Sarcastic Clapping

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Wayne Rooney's spin on this trope.
That was a sarcastic clap. The space between the claps means sarcasm.
Wanda, Corner Gas

The heroes have been engaging in heroism, battling countless Evil Minions and/or giving a Rousing Speech.

Cue the slow, rhythmic, sarcastic clapping from the Big Bad or a less idealistic hero. He is not impressed (sneering "Bra-vo" is optional). Extra credit for starting to clap while slouched in a dark corner, then sauntering, still clapping, into the light. Can also be done by villains or heroic characters who are not part of the core hero group (by virtue of being rugged and edgy loners), particularly Sixth Rangers.

This clapping may be the remainder of an outburst of applause from genuine supporters.

The golf clap is sometimes substituted by the Sissy Villain.

Not to be confused with the Slow Clap. Compare Sarcasm Mode, of which this is often a non-verbal form.

Examples of Sarcastic Clapping include:


Advertising[edit | hide | hide all]

  • The red M&M guy does one when Optimus Prime flings a trailer full of strawberry peanut butter M&Ms into the distance.

Anime and Manga[edit | hide]

  • A pitch video for the (canceled) second season of Hellsing had Alucard shooting everything up, then the next Big Bad clapping slowly. The OVA, which rebooted the series, features him.
    • In the manga, the Major has a tendency to applaud his enemies when they seem to be doing well (although knowing him, it could be that he is genuinely impressed).
  • In Negima!?, Eva does this in response to Negi casting a spell to see spirits, but he doesn't realize she's being sarcastic.
  • Nagi in episode 16 of My-HiME, foreshadowing The Reveal immediately afterward.
  • Pegasus does it to Kaiba in Yu-Gi-Oh! after Kaiba reaches his brother in the dungeon of Pegasus' castle.
  • Mao from Code Geass is fond of this.
  • Minagi from AIR did this after Yukito showed off his puppeteering skills.
  • Romeo gets one in episode 14 of Romeo X Juliet after an earnest speech to his new, cynical charges at a mine.
  • Greed from Fullmetal Alchemist does this in both of the anime and the manga. Also in the second anime when he shares a body with Ling Yao.
  • Szayel does this to Renji during their battle in Bleach, saying its quite an accomplishment that Rukia and an Espada killed each other while doing battle. Renji, of course, is horrified after hearing the news.
    • He also does this to Ishida when the latter asks him if he's an Espada.
    • Kisuke Urahara (Mr. Hat-and-Clogs)'s slow clap, which is sometimes done in sarcasm.
  • In a flashback episode, Izaya from Durarara!! does this to Shizuo the first time they meet, right after Shizuo's laid waste to an entire soccer field full of punks. Obviously, Shizuo is not impressed.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Exemplified and mocked in Gold Digger where the villain Fauntleroy engages in this (complete with optional "Bra-vo.") and Brianna responds with "Durrr...look at me mom! I just figured out how to clap sarcastically! Durr!"
  • Freddie Femur takes it to the next level in one of the "High School" issues of Strangers in Paradise upon hearing Katchoo's poem, This Mask I Wear.

Film[edit | hide]

Kevin: Oh no...
Mike: The slow clap, nice.

  • In Beowulf, Unferth does this because he's drunk and unimpressed by Beowulf's boasting and doesn't know any better. Beowulf finds it difficult to argue with a drunk:

Kevin Murphy: They keep beating me, it's really embarrassing!

