->''"I can see FOREVER!"''
-->-- '''[[MemeticMutation Various people, upon seeing a droste image]]'''

An image that contains a smaller replica of itself, which (being a replica of the image) contains a smaller replica of itself, which contains ... well, you get the idea. Like a fractal, but without all the complicated math. The more formal name for this is "infinite regression".

For instance, take this cover of ''Spoof'' which shows the characters holding a copy of that very comic, whose cover depicts them holding ... a copy of the very same comic (with the same cover). Theoretically, there could be infinite recursion of that comic book in the image, though it's safe to assume that the printer doesn't have enough resolution to reproduce them all. (It's the thought that counts!)[[note]]Actually, the [[DarkShadows Barnabas Collins]] parody is holding his hand in front of where the third repetition of the cover would be, but that's just nitpicking.[[/note]]

A similar effect can be set up in a HallOfMirrors by putting two mirrors facing each other.

See also NestedStories and DreamWithinADream, which has the layering but not the self-similarity. Also see RecursiveReality which is this trope on a cosmic level.



* The TropeNamer is Droste cocoa powder, made by a Dutch food company that was famous for using this trope in their ads. See the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droste_effect Wikipedia article.]]
* Seen on several cereal packages. You know, the type that feature a picture of somebody having breakfast. Said breakfast of course centers on the cereal, with a package proudly displayed. On that package, we see somebody having said cereals for breakfast. And so on...
* [[http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r104/CarlotaCores/Doces-1.jpg Royal Baking Powder.]]
* [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e9/Land_O%27Lakes_logo.png Land O'Lakes Butter.]]
* Nippon Paint [[http://i.imgur.com/ryLdUuj.jpg used to have this]] on cans of [[http://www.tradeduck.com/uploads/24489_12932431.jpg Pylox spray paint,]] where what appears to be a hand belonging to a woman is holding a can of Pylox, whose can shows the same thing over and over. Newer cans did away with this, although a vector drawing of a hand holding the paint can be seen.
* [[http://i533.photobucket.com/albums/ee340/Acidonia150/tumblr_mbl8s9ikMA1qd4q8ao1_500.jpg This cover]] of the German magazine "Amiga Joker".
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Laughing_Cow La Vache qui rit.]] French cartoonist Gotlib parodied this for his series of exhibitionism gags: the cow opens her cloak to show a cow which opens her cloak etc.
* Science mag "Nature" (issue #7476) illustrates an article about science replication with a Droste image.
* [[http://retronom.hu/node/9175 Mackó sajt,]] a Hungarian cheese brand.

* ''Anime/UruseiYatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer'' had a scene where Ataru is in a room in the school building, looks through the doorway, and sees on the other side of the door the same room that he's in, complete with himself and the doorway, and past that doorway is the same room again, etc. (It seems that space itself is forming loops; earlier there was a scene where we see Mendo run up the stairs past the "camera", only to reappear coming up the same stair and go past the camera again.)
* [[http://www.japanator.com//ul/34348-first-impressions-owarimonogatari/Owarimonogatari%20First%20Impression%207-noscale.jpg The final shot]] of ''[[LightNovel/{{Bakemonogatari}} Owarimonogatari]]'''s first opening.
* Thoth from ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventureStardustCrusaders'' is a comic book which depicts events in the near future that are guaranteed to happen, but heavily subject to {{Prophecy Twist}}s. The zenith of this occurs when it shows what appears to be bullets going through Jotaro's head, but turns out to be bullets going through [[TheTreacheryOfImages a picture of Jotaro's head]]--the ''same'' picture its user just saw. Turns out any of Thoth's prophecies might be depicting ''it's own pages'' in the future.

