[[quoteright:300:[[Series/MrBean http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Mr_bean_rifle1_3140.jpg]]]]

This is a {{British Media Trope|s}} about the '''Queen's Guard''' as it appears in '''fiction'''.

Whenever our ensemble cast goes on an adventure touring UsefulNotes/{{Britain}} (and by "Britain" we mean, of course, [[BritainIsOnlyLondon "London"]]), there's always going to come a point where one or all of our characters wind up at Buckingham Palace where he/she/they will, no doubt, encounter these oddly-dressed fellows in [[NiceHat giant, furry hats]] and red shirts who appear to be extremely disciplined and dedicated to following a strict code that seems to entail only two things:

# Marching in perfect synchronization at regular intervals.
# Standing completely still and unresponsive no matter what is happening around or, more frequently, ''to'' them.

When played straight, one should always expect to see tourist characters trying to provoke an emotional response out of them (usually either laughter or surprise to a sudden "JumpScare"), taking advantage of the guard's duty to remain still (often becoming the victim of a MotionlessMakeover), or observing the surreal levels to which they adhere to their marching schedules and routines--''especially'' the Changing of the Guard--with little to no consequences to the characters observing them.

However, this becomes more and more of a DiscreditedTrope as time goes by and can now effectively be considered a DeadHorseTrope. In RealLife, the Guards are not posted as a ceremonial tradition to amuse tourists but, in fact, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin actually guard]] [[PraetorianGuard Her Majesty, The Queen]].
Silly hats and clothes aside, these guys take their jobs ''[[SeriousBusiness very]]'' [[SeriousBusiness seriously]]; they're typically carrying [[CoolGun 5.56mm caliber assault rifles]] that are ready armed, loaded, and usually [[BayonetYa affixed with bayonets]], and they don't take kindly to mocking tourists. And the reason there are five whole Guards regiments (and two of guards cavalry)? They only spend a small portion of their time on ceremonial duties. Odds are that most of the men on duty at the moment have recently been in an active warzone as most Guards units have fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan in the past decade at one time or another.

As TheOtherWiki will tell you, guards at Buckingham Palace haven't even been posted outside the Palace's gate since the late 1950's ''because'' of the annoying tourists (likely trying to imitate a scene from ''ILoveLucy'', below) as a measure to prevent any bad incidents for the good of the guards and the safety of the tourists. However, the guards posted at St. James's Palace are still stationed in areas open to the public. The nearby Horse Guards on Whitehall is guarded by mounted Guardsmen with drawn sabres, on the pavement outside. Tourists should note that while the guards are absolutist about not moving regardless of the provocation, the horses are not. Interestingly they're not actually guarding anything--members of the public can pass through the open gate between them at almost any time (you just need special permission to drive through). Except for the changing-of-the-guard sequence, during which the sergeant will ''scream'' at any tourists unfortunate enough to stand in the way.

Another inaccuracy in the media is that often the guard is quite small, or at least only average height. In fact, the Brigade of Guards traditionally insists on recruits being at least six feet tall.

[[Website/YouTube Online videos]] taken by tourists frequently display people's attempts at getting a rise out of one of these guys; sometimes they fight back!

