Efficient Displacement

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Any cartoon character running towards a solid body at sufficient speed will pass through and leave a hole exactly the same shape as they are, including clothing, fur and whiskers. May be combined with There Was a Door and be played for comedy. If the character is large enough, it can become a Roofless Renovation. Can also be horizontal if falling from a great height.

Sometimes, if the surface is metal, the character will leave a perfect depressive imprint, often in impossible mold-like shapes.

Examples of Efficient Displacement include:


Advertising[edit | hide | hide all]

  • The Kool-Aid Man loves to crash through walls, and every time he does he leaves a big him-sized imprint. Comedian Dane Cook states that this is in no way "cool", and wonders how the kids from the commercials can drink from his giant juice bowl when debris might have fallen in.
  • This ad.
  • There is a Priceline commercial where William Shatner creates a Shatner-shaped hole in a wall.
  • In a Tetris 2 Commercial, a girl holds up Tetris 2 games, but the games explode and send the girl flying off and crash through the wall, leaving a girl-shaped hole in the brick wall.
  • In one of the videos where the boy played it on the car to make it happen, all cartoon characters crash through something, leaving a Pikachu-shaped hole in the TV screen, Jimmy Neutron Shaped Hole on the Window, Timmy Turner, Cosmo, and Wanda-shaped holes in the roof, and a SpongeBob-shaped hole in the bushes. I can't remember what is name of the title.
  • In a 2003 Hawaiian Punch commercial, Punchy is shown punching people through various walls, leaving person shaped holes in them.
  • This billboard.


Anime & Manga[edit | hide]

  • Portrayed very often in Ranma ½, particularly when someone is Megaton Punched upwards to turn into A Twinkle in the Sky... while indoors. Or someone falls from high up in the sky into a house, usually leaving these holes through every floor on the way down. Ranges from tiny old man-shaped holes to holes in the shape of a winged-minotaur-with-an-eel-for-a-tail.
    • Once, after falling from a bridge across two mountaintops, Ranma, Ryôga, Mousse and Genma fell to solid ground so hard as to press it into holes shaped as themselves.
    • Also happened to Kinnosuke after falling off a helicopter and refusing to pay for the parachute that would have saved him.
  • One Piece
    • This happens to Miss Doublefinger when Nami's Clima Tact sends her through a series of walls. Also, because Miss Doublefinger was spinning at the time, each Efficient Displacement is rotated at a different angle.
    • A horizontal version occurs at the end of "Franky VS Fukuro" when Franky's full power Coup de Vent sends Fukurou several feet into the ground.
    • Blueno has the power to make doors out of anything he touches, and is assumed that, before his powers were completely thought out, he could only makes holes the size of his body/what his body was touching. (Supported in that the first time he does this, he uses his entire body, and next time we see him, he simply makes big holes.)
    • Sanji does it to a Fishman in the Arlong arc with a particularly powerful kick. He didn't get back up.
    • When Ivankov argues with Sadi-chan, Luffy runs to her to teach her a lesson, but Ivankov slaps him and sends him flying. Moments later, you can see a Luffy-shaped hole in the brick wall.
  • Inverted to horrifying effect in Junji Ito's The Enigma of Amigara Fault. Here, there are already human-shaped holes in a particular mountainside, each one seemingly tailor-made for a different person, and as soon as that person sees the hole, they are compelled to enter it. The inversion is complete by the time the victims emerge from the other side: the holes gradually change shape, distorting the victims' bodies until they become nightmarish monstrosities.
  • Happens twice (to the same beastman, no less) during the prison fight scene in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Do not mess with Viral.
  • In the Pokémon Episode "Solid as a Solrock", Ash orders his Pikachu to use Quick Attack on Solrock, but Solrock moves; Pikachu misses the attack and lands on a model of the planet Saturn, leaving a Pikachu-shaped hole.
  • Dragonball Z: During the anime, Caroni, one of Hercule / Mr Satan's top students, tries to fight Cell before Hercule himself. He leaps into the air to deliver a kick, and Cell uses his ki to add a little something to the jump. When he lands...
  • After being displeased by one of his henchmen, Gyoko in Hokuto no Ken splits the guy's skull with a knife and hits him so hard that he crashes through Gyoko's transport train's wall and leaves a man-shaped hole behind.
  • In Powerpuff Girls Z, after Princess Morbucks wiped the girls using her new hair, they crashed through the wall, leaving Blossom, Buttercup, and Bubbles shaped hole in the building.
  • In the live-action movie of City Hunter, one guy falls from a high place onto the cruise ship deck, leaving a perfect man-shaped hole.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • When their boss wants to assign a dangerous mission to the eponymous protagonists of Mortadelo Y Filemon, he usually finds only their silhouettes in a nearby wall (or in one case a several-inches-thick solid steel armor plate).
  • Done a number of times in Don Rosa's Uncle Scrooge stories "The Black Knight" and "The Black Knight Glorps Again", thanks to Arpin Lusene's suit of universal-solvent-coated armor.


