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Bubble Pipe

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A Prop that's shaped like a tobacco pipe, but is clearly not on account of the fact that it blows soap bubbles. Related to No Smoking, as it is used instead of a real pipe as it gives the same impression without the implications of tobacco use. It's seen often when children dress up as Sherlock Holmes, or in attempt to look fancy or sophisticated.

Compare Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe, of which this trope is an affectionate diminutive.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Fan Works 
  • The Bolt Chronicles: Penny tries to smoke a Sherlock Holmes-style calabash pipe in "The Murder Mystery," but is thoroughly surprised to see bubbles emerge from the bowl.
  • In a Reporter's Inside Stories interview with Papa Smurf, which is part of the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf series, Papa Smurf is seen with a smoking pipe and is chided by Reporter about how harmful smoking is... until he sees that Papa Smurf is blowing bubbles with his pipe.
  • In Missing Linc, Luan uses one during her investigation into Lincoln's disappearance.

    Film — Live-Action 


    Live Action Television 
  • The episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch where her friend ends up in the Other Realm has the woman who reads out the laws of said realm blow on a bubble pipe when she's having her conversation with Sabrina.
    • A much later episode had Sabrina and her friends involved in a Murder Mystery Weekend. Salem points out that the body is covered in pipe smoke. The only pipe smoker points out that Salem is smoking one as well, but Salem blows some bubbles out of his to prove his only blows bubbles.
  • In one Cheers episode, ("Diane's Nightmare") Diane dreams that Sam reveals himself as debonair and sophisticated, including smoking a pipe. When she wakes up, she goes to where the pipe was and finds that it really exists. Then she blows into it, and bubbles come out.
  • Wyatt Cenac busts one out when pontificating on the distinction between ascots and neckerchiefs on The Daily Show.
  • Alfred Hitchcock is seen using one in the episode "The Perfect Crime" of Alfred Hitchcock Presents
  • Rick Castle, once he becomes a PI, celebrates a closed case with a bubble cigar.
  • In one Sesame Street skit, Ernie plays Old King Cole, and his pipe turns out to be a bubble pipe.'
  • The Golgafrincham captain in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1981) uses one as he lounges in the bath even after crash-landing on a prehistoric Earth.

  • MAD Magazine once had a comic where where two boys are blowing bubble pipes. One is exhaling bubbles like an actual pipe, to which the other says "I don't think you're supposed to inhale these."

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In one sequence of Big Nate, Nate finds out someone stole his lucky basketball socks and makes a huge deal out of finding them by dressing as a detective, complete with awful British accent and bubble pipe.
  • Jason uses one in FoxTrot whenever he has delusions of being a millionaire and is trying to look sophisticated.
  • In the Garfield comics, Jon uses a bubble pipe once or twice. Garfield himself once blew soap bubbles with a real pipe:
    Jon: My ivory-stemmed, mother-of-pearl inlaid meerschaum!
    Garfield: My blow toy.
  • In one Christmas strip, Dennis the Menace (US) gives Mr. Wilson a set of bubble pipes for a gift. Mr. Wilson is less than thrilled, but Mrs. Wilson tries to remind him that at least the boy gave him a present.

    Video Games 


    Western Animation 
  • In The Simpsons:
    • Bart blows bubbles from his pipe when he falls in love with an older girl and ends up dressing like Hugh Hefner.
    • Bart also uses a bubble pipe when visiting the real Hugh Hefner in "Krusty Gets Kancelled".
  • Used once in Ed, Edd n Eddy, when Nazz was babysitting at Eddy's house and he believed that it was a date.
  • Yakko Warner of Animaniacs (although he is drawn as a child, he was drawn around the 30s, technically making him at least in his 60s) once "puffed" on a soap-bubble pipe while parodying highbrow intellectuals.
  • In a VeggieTales pastiche of Sherlock Holmes, the Sherlock character (played by Larry the Cucumber) has a bubble pipe.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Sokka gets one for his Sherlock Holmes impression in "Avatar Day".
  • Beezy on Jimmy Two-Shoes uses one on occasion.
  • Snoopy dons one of these in a Peanuts special, "It's a Mystery, Charlie Brown", where he's playing a detective trying to find Woodstock's nest. Complete with a Running Gag of where the one large bubble goes...
  • Master Shake of Aqua Teen Hunger Force has one in the episode "Two and a Half Star Wars Out of Five" when he suspects that the Pink Man is a werewolf. He also adopts Sherlock Holmes-like speech.
    He is a werewolf, Fryman. He saw Carl's full moon, and it changed him.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998) makes use of this in the "Freaky Friday" Flip episode: The Professor, who is sometimes seen with a pipe, had swapped bodies with Buttercup. He's seen with it later as Buttercup, but it humorously turns out to be a bubble pipe instead.
  • Spongebob Squarepants has used a bubble pipe in at least one episode. Not much of a surprise, considering how he blows bubbles in roughly 95% of the series, including entire episodes dedicated to them.
    • Played with in "Little Yellow Book". SpongeBob says he has to take a break, goes outside, and blows bubbles with a bubble wand.
  • True to the trope's description, Simon uses a bubble pipe (that he borrowed from Alvin) in the Sherlock Holmes episode of Alvin and the Chipmunks.
  • Admiral Degill of Atomic Betty is seen using a corncob version on occasion.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Pinkie Pie and later Twilight Sparkle sport one of these while dressed up like Sherlock Holmes in the episode "Mystery on the Friendship Express". One of the show's background characters, an elderly stallion named Mr. Waddle, has the image of a bubble pipe as his cutie mark, and another bubble pipe cutie mark is included in the Virtual Paper Doll Web Games The Fabulous PonyMaker and Rarity's Bridal Boutique. In a later episode, Discord blows bubbles from a corn cob pipe.
  • In Muppet Babies (1984), Bunsen doesn't just imitate Sherlock; he uses the bubbles as a weapon against an allergic opponent. (How he determined the allergy is hard to defend, but in a kiddie Imagine Spot it hardly matters.)
  • In Storm Hawks, Stork has one, most notable in "Leviathan", but in typical Storm Hawks fashion, the prop shows up all the time when the crew is throwing things around.
  • Mr. Cat uses one in several episodes of Kaeloo.
  • Classic Disney Shorts:
    • In Fathers Are People, Goofy lies down on his chair and smokes his pipe after coming home from work. He notices bubbles coming out of it and tells his son to stop playing with his pipe.
    • In A Cowboy Needs A Horse, a boy dreaming he's a cowboy shares a Peace Pipe with a Native American chieftain. When it's the boy's turn, the pipe blows bubbles instead, which amuse the chief.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Holy Crap," Stewie Griffin uses one of these when he discusses market fluctuations in Asia with a group of British investors who look like they stepped out of the Victorian era. It Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.