A pie is a baked food typically composed of a pastry shell that can be filled with fruit, custard, cream, meat, or other ingredients. It is often covered with a pastry crust when consisting of fruit filling, though pies made of pumpkin or custard are more typically topped simply with whipped cream.
Pie in Humor
The "pie in the face" gag has been around since the days of Vaudeville. The Keystone Kops were credited with bringing it to the big screen. The "art" of the pie fight was later amplified in 1927 with Laurel and Hardy's short film The Battle of the Century. Monty Python, Charlie Chaplin, Bugs Bunny, The Three Stooges, Dick Van Dyke, Carl Reiner, and Mel Brooks have all used pie gags in their productions. The Muppets have used and adapted this joke on numerous occasions. Pies used on The Muppet Show for such gags are made from Crazy Foam, a children's bath product far easier to clean off of a puppet's fur and fleece than custard or fruit.
- Ernie and Bert: Bert holds the number 4 in hand and asks Ernie what it is. When Ernie keeps guessing that it is a pie, Bert hits him in the face with a pie.
- Episode 2734: Linda signs the word “pie,” and is then hit with one.
- Episode 3051: Maria witnesses Fluffy and Oscar the Grouch practicing for a pie-throwing contest, but Fluffy misses Oscar and accidentally gets Maria in the face.
- Episode 4185: Chris is hit with pies by the Help-O-Bots.
- Episode 4260: Jerry O'Connell and Murray Monster demonstrate the word "observe" by looking closely at a pie Murray baked. He has used pepper instead of sugar, causing Jerry to sneeze and involuntarily jerks his face into the pie.
- “Three Whipped Cream Pies on the Wall”: David, Luis and Bob all get a pie in the face, served up by Maria. At the end of the song, Maria herself is pelted with pies.
- Numerosity: in a variation of the classic pie gag, a Baker falls down a flight of stairs while carrying the tasty treat:
- Bert and Ernie's Word Play: Bert is hit with a pie by the pie-flying machine. Prairie Dawn is also hit with two pies.
- Elmo Through the Looking-Glass CD-ROM: Telly gets a pie in the face at Oscar's party.
- "Surprise": The cast are hit with numerous pies throughout the song.
- Episode 114: Sandy Duncan is hit with a pie when she accidentally insults Behemoth.
- Episode 115: Fozzie bothers Kermit with deliveries for the sake of a running gag. At the end of the episode, Kermit finally gets Fozzie back by hitting him with a pie (and by extension, Candice Bergen).
- Episode 119: Kermit promises “no silliness,” and is then immediately hit with a pie.
- Episode 202: When Sam the Eagle calls for his "just desserts," Beautiful Day Monster hits him with a pie.
- Episode 324: One line in the song "I Enjoy Being a Girl" has Miss Piggy singing "With a pound and a half of cream upon his face!" Kermit is then hit with a pie, though Kermit's later statement reveals that it was not cream but "lemon meringue."
- Episode 412: After winning the prestigious Fred Award, Billy the Bear gives Fozzie an exploding cigar and hits him in the face with a pie.
- Episode 511: As Paul Simon sings "Scarborough Fair," Fozzie approaches relating the "Simple Simon" rhyme with Fozzie playing the part of the pie man. When Simon asks Fozzie for a custard pie to go, Fozzie asks, "To go where?" Simon shows him where, putting the pie in his face.
- Episode 524: Scooter and Beauregard arrive backstage with several pies, having thought Kermit asked to "use pies" (rather than "use spies") in the closing number. When Kermit orders them to toss the pies away, Bo takes him literally and Kermit ends up with a pie tossed in his face. Later, Roger Moore steps in one.
Other Uses in Comedy
- The Muppet Movie: Fozzie crashes his car into a billboard advertising for Aunt Amy's Custard Pies. The pie from the billboard goes flying onto Doc Hopper’s car. Oddly enough, the billboard's designers thought it fitting to use a real, giant pie in its construction.
- In Muppet*Vision 3D, Fozzie demonstrates to Kermit his remote controlled flying banana cream pie. When the remote control breaks, the pie hits Fozzie. Kermit says it is terrible, which Fozzie agrees, by adding, "Needs more sugar."
- A Movie Mania parody of The Godfather has Fozzino Bearzini asking the Frogfather to take revenge on Statler and Waldorf. The Frogfather has a hitman deliver two pies to their faces.
- In a deleted scene from It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, Fozzie tells a joke with a punchline that involves hitting himself in the face with two pies.
- In a pie gag unique to the Muppets' sensibilities, the viral video “Cårven Der Pümpkîn” has The Swedish Chef prepare pumpkin pie with a bazooka.
- Time Piece: Don Sahlin gets a pie in the face.
- Cat Cora unexpectedly participates in the "Muppets Y Games" Pie Catching Contest in The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora's episode Game Day, before involuntarily participating in the Rats' Pie Eating Final, "to be licked clean in minutes."
- Ernie and Bert: Ernie has two slices of apple pie. He takes the big piece, and gives Bert the small piece. Bert takes offense to this, saying that he would have given Ernie the big piece and kept the small piece for himself - but the outcome is the same, so what's Bert angry about?
(First: Episode 1166)
- Waiter Grover: Grover serves only "CH" food in honor of Charlie's birthday, including cherry pie.
- Waiter Grover: On rhyming day, Grover brings Mr. Johnson apple pie instead of tuna on rye.
- Colambo: The Great Plum Plunder - Colambo enjoys a piece of Christmas pie.
- "Blueberry Mouth": A song about blueberries and blueberry pie.
- "Round and Round in Circles": One of the circles Elmo enjoys is a blueberry pie.
- Episode 3240: Mr. Handford shows addition using cream pies.
- Peach pie with garlic is one of Junior Gorg's favorites.
- Boober Fraggle's recipes include Doozer dust pie and turnip pie.
- The ceremonial pie throw is mentioned as being a part of trials that take place in the Fraggle Hall of Justice.
- Throwing a pie in the faces of the oldest Fraggles prevents the Cave Fraggles and the Rock Fraggles from starting a war.
Misc Muppet References
- Muppet Meeting Films: Sell, Sell, Sell - Leo lists several reasons to sell, including apple pie.
- “Cottleston Pie”: A song by Winnie the Pooh.
- Good Morning America: An IRS Auditor questions Fozzie about his deducting custard pies from his taxes.
- The Muppet*Vision 3D poseable figures set had Fozzie holding a banana cream pie.
- The Fraggles Alphabet Pie
- In Lindsey Stirling's "Pure Imagination" YouTube video from 2015, Stirling, Josh Groban and Miss Piggy get a giant cake flung in their faces, mirroring the classic "pie in the face" gag.
- In The Muppets episode "Bear Left Then Bear Write," the "cake in the face" gag is played on both Miss Piggy and Christina Applegate.