A typical punishment in the military, or otherwise strict organization in media is scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush (possibly their own), however impractical it may be. Sometimes, a person will opt to use someone else's toothbrush, especially if he/she does not like said person.
A Sub Trope
of With This Herring
Truth In Television
, a stiff-bristled toothbrush is great for grouting or small stains.
- At one point in Devil's Due GI Joe comic series, Drill Sergeant Nasty Beachhead tells a recruit that a cruel man would make him clean the barracks with a toothbrush, before making him clean the barracks with a POTATO.
Live Action TV
- In Forrest Gump, Forrest and Bubba have to scrub the floor of their barracks with toothbrushes. Both being rather simple-minded, they don't care much about it.
- Private Benjamin: During basic training the title trainee complains about the latrine being unsanitary and is ordered to clean it with her toothbrush. Her electric toothbrush.
- In UHF, when Stanley Spedowski makes his big motivational speech about his mop he makes a metaphor about how when nothing else works you get down and start scrubbing with a toothbrush.
- On Happy Days when Richie, Potsie and Ralph pledge to a fraternity, one of the things they have to do during Rush Week is clean the floor at Arnold's using toothbrushes.
- A Recycled In Space instance occurs in Star Trek Voyager; Tuvok orders a Maquis crew member to "degauss the transporter pad with a micro-resonator", which requires the crew member to crawl around on his hands and knees.
- Power Rangers SPD: When Sky is punished with scrubbing the entrance with a toothbrush, Jack joins him trying to establish a friendship with him. Sky later reveals he's scrubbing with Jack's toothbrush.
- The episode "Battle of the Baseball Know-It-Alls" from Captain N The Game Master had a scene with King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard trying to force Princess Lana to do this. Lana manages to distract them by making them demonstrate how to scrub the floor while she and Game Boy sneak off. King Hippo then recognises one of the toothbrushes as his own and brushes his teeth with it.
- In an episode of Daria, Quinn Morgendorffer is mistaken for a pledge to the most prestigious sorority on campus. Rather than explain she is only fourteen and only visiting, she is swept away with the glamor of it all and does not argue when told her initiation rite is to clean the front steps of the sorority house with a toothbrush.
- In Phineas And Ferb episode "Get Busted", the titular characters are ordered to scrub the floor of the W.C. They begin doing it to a rhythm, much to the chagrin of the warden.