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Runs with Scissors

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"Beware o' running with scissors, or any other pointy object. 'Tis all good fun, til somebody loses an eye."
Billy Bones, Muppet Treasure Island

One of the basic safety rules we learn as children is "never run with scissors." Thus, references to this rule and instances of characters running with scissors show up in the media all the time.

Do Not Try This at Home, obviously. Please. Related to Shear Menace, which is using scissors as a weapon.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Future Diary, Reisuke attempts to kill Yuno this way and make it look like an accident. Lucky she had a pillow handy to shield herself.
  • The dragon Scissor Runner in Fairy Tail is based on this concept, being very dangerous and having a head that looks like a pair of serrated scissors.

    Comic Books 
  • In Issue 12 of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Robotnik uses a time machine to send Sonic into the past. Later on, just as he's about to do a Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, the rest of the Freedom Fighters attack to take the machine back. Robotnik cries, "Egad!... I can't escape— Mother told me never to run with scissors!"

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Happy Endings 2005, Charley has a scar on his chest from when he ran with scissors at age six.
  • Billy Bones's Final Speech in Muppet Treasure Island:
    Billy: Beware...
    Jim: The one-legged man?
    Billy: Aye. But also beware o' running with scissors, or any other pointy object. 'Tis all good fun, til somebody loses an eye.
  • In How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch invokes this trope by giving a child a "present" (a saw) and telling them, "Be sure to run real fast with it!"

  • The title of one of Augusten Burroughs's memoirs is Running With Scissors.
  • In Shades of Grey, to "run with scissors" is a set expression for "doing something incredibly dangerous."
  • In Thief of Time, Susan yells at the Death of Rats that there's no running with scythes. It's an obvious reference to this trope, as she's a schoolteacher who encourages her young students to treat scissors like they're some sort of volatile doomsday device.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Frasier did it on an episode of Cheers once to prove he was "dangerous."
  • During a silent comedy sequence in in Frasier, Niles starts to dash across the room with a pair of scissors, but then remembers what his mother told him and moves more carefully.
  • A very old edition of David Letterman had him and Paul Schaffer using this gag to explain how Paul's band "The World's Most Dangerous Band" got their name... basically they cut to a shot of Paul running with a pair of scissors. Just to drive the point home, they get stopped, and told that what they're doing is very dangerous.
  • An episode of Oliver Beene had a boy with one testicle. Guess how he lost it.
  • A round of new cable channels on Late Night With Conan O' Brien around 2004 had the "Running with Scissors Channel." It showed people running around with scissors... then everyone injured.
  • An episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Zack and Cody are looking to find the food critic who constantly wears disguises. They find an asian man with a grey beard and assume he is the critic, so they try to vacuum the beard off, but after discovering the beard's real and the vacuum can't be turned off, Cody goes to get the scissors and starts walking. Zack tells him to hurry, but Cody says he can't because mom said not to run with scissors.
  • Multiple children's shows have reinforced this lesson. Most have been non-graphic, some have used puppets, but all of these have stopped short of showing or depicting anything graphic happening. However, there was at least one online account recalling a safety lesson delivered on a local version of Romper Room, said show broadcast sometime in the late 1970s. The exchange was said to have involved the host getting a call from "the fire chief" and (after a fake phone conversation) explaining that his department had just responded to a call where a little boy was running with scissors in the house and that he accidentally poked both of his baby sister's eyes out, and that she likely lost both of her eyes. The lesson, which scarred the kids for life (according to the online account) was, of course, "don't run with scissors."
  • A (ahem) Running Gag on the Seattle sketch-comedy Almost Live! was to start episodes with an announcement that the program was preempting some other (fictional) show. One of these was Running With Scissors, which evidently consisted entirely of a group of people cheerfully running around waving pairs of scissors.
  • In Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, one of the many pieces of bad advice Paula gives to Rebecca during "Face Your Fears" is to try running with scissors. Later during the song, a background choir of children appears, all carrying large prop scissors to continue the theme.
  • An episode of Stargate SG-1 starts with the squad discussing a potential destination:
    Carter: P4X 884 looks like an untouched paradise, sir.
    Teal'c: Appearances may be deceiving.
    O'Neill: One man's ceiling is another man's floor.
    Jackson: A fool's paradise is a wise man's hell.
    O'Neill: Never run with... scissors?
    Hammond: Were you trying to make a point, Major?

  • The music video for Green Day's "Warning" depicts a young man who spends his entire day defying "conventional wisdoms" of various types. Towards the start of the video, he runs down a hallway, picks up a pair of scissors that are hanging up on a peg on the way and sets them back down on another peg at the end of the hall and he runs the scissors back to the original peg when he returns home at the end of his day.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic put out an album in the late 1990s titled Running with Scissors. The cover photo depicted Al doing the titular activity on a professional track (as #27, naturally). The liner art shows that the only person not seriously injured in the event was Al.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • One Dilbert cartoon had Dogbert giving bad advice for a discounted price to the Pointy-Haired Boss. One panel pictured the Boss running with scissors. A different series of strips had Dogbert running a class for people Too Dumb to Live (ultimately the entire class was killed during a lesson in refolding maps); he asked one participant to pass a pair of scissors to another, only to scream "DON'T RUN! DON'T RUN!" The participant doing the passing blamed the other participant's death on Dogbert for not giving him left-handed scissors.
  • Similar to the Cheers example above, Jon Arbuckle in Garfield once did this because Ellen likes men who live dangerously.
  • The Far Side: In one cartoon, a new employee at a scissors factory is curious about an elderly woman watching over the production line from an elevated chair. An older employee says: "You must be new here. That's Miss Crutchfield, and she's there to make sure nobody runs with scissors."
    • And another where a man is no longer permitted to go running with an anthropomorphic pair of scissors at the track.


    Video Games 
  • The Sims 2 had a downloadable object that was a large pair of scissors. If you forced the Sim to run with them, he would be killed.
    • Needless to say, this was a fairly popular way to kill Sims, either for malicious purposes or to fulfill a Knowledge Sim's desire to be saved from the Grim Reaper, being quick, having a high success rate, and lacking in the possibility for collateral damage.
  • A World of Warcraft one-shot comic references this as the reason Rend Blackhand lost his eye.
  • The creators of the 'Postal series, Running With Scissors, were named after this trope. Scissors are also an in-game item in both Postal 2 and Postal 4'' that you can run with to invoke it.
  • Soulcalibur references this with one of Voldo's attacks, where he steps forward three times while clashing his claw-weapons together.
  • Hairdresser Octopus from Parappa The Rapper flails around giant scissors when in his red hypnotized state.
  • Numpty, as an athlete, does this with his friends during the minigame "Running With Scissors" in the second Dumb Ways to Die game. In order to win, players must tap the screen so he finishes in first and cuts the ribbon at the finish line. Failure causes him to trip and fall on his scissors.
  • A Player Tic in Counter-Strike: Equipping the knife grants slightly faster movement speed compared to equipping a firearm. Given that there's no option to simply run with everything holstered the knife is the lightest weapon one can have active.
  • River City Girls: The Scissors accessory that reduces Agility, but increases Attack, by 2, presumably because you need to be careful when carrying it around, but it's dangerous to your enemies too.


    Web Original 
  • Smosh: Ian in "Anthony Gets a Haircut".
  • The Spoony Experiment: Spoony does this in his video review of Bloodwings: Pumpkinhead's Revenge (and by this extension, the film it was based on), satirizing the heroes' careless thrillseeking and eventually winding up with the scissors stuck in his eye.
  • Given as the explanation of what happened to Tristan's original voice in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series. Not his voice actor, his voice.
    Joey: Tristan's Voice, have you been drinking?
    Trisan's Voice: I can't remember, because I'm so drunk!
    Joey: Hey, wait! Don't run with those scissors!
    Tristan's Voice: You're not the boss of me! [trip] OUCH!
    Joey [completely deadpan]: Oh no, he's dead.
  • The Strangerhood has Durnt running with giant scissors. He impaled Sam's gall bladder with them.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Venture Bros., Dean Venture is shown to have died by running with scissors and tripping. The Death Montage shows that they are so much death prone that even ridiculously safe activities like flying a kite has killed both Hank and Dean at least once.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends:
    • In the Pilot Movie House of Bloo's, Frankie admonishes one friend about running with Scissors — Scissors being another imaginary friend.
    • In "Foster's Goes to Europe", when Bloo decides to stay at Foster's with Madame Foster instead of going to Europe, Frankie calls for a babysitter. Bloo objects, saying a babysitter would cramp his style, but Frankie says there's no way her grandmother can be trusted with looking after him. Madame Foster agrees with her, and is shown running while holding a pair of scissors.
  • There was a Dexter's Laboratory short-short where Dexter advised Dee Dee never to run with scissors... unless you have the proper safety equipment.
  • In one episode of Robot Chicken featured Cobra try to ape G.I. Joe's And Knowing Is Half the Battle segments. Storm Shadow was going to do a "don't run with scissors message," but he pointed out that he ran with katanas all the time. Then a kid on set runs with scissors, trips and falls on them. Storm Shadow promptly apologized.
  • In one episode of South Park, the boys visit the Island of Misfit Mascots commune and meet "Oinky, the Run-Around-With-Scissors Pig". When one of the boys points out that's bad advice, they're informed that it's why Oinky is on the island.
  • According to the Evil Con Carne opening, this is how General Skarr got his scar.
  • The regular villain of Dog City challenged a Darker and Edgier villain to a "Senseless Showdown" to determine who would take the title of Dog City's crime boss. Running with scissors was one of the regular's "senseless" moves.
  • In an episode of American Dad!, Steve becomes a children's book author and Stan advises him to play the bad boy in order to attract attention. His "bad boy" actions include various acts of Poke the Poodle, including this.
  • In Freakazoid!, the "Hall of Nifty Things to Know" contains a pedestal-mounted statue of the Freak not running with scissors. Nifty!
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy special "Underfist", when Fred Fredburger asks Hoss Delgado if monsters are the reason he lost his eye, the latter sarcastically responds that his mother told him not to run with scissors.
  • Pam in Pop Pixie runs and flies all over the place with her trusty scissors, ready to cut up stuff whenever she needs to. She generally uses them for good, though she can get a little overeager when cutting things up.
  • Rugrats (1991): In "Officer Chuckie", Chuckie becomes obsessed with enforcing safety rules and punishes Lil for running while holding a block decorated with a picture of scissors.
  • In one Family Guy cutaway, Chris runs around with a pair of scissors until Peter tells him that he runs like a girl, causing Chris to stab himself in the neck and instantly die. The scene then cuts to his funeral, where Peter put him in a dress and says that he would've been buried in a suit if he ran like a man.