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Vacuum Mouth

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Hope he's got a good filter in there.

A character takes a deep breath in order to draw various objects in along with the air, water, or whatever other substance they happen to be in. There are two sub-tropes to this trope:

In cartoons this typically appears as a comedic sight-gag, in which a lazy Big Eater consumes large amounts of food by sucking it into his mouth. This may be accompanied by the sound of a vacuum cleaner and/or have the character's mouth take the shape of a vacuum nozzle for added humor. Particularly common in animated depictions of elephants, aardvarks, and similar animals, whose trunks and elongated snouts often undergo Dinner Deformation to show what becomes of the consumables they've suctioned up.

This sometimes appears as an innate ability of a character. More often found in monstrous (or at least non-human) creatures with big mouths. In battle they suck in air to draw their opponent towards them, in an attempt to devour them directly or simply draw them in closer for an attack. However, the indiscriminate nature of this ability means that the user risks drawing in unwanted items that may damage them in the process. In video game boss fights the player on the receiving end of this often has to mash the control stick in the opposite direction to avoid being sucked in. Often a form of Eating the Enemy and frequently leads to Just Eat Him when used against main characters. Can be considered a type of Breath Weapon.

There is nothing stopping users of the superpower version from using it to justify the sight-gag version, as a form of Mundane Utility.

As the real life examples below show, this trick can in fact work in a liquid medium such as water. Many underwater predators use this as a method of catching their prey. In most fictional depictions, though, the suction is created by drawing in air... which would "realistically" require a rather phenomenal lung capacity or a literal Black-Hole Belly to exercise any significant force at range, let alone keep the effect going for longer than a few seconds. Things like vacuum cleaners and jet engines work because they let the air pass straight through them instead of trying to hold it all in.

Weapons That Suck and Tractor Beam are its artificial cousins. In both the user's mouth may stretch into a Volumetric Mouth. Super Breath moves in the opposite direction.

Not to be confused with Vicious Vac, the trope about actual vacuum cleaners.


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  • In the "Eating" video for the Metro Manners series of PSAs, Super Kind sucks the monster's food out of his hand with a power vortex emanating from her mouth. This is so powerful it causes passersby to lose their hats and the lights to flicker. Because that's what happens when you eat on the bus...

  • BoBoiBoy: Downplayed in episode 4 of the original series; to avoid getting hit by the aliens' sleeping gas as the heroes escape the spaceship, BoBoiBoy's wind power manifests in him sucking all the sleeping gas into his mouth, briefly inflating himself until he runs (or tries to run) to a nearby air vent to release it. He gets sleepy himself, but his friends are unaffected.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Yammy Llargo from Bleach use this as an attack called "Gonzui" (literally "Soul Sucker") to devour at once the souls of tons of people in a very large area. It works only on the souls of weak people without special powers.
  • In Toriko, the Regal Mammoth uses one of his trunks as a vacuum to suck in his prey. He then uses the other one to expel the bones. Later, the mosquito-themed villain Grinpatch can do this with the help of his weapon, a giant straw.
  • In Yaiba, Yakitori the giant anglerfish does this to Yaiba's friends to swallow them all up. Justified as he does it in the water.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, Jotaro had Star Platinum suck up Enya Geil's Stand Justice, which had the form of a large fog, causing Enya to suffocate.
  • In Myriad Colors Phantom World, Reina Izumi is a "Phantom Eater", with the ability to defeat Phantoms by creating a vortex with her mouth that sucks them inside. Considering she consumes food at a staggering rate, she probably has a Black-Hole Belly that powers it.
  • Majin Buu eats the population of an entire city this way in Dragon Ball, after turning them into candy. Buu is something of a Rubber Man, who can expand his body to improve his air intake, and expulsion.

    Comic Books 
  • Gold Key Comics' Star Trek story The Planet of No Return, a.k.a. K-G, Planet of Death, featured cannibal plants which could literally suck a landing party off their feet from a considerable distance.
  • In the final Marvel issue of Mighty Mouse, "Survival Of The Hippest," our hero uses his own vacuum breath to counter that of a mysterious figure using a vacuum to suck the hipness out of popular late-night talk-show hosts. The P.R. medics tell Mighty Mouse that "the audience thought you really sucked!"
  • Superman Villain/Comic Relief/Anti-Hero Bizarro, having essentially the opposite powerset of Superman, has Vacuum Breath instead of Super Breath.
  • Pre-Crisis Supergirl has "Super-Suction Breath", which is a variant of her Super Breath. Instead of expeling large amounts of air from her mouth she inhaled air with the purpose of cutting off someone else's oxygen supply. In Action Comics #270 she knocks out people in her class by sucking out all the air so that she can perform heroics without risking her Secret Identity. In Supergirl Vol 1 #1 she sucks all the air of a vehicle in order to apprehend a criminal without harming him.
    • It's not terribly uncommon for the Super-folks to do this, and it isn't its own separate power. If you're strong enough to exhale with the ability to send anything flying away from you, then you can inhale with the ability to send anything flying toward you. It's the go-to method of dealing with things like poison gas. (Which means you'd better hope the villain didn't put something in it that could affect you too...)
    • Some of the new powers granted to the Silver Age Earth One Wonder Woman that the Golden Age Earth Two counterpart did not have relate to air. Specifically the ability to glide on air currents, and "super breath", which she mainly used to pull things towards her when she did not have her lasso or had to get something it couldn't be wrapped around.

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield does this in a comic. It entailed him sucking his food up because he didn't want to get out of bed.
    • Another strip had him extending his lips like a vacuum attachment to suck up the lasagna in the kitchen.
      Jon: That cat has the longest lips I've ever seen.
  • Jeremy from Zits has been known to do this, especially when going through a growth spurt.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Yellow Submarine there's a character literally called the Vacuum Monster. It eats up everything, including itself.
  • The Dragon Hunters movie has for main villain the "World Gobbler", a gigantic Dracolich whose main attack is a hurricane-strength Vacuum Mouth. As it's a skeleton, it certainly has no stomach; instead, everything blown into its mouth disappear in a vortex of white light. It threatens to do so to the protagonists several times; they're only saved by desperately clinging to its teeth.
  • Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas has this ability, which he uses to inhale more bugs (which turns out to be important, as he is literally made of them), as well as to prevent Sally and Santa Claus from escaping his lair, though he doesn't actually inhale them.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In Far Rainbow, the Charybdis are truck-like machines that "suck up" thermal energy, specifically the energy of the Waves. Their "funnels" are repeatedly compared to the mouth of the mythological monster they were named after.
  • In Journey to the West, the Azure Lion King can open his huge mouth to suck in whole armies. He has the not-so-bright idea of sucking in Monkey, who wreaks havoc in his insides.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One of Terry Gilliam's animations for Monty Python's Flying Circus features a baby at a christening that sucks up everyone and everything in the room when its pacifier is taken out by an old woman.
  • Supergirl deploys this when the Villain of the Week attacks a friend of hers and some FBI agents with poison gas. She sucks in all the gas, flies up out of range and expels the gas harmlessly into the sky. Afterwards, Supergirl comments to her friend that she doesn't usually inhale.

    Music Videos 
  • Miserable: The Giant Woman makes use of this during her man-eating rampage at the end. After she spots Jeremy Popoff hiding from her behind a speaker, she sneaks up on him and lowers herself over him. As he puts up his hands trying to plead her for mercy, she inhales, sucking him off the ground and slurping him up like a noodle. She then spits out one of his shoes.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Ancient vortex dragons in Pathfinder have the collapsing breath ability, which allows they to suck in and swallow a single target. Possibly due to an oversight in writing, this ability has no range limit.

