Follow TV Tropes


Friendly Tickle Torture

Go To
Go for a giggle, a tickle or two.
You tickle me, and I'll tickle you!
If you say "tickle me," that's what I'll do,
higgly, piggly, tickle me, too!
PB&J Otter, "Tippecanoe and Tickle Me, Too"

Tickle Torture is meant to be a way of gaining information from someone by subjecting them to tickling sensations and is most often used in G-rated media. Friendly Tickle Torture is often portrayed as an affectionate act to emphasize how strong a bond is between two characters in a playful and sometimes cute manner. While some cases demonstrate that it's unpleasant for the recipient, it is nonetheless obvious that the intentions of the tickler are purely harmless.

In real life, this is far more common than the villainous counterpart, though ticklers should note that what they think is friendly may not be received so. In fiction, not so much.

Compare Prank Punishment.



    open/close all folders 

  • In a 1970’s McDonald's commercial of people having fun on the beach, a woman is buried in the sand and her helpless bare feet are tickled.
  • In a Scholl Velvet Smooth commercial there’s a scene where a woman is reading a book. Her relaxation turns to laughter when her husband tickles her bare feet.

    Anime and Manga 
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You: Rentarou uses this to help break the ice for Shizuka after she joins the harem.
  • In one episode of Aishiteruze Baby, Kippei playfully tickles Yuzuyu after she wakes him up from his nap.
  • In one episode of Bleach, Orihime has invited Rangiku Matsumoto over as a guest, as she's bathing Orihime tells her about what had recently happened to her and she begins to cry. Rangiku then gets out of the tub and starts tickling her in an attempt to cheer her up.
  • Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo invokes this with a startling and unexpected frequency between the various characters in the show, which comes as no surprise given the anime's sense of humor. Often zigzags into this trope's more "malicious" counterpart.
  • Digimon:
  • In the Dragon Ball Z movie, "Tree of Might", Goku and Gohan are taking a bath together and as they hold a contest to see who can hold their breath the longest, Goku is seen tickling Gohan underwater.
  • One of the VERY few cute moments of Elfen Lied takes place in the OVA special when Nana, Lucy, and Yuka are all taking a bath together. At the very start of the scene, Lucy is seen tickling Nana.
  • In Fairy Tail, Natsu does this to Erza after rescuing her from Jellal the first time.
  • Early in volume 8 of Hidamari Sketch, Miyako proposes a no-sleep-over party, declaring "Whoever falls asleep has to suffer a terrible punishment!!!" The punishment is revealed to be this when Nazuna dozes off.
    • In volume 9, Yuno's group on the senior trip see the Billiken, a statue that's supposed to bring luck if you rub its feet. Since Yuno is small for 17/18, Miyako restrains her while Mami and Nakayama rub her feet "for luck" in a way that looks by her reaction like it really tickles.
  • Early in the anime of Hitohira, Chitose has Kai restrain Mugi while she tickles her. She does this to help her improve her voice.
    • She gets her again towards the end of the anime series.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders: Polnareff does this to Mannish Boy to get him to eat his baby food. What Polnareff doesn't know is that 1.) Mannish Boy is actually evil, and can erase memories, and 2.) Kakyoin laced his baby food with the poop in his diaper as punishment for nearly killing them.
    • Joseph Joestar is on the receiving end of this from his daughter Holly earlier in Part 3, where she tickles him in the middle of the Tokyo-Narita Airport as an affectionate form of punishment for not visiting sooner.
  • In the series Kure-nai, before going off to rescue Murasaki from the Kuhoin, Shinkurō offers to shake hands with Tamaki and Yamie as saying goodbye. Instead, Tamaki and Yamie proceed to tickle him.
  • In episode 9, season 2 of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Ilulu and Kanna do this to Tohru and Elma, after their big fight, as a way to get them to return to their normal playful fights. It ends with Kobayashi declaring a draw.
  • In My Neighbor Totoro, Satsuki starts a tickle fight with Mei while they're in the bath to get her to laugh and scare away the soot sprites.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, The class pulls out a bunch of robot hands to do this to Chao during their farewell party in the Festival Arc. They wanted to see tears from her, and if they couldn't get them from emotion, laughter would do just fine.
  • In Problem Children Are Coming from Another World, Aren't They?, Kurousagi is subjected to this by an invisible Izayoi in episode 5. Once she finds out it's him, she smacks him a couple of times with a Paper Fan of Doom.
  • In Noukome, Chocolat playfully catches Kanade off guard with this.
  • Pokémon is filled with scenes of this nature, albeit done in a literal Licked by the Dog trope.
    • Misty tickles a Cyndaquil's belly when the gang first meets Prof. Elm.
    • When May first meets her Bulbasaur, it responds by tickling her cheek.
    • This is one of three moves used by James's Mime Jr, which he often uses as a diversionary tactic. Though considering Mime Jr still belongs to Team Rocket, this trope often flip-flops with the more malicious trope...
    • At the start of one episode of Best Wishes, a simple Pet the Dog moment between Ash and Pikachu turns into this trope.
    • In the XYZ series, Bonnie tickles Squishy twice on-screen, first when they meet for the very first time, and then once again in one of the outro songs. She also does this to Z2, the second Zygarde core in the series in an attempt to befriend it.
    • Happens in the Sun and Moon series more than any of the other seasons:
      • Ash does this to Pikachu while giving him a Bath.
      • Becomes a running gag once Poipole is introduced, Pikachu is tickled over-and-over when the Ultra Beast attempts to see Pikachu's electricity in action (and simply out of affection and playfulness.) It eventually stops tickling Pikachu before evolving into Naganadel.
      • A combination of this and the accidental variant occurs multiple times in an episode when Ash's Pikachu is checked out by many of the Pikachus residing in the Pikachu Valley.
    • In the film, Pokémon: I Choose You! During a montage featuring Ash and Pikachu's adventures, there is a brief moment in it where Pikachu crawls into Ash's Sleeping Bag and playfully tickles him from inside of it.
  • One Piece's Nico Robin tickles Luffy and Chopper multiple times throughout the series.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • In one of the earlier episodes of Fresh Pretty Cure!, the heroines get tickled by magical erasers thanks to a playful trick by Chiffon.
    • In episode 8 of Heart Catch Pretty Cure, the Fashion Club girls tickle Erika when she complains about her sister Momoka during a photoshoot. Later, in episode 14, Victim of the Week Nanami tickles Tsubomi to cheer her up for a misunderstanding.
    • In Episode 24 of "Go! Princess Pretty Cure", Kirara inflicts this on Towa to make her smile. It works.
  • During the season finale of Sonic X's 2nd Season, after Rouge and Knuckles get into a fight, upon seeing Sonic has returned Knuckles cracks a joke on Rouge's ruffled appearance, leading Rouge to do you know what... offscreen.
  • In Strawberry Marshmallow, Nobue and Miu are pretending that Miu's dead. One of Nobue's "proofs" is that Miu, despite "having been" very ticklish, doesn't react to the most severe tickling. Except that she does, of course.
  • An annoyed (but happy) Guile does this to Chun Li in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie after she fakes having died from her wounds against Vega when he returned to the hospital to tell her about Bison's defeat.
  • Ryo-ohki unintentionally does this to Sasami after being scared into hiding by Mirei in Tenchi Universe.
  • From Tokyo Mew Mew, Ichigo does this to Lettuce after Lettuce causes problems unintentionally with her new-found powers.
  • When Yotsuba&! is feeling down about the loss of her teddy bear's ability to say "Mweeeeh", she doesn't respond to Yanda when he hits her in the back of the head with a paper airplane, turns her head when he tries to see her face, merely falls over when given a gentle shove, and does nothing when he pinches her cheek. She struggles to keep from laughing when he has her look at him with tissues stuck in his nostrils, but he finally makes her laugh by tickling her until she yells at him to knock it off.

