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In various works of fiction, such as cartoons and Dungeons & Dragons, a portable hole is a device that can be used to contravene the laws of physics. It generally resembles a circular cloth which is placed on a surface to create a hole. If placed on a wall, for example, the user could crawl through the hole and come out on the other side of the surface. In another instance, if the hole were to be placed on the ground, the user might be able to insert objects into it or allow others to fall in, as if he or she had dug a hole. The exact method in which the device works, including the depth (or length) of the hole, is largely dependent on the work of fiction.
- Portable holes are sometimes created and used in Looney Tunes cartoons, including such variations as foldable doorways. One entire cartoon ("The Hole Idea", animated and directed by Robert McKimson and released in 1955) depicts the invention of the portable hole by one Calvin Q. Calculus and is apparently the portable hole's first appearance on screen. One Road Runner cartoon involved the use of "liquid hole", a black tar-like substance that came in a bottle. When poured on a surface, it dried into a portable hole with the consistency of a circle of cloth. A similar product, "instant hole", appeared in The Ant and the Aardvark, in the short "Hasty but Tasty". On an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, Montana Max runs a factory that creates "donut holes", q.e. portable holes, which he and Plucky Duck (as "the Toxic Revenger") use in a battle until spillage of "the donut hole formula" creates a hole so large that the factory itself falls into it.
- In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, a portable hole is a magic item that contains a small pocket universe. It behaves very similarly to a bag of holding.
- In the computer game Disney's Toontown Online, players can move, or, teleport to a new location by pulling holes from their pockets and jumping into them.
- Portable holes are one of the "hazard" weapons in the game Cel Damage.
- In the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, rather than a cloth, portable holes seemed to be made of a rubber-like material, and have the depth of a gramophone record while being manipulated or held. The hole is used for laughs in the first half of the movie, and later on when the hero uses one at a critical moment to create a gap in a giant horseshoe magnet which is pinning him down.
- A portable hole plays a key role in Jack Vance's "Liane the Wayfarer", published in The Dying Earth in 1950.
- Various devices in Doraemon act as portable holes.
- In King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow, Prince Alexander solves many problems with the use of a "hole in the wall" he finds on the Isle of Wonder.
- In Yellow Submarine, Ringo picks up a hole he finds in the "Sea of Holes", stretches it, places his head and climbs into it, then folds it up (which apparently deactivates it until unfolded) and puts it in his pocket, leading to his classic line of dialogue "I've got a hole in me pocket". He later uses the hole to save Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band from an anti-music globe that they are trapped in, and, according to the live-action epilogue, gave half of the hole to the Nowhere Man.
- One of Terry Gilliam's cartoons in Monty Python's Flying Circus has the police using a large portable hole in the road to catch criminals, they fall in, then the hole is taken to the lockup and thrown upon the ceiling causing the criminals to fall out.
- There is a comic character called Horrible Hole which is a living portable hole. Similar characters include The Spot (a Spider-Man villain) and Doorman, a mutant member of the Great Lakes Avengers.
- In episode 695 of the Final Fantasy-based comic 8-Bit Theater, Fighter, after buying some items and a portable hole with Red Mage, decides to work "smarter, not harder", and put all the items into the portable hole. He then proceeds to fold the portable hole into itself.
- In the 1988 film They Live, directed by John Carpenter, the hero Nada (Roddy Piper) is saved from certain death by an assault of riot police/aliens when his sidekick Frank (Keith David) accidentally activates a temporary and portable escape portal with an alien's wristwatch.
- In the anime and manga series One Piece, a villain known as Blueno has the ability to create doors on any surface, including the air.
- In Kingdom of Loathing, a combat item called a "plot hole" is captured from probability giants, a portable hole which is used as a land mine, reducing an enemy's health by twenty, and confusing one.
- In an episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy entitled "One + One = Ed", Eddy falls through a hole in the ground which causes him to appear in the sky off-camera, where he then falls through the hole in a recursive loop. This continues until Ed picks up the hole, leaving Eddy to crash onto the now-solid ground. Ed uses the hole for a couple gags then eventually rolls it up and keeps it. Later in the cartoon, Edd and Eddy fall into a manhole, and Ed, believing it to be another portable hole, says "Don't worry guys! I'll just pick up the hole again!" and proceeds to excavate the entire manhole entrance tube from the ground.
- In Alan Cox's AberMUD, a portable hole could be used to carry equipment.
- In the novelizations of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the lead characters' mother hears them discuss a portable hole. At first she thinks it might be some sexual reference, but when she realizes what it is, she thinks that it might be good to hide in one sometimes.
- The video game Portal features a gun that shoots portals whose behavior are similar to holes. In this case, two holes are created, and if someone walks or falls through, they arrive at the other with the same speed but turned in the direction the portal is facing. One use of this is to "fling" oneself.
- The cartoon series Channel Umptee-3 features a character named Holey Moley, who carries several portable holes and uses at least one in every episode.
- In the Disney series around Winnie-the-Pooh, Gopher has portable holes.
- In many of The Sims games, if a person trying to leave your property is trapped in a room with no doors, one will take out a portable hole and use it to teleport out.
- In the game World of Warcraft, A new 24 slot bind on equip bag sold by Shattrath's socialite extraordinare, Haris Pilton called Portable Hole was introduced in patch 3.3.
- The knuckerholes in Dragon Tales work in this manner, moving from place to place throughout Dragon Land and serving as tunnels to varying locations for anyone that jumps into one.
- In the game Toonstruck the player can collect a portable hole which is used to quickly travel between lands.
- Wormholes allow for transport through non-euclidean space.
- Portals are a similar concept used in science fiction and fantasy.