Chewing the Scenery

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Nick Nolte takes it a bit too literally.


To be fair, Advocate was built almost solely for that last 20 minutes in which Pacino eats every last inch of the set and shits Oscars.

ACTING with EMPHASIS. Nearly any emotion will do here, so long as it's EXTREME!

A common term for a scene where an actor is acting so damn hard that they're picking bits of scenery out of their teeth for days. Actors who really go "all out" are said to chew the scenery. Sometimes scenes can actually require this, but more often the actor and/or director just has the character go over the top.

It's well worth noting that this trope is one of the biggest causes of memes.

While this can often be a bad thing and ruin a scene, just as often it can add to the fun, whether a work is So Bad It's Good or genuinely good. In a Police Procedural, this will often be due to a Perp Sweating or an Exasperated Perp.

This is a Super-Trope, which also includes:



Compare Narm, Narm Charm, Melodrama.

Contrast Dull Surprise, for unusually emotionless moments, and Dramatic Deadpan, for when the emphasis is given precisely by the low key used.

Frequenty goes along with Berserk Button, Freak-Out, Laughing Mad and other exaggerated emotions.

Not to be confused with This Billboard Needs Some Salt (actually munching on the scenery).

Examples of Chewing the Scenery include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

Vegeta: People of the Earth. RAISE YOUR HANDS RIGHT NOW OR YOU'RE ALL GOING TO DIIIIIIE!

Gaara: BLOOOOD! IT'S MY BLOOOOOD!

    • Itachi's Motive Rant from episode 136 of Shippuden. If you pay attention, you could hear his seiyuu literally GASPING for breath between lines!
    • Jiraiya: "When you've reached the stature I have... THE LADIES... KNEEL AND WORSHIP... AT YOUR AWESOMENESS!!!"
    • Chapter 579: Complete with shaky text to indicate insanity:EVEN HE COULDN'T BECOME A TRUE SAGE IN THE END JUST LIKE ME! My power in the sage mode...If you're Dr.Snakes, I hope you keep that in your mind... I'm no longer a snake... The perfect force of sage helped me shed my snake skin...AND I'M A DRAGON NOW!!
  • Koutarou Taiga from GaoGaiGar.
    • The rest of the cast dutifully attempts to keep up. They mostly succeed.
  • Light in Death Note whenever he's Kira-ing, and Mikami all the time.
  • Baccano!'s psycho hams, Ladd Russo and Graham Spector. Of course, then there's Claire Stanfield, who's in a category all his own. But he still manages to ham up his philosophy while fighting Graham and Ladd.
  • Dantalion is quite fond of taking hamminess Up to Eleven For Science!!
  • TAKE THIS! THE STORM OF MY LOYALTY!!!
    • Speaking of Code Geass, Lelouch sometimes goes into this.

"YOU THINK I CARE ABOUT THAT!? FIND NUNNALLY NOW! THAT'S AN ORDER! ALL FORCES SEARCH FOR NUNNALLY!!!!!"

Chopper: SO-RA NO KI-SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!

  • Minori in Toradora!, especially near the end of the series. Although sometimes she's just overdramatic just for fun... diet warriors, indeed. The homeroom teacher also really chews the scenery during the Pro Wrestling event and has to be carried off.

Minori: Nosebleeds are tears of the heart!

  • In Niea Under 7, Tomoko Kawakami is clearly having the time of her life voicing Karna, tearing through every scene in which she occurs with almost limitless abandon—but especially during the "alien awareness meetings".

Karna: I've been an elite ever since I was born... and I'm so beautiful!

"And now Gilbert Durandal, I will play a Requiem, for you and all your kind!

    • Speaking of Gundam, we have Duo's infamous scream when his Gundam gets destroyed, which is so overblown that it reaches into space. His English VA, Scott McNeil, said that the scream was a copy of the one he did when he saw his wife back over his motorcycle in the driveway.
  • Roman Saotome from Sket Dance takes this to a whole nother level she warps the scenery via Otome Vision much to the shock of Himeko and Bossun.


Film[edit | hide]

McCoy: I'd give real money if he'd just shut up.

"NOOOOO!!!!! PUT ME DOOOWWWN!!!"

"OH, NO! NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES! AAAAAHHHHH! OH, THEY'RE IN MY EYES! MY EYES! AAAAHHHHH! AAAAAGGHHH!"
"MURDER! THIS IS MURDER!!! YOU'LL ALL BE GUILTY!!!"
"How'd it get burned? HOW'D IT GET BURRRRNED?"
"KILLING ME WON'T BRING BACK YOUR GODDAMN HONEY!!!"

"YOU WANT SOME OF THIS?!? *thonk*

"I'VE LOST MY HAND!!! AND I'VE LOST MY BRIDE!!!"

    • When he incarnates Castor Troy in Face Off : "Ha HA HA HA HA Ha!"
    • In fact, pretty much every time he plays a dangerous lunatic.
    • As Big Daddy in Kick-Ass he mimics the speech pattern of Adam West.
    • Perhaps the most over-the-top performance in his entire career comes in Vampire's Kiss, in which he portrays a vampire or a paranoid schizophrenic or possibly both.

"YOU'RE FIRED!!!!"
"I'M A VAMPIRE! I'M A VAMPIRE! I'M A VAMPIRE! I'M A VAMPIRE! I'M A VAMPIRE!"

"I will smash their walls to the ground! HEAR ME, ZEUS!"

