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The Doctor: Go! Now! Don't drop the banana!
Jack: Why not?!
The Doctor: Good source of potassium!
A character has a piece of fruit. There is no reason for him to have
the fruit; he just does. Often, he is an eccentric character
and will pull out the fruit
whenever the moment is quite tense. It's a Fruit of the Loon, you see.
This works extremely well with bananas (because Freud Was Right
, anyone can slip on a Banana Peel
, and banana
is an Inherently Funny Word
), but it also works with apples, oranges, kumquats, lemons, tangelos, pineapples and, in one case, a satsuma
. Often makes use of a Fundamentally Funny Fruit
Compare The Snack Is More Interesting
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Anime & Manga
- Excel Saga: The opening sequence features Hyatt suggestively eating a banana, having already thrown several peels on the ground, and Excel slipping on one of the peels. And the line of the theme song playing at that moment is even about slipping on banana peels. This being Excel Saga, all this is completely par for the course.
- Axis Powers Hetalia: When Spain lets Italy leave him during the Seven Years War, he pulls out a banana and says (how redundant), "nice bananas." Readers are still trying to figure out what that was about.
- In the Alice in Wonderland Whole Plot Reference episode of Ouran High School Host Club, bananas play a role, possibly a reference to the running Banana Peel gag.
- A minor recurring character also has a strong thing for oranges.
- ''Ranma Ĺ has Principal Kunou who not only produces pineapples any time he can, but also has a small pineapple tree growing out of his head.
- Take note that some of these pineapples explode. He also seemed to have a thing for coconuts in his introductory story/episode.
- Evermary, who is more or less Haru's grandfather in Rave Master breaks up a potential confesion of love with the offer of an apple. Apples, in fact, are something Evermay loves so much that he once abducted a small chiled (Gale) because the baby happened to have apple red cheeks.
- Mulan: The boys stuff their dresses with a variety of fruit, including... a banana.
- The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension: In the middle of chasing down the bad guys, the Hong Kong Cavaliers run through Buckaroo's lab. There is a watermelon in a vise. New Jersey stops, nonplussed, asks, "Why is there a watermelon there?" Reno replies, "I'll tell you later", and they immediately resume pursuit of the bad guys. It's never mentioned again.
- In the fanclub newsletter, it was revealed that (in story) they were developing watermelons which could be airdropped without parachutes into dangerous famine stricken areas. It was also hinted that the scene was filmed as a Take That directed at a meddling studio exec.
- Further, in-story the effort was abandoned when someone at the Institute belatedly realized that watermelons that could be airdropped couldn't be cut open by anything short of industrial equipment.
- There is a direct Shout-Out to this scene in the BattleTech novel Warrior: Coupe. In this case, the watermelon actually ends up accidentally saving a couple of researchers' lives by triggering a loud alarm when vaporized by a stray laser shot and thus distracting their attacker for a couple of crucial moments. (Any significant disturbance would have done it — the setup was originally intended as an object lesson to the overly curious.).
- In the 1968 version of The Producers, the character LSD pulls a banana seemingly out of nowhere after performing his audition and begins sucking his thumb. Where the banana came from in those skintight pants is best left unexplored.
- To put things in a historical context, there was a rumor at the time that smoking banana peels had a hallucinogenic effect. LSD peeled the banana, threw the fruit away, and cuddled the peel like Linus with his blanket.
- Captain Barbossa from Pirates of the Caribbean is often seen carrying around and/or eating an apple.
- In Curse of the Black Pearl, when Jack is inspecting his new "crew" on the pier, he's holding a banana. It's never mentioned, it's not lampshaded or handwaved, it's just... there.
- The Audio Commentary doesn't explain it either, Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp simply going "The banana!" and then moving on. Could be an inside joke.
- Sometimes a banana is just a banana.
- Weirdly, as bananas as we now know them are Newer Than They Think (they were only produced by selective breeding in 1836) this is part of the Anachronism Stew. Though hardly the most glaring.
- Actually, the distinctive bright green 'Granny Smith' apple is even newer—1880s—though obviously apples generally have been around since ancient times.
- Woody Allen's futuramic Sleeper has him searching for food and coming across a farm where insanely large fruit is being grown. He picks a banana the size of a canoe, and when a guard runs up to catch him, the two slip repeatedly on the carpet-size banana peel.
- In the Marx Brothers' classic Horse Feathers, Harpo pulls a banana out of his pocket which has a zipper built into the peel. He eats a couple of bites; when called away, he re-zips the peel to save the rest of the fruit for later.
- Later on, he and Chico attend a class Groucho has commandeered - Chico leaves an apple on the desk, and Harpo leaves a watermelon. When Groucho breaks from his rambling nonsense lecture to ask if there are any questions, Chico asks "Yeah, when you gonna cut open the watermelon?"
- The Kobayashi Maru scene in the new Star Trek film. Director's commentary reveals that Chris Pine "just looked so much cockier" whilst munching on an apple.
