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Elongating Arm Gag

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A gag very common in The Golden Age of Animation, involving the use of Toon Physics. Somehow, one character always has a fist which can stretch across the entire room. Or the entire country. Or the entire universe. No matter the length, it's a quick gag where a character extends their arm(s) to grab or hit something far away. There are similar gags with extendable legs and the like, but arms are the most common.

Compare Eye Pop. Usually doesn't overlap with Creepily Long Arms, which are a permanent biological feature.

If you're looking for the trope where a character has this as an actual ability, see Extendable Arms and/or Rubber Man.


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  • There is a Japanese McDonaldland ad where Birdie the Early Bird is trying to get Ronald McDonald to wake up, Ronald being such a stubborn sleeper that he stretches his arm to turn the sun back into the moon as if he were flicking a light switch.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Tamagotchi: The person who serves food at Tamagotchi School's cafeteria does so by stretching his arms out to the students receiving their lunches.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Mighty Little Defenders episode 1, Wolffy's arm extends to a cartoonish length when he finds General Wolf's briefcase and runs off to find him so that he can return the briefcase to him.
  • In Motu Patlu, characters' arms will occasionally stretch to cartoonish lengths to grab stuff. For example, in "Super Duper Man", Dr. Jhatka's arm stretches when he grabs the patient whose teeth he was taking care of.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • On Muppet Treasure Island, the pirates try to torture Gonzo by stretching him in the rack. Instead of begging for mercy, Gonzo enjoys it, even bragging that he's now tall enough to play in the NBA. Afterwards, Gonzo is seen showing off his now elongated limbs, which Bunsen then fixes by pulling him out until he rolls like a window shade.
  • Fully embracing Toon Physics, Michael Jordan stretches his arm to score the winning slam dunk in Space Jam.
  • Played for horror in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). When Freddy first confronts Tina in the nightmare that ultimately leads to her death, as he walks toward her he stretches his arms out to the width of the alley they're in.
  • The Silence of the Hams: There's a gag where a midget guard at the prison for mentally insane criminals directs Agent Fostar to a file on Dr. Animal Cannibal Pizza lying on top of a very tall cabinet. Fostar, who's about 6 feet tall, can't reach it, then the guard groans and extends his arm so he can easily grab it for him.

    Live Action Television 
  • The Muppet Show:
    • In the John Cleese episode, Gonzo catches a cannonball with his bare hand, causing his arm to be stretched out. He goes to John to have it fixed, but John misunderstands what Gonzo wants and ends up stretching his other arm to match, along with both legs.
    • In the Dom De Luise episode, Dom plays an astronaut exploring the planet Koozebane and tries to grab one of the aliens, a Merdlidop, hiding in a crater. The Merdlidop grabs him by the wrist and pulls it out another crater some distance away before letting go, the recoil knocking down Dom.
  • The Muppets Mayhem: The Electric Mayhem get high on expired marshmallows during a camping trip. When Moog (the only one not high) tries to help Dr. Teeth stand up, Teeth's long arms just stretch out instead.
    Moog: Are they supposed to do that?

    Web Animation 
  • One of the Powered by the Cheat cartoons on Homestar Runner has Strong Bad and the Cheat stretching their arms far above the earth to high five in outer space.
  • The Living Tombstone: In the music video for "My Ordinary Life", the giraffe stretches her neck to pull down a tall tree to stop the police car chasing them, with a scene dedicated to showing her neck zig-zagging all over the place. Her neck then retracts back to her body, before her head pops back onscreen to give a wink to the camera.
  • Eddsworld: A joke in "Spares" has the four main characters' clones reaching into Edd's fridge to grab every single can of Cola in there...from the living room.
  • WWE Slam City: Happens in several episodes with an accompanying "STRETCH MOVE!!!" whenever a wrestler performs an arm stretch.

  • Learning with Manga! FGO: Sometimes, Gudako or Gudao's arm may stretch out, particularly when they're groping someone.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Tom and Jerry:
    • The shorts "Busy Buddies" and "Tot Watchers" feature a gag where the babysitter stretches her arm across the room to clutch the phone and is then pulled towards it via Newton's second law, as pictured above.
    • In "Down Beat Bear", an escaped circus bear is raiding the fridge, so Tom reaches for the phone to call the authorities. Not only does he extend his arm, he also curves it over the door frame so the bear doesn't see it.
  • One episode of The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries had Daphne restrain a fleeing Shaggy by extending her arms from offscreen.
  • The Mr. Men Show: There are multiple gags where a character temporarily grows their arm to reach something from far away. Unlike Mr. Tickle, the characters don't have it as an actual ability and it's merely used as a joke.
  • Lucky in the 101 Dalmatians: The Series episode "Chow About That?" extends his arm off-screen to grab Cadpig. This does not occur in any other episodes.
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 4, Mr. Cat manages to reach all the way across a very long table and tap Quack Quack, who is sitting on the other side, on the shoulder.
  • The Crumpets: In "Taxidermama", Ms. McBrisk extends her arm to grab a hose offscreen before she intentionally damages a lawnmower by spraying it.
  • In A Very Blue Beard, when Bluebeard proposes to his first wife and offers her the keys of his castle, his arms stretch out further and further towards her for about twelve seconds. Later, when he proposes to his third wife, he holds his arms upwards (the lady is a winged fairy) and they also stretch for about six seconds.
  • Johnny Bravo: In "Bearly Enough Time", Johnny attempts to escape from Kronos by distracting him with a VCR clock, then running out of his cave. Kronos, instead of running after him, stretches out an arm, which grabs Johnny right after he exits the cave mouth.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: In "Run Ed Run", the Eds are trying to catch up to a bus while riding a land-based windsurfer. In an act of desperation, Eddy starts biting his own arm to stretch it, after which he uses it like a lasso to grab onto the bus' back door.
  • In at least one occasion on Wacky Races, Dastardly has stretched his arm to abnormal lengths to hit Muttley for snickering at him.
  • Looney Tunes
    • In "Baby Bottleneck", Porky Pig pulls on Daffy Duck's leg trying to get him to sit on an egg. It stretches out like taffy, and Daffy tries to gather it before he's chased by Porky, leading him to walk lopsided. He finally pulls the leg back to normal by pulling on a hair on his head.
    • In "Thumb Fun", Porky and Daffy are on a car when a cop signals them to pull over. Daffy insists that the "long arm of the law" will never catch up with them. Then the cop's arm grabs them by the collar from offscreen, followed by a long pan down the arm.
  • Tex Avery MGM Cartoons
    • In "Who Killed Who?", first the cop stretches his leg to a door on the other end of a spacious hall; then when the killer has him at gun point and tells him to "reach for the ceiling", the cop stretches his arms all the way to the ceiling, three stories up.
    • In "Lonesome Lenny", Screwy Squirrel escapes the titular Lenny by running out of his house to the woods. Lenny then sticks his arm down a hole on the ground, and the camera follows all the way to where Screwy is, wherein Lenny's hand emerges from another hole and pulls him all the way back.
    • In "TV of Tomorrow", a man watching TV won't move to have dinner, so his wife drags him to the dinner table. His head remains in place while his neck stretches out; he only retracts his neck to have a bite of food, then stretches it back out to the living room.
  • Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo': When Shaggy falls off a mast in, Scrappy reaches down to keep him from falling, stretching out his arm in the process.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Frankendoodle", when a pencil falls to the bottom of the sea, SpongeBob and Patrick are startled by it and hide behind a rock. When SpongeBob goes to investigate, the next shot is of his hand sticking out from offscreen to poke the pencil. The camera pulls back to reveal that SpongeBob has stretched out his arm from their hiding place, several yards away.
  • A common occurrence on Zig & Sharko. For instance, in "Sharko and His Folks", Marina nonchalantly stretches her arm out to push Zig and Bernie off a waterfall, complete with mechanical whirring noises.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Extending Arm Gag


Gonzo Catches A Cannonball

Gonzo's arm gets stretched from catching a cannonball.

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Main / ElongatingArmGag

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