"Why is there always someone who brings eggs and tomatoes to a speech?"
A displeased crowd is throwing stuff at speakers and artists according to the Rule of Funny
. Eggs, lettuce and vegetables are generally favored, with tomatoes an all-time favorite. Originates from way back in the 19th century, when audiences and working-class theatergoers would often carry these things into the (very rowdy by our standards) theaters, and chuck it (or chairs and such) at bad performances. Look for an Honest John
-type character to have a cart filled with said rotten vegetables for sale for this particular purpose.
See also Stock Punishment
. A subtrope of Food Fight
and Edible Ammunition
. See also Defiant Stone Throw
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- A TV commercial for the radio duo of Steve Dahl & Garry Meier showed a billboard advertising them being hit with a giant tomato. There was also a real Steve & Garry billboard with a tomato attached, as well as Steve & Garry t-shirts.
Anime and Manga
- It's a running gag in Garfield. Once he was pelted with a pillow, an alarm clock and a flowerpot in short order. He took the stuff with him and was happy.
- In a Donald Duck comic, poor Donald was once at the receiving end of this. Various types of fruits were thrown at him - including a ridiculously huge watermelon!
- In one-page comic starring Scrooge McDuck, he gains some money with this. Step 1: Perform a purposely bad performance in a talent show. Step 2: Catch all vegetables thrown at him. Step 3: Sell them. Step 4: PROFIT!!.
- In an issue of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, the audience entrance of a talent show has a barrel of free rotten vegetables.
- Happens to a political candidate in the Oklahoma album of Lucky Luke. He's actually happy getting so many vegetables for free.
- In FF the Yancey Street Gang hack their way into getting all the tickets for Darla Deering's concert and pelt her with vegetables and eggs because they think she's trying to replace Ben Grimm.
- In an issue of Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, Anti-Tails pelts a turtle with tomatoes. Later on, an angry Knothole Village mob scapegoats Sonic and the Freedom Fighters and proceeds to throw produce at them.
- This happens to Sylvester (Bob Hope) in The Princess and the Pirate when he performs his variety act at a Bad-Guy Bar.
- In the The Marx Brothers A Night at the Opera, the bad-guy opera singer tries to steal the good-guy opera singer's thunder and is pelted. When he angrily objects to apples thrown at him, Groucho explains "Well, watermelons are out of season!"
- At the end of Duck Soup, Firefly, Chicolino, and Pinky do this to Trentino after they capture him. After Trentino surrenders and Mrs. Teasdale triumphantly sings the Freedonia national anthem (again), they start throwing fruit at her.
- After Robin loses an archery contest in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, everyone gets pelted. Blinkin: "Oh, good. They opened up the salad bar."
- Young Frankenstein. During Frederick and the monster's performance.
- The Penguin, the Villain with Good Publicity from Batman Returns, trots out the above quote when his former supporters start throwing eggs and tomatoes at him after Batman exposes him for what he is by means of an Engineered Public Confession.
- In Mel Gibson's The Patriot, Benjamin Martin tests the suitability of potential recruits by walking into a rough tavern and shouting "God Save King George!" The patrons immediately hurl things at him (including a giant knife). Martin says, "This is the place."
- Happens to a traveling opera company that makes a hash of Faust in Buster Keaton's The Haunted House.
- A non-comedic example happens to an unlucky Quasimodo in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
- This is ultimately how the United States soldiers stationed within Italy end up having to drive Captain America off stage in a USO tour gone sour in Captain America: The First Avenger (that, as well as a soldier mooning him.).
- O Brother, Where Art Thou? had the audience, when becoming fed up with Stokes' interruption of their play due to their ruining a Klan rally and their being convicts, start pelting food at him after his microphone is shut off by the recording studio. It gets worse for him later when they decide to run him out of town on a rail.
- Gangs of New York does this, but with cabbage (the audience is too poor for fruit).
- Although technically a Food Fight, the fact that the uptight teacher was constantly being hit by food, almost a gang up, in the movie Max Keeble's Big Move makes it more comparable to this trope.