  • John Noble chews the scenery while munching on everything remotely edible in The Return of the King. And he has atrocious table manners.
  • When Pink in Pink Floyd The Wall decides that he is a British fascist leader and sings "In the Flesh". Just watch as a rock star (Bob Geldof) playing a rock star (Roger Waters) during an insane fantasy of being a fascist dictator while in front of an audience of Pink's rock fans during a concert.
  • Pretty much Jim Carrey's comedic styling. Which is part of what makes the live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas so much fun to watch. Green eggs and ham, indeed.
  • Certain bites of James "Jimi" Kinstle's performance as Norman Osborn (a.k.a. The Green Goblin) in the Spider-Man fan film The Green Goblin's Last Stand. As may be expected from a classically-trained actor playing a homicidal maniac, this is genuinely frightening at times. That joke about Osborn being scarier without his mask on? It's true here.
  • The last two scenes of the second flashback in The Bad and The Beautiful got this from Kirk Douglas and Lana Turner respectively.
  • The saving grace of Daredevil was a delightfully over-the-top portrayal of Bullseye by Colin Farrell. He barely speaks and rarely raises his voice, but his snarling, twitching, and whispered ramblings chew the scenery in a big way. He kills people with pencils, peanuts, and paper clips in scenes that cross the line into Comedic Sociopathy. Just about every scene he's in is simultaneously hilarious and disturbing because of his overacting juxtaposed with the sadistic character.

"He made me...miss. I never miss!"

GAAAAHHHH!!!!
SHADDUUUUPPPP!!!!!
IT'Z NAHT!! A TWOMUR!
Bring your toy back to the CAHHPEHT!!

"WRONG!"
KRRRRYYYYYPTONITE!
Lois Lane: But millions of people will die!
Lex Luthor: BILLIONS! Once again, the press underestimates me.

"Bring me everyone."
"What do you mean "everyone"?"
"EVERYONE!"

SPOOOOOOCCCCCCKKKKKKK!!!!!
FIRE EVERYTHING!
I WANT SPOCK DEAD NOW!!!

M. Bison: Something wrong, Colonel? You come here to fight a madman, and instead you found...a god!? You still refuse to ACCEPT...my godhood?! KEEP your own god! In fact, this might be a good time to PRAY to Him! For I beheld Satan as he FELL FROM HEAVEN! LIKE LIGHTNING!!!

"Should you wish to escape: THE BARBED WIRE ON THE FENCE IS ELECT-RIFIED!! Mwahahahaha!"
"I want him disintegrated: ATOM... BY ATOM!"

'I'M RUNNIN' THIS MONKEY FARM NOW, FRANKENSTEIN, AND I WANNA KNOW WHAT THE FUCK YOU'RE DOING WITH MY TIME!!!'
CHOKE ON 'EM!!!
  • Zadok, the drunken old sea dog in Cthulhu (2007).

"They came out of the sea AND KILLED LOTS OF PEOPLE!"

"It's all here, BLACK AND WHITE, CLEAR AS CRYSTAL! YOU STOLE fizzy lifting drinks! You bumped into the ceiling which now has to be washed and sterilized, so you get... NOTHING! You LOSE! GOOD DAY, SIR!"

    • In fact, any time Gene Wilder freaks out and/or loses his temper in a film, so much so that his face goes redish purple. Will & Grace: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6WxmAAvpCc
    • Gene Wilder period. "ANY SIGNS THAT THEY ARE SLOWING!" "THE PRESERVATION OF LIFE!"
  • Or Antonio Banderas in Assassins. He's quite hammy to begin with, but he chews the scenery in such a way that it gained the status of being the Ensemble Darkhorse.

" YOU BLEW IT!!! I AM STILL ALIVE!!! HAHAHA!!!"

Frank: (thinks he sees a ghost) AH-HAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaa!
Waiter: Oh no sir, that's the Baked Alaska, sir, that's a dessert.

  • The Addams Family was all about this; between Raul Julia and Christopher Lloyd there wasn't a set unchewed.
    • For that matter, anything Raul Julia has acted in. OF COURSE! Chris Lloyd is no slouch, either.
  • Nick Nolte. Full stop.
    • Nick Nolte's character in Lorenzo'sOil crying and wailing hysterically over the numerous side effects of his son's illness.
    • And he does it pretty frequently in Hulk (2003), with the scene pictured above being his ultimate moment.
  • Inglourious Basterds:

"TEDDY FUCKIN' WILLIAMS HITS IT OUT OF THE PARK!!!!! Fenway's on it's feet for Teddy!!! FUCKIN' BALL GAME!!!!!"

"SHUT UP! Mah boy is dead! Oh, I ain't askin' this time. I'm tellin'. And if somebody don't like it, I'm prepared to do a little killin' of my own! (later) I want this out over the wires. Post a $5000 reward from here to hell and back. Bring everybody in. I want that bastard's head. And make sure you include a full description of my Pinto. I want that horse back.

  • Sure, the Masters of the Universe movie was pretty bad, but Frank Langella as Skeletor sure did chew himself some scenery, especially in this scene.

Skeletor: Now. I, Skeletor, am Master of the Universe! YES! Yes... I feel it, the power... fills me. YES, I feel the universe within me! I am... I am a part of the cosmos! The power flows... Flows through me! Of what consequence are you now? This planet, these people. They are NOTHING to me! The universe is POWER! Pure, unstoppable POWER! and I am that force! I am that power! KNEEL BEFORE YOUR MASTER! Fool! you are no longer my EQUAL! I am more than man, MORE THAN LIFE! I... am... a... GOD! Now. You... will... KNEEEEL!!!!!