- This parallels a scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan where Kirk eats an apple as... he reminisces about the Kobayashi Maru. Apparently this was a complete coincidence.
- Mr Smith in Shoot 'em Up really likes carrots. He munches on them. He quotes Bugs Bunny. He shoves one through a bad guy's skull...
- Leonard Part 6 made a point of depicting the vegetarian villain look extra-crazy by having her always eating fruit while she ordered around her mooks and pursuing her wacky plans. Mind you, this is a food-obsessed movie anyway.
Medusa: Grape me!!
- In Raymond E Feist's Riftwar sagas, the magician Nakor often pulls out an orange from his pack and offers it to people. Searches always find his bag empty, but he can pull out an orange anytime he wishes. This is later explained, but when you meet him, he appears to be a strange crazy man who offers you an orange, or if he doesn't like you, sits there eating one while ignoring or mocking you.
- For a period, he pulls apples instead. It's not by choice - it turns out his bag contains a permanent portal to the bottom of one of a specific fruit seller's bins. Though he seems fine with the free apples.
- In The Stand, it's used for horror: When a woman tries to assassinate Randall Flagg, she finds that her concealed knife has turned into a banana.
- In Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, the protagonist, Fat Charlie, arrives on a small Caribbean island with no luggage, and as a result ends up checking into his hotel with nothing but a lime (after he tried too hard to sound interested in small talk). This leads to him being universally known on the island as "the man with the lime"; he ends up carrying it around constantly, and eventually uses it instead of an engagement ring in an unusually dramatic Wacky Marriage Proposal.
- One Dave Barry column explained one way to take your pulse: get so drunk you can hear your pulse pounding in your head, and then go out and buy a stopwatch. If you find you're in a grocery store which doesn't sell stopwatches, an eggplant is fine, too.
You: As any idiot can plainly see, I'm taking my pulse.
Salesperson: With an eggplant? Why don't you just squash your thumb against your artery like everybody else?
You (with great dignity): If I wanted a squash, I would have selected a squash, wouldn't I? I'll take this eggplant, and make it snappy.
- The Eighth Doctor, in the Eighth Doctor Adventures novels, had a Guile Hero double-act with his Plucky Girl sidekick Sam. One of their tricks invoked this trope — he'd rush at an armed antagonist shouting, "Bangbangbangbangbang!" and waving a banana, pretending to fully and genuinely believe it's a gun (complete with Dirty Harry reference — "Well, to tell you the truth I think Iíve lost count, sorry about that. So youíve got to ask yourself one question. Do you feel lucky... sir?"). While said antagonist boggled at his antics, Sam would steal said antagonist's gun.
He aimed the banana carefully, then raised it to his lips and blew across its barrel before peeling it.
- Harry Potter;
- Luna Lovegood usually wears earrings made of what look like orange radishes. They're actually Dirigible Plums, but still, fruits. On a more vegetative matter, it seems (at the Hog's Head) that her cocktail of choice includes a small onion attached to the stirrer.
- In the sixth book, while searching for a note she pulls out a Gurdyroot (a plant resembling a green onion) from her bag. Which she then gives to Ron.
Live Action TV
- Doctor Who is a frequent invoker of this trope (see also under "Literature"):
- In "The Doctor Dances", where the above quote originates, the Doctor gives Jack a banana. There's no reason for him to have a banana, but since his pockets are bigger on the inside, he could conceivably have carried one around just waiting for a chance to use it.
- In "The Girl in the Fireplace", the Tenth Doctor also carries a banana and manages to invent the banana daiquiri 100 years too early.
- In "The Christmas Invasion", the bathrobe that Jackie Tyler put on the Doctor has a satsuma in the pocket. The Doctor uses the satsuma as a weapon.
- The Doctor having a banana in his pocket cropped up earlier in the classic series story The Two Doctors. It was never commented on by any of the characters, it was just there. Then again, the story was very much about vegetarianism...
- The Fifth Doctor consistently wore a piece of celery as a corsage.
- Several Ernie and Bert sketches from Sesame Street involve bananas and other fruits:
- In episode 4, Ernie pretends that a banana is a telephone. This sketch was remade for episode 3941.
- In episode 179, Bob reads "The Magic Apple", with Ernie as a farm boy and Bert in drag as a princess.
- In episode 292, Cookie Monster can't decide whether or not to eat one of Ernie's four apples, so Ernie draws and crosses out an endless series of alternating 4s and 3s on his paper.
- In episode 674, Ernie eats the inside of a banana and gives Bert the peel.
- In episode 747, Sherlock Hemlock helps Ernie solve an apple mystery.
- In episode 1037, Ernie ate Bert's chocolate ice cream, so Ernie mashes a banana, puts ice cubes on it and covers it with beef gravy.
- In episode 2487, Ernie counts fruit in a bowl; just when Bert thinks Ernie is done, Ernie counts all of the fruits he does not have.
- In episode 2558, Ernie holds a banana in his ear, supposedly to keep the alligators away.
