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Green Around the Gills

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Does anybody have a barf bag...?
"This is 'sickness green'. My whole life, I've seen cartoon characters, comics, emojis... they all turn this exact same shade of green when bad things are about to happen."

Nausea isn't always easy to detect in another person in real life. Sometimes you can tell by how pale they look, but they might be pale for another reason (natural coloring, lack of sunlight, makeup, other unrelated sickness).

In cartoons, however, you can tell right away as the character's face turns green. This is usually followed by vomiting, either offscreen or on. Expect this to happen if a character has just been through a wild or fast ride (typically a roller coaster), eats or smells something gross, or thinks about something unappealing (sexual or otherwise). Motion sickness can also result in this, especially seasickness. Expect a long groan and maybe a Circling Birdies motif to accompany this trope.

This is somewhat based in reality, as some people's skin does turn a fairly greenish hue when they're nauseated.

May happen as a result of Universal Poison or I Ate WHAT?! Sometimes Played for Laughs when the character is supposed to be green anyway. If the character has fur it may overlap with Through a Face Full of Fur.

Not to be confused with Sickly Green Glow, although they may be related. Compare Sickness Equals Redness and Drunken Glow.

See also Green Is Gross for when green is used for gross things.


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  • Vive Sin Drogas: A variant happens in the one-minute "sunny park" ad, with the boy becoming green when he succumbs to a drug overdose and dies.
  • Mr. Yuk, the public-service mascot of the Pittsburgh Poison Center at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, is a bright green face gagging in disgust.

  • BoBoiBoy Galaxy
    • In "Katakululu's Hypnosis", when Gopal turns BoBoiBoy Earth's earth barrier into a pile of visibly putrid alien food, the rest of the BoBoiBoy elementals present clamp their hands over their noses in disgust, but BoBoiBoy Leaf in particular coughs and turns green in the face as well.
    • In "Emotion Manipulation", when the power sphera Emotibot imprints emotions on others in the TAPOPS station, he inflicts Fang with the green "nauseated face" emote (🤢), compelling Fang to puke every once in a while, additionally indicated each time by his face turning green.
  • Lamput: In "Alien Again", Slim Doc's reaction to the taste of alien food is nausea, green face included.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Turns up in The Castle of Cagliostro, combined with Balloon Belly; Lupin's face goes green for a bit after he overstuffs himself on food.
  • Happens to Hyatt in Excel♡Saga, when she feels sick before she vomits up blood and dies (as opposed to the times when she just drops dead).
  • Future Boy Conan: In episode 3, Jimsy gets Conan to inhale a cigarette. He feels ill, turns a dull shade of green, and passes out with the smoke coming out of his nostrils.
  • In Mind Game, Nishi's head turns blue after tasting the food prepared by Myon. Apparently, she wasn't such a good cook.
  • In Episode 6 of Suite Pretty Cure ♪, Hibiki and Kanade both turn a gross shade of green when they realize that the cupcakes Souta gave them were filled with wasabi.
  • Urusei Yatsura: In Volume 3's Chapter 4, during the Full Course from Hell:
    Sakura: Are you all right? Your face is turning green.
    Ataru: Y-yeah? Gee, too bad we're not published in color!

  • Young Sick Bacchus: Bacchus has a noticeable greenish-yellow tint to his skin, emphasizing that he is definitely not in full health.

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix: An interesting variation happens in Asterix and the Missing Scroll; the Roman Blockbustus turns green out of fear when news that the Indomitable Gauls now have the titular scroll reaches him.
  • In one Molly and Emmett story, Emmett gets this from overeating on carnival food.
    Emmett: Thanks, Molly, but I think I'll wait 'til dinner.
    Molly: (oblivious) Don't you want one?
  • Superman:
    • The Leper from Krypton: People and animals develop a sickly green complexion when they catch the Kryptonian equivalent to leprosy.
    • In Superman Smashes the Klan, Roberta gets motion sick easily and frequently has to throw up after a bumpy ride, often turning purple or green in the process.

