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 most people would 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 cheek's 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 captors 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 Armor-Piercing 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.
- 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.
- Hibike! Euphonium: 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.
- Finding Nemo: Dory squishes Nemo's face out of excitement when she discovers he is Marlon'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.
- Happens to Hercules in the Disney adaptation when he's pinned on the floor by fans and struggles to get away.
- 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.
- In the live action adaptation of Hoot, Roy's cheek is squeezed against the window of his school buss by a bully.
- In Johnny English Strikes Again, Johnnie and his partner's faces are squeezed against the car window from the inside when Johnnie accidentally inflates the rubber dinghy inside the car.
- Hazbin Hotel: Charlie squishes a slasher's cheeks during her song "Inside every Demon is a Rainbow".
- 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 in Star vs. the Forces of Evil 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 .