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Dinner Deformation

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A Graphical Trope common in Zany Cartoons. If someone swallows something large, their body will deform to accommodate it, taking the shape and size of the object.

Bob makes a gigantic sandwich, much bigger than his head. He then defies physics and shoves the entire thing in his mouth at once. His head then deforms and becomes the exact same shape as the sandwich. He then swallows and the sandwich shape travels down his neck, until it reaches his stomach where it is then digested.

Alternatively, something may be thrown at Bob at sufficiently high speeds that it lodges itself in his mouth. His head again deforms to accommodate the object. He then reluctantly swallows, and the deformation travels down his throat.

Subtrope of Forcibly Formed Physique. Compare Balloon Belly, Traveling-Pipe Bulge and Impact Silhouette. Contrast with Hammerspace.


    open/close all folders 

  • A classic Guinness advert combines this with Traveling-Pipe Bulge: an ostrich has stolen a man's beer, leaving it with a bulge in its neck the size and shape of a pint glass.

    Anime and Manga 

    Asian Animation 
  • Lamput: In "Lamput & the Elephant", the baby elephant thinks a snake is its mother and gets eaten by the reptile, which has a large, bulging bump in its stomach afterwards. Lamput morphs into a cookie dough roller to push the elephant out of the snake.

    Comic Books 
  • Used frequently in The Beano.
  • Jughead almost always does this.
  • In an early issue of Bone Phoney Bone tries to hide a purloined pie by stuffing it into Fone Bone's mouth. Fone Bone's head assumes the outline of the pie, complete with eaten slice.
  • In Górsky & Butch, a police medium has the power to guess what the victim's last meal was... in this case he guessed that it was a a safe with a coded note.
  • In the Spanish comic Mortadelo y Filemón, the thrown variant is often used.
  • Used to horrible effect in Marvel Zombies. Zombie-Hulk gorges himself on human bodies, which satisfies his hunger enough that he turns back into Banner, and you can see feet trying to poke out of his stomach...

    Comic Strips 
  • In one FoxTrot strip series, Peter wasn't necessarily shown eating the pizzas in one gulp, but he came home with his stomach clearly showing several pizzas stacked inside of it.
  • Zits: Jeremy once unhinged his jaw to eat a tall sandwich.
  • Sometimes happens in Garfield when the title character swallows things whole. This strip has Garfield swallow an entire candy cane, with his tail in a candy cane shape.

    Films — Animation 
  • Happens with the ostriches in Fantasia.
  • Koati: Zaina (a coral snake) eats two tree seeds and looks in an obsidian mirror, pretending she has large breasts and a large butt.
  • In Ratatouille, Emile is hiding from Linguini next to a bunch of grapes. He starts eating them one by one until his body looks like a bag full of grapes.
  • Scooby-Doo: Camp Scare: Scooby's head takes the shape of a slice of watermelon during one musical number.
  • Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has an interesting example. After chasing a bar of soap that was sliding across the floor, Dopey eventually swallows it by mistake. He immediately starts to hiccup bubbles, which provokes him to squeeze his stomach in various angles; he then sees a rectangular bulge inside him before going into a hiccuping frenzy for the rest of the scene.
  • Happens to Kevin the bird in Up when she tries to eat Carl's cane, and again when she swallows one of the balloons holding up Carl's house.
  • The Bad Guys (2022): When the team tries to free guinea pigs from an animal testing facility, Mr. Snake finds himself in a room filled with dozens upon dozens of guinea pigs. The next scene has him exit the room with a huge bulge and a satisfied smile.
    Wolf: We're supposed to save them, not eat them!
    Snake: Well, I'd say they've gone to a better place.
  • The Jungle Book 2: This happens to Kaa who accidentally swallows a boulder when trying to eat Shanti. The boulder gets lodged into his neck and remains there for the remainder of his screen time.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Mask: The title character swallows a bomb, and the resulting explosion only gives him a fiery belch.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Roger is hurled into an ironing board mouth first, and ends up stretched out over it.
  • Played for horror in Deep Rising. A piece of the monster's tentacles is noticeably bulging before the heroes open fire on it. Then the half-digested, shrieking body of another character falls out.
  • Also played for horror in Anaconda. At one point the titular snake is seen swimming away, and we see the outline of the person it just ate in its belly.

