Cape Swish

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

    Not enough Dramatic Wind to blow your cape around in a satisfactory manner? Make your own! The easiest way is to turn around quickly, causing your cape to billow out behind. You might also want to hold it out with one hand as you swoop for maximum surface area, but a true master of the technique can achieve awesome cape flaring with a minimum of movement. Running forward or other sudden movements can also make a cape flare, but is less dignified.

    This is a favorite move of any character that wears a cape, especially the Dastardly Whiplash. However, any character with a cape can pull it off. It can also be done with a cloak, robe, coat, or any similar long garment, or even with Rapunzel Hair.

    Compare Badass Cape, Ominous Opera Cape.

    Examples of Cape Swish include:

    Anime and Manga

    • Piccolo of Dragonball Z is quite good at this, though notably does it less often after his Heel Face Turn.
    • The Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann does this, as do all the characters who sport capes, especially Simon and Kamina.
    • Zero from Code Geass adores this trope. Every one of his incredibly dramatic public addresses is punctuated by a well-timed Cape Swish.
    • Tuxedo Mask of Sailor Moon is fond of this. Kunzite was also known to do it.


    • A staple of Batman, whose Cape Swish is actually weaponized. The cape contains weights, the better to smack Mooks upside the head with.
    • In Asterix and the Big Fight, the rival village chieftain tells Vitalstatistix he turns his back on the to-be-defeated chief, which he does with a Cape Swish. Unfortunately his Shield Bearers think this also applies to them, so he ends up facing them again.
    • A staple of The Shadow, who, in the original Pulp Magazine stories, used his cape to deflect bullets (the ability to cloud men's minds came later, with the radio adaptation).
    • Doctor Strange's Cloak of Levitation, helpfully, grants flight powers and has some (very vaguely defined) sentience. It can billow around on its own, and often does.



    • Graf von Krolock in Tanz der Vampire does this a lot, not least because the design of his cape actually forces the actor playing him to swoosh it back just to gesture- and being a musical, there's a lot of gesturing.
    • Similarly, the cloak worn by the title character in The Phantom of the Opera is designed to drape over and move with his arms, ensuring plenty of appropriately melodramatic cape swishing.


    • The Star Wars Expanded Universe mentions more than once that Darth Vader's cape streams behind him when he walks. In Death Star a gunner's hand is brushed by the edge of it as Vader passes. In Allegiance, Mara Jade can identify him from a distance because of that cape.
    • Severus Snape from Harry Potter is known for this, particularly when entering his classroom. It fits with his "evil bat of the dungeons" persona.
    • Bumbling magician Schmendrick in The Last Unicorn wants Dramatic Wind but has to settle for this instead.
    • Hrathen does this in Elantris. When Sarene first sees him, she hopes he'll trip on it.

    Live Action TV

    • Bruce Campbell in Jack of All Trades. Pretty much every scene where he's in his Daring Dragoon persona.
    • The Master, principally when played by Anthony Ainley, on Doctor Who.
    • Angel does this in the Angel Investigations commercial Cordelia describes in a first season episode.
    • Alan Statham from Green Wing attempts to do this with his lab coat, and spends a great deal of time walking back and forth and turning sharply in order to achieve this. It doesn't manage to make him any cooler.


    • In Wicked, the musical, the choreography of "No Good Deed" ends with Elphaba swishing her cape with dramatic lighting to accompany the powerful, bitter music. It's badass.

    Video Games

    Web Comics

    Western Animation