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Chirping Crickets

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Given that it's indoors, that is some VERY determined tumbleweed.

"When I get my hands on that cricket, it's snack time!"
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice (Beetlejuice!)

A character says or does something intended to elicit an enthusiastic response from a group watching him, such as the audience in a theatre or a band of comrades. But instead of the reaction he expects, he hears nothing but the sound of crickets chirping, suggesting that nobody is responding, and they may, in fact, be stunned into silence, completely baffled, or missing altogether. A Flat "What" may follow.

Occasionally visually accompanied by tumbleweed blowing past, in which case the crickets can sometimes be replaced by blowing wind, or a wolf howling in the distance, with perhaps a distant bonging church bell. Sometimes the sequence includes microphone feedback. Sometimes a single person will cough. Basically, it's what happens when the script calls for silence but needs an audio cue to indicate the silence.

Alternatively, someone might throw a tomato at him. Or an awkward Rimshot may play.

In anime, this trope may be represented not by insects but by birds flying by (such as the Idiot Crows). Of course, birds can also have other symbolic meanings so don't be too quick to apply this to every appearance. More often than not, it's coupled with a Sweat Drop.

Compare Loudspeaker Truck.


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  • An Arby's commercial did this.
  • Recently a Goldfish Crackers commercial did this when none of the crackers opposed the notion of a talent show. Turns out it was one of the goldfish doing a cricket impression.
  • A commercial for State Farm Insurance has a man singing "I have Blah Blah Insurance, so person come help," and then after a bit of silence a chicken hawk screeches overhead and his grandmother appears in front of a booth in the middle of the desert and says that there are six callers ahead.

  • Mechamato:
    • In episode 4, Mr. Jamie's class thinks their teacher is approaching, so they stand at attention and say good morning to "Mr. Jamie" together. The person walking in turns out to be Amato instead, resulting in an awkward silence where they all stare at each other, crickets chirping.
    • When Amato accidentally mechanizes into Mechabelly, Ninjamera is dumbfounded enough to stop attacking momentarily, crickets chirping in the lull.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Sanji's reaction to Bon Clay's Clone-Clone Montage in One Piece #34. Yet he is completely unfazed about fighting a drag queen.
  • An example of the flying birds variation can be seen in Sailor Moon episode 54 (Japanese numbering) when Rei tells Usagi and Ami that she's written all the music for the festival herself.
  • Happens a few times in the second act of 5 Centimeters per Second as an aural shorthand for the awkwardness Kanae faces in giving voice to her feelings to Takaki.

  • Bill Hicks did an eerily accurate vocal imitation of this in several of his routines, usually while commenting on how the audience was silently staring at him rather than laughing.

