Reactive Continuous Scream

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Somebody is startled by another - and screams. The surprise at being screamed at makes the other scream (usually even louder than the originator), which leads to the first person continuing to scream, which makes the other then scream even more. If more than two people are involved it can end up with a room filled with people screaming in surprise with no one really knowing why.

Examples of Reactive Continuous Scream include:


  • A variant used in this 2008 Super Bowl commercial with forest animals and a woman in a car about to hit a squirrel.
  • Another variant was used in a legendary Super Bowl commercial, except a Reactive Continuous "WHASSAAAAAAAAP?" replaced the scream.

Anime and Manga

  • Yotsuba&! initiates a three way scream that goes on for half a chapter; while showing a live frog she caught to her friend Ena, her other friend Miura shows up in a scarecrow outfit, causing Yotsuba to scream. Ena uses the frog to scare Miura, who screams and backs into Yotsuba, who renews her own screaming, and reflexively starts hitting her with Ena's favorite teddy bear, causing Ena to start screaming...
  • In Soul Eater, Eruka and Asura do this when he wakes up for the first time in... over a century.

Fan Works

  • In the twenty-seven episode of Dragon Ball Abridged Vegeta, Krillin and Gohan were screaming during their fight with Freeza.

Vegeta: "Healer's down!"
Krillin: "Need a rest!"
Gohan: "Out of mana!"
Vegeta starts screaming and they all follow suit.


  • When Gertie walks into the bedroom and first sees E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the continuous screaming starts - especially funny given the sound of ET's scream and his expression.
  • This was a stock device in many of the early direct-to-video movies starring the Olsen Twins.
  • Seen in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Carrey version). In fairness to Cindy, the Grinch was just plain scary-looking in that scene, lurking up there in the corner like that.
  • Staplerfahrer Klaus
  • The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie had this happen when April wakes up in the Turtles' den and sees them for the first time. She starts screaming and a few of the turtles follow suit.
  • Malibus Most Wanted featured one near the climax by everyone involved in the movie up to that point.
  • In the original trailer for Clue there's a short instance where Mr. Green is screaming. Col. Mustard slaps him and yells, "WHY ARE YOU SCREAMING!!?" "Because I'm frightened!" "OF WHAT!!?" "Screaming!!"


  • Happens in the Discworld book Maskerade, between Mr. Bucket and one of the ballet girls.
  • A projective telepath in The Ear, the Eye and the Arm accidentally causes a psionic version of this when he thinks of a train and it scares a baby, whose fear scares him in turn. It's treated seriously, as part of how he's Blessed with Suck: if he hadn't interrupted the reaction in time, they could have both gone insane.

Live Action TV

  • Done by Mystery Science Theater 3000, with the interesting twist of cutting to a commercial in the middle of it—they're still doing it when we get back, and Tom continues screaming at intervals after everyone else has stopped.

"We'll be right back! AAAAAHHHHH!"

  • This happens in a Halloween episode of Dark Angel, where Joshua opens the door to a group of trick-or-treaters with predictable results.
  • Happens at the end of an episode of the sitcom Taxi between Louie and Death. Or maybe it was just a girl scout selling cookies.
  • Happens in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody several times.
  • My Name Is Earl had this happen in a flashback where Earl tried to rob a wealthy family only to get trapped in the son's room. Afraid of the boogeyman, the kid looked under his bed only to find Earl. They both start screaming.
  • In the Kenan and Kel Christmas episode between Kenan and a woman whose house he's trespassing in.

Video Games

Web Original

  • One particular sketch of AMV Hell III shows re-dubs a scream from Bleach into a reactive continuous scream, with all the other characters looking on in shock and confusion.
  • There was an episode of Baman Piderman that did this
  • Golden Eye in 5 seconds.
  • There's one on Dragon Ball Abridged in episode 10 part 2.
  • This happens in one of the movies of the Asdfmovie series.
  • At the beginning of The Lebrons episode "Gloria", this happens between Gloria and a grasshopper.
  • Happens in the Scoutellite animation "The spoy's ultimate attack".
  • In Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'?'s segment on Final Fight, Anthony walks in on Ashly and begins to scream, then Ash follows and then their friends walked in and started to scream as well. One of them screamed so hard that his nose started to bleed (which was real and not scripted...).
    • Another one has Anthony waking up finding and X on his back and screams once he sees Ash is carrying a knife. Ash also screams while explaining that she's imitating Shadow Of The Collosus.
  • Happens in A Very Potter Sequel when Ron pulls out his rat Scabbers, Harry starts screaming, only for Ron to join in.

Western Animation

Rockso: (whispers) I do cocaine.

  • To clarify, Murderface was asleep on the couch and Rocko woke him up by sitting real close next to him and putting his hand in Murderface's pocket. That would make anyone scream.
  • In Phineas and Ferb this happens between Candace and Buford (who's dressed as Little Suzy Johnson) in "One Good Scare Oughta Do It!" Also happens between Candace and a squirrel in the episode "Comet Kermillion", after Little Suzy brings said squirrel out from behind her back.
  • In the Regular Show episode "Brain Eraser", this happens when Mordecai walks in on a naked Pops.
  • In Shark Tale with Ernie, Bernie and Oscar. They end up doing it twice in a row.'
  • In The Lion King 1½ when Timon and Pumbaa meet for the first time.


  • Lampshaded in Timon and Pumbaa's MSTing of the movie.

Pumbaa: Y'know, first impressions are very important
Timon: Oh, I thought you were a scream.