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Bullet Dancing
Let's see you dance!
Just about everyone who has used this trope, ever

A character with a gun fires quickly and repeatedly at the ground near another character's feet. The victim makes a series of awkward, near-reflexive jumps to save himself from being shot. Though his pride takes a sore beating, the victim's tender tootsies almost always survive unscathed.

Given the number of parodies and subversions listed below, this is obviously a Dead Horse Trope nowadays.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Black Lagoon anime, the local triad leader Mr. Chang had to do some unusual poses to dodge the full-automatic barrage of Browning Automatic Rifle by Gretel. She evens compliments on his "dancing".
  • In Soul Eater BlackStar and Tsubaki end up doing this when the latter decides to confront a roomful of mobsters armed with tommy guns.
    • Black Star and Soul do the same during their fight with Kid.
  • Rare good guy doing this to bad guy example in Martian Successor Nadesico- the crew gets into a conflict with sinister Earth government officials. Izumi gets a kick out of doing this to The Men in Black.
  • At one point in Eyeshield 21 Hiruma does this to his teammates while they're doing footwork training. "Do the dance from hell!"
  • The Monster of the Week does this to Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon in episode 145 of Super S, only with nuts instead of bullets.

    Audio Play 
  • Done in The Firesign Theater's skit "Temporarily Humboldt County", from the album Waiting for the Electician: someone fires a gun (presumably) at a native American Indian's feet.
    'Let's see the war dance, yeah *bang* dance dance'.

    Comic Books 
  • A favourite pastime of most Lucky Luke villains, even Lucky Luke himself.

    Film 
  • Pick a Western, any Western.
    • Older Than Radio: It was even done in the first movie western, The Great Train Robbery (1903).
    • Pale Rider. The corrupt marshalls led by Stockburn force one of the pan miners to do this, until he reaches for his own gun and they can 'legally' shoot him.
  • Inverted in the 1984 comedy Blind Date. Bruce Willis' character gets hold of revolver and forces his date's psycho ex-boyfriend to dance at gunpoint. After commanding the guy to moonwalk, Bruce stares for a moment, screams "I HATE THAT SHIT!" and then starts shooting at his feet.
  • Subversion: In the gangster flick Goodfellas, Tommy actually shoots the bartender, Spider in the foot as he's doing the Bullet Dance.
  • Similarly, the conclusion of Spike Lee's film Bamboozled, where the gangsta rapper Mau-Maus force Manray to tapdance one last time before shooting him. Spike Lee uses footage from the scene in "Bugs Bunny Rides Again" to contrast with the tragedy of the scene.
  • In Back To The Future Part III, Mad Dog Tannen fires a gun at Marty's feet while ordering him to "dance". Spoofed as Marty turns it into a full-fledged moonwalk, jumping on a loose board to launch a spittoon on Tannen for a finale.
    • As another nod to Michael Jackson, you can hear Marty singing the chorus of "Billie Jean" to himself as he moonwalks.
  • An alternate version can be seen in Hero, when the Imperial archers attack a calligraphy school, unleashing wave after wave of arrows. Nameless and Flying Snow stand in front of the school, brushing aside as many arrows as they can with martial arts moves that closely resemble dancing.
  • In Inspector Gadget, our favorite bumbling cyborg is face to face with his evil robotic double on the Roberto Clemente Bridge. When asked if he knows how to dance, Gadget mentions taking lessons not too long ago in what quickly becomes a Noodle Incident as Robo-Gadget fires at his feet.
  • Marty Feldman imagines doing this to a rival during an Imagine Spot in Every Home Should Have One.
  • In Wrongfully Accused when the police arrest and shoot the bad guys on the feet with a parody of Riverdance. The bad guys, in this case, are Irish terrorists, so it makes sense.
  • The Quick and the Dead: Herod briefly makes 'Ace' Hanlon do this before killing him, as a means of showing his contempt for the Miles Gloriosus.
  • During the finale of Little Shop of Horrors, Seymour grabs a revolver and tries to shoot Audrey II to little effect. Audrey snatches the gun from his hand, does some Gun Twirling then fires at Seymour's feet during the song "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space".

    Literature 
  • Wannabe hardcase Bill Wendee does this to the local schoolteacher in the short story "Bill Wendee Likes an Edge" in Sagebrush Sleuth by J.T. Edson.

