Follow TV Tropes


Noisy Shut-Up

Go To

"Children of the night... SHUT UP!"
Count Dracula, Love at First Bite

A bunch of people are babbling or arguing all at once. This often happens in some sort of crisis situation, especially when most of the people involved are just civilians and they don't know how else to react. Unfortunately, all their noisy anger/panic/confusion etc. is preventing any real conversation or coordination. (Moreover, it's preventing the audience from actually listening to any particular line of dialogue.) Somebody needs to take charge and act like a leader. The leader may start by simply talking to people, but he finds that no one can really hear him. In any case, he decides to make a really loud noise to make everybody else shut up. This may involve a loud "SHUT UP!", or it may involve some other way of making noise, such as firing a gun into the air.

This is surprisingly effective. It's very rare for the babbling crowd to ignore the leader or tell him to shut up in return.

Related to Big "SHUT UP!", but differs because it only applies when the intention is to shut up a noisy crowd, and it may involve non-vocal ways of doing so. One version is "Shut Up!" Gunshot.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Angel Beats! episode 5: Between exams, the SSS argue about the methods they're using to sabotage Angel's exam results. Three times this happens, and three times this ends with Yuri screaming at them to shut up and slamming on her desk (followed by a hasty explanation from Otonashi to Angel about why they're being so loud).
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers: Germany does this to the other nations in the first episode.
  • Pokémon: The Series: Ms. Reiko (who goes unnamed in the English Dub) the teacher seen in "The Purr-fect Hero" does this to her class via a Big "SHUT UP!" when they wouldn't stop pestering Pikachu.
    Ms. Reiko: QUIET, YOU BRATS!!!

  • Cheech & Chong's "Sister Mary Elephant":
    "Class ... class ... class ... SHUT UP!!!!!!! Thank you."

    Fan Works 
  • In A Battle of Subtlety and Manipulation Viktor Krum's cousin yells a magically-enhanced "QUIET!" to shut up all of the people yelling about Harry being the unintended fourth entrant in the Triwizard Tournament.

    Films — Animation 
  • Brave: Unlike her mother, Merida has to resort to just yelling at all of the tribes and their leaders to "SHUT IT!" in order to speak her mind.
  • Pinocchio: Jiminy Cricket does this twice.
    • Jiminy tries to sleep in Geppetto's workshop and is kept awake by a cacophony of ticking clocks and Geppetto's snoring. When Jiminy yells "QUIET!!", the clocks immediately stop ticking and Geppetto stops snoring.
      Jiminy: After all, enough's enough.
    • When Jiminy sees Pinocchio marching with John and Gideon singing "Hey diddlee dee", he tries to get their attention, but they are too busy singing to see him. Eventually he climbs onto John's hat, and whistles very loudly; then Pinocchio sees him.
  • Puss in Boots: The headmistress of the orphanage shouts "SILENCIO!!" to silence her young charges.
  • Shark Tale: Done near the end when Oscar is trying to tell reporters and paparazzi something very important.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In American Beauty, Lester shuts us his wife when she goes on a sarcastic diatribe at dinner after he said he's no longer working by tossing a plate at the wall very loudly and then saying a dead calm "don't interrupt me, honey". Bonus points because Kevin Spacey did it without warning the other actors beforehand and the shock is real.
  • Blazing Saddles: Taggart fires a gun into the air while Lyle and his other henchmen are clowning around, singing "Camptown Ladies".
  • Clue had Mrs. White shatter her wineglass in the fireplace while screeching "Please!" when everyone argues over each other about what to do with Mr. Boddy's body.
  • In Guilty By Suspicion (a film about the Red Scare), at the top of the film we're at a party with lots of people chattering, and one gets everyone's attention by saying "Ladies and gentlemen...Ladies and Gentlemen!....COMRADES! That got your attention, huh?" Note that it wasn't a communist meeting, just a get-together, but it was later cited as a communist meeting during the protagonist's trial.
  • Idiocracy: President Camacho quiets down hecklers when he's addressing Congress by firing a large gun into the air.
  • Jaws has Quint shutting up a room of shark hunters by scratching a chalkboard so he can offer his proposal to hunt down the shark.
  • Kindergarten Cop has Arnold Schwartzenegger's character do that to a kindergarten class. They shut up all right... then they start crying.
  • Kung Fu Hustle has an entire slum of hundreds of people air their grievances to the miserly, miserable old Landlady after she snaps at a resident who just saved them all from getting massacred by gangs. Her response is to calmly put out her cigarette and scream SHUT THE HELL UP!, which lasts so long and so loud that it shatters glass. It hints that she's not exactly an untrained civilian — her power is based around shouting.
  • The Princess Bride:
    Inigo: [pushing his way through a crowd] Excuse me... Pardon me, please, it's important... Fezzik, please?
    [everybody falls silent and clears a path]
    Inigo: Thank you.