    Comic Books 
  • Parodied in the Spider-Man story "Whose Crime is It Anyway?" in the 2016 Annual; Spidey joins an improv class, and when he launches into his usual wisecracks, a cricket just stares at him as silently as everyone else.
  • Used in page 93 in All's Faire in Middle School.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Blixemi: In Yellowfang's "Know Your Clanmate" episode, the narrator jokes about how she can't cure her own runny nose, only to realize that she's talking about a different cat entirely. The Laugh Track turns into crickets and a cough as they try to salvage the joke. This makes the narrator go into a sobbing fit about how hard their life is and how nobody seems to appreciate how hard they work... only for the rant to be greeted with more crickets.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • Episode 6:
      Yamcha: It's up to us! We have to attack together!
      Tenhinhan: Right! Back to back! Let's do it for Chaotzu!
      Yamcha: And Krillin!
      Yamcha: OK, just Chaotzu.
    • Later, after Nappa tears off Tenshinhan's arm.
      Vegeta: Looks like he's been... dis-armed!
      [gust of wind]
      Nappa: I get it!
  • During an instance of this on an alien planet in Retro Chill, alien crickets start chirping.
  • Turnabout Storm, when Phoenix Wright makes a serious misstep when it comes the universe he finds himself in.
    Phoenix: A storm cloud!? You call that decisive!? How could you place blame on my client for that!? Unless you are honestly suggesting Rainbow Dash can move around clouds and make them shoot lightning at will!
    [complete silence, chirping crickets]
    Phoenix: [thoughts] Why is everyone staring at me like that?
  • Parodied in Crisis of Infinite Twilights. When Shining Armor suggests that the Royal Guard can help with the army of evil versions of Twilight Sparkle, the suggestion is met with stunned silence.
    Spike: Wow, even the crickets are so amazed by the stupidity of that statement they couldn't make a sound.
  • Harry Potter fanfictions:
    • In Magical Relations Harry asks Hermione to the Yule Ball.
      There was a pause during which Harry would have sworn he could hear insects chirping.
    • In More Than Her Mother, the Great Hall is completely silent for a few seconds after a female Harry is sorted into Hufflepuff and she starts worrying about hearing crickets chirping and seeing tumbleweed.
    • In Schooled after Lucius asks if there are any "no" votes to appointing Snape "Snark Lord of Slytherin":
      If crickets could vote, they might have counted as opponents to the proposal, for that was the only metaphorical sound in the room.
    • In Barbaric World Sirius finally gets a trial and accuses Pettigrew during it.
      The implications of his answer were so shocking a cricket could be heard.
    • A Fateful Walk:
      Had there been crickets in the Hogwarts library then most likely the teens would have been able to hear them for the good ten seconds that silence reigned.
    • Harry Potter and the Rune Stone Path:
      "I hope everyone is excited for the Second Task!" Bagman said. Crickets greeted him.
    • Too Many Champions:
      "Just think of what happened in our second year," Harry replied.
      He chuckled and continued, "They all believed that I was the Heir of Slytherin when all I really am is the Harry of Gryffindor."
      Hermione gave him a blank look. Somewhere, a cricket chirped.
    • In Harry Potter and the Champion's Champion Cedric, Fleur and Viktor conjure chairs and sit down in front of the Third Task maze instead of entering it, causing the puzzled spectators to fall silent.
      "Clitter Clitter!" The Crickets were getting to be exceptionally loud. Even Rita Skeeter's Quick-Quote Quill was confused and had started quoting the crickets.
    • In The Day The Dursleys Came To Hogwarts Dumbledore announces during the Triwizard Tournament Yule Ball that at the last ball in 1792, attendees were allowed a glass of Firewhiskey each, then adds that the judges decided to overturn it.
      "We do have butterbeer in abundance," Dumbledore added. "As well as several flavors of sparkling cider. Please try my favorite, which is pumpkin cider."

      He paused for a moment as if expecting applause, but was instead rewarded with the sound of crickets, which were not even in season.

    Films — Animation 
  • Lampshaded in Disney's Pocahontas, where Grandmother Willow shouts for the clamoring animals to be quiet, and silence descends, leaving behind the sound of a frog croaking. Grandmother Willow locates the noisy frog and gives him a Death Glare, whereupon he shuts up too.
  • At the beginning of Cars, a speech by Lightning McQueen is greeted only with a shout of "Free Bird!"
  • Strange Magic: When Sunny tries to rally his fellow elves into saving Dawn, an onscreen cricket chirps awkwardly when no one joins in.
  • There's a cricket in Penguins of Madagascar who chirps following the awkwardness between the penguins and Dave. He apologizes for the chirping and leaves for home. He gets captured later and mutated for it, even asking "If this is about the chirping thing..."
  • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, Twilight and friends lock hands together before the whole student body, and she dramatically exclaims "Friendship is magic!", hoping to summon their magic to get rid of the Dazzlings... except nothing happens. Follows an embarrassing moment of silence (even the background music has stopped) as everybody look at them in confusion, with only a discreet cough being heard.
  • Ice Age: Collision Course. Buck comes up with a loony plan to avert The End of the World as We Know It instead of running for their lives, finishing his Rousing Speech with "WHO'S WITH ME?" Cue the crickets and the Herd putting their heads together to see if this includes them.
  • Shrek Forever After: When Shrek meets Fiona for the first time in the alternate timeline and tries to tell her who he is, the story is so unbelievable that all the ogres are speechless, and crickets are heard chirping in the background.
  • Wallace & Gromit: In The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, the constable accidentally repeating "The beast isn't actually dead yet?!" in his megaphone provokes a Mass "Oh, Crap!" at the fair. The heavy silence that follows is punctuated by a candy floss falling from its stick and rolling around like a tumbleweed. Then everybody panic.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • It's subtle, but in The Fifth Element, both times Ruby Rhod tries to get Korben Dallas to say something in the mike, during the pregnant pause that follows you can faintly hear crickets chirping.
  • In Jerry Lewis's The Patsy, as Stanley Belt is bombing at The Copa Cafe the sound of crickets chirping is heard.
  • In the fourth Meatballs movie, whenever Neil tells bad jokes, the campers stare at him while a cricket chirps. Eventually, Neil stomps on the cricket.
  • Prom Wars: A Running Gag is someone asking a question that makes the Selby students sound awkward (like who besides a prefect named Francis already has a prom date) and the only sound being crickets chirping.

