Created By: MaxWest on December 5, 2012 Last Edited By: DAN004 on March 18, 2016

Awkward Silence Entrance

Eating, drinking, and activity stops upon seeing a newcomer, outsider or outcast enter

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Trope
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. This may be made funnier with someone who's pouring something (tea, coffee, etc) pours it too much because he/she's stunned in silence when this guy enters. 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 and Manga
  • 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.
  • Willow. When the title character 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.
  • Peewees Big Adventure
    • 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 again 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 SpongeBob SquarePants 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, because 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.

Community Feedback Replies: 41
  • December 5, 2012
    captainpat
    Please rewrite the description without the Alice And Bob scenario. That's an Example As A Thesis. You don't need an example in your trope description when you have an example section right below it.
  • December 5, 2012
    justanotherrandomlurker
    • Peewees Big Adventure: 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.
  • December 5, 2012
    MaxWest
    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.
  • December 5, 2012
    TonyG
    • 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.
  • December 5, 2012
    rcmerod52
    • Rango: When Rango first enters the saloon, the patrons all quiet down, and all eyes turn to him.
  • December 19, 2012
    randomsurfer
    • 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.
  • December 19, 2012
    Chabal2
    Sort of happens 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.
  • January 19, 2013
    MaxWest
    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.
  • January 19, 2013
    StarSword
    Film:
    • 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.
  • January 22, 2013
    Chernoskill
    A staple of the Western genre.
  • January 23, 2013
    Arivne
    Film
    • Three 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.
  • January 23, 2013
    Sackett
    Isn't this really a larger trope?

    People are engaged in some activity and everything stops when a new person enters the scene. Half the time people actually freeze in whatever position they are in. In comedic versions some object in motion continues in motion and smacks somebody. (eg The people pausing were in the middle of a game of catch, and the ball was mid throw.)

  • January 23, 2013
    Tal63
    I think it needs a better name. It sounds like a trope about being poisoned.
  • January 23, 2013
    StarSword
  • January 23, 2013
    MaxWest
    @Tal63 Gimme a break. It was the best I could think of at the moment.

    @Star Sword That's a worthy suggestion.

    Anyone else got ideas for better names?
  • January 23, 2013
    robinjohnson
    • 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!"
  • January 23, 2013
    Larkmarn
    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).
  • January 23, 2013
    Telcontar
    I like the current name (Eat Drink And Go Silent, in case it's changed in the future) as it's a nice play on "eat, drink, and be merry". I see how it could be misinterpreted, though; what about Silence Upon Entrance?

    Oh, and an example.
    • 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.
  • May 11, 2013
    Stratadrake
    I would call it actively misleading, as "go silently" is a metaphor for a number of things, including death.
  • May 11, 2013
    DaibhidC
    • 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.
  • May 11, 2013
    Bisected8
    With the Harry Potter example, the Daily Prophet wasn't involved (it didn't start bothering Harry until the 4th book and wasn't outright trying to discredit him until the 5th). Just student gossip.

    Also, what about Party Stopping Presense or Awkward Silence Entrance.
  • May 11, 2013
    randomsurfer
    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.
  • May 12, 2013
    rcmerod52
    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".
  • May 29, 2013
    StarSword
    Hatted.
  • May 29, 2013
    Arivne
    Added a hat.
  • March 11, 2015
    Arivne

    • Examples section
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
      • Changed unnecessary double curly braces to Camel Case.
      • Corrected improper Example Indentation in the Peewees Big Adventure examples.
      • Corrected spelling (becuase).
      • Namespaced and italicized work names.
      • Added an asterisk at the beginning of examples to indent them.
  • March 11, 2015
    Arivne
    Film
    • Live And Let Die. When James Bond walks into the Fillet of Soul restaurant in New York the entire crowd slowly goes completely silent. It might be because the Fillet of Soul is in Harlem and everyone in the crowd is black, while Bond is white. Or it might be because all of them work for Kananga/Mr. Big and the situation is a trap.
  • March 11, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
    This can also happen if someone asks about something the other patrons don't want to be talked about. Such as in South Park The Stick Of Truth, when the "humans" enter the "elf" bar, and the bar goes on normally until they ask for The Bard, and then the place goes silent.
  • March 12, 2015
    DAN004
  • March 12, 2015
    eroock
  • March 12, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^ I like that name.

    So would what I just described at ^^^ be a Sister Trope?
  • March 12, 2015
    Illemar
    Happens in Pacific Rim, after Raleigh and Mako's disastrous first drift. We first see Raleigh getting his food and seeing everybody look up as he comes down the stairs into the canteen, then look across to find Mako on the other end of the canteen, the rest also staring at her. They end up going off together to eat.
  • March 12, 2015
    DAN004
    The someone who enters may be The Dreaded.
  • March 14, 2015
    Arivne
    Other Sites
  • February 2, 2016
    DAN004
    This may be made funnier with someone who's pouring something (tea, coffee, etc) pours it too much because he/she's stunned in silence when this guy enters.
  • February 2, 2016
    NateTheGreat
    Eat Drink And Go Silent is clever, but fails as a clear, easy-to-find title.
  • March 6, 2016
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons, Dungeon magazine adventure "The Standing Stones of Sundown". When the PCs enter the Witch's Brew tavern, all conversation stops and the patrons turn to look at them. After a few seconds they continue their conversations, but occasionally cast anxious glances at the new arrivals. They are worried because of the strange events that have recently started to occur nearby.
  • March 18, 2016
    Berrenta
    <Mod Hat ON>

    As we appear to have an issue on the title, I went ahead and undid the launch. We will need to figure out what this should be titled before we can relaunch.
  • March 18, 2016
    BKelly95
    Advertising
    • A commercial for Planter's Peanuts has Mr. Peanut hosting a party and explaining to the audience how to put on such a bash. He goes on to say you have to be a gracious host no matter who shows up. As if on cue, a nutcracker enters and the crowd goes silent. The nutcracker apologizes for an incident the previous week and we see a bandage on the back of Mr. Peanut's head.
  • March 18, 2016
    Generality
    Probably the most archetypal version of this trope occurs in westerns; the standard image is of either a criminal or lawman entering a bar (Good Guy Bar or Bad Guy Bar respectively) through those swinging doors and everyone goes silent (always including a piano player), knowing that a gunfight is about to ensue. I don't know how many actual westerns feature this scene, but it's well-known enough to be often parodied.
  • March 18, 2016
    DAN004
    Took the liberty to change the title. (It's still tentative though)
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=z84j8i595npdoyjoh3rrb3fy