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Traumafessions :: Reader Bigwig on Forced Feeding Cartoon Nightmares

February 15th, 2011 by aunt john · 19 Comments

We loved cartoons, but nothing manic like today….the old Merry Melodies, TerryToons and the like were our main staple.

These cartoons would commonly borrow themes from each other, sticking different characters in roughly the same situation.

One moralistic theme was redone again and again, with early Porky Pig, and I think Andy Panda, and even with Gumby….that of the little kid glutton.

In this theme, a pig (or panda, or green slab of clay) is shown eating far more than he should during the day, obsessing over food, and gets reprimanded by adults, to no avail. He doesn’t learn.

Later they have a nightmare, where they are abducted, and force-fed in horrible ways by someone, until in the end, they are a distended, obese monstrosity. They wake up and either recognize the error in their ways, or not.

Similarly, there was a rash of cartoons which dealt with kid smoking in the same light, along with the nightmare of forced over-indulgence, but the worst thing that would happen was the kiddie victim would turn green and sick. In these food cartoons though, the objectifying of the piggy as something that can be “stuffed”, rather than as a little kid (I know…pig), always had me feeling ill, and would come to haunt my dreams. They were helpless and physically being modified against their wills, to the amusement of someone else. I think the fact that someone derived pleasure from “fattening” someone up to incredible levels felt so unbelievably wrong in our minds that I couldn’t shake it.

I remember one paraphrased line, where the pig is strapped in a chair and fed tons and tons of food as part of an assembly line by a mad scientist. The scientist laughs and says, “Had enough?,” to which the pig, stutters, y-y-yes, sir”….and instead of it ending, he cranks the machine on high, laughs, and says something along the lines, of “We’re just getting STARTED! Ha Ha HA….”


Needless to say, neither my sister nor I were ever heavy.

We were watching SLITHER the other night, and the ridiculously bloated girl in the barn, filled with the parasites to the point where she was unrecognizable really got to me, and made me turn the clock back to this.

Another similar ill feeling came as Pink Floyd’s THE WALL kids marched into the meat grinder.

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Tags: Traumafessions

19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 lottie_of_millhavenNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Wow, I’d forgotten how much those cartoons got to me too!

    On another note, you should orobably avoid the movies Seven and (from what I’ve heard) Feed.

  • 2 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 10:11 am


    Thanks for this interesting traumafession!

    If the cartoon we used to illustrate your post is the same as the one you saw way back when, it’s called “Pigs is Pigs” (1937)

    I found a wikipedia page on it….


    near the bottom of the page they list other characters who experienced this scenario including many of the ones you mentioned!

    BTW “PIgs is pigs” actually stars “Piggy Hamhock” rather than the more famous Porky!

  • 3 lottie_of_millhavenNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 10:12 am

    …and by orobably, I meant probably…

  • 4 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Lottie of Millhaven,

    Another force-feeding horror takes place in Nightmare on Elm street : The Dream child!

  • 5 lottie_of_millhavenNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Wow, yea, don’t know how I forgot about that one. Pretty much anything John Skipp and Craig Spector touch is guarenteed to mess with your head!

  • 6 mamamiasweetpeachesNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 10:45 am

    The one I best remember was a big bulldog always stealing a cats food and after he eats it he always angrily asks “What? No GRAVY?” and punches the cat.

    At the end of the cartoon the cat and another animal (a mouse?) have the dog strapped down CLOCKWORK ORANGE-style and he says “THIS time we DIDNT forget the GRAVY!” and he’s got a huge ass jug of gravy. Of course the dog whimpers and begs “No no no” but in goes the funnel and in goes the gravcy and then the cartoon ends before we get to see the dog explode like that guy in MONTY PYTHONS MEANING OF LIFE!

    Those bastards who made SEVEN and SAW can pat themselves on the back all they want: I KNOW they saw this cartoon!

