Social Question

Berserker's avatar

What's up with the ''pie in face'' gag?

Asked by Berserker (33548points) August 4th, 2014

The eternal gag you keep seeing in cartoons, where someone recieves a pie in the face. What is the origin of this? When did this first happen? Why is it so classic? Have you ever seen this happen for real?
Who has money to spend on wasting perfectly good pies this way? What if it came right out of the oven before it was thrown? The person getting it would be injured by getting burned!

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16 Answers

hominid's avatar

Apparently it goes back to at least 1909.

I’m not sure why it’s so classic. Have never seen this happen in real life. And I shed a tear for those pies who have been lost to bad slapstick. Pie is good.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I have no idea what it originated from, but it’d not a good fundraising idea. The victim is just as likely to get hit by the pie tin as the pie.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Most are not “pies” but are made with shaving cream, see HERE.

ucme's avatar

I’ve no idea, but the question reminded me of this character from the Beano comic.

rojo's avatar

I was hoping this was some kind of sexual metaphor.

zenvelo's avatar

I’ve seen it happen a few times. Once during a food fight, a few times as a charity thing (ha ha!) and once as political theater.

It really isn’t funny anymore. After the second or third time one sees it, it loses its funny.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@hominid “Have never seen this happen in real life.”

I’m guessing that you’re not a MLB fan. When the home team wins, the game’s hero gets a pie in the face during the post-game interview.

I don’t know which team started the gag, just that it’s been happening for a while. Initially, it was a plateful of shaving cream, which was painful in the players’ eyes and mouths. Now, real pies are meeting unfortunate fates.

hominid's avatar

@SadieMartinPaul: “I’m guessing that you’re not a MLB fan.”

Good guess. :) Seriously, though – couldn’t they just switch to cake, which is the worst baked good/dessert of all time?

dxs's avatar

^^Amen, as long as it’s not cheesecake.

filmfann's avatar

Early silent films. A pie in the face looks great on camera.

Berserker's avatar

@filmfann I kept thinking of Charlie Chaplin, although I have no idea if he did the pie thing.

@rojo Sorry brah. :p

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I can’t imagi e why someone would have used shaving cream as a substitute. Whipped cream was the show biz substitute when wasting a whole pie was thought objectionable.
Visual entertainmentg has come a long way. Moving pictures were not at all realistic. They had no color, no sound, and everything was jerky and jumpy. The entertainment came from how well background music meshed with what was being seen. Sudden motions, such as falling down, being hit, or crashes were the biggest impact for viewers. A pie would have been kinder than a fist, or pipe.
It continued happening, because when something works, you stick with it. Eventually, the only reason it worked was nostalgia. Now we don’t even have that. Still, how often do people get real excited about this or that celebrity punching a media monster? Tension and impact still entertain. Wouldn’t it be fun if those celebs just happened to have a pie?

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@Jonesn4burgers “I can’t imagine why someone would have used shaving cream as a substitute.”

Most likely because shaving cream was readily available in the team’s clubhouse. Someone came up with the idea, so the guys improvised and made fake “pies.” After a few guys had experienced red, stinging eyes, players bought and substituted whipped cream. Now, they go with real cream pies. So, a guy might get a mouthful of chocolate or custard in return for being a good sport.

ibstubro's avatar

@hominid‘s link nails it.

Slapstick writ into the early movies.

XOIIO's avatar

God damnit now I want banana cream pie.

filmfann's avatar

@Symbeline Chaplin did it, but Turpin did it first. No one did it more than the Three Stooges.

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