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Roar Before Beating

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Surprise — a monster! But you have time to recover from the shock of its appearance because it won't attack until it has posed dramatically and let out a Mighty Roar. Roaring is like a monster's hello. They must become hostile when heroes don't have the decency to roar a proper return greeting.

Often used as a cliffhanger to confrontations because ending after a punch is thrown seems an interruption, while a warcry is the last stop to get off at before the fight starts.

In real life, an animal that roars is warning you away. It doesn't want to fight you; it wants you to leave. An animal that tries to sneak up on you is much more likely to harm you. Two animals engaging in a territorial fight with each other are more likely to start with roaring and then get to the beating if neither of them backs down.

Contrast Hiss Before Fleeing. Compare Transformation Name Announcement, Screaming Warrior, and In the Name of the Moon, which are often the tropes you get when the hero does this. A similar trope for enemies capable of speech is Simultaneous Warning and Action. If the crucial element of surprise is blown by this it may be a case of With Catlike Tread. If the roar is a recurring roar and unique to the monster, it's a Signature Roar. If you thought "beating" meant "defeat", you may be looking for Pre-Mortem One-Liner.

Subtrope of Noisy Nature, assuming it's a Real Life animal.


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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animated 
  • A Bug's Life: The bird lets out a deafening screech right into Hopper's face before preying on him.
  • Ice Age Dawn Oft The Dinosaurs has dinosaurs doing this alot to the herd.
  • The Lion King (1994): Nala makes a lot of noise while chasing Pumbaa, although notably she is completely silent when she's stalking him and only roars when Pumbaa spots her and shrieks.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The graboids in Tremors do this, which is especially odd because not only does it give the protagonists time to get away as per the trope, but it also totally negates their stealth advantage from being underground, and it partially blinds them—since they "see" through vibrations in the ground, sticking half their mass into the air should only make it harder to find their prey. More than one protagonist has survived an encounter simply because the creature saw fit to jump out of the ground right next to them and roar first, rather than just sneaking up under them and devouring them without warning, which is what happens to anyone who isn't a main character.
    • Justified with the shriekers, since their scream is how they navigate and identify prey.
  • In The Princess Bride, Vizzini explicitly says that the Shrieking Eels "always grow louder when they're about to feed on human flesh".
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: In the climax, the film subverts the trope when Mantis realizes the abilisks are roaring at her team as a threat display, because they're scared of the intruders. She uses her empath powers to commune with and befriend them.


    Live-Action TV 
  • On The 100, the mutated Killer Gorilla always lets out a roar before, during, and after attacking.
  • Doctor Who: Legendarily, the Daleks always waste time shouting "Exterminate!" before opening fire, giving the Doctor time to escape. Lampshaded in "The Parting of the Ways", where a Dalek gets in a firefight with a robot that's designed to spout a catchphrase before firing its disintegrator ray (the Dalek wins because, unlike the android, it can just fire without shouting first if it really wants to).
    • Justified as of "The Witch's Familiar", which establishes that saying "Exterminate!" is the usual way for them to trigger their weapons, by concentrating their own hostility. They can fire without speaking, but it's easier if they shout first.
  • The Incredible Hulk (1977): Upon transforming, the Hulk usually gives a big roar to let the now terrified villains know that he is really pissed off.

