Today I was browsing through The Movie Blog when I came across this article commemorating "The Wilhelm Scream". The Wilhelm Scream is a trademark sound effect (yes, a scream) that routinely pops up in major productions (like "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Star Wars"), almost as an inside joke. I can guarantee that everyone has seen at least one movie that features it, and most of you will go "yeah, I recognize that" when you hear it here.
According to the article, the scream was originally used in a war film decades ago, then another director lifted it when he needed a scream sound effect for a later project. Eventually "Star Wars" sound guru Ben Burtt got a hold of it, and then the thing became a pop culture standard.
Here is a fantastic YouTube tribute to The Wilhelm Scream:
As a bonus, here is the .wav file of the scream, so you can be cool in your home movies, too.
Finally, here is a special video that doesn't use the Wilhelm Scream, but inspires it in every viewer:
This may explain why some of my friends suggest I shouldn't wear my fringe jacket too often.