Common in cartoons, an innocuous-looking rake (or hoe, or shovel...) is lying on the ground. A character steps on it the wrong way and gets a face full of the stick part. Ouch.
Obviously Truth in Television for anyone who tried that. In real life, however, it usually results in a nosebleed or, if bad enough, a trip to the emergency room or the dentist — Looney Tunes jokes notwithstanding. And if an actual rake fails to rise and smack you, it may instead hurt your foot and/or break the rake.
See also Amusing Injuries.
- In the climax of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean, this happens to Emporio Alniño with a mop, as he flees from Enrico Pucci.
- Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki: Subverted in the first episode when Ryoko steps on a metal rake. She doesn't get hit in the face, instead she's fast enough to dodge and then smack the pole hard enough to bend it. This, however, leaves an opening for Tenchi to slice her wrist off.
- Lamput: In "Sleepwalking", a sleepwalking Slim Doc steps towards a rake on the ground. Lamput shapeshifts into a helmet to protect Slim Doc, leading to Lamput getting hurt by the rake when it's stepped on.
- Near the end of Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Joys of Seasons episode 37, when he comes home from trying to catch Paddi, Wolffy steps on and is hit by a rake as one of the many unlucky things he is subjected to because of his unlucky doll.
- Tintin: The Black Island has this happening to Tintin during a chase on Dr. Mueller's estate; this also has a rare instance of someone weaponizing the trope, as the bad guys think Tintin is knocked out when he's just Playing Possum, and he deliberately steps the rake into the face of the first Mook who approaches.
- The Far Side has the African Rakesnake.
- One strip◊ has John being victim of two of these.
Garfield: It just wouldn't be autumn without our little traditions...
- Before that, Garfield himself was subjected to one in a 1985 strip.
- One of the bad things happening to Jon in this strip.
- One strip◊ has John being victim of two of these.
- U.S. Acres: Wade believed that, if he were fast enough, he could race right by danger before it could do anything to him. A rake proved him wrong.
- A variant occurs in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series: one-off criminal Tom accidentally steps on a shovel that his partner Bill is running on, leading him to get this trope. It's heavily implied that it was a Groin Attack as well.
- In We Are Number One But it's a My Little Pony Crossover, Robbie Rotten steps on a rake twice as he's trying to catch Rainbow Dash.
- In the Czech Alice, one of these sends her falling through a pot and onto an elevator that takes her to the Eat Me/Drink Me room.
- In Encino Man, Link steps on a rake shortly after being thawed.
- A variation happens in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, when Clark keeps stepping on loose floorboards in the attic.
- In The Pink Panther Strikes Again, Dreyfus, while trying to avoid Clouseau, steps on one, causing him to fall over in the water.
- Subverted in The Goonies; after Stephanie and Andrea step on the rake it doesn't hit them in the face but pops up with a fish head on the other end.
- One of the hapless teens (Jason Buuck) in Hobgoblins 2 steps on a rake after being distracted by a girl pretending to flash him, leaving him a bit dazed.
- Grandma's Boy: Harold Lloyd manages to do this twice in a row while creeping around a barn in the dark, looking for an escaped criminal.
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Eddie does this on purpose as part of his comedy routine to make the weasels laugh themselves to death.
- A humorous aside in the Ciaphas Cain novel The Traitor's Hand notes a group of monks injuring themselves stepping on discarded gardening tools while fleeing from an unexpectedly-landing shuttlecraft. Seems even in the grim darkness of the 41st millennium, this joke still happens.
- Equal Rites references this, saying that magic has a habit of lying low, like a rake in the grass.
- In Going Postal, part of the Postman's Walk involves navigating an obstacle course where one risks stepping on a rake, a roller-skate, and/or an empty beer bottle with a hood over one's head.
"Postmen, what is the First Oath?"
"Strewth, would you bleedin' credit it? Toys, strollers, garden tools... they don't care what they leaves out on the path on these dark mornings!"
- Gods and Warriors: A recurring character Periphas has a crooked nose. It's revealed in the last book that he got it broken at the age of fifteen when he stepped on a hoe that bashed him in the face. He was so embarrassed that he told his friends that his nose got broken in a fight.