  • Bram Stokers Dracula has Keanu Reeves in his usual mode... but this is redeemed by Anthony Hopkins as Doctor van Helsing, particularly when he actually roars "Feed me!" for an unintentional invoked trope.
  • Willem Dafoe in The Boondock Saints:
    • "THERE WAS A FIRE FIGHT!!!!!!!!!"
  • Alan Rickman in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves as the Sheriff of Nottingham was gloriously hammy in his portrayal. His best line was probably (at the end of a long list of canceling donations to various charities) "...and call off Christmas!"
  • Herbert Lom as Inspector Dreyfus tends to do this a lot after Clouseau unwittingly succeeds in pushing him over the edge mentally, esp. in the Pink Panther Strikes Again installment, where he plays an Evil Overlord.
  • Paul Giamatti as King John in the thankfully little known Ironclad. "YOU DARE TO QUESTION MY REIGN!!!!"
  • John Tuturro in Anthony Hopkin's confusing art flick Slipstream, playing a over the top growling, insane producer who is sidesplittingly funny as well and this a year before Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder. In one scene, he loses it with the director when he brings his child to the filming and almost nearly attacks him like a wild animal. I don't know if it was ment to be this way or if Tuturro was just hamming it up big time, though he would be in competition with Christian Slater, who literally dies of overacting in the movie as the actor playing a menancing gangster along with Jeffrey Tambor who is at least subtle about it. Though in Slater's case it might just be that the script called for his chewing the scenery.
  • Crispin Glover in River's Edge, I know he was suppose to be a cokehead but Glover played him too much like the dark side of George Mcfly complete with stuttering threats and nervous chatter. I know he got high praise for the role, but I couldn't help but think he wasn't just Chewing the scenery so much that the character rose laughs out of me instead of fear or intimidation.
  • Reb Brown in almost anything he does, compelete with over the top yelling at the top of your lungs acting style like most 80s action stars, his highlight though would be Space Mutiny with lines such as

"SON OF A BITCCCCCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
"LEEEEAAA WAAATTTCCHHH OOUUUUTTTT!"
"AHHHHAAAHAAAAAA"
"C'mon MOOOVVEEE, MOOOVVEEE,MOOVVVEEE, MOOOVVVVEEE,MOOOVVVEEE!"
"Let's get out there and KICCCKKK SOOMMMEEE ASSSSSS!"

  • And in another movie called Strike Commando after a little kid dies he screams the villians name like this

"JAAAAAKKKAOODDDDAAAAA!"

Loki: Father...
Odin: HYAEEERGH!


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • There is an Urban Legend that Vincent D'Onofrio had a clause in his contract for Law and Order: Criminal Intent that simply read: "Feedme!", for when he goes into full Perp Sweating mode. Justified in that he's supposed to be a Bunny Ears Lawyer to a certain extent.
  • Sharon Stone does some painful scenery-chewing in the episode of Law and Order Special Victims Unit "Shattered". She'd been snacking on the scenery in earlier episodes, but "Shattered" is by far the worst, especially when she picks up the corpse of a boy who was killed during a kidnapping gone wrong and shouts "YOUR SON NEEDS YOOOOOOOOOUUUU" at his mentally unstable mother.
  • Any scene in Battlestar Galactica Reimagined where Edward James Olmos ends up having a emotional breakdown in his cabin and starts punching the wall, his ship or Colonel Tigh. Double points if he gets drunk and starts drooling or vomiting on himself. The producers have admitted they put a few too many of these in during the final episodes. The first was heartbreakingly effective for many, but by the end it was like, suck it up man!
    • Smashing the wooden ship, that wasn't a prop. Ooops.
  • James Marsters as the newly-souled vampire Spike during the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer—especially during the first couple of episodes, with Spike being constantly tortured by his guilty conscience and acting totally bonkers. Especially during the scene where Spike, after a lengthy tragic monologue, drapes himself over a church cross and his skin starts to sizzle.
  • Pretty much every incarnation of the Master from Doctor Who. Especially the John Simm version; he's so hungry and no amount of scenery will satisfy him. Or food, in "The End of Time".

Ninth Doctor: I watched it happen! I MADE IT HAPPEN!!!

    • Davros defines this trope. "THE DESTRUCTION! OF REALITY! ITSELF!!!"
      • And the Seventh Doctor mocks him for lampshades this in Remembrance of the Daleks.
      • And while we mention Davros, there are also the dreaded Daleks.
      • "Those words are BLLLASPHEMYYYYYYY!"
      • "I... AM... A human DALEK! I am... YOUR FUTURE!" was said by a Dalek-Ham hybrid in the new series.
    • Mark Strickson, who played the Fifth Doctor's companion Turlough, chowed down on the scenery on more than one occasion.
      • AN INFECTIOOOOON. However, it was made awesome by his willingness to not only slobber on himself, but to take the complete and utter piss out of it by re-enacting it with ever-increasing amounts of bacon at conventions for the next 20 years.
    • The Wire, a one-episode villain, was very much this trope. In fact, her catch-phrase was in fact "FEEEEEED MEEEEEEE!"
      • Perhaps a Shout-Out to a certain plant...?
      • No mention of the Empress of the Racnoss from "The Runaway Bride?" There was not enough scenery in the entire SERIES to account for that amount of chewing.
    • Timothy Dalton as the Time Lord narrator in "The End of Time" was literally spraying at the end of the first part.
      • The Master in the same story is very hungry and extremely aching to chew on far more stuff than usual. Both figuratively and literally.
    • Worth mentioning again: John Simm as the Master. "HERE! COME! THE DRUMS!"
    • The Eleventh Doctor is looking right at home putting teeth marks on the scenery.
      • From "Victory of the Daleks" *whilst beating on a Dalek with a giant wrench* "I AM THE DOCTOR!!! AND YOU ARE THE DALEKS!!!"
      • Do not whiz around in your silly little spaceship while HE. IS. TAAAAAAAALKING!!!
      • "Those words. "Run away." I want you to be famous for those exact words. I want people to call you Colonel Runaway. I want children laughing outside your door, 'cause they've found the house of Colonel Runaway. And when people come to you and ask if trying to get to me through the people I LOVE ...is in any way a good idea, I want you to tell them your name. Look, I'm angry, that's new. I'm not really sure what's going to happen now."
    • Arthur Darvill gets his chance to snack on some scenery in "The Girl Who Waited."
  • Nevel from iCarly gets some very campy (both types) scenery chewing moments for a 14 year old.
  • Previously on the Satellite of Love...
  • While most people understandably get quite boisterous in a good mood, one hat of the Centauri in Babylon 5, particularly Londo Mollari, is to really ham it up when they're happy, or drunk or (most commonly) both at the same time. They're otherwise quite normal, if a bit eccentric in an Eastern Bloc sort of way.
    • Not to mention the half a dozen times Delenn gives a REALLY intense speech to some foe (or the leaders of her government). The first time it's pretty awesome, but the lack of variation each time she gives that speech makes it a little redundant.
    • Bruce Boxleitner gets several of these as Captain Sheridan as well, most notably with his over-the-top "No more Nightwatch" speech during "Ceremonies of Light and Dark". JMS specifically cites him for "Chewing the Scenery" in the director's commentary when Holo-Sheridan gives a "programmed" propaganda speech in "Deconstruction of Falling Stars."
    • The most egregious example was Ivanova's challenge to the commander of the Shadow-enhanced destroyer force in "Between the Darkness and the Light": "I am Death incarnate...God sent me..." Completely over the top, and only fueled the fires of the enemy proganda machine.
      • Though it's not like she hasn't done that before. Like the time she reprimanded a pilot that almost got himself fried by the planet B5 orbits. That time, she said that she was God.
  • Several of the actors in Tomica Hero Rescue Force start to do this later in the series.
  • Kelso of That '70s Show easily qualifies. Any time he appears on the scene (regardless of where it is or what else is happening), the focus tends to immediately go to him. It helps that he typically bursts onto the scene Kramer-style, right before saying something COMPLETELY off the wall.
    • Speaking of which, Kramer.
  • Lionel Tribbey ("LEO!") and Lord John Marbury ("GERALD!") on The West Wing.
  • You might want to sit down for this one: Lowly Ensign David Bailey manages to pull off an epic Heroic BSOD in the TOS episode "The Corbomite Maneuver". After staring death in the face for the majority of the episode (complete with Countdown Of Doom), he has a memorable Freak-Out scene:

Bailey: What, are you all out of your minds?! End of watch? It's the end of everything! WHAT ARE YOU, ROBOTS?! Wound up, toy soldiers?! Don't you know when you're dying?! Watch and regulations and orders? What do they mean?!?

    • Ok, so here's the "are you sitting down" part -- William freaking Shatner was on set at the same time. And he looked like the subtle one.
  • Counselor Troi had some moments in the Star Trek: The Next Generation premiere when she sensed the pain of an imprisoned alien. It doesn't quite come off, as Wil Wheaton notes in his recap:

Troi opens up her mind to find... pain. Lots and lots of pain. Boy, there sure is a lot of pain.'

"I... dropped the SCREW... in the TUNAAAAA! IT WAS ME!! OHH, THE HUMANITY...!"

"Sam! Prepare my horse! I ride... to DoSAC!"

  • Andy in Weeds, after Nancy drops his banana bread in the season premiere of season 5: "My beautiful loaf. YOU RUIN EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH!"
  • In Lost, sometimes Matthew Fox not only overacts, but also pulls the weirdest facial expressions possible, the so-called "Jackfaces" (fine gallery of examples).
  • Michael Shanks guest-stars in the Smallville two-hour episode "Absolute Justice". Michael Shanks, who can play subtle, obviously realizes that he is playing the role of a guy with wings and a silly mask who carries a really big mace on a superhero show. Michael Shanks is not going to play subtle. Carter Hall/Hawkman is so over the top you will believe a man can digest scenery.
    • Callum Blue's Major Zod was always a Large Ham, but it's during his Villainous Breakdown in the finale that he really cuts loose. He raves, twitches, screams about how everyone will Kneel Before Zod, and then finally throws himself at Clark with a knife.
  • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: Shinken Blue is noteworthy for his supreme fealty to his Lord. "TONOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • Shinken Gold is even hammier than Shinken Blue, and that's saying something.

Genta: Eh? Kamen Rider"?...NANJA SURIE!?

Batiatus: "Continue on this path, and we will have the WOOOORLD! BLAAAAARGH!"

  • XTREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEME!!!!!!!!!!
  • In Wizards of Waverly Place there’s an episode where Justin casts a spell to ham it up and burst on stage saying "Do you mind if I chew a little scenery?"
  • Tracy Jordan in Thirty Rock. And Tracy Morgan in real life. Seriously, just watch any of his interviews on The Daily Show.
  • When shooting a scene during the first season of Twin Peaks where Benjamin Horne and his creepy brother interrupt the family dinner to devour Brie & butter sandwiches, the actor Richard Beymer who played Benjamin was repeatedly told by David Lynch to "really eat it." Each take they took Lynch would yell "cut" and tell him, "No, really ... eat it. Dig into it." After something like 20 takes or so with this sort of encouragement, Beymer finally realized just how insane his character was intended to be. The result is that Benjamin buries his whole face in the thing while moaning like a madman.

