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A Hard Act to Swallow

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When relaxing at a park, try to make
sure there aren't any anthills nearby.
Season: Internet Season 2
Episode: 45
Title Reference/Pun: A hard act to follow
Aired: September 21, 2003
Production Number: 218
Writers: Rhode Montijo
Kenn Navarro
Warren Graff
Ken Pontac
Director: Kenn Navarro
Starring Roles
The Ants
A Hard Act to Swallow02:22

A Hard Act to Swallow

Previous Episode Keepin' it Reel
Next Episode Let It Slide

A Hard Act to Swallow is an episode of the Happy Tree Friends internet series, the eighteenth of the second season, and forty-fifth overall.

HTF's Episode Description

The ants strike again! Poor, poor Sniffles. He can't help that he eats ants, but they do their best to make him regret it. For those of you that like children's fables, see if you can pick up on the reference used in this episode.


The episode begins with Sniffles sitting under a tree in the park, looking at some math equations while eating some bread. He puts his book down momentarily, and notices an ant (the baby ant) taking some bread crumbs. The baby ant catches sight of Sniffles looking at him, so he sheepishly places the bread crumbs back while backing up. Unfortunately, Sniffles catches the ant in one go, and rubs his tummy in delight. Inside Sniffles, the baby ant lights a match, and notices the predicament he's in. Moments later, Sniffles proceeds to fall asleep. Upon falling asleep, the baby ant pulls out a flare gun, and fires a flare, briefly making Sniffles' chest glow. At the anthill, the mother catches sight of the flare, and calls for her children, who are donning army helmets.

Sometime later, Sniffles wakes up, and to his horror, he realizes that his entire body has been nailed down to the tree he was sleeping on. Sniffles notices the ants, and can only looks on in horror, just as they use a battering ram to destroy his teeth to access in inner body. They tie a rope around Sniffles' uvula, and ride down it, where they find the baby ant. The baby ant is happy that he is reunited with his family, and they proceed to climb up the rope to get out. However, due to the ants' combined weight, Sniffles' uvula rips off, making Sniffles scream in pain. The mother then suggest another plan to escape.

The ants are now at Sniffles' heart. The brother ant ties up one of Sniffles' arteries, causing blood to over fill Sniffles' heart up to the point where it exceeds the size of his ribcage. All hope seems lost for Sniffles, as the blood in his heart keeps on piling up. With blood leaking into his eyes and out of his mouth, Sniffles' heart finally explodes, ripping open a large hole on Sniffles' body. Just seconds later, a yellow inflatable slide pops out, and the ants slide out, cheering at their victory.


"Follow your Heart!"


  1. Sniffles' chest expands and bursts when the ants tie his arteries closed, preventing blood from leaving his heart.


  1. Sniffles gets nailed down to a tree by the Ants.
  2. The Ants jack up Sniffles' teeth by smashing them with a battering ram.
  3. Sniffles' uvula rips off from the Ants' weight.
  4. Sniffles' uvula crushes the sister ant.


  1. At the beginning of the episode, Sniffles can be seen eating from his slice of bread, but there isn't a bite mark on the slice of bread.
  2. When Sniffles dies, his teeth aren't broken, even though they were bashed in by a mini battering ram earlier.
  3. There is no tape on the bridge of Sniffles' glasses before the ants break his teeth.
  4. There's no way the ants could have reached Sniffles' heart through his esophagus.
  5. With Sniffles' artery being blocked, there is no way for the blood to leave his heart, thus it couldn't leak out of his eyes and mouth while his heart was expanding.
  6. When Sniffles dies, the nail holding down his tail vanishes.
  7. When the Ants were seen climbing up the rope before Sniffles' uvula breaks off, the single strand of hair on the Baby Ant's head is missing.
  8. When Sniffles first realizes the Ants have nailed him down to the tree, his pocket protector disappears. One would have to look closely because it only appears in a few frames.
  9. While Sniffles is reading, his pupils go over his glasses' frames. (See image above)
  10. If Sniffles was really just asleep, there is no way the Ants should have been able to nail him to the ground and tree the way they did without waking him up.
  11. The nails should have been too big for the Ants to hammer in.
  12. A few inconsistencies occur briefly before Sniffles dies. These include his arm being conjoined to his face, a segment of stretched skin being detached slightly from his head, and a nail on his arm being layered over his head. Half of his mouth is also missing when it starts bleeding.
  13. When Sniffles dies, in one frame, some nails are layered over his snout (fixed in remastered version).
  14. When the scene transitions to Sniffles' heart, the pupils of the daughter ant's eyes are nearly transparent (in the remastered version, the transition is changed from fade to slide, and the error is fixed).

Quick Shot Moment

When Sniffles' heart grows so big that it exceeds the size of his ribcage, there is a brief shot of him pinned down to the tree.

Note: This is fixed in the Classics Remastered version on


  • The title of this episode is a pun on the idiom "a hard act to follow", which means to be so good that whatever follows will most likely seem lesser in comparison.
  • Sniffles waking up to find himself pinned down by smaller beings is a reference to Gulliver's Travels.
  • This is one of the few episodes where actual numbers are shown.
  • Sniffles' death is similar to Kane's death in the 1979 film "Alien", both involve the chest being burst.
  • On the Mother Ant's helmet is a black ace card.
  • This is the only Ants' episode where Sniffles recieves no injuries to his tongue.
  • If one looks closely when Sniffles' chest bursts, the piece of bread from before flies away from the pressure of the explosion.
  • This episode, along with his character description and the Collect-Them-All section, reveals that Sniffles loves calculating long divisions.
  • The YouTube thumbnail spoils Sniffles' death.
  • Goof #4 may be a reference to a literal take on the saying: "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach".

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