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Screaming Woman

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Attempting to pierce the villain's eardrums may not be a useful tactic.

"Scream later! Escape now!"
Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

When a truly terrifying danger rears its ugly head, maybe a monster appears or a large object is about to fall on them, one of the female characters stands there and screams helplessly, necessitating that one of the heroes pull her out of harm's way. Or she dies. Is guaranteed to become even more annoying when said female character sees something dangerous, and stands and screams for the hero to help when they would have had plenty of time to get out of the way themselves. Not necessarily limited to the Damsel in Distress, but can be infuriating if the character is supposed to be a hardened Action Girl.

Contrast with Screaming Warrior (a badass fighter screams to psych himself/herself up and/or cause fear in his/her enemies) and Screams Like a Little Girl (a man who issues a comically high-pitched scream when danger rears its ugly head). Compare Hysterical Woman. Also see Make Me Wanna Shout, when the scream is superpowered and weaponized.

A woman's scream is a powerful auditory bomb: nothing conveys terror quite like it. However, it can easily become Narmful when overused, especially if Stock Screams are used. See Eek, a Mouse!! for one example of something that can trigger this phenomenon. Actresses frequently cast in the role of the Screaming Woman are often called "Scream Queens".


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ai Yori Aoshi: The anime version. Miyabi gets one when she discovers she's not alone in the room she's cleaning. It's quite funny when it turns out to be a cat. Given that her normal role is Mama Bear to Aoi, it makes her a bit more sympathetic after the way she's been treating Kaoru up to that point.
  • Case Closed: It happens almost every single time when one of the corpses' first discoverers happens to be female. Ran, Sonoko, Kazuha and Ayumi are frequently subjugated by this trope, even though they should be used to murder cases at this point. And since most of Heiji's cases happen to be "monster mystery" cases nowadays, Kazuha and Ran always scream whenever they see something remotely scary because both of them are afraid of ghosts.
  • Future Diary: The first episode has one of Third's victims running away, calling for help, and begging the killer to spare her life, all before we're treated to screaming coupled with a shot of blood splattering on the concrete.
  • Gyo: In every single scene she's in, Kaori is likely to scream. She's considerably calmer in the OVA.
  • Shutendoji: Both in the manga and anime versions. Miyuki Shiratori is guaranteed to scream whenever she sees a demon or anything horrifying. And usually while stark-naked.
  • Sonic X: Amy Rose screams in some episodes. Albeit not always in fear...
  • Umineko: When They Cry: Jessica does this a few times. You can't really blame the poor girl, though.

    Comic Books 
  • Suske en Wiske: Whenever Wiske screams, it can be heard from miles away. Jerom even refers to it as "I recognize Wiske's hi-fi installation."
  • Tintin: Though not exactly screaming, Bianca Castafiore's opera singing has the effect of scaring off humans and animals because it is so loud and able to shatter glass.

