[[quoteright:299:[[Music/{{Slaughter}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/album-stick-it-to-ya_1260.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:299:DoNotTryThisAtHome. [[DoWrongRight Instead try it at school!]]]]-]

The old carnival routine where a person (usually a LovelyAssistant) stands against a board as a target (sometimes a spinning wheel to ramp up the danger) and the throwing knives are supposed to hit on either side of the target, which may lead to a KnifeOutline.

Usually faked when done in live action, even where the possibility of error is supposed to be realistic; [[DontTryThisAtHome too many things can go wrong trying to do it for real]], and lovely assistants in {{Stripperiffic}} outfits aren't easy to come by these days...



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/KaleidoStar'' has a guest character doing this.
* One of the Student Council meetings in ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' had Touga and Miki doing this with Touga as the knife-thrower with plenty of impossible {{Knife Outline}}s all the while. Heaven knows why they were doing this, but then again, it's ''[[MindScrew Utena]]''.
* Being part of a circus as his cover, Trowa of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'' performs in this act as the target. [[TheStoic He doesn't even flinch]] when the knife was thrown close enough to draw blood.
* ''{{Manga/Cyborg 009}}'' had this.
* ''Manga/BlackButler'' had Dagger, a knife thrower in [[CircusOfFear Noah's Circus]]. He was quite skilled at it. Ciel tried to throw knives for his entrance exam to get into the circus so he and Sebastian could investigate a case involving missing children. He only hit the mark because Sebastian flicked pebbles at the knives so they would make it to the wooden target, since Ciel wasn't strong enough to chuck them that far himself.
* Mousse from ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' disguised himself as a circus knife-thrower when he came back (for good) to hunt down Ranma. And he did pin the latter down to the target board, but Ranma escaped the deliberate stabbing.
* A filler episode of ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' had Kaoru attempt this, only to hit Sanosuke in the arm on her first try.
* One is performed in the court of the Kingdom of the Cats in ''Anime/TheCatReturns'', using cuttlefish instead of knives. It doesn't go well and the knife thrower gets tossed out of a window.
* The arrested-maturation character Cassian from the ''Manga/CountCain'' manga, who looks like a boy but is really thirty-five, and therefore has a weird sort of two-way paternal relationship with his early-twenties commander Jizabel Disraeli, was sold to the circus and performed in one of these for some time. During the series his main weapon remains throwing knives. (Not a very practical primary weapon in real life.)
** He is not seen to throw any knives after having his brain transplanted into the High Priest's body; presumably he didn't bother to train the new muscles and eyes and so on to the correct coordination and habits.
* In ''Manga/GunBlazeWest'', Colice Satoh performs a knife throwing act in the circus.
* This is part of an interrogation technique used on a drug dealer in ''Anime/{{Dominion}}''. First, they strap the man on a wheel. Then, Leona walks up in a PlayboyBunny outfit and politely asks who his suppliers are. If he doesn't answer, she stuffs a pinless grenade in his mouth and spins the wheel. Then the rest of the squad starts throwing knives at the man. They call this technique the "Wheel of Fortune".
* Referenced in ''Anime/IrresponsibleCaptainTylor''. The marines hear someone listening at the door during a secret meeting with the captain, so they leap outside throwing a couple of knives which hit on either side of Harumi, who's dressed in a skintight outfit (instead of her usual HelloNurse look) as she's trying to assassinate Captain Tylor.
* In the ''VideoGame/HeartNoKuniNoAlice'' movie, Alice suddenly finds herself strapped to a board in the circus. Two demented kids start throwing knives at her, ignoring her protests. One of the knives cuts her cheek. The last two would have landed in her chest if Blood Dupree hadn't blocked them in time. Enraged at them for endangering her, he annihilates the kids with a machine gun.
