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A Portable Hole is an object that creates a "hole" through whatever solid surface it is placed against, enabling a character to reach through the surface in question to its interior or opposite side. It may be removed by peeling it edge-first off the surface, and from either side; when not in use, a portable hole resembles a round disc of fabric- or rubber-like material that can be handled, folded, or stored like any solid object.

Portable Holes occur primarily in animation, and are usually Played for Laughs. Expect some degree of Hammerspace or alternate dimensions if the writer attempts to seriously explain how they work; other times, they are simply powered by the Rule of Funny.

Portable Holes are functionally distinct from teleportation portals, but the two occasionally overlap, since teleportation portals are "holes" of a sort themselves (and Our Wormholes Are Different). They are also related to Bags of Holding and generally interact badly with them.

Tropes used in Portable Hole include:


Anime and Manga

  • Blueno from One Piece has eaten a devil fruit that (among other things) allows him to do this.
  • Doraemon has a hula-hoop-like device which creates a hole when attached to a solid wall and also an exit hole on the other side.

Comics

  • In the Spider-Man universe, "The Spot" had power over interdimensional portals, which he could place and remove as if they were solid objects.
  • U.S. Acres: Booker once ripped from the ground a hole through which a worm had just escaped him and then threw it away. The worm then pleaded with Booker to be let out of there.
  • In the British comic Whoopee! the strip "'Orrible 'Ole" featured a sentient portable hole. Despite the name, he was actually quite a nice guy.

Film

  • Yellow Submarine has the Sea of Holes, one of which gets peeled off like this and ends up in Ringo's pocket. The hole shows up in the live-action segment at the end where the real-life Ringo Star says he's kept it as a souvenir.
    • Was also a case of Getting Crap Past the Radar when he said "I've got a hole in my pocket." This refers to a situation where a man can access himself via said hole.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit? featured Portable Holes as an Acme Products. During the film's climax, Eddie became pinned against a steel drum by a cartoon magnet while fighting the Big Bad; he freed himself by wrapping a Portable Hole completely around the magnet, causing the magnet to break in half.
    • Roger Rabbit's Car-Toon Spin gets a special mention for containing a real Portable Hole (of sorts.) It's a section of moving wall with a hole in it. An animatronic Roger holds onto it and drags it back and forth as you drive through it. Still cool trickery, though.
  • "They Live" (1988) features a scene where the hero uses a device that creates a hole, so he can fall through the floor.

Literature

  • Used by Jarlaxle in this adventures with Artemis Entreri in the Forgotten Realms books. Oddly enough, it works more like the traditional cartoon portable hole rather than like the Dungeons and Dragons magic item.
  • Eddie Drood from the Secret Histories books has a portable door as one of his gadgets. Basically the same thing.

Tabletop Games

  • Dungeons and Dragons specifies a magic item called the Portable Hole, which functions similarly to the Bag of Holding but must be placed against a flat surface to work. It also details exactly what happens if the two items interact with each other:
If a bag of holding is placed within a portable hole, a rift to the Astral Plane is torn in that place; both the bag and the cloth are sucked into the void and forever lost. If a portable hole is placed within a bag of holding, it opens a gate to the Astral Plane; the hole, the bag, and any creatures within a 10-foot radius are drawn there, the portable hole and bag of holding being destroyed in the process.
    • The portable hole returns in 4th edition, although this version is not used for storage but can still be used to make holes. It is unclear if this hole is permanent or temporary.

Video Games

  • One of the Blob's powers in the NES and Wii versions of A Boy and His Blob.
  • MMORPG Toontown Online uses "portable holes" as a teleportation item.
  • In World of Warcraft, the Portable Hole is a bag with 24 slots, making it one of the largest general purpose bags. It's also the most expensive, at 3000 gold pieces.
  • The X Box vehicular combat game Cel Damage had portable holes as a weapon.
  • King's Quest VI features a living portable hole. The Hole-In-The-Wall is a creature that crawls along the wall, and its body creates a hole underneath wherever it is.
  • Multi Dimensional Thief, a text adventure, has a portable hole allowing you to pass through many walls, as well as the ceiling and floor. However, it's incompatible with a few surfaces...
  • The game credits of WarioWare: Smooth Moves.
  • In Fantasy World Dizzy it is possible to pick up a "large round hole". It's not useful; as soon as you pick it up and store it in your bag, everything falls out through it. (Including the hole.)

Web Original

  • The Black Hole.
  • The Void, a supervillain in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe can create these as part of his power to control time and space.
  • Plot Holes are used for much this same purpose in the PPC, and stabilized ones form the basis of much of the PPC's technology. For one thing, it's how they get to other continua in the first place.

Western Animation

  • Looney Tunes: The Trope Codifier.
    • A 1955 episode called "The Hole Idea" featured them as the invention of a scientist, later stolen by a thief to commit crimes with. In the end, the scientist tried to use one of those holes to rid himself of his wife but the Devil brought her back because even he couldn't stand her.
    • A later episode involved Bugs Bunny causing a disaster at a Portable Hole factory, ending with "liquefied" portable-hole swallowing up everything. Fortunately, Bugs happened to have a spare Universe on his person just in case such such a thing would happen.
    • Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote occasionally played with this trope as well. The most common of these is the classic Painted Tunnel, though fake scenes on canvas are also common. True to the Running Gag of the cartoons, the Road Runner always subverts the gag (usually by turning the painting into a portable hole) while Wile E. suffers its full effects (and sometimes more as trucks or trains have been known to come out of painted tunnels to hit him).
  • An episode of Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy plays with this, along with several other tropes in the episode "1 + 1 equals Ed". At one point in the episode, Eddy falls into a hole, only to fall out of the sky from off-screen and back into the hole in an endless loop until Ed picks up the hole, leaving Eddy to crash into the now solid ground.
    • It should be noted that the "hole" was actually a piece of the fabric of reality, which Ed previously sliced out of thin air, with a saw. Yeah, it was a weird episode.
      • Subverted after everything goes back to normal. Eddy falls down a manhole, so Ed tries to pick it up and pulls a whole sewer pipe out of the ground.
  • Felix the Cat has one of these in his "bag of tricks". Possibly the Ur example.
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh had one episode where Gophur spent the whole day looking for the hole that serves as the entrance of his home.
  • The Spot, mentioned in the comics section of the trope, appeared in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
  • Tiny Toons had an episode where Montana Max had a donut hole factory. The factory was harmful to the environment until the Toxic Avenger (one of Plucky Duck's alter egos) shut it down. Fortunately The Hero was as Crazy Prepared as Bugs Bunny (see above).
  • An episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes had Heloise attempting to rescue Jimmy from Beezy by way of Catapult to Glory. Beezy responds be moving the window, causing Heloise to crash into the brick.
  • One Pink Panther short had the Panther create an underground staircase at a construction site after a door accidentally fell on top of him. When he pushes the door back up, it hits a construction worker, causing him to fall into the stairway, at which the Panther moves it onto the wall of an unfinished building.
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