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"Beth, I love you more than anything in the world but right now I kinda need you to maybe shaddup your face!"
—Santino Marella, Monday Night Raw
— Most members of the Council of the Guild of Calamitous Intent
A powerful character needs to talk. He's important, so nothing else but "Silence!" will do to quell the unruly masses or to stop the plucky hero mid-sentence. It shows that he or she is in charge, and what those other people are saying is unimportant or foolish.
Do this with a crowd of mooks and impress your friends with how quiet they become. Use this to intimidate poor peasants begging for clemency.
You can say things like "Quiet!" or "Be still!", for a similar effect. However, the more vulgar "Shut up!" doesn't work as well, except when addressed to genteel types who would be stunned to hear such an improper outburst. Go ahead and hold up a hand, it helps with the image.
There are dozens of ways to parody this. A common one is for the villain to yell "Silence!" at a minion who's trying to reveal something important, and later demand to know why he wasn't given the important information. Another is to shout "SILENCE!" when nobody is speaking to begin with. A third is for the character to yell "SILENCE!"... and be completely ignored.
Anime and Manga
- In the latter half of Mobile Fighter G Gundam, a bizarrely drawn-out version of this trope (or rather its Japanese equivalent) is practically Master Asia's Catch Phrase.
- Brandon during the Battle Frontier arc of Pokémon loved to interject with, "NO!!!" At least it wasn't a Big No...
- Well, he does like to tell challengers what they're doing wrong while they battle him.
- Say it with me now: URUSAI! URUSAI! URUSAI!!
- Used/subverted hilariously in Rental Magica when Adelicia asks Honami to marry her. (For reference, both of them are Tsunderers, and have been covertly competing for the favor of Itsuki for most of the show.) Itsuki is completely stunned, and his attempts at asking what's going on are completely drowned out by the rest of the Nakama merrily blabbering on about appropriate jewlery and the best date to set. Finally losing patience, he does his Hidden Badass Reveal spin, complete with Eyepatch of Power tear-off and shouts "PRESIDENT'S ORDERS!" The entire group instantly shuts up and leaps into battle-ready positions... only for Itsuki to turn around, revealing his Eyepatch of Power still firmly in place. He just wanted to get their attention...
- Hellsing: Alucard gets to say this with a dash of Red Eyes, Take Warning in the English dub of the OVA's second episode when he's getting lip from Luke Valentine. It's one of the few times the line is legitimately frightening.
Luke Valentine: "You're just a dog for the Church of England, not even fit to call himself a vampire-"
- In the Sailor Moon episode, Little Miss Manners, Serena/Usagi says this to her teacher in her daydream while dozing off in class:
Teacher: Serena, did you do your homework?
- Komi says this to Touma in the dub version of Sakura Diaries:
Touma: Don't take that tone of voice with me.
- In the five parter, 'Match of the Millennium - Yugi vs Pegasus', Yami says this to Pegasus with a blunt, 'Be silent!' after Yugi has lost consciousness in the Dark game (or 'Shadow Realm' in 4Kids logic) after his last move in the dub version of ~Yu-Gi-Oh!~.
- The Abridged Series version of Marik Ishtar is fond of this trope.
Marik: Good. Now, SILENCE!!!
- Melvin enjoys this trope as well and even lectures about it.
Melvin: Do you have any idea what the word "silence" means?
- In the Tenchi Muyo! OAV, Ayeka says one when torturing Ryoko:
Ayeka: Siiiilence, criminal. How dare you.
- Ken, the Digimon Emperor, says this in the dub when whipping Wormmon. After this, Wormmon gives a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to him:
Ken: That's it. Get 'em, Chimeramon!
- Near the end of 'Shadow of the Moon, Sea of Shadow' arc of The Twelve Kingdoms, Youko says this when the Kei soliders arrived in the cave:
Kei Solider: Stop what you're doing there, at once! How dare you kidnap a Taiho! That is a serious crime against the Heavens!
- Blue Submarine No. 6: Verg in the third episode 'Hearts' when he's impaitent with his father Zorndyke on whether to attack or not to attack the humans. The trope: 'Just shut up!' in the japanese; 'Silennnnce!' in the dub.
- The Martian king, Monarch Prime, in Invincible: "Silence! It is I who will ask the questions, solid."
- The Immortal said much the same to Monarch Prime when they met many issues later.
- From Infinity War #6, the conclusion of a Marvel Crisis Crossover:
Galactus: "Silence, fool! Mighty Galactus knows what must be done!"
- Doctor Doom does this all the time to the point where it's almost a catchphrase, up there with "DOOM!" and "RIIICHAAAARRRDDSS!!!"
- Dr. Evil and his "Zip it"/"Shhh" Overly Long Gags is close. He's also done it straight a few times when Number 2 was trying to be reasonable with him.
