[[quoteright:350:[[Film/BeverlyHillsCop http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/banana_tailpipe_1785.jpg]]]]
You've got someone on your tail. Could be a cop, [[TheBully the local bully]], or a ''[[ImplacableMan very]]'' [[ImplacableMan persistent]] {{loan shark}}. You could try to slow them down by shoving a banana (or potato, or similar sized object) in the tailpipe or muffler of their car. That way, you could give yourself time to escape and have a good laugh at the victim's expense as their car sputters and churns and fails to go anywhere. If the script calls for it, the car might even [[EveryCarIsAPinto explode]].

[[RealityIsUnrealistic If only it worked like that in real life]]. A banana or a single potato jammed into the tailpipe will probably be ejected at high speed. Completely blocking the tailpipe of a car with something that can't simply be blown out (which can be as simple as ''more'' bananas) ''will'' smother the engine, but will not set the car on fire.

A subtrope of VehicularSabotage.
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!!'''Examples:'''

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* There was an episode of the ''Anime/{{Little Lulu}}'' anime where Wilbur's butler was replaced by a [[DrillSergeantNasty stricter butler]] who anticipated all of the tricks that Lulu and the others were going to pull on him. Finally, they come up with a plan to work together to get rid of the mean butler. One of the tricks involved Tubby stuffing a handkerchief in the tailpipe of the limosine, and when the mean butler checked the tailpipe, the handkerchief came loose and he wound up with a face full of smoke and soot from the tailpipe.

