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Gale-Force Sound

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Anyone with a basic knowledge of physics knows how sound waves work. Anyone who's been up close to the stage of a rock concert can tell how well they work when it gets loud.

This, though, is that feeling taken beyond what's possible in real life. A sound or series of sounds, if sufficiently loud, will push someone or something around as would the wind of a hurricane or tornado, well beyond what would happen in the Real Life. This trope is almost always played for laughs, but the Rule of Cool has it weaponized now and then as a type of non-standard elemental damage combining aspects of Blow You Away, Glass-Shattering Sound, and Explosion Propulsion.

Note, however, that this doesn't cover sounds that are genuinely that loud, like a rocket launch, nor does it cover giant monsters like Godzilla or King Kong roaring in someone's face, where their breath would come into play.

In Real Life, sounds loud enough to move objects are above decibel level 194. At this level, they are no longer sound waves moving through the air so much as they are shock waves pushing the air along in front of them. You don't want to be anywhere near a place where this trope is happening in real life. It's not a gale, it's a battering ram.

Contrast this trope to Brown Note and Loud of War, where the sound has a purely psychological effect on the target, as opposed to the physical effect of gale-force sound. See also Glass-Shattering Sound, where the effect is limited to glass. Super-Scream has a similar effect, but only caused by a person's voice, and it's less frequently used for comedy, and Musical Assassin, who may use their music for this effect (but just as likely play Brown Note music).


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    Asian Animation 
  • In Season 7 episode 20 of Happy Heroes, Ambassador Wang screams at Big M. and Little M. loudly enough to blow them to a nearby tree.
  • One episode of Motu Patlu features a scene where Motu gives such a loud whistle that it blows his friends and various objects (including cars) away like in a bad windstorm.

    Comic Books 
  • The Flash: Jay Garrick, the original Flash, is fond of using his signature winged helmet as a weapon. One of the methods is to "aim" the inside of it at someone and then punch the top of it, creating a loud sonic boom.

    Fan Works 
  • A Chance Meeting of Two Moons: Artemis's Royal Canterlot Voice is sufficient to knock Solaris backward during an argument.
  • Escape from the Moon: In the sequel The Mare From the Moon, Twilight manages to send Spliced Genome flying by the sheer force of the Royal Canterlot Voice when she gets angry at Spliced saying she'd abused Spike by the way she raised him not to horde.
  • The Bridge: Xenilla roaring in Tempest Shadow's face causes her to go unconscious and go flying backwards. Justified as he is a 100+ meter tall kaiju emptying the entire capacity of his lungs directly in front of her.

    Films — Animation 
  • Asterix Versus Caesar: Asterix and Obelix get into an argument in a Roman bathhouse on opposite sides of a curtain in a doorway, which flaps in and out as the two shout at each other.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks: When Rainbow Dash repeats "my band" one time too many, all the other Rainbooms (except Twilight Sparkle) yelling "OUR BAND!" together is enough to blow Dash's hair back.
  • Zigzagged with the Scream-Scream Devil Fruit in One Piece: The Movie; lore-wise, it lets the user, Big Bad El Drago, scream so loudly that it hits like a turbo-charged battering ram, punching through whatever is in the screamer's way. However, it's visually depicted as just a generic energy blast that happens to be launched from the user's mouth.
  • Over the Hedge: During a heist, one of the porcupine kids accidentally turns on a TV, which plays the infamous THX Deep Note. He slides backward as if he were in a wind tunnel, and a few quills are blown off his head, narrowly missing RJ and Verne.
  • In The Rescuers Down Under, Wilbur is playing loud music and can't hear Bernard and Miss Bianca calling him. As Bernard walks over to Wilbur's boom box to turn it off, he is clearly being blown back by the sound.
  • Rock and Rule: a case of mistaken identity on Omar's part culminates with Zip, one of Mok's Dumb Muscle trio, yelling in his face "I'M NOT MOK!!!" loud enough to blow Omar's hair back. It echoes, too.
  • In The Sword in the Stone, after being crowned King of England, an overwhelmed Arthur tries to sneak out of the castle. Unfortunately, every way he goes he encounters a huge crowd of cheering subjects who blow him and Archimedes the owl back inside with their cries of "HAIL KING ARTHUR! LONG LIVE THE KING!"
  • Toy Story: During the "Strange Things" sequence, Rex learns how to properly roar like a dinosaur and blows Potato Head's accessories off his face.
  • In Turning Red, Ming's shouting as a giant red panda is powerful enough to momentarily knock Mei off balance.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Near the beginning of the first Back to the Future, Marty hooks up an electric guitar to a ludicrously huge speaker. He plays a single chord and is physically hurled backwards by the sound (the speaker is destroyed in the process).
  • Kung Fu Hustle features the Harpists, two villains who fight their opponents by playing a guqin (Chinese zither) that makes sounds loud enough to knock people down. This is easily topped by the Landlady's "Lion's Roar" technique, which shakes buildings and cracks stone columns. When this fails to affect the Beast, the Big Bad of the story, her husband helps her rip the top off a funeral bell and holds it up for her to use as a megaphone. The result is a sonic tornado that reduces the room to splinters, with the Beast becoming a rapidfire participant in Oh, Crap! and Blown Across the Room. This does hurt the Beast, and when she moves in to give him a second dose, he promptly surrenders. NOT.
  • Near the end of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Mike and Don blow Shredder out a window by turning the speaker he's standing in front of at maximum and hitting a power chord.
  • In Cheech and Chong's Next Movie, Cheech has a devil of a time getting inside his own home when Chong's playing a solo. Chong's playing also blows playing cards away, causes dogs to cover their ears, and makes neighbors take cover.
  • In The Italian Job (2003), The Napster wants a stereo so loud "it'll blow a woman's clothes off." The end credits show him carefully positioning an attractive woman in front of his new stereo...
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks: STOP! THAT! BAAAAAAAALLLL!!!"

