"You either have really good aim or really bad aim."
It's the middle ages. A group of bandits have tied up a fair maiden
and there's no telling what they're about to do as they cackle evilly
. Until an arrow zooms over head and embeds itself in a tree with a *twang*
. The Cavalry
A group of characters are hiding from a Serial Killer
. They try to figure out their next move. They're scared but one poor soul
says things can't get any worse
. Uh-oh. A knife zooms by and hits that character in the chest. Enter the psychopathic Knife Nut
A band of samurai are walking through the woods when a shuriken flies past them and hits a tree. Oh no! NINJAS! ONE
You get the point (pun not intended). Who needs a battle cry when a clean, well-timed (in regards to dialogue) launch of an arrow, throwing knife, or any other throwing implement into a nearby wall, tree, or person is a far more loud, efficient and stylish way of announcing your presence to your enemies? Sure, a sneak attack would be far more practical, but that's not nearly as cool. Let's also forget the fact that the character just wasted ammo, and that in the middle ages, arrows, especially the quality ones demanded by experienced archers, were somewhat expensive as well (unless of course the arrow buried itself into one of the enemy characters in which case it was quite the efficient move).
See Blasting It out of Their Hands
for a subtrope which helpfully disarms the opponent, and Knife Outline
if it pins their shirt to the wall
. Compare Click Hello
, the gun version of this trope, though there's obviously some overlap; there's nothing to stop a character achieving this trope with a warning shot from a firearm, or performing a Dramatic Crossbow Cock
to save on bolts.
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- From a recent Priceline Negotiator ad: a group of martial artists were sitting at a desk looking for a good vacation deal online and William Shatner entered the scene by throwing a shuriken at their desk, with the martial artists doing that obligatory look-up that accompanies this trope.
- An Australian ad for Nicorette gum has a green clad ninja using a shuriken to knock a cigarette out of a smoker's hand and pin it to the wall (through his Employee of the Month photo).
Anime & Manga
- Ikki from Saint Seiya does this all the time with the "feathers" from his armor.
- Notable in that he often hits people with these razor-sharp feathers, mostly because they were in the middle of attacking his younger brother.
- Mako from Yu-Gi-Oh! Parodied in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
"[If you want to get my attention] just ask! Just say, 'Hey, Yugi, could you stay a little longer?' Don't lob a freakin' harpoon at me! Seriously, that's, like, the rudest thing ever!"
- Tuxedo Kamen/Mask in Sailor Moon would always make his entrance by throwing a rose in the midst of a battle or conversation.
- Osaka does this with a pinwheel of all things in one Azumanga Daioh episode.
- Guy from Naruto usually makes his Dynamic Entry by throwing a kunai (before the kick to the face. Ouch.)
- Naruto himself does this at one point, when Orochimaru (the current Big Bad) is about to attack one of his teammates, only to stop short as a hail of knives come down right where he was about to
- Another example is right when Kisame is about to cut the eight-tail host's legs off to prevent him from escaping. One of the host's students takes a throwing star, enhances it with lightning chakra, and slashes most of the blade off of the sword Kisame was holding. "Sorry we're late, Bee."
- Condor Joe from Science Ninja Team Gatchaman also uses feather-shaped projectile weapons in this way.
- Green Arrow's normal method of announcing his presence to evildoers.
- Hawkeye takes this up a notch. It doesn't matter if he actually hits the guy because his arrows explode
- Batman has his Batarangs, although he's just as likely to use the "Hey, You!" Haymaker. Really, any comics character who uses throwing weapons has probably done this at some point.
- In With Strings Attached, Eric o' the Green and his men greet the four and the Hunter this way in the Forest of Screams, which has the unintentional effect of triggering Ringo's “escape clause” teleport and sending him over a hundred miles away, which is mighty inconvenient.
- Arya Stark of A Song of Ice and Fire is introduced this way to the Archer of the Brotherhood Without Banners — a Robin Hood-homaging merry band of anarcho-communist guerrilla fighters.
- Theon Greyjoy also did this to save Bran from bandits, and was very annoyed about getting yelled at for it, because the guy might have been wearing armor, or lived long enough to kill Bran.
- Jiriki's first lines in The Dragonbone Chair are accompanied by him shooting an arrow into a tree in front of the hero. Unusual because the hero had just saved his life and the arrow was actually a sacred artifact used to signify a life debt, and also because it occurred during his exit
- Romance of the Three Kingdoms - Taishi Ci decides to Twang Hello at a bunch of uppity officials standing atop of the gate of a city he was helping to besiege, and unlike most examples, impales the man's hand with the shot. (Which was called, by the way.)
- In The Witcher novels it is mentioned that the Dryads used to warn humans who wondered into their domain this way. The problem was that a panicking peasant (especially children) was just as likely to run deeper into the forest as he was to run away. Geralt notes that they recently mostly abandoned this in favor of a simple sneak attack.
Live Action TV
- Robin Hood loves to do this. Common in many Robin Hood series, including Robin of Sherwood such as the pre-credit sequence of "The Power of Albion".
- Locke from LOST spoke for the first time after throwing a knife into an airplane seat while the group of Losties were talking about how they were going to get food. Locke's response after his Twang Hello was "We hunt." Jack's quote at the top of the page was his response to that.
- Black Canary gets the drop on Chloe by throwing a knife at her desk in Smallville.
- Like his comic book incarnation, Green Arrow does this a lot, as well.
- Almost subverted in Red Dwarf: from a GELF, an arrow twanging into a tree (and not into you) is really considered a very warm greeting.
- Mission: Impossible: In "The Cattle King", Jim Phelps goes to meet a native tribe. He knows he's arrived when a spear embeds itself in a tree next to his head.
- Happens several times on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when a vampire would suddenly get dusted, to reveal the Slayer standing in his place holding a stake. There were also examples with actual arrows in "Pangs" and "Spiral", when Buffy is up against Anachronism Stew villains.
- Star Trek: Voyager. The episode "Heroes and Demons" has a holodeck program of the saga Beowulf. Every time someone new enters the program, they're greeted by shieldmaiden Freya throwing her spear past their face into a tree.
- In Mega Man X, Zero introduces himself by firing a buster shot from off-screen, blowing the arm off Vile's ride armor.
- In Survival of the Fittest, the duel between Jacob Starr and David Jackson starts with Jacob throwing his knife at David, only for it to miss and hit the tree David was standing in front of.