    Film — Animation 
  • In one of the first scenes of Beowulf a woman screams while Grendel slaughters everyone in the hall. Unlike most instances of this trope, however, the screams actually hurt Grendel.
  • Monsters vs. Aliens:
    • Spoofed when General W. R. Mongernote  is showing the President of the United States footage of all the monsters he's got locked up. Every time he shows one, Ms. Ronson the coffee lady keeps screaming in sheer terror and drops her tray. Finally, Monger has had enough and angrily orders her thrown out of the room. He then shows his next clip, that of "Ginormica", a 49 foot, 11 1/2 inch woman. Whereupon there's an identical high-pitched scream... from the President!
    • Susan herself briefly lapses into this upon first bumping into Insectosaurus. Not that one could blame her, considering that it is a grub seven times as tall as she was.
  • The woman in the monster movie Norman watches at the beginning of ParaNorman has no lines, just a lot of terrified shrieks.
  • Ratatouille: Mabel when her ceiling falls in, bringing the entire rat colony with it.
  • Shrek 2: The lady outside the Farbucks coffee provides an excellent scream complete with hands clutched backwards beneath her face.
    • The opening credits sequence features Little Red Riding Hood screams when she sees Shrek and Fiona in ogre form, she drops her basket and runs away.
    • Also, Fiona screams when she sees herself through the mirror discovering she's becoming a human again in the morning after Donkey drinks the Happily Ever After potion which turns the fairy tale creatures into humans.
  • The Sword in the Stone has quite a few...
    • The elderly female squirrel, despite not being anthropomorphic, screams like a human woman among seeing Merlin, who had been in the form of a male squirrel, change back into his human form.
    • Shortly after the squirrel scene, the scullery maid screams in a similar fashion when seeing everything in the kitchen alive and cleaning themselves due to Merlin's magic.
    • Madame Mim, when in the form of an elephant and is frightened by Merlin turning into a mouse.
  • In Turning Red, Mei screams when sees herself as a giant red panda for the first time in the bathroom mirror.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Abominable: CJ lets out about forty high-pitched screams in five minutes once she sees evidence of Tracy's death and the monster attacks the house. Unusually for the trope, she manages to do some thinking, running, hiding, and fighting back between screams.
  • The Alien franchise:
    • Alien:
      • Lambert, most notably in her final scene when she's paralyzed with fear as the alien advances on her.
      • Ripley screams at the end of the movie, before blowing the alien out the airlock.
    • Newt in Aliens. Excusable though as she is just a little girl facing very real monsters. It also saves her life when she's cocooned awaiting the facehugger. Ripley has found her Tracking Device lying on the floor and breaks down in tears, thinking she's dead. Suddenly she hears Newt scream and thus knows exactly which direction to go.
  • Vicki Vale in the 1989 Batman movie, who would scream at everything — when the clowns shooting at the City Hall, when the Joker nearly sprays her with acid, when Bruce Wayne gets shot by the Joker, when her friend Knox jumped to the windshield of her car and when the Joker pulled the trigger on his "Bang!" Flag Gun (which is even more absurd in context, since the Joker was pretending to shoot himself).

