Foreign bodies can present a diagnostic challenge to even the experienced surgeon. In one review of 200 surgical cases involving retained foreign bodies, one-third of the cases had been initially missed. Wooden foreign bodies in particular pose a challenge to the physician. In the review cited above, only 15% of wooden foreign bodies were well visualized on plain radiographs. Acutely, on computed tomography (CT) scans, wooden foreign bodies will usually mimic air. However, with time, the attenuation value of a wooden foreign body may increase as moisture is absorbed from the surrounding tissues. Once this occurs, the wooden foreign body may mimic fat, water or muscle. We present an interesting case of a wooden foreign body in the parotid gland in order to illustrate a common presentation of such a foreign body, to review current guidelines for their clinical and radiologic diagnosis, and to suggest strategies for the management of their unique complications.