    Comic Strips 

    Eastern Animation 
  • The wolf in Nu, Pogodi! turned dark green and then red, when he put an entire pack of cigarettes in his mouth and smoked them all at once, which made him sick and dizzy.

    Fan Works 
  • Anger Management:
    • Lola turns green when she accidentally eats mayonnaise instead of pudding.
    • Lincoln turns green when Lynn claims she needs to poop while he's in the shower, and then later when she does poop.
  • In Incarnation of Legends, Bell discovers that he gets terribly seasick during his voyage to Rakia, hunching over the side of the boat and desperately trying not to puke twice until Nyx gives him some awful tasting but effective medicine to cure it.
  • In In-Tents-ly Sick, Totobory goes green in the face when his food poisoning kicks in.
  • Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness: This happens to Reimu after Megas puts on a massive burst of speed, rendering her carsick for a little while afterwards.
  • Sonic in Frenzy remembers Amy turning green after he rescued her from Little Planet.
  • When describing how the possessed king's head turned backwards in In Sotto Voce, Link goes slightly green.
  • This The Owl House fancomic by MoringMark has Amity turn a shade of green when she gets carsick.

    Films — Animation 
  • Fievel's face turns green for a few moments in An American Tail, when an alcoholic politician burps in his face.
  • In A Goofy Movie, Goofy turns pale green when he and Max ride a rollercoaster at a carnival. Then, after hurling in a restroom, Max offers him some greasy carnival food and makes him go back in again.
  • In The LEGO Movie, Princess Uni-Kitty's entire body turns green from seasickness.
  • Grimsby's face turns a very unflattering shade of green right before he bends over the ship's rail in The Little Mermaid.
  • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Spring Breakdown, Applejack has no sea legs whatsoever on the cruise. She manages to get seasick just from someone shaking her hand.
  • Osmosis Jones, during the scene when the eponymous, lead character (who's disguised as a germ) is at the club. After drinking a rather nasty, phlegmy beverage, he has the reaction of not only his face turning green, but his head gets twisted up and stretchy as well.
  • Happens to John in Peter Pan when he smokes a Peace Pipe.
  • Happens to the title character in Pinocchio when he inhales an entire cigar.
  • In the direct-to-video film Popeye's Voyage: The Quest for Pappy, Olive turns green from seasickness.
    Popeye: Well blow me down, a green Olive.
  • In Quest for Camelot happens dragon Devon, when he accidentally kisses his brother Cornwall, which makes him green and nauseous.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Ahsoka mentions that Rotta the Hutt is so sick, "He's turning every shade of green except the one he's supposed to be!"

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A rare live-action version, in the adaptation of George of the Jungle when after beating up Lyle's henchman George sniffs his own armpit and turns bright green.
  • Kissin' Cousins: Salbo turns green when Ma Tatum informs him that the dinner she has served consists of "opossum tails, owl gizzards, and grits fried in bear grease. And then that there gravy, that's just goat's milk with vulture eggs and mashed catfish eyes."
  • In Night Of The Grizzly, when Jim’s niece Megan is given some punch laced with alcohol she begins to feel sick and the lighting on her face is green to evoke this trope, in an otherwise realistic film.
  • In the Three Stooges short film Back From The Front, after the Stooges sign up with the Navy and take to the sea, the very next shot has Moe and Larry slung over the side, obviously with weak sea legs. Because the Stooges were yet to appear in color, when they turn to face the camera, their faces are given a layer of bright makeup to evoke discoloration in the face. Curly initially is managing pretty well, even snacking on some salami but he eventually succumbs as well.

  • A Russian joke goes: Why are parrots green? Because all that bobbing on those tree branches makes them sick!