    In the City Hall scene, Vicki wasn't screaming; she was shouting "Bruce!" at Bruce Wayne because he wasn't paying attention and nearly wandered into the clowns' line of fire. In other words, she was trying to save him, which is not something you'd expect a Screaming Woman to do. Vicki is actually pretty capable for the first half of the movie, and doesn't turn into the scaredy-cat character we all remember until the museum scene. Also, wouldn't you scream if a guy who killed everyone in the museum you were in started trying to kill you as well?
  • Blanche Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde. 95 percent of Estelle Parson's Oscar-winning lines were ear-splitting screams while the gang was fleeing from the police. The real Blanche Barrow hated that she was portrayed this way, stating that they made her look like "a screaming horse's ass".
  • Call of the Undead: At one point in the movie, one of the women gets rather scream-happy.
  • Shannon Sassomon, who stars in the terrible movie Catacombs as an unsympathetically ridiculously gullible over-emotional lady who plays this trope straight several times, plays this trope, most of the time randomly, as she runs about the underground Catacombs because she's seeing evidence of scary stuff.
  • An Invoked Trope by The Cat in The Dark Knight Rises, who hugs the floor shrieking in terror when a SWAT team burst in on a meeting she has with the villains, so they'll assume she's an Innocent Bystander.
  • The original script for Dawn of the Dead (1978) has Francine screaming a bit. The actress refused, saying that it would undermine the character's strength.
  • In the 1962 film version of The Day of the Triffids, Janette Scott as Karen Goodwin.
  • Helen Benson doesn't do it much in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). She has been told exactly what to say, but still screams as Gort approaches her. Then she calmly delivers the message.
  • In Deathtrap, Myra's reaction to almost anything unexpected is to shriek at the top of her lungs, even doing so when Sidney opens the French windows to reveal absolutely nothing. It is very annoying. As she's being set up for a Fright Deathtrap, it's presumably to show she's easily frightened.
  • Dinosaur Hotel: Expect to hear a lot of screaming from the mostly female cast over the course of the movie.
  • Don't Look: Lorena becomes one when her kinky sex with Ted is interrupted by the killer. After she discovers the blood on the floor (that she's laying in), she runs screaming from the barn across the field to the house.
  • Kim Basinger gets another screaming woman moment in the 1985 film Fool For Love, when her character, May, dodges the gunshots while being held on by Eddie as the Countess shoots Eddie's car.
  • Frankenstein: Caroline. She first appears screaming as she flees a monster in what is later revealed to be a scene in the movie they are shooting. She later screams in exactly the same way when the real monster appears. She even screams when Victor von Frankenstein is explaining his family history (and ruins the take).
  • Renee Russo's character in Get Shorty was a famous B-movie "scream queen" with an extremely impressive scream. When a villain pulls a gun on Chili Palmer, she screams and it distracts the villain long enough to give Chili the upper hand.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis has made a career out of this, she's known as the "Scream Queen" for a reason. However, her portrayal of Laurie Strode in Halloween (1978) was her Star-Making Role, partially thanks to her blood-curdling screams.
  • Hatched: Christine lets loose a scream near the start of the movie when she sees a raptor, prompting it to [[spoiler:attack and eat her.
  • In the 1959 House on Haunted Hill, Nora Manning (played by Carolyn Craig) belts out her ear-splitting scream throughout the entire movie. Her scream is the first sound heard in the film, even before the opening credits roll!
  • Willie Scott more-or-less does this for the entirety of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Kate Capshaw even had to be taught how to scream.
    Kate Capshaw: [in a DVD featurette] Can she do more than just screaming?
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers. At one point the protagonists feign being emotionless pod people, only to be given away by the woman screaming in shock. In the 1956 film she witnesses a dog almost being run over by a truck, but in 1978 this was less plausible, so it's because she bumps into a failed assimilation.
  • In the Sci Fi B-Movie It Came from Beneath the Sea, said woman was a marine biologist, utterly convinced a gigantic monster octopus was terrorizing the coast. After spending the day swimming in the ocean looking for it, said monster finally made an appearance when she was standing on shore with the men... and she promptly started screaming like a little girl. One wonders what she would have done had she found it while in the water.
  • It Came from Hollywood opens with a woman being warned via the radio about an escaped Killer Gorilla. After warning against making loud noises that may attract the gorilla, the radio suddenly plays a recording of the gorilla's Mighty Roar so the woman can listen for it, which of course only makes her respond appropriately.
  • Amanda Kirby from Jurassic Park III movie does this a lot, to the point that it seems like she spends the majority of her screen time on the island either doing that or making some sort of terrible decision that puts her in Too Dumb to Live territory. Predictably, most people who have seen it feel that it gets old pretty fast.
    • Lex gets a few good moments of her own in the first film, both during the T. rex attack, and later in the climax as the raptors close in on them in the visitor's center. Much more tolerable as it's neither as overused as the above example, and Lex is also a teenager. LEGO Jurassic World parodies this by making her scream her power, letting her break glass with her screams.
  • An impressive subversion occurs in Kingdom of the Spiders when the hot entomologist opens a drawer in her rural Arizona motel room to reveal a live tarantula. Not yet aware she's in a Nature's-revenge flick, she calmly scoops it up and shoos it outside. (According to the IMDB, Tiffany Bolling beat out other actresses for the part because she was able to do this scene without turning into a Real Life example of this trope.)
  • King Kong
    • In the original King Kong, Fay Wray spent hours in the recording booth so she could scream in just the right way. It succeeded, producing one very memorable scream.
    • In the Peter Jackson remake (in a scene deleted from the movie but used for the trailer) a fake movie scream by the actress gets an answering roar from the as-yet-unseen King Kong.
  • In the 1985 film of King Solomon's Mines Alan Quatermain and Jesse Huston are Captured by Cannibals. Our hero suggests they Face Death with Dignity.
    Jesse: Well I don't need to die with dignity! I want to scream... ARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!
    Cannibals give war-cry in response
  • Happens at the opening of Lajja, accompanied by the burning of a red sari.
  • Mystery of the Wax Museum: Charlotte's descent into the workroom is nothing a series of screams, as she screams at everything from the reveal of Igor's true face to a door closing.
  • Almost every single character Kim Basinger played in every movie she is in. Her character, Michel, has a Screaming Woman moment in the 1986 film, No Mercy, when she realizes Eddie Gilette is driving the car off to the river.
  • Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson from Sam Raimi's Spider-Man Trilogy screams in all three movies whenever she is in danger or is kidnapped by the villain.
    • Then again, pretty much any woman in the series screams at the top of her lungs anywhere near danger. Its a world of screaming women.
  • In the Action Prologue of Star Trek (2009), a female Red Shirt is sucked out through a hole blown in the hull of the starship. Her screams last until she enters the vacuum of outer space, where we just see her flailing in silence.
  • Strippers Vs. Werewolves: Justice lets out a scream after killing a werewolf via silver fountain pen to the eye.
  • Tales of Terror: In "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar", Helene reacts to every dramatic development by screaming and fainting.
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: The third act of the movie (starting from the moment where Leatherface kills Franklin Hardesty with a chainsaw) is basically a nonstop montage of Sally Hardesty screaming her ass off, justified by what she goes through. In the infamous "dinner" scene, in particular, she never stops screaming as she is strapped on a chair while being forced to watch the cannibals eating food made from her friends' flesh, and it's pure Nightmare Fuel.
  • In the classic giant-ant movie Them!, Dr. Pat Medford is mostly a calm and competent professional, but she does cut loose once when she abruptly and unexpectedly finds herself face-to-face with one of the ants. The little girl who survived an early attack also screams when finally snapped from her traumatized catatonia.
  • Ann does a lot of screaming (and generally being useless) in The Thirsty Dead. While sleeping in the cave during their escape, Ann rolls over into a spider's web. Waking up, she sees the spider in front of her face and immediately screams: alerting the pursuing mooks to the group's location.
  • Noticeably averted in Three Days of the Condor. A female CIA analyst looks up and sees three men pointing silenced submachine guns at her, and realises what's about to happen.
    Joubert: Would you please step away from the window.
    Janice: [calmly] I won't scream.
    Joubert: I know.
  • Parodied in the movie Troma's War, where a screaming woman appears during the opening... and is promptly shot.
  • A woman's scream starts off the staircase shootout in The Untouchables (1987), when she sees Eliot Ness take a shotgun out from under his Badass Longcoat. After that, her screams are all silent with only the gunshots and the wheels of the Baby Carriage bumping down the stairs being heard.
  • Rachel in the 2005 remake of The War of the Worlds. Justified in that she's a ten-year-old girl.
  • Averted in the movie Watchmen. When Dr Manhattan is shown turning Moloch's mooks into sticky gore hanging from the ceiling, a close-up is shown of one of his bar girls who is not screaming hysterically as one would expect but is staring with the same terrified religious awe as the VC soldiers shown bowing before Dr Manhattan when he single-handedly wins The Vietnam War.
  • Dorothy in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz sometimes screamed.
  • Subverted in X2: X-Men United; when the soldiers attack, a girl starts screaming. She's Siryn, and screaming is her superpower. She nearly defeats the soldiers that way, and although she still gets knocked out, her scream wakes up all the other mutants and gives them a chance to escape.

