I'll bring a steak to reduce any swelling from the beats. Mildred:
Does that actually work? Lottie:
I dunno. I think the idea's just that you're doing pretty good compared to the cow.
Have an injury? Just slap a piece of steak over that wound!
The Beef Bandage is when a character applies a raw, (and sometimes bloody) slab of steak over a fresh wound, commonly a black eye. It is said that the steak stops the swelling of the wound, or successfully acts as an icepack if the steak is frozen.
Truth in Television
, although it isn't really recommended that you try it
, unless the steak is frozen and sealed inside plastic wrap. Cow blood seeping into one of the most absorbent parts of your body (the eye) usually isn't good for you. You're probably better off with an ice pack note
. The reason behind using a steak was the fact that steak in general is kind of flexible and would form to the contour of your eye socket. Bags of frozen vegetables are sometimes used for the same purpose. Nowadays, most people simply recommend a washcloth soaked in cold water. Meat bandages are also an effective way to deal with botfly maggots
, as the maggots are likely to leave the infested person's flesh and burrow into the meat, which can then be discarded.
The steak treatment may originate in ancient Greek medical theory of the "Four Humors
". The beef, being red and bloody, would draw out the swelling. It didn't work, but since the treatment was fairly harmless and the cool meat might actually make it feel better, the custom persisted.
Not to be confused with Hyperactive Metabolism
, though "Turkey Bandage" was proposed as a name for that.
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- In The Magician's Nephew, when the jeweler complains that Jadis blacked his eye, a butcher's boy recommends a nice raw beefsteak to reduce the swelling.
- In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Hagrid does this with dragon steak once he returns to Hogwarts.
- Done at least once in Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness series.
- The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies mentions the steak in the "Black Eye" section of the book. The book says however that it was the coldness of the steak causing the healing of the wound or black eye. In fact, the book even goes on to say a vegetarian may have gotten the same result from iceberg lettuce.
Live Action TV
- Hannah does this with a frozen fish from a cooking show in Hannah Montana.
Robbie: You know, when we get home I might cook that up for you, just for the halibut. Halibut!
- Kramer applies one to his face in an episode of Seinfeld ("The Apology").
- He borrows it from Jerry when he gets a black eye, then later asks for some A-1, because he is also cooking a steak of his own at the time.
- Occurs in an episode of The Brady Bunch to Peter.
- Done during the first season of Mash with Trapper after the boxing match.
- In one episode of Chuck, Chuck can't afford a steak, so he brings Sarah a hamburger patty for her black eye.
- In Roswell Max pretends to do this, but actually uses his alien Healing Hands to cure the wound. The guy is incredulous at just how well it worked.
- On Happy Days, in the episode where the boys fight a gang called the Red Devils, they go back to the Cunningham house afterwards, where Mrs. C gives Potsie one.
- In an episode of Home Improvement, Tim has a black eye because Jill accidentally hit him. George Foreman, who is guest-starring on Tool Time, recommends that he put a thick steak on it. Al says he thought you were supposed to put ice on a black eye, to which Foreman says, "But when you're done with ice, you can't barbecue it."
- In a Christmas episode of Bewitched, the Stevenses and their neighbors, the Kravitzes, each decide to temporarily adopt an orphan for the holidays. Said kids get into a fistfight over the existence of Santa Claus. Mrs. Kravitz suggests that they buy steak for the resulting shiner; Mr. Kravitz wonders why they can't just use cold cuts.
- In an episode of Green Acres that tells the story of some farmers in a book Oliver is reading, the character that Lisa plays puts one over Oliver's character's eye after getting into a fight at a barn dance. Actually it was pot roast, but same difference.
- In Roundhouse, the "new kid" uses one following a punch from The Bully, until his Bumbling Dad asks to put it on the grill.
- Mr Edwards does this in an episode of Little House on the Prairie.
- Following a fight with the ex of a girl he's seeing, crazy old Grady Wilson puts a slice of bologna on Lamont's black eye because, as he says, steak is much too expensive.
- Discussed in Bad Machinery, here. Mildred is sceptical about whether it actually works, while Lottie thinks it's supposed to be a reminder that "you're doing pretty good compared to the cow". (In the end, she can't afford steak and buys a pack of frozen beef burgers.)
- Has happened at least once with a brontosaurus steak on The Flintstones.
- Done in Popeye.
- Used in Recess. T.J. gets a black eye, and he's doing this on the drive to school. When he gets there, his parents ask for the steak back, saying that they need it for tonight's dinner.
- Used in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy in the episode where Grim becomes alive. He gets punched by a guy at the mall, and then Grim is seen using this. Then Billy's dad punches him out of jealousy because his wife is taking care of Grim.
- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Comet Kermillion," Doofenshmirtz invents "Steak Specs," glasses made from steaks, so he won't have to hold a steak up to his black eye.
- Used in Dumbo by one of the elephants after the tent collapse.
- Implied on an episode of Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats.