I'm going to the crime scene to see what I can find out. You guys research the Polgara demon; I want to know where it is. When I find it, I am going to make him pay for taking that kid's life. I'll make him die in ways he can't even imagine. (pauses; looks down at her clothes) That probably would have sounded more commanding if I wasn't wearing my "yummy sushi" pajamas.
When a character tries to be dramatic and fails miserably. Often overlaps with The Exit Is That Way
. Similar to Narm
, but in a Failed Attempt at Drama
the humor is intentional on the writer's part, and the character is trying to be dramatic on purpose.
See also Invoked Trope
, when a character actively tries to make tropes appear in "real
" life. But since it's a failed
attempt, it will often be met with Reality Ensues
or a Lampshade Hanging
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- One GEICO commercial involves a pair of commercials within the commercial. One is an underplayed take where the Gecko casually notices he has a flat tire after reeling off the usual GEICO spiel. The other seeks to deliberately invoke Narm, with the Gecko screaming into the air as if the flat is literally the end of the world.
Anime & Manga
- In one Peanuts comic strip, it shows Lucy threatening to make a dramatic exit, saying she's going to run away, and join a roller derby. But as Linus points out, she'll find that rather difficult to do... with ICE skates.
- This is one explanation for the weird failed slouching that Draco does in A Very Potter Musical.
- In one chapter of The Twilight Child, Rarity and Sweetie Belle quickly get into an argument, which ends with Sweetie Belle trying to storm out of the room, complete with dramatic door slam. Unfortunately her tail gets stuck.
Films — Animation
- Kung Fu Panda:
- Shown when Shifu tries to give Po the Dragon Scroll. Clearly, Shifu imagined it as a deep, respectful, reverent moment. He clearly did NOT imagine it with an overeager fanboy who couldn't even get the scroll open.
- This trope is a Running Gag with Po because he's an Ascended Fanboy. Po knows just how a kung fu hero should act, but often runs headlong into Reality Ensues. The most hilarious example is during the climax of Kung Fu Panda 2, when Po stands on the top of a building wearing a long, flowing cape, and attempts to deliver a Badass Boast to Lord Shen. Unfortunately since he's so far away, Shen can't hear a word he's saying and neither can anyone else.
- In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, after being told to go wash, Grumpy crossly storms out on the Princess, but walks straight into a door.
- In Sleeping Beauty, after Aurora and Philip share their first dance. Aurora starts running back to the fairies' house after remembering that they forbade her from talking to strangers. When Philip asks when they can meet again, she screams, "Oh, never!", then changes her response to, "Well, maybe someday", and finally, "This evening!"
- In The Lorax, the title character is in the Once-ler's room to deliver a dramatic warning. He does this and attempts to open the door and walk out... only to be unable to reach the door handle. The Once-ler helps him, and the Lorax tries warning him again.
Films — Live-Action
- The Book Thief. Angry at the mayor's wife, Liesel throws a ball of paper at their house. Naturally, the paper bounces off the door, down the steps and comes rolling back to her.
- In Mort, Death's epic arrival at the apprentice fair is ruined by a spot of ice.
- In The Last Hero, when the Silver Horde arrive at Dunmanifestin, Cohen strikes a dramatic pose and declaims "Behold, the citadels of the gods!" Then Caleb replies "Yes, well, we can see it. Is there something wrong with your back?" and the bard asks if he can replace "citadels" with "temples" in the saga because it has a better rhythm.
- In Monstrous Regiment, Lord Rust attempts to make a dramatic exit after the Ins-and-Outs refuse his offer. Unfortunately, the rest of his delegation don't have the proper dramatic timing.
- And in Making Money, Pucci attempts to make a sweeping entrance to the Royal Bank after Moist introduces his new dollar bills, but Moist internally notes that sweeping entrances like hers take planning.
- And then there's the series-spanning Running Gag wherein Lord Vetinari will instruct someone, "Look out the window and tell me what you see," only to have problems, such as someone who comically misses the point ("a dog watching a man take a leak in an alley"), or uncooperative weather ("Fog.")
- Subverted in Tricky Business in that there was no attempt to cause drama, when the heroine picks up her kid at daycare, is insulted by a particularly stupid soccer mom, and storms out. Then she returns five seconds later to pick up her shoes, and goes out again, in complete silence.
- On 30 Rock, Josh attempts to overturn the table and storm out angrily. Unfortunately, he can't lift the table, leaving the others staring at him.
Liz: Well, help him, nerds! And lift with your legs!
- Drake & Josh:
- When they have an argument and Josh trips on his way out of the room. "I may have tripped, but that does not diminish the impact of this exit!"
- The scene is referenced again in a later episode when a crappy TV show is made about Drake and Josh Expies Drew and Jerry. Drake and Josh watch a scene of the Drew and Jerry Show, and in it the Jerry character says "I may have stumbled, but that does not lessen the significance of this departure!" This prompts Josh to wonder why they made Jerry such a dork, only to realize the reason and hang his head in shame.
Arthur: I'm going to go talk to my father right now!
Merlin: I really don't think that's a good idea, Sire.
Arthur: Why not!?
Merlin: You're not wearing any trousers.
Arthur: .... oh.
- The Office (US): When Michael wants to tell Andy about Dwight and Angela just as he is leaving for New York to make it dramatic, but the distance between the front door and his car forces him to stall for time. "I do not have much time... car's all the way over there... to tell you what I have to tell you. And just bear in mind when I say... say these things, that... are bad things... that you hear... in your ears... this is something that I, if I were you, that I wouldn't want to hear..."
- In Boy Meets World Cory attempts the dramatic exit, but ends up going through the wrong door and into a closet. He saves it by saying "And I'm taking back my sweater!"
- The guys from the Spanish Inquisition on Monty Python's Flying Circus are trying to be as threatening as they can to scare the people they encounter, but due to their incredible stupidity are just funny.
- Used in Scrubs when J.D. tries to come up with a clever insult before the elevator closes. He ends up with, "Hey Dr Cox. Why don't you just... you're the kinda guy that... aaw."
- In the iCarly episode "iSaw Him First", Carly and Sam get obsessed with Shane, a member of Freddie's A.V. club, and the obsession caused them to have an argument, but when Sam broke the straw on the camel's back by mentioning Carly wearing a support bra, Carly, fed up, leaves. Two seconds later, she comes back in because it's her apartment room.
- Used in The George Lopez Show after George's mom gets arrested for helping with a robbery thirty years ago. Because George wouldn't say anything to exonerate her, as she is taken away by the police she shouts "I never want to see you again!" George responds by saying "But how are you going to get bail?" She stops, comes back in (with the police officer still holding on to her) and says "I'll see you one last time!"
- Arrested Development:
- The West Wing:
- Ainsley Hayes makes a strong argument in a political debate between White House co-workers, then asks, "Can I have that last cupcake?" Sam points out her mistake later.
- Even though Sam does pretty much the exact same thing when Bartlet smacks down a conservative radio-show host. A CMOA for Bartlet. For Sam... not so much.
- Ainsley seems to do a few of these. There's the time in her job interview when she's arguing a point with Leo McGarry when she suddenly stands up. The intent is to show that she is rising to demonstrate her passion for the point she's trying to make. Leo thinks she's trying to leave.
- On The Golden Girls, when Dorothy finds out her boyfriend is married, she tries to storm out of the hotel room, except;
Dorothy: Oh God, I'm storming out into the bathroom!
- Doctor Who:
- On the episode "Love & Monsters", the main character and his Love Interest fall victim to this, and it has disastrous consequences.
- This also occurs in "The Sontaran Stratagem": Donna says she's going home, so the Doctor starts dishing out a farewell speech... only to realize she's merely going for a visit.
- Something to this effect occurs in "The Wedding of River Song", where the Doctor tries to get Amy to remember the pre-Time Crash universe, only to realize by the stuff in her office that she already does.
- In The Day of The Doctor the Tenth Doctor is chasing a shapeshifter, and think's he's found it, and begins threatening it... only he's talking to a harmless little rabbit. He bravely tries to recover.
Doctor: Just, you know, giving you a general... heads up.
- In Black Books, Fran and Bernard have a fight. Fran storms out of the bookshop, coldly informing Bernard that she doesn't think they should see each other for a while. She then immediately reenters, announces "I forgot my bag!" in an embarrassed sing-song tone and flounces out again once she's picked it up.
- In the That '70s Show episode "The Third Wheel", Eric and Hyde both storm out of a bowling alley after a fight, then return to take off their bowling shoes.
- In the Friends episode "The One with the Jellyfish", Phoebe meets her real mother, and gets mad at her, because she never tried to contact her. She shouts "I don't ever want to see you again!", and storms out, than returns for her purse, covering her eyes with her hand.
- In an episode of House, the title character is listening to loud music in his office when Vogler walks in to introduce himself. After a tense discussion, House turns on the speakers again... which start playing a Jewish folk song. House turns it off and says, "That wasn't as dramatic as I had hoped."
- Sophie does this in an episode of Leverage when she takes over doing the mission briefings from Nate. She ends the briefing on a dramatic note and then ends up walking away... right into the closet.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Willow, trying to be angry and assertive, has to tell Buffy "I'm storming off... doesn't really work if you come with me." as she walks off in a huff.
