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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.


Sniffles sits under a tree in the park, looking at a book of math equations and eating a piece of bread. He looks up to find an ant picking up crumbs from the plate. Upon realizing that Sniffles sees him, the ant sheepishly replaces the bread crumbs. Despite this, he gets eaten by Sniffles who then decides to take a nap.

Inside Sniffles' stomach, the ant lights a match and looks around. He fires off a flare gun, lighting up Sniffles' chest and alerting the mother ant where he is. Sniffles wakes up in horror to find himself nailed to the tree with the three ants he didn't eat standing around him. They use a small battering ram to break Sniffles' teeth and, tying a rope around his uvula, climb down his throat. They rescue the ant Sniffles ate and the four ants begin climbing back up the rope.

Unfortunately, Sniffles' uvula breaks off, causing Sniffles to scream in pain, so as a back up plan, the ants tie Sniffles' arteries shut. Blood starts building up in Sniffles' heart, causing his chest to expand and burst. A yellow, inflatable slide exits Sniffles' chest and the ants happily slide out of Sniffles' dead body, then the episode irises out.


"Follow your Heart!"


  1. Sniffles' chest expands and bursts when the ants tie his arteries closed, preventing blood from leaving his heart.
  2. The son ant gets crushed by Sniffles' heart, since there were four and the end only shows three escaping (debatable, as it could have escaped later).


  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's no way the ants could have reached Sniffles' heart through his esophagus.
  4. 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.
  5. When Sniffles dies, the nail holding down his tail vanishes.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. While Sniffles is reading, his pupils go over his glasses' frames. (See image above)
  9. 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.
  10. The nails should have been too big for the Ants to hammer in.

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.
  • 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 #3 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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