Every so often, one character just has to apply a little force to another to get him to start talking. There can be numerous reasons for this:
- The other person is shy;
- He's staring at something (often something that would be awkward if someone notices him looking at it);
- He's reluctant to say the particular thing he's supposed to say;
- He'll miss certain cues if he's not prompted;
- He appears to be dying or dead.
The reasons are different, but the remedy is the same — a good solid nudge to get him to speak up. The "nudge" need not exactly be a "nudge". It can come in other forms, such as a kick under the table or an elbow in the ribs. It may be accompanied by the nudger clearing his/her throat.
This trope can occur in a number of places. Some of the most common non-dramatic ones are in conversation or at a play when one actor has Stage Fright.
- Pokémon: The Original Series: In the episode "Showdown at Dark City", Misty suggests making up pseudonyms so the group won't blemish their reputation by essentially taking sides in a gang war. Ash and Misty come up with names fairly quickly, but Misty has to nudge Brock to make him speak since he's too busy gawking at the female recruiter.
- In the anime adaptation of Super Robot Wars: Divine Wars, Aya is responsible for doing this to Ryusei in order to remind him to stick to military protocol, which is justified since he had enlisted with the Earth Federation Army recently under pressure from Major Ingram so that he wouldn't be arrested.
- In Greyjoy Alla Breve, Theon does this to Robb when he becomes dumbstruck with his betrothed Margaery's beauty.
- In the Star Trek fanfic Insontis, McCoy, who is playing a role-play game with the de-aged Kirk, kicks the biobed he has strapped Spock to in order to get the Vulcan to say his lines.
- The New Adventures of Invader Zim:
- Zim does this to Skoodge in the first chapter to get him to go along with the on-the-spot lie that he's Zim's cousin.
- Later, Red does this to Purple to keep him from accidentally revealing to Tenn that they forgot all about her.
- The Great Mouse Detective: When Ratigan addresses his robot duplicate of the Mouse Queen and it doesn't respond, he gives it a slap to make it go, unaware that this is because Basil and company had overpowered his henchman backstage and taken control of the robot.
Ratigan: That is, of course, with Your Highness's permission.
[the robot doesn't respond, so he give it a smack]
Robot Queen: [controlled by Basil] Most assuredly... you insidious fiend!
- In the first Ice Age movie, Manfred just seemingly pulled a Heroic Sacrifice and is down for the count. Sid approaches him and urges him to "say something, anything!" to confirm he's okay. He mutters something, and is told to clarify by Sid, so clarifies after that and says Sid is stepping on his trunk and unintentionally choking him.
- In Turning Red, one of Tyler's classmates nudges him after Mei blows off Tyler's demand for more rides saying "You gonna take that, Tyler?"
- In the Wallace & Gromit short A Matter of Loaf and Death, one of the first signs that Piella is evil is that the spoiled character's nudge to their dog was too hard.
- The opening scene of Black Panther has Wakandan King T'Chaka appearing right in the middle of an undercover Prince N'Jobu's apartment in Oakland while the latter's friend, James, is in the room. N'Jobu immediately kneels before the king, then — without looking up — hits a still-staring James in the chest so that he follows suit. This is subverted bare minutes later when "James" turns out to be Zuri, another undercover Wakandan agent.
- In Galaxy Quest, during a promotion at a store-opening, Gwen has to nudge fellow actor Alexander to get him to once again spit out his character's despised catchphrase.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Ron has to nudge Harry during the Hippogriff lesson in order for him to go forward as Hagrid had asked.
- Janet nudges Brad to get him to speak in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
- Near the end of Artemis Fowl book The Arctic Incident, Butler gives Artemis a nudge to prompt him to thank Holly for saving his parents.
- In the Beka Cooper Tortall Universe sub-series, socially anxious Beka needs these regularly. By the end of her first time speaking in court, she suspects her legs will look like eggplants in the morning from the number of kicks Tunstall and Ersken have administered.
- The Benny Hill Show: During a big production number by the Volunteer Fireman's Brigade the Captain pushes a dimwitted member out in front so he can introduce the Captain. The Captain ends up Playing Cyrano, feeding him the introduction phrase by phrase, then acts surprised when he "discovers" that he's the one being talked about.
- The Brady Bunch: Most famously in the episode that introduced Cousin Oliver, "Welcome Aboard." When Oliver won't go with the family on a movie studio tour, Carol begins a series of nudges to get Oliver to think that if he's not going, no one else is willing to go.
- The premise of the chorus for the Michael Jackson song "Smooth Criminal", The character finds "Annie" assaulted, so he goes "Annie, are you OK, would you tell us, that you're OK?" to the girl.
- Once in awhile, these can be noticed by the crowd, although these are often subtle enough to be hidden by the wrestlers. Most often — but not always — this happens when one wrestler (or the referee) misses a cue to perform a spot, although these can simply be reminders that a hot spot is coming up as part of a planned-out match.
- Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus Clank does this to Ratchet after he said "No" at first to Captain Qwark's offer to rescue them ("Did someone call for a savior?"). He then changes it to "Yeah! It was us who said that!"
- TF2 Analysis: In "Mission Unpossible", Lightning Bliss bucks AnY Pony to wake him up, as he's snoring during the briefing.
- In The Order of the Stick, Celia once disguises as a half-fiendish necromancer to trick hobgoblins guards, with Haley and Belkar pretending to be corpses. However, the guards get suspicious and demand she demonstrates her necromancy. When Belkar doesn't initially respond to "Darkblood Gloomgloom" pronouncing a fake incantation, Celia smacks him.
Celia as Darkblood Gloomgloom: I said, "ARISE, dead halfling corpse that is right in front of me, and take a semblance of life!" NOW!
Belkar as undead: OW! OK, OK, I'm arising already.
- In Rusty and Co., Madeline is quite often tongue-tied around Derek the Cleric, mostly because of her obvious crush on him. Mimic finally convinces her to talk to him about her Resurrection Sickness, but only after a good nudge do the words come out of her mouth.
- In the 3-2-1 Penguins! episode "Lazy Daze", Midgel nudges Zidgel in the chest roughly in order to get him to apologize for being lazy.
- In the Ever After High episode "The Day Ever After", Blondie nudges Dexter to make him nod in agreement with what their friends are saying. This is an early hint that Dexter is secretly part of the group she was mocking.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- In the episode "A Bird in the Hoof", Twilight gives Fluttershy a "make noise" nudge, to get her to help in covering up the sound of Philomena's coughing so the Royal Guards don't hear.
- In "Lesson Zero", Apple Bloom and Scootaloo both give one to Sweetie Belle so she'd say something along with them to placate an obviously deranged Twilight Sparkle trying to offer them an ugly doll.
- In "It Ain't Easy Being Breezies", when Fluttershy suggests to the Breezies it is safe to leave now, one ostensibly sneezes, then nudge another Breezie, who follows the lead and starts coughing.
- In "The Cutie Map - Part 2", Twilight gives Fluttershy a bump to remind her that she needs to say that she wants to join their cult in order to spy on Starlight Glimmer.
- In the beginning of "Appleoosa's Most Wanted", Scootaloo nudges Apple Bloom so that she'll ask her sister if they can participate in the rodeo events.
- The Simpsons. During a school assembly introducing new principal Ned Flanders, he asks if there are any questions. Jimbo nudges Kearney, telling him to ask a question or else they'll all have to go back to class. Kearney asks what the new principal's policy is on lunch.
- In the second episode of Ultimate Spider-Man, Luke Cage nudges Sam Alexander so he can introduce himself.
- At the beginning of the VeggieTales episode "King George and the Ducky", Jimmy and Jerry Gourd are both wearing cardboard cutouts of Bob and Larry. After Jimmy tries introducing himself as Bob the Tomato, Jerry tries introducing himself as Larry the Cucumber, but stops after saying "And I'm Larry", prompting Jimmy to give Jerry a nudge in the side, so that Jerry can finish with "the Cucumber".