  • Happens to Ponty from Mike Nelsons Death Rat when he tries name-dropping some of his written works while talking to his roommates, hoping for some form of recognition. The next sentence simply reads: "Far away, a dog barked."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Go Princess Go: Zhang Peng references Wu Zetian. Lu Li, who's from a time long before Wu, looks blank while chirping is heard in the background.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • "Doomed" (Season 4, Episode 11): Xander's and Willow's helpless silent protestation to Spike's sudden unexpected outburst of enthusiasm (after he realizes that the implanted behavioral modification chip doesn't punish him for killing demons) for "fighting the good fight". That, and after a long exhausting day of monster-slaying, Spike is blocking their view of the TV box.
      Spike: What's this? Sittin' around watching the telly while there's evil still afoot? It's not very industrious of you. I say we go out there and kick a little demon ass! What? Can't go without your Buffy, is that it? Too chicken? Let's find her. She is the chosen one, after all. Come on! Vampires! Grrr! Nasty! Let's annihilate them, for justice, and for... the safety of puppies... and Christmas, right? Let's fight that evil! Let's kill something! [credits start running] Oh, come on!
    • Another brief example occurs in the episode "Once More, with Feeling", with the gang's reaction to Anya's theory that bunnies are causing the problem-of-the-week. With actual cricket sounds to boot. Indoors. (The episode revolved around people singing and dancing to music coming out of the air; we can give the crickets a pass.)
  • This happened whenever Vic tried to tell a joke in Shooting Stars, with every stock sound effect coming into play.
  • An episode of X-Play used the sound effect to point out the scarce population of an online game. Oh, and apparently the crickets didn't want to play either.
    Cricket #3: You suck, Sessler.
  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor saves the Earth yet again and says, "Who da man?", which is promptly followed by a beat of silence from his companions Amy and Rory, which leads to the Doctor saying, "I'm never saying that again."
  • MythBusters uses both crickets and the tumbleweed sound effect, usually following a particularly bad pun by a member of the build team.
  • The Girls Next Door uses this a lot, to accompany blank or stunned reactions after something dumb is said. Kendra gets a lot of these.
  • Community subverted this, by having the chirping crickets played over the loudspeaker as soothing nature sounds.
  • Dr Cox references this in Scrubs after a painful attempt at a joke by Carla. "You would hear crickets chirping, but they were too uncomfortable about just how un-funny that actually was."
  • In the season three blooper reel of Criminal Minds, there was a scene where the only sound was chirping crickets which leads Thomas Gibson (the actor who plays Hotch) to deadpan: "Got a non-union cricket."
  • America's Next Top Model is particularly fond of this trope. One example is when Jay tells the final four on Cycle 1 that they would be posing with diamonds... nude. Cue open-mouthed gaping, crickets.
  • In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk is on the Air," during Monk's second interview with Max Hudson on the air, J.J. lampshades an awkward silence caused by Monk telling a terrible joke about Max's weight by playing the sound effect of chirping crickets.
  • In the Once Upon a Time episode "A Curious Thing", there is a portal that only the "pure of heart" may pass through. After Snow White and Prince Charming pass through Regina tries... and winds up in the same place. Cue actual chirping crickets, which were notably silent until she tried.
  • Supernatural
    • In "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part Two" (S02, Ep 22), this is Played Straight with Dean speeding to the crossroad and digging with his hands in the dirt of the crossroad to summon a demon while a driving guitar riff plays. Dean then stands up, the music stops, and there is only the sound of crickets chirping as Dean waits for the crossroad demon to appear.
    • In "Stuck in the Middle with You", Crowley (not quite the King of Hell at this point) introduces himself to Ramiel like his name should mean something. Ramiel responds with silence broken only by the sound of a cuckoo clock.
  • In The Last Man on Earth, Phil tells one of his bad jokes to the group, no one laughs, crickets are heard — and the group gets excited because crickets had survived the apocalypse.
  • Happens in The Goldbergs episode "Let's Val Kilmer This Car" when Barry asks Matt on how he's going to take Lainey to prom. Justified due to Johnny Atkins releasing crickets in the school as a senior prank.
  • Invoked on The Big Bang Theory episode "The Geology Methodology" when the gang doesn't respond to Raj's invitation to watch a cricket match at a bar.
    Howard: That sound you hear? Ironically, crickets.
  • In a moo shu challenge in "The Tong and Short of It" from Cutthroat Kitchen, Alton Brown pulled out a cowbell from the dumbwaiter for the second sabotage, which one chef would have to mix and cook everything in. When nobody seemed to get the pun, he commented "because cows go 'moo'," at which point some chirping crickets were played on the soundtrack.
  • In the premiere episode of the fifth season of Worst Cooks in America, "Worse Than Ever," the first challenge is making pizzas. Anne asks the cooks as a whole what the foundation of a pizza is. Cue this inserted as a sound effect.note 


  • Employed on WrestleCrap Radio by host RD Reynolds any time one of cohost Blade Braxton's jokes falls flat. The WrestleCrap Radio Crickets have their own Facebook page and, back in the day, had their own MySpace page.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In an episode of Greg the Bunny, a guy tells a really stupid joke. Cue crickets. This was immediately followed by the entire audience directing their attention to the cricket, at which point it proclaims that he found it funny.


    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • Done in Eternal Sonata with the blowing wind variant. The party is trying to decide whether or not to use a secret passage, so they turn to Allegretto to make the decision. He decides to go for it, commenting "You know what they say — 'If you don't go into the lion's den, you can't count your chickens.'" There is a sound of wind blowing from the tunnel and after a pause, Viola comments "That doesn't make any sense."
  • Happens if you screw up a Big Rock Ending in Rock Band (even though the crowd is usually still pretty enthusiastic).
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, it is possible to "banish" monsters from a certain area, making them not appear for a while. Doing this too much leads to this encounter:
    You look around for something to fight, but you can't see anything.
    Crickets chirp. A distant wind blows with a mournful whoosh. A tumbleweed blows into view.
    Y'know what? You don't like the way that tumbleweed is looking at you.
    [you then fight the tumbleweed]
  • In the 2013 Deadpool video game, when Cable has a speech about fighting his own battles in the future, which all hinge on what Deadpool does in the present, the scene cuts to Deadpool looking bored with crickets chirping in the background.
  • In Final Fantasy X, this is the general atmosphere after Tidus has said something incredibly insensitive about the world of Spira he's in or talking about going with Yuna to someplace after defeating Sin, at which point she and the other team members know that she'll be dead.
  • Joke's End, the place in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga where bad jokes go to die, has repetitive background music reminiscent of crickets chirping.
  • Schmitty from Quiplash 2 in the 3rd Jackbox Party Pack mentions this trope as one of the things he saids when no players entered in thier responses after time runs out.
    Schmitty: Well, I do love the sound of crickets, but not this much.
  • The *cough* version in Mass Effect 2 after Mordin's Gilbert and Sullivan routine.
  • Weaponized in Pokémon. In Scarlet and Violet, Slowking and their Galarain counterpart get a Signature Move in Chilling Reception, where they tell a joke so bad it causes a snowstorm before they switch out.

