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The Scream

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"A good many dramatic situations begin with screaming."

A character finds something out, sees something frightening, or has something utterly horrible happen to them, and, as a result, they scream.

There's a variety of ways in which this can be shown; the common factor is that a character screams.

  • A shot of the surrounding area with the audio of the scream still going, then to the countryside (where it might disturb livestock or a farmer or cause birds to burst from the brush in a panic), and possibly further back to a shot of Earth from space all the while with the scream still looped in the background (it has been applied to the Big "NO!" as well).
  • A close up of the character's face, as in the page image.
  • Showing the character as they see something frightening or as they inhale, and then cutting away to a distant location while a muted scream plays in the background.
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  • An explicit parody of Edvard Munch's painting "The Scream"; in particularly well-done instances, the art style will morph rapidly to match Munch's expressionist style for a few seconds.
  • For a superpowered version see Make Me Wanna Shout.

Almost universally a comedic trope, though it can be Played for Drama as well.

See also Big "NO!", Howl of Sorrow, Skyward Scream, Scream Discretion Shot, Death Wail, Screams Like a Little Girl, Overly Long Scream, Screaming Woman, and Distant Reaction Shot for the non-scream version of the cut. Say My Name can be screamed in dramatic moments. Sometimes overlaps with Atomic F-Bomb or leads to a Heroic Blue Screen of Death. Not to Be Confused with And I Must Scream. If this is done in music, it may be a case of Metal Scream, Careful with That Axe, and/or Harsh Vocals.


Generally a Discredited Trope from overuse and narm: more modern media created after The Noughties or The New '10s will usually have the Big "NO!", or the Screaming Woman, or some other screaming trope if it's intended to be fairly kid-friendly, or an Atomic F-Bomb / Cluster F-Bomb alone or combined with the previous if it's aimed at older audiences.


    open/close all folders 

  • Used for parody effect in a late 2004 commercial for the "Geek Squad" computer tech support service.
  • A Taco Bell ad featuring short-lived mascots Nacho and Dog (no relation to the chihuahua) had the two screaming loud enough to crack the glass on a distant alien spacecraft... because they had reached the bottom of the food bag. A moment later, they remembered they had plenty more bags in a short reach.
  • Greenpeace is using a radiation symbol in the shape of the Scream face as a protest against nuclear power.
  • Was also used for a Glade Plug-Ins commercial. The painting was animated and reacted to the bad smells in the area before the plug-in was activated.
  • Terminix combines this with Scream Discretion Shot in one commercial.
    "It's roach season!"

    Anime & Manga 
  • In both the Manga and the Anime OVA of Junji Ito''s Gyo, the deuteragonist (protagonist in the OVA) Kaori has plenty of screaming moments.
    • In fact, this seems to be a trope shared among a good quantity of Ito's works.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, when Duo Maxwell sees his Gundam Deathscythe destroyed right in front of him, he lets out an overblown, reaching-into-space scream. When his English voice actor Scott McNeil was asked how he came up with such a scream, he said that it was a copy of a scream he did when his wife was backing out of the driveway and accidentally ran over and damaged his motorcycle.
  • Done by Setsuna in episode 23 of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 when he arrives too late to save Neil!Lockon.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Hohenheim pulls one in his Backstory. It's totally justified.
    • Greedling pulls off one when he remembers his friend Bido, who he just killed in cold blood.
    • Scar does it too at one point, as, in all likelihood, did most of the fanbase after reading chapters 100 and 104 of the manga.
    • Edward starts off the 2003 anime version with one. Not that we blame him.
  • Used for serious effect in the Soul Eater anime. Maka is fighting Asura unconscious and in her weapon form. Asura fights her off by stabbing his hand into her chest. Maka let's out a scream so chilling, anyone who's ever had a serious injury will remember it.
  • Used in an episode of D.Gray-Man when Road stabs Allen in the eye with a pointed candle and also beforehand, when he rips his once-stuck arm from the wall. Fridge Horror kicks in when you realize he can't see Akuma without his formerly good eye. The scene cuts all around the room until he pulls the candle out, not allowing you to look at it.
  • Used repeatedly in El-Hazard: The Magnificent World as a Running Gag.
  • Excel Saga, Azumanga Daioh, Naruto, Great Teacher Onizuka, Oruchuban Ebichu, and Ranma ½ all contain examples of the Munch-parody variation. Excel Saga took it a step further by parodying the parody on its second use — the parody turned out to be a standee, which fell away from the characters.
  • In the twelfth episode of the TV series of Ah! My Goddess, Sayoko gives this trope on waking up next to Mara.
  • Taken to an extreme in Pani Poni Dash!, where Becky Miyamoto screams so loudly that the onomatopoeia splits the ceiling and calls down a Pillar of Light. Meanwhile, a crowd in Cairo is shown to be alarmed.
  • In Tenchi Muyo!'s second OVA, the android Zero, having taken Ryoko's form and memories, is ordered to kill Tenchi due to how her emotional reactions (inherited from what she copied of Ryoko) are interfering with her mission of capturing Washu. Reflecting on the order, she makes to stab Tenchi with a dagger, and the image cuts away to her agonized scream as we pull out from the room to the house, to the exterior galaxy...all the way out to Dr. Clay's ship hovering (potentially outside of conventional reality itself). However, the next episode makes it clear this is an exaggeration, as not only does this not wake up the entire house, but Tenchi sleeps right through it AND Zero plunging the energy dagger into his pillow inches from his head.
  • Renton from Eureka Seven unleashes a horrifying scream in Episode 20.
  • Cheza from Wolf's Rain definitely fits this. Upon seeing or just sensing spilled wolf's blood nearby, she gives an unnervingly loud and high-pitched scream. The first time she did, Toboe went crazy. His increasing hysteria overlapped with a wolf's howls of pain can be unsettling. Also a potential subversion in the fact that only the wolves seem to notice it. Another time Cheza screams is near the end, when Giant-Crazy-Wolf Darcia hauls her around in his jaws by the spine.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Shinji Ikari gets to do this a lot. A lot. His biggest one comes in End of Evangelion when he comes across what's left of Unit-02 and Asuka after the Mass-Production EVA are through with them, which rockets the poor guy across the Despair Event Horizon at record speed. Very much NOT Played for Laughs.
    • End of Evangelion also had a shot where the entire humanity screams (wordlessly and in a very unpleasant pitch) when they realized that The End of the World as We Know It has begun and they are disintegrating into their base components.
    • Asuka gets in on it as well.
  • A comedic version occurs in Fushigi Yuugi when Nuriko, sleeping peacefully, is woken up in the morning by Miaka cracking open his eye and shining a flashlight into it. Cut to the palace exterior and Chika Sakamoto issuing a truly fantastic scream that's both bloodcurdling and hilarious.
  • Lelouch lets one out in Code Geass R2 after he sees Shirley die in front of him.
    • He gets one early on in the first series with his mother's assassination and Nunnally's injury at Aries Villa (in this case, combined with Nunnally's name). He only screams like this twice in the whole story, and they both hurt.
  • A mild instance of the trope is used for comedy in one of the Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou OAV episodes: when Yasuaki unexpectedly pops up behind Tenma at the worst possible moment, the camera very briefly cuts to a shot of Kyou from above, with Tenma's scream in the background.
  • Hitsugaya from Bleach lets out one of these when he's tricked by his arch enemy Aizen (via his shikai) into stabbing his childhood friend Hinamori to almost death.
    • And Loly does this in the manga after Grimmjow tears off her leg and in the anime when he stomps on her instead of tearing off her leg.
    • Shinji lets out a good one in the flashback arc, when he realizes just how badly Aizen screwed him over. Made even more horrifying by the fact that he was being hollowfied at the time.
    • Rukia does this after Gin breaks her resolve with words.
    • Soifon does this as she's being hit with Barragan's "Respira" attack which has the power to age flesh and bone into nothingness.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, when Super Buu is frustrated enough, he can scream so hard it tears holes in the barrier between dimensions.
    • Don Para becomes so afraid that he literally transforms into the painting for a few seconds in Dragon Ball GT.
    • Gohan's ascension into Super Saiyan 2 comes accompained by one such screams. A screamthat seems to have come from hell itself...
  • Done for comedy in this scene from One Piece where Hancock thinks Luffy is cheating on her. (Of course, Luffy barely even knows who their assailant is, nor does he really care much for Hancock; she's paranoid.)
  • In the climax of the third The Garden of Sinners movie, [[spoiler:Asagami Fujino, already dying from a ruptured appendix at the time, is at Shiki's mercy. With the knife poised over her Fujino screams BEND!!!!, and the view zooms out to the entirety of the bridge where they were fighting, followed by the said bridge bending and collapsing entirely.
  • The piano scene from episode 3 of Kaiba uses a skyward anguished sob that's powerful enough to be a scream.
  • Shusei does this in episode 10 of Betrayal Knows My Name as Ashley tortures him via a voodoo doll.
  • Harima from School Rumble turned into The Scream when Yakumo showed no fear toward the anime editor.
  • In Berserk, Guts lets out a rageful one of these in the climax of the Eclipse after Casca falls limp out of the arms of her rapist Femto and lands on the ground in front of him — the last thing his right eye ever sees as one of the demons holding him down claws into it.
    • Not long after that event, in the third Golden Age movie, after Guts discovers that Casca went insane from her rape, he runs off, absolutely refusing to accept the harsh reality. Darting through a forest, the faces of his friends who died in the Eclipse flash through his head, as well as memories of Griffith, the man who had them sacrificed so that he would become Femto. In the midst of his running and his Despair Event Horizon, Guts lets out a much more despairing, tear-filled scream of disbelief and sorrow. Poor Guts.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, the pharaoh realizes that Bakura's voice was somehow still resonating even when he was supposedly gone in the past. This is impossible, unless, he realizes: "Unless... this is all just a game?" The word 'game' echoes as the scene pans and expands, until it reveals that indeed, the entire world is a game board.
  • An epic one happens in Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt when Stocking goes on an extreme diet to the point of starvation, only to find herself gaining weight regardless. Cue Stocking gorging out on Swiss rolls, fueled by Unstoppable Rage.
  • During episode 15 of Baccano!, we are greeted to a flashback of a younger Nice Holystone experimenting with explosive chemicals. The mixture explodes in her face, scarring her, destroying her eye, and making her deliver an ear drum rattling scream, that lasts until the flashback ends.
  • In Tenchi Muyo!, Z's laughter at his newfound power and victory is quickly replaced by one of these when he sees Tokimi behind him.
  • Otani of Lovely Complex does this after Maity blows in his ear to wake him up during class.
  • Fruits Basket: When Kyo wakes up and sees that Ayame, who Yuki has kicked out, has snuck into bed with him. Cue this.
  • Black Butler II episode 10. It begins with Hannah talking to Ciel and saying that she has something to show him. Then her mouth opens unnaturally wide to reveal this black abyss where the inside of a human mouth would be. The eye she stole from Alois Trancy is rooted in the back of her throat, and since Ciel's soul has been partially fused with Alois's at this point, he's basically staring at himself from inside her. Hannah watches calmly while Ciel suffers a severe nervous breakdown and screams before falling unconscious.
  • In Deadman Wonderland, Ganta does this understandably as he's being forced to watch the Carnival of Corpses.
  • In Elfen Lied, Kouta does this after he sees his sister get killed in front of him by Lucy.
  • In Black★Rock Shooter, Mato does this when she wakes up in Black Rock Shooter's body... a few seconds after BRS just impaled Dead Master, who has the same face as Mato's friend Yomi, on a katana.
  • Happens in the All-Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku OVA. Kyuusaku exploits Akiko's desire to be a good mother to Ryuunosuke by getting her to do all the household chores; the penny finally drops when she realizes her situation is no different to when she was living apart from them, and she pulls the Scream pose.
  • In the movie version of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Fate's scream can be seen echoing across the city when Signum steals her Linker Core.
  • In Episode 12 of the anime adaptation of Run with the Wind, "The Scream" painting is parodied twice by members. First is when the twins find out the "moist air" they're feeling is actually Prince's vomit (they're being driven in a van and have their heads out the windows), which horrifies them and warrants the pose and screeching. The second time is when the team is looking for Musa and Shindou at night time, and what they think are bears come rushing at them—cue the terrified poses and yelling from every member minus Haiji, as the "bears" (actually Musa and Shindou) zoom past them and crash into the van.
  • In Episode 19 of the anime adaptation of Fate/Apocrypha, we have Jeanne's reaction to finding out that Astolfo is a guy... by him walking out of the shower stark naked right in front of her. It's played for laughs (Astolfo is even laughing about it the day after), and lampshaded by Sieg how Jeanne even got into that situation to begin with (She has True Name Discernment, so she should have known Astolfo was a guy. Made even funnier by the fact that Jeanne was the only person who didn't know Astolfo's gender). Here's the exchange between Astolfo and Sieg about it the following day:
    Astolfo, while laughing: Did you see her face last night?!
    Sieg, with a Sweat Drop: You're still laughing about that?
    Astolfo: It's just so funny every time I remember it.
    Sieg: I didn't expect her of all people not to know.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Used to unique effect with the character Black Bolt, whose voice was a sonic weapon; early in his run, his scream could destroy cities. As time went on, it became his whisper that could destroy cities. The possibility of him screaming made gods stand at attention!
    • Deadpool played with this in the game Marvel Ultimate Alliance, by trying to get Black Bolt to say the word spatula, just to see how much destruction it would cause.
    • Used in the World War Hulk story to show how tough Hulk was. He didn't come to hear Black Bolt whisper. He came to hear him scream.
    • In Earth X, he screams his loudest scream yet, but does not use it for purposes of destruction...
  • You want overblown? In a Donald Duck story from Italy or someplace, Donald manages to really mess up Scrooge's finances while the latter is on an enforced vacation. Nothing happens for a moment, then the nearest TV cuts to a special bulletin about a deafening blast of air that's crossing the globe, just in time to have it strike the studio. "-AAAAAAAAAAAAA-"
  • An extended Don Martin story has Fester making a fortune displaying his sidekick Carbunkle's imperviously hard head, but falling objects intended for his head usually land on Fester's foot — one example resulting in a yell that can be heard by the Yeti in the Himalayas.

