Rubber Face

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Haruhi shows how it's done.

A common form of punishment in animated shows that involves stretching a character's face on either side. Generally done to imitate a smile (usually to the Comically Serious member of the cast for maximum humiliation) done out of frustration by one character towards another, or as a form of restraint. Optional "Gwwwommm" sound effect, and while not always done to the Rubber Man, the general idea is the same. In the Western comics the Unsound Effect tend to be "Nyak!" or similar.

Examples of Rubber Face include:

Anime and Manga

  • In the FAKE OVA, Ryo stops a horny Dee and stretches his face out, making what one fan dubbed the "Gumby Face."
  • The Mokonas in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and ×××HOLiC can be stretched out like this, usually with the sound effect.
    • Fai once tried to make Kurogane look less grumpy by doing this to him. It didn't work.
  • One of the lighter moments of Gunslinger Girl has Giuseppe grab Henrietta's cheek and stretch it out because "I felt like it", though it's actually because she reminds him of his Dead Little Sister, who he used to do the same thing to.
  • Yomi does this to Jerkass Tomo at one point in Azumanga Daioh.
    • Yukari and Nyamo also do this to each other.
  • In Princess Tutu, Lilie stretches Ahiru's face this way several times.
  • Similarly, in the Read or Die manga, Nenene does this a few times to Yomiko when frustrated.
    • Nancy does this playfully to Yomiko in the OVA, as well.
    • And in the anime, Yomiko tried to do it to Anita to ease her nervousness. Anita was not amused.
  • Sha Gojyo and Son Goku do this constantly throughout the different anime series in Saiyuki.
  • One of the more memorable scenes in Pokémon has a certain electric mon fall victim to this. This troper wonders why the stretcher didn't get shocked.
  • Happens many, many times in Mahou Sensei Negima. Usually Asuna to Negi, or Kotaro and Ayaka to each other.
    • We should also bring up the time when Chachamaru uses this to cancel Negi's spellcasting.
  • As Monkey D. Luffy of One Piece actually is a Rubber Man, it's no surprise that this happens to him a lot. This is actually how he demonstrates it most of the time, including the first time it comes up.

Nami: "Rubber man"?
Luffy: (pulls his cheek out about a foot) Yeah, see?

  • Haruhi of Suzumiya Haruhi does this to punish Mikuru for not following her nonsensical baseball signals in "The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya".
  • Done by Alisa on Nanoha when she gets annoyed at the lead character's Desperately Looking for a Purpose In Life monologue during the first episode of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha.
    • In StrikerS, Teana does this to Subaru.
  • In the anime version of Chrono Crusade, Shader does this to Chrono in a flashback. The scene does a good job setting up her Perky Female Minion personality.
  • In Candy Boy, Kanade does this to Yukino rather often.
  • In K-On! Mio and Ritsu do this to each other after Yui announces she wants to join the Light Music Club after all.
    • Mio does it again as punishment to Ritsu after the latter forgot to turn in their club application in episode 5 of season 1.
  • After exchanging hats at the end of the Cupid's Day festival in one of the rare lighthearted and tender moments of Code Geass, Shirley combines this with an Almost Kiss on an unsuspecting Lelouch.
  • Ranma 1/2: Ranma often does this to Ryoga out of fits of jealousy when he sees Ryoga and Akane together in what appears to be a romantic moment between the two of them.
  • Junpei and Celsia do this to one another quite frequently in the more slapstick scenes of Those Who Hunt Elves.


  • Twice in UHF.
    • George Newman's aunt pulls on his cheek until it's nowhere near the rest of his face to get him to smile for her friends.
    • George sticks his fingers in his friend Bob's mouth in order to yank it into a smile.

Video Games

  • The title screen to Super Mario 64 lets you stretch out various aspects of Mario's face and hold them in place for hilarious results. Perhaps as a nod to this, one minigame in Mario Party involves doing this to another character's face and trying to match it as closely as possible to a given image.
  • The Touhou fan movie that depicts the meeting of Yukari and Yuyuko has Chen doing this on Yukari in an attempt to cheer her up.
  • An secret anime segment in Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories shows Flonne doing this to Laharl.
  • In Grandia II, Ryudo does this to Elena shortly before the dungeon containing Valmar's Tongue.
  • In the Ace Attorney games quite a few shocked expressions and meltdowns include this, a slight variation as they are self inflicted.
  • In Madou Shouhei Kleinhasa, Lulun does this to Roze in one scene.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • One of The Simpsons Halloween specials had Ned take over the world and put everyone in smile machines that mechanically did this via hooks. Slight Nightmare Fuel, actually, especially if you'd ever been to an orthodontist.
    • "Now remember everyone, BIIIIIIIG Smiles!"
  • Done on Osmosis Jones by the title character to Da Chief.

Real Life

  • A very old (and very disturbing) Japanese shunga painting shows a man stretching his face out vertically one way and horizontally another.