Comics -- Newspaper[edit | hide]


Films -- Animation[edit | hide]

  • In Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, the eponymous monster leaves a Were-Rabbit-shaped hole in the church window during its first rampage. What's odd is that this outline doesn't match the silhouette of the Were-Rabbit when we finally see it.
  • The film Ice Age does this thrice with a wall of ice, first with Sid the sloth going through and leaving his outline, then Diego the saber-tooth tiger, then Manfred the mammoth, resulting in a progressively bigger hole each time.
  • In Monsters vs. Aliens, after Ginormica gets captured by Gallaxhar, she escapes and chases him through Gallaxhar's spaceship. He tries shutting a series of doors on her, but she easily busts through each one, leaving a series of holes shaped vaguely like herself.
  • Near the end of Kung Fu Panda, Tai Lung leaves a perfectly Tai Lung-shaped hole in the ground after being belly-slammed straight up in the air by Po.
  • In The Iron Giant, Hogarth explores the woods behind his house and is shocked to find that the trees have been parted in the rough shape of a giant robot.
  • Disney's Alice in Wonderland. When the Walrus is running to escape the enraged Carpenter inside their shack, he runs right through the swinging door, leaving a Walrus-shaped hole.
  • In the Shrek Halloween Special Scared Shrekless, after Shrek's story Pinocchio snaps and runs through the door of the castle, leaving his outline behind.
  • In Return to Neverland, when Jane fails to fly she falls right into the ground, leaving a Jane-shaped hole.
  • In Cars, Lightning McQueen leaves a himself-shaped hole in the smoke when he leaps over the wreckage in the first race.
  • Happens in Puss in Boots, when he crashes into a crate after swinging from a building.


Films -- Live-Action[edit | hide]

