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"Last chance — I'll just keep tanking the rakes and maybe I'll somehow become really psychotically into being rake-faced just in time to be prepared for the sequel. And I'll be blatted in the face with a rake if that isn't kind of what happened!"

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, smack you in the shin, and/or break the rake.

See also Amusing Injuries.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Animation 
  • 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.

    Anime & Manga 
  • 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.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animation 
  • In Ice Age, Sid the sloth walks on something in the abandoned human camp and gets whacked in the face.
  • Koati: In one of the first scenes, Pako steps on a stick, which hits him right in face.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hellzapoppin': While trying to dodge the amorous advances of Betty, Pepi steps on a rake that flips up and hits him in the face.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Eddie does this on purpose as part of his comedy routine to make the weasels laugh themselves to death.

    Literature 
  • 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.
  • Discworld:
    • 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.
  • The Golem by Gustav Meyrink plays this trope for horror, as Rosina bullies and torments her deaf admirer by, among other things, luring him into a dark attic full of junk, including hazardously abandoned rakes, so the boy steps on them and hurts himself.
  • Star Warped, a parody of the first six Star Wars film, have this happening in the chapter spoofing Attack of the Clones. The Anakin Skywalker expy (inexplicably named Jane) is sentenced to execution by giant reptiles, just like in the original, but he managed to use the "Farce" to trick the monsters into knocking over one of the arena's poles, which just happens to have a curved tip. All three monsters ends up stepping on the pole and smacking themselves out cold, one at a time, while trying to eat Jane, with the narration even lampshading it ("it's like what happens when you stepped on a rake").

    Live-Action TV 
  • On 1000 Ways to Die, one young woman who gardened as a hobby died of suffocation by stepping on a hoe with a zucchini in her mouth as she prepared for a date.
  • It's a common gag on The Benny Hill Show, usually coupled with Groin Attack with a shorter rake.
  • Happens to the Skipper on the Gilligan's Island episode "Waiting for Watubi"; the "rake" was made of bamboo and coconuts.
  • 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".
  • 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!
  • 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.

    Poetry 

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • After completing the main storyline of Hades, any of Zagreus' subsequent escapes from the Underworld no longer serve as plot advancement, and so upon defeating the final boss the player will simply be treated to the narrator giving a brief statement of the manner in which Zagreus ends up inevitably dying and returning to the House of Hades again. Do this enough times, and the narrator's tales start becoming more and more silly as he scrambles to find new means of death for the prince, including the "Tool" ending:
    Narrator: As he explores the wonders of the world, Prince Zagreus discovers a quaint farm, in which he carelessly trespasses, stepping on a farming-tool, which swoops up and strikes him in the forehead, fatally.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, buying time to collect Sun and skip early inexpensive plants in favor of better ones. It lasts three levels, after which you can buy a new one.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • A rare level hazard in Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure], a Tiny Toon Adventures game for the Sega Genesis. Stepping on one will briefly stun Buster, and in some levels, enemies can attack him while he is incapacitated.

    Web Animation 
  • Zero Punctuation: 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."

    Webcomics 
  • This strip from Rare Candy Treatment suggests using rakes as an entry hazard for Pok√©mon battles, in a similar fashion to Spikes and Stealth Rock.
  • Shortpacked! uses it on Batman, relying on his intelligence for extra humor.
  • 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?
    [WAP!]

    Web Original 
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • The Bunsen Is a Beast episode "Beastern Standard Time" has Amanda Killman repeatedly hurt herself by stepping on rakes.
  • An episode of Chowder has Mung Daal step on a rake, which then slaps him for kissing her.
  • Classic Disney Shorts: 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.
  • 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.
  • Inspector Gadget: "Snakin' All Over" takes place at the dilapidated Firstpenny mansion. Not only does the gate comes off its hinges when Gadget touches it, but a loose board in the front porch, when he steps on it, swings up and hits him in the nose.
    Gadget: You'd think, with all his money, old Mr. Firstpenny could have spent a few dollars on maintenance.
  • Looney Tunes:
  • 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.
  • Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: Season 2 episode "Jeepers, It's the Creeper" has this happen during the musical chase scene, when Shaggy accidentally steps on a rake and gets smacked by it. Then the Creeper has the exact same thing happen to him, with the very same rake.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Animaniacs!" (not to be confused with the series of the same name), Plucky is cast as a farmer as a demonstration of how animated cartoons are made. After he pulls out a "comedy beet", he also does this.
  • 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.

    Real Life 
  • 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.

 
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Barry steps on the rake.

Barry repeatedly steps on the rake and gets numerous injuries.

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