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Instant Ice, Just Add Cold

"Brrrr! It's cold! I better keep moving or I else I'll freeze to square!"
Stinkoman, Stinkoman 20X6

You ever notice how, in some fiction, especially cartoons, things or people that are subject to extreme cold not only get frozen, but get frozen into a huge block of ice? Even though there's no water around to freeze? That's this trope. Think of all the times you've seen a character who was shut inside a freezer sliding out in an ice block the exact shape and size of the freezer itself. Where the hell does the ice come from?

This may also apply to characters who have fallen into cold water and come out in a block of ice; if the water isn't cold enough to have frozen already, then, once again, where does the ice come from? Note also that the block of ice in question has the strange tendency to come out in the shape of a perfect cuboid.

Related to Harmless Freezing, Elemental Baggage. See also Human Popsicle. Sometimes occurs in conjunction with Space Is Cold.

(Sidenote: Just so we're clear on the distinction, Elemental Baggage is when magic spells and the like have the inexplicable ability to create the element in question [such as ice] from thin air; this trope is when ice appears simply because something is cold. Therefore, only cold/freezing spells that aren't specifically making ice fall under this trope.)

When the environment suddenly gets snow and ice just because it's cold, then the trope is Snow Means Cold.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Iceman of the X-Men has the power to make things cold and to control his temperature and that of things around him. What you see is a man who can create ice, huge quantities, out of nothing. (Officially, he's supposed to be creating ice out of moisture in the air, but considering the amount of ice he can create, the air must be at 500% humidity everywhere.)
    • A very curious example of this from the X-Men's earliest days: In Uncanny X-Men # 2, Iceman freezes a construction worker's glove. This somehow causes the glove to turn into ice cubes.

    Films — Animation 
  • Justified in The Incredibles: Frozone uses whatever moisture is in the air, as well as his own body moisture, to make ice. Therefore, his powers are much weaker when most of the moisture in the air has already evaporated.
    Lucius: I can't lay down a layer thick enough! It's evaporating too fast!
    Bob: What's that supposed to mean?
    Lucius: It's hot! And I'm dehydrated, Bob!
    Bob: You can't be out of ice! Don't you just use the moisture in the air?
    Lucius: There IS no moisture in this air!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • As per his comic book self, Iceman in the X-Men movies manages to conjure up his ice implements from nothing, ranging from small roses to an entire wall to block up a corridor.

    Music 
  • In the music video for "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits, one of the movers gets frozen alive from standing next to an open refrigerator for too long.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In The Muppet Christmas Carol, Rizzo ends up encased in ice after falling into a bucket of water that had a thin crust of ice on top of it.

