Created By: DarkbladeWraith on June 26, 2013 Last Edited By: Arivne on July 6, 2013

Noisy Swords

Weapons without moving parts, that sound like they do.

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Swords are relatively uncomplicated things - at their very basic level, they are just a solid metal bar that has been beaten or ground flat and thin along two thirds of its length. No fuss, no complication, and absolutely no moving parts, unless you include decorative handles and the likes.

Not so in fiction. The hero draws his sword and then brings it up to a readied stance, throughout which the weapon *CLACKS* and *CLICKS* as though it had ball-bearings rolling around inside it. In fact, every single time the sword moves outside of its sheath, there's a sharp metallic noise as it reaches its stop.

Other weapons can do it too, apparently. Usually anything metallic, no matter how solid, can make a loud noise as they come to bear and even when touching nothing but air, but occasionally the same thing occurs for weapons made from wood and other materials.

There is some Truth in Television in this Trope - most weapons can have elaborate hilts, crossguards and other decorative parts that can explain small noises. This trope, however, tries to recognise those that don't have this excuse or make far more noise than even these small exceptions should allow.

Sister trope to Noisy Guns, occasionally a (non-gun) form of Dramatic Gun Cock. Not to be confused with Audible Sharpness, which is the sound of the blade parting the air as it is swung. This trope describes the (unlikely) sound made by the weapon itself.


Anime and Manga
  • Dragon Ball Z. Yajirobi and Trunks' katanas and the Z Sword all rattle about whenever brought to bare.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist. Eric's spear occasionally does this when brought to bare, as well as showing off its Audible Sharpness.
  • Ninja Scroll most weapons - including the huge, double-ended glaive and a trident - suffer from this.
  • Samurai Champloo. Constant for heroes and villains alike.
  • Sword of the Stranger. Even small touches of bare fingers against some swords - let alone moving or even swinging them - sounds like metal tapping against metal, particularly during the dramatic final fight with the Foreigner.

  • Zatoichi especially in the 1970's films, but it does occur in the 2003 version.
  • House Of Flying Dagger occurs with knives and spears, as well as swords.

Video Games
  • Chrono Trigger. Crono's sword makes a distinct clinking sound in several of the cutscenes of the Playstation version, as does the Masamune.

Western Animation
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. The Sword of Eternia looks very much like a single piece of iron with a bit of leather wrapped around the hilt. It none-the-less sounds like it has moving parts when it is so much as grabbed, let alone moved about.
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power. She-Ra's sword sounds the same, presumably due to having he same animation studio and, thus, SFX team.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Leonardo's katanas and Shredder's swords all make their own noises when even vaguely in use.
  • Samurai Jack. The titular character's magic katana, as well as the one owned by the Scotsman.
  • Conan the Adventurer. Another hefty, solid looking magical sword that sounds like it has got a screw loose.
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • June 26, 2013
    • Chrono Trigger: Crono's sword makes a distinct clinking sound in several of the cutscenes of the Playstation version. See this link for a good example.
  • June 26, 2013
    Note that this trope has some basis in reality. Crossguards and basket guards on many European swords, especially used ones, aren't affixed exactly firmly and can produce click-clack sounds.
  • June 26, 2013
    Namespaced and italicized the example work titles and added media headings.

    Note that as written Samurai Jack is a Zero Context Example and needs to be fleshed out.
  • June 27, 2013
    This is Audible Sharpness. Audible Sharpness is that noisy metal sound effect. Not air whooshing as you swing.
  • June 27, 2013
    This is not "Zzing!", this is "Clik clak", as far as I understand.
  • June 27, 2013
    swords go 'clik clak'? when they're not hitting anything?
  • June 27, 2013
    ^ Watch that Chrono Trigger link in MattStriker's post. That should give you a pretty good idea. The first time the sound occurs is at 0:03.
  • June 27, 2013
    A quick look at Audible Sharpness found a couple of examples that describe a "clack" instead of a "shing":
    • While it's true that drawing a katana from a sheath does make a noise, in Rurouni Kenshin the mere act of notching the sword (pushing the hilt forward slightly to loosen it in its scabbard) makes an audible click. Similarly Saito's sword makes a loud click whenever he turns it for his trademark stance.
    • Shiki's knives in Kara No Kyoukai have a tendency to clack when moved, despite the fact that they don't seem to have any moving parts (they're knives, after all).

    That said, I share doubts about whether there's a meaningful distinction between this and Audible Sharpness to be worth a separate trope. They're both "bladed weapons make sounds when readied, when realistically they shouldn't." I do think Audible Sharpness could be expanded to encompass both versions, though.
  • June 29, 2013
    They may be similar but I think they are used for different things. Audible Sharpness is used to show/remind us that the swords are sharp (and it sounds cool). They also don't need to be moving at all to make this sound. Audible Sharpness also covers anything that's sharp, like claws.

    Noisy Swords is that clickety clack swords(and some other weapons) make whenever they are moved.
  • July 5, 2013
    • Have added some details for Samurai Jack.
    • Have also added the Truth In Television trope, thank you for the inspiration.
    • m8e and Matt Striker/Paradisesnake have the right idea of what I was intending for this trope - it's more about the sound made by the weapon itself, rather than what it's doing or touching.
  • July 5, 2013
    oh okay, i know the sound
  • Live Action TV
    • Wayne Brady and Ryan Stiles play with this in the popular "Zorro" sketch on Whose Line Is It Anyway, where the two engage in a musical sword fight, striking each other's swords in a rhythmic pattern, allowing the "ching" to provide an interlude, much to Colin's directoral annoyance.