->'''Coma:''' Together, we're called --\\
'''Badpan:''' He's fallen asleep again!\\
'''Coma:''' I wasn't sleeping -- I was pausing for dramatic effect! Now you've spoiled it!
-->-- "When Bongos Collide!", ''[[ComicBook/TheSimpsons Simpsons Comics]]'' #5

Pretty self explanatory, the Dramatic Pause is a beat or two of silence with no dialogue and little or no music/background sound. Usually done to heighten the anticipation before TheReveal. Also called a "Pregnant Pause", it can also ''follow'' the reveal... it's just ''that'' shocking! It's fairly common in situations where it [[DelayedReaction takes a moment for the joke to sink in.]] In sequential art, it is often depicted by a BeatPanel.

A classic of mystery serials and soap operas would be to follow with a three-note sequence heralding TheReveal. As in, "Nobody leaves! There's been ...(Dramatic Pause)... ''a murder!''" '''(DUN-DUN-DAAAH!)''' Basically, the dramatic equivalent of an "Applause" sign in a [=TV=] studio. {{Soap Opera}}s often use a version of this called the MelodramaticPause.

The print equivalent (what you see in {{Literature}} and [[ComicBooks sequential art]]) is the DramaticEllipsis.

A single-note (or chord) version of this is called a ''[[{{Sting}} dramatic sting]]''.

The {{Sting}} is a DiscreditedTrope, although subtle variations can still be effective.

The Dramatic Pause itself will likely remain a live trope for a long, long time; it's rather hard to overdo silence, after all. Stilted delivery, on the other hand...

Often used in ArsonMurderAndLifeSaving.

