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A popular image in many westerns: After a large battle or conflict between the white settlers and the Native Americans, the tribes will make peace by organizing a "pow-wow" and smoke the peace pipe with them. Almost without exception, somebody (usually a white man) will start coughing or feel sick after taking a puff from the peace pipe. The others will laugh at him.
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Somewhat a subtrope of a Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe, Protocol Peril and one of the few examples where Smoking Is Cool in the sense that it "cools" everybody off. Historically Truth in Television, as many Native Americans shared this custom.


Examples:

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     Comics  

  • Lucky Luke: In "Le 20ème de Cavalerie" ("The 20th Cavalry"), virtually everybody becomes sick after smoking the peace pipe. It gets to the point that they would rather continue fighting to avoid smoking it.
    • Thats not just the white cavalry officers and politicians either, the other indian chiefs also get naseous from it and come up with lame excuses to avoid it. Apparently the chief who organized the war against the Cavalry is just that bad at tobacco blends.
    • Played with in the epilogue for "The Black Hills", when the son of the Indian chief from the story poses for a portrait with the U.S President after signing a peace treaty. The President is smoking a peace pipe for the picture, and is understandably looking sick, mainly because they're posing for a painting and he has to keep puffing for hours on end.
  • Played with in a short story in Fear Itself: The Home Front, in which a bunch of white racists try and stir up American Eagle's neighbors by posing as Native American spirits in the wake of the murder of a white local sheriff. The fact that they resort to using Tonto Talk is part of how Eagle figures out that they're delusional.
    American Eagle: Oh please. "Thunderstick"? "Pipe of peace"? What did you do — watch Pocahontas? Read some Custer fan-fic?
  • Red Ears: One gag features two Indian Maiden bickering with each other. To end their argument they are given the "peace pipe", which is literally a Native American named "Peace" whom they can give a blowjob. (Note "piper" ("to pipe") is French for "giving a man oral pleasure".)
  • In the Disney Ducks Comic Universe story "Land of the Pygmy Indians" by Carl Barks Scrooge McDuck smokes peace pipe with the titular Natives in the finale, only to get violently ill and be forced to return home. It turns out that the tribe's medicine man had secretly added a rare earth mineral called strombolium that Scrooge had previously lusted after into the tobacco to get rid of him.

     Fan Works  

  • Parodied in A.A. Pessimal's Rincewind Among The Redskins, where the Discworld version of Red Indians have names like the Latoka Sioux. Chief Bull's peace-pipes are renowned among the tribes for containing some seriously heavy shit, man! and the special herbal tobacco used predisposes those who smoke it towards peace and good vibes and a serious case of the munchies, man.

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     Film - Animated  

  • In Peter Pan, Peter and the Indian Chief smoke a peace pipe after Peter rescues Tiger Lily. John takes a puff of the pipe and immediately turns Green Around the Gills afterward.

     Film - Live-action  

  • A staple of many westerns.
  • The Hunt for Red October doesn't have Native Americans, but it does have a variation on the trope—when the Americans board the titular sub, Jack Ryan (who has repeatedly identified himself as non-smoking) accepts a cigarette from Melekhin and starts coughing after his first inhale, eliciting a chuckle.
  • Shanghai Noon has Jackie Chan's character wind up with an Indian tribe. He speaks only Chinese and English, while the Indians speak only their own language. They get tired of his insistant and futile attempts to communicate and offer him a peace pipe.
    Indian:(subtitled) Pass him the peace pipe. Maybe that will shut him up.

     Literature  

  • Winnetou: This is a popular conclusion of many stories involving Native Americans.
    • Focussed on a bit more than usual in the late novel Winnetou's Heirs, in which the by then older main protagonist wonders how his wife, who usually doesn't smoke at all and even got him to drop the habit, will handle the experience. (With aplomb, it turns out, even though the tobacco does get to her a bit.)

     Tabletop Games  

  • In the Castle Falkenstein supplement 'Six-Guns and Sorcery', an agent from the Twenty Nations brings a peace pipe to smoke with King Ludwig. Unfortunately, he is killed before it can happen, setting the events of the story in motion.

     Radio  

  • In the Our Miss Brooks episode Bartering with Chief Thundercloud, before conducting a bartering session, Mr. Boynton and Mr. Conklin smoke the peace pipe with the eponymous chief.

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     Video Games  

     Western Animation  

  • In The Simpsons episode "Dude, Where's My Ranch?", a Native American grabs a copy of "Peace Pipe Aficionado" (a parody of the American cigar magazine "Cigar Aficionado").
  • The "Where the Buggalo Roam" episode of Futurama featured native Martians as Native American stereotypes. There was a misunderstanding, but it would all be OK if Kif didn't cough while smoking the peace pipe. He did. The punishment was death.
  • Mighty Manfred is accepted as part of an Indian tribe (Tom Terrific story arc "Go West, Young Manfred"). He tries smoking a peace pipe and immediately goes into a coughing jag.
  • The 1952 Tom and Jerry cartoon "Two Little Indians" (the "Indians" in question are little mice scouts) ends with Tom, Jerry, and the mice sharing a peace pipe. Tom has problems exhaling the smoke— then coughs and blows smoke rings out his ears.
  • An Al Brodax Popeye short pitted Brutus dressed as an Indian to thwart Popeye and Olive's hunt for a gold lode. Brutus offers a peace pipe to Popeye but it has gunpowder in it, which causes the pipe to explode when he smokes it. Tit-for-tat: Popeye gave Brutus his pipe in exchange and it exploded in Brutus' face.


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