Created By: CaveCat on June 3, 2013 Last Edited By: CaveCat on June 23, 2013
Troped

Thumbtack On The Chair

Putting a thumbtack in someone's chair as a prank.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

Seen It a Million Times and Exactly What It Says on the Tin, this is a prank that has been done lots of times throughout the years. This is when a character places a thumbtack in a chair, and when another character sits down, what results after that is a pained jump due to the sharpness of the tack. In cartoons, this may sometimes result in a Pain-Powered Leap.

Related to the Whoopee Cushion, but more painful.

Compare: Running into the Window, Tied-Together-Shoelace Trip


Examples:

Film - Animated
  • In The Incredibles, it was implied that Dash did this to his teacher at school. The teacher claims that he caught him on camera, but when the tape plays, Dash moves too fast to actually be seen, which allows Dash to get off easy.

Film - Live-Action
  • A variant in the live-action Dennis the Menace film. Instead of placing a tack in a chair, the babysitter's boyfriend places a tack on the doorbell, not knowing that it was Dennis who was ringing the doorbell. Before Dennis can ring the doorbell again, Mr. Wilson shows up, prompting Dennis to come back in through the pet door so Mr. Wilson ends up the victim of the thumbtack prank instead.
  • In The Little Rascals short "Readin' and Writin'", one of Brisbane's pranks is to put tacks on all of the other students' chairs. Miss Crabtree has everyone sit down on her count, leading to a chorus of yells.
  • This was a common gag on The Three Stooges, though normally it'd be something even more sharp and painful than thumbtacks. One instance where thumbtacks were used came when the Stooges infiltrated the office of a high-ranking Nazi officer, and placed a map with thumbtacks in it on his chair.

Literature
  • In the second-to-last Wheel of Time book, Elayne is about to sit on the throne of Cairhien for the first time, but Birgitte insists on checking it, to her annoyance and embarrassment. This disappears when Birgitte finds a poisoned needle on the seat.

Live-Action TV
  • Once in Hogan's Heroes, Hogan puts Klink's spiked helmet on his chair.

Newspaper Comics

Visual Novels
  • In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, this is one of the pranks Satoko did to Keiichi on his first day at Hinamizawa's school.
    • Satako pulled a variant of this prank involving taping a bunch of tacks to the door in Watanagashi-hen. Target was the same.

Web Animation
  • In the Homestar Runner short The Interview, Strong Bad tells Homestar that he wants to "get down to brass tacks", or to get down to business, and mumbles under his breath that the interview will be painful. Homestar, being The Ditz, responds with "The tacks? I bet. Try not to sit on them".

Western Animation
  • In The Simpsons when Marge becomes Bart's substitute teacher, he didn't know his mother would be teaching him beforehand and quickly rushes to remove the tack he placed on her chair.
  • A memorable Tom and Jerry short involves Tom trying to keep quiet to avoid waking up a sleeping king. One of the methods that Jerry and Nibbles makes this difficult for Tom is by placing a pin under Tom just as he's about to take a seat.
  • One episode of Invader Zim had Zim pull the seat tack prank on Dib. Dib believes that Zim's prank is pathetic, even for Zim, until he realizes that the tack contained mutagenic contamination that was slowly turning him into bologna.

Needs More Examples
Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • June 3, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    Related to the Whoopee Cushion, but more painful.

    • In The Simpsons when Marge becomes Bart's substitute teacher, he didn't know his mother would be teaching him beforehand and quickly rushes to remove the tack he placed on her chair.
  • June 3, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    I've got another.

    Web Original

    • In the Homestar Runner short The Interview, Strong Bad tells Homestar that he wants to "get down to brass tacks", or to get down to business, and mumbles under his breath that the interview will be painful. Homestar, being The Ditz, responds with "The tacks? I bet. Try not to sit on them".
  • June 3, 2013
    Alvin
    Would this include Live-Action TV: Hogans Heroes, where at least once, Hogan puts Klink's spiked helmet on his chair?
  • June 3, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Television - Live Action
    • In The Little Rascals short "Readin' and Writin'", one of Brisbane's pranks is to put tacks on all of the other students' chairs. Miss Crabtree has everyone sit down on her count, leading to a chorus of yells.
  • June 4, 2013
    randomsurfer
  • June 4, 2013
    KingZeal
    • A memorable Tom And Jerry short involves Tom trying to keep quiet to avoid waking up a sleeping king. One of the methods that Jerry and Nibbles makes this difficult for Tom is by placing a pin under Tom just as he's about to take a seat.
  • June 4, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    • One episode of Invader Zim had Zim pull the seat tack prank on Dib. Dib believes that Zim's prank is pathetic, even for Zim, until he realizes that the tack contained mutagenic contamination that was slowly turning him into bologna.
  • June 4, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    I'm not so sure about Tack in The Chair, since it isn't inside the chair. Tack on The Chair would be better.
  • June 5, 2013
    zarpaulus
    In the Dennis the Menace movie one I'm pretty sure he knew it was Dennis who was ringing the doorbell and running, he didn't expect Mr. Wilson to ring it next.
  • June 6, 2013
    DracMonster
    Not sure if this counts since it's not a prank as such:

    • In the second-to-last Wheel Of Time book, Elayne is about to sit on the throne of Cairhien for the first time, but Birgitte insists on checking it, to her annoyance and embarrassment. This disappears when Birgitte finds a poisoned needle on the seat.

    A Tack Of The Chair Prankster!

    This is delicious pun! You must title it!
  • June 9, 2013
    Lyendith
    Visual Novels:
  • June 12, 2013
    FastEddie
    WAY too specific. The trope would be a character who pulls pranks, a prankster. We don't need a page for every conceivable type of prank.
  • June 12, 2013
    DracMonster
    ^Um.. lets see, we have Screamer Prank, Prank Date, Whoopee Cushion, Kick Me Prank, Laxative Prank, Bunny Ears Picture Prank, Prank Call and... well, I could go on but you get the point.

    Eddie, we're too far down this rabbit hole to turn back!

    But seriously, this seems like something common enough to warrant a page.
  • June 12, 2013
    FastEddie
    Well, just because we have a few pages that have gone down the hole doesn't mean we can't prevent others from doing so while we fix the issue. All those things should be details on one page about pranks.

    There is nothing useful about a list of every time someone has used a whoopie-cushion prank. It is compulsive list making.
  • June 12, 2013
    DracMonster
    Oh Crap... did I just doom a bunch of pages?
  • June 12, 2013
    FastEddie
    I dunno. Those articles you listed all have very low inbounds and limited use on the wiki. I worry that we'll be buried under a bunch of pages that just list stuff, and aren't really about tropes. Where do we draw the line?

    I mean, it feels like having a page that lists yellow airplanes. Yellow on the plane doesn't mean anything, but you could damn sure build a list of them.
  • June 12, 2013
    DracMonster
    That would be People Sit On Chairs unless yellow airplanes have a narrative pattern. Do we cut all taxi tropes to avoid a list of yellow cars?

    Where does the Doctor Index end? Or the Death Tropes? Or Index Syndrome? Is there supposed to be an end? Making compulsive lists is what we do! We're an Aspie Paradise, and proud of it! (People Sit On Chairs does put a boundary on it.)

    If you're priming the Admin Fiat Chainsaw, well, you're our God Emperor, we must kneel before you. It just seems strange to decide that pranks of all things are too specific. (We could lump them, but there's enough pages that the examples would need to all be cut or split into multiple pages, I think)
  • June 12, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    They're all different types of Stock Pranks. You know, classic gags. No one's going to cut things like Banana Peel or Pie In The Face (which aren't really pranks, but are gags where comedy is derived by someone losing dignity), right?

    Unless you want to make a new index for pranks and dirty tricks.

    EDIT: I found an index! Practical Joke. The tack prank should fit in just fine among them.
  • June 12, 2013
    DracMonster
    Hah! You found what I could not for my post, well done . :)
  • June 12, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    You're welcome. Sometimes I find it useful to seek out related tropes on a Wiki Walk when I do YKTT Ws to check how things might be interrelated. (I suggested making this trope after being unable to find it while building the Seated Tropes index).
  • June 12, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Seems to me that if we put all pranks on one page as Fast Eddie suggests it would be huge, and the need for subpages - subtropes if you will - would quickly appear.

    ...which I now notice that Drac has already pointed out.
  • June 13, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Huh. Missed all the drama already but I came in here to say that just making a page for pranks in general makes more sense than making tropes for every conceivable prank (seeing this next to the Eyepiece prank one made me think of it). I mean, we've got pages for the big ones, and those can be listed as subtropes, but really do we need to list every single stock prank out there?
  • June 13, 2013
    DracMonster
    ^Not every one, obviously. Practical Joke could become the general Super Trope with a little tweaking. But I still think "common" ones stand as sub tropes. Some of the pages could be folded in.
  • June 13, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Oh, I agree wholeheartedly. Common ones, ones that can have considerable variations or subversions, and ones that can actually be the theme of an episode can have their own pages. Seems like that's the best compromise between too many microtropes and not having enough information.
  • June 15, 2013
    magnum12
    Adding to the Higurashi example, Satako pulled a variant of this prank involving taping a bunch of tacks to the door in Watanagashi-hen. Target was the same.
  • June 15, 2013
    Sackett
    Why are we naming this after the prankster instead of the prank. Just call it Thumbtack On A Chair
  • June 15, 2013
    FastEddie
    Yep. Clearly about the prank, not a character.
  • June 16, 2013
    Surenity
    This was a common gag on The Three Stooges, though normally it'd be something even more sharp and painful than thumbtacks. One instance where thumbtacks were used came when the Stooges infiltrated the office of a high-ranking Nazi officer, and placed a map with thumbtacks in it on his chair.
  • June 22, 2013
    CaveCat
    Well, tropers, what do you think? Is this ready to launch or should we wait a while?
  • June 22, 2013
    capsaicinfinity
    I liked A Tack Of The Chair Prankster, and I think it's reasonable to say that that title refers to the prank itself (the "attack") rather than the prankster ("of the chair prankster" being the phrase describing "attack/ A Tack"). But I admit I'm partial to punny titles.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=0xlx8tt0s5ikog0kr6cvm19k&trope=ThumbtackOnTheChair