You and your buddies are planning a prank, share a secret that the new guy doesn't know, or just plain have something to hide. Except one of them, usually The Ditz
or a Cloudcuckoolander
, can't help giggling or indulging in snarky remarks about the situation at hand. Or is about to tell too much, to reveal a secret or to let slip some important tidbit that better should stay unsaid. Or to express surprise at some statement, thus potentially ruining any chance of making a lie believable. Or just to comment about something at the inapropriate time and place, typically making a social situation awkward.
Cue the "Be Quiet!" Nudge
in some form of slapstick
violence upon the offender: an elbow/punch to the gut, a kick under the table, a stomp to the foot, a Dope Slap
If the offender is exceptionally clueless, expect them to complain: "Ow! What was that for, and what does 'ixnay
' mean?" Thus eliciting another, harder, punch, stomp or kick. May induce Agony of the Feet
Contrast with Footsie Under the Table
. Related to Prompting Nudge
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- There's an ad campaign for Chef Boyardee which is this same idea, except the harm comes to a display pyramid of cans instead of the woman who won't stop talking about the full serving of vegetables in the product.
Anime & Manga
- Happens often on Sailor Moon with Usagi.
- In Saint Beast, Goh applies his fist to Gai's head whenever he says something tactless or gets too worked up. Gai never understands what the problem is.
- In Ichigo Mashimaro, Chika gives a sideways backhand to Miu for using Ana's surname, which Ana is sensitive about.
- Happens in ElfQuest: Skywise nudges Cutter to shut him up when he's about to drunkenly blurt out the location of Sorrow's End to Picknose the troll.
- Tintin slams his heel into Haddock's foot to stop him from revealing information in The Calculus Affair.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- Happens in one Animorphs novel, where Ax is narrating. He's posing as Jake and is kicked by Cassie before he blows his cover ("Why has your father removed the hair from the top of his head?")
- Happens several times in Harry Potter. It's noted that it's a lot more discreet when you're wearing robes rather than Muggle trousers.
- Happens a lot in Piers Anthony's works, most often in the form of a kick.
- In The Elenium, Elhana attempts this with her husband. Of course, since he's wearing plate armour, all she gets out of it is a bruised elbow.
- In one of the Dragon Jousters novels, Ari is about to say something that would ruin his relationship with Nofret. Kiron kicks Ari before foot-in-mouth ensues.
- Happens several times in Septimus Heap, including an example from Syren where Jenna yanks at Lucy Gringe's cloak to tell her to be quiet while they are deciding upon how to take the ship Cerys' back.
- Cheers used this to comedic effect often.
- Ditto Frasier
- Gibbs prefers the Gibbs Slap.
- Kate typically prefers the elbow-to-the-ribs whenever Tony is, well, being Tony.
- Used in a Thanksgiving episode of Home Improvement. Twice. After Al has explained — at great length — why he's thankful for his girlfriend:
Brad: I'm thankful that Al's done being thankful! (Ow!)
Randy: And I'm thankful that Brad said that instead of me. (Ow!)
- Used a handful of times on The Nanny, often with an addition to it.
- Occurs in the Season 2 episode "Ted" of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when Willow nearly slips up about Buffy liking Angel (to Ted and Joyce) and Buffy has to nudge her. Willow then uses a replacement word instead.
- In the Zorro TV series, Sergeant Garcia and Corporal Reis once exchange shut-up kicks whith each other when either of them is about to let slip to Don Alexandro that they know what happened to Don Diego (whom they knocked out and sequestrated to save him from fighting in a duel).
- On M*A*S*H, Henry does this to Hawkeye in "The General Flipped At Dawn" in General Steele's court martial preliminary.
Steele: Thought I'd forgotten that bit in the supply tent!
Hawkeye: It's a night I'll never forget! (Henry nudges him)
- Shows up a few times in Friends, too.
Joey: Yeah, we were just talking about that! Richard is so much cooler than our dads! He ow ow ow! Would you quit kicking me? This guy!
Richard: You guys see as a dad?
Joey: Yeah! + Chandler: No!
- Used in Les Guignols de l'info during an interview of Roselyne Bachelot and Xavier Bertrand (former and then-current Health Ministers, respectively). Roselyne, who's very much The Ditz, is about to tell everything about the scandalous links between the French government and the "Big Pharma", forcing Xavier to stomp on her foot. Twice. And when it's not enough to silence her, he upgrades to a "Be Quiet!" Shovel to the Face.
- The Team Fortress 2 Mann vs Machine Mecha-Engineer update comes with a comic; in it, the Heavy elbows Miss Pauling to stop her from mentioning his Russian heritage within earshot of the Soldier, who thinks the whole team is Americans.
- Steve from Questionable Content uses this as a signal to Marten to leave Steve alone with his lady-friend of the evening.
- Happens a few times to Belkar in The Order of the Stick:
- Bridget shuts Alphonse up in a page of Far Out There, lest he should give away the fact that they were the ones who hired Skye. Of course, since neither of them can actually talk, one wonders what she's afraid of.
- Dhur the barbarian to Becky Sourbottom in MeatShield, with Agony of the Feet bonus.
- In Exterminatus Now, Virus elbows Eastwood while they're trying to hire mercenaries, as it wouldn't be a good idea to dwell on what happened to their previous hired guns. Those poor sons of— OW!
- Girl Genius:
- Dimo to Oggie, with a fist in the ribs. Higgs is still able to guess what Oggie was about to let slip, though.
- Krosp bites Dimo's finger to make him shut his trap about the presence of Agatha Heterodyne on the train. Not so surprising, though, since Krosp being a cat it's what comes most naturally, and Dimo being a Jäger it's doubtful he would have felt a mere nudge.
- The Zombie Hunters. Dr. Ellard to Dr. Mercer: cane to the foot.
- In Leftover Soup, Jamie doesn't pick up on these, as Ellen quickly discovers.
Jamie: Ellen, you uh... you're stepping on my foot, there.
Ellen: Oh, that's impossible, Jamie. I only step on the feet of stupid people who don't take hints.
- In Ménage à 3, Zii pinches DiDi's ear (link SFW, but NSFW webcomic) for this purpose, while trying to convince Kiley that the both of them are lesbians.
- Done a couple of times in Avatar: The Last Airbender .
- Done in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, except the recipient is doing the whole Totem Pole Trench routine, so is blissfully unaware of "his" foot being kicked.
- Wakfu, season 2 episode 8: After Sadlygrove blurts out that he'd already seen Evangelyne naked, Eva, while denying, casually chokes Grovy with an arm around his neck to stop him from adding a word.
- In The Problem Solverz episode "Badcat", the gang is in disguise to sneak into Bad Cat's casino. When they're allowed in, Roba keeps saying how he feels so loved and wanted, which causes Horace to shush him in order to stay incognito.
- Codename: Kids Next Door:
- Numbuh Five is usually the one to elbow her teammates when they need to shut it, like with Numbuh Four at the end of "Operation: R.O.B.B.E.R.S.", or Numbuh Three in "Operation: C.A.K.E.D.-F.I.V.E.". Note that it hardly ever works on the latter: if you truly want Kuki to shut up, you need to gag her. Even then, there's no guarantee.
- "Operation F.O.O.D.F.I.T.E." also has an example, as after they seemingly defeat Grandma Stuffums, she starts gearing up something big to attack the group, but Kuki is continuing on cheering while the others look on worried. Numbuh Five has to hit her in the arm to shut her up and get her to pay attention.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- On Regular Show, Mordecai does this to Rigby all the time. Mostly when Rigby ridicules Mordecai's "relationship" with Margaret.
- Raven gives Beast Boy this a few times in Teen Titans.
- In the Young Justice episode "Schooled", Aqualad prompts Robin to stop laughing outright at Superboy's failure with a sharp elbow to the ribs. One gets the feeling that it would have been a smack upside the head were Aqualad a less reserved person.