A montage used to establish how famous someone is, usually by showing the various rumors told about them.
This type of montage is usually triggered by someone inexperienced or new to the setting asking the other characters who someone is. Some variation of the response: "Character X...How do I even begin to explain Character X..." is common. Cue montage. "I heard he was raised by wolves in Vermont." "I heard he slept with a Spice Girl." "I heard he works for the CIA." "I hear he's so badass that hell itself spat him back out!" And so on, switching between various cliques and ethniticies of people till the viewer gets an idea of how famous Character X is. (Bonus points if the rumors turn out to be all lies...or all true.) This montage is a quick, familiar way to establish a character's reputation and hopefully garner a few laughs in the process. Usually used to introduce the Alpha Bitch, the Memetic Badass, and, in especially suggestive works, the Memetic Sex God. Most of the examples used in the montage will remain a Noodle Incident, and the characters in such a montage are often Chekhov's Gunmen or recurring minor characters. Compare Shrouded in Myth Examples:
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- Vampirella Revelations #0 from 2005 has three interpretations of Vampirella told from the perspectives of three vamps which have heard about her but never seen her. Turns out in the end that she's in the bar with them, and she's nothing like what any of them described.
- Mean Girls was has an iconic montage that introduced Regina George.
- 10 Things I Hate About You is a delayed example. Kat is already introduced by this point in the movie, but if the audience had any doubt about her cynical, rebellious, 'bad girl' personality, the horrified reactions of several boys when asked to date her obliterates it.
- Batman (1989). Alexander Knox is talking to Gotham police Lt. Eckhardt about the mysterious "Bat".
Knox: Lieutenant, every punk in this town is scared. They say he can't be killed. They say he drinks blood.
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Scott learns most of his information about Ramona Flowers in one of these, a lot of which was clever foreshadowing.
- Two montages of students talking (both of them good examples of The Oner) provide Bookends to the movie Three O'Clock High. The first time, the montage talks about how bully Buddy Revell is a "psycho" who Hates Being Touched, kicked the ass of anybody who annoyed him in his old school, and likes to use brass knuckles on 'special occasions'. The second montage shows what the students think of protagonist Jerry's actions during the movie (again, describing him as a "psycho").
- The opening song of Merrily We Roll Along, "That Frank" establishes Frank, through party guest chatter, as rich famous and successful, though they also pity him since the movies he makes are terrible (but big box office). The Cut Song it replaced "Rich and Happy" did it mostly with Frank singing about himself.
- The end of The Boondock Saints is a montage of Vox Pops talking about the Saints and different people's interpretations of their actions.
- A montage in the middle of the first Death Wish movie has multiple people talking about their impressions regarding "The Vigilante" (really Paul Kersey) and how they feel not only safer that he's around, but has made them decide to fight back against crime.
Live Action TV
- Noah And Saskia used it as a way of establishing the disconnect between Noah's confident online persona (who he pretends to be) and Noah's geeky, shy personality in real life (who he really is). The scene after this montage was Noah's Establishing Character Moment.
- The end of the Criminal Minds episode "A Real Rain" multiple people being interviewed on their reactions on the Serial Killer Vigilante Man Monster of the Week, in a Shout-Out to The Boondock Saints.
- In Wicked, part of the song "Thank Goodness" has the crowd variously mention rumors about the Wicked Witch of the West, including that she can shed her skin, has a magic eye that always stays awake, and that she's so evil she can be melted by pure water.
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