- Happens to the Skipper on the Gilligan's Island episode "Waiting for Watubi"; the "rake" was made of bamboo and coconuts.
- Wilbur Post is the victim in the first episode of Mister Ed. When Wilbur tells his wife Carol that Mister Ed can talk, Carol thinks the rake hitting him in the head caused him to be delusional!
- Happens to Jack a couple of times on Three's Company.
- On 1000 Ways to Die, one young woman who gardened as a hobby died of suffocation by stepping on a rake with a zucchini in her mouth as she prepared for a date.
- In The Late Show with David Letterman's Top Ten List of the most dangerous toys (from November 1997), Number 8 was "'Ouch!' The Step-On-A-Rake Game".
- It's a common gag on The Benny Hill Show, usually coupled with Groin Attack with a shorter rake.
- In an episode of Mystery Hunters, Doubting Dave hits himself with a rake a few times when discussing about fairies.
- Jane Curtin closes Saturday Night Live's Angora Bouquetnote commercial by giving Bill Murray a rake in the face.
- During her piece on the gig economy on The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, one of the gags that Zoë Coombs Marr performs as part of her "Uber Gags" gig is stepping on a rake and having it hit her in the face.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time has loose planks on the pirate ship level that smack the player character whenever they step on them. It's the same gag.
- This happens to Guybrush in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge.
- Plants vs. Zombies allows you to buy a rake for your lawn that kills the first zombie that it encounters; it lasts three levels, after which you can buy a new one.
- A rare level hazard in Buster's Hidden Treasure, a Tiny Toon Adventures game for the Sega Genesis. In some levels, enemies can attack you while the rake has incapacitated you.
- One of the rake-type traps is present in Runescape in Isafdar forest. However, this trap has something else than just a stick at the end of the rake.
- This can happen to Pac-Man in Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures at the farm.
- Pepsiman has shovels that Pepsiman can step on and get smacked in the face by.
- In Delicious 9: Emily's Honeymoon Cruise the title character has a fight with her husband while on a Greek beach and after she storms off he steps on a rake and gets knocked out.
- Stepping on a rake is a minor hazard in Sunset Riders that causes comical effects (a big vertical indention on the face for Billy, Steve and Bob, while Cormano ends up taking a shot to the junk).
- In Skylanders: SuperChargers, Cloudbreather's Crag has rakes that will hit your Skylander if they step on them, though otherwise they're harmless. Outside of the level, you can buy one as a Legendary Treasure for use at Skylanders Academy.
- Lakeview Cabin Collection feature rakes in Part III that the players can step on, being whacked with enough force to knock them off their feet. Which can also be weaponized against the killers.
- In Hitman 2, you can set this up in the Whittleton Creek level by placing rakes down on the ground. If anyone walks into them, they'll get smacked on the face and get knocked out. Hitman 3 allows you to do the same in Mendoza.
- In The Simpsons Wrestling, Groundskeeper Willie can drop an assortment of gardening tools (including rakes) that knock down the opponent when stepped on. It's possible to continually drop them on downed enemies as a taunt, stopping them from getting up or regaining health but not actually damaging them.
- The Simpsons Game has Sideshow Bob inexplicably show up inside Kang and Kodos' ship just so he can (equally inexplicably) step on a rake and get knocked out. Again.
Kang: I told you to pick up your space-rake!
- One of Lemres' damage animations is Puyo Puyo Fever 2 is him tripping on his broom and the stick smacking him in the face.
- In Reksio and the UFO, there is a rake in the backyard. If you click on it, Reksio will step on it and the rake will smack him in the face.
- This strip from Rare Candy Treatment suggests using rakes as an entry hazard for Pokémon battles, in a similar fashion to Spikes and Stealth Rock.
- Sluggy Freelance:
Torg: [Thinking] Alone, surrounded by vampires. My only hope is to dive for the rake by my feet, breaking the shaft into a wooden stake. But how am I going to find it in this mist?
- Shortpacked! uses it on Batman, relying on his intelligence for extra humor.
- Yahtzee described his initial experience with Dark Souls as being like "walking into a dark shed full of rakes: immediately treading on one and getting blatted in the face". He also uses it to describe the failure of Brink's Character Customization, where in spite of some substantial modification options for the time, "every character looks exactly the bloody same" and describing it as "failing to a new level... like standing on a rake, and the end of the rake has a grenade taped to it."
- 17776: The probes lament this trope's aversion via nanorobotics that protect humans from injury.
Juice: do u have any idea how goddam funny it is when someone steps on a garden hoe
Juice: back in the day i tracked every garden hoe lying on the ground in the whole world [...] and i'd just sit up here & watch em & watch em & watch em. swear to god for like 200 yrs that's all i did
Ten: He's not lying. He did. I mean, I did too. It was pretty funny.
Juice: and 0.2248257% of the time they'd step on the teeth and itd push up and hit em in the face like BLAAAPP. rarest of jewels.
- In the Action League NOW! episode, "Meltman at Large", on his way to save two kids trapped in a tree, an enlarged Meltman steps on a rake and gets hit by it.
- An episode of Chowder has Mung Daal step on a rake, which then slaps him for kissing her.
- In one episode of Garfield and Friends, Wade Duck, worried about being arrested for ripping a couch's tag off, bumps into the rake he is using trying to sew on the tag. And then this happens.
- Looney Tunes:
- In Yankee Doodle Bugs, Bugs Bunny does this, and the resulting stars circling his head are what give Betsy Ross the idea of putting them on the U.S. flag. Or that's how he explains it to his nephew Clyde, anyway.
- In (blooper) Bunny!, one of the early bloopers has Bugs stop the dance routine because there's a loose floorboard on the stage, and he suggests moving the action back a bit. Later in the cartoon, Daffy steps on the loose floorboard and gets whacked in the face.
- Happens to Scarecrow whilst chasing a weasel in Magic Adventures of Mumfie episode "Pop Goes the Weasel".
- In the Maw and Paw cartoons, there is a loose floorboard on their front porch that hits Paw in the face anytime he steps on it — and only if HE steps on it.
- Monster Allergy has it with Bombo in the opening theme of season 1.
- Once happened in Mullewap (a farmstead where a detective trio consisting of mouse, a pig and a rooster solve minor crimes). A chicken lies unconscious in the hay. The fox gets jailed as the usual suspect, but for once he was innocent which is clear when the rooster runs into the rake himself.
- This happens to Sideshow Bob a lot in The Simpsons, particularly in "Cape Feare", where he repeatedly stepped on a bunch of rakes in a row. Hanging onto the bottom of a car after it went through a bunch of cacti apparently left him too out of it to even notice how they were all there completely littering the ground. In the DVD commentary, the creators admit they were filling for time. Once Sideshow Bob actually gets on the boat Bart is on, he's decked by one last rake. Sideshow Bob is so mad by this point that he chucks the rake overboard. It becomes a Running Gag or possibly even a Brick Joke in later episodes.
Sideshow Bob: Rakes! My old arch enemy...
Bart: I thought I was your arch enemy?
Sideshow Bob: I have a life outside of you, Bart.
- Polluto gets a Rake Take during the intro of (Stop) The Smoggies!
- In the 1949 Goofy short "Tennis Racquet", due to the amount of gardening going on during the tennis match, one of the Goofys ended up doing a backwards version of this, stepping on the rake while walking backwards and getting hit in the back.
- Tom the cat gets it frequently in Tom and Jerry.
- Total Drama:
- Subverted. In "If You Can't Take the Heat...", Owen sneaks past a hornet nest and steps on a rake. It pierces his foot and he doubles over in pain, his fall shaking loose the hornet nest. It falls right on top of him.
- In "Sky Fall", Sugar recalls a time she tried Cow Tipping. She failed to even reach the cow because she stepped on a rake and smashed herself in the face with the stick.
- The T.U.F.F. Puppy episode "Scared Wit-Less" has Keswick hurt himself by stepping on a rake and making the handle hit him twice.
- Subverted in that sometimes the handles aren't big enough to hit you in the face. Hasn't stopped people from doing this on purpose specifically to mimic this trope.
- These Capybara do it with metal trays.