[[quoteright:208:[[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/speed_stripes_3445.png]]]]


->''"Man, I wish I had swishy lines behind'' me ''when'' I ''did stuff."''
->-- '''Narrator''', a Creator/CartoonNetwork ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' spot

In animated shows, characters moving at high speed often appear in front of a set of moving colored lines -- usually blue background with yellow stripes, although depending on the impact, any color combination may be used. This is usually done because drawing a proper background moving behind the character would require drawing a large background from a camera angle which would only be seen for a split-second. The direction of the lines indicates the direction; if the lines seem to be coming from a central point, then it is because the character is moving toward or away from the screen.

A variation of this is the Moving Punchout, where two characters are fighting and obviously moving (usually in the same direction, although sometimes towards each other), with speed stripes as the background.

This is an effect from Manga, and is indicative of a stylistic difference between the west and Japan in the depiction of movement. While speed lines in the west are traditionally drawn on the character and leave the background in focus, the Japanese artist traditionally speed-lines the background, leaving the character in focus. In the western version, the observer is a stationary bystander being passed or approached by the character, but in the Japanese version the reader is moving ''with'' the character (incidentally, it's useful for reducing the budget by avoiding having to draw a background, so you can reuse the footage to your heart's content).

A slight variation which can appear in both Western and Japanese works is the practice of using SpeedEchoes in the same way.
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!!Examples:
* ''Manga/DragonBall Z'' is infamous for this, with characters flying in every direction.
** ''SuperMarioBrosZ'', being based on ''Manga/DragonBall Z'', also uses this trope heavily when characters are launched and often when they are fighting in midair.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh'' occasionally uses speed lines when a major character is playing a card.
* Even ''HikaruNoGo'' (an anime about, well, people playing ''Go'') gets in the act.
* A season 4 ''WesternAnimation/{{Reboot}}'' episode makes fun of this, while the characters of Bob and Matrix play a game that combines ''DBZ'' and ''{{Pokemon}}''. Matrix is held in an airborne kick for an extended shot, and it's revealed that he's on wires in front of a speed-striped rolling background.
* The lawyers in ''PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'' do this when [[MundaneMadeAwesome making particularly forceful arguments]]. It can become a BiggerStick if the two lawyers pull these off back and forth in quick succession. One example:
-->Edgeworth: *SpeedStripes* "Can you prove that? I THINK NOT!"\\
Phoenix: *SpeedStripes* "Oh, yeah? I THINK I CAN! It's simple!"\\
Edgeworth: *SpeedStripes* "WHAAAAAT!?"
* For a Western CGI example, see ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda''.
* Expect this nearly every time a {{Pokemon}} trainer says something or a Pokemon does something in the anime. (During battles, obviously.)
** It's also used on the games in the animations for moves like [=ExtremeSpeed=], Hydro Pump, and Focus Blast.
* The Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles not only get SpeedStripes, they're coordinated to each Turtle's color.
* ''Anime/SailorMoon'', every time one of the senshi uses a special attack.
* Referenced in this ''QuestionableContent'' strip "[[http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=721 Speed Lines Equal INTENSITY]]".
** Also used [[http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1463 here]], [[http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1485 here]], and elsewhere.
* Used in ''Anime/SpeedRacer''. And the 2008 live-action [[Film/SpeedRacer film]] actually replicated this effect.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' would use this on occasion.
* Even TheSimpsons is guilty of this, while Marge is chasing Snake through the city in The Springfield Connection.
** The opening credits when shown in full seem to contain an example but when watched frame by frame the quick pan across their lawn is actually filled with people.
* ''WesternAnimation/BeastMachines'' did this in an unusual way, using ''three-dimensional'' speed lines. In many cases, the background could be glimpsed in gaps between them.
* The ''PowerpuffGirls'' Intro.
* The ''Anime/FutureGPXCyberFormula'' series uses these, especially with the NitroBoost in the later [=OVAs=] and when the cars go fast.
* The ''ViewtifulJoe'' series, whenever you activate the Mach Speed VFX.
* In ''ImpureBlood'', [[http://www.impurebloodwebcomic.com/Pages/Issue4PAGES/ib096.html Dara to the rescue]].
* In the later episodes of the first season of WeissKreuz, the animation budget was so low that sometimes even fast camera pans would make everything devolve into speed stripes for a second. As an example of TropesAreNotBad, it actually looked pretty awesome.
* In the third episode of season two of WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic, Rainbow Dash has these behind her when she's destroying Applejack's old barn.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' often uses this, usually multiple times in one episode. For example, "It Came from the Nightosphere" had speed stripes when Gunther was thrown, [[ItMakesSenseInContext Marceline unleashed the Finn bomb, and her father flicked Finn in the butt without his consent.]]
* Parodied during an early page of ''WebComic/TriggerStar''. When a {{Mook}} leaps at Avocado, he gets impaled on his own speed lines.
* In ''RustyAndCo'', [[http://rustyandco.com/comic/level-6-39/ the weapon hurtling toward Madeline's head.]]
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2002-07-18 Grace moving Jeremy]] is shown using this.
* In ''Webcomic/RedsPlanet'', [[http://www.redsplanet.com/comic/rp/ch04/chapter-four-18/ the final stages of the flight from the bobalux -- down hill -- show these.]]
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