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File:Hyperventilate-273x300 2185.jpg

Often in TV, a character who is panicking will be shown inhaling and exhaling into a paper bag to calm down. In milder examples, it can be used to cure hiccups. Actually Truth in Television, as breathing into a paper bag is a good way to reduce the symptoms of hyperventilation[1], according to The Other Wiki. However, one should never use a plastic bag for this, because suffocation will ensue.

Examples of Hyperventilation Bag include:

Anime and Manga

  • In the manga adaptation of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinji has a panic attack and Kaworu, not being able to find a paper bag, kisses him.

Live Action TV

  • Happens in one episode of Perfect Strangers.
  • Josie Gibson, a contestant on Big Brother, did this once.
  • Rachel is show breathing into a paper bag during the Friends pilot.
    • Also happens to Janice in another episode.
  • In one of the many flashbacks on Lost, Hurley is seen breathing into a Mr. Clucks bag in a parking lot.
  • On one episode of Diff'rent Strokes, Adelaide the housekeeper uses a paper bag to ward off an epileptic seizure.


  • Runt of the Litter from Chicken Little. He hyperventilates so hard he accidentally swallows the bag, then is seen breathing on two bags at once.
  • Referenced in Monsters vs. Aliens when Ginormica first sees the giant robot they have to fight.

 Ginormica: I can't fight that thing! I've never... I'm hyperventilating! Does anybody have a giant paper bag?

Western Animation


  1. Hyperventilating causes you to lose carbondioxide too quickly, causing dizziness and fainting. The bag helps you retain it.
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