12

There are several sound clips that are widely understood to mean "(epic) fail". I think the most famous one is the one with the oboe or trumpet... 4 notes with declining pitch, the last one being stretched out.

  • Is there a common way to capture that in writing?
  • 9
    One note is worth 76 words. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 25 '14 at 14:28
22

The most common ways I've seen are writing out the words:

sad trombone
:( trombone

Or to use the onomatopoeic

Wah, Wah, Wah, Wahhhhhhh …
Womp, Womp, Womp, Wommmmmp… (at the behest of several commenters)

Or to combine them:

sad trombone: wah, wah, wah, wahhhhh …

  • 2
    Perfect... I was trying all kinds of "wua, ua, wue" on Youtube and I couldn't find anything :) – Emanuel Mar 25 '14 at 14:32
  • 1
    Yes, onomatopoeia varies from language to language. It makes it challenging to look it up … – David M Mar 25 '14 at 14:34
  • 1
    +1 I would have used similar onomatopoeia, but had never heard of "sad trombone". – TecBrat Mar 25 '14 at 17:40
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    I also saw "womp, womp, womp" and I like "wom, wom, wowowom". – TecBrat Mar 25 '14 at 17:59
  • 1
    But that sound isn't wompwompwomp. It's wompwompwompwomp. The name "womp womp" to me conjures up a different sound [not sure where to most easily find it] which smears the first three notes together [it's a trombone after all]. – supercat Jun 22 '18 at 15:16
12

This is known as the "sad trombone" (see as a reference: http://www.sadtrombone.com/)

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