Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
ACTING with EMPHASIS. Nearly any emotion will do here, so long as it's EXTREME!
A common term for a scene where an actor's acting so damn hard that they're picking bits of scenery out of their teeth for days. Actors who really go "all out" are said to chew the scenery. Sometimes scenes can actually require this, but more often the actor and/or director just has the character go over the top.
This can include Berserk Button, Freak Out, and other exaggerated emotions.
It's well worth noting that this trope is one of the biggest causes of memes.
While this can often be a bad thing and ruin a scene, just as often it can add to the fun, whether a work is So Bad, It's Good or genuinely good. In a Police Procedural, this will often be due to a Perp Sweating or an Exasperated Perp.
This is a Super Trope, which includes:
In the same vein, during some of the later episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion the English dub cast did this sort of thing in quite a few scenes, perhaps most in Tiffany Grant's portrayal of Asuka's climactic battle in The End Of Evangelion and when Ritsuko destroys the "Reiquarium", sounding absolutely insane in the English dub while Yuriko Yamaguchi had a much more detached delivery in the original Japanese.
Scenery-chewing is hardly exclusive to the dub - Megumi Ogata's screams, for instance, could raise the dead, and especially in the climax of Evangelion 2.0.
Dragon Ball Z's Super Buu brought us such lines as "PROOOOOOODDDUUUUUUUUUCE!!!!" and "FEED ME, YES, EVERYONE FEED ME NOOOOOW!"
Sean Schemmel doing Goku's epic Super Saiyan 3 scream.
Sailor Moon's villains love feasting on the scenery, especially in the English dub:
Queen Beryl: You are MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!!!!!!!!!!!
Naz Edwards even manages to make her screams digest the scenery.
Everything that comes out of Rubeus' mouth.
Queen Nehelenia: ''ZIRCONIAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!"
In the climactic episode of Record of Lodoss War, evil sorcerer Wagnard gets to chomp on many bits of scenery, especially during his death scene. (His English VA does likewise, but that's hardly a drawback. It actually works in the character's favor.)
Still, Harry is no match for Gym Ghingham and GEKKOCHOU DE ARU!! Heck, he chews up so much of the scenery in this clip of SD Gundam G Generations that he devours Super-HamMaster Asia along with it.
The whole point of the Giant Robo Anime and its main Charm Point is providing every single character with one of these on a regular basis. There's not a single person in the final episode who can be accused of underacting, even the random redshirts.
Jiraiya: "When you've reached the stature I have... THE LADIES... KNEEL AND WORSHIP... AT YOUR AWESOMENESS!!!"
Chapter 579: Complete with shaky text to indicate insanity:EVEN HE COULDN'T BECOME A TRUE SAGE IN THE END JUST LIKE ME! My power in the sage mode...If you're Dr.Snakes, I hope you keep that in your mind... I'm no longer a snake... The perfect force of sage helped me shed my snake skin...AND I'M A DRAGON NOW!!
The rest of the cast dutifully attempts to keep up. They mostly succeed.
Light in Death Note whenever he's Kira-ing, and Mikami at times, mostly when he's "deleting" people. The best example is during the penultimate episode when he attempts to kill Near, the rest of the SPK force, and all of the task force members apart from Light, which would get rid of anyone who is in Light's way. He's get more psychotic than ever, and goes into an absolutely insane deleting spree, repeating the word over and over again as he writes down all the names and it culminates with him screaming the word at the top of his lungs towards the sky.'' Terrifying for some, but probably quite entertaining for others.
Baccano!'spsychohams, Ladd Russo and Graham Spector. Of course, then there's Claire Stanfield, who's in a category all his own. But he still manages to ham up his philosophy while fighting Graham and Ladd.
If that's how he does it in the manga, let's just wait until Akio Ohtsuka gets to deliver these same lines in the anime. Oh, booooooy.
Luffy when he's really angry and/or yelling someone's name. Examples: "CROCODIIIIIIILE!", "EN-NER-RUUUUUUU!" and of course, "ROOOOOOOOO-BIIIIIIIIIN!" And just before the timeskip, "UUUUUUUU-SOOOOOOOOOOPPPPPP!"
Minori in Toradora!, especially near the end of the series. Although sometimes she's just overdramatic just for fun... diet warriors, indeed. The homeroom teacher also really chews the scenery during the Pro Wrestling event and has to be carried off.
Minori: Nosebleeds are tears of the heart!
In Niea_7, Tomoko Kawakami is clearly having the time of her life voicing Karna, tearing through every scene in which she occurs with almost limitless abandon—but especially during the "alien awareness meetings".
Karna: I've been an elite ever since I was born... and I'm so beautiful!
Speaking of Gundam, we have Duo's infamous scream when his Gundam gets destroyed, which is so overblown that it reaches into space. His English VA, Scott McNeil, said that the scream was a copy of the one he did when he saw his wife back over his motorcycle in the driveway.
Roger Smith calling his mecha, Big O, normally uses tame levels of shouting, but in some episodes he really goes all-out.
Ichiko Sakura from Binbougami Ga, transforming intoKenshiro when she needs to avoid her newest classmate. Her equally hammy rival Momiji sees this, so she — and eventually everyone else in the area — copies her.
Kamille Bidan in Zeta Gundam. Especially due to the histrionic nature of the character. It's evident in both the original Japanese and the dub.
