WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic

"One more outburst like that and I'll clear this courtroom!"

Device used to indicate shock at the events of a trial.

Note that the courtroom is never actually cleared. Therefore, once the Penultimate Outburst is heard, it's a signal that the trial's drama has reached its climax.

Also the punchline of a joke about a flatulent judge.

See also: Courtroom Antic

Examples of Penultimate Outburst include:


  • One of the funnier ones occurs in the Jim Carrey movie Liar Liar, where, after a civil trial that goes disastrously wrong because he can't tell a lie, Fletcher Reed realizes he has an out through the truth. An instant before the judge issues a ruling, Reed, amends from "I have no further witnesses" to "I call [my client] to the stand". The resulting hubbub in the courtroom is not ended by the judge's several cries for order; Reed manages to quiet them with an irritated "Knock it off!" The judge is not impressed, instructs Reed to sit down, and then:

 Judge Stevens: Mr. Reed, it is only out of sheer morbid curiosity I am allowing this... freak show to continue.

  • Happens a couple of times in A Time to Kill: once after Samuel L. Jackson's character is badgered into shouting "Yeah, they deserved to die and I hope they burn in hell!" and once after the unintentional victim of his shootout says he agrees with the main character's actions and that they should "turn him loose!"

Live Action Television

  • Used word for word in Law and Order, "Life Line". However, there was a subsequent outburst and the judge did clear the courtroom, as promised. It makes up for that bit of reality for not having either of the outbursters (both obvious gang members making death threats towards the testifying witness) led out in handcuffs.
  • Episode 25 of Monty Python's Flying Circus: "If there's any more Stock Footage of women applauding, I shall be forced to clear the court!"
  • This happens in the first season of Soap during Jessica's murder trial since her entire family disturbs the court. The judge was referring to the time Jessica ignored a question, ran up to the jury after she recognised one of them and started dancing and singing when they had done a dance routine together. It didn't start to get serious after that point.

Video Games

  • As essential part of the Ace Attorney games. Your life meter represents the judge's temper; objecting to perfectly fine comments or presenting irrelevant evidence pushes the judge, who will happily end the trial early and find a defendant guilty just because Phoenix is being petulant. Occasionally used in-story too, usually to get a character thrown out on contempt of court.
    • In the Phoenix Wright games, you're guilty unless proven innocent, so if the defense shows itself unable to come up with anything in his client's defense except Courtroom Antics, then there's no point continuing.
    • No matter what the manual says, the bar actually represents your character's own mental state. When it empties, it's Heroic BSOD time. That's why the bar shows up when breaking Psychelocks and is even in the same condition it was after the court trial. If it empties outside the court room while attempting to break a lock, Phoenix can simply sit there pathetically and whimper for a bit until he gets his mind in working order again. If it happens during a trial, then the Prosecution simply walks all over you and your client as Phoenix no longer has the courage/awareness to argue against anything they say.

Western Animation

  • Also seen in the 1974 Charlie Brown special It's A Mystery, Charlie Brown, where Lucy Van Pelt uses it word for word... at the end of a "trial" where she decides that Woodstock can have his nest back from Sally Brown.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.