  • The Bourne Identity. Jason Bourne and Marie St Jacques are captured by Carlos' men, and one of them is ordered to take Marie to the river to be killed. Jason tells Marie to scream her head off, but the killer just punches her in the throat. Bourne is able to escape and drive to the river, and is able to locate Marie by her cries of fear accompanied by the sound of the killer hitting her to shut her up.
  • Mentioned in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. Cimorene's princess training included lessons in how to scream while being carried off by a giant (because being abducted by horrific monsters and rescued by a prince or knight is a major form of matchmaking in the setting). Fortunately for the plot, she's not that kind of princess.
  • The Famous Five: A little girl example. In Five Run Away Together, the Five are on Kirrin Island at night. Julian and George suddenly hear a high-pitched scream, and believe it to be Anne; but then discover that Anne is sleeping peacefully. When they discuss it, they emphasise that it was a "proper little girl's scream - not a yell, like a boy gives". They then work out that the screamer is a little girl who has been kidnapped.
  • Goblins in the Castle: Subverted with Hulda — the morning after the goblins are freed, William and Karl have come out of William's room when they hear her scream and hurry to her aid. The next time she screams though, they realize it isn't in fright, but anger, which turns out to be because all the laundry — newly cleaned by the goblins — has also been completely tied into knots.
  • One of the protagonists in the novel The Harem of Aman Akbar observes sensibly that it only makes sense to scream, "or how is anybody to know someone is in trouble?"
  • Aline Penhallow from The Mortal Instruments. Despite being a Shadowhunter, from a prestigious Shadowhunter family, her reaction to Alicante being besieged by demons is to basically panic, adding her to the roster of people in need of rescuing as opposed to helping with the defense.
  • Lampshaded in the 1951 sci-fi novel Seetee Ship by Jack Williamson, when the Love Interest asks the heroic space captain to stop their search through the creepy abandoned alien spaceship because she can't possibly scream anymore.
  • Invoked by Hobbie Klivian in Starfighters of Adumar, when he and his fellow pilots are Disguised in Drag. Wedge is actually surprised at how well his fellow (male) pilot can Scream Like A Little Girl.
    Hobbie: I do it all the time. Whenever Wes makes plans for the squadron. Whenever a Corellian cooks for us.
    Wes and Wedge (a Corellian): [glare]
  • Brought up in Tales of Kolmar. Lanen fights back in every situation, but she screams like bloody murder as she does so, too — her philosophy there is to never deny anyone the chance to come help.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Adventures of Superman, "The Defeat of Superman", Lois doesn't scream, but she does spend her time fussing while Jimmy looks for some way to save Superman.
    • There are several episodes (especially in the first season) where Lois does scream.
  • Babylon 5: Sheridan's wife (played by Melissa Gilbert) screams when the White Star comes plowing through the dome of the city on Z'ha'dum... carrying two 500 MT nukes. Perhaps justified in her case as in that situation, there wasn't really anything she could do but scream. The novelization of this moment (in the Technomage trilogy) states that this was actually her battle scream; she had previously been the core of a Shadow vessel, which emits a psychic scream in battle.
  • Downplayed in Blake's 7. In the episode "Orac", Supreme Commander Servalan shrieks in terror when a monster grabs her in a dark narrow tunnel. The Dragon promptly shoots it and offers to lead the way. But Servalan quickly regains her dignity and announces that she will lead and he will follow!
  • Boardwalk Empire features this practically every time someone is murdered in public.
  • Buffyverse:
  • Parodied in the slasher movie-themed episode of Boy Meets World. Angela takes on this role and after several big screams Jack says "You know, you are really good at that." and she thanks him. Later, when Jennifer Love Hewitt's character shows up she lets out a big scream of her own and Angela then tries to out-scream her because she "is the screamer around here".
  • Doctor Who has a fraught relationship with this trope due to being heavily associated with it throughtout its original run from 1963-89. While not doing it as often as some make out, "she's not just a screaming girlie" has to be emphasized whenever any new companion is created, especially in the new series.
    • The first regular to leave the series, Doctor's granddaughter Susan, did so because the actress portraying her (Carole Ann Ford) felt Susan had no depth beyond the screaming girl slash damsel in distress. (Curiously, in her very last serial "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", she nearly drops a literal bridge on herself.)
      Joe Ford: Unfortunately "The Keys of Marinus" is the story that turned Simon away from Susan for good. I was watching it in bed whilst he was reading Sky News on his phone (yep, apparently that is the preferable option) and Carole Ann Ford was screeching and screaming and wailing and bawling and he begged me to turn it off. I naturally refused and kept watching and as he tried to settle and go to sleep she was still going at it! He suggested I either turn it off or he would start proceedings for divorce.
    • The Second Doctor companion Victoria Waterfield is an exaggeration bordering on subversion — she is actually quite brave and adventurous but has a truly eardrum-shattering scream considered painful even in-universe. In "Tomb of the Cybermen", Victoria even stuns someone pointing a gun at her and a friend by shrieking so loud he can't think. In "The Ice Warriors", her scream causes an avalanche that takes out her captor. In "Fury from the Deep", her scream is the weapon that defeats the Big Bad. Her actress Deborah Watling was nicknamed "Leatherlungs" by the rest of the cast.
    • Leela's Moment of Awesome might just be when she slaps one of these in "The Horror of Fang Rock".
    • Louise Jameson, who played Leela, was often scripted as screaming but refused to do so in almost all cases as she felt it was out-of-character. Leela only screams once in her whole tenure — a scream of pain when a giant rat starts biting her leg off in "The Talons of Weng-Chiang".
    • Mel is famous for this trope. Reputedly her actress Bonnie Langford was told to pitch her screams to match the start of the theme music, so there wouldn't be any dissonance at cliffhangers. The fan webcomic The 10 Doctors has fun with this, with an author's note commenting that "Mel, as we all feared, screams".
    • A double example from "Delta and the Bannermen": gratingly, Mel ends an episode screaming at the hatching of a friendly alien's egg. Later, the growing child's screams are used as a weapon against the real villains.
    • Ace competes with Leela for the title "Classic Series Companion Who Screams the Least"; the closest she came was in "Survival". She was being menaced by some thugs, but she had been warned by the Doctor that she couldn't fight lest she permanently lose control of herself; thus she had to yell for someone to help her. (And, as with Louise Jameson, there were some scripted screams that Sophie Aldred flatly refused to do.)
    • An inversion in Series 2 of the new show: it's Rose's boyfriend who Screams Like a Little Girl, and is called upon by the Doctor.
    • Donna in "The Runaway Bride". A lot. Though almost all those screams are mostly rage. After all, she's "Donna Noble, screaming at the world because you think no-one's listening."
    • In Season 6, while going into danger alone, River Song tells the Doctor he shouldn't worry because she's "quite a screamer." Considering how flirtatious she is, and the fact that she's a genuine Action Girl, we think she's talking about a different kind of scream.
    • In "Thin Ice", the Twelfth Doctor has a "No. Just… No" Reaction when Bill threatens to do this (because they're tied to a bomb) no doubt remembering some of the above-mentioned companions. It does no good anyway as the noise outside is so loud no-one hears her.
    • In "Resolution" a policewoman screams on seeing alien tentacles sprout from the woman who just killed her partner. Match Cut to the siren screaming on her squad car as the Meat Puppet drives off in it, leaving the policewoman's stripped corpse behind.
  • Farscape:
    • Joolushko "Jool" Tunai Fenta Hovalis spends a good portion of her introductory appearance doing just this. And it continued throughout the third series. Interestingly enough, Jool's screams are so high-pitched, they can melt metal, resulting in a hilarious moment when Aeryn decides to forgo finding power for a welding torch and simply breaks Jool's thumb.
    • In "Scratch N Sniff", Crichton and D'Argo wake up after a night's partying to find they've been robbed and their fellow crewmembers are missing. They start Perp Sweating a female criminal to find out what happened but stop in terror when she threatens to scream.
  • Employed several times in the first two seasons of Fringe, with opening scenes regularly depicting female nurses screaming at the horrifying case-of-the-week. Stretches suspension of belief, since an emergency room medical professional in a major urban hospital would be trained to deal with the unexpected and horrible.
  • Game of Thrones: Ellaria Sand screams when her lover Oberyn Martell's head is crushed by Gregor Clegane. See for yourself.
  • Grey's Anatomy: A woman who brought in her severely wounded husband screams and keeps screaming for more than a quarter of the episode until Alex makes her stop — by screaming back at her.
  • The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries: the 2nd season episode Voodoo Doll has Nancy Drew. Dear Gods, it has Nancy Drew, who is reduced to screaming endlessly and the sight of a man in an obvious skull mask who is merely standing there. In a brightly lit room. She's reduced to the Screaming Woman again in Arson & Old Lace when Frank Hardy finally finds her...and she stands there and screams as he's tossed around by a lawyer and menaced by a 70-year-old man. Yeeeesh.
  • Hawaii Five-O was inordinately fond of this trope. Possibly the worst example in history comes in "The Meighan Conspiracy" when a woman screams upon seeing an empty bank vault. Seriously.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022):
  • Kamen Rider Build doesn't feature a physical woman doing this, but whenever the Crocodile Crack Fullbottle is used to transform or perform a finisher, it's capped off with the sound of a woman's scream. Because, y'know, the Jaws-esque music beforehand and the opening announcement of "DANGER..." didn't do a good enough job of conveying how this thing is bad news. The series then plays this for laughs by using the scream to punctuate the Fullbottle's primary user's atrocious fashion sense.
  • Discussed in Lessons for a Perfect Detective Story when Fujii is told to go into a creepy room first because "it's the heroine's job to get scared and scream." She doesn't and instead Tenkaichi gets scared, screams, and faints.
  • The first time viewers of Lost see Shannon, she is standing unharmed in the midst of the airplane wreckage, screaming continuously.
  • Several civilian women react to dead bodies and other gruesome sights by screaming uselessly on NCIS.
  • While The Outer Limits was admirably progressive in other respects, unfortunately its female characters wound up screaming an awful lot at the Monster of the Week.
  • Kira in Power Rangers: Dino Thunder also has a scream that serves as a weapon.
  • This 1989 Sesame Street take on "Little Miss Muffet" has the titular character frequently screaming very loud when she comes across a spider that keeps following her.
  • Subverted in Space Cases. Catalina screams when threatened or in trouble, yes... but her scream is a sonic weapon, and a very effective one at that.
  • Stargate SG-1 episode "Bad Guys" spoofs this slightly by having the usually calm and diplomatic Daniel finally lose his patience and shout at the two screaming girls who decided to have a catfight, in the middle of a mistaken hostage situation.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • Parodied in the Captain Proton holodeck program, an Affectionate Parody of 1930s' Republic Film Serials like Flash Gordon. Proton's secretary, Constance Goodheart, is a busty blonde Designated Victim whose only dialogue is an ear-piercing scream.
    • In "Cold Fire", a mistake with Kes' psychic powers causes Tuvok's blood to boil in his head. Kes reacts with a shriek several pitches higher than any human female could produce.
  • Star Trek: Picard:
    • In "Remembrance", Dahj screeches at the top of her lungs after she witnesses her boyfriend being murdered.
    • In "Broken Pieces", all the female Zhat Vash initiates (except for Narissa) cry out in terror and agony when they experience Admonition because their minds can't handle the visions it imparts.
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", Narissa screams as she falls to her death.
  • Played for horror in The Stone Tape where the scream of a housemaid killed back in the 1890s has become a Living Memory imprinted in the foundations of a castle. Later on a female colleague is killed by whatever lurks there, and it's her scream that's now imprinted in the building.
  • Stranger Things sometimes does this, with general justification due to the nature of the threat and the youth of most of the protagonists. Eleven is this just as much as she is a Screaming Warrior.
  • Supernatural plays this straight in virtually every episode.
  • Lydia Martin of Teen Wolf. The show makes a point of emphasizing her piercing scream whenever she lets it rip, something that usually happens in proximity of events involving the dead or the soon-to-be-deceased. This culminates in the third season's revelation that she is in fact a banshee and her screams are omens of death.
  • Thats Incredible did a brief piece on a voice actress who earned money providing the screams for this trope, which would be dubbed onto the film so the Scream Queens didn't have to damage their vocal cords. According to her, it provided a Catharsis Factor for everyday frustrations. Cue a shot of her screaming after being stopped by a red traffic light, watched by an alarmed motorist.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Subverted in WCW. Daffney Unger would often randomly scream for no reason but when attacked by Juventud Guerrera her scream proved painful enough to ward her would-be assailant off.
  • A special case in WWE, where heel Divas are as likely to scream out of rage as out of fear (not that the screams are any less annoying in the former case). Examples: Vickie Guerrero, Melina Perez, A.J. Lee.