    Web Animation 
  • In one of the sketches from Walfas Station Wagon's The Walfas Halloween Spooktacular called Magic show by Full Hit Points, Marisa and Reimu put on a magic show to the audience. And when Marisa accidentally saw's Reimu in half and so was the table and tries to convince the audience it's a new trick, this causes this trope to happen.
  • In Cartoon Hooligans, this is sometimes used in the gags that involve Stunned Silence.
  • Episode six of A Day in the Life of a Commissar, a Dawn of War Machinima.
    Pirate-accented Guardsman: I gave you my "Appendox".
    Private Partz: I gave you an STD!
    [all silent; crickets sing]
    [Laspistol discharges, body falls]
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Crickets are heard when Homestar forgets to say his lines in one take on "Fluffy Puff Commercial".
    • Chirping crickets are heard at the end of "Homestarloween Party" after Strong Sad's Downer Ending for the story causes everyone else to get bummed out and leave.
    • If you give Homestar Smarties in "The House That Gave Sucky Treats", he'll say "Marzipan said to eat lots of these this year. I'm not really sure why, though." Cue an awkward silence punctuated by crickets.
    • An Easter egg at the end of "Summer Short Shorts" has Puppet Homestar telling "Very Very Little Girl" to "take it away!" Since Very Very Little Girl is just a baby, she just lies in her crib while crickets are heard.
    • In the Teen Girl Squad short "4 Gregs", crickets are heard when the other Gregs are confused by D&D Greg's knowledge of the rules of football.
      Science Fiction Greg: It's like I don't even know you anymore.
      D&D Greg: [defensive] Fantasy football still counts as fantasy!
  • The "howling wind and tumbleweed" version happens in If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device when the Emperor asks Magnus and Kitten whether they've heard of times when humanity was kicking ass. A single servoskull is cast as the tumbleweed and slowly floats by the two, who are just staring at the Emperor in awkward silence.
  • Parodied in Super Smash Adventures. Toadsworth stops Falco from breaking down a door because it's expensive, and we hear this. After a second of it, Luigi finds it's coming from a cricket-like enemy behind them, who he promptly kicks away.
  • In "What If This Happened in Marvel's Civil War" by Cartoon Hooligans, there are two chirping crickets moments. First, when Team Captain America in matching uniforms see Team Iron Man in matching Iron Man armors (including Iron Spider), they stand still in shock. And later, again, when Team Iron Man switches to matching Hulkbusters armors.
  • RWBY:
    • It features the tumbleweed version in the first part of Black and White. When Penny reveals that she knew Blake was a Faunus, a tumbleweed blows past as Yang and Ruby put two and two together.
      Ruby: Wait, how did you know that?
      Penny: Uhh, the cat ears?
      Yang: What cat ears? She wears a [dawning realisation]... booooooow...
      [tumbleweed blows past]
      Ruby: [whispering] She does like tuna a lot.
    • Then it happens again when Penny offers to help track down Blake.
      Ruby: Uhh, that's really nice of you, Penny, but we're OK! Really! Right guys?
      [she looks behind her to see that Yang and Weiss have vanished without a trace. Cue another tumbleweed]
      Penny: It sure is windy today!
  • RWBY Chibi: Tumbleweed version done with Zwei in a few episodes.
    Weiss: Ruby Rose. I have tolerated your foolishness for too long.
    Ruby: The foolishness you've tolerated compares not to... the- the foolishness in which you FOOLED!
    Weiss: (blank white eyes) What?
    Ruby: N-Nothing! LET'S FIGHT!
    [cue TumbleZwei and western-style showdown (sort of)]
  • Robotbox And Cactus
    • In "Are You My Friend?", after Cactus expresses his loneliness and desire for friends in the middle of the desert, a tumbleweed, and, somehow, a hammer roll past.
    • The lonely Cactus again sees a tumbleweed and a hammer roll by in "Substitute", with the head of the hammer replaced with MC Hammer's head.


    Web Videos 
  • Both played straight and parodied in The Nostalgia Critic's review of Good Burger. Twice, an animated tumbleweed rolls across the screen during a particularly unfunny scene. The third time, it starts to roll across the screen, stops, says, "You know what? Fuck it." and then puts on a fedora and walks off the screen the way he came.
  • Happens a couple of times in The Nostalgia Chick's review of Hercules, whenever the plot gets especially confusing.
  • In a video by novelist and social commentator Andrew Klavan regarding president Barack Obama's "Recovery Summer" initiative, he stated "The president's appointment of radicals and tax cheats, his corruption of the justice department, and, oh yeah, the renewal of the Patriot Act, have all been greeted by the summery sound of mainstream media crickets (image of CNN office, sound of crickets chirping). Much more relaxing!" Listen to it here.
  • Joueur du Grenier:
    • Crickets chirp in the review for the Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue game, after the transition from a fight scene of the TV series to the game itself, to illustrate how dull it is.
    • In the James Bond Jr. review, when JdG is trying to remind the audience of the cartoon, all he gets is the sound of wind... and a tumbleweed rolling by.
  • Todd in the Shadows plays them during his Worst of 2015 episode when Nicki Minaj makes a terrible pun, then explains that it was a pun.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the crickets are replaced with a distant-sounding cough. Or defrosting frogs in "The Blue Spirit".
  • The Batman: The Joker, while pulling a Do Not Adjust Your Set.
    The Joker: Every time I bring my brand of funny to Gotham, the only sound I hear is: [holds up a toy cricket in one hand, then smashes it with the other]
  • Batman: The Animated Series, "Almost Got 'Im": An episode in which the villains describe their elaborate schemes to get Batman, Killer Croc describes how he faced off with Batman in a quarry, and then...
    Killer Croc: I THREW A ROCK AT HIM!
    [the others stare at him, then get back to an unrelated discussion]
    Killer Croc: was a BIG rock...
  • On Beat Bugs, this is the answer Walter gets several times when he first starts speaking to "Betsy" in "Got to Get You Into My Life." Betsy is a ball, which Walter later paints with a face.
    Buzz: But that's just a ball.
    Walter: [whispering] Don't hurt Betsy's feelings.
  • Beetlejuice:
    • Bully the Crud pulls out a rabbit out of his hat. The townsfolk just stare blankly at him as crickets are heard in the background. Bully then growl menacingly and the townsfolk quickly give him a "10".
    • "Them Bones, Them Bones, Them Funny Bones" has the sound of a cricket chirping being heard whenever Lydia's attempts at telling jokes fall flat. The second time it happens, Beetlejuice actually comments on the cricket chirping and expresses a desire to eat the cricket when he finds it.
  • Barely audible, but its there in BIONICLE: The Legend Reborn, as Ackar's spectacular display of his Elemental Powers silences the arena audience. Could be seen as Narm, though, since the scene was meant to be serious.
  • Brandy & Mr. Whiskers parodies it in an episode: Sandy and Mr Frisky are greeted enthusiastically at the waterfall, while no one responds to the main duo except a cricket chirping, which Whiskers noted seems to like them. When they try their entrance again, they get complete silence; when Brandy asks how could it be worse than before, Whiskers says he stepped on the cricket.
  • Bunsen Is a Beast uses the joke in "Network Newbs", where Bob asks the audience if any of them want Amanda to get her own news segment and cricket chirps a heard. The chirping turns out to becoming from an actual cricket among the audience.
  • Care Bears:
    • In "Shunshine" on Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot, when Funshine is introduced in the pie-eating contest, there is no applause because he's been acting as a jerk with a big ego ever since he won the Care Bear-athon. So a cricket chirping is heard instead, then he cheers for himself.
    • Care Bears & Cousins:
      • This is used in "Wishing Well" after Grumpy shouts that he wishes it wasn't night anymore. Only Lotsa Heart Elephant, as the person who wished for the day to never come, can actually reverse the wish.
      • It comes up again in "Awesomest Day Ever" when Lotsa Heart asks Bright Heart if he realizes what's between Moody Mountains and Adventure Beach in regards to sending Brave Heart between those two locations. The answer — the Surprise Party they're trying to set up for him, but the crickets chirp when Bright Heart can't come up with this.
  • The Danny Phantom episode "King Tuck" has cricket chirps heard when Tucker Foley cracks a lame pun on the name of Pharaoh Duul Aman by comparing it to the phrase "Man, is this dull". Cricket chirps are heard again when Dash steals Tucker's joke, but he then raises a fist to get the other teens to laugh.
  • Dinosaur Train: In "Hootin' Hadrosaurs", Shiny asks "Ready to do as I say and have a good time?". The others give her deadpan expressions while crickets chirp.
  • The Dragon Prince: In "Cursed Caldera", the group makes various jokes about how the Cursed Caldera doesn't seem very cursed and that so far the scariest thing they've seen is an angry cricket. Callum's quip, however, of "recognizing the unmistakable topography of Mount Monotonous" gets no response other than the cricket's chirping. A bit later, Bait eats the cricket.