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Messed with in one of the early issues of the comic ''ComicBook/SpyBoy'', where Bombshell stops a (moving) car of bad guys by tossing what ''appears'' to be a lit cigarette into the tailpipe. The car blows up several blocks later. Considering that Bombshell is an explosives expert, however, [[JustifiedTrope it's not quite as far-fetched]].
* ''ComicBook/BillyTheCat'' uses it too.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* The TropeNamer here is the film ''Film/BeverlyHillsCop'', where Eddie Murphy's character used this technique to foil a group of bumbling police officers. Famous for a notorious editing screwup: the banana he holds is curved, but the one in the tailpipe is straight - they couldn't fit the bent one in the tailpipe. Filming mistakes aside, the movie does, surprisingly, play the trope more accurately than most: Axel uses multiple bananas to ensure an effective obstruction, and there is no fire or explosion.
** Parodied in the "Trial of the Century" episode of ''ClerksTheAnimatedSeries''. Judge Reinhold (the actor, acting as the courtroom judge) is lured away from Dante's trial by Axel Foley, who "needs (his) help!" - and they spend the evening stuffing bananas in people's tailpipes and watching them stall, but the fun ends when the local grocer reveals that he's ran out of bananas. Then Judge Reinhold wakes up ("No! Axel! Come back!"). "I had that dream again!"
* In the live-action version of ''Disney/OneHundredAndOneDalmatians'', raccoons put a large nut in the tailpipe of the bad guys' truck. The pressure does shoot the nut out eventually - when the bad guy is examining the tail pipe.
* In the movie ''HollywoodKnights'', the titular gang shoves a potato into the tailpipe of the squad car of [[PoliceAreUseless two bumbling cops]] at the local drive-in diner...with hilariously loud results!
* This happened in ''Film/TheThreeStooges'' a couple times.
* Terra does this to Cherry in ''Pep Squad'', which leads to the funny image (seen in the trailer) of Cherry holding up a banana and angrily growling "''Who did this to me''?"
* In Soviet comedy ''Dog Paced a Piano'' a high school girl and her preteen sister sabotage one of engines of a cropdusting Hoodlum helicopter with a beet. Because the older sister loves the pilot and doesn't want him to leave. The beet does not shoot from the pipe, but the exhaust goes to the cabin instead. The pilot lands the machine immediately after the takeoff and feels dizzy for a few minutes after. Then the girl's UnluckyChildhoodFriend surrenders himself to the police as the perpetrator, fearing that this accident may qualify as a murder attempt. The pilot pities him and insists that a helicopter cannot be harmed by beet and nothing happened.[[note]]The friend still gets 15 days of community service [[ItsALongStory for systematically misleading the police and being a general nuisance]]. The girl joins him and helps him sweep streets, finally leaving the pilot alone.[[/note]]
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[[folder: Literature]]
* ''Spud,'' a 2005 teen comedy novel by South African writer John van de Ruit, includes a moment where the headmaster's car is "sodomized" by a banana, and the engine explodes as a result. The boy accused of the crime, Guy Emberton, is named after a friend of the author's; he actually said in the acknowledgments that the real Emberton "isn't really a banana vandal," thus spoiling this scene slightly.
* There is an interview with Creator/TerryPratchett where he imagines the Discworld subversion of this: someone on stakeout on horseback, and someone else (the Librarian?) sneaking up behind them with a banana. Something similar actually happens in ''[[Discworld/NightWatch Night Watch]]''. Except instead of a horse, it's an ox. And instead of a banana, it's a handful of fresh ginger. And instead of making the animal [[HilarityEnsues stop moving]]...
* The normally law-abiding Frank of ''Literature/TheHardyBoys'' does this with a potato to the tailpipe of a police car in the Casefile book ''Brother Against Brother'' so he can steal another vehicle. Don't worry, he had a good reason...
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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''Series/{{Columbo}}'' did this with a potato.
* A variation was used in ''PushingDaisies'': the murderer shoved a potato into the tailpipe of Ned's car to fill the car with exhaust and knock out Ned and Emerson during a stakeout.
** Such a thing could only happen if the exhaust system already had a leak up near the passenger compartment, which they would have noticed when the car suddenly became louder because the muffler was being bypassed.
** The same was used much earlier in an episode of ''Series/{{Ironside}}''.
* Also subverted in ''{{Minder}}'', in which a potato was used in this manner to shoot out and smash the window of another car.
* This trope also occurred in an episode of ''Series/DiagnosisMurder'', this time with a wad of cash.
* When the ''Series/MythBusters'' tried this, everything they stuffed up the tailpipe shot out immediately when Jamie started the engine.
* Happened in ''{{Eastenders}}'', with a potato. A man put it in his enemy's car's tailpipe and sniggered as the car sputtered. He stopped laughing when the pressure ejected the potato into his shop window.
* In one episode of ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'', Will mentions that some students at his old school once keyed a teacher's car and stuck a potato in the tailpipe. His cousin [[TheDitz Hilary]] hears this and is later caught rubbing a potato on her rival's car and leaving her keys in the tailpipe.
* Used in an episode of ''Series/{{Psych}}'' to stop a car thief from reaching 200 mph in a stolen car and thus getting away with murder.
* Averted in favour of the more realistic option in, of all things, ''Series/{{Glee}}'', when Mercedes stuffs tater tots up the exhaust pipe of Sue Sylvester's Le Car and does several thousand dollars' worth of damage.
* Happened in ''Tee Off, Series/MrBean'' when the eponymous character hits a golf ball into a car's tailpipe, causing it to churn and sputter for several seconds before shooting the ball out at high speed.
* ''Series/MacGyver'': In "A Prisoner of Conscience", Mac stalls the car of the secret police who are tailing him by sticking a potato in the exhaust pipe.
* In an episode of ''Series/BurnNotice''[[note]]"Official Business" (Season 6)[[/note]], Fiona stuffs a folded woven belt (clearly shown as porous and ''not'' something that could cause a complete blockage) into the exhaust pipe of an SUV. It doesn't cause the car to blow up or even keep it from being driven, but causes sufficient damage that the bad guys have to limp to the nearest service station...which was the point of the exercise, as the good guys needed to hide tools in the SUV for the next step of their plan.
* In the first episode of ''DadsArmy'', while having a discussion of how to take on a tank with improvised weapons, Jones suggests plugging the exhaust with spuds (potatoes). Mainwarrign points out that it wouldn't work because tanks have long, thin exhaust pipes. [[ComicallyMissingThePoint Jones asks why they can't use long, thin spuds.]]
* In Season 19 Episode 2 of ''Series/TopGear'', Jeremy and James did this to Richard's Dodge Viper before they raced to the Mexican border.[[note]]The person to finish last would be forced to cross the border into Mexico and do a review of a Mexican supercar for an upcoming segment. The presenters had also made unfortunate comments about said car and Mexicans in general a couple of series previously.[[/note]] Since the car had enormous tailpipes, and two of them at that, they were forced to add more and larger fruits to clog it down. Hammond removed the tailpipe fruit salad before attempting to set off, only to find they'd sabotaged the car in other ways as well.
* ''Series/MissFishersMurderMysteries'': In "Blood at the Wheel", Phyrne sabotages Jack's car by stuffing her stocking into the exhaust pipe.
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[[folder: Radio ]]

* In the fictional town of Lake Wobegon (as heard on ''Radio/APrairieHomeCompanion''), everyone buys either Fords or Chevys, depending on religion. This is mandatory. In one case, someone who bought foreign couldn't get his car started the next day 'cause someone had stuck a potato up the tailpipe.
* In ''TreeFromMyYouth'', Salsa is able to destroy a Pig Mask tank by shoving what is implied to be his own feces in the tailpipe.

