Hammerspace is a convenient place for characters to carry around mallets, anvils, fridges, or whatever else they need to advance the plot in a very small space. But what do you use to store a whole person?
This trope occurs when whole characters manage to hide themselves away into incredibly small spaces. It could be inside a shoe, or a suitcase, a jewelry box, in a friend's pocket, or behind a telephone pole.
Where ever the hideaway is, it must be an area so small that even if the character were to scrunch up and get squeezed into the space, it would still be too small for them, making Hammerspace the only plausible explanation for how they could possibly fit.
When characters use Hammerspace to disappear behind narrow poles, they are Behind a Stick. If a character turns out to be living inside a Hammerspace Hideaway, then it is probably a Clown Car Base instead. If we can see inside the Hammerspace Hideaway, then it will likely be Bigger on the Inside. Compare Party in My Pocket. See Behind the Black for similar situations resulting from the Rule of Perception.
- In Girls und Panzer, Rabbit Team takes it Up to Eleven by hidding a M3 Lee medium tank behind a streetsign's post (from the rival team: the viewer can see them plainly).
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Kaede's Artefact is a cloak (essentially a flat piece of tattered cloth) that can hide several people inside... it does have a fully furnished house in there after all.
- In One Piece, due to eating the Castle-Castle fruit, Capone Bege has the ability to miniaturize things to fit within his body (the inside of which is an actual castle).
- In Kiddy Grade, Armbrust's Black Box has extradimensional capabilities and can change shape to allow larger things in and out; several times, this has included people.
- Scott Pilgrim can fit inside Ramona's shoulder purse, because it contains a gate to Hyperspace.
- Snoopy's doghouse in Peanuts:
- Although he always sleeps on top of it, it's clearly much bigger inside than its appearance would suggest, containing a pool table, television, and according to one strip, a sizable book collection. (He even had a Van Gogh in there until his doghouse was destroyed in a fire, but he quickly replaced it with an Andrew Wyeth. Just how he got them was never explained.)note
- The interior of the doghouse was seen in the (likely non-canon) animated special It's Magic Charlie Brown, where visible rooms included one with exercise equipment, sports equipment, lockers, awards and trophies; and a lab with a bunsen burner, flasks and distillation equipment.
- Superman has his Fortress of Solitude, In the Aliens vs Predator vs Batman and Superman crossover his fortress is the size of a 5m diameter ball on the outside that houses another universe he can build up on the inside giving him pretty much infinite space.
- There is that addition to the good ship Gay in the Robert A. Heinlein novel The Number of the Beast.
- The real Mad-Eye Moody in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is stored in one of these.
- Chiron's Super Wheelchair in Percy Jackson and the Olympians, where he hides his horse legs.
- Not the most extreme example, but in the first book of The Mysterious Benedict Society trilogy, Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance are forced to squeeze into a very small crate to hide from Mr. Curtain. The illustration does not at all look comfy.
- The Fablehaven series has the transdimensional backpack with a storage room inside.
- The wizards of Unseen University in the Discworld have been trying to study and define Hammer space.Only they don't call it that; they deal with the Cabinet of Curiosities and have frequently witnessed the impossible and potentially limitless space represented by the Luggage. In both cases, Professor Ponder Stibbons is the man tasked with finding a scientific, or at least a plausibly pseudoscientific, reason why.
- Wizards of Waverly Place: Alex invoked this to sneak Harper onto the S.S. Tipton by hiding her away in her suitcase. Justified in that the suitcase is magic.
- There was once an episode of Scrubs where Turk sneaked JD around in his backpack.
- One common gag in Shake it Up involves cute kid Flynn stowing away in his sister CeCe's suitcase, even when it's filled to capacity.
- In the Good Luck Charlie crossover episode, Flynn, along with Rocky, CeCe, and Deuce, all stowed away in Teddy's luggage. Rocky and CeCe hid in her suitcase, Flynn hid in her carry-on, and Deuce hid in her purse. Yeah, her purse.
- Danger 5 reveals Stalin's moustache is one of these. Seen here. The gag is later repeated with the Dodgy Toupee of the President of the World.
- Oscar's trash can on Sesame Street is clearly Bigger on the Inside; various episodes show it contains a garden, swimming pool, ice-rink, bowling alley, a piano, Oscar's pet elephant, and of course, lots of trash. Despite this, the trash can still be picked up and carried, usually by his friend Bruno the Trashman.
- Several types of Exalted have access to Charms that allow them to store objects Elsewhere. Lunars, however, can actually learn Charms that allow them to create tiny little dens in Elsewhere, safe places they can escape to on a moment's notice.
- Dungeons & Dragons examples:
- The Rope Trick spell in several editions of allows the caster and several friends to, well, climb up a rope and "vanish" into a small extradimensional space at the top that nonetheless will hold several people and potentially even allow them to pull up the rope after them as well, making for a quite safe retreat primarily limited by the spell's duration. It's even fairly low-level.
- Other examples include Leomund's Tiny Hut, which creates a dwelling the size of a tent that an adventuring party can sleep in (providing heat and protection from the elements) and the most powerful version, Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion, which is an entire house created in an extradimensional space, usually used by wizards to conduct experiments in private. It includes Unseen Servants to help him, and also creates food. The downside is, the food isn't real, and anyone who lives on it while inside becomes incredibly hungry upon leaving, and has to eat immediately afterwards. (At least one module centered upon a wizard who was well-known for being a Big Eater because he secretly used this spell very frequently.)
- A famous example is the notorious artifact Baba Yaga's Hut. It appears as a small, thatched hut with large legs resembling those of a giant chicken, and is usually dancing when found (indeed, whether it can be better described as a "magical item" or a "magical creature" is debatable). If a wizard of considerable skill convinces it to obey and enters it, it proves far bigger on the inside, being a rather large palace, with lavishly furnished bedchambers, banquet halls, an alchemy lab, a complete library, and even an observatory. One peculiar thing about the place is that while many of the interior rooms have windows, all of them offer the same view, that from the two windows on the front of the Hut that can be seen from outside. (One source suggests that the Hut has a hidden brain within it somewhere, and destroying it is the only way to destroy the Hut; likely, this is something that only Baba Yaga herself, it's true owner, knows the location of. All sources hint that the Hut likely has secrets known only to her, and the Game Master is not recommended to introduce the Hut into a campaign unless he is also willing to introduce her as a villain. The Hut is her home, and sooner or later, she will come to get it back.)
- In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, the Deku Princess somehow gets put into one of Link's bottles, despite being normally almost as tall as Link himself. Though talking with her after taking her back home has her remark that it was uncomfortably cramped.
- In Episode 2 of King's Quest (2015), Graham and one of the villagers run into a dragon and he hides them inside his Cloak of Holding. When he tells his friend "Get in my cape!", Amaya and Bramble will both react as if it's the dumbest thing they've ever heard, but Chester Hobblepot loves the idea.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: One episode had Patrick's head come out of a hat box, which was itself in a television box.
- Animaniacs: Dot had a special box in which she keeps a gigantic monster. The Warner brothers themselves can pop out of incredibly small places as well. The Water Tower counts too, as it seems to be the size of a shed, but has several rooms inside, including a bedroom, bathroom, and dining room, and in one episode, a decent-sized roller coaster.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy: The Eds often end up in some very small places.
- Eddy once managed to stuff himself into a bucket.
- Edd managed to fit inside his sock hat.
- Looney Tunes: Bugs Bunny is known for stuffing some of his foes into rather tight spaces. For example, in "Bugs and Thugs", Bugs stuffed two fully grown gangsters into a rather small oven...twice!
- Another gag is the folding box. put someone in it, fold it like cardboard, then fold it again... and again...
- The Fairly OddParents: "I will now hide inside my own pants. Presto!" Timmy succeeds... until Vicky yanks him out.
- "Peter, get out of the fridge!"
- The closet doors from Monsters, Inc..
- Danny Phantom uses this plenty. One wonders how a soup can can hold an unlimited amount of ghosts. It's even lampshaded at one point:
Danny: How on earth did they cram all of you into the Spectre Speeder?Ember: You ever been stuck inside your stupid Thermos? Compared to that, it was the Taj Mahal in there!
- In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) Orko has been seen rolling himself up inside his own hat.
- Futurama has done this a couple times using Bender's chest cavity.
- On Darkwing Duck, the alien superhero Comet Guy has a spaceship that's small enough for him to wear as a helmet, and he can somehow fit himself and a passenger inside it.
- We Bare Bears: Spoofed in the episode "Chloe". The bears hide in their bearstack in a bush, but Grizzly is still visible.
Grizz: Is there any room down there?
- In Rocko's Modern Life, according to a flashback, the title character met Filburt the turtle as a kid when he helped him hide from a bully in his shell, which had a relatively spacious interior size that did not follow from the outside.
- One variation on a very old joke about a scientist, a mathematician, and an engineer ends with the mathematician inside a can of beans.
- Several people smuggled girlfriends/wives out of East Berlin in some impossibly tight spaces like a suitcase (or two), a photocopier and a hollowed-out car seat. Some of the more inventive contraptions are on display at the Berlin Wall Museum.
- Professional contortionists can bend their bodies in ways that seem impossible, and use that skill to fit in small, equally impossible-seeming, spaces.
- Anyone who's had a cat has probably found him or her hiding in some impossibly small place.