Well, that's unexpected...
When a giant cake (actually a cake shell) has a person (usually a bachelor party stripper) hidden inside, so he or she can jump out of it for dramatic effect.
Girls have been jumping out of cakes since Evelyn Nesbit did it for millionaire playboy Stanford White in The Gay Nineties
, but the practice of enclosing a living creature inside a cake or pie shell goes back to medieval days. It's the origin of the nursery rhyme "Sing a song of sixpence", where live blackbirds are put in a pie shell for a king's feast.
Mostly Played for Laughs
, especially if the cake is at an unexpected (and inappropriate) place (like a child's birthday party) or the stripper inside is replaced with someone else (a cop, an Abhorrent Admirer
who crashed the party to get her object of desire, an angry fiancee or wife who suspects that her husband will have too
good of a time at his buddy's bachelor party, a Dirty Old Woman
who used to be an adult entertainer when she was young and is still entertaining in her autumn years, a cross-dressing Camp Gay
man who decided to come out of the cake — and the closet — all in one night, or a heterosexual man who was dressed in drag and put in the cake as a cruel joke).
Sometimes played for drama (or really dark comedy
) if the man of the hour is Too Dumb to Live
and thinks the novelty cake is a real one (and cuts it, either injuring or killing the girl inside), if a Mafia hitman is inside the cake and shoots everyone at the party (though it can be softened up to being funny if the hitman is dressed in outrageous and obvious drag
), or if the stripper dies of suffocation inside the cake and no one realizes this until it's too late.
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- There was a phone commercial on how an old guy ended up delivering a girl-in-cake to a kid's birthday party. The point of the commercial was that it could have been prevented if his bosses could reach him, but he has no phone.
Anime & Manga
- Lucky Luke
- In Dalton City, a saloon dancer is concealed inside a giant cake, but the homemade pastry is so tough that, by the time she manages to get out of it, the party, the fight and pretty much the story are over. Tough enough to withstand gunfire, actually. Averell Dalton is that bad of a cook.
- The book cover shows Luke himself burst out of a cake, surprising the Daltons. It's also in the opening of one Animated Adaptation.
- In the Batman comic, one mob boss was killed by The Tallyman this way.
- In Secret Six, the rest of the Six hire a stripper dressed as Scandal Savage's dead girlfriend Knockout to hide in a cake and give her a lap dance on her birthday to cheer her up, but Scandal is too drunk to really realize what's going on (plus Knockout seems to possess the stripper for a moment to tell her to be happy). However, later Scandal meets Liana (the stripper) in a supermarket and they start dating.
- One wordless MAD strip had a gang boss hearing the noise of someone within his cake and machine-gunning it, visualizing a gunman hiding within a la Some Like It Hot. The second panel shows him blushing as they carry the stripper off in a stretcher.
- A Don Martin comic had a lab-coated scientist who built an automatic cake machine. Its robot arms pick up the various ingredients (milk, eggs, flour)— then grab the scientist. After the finished cake emerges from the machine, the confused scientist jumps out (or is bounced out) in stripper wear.
- One of the final issues of Excalibur has a supervillain hiding inside of the cake at a bachelor party (after replacing the stripper inside and leaving her bound and gagged in a closet) so he can assassinate the unsuspecting partygoers.
- Scrooge McDuck once went to visit one of his hotels when the manager mentioned a convention. Unfortunately, it was a Convention of Crime organized by the Beagle Boys and other criminals. They ordered a cake and Scrooge was told someone would come out of it. Scrooge ordered whoever was in the cake to show up and he found Madam Mim. When she asked about the outlaws she was supposed to present herself to, Scrooge told her they were all arrested. Since she had already been paid, she left without caring. Scrooge and the hotel manager then got cop costumes and jumped out of the cake, scaring the bad guys.
- A classic Wonder Woman story has the princess going home for "Diana's Day" at the winter equinox, with crazy pranks, dressing up, a big feast and lots of gift-giving. Some of the Amazon maidens dress in deer costumes while others, playing huntresses, capture and (of course) tie them up. At the grand finale the captured doe-girls are put in a huge pie shell and "baked" along with another girl who plays a roasted "dancing chicken".
- Inversion in a scene from Death's Head first solo title. A big cake is brought into a mobster's birthday party, so of course he assumes a gunman is inside it. He has his goons 'cut' the cake by blowing it to bits with blaster fire. Only it really is just a cake, which ends up splattered all over him. He then sits down to a slice of birthday cake, which explodes when he sticks his fork in it. Deaths Head set the whole thing up.
- One Little Annie Fanny comic in Playboy had someone hire Annie to do this for someone's surprise birthday party (she was told). In a twist on the theme, it was her surprise party.
- Averted in a Sunday Garfield strip. Garfield thinks the birthday cake is real, downs it in one gulp, and spits out the mouse who was in the cake. The other mice are, to put it mildly, embarrassed, as they look at their unconscious and missing-a-shoe friend.
- In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Empath's Wedding", Nudie Smurf jumps out of the cake presented to Empath at his bachelor party, asking the party guests if they needed a stripper. Everybody at the party laughs.
- In Night Watch, "Homicidal" Lord Winder has his guards stab the giant cake at a party to check for assassins inside (several times at different levels, in case it's a dwarf or someone kneeling down). He does get assassinated later at that same party, but it has nothing to do with cake.
- In The Magic of Oz Dorothy and the Wizard get some monkeys to agree to be shrunk and put into a pie, to jump out and perform at Ozma's birthday party.
- In The Secret of Platform 13, the hotel Mrs. Trottle and Raymond hide at has a dinner entertainment act where a girl jumps out of a fake cake and does a dance of seven veils. When the rescuers go to get Raymond from the hotel, one of the ways to get in close is to pay off the regular dancing girl and have Gertrude replace her.
Live Action TV
- Bob Martin sees one at the American Legion party in "Third War Rag":
Birthday cake about ten feet tall,
Girl jumped out all naked and all,
Ran around pledging allegiance to the flag.
Stand Up Comedy
- Jim Gaffigan mentions this trope in his Beyond the Pale special, and how nobody ever does it with pie. "'I'm here!' 'Go take a shower.'"
- In Deadwood, the film "Jesse James: Man of Action" has scene 14: Best Friend's Wedding, with a role requiring you to leap out of a cake. (Every other role involves getting shot, since this is a bad Western.) An earlier scene, 8: Birthday Party, requires an actor leaping into a cake. (Again, supporting roles get shot.)
- In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the Koopalings hide in a cake to kidnap Peach.
- In The Sims you can buy a giant cake to have a dancer come out and dance. Of course you have to keep children out of the room. The dancer can be of either gender (and you can hire both with two cakes) Rarely a gag dancer, like a person in a monkey suit, will come out instead.
- You can surprise guards in Hitman: Absolution by pulling this off.
- In LEGO Harry Potter 2, Bellatrix jumps out of a cake at Bill and Fleur's wedding. The achievement for finishing the level is called "Cake or Death Eater?"
- In Red vs. Blue, apparently Donut did this for Sarge's birthday while wearing his 'Officer Hotpants' uniform.
Oh my God, that cake is huge! It's big enough to fit a person in it. Grif:
Why does the cake smell like baby oil? Oh God, where's Donut?!
- Family Guy had one with a stripper. Peter accidentally kills her while cutting the cake but is concerned only that the cake has coconut frosting.
- The Flintstones episode "Frantic City": The cake at the Water Buffalos' convention was supposed to have showgirls inside. It had their angry wives instead, rolling pins in hand.
- In the episode "Pebbles's Birthday Party", the local caterer accidentally sends a clown to the Water Buffalo lodge party, and a troupe of chorus girls to Pebbles' 1st b-day party (who jump out of the birthday cake just before it's cut). The caterer couldn't care less about his faux pas as he was "the only caterer in town".
- The later "I Yabba Dabba Do" special played with this in having the original woman who was to jump out of the cake at Bamm-Bamm's bachelor party walk out because she wanted more money — resulting in Barney ending up jumping out of the cake.
- The Simpsons episode "Rosebud" note had a part where Smithers imagines his boss, clad in only a sash, popping out of a cake after Mr. Burns grumbles that he's not going to get what he truly wants for his birthday (with Smithers adding that no one ever does).
- Another episode of The Simpsons had the residents of the old folks' home try to cheer up Grampa with a stripper in a cake, but she died while they were wheeling the cake to him.
- Another episode parodies this with McBain jumping out of an ice sculpture and gunning down everyone in the room. "Ice to see you."
- The South Park episode "Butters' Bottom Bitch" has an undercover cop posing as a hooker in one of these.
- In the intro to The Critic (the FOX version, not the ABC version), when Jay's family presents him a birthday cake, his Cloud Cuckoolander father wearing a "Happy New Year 1937" sash jumps out.
- In "The Unmentionables" (1963), Bugs Bunny (in flapper drag) does the pop-out-of-a-cake bit at a birthday party for the head mobster.
- The debut of Harley Quinn in Batman: The Animated Series came about in a roundabout way thanks to this. One draft of an episode had her doing this to capture some police officers, and in fact Harley was created because it was thought that The Joker doing this would be too bizarre. In the actual episode, Harley pushes the cake in, and the Joker DOES jump out of the cake, but Dini liked Harley enough that he kept her character and the rest was history.
- In the WordGirl episode "Becky's Birthday" an energetic Bob the monkey does this.
- In the Futurama episode "I Second That Emotion", the crew is holding a birthday party for Nibbler. Leela tells Bender to make a cake. She adds that if he plans to have a stripper jump out of it, he needs to bake the cake first. (Possibly implying that he actually made a mistake like that in the past; given some of the Dark Humor that happens on this show, it's possible.)
- Kim Possible: In "The Big Job", Junior begins to explain that he sprung Shego from prison because his father's birthday is coming up. Shego cuts him off with "I don't do cakes, okay? I don't bake 'em, and I don't jump out of 'em!" The writers were surprised the line passed censors.
- God, the Devil and Bob: When the Devil removes evil from the world due to God forgetting his birthday, Bob is horrified to discover that bachelor party cakes now contain elderly couples who give advice on married life.
Well, that'd be rude. Guy's getting married tomorrow!
- In part one of the Darkwing Duck episode "Just Us Justice Ducks" Gizmo-Duck's particularly convoluted plan for the team to stop the Fearsome Five involves this, complete with visual demonstration.
Then at the appointed hour, Morganna, Stegmutt and I leap out of the cake, taking the villains completely by surprise!
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode Twilights Kingdom Part 1, Discord bursts out of a huge cake he just materialized by himself while talking with Tirek.
- Reportedly, Czar Peter the Great of Russia amused his friends by hiding a naked woman in a cake at a party. Hardly out of character for that hard-partying monarch.
- Old joke. The woman gets in the cake before it is baked....
- Inverted in this tasteless joke: "What's the difference between a normal bachelor party and a bachelor party for a bulimic? At a bulimic's bachelor party, the cake jumps out of the girl."
- The Ur Example: Marilyn Monroe jumping out of the birthday cake to sing "Happy Birthday, Mr President," to John F. Kennedy.