    Comic Strips 
  • A couple of times when the father in Curtis hurt his back, his scream accompanied a diagonal view of the outside of the apartment building.
  • In one Calvin and Hobbes strip, Calvin, upon learning that Rosalyn is coming to babysit again, lets out a large "AAAAAAUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHH!" that takes up the top half-inch of the entire strip, and continues throughout the next strip, prompting his mother to say "For heaven's sake, Calvin, take a breath before you pass out on the floor!"
  • In "Wiener Dog Art", a collection of The Far Side strips, Gary Larson replaces the man in "The Scream" with a wiener dog who is apparently screaming "Edvard, you vierdo you!"

    Fan Works 
  • Used on purpose to trap Pamuk in Authors of Our Own Fate by Future!Sybil to prevent his rape of Mary.
  • Diaries of a Madman has two examples. The first is Discord realising he screwed up his own plan, with the scream of rage being heard for miles. The second is Navarone's scream of despair at being trapped in female form.
  • Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness: Upon waking up from a nightmare about a giant Marisa raiding her library, Patchouli immediately screams her name in anger, drawing out each syllable. Another scream comes much later when she reaches her Coop-related breaking point.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged
    • Krillin when he sees Vegeta's spaceship landing on Namek. It lasts quite some time and can be heard miles away.
      Vegeta: Ugh, I just got here and this planet's already annoying me.
    • Vegeta takes this Serial Escalation when he realizes Gohan stole one of his Dragon Balls. It can be heard across Namek, by Goku in space, by King Yemma in the afterlife, and by Trunks on Earth 20 years in the future, in an alternate timeline. It must be heard to be believed.
      Future Trunks: Daddy?
    • Later done by Future Trunks himself when Bulma starts hitting on him. Not wanting to change the past, he keeps the scream internal.
    • Gohan later gets his turn when, just like in the series proper, Goku sacrifices himself, using instant transmission to teleport the soon to explode Cell off of Earth. But not before apologizing for putting Gohan through everything until then, explaining that he wrongly thought that fighting would make his son happy the same way it did for him.
  • Happens twice in Kyon: Big Damn Hero, both times when girls are seeing evidence of a voyeuristic illegal photography ring in their school.
  • In Sword Art Online Abridged, we get this, followed closely by a Cluster F-Bomb, when Suguha realizes that the Spriggan she just spent a half-hour roleplaying with as Princess Leafa in Alfheim Online was actually her brother. Then she remembers she complimented his "sweet patootie," which leads to another Scream, capped off by a Big "NO!".

    Films — Animation 
  • In Hercules there are several instances where Herc screams. After seeing the statue of Zeus come to life, he screamed while running away from the giant figure. Even as an an adult, Hercules screamed in terror during his battle with the Hydra.
  • Brother Bear: When Kenai realizes he's been turned into a bear, he screams so loudly it can be heard from miles away.
  • Moana: Heihei the rooster, who is unbelievably dumb lets out a massively long-winded squawk of terror upon finding out he's accidentally ended up in the ocean on Moana's boat. It takes some gentle coaxing by Moana, and a halved coconut shell, to snap him out of it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 1967 version of Oedipus Rex plays this dead straight, with Oedipus discovering that Jocasta has hanged herself, followed by Oedipus screaming, followed by more screaming as the camera cuts to a shot of the royal palace, and more screaming as the camera cuts to the mountains outside Thebes.
  • In the first Home Alone movie, when Kevin applies aftershave and "feels the burn."
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off: "Here's where Cameron goes berserk."
  • In The Princess Bride, Westley is being tortured by Count Rugen. When the evil Prince Humperdinck pushes Rugen's device to its maximum power, and Westley starts screaming, the camera cuts to the countryside, again to the castle, and again to the village beyond, where the townsfolk look about, wondering where the scream is originating from. It's a plot point, in that Inigo and Fezzik start looking for Westley because of the scream.
    Inigo: Do you hear that, Fezzik? That is the sound of ultimate suffering. My heart made that sound when the six-fingered man killed my father. The Man in Black makes it now.
  • In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Khan traps Kirk et al on the Regulus planetoid, then refuses to rise to Kirk's baiting. Kirk screams "Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!" which somehow can be heard outside the planetoid, echoing through the vastness of space.
  • Back in the 1930s, this was still serious, and an early scene in M has a distraught mother calling for her missing daughter as the camera cuts further and further away. Somehow avoids Narm, and is a chillingly effective scene.
  • Played straight in The Wicker Man (1973), with the line "In the name of God, THINK WHAT YOU'RE DOING!" Cut to the sunset, with "doing" echoing. And guess what? It's really creepy.
  • Used in The Godfather when Woltz finds the head of his prized stallion in his bed and screams, and we then cut to the outside of his house and still hear him screaming.
  • The Lord of the Rings
    • The Big "NO!" from Treebeard in The Two Towers. Cut to hundreds of miles away... Doubles as an Epic Hail.
    • In the same movie, Aragorn finds out he's too late to rescue Merry and Pippin, and he kicks a nearby helmet and lets out a massive scream of frustration. May also count as a Skyward Scream.
      • Made all the more impressive in that Aragorn's actor, Viggo Mortensen, broke his foot kicking the helmet. That scream is genuine.
    • In the Extended Edition of The Return of the King, Éomer gets a pretty impressive one when he finds Éowyn near death and Théoden dead.
  • Done often in the Scream movies usually when someone is being chased by the killer. The opening scene of the first movie ends with one where Casey's mother finds her mutilated body hanging from a tree by her own intestines.
    • Also, the Ghostface mask looks similar to the aforementioned painting, which may be where the film got its name.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark - after Indy stoically endures getting dragged behind a truck, shot in the shoulder, and generally beaten while retrieving the Ark, he and Marion are ensconced in the captain's quarters of a freight ship. As he achingly examines himself in a floor mirror, she pivots it from the other side, smacking him on the chin. Cut to long shot of ship and pained yell.
  • Looney Tunes: Back in Action does this when Bugs, Daffy, and Elmer Fudd chase each other in the Louvre's paintings. Inside Munch's masterpiece, Bugs stomps on Elmer's toe when he tries to shoot Bugs, causing him to briefly morph into the "Screamer."
  • In Batman Begins this is Falcone's response when Crane sprays the fear toxin in his face. And it's unending too, implying that he descended into insanity out of fear.
  • In Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Harold screams his head off when he sees Neil Patrick Harris has stolen his car.
  • The Hunger Games: Katniss, after she fails to protect Rue.
  • Shows up in the final moment of The Ruling Class (also a Skyward Scream). It's not funny. Not at all.
  • Irma in * Il grido lets out a long one seeing Aldo fall off the refinery tower.
  • In Mad Max: Fury Road, Furiosa falls to her knees and screams in anguish when she finds out the Green Place she’d spent the entire film trying to reach had become polluted and uninhabitable many years ago.
  • Gangster No. 1: Like most of Gangster's actions throughout this film, his silent scream is not something that will help you sleep at night, especially as it always precedes him doing something Ax-Crazy. Paul Bettany looks like a fucking ghoul when he does it.
  • In Amélie, Colignin lets out the first of a few when he realises he's brushing his teeth with foot cream.
  • Galaxy Quest: After being transported across space to the Protector 2 and confronted by a trio of Thermians who had forgotten about their appearance generators, this is Guy's reaction - which Sigourney Weaver was apparently not told about.
  • Sharpay did this twice in the first High School Musical movie:
    • The first one is half a minute after Troy and Gabriella sing a reprise of "What I've Been Looking For", this is her reaction when she saw the callbacks the next day.
    • Later on, at the end of the song "Stick to the Status Quo", some chili cheese fries go flying up in the air as a result of a student slipping on some milk and land on Sharpay's shirt and then...


    Live-Action TV 
  • A Running Gag in Parker Lewis Can't Lose; the enraged screams of school principal Ms. Musso would cut to her door's glass pane shattering cartoonishly, or sometimes more distant fragile items.
  • Used in Friends, with Ross' repeated enraged cry of "MY SANDWICH???" causing pigeons to take off in fright.
  • Used in one of Coupling`s many point-of-view gags - we see a scene twice, once from Sally's perspective and once from Patrick's. Sally thinks she's seen the eponymous Munch painting on the wall and mutters about how she hates it - when we see it from Patrick's perspective, however, we see that she was very drunk and it is in fact a mirror...
  • Done rather chillingly on The Wire - the normally coolly unflappable Omar is brought in to the police station to identify his boyfriend's horrifically mutilated body. At first, he just shakes his head and seemingly, begins to cry, but then the shot cuts to McNulty's kids waiting in the lobby, who jump in shock at the resulting scream.
    • Also in season two, a mother's screams at seeing her dead son are heard from the now empty street outside after a gunfight has been broken up by the police.
  • Top Gear once did this with a Mercedes 600 Grosser's horn.
    • And again with the road test of the Porsche 911 GT2. Normally Top Gear's road test segments are detailed short films; the GT2 review was just a 15-second scream of terror from Clarkson.
  • Reese on Malcolm in the Middle, when he learns that the girl he was crushing on after reading her diary was actually his mom.
  • Frequently happens in Sister, Sister when either Ray or Tia discovers Tamera did something stupid that they are angered at (it's not really a scream as much as them screaming Tamera's name, as it pans out, sometimes even starts in before panning out).
  • One episode of Angel had the scene where Marcus Hamilton punches a hole through a guy's torso and Harmony, Lorne, and Eve all freak out Macaulay Culkin style.
  • Bulk and Skull from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers also have their scream, when seeing a monster or any creature. They even scream in a Megazord cockpit from the 'Crystals of Nightmare' episode (we only see Bulk screaming) when Skull warned Bulk that they're going to crash.
    Skull: Bulk, we're going to crash!
  • In True Detective Rust and Marty make a suspect watch a horrible torture video. When he screams in distress the show cuts away to the landscape around them in a wide shot.
  • Used in Doctor Who when the Master dies in the Doctor's arms. The Doctor starts silently crying, before he suddenly screams.
  • Frasier uses a version of this when Frasier's ex-fiance Diane Chambers, who left him at the altar, visits him in Seattle. Unaware she's behind him, he turns around, takes one look at her — and the image suddenly cuts to black, only to gradually pull out to reveal that this is a still image of Frasier, mouth locked open in an endless scream of terror, with the echoing audio of Frasier's scream fading in over it.

  • Barry Godber's cover art of King Crimson's In The Court Of The Crimson King depicts a man wearing an expression similar to the Munch painting.


    Tabletop Games 
  • This was used in Legend of the Five Rings RPG. A group of clan champions had gathered at the castle of the Crab clan, which essentially borders that universe's hell (called the Shadowlands). While there, the three visiting champions saw a single Crab soldier standing at the wall, looking out. They ordered their yojimbo to stay outside their quarters for the night, along with the Crab champion, that their soldiers would not fail in their duty. In the middle of the night, there was a piercing scream that woke up the three champions, and moments later, a demon burst through their room. Almost overwhelmed, their host managed to kill the beast. Shocked, they left the room to find their soldiers dead, frozen in terror, or torn limb from limb. When they exited the building, they saw the lone Crab soldier, still standing, head slumped forward. One of the champions murmured that it seemed like none of them won the bet. The Crab champion snorted, "His job was to scream."
  • Warhammer 40,000: Many a foe of the Imperium has uttered something like the following: "How?! The Imperial commander must be some kind of tactical geniu—CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!!!"

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Naturally, the Screaming Author from Spirit Hunter: NG is known for its high-pitched, unearthly wails. Its victims continue to hear the screaming in their head long after they leave, which drove one woman to have a nervous breakdown and commit suicide.
  • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, in the climax: the protagonist, Hajime Hinata, was earlier revealed to be a talentless member of Hope's Peak's Reserve Course, but there were still a few mysteries around him, not the least of which was Chapter 0, Hajime's vision of a mysterious POV character talking to Nagito (who, side note, had apparently cut off his left hand and replaced it with Junko's. Ew) and brushing him and the rest of the world off as "boring." During the final trial, where it's revealed that Jabberwock Island was a VR simulation to rehabilitate the cast, who were members of the Ultimate Despair, Hajime turns out to not just have been any Ultimate Despair: he was selected for a process called the Izuru Kamukura Project. Named for the founder of Hope's Peak, it was designed to surgically implant multiple talents into a single person to create an "Ultimate Hope"... and Hajime was the unlucky Reserve Course student who underwent that personality-destroying process. With no memories and every facet of himself that interfered with acquiring talent erased, the Empty Shell that was codenamed Izuru Kamukura easily fell to the manipulations of Junko Enoshima. After re-acquiring his memories as Izuru, including the chat with Nagito, a shocked Hajime can initially do nothing but scream in utter horror when he comes out of the flashback.

    Web Animation 
  • In Eric Schwartz' animation Plight of the Artist, Sabrina loses several hours' work in a blackout, which causes her to scream loud enough to knock a Starfury off course as it approaches Babylon 5.
  • Robert Winchester's "Runesuck": Rob screams "PLAYING RUNESCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPE?!" when Johny answers his question that he's playing RuneScape.
  • The Prime Mover Driver and the Forklift Operator both have the same scream. This was from Safety Choice by the W.S.H Council. And Come on, what do they do? they scream. The Forklift Operator is the best known one.
  • This brilliant mashup animation of the painting with "Great Gig In the Sky" by Pink Floyd. Animated by Sebastian Cosor.
  • Overly Sarcastic Productions: Red pulls this when she finds out that the punishment for pride in Purgatory is having your eyes sewn shut.
  • Taking some notes from Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 1, Four Swords Misadventures had Green Link, upon learning that Vaati sent him a Cucco (which he refers to as "cock" as in "You love cock!"), screaming "Vaati, you NO-GOOD MOTHERF-!, which pans throughout Hyrule, breaking the peace and was apparently loud enough to break the sound barrier.

    Web Comics 
  • Guilded Age: Syr'Nj pulls this twice, once at the end of the side adventure in the first chapter and again in the guest comic linked as Ship Tease on the YMMV page.
  • "The Scream" has been spoofed twice in Two Lumps.
  • Black Mage from 8-Bit Theater hollered an enormous "FFFFFFFFFFFF-UCK!" when he lost his powers as ruler of hell.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, when Bun-bun finds out his collection of Baywatch tapes has been magnetically erased. What's really hilarious/terrifying about this is the implication of what he's going to do to the other main characters once he catches them.
  • In Dubious Company, Walter needs to upgrade his ship with a homing device in order to find Tiren. Leeroy thinks this is taking too long and decides to help while Walter is sleeping. Walter wakes up to find his Cool Ship in ruins. Cut to Tiren asking Izor if he heard that scream.
  • El Goonish Shive: So far, there have been four different screams heard by aliens.
  • xkcd shows us the people's reaction to endless wings.
  • Guilded Age: Syr'Nj is the party's Combat Medic — not through traditional holy/nature powers, but through an array of drug-filled needles and good old-fashioned paramedic training. Her goal is to show humans (and her father) that science and nature can work in harmony.
  • The Draw Play parodies the Munch painting after the New York Giants trade star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns.note 

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • Done in The Annoying Orange whenever a character is suddenly killed. Also in The Onion Ring (a The Ring parody) when Orange appears on TV to terrorize a group of friends before climbing out of the TV into the real world.
  • Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z Abridged does this on a handful of occasions. At least two when dealing with masses of sheer stupidity in the forms of Nappa and Goku. However, a more prominent example is when he learns that while on Namek, Gohan took a Dragon Ball that he hidden after destroying a village, after believing he had gather all seven of them. With that, he hits a Rage Breaking Point and pursues them while screaming at the top of his lungs. It was so loud it was heard by everyone on Namek...
    Gohan: Krillin... Do you hear that?
    Krillin: I feel that.
    • ...but time, space, and the heavens itself. Emphasis on the former, as his future son Trunks hears it right as he prepares to travel to the past.
    Future Trunks: Alright, mom; once that time machine is done, I can go back into the past, to save Goku, and my father— (hears Vegeta's scream from the past) ...daddy?
    • Also once in sheer despair and rage: " M Y B A B Y B O O O O Y Y Y Y Y!!!"
  • The Spoony Experiment: Noah Antwiler (The Spoony One) commits a Scream after being utterly broken by one of the worst PC games of all time, Bloodwings: Pumpkinhead's Revenge. In a parody of/tribute to The Princess Bride, Benzaie hears it and remarks that it is the sound of the Ultimate Suffering.
  • Linkara in History of Power Rangers on Power Rangers Turbo
    Linkara: So after one filler episode where the Rangers nearly got baked into a giant pizza... [beat] ... Excuse for a moment. [steps outside] AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! [goes back in and calmly continues the history]
  • Noob has Omega Zell utter such a scream after finding out the secret that got revealed in the first Wham Episode.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Earthworm Jim episode Conqueror Worm, Jim eats an entire cup of frozen yogurt in one gulp, which soon causes 'epic' brain freeze. He runs around shrieking so frantically, the camera skips the intermediate steps and immediately zooms out to planet level to show the entire Earth violently shaking.
  • In Hercules: The Animated Series, use screams for comedic purposes quite often. Usually with Hercules who will typically scream as he falls or is sent flying in the air.
  • One episode of Spongebob Squarepants does this with Squidward during the episode "Clams", when Spongebob catches his nose, after getting his book, chair, and shirt.
  • The Earl of Lemongrab from Adventure Time does this a lot, especially in his premiere episode "Too Young":
    Princess Bubblegum: Yo, Earl!
    Lemongrab: (from far away) WHAT?!
    Princess Bubblegum: Hey—you're fired! Ya BUTT!
    Lemongrab: (from far away) HHHHRRRRRUUURUUUUGGGGHH!!!!!!
    • In "Wizard Battle", Finn screams so loud at the prospect of Abracadaniel getting a chance to kiss Princess Bubblegum that it turns into a sonic attack that knocks out his opponent, winning Finn the contest.
  • In an episode of Invader Zim, a little girl's scream is heard by The Tallest, who are on a spaceship on the other end of the galaxy.
    • But the crowner is in "Battle of the Planets", when Zim uses Mars as a giant steamroller to flatten Earth. The planet comes down gently and crushes a man's soda can. The man's screams go on for about a minute onscreen without end.
  • The Simpsons use screams for comedic purposes quite often. Usually with Homer who will typically overreact to something with a high-pitched yell.
    • A variation appears on the first half of the "Who Shot Mr. Burns"; on realizing that Mr. Burns has forgotten his name yet again despite all his efforts, Homer takes a deep breath and yells a profanity (starts with an "F", the rest is covered by the sound of an organ playing). It's given exactly the same treatment as this trope.
      Flanders: Dear lord, that's the loudest profanity I've ever heard!
    • Subverted in "Mona Leaves-a". Homer arrives in the living room to apologize to his mother for his jerkish behavior to her lately, but then asks her name when she doesn't respond (as she had died). It cuts to the outside of the house, yet Homer says "...Mother?" in the exact same tone and volume as he did before the cutaway point.
    • Parodied in "Lisa's Sax". Homer wonders if museums have fooseball tables, and then imagines himself playing with Michelangelo's David. After winning, he says "Now who's next?" and the figure in Munch's work appears and shouts "MEEEEEEEEEE!"
  • South Park's "The Red Badge of Gayness": when Kyle rips the beard off of Cartman's General Robert E. Lee costume, Cartman's scream can be heard all the way to the planet Marklar.
  • In episode "A Smith in the Hand" of American Dad!, Stan does this when he first gets his family jewels burnt, and then a second time when he discovers masturbation.
  • In an episode of King of the Hill when Bobby joins a modeling agency for overweight boys he shows Hank a bunch of pictures they took of him and when he finds they are going put one of him wearing trapdoor pajamas, holding a tray of cookies, and putting his pinky finger to his mouth in the newspaper Hank lets one out that echos.
  • In one episode of Total Drama Heather screams after her hair gets shaved off and Chris tells her she has to leave the island the scene then cuts to the eliminated campers at the Playa Des Losers Resort all looking up in surprise.
  • Used in Lilo & Stitch when Pleakley and Jumba spend their first night on Earth, and Pleakley discovers a very painful truth about one of the so-called wildlife preserve's inhabitants:
    Pleakley: Look! A mosquito has chosen me as her perch. She's so beautiful. Look, another one! And another one! Why, it's a whole flock! They like me! They're nuzzling my flesh with their noses! Now they're... they're...
    (Cue Distant Reaction Shot of their campsite near the house as Pleakley screams in pain)
  • Done hilariously in an episode of The Replacements when all the characters suddenly went into "The Scream" style during a Gasp! moment.
  • Stewie does this in Family Guy when he walks in on Lois and Peter having sex.
    (Cut to Mayor West sitting in his office several miles away)
    Mayor Adam West: So, it's a shouting match you want, eh, Quahog? Well game on! Aaah aaah aaah aaah aar - I'm beating you!
  • Goliath in Gargoyles does this several times.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Beezy and Heloise do one of these after they share an Accidental Kiss.
  • Rugrats: "It's 4-o-clock in the morning. Why on earth are you making chocolate pudding?"
  • Happens in Darkwing Duck Just Us Justice Ducks episode.
  • Ren of The Ren & Stimpy Show frequently does this.
  • Two-Face does this at the end of his introductory episode in Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog does this a lot, such as Courage after getting stung by bees in "The Magic Tree of Nowhere". The penultimate episode has his ability used as a Chekhov's Skill, as his scream is so loud and long after years of honing it that he's able to shatter the ground beneath his rogues' gallery, sending them toppling down.
  • From Animaniacs a Shout-Out most viewers likely missed; in "The Money Song", Dr. Scratchnsniff's face resembles the painting when he first wakes up.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy
  • In Wat's Pig, when the invader hits the king in the foot, he lets out a scream of agony that can be heard all the way in Wat's cottage. Wat shrugs, not knowing it was the king screaming let alone his brother.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Sonic Rainboom", after Fluttershy's failed attempt at a pep talk, Rainbow Dash screams in panic and starts ranting about how there's no chance she can pull off a Sonic Rainboom and win the Best Young Flyers' Competition.
    • Parodied in "Green Isn't Your Color", when Fluttershy tries to give a frustrated scream after her modeling job makes her late to her spa day with Rarity.
      Fluttershy: I'm so frustrated I could just scream! (long deep breath) Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • Sedusa at the end of "Something's A Ms." when the Girls and Ms. Bellum shave her head.
    • Bubbles after Buttercup accidentally knocks one of her teeth out in "Moral Decay".
    Buttercup: Oops...
    [instant cut to the outside of the house as we hear Bubbles shrieking]
    • Buttercup did this in "Cover Up" when her blanket disappeared.
    Blossom: Mr Mayor, we'll be there as soon as we c-
    [An offscreen yell is heard from Buttercup]
  • Fry from Futurama Is prone to long, high-pitched screams, most notably in the episode, "Roswell That Ends Well", when the crew travels through time, get stuck in in Roswell, New Mexico, and Fry ends up impregnating his own grandmother. Dr. Zoidberg will occasionally do an epic scream as well, along with Prof. Farnsworth. You could basically say any character voiced by Billy West.
  • Little Princess: Princess, being four years old, often screams when she's scared or frustrated. The Maid also screams sometimes, due to being a bit of a Lovable Coward.
    • In "I Don't Want Help", Princess screams when a spider jumps out.
    • In "I Don't Want to Go to Bed", the Maid wakes up and screams when she sees that the Princess is not in her bed, because she thinks that the monster the Princess was talking about earlier took her.
    • In "I Don't Want to Comb My Hair", the Maid and Princess both scream when they see a mouse as they think it's a rat and worry that rats will nest in their hair.
    • In "What's Wrong with Gilbert?", Princess screams when her teddy bear Gilbert's leg falls off.
    • In "I Want My Potty", Princess screams while having a tantrum on getting her potty for the first time, because she thinks potties are worse than diapers.
    • In "I Don't Want to Tidy Up", the Maid screams upon seeing the Princess's poorly-constructed "world" made out of toys as it looks like a mess to her and she's a Neat Freak.
  • Tom of Tom and Jerry has an iconic set of screams that he utters when in pain which vary from high pitched yelping to a long winded and guttural Skyward Scream.
  • This is King Julien's reaction when his crown gets lost in The Penguins of Madagascar episode "Crown Fools" and his screaming was still heard as the Penguins plan to retrieve it after Maurice tells them about it.
  • Happens several times in Phineas and Ferb with Candace. And that's her reaction EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.


Video Example(s):


Rock of Ages 2 - The Scream

After repairing The Boulder on a beach boardwalk in Oslo, Atlas inadvertently and indirectly swapped out The Scream's sunscreen for superglue, causing the latter to get his hands permanently stuck on his face and creating his iconic face.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / StickySituation

Media sources:

Main / StickySituation