A visual metaphor uses an image to represent something else entirely. Some have become standard through use and re-use -- some even to the point of having standard parodies or subversions.

For internal emotions and sensations, visual metaphors mostly serve the RuleOfPerception. For external actions and events, they can serve as {{unusual euphemism}}s for [[NeverSayDie sex and violence]].

See also BriffitsAndSqueans.

[[folder: Internals ]]

* BackgroundHalo
* BattleAura: passion/determination
* BigLittleMan
* BigShadowLittleCreature
* CatchingSomeZs: sleep, formerly snoring
* CirclingBirdies: concussion
* ConfusedQuestionMark: confusion, surprise
* EyeColourChange
* FireBreathingDiner: hot, spicy food
* HeartSymbol: romantic crush
** HeartsAreHealth: health or life force
* HighPressureEmotion: anger/embarrassment
* IdeaBulb: receiving inspiration
* MarkedChange
* MusicIsEighthNotes
* PersonalRaincloud: sadness or depression
* PowerMakesYourHairGrow
** PowerDyesYourHair
* {{Shameful Shrinking}}: literally shrinking in shame.
* Spirals around the head: [[{{Brainwashing}} Mental tampering,]] usually forcefully.
* ThunderShock: shock
* Hot, strong emotions such as anger or lust:
** Teakettle boiling: can be used to represent it building up and then reaching a peak when the kettle whistles.
*** Same with a steam whistle on a boiler.
** Volcanic eruption (see: ClimacticVolcanoBackdrop)[[/index]]
*** [[Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann Even in space.]][[index]]
** Explosion (see AngstNuke)
** In anime, violently large [[{{Nosebleed}} nosebleeds]] (to indicate lust).
* Small rising bubbles: Carries special meaning for drunkenness, but can also represent several other states of reduced mental function (including sleepiness, laziness and even hypnosis). Also known as [[BriffitsAndSqueans Squeans]].


[[folder: Externals ]]

* Drama:
** DisturbedDoves
* Excrement:
** BowelBreakingBricks
* Getting clocked:
** Pile driver
** Clock
** BrokenFaceplate
* Penis:
** Banana
** Hot dog
** Elephant (in Japanese things) - also eggplant (traditional phallic symbol) and turtle's heads (pun on a slang term for foreskin).
** The ♂ symbol may also be used, with the arrow portion representing the penis itself.
* Sex:
** Large rocket lifting off
** Train entering a tunnel
** Jackhammering
* Defloration[[note]]i.e. loss of a woman's virginity[[/note]]
** A single falling flower petal, or a falling rosebud
* Orgasm:
** Geyser spouting
** Fireworks
** Champagne cork popping, followed by a frothy overflow
** Screen awashes in white light
*** Parodied in a ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' sketch, where a couple are revealed to be watching a home movie of these visual metaphors ''instead'' of having sex.
*** ''Series/TheBennyHillShow'' did the same thing.
*** Also parodied in a ''Simpsons'' scene, where Homer and Marge are having sex while the kids are at a Stock Footage Festival, with no idea what their parents are doing. Also during a romantic scene, Homer and Marge use the metaphor while looking lustfully at each other, right before they begin launching literal fireworks.
** SomethingElseAlsoRises - visual metaphors for erections and/or orgasms.[[index]]
* {{Phlegmings}} uses saliva or phlegm to suggest fear and fright.
* PowerGlows uses glowing to show the presence of energy.
* TimeCompressionMontage uses cuts to imply that a large amount of time has passed without showing the time directly.
* AudibleSharpness is sometimes accompanied by the blade twinkling or shining as it makes the noise.
* BigBallOfViolence uses a big cloud of smoke / dust to imply an intense fight going on.
* FloatingClocks big, spectral clocks to let you know you're traveling through time