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Soda Can Shakeup

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Good thing he didn't drop it, then he'd've fizzed in his pants.
A classic scenario involving soda pops, or other carbonated drinks. Someone purposely or accidentally shakes the yet unopened can (or bottle), resulting in the unlucky person opening the can getting a shower of soda sprayed into their face.

Truth in Television: carbonated drinks are made by forcing carbon dioxide gas into a beverage under pressure. In an unopened bottle, there is an equilibrium between the carbon dioxide that has been dissolved into the liquid and the gas floating at the very top of the bottle. Opening the bottle results in a bit of fizzing as the pressure that has been keeping the gas dissolved is released. If the bottle is shaken however, some of the carbon dioxide that has been floating at the top of the bottle gets suspended in the liquid. This extra carbonation stays in larger (though not necessarily visible) bubbles than the already-dissolved carbonation. As soon as someone opens the bottle at this point, the large bubbles will rise very quickly to the liquid's surface, resulting in the soda shower.

However, as with many things fiction tends to exaggerate the power of the exploding suds. In extreme cases, characters may even weaponize a shaken soda can for propulsion or attacking.

Compare Unscrewed Salt Shaker, another meal-related prank, and Soda-Candy 'Splosion, a similarly eruptive reaction involving soft drinks.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Najica Blitz Tactics: In Episode 3, Najica asks Lila to open a champagne bottle. Lila doesn't know how to open it so Najica tells her to think it by herself and read the bottle's label. Upon seeing it contains carbonated gas, Lila shakes it up, and ends up splashing herself with it.
  • Sakura Trick: In episode 9 Kaede attempts this with Yuzu, but accidentally gives her the wrong one; Kaede's own drink sprays in her face when she opens it.
  • Skip Beat!: Kyoko and Kanae need to work together to promote a soda advertisement but their original idea had been taken. Kyoko then decides to vigorously shake the soda cans so hard that one sprays it at Kanae in a use of ad-libbing.
  • You're Under Arrest!: In an episode, Natsumi and Miyuki are roped by the Scooter Mama into helping her recover her stolen scooter (and do her usual grocery shopping on the way). At one point, she offers Natsumi a can of soda (pretty shaken up from being on the back of the patrol car), which she stupidly opens and gets splashed all over her face and hair.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: In an early arc, Joey gets in a fight with a gamer Yugi beat in a fighting game, the gamer forcing Joey to fight while biting down on a knife's blade. After dodging several punches that would have sent the knife into the back of his throat, Joey melodramatically states that he'd made a promise to a friend... to get him a can of soda, and fires it at the gamer's eyes now that it's been nicely shaken up by his dodging.

  • SCTV's Bob and Doug McKenzie, on their comedy album The Great White North, play a game called "Beer Hunter", which is essentially Russian Roulette with beer cans (one is shaken).

