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Shaming the Mob

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Skinner: What have we become?
Dr. Hibbert: We've given the word "mob" a bad name.
The Simpsons, "Rosebud"

The mob is out in force, toting Torches and Pitchforks and demanding blood. All that stands between them and their target is our hero. The hero gives a speech, and the mob is ashamed. Dejected, they turn and leave.

This sometimes works on a Powder Keg Crowd as well, but only if done before the violence breaks out. Once the riot starts, nobody's listening.


Occasionally this doesn't work. The mob stops in their tracks, hears out the speech...and then keeps right on with what they were doing. When it works, almost guaranteed to be an instance of Verbal Judo. Compare Talking the Monster to Death. Sometimes rather than the hero giving the speech, it's a Character Witness or Zombie Advocate. If the speech is only meant to delay the mob rioting until The Cavalry arrives, the character is Holding the Floor. If a character points out the extreme danger of what they are doing, or if they demand that someone else do it, and the character shoves it back on them, and they stop, it's Who Will Bell the Cat?. The inversion is Shamed by a Mob.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Big O: Dan Dastun shames the military police with a speech about them following Alex Rosewater’s deranged leadership and then performs the Insignia Rip-Off Ritual. Later, the rest of the military police follows his example and attacks Alex Rosewater. [1] [2] [3] [4]
  • In Porco Rosso, a gang of air pirates ambush Porco and threaten to trash his plane in an effort to get even with him, and are stopped only by Fio appealing to their sense of honor.
  • From One Piece, the people of the Ryuugu wanted to kill a World Noble who was stranded on the island as retribution for their treatment as slaves. Queen Otohime stops them with one sentence.
    Otohime: " The children are watching."
  • Kotetsu from Tiger & Bunny tries to call out Sternbild's government for twiddling their fingers while the terrorist group Ouroboros is launching a city-wide attack. As it turns out, he's not very good at this impromptu monologue thing.
    Kotetsu: You people are despicable! The entire city is at stake, and all you care about is protecting your own self...uh, your own...
    Mayor: Our own what?
    Kotetsu: You know, your, that thing you have.
    Barnaby: Self interests.
    Kotetsu: Yeah, that's it!
  • This is how Satou brings the Club of Heracles's plan crashing down around his ears in Ben-To.
  • In Attack on Titan, when soldiers panicked and threatened to desert after the Titans' assault on Trost to spend their last moments with their loved ones, Commander Dot Pixis - knowing that executing soldiers and causing a bloody riot was the last thing humanity needed - gave this Rousing Speech.
    Titans are terrible creatures, and once someone gives in to that fear, they can never fight one of them again! Those of you who have already experienced that dread are free to go away! FINALLY! Those of you who would let their parents, siblings and loved ones experience such terror for themselves...are all free to walk away!
  • Played for Laughs in Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu. A viral agent is released in class and Crowd Panic ensues until Kaname dresses down the entire class. Everyone starts hugging each other, determined to Face Death with Dignity... until Sousuke reveals he has enough vaccine for one person. When the entire class attack Sousuke for getting them into this mess, Kaname tries to talk them down again but everyone ignores her, so she gives up and starts throwing punches herself.
  • In Summer Wars, guest Kenji is framed of having caused plenty of chaos by corrupting OZ. The entire family instantly turns on him and he gets arrested on the spot. He politely bows to them in handcuffs and thanks them for having allowed him to experience a real family. Everyone just freezes with visible awkwardness and shame for a moment.
  • In Gundam Build Divers Riku delivers one for treating Sarah so poorly and wanting to erase her just for GBN's sake with him and the rest of his team telling everyone just how much Sarah meant to them, especially in changing their lives for the better. This, combined with Riku and Ogre defeating Kyoya, allows Riku to rescue Sarah.
  • My Hero Academia: Once the secret comes out the All for One is gunning for Deku, the civilians who are taking shelter in the U.A. vehemently refuse to let him in, out of fear for their own lives. Uraraka immediately steps up to remind everyone that Deku has been fighting all by himself to try and keep everyone safe, but he's mentally and physically exhausted and he needs their support. Shortly after, the rest of his classmates and a few of the people he saved over the course of the story vouch for him, while Uraraka tells everyone that the Heroes need people's support when they're hurting as well. Then, another man (from the very first chapter of the manga, no less) steps up and tells everyone how he just realized that the civilians acted as "spectators" while the heroes such as All Might "performed" on stage, forgetting the heart and soul that made them such. Now with the stage destroyed, and the Heroes looking for glory having retired, if they reject the few who are still fighting, they won't have anyone who can protect them anymore.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Children's Crusade, Wiccan and Speed do this to the X-Men and Avengers simultaneously when they come for The Scarlet Witch. They ask just what both mobs wanna do with her when they get their hands on her, and how they work with not just people who were Brainwashed and Crazy, but ex-villains with body counts, so them not forgiving Wanda really is unfair. Everyone goes home.
  • Comic Cavalcade: Wonder Woman is able to make most of Randy Holcome's lynch mob feel ashamed of themselves after forcing him to admit to murdering his father in front of them, but this only happens after they've got a noose around their sheriff and Etta Candy's necks.
  • In issue 210 of The Uncanny X-Men, Kitty Pryde, Colossus (in human form) and Magik find a mob about to beat a depowered Nightcrawler. Judging that using their powers would only make things worse, Kitty proceeds to shame the crowd, one at a time, until they leave. ("He scared my kids!" "YOU scare ME! Should I beat you senseless?")
  • In Y: The Last Man, since all the men have died the US Government has become dominated by Democrats, who elect women more frequently. A mob of shotgun-toting Republican Wives try to storm the White House to demand their husbands' political offices, but are talked down by the President (Who is, herself, Republican).
  • Attempted in Courtney Crumrin and the Fire Thief's Tale, when a mob of townsfolk corner and plan to kill a group of Gypsies who they (correctly) believe to be werewolves. Knowing that the Gypsies aren't dangerous, a woman from the town tries to shame them out of it, asking them how they'd feel if they shot a child and found out the Gypsies were ordinary people after all. It doesn't quite work, though no Gypsies die.
  • Sonic and Sally attempt this with an audience swayed by Mina Mongoose's "Anti-NICOLE" protest songs in Sonic #221, by explaining who was really in control of her actions, what she was doing when she was a Fake Defector, and pointing out that she was the one who saved most of their butts during the invasion. It doesn't stick.
  • After an EMP knocks out Gotham's electricity in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, the city turns into a war zone of fire, looting, and gangs. Retired Commissioner Gordon and Batman talk the mobs into turning from looting to firefighting.
  • Phil Sheldon does this in Marvels, realizing that he lives in a universe where the average citizens are a bunch of Ungrateful Bastards. That said, it only works as when Phil overcomes his fear of a little mutant girl (although he wasn't part of a mob at the time, he previously was part of one where he threw a brick at Iceman's head. Cyclops keeps Iceman from retaliating by telling him that his attackers "aren't worth it," which doesn't shame the mob but shakes Phil up).
  • Nemesis the Warlock: Subverted. This fails miserably when Purity and other "alien lovers" are about to be executed by a mob of Torquemada's followers and she takes a moral stand.
    Purity: Why are you all so evil? Don't you think it is wrong to kill aliens just because they're not the same as you?
    Terminators: [in unison] No.