  • The Fairly OddParents! movie Fairy Idol at one point has someone sing so badly the fairy audience turns into crickets to do this.
  • Family Guy:
    • Lampshaded in "Hell Comes to Quahog" when a new mega-store puts several proprietary stores out of business. The only guy left making money is a hick selling tumbleweeds, who gloats that everyone laughed at him before and now he's the one laughing.
    • Parodied in the episode "Long John Peter", when the Griffins take Brian to the vet.
      Peter: God I hate comin' to the vet. They charge me $90 an day to keep Brian here. For $60, I could put him up at the Holiday Inn, eh, who's with me?
      [cricket chirping]
      Mayor West: My apologies, my pet cricket has restless leg syndrome.
    • Parodied again in "Farmer Guy" when a dying cricket asks his friend to take care of his kids...and be there whenever there's a bad joke.
  • In the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Cuckoo for Coco cards", Bloo tells a joke to try to make kids laugh. The camera cuts to a shot of the kids staring unimpressed as a cricket chirping sound is heard. The camera than pulls back to show a humanoid cricket imaginary friend standing next to the kids shaking his head in disapproval of the joke.
  • In Futurama episode "Where the Buggalo Roam" when Kiff complains that one Buggalo keeps following him, Zap Brannigan cracks, "Did I say girlfriend? I meant your wife!" Dead silence follows, with a single tumbleweed rolling by.
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) episode "Fame", Quill is hosting his own talk show. Unfortunately, the only member of the audience who finds him funny is a cricket-like alien whose laughter sounds like this.
  • Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs: Used in "Achoo!" after Taury tries an outrageous cure suggested to him for his itchy spotosis that involves rubbing sap on himself, holding paper flowers over his head and then burying himself up to his neck in popcorn, but it has absolutely no effect.
  • In an episode of Hey Arnold!, much of the cast is planning an angry revolt against the supposedly "cool kids" who didn't invite them to their party. They all cite different suggestions, until Curly adds one. At the end of the episode, Curly has, in fact, freed all the animals at the zoo.
    Curly: I say we paint our faces with tiger stripes, and free all the animals of the zoo!
    Helga: That sounds great, Curly. We'll meet you there at eight.
    Curly: Hooray! Free the animals! [runs off laughing maniacally]
    Helga: Poor, twisted little freak.
  • In the House of Mouse episode "Timon and Pumbaa", Pumbaa tries to do stand up comedy, but his jokes are met with cricket chirps. Cut to Cri-kee making the chirps, and Jiminy Cricket looking slightly confused, being a cricket who looks nothing like an actual cricket.
  • Invader Zim would often use a hawk screeching in the distance in place of crickets.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: The animal vessel for the power of the Monkey Talisman turns into a cricket to diss the Monkey King after a failed joke. He didn't take it well.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series: Lampshaded in the episode "Heckler", where Pleakely tries to become a stand-up comic. After his first few jokes fall flat, we hear chirping crickets... followed by Pleakely asking "Where'd those crickets come from?"
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Nelly's Folly: Poor Nelly the singing giraffe has this happen in her first show after her affair with the male giraffe is revealed. After the humiliation of an empty house on opening night, her singing career is over.
    • In the short Show Biz Bugs, Daffy Duck gets this reaction when frantically competing with Bugs Bunny for a theater audience's applause.
    • Bugs himself has a similar experience in his rise to stardom in What's Up, Doc? And again at the end of Baton Bunny.
  • Parodied in one instance of My Gym Partner's a Monkey: A cricket noise is heard, then it turns out the cricket is applauding in a way that happens to cause chirping noises, then he apologizes.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • "Over a Barrel": The crowd's reaction to Pinkie Pie's song is stunned silence, broken only by Spike's somewhat-desperate applause and the cry of a hawk.
    • In "Baby Cakes", Pinkie's attempt to cheer the twins up with stand-up comedy elicits this. There's also the sound of someone coughing.
    • In "Equestria Games", following Spike's incredibly awkward attempt at singing the Cloudsdale anthem, the giant stadium is quiet, save for the cries of a lone baby, and Pinkie's shout of "Nailed it!"
    • "28 Pranks Later": When Rainbow Dash says she'll have to work extra hard to top the Zombie Walk prank the town got her with, the stunned silence of all the other ponies is punctuated by the sound of crickets chirping.
    • "To Where and Back Again – Part 2": Once they're made aware of the presence of the Anti-Magic field, Starlight Glimmer admits she doesn't know what to do, and asks the other rescuers if they have any idea. As neither Thorax, Trixie or Discord say a word despite her insistence, crickets are heard chirping in the background.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: In "Plaza Alone", K.O. discovers the Plaza seemingly abandoned, as every place he goes to investigate he finds only a tumbleweed rolling past and the sound of crickets.