  • Gelsomino In The Land Of Liars: Gelsomino's voice is extremely loud all the time. When he actually tries to make it loud, this trope ensues. At one point, his singing demolishes an opera theatre like a hurricane would.
  • Goblins in the Castle: Played for laughs in Goblins on the Prowl — when Fauna enters the room where Bwoonhiwda is sleeping, the latter's snoring is loud enough to almost knock Fauna back out the door.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Black Books: Manny bets Bernard that he can sell a book to the next person to enter the shop; he tries it, but doesn't even get as far as "hello" before the customer unleashes a furious rant about not wanting to be pestered by salespeople in shops, the force of which blows Manny's hair back.

  • The video to the Nickelback song "Gotta Be Somebody" demonstrates the trope nicely, with cracks in the ground and general earthquakes accompanying the refrain each time.
  • Manowar have slipped the occasional line about getting this loud into their song lyrics, perhaps most prominently in "The Gods Made Heavy Metal".
  • In the video of the Lindsey Stirling song "Roundtable Rival", the guitarist's amplifiers are able to blow down Linsdey and her backup dancers. Lindsey uses the same amplifiers to even greater effect against the guitarist when she plugs in her Stroh violin.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons 4th and 5th Edition have Thunder damage, which was known as Sonic damage in 3rd edition (the change was to make it sound more fantasy and less science fiction). Many spells and effects that cause Thunder damage also have the effect of knocking the target away from the caster, like the first level wizard, sorcerer, and Tempest cleric spell Thunderwave.

    Video Games 
  • Brütal Legend has the Earthshaker move, which causes Eddie to do a power chord on his guitar that damages nearby enemies and sends them flying.
  • Space Ace has Kimberly do this over videophone
  • Viscera Cleanup Detail: Among the game's normal in game radio "the big banger" which appears on every level, The game also has one unique "The Bigbanger: Supernova Edition" in game radio. While the bigbanger sound players are described by in game documents as a model that has won a contest by having "Earth-shattering" loudness, the normal Bigbanger radios players encounter simply produce sufficient sound to broadcast music throughout the level and shakes itself while doing so. The "Supernova" edition of the player, however, can produce music that is obviously louder than any in game sound effect, at the same time shaking every object in the area, sends all the small objects in the vicinity flying, setting all the flares alight, detonating any dynamite within medium range, and shakes the bucket machines and bin machines in to producing buckets and bins.
  • The Killer Wail from the original Splatoon exhibits this effect, but only against entities who have deployed a Bubbler or transformed into a Kraken, due to the invincibility effect provided by those. It is impossible to tell if this effect works on normal Inklings, typically because they do not last long enough.
  • The infamous FUS RO DAH, or Unrelenting Force from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, one of the first Shouts you learn, is capable of blowing people in front of you backwards into the air at full power.
  • Invoked in NEO: The World Ends with You: Sound is one of the elements that psychs can possess, and Gale Force is the name of a psych, of which the stronger ones available before the credits roll are in fact Sound-elemental.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Looney Tunes. This happens A LOT.
    • "Draft Horse": The doctor tells the titular horse to say 'ahh'. The result: the horse screamed so loud and strong it was like wind blowing intensely in front of the doctor's face.
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
  • In an early episode of Muppet Babies (1984), the kids are trying to get Baby Beaker used to the dark. Their first attempt (with a dark corner) ends with Baby Beaker screeching in fear so loud, Baby Fozzie's ears and tie go flying.
  • In one episode of The Mysteries of Alfred Hedgehog, Cynthia's yelling makes Camille's pigtails flutter backwards.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "Squid on Strike", when Squidward yells at SpongeBob through a megaphone when he inadvertently lets a scab worker cross the picket line and take his old job. The sound is so loud it blows his face back and knocks out his facial features.
    • Near the end of "Good Neighbors", Squidward screams to SpongeBob and Patrick: "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!"; it's so loud it even blows the two away.
    • "Kracked Krabs" has a similar face-blowing effect occur in the Krusty Krab kitchen when Mr. Krabs yells "SPONGEBOOOOB!" through the intercom to summon him to his office.
  • In Strawberry Shortcake, before Berrykin Bloom started taking lessons his bassoon-playing shook the ground, to the point of knocking people over.
  • In the Teen Titans (2003) mini-episode featuring Punk Rocket, Punk Rocket's guitar playing acts like this.
    • Another episode has a downplayed example where Beast Boy and Cyborg are arguing continually and in attempts to drown-out the noise, Robin has a boombox playing music loud enough to make his hair get pushed back with every beat.
  • Blaster in The Transformers often used sound like this to attack, as opposed to Soundwave, who was more of a Brown Note user. At one point, he uses a pair of amplifiers to shake an entire building down.
  • From Transformers: Animated, there's the rock battle between Optimus Prime and Soundwave, in "Human Error, Part 2".
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Happens in "The Show Stoppers" when the Cutie Mark Crusaders sing the line "VERY LOUD!!!"
    • In the episode "Luna Eclipsed", Princess Luna, using the Royal Canterlot Voice, has this effect.
    • "Putting Your Hoof Down": Fluttershy does this three times; when she screams "NOPONY!!!" at the end of her rant before leaving town, again when she says to her little critters friends "Am I RIGHT??!!", and again when she exclaims to Rarity and Pinkie Pie that Old!Fluttershy is "GONE!!"
    • "Wonderbolts Academy": The sheer force of the sound from Pinkie Pie's oversized megaphone moves mountains.
    • "Daring Don't": In Rainbow Dash's recalling of Daring Do's adventure in the intro, Ahuizotl's roar sends Daring Do tumbling backward in a very strong wind.
    • "Testing Testing 1, 2, 3": Rainbow Dash's scream of "Enough!" has this effect on her friends, instantly putting a stop to their bickering.
    • The Crystalling - Part 1: After Flurry Heart is separated from Pinkie, she lets out a booming wail so loud, it rattles the ponies present and blows their manes back, just moments before breaking the Crystal Heart.
    • "Rock Solid Friendship": After a failed attempt to pass Tank the tortoise off as a rare rock, Pinkie Pie yells "Whose side are you on, Tank?!" loud enough to send him flying off-screen.
  • In a Garfield and Friends Quickie, Roy and Lanolin get into a bleating-and-bukawking fight, which Roy wins utilizing a huge Behind the Black stereo system that sends Lanolin flying quite a distance in front of a Wraparound Background.
  • In the Wakfu episode "The Black Raven", Miranda yelling for her husband Kabrok blows back Amalia's hair.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: In "Little Ed Blue", a grouchy Ed reaches the breaking point and yells "BIG TROUBLE!!!" loud enough to knock Edd over and rip Eddy's shirt off.
  • Kaeloo: Mr. Cat can yell loud enough to send a car (with Kaeloo and Stumpy inside) flying several feet away.
  • In the Donald Duck short Donald's Dream Voice, Donald drops one of his voice pills and it lands on the hat of a large brute. When Donald tries to ask him for it, he yells "WHADDYA WANT?!" fierce enough to blow Don away.
  • Happened to Dave Seville in an episode of Alvin and the Chipmunks, also strong enough to cause the wall to break.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation: Fowlmouth takes Shirley on a date to the movies, and the ridiculously loud "sound system promo" blows several audience members out of their seats.
    A division of Mucasfilm Ltd.
    "The audience is now deaf"
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: In "My Fair Carol", Enid puts on some romantic mood music for Carol and Mr. Gar's date, but she plays it so loud Carol has to shout so Mr. Gar can hear her. She ends up shouting loud enough to knock over not only Mr. Gar, but Rad, K.O., and Enid who are way over on a nearby hill.
  • The Patrick Star Show: In "Neptune's Ball", Squidina turns up a DJ's music so loud that it blows the skin off everyone in the room.
  • Tom and Jerry: In The Bodyguard, Tom feeds Jerry some bubblegum so he won't be able to whistle for Spike to come beat him up. When Jerry tries to whistle, he ends up blowing a huge bubble that, when it pops, unleashes a wind that blows Tom (and a fence he's standing in front of) away.
  • In the 1937 Disney short Mickey's Amateurs, Clara Cluck attempts to perform a vocal rendition of Luigi Arditi's "Il Bacio", but the force of her voice blows the microphone back and forth like a pendulum. She tries running back and forth to keep up with it, which just makes it swing further.
  • Family Guy did an exact shot for shot copy of the Maxell advertisement using Lois' dad Carter all the way down to catching his martini glass as the sound slowly blew it towards the end of the little table.

