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Rubbery World

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People who live in inflatable houses shouldn't throw darts.

A common cartoon trope where things looks normal, but have properties like rubber. This can allow for some fun and strange things to happen, such as bouncing off of rubbery buildings or even planetary rings.

See also Gelatinous Trampoline, Solid Clouds, Trampoline Tummy, and Wacky Waterbed; gelatin, clouds, abdomens, and waterbeds respectively, portrayed as bouncy like trampolines. Goes hand-in-hand with the Inkblot Cartoon Style.

Examples in media:

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  • This T-Mobile Advert has a man falling from a large height, but safely bounces off of the ground like a trampoline. He then reaches his hand though a shop window, which flexes in, several trees bend about in a park, and he hitchhikes a ride on a van by literally sitting in it's side.
  • The "Mr. Soft" advert for SoftMints candy shows a world where everything is plush and rubbery. Subverted when the guy walks into a lamppost which only looked plushy like everything else.
  • This BMW X4 advert from 2014 appears to take place in one of these. The car drives through several cities in a wobbly world in which the entire land underneath is literally rolling up and down like an ocean; the movements are even implied to be felt inside buildings as shown with the balls rolling around on a Pool table. This BMW X1 advert from the following year shows the car driving across several similarly wobbly landscapes before arriving back at the city.
  • Australian insurance company Allianz had a series of adverts depicting a "world of protection" where everything is inflatable, with squishy cars and bulging inflatable buildings, right down to the ground itself shown to be squishing underneath the feet of people. Sadly, nobody actually bounces around save for a child jumping on a car bonnet, nor does the inflated environment actually jiggle from the movement of people. Pictured above is a poster based on this campaign, which better emphasizes the inflatable bouncy world theme than the television adverts do by adding inflated "bumps" throughout the entire ground and houses.
  • This rather trippy advert for Empire Beer shows a huge party inside a normal looking castle, complete with hallways, a bathroom, and a huge hall... until the interiors and furniture starts wobbling and bending around like crazy. At one point a sink bends downwards after someone falls onto it, spilling all of its water onto the floor, and the bathtub squishes as another person falls onto it. At the dance hall, the whole castle starts to shift like crazy as a rave kicks in, with the walls and an upper floor balcony violently bulging and swaying in and out as people jump up and down. We even see some people being tossed high into the air, one of them flying straight into a window which then bounces him back, and even we even see shots of the floor itself wobbling, lifting up small objects such as shoes and well as people laying on the floor into the air. At the very end, an outside shot reveals the action was taking place inside a literal bouncy castle.
  • Anoro, a COPD medicine, features ads where everything in the world is inflatable.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the Hetalia: Axis Powers movie, Paint it, White!, everything that the ray from the Picto Alien's spaceship touches turns into a white, wobbly thing reminiscent of rubber. As it passes over cities and countries the world starts to resemble this Rubbery World.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This happens a few times in The Matrix.
    • When Neo falls in the Jump Program. When he hits the pavement, it collapses under him, bounces him up in the air and becomes solid again.
    • When the helicopter slams into the building, the building ripples as though it were made of jello.
    • As do the trucks in the second film's highway chase scene when crashing into each other.
  • Happens a few times in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, most notably when Valiant crashes to the ground after falling off a building in Toon Town.
  • In Ghostbusters II, Dana is about to put Oscar into a pink slime-filled bath. The slime emerges as a hand/mouth creature...thing, and it reaches out to grab them as she runs away. Watch the bathtub carefully: when the monster lurches forward, the bathtub literally "squashes" along with it, like a cartoon!
  • Disney's Son of Flubber envisions the benefits of the super-springy invention in a promotional film showing eggs, babies, etc. harmlessly bouncing on a flubberized floor.

  • In C.S. Lewis' Perelandra, the eponymous planet has grasslands and forests that float on the surface of the ocean. A hill one moment is a valley another.
  • In the Oz novel, The Emerald City of Oz, General Guph, while recruiting allies for the Nome King in his war against Oz, walks across a desert whose dunes act like rubber.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Elmo's house in Elmo's World. Everything bends, twists, bounces or stretches. You can't just turn the doorknob, it streeeetches and the door "pops" open.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • NiGHTS into Dreams… has Soft Museum, where literally everything, including the ground, is inexplicably bouncy.
  • In Mario Kart Wii, the Bowser's Castle track features a wobbly corridor that waves up and down like jelly.
  • Minecraft has a Game Mod that allows you to use GLSL shaders. This shader literally bends the whole landscape in the distance back and forth, like an acid trip. This shader also makes the whole game world shake and wobble like jelly, including the very ground beneath the player character's feet.
  • Phantom Brave has "Bouncy" terrain on certain maps, which makes items or characters that are thrown, knocked off cliffs, or hit with certain attacks bounce all over the place. They can even go right off the map.
  • The Floor is Jelly has this applied to the entire game world, where the characters such as the player and frogs can bounce around on the bouncy ground and walls. Even rain splashing causes the ground to jiggle, and background objects even sway accordingly to the bending and warping ground. This flexible world also allows for puzzles that wouldn't be possible in a solid and stable world; one notable puzzle very early in the game has your way seemingly blocked by a wall of spikes, you have to bounce up and down next to it and then use the resulting ripples in the ground to pass underneath it.
  • The Indie Game Wibble Wobble is set in a world where the landscape is constantly wibbly wobbling. This can work against you because not only does it mess with your jumps, but if parts of the ground dip below a certain threshold, lava will briefly appear there.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog ROM Hack Ring Ride 4 has the level turning increasingly rubbery and bouncy the more rings Sonic collects, with the ground depressing underneath him, and can even be used as a trampoline if he has enough rings. Breaking open an invincibility monitor also makes the level even more bouncier during the invincibility period.

    Web Original 
  • In Orion's Arm, Angelnets (objects made of nanites programmed by hyperturing AIs to protect the safety of modosophonts) can act this way.
  • The Elastic Terrain Map is an online atlas on a similar vein to Google Maps... except the terrain wobbles and jiggles as you drag the map around. You can even customise the elasticity.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Critic, Jay's father has a reminiscence/flashback to his "first date" which took place in one of these. But he's insane; so whatever really happened, that wasn't it.
  • The 1935 short animated film Balloon Land centers around one of these, taking place in a kingdom where even the people are living rubbery balloons. Pretty much the only thing in the land that isn't inflatable is The Pincushion Man, which makes him bad news for everyone else given his penchant for popping everything he meets with his arsenal of pins.
  • In the Earthworm Jim episode "Sword of Righteousness", Jim bounces off of a pair of rubbery planetary rings after being hit by a giant golf club.