* In the anime of ''Manga/{{Golgo 13}}'', a hitman posing as a circus performer demonstrates his skill with his WeaponOfChoice by throwing a knife into the bulls-eye of a dartboard, just past his girlfriend's head. She shows her own badass credentials by [[NervesOfSteel not flinching]]. After playing the trope straight on stage, he then uses his skills against Togo, who unfortunately is an unflinching badass himself.

* German artist Timm Ulrichs worked with knife thrower Jonny King to produce the performance video piece ''Messerwurf-Porträt 1978/91''.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/DeKiekeboes'': Depicted in “Doorgestoken Kaart”.
* General Alcazar in ''Recap/TintinTheSevenCrystalBalls'' has a Knife Throwing Act. After creating a full KnifeOutline around his Indian target, he asks an audience member to blindfold him. His blind throw hits right in the center of the fruit held over the target's chest.
* Knife throwing was one of the skills mastered by the Gambler, a [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] foe of the ''Franchise/GreenLantern'', during his time at the carnival.
* In a ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' arc where Two-Face takes over a circus, Deadeye Dagger, the circus knife-thrower, was one of his more willing henchmen.
* In "Sawdust and Slow Death" in ''ComicBook/JonahHex'' #15 (original series), Jonah joins a circus and becomes the unwilling target of an armless knife-thrower (possibly inspired by ''Film/TheUnknown''; see ''{{Film}}'' examples below).
* Gitano is the knife thrower for the ''Cirque du Romani'' in ''ComicBook/LadyMechanika''.
* {{ComicBook/Hawkeye}} developed his skills as part of a knife throwing act with the Swordsman.
* In ''ComicBook/SecretAvengers'' #29, John Steele is subjected to one after being captured by the Circus of Crime.
* Blade Benson was the knife thrower in the [[CircusOfFear Circus of Crime]] who fought Kid Colt in ''Kid Colt'' #106.
* Used several times in Creator/ECComics stories.
** In "Current Attraction" in ''Series/TalesFromTheCrypt'' #41 the main character's daughter is attracted to the circus knife thrower, a married man.
** In "One Last Fling!" in ''ComicBook/TheVaultOfHorror'' #21 the main character ''is'' a circus knife thrower and uses his skills to kill his wife onstage after she becomes a vampire.
* In ''[[ComicBook/ConanTheBarbarian Savage Sword of Conan]]'' #119, Conan (in a scene that is undoubtedly a ShoutOut to the movie ''Film/TheVikings'') is forced to play a game where his sister's head is stuck through the middle of a hollow target and he must throw axes to sever her braids while blindfolded. Luckily, he manages not to slay his own sister; and since he ran out of sisterly braids while still having an axe left, he indulges in a manly jest and throws the weapon at Magloclun, cutting the clan leader's own braid.
* The Great and Powerful Trixie does this ''while blindfolded'' in issue #21 of ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'', with the aid of one of her assistants.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''ComicStrip/ModestyBlaise'': "El Casador and Conchita"
* One Creator/CharlesAddams cartoon shows a couple in a hotel room staring at the wall, which has a series of knife-points poking through it, outlining the shape of a woman.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The vocaloid fanfic ''Fanfic/RottingCamellias'' gives Mayu one of these in a {{Circus of Fear}} setting.
* A major plot point in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' fic '''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6093110/1/Clowning-is-a-Serious-Business Clowning Is A Serious Business]]''' is the Fools' Guild reluctantly accepting girl students, to a Department Of Circus Skills that incorporates learning both how to throw knives and how to stand still in front of the target. The principal tutor in the new school is a [[{{Spexico}} fiery Latin lady]] who has ''excellent'' knife skills. As she demonstrates. Knife-throwing - by Assassins, Thieves and circus practitioners - is a recurring theme.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
Stabby's main schtick in ''WesternAnimation/AnimalCrackers2017''. Other circus performers in the film do this as well.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Part of Creator/LonChaney's act as Alonzo the Armless in the classic silent film ''Film/TheUnknown''. All of the throwing stunts were done by RealLife armless knife-thrower Paul "Judge" Desmuke, who threw knives with his feet.
