• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

Watch our movie--or else.

"December 1, 1903: Edwin Porter's The Great Train Robbery debuts. The plot: a wisecracking former cop fights train-jackers at 15 mph. Thrilling audiences with its pioneering realism and papier-mache trains, the final scene — in which the villain turns and fires his gun directly into the camera — was said to have so terrified the audience that they would often shriek in terror, screaming out 'Yippie ky yay, motherfucker!' as one."

When a character points a weapon at the camera so it looks like he is about to attack the audience with it. Sean Connery is not actually required, but doesn't hurt at all.

The more aggressive Sister Trope of Pistol Pose, this trope is frequently used on movie posters, DVD/VHS cases, and book covers. The star of the work is pointing a gun directly at the audience. It's that simple.

Note that while this usually involves guns, other weapons and even fists can also be used. The "Superman Is About To Punch You!" variant, in particular, is quite common on comic book covers. And certain movies.

This trope is often used in movies themselves as well, although the MPAA prohibits its usage in green-band (all ages) trailers. If the character actually attacks the audience, it's The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You.

See also Pistol Pose, Stab the Sky. Often overlaps with Floating Head Syndrome. Sword Pointing is a variation.

Cover/poster examples:

Anime & Manga

Comic Books



Live-Action TV

Professional Wrestling

Tabletop Games

Video Games

In-story examples:

Anime & Manga


  • Shows up frequently in James Bond openings, in the famous Bond Gun Barrel sequence (which before Quantum of Solace has been in all pre-credits/teaser sequences).
  • The Great Train Robbery, the Trope Maker and very likely the Ur Example (this was one of the first true movies, period).
  • Goodfellas ended with Joe Pesci shooting at the audience in an homage to The Great Train Robbery.
  • City of God makes very memorable usage of this trope.
  • The trailer for the Watchmen movie originally had an assassin pointing a gun at the camera in one scene. After being told by the MPAA that it would need to be removed in order to get a green band, director Zack Snyder digitally altered it into a walkie-talkie.
  • The Proposition: Danny Huston, Guy Pearce, and Ray Winstone are all going to shoot you. Or maybe someone just behind you and to your left.
  • The movie version of Patriot Games does this during the scene where Sean Miller (Sean Bean) executes Dennis Cooley.
  • Zardoz has Sean Connery shooting at the camera, in a red nappy.
  • John Woo's The Killer does this a lot, most famously the scene where Chow Yun-Fat takes out his target at the restaurant during the first major shootout of the movie.
    • Not to mention the vision that Jenny has of Ah Jong firing directly at the camera, with a sea of blood behind him.
  • In Serenity, both Mal and River point their guns at the camera at different times, and at the end of the movie, River is glaring directly at the camera after slaughtering an entire army of Reavers, looking for all the world like she's about to take those bloodstained blades in her hands to the audience next.
  • The Big Lebowski: John Goodman is going to shoot you unless you mark it zero!
  • When performing the theme song to The Three Caballeros, Panchito points one of his guns at the camera and it sings the lyric "and we'll stay so".
  • The second shootout (the one not dictated by Steve Buscemi) of Desperado features Antonio Banderas firing two full clips into the camera, and in the extras Robert Rodriguez points out that the force of the blanks and the closeness of the pistols knocked off the flash dampener.
  • In House of 1000 Corpses Bill Moseley is going to shoot you! (Pause for about thirty seconds.)
  • Once Upon a Time in the West: Frank's first Kick the Dog moment, which abruptly cuts to a train's whistle.
  • The Three Stooges even got in on the act during two shorts that were attempts at 3-d, 'Spooks!' and 'Pardon My Backfire'. Moe Howard Is About To Poke Your Eyes!
  • Happens in-character in Back to The Future Part II, when Marty encounters a holographic The Shark Is About To Eat You! advert for Jaws 19.
  • Near the end of The Avengers Loki finds himself confronted by the Avengers, leading to a Team Shot combined with Hawkeye Is About To Shoot You With A Bow And Arrow.
  • In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, one of the "pod" traps in the Capitol involves a pair of automated machine guns firing into a kill zone, then turning and firing back down the corridor, creating the effect that they're firing wildly at the audience.



 A new poster had suddenly appeared all over London. It had no caption, and represented simply the monstrous figure of a Eurasian soldier, three or four meters high, striding forward with expressionless Mongolian face and enormous boots, a submachine gun pointed from the hip. From whatever angle you looked at the poster, the muzzle of the gun, magnified by the foreshortening, seemed to be pointed straight at you.


Live-Action TV

  • Chris Elliott is about to shoot you in his domestic sitcom/cop drama mashup Action Family where he guns down his teenage daughter's scuzzy boyfriend - not that he's guilty of Chris's partner's death, he's just conveniently there for the wrap-up/happy ending.
  • In the Firefly episode "Heart of Gold," Mal levels his pistol dramatically at the camera, and then gets startled by Inara and lets out a very undramatic "Bwa!" of surprise.
  • The opening of Sledge Hammer ends with Sledge saying "Trust me, I know what I'm doing" and shooting the screen.
  • When thugs interrupt Xena: Warrior Princess's bathing, you get a point-of-view shot of her punching you in the face.


  • In the finale of Assassins, the assassins all draw their guns, walk to the foot of the stage, and fire on the audience.

Video Games

Western Animation

  • In Batman: The Animated Series, Mr. Freeze fires his freeze gun directly at you. In the commentary, the directors are surprised they got away with it - they wouldn't have been able to with a regular gun, in case some kid decided to try it.
  • One Rocky and Bullwinkle storyline has a Southern Gentleman from the "League of Confederate Correctors" who couldn't stand anyone even mentioning the word "Civil". During a football game that somehow mutated into a re-enactment of a battle from the War Between The States, the narrator describes Bullwinkle "swivel-hipping his way to the goal --"

 Gentleman: Dagnabbit, you said "civil!" (Bang!)

Narrator: Excuse me, "war-between-the-states"-hipping his way to the goal!


Other Examples

  1. The mock-up poster was used in a Something Awful Photoshop Phriday feature