[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/taps_2664.jpg]]

As the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taps Taps article]] on ThatOtherWiki states, Taps is a musical piece sounded at dusk, and at funerals, particularly by the U.S. military. It is sounded during flag ceremonies and funerals, on single bugle or trumpet, and often at Boy Scout, Girl Scout and Girl Guide meetings and camps.

In fiction, Taps is usually used to mourn an honorable person, especially military characters, though in comedy it can be used for just about anyone. Often combined with a MomentOfSilence, hats off. Taps can also mean a metaphorical death, like a death of one's hope. If a civilian has died, AmazingFreakingGrace is much more likely to be heard.

This is not the page for [[Series/GhostHunters The Atlantic Paranormal Society]] ([[FunWithAcronyms TAPS]]), or the film ''Film/{{Taps}}''.

A part of the FuneralTropes. See also StandardSnippet. May be accompanied by a TwentyOneGunSalute.

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!!Examples

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[[folder: Animated Films ]]

* In ''TheBraveLittleToaster'', the main characters - a bunch of household appliances - are first seen remaining in an abandoned house, and awaiting eagerly the return of a kid who used to live there and who they consider their Master. However, when one day they see someone hammering a "For Sale" sign into the ground in front of their house, Radio starts playing Taps, realizing that any hopes for the Master's return just died.

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[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* At the beginning of the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' episode "Pokemon Shipwreck", Officer Jenny and the other survivors of the sinking of the St. Anne are mourning the apparent deaths of Ash, Misty, Brock, Pikachu, Jessie, James, and Meowth, after they were unable to get off the ship. After Jenny tosses a bouquet of flowers overboard, she tells everyone to give a salute while a trumpeter starts playing Taps, as the flowers sink into the ocean waters.

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[[folder: Comic Strips ]]

* Jason and Marcus from ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'' once planned to build a space shuttle, and wrote a computer program to model how particular designs might work out. The first time they use it, the disaster it depicts is so horrible that the program actually starts playing Taps at them.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''Film/AChristmasStory'', Ralphie's Old Man buries the broken lamp in the back yard. Ralphie couldn't be sure, but he thought he heard Taps playing.
* In the film version of ''FromHereToEternity'', Prewitt (a bugle player) plays this when his best friend is killed.
* As you might guess, ''Film/{{Taps}}'' has this a number of times, at the beginning when the school reads off the names and dates of alumni who fell in battle, [[spoiler: and when they have their memorial service for General Bache]]. The movie's title also indicates the impending death of the academy.
* In ''Film/MrHollandsOpus'' this is heard at [[spoiler: Louis Russ' funeral]].

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* In Alan Brennert's novel ''Moloka'i'', the murderer of Rachel Kalama's husband, who belongs to the military, is buried. No one shows up to his funeral, and a harmonica player plays Taps.
* ''Literature/TheKillerAngels'' notes that the bugle call in question was known back then as "Butterfield's Lullaby" and had no connotation of death.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* One episode of ''Series/MagnumPI'' had him thinking back to his father's funeral, after he'd been killed in [[UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar Korea]], and Taps is played following a TwentyOneGunSalute by his fellow Marines.
* When Creator/JohnnyCarson hosted ''Series/TheTonightShow'', the band would play Taps whenever an attempted comic bit died.
* The ''ColdCase'' episode ''Shore Leave'' is about a marine in the 1950s who is murdered. Taps is played at the end.
* In HomeImprovement, ''Taps'' is the title of the episode in which Jill's Veteran father dies.

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[[folder: Music ]]

* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm1wuKvrxAw A swing version]] is used for the opening of Music/TheAndrewsSisters' "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" about a boogie-woogie trumpeter who gets drafted.
* Music/RunningWild's "Little Big Horn" ends with "Taps" playing, signifying the senseless loss of General Custer's men.
* In Paul Hindemith's "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd: A Requiem for Those We Love," an Army bugle plays "Taps" over the orchestral interlude that follows "and the armies remain'd suffer'd" in the tenth movement.

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[[folder: Radio ]]

* ''Music and the Spoken Word'' Program #4056: [[http://fans.musicandthespokenword.org/2007/05/27/a-prayer-in-music/ A Prayer In Music]] discusses the significance of this little piece.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In the first ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert'', if Tanya is killed in one of her missions, a cutscene will play of her white cross in a cemetery as Taps is heard in the background.
* In the ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland'' games, the [[{{Leitmotif}} graveyard theme]] ends with the first four notes of Taps.
* In ''VideoGame/WingCommander'', the theme that accompanies funeral scenes ends with a full playing of "Taps."
* In ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', the Soldier's Shotgun Taunt is him doing a [[TwentyOneGunSalute Three Gun Salute]] while Taps plays.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2'': Heard in the Allied campaign [[spoiler: at General Carville's funeral]].
* Once Link defeats Skull Keeta in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'', he gives Link a salute as ''Taps'' plays in the background.
* In CivilWarGenerals II, ''Taps'' plays whenever the player views the Casualty Report screen during a battle.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In the ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' episode [[Recap/SpongeBobSquarePantsS2E15TheSecretBoxBandGeeks "Band Geeks"]], Squidward and the Bikini Bottom citizens are practicing in a marching band. Squidward tells the flag spinners in the front to spin the flag faster, and eventually, so fast that they fly and collide with a zeppelin, which explodes. The trumpeter of the band then plays "Taps" as the rest of them hold their hats on their chest, except for Squidward who just goes into a TroubledFetalPosition.
* ''WesternAnimation/TexAveryMGMCartoons'' examples:
** In "The Cuckoo Clock", a cat tries to catch a cuckoo bird. When he finally catches it and eats it, he realizes the sadness of his death and tries to do a MomentOfSilence. The bird - who just fooled the cat into believing he ate him, when it was actually a wind-up toy filled with TNT - starts playing Taps... and then the TNT explodes off-screen and the bird switches to a cheery tune.
** A similar gag is used also in "The Early Bird Dood It".

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[[folder: Real Life ]]

* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Post The Last Post]] is the Commonwealth equivalent.

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