Follow TV Tropes


Oral Fixation

Go To
She carries it with her everywhere.
"The only thing she learned was that a pen function was not like a real pen in the most important way there was. You could not chew it."

Sometimes a character will suck or chew on something as a form of characterization. These can range from toothpicks and blades of straw or grass to pencils, pens, cigarettes, lollipops, hard candy or chewing gum. Smoking Is Cool is an example, and it's possible that some of these are a way to capture the look while the No Smoking rule is in force. An Oral Fixation might also be a sign they are an ex-smoker, having substituted the deadly habit for a less unhealthy one. When food is used, this can overlap with Erotic Eating. Occasionally used in older works to indicate a character is particularly childish, though that usage is something of a Discredited Trope due to modern developments in developmental psychology.

In anime, having a piece of straw in one's mouth is a common depiction of a banchou, or juvenile delinquent gang-leader character. In the West, the closest equivalent is the Dead Horse Trope of the toothpick-chewing thug — a character chewing a piece of straw merely signifies he's a Country Mouse. Toothpicks are still frequently used when a smoking character is transposed to a Lighter and Softer work. However, if a character employs this trope while smoking is present, then you've got a Cigar Chomper.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • 7 Seeds has Akio from Team Autumn, who is rarely ever seen without his pipe.
  • Kurome in Akame ga Kill! is often seen snacking, even in the middle of a mission sometimes. Chelsea, one of the protagonists, is also almost always sucking on a lollipop.
  • Assassination Classroom:
    • Gastro likes to lick guns and to drink ramen broth with the gun barrels.
    • Karma has a habit of chewing things (nails, paper, etc.) whenever he's seriously upset.
  • In the manga version of Battle Royale, Sho (who has a bad smoking habit) is shown licking a cigarette several times, and boy is it detailed. Even referred to in-universe as an "oral fixation."
  • There is hardly a moment in Beyblade Burst where Rantaro Kiyama doesn't have a lollipop in his mouth.
  • In Beyond the Boundary, Mitsuki often has a Chupa Chups in her mouth.
  • In Black Butler II, much focus is given to Alois's mouth and tongue, and he's constantly licking things like his mouth, among other things.
  • Spoofed in Bleach with Shunsui Kyoraku, who sticks a blade of straw in his mouth because he thought it would look cool, but it turns out to be toxic.
  • Amaimon in Blue Exorcist almost always has either a lollipop or one of his fingernails in his mouth.
  • Hermann Kaltz from Captain Tsubasa often has a small twig in his mouth. While Brilliant, but Lazy, him spitting it out means he finally gets serious.
  • Death Note:
    • Mello is perpetually chomping a chocolate bar. In the manga, he also has a habit of suggestively licking the chocolate before biting into it.
    • His companion, Matt, is rarely seen without a cigarette in his mouth.
    • L chews his thumbnail when he's thinking. Or excited. Or bored. Pretty much constantly, actually. When he's not eating sweets.
    • His Evil Twin Beyond Birthday from Another Note does the same. Justified, as he's trying to imitate L.
  • Banchou Leomon from Digimon Data Squad chomps on a piece of straw.
  • Youichi Hiruma of Eyeshield 21 frequently chews and blows bubblegum, and has been seen with a cigarette once or twice. Rival quarterback the Kid is almost always seen with a blade of grass (or wheat, or something) in his mouth, as well.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Jean Havoc is only seen without a cigarette in a few hospital scenes.
  • In Get Backers, although not licking any other object per se, Psycho for Hire Takuma Fudou loves to constantly lick his lips. This can be seen as a trait that makes him more disturbing, or... something for fetish appeal. Or both.
  • Hajiotsu has Otogi generally chewing or sucking on some kind of treat, like a lollipop or chocolate stick.
  • Hatsukoi Limited has Misaki Yamamoto and her habit of having a lollipop in her mouth. The guy who first stuck one in her mouth might have been her first crush.
  • Hellsing:
    • Integra is constantly smoking, to the point where if anyone nearby has a lighter, they're expected to light her next cigar. Yes, even the Catholic Assassins.
    • Alucard is often depicted holding a small cross between his fangs on covers.
  • Naomasa in Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere keeps an Allen wrench in her mouth.
  • Mako in Kill la Kill sports a reed when given the powers of a Two-Star uniform.
  • Kio of Loveless is almost always eating a lollipop. And trying to get other people to eat them, too.
  • Kaneda of the Lychee Light Club is almost constantly hunched over chewing on his nails.
