercial concludes with one teen blowing a bubble so big that it ends with bubbles coming out of the house's doors and windows! This gargantuan bubble isn't shown popping.
Anime & Manga
- In the first episode of the anime Blue Seed, Kome Sawaguchi debuts by blowing a fair-sized bubble as she looks over her new work location from outside. While not huge, her bubble breaks with a loud pop and covers the lower half of her face in gum. Kome comments on the bubble gum mess as being a lousy omen.
- Armitage III has the title character, Naomi Armitage (while wearing sunglasses), blowing and popping bubble gum as she's at a police briefing.
- Bubblegum Crisis is named after this trope, referring to the precarious moment when the bubble is at its peak and may either blow up, covering the blower's face in a sticky mess, or deflate limply.
- One comic book story of Dexter's Laboratory involved Dexter concocting a special piece of bubble gum in his lab after losing a bubble gum blowing contest with his sister, Dee Dee. He tries to demonstrate the power of his new gum to Dee Dee and her friends—but his huge bubble bursts and covers most of the last panel (characters and scenery alike) in gum.
Films — Animated
- The Staring Kid on The Incredibles is in the midst of blowing a bubble when he sees Mr. Incredible lifting his car. The bubble pops in the middle of the awkward pause.
- In the convenience store scene from Open Season, Boog chews a piece of bubble gum then blows a bubble until it pops, as he gets covered up in gum while Elliot laughs at his expense.
Films — Live-Action
- Miracle on 34th Street: we don't see the popping though. Susan teaches Kris how to blow bubbles with bubble gum; we then cut to a shot of Kris in front of a mirror, picking popped bubblegum out of his beard.
- In the 1976 Freaky Friday , Barbara Harris blows quite a few bubbles including a rather big one that pops off-screen as she's doing laundry. When the camera goes back to her, she's got popped gum over one side of her mouth.
- Grease has Frenchy (Didi Conn) blowing up an enormous bubble during the "Beauty School Dropout" montage. It promptly gets popped by finger of singer Frankie Avalon.
- Didi later said during interviews and documentaries that her bubble blowing was not originally in the script, but done on the spur of the moment.
- Lolita does this in the Stanley Kubrick adaptation to annoy Humbert.
Humbert: I never see you any more with your soda fountains and your—STOP DOING THAT!
- In The Three Stooges short Love at First Bite Shemp is chewing gum and starts blowing a bubble then Moe pops with a pin.
Live Action TV
- Played With in the episode "Dennis Has a Fling" from Dennis the Menace - Dennis loses his bubble gum in Mr. Wilson's bagpipes. Mr. Wilson then plays the bagpipes, blowing a huge bubble out of one of pipes - the bubble bursts all over one side of his face.
- In the first Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers series, Kimberly, fresh off a gymnastics routine, absentmindedly blows a piece. So large it gets that it suddenly gets everyone's attention. Zack cruises in on the scene, directly in front of her. Both of them end up with the sticky stuff on their noses.
- In an episode of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Moze realizes she has no female friends to do girly stuff like pedicures with and sets out to remedy that situation. She decides to choose a girl at random from a list of names to make friends with, and ends up picking a girl named "Sylvia Gumpopper." It doesn't take long to figure out why the girl in question has that name.
- Angel. Wesley gets annoyed when ditzy vampire Harmony keeps popping her gum while he's trying to sort out the Crisis of the Week, and calls loudly for someone to stake her. When she then wraps her gum in a page torn from a 1200 year-old Tome of Eldritch Lore, he has to be restrained from doing it himself.
- Danger 5. Ilysa has to go undercover on a school campus. She's popping gum when an obnoxious student hits on her. She blows her gum up to full size, then it somehow turns into a pink metal ball that she throws at the kid's groin. Presumably it was secret spy gum.
- Mary Elizabeth Monroe had a tendency to pop bubble gum during her ring entrance, which has been interpreted as a sign of contempt.
- In the musical Chicago, one of the murderesses killed her boyfriend because he kept popping bubblegum after she told him to stop.
I said, "You pop that gum one more time..."And he did.So I took the gun off the wall, and fired two warning shots......into his head.
- In one Calvin and Hobbes strip, Calvin blows a bubble that pops and covers his face in gum. He remarks that "I think I blew my face inside out!"
- A Garfield Sunday comic has Jon blowing a bubble when Garfield pops it, leaving his face covered in gum. Jon tries to get back at Garfield by forcing him to chew gum and blow a bubble, but when he pops it, Jon ends up covered in gum instead. "It's all in the lips."
- In one Peanuts strip, Lucy blows a bubble gum bubble during a baseball game. She floats past Charlie Brown and over the fence, and then her bubble pops and she lands behind the fence.
