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Where a character is given or is holding an item, considers it for a second and then dismisses it as worthless, unimportant, or irrelevant and subsequently rids themselves of it, frequently by tossing it over their shoulder without a glance. Sometimes results in item breaking or secondary character chasing after it as it may actually be important. Sometimes it is a part that was broken off of something else, and is accompanied by an 'Oh, well' or 'Whatever.' Can be Played for Laughs
if discarded item unintentionally hits something. If it's a disguised explosive, expect it to detonate on impact.
Item may just not be what a character is looking for, especially if sought item is thought to be buried in a closet or other clothing storage place. Expect something similar to a toned-down Ransacked Room
but is usually done by a forgetful owner who can't remember where they hid something.
Often used to show an impatient or careless character trait.
While this does happen in Real Life, sometimes intentionally like a Bouquet Toss
or for a Superstition Episode
with salt, most people will simply put or hand an item back. If they do toss it, it usually isn't over the shoulder (a blind-spot). If it's actual garbage, might be used as a Wastebasket Ball
. May come back later as a Brick Joke
. Compare and contrast Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...
- This is how Usagi initially meets Mamoru in Sailor Moon—she crumples up and tosses away a bad test paper, and hits him.
- In one episode of Great Teacher Onizuka, Urumi throws an empty bottle over her shoulder; it hits a Yakuza boss on the head.
- Done in Pokémon by Iris, with an oversized Basculin. She had grabbed it out of a river with her bare hands during a fishing contest after getting bored with fishing the normal way, and threw it back after she was told she had broken the rules.
- Garfield does this with a flower after sniffing it in this◊ strip. A bee nearby him gets offended at this, so he grabs the flower, flies to Garfield, and hits him with it.
- In an Archie Comics, Jughead refuses to be superstitious on Friday the 13th. After bad luck following each attempt to disprove the notion, he finds a horseshoe, scoffs at the idea it's lucky, and casually throws it away. It hits a passing driver in the head — who turns out to be tall, muscled, and none too pleased.
- In one Disney comic, a superstitious Donald Duck spills a salt shaker and declares it's bad luck, unless you toss some above your shoulder. He promptly does so, only for the salt to land in someone's ice cream. Cue angry customer.
- In the comic continuation of Gargoyles, Broadway disarmed the club wielding clone Burbank. He then blindly tossed the club over his shoulder, to knock out the clone known as Malibu.
- In the 2008 Iron Man, while Tony is in captivity and building a weapon, he carefully pulls apart a warhead for .13 grams of palladium and tosses the rest of it behind him with a comment of "Don't need that."
- While Wall-E is looking for treasure, he comes across a diamond ring in a hinged box. However, after pulling the ring out of the box, he tosses the ring over his shoulder, being fascinated with the box.
- The Emperor's New Groove: At the end of Kuzco's funeral, all the "mourners" casually toss the candles they were holding behind them and go back to work, clearly not distraught in the least.
- ˇThree Amigos!. When the title characters are riding through the desert, Lucky Day and Ned Nederlander run out of water. Dusty Bottoms takes a drink from his canteen and casually tosses it away even though it's still full of water, to the stunned disbelief of Lucky and Ned.
- In the film adaptation of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Scott buys an item from the internet for the sole purpose of talking to Ramona. When she delivers it, he casually tosses it into the trashcan behind him without looking. Notable because no special effects were involved: Michael Cera had to do about 40 some odd takes in order to get the package to land exactly in the trash can.
- In Dumb and Dumber, Lloyd tells Harry that, in order to get rid of bad luck, he should toss some salt over his left shoulder. Harry, without a thought, tosses an entire salt shaker over his right shoulder. This, of course, beans "Sea Bass", a very large and angry gentlemen.
- In the remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mr. Salt hands Wonka a business card, which Wonka promptly whips over his shoulder without even a glance at it.
- In Police Academy, an apple core thrown over the shoulder hits a gangbanger and starts a chain reaction that results in huge riots.
- The 1960 Disney version of Swiss Family Robinson, Francis tosses a lit-up coconut bomb at the pirates, where the pirate captain grabs hold of it looks at it for a second, then tosses it away. It hits another pirate on the head, and explodes.
- This often occurs in The Three Stooges, whatever was being tossed aside would end up hitting Moe and giving him a reason to Dope Slap someone.
- In Star Trek: Generations, after the Enterprise-D crash-landed, Picard is seen in his ready room looking for his photo album, and he picks up a ceramic object, casually putting it back down in a dismissive manner. It was his priceless Kurlan naiskos from the show, used here as a random prop. Notable from the RedLetterMedia review, including dubbing a glass shatter over the discard.
- Alien: Resurrection has one memorable scene where Ellen Ripley tosses a Basketball into a hoop as if it was no big deal. Sigourney Weaver actually got the ball in the hoop for the shot, but that doesn't mean the scene wasn't unedited: they had to edit out one of the actors exclaiming "Oh shit!" at the fact that she got it in the hoop, which would have been an Out-of-Character Moment. Doubles as a Real Life example in this case.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Dalek":
- An Establishing Character Moment for the rich obstructor, van Staten, who confers with the Ninth Doctor on an alien device that turns out to be a delicate musical instrument. He plays a few notes, then, content that he knows all he needs about it, casually tosses it aside.
- The Doctor tosses away items in this fashion while looking for a weapon to fight the Dalek with "Broken, broken, hairdryer, broken...".
- During a MythBusters build-off, Jamie pulled the outer shell off a radio and tossed it over his shoulder.
- Happens all the time in Black Books. That's probably why the bookshop is such a mess.
- The Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show tosses food over his shoulder almost every time he appears. The puppeteers had a Self-Imposed Challenge to dislodge everything on the rear wall this way.
- The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.: Bad Luck Betty, a superstitious deputy, managed to put the sheriff in a full body cast after tossing salt over her shoulder just as he came in, which made him lose his footing and a grandfather clock fall on him.
- Alan Davies occasionally does this on QI when the guests are given cards to interact with. In particular, he disgustedly threw away his diagram of a tongue map after learning that its theory is now discredited, and did the same with a silhouette of an elephant after incorrectly labeling its knees (the joints of an elephant's front legs are considered elbows).
- During a filmed WWE promo, Curt Hennig in his "Mr. Perfect" character throws a basketball behind his back and gets nothing but net.
- Characters in Scribblenauts do this with items they don't want.
- In Sonic Adventure Battle 2, If you try giving a Chao fruit and they don't finish it, they toss it away.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, no sooner have you gotten the three Plot Coupons than the apparent Big Bad Zant shows up, takes them, looks at them for a moment, and then tosses them away in disdain, leaving you to find four more Plot Coupons to find him again.
- In ''Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate Simon comes across a magical relic: a blue crystal ball. After picking up and staring at it for a bit, nothing happens, causing him to give a disappointed "Bah." and tossing it over his shoulder with a deadpan look, breaking it. After breaking however, the Spirit of Belnades appears from inside and starts to help him out.
- Goblins: Minmax does this when he discovers the Any Mug in the poorly locked chest, declaring the mug "lame," and hitting Forgath in the helmet. It's not until a later scene that they realize the mug is a magical item.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Discord creates a glass of chocolate milk. He then drinks the glass, leaving the milk behind suspended in air. He then casually tosses it behind him. The milk explodes.
- In the first episode of Xiaolin Showdown, Jack Spicer opens a puzzle box containing "A mask? Lame." and tosses them behind him.
- The Simpsons, "Two Bad Neighbors"
Homer: Good old Evergreen Terrace: the swankiest street in the classiest part of Pressboard Estates.
Bart: Well if you love it so much, why are you always littering?
Homer: [finishing a canned drink] It's easier, duh. [tosses can on ground]
- In an episode of Dog City, Ace bought a newspaper, read the headline, then disgustedly wadded the paper and tossed it over his shoulder. Makes you wonder why he bothered wasting a quarter....
- In the first season South Park episode "Mecha-Streisand", Cartman tosses aside a triangle that he digs up on a school excavation trip. Said triangle turns out to be an ancient artifact.
- Appears as a running gag in Inspector Gadget. At the beginning of each episode, Chief Quimby would give the titular character a mission briefing written on self destructing paper. After reading it, Gadget would invariably crumple it up and obliviously throw it over his shoulder on his way out, where it would blow up in Quimby's face.