  • My Dress-Up Darling: One of Marin's friends at school, Nowa Sugaya, is often seen with a lollipop in her mouth, even offering Gojo one when they meet.
  • Naruto:
    • Genma Shiranui, a minor Jonin, constantly chews on what looks like a toothpick. Notably, when faced with the Sound 4, he spits it to deflect a kunai thrown at him, and it becomes apparent that it was actually a senbon.
    • Orochimaru has a creepy habit of licking his lips.
    • Asuma is always smoking unless it's serious.
    • Omoi is often seen with a sucker in his mouth, even when talking.
  • Kawayanagi from Ojojojo always has a twig sticking out of his mouth.
  • One Piece:
    • Sanji is rarely seen without a cigarette. It was changed to a lollipop in the 4Kids Macekre, and removed entirely for the edited Funimation dub.
    • One of the Marines, Smoker, is self explanatory—but with cigars (two at once) instead. 4Kids edited out the cigars while leaving the smoke (saying his body was making the smoke as part of the power) which also required the addition gaps in his teeth, while Funimation is planning to do the opposite: leave the cigars, remove the smoke.
    • Crocodile can often be seen smoking a cigar.
  • Child Emperor from One-Punch Man is frequently depicted licking a lollipop he's holding in his hand. When the situation calls for him to use both hands, he'll hold it in his mouth.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Ash's Treecko always had a tiny wood branch which makes him the most badass of all of Ash's Pokémon. (As badass as you can get in Pokémon at least.) He continues the habit when he evolves into Grovyle, but loses it temporarily when he evolved into Sceptile, as result of a Heroic BSoD.
    • Pancham always has a leaf in its mouth. This is a type trait, and not unique to Serena's Pancham.
  • Bunta Marui from The Prince of Tennis loves to chew and blow on gum.
  • Kyouko in Puella Magi Madoka Magica is always shown eating snack foods, and even fights with a piece of Pocky in her mouth.
  • Reborn! (2004):
    • Spanner is always shown with a lollipop, and in one anime Omake is revealed to make them himself (including natto flavour). Explained and lampshaded that the sugar boost is good for the brain.
    • Likewise, Gokudera in the manga always had a cigarette in his mouth.
  • Mizore Shirayuki from Rosario + Vampire provides the page image. She very often has a lollipop in her mouth, but this is justified; she's a yuki-onna and the pop is used to keep herself cool. According to an Omake, it's got a super-chilly frost core. Other snow fairies are seen with similar coolant candies when outside of their homeland.
  • Sagara Sanosuke from Rurouni Kenshin is almost always seen with a completely stripped fish skeleton in his mouth, or a small plant if he is traveling.
  • In Samurai 7, Tessai, Ukyo's Beleaguered Assistant (and Battle Butler), always has an unlit corncob pipe in his mouth.
  • Jack, from Shanghai Youma Kikai, is literally never seen without a cigarette.
  • In Sherlock Hound, Holmes keeps his pipe in his mouth almost all the time, even when it isn't lit. In one episode, he seals it so he can keep it on a non-smoking train.
  • The resident samurai Mifune from Soul Eater always has a reed in his mouth.
  • In Strawberry Marshmallow, when Nobue has (temporarily) stopped smoking, one of the things she does is, when asked to write the answer on the chalkboard, stick the piece of chalk in her mouth as if it were a cigarette. She also picks up an amazing Pocky habit — the resulting weight gain is what drives her back to cigarettes.
  • Saku from Tantei Opera Milky Holmes always has a lollipop in her mouth.
  • Fat kid Fuguo in Urayasu Tekkin Kazoku almost always has an ice cream bar in his mouth.
  • Gascogne from Vandread. Interestingly becomes plot-important when the weird metal thing turns out to transform into a key.
  • The titular Violet in Violet Evergarden is prone to nibbling on things she is given, like the brooch Gilbert gifted her and the plush dog from Claudia. She also prefers to remove her gloves by holding a finger to her teeth. It makes sense as Violet cannot feel anything with her metal arms so she uses her mouth to actually get some sensation from things.
  • Yami Bakura and Yami Marik of Yu-Gi-Oh! sometimes lick their lips.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Sora sucks on lollipops a lot, and given how strong he is can knock someone out by throwing one. When angry or upset, he tends to bite them rather than suck them.
  • Koenma's pacifier in YuYu Hakusho: not so out of place in his toddler form, but much more noticeable in his older and more Bishounen guise. Apparently, several centuries of soaking in a junior god's essence also makes it a fairly potent magical object.
  • In the anime of Medabots Coach Mountain always has a toothpick in his mouth.

