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Audible Sharpness

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Magneto was totally betting on "SHWING".

"Claws make no noise as they slide out, but they ought to. They ought to make a noise like 'tzing'."

When weapons with sharp and cutting edges are brandished, a vaguely metallic sound effect will be inserted (along with a bit of Lens Flare) to signify just how lethally sharp the weapon is.

The tone of the sharpness, as with musical instruments, is dependent on size.

A katana makes a tiny, high-pitched sound; the stabbing metal arms of a Humongous Mecha are much deeper, but fundamentally the same sound. The sound can either be a strike-like ping or a longer vibration sound, usually depending on how the light strikes.

Common in animated works, sometimes as a trope, and sometimes as a humorous subversion. Sometimes even non-metal objects make a metallic scraping sound, like a predator's row upon row of pointed teeth.

Keep in mind, the creators know that sharp things generally don't make noise — although some sword scabbards with a metal throat do actually 'schwing' on being drawn. They do it because 1. It sounds cool and 2. The audience expects it. This is also partially because in old timey radio shows, they would use this noise to demonstrate that someone was drawing a knife because of Rule of Perception, so it's sometimes justified.

Used by the same kind of series that would use Sword Sparks, a subset of The Coconut Effect. For objects that aren't sharp but still cast an ambient hum along with their glow, see Audible Gleam. See also this trope's Gun Counterpart, Noisy Guns.

A good example of Editorial Synaesthesia. Compare Sinister Scraping Sound.


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  • A Zoosk dating site advert in the UK had audible sharpness with a loaf of French bread. Yes, it was as stupid as it sounds.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Bakugan also displays this during its second season, despite the show mostly being about giant monsters fighting each other. In episode 26 of New Vestroia, Dan and Spectra activate energy swords in their gauntlets while Helios and Drago slug it out old-school. The blades, despite being made of energy, make a clearly audible shing sound when swung.
  • Averted in Berserk (2016) with the Dragon Slayer. The resulting CLANG has been mocked incessantly by the fandom, but actually makes a lot of sense since the Dragon Slayer is repeatedly described as being very much not sharp, with any cutting power it has being derived from its wielder's inhuman strength. That and it's enoumous SIZE!!
  • Saya's sword in Blood+ becomes audible when she loads it with her blood
  • Fate/stay night's 2006 anime gratuitously abused this, especially with Saber & Archer's swords, where simply gripping them caused a metallic "tink" or "shing" sound. Fate/Zero was a little better about this. A little. The 2014 adaptation downplays the trope further: the sound effects are still there, but they're quieter than most examples.
  • In the Final Fantasy VII movie Advent Children Complete, Sephiroth's sword practically sings. It's just there, not doing anything, he's not even swinging it and you can still hear how sharp it is.
  • the Garden of sinners:
    • Shiki's knives have a tendency to clack when moved, despite the fact that they don't seem to have any moving parts (they're knives, after all).
    • Done to excess in the animated film adaptation: in the first movie, the protagonist slowly and dramatically drawing her knife sounds more like an iron bar sliding out of a metal case (i.e., a sound effect generally reserved for broadswords). Just the mere act of sunlight reflecting off its tip seems to cause a loud "ting!". It's just that sharp.
  • When Van draws his sword off of his waist in GUN×SWORD, it makes a whip-snap noise and then the "Ting!" sound. This sound effect also occurs at the very start of the opening theme.
    • this could be explained by the sword going from its flexible 'belt' mode to its rigid sword mode.
  • In the Hellsing OVAs, Alexander Anderson's blessed bayonets do this, particularly during his first fight with Alucard. Of course, OVAs being OVAs, a lot of stylistic effects were added just for Rule of Cool.
  • Whenever Inuyasha draws the Tetsusaiga it makes a scraping, crashing sound ending in a loud TSCHING! Then again, it does control wind, so maybe it provides the sound effects itself…?
  • Whenever Kunai or Shuriken are pulled out of arsenal or clash together in Naruto, they seem to make a "vsst!" or a "Shink!" sound.
    • As seen in Shippuden episode 202, Juugo actually has an audibly sharp arm. Yes, it's his real arm; no, it's not metal. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • When One Piece's Sogeking is forced to stand in for Zoro's sword despite his reluctance he seems to take his role at least seriously enough to provide appropriate sound effects.
    Sogeking: Shakeen!
  • In Pokémon: The Series, this effect is used when Meowth unsheathes his claws. Also, him unsheathing his claws often means that Team Rocket are within three minutes of blasting off...painfully.
  • While it's true that drawing a katana from a sheath does make a noise, in Rurouni Kenshin the mere act of notching the sword (pushing the hilt forward slightly to loosen it in its scabbard) makes an audible click. Similarly Saito's sword makes a loud click whenever he turns it for his trademark stance.
    • And true to form, one of its ED themes ("Heart of Sword ~Yoakemae" by T.M.Revolution) features the audible sharpness sound effect prominently.
  • Kyuzo's first appearance in Samurai 7 fills this trope perfectly.
  • In Sgt. Frog, Momoka's Fawcett curls actually do this when she slips into full psycho mode.
  • The swords in Slayers tend to be audible too, particularly the ones belonging to main character Gourry and secondary-character-but-ace-swordsman Zangalus.
  • This happens a lot in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. A lot. And not just with swords. It can happen with guns, mecha, sunglasses, even eyeballs.
  • Transformers: Cybertron does this all over the place, both with BFS's and BFG's, at the end of about... oh, half the Cyber Key Power stock footage sequences.
  • Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever (better known as "the one Lyrical Nanoha spun off from") used this with Kyouya's and Miyuki's swords.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men character Wolverine's claws make a "SNIKT" sound when extended that has become almost iconic at this point. This is because it's the sound of them sliding between his metal bones and through his skin. When Wolverine had the adamantium removed from his body, the remaining bone claws make a distinctively different "SHLIKT" sound.
  • In Fables, when Boy Blue gets the Vorpal Sword (as a reference to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), whenever he swings it the drawn in sound effect for it is "Snicker-Snack".