    Video Games 
  • The final boss for Alien Syndrome, which is implemented by six spiraling inward clouds.
  • Deltarune: In Chapter 2, one of Spamton's attacks is to use his mouth to suck up dollar signs that the SOUL has to dodge. The SOUL getting sucked in normally isn't a problem, but during Spamton NEO's special attack, you have to keep him from getting closer with the SOUL's projectile attack.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The various worm monsters in Final Fantasy X use this as a counterattack to swallow a party member after they suffer enough abuse. There's also the sea monster Geosgaeno, who uses the aquatic variation.
    • The Sandworm boss in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles also does this, but only for the purpose of drawing you closer so it can body slam you. It presents a prime opportunity to get some free hits in on it, due to how sluggish the latter attack is.
    • Then there's Atomos, a summonable monster who is pretty much nothing but a giant mouth. Used to horrifying effect in Final Fantasy IX where Atomos attacks the city of Lindblum, sucking in the entire industrial district and killing a third of the population of the city.
    • Additionally, as a Boss in Final Fantasy V, the hellgate-like beast Atomos slowly sucks in the defeated members of your party, taking a break from throwing Comet spells at you to do so, if they slide all the way to its maw, they're removed for the rest of the battle.
  • Kirby:
    • Kirby is one of the most famous examples of a character that can weaponize this. His most basic ability is to inhale enemies into his mouth before spitting them out with the force of a cannon or swallowing them to take on their abilities. In Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Kirby can become Hypernova Kirby, powering his inhale up to the point of becoming a walking black hole. 'Mouthful Mode' in Kirby and the Forgotten Land furthermore allows Kirby to swallow certain objects like cars (which are much bigger than Kirby himself) and form around them rather than just swallowing them.
    • King Dedede can do this as well. Although he lacks Kirby's ability to copy powers.
    • Rick the Hamster could also do it in Kirby's Dream Land 2 but in Kirby's Dream Land 3 he just grabs enemies and shoves them into his mouth.
    • Whispy Woods, already known for his ability to blow gusts of wind at Kirby, has apparently picked up the ability to do this, as well, starting with Kirbys Return To Dreamland.
    • Storo does this to eat a plate full of cupcakes in one of the mini-games in Kirby: Squeak Squad, however, unlike other characters, he is never shown using it while fighting.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • An enemy by the trope name exists in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, in the second dungeon. Link must cross the room while avoiding being pulled into a bottomless pit surrounding the enemy.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Lord Jabu-Jabu accidentally inhales Link after Link gives him a fish, as he attempts to inhale the fish. It's implied that earlier he also sucked up Princess Ruto, and in Master Quest, cows.
  • Mario & Luigi:
    • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga: Birdo, with her large snout, can do this. Bowletta does this on the incapacitated Mario Bros. in the fight against her, leading to them having to defeat Cackletta's soul in her gut.
    • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story: Bowser unexpectedly gaining this ability is responsible for much of the events of the game, subjecting the Bros. and numerous Mushroom Kingdom citizens to a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot after he accidentally sucks them up. Later in the game, Bowser gets the Vacuum Block, which lets him control this power and unleash it in battle, allowing him to suck up small or flying enemies that he can't deal with in order to let Mario and Luigi handle them.
    • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team: Bowser retains this ability, and uses it to merge with the shattered Dream Stone for the final boss fight.
  • Pikmin: Several creatures in the series can pull this out, notably the Fiery Blowhog fought in Hey! Pikmin and theElectric Cottonade.
  • Parasite Eve 2: One of the bosses uses this as one of his main weapon, since he himself moves really slow. Getting sucked close enough to his teeth gets you instantly killed.
