Pieing has its origins in the "pie in the face" gag from slapstick comedy, first seen in the 1909 Essanay Studios silent film Mr. Flip starring Ben Turpin. In the story, Turpin has a pie pushed into his face for taking liberties with a woman.
Beginning in 1913 with That Ragtime Band and A Noise from the Deep, filmmaker Mack Sennett became known for using one or two thrown pies in many of his comedy shorts. Sennett had a personal rule about who received the pies: "A mother never gets hit with a custard pie ... Mothers-in-law, yes. But mothers? Never."
At least a half dozen films have been made incorporating extended pie-throwing battles. The first was Charlie Chaplin's Behind the Screen released in 1916. The definitive pie fight film is The Battle of the Century (1927) starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, using 3,000 pies. Our Gang's Shivering Shakespeare (1930) winds up with an auditorium full of people throwing pies. The 1935 short subject called Keystone Hotel featured a large pie fight ending with the camera taking a pie. In 1941, another major pie fight film appeared: The Three Stooges' In the Sweet Pie and Pie. A Technicolor film involving pies was the 1965 comedy, The Great Race; known for having the largest pie fight in cinematic history. Its $200,000 pie fight scene used one large cake and 4,000 pies, and took five days to shoot.
There are many instances in the Looney Tunes series of cartoons where characters "pie" each other in the face. Bugs Bunny repeatedly hits Elmer Fudd with cream pies during a scene in Slick Hare. In Shishkabugs, Bugs Bunny releases a spring-loaded pie into the face of the king, causing the royal cook Yosemite Sam to be led away to a dungeon. The episode Daffy Dilly has Daffy Duck trying to cure a dying millionaire by getting him to laugh. After he achieves this inadvertently, by landing in a cake, Daffy is hired as a sort of household jester and ends the cartoon by getting repeatedly pelted with cakes and pies.
In one of the Batman comic books, The Joker once concocted an elaborate scheme whose sole purpose was to hit Batman in the face with a pie.
Many comedy routines have used a pie as a gag, including ones performed by Soupy Sales and Monty Python.
A popular Nickelodeon game show called "What Would You Do?" also features contraptions designed to hit contestants in the face with cream pies either when a question is answered incorrectly or a challenge can not be completed in time.
Some evil clowns uses pies with weapons in them.
- Joker - He sometime uses pies with acid or explosive to attack people in Gotham City.
- Killer Klowns - They had pies filled with a highly corrosive acid. The Klowns threw the pies on the security guard at the amustment park where they had moved The Big Top from the forest. When they killed him with pies, Shorty left a basketball-sized cherry on top of him, with the hapless human melted to the bone. In the final scene of the film, after the ship blew up, some non-acid pies fell on Debbie, Mike and Hansen.