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My Significance Sense Is Tingling
aka: I Sense A Disturbance In The Force

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"I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened."
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope, following the destruction of Alderaan by the Death Star.

Often used in stories featuring cosmic villainy. In the immediate aftermath of a noteworthy event, there will be a brief (usually no more than three panels) cut-away to an easily recognizable character from the same fictional universe. The character will then remark that his super-powers or Applied Phlebotinum sensors indicate an event of great significance has taken place, although he does not know what that event might be.


Note that the sense itself is referenced on the Spider-Sense page. This trope here is the use of that sense (or something that works just like it) to know that something has just happened instead of knowing something is about to happen.

Compare The Force Is Strong with This One (a character who can sense another character's Power Level), Seers, Gut Feeling, I'm Crying, but I Don't Know Why, and Sneeze Cut.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Various anime series have a Running Gag based on a Japanese superstition: someone will say something about someone else, and then the scene will cut to that someone else sneezing; it's often followed by "someone must be talking about me".
  • The meisters of Soul Eater are born with the ability of "soul perception", an adaptation that is supposed to make hunting easier. It varies from being able to tell where someone is, who someone is, being able to tell when someone is lying (Joe Buttataki), up to being able to find any specific person on earth (Maka). Normally in a fight, these people can tell if the group is being followed, if there is a traitor in their midst, etc. Doesn't really work on witches, who have adapted to get around this.
  • Dragon Ball Z has quite a few scenes of the second-tier characters sensing the energy of the heroes or villains powering up or launching their most powerful attack. As the Power Levels ramp up, these scenes start occurring with characters on other planets or even in the afterlife. Then the Sequel Series Dragon Ball Super amps it up by introducing the concept of Godly Ki, which mortals can't even sense.
    • Super also reveals that Beerus, a God of Destruction, and his attendant Whis have the ability to sense Killing Intent, no matter how good they are at hiding it. This ability is unique to the Gods of Destruction and their attendants. It's how they discover Zamasu is intending to murder his teacher Gowasu, something Gowasu, Goku, and the Supreme Kai of Universe 7 were unable to detect.
    • Later on in Super the heroes get to meet people from other universes, and are surprised to discover that they can't sense those peoples' Ki due to the differences between the natures of their worlds. The sole exception to this is Universe 6, which can be seen as justified since it and Universe 7 are "brothers".
  • In the ending of Tokyo Mew Mew, everyone is suddenly able to sense something is wrong with Ichigo. Turns out Ichigo has just given her own life so Masaya and the Earth can survive and for everyone else to revive too.
  • At one point in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, Noel and Coco suddenly sense that Lucia and the others are facing down Michel all the way in Antarctica. What's more, their powers seem to reach that far to help out, even though it depends on their singing voices — we've heard of carrying, but this is ridiculous.
  • In X1999, the Dragons (the people involved in determining the outcome of the Apocalypse) can innately sense when a kekkai has been raised or broken... which is tantamount to knowing that a battle is going down.
  • In the penultimate episode of the first season of Sailor Moon, the title heroine is able to sense when Sailor Mercury dies; she bears witness to the other deaths but this one she wasn't present for.
    • Likewise from the Anime's Sailor Moon R Petz seemingly is able to feel, and possibly hear Saphire's death, and his final confession.
    • In the manga, Diana shivers when Mistress 9 rips out Chibiusa's crystal, essentially leaving her dying. Later, Hotaru apparently senses when Galaxia has come to attack Pluto, prompting her to teleport to Pluto's side to help (though sadly, it doesn't do any good).
  • Ranma ½:
    • In one early chapter, Kunō has a vivid daydream of giving "The pig-tailed girl" (a.k.a. Ranma in female form) a very passionate kiss. Cue cut to Ranma shuddering violently, and responding to Akane's question of what's wrong with, "Dunno, just a sudden chill."
    • Similarly, in the late manga, both Akane and Ranma feel a sudden sense of something being wrong when Lime of the Musk Dynasty throttles Ryōga to the brink of death.
    • This may possibly be the explanation for how Akane heard Ranma's declaration of love (which is equally implied to have been merely thought, rather then spoken) in the final chapter.
  • In Code Geass, those who possess a Geass Code or are in the Sword of Akasha can sense others with Geass powers.
  • The Mobile Suit Gundam series has Newtypes who do this with special senses. it's mainly the main characters and main villains who do it though.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, during one of the last episodes, Kira inexplicably senses that Rau Le Creuset is attempting to destroy the Archangel and heads off to save his friends. Muu and Rau had used this ability to sense each other multiple times throughout the series, but Kira had not demonstrated such an ability before. The ability is never really given an explanation. Although, in the case of Muu and Rau, it may be due to the fact that they're related.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, it seems that Hohenheim (as well as all of the Xingese characters who can feel chi) are able to feel shifts in alchemy around Father, much like a "disturbance in the Force". like when he temporarily turns off all the alchemy in central
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, during the final part of the Magic World arc, everyone with any magical skill sensed Negi turn demonic from every range possible.
  • Elie pulls this in Rave Master at the end of Sieg's fight, though it's mainly just to tease that one of the manga's "best liked" characters may have died.
  • In Bleach, the shinigami have the ability to sense when someone else is fighting, doing badly in a fight, or about to die, by "feeling" their Reiatsu (or spiritual pressure, if you want). Often said shinigami are a good couple of miles away from the fight (or whatever else may be happening), and more often than not, in a position where they can't really go and help out.
  • In the manhwa Yureka, Ah-Dol down right says the Trope's name in the Demon King Quest arc. At least in the translation anyway...
