Created By: ganger on July 14, 2013 Last Edited By: Morgenthaler on July 11, 2016
Troped

Cue The Billiard Shot

A billiard shot means we are in a bar.

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This inherently punny Hollywood trope is where, all of a sudden, a pool table is shown at an angle. A shot is made, balls fly in any which direction they are set to fly in, then the camera pans up to show the player, a typically shady, or at least "biker" type of guy in a cowboy hat. Bonus points if a jukebox is playing country music in the background.

Related to Bad Guys Play Pool, but this one is not a character trope, it's a scene establishing device.

Subtrope of Establishing Shot.


Examples:

Film
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day starts the bar scene with a pool table shot before it pans up to show the biker watching the T-800 enter.
  • In The Butterfly Effect, the college bar scene opens with a pool table shot as Thumper demonstrates his pool prowess to Evan.
  • There's one in Thor too, about halfway into the movie.
  • A rack is broken in Capricorn One to open the scene where Intrepid Reporter Caulfield meets his contact in a bar. The contact starts explaining that the mission's telemetry is completely wrong, but when Caulfield gets distracted, his contact has vanished.

Live-Action TV
  • In The West Wing episode "Manchester Part II," the scenes go from flashback to present. One "present" scene opens with the camera on a pool table in the bar the senior staff is hanging out in.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): The episode "A Game of Pool" starts with one of these. The camera follows the ball's trajectory, then focuses on Jack Klugman's character's reaction to it.

Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • July 14, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    You might want to rename this "billiards shot" or something as I instantly thought of a pool with water in it.
  • July 14, 2013
    ganger
    Thanks, let's try Billiard Shot for the time being, then. The hard thing about this one is that I can't think of any more examples off the top of my head :P I just know that there are plenty...
  • July 15, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    Yes, this is definitely as case of Seen It A Million Times. Certain types of cop and detective shows (in which the sleuths have to go to blue collar settings or sources)...I'm thinking Simon And Simon, Magnum PI, Hill Street Blues, and so on. No specific episodes coming to mind. I'll give it some thought.
  • July 21, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    Subtrope of Establishing Shot? Part of barroom establishing shots?
  • July 22, 2013
    AgentLetrush
    There's one in The Butterfly Effect, in the scene where Thumper demonstrates his pool prowess. Unfortunately, can't give proper context as I haven't seen the movie, I just found the scene while searching for this on You Tube.
  • July 22, 2013
    DracMonster
    Cue The Billiard Scene

    /me ducks thrown vegetables
  • July 23, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Like.
  • July 23, 2013
    m8e
    Would Cue The Billiard Shot be to much?
  • July 23, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^ Ooo. Even better. : )
  • July 23, 2013
    eowynjedi
    Cue The Billiard Shot is great.

    • In The West Wing episode "Manchester Part II," the scenes go from flashback to present. One "present" scene opens with the camera on a pool table in the bar the senior staff is hanging out in.

    (I think it is Manchester. If that's the wrong episode, feel free to correct.)
  • May 6, 2016
    Morgenthaler
    Since it seems the OP has forgotten about this one, I'll take up sponsorship.
  • May 13, 2016
    oneuglybunny
    Film
    • A rack is broken in Capricorn One to open the scene where Intrepid Reporter Caulfield meets his contact in a bar. The contact starts explaining that the mission's telemetry is completely wrong, but when Caulfield gets distracted, his contact has vanished.
  • July 6, 2016
    Morgenthaler
    Bump for examples.
  • July 6, 2016
    69BookWorM69
    The The Twilight Zone 1959 episode "A Game of Pool" starts with one of these. The camera follows the ball's trajectory, then focuses on Jack Klugman's charcter's reaction to it.
  • July 7, 2016
    Morgenthaler
    Thanks, added.
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