Cape Swish

Doyle: He likes playing the hero; walking off into the dark with his long coat flowing behind him in a mysterious and attractive way.
Cordelia: Is this a private moment? Because I can leave you alone.
Doyle: No, no, I’m not saying I’m attracted.
[A few minutes later we get a hero shot of Angel striding out the door, his Badass Longcoat billowing behind.]
Doyle: Maybe I’m a little attracted...
Angel, "I Fall To Pieces"

Not enough Dramatic Wind to blow your cape around in a satisfactory manner? Make your own! The easiest way is to turn around quickly, causing your cape to billow out behind. You might also want to hold it out with one hand as you swoop for maximum surface area, but a true master of the technique can achieve awesome cape flaring with a minimum of movement. Running forward or other sudden movements can also make a cape flare, but is less dignified.

This is a favorite move of any character that wears a cape, especially the Dastardly Whiplash. However, any character with a cape can pull it off. It can also be done with a cloak, robe, coat, or any similar long garment, or even with Rapunzel Hair.

Compare Badass Cape, Ominous Opera Cape.


Anime and Manga
  • Kazuo Kiriyama from Battle Royale wears a Coat Cape that swishes a bit too often in the manga.
  • The Count in Gankutsuou does this quite often.
  • Piccolo of Dragon Ball Z is quite good at this, though notably does it less often after his Heel–Face Turn.
  • The Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann does this, as do all the characters who sport capes, especially Simon and Kamina.
  • Zero from Code Geass adores this trope. Every one of his incredibly dramatic public addresses is punctuated by a well-timed Cape Swish. In his R2 uniform, Suzaku does quite a few of them, too.
  • Tuxedo Mask of Sailor Moon is fond of this. Kunzite was also known to do it.
  • Nobunaga Oda does one in the ninth episode of the Sengoku Basara anime adaption, right after murdering Pontiff Xavi and right before the Pontiff's chapel is burned to the ground.
  • In Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, evil Magical Boy Kinshiro does this at every opportunity. In fact, there are several occasions when, fully untransformed and in his school uniform, he seems to swish an invisible cape.

  • A staple of Batman, whose Cape Swish is actually weaponized. The cape contains weights, the better to smack mooks upside the head with.
  • In Astérix and the Big Fight, the rival village chieftain tells Vitalstatistix he turns his back on the to-be-defeated chief, which he does with a Cape Swish. Unfortunately his Shield Bearers think this also applies to them, so he ends up facing them again.
  • A staple of The Shadow, who, in the original Pulp Magazine stories, used his cape to deflect bullets (the ability to cloud men's minds came later, with the radio adaptation).
  • Doctor Strange's Cloak of Levitation, helpfully, grants flight powers and has some (very vaguely defined) sentience. It can billow around on its own, and often does.

Films — Animated

Films — Live-Action
  • M. Bison does this EVERY SCENE in the Street Fighter movie. Seriously, every scene, at least once. Given how massive of a Large Ham he is, it's hilarious.
  • The Phantom of the Opera: Gerard Butler's Phantom does this a lot, most notably in "Point Of No Return." Because it's at the beginning of the 'Music of the Night' scene, one could have an infinite loop of cape swishing.

  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe mentions more than once that Darth Vader's cape streams behind him when he walks. In Death Star a gunner's hand is brushed by the edge of it as Vader passes. In Allegiance, Mara Jade can identify him from a distance because of that cape.
  • Severus Snape from Harry Potter is known for this, particularly when entering his classroom. It fits with his "evil bat of the dungeons" persona.
  • Bumbling magician Schmendrick in The Last Unicorn wants Dramatic Wind but has to settle for this instead.
  • Hrathen does this in Elantris. When Sarene first sees him, she hopes he'll trip on it.

Live-Action TV
  • Bruce Campbell in Jack-of-All-Trades. Pretty much every scene where he's in his Daring Dragoon persona.
  • The Master, principally when played by Anthony Ainley, on Doctor Who.
  • Angel does this in the Angel Investigations commercial Cordelia describes in a first season episode.
  • Alan Statham from Green Wing attempts to do this with his lab coat, and spends a great deal of time walking back and forth and turning sharply in order to achieve this. It doesn't manage to make him any cooler.
  • To be expected in The Cape

  • In Wicked, the musical, the choreography of "No Good Deed" ends with Elphaba swishing her cape with dramatic lighting to accompany the powerful, bitter music. It's badass.
  • Graf von Krolock in Tanz Der Vampire does this a lot, not least because the design of his cape actually forces the actor playing him to swoosh it back just to gesture- and being a musical, there's a lot of gesturing.
  • Similarly, the cloak worn by the title character in The Phantom of the Opera is designed to drape over and move with his arms, ensuring plenty of appropriately melodramatic cape swishing.
  • Pirelli in Sweeney Todd often makes use of these to amp up his Large Ham factor. See this footage of the 1982 tour cast.

Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation