Common in cartoons, an innocuous-looking rake (or hoe, or shovel...) is lying on the ground. A character steps on it the wrong way and gets a face full of the stick part. Ouch.
Obviously Truth in Television
for anyone who tried that. In real life, however, it usually results in a nosebleed or, if bad enough, a trip to the emergency room - Looney Tunes
jokes notwithstanding. And if an actual rake fails
to rise and smack you, it may instead hurt your foot
and/or break the rake.
Anime and Manga
- Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki: Subverted in the first episode when Ryoko steps on a metal rake. She doesn't get hit in the face, she instead bends the pole by smacking it. This, however, leaves an opening for Tenchi to slice her wrist off.
Film - Animation
- A variant occurs in Calvin & Hobbes: The Series: one-off criminal Tom accidentally steps on a shovel that his partner Bill is running on, leading him to get this trope. It's heavily implied that it was a Groin Attack as well.
Film - Live Action
- In Ice Age, Sid the sloth walks on something in the abandoned human camp and gets whacked in the face.
- A variation happens in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, when Clark keeps stepping on loose floorboards in the attic.
- In The Pink Panther Strikes Again, Dreyfus, while trying to avoid Clouseau, steps on one, causing him to fall over in the water.
- Subverted in The Goonies; after Stephanie and Andrea step on the rake it doesn't hit them in the face but pops up with a fish head on the other end.
Live Action TV
- A humorous aside in the Ciaphas Cain novel The Traitor's Hand notes a group of monks injuring themselves stepping on discarded gardening tools while fleeing from an unexpectedly-landing shuttlecraft. Seems even in the grim darkness of the 41st millennium, this joke still happens.
- Equal Rites references this, saying that magic has a habit of lying low, like a rake in the grass.
- In Going Postal, part of the Postman's Walk involves navigating an obstacle course where one risks stepping on a rake, a roller-skate, and/or an empty beer bottle with a hood over one's head.
- Happens to the Skipper on the Gilligan's Island episode "Waiting for Watubi"; the "rake" was made of bamboo and coconuts.
- Happens to Jack a couple of times on Three's Company.
- On 1000 Ways to Die, one young woman who gardened as a hobby died of suffocation by stepping on a rake with a zucchini in her mouth as she prepared for a date.
- In The Late Show with David Letterman's Top Ten List of the most dangerous toys (from November 1997), Number 8 was "'Ouch!' The Step-On-A-Rake Game".
- Yahtzee described his initial experience with Dark Souls as being like "walking into a dark shed full of rakes: immediately treading on one and getting blatted in the face".