- Raiden does this in the first Mortal Kombat movie, with the added intimidation of lightning special effects.
- Bananas (1971):
Esposito: "From this day on, the official language of San Marcos will be Swedish. Silence! In addition to that, all citizens will be required to change their underwear every half-hour. Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check. Furthermore, all children under 16 years old are now... 16 years old!"
- Parodied in Freaked, when Elijah C. Skuggs asks for his rowdy, brawling audience's attention, and every last one of them instantly stops fighting and politely sits facing forward.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop: "SHUUUUUUT UUUUUUUUP!"
- Played straight by Jeremy Irons as Tiberias in Kingdom of Heaven: A hall full of knights, yelling at each other. The King holds up his hand. "SILENCE!" (deathly hush)
- In Manos: The Hands of Fate, AFTER the Master's wives seem to have finished an argument, the Master yells, "SILENCE! SILENCE!" at them. While holding out his arms to display his big handprint cloak for maximum effect.
- Not really shut up, but pretty much Samuel L. Jackson made it clear with this quote "Enough is ENOUGH! I have HAD IT with these muthafucking snakes on this muthafucking plane!" that rather than discussing on how to clear the snakes from the cockpit, the passengers better shut up and strap in since he's about to open some fucking windows.
- Not to mention, "I don't remember asking YOU a GODDAMN THING!"
- A dead straight example from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone. After everyone is alerted to the troll in the dungeon and mass panic ensues, Dumbledore yells loud and clear, "Silence!" Everyone stops in their tracks and he gives out orders calmly.
- Goblet of Fire has one too, but more drawn out and hammy. "SILEEEEEEEEENNCCCCCEEEE!"
- In The Muppet Christmas Carol, Fozziwig is shouting to get everybody to quiet down so he can deliver his Christmas speech. When everybody keeps ignoring him and carrying on, Animal walks in and yells, "QUIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEET!" Everybody shuts up, Animal quietly says, "Thank you" and walks off.
- Shredder says this trope in the original 1990 film:
- Shredder: Find her. Silence her.
- Also, in sequel, The Secret of the Ooze:
- Shredder: Find her. Silence her.
Shredder: This is not the reason I sent you to follow her.
- Superman II: General Zod says this by the end of the film to Lex luthor while Lex talks to him about further world domination.
- The Steven Seagal film Urban Justice has the main antagonist say this trope to one of his henchmen, William Shatner style.
Jonas: If I want your opinion, I'll give it to you. Now keep your mouth shut, keep your foot on the gas, and stay on this heading.
- At the climax of Going Postal, Lord Vetinari manages to silence a room full of excited people by saying "Silence" in relatively normal tones.
- In Interesting Times, Rincewind winds up speaking with the Emperor of Agatea, but he is repeatedly interrupted in this manner by the court chamberlain. When Rincewind points out how impractical this arrangement is, the Emperor orders the chamberlain taken away and his lips cut off.
- In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the wizard uses loud exclamations of "QUIET!", "SILENCE!", and "ENOUGH!"
- In the Garrett P.I. novels, ailing underworld boss Chodo Contague is too frail to shout "Silence!", yet his power and menace is such that he can simply lift his finger and instantly bring a halt to conversations. Only if he's hushing a crowd who can't all see him clearly does he have his lieutenants, Crask and Sadler, invoke this trope for him.
Live Action TV
- A variation in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, their first episode in the Mirror Universe: to quell an argument, the main villain simply whispers "Qui-et!"
- Dr. Chaotica from the Captain Proton holodeck program in Star Trek: Voyager uses this. Then again, he's a parody of a Flash Gordon villain, so it's to be expected.
- Conan O'Brien does this every now and when when he does his "Judge O'Brien" skit
Conan: I couldn't help but notice that the host looks pasty and white this evening.
- The Doctor Who episode "Human Nature" has Jeremy Baines aka Son of Mine shouting, in rapid fire succession, "SHUT UP! STOP TALKING! CEASE AND DESIST! THERE'S A GOOD GIRL!"
- In "Fear Her" the Doctor silences a group of squabbling people with the marvelous phrase "FINGERS ON LIPS!"
- "The Idiot's Lantern" has a truly unpleasant man repeatedly shout "I AM TALKING!" to silence anyone arguing with him. The Doctor cuts him off partway through the episode with "AND I'M NOT LISTENING!"
- One of Jeff Dunham's puppets, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, has one of these as his signature line: "SILENCE! I KILL YOU!!"
- Walter is also fond of this. "Ahh, shut the hell up!"
- In Britains Got The Pop Factor, when Cat Deely walks onto the stage she tries to ask the audience to keep quiet. It doesn't work, so she yells "F* CKING SHUT UP!". Silence.