  • The Little Prince opens with the narrator recalling how, as a child, he drew a picture of a snake who ate an elephant whole. The grown-ups think it's a hat and chastise him for wasting time drawing silly pictures.
  • In the Harry Potter universe there are the normally Living Shadow-like lethifolds, which gain an inch or two in depth after feeding on sleeping humans.
  • Discworld:
    • In Unseen Academicals, Glenda, a woman who has the gargantuan task of cooking for Wizards, in not best pleased to see all the pies she has cooked and racked up to cool have been stolen; she tracks the crumbs back to the mysterious Mr Nutt, who is sleeping off a binge with his stomach swollen to a massively distended size. In a novel about football, she then has a chance to, absolutely deadpan, intone the words
      Who ate all the pies?
    • In the Ankh-Morpork Post Office Diary, the history section states that the Quirmian post office used to employ ostriches. Apparently, the only drawback to ostrich postmen was the tendency to swallow amusingly-shaped parcels and get them lodged in their necks. This is probably a reference to the Guinness advert above.
  • In David Feldman's Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise? a cartoon accompanying the entry on why snakes flick their tongues out depicts two snakes, one of which is complaining about having gorged itself on two dozen mice and a cheesecake. The cheesecake is shown as a circular bulge several inches below its head.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids spoofing Men in Black, Diane and the kids thwart the alien invaders by sneaking them shrunken van tires disguised as M&Ms, their Trademark Favorite Food. This is after Wayne has perfected automatic un-shrinking, so the tires grow back to regular size inside them. Thanks to apparent Bizarre Alien Biology, this results in this trope rather than killing them.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Satiric French show Les Guignols de l'Info, after the infamous "pretzel" incident, showed a picture of the puppet for George W. Bush with his throat in the shape of a pretzel. Then they made a Running Gag of it with the game "guess what Bush accidentally ate this time", with the puppet sporting a throat in the shape of various objects (including a dog once).

    Video Games 
  • In the Dragon's Lair clone Brain Dead 13, a couple of the deaths result in this, such as a book getting stuck in Lance's throat or a huge stone football thrown into his mouth.
  • This happens to a snake that swallows Guybrush in The Curse of Monkey Island. We can see the outline of Guybrush standing inside the snake, and he's able to pick up things that the snake has also swallowed.
  • In Dig Out! one of the pictures shown when you're killed by a snake depicts a sleeping snake with a miner-shaped bulge in its middle.
  • Happens several times in Dragon's Lair 2, usually with giant snakes swallowing Dirk whole and, in one case, a Giant Spider.
  • This is made into a gameplay mechanic in Kirby and the Forgotten Land, where certain things that are too large for Kirby to swallow will cause him to mold around it and put him in "Mouthful Mode". This includes a car he can drive through obstacles, a vending machine that can shoot out soda cans as projectiles, and a traffic cone he can use to pierce through leaky pipes and other obstacles.
  • In Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, Jin's snake form can pick up gears used as keys... by swallowing them. In addition to the gear's weight slowing him down considerably, the poor snake's belly ends up tightly wrapped around it.
  • A disturbing example hails from Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate, as the crystal ball reveals that Fate's Carnival's sword swallower will inadvertently eat a real sword. He is shown agonizing, the hilt of the sword deforming his throat in a matter that can't possibly be survived.
  • This occurs twice to Carbuncle when he eats something in two animated Puyo Puyo shorts, the first one being Schezo's sword and the second one being an entire food stand.
  • Happens in The Sims 2 if a Cowplant eats a Sim. The Sim will bulge its neck until it goes down into the plant.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • A variation shows up the Zero Punctuation review of Rise of the Triad, when Yahtzee says he wants to shove an "ocean liner piston, butt hole first" in the voice actor who plays the game's mission commander (who mocks the player every time they die.)
  • G’s Paragate: In “Jungle on a Jungle (3/5)”, Elder Bouchemhan knocks two snakes out of the tree he gets stuck in, one of which is still digesting a large tree bird that bulges out of its stomach.
  • Homestar Runner: In his big return from a five-and-a-half-year-long hiatus of checking his e-mail, Strong Bad commits April Fools pranks all across the land. One of these is somehow tricking the local vegan Marzipan into eating The Cheat, who gets caught in her neck, causing her to cough up some of his fur while asking "Are you sure this is gluten-free?"
  • AstroLOLogy: In "Joke's on You", one of the Gemini twins is eaten by a snake, and he's clearly visible with his legs poking out from inside the snake's stomach. The fortune message has both of the Gemini twins eaten, both still visible as lumps within the snake.