The Khan thing is actually deliberate, since, if you remember what happens immediately thereafter (that it was all a ruse to make Khan underestimate them), it's made apparent that Kirkis the one who is acting, not Shatner.
Admiral Marcus: "War is coming! AND WHO'S GONNA LEAD US?! YOU?! If I'm not in charge, our entire way of life IS DECIMATED! So you want me off this ship, you better KILL ME!"
It is also so noticeable in Wrath of Khan because it is, by a long shot, Shatner's most restrained performance with this being the one time he goes rather over the top.(seriously, watch a bunch of Shatner's other stuff, especially in recent years when he has become essentially a parody of himself, and then watch Wrath of Khan, the subtlety he shows is both brilliant and quite shocking giving Shatner's normal acting style).
Averted in Star Trek: The Motion Picture by everyone. But, this aversion is one of the elements that detractors of the movie tend to point to when referring to this film as a cold, flat experience. In such a case, it could be an example of Not All Tropes Are Bad.
William Atherton as Walter Peck in Ghostbusters when he demands the arrest of the Ghostbusters after forcibly shutting down the containment unit.
"I'VE ABANDONED MY CHILD!!!! I'VE ABANDONED MY BOY!"
"'BASTARD IN A BASKET! BASTARD IN A BASKET!'"
"BECAUSE IT IS MY NAAAAAME! Because I cannot have another in my liiife! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; LEAVE ME MY NAAAAAAAME!"
Many of Anakin's lines in Attack of the Clones are either this, garbage, or just plain normal, depending on your point of view. But a special mention goes to his confession on Tatooine:
I... I killed them. I killed them all. They're dead. Every single one of them. And not just the men, but the women, and the children, too. They're like animals, and I slaughtered them like animals! I hate them!
In Serenity, any scene where River has a mental breakdown. Especially when she collapses in the streets of Miranda, screaming a frantic prayer in Chinese.
Sharon Stone's performance in Casino isn't looked too fondly upon now because it frequently involved this. Roughly the entire last third of the movie seems to involve her screaming at either Robert De Niro or Joe Pesci about something.
When Pink in Pink FloydThe Wall decides that he is a British fascist leader and sings "In the Flesh". Just watch as a rock star (Bob Geldof) playing a rock star (Roger Waters) during an insane fantasy of being a fascist dictator while in front of an audience of Pink's rock fans during a concert.
Certain bites of James "Jimi" Kinstle's performance as Norman Osborn (a.k.a. The Green Goblin) in the Spider-Man fan film The Green Goblin's Last Stand. As may be expected from a classically-trained actor playing a homicidal maniac, this is genuinely frightening at times. That joke about Osborn being scarier without his mask on? It's true here.
The last two scenes of the second flashback in The Bad and the Beautiful got this from Kirk Douglas and Lana Turner respectively.
The saving grace of Daredevil was a delightfully over-the-top portrayal of Bullseye by Colin Farrell. He barely speaks and rarely raises his voice, but his snarling, twitching, and whispered ramblings chew the scenery in a big way. He kills people with pencils, peanuts, and paper clips in scenes that cross the line into Comedic Sociopathy. Just about every scene he's in is simultaneously hilarious and disturbing because of his overacting juxtaposed with the sadistic character.
M. Bison: Something wrong, Colonel? You come here to fight a madman, and instead you found...a god!? You still refuse to ACCEPT...my godhood?!KEEP your own god! In fact, this might be a good time to PRAY to Him!For I beheld Satan as heFELL FROM HEAVEN!LIKE LIGHTNING!!!
Just about anything with Jack Palance in it. Hell, if Tim Burton's impersonation of the man on Batman's commentary track is any indication, the man chewed as much scenery in real life as he did on celluloid!
Robert Mitchum as the crazy industrialist in Dead Man. He spends most of his time "talkin' to a goddamn bear" or hiding behind his desk, shotgun in hand.
"SHUT UP! Mah boy is dead! Oh, I ain't askin' this time. I'm tellin'. And if somebody don't like it, I'm prepared to do a little killin' of my own!(later) I want this out over the wires. Post a $5000 reward from here to hell and back. Bring everybody in. I want that bastard's head. And make sure you include a full description of my Pinto. I want that horse back.
Sure, the Masters of the Universe movie was pretty bad, but Frank Langella as Skeletor sure did chew himself some scenery, especially in this scene.
Skeletor: Now. I, Skeletor, am Master of the Universe! YES! Yes... I feel it, the power... fills me. YES, I feel the universe within me! I am... I am a part of the cosmos! The power flows... Flows through me! Of what consequence are you now? This planet, these people. They are NOTHING to me! The universe is POWER! Pure, unstoppable POWER! and I am that force! I am that power! KNEEL BEFORE YOUR MASTER! Fool! you are no longer my EQUAL! I am more than man, MORE THANLIFE!I... am... a...GOD! Now. You... will... KNEEEEL!!!!!
Alan Rickman in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves as the Sheriff of Nottingham was gloriously hammy in his portrayal. His best line was probably (at the end of a long list of canceling donations to various charities) "...and call off Christmas!"
Herbert Lom as Inspector Dreyfus tends to do this a lot after Clouseau unwittingly succeeds in pushing him over the edge mentally, esp. in the Pink Panther Strikes Again installment, where he plays an Evil Overlord.