- Commonly used by a pissed-off Grimlord in VR Troopers.
- The Red Dwarf episode "Meltdown" features a wax-droid replica of Caligula shouting "Silence, Scum!" at The Cat, and slapping Lister in the face.. several times.
- Various villains from Power Rangers, such as Lord Zedd, Goldar, and Rita Repulsa, say this trope a lot.
- In one Rashomon Style Fresh Prince of Bel Air episode, Uncle Phil (played by James Avery at his hammiest), says this trope in Will's recollection of events.
Will: Listen, Uncle Phil--
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer ("Once More With Feeling").
Giles: Spike, if I want your opinion... (looks at him in contempt) I'll never want your opinion.
- In Red vs. Blue, O'Malley would often try this. "Be quiet, you FOOL!" It never worked.
- Used very often between wrestlers. Memorably MVP went on to say his goal was to get Chris Jericho off Raw so he'd never have to listen to him again.
- Also a standard heel action to get a lot of heat, telling the crowd to be silent while they trash the face/sing evil country(or Canada)'s national anthem, ensuring that everyone in attendance makes as much noise as they can for the duration.
- The beleaguered Usher of the Court in Gilbert And Sullivan's Trial By Jury is constantly bellowing, in song, the words "Silence in court!" over the singing of the chorus of jurors and spectators.
- In the Rainbow Sprinkles trailer for Battlefield: Bad Company, Sarge hisses "Silence! This is supposed to be a stealth mission!" at Haggard and Sweetwater, to which they both just reply "Why?".
- Several Devil May Cry villains have been known to utter this, by the way. One that springs immediately to mind is Berial, the big fire demon who is first fought by Nero and then by Dante afterwards.
- Hold it!
- Franziska von Karma takes it to a new level with her whipping. And her foolishly foolishness of foolishly saying fool to fools.
- Sanger Zonvolt: "SILENCE!! AND LISTEN!! I am Sanger Zonvolt, the Sword That Smites Evil!"
- Sonic Chronicles uses this one to segue into a Heel Face Turn. After taking some heat from Sonic and company, Imperator Ix has stated that enough's enough and that he'll wipe the party clean before claiming the Master Emerald, with world domination soon to follow. Shade, who was raised and disciplined believing that Ix simply wanted to return the Nocturne to the world rather than take it over, was literally right next to him at this time, and was 'rewarded' for questioning authority with this line - followed by being blown off Angel Island (though Knuckles manages to grab her before she falls completely off).
- The German version turns every single instance of this into pure Narm, by translating "Silence" with the Latin word "Silencium!" instead of the german "Ruhe!" or "Schweig!". This may not sound like Narm at first, but it is more then just out of place to hear characters randomly shout a Latin word in a German dialog.
- Sonic Unleashed has a moment of its own as well. Apparently Eggman doesn't like taking lip from his own robots.
Eggman: A brilliant shift in perspective! An idea worthy of Doctor Eggman, super genius! * laughs*
- Karai says it in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus when the Turtles are about to engage in a boss battle with Karai.
Karai: Silence. It is my duty to serve him. Enough talk!
- Vexen from Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories yells this in response to Axel and Larxene mocking him.
- Even though she's not evil, Grolla says this twice in Rosenkreuzstilette; one in the main game to Tia in any of two versions of the confrontation with her just before the boss battle against her begins, and another in Grollschwert to Graf Sepperin when she confronts him.
- Mr. Administrator in Echo Chamber, startling Tom and Dana out of an explanation of that week's trope.
- Even better, as it was followed by a This Troper gag.
- "Silence you fool! Don't you know that character is trademarked?!"
- The robot elders in the Futurama episode "Fear of a Bot Planet" used this all the time, though most of the time they were interrupting each other.
Elder #3: Silence! Come forward Bender. You will have the honor of executing the prisoners.
- The Council of Thirteen in the season 3 premiere of The Venture Bros. tried to do this, and hung a lampshade on the phrase's use.
- From The Prince of Egypt: "Silence! Pharaoh speaks!"
- The actual line is "Be still! Pharaoh speaks!" And it's downright awesome because it's said by Patrick Stewart.
- Once on Xiaolin Showdown, Omi said "Silence, please!" Raimundo kept talking anyway, and Omi freaked out a little.
"I told you to be silent! I even said 'please!'"
- Dr. Doom in the 60s Fantastic Four cartoon: "Silence! Silence, I say! All of you! Listen to me!"
- Similarly, Balactus did this when the White Shadow started bossing him around on Minoriteam. "Silence. There are worlds to destroy."
- In Fairly Oddparents, Elmer's boil says this to him when he contemplates telling someone about it.
