Fact Checked

What Is a Shaving Cream Pie?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

A shaving cream pie is intended as an object used for comedy or derision, and is not actually intended as an edible dessert like other types of pie. It can be created using a crust, though a light tin pie pan is all that is really necessary, which is then filled with shaving cream. The intended purpose is to create something that resembles a cream pie, but does not have the possibility of spoiling. A shaving cream pie is not necessarily dangerous, though injuries can occur as a result of someone being “pied” and ingredients in some shaving cream can cause eye irritation.

The most common use of a shaving cream pie is in comedy, where it is often a prop that is thrown into someone’s face. This causes an audible and visible “splat” as the shaving cream explodes out from the pressure of the pan striking the face of the target. Such a collision is not done at sufficient speed to hurt a person, but instead makes the target look ridiculous as his or her face is covered in shaving cream afterward. Due to this comical appearance, some activists have utilized these objects to make politicians or celebrities appear ludicrous, by striking them with such a pie during a speech or other public event.

Shaving cream.
Shaving cream.

A shaving cream pie can be made quite easily, by simply using a light, tin pie pan and filling it with an adequate amount of shaving cream. This cream can come from a can or other source, though some individuals prefer to use soap and water to make their own. While a pie crust is not really necessary in the pan, it can be included for a more complete pie. The overall effect is intended to create something that looks like a whipped cream pie, but which uses shaving cream instead.

Some ingredients in commercial shaving cream may cause eye irritation.
Some ingredients in commercial shaving cream may cause eye irritation.

Whipped cream is not used for a number of different reasons, including the fact that it can stain clothes and is often more expensive than shaving cream. Since whipped cream is a dairy product, it can also go rancid, while a shaving cream pie does not contain any dairy. Use of a shaving cream pie is not without its consequences, however, such as the possibility of injury when someone attempts to dodge or deflect such a pie. Ingredients in commercial shaving cream, such as menthol, can also cause eye and nasal irritation, which does not typically cause any long-term effects but can still be painful.

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Discussion Comments


I've been pied many times and loved it.

The best is a real cream pie, if not frozen. Tasty and great texture.

If you make your own with instant pudding and shaving cream, it's a lot cheaper than store bought pies.

Next best is shaving cream pies, thick and easy to make, and sticks to a face great. Whipped cream as a last resort, since it melts way too fast and stains clothes.

I like pie crusts so that it looks more like a pie n the face..and insures all the shaving cream is on my face. I've found Foamy brand the best, tho not the cheapest. No matter what you use, have fun!


I've been pied many times, and I have to say shaving cream pies are more fun, easier to make and easier to clean up. Just don't use the cheap stuff; it may sting. Foamy is best for pie in the face fun. And go ahead and get pie crusts. Makes for a better pie.


Another reason why TV and film producers rarely use real whipped cream is because of the hot lights on the set. Real pies would melt into goo before the fight even started. There's a good chance if you see a character actually eating a pie during these scenes, he or she was handed a real one for a close-up later and the scene was edited into the movie.

I remember one time in grade school when one of my teachers got hit with a pie during an assembly in the gym. None of us ever heard of using shaving cream instead of whipped cream, so it looked normal when he started licking it off his face. He started making a horrible face and ran offstage. That's when our teacher explained it was shaving cream and he didn't realize it right away. I think people should be warned if the pie in the face gag is planned and it's not real cream.


@ZsaZsa56: I don't believe we're meant to think that Nedry is about to eat pie with shaving cream on it. I remember the scene you are talking about, because it always struck me as a bit odd.

I think it's something kind of weird. Maybe the fact that Nedry is kind of a jerk means that he's hoping someone else will see it and take a bite of it without realizing it's not whipped cream. I just don't know. Could've been improvised by the actor (Wayne Knight) in the moment and it just seemed to work.


That is good advice about not using whipped cream. When I was in high school my friends and I thought it would be really fun to have a huge pie fight. Obviously we could not afford dozens of pies so we just filled pie pans with super cheap whipped topping.

By the time we had them all filled some of the whipped cream had begun to melt. We had the fight anyway and immediately regretted it. It was a hot day and we were all covered in dairy and sugar. The smell was awful. A friend of mine even threw up.

The idea of being covered in shaving cream does not sound a lot better but I'd prefer that to being covered in spoiled milk.


OK this is kind of obscure but maybe someone on here will know what I'm talking about. I bet we have all seen the movie Jurassic Park. Remember that the bad guy was named Dennis Nedry and he was smuggling dino DNA out of the park and selling it to a rival company.

There is the one scene when the executive from the rival company gives Nedry the special container for transporting the DNA. It is concealed in the bottom of a shaving cream container. The executive points out that it really dispenses shaving cream and Nedry squirts some on his hand. Then he wipes it on a piece of pie.

Ever since I was a kid that scene has stuck out to me as being really weird. Is he now going to eat pie topped with shaving cream. What are we supposed to make of a man with such indiscriminate appetites?

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      Some ingredients in commercial shaving cream may cause eye irritation.