  • In Rayman Origins, the mosquitos can inhale and spit out enemies a la Kirby. An achievement is unlockable after inhaling 50 enemies, called "Vacuum Snack". In the same game, small buzzing insects with funnel-shaped mouths can inhale Rayman to shrink/enlarge him.
  • Sonic Adventure: Chaos 6 may attempt to inhale Sonic/Knuckles during the battle, but also has the unintended side effect of sucking in any deactivated ice bombs lying around the arena.
  • In Dynamite Headdy, one of the heads that can be obtained is a giant vacuum that eats all the on-screen enemies.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising:
    • This is one of Pandora's attacks. One of the monsters has this as its attack too.
    • Hades does this in the beginning of chapter 23 to suck up Pit. Swallowed Whole follows soon after.
  • Wario World:
    • Amusingly Wario himself can do this, however it doesn't work on enemies. Instead it can be used to gather coins more quickly.
    • The Dual Dragon boss also utilizes this but instead of trying to suck Wario up directly, they release numerous Glue Globes that Wario can get stuck to and suck those up instead.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, Ursula uses this in second fight against her to draw you close for a biting attack.
    • In Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance], the Jestabocky Dream Eater and its relative, the Ghostabocky, use this as a painful (and as enemies, very annoying) attack, chewing on the victim briefly before spitting them out. Their Ghost Vacuum Link Attack is a multi-target version.
  • The Legendary Starfy:
    • The main villain, Mashtooth, inhales his victims — through his nose. Usually seen only in cutscenes, he uses the ability during his final battle in an attempt to inhale Starfy.
    • One of the bosses in Densetsu no Stafy 2, Numan, also has this as her main attack, where she will suck up the water Starfy is in to pull him into her mouth, eat him and spit him out.
  • The mobile game Crabitron gives a powerup called the "Super Suckatron", that allows the player's Giant Enemy Crab to suck in pretty much everything on the screen.
  • One of Kaptinn Bluddflagg's abilities in Dawn of War Retribution, reducing the enemy's armor thanks to his bad breath. Exactly how it can work (Bluddflagg is maybe twice the size of a Space Marine, still nowhere near enough lung capacity for that) isn't explained, and it's not a standard ability for orks either.
  • In Rolo to the Rescue, Rolo gains this power from vacuum cleaners.
  • Nihilumbra: The Shyphonith enemies. Apparently they don't have a gut, just a portal straight to the Void.
  • Ristar:
  • In McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure, each of the four end-of-world bosses have the ability to suck one of the magic gems from Ronald's life bar. However, Ronald can use their attack to his advantage, as the magic of the gems temporarily makes the boss vulnerable to his attacks. Ronald does have to mind his health bar, but he can collect health power-ups by defeating the boss' minions.
  • In the Activision Atari 2600 game Oink!, The Big Bad Wolf's Breath Weapon becomes part of this when his breath touches one of the three pigs.
  • Avencast: Rise of the Mage: The Wolgath are hulking four-armed Mighty Glaciers with vacuum mouths in their stomachs. In a variant, the vacuum effect isn't intended to consume enemies, but to draw them into striking range of their gigantic cleavers.
  • Banjo-Tooie: Weldar, the boss of Grunty Industries, has an attack that involves trying to inhale the protagonists (which is where Weldar can be fed a grenade egg instead). Given that the boss seems to be a hybrid between a vacuum cleaner and a welding torch, this move is very fitting for him.
  • Thunder Hoop have a fish monster boss, Dust, whose gigantic mouth can either suck the titular hero into it's jaws from up close or regurgitate garbage and debris it swallowed as ranged projectiles.
  • Tribal Hunter's main protagonist Munch has this, along side a few enemies. While Munch's can allow him to vacuum up items and defeated enemies, though he can get an upgrade late in the game that allows him to suck up most undefeated enemies at the cost of not gaining xp for defeating them, enemies that employ their version of vacuum breath only use it to suck up Munch to eat them (and/or feed them in the case of the bee dragons).
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time:
    • Used by the Zombot Sharktronic Sub to suck in two rows of your plants for a One-Hit Kill. Good thing the fan is easy to clog via a Tangle Kelp...
    • Chomper's Plantfood ability has him inhale Zombies.