* The Russian knife throwing twins from ''Film/{{Octopussy}}''.
* In the French film ''Film/TheGirlOnTheBridge'' (1999), a knife throwing act is at the centre of the plot. Vanessa Paradis stars as Adele, a girl who attempts suicide by jumping from a bridge but is saved by knife thrower Gabor, played by Daniel Auteuil, who persuades her to become his target girl. They soon fall into a complex relationship in which knife-throwing is very overtly and erotically depicted as a sadomasochistic substitute for sex.
* ''Film/GangsOfNewYork'' features a confrontation between the main protagonists in which Cameron Diaz's character Jenny Everdeane acts as a target girl in an impromptu [=knifethrowing=] act with the villain, Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting, played by Daniel Day-Lewis. For extra suspension, he keeps "accidentally" slipping, and constantly on the verge of hitting his partner, both to amuse his audience and to make the protagonist sweat.
--> "Whoopsy daisy!"
* The 1987 television movie ''Film/IfItsTuesdayItStillMustBeBelgium'' features Courteney Cox as a character who becomes a target girl in a circus knife throwing act.
* ''Film/BroncoBilly'' features Creator/ClintEastwood as a sharpshooter and knife thrower who runs a travelling circus, which threatens to go out of business when he accidentally hits a target girl during the act. A key plot element involves Sondra Locke as a character who becomes a new target girl.
* In the 1960s, knife throwing acts provided iconic scenes in several horror or suspense films set in circuses. These include the following three films, which all used Billy Smart's Circus for location filming:
** ''Film/CircusOfHorrors'' (1960), in which Vanda Hudson played a target girl called Magda von Meck.
** ''Film/CircusOfFear'' (1966), which features British actress Margaret Lee as an assistant facing danger in a knife act.
** ''Film/{{Berserk}}!'' (1967), in which Judy Geeson played a target girl in a circus knife act.
* ''Film/PhantomOfTheRueMorgue'' (1954) has an early scene featuring a knife throwing act. The movie was shot using a 3-D system, which was used to give audiences the impression that knives were flying at them.
* ''Film/EgyptByThree'' (1953) comprises three stories, the first of which is about a knife throwing act. The thrower and his target girl have an affair but the thrower is married to another woman. When the wife finds out about the affair it leads to a potentially deadly situation.
* The 1951 movie ''Film/TheKnifeThrower'' is based on a short story by Creator/GuyDeMaupassant about a circus knife thrower with an unfaithful wife. The thrower's wife, who is also his target girl, is having an affair with a magician.
* ''Film/TheSideshow'' (1928) features a knife throwing act in the climactic scene. The knife thrower was played by Steve Clemente and his assistant by Janet Ford.
* The spy thriller ''Film/{{Masquerade}}'' (1965) features Marisa Mell as a target girl named Sophie.
* The Mexican MindScrew ''Film/SantaSangre'' takes place in a circus: the knife-thrower husband is having an affair with his target. His wife resents this, so the husband sets the wife at the bulls-eye and, with his throwing knives, chops off both her arms.
* Film/TheThreeStooges perform one in ''The Three Stooges Go Round the World in a Daze''.
* Lynne's specialty in ''Film/TheWarriorsWay''.
* One of Germy and Austin's old jobs in ''Film/DriveInMassacre''.
* The Scorpion is the AffablyEvil knife-thrower in Lucifer's carnival in ''Film/TheDevilsCarnival''.
* In one of the most famous scenes in ''Film/TheVikings'', the Vikings subject a woman accused of adultery to "Odin's test". This consists of using thrown axes to cut the woman's braids while she puts her head through the hollow centre of a large target. All the braids getting cut without she being hurt means she is cleared of the charge. All goes well thanks to Einar.
