Fake in the Hole
The Mooks are standing back to back, knowing the hero is near and ready to kick their ass. Suddenly they hear the familiar sound of metal hitting the ground. "GRENADE!", yells one of them and they all drop to the floor. When the explosion fails to occur, they then realize it's just a not-so-dangerous decoy. Compare Where's The Kaboom?
Examples:Anime and Manga
- Gunsmith Cats: In the "Misfire" arc, Minnie May tosses a dummy grenade at Gray to force him to back away from the fallen Rally.
- In the Condor arc of Forward, Mal and Zoe duck for cover only to find that what was thrown at them was an empty clip, with the message of "we could have tossed a grenade".
- This trope is sadistically played with in Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons, where a booby-trapped jack-in-the-box in the Fluttershy Medical Center drops several dud grenades. The real explosion, on a delayed fuse, comes from the jack-in-the-box itself.
- Seen in the deleted scenes of Serenity, when Mal and Inara escape from the Operative. Mal is throwing a real, but still-pinned, grenade at the Feds to distract them, before gingerly picking it back up as he goes by.
- The lead character in Biggles - Adventures in Time is once drawn into a fight after taking a shower - wearing only a towel. He holds off a group of German troops by turning on his cordless razor and throwing it, yelling "GRENADE!"
- Tobruk (1967). World War II Antihero, Maj. Donald Craig, and his British squad mates used this and Insert Grenade Here to steal a Nazi tank.
- In High Plains Drifter, but with a stick of dynamite instead of a grenade. Everyone scatters, the fuse goes down, but nothing happens.
- In Captain America: The First Avenger, Colonel Phillips throws a grenade at the Super Soldier candidates. While everyone else runs for cover, Steve Rogers throws himself over it. Fortunately, it was a dummy grenade.
- In the Doc Savage novel The Red Skull, Doc deters pursuit by throwing his watch at his pursuers. The crooks, thinking it is one of Doc's gas bombs, break off the chase.
- Doc Sidhe: Jean-Pierre does this in the first novel. When the gunmen invade Doc's office, Jean-Pierre throws a paperweight at one, shouting "Stickbomb!". While the thug is trying to get away from the supposed bomb, Jean-Pierre shoots him.
- In an episode of Hogan's Heroes, the POWs create a distraction by tossing a live grenade into Klink's office but without pulling the trigger cord (the equivalent of the pin on a potato masher grenade). This gives them time to pull off their Zany Scheme while the Germans are diving for cover.
- In an episode of Blake's 7, Avon throws a stone into a nest of Federation troops, shouting "Grenade!" The troops reflexively dive for cover, and when they realize it was fake and look up, the heroes have them at gunpoint.
Avon: It must have been a dud. Sorry about that.
- A Deep Thoughts segment double subverted this trope, suggesting that if you're even in a war zone, you should shout "GRENADE!" and throw a miniature pumpkin at the enemy. When they see the pumpkin, it'll make them stop and ponder how senseless war is, and while they're pondering, you can throw a real grenade.
- Played with in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, during the Mutiny arc. Kara and Lee are facing a hallway full of mooks and they only have a flashbang grenade and some guns. So Lee throws the grenade like it's a live one and uses the distraction to shoot the mooks.
- MacGyver: In "For Love or Money", Mac removes the explosive core from a grenade and then tosses it at a group of border guards to distract them while he makes a run across the border.
- Leverage: In "The Van Gogh Job", Charlie Lawson does this; pulling the pin on a dud grenade he brought back from the war in order to scare off some thugs who are closing in on him.
- Inverted in the CHIKARA indy promotion. Wrestler Chuck Taylor, with a background as a military brat growing up, is known for pulling out an imaginary grenade from his trunks and throwing it as his opponents, where it imagine-arily detonates to devastating effect. The inversion is the fact that the grenade is imaginary. An argument for a Double Subversion could be made since wrestlers react to the imaginary grenade as if it is really there, even though it's really not.
- West End Games' Men in Black. During the solitaire adventure in the main rules the alien you're pursuing throws an object at you. You can assume it's a grenade and dive for cover or pick it up and look at it. It turns out to be a package of
- One of the Wraith's ability in End Of Nations, making it appear to the enemy that a superweapon strike is aimed on that location.
- In the Generator Rex episode "Badlands", Rex throws a can of soda at Gatlocke's gang, causing them to dive for cover as they think it is a cannister of unstable nanites.
- Truth in Television - In World War II, American troops would sometimes throw rocks to give themselves some breathing room while the Japanese/Germans would dive for cover against a boom that wouldn't come. After a while, the Japanese/Germans would figure it out and not bother taking cover when the rocks were thrown. Then the Americans would throw an actual grenade.
- There is one instance of a soldier doing this to a tank, with an apple. He was pinned down by a tank, out of ammo, and said tank was bearing down on him. He reached into his pocket hoping to find a grenade, but could only find an apple that had been given to him by a grateful villager the day before. Armed with that, he flanked the tank, climbed on top of it, and threw the apple down the tank's hatch. While the tank crew was busy shitting themselves over what they mistook was an actual grenade, the soldier made tracks into the town, and relative safety.
- In an example of using an actual grenade to fake something more serious, another trick used by some Allied soldiers on German tanks during World War II was to use smoke grenades to convince crews of German Panther tanks that their engine is on fire, since the Panther out-armored and outgunned most Allied tanks but was also notorious for engine fires. The resulting panic among the crew might net the Allied soldiers a fully functional Panther or, at least, a few minutes to think of ways to more permanently knock it out.