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"I will have to use stealth instead" said L and jumped in the broken window screaming.

When a potentially deadly and effective strategy is ruined (or logically should be but comically isn't) by the conspicuous way it is acted upon. Usually by a Battle Cry, an Attack Call, a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner or something similar. Needless to say, characters who carry out this trope frequently cross into Too Dumb to Live territory, or at the very least aren't the sharpest tools in the shed.

The calling card of Highly Visible Ninja. Compare So Much for Stealth, when some small indication blows one's cover, and Leeroy Jenkins, when one idiot ruins the careful plans of the rest of the party. Particularly spectacular versions of this trope may involve bursting through a nearby window or wall.

Trope Namer is a song from The Pirates of Penzance, which is all about parodying this trope.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Countless times in Slayers, when someone wastes a perfectly good spell by shouting something to the effect of "You forgot about me!"
  • In Dragon Ball, this trope preserves Son Goku's status as The Hero. His much weaker best friend Krillin has a signature attack, the Kienzan/Destructo Disk, that can cut through absolutely anything, including the most powerful enemies... so long as it actually hits them. This should mean that Krillin can take out anybody in the series (well, almost anybody), with Goku needing to do no more than provide a distraction. The problem is, Krillin feels compelled, even when trying to launch an ambush (the only way he has much chance of hitting the bad guys who are invariably much stronger and faster than him), to scream "KIENZAN!" at the top of his lungs. Thus, he never accomplishes more than slicing off an alien's tail early in Dragon Ball Z.
  • One Piece:
    • Hero Monkey D Luffy is the epitome of this trope. "Subtle" is not in his vocabulary so when his crew suggests something like sneaking around, Luffy's go-to action is "Scream at the top of your lungs and punch the shit out of anyone standing in your way". During Ace's cover story, when trying to infiltrate The Marine G2 base, he winds up blowing his cover by punching out a Marine who talked smack about Whitebeard.
    • And then there's Zeo's attempt to sneak up on Brook using camouflage, which fails due to him calling his attack. Cue Zeo getting rewarded with a nice taste of Brook's sword.
    • Perhaps the earliest example is Luffy and Usopp eavesdropping on Kuro and Jango plotting to kill Kaya. Luffy's first reaction is to jump up into plain sight and yell "HEY YOU JERKS, DON'T KILL KAYA!"
    • A more serious, and frightening, example comes from Laffitte, who somehow infiltrated one of the most heavily defended buildings in the world while wearing tap-dancing shoes. The only reason he is noticed is because he announces his presence, and he has been in a room with a man who has Super Senses.
  • Fate's pretty little skull in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha would have been sporting a nice, big fracture had Nanoha not screamed "Take this!" when attempting to bash Fate's head in from above during their final battle in the first season. More silent attempts by others have been more successful, and Nanoha herself gets better at it once she's not nine years old anymore.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED has a sneak attack from behind by a suit that can turn invisible. And then the pilot not only yells, but more importantly turns off its stealth and (accidentally) jumps onto its target's swordnote . Poor Nicol not only dies, but crosses into Too Dumb to Live territory with this stunt.
  • During the finale of Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, the main characters are discussing how they're going to attack the Big Bad's fortress before deciding on a sneak attack. King Dedede, who had minutes before pulled a Heel–Face Turn, calls up said Big Bad on his cell phone and smugly announces that they're about to pull a sneak attack and there's nothing he can do about it. Cue the baddies.
  • Black Star, of Soul Eater, would be the greatest ninja ever known if he could prevent himself from screaming at his potential targets as he approaches them. Demonstrated beautifully in his debut which opens with Black Star calmly stating some assassination strategies, immediately followed by him leaping right in front of his targets and shouting "I am here to assassinate you!" His partner Tsubaki's reaction says it all.
  • The protagonists of Psyren at one time need to stealthily infiltrate a top-secret installation. What course of action do they take? Blast through the ceiling.
  • In Fairy Tail, "subtle" is not in Natsu's vocabulary. When trying to sneak through Edolas, he keeps breaking cover and confronting people even though his powers don't work.
  • In the dubbed version of Digimon: The Movie, Agumon and Tentomon enter the website where Keramon is feeding on computer data without him knowing. Agumon then suggests they sneak up on him quietly, only for Tentomon to shout "SUPER SHOCKER!" and fire his attack at the virus digimon, to which Agumon asks "That's quietly?".

    Comic Books 
  • In Flight 714, Spalding has all the passengers of the hijacked flight at gunpoint except Tintin, who is sneaking up behind him. Carreidas takes notice of this, and calls on Tintin to surprise Spalding and take his gun, causing Spalding to turn around just in time to prevent this from happening.
  • In one issue of The Punisher a bad guy loudly announced his intention to attack Frank from behind. Frank, of course, snarked about it and blew his brains out. At once.
  • In the Asterix series, the Roman high official's idea of a "stealthy search/escort party" is to have an entire parade organised.
  • At some point during Superman storyline Kryptonite Nevermore, Lois Lane and a pilot are captured by bandits. Later, the bandits have turned their backs on their hostages, and the pilot takes advantage of their distraction by lunging at the ringleader... after screaming "Smelly goat! I shall vanquish you!"

    Comic Strips 
  • Toward the end of the Snow Goons arc, Calvin and Hobbes sneak out of bed and go downstairs, shushing each other to keep quiet. Once they're out in the open, Calvin starts laughing loudly and yelling for the Snow Goons to die, waking his parents.
  • A couple of Dilbert strips involved the Pointy-Haired Boss telling a certain employee about an upcoming reorg, asking him to keep it to himself. The problem? Said employee is Loud Howard.

    Fan Works 
  • Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami has one of the most amusing examples, quoted above, when L goes in to capture Mikami.
  • A Yu Yu Hakusho fic mentioned how mice are loud, and thus Hiei's stealth was more comparable to a fish.
  • Played for Laughs in Game Theory, when Arf tried to sneak past Fate to get at the ramen, which probably would have worked better if she hadn't been humming a song about ramen.
  • In Suzumiya Haruhi No Index, Kaori Kanazaki twice fails to sneak attack Shizuri Mugino because she called her Nanasen attack. After the second attempt, Mugino points out that Calling Your Attacks defeats the purpose of a sneak attack.
  • From Death Note The Abridged Series 1 Kids Entertainment:
    Ooi: What's he talking about?
  • In Death Note Abridged Hikari Pop, Raye Penber stalks Light while loudly humming the Mission: Impossible theme.
  • Death Note Abridged (Dogface701):
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series makes use of this when Tristan tries to sneak in a suit of armor.
    Tristan: This heavy suit of armor is perfect for sneaking around!
    Guard: Did I hear something just now? Nah, must've been the wind.
    Guard: Yeah, that's definitely the sound that wind makes.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: At one point in Nightmares Yet to Come, a chapter begins with Sunset Shimmer singing part of the trope-naming song, only for Lightning Dust to inform her she's doing it again. Sunset shoots back that she's doing it to focus, since they're trying to break into a museum, and she's disabling the outside security. Once inside, she's far more stealthy.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, All Might is running late for the U.A. Entrance Exam due to his Chronic Hero Syndrome and tries to sneak his way into the proctoring room with all the grace of a "ferocious liger". Then Aizawa catches him immediately, prompting the narration to point out that ligers aren't the stealthiest creatures in the animal kingdom.
  • Supper Smash Bros: Mishonh From God:
    • In the reboot, Sara's "stealthest" plan to rescue Putin involves shooting the guards and yelling at Putin that she's here to rescue him.
    • Later on, Sara and her friends have to sneak into Galeem's house to rescue some captured Smashers. They somehow manage to have an all-out brawl with members of Antifa (complete with Stuff Blowing Up) without waking Galeem up.
  • The MLP Loops: As with the trope namer, Loop 56.1 features a parody and subversion of this — the Mane Six and Celestia sneak through Canterlot Castle to retrieve the Elements from the vault they're in; they, Luna (who is elsewhere in the castle) and the guards all sing the song as they're doing so, but the guards make no effort to stop them, which Celestia guesses is due to the narrative causality of the Heartsong.
  • In Ranma ½ fanfiction The More Things Change, Kuno's penchant for ruining his surprise attacks with a war cry is lampshaded:
    Narator: "Many observers of Tatewaki Kunou wonder why on earth Kunou totally _ruins_ the element of surprise almost every single time whenever he charges at his foe with the ridiculous battle cry of "[insert name here] PREPARE TO DIE!". Many feel that it's the rough equivalent of yelling "here I come, beat me up!" Why does he constantly ruin his advantage time after time?
    It's still a mystery.
  • In Please Stop Eating The Hell Butterflies, Ichigo and company's mission to imprison Mayuri involves carting him off kicking and screaming while dressed as Robin Hood and the Merry Men. Yamamoto even calls them "particularly unstealthy".

    Films — Animation 
  • In Shrek 2, Shrek and Donkey are listening in on Prince Charming, the Fairy Godmother and King Harold through a window. At one point, Charming says "Oh, thank you mother." This prompts Donkey to blurt out "Mother?!" which promptly gives them away.
  • In The Emperor's New Groove, Kronk sneaks out the palace with the unconscious Kuzco in a sack, humming his own dramatic theme music as he goes. At one point he hides against a wall, holding the current note while a couple of peasants wander past. Of course, the fact that the wall is covered with enormous stone figures all pointing at him doesn't help his cause. Surprisingly, not long after recording this, Patrick Warburton was swarmed by Disney lawyers, ordering him to sign over the rights to this "improvised song".
  • Almost happens in Treasure Planet when Jim and Ben are sneaking by the pirates to steal their dinghy. Surprisingly, no-one wakes up.
  • In Gnomeo and Juliet, Benny's idea of a costume for an "ultimate stealth" mission involves dressing as a daisy and strapping a spray can that rattles as he moves to his back.
  • In Yellow Submarine, the Beatles narrowly manage to sneak into a building filled with instruments, surrounded by dozens of sleeping Blue Meanies. Amazingly, while the characters make a lot of noise while clamoring around inside, none of the Meanies actually wake up until one of them steps on a bagpipe that Ringo tossed outside the night before.
  • Colonel Hathi's March in The Jungle Book (1967). While it's probably just for show the first time, the second time their method when searching for Mowgli even gets a Lampshade Hanging by Shere Khan, who simply sneaks past them.
    Shere Khan: Element of surprise? Ho! I say!
  • In Despicable Me 2, Lucy's idea of not making a sound is to kick down a door screaming. Ironically, she earlier chided Gru for his habit of shouting "Freeze Ray!" before firing, which gave her enough warning to counter with a flamethrower. She then defied this trope by announcing her lipstick taser after she fired it successfully.
  • In Kung Fu Panda 2, Po's attempt at "stealth mode" is... less than stellar. Then again, what would you expect from a 300-pound Giant Panda voiced by Jack Black?
  • In The Wind in the Willows, Toad sneaks into Toad Hall while singing. Loudly. It's just as well the weasels are throwing a rowdy party at the time and don't notice a thing.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Used in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. General Custer's quite the Leeroy Jenkins and doesn't understand why charging into battle while shouting "ATTACK!" might be counterproductive. His later plan involves a masterful bit of tactical deception... by his standards. In this case shouting "DON'T ATTACK!" before attacking.
  • Inverted in Star Trek III — the Enterprise is audibly counting down the time to self-destruct, but the Klingon mooks don't know what it means (they may not even understand English).
  • In the '94 remake of Angels in the Outfield, Roger and JP are trying to stealthily watch a baseball game from a tree in the gounds near the stadium. Roger has binoculars to get a good view, while JP listens on a radio. They would've been able to enjoy the game from there just fine, but JP ends up alerting the nearby security guard by loudly exclaiming his frustration with the progress of the game.
  • In Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan Kenobi has to kill General Grievous. He manages to sneak up behind him unnoticed, and of course he cuts his head off, right? Wrong, he says "Hello there," drawing the attention of an army of droids and Grievous himself. In fairness he was serving as a distraction so that his reinforcements could arrive and he wouldn't have to fight the army by himself.
  • In Repo! The Genetic Opera, Graverobber is trying to silently rob graves — which would've gone really well if he hadn't belted "And it's my job... to steal and rob... GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVES!" halfway through his song. Hilarity Ensues, at least because of Shilo's face.
  • In Judge Dredd, during the sentencing, the Block Overlord attempts to shoot Dredd when his back is turned only to give away his ambush with his battle cry.
    Block Overlord: Let me guess: Life. [draws gun] Yaaaaahh!!
    Judge Dredd: [turns around and shoots] Death. Court's adjourned.
  • In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, the thieves manage to get past the various anti-theft devices protecting a priceless jewel... until one of them lets out a gut-busting fart and triggers a noise-alarm.
  • In Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, they decide that the only way to get the Silver Surfer's board back from Dr. Doom is to use The Human Torch's new "powers" to combine all their abilities to allow him to fly, but also be as strong as The Thing, and be invisible so he can sneak up on Doom. It works perfectly and he gets to within 2 feet of Doom. But rather than just knock him out, he has to say "To quote a friend, It's clobbering time." thus blowing the cover and starting a drawn out battle... all while the Earth is about to be destroyed. Great priorities there.
  • In Back to the Future, the Libyans decide they need to turn their lights on just as they are approaching the mall parking lot, allowing Doc to see them coming, but subverted in that even with this it doesn't give Doc enough time to escape. Even stranger, they had their lights on when they passed Marty and Red so they chose to turn their lights off some time in between, but then turned them on at pretty much the exact time when they would have wanted to have them off. Given the unreliability of the van they were driving (failing to restart for several attempts after a stall), it may have had faulty wiring.
  • In Hot Shots! Part Deux, there is a scene where Topper Harley is trying to stealthily recover a set of keys from a sleeping guard, and reaches through the window of the shack with a broom handle. He ends up knocking over a pepper shaker, smacking several other objects, jamming the broom in the guard's ear, nose, and eye, then activates a radio loudly playing the Star Spangled banner (and hastily switches it off) and then shoves the handle into a table fan that proceeds to chew up the handle like a circular saw. The guard sleeps through the whole thing, until a mouse comes along and sneezes quietly (because it sniffes the pepper from the aforementioned pepper shaker).
  • At the end of Batman: The Movie, Batman proposes he and Robin leave the top floor office of a skyscraper "inconspicuously... through the window" and they proceed to climb slowly down the side of the mammoth building in broad daylight as the credits roll.
  • In The Rock, Stanley tries loudly to convince Mason not to abandon the mission.
    Mason: Some sniper's gonna get his ass.
  • One of the few funny gags in The Christmas Season Massacre has the killer attempt to sneak up on someone with a running chainsaw. He somehow manages it... until he steps on a twig.
  • In the 1959 version of The Bat, the Bat sneaks into the house, disables the telephones, and creeps past the sleeping occupants, only to then start chiselling his way through a wall.

  • A Song of Ice and Fire gives us Benfred Tallhart and his band, the Wild Hares. Put it this way, when investigating possible Ironborn incursion near a strategically important, if ruined, fort, the usual thing to do would be to deploy scouts and spread out, keeping low like poachers on somebody else's property as you get a feel for what you might be up against. But, not these guys: they openly march bunched together along a major road... singing. Loudly. Guess what happens next?
  • In Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman's The Death Gate Cycle, Hugh the Hand does this deliberately so that his assassination attempt fails. (It works anyway: taking advantage of the distraction, the person who hired him gets a Back Stab in on the mark, inflicting a serious but ultimately non-fatal wound.)
  • During a massive battle in The Wheel of Time series, Osan'gar/Aginor gets the idea to sneak up on Rand and Nynaeve and grab the power-amplifying Choedan Kal access keys away from them. Unfortunately, while Osan'gar can hold his own in a one-on-one fight, he is a Mad Scientist who has never been anywhere near a real battlefield. Predictability (and death by friendly fire) ensues.
    ...he began to skulk from tree to tree in what he imagined was a stealthy manner. It was toward the key that he skulked.
  • A minor example in An Unwelcome Quest: Gary demonstrates, in detail, his technique for moving around without making noise. The rest of the group gets it, but asks if they have to repeatedly whisper "Silently" while doing so like Gary did.
  • In Paths of Darkness of the Drizzt series the legendarily skilled assassin Entreri arranges an even duel between him and Drizzt in an attempt to finally see which one of them is a better fighter. After he loses, he charges Drizzt from behind, shouting, and only survives because one of his allies protects him. Drizzt later concludes that he was trying to die.
  • A large number of characters in James Fenimore Cooper's novels announce their presence by stepping on dry twigs. Mark Twain roundly mocked this, and other features of Cooper's work, in his critical essay Fenimore Coopers Literary Offences.
  • A variation appears in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Holmes; when their investigation of Dr. Jekyll takes Holmes and Watson to an Edinburgh brothel to interview the madam, Dr. Watson — as a respectable gentleman — is a bit self-conscious and tries to approach the location in as stealthy and unnoticed a fashion as possible. However, his attempt at stealth is so laughably ostentatious that Holmes, amused, tells him he might as well just walk in there normally, since anyone who might recognize Watson would also have to explain his own presence at the brothel, and Holmes and Watson at least have a legitimate reason to be there.
  • In the Magic: The Gathering novel Ravnica, Agrus Kos tries to throw a spear into a half-demon's back while it is distracted. Unfortunately, he shouts as he throws it, causing the half-demon to turn around in time to block it.
    Agrus Kos: Oops.
    Bell Borca: Yeah, next time don't yell first.
  • Discworld:
    • Extremely played straight in The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. Wrong Genre Savvy Malicia lives her life trying to apply storybook logic to real life. So in one scene when she's trying to be stealthy, the book describes her thought process of how if you are going to be stealthy, you ought to make it very obvious how stealthy you're being so anyone who sees you knows you're being stealthy and shouldn't notice you. So she "sneaks" around in cartoonishly exaggerated and highly obvious fashion, completely oblivious to the bemused stares she's attracting.
      Maurice and Keith just walked along behind her. No-one even looked at them.
    • Captain Carrot is doing the same thing at the start of Night Watch, though he doesn't mean to. Carrot is just so honest he can't help it, and to make matters worse, he's The Hero and therefore always the center of attention whether he wants to be or not.
      Oh, he ducked and crept, and against all logic that made him more noticeable. He didn't understand the art of thinking himself invisible.
    • Another example: Crispin Horsefry in Going Postal sneaks off to a meeting one night, and the Igor who welcomes him offers:
      Igor: Allow me to take your highly notitheable black cloak, thur.
  • In Robin Jarvis' Deptford Mice book The Dark Portal, Arthur, Oswald, and Twit sneak into the sewers to look for Audrey. While Arthur and Oswald are trying to be as quiet as possible and warn Twit to do the same, he instead shouts Audrey's name as loudly as he can in spite of knowing that there are bloodthirsty rats around who would definitely hear them. And they do. They're almost killed before they happen to be rescued by Audrey and Piccadilly.
  • In the Warrior Cats series, there's a scene in Eclipse where RiverClan cats attempt to sneak through ThunderClan's territory. Unused to thick undergrowth, they make a lot of noise just walking through, and then they have a whispered argument about how noisy they're being.
  • In David Lubar's Hidden Talents, Martin, pretending to be asleep, sees Torchie sneak back to bed "with all the grace of a moose on a floor of marbles".
  • Discussed, and later averted, in The Warrior's Apprentice, when Miles Vorkosigan is taking his first ship.
    Miles: You know, it might be better if we don't yell, going in. It's startling. It's bound to be a lot easier to hit people if they're not jumping around and ducking behind things.
    Mayhew: They do it that way on the vids...
    Miles: [who had originally been planning his own first rush very much along the lines just demonstrated, and for much the same reason] I guess it just doesn't look very heroic to sneak up behind somebody and shoot them in the back. I can't help thinking it would be more efficient, though.
  • In Secret City, the protagonist, mercenary Artyom, sneaks on powerful sorceress Kara about to merge herself with his soon-to-be-girlfriend Inga, aims his gun... and yells "Leave her alone!" As the narration puts it, this act was probably a result of a minor concussion he received minutes ago, and it nearly resulted in a Mutual Kill as Kara blasted Artyom across the room with a shower of magical arrows, gruesomely tearing him up, and he let out an erratic bullet spray that mortally wounded Kara and destroyed her Merging Machine. Artyom, however, survived due to some other Kara's enemies sending him through an emergency portal to hospital.
  • In Assassin's Creed: Forsaken, Haytham Kenway, the protagonist of the novel, finds himself on the receiving end of one. When infiltrating a Corsican farmyard converted into a rebel base in order to kidnap Lucio (a 21 year old farmhand who is guarded by an Assassin) he encounters a group of Genoese scouts. After avoiding them, he hears a Genoese strike force moving thought the forest aiming to kill the rebels at the aforementioned base he decides to assist the soldiers by killing two of the five sentries patrolling the perimeter due to the fact that the soldiers' (unlike their far more sensible and covert scouts) attempt to stealthily approach the base involves marching loudly and clumsily through the forest while swearing loudly in Italian. Due to this and the fact that the soldiers had split into two groups as to take the rebels by surprise, the soldiers are spotted and the rebels quickly mobilise, including Lucio's bodyguard, who decides to help the rebels and risk leaving Lucio unguarded. Haytham decides to take advantage of the ensuing chaos by walking into the base in dark clothing and acting like an associate of the Assassins in order to convince Lucio to willingly come with him. Due to Lucio's altruism and apparent fear of his mother, this fails and Haytham has to resort to incapacitating him via a sleeper hold in order to get him to the Templar headquarters in France.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "Time and the Rani", a monster spends an episode and a half stalking the heroes, then finally gets the drop on them, pops up from behind a rock a foot away, and roars triumphantly for ten seconds.
    • Going back further: In "The Mind Robber", Jamie sees a Redcoat and charges at him with his knife — only as he does so he roars his battle cry "Creag an tuire!", alerting the Redcoat to his presence, who then turns and shoots him dead on. Fortunately they are in the Land of Fiction, so instead of dying Jamie is turned into a cardboard cutout.
    • He's still doing it the very last time we see him in his original run as a companion in "The War Games" (he has the partial excuse of the Time Lords having wiped his memory of most of his time with the Doctor, but it seems an automatic response regardless). The Doctor, viewing Jamie's antics remotely, chuckles with amusement.
  • Star Trek:
    • The "silent countdown" mode for the Self-Destruct Mechanism in the various series seems to apply here. While the application seems obvious enough (by having a self-destruct that won't alert the enemies as it counts down), this is ruined by the fact that it has a ship-wide alert declaring that it's been activated. Strangely, in at least one episode of Star Trek: Voyager, the silent countdown of the auto-destruct apparently worked perfectly, including no announcement over the ship's comm system to alert the bad guys — or the rest of the crew. That being said, it's called a silent countdown, and not a silent self-destruction sequence.
    • In Star Trek: Enterprise the Xindi are constructing a massive super-weapon capable of destroying Earth, all this before Humans even knew they existed. Instead of building the thing and then launching it wiping humanity out before they knew what hit them, they send a prototype which informs humanity of their existence and opens them to attack.
  • Rose in Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, while invisible, decides to yell out while she's attacking. Invisibility attacks do not work like that.
  • Subverted in Monty Python's Flying Circus in one sketch where a married couple is in bed and the wife is being courted by a succession of paramours who sneak into the bedroom (including a Mexican rhythm combo, who actually ask the husband where his wife is). Several times the husband wakes up, asking if his wife just heard something, and the wife assures him it was just the plumbing or a tree branch outside, excuses he always happily accepts. He eventually gets up to use the bathroom, somehow missing the roomful of people as he does so. (The "punchline", in typical Python fashion, is deliberately anticlimactic: in a cut to the bathroom, we see the husband is having an illicit tryst of his own, but is worried his wife is starting to suspect something.)
  • MythBusters:
    • The narrator invokes it when Jamie tries to move silently through an airduct using magnets. Magnets that were clanging with the air ducts:
      Rob Lee: [US Narrator] Here's some key phrases from the surreptitious entry heist manual: Be the breeze [CLANG]. As light as a feather [CLANG]. The footfall of a kitten [CLANG].
      Adam: Why, Thor, the god of thunder is trying to enter my building!
    • Invoked by Adam in the Escape From Alcatraz myth:
      Adam: [while pounding on seam of escape raft with a mallet: bang bang bang] Wait! Was that a guard? [beat] No! [BANG BANG BANG]note 
    • Another prison escape myth (can salsa be used to erode through the bars) had Adam making a very noisy drill from a vacuum he "stole."
    • In the safe cracking myth, it was mentioned that the safe is stated to take professional safe crackers five minutes to crack. Of course, it is also shown that the professionals don't need to worry about stealth, so it is less "putting your ear to hear the tumblers move" (or even "pry off the lock and push the tumblers into place with wire", which, unlike the stethoscope method, actually worked) and more "smash it with sledge hammers."
  • One of the many reasons the Babylon 5 episode "Grey 17 Is Missing" is considered one of the worst episodes of the show is that the "ultimate predator" is about as subtle as a sledgehammer in a bell factory. At least part of it was the director's fault, as J. Michael Straczynski had called for a Nothing Is Scarier approach where the monster was always in shadow, but the director chose to show the monster in too much light.
  • Pixelface: After Alexia destroys Clairparker's favourite shirt, Kiki loans Clairparker one of her outfits. After Claireparker wears it in her game, she discovers it very hard to hide from zombies when your outfit literally lights up and glows in the dark.
  • Let the Blood Run Free had Matron Dorothy Conniving-Bitch, who snuck around while saying "Sneak sneak sneak sneak sneak". Subverted only by virtue of it being the least OTT thing about the show.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This causes problems when the Scooby Gang work with special forces soldier Riley Finn. Riley works for the Initiative, a Government Agency of Fiction that tracks down demons and vampires to capture them alive for experimentation, whereas Buffy and her friends act as The Bait to lure them into attacking so they can be killed. This means Riley has to tell off the Scoobies for munching chips and talking loudly while he's trying to sneak through a graveyard.
  • In Firefly, after Zoe spends several minutes lecturing a newbie about the importance of stealth and silence on the battlefield, Mal comes running in, screaming challenges and firing randomly.
    Zoe: 'Course there are other schools of thought.
  • In Galavant Galavant and Richard go to kill Kingsley, while getting increasingly drunk and singing loudly about their secret mission. It's been established that musical numbers in the show are really happening and are quite noticeable to those around them, so it's no surprise they get caught. Although, to their credit, the first time they encounter guards, they do manage to sneak past them quite effectively.
  • On The Wire, 221 Towers is put under surveillance for the first time but Kima doesn't like doing stakeout duty with Carver and Herc because they "got no creep".
  • Odd Squad: Noisemaker wears a variety of instruments all over his body that makes sounds whenever he moves. When the gang of villains are attempting to sneak through Squad headquarters in "Flawed Squad", the others keep turning to stare at him because of the noise. He thinks it's because of his heavy breathing.

  • In Jemjammer, when Vicky asks why Annie keeps failing stealth rolls, she points out that Jylliana is wearing noisy chain mail. This lack of stealth comes up a few times.
    Annie: I go clink clank clink clonk!

    Puppet Shows 
  • From the obscure '00s Puppet sitcom Greg the Bunny, Tardy the Turtle was told to be quiet during a paintball game so he wouldn't give away their position. He affirms that he understands, then starts singing "I am singing the quiet song, the quiet song, the quiet song."
  • In the Jim Henson television special The Tale of the Bunny Picnic, the song "Bunny Stew" is sung by the farmer's dog as he is following Bean. Most of the lyrics are about how stealthy the dog is being, and despite him singing them rather loudly, Bean doesn't seem to notice him.

  • Bleak Expectations: At one point, series Big Bad Mr. Benevolent employs a gang of Cockney thief boys to rob unsuspecting Londoners of their valuables. This is accomplished by sending a drugged-out opium addict to distract a mark with small talk, as the boys surround them, before yelling out "Nick it, nick it, nick it!" and running away with their loot. The one time anyone notices, they shrug it off on the justification that the kids' needs were greater. After the kids not only took their stuff, but also all their clothes as well.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Marshal base class from the Miniatures Handbook motivates others with his force of personality. Mechanically, this is done by auras which allow him to apply his Charisma modifier to various checks. You can choose an aura which adds to Dexterity-based checks and skill checks, which means that you can make a party sneak better by telling them to be quiet. When combined with a Bard ACF that allows them to play a song granting bonuses to Move Silently, the results are hilarious.
    • In a more general sense, hilarity can ensue if an attempted stealthy action gets a 1 on the diceroll. It can turn a perfectly-executed daylight assassination which leaves no evidence into the character running at the target while screaming "I AM AMBUSHING YOU!!!" and then tripping over their own feet.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer on how to take out an enemy scout: "Recite the Litany of Stealth to decrease your chances of being heard". However, if one looks in the back of the book, where the litanies, blessings, and prayers are, one will note the absence of a "Litany of Stealth". In other words, to kill an enemy scout without being heard, shut the frak up! There is, however, the Prayer of Invisibility (which is to be whispered), used when hiding in ambush.
    • It's mentioned that Ork camps can easily be sneaked up on by bands of Chaos Marines, since seeing intruders makes all Orks "WAAGGH ATTAK!" rather than "raise alarm." Gunfire doesn't attract much attention either, since random shots are the norm rather than the exception.
    • It's well known that Blood Axe Clan Orks know that camouflage is good, but not what makes good camouflage. Therefore they like to slap it on everything and use strong, contrasting colours so you can see it better.
  • Warhammer gives us an Orc army that was briefly famous for their stealthy night raids until the boyz started bellowing the new battlecry: "Youz can't see us!".
  • Ninja Burger gives players a bonus to attacks if they're willing to shout a sufficiently impressive Battle Cry during combat... the instruction manual notes that this is entirely antithetic to Ninjutsu, and even the game itself (where just being seen at all requires the player character to cut off a finger in dishonor), but it's what the Ninja do in movies, so that's what the game runs with.
  • Discussed in BattleTech in the write-up of a type of Battle Armor that's designed for reconnaissance. The suit has a higher ground speed than most BA suits of similar size but lacks jump jets because noisily rocketing up to the height of a five story building on a column of fire tends to give your presence away to the enemy no matter how much stealth gear you use.
  • In Paranoia, Friend Computer is happy to assist before you even ask! This extremely helpful and welcome assistance can take the form of playing jaunty tunes perfect for sneaking to during a stealth mission.

  • The Pirates of Penzance:
    • The Trope Namer is the eponymous parodic song from Gilbert and Sullivan's play. In it, the title pirates are sneaking up on Major-General Stanley's house, while singing at the top of their lungs (it's marked fortississimo in the score and has trumpets and crashing cymbals) about how quiet and sneaky they are being, with the occasional "shush! quiet!" for good measure.
      With cat-like tread (KER-THUMP!)
      Upon our prey we steal (KER-THUMP!)
      In silence dread (KER-THUMP!)
      Our cautious way we feel (KER-THUMP!)
      We never speak a word (KER-THUMP!)
      A fly's foot-fall would be DISTIIINCTLY heard.... (TRUMPETS)
    • On top of all this, it's even a subversion — the sleeping Major-General "thought he heard a noise," goes out to check, completely fails to notice the pirates and policemen hiding about the house, and is about to go back to bed when his daughters wake up and... well, just go see the show.
    • To further reinforce the trope, Gilbert and Sullivan stealthily made use of the famous Anvil Chorus theme for the chorus of the song.
      Policemen and Pirates: He thought he heard a noise... HA HA!
    • And the lines quoted above are followed by the policemen accompanying them ("Tarantara, tarantara") without the pirates realizing the policemen are there. Definitely Oper(ett)a Logic there. And shortly after the end of the song, the Pirates move to hide, singing the line "Yes yes, the Major General comes". It's then repeated by the Policemen. Then it's repeated by the Major General himself, as he leaves his house.
    • Modern G&S adaptations like to ratchet up the absurdity even more:
      • In some productions for the chorus, they'll pull out hats with brightly glittering sequins and start a chorus line. There's a particularly good example here. The fun really starts around the two minute mark.
      • One Broadway production has the Pirate King "accidentally" strike a cymbal in the Orchestra pit with his sword, even before the song starts.
      • In one version a pirate actually discusses the plot with a policeman during the song, without ever realizing that it is a policeman!
      • In another version, the pirates start robbing the General while his back is turned, carrying a harp, a large statue, a large painting, and a suit of armor. Then the police chief pretends to be the suit of armor and they cart him off.
      • This version has a kilted pirate getting the burglar tools dropped on his foot, yelling and hopping around a bit, as if they weren't loud enough already.
      • The King's Singers, an a capella group, once covered the Trope Namer on a G&S tribute album. They missed the point and sang very quietly. It was terribly disappointing.
  • The Aria most likely to be listed as the intended target of G&S's parodic attack is "Écoute, compagnon, écoute" from Carmen. A very loud song about how sneaky you have to be to smuggle cigarettes.
  • In Les Misérables, Jean Valjean sneaks out of the Bishop's house after stealing the silver... and is immediately captured.
    Took the silver, took my flight!
  • In the Broadway musical Falsettos, a sweet moment in the hospital between Whizzer and Marvin is interrupted by their friends, whose dialogue of increasing decibels is as followed:
    Dr Charlotte: Sh... Maybe he's tired.
    Cordelia: Sh... Maybe he's waiting for us.
    Charlotte: Sh... Maybe he's waiting for a visit
By this point, Marvin and Whizzer have heard them, and welcome the two in to complete the romantic quarter.

    Video Games 
  • In General, any game that offers the player an Optional Stealth mission. The player can show off their skill beating the mission without any enemy noticing them, or just go in Guns Blazing.
  • Assassin's Creed: Revelations:
    • The Templar Stalkers come with a Scare Chord and yell "Die Assassin!" before they try to kill you. They're really easy to counter, and that usually involves jamming their own daggers into their own mouths.
    • Thugs and Harlequins in Brotherhood will run up to you, then start a short cut scene to announce their presence.
  • Los Illuminados in Resident Evil 4 would often laugh or say "I got you!" in Gratuitous Spanish when trying to sneak up behind you. Some of them actually shout "Behind you, you idiot!" in Spanish. Then again, maybe they were just too crazy to understand the benefits of a stealthy approach.
  • Somehow, The Legend of Zelda's Link can always stay unnoticed as long as he's out of sight no matter how loudly he grunts and screams.
  • Happens occasionally in online multiplayer games where the characters speak. Sneaking up on people in Gears of War gets hard when one of your teammates (here's looking at you Cole) suddenly yells "Oh YEAH baby!" A similar effect happened in Star Wars: Battlefront 2, where Jedi/Sith characters would randomly say phrases, which, in Jedi to Jedi matches, could really screw up a surprise attack.
  • In Splinter Cell multiplayer mode, enemies can hear your real-world teamspeak if you don't keep it down.
  • Performed masterfully in Metal Gear Solid, where four invisible mooks that are on the elevator with Snake, literally close enough to reach out and touch him from the moment he steps on, must sit and wait for our hero to riddle out what's going on in an absurd fashion over the radio despite the fact that all four of them have machine guns. Conforming to the mook code even further, one of the mooks announces their presence after the hero has already figured out what's going on with a hearty, "Too late, Snake. Now you die!" Of course no, no he doesn't. Even stranger in that they can't hear what he is saying over the radio, since codec communications directly stimulate the receivers they are tuned into. He's talking but they can't hear it.
  • Fallout 3 companions can complicate the stealth approach by hollering to the enemy, "Come on out and let's fight face to face!"
    • The Prototype Medic Armor is a lovely set of Powered Armor that protects you from radiation and gives you morphine when you need it... and if it notices an enemy anywhere in the vicinity, roars out, "TIME TO KICK SOME ASS!" at the top of its lungs. Thankfully, the Stealth Unit Med X is completely quiet.
    • You can also sneak around (with enemies perfectly oblivious, with a perfect Sneak score and the right items) with your Pip-Boy radio blaring music, news, propaganda, or the nearest distress signal. But God help you if your Pip-Boy's light is on. Except in New Vegas, where with Lonesome Roadnote  you can take the "Broad Daylight" perk that actually gives you bonus points to your Sneak skill when the light is on, to offset the penalty to sneaking you otherwise get from attempting that.
    • Fallout: New Vegas continues this; whenever you crouch (start "sneaking"), your companions will say something to mark the occurrence. Depending on the companion and which of their lines happens to play, this can range from a whispered word of agreement, to a full sentence at normal volume, to shouting. None of it affects your stealthiness. The funny thing is that Lily, a Super Mutant who shouts out how she knows how to keep quiet is actually the stealthiest of the companions since she'll activate a Stealth Boy upon sneaking.
    • Also played straight in both games with certain melee weapons. In 3, all melee weapons are considered quiet, so nobody notices anything when you use a rotary saw to dismember a person right next to them. New Vegas is worse, as it adds actual chainsaws, punch-triggered shotguns, and glowing energy axes to what guards fail to notice.
  • In BioShock, it's not always easy to see splicers slinking around the darkened corridors. They make life considerably simpler by constantly mumbling gibberish to themselves. This includes spider splicers, whose stealth is supposed to be their strong point. This is, however, probably justified by them all being quite insane.
    • Which makes the Plastered Splicers (stronger Spider Splicers looking like statues) in Fort Frolic the possibly scariest enemies in the game. Not only can they disguise themselves as statues (or just spawn right behind you), they are the only enemies attacking in absolute silence.
  • In the first two Brothers in Arms games, when ordering the placement of your squads in an ambush, the player character would bellow loudly, even if the enemy was quite close and not alerted of your presence. The third game, Hell's Highway, averts this tendency by introducing a situational mechanic that makes the player character whisper to his squadmates if the enemy is unaware.
  • When pirates raid a town in Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song, their Leitmotif is blaring the entire time. Loudly. Good luck taking out That One Boss with pirates chanting ORE TACHI KAIZOKU at the top of their lungs in the background...
  • Disgaea:
    • In Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, Flonne sneaks into Laharl's castle while she loudly provides the sound effects ("Nin nin nin!") for her own sneaking. Strangely enough, it works for the most part. Mostly because the Prinny guards were out partying.
    • Turns out this trait runs in the bureau from time to time. In Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten, Vulcanus does this at some point in the exact same manner.
  • Brought up by Minsc in Baldur's Gate when using stealth:
    None shall see me, though my battlecry may give me away.
  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Carl and Ryder are ready to break into a war veteran's house and steal as much as possible; Carl suggests sneaking in rather than taking the place by storm. Ryder agrees that it's a smart idea, but then follows this up by howling "COME OUT YOU OLD BASTARD!" at the house.
  • The Thor in StarCraft II brings up this trope in one of its Stop Poking Me! quotes.
    • The Flying Machine in Warcraft III has a similar quote:
    "They'll never hear me coming!" *aircraft engine splutters*
    • Also the Pit Lord from the expansion pack:
    "I think a certain... finesse is called for here. GRRRAAAAAGGGGHHH!!!!!" *sounds of violent killing and screaming*
  • Can happen via Gameplay and Story Segregation in Mass Effect 2, given the existence of a stealth mode and Commander Shepard's habit of loudly exclaiming whenever he/she finds some variety of weapon or loot. The volume of these exclamations seems to be unintentional, though, as they are considerably louder than most other examples of in-game dialogue.
  • In the final portion of King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!'', you're sneaking through the evil wizard's castle and one of the things you can interact with is a gigantic pipe organ, which will of course end up alerting the wizard to your presence and get you force choked to death.
  • In the climax of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Emperor Palpatine is trying to tempt Starkiller to turn to the Dark Side when Rahm Kota breaks his bonds, screams "No!", steals Palpatine's lightsaber with the Force, and lunges at the Emperor. Palpatine looks up, momentary bewildered, before blasting Kota mid-lunge with Force Lightning, indicating that his attack could have worked if he hadn't yelled. On the plus side this does distract Palpatine long enough for Starkiller to break his bonds, so it wasn't completely pointless.
  • In League of Legends:
    • Teemo has the ability to stealth when standing still. This is very helpful if the enemy doesn't see you turn invisible in a blatantly obvious manner. In which case he will stand right next to you, call in his team and you will be subjected to a large number of area effect spells and die.
      • There's also a video of a Teemo who stealthed in a bush, waiting to ambush an enemy at the start of the game, and made the mistake of using his taunt emote as the enemy walked by. While this didn't break stealth, the enemy did hear it, letting him know Teemo was in the area and allowing him to guess exactly where he was.
    • Aurelion Sol becomes invisible in bushes like any other champion- but his passive (three stars orbiting his location) remains visible, clearly marking his location.
  • Sonic Heroes brings us this gem:
    Espio: Hey, they're asleep so stay quiet and move slowly...
    Charmy: OK!!
    Vector: Whaddya doing! Be quiet!
  • In Team Fortress 2, inexperienced spies frequently end up dying because they use mic chat while disguised, putting a speech balloon above their character that's their real team's color and ruining the disguise. The decloaking noise for the default Invis Watch is also pretty loud, and a replacement "Pocket Watch" which allows you to fake your death is even louder. In a subversion, when disguised any keyboard voice command will be in the correct voice for that disguise. This includes announcing that you've found a spy. Fun thing to watch as long as there's no pyro's nearby.
    • This can also happen to an extent with other classes if a player micspams or over uses keyboard commands while trying to sneak up on other players. More than one Scout has met their end because their player couldn't resists spamming the "Medic!" button and tipped off a nearby enemy to their presence.
      • This only matters in Alltalk servers (all players can hear each other's mics, regardless of whose team they are on), which nobody would take seriously enough to matter anyway.
    • Heck, a good spy can disguise as a scout, waltz up to a engineer and spam NEED A DISPENSAH HEAH. And, thanks to the fact that actual scout players really do that, it's one of the better ways to make it seem you're not a spy. Yes, that means proper stealth around engineers can involve running up to them and screaming in their face.
      • It works even better by disguising as the biggest possible disguise and shouting POOTISPENSERHERE over and over since your speed won't give you away.
      • Spamming the "negative" reaction disguised as the engineer is surprisingly convincing, since distressed engies yelling "Dammit fellas! Dammit dagnabit!" is actually pretty common.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind's Tribunal expansion kicks off when you are attacked in your sleep by a Dark Brotherhood assassin. Despite being renowned throughout Tamriel for their skill as assassins, this one evidently isn't very good... First, you awaken to "a loud noise," then the assassin yells at you as he attacks.
    • Skyrim:
      • It is far too easy to do this yourself by means of forgetting to change your active Shout for something more discreet. You wanted to use Aura Whisper? Too bad - you left Unrelenting Force as your active Shout, making every guard/Draugr in earshot home in on you.
      • During the quest "Repentance", you're infiltrating a hag coven with Ilia, the daughter of their leader, who wants to put an end to them. Since she was sent to procure a human sacrifice (for the ritual to transform her mother into a hagraven), she suggests that you pretend to be the sacrifice and act as a distraction, and then Ilia will strike her down from behind. This goes all according to plan up until she's about to strike, at which point she announces her plan and apologizes to her mother for having to kill her. Predictably, this completely spoils the opportunity and turns mommy hostile. (And since you're at that point seated on a chair and have to spend a few seconds going through the "dismount chair" animation, you end up taking a few spells to the face before you can act properly.) Better option? Allow Ilia to present you as a sacrifice, and when mommy expects you to sit down so she can get to work, you strike her down. That's how surprise works.
      • A possible enemy encounter in the game is a Dark Brotherhood assassin out for the Dragonborn's blood. They usually are really no sneakier than any good old bandit. Apparently, this guns blazing approach is surprisingly common in the Brotherhood - some of the members are Destruction mages, despite the fact that their spells tend to involve loud and flashy fireballs and lightning bolts.
      • Speaking of the Dark Brotherhood, should the Dragonborn choose to join them, you can also invoke this trope on your targets. All minor assassinations that don't require a specific method allow you to speak to the target and tell them you're there to kill them. Shockingly, this is actually one of the best "assassination" methods, as the target will attack you, despite most likely not standing a shadow of a chance against you, and then you can kill them in "self-defense" without incurring a bounty.
  • In Street Fighter X Tekken, Raven is halfway through outlining his plan to distract and sneak up on Vega and Balrog when his partner Yoshimitsu leaps at them yelling at the top of his voice. It's honourable, apparently.
  • Final Fantasy VII can allow the player to pull this. When outside the Shinra building, Tifa and Barret suggest different plans for how to get to the upper floors to save Aerith. Tifa wants to sneak in the back and take the stairs, avoiding fights with Shinra soldiers, while Barret just wants to burst in the front door, guns blazing. The player can then make Cloud agree with Tifa in the Dialogue Tree, only to instead follow Barret's plan.
  • In the original Doom, you can sneak around while carrying a running chainsaw. Just don't punch the air with your bare fist, that makes enough noise to alert monsters. Monsters that haven't been alerted to you don't care if they see other monsters growling at and attacking you, either - with a mod that adds proper sound-detection for weapons (e.g. Brutal Doom making the fists actually silent), this can lead to a zombie totally ignoring a nearby imp suddenly exploding into bloody chunks right in front of him.
  • The Pokémon Zorua and Zoroark can disguise themselves as a teammate with their Illusion ability. A human player will realize what's up if it uses its own Secret Art or an attack the Pokemon it's imitating doesn't know.
  • In Half Life 1 marine commanders occasionally yell at their men to quiet down with their usual loud radio-distorted voices.
  • In Xenoblade, Riki is prone to screaming "Riki sneaky!" when activating his "Sneaky" skill, a special attack that deals more damage when hitting enemies from behind. This doesn't actually affect enemies' perception of him, though.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles X most enemies won't notice you unless you enter their line of sight, regardless of how much noise you're making. This leads to such situations as "infiltrating" an enemy camp while piloting a 30 foot tall mech. In some cases it's even possible to start a battle and wipe out a group of enemies without the sentries noticing you because they happen to be facing the other direction.
  • PAYDAY 2 has DLC achievements that are all about intentionally doing this and still successfully sneaking. The OVERKILL Pack has one for completing the stealth-only Shadow Raid heist while using the Vulcan Minigun and HRL-7 rocket launcher, which is appropriately named "I Have No Idea What I'm Doing". The Butcher's AK/CAR Mod Pack has another one for completing Art Gallery in stealth within four minutes while wearing the heaviest armor in the game, in which cameras will spot you near-instantly and guards will hear you from rather far away.
    • The Scarface Character Pack DLC includes a new melee weapon: a chainsaw. It has the absolute WORST concealment stat in the game, even outweighing all other concealment bonuses that apply to a player. Plus, if it's charged, it constantly makes a revving noise... and yet, if you stalk a guard with it active, they won't even bat an eyelid.
  • Certain stages in Mega Man X (such as Magna Centipede) have a section where you have to sneak through, avoiding the searchlights or sensors that move around the stage. Oddly, only touching the lights will set off the enemies, not the loud vreeeeEEEEE-PSHOOOOWWW!! of firing a Charged Attack.
  • A major design element of Overwatch is that every hero (except Zenyatta, who floats) can be heard through walls; it can be very easy to hear Reaper (who wears big heavy boots) or Winston (a giant gorilla) attempting to sneak around you.
    • This became a bit obnoxious to some players when Sombra was added to the game, a character whose primary mechanic is stealth. Though it's not because of her footfalls, but because decloaking causes her to announce her presence to anyone within earshot. Alleviated somewhat when she got a buff that reduced the audible range of said proclamation, but the statement itself remains.
    • If the "Uprising" event is any indication, Reinhardt is prone to this.
    Mercy: Be quiet. We don't want to attract any unwanted attention.
  • In Dawn of War II, any unit that can infiltrate will loudly announce a certain line when they do so. This wouldn't be bad except every player hears it, including your opponents. Probably the worst offenders in this regard are the Space Marine Scouts:
    • Incidental dialogue by your units can also be heard by opponents from an impressive distance away, and large Commander units or vehicles crashing through objects and terrain make a loud racket. Both of these things can spoil an ambush, or warn a sharp opponent that you've got something coming their way through the Fog of War.
  • In the Harley Quinn DLC of Batman: Arkham Knight, Harley is incapable of silent takedowns since all of her stealth attacks involve her loudly braining her enemies with a bat.
  • Warframe:
    • It is entirely possible to get stealth kills with unsilenced weapons. How? With the mods, you can buff your weapon's damage output so high that they can kill enemies before their AI can even detect the gunshots. Given, the shots will alert other enemies in the area, but you're almost always guaranteed at least one stealth kill.
    • Octavia's Metronome ability grants buffs to her and allies for performing actions in time with her song. One of these, Nocturne, is an invisibility buff gained by crouching to the beat. Her music inexplicably doesn't count as noise to alert enemies, so the bard frame ironically ends up being one of the best for stealth.
  • In Middle-earth: Shadow of War, there are stealth missions you can send your orcs on. Most Orcs will be quiet in these missions, but if you send with the title of "Screamer" they will yell their lungs out.
  • It becomes a viable tactic in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty if there's only one guard in the room or you get one far enough away from his buddies. You can run in loudly and jump-kick his ass, since even if he sees you beforehand if you knock him out before he radios for back-up and nobody else hears his cries for help naturally you'll get no alert phase and it won't count as being spotted. Since it was a massive GameBreaking tactic (you could quite literally say "to hell with stealth" and run through rooms cartwheeling guards and get through unscathed) later games added an Obvious Rule Patch where being spotted no matter what triggers an alert phase, and taking a guard out before he radios for help only delays reinforcements.
  • Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery: A valuable flying broom goes missing, and Skye Parkin accuses a rival House's Beater of stealing it. She decides to take the player character along to search for the broom in the other House's common room. You'd expect Skye Parkin to search QUIETLY, peeking under the furniture WITHOUT moving it, to avoid being heard by the Head of House. But nooo, she just HAD to start flipping furniture and making a huge racket that gets her and the player character caught and landed in detention!

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • When Caboose goes to sneak by the Red Base, he makes a fairly good job of it except for the fact that he loudly whispers "I am sneaking, I am sneaking..." as he moves a matter of metres away from the Red team-members. And then he moves his piece of cover with him, right along Grif's line of sight. Amazingly, Grif is the only one who seems to notice anything.
    • Also happens when Tex, Tucker, and Church are assaulting a compound. Tex rather unstealthily dispatches several guards who continuously scream and fire their weapons, and none of the other guards seem to notice. Until Tucker talks.
    • Grif does this in season 15 when breaking into the Blues and Reds' base. It gets him caught and thrown into prison. But it was, in his words, "a pretty fucking sweet diversion" for Locus, who frees him along with the rest of the Reds and Blues.
  • Dr. Schnoz's "blimp thing" in GEOWeasel is bright red and giant, yet still tries to convince the people seeing it "you never saw us".
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, the Ultramarines' idea of "stealth" when returning the Artifacts of Vulkan to the Salamanders is to drive a gigantic tank right through the Salamanders' fortress-monastery while blasting their theme song, smash it through a wall into the Forgefather's bedroom, then beat a retreat while screaming about their own glory a bit quieter than usual. The Salamanders fail to notice.
    [Stolen Land Raider thunders past a pair of Salamander Terminators with the Ultramarines Chant blasting at full volume]
    Salamander 1: It's really quiet today.
    Salamander 2: YES!
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls:
    • The human counterparts of Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie have essentially the same experience as the namesake ponies (see below) in the "Pinkie Spy" short.
      • Pinkie Pie's attempts at stealth are more conspicuous than anything else, with party balloons and a giant boom mic being just the tip of the iceberg. Her ridiculous outfits include a wig looking like a bush, a tree disguise, a bunny suit... and the "camouflage" one, looking like army fatigues but entirely in shades of pink.
        Rainbow Dash: That's, like, the opposite of camouflage!
      • Not that Rainbow Dash is much better. Beside her abuse of the Unnecessary Combat Roll, when upset at Pinkie she starts yelling that they need to stay quiet. Of course, her shouting eventually gets them noticed.
    • Rainbow Dash still hasn't learned by Holidays Unwrapped, where she bursts out of a snowman to pelt Rarity with snowballs... by yelling first "SNEAK ATTACK... that you aren't expecting." Naturally, Rarity sees the snowballs coming and stops them with a diamond shield.
  • Given that he has No Indoor Voice (or as Strong Bad puts it, "zero volume control"), any time Strong Mad of Homestar Runner needs to be quiet leads to this.
    Strong Bad: [whispering] Hey, biggest bro. Mom says to keep it down 'cause baby Strong Sad's sleeping.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • Lampshaded in Demyx Time, with Demyx proposing that the entire Organization sneaks up on Sora and ambushes him, screaming "ATTACK!". He's laughed at, until Marluxia proposes that they all take it in turns to monologue in front of him before attacking. Xemnas commends this approach. Demyx tries to get some credibility back by suggesting that they all sidle up, before suddenly screaming "We are NOT going to attack you!" Needless to say, not a lot of progress is made.
  • Freddie Wong of course parodies this in SplinterCell: Light Bulb Assassin.
  • To Boldly Flee:
    • Lupa asks Todd to very discreetly keep an eye on Linkara and Nostalgia Chick to see if they're up to anything, and he confidently assures her that he's a ninja. And cut to:
      Todd: Hey! Linkara! Nostalgia Chick! Are you guys doing anything evil and/or suspicious in there?
    • By the same token, Mechakara's assimilation of the crew goes unnoticed by almost everyone despite openly talking about how he wants them to fail and making two members of the crew look like Seven of Nine and RoboCop, so the latter can't even move without constant robot noises.
  • Vinesauce: During Vinny's streams of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, one of the tracks on his helicopter just has the sounds of Loud Nigra, leading to the glorious sight of a screaming helicopter trying to be stealthy.
  • One of the many criticism leveled at DarksydePhil is his complete failure at stealth games. He never accounts for the enemy's situational awareness, instead simply trying to dash right past them and always acting shocked when he gets spotted.

    Western Animation 
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Moody Foodie", as the Belcher Kids follow Bob on his way to the food critic's house, they loudly Stage Whisper "Stalking Dad! Quietly! Stalking Dad! Quietly!"
  • The Simpsons:
    • Variation: the Kwik-E-Mart's silent alarm shouts "SILENT ALARM ACTIVATED!!" when put into use.
    • In "Curse of the Flying Hellfish", Fernando Vidal, in his third attempt to kill Grandpa Simpson, attempts a stealth assassination attempt, but eventually comes in guns-a-blazing. Grandpa lives, since the nurse was packing.
    • Chief Wiggum explains to Kent Brockman how he is going to end a hostage situation.
      Wiggum: Well, we have an officer sneaking around the house, Kent, so unless they have a television in there or can hear my loud talking...
      [Eddie runs out from behind the house, holding his arm after a gun shot]
      Eddie: Ow, ow, ow, ow!
      Wiggum: Well, I guess that answers that, doesn't it?
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In the episode "Clams", where Mr. Krabs loses his millionth dollar during a fishing trip.
      Squidward: If we're really quiet, we can sneak over to the lifeboat.
      [cue SpongeBob and Squidward raising one foot as if to stay quiet, then screaming and flailing their arms as they run towards the lifeboat]
    • In the episode "Secret Box," SpongeBob wants to find what is in Patrick's secret box by sneaking into Patrick's rock house while Patrick is asleep. Of course, SpongeBob makes incredibly loud noises. Surprisingly, Patrick sleeps through the racket, waking up only when SpongeBob lampshaded the situation.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Sokka has a problem with this. In the second episode, he charges dramatically at Zuko, club raised and screaming at the top of his lungs... and gets kicked into a pile of snow. Later, during training, he did the same thing to Aang, with the same result. He keeps trying, though. Points for tenacity, we guess.
      Aang: Sokka, sneak attacks don't work if you yell it out loud.
    • Hahn also seems to suffer from this, as demonstrated by his attempt to assassinate Zhao. He is disguised as a soldier and could have easily snuck up behind him, but instead opts to dramatically throw his helmet off, declare his intentions to "Admiral Choy", and charge at him. No points for guessing what happens next.
  • The bad guys in W.I.T.C.H. frequently ambush the Magical Girls — and every time, they lose surprise by pausing to cackle, show their claws, shout "It's Guardians! Get them!", etc. In a rare breach of Mook Chivalry, their archers do attack all at once; fortunately for the heroines, the archers all studied at the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy.
  • There was an episode of ¡Mucha Lucha! where Rikochet won a mariachi band for some reason, and they followed him everywhere, playing and singing. At one point he was late to school and had to sneak past an office - in an almost-subversion of the trope, he shushed them and got past. Immediately after that they burst into celebratory music, and he got caught.
  • Futurama had Bender shout, "prepare for a surprise attack!"
  • Family Guy:
    • At least once, Peter sings a typical movie sneaking song as he sneaks into an office. There's no one around to hear, but still.
    • When Carter loses his fortune in "Peterotica", he and Peter try to figure out how to make money. Peter suggests he steals cash from Lois' purse while he distracts her on a unicycle. As Carter reaches for it, he tells Peter "Ca-Caw. I've got her wallet. Ca-caw". When Lois turns around, he tells her to look at the unicycle.
  • Freakazoid! did a Shout Out to the Trope Namer while using the trope in "The Isle of Dr. Mystico."
  • A vintage Chuck Jones Looney Tunes cartoon The Dover Boys plays with this trope, as the Coward, Bully, Cad and Thief Dan Backslide sees the Dover Boys hiding under his pool table, and begins shouting his dastardly plans at the top of his lungs.
    Dan Backslide: The Dover Boys! Then Dora must be alone and UNPROTECTED!
    Dan Backslide: [whispers] A runabout! [screams] I'LL STEAL IT! NO-ONE WILL EVER KNOW!
  • Looney Tunes. In the earliest Elmer Fudd cartoon, though, he is actually making an effort to speak quietly.
    Elmer Fudd: Be vewy vewy quiet, I'm hunting wabbits! Hu-hu-hu-hu-hu-hu-uh!
  • An episode of Batman: The Animated Series had him teaming up with Harley Quinn against the Joker. As they were sneaking into his hideout, Harley is behind Batman saying "Sneak - Sneak - Sneak". She stops when Batman turns around and glares at her.
  • Similar to The Pirates of Penzance example above, one episode of Donkey Kong Country features Bluster Kong singing about how's going to steal the Crystal Coconut and use it to win Candy Kong's heart... while actually sneaking into Cranky's Cabin, where it's kept. He even shushes Cranky for making a noise while the old ape's dozing!
    Bluster Kong: Here I go creeping/Shh, don't make a sound
  • Chowder: "Mung will never hear us sneaking about over the noise of all these smashing plates!"
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the episode "Over a Barrel", Pinkie Pie utterly ruins Rainbow Dash's attempt at stealth by getting her so irritated that she yells at Pinkie to stay quiet. This, of course, gets them found out. Attempting stealth at all when sky blue or bright pink and hooved may count.
    • Then there's Pinkie Pie's attempt at stealth in "Party of One", which involves disguising herself as a hay bale. With Groucho Marx glasses. It takes Rainbow Dash all of half a second to see through it.
    • The season 6 finale "To Where and Back Again – Part 2" has Starlight, Trixie, Thorax and Discord sneak into the Changeling hive to save their friends. While they're sneaking around trying not to get caught, Discord shouts at the top of his lungs "I HAVE A FLUTTERSHY TO SAVE!" This echoes through the hive and the Changelings instantly close in on the group.
  • In Xiaolin Showdown while Jack Spicer sneaks though the Xiaolin Temple.
    Jack Spicer: When hunting the elusive Wu, you have to be as quiet as a cat. [trips over a potted plant] OW! OW! OW! OOH THAT HURT!
  • "O-U (The Hound Song)" from The Electric Company (1971) is an animated segment where a hound (voiced by Tom Lehrer) sings loudly about how he dare not make a sound.
  • The Big Knights: The Big Knights are not exactly stealthy. This is especially apparent when they don the hats of invisibility.
  • Invader Zim gives us the Megadoomer, a giant, heavily-armed assault vehicle equipped with its own cloaking device. Unfortunately, the stealth mode is offset by three factors; 1) It doesn't have a battery, so you need to plug it into something using a highly visible cord. 2) Each step it takes causes the Earth to shake. 3) the designers were obviously fans of Wonder Woman...
    Zim: Now, fight an enemy you cannot see!
    Dib: You're right there.
    Zim: What?
    Dib: There! Your mighty Irken cloaking device cloaks the robot, but not you.
    Zim: LIES! Now, behold the Doom Cannon!
    Dib: I can't. It's invisible.
    Zim: But you can see me?
    Dib: That's what I said.
    Zim: Oh, that's STUPID!
    • At one point in the movie, Zim's computer tells him that it doesn't have enough power to carry out the action he's ordered it to, so he tells it to take more power from their surroundings, but to be sneaky about it. It proceeds to shoot tentacles out of the base to drain power from all nearby buildings, all while yelling loudly how sneaky it's being.
    Computer: Entering sneaky mode! Sneaky! Sneaky! Sneaky!
  • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness: When told to follow Mantis back to his village in "Hometown Hero", Po does so enthusiastically. And loudly. Narrating every step of the way.
  • Robot Chicken sketches:
    • Dr. Mindbender ask some new recruits how they would assassinate a Joe in the field. After some practical plans, the last recruit says that he would use a cobra to kill the Joe and loudly scream COBRA!. Mindbender agrees with this plan.
    • In ''Hogan's Heroes", Hogan tells Roddy Piper he needs his stealth to take the guard out quietly. Roddy starts by loudly addressing the officer, "Hey hey hey, ya fuckin' Nazi!" He is anything but quiet as Hogan Face Palms.
    • Two of the Mandarin's mooks are on guard duty. They comment how easy it is to detect Iron Man trying to infiltrate the base now that they removed all the carpets. They start hearing loud clanging foot falls. One asks the other if they should sound the alarm, he replies that he still sounds quite far off so there's no rush.
  • In The Super Mario Bros Super Show! episode 'The Great Gold Coin Rush', Mario leads the group into a town currently under King Koopa's control. As he's saying how they don't want to make any noise, he trips over a bucket with a loud crash. It turns out that the town is empty, as Koopa is forcing everybody to work in his mines.
  • In the Adventure Time episode "The Lich", Finn and Jake try to sneak up on Princess Bubblegum so they can take the gem from her crown. They end up crashing through the roof of her bedroom.
  • In Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, a burglar is robbing a mall and breaks several glass windows which make loud noises, and the mall cop in the mall doesn't hear any of it and is sleeping on the job.
  • In the Darkwing Duck episode "Darkwing Doubloon", Darkwing's swashbuckling ancestor is leading his crew aboard the ship of his nemesis Negaduck to rescue his captured daughter Gosalyn, and emphasises the need for stealth. Unfortunately, as his crewmates include Gizmoduck, whose Gizmosuit has a very loud engine, and Stegmutt, who boards while shouting "Smash! Smash! Sit on 'em!" before accidentally falling onto Darkwing and Gizmoduck and squashing them flat, Negaduck's crew have no trouble hearing them.
  • Gravity Falls: When Mabel, Grenda, and Candy suggest to rescue a cloned Boy Band from an oppressive producer...
    Grenda: WE'RE MASTERS OF STEALTH! [shouted loud enough to echo throughout the whole building]
  • The Fairly OddParents:
    • There's an episode where Cosmo holds "Cosmo-Con" at Timmy's bathroom. Invitations are sent out for this secret event.
    • When Timmy wishes to be invisible, he sneaks away from Crocker, noting that he needs to be quiet. Moments later he causes a whole table full of dishes to fall to the ground and break.
  • Histeria!: At Valley Forge, Miss Information, who is acting as a tour guide, announces through a bullhorn to the tourists that they have to be especially quiet as General Washington is about to launch his sneak attack on the Hessians.
  • X-Men: in part three of the Phoenix Saga, The Xmen have to infiltrate this castle. Banshee helps carry them there by flying but has to scream the whole time for his flight to work. Wolverine comments that they might as well have tried to sneak in with a marching band.

    Real Life 
  • The Silk Road, an anonymous drug dealing ring, was undone by a string of laughable slip-ups that defeated the whole purpose of using Tor for the server. Highlights include the head honcho using the same screen name on a website about shrooms and on a job offers website, asking at Stack Overflow for details on how to connect to Tor, and registering for all of the above with an email made of his full name and linked to his college profile. He also discussed his illegal drug-selling website on his Linkedin page which also was created using his real personal information.
  • Every so many months there's a story of some thief who successfully breaks into someone's house... only to be caught when they use the homeowner's laptop to access their Facebook or Twitter. Similarly, a stolen mobile phone automatically uploading the thief's selfies to the rightful owner's cloud drive.
  • Periodically, plans are made to assassinate someone by using multiple missiles to blow up their house.
  • Speaking of cats, they will freeze, lower their stance as close to the ground as possible, and move extremely slowly if they think they are in danger. Unfortunately, when they do this around human furniture rather than natural environments, the result looks a bit silly.
  • A burglar in Russia who broke into an apartment while its owners were on holiday was arrested after getting drunk and playing the piano loud enough to wake the neighbours.


Video Example(s):


Bluster Kong

Bluster sings while stealing the Crystal Coconut.

How well does it match the trope?

3.14 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / WithCatlikeTread

Media sources:

Main / WithCatlikeTread