    Fan Works 
  • Justified in Chapter 31 of Pokémon Reset Bloodlines. A boy named Midori and his four female friends are taking shelter inside a store due to an angry mob of shoppers who try to take away the last pair of shoes he got for his friends. As a reward, the four girls decide to give him an impromptu fashion show. Midori briefly considers going back out... until he hears a pair of katanas being unsheathed and sword clashing noises.
  • The (in)famous sound of Wolverine's claws is alluded to in Child of the Storm, giving the Winter Soldier an Oh, Crap! moment in chapter 71 when he hears it behind him.

    Film — Animated 
  • In Back to the Outback, Maddie’s fangs make a distinct shing sound when she brings them out. When Pretty Boy bares his teeth, there’s a boing sound instead.
  • In Frozen (2013), when Prince Hans unsheathes his sword to execute Elsa, the sharpness is loud enough that it catches Anna's attention, causing her to rush to save her sister. Confusingly, only Anna seems to notice even though Elsa is closer; however, given her Heroic BSoD at the moment, she may have simply accepted her fate.
  • In the teaser for Frozen II, Anna notices something sneaking up on the group from behind. She yanks Kristoff's sword out of its sheath and charges. It happens so fast that you might as well have only realized what happened by hearing the metallic sound that comes when the sword gets unsheathed and swung.
  • The Sword Unbreakable from Kubo and the Two Strings produces "swoosh" sounds whenever the title character wields it.
  • In Kung Fu Panda, the Sword of Heroes, so sharp that you can cut yourself by looking at it, did this when Po looked at it and cut his finger. Tigress and Tai Lung also do this whenever they unsheathe their claws.
  • In Kung Fu Panda 2, this applies to all of Lord Shen's bladed weapons.
  • Occurs in Mulan during the "Mulan's Decision" sequence just after she cuts her hair and suits-up in her father's war armor.
  • Occurs in Tangled when Mother Gothel removes the dagger from the nightstand to go search for Flynn Ryder, who she thinks has kidnapped Rapunzel.
  • Up: Muntz's sword during his and Carl's fight on the Spirit of Adventure.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Alita: Battle Angel: Makaku's (and later Grewishka's) Grind Cutters, multiple lengths of chain built into their robotic arm with a claw-like ending, make a very distinctive high sound when used to stress how sharp they are.
  • In Aquaman (2018), Black Manta has one justified use of this trope in the sword he hides in his gauntlet since said gauntlet is made of metal and plastic instead of the usual soft materials. He also plays this straight with his grandfather's knife, unsheathing and resheathing it audibly when its scabbard is made of black leather.
  • Every single weapon in the Blade Trilogy, including fists and feet, makes a noise.
  • The red band trailer for the Arnold Schwarzenegger film The Last Stand has audibly sharp handcuffs of all things.
  • An attacker's knife makes a few inexplicable "tzink" noises as his swipes miss or are blocked (without the blade apparently hitting anything) in The Bourne Identity.
  • Casino Royale (2006) features a machete which is almost singing as its wielder tries to take Bond's head off with it.
  • In Child's Play (1988), this sound is used when Chucky picks up a hammer of all things.
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Rather than the traditional "shing" sound common to movie swords, the Green Destiny instead rings like a bell whenever it is unsheathed, is struck by a finger thump or another weapon, and especially whenever it cuts the tip off of an inferior sword.
  • The first death in Cube shows a man landing in a room, only for a loud shinnng noise to echo through it. The man freezes in place, then begins to bleed from a number of thin cuts. Then pieces of him fall to the ground, until he finally fully collapses into meat cubes. A grid of razor wire then descends and folds up, answering the question of what made that noise.
  • Every single one of the Joker's knives in The Dark Knight making a shikt sound whenever one was drawn. One even made the sound when the Joker tossed it from one hand to the other.
  • Dracula Untold has the loudest swords of 2014.
  • Gladiator
