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Heart Beats out of Chest

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Ba-boomp, ba-boomp, ba-boomp...

A character's heart will beat so strongly that it makes a bulge in their thoracic wall, visible even through clothing. Usually, it seems as though the heart has powered completely beyond the breastbone and ribs. This is a shorthand indicator that the character has seen a gorgeous Love Interest and is completely smitten (for this reason, this trope can be seen as a more-or-less G-rated take on the Something Else Also Rises trope. Lots of Tex Avery and Bob Clampett cartoons — and modern animated shorts inspired by them — have done this). This haywire heart effect can also occur when the character experiences heart-pounding terror or extreme exhaustion.

Since this effect cannot occur in living people and still allow them to survive, it appears almost exclusively in cartoons, or as an animated special effect on a live actor.

Compare with Cardiovascular Love, when heart-shaped symbols appear on or near a character and Cartoon Throbbing, when another body part of a character pulsates. This is also a kind of Impact Silhouette, but extruded instead of engraved.

Not to be confused with Beat Still, My Heart, when the heart beats literally outside of the chest.


    open/close all folders 

  • One AT&T commercial shows Penelope the pussycat from Looney Tunes getting a schmoozy text message from Pepe Le Pew. This causes her heart to pound visibly beyond her breastbone to the sound of bongo drums. Viewable on YouTube.
  • Seen in this infomercial for Blo-Pens when an animated Blo-Pen does this as the announcer says in the heart of each Blo-Pen is a brush-tipped marker.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Pokémon, this happens to Meowth upon seeing the titular Skitty in the episode "I Feel Skitty", and again in "For The Love Of Meowth" when he falls for a Glameow.
    • Both Meowth and Oshawott experience this in "Purrloin: Sweet or Sneaky?" when they're charmed by a Purrloin (whom they think is a girl).
    • Oshawott and Piplup have this reaction to a Meloetta; Oshawott in "All for the Love of Meloetta!" and Piplup in "Piplup, Pansage, and a Meeting of the Times!" (In Piplup's case, his heart expands to become bigger than his whole body).
  • Doraemon's heart beats out of his chest when in love, as seen here. One could argue that since he's a robot, his internal organs are placed a little differently.
  • This happens once to Momoko in an episode of Powerpuff Girls Z.
  • One Piece: Sanji does this frequently whenever he sees a beautiful woman.
  • Zombie Land Saga has an interesting twist on this trope with Lily, a zombie whose heart is exposed and balloons out of her chest when she is nervous or terrified. When this happens in public, she physically tries shoving it back in to keep her cover as a normal human from being blown. It's revealed this is because her cause of death was a heart attack.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: One episode of Season 7 has Big M. being so shocked that he has a heart attack, and his heart becomes visible as it beats out of his chest.
  • Lamput: In Season 3's "Wig", at one point Fat Doc's heart reaches all the way to Slim Doc (whom he thinks is a woman) and the rest of his body is brought to that spot.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Mighty Little Defenders episode 18, Weslie discovers the earpiece Wolffy (who is going undercover as a dog to spy on the goats) uses to communicate with the other wolves. As Weslie investigates the little gadget, a panicking Wolffy's heart can be seen beating out of his chest as he worries Weslie is about to learn his doggy buddy is actually his enemy pretending to be on the goats' side.

    Comic Books 
  • In Amelia Rules!: In "Amelia vs. The Sneeze Barf", Reggie's heart visibly protrudes from his chest, accompanied by a "POUND POUND POUND" Written Sound Effect, when he sees Tanner for the first time.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW):
    • Cadance is shown with her heart beating out of her chest while watching Shining Armor perform.
    • Also happens to Rarity in the "Reflections" arc upon meeting Mirror Sombra.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Happens to the eponymous Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), when he is undergoing his Heel–Face Turn causing his heart to grow three sizes; said heart gets progressively bigger and bigger with every beat.
  • This happens to the title character in The Mask while he's watching Tina Carlyle sing at the Coco Bongo Club. He then morphs into a Funny Animal wolf as a Shout-Out to those in Tex Avery cartoons.
  • Spoofed in Silent Movie, when Mel sees his girlfriend perform on stage. It's actually some kind of frog in his jacket.
  • This happens due to fear in Convict 13, when Buster Keaton, a prison guard, is confronted by a hulking giant of a prisoner who's already knocked out all the other guards.
  • In the movie Wrongfully Accused, when Ryan Harrison (Played by Leslie Nielsen) is about to fall down the waterfall, you can see his heart beating out his shirt in a cartoonish form.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Daffy Duck makes a guest appearance on The Drew Carey Show during the opening scenes of the episode "My Best Friend's Wedding." Daffy takes one look at Mimi Bobeck and sees his Aphrodite, complete with Cardiovascular Love and his heart leaping beyond his breastbone.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Once More With Feeling" has Spike lamenting of this in his song, "Rest in Peace".
    Spike: If my heart could beat, it would break my chest!
  • In the Supernatural Episode "Hunteri Heroici", Gary Freleng, heart beats out his chest like in a cartoon, when he's with Olivia, a woman he was seeing on the side. This is because of a cartoon loving Reality Warper senior's sphere of influence. The unstable nature of it makes the phenomenon painful before his heart literally bursts out of his chest.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch: This is one of the symptoms of the witch disease Candy Heart Syndrome, along with hiccuping pink bubbles and the affected witch's heart becoming a candy heart (hence the name).

  • An Old Master Q comic strip have the titular character's long-time girlfriend, Miss Chan, finally agreeing to go on a date with him, which he reacts with his heart - complete with floating flowers and sparkles - coming out his chest.

  • The song "Hey Soul Sister" by Train, where the singer is in love with a woman.
    I'm so obsessed, my heart is bound to beat right out my untrimmed chest.
  • The video for "Heart of Rock & Roll" by Huey Lewis and the News has Huey's heart beating to move his jacket. He opens the jacket and his heart is also glowing under his shirt.
  • The song "Cara de Santa" by Restart, This music video features a CG girl, and a few other effects going on with the guys. One Guy has his heart pulsing out of his chest, the others have 2D eyes coming out of their faces, and heads getting colored.

    Video Games 
  • This happens to the titular character of Earthworm Jim as he is about to kiss Princess What's-Her-Name.
  • If Bugs Bunny is chosen first as a playable character in the PlayStation One adaptation of Space Jam by Sculptured Software, choosing Lola Bunny next will cause Bugs's heart to leap beyond his rib cage.

    Web Animation 
  • In a Heartbeat has this as the very premise of the short, with Sherwin's heart beating so fast after seeing his crush Johnathan that it literally comes out of his chest in an effort to get him to admit his feelings.


