"Here's one thing I've learned from the movies!"
A classic gag, tossing a pie into another person's face. Usually, this is a cream pie to get the proper Covered in Gunge
effect. For extra comedy value, the victim might take a taste of the pie and note it's not bad
This Practical Joke
was a staple of silent movie comedies, which came up with most of the variants. Often, a missed throw would result in an Escalating War
pie fight. The all-out pie fight is pretty much a Forgotten Trope
in movies, but still shows up elsewhere.
celebrities and politicians sometime have this happen to them as a protest. For example, Anita Bryant and Bill Gates have been pied in public. note
On TV, the pie is often just whipped cream or shaving cream sprayed into a pie pan, which gives a similar effect while being much cheaper than baking up a whole pie just to throw it.
See Also: Edible Ammunition
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- A Japanese commercial for the Xbox (which, had absolutely nothing to do with Xbox) shows a woman trying to avoid a mechanism that keeps launching pies. Pretty soon, the music starts to build up as the mechanism winds up, and then...
- Throwing tiny pies at insects! Somehow it has to do with cell phones.
- A couple of examples occurred in the commercials for Wilkins Coffee.
- In one, Wontkins, who hates the coffee advertised, is hit by a regular pie by Wilkins the frog:
Wilkins: Want some Wilkins coffee with your pie?
Wontkins: Nah, just give me the pie.
(Wontkins gets pied)
Wilkins: Sure you wouldn't like a cup of Wilkins to wash it down?
- And in another one, he is hit in the face by a strawberry shortcake:
Wilkins the frog: Want some Wilkins coffee with your strawberry shortcake?
Wontkins: Can't say that I do.
(Wontkins gets... er, caked)
Wilkins: (pouring Wilkins coffee on the smashed cake) You can't say that you don't, either.
Anime & Manga
- There was an entire episode of the Kirby anime dedicated to this after Dedede was seen getting pied on live television. Hilarity Ensues.
- Suicide Squad had a Running Gag subplot about a mysterious attacker pieing their personnel and visitors (in one issue, Lois Lane was pied!). It turns out to be Captain Boomerang, who'd earlier arranged to attack himself with a boomerang pie to divert suspicion.
- British comics such as The Beano and The Dandy thrive on this trope, custard pies being the usual ammunition of choice. They can be thrown by hand or with a suitably elaborate Bamboo Technology device designed for the express purpose of leaving the target Covered in Gunge.
- In Scott McCloud's Zot, he conducted a poll for which character the reader most wanted to get a pie in the face. Unfortunately, it was won by 9-Jack-9, an electronic being previously established as not actually HAVING a face. At the New Year's party featuring the pie, it passed through 9-Jack-9 to hit the runner up, Zot, in the face.
- There's a running gag of Prankster pieing Superman. Granted, on at least one occasion, the pie delivered an electric shock or other nasty surprise.
- The Joker, as befitting his chaotic nature, once concocted an elaborate scheme the sole purpose of which was to hit Batman in the face with a pie.
- In Teen Titans, it is revealed that during the one-year-later arc Miss Martian joined and left the team. The reason she left? She saw a Three Stooges short and decided to throw a pie in Rose Wilson's (ravager) face. Rose apparently yelled at her enough to leave her crying.
- X-Men #8. Gambit: "A plasma rifle 'gainst a boysenberry pie? Can you see the crazed psychopath in this picture?" Naturally, Rogue gets the pie in the face◊.
- In the "Welcome Back, Frank" story arc of The Punisher, Castle finally manages to stun The Russian by throwing hot pizza in his face.
- R. Crumb did a comic depicting the wonders of the city of the future, ending with the method of regulating population growth — when you turn 65 a squad of clowns come looking for you with a pie — "not just any pie — a cyanide pie! What a way to go."
- Ben Grimm once got a pie in the face from a spring-loaded box, courtesy of the Yancey Street Gang. Or, rather, Johnny Storm, who had been framing the Yanceys for his pranks for years.
