Follow TV Tropes


Portable Hole

Go To
"Beep Prepared," indeed.

"I've got a hole in me pocket."

A Portable Hole is an object that creates a "hole" through whatever solid surface it is placed against, enabling a character to reach through the surface in question to its interior or opposite side. It may be removed by peeling it edge-first off the surface, and from either side; when not in use, a portable hole resembles a round black disc of fabric- or rubber-like material that can be handled, folded, or stored like any solid object.

Portable Holes occur primarily in animation, and are usually Played for Laughs. Expect some degree of Hammerspace or alternate dimensions if the writer attempts to seriously explain how they work; other times, they are simply powered by the Rule of Funny.

Portable Holes are functionally distinct from teleportation portals, but the two occasionally overlap, since teleportation portals are "holes" of a sort themselves (and Our Wormholes Are Different). They are also related to Bags of Holding and generally interact badly with them.


    open/close all folders 

  • A TV commercial for Abilify antidepressant medication anthropomorphizes the main character's depression as a portable hole with eyes.
  • This Apple Jacks commercial has Apple use one of these to slow down CinnaMon. CinnaMon lands on a subway and jumps through a grate in front of Apple to regain the lead and win.

    Anime and Manga 
  • One Piece: Blueno ate the Door-Door Fruit, which allows him to make anything he touches a door. The first instance shown of this is when he presses himself against a wall, someone pushes his body, and the wall beneath his body opens into the next room.
  • Doraemon has a hula-hoop-like gadget (即席落とし穴-Sokusekiotoshiana; Instant Trap) which creates a hole when thrown on the ground.
  • In Deko Boko Friends, Disabear can toss his plates onto the ground and use them as holes.

    Comic Books 
  • Great Lakes Avengers: Doorman is a mutant whose power is essentially being a person-shaped portable hole. People are able to walk through him and pass through to the other side of any barrier he's lying against, hence his name.
  • Spider-Man: The Spot has power over interdimensional portals, which he can place and remove as if they were solid objects.
  • In the British comic Whoopee! the strip "'Orrible 'Ole" featured a sentient portable hole. Despite the name, he was actually quite a nice guy.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animation 
  • Yellow Submarine has the Sea of Holes, one of which Ringo peels off and stores in his pocket (see the page quote). He later uses it to help Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band escape the Blue Meanies' anti-music bubble. The hole shows up in the live-action segment at the end where the real-life Ringo Starr says he's kept it as a souvenir.note 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit featured Portable Holes as an Acme Product. During the film's climax, Eddie became pinned against a steel drum by a cartoon magnet while fighting the Big Bad; he freed himself by wrapping a Portable Hole completely around the magnet, causing the magnet to break in half.
  • They Live! features a scene where the hero uses a device that creates a hole, so he can fall through the floor.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness: Dr McCoy casually uses a portable hole to gain access to a prisoner in the brig so he can take a blood sample. Since the brig used a Forcefield Door, the device he uses was presumably designed to interact with the forcefield to create the hole and wouldn't work on other objects.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming: Toomes's crew has access to an alien device that temporarily "phases" matter within an adjustable rectangular shape and allows passing through it, creating this effect. It is quite handy when stealing from heavily secured containers and also when grabbing a beer from the fridge without getting up to walk to the door.

