Prank items used in imitating horrifying injuries. May result in Crying Wolf or Deadly Prank.
Examples:Anime and Manga
- When Yotsuba&! and her father went to a cultural festival at their neighbor Fuuka's high school, one class had a haunted house manned by a girl with the arrow-through-the-head thing. Being five, and not having been exposed to that gag, Yotsuba got really concerned about her well-being...
- On Pocahontas, Radcliff's valet Wiggins pulls the old arrow-through-the-head bit.
- In E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Michael's Halloween costume includes a gag item simulating something sharp stuck through his head. ET appears concerned that he's been genuinely injured.
- There is a scene in Summer School in which a teacher walks in to find his entire class has apparently been massacred, as they are lying around covered with gaping, seeping wounds. This is shortly revealed to be a prank.
- In the third Scary Movie, one of the main character's friends from the previous film fakes these (being expected to die in 7 days as part of the film's status as a parody of The Ring) before being killed off proper.
- April Fools' Day took this to the extreme.
- On the Halloween Episode of Modern Family, Claire pretends to accidentally chop off her hand to scare the girls. They don't fall for it, but as they try to pick up the fake hand, it suddenly jumps up at them and they scream. Turns out it was Phil hiding under the table.
- Mike in The Monkees has one of the fake arrows through his head in a few romps.
- An episode of Scrubs has Dr Cox put an arrow on a hung over Jordon's head. She doesn't notice even while Cox draws attention to it.
- Adam Savage is fond of these, having both the arrow and knife variety of head injury prank items in his possession, as well as having used them before for humorous pieces to the camera.
- One Far Side comic had a reversal of the fake-arrow-through-head hat, an indian with a fake rifle stuck through their head.
- Sherman's Lagoon: Sherman attempts to pull this gag. The lagoon gang is trying to hide a whale from hunters when Sherman comes up claiming to have been harpooned through the head. Filmore doesn't fall for it and tell him to just "wait over there till this is over."
- One of the Nice Hats you can now get in Team Fortress 2 simulates a large butcher knife stuck in your head. (This being Team Fortress 2, it may well be an actual butcher knife stuck in your head.)
- Ed, Edd n Eddy: in the Big Picture Show movie, Ed and Eddy manage to scare Edd in the gag factory wearing items that portray with a fork and an axe through their heads respectively.
- The arrow gag is taken Up to Eleven in the Family Guy episode "One If By Clam, Two If By Sea". After a hurricane hits Quahog, Peter stumbles around with a fence plank impaled through his body. After horrifying his family, he reveals that it's just set up like the fake arrow trick.
- Steve Martin wore a hat that portrayed an arrow through his head as his trademark.
- Basically any high end magician/illusionist act. Sawing a person in half, spearing the armoire with swords, etc.