"I'M A MOOOONSTERRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!"

  • Merle Dixon, in The Walking Dead, has this in spades.
    • Shane appears to have taken over now that Merle's not around so much, but nearly everyone has their moment.
  • Rita Repulsa, especially after a defeat. "I'VE GOT SUCH A HEADAAACHE! GET ME AN ASPIRIN!"
    • In one memorable occasion, Kimberly out-hammed her: because Lord Zedd had chosen her as her new queen and Goldar had kidnapped her and took away her morpher while attempting a brainwashing, she tried to buy time by imitating Rita... A little too well. See it here.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Doomsday Machine," William Windom as Commodore Decker chews so much scenery and so thoroughly that he makes William Shatner look downright subdued. That's right, he plays opposite the North American archetype of the Large Ham and out-hams him!
    • His performance is so convincing and so disturbing that even the ominous music AND the reaction shots of William Shatner seem shallow and flimsy in comparison (And this is Star Trek: The Original Series TOS where even the music was a Large Ham). The first time this troper saw it, she was convinced Windom had had a nervous breakdown on set and the director decided to just go with it![2]
  • In the BBC adaptation of Jayne Eyre got rid of it's scenery by letting Ciaran Hinds eat it all up. Just jump to 3:00 and watch. Also it has a zoom in a bit in that crosses over into Narm.
  • "DON'T BE A WEENIE!"
  • Kim from Kath and Kim has a tendency to do this.
    • The effect is doubled when she and Sharon get into an argument.

Sharon: Since I've met Marriat, his love and support has given me the strength to stand up to you, Kim.
Kim: Marriat? MARRIAT?! You haven't even met Marriat, Sharon!
Sharon: TAKE THAT BACK! I am warning you Kim. If you say one more thing about Marriat, I swear I will kill you! Do you hear me? I WILL KILL YOU!

  • Dennis Haysbert has a few memorable moments in The Unit.
    • Combined with "Punctuated! For! Emphasis!" in Season 1 Episode 1: "Get off this plane! GET OFF THIS PLANE!! GET OFF!! THIS PLANE!!!"
  • Kelsey Gammer was absolutely brilliant at this in Frasier — totally justified in that a defining trait of his character is being an overdramatic, pompous, Hot-Blooded, arrogant, flamboyant Large Ham.

Frasier: What you are feeling is that this woman has reached into your chest, plucked out your heart, and thrown it to her hell-
hounds for a chew toy! And it's not the last time either! Because that's what this woman is! She is the Devil! There's
no use running away from her, because no matter how far you go, no matter how many years you let pass, you will never be
completely out of reach of those bony fingers! So drink hearty, Franklin, and laugh! Because you have made a pact
with Beelzebub! And her name is MARY ANNNNNNNNNE!!

  • Eric on Boy Meets World did this more and more as he got crazier, such as yelling at a waitress for the check when trying to get out of a restaurant and a Big "What?" reaction after learning that Mr. Feeny is retiring. In season 7 when he became a full-on Cloudcuckoolander he did this almost every episode.
  • John Crichton of Farscape tends to do this whenever he goes undercover.


Music[edit | hide]

  • Burly Chassis is the musical equivalent; after recording "Goldfinger", she probably needed A Glass of Chianti to wash down all the soundproofing in the recording booth.
  • Tom Jones.
  • Ghostface Killah
  • Steppenwolf's "The Pusher" is big moment for lead singer John Kay. "I SAID GODDAMN! GODDAMNTHEPUSHERMAN!"
  • Merry Clayton's guest vocal in The Rolling Stones' classic "Gimme Shelter", which was actually rumored to have caused her miscarriage.
  • Miyuki Nakajima usually has at least one in each of her Yakai concerts. The second half of this number is an excellent example, as is this one.
  • Michael Jackson, cf. "Black or White"'s finale.
  • Pretty much every one of VNV Nation's live performances, and we wouldn't have it any other way. If you're curious just search for some live performances on YouTube and watch him play the crowd.
  • Journey's video for "Separate Ways". The song isn't too hammy. But Steve Perry does the most exaggerated expressions possible.
  • Much of Linkin Park. "CRAAWWWWWWWWWWLING!!! INNNNNNNNNNNNN!!! MYYYY!!! SKINNNNNNNNNNN!!!"
  • The music video for "Stay" by Shakespears Sister.
  • Two words: James. HETFIELD!
    • AH!
  • Much metal has a tendency towards the hammy. For example, Judas Priest: "HE! IS! THE! PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAINKILLLLLER! THIS! IS! THE! PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAINKILLLLLER!"
  • Dio's vocal style popularized much of this in metal, with younger Power Metal bands taking it to its logical extreme (minus his sheer energy).
  • David Draiman: the only "acting" he's ever done in a video was a Big No. His voice is the kind that can somehow make "WE BEGIN THE HUNT TONIGHT! FEEL THE POWER COURSE AS THE CREATURES TAKE FLIGHT!!" sound cool. He also loves to fill songs with Evil Laughter. If anyone else did this, it would be So Bad It's Good. With him, he really can convince you that he's an indestructible master of war.
  • Christina Aguilera all those riffs, runs and malisma's. Your Mileage Will Vary if you like it or not!
  • After the video for The Ballad of Mona Lisa, Brendon Urie must've been picking scenery out of his teeth for weeks.
  • How has everyone forgotten Meat Loaf? NNNGHHYOOUBETTAHBELEEVEIT!!


