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False Teeth Tomfoolery
False teeth, generally a sign of age, poor dental care, unfavourable tooth genetics, or a combination of any of these, are not really something to laugh at in Real Life.

But in fiction — false teeth are hilarious, scary or gross.

Old people have no problem letting you know their teeth are false, and spitting or whipping them out to show you, still dripping with saliva.

Or because old people are forgetful, they'll bite something too tough for their false teeth and leave the teeth in the item bitten.

Or the old person will loan their false teeth to somebody else to use. Or someone will borrow them, leaving the perplexed senior gumming in wonderment.

False teeth make good castanets, apparently.

Occasionally, someone will have different sets of false teeth for different occasions. There are the ones for smiling, or the big chompy set for eating steak or other tough foods, or for intimidating people.


Examples:

Anime
  • Weaponized by Shark Man Arlong in One Piece, with his actual teeth. He can remove his teeth (somehow still in one castanet-shaped piece) and use them as handheld ... bitey-things. He can also do this repeatedly, leading to him Dual Wielding sets of teeth in his hands while biting with his mouth.

Film
  • Carl Fredrickson from Up has dentures. During his fight with Charles Muntz, he spits them out at him.
  • Ed Wood: Ed scares some trick-or-treating kids who mock Bela Lugosi's attempts to frighten them by yanking out his partial.
    "Lost my pearlies in the war!"
  • James Bond villain "Jaws" subverts the trope by using false teeth in a non-humorous manner. Sharp metal ones.
  • In Monsters, Inc., one of the monsters puts in a pair of giant comic clackety false teeth once the factory uses laugh power instead of scream power.

Literature
  • In Worldwar, Sam Yeager is always making jokes involving his dental plates. He does it when he's in his seventies, but because he had Spanish Influenza as a kid and lost his teeth very young, he's been doing it his whole life.
  • One Encyclopedia Brown story involved Bugs Meany stealing someone's collection of false teeth and using them as castanets, like the Tom and Jerry example below.
  • In Augusten Burroughs' memoir Running with Scissors, young Augusten compliments his mother's boyfriend's teeth-who then removes them and offers them to him.
  • In Making Money, Cribbins has a pair of false teeth that he stole from a dead man's mouth; they're always causing trouble for him. Becomes quite serious at the end, though, when, as Cribbins is trying to rob Moist, the teeth fall to bits and cause him to be taken to hospital.
  • In To Kill a Mockingbird, the children regard Cool Old Lady Miss Maudie's false teeth as an impressive distinction.
  • In Around the World with Auntie Mame, the oversized, ancient and yellowed dentures worn by Lady Hermione Gravell-Pitt are a Running Gag and end up being the punchline to the whole England chapter.
  • David Sedaris's story "That's Amore" is about a horrible old neighbor of his who at one point calls him to come over and fish her teeth out of the bushes in front of their building, where they fell when she was yelling out the window at someone for throwing a lit cigarette away.
    Back upstairs, I found Helen waiting. She slid the dentures, unwashed, back into her mouth, and it was like popping the batteries into a particularly foul toy. "Rat bastard motherfucker could have set our whole building on fire!"
  • When the Great Glass Elevator crash-lands into the Bucket house at the end of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it's noted that "Grandma Josephine dropped her false teeth" in shock.

Live-Action TV
  • Sophia from The Golden Girls only occasionally mentions her false teeth. An instance when she does:
    Sophia: Dorothy, have you seen my teeth?
    Dorothy: They're in your mouth, Ma.
    Sophia: I know that. Don't they look good today? I ran them through the dishwasher.
  • Pair Of Kings: Boomer's false teeth fall out onto the floor while he and Brady are on the walking wheel.
  • Alluded to in Red Dwarf. One Space Corps Directive states, "No officer with false teeth should attempt to perform oral sex in zero gravity."
  • Kickin' It: one of the dojo's students recounts dancing. He kicks off a shoe which lands in a senior citizen's mouth. When he retrieves the shoe, the senior's teeth come out with it.
  • In the Musical Episode of Even Stevens, one of the steps in the gym-class obstacle course involves a bunch of chattering false teeth.

Newspaper Comics

Real Life
  • Classic Limerick:
    An elderly fellow called Keith
    Mislaid his set of false teeth.
    They'd been laid on a chair,
    He'd forgot they were there,
    Sat down, and was bitten beneath!
  • There's an old joke about a bar bet where a customer bets he can't bite his own eye. ...then of course takes out his false teeth.
  • A diver discovered an octopus that was clutching a set of human dentures.

Video Games
  • Day Of The Tentacle features George Washington as a character, so naturally fun is made of his false teeth.
    • Another puzzle involves dentures of a horse.
  • An espionage variant appears in a Team Fortress 2 supplemental comic, Unhappy Returns. Spy and Scout are in prison, and Spy warns Scout that the food they are being given has been laced with anti-psychotics and muscle relaxers, and he'd rather have a clear head in preparation for his upcoming trial. He sits at the table, pulling several false teeth from his mouth, which are revealed to include several tiny objects, such as a Cornish hen dinner, a candelabra, and a balisong (butterfly knife).

Webcomics
  • Spud Comics does it here.

Western Animation
  • Classic Betty Boop cartoon "Ha! Ha! Ha!" includes anthropomorphic false teeth when she and Koko dabble in dentistry.
  • On Futurama Prof. Farnsworth has nuclear-powered dentures, which prechew his food before putting it in his mouth. They go berserk in a diner after accidentally biting Fry and getting a taste for human flesh.
  • Disney:
    • Kick Buttowski: Kick's grandfather explains that his false teeth are why he tends to eat "mush".
    • Steamboat Willie has the false teeth behaving anthropomorphically.
    • One episode of Gravity Falls had Mabel swap Grunkle Stan's false teeth with a set of magic gold teeth that forced him to always tell the truth.
  • Fairly Oddparents has a cartoon in which George Washington's false teeth are made fun of.
  • Looney Tunes: Daffy Duck sings the following in "Daffy Doodles":
    She was an acrobat's daughter
    She swung by her teeth from a noose
    But one matinée, her bridgework gave 'way
    And she flew through the air like a goose!
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: "Family Appreciation Day" has Granny Smith doing a Tasty Gold sort of test on cooking pot, and then walking away, displeased with what she finds. Her teeth are left on the edge of the pot, and Apple Bloom has to retrieve them for her.
    • In "Apple Family Reunion", Granny Smith tells the story of an old relative of the Apple family, who got the name Apple Sauce when she dropped her false teeth into a vat of apple jam. Throughout the episode, much amusement is had involving Aunt Apple Sauce's dentures.
    "Yeah... never did find them teeth in all those jars."
  • The Simpsons: Grandpa has false teeth and occasionally takes them out; plus one time he was babysitting and Bart pulled them out of Grandpa's mouth and put them in his own mouth, and took a ride on the ceiling fan with them. When Homer & Marge came home Bart taped them up real quick and shoved them back into Grandpa's mouth.
    • In the episode which crosses over with The X-Files a turtle has somehow captured Grandpa's teeth and is making off with them. Grandpa can't catch the turtle.
  • Tom and Jerry:
    • "Love That Pup" has an instance of false teeth being used as castanets.
    • There's a cartoon in which Spike the bulldog takes out his everyday normal canine dog teeth, and puts in a much bigger set with larger, sharper teeth.
  • Rugrats: Grandpa loses his false teeth at a picnic in an episode, where he needs them to play correctly in a brass band.
  • Johnny Bravo: Johnny is convinced he is getting old. Somebody hands him a pair of false teeth, and he shoves them into his mouth, inside of his real, perfect teeth.
  • Meet the Robinsons: The whole "meeting the Robinson family" part happens while Louis and Grandpa look for Grandpa's teeth. Frankie the Frog was wearing them the whole time.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: "The Laughing" - A clown takes a hard fall, knocking his false teeth loose. They go flying across the yard and bite Dexter, turning him into a were-clown.
  • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness: "Has Been Hero" Kwan the Unkillable accidentally spits out his false teeth — repeatedly — in his meeting with Po.
  • Erky Perky:
    Moldy Van Oldy: "...so I said 'If you're going to do that with my teeth, we should get married!'"


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