Cartoon Bug Sprayer YKTTW Discussion

Cartoon Bug Sprayer
Canister bug sprayer with hand pump
(permanent link) added: 2012-08-28 00:29:04 sponsor: Random888 (last reply: 2012-09-16 04:30:23)

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Cartoon characters still use old-fashioned "flit gun" bug sprayers, in much the same way they still use Cartoon Bombs, Plunger Detonators, and Big Electric Switches.

Flit guns were in common use from about the late 1920s until the mid 1950s, which coincides almost exactly with The Golden Age of Animation. While Golden Age cartoons with flit guns are just reflecting contemporary technology, it's their use of them which established flit guns as the Universal Cartoon Symbol For Bug Sprayer and they've remained so long after the technology became obsolete in the real world.

  • The name "flit gun" is a Brand Name Takeover, referring to the insecticide company Flit. Flit rose to prominence in the early twentieth century due to a highly successfully marketing campaign. The campaign used humorous cartoons, drawn by none other than a pre-fame Dr. Seuss, and spawned a popular Catch Phrase, "Quick, Henry, the Flit!" So successful was the campaign that, at one time, crop dusters were nicknamed "flying flit guns".

  • In The Wizard of Oz, the Cowardly Lion arms himself against the Wicked Witch with one.
  • In Animal Crackers, Harpo uses one at the end of the movie which knocks everyone out, including himself.
  • In Labyrinth, Hoggle uses one of these against flying fairies.

Live-Action TV

Video Games
  • This is what your character uses in Donkey Kong 3, and also the Game & Watch game Greenhouse.
  • Lots of time management games that involve either farming or flower growing will invoke this trope when fighting off bugs. There are a bunch of them on
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl: Mr Game and Watch uses a buy sprayer as one of his attacks.
  • In Legend of the Crystal Skull, Nancy must use one of these against wasps to gain access to a tree's fruit.

Western Animation
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