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Exalted, being a game designed to let players be over the top in all they do, your character is allowed to live this trope. There's even a mention of player characters getting a dying monologue, no matter how they die.
    • Dragon Blooded, almost literally, chew the scenery when they use a lot of 'mana', in which their anima banners start doing damage to everything within a few yards. Accordingly, they tend to furnish their homes with sculpture and heavy stone furniture, so they don't have to buy a new couch every time someone gets pissed off.
    • In the source book for the Infernal Exalted, the Storytelling chapter has a section on how to use them as Card Carrying Villains (their original intent) entitled "This Scenery Looks Delicious." In fact, at one point in the book it's explained how the player of a 'Green Sun Prince' can even receive mechanical benefits from dramatic monologuing under the right circumstances.
  • Warhammer 40,000's Orks. Especially their leaders. And, to a varying extent, everyone else on the battlefield. (See Dawn of War for the Canon voice acting.)


Theatre[edit | hide]

  • There is a popular theatre blog called "Chewing the Scenery" which often slates over the top or silly acting in British theatre.
  • The "Spartacus and the Gladiators" recitation in The Solid Gold Cadillac serves no purpose except to allow whoever is playing McKeever to overact ludicrously.
  • Herakles enters the scene in the midst of dying a Cruel and Unusual Death in The Women of Trachis. In itself such a situation may call for some scenery chewing, but since the character is Herakles in this case it's a prerequisite.
  • Starship is a World of Ham, more or less, but the greatest of all these Hams are probably Taz, played by Lauren Lopez, Up, played by Joe Walker, and Tootsie Noodles, played by Dylan Saunders. Not that Pincer (Saunders) is much better. Walker just cheerfully chews up the scenery with their aid, trying to see who can eat more of it. For what scenes he's in there, of course, Krayonder (played by Joe Moses, who is Snape in A Very Potter Musical), eats what he can, as does Jim Povolo (Sweetheart and The Overqueen).


Video Games[edit | hide]

"YES! YES! THIS IS IT!"

Behold! GUNS of the PATRIOTS!

    • By no means is this limited to the fourth installment:

"What was she fighting for? What am I fighting for? WHAT ARE YOU FIGHTING FFOOOORR?!?"

"It's Forrest! Oh my GOD COD!"
"Just - take - a - look - at - THIS!"
"Run Jill! He's insane!"

    • The Raccoon City Police Chief was another one: "But you're not leaving my town! Everyone's gonna DIE!"
    • Wesker (or "WESKERRRRR!!") has some of the most over-the-top villainous monologues ever.
      • RE4 wasn't so bad and never had anything over-the-top, but RE5 and has Chris overacting every scene. Wesker's gem monologues are good, and become awesome when he throws his glasses at Chris so he can punch him whilst he's distracted!

"Seven minutes is all I have 2 pleh with you."
"CHHHRRIIIISSS!!!! SSSHHHEEEVVVVVAAAA!!!!!" EEEXXXXCCCCEEELLLLLAAAAAA!!!
"Uroboros will be released, resulting in complete, GLOBAL, SATURATION".

"I will carve your NAME into my BLOOOOOOOD!"

"I honor my lord, by destroying you!"

"Diao Chan! Ohhh, Diao Chan!!"

KINGDOM HEARTS! FILL ME WITH THE POWER OF DARKNESS!!!
DARKNESS CONQUERS ALL WORLDS!!!
Voice of the Legion: "This Χ-blade will open a door, one that leads to ALL WORLDS! Then, Keyblade-bearing warriors will flock here from each and every one of them, to battle for the light within KINGDOM HEARTS! And just like the legend says, the Keyblade War will BEGIN!"

  • Lani Minella, the voice actress for several Wrath of the Lich King bosses, arguably reached the pinnacle of this trope with the undead dragon queen Sindragosa.
  • Just about every boss in World of Warcraft, but Yogg-Saron wins by being made of mouths to chew with.

'BBBOOOONNNNNEEEEEESSSSSTTTTOOORRRMMMMMM!

Ganon: You DARE bring light to mah LAIR?! YOU MUST DIE!!!

->"You still refuse to ACCEPT...my godhood?! KEEP your own god! In fact, this might be a good time to PRAY to Him! [levitates into the air] For I beheld Satan as he FELL FRROM HEAVENN! LIKE LIGHTNIINNGG!!!"

  • Destroy All Humans!: RADIOACTIVE EXPLODING ZOMBIE COWS!!!!
  • Dr. Robotnik was having way too much fun at the beginning of the game. "You know NOTHING', fools! It's Chaos, the GOD of DESTRUCTION!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"
    • In Sonic Generations, even his past self is thrown off by his scenery chewing tendencies.
  • Also, the Anticlimax Boss of Sonic Heroes, the Metal Overlord comes out with such gems as "This victory shall soon turn into DESPAAAAAIIIIRRR!!!", "IT'S! TOO! LAAATE!!" and, of course, "BUUURRNNN! TOOOOO DEEEAAATTHHH!!!", complete with voice echo! What's more, he is ACTUALLY eating the ship while he's on while doing so (implied). What's more, It Gets Worse after he takes off!
  • Loghain in Dragon Age: Origins.
  • The Arishok in Dragon Age II when Hawke gets in a duel with him.
  • Every villain in the Professor Layton series (Don Paolo, Anton, Clive and Descole) has one thing in common: At some point in their game/movie, they will shout Layton's name very loud.

LLLLLAAAAAYYYYYTTTTTOOOOONNNNN!!!!!

"You are our salvation. You are a Guardian!"

