The moment at which a character realizes that something really, REALLY bad is about to happen. Either that, or it already has, and they are in big trouble because of it. They may not always say anything in particular when they do, but even if they don't, the look on their face clearly conveys to the audience their realization. This moment often features stronger language, and is when they truly realize that the solid organic waste is about to collide with the Rotational Air Circulation Device.note Sometimes the first few notes of Fryderyk Chopin's Funeral March are used as background music to highlight how grim the situation is.
They may feel that This Is Gonna Suck, and often exclaim, "You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!" or perhaps "I Want My Mommy!" or sometimes even "This Cannot Be!" Other characters might emit a Loud Gulp instead. A few might say their Catchphrase but in an uncertain voice. Some might even freeze in fear completely.
The effectiveness of this moment can be affected by the difference between their usual competence and confidence levels and how completely they are boned. Characters with low self-esteem or who are constantly crying out in terror are difficult (but not impossible) to make this trope work with. But that arrogant, so far unbeatable supervillain suddenly realizing they're about to have his or her ass royally kicked? Now we're talking!
Can occur if one protagonist has been luring the other one into a trap, or if they just have some shiny new skill. Or they may simply be a lower-level villain who's just had the very bad luck to be confronted with a hero impossibly out of his or her league and is about to be on the wrong end of a Curb-Stomp Battle. On occasion, they will be discussing the situation when they realize the full import of it. Can also occur if a character speaks ill of another in a language they think the latter won't understand, only to find out, much to their horror, that the latter also speaks it.
Related to This Cannot Be!, and the polar opposite of Obi-Wan Moment, when despite the bad situation someone still manages to look composed. May result in a Heroic BSoD for a heroic character, or even a Villainous Breakdown for a villainous character. Nine times out of ten, this will immediately follow "What does this button do?". The remaining tenth follow some other temptation of fate. Also a very common reaction when a villain, normally a Chess Master, Villain with Good Publicity, or Manipulative Bastard, realizes they've just been the victim of an Engineered Public Confession. Some characters react with less despair and more apathy; others look to their equipment for a solution. And for some, it is the crowning moment of despair.
May also be a Precision F-Strike for the person in question.
When most of the cast available in the scene does this expression, it's a Mass "Oh, Crap!" moment. If someone tries to explain the situation to someone else, and realizes half-way through their own explanation they're in real trouble, it's Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!. If the person making the realization doesn't try to explain and says nothing but "Run," it's time to Run or Die. If you realize you're in trouble after your explanation, or if someone tells you something really bad is about to happen and "Oh, Crap!" isnt your first reaction, it's a Delayed "Oh, Crap!". When you try to save some face by putting on a happy face, you make an "Oh, Crap!" Smile. When you pretend to realize you are in trouble only to mess with your opponent, it's an "Oh, Crap!" Fakeout. When your primary reaction is resigned acceptance of the situation, it's This Is Gonna Suck.
Contrast "Hell, Yes!" Moment, the exact inverse.
Warning: High risk of spoilers.
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- Calvin and Hobbes: Pretty much every times Hobbes pounces on Calvin, Calvin makes an Oh Crap face just before impact. And it's always hilarious.
- Our main page quote, however, comes from Hobbes hiding on a tree limb and dropping a single snowball in front of Calvin to get him to look up — so he can see the full payload of snowballs Hobbes is about to dump on him from above.
- When he seceded from his family to go live in the Yukon, Hobbes wrestles command from him. As Calvin leaves him, announcing that he's going home, Hobbes reminds him that he no longer has a home, since he seceded from his family. His reaction is priceless
Calvin: My life needs a rewind/erase button...
- Garfield: Jon is having a delayed reaction.
- In Spy vs. Spy, the losing Spy occasionally displays this expression when he realizes he's been out-schemed and is about to die in some humorous fashion.
- When Oedipus Rex finally figures it out, making this Older Than Feudalism.
- An even older example occurs in the 18th book of The Odyssey: Odysseus, posing as an old beggar, is challenged to a fist-fight by an actual beggar, Iros, who is big, but neither strong for his size nor really a fighter. After vainly trying to dissuade Iros from this, Odysseus finally agrees to the fight and girds his loins for the fight. And then the watching suitors and Iros see the muscles on Odysseus' legs, chest and arms...