    Live Action TV 
  • Tongue-in-cheek variation: In the second episode of the 2006 series of Robin Hood, Robin and his friends are robbed by bandits, then turn the tables; after tying the bandits up, Robin gets them dancing by shooting arrows at their feet.
  • The never-getting-hit part was subverted in Band of Brothers, where Lt. Winters got hurt in the shin by a ricochet shot from the floor and had to have the shrapnel removed.
  • On Cleveland's Big Chuck and Lil' John Show a skit showed a cowboy at a saloon offering "Dance Lessons $20". He gives the beautiful saloon girl the money, but instead of dancing with her, a gunslinger comes out and everyone else starts clapping as they do the bullet dance.
  • Parodied on an Australian sketch comedy program where a gunslinger makes an old prospector bullet dance, only for it to be revealed as an audition for So You Think You Can Dance?.
    • Another Australian skit spoofing Kung Fu had cowboys doing this to Caine. His hat falls off and he's mistaken for Midnight Oil singer Peter Garrett thanks to his bald head — the cowboys flee before he starts singing as well as dancing.
  • The Red Dwarf episode "Gunmen of the Apocalypse" has the leader of the gunmen get Kryten to dance this way.
  • In an episode of The Slammer, the Governor does this to Gimbert after he has lost the Governor's showtime suit and the Governor has to host the Freedom Show dressed as a cowboy (It Makes Sense in Context).
  • The Aquabats! Super Show!: The robot gunslinger does this to MC Bat Commander in "Cowboy Android!".
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: In "The Xena Scrolls", Dr Janice Covington (Gabrielle) does this to the bandit who attempts to steal Mel (Xena)'s briefcase. Using a tommy gun.

    Music 
  • In one of Stan Roger's songs, an Albertan rancher makes some cattle rustlers do the bullet dance. In this case, it's the hero doing it to the bad guys.

    Theatre 
  • In the Act One finale of Girl Crazy, when Danny tries to restrain Molly from running off to Mexico with a Romantic False Lead, she calls him a dancing man and starts firing at his feet.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • Lampshaded in a sing-song voice and subsequently subverted in the 'Spanish Class' episode of Stickman Exodus.

    Western Animation 
  • One of the most famous subversions was in the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Bugs Bunny Rides Again", where Yosemite Sam fires at Bugs' feet and orders him to "Dance!" — and Bugs breaks into a full-bore softshoe routine complete with straw hat and cane. Bugs then yells "Take it, Sam!" and the confused Sam does — straight into an open mine shaft.
  • Variation: In an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender , a man swings his dual dao swords at Uncle Iroh's feet, prompting him to dance and avoid the blades. Upon closer inspection you can see he just slashes in front of his feet, so it really wouldn't hurt him if he didn't move (but then he wouldn't get paid for dancing).
  • Parodied on The Simpsons episode "Burns' Heir", in a flashback where Mr. Burns recalls performing this trick with a single shot pistol - firing, manually loading a bullet and powder into the muzzle, cocking the hammer, and firing again while the victim dances obligingly.
  • In the Dilbert animated series Dogbert abuses his diplomatic immunity by commanding a group of Elbonians to dance while firing at their feet. Dogbert then tosses them bandanas and orders them to riverdance.
  • Parodied in Kim Possible, in the episode where Ron is obsessed with the boy band "Oh Boyz". He gets out of a cage and dodges heat seeking lasers by — you guessed it— dancing.
  • Sindbad, played by Bluto, does this to a captured Olive Oyl in Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor using a peashooter.
  • Bruce Wayne in a rather embarassing scene from his three-part The DCAU teamup with Superman in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "World's Finest."
  • In an episode of The Clone Wars, Mandalorian Death Watch combatants make a bunch of captured droids to dance the "cowboy dance".

    Real Life 
  • Real Life Bad Man Clay Allison is alleged to have actually done this to someone; the story goes that the man later tracked him down and returned the favor. Allison was supposedly so impressed he didn't even hold a grudge, despite the fact that (unlike the other guy) Allison had a club foot.


Bedroom Adultery SceneScenesCaught on the Jumbotron
Bullet CatchBullet IndexBullet Dodges You
Boogie KnightsDancing TropesCharity Ball
Bullet CatchGuns and Gunplay TropesBullet Dodges You

alternative title(s): Shotgun Dance
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