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Comedic Inverse Rotation

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A rotating object like a propeller or drill bit is held in place, causing what it's attached to to spin around instead.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
Vir on May 8th 2018 at 1:46:41 PM
Last Edited By:
Vir on Aug 7th 2018 at 4:24:04 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

A Comedy Trope. Similar to the "Counterintuitive Gravity" variant of Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress where, instead of a sawed-off tree branch falling, the rest of the tree falls, this is when an object that's supposed to rotate stays in place while the larger object that it's attached to rotates instead, often in defiance of the larger object's greater mass. The standard formula for this is that a mechanical device with a rotating outer component, usually a propeller or drill bit, has its rotation stopped when it's held in place by someone or something, and with nowhere else for the built-up energy to go the device itself spins, usually along with the person operating it, though other variations exist that follow the same basic concept.

Truth in Television, as anyone who's ever used a power drill can attest.


Examples

Anime and Manga

  • Dead Leaves: This ends up being how Chinko Drill gets done in. He attempts to use his drill groin to hurt 777. however, 777 tightens the muscles in his neck and causes Chinko Drill to spin instead as 777 kills him while he's spinning.

Film — Animated

  • In The Powerpuff Girls Movie, one of Mojo Jojo's genetically-enhanced primates is Killa Drilla, who drives a drilling vehicle. When the Girls return to Townsville after their self-imposed exile and battle Mojo's army, one of them grabs the drill bit and the car spins around.

Film — Live-Action

  • In Sleeper, Miles Monroe escapes from the Security police by using a Helicopter Pack. He ends up high in a tree, with the helicopter blades stuck in the branches and him spinning in circles below it.

Live-Action TV

  • A variant from Friends in "The One With Rachel's Crush". When the girls and guys swapped apartments, Monica spent several days fixing up Chandler and Joey's former apartment. In one scene she used a floor polisher so heavy that she ended up standing on it, being spun around and winding the cord around herself.

Video Games

  • Link's special attack with his Gauntlet weapons in Hyrule Warriors involves him slamming his giant iron ball into the ground, yanking on the chain, and spinning the world completely upside down.

Western Animation

  • In the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "Stop, Look and Ed", the Eds are building a satellite to track the locations of jawbreakers in the cul-de-sac. An overzealous Ed spins the satellite's propeller around and Edd tells him to grab hold of it; he grabs it with his teeth, causing the rest of the satellite to spin around with Edd and Eddy on it and take off prematurely.
  • Family Guy:
    • In the episode "The Courtship of Stewie's Father", Stewie attempts to kill an unsuspecting Lois using a hovercraft with a drill bit affixed to the front, but it gets stuck in the wall and repeatedly slams his head into the floor. Naturally, Brian comes up and does nothing to help, instead bouncing bottle caps off him.
    • The episode "Dial Meg for Murder" has a memorial reel of Drunk Billy, the former Channel 5 News traffic cam helicopter pilot, who is shown having gotten his helicopter's propeller stuck between two power lines and this happening to it.
  • In the Little Audrey short "Tarts and Flowers", when Audrey is stirring a bowl of cake batter, she stirs so fast that when the radio voice instructing her on the baking process tells her to stop, she does so and briefly spins around from the spoon handle.
  • Happens in the Looney Tunes short "Robin Hood Daffy", during Daffy's second attempt at showing off his quarterstaff skills. As he spins the staff, Porky stops it and Daffy spins and falls into the creek.
  • In The Simpsons' tenth Treehouse of Horror episode, one of the things going haywire from the Millennium Bug is Arnie Pye's news copter, which has landed upside-down and the body of the copter is spinning around while Arnie hangs onto the tail.
  • Exaggerated in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Home Sweet Pineapple" when SpongeBob and Patrick are rebuilding SpongeBob's house. When SpongeBob turns a bolt on a pipe, the whole world rotates around him, causing Patrick to fall into the sky when the world is turned upside-down and fall back to the ground when it's turned back to its starting point.
  • Wallace & Gromit:

Feedback: 9 replies

May 8th 2018 at 4:17:44 PM

  • In the first Wallace And Gromit short, A Grand Day Out, Gromit is operating a power drill when the bit gets stuck, causing him to spin instead.
  • Happens on the Looney Tunes short "Robin Hood Daffy", this happens during Daffy's second attempt at showing off his quarterstaff skills. As he spins the staff, Porky stops the staff, and Daffy spins and falls into the creek.

May 9th 2018 at 12:15:40 AM

Film - Live Action

  • Sleeper. Miles Monroe escapes from the Security police by using a Helicopter Pack. He ends up high in a tree, with the helicopter blades stuck in the branches and him spinning in circles below it.

May 14th 2018 at 8:44:26 PM

Another Wallace And Gromit example:

Jul 3rd 2018 at 7:53:24 PM

  • Link's special attack with his Gauntlet weapons in Hyrule Warriors involves him slamming his giant iron ball into the ground, yanking on the chain, and spinning the world completely upside down.

Aug 2nd 2018 at 10:36:58 PM

  • Dead Leaves: This ends up being how Chinko Drill gets done in. He attempts to use his drill groin to hurt 777. however, 777 tightens the muscles in his neck and causes Chinko Drill to spin instead as 777 kills him while he's spinning.

Aug 2nd 2018 at 11:01:17 PM

Truth In Television, as anyone who's ever used a power drill can attest.

Aug 3rd 2018 at 12:05:16 PM

A variant from Friends in "The One With Rachel's Crush". When the girls and guys swapped apartments Monica spent several days fixing up Chandler and Joey's former apartment. In one scene she used a floor polisher so heavy that she ended up standing on it, being spun around and winding the cord around herself.

Aug 3rd 2018 at 6:34:16 PM

Here I was, about to suggest the Wallace and Gromit examples, and I was beaten to the punch. Oh, well.

Is it worth the fuss and bother to change the title to "Comedic Inverse Rotation"?

This is thematically similar to the Counterintuitive variant of Gravity Is A Harsh Mistress where, instead of a sawed-off tree branch falling, the rest of the tree falls.

Aug 4th 2018 at 3:24:56 PM

(Darn my inconveniently timed ideas.) Another possibility for the title is Cartoonish Inverse Rotation.

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