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"One yodel out of place would attract, not the jolly echo of a lonely goatherd, but fifty tons of express-delivery snow."

Someone in the mountains triggers an avalanche by shouting or making another loud noise (shooting a gun, detonating an explosion, sneezing), especially if other characters have warned him about this before.

Examples:


Comic Books

Film

  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: After kidnapping the women, one of the men fires a pistol and starts an avalanche so they can't be pursued by the townspeople. Mentioned in the I Love Lucy episode in Live Action TV.
    • Actually, several men fire pistols into the air repeatedly while the women all scream at the top of their lungs.
  • In The Simpsons Movie, when the family moves to Alaska, Bart amuses himself by clapping while Homer is outside to trigger avalanches. Homer thinks he's clapping for Alaska and asks Lisa to join in. He is then swept away by the ensuing avalanche.
  • On Balto, the sled dogs have to escape an avalanche triggered by one of the dogs sneezing.
  • Mulan - shooting a rocket into a snow-filled cliffside is how Mulan defeats the rampaging Hun horde.
  • XXX - Xander intentionally causes an avalanche with a grenade and then snowboards his way down the mountain in front of it.
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Bond and Traci are skiing away from SPECTRE mooks when Blofeld detonates a flare above some hanging rocks and ice, triggering an avalanche.

Literature

 "One yodel out of place would attract, not the jolly echo of a lonely goatherd, but fifty tons of express-delivery snow."

  • Averted in The Snow Tiger by Desmond Bagley. Although it's assumed a light aircraft carrying journalists triggered a fatal avalanche, an expert testifies afterwards that tests involving aircraft (including supersonic jetfighters) proved this was impossible.
  • Mentioned in Frankenstein. As Victor Frankenstein climbs a mountain, he remarks that even a loud voice would be able to trigger an avalanche.

Live Action TV

  • I Love Lucy episode "Lucy in the Swiss Alps". The main cast was in a cabin with a big cliff of snow over it, trying not to make any noise that would trigger an avalanche. When Lucy slams the door it causes an avalanche.
  • In a Benny Hill Show sketch Benny caused an avalanche by sneezing after taking some snuff.
  • Happens to Father Larry Duff in one of the Father Ted Christmas Specials when an avalanche is triggered by his phone ringing.

Newspaper Comics

Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • Jonny Quest TOS did this twice.
    • "House of Seven Gargoyles". A member of the submarine crew fires a rifle while under Strontium Glacier, causing it to collapse on Ivar and themselves.
    • "Calcutta Adventure". Dr. Quest's ultrasonic amplifier causes an avalanche that destroys the bad guys and their base.
  • Played with in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "The Idiot Box".

 SpongeBob: We want to keep our voices down so we don't cause an avalanche.

Patrick: What?

SpongeBob: We should keep our voices down so we don't cause an avalanche!

Patrick: What should we keep down?

SpongeBob: [shouting] OUR VOICES!

[Squidward kicks the box]

[avalanche sounds plus SpongeBob and Patrick screaming in terror emit from their cardboard box]

  • American Dad episode "A Smith in the Hand" does it twice when Stan screams it causes an avalanche.
  • What's New Scooby Doo: In one episode, Velma gets a nasty cold. As the villain controlling the monster robot is getting away, Scooby aims Velma so her sneeze is toward the mountains, causing an avalanche and catching the bad guy.
  • The Simpsons episode "Mountain of Madness": The first avalanche is caused by Homer & Mr. Burns clinking two glasses together in a toast. The second is caused by their boisterous "Huzzah!" after digging themselves out of the first. Then,

 Homer: I think when we yelled we caused another avalanche. another avalanche

Burns: whispering We should... be... careful... not... to speak...unless... it's... absolutely... pos-i-tively... necessary. *AVALANCHE*

Homer: Shh. *AVALANCHE* You're... causing... more... avalanches. *AVALANCHE* I *AVALANCHE* think *AVALANCHE* they've *AVALANCHE* stopped. Beat *AVALANCHE*

Burns: Let's go. *AVALANCHE*

    • In the episode "Mr. Plow", Barney's burp caused an avalanche.
  • In the Total Drama World Tour episode "Slap Slap Revolution", the teams have to sing a song in an avalanche area in Austria. It's very quiet, until Tyler shouts out in happiness because Lindsay finally recognizes him after six episodes.
  • In the Looney Tunes short "The Iceman Ducketh", Bugs Bunny warns Daffy Duck not to talk too loud or it might start an avalanche. Daffy whispers whether it's okay to speak now, but Bugs can't understand him, so Daffy shouts the question and is buried by falling snow.
  • This happened in one of the Heyyy, It's the King! shorts on CB Bears. The avalanche was caused by the sound of the hippo character eating potato chips.
  • Occurs in the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "Dragonshy." While climbing a (snowless) mountain, Twilight Sparkle warns the others that they're entering an avalanche zone, and that the smallest noise could create a rock slide. Fluttershy, already on pins-and-needles, instantly panics and shouts "Avalanche!" when she feels something touch her backside, triggering a rock slide.
  • In a Jimmy Neutron TV movie, Jimmy and his buddies are spies, and one scene has them climbing Mount Everest. The following dialogue ensues:

 Carl: (singing) We're spies! And it's really cold! I wish I had some hot chocolate!

Jimmy: Quiet, Carl! You could start an avalanche!

Sheen: (at the top of his lungs) AVALANCHE?!

Rumbling is heard

Jimmy: ...Like that.

  • The Wild Thornberrys: One episode had Eliza's broken yodel be enough to cause a huge avalanche.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Jimmy intentionally does this in order for him and Beezy to go snowboarding.
  • In the first episode of Inspector Gadget, Gadget triggers a small avalanche while trying to sing along with the Mad Yodeler's sheet music.
  • Dennis's dad on Dennis the Menace US calls out for him and gets a local's warning too late.
  • Happens in Adventure Time. In "Death In Bloom", Finn warns Jake that they have to be quiet because the skeletons nearby will notice them if they make any noise. Immediately after he warns him about this, Jake let's out a large fart which causes a rock avalanche and get's him and Finn spotted. Jake's reasoning? "I thought it would be funny..."
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