Compare {{Beat}}, which is shorter, and usually used for comedic effect. Also see StopAndGo for the musical version.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''VisualNovel/{{AIR}}'', the music gets cut off right before Misuzu's famous "goal"-moment. After that, the immensely melancholic vocal version of that tune kicks in, which makes the sadness of the scene [[TearJerker/{{Anime}} hit really hard]].
* In ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', [[spoiler:when Shinji holds Kaworu in the hand of his Eva. The same frame lasts for about a minute before he finally crushes Kaworu!]]
* ''Literature/KaraNoKyoukai'' has one of the most terrifying uses of the dramatic pause ever at the end of episode 2.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh'', Kaiba comes back from the dead as a ghost to duel Yugi, a rematch for beating him earlier in the show. He makes his entrance at a dueling station with this line in the 4kids dub:
--> "It's me, Kaiba. And this time you don't stand (dramatic pause) a '''[[IncrediblyLamePun ghost]]''' of a chance."
* ''{{Avenger}}'' is notorious for these. Pauses are long and drawn out; they often switch between two character's faces for their reactions. The problem with this is that it is an Anime, and at least one such exchange occurs between the unemotional protagonist and the antagonist, whom you only see the lower face of. The worst was between the antagonist and a subordinate in another city.
--> '''Antagonist's face:'' *expressionless mouth and mask* \\
'''Subordinate's face:'' *mostly bland but partially expectant* \\
'''Antagonist's face:''' *no change* \\
'''Subordinate's face:''' *no change* \\
'''Antagonist's face:''' *no change* \\
'''Subordinate's face:''' *melds to slight shock* \\
'''Antagonist's face:''' *no change* \\
'''Communication screen:''' *turns off*
* Abused to hell and back by Crocus in ''Manga/OnePiece'', who ends anything he says with a long dramatic pause, complete with *WHAM* sounds, even when he's saying pretty irrelevant things. He [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] it when the Straw Hats ask him to stop doing that, saying it is a RunningGag.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'': Aw, look at poor, blind, disabled [[IllGirl Nunnally]]. *sad violin* [[spoiler: ...and then she opens her eyes. Sad violin theme vanishes.]]
* In ''Anime/{{Mononoke}}'' the Medicine Peddler constantly...talks like...this. Usually with the angle of the shot switching with every word.
* ''InfiniteStratos'' does this when [[spoiler: Laura steals Ichika's FirstKiss.]] The frames then show Cecilia's, Ling's, and Houki's faces.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''
** The fight between Charlotte and Yumichika is full of music and dialogue until the moment Charlotte appears to win. He clarifies to Yumichika what his final attack is doing, and suddenly.... ''silence''. Even the music stops. Cue GlowingEyesOfDoom and PreAssKickingOneLiner as [[CoverBlowingSuperPower Yumichika]] proceeds to [[CurbStompBattle curb stomp]] Charlotte.
** Done to powerful effect with Hitsugaya [[spoiler: when he realises he's stabbed Hinamori instead of Aizen]]. Everything stops: characters, fighting, dialogue, music. ''Everything''. And then the screen itself [[FadeToBlack blacks out]]. And then Hitsugaya ''[[RoaringRampageofRevenge explodes]]''.
* Klarion...bumbumbum...the Witch Boy, obscure DC Comics character ([[DependingOnTheWriter with almost no concrete characterization]]), given an unusual VerbalTic by PeterDavid.
* The PreAssKickingOneLiner of ''SamuraiGun'' is always "I...am Samurai Gun."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* Used all the time in ''Fanfic/MyImmortal''. For example, this gem:
--> And then….
--> “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING YOU MOTHERFUKERS!”
--> It was……………………………………………………Dumbledore!
* ''FanFic/MegaManDefenderOfTheHumanRace'' has these in narration and sometimes in dialogue to add tension.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/DespicableMe'', Gru tells the minions "We are going to steal...(pause for effect)...THE MOON!" Though he says the words "pause for effect" quietly to himself.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Film/{{Dracula|1931}} as played by Creator/BelaLugosi: "[[IDoNotDrinkWine I never drink ..... wine]]
* Creator/AlanRickman as Snape in the ''Film/HarryPotter'' movies.
* ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow'':
** "I see you shiver with antici...................................[[note]]"[[AudienceParticipation Say it! Say it master!]]"[[/note]]............................................................................pation."
** The criminologist is guilty of these, too, leaving plenty of space for AudienceParticipation lines.
--> '''Criminologist:''' It was quite clear that this was to be...\\
'''Audience:''' Orgy or picnic?\\
'''Criminologist:'''...no picnic!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* {{Lampshaded}} in (of course) ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', when Vimes is talking to "Madam" Roberta Meserole in ''Discworld/NightWatch'':