  • In the Godfrey Ho Ninja Movies, the swords make loud "CLANG!" sounds during the fights. And even when only swung, the movements are accompanied by a "WOOSH!"
  • Every time Michael Myer's knife appears onscreen in Halloween: Resurrection it is accompanied by a sching sound effect, no matter how little he is actually doing with it.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, when Neville looks into the Sorting Hat, we hear a distinct "tzing". It's a sound cue to tell the audience what Neville has seen in the hat.
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army. The Big Bad's sword does this all the time. Of course, it is very explicit that the sword is deeply magical.
  • The French horror movie High Tension features a knife that happily tzinks without any corresponding action to which the sound can be attributed — it's sharp, so it makes a noise.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Ford's towel produces this when pulled out in the scene where they meet Marvin for the first time.
  • North Korean (yep!) kung fu movie Hong Kil Dong not only has the Audible Sharpness when blades are pulled from non-metallic scabbards, but a loud "clang" noise whenever swords strike each other—or whenever a sword strikes a wooden staff.
  • The killer manages to do this with a hook in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. Made somewhat worse by the fact that said hook is of such a shape that it probably wouldn't fit in a scabbard, and at one point the SHING seems to happen just because he takes it out from under his coat.
  • Kill Bill, with its absolute worship of the samurai sword, is a heavy user of this. The blades of the swords, especially the protagonist's extra-special sword, seem to practically sing whenever they so much as appear in frame, even when they aren't moving.
  • Gazelle's legs in Kingsman: The Secret Service, almost every time she moves in combat.
  • In the 2010 film Legion, when Michael produces a needle to perform stitches on himself, and the camera lingers on it, it practically sings.
  • Inverted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as Mjölnir has an Audible Dullness. It's most notable in Avengers: Age of Ultron, in which it hums as Thor flips it in the air like a spatula after a contest between the Avengers. Played straight whenever somebody draws a bladed weapon (like Heimdall's sword or any of Loki or Hela's assorted knives), with Thor's axe Stormbreaker, and whenever one swings around something made of Vibranium, such as Captain America's shield.
  • The Matrix Reloaded exaggerates this in the fight scene in the Merovingian's chateau. Any time anyone so much as nudges a bladed weapon, you can hear it. Later, Morpheus' katana in the freeway chase also sounds like the air around it is made of metal.
  • The big ol' knife in Misery is audibly sharp. Okay — but it's being drawn from a cloth sling.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005):. Used to add tension when the protagonists come home after discovering their other half is a rival assassin, and they have to cut up the dinner while keeping a wary eye on each other. Thus the sound is heard every time someone picks up a knife.
  • In the Clive Barker film Nightbreed, the psychotic Doctor Decker's blade makes a particularly cool and sinister scrape as he draws it on one unsuspecting victim, and the blade gets a close-up as it does so.
  • Pacific Rim does this with the collapsible sword Gipsy Danger wields, with almost one "Shing" per segment. The sound comes on even during the climactic underwater battle.
  • Any time a sword is pulled out of a leather scabbard in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies, with a metal-on-metal sound effect. Lampshaded in the DVD audio commentaries: they originally wanted to do it realistically, but test audiences reacted badly.
  • The 2003 version of Peter Pan has the "shing" sound even though the weapons are just being picked up from where they're hanging on the wall.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, when Will says his father was not a pirate, then draws his sword on Jack, his sword makes the metallic scraping sound. Problem is, the sword was simply tucked into his belt, without any kind of sheath. But it does sound awesome.
  • Averted in Predator, in a scene in the first act, as the protagonists are sneaking around the base of some bad guys, one of Heros draws his knife to stabby stab a bad guy. The act of drawing the knife makes no noise and the Mook is unaware of what is about to happen.
  • In the 1984 Icelandic movie When the Raven Flies, the protagonist kills a whole lot of people using his extremely audibly sharp throwing knives. They are in fact so sharp that they even produce the distinctive "sssschhiiing" when being pulled from the flesh of a dead body!
  • This is a stock Swashbuckler trope, so movie versions of Robin Hood and The Three Musketeers tend to display it.
  • The old Chinese movie Seven Swords has swords that ring all the time, apparently to prove they're good.
  • In Showdown in Little Tokyo, the Yakuza boss Yoshida is groping a drug-addicted girl as punishment for her betraying him. He extends an arm for his assistant to hand him a katana blade. The blade makes an audible sound as the sheath is removed.
  • In Silent Hill when Rose and Cybill are trapped in a small confined room, Pyramid Head lunges his massive sword into the room with one thrust, slicing the metal door like tin foil. The sword makes a nerve-wrecking metallic hum as he swings blindly at the two women. Skip to 2:22
  • In Sin City, when Marv's checking his list of tools, every object he lists makes a sound. His hatchet is accompanied by the typical metal-on-metal sound.
  • In Spider-Man 2, the sound effect can be heard when Harry Osborn picks up a sheathed dagger from a stand. It's not being unsheathed, just lifted from balancing on a stand on a desk. The sound effect is heard again 15 seconds later when he actually does unsheathe it.
  • Spider-Man 3 carries this on with New Goblin's wrist blades when he attacks Peter, even when he's not even swinging them around. However, this could be justified as Peter's spider-sense shouting DANGER, DANGER rather than the blades themselves actually making noise.
  • In Star Trek (2009), there's not one, but three "shing"s when Sulu unsheathes his collapsible katana.
    • This may be justified (at least in part) by the fact that each individual section is unfolding and locking into place.
  • In Steps Trodden Black, the monster's claws make a metallic scraping noise whenever they're onscreen.
  • In Tokyo Gore Police, whenever Ruka unsheathes her katana.
  • The discs in TRON: Legacy might be an example of this trope as they make a distinctive buzzing sound whenever they're shown up close.
  • Troy:
    • When Achilles challenges Hector, we hear a 'Shing' noise as the camera moves past a stationary sword.
    • Menelaus' sword also whistles as he...moves it slowly and deliberately through the air.
    • Interestingly enough, the Sword of Troy doesn't do this when Paris draws it from his scabbard, though this is probably used to highlight how much of a wimp he is.
  • The swords used in Underworld: Awakening are like this.
  • Underworld (2003) does this when Selene just notices a sword lying on the ground at one point.
  • In the movie Van Helsing, with the titular character played by Hugh Jackman who of course also played Wolverine in the movies, after Van Helsing is transformed into a werewolf, he extends his claws with exactly the same sound.
  • V for Vendetta':
    • V's knives, as well as providing visible sharpness in one late action scene: V's blades end up creating their own contrails.
    • In the same scene, the blades make an extended and loud metallic noise as he draws them from his sheath...and the noise then continues as he throws the blades through the air. What are they scraping on? Oxygen?
  • In The Wolverine, aside from Wolverine's claws, the ringing noise when young Yashida presents the samurai sword to him in the well goes on for several seconds.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): Both straight and played with.
    • The knives, swords, and arrows of the Amazons make noise during the battle on the beach.
    • The Godkiller makes the *tzing* sound whenever it's drawn.
    • There a very faint and high-pitched *shing* when Diana pulls out the pin from her hair right before walking into No Man's Land.
  • Used throughout Walden Media's The Chronicles of Narnia film series. One notable example being in the climax of Prince Caspian where even Lucy Pevensie's child-sized dagger gets an appropriately-small draw sound

