Hiss Before Fleeing
The heroes have fought the monster, given it some good licks, but the monster isn't done yet. It pauses for a moment to hiss or screech loudly with its fangs out
, its arms outstretched and claws extended, before leaping offscreen. Perhaps it just wanted to get the last word in. Time for the heroes to pursue.
Maybe it wants to frighten the heroes away, or just wants to vent some rage at being beaten up by mere humans. Whatever the case, it's Villain Exit Stage Left
! Mostly, it's animal monsters that do this, though vampires and aliens are also fond of hissing before fleeing. Occasionally, anything that cause a burning reaction or Glamour Failure
is sure to make the creature hiss before fleeing.
The exit counterpart to Roar Before Beating
. It seems like while monsters roar to say hello, they hiss to say goodbye. This is a very common trope, possibly an Undead Horse Trope
. It appears to be based on the idea that all animals are cats
Variants for more humanoid villains include scowling or shaking a fist
, often while spewing "Curse you!" or some other Badbutt
Anime / Manga
- Hellsing. Episode 7, Duel has the scene where Vatican priests tell Integra that their paladin is about to ambush their soldiers in the subway, right when Integra and Alucard were about to kill said priests in a museum. Integra doesn't actually hiss, but she does make a similar noise, give one hell of a mean glare, and promptly spins around and walks away (retreating) defiantly, followed by Alucard who does something very similar. Subversion seeing as they're the good guys.
- A rat creature in Bone does this after an unsuccessful face-down with the Red Dragon.
- One of the turned babysitters in Peculia and the Goon Grove Vampires tries then when a gypsy starts firing stakes at them. She get the hissing part down, the running..not so much.
- Alien, possibly the Trope Codifier.
- Parodied by Pee Wee Herman in Pee-wee's Big Adventure: He is stalking down the street on a rainy night, slowly going insane from the theft of his bicycle. A group of gang members walk up and threaten him - and Pee-Wee frightens them off with a feral hiss.
- Things in John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) scream a lot.
- Very common with vampires. See Underworld for a good example or two.
- Avatar: Appears to be an instinctive gesture of contempt used by the Na'vi - and often as not is Hiss Before Righteous Ass-Kicking instead.
- Frank Butterman of Hot Fuzz at the end of the bar scene in the movie's climax, though that was more of a growl than a hiss. Specifically, a lion's growl.
- Mad Max. Toecutter, the leader of the biker gang, does this after Max shoots The Dragon dead. He then jumps on his bike and roars off, but Max soon chases after him.
- Wez does this in The Road Warrior, just after leaping out of the oil drillers' compound.
- Immortan Joe does this in Mad Max: Fury Road, identically to how Toecutter did his, as an Actor Allusion: both Toecutter and Immortan Joe were played by Hugh Keays-Byrne.
- The Gremlins tend to hiss at their attackers before they flee a scene.
- Gríma Wormtongue does this in Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings, an action taken directly from the book.
- Shelob does something very like this trope after Sam cuts her a good one in The Return of the King, although her "voice" is pretty much nothing but hissing in any case.
- A non-horrific (and funnier) variant occurs at the end of Big Daddy when Vanessa realizes that Sonny and all his friends have just found she fell on hard times and had to become a scantily-clad Hooters girl...after having taunted Sonny back when they were a couple that she would go on to have a successful career and he'd always be lazy and worthless (oh, and to make the scenario even more humiliating, Sonny's a lawyer by this point, and is dressed the part). Vanessa is too proud to betray any mortification, so she just shoots Sonny a Death Glare (pretty much the nonverbal equivalent of this trope) and then runs off.
- The 1966 Batman: The Movie has a "Hiss Instead of Fleeing" from Catwoman. Attempting to escape from the Penguin's submarine after the Penguin, the Joker, and the Riddler and their henchmen have already been captured, she is caught and hisses at Robin as Batman orders him to handcuff her.
- Toothless in How to Train Your Dragon takes a moment to screech in Hiccup's face before fleeing, soon after Hiccup almost plunges a dagger into his heart.
- Happens at the end of several battles in the Warrior Cats series, naturally.
- As above, Gríma Wormtongue does this in Lord of the Rings as he leaves Théoden's service.
- When confronted by Van Helsing and company and beginning to feed on a small boy, the newly turned Lucy in Dracula throws the child to the ground, "growling over it as a dog growls over a bone." Shortly afterwards, the vampiric Lucy is driven back by Van Helsing's crucifix. She isn't described as hissing at this point, but does have a mouth grown "to an open square, as in the passion masks of the Greeks and Japanese."
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- Vampires in Forever Knight always hiss when they expose their fangs. More than a few times, this has been immediately before a withdrawal.
- Though he's too old to flee, Gormogon's mentor on Bones hisses viciously at Brennen and Booth when they confront him at a nursing home, then "retreats" into sullen (feigned?) senility.
- Angel and Buffy both did this in their earlier episodes, though both waned shortly into their respective runs.
- Doctor Who's "The Vampires of Venice". If you're lucky, the vampires flee after they hiss. If not, you will.
- Seen early on in with a Spider Splicer in BioShock.
- Alma does it in the second First Encounter Assault Recon game, after you fight off her rape attempts.
- Mileena in Mortal Kombat does this when she is tagged out in a two-on-two match.
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown gives this for all alien encounters. When you find a group of them, they all turn around and hiss at you before fleeing to cover.
- Shortpacked! example: when Robin gets into a Cat Fight with Sarah Palin, the latter does this when confronted by reporters, because free press burns her. Moments later, Robin similarly flees when Amber reminds her that it's her turn to clean the toilet.
- In Bob and George, when going through the events of the third Mega Man game, when Mega Man comes across Shadow Man, he makes his eyes bright like headlights while looking at Shadow Man, who had/is accustomed to seeing in the dark. Shadow Man hisses and throws a Shadow Blade in Mega Man's eyes, breaking his high beams and allowing him to flee.
- Played for laughs in South Park in the episode where Butters thought he'd turned into a vampire. He does this because he thinks it sounds menacing. It was actually hilarious, which made it even funnier when people were genuinely shocked by it.
- In The Simpsons "Bart Sells His Soul", Bart does this when he is caught trying to buy Ralph Wiggum's soul. For bonus points, he disappears into smoke like a supernatural being and his eyes are briefly reptillian-slitted.
- Another Simpsons example is Hugo in one of the Halloween specials.
- Still another example has bunch of comic convention nerds scrounging in a trash can, who look up with red eyes and hiss when a flashlight beam falls on them, causing them to run away.
- Momo from Avatar: The Last Airbender when Aang and Sokka reach out to him. The former wants Momo as a pet and the latter wants him for lunch.
- In the Justice League Christmas Episode 'Comfort and Joy', Martian Manhunter has been invited to the Kents' for Christmas. J'onn is given Kara's room to sleep in. (She's off skiing with her friend Barbara). While taking in the incredibly different décor, he's approached by a cat, which he attempts to greet warmly. "Kitty." The cat does this trope, clearly unused to martians.
- Corey did this after being Frightened by Trina when they were younger (as shown in one of her Flashbacks) in the Grojband episode "In-D Road Rager".
- Finn of all people does this in Adventure Time after Princess Bubblegum accidentally on purpose cuts his cheek when he tries to steal her crown with a pair of scissors she was using to cut the limbs off of miniature candy people.
- Many species of animal (Including cats, snakes, and toads) will puff up their bodies and hiss loudly to look more intimidating before simply running away.