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I think that sound you heard was a dentist wincing...or saying "Cha-ching!"
One of his teeth splashed into my Kilmagoon, fifteen feet away. I fished out the tooth to keep as proof, as otherwise no-one would ever believe me.
It's like this: Two men are fighting, Good Old Fisticuffs
. Now things get dirty. Then, one of them makes an attack to the mouth and hits. Cue the other one spitting out one tooth (or several).
When Played for Laughs
, this can take a humorous form: The guy who is hit will lose ALL his teeth - because they're dentures. Even if they were not hinted to be fake. Or if the work is in a setting where dentures weren't invented yet
Subtrope of The Tooth Hurts
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Anime and Manga
- In Real Bout High School, Ryoko knocks several teeth out of the head of gang leader Takasugi's Dragon. Hey, it's his fault he was talking when the fight had already started.
- Cleverly and artistically used as part of the title of Bleach chapter 426. Ichigo and Uryu both punch out the big boss of a gang who was after Ichigo, knocking out three of his incisors. The artistic part is where the chapter number appears on the teeth as they fly out. The reason why they were there? Ichigo previously had punched out SEVEN of one of their guy's teeth.
- Happens off-screen in an early episode of the YuYu Hakusho dub. Kuwabara is set upon by a group of thugs while he's taken a vow not to fight at all, even in his own defense. As Yusuke and Botan watch helplessly from the sidelines, Botan makes the horrified observation, "Is that a tooth?"
- In AKIRA when Tetsuo is recaptured by the scientists Kaneda attempts to save him but a huge guard stands in his way, he attempts to fight the guard but he grabs Kaneda by the face and slams him into the ground, when he gets back up he spits out a tooth.
- In the anime of Rurouni Kenshin, during Kenshin and Saito's fight at one point Kenshin hits Saito in the mouth with the blunt end of his sword and he spits out a tooth.
- One Piece has this during climax against Arlong where Luffy repeatedly aims for his mouth until he knocks out his teeth. Though being a shark fishman, they just grow right back. Arlong even removes the teeth himself to use as weapons against Luffy, though Luffy likewise uses a set of Arlong teeth to use against him.
- Astérix has the humorous version.
- Golden Age comics tended to use this frequently.
- One issue briefly but specifically mentions this; Daredevil lands a blow on Max the Ax that'll cost him a lot of money in dental work.
- In a truly bizarre example from Kevin Smith, the titular character knocks out two of the villain Bullseye's teeth, which Bullseye then proceed to toss SO HARD they splinter Daredevil's staff. Damn!
- In Super Pro K.O., Prince Swagger loses two teeth after a face-first collision with a corner post.
- Empowered and Anglerfish. Compare how long his teeth were before and after Emp beat him up.
- Venom's teeth often go flying when Spider-Man gives him a beating. Not that it matters much, since they grow back in seconds.
- During his first fight with Tombstone he knocks out several of his teeth.
- A Running Gag in the Spy vs. Spy comics in MAD. Whenever one spy was caught in an explosion, an entire set of teeth would come flying out of the blast.
- A regular event in Viz strips, especially Biffa Bacon. Biffa often loses teeth to blows from his own parents.
Biffa (in pub with father): Fatha, I bet Ten pints ye cannat knock aal me teeth oot wi' one punch.
Next panel, Father (with nine pints of beer in front of him and a tenth in his hand): Cheers son!
Biffa (toothless): Baftard!
- Very common in Mortadelo y Filemón as a result of punches to the face or explosions. For example, there is one scene where Filemón gets hit by a boxer off screen, and Mortadelo asks him if he lost a tooth. Filemón comes back into view, counting a handful of loose teeth: "No, I think I got all of them... 22, 23, 24..."
- In the "Body Count" arc of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Johnny Woo Woo beats Raphael and slams him into the ground; he just casually gets up and spits out a tooth.
