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Flapping Cheeks

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"I can't hear you! My cheeks are covering my ears!"
Candace Flynn, Phineas and Ferb

A character who is blasted in the face by a strong current of air — whether because of wind resistance from moving at great velocity (i.e. dog sticking its head out a car window, or human strapped into a very fast rollercoaster), facing a powerful fan, or getting caught in a strong wind — gets their lips and cheeks stretched backwards and flapping in the air with a wet sound, with the gums grotesquely exposed and droplets of saliva sprinkling.

This is almost always a source of slapstick comedy and it's exaggerated in animation, in which case the cheeks can stretch like rubber to impossible proportions.

Often happen to victims of a Centrifugal Farce or dogs sticking their head out of a car's window. Compare Rubber Face for a different kind of stretchy facial features.


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  • Reebok's 2015 ads for Ventilator shoes depict people having their faces struck by an unseen wind from the shoes, with cartoonishly flopping cheeks.
  • An advertisement for an iPhone which included the ability to take Slow Motion selfies showed a close-up of a beautiful teenage girl with Hot Wind tousling her hair which becomes Fan Disservice due to the flapping cheeks. Cut to a Reveal Shot of her little brother blowing a hair dryer in her face while she's holding the phone for a selfie. She then gets him to back off a bit.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Deca-Dence: happens to Natsume in episode 3 when she's strapped to a kite.
  • Delicious in Dungeon: Played for Gallows Humor in Chapter 69 — Chilchuck takes the icy blast of a white dragon's Breath Weapon head-on, freezing him solid with his cheeks mid-flap.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency: Happens to Joseph Joestar when he faces Wamuu's most devastating attack: The Divine Sandstorm (Not Darude Sandstorm, DIVINE, Ok?)
  • Hinamatsuri: In Ep 2, Anzu and Hina compete in Rock, Paper, Scissors: Esper Edition; where they both feel the strong wind in 3 separate rounds.
  • My Hero Academia
    • In Ep 1, Izuku Midoriya comes face to face with his biggest idol, All Might. After getting his autograph, All Might jumps really high where he notices Izuku holding on to his left leg for dear life while his eyelids and mouth flap really hard.
    • In the movie My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, wind threatens to carry Izuku and Melissa Shield away but Shoto acts quickly. Katsuki moves one of the wind turbines toward Izuku, and Shoto uses his flames to push hot wind in their direction, setting them back on course while his lips are stretched backwards.
  • Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon: In Ep 59, during childhood, after Drampa saves Mallow and Lana from the "Disney Death Fall" trope, he blows really hard causing their faces to flap. This happens again later to Jessie, James and Meowth once they got Drampa so face-meltingly angry, that he just blows them away before Bewear comes to the rescue again.
  • Cautious Hero: In episode 4, when Ristarte tried and failed to catch up to Seiya, who was flying quickly to his next destination, Seiya decides to grab her and fly at a ludicrous speed which Ristarte did not see coming, which results in not only her face to flap, but it also exposed her boobs until they reached their next destination.
  • Death Parade: In Ep 6, when Mayu and Harada were playing the most insane game of Twister ever, after Harada pressed the green panel, wind started to blow them away. At the beginning, all it did to Mayu was lift her skirt showing her underwear, but then witnesses the full force of the wind, which caused her whole face to flap intensely until she pressed the blue panel which turned the wind off.
  • Berserk: In the Birth Ceremony Chapter, when Isidro and Puck track Casca and Nina's whereabouts to the cave where the pagans have kidnapped them, Isidro tells Puck to fly with the news to Guts as fast as he can while Isidro himself stalls for time. Fully appreciating the urgency, Puck launches himself at such cartoonish speed that the air resistance causes his cheeks and even his eyelids to flap!
  • Red Line: The opening scenes are of the "Yellow Line" Race. When Sonoshee finally triggers her Nitro Boost, her cheeks wobble, eyes bulge, and tears and spittle fly as she accelerates. Moments later, JP uses his Nitro Boost to catch up with her. The exact same thing happens to him.

    Asian Animation 
  • In the Simple Samosa episode "Comic Book", Dhokla writes some stuff into a story Jalebi was working on earlier about their friend Samosa. And by "writes some stuff into the story" we mean he basically tortures the in-story Samosa, going as far to remove his superhero cape (a feature added by Vada, another of his friends) and deprive him of his ability to fly. As he was trying to fly. The ensuing fall is high enough that it causes Samosa's cheeks and eyelids to flap to unrealistic lengths.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: In Flying Island: The Sky Adventure episode 2, Wolffy pretends to be Paddi by placing cloud fluff on his head while Wolnie is complaining about her birthday party going wrong and wanting to go home, and Wolnie doesn't take this well. She grabs her frying pan and points it at Wolffy, not only blowing the cloud fluff off his face but making his cheeks flap.

  • Alt-Hero. When Shade has to race to Paris in his Cool Car, he warns the superheroes in the back seat to remember to breathe. Dynamique asks why. Cue this trope.

    Film - Animated 
  • SCOOB!: After Scooby and Shaggy take an incredibly fast ride aboard the Blue Falcon's ship, their faces are shown to be frozen in flappy mode.
    Shaggy: If you want, you can pull over and drop us off here.
    Scooby: We'll... walk... home.
  • At the end of Toy Story, when Woody and Buzz Lightyear fly on a rocket to catch up to Andy's car, Woody's cheeks flap around from the wind in his face. Buzz isn't affected, because he's wearing a helmet.
  • In Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, when his rocket starts to loose altitude, Jimmy and Carl's cheeks are pulled back and flap around until Jimmy activates the stabilisers.
  • In Shark Tale, a worm is cast into the sea as bait. Its cheeks flap rapidly until it lands in the ocean.
  • In Turning Red, Mei's cheeks flap subtly when she is swept up and swung around by Ming's tail.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • This happens to Roger Moore's James Bond in Moonraker while he is in a centrifugal machine that's deliberately overcharged to kill him.
  • Fat Man and Little Boy (1998). Robert Oppenheimer from the blastwave when he's watching the first successful test of a nuclear weapon.
  • RocketMan (1997): Fred Randell is subject to this twice; the first time during a zero-gee training session and the second time when he removes his helmet during atmospheric exit of Earth on launch day.
  • Spies Like Us. For Rule of Funny the would-be spies are put in a Centrifugal Farce as part of their training, ending up with their hair and faces stretched back, and they're stuck this way even walking to the cafeteria afterwards.
  • X-Men: The Last Stand shows this trope doesn't just involve speed, as seen with Professor Xavier getting the full blast of Dark Phoenix's Psychic Powers before he disintegrates.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse. Seen when Quicksilver uses his super-speed to rescue everyone from the exploding Xavier mansion, especially when he grabs a bulldog and there's a close-up shot of him racing it down a hallway.
  • Chance seems to enjoy this in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.

    Live-Action TV 
  • When Top Gear tested out the Ariel Atom (which doesn't have a windshield), Jeremy tested out the acceleration and the headwind blew his cheeks outward. He would later claim that the car's acceleration can rearrange your face.
  • Happens to the Doctor when leaving Earth by rocket in "The Ambassadors of Death". Jon Pertwee actually let himself be blasted in the face with air to do the shot.
  • Used in Battlestar Galactica (2003) for someone going in the opposite direction; from space down to a planet's surface. According to the episode commentary, the air-blowing method is dangerous due to the risk of creating an embolism.
  • Blake's 7. Our heroes are trying to work out how to pilot the Liberator, an alien vessel of unknown technology, and ask What Does This Button Do? Cue them being hurled to the deck as the Liberator accelerates to Ludicrous Speed; shown by planets rushing past and closeups of our heroes with the G-force buffeting their faces.


    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In the first invasion of the Fire Nation, Aang lets Sokka and Toph hang onto his glider in order to cross a river of lava, resulting in flapping cheeks.
    • In season 3, episode 20, Toph uses a pillar of earth to launch herself, Suki, and Sokka into the air to catch a Fire Nation airship that’s taking off. Since Suki and Sokka weren’t braced for it like Toph was, their cheeks and eyelids are stretched by air resistance.
  • Happens to Johnny Bravo as he looks out the window of a hi-tech bullet train in the episode "Runaway Train".
  • Phineas and Ferb
    • In the episode "Out to Launch", it happens first to Phineas as he's training on a makeshift centrifuge (actually a merry-go-round), and later to Candace once she finds herself on board of a starting rocket (she complains that she can't hear anything because the flopping cheeks are covering her ears.)
    • Ferb repairing & "tricking out" Meap's spaceship - not only do his cheeks flap, but his whole face comes off his skull, which he pulls back onto himself.
  • Molly of Denali: In "Heat Wave," Tooey gets flapping cheeks when he sits in front of Midge's new fan.
  • Occurs sometimes in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, e.g. to Rainbow Dash as she flies at supersonic speed in "Sonic Rainboom."
  • In the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls movie, when Twilight introduces herself to the human Pinkie Pie, Pinkie, surprised that Twilight knows her name, lets go of the end of a balloon she was blowing up, which blasts the air into her face causing her cheeks and lips to be blown back.
  • Exaggerated in the Roger Rabbit Short Roller Coaster Rabbit, with Roger's cheeks and eyelids flapping way behind his face.
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors: This happens to Paper in the episode "Key Limes", while his sister Sandpaper takes the titular trio on a ride to the grocery store to get key limes for a pie, she drives the car crazily fast causing his cheeks to start flapping initially.
  • The Simpsons: In "Deep Space Homer" both Homer's and Barney's cheeks flap when subjected to a centrifuge during astronaut training.
  • Total Drama: Owen goes so fast during the first round of the bike race in "That's Off The Chain!" that his cheeks go flapping. During the second round, it's Heather whose cheeks catch wind due to the speed she's going at.