* Creator/MCEscher's [[http://www.mcescher.com/Gallery/recogn-bmp/LW410.jpg "Print Gallery"]] is a very unusual take on this concept: It only shows one copy of the picture, but implies an infinite recursion all the same, using uneven magnification to make the contents of the picture merge with their real-world analogues.
** The Dutch mathematicians [[http://escherdroste.math.leidenuniv.nl/index.php?menu=intro Bart de Smit and Hendrik Lenstra]] calculated that the blank area at the center would contain a copy of the original picture (scaled down by a factor of 22.5 and rotated by 158 degrees), and created a version where the blank area is filled (as well as many variants thereof with different curvatures).
* [[http://c-cassandra.tumblr.com/image/105219023140 Cassandra Calin's drawing of her stealing her drawing]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In comics, it's called an [[http://comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=42041&zoom=4 infinity]] [[http://comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=66581&zoom=4 cover.]]
* An issue of ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'' has Victor, a cyborg who was (unknowingly) being used to spy on the team, discover the TV screen where the camera in his eyes feeds back to. The result is himself, watching himself watching himself, watching himself watching himself watching himself, watching himself watching himself watching...
* The cover of the ''Comicbook/DoomPatrol'' comic [[http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/1401203426/ref=dp_image_text_0?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books "The Painting that ate Paris"]] also has such a shot.
* Used in ''ComicBook/TheBeano'' [[http://i780.photobucket.com/albums/yy82/irmantas67/Beano1954011.jpg back in 1954.]]
* The cover of the one-shot ''ComicBook/ElfQuest'' anthology "Bedtime Stories" is like this.
* ''[[ComicBook/TheSimpsons Bart Simpson's]] [[HalloweenEpisode Treehouse of Horror II]]'' had [[http://www.comicvine.com/bart-simpsons-treehouse-of-horror-sideshow-blob-the-exorsister/37-122349/ this.]]
* French cartoonist Gotlib had one in his "Exhibitionist" gags, with a cow opening her cloak to show a cow opening her cloak, etc. The cow is "La Vache qui rite" and ''most'' probably he got the inspiration from her Droste-style ad.
** Another Gotlib Droste is Gay-Luron dreaming of Gay-Luron dreaming of... (Fluide Glaciale, April 1975)
* [[http://vi.sualize.us/_humor_funny_pregnant_matrioska_illustration_picture_gG4J.html Pregnant Matroschka doll gets ultrasound.]]
* Subverted with [[https://web.archive.org/web/20141009045806/http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/694/athineos016zq.jpg this]] old Creator/CharlesAddams cartoon.
* In the comic ''Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea'', the author theorizes that the pictures of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il have this effect.
* [[http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Action_Comics_Vol_1_500 Action Comics #500]].
* The 2017 Free Comic Book Day issue of ''[[ComicBook/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]]: The High School Years'' has Miss Summers casually staking a vampire while reading a copy of the very same comic. You'd be forgiven for thinking [[ReadingAheadInTheScript she had reached the point in the story where the vampire attacked her]].
* The first page of the ''ComicBook/{{Flare}}'' story [[http://www.heroicmultiverse.com/flare/webcomic/index.php?pn=892 "Cat-Fight!"]] has one in the second panel.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* From the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fandom:
** An infinitely zooming picture of Apple Bloom [[http://bronibooru.mlponies.com/post/show/381/ getting a picture of herself as her cutie mark.]]
** [[https://derpibooru.org/943084 This picture]] of Twilight Sparkle drawing a human, who's drawing Twilight Sparkle, who's drawing a human. It doesn't extend infinitely, because each inner picture is less finished than the one drawing it.
** In fact, anything on Derpibooru with the [[https://derpibooru.org/tags/droste+effect "droste effect"]] tag would apply here.

* This effect is captured in ''Film/CitizenKane'' when Kane passes between two mirrors.
* Creator/OrsonWelles, the director of ''Citizen Kane'', did this again in ''Film/TheLadyFromShanghai'' in a HallOfMirrors sequence.
* In ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'', the titular bad guys [[MediumAwareness watch the Spaceballs video tape]] to find out where the heroes are. HilarityEnsues when they get to the exact point in the tape that they are in, although the Droste effect is too small to see much of.
* Happens in ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded'' with the architect: The room's wall is filled with monitors depicting Neo in the room (and his various anticipated reactions), which in turn are rooms with monitors across all walls. There are several transitions where the scene zooms in on whichever monitor corresponds to Neo's actual reaction.
* While not in the film itself, the [[http://chasenchamberlain.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/memento.jpg box art]] for ''Film/{{Memento}}.''
* ''Film/{{Airplane}}'' uses this when the air traffic controller, [=McCroskey=], adopts a thoughtful pose in front of a framed photograph of himself holding the same pose. ''Film/AirplaneIITheSequel'' then cranks this UpToEleven by posing [=McCroskey=] in front of a framed photo of himself posing in front of the framed photograph of himself.
* Happens to Film/DoctorStrange2016 during his trip through the Multiverse, as he nears Dormammu.
* ''Film/EscapeFromThePlanetOfTheApes'' uses this as a metaphor for TimeTravel: A painting that contains an infinite regress of images including the painter himself.
* In ''Film/HotFuzz'', the shot of Simon Skinner's [[http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-g-C8IjYMyUA/VYSlSj2_4fI/AAAAAAAATW0/ZRG4zyOjP4I/s1600/Timothy+Dalton+Hot+Fuzz.PNG smiling face in front of a photo of himself smiling]]. A more easily missed example occurs in the very first shot of the film, when Nicholas Angel marches up to the camera and, scowling, holds up his badge, which has the same scowl. Both shots were made by copying a frame from the film and pasting it onto the photo, so these are true droste images and not just similar.
* Biff in his office in ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartII'', standing in front of a painting [[http://static.ijreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Screen-Shot-2015-10-23-at-8.31.06-AM.png portraying him in a similar pose.]]
* ''Film/TheHobbit'' trilogy:
** In ''[[Film/TheHobbitTheDesolationOfSmaug The Desolation of Smaug]]'', after Gandalf is beaten by the Necromancer [[spoiler: a.k.a. Sauron]], the Necromancer appears as the [[spoiler: Eye of Sauron with the pupil in the shape of his humanoid form, itself with a single flaming eye, repeating infinitely from within]].
** Later used to represent [[spoiler:Sauron's battle of wills against Galadriel]] in ''[[Film/TheHobbitTheBattleOfTheFiveArmies The Battle of the Five Armies]]'', with the camera at first zooming further and further into the image; as [[spoiler:Galadriel gains the upper hand]], the constant zoom slows, then begins receding.
* At the end of ''Film/AllAboutEve'', when Eve has supplanted Margot and has a LoonyFan[=/=]StalkerWithACrush of her own hanging around her hotel room, the fan tries on her cape and poses in front of the mirrors holding the award Eve has just won, and a shot of hundreds of images of her from all angles indicates that [[HereWeGoAgain the cycle is endless and there are infinite Eves out there]].
* Dep. Chief Hardy in ''Film/TwentyTwoJumpStreet'' has a photo hanging on the wall behind his desk—of him sitting at his desk, in the exact same position he's in when the camera catches the photo.
* In ''Nine Miles Down'', the protagonist has a (possibly hallucinatory) encounter with this trope, in which every other reflection is a deformed MirrorMonster version of himself. Made far more disturbing when the most distant reflections [[spoiler: start ''shooting themselves in the head'', in a wave of suicides that rapidly gets "closer" to the actual character]].
* A magic-induced variation appears in ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets''. The [[spoiler: fraudulent]], highly decorated wizard Gilderoy Lockhart has a portrait of himself in his classroom at Hogwarts...actively painting another picture of himself. Additionally, in ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'', the cover of the textbook ''Dark Arts Defence - Basics for Beginners'' (which replaces ''Defensive Magical Theory'' from the [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix original book]]) features a young witch and wizard surrounded by black cats and reading a copy of the book with the cover facing out.
* The poster for ''Film/{{Toys}}''.

