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.
See also Amusing Injuries
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, instead she's fast enough to dodge and then smack the pole hard enough to bend it. This, however, leaves an opening for Tenchi to slice her wrist off.
Film - Animation
- A variant occurs in Calvin and 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 One Thousand 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".