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Because your fifty pounds of venison have to go somewhere.

A freezer is a common household appliance that can assist one with a wide variety of household chores, usually centered around needing to have something frozen. It should not be confused with the refrigerator, an appliance of similar purpose that merely keeps items cool instead of cooler than cool.[1] Mixing up the two appliances can have dire consequences, such as a spoiled dinner or a lingering, pervasive stench of rotting flesh.[2]


The idea of freezing things has been around since the dawn of ice itself, but humans lacked a solid agency over the art of freezing for most of evolution's long prowl. One of the earliest ways that humans mastered the act was to practice the process on themselves. Thanks in part to a convenient mammoth shortage, freezing fever swept the globe around 98,000 BC; it was hard to go fifty miles without spotting a hapless Neanderthal perfectly preserved in a gigantic ice cube.

After the glacial recession, natural freezing became impossible for most peoples, though it remained common practice among tribes living at extreme latitudes. For example, Inuits of Alaska strategically froze themselves in the spring months to feed their relatives in the coming winter, while the Mapuche of Chile exposed their faces to sharp subzero winds to cure hereditary acne problems. Many millenia passed before such luxuries were available to those cursed to temperate climates; after several experiments with bags of hail and socks full of snow, inventor Ricardo Levinstein created the world's first functional domestic freezer, the box of ice.[3]

Thanks to the magic of science, the arduous task of travelling all the way to Finland to pick up more ice for the box was replaced by a self-cooling system of pulleys and levers in the late 19th century. By 1950, every domestic household had a proper refrigeration device for all their cooling and freezing needs. No longer did humankind need to rely on fickle seasons, Eskimo couriers, or Ang Lee to provide them with the daily dose of ice for all its freezing needs.

Types of freezers

Commercial: The Kind Next to Your Refrigerator

An average boring freezer. All schlock, no shock.

It is the reason why microwaves come with a "defrost" option. The kind of freezer that inspired Ziploc to produce a whole new line of slightly larger bags, the commercial freezer fits snugly into a domestic environment for all of one's domestic needs. Sure, it could be used for more fancy things, like defusing fireworks or being turned into a pressurized frost bomb for launch out of a catapult, but the common commercially-sold freezer is best used for things domestic, mundane, boring, and vanilla.[4] Standard freezers come in either white or off-white, though flamboyant souls could shell out an extra fifty for grey.

Warning! Danger! Will Robinson! Danger!

The freezer is not a refrigerator! Mixing up the two can lead to undesired effects, such as food poisoning, freezer burn,[5] broken light bulbs,[6] or refrigerator freeze.[7] How can you spot the difference, for the safety of future generations of Hide and Go Seek players? First step: crawl inside the nebulous appliance in question and shut the hatch. If you find yourself slowly asphyxiating alongside some expired cold cuts, you are probably in a fridge. If you happen to be slowly freezing alongside some poor fool's peas, then you've correctly spotted the freezer.[8]

Industrial: The Huge, Meaty Kind

A huge meat locker, according to Google.

Industrial strength freezers, known as a meat locker to those in the business, are the largest, most effective freezers outside of a science lab.[9] Not only can it be used to ununfreeze the most potent antifreeze, but these antiantifreezers are also the reasons most meat hook salesmen can feed their families.

Traditionally as large as a steamboat foyer with more hanging meat than a crucifixion festival, jumbo freezers can store upwards of sixty tons of animal carcasses without breaking a cold sweat.[10] One can possibly store something other than giant slabs of meat in a large freezer, but that would just be a waste of good hook space.

What about coats? Those go on hooks!

Yeah, but who would freeze a coat? Don't be daft.

Icebox: The Old-Timey, Usually Steam-Powered, Kind

A typical owner of an icebox.

As mentioned above, before there was the traditional freezer, there was the icebox. Though it has fallen out of vogue among the general public since the advent of electricity, it still remains a popular product among certain individuals, usually the same people who use the word "henceforth" and ride around on bicycles with giant front wheels.

But why does it put the "ice" in "nice?"

Iceboxes have one other significant reason for its continued existence: the approaching apocalypse. When most conventional freezers will peter out and die within minutes once the comet's shockwave knocks out all electricity, or the dinosaur-alien invaders siphon all our energy to power their deadly Jurassic Sparx-brand lasers,[11] the antique icebox sits pretty and resilient, fully functional in a broken world. Use it to store emergency rations, or scavenged pieces of your loved ones; more adventurous types can even use it to freeze themselves, in hopes of awaking in a brighter future. Yep, good luck with that, buddy.

Cooler: The Small Kind You Take to a Picnic

Owning an icebox may have been retro in 1954, but all but the most hardcore aficionados wouldn't be caught dead with one nowadays.[12] Luckily for the panicked icebox industry, Roosevelt C. Angstrom came to the rescue in 1951 by patenting the portable ice chest, better known as the cooler. Tool of picnickers and "casual" alcoholics around the globe, coolers are the cool way to keep things cool without losing your cool.[13]

But I want to fight crime! Can it be used to fight crime?

Depends on the size of the criminal. Sending someone "to the cooler" is usually just a figure of speech, but if Peter Dinklage were on the lam then a cooler and some mint jelly would definitely come in handy. Just don't forget to poke holes in the top.[14]

The Future of Freezers

Computers are getting smaller and egos are getting bigger, but not many scientists can predict the course freezers will take into the future. Engineers in Geneva are working on a new machine that effectively reverses the process of freezing, tentatively called the "microwaver," but little research is being done on advancing the state of freezers themselves. However, one thing is for certain: the universe as a whole inches closer each day towards transforming into the absolute freezer itself. Humanity can ignore the progression towards total frozenness by developing microwavers and starting fires, but the grand universal freezer will ultimately make fools of us all.


  1. Or "ice cold," as some would say.
  2. Depends what kind of meat you're freezing.
  3. Or "Ice box," as some would say.
  4. Like ice cream! Everyone loves ice cream!
  5. Which had, up until the invention of the freezer, simply been known as "burn."
  6. If you are freezing a light bulb.
  7. A markedly rarer, physics-defying occurrence.
  8. Step two is that your friend gets to call the coroner.
  9. Or the set of Breaking Bad.
  10. You'll have to hunt around for a locker that allows human.
  11. Or what-have-you.
  12. Odds are larger you'll catch someone dead in one.
  13. While you watch Fooly Cooly and Cool Runnings with some Coolies while listening to Coolio. Coolcoolcool.
  14. Don't want a repeat of 2008's Gerbil Incident.

See also

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