- Hägar the Horrible has this, as shown with the page image.
- It also happened to Snoopy's brother Spike in one Peanuts comic strip.
- Pie-ing is the signature prank of Kokopelli in the cartoons in Muse magazine. His pie of choice is banana cream, and his victim of choice is Urania.
Films — Live-Action
- One of the earliest recorded pie scenes was a Mack Sennett short in which Mabel Normand is pied, but she does carefully remove her glasses first.
- The Three Stooges did this numerous times, most notably in the short The Sweet Pie and Pie.
- The "lost scene" from Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is a massive pie fight in the Pentagon's War Room. Cut for not quite fitting the darkness of the rest of the movie.
- The Great Race has one of, if not the, largest pie fights ever. Including one that's so big, it can't be thrown; it's a huge multi-layer cake, and two different people get knocked into it at two different times.
- The 1978 version of Dawn of the Dead features a group of vicious bikers storming the mall, looting stores, firing at the heroes and... throwing pies at zombies. We'd call it a Narm moment, but George Romero might have been going for laughs here.
- Bugsy Malone is a parody gangster movie with child actors (including a young Jodie Foster) and used pies instead of handguns. It also had "splurge guns", based on the Thompson submachine gun, with drum magazines that allows rapid pie firing.
- Laurel and Hardy made money by selling pies to throw in their short film Battle of the Century, which codified this trope.
- The Shaggy D.A., notable for a cigar punching right through the pie.
- Blazing Saddles, during the "Great Pie Fight" scene in the studio commissary near the end. Everyone gets pied; villain Hedley Lemarr tries to avoid the carnage by ducking back into a restroom, but someone's waiting for him in there..
- The climactic scene of Nanny McPhee has this with wedding cake.
- Singin' in the Rain:
- During the brawl at the climax of The Pirate Movie, a cart of pies is wheeled out and a character predicts a pie fight — turns out it's pizzas being thrown around instead.
- In The Monkees' feature film Head, Peter winds up with a pie thrown in his face (while riding a cow, of all things) towards the end of the movie.
- During the carnival at the end of Grease.
- Pies being flung from homemade catapults are part of the Lost Boy's arsenal in Hook.
- Fatty Arbuckle did this early and often — his short A Noise from the Deep is the earliest known instance of the joke, and it was repeated many times in his later films.
- The Tony Hancock film The Punch and Judy Man features a climactic pie fight, but it escalates too quickly to generate the right comic effect.
- In the Mega Race of Spy Kids 3: Game Over, one of the racers has a giant pie-throwing arm as a weapon.
- The trailer for Monty Python and the Holy Grail puts one in the iconic Chess with Death scene.
- Inverted in The Kentucky Fried Movie, during the "Catholic High School Girls in Trouble" segment; a woman's bare bottom is pied.
- The Return of Captain Invincible: Captain Invincible does a rapid fire version of this. In a gun fight!
- Killer Klowns from Outer Space feature the title Klowns throwing acidic pies at a security guard, which reduces him to a pile of bones and whipped cream, ending with one of the Klowns sticking a giant cherry on top. Interesting to note that the pies used were not the traditional pie tin with whipped cream, but actual fruit pies that hit the guy with quite a bit of visible force.
- In The Muppet Movie, there's a variation on this trope — the heroes accidentally crash their car into a billboard for Aunt Amy's Custard Pies, sending the giant custard pie upon it flying right into the windshield of villain Doc Hopper's car.
- In the faux trailer for the proposed feature film The Slapstick Killers, a group of young friends are stalked by a killer schoolgirl who uses pies as her weapons of choice, smashing them in the faces of her prey right before she offs them.
- Tiswas has the Phantom Flan Flinger, a recurring character who pied people. Including a number of celebrities, mainly recording artists such as the Pretenders, Adam Ant, Phil Collins, and Annie Lennox (while still with The Tourists, pre-Eurythmics). One of the most memorable moments in the show's run had Sheena Easton covered from head to toe in shaving foam and multi-coloured slime — perhaps she should have titled her hit song "For Your Pies Only"?