    Comic Books 
  • The Beano: One Bash Street Kids strip had the kids play a game where each one has to open a can of cola next to their face, one can having been previously shaken. Danny gets the shaken can, but as he opens it, their teacher accidentally gets in the way of the spray.
    • Another instance in the Beano annual 2015, where Sidney is trying to demonstrate how diet cola will explode like a rocket when exposed to a soft mint, his sister, Toots is holding the bottle and shakes it, so when Sidney opens the bottle, it goes all up in his face.
  • Billy & Buddy:
    • In one comic, dad sends Boule and Bill to get him new bottles of beer, but realized too late he should have instructed Boule not to let Bill carry the bag with the bottles. Bill convinces Boule to let him carry the bottles home, and on the way there he does everything he can to shake them. When dad opens a bottle, the contents get sprayed into his face, much to Bill's amusement and the annoyance of Boule (who now knows why Bill was so determined to carry the bottles).
    • In another, dad asks Boule to get him a bottle of soda from the fridge. Boule is listing to his portable radio, and dancing along with the music all the way from the fridge to dad's room, so by the time he gets there the bottle has inadvertently been shaken to the point dad gets sprayed as soon as he opens it.
  • In "Jimmy Olsen, Juvenile Delinquent!" in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #40, Jimmy goes undercover in a gang of juvenile delinquents. The practical joker of the gang's current shtick is shaking up bottles of soda water and spraying people with the contents. This causes trouble when he does it to Jimmy, as it washes the black dye out of his hair and exposes him as an imposter.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • In Chapter 3 of Final Stand of Death, Spur gets covered in lemon-line soda while trying to open the bottle, which explode instead. United and Hawk thought about telling Spur that the bottle was a twist-top, while Hornet and Redd were busy with Frankenstein's monster.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Silent Movie exaggerates this: The climax involves Mel Funn and his pals using shaken-up Coke cans as grenades to fight off the evil Mr. Engulf and his minions. Mel even opens a can with his teeth at one point, and Engulf's right-hand-man leaps onto a Coke can to protect his boss from the explosion.
  • Superman: The Movie. When Lois Lane first meets Clark Kent, she grabs a bottle of carbonated liquid that he's trying to open, bangs it against a table several times, and hands it back to him. When he opens it, it fizzes up and spills on him. The fact that she did it deliberately is made clear by the dialogue.
    Lois Lane: Gosh, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to shake it up like that!
    Clark Kent: Oh, of course not, Lois. I mean, why would anyone want to make a total stranger look like a fool?
  • The Flash: While getting a beer for Iris West, Barry Allen opens his apartment fridge and sees a handful of disgusting, expired food items and no beer. His solution is to covertly phase through the wall and steal beer from his neighbor. Only when he opens the beer it squirts all over him, as doing this trick requires him to super-vibrate to a molecular level.

  • Angela Nicely: In "The Big Bike Ride!", the girls try to shake up a bottle of their homemade lemonade to make it fizzier, but it ends up spurting everywhere.
  • In one of the Just books, the story "Lemonade Roulette" involves Andy and Danny shaking up one can of lemonade and each drinking a can to see if it's the shaken-up one. However, some VIP's come over, also wanting a can of lemonade...
  • In Night Watch Discworld, Vimes mentions the "ginger-beer trick" as a way of coercing prisoners to talk—you shake up the bottle of ginger-beer and stick it up their nose. He doesn't have to actually do it; the threat alone, while holding a bottle of ginger-beer, is enough to get someone to rat.
  • One of the magic tricks described in Penn & Teller Play With Their Food has the magician openly shake up one of two cans of soda, open the shaken can themself with no explosive result, and then make the unshaken can blow up all over their volunteer.
  • Weaponized in The Underland Chronicles when Gregor shakes up a root beer can to fight off a Giant Spider.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played with on Better Call Saul, as Howard Hamlin demonstrates to an HHM intern how to open a shaken can of soda so as to avoid the usual explosive results (place it on a flat surface and rotate it to get the bubbles to cling to the sides of the can). He says he learned the trick from Chuck, who did it out of habit every time he opened a soda can. Given who his brother is, it's not hard to imagine why he'd have such a habit.
  • Sergeant Micklin of the Black Sheep Squadron has a Running Gag about getting canned beer delivered to Rabaul during wartime. Micklin would always state, "I don't want my beer all shook up." Of course, the beer has been handled indelicately in transit, so Micklin gets spray and foam when his can is opened. This usually led to a frightened underling getting chased by one angry mechanic.
  • The Cosby Show: in one episode, Cliff gets a couple of cans of soda for himself and Claire, and shakes up the one he intended to give to Claire. But when he gets to the table, he realizes that he mixed them up, takes them back to the refrigerator and exchanges them for two unshaken cans. Then Denise goes to the fridge and grabs a can. Guess which one she picks.
  • In the Picture Day episode of Hank Zipzer, Hank attempts to take revenge on McKelty by taking a can of soda from McKelty's bag, shaking it, and putting it back in the bag. This backfires when McKelty happens to open the can while it is pointing at Hank, causing Hank to get soaked with soda just before his picture is taken.
  • Malcolm in the Middle features a I Know You Know I Know gag when Malcolm brings two cans of soda to Reese. Reese ends up getting one himself from the fridge, and still getting blasted.
  • Married... with Children: As Al mentions he'd sell his soul for the Super Bowl, the Devil appears to make a deal, freezing everyone but Al in time to negotiate in privacy. Just before the Devil unfreezes time, Al takes the beer can from Jeff's hand, shakes it, and puts it back in his hands.
  • The Professionals. In "Hijack", Lewis Collins appears to have been the victim of an on-set practical joke when he opens a can of soda and it sprays himself and the hotel waiter. As often with this series the scene is left in instead of being consigned to a blooper reel.
  • Shining Time Station: In "Mysterious Stranger", a thief has stolen Mr. Conductor's sketchpad, Stacy Jones' cap, and Schemer's comb. When Schemer finds out about the thief, his plan is to shake up a can of soda and spray it in its face to confuse it long enough for him to trap it in a net before calling the authorities. When Schemer demonstrates it to Dan, Becky, and Kara, he shakes the can up and opens it, causing it to spray him in the face.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?: During the game "Helping Hands", if there is anything carbonated on the table while Colin acts like Ryan's arms, expect Colin to pick it up and wave it around (often forcing Ryan to energetically or angrily holler at the other player). Colin then tends to open the item in the other player's or Ryan's face while being mostly safe from the results since Ryan is taller than him.
  • Zeke and Luther: In the episode "I, Skatebot", we learn that the titular duo has a soda can that they have been tumbling for years to open on a special event. They are forced to use it to stop an out of control robot. When opened, the can explodes like a bomb and obliterates the robot.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Paranoia, grenades can be hard to come by for the low-ranking Player Characters and enemy Mooks. There is a suitable replacement, however, Bouncy Bubble Beverage. The soda is so heavily carbonated that by shaking and throwing a can or bottle of it, the explosion is comparable to a grenade, complete with shrapnel. And, because B3 isn't considered a weapon, it's widely available to everyone.

    Video Games 
  • Get Amped: one of the accessories is a big soda can the user carries on their back. The gimmick of this accessory is that, as the user runs, the soda can will build up fizz; 3 of its special attacks will become stronger the more fizz it has built up: either firing a powerful burst of soda out of the can, or using the burst of soda as a propeller to rocket towards the ground.
  • Kirby Star Allies: Francisca has a water gun shaped like a soda bottle. She would shake it before firing a continuous stream of water.
  • One of the more (but not the most) obscure puzzles in The Longest Journey requires you to bypass a police patrolman with a dry throat by purchasing a carbonated drink, taking a subway across the entire town, putting the can into an old industrial paint shaker machine, then bringing it all the way back to the policeman. The moment he opens it, the drink sprays over his Powered Armor, immediately short-circuiting it and forcing him to retreat to the precinct to get it fixed.
  • Mario Party 8: The minigame "Shake It Up" has the players shake soda cans for a set amount of time, and whoever's can produces the highest geyser when it's opened is deemed the winner.
  • In Sonic Shuffle, the "Sonicola" mini-game involves Dr. Eggman shaking up a can of soda and hiding it in a vending machine, then hiding behind a bush when Sonic and his friends come to it. There are four players, but five cans of soda, meaning either one player will be unlucky enough to take the shaken can and get squirted by it, or all four players will get non-shaken cans and Eggman's plan will be foiled.
  • In South Park: Chef's Luv Shack, the "Soda Shake" mini-game involves Chef shaking up one of four identical cans of soda, then he moves the cans around. If you pick the shaken can, it squirts in your face and you get a bonus for picking it.
  • The 4.1.0 update to Splatoon 2 introduced a new sub weapon called the Fizzy Bomb, a mix between a soda can and a hand grenade that can be shaken by movement to increase how many times it explodes.
  • Tapper: Like its original Budweiser variant, the family-friendly Root Beer Tapper has a bonus game where the bartender plays a Shell Game with a bandit, using six cans of the beverage; the idea is to pick the one can the bandit did not shake to win a bonus. Choosing any one of the five cans that the bandit shakes up will invoke the trope's outcome (a beverage shower), along with the correct can highlighted.

    Web Animation 
  • In Happy Tree Friends episode Water Way To Go, Pop and Cub go to the seaside with some snacks, including a soda can, but in the process, Pop accidentally drops the box of snacks down some steps, shaking the can up. As such, when Pop goes to open it for Cub, it launches into his face like a mallet, knocking him out and badly bruising him.
  • Double subverted in The Lazer Collection 2: one guy is shaking up a can of soda, and the other guy is worried it will explode. The guy holding the can give it a quick flick and opens it, telling the other guy top to relax... then gets Lasered.
  • In Quake's episode of Marvel Rising Ultimate Comics, she uses her quake powers to discreetly shake Dugan's soda as he eats lunch, and it goes off in his face offscreen. At the end of the episode, she also does this prank to Iron Man. He complains that his armor will be sticky for weeks.

    Web Comics 
  • In one El Goonish Shive Q&A strip Chika opens a can of shrink soda which sprays all over Lisa.
    Chika: You didn't happen to ... inadvertently shake the case while getting it out of the cabinet, did you?
    Lisa: Well, if you want to get technical about how intentional it was, and my assuming you would tilt the can towards yourself...
  • In Penny and Aggie, Aggie pulls this prank on Penny by having Daphne distract Penny just as she's bought a can of soda from a school vending machine, then shaking the can so that Penny stains her designer clothes when she opens it. In response, Penny devises a number of humiliating Revenge schemes, none of which she gets the opportunity to launch.

    Web Video 
  • Star Wars Downunder. Caught without his lightsaber, Jedi knight Merve Bushwacker summons a can of beer using the Force, shakes it up and squirts the contents at a charging unyip.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: In "Maximum Hugh", Cindy finds out that Hugh's sudden athleticism at the parent/child picnic games is because of an experimental headband that Jimmy put on him, so she sabotages them by giving Hugh a "congratulatory" can of Purple Flurp that she shook up so the fizz can short out the headband.
  • In the Arthur episode "Meek for a Week", Brain compares a person cracking after suppressing their emotions to a soda can exploding after being shaken up.
  • In the Beavis and Butt-Head episode "Canned", the boys tried to cause this with an unopened can of root beer. It never did explode.
  • Camp Lazlo: In "Racing Slicks", the Jelly Beans' "secret weapon" for their go-kart is to use shaken-up cans of soda as propulsion. Unfortunately, they run out of fuel just before they can cross the finish line.
    Raj: Bad news, we are all out of Diet Petrol.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: P.O.P", this is how Numbuh 2 defeats Fizz. After Fizz dons a root beer powered battlesuit and incapacitates all the team except Numbuh 2, Numbuh 2 starts messing with the lever to the Conveyor Belt o' Doom that Fizz is on, causing him to be shook back and forth. This causes the soda in Fizz's suit to build up pressure, resulting in Fizz's armor exploding.
  • In the Dennis the Menace episode, "A Visitor from Outer Space", Dennis befriends an alien named Randar. Dennis takes Randar to his refrigerator for a snack, but all he finds are vegetables and cans of root beer. He gives a can of root beer to Randar, who shakes it up, causing it to spray him in the face.
  • In the Donald Duck cartoon "Bee at the Beach", Donald traps a bee inside his soda bottle. The bee bangs on the glass and sees how the bubbles form when the bottle shakes, so he stirs the soda with his stinger until the bubbles build up and pop the cap off, freeing him.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy has the episode "Ed N Seek" in which the Eds, after being able to hide in a game of hide-n-seek, pick the inside of the bush as a hiding spot, where they have all kinds of snacks, including soda pop, which the Eds use to spray each other in the faces after shaking up the cans. Of course, Ed ends up going overboard and sends the trio flying about twenty feet in the air right before they crash back down.
  • In Garfield and Friends, one of the short "Garfield Quickies" that is shown between episodes is an adaptation of this Garfield strip. Garfield shakes a can of soda and Jon notices, so he tries to spray it at Garfield, but it propelled backwards.
  • Subverted in Generation O!. Buzz is buying a soda when some bullies come to hit him. So he tries to weaponize his can by shaking it and aiming at the bullies, but opening it only results in the drink shooting a few centimeters away and falling to the ground.
  • Exploited in Horrible Histories, when Mo shakes up a bottle of sarsaparilla and sprays it at some mean cowboys.
  • Kipper: At the end of "The Picnic", after Pig and Arnold eat up his and Kipper's remaining picnic food, Tiger gets even by shaking up a can and offering it to Pig.
  • In one episode of Muppet Babies (1984), Scooter and Animal visit a futuristic park where they see an astronaut leaving behind his can of diet soda. When he blasts off without it, Animal takes himself and Scooter to the moon to give the can back. The astronaut gratefully takes the can, but as he's in the process of opening it, Scooter tries to tell him that Animal bounced across the moon's terrain with it:
    Scooter: Wait! I think he shook the...(the astronaut screams as the force from the can propels him across the horizon)...can.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode, "Comet Kermillian", Jeremy offers to get Candace a soda, but his little sister, Suzy gets her one instead. As Suzy despises Candace, when Candace opens the soda, it sprays in her face.
  • We don't see any payoff for it, but Rick of Rick and Morty at one point is seen idly shaking up a soda can and placing it back in the fridge while rummaging around for something else inside.
  • The second Rotten Ralph animated special, Not-So-Rotten Ralph (adapted from the book of the same name), has Ralph attempt to prank his cousin Percy by shaking up a can of soda before giving it to him. Unfortunately for Ralph, Percy anticipates his cousin's dirty trick and gets him in trouble by giving the soda can to Sarah's dad.
  • The Simpsons: In "So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show", Bart's April Fool's prank for Homer involves him shaking a can of Duff with a paint-mixer and planting it in the fridge. What follows is a fizz-explosion of epic proportions, enough to make a mushroom cloud and leave Homer hospitalized.
  • Steven Universe: Future: In "Bluebird", offering Steven a can of shook-up soda is one of the many pranks Bluebird Azurite (a fusion of two former enemies, Aquamarine and Eyeball Ruby) pulls on Steven to mess with him.
  • The TaleSpin episode "From Here To Machinery" has the robot pilot of Shere Khan's private plane fly directly into an air pirate ambush. The robot refuses to alter course and can electrify itself to prevent anyone else from displacing it. Baloo smartly weaponizes a bottle of soda pop by shaking it vigorously, then aiming the spray at the robot. All that sticky fluid shorts out the robot's electrics, leaving it inert. Baloo then takes control and outflies the pirates to safety.
  • An accidental version occurs in the short, "Cross-Country Kitty" from the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Furrball Follies". Mary Melody takes Furrball to Miami to get his mind off of eating Sweetie. When Mary gets Furrball a can of soda, Furrball races back to ACME Acres to pursue Sweetie. Due to being jittery from racing back to Miami before Mary notices he's gone, Furrball ends up shaking the can and it sprays in his face when he opens it.
  • Tom and Jerry:
    • In Salt Water Tabby, Jerry gets stuck in a soda bottle, so Tom shakes it and the resulting blast sends him flying.
    • In The Little Orphan, Nibbles pops open a champagne bottle, and the carbonated blast propels it toward Tom and sends him flying into the china cabinet.
    • In Mouse in Manhattan, Jerry accidentally gets stuck in a bottle of champagne, and the resulting pressure sending him flying into a dark alley.
    • In High Steaks, Jerry shakes up a bottle of soda to hit Tom with the deluge, but he ducks and it instead ruins his master's steaks. Believing Tom's at fault, the master shakes up another bottle and shoves it down his throat, the resulting explosion leaving his body bottle-shaped.
  • In The Wild Thornberrys, Eliza tries to do this to her cousin, Tyler, as an April Fool's prank. He quickly catches on and switches their cans when she's not looking, causing Eliza to get squirted in the face instead.


Video Example(s):


Overshaken Duff Can

As part of an April Fool's prank on Homer, Bart shakes up a beer can so it'll spray in his face. Unfortunately, due to overshaking it with a paint mixer, it ends up exploding.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / SodaCanShakeup

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