    Fan Works 

  • Shinji and Warhammer 40k has resident Badass Preacher Makoto breaking up a riot with words while revving a chainsword to get their attention. One minute, the rioters are willing to kill each other; the next, they are kneeling and lamenting that they are the world's biggest assholes.
  • In Direction, when Trixie is captured, an angry mob of Ponyville citizens tries to lynch her for the crimes committed while under the influence of the Alicorn Amulet. Rarity, however, puts herself between them, and asks the mob if any of them think that this is what Twilight (who's currently dealing with this universe's version of Equestria Girls) would want. This gets the crowd to stop and think, and then they all slowly leave.
  • Attempted in the Miraculous Ladybug fic Back To Us. The mob in question are essentially an Akuma hate group, who have come to believe that Akumatised victims should be met with lethal force rather than Ladybug purifying the butterflies. After Ladybug narrowly prevents the latest victim from committing suicide, she climbs on top of a news van, grabs a megaphone and delivers the following speech (much of it directed at Chat Noir, whose own increasingly ruthless attitude is responsible for the mob's creation).
    Ladybug: Citizens of Paris. Today, I am forced to say something I have never had the cause to say ever since becoming Paris’ hero: I’m disappointed in you. Just a minute ago, a woman’s life almost ended, because she was dreading this exact reaction from you. Tell me, Paris — when did this behavior become acceptable? Standing here before you now, I’m ashamed to be a citizen of Paris myself — ashamed to be your hero! Who in their right mind would want to defend a city that’s so determined to destroy itself from the inside out? When did you lose your heart, Paris? How could you act so thoughtlessly? How could you have become so cruel? (glances up at Chat on a nearby rooftop) This madness has to end. The akumatized victims have no more control over their emotions than any other citizen of Paris. To blame them for being taken advantage of is to blame them for daring to be upset, which is ridiculous. No one can control their emotions like that. And before you say something ridiculous, like they had the darkness inside them all along or something, think: how would you feel if it was someone you loved? A relative you adore? Your best friend? …What if you’re next? Is this how you want to be saved? Coming back to yourself, confused, scared...surrounded by angry people who have no idea what they’re talking about? I’m trying. I’m doing everything I can. But I’ll say it: I’m scared, too. Scared of what this new enemy means, of the damage he’s causing...and what we’ve become as a result. I’m scared, but I know that this is not right. Things shouldn’t be like this. I’ll always be here to protect Paris...but just because I can do it alone doesn’t mean that I want to. The only way I can keep to know that you’re on my side. I need your support. I...I need you. Please, please don’t make me do this alone anymore. Come back. (She watches as Chat turns and leaves. When she looks back to the mob, she notes that at least some of them have been affected by her loss of composure.) We can be better than this, Paris, and we will be. I’m going to get to the bottom of this, and I’m going to stop this second Hawk Moth...but I can only do that if I know that Hawk Moth’s victims will not be harassed for something they had no control over. I don’t judge or blame any of the victims, and neither should you. Please, let’s bring back the Paris that I love. The Paris that I’m proud to protect. Let’s be better together, Paris.
  • Appears in another Miraculous Ladybug fic, An Act of Protection. When Ladybug and Chat Noir are mobbed by reporters after a battle and are cut off from the exit despite asking them to let them through, Ladybug is forced to push Chat into a closet to change back while she stands guard outside, sacrificing her identity to protect his. After Adrien recharges and comes out as Chat, he turns on the reporters with Tranquil Fury. "How dare you? We’ve dedicated our lives to protecting this city from Hawkmoth and you repay us by not even giving us the courtesy of keeping our civilian lives to ourselves? Why didn’t you let us leave? You know we value our privacy. It’s called a secret identity for a reason. It’s there to protect our friends, family and ourselves. You’ve just given Hawkmoth an advantage over Ladybug. Those she knows in her private life could potentially become targets." While a few of the reporters apologise and claim they never intended for this reveal to happen, the majority continue to ask questions and only grudgingly leave the building when ordered.
  • In The Blacksmith's Apprentice, Mildew managed to rally a crowd of people to protest against Hiccup being reinstated as heir, but that mob distinctly lost their enthusiasm about supporting Mildew when he stated that they wanted Snotlout back.
  • In Robb Returns, Lords Bracken and Blackwood do this to a crowd at Raventree Hall who are following a septon to burn down a weirwood tree inside, challenging them to listen to the Call and stand together like they have.
  • What Lies Beneath: When the village accuse Hiccup of not contributing to the village and call Zephyr "as pathetic as her father" when Astrid's yelling accidentally upsets her, Astrid gives a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech right back.
    "You ungrateful jerks! Hiccup forges the best weapons on Berk! He is not useless. So what if he decided to play a different role? Why should he want to lead you lot of degenerate boneheads anyway?"
    Some of the Berkians looked scandaled, others slightly ashamed, some slightly confused by the big words.
    "How dare you insult my daughter? A three-year-old, little girl? Of course she isn't going to flourish, not when she is treated the way she is. You can't judge her before she's even had the chance to show what she has to offer. You're doing the same thing to her that you did to Hiccup. Don't try to deny it. I know that deep down you all know. Hiccup is the way he is because of us! He put up a bunch of walls and hides himself away, because he never received a kind word from anyone. I am so grateful that Zephyr has Hiccup because he will never allow her to feel the way he does. And so help me, if you drive my daughter to the same depths of despair as my husband... I will come for your unworthy, pathetic souls and hand them over to the ruler of Helheim himself!"
  • The Touhou Project Cookie☆ fan movie Marisa and Alice's Self Contradiction☆ already acts as a scathing satire of the Cookie☆ community on Nico Nico Seiga, but in the climax it has the protagonist interrupt her live recording session to go on a tirade: first against the part of the community who only joined for clout and chasing fame, then to the fandom fundamentalists who won't let any new blood into the scene and chases off users, and then finally to the crowd who just gawks and jeers at the chaos, accusing them of never making anything original and blaming their need for constant fanart consumption for the low quality of the Seiga tag. She gets her account "freezed" for this.

