Hiccup Hijinks


"I think most hiccup cures were really invented for the amusement of the patient's friends."
Hobbes, Calvin and Hobbes

The hiccups. Everyone gets them, and everyone has a hare-brained cure for them. So you can expect a television show to have an episode or segment where a character gets the hiccups. The other characters will all have their own cure, from the mundane (drink some water) to the mildly unpleasant (drinking pickle juice) to the outright bizarre (pinch your ear lobe and breathe normally). They'll try everything except the one consistently proven successful cure in Real Life of having an orgasm (like the censors will ever let that happen!)—although simply breathing shallowly in a slow, controlled fashion also often helps.

After every remedy, the character will pause dramatically, then emit a "hic". Invariably, someone will finally suggest scaring them out of the sufferer. The next half of the episode will consist of all the other characters finding ways to freak the bejesus out of the character. At the end of the episode the sufferer will usually be cured (and if scare treatment is the suggested cure what finally scares it out of them is usually completely benign), but suddenly another character starts to hiccup. Here We Go Again!

Used in a superhero plot, this is invariably followed by some sort of Power Incontinence, like a super-strong hero hiccupping themselves through a roof, or shapeshifter bouncing between forms every time one slips out. The reason for it is anyone's guess, but most likely Rule of Funny.

Alternatively, if the character is trying to be stealthy, hiccups can have the same effect as a Sneeze of Doom.

This trope has nothing to do with How to Train Your Dragon, although Hiccup certainly has his fair share of hijinks.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Azumanga Daioh: Osaka gets the hiccups. Tomo, Chiyo and Yomi try remedy after remedy, including stuff like drinking water from a cup held with chopsticks in it. Sakaki proposes a number of esoteric cures, including one they don't try because it involved drinking water with boiled persimmons. Finally, she passes them to Chiyo. At which point they begin to do the same things to Chiyo, despite her protests. This also contains the famous "what causes hiccups anyway" part, leading to a display of gratuitous violence by Kagura (although in the anime this is relegated to Tomo since the former hadn't been introduced at this point in the anime yet, which, by the way, was the second episode).
  • In Basilisk Oboro gets hiccups and worries about her upcoming meeting with the ninja clan leader Gennosuke.
  • In Eerie Queerie the main characters gets the hiccups and is told about the legend that if you hiccup a hundred times you die. After getting hiccups every night and having a ghostly voice count them, he eventually gets up to one hundred but is saved by his best friend/eventual boyfriend kissing him. It's revealed that this was all a prank from a ghost.
  • In Honey and Clover both Hagu and Rika get hiccups in an episode.
  • In one anime adaptation episode of Kochikame, officer Kankichi Ryotsu spends the entire episode with hiccups. Every curing technique fails and goes so far as trying to kill Ryotsu with military weapons to scare him.
  • Mayo Chiki!: Kanade's admits hiccups are her major weakness in episode 11.
  • Natsumi gets the hiccups in an episode of Sgt. Frog.
  • In the manga version of Tenchi Muyo!, Sasami develops her first case of the hiccups. Thanks to Mihoshi believing an old wives' tale, everyone believes she'll die if she reaches 100 hiccups. It turns into a heartwarming moment with how they "cure" her Tenchi admits that he loves her, the only time he's admitted that to any of the five!
  • In chapter 134 of Urayasu Tekkin Kazoku, Noriko spent the whole chapter with hiccups even with the hiccup doctor's extreme scare tactics. She got cured when the doctor estimates the enormous surgical cost. Noriko gets it again in chapter 405. According to Jin, you die if you hiccup 100 times nonstop. Her hiccuups stop when she got close to 100. Kotetsu's grandfather gets the hiccups and fears that he'll die. He makes his goodbye when he's at 100, but got electrocuted and thinks he died. He's fine.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animated 
  • Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has Dopey, who starts to hiccup out bubbles after swallowing a bar of soap. To make matters worse, no one comes to help him. Because he is unable to speak, it is unknown what he was feeling, though his facial expressions seem to show anger, fear, and even amusement at his situation.
    • In the deleted soup scene, Dopey gets another case of hiccups after swallowing his spoon. This time, the other dwarfs notice and try to help him out. Happy eventually gives him a Literal Ass Kicking, and not only does the spoon fly out of Dopey's mouth as a result, but so does the aforementioned bar of soap.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The first "Prince Herbert" sequence in Monty Python and the Holy Grail has a guard hiccuping in the background all the way through, until the King angrily tells him to go get a drink of water — at which point his hiccups apparently stop.
  • In Pappa ante portas by German comedian Loriot, this happens to a famous author during a reading from his poems. The protagonist manages to distract him (by asking about his lunch) and solves the problem. When the poet begins to read, the protagonist is struck by hiccup
  • In the climax of Casino Royale (1967), the Big Bad is tricked into swallowing a pill that will make him hiccup 1,000 times and then explode. The explosion destroys the Casino Royale, killing the entire cast.
  • A classic example with Hands Across the Table. To get rid of Regi’s hiccups, Ted tells her that she needs to stand over a glass of water and sip from the other side. It works... until her hiccups come back seconds later.
  • The first gag in The Milky Way features Burleigh the wimpy milkman thoroughly irritating his boss by hiccuping all the way through a company meeting.
  • Dames: Ezra gets a persistent case of the hiccups, which he claims can only be cured by "Dr. Silver's Golden Elixir", an obscure and hard-to-find tonic that happens to be over half alcohol. Hilarity Ensues.

  • In the picture book Baby Bear's Hiccups, a young Funny Animal bear gets the hiccups on his birthday. Cures suggested include holding his breath and the "monkey cure" of patting his head, rubbing his tummy and hopping on one leg. The hiccups eventually go away from having a drink.
  • The entire plot of the picture book Hanna Hippo's Horrible Hiccups, part of the Animal Antics A to Z series.
  • In Plato's Symposium Aristophanes gets an attack of hiccups just as its his turn to speak. He passes in favor of his couch-mate, a physician who gives him three 'cures' for hiccups. The reader must imagine Aristophanes gulping water, sneezing, etc. throughout his friend's speech.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Our Miss Brooks:
    • In "Cure That Habit", Mr. Conklin has a bad case of the hiccups and suffers through two hiccup remedies. One is a revolting and ineffective mixture cooked up by Mrs. Davis. The second is student athlete Stretch Snodgrass' attempt to cure Mr. Conklin's hiccups by spinning him around in a chair.
    • In "Trial by Jury" and "Mr. Conklin's Love Nest", Mr. Boynton suffers psychosomatic cases of the hiccups from either lying or acute embarrassment.
  • Hey Dude!
  • The 70s Sitcom Alice featured the lead character about to go off on a career on stage, but she can't get rid of the hiccups. Turned out they were psychosomatic — she was too nervous about leaving her life behind.
  • There's an episode of ER where Dr. Weaver has the hiccoughs.
  • In an episode of Frasier, no thanks to the spiciness of the beef jerky Martin bought, Frasier hiccups when he's about to say he and Martin are going to pay for Daphne's wedding flowers, which leads her to believe that they're going to pay for the whole wedding. Frasier describes his predicament thus:
    Donny: Hmm, fillet mignon jerky. How much did this set you back?
    Frasier (remorsefully): You have no idea.
    • Frasier also had to deal with a case of the hiccups in an episode of Cheers
  • This plot appeared on the Australian kids' show Swap Shop. This is an odd example, because in this case it dealt with an adult who was part-owner of the titular establishment.
  • The Andy Griffith Show: Barney is up for a periodic sherriff's department health review, which includes a weigh-in. He finds he's just underweight when he suddenly gets a horrible case of the hiccups and can't eat for days. He passes the weigh-in after Andy gives him his dog-tags on a huge iron chain.
  • In an episode of How I Met Your Mother, Marshall's fantasy of sleeping with a hot delivery girl has to involve a prerequisite fantasy of Lily first dying from some incurable hiccup-related illness. Alyson Hannigan hiccuping to death is tragic, yet funny.
  • An episode of Imagination Movers centers around finding Knit Knots a cure for his hiccups (they’re “much too exciting” for him). In the end, all he had to do was to get his mind off them!
  • Bull on Night Court
  • Cody gets a bad case on an episode of Step by Step, and all attempts to cure him (water, scaring, and hypnosis) fail. Eventually, it's revealed that time is the only true remedy.
  • A season one episode of Saturday Night Live had a sketch where a preacher, played by Chevy Chase, had a case of the hiccups while trying to deliver the eulogy at a funeral with the grieving family (even the widow) trying various methods to cure him. Each one more ludicrous than the last.
  • The Man From Uncle. In "The Mad Mad Tea Party Affair" all kinds of bizarre things are happening in UNCLE headquarters, including an Innocent Bystander who accidentally stumbles into the building. Our heroes are playing Good Cop/Bad Cop to see if she's a THRUSH infiltrator, causing her to start hiccuping nervously. Solo fetches a glass of water, only for her to scream as there's a fish swimming in it. This does however cure her hiccups.

