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"Kick Me" Prank

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Right in Der Führer's butt!note 
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The "Kick Me" prank is iconic; it's the go-to prank for unoriginal bullies. It's useful enough that a bully can use it to show he's a bully; he wants a victim kicked, so slaps them on the back (or if he wants to be subtle, compliments them on something while giving a "congratulating" pat on the back) and leaves them with the sign. Everyone gets to be in on the joke and the poor victim can't figure out why everyone's being so mean to him. This usually also demonstrates the Butt-Monkey status of the victim.

It can also be used to show that the erstwhile victim is clever; he knows that the bully is a bully and thus pulls the paper off his back, then gives a disgruntled remark about it.

It can be used to show that a bystander is heroic when he pulls the sign off another's back, or that he's a Knight in Sour Armor by cracking wise as he does so.

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The prank comes in infinite variety. The prank requested need not be a kick; it could be a slap, a poke, or a tickle. It could be a message like, "Laugh, but don't tell me about it" or more common nowadays is an insulting/humiliating message. Sometimes it's not even a bad thing; it could be a request for a hug.


Check your back.

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War: Miko was often subjected to signs mocking her inability to win the student council elections. On at least one occasion, Ishigami quietly removed it without her noticing.

    Comic Books 
  • Done mutually ("kick my butt" and "I eat dog waste" respectively) by Lobo and The Mask in their Intercontinuity Crossover.
  • Fantastic Four
    • When Spider-Man left the alien symbiote behind and didn't have a spare costume, he gets an older FF suit to wear, and Johnny Storm provides a paper bag (since the FF didn't wear masks) to conceal Spidey's identity, leading him to briefly become the "Amazing Bag-Man". Johnny, ever the prankster, also gave Spidey a "Kick Me" sign on the back, that (combined with the bag mask) led onlookers to suspect it was some sort of initiation prank.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: One story features a "Kik me I'm Dum!" note placed by a hamster on Numbuh 4's back.
  • In the Family Reunion arc of The Muppet Show Comic Book, Scooter's twin sister Skeeter at one point pranks Miss Piggy by putting a sign reading "wide load" on her back.
  • Not content with binding and gagging Empowered, one gang leaves her in a humiliating costume, including a "Kick Me" sign—which they changed to "Kidnap Me"—taped to her rear.
  • The sixth annual of Detective Comics has Geist take the opportunity to put a sign on his co-worker's back reading "My Mother Dresses Me Funny".
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    Fan Works 
  • Triptych Continuum: Referenced, in Chapter 4 of Triptych:
    Discord sighed, looked as put-upon as his features possibly could have managed, manifested a KICK ME. KICK ME HARD! sign on his back, front, and sides.
  • A Beetlejuice story had Scuzzo getting Beetlejuice framed for ticket scalping. Lydia gets him cleared and reveals Scuzzo as the culprit. B.J. wants to give him a proper juicing for what he put him through, but Lydia says to let it pass—Scuzzo will learn from his crime while in jail and she pats him on the back. The following:
    Beetlejuice: (moodily) You sure are a spoil sport, Lyds. You could've at least let me do something like tape a "kick me" sign on his back.
    (Scuzzo is being led to jail with a "kick me" sign taped to his back)
    Lydia: (winking to Ginger the Spider) Trust me, Beetlejuice, it won't be necessary!

    Film — Animated 
  • In Shrek the Third, while Shrek and the gang are searching a school, Donkey comes out of a locker with a sign taped on his back reading "I sucketh".
  • In The Swan Princess, the villain Rothbart is shown putting a "Kick Me" sign on the rear end of Queen Uberta near the end of his Villain Song "No More Mr. Nice Guy".

