A bunch of people are babbling or arguing all at once. This often happens in some sort of crisis situation, especially when most of the people involved are just civilians and they don't know how else to react. Unfortunately, all their noisy anger/panic/confusion etc. is preventing any real conversation or coordination. (Moreover, it's preventing the audience from actually listening to any particular line of dialogue) Somebody needs to take charge and act like a leader. The leader may start by simply talking to people, but he finds that no one can really hear him. In any case, he decides to make a really loud noise to make everybody else shut up. This may involve a loud "SHUT UP!", or it may involve some other way of making noise, such as firing a gun into the air.
This is surprisingly effective. It's very rare for the babbling crowd to ignore the leader or tell him
to shut up in return.
Related to Big "Shut Up!"
, but differs because it only applies when the intention is to shut up a noisy crowd, and it may involve non-vocal ways of doing so.
- Kung Fu Hustle has an entire slum of hundreds of people air their grievances to the miserly, miserable old Landlady after she snaps at a resident who just saved them all from getting massacred by gangs. Her response is to calmly put out her cigarette and scream SHUT THE HELL UP!, which lasts so long and so loud that it shatters glass. It hints that she's not exactly an untrained civilian - her power is based around shouting.
- In Guilty By Suspicion (a film about the Red Scare), at the top of the film we're at a party with lots of people chattering, and one gets everyone's attention by saying "Ladies and gentlemen...Ladies and Gentlemen!....COMRADES! That got your attention, huh?" Note that it wasn't a communist meeting, just a get-together, but it was later cited as a communist meeting during the protagonist's trial.
- Kindergarten Cop had Arnold Schwartzenegger's character do that to a kindergarten class. They shut up all right... then they start crying.
- Ginny does this in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince film.
- This happens several times in Muppet films.
- In The Great Muppet Caper, Kermit tries to call the meeting of him and the Happiness Hotel's gang to order with a loud, "QUIET!" upon which everyone stops talking...except for Janice. "...So I said, 'Look, mother, it's my life, okay? So if I want to live on the beach and walk around naked- oh." The second time is when everyone is making excuses to not go stop the crooks, Fozzie shouts them down so he can make a Rousing Speech.
- In The Muppet Christmas Carol, Fozzie, as Fezziwig, tries to get everyone's attention at his Christmas party, Animal bellows, "QUIET!" After the noise stops, he mutters, "Thank you..."
- In Idiocracy, President Camacho quiets down hecklers when he's addressing Congress by firing a large gun into the air.
- The Princess Bride:
Inigo: *pushing his way through a crowd* Excuse me... Pardon me, please, it's important... Fezzik, please?
Fezzik: EVERYBODY MOVE!
*everybody falls silent and clears a path*
Inigo: Thank you.
Manga & Anime
- The Doctor Who episodes "Midnight" and "Planet of the Dead", along with a bunch of other episodes.
- A Star Trek: The Next Generation example: Everyone in Ten-forward is fighting and making all sorts of ruckus. Security is too overwhelmed to respond. So Guinnan pulls out a very large (and likely illegal) plasma cannon and shoots it at the ceiling, causing a small explosion and making everyone stare at her in shock.
Guinnan: That was setting one. Anybody want to see setting number two?
- A scene from Star Trek: Voyager plays out like the aforementioned one from The Princess Bride, with Naomi Wildman as Inigo and Seven of Nine as Fezzik.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer isn't above enforcing this trope with hurled sharp objects. Examples can be seen in "Checkpoint" and "Potential".
Nigel: This is beyond insolence—
(Buffy hurls a sword into the wall by his head)
Buffy: I'm fairly certain I said no interruptions.
- Angel Beats! episode 5: Between exams, the SSS argue about the methods they're using to sabotage Angel's exam results. Three times this happens, and three times this ends with Yuri screaming at them to shut up and slamming on her desk (followed by a hasty explanation from Otonashi to Angel about why they're being so loud).
- Germany does this to the other nations in the first Axis Powers Hetalia episode.
- The Navy Lark a bickering meeting of Mad Brass is brought to silence by the shout of "SHUT UP or I'll lock up the Gin".
- In an episode of Powerpuff Girls, Fuzzy Lumpkins yells this... and gets elected mayor because of it.
- An interesting variation occurs in Adventure Time. After Peppermint Butler gets a drop of VERY spicy serum in his eye, he's screaming loudly in pain. Lemongrab (who has No Indoor Voice) screams at the top of his lungs: "STOP SCREAMING!!! WHY ARE YOU SCREAMING?!"
- Papa Smurf in The Smurfs does this on occasion to stop his little Smurfs from squabbling.
- The word for "Shut up" in Japan literally means "Noisy". And, of course, it's usually shouted.