- In a series of Foxtrot strips, Jason and Paige try out an experimental super gum that yields gigantic bubbles. They discover the downside when their bubbles collide and burst, resulting in a huge mass of gum tethering their faces together. What's worse, the same properties that make it great for blowing bubbles makes it almost impossible to remove.
- The Goosebumps book "Night of the Living Dummy" opens with Lindy popping her sister Kris' bubble because Kris wanted to prove she could blow a bigger one than Lindy.
- The covers on some versions of The Great Gilly Hopkins show the title character, a young girl, blowing a head-sized bubble on the front and the popped gum covering her face on the back.
- In Sid & Al's Incredible Toons, Sid will be Floating in a Bubble after eating bubblegum until his bubble is pricked with a pin. After he falls, he has to take a few seconds to free himself from the gum.
- Bugs Bunny deals with his foes this way in two occasions.
- In "Devil May Hare", Bugs feeds the Tasmanian Devil a chicken made from gum and baking soda. The baking soda gives Taz hiccups, and every time he hics the bubble gets bigger until Bugs blows it away, dragging Taz away with it. It floats until Bugs hits it with a slingshot, leaving Taz hanging from the trees.
- In "Rabbit Every Monday", Bugs plugs Yosemite Sam's rifle with bubble gum. When Sam fires, he is suddenly trapped inside a bubble. Again, Bugs blows it away, and it drops down a cliff. Sam manages to blow into the bubble so that it flies back up, but that is when Bugs pops it.
- In the Tom and Jerry cartoon "The Bodyguard", Spike the dog comes to Jerry's rescue every time he whistles. Tom tries to stop him by feeding Jerry bubble gum so that he can't whistle. Jerry eventually blows a huge bubble while trying, and when it pops, the whistle is so loud and hard it nearly blows Tom away.
- In one Title Card on Arthur, Binky blows a bubble so big it pops, leaving him stuck to the sides.◊
- The episode "Muffy Gets Mature" opens up with the local kids doing all kinds of fun kid stuff, including Sue Ellen and Francine having a messy bubble gum blowing contest while sitting on swings.
- One episode of Rugrats had Tommy and Chuckie face-to-face with a redheaded, gum-chewing bully whose most common form of punishment was getting gum into the other children's hair, forcing them to have to get it cut. Tommy later gives this bully a taste of her own medicine by popping her bubble as she's blowing it up. When the bully reappears at the end of the episode, she's shown to have had her hair cut, is more soft-spoken and kinder to the other playground kids, and has taken up eating carrots instead of candy and other assorted junk foods.
- It occurs again in the episode "Acorn Nuts and Diapey Butts". During a montage where Chuckie's father, Chaz Finster, is shown dating a variety of quirky women, one of the ladies blows up a giant bubble - but it bursts on Chaz rather than her.
- In the opening intro for Recess, Gus blows a gum bubble until it pops, leaving him all covered with gum.
- Suzi Lu from Storm Hawks seems to enjoy blowing up and popping bubble gum bubbles. In fact, one episode has an annoyed Piper bursts Suzi's bubble with a finger when it appears that she's not taking an impending disaster seriously.
- The Dexter's Laboratory episode "Now That's a Stretch" has Dee Dee blowing two head-sized bubble gum bubbles while sitting on the couch as Dexter looks on. Both bubbles burst, with the first pop leaving Dee Dee's face covered in gum and the second one having her whole head covered in popped gum.
- This trope pops up twice (no pun intended) in Totally Spies!. In the episode "Mommies Dearest", Alex pops a small piece of WOOHP brand bubble gum into her mouth as the spies are trapped inside a sauna and blows a monstrous-sized bubble. The bubble explodes, freeing the girls from the sauna but leaving them stuck for a bit in strands of popped gum.
- The other occurrence happens in "Halloween Is Like So Pagan" where Sam blows three colossal bubbles throughout the episode—each from a small gumball. The huge bubbles result in huge pops with shockwaves and sticky gum temporarily stopping the zombies pursuing the spies.
- Seeing as how this special bubble gum is among their gadgets issued around the start of both episodes, this also serves as an example of Chekhov's Gum.
- The Doug episode "Doug Battles the Rulemeister" has Beebe Bluff blowing up and popping a giant bubble in a Saturday detention.
- Huey blows and pops a giant bubble (from a small piece of gum) in the DuckTales episode "Time Teasers". He then peels the mess off his entire face to hamper the actions of a baseball player he froze in time.
- In the episode "Top Duck", Launchpad's little sister, Loopy McQuack, makes a huge bubble as she's flying. It bursts loudly, the bubble shown ripping apart.
- Another episode, "The Big Flub", centered around a new gum Gyro invented involving helium so that blown bubbles could float the gum-chewer like a baloon.
- In American Dad!, Steve and Stan go on a road trip to find a spare part for a De Lorean that Stan was building. Along the way, Steve teaches Stan how to blow a bubble. Stan finally gets it, but he blows it too large. It pops and covers his eyes, and they almost end up driving over a cliff as a result.
