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Digging to China

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Um, Plank? I don't think we're in Peach Creek anymore.note 
Argus: Where are the Eggs?
Zoe: The holes came out on the other side of the Dragon Worlds! [The fairies] found some of the Eggs, but they were too heavy to carry back!
Spyro: The other side of the world?

Since the Earth is round, characters who dig a hole right through Earth end up in another country. Traditionally, they end up in China. note 

Expect it to be rock all the way through rather than magma, and for the feat to be accomplished in a comically short time, perhaps accompanied by a pneumatic drill sound effect. If the dig is fast enough, expect the camera to be upside down when the character resurfaces, righting itself when the character finishes falling upwards. Also, it will often be the same time in both China and the country digging to it.

UK writers are more likely to end up in Australia and vice versa, Russian writers are more likely to end up in Argentina or a random Pacific island, and Japanese writers are more likely in Brazil. Other destinations are possible, as long as the target is far enough away. The tunnel is usually dead straight and under the Rule of Cool goes anywhere the plot desires. Wherever they end up, it will usually be conspicuously foreign with as many stereotyped visual cues on display as possible. In China, they often say that if you dig hard enough you will end up in the United States.

Notably, this trope does actually have a grain of truth in it: China is one of the few major population centers in the world that includes multiple points on land directly on the opposite side of the Earth from other points on land (most points on land are directly opposite points under the ocean). None of those points are in the United States, however: most of them are in the Patagonia region of South America, which encompasses most of Chile and Argentina.

If someone is digging through the Earth specifically to hit the core, see Planetary Core Manipulation.

(Curious about where a tunnel would lead in real life? Please see our Analysis page.)


    open/close all folders 

  • In this Bissell commercial, to demonstrate how deep the machine was able to clean, they showed a cross-section shot of the earth as the machine cleaned deeper and deeper. It ended with a shot of a Chinese family as they watched in wonder as their carpet seemingly cleaned itself from underneath (complete with the caption "Somewhere in China").
  • There was an Eggo commercial in which a boy found out it was currently breakfast time in China, and promptly dug through the earth to steal a Chinese kid's waffle.
  • Sunlight, at least in Canada, had an ad sometime around the Turn of the Millennium that featured two boys digging a comically large hole in their yard, followed by a VO saying "Today's lesson: China is very far away".