* "Jack's Story" from ''Literature/TheStinkyCheeseMan'' could be considered a print version of this, as it features an infinite regression of the same story [[NestedStory nested]] inside itself. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that he's (Jack, that is,) telling this story to a ''[[ScheherezadeGambit giant who intends to eat him after he finishes his story]].'' So he tells a story that can be continued for an infinite amount of time, or at least until the giant falls asleep. Which he does. [[BrickJoke On a later page,]] we see Jack making a break for it.
* In ''Literature/TheMouseAndHisChild'', much is made of a particular dog food label depicting a DrosteImage of the dog holding the ''same'' can, complete with the same picture, continuing down ''ad nauseam''. It's said that some grand revelation lies beyond [[ArcWords "The Last Visible Dog"]], i.e. the smallest iteration that can still be seen.
* The cover of the Little Golden Book ''My Christmas Treasury'' features a little boy and girl, and a cat and dog, sitting on a rug, reading a copy of the same book which features a little boy and girl, and a cat and dog, sitting on a rug...
* The Literature/RamonaQuimby book ''Ramona Forever'' gets its title from a scene where Ramona does this with the angled mirrors in a dressing room.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** In ''Discworld/EqualRites'', Simon conjures an image of the Discworld which is amazingly accurate, right down to an image of Simon conjuring an image of the Discworld, and so on. Esk is also fascinated by this effect when cleaning a bathroom in the University; she has an uneasy feeling that one of the multiple reflections, in the very edge of perception, is waving back at her.
** Paired mirrors that create this effect are a plot element in ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad''.
** In ''[[Literature/{{Discworld}} The Art of Discworld]]'', Paul Kidby's drawing of Dr Whiteface shows him holding a marotte tipped with a whiteface clown that's holding a marotte, and so on and so on.
* The Creator/PeterDavid ''Franchise/StarTrek'' novel ''Literature/{{IQ}}'' featured Picard, Q, and Data moving through a HallOfMirrors. Data naturally stops and stares when two mirrors create such an image. Q can't resist asking him how many reflections he sees...then cuts him off when he starts in the trillions.
* In ''[[Literature/{{ASongOfIceAndFire}} A Song of Ice and Fire]]'', the Noble House Risley uses the arms: "A black knight on a black rearing horse on white, bearing a golden lance and a white shield, upon which is seen the above in miniature."
* ''[[Creator/UmbertoEco The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana]]'' has a rare conversed example - probably based on a real Italian soda brand.
* ''[[Literature/LandOfOz The Lost Princess of Oz]]'' has the Wizard creating a hologram observing the villain, who is currently observing them in Ozma's Magic Picture.
* The front cover of Creator/PaulJennings' ''Uncollected: Volume 2'' depicts a boy reading the book, with the front cover visible.
* In the ''X-Storey Treehouse'' series, each book has pages near the end the depict other pages from the book, ''including one of the pages in question''.
* The book of ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'' was about a book which became the literary version of this trope, when the person writing the book was ordered to read the very same book they were writing, and they had to keep writing what they were reading while they were reading it, making the story literally never-ending (hence the title). The endless loop can only be broken by Bastion accepting that he can take control and change the story.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The first episode of ''Series/TheITCrowd'' opens with one of these: A shot of [[PointyHairedBoss Mr. Reynholm]] at his desk, with an identical scene on a picture hung on the wall. The camera then [[TheReveal pans out to reveal]] another identical scene. When he starts talking, we see that we were actually looking at the picture on the real Mr. Reynholm's wall.
* ''Series/SquareOneTV'' did something similar to teach viewers the concept of infinity.
* During Steve Martin's "I'm Me" song on ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'', he notices a monitor showing live footage of him, thus creating this effect. "It's me, watching me, watching me!"
* In ''Series/KamenRiderDecade'', Decade's TransformationSequence into his [[SuperMode Complete Form]] invokes elements of this. Decade has a card of himself in Complete Form located on his forehead. Which has a card of that on its forehead, and so on. The sequence [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hW7hC4RGP_o repeatedly zooms in on Decade's forehead of infinity]] until he's suited up.
