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Sausage String Silliness

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In many animations and comics, but sometimes in live action as well, hot dogs are sold in "strings", convenient for playing for comedy. Realistically, these sausages would be raw if they're still strung together, but characters frequently treat them as if they're cooked—making it clear that this trope operates by the Rule of Funny. The most common of these gags involves a dog at a picnic grabbing one frank and running off with the whole string (and consequently, the lunch from several people). Another example might be a team of Strong Ants hauling the franks away like a train.

Link sausages sold in strings are rarely seen as such anymore, at least in the USA, since there are far fewer butcher shops than there used to be. Most folks seem to buy their hot dogs/frankfurters/wieners/sausages in supermarkets, in sealed plastic packages with that gooey liquid (and, annoyingly, in packs of ten while the buns usually come in packs of eight). Still, most people seem to recognize the sausage strings enough to appreciate the gags. note 

A common variation is that a character uses the sausages as a Delicious Distraction when facing an Angry Guard Dog.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics:
    • Jughead's pet, Hot Dog, occasionally absconds with a chain of franks.
    • In a Little Archie comic, the titular character and his friend assemble a kite in a supermarket. When they decide they need a tail for the kite, they acquire a string of franks from the butcher department. Little Archie's response: "I never sausage a tail".
    • In another comic, a department-store jeweler tells Big Ethel (who is constantly pursuing Jughead) that a necklace is good for attracting guys. Ethel agrees, and promptly leaves the store! After she's seen entering a butcher shop instead, the final panel has her flirting with Big Eater Jughead... with a string of franks around her neck.
  • Tintin: In The Shooting Star, Snowy steals a whole string of sausages from the ship's galley, forcing the crew to have nothing but Sauerkraut for lunch.

    Comic Strips 
  • In one Belvedere strip Belvedere uses one as a hula hoop while standing in a butcher shop.
    Butcher: Very cute and entertaining act, and no, you haven't earned the right to keep my wieners!
  • In one Fred Basset strip Fred runs down the street with a string in his mouth while a passerby laughs.
    Fred: I'll bet Mr. Jackson won't be laughing when he arrives home and gets the news from Mrs. Jackson... These were meant for his supper...
  • An Old Master Q gag involves the eponymous Old Master Q defending himself from a knife-wielding thug by the expedient of grabbing a nearby string of dried Chinese sausages from a street vendor and employing them in the manner of a seven-sectioned whip to disarm, trip, and bash his pursuer. Q walks off celebrating his victory by snacking on a sausage link.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Balto, Steele tries to woo Jenna into a Spaghetti Kiss with a string of sausages he stole from the butcher. It doesn't work, but he pins the theft on Balto afterwards when the man comes looking and gets rewarded with it anyway for catching the "thief".
  • Oliver & Company: Dodger takes off with a long string of sausages while Oliver distracts Louie the hot dog vendor.
  • In a Deleted Scene from The Simpsons Movie, Homer hitches a ride on a sausage truck back to Springfield. Once he's gone, the driver lets out a Big "NO!" after checking to find them all gone, with Homer gnawing on a link in the next scene.
  • In Turning Red, Mei's father keeps sausages stringed up in the basement to cure.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the movie version of Bewitched, a character uses a string of sausages to attract the attention of an uncooperative canine actor. Since the sausages are competing with magic it doesn't work.
  • In the movie For The Love Of Benji, the titular dog steals a string of link sausages from a butcher shop.
  • Many early silent films made after the publication of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle have joke scenes where dogs go into a factory and come out the other end as a chain of sausages.
  • In the The Little Rascals short "The Kid from Borneo" a "wild man from Borneo" eats an entire string.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze: Part of being Lighter and Softer than the first film, the only turtle allowed to use his weapon was Donatello. Michelangelo had a psuedo-nunchuck moment in the opening scene using sausage links.

  • Happy Birthday to You!: For lunch as a birthday rule.
    "For Birthday luncheons, as a rule,
    We serve hot dogs, rolled on a spool."
  • In Moving Pictures, the click High Jinks at the Store involves a thief running off with a string of sausages. CMOT Dibbler's expression glazes slightly when telling Thomas Silverfish how much he enjoyed it.
  • A cartoon in Will Eisner's Star Jaws depicts a gigantic spaceship which has a string of sausages coming out of a hole in the side.
    Scientist: Okay, so maybe it can't fly so good... but it makes 15,000 frankfurters per hour!
  • The last page of Richard Scarry's Great Big Schoolhouse depicts the annual school picnic. As Mr. Bruno grilled the hot dogs, Nurse Nelly is shown singlehandedly carrying a huge bundle of maybe 100 franks strung together.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Are You Being Served?: The staff rehearses a live-action Punch and Judy show for the children of Grace Bros. employees. Mr. Goldberg plays a butcher and Punch (Mr. Lucas) gets in a tug of war with him over a string of sausages.
    Lucas: How can I steal 'em if he won't let go of 'em?
    Goldberg: What do you think? You want me to stand by idle while he pinches a pound of my best chipolatas while I've got a good customer waiting for them?
    Mr. Humphries (director): Mr. Goldberg, please, don't get carried away with your role. It's only make-believe.
  • In one episode of Jonathan Creek, a stage magician pulls a seemingly endless string of sausages from his trousers as part of his act. Adam Klaus is not amused.
  • Kaamelott: One episode has a sausage-whip and salami-nunchunks. Turns out they're no match for Good Old Fisticuffs.
  • Breakfast in Phil of the Future features a long string of breakfast links. When Curtis picks up the whole string off a plate, Lloyd tells him he [Curtis] can't eat all of them. Curtis takes that as a challenge.
  • On Saturday Night Live, there was a promo for a fictitious cop show featuring partnered females, one of whom was heavy-set. One scene in the promo has the smaller woman flashing a badge, causing her billfold to audibly unfold downward. A scene shortly after that has the larger woman also displaying a badge, but instead it's a string-of-franks that "unfolds".
  • An episode of Sonny with a Chance has Sonny and her friends getting revenge on a critic by making fun of her on a So Random! sketch. The next day, they get a gift basket from her with a chain of sausages inside, with words printed on each sausage forming the sentence "YOU'RE DEAD MEAT".
  • The intro to the Edutainment show Cat's Eyes has the two puppet cats Jimmy and Juke steal an entire string of sausages that pizza chef Alf left by his window. The rest of the intro is Alf chasing them down to get his sausages back.
  • A classic challenge on reality TV shows to do with food is for the contestant to be shown how sausage-making is done. They are then invited to have a go to see how they do. Hilarity Ensues as the novice can find it utterly impossible to co-ordinate all the manual actions necessary to fill a casing with sausage meat and then turn it into regularly shaped links, let alone knotting them for presentation and eventual sale in the butcher's shop. Sometimes a news journalist visiting a butchers' might be put on the spot and invited to give it a go. This rarely ends well, especially in front of a camera crew.

    Puppet Shows 
  • A traditional character in Punch and Judy performances is a sausage-stealing crocodile.

    Video Games 
  • One of the loading screen pictures in Barn Yarn depicts the dog gnawing on a string while Tom is raiding the fridge.
  • Cuphead crosses this with Black Comedy in the Delicious Last Course boss fight, "High Noon Hoopla". Esther Winchester, a cow, gets sucked into her own vacuum gun at the start of the third phase of her boss fight, which cooks her into a living string of sausages for her third phase. Her fourth phase goes further by having her straight-up stuffed into a grocery tin, before she shoots two endless strings of sausages at you.

    Web Animation 
  • In one Happy Tree Friends short, Shifty and Lifty steal from a butcher's shop and they are carrying a sausage link, but the link gets snagged in the door and they both get slingshotted back to the shop and killed.
  • In the Homestar Runner toon "One Two, One Two", Bubs' contribution to the song is rhythmically stuffing things into a sausage maker and making sausage links out of them. Among the stuff he puts in is a tennis ball and a Chinese takeout container, and they both somehow manage to convert into sausages.
  • RWBY: Blake uses a string of sausages as a whip in lieu of her standard weapon during the epic Food Fight at the beginning of Volume 2.

  • A very darkly humorous anecdote in Girl Genius involves a Spark breaking through and making a multipurpose clank with a built in automatic sausage maker that converts the Spark and his family into strings of sausage before the Baron's men can shut it down.

    Web Original 
  • The Mortasheen monster Bratwurm is basically an animated killer sausage string.
  • Cream Heroes does this for both its Kittisaurus Halloween Episodes.
    • In The Hidden Cruelty of Cats, Claire makes a long string of chicken sausages for her cats and holds the plate down so they can eat. Cue Lulu and then Dodo both trying to steal the entire string, much to the other cats' disgust.
    • In Cats vs Zombie Claire, Claire has an extra long sausage attached to her front so it resembles a large intestine. Naturally the cats (save for Chuchu) are more interested in the intestine sausage than Claire's zombie getup, with numerous attempts to snatch it off her. (Again, with Lulu and Dodo being the most successful.)

    Western Animation 
  • The Fenton family of Danny Phantom knew how to put the frank back in Frankenstein when their experimental microwave oven brought them to life. Jack Fenton chose to keep them in the fridge and ordered them in serpentine formation to protect himself.
  • DuckTales (1987): Scrooge McDuck uses sausages on a string to tame a "ghost" dog in The Curse of Castle McDuck.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy. In "A Glass of Warm Ed", Ed starts sleep-eating and consumes just about everything in the refrigerator of almost every house in the cul-de-sac; one running gag throughout the episode is one of the things Ed keeps eating is chains of weenies, and in fact, Double D and Eddy, at one point, use this to their advantage to help track him down by following wherever a chain of weenies leads them.
  • Some early Felix the Cat shorts have sausage strings in them, as well as anthropomorphic sausages.
  • The ant train version appears in the Looney Tunes short "Ballot Box Bunny", complete with one ant in front with a whip going "Ya, mule! Ya!"
  • In the The Loud House episode, "Cereal Offender", when Lincoln chases after a kid dressed in an outfit identical to his who took his box of Zombie Bran cereal, the kid tries to slow him down by spilling coffee beans on the floor. To get across them, Lincoln takes some linked sausages from the nearby deli and uses them like a rope to swing over the coffee beans.
  • This also showed up in the second act of the Mr. Bogus episode "Beach Blanket Bogus", when Bogus notices his younger cousin Brattus having a tug-of-war with a dog over some sausage links. Bogus goes over to help Brattus, but the two cousins wind up only getting one sausage while the dog eats the rest of them.
  • In the The Powerpuff Girls episode, "Slave the Day", a villain known as the Salami Swami is a Snake Charmer who uses his flute to control linked sausages. Big Billy (who tries to help the girls after they save him from being run over by a subway train) eats the sausages when they try to attack him and the girls.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: The episode "Schnit-heads", as you would expect, has Heffer join a sausage cult, in which has exactly these as one of the sausage styles. Things, however, become intense when Heffer is eventually punished for eating something other than sausages at the cult by working as a slave in the sauerkraut fielding. When Rocko and Filburt attempt to sneak inside to rescue Heffer, the trio are eventually caught and tied to each pole with a chain of sausages.
  • In the Rugrats episode, "Incident in Aisle Seven", one of the things Lou gets on his shopping trip with Tommy is linked sausages. A few minutes later, as he is distracted with adding up the total cost of his groceries, Tommy uses them to lasso onto a nearby grocery cart so it will take him to the pyramid of Reptar Cereal boxes.
  • Shaun the Sheep: In "Camping Chaos", which is about the sheep messing with a camper who's squatting at the farm, they find in his backpack a string of sausages, which they promptly start playing a game of jump rope with. The Pigs, watching this over a fence, respond by fainting.
  • The Simpsons episode "Homer the Vigilante" starts with the Springfield Cat Burglar sneaking into the Simpsons' home and being growled at by Santa's Little Helper. Being Genre Savvy enough to know this trope, he pulls out a chain of sausages to distract the animal. It gets Played for Laughs moments later when Homer sleep-walks in, and is also stopped by being given sausages.
    • The Time and Punishment segment in "Treehouse of Horror V" has Homer taking out a sausage chain while being chased by vicious dogs. Rather than what you'd expect, he eats them himself in hopes of gaining strength to outrun the dogs... which he actually achieves.
  • At one point in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Club SpongeBob", Squidward sees some smoked sausages (which he claims to be his favorite) in the banquet that fell out of the sky, and starts smelling them. Meanwhile, Patrick is sucking the sausages into his mouth, and since Squidward's nose is shaped like a sausage...
  • Time Squad: in the episode "Pasteur's Packs O' Punch", Larry had been suffering from glitches that effect his personality and sense of judgment. One such personality change occurs during a gala to celebrate Louis Pasteur's scientific contributions; Larry gets up on a table, wearing a table cloth as a cape, a fruit display as a crown and a chain of sausages draped on his arms like a fancy feather boa while proclaiming that he's "The Queen of France" and drunkenly sings "La Marseillaise" in front of a mortified crowd consisting of the French elite and the Time Squad.