Something very shocking has happened in front of a large audience! It's so shocking that the audience must immediately discuss amongst themselves how utterly shocked they are by proceedings. Of course, we, the actual audience, don't hear what they're saying-- we just hear a low murmur.

May be preceded by an audience-wide {{GASP}}

Often happens in a courtroom, when a lawyer or witness has revealed a big twist in the case ("A murmur went through the courtroom..."). It also appears in general crowd scenes (parties, bars, restaurants, stadiums) as ambient noise.

In the business, this is sometimes called "rhubarb," "walla," "watermelon," and "peas and carrots," after the theater trick of using those words because (in theory) they sound like real conversation when mumbled indistinctly. In TV and movies, most recordings are actually of little snippets of pocket dialogue-- unfinished phrases related to whatever is going on in the scene. This adds realism to the story, while saving the writers the effort of coming up with complete sentences for bit characters to say.

See StudioAudience. Compare SayingSoundEffectsOutLoud. If the camera shows the actual audience the in-universe audience reaction, it's a ReactionShot.
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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime ]]

* When a riot breaks out in ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'', the crowd can clearly be heard shouting "Riot!" [[GratuitousEnglish in English]].
* This happens in Sai's BackStory in ''HikaruNoGo'' during a public game of Go. After his opponent blames him for cheating (the opponent was actually the one who cheated) and Sai denies, the whole crowd begins to whisper.

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[[folder: Comedy ]]
* From ''AudioPlay/StanFrebergPresentsTheUnitedStatesOfAmerica'':
-->'''King:''' But you better sight land soon. There's rumblings of mutiny!\\
'''Columbus:''' Really?\\
'''King:''' Come over here and listen.\\
'''Columbus:''' Alright.\\
'''Crew:''' Rumble, rumble, rumble. Mutiny, mutiny, mutiny.\\
'''Columbus:''' I see what you mean.
* In a bit discussing PM's Question Time, EddieIzzard renders the background murmurs in Parliament as "Toilet paper! Toilet paper! Toilet paper in our time!"
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[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* Crowds in ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'' generally mutter "rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb".
* Issue #34 of Marvel's "What If?" series (first series) was a series of one-page spoofs of the Marvel Universe. One such example was "What if anyone who had been an Avenger had remained an Avenger?" So naturally, just about every Marvel hero shows up upon the call "Avengers Assemble!", with the multi-stemmed word balloon "Watermelon cantaloupe watermelon cantaloupe watermelon cantaloupe" employed to simulate crowd noise.
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[[folder: Fan Works ]]
* ''WebAnimation/TurnaboutStorm'': The [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic pony]] courtroom audience murmurs just as ''Franchise/AceAttorney's'' human one would do; except when they are laughing their lungs out at [[EmbarrassingOldPhoto embarrassing pictures]].
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[[folder: Film ]]
* [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in ''Film/BlazingSaddles'' about as hard as possible:
-->'''Cabinet men:''' harrumphharrumphharrumphharrumphharrumphharrumphharrumph\\
'''Governor:''' I didn't get a "harrumph" outta that guy!\\
'''Hedley Lamarr:''' Give the governer a "harrumph!"\\
'''That Guy:''' Harrumph.\\
'''Governor:''' You watch your ass!
* Also parodied in ''The Man With Two Brains''; when Michael makes his announcement about "being able to put the brains of brilliant people in the bodies of dumb people", the German audience engages in murmuring of this nature. When he asks his host what they're saying, he's informed that it's just "a general murmur," and they're just repeating 'murmur' over and over. When he challenges them to "murmur all you like!", the response is the audience loudly yelling "Murmur Murmur!" at him.
* Done really badly in ''OnDeadlyGround'', where amidst the standard "rhubarb"ing, utter non sequitur comments come from nowhere supporting Forrest.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Film/TheFellowshipOfTheRing'' when Bilbo is giving his farewell and says "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve". This is straight out of the book where it describes the response as scattered applause with most of the audience working it out to see if it came out to a compliment. The movie conveys this reaction with mostly blank looks in the audience.
* Parodied in ''Straight-Jacket'', where the (TV-)courtroom audience reacts to various shocking revelations by turning to each other and audibly murmuring, "Peas and carrots! Peas and carrots!"
* In ''Film/TheDayAfterTomorrow'', when the hero announces his theory that a change in the ocean currents could have caused the disaster, the room full of scientists is murmuring.
* The studio audience in ''Film/SlumdogMillionaire'' responds with murmur to all of Jamal's decisions.
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[[folder: Literature ]]
* DaveBarry has mocked this a few times, as when a murmur ran through a courtroom--then jumped up and bit the judge on the nose.
* In Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel ''Discworld/{{Maskerade}}'' Nanny Ogg, having joined an angry mob in order to divert them from their target, is revealed as the rest of the crowd dissipates to be waving her torch and pitchfork and muttering "Rhubarb... rhubarb..."
** Another parody occurs in ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'' where characters yell "Itiyorshu! Yutimishu!" "I tie your shoe, you tie my shoe" was the rhubarb phrase specifically given to extras who were meant to sound like they were speaking Japanese.
* In the ''Literature/CallahansCrosstimeSaloon'' books, Jake's narration uses "rhubarb rhubarb" to indicate that everyone is doing this.
* In ''[[Literature/{{Sophie}} Sophie Hits Six]]'' by Creator/DickKingSmith, the titular Sophie gets into big trouble with her teacher when she follows her dad's advice and plays her crowd scene by shouting, "Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb!"
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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* Parodied on quite a few episodes of ''30 Rock''. In "Future Husband," Liz makes it seem as if Jack is in a meeting while on the phone by saying "Rhubarb rhubarb, golf prostate." In another episode, Rob Reiner said "Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, peas-and-carrots, rhubarb" while on a congressional committee board, pretending to be conversing with the people around him after it had been pointed out during that he really had no business being there.
* In an episode of ''{{Becker}}'', Becker is facing a malpractice suit. When the plaintiff is on the stand, he identifies Becker as his doctor for the record. Cue the audience gasping and murmuring. Cue Becker telling them to shut up, because it's not like that's a big surprise or anything.
* On ''Series/{{Community}}'' Shirley can be heard murmuring "pepperjack cheese" when the whole group starts talking at once.
* Neatly and hilariously parodied to the point of subversion on ''FatherTed'' -- as Ted's making a lot of surprising revelations at a "Sheep of the Year" contest, the audience in general engages in a bit of shocked murmuring amongst themselves... except for one chap (actually played by series co-creator Grahame Linehan) who can very audibly be heard exclaiming "Fuckin' hell!"
* Parodied in the ''{{Blackadder}} II'' episode "Potato": when Blackadder and his crew are shouting at each other after getting lost at sea, Captain Rum is just saying "Rhubarb" over and over. And since he's played by Creator/TomBaker, he's doing it very loudly and clearly.
* On ''Series/TheDailyShow'', after showing a clip of a rather raucous chat show, Jon compared it to a shouting Bohemian Rhapsody. It then cut to the correspondents in the Rhapsody position, of whom Jason Jones (as Jon lampshades at the end) is simply saying "watermelon".
* In one episode of ''WillAndGrace'', Karen is clearly saying "peas and carrots" during a crowd scene.
* ''MysteryScienceTheater3000'' used "rhubarb," "sassafras" and "peas and carrots" sometimes for crowd scenes; they would usually lampshade what ''kind'' of murmuring was going on ("Rhubarb rhubarb journalist rhubarb", "Rhubarb soldier rhubarb defending countries blah blah blah...").
** Mocking of ''PrinceOfSpace'' (a Japanese film), Mike and the Bots riff on the MediaScrum by muttering random Japanese and East Asian phrases ("Wasabi." "Bok choy." "Yakisoba." "Samurai.").
* Parodied by ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'': "Dim of the Yard! Consternation, uproar!"
* ''TheMonkees'' parody this with the "rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb" variation in the episode "Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers".
* Beautifully parodied in a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se6lzRKXLRU ''French & Saunders'' homage to James Cameron's ''Titanic'']], whereby the GhostExtras embrace their background-filling role by loudly saying "Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb" to one another, and [[ClassicallyTrainedExtra Gary Waldhorn]] clearly enunciates "Fah fah fah fah fah..." in [[UsefulNotes/BritishAccents Received]] [[UsefulNotes/HomeCounties Pronunciation]] during the dining scene.
* In ''Series/SlingsAndArrows'', Geoffrey admonishes an actor at one point that he can hear him saying "rhubarb" and he needs to mix it up a bit.
* In ''Series/NewsRadio'', the onlookers at Jimmy's trial react to every new development with excited whispers, leading him to complain, "Are they gonna do that every time I answer a question?" When he gets back to the office, the staff does the same as they watch him face off with his SitcomArchnemesis, and he tells them to stop because he's been getting that all morning.
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[[folder: Radio ]]
* ''TheGoonShow'' {{lampshaded}} this - audience murmurs were always played by the full cast muttering "rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb". Considering that "the full cast" was only three people, and that they would occasionally intersperse the "rhubarbs" with "custard!", the effect was usually unconvincing.
* Spoof-Victorian comedy ''The Brothers Faversham'' had a running gag one episode using this. Whenever something astonishing happened, a crowd would murmur over each other: "Good Lord! - I say! - Unbelievable! - What! - That's impossible!". Unfortunately, the murmurs would die down just as one of them said, very distinctly, "Shit".
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[[folder: Theatre ]]
* In the script of ''The Complete History of America (abridged)'', the announcement of the Boston Tea Party is followed by these lines spoken together:
-->'''Austin''': Peas and carrots, peas and carrots...\\
'''Adam''': Harumph, harumph, harumph...\\
'''Reed''': Rutabaga, rutabaga, rutabaga...
* In ''Theatre/TheGoldenApple'', when Ulysses is working his DivideAndConquer plan on the citizens of Rhododendron, they divide up into groups which say, "Mutter mutter and grumble grumble."
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[[folder: Video Games ]]
* '''''HOLD IT!''''' (Desk Slam!) Happens at every twist in ''Franchise/AceAttorney''.
* Happens in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' during the Opera Scene when your party (and Ultros) crash into the scene from the ceiling. Locke {{Large Ham}}s an improvisation once he realizes the lead actor has been knocked unconscious, and the guy who owns the opera house decides to ThrowItIn, and the orchestra starts up some nice thematic battle music for you.
* In ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', the crowd at [[SilentProtagonist Crono's]] trial murmur cheers (at each "guilty") or boos (for each "not guilty") as each juror's verdict is announced.
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[[folder: Web Original ]]
* Happens in the original ''[[WebVideo/DeathNoteAbridgedTioHAndDargonakis Death Note Abridged]]'' by [=TioH=] and Dargonakis.
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[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* Averted/played for laughs in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'': crowds often say (quite clearly) "Rabble Rabble Rabble Rabble Rabble."
** When it's played straight, though, (or as straight as South Park lets something be played straight), crowds will say "peas and carrots". See "Two Days Before ''Film/TheDayAfterTomorrow'' " for an example of this.)
* Parodied in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'', where a background character is both the ''only one'' speaking on screen and clearly heard saying "Rhubarb, rhubarb, walla walla!".
* Crowds in ''SpongebobSquarepants'' literally say BlahBlahBlah.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' - general murmuring will ''always'' be followed up with a hilarious statement by somebody.
-->'''Cubert:''' What's the matter? [[NakedPeopleAreFunny Never seen a genius' wiener before?]]
-->''General murmuring of no''
-->'''Fry:''' Well, once in the park.
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