  • In the film of the same name, Mary Poppins offers up a sarcastic three-clap applause directed at Bert's.. imaginative.. "high-wire act".
  • In The Dark Knight Saga, The Joker, captured by the police, offers a slow clap to Gordon once he's appointed Commissioner. This was an ad-lib by Heath Ledger.
  • Bender in The Breakfast Club after Claire does her putting-on-lipstick-with-my-cleavage trick.
  • In Remember the Titans, Denzel Washington's character humiliates two of the white kids to put them in their place after they try a low-key coup of sorts just as the team is about to leave for football camp. He starts it off by announcing them to the crowd of parents as Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis and doing a lone Sarcastic Clap in the awkward silence that follows.
  • The killers in the Hercule Poirot films Death on the Nile and Evil Under the Sun both do this after Poirot exposes them, in both cases because they believe that he has no physical evidence.
  • In Primal Fear, "Aaron" (Edward Norton) eerily does this at the end of the movie , when the attorney Martin Vail (Richard Gere), and us, the audience, discover that Aaron has been faking his split personality/insanity for the entire film- he is actually sane. However, having just been found Not Guilty of murder, by reason of insanity, he cannot be tried twice for the same crime (double jeopardy). Therefore, even though Vail now knows the truth, he's powerless to do anything, as Ed Norton's character mocks him creepily from his cell, because he's just gotten away with murder.
  • In the 2002 version of The Count of Monte Cristo, Abbe Faria does this when Dantes realizes the reason Villefort burned the incriminating letter and imprisoned him right after acquitting him of the charges.
  • Blackheart does this in the Ghost Rider film after Johnny transforms. True to the trope, he does it while strolling down an alley into the light.
  • The Lion in Winter has Henry doing this to Eleanor.
  • Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
  • Mr. White does this to Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs after the latter starts describing why he went on a civilian shooting spree during the heist. Mr. Blonde claps along with him with a grin on his face.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • In one of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novels, the Doctor attempts to rescue his companion from a pit in the ground by putting a ladder over the pit and... well, I don't know what he meant to do next; maybe he didn't either. The ladder falls in, as does the Doctor, and his companion claps sarcastically.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel Dead Sky, Black Sun, when Leonid tells Uriel that he will join him and Pasanius in their death oath, Vaanes claps, slowly.
  • In the Discworld book Monstrous Regiment, Sergeant Jackrum delivers at least one of these.
  • In Sharpe's Eagle, French cavalry applaud the South Essex's parade-ground perfect maneuvers in a situation where everyone with any sense [1] knows the cavalry would not attack.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Community Chang begins clapping, after saying 'I agree', of course Jeff calls him out on this.
  • Blakes Seven has Avon doing this to Blake, with impeccable timing and a perfectly calculated, calm sneer.
    • Have an animated .gif
  • Saturday Night Live had a skit called "The Sarcastic Clapping Family of South Hampton." Guess what the family did a lot of...
    • The skit, of course, parodied the frequent use of this trope in Soap Operas.
  • Power Rangers Time Force: The Quantum Ranger announces his presence for the first time by slow-clapping his hand against his gun in mock-approval of the Monster of the Week. The steel-on-steel sound of his clapping has the added effect of demonstrating how well-armored he is.
  • Used in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when Buffy drops a tray in the cafeteria (see Real Life, below).
  • Lampshaded in Scrubs: Dr. Cox claps slowly to an ex-drug addict and he's stunned that he clapped sarcastically, commenting how old it is.

"Are you seriously doing the cliched sarcastic slow clapping? Because that is so 1980s."

    • He did a sarcastic clap to J.D. at one point for walking away in the middle of an argument. Ted walked up and randomly joined in.

Ted: What are we clapping for?
Cox: His dad just died. *slows down and stops* Dammit.

  • Professional Wrestling example -- Triple H did this on occasion during his time as a heel. Chris Jericho would also occasionally bust it out during his goofier days.
    • In a Crowning Moment of Funny, Jushin "Thunder" Liger broke into a round of Sarcastic Clapping after his opponent botched a dive off the ropes and fell on his head.
  • In Supernatural, Crowley is fond of this. Being a demon, he can teleport in and do it when you think no one else is around. Once, he switched out the "bravo" for a more obnoxious "...and scene." to end an emotional moment.
    • A witch catches Sam and Dean breaking into his hotel room. The witch uses this trope as Sam's punishment. Sam later discovers that he has spontaneously developed gonorrhea, aka "the clap".
  • In Friends we have this exchange:

