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Squish the Cheeks

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An event that occurs from time to time when a character gets something or someone forced against the side of their face which causes their cheeks to press against him/herself. A person getting their cheeks squished very rarely happens in real life; since people's shoulders and hips are a lot wider than their heads, simply jam-packing people together as tightly as possible will still leave plenty of space between their heads, meaning that you have to have people deliberately leaning in quite a bit to get someone's cheeks properly squished, and most people generally tend to avoid making contact with such a personal area. In media however, someone getting their cheeks squished can occur much more often. Squished cheeks are a peculiar facial expression that can be used to gain a certain reaction from the audience. When a character's cheeks are squished, they appear chubbier than normal and are more difficult to take seriously, in addition to looking inferior. It might also force their lips to pucker, which adds to this effect. Due to that, this trope can tie in to Rule of Cute, when a character that's most likely The Cutie has their cheeks squished to make them appear even cuter than usual. There are other situations where this trope can apply.

This event may happen for a multitude of reasons, as cheek squishing can be the result of several different gestures or interactions:

  • Situation 1- The situation where this trope occurs most often is during an I Have You Now, My Pretty moment, when a captive is placed in a Villainous Face Hold by their captor or captor's boss, leading to their cheeks being pressed against their face. This is often used to show the captor's dominance over the captive, which can lead to a Defiant Captive moment where a character forcefully releases themselves from the event.

  • Situation 2- Another prominent cause for someone getting their cheeks squished is when a character with No Sense of Personal Space starts their antics. Certain times when a character like this comes up into close proximity of another character, he/she might put their hands on his/her face or press their own face against theirs, leading to their cheeks getting squished. Cheek squishing in terms of this trope is supposed to help highlight the awkwardness of the moment.

  • Situation 3- It can also happen during a Megaton Punch or slap, when the character that is hit has their cheek overlap with their mouth to emphasize the strength of the impact. Other tropes that might involve this one can be: Finishing Stomp, or You Taste Delicious.

  • Situation 4- When a character is pinned on the ground or has an object pressing against their face, and gets their cheeks squished, such as in a The Walls Are Closing In scene, or by a Descending Ceiling.

The character getting their face squished might be: A. Someone with No Social Skills who gets their cheeks smushed by a Cloudcuckoolander who wants to be their friend. B. A Damsel in Distress who is being handled by some depraved villain. C. A Butt-Monkey when something hits their face. There are more examples besides these. Some characters might even squish their own cheeks.

Sister trope of Palm on Cheek Pose and Rubber Face.


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  • A 1968 Nestle's Quik commercial had a baseball catcher being condescending to Baltimore Orioles slugger Frank Howard for drinking a glass of milk mixed with Quik. When Howard steps up to the plate, the catcher says "Please don't hit the ball too hard, Nestle's Quik Boy!" after which, Howard clocks the ball over the centerfield fence for a home run. As Howard steps on home plate, the catcher asks "Hey long have you been drinking Nestle's Quik?" Frank: "Ever since I was about (squeezes catcher's cheek) your size."

    Anime & Manga 
  • Happens frequently in YuYu Hakusho, whenever a character gets punched in the face. Happens most to Yusuke, seeing that he's often on the receiving end of many a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • In Sound! Euphonium's anime adaptation, people tend to place their hands on main character Kumiko Oumae's face more than she would expect. A good example is when Reina suddenly runs up to her and presses Kumiko's face together during one of their many personal chats.
  • Kill la Kill:
    • Happened to Satsuki when she was on the receiving end of both Ryuko and Ragyo's Megaton Punch.
    • Happens to Nui when Ryuko grabs her face and reels it in for a Forceful Kiss.
  • Hanasaku Iroha: Happens to the main character Ohana twice in the first episode.
  • EDENS ZERO: Rebecca in one chapter is kidnapped by a group of human traffickers. She stands up to them when they were threatening another captive, and continues to remain defiant when they torture her as punishment. While on the ground, one of them grabs her face, forcing her cheeks to squeeze against her lips, causing them to pucker, while stating that he can't wait to see her become submissive under their master's rule.
  • In Girls' Last Tour Chito gets mad at Yuri when she burns their books to enlarge their fire, and squeezes her face between the burnt covers.
  • The cover for volume 18 of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War provides a more subdued example, with Kaguya playfully poking in Ishigami's cheeks, another adorable reminder of how the two have become Like Brother and Sister.
  • In Fairy Tail Lucy hugs Happy in celebration and squishes his cheek against hers in the climax of the battle between Natsu and Zero. Happy receives another hug that squishes his cheek from Lisanna when she returned to the guild.
  • In One Piece Chopper has his face squished by Nami when he was begging for books. Chopper receives a hug from Porche and Foxy that squishes his face after they took him from the strawhat crew.

