Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Strong Ants

Ants are able to carry several times their own body weight. In fiction, especially in cartoons, this is exaggerated for fun, making them able to carry a whole pie/banana/chicken/watermelon/whatever. Often, they'll steal some picknickers' food. This sometimes applies to giant ants, in blatant defiance of the Square/Cube Law that itself is responsible for the fact that normal-sized ants have such good lifting abilities.

Essentially, Hollywood Logic goes, "If normal ants can carry big loads despite their small size, huge ants can carry enormous loads!", whereas Real Life Logic goes, "Ants can carry relatively big loads because of their small size."


    open/close all folders 

  • There's a Hard Yakka ad that features ants chanting the name as they carry away large food items.
  • In a Toyota commercial, a procession of ants carrying food items come to a highway. The sergeant-type leader spots an approaching car, but determines that it's "only" a Corolla (commonly considered to be Boring but Practical) and that they should just keep on marching. Little did they realize that the Corolla now had an upgraded engine!
  • McDonald's has a super-strong ant as part of its "Funky Farm" character lineup.

    Anime and Manga 
  • The Chimera Ants from Hunter × Hunter. The Chimera Ant Queen eats other animals and crosses their DNA to born Mix And Match Critters. The Chimera Ants introduced in the series are human sized and the queen ate humans as well, so most Chimera Ants who appear in the story are humanoid animals who don't look like ants at all. Not only they have the traits of (strong) animals, they also gained the ability to control Nen, thanks to the human DNA, that makes them the most dangerous beings in the world. The queen's son, the Chimera Ant King, is the most powerful being ever until he's killed by a cruel, toxic, atom bomb-like bomb, The Poor Man's Rose: Miniature Rose.

  • Happens in a horrifying manner in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, where a horde of carnivorous ants carries an unfortunate Soviet soldier into their nest. While colonies of ants are known to carry large prey back home, an entire human being getting dragged head-first into an ant nest is a bit much.


    Newspaper Comics 

    Video Games 
  • Fifth-gen Pokémon include Durant, which is quite powerful, quite durable, and also a Steel-type, so pretty much the only thing that works against it at all is fire. Naturally, there's a fire-spewing anteater Pokémon in the same dungeon (Heatmor, for those keeping track) which, according to the Pokédex, does indeed feed on Durant.
  • Gravity Antonion from Mega Man X8. Besides being a Gravity Master, he can also create large metal boxes that are about 4-5 times his size, pick them up from below, and throw them at the player!
  • In the game Anthill you can have your ants bring gems back to the anthill, something that's probably too heavy for really ants to pick up.

    Western Animation 
  • Normally in many early cartoons ants are portrayed as a single-file line that has a "Determinator" quality. They have two versions, the first being that they don't stop for anything and pick up anything that happens to be in their way. The second being food hunters that won't stop until their desired target is obtained. They both are usually unstoppable, are a plot driving force, and defy physics by marching up perfectly flat surfaces or carrying objects MORE than 10 times their size. Occasionally a colony may also be portrayed as an army, with a commander and everything.
  • Some Donald Duck cartoons have this trope, including one in which a whole colony of ants comes and picks up a sleeping Donald and carries him away.
  • Launchpad McQuack of DuckTales and Darkwing Duck fame isn't impressed by this: "Who cares? Anybody could lift 10 times an ant's weight."
  • The Ant and the Aardvark, by the makers of The Pink Panther cartoon series.
  • Taken to extremes with The Atom Ant Show.
  • One of the most famous Garfield and Friends episodes featured this as the plot, complete with infectious Ear Worm. Two later episodes had callbacks to it.
  • Sesame Street
    • An animated insert had a woman laying out a picnic of "p" foods (pumpkin, pot roast, etc.). Unknown to her, ants carried the foods away as she took them out of the basket. At the end, a group of ants carry the woman away.
    • In another Sesame Street sketch, the Count counted the ants that invaded his picnic and took his food away.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes has the Gnormans, which are basically the Miseryville equivelent of ants, who possess Super Strength.
  • Ant of Word World is very strong.
  • Discussed in The Venture Bros. by Dr. Entmann.
    Dr. Entmann: And let me tell you somethin' about ants! You know that whole "Ants can lift a hundred times their own weight" thing? It's a myth! Think about it. What's an ant weigh? Like, nothin'. What's nothin' times a hundred? ...It's nothin'!
  • On The Flintstones episode "The Snorkasaurus Hunter", Wilma and Betty had a picnic which was invaded by ants. The ants march to the tune of the Colonel Bogey March as they abscond with all the food except for one olive.
  • In the Looney Tunes short Ballot Box Bunny, Bugs tries to woo voters by hosting a picnic. His opponent, Yosemite Sam, releases a package of "Assorted Picnic Ants" to spoil it.
    • More relevant to this trope, the foods are carried off by groups of ants— except for a watermelon being held by a single determined ant.
    • Friz Freleng liked this trope: it shows up not only in Ballot Box Bunny but also 1947's The Gay Anties.
  • Three Tom and Jerry shorts (Cat Napping, Pup on a Picnic and Barbecue Brawl) have ants who are not only strong but whose synchronized marching can set up destructive vibrations.

Spider SwarmInvertebrate IndexSwallowed a Fly

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy