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Made of Bologna

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Used with permission.

An occasional hazard of cartoon characters is being cleaved in two, lengthwise or crosswise. Chainsaws, buzzsaws, battle axes, laser beams ... something will turn one whole character into two half-characters. Of course, depicting all the myriad structures and tissues in a living body violates The Law of Conservation of Detail and would also look mighty gruesome. Therefore, cartoon characters are made of a bologna-like substance that doesn't bleed and has no annoying details. Hacking a character to pieces becomes bloodless, and qualifies as Amusing Injuries rather than Squick. This also sometimes crops up in live-action works, mainly for similar reasons as above, but also because it can save time and money on special effects; why go to the effort of having blood ooze or showcasing the various shapes and colours of internal anatomy when sometimes, uniform red meat is all you need.

Compare Made of Plasticine, which also involves bodies that lack the details of realistic internal anatomy, but done in a way that increases the Squick factor.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • One Piece: A fan once asked Eiichiro Oda why Buggy the Clown doesn't bleed when he uses his Detachment Combat ability. The answer was more or less "This is still a kid's comic". Similar properties come up with Law's abilities.
  • During a showdown between Super Saiyan Goku and Frieza in Dragon Ball Z, Frieza launches two Destructo Discs at Goku and misses. Goku distracts Frieza so that Frieza fails to catch a returning disc, which cuts him into pieces. Some blood spills and Frieza's red bologna innards are seen. Frieza survives this wound due to his Bizarre Alien Biology. The original manga, however, actually depicts a bit of intestine hanging out of Frieza's torso. Later, when Trunks cuts Frieza in half, he still has bologna insides. Then he gets cut into a dozen or so chunks of meat, and they still look like bologna. In Dragon Ball Super, he's brought back in a series of living chunks. They doubled down on the bizarre alien biology angle and make the bologna metallic grey.
  • Dropkick on My Devil Dash has a party of waifus discover a coffin washed up on a beach. Inside is Kyon-Kyon, the jiangshi from Hell, China. Kyon-Kyon immediately attacks Jashin. Minos intervenes, and suplexes Kyon-Kyon. This makes the jiangshi break into pieces, including detaching her head. All the areas of separation are featureless matte black tissue. Calmed by her defeat, Kyon-Kyon lets the girls use super glue to reassemble her shattered body.
  • Gamaran employs this trope, as, despite much wielding of katanas, no innards are seen nor do internal organs spill out. One glimpse of brains occurs when a random passerby's skull is struck by Jaki's Epic Flail.
  • The stinger to Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt has angel Anarchy Panty cut into 666 pieces by Stocking's katana. Each piece seems to be made of pink bologna.
  • Very much averted in the anime adaptation of Part 5 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure with the fate of poor Sorbet; in the uncensored Blu-Ray release a full and anatomical cross-section can be seen. The original manga panels are slightly less gory, generally looking more comparable to bologna with pimientos.
  • Ayakashi in Ayakashi Triangle are Energy Beings that don't seem to have internal organs. Shirogane was able to survive half his head being torn off, and the wound’s “bleeding" looked white and cloudy like the rest of his body.
  • Monster Musume has Zombina being cleanly bisected horizontally by Shiishii the jiangshi, with no blood or guts to be seen anywhere. Especially strange since Zombina herself has been shown to bleed profusely before, so it's not an example of author Okayado being afraid to show gore.