    Anime and Manga 
  • Doraemon: One chapter has Doraemon and Nobita boarding a drill beneath the Earth. They do not actually want to cross all the way, but the drill experiences a malfunction and does not stop until it runs out of fuel. Fortunately, it is heat resistant. Unusually, they end up at a ruined pre-Columbian temple, instead of Brazil.
  • Excel♡Saga: Lord Il Palazzo sent Excel and Hyatt through the Earth from Japan to America, during which they actually did pass through the center of the Earth.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler, Isumi believes that the subway runs underground from Japan to Rio de Janeiro.
  • In Looking For Yoghurt some kids dig from Japan to Brazil.
  • Nick And Lever: Chapter 70 has Nick and Lever digging to Brazil from Japan as a way to get a free vacation.
  • In one episode of Pani Poni Dash!, the characters did travel through the Earth under mysterious circumstances, and wound up in Brazil (during, you guessed it, Carnivale).
  • In Pokémon: The Series, the English dubbed version, Jessie of Team Rocket instructs the others to dig to China, though whether China exists in the Pokemon world is vague.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Dandy comic, Blinky once managed to dig all the way to Australia.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: in "Journey through the center of the Earth", Gyro Gearloose blasted a tunnel through the Earth with a big laser drill, singeing the tail feathers of a tribal duck on the other side as the meter-wide laser shot out of the ground behind him. Donald Duck was the test pilot of a pod that was dropped into the hole, and he ended up going back and forth through the Earth like a pendulum a couple of times (upside down on the other side of course).
  • Supergirl:
    • In Action Comics #253, Kara bores a hole from a farm in midwest America to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy, digging swift enough that frictional heat fuses the side smooth and prevents the tunnel from collapsing.
    • In Action Comics #267, Supergirl digs a tunnel from North America to the Pacific, being careful to not dig too deep and encounter magma.
    • "Supergirl's Three Super Girl-Friends": Kara digs a tunnel from Metropolis to England to find some old relics.
  • Superman:
    • In Superman 1939 #205 "The Man Who Destroyed Krypton", Black Zero intend to annihilate Earth using an anti-matter missile. Superman cannot risk to manipulate it, so he digs a wide tunnel through Earth so that the missile goes through the planet without touching it.
    • In The Dominator War, Mon-El, recently freed from the Phantom Zone, goes through the earth to get from East Coast North America to Japan. Supergirl questions this and Mon-El explained that this was the first time in 1,000 years he had a physical form, and actually wanted to feel the rock he was plowing through.
  • In the Lucky Luke book The 20th Cavalry the besieged soldiers dig an escape tunnel. Suddenly, a soldier runs out of the tunnel screaming "We've dug too far!" He is followed by the Chinese launderer who assures the soldier that it's just him.
  • One episode of Mortadelo y Filemón contains a Running Gag where the two titular characters repeatedly drop onto a traffic light from great height, driving it deeper and deeper into the ground with each landing. The final iteration shows the traffic light's base sticking out of the ground in China.
  • Superlópez: In El señor de los chupetes.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin tries to do this sometimes.
  • Cul-de-sac: Dill's single-minded persistence in tunneling to Disney World is a frequent Running Gag.
  • Invoked Trope in a Crankshaft storyline where one of Crankshaft's friends is running for mayor on the issue of potholes. Two separate election stunts involve showing a kangaroo and Chinese words supposedly coming through the potholes.
  • In one Dilbert comic he builds a perpetual tunneling machine (it's powered by dirt). Unfortunately the boss accidentally turns it on and it tunnels right through the Earth ending up embedded into an Australian picnicker.
  • In one strip, Hägar the Horrible does not have any tulips in his garden because he planted the bulbs with the tips facing down. Meanwhile, two Chinese farmers wonder why their rice field is full of tulips.
  • Lucy And Sophie Say Goodbye: In one strip, a workman tries to warn the two woman that they are standing above a stick of dynamite with a lit fuse. After the explosion goes off, the workman finds himself lying at the bottom of a hole being greeted by a polite Chinaman.
  • Parodied in Pearls Before Swine where Pig dug a hole to "Kukistan". Unfortunately the natives wanted to eat Pig for dinner. In the first strip characters comment to each other that Kukistan doesn't exist, but the editors felt that digging to China would offend their Asian readers, so the strip was digitally altered. Fortunately, they note, this will surely make the originals valuable rarities for anyone who might happen to buy them.
    Rat: What are you doing?
    Pig: Digging a hole to Kukistan.
    Rat: There's no such country.
    Pig: I know...see, when Stephan originally drew this week's strips, he named an actual country, but his editors told him that if he did that, the people from that country would get mad and complain, so he had to alter all of the strips on the computer. On a positive note, the originals should be worth a bundle.
    • In the treasury Pearls Falls Fast, Stephan Pastis shares a one-panel comic he made as a kid, featuring two kids digging a deep hole. One is saying, "I think we're there, I see a fortune cookie."
  • In one storyline from Pogo, Howland Owl tries to start a business selling "a device for going to China." Said device is, of course, a shovel. Albert Alligator tries it, but Churchy and Pogo try to talk him out of it when they realize digging straight down will land Albert in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

