Created By: TwoGunAngel on March 30, 2012 Last Edited By: TwoGunAngel on June 2, 2012
Troped

Walking Out On The Show

You expect me to stay through this piece of garbage? Screw that!

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Sometimes a show isn't all it's cracked up to be. Sometimes it's too boring to stand, too stupid to stand, or it's just plain awful. Sometimes the subject matter isn't to your taste, or something happened during the show that has you wanting to bang your head against the nearest wall. Maybe the band's playing at that concert is just atrocious, or maybe that game is going so badly for your home team that it's no use watching them anymore. Whatever the case, sometimes the show is such that you can't sit through another minute of it and you're wanting back the money that you spent to see it. It's time to walk out.

Walking out of a show is a universal sign that the production being viewed is of poor quality. This is usually a very extreme reaction, as the typical response to seeing a bad show is to just sit and wait it out, as sitting is usually easier than standing and walking, and people usually don't have any other place to go and paid too much money on tickets to not wait and see if the show improves. Walk-outs, thus, usually only occur when the show is so bad that it's painful or disturbing, especially if the walk-outs occur en masse.

In media, walking out is often used to showcase a character's bad acting or other performing ability, or a bad performance in general (such as a poorly put-together School Play). Sometimes everyone walks out except for a few people (usually the protagonists) who truly, honestly enjoy the thing.

When this happens in Real Life, it is very much an Audience Reaction (and thus no Real Life examples should be added).

See also Screw This, I'm Outta Here!

Examples:

Film
  • In the opening of Death Becomes Her, people walk out of the opening number of Songbird!, The Musical of Sweet Bird of Youth that Meryl Streep's character is starring in. Bruce Willis' character sits enraptured.
  • A few people walk out of Springtime For Hitler in The Producers, before the rest think it's a comedy.

Live-Action TV
  • Has happened on The Muppet Show several times. One notable example is the Nancy Walker episode, when Fozzie was guest hosting while Kermit was sick.
  • In The IT Crowd, Roy and Moss try to walk out of Gay! The Gay Musical.
  • Sesame Street had a musical routine where Little Jerry and the Monotones play a song called "Exit". The song essentially describes the meaning of Exit, i.e. how to get out. As he sings the nightclub guests up and leave (through the Exit door, of course). Even the backup vocalists split before the song is done. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dFYsrGw5eI

Newspaper Comics

Stand-Up Comedy
  • Paula Poundstone had a one-liner (paraphrased here):
    Paula: Last night I did an hour and a half set. It could have gone longer, but the club had lousy security, and the audience left before I finished.

Western Animation
  • In South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, everyone walks out of the Terence and Philip movie, Asses of Fire, during the "Uncle Fucker" song. The only ones still in the theater are the protagonists, who enjoy the song immensely.
  • The Simpsons: The stands are full for a Springfield Isotopes (minor league baseball) game because Cyndi Lauper is singing the National Anthem. After she finishes practically everyone gets up to leave, until the play-by-play announcer reminds them that there's also a game today. Most people sit back down.
    • The Seven-Beer Snitch; even the orchestra leaves when they hear what's next.
  • Looney Tunes short "Baton Bunny": Bugs Bunny is conducting an orchestra when he's distracted by a fly and thrashes the pit trying to swat it. After he's done he turns to the audience to find that everyone has gone. The only acolades he gets are from the fly he was trying to kill.
  • In an episode of The Flintstones Fred becomes a teen idol. Wilma and Betty sabotage the performance by convincing the teens that Fred is old news, and they all leave during his song.
  • On one Pink Panther cartoon, Pink takes over an orchestra to perform his theme music. When he turns around the house is empty, except for one person: Henry Mancini.
  • In A Bug's Life, bugs start flying out during the circus performance, so a desperate P.T. Flea resorts to their most dangerous routine, Flaming Death.

Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • March 30, 2012
    tvtroper98
    • In thisGarfield, Garfield walks out of a theater because he is out of popcorn.
  • March 30, 2012
    WackyMeetsPractical
    Does this have to be limited to only movies? I think the same concept can be applied to live performances, or even a television variant where the channel is flipped out of frustration. I can't think of any examples, but I've Seen It A Million Times.
  • March 30, 2012
    reub2000
    • The Simpsons: The Seven-Beer Snitch, even the orchestra leaves when they hear what's next.
  • March 30, 2012
    Duncan
    Also happens in live theatre scenarios as well-
    • In the opening of Death Becomes Her, people walk out of the opening number of Songbird!, The Musical of Sweet Bird of Youth that Meryl Streep's character is starring in. Bruce Willis' character sits enraptured.
    • A few people walk out of Springtime For Hitler in The Producers, before the rest think it's a comedy.
  • March 30, 2012
    MorganWick
    This really sounds like People Sit On Chairs. The only way I see of rescuing it is narrowing it to the "particular hang-up" case, but even that is iffy.
  • March 30, 2012
    reub2000
    Chairs???
  • March 31, 2012
    WackyMeetsPractical
    ^^ I don't think it's chairs. Walking out of a theatre during a show is a universal sign that the production being viewed is of poor quality. This is usually a very extreme reaction, as the typical response to seeing a bad movie is to just sit and wait it out, as sitting is usually easier than standing and walking, and these people usually don't have any other place to go and paid too much money on tickets to not wait and see if the film improves. Walk outs, thus, would only usually occur when the show is so bad that it's painful or disturbing, especially if the walk outs occur in mass.

    I can understand calling it chairs if people walk out of a theatre to use the restroom or to make a phone call, as that is just characters leaving a room. But typically, used in fiction, it's a device used to communicate to the viewers that the show is failing. Could be used when characters perform a badly put together School Play or to demonstrate how bad a character's acting ability is.
  • March 31, 2012
    tvtroper98
  • March 31, 2012
    TonyG
    A common version is having the character finish his performance and turn to the audience to take a bow, only to be faced by empty seats.
    • Looney Tunes short "Baton Bunny": Bugs Bunny is conducting an orchestra when he's distracted by a fly and thrashes the pit trying to swat it. After he's done he turns to the audience to find that everyone has gone. The only acolades he gets are from the fly he was trying to kill.
    • In an episode of The Flintstones Fred becomes a teen idol. Wilma and Betty sabotage the performance by convincing the teens that Fred is old news, and they all leave during his song.
    • On one Pink Panther cartoon, Pink takes over an orchestra to perform his theme music. When he turns around the house is empty, except for one person: Henry Mancini.
  • March 31, 2012
    TonyG
    Has happened on The Muppet Show several times. One notable example is the Nancy Walker episode, when Fozzie was guest hosting while Kermit was sick.
  • April 1, 2012
    Arivne
    I agree that this shouldn't just be for movies, but all performances with an audience.

    • Movies
    • Plays
    • Opera
    • Stand Up Comedy routines
    • Professional sports when the home team is losing badly
    • Concerts
    • etc.
  • April 1, 2012
    StevenT
  • April 1, 2012
    randomsurfer
    The Simpsons: The stands are full for a Springfield Isotopes (minor league baseball) game because Cyndi Lauper is singing the National Anthem. After she finishes practically everyone gets up to leave, until the play-by-play announcer reminds them that there's also a game today. Most people sit back down.
  • April 2, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Walking Out On The Show works. It's medium-neutral.
  • May 27, 2012
    TwoGunAngel
    Bumping for some more examples before I launch this.
  • May 27, 2012
    Omeganian
    There is an Urban Legend about Stalin and other officials watching the movie "The Train is Going South" by Yuli Raizman in his presence. During one of the train's stops (something like the sixth), the somewhat bored Stalin suddenly asked "What station is that, Comrade Raizman?" The director, not remembering himself, said in random "Omsk, Comrade Stalin". Stalin stated "That's where I'm getting out".
  • May 27, 2012
    TonyG
    In A Bugs Life, bugs start flying out during the circus performance, so a despearate P.T. Flea resorts to their most dangerous routine, Flaming Death.
  • May 27, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
    Real Life
  • May 27, 2012
    chicagomel
    There's a movie aversion of sorts with Animorphs-Ax left early but it wasn't because the movie was bad, it was because he had to demorph to avoid becoming trapped. IDK if it should go here or not.
  • May 28, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    (I may be wrong, BUT) I'm pretty sure that Roy and Moss try to walk out of Gay! The Gay Musical on The IT Crowd.
  • May 28, 2012
    SquirrelGuy
    Sesame Street had a musical routine where Little Jerry and the Monotones play a song called "Exit". The song essentially describes the meaning of Exit, i.e. how to get out. As he sings the nightclub guests up and leave (through the Exit door, of course). Even the backup vocalists split before the song is done. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dFYsrGw5eI
  • May 28, 2012
    darkjezter
    In the film Waynes World, Wayne is fired during a commercial break after publically humiliating the show's sponsor during an interview, leaving the shy and awkward Garth to do the rest of the show alone.
  • May 30, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Stand Up Comedy: Paula Poundstone had a one-liner (paraphrased here):
    Last night I did an hour and a half set. It could have gone longer, but the club had lousy security, and the audience left before I finished.

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