    Web Animation 
  • One Strong Bad Email from Homestar Runner had the King of Town consume an entire mound of salt (even the shakers) this way.

  • Ace Dick, Fiesta Ace Dick, and Mobster Kingpin all do this in Problem Sleuth.
  • Pretty much the main theme, and specialty of all the monsters, in the furry comic Work Sucks.

    Web Original 
  • The Walfas program Create.swf has a background called "DEATH BY YUYUKO", featuring a large Yuyuko Saigyouji. Click on her mouth and she will suck up any character standing before her.

    Western Animation 
  • Patrick did this in three episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants. First in the episode "Grandma's Kisses", when he sucks up a bunch of cookies offered by SpongeBob's grandma, the second time in the episode "Club SpongeBob" when he sucks up a sandwich that was on a table, and the third time in the episode "Pat No Pay" when he sucks up a whole bunch of Krabby Patties that were stacked on top of each other.
  • This is also akin to cartoon anteaters and aardvarks, such as in The Ant and the Aardvark, where the eponymous Aardvark will use his mouth to suck up the ant, complete with the sound of a vacuum cleaner.
  • The A Pup Named Scooby-Doo episode "The Sludge Monster from the Earth's Core" had Scooby use this technique with popcorn.
  • Mr. Bogus:
    • Bogus does this in the third act of the episode "Babysitting Bogus" with a straw to suck up a glass of chocolate milk, a whole turkey, a slice of cake, a slice of pie, a bowlful of chili peppers (though accidentally), and an entire pitcher of fruit punch.
    • Bogus does this with cotton candy at the beginning of the episode "Waterboy Bogus". His head taking the shape of a genuine vacuum head as he does it.
    • He does this again at the beginning of the episode "The Bogus Invasion", with cheese casserole.
  • On the Donald Duck cartoon Donald's Cousin Gus, Gus takes a straw and sucks up a line of peas across the dinner table. Donald takes a straw of his own and tries to suck up the last pea, and the two engage in a tug-of-war until Gus traps the pea in a teapot.
  • Dragon Tales: in A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words, Ord inhales a Doodle fairy that was sleeping in a flower he was sniffing.
  • In the Tom and Jerry short "Jerry and Jumbo", a baby elephant Jerry is hiding sucks up peanuts with his trunk from across the room.
  • Igôle from Wakfu, the Right-Hand Attack Dog of Big Bad Nox, uses this power to capture and imprison his targets.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series: Experiment #606 (Nicknamed Holio) can do this to the point he can turn into a black hole.
  • In the opening sequence of Tiny Planets, one of the protagonists eats a meal like this before setting out on the day's adventure.
  • In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2021), Trap Jaw has the Dark Master Strike "Mecha-Maw". With it, he opens his maw of rotating Scary Teeth and sucks up any raw materials he can get. After he closes his mouth, he can convert what he's eaten into a new deadly weapon for his right arm.
  • One episode of Wild Kratts focused on the frogfish, which among its other odd features has a mouth that can expand to twelve times its normal volume in 6 milliseconds, creating a suction so powerful that the frogfish's prey is pulled in before it can react.

    Real Life 
  • The Nurse Shark will invariably suck up any prey that it finds on the ocean floor.
    • The Carpet Shark or Wobbegong is another good example of this trope. They hide on the ocean floor resembling mats of seaweed until prey gets within range, then they open their huge mouth and suck nearby fish inside.
  • Several aquatic or amphibious animals such as fish and turtles catch prey this way. By opening their mouth very quickly they create a vacuum that sucks water in, along with any small fishes that get too close.
  • Subverted by drinking elephants, who collect water by suctioning it into their trunks, but must then (cartoon depictions to the contrary) squirt it into their mouths for swallowing.
  • This is how most baleen whales feed. Rorqual whales like humpbacks and blue whales have large throat pleats that allow them to practice what's known as lunge feeding. The whale approaches a bait ball of food and opens its mouth while swimming forward. In some species, the whale may even intake volumes of water greater than the animal's size. And when you consider that this family of whales includes the largest animals to have every lived...
  • Inhaling through the mouth enough to put liquid food in your mouth, but not enough to get it into your lungs, is how you drink.
  • Spiders are unable to eat solid food, so this is the way they eat: pumping digestive fluids into the prey and sucking its liquefied tissues.


Video Example(s):



Bowser uses the power of the Vacuum Shroom to inhale everyone at Peach's Castle, though the strain makes him pass out afterwards.

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Example of:

Main / VacuumMouth

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