    Western Animation 
  • One episode of 2 Stupid Dogs, the big dog somehow gets himself caught in a tennis ball pitching machine and is turned into the size and shape of a tennis ball. The small, ball-obsessed dog swallows him. The big dog reforms inside the small dog, causing the small dog to take the shape of the big dog.
  • Adventure Time: A side effect of Jake's size/shape-shifting ability. One notable incident had him grow huge so he could eat a broom in one bite (part of some wizard training), then shrink back down only to have the broom distend his whole torso, so he settles on growing just big enough to fit the broom in his stomach without it sticking out.
  • Animaniacs: Happens occasionally when Wakko eats something.
  • In Beany and Cecil, convict Dishonest John gets a birthday cake full of tools - but the guard makes him eat it all up in front of him. Cue wrench, hammer, and saw-shaped lumps in his throat dropping into his gut with appropriate tool sound effects and a jaunty "Happy Birthday To You".
  • In the Big City Greens episode where Cricket gets a pet snake (which he named "Snakey"), said snake's body takes on the shape of the animals he swallows.
  • In the Tex Avery cartoon, Billy Boy, the little goat swallows a tire whole and takes its shape, including the hole in the center.
  • Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese: Happens to Cat after she eats a stack of books in "The Cheesy Diary".
  • Camp Lazlo: In the episode The Big Weigh In, the Lardadoodle bird swallows a menagerie of food items, including a refrigerator and scoutmaster Lumpus.
  • An episode of Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers has Monterey Jack unwittingly eating a piece of dehydrated cheese. When it rehydrates in his stomach, he's comically stretched out into a large brick shape.
  • In the Darkwing Duck episode "In Like Blunt", one photo J. Gander shows Darkwing of an agent killed by whoever has the list has a snake with a suspiciously avian-looking series of bumps in it.
  • Droopy:
    • In the cartoon Out-Foxed, a fox gives Droop a bone with dynamite inside. The other dogs rush him and take it from him. As he asks each dog who has the bone, each one shakes his head no, including the dog who took it, who clearly has a bone-shaped lump in his mouth... until it explodes, leaving the dog with no mouth at all.
    • In yet another cartoon, The Three Little Pups, the Big Bad Wolf tries to get Droopy and his brothers by sucking them out with a straw (it's Tex Avery, what do you expect?) and sucks up their televison set by mistake. He opens up his shirt, exposing a TV screen on his stomach. (Later we see the TV back in the pup's house, with Droopy telling the audience "Now don't ask us how we got the television back.")
  • On Ed, Edd n Eddy, the characters like to suck on jawbreakers that are bigger than their own heads, appearing as enormous round lumps on the side of their faces.
    • In "Little Ed Blue", Edd tries to cheer Ed up by having the latter blow the candle on, for some reason, a roasted chicken. Ed's response? He shoves the chicken into Edd, making his stomach shaped like it.
    • In another episode, Eddy convinces Ed to eat his mattress. Edd walks in on Ed partway through the process, his entire body deformed around one half of the mattress.
    • Ed is quite prone to this trope, as another episode sees him eating an entire log as tall as he is. He of course takes on its shape.
    • Though he doesn't swallow it, Rolf gets Plank lodged in his mouth via the thrown variant. When he turns his head, it's shown to be the same length and shape as Plank.
    • In "Don't Rain on My Ed", Eddy is running to the candy store so fast that he winds up running into Kevin and swallowing him and his bike whole.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: In an episode parodying The Jetsons, Timmy decides to place a pill of dehydrated waffles in his mouth. It promptly becomes a stack of waffles as he swallows it.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In the cartoon Devil May Hare, Bugs feeds the Tasmanian Devil an inflatable raft disguised as a pig and inflates it inside him, causing him to take the shape of the raft.
    • In Yankee Doodle Daffy, as Daffy enthusiastically pitches his young protege Sleepy La Goon to talent agent Porky, the junior genius sits on the couch, stuffing a huge lollypop into his face, distending his he twirls it around in his mouth, his head shape follows it.
  • On Mike, Lu & Og, Lu swallows whole several jawbreaker-like candies called Jujubombs, homemade by Mike and Og to be jumbo-sized.
  • Mr. Bogus:
    • The claymation short shown at the end of the episode "Class Clown Bogus" had Bogus devour an entire banana in one bite, taking on its shape.
    • Happens in the third act of the episode "Et Tu, Brattus?" to a piranha after it eats the cocktail weenie that Bogus offers it, leaving its body in the shape of a cocktail weenie.