- Three's Company, the "bake-off" episode.
- The Brady Bunch, in the first Cousin Oliver episode, "Welcome Aboard".
- The pilot episode where Mike and Carol marry has the former saving their wedding cake from falling off the table...only to lose his balance and have it hit him in the face.
- The Nickelodeon semi-game show What Would You Do? featured pieing as a penalty in nearly every episode; in fact the show came up with a number of pieing devices involving multiple or giant pies or jets of whipped cream (the Pie Wash in season two). Sometimes, though, pieing was a prize or privilege. Most of the people who went down the Pie Slide did so willingly or because they wanted to. Also there were two episodes in the first season called "Pie-a-Thons" which pitted Kids vs. Adults, and being pied was a way to add "points" for your "team".
- Not surprisingly, pies were also heavily featured in The Family Channel's later Family Challenge, which was from the same producer (Woody Fraser).
- Double Dare
- Pies in the face might not have been as iconic as the gak or memorable as pies in the pants. However physical challenges that required a contestant to get their face covered in whipped cream have been a part of the show's physical challenges since day one. However, the one that takes the cake (no pun intended) was the "Flying Trapeze" from the final season of Family Double Dare, where a person was put on a platform being moved back and forth by his family and had to throw four pies at his teammate's face while she sat in front of him.
- This was not limited to the contestants. Sometimes, during the show's Ad Bumpers, when the camera zoomed in on the audience the operator would zero in on a particular person and smash a pie in the fan's face. Marc was also the occasional target of pie pranks by Harvey, Robin, or other members of the crew.
- A subversion happened on the President's Day special when a contestant was told to make a pie by putting cherries on a plate, put a few handfuls of cream on it, and put it into his partner's face. Instead, with the clock nearing zero, he put the cherries in the big bowl of cream and smashed the whole thing in her face! (The judges declared this a rule violation, and the money went to the other team.
- On a handful of occasions, Marc and Harvey would have a gentleman's bet before the obstacle course began: The team got to pie Marc in the face if they got through all eight obstacles and if they lost, Harvey would get the pie instead.
- Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters has a misfired Practical Joke.
- Maude, where most of the cast — including Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan — gets into a big pie fight at the end of the episode "Musical '78."
- That Girl in a Show Within a Show sequence.
- The newer version of The Mickey Mouse Club had a sketch in which 13-year-old Christina Aguilera and Ryan Gosling both get a pie to the face.
- The Soupy Sales Show has this as a trademark. This was extended to Soupy's appearances on TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes.
- I Love Lucy has a couple of pie episodes, including "The Diner."
- Love American Style, the episode with Susan Howard.
- In one episode of the 1970's Donny and Marie Show, Marie delivered one to Donny in retaliation for his tying her ice skate laces together.
- You Cant Do That On Television featured this in several episodes, most strikingly in "Drugs".
- Many Talk Show hosts and guests have been pied. Sometimes by themselves.
- Happy Days: In the episode where Chachi tries to join the Leopards. At one point Chachi & Roger are about to pie the next person who walks in. It's Fonzie. They take one look at him and pie each other instead. But in a Blooper Reel gag, they get him.
- The Monkees endured this when they appeared on Show Within a Show Captain Crocodile.
- Captain and Tennille Show, during Masterjoke Theater sketches, primarily.
- Route 66, during an episode with Guest Star Soupy Sales.
- Bewitched, during one of the Serena episodes, which included Elizabeth Montgomery pieing herself from across the room.
- The Dick Van Dyke Show, due to one of Rob's many pratfalls.
- Family Matters, the episode "Stop In the Name of Love."
- The Baby-Sitters Club, with a school carnival.
- Saturday Night Live's "Heavy-Wit Championship of the World" sketch.
- Growing Pains, the "20th Anniversary" episode.