  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels reference this a few times, featuring a joke that if light could make a noise, it would go "ting" when reflected off the blade of a sword flourished at dramatically appropriate times. Death's supernaturally sharp scythe is sometimes described as making a noise like "ripping velvet", and in one scene in Reaper Man can be used to cut soundwaves. The scythe also has visible sharpness; the edge glows a faint blue, sometimes said to be from atoms splitting against it.
    • The Scythe actually goes so far as to cu/t u/p wo/rd/s in the text while it's being used.
    • The joke is further expanded to include sparkling smiles. Vimes thinks balefully about heroes: "And then they smile, and the light catches their teeth, Ting! Bastards." This was probably inspired by toothpaste commercials.
  • Lewis Carroll's famous Jabberwock story mentions the protagonist's vorpal blade going "snicker-snack", which is a remarkably accurate representation of the standard sound for a work that predates radio.
  • Comes up pretty often in The Lord of the Rings. For example, when Dernhelm confronted the Witch King, "A sword rang as it was drawn."
  • A Song of Ice and Fire
    • There's a line where Jory Cassel's sword comes "singing" from its scabbard, suggesting this trope.
    • Brienne of Tarth draws a Valyrian steel sword and thinks it even sounds sharper than an ordinary blade.
  • The Sword of Truth is described as making a very distinctive, unique noise like this when drawn. Of course, it is a magic sword.
  • In one of the graphic novels of the Warrior Cats series, Graystripe unsheathes his claws with a "snikt" sound effect.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Done in The Aquabats! Super Show! whenever EagleClaw brandishes his claws and guitar.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: When Buffy swings the Scythe, you can hear it sing. Worth noting, the Scythe is a Legendary Weapon in-universe which Buffy only finds in the latter half of the last season of the show.
  • Lampshaded in Daredevil (2015) when Matt is attacked by a gang of very silent ninjas. Being blind, he can't see or hear them, but he can hear their swords.
  • Done in the Dexter episode "Hungry Man" when Dexter picks up a knife from a clear wooden tabletop.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "The Girl Who Waited", Amy's sword makes an absurd amount of "sharp" noises, very loudly, at seemingly random intervals.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Done interestingly. During Arya's first swordfighting lesson, Ned starts imagining his daughter in actual combat, and the sounds of the wooden practice swords are gradually replaced by battle sounds, with Audible Sharpness in full effect.
    • Near the start of the first episode, a couple of spears make little metallic scraping noises simply from being pointed at someone.
  • This is brutal in Highlander, where the Sword Sparks fly and the sound they make is jarring, to say the least.
  • Done in How I Met Your Mother when Ted picks up one of the swords while arguing with Marshall over who gets the apartment, and again, though quieter, when Marshall picks up the other sword. Rather jarring, since the swords were just lying on the floor, not in a sheath or anything that could produce the sound.
  • Merlin (2008)
    • Happens frequently in whenever anyone draws a sword. Considering Merlin's eyes have their own sound effect (It Makes Sense in Context), it could be worse.
    • In one episode, there was a familiar sound effect when Arthur drew a horn from his belt.
  • Done in The Musketeers whenever swords are drawn, as expected of the genre.
  • Power Rangers, the king of Sword Sparks, adopted this.
  • Star Trek: Picard: You'll always know when Elnor is brandishing his tan qalanq because of the high-pitched, katana-like "shwing" sound effect. It also serves as a reminder of how ludicrously sharp his sword is. His scabbard is wooden, so it shouldn't generate that metallic noise when he unsheathes and sheathes his blade, but we hear it anyway.
  • In the Supernatural episode "Phantom Traveler," a metallic sound is heard when Dean removes his knife from under his (presumably soft and cushy) pillow. It is seen again in the episode "Folsom Prison Blues" (S02, Ep19) when Dean removes a knife from its sheath in the museum.
  • In Titans (2018), not only is sharpness always audible, in the episode "Lady Vic" Dick actually identifies a particular sword from an audio recording by comparing it with the sound of Gar swinging similar blades!
  • An occasional sound effect in Top Gear (UK) while doing very short establishing shots of a car.
  • Used in The Witcher (2019). Whenever a character swings a sword or metal slashing weapon around (or even a knife in Renfry's case), you can expect the weapon in question to hum and thrum in motion.
  • Wonder Woman (1975): Wonder Woman's tiara makes a strange sound when she uses it as a boomerang. Her lasso of truth makes a "snap" sound when she lassoes someone, and there is always a thunder when Diana Prince spins to change clothes into Wonder Woman.

  • Used prominently in the "Attack Music" video by These New Puritans.
  • Used fairly inexplicably in "Simply Irresistible" by Robert Palmer, at the beginning of each chorus.
  • In Walking with Beasts, the audible sharpness noise is used in the Sabertooth soundtrack.

  • When Jamil was introduced for Can You Brew It on The Brewing Network, a sword 'shing' was played

    Video Games 
  • Strider: Hiryu's plasma-firing tonfa (often incorrectly depicted as a sword) has a noticeable and distinctive ringing sound when swung. This effect has persisted in every game he has been featured in.
  • The theme song for Samurai Goroh in F-Zero GX incorporates this sound.
  • Ace Attorney likes to do this metaphorically from time to time, especially before cross-examinations, with the two lawyers' eyes lowered at one another, Speed Stripes in the background, as Audible Sharpness indicates the "battle of wits".
    • Played straight in Apollo Justice, when Wocky Kitaki's mother pulls a sword out of her broom.
  • In Alice: Madness Returns, the Vorpal Blade is less "Snicker-Snack" and more like *SHWING!*
  • The hidden blade in Assassin's Creed makes a loud noise when it's drawn, and a SHING! sound effect when you stab someone with it. All the other weapons also make a sound when drawn.
    • The former sound is justified, since the blade is attached on a rather complex mechanical device that springs it out; it's remarkable that it doesn't make more sound, actually.
    • Though it's most likely a developer oversight, equipping a blunt weapon, such as a metal hammer, will still make the same SHING noise that a swords makes when being unsheathed.
  • Tol-Ren's sword in Atlas Reactor makes sharpness noises for all his attacks.
  • Baldur's Gate: Sarevok is so badass he gets this for his finger. Well, it is kind of sharp...
  • The various weapon powersets in City of Heroes almost always make a sound when drawn (from nowhere). With the weapon customization system implemented, audible sharpness even applies to femurs and baseball bats, if you want it to.
  • Most, if not all sword-carrying units in Civilization IV do an Audible Sharpness sound when ordered to fortify. Particularly odd as the weapons are always out in the open.
  • Used to great effect in the Clock Tower series. The scissorman carries a huge pair of scissors and opens and closes them with every step, producing a sharp sound of the metal rubbing together. (This is possible in real life if the blades are screwed together tightly.) The result greatly heightens the tension as the sound draws closer and closer to you.
  • Counter-Strike has a knife in all iterations of the game. It's drawn rather unrealistically every time, unsheathing it with the blade facing the player, before spinning it around in one hand to brandish it in a defensive stance. Every time the knife is drawn, the SHING sound is made. Every time the knife strikes on a wall, floor, or hard object, it makes a very loud scraping sound that can be heard from halfway across a mid-sized map. Several add-ons for Counter-Strike: Source give different effects to the standard melee Knife weapon. One add-on replaces the knife with an eastern katana, complete with a "stereotypically Eastern" fanfare when drawn.
  • Devil May Cry: Dante and Vergil are particularly fond of this trope, the slightest movements of Rebellion and Yamato before the twins fight producing this high-pitched sound for dramatic effect. Hell, Rebellion doesn't even have a sheath.
  • As in the books, the first Discworld game has you seeking a sword that goes "TING" in order to be a Hero. You first find a sword that goes "Plonk", and need to get it retuned.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Any bladed weapon in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind does this.
    • Any blunt weapon in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion will result in Audible Bluntness; the huge hammers making a low, slow and heavy tone, rather than the sharp sheer tone of blades. Bows make the best noise, of knocking an arrow into place.
    • Also in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim; however this inadvertently creates a mind-screw moment when sneaking. Despite the AI being intelligent enough to detect the PC colliding with objects (some "traps" actually rely on this), the AI does not "hear" the PC unsheathing a weapon while sneaking; only the player does.
  • Auron's introductory FMV in Final Fantasy X featured one of these, though rather subdued amidst the music, snarling monsters, and screaming innocent bystanders in the distance. What made this especially odd is that he wasn't doing anything with his sword at the time...and in fact, it's resting on his shoulder through the entire scene, as he faces a fiend, unlimbers his Arm of Death, and assumes a fighting stance.
