Created By: kidchimera00 on May 28, 2011 Last Edited By: GrigorII on April 28, 2015

Calm Before The Storm

Everything is calmed for a short time, and then the adventure begins

Name Space:
Page Type:
The heroes are also people, you know. To prove this point, that's what we first see: the heroes having a quiet time for their own, enjoy a cup of tea, Talk About the Weather, have a hobby, etc.

And then... surprise! From out of nowhere, there are explosions, an alien invasion, an army of ninjas, buildings on fire, and Godzilla is on the loose! Gear up, it's time for the adventure!

Those scenes allow to develop characters in non-action scenes, providing info that may be difficult to include during the action. Even characters that would eventually die can get this treatment, so that they are something more than an extra when their death takes place.

May cause mild to extreme Mood Whiplash.

Compare with Action Prologue, when the action starts right off the bat.

Warning! The following examples may contain spoilers.

Trope examples:

[[Asscaps: Anime and Manga]]:
  • Done in the Bleach anime in the form of seemingly endless Filler before the big fight with Aizen.
  • One of the few times in FLCL when Naota starts to just let go and enjoy his time with Haruhara, the giant hand looming over the Medical Mechanica plant comes back to life.
  • In Kekkaishi, Yoshimori and Gen seem to have finally started to hit it off as friends. Kaguro kills Gen shortly after.

[[Asscaps: Fan Works]]:
  • In The Darkness Within, what seems like a touching reunion between Flare and his sister and Dragonair with Spark’s parents is only meeting them before they die.

Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • June 2, 2011
  • June 2, 2011
    I think it's just AC instead of Asscaps.
  • August 3, 2011
    • In Yojimbo, Sanjuro claims that a truce is only a build up towards a bigger war.
  • August 6, 2011
    In Avatar The Last Airbender this happens happens in the episode before the big showdown in the last four as the main characters go see a play of their previous adventures.
  • August 6, 2011
    Drop the first "The" from the title - Calm Before The Storm is just as good, but shorter.
  • October 4, 2011
    Surprised we don't have this one.

    Usually a Breather Episode may be this.
  • October 5, 2011
    Happens a few times throughout the Gears Of War series. The first one is before E-Day where a perpetual world war has ended and peace lasted all of 6 months. Then at the end of GOW1 the lightmass bomb fooled the humans into thinking they won the war...only for the locust to come back stronger with a way to destroy their last remaining city. End of GOW2 they destroy the locust at the cost of their home but manage to find an island where they can rebuilt only for a more dangerous enemy to pop up, the lambent that almost wipes out all life on the planet. Of course the games never really show the calm before the storm (because that would be rather dull) but expanded universe goes into detail over a few of them.
  • October 6, 2011
    Video Games
  • January 3, 2012
    Alternately, the Final Battle is approaching, but just before, the heroes take some time to say their goodbyes, tie up loose ends and any other Unfinished Business they may have.

    • The movie version of Lord Of The Rings has a scene where Pippin and Gandalf are on the precipice of Minas Tirith looking at the gathering clouds over Mordor, and witnessing the beacon marking the advance of the Orc armies.
    • Miracle has the US hockey team in a quiet mood right before their game with the Soviets, during which time, Coach Brooks comes in and gives them a Rousing Speech.

    Live-Action TV
    • The Babylon Five episode "Messages From Earth", before facing a rogue Shadow ship, has Sheridan and Delenn spending a quiet moment aboard the White Star while he recollects how he used to find rain falling on the roof soothing, and she has the computer simulate rain sounds.

    Video Games
    • Mass Effect 1 and 2 potentially have scenes with Shepard's love interest right before Illos and going through the Omega 4 relay respectively.
    • Final Fantasy VII has the time right before going off to face Sephiroth where the party split apart for personal time. Cloud and Tifa stay behind, leading to a Did They Or Didnt They moment.
  • January 3, 2012
    As a general rule don't start trope titles with "The" unless it's completely unavoidable. "Calm Before The Storm" works.
  • January 4, 2012
  • January 4, 2012
    Yes, but that one's not about the timing.
  • January 5, 2012
    In Death of a Salesman most of the beginning of the play is quite subdued even if it is a tiny bit worrying, but after the first act various things come to light and the knowledge we gain give the impression that things are spiralling out of control; culminating in Willy's death.
  • January 5, 2012
    Scene 7 of Dynamite Headdy is a small level taking place on a peaceful cow pasture, with a simple Puzzle Boss to deal with. But then, the Big Bad's ominous castle is revealed, and a much more aggressive boss battle ensues.
  • January 5, 2012
    In Harold Pinter's play Betrayal we start with the end, as the two protagonists meet after their several-year affair is all over and everything is calm. Each scene goes back in time to show the shit that had hit the fan.
  • January 5, 2012
    From Futurama, War is the H-Word: Soldier: This is the worst part. The calm before the battle. Fry: And then the battle is not so bad? Soldier: Oh, right. I forgot about the battle.
  • January 17, 2012
  • January 17, 2012
    I'm pretty sure this is Breather Episode.
  • January 17, 2012
    This name could be a redirect. The expression has been used for this concept for a long time.
  • September 21, 2012
    The Calm Before The Storm is a Stock Phrase, which makes it an illegal title for a new trope. See No New Stock Phrases.
  • September 21, 2012
    A Breather Episode can come, in fact I think usually does, after a heavy Wham Episode, or several.

    And I disagree that this is a stock phrase. It's talking about something that happens, not people saying it.
  • December 12, 2012
    It's often accompanied by the Stock Phrase, but I think the moment the phrase usually gets employed in might still count as a trope (e.g., the quiet scene just before a battle where people steel themselves for the coming violence, get all gloomy, raise tension.)
  • December 13, 2012
    @Arivne: No New Stock Phrases is aimed more at combating lines-of-dialogue-titles and should not be arbitrarily applied to idioms in general.
  • May 4, 2013
    Anyone want to finish polishing this one up?