Generally frowned upon in polite company.
A character from one side is pointing a pistol at another. They exchange the usual insults and witticisms.
We then hear an audible click
from off screen. The camera moves to the side showing that someone from the same side as the pointee has just shown up and is pointing a gun at the pointer.
Often leads to a Mexican Standoff
, especially when large groups of people are involved. May be followed by Pre-Mortem One-Liner
from the gunman. Depending on his/her confidence, the target may then utter a literal "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner
, or simply skip straight to Oh Crap
Occasionally subverted when a fourth party arrives
to point at the pointer who is pointing at the first pointer.
The other version of this trope tends to involve goodies, but can involve baddies.
The hero is making their escape from the baddies. They run down a corridor and find a door.
They open it and run smack bang into a whole platoon of soldiers — who all then proceed to ready their automatic weapons simultaneously..
Subtrope of Kinetic Clicking
. See also Audible Sharpness
, Dramatic Gun Cock
and Land Mine Goes Click
. See Twang Hello
for the archery/throwing weapon equivalent.
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- There was an entire Xbox 360 commercial built around this trope, with people in a crowded city (and finger-pistols instead of actual firearms); while the commercial never aired on television, it can be viewed on the Internet.
Anime & Manga
- In one episode of Ghost In The Shell Standalone Complex, a kidnapper gets the drop on the Major, putting a gun to her head. However, as fits this trope, Batou shows up behind her...
- In the second episode of Dominion Tank Police, the police Chief attempts to arrest Buaku when Anipuna and the Gang click hello him. The gang are then click hello'ed by the Red Commandos who are, of course, click hello'ed by Britain and the rest of the tank police.
- Baccano!! executes a textbook version of this (as seen in the page image) when Luck Gandor finds Dallas attempting to kill his best friend, Firo.
- In Lupin III Dead Or Alive, Lupin and company manage to kidnap a princess, who's actually a government agent in disguise. Lupin discovers this when he's interrupted mid-sentence by a pistol pressing into the back of his head.
- Sōsuke from Full Metal Panic!! has a habit of doing this to people. Especially people whom he randomly deems as being "suspicious".
- Neon Genesis Evangelion has a variant of this. Ritsuko is about to show Rei's origins to Shinji but the door rejects her card. Then Misato remarks from behind a gun that it won't open without her code. She did the same with Kaji when he was about to enter Lilith's chamber.
- End of Evangelion had one as well: after installing the Type-666 firewall, the next time we see Ritsuko she's sitting next to Lilith, in plain sight. Then she stands up, calmly turns around, pulls a gun and aims at Gendo. Instead of cocking it however, she merely takes off the safety. Subverted because she had no intention of shooting, what with her having the MAGI's self-destruct button in her other hand.note
- The Down by the Riverside fanfic has a similar scene: Misato is holding the OC at gunpoint... then Gendo puts a gun to Misato's head from behind.
- In an Axis Powers Hetalia anime episode, Germany does this to France, representing France's WWII defeat. In the manga, this is not shown and France's defeat is represented by him lying on the ground being poked by Italy.
- Cowboy Bebop episode "Gateway Shuffle". Spike does this to "Twinkle" Maria Murdock, the female leader of the Space Warriors terrorist group.
- The Mad Hatter, not being too fond of the Cheshire Cat, does this to him whenever they meet in Are You Alice?. Justified in that 1) The Cheshire Cat appears suddenly next to the guy the Hatter protects, 2) The Mad Hatter himself particularly hates cats, and 3) The Cheshire Cat can't really be trusted. Lampshaded by the cat at several points, even acknowledging that it's common.
- Black Lagoon: After Fabiola wrecks Bao's bar, Gustavo of the Manisarera Cartel points his gun at Fabiola...only for Revy to point her gun at him just a second later.
- In one episode of Detective Conan, Gin does this to Vodka.
Films — Live Action
- Quick Change. Leave it to Bill Murray to Deadpan Snark this Trope, too.
Mafioso: That ain't my dick in your back.
Well, that's a relief.
- Tango and Cash: Done twice in one scene where Cash is investigating Requin's house. Requin gets the drop on Cash, but immediately after Requin utters a one-liner, Tango gets the drop on him.
- Done quite well in the movie The Matrix, where it's part of Trinity's "Dodge this" scene.
- James Bond
- Used twice in one scene in in GoldenEye, when James Bond goes to meet Valentin to negotiate a meeting with Janus. Bond introduces himself by approaching Valentin from behind and cocking a gun to his head with an audible click (doubles as Casual Danger Dialogue, all things considered):
Valentin: (recognizing the cocking noise) Walther PPK. 7.65mm. Only three men I know of use that gun; I believe I've killed two of them.
James Bond: Lucky me.
(one of Valentin's henchmen pulls the same trick on Bond with his own PPK)
Valentin: I think not.
- Near the end of Battle Royale, Shogo Kawada sneaks behind Kazuo Kiriyama and pumps the shotgun to alert Kiriyama of his presence. Subverted somewhat in that Kiriyama promptly fires at Kawada, giving him injuries which eventually prove fatal.
- In the climax of The Silence of the Lambs, Jame Gumb — behind Clarice Starling, wearing night-vision goggles in the dark — cocks his gun... and Starling, who was smart enough to have her gun ready to fire, turns around and blows him away. Extra stupid on Gumb's part because his revolver was a double-action model; all he needed to do was pull the trigger.
- Presumably he couldn't psychologically resist the extra bit of drama, especially since as mentioned in the book, "he had never hunted one armed before. He would have thoroughly enjoyed it." Clarice, not being batshit insane, was more practical as well as more professional, since she's a (mostly) trained law enforcement officer, while Gumb has no military or law enforcement training we know of.
- It's stated in the book that Gumb does this to scare his victims, who now know what's about to happen next. Of course, all his previous victims weren't armed.
- Angelina Jolie makes a Click Hello entrance to save Wesley in Wanted.
- In Sudden Impact, an armed man is sneaking up on Dirty Harry who is doing target practice, because of several threats on his life. As the man almost reaches him, Harry spins around, cocking the gun, then recognizing the man and saying "Horace!" (the man is Harry's partner).
- In Back To The Future Part III, Tannen does this to Doc with a derringer. This is shortly after the Deputy gave Tannen a Click Hello with a double-barreled shotgun.
- Happens a few times in the The Dark Knight Saga.
The Joker: Could you please just give me a minute?
Lt. James Gordon: We've got you, you son-of-a-bitch.
- Happens in The Dark Knight Rises when Selina is confronting John Daggett about the Clean Slate program, and Stryver sneaks up behind her and cocks his gun. Selina responds by stomping on his foot with her heels.
- Happens again after Bane's bombs go off. Two of Bane's men go to Gordon's hospital to kill him. Gordon hears the alarm, and immediately climbs out of bed, somewhat groggy. As the mercenaries search the hospital, Blake arrives in a commandeered car and enters wielding a shotgun. As Blake is searching a corridor, we suddenly hear a couple of gunshots go off. He steps up to Gordon's room door, bursts in, and finds the two mercenaries lying dead, at which point a pistol is put to his head:
Commissioner James Gordon: Clear the corners, rookie. [Blake turns around] Get my coat, son.
- In Face/Off, there's a series of Click Hello s with several people all pointing guns at each other in a church. Castor hoots, "Woo wee! What a predicament!"
- Used in an interesting way in Push. Nick walks up to Carver and Victor at a restaurant seemingly unarmed, but then telekinetically lowers two handguns from above them and holds them against their heads.
- In RoboCop 3, some clueless thug tries to rob a doughnut store. After hearing a dozen clicks, he turns and sees that the entire store is filled with cops. The cashier quips, "What's it like being a rocket scientist?"
- Kenneth Branagh manages to get one of these in to his version of Hamlet. Hamlet.
- In the Chuck Norris film Code of Silence, two street thugs attempt to rob a bar where Cusak and his fellow cops hang out, resulting in everyone but the bartender drawing down on the two thugs.
- In the cult classic Highlander Juan Ramierez does this to Connor Macleod with a *Katana(!)* to the back of Macleod's neck.
Ramirez: "Crude and slow clansman, your attack was no better then that of a clumsy child."
- In The Outlaw Josey Wales, this is done twice. First, when Clint Eastwood pulls a "click hello" on Chief Dan George; and later, when Dan George returns the favor, an Indian girl Eastwood freed pulls her own "click hello" on Chief Dan George (again):
Lone Watie (Chief Dan George): I'm gettin' better at sneaking up on you like this. Only an Indian can do something like this.
Josey Wales (Eastwood): That's what I figured.
Lone Watie: You figured?
Wales: Only an Indian could do something like that.
[Lone Watie hears a gun cock behind him; turns and sees Moonlight]
- In Die Hard, John McClane runs into the Big Bad Hans Gruber. Hans fakes an American accent to fool John McClane into thinking he is a hostage hiding from the terrorists. McClane gives Hans his pistol to help defend himself. Hans promptly pulls a Click Hello on McClane when he turns his back.
- Course, McClane neglected to mention that he made sure the gun he handed to Gruber was not loaded.
- Done by none other than Samuel L. Jackson in The Long Kiss Goodnight. Of course, the heroine is quick to point out that she didn't need his help and he had probably scared off the other headhunters and ruined her plans.
- Also done to him in the same film, with an appropriately cool one-liner.
There are sufficient reasons not to kill you. The fact that you would be missed by NASA is not among them.
- Taken to the absurd extreme in The Blues Brothers. After finally getting the money needed to save the orphanage to the Clerk and Recorder's office, Jake and Elwood both reach out to take the receipt. In a flash, their wrists are locked together in handcuffs, upon which they turn... and discover probably EVERY Police officer, SWAT Member, and Army Soldier in the greater Chicago area pointing a weapon at them.
- At the start of My Name Is Nobody, an outlaw posing as a barber prepares to kill Jack Beauregard when he hears a click...and notices Beauregard has his gun held against his crotch. He dutifully finishes the shave job.
- In the Affectionate Parody version of Dragnet, Emil Muzz has Streebeck pinned down for a point-blank headshot when Friday sticks a shotgun in his face.
Friday: [pumps shotgun] Muzz, you don't have the sense God gave the common dog. Don't you realize that's my partner?
- In We Were Soldiers, an American platoon is cut off and pinned down by the North Vietnamese Army forces in the area. However, the NVA troops don't know exactly where the Americans are, due to the dense foliage and tall grass. A NVA force ends up almost on top of the Americans who are Hidden in Plain Sight due to the grass, and only realize it when Sergeant Savage flips his safety selector from "Single" to "Auto".
- Star Trek: Generations. As Admiral Kirk is pursuing Dr. Soran on Veridian III, Soran sneaks up on him from behind and activates his phaser device while it's pointed at Kirk's head.
- Sartana does this frequently in his films. People rarely pull this on him though.
- Made great use of in one of Stephen King's The Dark Tower novels, in a scene in which seven characters successively get the drop on one another.
- With the good guys using slingshots and knives versus the guns of the Big Coffin Hunters, of which the Big Coffin Hunters are the more scared, and injured, group.
- In one of the parodic Swedish Ture Sventon crime novels, Ture Sventon in London, this type of event is spoofed when a series of crooks and detectives pull this stunt while exchanging polite comments and keeping their upper lips stiff.
Live Action TV
- There are quite a few of these, often subverted, in Firefly. The subversions occur when person C is pointing the gun at the wrong person (as in the pilot, With Zoe and Jayne and the Fed), or the "Click" doesn't bother to say hello. "I was aimin' fer hiz Hed."
- One episode of Get Smart had several people (previously disguised as statues) reveal themselves one after another in this way.
- Another, "The Hot Line", in which the Chief goes undercover as a singing waiter, has a series of Click Hello reversals while the Chief is onstage, resulting in an impromptu choral number of seven people in a Click Hello Chain. While remaining on-key, on-tempo, and smiling. We just don't get that kind of professionalism and showmanship in our secret agents anymore...
- Done at its most Badass in Heroes. Thompson gets the drop on Matt Parkman this way and taunt his telepathy by saying, "What am I thinking, Parkman?". Then Mr. Bennet gets the drop on Thompson by doing this and answers for Matt by saying "Your last thought." And shoots him.
- Star Trek
- Occurred in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "A Piece of the Action" as the mob boss Krako recaptures Kirk and Spock.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Another use of this trope comes in the episode "The Chase", where Cardassians are ambushed by humans and Klingons, and all three are ambushed by Romulans a moment later. This is subverted when the humans decide to just take the scans they came for in the first place while everyone else is making epic speeches with their guns pointed at each other.
- The ultimate De-Cloak Hello occurs in the episode "The Defector". The Romulans have the Enterprise surrounded and outnumbered when their leader gives Picard 30 seconds to surrender. After Picard tells him to go screw himself he says that he expected better than empty threats, at which point Picard orders his Klingon allies to decloak as their battlecruisers appear out of nowhere, weapons ready to kick ass. Picard finishes off with "Well, then, Tomalak... shall we die together?" For many people, that was the moment Picard became as equally cool as Kirk.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has a pretty good Decloak-Hello with Worf's appearance with the cavalry at the First Battle of Deep Space 9.
- More like a Bzzzt Hello: In a fifth-season episode of Babylon 5, Lyta has mind-controlled a roomful of people:
"You cannot stop someone who's been Touched by Vorlons
." (the sound of a PPG powering up) Sheridan:
(utterly immune to her mind control) "You're not the only one that's been touched by the Vorlons."
- CSI: Miami: Lt. Caine has this down to a fine art. If someone's pointing a gun at someone else in the last five minutes of an episode, chances are this'll happen.
- Saroyan interrupts Wendall this way in the Bones episode "The End in the Beginning".
- Battlestar Galactica. The first thing Lee Adama does on seeing Caprica Sharon (later known as Athena) is put a pistol in her face; he's only stopped from blowing her brains out then and there by Helo putting a gun to the back of his neck. Fortunately President Roslin talks them both down with some well-placed lies (no Helo, we're not going to throw your Cylon girlfriend out the airlock...)
- Also, in 'The Eye of Jupiter', while Gaius Baltar is praying for a vision, Chief Tyrol welcomes him home with one of these. It turns into a "Hey, You!" Haymaker when the Chief pistol-whips Baltar into unconsciousness.
- The Wire: Omar Little announces his presence this way to a couple of guards distracted by one of his team-mates undercover as a cheap prostitute pulling off the heist against the New Day Co-op.
- In the Al Capone/Jesse James episode of Deadliest Warrior, Capone is beating the crap out of Jesse, about to go for the coup de grace...when the infamous click of a Winchester rifle loading is heard from the door to the room. Capone looks up...BOOM Headshot.
- On the episode of NCIS which featured Casey Novak as Gibbs' Distaff Counterpart, her introduction was one of these. And it was awesome. Diane Neal sure can pick her characters.
- Criminal Minds
- Against The Wall has Abby using this in her rescue of her partner Lina from a crazed stalker who wants revenge.
- Of all the gangsters, badasses, and Bitches in Sheep's Clothing hanging around Boardwalk Empire, it's Token Wholesome Margaret Schroeder who pulls a Click Hello on Eli, who's trying to strangle Nucky. With a shotgun.
- On Cold Case, Scotty is talking to the serial killer holding Lily hostage, basically threatening to take him apart should he harm her. The killer, George Marks, responds by holding his gun up to the receiver and cocking it, as "A gentle reminder to mind your manners."
- In the TV series Soul Food, youngest sister Bird is being stalked by the teacher who seduced her back in high school. When he saunters into her house, she's terrified, but sure enough, we hear the sound of a gun cocking, and the camera pans out to reveal her husband Lem pointing a gun at his head.
- Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: In "Unnatural Habits", Phryne is searching the ship and has just discovered the missing girls when she is interrupted by the click of an automatic being cocked behind her.
Table Top Games
- In Feng Shui, pumping a shotgun gives bonuses to hit and damage, from intimidation.
- In the machinima Leet World, during the first challenge one of these occurs. Leeroy (Team A) gets snuck up on by Cortez (Team B), who is snuck up upon by Westheimer (Team A), who is in range of Ellis (Team B). Note that in this case it is literally completely pointless as there are in a competition where people can be revived, you get points for killing people and they have no reason to talk.
- Tex introduces herself to Agent Wyoming in this way in Episode 42 of Red vs. Blue and asks where his employer, O'Malley is. Said employer then shows up and introduces himself in the same fashion.
- Spoofed in Drawn Together, "The One Wherein There Is A Big Twist": Toot points a gun at Captain Hero. Clara points a gun at Toot. Xandir points a gun at Clara. Spanky says, "Nobody holds a gun on my girl... but me!" and points a gun at Clara, too. Wooldoor suddenly develops lots of extra arms that allow him to point a plethora of guns at everyone, including himself, and the whole thing degenerates into a Mexican Stand Off.
- Used in the episode "Almost Got 'Im" of Batman: The Animated Series: Batman reveals himself to have been masquerading as Killer Croc at a villains' poker game and appears to be at the mercy of the other players; immediately, dozens of other "bar patrons" draw their weapons and reveal the bar to have been a police sting.
- In the animated version of the Lucky Luke episode "Tenderfoot", there is a whole string of these. In order: Lucky Luke points a gun at Jack Grabbit, a henchman points at Lucky Luke, Sam points at the henchman, the barkeep points at Sam, the butler points at the barkeep, and finally Rantanplan (who thinks it's a game) points his cold nose at the butler. Then they all drop their weapons and engage in a Big Ball of Violence.
- In a real life counter, UN soldiers on peace-keeping missions are often told not to leave a round chambered. This is partly because a Negligent Discharge around nervous and questionably friendly civilians makes for really bad PR, but also because the sound of a whole squad working the cocking handles of their weapons simultaneously is a very, very potent tool for de-escalating a confrontation without resorting to force.
- In the German army it's encouraged that even when you have to have a round chambered for security reasons (heightened alarm level for instance) you should first cock the gun again when encountering trouble. You will eject the round currently chambered unused, but it's better than actually having to fire.
- A "dumb crook" anecdote out there involves a bank robber unlucky enough to target a bank used by several agents of the local FBI office — on their payday. When he announced it was a stick-up, cue the clicking of the safeties coming off behind him....
- In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a man walked into fast food restaurant during a particularly busy day, pulled a gun and told the cashier, "This is a stick-up." A number of guns cocked behind him, and the person standing behind the man said, "No, it's not." Turns out the fast food restaurant was around the corner from a Wisconsin police conference, which had just let its attendees out for lunch.
- From PJ O'Rourke, Holidays in Hell, he recounts the amusement of locals in some Central American hellhole, on reading another journalist's description of hearing, in a tense moment, "the sound of dozens of safeties being removed." No-one there EVER keeps their safety catch on.
- In one firefight in Afghanistan, a US patrol managed to stage an ambush against a group of Taliban fighters and their new recruits. However, one private still had his weapon on safe as the unsuspecting party approached; when he took the safety off, the experienced leaders of the group heard the telltale click and managed an "oh, shit" on their faces right before being promptly mowed down.
- Patrick Kielty recounted a story like this on Top Gear. While learning to drive he plowed his car into a army blockade. A moment of relief that he had survived was followed by a round of clicks as a regiment aimed their guns at him.
- This is one argument for the use of pump-action shotguns in home defense: any burglar who hears that distinctive racking when he enters the house will vacate the premises with alacrity.