Why Does Pinocchio Nose Grow?


Do you remember the time when people would say that if you lied, then your nose would grow like that of Pinocchio? Ofcourse you do and certainly, nobody wanted to turn into Pinocchio, right? 

Well, we don’t really know how much truth this one holds, but one thing that we know is that Pinocchio was certainly a favorite for most of us.

Now, most of us might remember watching the Disney version of Pinnochio, which was released in 1940, and the new live-action movie has brought back memories. However, both these version was based on the fantasy novel, The Adventures of Pinocchio by Italian author, Carlo Collodi.

While all these adaptations were equally loved by the fans and many things were changed, there were some things that remained untouched like the main characters Pinocchio and Geppetto. Do you know what else remained unchanged? Pinnochio’s most noticeable feature-his nose.

While the story followed Pinocchio’s adventure to becoming a real boy, most fans were very curious about his nose and why did it actually grow?

We bet you are curious as well. So, without further ado, let’s get right into it and find out the mystery behind his unique nose as we look up all the different adaptations, and get into the depth of it. Not actually inside Pinocchio’s nose though! 

Who was Pinnochio?

Pinocchio real boy

Well, this is just a little walk down memory lane to know who was Pinocchio and how he came into existence.

So, let us take you back to the late 19th century, somewhere in a small village in Italy, where a wood maker named Geppetto lived.

Not only was Geppetto skilled in woodwork, but he was also an excellent toy maker. He lived with his pets, Figaro, the kitten, and Cleo, the goldfish.

Even though he had gotten used to living with his pet friends, he did felt empty and lonely without any human interactions. So, one day he decided to put his skills to work and created a marionette which he named Pinocchio.

Later while getting ready for bed, Geppetto wished upon a shooting star for Pinnochio to be a real boy not because he was not happy with his creation but because he just felt that it lacked something, which was the human soul.

Listening to such a wish from a good soul like Geppetto, a Blue Fairy came to his workshop and brought Pinocchio to life. The fairy did bring Pinocchio to life and granted Gepetto’s wish, yet Pinocchio was still a puppet.

When Pinocchio asked the fairy if he could become a real boy, the Blue Fairy simply stated that only when Pinocchio proved himself brave, truthful, and unselfish could he become a real boy.

After their encounter, the Blue Fairy assigned Jiminy Cricket to become Pinocchio’s conscience and left before Geppetto woke up.

Upon waking up, Geppetto was filled with happiness and joy when he discovered that his puppet was alive and very much like a real boy.

The Disney live-action movie did follow the exact origins, except for the fact that in the movie, Geppetto created the puppet because he missed his son dearly, who he had lost a long time ago. This background story was not depicted in the original 1940s movie.

However, in the original book, The Adventure of Pinocchio, he was indeed created by Geppetto but he was originally found by another carpenter named Master Antonio as a log. As Antonio tried to use him for the table the log shouted.

Seeing such an unusual log, he handed it over to Geppetto, who decide to turn the unusual log into a puppet and earn his living from him.

Why did Pinocchio’s nose grow?

So far as you already know, since Pinocchio was a wooden puppet, naturally he wouldn’t have had any growth or development.

Surprisingly, the only part of his body that grew was his nose. Now, you might be wondering why did his nose grow?

Well, to answer that question in a simple way, his nose grew whenever he lied. However, since Pinccochio was only a wooden puppet with little to no knowledge about the human world, he didn’t have much conscience regarding what was wrong and right.

In both the movies; the original movie and the live-action one, Pinocchio, still unknown about the human world lied to others, and as a punishment, his nose grew.

As to the real reason why his nose grew, the only possible answer that we could come up with is that either the writer wanted to create fear among the kids of having a weirdly long nose, or it could be because the author himself had a long nose.

Well, the original author did portray Pinocchio as an example of what a bad person was like and warned the others not to be like him as if they did they would end up with the same fate as that of Pinnochio, which was rather much darker than the movie version.

To support the claims that lying was the reason why his nose grew, just like in the movies, even in the book when Pinocchio asked the fairy why his nose was growing, she simply laughed and stated that she was amused by his growing nose and the lies he was spewing, which only proved that the growth of his nose was related to him lying.

