From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A spit-take is a comic technique or reaction in which someone spits a beverage out of their mouth when they react to a surprising statement. In this context, the word "take" is used in the sense of taking in information. It is similar in construction to the phrase "double-take."

Spit take made it into the Oxford Dictionary,[1] not to be confused with the Oxford English Dictionary, in a 2014 update.

Albert Brooks' short film, The Famous Comedians School, features a workshop on spit takes.


Two characters sit at a table. Character #1 has a cup of coffee in hand.

Character 1: Did they ever find that missing toxic sludge?
Character 2: Yes...
(Character 1 sips coffee.)
Character 2: Someone poured it into the coffee urn.
(Character 1 spits the coffee all over the table.)

In a spit-take, the reaction is usually one of surprise. The "spit" action is overly dramatized; performers will add lots of noise and spray liquid from their mouth in an exaggerated fashion.


  1. ^ "Spit Take Entry, Oxford Dictionary". OxfordDictionaries.com. Retrieved 14 August 2014.