    Comic Books 
  • In the X-Men comics, Nightcrawler has done this to, on various occasions, Rogue, Phoenix (Rachel), and Meggan (of Excalibur). Between his teleporting ability and his prehensile tail, he's apparently quite good at it.
    • Hell, he's done it so much the Fandom has decided he has a tickle fetish.
      • The fact that he's done it to who he's done it and suffered little punishment probably means something, too.
  • Mary-Jane occasionally does this to Peter/Spiderman.
  • Harley Quinn does this to the Joker in issue 17 of Harley Quinn (2016).
  • In The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, for reasons that totally make sense, the crew of the Lost Light are on a holographic version of earth, wearing equally holographic human disguises. The software that generates the disguises uses the wearer's own personality to design them, resulting in some humorous results. Megatron is a little dismayed because, despite his Heel–Face Turn, he's still evil enough that his disguise looks like some sort of Supervillain. Nautica tries to cheer him up by finding out if he's ticklish.
    Nautica: Which you are not! So that's settled!

    Fan Works 
  • Flippy from Happy Tree Friends receives this from other characters quite often in fan art. Considering that he is the most violent member of cast, you'll see what's so appealing about getting him tickled.
  • In Sisterhood, Hisao cheers up a glum Hanako by tickling her to fits of laughter in order to prove that she still has many sensitive spots left despite her burns.
  • There are many fan blogs dedicated to this trope.
  • In Hope for the Heartless, the Horned King develops a habit of giving these to Avalina at the end of their plays following the resurrection of his heart.
  • In Cultural Differences Commander Shepard and Tali have a tickle fight in order to relieve stress and anger the two had for each other. Tali and he patch up their relationship after more ways than one.
  • In Tangled Up In You, Adrien does this to Marinette a couple of times, first after they fall asleep on Alya's couch and wake up in a Sleep Cute position, and then later when he tries to get her to admit to making a pun.
  • Happens several times in Blazewing's Living in Equestria, usually done by the human character, with Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Moonlight, one or more of the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Once, this ended up with him being tickled by the CMCs in return. He has also considered doing so to Trixie but decided against it on the grounds that it might not be appreciated as much.
  • In this fanfic based on Jeffrey Brown's Darth Vader and Son Star Wars books (about Darth Vader acting as a loving father to Luke Skywalker), Vader does this to Luke using the Force following a game of hide-and-seek.
    Vader: I have you now.
  • In the Facing the Future Series, much to the surprise of some of the Casper High students, it's revealed that Sam is ticklish, with boyfriend Danny subjecting her to this, much to her chagrin.
  • Happens to Adagio Dazzle twice in Sucker for a Cute Face, once because Fluttershy is trying to get her to take some medicine during the Sick Episode, and again during her and Fluttershy's unseen first time.
  • In Love Feels Like Home, Sorey and Mikleo engage in this, just like in the game, only more frequently: Once in chapter 8, Sorey tickles Mikleo while hanging out at his house (and the latter playfully retaliates). It happens again in chapter 12, with Mikleo tickling Sorey during a heartwarming moment.
  • In Just Another Morning, Aang tickles Katara's feet to get her to wake up for an important post-war meeting. She kisses him afterward as a thank you.
  • Robin inflicts this upon Starfire in this Teen Titans fanfic after she admits to him that she is insanely ticklish.

    Films — Animated 
  • Alice from Alice in Wonderland is tickled by a playful flamingo while playing Croquet with the Queen of Hearts.
  • One scene in The Aristocats features Marie and Berlioz play-fighting. During which, Berlioz pins Marie down and tickles her belly.
  • Towards the second half of Bambi II there is a quick father and son bonding moment between Bambi and his dad, The Great Prince, when the latter blows a raspberry on Bambi's belly while they are rough-housing.
  • In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Flint encounters a group of living Marshmallows, which proceed to swarm and tickle him after he realizes how much the living food animals need the FLDSMDFR in order to survive.
  • When Coraline enters the garden made by her Other Mother. She gets playfully "attacked" by a bunch of living Snapdragons that swarm and tickle her until they get beheaded shortly after by Other Father.
  • Epic (2013) has a brief scene with Mub and Grub.
  • In Finding Nemo, Marlin tickles Nemo before they leave for Nemo's first day at school, and during the end-credits roll.
  • In Hotel Transylvania 2, Dennis often gets glomped and licked affectionately by Winnie.
  • Happens twice in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. First, when Hiccup and Astrid are bonding shortly before they discover the Light Fury, Hiccup playfully tickles Astrid when they are play-wrestling. Later towards the film's ending when Hiccup introduces his family to Toothless and his family. Toothless tickles Hiccup, albeit in a literal Licked by the Dog sense.
  • Happens twice in Inside Out. First, it's averted when Joy tries to cheer up Bing Bong but fails, who becomes depressed when Imagination Land and his Singing-powered Wagon are both (supposedly) destroyed. Then when Joy and Bing Bong are both in the Memory Dump, Joy looks back on some of Riley's happier memories. One of them features a younger Riley being tickled by her dad.
  • The Jungle Book:
    • Mowgli tickles Baloo after they both have a play-fight in their first encounter. In the midst of his laughter, Baloo tells Mowgli that one does not do that in the jungle.
    • In The Jungle Book II in the deleted song, "I've got you beat". When Mowgli tries to explain to Shanti how a beat works when singing and dancing, he briefly tickles Ranjan to demonstrate.
  • Kronk's New Groove: Done by Kronk to one of the elders to get them to stretch more.
  • The Lion King 1½ has a quick scene with Timon tickling Simba on his belly right before them and Pumbaa are about to go to sleep.
  • The Little Mermaid:
    • Ariel briefly tickles Flounder during her "Part of that World" song.
    • Implied during the famous "Under the Sea" song as well, when Ariel briefly tickles a Seahorse, only for it and some of its friends to return the favor.
  • Mr. Peabody & Sherman features one in a Blooper Gag Reel, with Sherman tickling Mr. Peabody on his tummy, in an affectionate owner-and-dog style.
  • Near the beginning of The Rescuers Down Under, after Cody frees Marahute from a trap set by Mcleach, the eagle flies him around for a ride across the sky. During the event, Marahute throws Cody into the air before catching him by wrapping her talons around his arms. She then proceeds to use one of her talons to tickle his belly while he's in her grasp.
  • In the middle of Disney's The Sword in the Stone, When Merlin and Arthur/Wart transform into Squirrels as part of a lesson, they are encountered by two squirrels who instantly fall in love with them. The one that flirts with Merlin playfully tickles him.
  • Tarzan features a very brief scene with Kala playfully tickling a young Tarzan when he promises to be "the best ape ever" to impress Kerchak.
    • Also in Tarzan II, Kala plays a game of "nose and toes" with young Tarzan, which involves tickling his toes and tummy.
  • In Toy Story 2, Jessie (and eventually Bullseye) does this to Woody after he accidentally reveals he's ticklish while they're play-acting. Andy's Toys misinterpret this as actual torture.
  • Lampshaped in Up, while Kevin is being introduced, she is seen snuggling and coddling Russell. One of the things she does with him is this trope.
  • Heavily implied in WALL•E when the titular character's pet roach crawls into his armpit at the start of the movie. Later reinforced when it does the same thing to EVE.
  • Briefly in Zootopia, when Nick reveals to Judy his Dark and Troubled Past. While preparing to become a Junior Ranger Scout, there's a moment where he's dressed in his uniform and looking in the mirror when his mother grabs him by his sides, causing him to briefly burst out giggling.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Babe when the rest of the Hoggett Family comes to visit for a Christmas get-together, Esme (Farmer Hoggett's wife) uses measuring tape to see how big Babe has gotten (to see if he's worth being eaten for dinner). Upon realizing that Babe's too small to eat, she passes off her actions by playfully tickling Babe's stomach.
  • In the short TV film The Birthday Dragon, The dragon brings many zoo animals to his friend Emily's house as a birthday present, with the Elephant briefly tickling Emily on her side with its trunk. Later on, Emily tickles the Elephant's foot to help the Dragon get it back into its cage.
  • Subverted in Bride of Chucky when Tiffany tickles Chucky, only to then lock him up in a cradle after Chucky started talking down to her. However, seeing as this IS Tiffany...
  • The Brothers Karamazov has a scene where a tied up peasant girl has her bare feet tickled with feathers by Fyodor while a band plays a festive tune in the background.
  • In Cats & Dogs, there is a brief mother and son bonding moment between Mrs. Brody and Scott which features this.
  • The opening of Hellraiser: Hellseeker of all movies actually begins with this. Kirsty Cotton gets playfully tickled by her husband in an effort to cheer her up, which she genuinely enjoys. Subverted once it turns out this was a false, ideal memory of her husband's who imagined this in place of their crumbling love.
  • In RoboCop 2 Alex Murphy did this to his wife on her bare feet while painting her nails. She quite enjoyed it.
  • In Some Like It Hot, Jerry/Daphne experiences this while partying with the other musicians.
  • In Their Eyes Were Watching God one of the main characters Tea Cake was in the backyard with his wife Janie Crawford. Janie was laying on the sofa with her bare feet on it, and suddenly Tea Cake comes with a rose in his hand, grabbed her feet and started gently stroking the rose over Janie's bare feet which tickled and caused her to laugh hysterically and starts slapping him gently on his backs with the palm of her hand.
  • At the beginning of Thirteen Days, Kenny O'Donnell gets out of bed in the morning. His mischievous preschool-aged son is hiding under the bed and grabs him by the ankles. Kenny retaliates by pulling his son out from under the bed and tickling him.
  • Briefly seen in Ultraman Saga when one of the members of Team U playfully catches a child off-guard while telling everyone the story of Ultraman Dyna.
  • The 1968 movie Great Catherine involves flirtatious tickle torture. The titular empress (played by Jeanne Moreau), who is enamored with the protagonist, has him tied up at her bare feet. She tickles him with her toes, and then, as a condition for getting him untied, makes him kiss her foot.
  • In the film adaptation of Wonder (2012), the family tickle tortures August in a heartwarming moment. Watch it here.
  • In the Yugoslavian comedy movie Servis Station, Jordan the cook (played by famous Yugoslav comedian Midorag Petrović Čkalja) attempts to kiss Mara the future wife of Servis Station manager Raka (played by another famous comedian Mija Aleksić) while she was washing laundry on the lake. When Mara pushes him and he falls in the water and she tries to run away, Jordan grabs her leg and begins to tickle her foot. Jordan clumsily falls into the lake again as Mara mocks him while running away.
  • In Yugaoslavian comedy movie Ćao Inspektore (Goodbye Inspector), an undercover police officer played by Velimir Bata Živojinović is in a hotel room when he hears a girl laughing being tickled by her boyfriend
  • Happens in the movie Cool Dog when the title dog Rainy licks and tickles his boy's bare feet in order to wake him up.

