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When you're your own dentist by pulling a tooth yourself.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
alnair20aug93 on Aug 21st 2018 at 1:06:55 PM
Last Edited By:
alnair20aug93 on Nov 6th 2018 at 7:59:14 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

Taken from this discarded draft after a random search, and I don't know why it got scrapped. Anyway, tweaked out the description and added a bit more examples.


Rolling Updates; Do We Have This One??; Needs a Better Description; No Launching Please
At a few points in time for anyone with a tooth, they'll get an loose tooth or a toothache. For a child, he/she will begin to grow out their baby teeth. For an adult, it could be factors such as age and how they take care of their teeth. This can lead to where The Tooth Hurts such as eating hard food or trying to bite things, among other things.

The practical way to end the ache is a visit to the dentist. But in factors such as that there's no dentist nearby, or that they can't afford to get a checkup, or they're just afraid of dentists, they resort on pulling the tooth out by themselves. A common technique in removing it is tying the tooth with a string to a door knob of an open door and then closing the door. Another method is using pliers (highly not recommended). Results may vary, but should the results end up in failure, it's straight to the dentist anyway.

Compare Self-Surgery.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • In one short example from Archie comics, Archie invites Dilton over to help him by slamming the door. Dilton is actually a little insulted that Archie thinks he would do something so careless to a friend, so he leaves in a huff... slamming the door attached to Archie's tooth in the process.

    Film 
  • Wade Whitehouse, the main character from the 1997 film Affliction, suffers from a bad toothache throughout the story. He eventually reaches the point where he pulls out the tooth with pliers.
  • In Cast Away, the main character starting having a toothache before he got stuck on the island. With no way to get actual medical treatment, he's forced to knock the tooth out using an ice skate and a big rock.
  • Stu from The Hangover is missing a tooth when they wake up from the night they can't remember. At the end, it's revealed that he pulled it out himself because the others said he couldn't do it. For extra irony points, Stu is a dentist, for all the difference it makes when yanking out a tooth with pliers at a strip club while black-out drunk.
  • 12 Monkeys: Cole believes the Mission Control in the future tracks time-travelers like him through tooth implants, so he removes his own teeth with a stolen knife. The crook who has to witness the grisly sight calls him "a fuckin' crazy dentist!" Cole later learns from another time traveler that pulling out his teeth was pointless, because the future scientists have other ways to track him, as well.
  • A post-credits scene in Wild Things (one of several that fill in the backstory) shows Suzie using a pair of pliers to extract one of her teeth. The tooth will be left behind so she can fake her own death.

    Literature 
  • Older Than Radio: Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: when Aunt Polly discovers that Tom has a loose tooth, she has Tom's tooth tied to the bedpost with a silk string and uses a hot coal to scare him into jumping away, yanking the tooth out.
  • In one of the Henry Huggins books, Henry pulls two loose teeth (that happen to be his canines) out by tying them to his dog Ribsy's toy and having Ribsy pull them out.

    Live Action TV 
  • In Parks and Recreation, certified Rated M for Manly Ron Swanson nonchalantly yanks out a sore tooth with pliers in the middle of a meeting, prompting horrified screams from onlookers.
    Ron: [Aside Comment] The dentist pulled the tooth out yesterday, but it's always a good idea to demonstrate to your coworkers that you are capable of withstanding a tremendous amount of pain. Plus, it's always fun to see Tom faint. [Giggles]
  • Scrubs: Played for laughs. The Janitor leads most of the hospital's support staff in confronting Kelso about wanting dental insurance. When Kelso initially refuses, everyone simultaneously pulls out a tooth with their bare hands. Kelso is unimpressed. It's then revealed that the Janitor and the rest were faking with Chiclets, except one guy who actually did rip a tooth out of his mouth. The Janitor claims he can fix it.

    Web Original 
  • Critical Role: Wildemount: In Episode 11, the Pretty Boy half-orc Fjord admits that he "used to do [his] own dental work", filing down his tusks in an attempt to Hide Your Otherness and avoid Half-Breed Discrimination.
  • In the Happy Tree Friends episode, "Nuttin' but the Tooth", Nutty goes to a rather unexperienced dentist to get rid of his rotten tooth. Said dentist tries the old-fashioned method of tying one end of a string to the tooth and the other to a doorknob. This procedure ends with Nutty's whole lower jaw being ripped off, with the rotten one being one of the few teeth not to fall out.

