Created By: Euan2000 on May 19, 2012 Last Edited By: CaveCat on December 19, 2012
Troped

Flat Scare

To shock someone a character says boo in a deadpan manner.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Sometimes people are so tense it doesn't take much to scare them. Cue either a smarty alec team-mate or a foe with the taste for irony simply stating "Boo". This results in the jittery character either freaking out or begin running in a panic while screaming. Usually a Comedy Trope but appears in genuinely scary works to show how threatening the monster/villain's presence is.

Compare Cherry Tapping which is a minor attack downing someone rather than a minor spook and Straw That Broke The Camels Back.


Examples

Film - Animated
  • Shan-Yu greets the Emperor this way in Mulan. Played for Nightmare Fuel.
  • Space Jam, after the Nerdlucks transform into the Monstars.
    Blanko: Hey, little pig... boo.
    Porky Pig: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! (beat) I w-w-w-wet myself.
  • In Madagascar, after Alex fights off the fossa, he scares off the few that remain standing with a simple "boo".

Film - Live-Action
  • Used by the Lunar Ghost in the first Scooby-Doo live action movie. Naturally Scooby screams.
  • The Joker Pulls this on Vicki Vale in Batman
  • Undercover Brother. When Lance gets into the limousine next to James Brown he's clearly nervous. James Brown says "Boo" to him and he almost jumps out of his skin.
  • In Ghost, the title character freaks someone out by writing "BOO" on his mirror.
  • In The Ninth Gate, Boris Balkan does this after killing Liana in front of her coven, making them all jump.

Comic Books
  • The Scarecrow pulls this on Judge Death in "Judgement on Gotham", a Batman/Judge Dredd crossover comics. Death was not amused...

Newspaper Comics
  • In Bloom County, wheelchair-bound Vietnam vet Cutter John is having tea with his girlfriend's mother. He asks if she's nervous, since some people are nervous around the handicapped. She, smiling, says no. Last panel is him saying "Boo." and her tossing her tea and shielding herself.
  • In one Halloween comic strip of FoxTrot, Jason dresses up as a ghost and practices booing. The problem is that he's booing not like a ghost, but like a dissatisfied spectator.

Puppet Shows
  • In Sesame Street's "News Flash" take on Little Miss Muffet, the spider appears to know this one.

Web Original

Web Comics
  • Variaton in Brawl in the Family. Dedede and Meta Knight are stuck together by a Gooey Bomb and as Dedede is sweating Meta Knight flatly says "Boom" to get a rise out of Dedede.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court on page 153, when Mort tries to sneaks up on Kat and Annie sneaks up on him.
  • In Punch an' Pie, Angela comes home to this when she meets Erik for the first time.

Western Animation
  • In the Tex Avery cartoon Slap-Happy Lion, a mouse scares a lion with a flat boo. Doing it repeatedly drives the lion mad.
  • Droopy, given his nack for Offscreen Teleportation has done this a few times.
  • Variant in 2 Stupid Dogs. The big dog will scare cats by going to up to them and giving a deadpan "Woof." The cat will then comically seize up in fear.
  • In the U.S. Acres episode "I Like Having You Around", Wade tries to convince a bug that he's not afraid of him. However, the bug just says "Boo" to him in this manner, causing Wade to freak out and run in a panic.
  • Raven does this to Beast Boy in an episode of Teen Titans.
  • This was also exhibited in the first act of the Mr. Bogus episode "Bookstore Bogus" with a pair of ferocious worms that Bogus encounters in a book about bugs. When Bogus claims that he's not afraid of them, the worms look at each other for a few seconds before saying "boo" to Bogus in this manner, causing him to run in a panic with the worms hot on his tail.

Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • May 19, 2012
    randomsurfer
    I'm sure I've seen Droopy do this but I don't remember details.
  • May 19, 2012
    TonyG
    In the Tex Avery cartoon Slap-Happy Lion, a mouse scares a lion with a flat boo. Doing it repeatedly drives the lion mad.
  • May 19, 2012
    Duncan
    In Bloom County, wheelchair-bound Vietnam vet Cutter John is having tea with his girlfriend's mother. He asks if she's nervous, since some people are nervous around the handicapped. She, smiling, says no. Last panel is him saying "Boo." and her tossing her tea and shielding herself.
  • May 19, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Variant in Two Stupid Dogs. The big dog will scare cats by going to up to them and giving a deadpan "Woof." The cat will then comically seize up in fear.
  • May 19, 2012
    DracMonster
    Maybe name it Boo Is Terrifying to make it a little clearer.
  • May 19, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
    Film - Animation
  • May 19, 2012
    JonnyB
    The Joker pulls it in Batman, when he's in the library with Vicky Vale.
  • May 19, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
    @Drac Monster: Nah, Flat Boo gets it across perfectly already.
  • May 19, 2012
    katiek
    Would it count that in Spooky the Tuff Little Ghost comics, Spooky would often just WRITE the word "Boo" in order to scare people?
  • May 20, 2012
    Arivne
    Film
    • Undercover Brother. When Lance gets into the limousine next to James Brown he's clearly nervous. James Brown says "Boo" to him and he almost jumps out of his skin.
  • May 20, 2012
    SharleeD
    • The Scarecrow pulls this on Judge Death in "Judgement on Gotham", a Batman/Judge Dredd crossover comics. Death was not amused...
  • May 21, 2012
    robinjohnson
    In Ghost, the title character freaks someone out by writing "BOO" on his mirror.
  • May 21, 2012
    CaveCat
    • In the US Acres episode "I Like Having You Around", Wade tries to convince a bug that he's not afraid of him. However, the bug just says "Boo" to him in this manner, causing Wade to freak out and run in a panic.
    • This page at Lolcats.
  • May 22, 2012
    TBeholder
    • Gunnerkrigg Court on page 153, when Mort tries to sneaks up on Kat and Annie sneaks up on him.
  • May 22, 2012
    NESBoy
    • Space Jam, after the Nerdlucks transform into the Monstars.
      Blanko: Hey, little pig... boo. Porky Pig: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! (beat) I w-w-w-wet myself.
  • May 22, 2012
    SquirrelGuy
    In Sesame Street's "News Flash" take on Little Miss Muffet, the spider appears to know this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSe6pg8zsqk
  • May 24, 2012
    NESBoy
    On the subject of US Acres, the original strip had an example of Roy trying this on Wade after tying his beak up.
  • May 25, 2012
    ZombieAladdin
    In one Halloween comic strip of Fox Trot, Jason dresses up as a ghost and practices booing. The problem is that he's booing not like a ghost, but like a dissatisfied spectator.
  • May 25, 2012
    thewriter
    I believe Raven does this to Beast Boy in an episode of Teen Titans.
  • May 29, 2012
    Alvin
    I think a 'bad' witch does this to a 'good' witch at the end of a song in the musical Wicked.
  • May 29, 2012
    hevendor717
    I'm not sure the title is perfect. It could be referring to a disappointed, drab "boo" from a snide audience member, in contrast to the boos of a jeering, crass crowd.
  • June 4, 2012
    Euan2000
    I've got more than enough examples but I need help wiht expanding the description.
  • June 4, 2012
    raven2785
    Master Chief does this in Halo2, at the beginning of the level Gravemind when the Master Chief is transported into the council chamber in High Charity he looks down at a Grunt and just goes "Boo", The Grunt runs away making a yelp before the cut-scene ends
  • October 9, 2012
    dvorak
    The title sounds like "someone deadpans 'boo' because they don't like something"
  • October 10, 2012
    TonyG
    In Madagascar, after Alex fights off the fossa, he scares off the few that remain standing with a simple "boo".
  • October 10, 2012
    WeAreAllKosh
    Film

    In The Ninth Gate, Boris Balkan does this after killing Liana in front of her coven, making them all jump.
  • October 10, 2012
    lilliterra
    Oh-oh-oh- I can't resist, but I think you should call it Flat Scare.
  • October 11, 2012
    SpitefulFox
    • In Punch An Pie, Angela comes home to this when she meets Erik for the first time.
  • October 14, 2012
    WeAreAllKosh
    Now that it's called "Flat Scare", can it cover things other than saying "boo"? Such as:

    Film

    In Samuel L. Jackson's Shaft remake, Shaft, after asking Peoples "do you think not being a cop makes me less dangerous, or more dangerous?", makes a sudden little move in the direction of one of Peoples' Mooks to tweak him, and he flinches. After he leaves, Peoples asks his mook:
    "Puta, why you flinch?"
  • November 11, 2012
    RoseBride
    Squidward does this SpongeBob in a Halloween episode, while Mr Krabs was scaring the hell aout of him with the story of the Flying Dutchman, all he does is stand behind Bob and say "I've come for your pickle"

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=o9ayzwypc8wmyimegnypxumn