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • Detective Harvey Bullock. In the comics he's generally chomping on a cigar; in the animated series, it's a toothpick.
    • And then there's Matches Malone.
    • Harley Quinn is often seen chewing bubble gum while out of costume.
    • The Penguin is never seen without his trademark cigarette holder.
  • Herbie and his lollipops from the comic Herbie
  • Lucky Luke originally smoked, until he traded his cigarette for a blade of grass.
    • Lampshaded in Marcel Dalton: "Cigar? -I stopped. -I forgot. Blade of grass? -No thanks, I'm stopping."
  • Dr. Will Magnus, creator of the Metal Men, is hardly ever seen without a pipe in his mouth. During 52, he admits that he doesn't smoke, and that the pipe is "just to chew on." Another character directly namedrops this as an oral fixation.
  • Robin (1993): Callie Evans is often chewing bubble gum or gnawing on straws or pencils if she's not playing basketball.
  • The Transformers (IDW): Kup is given a cigar-like piece of metal that he chews on.
  • Parodied in the comic Van Von Hunter: the title character (a vampire hunter) constantly chews a toothpick. His sidekick finally asks about it, just in time for him to dramatically reveal that it's really a miniature stake.

    Fan Works 
  • Kanril Eleya of Bait and Switch has for her Trademark Favorite Food the jumja stick, a Bajoran sweet made from tree sap that resembles a large lollypop. She's even been known to have them in lieu of breakfast.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: In "The Walk," Penny (who now lives in the country) plucks a stalk of grass and puts it in her mouth, chewing thoughtfully while gazing up at the sky with Bolt.
  • Jun Shigeno in the Horseshoes and Hand Grenades side story Month of Sundays places lollipops in her mouth when she's depressed or in serious thinking mode.
  • In some of the Kill la Kill AU comics, a then 8-year old Ryuuko was seen with a cigarette in her mouth. This played for slight drama in one comic, where she opens her mouth in shock and it falls out, to which she doesn't put it back in.
  • The snake conman Benjamin Hares in Old West has a toothpick in his mouth when he first shows up to swindle his estranged wife Grace.
  • Hornet of Pacific: World War II U.S. Navy Shipgirls has a craving for lollipops, so naturally she's seen enjoying them, even when she's already hurt.
  • In the One Piece fanfic 'Til You Feel It All Around You, Sanji doesn't want to smoke around his deaged nakama. In its place, he unconsciously develops a habit of biting his thumb, something he doesn't realize until Franky points it out to him.
  • The Simpsons: Team L.A.S.H.: Reflecting how dependent she was on her pacifier when she was a baby, Maggie chews bubble gum at almost all times, and bites her old pacifier (which she wears on a pendant around her neck) when she’s stressed.
  • Emeth debuts in Warriors of the World chewing a leaf and it's occasionally lampshaded as the sight of it moving as he chews is distracting to his party members if they focus on it for a bit too long. It's implied that the leaf is some sort of drug that helps him stay relaxed.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 3000 Miles to Graceland, Quigley is frequently seen chewing on a toothpick.
  • Anazapta. The bishop's minion Peacock is constantly chewing and tooting on a short flute, to his master's annoyance. When he's startled in the midst of an attempted murder, he accidentally swallows it and runs off tooting.
  • In Back to the Future, one of Biff Tannen's sidekicks always chews on a match. Thus his name, "Match." It's in the credits.
  • Busting: Keneely chews a lot of gum, while Farrel always has a cigarette in his mouth even though he doesn't smoke. Farrel calls it a nervous habit.
  • Evan's mother in The Butterfly Effect is seen anxiously chewing on her fingernails in one scene while Evan is being x-rayed. This is to foreshadow her chain-smoking as another oral response to the stress of Evan losing his arms in another timeline.
  • Marion Cobretti (Sylvester Stallone) in Cobra, with a matchstick. The first time Cobretti shoots someone, he doesn't even take it out of his mouth!
  • The Joker in The Dark Knight is constantly licking his lips, adding to his creepiness. Though, this could be a Justified Trope, as the muscles that normally collect excess saliva that is secreted throughout the day are severed, meaning that the joker would have to manually collect all of his saliva, or be constantly drooling all over himself.
  • Dead in Tombstone: From ripping off and eating one of Guerrero's fingernails to putting his finger in a stab wound and then sucking the blood off his finger like a candy cane, Mickey Rourke's devil has a rather...weird relationship with his victims.
  • Angel spends the first half of Deadpool (2016) with a match in her mouth. Wade escapes from the chamber he was locked in using one of her matches he stole when he headbutted her; Francis/Ajax eventually seems to realize this, and is seen takin a match out of Angel's mmouth, presumably in an attempt to break the habit.
