Follow TV Tropes


Road Apples

Go To
"Now that is one big pile of shit."

"Bad guy falls in poop: classic element of physical comedy. Now comes the part where we throw our heads back and laugh."

Any comedy featuring animals, especially pets or barnyard animals, is required amongst the typical gags to make at least one poop joke, regardless of how lame, or poor, or tasteless, or yes, shitty it might be.

The Trope Namer is a euphemism for horse manure.

If eating said Road Apples or cow pies (a euphemism for cow manure) is involved, then the trope is I Ate WHAT?!.

Often a subset of Vulgar Humor.

One subtrope involving birds doing number 2 is the Bird-Poop Gag.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Shows up at least three or four times in Digimon Adventure, complete with raunchy noises taken out of the English dub (Digi-Sludge!).
  • Even Pokémon cannot resist: One first-season episode involving a fossil dig has Gary discover a fossilised Pokemon dropping. And despite what you're thinking, this was the opposite and in the English dub only. It was an Ammonite-type creature in the original.
  • In Kamikaze Girls, Momoko's daydreaming is cruelly interrupted by the realization that she just stepped in some cow poop.
  • In Azumanga Daioh, Osaka goes to Yukari to ask a question, which Yukari initially assumes will be about exams, but it turns out to be about what would happen if all the members of an American family stepped in dog poop and got all the way home without realizing it, since there's no universal American protocol regarding wearing shoes inside one's own home. That'll teach Yukari to tell Osaka, "Ask me anything!"
  • In Blade of the Immortal Manji's sister Machi finds a 'bean cake' on the ground and gives it to him. It is (of course) horse shit. A few panels later Manji absentmindedly takes a bite out of it, but being the titular immortal it doesn't seem to do him any lasting harm.
  • If there's a steaming pile on the ground, Naruto will step on it. That can be based on an accident Masashi Kishimoto suffered when he was a child, where he fell on a huge heap of manure.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka: There are a good number of gags involving Onizuka and his depositions. Once a teacher tried to punch him and Onizuka used like shield a cardboard box where he carried a sample of his feces to a medical examination. Cue the unfortunate teacher needing urgently a bath.
  • Gintama has a couple of these, typically delivered courtesy of Sadaharu. Amusingly, it's censored with Pixellation in most situations.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animation 
  • In Ice Age, Sid accidentally steps on glyptodont poo. Then wipes it on two rhinos' salad. Then gets some on one of the rhino's face. You can't blame the rhinos for wanting to kill Sid after that.
  • The chimps Phil and Mason on Madagascar talk about going to Lincoln Center to fling poo at Tom Wolfe.
  • In The Secret Life of Pets, Snowball accidentally poops himself while doing his Evil Laugh. A cat in the background then starts playing with the pellets.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The first long trailer for the Live-Action Adaptation of Alvin and the Chipmunks had an infamous scene involving coprophagy. Anyone with a pet probably already knows what this means; anyone else probably wouldn't want to know.
  • The same director ripped off his own movie in his next one, Hop. The difference is that it's the Easter Bunny, he defecates jelly beans and a human eats the droppings (as nature intended).
  • Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) has a dog belonging to one of the heroes eat the keys they desperately need. They feed the dog laxatives and take him for a walk. The pooch just happens to "go" when a group of people looking to kill the heroes show up, and they're so disgusted by the man digging through (presumably runny) dog poop that they run off.
  • In the movie K-9, Jim Belushi's character decides to teach the dog who's boss by locking him in a walk-in pantry overnight. Fast forward to the next morning, and it is discovered that the dog has won the argument in its own way.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • As seen in the image atop this page, the first film heaped a great big steaming pile of shit at the protagonists. Dr. Ellie Sattler went elbow-deep in it, too. The trike's excrement isn't really played for laughs, however — the animal's gastrointestinal distress is due to the poisonous plants and berries placed around its paddock, and is one of the first (of many) signs that the Park wasn't as well-designed as its creators thought.
    • Jurassic Park III has the protagonists going after a cellphone in a pile of dino dung (said phone was on one of the pilots that had gotten eaten).
  • In one scene in Willow, the protagonist and Madmartigan are arguing, until the latter steps in what looks like dog doo. Cue an Oh, Crap! expression from both of them, as they know it's not from a dog, it's from a troll, which means those dangerous monsters are probably around. (And it just goes downhill from there...)
  • The chipmunk Pip in Enchanted lets one out when he sees the villain's henchman at a bar, lacking the benefit of brown pants or for that matter any at all.
  • All three of the Back to the Future films have at least one scene where a villain ends up covered with manure. (It was a Running Gag for the franchise.)
  • Problem Child 2 has Nippy, Big Ben's dog, being snapped out of Junior's botched trance by a brand new dog food known as Chow Down. Its main side effect is Nippy leaving behind a very big turd afterwards.
  • American Wedding has Stifler following a dog, picking up some turds, pretending they're truffles, and eating them to cover the fact he lost the wedding ring.
  • In Sleeper, an electronically rehabilitated Woody Allen is oriented to his new futuristic home, including a robotic Scottie dog ("Woof, woof! Hello, I'm Rags!"). Allen asks "Is he housebroken, or is he going to leave little batteries all over?"
  • In Joe Dirt Joe describes to a DJ host about his travels where at one point he found what he thought was a meteor that had crashed near him. He pulls it along his travels, even eating off it at one point before taking it to an astronomer to confirm its real. Unfortunately for him he finds out its not a meteor but a big turd ball from an airplane that froze during is waste descent.
  • The Shawshank Redemption has a scene where the supporting characters are searching for rocks that Andy can carve. One brings one up and asks what kind of stone it is, only to be told it's petrified horse dung.
  • Pink Flamingos ends with a notable example of this. Using real dog feces.
  • In Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye steps in something in the barn at the end of his dance for "If I Were A Rich Man". He casts a reproachful look at the heavens, presumably thinking that God decided to take him down a peg.
  • In The Smurfs, Grouchy lands in a candy dish full of blue M&Ms which he thinks are "Smurf droppings" before he eats them.
  • Jar Jar Binks steps into "icky-icky goo" when arriving to Mos Espa in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
  • In Caveman Gold Digger Lana is dumped by Dogged Nice Guy Atouk into a big pile of Dinosaur crap at the end.
  • There's a scene in the '90s Black Beauty film where he's brought into his owner's house so she can paint a picture of him. He poops in the house.
  • In George of the Jungle, Lyle faceplants in a large pat of elephant dung, prompting his native guides to engage in a contractually obligated round of hearty laughter.
  • In Petticoat Planet, Steve ignores the mayor's advice to watch his step, trips down the stairs, and face plants in a pile of horse manure in the street.

  • Stephanie Plum has a dog, Bob. He eats everything. Stephanie has a mortal enemy, Joyce. Joyce has a lawn. Joyce is not amused.
  • This trope forms the entire plot of the children's book The Mole Who Knew it was None of his Business, as the titular animal questions everyone from beetles to birds to horses to find out who accidentally did their "business" on his head. Surprisingly, for a picture book about poop it restrains from vulgarity and is pretty damn funny. Now available in a "plop-up" edition.
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, in Leona the Unicorn Fairy's book, a goblin falls into a pile of horse manure at a stable and sprains his ankle.
  • In Petter och de upproriska grisarna (Petter and the Rebellious Pigs) by Ulf Stark dog shit is the important part of the chapter where the boys steal the unpaid wages. (The factory owner refused to pay his workers because of some prolonged dispute, and the boys decided to steal the cash and give it to the union.) First Staffan stepped into dog shit on their way to the office. Then they discussed at length how many dogs there were in Sweden and in their town in particular and how much shit do those dogs drop. And how clean their pet pig is. Then Staffan was busy working on the safe and Petter had nothing to do, but feel the stench from Staffan's shoe fill the whole room. Then they had to hide in the wardrobe and were found thanks to the stench. (The boys managed to escape unrecognized and with money.)
  • The index of The Stinky Cheese Man has a fake entry for a story titled "The Boy Who Cried 'Cow Patty'."
  • The World of Poo by Miss Felicity Beadle (actually Sir Terry Pratchett) is all about this, with a young boy who decides to start a poo collection and find poo from all the animals in Ankh-Morpork.

    Live-Action TV 
  • M*A*S*H has Colonel Potter's introduction to his horse end with a "tiptoe through the tulips".
  • The Firefly episode "Safe" sees the crew smuggling a "cunningly concealed herd of cattle" to another planet, with Simon stepping in a cow patty on his way out of the ship. Later, Mal mutters as he is stepping around the cow patties, "This is the last time... last time with cows..."
  • Truth in Television: A certain well-known incident involving a baby elephant in the Blue Peter studio.
  • In a famous episode of To Tell the Truth, Garry Moore literally had a mess on his hands when a guest brought an armadillo into the studio.
  • On The Office (US), Andy and Angela are touring Dwight's farm in the hope of staging their wedding there. Andy steps in animal dung in the barn, which is to be expected, and then steps in some more in Dwight's kitchen.
  • A famous TV blooper has Red Skelton on his live show doing a bit with a cow, who lets go on camera - for a long time. Red quips "No ad-libbing!" to her.
    • It was also done on other shows, most famously I've Got a Secret. The week after, however, is another story.
      • "...about 6,000 people in the audience began to go... (mooing noises) 'Hey Garry, where's your cow?'"
  • In one episode of The Sopranos, Ralph purchases a racehorse. His mistress, Valentina La Paz, tricks him into stepping into horse manure; partly as a prank to make her and the others laugh and partly because according to superstition, accidentally stepping in horse dung is a sign of good luck.
  • Mark Evanier relates a hilarious story of his experience as head writer for the ill-fated variety series Pink Lady and Jeff. He realized that he could ask the producers for anything for a sketch and they would get it for him, so he went a bit crazy and asked for a live elephant. Long story short, the elephant did a little improvising during the taping, to general hilarity. Read it here.
  • Even the sober-toned Planet Earth documentary series couldn't resist showing its cave episode's film crew, marveling at how they've just spent days filming the world's largest pile of bat poop.
  • Mucking the stables is close to being a Once an Episode thing on Merlin.
  • Not seen, but referenced in The Drew Carey Show when Lewis and Oswald mention that "If his complaint about road apples holds up, we're going to Disney Land!"

  • The Tragically Hip's album Road Apples.
    • There was also a Tragically Hip tribute band in the 90s with the name Road Apples.

    Myths & Religion 
  • This is Older Than Print. Medieval people believed in a creature called the bonnacon, which could...just read it, okay? This creature appears as an enemy in La-Mulana.
  • From Classical Mythology we have the Augean Stables. So full of animal crap that Hercules was needed to clean them up, as one of his Twelve Labors.

  • The "Joe's Diner" mode from The Flintstones ends with a large pterodactyl flying overhead and releasing a giant dropping that engulfs the diner.

  • Cake: El Hornito Pastelero (Cake: The Cake-making Little Oven), a mock toy commercial (in Spanish) from the now defunct Mexican radio station Radioactivo 98.5. At first you'd think that it's just a toy oven for baking mini cakes, except that the "cakes" are implied to be something else entirely:
    "Place your cakes on the floor in strategic places, and smear all the fun watching how your family and little buddies walk around hopping on one foot looking for grass and puddles!"
    Mom: It smells weird in here...
    Dad: What do you mean "weird"?
    Mom: Yeah, weird... stinky... BLEUGHT!

    Video Games 
  • It seems that Some are involved in the certain later levels in an Xbox 360 Indie game Maid_San's Caving Adventure
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day has more than a few jokes about animal feces, even if you don't count the Great Mighty Poo as an animal.
    • One level has you turned into a vampire bat and you can only fight by pooping on things. It's described as the end result (heh) of all the antigravity chocolate you'd eaten previously.
  • In Dragon Quest VIII, one of the items you can get is a 'cowpat'. When you 'use' the item, it says "Hero grips the cowpat tightly. Hero deeply regrets his decision."
    • These have actually appeared as useless items since Dragon Quest IV. In the NES version of that game they were actually called Road Apples, although this was mainly due to Nintendo's censorship policies that prevented them from calling them anything else.
    • In Dragon Quest IX, you can throw a "cowpat" on some poor guy's fire. Needless to say, he doesn't appreciate it.
  • Similarly, in Animal Crossing, fossils can be dug up, such as trilobites, the Peking Man, a dinosaur track, a dinosaur egg, and... dino droppings. So close...
  • World of Warcraft has a reference to the Gone in 60 Seconds bit above, where you have to lead a felhound around and kill demon pigs, then rummage through the...leftovers... to find the keys to a shredder.
    • World of Warcraft loves to do this. Three different quests involving handling or looking through poop, and there's another where you eat seeds that are supposed to be planted in a farmer's field. Guess how you get them back.
    • As of Cataclysm, monkey pets, gorilla NPCs, and Ogres have an attack called "Fling Filth". It's exactly what it sounds like, and the spell description ends off with "How rude."
  • Dinosaur King has dinosaur feces (yes, it's called that in game) as something you can dig up. They sell for a very high price.
  • Fossil Fighters also has fossilized droppings, but they're so worthless they barely even qualify as Vendor Trash.
  • Breath of Fire IV actually has a variant of this as an integral part of a Game Plot fetch-quest chain.
    • Specifically, you have to be knocked out, go to the dream world where the fairies live, run out monsters who have invaded their homes...for which you receive a fresh, steaming "Fairie Drop" as a reward (complete with aforementioned fairie relieving hirself in the bushes to give it to you and even saying at the end "Wow, that was a big one!" Ewww...) This is so that a broken sword can be reforged (the fairie poo is a magical component) and a party member can be sprung out of prison. (And yes, the Drunken Master of the party even explicitly states in horror that you're carrying around a piece of fairie shit.)
  • In the world of Grim Fandango, racing on giant cats is a celebrated sport (much like horse racing), and the player gets to visit a cat race track in Rubacava...and discover the giant cat litterbox behind it.
  • In Blue Dragon, there is a race of enemies called the Poo Snake. Three guesses what they look like. A large one of them even uses a flatulence attack.
    • There's a Mecha-Dinosaur boss that has a large one of these as a minion in the boss fight. If said poo snake dies, the dinosaur...umm...replaces it.
    • Enemies will also sometimes leave behind droppings when they are defeated, and the heroes can actually search through it to find treasure.
  • Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist requires you to collect horse farts and pick up a cow patty.
  • In Ōkami you can drop a weaponized goddesspat.
  • In Glitch, piggies and batterflys produce dung, though it's generally useful.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword features the return of Guays, previously seen in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. However, in this game, instead of dive-bombing you to attack they... take craps on your head. Huh.
  • Used in the Dragon Age II DLC Mark of the Assassin. During the Wyvern Hunt, Hawke can examine wyvern dung to aid in the quest.
    Fenris: Aww, Hawke stepped in the poopy.
  • Don't Starve has manure and guano, which are occasionally dropped by various creatures. They're actually incredibly useful items, serving as both fuel for campfires and fertilizer for gardens.