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Sparks in Girl Genius are usually rather normal whenever they're not in The Madness Place—when they are, this trope applies to damn near everything they do.
    • Which qualifies it as Deconstruction, since they chew the scenery due to the equivalent of psychotic breaks from reality.
    • That does explain Othar Tryggvassen, GENTLEMAN ADVENTURER! quite well.
    • Gilgamesh Wulfenbach has now been explicitly referenced as "chewing the furniture"
    • Before that, the chapter where Agatha first sees him enter "The Madness Place" was known as "Gil Chews the Scenery" from the first Volume.
  • Goblins had a scene that the author actually changed because he thought it was too narmtastic. A mook is getting painfully transformed into a pile of snakes and screams, "I feel sick... Oh God, it hurts!
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob: Galatea lives and breathes this trope. "'Crazy? Me? You dare?! All the world is mad and only I am sane!" "We are a new race, more intelligent than man and obliged to supplant him! We... are the ubermensch!!!... Or is that ubermenschen... or uberfrauen... or..." "SO ENDS THE AGE OF MAN!" "Heed me, Butane! This is Captain Galatea Martin of the starship Lathe of Empires!... I promise you wise and just leadership... if you surrender... NOW!
  • Gunnerkrigg Court has a scene of student Mediums' meeting with "a being of the Etherium". Who happens to be Mort in his Bedsheet Ghost form.

Parley: SPECTRAL BEING! Do you mean us harm?!
Mort: (silently stares at her)

Parley: (assuming Pstandard Psychic Pstance) We wish to commmunicate with you!

Mort: (winces)

Mort: Annie, why is she talking like that?

author's comment: Awkwaaard.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • The performances in Kickassia as a whole play this to the hilt, for pure hilarity. Most impressive are the portrayals of The Nostalgia Critic (Doug Walker) and Spoony (Noah Antwiler), which are absolutely over the top and down the other side.
    • Though they've had plenty of practice in their reviews, such as "EXPLAIN, MOVIE! JUST EX-PLAAAAAINNN!!!", the Critic's huge freak-outs over the likes of Batman and Robin. Or Ma-Ti's "A movie that make my nipples tingle with fear!"
    • Noah Antwiler's brilliant impression of WARRIOR in the The Spoony Experiment/Atop the Fourth Wall reviews of the Warrior comics quite happily swallows down a whole lot of scenery, seemingly without it even touching the sides. He probably could have managed more, had there been any actual scenery to munch on... Worryingly, the actual Ultimate Warrior appears to be so much worse than Spoony's impression.
    • In the Battlefield Earth review, Spoony's version of Terl somehow manages to chew the scenery more than John Travolta's. And it is glorious.
  • This. Oh, this.
  • Basically everyone in A Very Potter Musical does this at some point, but Snape really takes the cake and throws it away in favor of some delicious scenery.

Sarge: I LOVE BLOOD AND VIOLENCE! I GOTTA BONER FOR MURDER!


Western Animation[edit | hide]

Ren: "I... I was nice today. Nice to those insipid little monkeys, answering their stupid letters. My hands... DIRTY! THE DIRT WON'T COME OFF! AAAAAAAHHHH! [Lying in bed] President... Ha! What a joke. President...President of WHAT?! [Enviously looking over at Stimpy] His fan club?! How they love him! Look at him, lying there asleep. [Creeps over to Stimpy's side]The idol of millions. He's a fool! A silly, lying little fool. How easily I could end the farce... with these hands! These DIRTY hands! AND WITH THESE HANDS I HOLD THE FATE OF MILLIONS!!! They think he's a god, but he's as mortal as we. I know! [Visually drawing a dotted line along Stimpy's neck] Just..one...quick...TWIST! And it's over. Just... one... Just...AAAAH! It's happening again! MY BRAIN! MY HOT... STINGING... BRAIN!!!! WHAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!"

    • For the LAST TIME! I! WANT YOU! TO BE! QUIET!!!!!
    • "It is not I who am crazy. It is I who am mad!"
    • "I told ya I'd shoot! Butcha didn't believe me! WHY DIDN'T YA BELIEVE ME?!"
    • "YOU covetith my ICE CREAM BAR!"
  • Invader Zim: HE IS ZIM!!!

FOOLISH EARTH PIGS!!
LIES! THIS FILTHY EARTH BOY LIES!
No! You lie! YOU LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIE!

    • Pretty much any character voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz will chew the scenery given half a chance.

"But, invader's blood flows through my veins, like giant RADIOACTIVE RUBBER PANTS! THE PANTS COMMAND ME! DO NOT IGNORE MY VEINS!"

  • The vampire Joker is like this constantly in The Batman vs. Dracula, constantly screaming and moaning and even once said the titular line (right before eating a cockroach). Massive Nightmare Fuel.
  • Mark Hamill's Fire Lord Ozai in Avatar: The Last Airbender, particularly in the series finale War Room meeting. In fact, any of Mark Hamill's villains could fit on this page, especially the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series Joker and Hobgoblin in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
  • Professor Dementor in Kim Possible was created with this trope in mind.
  • Henry Gyrich of X-Men fame was always a little unhinged, but his appearance in the last episode shot him straight into scenery-chewing territory. Acoustic feedback from his microphone fails to slow him down. By the end of the scene, for the character's swan song, Barry Flatman shifts gears from merely chewing the scenery to practically devouring it.
    • Storm was wondering if you could MEET HER AT THE MONORAIL!
  • Metalocalypse:

"I LOVE BEING MOTIVATED! I LOVE BEING MOTIVATED!!!"

UNHOLY ACTING DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY! GOOD NIGHT!
ROOOOOOOBOOOOOOOT HOOOOOOUUUUUSEEE!

    • Lugnut. Especially with anything in reguard to his GLORIOUS leader.

STASIS LOCK ITSELF COULD NOT DETER ME FROM YOUR GRAND AND GLORIOUS PLAN! OH WISE AND NOBLE MEGATRON!

"Bitch ass, punk ass, faggot ass, pussy ass, BITCH ASS NIGGA!"
"NIGGA! You better have insurance! Ass-whooping insurance! And you're about to pay a DEDUCTIBLE!"
"Who in the hell parked in my spot! That's like calling 1-800-COLLECT-AN-ASS-WHOOPIN', but NO, that ain't no toll-free call!"

"WE'RE VENOM!!!"
"TREACHERYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!"
MYSTERIO, MASTER OF THE ARCAAANAAA!

  • Notably lampshaded in an episode of Teen Titans, where Cyborg gets a virus that messes with his programming. As a result, he literally starts eating the scenery...you can guess what happens.
  • Tom and Jerry: The Movie: "We've GOT to have......MONAY!!!"
  • He is the Terror that Stalks in the Night. He is the Caped Crusader who chomps chewy chunks from the scenery as he counters cheesy chumps. He is ... Darkwing Duck!
    • Every single character on the show has moments of this. One especially cheesy episode lampshades this trope by showcasing a giant space slug which chews up the set in the background. Darkwing (of course) thinks it's ridiculous.
  • Bonus points to Lilo and Stitch for doing it on an actual stage
    • If I fed Pudge tuna It'd be an ABOMINATION!!!!
    • Nani's breakdown after Lilo is abducted by Gantu: "LILO! SHE'S A LITTLE GIRL, THIS BIG, BROWN EYES, AND WAS HANGING AROUND WITH THAT THING!!" (referring to Stitch)
  • South Park: Some of the characters Trey plays can leave a hole in the scenery.
    • Cartman lives and breathes this:

Cartman: I... AM... GOD!!!

    • Randy. Constantly. In later episodes.
    • Unusually, Mr. Mackey in "Royal Pudding".

Mr. Mackey: (to Kyle, taking over Ike's role as Tooth Decay) You call rolling your fat ass out on the stage and lazily blurting out your lines like a turtle takin' a shit, YOU CALL THAT TRYIN'?!

Finn: I'LL KILL YOU, LUMPY SPAAACE!!!

    • Tom Kenny as The Ice King:

Ice King: I have powers, TOO, you BUTTS!

    • Sweet holy mother of Glob, Justin Roiland as the earl of Lemongrab:

Lemongrab: This Castle Is... In... Unacceptabllle Conditiiiooon! UNACCEPTABLLLEEE!!!"

  • Binky the Clown from Garfield and Friends spends the whole time screaming, to the point where there were shorts called "SCREAMING WITH BINKY". The cartoon played this for laughs quite often; at one point he was temporarily given a job as a newscaster, where he kept his signature mannerisms.
    • "HEY!!! I WANT MY PANTS BACK!!!!"

Garfield: "After being unable to find work, Binky eventually did what so many other clowns end up doing - he went into politics."

Robotnik: Why is my precious rocket ship drifting off into deep space?! Why am I reaching you at the coordinates of the abandoned space station?! WHY?! WHY?! WHHYYY?!

  • In ThunderCats (2011), Will Friedle is clearly getting very into it whenever his Lion-O recites the famous, "Thunder! Thunder! Thundercats! HO!" Battle Cry. In fact, it sounds like he's trying to roar the line more often than not.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Most politicians have shades of this, especially more than a century ago. You can guess why, in a world without microphones, booming voices and exaggerated mannerisms might be advantages when giving a speech.
    • The politicians in the ancient Greek and Roman democracies may have been even more extreme. Unfortunately all we have are the texts of their speeches.
  • Although the movie Mommie Dearest seems to have Joan Crawford thoroughly digesting the scenery, according to her daughter, Christine Crawford, the performance was understated.
  • Adolf Hitler tended to do this every time he spoke in public. The movies (like the Downfall example above) aren't really that far from the truth this time. Most other dictators have a tendency to indulge in the same style.
    • It was Hitler's ranting in the Downfall movie, coupled with the subtitles and the German, that inspired the Hitler parodies that are popular on the internet.
    • Hitler was reputed to do this a bit more literally in less-public venues. William Shirer mentions at one point in Berlin Diary that in some circles, he was referred to as Der Teppich-Fresser (the carpet eater), because it was rumored that when he was agitated, he would throw himself to the floor and start chewing the edges of the rugs.
  • Somehow, against all logic, Brian Blessed' has managed to accomplish this in real life. Observe his performance as guest host of Have I Got News for You, with lines such as "PETROL! WE'RE RUNNING OUT!" and, referring to the beleaguered Prime Minister Brown, "GORDON'S ALIVE!"
  • Transylvanian stage actor Gyorgy Kárp, who, among other roles, played Juror#3, is often seen turning red and yelling so loud, it makes you wonder how come he didn't spit out his own lungs.
  • Fidel Castro. He used to deliver speeches taking 3 or 4 hours, even in front of the UNO. They weren't quite amused...
    • He was once asked an inane question at a party and spoke for FOUR HOURS without stopping. Dear god man...
  • Nikita Krushchev's infamous "We will BURY you!" speech, as well as a separate incident at the UN where he took off his shoe and started banging it against the table.
  • Mikhail Saakashvili was caught on camera chewing on his own tie in the Georgian Presidential office. Watch it.