Wet Cement Gag

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When a sidewalk is being paved in fiction, it probably won't dry before someone leaves their mark in the wet cement. Either during a Chase Scene, where a "Wet Cement" sign is shown before someone runs through it, or as a form of graffiti.

This process takes a long time, even with the quick-drying variety. Unless you're in a cartoon, in which case you should avoid this stuff like the plague, because if you step in it, it'll harden instantly and probably trap you in it. Someone may also trap someone deliberately with this method. Results can resemble Taken for Granite.

While the material used to pave sidewalks is properly referred to as 'concrete', the sign in front of it is usually labeled "Wet Cement". Cement is actually the gluelike substance in concrete that makes it hard and binds it together, but the sand and gravel (technically called "aggregate") is what makes it useful to walk/drive on or build stuff out of. Mix cement & aggregate, you've got concrete. Add water and you've got wet concrete to pour.

Related to Cement Shoes, Sheet of Glass and Fruit Cart.


Examples:

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     Comic Books  

  • Happens several times in Mortadelo y Filemón. For instance, on "La máquina del cambiazo", the titular characters are trying to run away so the Superintendent won't force them to enter the titular machine. During the escape, Filemón is thrown by Mortadelo over the wooden wall that marks the limit of a construction, and falls right into a pit of wet cement. The next thing we see is Mortadelo using a giant drill to try and get him out.

     Comic Strips  

  • A Calvin and Hobbes strip had the duo find some freshly-poured cement and apparently sat in it offscreen, only to find out that it would dry very quickly.

     Films — Animated  

  • Rookie officer Judy Hopps of Disney's Zootopia ends up standing in fresh concrete as Nick Wilde concludes his Break Them Bytalking speech to her. Ironically, she stood on that spot to refute Nick's claims and protest that she's not a "dumb bunny". Once Nick points out that Officer Hopps is standing in newly-poured sidewalk concrete, Judy has no further rebuttal.
  • In Oliver & Company, Oliver and Dodger walk across wet cement after stealing hot dogs.

     Films — Live-Action  

  • A famous gag in Gentlemen of Fortune. The fake breakout involves the characters getting into an empty tanker. They get the wrong car by mistake, so not only are they away from the planned hiding spot, they also need new clothes thanks to this trope.

     Literature 

  • In The Unadulterated Cat, Terry Pratchett describes various games cats play to amuse themselves. One of them is Wet Cement. The basic play is simple; run through some wet cement. Scoring maximum points, however, requires careful judgement and timing, to hit the cement when it's still wet enough to leave clear paw-prints, but hard enough that smoothing it out again is going to be a tough job.

     Live Action TV 

  • Malcolm in the Middle: In a Halloween Episode, Reese and Dewey throw eggs at an old man's house, and they're able to avoid him because he's very slow. Eventually, the boys end up running into wet cement, which the man laid out to trap them so they can't get away while he exacts his revenge.

     Western Animation  

  • Batman: The Animated Series: In "See No Evil", Batman pursues an invisible thief, who gives away his location by running through wet cement and leaving a trail of footprints.
  • "Dixieland Droopy": While fleeing from the owner of a flea circus, John Pettibone a/k/a Dixieland Droopy rounds a corner and finds himself trying to run through wet sidewalk concrete. Being a Tex Avery cartoon, the Dixieland fleas embedded in John's fur slow their music tempo down as John gets bogged down in the stuff, then speed up their tempo as John gets his Heroic Second Wind at the midpoint. Once free of the concrete, John resumes running at full tilt as his fleas play furiously fast.
  • The Pink Blueprint: At one point The Pink Panther's antics result in the Little Man going sliding down a ladder and into a trench filled with wet cement. Just as the Little Man is jumping out the cement sets, leaving him frozen like a statue.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Lemon of Troy", Bart attempts to write his name in wet cement.
  • Happens frequently in Looney Tunes:
    • One short had Hippety Hopper jumping into wet cement, to the anger of the worker paving the sidewalk.
    • On the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Homeless Hare", a construction foreman falls into wet cement, completely submerged except for his cigar. The worker smoothing down the cement doesn't notice when he falls, and simply keeps smoothing, plucking out the cigar to smoke it.
    • One Chuck Jones cartoon involving Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner has the coyote smooth a large square of fresh concrete across a roadway, aiming to bog down the bird in the stuff. Instead, it's subverted when the Road Runner's insane speed parts the concrete down the middle, splashing the nearby coyote with the stuff. The poor coyote takes about six steps away in defeat when the concrete hardens around him, turning him into a Living Statue.
    • In "It's Hummer Time", a cat trying to catch a hummingbird keeps running afoul of a Bully Bulldog who forces him to spin a wheel to decide which humiliating punishment to inflict on him. One of these is The Thinkernote , which involves putting the cat in a cement mixer, then letting him set into the pose of the Rodin sculpture of the same name. In the end the hummingbird tricks both the dog and the cat inside the cement mixer, turning them into a decorative bird bath for him.
    • Foghorn Leghorn once tried to pour cement on top of the Barnyard Dawg's house. Unfortunately he didn't reckon on the mixer's retractable spout, which instead pours the cement on him.
  • Twister in Rocket Power falls over head first into the wet cement of a ramp Conroy was working on after attempting to put his initials on it. This stirs up trouble as upon discovering the mess, Conroy closes Madtown until he finds the person responsible for ruining his newly made ramp.
  • A Running Gag in the Rugrats episode "Spike's Babies" has the characters from the show run through the wet cement of the pathway to Stu's barbecue grill, forcing him to smooth it out every time. This prompts Stu to put up a rope fence, which the babies are able to crawl under. Towards the end of the episode, after Stu falls into the cement, he gives up and decides to let everyone leave their handprints into the cement.
  • In the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "Stop, Look Ed", Eddy shows his contempt and disregard for rules by casually walking into wet cement despite the caution signs (and Edd) telling him to stay off. As he gives his sermon on "rules being meant to be broken" to the other kids, Eddy walks out of the cement, his feet encased in two rectangular blocks of solid concrete.
  • In two episodes of The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, the Ant Hill Mob end up encased in quick-drying concrete. In one instance, they are freed by Penelope; in the other, by a police officer who tells them that imitating a statue is a serious offense.
  • Happens in The Fairly Oddparents when Timmy follows Poof into a construction site and tries to stop Poof from falling into wet cement. But since Poof is a fairy, he just floats over it and Timmy ends up falling into the cement. When they are in another construction site owned by Dark Laser, Timmy uses this to escape, by wrapping himself in foil and jumping into the wet cement, splashing it on Dark Laser and turning him into stone while Timmy escapes.


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