David Warner set an unwanted record when he failed again on day two of the final Ashes Test, but Australia talisman Steve Smith was unbeaten at lunch after Jofra Archer's double strike at The Oval.
Mitchell Marsh (5-46) claimed a maiden five-wicket Test haul and Pat Cummins (3-84) dismissed Jos Buttler for 70 to bowl England out for 294 early on a sunny Friday in London.
The tourists, striving for a 3-1 series win after retaining the urn at Old Trafford, were in trouble on 14-2, with opener Warner and Marcus Harris falling to the excellent Archer.
Warner made only five to become the first opener to fall for eight single-digit scores in a Test series, but the prolific Smith (14 not out) and Marnus Labuschagne (32no) saw Australia through to 55-2 at the end of the morning session.
Buttler added only six runs to his overnight score before playing on to a delivery from the outstanding Cummins after England resumed on 271-8.
Jack Leach (21) also chopped to end the innings and give recalled all-rounder Marsh, who stated "most of Australia hates me" after taking four wickets on the opening day, his best Test figures.
Archer then steamed in to see the back of both of Australia's struggling openers, Warner given out caught behind following a review after Marais Erasmus did not detect an edge, and Harris (three) snicking to Ben Stokes at second slip.
Stuart Broad was also on the money with the new ball, but Labuschagne showed good judgement and scored boundaries on both sides of the wicket after weathering an early storm.
Smith played and missed to Archer on more than one occasion and Sam Curran probed with a touch of swing, but there was more than a sense of deja vu as fidgety former Australia captain Smith set himself ominously.