A character dangles some kind of treat on a stick in front of an animal, or even in front of another character, similar to fishing with a rod, line, and bait. This is usually done in order to trick the subject into going somewhere at a fast pace (or sometimes, to run on a treadmill). The classic example is "carrot and stick" dangled before a horse, mule, or donkey to get it to pull a cart.
Related to Food As Bribe
and X on a Stick
. Will often involve a Trademark Favorite Food
, or something from the Stock Animal Diet
The problem of the bait swinging on the string, so that the target can simply grab it, is never mentioned.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- In Sasami Magical Girls Club, while riding on a cart pulled by an ox-like creature, Anri complains about how slow it is, so Washu pulls out an "Acceleration Device" that turns out to be a bundle of hay hanging from a stick. The ox takes off like a rocket and catches the hay once they reach their destination, with the quick stop flinging everyone out of the cart.
- The Pokémon anime episode "Pokemon Food Fight": Ash and his friends plan to lure a sleepy Snorlax into moving up and over a mountain by luring it with an apple attached to the end of a pole with a string. It wakes up just enough to eat the apple, then goes back to sleep before they could get it to move.
- How the Flying Dutchman is moved in De cape et de crocs. It involves a giant octopus and a really, really, really big fish.
- Archie Comics
- Jughead Jones was convinced to ride a stationary bike (using a bag of potato chips) this way in one story.
- In another story, a variant is used to motivate to run faster for the track team. Jughead is outfitted with a special harness with a mirror in front that's positioned to let him see the photo mounted in back, so it looks like his Abhorrent Admirer is always right behind him.
Films — Animation
- In Mulan, the title character uses a dog and bone to feed the chickens. The bone-on-a-stick is tied to the dog's back so the bone is always in front of the dog, and the dog runs around with a feedbag leaking grain behind him.
Films — Live-Action
- In Jack Vance's novel Cugel's Saga, ships are powered by large worm-like sea creatures bound to either side of the vessel. Bait is hung in front of the ship to make them move.
- Unseen Academicals features a scene with the wizards riding on the backs of the university porters and motivating them with a bottle of beer on the end of a stick.
- In one short in The Little Rascals series, the boys had a "taxi" that was powered by a mule/donkey pushing from the back and a carrot on a stick in front of it was used to make it push.
- The Benny Hill Show: In a sketch, Benny is at a weight-loss camp and is jogging. Three girls show up in front of him and flash their breasts at him, so he speed up. He gets tired and slows down; they flash him again and he speed up again, etc.
- How the characters of Father Ted get Father Jack out on his walks.
- The "Chow-Man Motor" in The Incredible Toon Machine. Drop some food, usually an egg, in front of him, and he'll start walking on his treadmill.
- This appears as a trinket in World of Warcraft. It increases mount speed by 3%. Awkward Zombie even points out some Fridge Logic with that particular item.
- Scribblenauts allows you to set this up using a "plank", "glue" and something the character wants.
- In Zettai Hero Project, the Appetite Engine accessory is a carrot on a stick worn on the player's head. It reduces EN consumption by 50% while equipped, and can be eaten to restore EN in a pinch.
- In Minecraft, you can put a saddle on a pig and ride it, but it wasn't until the game introduced carrots that you got a method to steer the pig: by combining a carrot and a fishing pole, you can make a "carrot on a stick" item that lets you steer a saddled pig you're riding.