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs: In a "Good Idea Bad Idea" segment, Mr. Skullhead demonstrates why serving as your own dentist is a bad idea, especially if it involves drilling.
  • Arthur: In the epsidode "Arthur's Tooth", when he finds out that he was the only one in his class who hadn't lost a tooth yet, he tries to pull his loose tooth out by doing the doorknob method, eating crunchy food, and other methods employed. He then goes to the dentist when all methods fail, and the dentist assures him that all baby teeth fall out naturally and the age of falling baby teeth vary from person to person. At the end of the episode, Arthur's baby teeth finally fell out when Francine threw a soccer ball at his face.
  • Detention: subverted; Eugenia P. Kisskilya tries the doorknob method, but it results in the doorknob breaking off from the door.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: In the Justice Friends episode "Pain In The Mouth", Krunk experiences a toothache. Valhallen suggests the simple solution of going to the dentist, but Major Glory opts to helping Krunk through other means including getting villains to beat poor Krunk up. Eventually, Krunk decides to take Valhallen's advice, and the dentist eases his problem. Major Glory also gets forced to endure dental work.
  • In The Fairly OddParents! episode "Teeth For Two", as Timmy's loosening buck teeth is literally worth a diamond, Jorgen forcefully tried to pull them out with pliers as a dowry for his fiancee, the Tooth Fairy. When she finds out, she is not happy about it as it's her job to do that, and calls off the engagement. Later, as part of his plan to entrap the Tooth Fairy to reconcile with Jorgen, Timmy has his loose buck teeth pulled out by Dr. Bender though a doorknob and a string. He remarks that it didn't hurt, before the teeth bounces back at him and hits his eye.
    Timmy: And now to Phase Two.
  • In the Mr. Bean animated series episode "Toothache", after bearing the pain from a loose tooth after eating popcorn, Bean tries to pull out his aching tooth such as the classic doorknob method. When the knob fell off, he tried by pushing a drawer out of the window with string attached in tooth. When that didn't work, he tried by tying that string to a tree and wait for a passing vehicle to come by, and nada. The tooth only came out when he ate popcorn again.
  • On The Ren & Stimpy Show, Powdered Toast Man used the doorknob method to pull out not a tooth, but the President's caught zipper.
  • In the Spongebob Squarepants episode "Suds", Patrick tries to treat Spongebob through several, yet ineffective, methods. One of which is where Patrick pulls Spongebob's teeth out using the doorknob method to cure his suds and asked Spongebob if it worked. Spongebob awkwardly replied with a missing tooth that it didn't.

    Other 
  • One anti-smoking commercial features a young man yanking out one of his own teeth with pliers to point out how smoking can damage your gums and teeth.
  • Vivian Stanshall (ex Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band) included a tale of impromptu dentistry in his comedy album Sir Henry at Rawlinson End. The gentleman in question ties his tooth to the inner door of a cage-type lift, so that when the lift ascends it will pull his tooth out. Unfortunately it doesn't work, so in frustration he yanks open the outer door and jumps down the shaft. "Few men would have had the intelligence to do that," Stanshall observes.
  • Literally taken Up to Eleven in this video. where one kid pulled his tooth using a remote-controlled toy rocket.
  • A man in the Philippines had a giant lump in his jaw area due to having his aching teeth repeatedly pulled out in numerous occasions by himself using rusted pliers.

Feedback: 33 replies

Aug 21st 2018 at 4:13:29 PM

  • A post-credits scene in Wild Things (one of several that fill in the backstory) shows Suzie using a pair of pliers to extract one of her teeth. The tooth will be left behind when fakes her own death.

Aug 21st 2018 at 4:21:17 PM

In Cast Away, the main character starting having a toothache before he got stuck on the island. With no way to get actual medical treatment, he's forced to knock the tooth out using an ice skate and a big rock.

Aug 21st 2018 at 4:31:07 PM

Aug 21st 2018 at 8:23:16 PM

Live Action TV:

  • Parks and Rec Ron Swanson pulls out his own tooth during a dull spot in a meeting Actually his Dentist pulled the tooth and he's just messing with his co-workers

Aug 21st 2018 at 11:48:35 PM

  • Animaniacs: In a "Good Idea Bad Idea" segment, Mr. Skullhead demonstrates why serving as your own dentist is a bad idea, especially if it involves drilling.
  • Dexters Laboratory: In the Justice Friends episode "Pain In The Mouth", Krunk experiences a toothache. Valhallen suggests the simple solution of going to the dentist, but Major Glory opts to helping Krunk through other means including getting villains to beat poor Krunk up. Eventually, Krunk decides to take Valhallen's advice, and the dentist eases his problem. Major Glory also gets forced to endure dental work.

Aug 22nd 2018 at 1:25:28 AM

Parodied in a The Addams Family panel with the daughter sitting with a string running from her mouth to a creepy-looking trapdoor in the floor.

Aug 22nd 2018 at 2:10:01 AM

Weblinks Are Not Examples have been marked as such. They need more information about how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context.

Zero Context Examples have been marked as such. They need more information to show how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context. Warning: providing Zero Context Examples can result in being suspended from editing.

Examples that are Not An Example have been marked as such. They should be deleted.

Aug 22nd 2018 at 6:31:57 AM

  • ~Ike 755, as much as I appreciate the effort of adding an example directly to the draft, it's best to leave an example in the comment section while a draft is active. And since your addition is not an example, I'm going to remove it.
  • ~Arivne I seem to have accidentaly removed the tags while I edited it; I must have edited from a previous version. Don't worry, I brought it back.
  • Can anyone expand the some of the Western Animation examples? I copied it from a previous draft.

Aug 22nd 2018 at 8:16:36 PM

  • Spongebon Squarepants: In one episode where Spongebob gets the "suds sickness", Patrick tried to treat him by pulling his tooth out with the doorknob. It worked, but it didn't cure Bob.

Aug 24th 2018 at 11:45:45 AM

^ Somehow, that suggestion made me watched that episode again more than just for nostalgia's sake. Patrick asked if the doorknob method worked to cure his suds, and Spongebob replied that it didn't.

Hats?

Aug 24th 2018 at 11:51:38 AM

  • In one of the Henry Huggins books, Henry pulls two loose teeth (that happen to be his canines) out by tying them to his dog Ribsy's toy and having Ribsy pull them out.

Sep 14th 2018 at 6:09:46 AM

Bump. I still have two examples that needs context. Anyone wanna expand on those?

Sep 14th 2018 at 6:43:18 AM

  • Srcubs: Played for laughs. The Janitor leads most of the hospital's support staff in confronting Kelso about wanting dental insurance. When Kelso initially refuses, everyone simultaneously pulls out a tooth with their bare hands. Kelso is unimpressed. It's then revealed that the Janitor and the rest were faking with Chiclets, except one guy who actually did rip a tooth out of his mouth. The Janitor claims he can fix it.

Sep 14th 2018 at 11:41:16 AM

  • Twelve Monkeys: Cole believes the Mission Control in the future tracks time-travelers like him through tooth implants, so he removes his own teeth with a stolen knife. The crook who has to witness the grisly sight calls him "a fuckin' crazy dentist!" Cole later learns from another time traveler that pulling out his teeth was pointless, because the future scientists have other ways to track him, as well.

Sep 19th 2018 at 10:22:43 PM

Film - Live Action

  • Stu from The Hangover is missing a tooth when they wake up from the night they can't remember. At the end, it's revealed that he pulled it out himself because the others said he couldn't do it.

Sep 19th 2018 at 10:36:52 PM

^ For extra irony points, Stu is a dentist, for all the difference it makes when yanking out a tooth with pliers at a strip club while black-out drunk.

Sep 23rd 2018 at 4:23:35 AM

In the British Army - and no doubt in other militaries around the world - the best combat medical orderlies are taught how to do basic dentistry, on the principle that if you have, for instance, a special forces unit working undercover for a long time, cut off from support services in the rear echelon, you do not need a man with a bad toothache or an abscessed tooth in a place where he needs to be on top form. This usually comes with an "at your own risk" caveat and an understanding that you get it properly dealt with when we get back to base again. Combat medical orderlies apparently need special accreditation to be able to do this, as normally this is a criminal offence under British law (practicing dentistry without General Dental Council certification).

Similarly, there is a growing concern that the cost of dental treatment in Britain (one of the few areas not adequately covered in a socialised healthcare system) and the difficulty of finding a dentist prepared to do NHS work, has led to a rise in the number of clandestine, backstreet, self-taught amateurs. One amateur dentist caught working from a council estate was jailed for practicing without training or a licence - but a dentist who acted as a professional witness at his trial admitted in court that his work was done to an incredibly high standard and it was a pity he'd never been able to get professional training, as the offender was naturally gifted in dental work...

Oct 12th 2018 at 3:35:25 AM

There are "string" examples on The Tooth Hurts that better fit here. One or two of the 18 "pliers" examples also.

Oct 17th 2018 at 8:30:38 AM

^ Some of the pliers examples are from the "faking your death" kind, so I copied stuff that are toothache-related.

Oct 18th 2018 at 8:52:12 PM

With the TLP Guidelines revised (must need a net of 5 hats to launch; bombs cancel out the hats), I'm gonna need two more hats before I launch this.

@Ag Prov care to condense your example?

Oct 18th 2018 at 9:35:37 PM

Did the Critical Role example get skipped over?

Oct 23rd 2018 at 3:27:14 AM

^ I must have overlooked it. It's done.

Oct 28th 2018 at 11:54:24 AM

One last hat before launching?

Oct 29th 2018 at 8:55:46 AM

Thanks for the hats, guys. If there're no more examples or anything else, I shall launch this at early November. Any examples added after this comment shall be added after launching.

Oct 29th 2018 at 8:59:57 PM

Hatted. Anybody have any suggestions on what to index this on?

Nov 6th 2018 at 8:01:31 AM

^ That too. Any other indexes shall be added after launching. For now, since it's appropriate that dentists get a field day after eating all that Halloween candy, I'm going to launch this.

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