- Displayed in an unusual way in the Star Wars spinoff cartoon Droids. During one scene, the local warlord is preparing to make a speech before his henchmen who will not stop talking. The warlord subtly gestures for silence but there's no change. He makes his movements more overt over the next minute or so. Eventually, he resorts to, "QUIIIIIEEEEEEEEETTTTTT!" and finally gets the result he wants.
- Megatron of Transformers fame said this at least once an episode in the G1 cartoon. Usually to Starscream.
- A recent ideological argument between Megs and Prime in the IDW comics had Megatron interupting Prime's famous motto with "Oh shut up!"
- Beast Wars Megatron says this many times as well.
- Mojo Jojo says this trope in a few Powerpuff Girls episodes. As well as from the girls themselves (but it's 'shut up' instead of 'silence').
- Sylvester's famous 'Ahhhhh, Shaddup!' line.
- Other Looney Tunes characters, such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam and others, says this trope in many cartoons. However, in one Porky Pig cartoon, "The Wearing of the Grin", one of the Leprechauns says "Silence in the court!" and "Silence, me boyo!" twice to Porky Pig after Porky objects about stealing their pot of gold.
- The Tiny Toons episode, ' A Quack in the Quarks' has the Darth Vader-esque character say, "Siwence!" in Elmer Fuddese.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender has one from Ozai to Azula.
Ozai: Azula, Silence youself.
- The Little Lulu cartoon 'Musical Lulu' has one from the Judge:
Lulu: He's a liar, awful liar!
- The Felix the Cat cartoon, 'Neptune Nonsense' has one from Neptune himself.
Neptune: So, you were going to cook him and eat him, eh?
- Batman the Animated Series: In the episode, "Deep Freeze", Mr. Freeze say this twice to Batman.
- Skeletor in He Man|and the Masters of the Universe}}:
- Skeletor: Silence, you furry fool!
- Susan Storm, while being brainwashed by Psycho-man, says this in the episode 'Worlds Within Worlds' from the 90's Fantastic Four TV series.
- Lord Dragaunus, from The Mighty Ducks animated series, says this trope in a few episodes.
- The Queen of Hearts from classic 1950's Disney animated film, Alice in Wonderland, says this trope.
- A few characters from X Men the Animated Series say this trope:
- Professor X from the Phoenix Saga arc, says this, when his mind is losing control causing him to attack Wolverine, Jubilee and Gambit, with a evil illusion of himself in his mind.
- One from D'Ken to Gladiator in the Phoenix Saga arc:
Gladiator: My lord, he insults you!
- Brain Child in the "Reunion" two-parter episode:
Professor X: You are the Master?
- The Simpsons: Happens in many episodes:
- One example near the end of the second act from the episode "Bart Sells His Soul":
Homer: Bart, you didn't finish your spaghetti and Moe balls!
- Also, Bart says one to Lisa after she teases him about Laura and Bart in the episode "The New Kid on the Block":
Bart: Maybe Laura could watch us.
- Again in "Skinner's Sense of Snow":
Skinner: All right, that's it. I'm writing all your names on the detention list in my mind.
- And again in "Girly Edition":
Lisa: Bart, get out of my anchorchair.
- And again in "Lisa the Skeptic" but from the so-called angel when it's revealed that it's not an apocalypse but instead turns out to be an opening for the Heavenly Hills shopping mall in Springfield:
Lisa: Well, there you go. I hope you all learned a valuable--
- Also one from Mr. Burns in "Homer's Enemy", as well, when criticising Frank Grimes in his office.
- From "Sunday, Bloody Sunday":
Wally: Well, I'm convinced. Tell you what, Mr. Murdoch. Let's just split the difference. The boys and I will just crouch here quietly, and take it easy on the snacks ...
- The trope also appears in the Gracie Films logo sequence in this episode, as well.
- From "New Kids on the Bleech":
Skinner: Are you adequately prepared to rock?
- This trope also appeared in a few Treehouse of Horror episodes: TOH VII segment, "Citizen Kang", has Kang (or is it Kodos?) say this trope, TOH VIII segment, "The H Ωmega Man", has Mutant Sideshow Mel saying this trope, TOH X has Maggie(in a different voice) say this to Lisa in the episode's couch gag, and near the end of the TOH XI first segment, "G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad", has the devil say "Silence, Sinner!" to ghost Homer.
- Dr. Robotnik gets several of these in The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. One particularly hilarious instance, in which Robotnik, tired of Scratch and Grounder's bickering, punches a hole in his dressing wall thingy, knocking out Grounder (not to mention looking bigger than usual), and screams "SILENCE!!!!!!!" has undergone Memetic Mutation.
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame:
- Guards are known to occasionally use a variant at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
"It is requested that everyone maintains a level of silence and respect!"