- Cybill, wedding episode.
- 3rd Rock from the Sun, "Dick Learns About Comedy."
- The Bob Newhart Show, as part of a practical joke Bob plans to play on Peeper.
- Gilligan's Island, episode "X Marks the Spot."
- Diff'rent Strokes, when the cast visits Universal Studios.
- Even an episode of Wheel of Fortune, with Pat and Vanna pieing each other!
- The Jackie Gleason Show at least twice.
- The Patty Duke Show, during a modeling photo shoot.
- Head of the Class, "Make Fun of the Teacher" episode.
- During an election episode in Salute Your Shorts.
- A Thanksgiving Day episode of Cheers.
- Webster, but only during a Dream Sequence.
- Wild And Crazy Kids:
- Once featuring the fire department.
- In an earlier episode (and season), a "organized" pie fight between camp kids and their counselors quickly spiraled into a free-for-all.
- In one gag of the Spanish sketch show ¡Vaya semanita!, they are asked to do more intelligent humor, so they decide to pie Stephen Hawking in the face.
- Unfabulous, where a classroom presentation on the American Revolution turned into a Boston Cream Pie fight.
- Moe Howard, of The Three Stooges, once demonstrated proper pie-throwing technique to Mike Douglas and Ted Knight during a 1973 episode of Douglas' daytime talk show.
- Johnny Carson would often get hit with pies in a recurring The Tonight Show sketch theme.
- Treasure Hunt, several times.
- On a late episode of the original version of Let's Make a Deal, one of the Zonks was an old pie wagon; after the reveal, Carol Merrill hit Jay Stewart with one of the pies.
- An episode of the current series of Let's Make a Deal featured a large pie as a Zonk; when it was revealed, Wayne Brady went down to the pie and pulled a real one out from behind it, with which he hit Jonathan Mangum. At the end of the show, Mangum got his revenge, at which point a curtain opened revealing an entire rack of pies, resulting in a pie fight among the entire cast.
- During one of the Showcases of Drew Carey's The Price Is Right, the models hit each other with pies. Near the end of the narration, Rich Fields is hit with a pie, and at the end of the show, Drew himself is hit with a few by the models as well. Here's a clip. And here is Rich Fields making sure the showcase winner isn't left out on the fun.
- Here's a way earlier episode (January 1976, as the title says). These predecessor models are dressed as Keystone Kops pieing one another throughout the showcase.
- Power Rangers:
- A staple of Brazilian game show Passa ou Repassa (at a certain point, a sound effect was added, making it even funnier). Two contestants put against each other answering a question. Get right, pie the other one. Get wrong, pie in your face. Then come the next two of the team. And due to rotativity, eventually the first two return, allowing for either revenge or getting the opponent even dirtier. (The same Speed Round was later used on Megamatch in Venezuela (rerun through out Latin America) and College Mad House in the USA.
- On Boy Meets World, Eric hits Jack with one at the end of a food fight.
- A recurring theme on Dick & Dom's shows, from Dick & Dom in da Bungalow (hosts splatting contestants, contestants splatting hosts, or giant free-for-all) to Splatalot (with "Splat" written on the bottom of the pie plate).
- A Season 14 Detour on The Amazing Race had teams pelt each other in the face with pies until they found one with a cherry filling.
- Subverted on All That when the cast get a bunch of pies from the bakery. Kevin expects they will throw the pies at him, but is told they are not going to do that. The baker also made a cake for such a purpose.
- On an episode of Late Night, Jimmy Fallon and Kelly Ripa played a game of rock, paper, scissors with a pie in the face as a penalty for losing.
- The Avengers: An episode has a pair of murderous music-hall clowns with an arsenal of weapons that included a pie filled with fast-setting glue, which nearly asphyxiated a would-be victim.
- A staple of Chicago's The Bozo Show, usually with Cookie being on the receiving end. In the 25th anniversary special every person who had ever been a regular on the show, including both Bozos, get in an epic pie fight while posing for a commemorative picture.
