Audible Gleam

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"Kings' swords are big and shiny and magical and have jewels on and when you hold them up they catch the light, ting."
Corporal Carrot, Guards Guards

This is the sound made on television (most often cartoons) by things which are shiny or cast a glowing light. Any time you see a gleam or Lens Flare, this is likely to occur, especially if the gleaming thing is someone's impeccable teeth or something very expensive. If the shiny thing is a weapon, this is Audible Sharpness. If not, it's this.

Intrinsic to both the Twinkle Smile and A Twinkle in the Sky. In fact, it lends the "twinkle" to both those terms. See also Power Glows and Everything's Better with Sparkles.

Examples of Audible Gleam include:


  • Advertisements for Orbit gum.
  • This is actually where the term "bling" comes from. It came from a toothpaste commercial where they would sing the jingle and go "(whatever brand name it was) gives you *bling*... confidence!" The "bling" part was the onomatopoeia given to the moment when the person would give a Twinkle Smile. Eventually, the term was used for anything considered shiny. Remember, All That Glitters, so the definition came to this natural conclusion.

Anime and Manga

  • The Pokémon anime contains the most famous example: the Team Rocket trio's signature "ping" accompanied by a star whenever they blast off.
  • Pretty Cure in all its forms abuses this mercilessly. The good guys (well, girls) win because they are shinier than the baddies.
  • Fushigi Yuugi gets a special mention for the glowing body symbols.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh, there's a special one for the Millennium Items, and the light always shines left-to-right, in the same way. The fans call it the "Millennium Trill".
  • One notable example is in the Toonzai broadcast version of Dragon Ball Kai where a couple explosions have glitter digitally edited to them, presumably to soften the blow. Of course, a glistening sound effect accompanies this.
  • Digimon Xros Wars likes to use this a lot, especially when they combine into Shoutmon X7.



Live-Action TV

  • This was Lyle Waggoner's trademark, especially on The Carol Burnett Show and Wonder Woman.
  • The sunstones in Dinotopia.
  • Played for a Running Gag on the Canadian sketch comedy series Royal Canadian Air Farce, referencing the very obviously bleached-white smile of then-Canadian Alliance party leader Stockwell Day. Every skit featuring Day would include at least one close-up shot of him showing off his Twinkle Smile, with the requisite "ting!" sound effect.
  • Max Capricorn's gold tooth does this in the Doctor Who episode "Voyage of the Damned", prompting the Doctor to deliver the bemused line "It really does that?"
    • Played straight in the episode "The Time of Angels," in which the beams of the flashlights torches make noise as they're swept around.


  • A recognizable (though, naturally, gleamless) Audible Gleam shows up puzzlingly in of Montreal's "Triphallus, to Punctuate!": "Now that I'm not a virgin to you, you'll never walk...(bling)...alone!"
  • Utilized in both the song and music video for Weird Al's Headline News.
  • In "Obli-Dee, Obli-Dah" by The Beatles, an Audible Gleam is heard when they mention the diamond ring Desmond buys for Molly.

Video Games

  • The statues on the Triangle islands in The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker. And many more things.
  • In Halo, everything the Forerunner ever built, and everything the Covenant ever modified from them.
  • Naaru. At first, it's beautiful. But if you sit long enough in Shattrath City...
  • In Lego Batman, Catwoman convinces Penguin and Killer Croc to rescue her from jail by holding a diamond up and creating an Audible Gleam that they can hear over a walkie-talkie.
  • The first Discworld game includes a quest in which you must take the sword that goes "doink" and make it go "ting" by finding a dwarven Blacksmith and getting him to tune it.
  • In the Fire Emblem series, used along with a flash of light when attacking with most legendary weapons, such as the Falchion, the Twelve Crusaders' Holy Weapons, the Eight Generals' Divine Weapons, and the Sacred Twins.
  • Shiny Pokémon (Pokemon of a different color than usual) will appear accompanied by some shiny stars and the appropriate sound effects. Also, various moves, like Moonlight, will have shiny sound effects.
  • The opening sequence of the Genesis/Megadrive game "M.U.S.H.A." has one of this most intense (and awesome) audible gleams this troper has ever heard. Just listen to it!

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Richie Rich, animated version
  • Cinderella as portrayed by the Disney Animated Canon - doing all those transformations makes a lot of audible gleaming.
  • Tinkerbell in Disney Animated Canon - fairy/pixie dust creates an audible gleam.
  • A diamond in a treasure room tempts Plastic Man in an episode of Batman the Brave And The Bold by catching the light just so and gleaming audibly so he loses his resistance.
  • The Mayor in Disney's Chicken Little is attracted to a shiny penny that gleams audibly.
  • Parodied in Futurama (in Bender's Game), when the Die of Power is cast, a chorus sings the number rolled.
  • Parodied when Plankton says "Ting! Sparkle sparkle" as he holds up the (fake) golden spatula he's trying to tempt SpongeBob with.
  • Dexter's Laboratory has used the same sound effect for this (the sun's gleam off of Dexter's exo-suit seen here in Dexter Dodgeball) and for Audible Sharpness (the same gleam, off the Dexter Family Mecha's twin swords right around the 20:00 mark in Last But Not Beast). Of course, either example comes with copious Lens Flare.
  • Early episodes of the original Transformers series had this during the "scene-change" sequences; the gleam was eventually dropped. Furthermore, it's actually the same one heard in many of Filmation's works (see example below).
  • This was a recurring sound effect in many of Filmation's productions. In fact, it's even featured in the first version of the company's Westinghouse-era (post-1983) logo.
  • The Huntsman's shiny teeth make this noise during his Bragging Theme Tune.
  • In the The Legend of Korra episode "Welcome to Republic City" a park-dwelling Hobos boasts of the attractiveness of his resident bush, which then Bishie Sparkles with accompanying twinkle noise.

Real Life

  • This trope led to a notable and wide-spread bit of slang. "Bling" describes anything shiny, via a verbal approximation of the sound shiny things notionally make.
  • Considering it's just a highly focused beam of light, the noise an industrial laser makes might qualify.
  • Fluorescent lights.
  • CRT screens (the old, big TVs) whine when they show anything very bright. You normally can't hear it over the sound of whatever you're watching, though.