    Comic Books 
  • This is the norm in Benito Jacovitti's stories.
  • Whenever the titular character in Cattivik is sliced open, his insides appear as solid tissue.
  • Of course present in Mortadelo y Filemón. Characters are often cut in half in different ways, with no viscera or blood to speak of, and it simply takes some glue, sewing, or even pressing hard the two pieces to repair the damage.
  • One of the many silly villains featured in the infamous Hostess Twinkie Cake ads was "Spindly" Klutz, who had the ability to somehow remove the right half of every person's body from existence. Of course, all the halved people just had a featureless, pinkish mass on the division line.
  • Certain Rubber Man characters are depicted like this. Plastic Man is shown as no longer having any internal anatomy, while Elasti-Girl's body was replaced with "protoplasm", turning her into shapeshifting pink bologna. The Ultimate Fantastic Four version of Mr. Fantastic gets thinly sliced like bologna in Secret Wars (2015) and is shown to have just as much anatomy, being previously established to be a pliable "bacterial sack" in the shape of a person. While he's more a proper shapeshifter than a Rubber Man, Metamorpho gets knocked to pieces like this all the time.
  • Klaw from Black Panther is an Energy Being made of visible, solidified sound. In Secret Wars (1984), he gets sliced into a series of lenses by Doctor Doom. Each lens is uniformly pale pink; Klaw seems to have pigment only on his outermost surfaces.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Thursday 5 June 2014 strip of Scott Adams's Dilbert has the company robot neatly detach Topper's head mid-sentence, revealing reddish bologna and a mounting hole. Fortunately, Topper being Topper, he simply remounts his head on its neck stump and is good to go.
  • The Friday 31 August 2018 panel of Close To Home has two gurneys collide, causing one heavily bandaged patient to fall to the floor, breaking apart into several pieces. Every piece shows pure grey bologna beneath the bandages and nothing more.

    Films — Animation 
  • The opening animations from Tom and Jerry: The Movie include one where Tom and Jerry are dueling with fencing swords. Jerry makes several rapid vertical slashes at Tom, who thinks he came away unscathed. Tom then falls apart in slices like a bologna loaf.
  • Heavy Metal: The three mooks that harass Taarna in the bar get their heads cut off in two deft strokes. The film shows one mook's headless body falling prone, revealing green bologna with a spinal bone and a universal conduit, and nothing else besides green blood.
  • Hotel Transylvania: The Frankenstein monster and his wife have a fear of flying, so they arrive at the Hotel Transylvania by parcel post, disassembled for compactness. The areas of separation are the same as their bluish skin color, and the pieces can be stuck together with a firm push. This is most evident when Frank's lower half sneaks behind Murray the mummy to loose a cloud of greenish flatulence. Where there should be a spinal column, alimentary canal, descending aorta, et cetera, there's only uniform pale blue tissue.
  • This is very much averted by one of the residents of the Land of the Dead in Corpse Bride. He can split down the middle at will, but everything is visible.
  • Inside Out has a variation when Joy and Sadness are trying to wake Riley up from Dream Productions. They initially enter the set in a dog costume which, through the Reality Distortion Filter, looks like an ordinary dog; but when the costume splits in two, the insides of the dog look like a ham leg.
  • Wizards has Larry, the right-hand lackey to the wicked wizard Blackwolf, report to his master on the success of Nekron 99's mission to slay the president of Montagar. As a reward, Larry is allowed to tear into a beef carcass hanging from a hook nearby. Strangely, the flesh tears away easily, revealing uniform pink tissue, which Larry gobbles down in seconds. It's like the beast was made of cotton candy with dull brown skin.

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Torchwood episode "Meat", a giant space whale beached on Earth is being harvested for its meat. No blood vessels or bones or anything like that are seen, just nice slabs of steak.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus. In one animated skit, a samurai warrior sliced up other characters with a katana, then himself. All of the characters had no blood or internal organs, just pink filling.
    • Another animated bit featured a pilot lathering up his chin and cheeks for a shave, then lathering his entire head. He then sliced off his own head with the razor, revealing a solid pink filling in his neck.
  • In the pilot episode of Under the Dome, when the Dome is lowered into place, a cow happens to be in the exactly wrong place. She gets sliced cleanly in two; but because of the shape of the Dome, one side quickly drops to the ground (giving the viewer a bovine anatomy lesson), while the other side slowly slides down the outer side.
  • Some older installments of the Ultra Series which steers into Gornfest territory would depict monsters in such fashion. Notably at least two instances in Ultraman Ace, when the titular Ultra punched a hole through Doragory and sliced King Kappa and Bad Balloon vertically in two - their exposed innards are portrayed as red, smooth clay instead of guts.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the role-playing game GURPS, there is an Advantage called Injury Tolerance: Homogenous. A character with this advantage is highly resistant to many forms of injury because their interior consists of uniform undifferentiated tissue. (It's mostly found among plants and fungus, but...)

    Video Games 
  • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, every foe Raiden faces can be bloodily dismembered, but the innards shown are rarely more detailed than a dark red texture, sometimes with bones visible. The boss Monsoon can split his body into segments that evoke this aesthetic. Somewhat justified by the fact that everyone's a cyborg.
  • Happens due to the limits of rendering in Samurai Shodown fatalities. What isn't a black, empty void is an anomalous red 'flesh.'
  • One of the selling points of Samurai: Way of the Warrior (and it's sequel) is the amount of times you can kill enemies by halving them vertically. Because of the game's manga-esque graphics, the innards of enemies slain in the manner are depicted as patches of red with some spine bones.
  • This trope also appears in Mortal Kombat prior to the much more detailed engine of 9, again, due to visual limitations and saving cartridge space. This is a combination of this trope and Made of Plasticine, where the innards are made to look rather disgusting.
  • Used to save on rendering effort in Dead Rising: Zombies that are dismembered by some sort of sharp object don't even have a skeleton to speak of — their insides are clearly visible after such a cut, but all of it is a vague, pink mass with a visual effect like Spam or corned beef.
  • In the first Laura Bow game, The Colonel's Bequest, oiling the arm of the rusty suit of armor causes the axe it was holding to fall forward and neatly bisect Laura.
  • When Talion pops an uruk's head in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor or Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the stump shows an overly floppy spine and black bologna.
  • Occurs in the Darkstalkers series when characters are cut in half.
  • Among Us: Crewmates that fall victim to an impostor usually get their heads torn off, leaving a cartoon bone protruding from featureless tissue the same color as their outfit.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: During the Red Trailer, a slice Grimm shows that the inside is a solid glowing red mass that disintegrates into red petals. Although the petal effect is unique to the trailer, the Grimm always display a solid red mass when sliced.

  • Goblins characters are drawn in this style to soften some of the more violent moments.
  • Used in Dork Tower when a Deep-Immersion Gaming character decapitates or cleaves in twain their foe. Since Matt doesn't seem like the sort of DM to get graphic with his descriptions of such things, this kind of makes sense.

    Web Original 
  • This Very Wiki's illustration for Dead Unicorn Trope reveals that the legendary Unicorn, when bisected, is internally composed of an undifferentiated mass of pink flesh, rainbow-colored blood, and a Cartoon Bone where you'd expect a spine to be. Truly a wondrous beast.
  • SCP Foundation, SCP-3008 — "A Perfectly Normal, Regular Old IKEA". The Staff members inside SCP-3008 are seven feet tall, with short legs, long arms, and no faces. When they're cut up they appear to be entirely made of skin, with no bones, organs, or muscles.
  • A variant with the "Everything is cake" meme, which went viral in July 2020. Originally it involved cutting inedible-looking objects to reveal they're actually hyper-realistic cakes, but artists and photo-editors expanded the scope to cutting apart various characters to reveal their insides are made of delicious, spongy layer cake.

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs:
    • In "Scare Happy Slappy," Walter Wolf is blown in half by a bomb, revealing that his innards are empty.
    • In "In The Garden Of Mindy," Brain is sliced into little pieces after getting run over by a lawnmower.
    • In "Rest In Pieces," Sid Squid is sliced in half by a statue's sword, showing his two halves have a grey interior.
  • Played with in The Simpsons' Show Within a Show, The Itchy and Scratchy Show. The titular characters are sometimes depicted made solely of red bologna, sometimes made of red bologna that can bleed, and sometimes actual organs are shown. This depends on how gruesome the scene was scripted.
  • Chuck Jones' Merrie Melodies short From A To Z-Z-Z-Z has a little boy daydream that he's a deep-sea diver. While underwater, he's attacked by a tiger shark. He cuts it in half with a knife and it appears to be solid tissue inside.
  • Occurs to an even greater detail-conserving extent in the Tom and Jerry cartoon "Touché, Pussy Cat." Tom gets cleaved from head to crotch by a falling battleaxe, and the interior of each half is the same flat color as his fur.
  • The 1955 Sylvester cartoon "Tweety's Circus" has Sylvester tease a circus lion. The lion takes a swipe at Sylvester, who walks away, falling to pieces as he goes. Sylvester seems to be composed of grey bologna.
  • The 1955 Looney Tunes cartoon "Sahara Hare" shows Riff Raff Sam attempt to breach a fortress occupied by Bugs Bunny. Sam climbs up a plank toward the battlements, but Bugs uses a maul to cleave the plank lengthwise. Sam also cleaves lengthwise, exposing his beige interior.
  • The 1958 Foghorn Leghorn cartoon "Weasel While You Work" has Barnyard Dog douse Foghorn with a bucket of water in mid-winter, which is Instant Ice: Just Add Cold!. A hungry weasel cleaves the ice block with an ax, Foghorn mentions a splitting headache, then his body splits lengthwise, revealing ice-blue bologna interior.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants is often sliced and diced with the inside looking identical to the outside. This is what a real sponge would look like, but he can show human organs inside in accordance to Rule of Funny, such as when his brain is left exposed in "Scaredy Pants".
  • The 1951 MGM cartoon "Daredevil Droopy" shows Droopy performing the old saw-a-person-in-half trick, with Spike as the one in the box. When Spike emerges from the box, his two halves go in opposite directions. Spike's lower half is featureless, uniform tissue.
  • The Woody Woodpecker cartoon "Operation Sawdust" has Buzz Buzzard cut lengthwise, showing Buzz to be hollow. A subversion, in that the hollowness is a reflection of Buzz's anti-hero character in this cartoon.
  • Futurama
    • Roberto the insane robot cuts a strip of skin from Hermes's arm to reveal a slice of bloodless pink bologna. That piece of skin is so spicy that it dissolves the robot.
    • Alien veterinarian Drrr declares Philip Fry too sick to be saved, and prepares to euthanize him. Lrrr arrives, and disintegrates Drrr's right arm, thwarting the injection. While Lrrr counsels his son that he should be the one doing the euthanizing, Drrr pokes at the bologna-like tissue where his arm used to be. It has a white bone core, and greenish skin, but is otherwise homogenous tissue that doesn't bleed. Even the poking doesn't trigger pain or bleeding. Viewable on YouTube here at the 0:45 mark: [1].
  • The Herman and Katnip cartoon "Mouseum" shows Herman powering a bladed wheel behind Katnip that shears off successive layers from the cat from back to front. Each layer seems composed of reddish bologna. Katnip is able to restack his layers to restore his body and resume the pursuit of Herman.
  • Josie and the Pussycats: Applies to vehicles, too, namely the phaeton of the Countess. She's pursuing the 'Cats, intent on dosing them with rapid-aging mist. Alan and Josie emerge from a garden shed, riding on a yard tractor that's hitched to tilling blades. The tractor runs completely over the top of the Countess's car, slicing it into ten or so sections that fall apart like bread slices. Each slice has a solid, woodlike interior with no sign of any mechanical components. Somehow, though the car is in pieces, the Countess herself is completely unscathed, just furious at losing her phaeton.
  • Quack-Quack from Kaeloo has insides made of pink bologna.
  • In the Looney Tunes short "The Honey Mousers" Ralph tells Ned to check if the cat is still lurking about. When he does, the cat takes a swipe at him and he separates like slices of bologna.
  • In the Beany and Cecil episode "So What And The Seven Whatnots" when Dishonest John is sliced to pieces by Harpsy McCord's harp, his innards are made of grey bologna.
  • One Pink Panther cartoon is "Put-Put, Pink" in which Pink builds a motorized vehicle that's mostly a brass headboard with a two-cylinder engine. When a traffic cop insists that he stop, Pink has insufficient brakes and runs through the officer sideways. The poor lawman falls apart in grey slices.
  • The Simpsons episode "Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire'' has Homer Simpson sent to hell for eating the devil's donut. He falls onto a Conveyor Belt o' Doom where a large, thuggish demon chops him into pieces as though Homer was sushi. Each slice of Homer appears to be filled with uniform grey tissue with a central bone core.
  • In the What If…? (2021) episode "What If... Ultron Won?", Thanos appears on Earth to retrieve the Mind Stone and Ultron slices him right in half as soon as he sees the other Infinity Stones in the Gauntlet. Thanos' innards are shown as a solid red.
  • Zig from Zig & Sharko has been cut to pieces on multiple occasions, his insides are either made of brown or pink bologna.