"It's amazing how easy it is to tamper with baked goods! (holds up laxative, then starts singing) Fast acting... for strong, reliable relief! Sucker!"
Sometimes people want revenge on someone or to cheat in a contest. One thing they do is just put laxatives in their drink or food. Why laxatives? Because ideally for them one of two things will happen:
- They will suffer a Potty Emergency and forfeit the contest/run away to use the bathroom.
- They will soil themselves and completely embarrass themselves. Even better if it's in a stadium, especially with something like the Jumbotron.
In fiction this is normally Played For Comedy
, but occasionally it is Deconstructed
to emphasize the dangerous dehydration element of it.
A frequent variation is using something that induces vomiting rather than defecation.
Note that this is incredibly illegal and risky in real life. The victim could end up seriously ill, hospitalised or worse. Dehydration is also not the only risk: the person could be allergic to the laxative or its inert ingredients, or could even suffer a Ruptured Appendix
or internal bleeding. The induced vomiting variant can cause internal bleeding, and is actually far more likely to do so than a laxative. Consequently, administering even such a seemingly-trivial pharmaceutical drug to someone without their knowledge is classified as a serious criminal offense in many jurisdictions— the perpetrator of the prank could wind up in jail.
There is also a variation involving over the counter eyedrops that ostensibly have the same effect. This is even more dangerous as ingestion of the active ingredient in the drops can cause a range of dangerous symptoms up to and including sending the victim into a coma,
with diarrhea being the least
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Anime & Manga
- Futaba-kun Change! — In a beauty contest, The Rival puts laxatives in a tea given to the heroine to calm her. Unfortunately for the rival, some of the other contestants drink it to annoy her. Hilarity Ensues, and you can guess happens after they drink it.
- Earlier in the series, an extremely underhanded character uses a batch of spiked drinks clear the field in the completely ludicrous Martial Arts and Crafts tournament held to determine what club the heroine would join.
- In Dragon Ball, Bulma does this to Oolong when he refuses to cooperate with her in helping find the Ox-king. She gives him a candy that he thinks is delicious, but really it's a laxative, and every time she whistles (or yells "piggy", in the English dub), he will have an emergency. Goku takes advantage of it to manipulate Oolong, too.
- In a filler episode, Goku is given laced food so he would lose in a tournament, the laxative takes effect in the middle of the fight but Goku manages to defeat his opponent before running away desperately.
- In the Cotton Drifting arc of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Satoko uses this as part of an elaborate prank against some punks who are trying to take advantage of Shmion during the Angel Mort dessert fest.
- In Trigun, it's implied that Kaite does this to Vash in episode 7 "B.D.N."
- Attempted by the King and Rosario in Dragon Half to get Mink out of the tournament, in the form of an "energy drink." Lampshaded by Mink's friends, but ignored by Mink... who then proceeds to give it to Dick Saucer, who is thus unwittingly victim to this (and who blames Mink for it, naturally).
- Gamble Fish has the character Tsukiyono getting a cow laxative put in her drink, so the main character has no help in the tournament.
- In Hunter × Hunter, Tonpa tries to get several characters to forfeit the Hunter's Exam by offering them laxative-spiked juice. It utterly fails, as Killua has Acquired Poison Immunity, Gon immediately spits the juice out when he notices that it tastes weird (despite the drug being odorless and tasteless), and everyone else either refuses the drink outright or gets rid of it once they see Gon's reaction.
- In the Black Butler manga, Ciel has Sebastian slip laxatives into a meat pie and feed it to the opposing team before a cricket match.
Film - Animated
- In The Iron Giant, Hogarth tricks Kent Mansley into eating a chocolate-flavored laxative-laced sundae to get away from him.
Hogarth Hughes: First, you take a chocolate bar. Any bar'll do. Do you mind if I...?
Kent Mansley: No, knock yourself out, skipper.
Hogarth Hughes: (crumbles up laxative) You crumble up the chocolate into little pieces. (stirs the ice cream) Then you kind of just stir it into the ice cream. See?
Kent Mansley: Yes, I see. What do you call this again?
Film - Live-Action
- Done seriously in A Song of Ice and Fire - Tyrion is too busy trying to save the city to struggle with Cersei's schemes so he uses a mild poison to get her out of his hair for one day.
- In The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, Malicia puts laxative powder in the Rat Catchers' tea, then tells them they've been poisoned and holds the antidote hostage until they do as she says. The "antidote" is laxative powder too.
- In Jean Shepherd's short story "A Fistful of Fig Newtons", originally published in Playboy, a scrawny college student challenges a Big Eater football player and several fellow college students to a laxative-off. They each took one piece of Brand X Ex-Lax stand-in Boomo-Lax every 5 minutes, and whoever has a Potty Emergency first loses. The Big Eater figured he'd have no problem, but he ended up heaving half his insides out while the little guy wins, having built up an immunity in the past.
- The Russian book The Poisoning has a pharmacist do this to save the life of their friend. To explain, a pair of Star-Crossed Lovers were planning to commit suicide together, and the girl was trying to buy sleeping pills pretending they were to sleep better. The suspicious pharmacist replaced them with laxatives instead, and the suicide went... unexpectedly. Both survived, though in agony.
- In his short story "The Fly", humorist Patrick McManus tells of being a night janitor in college, and the steps that the department secretaries took to keep the janitors from pilfering their desk goodies:
"A secretary over in Sociology loaded a massive charge of chocolate-flavored laxative into a choice morsel and almost wiped out Charlie Fisk."
"That's terrible," I said.
"Yeah. And poor Charlie wasn't even the one who ate it. He was just an innocent bystander."
- Played straight in Charles Stross's Glasshouse: Reeve spikes Fiore's coffee to give herself time to take an impression of his key to the special room in the library.
- An apparently rare serious use of this in The Regulators, by Stephen King (under the Richard Bachman pen name). Seems Tak doesn't like being in a host body while that body is defecating, so Seth gets Audrey to put Ex-Lax in his chocolate milk to get Tak out of him long enough to carry out his plan to permanently solve that problem.
- In the V. C. Andrews book Dark Angel, Heaven's Rich Bitch classmates spike her punch with a laxative, then ask every boy present at the party to dance with her—ensuring that she can't get away—then locking all bathroom doors. She's able to relieve herself in a garbage can, then dumps the waste bag down a laundry chute, and managers to entice the cloudless Alpha Bitch leader into going down the chute (daring her to prove that she's brave enough to do it), thus doling out some severe Laser-Guided Karma. There's a darker example in a later book in the series, where Heaven's daughter Annie has been paralyzed. Her sadistic nurse spikes her food with a laxative, then refuses to help her when she soils herself (angry when Annie refused to eat the food she prepared and asked for something else).
Live Action TV
- A Garfield strip had Jon mention feeding Mrs. Feeny's dog laxative-laced bran muffins as one of the mean things that Garfield does. After yelling furiously at Garfield about this, Garfield consoles Jon and offers him a bran muffin...
- WWE: Eddie Guerrero did this to The Big Show using a bagful of spiked burritos.
- For good measure, Eddie also stole all of the toilet paper in the bathroom.
- TNA: Jay Lethal, Alex Shelley, and Chris Sabin slipped laxatives into Petey Williams' water bottle.
- In one skit, Jeff Foxworthy said that he believes that, if a 16-year-old shows up at your door trick-or-treating without a costume, it should be perfectly acceptable to give them Ex-Lax. Larry The Cable Guy then pipes up that he's been on both sides of that particular prank.
- Required in Enhanced.
- In one level of Hitman: Contracts you can poison some soup with laxative to help lure your target to the toilets. That or to get rid of his bodyguard, who he makes tastes his food.
- The College Roomies from Hell!!! / Joe Average / Life at Bayside crossover.
- A Shortpacked! strip has Mike handing out candy to people in return for them irritating Ethan by repeatedly telling him about Star Wars Transformers (which had already been out for some time). The "candy" comes from a box marked "Lax-O".
- Both Played for Laughs and deconstructed in Penny and Aggie. The title characters and their friends agree to spare The Sociopath Cyndi's reputation if she helps them humiliate the bully ringleader Karen by spiking the alcohol popsicles at her party with toothpaste, to make them taste bad. Instead, Cyndi spikes them with laxative. While most of the party guests undergo minor, though embarrassing and uncomfortable, potty emergencies, Samantha consumes enough spiked popsicles to necessitate a trip to the emergency room.
- Sgt. Coffman of Air Force Blues does this to Capt. Dahl's coffee on a daily basis. Lt. Willows develops a taste for it after losing several pounds when she accidentally drank a cup.
- Coffman also denies using eyedrops for this, saying they cost too much to waste on a prank ($30 for a very small bottle). Ex-lax, on the other hand....
- Total Drama Island:
- Heather does this in the fake finale of the first season. She offers Gwen a laxative-spiked cupcake. Unfortunately for everyone wanting Owen to win, Owen eats the cupcake instead...
- In the second season, the pizza they all (well, everyone but Leshawna, because "dairy and [her] do not agree.") eat is laced with itching powder and laxatives.
- The Simpsons: Dr. Nick Rivera has an Infomercial about a suntan lotion that's also a laxative.
- One episode had Homer sabotaging a youth group's candy sales by adding laxative to the candy. The youth group still managed to the sell the most candy, by selling it to the constipated residents of the old folks home.
- South Park: "Bass To Mouth" has Cartman give Jenny Simons a laxative-laced cupcake, to distract the school from Peter Melman's recent Potty Failure, as they do not want him to commit suicide, as Cory Duran did when this happened to him. Cartman's plan backfires when the obvious ensues, and Jenny ends up attempting suicide. Cartman's way of fixing everything? So nobody gets singled out, the staff and Cartman attempt to give the students laced Pizza Hut pizza, so everyone will crap themselves.
- At the end of the episode, Cartman gets thrown in front of a school bus by the school staff and was declared that he committed suicide. Cartman gets back at the staff with certain cupcakes...
- During the strike episode of Stoked!, Bummer has Wipeout offer the strikers laxative dosed doughnuts.
- In Beavis and Butt-Head, after apparently dying Beavis is sent to St. Peter who reads through a book of his life. He mentions that Beavis once passed out chocolate laxatives to his kindergarten class.
Beavis: Yeah, that was really cool.
St. Peter: No, Beavis, that also sucked.
Beavis: What do you know, asswipe?
St. Peter: I know everything, buttmunch.
- A far darker version of this is used as a combination of torture and execution method against gay men in some regions of the world - the anus is glued shut or otherwise obstructed, and overdose amounts of strong laxatives are administered. The result is an agonizing death by intestinal rupture.
- Alfred Hitchcock did this to one of his cameramen in Real Life.
- The vomiting variant of this (as well as its use in the eating disorder bulimia) is why syrup of ipecac is no longer produced or sold at least in the US. Originally intended as a poisoning antidote, ipecac turned out to be almost worse than useless for that, and unfortunately very useful to bulimics and pranksters. The only problems were that ipecac itself was cardiotoxic, and the vomiting it induced was often so violent it frequently produced Mallory-Weiss tears with severe internal bleeding as the result. Ipecac got removed from the market around 2009, none too soon.
- This is actually what got the Marquis de Sade sent to prison. He was trying to get prostitutes to fart on him, messed up the dose, and poisoned the women.
- This happened to John Barrowman back when he was doing musical theater in Nashville. His understudy spiked his drinking water before he went out on stage. Where he had to sing and dance. In white polyester.