-->'''Madam''': I have... business interests in Uberwald. Alas, the situation there is becoming rather unstable.\\
'''Vimes''': Right. I see. And you'd like to have the significant pause type of business interests in Ankh-Morpork, I expect.
** In ''Discworld/SoulMusic'', Quoth the Raven gets fussed at by Death of Rats for giving the "DUN-DUN-DUNNNNNN!" stinger before telling Susan Sto Helit who her grandfather is.
** In ''Discworld/TheTruth'', scrap magnate Harry King (who also happens to manage the city's "night soil" collection) warns William de Worde that his investment in the newspaper had better pay off or they'll be "in deep... trouble. Face downwards." William later mentions wanting to avoid "deep significant pause trouble" with Mr. King.
** Angua is sometimes used to deliver this a a sort of running joke, although it also appears in Discworld/MonstrousRegiment
** ''Discworld/GoingPostal'' has the Smoking Gnu's secret weapon, "... The Woodpecker."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* An episode of ''Series/HoneyIShrunkTheKids'' (yes, it was a TV series briefly) has the punctuated sting performed by a trio of trumpeteers who always happen to be in the scene when it's called for. At one point, Wayne got so fed up he confiscated their trumpets, only for them to replace them with ''kazoos''.
* A favorite gag of ''Series/TheDailyShow'', often with the addition of lowered stage lights and/or a dramatic camera-turn.
* Played dead straight in game shows like ''Series/WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire'':
-->'''Contestant:''' "A, final answer."\\
(Dramatic Pause, shot of concerned host, shot of nervous guest, shot of terrified loved one in audience, another shot of nervous guest)\\
'''Host:''' "A... is... correct, you're up to $5000!"
** Occasionally the host in this situation will actually begin this last statement with something that implies that the contestant got the answer wrong ("You've done a great job..." etc.), before switching back and declaring the answer correct.
*** This was parodied to shreds in ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway?''; after ''every'' question the "host" would ramble on about how it's such a crying shame that the guest went all the way to New York just to '''win a million dollars!'''
** And if there's a commercial break coming up, they'll often keep the dramatic pause up to end on a CliffHanger, then start a ''new'' dramatic pause on the return and have even made answering the question an ''episode''-ending CliffHanger, though.
*** Obviously, this is also used in ''SlumdogMillionaire''.
** Also (over)used in ''Series/DealOrNoDeal'' before opening a case, or just about any other GameShow where they need to stretch a dozen questions or decisions into an hour of programming.
*** If they didn't use all the dramatic pauses, the episode could be over in just [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmZFHjQfx-o 2 minutes and 46 seconds]].
* Also done to death on "results shows" for talent (or any other reality) programming. You can just tune in in the last five minutes of ''Series/AmericanIdol'' to see who's going home, and even then, Ryan's going to say "The person going home this week is..."
** Parodied in an episode of ''Roger Mellie, the Man on the Telly'' in the adult comic ''{{Viz}}''. In the first panel Roger is standing with the contestants. He says: "And the winner is..." He then walks off stage, drives away from the studio, spends the night in the pub, goes home to bed, gets up the next morning, eats breakfast, drives back to the studio and walks back on stage to announce the winner's name in the last panel.
* Jeff Probst also uses the pause on ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' when an elimination comes down to the last vote in the urn. When it doesn't, he just flips around the deciding vote while saying "Nth person voted out of Survivor..." which pretty much kills the drama of the vote. In earlier seasons, he would simply flip over the vote silently and let it speak for itself, which was much more climactic.
* Horatio Caine from ''CSIMiami'' is ([[{{Narm}} in]])famous for doing this in the middle of his [[QuipToBlack one liners]].
** Not to mention he punctuates the dramatic pause even further by taking the opportunity to don his Sunglasses of Doom. ''Every. Single. Time.''
** Parodied in some comedy show: "Help me. I'm starting to talk crap...in...short...compact...sentences!"
* ''Series/TheAmazingRace'' host Phil Keoghan does it quite a lot, both in his narration and his appearances at the end of each episode telling contestants whether they're eliminated or not. One time, a team actually broke down in giggles in the middle of his pause and told him to just get on with it already.
* [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]] in the ''{{Friends}}'' season 9 episode "[[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming The One with the Mugging]]" when Joey is auditioning for a part in a play directed by (and starring) Jeff Goldblum's character, and reads the stage direction 'long pause' aloud, thinking it's the name of the character he's addressing.