    Fan Works 
  • Discworld author A.A. Pessimal speculated that on a flat world, all the places with a name like "That Place Where The Sun Doth Not Shine" are linked by a sort of portal network. Thus, in Gap Year Adventures, a Dwarf who falls into the geological anomaly in Slice, Lancre, called "The Place Where The Sun Does Not Shine" re-emerges in En-El-Sams-Le-Raina in Klatch (also "the Place Where The Sun Shines not" in Klatchian).
  • The Queen of Hearts: As a child, one of Hans' brothers told him that you could dig from the Southern Isles (the equivalent of Denmark) to Australia. Being a fan of kangaroos, Hans tried to but ended up getting stuck in a hole. His Big Brother Bullies filled up the hole until it was to his armpits before adults stopped them.
  • Verdigris: At age 5, Elphaba tried to leave Colwen Grounds by digging a hole to the other side of Oz.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Adventures of Baron Munchausen: Our heroes are thrown into a whirlpool in Mount Etna and fall through the center of the Earth, emerging upside-down in the south seas. Of course, only a complete skeptic would disbelieve such a thing.
  • Battle Beneath The Earth, the Chinese tunnel to America to plant nuclear bombs. It's not intentionally funny.
  • The China Syndrome... is about corruption in the management of a nuclear power station. However, the title refers to a notion mentioned in the film that a nuclear incident in California could send molten reactor core products through the barriers below them and flow downwards through the floor of the containment building perhaps all the way to China. If one looks at China and California on a map, or if you just know how gravity works, one gets an idea of the level of scientific veracity in the notion. Not that it's meant to be taken literally.
  • At one point in Fred: The Movie, Fred digs a tunnel into Judy's yard and sees two Chinese kids, so he thinks that he dug to China.
    Fred: OH MY GAMMIT I DUG ALL THE WAY TO CHINA! (goes back the way he came) AHHHHHHH!
  • Godzilla vs. Kong: The human characters seek to reach the center of the Hollow Earth with the help of Kong in search of a unique source of power. Kong and the team go through a tunnel starting in Antarctica and reach the ancient throne of Kong's species at the earth's core. Godzilla, who is rampaging through Hong Kong in search of Mechagodzilla, senses this, blasts a hole to the earth's core with his atomic breath, and eggs Kong into jumping through the second hole to fight.
    • Another set of human characters makes their way from Florida all the way to Hong Kong by way of a hemisphere spanning mag-lev Hyperloop tunnel built by the villainous Apex Cybernetics corporation.
  • In the Buster Keaton short film Hard Luck, Buster goes off of a diving board at the end of the film and misses the pool, leaving a hole with no discernible bottom. An indeterminate amount of time later, he emerges in Chinese garb with a Chinese wife and their two small children.
  • This happens to Eiji in Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider OOO & W feat. Skull: Movie War Core when after helping Double defeated Kamen rider Core deep within the Earth’s core ends up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where Chiyoko was spending her vacation there.
  • In Magic in the Water, Ashley and her father Jack start digging such a hole while playing on the beach, much to her brother Josh's scorn. Later in the movie, Hiro falls into the hole while running along the beach, and Josh walks out of the beach house just in time to see him climb out. Cut to Josh digging in the hole, expecting to find a tunnel to China (apparently not considering the possibility that the kid was already in town). Later, Jack is seen digging in the hole, apparently expecting to find the kids - which kinda works since he ends up digging through to the sea monster Orky's cave, where Ashley Josh and Hiro have already discovered it. Since Jack was possessed by Orky earlier in the movie, it's likely this was why he was digging in that spot to begin with.
  • In a bizarre example, in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie, Crow plans to escape the Satellite of Love by digging through the satellite's hull and tunneling to Earth through space.
    Crow: Well, look at that! 'Breach hull, all die'! Even had it underlined!
  • The 1988 New Zealand film The Navigator A Medieval Odyssey is about a team of copper miners in medieval England who dig through the earth and travel through a tunnel, surfacing in modern Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Honorable mention to Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace. A hollow planet full of water? Sure, that works. The geologist player in Darths & Droids has a few theories on how it might work.
  • The 1980 comedy Super Fuzz about a Miami police officer who gets superpowers ends with his making a Diving Save on his partner (Ernest Borgnine) who's falling from a balloon twenty feet up — the two end up plunging into the Earth. As his Love Interest is mourning their demise, she suddenly receives a phone call from China, whereupon our two heroes are seen making the call surrounded by a horde of curious Chinese villagers.
  • In Total Recall (2012), a giant gravity train running through the Earth (the Fall) is the only mode of transit between Europe and Australia, as the rest of the planet has become a toxic wasteland.

  • There is a well known Russian joke about a teacher who asks a student "Where will we get if we start digging a tunnel from here through the center of the Earth". The boy's answer? "Into a madhouse".
  • In the mid-19th century, there was a joke that during construction in Saint Petersburg, a wooden pile sank into the ground. The people, used to the marshy terrain, placed another... and another... and another... until finally, a complaint arrived from New York that a wooden column stamped "Gromov and Co" busted through their pavement.

  • In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, when Alice falls down the rabbit hole, she speculates that it will go all the way to the antipodes: Australia, perhaps, or possibly New Zealand. The Animated Adaptation by Disney even has this; in which she thinks that she'd come out the other side where people walk upside down.
  • In Beyond the Barrier by Damon Knight, the protagonist (Professor Gordon Naismith) has to build a machine, which when switched on renders itself (and him, inside it) intangible to its surroundings, so he falls through the Earth and out of the other side (there may have been non-gravitic acceleration involved). Luckily he's picked up by someone before he can start falling back.
  • In Digging To Australia: When twelve-year-old Jennifer learns about her ancestor Peggy who was transported to Australia for stealing a peacock, she makes a childish attempt to dig to Australia in the garden, already old enough to know this is an impossible venture. Soon after this, she finds out that her mother Jacqueline abandoned her and moved to Australia, and she had been trying to dig her way to her.
  • Referenced in Flat Planet variants in Discworld:
    • In The Last Continent, some Ecksian ranchers complain that, with the water table running dry, if they dig their wells much deeper they'll give one of the elephants that support the Disc a nasty shock.
    • Vimes, emerging from a very long elevator shaft (The Fifth Elephant) into the candle-dotted caverns of a dwarf city, initially mistakes the lights for stars and muses that they've overshot their destination and penetrated the Disc's obverse side.
  • The Divine Comedy: When the Devil got chucked out of Heaven into the center of the Earth, his evil so disturbed nature itself that all the rocks and minerals from Jerusalem to the other side of the world emptied out into the Southern Hemisphere. Conveniently, this created a tunnel from Jerusalem to its antipode, Purgatory, a 24-hour journey that takes up most of Inferno.
  • In Five Children and It by E. Nesbit, the kids find the Psammead when they are trying to dig a hole to Australia.
  • In Good Omens the Them come to believe that the Ancient Masters of Tibet have a set of tunnels all over the world. It's also suggested that, because the Earth is hollow, it would make more sense to just dig to the centre and then dig up to wherever they wanted. They then try to replicate this and find that it takes much longer to reach the centre of the Earth than they thought. But Adam, with his reality-warping powers, believes in these tunnels through the Earth, and therefore they suddenly exist, complete with (very confused) Tibetans. And even more confused gardeners.
  • From Great Expectations: "Without remarking that man-traps were not among the amenities of life, I said I supposed he was very skilful? 'Deep,' said Wemmick, 'as Australia.' Pointing with his pen at the office floor, to express that Australia was understood, for the purposes of the figure, to be symmetrically on the opposite spot of the globe."
  • Land of Oz: Book 8 (Tik-Tok of Oz) has a tube going through the Earth, which leads from a land near Oz to another (fictional and fantastic) land on the other side of the world. With a ruler named Tititi-Hoochoo and a friendly dragon, it seems to be playing on a few Chinese stereotypes of the time.
  • While there are no stories about Paul Bunyan himself digging all the way to China, a number of Bunyan yarns make mention of "The Year the Rain Came Up from China."
  • Polk Street School: Book 8 (Snaggle Doodles) of the original series has a chapter where, as a side-note, Richard "Beast" Best is shown trying to dig a hole to China on the school playground with a stick and is up to his wrist. He says he was up to his elbow last week, but Jim the custodian filled in the hole, so he's having to start over.
  • Thursday Next: It's also the primary form of speedy transportation in the books, the two Gravitubes which go through the Earth to link London with Sydney and Tokyo with Washington DC. Smaller "Overmantle" trains run beneath the crust to more destinations. Note that this world does not have passenger airliners and indeed Thursday considers them impossible when the idea is raised.
  • What-a-Mess, in one story, tries to dig a hole to Australia because it's a very hot summer day and since the Cat-Next-Door has just told him that it's winter in Australia, he thinks a trip to Australia is just what he needs to cool down. Of course, What-a-Mess is a dog, and not a particularly bright one at that.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun, Dick and Harry fall into a big hole. At one point, Dick declares that he's going to try to escape by digging to China.
  • An opening sketch for All That featured several cast members digging a hole to China (in the Green room no less). The rest of the cast is stunned when a Chinese boy climbs out, who claims to have seen the other end of the hole in China and climbed through to investigate. When Kevin the Manager protests the boy's presence, he is pushed down the hole himself while busy examining it ("Hey look! Chinese stuff!")
  • On The Amanda Show, Penelope digs a hole to China as a trap for the security guard so she can get close to Amanda. It works...sort of; the security guard (and later Penelope herself) fall through the hole and end up in the house of a very confused Chinese family. But for some reason, they end the fall by crashing through the ceiling rather than the floor.
  • In Everybody Loves Raymond, Amy McDougall's religiously pious father is appalled by Frank Barone's earthy profanity. He cannot bring himself to repeat the word "hell" and creates the euphemism "The Antipode of Heaven". Frank is stunned.
    The Antipode of Heaven? What kinda God-damned moon-man talk is that?
  • Stephanie from Full House tells Michelle to do this as a joke when she asks her how to get to Japan. Michelle, being young and naive, actually tries to do it.
  • On Good Eats, Alton has a secret passageway through his pantry into an identical pantry located in China. It goes through the center of the Earth via a ladder.
  • The subject of the Hey You! What If... episode "You Could Dig Through The Earth?", which demonstrates all of the problems in attempting to do this.
  • On one episode of How I Met Your Mother Robin commented that, if a member of the Vancouver Canucks hockey team walked into the bar, "my panties would drop so fast there would be a hole in the floor halfway to China."
  • In Monty Python's Flying Circus, Ron Obvious tries to be the first man to dig a tunnel from Godalming to Java. He doesn't progress very far. Well, what do you expect? He wasn't given a spade!
  • At one point, Michael Scott references this trope in The Office (US), appropriately enough, in the episode "China".
  • When the game "Push Over" was first played on The Price Is Right, Bob Barker told the contestant that the number blocks that they had to push into a box would go to China.
  • Pushing Daisies: As a child, Olive tried to dig through the earth to get to Arabia when her parents told her she couldn't have an Arabian stallion. Instead, she dug up a fossilized Triceratops, and a Saudi oil sheikh traded her a horse for the skeleton.
  • This Saturday Night Live sketch, featuring an American man digging a hole to China running into a Chinese man played by Jackie Chan trying to dig to America, a Frenchman trying to dig to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean ("I have my reasons"), a Ghanian man digging to New Zealand, and an Ecuadorian man escaping prison by digging to Algeria. The American lampshades how unlikely it is for all the diggers to run into each other.
  • In the Sesame Street special Big Bird in China, Oscar and Telly try to reach China by digging, and succeed. Big Bird, however, takes the plane.
  • In Torchwood: Miracle Day, The Blessing runs through the centre of the Earth connecting Shanghai, China and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Chauncey does this in an episode of Wonder Showzen.

  • The Weekly World News once ran an article about China digging a hole to America to invade it. Similarly, The Sun ran a report saying that a group of Chinese miners dug their way to Nevada by accident and apologized, and the government kept the incident under wraps.

  • Knorkator's "Weg Nach Unten" deals with someone trying to get away from it all by digging a hole and staying there. He ends up in Australia and mentions he has dug to far.
  • "No Myth" by Michael Penn contains these lyrics:
    We said goodbye before hello
    My secrets she will never know
    And if I dig a hole to China
    I'll catch the first junk to SoHo...
    (next verse)
    Sometime from now you'll bow to pressure
    Some things in life you cannot measure by degrees
    I'm between the poles and the equator
    Don't send no private investigator to find me please
    'Less he speaks Chinese...
  • Alluded to in They Might Be Giants' "Ana Ng". The lyrics describe making a hole perpendicular to the singer's town in a globe that will lead to a foreign nation where Ana Ng lives, the idea being that the singer's true love lives on the exact opposite side of the world.
  • Mentioned in Tom Waits' "Get Behind The Mule" from Mule Variations.
    I'm diggin' all the way to China
    With a silver spoon
    While the hangman fumbles with the noose, boys
    The hangman fumbles with the noose
    She gotta get behind the mule
    In the mornin' and plow
    • Bonus points for doing it with a spoon, easily multiplying his work time by tenfold. Tom Waits is that badass.

