Created By: ginsengaddict2 on April 8, 2012 Last Edited By: Arivne on May 13, 2018

Freeze Frame Introduction

New character? Stop the movie for a few seconds to get a good look!

Name Space:
Page Type:
Seen It a Million Times, Up for Grabs

So, the movie is playing and you're watching and having a good time. Suddenly, a new character you haven't seen before shows up. Before you can ask "who's this," the frame stops on him for a few seconds, and maybe some super-imposed text or a voice-over ensues, to say who the new guy is. Then, the movie continues.


Community Feedback Replies: 29
  • April 8, 2012
    • Scott Pilgrim, both the film and the movie, do this, although without a pause in the movie's case. -ZCE
    • Bosses in Borderlands get introduced this way. -ZCE
  • April 8, 2012
    • In Frankenstein, when the monster makes his first appearance, we see a few insert closeups of his face.
  • April 8, 2012
    • Ultimate Spider Man does this in its first episode to introduce Iron Fist, Power Man, Nova, and White Tiger, as well as Nick Fury, and his friends, Mary Jane and Harry. -ZCE
  • April 8, 2012
    With villains, this is often combined with Boss Subtitles.
  • April 8, 2012
    I'm kind of shocked if we haven't got this.

    New Blood - Did the freeze-frame + narration intros, and for one character the narrator says (paraphrased) "I never did get this guy's name."
  • April 8, 2012
    IIRC, Quentin Tarantino did this in Inglorious Basterds.
  • April 8, 2012
    This happens a lot in movies (noir/screwball comedy?) from the 50s. I am almost certain this is how Sabrina (1954) opens up, but I can't verify it right now.
  • April 8, 2012
    • Each form of Ogmo in Jumper Three is introduced in a freeze-frame complete with super-imposed text, a fanfare and screen focusing on them.
  • April 8, 2012
    • Max Payne 2 combines this with Boss Subtitles. -ZCE
    • Played With in Final Fantasy XIII: party members' stats screens have their portraits in the background. However, said portraits are taken from their respective in-game introductory scenes and are actually short videos which start playing when the screen is opened and freeze when the character faces the camera.
  • April 8, 2012
    Super Smash Bros Brawl does this every time a new character appears in the Subspace Emissary.
  • April 8, 2012
    Burn Notice does this every time a new character is introduced, complete with an amusing caption explaining their role.
  • June 6, 2015
    Would it be a bad idea to merge this YKTTW with this ("Badass Freeze-Frame Intro")?
  • July 20, 2015
    ^ Hell yes.
  • January 6, 2016
    I don't think we need the "badass" part anyway.
  • January 7, 2016
    <Mod Hat>

    What we have here is a good trope with a MASSIVE Zero Context Example problem. Describe how the trope is used in the work. Don't just say it happens and maybe list some character names. Describe the shot itself.
  • July 1, 2016
    Le bump
  • April 28, 2017
    Often in these shots the character will be isolated from the background, who may then be color modified, zoomed, etc. for added effect.

    • We Bare Bears: Near the end of the episode "Poppy Rangers" this is done with all of the ranger scouts, Ranger Tabes and Grizzly, as each character flies out towards the exit of the cave in which they were just trapped, with future self details listed.
  • April 28, 2017
  • April 28, 2017
    • Until Dawn gives one to every major character, listing their name, their 3 strongest personality traits, as well as their conection to the rest of the group.
  • January 16, 2018
    The Producers (1968) utilizes this in the opening credits, complete with Wild Take by Zero Mostel.
  • January 16, 2018
    • Super Smash Bros Brawl does this to every character in "The Subspace Emissary" complete with a nameplate to tell us who they are.
  • January 16, 2018
  • January 16, 2018
    • In Strider 2014, bosses get frozen in the middle of their animation and then their names and Boss Subtitles are shown.
  • January 23, 2018
    • All main character from Community episode "A Fistful of Paintballs" are introduced with freeze frames, like Annie here.
  • January 24, 2018
  • January 24, 2018
    • Jane The Virgin's first episode introduced the major characters by pausing the frame, with the chyrons typing out something about them. For young Jane, for example, the chyrons typed out say:
      Passions include, in no particular order:\\
    her family
    grilled cheese sandwiches
  • January 24, 2018
    • Zoolander: Derek Zoolander, Hansel, and Mugatu all get freeze-frames with their names overlaid, when they arrive at the fashion award show at the beginning of the film. Much later, David Bowie gets a similar treatment for his One Scene Wonder appearance as the walk-off judge.
  • January 28, 2018
    Ok, this has been hanging around for 6 years, and it's clear by the number of examples that have been suggested over the years that it has a place here, but I have never been bothered to do anything with it.

    I'll have a crack at it this week.
  • May 13, 2018