Common in animated shows, the Ad Break Double Take is an establishing shot or establishing line that appears on both
sides of a commercial break; the show being wound back a few seconds to allow the scene to be reintroduced to the viewer in a coherent fashion. These repeated scenes are also often used as Padding
to fill out an episode's running time and, particularly in the case of hour-long reality shows, can be used to disguise the fact that not much actually happens in a given episode.
Sometimes the scenes on both sides of the break are identical, but some shows change the second part by giving the repeated line to another character, or having them rephrase it. To the outside observer, the Ad Break Double Take thus looks like the hero standing calmly waiting to be decapitated while saying "This doesn't look too good." followed by a pause and then "Man, this is baaad!". In extreme cases, an unexpected change in continuity that wasn't present before the break may suddenly work in the heroes' favor, in which case you have a Cliffhanger Copout
characters might be able to sense the slight stitch in time and take advantage of it (much to the confusion of the unAware villains), but it's hardly necessary: the heroes will always recover from the threat in plenty of time. Genre Savvy
types sometimes hang a lampshade
on the repeated line with a yell of "I know we're in trouble, stop saying that!".
It's usually not edited out when released for home video or syndicates that use less commercial breaks than the original broadcaster. Unless commercial breaks are punctuated by an Eye Catch
, this leads to odd situations where a dramatic line is uttered, fade to black, fade back in, then the dramatic line is uttered again.
See also: Act Break
and Commercial Break Cliffhanger
Live Action TV
- Common in 80s Strontium Dog, where the first panel of each installment would often be a repeat of the previous week's final panel.
- Every episode of Hells Kitchen ever.
- Project Runway: during runway elimination.
- The Biggest Loser: during weigh-ins, repeatedly.
- Human Target (the latest one) likes this trope, and oftentimes the double-take is paraphrased a bit.
- How I Met Your Mother has very few commercial breaks without the double take.
- Ice Road Truckers exemplifies this trope. In the tense seconds leading up to the commercial break, it will frequently look like some unexpected event that caught a driver off guard is about to lead them to their death at the bottom of a frozen lake or an icy cliff. Cut to commercial, come back, and we find out that there's a loose bolt on one of their back wheels or something.
- Storage Wars has two versions of this: a cliffhanger during bidding that leaves viewers wondering if, say, Jarrod will get the locker or Dave will throw in a last-second bid; and the setup for a reveal - for example, Barry looks in the box and exclaims "Whoa, check THIS out!"... cut to commercial... show comes back, we see what was in the box. In both instances the scene-ending dialogue is repeated upon rejoining.
- Occurs several times in The Aquabats! Super Show!.
- Happens all the time in Supernatural, esp if the Winchester boys fall through windows or the screen goes white.
- Occurs many, many times in Power Rangers Megaforce.
- In Tales of Monkey Island, at the end of episode 1 and beginning of episode 2, Morgan Le Flay apparently says "Guybrush Threepwood! I've been waiting a long time for this!" twice, as his response is different in each episode.
- Being a love letter to Anime, Asura's Wrath uses this after returning from a loading screen (which look like an Eye Catch themselves).
- Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog lampshaded this in one episode when Robotnik declares that Sonic is trapped and "Mobius is mine! All mine!" Fade to commercial break. When we return, Robotnik declares that Sonic is trapped and "Mobius is mine! Did I say that already?"
- Aladdin: The Series.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series
- South Park:
- Stan aiming a gun at a disguised Cartman in "Volcano".
- The bus splitting in two and falling off a cliff in "City on the Edge of Forever".
- The Simpsons season 3 episode Separate Vocations spoofs this when Bart is about to be run down by a car. After the break, the action returns with the announcement of "Act II: Death drives a stick" and Snakes cry of "See you in hell little dude" is repeated.
- Done again many times. One example is Simple Simpson, the Spider-Man parody in which, as soon as Burns gets to unmask Homer, that moment gets repeated twice. In fact, especially in Western Animation, this trope almost always rhymes with unmasking.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender : Particularly obvious with Momo's introduction.
- Happens in several The Land Before Time movies, which is OK when you watch them on TV, but especially awkward when you watch them on video.
- The DCAU.
- DuckTales did this quite a lot.
- Parodied in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, "Sweet and Elite": Rarity is surprised by her friends greeting her unexpectedly and faints, as they may catch her in a lie, and we go to commercial. When the show returns, Rarity wakes up, and Pinkie Pie says "Hi again!"
- Played straight in "Bridle Gossip" with "What if she's making Apple Bloom soup?".
- When The Hub aired My Little Pony Equestria Girls, the scene of Twilight screaming was repeated when the show came back from its' first commercial break.
- Centurions, such as when a lava flow is encroaching on a prone character, then has receded again after the commercial break, as if to give the character a second chance to roll away.
- The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, like in "Robo Koopa" when the title villain pushes over an electronic tower to crush the heroes. When viewed without commercial breaks, the tower looms at the audience twice in a row!
- Played straight in Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, where Phineas says, "So far it's not going as well as we'd hoped" twice.