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Powder Gag

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An old one dating from theatrical cartoon shorts, practically Self-Explanatory. Take a powder, any powder, circumstances (a fan, a hairdryer, a Practical Joke or even spontaneous explosion) causes it to be blown all over the place. The camera goes blank for several seconds, turning the color of what has exploded.

When the dust clears and we see the characters again, they and their surroundings are completely, utterly covered in the stuff. They stand stiff and still, often trying to get the stuff off their eyes. Then one makes some sort of a joke before the scene cuts away. Hilarity Ensues if the character is confused for a ghost or some other monster.

May result in or be the outcome of a Sneeze of Doom (a character's unusually powerful sneeze has disastrous effects). When liquids are involved (e.g., a Bucket Booby-Trap), the result is usually Covered in Gunge. If the powder in question is glitter, then it's Glitter Litter. Compare and contrast Ash Face, when it's a legit explosion in the character's face that leaves it covered in soot or ashes.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Adventures of the Little Koala: In "The Mysterious Moa Bird", a bee flies into the kitchen while Mommy and Laura are making eucalyptus cakes. While crouching to avoid the bee, Mommy blindly tries to swat it away from the cakes and ends up knocking a bowl of flour off the counter, covering her in flour.

    Fan Works 
  • The Cake Club: Holly and the other first-year Gryffindor girls sneak into the Hogwarts kitchens to make a cake. After Lavender and Hermione sneeze, they all end up covered in flour.
  • Out of the Mouths of Babes: About an hour after Harry proposes to Ginny, they announce that they've leaving to get married. Mrs. Weasley spins around in shock while holding a flour bag, resulting in Hermione and the other Weasleys being covered in it.
  • Reboot: When Snape's son was two, he spilled cocoa powder on himself, ending up brown from head to toe.
  • The Unfinished Spelling Errors of Bolkien: Gimli blows on the horn of Helm Hammerhand and gets covered in powder that old Helm left in there as a joke.
  • Weight of the World: In The Depths of Deception, America comes home after his doctor's appointment to find the nations in his kitchen. They intended to make dishes from their homeland for America to make him feel more comfortable but ended up getting in each other's way, resulting in a huge mess — with the flour having been blown all over Japan and Germany, and Prussia laying on it.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Adventures of Pinocchio: The last straw that causes Pinocchio to be sent out of school is sneezing chalk dust all over the teacher's face.
  • Annie Hall: Alvy is sniffing coke. One Sneeze of Doom later and tens of thousands of dollars worth of cocaine are scattered all over the room.
  • Blazing Saddles: "Mongo like candy". Mongo open candy box, candy box go KABOOM! Powder fill screen. Scene end.
  • Blind Date: One of the scenes added in the uncredited rewrites is that of a character crashing into a bakery and becoming caked in flour.
  • Bloodshot (2020): Garrison rams a bullet-resistant SUV against a flour truck, causing everything in a short radius to get covered in a cloud of flour. He then proceeds to draw a "Have a Nice Day" Smile to peer at the SUV's inside, where his target is hiding.
  • Escape to Witch Mountain: During the car chase, Tony launches a sack of flour into a pursuer, blinding them, running them off the road, and crashing (complete with a comical crash sound). When the smoke clears, we see the car comically perched up against a tree with its hood popped up, a piece of fender trim dangling off the side but otherwise undamaged, and the driver and its occupants covered in flour but otherwise unhurt.
  • Home Alone 2: Lost in New York: One of the traps that Kevin sets up is a bag of plaster attached to a dangling rope, which is set up to tempt someone to use it to climb between two stories of a building despite it not being able to hold enough weight. Marv tries to use it and gets hit in the face with the heavy bag which then explodes and covers him in plaster dust.
  • House on Bare Mountain: A Running Gag is Granny Good getting a faceful of dust every time she tries to use the speaking tube in her office.

  • Jeeves and Wooster: Attempting a Bucket Booby-Trap on a friend's boss, Bertie sets up a bag of flour in the ceiling. When they change plans, Bertie forgets to take it down. He later activates the trigger and it wounds up falling on him, coating him in flour.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Will Whitfoot, mayor of Michel Delving and the fattest hobbit in the Shire, is caught in the collapse of the Town Hole and emerges covered in chalk, thus earning the nickname "Flourdumpling". It happens off-screen — er, off-page — but still, there you are.
  • Snowy, the Little White Kitten: A mother cat cleans her kittens based on how much dirt is visible rather than how dirty the kittens actually are, and, as such, has most trouble cleaning the white one, Snowy. This makes him feel bad about being white, so he rolls in ashes to make himself grey, and then in soot to make himself black, but this just makes his mother angry.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Blossom: Blossom and Six use this trick (blowing powder under the bottom of a window) to blind what they think is a homicidal maniac attempting to break into the house on Halloween. It actually turns out to be one of Blossom's brothers.
  • The Dudesons:
    • In one episode, Jukka sprayed a crapping Jarppi with a fire extinguisher, resulting in a very white Jarppi.
    • Another time, at a rock festival, Jarppi woke the gang up by emptying a fire extinguisher inside their tent. Resulting in them emerging from a big white powder cloud.
  • The Milton Berle Show: A Running Gag is someone hollering, "MAKEUP!" and it resulting in someone running on stage and smacking the victim in the face with a big, soft, loaded powder puff. Copied by many others.

    Puppet Shows 

    Video Games 
  • Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped: In the Egyptian levels, monkeys hiding in vases attack Crash using balls of soot, and if they hit, Crash's face becomes extremely sooty.
  • Disney's Magical Mirror Starring Mickey Mouse: In the kitchen area, a cupboard can be opened to show a pot of flour about to tip over, and activating its trick results in Mickey having his entire body covered up in flour. He returns to normal immediately after picking up the coin.
  • Living Books: In "Harry and the Haunted House", Harry at one point gets covered in flour, causing Earl to mistake him for a ghost.
  • Muppet Race Mania: The Swedish Chef's special move inflicts a cloud of flour on his opponents, which makes them spin in place for a few seconds.
  • Puyo Puyo Tetris 2: Ms. Accord’s losing animation features an eraser falling on her head, covering her in chalk dust.

    Visual Novels 
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: In 'Rise from the Ashes', when presenting the fingerprinting set to Ema Skye, the powder causes her to sneeze, blowing onto Phoenix's face.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY Chibi: In "Ruby Makes Cookies", when Ruby tries to get the flour out of its bag, it won't come out. She shakes it until it all falls out, sending flour exploding everywhere. The camera goes into white-out as it becomes covered in flour.

    Web Original 
  • CDT Adventure: Invoked and exploited as a firefighting technique. Moquoql summons a drop pod pumping itself full of carbon dioxide and nanobots. When it zooms over to dump its contents onto the Panzerfaust on fire, the nanobots billow like a ludicrous amount of dust until they collide with and reinforce Moquoql's telekinetic fire-smothering barriers. Once she sees it's close enough, she holds her breath and counts down the last three seconds.
  • Prank Vs Prank: In "BEST FLOUR PRANK EVER!!!", Jesse tricks his girlfriend into putting her face right at the tube of a dustblower which he had previously charged with flour. When it gets activated, a cloud of the stuff cakes most of her upper body.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin: In "Double Grubby", when Jack's cannon misfires, the ball lands on the flour bag L.B. stole and leaves him covered with flour. It makes him look like an Illiop.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: In "Four Star Spectacular!", 'Mazing Man causes a fireplace to collapse, covering himself and the homeowners from head to foot in soot.
  • Doc McStuffins:
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • "In Like Ed": Thanks to a baking powder smoke bomb shaped like a jawbreaker, everyone gets covered in the stuff and is as white as ghosts. The Eds wonder where everyone went, until they start emerging one by one from the walls, where they had been hidden by the powder.
    • "Smile For the Ed": Ed shouts "Makeup!" and applies "makeup" on Eddy by hitting him with a chalkboard eraser so hard Eddy goes through the chalkboard. At the end of the episode, Ed hits himself with the eraser, covering the screen in chalk powder.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: In "Timvisible", Crocker crashes into bags of flour while chasing the invisible Timmy across the school's kitchen. Fortunately, Timmy is by then out of the cloud's range, so he isn't affected.
  • Little Bear: In one episode, Father Bear sniffs a flower and gets pollen all over his face.
  • Lonesome Ghosts: Ghost chasers Mickey, Donald, and Goofy spend the whole show getting trounced by tricky ghosts. In the end, all three get coated in molasses, syrup, and flour so they resemble ghosts, and they accidentally scare the real ghosts away.
  • Looney Tunes Cartoons: In "Boo! AppeTweet", Tweety smashes into flour while frantically escaping from Sylvester, who becomes convinced he's finally eaten the bird.
  • The Loud House:
    • "Band Together": Several characters get pranked with glitter bombs in their faces.
    • "Tough Cookies": When Liam's cow kicks up the conveyor belt to a speed impossible to match by the kids, their efforts wound up producing a large cloud of flour. When it disperses, everyone is caked in the stuff.
  • Martha Speaks: Downplayed in "Martha's Steamed!", in which Ruby is initially mistaken for having a white circle on her eye, but it's just powdered sugar from a donut she stole.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • "Baby Cakes": When Pinkie Pie is doing a dance to try to get the Cake twins (month-old babies) to stop crying, she bumps into a cabinet, knocking a sack of flour over her. She does this again during the twins' snack time, causing her to sneeze. Later, when Pinkie Pie herself cries due to being frustrated with being a Badly Battered Babysitter, the twins deliberately spill flour on themselves to cheer her up.