    Video Games 
  • Scribblenauts
    • The Freeze Ray and Magic do this. It apparently cushions the fall of an asteroid.
    • Also, if you put something into a refrigerator or freezer, it is encased in an ice cube when it is removed.
  • This happens to enemies hit by the Blue Knight's magic in Castle Crashers.
  • Happens often in fighting games. Characters like Kula Diamond (The King of Fighters) and Rimururu (Samurai Shodown) can produce large amounts of ice instantly and out of pretty much nowhere.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • The Gorons in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask get this during the unnaturally long winter.
    • In Majora's Mask, Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, this is what happens to your character whenever you are hit by an Ice Keese, or are blown on by a Freezard or a Mini Freezard. Those Keese are covered in nothing but blue, icy fire; and, if they hit you, you're suddenly encased in a huge block of ice.
  • Happens to anyone hit by a Freezy in Super Smash Bros.. or some of the Ice Climbers' attacks.
  • Similar to Dick Dastardly's above depiction, this happens to anyone who falls into icy water in Mario Kart.
  • In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the ice balls thrown by characters with an Ice Flower Power-Up do this.
  • Happens in the Slippy-Slidey Ice World in Stinkoman 20X6 if you stand still too long.
  • Use in Runescape, with the Ancient Magick ice spells.
  • Kirby's various ice-related abilities tend to do this.
  • Ice Man's Ice Slasher ability can do this to enemies in Mega Man Powered Up. When Ice Man himself uses it, enemies are actually frozen into perfect cubes.
  • Mages in World of Warcraft can intentionally invoke this with their Ice Block ability, Hunters can inflict this upon others with their Freezing Trap, and it's so common in boss encounters as to be almost a Standard Status Effect.
  • One of the many ways to die in Crash Bandicoot.
  • Spyro the Dragon's temporary ice-breath power in Frozen Alters in Year Of The Dragon, causes any enemy (or ally, for that matter) to become frozen in a block of ice. It was also used in Enter the Dragonfly, and standing on a squarely-frozen dragon was actually required for a couple of puzzles.
  • One of the many ways to die in Bubble Symphony, but with a hexagonal ice shape instead of an ice block, and the player character dies after the shape shatters shortly after it forms.
  • Various Ice-type moves in Pokémon games invoke this trope, complete with animations or depictions of a block of ice encasing the target Pokemon.
  • The Snowboard Kids franchise has a weapon you can shoot at your opponents to temporarily encase them in ice, bringing them to a complete stop for the moment.
  • Several spells in the Tales Series do this. Absolute summons cold air which instantly freezes into a giant jagged block of ice. Icicle also does this, but to a lesser degree.
  • Metroid
    • The Ice Beam is able to... well, freeze enemies, and it is mainly used in killing the titular Metroids. Frozen enemies are coated in a fine layer of ice until the effect wears off.
    • In Metroid Prime, shooting a wall with the Ice Beam creates a small chunk of ice which shatters in a split-second.
  • Metal Slug
    • Fall into the water in the final stage of Metal Slug 2 and your character comes out dead in an ice block.
    • On a lesser note, getting hit by a yeti's homing ice breath in Metal Slug 3 and Metal Slug 4 instantly encases the character in a snowman!
  • In Sheep, Dog 'n' Wolf, falling into water during Slippy-Slidey Ice World levels results in this. Includes Harmless Freezing, where the characters only shiver for a moment after getting out of ice.
  • Cirno of Touhou Project infamy has the power to manipulate cold. Naturally, this mostly translates into summoning icicles and other ice bolts and shooting them at enemies. In one fighting game spinoff she is even able to create an ice block bigger than herself to crush the enemy with, in the space of less than a second!
  • This happens to Ratchet if he falls into instant-death water on an arctic-themed level.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
    • SpongeBob once got dumped into an icy cold lake by Sandy, who jumped in after him; both turned into ice cubes.
    • Then there was the time he left the fridge open overnight. By morning his entire house, and everything in it, was encased in ice. To be fair, he is underwater... which only raises more questions. How is the interior of the fridge not frozen already, then? Not to mention the interior of the entire house, as opposed to just the floors and walls?
      • The better question is why the house doesn't float up to the surface, seeing as ice floats in water.
    • There's also an episode where Plankton does this with a thermostat. It's later implied that he flooded he restaurant ankle-deep prior to freezing it (yes, flooded the underwater restaurant; if you didn't notice by now, the series plays fast and loose with the "underwater" rule).
    • In "Frozen Face-Off" this happens to nearly every character at least once. Twice, in the case of poor Squidward.
  • Seen in Looney Tunes countless times.
    • In Frigid Hare, Bugs Bunny arrives in Antarctica and (thinking he's in Miami Beach) dives into the water, and the splash instantly freezes. Bugs then meets a little penguin whose tears turn into ice cubes.
    • Another example: In Tom Turk and Daffy, Daffy Duck throws a bucket full of water at Porky and the water freezes in mid-air in the exact shape of the bucket. Later, Daffy throws another bucketful of water over a river, creating an instant bridge of ice.
  • The page image is from the Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines episode "Vacation Trip Trap".
  • Happened to Dastardly in Wacky Races as well. In "The Great Cold Rush Race," he gets submerged in ice cold water when he intended the consequence for the other racers. When Muttley pulls him out, Dastardly is in a block of ice.
  • Wakfu
    • Whenever Evangelyne uses an ice arrow, lots of ice forms around the point of impact.
    • Nausea encases Rubilax in ice with a magic potion in episode 7.
    • McDeek's freezing ray in episode 9.
    • The classic comic-relief-encased-in-a-square-block-of-ice happens to Sadlygrove (and Rubilax) in episode 17 after falling in a frozen lake. Adamaď melts the ice with his fire breath.
  • In an episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog, a snowman falls into arctic water and emerges encased in a block of ice.
  • Invoked in the Animated Adaptation of Rupert — the episode's villain had a Magic Wand with ice powers, so dropping him in the stream while he was holding it magically produced this effect.
  • In the Tom and Jerry short "Mice Capades", Jerry and Nibbles turn the kitchen into an ice rink by flooding it and rewiring the refrigerator to freeze everything.
  • Happens to Donald Duck at the end of Donald's Snow Fight.
  • At the end of the Toy Story short "Hawaiian Vacation", Barbie and Ken go out in the snow and fall in. After the credits we see them in a block of ice.
  • In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode "Baby-Sitter Jitters", Robotnik gets zapped by his "Reversible Melt-O/Freeze-O Ray" and becomes trapped in a block of ice.
  • It happened to a walrus in DuckTales.
  • Likewise, this also happened to Mr. Bogus, after falling through the ice in the second act of the episode "Waterboy Bogus".
  • In an episode of The Magic School Bus, the class goes through the solar system and ends up on Pluto. In order to get his cousin Janet to come home without proof of having traveled through the solar system, Arnold takes off his helmet and his head instantly ices over.
  • Johnny Bravo winds up living with an Eskimo family in "Schnook of the North". He meets their next-door neighbor and flirts with her. She then takes a bucket of water, throws it on him, and instantly turns him into an ice cube.
  • In Pantry Panic, Woody Woodpecker ignores warnings of an early winter storm and goes swimming in a pond - the storm blows in mid-dive and he's encased in a rectangular block of ice, breaking out of it when it hits the now-frozen pond.

    Real Life 
  • May have to do with the Real Life phenomenon where, as air cools, it loses the capacity to hold its water. Cool it quickly enough to below water's freezing point, and you get a rim of ice on whatever is doing the cooling. Obviously, it is taken to the extreme in this trope — possibly for Rule of Funny reasons.

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