"Let's see you dance!"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. Not to Be Confused with ballet dancing or with belly dancing.
— Just about everyone who has used this trope, ever
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Anime & Manga
- In the 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".
- At one point in Eyeshield 21 Hiruma does this to his teammates while they're doing footwork training. "Do the dance from hell!"
- 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.
- In a banned Pokémon episode, "The Legend of Dratini", Team Rocket is made to do this dance as they finish reciting their motto while the Safari Zone warden shoots at their feet. The warden in general was the reason the episode was banned.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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'.
- A favorite pastime of most Lucky Luke villains. Even sometimes Lucky Luke himself, generally to return the favor to one of said villains. In album Le Pied-tendre, this is shown to be a common "welcome" for immigrants foreign to The Wild West. Defied when tried on the title "tenderfoot", who's a Quintessential British Gentleman and stays utterly unimpressed by the locals' attempt to intimidate him.
Films — Live-Action
- Pick a Western, any Western.
- Inverted in the 1987 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".
- 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.
- In The Adventures of Superman episode "The Bully of Dry Gulch", the villain ends up hopping to avoid his former lackeys' (?) bullets.
- 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.
- 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!".
- On Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, there was a sketch set in a typical Western bar. Goldie Hawn asked Alan Sues if he wanted to dance. When he said yes, she produced a gun and began doing this to him. For good measure, guest star Lorne Greene commented, "He's very light on his feet."
- 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.
- Saturday Night Live had a Wild West sketch with Danny Devito where he played a stereotypical bandit doing this trope to a character played by Jon Lovitz, until the bandit accidentally hits the guy's foot, and spends the rest of the sketch summoning all his charm to make up for it.
- In the Roy Rogers episode of The Muppet Show, Statler gets Waldorf bullet dancing, and Waldorf starts doing ballet. When they try it the other way around, all that happens is Statler gets a bullet in his foot.
- Jonathan Creek: Mr Ipswich does this to the two burglars who break into his house at the end of "The Sinner and the Sandman"; pulling a pistol out of his stuffed rabbit. The burglars think it is a prop till he starts shooting at their feet.
- An episode of the 1990s Land of the Lost revival series has one of the main characters doing this to the Sleestaks using a ray gun he found.
- Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: In "Murder Under the Mistletoe", the killer does this to Phryne; shooting at her feet in order to make her dance in keeping with his Twelve Days of Christmas theme.
- Relic Hunter: Sydney does this to Reiner in "Diamond in the Rough". After Sydney gets Reiner's gun away from him, he grabs Nigel and holds him hostage. Sydney proceeds to empty the gun at Reiner's feet; forcing him to jump while delivering a lecture about why she Does Not Like Guns.
- A slight variation in Batman: In one episode, Batgirl does a "sword dance" by being forced to dodge actual swords.
- Midsomer Murders: In "The Village That Rose From the Dead", a Crazy Jealous Guy does this to man who cuckolded him in preparation for shooting him for real.
- Doctor Who: In "Empress of Mars", one of the Victorian soldiers takes a shot at the Doctor's feet, causing him to jump back from Friday.
- In one of Stan Rogers'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.
- Video game parody: In Devil May Cry 3, Dante, the hero, attempts to shoot the villainous Jester in the feet; Jester breaks into the Charleston as he dodges the bullets.
- In Skies of Arcadia, one of Gilder's S-Moves has him do exactly that to his enemies.
Gilder: C'mon... Dance for me.
- Used by cowboy robot gunslingers in Champions Online.
- Referenced by the Flash Gitz of Dawn of War (the fastest-shooting ork unit), who have "Dance, 'umie! Dance!" as a quote. Of course, they're not shooting at their feet, but ork shooting being what it is, they might as well be.
- Xigbar's ultimate attack in Kingdom Hearts II. He even calls out "Let's see you dance!" before unleashing it.
- In Final Fantasy VII, Barret is on the receiving end of an accident example due to Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy firing.
- Two Crazy Survivalists pull this on a North Korean soldier in Homefront.
- Parodied in Star Wars: Behind the Magic, which offers weapons demonstrations for, among other things, a blaster. The Stormtrooper used for the test subject starts dancing as is normally expected of the trope, and by the time the blaster has stopped firing, he's doing actual dance moves. He's finally shot in the chest when his routine ends.
- Lampshaded in a sing-song voice and subsequently subverted in the "Spanish Class" episode of Stickman Exodus.
- 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 embarrassing scene from his three-part DC Animated Universe teamup with Superman in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "World's Finest."
- In an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Mandalorian Death Watch combatants make a bunch of captured droids to dance the "cowboy dance".
- Variation: In Batman: Assault on Arkham, Harley Quinn tries the shoot the Joker in his cell. When he points out that the cell, including the transparent front plate, is bulletproof, she sticks the gun into an air hole and fires a shot that ricochets around inside, forcing the Joker into silly-looking gyrations to avoid it.
- Used once on Ed, Edd n Eddy with turkey basters filled with rubber cement.