Created By: dotchan on November 24, 2010 Last Edited By: dotchan on November 28, 2010
Troped

Waving Signs Around

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Trope
Do We Have This? Rolling Updates. Renamed and reworded to cover both versions.

In any mass public gathering, positive--on the campaign trail, during sporting events, to raise awareness--or negative--at protests and/or strikes, there's bound to be people waving signs around.

In more humorous depictions, expect at least one sign to be completely irrelevant to the actual topic--"Hi, Mom", "Buy at Moe's", "I came to this rally and all I got was this stupid sign", etc.

See also Torches and Pitchforks, for when the crowd gets too rowdy.

(Companion YKTTW: Slogan Yelling Megaphone Guy)

Positive Support Examples:

Real Life
  • Monday Night Football - Many of the signs have Fun with Acronyms, using the letters MNF to spell something humorous.
  • The John 3:16 guy.

Negative Protest Examples:

Comics

Film
  • Played with in the film PCU, where there is an entire student organization evidently devoted to protesting for various causes, the cause in question seemingly changing with each week. At the end of the movie, the protagonists stage a large ad hoc protest against the college president, and offer some of their signs to the leader of the student protest organization, to which they reply "We brought our own" and produce a set of blank picket signs and markers that they evidently carry around with them.
  • ALL POWER TO THE SOVIETS! OVERTHROW THE AUTOCRACY! STOP THE WAR!

Literature
  • In one Hardy Boys story, the boys and their friend (Chester, I think his name was) are investigating a massive protest against a boat, and get handed signs (which makes for a difficult moment when the boys' employer turns out to be the owner of the boat). Chester brings his own sign reading "FRANK HARDY FOR MAYOR".

Live-Action Television
  • Father Ted and Dougal protesting outside a cinema (see the page image). "Down with this sort of thing!" "Careful now!"
  • How I Met Your Mother - Ted has to wrestle with a crowd of protesters who don't want the Arcadia, a beloved old building, to be torn down.

Webcomics

Western Animation
  • Played with in an episode of The Boondocks. Huey assembles an army of sign wavers to try and shut down Jasmine's lemonade stand, but when Huey tries to start a riot, they just stand around swaying ineffectually. One of them explains that they will shut down the lemonade stand...even if it takes several years.
  • On South Park the boys get roped into an anti-war protest rally, complete with signs (They only did it to get out of class.) They demonstrate on TV that they don't know anything about it, pissing off Mr. Garrison.
Newsperson: Can you tell me why you marched out of school today?
Stan: Uh.....war.
Newsperson: Right and what about the war?
Kyle: It's, it's....gay?
Newsperson: Uh huh and what aspect of it do you think it most gay?
Kyle: Uh...reading the sign he's carrying no blood for oil!
Stan: Yeah, reading war is not my voice:
Cartman: reading Bush is a nayzzi!
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • November 24, 2010
    randomsurfer
    See the page image at Citation Needed (from XKCD).
  • November 25, 2010
    Chabal2
    In one Hardy Boys story, the boys and their friend (Chester, I think his name was) are investigating a massive protest against a boat, and get handed signs (which makes for a difficult moment when the boys' employer turns out to be the owner of the boat). Chester brings his own sign reading "FRANK HARDY FOR MAYOR".

    There's also a variation in which the sign is actually an advertisement for some company or other.
  • November 25, 2010
    DougSMachina
  • November 25, 2010
    randomsurfer
    On South Park the boys get roped into an anti-war protest rally, compelte with signs (They only did it to get out of class.) They demonstrate on TV that they don't know anything about it which pisses off Mr. Garrison.
    Newsperson: Can you tell me why you marched out of school today?
    Stan: Uh.....war.
    Newsperson: Right and what about the war?
    Kyle: It's, it's....gay?
    Newsperson: Uh huh and what aspect of it do you think it most gay?
    Kyle: Uh...reading the sign he's carrying no blood for oil!
    Stan: Yeah, reading war is not my voice:
    Cartman: reading Bush is a nayzzi!
  • November 25, 2010
    Frank75
    The xkcd example was at a wikipedia conference.
  • November 25, 2010
    AnimeOtaku
    This could simply be Torches And Pitchforks brought up to date.
  • November 25, 2010
    dotchan
    Right now I'm collecting both positive and negative examples. So I'd consider the John 3:16 guy as falling under this trope.
  • November 27, 2010
    SomeGuy
    Played with in an episode of The Boondocks. Huey assembles an army of sign wavers to try and shut down Jasmine's lemonade stand, but when Huey tries to start a riot, they just stand around swaying ineffectually. One of them explains that they will shut down the lemonade stand...even if it takes several years.
  • November 27, 2010
    aurora369
  • November 27, 2010
    randomsurfer
    I really don't think the XKCD example is at a Wikipedia conference, it's just a Wikipedia editor at a convention. See all the red white and blue bunting, present at most political rallys in the US.
  • November 27, 2010
    AFP
    Played with in the film PCU, where there is an entire student organization evidently devoted to protesting for various causes, the cause in question seemingly changing with each week. At the end of the movie, the protagonists stage a large ad hoc protest against the college president, and offer some of their signs to the leader of the student protest organization, to which they reply "We brought our own" and produce a set of blank picket signs and markers that they evidently carry around with them.
  • November 28, 2010
    randomsurfer

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=xluic9f153jrx83tnlouk0xk