"Hey, wait a minute! Shoes don't go 'splut!'"
When an in-universe problem with sound effects
is Played for Laughs
with the characters noticing, you've got a Sound Defect.
Contrast Wacky Sound Effect
for "wrong" sound effects not noticed by the characters and Special Effect Failure
, which happens when the sound effect goes unintentionally wrong, regardless of the amusement factor of said error. Also contrast Unsound Effect
, which uses something that isn't really a sound at all.
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Anime & Manga
- In the Enies Lobby arc of One Piece, Usopp finds himself face to face with a rooster as he's trying desperately to sneak up to an enemy and snatch the key he needs. Usopp is worrying himself silly that the rooster will crow and awaken his opponent, only for it to tweet, causing Usopp to yell out in surprise at the wrong sound and awakening his opponent.
- The Ranma ˝ fanfic Genma's Daughter: The Cutting Room Floor has a running gag about this near the end. The characters are actually all actors shooting a series, and Mousse accidentally keeps playing the wrong sound effects for the scene they're doing.
- In Laurence Olivier's film of William Shakespeare's Henry V (of all things!), during the Elizabethan-style production with which it opens, the Archbishop of Canterbury asks the Bishop of Ely, "Is it four o'clock?" A bell duly rings — three times; we see Shakespeare himself rushing backstage, the bell rings once more, and Ely replies, "It is."
Live Action Tv
- Whose Line Is It Anyway? had this as a recurring game, called "Sound Effects", where they'd pull volunteers from the audience to make sound effects for a scene acted out by two of the comedians. Hilarity Ensues.
- In a Saturday Night Live sketch called "Pranksters", Seth Meyers hosts a show where guests show video of themselves pulling pranks on other people, accompanied by wacky sound effects. When one psycho guest shows himself actually murdering a guy in the parking lot, the FX continue, much to the host's annoyance.
- In one episode of Are You Being Served?, the staff of Grace Brothers are performing a radio play. Captain Peacock's character arrives at a pub and asks for a pint. The sound effect of the pint being poured is created by a jug of water being poured into a bowl from a significant height, and sounds more like somebody urinating. Miss Brahms, playing the barmaid, says "I bet you were dying for that".
- In a "Mama's Family" sketch on The Carol Burnett Show, Tim Conway started adlibbing about siamese circus elephants that were joined at the trunk. He went to make the trumpeting sound they made, and it came out sounding something like, "fnork!"... which sent the rest of the cast into hysterics.
- One Russ Abbot sketch opened with a sound-effects man checking that he had all the effects necessary for a radio drama about an escape from a World War 2 prison camp. Unfortunately for him, when the recording started it was for a Regency romance, and the rest of the sketch covered his increasingly desperate attempts to match the sounds he had to the action.
- A M*A*S*H episode has Hawkeye mock-announcing a phony baseball broadcast for Frank Burns' "benefit", with B.J., Radar, and Klinger providing sound effects. At one point Hawkeye says, "…and it's in there for a strike!" and an unthinking B.J. taps the wooden bat he's holding. After glaring at him, Hawkeye continues: "…wait a minute, he got a part of it…"
- During a host segment from Mystery Science Theater 3000's riff on The Projected Man, Crow kills Mike with the "Touch of Death". While dragging his body into the theater, Servo remembers that they had forgotten to sign off for commercial sign.
Servo (enters stage right)
Servo: We'll be right back
Servo (exits stage right)
Crow (off): I thought you didn't have any legs.
Servo (off): I - I don't.
Crow: So where did you get the footsteps?
Servo: Good question!
- The song "My Brother Makes the Noises for the Talkies" (covered by The Bonzo Dog Band but possibly written much earlier) contains a reference:
The only time he made a bungle
was when a tiger in the jungle
With a mighty roar, dropped dead
With bullets in its head
And Rob mooed like a cow instead.
- In The Who's "A Quick One While He's Away" from A Quick One there's a section where the chorus sings "cello, cello, cello" because the band couldn't afford real cellos.
- The Dutch comedian Henk Elsink's song Johanna has several messed-up sound effects. Some of them are due to literal interpretations of metaphors, others due to wrong timing.
Then somebody knocks on her door.
Sound FX: ring ring
Then somebody rings her doorbell.
Sound FX: knock knock
(frustrated) Then somebody knocks and rings at her door!
- In his sketch The Mailman, another Dutch comedian, Andre Van Duin, had several problems with a prop doorbell. At first the bell doesn't work, so he decides to say the sound effect himself: "Bell." The second time the sound does work, and when his co-actor asks, "Did you ring the bell again?" Van Duin answers, "No, the sound technician did." Based on the co-actor's corpsing after that last line, it was a joke Van Duin threw in on the spot.
- Bob and George, starting in the appropriately titled Sack the Sound Effects Guy! strip of the Introducing the Author arc and carrying on for a while.
Offscreen Voice: HALT!! Behold my power!
Sound FX: BURP!!
Proto Man: Burp?
Offscreen Voice: Sorry, wrong sound effect.
- As shown in this The Gutters, you need a good letterer if you want your sound effect to make sense.
- Sluggy Freelance did this one early in its run. They conclude they need a new sounds effects guy in the comic when an ominous crash of thunder goes, "MOOOO!"
- When Tedd in El Goonish Shive is describing the possibility of Elliott suddenly transforming during a passionate moment:
Tedd: Yeah, but what if they're about to kiss or something when suddenly -
: "Boing"? Seriously?
- The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror XVII," based on the Orson Welles radio play The War of the Worlds.
Orson Welles: The devastation is incredible! They're grinding up the bodies of human beings!
Sound Technician: Uses an eggbeater to grind up corn flakes
Welles: Now they're riding horses in the rain!
- Phineas and Ferb, "We Call It Maze": Dr. Doofenschmirtz complains that his echo must be broken, as the second to last echo says "cookie". Later, the same thing happens to Buford, but with the word "wombat".
- A part of Duck Amuck has the tormenting animator replace the sound effects for Daffy. So when Daffy attempts to play the guitar, machine-gun sounds erupt, then the sound of a car horn. When Daffy throws down the guitar in disgust, there's a gunshot and the braying of a donkey. When Daffy tries to protest, sounds of a rooster, a kookaburra, and a kitten come out.
- Whenever Ricochet Rabbit (a Hanna-Barbera character from 1964) "ricochets into the sunset," he bounces off a rock, a cactus and another rock to the sound of zings, pings and gunshots. When his assistant, Droopalong Coyote tries to do the same, the sounds of thuds, clanks and boings accompany him before he crashes into one of the objects or—as in one cartoon's end—the sun itself.
- The Danger Mouse episode "Play it again Wufgang" went all meta with this trope: the episode's incidental music soundtrack failed, requiring Penfold to carry and operate a tapedeck everywhere.
Danger Mouse: Are you sure that's the right tape?