  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Roger smashes through the window of his boss's office, leaving a Roger-shaped hole in the blinds and the glass behind them.
  • Chevy Chase does this at the end of Nothing but Trouble when the villains reveal on TV they know exactly where he lives.
  • Live-action parody: in Gremlins 2, one of the Gremlins imbibes a potion which gives it bat wings, and another to protect it from the sun, then flies through a wall, leaving a hole in the shape of the Batman logo.
  • In Batman and Robin, Robin crashes his motorcycle through a museum door, leaving a hole in the shape of the Robin logo.
  • In the Bruce Lee film Fists of Fury/The Big Boss, Bruce's character at one point punches a Mook through a wall, leaving a man-shaped outline. Bruce Lee fought against this decision but was ignored by the director.
  • Also done in live-action in George of the Jungle. Subverted in that the main character only dents the trees he crashes into. The trope is invoked in a scene where George intentionally swings towards a particularly large tree. He doesn't go through the wood, but the impact displaces the bark on the other side—in a perfect human shape.
  • The "Buddha's Palm" technique seen in Kung Fu Hustle slams an opponent into the ground and leaves a massive hand-shaped crater.
  • In Bad Taste, Derek (played by director Peter Jackson) cuts a self-shaped hole in the wall with a chainsaw.
  • It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963): Jonathan Winters is in a berserk rage in Ray and Irwin's Garage and bursts through a wall, leaving a perfect Winters-shape hole in it.
  • Happens in Leprechaun when Lep fails to hold on his Outside Ride and crashes through a fence.
  • Bond nearly does this towards the beginning of Casino Royale, though he just smashes messily through drywall, rather than leaving a nice, neat hole.
  • Toward the end of Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, the villain Pyradonis is Megaton Punched by Edifis and crashes through a series of walls, leaving various funny man-shaped holes in them. Then he ends up half-imbedded in the last, in the posture of an Egyptian mural.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Professor Snape leaves a "Snape-shaped hole" in a window upon departure (though it was probably an exaggeration of the narrative, for comedic effect). Drawn here.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's novel, Sixth Column, revolutionaries use their Applied Phlebotinum to spook the occupying army by carving precisely man-shaped holes in the walls of the prison cells they escape from.
  • Tom Holt once lampshaded this, by stating that a robot "left a robot-shaped hole, like in a cartoon".
  • In the Discworld book Reaper Man, the zombified Windle Poons does this twice, first by walking through the outer wall of Unseen University, then again after walking through the wall of the UU library when the Librarian refused to let him in.
  • In Gust Front, Lt Rogers is said to leave a "vaguely human-shaped hole" in a building he deliberately ran straight through, at the battle in Washington, DC, when stopping to turn would have put the troops he was leading at a tactical disadvantage. As part of an ACS unit, the building was the clear loser of the event.
  • In Animorphs book #25, The Extreme, the Animorphs (as Polar Bears) are being chased by Venber at the Arctic Yeerk base. Marco stops quickly and a Venber misses him, slamming through a steel door and making a vague Venber-shaped hole in it. Marco even calls it a "Bugs-Bunny-runs-through-the-door kind of hole."


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

Monica: What would you have done if I had said yes?
Chandler: Well, I would've been happy, because I would've been able to spend the rest of my life with the woman that I love. Or, you would've seen a Chandler-shaped hole in that door.

Leo: You know, it was a screw up, but I got to say I love the way he did it -- full speed, bam. Like there's a Sam Seaborn-shaped hole in the wall.

  • In Doctor Who, there actually is a Christmas-Tree-shaped hole in the wall after the Christmas Tree attacks in "The Christmas Invasion". Possibly justified in that the "tree" is actually a spinning metal grinder disguised as a tree.
  • Referenced in an episode of The Daily Show, in a segment dealing with the ahead of schedule establishment of the new Iraqi government. "The first official act of the new government was fixing the [Paul] Bremer-shaped hole in the wall."
  • Despite the realistic nature of the show (and the rest of the episode's failure to leave anything except a realistic hole), when Warehouse 13's Claudia crashes into a copy of the B&B within the warehouse, Pete mentions that he sees a "Claudia-shaped" hole in the roof.
  • Averted in Castiel and Uriel's fight. While it starts with Cas punching Uriel through a wall, the hole he makes is roughly circular, not Uriel-shaped.


Music Videos[edit | hide]

I hollered, "Rev, that kitchen ain't got no door in it!"
He said, "Don't worry son, it will have in a minute!"


Puppet Shows[edit | hide]

  • In the episode of The Muppet Show featuring Rudolf Nureyev, Miss Piggy tries to seduce the guest star in a sauna. He gets away from her while leaving a Nureyev-shaped hole in the wall.
  • In an episode of Sesame Street, after Cookie Monster has a nightmare about cookies, Ernie shows him a plate of cookies. When he sees the plate he runs screaming out of the bedroom, leaving his outline in the door.
  • In The Muppets, Walter is asked to perform alongside the Muppets at the big fund-raising telethon. However, he has an attack of stage fright right before he's due to go on and runs through a brick wall, leaving his outline in it.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • One of the sample powers in the HERO system sourcebook, designed for super-strong characters, is essentially the ability to do this by smashing into the wall and crashing through. It's based off of the tunnelling power intended to let you dig through soil at superspeed—except it only works on walls.
  • Paranoia adventure Vapors Don't Shoot Back. During the adventure the PCs will attack an old ship. One picture shows a clone-shaped hole in the ship after a PC on a jet ski has run through it.


