"Oh, that's cheating; sneaking up! Do you have your legs on silent?"
Our hero is walking down a corridor in the Big Bad's
ship/castle/compound, and suddenly he hears *THUNK THUNK THUNK*! He has just enough time to duck down a side hallway before a squad of Mooks
walk past him. And thus our hero is saved by noisy footwear.
What our hero has encountered is a group of Stompy Mooks
. Stompy Mooks
are basically mooks who simply cannot be quiet when they move around, even if they tried. These can include anything from Robot Soldiers
, heavily armored soldiers
, or just normal, everyday soldiers with noisy boots. This is usually played straight to make the viewer understand exactly what's going on and why the hero just ducked down a hallway.
Of course, when the plot requires it, Stompy Mooks
can be as quiet as church-mice.
See also Bad Vibrations
- The Vogon guards in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. One of them even told Ford and Arthur that he enjoyed doing that as part of his job before placing them in an airlock.
- Subverted and exploited in Harry Harrison's The Stainless Steel Rat. Jim diGriz is trying to escape from soldiers inside a building. He avoids one pursuer making noise with heavy boots, then another soldier coming from another direction with loud boots, and ends up in a meeting with the chief of the pursuers. He then learns that the soldiers had been ordered to herd him into the meeting with their stomping.
- The Cybermen from the Doctor Who new series are a great example of this trope. It's even Lampshaded in the episode "The Next Doctor", as seen in the page quote.
- Jaffa, from the Stargate universe, are so notorious for this that you can be assured that in every hallway scene on a Goa'uld ship there will be some form of clanking. The Ori Crusaders do this too, but to a much lesser extent. As a funny note, the Jaffa actually cease clanking once they are freed from the Goa'uld.
- Inverted in the Metal Gear series. Walking too fast behind a guard makes him turn around and notice you, turning you into the Stompy Mook. Most mooks themselves walk about normally, so unless they're walking on something noisy, making a status report, or wearing headphones, you won't hear them walking until you get fairly close.
- Inverted in the Thief series. Garrett, the main character, actually wears loud boots because he believes the guards to be complete idiots. Not without good reason, mind you.
- The heavier units in Warcraft III make loud thuds when moving.
- Soldiers marching in formation often count as Stompy Mooks. Somewhat defied when crossing a bridge; they break step to avoid shaking it.