"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.
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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Anime and 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. It was 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 Welcome Back Frank, 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"
Films — Live-Action
- 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 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.
- You Can't 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 Lets 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 Lets 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 And 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.
Dec: Alright, Ant, what is it?
Ant: It is..., a custard pie!
Dec: No, of course not. Sorry.
Ant: Wrong again. *splat*
- 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.
- 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!)".
- 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).
- 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 Mc Mahon. 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 also gets one from a rival comedian bear.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Simpsons
- In "Simple Simpson", Homer becomes the Pieman, a costumed vigilante whose shtick is throwing pies at annoying people.
- This is also the reason Sideshow Bob was selected as Krusty's assistant over his brother Cecil, as Bob's dignity made the take all the funnier.
Pie job for Lord Autumn-Bottom over there!
Bob: (after being hit by the pie) ...Oh, dear.
- In "Krusty Gets Busted", a behind-the-scenes footage reel shows Sideshow Bob doing this to Krusty. In response, Krusty punches Bob in the face.
- In "Krusty Gets Kancelled", Krusty tries to practice for his comeback special by throwing pies at Homer, but keeps missing, complaining that he's lost his aim. Then Bart hands him one fresh from the oven. Krusty yelps in pain from the hot tray, then throws it, finally hitting Homer. (Homer shouts in pain too, but then quickly says, "Mmm... Blueberry...")
- The "Balmy Swami" episode of Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines includes an airborne pie fight among the Vulture Squadron members.
- Tom And Jerry
- In the short Quiet Please!, Tom catches Jerry on the kitchen counter. Jerry asks for a moment to draw up a last will and testament, in which he leaves a custard pie "to Tom, my favorite cat". Reading this, Tom eagerly tells Jerry to "Lemme have it!"
- In Solid Serenade, Jerry hits Tom with two pies... the former of which has a steam iron hidden inside it.
- Tom pelts Jerry with a pie at the end of Jerry's Diary.
- Many instances in Looney Tunes:
- Bugs Bunny repeatedly hits Elmer Fudd with these during a scene in Slick Hare. "Your pie, sir!" Unfortunately for Elmer, he tries to retaliate and hits Humphrey Bogart. "Why did you hit me in the face with a coconut custard pie with whipped cream?" Bogie asks menacingly.
- Vaudevillians Bugs and Elmer take turns with this in What's Up, Doc?
- In Shishkabugs, Bugs releases a spring-loaded pie into the face of the king, causing royal cook Yosemite Sam to be led away to the dungeon.
- In A Hare Grows in Brooklyn, Bugs pies a dog in the face, then wipes it out while apologizing profusely:
Bugs: My goodness, I don't know what came over me! You wanted cherry pie! *splut*
- In Leghorn Swoggled, Foghorn Leghorn rigs a toy train with a pie and sends it to the front door of the Barnyard Dawg's house, causing the latter to get pelted when he sticks his head out to see what's going on.
- Daffy Dilly has Daffy Duck trying to cure a dying millionaire by getting him to laugh. After he achieves this accidentally, by landing in a cake, Daffy is hired as a sort of household jester and ends the cartoon getting repeatedly pelted with cakes and pies. ("It's a living!" says Daffy at the end.)
- Tree-Cornered Tweety has Tweety seeking refuge from Sylvester in one of the food boxes at an automat. Sylvester inserts a coin to get Tweety out, but is instead hit with a pie when the box opens.
- A Ham in a Role opens with a dog getting a pie in the face — he turns out to be an Animated Actor who's sick of doing funny cartoons and goes off to study the Bard. At cartoon's end, he is given a choice part where he begins Hamlet's soliloquy... and gets a pie in the face.
- In the opening of American Dragon Jake Long, Annoying Younger Sibling Haley is hit in the face with a pie by her mother as Jake passes them on the way to school.
- Phineas And Ferb
- The first of many indignities Candace receives in "Comet Kermillian" when she goes on a picnic with her crush's Enfant Terrible sister Suzy is a blueberry pie in the face. The others include being pushed down a hill in an ice cream cart and getting squirrels in her pants.
- Candace also gets pelted with pies aplenty in "Let's Take a Quiz".
- In Avatar The Last Airbender, practicing airbending aim with pie-throwing at meditating monks was shown in flashbacks to have been one of Monk Gyatso's training methods for a young Aang.
- In the Gargoyles episode "Vendettas", an Ascended Extra, who turned out to be a mook in several past episodes, follows Goliath and Hudson around all night with a BFG, after his revenge. Eventually, he gets his chance... and shoots Goliath with a pie. Satisfied, the guy walks away, humming the Theme Tune. They have no idea who he is.
Hudson: Hmm, banana cream!
- Happened several times in one episode of Clone High. Although with a rather dark twist in that they were actual hot pies fresh from an oven, and that it horribly burned and scalded the face of the screaming victim. Which is played for laughs, of course.
- A running gag in the Darkwing Duck episode "Comic Book Capers", where the culprit is a funny-looking Native American named Running Gag.
- Just as in the comics (see above section), in the Batman The Animated Series episode "Christmas with the Joker", the Joker threatens hundreds of lives, on Christmas, no less, just to pie Batman in the face.
- An episode of Bonkers features a Running Gag about which flavors of pie were appropriate for this gag.
- In The Powerpuff Girls episode "Supper Villain", the next-door neighbor decides to become a villain, but he is not allowed to follow through with his evil scheme until after dinner is over. When dessert is served, Blossom throws a pie at him. This leads to a big pie fight, ruining dinner and leading to a Face Heel Turn for his wife.
- In the Super Mario World episode "Send in the Clown," Big Mouth Koopa is pied as part of his torture by the other circus performers. A pie-throwing machine is rolled out with the ammo hitting Rexes disguised as clowns and cave people in the audience. Yoshi saves Mario and Luigi from punishment by eating any pies that are launched in their direction.
- On Jimmy Two Shoes, Heloise tries hitting one of the Things that Go Bump in the Night with one, who dodges it. She hits him with a trashbag instead.
- The plot of the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Dying for Pie" involves Squidward giving SpongeBob a pie which, unbeknownst to him, is actually a highly volatile explosive. Over the course of the episode a guilt-ridden Squidward attempts to give Spongebob an enjoyable final day, thinking that he has eaten the pie, only to find out that he hasn't. SpongeBob then trips and accidentally throws the pie in Squidward's face, and the episode ends with a mushroom cloud presumably where they stand.
- In one Yogi Bear cartoon, a visitor to Jellystone Park is standing under a tree when a blueberry pie falls from the tree onto his head.
- The Disney-parody musical number "It's a Wonderful Day for Pie" in the Family Guy episode "Road to the Multiverse" concludes with Herbert (in the guise of the Wicked Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) pelted with pies by the rest of the cast (except Brian and Stewie). With a song about pie, one could smell a pie-in-the-face gag coming up from a mile away.
- Jokey Smurf in The Smurfs masquerades as the episode's eponymous Masked Pie Smurfer to attack his fellow Smurfs with pies, resulting in an Escalating War.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- In the episode "A Bird in the Hoof", an overexcited Pinkie Pie does this to herself at a party in honor of a visiting Princess Celestia.
- Earlier in "Over a Barrel", the settler ponies fight the buffalo with pies.
- In "The Best Night Ever", poor Rarity ends up getting hit with a flying layer cake which Prince Blueblood was using her to shield himself from.
- A Running Gag on Garfield and Friends. (In the original comic strip too.)
- The Garfield Show has a Game-Show-Within-a-Show called "Say a Type of Tree and Get Hit in the Face With a Pie". It is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- 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.