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Shrug Take

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Oh well, back to business.
A character is given a revelation, or sees/hears something, that is shocking, insulting, disturbing, outlandish, or just plain dumb. They begin to react accordingly... but then just shrug it off and go about their business. Always Played for Laughs.

If the character simply does not react at all, you have The Stoic or someone that has Seen It All. If the character shows a downplayed reaction that almost shrugs it off, it's Dull Surprise. It could be a Milholland Relationship Moment.

Alternatively, the character might see or hear something unusual, but will ultimately dismiss it as "just my imagination" or be subject to the Bystander Syndrome. See Also No More for Me.



    open/close all folders 

  • A certain coffee commercial has a girl who's told the coffee she'd thought was newly purchased just for her is actually several months old — and was for her brother. She shrugs at the implied insult and keeps sipping.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In The Seven Deadly Sins, Elizabeth sees that Hawk (a pig) has grown scales and horns. After a Beat she turns away, changing the subject.

    Fan Works 
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Spider-Man is considered fictional in Izuku's world. Peter's reaction to this news is to stop eating for five seconds before continuing like nothing ever happened. Lampshaded of course.
    Peter: [looks up as Izuku stares at him] Kid, you're freaking me out. Would it kill you to eat?
    Izuku: [broken English] I-I am very sorry. It is just most strange. You seem to take the news well.
    Peter: Kid, after all the crap I've seen in my life let me tell you, me being fictional over here is a... four out of ten on my "freak-out" meter.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Despicable Me, Vector takes a bite out of one of the cookie robots that did not activate. Vector stops, looks at the sparks flying out of the cookie, and then shrugs it off.
  • Tangled has an interesting variation. Rapunzel, who has been locked up in her tower, has no idea what to do with a tiara. She puts it on her arm; Pascal shakes his head. She uses it as a magnifying glass; Pascal shakes his head. She places it on her head, the music swells, Pascal's eyes widen... then Pascal shakes his head.
  • Done a couple of times in The Emperor's New Groove, where the characters notice blatantly impossible things happening and then just go "Oh well, more important things to focus on."
  • In Ice Age, Soto roars at Diego for letting his packmates go after Sid and the baby when they should attack Manfred. Diego... just shrugs.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Used twice in Superman III:
    • Early in the film, when Superman changes identities in the back seat of an occupied police car, the cop in the front seat notices, but then dismisses it.
    • On a picnic, Clark reacts rather mildly to the announcement that he's eating dog food.
  • The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies: A woman is aghast that her carnival barker boyfriend's idea of a date is that she "should slave over a hot stove" to cook him steak. However, she quickly accepts his proposal. That carnival barker must be some kind of irresistible.
  • In Demolition Man, John Spartan is told his burger is rat meat. There's a brief pause, then: "Not bad! Matter of fact, this is the best burger I've had in years!" Probably helped that he's been in cryogenic suspension for decades and hadn't had a decent meal since he was unfrozen.
  • In Spaceballs, a guard sees Barf's tail sticking out of his stolen armor. He looks unsure, then says "nahhh...."
  • Probably one of the funniest and most memorable examples is the final scene in Some Like It Hot:
    Jerry: You don't understand, Osgood... I'm a man!
    Osgood: Well, nobody's perfect.
  • In the film National Lampoon's Vacation, the family discovers that their sandwiches are all wet because "the dog wet on the picnic basket". Upon hearing this, Aunt Edna sniffs her sandwich, shrugs and continues eating it.
  • Used in the Jeff Daniels film about hunting season in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Escanaba in Da Moonlight. Reuben Soady (Daniels) feeds his father, brother, and their hunting buddy with a special "potion" made by his wife (whose consistency appears to resemble a milkshake). All of them compliment the tasty beverage, but when Remnar (Reuben's brother) asks to "steal the recipe", they are horrified to discover that the drink includes ground Moose testicles, insects, worms, and dirt, among other disgusting things. They look at each other, disgusted, but then their hunting buddy raises his jar, toasts, and sucks the rest right down. It helps that they previously established his ability to drink pretty much anything set in front of him.
  • The following exchange from Notting Hill:
    Spike: There's something wrong with this yogurt.
    William: Ah, that's not yogurt, that's mayonnaise...
    Spike: Ah, right-o then. [pauses, then continues to eat it]
  • In Clerks II, Silent Bob looks like he's about to dispense some wisdom, but he just shrugs and says "I got nothing."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who episode "Boom Town": The Doctor finally notices that the words "Bad Wolf" appear to be following him everywhere he goes... and then dismisses it as "like when you hear a word on the radio, and then keep hearing it all day."
  • In the Married... with Children episode "Hot Off the Grill," word is spread around that the ashes used in Al's barbecue grill include the cremated ashes of Marcy's dead aunt. While Kelly, Bud, and Peg have a Vomit Discretion Shot, Steve only looks at his burger, then grins widely and takes a big bite out of it.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Forsaken," Lwaxana Troi becomes smitten with Odo. He becomes increasingly exasperated with the fact that she nonchalantly brushes aside his reasons for why things wouldn't work, culminating in the following:
    Odo: Every sixteen hours, I turn into a liquid!
    Lwaxana: I can swim.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • Something*Positive: Monette creates montages out of old comics belonging to Fred: incredibly rare old comics that gave Fred rare respite in his hard childhood. Faye says that he'll be so angry she should move to another country, but Fred takes it very well.
    • One must suppose that being informed you are coming down with Alzheimer disease will alter your priorities a bit.

    Western Animation 
  • Total Drama:
    • Done in the episode "Phobia Factor," where we see a shot of millions of slimy pink worms squirming around in an empty wooden hot tub as Chris reveals that Beth's challenge is to completely submerge herself in them, we then get reaction shots of the other campers gasping, throwing up or even fainting, followed by a shot of Beth herself, who does an Eye Take... then shrugs and calmly does the challenge without complaining.
    • Done again in "Hawaiian Punch", after Heather reveals that she's in love with Alejandro. Beth gasps, Cody gasps, Owen gasps, and Noah... shrugs, since he already knew.
  • Johnny Bravo was possibly the prince of this technique.
  • ...And The Pink Panther was probably the king.
  • Done in Family Guy. The family has just gotten a horse, and Peter has been collecting its semen and putting it in the fridge next to the milk. Stewie stares wide-eyed at his cereal... then sloooowly puts the spoon back into his mouth.
  • The characters of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic usually react this way whenever Cloud Cuckoolander Pinkie Pie says something nonsensical or breaks the laws of physics - that is, when it provokes a reaction at all. Such incidents are so commonplace that the phrase "She's just being Pinkie Pie" has come into use as a catch-all explanation for her feats.
    • One such example comes from "Too Many Pinkie Pies"; Rainbow Dash witnesses two Pinkie Pies in the same place, gapes and stares... and shrugs to herself before settling down for an afternoon nap.
  • In an episode of Heathcliff & the Catillac Cats, Heathcliff tells Hector, Wordsworth and Mungo that if he can get himself arrested on purpose, he can help his pop bust out of jail. The other cats just shrug at his suggestion.
  • An early episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy (the "Grim And Evil" season) had Grim bake cookies for sale for the scout troupe Billy and Mandy were part of, to a smashing success. However, he used the secret recipe his Aunt Kali taught him, and at a celebration held for the record breaking sales, she reveals that the cookies are made with a ton of crushed up insects (and some not so crushed up). Everyone pauses in shock for a moment... then happily resumes eating the cookies.
    Scout Leader: Wow, these are good cookies!


Video Example(s):


TOK Mario

Mario does a shrug take after getting cornered by enemies for a mandatory battle.

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