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Audible Gleam

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"Kings' swords are big and shiny and magical and have jewels on and when you hold them up they catch the light, ting."
Corporal Carrot, Guards! Guards!

This is the sound made on television (most often cartoons) by things that are shiny or cast a glowing light. Any time you see a gleam or Lens Flare, this is likely to occur, especially if the gleaming thing is someone's impeccable teeth or something very expensive. If the shiny thing is a weapon, this is Audible Sharpness. Everything else goes here.

The Other Wiki gives an explanation and history of the term.

Intrinsic to both the Twinkle Smile and A Twinkle in the Sky. In fact, it lends that onomatopoeic "twinkle" to both those terms. See also Power Glows and Everything's Better with Sparkles.


    open/close all folders 

  • Advertisements for Orbit gum. Fabulous!
  • This is actually where the term "bling" comes from. It came from a toothpaste commercial where they would sing the jingle and go "[whatever brand name it was] gives you *bling*... confidence!" The "bling" part was the name given to the moment when the person would give a Twinkle Smile. Eventually, the term was used for anything considered shiny. Remember, All That Glitters, so the definition came to this natural conclusion.
  • Food sometimes makes audible gleam in an informercial where Vince Offer sells Slap Chop.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The Pokémon: The Series anime contains the most famous example: the Team Rocket trio's signature "ping" accompanied by a star whenever they blast off.
  • Pretty Cure in all its forms abuses this mercilessly. The good girls win because they are shinier than the baddies.
  • Fushigi Yuugi gets a special mention for the glowing body symbols.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, there's a special one for the Millennium Items, and the light always shines left-to-right, in the same way. The fans call it the "Millennium Trill".
  • In K: Missing Kings, when Reisi and Saruhiko argue over whether or not to call the "masked Green Clansman" a ninja or not, their glasses do this.
  • One notable example is in the Toonzai broadcast version of Dragon Ball Z Kai where a couple explosions have glitter digitally edited to them, presumably to soften the blow. Of course, a glistening sound effect accompanies this.
  • Digimon Fusion likes to use this a lot, especially when the digimon combine into Shoutmon X7.
  • From Kill la Kill, Aikuro Mikisugi's "transformations" from scruffy homeroom teacher to sex bomb are nearly always accompanied by this sound effect.
  • Transformers: Cybertron uses this left, right, and center; every other Cyber Key Power uses it, as well as many other moments.
  • In Act 1 of Sailor Moon Crystal, chimes accompany the Bishie Sparkle that Sailor Moon sees on a departing Tuxedo Mask.
  • Doraemon: In "Experimental Dream Schemes", at the beginning of Noby's "Chase the Sun" dream, when Sue, Big G, and Sneech find Noby, his mouth twinkles and has an audible gleam.
  • Dairugger XV: Every time a Galveston fleet appears in the distance, the first thing we see is a gleam off their hulls, accompanied by the classic "ting!".
  • Pecola: In "Spring Cleaning", after all of Cube Town is cleaned from Pecola overloading Aunty Yorkshire's washing machine with detergent, Mr. Saruyama comments on how sparkling clean his melons are and holds up a melon, which has an audible sparkle sound accompanying it gleaming.