    Newspaper Comics 

    Video Games 
  • Multiple Infernal Demons in Bayonetta.
  • Big Daddies in BioShock usually let out their distinctive roar before a charge. This is carried over into their appearance in Playstation All Stars Battle Royale.
  • Most beasts in Bloodborne tend to roar at you, however, they are not yelling in aggression, consider how their skins exploded during their beast transformation, one can tell they are instead screaming in agony.
  • the Borderlands series:
    • Most of the Skag types open up their three jaws to screech at you before charging... which is incredibly stupid. Some of the most dangerous boss Skags can be shot dead before they even start fighting you thanks to this trope and an emptied magazine.
    • In Borderlands 2, when triggering Release the Beast, Krieg may let out a monstrous roar as he mutates into a Badass Psycho. Luckily, he's invulnerable during the transformation.
  • Used to terrifying effect in the dinosaur hunting game Carnivores. While all the other dangerous dinosaurs just run in and kill you without making much noise until it's too late, the T-rex has poor eyesight and must sniff the air to know if you're nearby. If one smells you, it immediately lets out a horrifyingly loud roar and runs right for you. Seeing as their only weak spot is the eye (shoot anywhere else and you'll just piss them off) unless you somehow manage to shoot their eye as they're charging you, if you hear that roar you're pretty much screwed.
  • Averted in the first Dead Space game in vacuum areas, where monsters will gladly sneak up on Isaac from behind and attack without warning (the additional music cues are also muted until the monster can actually be seen). Please straight at all other times in the series, however.
  • Some of the Glyphids in Deep Rock Galactic will screech at you before moving in to attack. This can give you enough time to plug them full of bullets or move to a better spot to attack them from.
  • The karkians in Deus Ex roar before charging you. The baby karkians don't, most likely because they can't kill you with one bite.
  • Demons in Doomł will roar at you, take a charge, then roar again every few feet.
  • In Dota 2, two or three of Ursa's skills are accompanied with roars. This makes him damage more and be more durable, and he's capable of killing someone in a span of seconds with this, so usually if he roars, it's a sign that he's going to beat you to death.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, the Grey Warden is tasked with reaching the top of the darkspawn-infested Tower of Ishal to light a beacon. An ogre is hunched over in front of the beacon, gnawing on something. When it notices you, it lets out a massive roar before attacking.
    • Another ogre does the same thing to King Cailan before killing him.
  • In Dragon Age II, Flemeth roars at the horde of darkspawn before slaughtering them, thus saving the lives of Hawke and his companions.
    • At the climax of the Bone Pit quest, a dragon comes flying out of the sky and roars at Hawke before attacking.
      • A wyvern also lets out a roar before attacking you in the Mark of the Assassin DLC.
  • The feral ghouls from Fallout 3. Unfortunately for them, this is no free action; they still take normal damage while roaring instead of charging right away, with often fatal results. Unless they're the infamously bugged Feral Ghoul Reavers in which case that roar is your 3-second head start to get going.
  • In Fallout 4, if you give the Sole Survivor some Psycho before a fight, he or she will yell "Fucking KILL!" before shooting. Deathclaws also do this in 4, while in previous games they made little fanfare and went straight for the kill.
  • Nine times out of ten, mooks in God Hand will stop to throw off a one-liner before charging in.
  • Almost all enemies in the Gothic series do this the general rule is that, if you walk into an enemy monster's aggro radius, they will first give you three warning roars before attacking, and if you leave before the third roar is up, they won't attack.
  • Half-Life: The headcrabs emit a screech when throwing themselves at their prey.
    • Especially notorious are the poison headcrabs from Half-Life 2 who screech even before attacking their prey. Zombies might or might not qualify, dependent on how much their vocal function is controlled by the headcrab.
    • Fast Zombies stop and scream before they attack. Apparently, this is a way of keeping them scary without making them too easy or too annoying.
    • In Half-Life: Alyx, headcrabs will rear up on their hind legs and screech before leaping at you, providing ample time to shoot them or move out of the way. In the case of armored headcrabs, this exposes the weak spot on their underside which is the only means of killing them.
  • In the Halo games, Elites will roar when their shield breaks, giving ample opportunity to blow their heads off.
  • Minecraft:
    • Endermen make a rather disturbing noise should the player provoke them by "staring" at them (moving the crosshairs directly over their torsos or heads). Then they usually teleport directly behind the player to attack.
    • When the Warden pinpoints the location of an enemy, it will arch back and let out a guttural roar before it hurls itself in their direction. Considering the Warden is easiest one of the toughest enemies in the entire game, this will probably be the last sound you hear before getting ripped to shreds. However, if the enemy is within a close enough range, the Warden skips the roar and just immediately goes on the attack.