- In Mrs. Doubtfire, Daniel (as Mrs. Doubtfire) throws a lime at his ex-wife's new boyfriend. When he turns around, Mrs. D claims to have witnessed the whole thing.
Mrs. Doubtfire: Oh sir! I saw it...some angry member of the kitchen staff, did you not tip them? Oh...the terrorist ran that way, it was a run-by fruiting!
- In The Blues Brothers, the Blues Brothers perform in a bar in the Deep South to a crowd that doesn't appreciate their normal style of music. The patrons throw empty beer bottles at them while booing, but they're protected by a chicken-wire fence. They then change their style to something the crowd likes, and the crowd starts cheering - but keeps on throwing bottles anyway.
- Implied in a song in Newsies:
And the world will know that this ain't no game
That we got a ton of rotten fruit and perfect aim
- In Huckleberry Finn, the villagers take rotten veggies to the theater after realizing that the Duke and the King's play is a scam.
- In the Discworld book Soul Music, Glod tries to catch the fruit they throw at him. Musicians have got to eat, ya know.
- It's also discussed about the Mended Drum (The Librarian in particular has to be pleased).
- And in Small Gods, a character recalls a crowd working through a whole list of things with which to pelt a missionary from a neighboring nation led by a Corrupt Church.
- In Beyond the Western Sea, Horatio Drabble performs Shakespeare on the Liverpool streets and gets produce thrown at him.
- Happens several times in P. G. Wodehouse stories. One variation is in the Jeeves and Wooster story "The Metropolitan Touch", where the finale of a show is supposed to involve the chorus throwing balls of wool (representing oranges) to the audience. On the night, the villain of the piece substitutes real oranges, and the show promptly devolves into an all-out fruit fight with the audience caught in the middle.
- Played seriously in the Hand of Thrawn duology - two men inciting a riot in an already-angry crowd start by screaming for justice and throwing produce. Once the mob is pelting the building with food, they introduce rocks. After that's been going on for a while, they throw a grenade into the crowd and get out of there.
- Mentioned in Starfighters of Adumar. When reflecting on their massive drop in popularity, one pilot of Red Flight says that at least the Adumari haven't erected statues of them to throw rotten produce at. Another pilot says to give them a couple days.
- In Callahans Crosstime Saloon, a particularly Incredibly Lame Pun would be met with a shower of peanuts.
- In the Rainbow Magic series, in Ellie the Electric Guitar Fairy's book Rachel and Kirsty pelt goblins with rotten fruit to make them drop the magic guitar.
Live Action TV
- Hulk Hogan got pelted with trash after his shocking heel turn at WCW Bash At The Beach 1996, wherein he turned into Hollywood Hogan of the New World Order.
- This incident touched off a trend of throwing stuff at the ring. Classless at the best of times, the fad arguably reached its nadir on the 1 December 1997 edition of WCW Monday Nitro, when referee Randy Anderson got hit in the eye with a golf ball during a match between Curt Hennig and Diamond Dallas Page.
- The fans threw garbage in the ring in protest at the end of the New Blood Rising PPV in August 2000.
- Ring of Honor had this happen on a few occasions. Nigel McGuinness and the Age of the Fall frequently drew so much ire with their victories that fans threw empty bottles and whatever else was on hand into the ring.
- Stormbringer supplement Demon Magic: The Second Stormbringer Companion, adventure "The Velvet Circle". If the customers at the House of Melodac don't like the singer's performance, they end it in a shower of fruit and vegetables.
- In Paper Mario 2 the battles take place on a theater stage. If you're doing badly (or if the crowd is just feeling mean) then they start throwing rubbish at you. You can counter this by going into the crowd and smacking them with a hammer, but be careful as they can also give you helpful items.
- Or, you could wait until they throw the rubbish at you and switch characters. This will prevent damage done AND keeps your audience count the same, even though you would lose just 1 doing it otherwise (and usually that one is quickly replaced). This is a less viable option if a bunch of X-Nauts decide to throw rocks at you at once—and they do so often enough for it to be a concern. If your character up front has already went though, you'll have to finish selecting an attack or smack them.
- Luckily, you can find a badge to switch without losing a turn.
- The baby Yoshi qualifies with flinging eggs at the those who chuck things on the stage.
- In Toejam And Earl, the title characters can use tomatoes which can either be thrown or launched from a slingshot at Earthlings. Chickens can also shoot tomatoes at you and there is a present that can cause tomatoes to rain from the sky.
- During the Title Defense match with Aran Ryan in Punch-Out!! Wii, he taunts you between rounds - and then gets pelted with garbage. He turns in his seat and starts threatening the crowd. Super Macho Man gets pelted as well, but he takes it in his stride and Pec Flexes the tomato stuck on his chest off. It happens due to the former being a dirty cheater and the latter a weapons-grade douchebag.
- Rune Factory 3 allows the player to do this to monsters. As an attack. It's more useful if you throw status-effect-causing food, rather than ordinary crops, though.
- in Worldof Warcraft, random NPCs will throw rotten fruits at your character the first time you visit Stormwind or Orgrimmar as a Death Knight.
- In the Forest Stage section of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, depending on the mask Link wears at the stage, the Deku Scrubs will either adore it, have mixed reviews on it, or hate it. If it is the last one, they'll do their own variation on Produce Pelting... by spitting Deku Nuts at Link until he leaves.
- In The Sims Medieval, Sims in the stocks can have tomatoes and eggs thrown at them (if the Sim you're playing is on the receiving end of this treatment, it increases the negative buff they get from the stocks).
- In the Point-and-Click Game Pink Panther: Passport to Peril, Pink Panther has to give a performance in a Chinese opera. However, if the player makes him walk onto the stage without the required costume and/or make-up, the audience will start throwing tomatoes at him.
- One puzzle in King's Quest VI requires you to get a minor character to throw a rotten tomato at another one.
- Future Cop: LAPD intro: After a barrage or rockets and machine-gun fire a single ripe tomato is thrown.
- Spelunky players can attempt to beat the game with The Eggplant: ridiculously fragile and weak against all enemies except Yama, whose head turns purple and dies instantly to one hit.
- The Gremlins 2 Licensed Game for the NES had a genetically altered tomato as one of Gizmo's weapons.
- Virtual Bart has a level where Bart must throw tomatoes (and later eggs) at his classmates so he will look good in the class photo by comparison. The game ends when he runs out of tomatoes (or eggs), runs out of time, or hits one of the adults (though he can hit Principal Skinner when he is crouching).
- Tiny Toon Adventures games:
- In Babs' Big Break for the Game Boy, each playable character has their own unique food to throw. Buster tosses carrots in an arc, Plucky tosses pineapples that bounce off the floors and/or walls, and Hamton bowls using watermelons.
- In the western level of Buster Busts Loose for the SNES, the Coyote Kid (from the TV series episode, "High Toon") tosses tomatoes at Buster.
- In Buster's Hidden Treasure for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, there are several enemies that toss food at Buster, including Ravens that drop apples, and Trolls (from the short, "Day for Night" from the TV series episode, "Brave Tales of Real Rabbits") that toss tomatoes.
- In the episode of Sponge Bob Square Pants "Culture Shock", the audience boos Squidward during the talent show and throws tomatoes from the free salad bar. Mr. Krabs, spotting a business opportunity, immediately starts charging for the salad bar.
Fred: It's worth every penny.
- In the episode "The Smoking Peanut", Patrick is accused of throwing a peanut at a trained clam. He's tied up and pelted with peanuts as retribution. Patrick just catches them in his mouth.
- VeggieTales: A character gets pelted with produce—and one of the projectiles is actually Bob the Tomato.
Bob: "I don't CARE how bad he is, we do not throw tomatoes in this town!"
- The circus bugs in A Bug's Life are pretty bad performers, and receive this treatment.
