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Flapping Cheeks

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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. Compare Rubber Face for a different kind of stretchy facial features.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • 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!

    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.

  • 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 Falcoln'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.

    Film - Live-Action 

    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 
  • 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.)
    • Taken Up to Eleven by Ferb when 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.
  • 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.
  • Occurs sometimes in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, e.g. to Rainbow Dash as she flies at supersonic speed in "Sonic Rainboom."
  • The Simpsons: In "Deep Space Homer" both Homer's and Barney's cheeks flap when subjected to a centrifuge during astronaut training.
  • 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.


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