    Films — Animated 
  • Victor Frankenstein tells off a mob looking for his monster in the beginning of Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein by pointing out how ridiculous the concept of the monster is. The chipmunks do this to another mob in the finale after the monster is revealed to be a Gentle Giant.
  • Papa Mousekewitz does this in An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island to bring a mob back to their senses after they were tricked into turning against an Indian mouse tribe by three corrupted factory owners.
  • In the Dead Space: Downfall movie, a bunch of Unitologists are insisting that they be allowed to worship the recently-excavated Marker, and are near-rioting when the ship's security forces tell them "no". They're ultimately stopped by a much more level-headed Unitologist engineer who gets in front of them, tells them to stop acting like crazy cultists, be adults, and go do the jobs they are contracted to do; there will be plenty of opportunity for Marker-worshipping later, when it's properly delivered to the Unitologist leadership back on Earth. It works: there's some grumbling, but the Unitologists disperse and go back to their jobs.
  • Horton Hears a Who!: Horton tries a rousing speech to explain to the mob why he is so devoted to protecting a speck on a clover which contains a microscopic community on it. At the end, even the Sour Kangaroo notes that the speech is moving, but immediately orders Horton bound and caged anyway.
  • Awesome one in ParaNorman by none other than Norman's sister.
  • Artie delivers such a speech in Shrek the Third. The speech turns inspirational, with a hilarious ending:
    Artie: If there's something you want to do, or someone you really want to be, then the only one standing in your you.
    Rumplestiltskin: Me?
    Member of the Mob: Get him!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • During the riot in '71, a woman defends Gary and Thommo from being beaten. Unfortunately, Quinn doesn't care.
    "Get back, the lot of you! We've had enough for today! Behaving like animals, you should be ashamed of yourselves!"
  • The Animal:
    • Parodied when one of the mob members who keeps asking questions finally asks what the viewers are thinking:
      Mob Member: I was just this really the right thing? Are we sure this man did anything wrong? And even if he did, is it really right for us to kill him over it?
      Mob Leader: Back of the mob.
      Mob Member: Back of the mob?! But I got here three hours early for this spot!
      Mob Leader: Back of the mob.
      Mob Member: This mob blows. [goes to the back of the mob]
      Mob Leader: Any other questions? Good, let's go.
    • When the mob has the main character cornered, his black friend suddenly confesses to being behind it all. The mob stops and disperses, not wanting to be known for lynching a black man.
  • Subverted in Blazing Saddles where the Reverend interrupts an imminent lynching by loudly proclaiming the Word of God while brandishing the Bible high in the air. The townspeople respond by blasting the Bible out of his hands with a round of gunfire, at which point the Reverend turns to the mob's intended victim and tells him, "'re on your own."
  • Clerks. "Bunch of easily-led automatons! Try thinking for yourselves before you pelt an innocent man with cigarettes!"
  • Dracula Untold has Vlad call out his kingdom after they find out he's a vampire and want to repay him for saving them from the Ottomans by killing him. He lets them know in no uncertain terms that they are alive because of him and what he did to save them. It works.
  • Occurs in The Elephant Man, when Merrick is out on his own and is discovered by a crowd at a train station, who realized he was disfigured, began following him, and are about to beat him after he knocked over a little girl trying to get away. He screams: "I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I am...a man." which stops the crowd dead in its tracks, as they realize exactly what it is they are doing.
  • Flowers of War: John tries to do this with the Japanese soldiers who break into the church and are trying to rape the school girls. Unsurprisingly, this doesn't work.
  • In Footloose Reverend Shaw delivers these to his parishioners when they try to stage a book burning. It also serves as a touch of a What Have I Done in that they thought they were doing what the Reverend told them to do.
  • In Gladiator, Maximus attempts this with his famous "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!" speech. It doesn't work, as the crowd decide that, yes, they are very entertained indeed.
  • Hobo with a Shotgun: When Abby is confronted by the Torches and Pitchforks mob demanding to know if she is homeless. She delivers a speech to them about how living on the streets doesn't mean you're homeless, and that you are entitled to clean your home, and from where she is standing she can see a lot of filth. The mob's nerve breaks and most of the members slink off.
  • In It's a Wonderful Life, there is a run on the Building & Loan and a mob is demanding all their money. George Bailey shows up and explains that the money is not there because it's been loaned to their friends to build homes. He calms them down and convinces them to take out just enough to get by (except for one jackhole who demanded all his money regardless), thereby saving the Building & Loan.
  • Joey (1997): Billy attempts this by confronting the crowd at Kangaroo Kingdom with the cruelty of forcing animals to fight and asks how they can just stand there and watch it. One man simply responds, "Because there's money to be made!" and everyone else just cheers.
  • A Knight's Tale: Chaucer, who has previously demonstrated his ability to work a crowd, tries to shame the mob that's gathered around William, who is in the stocks for impersonating a knight. He's pelted with vegetables before he can get started. However, in the extended cut of the film, Chaucer succeeds and chastens them into silence before Prince Edward steps in. This scene was cut to beef up Prince Edward's role.
  • M: When childkiller protagonist Hans Beckert gives an extremely moving speech about how everything he does is the product of mental illness, not genuine malice. He also notes that while he is insane and can't control his abhorrent actions, the criminals who are attempting to lynch him are criminals entirely by choice. The angry mob don't listen, but he manages to buy himself enough time for the cops to arrive and arrest everyone present.
  • Done well in the 1953 biographical film Martin Luther and especially well in its excellent 2003 remake, Luther. Martin is horrified both that his best friends are being burned at stake for heresy—an unfortunate touch of Truth in Television—and that his supposed followers and converts to a way of peaceful reform have instead decided to take up arms against Catholicism, looting and pillaging churches and Spalatin, even killing a priest. Martin confronts them at the steps, fiery-eyed.
    Martin: You think this is my work?! This is never my work!
    Spalatin:'s...the people's work!
    Martin: The people's work? The...people's work...?
    [he shakes his head very slowly, turns his back on them and walks away; the mob falls silent]
  • In Napoléon, an angry mob shows up at the Bonapartes' doorstep. Napoleon simply walks out the door and stares them down. The mob quickly leaves.
  • Ike in Runaway Bride does this at the pre-wedding party to the collected family and friends of Maggie. Granted, the "Mob" here was only throwing snide comments at Maggie rather than pitchforks and torches, but...
    "May you find yourselves the bullseye of an easy target, may you be publicly flogged for all of your bad choices, and may your noses be rubbed in all of your mistakes."
  • At the end of the 1923 version of Scaramouche, Andre-Louis convinces a revolutionary mob to spare two aristocratic women because they are his mother and fiancée.
  • Played with twice in Silent Hill. Initiated first by Christabella, when it succeeds because the mob that she's talking down is composed entirely of the members of her cult. The second time Rose attempts to shame the cult, including Christabella, for burning Alessa and then attempting to go for some sort of bizarre karmic double jeopardy by burning Sharon. This fails as a form of Verbal Judo when Christabella stabs her, but succeeds in letting them know that they've seriously messed up, which brings the darkness into their church.
  • In Silver Lode, Rose makes several attempts to shame the townspeople for turning on Ballard, but it doesn't work until Ballard himself chews them out after the truth has been revealed.
    "You're sorry? A moment ago, you wanted to kill me. You forced me to kill to defend myself, to save my own life. You wouldn't believe me, you wouldn't believe what I said. A man's life can hang in the balance, on a piece of paper. And you're sorry!"
  • In The Stoning of Soraya M., right before the stoning, Soraya gets to have a Final Speech in which she accuses her fellow villagers of coldheartedness.
  • Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat: About midway through the movie, many of the (blood-starved) vampire residents of the Monster Town are about to attack the jail to drag out and kill a pair of humans locked up for witnessing an attack (although to be fair, letting them go wasn't an option). They're about to drain them of blood when the towns founder, Count Mardulak appears, and rebukes them (with a fair amount of intimidation) for being prepared to succumb to their bloodlust after fighting it for so long, causing them to disperse.
  • At the climax of Talk of the Town, the mob is about to lynch Cary Grant when Ronald Colman bursts into the courtroom—yep, the mob invaded a courtroom—with the purported murder victim, who is very much alive. Colman then gives a long shaming-the-mob speech about how they should respect the law, especially during a time when other countries were fighting to have law.
  • At the climax of the film Young Frankenstein, the monster, made newly articulate, manages to do this. Downplayed twice before; the first time, a respected elder tells a group of people that they should not chase Dr. Frankenstein away, until they are sure he is creating a monster. The second time, he speaks to the mob, pitchforks and all, and explains that "A riot is an ungly thing...und, I tink, that it is chust about time ve had vun."
  • In A Series of Unfortunate Events it is done by Olaf of all people to the audience of the play. When his scheme to legally marry Violet Baudelaire to get her fortune has been revealed, he venomously taunts Mr. Poe's hypocrisy by exclaiming Poe and the other adults in the audience let this happen because they wouldn't listen to the Baudelaires when they begged for help.
    Count Olaf: You think you're innocent? You're accomplices!
  • In Good Satan, after Satan beats Michael down after carrying Jesus back to Heaven, the crowd from Heaven still mock and shun Jesus for being gay, only for Satan to come to his defense.
    Satan: What did he ever do to you other than love you all unconditionally?


