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A common trope across various anime and manga is the snot bubble trope. I've put an example below:

I can gather what it signifies from the TV Tropes description, but what's the origin of this? Does anybody know where it was first used, or where the inspiration came from?

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    Could it come from little babies who have running noses all the time and when they fall asleep after a tiring day of running around it might create snot bubbles... – Peter Raeves May 27 '15 at 19:38
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The origin is, perhaps surprisingly, real life! This does occur among children in Japan and in other countries as well.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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    It looks significantly less appealing in real life D: – Toshinou Kyouko Jun 1 '15 at 22:59
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    +1. It looks like I guess right in the end xp. Although I did not want to be right, this is disgusting lol. – Peter Raeves Jun 2 '15 at 11:00
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    Needs a disclaimer for disturbing content. – Gallifreyan Jul 19 '17 at 19:03

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