  • In Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome, Gruesome always has a toothpick or a cigarette in his mouth.
  • In Dobermann, Mosquito constantly has a mouthful of chewing gum: even when he is committing a Bank Robbery or having sex.
  • General Jack D. Ripper from Dr. Strangelove is a Cigar Chomper. The Freudian aspect is to some extent lampshaded (or at least made all the more obvious) by his obsession with, um, precious bodily fluids.
  • Oliver Platt's "Cahill" in Executive Decision always chews a straw. It becomes important later.
  • In the Fast & Furious sequels Han is attempting to get his oral fix after quitting smoking. He spends most of Fast Five eating chips.
  • David Warner's character in Felony is always chewing something (in addition to the scenery).
  • Penny Pingleton from Hairspray (2007) is constantly sucking on lollipops. Amanda Bynes was said to have eaten about 40 of them a day!
  • Holes: Mr. Sir, having quit smoking before the start of the story, is frequently seen eating handfuls of sunflower seeds as a substitute, and goes completely nuts when the D-Tent boys steal them.
  • Parodied in Hot Fuzz, as Sergeant Angel returns to town chewing on a toothpick.
  • Every time the Devil appears in Hunk, he is eating something.
  • Vanko in Iron Man 2 frequently chews on a toothpick.
  • Parodied in Godzilla (1998): when passing a control point, the French take bubble gum and chew emphatically because "It makes [them] look more American."
  • Telly Savalas's character in Lisa and the Devil alternates between lollipops and cigarettes — to comic effect, at first, but it gets creepier as the film goes on. Since it's Telly one gathers that it's a Shout-Out all the way through.
  • Megget in The Longest Yard (The Adam Sandler version) is seen chewing toothpicks for the entirety of the movie.
  • Groucho Marx was a notorious cigar smoker - both in his acting roles and as a TV personality.
  • In Midway, Dick Best spends almost every scene in the cockpit chewing gum, and on numerous occasions is shown pulling a fresh stick from a pack and popping it in his mouth.
  • Rusty of the Ocean's Eleven trilogy is almost always eating something during his scenes. It may be a second to finish up or he'll eat through the whole scene. This helps establish Rusty's very cool and casual personality.
  • Dr. Block spends most of Planet Terror with a medical thermometer between his teeth. He claims it's to help him "Maintain [his] level of stress," But it's probably more about John Brolin looking totally badass while doing it.
  • Predators: Hanzo have a close-up shot with him playing/chewing on a twig.
  • Red Rock West: Deputy Bowman is constantly chewing on a long toothpick.
  • Ring of Fear: In just about every scene he is in, Mickey Spillane is either eating or drinking, or has a cigarette, piece of straw or toothpick in his mouth.
  • In The Shape of Water, Strickland is constantly popping green candies into his mouth, and claims they are symbolic of his personality: plain and simple. Most of the times he likes to make them last, but when stressed, he crunches them. After he loses his fingers, he alternates sucking candies with popping pain pills.
  • The Renegade Russian in The Soldier (1982) chews on a toothpick.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Raph has a toothpick in his mouth in several scenes.
  • Tremors 6: A Cold Day in Hell: Geo-Tech Vargas is seen absently putting a paper clip in her mouth in several early scenes.
  • The sketchy guy at the bowling alley ("That's why they call me Pal.") hitting on 15-year-old Tia in Uncle Buck is playing with a toothpick. He ends up not looking sexy or badass when he gets stuck with it propping his mouth open.
  • Dr. Furano in Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl has a habit of biting his fingernails. This eventually leads him to discover the full properties of vampire blood.
  • Chow Yun-fat's characters can be seen chewing on toothpicks, matchsticks, and cigarettes in John Woo's various movies.
    • A Better Tomorrow 2 has Ken (Chow's character) enforcing this in the final showdown against The Dragon. Staring down each other in a one-on-one duel, Ken deliberately pops a toothpick in his mouth before both men grabs guns.
  • War (2007) opens with Crawford and his FBI partner Lone having a Casual Danger Dialogue on the subject, because Crawford has lit up a cigarette even though he's told his wife he's quit. After his partner is killed, Crawford is shown to have taken his partner's advice and is chewing on a toothpick all the time. On one occasion he introduces himself by spitting the toothpick onto the expensive dinner being eaten by a Dirty Cop.
    Lone: (Offering toothpick) Try this. Nicotine's not your problem. It's your oral fixation. You just need something else to suck on. (Crawford gives him a funny look) I read it in a magazine.
    Crawford: What kind of magazines have you been reading?

  • Da Chief Root from Artemis Fowl keeps a cigar in his mouth, but unlit, because actually lighting cigars is against regulations (good thing, too, as it's apparently a "fungus cigar").
    • During particularly stressful situations in The Eternity Code, Spiro often sticks a cigar in his mouth, which the narration notes will be chewed to a pulp but not lit. "His doctors had forbidden it. Politely."
  • Ce'Nedra in The Belgariad habitually chews on her hair when nervous or thinking.
  • In Bravelands it's mentioned that a minor character named Grass Middleleaf is always chewing on a stalk of grass.
  • In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Violet Beauregarde adores chewing gum and can make a single stick of it last to record-setting levels. She only takes a break at mealtimes and bedtime, but that piece of gum is never far away. This becomes her undoing when she decides to sample a stick of experimental gum in the titular factory...
  • Beaver, from Stephen King's Dreamcatcher, is constantly chewing on toothpicks. It leads, indirectly, to his death.
  • Mr. Sir from Holes constantly chewed sunflower seeds. He used to smoke, but chewed seeds after he quit.
  • The character Mars Bar in the novel Maniac Magee gets his nickname from his love of candy bars. He habitually holds one in his teeth like a fat cigar. Near the end, another character begins calling him Snickers.
  • Nero Wolfe: Police Inspector Cramer has a cigar in his mouth almost all the time — he hardly ever smokes it, he just chomps it. And this is not a bow to the modern perception of smoking, as the character was doing this in stories published before World War II.
  • In River of Teeth, Cal Hotchkiss is never seen without a toothpick in his mouth, occasionally two. The intensity with which he chews on them varies with the emotional intensity of the scene. When Houndstooth, in the burning down of whose ranch Cal was involved, mockingly inquieres whether Cal has quit smoking his tight-lipped answer amounts to having had gotten all the smoke he'd needed on that day.
  • Gwen, one of the two Kid Detectives in the Something Queer [is going on] series, taps her braces when she is thinking hard, a habit which tends to annoy the people around her.
  • In the novel Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, the character Pilate is described as always chewing something: orange seeds, pine needles, a rubber band.
  • That Hideous Strength, Major Hardcastle always has a cheroot in her mouth; she hardly ever lights it. When she does, watch out!

    Live-Action TV 
  • Jerry Espenson on Boston Legal chews a wooden cigarette due to his Aspergers. Alan Shore and Denny Crane prefer big cigars.
    • In one episode Denny is disgruntled by Shirley's conciliatory approach to a case and smokes a rather pathetic cigar.
    Shirley: Small cigar.
    Denny: Seems appropriate for our wimpy defense.
  • Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer does this, ranging from sticking pens in his mouth to an entire feather duster to aggressively eating lollipops and bananas at his replacement in the third season.
  • In Charmed Paige sucks on a lollipop for her first few episodes, but stops after Piper warns her about cavities.
  • The Colbert Report's field reports are not complete without an unlikely object getting licked. Stephen once licked a meteorite.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Fourth Doctor holds objects in his mouth whenever possible (for just one example, see "The Deadly Assassin", when the first thing he does while assembling a hookah is pop the mouthpiece into his mouth, even though he isn't going to smoke it) and has a habit of chewing on his fingers and wiping his mouth in thought. He also has a habit of licking his lips when he's excited about something — used at least once for an odd bit of Fanservice in "The Leisure Hive" when his discovery of tachyonic energy is revealed through a dramatically shadowed extreme closeup of him licking his lips and saying "fascinating" in a low, breathy voice.
    • The Tenth Doctor has a tendency to lick things or put things in his mouth unusually often. Apparently, he has special Time Lord senses in his tongue — but we think it's just the Fanservice. One notable moment is in "Fear Her", where he takes a jar of jam, sticks his fingers in it, then licks them off... Before noticing the homeowner and Rose staring at him disapprovingly. He then slowly takes his fingers out of his mouth as he puts the jar back.
    • The Eleventh Doctor tries tasting some grass once to figure out what's going on. Amy asks him if he's always been that disgusting, and he tries to explain that it's a fairly recent development. He never does it again.
      • In "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship", he sticks his tongue out a ridiculous distance to taste the air and work out where they are, so it seems he hasn't completely lost the skill.
      • Spoofed in "A Town Called Mercy" when Eleven walks into a saloon attempting to play the tough Cowboy. He walks up to the bar with a toothpick in his mouth and a fake American accent, then fumbles with the toothpick and can't quite get it out of his mouth, utterly failing to look cool.
  • In one episode of Frasier, Bebe has a personal crisis when she tries to give up smoking. She tells the family that her reason for smoking is that she has an oral fixation, then describes smoking in detail that clearly suggests another activity.
  • The Fonz from Happy Days chews on a toothpick a lot of the time.
  • Dr Chase from House seems to be constantly putting pens in his mouth, especially in the earlier seasons.
  • In Inspector Rex, Davide Rivera has the habit of chewing liquorice sticks. More often than not he is with one of those in his mouth.
  • Mac from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has a habit of chewing/sucking on pens (as a manifestation of his repressed homosexuality). It gets so bad that his roommate Dennis has to hide all the pens in their apartment.
  • Kojak and his lollipops. The lollipops specifically replaced cigarettes (and gave Telly Savalas a couple of cavities in the process).
  • Monk:
    • In "Mr. Monk Takes a Vacation", Monk has to solve a murder at a hotel, and is helped by a member of the hotel security team. The security officer likes to pretend she's a real police officer, but all of her knowledge on police work (and officer stereotypes) are based on movies and TV shows. She chews toothpicks to complete the "police officer" look. At one point she offers Monk one, which he awkwardly accepts after she tells him they're individually wrapped.
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Office", Monk finds a chewed toothpick at the scene of the crime and comments that it means the murderer was trying to be a tough guy... at which point he, and the viewer, first notice that Captain Stottlemeyer is a perpetual toothpick-chewer.
  • Spoofed in Mystery Science Theater 3000.
    • In "Laserblast", Crow mocks the cigarette chomping deputy: "What do you mean I have oral fixation?"
    • In "The Thing That Couldn't Die", a cowboy with a ridiculously long and skinny cigar in his mouth prompts the quip "Nothing like smoking a Slim Jim."
  • My World… and Welcome to It:
    • John's new neighbor Paul Morton is a character with an accent and demeanor that suggests rural Southern or Midwest origins, and he's initially seen chewing on a piece of straw. Occurs in the episode "A Friend of the Earth."
    • John's hayseed joke-telling rival Zeph Leggin is seen in his room chewing on a piece of straw in "Native Wit."
  • In the "Two A-Holes..." sketch series from Saturday Night Live, the title characters go around constantly chewing gum. In one sketch, they were told to take their gum out. They did so, but their mouth motions continued anyway, apparently out of habit.
  • Director Leon Vance of NCIS is a toothpick chewer. At one point, he even tries to motivate McGee by giving him a freshly wrapped toothpick of his own. McGee promptly stabs himself inside the cheek with it. Toothpicks apparently take some skill.
  • Don Eppes from NUMB3RS is often seen chewing gum during climactic moments—he seems to do it when he's keyed up, waiting for a suspect to appear.
  • Doug Murphy from Scrubs is rarely shown without a lollipop in his mouth, starting in the fourth season. The strange thing is that he didn't pick this up until he got a new job in the morgue. Apparently, all the pathologists at the hospital share the habit.
  • DJ from Sh15uya seems very fond of lollipops, too.
  • A running gag in The Shadow Line is that the department used to be one where Everybody Smokes, but the recently-implemented national smoking ban for workplaces has left several characters resorting to substitutes.
    • Sgt. Foley is always chewing gum.
    • Da Chief finds a pencil to chew on if he's somewhere he can't smoke.
    • Bob Harris is in the process of giving up smoking, and substitutes with gum, nicotine inhalers and, er, rent boys.
  • Geoffrey Tennant on Slings & Arrows chews razor blades. This is an homage to noted Shakespearean director John Barton, who apparently did this in real life.
  • Ashur in Spartacus: Blood and Sand is almost always seen with a bag of nuts and seeds to chew on.
  • Stiles Stilinski from Teen Wolf has a tendency to chew on stuff, including lacrosse gloves, overabundances of curly fries, and an underused highlighter cap, to name a few of the victims.
  • Mulder of The X-Files tends to put things like paper clips in his mouth and he's a big fan of sunflower seeds.