  • Nyarko from Nyaruko: Crawling with Love! claims that her Idiot Hair functions as a Malign Deity Radar (a Shout-Out to GeGeGe no Kitarō); Mahiro thinks that it only works when she wants it to.
  • In Anpanman, Anpanman himself has super hearing as one of his superpowers, allowing him to hear calls of distress or his name being called from wherever he happens to be.
  • It happened in Episode 23 of Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth Where Rock Lee in the body of Naruto uses the Transformation technique to turn into Sakura and does a "Monroe Jutsu", cut to the real Sakura who is far away felt discomfort as if someone is making fun of her.
  • In Toriko, the Eight Kings of the Gourmet World have maintained their dominance for centuries thanks to their ability to sense any potential threats. When Toriko wakes up after his battle with Starjun, the Eight Kings immediately realize they are in danger.
  • In an extra chapter of Strawberry Shake Sweet, Ran drinks alcohol for the first time, unleashing her inner Butch Lesbian. Ryou, the Visual Kei pop star, is half a city away when this happens:
    Ryou: I sense a new comrade. A yuri nova was just born.
  • In Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu, Mysterious Waif Ruru/Lulu can sense Flame Power, an ability used to great effect as both a substitute for Mission Control and, since in this world, Flame is both a Ki analogue and Applied Phlebotinum, to double as The Empath.
  • The eponymous warriors in Claymore can sense yoki, the demonic energy that also powers them, at a distance—though some can do so much better than others. However, when Teresa of the Faint Smile is reborn, every single Claymore across the land feels it.
  • In Detective Conan, when Ran watches Shinichi run off at the amusement park, she has a premonition that she'll never see him again. Given that this is when he's turned into Conan, that's not entirely inaccurate (she does see him, but has no idea who he is).
  • In Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou, the Robot Girl Earth-chan can detect whenever someone is crying out for help from the bottom of their heart, allowing her to immediately come to the rescue.
  • Project A-ko: In Uncivil Wars, A-ko pauses in the middle of her fight with Liza when she hears B-ko call her name telepathically... at the exact moment she's shot and killed by Gail.
  • In Fruits Basket, zodiac members can feel the curse linking them if they try, although most do not for obvious reasons. This is unfortunate- if they had, more of them might have realized that it's fading.
    Shigure: (triumphantly) Hatori, can't you hear it? The sound of breaking.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Marvel Universe:
    • Spider-Man is the serial perpetrator of this trope. Whenever something cosmic goes down, his Spider-Sense goes haywire.
    • Doctor Strange is a similar barometer for Big Events in the magical world.
    • Uatu the Watcher shows up and stands around ominously whenever the writers feel the need to add cosmic weight to an event. Used by genre-savvy villain Thanos in the Infinity Gauntlet mini-series to identify the start of hostilities. He knows it's about to go down because the Watcher has appeared in space by his temple.
      • This may well be why Marvel did away with Uatu in the Original Sin crossover in 2014. Virtually everyone in the Marvel universe knew that Uatu's presence was a bellwether for Important Cosmic Stuff.
    • Single-issue example: Wisdom #5 comes at it from both ends, with the fairy and the alien both sensing a "change in the worlds".
    • In the original Dark Phoenix story, when Jean initially goes crazy in Central Park and easily whups the X-Men, about three or four panels show the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, and the Silver Surfer reacting to the massive outpouring of bad energy.
    • Something very similar was caused purposely by the Silver Surfer in the early stages of Atlantis Attacks. And an even more similar stance happened in the mid-1970s Avengers story that featured Michael Korvak slaughtering Starhawk.
    • Captain Mar-Vell possessed an ability named "cosmic awareness" which allowed him to detect threats and perceive changes in the universe as long as they are important to him for some reason. This ability could be used internally, allowing him to know he was dying of cancer before it was even confirmed. His Distaff Counterpart and later successor Carol Danvers had a limited variant of this ability that would activate against her control.
    • In his original incarnation, one of Drax the Destroyer's powers was Telepathy which he could use to track Thanos across vast distances. After his second reincarnation, Drax loses his telepathy but possessed the ability to either sense Thanos or other beings who have been in recent contact with Thanos, alongside a precognitive ability to sense when beings will be in contact with Thanos in the near future.
  • In The DCU:
    • The Joker ceasing to laugh has been used as a sign that something really bad is happening.
    • And The Phantom Stranger will always be drawn to the scene of any universe-altering calamity.
  • Parodied in the underground comic normalman.
  • The Sandman occasionally has Destiny turning the pages of his book and looking troubled. One of these, in issue 5, is the first time we ever see Destiny (in The Sandman, at any rate).
  • Parodied in Gold Digger. Future-Gina-from-the-past uses a technique that prompts this reaction from a HUGE number of people. Said technique, using the force of time itself? Millennium Pimp Slap! (She uses it to smack her bitch up!)
  • Hellboy
    • In Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, when Rasputin begins waking the Ogdru Jahad, the action briefly cuts to a group of aliens from another dimension who exclaim that "It's moving! Its Readings Are Off the Scale!"
    • Another Hellboy story has a flashback to Hellboy, aged 2, being persuaded to eat a pancake for the first time. Cut to Hell, where a bunch of high-ranking demons react with horror. "He has eaten the pancake." "Truly this is our darkest hour." (It's never explained just why eating a pancake is so significant. Word of God is that the scene isn't entirely canonical, and is just supposed to be funny.) It actually is explained (though a little Fridge Brilliance might help) since the eating of the pancake makes Hellboy too happy with leaving Earth as it is to fulfill his destiny and destroy everything. Of course, the fact of the matter is, the whole thing just falls under Rule of Funny anyway.
  • In the Emerald Fallout arc of Guy Gardner: Warrior (which preceded Emerald Twilight in Green Lantern), Guy receives a vision of Oa's destruction, and of Hal Jordan killing Sinestro, after his yellow power ring began to malfunction.
