When Hank and Dory inadvertently end up in the touch pool at the Marine Life Institute, they are both spooked by the gripping hands of the kids grabbing them in the water. Hank, however, is particularly terrified and ends up cowering under a rock, a place he plans to stay forever, apparently because it’s the only place he feels safe in their new surroundings. Eventually, Dory convinces Hank to take a break so they can resume their search for Dory’s parents. Unfortunately, they don’t get far before a finger starts to reach them, and when it makes contact with Hank, the octopus spits ink all over the place in response.
Inking is a natural behavior for an octopus. When they feel threatened, the animals release a large amount of ink in an effort to obscure their surroundings long enough to get away from what they fear. Hank is clearly worried about people touching him, so rolling out his ink makes sense. Still, adults will notice that the film takes advantage of this to turn Hank’s inking into a joke about, uh, some premature problems. After realizing what he did, Hank apologizes in a small voice, as if embarrassed. Meanwhile, Dory reassures him that it’s no big deal and it happens to everyone. Yes, even kid-friendly Pixar can’t help but include a grown-up metaphor in its films from time to time.