- A Halloween Episode of the 1980s Ruby-Spears cartoon "Marmaduke" (based on the comic strip) has the dog going trick-or-treating. Marmaduke gets a small piece of bubble gum among his treats and blows a giant bubble with it, causing him to to lift off the ground. His flight is cut short by a VERY SHARP weather vane.
- Mr. Bogus:
- Bogus does this twice in the second act of the episode "Museum Madness". The first time, he blows a gum bubble as a means of transportation when the Dirt Dudes show up, before popping it. The second time was when he does this as a tactic to keep the Doberman sidetracked momentarily, giving Bogus a chance to escape.
- In the episode "Lights, Camera, Bogus", Bogus blows bubble gum after emerging from Tommy's camera, before the gum pops all over his face. He later uses this tactic to short circuit the robot dinosaur in order to save Brattus.
- A claymation short used near the end of the episode "Bookstore Bogus" had Bogus find a piece of bubble gum in a cupboard in the attic, so he chews it, then blows a big bubble until it pops, leaving Bogus all covered with bubble gum.
- In the episode "Bogus to the Rescue", Brattus chews bubble gum then blows a bubble as a tactic to ward off Baddus and his meteor goons. The bubble doesn't pop, as it just causes Baddus and his Mooks to rebound up into the sky, but it's when Bogus starts patting the giant bubble after that's over that it does pop, leaving Bogus all covered with gum.
- An episode of the 1980s Ruby-Spears cartoon "Dingbat and the Creeps" had the title characters dealing with an obnoxious kid named Sonny in a department store. After seeing Sonny pop bubble gum, the vampire dog Dingbat blows a bubble big enough (from a single piece of gum) that he and his two companions are trapped in a giant yellow bubble. Sonny bursts the bubble, leaving the three Creeps covered in gum.
- The The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episode "The Old Switcheroo" had Tigger and Roo chew bubble gum while playing in the mud before they both blow big bubbles. The scene then switches to Pooh, who is walking through the forest, before a loud explosion is heard. After that, we then cut back to Tigger and Roo, who are stuck in a web of popped gum.
- Tigger seems to enjoy this trope - he also does it in "Balloonatics", claiming he's found Christopher Robin's balloon (which the animals think is broken). The 'balloon' turns out to be bubble gum, and Tigger blows an immense bubble which pops all over him, Rabbit and Piglet, leaving them covered in a sticky mess.
- Bobby's older sister Kelly does this in an episode of Bobby's World. On a car trip to Aunt Ruth's, Kelly blows up a bubble bigger than her face - which predictably bursts and covers said face. Derek and Bobby react by being grossed out.
- The 1952 Woody Woodpecker cartoon "The Great Who Dood It" starts off with a bubble gum blowing Woody visiting Buzz Buzzard's medicine show. Woody's gum popping interrupts Buzz, prompting the swindler to burst Woody's next big bubble with a cane.
- The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode "Mystery of the Missing Hi-Tops" has Sonic fangirl Sonette keep a chewed piece of bubble gum on her mouth, allegedly chewed by Sonic himself. Sonette uses the bubble gum later against Coconuts by popping it all over him.
- Debbie in The Wild Thornberrys blew bubble gum throughout the series. One notable example of this trope was an episode where the family was out in the desert with little water. Debbie gives Donnie some of her bubble gum to chew so his mouth won't go dry. Donnie blows a gigantic bubble which breaks all over the both of them.
- In the Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episode "Mind Your Cheese and Q's", the rangers pose as gangsters to infiltrate a rat's cheese monopoly racket. Gadget poses as a gangster's moll named Bubbles, which leads her to blow up and burst bubble gum.
- The Simpsons:
- In the episode "Hurricane Neddy" Homer is asked by a psychiatrist to attempt to irritate Ned Flanders, who has been committed to an insane asylum for repressing his anger. During his explanation, Homer blows an increasingly large bubble. As the psychatrist asks, "Homer, do you think you can be that annoying?" the bubble pops all over the doctor's face.
- In "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase", Selma blows up a face-sized bubble gum bubble during the Simpson Family Smile-Time Variety Hour Segment. It gets popped by Smithers' whip of licorice, leaving her face covered in gum.
- An episode of Little Bear called "Balloon Heads" has Little Bear blowing bubble gum and giving gum to Owl and all four Otters. Owl accidentally blows up a giant bubble towards the end, misunderstanding Little Bear's instructions, and it pops all over him, leaving a big mess. The Otters say they can do better and all four blow giant sized bubbles which burst in another mess at the end of the cartoon.
- Donna, a One-Episode Wonder from Kissyfur, introduces herself to Kissyfur and the other boys of the swamp this way. She blows up and pops a gigantic bubble, bigger than herself; this amazes Kissyfur and friends.