  • PB&J Otter:
    • In "The Singin' Kid", Flick gets this from a crowd at a talent show after performing a raucus, self-praising and somewhat irritating song called "Talkin' About Hoohaw Lake."
    • Happens again in "Munchy's Sinking Feeling" when Flick tells his lame jokes to try to cheer Munchy up.
    • Jelly gets this in "Hope Castle" when Flick says that they'll defend it against wild creatures and she comments "Even it means sacrificing our lives in cruel and painful ways."
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: In "Night of the Vesuviuses" Alice welcomes children to night in zoo, but when she realizes nobody is there and cricket only chirps, she squashes the cricket.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "The Fast and the Phineas", crickets are inexplicably heard when Candace notices Mom's car (which Phineas and Ferb tricked out and entered in a stock-car race) is still missing from the garage.
  • When The Pink Panther unceremoniously takes over an orchestra concert with the Pink Panther theme, the sound of one pair of hands applauding is heard. When the Panther turns, he sees the amphitheater empty save for Henry Mancini, the composer of the theme, the audience member applauding.
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Ice Moon Enceladus", the kids make their own sno-cone stand so they can raise money to send astronauts to Mars. Sean insists that since it's so hot out, they should be able to sell a ton of them, but then crickets start chirping since no one is there.
  • Parodied in a Robot Chicken sketch. A rock band finishes playing. Cue the Chirping Crickets. Then cut to an audience full of crickets, with one yelling "I'm clapping as loud as I can!"
  • The Simpsons:
    • Defied in one episode: Mr. Burns makes a check out to a hospital, then leans back in his chair and waits for the praise to roll in. Time lapse, cue crickets. Burns responds by pressing a button on his desk labeled "Cricket Poison", and the chirps go silent.
    • In the crossover with The Critic ("A Star Is Burns"), Homer makes a bad pun in an attempt to upstage one of Jay's jokes. A tumbleweed then rolls by inside the house.
    • And again in the 138th Episode Spectacular, when Troy McClure introduces the lost scenes to the "Who Shot Mr. Burns" two-parter, he starts out with a dramatic, "This past summer, all of America tried to find out who shot Mr. Burns..." then shifts to a flat, "Then they found out it was the baby." Silence, save for a deliberate cough.
    • Speaking of which, the Maggie/Burns shooting is the basis of a self deprecatiing joke when Marge talks about shows getting stale and repetitive and Smithers bursts in to announce, "Maggie shot Mr. Burns again!" Followed by, yes, the sound of crickets chirping.
    • The standard audience reaction to a joke by Krusty is a deathly silence punctuated by the sound of a lone man coughing in the back row.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: When SpongeBob tries stand-up in "Squirrel Jokes", his first joke is met with cricket chirps. The second joke bombs so bad even the cricket won't dignify it with a response. Also going as far as to show an actual picture of the cricket in grass on land.
  • Total Drama:
    • In "Not So Happy Campers - Part 2", Brigette asks all contestants who wants to jump off the 1000-foot cliff first. The contestants are silent and the crickets are loud.
    • Chris wants to know who'll try the surfboard simulator in a freezing studio first in "Beach Blanket Bogus". Everyone keeps quiet and while a cricket initially provides some sound, its hind legs get frozen off.
    • Chris asks who is excited for the second disaster-themed challenge in "Masters of Disasters". Everyone keeps quiet for the crickets to be loud and clear.
    • When the contestants are locked out of the Gemmie Awards in "Celebrity Manhunt's TDA Reunion Show" by Chris because their fame has come and gone, they are at a loss for words. As a tumblewood blows by, a cricket chirps until an Duncan squashes it out of annoyance. Animal lover DJ is not amused that Duncan knowingly killed an innocent bug.
    • In "I Love You, Grease Pig!", Jasmine jokingly warns Samey not to let her hand swell up into a wicket-keeper's glove. Neither Samey nor Shawn know how to respond to this and let the crickets play their tune in the background. The joke has an extra layer to it because, as Jasmine points out, she made a joke about the sport cricket.
  • Total DramaRama: Sewer Mike enthusiastically and grandly welcomes Noah, Beth, and Duncan to his home in "Royal Flush". The children respond with nothing to his overeager introduction and Beth even squashes the cricket that's chirping behind them.
  • The Wander over Yonder episode "The Fancy Party" has cricket chirps heard in response to one of the guests trying to compliment Queen Entozoa by saying she doesn't look a day over 400 as well as Lord Hater's story derailing into a rant about his distaste for the color purple.
  • At one point in Yvon of the Yukon, the sound of a pin dropping on the floor resonates over the silence of the crowd.

Chirp, chirp, chirp...