  • At the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, part of the presentation "handing off" the Olympics to the next host city, Tokyo, was a video of the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, turning into Mario and traveling from Japan to Brazil by jumping into a Warp Pipe through the Earth. After the video, the real Abe emerged from a fake Warp Pipe in the Rio stadium! (Rio and Tokyo aren't really directly opposite each other, but Japan's antipodes are just off Brazil's Atlantic coast, so... close enough.)

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Gary Gygax's original home Dungeons & Dragons campaign from the mid-1970s (which was set on a parallel Earth), the bottom level of Castle Greyhawk contained a slide trap that sent its victims all the way to China.
  • In the Mystara setting, an Alphatian government expedition managed, by immense effort and expenditure of advanced Magitek engineering, to dig its way straight down to an exotic locale. Justified because it's the Hollow World, a relatively short distance below the surface, and Alphatian elemental-themed magic allowed them to bypass lava and other subterranean obstructions.
  • Paranoia: In sample adventure "Into the Great Outdoors", if the PC's got too close to an interesting looking mound on the edge of the map, they faced a Hopeless Boss Fight against a Chinese communist Zerg Rush.
  • Warhammer: Ogre pilgrims who journey to see their god, The Great Maw, claim that there is no bottom to the hole it chewed and it ate its way all through. In the ocean on the opposite side of the planet is the Maelstrom, an enormous, permanent, sentient, whirlpool.

    Video Games 
  • Dig to China, a Flash game where you do just that.
  • During one part in Elite Beat Agents, a broke Oil Baron trying to regain his fortune digs through the earth... and sells his hole to make into a transplanetary railway.
  • Happens in Fantasy World Dizzy — while the location isn't explicitly stated, you fall through a hole and end up in an upside-down screen featuring a stereotypical Australian.
  • In Guild Wars Factions, you meet a Dredge who tells you that the Dredge came to Cantha from Tyria "by digging a tunnel to the other side of the world." For added fun, Tyria is a Medieval European Fantasy setting and Cantha the Far East equivalent.
  • Potemkin's Instant Kill in Guilty Gear Xrd ends with a punch strong enough to blast his opponent right through the Earth's crust. The attack ends with the opponent emerging in a desert with some palm trees.
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us: Doomsday's supermove has him repeatedly punch his opponent through the ground to the other side of the world... ending up in the middle of the ocean and not China. Then he does it back to the other side.
  • Kirby & the Amazing Mirror: The "Crackity Hack" sub-game revolves around a Brick Break competition where a strong enough chop creates a crack in the ground. Getting the highest possible score makes the crack go all the way to the other end of Pop Star, opening a fissure on the upside-down other end of the planet. In Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe, the minigame returns; this time, a group of Waddle Dees are vacationing on the other side and get startled by the waterspout that the fissure creates.
  • Plants vs. Zombies has an Easter Egg on the achievement page involving Chinese zombies. It's deceptively simple to find. Newer versions of the iOS and Android versions of the game added a leaderboard to show how fast players could find China along with an achievement called "Peking Express".
  • While not on Earth, this is pretty much the entire reason Mario gets a drill as an item in Super Mario Galaxy 2, to go straight down through the top of planets and out the other side.

  • Deconstructed in The Bird Feeder #54, "China." Terry discusses how silly of an idea it is to dig to China. He states that you'd probably just end up in the middle of the ocean, and the water would wash you back through the hole to where you started.
  • In Questionable Content, Faye once threatened to drink Steve so far under the table he'd wind up in an AA meeting in China. And again, where Faye alludes to Marten digging himself so deep that people in China would get to observe his foot-in-mouth stammering.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner: The Strong Bad Email "alternate universe" had Strong Bad entering a "Dig to China With Your Ears" contest against an alternate version of himself. They don't actually make it to China, as the alternate "Tiny-Handed Strong Bad" puts the contest on hold when he unearths a giant mug of root beer.
  • Toon Sandwich: In the trailer parody of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Dr. Strange drops Spiderman into a portal somewhere in New York... and spits him out in Shanghai. Lampshaded by Spidey. "That's one heck of a long fall!"

