A character who is stranded on a Deserted Island will often fall victim to getting hit on the head with a coconut, if the island has one or two coconut trees. This can take place in any location you're likely to find coconut trees in, such as the jungle.
In Hawaii and other tropical areas there are 'Do not stand under the coconuts!' signs for this very reason. In real life, having a 10-pound nut fall 20 feet onto your head is quite likely to kill you.
Of course, coconuts are not the only fruits that can hit you on the head, apples are also most likely to bean you on the head in an homage to Sir Isaac Newton's discovery of gravity. In Southeast Asia, it is possible sometimes for durians to be substituted for the coconuts - given their spiky shape, their potential for causing pain when falling off trees is quite comparable.
Bowling balls can also have a tendency to hit people on the head, even if they are not actually fruit.
Should be a note that this supposes a Hard Head.
- An early chapter of Ganso! Urayasu Tekkin Kazoku had the kids stranded in a small island. They throw coconuts on Akane's head to be hydrated and was a shoutout to her having a Hard Head in a previous chapter of the predecessor series.
- A Running Gag in Kyou Kara Ore wa!! is that of Mitsuhashi dropping coconuts on the heads of teachers that piss him off. In one case the target, the science teacher, had hired a large former Yakuza as assistant before going mad with the power of such protection, and the Yakuza could break them in flight... So he next threw one filled with pepper.
- In episode 9 of Sonic X (Amy On The Beach if your watching the original Japanese version or The Last Resort if your watching 4Kids English version) while Amy Rose is daydreaming about dating Sonic a Coconut falls and hits her on the head stopping her train of thought. She gets annoyed by the coconut so she picks it up and throws it while kicking off the antagonist's plot of the story by accident without knowing.
- In The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible takes out a guard with a perfect head shot from over a hundred yards away.
- One hilarious example of the Bowling Ball variety happens in The Adventures of Milo and Otis when a Bear is trying to catch and eat Milo in an abandoned shack by the beach.
- Help! - in the Bahamas, one of Clang's mooks waits up in a tree and hurls a coconut at Ringo (actually Paul in a Ringo mask), knocking him out.
- In the 1966 Disney film Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N., the title character (played by Dick Van Dyke) gets hit by a bunch of coconuts during a rainstorm.
- The hero of The Navigator gets incapacitates for a few moments when a monkey drops a coconut from a palm tree onto his head.
- In the Abbott and Costello film, Pardon My Sarong Lou Costello gets hit repeatedly by cocoanuts while sitting under the "Tree of Truth" (a cocoanut tree lie detector)
- Jack Sparrow throws a coconut at the head of one of Davy Jones' crew in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
- In Are You Being Served?, Mr Rumbold removes his hat in "By Appointment" to reveal bandages for injuries from a coconut falling on his head in Coconut Island.
- Happened a bunch of times on Gilligan's Island.
- In The Mighty Boosh, Howard and Vince are trapped on a desert island and have no food. As Howard chases Vince in an attempt to eat him, Vince backs into a coconut tree, knocking a coconut down onto Howard's head. He knocks several more down in his delight, all of which hit Howard.
- Lee Mack on Would I Lie to You? claims that he was nearly killed when a coconut fell on his shoulder. It's a lie.
- In Zoey 101, when the main cast gets stranded on a deserted beach away from the end of semester beach party courtesy of Logan, Zoey considers hitting Logan on the head with a coconut as punishment for getting them into the situation.
- The song "Killed by a Coconut" by Bob Gibson and Shel Silverstein is about, well, a series of guys suffering fatal coconut-related injuries, but only in the first example does the coconut fall out of a tree. ("Just when things were lookin' up, he happened to be lookin' down!")
- For whatever reason, the children's show Candle Cove had this as a small Running Gag. They once actually defeated a recurring villain with this method. Like many things in the show, it went unexplained.
- In the Sesame Street episode, "Birdie and the Beast", whenever the Beast loses his temper, he backs into the coconut tree that takes the place of the rose from the source material and causes one of the coconuts from it to fall and hit him on the head.
- Donkey Kong 64: Sing it with me now! His coconut gun can fire in spurts! If he shoots ya, it's gonna hurt!
- In Escape from Monkey Island, Herman Toothrot suffers this and loses his memory for a while. You have to hit him with another coconut (along with other items he mentions) in order to get him to recover his memory.
- Papa Doc in Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island throws coconuts at two zombie workers to manipulate them into fighting each other.
- It's possible to knock out or possibly kill someone with coconuts (individually or in clusters, respectively) in the Bangkok levels of Hitman (2016).
- Jolly Rover even has an achievement for dispatching the guard with a coconut three times.
- Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time has the Coconut Cannon, which fires high-explosive coconuts that indeed do take the unlucky target zombie's head off quite easily due to the sheer damage. As well as the heads of other weaker zombies around it.
- Narrowly averted in Return to Mysterious Island. Walking among the palm trees, you'll hear a thump as a coconut falls to the sand just a few inches behind you.
- Sonic the Hedgehog games:
- In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the Coconuts enemy tosses coconuts at Sonic. If Sonic isn't careful, said coconuts can hit him on the head.
- The same goes for Coconuts' successor, Monkey Dude, in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
- In Sonic Unleashed, in an exclusive cutscene of Sonic and Chip at Adabat, Sonic gets clocked in the head by a bunch of Coconuts due a mishaps by Chip's appetite.
- One of the mini-games in Tweety and the Magic Gems for the Game Boy Advance involves Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester, Yosemite Sam, and Marc Antony in coconut trees, tossing coconuts at crabs.
- Action Man (2000): At one point in a later season when Team Extreme was on a tropical island, Rikki had several coconuts fall on his head.
- In The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius episode "Stranded", after he and Cindy get stranded on a deserted island, Jimmy gets conked on the head by several coconuts while trying to make his own camp.
- In the Animaniacs episode "Broadcast Nuisance", the Warner siblings get revenge on a rude TV anchor and towards the end, use the TV station's editing room to get him Trapped in TV Land. The first TV show he goes into is Gilligan's Island.
Skipper: Hey, Little Buddy, where did this guy come from?
Gilligan: He's a space alien! Hit him with a coconut! [They proceed to do so]
- The qualifies-for-the-Censored Eleven Tex Avery MGM cartoon Half-Pint Pygmy's climax had the titular character set up a trap using one of these to bonk the heads of his pursuing hunters, followed by many gags with the coconut hitting more jungle animals (not usually on the head) until it comes back and hits him in the end.
- In the Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episode "Chipwrecked Shipmunks", Chip gets coconuts to the head. Now add to this the fact that one coconut is both bigger and heavier than a chipmunk, and that Chip is standing on sand.
- During a camping trip, Darkwing Duck gets hit with five in a row. And a sixth for good measure. Diplomacy is definitely not Gosalyn's string suit. (It happens a second time!)
- In the Little Golden Book Land special, after Saggy Baggy Elephant pulls Poky Little Puppy out of a bush, he backs into a coconut tree, causing coconuts to land on them and Scuffy.
- In the Looney Tunes short "Gorilla My Dreams", a gorilla gets hit by a coconut after Bugs Bunny shakes it loose, the shell forming a football helmet on his head.
- This gag also shows up in the Mr. Bogus episode "Totally Bogus Video", during a sequence that parodied Casablanca. Ratty is the poor victim of this trope.
- In the Pac-Man short "The Abominable Pac-Man", this happens to Inky, but with a bowling ball: "I didn't think they bloomed in winter."
- Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons:
- In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode, "Big Daddy", when Coconuts first meets Boom-Boom, the son of the titular ape, he tosses a coconut at his head, much like his video game counterpart does to Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
- At the beginning of the episode of Sonic Boom titled Cowbot, when Knuckles throws Sonic into the tree to make coconuts drop down, one of the coconuts falls on Amy's head.
- Referenced by the page quote in the Spongebob Squarepants episode "Rock-A-Bye Bivalve", on a TV show that Patrick was watching. In the end, Patrick himself falls victim to this.
- Super Mario Bros. cartoons:
- This was Sappy Stanley's schtick in his Show Within a Show cartoons from Tiny Toon Adventures.
- Both Tom and Jerry got hit by coconuts in the short "Surf-Bored Cat".
- In Total Drama, after a coconut hits Courtney in the head she complains to the camera:
Courtney: This is a coconut, we're in Muskoka, people! If your gonna drop props on my head at least let them be geographically correct!
[large pile of snow falls on her]
- Happened to Debbie in an episode of The Wild Thornberrys.
- Zig & Sharko: Happens occasionally to Zig.
Examples of the apple variant
- In Yellow Submarine, the Bonkers are extremely tall Blue Meanie minions who attack people by dropping large apples on the targets' heads.
- Doctor Who: According to the Doctor (initially in "The Pirate Planet", then referenced several times in the Doctor Who – Expanded Universe), he was hiding up the tree dropping apples on Newton's head. Newton was more annoyed than inspired, so the Doctor explained gravity to him over dinner instead.
- Referenced by Sir Isaac Newton himself on Star Trek: The Next Generation when Data plays poker with holograms of Newton, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking.
Newton: The day that apple fell on my head was the most momentous day in the history of science.
Hawking: Not the apple story again!
Data: That story is generally considered to be apocryphal.
Newton: What? How dare you...
- In Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure, if Buster isn't careful, a raven enemy can drop an apple on his head. This is also played straight in the Game Over screen, where Montana Max throws an apple at Buster, hitting him in the back of the head.
- In the Arthur episode "Francine Frensky, Superstar", when Arthur is recounting all of the difficult roles that Francine had when in a play, one of the roles mentioned was when she played Sir Isaac Newton. The results were predictable.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Fall-Weather Friends", after Applejack shows up Rainbow Dash in a test of strength, AJ kicks the tree Dash is standing under, causing some apples to fall out of the tree and land on Dash's head (to the tune of Shave And A Hair Cut, no less).