The Wilhelm Scream

The Wilhelm scream is a stock sound effect of a man screaming that has been used in more than 360 movies and countless television series,[1] beginning in 1951 for the film Distant Drums.[2] The scream is often used when someone is shot, falls from a great height, or is thrown from an explosion, and is most commonly used in films and television.

Most likely voiced by actor and singer Sheb Wooley, the sound is named after Private Wilhelm, a character in The Charge at Feather River, a 1953 Western in which the character gets shot in the thigh with an arrow.[3] This was its first use from the Warner Bros. stock sound library, although The Charge at Feather River is believed to have been the third movie to use the effect.[4]

The effect gained new popularity (its use often becoming an in-joke) after it was used in the Star Wars series, the Indiana Jones series, Disney cartoons, and many other blockbuster films, as well as many television programs and video games. In Pixar's film Toy Story 3 in the opening , the scream is heard when Andy and his toys watch a film.