  • In Luigi's Mansion 2, Luigi steps in dog doo (or its equivalent) the first time he encounters the Polterpup.
  • In the Old West chapter of Live A Live, you can find horse dung and have it set up as a Booby Trap.
  • Weaponized in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. One of the abilities that D-Horse can gain when leveling up his Relationship Values is the ability to crap on command. While seemingly just there to be funny, it's actually capable of causing enemy vehicles to skid out of control and crash if they drive over it.
  • In Pokémon Sun and Moon, there are a bunch of Pokémon "surprises" in the shopping mall in Hau'oli City, and a sidequest involves finding all of them and putting them in a bag without leaving the mall or going into any of its stores. Doing so gets you the TM for the Round attack. To keep the game family-friendly though, the turds are not actually shown in the game; they are depicted as invisible piles of sparkles.
  • In West of Loathing, you can gain 1 XP each for shoveling horse manure (or, at Halloway's Hideout, squirrel droppings). There's also a destination called "The Big Apple"... let's just say it's not New York.
  • In Subnautica, the only creatures to produce noticeable dung are Sea Treaders. Treader dung is one of the best fuels for the Bioreactor if you can secure a steady supply.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • The Low End Mac website uses "Road Apple" for the worst Apple Macintosh models. Bought a Performa 6200? It's no better than horse excrement.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has done a couple.
  • My Gym Partner's a Monkey occasionally does poop jokes - not surprising, considering it's about a school for animals. Examples are Jake eating bat guano, Mr. Hornbill (a rhinoceros) offering the lunch lady a "rhino pie" he made himself, and the Animas Rock from the You Mean "Xmas" episode "Have a Joyous Little Animas".
  • In Chuck Jones' "Drip Along Daffy", Western Hero Daffy ends up declaring, "I told you I'd clean up this one-horse town!" and we see he's been made the town street cleaner. Sidekick Porky (who's been made sheriff) tells us, "Lucky for him it is a one-horse town!". This last line gets cut from TV syndication nowadays.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: The very polite and well-spoken chimp Mason is still keen to fling faeces at people in one episode, claiming it's "traditional". He also mentioned doing so in the original movie, Madagascar.
  • When Earthworm Jim gets his supersuit cleaned, he comments that it's as clean and fresh as a country road. Peter Puppy replies, "Evidently, you've never been to the country. Does the term "Horse apples" mean anything to you?
  • In the Transformers G1 Fantasy Kitchen Sink episode "A Decepticon Raider In King Arthur's Court'', a seagull lets loose on Starscream while flying over him. In addition, seagull droppings are an unexpected part of Beorht's recipe for "dragon's bane" (aka gunpowder).
  • Averted in the Ren & Stimpy short titled "Road Apples", as no poop is actually shown, but you do get skunk milk and Wilbur Cobb.
    • The Banned Episode "Man's Best Friend" has George Liquor giving Stimpy a "Lawn Cigar" chew toy.
    • A scene cut from "Sven Hoek" implies that Sven and Stimpy are playing with turds from Stimpy's litter box. ("Look, I'm a juggler!" "I'm a sword swallower!")
      • And also:
  • In the Code Lyoko episode, "I'd Rather Not Talk About It", Jim and Jeremie are pursued by XANA-controlled wolves; Jim remembers and mentions a trick in the army where he masked his scent using dung. Jeremie shoots the idea down quickly. (Not that it was feasible anyway.)
  • In the Xiaolin Showdown episode "Big as Texas", the heroes are doing a cattle drive when Raimundo falls off of his horse.
    Raimundo: What did I just land in?
    Clay: That would be a cow pie.
    Raimundo: No, I know my pies. Pies have cherry, or apple, or rhubarb. This is no pie!

    Real Life 
  • The most expensive coffee in the world, the Kopi Luwak, is made from coffee beans that have been eaten and excreted by Asian Palm Civets. Thinkgeek sells this coffee, but doesn't even try to cover up where it comes from, possibly to avoid I Ate WHAT?!.

Alternative Title(s): Animal Poop


Example of: