Portable Hole

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"Beep Prepared," indeed.

"I've got a hole in me pocket."
Ringo Starr, Yellow Submarine

A Portable Hole is an object that creates a "hole" through whatever solid surface it is placed against, enabling a character to reach through the surface in question to its interior or opposite side. It may be removed by peeling it edge-first off the surface, and from either side; when not in use, a portable hole resembles a round disc of fabric- or rubber-like material that can be handled, folded, or stored like any solid object.

Portable Holes occur primarily in animation, and are usually Played for Laughs. Expect some degree of Hammerspace or alternate dimensions if the writer attempts to seriously explain how they work; other times, they are simply powered by the Rule of Funny.

Portable Holes are functionally distinct from teleportation portals, but the two occasionally overlap, since teleportation portals are "holes" of a sort themselves (and Our Wormholes Are Different). They are also related to Bags of Holding and generally interact badly with them.


Examples

Advertising
  • A TV commercial for Abilify antidepressant medication anthropomorphizes the main character's depression as a portable hole with eyes.

Anime and Manga
  • Blueno from One Piece has eaten a devil fruit that (among other things) allows him to do this.
  • Doraemon has a hula-hoop-like gadget (即席落とし穴-Sokusekiotoshiana; Instant Trap) which creates a hole when thrown on the ground.

Comic Books

Film
  • Yellow Submarine has the Sea of Holes, one of which gets peeled off like this and ends up in Ringo's pocket. The hole shows up in the live-action segment at the end where the real-life Ringo Starr says he's kept it as a souvenir.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit featured Portable Holes as an Acme Product. During the film's climax, Eddie became pinned against a steel drum by a cartoon magnet while fighting the Big Bad; he freed himself by wrapping a Portable Hole completely around the magnet, causing the magnet to break in half.
  • They Live features a scene where the hero uses a device that creates a hole, so he can fall through the floor.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness: McCoy casually uses a portable hole to gain access to a prisoner in the brig. Since the brig used a force field for the door, the device he uses was presumably designed to interact with the force field to create the hole and wouldn't work on other objects.

Literature
  • Used by Jarlaxle in this adventures with Artemis Entreri in the Forgotten Realms books. Oddly enough, it works more like the traditional cartoon portable hole rather than like the Dungeons & Dragons magic item.
  • Eddie Drood from the Secret Histories books has a portable door as one of his gadgets. Basically the same thing.
  • In The Wheel of Time, when the Seanchan finally discover Traveling, they describe it as "cutting a hole in the air".

Live-Action TV
  • The Warehouse 13 episode "Love Sick" introduces the artifact "Francois Villon's Inkwell". Not a round rubber or cloth Portable Hole, but spilling the ink on any surface allows a person to reach straight through it. It's used in the episode to allow a pair of thrown keys to pass through a plate glass window before the ink quickly evaporates leaving a perfectly intact window.

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons specifies a magic item called the Portable Hole, which functions similarly to the Bag of Holding but must be placed against a flat surface to work. The Dungeons And Dragons System Reference Documents detail exactly what happens if the two items interact with each other:
    If a bag of holding is placed within a portable hole, a rift to the Astral Plane is torn in that place; both the bag and the cloth are sucked into the void and forever lost. If a portable hole is placed within a bag of holding, it opens a gate to the Astral Plane; the hole, the bag, and any creatures within a 10-foot radius are drawn there, the portable hole and bag of holding being destroyed in the process.
    • The portable hole returns in 4th edition, although this version is not used for storage but can still be used to make holes. It is unclear if this hole is permanent or temporary.

Theme Park Rides
  • Roger Rabbit's Car-Toon Spin contains a real Portable Hole (of sorts). It's a section of moving wall with a hole in it. An animatronic Roger holds onto it and drags it back and forth as you drive through it. Still cool trickery, though.

Video Games
  • One of the Blob's powers in the NES and Wii versions of A Boy and His Blob.
  • MMORPG Toon Town Online uses "portable holes" as a teleportation item.
  • In World of Warcraft, the Portable Hole is a bag with 24 slots, making it one of the largest general purpose bags. It's also the most expensive, at 3000 gold pieces.
  • The Gamecube/Xbox vehicular combat game Cel Damage had portable holes as a weapon.
  • Valve's hit game, Portal, uses portable holes as a way to solve puzzles.
  • King's Quest VI features a living portable hole. The Hole-In-The-Wall is a creature that crawls along the wall, and its body creates a hole underneath wherever it is.
  • Multi Dimensional Thief, a text adventure, has a portable hole allowing you to pass through many walls, as well as the ceiling and floor. However, it's incompatible with a few surfaces...
  • The game credits of WarioWare: Smooth Moves.
  • In the Minecraft mod Thaumcraft, there is an item called the portable hole, which opens up a temporary 2x2 square tunnel, which the player can pass through.
  • In JauntTrooper, the Portable Hole is a type of monster that roves around the floor. You can drop items through it to the level below, or attack its edges and kill it (causing the hole to seal up).
  • One of Cackletta's attacks in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga has the brothers jump over it when it passes under them or else they'll fall in and take big damage.
  • There is a portable hole in one of the Dizzy games. You can pick it up, but as soon as you pick it up - and store it in your bag - there's a hole in your bag, so everything falls out of it. Including the hole.

Web Original

Western Animation
  • Looney Tunes: The Trope Codifier.
  • Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy plays with this, along with several other tropes, in the episode "1 + 1 = Ed". At one point in the episode, Eddy falls into a hole, only to fall out of the sky from off-screen and back into the hole in an endless loop until Ed picks up the hole, leaving Eddy to crash into the now solid ground. Subverted after everything goes back to normal: Eddy falls down a manhole, so Ed tries to pick it up and pulls a whole sewer pipe out of the ground.
  • Felix the Cat has one of these in his "bag of tricks". Possibly the Ur example.
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh had one episode where Pooh is trapped in a bubble that had a subplot where Gopher spent the whole day looking for the hole that serves as the entrance of his home.
  • The Spot, mentioned in the comics section of the trope, appeared in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
  • Tiny Toons had an episode where Montana Max had a donut hole factory. The factory was harmful to the environment until the Toxic Revenger (one of Plucky Duck's alter egos) shut it down. Fortunately The Hero was as Crazy-Prepared as Bugs Bunny (see above).
  • An episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes had Heloise attempting to rescue Jimmy from Beezy by way of Catapult to Glory. Beezy responds by moving the window, causing Heloise to crash into the brick.
  • One The Pink Panther short had the Panther create an underground staircase at a construction site after a door accidentally fell on top of him. When he pushes the door back up, it hits a construction worker, causing him to fall into the stairway, at which the Panther moves it onto the wall of an unfinished building.
  • In Tex Avery's Homesteader Droopy, the Wolf gets rid of an angry moose by getting it to charge into a barn, then shutting the door and removing it (from a now-blank wall), folding it up a dozen or so times, and casually flinging it over his shoulder - where it hits the ground, rapidly unfolds and opens up, and the moose charges back out.
    • The exact same joke was also used in an earlier Tex Avery cartoon, "Señor Droopy".
  • The titular aardvark in The Ant and the Aardvark hates the Instant Hole.

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