[[quoteright:172:[[Webcomic/BadMachinery http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/badmachinery_8275.png]]]]

->''"What a field day for the heat\\
A thousand people in the street\\
Singing songs and carrying signs\\
Mostly saying, 'hooray for our side'"''
-->-- '''Buffalo Springfield''', "For What It's Worth"

In any mass public gathering, positive (on the campaign trail, during sporting events, to raise awareness) or negative (at protests and/or strikes), there's bound to be people waving signs around.

TruthInTelevision. In more humorous depictions, expect at least one sign to be completely irrelevant to the actual topic--"Hi, Mom", "Buy at Moe's", "I came to this rally and all I got was this stupid sign", etc. More serious ones may be the PowderKegCrowd.

Often accompanied by a SloganYellingMegaphoneGuy. See also TorchesAndPitchforks, for when the crowd gets too rowdy. Also TheEndIsNigh.

!!Positive Support Examples:


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComlicBook/AchilleTalon'' has a strip where the locals advertise an upcoming block party by parading around with signs reading "Fete de quartier! Grand repas de sanglier!" (Block Party- Boar Banquet). Unfortunately, what with everyone jostling and walking at different speeds, they ended up reading "Fete du sang! pas de quartier!" (Feast of Blood! No Quarter!)

* At the end of ''Film/TheMuppets'', all the Muppets' fans have gathered outside the Muppet Theatre waving signs about how awesome the Muppets are. In ''Film/MuppetsMostWanted'' [[spoiler: they turn out to be paid extras]].

* ''For What It's Worth'' by Buffalo Springfield mentions this.

* ''[[Pinball/CaptainFantastic Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy]]'' features an enthusiastic crowd of sign-wavers watching Music/EltonJohn play pinball.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The [[Literature/TheBible John 3:16]] guy, also known as "Rainbow Man" (owing to his wig).
* ''Series/MondayNightFootball'' - Many of the signs have FunWithAcronyms, using the letters MNF to spell something humorous.
* [[http://www.doobybrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/obama-bring-back-arrested-development.jpg Obama bring back]] ''Series/{{Arrested Development}}''.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the first episode of ''WebVideo/VideoGameHighSchool'', when Law appears on the fictional show In Real Life, supporters outside the studio are waving supportive signs. The Law himself enters with a sign reading "It's me".

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "[[Recap/FamilyGuyS3E3MrGriffinGoesToWashington Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington]]", there's a guy holding a John 3:16 sign on a baseball game. Brian looks it up, and it turns out that it means: "And the Lord said, 'Go, Sox.'"
* In ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' episode "Mindful Education", Garnet makes a sign that says "Go Steven + Connie" on one side and "Go Stevonnie" on the other and waves it around encouragingly while Steven and Connie train together when they're fused.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** In "[[RecapTheSimpsonsS3E1StarkRavingDad Stark Raving Dad]]", the John 3:16 guy turns up to welcome "Music/MichaelJackson" to Evergreen Terrace along with fans with Jackson-specific signs.
** Played with in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS3E2MrLisaGoesToWashington Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington]]". There was a group of protestors outside the White House holding signs saying things such as "Things are fine", "No Complaints Here", and "Everything's A-OK".
** In "How I Wet Your Mother", the family journeys into Homer's subconscious dreams and encounter a group of mothers who are ''for'' drunk driving. Signs include "Sobriety is Boring", "Booze It or Lose It" and "My Other Car is Wrapped Around a Tree".
* In "Strawberry Fields Forever" from ''WesternAnimation/BeatBugs'', "Strawberry Fields Forever" becomes a sort of protest cry as the Beat Bugs carry and wave signs with drawings of strawberries as they try to chase away the myna birds that are wrecking the strawberry fields.

!!Negative Protest Examples:

* ComicBook/{{Nextwave}} is seen carrying protest signs about the ComicBook/CivilWar (and the fact that they're not involved).
* In the aftermath of ''ComicBook/FearItself'', protesters gathered around ''ComicBook/{{Avengers}}'' Mansion, holding up signs that said "Avenging your own interests" and "What have you done for me lately?"

* ''Film/{{PCU}}'': {{Played with}} in this film, where there is an entire student organization evidently devoted to protesting for various causes, the cause in question seemingly changing with each week. At the end of the movie, the protagonists stage a large ad hoc protest against the college president, and offer some of their signs to the leader of the [[WeirdTradeUnion student protest organization]], to which they reply "We brought our own" and produce a set of blank picket signs and markers that they evidently carry around with them.
* ''Film/{{Revolution 1967}}'': The crowd of protesters are carrying a lot of signs. The signs say things about how wages shouldn't be cut, the U.K. shouldn't be the 51st state of the U.S., and other topics such as Communism and National Liberation Front (Viet Cong).
* The 1982 film ''Who Dares Wins'' (aka ''The Final Option'') opens with a CND rally through London, including children holding signs and even a dog with a sign in its jaws. A more humorous banner implores everyone to DROP TROUSERS NOT BOMBS.
* ''Film/XMen1'' had a group of anti-mutant protesters, including one waving the ridiculously awesome placard [[http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/comicsalliance.com/files/2012/07/xmen14.jpg "Send the mutants to the Moon forever."]]
* In ''Literature/SevenDaysInMay'', there is a brief scene of protestors doing this against the President's proposed peace treaty.

* In one ''Literature/HardyBoys'' story, the boys and their friend (Chester, I think his name was) are investigating a massive protest against a boat, and get handed signs (which makes for a difficult moment when the boys' employer turns out to be the owner of the boat). Chester brings his own sign reading "FRANK HARDY FOR MAYOR".
* The Montana IPB base in ''Literature/{{TheInfected}}'' is picketed against several times, despite being in the wilderness thirty miles from the nearest town. More often than not, this is a cover for an attack. Though when a handful of people show up to picket the IPB's Fourth of July cookout, they're invited in and help themselves to burgers and hot dogs.
** Also there is a riot squad formed specifically to keep a number of anti-Infected demonstrations from getting out of hand.
* In Creator/LarryNiven's short story "Literature/CloakOfAnarchy", one character joins a protest group and holds up a blank sign. He intends this as a sociological experiment to see what people read into the sign; the protesters see him as [[TakeThat mocking them and their cause]], as they make painfully clear to him when a hacker crashes all the police robots that were the only thing preventing visitors from committing acts of violence on other visitors.
* In [[Creator/MoWillems Mo Willems]]'s ''Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct'', when Reginald's [[PuffOfLogic first plan]] to convince people that there is no Edwina because dinosaurs are extinct fails, he stands around, waving a sign in red letters reading "[[ThisCannotBe This is not happening]]". It doesn't work either.
* In Paul Kidby's illustration of the Fresh Start Club from ''Discworld/ReaperMan'', Reg Shoe is holding a sign saying "[[OurZombiesAreDifferent Undead, yes]] - [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman Unperson, no]]".
** In another Discworld book, ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'' the rebels try to Wave Signs Around but because they're still indoctrinated into what can best be described as "JapanesePoliteness UpToEleven" the signs aren't very strongly worded. They say things like "Slightly Bad Things Please Happen To Our Enemies."
* Both the novel and the film based on it of ''Film/ThePelicanBrief'' open with people waving signs around saying stuff like "Death to Rosenberg," "Retire Rosenberg," and "Cut off the oxygen," the last of those being Rosenberg's [[ActuallyPrettyFunny favorite]].

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/FatherTed'' and Dougal protesting outside a cinema (see the MoralGuardians page image). "Down with this sort of thing!" "Careful now!"
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'': Ted has to wrestle with a crowd of protesters who don't want the Arcadia, a beloved old building, to be torn down.
* In ''Series/{{Bewitched}}'', Samantha and her Aunt Clara, along with Clara's friends Bertha and Mary, are pissed off at a Halloween candymaker's insistence on a stereotypical ugly old crone for his mascot. They prepare to stage a protest in his home. Their signs read ''Brinkman Unfair to Witches'', ''Witches are People Too'', but absent-minded Clara, reminded she needs a sign, zaps up the first thing she thinks of: ''Vote for Coolidge''.
* On ''Series/TheDailyShow'', when Jon Stewart announced his "Rally to Restore Sanity", he showed some toned-down protest signs he produced for the rally, including, [[GodwinsLaw "I Disagree With You, but I'm Pretty Sure You're Not Hitler"]], "Got Competence?", "9/11 Was an Outside Job!" and [[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers "Legalize Pot"]].
-->'''Jon''': I don't know how that last one got in there, we didn't write it. I think this is what happens when signs breed.
* On ''[[Series/TwentyFour 24: Live Another Day]]'', there are a number of people in a crowd in Britain protesting a drone program by President Heller with signs saying things like "No more drones" while chanting similar slogans.
* In the ''Series/RedDwarf'' episode "[[Recap/RedDwarfPolymporph Polymorph]]", Rimmer is reduced to doing this after the eponymous emotion-eating monster sucks out all of his anger.
* An episode of ''Series/ModernFamily'' has Mitch and Cam drawn into protesting a restaurant while unaware of what it has actually done, so they show up with signs saying merely "stop doing what you're doing" and "shame!".

* The Music/BarenakedLadies song "Angry People" almost drops the trope name:
-->''In a square, a thousand angry people are''\\
''Waving signs in the air''\\
''While a million other happy people are''\\
''Trying hard not to care''

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* One ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide'' cartoon depicted a protest by the Imbeciles Of America, whose signs were of course crudely made, misspelled, held upside down, etc.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* During WCW's last year on TV, it was very common to see signs that read:
--> "I'd Rather Be At Raw"
--> "We Can't Wrestle"
--> "Wheel Chair Wrestling" - a reference to WCW's hiring of older, often-injured wrestlers.
* Subverted by WWE, who regularly confiscate signs that portray the company or John Cena in a negative light.
* The Real Americans' manager Zeb Colter would often come to the ring with protest signs to fit his anti-immigration persona such as '[=ILLegals=] make me ill".

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* In the event that the ''Ride/DoctorDoomsFearfall'' ride at [[Ride/UniversalStudios Universal's Islands of Adventure]] is closed, several of Doom's minions will stand outside of the attraction and protest against superheroes, holding up picket signs that say things like "SUPERHEROES '''OUT''' OF LATVERIA".

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{BioShock|1}}'': Signs with slogans such as RYAN DOESN'T OWN US! can be found around Rapture, in protest to the city founder's policies, but by the time the player gets there, the time for peaceful protest has long passed. It probably ended pretty badly for the people gathered around the Welcome Center and Apollo Square.
** [[spoiler: These same signs make a cameo along with a small section of Rapture in the sequel ''Videogame/BioShockInfinite'' towards the end of the game.]]
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'': The Smissmass update comic has an angry civilian with the sign "[[http://www.teamfortress.com/asmissmasstory/?p=3 RED & BLUE OUT OF TEUFORT]]" as part of a FunnyBackgroundEvent.
** There is also a melee item called the [[http://wiki.teamfortress.com/wiki/Conscientious_Objector Conscientious Objector]] that now allows players to wave signs around...and also kill each other with them.
* In ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird'', you may see bystanders walking around waving signs with stuff like "Shaundi is a whore" and "No Saints in Steelport" written on them. [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential Nothing's stopping you]] from killing them in a variety of nasty ways, of course.
* In ''VideoGame/SimCity'', one "disaster" shows a crowd of protesters waving signs and destroying property.
* In ''VideoGame/GoatSimulator'', there's a group of people protesting against penis-shaped foods.
* ''VideoGame/InFAMOUS2'' and ''VideoGame/InfamousSecondSon'' have groups of anti-conduit protesters scattered around their respective cities who will swarm you and chant anti-conduit rhetoric. Attacking them will net you negative karma.
* The first two protest groups encountered in ''VideoGame/{{Postal}} 2'' are of this variety - the first are protesting the [[CreatorCameo Running With Scissors dev team moving into town]], the second are protesting against books at the library. Going into those respective areas and doing the errand there causes them to ditch the signs and go for straight-up violence (shooting up the offices and setting the library on fire).
* The icon for a citizen who is peacefully protesting against Presidente's rule in ''VideoGame/{{Tropico}} 4'' is a picket sign, although (due to technical constraints) the actual protest is just one citizen declaiming at a crowd.