Theme Parks[edit | hide]


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Tales of Symphonia begins in a classroom with an unusual feature—a silhouette-shaped hole in the front wall. If Lloyd immediately walks over to examine it, he scratches his head and offers nothing in the way of useful speculation; after his conversation with Genis and Colette, he can go examine the hole again, and Colette will admit that she tripped and fell through the wall. This is later turned into a Running Gag when she somehow manages the same feat on a brick wall.
  • At the end of Banjo-Kazooie when Guntilda falls off her tower, she leaves a precisely witch-shaped hole in the ground (hat included, of course) before a boulder falls on her. Oddly enough, the boulder leaves no imprint whatsoever. If you look at the hole in the sequel, Banjo Tooie, its still precisely Grunty-shaped.
  • Happens to the billboard at the end of the intro videos of Rock Band 1 and 2.
  • Partly the premise for the Japanese Wiiware game, Muscle Koushinkyoku ("Muscle March"), involving body-builders chasing some guy who stole their protein shake mix and having to match the body position of the person in the lead.
  • In Pilotwings for the SNES, if you go skydiving but never open your parachute, when your character hits the ground it leaves a person-shaped crater. Your instructor will reprimand you for not taking the test seriously.
  • Day of the Tentacle invokes this during Bernard's covert rescue of Doctor Fred. Observing the "Bernard-shaped hole" later causes Bernard to express vocal embarrassment.
  • The Monty Moles from Super Mario World create mole-shaped holes when they jump out of the ground and walls (however, Yoshi can actually eat them while they're still digging).
  • Not quite a hole, but early in Suikoden 2 the hero gets crashed into a nearby stone wall by his sister, which leaves an imprint of the hero on said wall.
  • In Dissidia 012 [duodecim]: Final Fantasy , Gilgamesh leaves a hole when he breaks though the screen at the beginning of his EX Burst.
  • In one of the death scenes of Space Ace, Ace and Kimberly accidentally crash through a wall and leave their outlines behind.
  • In Um Jammer Lammy, she got blasted out of her house, and lands on jungle insland, leaving a Lammy-shaped Hole in the ground.
  • Under A Killing Moon features a live-action variant. When you scare Mick Flemm in the warehouse, he bolts and jumps through the wall, leaving a man-shaped hole.
  • Appears in Shining Force II during an early cutscene where Jaha is knocked through the wall of the ship.
  • Some of the doors in The Legend of Zelda - Link's Awakening have a man-shaped enterance, and when entered, flip around, preventing you from entering in the other way.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • "The Cracked.com Open Bar: An Incomplete Recollection" has noted the reaction of a Cracked employee to hearing the words "Open Bar" involved leaving "a man-shaped hole in the wall."
  • Referenced in The Nostalgia Critic's Top 11 Drug PSA's, when the critic mentions what he thought would happen after a PSA where a woman dives into an empty swimming pool.

"I don't think her hair would weigh so much that it would leave an indent, but you get the idea."