  • One chapter of The Buddenbrooks takes place while a wave of revolutionary uprisings sweaps over Germany and an angry mob of workers gatheres in front of the council building. The council members decide to hole up and wait for the crowd to disperse, but when it gets close to nightfall, two of them go outside to see what the protesters want. When one of the workers shouts that they want a republic, he is reminded that the autonomous city has been one for centuries. When someone blurts out "then we want another one!", the protest pretty much instantly falls apart and everyone is quitly returning home.
  • Scout, from To Kill a Mockingbird, in both the book and the film, is unexpectedly present when a lynch mob comes for the accused rapist Tom Robinson. Recognizing one of the men, she singles him out as an individual that she knows, speaking to him personally and talking about his son who goes to school with her. She didn't actually mean to break up the mob - she didn't even really seem to be fully aware of the danger it posed - but this appeal pulls the man back down to earth and the mob disperses.
  • The Bible shows several instances of this trope and shows that it's Older Than Feudalism.
    • The origin of the term "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" is in the New Testament where Jesus convinces a group about to stone a supposed adulteress by pointing out that they are no saints themselves.
    • Christopher Moore's Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal elaborates on the scene by making note of what Jesus was doodling on the ground before he said the famous line — namely, a documented list of every mob-goer and their sins (a common theory from some time before). One involved doing something unmentionable with a goose.
    • Spoofed in Robot Chicken.
      Jesus: (smacks tied up man in head with rock) Blammo!
  • Mark Twain didn't like this trope.
    • The War Prayer: The angel tries to do this by explaining that the people's prayer for victors entails all manner of horrors brought down on the enemy, but it doesn't work. They just say he was a lunatic, going on like he never spoke at all.
    • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Colonel Sherburn shames (and bullies) a lynch mob into dispersing. It's not entirely heroic, though: Sherburn really had shot an unarmed drunk in the street, in broad daylight, and the drunk may have threatened his life, but it was clear he had no intentions to actually go through with it (so the lynch mob was attempting to implement a sort of very rough justice). And although Sherburn does shame the mob pretty effectively (calling them out as a bunch of cowards), he's not exactly appealing to their sense of justice and fair play. Also, in addition to his speechifying, the fact that Sherburn is holding a shotgun clearly has a lot to do with convincing the mob to disperse.
  • Twenty pages into the first Commissar Ciaphas Cain novel, Cain marches into the middle of a riot in the mess hall on his troopship and promptly starts yelling at the participants about the abominable state of the room and orders them to go get mops. It's also a Bavarian Fire Drill.
  • Carrot in the Discworld novels does this a lot.
    • As does Vimes, with an especially poignant example in Night Watch.
    • There is also the vicious tongue lashing Lady Ramkin gave to the mob who were attempting to lynch the stunned dragon when they threw rocks at the Night Watch (who were trying to arrest it). She delivered it dressed in a torn nightdress and a pair of rubber boots and cowed the entire mob:
      Lady Ramkin: Who did that? I said, who did that? If the person who did it does not own up I shall be extremely angry! Shame on you all!
    • There is also a villainous example when the vampires do it in Carpe Jugulum.
  • An odd variation occurs in the first book of Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, the hero attempts to shame a mob who are out to Burn the Witch! - literally, as their target is The Mentor of the series, who happens to be a wizard. His speech fails to convince anyone. It's followed up by the mysterious woman openly threatening them, but not knowing what she is, they aren't impressed. Instead, The Mentor manages to scare the mob into backing down, by threatening them with the magic powers they are going to burn him for having. As he says to the others, "Too cold *points at Richard* , too hot *points at Kahlan* , just right *points at himself* ."
  • Xenocide: Grego shames the living hell out of a mob of his fellow villagers after they had already accomplished most of the damage they'd intended. After all, was his mob in the first place.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire
    • Sir Jacelyn Bywater tries to employ this (offstage; we hear about it from another character) in the Battle of the Blackwater, when the men of the City Watch are abandoning their posts. He has almost shamed them into going back and fighting...when someone shoots him in the throat with a crossbow.
    • The dwarf Tyrion Lannister uses the same technique successfully in the same battle, when trying to organize a sally. Tyrion's forces are outnumbered, and while his masterful military tactics have levelled the playing field somewhat, they've also turned it into a fiery hell for all combatants. When the Hound returns from the battlefield and refuses to go back into the fire, Tyrion announces that he personally will lead the next sally. The soldiers are either too rattled by the Hound of all people being too scared to go back, or hold Tyrion in complete disdain. Tyrion gets on his horse, looks at the soldiers, and tells them, "They say I'm half a man. What does that make the lot of you?"
    • The Hound calls out the Kangaroo Court he's been subjected to by the Brotherhood Without Banners, arguing that he's being held responsible for actions he had no part in and simply being executed because he's on the opposite side of the conflict. Arya Stark interrupts, accusing him of murdering Mycah the butcher boy, but Sandor counters that as far as he was told, the boy was guilty of attacking his prince. After failing to shame them into letting him go, Sandor finally demands a trial by combat and does manage to shame his opponent into taking off his armor so that they'll be evenly equipped.
  • In Treasure Island, Long John Silver's men are getting tired of waiting for the treasure he says he's leading them to, and are prepared to kill him. He manages to turn the situation around by asking which of them had desecrated his Bible to make the Black Spot, the traditional declaration of impending death.
  • In I, Claudius, Germanicus uses this to put down the mutiny of his troops on the Rhine. It helps that he has sent away his young son Gaius, whom the troops have come to view as their mascot and good-luck charm. The precious tyke walks around the camp in a miniature legionary's uniform complete with miniature caligae — army sandal-boots — so the soldiers have affectionately nicknamed him "Little Boot", or, in Latin, "Caligula". Yes, that one.
  • In The Good Earth, when a starving, angry mob attacks Wang Lung's home in hopes of taking its non-existent food, O-lan shames them for trying to steal from someone equally as poor as them.
  • In C. S. Lewis's The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, when they find the last of the lords they are looking for, the sailors are of the opinion that they should stop going on. Caspian tells them that they are assuming that he will let them all go.
  • A silly example in The Lions of Al-Rassan, in which the merchant-turned-warrior and the legendary assassin together defuse an angry mob with humor and then tell them off for fighting amongst themselves with enemies approaching the city.
  • A Charisian Guard manages to do this to a mob forming outside a church in Manchyr in the fourth Safehold novel. Unfortunately, he didn't manage to do it to the people who had organized the mob, who manage to restart it.
  • Septimus Heap: Averted Trope. Jenna's speech to the RatStranglers doesn't stop them at all from hunting down the rats in Spit Fyre's kennel.
  • Waco does this in the short story "A Man Called Drango Dune" in Arizona Ranger by J.T. Edson.
  • Gone with the Wind: Playing with a Trope. When the Yankee Army reaches Tara, with the intent to destroy it, Gerald O'Hara informs them that they'd be burning the house over the heads of three sick women. The Yankee officer not only keeps Tara from being burned, he also sends for an army surgeon to care for the women. On the other hand, he decides to use Tara as his army headquarters, and they do considerable damage to the rugs and furniture, as well as steal any possessions they can find, along with the food and the livestock and destroy the vegetable crops in the process. They also burn all the cotton the family needed to sell for money.
  • In Kristin Lavransdatter, Kristin is outside her parish church, accused by Jartrud of adultery with Jartrud's husband, Ulf. This makes an angry mob assemble, because many of the townspeople were secretly thinking the same thing. The visiting bishop, seeing that things are getting out of hand, reminds everyone that weapons are forbidden in the church yard, and sends everybody home to cool off while he starts an investigation. When the crowd assembles again later that day, most of them are regretting listening to Jartrud and are now willing to hear evidence of Kristin's innocence.
  • Judge Dee does this often. It's even used in the original Van Gulik based his on, where instead of defeating the highwaymen, he gives them a Rousing Speech on the virtues of justice, and they're so moved they join him.
  • One chapter of Janet Kagan's Mirabile deals with mysterious forest fires, and at one point the townsfolk want to leave a man they think has been setting the fires to die in them. Susan puts herself between the mob and the man and tells them off, personally calling out a couple she thinks should know better. She doesn't stop them, but she does hold them long enough for Annie to get there and break things up with force of personality and a "persuader" full of rock salt.
  • Eric Flint's 1632 series:
    • Inversion: when a Powder Keg Crowd is prevented from turning into a mob by Mike Stearns. He does this by turning it into a political rally, starting with "People of Germany, rejoice!" and keeps giving speeches until the air force shows up for a flyby.
    • Another novel has a priest ineptly attempt this, failing miserably, and then having soldiers violently disperse the mob. The fact that he was haranguing a mob of Italians in Spanish was the first of many things the priest did wrong in his efforts to defuse the situation.
  • In Phyllis A. Whitney's novel Willow Hill, an African-American player is accused of throwing a basketball game. A mob threatens to lynch him, or at least beat him up. Then his white teammate claims to be the one who actually threw the game. They calm down, giving another character a chance to shame them into dispersing. In fact, nobody threw the game. Their team just lost.
  • Harry Turtledove's The Guns of the South has a scene where a mob attacks a freed black man and gets shamed by Robert E. Lee, who calls them out on assaulting a man who broke no laws and, in fact, did his part to help the Confederacy win The American Civil War. He aims extra scorn at a couple of former soldiers, saying he'd rather have lost the war and lived under Northern rule than have no laws whatsoever.
  • In the Doctor Who New Adventures Milestone Celebration novel Happy Endings, when malfunctioning Holographic Disguises result in the people of Cheldon Boniface learning some of the guests at Benny's wedding are aliens, they become convinced this is some kind of invasion and pursue the aliens into the church ...where the vicar, who knew this all along, is able to defuse the situation by pointing out none of the aliens have done anything except prepare for a wedding, and also makes some pointed comments about how this is the first time she's seen some of the villagers inside the church.
  • In A Witch's Burden, Elke Schreiber, a teacher who was never welcome in the insular town of Waldheim, finally tells the townspeople what she thinks of them after the Margrave and his household are murdered. Fools cannot be shamed, however, and she is jeered and thrown in jail for her trouble.
    Elke: And your only justification for it amounts to an agreement among fools. Zero plus zero equals zero. The full number of you times zero equals zero. You people are in need of a most fundamental teacher...But I see now what the Count meant: one cannot teach a fool at gunpoint.
  • The fourth Holmes on the Range novel features an example that's only clear in retrospect. the heroes have been Wrongfully Accused of murder and tossed in jail. It quickly becomes clear that a mob is forming to attack and lynch them once it gets dark. From a distance, they observe Brother Landrigan who they've had several clashes with earlier in the novel adressing the mob. At the time, they speculate he's helping stir them up. Later, they're told that the verse he was reading was John 8:7, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." It fails to break up the mob, but later Landrigan (and several other supporting characters) do it more successfully (and with a little physical force added in) when the mob is literally on top of the main characters.

    Live Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: At the gathering in Winterfell following the retaking, Lyanna Mormont firmly reminds the other Northern lords that they didn't do anything to help the Starks after the Red Wedding and after they were betrayed by the Boltons and Freys. Lord Manderly admits she's right.
  • The X-Files: “War of the Coprophages”: Scully attempts to control the mob with a speech about how they are giving in to panic. The mob ignores her and creates havoc. [5], [6], [7]
  • The classic Star Trek episode, "The Devil in the Dark" had Kirk and Spock protect a horta from vengeful miners by telling them that the Monster Is a Mommy and had legitimate reasons for attacking them since they were inadvertently destroying her eggs. Fortunately, the combination of shame of the miners realizing the carnage they caused and the exciting proposal that the hortas can help them mine is enough to turn the mob around.
    • Episode "Miri" had Kirk guilt a mob of kids out to lynch him. They were actually around 300 years old.
  • Firefly episode "Safe" zigzags all over the place. A mob has gathered to burn River, who they believe is a witch. Simon attempts to shame them out of it by yelling that she's just a girl. It seems to be working, as the town elder acquiesces...and then River brings up a shameful thing from his past that she couldn't have known. Commence burnination, although Simon interrupts again—this time by accepting River's fate and climbing up to the stake so he can be burned with her. This causes them to hesitate just long enough for The Team to show up in the trope-naming Big Damn Heroes moment. Mal does not bother talking to them. He not only has Jayne cover the townsfolk with a really big gun, but he puts the town elder at gunpoint himself to force the issue.
    Patron: The girl is a witch.
    Mal: Yeah, but she's our witch.
    [cocks shotgun and aims at Town Patron]
    Mal: So cut her the hell down.
  • Amazing Stories "Mummy Daddy" episode has a subversion; An actor in a highly-restricting mummy-suit is caught by a lynch-mob of bloodthirsty Redneck Hicks. As they are preparing to hang him, a local woman comes forth dragging her kid along with her, and makes a plea for them to stop. The kid then makes a contribution:
    Kid: ...He looks like a good mummy...
    Actor: [muffled by bandages] I am! I am a good mummy!
    Kid: Of course he could be a bad one! I say we hang 'im just in case!
    Actor: [epic Oh, Crap! expression]
  • Sykes does this in The Movie premiere of Alien Nation, when the mob takes Fantastic Racism too far for even his tastes. Better yet was one of the mob was a black man in his mid to late 30s. The series is based in the the late 80s and early 90s. Sykes truly shamed him as he lived at the birth of the Civil Rights movement.
  • Played with in the Pilot of Deadwood, a Mob has come to kill a prisoner and the Sheriff tries to talk them down. They're having none of it, so the Sheriff hangs the prisoner right there (even helping to break his neck) so the mob wouldn't have the satisfaction of torturing him.
  • Andy does this a couple times to the citizens of Mayberry in The Andy Griffith Show. Seeing as this is Mayberry we're talking about, the "danger" any mob poses to a target is never more serious than humiliating or making someone feel bad about themselves, though.
  • Inverted in The Middle's fifth-season episode "The Award". Mike, being feted for his 20 years on the job at the quarrynote , gives a speech at the dinner honoring him that depresses a happy crowd, reminding all present that he had recently had to lay people off and that anyone's job could be ended at any time, preventing them from reaching the same milestone.
  • On Salem Cotton Mather successfully gets a mob to refrain from killing a family suspected of witchcraft. He's a zealous witch hunter, but he does believe suspects have the right to a fair trial and to face their accusers.
  • Get Smart. At Max's bachelor party it's discovered KAOS has planted a bomb inside Hymie the robot, and all the guests start to flee in panic. The Chief stops them and angrily reprimands their unprofessional conduct, reminding a few of them how Hymie had saved their lives. As the guests hang their heads in shame, the Chief concludes by saying he's going to forget he ever saw that spectacle...whereupon they continue fleeing.
  • Father Brown: Father Brown does this in "The Standing Stones", delivering a speech to a group of villagers who were planning a human sacrifice in an attempt to stop an outbreak of polio. While it does not sway the leader, it gives most of them pause, and make one of them switch sides and cut Father Brown's bonds so he can escape.
  • Midsomer Murders: In "Night of the Stag", Barnaby has to talk down an angry mob that the murderer has whipped into a frenzy and is sending to kill Barnaby and Jones. By revealing the murderer's true motivation for the crimes, he is able to buy enough time to regain control of the situation.
  • Parks and Recreation: After seven seasons of the media misinterpreting some of her most innocuous actions in the most moronic ways possible, Leslie finally gets her revenge on the unruly crowd of reporters and concerned citizens and she and Ben tell them once and for all what stupid, gullible idiots they all are. Whether or not the mob is actually shamed by this, it sure makes the two of them feel a lot better.
  • In the Cadfael episode "The Sanctuary Sparrow," the monks are doing evening mass when a young man bursts in, steps ahead of an angry mob who think he killed a local man. The youth grabs the altar cloth to claim sanctuary just as they reach him. The monks push them away with the Abbott snapping at "how dare you bring violence to a House of God!" The son of the victim is about to stab the youth but Cadfael snaps to put the dagger away "or court your soul's damnation!" The Abbott tells the mob that the youth is now under the protection of the church for 40 days and forces them to back down.
  • Friends: In one holiday episode Monica starts making candy to give to the neighbors as a way of getting to know them. The neighbors quickly become obsessed and start showing up in the middle of the night to demand more of it. Eventually a crowd forms in the hallway badgering her to deliver faster. Chandler takes one look at how stressed she is, turns to the crowd and tells them off for the way they've been behaving which convinces them all to go home.
    Chandler: This woman was trying to do something nice for you all, so she could get to know you better, and I bet not one of you can tell me her name.