    Asian Animation 
  • In "Rival Doc" from Lamput, Rival Doc's glasses and headset gleam with an audible effect, the former twice - once when he enters the laboratory for the first time, and again when he's looking for Lamput in a bunch of orange objects.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Wolffy's teeth have an audible gleam in the opening of Joys of Seasons.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animated 
  • The Bad Guys (2022): Diane Foxington's diamond ring has a unique gleam sound effect, calling attention to it whenever it appears on screen.
  • Coco: Played for Laughs during Miguel's opening narration when he mentions "sparkly underwear for wrestlers" as something Imelda could have started a business on instead of shoes.
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Cinderella: Doing all those transformations makes a lot of audible gleaming.
    • Tinkerbell: Fairy/pixie dust creates an audible gleam.
    • The Mayor in Disney's Chicken Little is attracted to a shiny penny that gleams audibly.
    • Aladdin, where Aladdin is first revealed as "Prince Ali" (in the musical number).
    • In Encanto, a prophecy on a glass tablet shows the house either cracked or whole, depending on the viewing angle. An audible gleam occurs whenever someone tilts the tablet so that the cracks either appear or disappear.
  • In Turning Red, when Mei's aunties are introduced there are shots of each of their talismans accompanied by audible gleams.
  • In Mega Mind, Metro Man's hair actually does this, with an accompanying lens flare effect.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The laser in Goldfinger. Interestingly enough, the Bond franchise uses the sound for every single ruby-red laser after Goldfinger!
  • Scott's son in The Santa Clause 2: The Mrs. Claus gets one on his Twinkle Smile near the end of the film.
  • The Great Conjunction in The Dark Crystal.
  • The head-peace of the Staff of Rah in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • The Ghost of Christmas Past casts a whining light during her initial appearance in The Muppet Christmas Carol.
  • TRON.
  • Twilight. The Movie features a delightfully sparkling Edward - now with super special sound effects!!!
  • Baron Munchausen gets quite a few of these in his more youthful times.
  • Rex O'Herlihan in Rustlers' Rhapsody.
  • The sunlight that kills Claudia and Madeleine in Interview with the Vampire.
  • Any time Olie the prison guard smiles at Karen in The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle.
  • The crystal Jor-El uses to sentence General Zod and Co. to the Phantom Zone in Superman: The Movie. Also, the one Clark discovers in the Kent farm.
  • The first time the silver lighter is shown in Sucker Punch, as the owner flicks it open, it causes a SHHIIIINNNNGGGG sound that echoes throughout the whole facility.
  • The soundtrack does this during Wadsworth's recapitulation of the evening's events in Clue, to imitate Yvette smiling. (Even though she never actually smiled.)
  • Janosz's Mag-Lite eyes in Ghostbusters II. Even then, the sound is unique—it sounds really freaky, and almost like an electric guitar in places.
  • Amer is almost all sound-effects and no dialogue. In the middle section a beam of light is aimed at the protagonist via a motorcycle's mirror. Of course this is represented by sustained ringing to have an aural counterpart with the visual.
  • In Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives, the heart-shaped locket given to Laura from Meg does this, complete with cartoonish special effects.

  • Referenced in a number of Discworld books, including Moving Pictures.
  • The 2013 audiobook version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory includes sound effects, and when Charlie discovers the last Golden Ticket, a dramatic shing sound follows the phrase "there came a brilliant flash of gold."

    Live-Action TV 
  • This was Lyle Waggoner's trademark, especially on The Carol Burnett Show and Wonder Woman.
  • Wonder Woman: Speaking of Wonder Woman, her transformation sequence added this effect due to being cheaper and easier to create than the previously used slow motion fade spin.
  • The sunstones in the Dinotopia films.
  • Played for a Running Gag on the Canadian sketch comedy series Royal Canadian Air Farce, referencing the very obviously bleached-white smile of then-Canadian Alliance party leader Stockwell Day. Every skit featuring Day would include at least one close-up shot of him showing off his Twinkle Smile, with the requisite "ting!" sound effect.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Max Capricorn's gold tooth does this in "Voyage of the Damned", prompting the Doctor to deliver the bemused line "It really does that?"
    • Played straight in the episode "The Time of Angels," in which the beams of the flashlights torches make noise as they're swept around.
  • On an episode of America's Funniest Home Videos hosted by Tom Beregron, Tom mentions how lucky the channel was to pick him as a host, and produces a Twinkle Smile
  • Mr. Bean has two occurrences. The first was the American Express Card in "The Return of Mr. Bean" and the second was the engagement ring in "Merry Christmas Mr. Bean".
  • During the first few seasons of the US version of MasterChef, pretty much any time the MasterChef Trophy is shown on-screen.

  • A recognizable (though, naturally, gleamless) Audible Gleam shows up puzzlingly in of Montreal's "Triphallus, to Punctuate!": "Now that I'm not a virgin to you, you'll never walk...(bling)...alone!"
  • Utilized in both the song and music video for Weird Al's Headline News.
  • In "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" by The Beatles, an Audible Gleam is heard when they mention the diamond ring Desmond buys for Molly.
  • In Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb", the sound of this plays right after Roger Waters sings "okay, it's just a little pinprick," representing light reflecting off a hypodermic needle.

    Video Games 
  • The statues on the Triangle islands in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. And many more things.
  • In Halo, everything the Forerunner ever built, and everything the Covenant ever modified from them.
  • World of Warcraft: Naaru. At first, it's beautiful. But if you sit long enough in Shattrath City, it starts occurring a lot more often.
    • Warcraft III: any shiny effect that looks like golden light (Heal, Holy Light, Resurrection, even, bizarrely so, lifesteal) is accompanied by this, as are the Pillar of Light effects upon leveling up or reviving a hero. The moon-based Starfall beam emits a lower-pitched whir.
  • In LEGO Batman, Catwoman convinces Penguin and Killer Croc to rescue her from jail by holding a diamond up and creating an Audible Gleam that they can hear over a walkie-talkie.
  • The first Discworld game includes a quest in which you must take the sword that goes "doink" and make it go "ting" by finding a dwarven Blacksmith and getting him to tune it.
  • One happens in Portal 2 when Chell shoots a portal at the moon.
  • In the Fire Emblem games, used along with a flash of light when attacking with most legendary weapons, such as the Falchion, the Twelve Crusaders' Holy Weapons, the Eight Generals' Divine Weapons, and the Sacred Twins.
  • Shiny Pokémon (Pokémon of a different color than usual) will appear accompanied by some shiny stars and the appropriate sound effects. Also, various moves, like Moonlight, will have shiny sound effects.
  • The opening sequence of the Genesis/Megadrive game "M.U.S.H.A." has one of this most intense (and awesome) audible gleams ever. Just listen to it!
  • Happens in Monster Hunter when you sharpen your weapon.
  • In Silent Hill 3, a deadly ringing red light chases Heather during the escape from the Haunted Mansion.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain features a blurred, "shiny" noise every time a spotlight lights the player up, reminding them to quickly seek cover to avoid being spotted.
  • Subnautica has this whenever the player picks up gold or uranium.
  • On Bingo Blitz's "Moonlight Woods" slot machine (which has a Red Riding Hood theme), if you get three or more of the wolf a howl occurs, followed by his smile going "ting".
  • Coins in ULTRAKILL make a sound when they sparkle. This is one of the timing windows when shooting them with a revolver causes coins to split.
  • In Emily Short's City of Secrets if you use the tooth polish in the hotel bathroom you get this message:
    You paint your front teeth meticulously with the polish. And now your canines literally twinkle when you smile. Ting! Just like in the ads.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Mighty Hercules particularly with his ring.
  • Richie Rich, animated version
  • A diamond in a treasure room tempts Plastic Man in an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold by catching the light just so and gleaming audibly so he loses his resistance.
  • Parodied in Futurama (in Bender's Game), when the Die of Power is cast, a chorus sings the number rolled.
  • Parodied in SpongeBob SquarePants when Plankton says "Shing! Sparkle, sparkle," as he unsheathes and holds up the (fake) golden spatula he's trying to tempt SpongeBob with.
    • Hilariously, the visual effects are perfectly synchronized to Plankton's words...despite the fact that he's looking at SpongeBob at the time and can't possibly have seen them.
  • Dexter's Laboratory has used the same sound effect for this (the sun's gleam off of Dexter's exo-suit seen here in Dexter Dodgeball) and for Audible Sharpness (the same gleam, off the Dexter Family Mecha's twin swords right around the 20:00 mark in Last But Not Beast). Of course, either example comes with copious Lens Flare.
  • Early episodes of the original Transformers series had this during the "scene-change" sequences; the gleam was eventually dropped. Furthermore, it's actually the same one heard in many of Filmation's works (see example below).
  • This was a recurring sound effect in many of Filmation's productions. In fact, it's even featured in the first version of the company's Westinghouse-era (post-1983) logo.
  • The Huntsman's shiny teeth make this noise during his Bragging Theme Tune.
  • In the The Legend of Korra episode "Welcome to Republic City" a park-dwelling Hobo boasts of the attractiveness of his resident bush, which then Bishie Sparkles with accompanying twinkle noise.
  • Any time something "cool" shows up in Megas XLR, there will always be three shots of different parts of it, each accompanied by a metallic ping noise. Bonus points for the fact that there's a Dark Reprise of the sound effect, for when the "cool" thing is... not so cool.
  • Kaeloo: In "Let's Play Air Pockets", Mr. Cat smiles and his mouth shows a twinkle, complete with an audible gleam.

    Real Life 
  • This trope led to a notable and wide-spread bit of slang. "Bling" describes anything shiny, via a verbal approximation of the sound shiny things notionally make.
  • The Japanese language has its own onomatopoeia for this trope: pikapika. Fans of Pokémon will recognize it as one of the namesakes for its mascot, Pikachu (the other namesake is the onomatopoeia for a rodent squeaking).
  • Considering it's just a highly focused beam of light, the noise an industrial laser makes might qualify.
  • Fluorescent lights.
  • CRT screens (the old, big TVs) whine when they show anything very bright. You normally can't hear it over the sound of whatever you're watching, though.
  • This effect concluded the animation for an early Telepictures title sequence.
  • Electrophonic sound could potentially cause this.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Whining Light, Audible Bling


Jupiter's Talent

Makoto angers her friends by bragging her bigger chest makes her the most qualified to play the lead role in a play.

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