In real life, false teeth are a sign of age, poor health/dental care, or a combo thereof. As such, they are typically not a laughing matter. However, in fiction, false teeth are usually treated as hilarious and/or gross.
In many cases, old people have no problem letting you know their teeth are false, and spitting or whipping them out to show you, still dripping with saliva. It's also not uncommon for the false teeth to be left behind either, due to biting into tough food (or even non-edible objects) or the person in question just forgetting about them and leaving them behind. And that's not getting into using them as musical instruments - they make good castanets, apparently. No matter what form it takes, the bottom line is this - false teeth are funny.
Phlegmings commonly overlaps with this trope. Compare and contrast Cranium Chase, where a character getting decapitated is played for similar humor.
- Weaponized by Shark Man Arlong in One Piece, with his actual teeth. He can remove his teeth (somehow still in one castanet-shaped piece) and use them as handheld ... bitey-things. He can also do this repeatedly, leading to him Dual Wielding sets of teeth in his hands while biting with his mouth.
- Happy Heroes: In Season 5 episode 9, some mind-controlled elderly ladies spit their dentures at Happy S., and they go after him in an attempt to bite him. One of them does make it onto one of his decorative head wings, but is knocked off by a mind-controlled dog throwing a bone at him.
- This is a common theme in The Broons.
Garfield: She'll have to arm wrestle my sock puppet for them.
- In one strip, Jon had a blind date with an older woman. He called her to let her know he found her teeth.
- In another strip, neighbor Mrs. Feeny called to complain (with difficulty) that Garfield had stolen her dentures.
Garfield: Old vampires are so sad.
- Yet another strip had Garfield attempt to open a bottle with his teeth, only to get his dentures stuck.
- The October 25, 2022 strip has Garfield watch a movie on TV about a vampire who has to put his dentures in before he can feed on his victim.
- Beetle Bailey: The General tries to demonstrate Pin-Pulling Teeth and ends up throwing a grenade with his dentures attached to it.
- The common result of a Spy's demise in Spy vs. Spy. This typically occurs as part of an explosion, with various articles of the loser's clothing being blown away such as the hat, glasses, boots, and gloves, though false teeth are also commonly ejected from the victim. This also sometimes happens when a Spy gets shot in the face, as their teeth will be launched almost off-panel. This was more common during Prohias' initial tenure on the comic, as he preferred to depict the Spies' rivalry as Bloodless Carnage, closer to slapstick than murder.
- Carl Fredrickson from Up has dentures. During his fight with Charles Muntz, he spits them out at him.
- In Monsters, Inc., one of the monsters wears giant fang dentures as part of his preparation to scare children. He switches them for a pair of giant comic clackety false teeth once the factory uses laugh power instead of scream power.
- Meet the Robinsons: The whole "meeting the Robinson family" part happens while Louis and Grandpa look for Grandpa's teeth. Frankie the Frog was wearing them the whole time.
- Hotel Transylvania 2: Vlad pulls out his false fangs, to the disgust of his family, who ask him to put them back in.
- In Allegro non Troppo, in the "Afternoon of a Faun" segment, an elderly faun is trying to seduce a young nymph. She offers him an apple, he takes a bite and hands it back to her ... with his dentures still stuck in it. She runs off in disgust.
- Geri's Game: The penalty for losing? "Black" Geri has to give "White" Geri his dentures.
- Kronk's New Groove: One of the old people's teeth fall into their food.
- It is established in Monster Mash (2000) that Drac has false fangs because he never listened to his dentist's advice to "floss between mutilations". As expected, there are some scenes where Drac loses his dentures for comic effect.
- Queer Duck: The Movie has a gag where the Spaghetti Kiss is subverted when Lola Buzzard and Queer Duck suck on the same strand of spaghetti, resulting in Lola losing her dentures.
- In Ace of Aces, French boxer Jo Cavalier knocks a Gestapo agent's false teeth out of his mouth. Somehow, the false teeth then move on their own, saying "Heil Hitler!" and then some Gratuitous German.
- Played with in Tim Burton's Batman. After the titular character socks the Joker in the mouth, he gets up with his hands cupped over his face, moaning, and then appearing to spit out some clacking clockwork teeth that were presumably hidden in his hands - he never lost his actual teeth (or at least not the lot).
- Mr. Deltoid, Alex's "post-corrective adviser," in A Clockwork Orange drinks several sips of water from a glass, before realising they contain false dentures.
- In Dennis the Menace, Dennis finds the false teeth of his neighbor Mr. Wilson and plays with them, accidentally knocking out the two front teeth and losing them in the sink drain. He tries to fill the gap in the false teeth with white gum, which results in Mr. Wilson being given a huge buck-toothed smile when he poses for a photo being put in a newspaper advertising a garden party he is hosting at his house.
- Ed Wood: Ed scares some trick-or-treating kids who mock Bela Lugosi's attempts to frighten them by yanking out his partial.
Ed Wood: Lost my pearlies in the war!
- Parodied to heck and beyond in Hot Shots! Part Deux. After losing his lunch to the sight of dinner, President Benson recovers his dentures from the bile and accidentally deposits it into the the Japanese Prime Minister's wine glass. He then (unsuccessfully) attempts to retrieve it, which results in the Prime Minister freaking out when he sees said dentures in his glass. It doesn't end there; President Benson picks up his dentures and puts them back, on the wrong side giving him a sharp-jawed appearance. The Prime Minister then is so startled by this development, he leaps into the arms of his wife from sheer terror.
- James Bond villain "Jaws" subverts the trope by using false teeth in a non-humorous manner. Sharp metal ones.
- Former cowboy turned cowboy actor Hobie Doyle in Hail, Caesar! whips out his dental prosthesis on a date, explaining this as the result of a hoof to the face. The girl he's with (equally wholesome starlet Carlotta Valdes) is at first startled, then delighted.
- The Bullet Farmer in Mad Max: Fury Road has replaced all of his upper teeth with ammunition. At one point, he even rips one out to load one of his guns.
- The Raffle: Francesca, who is casting around for a sugar daddy, accepts a date with an older man. Things are going ok, he gives her a necklace—but when she turns and sees that he's put his teeth in a glass by the bed, she drops the necklace in the glass and gets the hell out of there.
- In Red River, Groot bets his false teeth, which he only uses for eating, in a poker game and loses. He's forced to go to the winner whenever he wants to eat.
- In the Brazilian film Super Xuxa Contra Baixo Astral, the smirking host for TV Fim Faustino is recorded fixing his fake dentures after failing to cut to the local news report with Florinda Floripede.
- In the Yes-Man, the main character agrees to a sexual encounter with an old woman. Her taking the false teeth out of her mouth is the on-screen indication that, off-screen, she is about to give the main character a blowjob.
- In Youngblood (1986), one member of the hockey team has to wear dentures because so many of his teeth have been knocked out during games. As a prank, he puts his dentures in a girl's drink at a bar. When she sees them, she screams, and he pretends to be surprised. Later, they get knocked out during a game, and members of the Opposing Sports Team kick them away with their skates.
- There's an old joke about a bar bet where a customer bets he can't bite his own eye... then of course takes out his false teeth. Usually followed up by the man making the same bet without taking his teeth out... and popping out his glass eye.
- Adrian Mole: In Secret Diary, Adrian is urgently summoned to Bert Baxter's house, because Bert has lost his false teeth, which have sentimental value for him, because they used to belong to his father. It turns out Sabre the dog was chewing them: Bert merely rinses them, and puts them back in his mouth.
- In Worldwar, Sam Yeager is always making jokes involving his dental plates. He does it when he's in his seventies, but because he had Spanish Influenza as a kid and lost his teeth very young, he's been doing it his whole life.
- One Encyclopedia Brown story involved Bugs Meany stealing someone's collection of false teeth and using them as castanets, like the Tom and Jerry example below.
- In Augusten Burroughs' memoir Running with Scissors, young Augusten compliments his mother's boyfriend's teeth—who then removes them and offers them to him.