- Horrible Histories: A sketch on Victorian manners in which almost everything a gentleman does results in him being slapped by a lady, ends with him shoving an apple pie in her face.
- A Monty Python sketch at an Army recruiting office comes to a halt when the applicant complains that he hasn't got any funny lines. A couple of restarts later, the recruiting officer is dressed like a clown, pelting the applicant with a pie (after dumping a bucket of whitewash on him and dropping a large fish down his trousers.)
- Ant And Dec once had a show which, amongst much else, featured a slot called Pie of the Week in which someone brought in a pie. In one episode, Dec read the cue-card and discovered that today's Pie of the Week was brought in by Ant.
- Ax Men: Craig Rygaard reconciles with the crew and especially rehired rigger, Dave Schroeder, in a recent episode using some lemon meringue humble pie. At least Dave sees the humor in the pie.
- The Goodies. In "Lighthouse Loonies" Bill goes insane and ends up chasing Tim round and round the lighthouse wielding a pie. When he gets tired of running in circles, Bill just turns and waits for Tim to run into it, then says calmly, "I feel better now."
- Subverted in Secret Diary of a Call Girl when Belle gets a client who's into "sploshing;" her pie hit momentarily blinds her when the cream gets in her eye, then she twists her ankle and falls from all the glop on the floor.
- The Suite Life of Zack and Cody: There is a scene in which London and her friends start a book club, but the first meeting ends up in a pie fight, with the girls smashing small pies in each others hair and later face.
- Zoey101 has Zoey do this to Chase after she catches him trying to steal back his valuable radio that he sold to her.
- Modern Family: Cam is woken up with a pie in the face as a result of taking Lily to a clown camp.
- Jonathan Coulton's song "Bozo's Lament" is about a clown who's grown weary of his job. Naturally, this trope is referred to in the course of the song.
- The Beastie Boys in the video for "(You've Got to) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)", from Licensed to Ill.
- Bette Midler's video of "Beast of Burden".
- Alanis Morissette in the video of "You Learn"
- British rock band Charlie's video for their 1983 Top 40 hit, "It's Inevitable."
- Cobra Starship in the video of "The City is at War".
- Elton John's frequent duet partner Kiki Dee, in his music video for "Wrap Her Up" (1985).
- Japanese "rock band project" Cocoa Otoko in their debut video, "Amai Wana Nigai Uso...", with cakes.
- A pie in the face is something any aspiring WWE Diva can expect at some point in her career, especially around Thanksgiving. Past victims include Mickie James, Michelle McCool, Sunny, Kelly Kelly, Layla El, the Bella Twins, Ashley Massaro, Rosa Mendes, Joy Giovanni, Vickie Guerrero, and Stephanie McMahon. The men also sometimes get it in diva-related segments, as has happened to The Big Show and Santino Marella.
- Sesame Street during the song "Surprise," with even a brick wall getting pied.
- The Muppet Show:
- A Sandy Duncan appearance.
- Fozzie gets one from a rival comedian bear in one episode, and from Paul Simon in another.
- A regular happenstance in Les Guignols De L Info for French philosopher Bernard-Henry Lévy, following a pair of such incidents in Real Life. There was even a parody of the movie JFK, with BHL being pied in the face treated like JFK's assassination.
- In the RPG Toon, this is a surefire way to Boggle a character.
- Netrunner gives us the ICE card "Pi in the 'Face". We assume the effect is virtual.
- Shown on the "Humiliation" Consequence card in Kitsune: Of Foxes and Fools, not to be confused with the "Humiliated" Trick card which depicts a plunger to the face.
- Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl. The sketch in question was originally written by Cleese and Chapman for a 1968 sketch show, We Have Ways of Making you Laugh. (It was of course only one of several recycled sketches the Pythons used on stage, most of the others being from At Last The 1948 Show.)
