Created By: justanotherrandomlurker on June 19, 2013 Last Edited By: Arivne on June 20, 2013

Signature Walk

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Trope
Characters have a lot of different quirks and tics that they are known for, including certain ways they have of talking, but in addition to talking the talk, they can also walk the walk.

Sometimes a walk can be more than a simple placing one foot after the other and moving forward, sometimes a walk can be a part of a character's identity. Cuba Gooding, Jr. has said that one of the first things he does when preparing for a character he's playing is to create a walk for them.

Subtrope of Body Language; related to Character Tic or Signature Style.

Examples

Film
  • Radio. The title character has very brief pauses with each step he takes, while also slightly shifting his upper body from side to side.
  • Young Frankenstein. Played for Laughs with Igor's sideways shuffle and slight limp, especially when walking down a flight of stairs, and asking Frederic to, "Walk this way", of which he means for Frederic to not only follow him, but walk exactly as he does as well.

Live Action TV
  • Sanford and Son. Fred's exaggerated bow-legged waddle is even Played for Laughs on occasion throughout the series. In fact, two specific episodic examples include "Ebenzer Sanford", where a dream sequence shows Fred had that walk even as a child; another is "Aunt Esther Meets Her Son", in which Esther's adopted teenaged son remarks that Fred has, "Paranthesis for legs".
  • Becomes a plot point in an episode of Seinfeld, in which Elaine's new co-worker has a quirk of not moving her arms when she walks.

Western Animation

Community Feedback Replies: 4
  • June 19, 2013
    TonyG
    Super trope to Silly Walk.
  • June 20, 2013
    JonnyB
    • George Jefferson had a very distinctive walk. More of a strut, with his back straight, head high and back, arms swinging not at his sides but alternately back and forth behind his back, stiffly with fists clenched.
    • Every member of the Cosby Kids had a distinctively different walk. Fat Albert bounces on each step, Rudy walks with his hands in his pockets, hunched over and swaying his head and shoulders back and forth in kind of a strut, Russell has a fast shuffle, Bucky leans forward almost Grouch style, his arms swinging back and forth ape-like, Weird Harold kicks his feet out to the side and slaps them down hard, Mush Mouth waddles with his hands flapping up and down at the wrists, etc.
  • June 20, 2013
    Duncan
    • In The Birdcage, while trying to get Camp Gay Albert to butch it up, Armand suggests he try walking like John Wayne, with hilarious results. (I think there's a similar gag in La Cage Aux Folles, but it's been a while since I've seen it.)
      Albert: No good?
      Armand: Actually, it's perfect. I just never realized John Wayne walked like that.
  • June 20, 2013
    randomsurfer
    ^^Sherman Helmsley reused that strut for Amen.

    Alternative Comics: Robert Crumb's "Keep On Truckin'" had this...weird walk but not a Silly Walk which I can't describe well. You sort of lean back while putting each foot way out in front of you. Here's the original comic, and here's somebody doing it for real.

    Rhinestone: Sylvester Stallone as a New Yorker who is being groomed into a country music star is given the advice that in order to have a country swaggar he should was "like he has jock itch." Then when he tries it, a couple of real country people wonder aloud if he has jock itch.
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