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Packed Hero

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Ok, so the hero is trying to retrieve some object in a cereal factory, but something goes bad! Our hero falls onto the conveyor belt and is stuck! The packing machine is just ahead on the belt and if nobody does anything, it is going to hurt! Can his trusty partner save him in time? No!

Our lovable protagonist flies right into the machine! The machine shakes violently and makes strange sounds, but doesn't break from the strange input. Instead the packing machine now packs the hero into a package of Protagonist Cereal!


Usually, the package's design will change through the power of Rule of Funny to reflect the unexpected contents.

Compare Human Mail, where the character is (usually) voluntarily boxed up to be shipped to another location.


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    Films — Animation 
  • Happens in Chicken Run, with the protagonists temporarily getting trapped inside a pie.
  • Parodied in Monsters, Inc. when Boo loses one of the "eyestalks" of her monster costume in a trash can. Sulley sees it and thinks she's in a pile of garbage, then watches that pile of garbage get swept into a cart, dropped down a chute, and put through an exceedingly brutal compactor. The audience saw her walk away from the garbage can, but Sulley faints at every step of the compactor. The sequence is an extended Shout-Out to the Chuck Jones short "Feed the Kitty".
  • The Wallace & Gromit short film A Close Shave has the villain intending to do this to the heroes, complete with Conveyor Belt o' Doom into a machine which produced canned dog food. In the end it is the villain who gets crushed up and delivered into the cans. Not as gruesome as it sounds, since the villain was really a robot.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Happens to Cindy Lou Who in the 2000 version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.
  • Cruella DeVille suffers from this in 101 Dalmatians.
  • Threepio in Attack of the Clones, except that instead of being packaged, he's sent out with the combat droids after having his head switched with one. Elsewhere in the factory, Anakin has a piece of machinery welded together around his arm and is unable to free himself for several minutes.
  • Dramatic example in Minority Report, where the hero and anti-villain are fighting on a Conveyor Belt of Doom carrying car chassis through an automated factory. The anti-villain jumps off the belt just before the internal components are mounted in place, and he watches as the hero struggles as the seats are bolted in, the dashboard snaps into place on top of him, the frame snaps on, the doors slam shut... surely he's been crushed? Then the wheels are bolted on, hero's head pops up inside, and drives the car away.
  • In Ernest Scared Stupid, Ernest manages to get himself stuck inside his garbage truck and compacted into a trash box.
  • In the French comedy The Wing or the Thigh (L'Aile ou la cuisse, 1975), the sidekick of Louis de Funès is baked into a big cake. Don't worry, he's OK.

  • An example where it's not being done to a protagonist: in a Rainbow Magic book, a goblin falls into a candy wrapping machine and gets wrapped with a sheet of silver paper and a silver ribbon.

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy IX: Zidane, Garnet and Vivi fall into the black mage packing machine and get boxed up.
  • Breath of Fire IV: in order for the heroes to get into an enemy territory, an "ally" smuggles them in this way. The crate in question is big, but when the one of the party members is a stout automaton, it's still really cramped.

    Web Comics 
  • Matchu: One of Amber's giant ponytails get snagged onto a conveyor belt, pulling her onto it, which leads to her getting baked into a cake.

    Western Animation 
  • Several Looney Tunes shorts use this.
    • A variation occurs in Hillbilly Hare. Bugs Bunny impersonates a square-dance caller and tricks his two opponents into a hay baler. After going through it, they're ejected, bundled inside bales of hay.
      Bugs: Don't ya fuss and don't ya swear
      Come right out and form a square!
    • In "The Unmentionables", gangsters Rocky and Mugsy get caught in a cereal factory and are packaged in appropriately sized and labeled boxes.
    • In the short "I Gopher You", featuring the Goofy Gophers, one of the gophers gets canned on a tomato packing line, and the other opens every can, until he finds him in the last can. The first gopher tells his friend that he was in the first can and he started at the wrong end. Immediately afterward, the other gopher, while reprimanding him to be careful, walks off a ledge into a pickling vat, and staggers drunkenly along a Conveyor Belt o' Doom, ending up in a dehydrated meal packet. When his friend revives him with a ladle of water, he's on a platter with an apple in his mouth.
    • In the Road Runner cartoon, "Hopalong Casualty", Wile E. Coyote, of course, ends up in a parcel that was meant for the Road Runner. Courtesy of an Acme parcel-making machine, naturally.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls episode, "Buttercrush", The Gangreen Gang tricks Blossom and Bubbles into going on a conveyer belt, where Snake drops old cars on them and crushes them into cubes. This results in Blossom and Bubbles being encased in the cubes with only their heads sticking out, and they remain this way for the rest of the episode, even when Buttercup apologizes and hugs them at the end. It's not explained how they were freed from the cubes afterwards.
  • At the start of the Tom and Jerry short "Cannery Rodent", Tom is chasing the mouse through a fish packing plant and both are packed into cans of tuna, which inexplicably had a picture of each of their faces on the packaging. Near the end of the same cartoon, a shark that has been pestering Tom for the majority of the cartoon is sent through the same packaging machine and is canned in a similar fashion.
  • In The Perils of Penelope Pitstop episode "London Town Treachery", the armored Ant Hill Mobsters are similarly canned, with their faces on the labels.
  • Subverted in an episode of Johnny Test, where Johnny and his friends visit an ice cream factory, Johnny's dog is thought to have fallen into the vat and been packed into a tin. After Johnny eats his way through the entire batch, the dog walks up to him and asks Johnny what he's doing.
  • In one episode of Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines, Dick Dastardly gets caught in Klunk's pigeon-packing machine and ends up stuffed in a can labeled "sauerkraut".
  • In the Classic Disney Short Modern Inventions, Donald Duck is wrapped in cellophane by a gift wrapping machine.
  • Parodied in The Simpsons, when Bart goes missing on a school trip at a box-making factory. Homer sees a completely ordinary cardboard box with Bart's lucky red hat on it, and immediately assumes the worst - not that Bart got packed into the box, but that he turned into the box.
  • Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi The example of retrieving an object from a cereal factory and getting packed into a box happens to Ami in "Collect All 5".
  • One episode of Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers has Fat Cat using a canning machine as a Death Trap for the Rescue Rangers, with every implication that the process would result in a bunch of finely-minced Rangers in a cat food can. Not only do the Rangers escape, but they also trick Fat Cat and his goons into throwing themselves into the machine: the end result is Fat Cat and his goons improbably stuffed into tiny cans, humiliated but apparently no worse for the wear.
  • In Madeline and the Toy Factory, while Madeline and her friends are visiting the titular location, Madeline jumps on the conveyor belt and is packed into a doll box.
  • Towards the end of an episode of Jackie Chan Adventures during the Oni Masks arc, Valmont (in his first appearance after being Put on a Bus) decides to make off with one last treasure, but he ends up falling on the conveyor belt of the post office's packaging sector, and he ends up wrapped in a package to Mexico.
  • The Brady Kids: In "Pop Goes the Mynah", Marlon is sealed in a can at a soda factory, and the Bradys have to rescue him.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: In "Unfortunate Cookie", Dexter and Dee Dee go to Chinatown to get their Chinese finger trap off. After a restaurant owner helps them out, they make it home before dinner by getting delivered there in oyster pail boxes.
    Mom: And where is your sister?
    Dad: [noticing a shaking box] I think she's stuck in the kung-pow.


Video Example(s):



Blossom and Bubbles are lured into a trap by The Gangreen Gang and end up getting stuck in crushed car cubes.

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