    • Happens twice to Brattus in the second act of the episode "Beach Blanket Bogus", the first time when he eats an entire hamburger, and the second time when he eats an entire pretzel, which briefly leaves a pretzel-shaped bulge in Brattus's stomach.
    • At the beginning of the second act of the episode "Bogus To The Rescue", Bogus, after coming up from one of the floor tiles in the bathroom, eats an entire chocolate ice cream cone in one bite, with the back of his head briefly taking the shape of the ice cream cone.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In an attempt to get rid of a cursed spellbook before Rarity can notice, Spike swallows it, and struggles to pass the obvious book shape down his throat before Rarity looks in his direction.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Perry the Platypus once ate a big wheel of cheese yet was still able to fight Dr. Doofenshmirtz while looking like this.
  • The Pink Panther: One cartoon had Pink so hungry that he decides to fold up the background and eat it. It then unfolds inside him until the entire screen is covered in pink.
  • A Pup Named Scooby-Doo: This happens to Scooby when in one episode, he eats an exceptionally large Scooby Snack.
  • On The Ren & Stimpy Show, Ren eats dehydrated horse meat, which then rehydrates inside him into the shape of a whole horse.
  • On Rocko's Modern Life, Heffer swallows a spoonful of thumbtacks, thinking it was cereal, and the pointy bulge travels down his neck.
  • On The Simpsons, the school snake is seen crawling with some kid-shaped lumps, one of which is Milhouse (and according to the Springfield Elementary School charter, the school isn't responsible for Milhouse getting eaten by a snake — or Bart dying of appendicitis).
    • In another episode, Bart gets a snake for a pet and brings it to school. One girl's pet rabbit escapes, and it's revealed the snake ate it. We see the rabbit hopping in the snake's body... until it quickly dissolves.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • "Pressure" has Patrick eat a Krabby Double Deluxe whole, then force it down. The patty is visible all the way (pictured).
    • "Squidtastic Voyage" ends with the shrunken sub growing inside Squidward.
    • Squidward has also had the thrown version thrust upon him, as SpongeBob makes Krabby Patties too fast and they all end up flying down Squidward's gullet.
    • Squidward also has his clarinet shoved into his mouth, and his head is stretched out to accommodate the instrument.
    • He also once ate his paintings when he was homeless because nobody would buy them.
    • In "Wormy", Sandy shows SpongeBob and Patrick her pet snake, which has a mouse-shaped bulge.
    • In "Naughty Nautical Neighbors", the fork that Squidward accidentally swallows is clearly seen sticking through his neck.
    • In "Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost", Patrick attempts to appease Squidward's "ghost" by giving him an entire watermelon, which fills his whole head.
  • In Steamboat Willie, Mickey can't get a cow strapped to a crane for loading because it's too skinny. He feeds it a whole haystack to fill it out, which also deforms the head and neck as it goes down.
  • Super Mario World (1991): Happens to Yoshi on a few occasions. He eats a wooden wheel in "The Wheel Thing" which creates a bulge in his throat as he swallows it.
  • Used frequently in Tom and Jerry, usually when Jerry eats something bigger than he was.
    • Often appears with Jerry's Big Eater nephew Nibbles.
    • Tom has also been known to swallow whole Sandwich Towers in one sitting, stretching out his neck in the process.
    • The items swallowed didn't necessarily have to be food, either, such as Tom getting an inflatable pool toy down the throat in "Salt Water Tabby" or Jerry being force-fed a bell in "Fit to Be Tied".

    Real Life 
  • More or less Truth in Television for some types of snakes. Though you can't really tell what the snake ate, just how big it was. A snake that ate a rat wouldn't appear much different from a snake that ate a bird the same size as the rat.
  • Certain deep-sea fishes play this trope straight, due to their highly-expandable guts. Not only that, but some have so little pigment in their own tissues that whatever prey they ingest is plainly visible through the distended belly wall.
  • The Japanese Giant Salamander swallows its prey whole and alive. It can be seen moving around in its stomach. That's quite a way to die, digested alive in a stomach.


Video Example(s):


Lance Galahad

Failing to dodge a book-throwing monster's projectile in the library will have Lance get a book chucked down his gullet. It says something when this is one of the LEAST gruesome ways to die that this game offers.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / DinnerDeformation

Media sources: