Follow TV Tropes


Slogan-Yelling Megaphone Guy

Go To
"We will dismantle oppression board by board! We'll saw the foundation of big business in half, even if it takes AN ETERNITY!"

For instance, I was teaching Sam peace chants for a long time, when he was only two. It was during the war in the Persian Gulf; I was a little angry.
"What do we want?" I'd call to Sam.
"Peace," he'd shout dutifully.
"And when do we want it?" I'd ask.
"Now!" he'd say, and I'd smile and toss him a fish.
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

What do we want?

A trope about us!

When do we want it?


Listen up, TV Tropes! I can't believe you guys forgot about me, the slogan-yelling megaphone guy, the most important part of any large public demonstration! How are people supposed to know what we're mad about? Wave signs around? That's lame! Noise is where it's at, the louder the better!

In fictional depictions, the audio quality is inversely proportional to how funny the scene is, so if it's a comedy, the guy standing next to me will always end up with busted eardrums since I'm answering his questions through the megaphone, but when I'm addressing the audience at large, expect a lot of— loud pitched squeals—and don't forget— no sound comes out for whatever reason! smacks the megaphone a few times

For extra attention, we can stand on a soapbox during our rally, so we're louder and taller!

Often leads to a Megaphone Gag.

Start listing some examples, folks! This trope isn't about to write itself, you know!


    open/close all folders 

  • In one commercial for milk, brown cows protest for their rights using a megaphone.
    Leader: What do we want?
    Followers: Brown cow rights!
    Leader: When do we want it?
    Followers: Mooooo!!

    Anime & Manga 
  • On Hetalia: Axis Powers, France turns into "Magical Strike Fairy" as a commentary on French workers' tendency to go on strike. Instead of a wand or scepter like the typical Magical Girl, he wields a bullhorn.

    Comic Books 
  • In one Wonder Woman (1987) storyline, there are rival demonstrations for and against Diana's book Reflections, which Moral Guardians are claiming promotes paganism and homosexuality. The anti crowd are chanting "Hey ho, hey ho, the Amazon has got to go!", while the pro group have the more elaborate "2 4 6 8, Amazons preach love not hate! 8 4 6 2, you can't tell us what to do! 3 5 7 9, you mind your kids, I'll mind mine!"

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • In a deleted scene of Turning Red (seen briefly in the trailer), Mei protests for the environment in this way.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Lord John Whorfin uses a microphone to address his Red Lectroid followers.
    Whorfin: What is the greatest joy?
    Followers: The joy of duty!
    Whorfin: Louder!
    Followers: The joy of duty!
    [and so on and so forth]
    Whorfin: Where are we going?
    Followers: Planet Ten!
    Whorfin: When?
    Followers: Real soon!
  • The Vietnam protesters in Forrest Gump get better audio equipment, but it's still sabotaged when Forrest goes up to say something important.
  • Not a protest, but in Spaceballs Dark Helmet orders his troops via megaphone to (literally) comb the desert. Colonel Sanders questions the wisdom of this, only to get a loud "WHAT?" through said megaphone.
  • The 1982 film Who Dares Wins (a.k.a. The Final Option) opens with an anti-nuclear march during which a man brandishing a megaphone (later revealed to be a government undercover agent) is shot in the throat by a crossbow bolt.

  • In Anne Lamott's book Bird by Bird, she writes about teaching her young son peace chants, and at one point when she asks him, "What do we want?" he responds, "Lunch."
  • Discworld:
    • Reg Shoe is the go-to guy for protests. He explains the basics of sloganeering in The Fifth Elephant:
      "It's got to have bounce. And rhythm. Like 'Whadda we want? Dum-dee-dum-dee. When do we want it? Now!' See? You need one simple demand. Let's try it again. Whadda we want?"
      The watchmen looked at one another, no one quite wanting to be the first.
      "Another drink?" someone volunteered.
      "Yeah!" said someone at the back. "When do we want it? NOW!"
    • Actually mostly averted in Night Watch. Reg does shout "You can take our lives but you'll never take our freedom!" just before he gets killed, but most of the "rebels" are just ordinary people trying to keep themselves safe behind their barricade. They do come up with "Truth, Justice, Freedom, Reasonably-Priced Love, and a Hard-Boiled Egg" but nobody shouts it.
  • House of Robots: Robot Revolution: In chapter 43, Hayseed is seen shouting through a megaphone denouncing Dr. Hayes' seeming favouritism of E over the other robots.
  • Public School Superhero: During the protest to better Union Middle School near the end of the book, Kenny's grandmother gets up on the front of a car and starts shouting through a bullhorn.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Sampled in The Dingees' "Street vs State": "What do we want?" "PEACE!" "When do we want it?" "NOW!"
  • The Most Unwanted Song features a spoken word interval that sounds like it was recorded through a megaphone that consists of a woman saying some politically charged but difficult to understand words about America.

  • The Now Show:
    • Parodied in their discussion of the UK protests:
      What do we want?
      How do we pay for it?
      UM ... NOT SURE!
    • And also in a discussion of how UK protests have a long history:
      What wanteth we?
      When wanteth we it?

    Video Games 
  • Disco Elysium features a prominent strikebreaker who purposefully cultivates this image. Conversations with him begin with, and are interrupted by, lame chants and slogans about their "Right! To! Work!" The man is a mercenary who can hardly be bothered to pretend otherwise, and is completely uninterested in the labor dispute, and the lives of those around him.
  • Hitman (2016): A protester outside the Swedish Consulate in "A Gilded Cage" is doing this, to rile up the citizens of Morocco due to Claus Strandberg (one of your targets you are sent to kill) stealing billions from them. This is but one of the things the protester yells about:
    Seven billion! Seven billion my friends! That's how much this affluent sycophant from Scandinavia stole from the Moroccan people! And what is our government doing to the like of Claus Strandberg? Nothing! That's what!

    Web Comics 
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: One of the cartoons has a Buddhist protest. It doesn't have a megaphone, but it uses the common formula, albeit on a sign.
    What do we want?
    An end to the feeling of desire!
    When do we want it?
    Time is an illusion!

    Western Animation 
  • CarlĀ²: Skye is helping Carl protest about... something and a megaphone is used.
  • Danny Phantom plays with the trope along in-universe popularity lines.
    Danny: What do we want?
    Sam and Tucker: [uncertainly] ...good music?
    Danny: When do we want it?
    Sam and Tucker: Now?
    [Dash takes the mic from Danny]
    Dash: What do we want?
    Student body: Good music!
    Dash: When do we want it?
    Student body: NOW!
  • Parodied and inversed on Futurama, "Jurassic Bark":
    Crowd: What do you want?
    Fry: Fry's dog!
    Crowd: When do you want it?
    Fry: Fry's dog!
    • Then there's Frida Waterfall from "Into the Wild Green Yonder":
      "Does 'violet dwarf' rhyme with 'men are dorks'?" [shrugs] "Well, it does through a megaphone!"
  • The Simpsons made a Running Gag of call-and-response slogan shouting that went just a little too long:
    • "Itchy and Scratchy and Marge":
      Marge: What do we want?
      Crowd: Less and less violence in children's programming!
      Marge: When do we want it?
      Crowd: Now!
    • "Last Exit to Springfield":
      Carl: What do we want?
      Employees: More equitable treatment at the hands of management!
      Carl: When do we want it?
      Employees: Soon!
    • Parodied in another episode:
      What do you want?
      The gradual phase-out of animal testing over the next three years!
      When do we want it?
      Over the next three years!
  • Penny Proud of The Proud Family leads the neighborhood kids in a protest, refusing to due chores until they get higher allowances. "What do we want?" "More money!" "How do we want it?" "In cash!"
  • In Archer, the ISIS employees want to strike for higher pay, but have trouble coming up with a protest that doesn't reveal the location of their spy agency:
    What do we want?
    When do we want it?
  • In Recess: School's Out, a protest like this happens in Principal Prickly's flashback when his friend Benedict abolishes recess altogether (thankfully, it doesn't stick).
    What do we want?
    When do we want it?
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Squid on Strike", Squidward invokes this trope by doing a strike, shouting with a megaphone and such, in front of the Krusty Krab to attract citizens. Unfortunately, it fails, because the people are too hungry for a Krabby Patty to notice.
    Fish 1: What's that guy talking about?
    Fish 2: I don't know, but he's got a megaphone.

    Real Life 
  • A counter-protest against the Westboro Baptist Church.
    What do we want?
    GAY SEX!
    When do we want it?
  • At a parody protest rally;
    What do we want?
    Time travel!
    When do we want it?
    That's irrelevant!

What do we want?
The Stinger!
When do we want it?