These are tropes about silence.
They can be related to both the techniques creators use to incorporate a lack of sound into their works, as well as in-universe examples of characters, objects, places and events that create, seek out, or maintain an absence of sound.
- "Awkward Silence" Entrance: When the welcoming party isn't very welcoming.
- "Be Quiet!" Nudge: Hitting someone you're next to as a gesture that they must shut up right now.
- Big "SHUT UP!": A character yells something along the lines of "SHUT UP!", "QUIET!", "ZIP IT!", etc.
- Chirping Crickets: Cricket chirps are heard to emphasize the dead silence in response to a character telling a bad joke or saying something that would warrant shocked stares.
- Cute Mute: A character who can't talk, and that's played as cute.
- Dead Air: Silence in a radio show.
- Dramatic Ellipsis: A Dramatic Pause is rendered with an ellipsis.
- Dumb Struck: Someone who can't talk due to emotional trauma. The medical term for this is selective mutism.
- Elective Mute: It turns out that a character assumed to be unable to talk actually can speak, they just choose to be silent most of the time.
- Enemy Mime: A villainous mime.
- Everyone Hates Mimes: Mimes have bad luck.
- Facial Dialogue: Using facial expressions to communicate.
- Filling the Silence: When it logically should be quiet, but sound or dialogue is added in to fill in the silence.
- Finger Muzzle: Silencing someone by putting a finger over his mouth.
- Heroic Mime: A hero who never speaks.
- He Who Must Not Be Heard: A character who either doesn't talk or only speaks gibberish.
- It's Quiet… Too Quiet: When it's quiet, that's a bad sign.
- Hollywood Silencer: Silencers for guns make firing the gun inaudible and are readily available with the guns.
- Meaningful Look: A character doesn't say anything because their expression says it all.
- Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: A cartoon with sound effects and background music, but no dialogue.
- Moment of Silence: When a character dies, characters stop talking and no sound plays except for background music.
- Mouth of Sauron: Somebody who's never seen or heard has an employee who talks for them.
- Never Learned to Talk: A character doesn't speak because they never learned how.
- No-Dialogue Episode: An episode in which nobody speaks.
- Noisy Shut-Up: Making a loud noise in attempt to silence somebody.
- Non-Verbal Miscommunication: A misunderstanding happens from attempting to communicate with gestures and sign language.
- Nothing Is Scarier: An absence of something (which could be sound), Played for Horror.
- Pillow Silencer: Covering someone's face with a pillow and then shooting them through it.
- Plot-Based Voice Cancellation: When a character's dialogue is muted or obscured for the audience, but not in-universe.
- The Pre Hollywood Era: A Useful Notes page for the time when American movies existed, but they weren't being made in Hollywood (which existed but was only a small village) yet.
- Quiet Cry for Help: A character asks for help by giving indirect hints.
- The Quiet Game: Trying to make a kid or a chatty person be quiet by making it into a game.
- The Quiet One: A character who does speak, but not as much as the other characters.
- Quieter Than Silence: A visual or background noise is added to let the viewers know that it's supposed to be quiet and not just (for instance) a glitchy screen.
- Reality Has No Soundtrack: A movie aims to be more realistic by not using a soundtrack.
- Secret Message Wink: Winking to secretly get a message across.
- Seven Minute Lull: At a party, someone will either say something rude and/or strange, resulting in everyone going quiet, or they'll speak louder than some music which is playing, resulting in the music stopping.
- Shell-Shock Silence: Silence (possibly with the exception of a high-pitched hum) plays after an explosion.
- Silence Is Golden: A work that, despite being made after the silent era, has no dialogue.
- Silence of Sadness: Someone talks less or doesn't talk because they're sad.
- Silence, You Fool!: A boss yells at their underlings to be quiet.
- Silent Antagonist: A villain who never speaks.
- The Silent Bob: A character doesn't talk, but has no difficulty in making others understand them.
- Silent Conversation: Two characters are talking, but we, the viewers, can't hear them.
- Silent Credits: The ending credits have no music.
- Silent Movie: A film without dialogue.
- Silent Partner: Someone is paired up with a character who doesn't talk.
- Silent Scapegoat: Somebody who willingly takes the blame for everyone else's wrongdoings.
- Silent Snarker: A character who can't talk, but frequently makes snide gestures.
- Silent Treatment: Punishing somebody by not talking to them.
- The Singing Mute: A character is established as incapable of speech, but that doesn't prevent them from participating in musical numbers somehow.
- The Speechless: A character who doesn't speak because they are unable to.
- Spooky Silent Library: A creepy library with no noise and little to no people.
- Stunned Silence: Someone who's rendered speechless by shock (said shock could be good or bad).
- Sudden Soundtrack Stop: When the background music goes silent.
- Suddenly Speaking: A character who was initially silent eventually reveals that they can speak after all.
- Talking with Signs: A character communicates using signs rather than by speaking.
- Visible Silence: A character who isn't talking has a speech bubble with either an exclamation mark (to show they're surprised), a question mark (to show they're confused) or an ellipsis (neutral).
- Voice for the Voiceless: A character who speaks for an inanimate object, or someone who can't talk.
- The Voiceless: A character isn't shown speaking, but might still be capable of speech.
- World of Silence: A world with no free will is silent.
- Your Mime Makes It Real: When a character mimes something happening, the thing somehow actually happens.