    Newspaper Comics 

    Puppet Shows 
  • In an episode of Eureeka's Castle, Magellan has a case of the hiccups, so he goes to Mr. Knack to see if he can trade them for a basketball. Surprisingly, it works, as Mr. Knack now has the hiccups.
  • One animated segment from Sesame Street involves an opera singer getting the hiccups during a big performance. So naturally, she used it as part of the performance.

    Video Games 
  • The Yoake Mae Yori Ruri Iro Na spinoff Moonlight Cradle has one extra scene in which Mia gets the hiccups. Sayaka, Tatsuya, Mai, and Feena all attempt to cure her, but without success. Jin cures her by causing Mia and Feena to faint by showing them a bug, and Mai gets the hiccups...
  • In Planescape: Torment, The Nameless one can be afflicted with a magical curse of ETERNAL HICCUPS. However, it is possible to reverse the spell by threatening the one responsible with a MUCH nastier curse.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner did it in "Halloween Fairstival", where The Cheat got hiccups on Halloween night and he, Strong Bad, and Strong Mad spent the cartoon trying to cure them. He only stops after being bribed into doing so.

  • Penny Arcade: Gabe's cure for Tycho's hiccups was to cut off his right hand, leading to High-Pressure Blood spurting out as Tycho screams "AAAAHhicAAAAAH..."
  • In Dumbing of Age, Joyce is so surprised that Dorothy is an atheist that she gives herself hiccups. When Dorothy tries to talk to Walky about this, he is so lovestruck with her that he can't speak. With Joyce hiccuping in the background, Dorothy says "I've really got to get out of Indiana. It's full of — oh God, I can't say it." Helpfully, the comic is titled Hicks.