  • At the end of the song Knife Fight by Lemon Demon, the combatants come to the realization that knives are dangerous and they don't want to get hurt, so they have a Tickle Fight instead.
  • "Tickle Time", a song on the Sandra Boynton album "Rhinoceros Tap", is basically a song about this.
    If you're feeling blue, and you don't know what to do
    There is nothing like a Tickle Time to make you feel like new.
    Oh there's nothing like a Tickle time to make you feel like new
    So let's all get together, and we'll goochie-goochie-goo.

  • Amelia Bedelia
    • Amelia Bedelia and her parents engage in this in Amelia Bedelia Road Trip!, one of the Young Amelia Bedelia books.
    • Towards the end of another Young Amelia Bedelia chapter book, Amelia Bedelia Makes a Splash, her new friends at summer camp do this to her, and it only gets worse when her father tells them that she's ticklish on her neck and her mother suggests doing it behind her ears. Then, when she shouts for "mercy," a girl named Annette claims that she's been teaching her French, and what she's really saying is "merci," which is French for "Thank you."
    • In the Young Amelia Bedelia picture book, Amelia Bedelia's First Day of School, her teacher tells the class "Try wiggling your fingers on that clay," so she does just that on one of her classmates who is named "Clay" until he starts laughing so hard he can't stop.
  • Happens repeatedly in the CHERUB Series to various characters, by various characters. James and Kerry seem to particularly enjoy it.
  • A scene in Darth Vader and Son, a non-canon Star Wars picture book, depicts Darth Vader doing this to little Luke Skywalker by using the Force.
  • Happens in most of Jacqueline Wilson's novels.
  • In LOVE SIGN, Jake and Brady are playing a board game with a feather and notice Shelby slipping off her damp shoes. To her annoyance, they proceed to hold Shelby down and use the feather on her vulnerable feet.
  • Mr. Men: Doing this to people is the whole point of Mr. Tickle's character.
  • Pug Sheridan has a scene where Egypt gets tickled on the chin by her Rascaly friend Fanny causing her to chase Fanny down and tickle her bare feet until she begs for mercy.
  • In the novelisation of The Terminator, Sarah Conner does this to Kyle Reese after they have sex. Given that he's spent his entire life as a soldier After the End, he has to have it explained what he's doing.

    Live Action Television 
  • This happens between Merton and Tommy in an episode of Big Wolf on Campus.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In "Gone" Buffy is turned invisible and uses it as an excuse to engage in irresponsible behaviour. This includes tickling Spike and gnawing on his earlobe while he's talking to Xander who has turned up looking for Buffy. As Xander has already walked in on Spike doing 'naked pushups' in bed, this odd behaviour as Spike twitches and giggles for no apparent reason convinces him that Spike needs to get a girlfriend pronto.
  • In Baywatch episode "Hot Stuff", Cody is babysitting a couple of blind kids on a beach. He tries to make the time fun, and at one point he tickles the girl played by Mila Kunis with a feather on her bare feet just for fun.
  • Best Friends Whenever: Shelby hates being tickled (especially when the tickler repeatedly says 'ticky' 'ticky' during the tickling), but Cyd uses it on her after she refused to time travel.
  • Better Things: This happens a few different times all involving Sam and one of her daughters.
    • Duke accidentally swears in front of Sam for the first time and Sam is a bit taken aback but ultimately filled with pride. Still she jokingly decides to “punish” Duke with tickling.
    • Frankie and Sam have been pranking each other in the lead up to Halloween. After Frankie comes clean to Sam about her biggest prank - that Sam didn’t even realize was a prank until the confession - Sam gets revenge by pinning Frankie to the bed and briefly tickling her.
    • Sam and Duke are listening to old recordings of Sam’s dad. Duke asks about one of the other voices on the recording and Sam says that it’s her when she was around Duke’s age. Duke quickly says that Sam sounds weird. Sam mocks being offended, tells Duke that she is the one who sounds weird, and tickles Duke while demanding she take the insult back.
  • Happens from time-to-time in Elmo's World, which comes as no surprise as this segment IS all about Elmo. Particularly notable in the episode about Feet.
  • In Family Matters, Urkel does this to Myra to get her to move away from his transformation chamber.
  • In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will accidentally tickles Hilary while he's trying to help her walk after she gets delusional from over-medicating.
    • In the finale, Carlton does this to Will in an effort to make him smile.
  • In "Laughter" on The Hoobs, the Hoobs search for something that makes both them and "tiddlypeeps" (children) laugh. It turns out to be this.
  • In iCarly, Spencer does this to Carly's history teacher Miss Ackerman when he notices her having a bad day. The two hook up later, but he finds out that she wasn't as friendly as he initially thought.
    • Every one of the main protagonists receives this:
      • Carly and Sam usually do this to cheer the other up.
      • Carly did this to Spencer when he entered a Heroic BSoD.
      • Carly wakes a sleeping Sam by tickling her feet in "ihireanidiot."
  • One song on Lamb Chop's Play-Along is about how, while you can't tickle yourself (which is true), it is very possible for others to tickle you, as is demonstrated.
  • This is how the Ruth Buzzi episode of The Muppet Show ends, with a few of the Muppets tickling her.
  • In the French educational series French in Action Mirelle an older daughter of the Belau family is tickled with a feather on her bare feet by her sister Marie Lou while reading. While not laughing during tickling Mirelle is quite irritated by tickling and tells Marie Lou to stop. The entire sketch is repeated in various episodes as a means to teach people French words thru action.
  • In Married... with Children, Marcy playfully tickles her husband Jefferson to make him tell their friends he made $50,000. That's actually a big accomplishment considering who he is.
  • In one episode of Road to Avonlea, Felicity makes a scathing remark about Sara's father to her face, instigating a fight between them. The boys tickle them to break it up.
  • In an episode of Spin City, James is trying to demonstrate (to a bullied Paul) a fighting move called The Crane, in which he raises his arms above his head. James confidently states there is no defensive move against The Crane. Janelle simply walks up to him and tickles him under his arms. James collapses.
  • Briefly used in The Suite Life on Deck after Zack found the crown of Zaria and it started vibrating. Zack used its vibrating to try to get Cody out of his bad mood, only for Cody to swat it away
  • In Ultraman Mebius, George, Marina, and Teppei seize and tickle Mirai for "abandoning" GUYS in a fight against a berserk Marquette Zetton, Unaware that Mirai ''IS'' Ultraman Mebius, and was fighting the battle for them the whole time.
  • In Victorious, Jade does this to Tori when she asks for help cheering up. She does so with much enjoyment.
    • The Breakfast Bunch episode has Robbie, of all people, blowing a raspberry on Tori's tummy while she giggles hysterically in enjoyment.
  • In The Walking Dead of all places, this occurs between Rick and Michonne. After their Relationship Upgrade, the two begin sharing the same bed together and Rick decides to wake her up by gently kissing her tummy, causing Michonne to giggle.
  • Becomes a Running Gag in an episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? when Colin discovers how ticklish Wayne is.
  • Quite a bit in Zoboomafoo, particularly used on Zoboo himself.
  • Kermit the Frog and Grover demonstrate "long" versus "short" on Sesame Street. Kermit has Grover sing a long note, and then hop for a long time. (Kermit sings a short note, and hops a short time.) For the third example, Grover insists that he demonstrate "short", so Kermit has Grover tickle him for a short time. Grover realizes too late that Kermit's going to tickle him for a long time. The routine ends with Grover fleeing, with Kermit on his tail tickling him.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Calvin's mom tickles Calvin in hopes of tiring him out into falling asleep, the plan backfires and only hypes him up while she falls asleep.
    • When Calvin is stuck hanging from a tree, Hobbes removes his shoes and tickles his feet. Unfortunately for Hobbes, this ends up making Calvin fall on him.
  • Garfield has this when Jon is woken up one morning giggling then laughing hysterically. The final strip shows Garfield brushing his tail along Jon's feet to wake him up
    • Seems to be a constant running gag in the series, as Jon not only seems to be a fan of this due to referencing it relatively commonly, but a number of references to his life as a kid on the farm makes nods to it.
      Jon: Life can be dangerous on the farm, Garfield. There's warning signs everywhere.
      Garfield: (reading) "Do not tickle the bull"?
  • An October 2010 episode of 9 Chickweed Lane has Seth doing friendly tickle torture on Edda.

    Puppet Shows 

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Dane Cook says that this always devolves into actual Tickle Torture, saying ticking "started fun, and ended horribly." The tickler usually doesn't stop, even when the other person is having trouble breathing or about to throw up.

  • In the stage show Franklin's Big Adventure, a spin-off from the Franklin books and television show, this happens in "The Dinosaur Song," which is also available on the music album "Hey, It's Franklin!"
    "Doing the dinosaur dance and dinosaur wiggle! To make a dinosaur laugh, you gotta go tickle, tickle!"

    Video Games 
  • At one point in Final Fantasy VIII, Laguna Loire threatens his True Companions Kiros and Ward with "the Cuchi-Cuchi treatment" (for seeming prepared to give up when the three of them are left lost and severely injured on a mission gone wrong). The threat reappears as an alternate line during Laguna's EX Burst attack in Dissidia Final Fantasy 012 duodecim.
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening Inigo does this to Lucina during one of their support conversations in an attempt to get her to smile. All it does is piss her off.
    • Inigo will also do this to his father in their A support to cheer them up after feeling guilty for their outburst in their B support. Seems like Inigo likes to tickle people to cheer them up...
    • Laurent's father will tickle him in their A support to try get him to lighten up despite his age. Though initially appalled by the silliness, the facade begins to crack and he grows closer to his father as a result.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, after Tron is revealed to be alive following his takeover of Ansem's computer, Sora and his friends tickle him using the keystrokes of the computer out of mischief.
  • In Mass Effect 3, Male Shepard does this to a romanced Tali while she's in the bathroom getting over a hangover. She seems to assume that Shepard is propositioning her.
  • All MySims characters seem to enjoy this; it's an action that may be performed if you click "Be Nice", and as such, NPC Sims will only do it to each other if they consider each other friends.
    • Additionally, in MySims Kingdom, it's a possible option in some Socialization attempts. It seems to help get things back on track sometimes if you take the wrong path along the Socialization tree.
    • MySims Agents doesn't have Be Nice, but on the "The Prominence" mission, if you send Beebee, she'll send a text asking you if she should let Darryl saw her in half for his show. If you say yes, you get a text back saying that the saw tickles her.
    • This can be done in various other Sims games too, including The Sims and The Sims 2. For some reason, though, only toddlers (not older children) can be tickled in Sims 3.
    • Special shout-out goes to The Sims: Bustin' Out as it has the "Tickle Crazy" option, which can only be used by an adult on a child to tickle them to pieces. Unfortunately, the player has to be careful when using it as it MASSIVELY drains the Bladder need and often sees the kid needing to pee a second later, messing themselves if they're not close to a bathroom. It also had a higher chance of being rejected instead of accepted by the kid in question compared to a regular tickle.
  • A Plague Tale: Innocence has this at the end of the game in an adorable scene. When Amicia and Hugo are denied entry to the fair in town, Hugo is particularly bummed, so to cheer him up, Amicia starts to tease and play with him in the back of their wagon. After a friendly and playful insult, Amicia begins tickling Hugo in retaliation, the game ending with his delighted laughs.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon X and Y introduces the feature known as "Pokémon-Amie", a game mode where you can interact with your Pokémon by feeding it and petting it. One of the features is this if you pet some of them in a certain way.
    • Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! features a "Play with Pikachu/Eevee" mode that allows you to interact with your respective Pokémon. One of the things you can do with Pikachu and/or Eevee is tickle them. If you tickle them too much though (or in the wrong spot), they will eventually get annoyed and attack you for it.
  • Psychonauts allows you to tickle just about any NPC in the game via the Crow Feather. Unlike most of the items and powers, which tend to elicit annoyed or even angry reactions, most of them only get slightly bugged by the tickling (and a few even sort of like it).
  • In Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment, there is a dialogue cutscene that features Strea (who has transformed into a pixie) flying into Kirito's shirt to tickle him as "punishment" for trying to drop her when she wanted to ride on his shoulder (despite that Kirito advised her from doing so to prevent falling off.) Considering Strea's personality, her "punishment" is too playful to be considered for the malicious version of the trope.
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief's End: When Nate can't beat Elena's high score on Crash Bandicoot she teases him, so to get even with her he subjects her to this.
  • In Tales of Zestiria, there's a scene early in the game where Sorey and Mikleo tickle each other in some ruins when they reconcile after a fight they had.