  • A lot of the creatures in Monster Hunter roar when they see you (Or when they get ticked off), but it's not always the kind of roar that leaves you stuck covering your ears. The mook and boss raptors (-Preys and -Dromes) take a noticeable amount of time roaring, so a quick-witted hunter can easily get the first hit on them. On the other hand, wyverns and any other large boss-sized monster can deafen you with roars, stunning you briefly (Unless you have the Earplugs ability). The Zinogre does roar as well, but if you don't deal significant damage within the first few seconds of encountering it, it will roll its neck before doing anything else. A few monsters like the Tigrex and Akantor even roar loudly enough to injure you and send you flying if you're too close.
  • In Ōkami, Orochi lets out a particularly badass roar whenever he makes a major appearance.
  • Overwatch: Winston the intelligent ape can transform into a giant, rage-fueled monster ape as his Ultimate. During his transformation, he roars as his Ultimate call-out.
  • All the bosses in Patapon roar if you attack them while they're resting, or get close enough
  • All Pokémon will roar when they enter a battle. Wild, trained, or legendary, stupid or super-genius, it doesn't matter. They'll do it.
    • Pokemon will give an echoed roar upon finishing Mega Evolution. Mega Pokemon often surpass Olympus Mons in power, so a beating is almost certain to follow.
    • Averted with the actual "Roar" attack, however; it will cause the opposing Pokemon to flee, either instantly ending the battle (if used in a wild Pokemon battle) or causing them to switch out with a random Pokemon in the opposing party (in a trainer battle).
    • Alpha Pokemon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus will emit a roar forceful enough to damage the player (if you aren't using Basculegion or Braviary) before trying to kill you.
  • Primal Carnage: The game actually encourages this for the dinosaur players. Each dinosaur has a unique roar ability which gives them and/or team members some sort of temporary buff or advantage. However, the effect is short-lived, the roar takes a while to recharge, and you can't attack while roaring, so for it to be useful, it has to be used right before you charge into battle.
  • Used extensively in Resident Evil to compensate for the fact that you can't move while aiming your weapon. One of the things that made the Hunters from the original 1996 title such Demonic Spiders was that they didn't do this, and would spring their One-Hit Kill on you with no warning at all.
  • Ugh Zan III in Serious Sam roars quite a while before he starts attacking.
  • SIGNALIS: The enemies are corrupted Ridiculously Human Robots, and they scream when they see you.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, bears stand up and roar as soon as they sense you. It's a very good idea to listen for that roar, because bears and especially cave bears are among the most dangerous animal enemies in the game.
  • In Starcraft II cinematics, the hydralisks roar before attacking General Warfield (and subsequently one of them get punched in the face).
  • Subnautica: Most, if not all the hostile creatures in the game will have a distinctive roar you can hear before they start chasing you, from lowly Stalkers and Crashfish to the Leviathans. While in some cases it's justified (Ghost Leviathans are just horribly territorial rather than predatory and want you out, and Reaper Leviathans use echolocation), it's mostly for the player's sake.
  • ULTRAKILL: The giant leviathan roars before it starts to fight V1.
  • Wyverns and Dragons in Vagrant Story roar impressively as they attack; D'Tok, the first such enemy in the game, is a notable example. Also, a variety of bosses will even cause a small pause in the action and have their own mini-cutscene instants before they initiate their ultimate attack (including the Final Boss), relinquishing control to the player just in time to defend or flee.
  • In Warcraft III's teaser trailer an Infernal falls from the sky, crawls from its flaming crater, and roars at the footman and grunt facing it.
  • In XCOM: Enemy Unknown and its sequel, alien groups that are "activated" by your soldiers getting eyes-on them will go through a little reaction animation before getting ready for battle. This is usually a Hiss Before Fleeing as the aliens scuttle into cover, but in the cases of Muton Berserkers or Chryssalids, the aliens are going to roar and snarl and then make a move directly towards your squad. Hope you didn't activate them with the last move of your turn...
  • WolfQuest: In The Anniversary Edition, sometimes elk herds stand their ground at first instead of running away from you, especially if you don't have a mate because as a lone wolf you are not as bad of a threat. It's easier to hunt them when they are running away instead of trying to gang up you, so among other things (raising the tail, harassing and biting them) the player can growl and snarl at them to encourage them to start fleeing.
  • 20XX bosses, despite being robots, often get a little animation along these lines before the boss fight starts: Eternal Star unfolds from its roost while shrieking, for example, while Shatterbeak waves its wings and gives a cry, and both Death Lotus and Vile Visage laugh at you.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: The Creatures of Grimm will always let out a roar, growl, or shriek when they notice a human to attack. This is actually justified: Grimm are attracted to negative human emotions, like fear, so their attempts to frighten the humans they find before killing them makes sense.

    Web Comics 
  • Off-White: The wolves are shown growling at an elk before killing it.

    Western Animation 
  • Happened quite often on Batman: The Animated Series
    • Whenever Batman would face a ferocious creature of some sort, whether a born animal (the black leopard in the Malaysian temple in '"The Demon's Quest") or a human-turned-humanoid-animal (Kirk Langstrom as Man-Bat in "On Leather Wings").
    • Catwoman, while usually assuming the standard Classy Cat-Burglar role, could become pretty feral when angry or aggressive. This is most effectively done in "Almost Got 'Im", where she interrupts the Joker's live TV broadcast on which Batman is scheduled to be executed by a laugh-powered electric chair. While staring daggers at Harley Quinn, she can be heard hissing during the brief moment before pouncing on Harley, and only begins using human speech toward the end of the sequence. No wonder Harley looked terrified.
  • The Tom and Jerry short The Milky Waif has Jerry producing a MONSTROUS bull-like roar before giving Tom an epic thrashing for hitting Nibbles on his bottom with a flyswatter.
  • Many of the villainous mutants, monsters, demons and aliens in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) are quite noisy, and constantly screech, roar, growl and snarl at the top of their lungs everytime they do battle against our pizza-loving heroes.

    Real Life 
  • Animals such as grizzly bears might seem to do it as survivor accounts sometimes relate, but, as stated above what's likely occurring is that the animal is giving a warning signal and the human(s) are unable or don't know to retreat to its liking.
    • This brown bear seemingly plays the trope straight, as after the man behind the camera has the foolish idea to kick the bear, he looks at him, as if in disbelief while giving a growl of half-confusion, half rage, then delivers a mighty roar while charging, and keeps it up as he savagely mauls the moron on the floor.
  • Prey animals are much more likely to play this trope straight than predators, as some of them use a roar as one of their last "warnings" before attacking. Moose, in particular, have a growling roar that would not sound out of place coming from a bear that they will typically use when they are about to or are in the process of charging.
  • Snakes are infamous for their warning hisses before attacking when feeling threatened. Rattlesnakes even developed their rattles as a more effective way of intimidating predators. When they're hunting, of course, they remain silent.
    • Subverted in areas where humans have attempted to eradicate rattlesnakes, as the zero-tolerance kill-on-sight policy has resulted in the snakes evolving to not use their rattles at all since there's no sense in giving a warning if the would-be predator won't listen to it. Ironically, this makes the areas more dangerous than they were before the snakes started being hunted.
  • Guard dogs will often bark while charging at the person they are attacking.
  • Soldiers, particularly in premodern times, often roar while charging into a pitched battle as a means of building up their adrenaline and intimidating their opponents.
  • Chimpanzees are one of the few predators known for playing this trope completely straight. When they attack, they do so while screeching at the top of their lungs. Doesn't matter if they're engaging in a dominance fight with another member of their troop, hunting monkeys, or attacking a human, they are loud about it. Though when hunting it's more Starts Stealthily, Ends Loudly as they begin by being very quiet and only get noisy once they strike.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Monster Roar, Loud Predator


Red vs Crab

Just as the Giant crab was about to eat Jacob, the Red Bluster shows up challenging said crab.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / BehemothBattle

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