  • In Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo, all the animals turn green when they have the flu.
  • From Frog and Toad Are Friends, when Frog is unwell:
    Toad said, "Frog, you are looking quite green."
    "But I always look green," said Frog. "I am a frog."
    "Today you look very green even for a frog," said Toad.
  • In A Frog in the Throat, Baby Giraffe is described as "going green" from the dizziness, but he's illustrated normally.
  • In Little Princess, the book "I Feel Sick" has the Princess pretend to be sick by painting her face green. Also, the doctor has a chart that supposedly is a scale of nausea, from "not sick" (normal skin colour), to "sick" (pale green), "very sick" (medium green) and "very, very sick" (dark green).
  • In Ramona and her Mother, Beezus remarks that her little sister is "turning green" due to carsickness.
  • In Sick Simon, two pages include a drawing of a child with a green face (one upon witnessing the title character vomiting and the other because she herself is sick).
  • Spy School: Alexander spends most of Spy School at Sea (where the main characters are undercover on a ship) vomiting or suffering from delirium due to various motion sickness medications.
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar: In the animated special, the caterpillar turns a sickly shade of green by the end of its Saturday binge.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The A-Team episode "Bad Time on the Border", the boat ride to Mexico is no fun for half the team as Face and B.A. spend the whole trip seasick. Hannibal tells Face that he looks green and it "brings out the color of [his] eyes."
  • On the Mr. Bean episode "Mr. Bean in Room 426" Mr. Bean turns green after realizing that he has just consumed a whole plate of bad oysters.
  • In the Quantum Leap episode "8 1/2 Months", Al mentions that Sam looks "a little green around the nostrils" before he throws up due to Morning Sickness from leaping into a pregnant woman.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In one of the more bizarre episodes of The Muppet Show, the theater gets turned into a ship and sails out to sea, resulting in Scooter suffering from a case of this. Kermit comments that he's never looked better.
  • Discussed in The Sooty Show, where Soo says she's turning green, meaning she's becoming an environmentalist, but Sooty thinks she means she's feeling sick.

    Video Games 
  • The Binding of Isaac:
    • Picking up Ipecac in turns Isaac a pale green colour with darker green drips down his face. It also makes him fire explosive, poisonous vomit in place of his tears. The Common Cold gives him a similar appearance, though it presumably doesn't cause nausea.
    • On the enemies' side, there's a couple of bosses and other enemies which are permanently green and attack by vomiting, such as Pestilence, Sloth and the Cage. There's also Hornfel (and by extension the Horny Boys), who turns green and pukes up fireballs whenever he's motion sick.
  • In Moo Spew, a licensed game of Horrible Histories, the cows turn green (as in their whole bodies) before they vomit.
  • In Moshi Monsters, in one of the mini-games, the character I.G.G.Y. will turn green if he eats a Glump. He can be cured with apples.
  • The park guests in RollerCoaster Tycoon will be green in the face whenever they are feeling nauseous.
  • In Super Sized Family, when the kids get sick, their faces turn green.
  • After accidentally eating a jawbreaker coated in foot powder in Ed, Edd n Eddy: The Mis-Edventures, Eddy has an allergic reaction that turns his skin green.

    Web Animation 


    Web Original 
  • In the flash game Bartender: The Right Mix, the Bartender's face will turn green right before he ducks below the counter to throw up if you make a particularly nauseating drink.

  • Neopets: In the game "Barf Boat", Captain Arf will periodically turn green in the face before projectile vomiting from seasickness.

    Western Animation 
  • Wally turns thoroughly green on a roller coaster in the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids episode "The Gold Caper." It's established in an earlier episode that he also gets seasick and airsick.
  • In the Camp Lakebottom episode "Arachnattack", McGee turns green and starts to vomit when the little baby spider sucks up a fly.
  • In the Classic Disney Short The Riveter, Donald Duck turns green when he finds out he'll be working on the top floor of a half-constructed skyscraper.
  • No-Tail No Goodnik in The Country Mouse And City Mouse Adventures episode, "Klondike Mice", at one point gets light green-faced with motion sickness as he struggles to hang onto a running bear cub.
  • In the Elena of Avalor episode "The Birthday Cruise", princess Chloe turns green from getting seasick on her birthday cruise.
  • In the Geronimo Stilton episode "Attack of the Killer Whale", the already motion sickness-prone Geronimo suffers from seasickness. His face turns into nasty pale shade of green twice, and he also throws up.
  • Happens to Lila in the Hey Arnold! episode "Love and Cheese" during a ride on the tilt-a-whirl.
  • In the Jungle Cubs episode, "Hulla Baloo", Prince Louie's face became green as a result of a stomach ache from eating too many bananas.
  • Any time a character is about to vomit on Kaeloo. In Kaeloo's case, since she's already green, her face turns an odd shade of yellowish green.
  • Kim Possible:
    • In a flashback in "Motor Ed", Ron turns green when he gets motion sickness on a fair ride.
    • In one episode, Ron encounters Shego, who has a cold, and comments that she's looking even greener than usual.
  • King of the Hill:
    • Bobby Hill becomes green-faced from smoking several packs of cigarettes which his dad Hank made him do as a form of punishment, after finding out his son has been smoking.
    • Happens again in "Death of a Propane Salesman" during Buckley's funeral Dale thinks that there's nothing in the coffin, he peeks inside and sees his gruesome remains, he turns pale green and vomits into the coffin.
  • The Legend of Korra: Asami turns green for a second after she finds out the gruel she was eating was from the dumpsters.
  • In the Little Princess episode "What's Wrong with Gilbert", the young princess is using her cat in lieu of Gilbert the teddy bear and when Puss sails in a toy boat, the fur on his face turns green.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • The Bugs Bunny short "Falling Hare". Bugs is in a plane that's in a power dive. As he looks out the window, he puts his fingers to his mouth and turns green. Watch it here.
    • Bugs' face goes green again in A Corny Concerto, after he is supposedly shot.
    • In "The Wacky Worm", the crow's face turns green for a few seconds, as the result of a tummy ache from eating several apples in an attempt to find the title character.
    • In the Merrie Melodies take on Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton's face turns green at one point from seasickness.
    • In the short "Lumber Jerks", a Goofy Gopher's face became green due to noxious fumes, after siphoning gas from a furniture truck.
    • In "Bushy Hare", Nature Boy gets green-faced after Bugs makes him swallow a dart by blocking one end of the blowgun, sending the dart into Nature Boy's mouth.
    • In "Tweety's S.O.S." Sylvester has become green after winding up seasick. Later on in the short Tweety tries to distract Sylvester from eating him by making him seasick again.
    • In "A Street Cat Named Sylvester", Hector's medicine for his broken leg tastes so terrible that drinks it turns green in the face while sputtering.
  • The Loud House:
    • In the episode "Toads and Tiaras", Lincoln turns green when he's grossed out by Lola's retainer that he has to brush for her.
    • In "Tripped!", all the Louds' faces turn green due to food poisoning.
    • In "Not a Loud", Lincoln's face turns green when he throws up from eating worms and dog food.
    • In "Predict Ability", Lynn, Lola, Luan, and Lisa's faces turn green when Lincoln pours maple syrup on a plate of sushi, with Lincoln himself turning green after he eats a piece.
  • The Magic School Bus:
    • In the episode "The Magic School Bus For Lunch", a shade of green appears on each of Ralphie's cheeks due to not being able to stomach (literally), being inside Arnold's digestive system. In fact, this happens to him any time he's in the middle of a nausea-inducing event, and he even has a catchphrase for it ("I think I'm gonna be sick...").
    • At the end of the Producer segment in "Gets Planted", Liz turns a darker shade of green than usual after overstuffing herself with garden vegetables.