    Web Original 
  • Pretty common in Internet "baby videos." Since these are all about the cuteness of the babies, it is very likely that when you are watching, you'll see the hand of the cameraperson giving this to the baby (or babies) onscreen in order to elicit laughter from the little tyke(s).
  • On That Guy with the Glasses, Film Brain is subjected to this by JesuOtaku and Nella in one of the scenes in the video Rejected "Spooning With Spoony" Ideas.
  • In the first episode of Season 7 of Monster Island Buddies, Godzilla tickles Mr. Stay Puft while recruiting him to fight in the Monster Island War.
  • SCP-999 of the SCP Foundation, nicknamed "The Tickle Monster." A rare exception of a benevolent creature in a list of fairly creepy and/or dangerous experiments. Its favorite activity is to envelop a person and tickle them non-stop, mostly to make them feel happy.

    Western Animation 
  • In Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, Manon, Etta and Ella tickles Marinette Dupain-Cheng on the belly, the armpits and the ribs in order to know what is in the sewing box.
  • In the The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, Scooby and the gang are chasing a demon called Maldor. Eventually, Daphne ends up as his prisoner and he puts a curse of eternal sleep on her. Shaggy and the others try to wake her up with different methods, including tickling her bare foot with a feather. However, she gives no reaction. Eventually, Scooby wakes her up.
  • American Dad! has one moment in episode 3 when Francine helps Stan relax by "making him happy with her mouth..." (She blows a raspberry on his belly.)
  • Animaniacs:
    • The opening sequence itself features the Warner siblings tickling Dr. Scratchansniff's feet. The reboot has them tickling Ralph the Guard's feet instead.
    • The movie, "Wakko's Wish", features a scene with Yakko tickling Dot as he tells her the story of their childhood.
    • The reboot series episode "The Cutening" has a scene with Dot tickling Wakko and Yakko after they are turned cute by her.
  • Archer:
    • "Sea Tunt Part II" has Archer tickling Ray to get him to admit that he gave him mouth-to-mouth. It doesn't end well.
    • Archer himself also gets tickled in "The Man from Jupiter", by his idol Burt Reynolds - whilst he's driving.
  • An episode of Arthur focused on Sue Ellen and her feeling lonely at being an only child, she meets up with the Frensky sisters, practicing cheering. Catherine gets her to put her arms higher over her head, and then...
  • Baby Looney Tunes has a quick tickle between Lola and Bugs.
  • Bartok the Magnificent features a combo of this and the accidental variant. During one of his attempts to get Piloff free from being frozen in place, Bartok winds up stuck between holding her tail and part of her body after it has been stretched out, leaving him exposed for Piloff to playfully tickle him with her hair.
  • In The Batman, when Joker sets his pet hyenas on Catwoman they end up tickling her while rubbing up against her. Catwoman gained their respect because she easily tamed them.
  • In Batman and Harley Quinn, Batman has come to find the missing Nightwing when he hears a scream. He kicks down the door only to discover that Nightwing and Harley are doing this to each other after they'd already had sex. After Batman gives Nightwing a disapproving look, the latter responds with "oh, like you never hooked up with a supervillain before."
  • In "Big Bear, Small Bear" on the PBS version of The Berenstain Bears, when Sister Bear tells Papa that he's not that old, that there are some dinosaurs older than him, he subjects her to the "tickle-o-saurus."
  • In "Caillou's Leaf Pile" from Caillou, Daddy tells Caillou that "There's always a way to solve a problem. You just have to use your imagination... or your fingers," then tickles him playfully.
  • In one episode of C-Bear and Jamal, C-bear tickles Jamal's bare feet with a feather during his karate training.
  • In "Commander No" from Doc McStuffins, Gloria intends the tickling she does to Commander Crush to be this, but for him, it's just Tickle Torture because he told her to stop, but she didn't, thinking he didn't really mean it.
  • In an episode of Donkey Kong Country, Diddy Kong turns invisible in order to hide from Cranky Kong. When Donkey Kong tries to look for Diddy, Diddy Kong playfully tickles him.
  • Justified in Dragons: Defenders of Berk when Gobber uses this on Fishleg's pet dragon, Meatlug to produce Lava known as "Gronkle Iron".
  • Occurs a number of times throughout Ed, Edd n Eddy.:
    • In one episode, Ed drinks an experimental and highly volatile soda Double D created. Double D tells him to stay completely still so he doesn't set off the mixture, but Eddy forces him to start moving around by tickling his belly with a feather.
    • In another episode, Eddy tries to get revenge on Kevin for ruining one of his scams, and one scheme he has is hitting him over the head with Ed's rotting, moldy lunch bag. Eddy tells Double D to hit him since he's the only one of the three that wouldn't look suspicious approaching Kevin. When he refuses, Eddy and Ed tickle him until he's right behind Kevin.
    • One episode has Ed and Double D hanging from a set of monkey bars, which Eddy is too short to reach up and grab as they did. When he protests to their assistance and poking fun at his height, they tickle him under his arms until he falls off.
    • In the episode where Eddy encourages all the kids in the culdesac to break and disregard the rules, there's a scene when Ed tickles Kevin.
    • Averted, yet still lampshaded in the Big Picture Show when Ed tries to stop Edd and Eddy's fighting in the swamp.
      Ed: Stop! I demand you tickle each other right now!
      Edd and Eddy: Stay out of it, Ed!
  • 1 of every family members of the main cast in Family Guy has been tickled at least once:
    • Lois does this to Stewie in two episodes, once after Stewie escapes from Peter after shrinking down and entering him while Peter and Lois have sex.
