Eat, Drink, and Go Silent
Eating, drinking, and activity stops upon seeing a newcomer, outsider or outcast enter
Better Name

(permanent link) added: 2012-12-05 13:10:34 sponsor: MaxWest (last reply: 2013-05-29 20:28:32)

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A person or persons spot a restaurant (or bar or tavern, etc) and enter. The customers inside are eating their meals, drinking heartily, and chatting with each other...then slowly or abruptly go silent as they see these new customers at the entrance.

This could happen for a number of reasons. This eating establishment could be a Local Hangout of a small town or remote area and it's quickly obvious the now-silent patrons recognize the new arrivals as not being from around here. If either the newly arrived customer is a local and the target of scandalous gossip or just considered a social outcast, this trope may also happen. It could be a Bad-Guy Bar and the rogues there are giving the newcomers dirty looks.

At this point, the awkward silence may cause the newcomers to turn right around and leave. They may alternatively take a seat at the counter or at the table (depending on the setting). If the bartender, waitstaff, or customers don't like a liking to new arrivals, they may tell them outright to leave or alternately say that they're not welcome here. And Heaven forbid they sit in a booth or table that is used by that certain regular.

Compare The Freelance Shame Squad, which is a similar phenomenon where everyone in the room instantly pays attention to the protagonist (this time for doing something embarrassing).

Examples:

Anime
  • Street Fighter II V has this happen to Ryu in a prison cafeteria (instead of a bar or restaurant). Silence greets him as he enters the cafeteria after recovering from a brutal torture session with the warden. Some chatter starts up about Ryu being the new guy and how he lasted through the warden's physical torture as he heads over to get some food.

Fan Works
  • In the EarthBound Fan Fiction Gender Roles, the customers act this way when they see a new couple of females enter the restaurant Ness and Paula are in. The waitress also specifically tells them to leave, claiming that they are "both absolutely disgusting and aren't welcome here in this place".

Film
  • Abraham Van Helsing gets this in Horror of Dracula as he goes into a tavern in Klausenberg. Music stops playing upon his entry and the patrons just stare at him in silence. The tavernkeeper willingly provides him with a brandy and a meal, but goes mum when pressed on the whereabouts of Jonathan Harker.
  • When Willow heads into a tavern, he's greeted by dirty stares from some shady cutthroats within. Things do go silent when he asks for milk for his infant charge, Elora Danan. He gets met with angry shouting, forcing him to flee.
  • PeeweesBigAdventure: Pee-wee enters a diner, but when he says, "Large Marge sent me", everyone drops what they're doing, and turn towards him, all with shock and disbelief on their faces.
    • It happens a second time in said movie when Pee-Wee visits the biker bar. It doesn't happen though until Pee-Wee draws attention to himself by shouting at the bikers to be quiet since he wants to use the phone.
  • Happens during Po's dream in Kung Fu Panda.
  • In The Great Mouse Detective, the bar goes quiet when Basil mentions Ratigan.
  • Happens twice in succession on The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie. Once when Patrick goes into the Thug Tug and asks to go to the bathroom, and again when one of the bubbles he and SpongeBob made in said bathroom wanders out into the bar.
  • Rango: When Rango first enters the saloon, the patrons all quiet down, and all eyes turn to him.
  • Done twice in Red Tails when the Tuskeegee Airmen enter the officially whites-only officers' club. The first time, Lightning goes it alone, gets told to leave, and blows his stack. The second time, after the squadron manages to escort a bomber group to and from the target with no bombers lost, the leader of the bomber group tells the bartender "they're with us" and buys them a round.
  • Used in Victor/Victoria when King, dressed in a tuxedo, walks into a working-class bar for the express purpose of picking a fight.
  • íThree Amigos!. This happens when the Amigos walk into the bar in the town near Santo Poco. Justified because they're wearing showy stage outfits. You can watch it here.
  • In the 1971 film Countess Dracula, tavern patrons go silent as military officers Captain Dobi and Lieutenant Toth enter and take a table. Justified possibly due to them being soldiers.
  • In An American Werewolf in London, the patrons within the Slaughtered Lamb pub go abruptly silent when Jack and David enter. They go silent a second time when the two Americans ask about the pentagram on the wall.

Literature
  • Gor
    • In Outlaw of Gor when Tarl enters a Kal-Da shop (basically a very low class, low rent bar) everyone stops and stares at him because he's a stranger in a town which doesn't get many strangers - because any strangers in town after sundown are taken slave by the local authorities.
    • In Assassin of Gor Tarl enters a more run-of-the-mill tavern and everyone stops and stares, becuase he's in disguise as an Assassin. When they all realize that they're not who he's there for, they slowly go back to their former activities.
  • When the other students are caught up in the lies of the Daily Prophet and believe that Harry Potter is evil, such as after he speaks Parseltongue in Chamber of Secrets, he is often annoyed by how they fall silent due to fear when he enters a room.
  • Occurs a couple of times in Discworld:
    • In Mort, when Mort enters the Duke's Head:
    As one man, the assembled company stopped talking and stared at him with that honest rural stare that suggests that for two pins they'll hit you around the head with a shovel and bury your body in a compost heap at full moon.
    Two hundred eyes watched the pair as they pushed their way through the crowd to the bar, a hundred mouths paused in the act of drinking, cursing or pleading, and ninety-nine brows crinkled with the effort of working out whether the newcomers fell into category A, people to be frightened of or B, people to frighten.

Live-Action TV
  • Subverted in an episode of Father Ted. Ted strides into the prizegiving at the King of the Sheep competition and boldly announces that he has evidence the competition is corrupt. The room immediately goes silent - except for one just audible "Fucking hell!"
On Soap the Tate family, usually at dinner, always stops what they're talking about in mid-sentence when youngest son Billy (age 12) enters the room, in order to "protect" him from the adult situations they have to deal with. He's quite annoyed with this. He only finds out that his sister (and later his mother) are accused of murder by reading the newspaper.

Newspaper Comics
  • Subverted in one Far Side strip: two musicians in a saloon see an Obviously Evil cowboy coming in, so one tells the other to start playing in a minor key (rather than going silent).

Western Animation
  • In the Count Duckula episode "Igor's Busy Day", Scott and Laura, a young couple visiting Transylvania, stop by a local inn named "Ye Tooth and Jugular" after their car breaks down. The couple enter in the middle of the patrons singing a drinking song which abruptly stops upon their entry.
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