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Powder Gag

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"Mongo like candy!"
Mongo, about to open a box full of exploding powder, Blazing Saddles

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 (compare Ash Face). 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 a Sneeze of Doom. When liquids are involved (e.g. in a Bucket Booby-Trap), the result is usually Covered in Gunge.



Anime and 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.



  • In 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.
  • In Out of Sight Anna pushes Matt into a flour sack which bursts, covering him in it.
  • In Reboot when Snape's son was two he spilled cocoa powder on himself, ending up brown from head to toe.
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  • In 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.

Film - Animated

Film - Live Action

  • The coke-sniffing scene in Annie Hall. One Sneeze of Doom from Alvy, and tens of thousands of dollars' worth of cocaine are scattered all over the room.
  • Blazing Saddles: Mongo open candy box, candy box go KABOOM! Powder fill screen. Scene end.
  • A Running Gag in House on Bare Mountain is Granny Good getting a faceful of dust every time she tries to use the speaking tube in her office.


  • Shows up in The 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.

Live-Action TV

  • 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.

Web Animation

  • In the RWBY Chibi episode 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.

Western Animation

  • 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.
  • Phineas and Ferb: In "Let's Take a Quiz", Candace is the victim of this gag, in tribute to the Milton Berle show.
  • 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.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Drumforgiven", Louise plans to send a music shop owner a glitter bomb disguised as a present, as payback for banning Gene from playing with the instruments in his shop. She has to abort the plan when Gene arrives to confront the owner himself. After all has been settled, Gene sees the bomb in Louise's hands, thinks it's a present for him and opens it, covering everyone with glitter.