  • In Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, the Braided Man was a manufacturer of holes: holes for Swiss cheese, holes for doughnuts, etc. This led to trouble when he made a lot of post holes, didn't know where to put them, and stacked them all up to store them... and then fell in.
  • Used by Jarlaxle in this adventures with Artemis Entreri in the Forgotten Realms books. Oddly enough, it works more like the traditional cartoon portable hole rather than like the Dungeons & Dragons magic item.
  • Bottersnikes And Gumbles: The Bottersnikes have a Secret Weapon in the form of a Bottersnike named Smiggles, for whatever he dreams becomes real — or at least that's what the Bottersnikes believe. The King has him dream a Gumbletrap in the form of a covered hole. When the Bottersnikes discover an already-dug hole, they think he's dreamed it in the wrong place. The King's solution? Well just move it then! (Like the Brick Joke that begins: How do you get an elephant in a fridge? You open the door, put the elephant in, and close the door.)
  • Eddie Drood from the Secret Histories books has a portable door as one of his gadgets. Basically the same thing.
  • In The Wheel of Time, when the Seanchan finally discover Traveling, they describe it as "cutting a hole in the air".
  • The children's story Whispering in the Wind by Alan Marshall has the characters participating in a Tall Tale competition. One of the tales involves cutting up disused mine shafts so they can be transported to the city to be sold as wells.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Warehouse 13 episode "Love Sick" introduces the artifact "Francois Villon's Inkwell". Not a round rubber or cloth Portable Hole, but spilling the ink on any surface allows a person to reach straight through it. It's used in the episode to allow a pair of thrown keys to pass through a plate glass window before the ink quickly evaporates leaving a perfectly intact window.
  • The Goodies. In "Invasion of the Moon Creatures", Britain is being invaded by rabbits from the Moon who talk like Bugs Bunny, leading to this trope as an obligatory gag when they dig a rabbit warren to hide from the army's Royal Highland Ferrets. Rabbit!Bill dives down a hole to escape Graham, who finds the hole has turned solid. He picks the hole up and tosses it aside, whereupon Rabbit!Bill climbs out again.
  • Supernatural. In "Hunteri Heroici", a Reality Warper has created Toon Physics in a small town, so the Villain of the Week uses this trope to rob a bank.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The portable hole is a magic item that doesn't quite follow Looney Toons rules in that (in most editions) it doesn't let you create a hole through a wall or floor when you unfurl it upon a surface. Instead it functions more like its related magic item in that each portable hole, when spread out onto a flat surface, creates a six-foot wide, 10-foot deep Pocket Dimension used for storage; once you're done dumping treasure into the portable hole, you can pick it up and fold it up as easily as if it were a handkerchief. Though on the subject of bags of holding, DO NOT put one into your portable hole, or vice-versa. In a best-case scenario, both items are destroyed, while in a worst-case scenario you'll tear a temporary rift to the Astral Plane that sucks in everything in a 10-foot radius.
    • A similar magic item is the portable foxhole, which can be unfolded into a pit three feet deep and five feet wide to serve as cover rather than storage (if you fold it up, any items in the foxhole tumble out of it).
    • The Enveloping Pit is a relic of the kobold deity Kurtulmak to aid his race of Trap Masters. Unlike a normal portable hole, the Pit is 10 feet wide and 50 feet deep, and more insidiously can open from or close into a one-foot-wide hole, its moveable form, with a spoken command word. A common kobold tactic then is to shrink the Enveloping Pit, watch from hiding as a group of intruders step around it, and then speak the command word to have the Pit expand to swallow them up.
    • Marvelous Pigments are sets of magic paint that make things you paint with them real, including holes.

    Theme Parks 
  • Roger Rabbit's Car-Toon Spin contains a real Portable Hole (of sorts). It's a section of moving wall with a hole in it. An animatronic Roger holds onto it and drags it back and forth as you drive through it. Still cool trickery, though.

    Video Games 
  • One of the Blob's powers in the NES and Wii versions of A Boy and His Blob.
  • MMORPG Toontown Online uses "portable holes" as a teleportation item. It even has a backstory on a trading card.
  • In World of Warcraft, the Portable Hole is a bag with 24 slots, making it one of the largest general purpose bags. It's also the most expensive, at 3000 gold pieces.
  • The Gamecube/Xbox vehicular combat game Cel Damage had portable holes as a weapon, wielded on gloved robot arm. They work like mines in that, once laid, enemies that drive over them will suddenly freeze in the air before getting spaghettified into them as if they were a black hole.
  • Valve's hit game, Portal, uses portable holes as a way to solve puzzles.
  • King's Quest VI features a living portable hole. The Hole-In-The-Wall is a creature that crawls along the wall, and its body creates a hole underneath wherever it is.
  • The Multi Dimensional Thief, a text adventure, has a portable hole allowing you to pass through many walls, as well as the ceiling and floor. However, it's incompatible with a few surfaces...
  • The game credits of WarioWare: Smooth Moves has you moving one of these around to try and catch the developers' Miis.
  • In the Minecraft mod Thaumcraft, there is an item called the portable hole, which opens up a temporary 2x2 square tunnel, which the player can pass through.
  • In JauntTrooper, the Portable Hole is a type of monster that roves around the floor. You can drop items through it to the level below, or attack its edges and kill it (causing the hole to seal up).
  • The Tragic Clown from The Sims would use one of these to exit once he's done annoying your sims. He'd also use it to escape if you tried to box him in.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Mario Party 4: Losing the dice-rolling minigame against Goomba in the Goomba's Greedy Gala board in 4 causes a hole to appear out of nowhere below your character and spit you back to the Start.
    • One of Cackletta's attacks in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga has the brothers jump over it when it passes under them, or else they'll fall in and take major damage.
  • There is a portable hole in one of the Dizzy games. You can pick it up, but as soon as you pick it up - and store it in your bag - there's a hole in your bag, so everything falls out of it. Including the hole.
  • One of the enemies in Ken's Labyrinth is an instant-death Bottomless Pit that can move around. It has evil red eyes and something that looks like arms and a face while moving.
  • One of the stages in the ZX Spectrum game Beach-Head II has a trapdoor that moves across the ground, from which a man emerges to lay mines.
  • Donut County centers around having to create movable holes in the ground and use them to make everything in the vicinity fall through them, with the hole increasing in size every time you do.
  • In Stardew Valley, the game engine treats windows as portable holes: You can take them off the wall, leaving a blank wall with residual sunlight on it, and put them back somewhere else.
  • Satisfactory has floor holes for conveyor lifts to pass through, as well as floor and wall holes for pipes and hypertubes, which can be built on any floor or wall just like any other object, and dismantling one leaves the floor/wall intact. The conveyor lift floor hole in particular even appears as a solid black hole that items disappear into/pop out of.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Ant and the Aardvark: In one episode, the Aardvark tries to catch the Ant with 'Instant Hole', the latest scientific achievement. Unfortunately, it backfires on him, causing him to fall through a cliff, deflates his hot air balloon, and traps him with a bomb.
    Aardvark: I hate you, Instant Hole!
  • Bonkers: In "Gone Bonkers", the villain uses a portable hole that he calls a "Toon Black Hole" to catch Bonkers by placing it on the sidewalk as Bonkers walks into it and falls in. He then picks up the hole and takes it and Bonkers to a new location.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Plays with this, along with several other tropes, in the episode "1 + 1 = Ed". At one point in the episode, Eddy falls into a hole, only to fall out of the sky from off-screen and back into the hole in an endless loop until Ed picks up the hole, leaving Eddy to crash into the now solid ground. Subverted after everything goes back to normal: Eddy and Double-D fall down a manhole, so Ed tries to pick it up and pulls a whole sewer pipe out of the ground.
  • Felix the Cat: The title character has one of these in his "bag of tricks". Possibly the Ur example.
  • Homesteader Droopy: In this Tex Avery creation, the Wolf gets rid of an angry moose by getting it to charge into a barn, then shutting the door and removing it (from a now-blank wall), folding it up a dozen or so times, and casually flinging it over his shoulder — where it hits the ground, rapidly unfolds and opens up, and the moose charges back out. The exact same joke was also used in an earlier Tex Avery cartoon, "Señor Droopy".
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes: An episode had Heloise attempting to rescue Jimmy from Beezy by way of Catapult to Glory. Beezy responds by moving the window, causing Heloise to crash into the brick.
  • Johnny Test: In Johnny on the Spot, Susan and Mary attempt to create a portable black hole but end up with a black spot that allows the user to pass through solid objects. When it accidentally tears in two, it can be used for any number of tricks and pranks.
  • Looney Tunes: The Trope Codifier.
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Of all things, made a plot point out of one in "Bubble Trouble", which starts with a wind so strong it blows Gopher's front door off, that door being the hole leading to his tunnel. Pooh eventually uses it to free himself from the unbreakable bubble that he'd spent most of the episode trapped in.
  • The Pink Panther: One short had the Panther create an underground staircase at a construction site after a door accidentally fell on top of him. When he pushes the door back up, it hits a construction worker, causing him to fall into the stairway, at which the Panther moves it onto the wall of an unfinished building.
  • Rick and Morty: At its most conservative use, the portal gun allows Rick to easily bypass any barrier in his way.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series: The Spot, mentioned in the comics section of the trope, appeared here.
  • The reboot of The Clangers features an episode where the titular creatures experiment with a pair of strange holes, until they decide to combine the holes and the holes collapse in on themselves and out of existence.
  • Tiny Toons: Had an episode where Montana Max had a donut hole factory. The factory was harmful to the environment until the Toxic Revenger (one of Plucky Duck's alter egos) shut it down. Fortunately The Hero was as Crazy-Prepared as Bugs Bunny (see above).
  • Wakfu demonstrates this quite early on with Yugo's ability to make portals with his bare hands, introduced in Episode 1 when Yugo stops some plates from smashing.


Video Example(s):


Instant Hole

In an attempt to catch Charlie when he's on a motorcycle, the Aardvark tries to use the latest scientific discovery, Instant Hole. Unfortunately, not only does it backfire on him, but it keeps coming back to torment him for the remainder of the picture.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / PortableHole

Media sources: