I have just reviewed “The Lord of The Rings” trilogy. I have not seen it since its theatrical release and when I saw it then everything was normal. But now I know about the Wilhelm Scream...

So I had to stop the viewing three times. Once in the second movie and twice in the third episode. Because when I had heard this scream in these movies and it was so much pronounced I just fell in a frustration.

My question: What is the Wilhelm Scream for you in terms of sound design?

IMO If it is a professional joke then it is a very bad joke.

3 Answers 3


What is the Wilhelm Scream:


What does the Wilhelm Scream mean to me:

The Wilhelm is an overused sound effect that sound people still put in their projects because they either think it is funny or they think they are Ben Burt. It is such a cliche' that even normal (non sound) people recognize it. My wife recognized it without me even mentioning it to her. Then she asked why this same scream is popping up everywhere.

It totally pulls me out of a film/game/etc when I hear it, ruins the scene for me, and I cringe when I hear it. People need to stop using the damn thing already. It was a Ben Burt thing that was later used by people at Skywalker who had worked with Burt as sort of a tribute to him and an inside joke. Well, it isn't an inside joke anymore, everyone is on to it and it is just stupid.

  • Can't agree with this more. Cheers Commented Nov 9, 2011 at 18:02
  • perfect description, chuck. Commented Nov 9, 2011 at 18:37

Kind of partial to the "Gut-Wrenching Scream and Fall Into Distance" scream myself.

Equally unsuited for everyday use, sticks out like a sore thumb, but still cracks me up..


  • Youurrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!
    – Britt
    Commented Nov 12, 2011 at 0:24

...of course, now we have clients asking for the Wilhelm to be put into projects...

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