troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Dramatic Curtain Toss
Lucy Pevensie demonstrates.

Officer: General, in all my years of covering top secret discoveries with sheets, I've never dramatically revealed anything as shocking as this. DUN-DUN-DUUUNNNN!

There is something hidden under a large, white sheet. You don't know what it is, the characters don't know what it is, but sooner or later, you will. It is inevitable.

Equally inevitable is that when whatever it is behind the curtain is revealed, there will be a great deal of pomp behind removing it. It will be shot in slow motion from four different angles. There will be a collective gasp. This is an important moment. This is the Dramatic Curtain Toss.

All this will never take into account the actions an average human being would be most likely to take upon stumbling across something hidden under a big white sheet. Most people would first lift a part of said sheet so that if it turns out not to be of any particular interest, everything can be put back in order smoothly, rather than, you know, wasting four hours trying to get the damn thing back up. Not to mention the fact that tossing the curtain in a dramatic fashion might easily get you covered in a two-inch thick layer of dust as well as have all those precious but long forgotten pots, that were posted on top of the wardrobe years ago, smashed into pieces.

A relative to the Dramatic Unmask and subtrope of The Reveal. This can come at any time in a story. Curtain Camouflage is especially prone to it. Any number of reactions may follow.


Examples:

Comics
  • There is at least one Archie Comics story where Archie accidentally knocks off the head on a statue of a local businessman; he has it repaired in time for the official unveiling of the statue, but when the curtain comes off, we find out the repairman screwed up and put the head of a pig on instead. Oops.

Film—Animated
  • Shrek the Third: Shrek and Fiona are being introduced at the royal court in confining finery, and Shrek can't reach the itch on his butt. He gets a servant to scratch it for him, and that's when the curtains open...
  • Played with in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, where the mayor manages to get an entire theme park underneath a tarp, which is unveiled at a televised ceremony.
  • Megamind has at least two— one during the unveiling of a giant statue (which makes you wonder who makes the giant cloth to cover it up), and one on a picture in Megamind's lair.

Film— Live Action

Music
  • Dream Theater opened many of their 2009 shows with "A Nightmare to Remember," often starting with a black curtain and pulling it down when the guitar enters. It's quite dramatic.
  • Japanese band Plastic Tree did something like the above for a filmed live, only dropping the curtain once the song reached its climax. It's really something to see.

Literature
  • An old high-school English class favourite, Robert Browning's My Last Duchess:
    But to myself they turned (since none puts by
    The curtain I have drawn for you, but I).
  • Hamlet does this...but only after he stabs what's behind it (he thinks it's the king; it's actually Polonius).
  • Also used in The Winter's Tale, when in the very last act, Pauline reveals the statue of Hermione that she has prepared.

Live-Action TV
  • Another Dramatic Dust Cover Removal on a car, a Charger in Burn Notice.
  • Happens to Isaac Mendez's paintings in Heroes (multiple times I believe).
  • Parodied in How I Met Your Mother, when Robin goes on a bender and wakes up in an unfamiliar hotel room. Barney reveals how badly she got out of control by whipping open the curtains, dramatically revealing an entirely un-amazing view of the building next door.
    Barney: "That was supposed to be a dramatic view of the Toronto skyli — you're in Toronto."

  • Happened in an episode of Robin Hood: Vaizey does a dramatic speech while pacing around the room. He finally drops the large curtain in the middle of the room, revealing Robin, dangling from the ceiling.
    • Happened again when a large cage intended to hold all the tax money is placed in the middle of the keep.

Video Games
  • A Pink Panther game had this, on a pair of gigantic teeth.
  • Little Inferno has a dramatic gate oppening in the end section of the game, which suddenly has become a point-and-click adventure.
    Boy: "Will you open the gates so I can go inside... please?"
    Gate Opperator: "Think of the DRAMA! This is the moment you pass through the gates! What's in the building? You could find rooms that glow bright as the sun. Or you could even find an elevator that only moves up! Or you could find a monster with a heart of gold! Or a fantastic summer internship. But whatever is through thoses GATES, you'll never be able to not know again! So, once again with FEELINGS!"
    Boy: "GATE OPPERATOR, OPEN THE GATES!!!"
    • After which the gate opperator moves his huge levers to power up to massive steam engines that produce loud booming honks and raise the four booms blocking the gate, underlaid with dramatic music. Once incide, there is only a bored old receptionists who isn't giving much attention to you.

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • Parodied (what isn't?) on Clone High, where Joan is hidden under a tarp in anticipation for the reveal of her makeover.
  • Equally parodied in the Futurama episode "Roswell that Ends Well," as the page quote implies.
  • The Simpsons: Marge's painting of a nude Mr. Burns.
  • Parodying this on Phineas and Ferb has almost become a running gag. If Phineas has a sheet in a particularly distinctive shape, you can be sure when he pulls it away it'll reveal something shaped completely differently.
  • In Thomas the Tank Engine And Friends, the removal of his workshop dust sheet is how we are first introduced to Percy. [[hottip: In the corresponding book, the engines in the workshop were not under dust sheets, but the sheets were necessary here to disguise the fact that the regular engines were standing in for the other workshop engines.]]


Devil in Plain SightInvisibility IndexDramatic Disappearing Display
The Dog Was the MastermindMystery TropesDriving Question
Drama BombNarrative DevicesDramatic Dislocation
Didn't See That ComingSurprise TropesDramatic Drop

alternative title(s): Dramatic Unveiling
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
18210
5