    • Lois does this to Stewie later in the series during a cutaway for nearly one minute straight... then throws up on him.
    • In a different episode, Peter tickles Lois and she retaliates by hitting him in the face with a frying pan and breaking his nose.
    • Peter gets tickled by the wife of a family that's moved into his house when it's threatened to be taken away by the back. She gets him again at the episode's ending as well.
    • Chris gets tickled by Herbert during the first Star Wars Special.
    • In an episode where Meg and Quagmire are dating, Quagmire gets Meg by surprise while they're watching TV. Then she farts.
    • Averted for Brian during a deleted scene. Peter tries to cheer him up, but Brian only sarcastically remarks that it's sexual harassment.
  • In "Franklin Goes to Day Camp" on the Animated Adaptation of Franklin, Bear does this to Franklin at the end to get him to give him his friendship bracelet.
    • In another episode, Franklin is upset because he got scared by a spooky noise in the basement, so his dad gives him a little tickle under his arms to cheer him up.
    • Towards the end of "Franklin and the Green Knight," Eagle tickles Beaver with her beak to prove to everyone that she's friendly.
  • One Garfield and Friends Quickie (and therefore probably a U.S. Acres/Orson's Farm strip) has Orson and Bo trying to tickle Roy and Lanolin in an attempt to cheer them up. No reaction, aside from deadpan snarking when they leave.
  • In Gravity Falls episode "Sock Opera" Mabel tickles Dipper to cheer him up. Later she uses tickling while fighting a villain who is "wearing" Dipper's body.
  • On the Animated Adaptation of Guess How Much I Love You, Big Nutbrown Hare does this to Little Nutbrown Hare at the end of "Four Seasons" as he's putting him to bed.
  • In Heathcliff & the Catillac Cats, Heathcliff does this to a Saint Bernard at a ski resort.
  • JoJo's Circus:
    • In this stop-motion Playhouse Disney (and later Disney Junior) series, the family name of the main character is "Tickle." This came up once in the form of a song featuring JoJo's lion companion, Goliath called "Tickle Goodnight." "Little Goliath's all comfy in bed / Let's tickle his nose and the top of his head / We'll tickle his chin and tickle his cheeks / I could keep tickling and tickling for weeks." In fact, this is actually part of both JoJo and Goliath's normal bedtime routine, except that it's Mr. Tickle who normally sings it to them while doing the tickling.
    • In another episode, JoJo's teacher, Mrs. Kersplatski, decides to roll call everyone by saying their last names first. Of course, this leads to JoJo's best friend Skeebo tickling her, since her name "Tickle, JoJo" sounded like an instruction.
  • Kaeloo: When Mr. Cat is told by his doctor that he is very stressed and he needs to relax a little, Kaeloo tries to help him out by tickling him since she thinks it will make him feel better. It doesn't work.
  • In The Land Before Time VII, during the "Good Inside" song, Ducky briefly tickles Petrie.
  • Is invoked with startling frequency between the various characters on Little Bear, with the titular character almost always involved as either the tickler or ticklee. All the characters shown in the opening end up getting tickled at least once.'
  • In the Littlest Pet Shop (2012) episode "Heart of Parkness," Sunil has a bunch of flashbacks of all the wonderful times he has had with his friends, and one of them shows him playfully tickling Penny Ling.
    • In the short music video The Ladies of LPS when Pepper is singing about how she enjoys making her friends laugh, she briefly tickles Minka's belly.
    • In Pump up the Panda, when Penny Ling loses confidence in how she looks physically, Blythe tickles her tummy to cheer her up.
    • Whenever Zoey gets into an overdramatic, angry rant, Blythe gives her a belly rub to cheer her up, causing her to giggle uncontrollably.
  • The cartoon Maisy has a mini-episode titled "Feather", at the end of which Maisy and her friends take turns getting tickled with said feather.
  • In The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack episode "Looking for Love In All The Wrong Barrels" while K'nuckles walks angrily looking at all the love couples, a guy is seen tickling a girl who is quite enjoying it, right before K'nuckles ties knots out of his fingers out of annoyance.
  • In My Friend Rabbit, this happens to a few characters, usually to Thunder. Thunder gets tickled on his foot by Mouse's stick that he is holding in "Snowed Under" and when Rabbit puts grass on his face to look like a mouse in "You Be Me". Jade does this to Coral in "The Last Leaf" and Mouse gets tickled by honey on his feet in another episode as well as getting tickled by ladybugs in "Ladybug Day".
  • In My Life as a Teenage Robot, Brad and Tuck engage in a tickle fight, but when they try this on Jenny, she just stands there confused until they realize that as a robot, Jenny is built without physical feeling.
  • During the opening sequence of The Lion Guard's first episode, Bunga the Honey Badger playfully tickles Kion, (the titular Lion Guard) while they are rough-housing.
  • The end of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "A Bird in the Hoof" has Rainbow Dash convince Philomena to tickle the guard-pegasus' noses to get them to laugh.
    • In the episode "It's About Time", Spike tries to tickle Twilight Sparkle while she's trying not to move; she resists for a while, then sends him flying. This results in her looking a bit more like her future self...
    • Applejack does this to her little sister Apple Bloom in the "Sisterhooves Social" episode.
    • A third time has Apple Bloom do this to Spike in "Just For Sidekicks", when he won't let her and the Cutie Mark Crusaders off the train to the Crystal Empire (as they're not supposed to be there and he doesn't want to get in trouble).
  • The OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes episode "Let's take a Moment" features a brief mother and son bonding moment, with Carol giving KO a raspberry.
  • The episode "Butter's First Check-Up" of PB&J Otter has various characters getting tickled throughout as part of a game, "Tippecanoe and Tickle Me, Too." Any time you trick someone into saying it, you get to tickle them. When Baby Butter has to have a checkup at the dentist, it's how Peanut and Jelly get her to open up her mouth so that her new tooth can be examined, by getting her to giggle.
  • Occurs a few times throughout The Penguins of Madagascar:
    • Private is tickled by a young and pretty Veterinarian (who he becomes smitten to) after botching a dangerous retrieval mission with the other Penguins.
    • Skipper is ambushed in a tickle fight by his Arch-Enemy, Hans. This is slightly justified, however.
  • Popeye In the episode "Shiver Me Timbers", ghosts tie up Olive Oyl and pour milk over her bare feet where two kittens lick it off, tickling her.
  • At the conclusion of the Porky Pig cartoon "Injun Trouble," Sloppy Moe overcomes Injun Joe through his weakness—being ticklish. Injun Joe is incapacitated in a tree trunk as Sloppy Moe continues tickling him. As the cartoon irises out, Joe stops it with "Wait! Wait!! (iris stops; to Sloppy Moe) Do-um some more!"
    • Since the cartoon "Wagon Heels", is a remake of this, Sloppy Moe again tickles Injun Joe, this time into falling off a cliff, making the U.S. from Joe's impact. The cartoon also ends with Sloppy Moe tickling Porky instead.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • In Powerprof, the girls and the professor get into a tickle fight during one of their brief attempts to bond.
    • During the ending of The Powerpuff Girls Rule! When a repentant Mojo Jojo fixes the entire world to become a utopia, he and the girls make up to one another for their past quarrels. While saying goodbye, he briefly tickles them as they leave.
    • In the reboot series, During the 5-part story of Bliss's origins, there's a brief moment where the Professor tickles Bliss while entertaining her with a puppet show. Unfortunately for the professor, she enjoys being tickled so much she explodes during their bonding due to her Power Incontinence.
  • Ready Jet Go!:
    • In "I Feel The Earth Move", Dr. Rafferty tickles Sean's belly.
    • In "Satellite Selfie", Jet and Sydney tickle Face 9000. Apparently, computers are ticklish.
  • At the start of one episode of Sheep in the Big City, a segment known as "Touched by a Ninja" involves said Ninja touching a guy continuously until it transforms into this trope.
  • One episode of The Simpsons has Homer do this to Bart in order to get him to dance at a stadium event and cause him to pee himself.
  • In an episode of The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper, Casper himself gets tickled by a mischievous, shape-shifting Ghost Horse.
  • One episode of Steven Universe has Steven and Connie stumble across a secret lair that belonged to Steven's Mom, courtesy of Lion. When figuring out how to use her weapons (which is touch-activated via Steven,) Connie starts tickling him.
    • The 1st episode of Steven Universe: Future features a scene with Amethyst tickling Steven on the belly while they are both bonding.
  • One episode of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! "Two Plumbers and a Baby" features a scene with Princess Peach tickling Mario as he's rescuing her after she had fallen off a cliff. Prior to this, Peach had turned into a baby herself after falling into the Fountain of Youth.
  • In an episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), Mikey gets tickled by Metalhead's scanning lasers.
  • In an episode of Teen Titans, shortly after Starfire reunites with Galfore, her adopted father, they exchange rather menacing greetings in their native tongue. Then he decides to give her a more friendly greeting by tickling her. Starfire enjoys this.
    • This occurs a lot more often in Teen Titans Go! For example in one episode Starfire defeats the other members of the group in a tickle war. In another episode, Raven tickles the whisperer in exchange for it to make everything silent. Starfire has also been seen tickling her pet Silkie multiple times.
  • The final seconds of the Totally Spies! episode "Freaky Circus Much?" are Sam and Alex tickling Clover on the living room couch, making her face turn pink from laughter. The context being the girls discovering Mandy had usurped Clover's chances to appear in a reality TV show the moment the first episode airs, but despite this being a possible attempt to cheer Clover up, considering Alex and Sam were furious with her signing them up for the show without their permission, it could simultaneously be an actual Tickle Torture for revenge.
  • In "Great Gizmos!" from True and the Rainbow Kingdom, when True wakes Bartleby, he tells her that he can't start his day without a hug from "you-know-who." She asks if he means the Rainbow King, saying that he's very busy, but there's always time for "True tickles."
  • In the VeggieTales DVD entitled "Bob Lends a Helping Hand", there is a segment before the end credits called "Fun with Hands." It is a bunch of scenes featuring Larry playing with his prosthetic hands to mess with Bob. One of them includes a scene where Larry tickles Bob with them.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Code Yellow", SpongeBob tickles a catfish to make him spit out his keys, curing him of his sore throat.

    Real Life 
  • Most people have either done this to someone else, had it done to them, or seen it done to someone else (or all three).
  • A few have suggested that tickling someone for a lengthy period of time on their most sensitive spot (the armpits and the soles of the feet are the popular tickle spots) can actually be a good form of therapy, as it tends to produce endorphins into the system.
  • Pet rats seem to enjoy this trope, as they make the same ultrasonic sounds when tickled as when they play.


Video Example(s):


Little Bear - Under the covers

Little Bear and his parents have some fun with one another when the tyke tries to help them get rid of some "bed bugs".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / FriendlyTickleTorture

Media sources: