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X on a Stick

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Ah, the staff. Very versatile if you just add another thing to it.

Of course, this trope isn't limited to just weapons. "On a stick" is a tradition of fair foods; including Twinkie on a Stick, Porkchop on a Stick, Ramen on a Stick... one year, the local internet access company handed out their startup discs as "Internet on a Stick".

In RPGs and table top games, a cheap, repeatable, easy to use version of a normally limited-use ability or item is also sometimes referred to as "x on a stick". This may be rooted in the Dungeons & Dragons crafting system, which allows you to literally put useful spells "on a stick" by creating a "wand of x"- thus allowing anyone with basic magical item training to cast Boring, but Practical spells like "summon food and drink" and the wizard to instead focus on casting more intellectually stimulating spells. Like fireball.

If sticking something on a stick doesn't solve your problem, try sticking it on a Bigger Stick.

See also Double Weapon when you add more than one thing to it and Motivation on a Stick. Compare with Instant Chucks.


    open/close all folders 

  • One advertisement for a lollipop described it as "a veritable banquet on a stick."
  • One of the ads in the 2013 Super Bowl was a Tide detergent ad with a guy who got a Joe Montana shaped stain on his football jersey. In his Imagine Spot, people are coming to see the stain, and there's a guy selling "stain on a stick".
  • One ad for poptarts suggests freezing them as treats, one girl asking for hers on a stick like a popcicle.

    Anime & Manga 
  • When Luffy busts Don Krieg's Great Battle Spear in One Piece, he mocks it as now being just a "Bomb on a Stick".
    • When Usopp becomes Sogeking, he uses a Slingshot on a Stick.
    • Ikaros Much of the New Fishmen Pirates is seen wielding a set of harpoons with tips shaped like squids. When he uses them in combat, is revealed that the tips aren't blades, but dry squid which suck the moisture out of anyone hit to become normal squids again.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: The Solvernia uses a Drill on a Stick

    Card Games 
  • In Magic: The Gathering:
    • "X on a stick" is a generic term for a spell placed on a permanent (like an artifact, enchantment, or land). This is because of the original Stick, Isochron Scepter, which allows the repeated casting of a spell.
    • The Boggarts of Lorwyn have a habit of attaching random things to sticks. Adder-Staff Boggart, for example, has a live snake tied to his staff (hence the name). The flavor text of Caterwauling Boggart (whose staff has several frogs attached) lampshades it.
  • In Munchkin, the Rat on a Stick is a wieldable item that lets you automatically escape from low-level monsters.

  • In Harry the Hufflepuff 2 Fred and George collect spiders that were petrified by the basilisk and try selling them. One of the products offered is "spider on a stick".

    Films — Animation 
  • Surf's Up features squid on a stick. Tastes Like Chicken.
  • Madagascar: "One Fun-side special coming right up. Seaweed on a stick."
  • The movie Hoodwinked! features the character of the Woodman who's day job is selling Schnitzel on a Stick and has an entire song and dance number featuring the food item.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Five Shaolin Masters have the Lancer vs. Dragon fight at the end, where the lancer managed to dismantle the dragon's ax. The villain however managed to retrieve his axhead, grab a nearby pole, and jam the axhead on it to create a makeshift spear.
  • Let's Get Harry is a 1986 action movie about a group of construction workers, advised by a mercenary and financed by a businessman who's an Egomaniac Hunter, going to Columbia to rescue a colleague kidnapped by terrorists. A Running Gag involves the businessman boasting, "I've had that on a stick!" whenever he sees various wildlife. This becomes a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner when he encounters the terrorist leader. "You son-of-a-bitch, I'll have you on a stick!"

  • Discworld's Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler will sell almost anything "onna stick!", including Rat on a Stick for dwarfs.
    • At one point his Omnian counterpart Cut-Me-Own-Hand-Off Dhblah sells yogurt on a stick.
    • In The Science of Discworld, while discussing the concept of "privatives", things that are talked about as though they have a real existence even though they're actually the absence of something (cold, dark, vacuum, etc.), the authors note that vacuum can be very valuable, and suggest Dibbler could sell vacuum on a stick. They then add that there are plenty of people on Roundworld who sell cold on a stick.
  • Lord of the Flies: a sow's head on a stick
  • The Peeps chapter title, "Snake on a Stick", refers to a parasitic worm that can grow in a person's leg that early doctors would remove by slowly wrapping it around a stick. Not Food.

    Live-Action TV 
  • An early Dad's Army episode has the Home Guard platoon improvising spears by tying kitchen knives to broom handles. Mainwaring chews out Pike for not taking the brush off the other end.
  • One of the earliest "Late Night with David Letterman" Running Joke was Larry "Bud" Melman (Calvert DeForrest) selling toast-on-a-stick.
  • In an episode of Stargate Atlantis where a character ties a camera to a wooden stick, another character jokingly calls it a "MALP-on-a-stick".
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: "Albatross! Get it on a stick!"
  • On Newhart, the Minuteman Cafe once offered "Critter on a Stick".
  • PBS Kids Sprout's Preschool Musical on a Stick. When The Wiggles joined Sprout, it became Preschool Musical on Two Sticks
  • The Bajoran confection jumja, made from the sap of the jumja tree, and known to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine production staff as "glop on a stick".
  • There's a Running Gag in iCarly where the manager of the local smoothie restaurant T-Bo tries to sell random items of food on a stick like pickles or a tacos.
  • One Earboy sketch in an early season of All That has the titular character's lunch of pork on a stick inspiring his mentor, Ross Perot, on a way to help him fit it.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Malia Hosaka's manager in SHIMMER, Lexie Fyfe on a stick. How it got a license is anyone's guess.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Jeff Dunham: José Jalapeño on a Steek.
    • Controlled Chaos discussed him as an Improvised Weapon.
    • Jeff Dunham also tells a story involving one of his dogs running while holding a stick lengthwise, which almost ends with him getting a new puppet: "A chihuahua on a steek!"
  • An Upright Citizens Brigade sketch suggests the efficiency of using dog poo on a stick as a weapon.


    Video Games 
  • The Glaive hero weapon in Conqueror's Blade is a sort of sword on a stick. Justified, since it's based on the real-life Chinese guandao polearm (which is also a sword on a stick).
  • Crafting in Minecraft. A torch is coal on a stick, a redstone torch is a pile of crushed redstone on a stick, an iron sword is two ingots on a stick, and a diamond pickaxe is three diamonds on two sticks. And of course, a fishing rod (two strings on three sticks) can be made into a Carrot-on-a-stick by crafting it with a carrot.
  • MapleStory has poo on a stick as an item that repelled monsters.
  • Gears of War 2: Skorge uses a double chainsaw on a stick
  • One of the food items you can find in Fallout 3 is Squirrel On A Stick. Even though you never see squirrels in the game. This could be problematic if you consider where some other foods come from.
    • The earlier games had Iguanna-Onna-Stick as an oft-found food-item. Gross, but at least you could tell what it was, unlike the 'Mystery Kabob'...
  • Dead Rising 2 lets you stick two chainsaws on opposite ends of an oar with duct tape.
    • Don't forget the machete on the end of a broom handle combo weapon.
  • Scribblenauts: Don't underestimate the power of sticking something to a stick.
  • Soul Calibur IV: Seong Mi-Na's Joke Weapon is a "pimp-slap on a stick" instead of the usual spear.
  • Team Fortress 2 has the Sun-on-a-Stick for the Scout.
  • Bloodborne: Many trick weapons.
    • Burial Blade = Sword/Scythe = Curved Sword() + Stick(Collapsible)
    • Kirkhammer = Sword/Greathammer = Short Mallet(Internal Hole) + Sword()
    • Ludwig's Holy Blade = Sword/Greatsword = Sharp Sword Sheath() + Sword()
    • Whirligig Saw = Club/Buzzsaw-On-A-Stick = Buzzsaw() + Mace()
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Link can use the Fuse ability to put any object on a stick (any weapon can function as a stick in this case) and use it as a weapon. Sword on a stick, apple on a stick, eyeball on a stick, boulder on a stick, and stick on a stick are just a fraction of the possibilities.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Nora uses a watermelon on a stick in Volume 2, Episode 1.
  • Red vs. Blue: Washington tricks Locus (who is cloaked) into revealing his position by propping his helmet on a stick and poking it just barely out of cover. Locus shoots it, thinking it's Wash, and the direction of the shot gives away his general location, which the rest of the group promptly bombards.

    Web Comics 
  • The Squid-Onna-Stick has become something of an internal meme in Sluggy Freelance. The original was a demonic spear from the Dimension of Pain, which could turn anyone stabbed by it into a demon. And it looked just like a squid on a stick. Later, several identical weapons have shown up that are ACTUALLY a squid on a stick, or a squid-like organism on a stick...
    • There's also Zombie-Head-on-a-Stick, or ZHOAS, as she's usually called.
  • Girl Genius features "Mimmoth on a Stick" as a carnival food — where a mimmoth is a tiny mammoth. There is also a Buck Godot Shout-Out, where poiled slurgs are served "Fried! Onna stick!"
  • MeatShield has Mr. Lich-on-a-stick.
  • Leo of VG Cats gives us Rat-on-a-Stick, but it's called the Rat-Flail instead.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons: Addition of a rag makes a handy washing implement.
    I wash myself with a rag on a stick.
    • On a stick is the preferred method of serving and eating Klav Kahlash.
    • "A King Size Ultra Krabby Supreme with the works, double batter fried... on a stick."
  • In 6teen, Jude worked at Stick It, a restaurant where every food item on the menu was served on sticks.
  • Looney Tunes: in "Fast Feud", Daffy opens the store "Stuff on Sticks", selling pizza, watermelon, snails, fishsticks, etc. on a stick.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: "Not So Awesome Blossom" had our red-headed little heroine running away from home when nothing goes right for her, and she gets a job at a restaurant called Hot Dog On A Skewer (a take from the actual west coast chain Hot Dog On A Stick).
  • A Beetle Bailey cartoon from 1963 had Sgt. Snorkel at a restaurant genteely describing the way to prepare Stew On A Shingle, which in less genteel words was the Army repast Shit On A Stick or Shit On A Shingle (chipped beef on toast).

    Real Life 
  • Let us not forget the real-life restaurant chain, Hot Dog on a Stick.
  • Many, many varieties of food, mostly at fairs and fast-food things. It's convenient for the consumer and cheap for the seller (no plates and utensils to buy and stock) plus it produces minimal trash, reducing expenses associated with that.
  • The Lunge Mine - an anti-tank grenade on a stick used in 'Tokko' attacks.
    • The Spar Torpedo is an earlier nautical version of this trope: A bomb strapped to a pole and rammed into an enemy ship.