Lightning flashes and a scene is illuminated, it flashes again, and again, each moment a new frame in a story played out in silhouette. It may be a grisly murder, it may be a fight scene, but whatever it is we only see it in stills as a light flicks on and off.

Usually involves strobes or lightning but can be slower. Can be an artistic form of censorship, for example if a murder is taking place we might only see tiny fragments of it.

Related to LightningReveal, DramaticThunder, LightFlickerTeleportation, and possibly ThunderShock.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* One of the more famous scenes in ''Anime/MacrossDoYouRememberLove'' is the duel between Max and Miria, which eventually takes them inside the airlock of a Meltrandi warship. They shoot out all the interior lights through stray bullets, and the rest of the battle is only illuminated by brief flashes from BulletSparks or sparks caused by the two Mecha crashing into each other.

* Done beautifully in book three of ''ComicBook/{{Bone}}'' when Fone Bone, Thorn and Gran'ma Ben are on the run from the rat creatures in the middle of a storm. Lighting flashes light up the otherwise pitch black backgrounds, giving brief glimpses of the rat creature horde closing in, as well as [[spoiler: when the Red Dragon appears and chases them away.]]

* In ''Clownhouse'', one of the antagonists is shown passing by one of the protagonists while a lightbulb flickers.
* ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'' features Batman jumping a {{Mook}} as gunshots illuminate his approach.
* ''Film/{{Equilibrium}}''. First fight scene is illuminated entirely by muzzle flashes from the protagonist's pistols.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AnExtremelyGoofyMovie'', Silvia has a dance solo in front of a strobe light.
* Father Malius' awakening from two decades of non-action in ''Film/HappyHellNight'' is show via continues flashes from a polaroid camera.
* ''Film/RevengeOfThePinkPanther'' has an attempted murder in a night club while the strobe light is on.

* In ''Coils'' by Creator/RogerZelazny and Creator/FredSaberhagen in one scene an assassin is approaching a telepath while Donald, the protagonist, ends up observing the scene through the telepath's eyes. Donald tries to delay the assassin [[ItsALongStory by making the household electronics run amok and flickering the lights]], the telepath gives the assassin a heartache, but the flashes still show him staggering toward his victim.

[[folder:Tabletop RPG]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' module I10 ''Ravenloft II The House on Gryphon Hill''. At the conclusion of the adventure the {{PC}}s are desperately trying to stop the Creature from achieving his goal. They are forced to follow it through a thunderstorm, where the only illumination is from strokes of lightning. Each flash reveals a specific scene.

* ''Caught'', by David Parson's Dance Company. This one counts as a crowning moment of awesome for this trope.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', ''Checkmate'', there is an epic one when Clark breaks down the doors of a chamber where Chloe is BoundAndGagged, beat up the agents and catch a bullet in front of Chloe's face while the scene flashes due to a power breach.
* At least one scene in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Blink" - we never see the Weeping angels actually move.
** The ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Flesh and Stone", again featuring the Weeping Angels, had the gunshots-in-a-dark-room version.
* ''Series/DueSouth'' featured a gunfight in a dark hallway during the series finale. The only time the characters could be seen was when they were illuminated by one of the ([[ATeamFiring many]]) gunshots.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Inverted with the [[BlackoutBasement "Flash Black Galaxy"]] level from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2'' where all of the enemies are completely visible, but the backgrounds constantly flash for a few seconds to the music.
* [[DoubleSubversion Double-subverted]] in the NES version of ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden 2'' in stage 3-1; [[ you can see the characters, and some of the background, continuously, but the level itself and the enemies are only visible during lightning strikes.]]
* In ''Rise From the Ashes'', the fifth case in ''PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'', [[spoiler:Ema Skye witnesses a fight scene between Prosecutor Neil Marshall and serial killer Joe Darke during the SL-9 Incident]]. With the power out and the room pitch black, [[spoiler:a particular flash of lightning illuminates a scene that is burned into Ema's mind. After the fight (and the prosecutor's subsequent murder), she draws a picture of the scene, which turns out to be instrumental in finding the true culprit two years later.]]
* Used on Day 2 of ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddysSisterLocation''. You have to restart the power in a tiny, cramped room with the Funtime Freddy animatronic, who will try and get close enough to [[DeadlyEuphemism give you a surprise]]. You have to periodically stop working and play a recorded message that will pacify Freddy, and the only source of light flickers constantly to add to the UncannyValley factor of Freddy's movements.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* On one ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short, Sylvester makes a formula for making a PersonalRaincloud to use on the dog guarding Tweety. But then he spills it and the room is darkened by the resulting cloud. Outside, the windows are dark, but the flashes of lightning occasionally show a fleeing Sylvester.
* Several episodes of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', including one where (in a flashback) we see teenagers installing a strobe into the back of their car. They turn it on and dance to music - the rest of the scene is shown as a series of stills as the light comes on and off.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheTick'' had The Deadly Bulb attack in darkness, where we only saw several freeze-framed images when his lightbulb-head flashed in the darkness.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' eposode "Ready, Willing And Disabled": while fighting during the night over the money, Meg, Chris and Stewie are occasionally seen only while there's lightning. And while most of the flashes show them fighting, one reveals them dressed and posing for an "old timey" photo.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Fireflies.
* A strobe light easily demonstrates this. If you can't get one, blinking your eyes ''really'' fast while watching someone move is a reasonable simulation, but you shouldn't do it too long.