  • Final Fantasy XVI has a tendency to do this a lot. Clive often initiates plot-important battles by pointing his sword, flourishing, or otherwise just dramatically swinging it to get into his battle stance, almost always accompanied by a high pitched ringing sound to embody this trope.
  • In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, Eliwood's critical hit animation starts with him saluting with his sword, which gleams visibly and then goes ting! once the light reaches the point.
  • Gothic: Clearly audible NPC's weapon withdrawal even from the distance.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Actually a plot point in the LucasArts game Loom. Your character is a magician who uses musical spells; one of the ones you have to learn is the sound of sharpness, made by a huge, sharp blade, which you later play backwards to blunt a sword (granted, lots of other objects play such tunes when you observe them).
  • Knives and swords in Lugaru make a specific sound when being equipped and un-equipped even though Turner just wears them on his belt without a real sheath. (The sound could be the blade against whatever holds them onto his belt.)
  • Lunch Lady: You're alerted to when the Lunch Lady's about to throw a cleaver at you by a "shing" noise.
  • Justified in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance with Raiden's High-Frequency Blade. The blade carries a high current to keep it resonating at an extremely high frequency to weaken the molecular bonds of what it cuts, so the blades make loud noises when sheathed and even hum ominously when held still.
  • Funnily enough, bladed weapons in Mitadake High don't make any noise at all when being picked up or equipped. The only noise any weapon makes is when it hits something, and the sound for a bladed weapon sounds distinctively fleshy, since the only time you swing your blade is when you're stabbing someone — not a metallic sound.
  • In Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae, Misa's katana makes a faint *SHZING!* sound with each swing, and a louder, higher pitched version of the sound when she performs Iai Strikes.
  • In Modern Warfare (Modern Warfare 2) Soap does this with a blade Shepard just stabbed him with right before he throws it in his eye to kill him to save Price from being beaten to death.
  • In the Monster Hunter series, a lot of sword and shields will be audibly sharp, making metallic noises mostly during unsheathing and sheathing and jump attacks. Special mentions go to the Chak Chak and the Eternal Strife for making audible 'sharpness noises' well after you've unsheathed it.
  • Pokémon:
    • The cry of the Pokémon Gallade sounds like blades sharpening. Taken further with his Mega Evolved cry.
    • Pawniard and Bisharp also has this sound effect, with the sound effect being more noticeable as of the X and Y games.
  • This is the Honedge line's cry in Pokémon X and Y.
  • Done fairly loudly to emphasize the Darker and Edgier-ness of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within—but there's that one level where he's wielding a stick...that's gotta be one sharp stick.
  • Tails from Sonic the Hedgehog can use his tails as makeshift helicopter rotors and fly. Sonic 3 & Knuckles is both the first time you can hear him do so and the first time he can use this to attack opponents.
  • In the Cell Stage of Spore, any time one cell's spike injures another cell, there is a SHING! noise.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • In Super Smash Bros. Melee, one of Marth's victory poses has his sword give off distinct clashing noises while he flourishes it. Later games get rid of this particular sound.
    • In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, a few characters have their swords shine. The example above justifies it for Link, at least.
  • Mr. Grimm in Twisted Metal: Black does this when you select his special.
  • In the intro to Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, the human soldiers are seen picking up spears and swords hanging on the wall. All of them are loudly audibly sharp.

  • Inverted in Bad Machinery, as Claire's knife makes a Blunt noise when she brandishes it.
  • An unusual variant in Gunnerkrigg Court, as the edge of the Coyote Tooth laughs.
  • Homestuck's Flash animations usually lack sound effects, instead timing the action to the music. However, the [S] Prince of Heart: Rise Up update uses a previously released song with an Audible Sharpness audio sample. The animation ties the sound effect to the titular prince sticking a decapitated head on a makeshift pike.

