A character obtains a wrapped present and shakes it in order to identify the contents. Sometimes said shaking breaks the gift inside, which was fragile.
Compare to Present Peeking which also involves unwrapping the presents.
- Gremlins: Billy starts to do this but is quickly stopped by his father since the box contains Gizmo.
- The kid in The Polar Express at the end.
- National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: Clark Griswold shakes one of Aunt Bethany's gifts after Rusty brings it to his parents and announces that the box is meowing:
- At the end of Balls of Fury, Randy gives his master a gift. He vigorously shakes it before Randy has a chance to tell him that it was a new lucky cricket, which is now dead.
- In the Very Special Christmas Episode of Happy Days, Ritchie's Brother Chuck (who is going to college on a basketball scholarship) gets a round object covered in paper.
Joanie: Here's a present from Richie to you. What do you think it is? bounces it to ChuckChuck: Hey, watch it. shakes It might be something breakable.
- In the Season 2 Christmas Episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Sabrina is suffering from a condition called "egotitis", due to the fact that she still has a somewhat childish and selfish view of Christmas. Because she suffers this, she's forbidden to receive presents on Christmas. When her presents disappear as she was about to open one, she gives the following lament:
"Awww, I shook that one last night. It was good."
- Sabrina's roommate, Morgan, has the ability to determine the contents of any gift by shaking it.
- A quick gag on Roseanne was that the Conner kids would test their presents this way "for the good stuff", so Dan and Roseanne started wrapping the toys in cloths.
- The boys in Home Improvement shook their presents but heard nothing and concluded that they were clothes.
- The Red Green Show did a Christmas episode in which Harold attempts to demonstrate proper package-shaking technique and of course sends the (breakable) present flying.
- In the first episode of Scarecrowand Mrs King, Amanda’s son Philip does this and saves the day. The present he shook and “broke” contained a secret message. Philip is able to tell his Mom the message – which makes no sense to the spies. But Amanda figures out it is recipes on a cooking show being used to send information to Soviet spies.
- In the Black Jewels extended story "Winsol Gifts" Saetan is anticipates this and actually has prepared some obvious, attractive presents that rattle nicely, filled with junk, to save the more delicate gifts.
- A gag in MAD has this, where a dad shakes the gift from his son, opens it... and discovers that it's a ship in a bottle, which has been pulverized by the shaking.
- One strip has Garfield shaking a Christmas present that goes "rattle, rattle" and saying, "I hope it's for me." Then it goes "rattle, rattle, CRACK!" and Garfield says, "I hope it's for Odie."
- He once tried weighing, measuring and shaking a present to determine what was inside, then said "So much for the scientific method", grabbed Jon's face and demanded to know what it was.
- FoxTrot: Jason is seen shaking a present and saying, "Ooh! I wonder what this is?" A shattering noise is heard as he tells his friend Marcus, "That's why I never shake my own presents."
- The Gift of Christmas, a looping radio show that many radio stations play during the holidays (mostly Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), has a sketch where "Captain Christmas" comes to the aid of a lady who has two identically wrapped gifts for a girl and a boy. The boy traditionally opens presents on Christmas Eve, while the girl is Norwegian and opens hers on Christmas Day. The labels fell off both, and Captain Christmas has to find out which gift belongs to whom. He shakes one of the gifts increasingly furiously, with audible glass breaking coming from the box, and comes to the conclusion that the one he shook wasn't the wine glasses that the Norweigan girl asked for.
- Garfield and Friends: On the advice of Garfield's evil side, he jumps into the mail cart, and, after finding the package Jon was waiting for, shakes it. This doesn't break it directly, but he accidentally drops it on the brake, releasing it, while it bounces off onto the sidewalk. Turns it was a present for him... a personalized mug, which promptly shatters in his hands as soon as he tempts fate.