    Western Animation 
  • Rugrats had an episode dealing with the fearless Tommy having the hiccups, and Angelica doing her best to scare them out of him. The comic book also had a story like this, but with fraidy-cat Chuckie as the patient, and in a piece of irony, the gang's attempts to scare him only made him laugh. Luckily for Angelica, she was more successful scaring the hiccups out of him than Tommy.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends did this in the episode "Hiccy Burp". They then subverted it when Mac and Bloo decided to incorporate Bloo's case of hiccups into their act for an upcoming talent show, only for them to go away on the night of the show, with the result that Mac and Bloo desperately tried to get them back.
  • The Johnny Bravo episode "As I Lay Hiccuping". Johnny gets the hiccups after eating his cereal too fast, which his mama warned him not to. He then goes to the doctor's office, and the doctor he sees is a hot lady. Johnny spends the entire episode losing the hiccups and getting them back. Once he does get them back, he sees the doctor, only for her to actually be a male doctor wearing a costume, which scared Johnny pretty good.
  • In The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episode "To Catch a Hiccup", Piglet gets the hiccups and Pooh misunderstands, thinking he offended Piglet. Rabbit, Tigger, and Owl try different ways to cure Piglet while Pooh tries to get honey for Piglet as an apology gift. When Piglet finally gets cured and clears things up with Pooh, Rabbit, Tigger, and Owl get the hiccups.
  • Phineas and Ferb, for some reason, ignored all the usual methods and spent the episode "One Good Scare Ought to Do It!" setting up a haunted house so they could cure Isabella of her hiccups, but to no avail. She eventually does becomes scared enough to lose her hiccups when Phineas's life is put in danger.
  • Eddy's flashback in the Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy episode "The Good Ol' Ed" was of Edd getting a bad case of the hiccups. Edd tries drinking water, but keeps hiccuping so hard he only ends up spilling it, and at one point Ed tries to scare Edd's hiccups away by shouting "I am a zombie, and I will malice you with a shoehorn!" into Edd's mouth. However, Eddy is the only one who remembers this incident
  • In The Simpsons, Kent Brockman presents a man who has had the hiccups for 45 years.
    Man: Kill me. Kill me. Kill me...
    • This is Truth in Television. There really was a man who had hiccups for 63 years.
    • Based on what it says above about the orgasm cure, this brings another trope to mind...
      • At some point of that episode, Bart was supposed to watch over Maggie and his negligence got her driving a car. Witnessing a baby driving scared the man, curing his hiccups.
  • There was a Camp Lazlo short between commercials in which Clam got the hiccups, and Lumpus suggested Lazlo scare him. Lazlo spent the next 5 minutes feeding him to bears and pushing him off cliffs, scaring nobody but Raj. By the end, Raj is so horrified at what Lazlo is doing to Clam that Raj gets the hiccups.
  • The Random! Cartoons short "Ivan The Unbearable" involved a clumsy viking getting hiccups... from a box of cursed cookies. Which meant every time he hiccuped, something broke or something fell out of nowhere and hit somebody nearby.
  • In one episode of Shaun the Sheep, Shirley (the big one) suffers from hiccups. Shaun and Bitzer try the usual remedies, but Shirley is cured when the Farmer bends over in the bathroom while naked and turned away from the window. Which also causes hiccups to the rest of the flock.
  • The Jimmy Two-Shoes episode "There's Always a Hiccup" took it to its logical extreme. Heloise had hiccups for so long she hadn't slept for days. She was eventually cured thanks to an Accidental Kiss with Beezy... at which point he got the hiccups.
  • A Tom and Jerry short called "Hic-cup Pup" in which Spike the bulldog's adorable little son keeps getting the hiccups when Tom disturbs his nap while chasing Jerry. Spike is not pleased. It gets even more amusing when Spike's attempts to cure his son result in him hiccuping as well.
  • A Kipper The Dog episode called "Hiccups" in which Kipper gets the hiccups and tries all kinds of remedies from his friends to cure it.
  • In the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode "Donald's Hiccups" Donald Duck and the gang get the hiccups which they try to cure.
  • In the Maryoku Yummy episode "Hiccles," hiccups are an actual disease with no known cure. As yummy after yummy is quarantined, Dr. Zuno has each one try something different in her search for a cure, from holding their breath to jumping while waving their arms. In the end, the cure is a certain food that Ooka, the only one unaffected, was snacking on.
  • Done with Skeebo in "Hiccup Helpers" on the Playhouse Disney stop-motion animated JoJo's Circus.
  • Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps has the titular character in "Angelina's Hiccups".
  • Arthur: DW gets hiccups and worries that she'll never get rid of them; an Imagine Spot shows her about to win the world record for longest time with hiccups (69 years) and then finally stopping a few seconds short. In the end Arthur accidentally scares her hiccups away.
  • One Goodfeathers story in Animaniacs started with Squitt getting hiccups. Bobby and Pesto alternated between the usual goofy cure attempts and talking about Noodle Incidents where other folks died horrific deaths from bad cases of hiccups. Eventually, the Godpigeon showed up, and was able to "stupefy" (ie, scare) them out of Squitt.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Invoked in "Griffon the Brush-Off" where Rainbow Dash startles Spike with a thundercloud. This causes Spike to hiccup fire and teleport dozens of the scrolls he dropped to Celestia as he's trying to pick them up.
  • Happened in one episode of Deputy Dawg.
  • Occurred in two separate episodes of Animaniacs. Once with Pesto from an episode of Goodfeathers where he was worried that the hiccups could damage his health; (The Godpigeon managed to scare them away) and again with Wakko where his siblings flew him across the world to find a cure.
  • The Zig & Sharko episode, "Boo... Who".
  • In "Caillou's Hiccups," Caillou gets the hiccups. At first, Caillou's parents tell him to be patient and they'll go away on their own, as patience is the theme of the episode in which this story is featured. But when Caillou keeps hiccuping, his parents start up with the various "cures," only for them to go away on their own, just as his parents first suggested. Then Daddy gets them.
  • The New Woody Woodpecker Show: Woody Woodpecker spent most of an episode trying to cure Wally. Once his efforts paid off, a News crew showed up to interview Wally about the hiccups. Wally lost the money the crew would pay him.
    • In the classic cartoon, Woody once met a villain named "Wild Bill Hiccup", who couldn't say (or even hear) "hiccup" without hiccuping for real.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: In "Cosmo Rules", Jorgen had a case of Trick-ups (his magic did a parlor trick every time he hiccuped) and had to let Cosmo enforce Da Rules.
  • The Oggy and the Cockroaches episode "The Hiccup", Oggy suffers through a bought of them throughout the episode, with the Cockroaches using them to their full advantage to mess with Oggy even further. He's cured by the next day, only to suffer from a continuous sneezing fit.
  • Angry Birds Toons once had the Blues start hiccuping. The other birds' attempts to scare them away fail, until Matilda successfully frightens them with the prospect of a bath. Then the eggs start hiccuping somehow...
  • In the Aaahh!!! Real Monsters episode "Krumm Gets the Dreaded Nolox", Krumm gets a nasty case of hiccups after getting doused with air-freshening spray. The eponymous Dreaded Nolox causes Krumm to cough up all manner of items he's eaten, and can only be cured by a powerful scare; fortunately, it was established earlier in the episode that Krumm is afraid of heights...Unfortunately, after he was cured, he started sneezing a green mist.
  • Used many times in Cbeebies programmes:
    • These are the subject of "Hiccups and Night Fun" from Kate & Mim-Mim. In Mimiloo, Boomer has a bad case of the hiccups.
    • In the Charlie and Lola episode 'I can't stop hiccupping', Lola tries to get rid of her hiccups before she has to sing in the school concert.