Painted Tunnel, Real Train
aka: Artistic Expression
A lot of times, a predator is trying desperately to catch his prey
but the prey proves to be much too quick
. How do you stop a creature that never stops moving? Have it run into a wall, of course! How do you do that? Simple, draw a tunnel over it.
So the villain takes his brush and creates a realistic looking tunnel in three seconds
! The prey comes along and the villain hides behind a rock to see the creature stupidly run into the solid wall. The prey runs towards the tunnel and disappears into it. The villain may be baffled, but decides that he needs to go after his prey. He begins to run into the tunnel, and either crashes directly into the solid wall, or gets run over by a train or bus that has somehow come through the tunnel
We usually never see where the prey ends up after entering the tunnel, nor is it ever made an issue.
Compare Portal Picture
for when Applied Phlebotinum
is involved and the characters are taken to Another Dimension
. Also related to Art Initiates Life
Anime and Manga
- A commercial currently (2010) playing in the United States for the Sour Patch Kids candy uses this as part of the "first they are sour and then they are sweet" campaign.
- A Coors Light commercial also playing as of 2010 has an artist painting a tunnel onto a wall, then adding a little bit of light for an oncoming train...which turns into the "Silver Bullet", the ice-cold Coors Light train that automatically lowers the temperature of the air surrounding it to the ''perfect'' temperature for enjoying Coors Light.
- A commercial for Energizer batteries features who else but Wile E. Coyote himself paint a tunnel on the wall to try to catch the Energizer Bunny. Just like the Road Runner in the cartoons, the bunny goes through the tunnel, but when Wile E. tries to chase after him, he slams into the wall.
- In Jack to Mame no Ki during the final fight against Tulip the giant, Jack's dog Crosby paints a picture of a train tunnel on a wall and runs through it, naturally Tulip crashes into it and temporarily knocks himself out.
- Variation in an early Sonic the Comic strip, where Robotnik paints a tunnel on the wall in the hope Sonic will run into it and knock himself out. Sonic proceeds to run into the tunnel. A confused Robotnik attempts to follow and, of course, knocks himself out against the wall.
- Dick Dastardly does it in one Wacky Races story. After the inevitable 'intended-victim-goes-through-tunnel-and-he-crashes-against-wall', he declares its a case of Your Mind Makes It Real, and tries to go through, telling Muttley to just keeping thinking that the painted tunnel is real. It still don't work.
- In The Sandman, Merv Pumpkinhead is charged with making alterations to Dream's palace. He does so by pasting up posters of corridors on a blank wall. Dream then walks out of the posters, which are now apparently as real as anything else in The Dreaming. Fridge Brilliance when you realise that any corridor in a comic is just a picture.
- In the 2005 film version of Bewitched, Michael Caine walks out of a series of stone arches to speak with Nicole Kidman; a moment later, as the camera pulls back, a pair of stagehands come by and pick up the large canvas flat on which the arches are painted.
- In a couple of his movies (The Playhouse, Steamboat Bill, Jr..) Buster Keaton uses an old vaudeville gag in which a comedian performing against a backdrop painted to look like a body of water dives into it — he actually jumps through a horizontal slit in the canvas.
- Parodied and subverted in Looney Tunes: Back in Action. Brendan Fraser's character is chasing Daffy Duck around Warner Bros studios. Daffy runs into a painted backdrop of a hallway, as if it were really there. Fraser follows, but because the picture is painted on canvas, he is able to tear right through instead of the traditional injuring himself. Daffy deems this cheating.
- The film The Villain has this trope. While trying to trap Handsome Stranger and Charmin, the titular villain paints a rock formation with black paint. The heroes' carriage goes right into it, prompting the villain to try it himself, with predictable results.
- In Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a painted landscape is hung under a bridge in an attempt to trap the pirates.
- The Sea Of Holes in Yellow Submarine is an example. The fact that Ringo picks up one of the holes and takes it with him ("I've got a hole in me pocket!") becomes a plot point later on.
- Farscape, a (relatively) serious live-action show, spends an episode inside the subconscious of the main character John Crichton, which is apparently highly influenced by old Looney Tunes cartoons. Crichton and an animated version of the angry alien warrior D'Argo engage in a series of Coyote-and-Road Runner–style chases, all of which center on D'Argo painting wormholes onto the wall, which act as Artistic Expression tunnels.
- Taken to a truly maniac extent in The Goodies episode "Movies": Characters jump in and out of the cinema screen, then in and out of the cinema screen which is on another cinema screen, then running off screen, appearing in the cinema screen inside the cinema screen, then jumping through all the cinema screens. The amazing thing is that they avoid Special Effect Failure despite the episode being from 1975, and live action television.
- Done earlier in "Invasion Of The Moon Creatures", when Bill, dressed as a rabbit (It Makes Sense in Context, promise) runs next to a hole and jumps down the rabbit hole to get rid of Graeme, who is chasing him. Graeme attempts to jump in also, but hits the ground. Confused, he touches the hole, and manages to pick it up — it's just a piece of round, black paper. Frustrated, he throws the hole away as he stomps off-screen. When the hole lands, Bill crawls out of it again.
- In a sixth-season cast sketch on Sesame Street, Bob and Luis assemble a billboard picture of a railroad tunnel. No sooner do they assemble the picture properly than a train comes out.
- Subverted in Community, when Abed attempts to convince Troy that he's found a way to cartoon land by adding a cartoon visage of himself at the end of a tunnel painted on a wall and throwing his voice from behind a nearby trash can to make Troy think it's real. Troy comes *this close* to running through the "tunnel," before Abed pops up and stops him. You have to believe!
- Referenced on The Daily Show, 10/17/2012, after the second Obama/Romney debate. When Romney is about to make his main argument, Obama answers, "Please proceed, Governor."
- King's Quest VI: One of the ways to sneak into the castle is to paint a door on the side with a magic paintbrush, then simply open it.
- Similarly, in LEGO Star Wars, you come across a solid wall. So you build a door into it, and then blow up the door to reveal a passageway.
- Cosmic Osmo has a White Void Room with a magic pencil, which can be used to draw other areas of the game around you. Naturally, you're then actually standing in the location that you drew.