  • Several female characters in Survival of the Fittest do this at least once, such as Helena Van Garrett when Hawley Faust starts shooting at her, though it's rather understandable considering the circumstances they're in.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: Subverted by the Eldar's Howling Banshees, who certainly scream when faced with combat but for different reasons: an Amazon Brigade (most of the time) whose screaming is amplified and distorted through their helmets to paralyze their enemies, which they then cut apart with monomolecular-edged swords.

  • Little Red Riding Hood uses this to get her cape back from the Baker in Into the Woods. A more melodic version ("Ah ha-ah ah-ha...") is used as Rapunzel's main line, especially in "First Midnight" and the finale (she also does the non-melodic version after going insane).
  • This is used to a character's advantage in Les Misérables. Eponine screams loudly to frighten off her father and his friends, who are planning to break into Valjean and Cosette's home.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • In Taito's Dead Connection, pretty much the only thing women do is scream and flee the scene.
  • In the original Donkey Kong, Pauline does nothing but stand there yelling "HELP!" while Mario tries to save her.
  • In LEGO Indiana Jones, due to an "extra", you can actually weaponize Willie Scott's screams (which already serve a purpose as a Glass-Shattering Sound otherwise).
  • Mortal Kombat 3: Sindel is a lethal example, since one of her fatalities has her scream into her opponent's ear so loud, their head explodes!
  • In Night Trap, Lisa mostly falls into this category. She seems to be Made of Iron and very tough when fighting off against Augers. In her Game Over scene, even when her blood is extracted from her, she refuses to stay dead while the Augers are dragging her into the secret passage behind the mirror in the bathroom, all the while she is still screaming to the very end.
  • In Resident Evil 4, Ashley Graham does a lot of standing around and screaming for Leon as the hordes of Ganados converge on her.

    Web Animation 
  • Spoofed in the flash cartoon The Demented Cartoon Movie:
    Generic Damsel: Aaaaah!
    Evil Blah: Screaming won't get you anywhere!
    Generic Damsel: Actually, I'm screaming because my head's about to fall off.
    Evil Blah: (beat) What?
    [Generic Damsel's head pops off.]
  • In this World of Warcraft animated music video, a pervert dwarf makes a woman scream by flashing her. Based on a French song by Richard Gotainer, "La Ballade de l'obsédé".

  • El Goonish Shive has a side character who exists only to fill this role.
    • She first screams during the goo attack, then later makes a reappearance when the "evil monkey" shows up. Her role is lampshaded in the commentary of the second strip.
      If there is monster business at Moperville North, I believe she should get her scream on.
    • Her line during the first incident:
      Screaming Blonde Girl: EEEK! A giant slime monster! Everyone run around in a dangerous panic, quick!
      Ellen: Damnit, if the goo starts to eat people I hope whoever that was is the first to go.
    • To her credit, though, she does compose herself pretty quickly in the latter incident, given that she phones for help only a panel later (albeit not in the most convincing terms).
    • Later Melissa falls to it when confronted with a dragon that just took down the local superheroine. Subverted in that screaming was part of her plan — it alerted her battle mage boyfriend to the situation.
      Melissa: "The flight of dragon" rules don't apply, eh? Doesn't matter. You were dead the moment I screamed.
  • Played for Laughs in Girl Genius when the eponymous Agatha Heterodyne, prior to achieving Action Girl status, succumbs to this the first time she's left alone with a Jägermonster.
    Agatha: AAAAH!
    Jäger: Vots de matta, gurl?note 
    Agatha: They sent you out here to eat me!
    Jäger: Hy em not gun eatchu.
    Agatha: [over several panels] WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA—
    Jäger: Onless dots de only vay to shot hyu op!
    Agatha: ...

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Subverted in the Batman Beyond episode "Babel". Shriek uses a device that messes with the hearing of everyone in Gotham. A construction crane falls off a skyscraper and is falling straight towards a traffic cop, about to crush him into strawberry jam. An elderly, meek-looking woman notices this and yells at him trying to get his attention, but when it doesn't work she proceeds to jump into the middle of the road without a thought of incoming traffic and pulls the idiot out of the way and to safety. Badass Bystander? Certainly.
  • The The BOTS Master episode, "The Duel" had Blitzy Zulander recklessly going by herself into a cave where the Corps were doing an excavation, and suddenly letting out a bone-chilling scream as she went off-screen. It doesn't help that it's never shown what was inside that made her screech in such horror.
  • Sissi Delmas, from Code Lyoko, frequently lets out a frightened scream when confronted with XANA's latest attack. Parodied in episode "End of Take", where the only line of dialogue Sissi gets in James Finson's horror movie is "AAAAAH!"
  • Donald Duck:
    • Pauline from the short "Duck Pimples", in horrified reaction to Donald after he was supposedly shot and collapsed.
    • Also, a woman can be heard screaming on Donald's radio when a narrator mentions "And a woman shrieks".
  • Princess Sally Acorn screams in the Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) episode "Blast in the Past" part 1.
  • Early episodes of Teen Titans had Starfire playing the Screaming Woman rather a lot. Raven, however, did it in one episode, off-screen, before she was attacked by a were-creature.

    Real Life 
  • This can happen to someone of either gender in high-stress situations when a person is not used to them, like say a combat situation. This can result in people not doing anything but scream. Usually they either get killed, or someone who isn't screaming drags them out of the way.



By the way, this is an edutainment show about reading and writing.

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Main / ScreamingWoman

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