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The Quiet Game
Wichita: Let's play the quiet game.
Columbus: I've actually been meaning to ask you, have you been to Columbus, because I've been trying to...
Wichita: Have you never played the quiet game?

Children (and some teens and adults) are naturally talkative. The Fun Personified often shares this trait.

For children, it's because they're learning so much about the world, and their minds are racing as they process all the information they encounter. For older people, this may also be true, or they may come from a background where they wanted to talk but were shut down from being able to do so.

Unfortunately, this tendency to talk, non-stop, stream of consciousness and rapid fire, is annoying, frustrating and aggravating to many people — among them the Child Hater and the Badly Battered Babysitter. Often such Elders will resort in desperation, when they feel nothing else has worked to get someone to stop talking for a minute — they propose The Quiet Game.

The idea of proposing it as a game is supposed to make it "fun", but the talkative character rarely considers it so. Proposing it as a game is also supposed to be preferable to the honest and direct route of just saying "please be quiet for a little while," or exploding with "SHUT UP ALREADY". The general outcome of this gambit, however, results in the one[s] asked to play the game either blithely missing the point, or seeing it for what it is, refusing to play along, or playing along only to declare instantaneous defeat, much to the dismay of the person trying to get a little quiet.

This may also be phrased as "No Talking Contest."

See The Other Wiki for more information.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, the Shadow Games Yami Yugi would challenge the despicable villain of the issue to could be anything. Consider it Early Installment Weirdness; Duel Monsters being the center of the universe didn't come along for some time, but this era suffers from No Export for You. He's called "king of games", plural, for a reason, and simply not being the first to make a noise was used once. (The bad guy's heartbeat as it raced when anticipating victory caused him to lose. This means Yami got to inflict a Cool and Unusual Punishment — in this case, the bad guy's own heartbeat became deafeningly loud to him alone, in punishment for what he'd done earlier in the issue.)

    Comic Books 
  • In Young Justice during a game of Truth Or Dare, Impulse is dared to keep quiet for 5 minutes. He barely lasts 5 seconds.

    Comic Strips 
  • In a strip of Get Fuzzy, Rob gets tired of Bucky and Satchel's chatter on a road trip and says "Let's play the quiet game."

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • In Up!, Carl proposes this game to Russell. Russell replies that his Mom loves that game.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Zombieland, Witchita proposes it to Columbus, who proceeds to talk anyway.

    Live-Action TV 
  • McKay proposed this in an episode of Stargate Atlantis.
  • Will proposed this to Nathan in an episode of Will and Grace, with the prize being a cookie.
  • The Twilight Zone TOS episode "The Silence". Colonel Taylor bets a talkative man named Tennyson half a million dollars that he can't stay quiet for an entire year. Tennyson accepts the bet and spends a year locked up in a glass cage. After Tennyson wins the bet, Taylor says that he's bankrupt and can't pay up. The Twilight Zone Twist? Before Tennyson went into the cage he had surgery to render himself mute so he couldn't lose the bet.
  • In one episode of Friends, Phoebe is dating a guy who is getting obnoxious about how passionate he is about everything, so she suggests that they play the quiet game for a little while. After about ten seconds, he says, "I lose! Let's play Jenga."
  • In the premiere of the eleventh season of the U.S. Hells Kitchen, one of the men suggests this as they are all forced to ride from Las Vegas to Hell's Kitchen on a school bus as punishment, and one of them just can't seem to stop spouting strategy advice.

    Web Comics 
  • In 8-Bit Theater, Black Mage convinces Fighter to play the quiet game. For a few months' worth of pages, Fighter is completely silent, and Black Mage simply forgets that he's there. When Fighter finally does speak, he proceeds to rapidly say everything that he wanted to say during the game.

    Western Animation 
  • In "Stare Master" on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Fluttershy proposes this as a game to the Cutie Mark Crusaders, telling them that she's a champion. They all immediately say that they've lost.
  • Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse try this on Daisy in the Mickey Mouse Works cartoon "Daisy's Road Trip". Daisy wins after launching them screaming out of the car and back again.
  • Raven pulls this on Melvin, Timmy and Teether in the Teen Titans episode where she has to babysit them.
  • When Daria was roped into a babysitting gig, Jane told her that if the kids started driving her crazy, to tell them that she knows a great game called Cemetery. They would have to lie on the ground and pretend they were dead. The first to move, or make a sound, loses. Daria ends up using it at one point.

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