This is a form of background music designed to increase anticipation for whatever TheReveal is. (BOOM!)

Happens both in RealLife and in audiovisual media.

Less common than it used to be: Some rock stars abused drum roll privileges with their ten-minute drum solos, and not every drum machine can pull off a drum roll. Instead, producers use the visual equivalent, cutting every two seconds (or is that two frames?). But true drum rolls still get used, especially by shows wanting to evoke nostalgia, and have the advantage of not causing epileptic seizures.

Drum rolls are frequently the subject of, or the announcement for, [[ParodiedTrope parody]] these days. One popular parody is to literally roll a drum across the stage.

Compare {{Fanfare}}, {{Rimshot}}, DramaticTimpani.


[[folder: The Abridged Series ]]
* ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'': Marik asks for a drum roll. Several times. Then the drum roll goes on too long and he has to ask for it to stop.
* ''WebVideo/NarutoTheAbridgedComedyFandubSpoofSeriesShow'': "Ooh, a real drumroll, nice."

[[folder: Film ]]
* Occurs in ''Film/InAndOut'' right before the teacher of the year reveal. The principal even tries to pull off a joke ("I get so nervous here. Can you hear my heart beating?").
* Spoofed at the climax of ''Film/ZorroTheGayBlade''.
* In ''Film/TheMuppets'', Gonzo is about to perform a stunt by throwing a bowling ball and hitting a pin sitting on Creator/JackBlack's head. He asks for a drum roll, but since Animal refuses to drum, he plays a triangle instead.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''Late Show with Creator/DavidLetterman'': When someone is about to perform a stunt, Dave will often ask the drummer to provide a drum roll accompaniment.
** Anytime Dave does the Top Ten list.
* Used unironically on ''Series/HappyDays'' when Fonzie set a world record of jumping over 14 garbage cans on a motorcycle.
* Spoofed several times on ''Series/BeakmansWorld'':
** One time, Beakman asks for a drum roll, and gets [[VisualPun a drum rolling across the screen]].
** Another time, he calls for a drum roll...then Lester calls for a kaiser roll. Cue [[ProducePelting Kaiser Roll Pelting]].
* Used in early playings of the pricing game Hole in One on ''Series/ThePriceIsRight''.
* ''Series/{{Mash}}'': In "White Gold," Colonel Flagg prepares to ram his head into a wooden crate (as part of his façade that his prisoner attacked him).
** In "Smilin' Jack," B.J. affects a drumroll with his lips as he attempts to affect a trick with a hypodermic syringe that Jack did.

[[folder: Music ]]
* Fairly common in reggae. Bad Brains uses it a bit ("Right Brigade" and "I and I Survive").
* Music/TheSmashingPumpkins use it at the start of "Cherub Rock".
* Done by John Densmore during Music/TheDoors' song, "The Unknown Soldier".

[[folder: Theatre ]]
* In the ballet ''Fancy Free'', the music of the Competition Scene begins with a timpani/bass drum roll, and abruptly cuts off at its climax for a long roll on the snare drum that introduces the first of the Three Dance Variations.
* ''Theatre/{{Cabaret}}'' begins with a drum roll and cymbal crash announcing the entrance of the Emcee. There is a similar drum roll when the Emcee introduces "Fräulein Sally Bowles" singing the title song, and one more for his last exit.
* In ''Theatre/SeventeenSeventySix'', George Washington's dispatches are always signed "Your Obedient, G. Washington," with a drumroll preceding his name.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'', Cyborg requests a drum roll before he unveils the new T-Mobile; Beast Boy obliges by turning into an armadillo and drumming on his belly. He threatens to stop a moment later when Cyborg remarks, "[[LadiesAndGerms Ladies and gentlemen...and whatever Beast Boy is...]]".
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'', before giving a demonstration to Tommy and Chuckie, Angelica asks, "May I have a drum roll please?" And she actually gets one from an unseen source. The opening theme also begins with a drum roll.
* Tex Avery's W-B cartoon "Circus Today" has the circus orchestra's drummer perform a drumroll as a high dive artist does his act. The conductor stops him and cues the trumpeter to [[DownerEnding play]] "{{Taps}}" [[DownerEnding afterwards.]]
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutronBoyGenius''. [[TheAce Nick]] asks for a drum roll when he announces that he's going to [[MundaneMadeAwesome style his hair without using his hands]]. Cue [[VisualPun an actual drum rolling across the stage]].
* Occurs at times in ''Westernanimation/GarfieldAndFriends'', specially when Garfield is hosting a TV special-esque episode. One time had Odie grabbing a magician top hat, and the rabbit inside asking "Drum roll" before revealing himself.

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* It's not rare for emcees at various awards shows to ask for a drum roll, though this usually consists of the audience drumming on their laps.
* If "The Star-Spangled Banner" is being performed by a band, it typically starts with a drum roll.