• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

The Mooks are standing back to back, knowing The Hero is near and ready to kick their ass. Suddenly they hear the familiar sound of metal hitting the ground. "GRENADE!", yells one of them and they all drop to the floor. When the explosion fails to occur, they then realize it's just a not-so-dangerous decoy.

Compare Where's the Kaboom?

Examples of Fake in the Hole include:

Fan Works

  • In the Condor arc of Forward, Mal and Zoe duck for cover only to find that what was thrown at them was an empty clip, with the message of "we could have tossed a grenade".


  • Seen in the deleted scenes of Serenity, when Mal and Inara escape from the Operative. Mal is throwing a real, but still-pinned, grenade at the Feds to distract them, before gingerly picking it back up as he goes by.
  • The lead character in Biggles - Adventures in Time is once drawn into a fight after taking a shower - wearing only a towel. He holds off a group of German troops by turning on his cordless razor and throwing it, yelling "GRENADE!"
  • Tobruk (1967). World War II Anti-Hero, Maj. Donald Craig, and his British squad mates used this and Insert Grenade Here to steal a Nazi tank.
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, Colonel Phillips throws a grenade at the Super Soldier candidates. While everyone else runs for cover, Steve Rogers throws himself over it. Fortunately, it was a dummy grenade.


  • In the Doc Savage novel The Red Skull, Doc deters pursuit by throwing his watch at his pursuers. The crooks, thinking it is one of Doc's gas bombs, break off the chase.
  • Doc Sidhe: Jean-Pierre does this in the first novel. When the gunmen invade Doc's office, Jean-Pierre throws a paperweight at one, shouting "Stickbomb!". While the thug is trying to get away from the supposed bomb, Jean-Pierre shoots him.

Live-Action TV

  • In an episode of Hogan's Heroes, the POWs create a distraction by tossing a live grenade into Klink's office but without pulling the trigger cord (the equivalent of the pin on a potato masher grenade). This gives them time to pull off their Zany Scheme while the Germans are diving for cover.
  • In an episode of Blakes Seven, Avon throws a stone into a nest of Federation troops, shouting "Grenade!" The troops reflexively dive for cover, and when they realize it was fake and look up, the heroes have them at gunpoint.

 Avon: It must have been a dud. Sorry about that.

  • A Deep Thoughts segment double subverted this trope, suggesting that if you're even in a war zone, you should shout "GRENADE!" and throw a miniature pumpkin at the enemy. When they see the pumpkin, it'll make them stop and ponder how senseless war is, and while they're pondering, you can throw a real grenade.
  • Played with in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica Reimagined, during the Mutiny arc. Kara and Lee are facing a hallway full of mooks and they only have a flashbang grenade and some guns. So Kara throws the grenade like it's a live one and uses the distraction to shoot the mooks.
  • MacGyver: In "For Love or Money", Mac removes the explosive core from a grenade and then tosses it at a group of border guards to distract them while he makes a run across the border.

Tabletop RPG

  • West End Games' Men in Black. During the solitaire adventure in the main rules the alien you're pursuing throws an object at you. You can assume it's a grenade and dive for cover or pick it up and look at it. It turns out to be a package of Ding-Dongs Ding-Dums snacks.

Western Animation

  • In the Generator Rex episode "Badlands", Rex throws a can of soda at Gatlocke's gang, causing them to dive for cover as they think it is a cannister of unstable nanites.

Real Life