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Universal Group Reaction

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"Can we get somebody else to describe the topic, please?"
People are unique. And in groups of people, you'll find a variety of personalities. As such, you would expect that when something happens, there would be a wide range of reactions within the group to that event.

But sometimes, something happens that is so absurd, egregious, unbelievable, or just plain unexpected that everyone has the same reaction to it at the same time.

Maybe the Cloud Cuckoolander did something so utterly stupid and/or dangerous that everyone has to respond. (Though in a pinch, The Gadfly will do).

It might be that a confluence of circumstances have conspired to create a calamity.

Maybe The Plan... didn't go as planned.

Whatever the reason, everyone is looking at the same situation and they all have the same response.

Almost exclusively a comedy trope, and frequently used in anime to highlight just how eccentric and off a character is supposed to be. There are a few occasions where it can be used for non-comedic effect.

In some situations it could also be a group fawning over one individual after they have done something utterly amazing or cool. Cue simultaneous Squeeing from members of the opposite sex, or even the same sex, even the confirmed straight ones.

There are numerous ways to play the trope. With animation, inner thoughts are played audibly as a voiceover. Universal facial reactions are not uncommon for any visual media. And with comics or manga, speech or thought balloons will have multiple tails, indicating the same verbal or mental reaction simultaneously.

This does not apply to situations where a group reaction is expected and even desired, such as an audience cheering for the hero in a movie at the theater, or a group of sports fans cheering for their team/favored athlete. A group screaming at a horror film also wouldn't qualify.

If two characters (seemingly) dating elicits a strong, unified reaction from everyone, then it doubles as Overdramatic Dating Commotion.

Frequently overlaps with Sweatdrop and Blue with Shock. Can lead to a Mass "Oh, Crap!" moment if they're reacting to a shocking moment which will affect them badly. May also overlap with Say My Name if the whole group is calling out a character for causing a problem. If someone suffers a physically painful incident, it might be a group Sympathetic Wince.

See also Collective Death Glare.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Azumanga Daioh: In the very first episode, Yukari introduces the Child Prodigy Chiyo to the rest of the class, and then throws in, "And none of you better pick on the little brat just because she's smart for her age!" Cue the class all thinking, "But that's what you just did."
  • In the 4-koma for BanG Dream!, this shows up from time to time.
    • In the very second strip, inspired by Hello Happy World's Michelle, Himari decided that Afterglow needed a mascot, and stitched together little toy bears(?) for the group. Tomoe, Tsugumi, and Moca are all shown with blank faces and sweat drops in reaction.
    • In another strip, members of Pastel Palettes are taking turn wearing Maya's glasses to see how they look in them. When Chisato puts them on, everyone thinks at once "She looks exactly the same!"
  • Castle Town Dandelion: In one episode, it appears that Akane has forgotten her skirt, and when word reaches her sister Kanade in the Student Council, she summons Akane to the room to find out for herself. Cue a ton of guys who are hoping to catch a glimpse of her underwear as she walks upstairs following. When Akane finds out what's going on, she explains that she had torn her skirt trying to avoid the security cameras, and put on a pair of gym shorts instead. She lifts her sweater to demonstrate, only to show that she was, in fact, wearing just panties under her sweater. Cue a Nosebleed from every guy, including her brother Shuu, as well as her bestie, Karen.
  • Lucky Star: Kagami and Tsukasa are trying to figure out where Konata is working for her part time job, dismissing several ideas out of hand. Konata finally tells them that she's working at a Cosplay Cafe, to which both sisters immediately think, "Oh, that's perfect for her."
  • Martian Successor Nadesico: When all the members of Akito's Unwanted Harem, all of whom have proven to be Lethal Chefs, start chasing the poor lad around the ship trying to offer him their latest culinary creations, the rest of the male crew shout in unison, "If you don't want them, give them to us! We're available!"
  • My Hero Academia: In one of the School Briefs light novels, the boys from Class A and B participate in a pillow fight to decide what they will have for dinner tomorrow. One of the rules is Quirks are not permitted, but Bakugo quickly finds a loophole — Quirks can't be used on purpose but there's no penalty if they're activated unintentionally. This results in everyone using their powers with diminishing subtlety and justifying them as mistakes. When questioned as to what they're doing, the boys shout "it was an accident" in unison.
  • My Love Story!!:
    • After Takeo rescues two of Rinko's friends from a burning building, and then escapes by leaping from a third story window and landing completely unharmed, the girls, who had previously been mocking Takeo's appearance, find themselves swooning for him, and then find themselves all quickly and unanimously denying that idea.
    • When the girls go shopping for swimsuits, Rinko flashes a few rather out-of-character and risque bathing suits as potential ideas, and the others are all unanimously drawn as simplified outlines, and asking her if she's serious.
  • Ranma : One OVA episode features an oni that can possess people. The priest who is working with the group is subjected to this sort of reaction twice. The first is after Kasumi is possessed, and the priest tells them the oni won't willingly leave its host, it will have used them up first. Everyone jumps him, shouting in unison, "Why didn't you say that earlier?" He gets the same response when he later informs them (as in a full day later) that he can banish the oni with a ward.
  • Re-Kan!: Shows up frequently.
  • School Rumble: In one episode, Tenma, Mikoto, Akira, and Eri are at a water park when a group of guys being to hit on them. The girls agree to go out with the guys if they can beat them at a competition, to which Tenma immediately suggests swimming. Only to witness all of her group sink like stones to the bottom of the pool. She tearfully demands to know why none of the others told her they couldn't swim, to which the others can only bow in unison and say, "We're sorry."
  • Squid Girl: When Squid Girl learns about tickling, she has a field day tickling everyone in sight. Then she suggests trying to tickle Chizuru Aizawa. Eiko tries to warn her that tickling Chizuru, who hates being tickled, would be an all out declaration of war. Squid Girl asks if they wouldn't all enjoy seeing Chizuru laughing "squid-sterically", to which Eiko, Sanea, and Cindy all think in unison "Yes. More than anything." It doesn't go as planned, as Squid Girl can't find Chizuru's ticklish spot, but DOES acknowledge the declaration of war.
  • Wasteful Days of High School Girls:
    • In the first episode, the homeroom teacher, "Waseda", gives a speech about how he's not into high school girls and prefers college girls that makes it seem like he's actually a closet-high school girl fetishist. All of the girls in class are Blue with Shock and simultaneously thinking "This is bad! This is very, very bad!"
    • When Lily makes her introduction in class, explaining how she loves girls and utterly hates men, all of the girls picture a slot machine hitting the "Weirdo Jackpot".

    Fan Works 
  • Inter Nos: During the first battle between the Himean/Otomean Alliance and the Mentuleans, Natsuki kills a soldier who was trying to kill Shizuru, starting with a well placed Groin Attack using the scythe end of her daos.
    All the males on the field close enough to see this vicious attack felt a spark of horror, regardless of their allegiances, as Natsuki cut the man cleanly from the groin, then lifted him momentarily in the air as the blade met resistance from the pelvic bone.

    Films — Animation 
  • A Boy Named Charlie Brown: Charlie Brown is on a televised national spelling bee, and it is down to him and one other contestant. The rest of the Peanuts are either watching on the screen at home, or in the audience of the auditorium. The word Charlie Brown is given is "Beagle", the very breed that Snoopy represents. Charlie Brown misspells the word as B-E-A-G-E-L, which causes a simultaneous "AUUUUGGGGGHHHH" from the kids watching at home, Linus and Snoopy in the audience, and Charlie himself, who realizes his mistake a moment too late.
  • Played for laughs in Shrek 2:
    • When King Harold enters "The Poison Apple" inn, he whispers to the barman about an ogre problem, causing a collective gasp all around.
    • When Shrek drinks a potion that turns him into a human, three women are attracted to him. When Donkey says that he and Puss need to get Shrek out of his clothes (to change him into better-fitting ones), they all gasp excitedly in unision.
  • In Turning Red, when a group of Mei's classmates see her giant red panda form for the first time they all Squee in unison.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Life of Brian:
    • The conversation between the multitude and Brian:
      Brian: Look, you've got it all wrong. You don't need to follow me. You don't need to follow anybody! You've got to think for yourselves! You're all individuals!
      The Crowd: Yes! We're all individuals!
      Brian: You're all different!
      The Crowd: Yes! We're all different!
      Man in crowd: I'm not...
    • When Brian and members of the People's Front of Judea break into Pilate's home to kidnap his wife, they're met by a rival group with the same objective, and begin fighting each other. Brian points out they should be united against a common enemy, to which both groups stop fighting and say, in unison, "The Judean People's Front?!"
  • Pee-wee's Big Adventure: After hitching a ride with a trucker named Large Marge, Pee-Wee goes into a bar and tells them that Large Marge sent him. One patron explains that Large Marge died in a fiery crash (which she'd told Pee-Wee about as a third person. Pee-Wee looks astonished and say it must have been, prompting the whole bar to state the obvious at once, "Her ghost!"

    Live-Action TV 
  • House of Anubis:
    • When Sibuna is discussing their personal fears, the first ones mentioned are common things like bugs and small spaces, as well as skulls. Then Patricia admits to being scared of feet, which gets everyone to pause for a moment and look at her in confusion.
    • As a Funny Background Event in one episode, the Sibuna gang is watching as Patricia and Eddie argue. As Eddie claims that Patricia cheating on him with Alfie made sense because he was into her twin sister Piper, and now might've been trying to Settle for Sibling, the Sibunas all react in perfect unison, dropping all their jaws at once.
    • A non-comedic example: After getting rescued from Rufus's kidnapping, Patricia begins to have nightmares whenever she sleeps. One moment involved her having a nightmare during class, screaming, and running out the door. Without missing a beat, the entirety of Anubis House all got up and ran after her in shock and concern, and proceeded to look for her when she hid away to simmer in embarrassment.
  • Rizzoli & Isles: Frankie and Frost both protest that the Captain Chogokin toy is an "action figure" in unison whenever Jane calls it a "doll".

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • The Loud House: In "Health Kicked", when the Loud children drink onion-infused water, they all spit it out at once (with the exception of Lana.)
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "The Mane Attraction", every pony gasps around Applejack when she claims she doesn't know about the famous pop star, Countess Coloratura.
  • Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?: "I Put a Hex on You", the Hex Girls episode, had the entire audience react in surprise to the identity of the culprit behind the ghost of "Esther Moonkiller" as Xander, the President of the Hex Girl's Fan Club. The audience even demanded in unison to know her motivations.

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