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[[folder: Real Life ]]

* There have been advertisements in the past for locking caps that fit over tailpipes to disable them.
* Try stretching an ordinary latex balloon across the pipe. Since it expands, it won't rocket off instantly, giving it time to smother the engine. Then, if you've done everything right, it will pop, making a loud noise and spooking your victim without actually causing damage to the car.
** Similarly, some joke stores sell tailpipe whistles. [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin They fit over the pipe and partially obstruct air flow in a way that causes it to make a whistling sound]].
* Works very well on two-stroke engines. Good luck finding a car with one, though.
* According to General Romeo Dallaire's memoir ''Shake Hands With the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda'', some Bangladeshi UN peacekeepers sabotaged their ''own'' armored personnel carriers by sticking rags in the tailpipe so that they could [[DirtyCoward avoid being sent on rescue missions in Kigali once the genocide had started.]]

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The second case of ''[[ApolloJustice Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney]]'' featured a car being disabled by - wait for it - [[spoiler:a pair of panties. MAGICAL panties]].
** [[spoiler: To the relief of one and all, the person who they were stolen from (yes, stolen from) doesn't wear them; they're part of a BagOfHolding-type act. But that doesn't make the choice of prop any less disturbing...]]
** During the course of that case, [[ChekhovsGun something similar happens to Klavier Gavin's motorcycle]]; his bike's tailpipe gets clogged due to him using the wrong oil.
* In ''[[Videogame/SpaceQuest Space Quest 5: The Next Mutation]]'', the hero, Roger Wilco, is being stalked by a gynoid that's out to kill him for alleged mail fraud. How does Roger Wilco save himself? By hiding in a log, then, when the gynoid lands on top of said log, sticking a banana-like fruit in the exhaust pipe of her jet pack, causing it to explode.
* In the ''{{Spider-Man}}'' game for Playstation, you have to close several smokestacks with covers, to cause an effect "like a banana in a tailpipe". In the sillier What If? mode, the tops of the covers actually have bananas on them.
* Not in the game itself, but in a ''DiddyKongRacing'' promo video from ''Nintendo Power'', at one point, the host mentions someone stuffed a bag of acorns into the tailpipe of Krunch's plane, with Conker being the primary suspect.
* In Jet Fighters II on iPhone, there's an unlockable Taunt called Banana Plug. It depicts the exhaust of a jet filled with bananas.

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[[folder: Web Original ]]

* This is the only reason [=DazzlingAddar=] can think of for the little car in ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong64'' to have a Golden Banana, though whether he thinks of the car doing this to other cars or to itself depends on the level.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "The Honking", Leela plans to kill the were-car by shoving a silver potato in its tailpipe. Unfortunately, it doesn't have one, "thanks to Ed Begley Jr.'s electric motor, the most evil propulsion system ever conceived!"
** Again, in "Into the Wild Green Yonder", when the Feministas sabotage a sweeper by pouring sugar in the fuel tank and shoving an organic potato (crawling with worms) in the tailpipe.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'', the family car was disabled by a toy rattle in the tailpipe. The family only figured it out after Arthur called ''CarTalk''.
* A clear ShoutOut in the super-short-lived ''WesternAnimation/{{Clerks}} the Animated series'': one episode revolved around spoofing courtroom dramas and featured actor Judge Reinhold as...well, an actual judge: the Honorable Judge Reinhold. The episode became a crazy patchwork of dream sequences, usually ending in a CatapultNightmare for the character having the dream. In Reinhold's dream, his final verdict is interrupted by Detective Axel Foley, the lead character of the Film/BeverlyHillsCop series, bursting into the courtroom and telling "Billy" he needed his help. (Judge Reinhold played Detective William Rosewood in the BeverlyHillsCop films). Reinhold eagerly drops his black robe and rushes to Axel's aid. The two spend many happy hours stuffing bananas in tailpipes and laughing as cars malfunction...until the fruit vendor runs out of bananas, at which point it's Reinhold's turn to catapult awake.
* In ''WesternAnimation/WhereOnEarthIsCarmenSandiego'', Zack disables Carmen's flying machine by shooting an arrow into the exhaust port.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "Viewer Mail No. 2 (Point of Stew)", Stewie attempts to stuff a Twinkie in Brian's tailpipe, only to have it shot back to his face and ends up on an unexpected ride with Brian.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'', Hayley's attempts to stop industrialists from bulldozing a forest include shoving a banana in the exhaust pipe of a bulldozer, but she's interrupted by a group of eco-terrorists who ask her to join them.
* Appeared in the short-lived ''AceVentura: Pet Detective'' series.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', Jack and Smokescreen return from a mission together laughing their heads off. Smokescreen asks what Jack put in his boss's exhaust pipe, and Jack responds with "Pizza". They specifically dump fast food on people's cars as a way of circumventing the fact that [[ThouShallNotKill they shouldn't be violently hurting people for petty reasons]]. Arcee is less than impressed.
* In an episode of ''GoofTroop'', Max and PJ lie to their fathers about joining the baseball team, so they try various methods to keep them from going to the games and finding out the truth. One of those methods is filling Pete's exhaust pipe with cement.
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And [[FreudWasRight stop snickering]] already!!