** Ironically, he ''did'' actually pause, if only because he had to wait for the audience to finish laughing.
** Joey also used this in a technique called "smell the fart acting": "I'm afraid the situation is much worse than we expected. Your sister is suffering from a.. (dramatic pause) subcranial hematoma."
*** This latter was actually because he forgot part of the line, and decided to cover it up by looking away from the camera with a distraught expression on his face.
* Barney in ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' does this all the time. His mid-word pauses are Legen...wait for it...''dary''! He actually managed to hold the beat between two whole seasons one time, and once fell asleep partway.
* ''Series/MySoCalledLife'': The characters often pause mid-sentence, giving the dialogue a lurching and improvisational feel, even if the line is otherwise constructed very elegantly. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] when Rickie mimicks Mr. Katimski, who is probably the most {{egregious}} offender. But all the major characters did this a lot. In the case of [[BookDumb Jordan Catalano]], it was used to highlight how he was fumbling to come up with something, anything, to say.
** That lurching sensation, mentioned before ... was further heightened by having the actors ... pause at just the right point in the sentence that the apparent meaning being expressed ... seemed to change after the pause.
--> '''Angela-V.O.''': I felt like a really shallow person, because I ''was''. (long Dramatic Pause) Hungry.
* JackPalance's distinctively breathy delivery when he hosted the original ''Franchise/RipleysBelieveItOrNot'' provided a sort of ellipsis: "Believe it ''[hhhaahh ...]'' or not!"
** The awesome (and awesomely repeated in IronicEcho later on) line, [[Film/{{Batman}} "Remember--YOU...are my NUMBER-ONE...GUY."]]
* ''TopGear''[='=]s Jeremy Clarkson is considered to use some of the longest dramatic pauses
-->[[spoiler:wait for it...]]
-->[[spoiler:wait for it...]]
-->[[spoiler:OverlyLongGag]]
-->in the ''world''.
** Clarkson once criticised Harry Enfield's impression of him by saying that he left out the ellipsis in the catchphrase.
* Christmas 2009 had a well publicized battle for the Christmas number one spot in the British music charts between ''The X-Factor'' winner's cover of MileyCyrus' "The Climb" and RageAgainstTheMachine's "Killing in the Name". Radio 1 milked it for all it was worth, including a ten second long pause before they announced the #2 song (and thus, the #1 song).
* Parodied one year at {{MTV}}'s Movie Awards, hosted by Lisa Kudrow, when a category was announced as Best Dramatic Pause. After airing the nominees, Kudrow opened the envelope, and then began a Dramatic Pause that lasted until the next commercial break.
* Every episode of ''Series/{{Justice}}'''s short run did this before announcing the verdict.
* Played with in ''TheVicarOfDibley'', when the characters are rehearsing for a scene from the Nativity in which the angel (played by Geraldine) comes down to the shepards to tell of Jesus's birth. The comedy comes from Owen and Frank mistaking Geraldine's dramatic pauses for forgetting the lines and prompting her, causing her to lose her temper.
-->'''Geraldine:''' (narrating forcefully) And lo, an angel of the Lord appeared before them.\\
'''Frank:''' (prompting) Be not afraid...\\
'''Geraldine:''' No. BE AFRAID! BE VERY AFRAID!
** It leads to a CrowningMomentOfFunny on the night:
-->'''Geraldine:''' (in angel costume) Be not afraid, for I am an angel of the Lord, and I bring tidings of great joy.(Pauses dramatically, whilst her halo appears over her head.)\\
'''Frank:''' (prompting) For tonight in the stable...\\
'''Geraldine:''' I KNOW YOU PILLOCK!
* This happens quite a few times in ''{{Reba}}''. One example: Reba's comment regarding her dress for a beauty pageant she attended: "I feel overdressed... for Vegas."
* {{Lampshaded}} by Señor Chang in ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode [[Recap/CommunityS1E12ComparativeReligion Comparative Religion]]:
-->'''Chang:''' "[Everybody passed] Except... pause for dramatic effect..."
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. In "Hush" the voices of everyone in Sunnydale are stolen by some demons, so [[MrExposition Giles]] has to give his usual exposition via overhead transparencies, including one saying only "then" in order to include a suitable dramatic pause.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music]]
* Music/TheHives are famous for their high octane live performaces with the Almqvist brothers (lead singer and guitarist) jumping all over the stage (and sometimes into the audience). But during performances of their song ''Tick Tick Boom'', the whole band suddenly freezes like statues for several seconds while the audience goes nuts around them. [[http://youtu.be/3Y1lXtGi8zc (Here for almost a minute starting at around 2.30)]] It's impressive.
[[/folder]]