    • "She's All Yak": When Yona attempt to make something for the potluck dinner, the flour causes her to sneeze, covering everything and everypony in it (sans Rarity).
  • Phineas and Ferb: "Let's Take a Quiz" features a gag taken from the old Milton Berle show. When Candace shouts, "MAKEUP!", she gets whacked with a giant powderpuff, therefore ending up coated in white powder.
  • The Real Ghostbusters: In "Three Men and an Egon", Egon is aging backwards, and once he becomes a baby, the rest have to change his diaper. When Slimer tries to powder him, he gets powder everywhere, and everyone (except baby Egon himself) starts coughing and sneezing, with Slimer even sneezing so hard, he launches himself into the trash.
  • Rugrats (1991):
    • In "Potty Training Spike", after believing that Spike is not allowed to pee on trees anymore (since Chuckie got in trouble when he tried to do it), the babies try to put a diaper on Spike. Chuckie reminds Tommy to apply the baby powder first so Spike doesn't get a rash. However, because Spike does not want to be put in a diaper, he runs all over Tommy's bedroom while Tommy chases after him with the baby powder, resulting in a huge cloud of baby powder filling up the screen and everyone and everything being covered in baby powder.
    • In "All's Well That Pretends Well", Angelica takes a dusty feather duster and tries to sprinkle dust all over Chuckie to make him sneeze. However, Spike steals the duster and plays with it, so the dust ends up landing on Angelica and making her sneeze.
  • Rupert: Inverted in "Rupert and Ottoline". Rupert covers himself in white powder so he can pretend to be the ghost of the Earl and scare the villains into compliance. It seems he's succeding when one of the latter sneezes so explosively that Ruper's flour disguise dispels in a white cloud.
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • The New Scooby-Doo Movies: In "Ghastly Ghost Town": Shaggy falls to a storage cellar, hitting containers of a white powder and getting himself covered in it. The villains think he's a real ghost and run away in fear as he calmly tells them, "What's wrong? Have you never seen a flour child?"
    • The New Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show: In "Where's Scooby-Doo", the titular character was covered in flour when Shaggy banged the door enough for the flour can to spill all its contents to the Great Dane after Scoob got out of the sarcophagus. Which was unintentionally beneficial because he coughed from the flour that made him removed the tape on his mouth.
    • Scooby-Doo! (DC Comics): Exploited in "Flour Power" (issue #122). The Monster of the Week covers himself in flour and dresses as a bakery ghost. As he pursues them, they knock flour sacks, causing the entire room and themselves to be coated in white powder. The bakery ghost uses the diminished visibility to get rid of his costume and make it seem as if he just stumbled onto the mess.
    • Scooby Doo Readers: In Scooby-Doo! and the Haunted Diner, the storm causes a momentary blackout in the diner the gang is eating in. After stumbling in the dark, they find a terrifying monster made of dripping flour. As it turns out, it's the cook, who fell on sacks of flour when the light suddenly went out.
    • Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: In "Mine Your Own Business", the mine suffers a Floorboard Failure, causing Fred to get dumped into flour sacks. When the gang finds him, his appearance gives a good scare to Shaggy and Scooby.
  • Seven Little Monsters: In "High Noon", the monsters are measuring the flour to bake cupcakes. Two starts to sneeze but is temporarily stopped by Three putting Anti-Sneeze Finger on his nose. Two does a Sneeze of Doom anyway, dispersing the floor on everyone's faces.
  • Thomas & Friends: In "The Switch", between Skarloey's charge of the episode (rocks) and his hoppers' bouncing, is it any surprise that the ensuing dust cloud ends up coating Millie?

    Real Life 
  • As anyone who has gotten careless while baking can testify, this trope is very much possible, even if the results are usually milder and the ensuing cloud smaller. In fact, this applies to more powders than just flour —dust from spring cleaning or construction sites and finely-coarse ash also produce similar effects.


Video Example(s):


Disney's Magical Mirror

When Mickey opens up one of the cupboards in the kitchen, a pot of flour is shown tipping over, resulting in Mickey having his entire body covered up in flour. He returns to normal shortly after.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / PowderGag

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