- This happened a LOT in Gail Simone's original run on Birds of Prey. Possibly as a way to show combat damage, and how much the fights hurt both heroines and villains alike. Huntress does this deliberately to a goon at one point, which is a bit icky, her being a heroine and all. In a subversion of Beauty Is Never Tarnished, the villain Rabbit knocks out one of Black Canary's teeth, and even proceeds to taunt her about it. The most epic of these occurs in issue #124. Oracle goes toe-toe with the freaking JOKER. Once he gets close enough, Babs whacks him smack in the mouth with her eskrima stick, knocking most of his teeth out.
- A common occurrence in Frank Miller's comics, especially Sin City.
- Lampshaded in Worlds Funnest, an Elseworlds book where Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk battle each other across various alternate universes, destroying the entire multiverse in the process. In one world, modeled after Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (and illustrated by Frank Miller himself), as Mxy punches Superman and Batman around, knocking out teeth with each blow, he wonders how many teeth these guys have!
- One story arc had him knocking out Killer Croc's teeth. And then doing it again later after Croc has seen a dentist.
- In an annual exploring the origins of several of his villains. The Penguin used to be picked on by a particular bully. After working out and learning how to fight, Cobblepot challenges him to a fight, and his first punch knocks out several of his teeth. In the present, the same bully has become a petty thug who has gotten himself metal teeth. After tormenting him for a bit, Penguin uses a torch at the end of his umbrella to weld the teeth together.
- The Joker mentions that Batman's knocked out so many of his teeth, his entire smile is fake.
- In The Golden Age, Alan Scott's Green Lantern-powered punches cause Dynaman to start losing teeth.
- In the Harry Potter/Hellraiser crossover Evil Be Thou My God, Harry is punched by Peter Pettigrew's silver hand and loses a molar in the process. He discovers this when he spits out a mouthful of blood and the wayward dentition comes with.
Films — Animation
- Happened to Centipede in The Film of the Book for James and the Giant Peach. Also, to the robot shark. (No fistfight, but teeth are still flying.)
- A couple examples in Space Jam first when Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd shoot out Monstar Bupkis' teeth when he tries to kill Wile Coyote, when Tweety goes berserk he punches Monstar Blanko and knocks out one of his teeth, and when Monstar Nawt kicks Taz if you look carefully he knocks out a tooth.
- In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, near the end, Phoebus punches one of Frollo's guards, sending most of his teeth flying from his mouth.
- Wreck-It Ralph
- Vanellope spits out one of her teeth after bumping into a wall with her race car. A rare Played for Laughs example.
- Fix-it-Felix Jr. also gets some of his teeth knocked out by Sergeant Calhoun during the Nesquik-sand scene. He restores the broken teeth with his hammer.
- In the "Pecos Bill" segment of Melody Time, Bill knocks out all the gold fillings off a gang of rustlers, which is why "there's gold in them thar hills".
- At the end of The Little Mermaid, Louis the chef loses a few teeth after getting hit on the face by a mast. Happens to Morgana's pet tiger shark Undertow near the end of the sequel after accidentally hitting a wall and is presumably killed. Since sharks inevitably grow their teeth back immediately if they all were to fall out of their mouths, it's possible that Undertow may have actually survived.
- At one point during Batman and Joker's fight in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Joker smashes a model building over Batman's back and tries to stab him with the point. In response, Batman kicks him in the face knocking out one of his teeth.
- "Boy, I was a fool in school for cutting gym!"
- Rise of the Guardians: Just so you know, if the Tooth Fairy gives you a quarter, then you owe her a tooth.
- In Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, when Alex and the old lady are fist-fighting each other, Alex spits out his tooth and the old lady spits out her dentures.
Films — Live Action
- Will Danaher does this in The Quiet Man.
- This is used as a Running Gag in Undercover Blues, in which small-time criminal "Muerte" loses a tooth when attempting to mug one of the titular spies. He stalks them, determined to exact revenge, and ends up losing more teeth in most of their encounters.