John Tuturro in Anthony Hopkin's confusing art flick Slipstream, playing a over the top growling, insane producer who is sidesplittingly funny as well and this a year before Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder. In one scene, he loses it with the director when he brings his child to the filming and almost nearly attacks him like a wild animal. I don't know if it was ment to be this way or if Tuturro was just hamming it up big time, though he would be in competition with Christian Slater, who literally dies of overacting in the movie as the actor playing a menancing gangster along with Jeffrey Tambor who is at least subtle about it. Though in Slater's case it might just be that the script called for his chewing the scenery.
Crispin Glover in River's Edge, I know he was suppose to be a cokehead but Glover played him too much like the dark side of George Mcfly complete with stuttering threats and nervous chatter. I know he got high praise for the role, but I couldn't help but think he wasn't just Chewing the scenery so much that the character rose laughs out of me instead of fear or intimidation.
Reb Brown in almost anything he does, compelete with over the top yelling at the top of your lungs acting style like most 80s action stars, his highlight though would be Space Mutiny with lines such as
"Let's get out there and KICCCKKK SOOMMMEEE ASSSSSS!"
And in another movie called Strike Commando after a little kid dies he screams the villians name like this
That Tom Riddle fellow in the Harry Potter Films. In every. Single. Scene. He consumes more scenery than unicorn blood. All of Voldemort's portrayers have their moments, but Ralph Fiennes especially. He even has videos dedicated to the anticipation of his most hammiest of moments on Youtube.
TROLL IN THE DUNGEON!!!!!
Ever After: Everyone is occasionally (probably consciously, due to the quick changes between humor and seriousness) guilty of this, child!Danielle in particular.
Honourable mention to Marguerite who throws a full-blown temper tantrum with stamping and screaming and yelling in front of the Queen of France.
Sir Ben Kingsley as Don Logan in Sexy Beast: "You're the problem! You're the fuckin' problem you fuckin' Doctor White honkin' jam-rag fucking spunk-bubble! I'm tellin' you, Aitch, you keep lookin' at me I'll put you in the fuckin' ground, promise you!"
30 Rock: Tracy Jordan. And Tracy Morgan in real life. Seriously, just watch any of his interviews on The Daily Show.
Babylon 5: While most people understandably get quite boisterous in a good mood, one hat of the Centauri, particularly Londo Mollari, is to really ham it up when they're happy, or drunk or (most commonly) both at the same time. They're otherwise quite normal, if a bit eccentric in an Eastern Bloc sort of way.
Not to mention the half a dozen times Delenn gives a REALLY intense speech to some foe (or the leaders of her government). The first time it's pretty awesome, but the lack of variation each time she gives that speech makes it a little redundant.
Bruce Boxleitner gets several of these as Captain Sheridan as well, most notably with his over-the-top "No more Nightwatch" speech during "Ceremonies of Light and Dark". JMS specifically cites him for "Chewing the Scenery" in the director's commentary when Holo-Sheridan gives a "programmed" propaganda speech in "Deconstruction of Falling Stars."
The most egregious example was Ivanova's challenge to the commander of the Shadow-enhanced destroyer force in "Between the Darkness and the Light": "I am Death incarnate...God sent me..." Completely over the top, and only fueled the fires of the enemy propaganda machine. Although it's not like she hasn't done that before. Like the time she reprimanded a pilot that almost got himself fried by the planet B5 orbits. That time, she said that she was God.
Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined): Any scene where Edward James Olmos ends up having a emotional breakdown in his cabin and starts punching the wall, his ship or Colonel Tigh. Double points if he gets drunk and starts drooling or vomiting on himself. The producers have admitted they put a few too many of these in during the final episodes. The first was heartbreakingly effective for many, but by the end it was like, suck it up man! Smashing the wooden ship, that wasn't a prop, nor was Olmos scripted to do that (he was a little too in character). It was a very expensive museum piece on loan to the production. Ooops. Luckily, it was insured.
Boy Meets World: Eric did this more and more as he got crazier, such as yelling at a waitress for the check when trying to get out of a restaurant and a Big "WHAT?!" reaction after learning that Mr. Feeny is retiring. In season 7 when he became a full-on Cloudcuckoolander he did this almost every episode.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: James Marsters as the newly-souled vampire Spike during the final season — especially during the first couple of episodes, with Spike being constantly tortured by his guilty conscience and acting totally bonkers. Especially during the scene where Spike, after a lengthy tragic monologue, drapes himself over a church cross and his skin starts to sizzle.
Pretty much every incarnation of the Master. Especially the John Simm version; he's so hungry and no amount of scenery will satisfy him. Or food, in "The End of Time". However, special mention regarding John Simm's portrayal must go out to when he chases down two homeless men before bellowing out at the top of his lungs;
The Ninth Doctor's rant about the end of the Time War to the Dalek in "Dalek". He's literally frothing at the mouth.
9th Doctor:I watched it happen!I MADE IT HAPPEN!!!
Another Ninth Doctor example — at the end of "The Doctor Dances", when he cries "JUST THIS ONCE... EVERYBODY LIVES!" he milks the line so hard that a little skoonspruit shoots out from under his tongue.