  • A possible crossover with Real Life from Rev Hammer's album Freeborn John, based upon the life of "Freeborn" John Lilburne. From the very moving song Battle of Brentford:
    Nehemiah Wharton- Parliament soldier: My own regiment the Redcoats of Colonel Holles suffered the heaviest losses. We began to fall back to the town of Brentford sir, and when Brookes regiment saw our faces and our losses, well, they began to retreat also. Ah! who could blame them?
    Captain Lilburne, well, he rode after us all, he grabbed our colours sir and bid all those with weak hearts to march back to London, but calling on those with the spirits of men and the gallantry of soldiers to follow him back to Brentford.
    We turned and followed him as a man sir, for five or six hours without powder, match or bullet we disputed the town.
  • In The Protomen, Protoman actually calls out a crowd on being too passive, asking if there's no one among their ranks who is brave enough to make a stand. The crowd remains silent, counting on Megaman to fight him.
    • Also qualifies as a Tear Jerker, because Protoman desperately wants them to prove him wrong and rise up against Wily. They don't.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In The Bible:
    • Several times in the book of Exodus, God Himself has to show up to stop the cranky and tired Israelites from rioting. Unfortunately they only listen for a bit before going to back to griping, even after God consistently helps them.
    • Jesus stopped a stoning by challenging the mob: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Nobody did.
      • Leading to the old joke that ends with the rock being thrown and the punchline "Moooom, stop coming to see me at work!"
    • In the book of Acts, a clerk of the city of Ephesus stops a rioting mob of silvermakers by pointing out that if they have a grievance against the Christians for "stealing" their business (by no longer worshiping Diana, the patron goddess of Ephesus, and thus not buying statues of her), there's the courts for that, and they run the risk of attracting the ire of the authorities if they keep up this nonsense.
    • In the Book of Judges, Gideon tears down the altar of Baal and a mob of Baal-worshipers shows up to execute him. Gideon's father defuses the situation by pointing out that, if Baal was really a god, he would be quite capable of dealing with Gideon on his own.