- In the episode "Gone", the Trio attempt to make a dramatic escape from Buffy under the cover of a smoke bomb, but they can't get the door open in time, and the smoke clears to reveal them still fiddling with it before they finally manage to get out. It happens again in "Seeing Red" — after Buffy has defeated Warren and Andrew, the former escapes using a Jet Pack. Andrew reveals that he has a jet pack as well, and tells Buffy that it's not over, and they will meet again...before jetting into an overhanging roof and knocking himself unconscious.
- In "A New Man", Ethan Rayne spends a few moments doing the usual vaguely ominous speech to an empty room after Giles leaves... only for Giles to hear him as he leaves and come back.
In fact, Ripper, old mate, I'd say something rather interesting is about to ha— Giles:
(re-enters the room
) Is someone— Ethan: Oh, bugger, I thought you'd gone.
- Spike resolves to find a way to remove his inhibitor chip, and promises himself that when he does, he'll "make Buffy's neck my chalice". Immediately after he falls into an open grave.
- Spike has a similar scene on Angel when his rant is cut off because he's walked under a hole in the roof and the sunlight has set his hair on fire.
- And again, when he attempts to deliver a threatening monologue to an unsuspecting Buffy in "Wild at Heart", only to be tasered and dragged off by the Initiative, mid-speech.
- When the earthquake stops, and the Master, in mid-rant, asides, "Whaddaya think? 5.1?"
- "Prophecy Girl": "When he wakes up, tell him... I dunno. Think of something cool. Tell him I said it."
- Oz insists on a moment of silence after the school blows up. Everyone gets annoyed and leaves. "... And we're done."
- In "Older And Far Away", Halfrek tries to teleport away dramatically (twice) but her own spell keeps her in the house.
- In Firefly, one of Niska's men delivers a Badass Boast in which he threatens to kill the entire Serenity crew. Mal simply kicks him into the engine, which turns him into pulp.
- An episode of Will and Grace has Jack storm out of their apartment only to have his suitcase caught on the door.
Jack: Do you mind, I'm trying to be dramatic.
- The King of Queens:
- Wizards of Waverly Place: Usually used by Alex Russo, attempting to storm out.
- Rachel Berry's multiple attempts to storm out of the Glee club often fall into this, including when she was in a wheelchair and she tried to storm out, only to wheel herself into the doorframe.
- 3rd Rock from the Sun:
Dick: Fine! We can tell when we're not wanted!
(he storms out of the room, but the rest of the family doesn't move; after a beat, Dick runs back in
We're not wanted. Harry:
(the rest of the family follows Dick out of the room
- Crownies has a scene where Richard angrily confronts the tennant he has been trying to evict. The Crowning Moment Of Awesome is a little diluted by his riding off on a bicycle a moment later.
- In an episode of How I Met Your Mother, one of Barney's coworkers quits spectacularly while his boss is chewing him out during a meeting, shouts to everyone that he just made a load of money in the stock market and doesn't need this job anymore, and then gets up on the conference table yelling "Here's what I think of this stupid company!" and attempts to pee on it...but has a shy bladder and can't get the stream going. His meek "Could everyone turn away for a minute?" and everyone's polite acquiescence makes it even lamer.
- In an episode of Boston Legal, Alan Shore and Denny Crane are arguing in a hotel room in New Orleans and Denny decides to go back to Boston and starts packing angrily.
Alan Shore: Denny...
Denny Crane: Don't try to stop me, Alan!
Alan Shore: I don't want to stop you...it's just that those are my things you're packing.
- In Dexter's season 5 premiere, Dexter tells the tragic news of Rita's death to her children while wearing Mickey Mouse ears.
- In Get Smart, Siegfried once gave an impassioned speech about the importance of killing his rival Max Smart, and ended it by slamming his fist into a glass of water.
- A slightly more serious example: Malcolm in Full Throttle concludes his recorded will with a long rant both calling out his former business partner and a heartfelt apology to his estranged daughter:
- Ratchet & Clank
- At one point in Breath of Fire III, you are asked by a mutant to flip a switch on a conveyor belt to send it into boiling lava to destroy it. You can instead flip another switch to send it towards the opposite direction, prompting the mutant to deliver the death line he prepared before realizing: "Hey! Wrong way!"
- When a Kangaskhan Mega Evolves in Pokémon X and Y, the baby is facing its mom instead of its opponent. The mother quickly turns it around before making the post-Mega Evolution pose.
- In Red vs. Blue season 10, episode 6, Church attempts to leave dramatically after Carolina discovers he and Tucker are spying on her and Wash. Turns out it doesn't work so well when you don't actually have a body, but are instead an AI attached to someone else's armor.
Church: Hey, Tucker, I, uh, need you to leave. I can't actually do it on my own.
- In a strip from xkcd, a character attempts to escape from his implied girlfriend, who has just told him "We need to talk." He throws a smoke bomb, but it is only strong enough to make her cough and set off the smoke alarm. Despite this, he still tries to get the window open, but it is stuck. The woman shakes her head in disappointment and leaves. The Alt Text makes it funnier: "I just wanted to talk about your poor smoke-bomb techniques."
- Hedge of El Goonish Shive gets plenty of dramatic moments ruined — usually by passing owls. This makes him the Master of the Anti-Climactic Moment.
- Lord Katarakis of Starslip is one of the grand masters of this trope. His first appearance had him point a bunch of guns at the Fuseli, prompting Vanderbeam to sheepishly ask if they were "flower guns". His answer? "Only some of them."
- The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!: Spacefaring supercriminal Fructose Riboflavin is prone to this.
- The Order of the Stick:
- In "The Future Is Forged in the Fires of Today", after a lengthy Forging Scene, Roy is handled his reforged ancestral sword, good as new, and he takes the opportunity to solemnly renew his oath of destroying Xykon. But then he drops it while yelling in pain, because the sword is still damn hot.
- An Azure City officer is dramatically stating that he and his men might die today, but with HONOR... only to be vomited upon by an airsick Roy.
- Eerie Cuties: Melissa wants to leave Ash in a huff after slapping him, but it's a miss.
- Girl Genius: Gilgamesh Wulfenbach crashes into the bridge of Castle Wulbenbach while fighting an enemy clank, crushes it, and coolly tries to address his father. He then trips over a tiny stray part of said clank. His father then announces that Gil shall be taking his place while he's gone.
- American Dad!, where Stan shouts "I'm the one who made the decisions that kept this family on track for twenty years. I deserve a little respect!" and storms off into the pantry by mistake.
- The Simpsons:
- Mr. Burns announces that the church's revenues have increased 1073% and that he intends to keep it all for himself and throws a smoke bomb on the ground. When the smoke clears he is still fumbling with the door handle, so he just gives up and throws the money to the church council.
- In "Homer to the Max", Homer is teased because of a buffoonish TV character with his own name. He goes to the show's producers and begs them to "please leave my dignity!" His impassioned plea is undercut when he walks face first into a cactus on his way out. Later in the same episode, Homer's co-workers are watching him work in the hopes that he will do something stupid and entertaining. He looks back at them and says, "Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you gentlemen, but you seem to have me confused with a character in a fictional show." He then proceeds to knock over a fondue pot on the console and causes unspecified (but presumably very serious) problems in other cities' power plants. In a third scene in the same episode, Homer's friends at Moe's Bar mock him. He attempts to leave in a huff and flings his scarf over his shoulder — it catches in a fan on the ceiling and whirls him around like a rag doll then flings him out the door.
- Fat Tony forces Marge to pull over and tries to reach in to pull out her car keys, only for Marge to have to instruct him how to do it.
- The episode where Lisa receives a vision of her future from a fortune-teller; the fortune-teller tries this with a smoke-bomb after Lisa objects to her vision, but when the smoke clears is left sitting there, a bit nonplussed, as if she actually expected to just disappear into thin air.
- Mr. Burns tries to storm out of the Simpson's home but isn't strong enough to toss the furniture, so Smithers does it for him. Homer tries to reason with Mr. Burns, who just tells him to "shut up and wreck something", so he does.
- On Family Guy, Brian was doing community service for an angry, reclusive old woman and when he can't take it any more he yells at her and tries to leave, but is hindered by her door and its many locks. After she helps him get the door open, he gives her a very unconvincing "And, you know... drop dead," and leaves.
- In Total Drama World Tour, Gwen, Courtney, and Heather all argue on how to complete a challenge. They eventually give up and storm out... in the same direction. They then argue on who should have to storm out where.
- Sadlygrove of Wakfu is a repeat offender. One of the most drawn-out example is certainly during the first Gobbowl arc, after the start of the second quarter-time. Grovy seizes the gobball to everyone's surprise and runs, along with a very uplifiting music, dramatic echo of Ruel's earlier psych-up speech and Split-Screen Reaction of everybody else... and he scores! Except it is revealed after a few seconds of shocked silence that he scored against his team. Cue the public rolling in laughter, and his teammates barely preventing Ruel from strangling Sadlygrove.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- After she's revealed to have Feet of Clay, Trixie attempts to do a Smoke Out exit, but once the smoke clears we can see her running off.
- At the end of the episode when she returns in a later season, she departs in the same way, except she also trips and lands on her face.
- From The Weekenders, this goes along the lines of:
- From the first episode of Xiaolin Showdown:
And so, our grand quest begins. Follow me... TO VICTORY!!!!
(beat as the rest of the Xiaolin Dragons stare on
) ...I have no
idea where I'm going.