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Thundering Herd

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Just one of those days.

When a sufficiently large group of characters or extras in a comedy Anime or Animated Series are pursuing someone angrily, they appear as a Thundering Herd covered in a noisy budget-saving cloud of dust, optionally with torsos, heads, and arms sticking out. An alternate presentation, popular in anime and manga, presents a five-story-tall cloud of people chasing the protagonist. Sufficiently wound up single characters can also appear as a one-person Thundering Herd when pursuing or fleeing in panic.

Members of a Harem or Love Dodecahedron sometimes chase the object(s) of their romantic desire down the street in a Thundering Herd. Multiply that if the character is dealing with a Groupie Brigade.

The Thundering Herd is generally accompanied by loud sound effects (rumbling, crashing, shouting, the cries of bystanders), and frequently by the Screen Shake. Sometimes it is visible only as a cloud of dust (or distinct geysers of dust) behind other scenery.

Not to be confused with the athletic program of Marshall University. A Sub-Trope of Everyone Chasing You. Compare Wheel o' Feet, Big Ball of Violence. For literal thundering herds, see Animal Stampede.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ranma ½, too many times to count. One such chase scene takes form under the opening credits for the first Ranma movie (called Big Trouble in Nekonron, China in North America) and lasts five minutes or more of screen time; it starts with a single person chasing Ranma, and slowly builds up until it seems that the entire city of Tokyo is on his heels. The Herd is also rife with cameos from the television series and manga.
  • Hanaukyō Maid Team:
    • Episode 1 introduces the male lead to his new staff as they charge in a cloud of squeals, aprons, and barely repressed shotacon.
    • In episode 12 all of the maids charge Taro to give him birthday presents.
    • In La Verite episode 1 the maids charge Taro en masse in the (giant) bath room, while they and he are naked.
  • Urusei Yatsura throws these in so regularly that you can almost set your watch by them — not that this helps the poor Yuppie Couple that invariably get run over by the mob.
    • Episode 46 features two at once: One formed by a mob of students, and the other formed by a mob of teachers. Eventually the two mobs collide to fight, and the dust clouds form an Asterix-style Big Ball of Violence.
  • Azumanga Daioh: Tomo, being the Genki Girl on a continuous amphetamine high, is capable of creating a one-girl Thundering Herd.
  • Sana from Kodocha is also energetic enough to make one of these all by herself.
  • Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl, episode 2.
  • Best Student Council
  • Sailor Moon sometimes flees as a single-person Thundering Herd.
  • More serious example: the Ohmu from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. These are titanic, pillbug-like insects with nigh-indestructible carapaces, pincer-like legs at the front, and dozens of eyes. Even one rampaging Ohmu can devastate a city; an entire flood of them can level a valley. Worse: since they live in the poisonous forest called "the Sea of Corruption", their bodies carry spores that spread the reach of the forest, and even one single spore can threaten the existence of a village. Thus, not only are the inhabitants of the periphery extremely careful not to anger any of the forest's insects (their pain can carry through to the Ohmu), but certain kingdoms actually plot to enrage the Ohmu into flattening their enemies' lands.
  • In UFO Princess Valkyrie, the mob of catgirl maids form a Thundering Herd when they go looking for Waru-chan. When they don't find her, Sanada makes one all by herself.
  • Nagasarete Airantou has one in the opening.
  • What happens to the four Bishounen in The Wallflower, but mostly to Kyouhei.
  • In the early parts of Negima! Magister Negi Magi, main lead Negi occasionally has to outrun his Wacky Homeroom whenever some rumour about his (essentially non-existent) love-life comes up.
  • In episode 34 of Jewelpet Twinkle☆, literally everyone in the Jewelland is pulled into a feud between Ten-chan and Pin-chan trying to decide which one is cuter, with the total amounts for both sides being a tie of 99 to 99. Headmaster Moldavite settling the feud by picking Jolly-chan and Merry-chan (the ladies who host the mail-order service he likes) sends everyone into a fit of rage, resulting in the headmaster being chased by a mob with a dust cloud under them as they run after him.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: At the end of Season 3 episode 34, Big M. is chased down by some of the monsters. The monsters produce a cloud of dust under them as they chase after him.

    Comic Books 
  • The Magic Potion-empowered Gaulish villagers' going on a Foe-Tossing Charge whenever the Romans try to attack them in Asterix, specially in the animated films.
  • In "What If Everyone Who Ever Had Been an Avenger Had Remained an Avenger?" (from What If? #34, an issue full of short takes spoofing the normal "Serious Business" nature of most "What If" stories), the entire hundred-plus man superteam responds to a convenience store robbery... and exit Avengers Mansion in a Thundering Herd.
  • The "What... Huh?!" special "Mutant Summer Beach Party" ends with one of these, in the form of a Consortium of the X-Men's Fiercest and Most Deadliest Foes, beginning to approach. Who is this mysterious consortium? It's all the other Marvel heroes, out to kill the X-Men for hogging the spotlight for so long.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • The cover art, by Paul Kidby, of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel Men at Arms depicts the Ankh-Morprok City Watch as the classic Thundering Herd.
  • In “ ‘Tiger! Tiger!’ ” in The Jungle Book, Kipling tells how Mowgli, with the help of Grey Brother and Akela, organises a stampede of the buffalo bulls down the ravine in which the tiger Shere Khan is hiding. ‘… the torrent of black horns, foaming muzzles, and staring eyes whirled down the ravine like boulders in flood-time; the weaker buffaloes being shouldered out to the sides of the ravine, where they tore through the creepers. They knew what the business was before them – the terrible charge of the buffalo-herd, against which no tiger can hope to stand.’ At the other end of the ravine, even more dangerously, are the buffalo cows with their calves.

    Video Games 
  • In the video game version of Scott Pilgrim Vs The World in the third stage seconds after you enter the level a massive crowd of crazed fans stampedes from the left side creating a thundering herd chasing after the members of a band. This also happens in the intro to the second level with the level boss being chased by the thundering herd equivalent of Loony Fan.
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon: the Foreman job gives characters the Essence of Labour Parade skill. A bunch of hungry construction workers appear, then the Foreman calls a lunch break, at which point the workers go tearing off to get food and trample all enemies on the screen while they're at it.
  • In Dragon Quest VIII, Yangus' ultimate ability from his Humanity skill, Golden Oldies, summons a horde of old geezers led by King Trode to trample all enemies.


    Web Original 
  • In the Chimney Chickens episode Date Envy, Dash is chased out of the cafeteria by a mob of squealing fangirls who shake the screen as they all run by in a dust cloud.

    Western Animation 
  • On Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Cheese was understandably freaked out when seeing a horde of imaginary friends of all shapes and sizes bearing down on him.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: In "Gorizilla", Adrien's plan to sneak out of his house unnoticed goes awry when he's recognized by one of his fans. Soon after, he's being chased by a mob of loony fans including a guy on a moped, a firetruck, and a frigging helicopter. By the time he runs into Marinette, he's at least managed to ditch the firetruck and the helicopter but the two of them end up being chased by an even bigger mob of fans.

Alternative Title(s): Mass Chase Cloud