If you're really in a mood to play games with these guys, don't expect to come out unscathed. RealityIsUnrealistic; you have been warned.
----
! Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* One WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes story involved Daffy Duck trying to get a British Royal Guard to laugh. He fails so very, very miserably. [[spoiler: Though, as a crazed Daffy said as he was being taken away, the guy was indeed laughing on the inside.]]
* One of Paul Coker's "The Shadow Knows ..." in ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'' had a bunch of tourists making silly faces posing next to a BRG. The shadow version of the guard was angrily chasing the frightened tourists away and waving his bayonet at them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Commercials]]
* A [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZGSTfP7jfE Visa Check Card commercial]] plays with this trope by featuring a young man in jeans and a gray T-shirt standing perfectly still outside Buckingham Palace and staring while people ask him questions and try to figure out what he's staring at and otherwise leave him to contend with the elements of nature. At the end, a BritishRoyalGuard marches up, stands beside him and says, "Dry cleaners wouldn't take a check again, eh Nigel?" Nigel marches off and is later seen in formation with a group of traditionally dressed guards.
* There's a [[http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1387723567200 commercial]] for chain restaurant Red Robin, wherein a pair of tourists, a husband and wife, are trying to get the guard to react. The husband finally sings the first part of the Red Robin jingle, and the guard chimes in with the last part, "YUM!" The husband cackles with triumph.
** Which is really weird because there are no Red Robins in the UK.
* How do a group of kids get a guard to move? By tempting him with the delicious taste of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWh9R8phUBI Honeycomb Cereal of course.]]
* Blue Bunny Cadbury chocolate [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy8QnQi0t38 commercial]] has the family attracting the refrigerator guard's attention with ice cream.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Music/TheBeatles movie ''Film/{{Help}}'' features a small battalion of marching guardsmen [[InstantSedation immediately collapsing mid-march]] after inadvertently getting hit with knockout gas.
--> '''Ringo:''' It must be their tea break.
* In ''ShanghaiKnights'' Roy plays the part of the annoying tourist. After failing to provoke a reaction, he gives the guard a friendly pat on the shoulder, and receives a GroinAttack with the butt of the guard's rifle in return. Apparently, at least in that universe, [[SubvertedTrope the guards are allowed to react if you touch them]].
* ''[[AustinPowers Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me]]'' has a montage where Austin and Felicity get a royal guard to "participate" in a MotionlessMakeover, although the guards eventually do break their stillness to chase after Austin and Felicity at one point as well.
* ''{{Garfield}}: A Tail Of Two Kitties'' has a bit with Odie [[UrineTrouble peeing on one of the statuesque guards]]. Unfortunately, this ''is'' enough for the guard to [[SubvertedTrope take notice and chase after the cat and dog]].
* In the spy comedy ''[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060121/ Arabesque]]'', there is a scene where the two protagonists (played by Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren) have some difficulties retrieving a McGuffin after it was stepped-on by a British Royal Guard.
* Briefly played straight in ''{{Cars 2}}''.
* ''Film/PatriotGames'':
** When first seen while Jack Ryan and his family are touring London, the still guard trope is played with briefly; Ryan's eight-year-old daughter tries to get the attention of one of the guards by doing an improvised tap-dance in front of him. After getting no response, she salutes and says, "I'm impressed."
** The second the attack on Lord William Holmes begins, they quickly snap into action to protect him, and for a moment mistake Jack as being one of the terrorists. Thankfully for the Ryans, the attackers are all dead or incapacitated by that point and the guard in question just orders Jack to drop his gun.
--->'''Guard:''' Army! Drop it!
* The Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen direct-to-video release ''Winning London'' includes a scene where the twins and their friends attempt to make the guards laugh. It doesn't work. (Though the blooper reel does show that the guys playing the guards did break a few times.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/PatriotGames'' by Creator/TomClancy depicts the more serious side of them, as when the Prince of Wales is attacked by terrorists the guards come running. They almost stab our hero with their bayonets[[note]]It's also implied that his gun was loaded and he was ready to fire as well, but didn't because of the crowd[[/note]]. Later, Ryan is invited into the unit's private pub for a drink and given a bearskin (the tall, fancy hat) as a gift, in gratitude for his actions during the attack.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* The ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' episode ''The Sign of Three'' features a guard as one of the clients. He is shown remaining absolutely still and expressionless while on duty, and changing with the appropriate theatrical stiff arm waving. Tourists take pictures with him and such, but none of them make an active attempt to bother or get a rise out of him. He does, however, [[spoiler: have a stalker who is using him as the test subject for a murder.]]
* The above picture comes from a ''Series/MrBean'' skit where the title character would do an assortment of increasingly pesky things to a guard in preparation for a posed photograph, all while the guard remains perfectly still. It all basically amounts to one hell of a MotionlessMakeover. Among the things Bean does to the guard, he polishes the trigger of his gun, trims the guard's mustache to resemble [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler Hitler's]], and decorates him with flowers. [[spoiler: At the end, the guard receives his orders to march to his next post, just before the picture could be taken.]]
* ''Series/ILoveLucy's'' European vacation story arc during the show's fifth season began in London where Lucy visited Buckingham Palace and missed out on seeing the Queen when she became preoccupied with desperately attempting to get a guard to crack a smile. [[spoiler: If one looks really closely, one can see the guard's lips curling up slightly.]] This scene originally aired four years before the Queen's Guard ceased maintaining posts outside Buckingham Palace and prior to several controversies between foreign tourists and the guards in RealLife.
