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Invisible Holes

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A character is subject to gunfire or sharp spikes, suffering no apparent injuries. But should he drink something or fall into water, the liquid will immediately pour out by small holes in his skin. Hilarity Ensues.

A classic gag chiefly featured in animation. It has all the implications of terrible injuries, without all that massive bleeding and annoying death getting in the way of the humor. When it turns up in live action, it's usually in a slapstick comedy, bonus points if it involves the undead or immortal "victim".


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  • Capri Sun's "Respect the Pouch" ad campaign had children mistreating the juice pouch, and suffering a fate relating to said mistreatment. One such commercial has a boy punching holes in the bottom of the pouch as a girl watches. He drinks from the straw and immediately starts leaking. The girl tries to block one hole.
  • In a Penn and Teller commercial for Diet Coke, Penn lowers Teller to a spiked floor with nails and threatens to drop him until he can get himself out of his straitjacket until the countdown ends. Teller is successful and seems unharmed and drinks from the can of soda, only for soda to gush out from the top of his head, implying that he got stabbed by the nails by his head while being upside down.

    Anime and Manga 
  • In One Piece, Luffy mostly seems fine after having been impaled by Crocodile a few hours earlier (only wearing some bandages). When he resorts to drinking a lot of water to take advantage of Crocodile's weakness, however, he promptly springs a leak.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 3 episode 40, Little M. gives Big M. a cup of water to drink. The water doesn't stay in Big M.'s body, pouring out through numerous holes he accumulated from being hit by projectiles from guns that were being shot at him and Little M. earlier.

    Comic Books 
  • This trope is referenced in one Archie Comics story, where Mr. Lodge goes to a barber for a shave (just roll with it). The barber ends up cutting Lodge's neck several times, and when it's over, Mr. Lodge demands a drink to see whether his neck leaks.
  • Played with in the Suske en Wiske comic "De Texas Rakkers"; Lambik enters a saloon and immediately, gunfire can be heard inside. Jerom then rushes in and asks Lambik if he has been hit. To check if he's okay, Lambik takes a glass of water and references this trope.
    • A similar gag occurs in the Suske en Wiske album "De Tamtam Kloppers", where an ape claims they were unable to shoot him, only to take a sip from a jug and to discover his body is full of holes which now sprout water like a fountain.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Another live-action instance occurs in the film Carry On Henry when Sir Roger de Lodgerley who has been tortured in the iron maiden is offered a drink to steady his nerves, only for water to spray out of his chest.
  • Used in Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965), which would have been a hint the girl was a robot if our hero were a bit less oblivious.
  • Happens as the final gag in Hellzapoppin'. The screenwriter Selby finishes narrating his script, and Olsen and Johnson take their leave of the studio. The director, frustrated, shoots the screenwriter — who is uninjured and pays scant attention, but leaks like a sieve when he drinks a glass of water.
  • As a reference to his cartoon-like powers, Jim Carrey in The Mask seems to survive being shot at by a squad of mooks unscathed. He asks them smugly, "Did you miss me?". He then takes a drink, sprouts several leaks and declares, "I guess not!"
  • Frank Cross' old boss, Lew Hayward, gets this in Scrooged after Frank freaks out at the sight of his zombified corpse walking into the office and unloads a revolver into him. Which doesn't bother him other than the Bacardi leaking out.
  • The Three Stooges had this happen from time to time. At the end of Tricky Dicks, Moe and Larry put on shower caps and take out soap when Shemp's bullet holes begin squirting profusely.
    Moe: Should we call a doctor?
    Shemp: No, call a plumber.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Cory in the House: Newt tries to invoke this to convince his parents not to make him run in the school election, telling them he was attacked by an echidna. He rigged his shirt to squirt water like in cartoons. Predictably, it fails.
  • Invoked by Big Mean Carl in one episode of Muppets Tonight. First, he eats a muppet porcupine. "Now, I'm gonna drink this water!" After he guzzles down the bucket, this trope happens. "Thank you!"
  • Done in live action in an episode of Married... with Children. Al was rammed by a shopping cart (yes, a shopping cart) with spikes on the front during a shopping contest. At the end of the episode he is sitting relaxing, and when he takes a drink he sprouts several leaks.
  • This came up in the host segment of Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Hercules and the Moon Men. Extremely tongue in cheek, of course.
  • Done in live action in an episode of Brazilian comedy show Os Caras de Pau.
  • A variation in Shooting Stars: after Bob stabs Vic with a pitchfork, we hear a hissing sound and Vic is able to produce woodwind-instrument-like noises by "playing" the holes.
  • Played for Drama in Westworld when a Host playing an outlaw with a liking for milk drinks a bottle after a saloon shoot-out and has milk spurt from his body, showing his program is glitching as he's failed to drop down dead when shot. Turns out the shoot-out wasn't supposed to happen in the saloon either; he just went Off the Rails and started shooting.

  • Quoted and turned into Black Comedy by Charlie Hebdo in response to the terrorist attacks on Paris: "You have the guns, we have the champagner!"

    Video Games 
  • A promotional video for Fallout 4, What Makes You S.P.E.C.I.A.L.? - Perception, has this happen to a raider Pip Boy shoots with a sub-machine gun. The raider laughs off his apparent lack of injuries, only for the bottle of Nuka-Cola he starts drinking to pour out of the holes in his body.
  • Done in the first Simon the Sorcerer game, when Simon is forced to hide from some goblins inside an iron maiden. Once its safe for him to come out, he complains about being thirsty and drinks a glass of water which pours out of his torso.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Happens to Richard in The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Roots", after eating a bowl of fishing hooks.
  • In the Tex Avery Wartime Cartoon Blitz Wolf, the holes are revealed not by water, but by light shining from behind the character.
  • It also happens in a Droopy cartoon in which Droopy, as a sheepherder, catches a wolf trying to make off with his flock of sheep and repeatedly shoots his gun at the wolf. The bullets all rush past the wolf, who calmly takes a drink of water and says, in a thick Southern accent, "Y'all missed me, sheepherder," and walks off, as the water flows out of holes made by the gun.
  • The page image is from The Huckleberry Hound Show short "Lion Tamer Huck", after the lion steals Huck's "prop" gun and shoots him with it.
    Huckleberry Hound: "Whew, I knew he was only shooting blanks." (Drinks, leaks) "Yep, only shooting blanks."
  • In the Looney Tunes short "Mexican Joyride", Daffy Duck goes South of the Border and has a bowl of chili, scoffing at how Mexican food is not so spicy. Immediately afterward, he has an inferno in his mouth, and he shouts, "It's burning holes in me!" A local sitting next to Daffy says that he has eaten the stuff for years without any harm. The man takes a drink, he gets up to leave, and sure enough, water squirts from his body on the way out.
    • Also, in "Feather Dusted", after Foghorn Leghorn gets sunk by toy ships, the holes get revealed when he stands up.
  • Happened several times to Tom in various Tom and Jerry shorts, with Tom being punctured by gunfire, garden implements, and a baby woodpecker.