  • More a fixation on the mouth than on eating, but a lot of the imagery around the band DOROTHY has a laser-focus on Dorothy Martin's bright red lips, including the cover art for the EP and first album and the music video for "Get Up."

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin loves chewing gum. He's even subscribed to a magazine about chewing!
  • Duke in the Doonesbury comic strip always has a lit cigarette in a cigarette holder hanging from his mouth. The character is based on Hunter S. Thompson, who made signature use of cigarette holders.
  • One time in Peanuts Charlie Brown found what he thought was the Little Red-Haired Girl's dropped pencil and saw that she had chewed on it. "She's human!"

  • The shooter in Eight Ball Deluxe has a cigarette dangling from his mouth.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Professional wrestler Scott Hall usually chews a toothpick during promos.
  • Joey Ryan has a thing for suckers and lollipops. He will suck on one, give it to a fan, and then take it back after they have sucked on it. He will suck on one, wipe his hairy self down with it, and go back to sucking it. He doesn't care if they fall on the floor either, few things will turn him off from one, especially if it is a blow pop.
  • The easiest way to get Sara Del Rey to loosen up is to make her think gum is involved. As long as she's not working in the ring she'll always go for it.
  • Ann Traxx chews gum for very long periods of time, sticking it on the ring post to chew later when she has a match. She once "accidentally" dropped her gum on the floor, only to pick it up and keep chewing. Another time she jumped Lexie Fyfe, forced her mouth open and took Fyfe's gum to add to her own wad of it. All this lead up to a Humiliating Wager where Ann Thraxx forced XJAM Commissioner Charlie to chew that very same wad of gum.
  • Pete Dunne has a habit of posing with title belts by holding them between his teeth.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The model for Horticulous Slimux from Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 is chewing on a human bone in the same manner that a stereotypical country farmer chews on a stalk of wheat or corn. This is intended to strengthen the agricultural theme of Nurgle's head gardener.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Juan Corrida, one of the victims in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney constantly has a piece of straw in his mouth- except in the photo of the crime scene, of course.
    • In Ace Attorney Investigations, Detective Badd appears at first to be your standard hardboiled cop, smoking a cigarette, but it's actually a lollipop. (And as he sucks on it... his speech pauses... dramatically...)
    • Simon Blackquill keeps one of his pet hawk's feathers in his mouth.
  • In Bayonetta, the titular character is frequently seen with a lollipop. Additionally, by pressing the button corresponding to the type of lollipop boost you want and holding it down until the lollipop comes onscreen, you can actually change the color of Bayonetta's lollipop and get a (usually) much-needed boost. The best part? This doesn't count as a used item.
  • Kokonoe from Blazblue has custom made silvervine lollipops, and she's almost never seen without one. The gag reels joke they're the source of her intelligence and she's been eating them for so long she can't eat anything else.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert Series: Texas born General Carville can often be seen chewing on a toothpick. Played for laughs in one scene where he absentmindedly grabs a pick, pulls out the one he already had in his mouth, realizes what he just did, stares at them for a second in confusion, then shrugs and puts the new one in.
  • Cid from Final Fantasy VII smokes cigarettes. Every tenth battle, it's a cigar instead. He can even use his cigarettes in battle, by using them to light dynamite.
  • The Engineer in Half-Life: Opposing Force always had a lit cigarette in his mouth, which he uses to ignite his blowtorch when asked to break a door open.
  • Halo: Captain Keyes from Halo: Combat Evolved chews his grandfather's tobacco pipe. The novels explain that he's not allowed to smoke it while onboard a spacecraft, because of the contained atmosphere.
  • Naturally, Juliet from Lollipop Chainsaw sucks on lollipops a lot, using them as Power-Up Food.
  • Cassie Cage, a new character introduced in Mortal Kombat X, is always chewing and blowing bubble gum. She even uses it in one of her Fatalities.
  • Munehisa Iwai from Persona 5 always has what appears to be a cigarette sticking out of his mouth. Though it's later revealed to be a lollipop.
  • The Pokémon Pancham and Pangoro. Pancham is always seen chewing on a leaf, in an effort to look cool. Pangoro keeps a bamboo shoot in its mouth, fitting with its banchou motif, and allowing it to deduce enemy movement.
  • Johnathan Ingram, lead character of Policenauts, is always depicted with a cigarette in his mouth. And he never lights it. Several characters point out that it is illegal to smoke on a space colony because of air purification issues and/or the threat of the oxygen igniting. Though it's implied Johnathan doesn't smoke anyway.
  • You can equip a blade of grass just to invoke this trope in Ragnarok Online.
  • Detective Magnotta, Christopher Walken's character in Ripper, can simply not keep a cigar out of his mouth for more than five minutes. And he doesn't really even smoke them, just chews them vigorously.
  • Red and most other Caninu of Solatorobo tend to like chewing on bones, and even have a variety of bite styles to express different personalities. Apparently, girls are considered delinquents if they walk around chewing on them.
  • One of Mitsurugi's costumes in Soulcalibur 2 gives him a blade of grass/wheat.
  • In the first Starcraft game, the image avatar for the Firebat unit was depicted with a cigarette in his mouth.
  • Repede from Tales of Vesperia carries his old master's pipe around in his mouth whenever he's not in battle. He was even like this as a puppy, carrying around things like sticks, small bones, and even a spoon.
  • In the game Wing Commander, Captain Ian "Hunter" St. John constantly has a cigar in his mouth.
  • In The World Ends with You, Koki Kariya's lollipop/bean paste is sort of his personal signature item to the point Beat tends to refer to him has "Lollipop" - subverted, though, as he never actually has it in his mouth when he appears, instead holding it. Rather delicately.

