An old one dating from theatrical cartoon shorts, practically Self Explanatory. Take a powder, any powder, circumstances (a sneeze, 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.
- In 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.
Film - Animated
- The nuclear cheese blast in Over the Hedge.
Film - Live Action
- The coke-sniffing scene in Annie Hall.
- Mongo open candy box, candy box go KABOOM! Powder fill screen. Scene end.
- Shows up in Lord of the Rings, if you can believe that. 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.
- A running gag on The Milton Berle Show was for someone to holler "MAKEUP!", resulting in someone running on stage and smacking the victim in the face with a big, soft, loaded powder puff. Copied by many others.
- In an episode of Blossom, Blossom and Six use this trick (blowing powder under the bottom of a window) to blind what they think is a homicidial maniac attempting to break into the house on Halloween. It actually turns out to be one of Blossom's brothers.
- The Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "In Like Ed" featured this gag, produced by a baking powder smoke bomb shaped like a jawbreaker.
- "Smile For the Ed" had Ed shouting "Makeup!" and poofing Eddy through the wall with a chalkboard eraser. The episode ends with him doing it to himself, producing this trope.
- Scooby-Doo has done this more than once, at one time this was the complete disguise for the villain of the week who covered himself in flour. Must have been very convincing because when Shaggy and Scooby get covered in the stuff he thinks they're ghosts.
- 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.