- NetHack has a cream pie item, which causes blindness. On the one hand, stealing from shops will result in Keystone Kops showing up to pie you and beat you with rubber hoses until you die. On the other hand, pieing something does not count as an attack, and the pie takes up the weapon slot, which makes it very useful for characters attempting the pacifist conduct.
- Makai Kingdom has these as weapons, though their basic purpose is to heal their targets.
- The Pie Throw is a whole series of Weapons (Gags) in the MMORPG Toontown Online.
- Johnathan from Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin can throw cream pies at enemies. When leveled up it's also arguably the most powerful Dark-element weapon in the game making it the perfect tool to take out Bonus Boss Richter Belmont.
- The only way to defeat the terrifying, monstrous, bloodthirsty Yeti in King's Quest V: Absence Makes The Heart Go Yonder! is to throw a cream pie in its face. This was not one of its best puzzles.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Tag Force Games:
- In the ones with the GX cast at least, you can play a Dodgeball-esque minigame. One of the things you can throw is a Pie. It disables whoever is hit by it for a couple of turns.
- Also in the Third Tag Force Game there's a sandwich throwing minigame. One of the things that needs to be avoided is Pie.
- In Dead Rising there's a few places with pies, which you can eat for one hit point or throw at zombies. Score a direct hit to their face and the pie will stick, leaving them unable to see you. If you attack them and knock off the pie, you can pick it up and throw it again.
- This is also used as one of Frank West's attacks in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, where he throws a pie at the opponents face. It only sticks for a second though.
- Kingdom of Loathing "This is a cream pie, which has been expertly balanced for throwing." Other players can be targeted giving them the 'Hilarious!' effect of 'Pie in the Face'.
- Peacock from Skullgirls has a pie in the face as one of her attacks, which fits into her repertoire of slapstick moves and cartoon references.
- In Injustice: Gods Among Us, The Joker's super move starts by throwing a pie into his opponent's face, allowing him to move in for the rest of the attack.
- The University of Victoria's Engineering Students' Society has an annual fundraiser on March 14, Pi Day (3.14 - get it?) One person makes a donation to have an individual of their choice pied; the victim can dodge the pastry by matching the donation. Some good-natured individuals allow themselves to be pied but donate as well.
- Same with University of Calgary's own ESS. Oh, Crap. This would be a Berserk Button had it happened outside of Engineering or if an informal restraining order was never made.
- The Biotic Baking Brigade, a San Francisco-based left-wing activist group, specializes in throwing pies in the faces of those it regards as its political foes.
- Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien was once pied by a member of this group.
- As mentioned at the top of this page, Bill Gates suffered a similar fate on a trip to Belgium.
- Indeed The Other Wiki has a page devoted to people who have been "pied" at some point.
- And then there are the organizations that are dedicated to pieing people. Like these people. Or this guy.
- In recent years, it's become common for a professional baseball player who gets a game-winning hit to be rewarded with a shaving-cream pie to the face from his teammates. Actually, it can apply to any player who does particularly well during a game, i.e. a pitcher who throws a no-hitter.
- Skippys List references one particular incident where pies, to be thrown at the unit CO, would be auctioned off for a charity fundraiser. The pies, however, would be "voluntarily" bought by individual soldiers. So Skippy, being The Loonie that he is, decides that a traditional cream pie would be too blasé, and goes with something a little nontraditional...
- In the 70s, science fiction critic Charles Platt pied magazine editor Ted White in the face at a convention. Sadly, White didn't see the funny side.
- Since 2010, the Furry Fandom convention Rainfurrest has featured the tradition of pieing staff members in the face if their charitable donation goals are reached.
- The first time Fred Rogers ever turned on a television, he saw footage of people throwing pies in each other's faces. The violence disgusted him enough that he decided to devote his life to gentler television programming. Pies in the face are directly responsible for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
- A variant of this has been carried out in New Zealand with lamington cakes — twice.
- Per Rule 34, it is also a niche sexual fetish.