    Comic Books 
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) comic, The Return of Queen Chrysalis, Twilight and the other main ponies confront the queen and demand to know where the Cutie Mark Crusaders are. Chrysalis responds by putting her hooves on Twilight's face, and mocking her while squeezing her cheeks together, which also causes her lips to pout.

    Films — Animated 
  • Finding Nemo: Dory squishes Nemo's face out of excitement when she discovers he is Marlin's son.
  • Inside Out: Fear moves into close proximity of Joy's face and squishes her cheeks early in the movie in a scene where he's, well, afraid.
  • Happens so many times in My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) that you could do a Drinking Game on it.
    • It happens to the Dragon Tempest Shadow, when she catches the ponies. Verko while mocking her squishes her face like a toy. Guess what happens next.
    • It happens to a few of the Mane Six when they all stuff themselves into Pinkie's party cannon to rescue Twilight.
    • Just like in the show, it happens to Twilight Sparkle the most.
      • Pinkie Pie gives a Rousing Speech to Twilight Sparkle during the friendship festival. It would have been more effective if Pinkie wasn't pressing her snout against Twilight's.
      • Happens to Twilight less than a minute after the previous example, when during the song "We've got this together", Pinkie Pie grabs the rest of the Mane Six for a Group Hug, and Twilight, while sandwiched between Fluttershy and Rarity, gets her cheeks tightly squished into each other by the other pony's cheeks. This also happens to be the current picture for the trope image.
      • During the city escape, Twilight carries Pinkie Pie to safety then crashes on the ground, squishing her cheeks upwards.
      • During Tempest Shadow's Villain Song, she forces Twilight's head up by putting her hoof on Twilight's cheek, which slightly presses it up on her face.
  • Disney's Hercules:
    • Hades likes to put his hands on Meg and plays with her cheeks on occasion to mess with her.
    • Hercules had his face squished several times. The first time when teenage Herc reunites with Pegasus, who squishes his cheeks as he headbutts him. The second time, after adult Herc saves Meg from Nessus, Phil tries snapping Herc out of his lovesick stare. The third time when Herc struggles to get away from fangirls, lying flat on the floor with a girl's feet on his face as Phil is beside him. The fourth time, when Meg uses her foot to turn Hercules's head around, squishing his cheek in the process, so their eyes will meet.
  • In Tangled, Mother Gothel regularly does this to Rapunzel.
  • In Turning Red, this happens to Mei when she goes through a narrow alley as a giant red panda.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen Mikaela grabs and squishes Sam's face after he's revealed to have survived the hit he took from Megatron when trying to bring the Matrix to Optimus.
  • The Favourite: Sarah grabs and squashes Abigail's face with one hand the morning after she finds her sleeping with the queen, making it difficult for Abigail to talk, for comedic effect.
  • In the live-action adaptation of Hoot, Roy's cheek is squeezed against the window of his school bus by a bully.
  • In Johnny English Strikes Again, Johnny and his partner's faces are squeezed against the car window from the inside when Johnny accidentally inflates the rubber dinghy inside the car.
  • During the tank battle of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indy's face gets squashed against the lens of a periscope. The German watching the fight seems rather amused.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Villanelle's mother squashes Villanelle's face in her hand during a row in her one episode of Season 3 in Killing Eve.
  • In Penny Dreadful, Vanessa Ives grabs and squishes Dorian Gray's face as the two of them are quite passionately making love.

    Web Original 
  • Hazbin Hotel: Charlie squishes a slasher's cheeks during her song "Inside every Demon is a Rainbow".

    Western Animation 
  • Kim Possible: In "Bueno Nacho", Shego and Dr. Drakken's forces capture Kim and shackle her. While restrained, Drakken squishes her cheeks while boasting.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil:
    • Star tends to squish Marco's face from time to time.
    • Star gets her cheeks squished by Star Fan 13, when she was asked who her crush was.
  • Happens in Unikitty! whenever she presses her face against someone else's.
  • The Legend of Korra In episode 4, Korra is ambushed and restrained by equalists. Amon grabs her cheeks and forces her to look at him while threatening her.
  • Lola Bunny from The Looney Tunes Show grips and squeezes the cheeks of Bugs Bunny during the "We Are In Love" segment. She's a yandere fixated upon Bugs Bunny; the cheek grab is one of many liberties she takes with his privacy.
  • As said above in the Animated Films' section, this happens frequently in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
  • In She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Catra loves to do this to Adora.
  • Work It Out Wombats!: In "Zoom In Zadie," Zeke squishes Snout's cheeks when Zadie takes a picture of them.


Video Example(s):


Face the Scope

Indy's face gets squashed against the lens of a periscope. The German watching the fight seems rather amused.

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Main / SquishTheCheeks

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