- Played for Drama in a scene from the director's cut of Watchmen. When Nite Owl learns from a Knot-Top that his mentor Hollis Mason was murdered by other members of that gang, he snaps and punches the man in the face repeatedly, visibly knocking a few teeth loose. The last you see of the guy is him gurgling his own blood which has most of his teeth floating around in it.
- Troy: Paris manages to knock a tooth loose from Menelaus; the only good jab he gets in the fight.
- In The Comebacks, Coach Fields tries to intimidate George Johnson into stepping in line, and even invites him to attack him. After being knocked down by a savage headbutt, Coach's tooth is returned to him by another player.
- In Wanted when the main character snaps, quits his job and smacks his backstabbing "best friend" on the way out with his keyboard, we're treated to a Bullet Time shot of a tooth flying out, forming the second letter U to accompany the F, U, C, K and Y, O keys that flew off the keyboard. It's that kind of movie.
- In the climax of Feast, the second Heroine uses a rifle butt to knock out every last one of a monster's many, many teeth. Then tops this by shoving her arm through its now-harmless jaws, and all the way down its throat, so it chokes to death!
- Optimus Prime spits out what looks like a metal tooth during a fight in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. What a robot is doing with teeth is best left to the Wild Mass Guessing pages. Some theorize it's bits of his faceplate that Megatron had shattered.
- One werewolf in Dog Soldiers is kicked so hard on the mouth that one of its teeth flies into a wall and gets stuck.
- Downplayed in Daredevil. At some point during the fight at the start of the film, Daredevil got hit in the mouth. When he's cleaning up back at his apartment, he reaches into his mouth and pulls out a broken tooth.
- A character loses some teeth after being smacked with a pipe in When a Killer Calls.
- A man spits up a handful of teeth when he's whacked with a shovel in The Remake.
- August Underground's Mordum has a hidden deleted scene showing the Terrible Trio assaulting and mugging a man, who loses a tooth during the beating.
- The death of the morgue attendant in Black Christmas (2006) is represented by blood and teeth shooting onto a nearby table.
- In The Mask of Zorro, Zorro picks up two cannonballs in each hand and hits a Giant Mook with them. The man spits out several teeth and passes out.
- Happens in Cloud Atlas durign a Bar Brawl.
- Downplayed in The Dark Knight when Batman is punching the Joker in the face to find out where Harvey and Rachel are, you can hear a one of his teeth hitting the floor.
- In the Tim Burton Batman, The Joker does the "dentures" version as a gag with wind-up chattering teeth when Batman hits him in the mouth.
- Near the end of the final Neo/Smith fight in The Matrix Revolutions, Neo knocks out one of Smith's teeth.
Live Action TV
- Dexter ends up killing the wrong man in self defense, resulting in a temporary crown getting knocked out during the struggle, which he has to look for the next day at the crime scene before the forensics team finds it.
- Briefly discussed in the Firefly episode "Trash".
Zoe: Kaylee, if he'd gotten into a fight with that Sasquatch [Monty], we'd all be in the dirt right about now, picking up the captain's teeth.
- How I Met Your Mother: A drunk Robin picks a fight with Lily, warning her that she'll give her "Summer Teeth: som're here, some're there."
- Drop the Dead Donkey. Globelink News decides to do a Crimewatch program. Thanks to Gus Hedges desire to outdo Quentin Tarantino, a so-called 'reconstruction' of a post office robbery in Dalston starts with an old lady getting her dentures knocked out by a shotgun-wielding thug. Things go downhill from there.
Myth And Legend
- At No Mercy 2008, Chris Jericho lost one of his teeth when he got smacked in the face with a ladder.
- Mortal Kombat has this in the very detailed X-ray moves, which frequently involve blows to the head, with handy x-ray shots of the injury in question. Characters with non-standard skulls, like Mileena and Baraka have distinct teeth and jaws. Most of the time, teeth go flying.
- Condemned has crazy hobos and homeless people. When you smack them upside the head with one of the various improvised weapons, teeth occasionally fly out and onto the ground.