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The 2 Stupid Dogs episode "Cat" had Little Dog dig into the earth in an attempt to get past a cat that Big Dog is too sleepy to scare right away. He ends up digging all the way to China, where he gets frightened by a Chinese cat. Which he runs away from 'all the way back around the world, gets frightened again by the first cat, runs back to China, encounters the Chinese cat again, and rushes back up his tunnel, which he then fills back in. At which point he sees the first cat and runs... into a wall.
  • In one "Minerva Mink" segment on Animaniacs, a hunting dog quickly becomes smitten with Minerva. When he finds out she likes Chinese food, he digs all the way to China for it.
  • Arthur: Arthur's friends' summer project was to dig all the way to the center of the Earth. They never succeeded because summer ended.
  • In Baby Blues, Wanda is talking to Melinda while Rodney and Megan are digging. When she asks what they're doing, they say, what else, "We're digging to China!" Except they hit a gas pipe and when they went inside, Melinda threw a cigarette into the hole. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Not digging, but the same basic idea: One episode of the Beetle Bailey Animated Adaptation featured a submarine diving (strictly vertically) deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper... until encountering a Chinese submarine coming from the opposite direction.
  • The Bunsen Is a Beast episode "By Hook or By Schnook" has Mikey and Bunsen accidentally dig their way to China when they're searching for buried treasure.
  • An interesting example occurs in the Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers episode "An Elephant Never Suspects": The panda siblings Ming-Ting and Ting-A-Ling have built a dragon-shaped, peanut-powered digging machine built for the purpose of achieving exactly this. Justified as they're homesick Chinese pandas at an American zoo.
  • In one episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog, Courage digs a hole to China in order to avoid a monster. Of course, there's a Chinese dragon waiting on the other side and it chases him back.
  • This happened in the Darkwing Duck episode "Kung Fooled", where the Ratcatcher rode into the Earth and brought Darkwing, Gosalyn and Launchpad to China.
  • Discussed in the Dennis the Menace episode; "Queen of Chinatown". Joey mentions to Margaret that he and Dennis once tried to dig to China from Mr. Wilson's backyard, but Mr. Wilson made them put back all the dirt.
  • In the Dexter's Laboratory episode "D & DD", Dexter's Monsters and Mazes character ("Hodo, the Furry-Footed Burrower") digs a tunnel to escape a dragon, winds up in China... and is nearly eaten by an Asian-style dragon. note 
  • The Donald Duck/Chip 'n Dale short "Donald Applecore" ends with Donald accidentally blowing a hole in his apple orchard so deep, he falls all the way to China (offscreen). You can tell it's China at the other end because of the offensive fake accent on the guy who does the "applecore" joke on Donald.
  • Showed up as a gag in the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "For Your Ed Only". Jonny falls out of Ed's bubblegum balloon and hits the ground so hard he ends up going through the Earth and ending up in China. This is immediately lampshaded: "Wow, China! Just like in the cartoons!" He's back in America at the end of the episode because Plank was "afraid of getting turned into chopsticks".
  • Gravity Falls: Upon looking at a chasm in "Into the Bunker", Stan comments that he doesn't want his car to fall in China.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: In "Tween Wolf", after Irwin is mauled by a werewolf, he walks in on Billy attempting to dig to China.
  • In one episode of I Am Weasel, Baboon managed to dig all the way to the other side of the world by overuse of a ridiculous "musical instrument" obviously inspired by theremins, but much worse sounding. Apparently, the wavelengths of said thing triggered St. Andreas' Fault, causing him to fall all the way to China.
  • In Jacob Two-Two, the school's staff room has a tunnel to China.
  • Looney Tunes, though the hole is generally created by the character falling, the character getting smashed into the ground so hard he ends up on the other side.
    • In "War and Pieces," Wile E. Coyote's rocket does a u-turn on a cliff face, smashes into the ground and burrows through the Earth to China, where he meets a Chinese Road Runner (identical to the American one, but wearing a stereotypical Chinese coolie hat and geta).
    • In "Tweety and the Beanstalk", Sylvester the Cat was knocked clear through to China after getting sat on by a giant, and met up with a Chinese Tweety.
      "Ooh, I tawt I taw dishonowable putty tat!"
    • Lampshaded in "14 Carrot Rabbit", where Bugs tricks Yosemite Sam into digging through a narrow portion of an outcrop of rock. Naturally, he starts falling, at which point he remarks "Great horny toadies... I musta dug straight through to Chiney..."
  • In the Muppet Babies (2018) episode, "Summer Penguin, P.I.", Animal tries to do this when he digs in the sandbox.
  • The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode that crossed over with The Addams Family (1973) saw Pugsley digging to China through his sandbox. When Morticia chides him for being ridiculous, Pugsley tells the Chinese boy just under the surface that he'll have to go back home.
  • The Petit episode "Quiero ser un niño chino" is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, Petit tries to be a Chinese boy after he learns that Chinese kids do get to play while he has to go to sleep. He and his friends try various things to achieve the goal, and one of Petit's ideas was this.
  • Phineas and Ferb
    • This was one of Doofenshmirtz's plots. He... kinda forgot about that whole magma thing; fortunately for him, Agent P was there to Save the Villain.
    • In "Norm Unleashed", Agent P uses a secret entrance that, instead of taking him to his lair, takes him all the way through the earth to Shanghai where he receives his instructions from Major Monogram, who was only there because he wanted the best noodles in China. Even when he gets there, Monogram informs him he doesn't know what Doof is up to because his phone doesn't have international coverage.
  • There was a Popeye cartoon based on the Red Shoes where Olive mentions that, if she doesn't stop dancing, she's going to dig herself to China, which she does in the next scene we see her in.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls "Dance Pantsed" special, Mojo Jojo's robot sends Buttercup flying with enough force to send her into the ground, through the center of the earth, and she resurfaces in China no worse for wear.
  • The Diggers in Recess never get anywhere, but the sign next to their hole says "China or Bust!" They got to China once, the one time they didn't try. They were promptly attacked by Chinese kindergarteners.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: In "Pranksters", Heffer sets up a rocket to prank "Granny Rocko", whom he thinks is actually Rocko playing a prank on him. But when Rocko comes in, Heffer is super embarrassed and ends up tying himself to the rocket. At one point, he goes through the earth's crust and ends up in China. (Though for some reason, bagpipes are heard playing "Scotland the Brave".)
  • Rupert Bear: Rupert's Chinese friend Pong Ping had a lift that took the occupants straight down to China. It turned over halfway so they wouldn't arrive standing on their heads.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Referenced when Homer accidentally drops a jug full of pennies into the ground:
      Homer: Hello? China? ... Little help?
    • In another episode, Bart's digging a deep hole in the backyard for no apparent reason is actually being monitored by Chinese spy satellites. This turns out to be a "Shaggy Dog" Story being told by Homer about how "eventually, I became King of the Morlocks."
      Official: Those inscrutable Americans! What are they up to?
      Soldier: I will stop them. I am strong! I am the Great Humungous!
      Official: We all know you're the Great Humungous.
      Soldier: Well, I'm just saying-
      Official: Oh, you're always "just saying"!
    • In the movie, when the Simpsons' house collapses, Chief Wiggum says they're China's problem now.
  • Played with and subverted in The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries episode "Rasslin' Rhapsody" where Granny tumbles the Crusher through the ring; it was believed that he passed through the center of the earth to China but he actually landed in a post-Soviet Union Europe country instead.
  • Sparkle Friends, a cartoon from New Zealand, had them dig to Japan, funnily enough. You'd think they would choose somewhere that wasn't in the same hemisphere... (Does this even count as "western" animation?)
  • The Thomas & Friends episode, "Deep Trouble" features an Imagine Spot where Monty, having fallen down a mine shaft, continues to fall through the Earth until he in ends up in Australia.note 
  • Timon & Pumbaa: The Hyenas end up digging to China.

  • It's said among climbers of Mount Everest that if you fall into a crevasse, you'll fall all the way to America.
  • The islands of New Britain and New Ireland in Papua New Guinea were so named because they were (erroneously) thought to be the antipodes of the British Isles (in reality, their antipodes are the Pacific Ocean).


Jonny lands in China

Jonny takes a free fall and lands straight into China.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (15 votes)

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Main / DiggingToChina

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