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Written Sound Effect

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"Okay, Robin. Together, we're gonna punch these guys so hard, words describing the impact are gonna spontaneously materialize out of thin air!"

We've all experienced it: We're reading a book, or a comic, or a website, when all of a sudden:


You get hit by an onomatopoeia.

Sound effects written out as onomatopoeia can be used in many media, but they play a special role in Sequential Art. Comics are highly visual media that show a scene in pictures instead of describing it in words. Without written sound effects, those scenes would live in a peculiarly silent space in the reader's head, where the only imagined sounds would be the dialogue, if any.

Some very creative things can be done with fonts, sizes, colors, shadows or glow, placement, spatial orientations, and curvatures to make a Written Sound Effect more evocative and fit it with the art.

The Written Roar is one specific kind of Written Sound Effect. Contrast the Unsound Effect, which is a written effect that is not onomatopoeia. A particularly common form of Editorial Synaesthesia. Can be used for Sound-Effect Bleep with Speechbubbles Interruption. See also Saying Sound Effects Out Loud. Sometimes combines with a Hit Flash.

A fundamental tool of the trade, widely used in Sequential Art in general.

Called kakimoji in the Manga industry. Light Novels tend to have these a lot, probably since they are closely related to manga. Especially romantic novels tend to be filled with sound effects ranging from falling petals, the rain, wind to the fast beating of the human heart.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Doraemon:
    • There's a drink that makes your sound solid, turned it into letters. The size is according to how loud you speak it.
    • In "A World Without Sound", the characters write various sound effects on paper, such as "Whistle" and "CLAP CLAP".
    • Happens in "Soap Bubbles". When Big G punches Sneech, Sneech's scream is written out as text.
  • Hirohiko Araki (known best for JoJo's Bizarre Adventure) takes this trope very seriously. Very notable written sound effects are one of the notable traits of his style and he considers them an integral part of his artwork. Two characters in his series even utilize onomatopoeia as their weapon. The onomatopoeia are even retained to a degree in anime adaptations of the story. Notably, the English localization of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is one of the few manga released by Viz Media that doesn't replace the Japanese SFX with the English equivalent, instead subtitling it.
  • The opening for the second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya uses this in the same way American comics do it. One could argue that "Tug" and "Stop" are the Unsound Effect, but everything else fits this.
  • An early chapter in Tsubasa features a battle where the opponent is a singer, who can literally use her voice as a weapon. The art features HUGE words written out which physically attack the main characters and stretch the frames of the comic.
  • A bizarre example is in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, particularly the third season. The sound effects are actually written on the frame, and they are voiced by the actors.
  • Gainax's series Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt goes so far as to also include a few Written Unsound Effects, as if it were a deranged comic.
  • Doctor Slump - Arale (unknowingly) weaponizes the Written Sound Effect; her boisterously loud "N'CHA!" comes out as solid words and is capable of knocking people off their feet. In another chapter, Akane does this deliberately after getting heckled by one of a flock of Idiot Crows; she calls him a "JERK!", and uses the enormous exclamation point produced to knock the crow out of the sky.
  • Used occasionally in Hetalia: Axis Powers, most noticeably in the "United States of Hetalia" strips and episode, which imitates American-style comic books. All of them are written in English/Romaji, though some are a little odd (like "spam spam spam" for patting someone on the shoulder) and others Unsound Effects (a cat appearing sounds like "Neko!").
  • This was used extensively in a 1970s anime Hajime Ningen Gyatoruzu (or Giatrus). Whenever the characters scream, the word appears on screen as (usually red) rocks, sometimes even hitting the characters physically. Not only that, this trope is how the show's logo appears on-screen in the title sequence, where the character screams "Gya!" really loud, eventually morphing into "Gyatoruzu".
  • In Gintama, these are normally played straight, but on one occasion, Gintoki tries to save Otae during a universe wide time stop by editing the sound of her being hit in the head with a rocket punch (Gossu). He initially just removes a "s" from it to make it sound less painful, but ultimately decides to turn it into a stick figure he calls "Gossan", who's trying to save her from the rocket punch by holding it back. It works...then the two of them end up getting married.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 10 episode 23, Smart S.'s laugh after he defeats one of the game's enemies is written in Chinese text above him.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, sounds such as Wolffy getting hit or a character yelling often have written sound effects.