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Seen in various Looney Tunes shorts.
    • Acme Products' battleship armor plates are the hardest thing in the world—except to Roadrunners....
    • And sometimes subverted as well, as one Bugs vs. Fudd cartoon set in winter has Bugs and Fudd efficiently displacing snow as they dash repeatedly through a snowbank... up until Fudd slams into an ice wall that Bugs was painting a fake displacement hole onto. In that very same scene, before Elmer hits the ice wall, one of the silhouettes of Bugs is not of Bugs, but of a sexy female figure. Elmer takes the time to appreciate the shape before continuing the chase.
    • On two separate occasions, Bugs has used a glass cutter to cut a him-shaped hole in a glass to escape it. Oddly enough, both instances involved Giants.
    • Bugs Bunny shorts.
      • In Hair Raising Hare, Bugs scares a monster, who screams and runs through a series of walls.
      • In Bully for Bugs, a bull runs through a matador's cape, leaving a bull-shaped hole.
      • In Homeless Hare, a construction foreman falls through the floors of the building he's working on. One of the holes he leaves is knelt in prayer.
  • This now happens to Homer Simpson in the opening titles of The Simpsons (he's run over by Marge's car in the driveway and thrown through a wall).
  • In one episode of Garfield and Friends, Garfield finds Odie after searching a haunted house for him, and asks if he wants to play a game called "instant door". You guessed it—they charge through a wall, leaving their outlines behind.
  • In one episode of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Rainbow Dash does this to a tree, with her EYEBALLS.
  • In one episode of Transformers Animated, Blitzwing and Lugnut crash to Earth in the middle of a military aircraft field. Blitzwing's falling velocity is apparently so great, he leaves an impression shaped like himself—wings, gun turrets, and all—in the field's concrete runway upon crashing. This may be reasonable, in that he and Lugnut, like all Cybertronians, are constructed of alien metals and heavily armored, to boot, though Lugnut leaves no such impression where he lands.
    • Similarly, Bulkhead leaves a Bulkhead-shaped hole in the wall when Sari tells him she book an art exhibit for him. Of course, Bulkhead isn't that oblong a shape.
  • Junkman from the CGI short The Incredible Crash Dummies:

(the Torso 9000 has gone missing)
Ted: But I need my body! Its got my arms and legs on it!
Slick: We'll find it.
Spin: Yeah, it didn't get up and walk away.
Dr Zub: As a matter of fact, Spin, that's precisely what happened. (shows door with Junkman-shaped hole in it)

  • In Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the front door is shaped like Master Shake (clearly a remodel based on the condition of the walls around the frame). Probably because he's an egotistic jackass who had their door replaced (at someone else's expense) to suit his oddly shaped physique.
  • In Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic and Tails do this to the sail of a pirate ship upon landing from a time-traveling attempt. Not long after, the force of a nearby cannonball impact launches Robotnik through the same sail, creating his own imprint next to those of the protagonists. And a little while later, a robot pirate is knocked off a mast and leaves a body-shaped hole in the deck (though when he bursts back up through to grab Tails, he makes a starburst-shaped hole instead).
  • Happens in Teen Titans with Kid Flash. While being chased by Madame Rouge, Kid Flash spins rapidly in a circle and digs through a building to escape. Each wall has a Kid Flash-shaped hole in it. Note that since he's spinning, he should have left a round hole, like a drill-bit, but that wouldn't be as funny.
  • In Duckman, Duckman and Cornfed see a ghost, and exit leaving them-shaped holes in the wall (while the ghost turns out to actually be Homer Simpson in a sheet, to steal their donuts).
  • An episode of Chowder has a monster created from a dish throw Shnitzel into the ground leaving a Shnitzel-shaped hole. Later on when he quits, Shnitzel literally walks through the door without opening it leaving another hole.
  • Total Drama Island
    • When DJ freaks out after seeing Heather wearing a facial and shaving her legs, he proceeds to run a hole through the door screaming his head off.
    • In "Rock N Rule", when Duncan finishes his rampage, Courtney crashed through the door, and after she threw a drawer at Duncan and missed, we see the whole Courtney-shaped hole in the door.
  • In one episode of Brandy and Mr. Whiskers, the rabbit tries the powerful fan to see if it works, and then the powerful fan blows Brandy away offscreen, leaving a Brandy-shaped hole in the wall.
  • Scooby Doo
    • An extreme (blundered) version of this occurs when Shaggy's attempt at escaping from the Monster of the Week has actually broken the laws of physics and left a floating piece of wood in the Shaggy-shaped hole in the wall.
    • In the Scooby Doo Where Are You? episode "Spooky Space Kook", Shaggy and Scooby leave standard holes when they run through a door.
  • Parodied in an episode of Earthworm Jim, followed by a Public Service Announcement regarding the dangers of running into a wall trying to make a hole.
  • Used on Jimmy Two-Shoes, with a twist. After it's over, Jimmy gets out of the Beezy shaped hole, and vice-versa.
  • In an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, Elmyra Duff crashes through the wall, leaving an Elmyra-shaped hole.
  • In Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy, the Kanker sisters run through a closet door, leaving Kanker-shaped holes—and then we zoom out to reveal an Ed-shaped one as well.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • In "Leave the Busting to Us", when the kids are testing the water slide Phineas and Ferb built, at one point the raft flies through a waterfall, leaving a Phineas, Ferb, and Isabella-shaped hole.
    • Another episode had Doofenshmirtz use a trap for Perry inspired by him leaving these, with a few being shown, including one in the wall, one in his bathroom door, and one in his refrigerator door (complete with banana in hand).
  • Parodied in an episode of Bobby's World where Bobby, in an Imagine Spot parody of Die Hard, shoots a gun that cuts an outline of himself in the window.
  • One episode of MAD features Hannah Montana; when she tries to get rid of Justin Bieber, she pushes a heavy sack to him but it comes back to hit her, and she crashes through the wall, leaving her outline.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door, "Operation: B.E.A.C.H.", Numbuh Four goes through the wall of the castle during the fight against King Sandy and leaves his outline. It is a sandcastle, though, making it a little more likely than usual.
  • Kid vs. Kat plays with this in the episode "Blasteroid Blues". Coop's jetpack goes out of control and he ends up crashing through the ceiling of a mall, leaving a hole shaped like his body, then when he starts plummeting back down after his parachute fails he notices the hole from before and hopes that he can fall through it instead of hitting the rest of the ceiling. He doesn't.
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Spike's exit from the library in "Secret of My Excess" leaves a distinct draconic silhouette punched through the wall.
    • In "Baby Cakes", a broken water pipe blasts Pinkie through a door, leaving a hole shaped exactly like herself.
  • In Totally Spies episode Ski Trip, when Alex's skiboard would'nt slow down, then ran through the tree, then she holds the branch, when the branch broke, she falls into the snow leaving her silhouette.
  • In Dan Vs.. Chris and Elise decide to buy a painting to cover their noodle incident Dan-shaped hole in their living room wall since they have grown tired of looking at it.
  • The Mr. Bogus episode "Bogus Private Eye" had a gag where Bogus, while wearing a ballerina tutu and leotard, attempts to stop a pair of Wicked Weasel mobsters from robbing the house, just as they were conveniently standing next to a blow dryer. One of the weasels turns on the blow dryer, sending Bogus flying through the wall, leaving behind a Bogus-shaped hole in the wall.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • In an example of Reality Is Unrealistic, a common objection by 9/11 conspiracy theorists is the complete and total failure of the 757 which crashed into the Pentagon, to make a 757-shaped "hole" in the reinforced, feet-thick fortress wall, complete with wings. Ironically, if you factor out the wings (which, being lightweight and hollow, simply disintegrated on impact), it actually did leave a 757-shaped hole. It also helps that the plane had hit the ground first and had a reduced speed upon impact. The commonly-cited Popular Mechanics rebuttal of this theory specifically mentions, hilariously, that a jumbo jet does not leave "a cartoonish hole" shaped exactly like an airplane.
    • Not helping the issue was the fact that the entrance holes in the World Trade Center buildings did look like a planes with wings, unlike the Pentagon's smaller conical hole (this was because the Pentagon's walls are heavily reinforced with numerous interior pillars, unlike the WTC's glass and concrete outer shell).
  • Check out this photo from The Other Wiki of the USS Hinsdale after taking a hit from a Kamikaze pilot.