Created By: LavonPapillon1 on June 17, 2017 Last Edited By: LavonPapillon1 on July 7, 2017
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Spoon Bending

Spoons (and the bending of) associated with psychics and the paranormal.

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That's the kind of face you make only when: A) You are trying too hard, B) Ready to assault someone, or C) are really holding it in.

Do not try and bend the spoon, that's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth...there is no spoon. Then you will see it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.
Spoon Boy, The Matrix

Spoon Bending is arguably the most common way of demonstrating Mind over Matter next to making Your Head A-Splode. And much less messy.

The art of spoon bending is the deformation of objects, especially metal cutlery, either without the use of physical force, or with less force than would normally seem necessary. It is a common form of stage magic, and a variety of methods are used to produce the illusion.

Spoon bending attracted considerable media attention in The '70s when some people claimed to have the ability to cause such events by paranormal psychic means. The most notable was Uri Geller, who performed by bending metal spoons as well as metal keys and several other objects and materials. Geller's performances were attributed to stage magic by critics such as James Randi and Martin Gardner.

While spoon bending in real life is an art based around misdirection, simply convincing the observer that the spoon is moving, pop culture has come to associate bending spoons as a technique among those with psychic powers. Spoons are small enough to grasp, common enough to find and are easy enough to bend with physical force, so it stands to reason that utensils like the common spoon would make a harmless, psychokinetic demonstration.

Has nothing to do with Ate the Spoon, Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon, Funny Spoon, Greasy Spoon and Spoonerism.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Mewtwo, an incredibly powerful psychic pokemon from Pokémon Adventures, is shown to wield a massive spoon.
  • In the Pokémon episode "Abra and the Psychic Showdown", many of the psychics in Sabrina's gym are shown to be practicing their psychic abilities by trying (to limited effect) to bend spoons. One such psychic tries demonstrating this to Ash, Brock and Misty with great difficulty.
  • Fumiaki Uchida from Occult Academy developed psychokinetic abilities at a young age, it first manifesting when he was mentally able to bend spoons, only to lose such an ability when his mother denied him a normal life because of it.
  • In Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Torhu and Kanna see someone do this on television. They try to do it themselves but with no success.
  • A Running Gag in Mob Psycho 100 is that Mob has trouble eating soup, since he always subconciously bends his spoons with his mind.

    Film - Live Action 
  • In an iconic scene in The Matrix, the unreality of the matrix is properly demonstrated to Neo when a boy mentally bends a spoon. Neo's attempt at doing so is the first time Neo learns to manipulate the world around him.
  • When the protagonist family from Poltergeist discover that all of their cutlery has been distorted at the beginning of the movie, that is their (and the viewer's) first clue that the house is being haunted. Of course, everything gets downhill from there.

     Live Action Television 
  • In the Supernatural episode "The Mentalists", Sam and Dean investigate the death of two alleged psychics in Lily Dale, New York, the "most psychic town in America." While prop spoons are commonly seen in the episode - used as souvenirs and props for fake psychics - utensils bending on their own occurs whenever the Monster of the Week the ghost of an actual psychic looms nearby.

    Video Games 
  • Kadabra and Alakazam from Generation One of Pokémon - two particularly iconic Psychic-type Pokemon - each wield spoons. Their Signature Move is Kinesis, which reduces the target's accuracy by bending spoons to confound them. In Generation IV, the item Twisted Spoon can be used to increase the power of psychic-type attacks when held by a pokemon.
  • Ford Cruller from Psychonauts occasionally refers to the Psychic Children that attends the camp as "spoonbenders."
    Ford Cruller: This training facility is built smack on top of the largest Psitanium deposit known to man. It runs under this whole valley and makes this a very critical area for Psychonauts, so I'm here to look after it. And to make sure you little "spoonbenders" don't kill each other.

    Web Originals 
  • SCP-463 "A Spoon That Bends People" from SCP Foundation is a spoon that bends people's spines backwards by 90 degrees when it's picked up, acting as a playful inversion of the trope.
  • Several Chuck Norris Facts go like this: "[Insert a famous psychic's name here] can bend spoons with his mind. Chuck Norris can bend [psychic's name] with his."

    Western Animation 
  • El Cucharon (Spanish for "The Big Spoon") from El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera was a villain with the power to manipulate spoons. Mocked for his supposedly useless power, he became a super villain. However, with counseling from Manny's mother Maria, El Cucharon becomes reformed and uses his spoon-based powers to save the day.
  • Spoofed in Spliced: Entree attempts to twist a utensil, but ends up twisting everything around but it. Peri counts the test as a fail.

    Real Life 
  • When Uri Geller first came to prominence in The '70s and demonstrated his putative skill on TV in Great Britain, the watching audience was invited to join in. Indicating something interesting was going on, or possibly the extreme gullability of the British TV viewing public, the BBC's switchboards were inundated with calls from viewers alleging not only spoons bending to order, but also anomalies like long-stopped clocks springing into life again, or else clocks and watches inexplicably stopping at the very instant of Geller putting out the 'fluence. Either way - genuine paranormal event, mass gullibility or people misinterpreting wholly coincidental event - it provided lots of material for publications like Fortean Times to fill space with. FT still deals with spoon-bending, under the general headings of things like parapsychology, telekinesis and poltergeist activity.
  • The Bent Spoon Award is an award given by the paranormal and pseudoscientific investigating organizations Austrailian Skeptics and NZ Skeptics to those who are "perpetrator[s] of the most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudoscientific piffle." While there is an actual, physical award that exists, there is only one in existence (having claimed to have been made from wood from Noah's Ark and a spoon from the last supper to Troll winners) and the winners are only aloud to possess the award for themselves if they acquire the award themselves through supernatural means. Naturally, no one has accomplished this task.

Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • June 17, 2017
    NightShade96
    • SCP Foundation: An inversion occurs with SCP-463, which is a spoon that bends people's spines backwards by 90 degrees when it's picked up. The SCP's title is even "A Spoon That Bends People".
  • June 18, 2017
    Arivne
    Zero Context Examples have been marked as such. They need more information to show how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context.

    The Mewtwo example assumes that the reader knows that Mewtwo has psychic abilities.
  • June 18, 2017
    Koveras
    • Several Chuck Norris Facts go like this: "[Insert a famous psychic's name here] can bend spoons with his mind. Chuck Norris can bend [psychic's name] with his."
  • June 19, 2017
    LB7979
    Taking it that other cutlery qualifies as well as spoons :-)

    Film—Live-Action

    • Poltergeist [1982 version]: When the protagonist family discover that all of their cutlery has been distorted at the beginning of the movie, that is their (and the viewer's) first clue that the house is being haunted. Of course, everything goes downhill from there.
  • June 18, 2017
    ryanswan2
    In Miss Kobayashis Dragon Maid, Torhu and Kanna see someone do this on television. They try to do it themselves but with no success.
  • June 19, 2017
    MorningStar1337
    I feel like Uri Geller might be worth a mention here. But I wonder if this would run afowl of the ROCEJ
    • Spoofed in Spliced: Entree attempts to twist a utensil, but ends up twisting everything around but it. Peri counts the test as a fail.
  • June 19, 2017
    KZN02
    To add on the Pokemon games example, the Signature Move of Kadabra and Alakasam is Kinesis, which reduces the target's accuracy by bending spoons to confound them.
  • July 3, 2017
    NightShade96
    Bump
  • July 3, 2017
    hszmv1
    Please Please Please let the page quote be "There is No Spoon" from the Matrix!

    Also, if the work is taking the concept as less than serious, expect the bender of the Spoon to be a Uri Geller send up. The man in the page image was voiced in a similar fashion to Geller in the English dub and Pokemon was even sued by Geller after he claimed they were unauthorized likenesses of him (the Japanese name of Kadabra is rendered quite similer to Geller's name in Japanese). The suit is still on going and Kadabera has not appeared in the Pokemon Trading Card Game because of the suit (and only in trading cards... Geller became aware of the similarities after Japanese fans asked him to autograph Kadabra cards, which they thought looked similar enough).

    • Don't forget Alakazam's Mega Evolution, which is telekinetically bending multiple spoons without any physical contact and that the game has an item called Bent Spoon which boosts Psychic attacks if a Pokemon holds it (may be exclusive to Abra line).

    Real Life:

    The Australian Skeptics' present the anual Bent Spoon award to "perpetrator of the most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudoscientific piffle." The winner must be Austrailian or made his claims in Austrilia and the trophy is "Australian Skeptics facetiously describes the trophy as a piece of gopher wood supposedly from the Noah’s Ark, upon which is affixed a spoon that was rumoured to have been used at the Last Supper. The spoon was bent by energies unknown to science and was gold-plated through an Atlantean process." Although established in 1982 and first awarded in 1983, only one copy of the trophy exists, as "anyone wishing to acquire the trophy must remove it from our keeping by paranormal means" and no winner has yet overcome this obstacle.

    • For those who want to know how it's done, the trick is to apply real physical pressure to the spoon where the handle and bowl meet while misdirecting the audience's attention. Metal spoons, despite being metal, are surprisingly mallable and prone to bending. The performer is rellying on Reality Is Unrealistic among the audience to carry the thought that as a metal, it cannot be bent by human hands.
  • July 3, 2017
    AgProv
    Live Action Television or possibly Real Life
    • When Uri Geller first came to prominence in The Seventies and demonstrated his putative skill on TV in Great Britain, the watching audience was invited to join in. Indicating something interesting was going on, or possibly the extreme gullability of the British TV viewing public, the BBC's switchboards were inundated with calls from viewers alleging not only spoons bending to order, but also anomalies like long-stopped clocks springing into life again, or else clocks and watches inexplicably stopping at the very instant of Geller putting out the 'fluence. Either way - genuine paranormal event, mass gullibility or people misinterpreting wholly coincidental event - it provided lots of material for publications like Fortean Times to fill space with. FT still deals with spoon-bending, under the general headings of things like parapsychology, telekinesis and poltergeist activity.
  • July 3, 2017
    CactusFace
    Anime And Manga
    • A Runing Gag in Mob Psycho 100 is that Mob has trouble eating soup, since he always subconciously bends his spoons with his mind.

    Video Games
    • @Pokemon
      • The item Twisted Spoon increases the power of psychic attacks if held by a pokemon
  • July 3, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    This also has nothing to do with the specific type of metalbending.
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