    Comic Books 
  • The Doctor Who comics represented the TARDIS's instantly recognisable phasing-in effect with the equally distinctive "VWOOOOORP! VWOOOOOORP''.
  • In a classic Uncle Scrooge tale by Carl Barks, Gyro Gearloose invented an "implosion bomb" that sucked up material in a certain radius and compacted it into a neat pile. Intended for litter collection, the Written Sound Effect was "MOOB" — explicitly stated to be "BOOM" backwards.
  • Notable aversion: Many of comics writer Alan Moore's works have no sound effects at all (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen remains silent even when people are being beheaded or airships are blowing up). This is lampshaded in Watchmen with this exchange between two police detectives.
    Joe: Incidentally, the phone's ringing.
    Steve: Sure. Y'know, all today I've had this funny feeling. It's like there's something in the air...
    Joe: That's sound waves, man. They're coming from the phone.
  • Memorably subverted in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck: The Cowboy Captain Of The Cutty Sark when the space where the sound effect should have been written is left blank with the explanation:
  • A Marvel Adventures comic featuring French Boisterous Bruiser Bartroc ze Lepair had all of his sound effects made French. "LeBOK!"
  • Speaking of Marvel, they even have trademarked onomatopoeiae, like SNIKT (Wolverine sheathing his claws - temporarily changed to SCHLIKT when he had the adamantium sucked out of his bones), THWIP (Spider-Man casting his webbing) or BAMF (Nightcrawler teleporting).
  • The Incredible Hercules especially as written by Greg Pak employed this with GUSTO. When Hercules, dressed as Thor, was fighting Thor, dressed as Hercules, and Hercules grabbed Thor by the nipples. The effect? "NURP!" (In purple, yet.)
    • The entire fight was like this. Prime examples are:
  • "Captain America!, I command you to-" WANK!
  • Excalibur once gave us the memorable sound of a bathroom exploding: BA-THROOM!
  • Green Arrow fought a serial killer named Onomatopoeia, who only spoke to describe the sounds he heard (or anticipated hearing.) He'd usually say 'CLICK, BLAM!' before shooting his victims.
  • Warrior #1 treats us to "SKRONK," which supposedly represents the Ultimate Warrior's snarling/coughing-up-phlegm. He does it underwater.
  • EPA is the sound of Green Lantern punching Sinestro, according to the Comic Book Guy of The Simpsons. Became an Ascended Meme with The Sinestro Corps War.
  • MAD:
    • Issue #20 had a story told almost entirely in pictures with sound effects, simply called "Sound Effects!" Harvey Kurtzman wrote the installment and Wally Wood drew it.
    • Far more well-known was writer/artist Don Martin, who used very odd words like Sizafitz, Blort and Oot Greet. [1]
  • Youngblood uses "eepBeep" for the sound of a beeping wrist communicator.
  • 19th century German artist/writer Wilhelm Busch invented many written sound effects for his picture stories. Max and Moritz (1865), for example, uses "Ritzeratze!" for sawing wood, "Kracks!" and "Knacks!" for wood breaking, "Rums!" for an explosion, and "Rickeracke!" for a grinding mill. Pious Helene (1872) uses "Klickeradoms!" for the sound of a statuette falling and breaking, and "Klingelings!" when a chandelier crashes to the floor. The dogs Plisch and Plum (1882) are even named after the sounds they made when the bad guy Schlich threw them into a pond.
  • In one Achille Talon album, a villain has the (dis)ability to produce sounds completely inappropriate, like a grenade detonating with a klaxon sound.
  • Tiny Titans had a lot of fun with this. In addition to the classics such as "Bam" and the like, it included such sound effects as "Run", "Swing", and "Milk".
  • John Workman Jr. is well-known for creating impressive sound effects, such as the mighty "DOOM!" of Surtur's forge in Walt Simonson's The Mighty Thor.
  • The Impaler, the cool-as-hell stake gun issued to Vampire Knights in the graphic novel series Requiem Vampire Knight, goes "TEPES!" when it's fired.
  • A very interesting subversion, from a "Heavy Metal" mag probably (source needed too): A fight between two barbarians, one is disarmed, but grabs the "T" of a "THUD!" sound effect and kills his opponent with it.
  • And another memorable parody sound effect: the gun which went BLAM! BLAM! EMPT! EMPT!. (Again, sauce needed.)
  • Averted by Warren Ellis, who has stated that he hates sound effects and will employ all kinds of workarounds to avoid using them.
  • The same double for Steve Gallacci, the creator of Albedo: Erma Felna EDF, Dog House, Alone, Together, etc, as he avoids using them as much as he can in his works.
  • In Druid City, whenever Ryan Alex Rasheed, aka DJ Onomatopoeia, says an onomatopoeic verb out loud, it is accompanied by a visual sound effect. This ability has been used to confuse and startle people who are unaware of this unique ability. Oddly enough, Ryan appears to be completely aware that he is capable of doing this.
  • Ultimate Fantastic Four:
    • One example is when an explosion goes FWAAASH.
      Sue Storm: Why didn't you tell me there'd be a FWAAASH?
    • And later; SCHRAMMMM.
      Ben: That's the noise I make when I rip a steel door off its hinges.
      Reed: That's more of a KROOOOM this was more of a SCHRAMMMM.
  • Diabolik has a "Swiisss" whenever the title character throws a knife at someone or something. It's used so much that the second reprint collection is titled "Diabolik SWIISSS", and at least one parody had the Diabolik replacement say it whenever he throws a knife.
  • The brazillian Comic Monica's Gang has this all over the place like when someone is hit or on fights obscured by a Big Ball of Violence. Usally combined with a Hit Flash. This also happens on it's Animated Adaptation and it's teen spinoff manga.
  • Norby: While the comic doesn't use sound effects often, Norby's hyperspace teleportation is given the sound effect ZTT or ZZT and his punches are written with a WAP.
  • The Warrior Cats graphic novels use written sound effects pretty frequently. One notable example is in Graystripe's Adventure, after he steps outside for the first time in moons and is overwhelmed by the scents and sounds: it features a two-page spread covered in various sound effects alongside oversized flowers.

    Comic Strips 
  • "SPLUT!", for the sound a pie makes when it hits Garfield's face.
  • Peanuts, of course, has "AUUGHH!"
  • Calvin and Hobbes. Paraphrased:
    Hobbes: Are you sure this is such a good idea?
    Calvin: Brother! You doubting Thomases get in the way of more scientific advances with your stupid ethical questions. This is a brilliant idea! Hit the button, will ya?
    Hobbes: I'd hate to be accused of inhibiting scientific progress... Here you go.
    The button: BOINK!
    Hobbes: [staring right at the fourth wall] Scientific progress goes 'boink'?

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • In the first mid-credits scene in The Peanuts Movie, Lucy pulls away the football from Charlie Brown and a "WHAM!" appears when he lands on his back.
  • Invoked in The LEGO Batman Movie as an homage to the original 1966 Batman TV Series. (see quote above.)
  • The Spider-Man: Spider-Verse film series has these all over the place. Some such as "Boom!" and "Ponk" appear in appropriately comic book-style big letters in some action scenes. Others are small, such as little "THWIP"s coming out of the Spiders wrists when web-slinging in some scenes. One notable scene in the first film has a small "Bagel!" appearing when a bagel gets thrown at someone's head, and said person is later revealed to be the second film's Big Bad.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Dunk for Future: A sound effect bubble reading "嘭!!" - meaning "Bang!!" - appears when Tiger Wing's dad accidentally crashes his motorcycle near Wolffy, and twice later during the training montage when Sparky hits (or tries to hit) the basketball hoop.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Fall of the House of Usher is an experimental 13-minute 1928 short film adapting the Edgar Allan Poe story. This very weird silent film has letters that spell out "CRACK", "RIPPED", and "SCREAM" pop up onscreen when Madeline exits her coffin.
  • Night of the Dribbler: The film occasionally has words show up on the screen, such as "Bzzzzzzzz" when one of the players gets shocked when the Dribbler drops a TV into the hot tub he's in, and "Bang" when Stan's dad is shot before he can hurt Stan's girlfriend.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a rare live action movie to have this.
  • The movie Sssssss. Yes, that's the title. Obviously, it's about snakes.

  • One of the most famous examples in classic literature is the word "Bababadal­gharagh­takammin­arronn­konn­bronn­tonn­erronn­tuonn­thunn­trovarrhoun­awnskawn­toohoo­hoordenen­thurnuk" from James Joyce's Finnegans Wake. It's supposed to represent the thunderclap that occurred in the Garden of Eden at the Fall.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe's "Jedi Prince" cycle (The Glove of Darth Vader et al) makes extensive use of these, never describing a sound when something like "GRONG!" would suffice.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club ghostwriter Peter Lerangis LOVES omnomatopoeia.
  • James Joyce's Ulysses had a cat say "Mrkgnao", which he felt a better approximation than "miaow".
  • In a literary example, L.E. Modesitt, Jr. likes to use those in his novels, notably in the Saga of Recluce series. By far the most prevalent is the explosive CRRRRRUMMMMMPTTTTT.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire does this a few times for warhorns in the distance. Aaaaarrrrrroooooooooooo!
  • If the original cover art for Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion is anything to go by, a pterodactyl's jaws go "K-KLAK!"
  • The Animorphs books are fond of TSEEEEWWW! for Yeerk Dracon beams (not to be confused with TSEEEER! for red-tailed hawk calls), and FWAPP! for Andalite tail-blade strikes.
  • MARZENA: *Tick.Tock.Tick.Tock.Tick.Tock.TACK* The Author must be in love with this trope, it's everywhere.
  • The Parafaith War: Tends to be used most commonly for explosions, static, and weapons.
  • Imager Portfolio: Tends to be used most commonly for explosions, and occasionally things breaking.
  • Hammer's Slammers: Features this off and on, typically for effect.
  • Despite being an entirely serious work, the World War II novel The Naked and the Dead uses these to describe the sounds of battle. BEE-YOWWW, BEE-YOWWWW! BAA-ROWWMM, BAA-ROWWMM.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The old Batman (1966) Live-Action TV series used comic-style written sound effects for The Hit Flash. "BIFF! ZOK! POW!".
    • The Simpsons' Batman parody, Radioactive Man, featured these and more, including back references to previous episodes. "BORT! MINT! SNUH!".
    • The Avengers (1960s) parodied a Batman fight sequence in "The Winged Avenger". Also, the comic book writer in the episode uses rather odd onomatopoeia. "Eeee-erp!".
    • Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy in SpongeBob SquarePants use this as well, along with Unsound Effects - punching over cardboard cut-outs of villains in their opening sequence produce "PROP", "CARDBOARD", and "LAME".
    • Parodied in The John Dredge Nothing To Do With Anything Show as well during the Gasman & Robert sketch:
    (various fighting noises and the Batman TV theme tune)
    Narrator: Hell! Blam! Thwack! Kvetch! Block! Ftwang! Twerge! Genug! Etcetera!
    The Broker: Curse you, Gasman! You have overpowered me with your onomatopoeic fighting noises.
  • During one episode of How I Met Your Mother, the sound of glass shattering symbolised a sudden realisation. When a deaf character has a sudden realisation at the end of the episode, we are treated to a subtitle saying "*shatter*".
  • In the That '70s Show episode "Cat Fight Club", Jackie's fight with Laurie is illustrated by Batman-style Hit Flashes and written sound effects like "Meow" and "Scratch!".

  • "Skronk"—an onomatopoetic rendering of the skreeching honk made by a deliberately-mistreated saxophone—has become a recognized genre classification, though you might be more likely to encounter terms like "free improv" or "avant-noise". As performances by Arto Lindsay or Oren Ambarchi might attest, a string- and ear-damaging guitarist can skronk in as great a manner as, say: John Zorn, Kenta Tsugami (or both) on tenor or alto.
  • The first words to appear in "Music Non Stop" by Kraftwerk are "Boing", "Bumm", "Tschak" and "Peng".
  • Comic Strip by Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot is a song full of onomatopeia: Clip! Crap! Bang! Vlop! Zip! Shebam! Pow! Blop! Wizz!
  • The characteristic dubstep bass sound (hear it e.g. here at 4:17) is sometimes written as "wub wub wub".
  • "Din Da Da" by George Kranz is just this trope (he imitates drums).
  • Chrissie Hynde dopplers a sportscar across the Middle Of The Road: Brrrr-wheyong!

  • The playfield and cabinet for Tee'd Off show golf balls ricocheting all over the place, accompanied by assorted BONK!s and ZONK!s.
  • In WHO dunnit (1995), starting "Midnight Madness" will result in every hit causing the display to show "BOOM", "BLAM", "DOH!", etc.
  • The playfield for Magic Girl includes various onomatopoeia such as "Poof!", "Mix!", and "Tesla!"
  • Deadpool: The artwork depicts a number of these, as befitting a game based on the Marvel Comics universe, such as the "Snikt!" target which increases the playfield Score Multiplier.
  • Mousin' Around!: The playfield is littered with comic book-style sound effects.
    • The two main ramps are named after the onomatopoeia written on them: "SWOOSH" and "ZIP!"
    • There's a "ZAP!" in front of the Mouse Hole.
    • The drop-targets necessary to open the loop shot ramp are each labeled with one letter in "POW!".
  • Foo Fighters (2023):
    • The bottom of the playfield depicts the Foobot's detached hand flicking a ball back onto the flippers with a "t'nnnk!" noise.
    • A number of modes show sound effects on the display — for instance, making shots during Monkey Wrench Multiball depicts the Overlord being attacked with a "WHAM!"


    Tabletop Games 


  • The BIONICLE comics all use this. Probably the most famous sound among fans is the Bohrok's distinctive "Chik Chik Chik Chik". Amusingly, a Translation Train Wreck fan-video of one of the movies subtitles the slashing sound effects as "Hurting Noises!".

    Video Games 
  • Champions Online, with its comic book-based style, uses this with NPCs, having written sound effects appear over their heads that correspond with the attack they are currently using(with different sound effects for differing types of attacks, such as cone AOE, melee AOE, targeted attacks, etc.)
  • Coryoon lets out a "BOM!" with each onscreen enemy vanquished. Bosses in particular leaves behind at least a dozen.
  • Dyna Gear has "BOOM!" and "BAM!" accopanying most onscreen mook deaths.
  • The first video game for the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles uses sound effects show up when someone or even objects like cars take damage. Thok
  • The boss fights and cutscenes of HarmoKnight contain these, usually loud sounds coming from none other than the Noizoids themselves. There are even sounds like BOOM! and BAAAAAAAAAAAAM!
  • Tembo the Badass Elephant, a game with the same art director as HarmoKnight, takes this to the extreme by having just about every sound effect accompanied by one of these. Among them are "BOOM" for explosions, "OUCH!" for taking damage, "BADABADABADABADA" for running, and "HRAAAANH!" for the protagonist's battle cry.
  • Kingdom of Loathing uses these whenever someone takes damage. If you're dealing it, it's blue ZAP!s, POW!s, and BARF!s; while if you're taking damage, you see red Ouch!es and Ow!s.
  • The Legend of Tian-ding have its sound effects written in Mandarin, given the game's manhua-inspired graphics. 碰! (peng, or bang!) being the most common.
  • Persona 3, Persona 4 and Persona 5 use this both in and out of combat. Persona 5 especially uses them a lot more liberally, in keeping with the stylish comic book-esque aesthetic. A few examples include groups of chatting people having "Whisper" or "Murmur" written above their heads, Morgana's dialogue in his housecat form being accompanied by "Nya~"s (changed to "Meow~" for the English version), "BANG!"s filling the screen when Joker uses his Down Shot skill, and even "Pi pi pi"s accompanying Joker's phone ringing.
  • Being beaned in the head with a baseball in Team Fortress 2 results in a flashing, neon sign above your head, reading "BONK!", which is a fairly accurate description of what just happened. And when being scared by a ghost in the Halloween event, it reads, "YIKES!".
  • XIII actually uses them to enhance gameplay, allowing the player to tell which direction sounds are coming from (like seeing the "tap, tap, tap" of patrolling guards' footsteps over some foliage.)
  • Elite Beat Agents and Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan use this a lot, mainly because the stories are told using manga panels. Special mention goes to the ending of Elite Beat Agents, where combined music and goodwill of the world blow up the alien mother ship with a "KA-LAPOWABOOOM!"
  • The wuxia game, Eastern Exorcist have various instances where onscreen hits will result in words popping out to emphasize damage inflicted. Notably, "Break" ("破"), "Chop" ("斩"), "Slash" ("砍"), and so on.
  • Various sound effects in the black and white (except for blood) game MadWorld appear as yellow text onscreen.
  • Sega Genesis game Comix Zone, happening inside a comic book, is filled with this.
  • Unbound Saga have sound effects coming up with every hit you scored, with your punches and kicks accompanied by a THWACK or BLAM. It's also set inside a comic book.
  • Many of She-Hulk's attacks in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 produce one of these, as does Deadpool's 4th Wall Crisis Hyper Combo (you know, the one where he hits you with his health bar).
  • In the 1989 Arcade Game Violence Fight, every time somebody got knocked to the floor a written sound effects as "BOGON" or "DOGOON" would pop up.