  • Thomas More, a play written in the 1590s, has its title character persuade a xenophobic mob to put down their weapons by appealing to their sense of justice and promising that none of them will be executed. William Shakespeare wrote that speech (but not most of the rest of the play). They do surrender, and get executed.
  • In Knickerbocker Holiday, when it seems that Brom is finally about to be hanged and has run out of the sort of tricky suggestions that have prevented him from being hanged in the first act, he tells the council that they should be acting on their own authority like they used to rather than take orders from a dictator who has people executed if they don't. The council then rebels against Stuyvesant and refuses to hang Brom. Stuyvesant then moves to order his lieutenant to open fire on the crowd, but the narrator intervenes.
  • In The Saint Of Bleecker Street, Michele faces down a hostile crowd in the second act with an impassioned aria in which he argues they have no right to judge him because he, unlike they, is proud to be Italian. He doesn't persuade them.
    Don Marco: You are wrong, Michele. They are good people. You're a bitter man, Michele, and a bitter man is a false judge.

    Video Games 
  • The Nameless One gets to do this at a certain point in Planescape: Torment, sort of. He talks various rioters, looters and anarchists into abandoning their rather ill-timed plans and working together to reverse the city of Curst sliding into the plane of Carceri.
  • Happens in the first chapter of The Witcher, although it's debatable on whether the witch Geralt defended deserved it or not. It's also up in the air on whether Geralt shamed the mob, or scared them off by threatening them with violence.
  • Early on in Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer, if you spared Okku and he joins you, you'll soon afterwards be confronted by a mob of spirit bears who want to punish Okku because his attempts to contain the Spirit Eater curse doomed his race to madness. With a good enough diplomacy skill, you can throw their charges right back at them by asking them that if they were in Okku's position, would they have simply let the curse run rampant, or would they try to stop it somehow. The mob then goes silent until the leader admits that they would indeed try to stop it.
  • An inversion pops up in Mass Effect 2, during Tali's treason trial. If Shepard managed to keep Kal'Reegar and Veetor alive, they have the option of rallying the crowd in Tali's defense, which causes the mob to shame the judges into letting Tali off.
  • The finale of World of Warcraft's Death Knight starting zone involves a titanic clash between the Death Knights of Acherus and the Crusaders of Light's Hope Chapel. Just as the Lich King's soldiers seem to gain the upperhand, Highlord Tirion Fordring intervenes to singlehandedly end the conflict and give the Death Knights- specifically Highlord Darion Mograine- a stern reminder of the situation they are creating for themselves and others.
  • In Yakuza 4, Taiga Saejima humiliates the crowd watching him in a caged arena fights, after they begin chanting "Kill, Kill, Kill!" and demand he kill his defeated opponent, he answers:
    Saejima: Which of you fucks just said "What's one more?" Huh?! Was it you? Or you? You sit there chantin' "Kill, kill, kill!" But how many of you ever killed a man before?
  • Early in The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter, a Powder Keg Crowd consisting of the supporters of Ruan's two candidates for mayor (also the governor of the whole province) are at each other's throats. Enter Olivier, coming down the nearby river on a small boat, chastising both factions with an impromptu song about lost love followed by Bishie Sparkles as he delivers the moral that, "Love is eternal." Cue the near-riot breaking up out of sheer awkwardness at Olivier's sudden bizarre appearance.
  • Super Robot Wars X: Even after they lose horribly to X-Cross and with their Mana gone, the Misurugi people continue to preach anti-Norma sentiment in front of their faces. Ange fires upon in response and tells them they must open their eyes and face reality no matter how painful it is.