  • Subverted by Lord Vetinari of the Discworld: He can get a hubbub to clear just by asking for silence.
  • Attempted and failed with Nicolae Carpathia in the Dramatic Audio version of the Left Behind book Glorious Appearing when Jesus just goes on and on speaking The Word Of God while the Unity Army troops die.
    Nicolae Carpathia: And someone SHUT HIM UP!!!
  • In one New Jedi Order Book Leia gets the Senate to shut up by igniting Jacen's lightsaber in the middle of the Senate hall. She then shuts it down, hands it back and apologises to the Senate for the dramatics.
  • Averted at the end of the third book of A Song of Ice and Fire; the black brothers are in an uproar, and Jon observes that a few people are shouting for silence, but just making it worse.
    • Downright inverted by Roose Bolton, who the books note more than once "speaks so softly other men quiet to hear him", including on one occasion a gang of psychotic mercenaries baying for Jaime Lannister's blood. It helps that, like Vetinari below, he has a reputation as a Soft-Spoken Sadist — nobody wants to be the one to talk over him.
  • In "James and the Express" from Thomas & Friends, an angry mob of passengers is demanding their money back over a cancelled train. The Fat Controller quells the noise by standing on a trolley and blowing the guard's whistle as loudly as he can, before promising them a new train.
  • One account from a non-fiction cat book published in the 1990s tells of an elderly cat who is slowing down and just wants peace and quiet. On the flip side is an excitable young dog who had recently been adopted, and one day it decides it wants to play. A racket is raised when the dog starts running around and barking, while the rest of the family tries to get it to calm down. When the cat decides that she has had enough of the situation, it raises its head and emits a very loud and ticked-off meow, successfully shutting up both the dog and the family.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer isn't above enforcing this trope with hurled sharp objects. Examples can be seen in "Checkpoint" and "Potential".
    Nigel: This is beyond insolence—
    [Buffy hurls a sword into the wall by his head]
    Buffy: I'm fairly certain I said no interruptions.
  • Community has this as a Running Gag. The differences of the oddball main cast come to the fore yet again and everyone starts in on a rant of their own, with seven or eight people talking over each other from across the study table until someone shouts the rest down — usually but not always ostensible leader Jeff, and often an outsider expressing disbelief that they're supposedly a group of friends. Later variations have the group instantly pick up old arguments the second the subject is broached, or everyone babbling happily over some offscreen bonding the audience didn't get to see.
  • Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond: Commander Ian Fleming has just been made responsible for sorting out the chaotic Naval Intelligence headquarters at the start of WW2. He tries to introduce himself, but everyone is too busy to pay attention. So he starts cranking up a nearby air raid siren.
  • Harry's Law: In one early episode, Harry is mediating a sit-down between two gangs, and when it inevitably descends into a loud argument, Harry silences them by letting off an airhorn. Leads to an equally funny/awesome moment later on, when merely reaching for the airhorn is enough to silence them.
  • Jessica Jones (2015):
    • Killgrave is sitting in a swanky restaurant, looking at his laptop surveillance of Jessica. When the background hubbub of the restaurant gets higher then he likes, he uses his Compelling Voice to yell "Quiet!" The entire restaurant goes silent and motionless.
    • In the pilot episode, Jessica is woken by the squabbling couple upstairs and throws her boot at the ceiling hard enough to knock plaster off it onto her bed. We then get a shot of the ceiling with multiple bootmarks and chipped plaster.
  • M*A*S*H: Radar is sometimes called upon to do this:
    • From "As You Were":
      Henry: [getting ready to give a lecture] Hey, guys, let's settle down, huh? Folks, I'd really like to get started. I'd really like to get... Radar?
      Radar: QUIET!
      [everyone stops talking]
      Henry: Thank you.
    • From "Payday":
      Hawkeye: [about the noisy crowd outside the Mess Tent] All right, can we have quiet? Can we have a little quiet out there, please? All right, everybody, hold it down a little, will you? [realizes this is futile] Silence these rowdies, will you Radar?
      Radar: QUIET!
      [all the noise stops]
  • Power Rangers Zeo: In one episode, Rocky does one as Bulk and Skull bicker, and ends up hurting his throat.
  • Psych: Played for laughs in an episode when Shawn tries to quiet a room full of arguing people by scratching his fingernails down a chalkboard... only to realise a second too late that it's actually a whiteboard, which doesn't make the same noise. So he just ends up scratching his fingernails down the whiteboard while screeching "EEEEEEEEEEE!" into a microphone, which has a similar effect only with added confusion from his intended audience.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation, season 4 episode "Night Terrors". Thanks to being trapped in a Negative Space Wedgie that's causing sleep-deprivation, the entire crew is on edge, angry and paranoid. As the main cast attempt a last-ditch attempt to break free, a bunch of off-duty personnel gather in Ten-Forward (which had been thoroughly dismantled in an epic Bar Brawl earlier) and one guy's nerves start getting the better of him and voices are raised. Refusing to have her bar trashed twice in one week, Guinnan pulls out a very large (and likely illegal) plasma cannon from under the counter and shoots it at the ceiling, causing a small explosion and making everyone stare at her in shock.
    Guinnan: "That was setting one. Anybody want to see setting number two?" (Nobody does.)
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • A scene plays out like the aforementioned one from The Princess Bride, with Naomi Wildman as Inigo and Seven of Nine as Fezzik.
    • In "Living Witness", Voyager has been given a Historical Villain Upgrade by an alien historian 700 years in the future, portraying them as squabbling thugs responsible for genocide. Annoyed when a ready room meeting breaks down into a fistfight, Evil Janeway pulls out a phaser and shoots an innocent computer screen to make them stop.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppet Show: The Candice Bergen episode has Kermit telling some Muppets backstage to quell the Borsolino Brothers, a group of squabbling pig acrobats.
    Kermit: We got to get organized down here. Will somebody tell those pigs to knock it off?
    Hilda: Knock it off!
    Zoot: Knock it off!
    Wayne: Knock it off!
    Kermit: Now, will we knock off the knocking-it-offs?!
    Wayne: Knock off the knocking-it-offs!
    Zoot: Knock off the knocking-it-offs!
    Hilda: Knock off the—
    Kermit: KNOCK IT OFF!
  • In The Great Muppet Caper, Kermit tries to call the meeting of him and the Happiness Hotel's gang to order with a loud, "QUIET!" upon which everyone stops talking... except for Janice. "...So I said, 'Look, mother, it's my life, okay? So if I want to live on the beach and walk around naked—' Oh!" The second time is when everyone is making excuses to not go stop the crooks, Fozzie shouts them down so he can make a Rousing Speech.
  • In The Muppet Christmas Carol, Fozzie, as Fezziwig, tries to get everyone's attention at his Christmas party, Animal bellows, "QUIET!" After the noise stops, he mutters, "Thank you..."
    • This was a reprise of a gag he did on the Diana Ross episode of The Muppet Show during Beaker's interpretation of "Feelings".

  • The Navy Lark a bickering meeting of Mad Brass is brought to silence by the shout of "Shut up or I'll lock up the gin!"

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time has an interesting variation. After Peppermint Butler gets a drop of VERY spicy serum in his eye, he's screaming loudly in pain. Lemongrab (who has No Indoor Voice) screams at the top of his lungs: "STOP SCREAMING!!! WHY ARE YOU SCREAMING?!"
  • American Dad!: In one episode, Terry shouts "SHUT UP!!" to a cheering audience in a Shout-Out to the Cheech & Chong routine mentioned above.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: In the Dial M For Monkey short "Magmanimus", the titular Monster of the Week just wants mankind to stop making noise because they're keeping him from sleeping. However, people freak out because they see a giant monster on the loose, making more noise and driving Magmanimus to violence. At the end, Monkey is able to rock Magmanimus back to sleep, and when the people celebrate:
    Magmanimus: QUIET!
    Monkey: (Stares, then faints)
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In The Night Watchman, little Tommy Cat shouts a very loud "QUIET!!" to a group of mice causing a ruckus in the store he's supposed to be guarding.
    • In The Draft Horse, this happens when a doctor tells the titular horse to say "Aah" and instead gets a prolonged "AAAAAAHHH!!!"
      Doctor: BE QUIET! SHUT UP!!
      Horse: I thought you said to say "Aah."
      Doctor: That I did. But I didn't tell you to say "AAAAAAHHH!!!"
    • In What's Cookin' Doc?, Bugs Bunny, furious that he didn't receive the Academy Award, yells "STOOOOOP!!" to silence the audience's applause.
  • Mike, Lu & Og: Mike sometimes yells "QUIET!" when she's surrounded by clamoring islanders.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998): In one episode, Fuzzy Lumpkins yells this in response to the Mayor's noisy political campaign. The townspeople take this to be a genius campaign slogan, and Fuzzy's promptly elected the new mayor.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle: Whenever Natasha would lampshade one of Boris Badenov's failed schemes, Boris would say "SHARRAP YOU MOUTH!!"
  • The Simpsons: Bart Simpson pay homage to Quint's iconic chalkboard scratch from Jaws to propose his plan for a big college prank. However, unlike the original scene, there wasn't much noise going on to silence.
  • The Smurfs (1981): Papa Smurf does this on occasion to stop his little Smurfs from squabbling.

    Real Life 
  • The word for "Shut up" in Japan (urusai) literally means "Noisy"note . And, of course, it's usually (but not always) shouted.