Even the Scientists at the Chicago Foundation for Treatment and Research of Taste and Touch discovered that when people lied, they released chemicals called Catecholamines, which cause inflammation of the internal tissues of the nose.

The lies increased the sanguineous pressure and, consequently, the nose is inflamed, appearing slightly reddened. That explains a lot about Pinocchio’s condition, right?

How many times did his nose grow?

Now that we are clear about the fact that his nose grew every time he lied. So just how many times did his nose grow, and what led to him lying to end up in such a situation?

Well, according to all three versions, the number of times his nose grew differed. First, let’s take a look at the original novel.

The original novel: The Adventures of Pinnochio

In the original novel, the story began with a carpenter named Master Antonio finding a block of wood that he planned to carve into a leg for his table. However, as he sat down to begin carving, the log shouted out.

Such an unusual log surprised him so he decided to give it to Geppetto, a puppeteer, who carved the block into a boy and called him Pinocchio. Now, even before he was even built, Pinocchio had a mischievous attitude and also even his nose was growing as soon as it was carved.

So, in the original novel, there was a total of three times that Pinocchio lied which ended up making his nose grow even longer. Many, who had read the original novel stated that the series of lies that Pinocchio told was very enlightening.

The first lie he told was because he was afraid to lose his remaining three gold pieces, which he had planned to give to his father, Geppetto. The second lie he told was to back up his first lie.

When he was left to die, hung in a tree, The fairy brought him to her shelter and let him recover. As soon as he gained consciousness he was confronted by the fairy, who asked him where he had lost his gold coins.

To such a question, Pinocchio lied about losing them on the way. However, The fairy knew very clearly that he was lying and was likely to continue to lie. So to punish and make him learn his lesson, the fairy further confronted him saying that they would go look for them in the woods.

Losing his composure, Pinocchio went on to tell an even clumsier lie that he had swallowed all the coins, while he drank the medicine that the fairy had given him.

And what happened when he lied? Of course, his already-growing nose grew even more. His nose grew so long that he couldn’t even turn around in the room. While Pinocchio was panicking and crying over his nose, the fairy found it very amusing.

However, she explained to him that his lies were making his nose grow and giving him a life lesson to never lie again, she called in a flock of woodpeckers to chisel oy down to its original size.

In Collodi’s original story Pinocchio only lies three times and could only sustain 13 lies in a row before the maximum upward force his neck could exert cannot sustain his head and nose.

Moving on to the movie versions.

The Movie Version: Live-action movie

The live-action movie followed the original movie for most of the scenes, but there were some differences. In the live-action movie, there was only one scene where he was shown lying but his nose continued to grow five times.

After Pinocchio was kicked from the school, for being a puppet, he joined the Stromboli’s circus There, he instantly became a hit and the crowds were going crazy for him. He was enjoying the moment but was soon captured by Stromboli and locked up in a cage.

Desperate to be freed, Pinocchio asked out for help. Stromboli had also locked Jiminy Cricket in a jar but his coach ended up freeing him. Now that Jiminy was out of Jar, Pinocchio made him reach for the keys to the cage.

While asking Jiminy for help, he kept on telling Jiminy how he never wanted to be famous and that all he ever wanted was to go to school, which was not the truth. This made his nose grow.

Pinocchio was surprised to see his nose starting to grow, which didnt really stop him from telling more lies. As Jiminy stated that telling lies wasn’t good, Pincochhio further stated that he hated the cheering and applauding, but the truth was that he actually enjoyed all the attention.

At this point, his nose was growing in a very unusual way. The icing on the cake moment was when Pinocchio said that all the things that he said before were the truth, this made his nose grow to the point where it reached the walls of the room.

Panicked from such a ridiculous growth of his nose, Pinocchio was finally saved by The Fairy as she warned him not to do such things and to always be honest and truthful. So, in total his nose grew five times in the live-action version.

Original movie

In the original movie, Pinocchio was carved by Geppetto and given life by The Blue Fairy. Just a few days after coming alive, Pinpchhio was sent to school but on his way, he met Honest John and Gideon, who convinced him that he should live a life of fame to become a real boy.f

Pinocchio fell for the temptation of becoming a real boy and went on to join Stromboli’s circus, where he performed with the rest of the crew and gained fame.

However, when he tried to return back to his father he was captured by Stromboli and locked up in a cage. In the original movie version, although Jiminy Cricket was Pinocchio’s conscience, he just left him there but then the Blue Fairy arrived at the scene.

Upon her arrival, she interrogated Pinocchio as to why was he in such a situation in which he started to tell lies. First, he said on his way to the school he encountered two big monsters, which was a lie, as they were not monsters but Honest John, the fox, and Gideon, the cat.

This made his nose grow. Pinocchio started at first but was still unknown that his lies made his nose grow and continued to lie to the Blue Fairy. Further, he stated how he wasn’t scared of the monsters and even was chopped into firewood.

Quite the nonsense coming out from little Pinocchio, when asked if everything he said was true, without any hesitation he said yes to it which made his nose grow more and more; six times in total.

Later, having mercy on Pinocchio and warming him that it would be the last time he would save him, The blue Fairy used her magic to return his nose to its original form.

Was there a limit to how much his nose grew?

Pinochhio 1

While not really stated in either the novel or the movies, there was no limit as to how much his nose grew. Before we could see the limit to which his nose would grow, he would be returned to his normal state somehow.

As depicted in the novels, he was a mischievous one even before he was carved into a puppet boy, and his nose started growing out as soon as it was carved.

Also further on when he would lie, his nose would grow and grow. Some even stated that each time he lied, his nose would grow by the length of two fingers.

Even in the movies, his nose would grow as long as a whole room. Since he was punished for each lie that he told, so the limit to his nose growth totally depended on the times he told a lie.

However, some believed that there were no restrictions on the length of Pinocchio’s nose. It just grew as he told lied and even at one point it grew so long that he couldn’t even get his nose through the door of the room.

Surprisingly, even though his nose was always growing; sometimes to the point that he couldn’t even carry the weight of his nose, his nose was able to get back to its normal size.

Since he was given life by the fairy, even Jiminy Cricket stated that his nose growth was because of some fairy magic. Hence, it was the very same magic that helped his overly grown nose to return back its original form.

As in all the stories it was the fairy who helped Pinocchio to realize that it was bad to lie and treat his nose. However, in the novel version, he was reduced by the Fairy who summoned a pack of woodpeckers to chisel down his long nose.

Regardless, including Fairy’s magics, it was also believed that Pinocchio’s nose went back to normal when he learned to not lie and be a good child for Geppetto. So, whenever he said the truth his nose would decrease in size and retain its original shape.

Why did the author make Pinocchio’s nose grow?

Now you might be wondering why the author made Pinocchio’s nose grow, why not other body parts? Well, not much really is known about this but considering the theme, the author was going for, the nose would be perfect.

You ask why the nose? It could be probably because it would look funny and weird to have a long nose instead of some other deformed body parts and surely children wouldn’t have liked their noses being long just to get teased by their friends and families.

The real story of Pinocchio was mainly aimed at disciplining children. The main moral of the story was to teach kids the cons of being dishonest and naughty.

Pinocchio’s original story was nothing like the movie version. The novel version was much darker and mainly focused on making the kids fear what would happen if they were to behave badly.

So, what better way than to create a character whose nose would grow to extraordinary lengths every time he lied and misbehaved?

Not only did the author warn the children against the consequences of misbehavior but he was also able to depict parental behaviors and the things that they do for their children; even lying for their well-being.

Whatever the author had planned in his mind but it sure was not as heartwarming as the Disney adaptations. The original story was much darker and contained scenes, which were quite alarming for a children’s book. Regardless, it was still a very popular book and enjoyed by many.

Hence, until someone comes and states any other reasons, for now, we can say that Pinocchio’s nose grew because of his lies. So, if you don’t want to end up having the Pinocchio nose, remember to be truthful and honest. However, a little lie won’t hurt if it is for the better of someone. So, go ahead and take that risk, maybe some fairy might help you if your nose grows.

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