* Completely faked in a German comedy film (sorry, forgot the name, must be from the 60s or so). Two guys are in the Wild West, armed with stage magician gizmos. The "thrower" lets the knifes fall over the back of his shoulder into a water bucket, and his friend pulls on strings behind the target board, "folding out" a knife. The unknowing victim, after going through the act: "I didn't even hear them coming!" Of course, the act is much safer this way...
* In ''Film/VivaMaria'', the boy tied to the board is harmed during this routine because Bardot!Maria distracts the man controlling the spotlight, leaving the knife-thrower in the dark and hitting the boy in the arm. This is PlayedForLaughs.
* A brief but spectacular knife-throwing act is seen during the opening "The Greatest Show" number in ''Film/TheGreatestShowman''.

* Steven Millhauser's short story ''Literature/TheKnifeThrower'' features a thrower who specialises in nicking or marking those who stand at the target board for him. It was published in 1998 as part of a collection that bears the same title.
* The novel ''Knives of Desire'' by Creator/MarionZimmerBradley (writing under the pen name Morgan Ives) is about a woman who becomes involved in a lesbian relationship after joining a circus to be the target girl for a female knife thrower.
* The short story "The Artist" by Creator/GuyDeMaupassant concerns a circus knife thrower who wants to kill his wife. It is hinted that he might do this by feigning an accident while she acts as his target girl. The twist is that he finds this impossible because he has trained himself so well that his reflexes prevent it.
* A knife thrower plays a prominent role in the TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}} novel ''Carnival of Fear''.
* ''Literature/{{Coraline}}'' has Coraline used as a target for a single thrown knife. She gets a box of chocolates for helping with the act...
* In ''The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar'' by Creator/RoaldDahl, "the man who could see without his eyes" makes his fortune in part by doing a knife-throwing act while very, very blindfolded.
* Thom practices throwing knives at Nynaeve in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' series, when both of them are stuck with the travelling circus.
* The relationship between a target girl and a circus knifethrower is the central motif in the poem cycle ''Das Mädchen und der Messerwerfer'' published in 1997 by noted German poet Wolf Wondratschek.
* Referenced a couple of times in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', usually with an unimpressed audience complaining that the thrower [[ComicallyMissingThePoint keeps missing]].
* The short story ''Han's Crime'' by Naoya Shiga centers around the murder trial of a knife thrower who killed his target during his act.
* Falon's act in the player's troupe in the ''Literature/KnightAndRogueSeries''.
* ''Literature/InCryptid'':
** The Fabulous Fran, before meeting Jonathan Healy.
** Studying with The Incredible Christopher is how Verity got so good at throwing knives.
* Mr Grin in ''[[Literature/AlexRider Stormbreaker]]'' used to be part of a knife-throwing act in which he would catch a knife between his teeth during the act's finale. As a result of the act going horribly wrong, he now sports a GlasgowGrin and [[TongueTrauma has difficulty speaking properly]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The television play ''The Act'' (1987) revolved around a knife throwing act. It was made for the BBC and was a co-production involving the Royal College of Art. It starred Caroline Embling and Bill Rourke. Real life knife thrower Jay Ruffley provided throwing skills in one scene and also appeared as the owner of a club.
* "Conspiracy of Silence", an episode of the television spy series ''Series/TheAvengers'', featured a knife throwing act played by real artists Elizabeth and Collins.
* Booth and Series/{{Bones}} went undercover as a knife-throwing act. Bones gets really into it, adding more dangerous stunts to the initial act to Booth's frustration and fear.
* In ''Series/CharliesAngels'', Cheryl Ladd's character Kris Munroe goes undercover as a target girl in an episode titled "Circus of Terror".
* Knife throwing, with a celebrity acting as target girl, was a regular feature on ''CircusOfTheStars''.
* A knife-throwing act featured in the ''Series/ColdCase'' episode "Metamorphosis" which centred around a murder at a circus. The knife-thrower was the chief suspect for a while.
* ''Series/{{Elementary}}'': Footballer Phil Simms appears as himself in "Just a Regular Irregular". Apparently he is the world's greatest knife thrower and only went into football because there is no money in the impalement arts. He is Sherlock's knife-throwing expert and Sherlock consults with him about how a murder during a knife-throwing act at a circus in the 1930s could have been committed. Simms tells Sherlock that his theory is impossible and then demonstrates his knife-throwing prowess before leaving.
* The Spanish game show ''Series/ElGranJuegoDeLaOca'' featured Italian knife thrower Alberti Murroni and his LovelyAssistant Vesna Peracino OncePerEpisode. Each week he would perform a demonstration, after which the contestant would wager on the outcome of a second demonstration.
* In ''Series/FatherTed'', a knife throwing act is one of the things that Ted interrupts by phoning Larry Duff's mobile, to Duff's inevitable detriment.
* In the ''Series/FrontierCircus'' episode "Karina", a woman, on the run after shooting her vicious husband, stows away in Casey's wagon. Casey agrees to let her join his circus as the target in a knife-throwing act, but local lawmen and her vengeful spouse soon arrive to exact vengeance.
* ''Series/GetSmart''. Max is going undercover in a circus when his identity is blown. The circus strongman seizes him while the knife-thrower chucks his knives, but as he's trained himself to just miss the target they miss Max and stick in the arms of the strongman holding him. Max naturally responds with his CatchPhrase, "Missed me by that much!"
* A knife throwing act was part of the entertainment troupe Gary tried to press into service to fight off a German invasion in the ''Series/GoodnightSweetheart'' episode "How I Won the War".
* An episode of ''Series/{{Highlander}}'' had Amanda and Duncan doing a knife-throwing act at a circus, with Duncan throwing and Amanada as the target girl.
* An episode in ''Human Weapon'' that dealt with Ninjitsu had one of the masters they talked to (and who tried to teach them a bit of his art) specializing in throwing various sharp objects ranging from knives, star-knives, caltrops, and nails.
* ''Series/ILoveLucy''. Lucy Ricardo got into a knife throwing act once. [[spoiler: It was faked.]]
* One of these acts was done on ''Series/JonathanCreek''.
* After a critic describes ''Series/KnowingMeKnowingYouWithAlanPartridge'' as 'moribund', Alan decides to prove them wrong by having himself strapped to 'Wheel of Death'.
* Laverne of ''Series/LaverneAndShirley'' was the throwee once. And Shirley was the thrower.
* ''Series/MidsomerMurders'': In "Death in Disguise", Barnaby is puzzled by how the VictimOfTheWeek was stabbed while all of the suspects were on the other side of the room. After a EurekaMoment while watching a game of darts, he realises the victim was killed with a thrown knife, and then learns that one suspect had been a knife-thrower in a circus.
* ''Series/MissFishersMurderMysteries'': Literature/PhryneFisher goes undercover as the target girl in a circus in "Blood and Circuses".
* Faked in the first season of the reality television series ''Series/TheMole''. In one of the challenges, one of the contestants was placed in a game where he had to try to convince the others (including TheMole) to take part in situations that they would find terrifying. One of these situations involved the mole being blindfolded and put up against a wall, where a miniature ax would supposedly be thrown at her. Although the mole is normally given information in advance, in this case she was not told what was happening in order to up the drama and she actually briefly passed out. (Though none of the contestants were told exactly what they would be doing, she was able to pick up enough clues to guess.) When she finally agreed to the task, the actual throwing was faked-- somebody simply walked up and stuck an ax in the wall.
* ''Series/TheMuppetShow'':
** The Gladys Knight episode had a knife-throwing act with Fozzie as the unwitting target. Unfortunately, the theater roof was away at the repair shop, letting in a thick fog and the knife thrower, who aimed with his hearing, was randomly throwing knifes at the slightest sounds while everyone was ducking quietly for their lives.
** TheTeaser for the Creator/PeterSellers episode has Scooter entering Mr. Sellers' dressing room to tell him its "fifteen seconds til' curtain" and catching Gonzo doing a knife-throwing routine with their guest. Sellers, in character as [[Franchise/ThePinkPanther Inspector Clouseau]], mutters "Fifteen seconds? I should live so long!" and ducks before receiving a knife to the head.
* ''Series/MurdochMysteries'': In "Blood and Circuses", the murderer is ultimately revealed to have been a knife thrower in a previous circus, explaining how a murder was committed in a locked jail cell.
* In ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'', Earl volunteers to be on the target to help win a mother and daughter beauty pageant. The girl doesn't want to spend her life doing pageants though, so Earl encourages her to "accidentally" hit him in the leg during the act. He forgot how much getting stabbed hurt.
* Dave Nelson from ''Series/NewsRadio'' was once a knifethrower named [[TheGreatWhodini The Great Throwdini]]. At a talent show, he met an old knifethrowing rival of his, Throwgali.
* In ''{{Nikki}}'', the episode titled "The Jupiter and Mary Chain", first aired in 2001, featured the characters played by Nikki Cox and Susan Egan taking jobs as target girls.
* In the ''SoldiersOfFortune'' episode "The Danger Sisters", a sister knife-throwing act working in North Africa hire Tim and Toubo as bodyguards.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': Luckily for Dean in "Everyone Loves A Clown", the rakshasa seems more interested in pinning Dean to the wall by his clothes, than causing fatal cuts.
* This happened at least once on the Johnny Carson incarnation of ''Series/TheTonightShow''. Carson was strapped to the target. One of the biggest laughs Carson ever got was when Ed Ames did an axe-throwing demonstration (on an outline target) and didn't ''quite'' hit where he should've. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0L5QC9ZJkM8 See why.]]
* In the final episode of ''Literature/TheTripods'', the protagonists are hiding in a traveling circus. The ringmaster, [[EvilForeigner Al Pasha]], forces two of the children to train for this act, so Will offers to take the girl's place but only when the thrower is good enough to hit the KnifeOutline a hundred times in a row. To Will's apprehension he's able to reach this target before the arrive for a big show in Geneva, and so [[{{Pun}} Will has to do some]] WilliamTelling as the final act involves Will with an apple on his head; he ducks just as the knife splits the apple into two halves that Will catches in each hand.
* In one episode of ''Series/Bones'', the titular character and Booth end up doing this as their cover when they need to investigate a circus the victim du episode was part of. Despite the fact that they really aren't practiced at it, they're good enough for their cover to last until they blow it themselves.

* The cover of ''Stick It to Ya'', the debut album by heavy metal band Slaughter, was infamous for a picture by photographer Glen Wexler of former Magazine/{{Playboy}} playmate Laurie Carr wearing a swimsuit, strapped to a target board and surrounded by knives. The cover of a subsequent release, ''Stick It Live'', featured an image apparently from the same shoot as the first but this time showing the target girl walking towards the board hand-in-hand with a knife thrower.
* "The Devil's Daggers" from the Music/NoxArcana album Carnival Of Lost Souls is the music playing during the knife throwing act Diablo & The Devil's Daggers. It doesn't go well, and both the assistant ''and'' Diablo himself die.
* Music/TomWaits's song "Circus" from his 2004 album ''Real Gone'' features a knife throwing act as part of the eponymous travelling show.
* GretchenPeters uses the target girl as a central metaphor in her song "Woman on the Wheel", which was debuted on her 2010 tour in support of her ''Circus Girl'' album.
* A knife-throwing act appears in the music video for "Midnight Circus" by Sunny Hill, with one of the singers as the target girl.
* The circus ringmaster character in the music video for Music/{{Finntroll}}'s ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEzuxkkGyWQ Under Bergets Rot]]'' does this at one point.
* In the music video for Music/{{Coldplay}}'s Magic, this is featured. In the extended edition of the video, Chris Martin's character is stabbed through the heart. Lucky for him, this is {{only a dream}}.
* Rock group Music/TheWhiteStripes appeared as a knife throwing act in a photo by Annie Leibovitz in 2003 that was part of a series which appeared in a book and an exhibition, both titled ''Annie Leibovitz: American Music''.

[[folder:Print Media]]
* Model Karen Elson is seen spinning on a "wheel of death" target in a picture by photographer Steven Meisel that formed part of a series titled "The Greatest Show on Earth" in the April 2007 issue of the Italian edition of ''Vogue'' magazine.
* Model Kate Moss appeared on a "wheel of death" target in two of a series of fashion photos by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott in the April 2006 issue of ''W'' magazine.
* Actress Jennifer Ellison appeared strapped to a "wheel of death" target and surrounded by knives in the UK edition of ''Maxim'' magazine in 2005.
* Singer and musician Music/{{Shakira}} appeared standing against a target with knives around her in a photo in the April 2002 issue of ''FHM'' magazine (UK edition).

* Hines in ''Theatre/ThePajamaGame'' does a Knife Throwing Act at the picnic, but Babe wisely ducks because his aim is a bit drunken. Later he goes AxCrazy with his knives in the pajama factory.
* The play ''Pin Cushion'', by Clay [=McLeod=] Chapman, is based around a husband and wife knife throwing act and consists of the target girl delivering a monologue while her husband throws knives around her. It was performed as part of Chapman's ''Pumpkin Pie Show'' at The Red Room Theatre, New York, in May and June 2002. The performance involved a genuine knife throwing act, with actress Niabi Caldwell as the target girl and professional knife thrower Dr David Adamovich (aka The Great Throwdini) playing her husband.
* ''Queen of Knives'', by American composer Eric Stern, is a full-length opera which tells the story of a brother and sister knife-throwing act in the midst of student protests in the early 1960s.
* The target in question is a painting, not a live person, but Count Carl-Magnus has a knife-throwing scene in ''Theatre/ALittleNightMusic''. It's ''almost'' completely irrelevant to the plot. (He's demonstrating his prowess with weapons to a romantic rival.)

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* Occurred in ''The Carnage Returns'' show at [[Ride/UniversalStudios Universal's]] Theatre/HalloweenHorrorNights in 2015. [[VillainousHarlequin Chance]], the assistant of the ringmaster, [[MonsterClown Jack the Clown]], would throw knives at a board (that happens to have a woman strapped to it against her will) as a way of choosing what torturous act they would do next on their victims.

* The well-known Playmobil range of toys, marketed at children aged between six and twelve, once included two different sets featuring figures of a knife thrower and assistant. The Knifethrowing circus act set, which was retailed from 1978 until 1982, consisted of a target girl on a rotating "wheel of death" and a knife thrower, both dressed in "wild west" type costumes. The Circus Performers set, released in June 1982 and discontinued in 1987, also contained a similar knife thrower and assistant with a wheel of death target, but their costumes were different and there were three other figures in the set.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Sofia gets thrown into one of these by Indy in ''VideoGame/IndianaJonesAndTheFateOfAtlantis''. Indy himself ended up doing one of these in one of the comics.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' fanart sometimes has [[{{Meido}} Sakuya]] [[KnifeNut Izayoi]] do this ''to'' Hong Meiling. Sometimes (usually depending on Sakuya's mood) the poor girl ends up becoming a {{Youkai}} [[HumanPincushion Pincushion]].
* In the final level of ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'', a terrifying [[CircusOfFear circus made of meat]], you must navigate a few deadly obstacle courses including tight ropes, trapeezes, and, of course, sword-flinging knife throwers that only aim for you. There's a puzzle where you have to jump in front of a rotating shield at ''just'' the right moment so that a knife thrower tosses a knife that impales the shield and becomes a handle which you can catch to hitch a ride upwards.
* Some of your first permanent party members in ''VideoGame/SuikodenII'' are knifethrowers working at a carnival. They use Riou as part of the act and can actually hit him if you move him around. He gets better, though.
* Joey Falconetti makes his debut scene doing this in ''VideoGame/{{Ripper}}'', as a way to interrogate Jake Quinlan. It's helped that Falconetti's already a KnifeNut. This trope is also played with, as the act takes place in one of his cyberspace wells, although it's never stated if the knives are virtual; granted, he also has real knives outside of cyberspace.
* In ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'', at the Cabaret, you can see one of these performed. This being ''Grand Theft Auto'', he 'fails' the act and hits her, resulting in a bloody mess. And judging from the way he yelled at her, it wasn't an accident.
* In the ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'' episode "Bright Side of the Moon", the BigBad ties Sam to a "spinning wheel of death" -- but Max, instead of getting concerned about Sam, urges the Big Bad to "throw some daggers, no, hatchets!"
* The Marionettes in ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' use this as an attack.
* In the Amiga game ''VideoGame/{{Heimdall}}'', the protagonist has to prove his worth (in order to recruit a decent crew) by, among other tasks, cut the braids of a barmaid with throwing axes.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Hearthstone}}'' card Knife Juggler uses this trope. "Put this apple on your head." "Hey, catch!"
* In ''VideoGame/LostSmileAndStrangeCircus'', Billy's usual circus act consists of this, just with stuffed animals instead of people. At one point he asks Noah if she would like to be the LovelyAssistant in one of his acts, but after seeing her reaction says it's a joke.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* The old ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' theme song video ("old" as in "replaced 10 years ago") has Strong Bad as the knife thrower and Strong Sad as the (unwilling) target. It's obvious that Strong Bad is trying to hit Strong Sad, but the camera cuts away before the knife hits.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* One of [[WebVideo/EqualsThree Ray William Johnson]]'s viral videos was a series of videos by a couple named Dakoda and Adam involving various knife-throwing (including a [[IncendiaryExponent on-fire ]] hatchet throwing act) acts done on each other. Warning: Watching video may bring risk of anxiety and heart attack.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Done in the WesternAnimation/WoodyWoodpecker short ''The Dizzy Acrobat''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'' episode "Dial S for Suspicion", Wilma's old boyfriend Rodney Whetstone is a knife thrower with the circus. Through a series of coincidences, Fred becomes convinced that Wilma is trying to kill to him. Naturally, that night at the circus, Fred is called up onto to stage to act as Rodney's target...
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'' has something along those lines, where Batman is captured and the villain proves to be an amazing knife thrower, first intentionally missing the pinned Batman in the typical circus act manner before going for a killing shot.
* In ''WesternAnimation/CampLazlo'', Scoutmaster Lumpus becomes the unwilling target of knife throwing act after being captured by the clowns of Slapstick Mountain.
* In a moment of GettingCrapPastTheRadar in ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'', Peanut is trapped in a genie's lamp with a woman. He says they're going to go on a "magic carpet ride" and asks her to hand over a roll of nearby rope. Later on, when said genie releases his captives, Peanut appears with the woman tied to a giant target, having apparently been doing such an act the whole time.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AroundTheWorldWithWillyFog'', while Rigadon and Tico work in a circus while penny-less in Yokohama, Rigadon almost gets killed in a knife act thrown by villain and MasterOfDisguise Transfer. Willy steps up and saves him.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Krusty does one of these acts with axes. He doesn't miss.
* ''WEsternAnimation/NumbChucks'': In "Couch Potato", Quills performs a blindfolded knife-throwing act using her quills as the knives and an annoying reporter as the target girl. As she has never done this before, it leads to a nasty accident (off-screen).