  • Arsenic from Band vs. Band, with cigarettes as well as a variety of candy and popsicles and beverages with straws.
  • The bounty hunter Sadick from Charby the Vampirate is normally chewing on a toothpick, and when caught without one tends to end up gnawing on his lower lip.
  • Carlita and Shanna from Elf Blood are rarely depicted without a cigarette in their mouths. Shanna even chain-smokes when she's stressed or particularly upset.
  • Merlu of Juathuur - straw version.
  • Brent, from Misfile, chews on toothpicks.
  • Dave from Narbonic was almost never seen without a cigarette in his mouth... until he went back in time and changed the past so that he never started smoking. It became a Running Gag that he would mention how he used to smoke and no one else would remember it.
  • Da Chief in Star Power is of a species that deals with stress by chewing on things, and is rarely seen without a "chewstick" in his mouth. In chapter 8 he starts using thicker ones.
  • Tower of God:
    • Nobic really should stop chewing his fingers.
    • Ha Jinsung. Went from cigarettes to Chupa Chup lollipops (thanks to Wangnan). Even Rak calls him the "candy turtle".

    Western Animation 
  • Jet from Avatar: The Last Airbender constantly chews on and holds a blade of grass in his mouth, but he loses it along with much of his badassery when he gets brainwashed. Sokka even tries to see if replacing it would help. It doesn't.
  • Det. Harvey Bullock on Batman: The Animated Series constantly chewed a toothpick, in a way that made it rather clear he either used to smoke, or still did when the camera and censors weren't around. Once used for Squick, when he flicked it at his officious landlord. It stuck.
    • In fact, in one episode, where Batman suspects Bullock of having a police informant killed (the informant had previously accused Bullock of taking bribes) a toothpick at the crime scene is his biggest tip-off. Bullock is innocent; the toothpick was planted by the real culprit, Killer Croc.
  • The DuckTales (1987) episode "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Duck" features a parody of Sherlock Holmes who constantly keeps a pipe in his teeth, which he doesn't smoke, likely just to look distinguished.
  • Played for laughs in one episode of The Fairly OddParents! with Cosmo and his wand, to show off his ditz status.
  • Two in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero:
    • Breaker is literally always chewing gum and is willing to disobey a direct order to discard it.
    • Clutch, somewhat similarly, has been known to chew on the same toothpick for months.
  • King of the Hill:
    • Dale Gribble is rarely seen without a cigarette in his mouth.
    Dale: My oral fixation!
    • In one episode he switches to chewing tobacco, but his wife convinces him to switch back when he won't stop spitting on the floor.
  • Western Animation/Looneytunes:
    • Bugs Bunny and his carrots, which were kind of a substitute for a cigar.
    • Yankee Doodle Daffy: Any time Sleepy LaGoon is on screen, he's seen licking his lollipop, which is so big it nearly conceals his face.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Newborn filly Pumpkin Cake has the odd habit of chewing on just about anything she can find — except food. Tableclothes, bath towels, stuffed toys, rubber chickens, etc. As she's a month old when it really kicks in, it's possible she's teething (horses teeth at one month).
    • Applejack can often be seen with a piece of straw in her mouth, as can her brother Macintosh.
    • Pinkie's toothless alligator Gummy often vacantly latches onto objects or ponies.
  • In the Rick and Morty episode "Promortyus", Summer decides to have a toothpick in her mouth for some reason. This ends up saving her as the Face Huggers poke their eyes on it when they jump at her.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Maggie Simpson and her pacifier.
    • An Ogdenville farmer on The Simpsons has a piece of straw in his mouth.
    • The Sea Captain, Horatio McAllister, is always seen with a pipe in his mouth, which he rarely actually smokes.
  • In Star vs. the Forces of Evil the titular Star frequently chews on her wand.
  • The creators of Star Wars: The Clone Wars originally intended to give Bounty Hunter Cad Bane a habit of smoking cigars, but they had to scrap it, so instead he's almost always seen chewing a toothpick, when not on job. In an episode from Season 4, he threatens to slit a pawnshop owner's throat with one of his toothpicks.
    • In Season 7, Crosshair, the Bad Batch’s Cold Sniper, also has a toothpick habit.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003):
    • Slim, a one-shot character, usually chewed a match. Another one-shot character, Spuds, would chew on a stick.
    • A minor villain in the "Turtles in Space" arc was Gruel, a sadistic and slovenly Triceraton slave driver. One of his horns was replaced by a metal one, which he was constantly removing to use like a toothpick.

    Real Life 
  • Baseball players in general chew gum or tobacco (as per personal preference). Supposedly, it relaxes them in what is normally a stressful situation, and in particular it also helps keep the mouth moist in the dry baseball diamond.
    • Former Royals utility infielder U.L. Washington took this a step further by having a toothpick in his mouth while he was on the field. He eventually dropped this habit after commentators pointed out the dangerous risks with his behavior and its negative influence on youngsters.
  • Winston Churchill kept a cigar in his mouth pretty much from dawn until bedtime. At home he would just kind of chew on them unlit, and even had special sticky-paper bands made up to help hold them together.
  • His pal Franklin D. Roosevelt was a cigarette-in-a-holder guy, and was depicted that way almost everywhere.
  • Doug Walker. If there's a giving-a-blowjob joke to be made, then by God, he will make it.
  • Hayden Panettiere seems to have this weird compulsion to lick things. Considering her physical appearance, this can lead to some fetish appeal.
  • Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters is always seen chewing gum on stage, including whilst singing. He says it helps with all the shouting.
  • Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal always bites any trophy he wins. Especially the grand slam trophies.
  • Mixed Martial Arts fighter and UFC Lightweight champion Benson Henderson often fights with a toothpick hidden in his mouth, in spite of the danger this presents. He produced it from his mouth immediately after the final bell of his successful title defense against Nate Diaz, but denied it in the following interview. His coach admits that he has repeatedly told Henderson not to pull this stunt and even checks his mouth before fights, but Henderson still manages to sneak it in there sometimes.
  • Although not every role that Brad Pitt plays has an oral fixation, more of his characters than is common are shown eating at some point. Pitt himself must be the one suggesting that his characters eat something in various scenes as "stage business."
  • Similarily to Pitt, a lot of David Tennant's characters have a habit of sticking things in their mouths. The Doctor tastes things because he has special Time Lord-senses in his tongue that he uses to pick up vital info, Kilgrave licks Jessica's cheek to assert dominance, and Barty Crouch Jr. constantly licks his lips because he's bat-shit crazy.
    • Tennant himself also shows signs of this. On the commentary for Doctor Who's second series episode "The Impossible Planet", he stops the conversation dead when he says that he wants to chew on the Ood tentacles...and then describes what they would feel like in his mouth. In detail. In case there was any doubt, he also talks about biting their ears in the Confidential for the same episode.
  • Some neurodivergent people stim through this method. Nine times out of ten, this is to self-regulate.
  • Of course, the trope is named after Sigmund Freud's concept.
  • Basketball star Stephen Curry is always chewing on his mouth guard, to the point NBA 2K had to incorporate it.
  • Soccer manager Maurizio Sarri is a very heavy smoker. Because he is unable to smoke on the pitch, he instead chews on cigarette butts on the sidelines during games.
  • Many kittens suck on blankets or their owner's skin, sometimes to an obsessive degree, as a substitution for nursing on their mother, especially if they were taken away from their mother at too early an age.
  • Oral fixations are a common stim among autistic people, often taking the form of chewing on the seam of the collar of t-shirts.

Alternative Title(s): Oral Fixation Fixation