    Western Animation 
  • Disney's Aladdin: The Series:
    • The episode "Genie Hunt" has this: Genie's heart pounds out of his chest when he runs in a room hiding from some clams chasing him with sharp teeth.
    • This also happens in the episode "The Citadel" when he hides in a room from a thirdac, who chases him around the building. Aladdin comes in a room and notices that his heart is beating fast beyond his chest.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Happens to Gumball in "The Laziest" as a side effect of him getting a sugar rush.
  • Animaniacs: Played straight and taken a step further during the "Hello Nurse" song segment. Wakko's heart first beats out of his chest when Hello Nurse passes by and pats him on the head. Shortly afterwards, she backlights his x-ray sheet to examine it, causing his heart to appear on the x-ray and beat outside of his ribcage without pushing its way out first.
    • Yakko and Wakko also experience this when they see Hello Nurse for the first time.
    • This is how Minerva Mink loses her head in the short "Moon Over Minerva" at the sight of hunky Wilford Wolf.
  • In Batman: The Brave and the Bold's take on Emperor Joker, Bat-Mite's heart beats out of his chest the moment he sets his eyes on Harley Quinn.
  • Bonkers featured a clip of this during the opening theme. The clip was taken from the episode "Love Stuck," where, when faced with an attractive woman on a dating show, Bonkers' heart beats out of his chest not once, but twice over the course of the episode.
  • The closing credits for Count Duckula claim this is one of the symptoms of having a run-in with the title character, showing a frightened woman whose heart beats outside of her chest on a spring to the left then to the right. Nevermind that he's actually a vegetarian.
  • The titular dog, Courage the Cowardly Dog will do this from time to time. In "The Shadow of Courage", when he assumes that the evil shadow is responsible for Muriel's disappearance, he decides to start the search in the basement, then when the evil shadow scares him out of his wits, he quickly shuts the door and his heart pumps in and out to indicate fear.
  • In the Cow and Chicken episode "Stay Awake", in which Chicken starts acting out of control after eating a bowl of coffee-flavored cereal for breakfast, his heart pumps out of his chest to indicate the caffeine kicking in as Cow reads the list of ingredients from the cereal box.
  • Spoofed in Donald's Off Day when Donald Duck's nephews trick him into thinking he's terminally ill. This includes sneaking a little toy rabbit that's attached to an air pump under his blanket and pumping air in various ways, making Donald think his heart is acting out this trope and he's done for. He finally figures out the ruse shortly after the toy jumps out from under the blanket.
  • In the first episode of Drawn Together, Toot's heart beats out of her chest upon seeing Xandir (and his butt) for the first time.
  • Droopy experiences this in the Droopy, Master Detective episode "Shadowman and the Blue Pigeon" when a beautiful mysterious lady flirts with him. He even literally crosses his heart as he promises to help her.
  • Exaggerated in the Futurama episode "Reincarnation", where Fry's heart pops out so far that it keeps hitting Bender in the back until it comes out of Bender's chest.
  • Bruno Bozzetto's short cartoon Help? has Jof the cat visit a hospital for a sore finger. One doctor puts Jof on a treadmill, then turns up the speed and angle to insane levels. At the end of the test, Jof's heart is hammering against his breastbone. Jof opens an access door in his thorax, takes out his exhausted heart, and lays it gently on a pillow to rest.
  • A melancholy instance occurs in the Herman and Katnip cartoon "Of Mice and Magic", when Herman hears that Katnip has caught his beloved. A Let's Get Dangerous! moment follows.
    • An unusual example occurs in "A Bicep Built For Two"; When Katnip sees a beautiful lady cat, his heart beats out of his tongue.
  • A Kind of Magic, made by the same creators of Oggy and the Cockroaches (see above): At one point in the episode "Uncle Sandman", Tom, Cindy and His Highness look at an aquarium. The latter then finds a piranha in the aquarium, gets scared and runs into the side of a bed (with Gregore and the One-Shot Character on it having a conversation). His heart pounds under his mouth, and he becomes aware of this.
  • The fear variation happens to Little Audrey in the cartoon Hold the Lion, Please when she comes face to snout with a lion.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • "The Grey Hounded Hare": Bugs Bunny gets one eyeful of the fake rabbit used to lure the racing dogs around the track and is instantly smitten, complete with his heart beating far past his sternum five times. He then pursues the dogs to "save" the fake rabbit from them.
    • The terror/exhaustion version happens in "Falling Hare" after the mischievous gremlin that's tormenting Bugs Bunny causes him to exit a military plane (that's currently in the air) twice before letting him back in. A bit of WWII humor is thrown in when Bugs' heart is labeled "4F".
    • The terror variant happens to Porky Pig, along with a bout of Color Failure, in the short "Bye Bye Bluebeard" after he has the titular villain in in his clutches after being fooled by a mouse.
    • For Scent-imental Reasons: Happens to Penelope after Pepe loses his odor and she notices his muscles.
    • A variant occurs in "Scaredy Cat": After Sylvester witnesses a procession of murderous mice carting away a tied-up cat, his heart visibly pounds in his throat but only stretches it from side-to-side instead of forward.
  • Ned's Newt:
    • Ned gets this after being kissed by his crush Linda Bliss in "Draw Your Own Concussion".
    • Newton's heart hammers beyond his ribs and breastbone in "A Mother Day, A Mother Dollar" after being informed by his mother that he's her favorite son.
  • Oggy and the Cockroaches
    • "Monster From The Mud Lagoon": Oggy's heart pounds beyond his breastbone in terror after hearing the doorbell ring; this is due to him watching a horror film about a monster and he is thinking said monster is ringing the doorbell. In actuality, it is Jack covered in mud.
    • "Go For It, Jack!": Upon seeing Oggy's sister, Monica, Jack's heart separates into smaller hearts and they all pound beyond his chest.
    • Heart Trampoline Promo: In this Cartoon Network commercial, Oggy is so lovestruck by Olivia that he passes out. His pounding heart is then used as a trampoline by the other characters so that they can catch a glimpse of Olivia!
    • "Olivia": When Olivia rubs Oggy's arm, it causes his heart to pop out all over his body.
    • "Party Pooper": While romantically daydreaming, Oggy's heart pounds once.
    • "Shoplifting!": In a variation, the sight of Lady K makes Joey's chest open up and his heart leap out while attached to a spring.
  • Rainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitty: In the episode "Snack Attack", Felicity's heart beats out of her chest and back upon meeting Miss Tabby.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: Ren does this in the pilot episode "Big House Blues". Notably, his heart is beating out of panic rather than infatuation.
  • Rocko's Modern Life:
    • In "Love Spanked", Rocko's heart beats out of his chest and his butt when he sees his crush, Melba.
    • In "Seat of Stardom", three chicken girls experience this when they find out Rocko is Wedgie Boy.
  • Subverted in the Scaredy Squirrel episode "Acting Silly"; When Scaredy sees Sue for the first, it seems like this is happening, but it is actually due to a frog who had hitched a ride in Scaredy's shirt.
  • Moe Szyslak does this in The Simpsons episode "Saddlesore Gallactica" after seeing a beautiful woman. However in a nod to the show's more subtle slapstick, he notes that this shouldn't be happening to his heart and is likely a serious emergency.
  • Space Goofs: In the episode "First Love", a couple moves in the aliens' house and they break up. Gorgious, Bud, Stereo and Etno fall in love with the broken-up lady, while Candy thinks there is a spell coming from the girl. When Bud falls in love with the lady, his heart hammers through his ribs and breastbone right as Candy gets horrified.
  • Happens to Casper in The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper when the French exchange student Nicole is introduced, even though being a ghost means he shouldn't have a heart.
  • The Tiny Toon Adventures episode "The Acme Bowl" shows Plucky Duck's heart pounding when he sees Margot Mallard in pool.This also happens to Bookworm in the episode "Eating Between the Lines" when he hears Sweetie Bird calling his name to eat him, his heart starts pounding out his chest.
    • Happens to Babs in one of the wrap-around segments for "Stuff That Goes Bump in the Night".
  • Tom & Jerry Kids: In "The Vermin," Jerry invokes this after the titular band's female member uses her feminine wiles to convince him to join the band.
  • Occurs to two separate characters in the Tom and Jerry cartoon "Kitty Foiled" from June 1948.
    • First, Tom captures Jerry in a goblet. Cornered and facing certain doom, Jerry's heart beats out of the left side of his chest. Using his left hand to push his heart back into place, it then beats out the right side.
    • Later, Tom captures a small yellow canary beneath a flower pot. He peers at his prize through the drainage hole. The canary's heart beats out of his chest in terror. Then the canary crouches facing away from Tom's yellow bloodshot eye, and his heart starts beating out from beneath his tail feathers.
  • T.U.F.F. Puppy: Dudley did this in "Puppy Love" when he saw Fifi Oui Oui who was really the Chameleon in disguise.
  • One character from The Wacky World of Tex Avery is Power Pooch, who sights a female poodle name Fifi. His heart beats so hard that as Fifi is walking by him, it actually blocks her path.
  • Wander over Yonder
    • Episode "The Night" has a non-romantic-love example. Sylvia, exhausted from the events of "The Day" has stated that she needs a really quiet night. Wander goes to great lengths to keep the whole planet silent for her. However, once he's done that, he becomes aware of his own heartbeat, which begins hammering through his furry orange chest.
    • Episode "The Fugitives" has Wander's heart beat out his chest as he describes the good feeling he gets from helping others.
  • From Zig & Sharko, also by the creators of "Oggy and the Cochroaches":
    • At the end of an episode involving King Neptune, Sharko beats the hell out of King Neptune's orca army, and then squishes Neptune himself flat. He then reaches for Marina as his heart pounds beyond his breastbone, only to find her gone; he then realizes Zig took her back to the island to eat her.
    • At the start of "Marina Superstar", King Neptune himself experiences this when he notices Marina's singing. His heart pounds beyond his chest and then his back.
    • In "A Lovesick Survivor", a castaway has this reaction when he sees Marina for the first time.


Video Example(s):


Fifi and Furrball

Furrball accidentally gets a white stripe down his back, causing Fifi La Fume to mistake him for a skunk and starts to romantically pursue him.

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