Follow TV Tropes


Container Cling

Go To
Stealthy like a cowboy.

The villains are chasing the hero and corner him in a room with a big wooden box. The hero hides under the box. The villains are coming closer and closer. He's going to get caught! The villains heave up up the box and look on the ground... huh? Where'd he go?

Then the camera shifts. The hero is actually wedging himself inside the box to avoid detection. Usually an Animated Trope. Of course, there's Fridge Logic involved. The characters lifting the box should notice that it is a whole person heavier than it was but they don't. Yes, low-rent henchmen may be dumb, but not that dumb. Behind the Black is in there somewhere too.

Compare: Shell Game, Gone Behind the Bend, Behind a Stick, Ceiling Cling, and Underside Ride.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The Legend of Zelda: In the Wind Waker manga story Monsters Are Not Good With Tricks, Link sneaks up behind a Moblin in a barrel only for the Moblin to suddenly turn around and snatch up the barrel. Link manages to hold on inside in the barrel and the Moblin wanders off confused.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In Asbjørnsen and Moe's "The Old Dame and her Hen", the youngest daughter smuggles her sisters out of the troll's lair by getting them in sacks and asking the troll to carry food to her aging mother. When the troll wants to peek inside the sack to find out why it is so heavy, the daughter -or her sister mimicking her voice- shouts "I'm seeing you", and the troll relents.

    Films — Animated 
  • Woody does this in Toy Story to avoid being tied to a rocket by Sid. More justified than most, as the light weight of a toy is easier to miss when lifting the box.
  • In An American Tail, Fievel escapes the Cossack cats by clinging to the lid of a teapot. He narrowly avoids detection when a cat looks under the lid, but he moves to the other side just in time.
  • In Megamind, the titular character clings to the door that Titan ripped off while searching for him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Matilda, Matilda is hiding under a table from the wicked Principal Trunchbull. When the Trunchbull gets near the table, she lifts up the tablecloth, but doesn't see Matilda. It turns out Matilda was clinging to the underside of the table.
  • In Hanna, assassins are looking for the titular character. One checks under the bed and finds nothing, only for us to see that she is clinging to the underside of the frame.
  • In Van Helsing, Mr. Hyde traps Van Helsing under a church bell, then hears the sound of his buzzsaw weapons and lifts the bell to find a round hole in the floor. It turns out Van Helsing was actually still hiding in the bell, and he slices off one of Hyde's arms.

  • Subverted in The BFG. When the BFG's cave is invaded by the man-eating Bloodbottler giant, Sophie hides behind a snozzcumber (a giant foul-tasting vegetable). When she realises that the snozzcumber would not hide her if the Bloodbottler picked it up, she hides inside it. The Bloodbottler does indeed pick it up, and bites a huge hunk off it, while Sophie is still inside.

    Video Games 
  • Wario World: The boss battle against the Mean Emcee has a Shell Game gimmick, where the player has to track which of three cups the boss is hiding under as they shuffle around. Hit the right cup and it'll raise up to reveal apparently nothing... jump up and hit the cup again and the boss falls out.

    Western Animation 
  • In Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Grammi hides under a basket, an ogre lifts it up and is surprised by her disappearance. He looks up into the basket, and she dropkicks him.
  • Mr. Bogus does this in the first act of the episode "Totally Bogus Video" under all three garbage can lids that he was hiding under when confronted by Ratty and his rottweiler accomplice during a sequence that parodies The Terminator.
  • The Legend of Korra: Korra has been kidnapped and is trapped in a metal box. Amon appears with a group of Equalists and asks them to zap the box with their electric gloves and electrocute Korra in case she would use her bending to trounce them all and escape. Korra manages to avoid electrocution by using one of her armbands to hang from a bar on the top of the box and keep her from touching the sides.
  • In the Donald Duck short "The Autograph Hound", our favorite duck hides himself in a serving tray cover this way but soon reveals himself.
  • Looney Tunes:
  • In The Movie of Drawn Together, I.S.R.A.E.L. tries searching under the van the Jew Producer is in to look for the housemates. It turns out they're clinging under the van.