- Dwarf Fortress counts teeth by bunches (upper left teeth, lower front teeth, and so on), and, if struck hard enough, they all go flying. As a result of this and the AI targeting system, old forts tend to have dozens of teeth scattered all over the surface.
- By his character description, this has happened to the Bar Brawl-loving dwarf Khelgar Ironfist of Neverwinter Nights 2 multiple times. Most notably, he recalls one particular (not well-thought-out) brawl with a group of Sun Soul monks with him having to pick up most of his teeth afterwards.
- In the boss battle with The Black Baron in MadWorld one of your last punches knocks several teeth out that spell out the word "MAD".
- The Binding of Isaac has the Tough Love item, which gives the player a chance to shoot a tooth at the enemies instead of the normal tear.
- Homestar Runner was once punched in the face by Strong Bad, causing a giant tooth to fly out. However, Homestar for some reason claims that he doesn't have teeth.
- Fin loses a tooth during Homestuck's intermission. Importantly, Diamonds sees the tooth on the floor and uses its placement to know where and when to throw a swing that, due to Fin's time powers, hits him several minutes ago, knocking the tooth onto the floor in the first place.
- In Nip and Tuck, a mime chooses Tuck Todd to mock. Tuck turns around… POW!
Nip: Ouch! "Teeth Flyin' In The Wind..."
Tuck: Got a tissue? Ah got "Clown White" embedded between mah knuckles.
- Bad guys' teeth go flying in the opening sequence to The Powerpuff Girls. The episode "Moral Decay" was pretty much based on this trope - Buttercup learns the Tooth Fairy gives you money for teeth, and starts deliberately knocking villains' teeth out and collecting them to make a huge windfall.
- In the Spongebob Squarepants episode where SpongeBob has to impersonate Mr. Krabs at his Navy reunion, one of Krab's buddies asks to punch him in the "armor abs", resulting in one of his teeth coming loose. The others are disappointed that he only lost one tooth, until he spits out a few more and then his skeleton, and the others declare, "Now that's manly!"
- In the American Dad! episode "Haylias" when Hayley has gone insane after activating her chip she attempts to kill Stan at one point she punches him in the jaw knocking out a tooth, and we get a close up of the bloody tooth flying from his mouth.
- A recurring gag in golden age cartoons like Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry when a character receives a blow to the face their teeth will often shatter like glass.
- In the Daffy Duck / Porky Pig cartoon "The Ducksters", game show host Daffy threatens contestant Porky at one point; "Listen, mac, you got thirty-two teeth. Would you like to try for sixteen?"
- Basically anytime there is a fight scene or when someone receives a blow to the face in The Ren & Stimpy Show teeth usually fly from their mouths.
- In The Boondocks episode "Grandad's Fight" during Robert's fight with Stinkmeaner he knocks out all of his teeth.
- Happens nearly anytime someone receives a punch to the face in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. In one instance Mandy pays Sperg specifically to do this to Billy because he wouldn't stop showing her his loose tooth.
- In The Simpsons, Homer gets one of his teeth knocked out during his disasterous fight with Drederick Tatum. Bart gives him one he found, but after trying to put it in Homer says that it isn't his.
- Beavis and Butt-Head lost teeth a lot when they got punched or hit in the face with a heavy object. In one instance they put dynamite in a bowling ball and it blew up in their faces; Butthead spits out three teeth.
- A common saying in whitewater rafting explaining the reason that you keep a hand on the end of your paddle at all times (to avoid the hard plastic end from smacking someone in the teeth) is that you'll end up with "summer teeth" as in, "Sum'r in the boat, Sum'r in the water, and if you're lucky, Sum'r still in your mouth."
- Very likely to happen in many sports.
- There's a reason why many media depict hockey as a main staple for losing teeth since it's very likely to get slammed into the wall or floor or even smacked by a hockey stick or even the puck itself.
- Boxing since fighters can and will aim for the face. Granted they have mouth guards for this but it's not guaranteed that it won't shake a tooth loose.
- Likewise with football.