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In the first Back to the Future, Past Biff Tannen, unoriginal bastard what he is, loved taping a "Kick me!" sign on poor George McFly that passersby were happy to oblige.
  • In the fifth Police Academy film, Lt. Lassard puts sunblock on Captain Harris while he is getting a suntan, and when he wakes up, he finds people calling him "dork" because that is what's written on his chest by Lassard in sunblock using Tan Lines.
  • A Fistful of Dollars: At the start of the movie when Clint Eastwood's character rides into town he passes a man riding out with a "Adios amigos" sign on his back.
  • The "Nuts" card on Alice's back in the film adaptation of You Can't Take It With You.
  • In RoboCop 2, a child spray-paints KIK ME on the back of RoboCop while he deals with a bunch of them playing with a fire hydrant.
  • Moon. Sam has stuck a Post-It note saying "Kick Me" on the back of his artificially-intelligent robot GERTY. Sam makes a point of removing the sticker after GERTY makes a Heroic Sacrifice (by wiping its memories) on Sam's behalf.
  • In Shaun of the Dead, Ed manages to take it up a notch by attaching four pieces of paper to Pete's back, reading "I / AM / A / PRICK".
  • Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College! has a scene where someone has a sign stuck to their back reading "Born to be Neutered".

    Gamebooks 
  • Taken to the extreme in Zombie School, where you found out your new boarding school specializes in brainwashing it's students. If you're caught trying to thwart their plans, they'll dump you into a bunch of brainwashed students with the words "KICK ME" scribbled on your forehead. And since the students are zombified, they obey the sign and beat you to death.

    Literature 
  • Older than You Think: Don Quixote was victim of this trope at 1615:
    That afternoon they took Don Quixote out for a stroll, not in his armour but in street costume, with a surcoat of tawny cloth upon him, that at that season would have made ice itself sweat. Orders were left with the servants to entertain Sancho so as not to let him leave the house. Don Quixote was mounted, not on Rocinante, but upon a tall mule of easy pace and handsomely caparisoned. They put the surcoat on him, and on the back, without his perceiving it, they stitched a parchment on which they wrote in large letters, "This is Don Quixote of La Mancha." As they set out upon their excursion the placard attracted the eyes of all who chanced to see him, and as they read out, "This is Don Quixote of La Mancha," Don Quixote was amazed to see how many people gazed at him, called him by his name, and recognised him, and turning to Don Antonio, who rode at his side, he observed to him, "Great are the privileges knight-errantry involves, for it makes him who professes it known and famous in every region of the earth; see, Don Antonio, even the very boys of this city know me without ever having seen me."
    "True, Senor Don Quixote," returned Don Antonio; "for as fire cannot be hidden or kept secret, virtue cannot escape being recognised; and that which is attained by the profession of arms shines distinguished above all others."
  • In The Naughtiest Girl In The School, Harry gets back at Elizabeth when she plays a trick on him by pinning a note on her back that says "I'm The Bold Bad Girl. Beware: I bark. I bite. I hate everybody." Eventually, Elizabeth's friend Joan tells her about it, after everyone else just laughed about the accuracy of it.
  • Gravity Falls: Journal 3: Category 2 ghosts are pranksters who "Always have "Kick Me!" or "Possess Me!" signs they tape to your back".

    Live-Action TV 
  • In All in the Family, Archie Bunker plays victim to several of his buddy, Pinky Peterson's pranks, including Pinky putting a sign that says "Kick Me Hard" on Archie's back, which Edith jokingly does later when Archie gets home.
  • In the first season April Fool's Day episode of Community, Leonard does this to the dean during the opening deannouncements.
  • In an episode of Hannah Montana, Amber and Ashley first stick on Miley and Lily the signs "I am dork" and "I am dorkier" respectively, then the signs "I am still dork" and "I am still dorkier".
  • In an episode of Scrubs, Kelso was ready to throw a patient (who happens to be Dr Cox's mentor) out of the hospital just before he nearly died, and then takes credit for saving his life. Cox puts a sign on Kelso's back saying "Never stop kicking me". The patient removes it ... and discovers it's on the back of the discharge form.
    Dr Kelso: Oh, very clever.
    Dr Cox: What? It wasn't me. I think you put it there yourself to get attention.
  • On NewsRadio, Bill puts a "Spaz" sign on Matthew.
  • In an episode of How I Met Your Mother, Lily and Robin stick a sign on Barney's back requesting that he be called Swarley.
  • Parodied in Just Shoot Me!. Finch puts a sign saying "Spank Me" onto Nina's back. She turns around and says, "Now, you're sure everyone can see it?"
  • In Wizards of Waverly Place, Theresa says she used to stick signs on Jerry's back that say ridiculous things. Hugh's adoptive parents stick one on Jerry in the same episode.
  • In the seventh season of Castle, Castle spends an episode hanging out in a second-grade classroom. At the end, he and the class bully exchange a "truce" hug. Each puts a sign on the other's back. "JERKFACE" and "FROG BREATH".
  • In a second-season episode of Angel, when Lindsey has been Put on a Bus and is driving out of town, we see Angel has hung a sign on the back of his truck that reads, "Cops suck".
  • In Drake & Josh, Megan attaches a sign to Josh's back that says "Itchy Butt". Thinking that Drake was responsible, Josh's grammy puts a sign on Drake's back that says "Lazy Punk".
  • One episode of Gilmore Girls has Lorelei and Rory refusing to tell Kirk why they're laughing at him (because he won their game of 1-2-3-He's-Yours), prompting him to ask "Okay, did someone put the 'kick me' sign on my back again?!"
  • In one episode of Cold Case, Scotty and Jeffries team up and cut off Vera's tie while he's taking a nap. A few episodes later, he gets his revenge by stapling Jeffries' tie to a pile of papers, and as for Scotty...
    Scotty: What's up, fellas?
    Vera: You tell me, Scotty.
    Sign on Scotty's Back: "Ask Me About Erectile Dysfunction".

    Music 
  • Referenced in the first line of "If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)" by Rodney Atkins: "You know those times it feels like there's a sign there on your back / Says 'I don't mind if you kick me, seems like everybody has'."
  • From Insane Clown Posse's "The Juggla":
    "I'm that nerd in the back of the class
    Who went psycho and killed your ass
    I cut and stab and hack
    With a 'Kick-Me' sign on my back, Jack"

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Dilbert
    • Dilbert thinks his co-workers have put a sign on his back, and leaves work early to avoid being slapped on the back constantly. Turned out there was no sign, but the men's room was out of paper towels and they were using Dilbert's shirt to dry their hands.
  • Garfield
    • In one strip, Jon came home looking dirty and beaten up, because someone apparently stuck a "Bury Me Alive" sign on his back.
    • In another strip, Garfield literally gets a "Kick Me" sign on his back, courtesy of Odie.
  • U.S. Acres:
  • The Far Side had a comic where a bear had a "Shoot Me" sign on his back, and another where a donkey cooking a barbecue had "Kick the Cook" on the back of its apron.
    • Yet another had a few flowers, a couple of them snickering behind the back of one that has a "weed me" sign attached to its back.
  • One cartoon in either Punch or Private Eye had a Dalek with an "Exterminate me" sign hung on its back.
  • Calvin and Hobbes has a strip with Moe having a sign upon his back saying "Heave a rock at me" on it. Another strip features Calvin falsely telling Moe that he has a sign on his back saying "Someone run this kid over with a truck"

    Puppet Shows 
  • In the Dinosaurs episode, "Baby Talk", B.P. Richfield tapes a "Kick Me" sign to Earl's back as punishment for having Baby call him "A big fat smooey smoo". Robbie notices this when Earl arrives home that evening, and asks him why he can't just remove it. Earl tells him he would if it weren't covering an unsightly wound.

    Video Games 
  • In the third Ace Attorney game, Edgeworth wonders if there's a kick-me sign attached to the defense's bench when he takes over for Phoenix for the first part of Case 3-5.
  • You can sometimes find "Kick Me" signs in Bully. Sticking one on someone's back causes nearby students to kick the victim.
  • In God Hand, Gene starts with a "Kick Me" sign that falls off when he uses his god powers for the first time. Keeping it on for the entire game is a common Self-Imposed Challenge.
  • In Spongebob Squarepants Battle For Bikini Bottom the main boss in the Industrial Park level is a Giant Patrick Robot with a "kick me" sign used as his hit box.
  • In The Swords of Ditto, you can put a "Kick Me" sign on enemies to make other enemies target them instead of you.
  • Thief II: The Metal Age has a mission set in the police station where you can find in one wastebin a crumpled up paper with "KICK ME!" written on it.

    Webcomics 
  • Chopping Block had Butch sticking "stab me" on some guy.
  • Referenced in this Dinosaur Comics strip, except instead of 'kick me' T-Rex wants to plant a sign that says 'kiss me'.
  • In one Misfile strip, it's mentioned that Rumisiel put a post-it note that read "KICK ME! I tried to break the Universe" on Xaphrael's corpse and a regular "Kick me!" post-it note on his own brother.
  • Swampy puts a note on Roger's back in one strip of The Whiteboard, right before a paintball match, with the text saying "If you can read this, run like hell". It faces inward so that other players can see it through Rog's prototype invisibility cloak.

    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe: From A Little R&R 2: Alyss in Wondercute Land (part 1):
    You have something on your back," Sapphire said, and I turned around just as she pulled a piece of paper from my back and held it up. "Someone taped this to you..."
    The sheet of paper said, 'I AM WEARING A DIRTY DIAPER'.
    "Cute," I said deadpan.
    "Talk about a cliché," Voodude said.

    Western Animation 
  • All Grown Up!
    • In "Coup DeVille", Mr. Beaker tries to get a laugh out of his students by turning around to reveal a "Kick Me" sign on his back.
    • A variation occurs in "A DeVille House Divided" when Vice Principal Pangborn unknowingly gets crude pictures of him put on his back by his nephew Morty.
  • American Dad!
    • In the opening starting in the fourth season, Hayley sticks a peace sign on Stan's back, while Francine takes it off before he even notices.
    • The episode "All About Steve" has one of Stan's co-workers put a "Shoot Me" sign on his back.
  • The American Dragon: Jake Long episode, "Family Business" had Fu Dog try to pull this trick on Marty The Grim Reaper, only for it fail and for him to notice that he had a sign on his back that read, "Kick Me Harder". Also done to The Huntsman when he was a teenager in "Hero of the Hourglass".
  • The Angry Beavers:
    • In the episode "I Dare You", Norb and Daggett end up having to do two dares dictated toward them by an elderly, turban-wearing beaver called the Risk Keeper. The brothers are told that if either of them ends up chickening out, both of them will be stuck wearing signs on their back reading "Kick Me - I'm a stoopy poopy scaredy beaver". At the end of the episode, the brothers instead put both signs onto the Risk Keeper.
    • The brothers pull this kind of prank on the two scientists using strawberry jam in "Spooky Spoots", with Scientist #1 having the words "Kick Me" written on the back of his coat and Pete having a bullseye drawn on the back of his coat.
  • In As Told by Ginger, someone puts a "Kick Me" sign on a statue.
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode, "The Man Who Killed Batman", the criminals hold a funeral for Batman, who is believed dead. The Joker attaches a "Kick Me" sign to Batman's empty cape and cowl before it is to be sealed in a coffin.
  • Cartoon Planet: According to the "Something 2 Think About: Change" skit, Brak owns a pair of briefs with "Kick Me" on the back, and willingly wears them himself. Apparently they were a gift from his mother.
  • In the Doug episode, "Doug Saves Roger", Roger is being bullied by Mr. Bone's nephew Percy Femur. At one point he has a sign on his back saying "I'm a doofus." A few people point it out to him, but he just says he already knows. At the end of the episode, he puts the same sign on Doug's back. Doug quickly catches it and puts it on Roger's back without him noticing.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • This station ident involves Edd and Eddy pulling this one off on Ed, causing him to be kicked by Kevin and Sarah and struck by Johnny 2x4 with his companion Plank before revealing the Cartoon Network logo sign on Ed's back.
    • In the episode "A Case Of Ed", Edd reads a book on rare and obscure diseases and causes himself to believe he has contracted "lackadaisy cathro disease" which Ed and Eddy turn into a source of entertainment for themselves, leading Edd to believe that his symptoms are worsening. The final symptom of "Lackadaisy Cathro Disease" is that others will have the urge to kick the infected individual. Upon reading this Eddy slaps a "kick me" sign to Edd's back.
  • In the Family Guy segment "Lil Griffins" Peter places a Kick Me sign on one of his classmates, much to the delight of the teacher.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
    • In the episode "Billy and Mandy's Jacked-Up Halloween'', the flashback accompanying Grim's story about Jack O'Lantern shows one of the prankster's victims being kicked because Jack put a sign on his back reading "Kick me, I'm stupid".
    • Principal Goodvibes is seen with a "Kick Me" sign on his back at the end of "Guess What's Coming to Dinner".
  • Happens to Gossamer on The Looney Tunes Show.
  • The title card of The Loud House episode "Heavy Meddle" depicts Lincoln Loud with a Kick Me sign on his back.
  • The My Life as a Teenage Robot episode "Teenage Mutant Ninja Troubles" had Jenny and Misty get into a series of squabbles with the Crust Cousins. At one point, the two pairs are repeatedly putting signs with "Kick Me"-type messages on each other's backs.
  • On the episode of Pepper Ann in which Pepper Ann and her friends start a prank war, someone stuck a sign on Pepper Ann's back that said, "Craig is superfine and super-mine!" (Craig is the eighth grader Pepper Ann has a crush on).
  • Recess
    • Former student and school legend Frank "The Dude" Dudicoff sticks a sign on Miss Finster's back that reads "Pony rides for $1.00". When he comes back as a student teacher, he does it again when no one's looking- except now it says "Point at me and whisper!"
    • In the episode "Mama's Girl", TJ and the others attempt to do this to Principal Prickly with a sign that read "Call Me Daddy", as one of their attempts to help Spinelli get over her embarrassment of accidentally calling Ms. Grotke 'mama'. It fails, because when TJ does place the sign on Prickly's back, the other kids start calling him "Dubby," "Dabby" and "Diddy" instead of "Daddy", due to the fact that Gus wrote the sign in cursive, but did a sloppy job at writing the word "Daddy".
    • In one episode, the gang visit a Retirement Home. One man eventually tells TJ about a time he was a POW, and we cut to a flashback of people who are simultaneously Captain Ersatzs of the main gang and the cast of Hogan's Heroes. The Sergeant turns out to have a "I Heart Allies" sign on his back.
  • An episode of Rocket Power had Otto and Twister pranking Reggie by putting a sign on her back that said "Hello my name is Lame-O".
  • The Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get A Clue! episode "Scooby Dudes" has Scooby paint the words "Kick Me" on Dr. Phibes' back after eating a super speed Scooby Snack.
  • The Simpsons loves this trope:
    • After Bart gets Principal Skinner his job back in "Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song" they embrace before returning to their old rivalry. Bart attaches a "Kick Me" sign to Skinner, however Skinner also managed to attach a "Teach Me" sign to Bart.
    • The episode "Home Sweet Homediddly Dum Doodily" had Bart stick a sign on Lisa's back that read, "I'm a stupid baby!" That sign somehow found its way on Maggie and was mistaken for a label Homer and Marge put on the baby when the Child Protective Services officers inspect the Simpson house.
      Officer: Stupid babies need the most attention!
    • In a different episode Principal Skinner found a Kick Me sign on his back.
    Skinner: Hmm. I thought I was being kicked more often that usual today.
    • In "The Debarted", Skinner has a kid befriend Bart who is really The Mole to thwart Bart's pranks. When Bart spraypaints "Kick Me" on him, Skinner reveals he already had letters on there so it now reads KICK ME'DIOCRE STUDY HABITS (with Kearney stopping himself from kicking him and picking up a textbook to read).
  • In the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Practical Joker", the Enterprise computer prints "KIRK IS A JERK" on the back of Kirk's uniform tunic.
  • In Steven Universe: Future, Bluebird Azurite opens up with this as part of a series of pranks she pulls on Steven. Except she's not very good at it, so her sign reads "Tell Me I Smell Good".
  • In The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries episode "Blackboard Jumble", Granny is at one point seen with a "Kick Me" sign on her back.
  • On the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Her Wacky Highness", Babs puts a "Laugh at the Monkey" sign on Elmer Fudd's back.
  • The Teacher's Pet episode "Inspector Leadready II" has a joke where Principal Strickler states that he isn't easily made a fool of, then turns around to reveal a Kick Me sign on his back.

    Real Life 
  • "April Fish" is a French April Fools day prank which consists of sticking a paper fish (the better drawn, the better) on people's back, as a "laugh at me" sign.

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Alternative Title(s): Kick Me Sign

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Despicable Me 3 Edith Prank

Edith attaches a "Kick Me" sign to the butler.

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