** The exact same routine was copied verbatim in Creator/EthelMerman's television special ''Merman On Broadway''.
* In ''Series/{{Bones}}'', when Brennan and Booth go to London they suspect a palace guardsman of killing the VictimOfTheWeek, but it turns out he only beat the guy up for sleeping with his sister. While waiting for the guard to finish his tour Booth taunts him, knowing that he can't react. When Booth discovers the truth about the two, he apologizes to the guard who very subtly acknowledges Booth with his eyes.
* In ''Series/DueSouth'', Constable Benton Fraser mimics these guards' "statuesque" reputation whenever he stands on guard duty at the Canadian Consulate, as does his junior, Constable Renfield Turnbull. Once, when Fraser is [[TimmyInAWell stuck in a (metaphorical) well]], he sends his half-wolf/half-dog Diefenbaker to get help; Dief patiently waits in front of Turnbull until his tour is up, at which point he finally barks the news about Fraser to him and Turnbull is able to respond.
** In one episode the Canadian ambassador and Meg Thatcher reflect that they could probably replace Turnbull with a waxwork dummy.
** Other episodes feature the local children trying to get whichever Mountie is standing as sentry to react to teasing and pranks. A good example of the latter has a kid eating a melting ice cream and dripping it onto Fraser's carefully spit-shined boots. It doesn't work, of course.
* Played mostly straight on an episode of ''Series/MarriedWithChildren''. Peggy knows the best way to get the guard to smile is to take one of Al's shoes and let the guard get a good whiff of the odor. Of course, he doesn't smile until she takes the shoe ''away''. He then passes out. This is after blonde, nubile Kelly has literally wrapped herself around him and gotten no response, even after telling him, "I'm stupid, too!"
* The opening of the second season of ''ABitOfFryAndLaurie'' has the two comedians playing with a guard. The guard charges Laurie when he gets too close.
* Played with in an episode of ''Series/FullHouse'' when Joey and his GirlOfTheWeek were going to meet the Queen of England. Joey attempted to get a rise out of one, presumably failing. He turns away, and the guard then kicks him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music Videos]]
* The video for Fergie's "London Bridge", Fergie touches, caresses, flirts with and in general appears to be trying to get another sort of "rise" out of one of the Royal Guards.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Newspaper Comics]]
* ''BloomCounty'' had a strip where sort-of newsman Skip Limekiller is filming a piece in front of one of the guards, and reels off the usual cliches, ending with something like "I could even suggest his mother is a hairy-faced yak." The guard immediately and indignantly replies.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Other Media]]
* Street performers in London use this getup as an alternative to the LivingStatue. [[IThoughtItMeant No]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_statue the other kind.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* In the Creator/GilbertAndSullivan musical ''Theatre/{{Iolanthe}}'', Private Willis is one of these, and he sings a solo while no one's looking.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/KillingFloor's'' "London's Finest" character pack includes Captain Wiggins who is dressed as such a guard, although his uniform isn't exactly in the best shape.
* The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPHPd1EP_c8&t=1m55s E3 trailer]] for ''VideoGame/ZombiU'' features one such guardsman. He's lost his hat, but he's still using his [[BayonetYa bayonet]] to decapitate zombies with ease. And the box art features a zombie guardsman, hat included.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** The episode "The Regina Monologues" sees the family vacation in London, where Homer crashes their car through the front gate at Buckingham Palace and into the Queen's carriage. Royal guards beat Homer senselessly but stop half-way through to observe the Changing of the Guard. Homer's beating continues at the hands of the next group of guards on duty.
** In "Bart vs. Australia," Homer mistakes a U.S. Marine posted outside the American Embassy for one of these guards:
---> '''Homer:''' Hey! Are you like one of those English guards who can't laugh or smile or anything? [makes noises and faces at him and gets punched in the face] Ow!
---> '''Marine:''' No, ''sir''! U.S. Marine Corps, ''sir''!
** And yet another episode has Homer mistake Shaolin Monks as the British guards. He's met with [[strike:similar]] ''impressive'' results - a monk rips his heart out, [[AndShowItToYou shows it to him]], then puts it back in.
* ''WesternAnimation/FlushedAway'' features an American couple teasing a guard in the [[MouseWorld sewer rat version]] of London.
* [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' where Peter believes the guard won't move. However, he does and responds to Peter, "Nope, that's [[LieBackAndThinkOfEngland only our women]]."
* The title characters of ''PinkyAndTheBrain'' once had to tip one over (cow tipping) to get into a club. The guard falls like a tree.
* In ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo'', the title character once confused a mall security cop for one of these, who as it turns out was just bored.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBremenAvenueExperience'', the "London Town" sequence in "Barrett's Story" includes a human BritishRoyalGuard and the GiantFootOfStomping from the TitleSequence of ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus''.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' has its own version; The Princess Royal Guards of Equestria are as disciplined and stoic as the British Royal Guards. Rainbow Dash annoys them, making small talk and funny faces; the guards don't react to her at all. They only moved a muscle when Fluttershy tries to enter the building they were guarding. [[spoiler: And when Rainbow Dash convinces Philomena to tickle their noses.]]
-->'''Rainbow Dash:''' Ooo... you're good. (Beat) Too good, I'm bored.
* ''Disney/TheGreatMouseDetective'' features, in its final act, two such guards being ''easily beaten up by henchmen''. It's pretty insulting.
* In ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'', Jade tries to attract the Royal Guard's attention (being the nearest authority figure) to report the Magisters' attack, but fails.
* Seen at a glimpse in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Oojl_D3qEw a trailer]] for the ''WesternAnimation/AxeCop'' animated episode "Zombie Island... in Space", the Queen of "London, England" is flanked by a couple of guards, who don't move a muscle when she's captured by a giant zombie robot.
* The AnimatedAdaptation of ''WesternAnimation/MaxAndRuby'' has an episode in which the title characters visit "Bunningham Palace" and Max attempts to get a smile out of one of these, or their bunny counterpart anyway.
* ''WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget'' had an episode in England where Chief Quimby was posing as a guard to give Gadget his assignment.
[[/folder]]
----