- In The Comic Strip Presents episode "Strike", in the spoof movie within the episode, 'Meryl Streep' is seen peeling oranges in every one of her shots.
- In a delightful inversion, one Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch features John Cleese as a self-defense instructor teaching a course on How To Defend Yourself Against Someone Who Attacks You Armed With a Piece of Fresh Fruit. After inducing one of his students to attack him with a banana, Cleese pulls out a gun and shoots him.
- In the first few episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000's second season, Joel would pop a grape every time the Commercial Sign lit up. This was supposed to signify a Pavlovian response (lampshading Joel's status as a lab rat), but the writers got sick of having to remember doing it every time (and Joel got sick of the grapes), so it was quickly dropped.
- In at least a few episodes, it is quite clear that Joel's hand is empty and he is only pantomiming putting something into his mouth.
- Fridge Brilliance - it really is Pavlovian! He's popping and he doesn't even have any grapes!
- In Life, Charlie Crews has an obsession with fruit, but it makes a kind of sense, since there practically was no fruit in prison. Still, he likes handling various strange and unusual fruits, which his partner Dani comments on.
- It's a personal pineapple!
- "You're not really here to box the kumquat, are you?" - It Makes Sense in Context.
- "It's an horned melon, also known as a jelly melon, or African horned cucumber. They're mostly ornamental, but you can eat them too."
- In a sketch on The Muppet Show, Fozzie played a western outlaw whose weapons were all fruits and vegetables. Leads to the line "I didn't know the pickles were loaded". (It was a case of Gherkins Akimbo, you see.)
- Another episode had Fozzie doing the "banana in the ear" gag with Avery Schreiber.
- Shawn Spencer of Psych has an obsession with pineapples that has become a Running Gag.
- An early episode of How I Met Your Mother features an inexplicable pineapple appearing in the apartment after a wild night of boozing. At least it's tastier than a traffic cone...
- On My Name Is Earl, Earl's friend Frank has been moved to a halfway house, and has not been eating because the food is spiked with tranquilizers. Since he is very hungry, Randy feeds him an apple slice he had in his pocket. Earl looks at Randy, who then explains, "Oh, I've been keeping apple slices in my pocket for awhile now."
- On Penn & Teller's show "Fool Us", a magician, while waiting for Penn and Teller to guess how he did his trick, munched on a banana. That the magician's name was Piff the Magic Dragon, and was dressed in a dragon costume, made it funnier.
- The perpetual midcarder Carlito (the "cool" Caribbean) was famous for always bringing an apple with him to the ring for his match (leading many to nickname him "The Bad Apple"). He invariably punctuated each match by spitting chewed-up chunks of apple in the opponent's face. The gimmick of spitting fruit was puzzling enough, but if he was from the Caribbean shouldn't he have been spitting a pineapple or a coconut?
- Both are items that it's rather hard to take a nonchalant bite out of, unless you've got the jaws of a pit bull...
- Not quite a fruit, but the Magic Items I sourcebook for GURPS includes the Mad Nut: a magical nut that causes anyone carrying it to treat it as their most valuable possession.
- One print of Magic: The Gathering's Lure had a dryad holding an apple.
- In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, there's Drebin, a shady weapons dealer who often has an apple for no apparent reason. In his first appearance, he uses a white handkerchief to make an apple out of a hand grenade.
- In Eric The Unready, you officially start on your heroic adventure by being the only one able to draw the legendary banana out of a stone.
- It should be noted that in Urban Dead, "banana" is one of the few words that can be spelled using only the letters in the Zombese alphabet.
- Overhead space shooter Tyrian somehow features an entire wacky cult that revolves around fruit, which started off as weird attempt to justify (lampshade?) the random pieces of fruit that some enemies drop in video games such as this one. Fruit begins to show up more and more as you go through the game. First, enemies drop some strawberries. Then you start finding powerful subweapons codenamed for cherries and tangerines. Then you stumble across a purchasable ship that is a giant carrot that mounts fruit weapons like the Banana Bomb. The fruit-cult eventually becomes central to the plot, to the point where the last enemies you fight in the final episode are just huge bunches of deadly fruit. Not only are these fruit bosses portrayed as a credible threat, they are. It's that kind of game.
- Worms Armageddon also has banana bombs. When the bomb is dropped, it explodes into a cloud of bouncing bananas, which are also explosive. (Of course, that game also has carpet bombing with actual carpets, and flying Super Sheep.)
- StarTropics features a running gag about having bananas in your ears.
- A game presentation/conference after E3 2012 included a clip of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata holding a bunch of bananas, staring at it for a few seconds before putting it down. This was given no explanation.
- Josephine Baker wore a banana skirt during her stage act as part of her Jungle Princess persona. This despite the fact that this type of dress has never been worn by any African woman in the jungle.
- Carmen Miranda famously wore a tutti frutti hat on her head while dancing. Very unpractical, though it did look sexy.