  • 7 Joanna BoeseNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I think there was a more toned down situation in “Matilda”, where her schoolmate Bruce is caught stealing the principal’s slice of cake, so she makes every child at school stay to watch him eat an entire cake for punishment. However, what gets him to eat the entire thing is Matilda leading the other children to cheer him on…but it leads the awful principal to make them copy the dictionary.

    Also, that was parodied on “The Simpsons” where Homer’s in hell and made to eat donuts…but doesn’t want to stop.


    “I don’t get it…James Coco went mad in fifteen minutes!”

  • 8 KirstyNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I wonder if Wes Craven, or any of the other people who were making it, have this in their subconscious when making Nightmare on Elm St. movies.

  • 9 bdwilcoxNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    mamamia, that is one of my favorite cartoons and I came here just to post about it. It’s called “Chow Hound” and I quote that line all the time (as if people didn’t think I was crazy enough)

  • 10 bdwilcoxNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    ‘Chow Hound’ for your viewing pleasure:

  • 11 FatherOfTearsNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlK62rjQWLk Oh, as a child the family went to some Disney ice show in Madison Square Garden and one segment had the Winnie The Poo cast on the ice. At one point Winnie over eats honey and we then see him sit down and clutch his stomach in pain. He is bathed in a green spotlight when this goes on. That’s the ONLY memory I have of this show!!!

  • 12 scarlettbeesNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    My favorite force-feed sequence (besides that Simpsons episode) was in Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times” (1936). I have no doubt cartoons borrowed from this, as Charlie is used as a guinea pig to test a new “feeding machine” wherein he is strapped to a chair and food is fed to him, one course at a time. The machine soon goes berzerk and the food is being rammed into his face. As disturbing as it sounds, it was actually a really funny scene.

  • 13 Will NepperNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    “Another similar ill feeling came as Pink Floyd’s THE WALL kids marched into the meat grinder.”

    Um…YES. I’ve been haunted by the same scene my entire LIFE and until now never heard anyone mention it. I mean- it really screwed with my head for years. It’s the reason I don’t like Pink Floyd. The only thing that ever came close was Annie Ross being “robotized” near the end of Superman III.

  • 14 jeffreygmmNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    don’t forget dana hill!

  • 15 AsatNo Gravatar // Feb 16, 2011 at 3:55 am

    I love that Piggy doesn’t learn any ham-handed lesson in the end. He likes to eat, he has a nice dream about eating, he wakes and embarks on another joyful day of eating. Kid knows what he likes.

    I feel a little sorry for the lemon-colored sadist. He seems to have gotten the short end of the stick.

  • 16 mamamiasweetpeachesNo Gravatar // Feb 16, 2011 at 9:25 am

    That MATHILDA scene reminds of the pie-eating scene in STAND BY ME…although those people werent technically FORCED to over-eat! But, yeah, thats pretty gross. Sometimes when that scene comes on I make upe xcuses to get a drink of water or go to the bathroom. STAND BY ME was a little too classy for that scene in my opinion.

    And, yes, I say “THIS time we DIDNT forget the GRAVY” all the time too. And only ONE person (my best friend) knows what the Hell Im talking about!

  • 17 bluegrasslassNo Gravatar // Feb 18, 2011 at 6:55 am

    In the graphic comic of ‘Se7en’ you get to see John Doe forcing the fat guy to eat himself to death for the “Gluttony’ murder 🙂

  • 18 aunt johnNo Gravatar // Feb 19, 2011 at 8:28 am

    @jeffreygmm: The Dana Hill candle burned out long before her legend ever did… long live Audrey!

  • 19 onlychild1213No Gravatar // Jul 28, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Ugh. The two still shots and the description are enough to creep me out. Classic cartoons = sadism and suffering! I think I may have first realized this when a Woody Woodpecker cartoon ended with the closing red curtain falling on Woody’s neck like a guillotine, and him saying something like “It HURTS!” and then falling silent, but then it’s like he was just faking you out and playing dead. If I’m making that up, I’m worried about myself. If not, I would prefer that no one find it and show it to me 🙂

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