- 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 wavy 'scent lines'). It may even stink, like Limburger.
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Anime & Manga
- 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.
- When Superboy meets Super-Mouse, the latter is seen juggling with this kind of cheese.
- Swiss cheese features frequently in Astérix in Switzerland, for obvious reasons.
- Corsican Cheese manifests extreme Number Four characteristics and is used to sink a ship in Asterix in Corsica.
- Mortadelo y Filemón 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 Filemón, who unknowingly eats it...
- In Violine, Klaas, Violine's pet mouse, thinks of this kind of cheese when first meeting her.
- This is the type of cheese that shows up most often in 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").
- Pearls Before Swine creator Stephan Pastis has said that the best way to draw cheese is to draw a box-like object, put a bunch of holes in it, and have someone refer to it as "cheese". (That last part is probably to keep readers from assuming that the object in question is a dishwashing sponge.)
- In The Muppet Show, 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? Partial check◊. (He refers to "her" as a Gorgonzola.)
- An episode of Family Matters had Urkel create a Mortal Kombat 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 Cartoon Cheese was repeatedly interrupted by an earthquake, a shark's fin, a tyannosaurus and an Alien Abduction (of the cheese).
- Green Bay Packers fans wear cheeseheads which are wedge-shaped, yellow like Cheddar, and holey like Swiss.
- The Stinky Cheese Wedge in Banjo-Tooie is exactly what it sounds like: A giant piece of cheese, yellow and full of holes. It serves as part of the level.
- One Mario Kart racetrack is composed of nothing but this sort of cheese. Even the ground!
- Cheese Dreams features as its protagonist a sentient moon made of this stuff. More of it (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 Creatures games is a white wedge-shaped cheese, as is common for real-world cheeses.
- The first puzzle in Sam & Max Save The World 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.
- James Pond 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 The Addams Family, 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 Perfect Dark for the N64 had small chunks of this type of cheese hidden in each level as an Easter Egg.
- And the Xbox 360 DLC version too.
- In at least one entry of the The Incredible Machine 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 Sid And Als Incredible Toons.
- In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, 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.
- Conker's Bad Fur Day had apparently sentient Cartoon Cheese.
- One of the standard icons for World of Warcraft 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? How did Swiss cheese end up in Azeroth?
- The MacGuffin in every stage of Transformice
- The old IBM game, Alley Cat, featured levels where the eponymous feline tried to catch mice peeking out of the holes of a giant wedge of Cartoon Cheese.
- 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 The Journeyman Project 2: Buried In Time. There's a commercial for a spray cheese product called "Cheese Girl", whose Conspicuous CG 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 Gold Mice in Luigi's Mansion.
- In Dungeons of Dredmor, 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 Cartoon Cheese-style wedges, even fantastical ones with crystals, seaweed, bits of metal or other weird stuff embedded in them.
- 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 a human clavicle bone. The thing turns out to not even be cheese, but shades of the trope are quite present.
- Karate Bears love cartoony looking cheese
- Lars from Girl Genius 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 "The Cheese" from It's Walky! 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.
- The 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, 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.
- Quite possibly the default in Tom and Jerry.
- Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 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 Weaksauce Weakness 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).
- Bugs Bunny cartoon 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 wedge of cheese in his mouth.
- Partially averted in the Looney Tunes 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 Spongebob Squarepants, 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:
- Flip the Frog 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.
- A Ham in a Role: 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 Romeo and Juliet.
- Really Scent: a female cat locks herself in a Limburger factory so she can match Pepe Le Pew's scent.
- Tom and Jerry cartoon Tall in the Trap
- Hoppity Hooper episode "Colonel Clabber" has a Limburger Cheese Statue.
- Swiss Cheese examples:
- Vlad Masters from Danny Phantom is a Cheesehead and wore the cheesehead hat.
- Pinky and the Brain had a short in 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 The Fairly Oddparents. 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 Wallace & Gromit short, A Grand Day Out.
- "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 Trademark Favorite Cheese being established as Wensleydale (a white, crumbly cheese).
- The Garfield Show: 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 Rocko's Modern Life initially designed "The Cheese" character as a highly stylized version of this before Heffer redesigned him in "Wacky Delly".
- Shows up on Jimmy Two-Shoes, during the Zombie Apocalypse episode.
- Justified in the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "Stuck in Ed". Rolf was drilling holes in a cheese wheel.
- Phineas and Ferb 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.
- The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: Jimmy Neutron once built the Cheese-Ray (which kept being brought up through the series) which turned items into yellow hole-filled cheese.
- On Family Guy, 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 Ratz, the cheese is explicitly Gouda, but it's shown holier than usual.
- 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.