  • Happens very frequently in ElfQuest. Savah and Suntop pretty much embody the trope, Dewshine had her moment when Scouter and Tyleet Recognized, and Pike knew when Skot died.
  • In Strikeforce: Morituri, Scanner had clairsentience, though he initially thought it was super senses until the psychic aspect became known.

    Comic Strips 
  • In one Baby Blues comic, Daryl decides to throw out Zoe and Hammie's Whistling Monkey Cowboy Band video cassettes because they have lost interest in them. Or, not entirely—when dropped in the bin, Zoe rushes to Hammie's bed in the middle of the night and says "I sense a disturbance in the force."
  • Parodied in Zits. Jeremy has just received a credit card; meanwhile, in another room of the house, his father suddenly remarks : "I sense a disturbance in the Force".
  • Unintentionally defied in the Spider-Man newspaper comic strip, where Spider-Man's spider-sense frequently just seems to cease to exist.

    Fan Works 
  • In Child of the Storm, Gravemoss' first major spell with the Darkhold, in Paris, draws this reaction from most of the psychically/mystically sensitive people around the world, to varying degrees based on proximity - Wanda Maximoff's on the other side of the planet and her hands glow red. Harry Dresden is practically right above Gravemoss (who's in the catacombs under Paris, the charmingly named 'City of the Dead') and has a full on seizure.
    • Dumbledore mentions that Jean Grey's first power manifestation at the age of six was sensed by most every person with trained psychic senses on the planet.
    • Harry being resurrected by the Phoenix has a similar effect, though it's directly compared to Gravemoss' spell as more of a whisper than a shout, but one that carries a very long way.
    • In Ghosts of the Past, Harry and Maddie's psychic brawl gives everyone some degree of Psychic Nosebleed, and the more powerful the psychic/mage, the worse they're affected.
  • In Chapter 2 of the Steven Universe fanfiction "Diamond Talent", when Yellow Diamond says that she wishes to terminate the Cluster, Lapis, in the barn, tells Peridot that she (Lapis) feels a disturbance.
  • A throwaway joke in the Facing the Future Series when Danny's "Father Sense" is tingling after Jack caused a citywide blackout.
  • In Queen of All Oni, all of the heroes feel it when Jade transforms Viper into Hebi. Uncle and Tohru get the willies, as per canon whenever they sensed something evil and magical in nature, but even the others all feel a sudden pall of despair.
  • The Stronger Evil: When the demon chi fragments are awakened, all the actual demons feel it as waves of chi radiate out from them.
  • Kage: When Jade first arrives in Meridian from the Shadowrealm, it is sensed by more experienced magic users like Arkhanta's ancient Heart Yua and ex-Guardians Nerissa and Yan Lin as a disturbance in the magical Veil surrounding Meridian. The Oracle Himerish senses Jade's arrival in the form of a headache followed by an ancient vision of one of his predecessors.
  • In Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space, TuMok of Mars uses the power of the Farce (the natural incompetence found in any organization) to get out of their cell. But it stops working when the Big Bad's Hypercompetent Sidekick is about to arrive on the scene. "I sense a disturbance in the Farce. It is called Efficiency."
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has these instances:
    • In the Big P Pokémon Race Interlude sidestory, Ash's Pidgeot arrives in Kalos to deliver a message from Serena, and muses that she couldn't shake off the feeling that Ash and the others somehow were in danger. This was specifically tied to the events of Chapter 23, when Ash and Co. had to fight their way through the Gringy City Power Plant, taken over by a horde of Poison-type Pokémon.
    • Played for Laughs in the Chapter 36 omake, when Charizard practices his Seismic Toss and Togepi sees it and begins to imitate him. Suddenly, Charizard begins to get the idea to train Togepi to see if he can learn to do that, learn Flamethrower or something like that, and Pikachu senses "a horrible disturbance on the force of all things pure and innocent".
  • A Possible Encounter for a Phantom has a Played for Laughs version. Kim Possible tells Danny Fenton she prefers Nasty Burger over Bueno Nacho. In Middleton, despite not knowing what Kim's doing, Ron can somehow sense something is wrong with the world when she says that.
  • War Gods in Son of the Western Sea are capable of detecting potential for conflict, and according to Guan Yu all of them were able to feel how close World War Three was to starting. The Morrigan was apparently sharpening her spear for a week in anticipation.
  • In Amazing Fantasy, expect Peter and Izuku's Spider-Senses to tingle whenever something dangerous is about to go down nearby.
  • The Power of the Equinox: When the Entity has dissolved Twilight's body in the process of transforming her into Dimmed Star, Princess Celestia senses it as a hard chill.
  • Played for laughs in Heroic Myth. Ais gets the distinct feeling that she missed out on something when Gina vetoes Archer's proposal to sell Jagamaru-kun croquettes like everyone else on Grand Day. This is while Ais is eighteen floors deep in the Dungeon while Archer and Gina are up in Orario.
  • Unbreakable Red Silken Thread: A trait shared by a number of characters, though none more so than Dawn. While Heather and Cody both have this to an extent thanks to a lifetime of fight up the food chain or from being bullied, Dawn's extends beyond the supernatural.
  • Played for Laughs in Son of the Sannin with Ino, whose "gossip sense" alerts her to when people she knows develop a crush.
    Shikamaru: You can sense people's relationships? Troublesome.
    Choji: 'Scary' is the word I'd use.
  • In With Confidence, Izuku and Nedzu recognising a kinship with each other wakes Aizawa up in fright.

    Films — Animation 
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 has Master Shifu sensing Po being shot by Lord Shen's cannon. Also at the end, Po's biological father senses his son is alive and well.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Avengers: Infinity War does this in an absolutely heartbreaking way after Thanos erases half of the life in the universe with the complete Gauntlet. Mantis's empathetic powers allow her to sense the pain, sorrow, and fear of countless sentient beings turning to ash—" happening..."—just before she is taken herself. Immediately after this, Peter Parker's Spider-Sense starts going haywire: "Mr. Stark? I don't feel so good..." Since this power allows him to foretell danger, it's an indication that his body knows he's about to be consumed, too, and he spends his last seconds alive begging Tony to save him--"I don't wanna go..."
  • In one scene from Babylon A.D., kooky Precog and the film's resident MacGuffin Aurora declares, "They're all dead." A split-second later, a television screen displays a news report on how the peaceful church of women she comes from was blown up by a missile.
    • Not quite — the news report is playing on a multi-screen TV, and other character just brings up the report to full screen after she reacts to it. She does have the ability to take in and process vast amounts of information though, so the effect is the same. Earlier in the movie she knows a bomb is going to go off in the marketplace before it happens.
  • In the Highlander series, Immortals can sense the nearby presence of others of their kind.
  • The Lord of the Rings
    • In the Peter Jackson version of The Return of the King, immediately after Frodo puts on the Ring and the Eye turns to Mount Doom, the movie cuts to Gandalf. His expression is one of utter despair; it isn't clear whether he knows exactly what's happened, but he obviously knows how bad it is. He knows that Frodo has fallen to the Ring and alerted Sauron of his presence.
      • He may have sensed it through his possession of Narya (one of the Three Noldor Rings, of which The One Ring would be Master if Sauron got his hand on the latter).
    • And the scene earlier on in which Legolas is commenting that "something stirs in the East," just before Pippin tries to use the Palantír and draws Sauron's attention to Edoras
  • Seen in the Mystery Science Theater 3000-featured movie Puma Man. The main character will often grab his forehead when he "senses danger." Just what you want in a superhero — when he senses danger, he gets a headache. Not to mention he only manages to do so once or twice out of the several times he's attacked.
  • Star Wars:
    • Naturally, Obi-Wan Kenobi's famous line in A New Hope after the destruction of Alderaan, quoted at the top of the page.
    • Although he doesn't say anything, Yoda is visibly weakened and suffering as he feels the Jedi across the universe being wiped out in Revenge of the Sith.
    • In both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Yoda also reacts to pivotal moments in Anakin's descent towards the Dark Side when he gives in to his anger.
    • Also in Star Wars, the protagonists — Force-sensitive and non-sensitive alike — possess a tendency to "have a bad feeling about this".
    • The lack of this feeling indicates to Leia that Luke is still alive after the Death Star II explodes.
    • It was also inverted in Return of the Jedi when Han Solo has a funny feeling that he's not going to see the Millennium Falcon again — but the ship goes on to survive (narrowly, and more due to test audience results than anything else) the destruction of the Death Star.
    • In The Force Awakens, Leia feels Han's death through the Force, after he is killed by their own son.
      • Likewise in the novelization, she is so overcome with the Force that she collapses from all the terror, pain and death she feels from the doomed denizens of the Hosnian Cataclysm.
    • Used again, in The Last Jedi, as both Rey and Leia sense Luke merging with the Force after using an Astral Projection to buy time for the Resistance to escape from Crait aboard the Millennium Falcon. Earlier, averted by the fact that Luke didn't sense Han dying, having purposely avoided using the Force for years out of guilt.
    • Then in The Rise of Skywalker, Leia is able to feel the fight between Rey and her son, who in turn the two are able to feel Leia's death from giving herself to the Force to stop said fight. Later, Finn appears to sense Rey's death; fortunately Ben Solo revives her.
  • All over the place in The Shadow, but there's one moment that stands out. The Shadow's cabbie, Moe Shrevnitz, is reading a book called How to Unlock Your Psychic Abilities. "I sense somebody's coming," he muses. Sure enough, a Mongol Warrior falls from a great height.

  • The Animorphs series gives this ability to Cassie. In the fourth book, she's able to feel Ax's psychic calls for help in vague dreams. It reaches a pinnacle in Back to Before, when Crayak alters history to keep the Animorphs from ever walking through the abandoned construction site where they met Elfangor and began their quest to save the world. Despite the massive changes to the fabric of space-time, Cassie is still able to detect that something is horribly wrong. The Ellimist then reveals that Cassie is an "anomaly" who always senses the way reality is supposed to be, regardless of any alterations made to it. Her presence naturally disrupts and eventually destroys any new timelines, forcing Crayak to "play fair" in his everlasting game against the Ellimist.
  • Isaac Asimov's ''Pebble in the Sky': The Mind Touch, part of Schwartz's Psychic Powers, gives him the ability to sense the location and intentions of the people around him, up to a great distance and through solid walls. It doesn't exactly give him the ability to predict their actions, but to know what they've decided to do before they're able to do it.
  • In the Doctor Who Missing Adventures novel Millennial Rites, the transformation of half of London into a Low Fantasy Cosmic Horror Story setting is detected by a blond haired man in a dirty trenchcoat in a Dublin pub and a thoughtful man levitating in a voluminous blue cloak in a New York brownstone.
  • Everworld: When Senna throws open the gateway, she instantly feels all the gods of Everworld, as well as Merlin and the nameless force between the worlds, turn around and notice her.
  • Harry Potter
    • Harry's link to Voldemort's mind allows him to determine what Voldemort is feeling during times of high emotion, anger, happiness, etc. However, since Voldemort is usually far away and the visions are not always clear, this ability is often useless, with only a few exceptions. On one occasion, it is even worse than useless when Voldemort plants a fake vision in Harry's mind to lure him into a trap.
    • This is also subverted when it comes to the Horcruxes. Dumbledore guesses (correctly) that Voldemort cannot tell when a Horcrux is destroyed, although Voldemort tries to assure himself (after starting to catch on to the heroes' efforts) that surely he would magically sense if they succeeded in destroying any of his Soul Jars. Dumbledore's theory is that Voldy has sundered his soul so much that he can't detect any further trauma to it. This ends up being crucial later as it means he doesn't realize he accidentally turned Harry into a Horcrux when he tried to kill him.
  • The One Ring and the Palantírs in The Lord of the Rings give their owners some knowledge of the thoughts and actions of the Dark Lord Sauron, at the cost of being at risk of being detected themselves. Sauron himself can see the entire world with his Eye, but only one place at once, and he must know where to look.
  • In the Polish book series Opowieść Piasków (Eng. Story of the sands) by Krzysztof Piskorski, descendants of the gods can sense each other's presence and power level, and are affected by whatever happens to their godly parents. When most of these gods are killed, their descendants all over the world wake up screaming. Some of them go mad or even die from the pain.
  • In Pact, practitioners and Others are sensitive to the function of the universe. Events that realign large numbers of people or disrupt these workings attract attention. When the protagonist is magically made into an Unperson, the effects are felt across all of Toronto.
  • The Riftwar Cycle: Jimmy the Hand has what he calls his "bump of trouble" whenever something big is going down, or while in the presence of magic.
  • Sisterland: When Kate's mother dies of a reaction to her medication, Kate feels desperately sad even though she doesn't get the news until the next day.
  • Inverted in K.H. Metzger's Skye Sparkler, where the title superheroine has a "trouble sense" that tells her when (and approximately where) something bad is about to happen.
  • Star Wars Legends: This of course happens quite often with Jedi and non-Jedi alike.
    • One of the more notable occurrences is in the novel The Last Command, where Grand Admiral Thrawn thinks something is wrong with his race of secret death commandos, but can't for the life of him figure out what. They've turned against the Empire, and one of their number assassinates him in the end.
    • Any time an inhabited planet is destroyed, it creates a "wound in the Force" which is instantly sensed by any Force-Sensitives, trained or not. In Death Star, mildly Sensitive Warrior Poet Nova Stihl wakes up screaming as Despayre is used to test the Death Star out, in the narration saying that it was as if he'd heard a million people cry out, all at once, as they were killed. Later he passes out with a Psychic Nosebleed when Alderaan is destroyed. Untrained Tash Arranda felt it and immediately knew her family was dead. In the Jedi Academy Trilogy a star is forced to go supernova, taking out Carida, and in I, Jedi Corran, while recovering, thinks that "disturbance" is far too mild a term.
  • Time Scout's Ianira Cassondra's clairvoyant trances are powerful enough that she can almost see the face of a blandly bland Master of Disguise.
  • Tortall Universe: In Song of the Lioness, Alanna of Trebond tends to get an itchy nose when magic is occurring nearby. On both occasions when her Goddess appears to her in person, she has an outright sneezing fit.
  • In the Warhammer 40,000 novels, Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM's palms have a tendency to tingle or itch whenever he's about to head into some new "bowel-clenching terror." Apparently, this is his subconscious telling him, "I know something you don't, and you're better off this way."
  • The Wheel of Time
    • This composes almost an entire book. One character does something epic and earth-shaking, and the next book is mostly composed of reaction shots of people all over the world sensing it.
    • Later, several channelers get an Obi-Wan Kenobi-style horrified reaction to a "balescream" when The Chosen One uses his +9001 Amplifier Artifact to balefire things out of existence in exactly the same way that nearly destroyed the universe during the last war.
    • Mat has a constant sensation of "dice rolling in his head" which stops at appropriately important moments, but he has no idea what to expect. On one occasion the dice stop when he walks into a room, and he flips out and wonders if one of the Forsaken is going to burst from the fireplace or something. Made hilarious on a second read when you know that 1. the dice stopped because one of the women in the room is his future wife, and 2. Incidentally, one of the other women in the room is one of the Forsaken.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Amazing Spider-Man (1978) had Peter's spider-sense manifest as precognitive flashes of upcoming or currently-happening-elsewhere events, e.g. a burglary in progress or an upcoming confrontation.
  • Blake's 7.
    • In "Children of Auron", resident telepath Cally senses the mass death from the Synthetic Plague that's wiping out her people and goes catatonic. In the same episode Servalan uses the Auron cloning facility to create children in her own image. However when The Dragon fools her into destroying the facility with Orbital Bombardment (telling her the embryos have been switched), she senses their deaths immediately, and murders The Dragon in revenge.
    • Unfortunately it becomes Nightmare Fail when Cally first lays eyes on Ultraworld and covers her face in horror as she experiences a hallucination of... a disco glitter ball? Blakes 7 didn't have much budget for special effects.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor, and in fact all Time Lords, have the gift of being able to sense the timelines. Though this is only vaguely defined, the Doctor is shown to have instinctive knowledge of when time is fixed or in flux, and has been shown to have an almost physical reaction to time being subverted. For example, Captain Jack, as a fixed point in time, makes the Doctor extremely uncomfortable, even to look at him, until after they spend a year in captivity by the Master, and in "The Waters of Mars", after his whole Time Lord Victorious speech, he sees flashes of the timeline changing.
  • Downton Abbey season 2 had that moment where both Daisy and Mary both sense the men they love, William and Matthew, are in danger when they get injured fighting in World War One.
  • Farscape:
    • Thanks to the neurochip Scorpius implanted in Crichton's brain (and the neural clone that developed from it), Scorpius can sense when Crichton is reconstituted after being crystallized in "The Peacekeeper Wars" and where he is. Crichton is not amused.
    • During the "Liars, Guns and Money" trilogy Stark breaks down screaming when he senses that Scorpius has just executed 10,000 slaves, including members of Stark's species, that the crew of Moya were trying to save.
  • Arthur seems to have this in BBC's Merlin but he muffles it with his Genre Blindness. He says in the pilot that "There's something about you, Merlin. I can't quite put my finger on it." and then promptly forgets it completely. After rescuing a druid boy in The Beginning of the End, he learns the boy's name: Mordred. He seems uneasy and worried, but this never comes up again. In that case it's justified, since he has yet to see him again.
    • Merlin's ability to sense magic can be seen as this. Queen Mab later teaches him how to expand on it to find his way out of an enchanted forest.
  • The Werewolves of The Order hear an annoying ringing sound whenever someone uses dark or harmful magic. This is useful as they are sworn to protect people from dark practitioners, it's also inconvenient as most of the wolves are college students and the ringing is even more annoying when hungover.
  • Scrubs's The Todd has one of these for, er, well:
    [in the doctor's lounge, Carla and Elliot kiss]
    [meanwhile, in the cafeteria...]
    The Todd: Something wonderful is happening.
    [later, in the doctor's lounge]
    Turk: And for the love of God, honey, no more girl-on-girl kissing demonstrations.
    [cut to the cafeteria]
    The Todd: Something horrible has happened.
  • Spock in Star Trek: The Original Series has an Obi-Wan moment nine years before the Trope Namer in "The Immunity Syndrome", where he senses the shock and terror of 400 Vulcan crewmen who were eaten by a giant amoeba. But then again, Vulcans are usually somewhat telepathic if the plot demands it.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation this was one of Troi's main jobs. However, it was a Story-Breaker Power for many mystery solving episodes and so her abilities varied wildly from one episode to another.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Tears of the Prophets," Sisko senses when the Prophets are attacked and the wormhole collapses.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. In "Time and Again", an industrial disaster wipes out an entire planetary civilization. Kes sleeps through the shockwave as it strikes Voyager, but sits up in bed as she telepathically senses the massive death toll.
  • In Stranger Things' third season, Will can sense when the Mind Flayer is active or nearby, apparently as an aftereffect of it having possessed him previously.
  • In Two and a Half Men when Charlie's girlfriend talks to Alan about how her large breasts are causing her back pains, Alan suggests that she gets breast reduction surgery. As soon as he says that, the scene is switched to upstairs, where Charlie immediately awakens and sits up, realizing that something is wrong.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Mayfair's DC Heroes game actually includes a specific superpower, "Awareness", which is essentially a distillation of this effect.
  • In Nomine has the concept of Disturbance — since angels and demons aren't supposed to be on Earth, it causes a supernatural "noise" whenever they break something, hurt something or kill something that belongs to the physical world. This Disturbance can be heard by other celestials and "aware" humans, who can try to track the noise down to its source. Likewise, using Essence, Songs, and several kinds of Attunement (various supernatural powers) also sets off a Disturbance. And if several of these events happen nearby in time and space, it creates a series of ever-louder "echoes." Big battles with lots of property damage can be heard by a celestial in the next county.
  • In Mage: The Awakening all mages possess an "Unseen Sense" that allows them to realise when any supernatural power is used in their presence (with the possible exception of powers that are supposed to conceal). Mage: The Ascension has the Awareness ability that does the same thing (Alertness is for noticing normal things like someone sneaking up on you).
    • Actually, awareness is just a New World of Darkness ability in general, it's what mortal investigators who are mystically inclined or trained in an occult tradition use. It's not (or not necessarily) supernatural in itself, just this trope played extremely straight in the form of an instinct for incoming plot.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, Psykers can sense when a Tyranid swarm is invading their world... by going insane and dying. Untrained ones can also sense Chaos by becoming demonically possessed.
  • In White Wolf's Vampire games (both Masquerade and Requiem), elder vampires tend to become sedentary... so when they move, it tends to be a big deal. From the New World of Darkness sourcebook Chicago:
    Elders rarely move to Chicago, because elders rarely move, because Kindred who move rarely survive to become elders. Thus, when one shows up, people notice. It's not just the Harpies, not just the courtiers, not just the hooked-up Invictus Ventrue political hacks. Any Kindred who talks to any other Kindred is likely to hear rumors, no matter how half-baked, or illogical. No matter how faded the truth may be from cycling through Chinese Whispers, every Kindred with even the faintest fear of his own kind will hear: something big is coming.
    An elder can sneak into Chicago and conceal her person, but she can only mitigate her impact, not hide it.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Some of the most powerful spells disrupt the Background Magic Field so that wizards of the same school of magic can detect the disturbance from miles away. Generally they'll investigate and take an extremely dim view of a fellow wizard using those spells frivolously.

    Video Games 
  • From Dawn of War, Chaos units has this quote:
    It's as if a thousand mouths cry out in pain!
  • This is the entire point of the Grey Wardens in Dragon Age: Origins as it is nearly impossible for Darkspawn to get the drop on them since they know exactly when a Darkspawn is approaching and from where. Unfortunately, it works the other way around too.
    "My Warden senses are tingling!"
  • Takes the form of hearing mysterious voices in Drakengard. These voices convey all sorts of information: what seals have just capitulated, what genocidal atrocities are taking place, whenever a person in a pact is in danger. Y'know, things of that nature.
  • Unlike the other two Ancients in Eternal Darkness, Xel'lotath knew exactly what happened when her Guardian colonies were blown up. Justified, considering what she is...
  • Ninian and Nils in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade. Nils upgrades to Seer when Hannah the witch is Put on a Bus.
  • Subverted and ultimately parodied in Thimbleweed Park. The first characters the main characters will meet are two women dressed as pigeons who tell the player in almost every bit of dialogue that "the signals are very strong tonight." If pressed on the matter, they admit they're just screwing with you.
  • Spoofed in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, when the Voodoo lady's powers sense that a small voice shrieked in terror and was suddenly silenced, when Wally was kidnapped.
  • In Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Cal's Jedi Master Jaro Tapal senses the deaths of his fellow Jedi during Order 66. Just in time too, since the clone trooper right behind him has just received Order 66 and is aiming a blaster at him.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy spoofs the Jedi's fondness for this trope:
      Luke Skywalker: I sense a disturbance in the Force.
      Kyle Katarn: You always sense a disturbance in the Force, but yeah, I sense it too.
    • Knights of the Old Republic averts it when you're captured by the Leviathan, and Saul tells you about the Sith attacking Dantooine. Bastila points out that it's a sign that the Dark Side presence in the area is much stronger than she initially thought.
    • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Atton has a habit of saying "I have a bad feeling about this", which is eventually picked up on by the player character:
      Exile: Would you stop saying that?
      • Then the game itself suggests that you should listen out for when he says it — "it's advised that you save your game". The in-game explanation for this is that Atton is a bit of a rogue, and as such he has sense for when bad things are about to happen around him. That and he's one of several Force-sensitive companions of the Exile.
  • Shine Hausen of Super Robot Wars Original Generation. This Rebellious Princess is known for being the strongest user of this trope her family's ever produced, the reason why the Divine Crusaders captured and used her in one their Humongous Mecha. When the sequel rolls along, Shine gets to pilot her own custom unit and her powers are used as means to invoke a Combination Attack with Latooni Subota.
    • Actually, there are several characters who exhibit this trope. Many of the characters from the Alpha series (such as Ryusei, Bullet, Aya, and Kusuha) are Psychodrivers, and are usually shown to getting "Bad Vibes" whenever something "untoward" is amiss. Radha Byraban also displays this trope, though it's due to her heightened sense of awareness rather then actual TK powers.
    • Badass Normal Kyosuke Nanbu tends to show this trope as well, but this is credited to his sharp instincts rather than any sort of mystic power.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time combines this trope with The Call Knows Where You Live. After Ganondorf seizes the Triforce of Power and takes over Hyrule, the Sacred Realm itself senses the release of his evil power and issues an awakening summons to five specific individuals, who are compelled to visit the temples of their regions and take up their mantle as the new Sages.

    Web Animation 
  • Upon a fragment of the Emperor of Mankind being resurrected in If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, we are treated to a quick montage of nearly every psyker in the galaxy briefly freaking out at the massive shockwave of psychic power enveloping the galaxy.
  • In Sonic for Hire, when Mario kills Sonic, instead of sensing worry, the gang suddenly feels a sense of nourishment. Even to Mario's surprise, the outcome ended up making world peace.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender season 1 finale: When Zhao kidnaps the Moon Spirit, Aang and Yue (the Moon's backup Soul Jar) clutch their foreheads in pain:
    Yue: I feel faint.
    Aang: I feel it, too. The Moon is in trouble.
    • In the Sequel Series, The Legend of Korra: it's a "blink and you'll miss it" moment, but Tenzin's beard bristles in response to the electrical charge of Equalist weapons.
    • The same thing happens to Daw's bald head in "Original Airbenders", when waves from the net about to snare him sends shivers up his head, alerting him of the attack.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: One good thing about Ma-Ti's Heart power — it apparently never turns off (as long as he has his ring), giving Ma-Ti a sort of permanent Spider-Sense to know whenever something extremely bad was going down.
  • Another spoof in Codename: Kids Next Door, episode "Operation: C.A.K.E.D.-F.I.V.E.": when the orbital ice scream storage of the KND is destroyed by Father's Death Star Cake, Numbuh Five falls to her knees and says it:
    Abby: Something just happened. It's as if million of gallons of ice cream just... disappeared.
  • The Fairly OddParents:
    • Spoofed when Chester gets in his teeth broken just after having his braces removed, miles away his dentist says "I sense a disturbance... in my wallet!"
    • Also spoofed when Timmy is turned into a girl and hangs out with Trixie to find out the perfect birthday present to get her. The two get along so well, Trixie rips up a picture of Veronica, her best friend up to that point. A second later, at another part of the mall, Veronica screams in pain and clutches her chest.
  • In the Fanboy and Chum Chum episode "Speed Eraser" when Fanboy erases Boog's high scores with the magic eraser:
    Boog: AAGH! I feel a great a million points cried out...and were suddenly silenced.
  • In an episode of The Fender Bender 500, after Dick Dastardly declares himself, "smarter then the av-er-age cheat", in another part of the race, Yogi realizes that "Dick is stealing his schtick."
  • Parodied in the Futurama episode "Crimes of the Hot". Just as Nixon sets in motion a plan to permanently shut down all robots, Professor Farnsworth sullenly comments, "Oh, the Jedis are going to feel this one."
  • A Running Gag on Hey Arnold! is how Helga shouts Arnold's name whenever she gets in trouble because of him.
    Arnold: Did you hear something?
    Gerald: No.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: At the beginning of Season 3's main plot, it's implied a nightmare warned Uncle about Daolong Wong breaking into Section 13.
    • In general, Uncle gets "the willies" whenever something evil and magical in nature is afoot. Later, this starts happening to Tohru as well.
  • Taken to an extreme in the Justice League episode "The Balance", when after the underworld is taken over by Felix Faust, Dr. Fate and Zatanna go catatonic and have to be submitted to and strapped onto their beds in the medical ward. And Jason Blood/Etrigan half transforming. Used as a catalyst to get Wonder Woman to help her less-than-favorite person.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Pinkie Pride", Cheese Sandwich has a Cheesy Sense that lets him know when there's a party in need of a planner.
    • In "Twilight's Kingdom - Part 1", Discord is tasked with tracking down Tirek because he has the ability to sense the magical disruptions that come with Tirek draining a pony.
    • In "Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2", Discord visibly wobbles when he senses the imbalance caused by Cadance, Luna, and Celestia transferring their powers to Twilight, but tells no one.
      Discord: That can't be right.
      Tirek: What can't be right?
      Discord: Nothing. Carry on!
    • In "The Beginning of the End – Part 2", Star Swirl the Bearded explains that he sensed the Tree of Harmony's destruction, describing it as "like part of [his] essence just ceased to be".
    • In "Uprooted", the burst of magic caused by the Tree of Harmony being reborn is felt by Twilight Sparkle all the way to Ponyville, and she teleport to the Castle of the Two Sisters shortly thereafter.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • "Whatcha Doin'" is Isabella's Catchphrase, and she's quite determined to keep it that way. In the Christmas Special, when Candace says it to Jeremy over the phone, the show cuts to Isabella at her house, squinting and shifting her eyes suspiciously.
    • Also, when Candace quickly stacked some cans so her mother would see what Phineas and Ferb built in that episode, Doofenshmirtz, who held a cup stacking record until then, felt it being broken.
    • In "The Flying Fishmonger" Phineas and Ferb start creating a canyon for their Grandfather to jump over. Meanwhile at the mall, Candace calls Stacy with the strange feeling that ground was just broken in her backyard.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In an episode, Homer says that the Simpsons are going to Africa. Cut to a stereotypical African village, where several tribal men, including one in a large mask, sit around a fire.
      Ngungo: [shudders] Evil is coming.
      Man: What shall we do, Ngungo?
      Ngungo: [removes his mask and puts it on the man who spoke] You are Ngungo now! [runs away into the night]
    • In another episode, Homer invites a pair of carnies to come live at their house. Cut to Lisa and Marge:
      Lisa: Why did you just shudder, Mom?
      Marge: I don't know...
    • In another episode, Marge's sister Selma wants to adopt a Chinese infant. Being unmarried, she puts Homer's name on the form as her husband. Cut to Homer, eating in the cafeteria at work. He visibly cringes and declares:
      Homer: I just felt a chill go through my very soul...
      Lenny: Yeah, the sloppy joes will do that to ya.
    • Parodied in "She of Little Faith": Lisa converts to Buddhism, and shouts "I'm a Buddhist!" out the window. Cut to Christian neighbor Ned Flanders, who proclaims "My Satan sense is tingling!" and takes his children to hide in the basement.
  • Spoofed in an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. When he ate a nibble of and expressed his disgust for Gary's snailfood, the CEOs felt it. Considering he repeats the action several times (It Makes Sense in Context), one wonders if they weren't passed out by the end of the episode.
    • Also in the SpongeBob B.C. special, Patchy the Pirate and Potty the Parrot argue with each other on whether SpongeBob favors the ancient past or high tech future. We then cut to Krusty Krab where SpongeBob has a worried -out look on his face.
    Mr. Krabs: SpongeBob! What's wrong?
    SpongeBob: I don't know, Mr. Krabs, but I've got the strangest feeling that somewhere out there, a pirate and parrot are arguing about me. And the parrot is winning.
  • Star Wars Rebels: In the first episode, "Spark of Rebellion", street rat Ezra Bridger gets a weird feeling, that he can't explain, about a random guy with a ponytail in the street below (Ezra's on the roof of a building). This leads directly to him meeting the Ghost crew, when he interferes with the heist they're currently pulling. Of course, this being Star Wars, it's the Force, and Kanan, who definitely noticed Ezra sensing him earlier, lets Ezra steal his Jedi holocron when he senses it later on to see if he can open it — which he can.
  • In an episode of Storm Hawks, Junko reveals that he has a significance sense (specifically, a nasal allergy) specific to Murk Raiders... just in time for it to go off. At the end of the episode, when asked if he has any more allergies like this, he informs them that yes, he's got one for sky sharks. Then he sneezes.
  • Perhaps subverted in the first episode of the original Transformers cartoon, when a couple of construction workers come upon a facility mangled by the Decepticon, and one of them says, "Somethin's wrong... real wrong." And then Ravage leaps out at them, chasing them away.
  • In The Venture Bros., while the gang are playing football in the backyard, Brock immediately stops and without hearing or seeing anything, realizes that someone is in his car. He is right.
    Shore Leave: Okay, that is a legitimate superpower.
    Hank: I've seen him do that from another country away.
  • In Wakfu season 2 episode 24, when a portal opens from Rushu's World and an army of Shushus swarms the Purple Claws Island, Master Goultard immediately feels it although he's in another part of the world.
  • Over the two occasions when Jean Grey emerges as the Phoenix in X-Men, Thor, Doctor Strange, Captain Britain, Uatu and Eternity can all be seen reacting to her one way or another.
  • In Xiaolin Showdown's first episode, after Jack Spicer frees Wuya from her puzzle box, the scene cuts to the elder monks of the Xiaolin Temple.
    Monk: Did you feel that?
    Monk: It was if a great chill descended upon the land.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): I Sense A Disturbance In The Force


Yoda - Order 66 reaction

Yoda senses the Jedi's purge throughout the galaxy through the Force.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / MySignificanceSenseIsTingling

Media sources:

Main / MySignificanceSenseIsTingling