    Real Life 
  • There exists a smartphone app that emits a sound with a frequency low enough to exploit the fact that "exhaled" air is pushed in a more focused direction than "inhaled" air, and has been used to blow out a candle. However, it puts stress on the device's speaker, so one's own exhalation is more practical.
  • As was demonstrated on MythBusters, supersonic aircraft can rattle windows and, in certain circumstances, shatter the glass. There's also the risk of eardrum damage.
    • This is referenced in an episode of Garfield and Friends: Jon reads about the sonic boom, calls Garfield for lunch... and the cat arrives at the speed needed for it to occur and start destroying the kitchen.
  • The Republic XF-84H test plane had a propeller whose blades turned at supersonic speed. The result was a continuous sonic boom that could damage other aircraft, and was directly responsible for inducing a seizure in an unfortunate ground personnel.
  • The Other Wiki talks about Operation Bongo II over Oklahoma City which led to the US halting SST development.
  • An explosive-driven sonic "Wunderwaffe" that could knock down planes was in development in Nazi Germany. It actually worked, producing waves of sound which were highly destructive — within a range of about a dozen yards. Zurück zum Zeichenbrett!translation 
  • Pistol shrimp use their claws to form a cavitation bubble that then explodes and stuns or kills their prey with a shockwave.
  • Dynamite fishing — illegal in most places — uses this trope. The shockwaves from a dynamite explosion can be much stronger under water, and will stun all fish in the vicinity.
  • If a pursuing predator catches up to a chicken, the chicken can escape by slapping its wings against its own body. The resulting thunderclap will only disorient its pursuer for a second or two, but that can buy it enough time to get away.
  • The Chrysler horn (not to be confused with the horn on board Chrysler cars) is a nuclear air raid siren run off of a souped up v8 engine that's designed to warn an entire city from well outside city limits. When cranked up to max volume, these sirens have started fires, broken glass, killed animals, and cause material fatigue to nearby buildings and equipment. The fact that it could start fires with its sound couldn't even be confirmed for almost fifty years, because the sound alone broke the instrumentation needed to confirm this hypothesis (many tried to explain the random grass fires as the siren spewing gasoline due to internal mechanical failures). It can do these things because it has such a large wave amplitude that when the sound collides with an object, it causes a massive vibrations similar to an object at its resonance frequency (only with the Chrysler horn no resonance frequency is needed). These vibrations are then displaced as heat and cause material fatigue, causing stuff to break over time.
  • Long Range Acoustic Device weapon can send painful sound waves.
  • 200 decibels can rupture your lungs. Luckily, you literally need a nuke, or copious amounts of Stuff Blowing Up at least, to get that kind of noise. The decibel scale is logarithmic; put simply, to register 10 more decibels requires ten times the power. To compare, a rifle shot generates about 150dB at point blank. A 200dB sound requires 100,000 times more power, and because of the rapid drop-off only applies at the source. In general, that kind of pressure wave (which is the "loudness" part of the sound) is less a sound, and more of an explosion, and even then anything higher than 190 is hard to achieve because our particular atmosphere doesn't really assist much.
    • The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa produced a sound so loud that it crossed the Earth over seven times, could be heard from over 3000 miles away, and retained a volume of at least 180 decibels 100 miles away from the source. Given the sheer force of the eruption, Krakatoa is almost certainly the loudest sound ever produced in modern history.


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