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Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You
aka: Target The Audience
Watch our movie — or else.

"December 1, 1903: Edwin Porter's The Great Train Robbery debuts. The plot: a wisecracking former cop fights train-jackers at 15 mph. Thrilling audiences with its pioneering realism and papier-mache trains, the final scene — in which the villain turns and fires his gun directly into the camera — was said to have so terrified the audience that they would often shriek in terror, screaming out 'Yippie ky yay, motherfucker!' as one."

When a character points a weapon at the camera so it looks like he is about to attack the audience with it. Sean Connery is not actually required; this just happens in a number of posters for his movies, such as the one illustrated here; as well as in several Bond film posters, most notably for Never Say Never Again.

The more aggressive Sister Trope of Pistol Pose, this trope is frequently used on movie posters, DVD/VHS cases, and book covers. The star of the work is pointing a gun directly at the audience. It's that simple.

Note that while this usually involves guns, other weapons and even fists can also be used. The "Superman Is About To Punch You!" variant, in particular, is quite common on comic book covers. And certain movies.

This trope is often used in movies themselves as well, although the MPAA prohibits its usage in green-band (all ages) trailers. If the character actually attacks the audience, it's The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You.

See also Pistol Pose, Stab the Sky. Often overlaps with Floating Head Syndrome. Sword Pointing is a variation. Not to be confused with Bond Gun Barrel (which, nonetheless, often features this trope, sometimes literally).


Cover/poster examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Film 

    Literature 
  • Fate of the Jedi: Vortex: Han Solo is About to Shoot You!
  • One of the more popular covers for Musashi has him duel-wielding swords at you.
  • Men at Arms: The Ankh-Morpork City Watch are About to Stab You!

    Live Action TV 

    Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Visual Novels 

    Western Animation 
  • The Legend of Korra: Avatar Korra is about to punch...one or two centimeters to the left of your head. Her friend Asami, however, really is about to electrocute you right in the face.
  • Up to Eleven with Amor, "announcer" of the films of the German "Erotic note  Animation" series. He does shoot at you, often wisecracking jokes like "This arrow is for he who never fapped". (Fourth Wall protects you, though.)

In-story examples:

    Anime & Manga 

    Film 
  • In the openings of most James Bond movies, via the famous Bond Gun Barrel sequence:
    • Each of the Eon productions before Quantum of Solace included a variation on the sequence.
    • Originally, Never Say Never Again and Casino Royale (1967) were intended to open with gunbarrels - the latter featuring a pop-gun wielding David Niven. These were removed before release.
    • The 2006 version of Casino Royale 2006 was the first to actually incorporate the gunbarrel sequence into the plotline, with the audience being treated to the POV of a mook as he is shot by Bond.
    • The 1974 French knock-off From Hong Kong With Love opens with Bond attempting to shoot you... but his gun is empty. The camera shoots back, and kills him!
  • The Great Train Robbery ends with a bank robber pointing a pistol at the camera and firing. It's the Trope Maker and very likely the Ur Example. Cinema was so new that some audience members ducked.
  • Goodfellas ended with Joe Pesci shooting at the audience in an homage to The Great Train Robbery.
  • City of God makes very memorable usage of this trope.
  • The trailer for Watchmen originally had an assassin pointing a gun at the camera in one scene. After being told by the MPAA that it would need to be removed in order to get a green band, director Zack Snyder digitally altered it into a walkie-talkie.
  • The Proposition: Danny Huston, Guy Pearce, and Ray Winstone are all going to shoot you. Or maybe someone just behind you and to your left.
  • The movie version of Patriot Games does this during the scene where Sean Miller (Sean Bean) executes Dennis Cooley.
  • Zardoz has Sean Connery shooting at the camera, in a red nappy.
  • The Killer does this a lot, most famously the scene where Chow Yun-Fat takes out his target at the restaurant during the first major shootout of the movie.
    • Not to mention the vision that Jenny has of Ah Jong firing directly at the camera, with a sea of blood behind him.
  • In Serenity, both Mal and River point their guns at the camera at different times, and at the end of the movie, River is glaring directly at the camera after slaughtering an entire army of Reavers, looking for all the world like she's about to take those bloodstained blades in her hands to the audience next.
  • The Big Lebowski: John Goodman is going to shoot you unless you mark it zero!
    • Also, one of Maude's henchmen punches you out.
  • When performing the theme song to The Three Caballeros, Panchito points one of his guns at the camera and it sings the lyric "and we'll stay so".
  • The second shootout (the one not dictated by Steve Buscemi) of Desperado features Antonio Banderas firing two full clips into the camera, and in the extras Robert Rodriguez points out that the force of the blanks and the closeness of the pistols knocked off the flash dampener.
  • In House of 1000 Corpses Bill Moseley is going to shoot you! (Pause for about thirty seconds.)
  • Once Upon a Time in the West: Frank's first Kick the Dog moment, which abruptly cuts to a train's whistle.
  • The Three Stooges even got in on the act during two shorts that were attempts at 3-d, 'Spooks!' and 'Pardon My Backfire'. Moe Howard Is About To Poke Your Eyes!
  • Happens in-character in Back To The Future Part II, when Marty encounters a holographic The Shark Is About To Eat You! advert for Jaws 19.
  • Near the end of The Avengers Loki finds himself confronted by the Avengers, leading to a Team Shot combined with Jeremy Renner Is About To Shoot You With A Bow And Arrow.
  • In Grosse Pointe Blank, John Cusack shoots you. At point blank, naturally.
  • The Men In Black (especially K) will occasionally neuralize you. Also happens at the end of the theme park ride.
  • The Stinger for American Gangster is Denzel Washington shooting you.
  • The TV spot for Django Unchained has Jamie Foxx shooting you at near-point blank.

    Literature 
  • 1984:
    A new poster had suddenly appeared all over London. It had no caption, and represented simply the monstrous figure of a Eurasian soldier, three or four meters high, striding forward with expressionless Mongolian face and enormous boots, a submachine gun pointed from the hip. From whatever angle you looked at the poster, the muzzle of the gun, magnified by the foreshortening, seemed to be pointed straight at you.
  • In Ghost Story, there's a graffiti painting on the shutter of Ragged Angel Investigations that depicts a portly, balding angel holding a doughnut in one hand and aiming a shotgun straight toward the viewer in the other.

    Live Action TV 
  • Chris Elliott is about to shoot you in his domestic sitcom/cop drama mashup Action Family where he guns down his teenage daughter's scuzzy boyfriend - not that he's guilty of Chris's partner's death, he's just conveniently there for the wrap-up/happy ending.
  • In the Firefly episode "Heart of Gold," Mal levels his pistol dramatically at the camera, and then gets startled by Inara and lets out a very undramatic "Bwa!" of surprise.
  • The opening of Sledge Hammer ends with Sledge saying "Trust me, I know what I'm doing" and shooting the screen.
  • When thugs interrupt Xena's bathing, you get a point-of-view shot of her punching you in the face.
    • This camera angle (fist coming at the camera) used to be quite common in 1970s TV, for example in an episode of The Rockford Files in which a thug knocks Jim Rockford out in this manner.
  • A Ninja throws a shuriken at the screen, which forms into part of the Deadliest Warrior title.

    Puppet Shows 

    Theater 
  • In the finale of Assassins, the assassins all draw their guns, walk to the foot of the stage, and fire on the audience.

    Video Games 
  • Metal Gear Solid 2 has Solidus Snake pointing his P90 directly at the camera.
  • Ninja Gaiden: Ryu Hayabusa is about to hack you into bits.
  • Street Fighter:
    • Super Street Fighter II - Ryu is about to Hadouken you.
      • He does this in Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo as well.
    • Street Fighter Alpha 2 - Ryu and Ken is about to Hadouken you.
    • In the Japanese commercials for the SFC port of Street Fighter II Turbo:
      • Guile is about to Sonic Boom you.
      • Chun-Li is about to Kikouken you.
  • Dante actually does kick the camera in the intro to Devil May Cry 3.
    • And an early trailer for Devil May Cry 4 consists of nothing but him unleashing a complete unholy beatdown on the camera.
  • One character's ending in Tekken Tag Tournament shows him delivering a beating to the camera. At the end, the camera arcs around to reveal he's beaten Heihachi and Kazuya Mishama senseless.
  • The cover for Mega Man Battle Network 5 Double Team DS does this with both Rockman.EXE and Protoman.EXE, not sure about Colonel.EXE
    • Mega Man and Bass opens up with the titular characters shooting King's Emblem. Then they emerge from the bottom of the screen, arm cannons smoking hot, and Bass is about to shoot you! Mega Man is waiting his turn.
    • Before all of these, IV for the Game Boy had its intro finish with Mega Man demonstrating his charged shot, straight towards the camera.
    • Also the intro of 8.
    • In the cartoon, Mega Man now has your power, and is about to blast you with it!
  • In the ending of Super Metroid, Samus will shoot the screen (and then, depending on how fast you competed the game, just give you a thumbs up, flip open her helmet, or show off what she looks like under her suit.
  • Team Fortress 2: Meet the Sniper: The Sniper has a plan to kill you.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: The first thing your character actually sees in the game? Benny is about to shoot you. Justified, because that's the very next thing that happens.
  • The intro movie of Parasite Eve 2 ends with the main character Aya Brea doing a quick-draw and pointing her gun at the player/watcher. In the context of the actual game itself, she's pointing it at an army of Elite Mooks.
  • In Sengoku Basara, Nobunaga's Victory Pose has him shooting the camera with his Sawed-Off Shotgun.
  • ''War of Angels (character selection): Your own friggin' fighter is about to stab you!
  • X-COM: Terror From the Deep: The illustration for the Gillman entry in the UFOPaedia shows a Gillman pointing what looks like a Sonic-Blasta Rifle at the screen.
  • The Spear Pillar scene of Pokemon Platinum has Giratina lunge at the screen as it attacks Cyrus for denouncing it. Many a player jumped. Giratina also menaces you in the intro video.
  • Resident Evil 5:
  • God of War: You get to watch as Kratos gouges your eyes out. (You're really watching from Posideon's point of view as he gets the shit beat out of him, but the effect is there.)
  • Evander Holyfield's "Real Deal" Boxing: He punches you several times on the title screen.
  • Occurs at the climax of Spec Ops: The Line. Take a close look at the angle Konrad's holding the gun in the event that you shoot him- he's not pointing it at Walker, he's pointing it at YOU.
  • Every boss cinematic in Sakura Samurai ends with them pointing their weapon directly at the camera.
  • Pokémon Platinum: Magmortar has its cannon pointed at the player in its basic sprite, and its animation acts like it fired a shot. Flint's Magmortar gets bonus points for having a Flame Seal on its Poke Ball laid over-top of its cannon, making it seem like it actually fired a shot.

    Web Original 

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • In Batman: The Animated Series, Mr. Freeze fires his freeze gun directly at you. In the commentary, the directors are surprised they got away with it — they wouldn't have been able to with a regular gun, in case some kid decided to try it.
  • In the Title Sequence of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), He-Man punches you. Then Man-of-Arms shoots you, then Orko blasts you with a magic spell. These guys really don't like you.
  • Similarly, in the She-Ra: Princess of Power Title Sequence, Hordak shoots you.
  • One Rocky and Bullwinkle storyline has a Southern Gentleman from the "League of Confederate Correctors" who couldn't stand anyone even mentioning the word "Civil". During a football game that somehow mutated into a re-enactment of a battle from the War Between The States, the narrator describes Bullwinkle "swivel-hipping his way to the goal —"
    Gentleman: Dagnabbit, you said "civil!" (Bang!)
    Narrator: Excuse me, "war-between-the-states"-hipping his way to the goal!
  • Transformers Generation One: In the season 3 Title Sequence, Galvatron points his cannon straight at the viewer.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Twilight's Kingdom Part 2", when Twilight sees Tirek through a telescope, it looks like he's about to blast the audience with fiery magic.
  • Played straight in The Pink Panther cartoon short "Pinkfinger". The panther, playing the role of a detective, tries to gather information about various spies throughout the city. In one scene, the panther, strapped to a floating balloon, incidentally takes a picture of a spy who points a gun right directly at the camera in the photograph, and then proceeds to fire a bullet at the panther's balloon, sending him falling down to the streets below.

Other examples:


Say My Name TrailerComing AttractionsSir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer
The ScreamStock PosesSgt. Pepper's Shout-Out
Scene CoverCover TropesSuper Dickery
Sawed-Off ShotgunWeapons and Wielding TropesShort Range Shotgun
Red-and-White Comedy PosterFilm PostersStab the Sky
Something AwfulImageSource/InternetSesquipedalian Loquaciousness
The RockImageSource/Live-Action FilmsThe Rocketeer

alternative title(s): Target The Audience; Sean Connery Is Going To Shoot You; Superman Is About To Punch You
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