* A demonstration in ''Webcomic/BadMachinery'' featured this with, as pictured above, rather polite signs reading "[[GoshdarnItToHeck FLIPPING]] KROPOTKIN(cockney slang for *eat)" and "COME ON NOW".
* In Webcomic/{{xkcd}}, an audience member at a politician's speech holds up the sign "[[AC:[[[Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} citation needed]]]]]". Another strip talks about showing up with "contented" signs at rallies ("THINGS ARE PRETTY OKAY!")
* Why should Literature/TheBible get all the free advertising? ''Webcomic/MountainTime'' has a scene with [[http://mountaincomics.com/2012/12/06/mountain-time-414/ people holding up signs at a football game]], including John 3:16, Theatre/TitusAndronicus 2.4, and Hop On Pop p.43.
* In ''Webcomic/BrunoTheBandit'' a bunch of dragon rights protestors had at least one [[http://www.brunothebandit.com/d/19991115.html misspelled sign]].

[[folder:Web Games]]
* In the ''[[VideoGame/{{Bionicle}} Mata Nui Online Game]]'', before you unlock the entrance to the lightstone cavern, you can see some miners protesting in the dark with signs that say "No can see no can dig" and "You can't dig what you can't see".

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* {{Played with}} in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks''. Huey assembles an army of sign wavers to try and shut down Jasmine's lemonade stand, but when Huey tries to start a riot, they just stand around swaying ineffectually. One of them explains that they ''will'' shut down the lemonade stand...even if it takes several years.
* On the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "[[Recap/SouthParkS7E4ImALittleBitCountry I'm a Little Bit Country]]", the boys get roped into an anti-war protest rally, complete with signs (they only did it to get out of class). They demonstrate on TV that they don't know anything about it, pissing off Mr. Garrison.
-->'''Newsperson:''' Can you tell me why you marched out of school today?\\
'''Stan:''' Uh... war.\\
'''Newsperson:''' Right, and what about the war?\\
'''Kyle:''' It's, it's....gay?\\
'''Newsperson:''' Uh huh, and what aspect of it do you think is most gay?\\
'''Kyle:''' Uh...''reading the sign he's carrying'' No blood for oil!\\
'''Stan:''' Yeah. ''reading'' War is not my voice.\\
'''Cartman:''' ''reading'' Bush is a [[GodwinsLaw nayzzi]]!
** This was Sheila Broflovski's ''raison d'être''.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo'' started off with Johnny at a war protest. He was yelling, "I love pie! I love pie!", and holding a sign saying as much.
* An example from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''-in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS2E9ItchyAndScratchyAndMarge Itchy & Scratchy & Marge]]", Marge's anti-''Itchy and Scratchy'' protest, triggered by Maggie whacking Homer in the head with a mallet after she watched one of the cartoons, starts with Marge and the other family members marching outside the show's production company. Homer's sign is a detailed explanation of what happened to him and Maggie's says "Stop Me Before I Kill Again". Bart changes his sign to "'''Don't''' Ban ''Itchy and Scratchy''". As the protest grows, additional signs include "Save the Cartoon Animals," "Bring Back ''Wagon Train''" and "What If A Mouse Blew Up A Cat And Nobody Cared".
** There's also "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS6E9HomerBadman Homer Badman]]", when a group of women protested at the Simpson house after Homer is accused of grabbing a woman's butt. Signs include [[TitleDrop "Homer Bad Man"]], "Homer Is A Pig" and "You Pinch, I Lynch"
** In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS22E8TheFightBeforeChristmas The Fight Before Christmas]]", Lisa shows her disdain for people cutting down Christmas trees by holding a sign reading "Fir Is Murder".'
** In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS14E16ScuzeMeWhileIKissTheSky Scuze Me While I Miss the Sky]]", the town is in an uproar over Lisa's lights-out campaign because it brought about an increase in night crime. Signs include "Lighten Up, Lisa" and "I'm Pro-Light".
** In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS4E9MrPlow Mr. Plow]]", Homer has a ImagineSpot of him helping George HW Bush sneak valuable art works out from the White House by plowing through the protesters. Signs include "Forget the Alamo", "I dislike Ike" and "Pay me not to work".
** The "Trumptastic Voyage" web video shows supporters of UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump holding signs saying "Paid" and "Vote".
* Happened in the ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'' episode "[[Recap/FuturamaS3E5TheBirdBotOfIceCatraz The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz]]" with Leela and a group of protesters protesting against a Dark Matter oil rig flying too close to a penguin preserve on Pluto. The sign messages included:
-->''Give A Hooto, Don't Pollute Pluto!''\\
''Preserve Our Useless Wasteland''\\
''Free WesternAnimation/ChillyWilly''\\
'''Protester:''' ''(excitedly)'' Here they come. Oh, I hope they read my sign! ''(Holds up sign saying, "Go Away Tanker!")''
* {{Parodied}} in the ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' episode "Squid on Strike", where Squidward teaches [=SpongeBob=] how to make a picket sign protesting the Krusty Krab.
-->'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' How's this, Squidward? ''(holds up a white fence)''\\
'''Squidward:''' Not a picket ''fence'', you ding-dong! Picket ''sign''!\\
'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' How about this? ''(holds up a sign with [[VisualPun a picture of a man picking his nose]])''

[[folder:Real Life]]
* ''UsefulNotes/RedOctober'': ALL POWER TO THE SOVIETS! OVERTHROW THE AUTOCRACY! STOP THE WAR! (later the Bolsheviks outlawed protesting they hadn't sanctioned)
* At least one Occupy rally was attended by a man carrying a sign promoting a local lunch spot.
* Another Occupy Wall Street rally featured a sign stating "I'M SO ANGRY I MADE A SIGN".
* Westboro Baptist Church is infamous for their picketing of celebrity/military funerals, popular events, or anything remotely associated with homosexuality. Inevitably, there are people who will counter-protest with signs of their own, some of which play with Westoboro's message (instead of "God Hates Fags," some will say something like "God Hates Figs"), or it'd be something completely unrelated to either Westboro's or the event's purpose ("Germany for the World Cup!")
** When they protested one of the Comic-Cons, there were counter-protest signs that said things like "God Hates [[Film/StarWars Jedi]]" being carried by a Darth Vader cosplayer.
* A picture doing the rounds on Twitter shows a respectable middle-class man at a UK protest with a sign that read "[[StiffUpperLip I must admit, I too am not overly fond of the present government]]."
* Protests held in Ireland often feature the signs mentioned from the ''Series/FatherTed'' example listed above.
* At a protest in the U.S. in 2016 [[note]]after the particularly contentious election of UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump[[/note]], a man was [[https://www.instagram.com/p/BMwyqbuhxid/?hl=en photographed]] carrying a sign that read, "Not usually a sign guy, but geez!"
* A publicity stunt for the film ''Film/GentlemenPreferBlondes'' had a mob of women parading in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre declaring the film to be "Unfair to brunettes and redheads!"