Joey: (to Ross and Chandler) I need advice from you guys on how to repel women-
Ross: Hey, I don't repel women! I've been married three times!
cue Chandler's Sarcastic Clapping

  • Occurs in "The Ensigns of Command", the second episode of the third season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, after Data's speech to human colonists in danger of being wiped out by the Sheliak. The colonists' leader immediately begins Sarcastic Clapping.
  • In The Shield, Dutch managed to outwit a dangerous serial killer, prompting a round of genuine applause from the rest of the Barn. At almost exactly the same time, Shane Vendrell has managed to mess up a much easier case by having sex with the lead suspect, prompting a round of Sarcastic Clapping from Vic.
  • Corner Gas has an episode where Wanda and Davis both take piano lessons from Emma, though Davis is much better at it. After Davis played a song in The Ruby, everybody applauded, except for a jealous Wanda. Davis, being Davis, misses the point entirely:

Davis: Thanks, Wanda.
Wanda: That was a sarcastic clap. The space between the claps means sarcasm.

  • In Smallville, Clark's home has been trashed in a party, and he has to clean it up before his parents get home. Fortunately, he has super-speed. He manages to clean the entire house in seconds, and then sits triumphantly by a fruit basket. Cue his father's Sarcastic Clapping behind him, and an Oh Crap look from Clark.

Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • In one Calvin and Hobbes strip, Calvin makes a theatrical production out of choking down a small bite of his dinner, declaring afterwards that it nearly killed him. Cue sarcastic clapping and calls for an encore from both of his parents.

Other[edit | hide]

Theater[edit | hide]

  • Called for in the last scene of Act 1 of Damn Yankees. Applegate uses the tactic when he enters following "Whatever Lola Wants", responding to Lola's failure to... uh... get what she wants.
  • Avenue Q gives us the song "Schadenfreude": "You ever clap when a waitress slips and drops a tray of glasses?" "Uh-huh." "And ain't it fun to watch figure skaters falling on their asses?"
  • In Pippin, this is the Players' reaction to Pippin's opening speech and song.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • In Lunar: The Silver Star, when Alex and his gang defeat the Black Dragon, Big Bad The Magic Emperor "congratulates" them on taking out the last remaining obstacle in his attempt to Take Over the World. Turns out it was part of his plan all along to have the four dragons eliminated so that he could assert complete control over the goddess Althena.
  • Revolver Ocelot did this in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, while stepping out of the shadows of Metal Gear Ray, after hearing Marine Commandant Scott Dolph's motivational speech to the Marines.
  • Salazar does this in one scene of Resident Evil 4.
    • And Excella does this to Chris and Jill, and even has the "Bra-vo".
  • Zead from Castlevania: Curse of Darkness does this twice: once when Hector starts gaining the power necessary to complete his quest, and once when he refuses to do so. Given the contradictory circumstances, one may wonder if he knows anything about the proper use of sarcastic clapping. (Then again, there is little reason to learn such nuances when you don't have skin on your hands.)
  • Inverted in Devil May Cry 4, where series lead Dante demonstrates his disdain for the villains by doing this.
  • World of Warcraft has the /golfclap emote for those times when a player wants to make it clear he/she is unimpressed.
  • Eggman Nega in Sonic Rush Adventure (through text).
  • In Vagrant Story Sydney, having already proven he's not terribly impressed with Ashley by responding to a crossbow bolt through the chest with "quite a scratch" drives the point home with a dose of sarcastic clapping after you beat the Minotaur. Made a little stranger by the fact that the clapper has metal hands and isn't shown for a few seconds after he starts, making for a moment of confusion when an unidentifiable tink tink tink sound breaks into the cutscene.
  • Damon Gant from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney complete with the Laughing Mad.
  • General Raveshaw from Command and Conquer Renegade does this when he finds you attempting to rescue the scientists in the Black Hand mansion.
  • About halfway through Geist your nemesis does this, and while possessing your body just to show off.
  • Roxas, alright. Fight, fight, fight.
  • Slayer in Guilty Gear X does this as his taunt.
  • In the Anguished One's ending in Devil Survivor 2, after managing to activate the Terminal to Polaris, Yamato enters the scene with one of these. If you have Joe in your party, he even comments "I know a sarcastic clap when I hear one."
  • Yeager, from Tales of Vesperia, does this rather often when praising the main party, along with his trademark "ja".
  • Adachi in Persona 4 does this when the party reaches the top of his dungeon.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Wow, that was an amazingly corny speech. Congratulations.
  • General Lionwhyte in Brutal Legend does this when the heroes assemble before his tower. He even includes the "Bravo."
  • Happens in BlazBlue when Hazama loses by time out. As if to mock you for not being able to knock him out before the timer runs out.
  • The boss of Saints Row does this during a cutscene during the Brotherhood campaign. Why? Because he just stuffed Brotherhood leader Maero's girlfriend Jessica into the trunk of her car and positioned it to be run over by a monster truck... that Maero was driving.
  • Portal 2: GLaDOS claims to have a Slow Clap Processor built specifically for this purpose. It's also one of the few things that remains with her when her consciousness gets transferred into a potato.

GLaDOS: ...BECAUSE I'M A POTATO (clap, clap). Oh good, my Slow Clap Processor made it into this thing. So we have that. [A short time later] ... and you just put him in charge of the entire facility. (Clap, Clap) Good, that's still working.

  • In one of Sheeva's fatalities in Mortal Kombat 9, she rips off her opponent's arms, slaps him or her around with them before kicking the body down, and then flexes while using the arms to sarcastically applaud.
  • In Dragon Age, after Arl Eamon's speech at the Landsmeet, Loghain approaches, applauding sarcastically.
  • Skyrim offers a particularly malicious one from Gaius Maro after you fail to assassinate the emperor.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

Web Original[edit | hide]

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Homer's brain to Homer in The Simpsons episode "The Last Temptation of Homer."
    • Bart does it to Lisa when she becomes student body president, but Homer and Marge have trouble grasping the very concept.
  • Plankton does it to Spongebob and Patrick when they return with King Neptune's crown in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
  • Commander Zhao does this to the fire sage who betrays his comrades to help Aang and the others in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • Guitierrez does it when Freakazoid! removes the bracelet bomb in the season 1 finale.
  • "Bravo, ponies, bravo! Harmony in Equestria is officially dead. Discord rules, Celestia drools."
    • The real kicker is that each clap of paw and claw is a sound that is anything but the sound of hands clapping. In order, it's a duck's quack, clack, a dog's bark, a frog's ribbit, a squishing noise, a camera click, and a thunder clap. Justified in that he's the Spirit of Chaos and Disharmony, after all.
  • Invoked in the first episode of Ugly Americans. After Mark expresses empathy for legal immigrants at a staff meeting, Frank starts clapping sarcastically. Mark's partner Leonard joins in, and the two argue over whether Leonard was actually clapping sarcastically or going for a dramatic slow building applause. Twayne has to shout "Stop clapping!"

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • When plates or glasses are dropped and broken in restaurants, the typical response is for everyone to burst out in applause. Some restaurants even institute this as a policy for their staff. The idea apparently is to turn an otherwise embarrassing gaffe into a fun little tradition, humorously implying, "I Meant to Do That!"
  • Some people play the "Last Clap". Sometimes, participation by other, unseen players carries the "applause" minutes into the next performance.
  • Tends to occur in Football matches, when a player is given a yellow or red card and disagrees. Most likely because more extreme reactions can lead to very hefty punishments. Just like the Wayne Rooney example pictured above. David Beckham also did it, and he got expelled from the game, although it was later proven that he did not intend to insult the referee.
  • In Japanese culture, the equivalent to the sarcastic clap is to say "We have been waiting for you!" This is done in kabuki theater when the hero makes his appearance. Seen in Memoirs of a Geisha. Sarcastic clapping has found its way in modern Japanese culture, though.
  • Slow Clap for Congress.
  1. Col. Simmerson, commander of the South Essex, not among them