    Web Original 

     Western Animation 
  • In Adventure Time episode Blade of Grass Finn gets the eponymous grass sword with a sharpness emphasized in every swing by a distinct, dopplered bell-like ringing sound.
  • Waterbenders in Avatar: The Last Airbender can use water like blades if they swing it fast enough, and the water then makes noises like this. Other sharp weapons in the show also do this.
    • Especially Space Sword.
  • In the Ed Eddn Eddy episode "I Am Curious Ed", Edd is dressed as a giant bee, stinger and all. The stinger makes a "ting* noise right before he decides to stab Eddy in the butt with it.
  • In The Movie of Kim Possible a group of Ninja have flaming swords which make noise when used.
  • Occurs in the second episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, with Rarity brandishing a dragon scale that makes a 'ting' to show that it is sharp enough to cut off her tail.
    • Also occurs in "A Bird In The Hoof", with Celestia's guards' wings.
    • An interesting example happens in "Return of the Elements of Harmony part 2," Discord drinks the glass of chocolate milk. Not the milk, he drank the GLASS. The sound of it going down his throat sounded very glassy... Of course Discord threw the milk away, which then exploded, so most of what he does intentionally doesn't make sense.
    • From The Stare Master: Fluttershy has returned Opal to Rarity's. Sweetie Belle wants to see if she can be good with animals. With a metallic shing! Opal slices part of the filly's mane off.
  • Appeared and played with in an episode of Spongebob Squarepants, where Plankton "unsheathes" a golden spatula. While the spatula does make a slight sound, Plankton lampshades it with his own louder "shiiiing".
  • In Thunder Cats 2011, the Sword of Omens has a very particular noise, as does the Sword of Hattanzo, (based on a zil-bel) as detailed on this Website.
  • Timon & Pumbaa: Ed's teeth do this in a Laughing Hyenas short when he grins. Granted, Ed makes a lot of strange noises....
  • In the Ellipse-Nelvana Animated Adaptation of Tintin: The Blue Lotus, when Mr Wang's son is first met after being turned insane, a large sword is seen on a sword next to him. A highlight then runs along its edge, complete with sound.
  • Wild Kratts does this when either of the main characters is a particularly sharp animal at the moment.note 
  • Obvious example in the 1990s X-Men: The Animated Series, where Wolverine's claws have a very distinctive sound...not so much a "snikt" as it is a "PSHHTT".

    Real Life 
  • A blade will make a ringing sound for a few seconds if drawn against metal; this is where the term "singing sword" comes from. If this happens when it's pulled from a sheath, it's because it's scraping against the metal scabbard collar. Stage scabbards are sometimes designed specifically to produce this effect. Such scabbards have indeed also been used in real life, particularly in the 19th centurynote , and these latter-day examples may have inspired the trope in theatre and film. Ancient, medieval and early modern scabbards generally consisted of some combination of leather and wood, however, and therefore wouldn't have made much of a dramatic sound, as explained by hobbyist Lindybeige and (in somewhat more accurate detail) by HEMA instructor Matt Easton. Easton later demonstrated that some 19th-century brass-throated scabbards can in fact create the schwing.
  • Some knife blocks have metal in the slots to sharpen the blade or magnetically lock it. As such, they will produce this effect.
  • Hollow-ground straight-razors will produce this sound (faintly) if lifted off the strop just right. They will also produce a satisfying "ting" noise during the Hanging Hair Test if properly sharpened.
  • You will inevitably hear this sound if you're figure skating. The time that the sound is best heard is when your skates are newly sharpened and you're doing either a scratch spin or a back scratch spin. It's sort of a pleasant Audible Sharpness, actually.
  • If the blade has a profound fuller, it will make a humming sound when swung. This is used in iaido to recognize if a blow was technically good.
  • This works visibly, too. A knife juggler on the stage will use very shiny knives or weapons when juggling on stage but the blades, in reality are dulled as much as possible — because the audience will assume shiny means sharp, the same way Audible Sharpness means sharp. So the audience will be amazed by the shiny "sharp" knives being juggled, and the performer has less of an chance of a career-ending injury.
  • Fiskars has trained people on their assembly lines to listen to each pair of scissors to check to see if they're properly sharp. The exact sound tells them if they need more sharpening or not.



Video Example(s):


Cheese, zombie-slayer

Cheese's bloody battle against zombies cuts back to reveal he's playing a VR game.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / CuttingBackToReality

Media sources: