Two methods of eliciting the ankle jerk have been compared. One, the traditional method, involved tapping the Achilles tendon (the tendon tap); the other (the plantar tap) involved tapping the sole of the foot. The study was done on 110 inpatients in the medical wards of a teaching hospital. The results showed an 89% agreement between the two methods. The extent of agreement was unrelated to the level of experience of the examiner. Forty three per cent of patients favoured the plantar tap method; 14% the tendon tap. The plantar tap method of eliciting the ankle jerk is an acceptable alternative to the traditional method.