Harper's Weekly lectured readers on the potential broken limbs that a discarded peel could create, and Sunday school teachers warned children that not only would their inappropriate disposal of a banana peel injure someone, but that injury could also put them in the poorhouse.
Bananas became a symbol of the wider urban trash problem, because their bright yellow peels stood out amidst piles of waste. The problem was eventually solved, as sanitation laws and organized garbage disposal efforts replaced throwing all of your s**t away and letting wild pigs eat it up (seriously). But by then, the banana peel pratfall had become a staple of vaudeville, and later silent films, and still later cartoons. And it's somehow survived to this day, which would be like cartoons a century from now making regular jokes about eating Tide pods.