In fiction, vacuum cleaners are often used as monsters, especially in works focusing on children or animals, because of their ability to suck up items that are a lot bigger than just ordinary dirt and dust. They are the most dangerous when they attack characters, even coming to life and trying to suck up the characters when the vacuum is even bigger than the characters. Related to Weapons That Suck. Can be a part of A.I. Is a Crapshoot. Not to be confused with Vacuum Mouth.
- In Goldfish commercials, the vacuum cleaners are portrayed as monsters by the goldfish living under the bed.
- Some animated commercials for Eureka vacuum cleaners were like this. This early-70s ad has "dirt blobs" on patrol against the Eureka.
- A later commercial shows animated dust characters being sucked up.
- The "Rug Doctor" would growl "Steaming mad at dirt!" while dragging terrified dirt blobs out of carpets.
- The vacuum in Haiyore! Nyarko-san, which seems like a normal vacuum, but can shout "CYCLONE!!" for some reason.
- Invoked in one episode of Pokémon, Ash, Dawn and Brock explore a haunted house and get pursued by kitchen appliances, being controlled by a pokemon named Rotom, one of them being a vacuum cleaner.
- This was part of a scene in Mr. Mom. An old-style vacuum cleaner goes out of control and rolls forward, devouring a poor boy's Security Blanket. For good measure, another boy is "attacked" by a washing machine lurching forward on its legs.
- Subverted in The Brave Little Toaster. Kirby the vacuum cleaner is the Grumpy Bear of the group, but he turns out to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and a reliable teammate, rather than a villain.
- The Martians have one in Tom And Jerry: Blast Off to Mars.
- Spaceballs. Spaceball One transforms into a giant Megamaid to suck all the air off the planet Druidia.
- Not exactly killer or sentient per se, but the Hank the Cowdog book "The Case Of The Vampire Vacuum Sweeper" involved Slim Chance using a vacuum to tease Hank.
- Zenna Henderson's short story "Hush!" is about a small boy who, after being told to keep quiet, imagines a sentient vacuum cleaner designed to suck up sound—only to see his imagined invention actually become real, and start sucking up every sound possible—including heartbeats.
- In a long Horror Movie sketch on The Benny Hill Show about various electric devices coming alive, a vacuum cleaner kills a maid by strangling her with its hose.
- In the one-season wonder TV series Testees, wherein the protagonists are employed as product testers for a weird range of products, episode 4, "Vac Attack," has them testing out a military vacuum cleaner imbued with artificial intelligence, which becomes more and more aggressive as it deals with their slovenliness, until it sets out to kill them and must be destroyed with their giant collected hairball.
- There was an arc of Mother Goose and Grimm strips from the early-to-mid 1990s where Grimm and Attila find themselves being pursued by Mother Goose's vacuum cleaner. They tried to stop it by sticking it in the toilet and flushing it, but unfortunately, that only caused the vacuum bag to inflate before the chase resumes once again.
- A 1999 arc had Grimm and Attila find a broom vacuum cleaner in the closet before it also goes on a rampage throughout the house.
- In one strip of Get Fuzzy, Rob, Bucky, and Satchel are going to a Halloween party. Satchel goes to change into his costume, and comes out dressed as a vacuum, with a sign reading "Dirt devil! Run away!" Bucky congratulates him for making a really scary costume.
- Marmaduke, despite being a huge dog, is known to be terrified of vacuum cleaners. http://mail.29-95.com/time-suck/comic/marmaduke-explained-10-25-11 and http://mail.29-95.com/time-suck/story/marmaduke-explained-07-12-09
- The Far Side had this caption for a woman walking down a wooded path with a vacuum cleaner, for the Visual Pun:
"The woods were dark and foreboding, and Alice sensed that sinister eyes were watching her every step. Worst of all, she knew that Nature abhorred a vacuum."
- In Little Big Planet 2, the intro movie features a close up of a vacuum cleaner sucking up the small floating images that represent imagination. Also, the Negativitron resembles a vacuum cleaner.
- In Ar tonelico, one of Aurica's cosmosphere levels depicts a cat on a vacuum cleaner that has been sucking away her power. Once that is discovered, another her comes and redirects the cat-vacuum toward Misha and Shurelia. The rest of the level is spent dealing with Aurica's inferiority complex with the other two potential love interests.
- In The Simpsons Barts Nightmare, one of the levels features killer vacuum cleaners.
- In Pajama Sam 2: Thunder and Lightning Aren't So Frightening, the vacuum cleaner is depicted as a very friendly dog that eats soil wherever Sam places it. This is required for one puzzle.
- A sub-boss of Fur Fighters was a vacuum cleaner. Said vacuum cleaner was designed by dinosaurs to detect dirt and apparently you're dirty.
- Dustman from Mega Man 4 is a killer robot vacuum cleaner, complete with a dustbuster as an Arm Cannon. Later subverted as it turns out he's only fighting Megaman because Dr. Wily kidnapped his creator's daughter.
- In Spellevator you are a dust bunny and the enemies are robotic vacuum cleaners.
- An early story arc in Two Lumps involved "Mom" getting a can't-call-it-a-Roomba, which began hunting the cats.
- In The Adventures Of Shark Puppy, Shark Puppy is terrified of the vacuum cleaner. A later comic shows him dreaming about fighting a vacuum monster.
- The Roombas on Questionable Content can get pretty vicious sometimes.
- In "Dough Ray Me", an episode of DuckTales, Huey, Dewey and Louie vacuum up a hall carpet and suck in a good many other objects.
- Similar to the original comics, an episode of the Mother Goose and Grimm animated series had Grimm and Attila try to stop Mother Goose's vacuum cleaner while she is out of the house.
- The second act of the Mr. Bogus episode "Meet Mr. Bogus" had Bogus rewiring the TV remote so that it could control other appliances other than the TV, but unfortunately, when Kevin the family bulldog takes the remote from him, this also causes a broom vacuum to bust out from the closet and start going on a rampage, even pestering the repairman hired by Mrs. Anybody.
- In an episode of The Simpsons Bart causes mayhem at Lenny's birthday party by switching all the Roombas (which Lenny had given everyone as party favors) from "off" to "Malevolent Sentience."
- On Family Guy Brian, being a dog, is scared of the vacuum cleaner. At one point Peter shoots the vacuum (for unrelated reasons); Brian comes in and sees the "dead" vacuum and says "whoever did this, thank you."
- In Earthworm Jim, as part of Peter Puppy's origin, he tried to stand up against a vacuum cleaner, only to get sucked up and find himself in Planet Heck, home of Evil the Cat.
- Rocko's Modern Life had the Suck-O-Matic, a giant vacuum cleaner that also literally had a mind of its own.
- In one episode of FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman, the kids are sent to the island of Dogtopia/Catlantis, where cats and dogs used to live in harmony until a civil war broke out between them. They use their clue finding skills to solve the mystery of what caused the conflict, eventually finding that both sides blamed each other for a horrible howling that was terrifying everyone. On a smaller island nearby, the kids find the answer: the howling was caused by evil vacuum cleaners living there.
- Though we don't see it happen, Peter on The Real Ghostbusters recounts a shapeshifting ghost that attacked them as a literal vicious vac:
Peter: ...and then he became a carnivorous vacuum cleaner. I've still got the scars; anybody want to see?
Ray: Peter, we just ate.
- As noted, cats and dogs being terrified of them is Truth in Television.