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"Be Quiet!" Nudge

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, etc.

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.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • 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.

    Comic Books 
  • 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 
  • Tweedledee nudges Tweedledum — or was it the other way around? — in the Tim Burton rendition of Alice in Wonderland to keep him from blurting out that the Red Queen's new favorite, Um from Umbridge, was really the fugitive Alice.
  • Clue, when the policeman inspects the body of the Motorist and says he's in no shape to drive:
    Miss Scarlet: Oh, we'll— we'll— we'll get him a car!
    Professor Plum: A long black car!
    Miss Scarlet: (punches him in the stomach) A limousine!
  • In The Great Race, Leslie administers the elbow-to-ribs version to Hezekiah when Hezekiah laughs too long at a joke the Crown Prince made.
  • In His Girl Friday, Hildy Johnson keeps kicking Walter Burns under the table as he repeatedly insults her dull new fiancé, Bruce Baldwin (who doesn't notice). She ends up kicking the waiter.
  • In Spider-Man 2, Aunt May kicks Peter under the table when he responds with surprise to her announcement that she's resumed giving piano lessons as she tries to get a loan at the bank, but she misses and gets the loan officer instead.
  • The same subversion happens in Good Burger, when Roxanne is trying to get Ed to spill the beans about the secret sauce. Before Ed can talk, Dexter kicks under the table, hitting Roxanne's foot.
  • In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, when the party is captured by trolls, Bilbo tries to gain time and avoid them being eaten by claiming the dwarves have parasites. To which Kíli protests, until Thorin (despite being tied up in a bag) kicks him so that he changes his tune.

    Literature 
  • 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.
  • Discworld:
    • Done by Ridcully in Soul Music, to Ponder, who can't understand why he should keep his mouth shut about their "sound-trap" in front of sausage-inna-bun vendor turned music producer C.M.O.T. Dibbler.
    • Ridcully does it to Ponder before in Lords and Ladies, when Ponder asks how a man twenty years old could have a father who died thirty years ago. The answer is that the man's mother is Nanny Ogg.
    • Done by Granny Weatherwax to Nanny Ogg in Maskerade when it's obvious that Enrico Basilica has reasons to hide that he speaks Morporkian, but Nanny won't let go of the fact he asked her for a pie.
    • Rincewind does it to the title character in Eric, when Eric is about to let slip that they were the ones who let the Ephebian army into Tsort.
      Eric: You didn't have to kick me!
      Rincewind: You're quite right. It was an entirely voluntary act on my part.
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Cheers used this to comedic effect often.
  • Ditto Frasier
  • NCIS:
    • 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.
    • Once, Fran continually corrects Max by smacking his hand with a spoon. When he finally gets it right, she smack a water glass, creating a game-show "Correct!" ding sound.
    • Used again on Max when he is trying to comfort Fran after another failed date saying she didn't need a man. Sylvia silences him.
      Sylvia: (holding a carving fork) Oh, I'm sorry. Did this fork accidentally puncture your tuckus?
  • 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!
    Joey: Noooo?

    Puppet Shows 
  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • 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.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • 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.


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