- In Making Money, Cribbins has a set of false teeth that he stole from a dead man's mouth; they're always causing trouble for him. Becomes quite serious at the end, though, when, as Cribbins is trying to rob Moist, the teeth fall to bits and cause him to be taken to hospital to get the springs removed from some very uncomfortable places.
- In Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, Nanny's etiquette guide says that it is acceptable to remove your false teeth behind a napkin before eating corn on the cob, but "do not do the gottle-o-geer routine, because no-one ever laughs".
- In To Kill a Mockingbird, the children regard Cool Old Lady Miss Maudie's false teeth as an impressive distinction.
- In Around the World with Auntie Mame, the oversized, ancient and yellowed dentures worn by Lady Hermione Gravell-Pitt are a Running Gag and end up being the punchline to the whole England chapter.
- David Sedaris's story "That's Amore" is about a horrible old neighbor of his who at one point calls him to come over and fish her teeth out of the bushes in front of their building, where they fell when she was yelling out the window at someone for throwing a lit cigarette away.
Back upstairs, I found Helen waiting. She slid the dentures, unwashed, back into her mouth, and it was like popping the batteries into a particularly foul toy. "Rat bastard motherfucker could have set our whole building on fire!"
- When the Great Glass Elevator crash-lands into the Bucket house at the end of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it's noted that "Grandma Josephine dropped her false teeth" in shock.
- In Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code, the Big Bad's bodyguard loses his teeth when hit by a Sonic Stunner. When he reappears later in the novel, it's mentioned that he's gotten several custom sets of dentures, including a set that is transparent and filled with oil and blue water.
- The Sherlock Holmes short story "A Case of Identity" mentions the Dundas separation case, where a wife was trying to separate from her husband due to his habit of winding up every meal by taking out his false teeth and hurling them at her.
- Played for Drama in The Westing Game, where false teeth wind up playing a key role in Sam Westing's disguises as bucktoothed Barney Northrup, chip-toothed Sandy McSouthers, and uneven-teethed Julian R. Eastman.
- The Crystal Maze: When a contestant falls headlong into the Aztec river, Richard improvises "Did you see my false teeth I dropped down there last week?".
- Sophia from The Golden Girls only occasionally mentions her false teeth. An instance when she does:
Sophia: Dorothy, have you seen my teeth?
Dorothy: They're in your mouth, Ma.
Sophia: I know that. Don't they look good today? I ran them through the dishwasher.
- Pair of Kings: Boomer's false teeth fall out onto the floor while he and Brady are on the walking wheel.
- In the movie of Porridge, McKay's false teeth fall into a vat of curry. Fletcher seizes them and frightens Godber with them. McKay sends Mr Barrowclough to bargain with Fletcher to get them back.
- Alluded to in Red Dwarf. One Space Corps Directive states, "No officer with false teeth should attempt to perform oral sex in zero gravity."
- Kickin' It: one of the dojo's students recounts dancing. He kicks off a shoe which lands in a senior citizen's mouth. When he retrieves the shoe, the senior's teeth come out with it.
- In the Musical Episode of Even Stevens, one of the steps in the gym-class obstacle course involves a bunch of chattering false teeth.
- On Family Feud, any time there's a question involving the elderly, invariably one of the answers will be "teeth".
- In one episode of Seinfeld, Jerry volunteers at a charity that provides someone for lonely seniors to talk to. Hilarity Ensues, and Kramer ends up being bitten by the old man Jerry is assigned to. The old man's teeth get flung across the room, then ground up in the garbage disposal when George tries to turn on a light to look for them.
- Classic limerick:
An elderly fellow called Keith
Mislaid his set of false teeth.
They'd been laid on a chair,
He'd forgot they were there,
Sat down, and was bitten beneath!
- Day of the Tentacle features George Washington as a character, so naturally fun is made of his false teeth. Another puzzle involves the dentures of a talking horse.
- The End's poignant death soliloquy in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater comes to an abrupt stop when the explosive in his body arms itself and he spits his false teeth into the air, where they hover in slow motion for a moment just before he goes kablooey.
- Oume and Otane Goketsuji from Power Instinct have a move where they spit their dentures at the enemy. Yeah, it's that kind of game...
- The Grammazons in Tak: The Great Juju Challenge are a pair of beautiful women, but Lok learns that they are actually elderly women in spite of their appearances when he flirts with them and finds out that they wear dentures. The Dark Juju Travis later takes the Grammazon Thunder Fist's false teeth and plants them to frame the Grammazons for cheating.
- An espionage variant appears in a Team Fortress 2 supplemental comic, Unhappy Returns. Spy and Scout are in prison, and Spy warns Scout that the food they are being given has been laced with anti-psychotics and muscle relaxers, and he'd rather have a clear head in preparation for his upcoming trial. He sits at the table, pulling several false teeth from his mouth, which are revealed to include several tiny objects, such as a Cornish hen dinner, a candelabra, and a balisong (butterfly knife).
- In Yakuza: Dead Souls Majima believes he is turning into a zombie after getting bitten by a zombified old man. Turns out that he was fine since the zombie had fake teeth and his eyes turning red was just because it's pollen season and he's been having an allergic reaction the whole time.
- On Epic Rap Battles of History, George Washington has a very ugly and visually distracting set of false teeth, which he references once. The appearance helps to reinforce his very undignified rapping style.
- Amphibia: IN "The Three Armies", as the Wartwood resistance hosts a conference for the Newt, Toad and Frog armies, Polly runs a weapon-check stand. One toad drops off a pair of razor-sharp dentures. Polly immediately stuffs them in her own mouth and runs off to cause mischief.
- The Beetlejuice episode "Sore Feet" has Beetlejuice kick a vampire in the rear, which causes him to spit out his false teeth. Beetlejuice then dances around the chattering teeth.
- Betty Boop:
- The cartoon "Ha! Ha! Ha!" includes anthropomorphic false teeth when she and Koko dabble in dentistry.
- In "Boop-Oop-a-Doop", a trapeze artist swinging by his teeth ends up falling to the ground after his teeth fall out and stay clenched onto the trapeze bar.
- Bobby's World: In "Bobby's Tooth or Dare", Bobby finds out about how the tooth fairy takes teeth and leaves money from Jackie, so he tries to hit the jackpot by stealing his Aunt Ruth's dentures and leaving them under his pillow.
- The Bump in the Night episode "Nothing But the Tooth" has Mr. Bumpy suffer a toothache, with his friend Squishington's efforts to relieve his pain resulting in Bumpy's dentures coming out and going on a spree devouring everything in its path.
- Classic Disney Shorts: Several instances in early black-and-white shorts...
- Steamboat Willie has the false teeth behaving anthropomorphically.
- In The Opry House, a pig in the orchestra takes out his teeth and clicks it to the beat of "Habanera".
- In Mickey's Choo-Choo, Mickey takes out a dog's teeth to use as a can opener.
- Horace is shown having false teeth in The Fire Fighters.
- One episode of Cow and Chicken has Chicken being completely crazed after eating Coffee Flakes cereal. At one point an old lady asks him if he has the time, to which he retorts "No! Do you have teeth?!" and takes off. The old lady takes her dentures (in a glass of water and everything!) and says "Yes!"
- Danger Mouse and Penfold escape from the inside of an alien monster's mouth (episode "Custard") when the alien takes out its false teeth and puts them in a glass of water.
Penfold: Crumbs, DM. How'd you know they were false?
DM: They still had the price tag.
- The Danny Phantom episode "Shades of Gray" has Danny and Valerie Gray whizz by an old man sitting on a bench at such a speed that the man's false teeth fly out.
- In the Dennis the Menace episode, "Nothing But the Tooth", Joey is afraid of going to the dentist to get a loose tooth pulled, so Dennis has PeeBee invent a tooth-extracting robot. When they test it out on a sleeping Mr. Wilson, the robot takes his dentures. Mr. Wilson doesn't realize this until he tries to eat an apple, and when he sees the robot with his dentures, he chases after it, only for the robot to hoist him by the seat of his pants with his own dentures.
- Dexter's Laboratory: "The Laughing" - A clown takes a hard fall, knocking his false teeth loose. They go flying across the yard and bite Dexter, turning him into a were-clown.
- Doug: The episode "Doug's Dental Disaster" shows that the title character's next-door neighbor Mr. Dink wears a set of chompers in his mouth to replace his real teeth that fell out due to far too many cavities. By the end of the episode, Porkchop steals them to use for a flamenco dancing routine.
- Erky Perky:
Moldy Van Oldy: ...so I said "If you're going to do that with my teeth, we should get married!"
- The Fairly Oddparents:
- "The Same Game": Depraved Dentist Dr. Bender is revealed at the end of his debut episode to have false teeth, making him a tremendous Hypocrite for bullying children he deems as having imperfect teeth.
Mrs. Turner: You know Timmy, perfect teeth might be nice, but if they're in a mouth that's mean, then they might as well not be in the mouth at all. (after she jams Timmy's ball into Dr. Bender's mouth, she pulls it out along with his dentures)
- The episode "Twistory" has a gag where George Washington's false teeth are used to prevent John Hancock from signing Benedict Arnold's Declaration of Surrenderpendence.
- "That Old Black Magic", the debut episode of the Anti-Fairies, has the Anti-Fairies using their magic to spread bad luck at an amusement park on Friday the 13th. One of their victims is an attractive man waiting at a hot dog stand who turns out to have false teeth when a wrecking ball is swung upon him and the hot dog vendor. The man rises from the wreckage to ask if anyone's seen his teeth, the vendor reveals that he found the man's false teeth and the wrecking ball is then used to destroy the dentures.
- "Lights...Camera...Adam!" has a gag where a handsome Hollywood actor is revealed after getting splashed with water to be wrinkled, elderly, bald and a wearer of false teeth.
- In "The Good Old Days", Timmy's grandfather Pappy has his dentures fall out when he tries to bite a pizza slice and burns his tongue with the spiciness.
- "Crocker Shocker" has two old women lose their dentures when they do Jaw Drops at the sight of a suave Mr. Crocker who had just been cured of his obsession with fairies.
- Timmy's Dad is revealed to wear dentures in "Fish Out of Water" when he tries to use a fish magnet to capture Juan and the magnet ends up attracting his belt, his pocket change and his false teeth.
- "The Same Game": Depraved Dentist Dr. Bender is revealed at the end of his debut episode to have false teeth, making him a tremendous Hypocrite for bullying children he deems as having imperfect teeth.
- Fanboy and Chum Chum: "The Tell-Tale Toy" has Fanboy depicted as wearing dentures for a brief gag.
Fry: My old apartment. My old turtle. My old burrito. My old girlfriend.
- In the episode "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles", Prof. Farnsworth has nuclear-powered dentures, which prechew his food before putting it in his mouth. They go berserk in a diner after accidentally biting Fry and getting a taste for human flesh.
- "The Six Million Dollar Mon", which involves Hermes gradually replacing his body parts with bionic prosthetics, has a scene where he uses his new arm to help Professor Farnsworth retrieve his false teeth after they fell down the drain. Farnsworth thanks Hermes after having his dentures put in his mouth sideways.
- A throwaway line in "Game of Tones" implies Fry's ex-girlfriend Michelle uses dentures.
Michelle: Old? Don't call me old. A lot of young people have false teeth.
- One of the segments in the Gravity Falls episode "Bottomless Pit!" had Mabel swap Grunkle Stan's false teeth with a set of magic gold teeth that forced him to always tell the truth.
- Histeria! had a sketch where George Washington advertises "Pachy-Dents," a set of choppers made of elephant ivory. However, it also utilizes the "wooden teeth" myth.
- Inspector Gadget's teeth are shown to be these in "Prince of the Gypsies." They can pop out of his mouth and fly around by remote control.
- In Jackie Chan Adventures during a Terrible Interviewees Montage with Finn looking for some henchmen, one tries to imitate Jaws from the James Bond films by biting into some solid wood, only to end up losing his dentures.
- Johnny Bravo:
- "Substitute Teacher" has a gag where Johnny is tricked into serving as a getaway driver for Jimmy the Hands and controls the steering wheel with his teeth, afterwards Jimmy the Hands dope slaps him, causing Johnny's false teeth to come out still biting into the steering wheel before Jimmy puts them back into Johnny's mouth.
- The episode "Gray Matters" begins with Johnny having a nightmare where he loses his false teeth and rapidly ages, the rest of the episode having him worry about becoming elderly after noticing a gray hair. One of the senior citizens he befriends later hands him a pair of false teeth, and he shoves them into his mouth, inside of his real, perfect teeth.
- Kick Buttowski: Kick's grandfather explains that his false teeth are why he tends to eat "mush".
- Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness: "Has Been Hero" Kwan the Unkillable accidentally spits out his false teeth — repeatedly — in his meeting with Po.
- Looney Tunes: Daffy Duck sings the following in Daffy Doodles:
She was an acrobat's daughter
She swung by her teeth from a noose
But one matinée, her bridgework gave 'way
And she flew through the air like a goose!
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- "Family Appreciation Day" has Granny Smith doing a Tasty Gold sort of test on cooking pot, and then walking away, displeased with what she finds. Her teeth are left on the edge of the pot, and Apple Bloom has to retrieve them for her.
- In "Apple Family Reunion", Granny Smith tells the story of an old relative of the Apple family, who got the name Apple Sauce when she dropped her false teeth into a vat of apple jam. Throughout the episode, much amusement is had involving Aunt Apple Sauce's dentures.
Apple Sauce: Yeah... never did find them teeth in all those jars.
- Oh Yeah! Cartoons: The short "Youngstar 3" has Old Man's dentures fall out and get stuck on the eye of the giant fish monster he, Shero and Youngstar are fighting.
- In Rolie Polie Olie there is a running gag where Pappy's false teeth jump out of his mouth and begin eating everything in sight.
- Rolling with the Ronks!: "Stormy Weather" has Flash depicted as wearing false teeth for a gag where he discovers that Mila's hair has hardened from exposure to rainwater and he loses his dentures trying to bite into the hair.
- Rugrats: Grandpa loses his false teeth at a picnic in an episode, where he needs them to play correctly in a brass band, causing Tommy and Chuckie to go on an adventure to get them back for him.
- The Simpsons: Grandpa has false teeth and occasionally takes them out; plus one time he was babysitting and Bart pulled them out of Grandpa's mouth and put them in his own mouth, and took a ride on the ceiling fan with them. When Homer & Marge came home, Bart accidentally broke them, then taped them up real quick and shoved them back into Grandpa's mouth.
- In the episode which crosses over with The X-Files a turtle has somehow captured Grandpa's teeth and is making off with them. Grandpa can't catch the turtle.
- One episode has him getting a job at a Krusty Burger and jokingly places his dentures in a hamburger bun. "Ever seen a sandwich that could take a bite out of you?" The indifferent teenage coworker putting burgers in a take-out bag grabs the denture sandwich and gives it to a customer, who complains "Damn sandwich took a bite out of me!"
- The first Spongebob Squarepants Christmas special had an elderly fish holding his false teeth in his hand among the Bikini Bottom denizens who states what they'd like Santa Claus to give them on his first visit to Bikini Bottom. The old fish's dentures speak for the old man, stating that he'd like a glass of water for his teeth.
- Tom and Jerry:
- "Love That Pup" has an instance of false teeth being used as castanets.
- "Solid Serenade" has Spike the bulldog take out his regular canine teeth, and install instead another set with larger, sharper teeth meant to take a bite out of Tom Cat.
- Time Squad In one episode, Buck Tuddrussel and his ex-wife Sheila Sternwell were jovially talking about their past missions when Sheila asks him if he remembered the time that Mother Teresa knocked his tooth out. He pulls out his false tooth to show that he certainly couldn't forget about it.
- The T.U.F.F. Puppy episode "Internal Affairs" has both the Chief of T.U.F.F. and General Warthog lose their false teeth while snoring.
- In the Wander over Yonder episode "The Loose Screw", Old Superhero Stella Starbella uses her false teeth as a weapon against Mandrake the Malfeasant's Mecha-Mooks.