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Electric Joybuzzer

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Even Liu Kang falls for it.

Antoine Rotelli: What if we say no?
The Joker: Well, Tony, nobody wants a war. If we can't do business, why, we'll just shake hands and that'll be it.

A joy buzzer is a prank device worn on the prankster's palm, consisting of a tightly-wound spring inside of a small metal disc. When the prankster shakes hands with their victim, a button releases the spring, causing the device to vibrate intensely — a sensation that feels similar to an electric shock if you're not expecting it. In fiction, the "similar to" part is often ignored, and instead, joy buzzers use actual electricity — sometimes enough to cause serious injury or death, though many light-hearted versions simply inflict Harmless Electrocution. Don't ask how a battery big enough to contain such a powerful charge can fit inside of a device small enough to go unnoticed if you're not paying attention.

From clowns to big kids to kids with big brains, you can count on them pulling out one of these eventually. Usually made by Acme Products or a competitor.


Similar devices do exist in Real Life, however, they only deliver a small, harmless jolt, a far cry from the X-Ray Sparks that they often cause in fiction.


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    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

  • In Sourcery a former Seriph of Klatch with an odd sense of humour has created a Death Course based on lame practical jokes. One of the traps is an unrealistic hand that pops out of the wall and waggles invitingly. Following the obvious wires from the back of it reveals a ceramic jar filled with acid to make a crude battery.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Supernatural a confused kid with Reality Warping powers turned a normal joybuzzer into this. It not only electrocuted a man, it was later used to cook a ham. "That'll do, pig," indeed.
  • On The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon rigs one up to use on Howard, powerful enough to nearly knock himself out when he tested it. When he uses it on Howard, however, he appears to collapse from a heart attack and is forced to administer a syringe of adrenaline straight to the heart, Pulp Fiction style. Of course, Howard was faking it and it was all an elaborate counter-prank. Sheldon facepalms himself... and knocks himself out with his own buzzer.

    Video Games 
  • No More Heroes: Destroyman uses this during the pre-battle on Travis by honoring their battle with a hand-shake and activating his Destory-Spark. He seriously thought he was going to die laughing from how Travis fell for it so easily.
    • In No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, he tries the same trick on Shinobu, but she already could tell its a trick and cuts his hand off before he could activate his spark ability.

    Web Animation 
  • Death Battle: In "The Joker vs. Sweet Tooth", The Joker uses his lethal joybuzzer to shock Needles Kane in the fight but it's only a minor inconvenience since Needles has survived the electric chair before.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Bloo comes across an old resident called Wally to praise his work as a prankster. Wally claims to have hung up his pranks and thanks Bloo by shaking his hand, giving Bloo an electric shock.
    Bloo: Hilarious... (faints)
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "The Last Laugh", One of the gag item produced by Cheese Sandwich's factory is an electric joybuzzer. Pinkie uses it on Sans Smirk among her attempts to make Cheese Sandwich laugh, to no avail.
  • The Mickey Mouse short "Mickey's Rival" has a variation. After Mortimer plucks the buttons off Mickey's shorts, Mickey tries to do the same. He gets shocked, as Mortimer's buttons are connected to batteries hidden in his pockets.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Pranks A Lot", Patrick is a victim of this when he and Spongebob enter a prank store, and the buzzer looked like it really shocked Patrick.
  • The Flintstone Kids had a prehistoric version of this. One episode has Barney's bratty younger brother Dusty "shock" Freddy with a primitive joybuzzer (a bee tied to his hand).
  • In the Darkwing Duck episode "The Haunting of Mr. Banana Brain" Darkwing gets sneaked up on from behind and buzzed on the keister with an electric joy buzzer twice. First by Goselyn, later by a possessed Mr. Banana Brain.
  • Becomes a Chekhov's Gun in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker when the Joker's buzzer is thrown loose in his struggle with Batman, only for Batman to get his hands on it and use it to destroy the Joker's mind chip as he was being strangled. Earlier it also dropped into the circuits of the Joker's Kill Sat control circuits, fusing them out.
  • In Static Shock, the Joker tries to use his buzzer on Batman, but Static takes his hand instead, absorbing the electricity.
    Static: That was fun. Let me try!
  • Dennis the Menace:
    • In "Dennis and the Kangaroo Cavalry", Tony Robinson uses one on Mr. Wilson when he shakes hands with him. Mr. Wilson is not amused, but Tony certainly is.
    • In "Marky the Menace", Dennis' cousin Marky uses one on Dennis when they first meet.
    • In "A Step Ahead", the second sister episode to "Marky the Menace", Dennis uses one on Marty, his babysitter, when he first meets him. Alice scolds him for it, but Marty is impressed, saying he hasn't seen one since he was Dennis' age. After Henry and Alice leave, Marty uses it on Dennis to even the score.
  • In the The Fairly OddParents episode, "Presto Change-O", Timmy wishes for a joy buzzer that will allow him to switch bodies with whoever touches it. He first uses this on AJ to get him to take his test for him while in his body, and later uses it on Francis so that he can beat Francis up while in his body. When Mr. Crocker tries to confiscate it, he and Timmy end up switching bodies, and Timmy has to get them back into their normal bodies before Crocker discovers Cosmo and Wanda.

    Real Life 
  • Here's one from the 1930 DeMoulin Bros. & Co. Fraternal Supply Catalog— one of many shock-inducing items available for those initiation ceremonies.
  • There is also a working pen, which causes an electric shock when you push the button on top of the pen. The harder the push, the more shock. (Something similar is featured during the end credits once on World's Dumbest.... The commentators are not amused.)
  • A similar gag item is a toy pistol that contains a laser pointer, but pulling the trigger shocks you, because the laser is actually turned on by pressing the pistol's hammer. That way, when somebody sees you playing with it and asks to borrow it, they will shock themselves when you give it to them.


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