  • In Captain America and the Avengers, comicbook-style fight noises such as "KRAK!" and "WABOOM!" appear on screen.
  • Another Marvel game with onomatopoeiae during fights is Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage.
  • Mario Kart 64 has sound effects such as "POOMP!" when hitting the ground hard (like from a long jump), and "WHIRRRR" when sliding over a banana peel.
  • Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc has sound effects appearing on-screen when punching enemies, such as "KOPN".
  • Saints Row: The Third's DLC mission pack "Strange Science" includes a sequence where the protagonist, high on irradiated energy drink, gains the ability to instagib opponents with a punch, complete with these.
  • The credits of Rock Man 4 Minus Infinity track your deaths under "tiwns", which is supposed to be onomatopoeia for Mega Man's death sound.
  • Astro Marine Corps has "GRONF GRONF" for getting swallowed whole, and also "GLU GLU GLU" for falling into water.
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II has these in the cheat-activated Party Mode.
  • Super Bonk has Bonk able to launch the word "RAGE!" out when he's small. The word actually travels forward and bounces off of walls, allowing the player to use it as a makeshift platform (in fact, certain sections require this.)
  • Since sounds in JauntTrooper provide useful cues about offscreen events, there's the option of textual sound effects for players who can't or don't want to hear them.
  • Growl has "SHBROOM" for Stuff Blowing Up.
  • Plants vs. Zombies has a few for plants that explode - "SPUDOW!" for the Potato Mine, and "POWIE!" for the Cherry Bomb.
  • In Super Smash Bros., dealing enough damage to the Starman Assist Trophy causes a pixelated "SMAAAAAASH!" to appear above its head, taken directly from EarthBound.
  • In Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake guards go "yaaaaawwwn" and when Snake sneezes a little textbox going "Achoo!" pops up (more hilariously transliterated as "Choow!" in the fan translation.)
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles X, all of the weapons sold by Nopon Commerce Guild are named after the sound they make or is associated with them: this means that their sniper rifles are called "thwippers", dual guns are "bangbangs", gattling guns are "ratatattas", shields are "thudclangs", knives are "pokepokes" and psycho launchers are "fwooshers".
  • In Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, these will occasionally pop up after killing enemies, quickly turning into either powerups or just drop to the ground upon which they can be picked up and used to beat enemies to death. One of these is "HIDEBU!", which is what Fat Bastard Heart says when he dies in most adaptations (though other villains said it when they died in the anime as well). Which ones pop up depend on the exact nature of the enemy, the attacks used to kill them, and the location of the fight; there's an achievement for finding all of them.
  • Cuphead being a giant love letter to the old cartoons from the thirties, it naturally has a couple examples, like the "HONK"s from oncoming toy cars or "BWAAAAAAAH!"s from animated tubas.
  • The word "POW!" appears whenever someone is hit in Fight of Animals.
  • The superhero-themed Earth and Sky series uses such effects throughout, becoming more visually impressive over the course of successive episodes as the game engine becomes more sophisticated.
  • Naruto: Ultimate Ninja: Written sound effects are present throughout the games, mainly when characters hit each other, as a way to imitate the manga. However, the English releases do not translate them.
  • An addon for World of Warcraft named (appropriately enough) Comix! adds these to the game. When you get a Critical Hit (incoming or outgoing) "Pow!" "Baff!" and so on appear in midair.


    Western Animation 
  • Many episodes of Cartoon Network's Courage the Cowardly Dog had these, along with the Unsound Effect at times.
  • In the Van Beuren Studios Tom & Jerry short "Polar Pals", Tom calls to Jerry for help this way when he falls underwater.
  • The French animated series Enigma used them from time to time.
  • Sometimes used in Ren & Stimpy. One example is when Ren throws the Cheese-o-Phone at Stimpy and the word "Splat!" appears in the splattered cheese.
  • Whenever Batfink uses his Supersonic Sonar Radar, it manifests as the word "BEEP".
  • Every time Cosmo and Wanda grant a wish in The Fairly OddParents!, a magic cloud that reads "Poof" appears. A lot of times a non–sound-effect word appears relating to what Timmy wished for.
  • It happens a lot in fight scenes in Butch's other series, Danny Phantom. They are always followed by comic book-like freeze frames.
  • Some of the Grim and Evil shorts of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy.
  • Used in the Henry and June sketches on KaBlam.
  • This was a staple of Roger Ramjet, particularly during fight scenes.
  • Futurama featured this when Fry, Leela, and Bender became superheroes and fought The Zookeeper and his minions. It parodies the Batman TV show when Fry punching a yak is covered with "YAK!" Bender getting decked results in "01101010101!"
  • The Peanuts animated special, "You're In Love, Charlie Brown," had a couple. When Charlie Brown's alarm clock rings, an "RRRRRRR" appears above it. When he accidentally closes the school doors loudly (as he was trying to enter quietly due to being late), "CLICK-CLACK" accompanies it.
  • Doubles as a Title Drop in Crac, when a woodsman is chopping down a tree and "CRAC" appears onscreen as the tree tips over.
  • Grojband loves using these, with every episode featuring onomatopeias and other visual sound effects.
  • Used in-universe in the animated short Shhhhhh, in the hotel lodge where they take quietness so seriously that all objects display a sign with a written sound effect: The desk bell extends a "Ding" sign, the clock displays "Tick, Tock" and the bed lamp's switch shows "Click".
  • An episode of Duckman features Ajax going off to college as part of a plot by King Chicken. While visiting him at school, Duckman and his family are treated to Ajax giving a lecture on onomatopoeia. This becomes a Brick Joke later when Duckman and King Chicken fight. The battle spills over to the lecture hall, and they smash through a series of signs with various onomatopoeia written on them while the appropriate sound effect plays for each one.
  • Strange as it seems, Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner had such an instance. In "War and Pieces," the grenade tossed by the coyote hit the arm of a cactus and was returned straight to him. The explosion was punctuated by a clear "POW."
  • "Christopher Crumpet": A "CRASH" appears onscreen when Christopher's toy rocket flies straight through a window. Later there's a "BAM" when the father's co-worker slaps a door forcefully on leaving.
  • Used extensively in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, with all kinds of sound effects and onomatopoeia written on-screen. For extra silliness, they can appear or disappear in various ways too, like the "O"s from a "Woooooo" dispersing like Rings from Sonic the Hedgehog.

  • "The UNH! Project" has amassed a sizeable collection of these.
  • As has Kevin Taylor's KA-BOOM! A Dictionary of Comicbook Words on Historical Principles.
  • MAD artist Don Martin was a master of wild onomatopoeia, including such sounds as "SPLOYDOING!" (something springing out jack-in-the-box style), "SWAKLAKKO!" (leaning too far back in a wheeled desk chair on a tiled floor), and a personal favorite, "SKWEEBEEDEEBEEDAP!" (five cockroaches squashed under a board). Martin himself had a vanity license plate that read "SHTOINK".
    • Spoofed in one particular issue, where it was revealed where companies got their names, such as "BOEING!" (the sound an engine makes when it falls off a plane and hits the ground) and "SPAM!" (the sound of a slab of said meat product falling out of the can and onto your foot).
    • In another issue, "Don Martin's Guide to Some Very Obscure Comics Sound Effects" had specialized onomatopoeias for famous comic characters performing various actions. For example, "THIZ-ZIZ-ZIZ-ZIZ-ZIZ..." represented Spider-Man's web-shooters malfunctioning; "SNAP! PLOOBADOOF" represented Wonder Woman taking off her corset; "GEEEEN" represented Plastic Man giving someone on the 20th floor the finger; and "PLAB-LAB-LAB-LAB-LAB" represented the Batmobile driving off with a flat tire.
    • Yet another (drawn by Paul Coker and written by Duck Edwing) had a similar guide to cartoon sound effects. Among them was "Batflurglegloopblub", which is either Batman flushing his toilet, or a fish blowing bubbles into a fat man's navel.
    • Martin indulged in some self-parody now and then: In a Captain Klutz story, after a Mad Scientist gets blown up by his own doomsday device, he seems more concerned about the unimpressive sound effect it produced.
      Dr. Rotten: "Wango"? After all those years of sweat and toil, my Rotten Atomic Missile goes "wango"?!
    • A MAD self-parody catalog offered for sale an assortment of unused Don Martin sound effects, said to include "37 THLUPs, 24 FWAPs, a dozen or so THOOMPs and SPROINGs, plus the usual BREEP-BREEPs, FWADDAPPs, KABOOMs, FWISKs and SKLISHKs, and an occasional SKLOOSH, FLABADAP and a FOONGA-FOONGA."
    • The sound "BUSH!" of a defecating cow was in MAD, but probably not drawn by Don Martin.
      • That one came courtesy of John Caldwell, who also drew cartoons for National Lampoon.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd had the Nerd, dressed up as Batman, fighting the Joker in a parody of the campy Adam West Batman by having written sound effects appearing on screen. It also has random "sound effects" like "BIFF!", "MARTY!", "WAKAKAKA!", and "FUCKBALLS!"


Alternative Title(s): Onomatopoeia


Xenophobia Jones

Action adventurer Xenophobia Jones' views come to light in his latest film.

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5 (11 votes)

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Main / PoliticallyIncorrectHero

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