* An episode of ''Series/HappyEndings'' had Jane doing a slide presentation of her father's interests, one of which was "old-timey slide projectors." The accompanying visual was [[http://oijio.tumblr.com/post/37965323891/and-old-time-y-slide-projectors somewhat unsettling...]]
* In the end of an episode of ''Series/RutlandWeekendTelevision'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbK4N445WBk one of the announcers]] is reading the credits for the show. The credits in the script he's reading stop around a certain point, however, so he runs up to a television monitor showing the show so he can read the credits on the ''screen'' out loud instead. The monitor, behind the credits, shows him reading from the screen which, behind the credits, shows him reading from the screen...however, he doesn't read quickly enough. HilarityEnsues.
** One episode also uses a "Bohemian Rhapsody" style video feedback effect (see below) during a "performance" by an up-and-coming singer whose gimmick is... he's dead. This is a spoof of the effect's popularity (and overuse) on shows like ''Series/TopOfThePops'' and ''Series/TheOldGreyWhistleTest''.
* Creator/StephenColbert's portrait on ''Series/TheColbertReport'' slowly became one of these, as every season he had a new portrait painted... where he posed in front of the previous portrait. That said, what he's holding, generally his latest book, is different. [[spoiler:[[TearJerker In the final episode, the portrait is completely empty.]]]]
* In an episode of ''Series/MadMen'', Sally and Glen (kids) have a SeinfeldianConversation where she points out this is the case with the Land o' Lakes butter label, and says it scares her.
* In one episode of the live show ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTV%27s_Most_Wanted MTV's Most Wanted]]'' in the mid-1990s, the camera followed presenter Ray Cokes through the lobby of the Creator/{{MTV}} Europe studios, where there was a video wall showing the current program on MTV Europe. Pointing the camera straight at it, this produced a Droste image of that video wall, which was then enhanced by the cameraman (probably Rob the Cameraman) rolling the camera left and right, the image following this with a slight delay for each iteration — giving the impression of a kind of moving tunnel.
* ''Series/ModernFamily'' does this to go from the ColdOpen to the opening credits.
* An old Creator/{{CBS}} logo, seen for instance at the end of ''Series/{{The Twilight Zone|1959}}'', features a push-in on a CBS eye inside a larger CBS eye.
* An unintentional example happens every now and then on ''Series/PardonTheInterruption'' when the hosts ask Tony Reali whether they made any mistakes. The monitor at Reali's desk shows the camera feed, and that screen has a smaller version of the camera feed, and so on and so on.
* The classic ''Series/DoctorWho'' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjDFvoRNpOM title sequences]] were created using this effect. The producers made the original (Hartnell to early Pertwee) sequences by pointing a camera at its own monitor and then passing objects across the lens to create the weird "howl-around" feedback effects.
** The [=NuWho=] Series 8 of ''Doctor Who'' (not to be confused with the 1971 Season 8) returns the use of the Droste Effect to the title sequence by having the TARDIS [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfzZPupZ1Lw fly out of and into a spiral Droste clockface.]]
** In the episode "Sleep No More", when the Doctor is demonstrating that [[spoiler: the villain is pulling images out of Clara's eyes]], he projects the image into its own field of view, producing this effect.
* Abby from ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' gets to enjoy one courtesy of her spy glasses and a monitor showing her the video feed. "Whoa...trippy..."
* Creator/TylerPerry, announcing for an episode of ''Series/BestTimeEverWithNeilPatrickHarris'', does such a good job that he writes a book during the commercial break about announcing. He holds up the book, with cover art featuring Perry holding the book, with cover art featuring Perry...
* On the children's educational program ''Series/OddSquad'', the all-kid secret organization's badge logo is a jackalope holding an Odd Squad badge in its paws, creating this trope.
* In ''Series/TheFlash2014'' episode "The New Rogues", Barry weaponizes this to defeat Sam Scudder/Mirror Master. Sam has the power to use mirrors as portals, but when Barry arranges several mirrors to create this effect, when Sam tries to escape through one, he just ends up back where he started.
* ''Series/FargoSeasonTwo'': The "infinite mirrors reflecting off each other" type happens as the Undertaker and his flunkies are taking an elevator to their death at the hands of Mike Milligan.

* An issue of ''Dynamite'' magazine had a Droste cover featuring [[Series/GoodTimes Jimmie Walker]].
* The [[http://wallaceandgromit.net/images/1-SE-52-4-Cover_FINAL.jpg Christmas 2008]] cover of the ''Magazine/RadioTimes'' shows WesternAnimation/WallaceAndGromit reading that very issue of the ''Radio Times''.
* [[http://www.drwho-online.co.uk/images/magazines/dwm-issue-400.jpg #400]] of ''Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine'' shows Creator/DavidTennant reading that issue of DWM (a reference to an image in #1 of ''Doctor Who Weekly'' which showed Creator/TomBaker reading the magazine - but which was not itself a Droste image since Tom's copy wasn't on that page). This was reprised in a photoshoot for #500 which had Creator/PeterCapaldi reprising ''all'' the MilestoneCelebration covers.
* Science mags are naturally a fan of this trope. An example from a less expected area - [[http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ange.v129.28/issuetoc chemistry.]]

* The last scene of Music/TheSmashingPumpkins' "Ava Adore" video.
* Music/TheNewPornographers use TV monitors to create this effect in their [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBAUQaj6EJo video]] for "Letter From An Occupant."
* The cover of Music/PinkFloyd's ''Music/{{Ummagumma}}'' uses a variation: a photo of the band with a smaller photo on the wall containing a smaller photo containing a smaller photo. However, each successive photo shows the various band members occupying each other's places.
* The album cover for ''Best of Friends - WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs''.
* Used on the cover for Big Country's 2001 covers album ''Undercover''
* The album cover for ''Amber Gambler'' by Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.
* The album cover for ''Swing to the Right'' by [[Music/ToddRundgren Utopia]].
* The video for Music/TheWhiteStripes' ''Seven Nation Army''.
* The video feedback method referenced below is one of the special effects used in the music video for Music/{{Queen}}'s ''Bohemian Rhapsody''.
* The [[https://youtu.be/29PqUEQzitE music video]] for "I'm Gonna Always Love You" (Baby Piggy's song from ''Film/TheMuppetsTakeManhattan'') has a number of moments where a scene revealed to be on a TV the Muppet Babies are watching. Inevitably, this leads to a moment when the scene of them watching TV does this, and they turn to the camera trying to figure out what's going on.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'': The first panel of one of the Sunday comics from the 1990s shows a picture of Garfield reading the comics...with a picture of himself reading the comics, etc.
* Subverted with [[http://theinvisibleagent.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/athineos016zq.jpg this]] ''[[Magazine/TheNewYorker New Yorker]]'' cartoon by Creator/CharlesAddams.

* The scene in the backglass of Creator/{{Capcom}}'s ''Pinball/{{Breakshot}}'' [[PhysicalPinballTable pinball machine]] has a ''Breakshot'' pinball machine in the background.
* ''Pinball/PinballMagic'' has a ''Pinball Magic'' machine shown in the backglass, complete with another pinball machine on ''its'' backglass.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/DeanAmbrose finds a [[MST3KMantra wired, fully turned-on flat-screen monitor under the ring]] at Tables, Ladders, and Chairs 2014. Before he uses it as a weapon, he stares at it, grinning like a maniac, while a cameraman looks over his shoulder at Dean and the monitor, intentionally invoking this kind of image. But then the scene cuts to the array of giant ladders towards the stage, giving him an insidious idea. [[BrickJoke He'd use that monitor later]], [[spoiler:but it was gimmicked to explode when the cord was pulled on too hard, eventually costing him the match]].

* Every year, ''Creator/{{ESPN}} The Magazine'' has an issue called "Revenge of the Jocks" where a famous athlete takes over as editor for that issue. The front cover features the athlete in question tearing up last year's magazine, which features last year's cover athlete tearing up the previous year's magazine, etc. etc.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The card [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Super%20Secret%20Tech Super Secret Tech]] from ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'''s parody expansion set ''Unhinged'' depicts itself in its illustration.

* ''Digimon Rumble Arena'' (a FightingGame spinoff from Franchise/{{Digimon}}) featured one arena with a copy of the screen displayed as a colored hologram near the top of the arena, and the Droste effect varies in depth according to the camera's current position.
* Although several ''VideoGame/MarioKart'' games have tracks with monitors displaying live race footage as it happens, the size and placement of these monitors around the track generally prevent a Droste effect from developing.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'', place two portals on opposite walls and look through the resulting "tunnel". It may be the first game to where it is also possible to walk (or fall) through them. [[note]]The engine can't possibly render an infinite number, though, intentionally stopping at a reasonable number of iterations.[[/note]]
* The first-person "tunnel" effect in the final levels of ''VideoGame/SuperStarWars: Return Of The Jedi'' were rendered using an analogous method, in which as one tile increased in size, another, smaller (and usually identical) tile appeared inside it, and so on. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuH4HZn52FM See it here.]]
* ''Videogame/DwarfFortress'' art includes images of "historical events", which includes artifacts, and since the object is created before art is added to it, the content maker sometimes depicts an artifact on itself. Moreover, a glitch/repeatable [[GoodBadBugs exploit]] adding more art and law of large numbers ''make'' it happen. The first reported was the statue aptly named "Planepacked", among "an ungodly amount of items built into it" including 73 images of itself. [[http://df.magmawiki.com/index.php/Planepacked Read here the description of its full glory,]] as well as of this and another similar exploit.
* The mirror leading to Satan's altar in ''Tecmo's VideoGame/{{Deception}}'', although its range is too small to show much more than itself and the surrounding wall.
* There's a manuscript page like this in ''VideoGame/AlanWake'': [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT1NBrcD64I "I lifted the page in front of my eyes and read it. In it, I lifted the page in front of my eyes and read it. In it..."]]
** And, by extension, [[spoiler: the entire premise is this. Alan Wake is being forced by a dark supernatural power to write ''the very same'' into existence, as the very same dark power can only materialise horrors that creative human minds have written. This way, Alan Wake basically trapped himself and everyone around him in his own work... retroactively.]]
* In ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'', this can happen in the Glitz Pit when the huge monitor set-up at the back of the arena shows a front view of the arena, wherein the huge monitor set-up at the back of the arena shows a front view of the arena, wherein...
* One area of the Alpha Labs in ''VideoGame/{{Doom 3}}'' has a security monitor. The player can cycle through a number of cameras, including a camera looking at the screen, so the Marine sees himself seeing himself, etc.
* The menu page of ''VideoGame/TheStanleyParable'', which goes so far as to have your cursor's movements reflected in each of the images.
* ''Franchise/{{Tekken}}'':
** ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}} 1'''s Marine Stadium has a {{Jumbotron}} displaying the fight.
** In ''[[VideoGame/{{Tekken}} Tekken 2]]'', the "Mirror Darkness" stage, where players fight [[FinalBoss Devil/Angel]], has the on-screen action recursively mirrored in the background.
* In ''VideoGame/ZenPinball'', the Deadpool table has a Deadpool pinball machine on its left apron, which in turn has an even smaller Deadpool table on its left apron, and so forth.
* The box art for the Konami's Best edition of ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaDawnOfSorrow Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow]]'' has a smaller, slightly angled box art of ''Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow''.
* Played for laughs in ''VideoGame/SpyFox in Dry Cereral'', with a guy who has a random animated tattoo on his chest that changes each time you click on him. One of the tattoos is this trope.
* In the ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' series, the jumbotron in the Pokémon Stadium stages works this way.

* Webcomic/ZeroZeroZeroThisComicAppearsFirstAlphabetically has a page where the cartoonist shows his characters a page where he shows his characters a page where he...
* ''Webcomic/PerryBibleFellowship'': [[http://www.pbfcomics.com/?cid=PBF094-Freaking_Vortex.gif "Freaking vortex."]]
* Webcomic/{{Sequential Art}} [[http://www.collectedcurios.com/sequentialart.php?s=193 here]]
* Webcomic/{{xkcd}} [[http://www.xkcd.com/688/ here]]
** As well as [[http://xkcd.com/244/ this]] example in roleplaying games.
** It later proposes the issues with [[http://xkcd.com/878/ a Droste model train set.]]
** And used [[http://xkcd.com/555/ here]] to abuse a certain UrbanLegend.
* ''Webcomic/ExterminatusNow'' [[http://exterminatusnow.co.uk/2006-02-17/comic/non-storyline/out-of-continuity-comics/what-does-the-scouter-say-about-his-power-level/ presents]] the plot of ''Anime/DragonBallZ''.
* ''Webcomic/HipsterHitler'' wears himself as a shirt.
* The [[http://basicinstructions.net/basic-instructions/2008/9/4/how-to-select-a-t-shirt.html InfiniTee]] from ''Webcomic/BasicInstructions''.
* ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'' [[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/15p71/ here.]]
* ''{{Webcomic/Enjuhneer}}'' as celebration for the [[http://www.enjuhneer.com/archives/200-the-cake-is-not-a-lie 200th strip]]
* In ''Webcomic/SquareRootOfMinusGarfield'', [[http://www.mezzacotta.net/garfield/?comic=1301 this strip]] has the entire strip itself in Garfield's speech bubble several times over.
* [[http://i.imgur.com/FsJYbDK.gif This]] ''Webcomic/{{Polandball}}'' comic about Poland and France is in gif. form, thus enforcing this trope.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* A popular meme involves creating one of these as an animated GIF that zooms in on its smaller self in an endless loop. Some examples:
** [[http://www.zoomquilt.org/ The Zoom Quilt.]]
** The [[Creator/DavidHasselhoff Hasselhoff]] Recursion: [[http://hasselhoffinfinity.ytmnd.com/ on YTMND.]]
* ''WebVideo/EchoChamber''. Tom attempts to explain the ShowWithinAShow trope by comparing it to the Hasselhoff Recursion.
--->'''Tom''': Okay, so, you guys have seen the internet video where it's Creator/DavidHasselhoff, and they zoom in on his crotch and there's another David Hasselhoff and they zoom in on ''his'' crotch...
* [[http://heeen.de/fun/dawg.gif The yo dawg meme subjected to this.]]
* [[http://www.infinitecat.com/ The Infinite Cat Project]]
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqgEm8XWXu8 A webcast]] goes horribly, horribly [[FunnyMoments wrong.]]
* The page image for TemporalParadox is an example.
* Wiki/TheOtherWiki's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_page webpage article.]] Note the article picture.
* As one commenter explained this image: [[http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/190469 "ctrl+ prt sc ctrl+v ctrl+ prt sc ctrl+v ctrl+ prt sc ctrl+v ctrl+ prt sc ctrl+v ctrl+ prt sc ctrl+v ctrl+ prt sc ctrl+v ctrl+ prt sc ctrl+v ctrl+ prt sc ctrl+v ctrl+ prt sc ctrl+v ctrl+ prt sc ctrl+v ctrl+ prt sc ctrl+v ctrl+ prt sc ctrl+v ctrl+ prt sc ctrl+v..."]]
* Web animator WebAnimation/{{Cyriak}} employs this trope with a number of his animations, especially his earlier .gifs, alongside BodyHorror, SoundtrackDissonance, and plenty of other things.
* [[http://weknowgifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/internet-meme-collage-2.jpg This collage of internet memes]] includes (as a nod to the "Yo dawg" meme) Xzibit holding a copy of the entire picture (he's near the upper right).
* [[https://www.reddit.com/r/drosteeffect Like most things, this has a Subreddit.]]
* [[WebVideo/{{Vinesauce}} Joel]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB9tR1NunqU actually managed to do this by accident.]]
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faC3XTInrgA&t=49s The Iguana Song]] shows the titular Iguana holding a disc of him holding a disc of him...
* Creator/NeilCicierega's video [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAsPeY8BsQU "Mouth"]] starts off by infinitely zooming in on nested images of Shrek. Then he starts manipulating the images, and everything turns into a bad acid trip...

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'': #21 and Dean spy on the Murderous Moppets watching television. The TV gets changed to a security camera behind Dean and #21, revealing them and creating a loop between the camera and TV screen.
* The ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' episode "A Brush With Oblivion" had one of these as Honker Muddlefoot's art project.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' episode "Wildcards", one shot has the Joker showing his [[DoNotAdjustYourSet successful takeover of TV channels]] by appearing at a TV screen, which shows him on television in the same shot, and so on.
* An old Creator/RankinBass cartoon called ''Tomfoolery'' had a gag involving [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo0DjdCn6pk an animated man holding a Droste image of himself]] that zoomed in for several seconds. After a while, the narrator quipped, "This could go on all day!"
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' had Doofenschmirtz explaining how he was able to capture Perry the Platypus again through a series of pictures on canvas that ends up reaching his own explanation thereof. The final picture is of himself pointing to a picture of himself that goes on for several times (but ''not'' getting smaller) until the canvas runs out of room.
** In "Meapless in Seattle", Ferb unearths an old urn with a picture of an ancient Greek version of himself holding an urn with a picture of an ancient Greek version of himself holding an urn... and so on.
* [[https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B1CjNNrCUAABJ6g.jpg:large Magazine Holder's Magazine"]] from ''TheSimpsons''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' episode "Now You Smurf 'Em, Now You Don't", Vanity presents Greedy with a painting of himself in the exact same pose holding a painting of himself.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' episode "No Free Rides", inside of Mrs. Puff's house there is a picture on her wall that shows the exact same shot of Mrs. Puff standing by the door, picture and all.
* In the epsiode "Raid the Cave" in ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'' features this when Star is attempting to use her spying spell and eventually spies on Marco through the portal, [[https://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/star-and-the-forces-of-evil/images/c/c7/S2E28_Star_spying_on_Marco_spying_on_Star.png/revision/latest?cb=20170207180343 who in turn is spying on Star and the portal right back.]]
* One ad spot for ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' consisted of this.
-->'''Starfire''': What are you watching?\\
'''Robin''': Teen Titans.\\
''[zooms in on the TV screen]''\\
'''Starfire''': What are you watching?\\
'''Robin''': Teen Titans.\\
''[zooms in; repeat a couple more times]''
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/SpaceGhostCoastToCoast'', when Moltar is attempting to fix the monitor, it begins showing Space Ghost looking at it as it's showing him.
--> '''Space Ghost:''' Hey look! It's me watching me watching me watching me!
* In the ''WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder'' episode "The Box", Wander peeks inside the titular box and sees... himself peeking inside the box. The camera then zooms through the infinite progression of boxes and into a DreamSequence.
* Used during Xergiok's musical sequence in the ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' episode "The Great Birdman".
* During ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'' episode "The Phone" Darwin looks at an animation on the eponymous phone of himself coming out of an envelope then opening his mouth to reveal another envelope with another Darwin.
* ''WesternAnimation/DonaldInMathmagicLand'' ends with an infinite progression of pentagrams, which then transform into an endless hallway of doors, representing the discoveries made through mathematics.
-->"No pencil is sharp enough to draw as fine as you can think, and no paper large enough to hold your imagination. In fact, it is only in the mind that we can conceive infinity."
* In the ''WesternAnimation/IAmWeasel'' episode "I Are Legend", Weasel realizes that people are watching him on TV, and at one point, we see him standing next to a TV with an image of the scene on the screen, leading to this trope.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'': In "Let's Play Paranormal Stuff", Kaeloo, Stumpy and Mr. Cat, standing right in front of Quack Quack, open a PortalDoor to the inside of Quack Quack's head. As a result of them standing in front of Quack Quack, this trope occurs with the door.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Stand two mirrors opposite each other. Observe.
* "Video feedback" can be triggered by pointing a video camera, or a computer webcam, at any screen which is displaying the camera's own live footage. ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Adam_Savage_HOPE.jpg Example]])
** An episode of ''Series/MythBusters'' actually had Adam wearing an Infini Tee of himself, possibly as a CallBack to this image.
** Audio feedback works on the same principle-- a microphone recursively amplifying the sound from a speaker-- but you get [[HellIsThatNoise that horrible screeching noise]]. A better match for the concept of the trope can be had through a delay or echo effect, which replays the same sound with decreasing volume.
* An early transatlantic satellite broadcast included a monitor on the wall behind the presenter which showed the return signal from the satellite. Satellite delay meant that the image on the screen took about half a second to cut from a test pattern to the image of the presenter with a test pattern on the screen behind him, and so on.
* In mathematics, the concept of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-similar Self-similarity.]]
* The concept of recursive functions in programming is pretty much that. If you don't put a stopping condition, it will repeat itself until it runs out of memory. On an unrelated note, modern operating systems guard against the aforementioned programming oversight / malicious code. Before infinite recursion can happen, the program will be terminated by "overflowing out of stack", which is basically exhausting the (fairly small) space to note the connections between the recursing function(s). As for forkbombs, it's one of those things that modern UNIX-based OS [[ObviousRulePatch actively try to prevent]]. You can't make too many forks at too short an interval, and in some cases there's [[{{Cap}} a maximum number of forks you can do]].
** [[https://www.amazon.de/Little-Schemer-Daniel-P-Friedman/dp/0262560992 "The Little Schemer"]], a Lisp textbook, befittingly has a Droste cover, since what would Lisp be without recursion? [[note]] [[TakeThat Bad FORTRAN?]] [[/note]]
* During the stage show of Depeche Mode's 2006 "Touring the Angel" tour, which featured a large LED video wall behind the stage, the screen would often feature a medium-zoom view of the performers with the wall directly behind them. A (perhaps unintentional) half-second delay loop resulted in a "stepping" effect, which was enhanced by blinking lights and camera flashes. See [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ht-4cpMlW4 here]] for an example.
* In heraldry this is called "mise en abyme" (from French "placed into abyss"). It was fairly common in medieval Europe. More recent examples include:
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_arms_of_Russia Present-day coat of arms of Russia,]] as illustrated [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1FsQf_x04Q here.]] The eagle holds a scepter tipped with an eagle, that holds a scepter tipped with an eagle...
** The [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fa/Emblem_of_the_U.S._Department_of_the_Army.svg/1024px-Emblem_of_the_U.S._Department_of_the_Army.svg.png Emblem of the United States Department of the Army]] includes two flags. One is the American flag; the other is the flag of the Department of the Army, which depicts the Emblem of the United States Department of the Army on a white background, which emblem includes two flags...
* Virtual Machines. You can run a "virtualized" operating system inside that very same operating system, recursively ad infinitum in theory, hardware resources notwithstanding.[[note]]And some virtual machines prohibit virtualizing themselves.[[/note]] This is getting more and more common these days to prevent the headache of having to craft policies for many, many users that share single administrative space. Having an OS emulating the very same OS also cuts down the hassle of having to provide different updates.
* Some remote desktop clients like [=LogMeIn=] allow the user to "remotely access" their own computer, which has predictable results. Odd behavior will be present, such as logging out the user when the window is closed, or the mouse not being able to access the window.
* Until a recent update, [=AirServer=] (which allows [=AirPlay=] mirroring to a Mac) allowed a Mac to mirror to itself. If a Droste image wasn't the result, then garbled colors and glitchy text would take its place.
* VLC has a feature that displays the contents of the desktop. If the VLC player is still on the desktop, [[https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CC9xFU9VAAAyNmq.jpg this causes a Droste Image.]]
* Creator/WilWheaton has made an [=InfiniTee=] (see above) of himself. He is fond of posing in the position it pictures while wearing it, resulting in a [[http://www.cotygonzales.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/wil-wheaton-shirt.jpeg surreal meta-recursion.]]
* At a fan convention Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki were sitting on stage in front of a screen showing them on stage resulting in this type of image. Due to the delay when they turned to look each distinctive layer showed them turning one after the other. It can be seen [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcEGR5OXw94 here.]]
* The village of Godshill on the Ise of Wight contains a beautiful model village; specifically a scale model of Godshill itself. It is so accurate and detailed that it contains a perfect scale model of the model village in Godshill. The model of the model is so accurate and detailed that it contains a perfect scale model of the model of the model village in Godshill...
* In computing, a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quine_%28computing%29 quine]] is a program that produces a copy of its own source code and nothing more.
** An extension of that is a quine-relay which, for example, is a Java program producing C++ code producing the original Java source code which would be a quine-relay of length 2. There's even [[https://github.com/mame/quine-relay one with length 100.]]
* Similarly to the Quine example above, it is possible to create a [[http://research.swtch.com/zip ZIP file that contains itself.]] There's also [[http://www.steike.com/code/useless/zip-file-quine/ Droste.zip]] which contains itself... and the Droste image.
* ICEE cups have this. The polar bear mascot is seen holding a cup with the same artwork as the actual cup. And that cup has the same artwork, and so on, and so on.