  • This happens to all the ponies who sampled Applejack's "baked bads" in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Applebuck Season"; their faces, including their ears, turn green.
  • In episode "Inherit the Wheeze" of show Pinky and the Brain Brain turned pale green for few seconds, because scientists were forcing him smoking cigarettes, which made him sick and dizzy.
  • Quack Pack:
    • In the episode "Can't Take a Yolk", Huey, Dewey and Louie's faces get green around the gills from motion sickness on an amusement park ride.
    • In "The Really Mighty Ducks", an airsick pilot turns green not only in the face, but his hands as well.
  • Ready Jet Go!:
    • Mentioned in "You're Never Too Big For A Lullaby" from "Jet Can't Sleep", where one lyric is "I'll sing a song if you're green or you're blue".
    • Played with in "That's One Gigantic Pumpkin, Jet Propulsion!". Sean's pumpkin stays green instead of turning orange, so he decorates it to look like someone sick. Complete with a cold cloth and thermometer!
  • In the Regular Show episode "Sandwich of Death", Benson's face turns green after he eats the titular sandwich improperly (the eater is required to wear a mullet and cut-off jeans, otherwise they'll suffer several bizarre ailments before finally dying).
  • The R.O.B. the Robot episode "Space Virus Blues" parodies this trope with resident Little Green Girl Ema:
    Nurse Robot: Oh dear! Your skin has turned green!
    Ema: Huh? No, I'm supposed to be green! It's my friends that are sick!
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • In the film Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire, as the gang is driving across a high, rickety bridge during the song 'Done With Monsters', Shaggy looks down at the water below and becomes nauseous and green as a result.
    • Shaggy also becomes green around the gills after smelling some rotten leftovers near the beginning of the What's New, Scooby-Doo? episode "A Scooby-Doo Valentine".
  • Tex Avery MGM Cartoons: In Screwball Squirrel (1944), Meathead the dog is looking for Screwy Squirrel on a deserted ship, and Screwy draws a picture of water and waves it out the port window. Meathead turns bright green and runs offscreen to vomit, Screwy laughs at him for falling for the gag, only to end up doing it to himself and getting the same results.
  • In Shaun the Sheep, the episode "Shaun the Farmer" has the farmer's face turn green due to his flu-like bug.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In one of the original The Tracey Ullman Show shorts, "The Funeral", Bart turns green and faints upon seeing Uncle Hubert's corpse in the casket.
    • In episode "Homer's Night Out", Bart becomes green-faced at the sight of some repulsive-looking seafood.
    • In "The Ten Per-Cent Solution", Homer's face turns green as he acts out the part of a bloated corpse.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "Born Again Krabs", Mr. Krabs' entire body turns green after he eats a moldy Krabby Patty.
    • In "Plankton Retires", SpongeBob turns green while being dizzy on a ceiling fan when spying on Plankton with Mr. Krabs.
  • In Strawberry Shortcake: Berry in the Big City, the Purple Pieman tries to gaslight Strawberry into believing that her friends are all trying to steal her heirloom spoon, and every time it goes missing, he's doing something different while feigning ignorance. At one point, Strawberry sees him clipping his gnarled toenails and his foot emitting a Visible Odor, which causes her face to turn green as she nearly throws up.
  • It would often come up as a gag in the 80s' Ninja Turtle cartoon. When the turtles are disguised in public under a trenchcoat and a hat, if they are noticed people might wonder if they are ill because their faces are green.
  • Thomas & Friends: In the episode "Tenders and Turntables", James' face takes on a greenish tinge after his spin on the turntable.
  • Totally Spies!:
    • In "The Yuck Factor", Alex's face turns green after witnessing the icky insides of Jerry. She then proceeds to vomit profusely.
    • In "Freaky Circus Much?", Alex turns green-faced after getting queasy on a roller coaster.
  • In one episode of Waynehead, this happens to Mo' Money when he gets motion sickness on an amusement park ride.
  • In the Woody Woodpecker featurette "Socko In Morocco", the eponymous woodpecker and Buzz Buzzard's faces turn green momentarily from inhaling smoke out of a hookah.

Alternative Title(s): Turns Green


Motor Ed

A rather mortifying incident occured when Ron ate too many chili cheese dogs and then went on a fast spinning ride.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / VomitDiscretionShot

Media sources: