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Friendly Tickle Torture
Sarah: So relinquish control of the remote into our baby sister's hands for tonight or else you will feel the wrath of my great and terrible punishment!
Erika: Great and terrible —
Sarah: TOO LATE! It's time for my super-ultra-mega... TICKLE ATTACK!
Erika: (begins laughing uncontrollably) STOP! STOP! I GIVE!
Sarah: I dunno. I seem to have you in my grasp. You cannot free yourself from my power, can you?
Erika: (still laughing) N-NO!
Sarah: Because you are helpless, yes? You are as helpless as the worm that fights the eagle?
Erika: (still laughing) YES! I'LL DO...
Erika's New Perfume

Tickle Torture, but just for fun without any villainy or malice.

In real life, this is far more common than the villainous counterpart. (Though the tickler should note that what he thinks is friendly may not be received so.) In fiction, not so much.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In one episode of Bleach Orihime has invited Rangiku Matsumoto over as a guest, as she's bathing Orihime tells her about what had recently happened to her and she begins to cry, Rangiku then gets out of the tub and starts tickling her in an attempt to cheer her up.
  • Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo invokes this with startling and unexpected frequency between the various characters in the show, which comes as no surprise given the anime's sense of humor. Often zigzags into this trope's more "malicious" counterpart.
  • Pico ends up on the receiving end of this in the second and third episodes of the Boku No Pico series.
  • Digimon:
  • In the Dragon Ball Z movie, "Tree of Might", Goku and Gohan are taking a bath together and as they hold a contest to see who can hold their breath the longest, Goku is seen tickling Gohan underwater. Chi-Chi then starts tickling him as a well, but by accident when she encounters Gohan's new pet Dragon, Icarus
  • In Fairy Tail, Natsu does this to Erza after rescuing her from Jellal the first time.
  • Early in the anime of Hitohira, Chitose has Kai restrain Mugi while she tickles her. She does this to help her improve her voice
    • She gets her again towards the end of the anime series.
  • In the series Kure-nai, before going off to rescue Murasaki from the Kuhoin, Shinkurō offers to shake hands with Tamaki and Yamie as saying goodbye. Instead, Tamaki and Yamie proceed to tickling him.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Negi gets an accidental tickling when Ayaka asks him to lotion her back. when Negi panics and forgets, Ayaka demonstrates on Negi himself by lotioning his back, leading to you-know-where. Asuna however does NOT like this...
    • The class pulls out a bunch of robot hands to do this to Chao during their farewell party in the Festival Arc. They wanted to see tears from her, and if they couldn't get them from emotion, laughter would do just fine.
  • In Problem Children are Coming from Another World, aren't they?, Kurousagi is subjected to this by an invisible Izayoi in episode 5. Once she finds out it's him, she smacks him a couple of times with a Paper Fan of Doom.
  • In Noukome, Chocolat playfully catches Kanade off guard with this.
  • Pokémon is filled with scenes of this nature, abit done in a literal Licked by the Dog trope.
    • This is one of three moves used by James's Mime Jr, to which he often uses as a diversionary tactic. Though considering Mime Jr still belongs to Team Rocket, this trope often flip-flops with the more malicious trope...
    • When May first meets her Bulbasaur, it responds by tickling her cheek.
    • At the start of one episode of Best Wishes, a simple Pet the Dog moment between Ash and Pikachu turns into this trope.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • In one of the earlier episodes of Fresh Pretty Cure!, the heroines get tickled by magical erasers thanks to a playful trick by Chiffon.
    • In episode 8 of HeartCatch Pretty Cure!, the Fashion Club girls tickle Erika when she complains about her sister Momoka during a photoshoot. Later, in episode 14, Victim of the Week Nanami tickles Tsubomi to cheer her up for a misunderstanding.
  • While not exactly friendly, and not meant to be torturous, Sonic the Hedgheog gets tickled by Chris's Grandpa on their first encounter when the latter believes he is some sort of machine.
    • During the season finale of season 2, after Rouge and Knuckles get into a fight, upon seeing Sonic has returned Knuckles cracks a joke on Rouge's ruffled appearance, leading Rouge to do you know what... offscreen.
  • In Strawberry Marshmallow, Nobue and Miu are pretending that Miu's dead. One of Nobue's "proofs" is that Miu, despite "having been" very ticklish, doesn't react to the most severe tickling. Except that she does, of course.
  • An annoyed (but happy) Guile does this to Chun Li in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie after she fakes having died from her wounds against Vega when he returned to the hospital to tell her about Bison's defeat.
  • Ryo-ohki unintentionally does this to Sasami after being scared into hiding by Mirei in Tenchi Universe.
  • From Tokyo Mew Mew, Ichigo does this to Lettuce after Lettuce causes problems unintentionally with her new-found powers.
  • When Yotsuba&! is feeling down about the loss of her teddy bear's ability to say "Mweeeeh", she doesn't respond to Yanda when he hits her in the back of the head with a paper airplane, turns her head when he tries to see her face, merely falls over when given a gentle shove, and does nothing when he pinches her cheek. She struggles to keep from laughing when he has her look at him with tissues stuck in his nostrils, but he finally makes her laugh by tickling her until she yells at him to knock it off.

    Comic Books 
  • In the X-Men comics, Nightcrawler has done this to, on various occasions, Rogue, Phoenix (Rachel), and Meggan (of Excalibur). Between his teleporting ability and his prehensile tail, he's apparently quite good at it.
    • Hell, he's done it so much the Fandom has decided he has a tickle fetish.
      • The fact that he's done it to who he's done it to and suffered little punishment probably means something, too.

    Fan Works 

    Film 
  • Alice from Alice in Wonderland is tickled by a playfully stork while playing Croquet with the Queen of Hearts.
  • Towards the second half of Bambi II there is a quick father and son bonding moment between Bambi and his dad, The Great Prince, when the latter blows a raspberry on Bambi's belly while they are rough-housing
  • In the short TV film The Birthday Dragon, The dragon brings many zoo animals to his friend Emily's house as a birthday present, with the Elephant briefly tickling Emily on her side with its trunk. Later on, Emily tickles the Elephant's foot to help the Dragon get it back into its cage.
  • Subverted in Bride of Chucky when Tiffany tickles Chucky, only to then lock him up in a cradle after Chucky started talking down to her. However seeing as this IS Tiffany...
  • The Brothers Karamazov has a scene where a tied up peasant girl has her bare feet tickled with feathers by Fyodor while a band plays a festive tune in the background.
  • In Cats & Dogs, there is a brief mother and son bonding moment between Mrs. Brody and Scott which features this.
  • In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Flint encounters a group of living Marshmallows, which proceed to swarm and tickle him after he realizes how much the living food animals need the FLDSMDFR in order to survive.
  • About 1/2 way into Coraline, when Coraline enters the Garden made by her Other Mother. She gets playfully "attacked" by a bunch of living Snapdragons that get beheaded shortly after by Other Father.
  • In The Jungle Book, Mowgli starts tickling Baloo after the both have a play-fight in their first encounter with one another.
    • Averted in The Jungle Book II in the deleted song, "I've got you beat". When Mowgli tries to explain to Shanti about how a beat works when singing and dancing, he briefly tickles Ranjan to demonstrate.
  • The Lion King 1 ˝ has a quick scene with Timon tickling Simba on his belly right before them and Pumbaa are about to go to sleep.
  • In The Little Mermaid, Ariel briefly tickles Flounder during her "Part of that World" Song.
    • Implied during the infamous "Under the Sea" song as well, when Ariel briefly tickles a Seahorse, only for it and some of its friends to return the favor.
  • Pinocchio gets tickled briefly by a fish that swims into his shirt.
  • Near the beginning of Disney's The Rescuers Down Under, After Cody frees Majestic Eagle Marahute from a trap set by Mcleach, The eagle flies him around for a ride across the sky. During the event, Marahute catches Cody in her talons and tickles his tummy while in her grasp.
  • In RoboCop 2 Alex Murphy did this to his wife on her bare feet while painting her nails. She quite enjoyed it.
  • In the middle of Disney's The Sword in the Stone, When Merlin and Arthur/Wart transform into Squirrels as part of a lesson, they are encountered by two squirrels who instantly fall in love with them. The one that flirts with Merlin playfully tickles him.
  • In Toy Story 2, Jessie (and eventually Bullseye) does this to Woody after he accidentally reveals he's ticklish while they're play-acting. Andy's Toys misinterpret this as ''actual'' torture.
  • Briefly seen in Ultraman Saga when one of the members of Team U playfully catches a child off-guard while telling everyone the story of Ultraman Dyna.
  • Lampshaped in Up, while Kevin is being introduced, she is seen snuggling and coddling Russell. One of the things she does with him is this trope.
  • Heavily implied in WALL•E when the titular character's pet roach crawls into his armpit at the start of the movie. Later reinforced when it does the same thing to EVE.

    Music 
  • At the end of the song Knife Fight by Lemon Demon, the combatants come to the realization that knives are dangerous and they don't want to get hurt, so they have a Tickle Fight instead.
  • "Tickle Time", a song on the Sandra Boynton album "Rhinoceros Tap", is basically a song about this.
    If you're feeling blue, and you don't know what to do
    There is nothing like a Tickle Time to make you feel like new.
    Oh there's nothing like a Tickle time to make you feel like new
    So let's all get together, and we'll goochie-goochie-goo.

    Literature 
  • Happens repeatedly in the CHERUB Series to various characters, by various characters. James and Kerry seem to particularly enjoy it.
  • A scene in Darth Vader and Son, a non-canon Star Wars picture book, depicts Darth Vader doing this to little Luke Skywalker by using the Force.
  • Happens in most of Jacqueline Wilson's novels.
  • Mr. Men: Doing this to people is the whole of Mr. Tickle's character.
  • Amelia Bedelia and her parents engage in this in Amelia Bedelia Road Trip!, one of the Young Amelia Bedelia books.

    Live Action Television 
  • This happens between Merton and Tommy in an episode of Big Wolf on Campus.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In "Gone" Buffy is turned invisible and uses it as an excuse to engage in irresponsible behaviour. This includes tickling Spike and gnawing on his earlobe while he's talking to Xander who has turned up looking for Buffy. As Xander has already walked in on Spike doing 'naked pushups' in bed, this odd behaviour as Spike twitches and giggles for no apparent reason convinces him that Spike needs to get a girlfriend pronto.
  • Happens from time-to-time in Elmos World, which comes as no surprise as this segment IS all about Elmo. This was taken up to Fetish Fuel proportions in the episode about Feet.
  • One song on Lamb Chop's Play-Along is about how, while you can't tickle yourself (which is true), it is very possible for others to tickle you, as is demonstrated.
  • This is how the Ruth Buzzi episode of The Muppet Show ends, with a few of the Muppets tickling her.
  • In one episode of Road To Avonlea, Felicity makes a scathing remark about Sara's father to her face, instigating a fight between them. The boys tickle them to break it up.
  • In an episode of Spin City, James is trying to demonstrate (to a bullied Paul) a fighting move called The Crane, in which he raises his arms above his head. James confidently states there is no defensive move against The Crane. Janelle simply walks up to him and tickles him under his arms. James collapses.
  • Briefly used in The Suite Life on Deck after Zack found the crown of Zaria and it started vibrating. Zack used its vibrating to try to get Cody out of his bad mood, only for Cody to swat it away
  • In Ultraman Mebius, George, Marina, and Teppei seize and tickle Mirai for "abandoning" GUYS in a fight against a berserk Marquette Zetton, Unaware that Mirai ''IS'' Ultraman Mebius, and was fighting the battle for them the whole time.
  • Quite a bit in Zoboomafoo, particularly used on Zoboo himself.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In one comic of Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin's mom tickles Calvin in hopes of tiring him out into falling asleep, the plan backfires and only hypes him up while she falls asleep.
    • When Calvin is stuck hanging from a tree, Hobbes removes his shoe and tickles his foot. Unfortunately for Hobbes, this ends up making Calvin fall on him.
  • An October 2010 episode of 9 Chickweed Lane has Seth doing friendly tickle torture on Edda.

    Video Games 
  • At one point in Final Fantasy VIII, Laguna Loire threatens his True Companions Kiros and Ward with "the Cuchi-Cuchi treatment" (for seeming prepared to give up when the three of them are left lost and severely injured on a mission gone wrong). The threat reappears as an alternate line during Laguna's EX Burst attack in Dissidia: Final Fantasy 012 duodecim.
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening Inigo does this to Lucina during one of their support conversations in an attempt to get her to smile. All it does is piss her off.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, after Tron is revealed to be alive following his takeover of Ansem's computer, Sora and his friends tickle him using the keystrokes of the computer out of mischief.
  • Subverted in Mortal Kombat Deception, if you punch one particular girl in the Chaosrealm during Konquest Mode.
  • Pokémon X and Y introduces the feature known as "Pokémon-Amie", a game mode where you can interact with your Pokémon by feeding it and petting it. One of the features is this if you pet some of them in a certain way.
  • Psychonauts allows you to tickle just about any NPC in the game via the Crow Feather. Unlike most of the items and powers, which tend to elicit annoyed or even angry reactions, most of them only get slightly bugged by the tickling (and a few even sort of like it).
  • All My Sims characters seem to enjoy this; it's an action that may be performed if you click "Be Nice", and as such, NPC Sims will only do it to each other if they consider each other friends.
    • Additionally, in MySims Kingdom, it's a possible option in some Socialization attempts. It seems to help get things back on track sometimes if you take the wrong path along the Socialization tree.
    • MySims Agents doesn't have Be Nice, but on the "The Prominence" mission, if you send Beebee, she'll send a text asking you if she should let Darryl saw her in half for his show. If you say yes, you get a text back saying that the saw tickles her.
    • This can be done in various other Sims games too, including The Sims and The Sims 2. For some reason, though, only toddlers (not older children) can be tickled in Sims 3.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Pretty common in Internet "baby videos." Since these are all about the cuteness of the babies, it is very likely that when you are watching, you'll see the hand of the camera(wo)man giving this to the baby (or babies) onscreen in order to elicit laughter from the little tyke(s).
  • The above quote from Erika's New Perfume has the eponymous character receiving this from her now older sister, Sarah, who has quite a touch when it comes to tickling. It's mentioned she's good enough to make her victim wet themselves, so she normally has to hold back, but since Erika is already incontinent and in diapers, she doesn't have to worry about that.
  • On That Guy with the Glasses, Film Brain is subjected to this by JesuOtaku and Nella in one of the scenes in the video Rejected "Spooning With Spoony" Ideas.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad! has one moment in episode 3 when Francine helps Stan relax by "making him happy with her mouth..." (She blows a raspberry on his belly.)
  • An episode of Arthur focused on Sue Ellen and her feeling lonely at being an only child, she meets up with the Frensky sisters, practicing cheering. Catherine gets her to put her arms higher over her head, and then...
  • Baby Looney Tunes has a quick tickle between Lola and Bugs.
  • In one episode of C Bear And Jamal, C-bear tickles Jamal bare feet with feather during his treining.
  • In an episode of Donkey Kong Country, Diddy Kong turns invisible in order to hide from Cranky Kong. When Donkey Kong tries to look for Diddy, Diddy Kong playfully tickles him.
  • Justified in Dragons: Defenders of Berk when Gobber uses this on Fishleg's pet dragon, Meatlug to produce Lava known as "Gronkle Iron".
  • Occurs a number of times throughout Ed, Edd n Eddy.:
    • In one episode, Ed drinks an experimental and highly volatile soda Double D created. Double D tells him to stay completely still so he doesn't set off the mixture, but Eddy forces him to start moving around by tickling his belly with a feather.
    • In another episode, Eddy tries to get revenge on Kevin for ruining one of his scams, and one scheme he has is hitting him over the head with Ed's rotting, moldy lunchbag. Eddy tells Double D to hit him since he's the only one of the three that wouldn't look suspicious approaching Kevin. When he refuses, Eddy and Ed tickle him until he's right behind Kevin.
    • One episode has Ed and Double D hanging from a set of monkey bars, which Eddy is too short to reach up and grab like they did. When he protests to their assistance and poking fun at his height, they tickle him under his arms until he falls off.
    • In the episode where Eddy encourages all the kids in the culdesac to break and disregard the rules, there's a scene when Ed tickles Kevin.
    • Averted, yet still lampshaded in the Big Picture Show when Ed tries to stop Edd and Eddy's fighting in the swamp.
      Ed: Stop! I demand you tickle each other right now!
      Edd and Eddy: Stay out of it, Ed!
  • 1 of every family members of the main cast in Family Guy has been tickled at least once:
    • Lois does this to Stewie in two episodes, once after Stewie escapes from Peter after shrinking down and entering him while Peter and Lois have sex.
    • Lois does this to Stewie later in the series during a cutaway for nearly one minute straight... then throws up on him.
    • In a different episode, Peter tickles Lois and she retaliates by hitting him in the face with a frying pan and breaking his nose.
    • Peter get tickled by the wife of a family that's moved into his house when it's threatened to be taken away by the back. She gets him again at the episode's ending as well.
    • Chris get tickled by Herbert during the first Star Wars Special.
    • In an episode where Meg and Quagmire are dating, Quagmire gets Meg by surprise while they're watching TV. Then she farts.
    • Averted for Brian during a deleted scene. Peter tries to cheer him up, but Brian only sarcastically remarks that it's sexual harassment.
  • One Garfield and Friends Quickie (and therefore probably a U.S. Acres/Orson's Farm strip) has Orson and Bo trying to tickle Roy and Lanolin in an attempt to cheer them up. No reaction, aside from deadpan snarking when they leave.
  • In Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats, Heathcliff does this to a Saint Bernard at a ski resort.
  • In JoJo's Circus, a stop-motion Playhouse Disney (and later Disney Junior) series, the family name of the main character is "Tickle." This came up once in the form of a song featuring JoJo's lion companion, Goliath called "Tickle Goodnight." "Little Goliath's all comfy in bed / Let's tickle his nose and the top of his head / We'll tickle his chin and tickle his cheeks / I could keep tickling and tickling for weeks."
  • In The Land Before Time VII, during the "Good Inside" song, Ducky briefly tickles Petrie.
  • Is invoked with startling frequency between the various characters on Little Bear, with the titular character almost always involved as either the tickler or ticklee. All the characters shown in the opening end up getting tickled at least once.
  • In the Littlest Pet Shop (2012) episode "Heart of Parkness," Sunil has a bunch of flashbacks of all the wonderful times he has had with his friends, and one of them shows him playfully tickling Penny Ling.
    • In the short music video The Ladies of LPS when Pepper is singing about how she enjoys making her friends laugh, she briefly tickles Minka's belly.
  • The cartoon Maisy has a mini-episode titled "Feather", at the end of which Maisy and her friends take turns getting tickled with said feather.
  • The end of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "A Bird in the Hoof" has Rainbow Dash convince Philomena to tickle the guard-pegasus' noses to get them to laugh.
  • The episode "Butter's First Check-Up" of PB&J Otter has various characters getting tickled throughout as part of a game.
  • Occurs a few times throughout The Penguins of Madagascar:
    • Private is tickled by a young and pretty Veterinarian (that be becomes smitten to) after botching a dangerous retrieval mission with the other Penguins.
      • Strongly Subverted in a later episode when Savio tickles Private in order to delay him and the Penguins from him eating a baby Fossa.
    • Skipper is ambushed in a tickle fight by his Arch-Enemy, Hans. This is slightly justified however.
  • At the conclusion of the Porky Pig cartoon "Injun Trouble," Sloppy Moe overcomes Injun Joe through his weakness—being ticklish. Injun Joe is incapacitated in a tree trunk as Sloppy Moe continues tickling him. As the cartoon irises out, Joe stops it with "Wait! Wait!! (iris stops; to Sloppy Moe) Do-um some more!"
    • Since the cartoon "Wagon Heels", is a remake of this, Sloppy Moe again tickles Injun Joe, this time into falling off a cliff, making the U.S. from Joe's impact. The cartoon also ends with Sloppy Moe tickling Porky instead.
  • At the start of one episode of Sheepinthe Big City, a segment known as "Touched by a Ninja" involves said Ninja touching a guy continuously until it transforms into this trope.
  • One episode of The Simpsons has Homer do this to Bart in order to get him to dance at a stadium event and cause him to pee himself.
  • One episode of Steven Universe has Steven and Connie stumble across a secret lair that belonged to Steven's Mom, courtesy of Lion. When figuring out how to use her weapons (which is touch-activated via Steven,) Connie starts tickling him.
  • In an episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), Mikey gets tickled by Metalhead's scanning lasers.
  • In an episode of Teen Titans, Shortly after Starfire reunites with Galfore, Her adopted father, they exchange rather menacing greetings in their native tongue. Then he decides to give her a more friendly greeting by tickling her. Starfire enjoys this.
  • On a special VeggieTales DVD entitled "Bob Lends a Helping Hand", there is a featurette of scenes not featured in the special. One of them includes a scene where Larry tickles Bob with a pair of robotic arms.

    Real Life 
  • Most people have either done this to someone else, had it done to them, or seen it done to someone else.

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