Mark Strickson, who played the Fifth Doctor's companion Turlough, chowed down on the scenery on more than one occasion. "AN INFECTIOOOOON." However, it was made awesome by his willingness to not only slobber on himself, but to take the complete and utter piss out of it by re-enacting it with ever-increasing amounts of bacon at conventions for the next 20 years.
The Eleventh Doctor is looking right at home putting teeth marks on the scenery.
From "Victory of the Daleks", whilst beating on a Dalek with a giant wrench: "I AM THE DOCTOR!!! AND YOU ARE THE DALEKS!!!"
"Do not whiz around in your silly little spaceship while HE. IS. TAAAAAAAALKING!!!"
"Those words. 'Run away.' I want you to be famous for those exact words. I want people to call you Colonel Runaway. I want children laughing outside your door, 'cause they've found the house of Colonel Runaway. And when people come to you and ask if trying to get to me through the people I LOVE ...is in any way a good idea, I want you to tell them your name. Look, I'm angry, that's new. I'm not really sure what's going to happen now."
While it's not extreme overacting in the context of Doctor Who overacting, Steven's behaviour during Katarina's death scene deserves an honourable mention as it saved the clip from being consigned to the same Missing Episode oblivion as the rest of the serial. Peter Purves played Steven and became a Blue Peter presenter later. To celebrate a Doctor Who anniversary, a clip of this scene was played, so the other Blue Peter presenters could tease him about his Scenery Chewing. This clip is one of the only bits of the whole story that still exists.
Farscape: John Crichton tends to do this whenever he goes undercover. Or starts to lose his mind. Or is enduring horrendous torture. Or when he tries to get under the skin of the villain. Which is to say, almost all the time. Although Scorpius is usually quite calm, cool and collected, when his temper gets the better of him and his Scarran side takes over he can get pretty hammy. Even then, scenes between Scorpy and Crichton tend to turn into serious Ham-to-Ham Combat. Scenery chewing of a literal sort occurred in the episode "Eat Me," when part of the crew is stranded on a dying Leviathan slowly being eaten alive by its crew of mutated Peacekeepers.
Frasier: What you are feeling is that this woman has reached into your chest, plucked out your heart, and thrown it to her hell-hounds for a chew toy! And it's not the last time either! Because that's what this woman is! She is the Devil! There's no use running away from her, because no matter how far you go, no matter how many years you let pass, you will never be completely out of reach of those bony fingers! So drink hearty, Franklin, and laugh! Because you have made a pact with Beelzebub! And her name is MARY ANNNNNNNNNE!!
Spoofed in Garth Marenghis Darkplace - Todd Rivers clearly thinks he's doing this but it comes across as Comical Overreacting for several reasons - first, he's not very good at it; second, he is clearly doing it due to being an Attention Whore (such as striking poses whenever he enters a room); and third, he does it all the time, never switching it off even for casual lines of dialogue, which he milks out with drawn-out vowwwwwels and lots of eyebrowwwwwws.
iCarly: Nevel gets some very campy (both types) scenery chewing moments for a 14 year old.
Jane Eyre: In this BBC adaptation, it got rid of its scenery by letting Ciaran Hinds eat it all up. Just jump to 3:00 and watch. Also it has a zoom in a bit in that crosses over into Narm.
Law & Order: Criminal Intent: There is an Urban Legend that Vincent D'Onofrio had a clause in his contract for this show that simply read: "Feed me!", for when he goes into full Perp Sweating mode. Justified in that he's supposed to be a Bunny-Ears Lawyer to a certain extent. Though to be fair D'Onofrio isn't the only one, usually during the last few minutes of each episode, somebody cracks into a hammy performance, either the culprit or like one of the culprits friends or family.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Sharon Stone does some painful scenery-chewing in the episode "Shattered". She'd been snacking on the scenery in earlier episodes, but "Shattered" is by far the worst, especially when she picks up the corpse of a boy who was killed during a kidnapping gone wrong and shouts "YOUR SON NEEDS YOOOOOOOOOUUUU" at his mentally unstable mother. Again, many of the other guest stars/characters chew the scenery on the show including the show's stars. The most memorable though to me was in "Rage" with an unexpected hammy performance from Matthew Modine who starts doing hammy gestures like choking himself to Stabler to coax him into trying to hurt him while screaming "I'M A PSYCHO KILLER, I'M A PSYCHO KILLER!". Either that or the neo-nazi father and son gun shop owners in "Raw" and also the fat skinhead who are just so hammy with their racism. And also the over the top over protective manipulative mother played by Diane Vernora in "Home" who goes on a over the top tirade when she is being dragged away by the cops, her kids are equally hammy in their being completely screwed up except that one that got away.
Naveen Andrews pulled it twice: a blooper of the season 3 DVD where Sayid says, "NOT EVERY NOOK AND CRANNY, JOHN!" (to which his co-stars promptly laugh, note except the guy playing unconscious, going against tradition and Terry O'Quinn even replies with a hammy line of his own); and on actual episode footage, when a Truth Serum-infused Sayid reveals to the Dharma people everything he knows.
Lost Girl: Reynard (the escaped mental patient) in general, but especially when he was in Lauren's body. Zoie Palmer looked like she was having a lot of fun. Also, the Norn can go from calm to scenery chewing like flipping a switch.
Merlin: Merlin is a subtle, quiet Deadpan Snarker that usually conveys emotions purely by his eyes and slight changes in his tone. His alterego, Dragoon, isnot. Apparently, Merlin decided to have fun with Dragoon, so Colin Morgan got to take a break from all the subtle acting and mercilessly devour the scenery whenever he played Dragoon. It's a joy to watch.
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Rita Repulsa, especially after a defeat. "I'VE GOT SUCH A HEADAAACHE! GET ME AN ASPIRIN!" However, in one memorable occasion, Kimberly out-hammed her: because Lord Zedd had chosen her as her new queen and Goldar had kidnapped her and took away her morpher while attempting a brainwashing, she tried to buy time by imitating Rita... A little too well. See it here.
Once Upon a Time: The Evil Queen devours the scenery every single chance she gets. Evil Is Hammy is in full effect. Interestingly, Regina the mayor is far more reserved (except when she's the mayor playing the role of the Queen), suggesting she may be hamming it up for kicks.
Revolution: Sebastian "Bass" Monroe starts out as so calm that he's practically robotic. However, episode 3 has one of his men, Jeremy Baker, implying that this is a facade, because Bass has not been particularly stable since Miles Matheson left him. Monroe's facade starts crumbling when in episode 9, he yells for the first time at Rachel upon discovering that she is making a bomb to blow them all up and not the power amplifier he wanted her to make. From then on, Bass begins showing his Ax-Crazy tendencies in an obvious manner. In fact, episode 18 has this real gem in which Bass finds out that Randall Flynn was holding out on him about the Tower and he confronts him on the subject of the Tower. When Flynn tries to placate him, Bass loses his patience and screams out:
I DON'T LIKE YOUUUU!!!! And I don't trust you either.
Robin Hood: The Sheriff of Nottingham played by Keith Allen takes a leaf out of Rickman's book from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, and dines on the castle walls using stolen silverware and big knives at any available opportunity.
Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: Shinken Blue is noteworthy for his supreme fealty to his Lord. "TONOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Shinken Gold is even hammier than Shinken Blue, and that's saying something. Played up even further in the crossover episodes with Kamen Rider Decade. His facial expressions must be seen to be believed — you can see his entire capillary system popping out of his neck.
Smallville: Michael Shanks guest-stars in the two-hour episode "Absolute Justice". Michael Shanks, who can play subtle, obviously realizes that he is playing the role of a guy with wings and a silly mask who carries a really big mace on a superhero show. Michael Shanks is not going to play subtle. Carter Hall/Hawkman is so over the top you will believe a man can digest scenery. Also, Callum Blue's Major Zod was always a Large Ham, but it's during his Villainous Breakdown in the finale that he really cuts loose. He raves, twitches, screams about how everyone will Kneel Before Zod, and then finally throws himself at Clark with a knife.
Troi opens up her mind to find... pain. Lots and lots of pain. Boy, there sure is a lot of pain.'
John Delancey's acting method as Q seems to be 10% condescension, 20% tomfoolery, and 70% scenery chewing. To the point where the few scenes where he gives an understated performance (like when he first introduces the Enterprise to the Borg) are downright chilling.
You might want to sit down for this one: Lowly Ensign David Bailey manages to pull off an epicHeroic BSOD in the episode "The Corbomite Maneuver". After staring death in the face for the majority of the episode (complete with countdown of doom), he has a memorableFreak Out scene:
Bailey: What, are you all out of your minds?! End of watch? It's the end of everything! WHAT ARE YOU, ROBOTS?! Wound up, toy soldiers?! Don't you know when you're dying?! Watch and regulations and orders? What do they mean?!?
Okay, so here's the "are you sitting down" part — William freaking Shatner was on set at the same time. And he looked like the subtle one.
In the episode "The Doomsday Machine", William Windom as Commodore Decker chews so much scenery and so thoroughly that he makes William Shatner look downright subdued. That's right, he plays opposite the North American archetype of the Large Ham and out-hams him! His performance is so convincing and so disturbing that even the ominous music AND the reaction shots of William Shatner seem shallow and flimsy in comparison (And this is Star Trek TOS where even the music was a Large Ham).
Shatner plays it both ways in the first season episode "The Enemy Within". A transporter accident splits Kirk into good and evil halves. The good Kirk is quiet, thoughtful and restrained. The evil Kirk is chewing the scenery magnificently.
I SAID GIVE ME THE BRANDY!!!! I WANT TO LIVE!!!
That '70s Show: Kelso easily qualifies. Any time he appears on the scene (regardless of where it is or what else is happening), the focus tends to immediately go to him. It helps that he typically bursts onto the scene Kramer-style, right before saying something COMPLETELY off the wall.
Twin Peaks: When shooting a scene during the first season where Benjamin Horne and his creepy brother interrupt the family dinner to devour Brie & butter sandwiches, the actor Richard Beymer, who played Benjamin, was repeatedly told by David Lynch to "really eat it." Each take they took Lynch would yell "cut" and tell him, "No, really ... eat it. Dig into it." After something like 20 takes or so with this sort of encouragement, Beymer finally realized just how insane his character was intended to be. The result is that Benjamin buries his whole face in the thing while moaning like a madman.
"I'M A MOOOONSTERRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!"
The Unit: Dennis Haysbert has a few memorable moments. Combined with "Punctuated! For! Emphasis!" in Season 1 Episode 1: "Get off this plane! GET OFF THIS PLANE!! GET OFF!! THIS PLANE!!!"
Dio's vocal style popularized much of this in metal, with younger Power Metal bands taking it to its logical extreme (minus his sheer energy).
David Draiman: the only "acting" he's ever done in a video was a Big "NO!". His voice is the kind that can somehow make "WE BEGIN THE HUNT TONIGHT! FEEL THE POWER COURSE AS THE CREATURES TAKE FLIGHT!!" sound cool. He also loves to fill songs with Evil Laughter. If anyone else did this, it would be So Bad, It's Good. With him, he really can convince you that he's an indestructible master of war.
Christina Aguilera - all those riffs, runs and malismas. Your Mileage Will Vary if you like it or not!
A sentimental song / That casts a magic spell / They all will hum along / We'll overact like hell / For this is the song that goes like this
Exalted, being a game designed to let players be over the top in all they do, allows your character to live this trope. There's even a mention of player characters getting a dying monologue, no matter how they die.
Dragon Blooded, almost literally, chew the scenery when they use a lot of 'mana', because their anima banners start doing damage to everything within a few yards. Accordingly, they tend to furnish their homes with sculpture and heavy stone furniture, so they don't have to buy a new couch every time someone gets pissed off.
In the source book for the Infernal Exalted, the Storytelling chapter has a section on how to use them as Card Carrying Villains (their original intent) entitled "This Scenery Looks Delicious." In fact, at one point in the book it's explained how the player of a 'Green Sun Prince' can even receive mechanical benefits from dramatic monologuing under the right circumstances.
Starship is a World of Ham, more or less, but the greatest of all these Hams are probably Taz, played by Lauren Lopez, Up, played by Joe Walker, and Tootsie Noodles, played by Dylan Saunders. Not that Pincer (Saunders) is much better. Walker just cheerfully chews up the scenery with their aid, trying to see who can eat more of it. For what scenes he's in there, of course, Krayonder (played by Joe Moses, who is Snape in A Very Potter Musical), eats what he can, as does Jim Povolo (Sweetheart and The Overqueen).
In Peter and the Starcatcher, a play based on the book of the same name as a prequel, there is a line that hangs a lampshade on this trope as pirates Black Stache (pre-hook Hook and a very LargeHam to boot) and Smee flee the crocodile:
Another Capcom title, Sengoku Basara is the such a samurai World of Ham, it's a wonder there's any scenery left. There's Mouri's "I AM THE CHILD OF THE SUN, NOW COOOOOOME!!", and Nobunaga's "I AM THE DEVIL KING OF THE SIXTH HEAVEN!!! (plus he's played by Norio Wakamoto). But even the other voice actors have expressed respect and sympathy for Soichiro Hoshi who voices Hot-Blooded Yukimura who has No Indoor Voice and who really, really, really loves his "OYAKATA-SAMAAAAAAAAA!!!!!"
That scene was then MSTed with hilarious results by Unskippable. Which was beautifully parodied even more with the plane crash in the opening of Haze, also by the Unskippable lads.
Kane from Command & Conquer. Every scene involving him has some of the most awesomely bombastic, larger-than-life acting one could ask for. Hell, in the intro to Kane's Wrath, his pre-battle speech comes complete with explosions, thunder, and earthquakes.
The funny thing is, he's actually fairly quiet and charismatic in a completely different way (with one memorable lapse) throughout the original game. Not that anybody's complaining either way.
Metal Gear Solid 4. The whole thing. Double points for any scene with Liquid Ocelot, who can blow things up by pointing at them dramatically. He Points. Bang. *Helicopters falls out of sky*; Pulls his other arm up as everyone is collapsing, and starts to make MACHINE GUN noises! " BANGBANGBANGBANG..."
Also right after the Metal Gear fight when the game does a modern version of the end of the first game with "Fox..." "...Die!" Liquid jumps up, says, "Not this time!" then giggles and dances around like a little girl before running away.
Then there's "SSSSSNNNNNNAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKEEEEEE!! from everyone. There are other overly acted out scenes but they never really yell.
Behold! GUNS of the PATRIOTS!
By no means is this limited to the fourth installment:
"What was she fighting for? What am I fighting for? WHAT ARE YOU FIGHTING FFOOOORR?!?"
The Raccoon City Police Chief was another one: "But you're not leaving my town! Everyone's gonna DIE!"
Wesker (or "WESKERRRRR!!") has some of the most over-the-top villainous monologues ever.''
RE4 wasn't so bad and never had anything over-the-top, but RE5 and has Chris overacting every scene. Wesker's gem monologues are good, and become awesome when he throws his glasses at Chris so he can punch him whilst he's distracted!
In Maverick Hunter X, X prepares for his climactic battle with Sigma by vigorously devouring the scenery. It's actually quite chilling. Possibly justified by the fact that the Vile battle (and Zero's fate) were shifted from the first Sigma stage to the third, meaning that X had just watched Zero die minutes before, not a whole fortress ago, and therefore the pain and fury are nice and fresh.
Sergeant Reznov from Call of Duty: World at War must have gotten really hungry after the events of the level "Vendetta", because starting with "Their Land, Their Blood", he can't stop yelling at his men to keep killing Germans wherever they find them. Commissar Markhov, however, manages to outeat even him, as his lack of volume control for his voice, coupled with the fact that half his lines are spoken from a megaphone, ensure that he can be heard all the way over in Berlin.
Voice of the Legion: "This Χ-blade will open a door, one that leads to ALL WORLDS! Then, Keyblade-bearing warriors will flock here from each and every one of them, to battle for the light within KINGDOM HEARTS! And just like the legend says, the Keyblade War will BEGIN!"
Lani Minella, the voice actress for several Wrath of the Lich King bosses, arguably reached the pinnacle of this trope with the undead dragon queen Sindragosa.
Minella's no stranger to huge portions of Large Ham. Listen to her voice acting as Adria in Diablo.
Adria: "The Butcher IS A SADISTIC CREATURE..."
Just about every boss in World of Warcraft, but Yogg-Saron wins by being made of mouths to chew with.
From Asura's Wrath: Gongen Wyzen. "AAASSHHUUURRAAA THE TRAITOR!!! AAAASSSSHHUUURRRAAA THE DESTRUCTOR!!! YOU DO NOT BELONG TO THIS WORLD!!! (Commences finger poke of doom) DDDDDDDDDIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!"
Dr. Robotnik was having way too much fun at the beginning of the game. "You know NOTHING, fools! It's Chaos, the GOD of DESTRUCTION!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHA'!!!"
In Sonic Generations, even his past self is thrown off by his scenery chewing tendencies.
Also, the Anti-Climax Boss of Sonic Heroes, the Metal Overlord comes out with such gems as "This victory shall soon turn into DESPAAAAAIIIIRRR!!!", "IT'S! TOO! LAAATE!!" and, of course, "BUUURRNNN! TOOOOO DEEEAAATTHHH!!!", complete with voice echo! What's more, he is ACTUALLY eating the ship while he's on while doing so (implied). What's more, he gets worse after he takes off!
Who, unsurprisingly, shares a voice actor with Kain, above. Simon Templeman seems to subsist on a steady diet of scenery whenever he's voicing a game character. Not that anyone'scomplaining.
The Arishok in Dragon Age II when Hawke gets in a duel with him. Snarky!Hawke him/herself gets in on the act in the "Mark of the Assassin" DLC where s/he decides that the only way to act like a noble is to be as over-the-top and obnoxious as possible.
In Tali's loyalty mission in Mass Effect 2, Paragon Shepard can approach the Admiralty Board to defend her with an impassioned speech. If you're playing as female Shepard, Jennifer Hale simply demolishes the scenery and then spits what's left of the Migrant Fleet out into your stunned face.
Every villain in the Professor Layton series (Don Paolo, Anton, Clive and Descole) has one thing in common: At some point in their game/movie, they will shout Layton's name very loud.
The chapter where Agatha meets Gilgamesh Wulfenbach enter "The Madness Place" was named "Gil Chews the Scenery". After some rumours, this episode later was explicitly referenced as "chewing the furniture".
Goblins had a scene that the author actually changed because he thought it was too narmtastic. A mook is getting painfully transformed into a pile of snakes and screams, "I feel sick... Oh God, it hurts!
The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!: Galatea lives and breathes this trope. "'Crazy? Me? You dare?! All the world is mad and only I am sane!" "We are a new race, more intelligent than man and obliged to supplant him! We... are the ubermensch!!!... Or is that ubermenschen... or uberfrauen... or..." "SO ENDS THE AGE OF MAN!" "Heed me, Butane! This is Captain Galatea Martin of the starship Lathe of Empires!... I promise you wise and just leadership... if you surrender... NOW!''
Though they've had plenty of practice in their reviews, such as "EXPLAIN, MOVIE! JUST EX-PLAAAAAINNN!!!", the Critic's huge freak-outs over the likes of Batman & Robin. Or Ma-Ti's "A movie that make my nipples tingle with fear!"
Super Sonic Short by Deviant ART's Link 3 Kokiri has Sonic the Hedgehog and friends screaming at the top of their lungs while changing into their super forms. It's not so much the original animation that qualifies for this trope, but the Germandub. They literally overload the speakers.
"Do you have to keep tapping like that?! You bloated sack of protoplasm!"
From the episode Stimpy's Fan Club':
Ren: "I... I was nice today. Nice to those insipid little monkeys, answering their stupid letters. My hands... DIRTY! THE DIRT WON'T COME OFF! AAAAAAAHHHH! [Lying in bed] President... Ha! What a joke. President...President of WHAT?! [Enviously looking over at Stimpy] His fan club?! How they love him! Look at him, lying there asleep. [Creeps over to Stimpy's side]The idol of millions. He's a fool! Blind, silly little fool. How easily I could end the farce... with these hands! These DIRTY hands! AND WITH THESE HANDS I HOLD THE FATE OF MILLIONS!!! They think he's a god, but he's as mortal as we. I know! [Visually drawing a dotted line along Stimpy's neck] Just..one...quick...TWIST! And it's over. Just one... Just... AAAAH! It's happening again! MY BRAIN! MY HOT... STINGING... BRAIN!!!! WHAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!"
For the LAST TIME! I! WANT YOU! TO BE! QUIET!!!!!
"It is not I who am crazy. It is I who am mad!"
"I told ya I'd shoot! But you didn't believe me! WHY DIDN'T YOU BELIEVE ME?!"
"Oh no! I know what you want! YOU COVETETH MY ICE CREAM BAR!"
"I've had this ice cream bar since I was a CHILD!! PEOPLE! ALWAYS TRYING TO TAKE IT FROM ME! WHY WON'T THEY LEAVE ME, AAAALOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNEEEEEEEE!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
"YOU FILTHY SWINE! I WILL KILL YOU!!!!"
Justin Roiland's gorgeous performance as Lemongrab in Adventure Time. He didn't chew the scenery- he completely DEVOURED IT! And he came back a year later later to reprise the role, HUNGRY FOR MORE SCENERY TO RAVENOUSLY FEAST UPON!
Lemongrab: This castle Is... In... UNACCEPTABLE CONDITION! UNACCEPTABUUUL!!!
Lemongrab: NO ONE... NO ONE UNDERSTANDS! I AM ALONE! AND YOU MADE ME LIKE THIS! YOU MADE MEEE! YOOOU MAAADE MEEE!!! YOU'RE... MY... GLOB! YOU'RE MY GLOB!!!
In the words of Tom Herpich (one of the two writers of Lemongrab's episodes) on Justin's performance as Lemongrab: "He crushed it perfectly."
Professor Dementor in Kim Possible was created with this trope in mind.
Henry Gyrich of X-Men fame was always a little unhinged, but his appearance in the last episode shot him straight into scenery-chewing territory. Acoustic feedback from his microphone fails to slow him down. By the end of the scene, for the character's swan song, Barry Flatman shifts gears from merely chewing the scenery to practically devouring it.
Storm was wondering if you could MEET HER AT THE MONORAIL!
"Who in the hell parked in my spot! That's like calling 1-800-COLLECT-AN-ASS-WHOOPIN', but NO, that ain't no toll-free call!"
Gin Rummy is a frequent culprit as well. Being voiced by Samuel L. Jackson probably makes it more severe
"I'd be dead on his ass like Spenser For fuckin' Hire. I'll hunt him down and feed him his own testicles. And I'll do it in a jiffy. And I don't care if his mama there, his grandmama, innocent bystanders, little kids, baby-sitters, bill collectors. Whatever! I'll leave his whole block filled with hot brass if I have to. And you know why?BECAUSE I JUST DON'T GIVE A FUCK!
Every single character on the show has moments of this. One especially cheesy episode lampshades this trope by showcasing a giant space slug which chews up the set in the background. Darkwing (of course) thinks it's ridiculous.
Bonus points to Lilo for doing it on an actual stage
If I fed Pudge tuna It'd be an ABOMINATION!!!!
Nani's breakdown after Lilo is abducted by Gantu: "LILO! SHE'S A LITTLE GIRL, THIS BIG, BROWN EYES, AND WAS HANGING AROUND WITH THAT THING!!" (referring to Stitch)
South Park: Some of the characters Trey plays can leave a hole in the scenery.
Binky the Clown from Garfield and Friends spends the whole time screaming, to the point where there were shorts called "SCREAMING WITH BINKY". The cartoon played this for laughs quite often; at one point he was temporarily given a job as a newscaster, where he kept his signature mannerisms.
"HEY!!! I WANT MY PANTS BACK!!!!"
Garfield: "After being unable to find work, Binky eventually did what so many other clowns end up doing - he went into politics."
In Inspiration Manifestation, You can almost imagine Tabitha St. Germain desperately trying to hold back the maniacal laughter in her rant at the end, especially with the omnious bells chiming in the background.
Rarity: ...until there isn't an inch of Equestria that hasn't been utterly transformed bymy! creative! GENIUS!
In ThunderCats (2011), Will Friedle is clearly getting very into it whenever his Lion-O recites the famous, "Thunder! Thunder!Thundercats!HO!" Battle Cry. In fact, it sounds like he's trying to roar the line more often than not.
Hercules: When Hades gets mad, he will literally get fired up, as in blowing flames in all directions. And then there're the Titans...
Hades: Brothers! Titans! Look at you, in your squalid prison! Who put you down there?
Hades: And now that I set you free, what's the first thing you're going to do?
In the episode "Behind the Laughter" during the period where the family split up to pursue solo careers Homer mentions having a short lived stage career where he literally chewed the scenery (as in he ate part of the set).
Most politicians have shades of this, especially more than a century ago. You can guess why, in a world without microphones, booming voices and exaggerated mannerisms might be advantages when giving a speech.
The politicians in the ancient Greek and Roman democracies may have been even more extreme. Unfortunately all we have are the texts of their speeches.
Although the movie Mommie Dearest seems to have Joan Crawford thoroughly digesting the scenery, according to her daughter, Christina Crawford, the performance was understated.
Adolf Hitler tended to do this every time he spoke in public. The movies (like the Downfall example above) aren't really that far from the truth this time. Most other dictators have a tendency to indulge in the same style.
It was Hitler's ranting in the Downfall movie, coupled with the subtitles and the German, that inspired the Hitler parodies that are popular on the internet.
Hitler was reputed to do this a bit more literally in less-public venues. William Shirer mentions at one point in Berlin Diary that in some circles, he was referred to as Der Teppich-Fresser (the carpet eater), because it was rumored that when he was agitated, he would throw himself to the floor and start chewing the edges of the rugs.