- All the way back in The Bible. Specifically, the Book of Esther. More specifically, when Haman realizes he's inadvertently ordered the death of the Queen, whom her husband the King values enough to have been willing to offer up to half his own kingdom at her request.
- Q gets one in Star Trek: The Next Generation if you do well in the "Q's Challenge" mission.
Q: Okay, that's enough!
- In various Pat Lawlor games, a character will say something along the lines of this after successfully restarting multiball.
- In the Firefly game of Cool Kids Table. As soon as Mickey gets the coordinates to the stranded Alliance ship, he realizes they lead right into Reaver territory and immediately reports it to Caleb and Roc.
- When Alan asks the party to roll deception to act natural in episode 16, the first things out of Shannon and Jake's mouths after rolling are "oh no".
- Ace Attorney has plenty of these, both heroic and villainous.
- A villainous one is in Apollo Justice case four, when Kristoph Gavin gets told that the murder he all but just admitted to committing is being tried by a jury... that just saw his huge streak of gloating. Then there's Ace Attorney Investigations where Edgeworth gets one when Calisto Yew pulls a gun on him after he does the usual "corner-the-murderer" thing.
- Matt Engarde in the final case of the second game, when he realizes he's a dead man either way. The look combined with their Villainous Breakdown is one of the best moments in the series. It was also funny before when Shelly De Killer does an Oh Crap through a radio. Complete with it falling apart multiple times and sweating oil.
- Not that it tops the others, but in the 5th case of the first game, Damon Gant. He gloats for about 10 minutes about how horribly he's going to punish Phoenix, Edgeworth, Lana, Ema, Gumshoe, and every single person who tried to turn the tables on him using a very critical item as evidence. A minute later, Phoenix reveals one contradiction in the evidence that results in an Oh Crap moment where Gant literally screams at the very moment of realization that said evidence suddenly makes the situation even worse for him.
- Another spectacular one is at the very end of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice, when Ga'ran is trying (and failing) to prove she has the spiritual powers needed to rule the land (she doesn't), and looks behind her to see her Praetorian Guard has just realized she's a fake, and thus an usurper, and are aiming her rifles at her, ready to execute her for her deception. As brief as it is in the middle of the breakdown, it's spectacular.
- Fate/stay night:
- Gilgamesh vs Shirou at the end of UBW route. To his credit, a lot of the fear is more irritation at the fact that some no name brat just cut his arm off before he could even try using his Wave Motion Sword. The "oh crap" factor of the realization he is losing is still partially deflected by how gigantic his ego is.
- From the first route, both Kirei and Gilgamesh get a moment of this in their duels with Shirou and Saber respectively. Kirei gets his when Shirou survives two curses containing ALL the evils of the world, ever; Past, Present and Future. (To be fair, Shirou did use Avalon to survive the second one), before Shirou runs up and puches his chest out via an explosive magical dagger. Gilgamesh gets his when Saber uses Avalon to block Ea, his World Breaking Wave Motion Sword, before she charges and cuts him in half with an Excaliblast. Gilgamesh gets quite a few of these, mostly when he realises that yes, there are people who can beat him.
- From Heaven's Feel, there is the moment when True Assassin discovers that Rider's chain-dagger is lodged in his shoulder. Wall-slamming ensues.
- Umineko: When They Cry:
- Episode 6: From "USHIROMIYA KYRIE CANNOT SAVE BATTLER" to "You told me I could make the detective proclamation whenever I wanted, right? ......Well, unfortunately, ...I am no longer capable of making that proclamation."
- In Episode 3, this is Eva-Beatrice's reaction to Beatrice deciding to deny the existence of all witches, after which she panics but is held down by Ronove until Beato's denial burns her away.
- In Katawa Shoujo, Rin has this when she realizes that on Friday night, she only has one more day to complete her mural before the festival on Sunday.
- Hatoful Boyfriend gives you two options when Yuuya is confronted by Doctor Shuu and he lies about having been with you a few moments beforehand. You can choose to go along with Yuuya's lie. But if you choose to tell Shuu that he's lying, Yuuya has just one thing to say...
- In Sickness, this is said aloud by Suoh right before he almost passes out after his first day of training.