    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of Goof Troop that involved a parody of Frankenstein's Monster that resembled Pete, Peg asked the angry mob just what the monster had done to them, any of them, that would warrant them trying to kill it. They couldn't think of a single reason to justify harassing the monster, and consented that what they were doing was shameful.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Rosebud", Maggie has a teddy bear which belonged to Mr. Burns, and Burns has taken away television and beer from the town until the bear is returned. An angry mob comes to confront Homer and takes the bear away, but when they see how Maggie feels, they remorsefully return it. As Dr. Hibbert laments, "We've given the word 'mob' a bad name." Then, at Principal Skinner's suggestion, they all head off to sing and volunteer at a hospital and head out with a cheery song.
    • A variation appeared in "Bart After Dark". A mob of Moral Guardians is about to tear down the Maison Derriere, a burlesque house, when Homer leads the mob in a big song and dance number about how much it's a part of their history. It works on them, but in an odd variation, Marge, who wasn't there for the song, is unconvinced. She still promptly tries to re-incite the mob with her own song, but accidentally releases the brake on the bulldozer she had brought, destroying the place anyway.
      Homer: My friends, stop! Sure, we could tear this place down...[mob starts rampaging] WAIT! My friends, stop! Let me finish. We COULD tear it down, but we'd be tearing down a part of OURSELVES...
    • In the episode "Whacking Day", Lisa, Bart, and Barry White manage to shame a mob who are about to gleefully club to death every snake in Springfield, as per the holiday tradition.
    • In "The Boys of Bummer", when Marge shames and chews out the whole town for harassing Bart to no end for accidentally costing the town the Little League Championship and nearly drove him to suicide and landed him in a coma. Marge shames the town over their persecution of Bart, and points out to a sign that says "Springfield: Americas Meanest City" and their living up to it, the town gets the message (a "Bart Sucks" sign is replaced by "We're Sorry"), and everyone agrees to restage the game so Bart can win.
    • Parodied in a Halloween episode where Marge is going to be pushed off a cliff for being a witch:
      Lisa: WAIT! Does the Bible not say, "Judge not lest ye be judged"?
      Chief Wiggum: The Bible says a lot of things. Shove her.
    • In the episode "Radioactive Man", Mickey Rooney criticizes Springfield for bankrupting the movie crew which had set up shop, and which had to leave as a result of running out of money.
      Otto: [sniffles] Should we give them some of their money back?
      Mayor Quimby: No.
  • Family Guy.
    • Used for Black Comedy in one episode. Jesus delivers the "let he who is without sin" line only to...cast the first stone.
    • The tagline for fake film The Passion of the Christ 2: Crucify This. "Let he who is without sin...KICK THE FIRST ASS!"
    • Exploited by O.J. Simpson: When the mob reaches the Griffin house to lynch O.J., he stops them by acknowledging his mistakes and concludes that he isn't perfect, then asking anyone else who isn't perfect to stand with him. Then when the entire mob has come to stand with him, he pulls out a knife, kills three of them, and runs off.
    • Harshly defied and subverted in The D in Apartment 23. When the Griffins are constantly chastised and harassed by a mob of Social Justice Warriors after Brian posting a racist joke on Twitter, Brian attempts to apologize to the mob, only for their continued over-sensitivity to make him give up and tell them all off for their actions. This only angers them even further, to the point where the family is forced to kick him out of the house until the mob leave them all alone.
  • Camp Lazlo Downplayed example. An angry mob has run Almondine out of camp for not wearing a wig (don't ask), when Patsy and the rest of the Squirrel Scouts step between them and announce that it's not the wigs that make them pretty. They proceed to take off their wigs, hair, noses, eyes, etc. to show that they're still gorgeous on the inside. The mob isn't shamed, but they walk off out of disgust and annoyance anyway. Then everyone starts dancing.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Jimmy tries this on a mob that's trying to capture a space alien. It fails.
  • In Steven Universe episode "Political Power", Steven cuts in on the mob attacking Mayor Dewey over his empty promises that Beach City's electricity blackout would by over by sunset. While admitting the power might not come back for quite awhile, he talks them down with a combination of this and Rousing Speech.
    Steven: But I know you're all going to be okay, because I know each and every one of you. You're smart, and you're tough, and you're resourceful. And you all care about each other more than you care about microwave dinners or video games or being able to see in the dark. I know it will hurt your businesses. I know it will hurt your lives. But are we really going to hurt each other? (crowd mumbles to each other) Of course not! We'll face the night together, and we'll survive. Because we are the light of Beach City!
  • In Ben 10: Omniverse, during the episode, "Rad Monster Party," Scout does this to stop the mob from pursuing Ben. They're right back to chasing him in the very next episode, though.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:

    Real Life 
  • On October 5, 1789, Queen Marie Antoinette mounts a window balcony and curtsies to the angry mob that had converged on Versailles. At first stunned and silenced, they begin shouting, "Long live the queen!"
  • One of many stories about Joshua Norton, first and only Emperor of the United States, says that he broke up a mob of anti-Chinese rioters by standing in their way, head down, reciting the Lord's Prayer. They left without incident.
  • George Washington:
    • He managed to discourage the Newburgh conspiracy, consisting of officers of the Continental Army that sought to start a military coup against Congressnote , by making a heartfelt speech to them. Many of the conspirators were brought to tears by Washington's speech. It wasn't Washington's words that first pulled it off. Though that was when some began to cry, he first managed to shame them by putting on his spectacles. The man had presence.
      Washington: Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country.
    • Another Washington story from the Hudson Valley during the Revolution takes place at St. Philip's Church in the Highlands, located in Garrison, downriver from where Washington's headquarters were, in Newburgh, during the years after Yorktown but before the British had withdrawn all their troops from New York. Many of St. Philip's congregants had been Tories during the warnote  and an angry mob was duly convened to march on it with Torches and Pitchforks. They were stunned to see Washington himself in the vestibule when they arrived. One ventured to ask what he was doing there, and the general replied "This, sir, is my church" whereupon the mob dissipated. When the current church was built in the 1850s, a stained glass window depicting Washington was installed in the front as a show of gratitude. In another version of the story, Washington reminded the crowd that the Revolution had not been started to burn churches.
  • During the Australian Aboriginal "Freedom Ride" of 1965, in one small town there was a mob of angry white men who threw things at the Aboriginal freedom riders...until one local Aboriginal woman called out some of their names and revealed they had been sleeping with the local Aboriginal girls. She did this in front of their wives. The men had no choice but to am-scray.
  • When Napoleon returned to France, a group of soldiers were sent to kill him. When they got to him, he said something to the effect of "If you would shoot your Emperor, then do it." They, of course, didn't. Not only did he talk his way out of being shot, he talked them into deserting and joining his army. After that, the King of France sent out an army of his own to take down Napoleon, and Napoleon did it again. After that, Napoleon sent a message to Louis saying something along the lines of "My dear cousin, please stop sending soldiers to apprehend me, I have more than enough troops already."
  • Julius Caesar famously quelled a mutiny of his troops by addressing the rioters as "Quirites" ("Civilians"). According to one theory, this was supposed to be a form of shaming them, as Caesar had always referred to his soldiers as his comrades or his brothers/soldiers in arms. Referring to them as Quirites (Citizens) was a rather blunt way of implying that they had already discharged themselves from his service by their mutiny. He offered to pay them their dues for the past 15 years and discharge them immediately because he claimed he did not need them. Reportedly, all the soldiers begged to be forgiven and taken back into his army.
  • This anecdote from Not Always Right.
  • Gaius Octavian once shamed an angry mob besieging the Curia and threatening to burn the senate alive for not not making Octavian dictator. He talked them down into having him made Grain Commissioner instead.
  • A Hackney resident named Pauline Pearce famously stood up and chastised a lot of the rioters in the London riots of 2011, becoming an internet sensation when a video of her doing so went viral, and she gained much acclaim from the press and politicians.
  • Attempted by William Butler Yeats during the riots over Seán O'Casey's play The Plough and the Stars. However, the political makeup of the audience, Yeats' close ties to the aristocracy, and his generally condescending tone (famously declaring "You have disgraced yourselves again", in reference to the earlier riots over Synge's The Playboy of the Western World) meant that he ended up making things worse.


Video Example(s):


Calling out the "protesters"

When Brian's attempt to apologize for his questionable tweet to settle the dust is constantly rejected, he goes ballistic on them.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / ShamingTheMob

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