[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Mr. Kennedy often announces his name, then makes a Dramatic Pause (which seems to keep growing longer) before repeating it.
* Also used, and [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in the original Wrestling/{{ECW}} by the Impact Players (Wrestling/LanceStorm and Justin Credible) - "That's not just the coolest, that's not just the best, that's from Calgary (dramatic pause) Alberta Canada". Commentator Wrestling/JoeyStyles would frequently say 'Dramatic pause' during the 'Dramatic Pause'
* "[[Wrestling/TheUndertaker Rest.]][[...]][[CatchPhrase In.]][[...]][[PunctuatedForEmphasis PEAAAAACE]]."
* [[GimmickMatches HELL...IN A CELL]]
* BECAUSE I'M [[Wrestling/TheMiz THE MIZ]]...AND I'M...AWESOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOME!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* In the original Broadway version of ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'' the chorus ends the opening song "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd" with "...The Demon barber of Fleet ... Street!"
* A common variation (in e.g. Adrian Plass, and also TruthInTelevision) is for an actor in a play to use a Dramatic Pause, only for the clueless prompter to think he's forgotten his next line and loudly speak it for him.
* In ''Theatre/TwiceCharmed'', Lady Tremaine does this in the reprise of "In A Moment."
-->'''Lady Tremaine:''' There's still a chance she might be recognized from last night's ball, so show her how her life is insignificant and... ''small''...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* The character Q from ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII: 3rd Strike'' talks exclusively in dramatic pauses.
* Played for laughs in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney'', whenever Anthony reveals the [[HornyDevils new object of his affections]]. The Protagonist apparently considers this [[ShockingSwerve so shocking]] even the ''background music'' stops for a few seconds (Anthony quickly learns to anticipate this reaction and complains about it.)
* Non-Terran characters in ''{{Starcraft}} II'' love...dramatic pauses.
* The ending of ''Final Zone 2'' has a lot of them.
--> "That's what you should have done...in the beginning"
* Kefka in ''DissidiaFinalFantasy'' emphasises the "dramatic" in Dramatic Pause. "I'm afraid the mouse is '''SMACK'''...dabinthemiddleofenemyterritory."
* Happens in ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' when you [[spoiler: shoot the moon with your portal gun]]. As a GeniusBonus [[spoiler: it lasts about 1.4 seconds, or the time it takes for light to reach the moon.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Parodied in ''ClanOfTheCats'' during a horror movie spoof where Jubal takes a dramatic pause so long, [[http://clanofthecats.com/cotc/cotc-catcreatures-21/ he stops and checks his watch during it]].
* Red Mage from ''[[Webcomic/EightBitTheater 8-Bit Theater]]'' likes to "DUN DUN DUUUN!" at moments he considers dramatic.
* A go-to pacing device in ''TheOptimist''
* Parodied in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0815.html this]] [[Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick Order of the Stick]] strip, where [[GenreSavvy Elan]] reminds [[spoiler: his father]] to take a dramatic pause before explaining everything.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Heavily Lampshaded in ''{{Freakazoid}}!'', in which "BUM-BUM-BUUUUM!" was sung by the characters, Joe the announcer, or even the background singers.
-->"We interrupt this program to increase dramatic tension."
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' had ComicBook/TheCreeper say "Last time I saw you, you were working for... [[LampshadeHanging dramatic pause]]... The Joker!" That's right, he actually ''said'' "dramatic pause".
** He also asked for a drumroll when he was about to say his name.
* An overused running gag on ''DrawnTogether''.
* "I am the terror that flaps in the night! I am [insert something hilarious]! I am [Dramatic Pause]: ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck''!"
* Dr. Weird from ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce'' is fond of this. [[CatchPhrase "Gentlemen... behold!"]]
* ''JusticeLeague'' villain Manga Khan soliliquizes as part of a medical condition, and demands his subjects make dramatic pauses before any important announcements.
* Norbert of ''WesternAnimation/AngryBeavers'' in one episode planned to foil Daggit's "Muscular Beaver" superhero persona (make-believe, of course) with his very own villain identity wherein he revealed himself as "Baron von Bad Beaver" followed by a "Dun-dun-duuunn!" to which he added for an even longer pause "Dramatic reverb!"
* Used for completely non-dramatic reasons in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/DaveTheBarbarian''. At the end of the story, Dave appears, BehindTheScenes style, and, referring to [[NoodleImplements something]] he'd done during the episode, says, "I bet a lot of you are wondering why I tied a squirrel to a megaphone." Dramatic Pause "Well, bye!"
* {{Lampshaded}} in WesternAnimation/ThePenguinsOfMadagascar:
--->'''Skipper:''' The clock... is... ticking.
--->'''Kowalski:''' So were the dramatic pauses really necessary, then?
--->'''Skipper:''' Yes.
* Obligatory ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' example, from [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E7MayTheBestPetWin "May the Best Pet Win!"]]:
--> '''Rainbow Dash''': You're all outstanding competitors! But there can only be one of you who's number one! So the final, tie-breaking contest is going to beeee...
--> '''Rainbow Dash''' *turns around, looks at camera* [[LampshadeHanging Pause for dramatic effect...]]
--> '''Rainbow Dash''': A race against me! Through Ghastly Gorge! [[SayingSoundEffectsOutLoud Dun dun duuuuuun!]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Creator/WilliamShatner is ''famous''... for ''putting in lots''... of dramatic... ''pauses''... ''even in'' the... ''same''... ''sentence''. He is ''frequently''... lampooned ''for this''. This... ''may be'' related to his... ''constant'' need to... ''be''... a ''LargeHam''.
** When called on this trait by ''Series/TheDailyShow''[='=]s Jon Stewart, he explained that he adopted the mannerism because "I kept forgetting my lines." (Specifically, he had trouble remembering the {{technobabble}} on ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}''.
** The urban legend in theatre circles is that he was the understudy in a production of (insert famous play here), but didn't expect to be called in, so didn't bother studying his lines to the degree he should have. He was called in and performed with his now famous pauses. The review the next day praised his performance (specifically the pauses) and he's been doing it intentionally ever since. The tale is in all likelihood completely false, but still worth retelling.
* Shatner may be famous for it, but he's a positively fluid communicator compared to B-grade actor Thom Christopher, best known as Hawk from ''BuckRogers'' and to [[MysteryScienceTheater3000 MSTies]] as Troxartes, the villain from ''Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell''.
--> '''Troxartes:''' This has... nothing to do with... being rich!
--> '''Tom Serveo:''' I put the... beats in my own... script and I'm... sticking with them!
[[/folder]]
----