- Happens to Tanya in the second American Tail movie. Mama just scoops the produce off the walls and into a skillet, and Papa jokes that she should keep singing so that the hecklers will literally throw in dessert as well.
- Done in Kim Possible when Ron is on stage at Camp Wannaweep, lampshaded in typical Kim Possible fashion he wonders a few times where all this fruit is coming from.
- In The Simpsons, the Springfield baseball stadium has a "tomato day", when people are given free tomatoes with which to pelt a representative of the Springfield Communist Party.
"Oh well, this is better than Dart Day..."
- Used again in "Bart to the Future" where Bart and Ralph perform a cheap rip-off of "Margaritaville" and get pelted with beer bottles — which hit a laser grid force field.
- And earlier in a redneck bar, when the owner announces that drink service will be suspended for a few minutes, he has to duck several bottles, a chair and a live pig.
- Season eight's "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson" where Marge tries to sell her pretzels at a ballgame, but the sports fans end up hurling them at Whitey Ford.
- In the Season 9 episode "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace," the residents of Springfield throw food at the Simpsons' house when they discover they've been scammed by the family.
Lisa: They're running out of tomatoes.
Bart: [loud smash] But they still got plenty of pumpkins.
- In the season 21 episode "American History X-celent", Moe is selling throwing stuff at the crowd gathered to watch Mr. Burns being carted away to jail. "Get your throwing stuff here! Turn a protest into a riot!"
- In one episode, Krusty the Clown was doing a show called "Krusty Komedy Klassics." When he sees the sign behind him, he realizes in shock that the first letters also spell out the acronym for the "Ku Klux Klan" before giggling nervously and saying "Not good...", which likewise resulted in the audience pelting things at him. They did something very similar later on in the (in-universe) show, where Krusty tries to do a skit called "Mad About Shoe" (where he makes out with an oversized shoe to the style of the sitcom Mad About You), obviously not finding the joke funny. Krusty also took note of this and warned them that they certainly won't like the NYPD Shoe skit, as it's overall the same thing.
- Phineas and Ferb, "Out of Toon": After the boys turn their older sister Candace into a villain for their cartoon, people began throwing tomatoes at her. The boys managed to cheer her up by telling her that it meant they liked her and she was a good villain.
Candace: Maybe I'll go feel the love! (gets hit by tomatoes) Love feels a lot like tomatoes.
- Muppet Babies had Fozzie hit by a tomato whenever he told a bad joke.
- Done a lot in classic cartoons - notably in Tex Avery's Magical Maestro, where an opera singer's costume is repeatedly transformed by the magician/conductor. An irate audience member hurls a huge pile of fruit at the stage, just in time for the singer to get turned into Carmen Miranda.
- A similar gag in "What's Cookin' Doc?" has Bugs Bunny campaining for an Academy Award... at the awards banquet. The audience throws assorted fruit, burying Bugs, who emerges briefly wearing a Carmen Miranda fruit hat, before getting clobbered with what he thinks is an Oscar, but turns out to be a booby prize.
- One Froggy Evening: The poor protagonist offers Free Admission (and later Free Beer) to the debut of the Singing Frog (before he was known as Michigan J. Frog). All the crowd gets to see is the little green thing croaking in place. Cue the loud continuous booing... and, of course, the onslaught of fruits and vegetables in the man's face while the curtain is covering everything else.
- On Jimmy Two-Shoes, when Samy tries to perform, he inevitably runs into this trope.
- Happens to Davey in Eight Crazy Nights when the crowd disapproves of his officiating at a youth basketball game.
- In Doug's realization that Patty is a terrible singer (yet can't bring himself to tell her the truth because he isn't willing to risk hurting her feelings), he imagines her attempt at singing in a theater, and then the audience members proceeding to pelt produce at her, and she's still singing even when she is up to her waist in a pile of rotten food.
- In an episode of Garfield and Friends Garfield discusses and invokes this trope. He talks about going on the Comedy Diet where you can only eat what people throw at you. He then goes on stage and tells bad jokes until the audience hits him with vegetables.
- In The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, this happens to Kootie Pie and Big Mouth during their song in "Dadzilla".
- Heathcliff once got hit with tomatoes thrown by the neighborhood pets in an episode of Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats.
- Tummi Gummi actually fell victim to this at the end of the Adventures of the Gummi Bears episode, "The Fence Sitter". After the Gummis successfully got the Gummiberry-eating bird to switch its diet to blackberries, this leads to a brief discussion about what the fate of the bird's babies is going to be. Tummi even chimes in that they would have to let the baby birds vote too. This led to him getting pelted by blackberries from the other Gummis in response
- Futurama's Zoidberg does a stand-up routine which sucks; Leila and Bender pelt him with tomatoes, which Zoidberg happily eats.
- The Classic Disney Short Der Fuehrer's Face ends with a cariacture representing Adolf Hitler's face being hit by a tomato, which then trickles to form the words "The End."
- The page image is from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. During the song segment in "One Bad Apple", Babs Seed throws tomatoes and milkshakes at the Cutie Mark Crusaders while Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon roll with laughter.
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold:
- Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen lead a mob that pelts Superman with tomatoes after he declares himself king in "Battle of The Superheroes!".
- Negative Man gets pelted with tomatoes while performing as a sideshow freak in "The Last Patrol!".
- The Heckle and Jeckle cartoon "Sno' Fun" had the magpies as mounties facing the outlaw Powerful Pierre. The boys hide inside a single overcoat and throw virtually every fruit and vegetable at Pierre, to no effect.
- This shows up in the third act of the Mr. Bogus episode "Bogus To The Rescue", though the tomatoes were actually thrown at his superhero office rather than at him.
- Tiny Toon Adventures
- In "A Ditch In Time", Plucky tricks the prehistoric ancestors of the show's cast into thinking he is their new leader. When Buster and Babs tell the truth about Plucky to them, they toss their fruit and vegetables at him when he returns.
Plucky: "Yesterday's leader, today's tossed salad."
- Montana Max does this to Buster in "Animaniacs!" at the beginning of the Acme Looniversity Film Festival. Fortunately, Buster dodges the vegetables, grabs one of the carrots (obviously so he can eat it later), and catches a watermelon with his ears and tosses it back at Monty.
- The term "peanut gallery" originates from audience members who heckled performers by throwing exactly that.
- Muntadhar al-Zaidi, journalist who said farewell to George W. Bush by throwing his shoes at him (Bush dodged both). He was arrested and tortured for that, but he was hailed all around the Arab world – indeed, all over the Western world – as a hero. The sources for the "torture" claims are questionable at best, however.
- Justin Timberlake got water bottles, muffins and other random trash chucked at him during his performance at a 2003 benefit concert in Toronto. Another Justin was also infamously pelted with water bottles.
- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had a statuette of Milan Cathedral thrown at his face, which broke his nose and two of his teeth.
- A heckler once threw a cabbage at US President William McKinley while he was giving a speech. McKinley caught it and said, "it seems that one of my detractors has lost his head," without missing a beat.
- Apparently (as per this table◊ in Portuguese), it's a tradition in music festivals set in Brazil - most notable case being True Art Is Incomprehensible musician Carlinhos Brown being pelted with water bottles at 2001's Rock in Rio III.
- Nickelback was stoned (as in actual stones were thrown) during a festival in Portugal, forcing them to cut their performance short.
- Many renaissance faires feature a tomato-throwing game, where one can pay to throw squishy old tomatoes at an actor dressed like a medieval crook, typically in the stocks.
- The rivalry between Colgate University and Cornell University ice hockey teams often ends in this. Visiting Colgate ice hockey players are often pelted with toothpastenote . Likewise, visiting Cornell ice hockey players often get Big Red gum thrown at them.
- Two actors from cast of Lemonade Joe (1964) represented the film at a festival in Eastern Germany. The film was widely lauded and received several festival awards, but that particular German audience did not like it at all, and Kveta Fialova (The Chanteuse Tornado Lou) and Josef Hlinomaz (The Gunslinger Grimpo) reminisced how they had got empty bottles and cans thrown at them.
- Sports fans can fall into this, especially if there's some controversial call against them made by the referees. Oftentimes they can move up from soft edible stuff to stuff more solid and painful, like iceballs and bottles. Some notable instances:
- Game 7 of the 1934 World Series. Angry Detroit Tigers fans pelted St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Joe "Ducky" Medwick with food, bottles, seat cushions, etc., bringing the game to a halt and forcing the sport's then-commissioner to bench Medwick for his own safety. (At that point, the Tigers were losing 10-0 and Medwick had spiked one of their players sliding into a base the previous inning).
- August 10, 1995, St. Louis Cardinals visiting the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers held a promotion that day where they gave away free souviner baseballs to fans before the game. Some innings, lots of beer, and several close calls by the umpires going against the Dodgers later, fans show their displeasure by throwing thousands of said baseballs onto the field. Play was initially suspended so that the balls were cleaned up before being resumed, but then one fan threw another ball to center field and the umps immediately forfeited the game to the Cardinals - as of 2014 this was the last forfeit in Major League Baseball. (The Dodgers have given away baseballs since, but now it's after the game.)
- Week 14 of the 2001 NFL season, the 6-6 Cleveland Browns hosted the 4-8 Jacksonville Jaguars trying to stay alive for a playoff spot. Late in the 4th quarter, the Browns are down 15-10 but were driving for the go-ahead touchdown. On a 4th-and-2 at the Jacksonville 12, Browns QB Tim Couch throws a three-yard pass to WR Quincy Morgan for an apparent first down, then the Browns hurry to spike the ball and stop the clock as Morgan had been tackled in-bounds. Couch spikes the ball, but then the head referee Terry McAulay announces that the catch to Morgan was being reviewed by instant replay.note Upon further review the call was overturned, and the Browns turned the ball over on downs. The Dawg Pound was incensed by the apparent jobbing by the refs and threw plastic beer bottles and other objects onto the field, causing the refs to declare the game over for safety reasons with 48 seconds left - NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue overrode the decision and brought the teams back out for two Mark Brunell kneel-downs to make the game official about 20 minutes later, still under a hail of debris from angry Browns fans.
- Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series. The Chicago Cubs had not even made the World Series since 1945, a drought popularly attributed to the Curse of the Billy Goat, but in 2003 they were up in the best-of-seven series three games to two, and Cubs fans could smell their ticket to the World Series and the end of the curse that night after the Cubs were up 3-0 against the Florida Marlins with one out in the top of the 8th inning. Then came Luis Castillo's pop-up foul ball to the edge of left field, which Cubs fan Steve Bartman inadvertedly knocked away from Cubs left fielder Moises Alou, who otherwise had a good chance of catching it for the second out of the inning. The Marlins proceeded to score eight runs that inning, and angry fans in the vicinity began chanting "Asshole!" and death threats, blaming him for the team's sudden collapse. They eventually graduated to throwing beer, bratwursts, pizza, pretzels, and other debris as Bartman had to be led away by security for his own safety. The Cubs lost the game 8-3, and lost Game 7 the next night as well - they still haven't reached the World Series as of 2013.
- Subverted in general when it comes to ice hockey - hats are traditionally thrown onto the ice out of respect by fans after a player scores his third goal in a game (i.e. a hat-trick). And let's not forget the octopus in Detroit.
- Though ever since the "Year of the Rat", where Florida Panthers fans used to throw toy mice on ice with each goal (since the opening game had a player killing a rat on the dressing room before scoring two winning goals) - reaching absurd levels on the finals - the NHL was forced to change the rules regarding debris onto the ice, which could even ensure in penalties for the home team.
- For cases of objects thrown in protest, there's always jerseys, while in 2010 the Toronto Maple Leafs warranted waffles.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger had an egg thrown at him during one of his campaign speeches. He took it in good humor, saying that the person who threw the egg now also owes him bacon, because you cannot have eggs without bacon.