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[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/{{Goofy}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cameraflashfootball.png]]]]

A person uses a camera and takes a photo...and the flash wasn't off. The resulting flash either blinds the unfortunate recipient of said photo or makes him see spots. This can be used as a handy distraction or even as a nasty form of ImprovisedWeapon. TruthInTelevision, as anyone who's ever had to take a school photo or have been at an area with a lot of flash photography can attest.

SubTrope of BlindedByTheLight. Compare WeaponizedCamera where this effect may be exploited in a combat situation.


[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* Early in ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'', just right after capturing Nemo, the scuba diver takes a picture of Marlin, the flash stunning Marlin and preventing him from going after his son.
* Accidentally happens in ''WesternAnimation/{{Hoodwinked}}'' when Twitchy takes one of these photos in the Wolf's face. "Would you put that away?! It's covert, no flash!" Twitchy promptly puts the flash bulb away. He then accidentally swallows the bulb, and the next time he opens his mouth it flashes in Red's face.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory2'' the toys use flashes to stop [[spoiler:Stinky Pete]] from hurting Woody.

[[folder:Film -- Live Action]]
* In ''Film/ILoveYourWork'', the main character is a Hollywood actor who gets disoriented whenever walking the red carpet by the flashing bulbs. In the end, there is a callback to this as he makes a stand against a line of cops.
* In ''Film/JohnnyDangerously'', there's a scene where Johnny gets photographed repeatedly and then promptly walks into the wall he couldn't see anymore.
* Used in ''Film/RearWindow'' as a way to stall a killer.
* When Kate finds out {{Film/Gremlins}} don't like bright lights, she uses a camera flash to keep them at bay until she runs out of film.
* In ''Film/TheGreatMuppetCaper'', Gonzo takes a group shot of everyone at the Happiness Hotel, giving everyone bulging eyes, even the characters with EyesAlwaysShut...
** He later takes a photo of [[NoFourthWall the audience]] at the end of the credits, causing the screen to cut to black.
-->"I'll send each of you a copy!"
* ''Film/TheJewelOfTheNile''. One of the Sufi takes a picture of a guard, then everyone slips by while he's rubbing his eyes.

* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** In ''Discworld/TheColourOfMagic'', [[spoiler:[[EldritchAbomination Bel-Shamharoth]] is defeated]] from the flash of Twoflower's iconograph going off. As a bonus there's even a photograph later, it's mostly of Rincewind's thumb with a few tentacles waving around at the edges.
** Exaggerated by Otto von Chriek ever since his introduction in ''Discworld/TheTruth''. He's a vampire who loves photography. As a result, whenever he takes a flash photo, it results in his ''demise'' until blood is poured on his ashes. He's tried a few solutions, but not using the flash hasn't been one of them.
* Used as a political dirty trick in "A Bathroom Of Her Own" by Creator/RobertAHeinlein. A political candidate is blinded by an unexpected camera flash, with a second picture being taken a moment later as he tries to recover. The picture from the second camera - showing the candidate looking confused, dazzled and dopey - is then used by his opponents in their attack ads.

[[folder:Live-Action Television]]
* The obnoxious reporter in "The Model Teacher" subjects ''Radio/OurMissBrooks'' to several.
* In an episode of ''{{Series/CSI}}'' where the VictimOfTheWeek was a celebrity, Al Robbins, the coroner, caught a paparazzi in the morgue trying to photograph the corpse. He tried to use this to escape...Dr. Robbins [[SubvertedTrope was having none of it]] and tripped him over [[HandicappedBadass with his cane]] before calling security.
* In the ''{{Series/Cheers}}'' episode with Woody and Kelly's wedding, Cliff's camera had an ultra-bright flash.
* Also happened in Cheers's spin-off ''{{Series/Frasier}}'', with Martin Crane's infamous "Scheerblad 7XK", which is described by Niles and Frasier as, "the Blindingest, Noisiest, 15lbs Camera, ever produced in the former Soviet Union!" and "The Old Flash and Wind", respectively. The flash is so strong, it practically pushed people backwards from the force of it. At one point Frasier even uses the flash to escape an awkward moment when he blabs to Daphne about some of Niles's old flames before her; using the momentary explosion of light to blind his family as he runs like a girl out the door. The episode's credits, show many photos taken with the camera, in which everybody pictured is washed out, screaming, with their eyes bugging out of their heads. The final picture being Frasier with a crazed and furious look on his face, charging Martin to grab and presumably destroy the offending camera
* Happened in ''Series/QuantumLeap'' to Sam when a reporter's flashbulb exploded in his face, temporarily blinding him. Since Sam was currently impersonating a blind person, this saved him from being exposed ''as'' a sighted impersonator.
* In the ''Series/{{Monk}}'' episode "Mr. Monk and the Bully," when Monk and Natalie follow Roderick Brody's wife to a bar, Monk tries to take a photo with a very old and out-of-date camera. Due to the dim lighting, he installs a flash cube. To take the picture in question, he has Natalie stand a spoon on its end and photographs the reflection. Of course, the result is a flash bright enough that it causes Monk and Natalie, and possibly the audience, to squint their eyes for a few seconds to counteract the sudden brightness.

* [[Music/PinkFloyd Roger Waters]] asked his fans not to bring cameras and video recorders to his Athens performance (and at least a few others) of ''Music/TheWall 2012''. The Athens show was being filmed for a DVD release, and the flashes and lights would have completely ruined the projections.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'' supplement ''Acute Paranoia'', adventure "Me and My Shadow Mark IV". The {{PC}}s' mission equipment includes a lightbot named Mikey, who was intended to be a photographer's assistant. If the word "light" is used around him he'll start flashing lights in the unfortunate character's eyes, blinding him.

* In Christopher Durang's play ''The Actor's Nightmare'' just before the ShowWithinAShow starts there's an announcement that no flash photography is allowed - and then when George comes out there's immediately a bunch of flash photography, blinding him.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Cameras in ''VideoGame/NetHack'' do this to enemies; the Tourist player-class starts the game with one.
* ''VideoGame/ToejamAndEarl in Panic on Funkotron'' features [[HawaiianShirtedTourist Hawaiian Shirted Tourists]] who use their camera flash as a weapon.
* The scanner enemies in ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' do this if you're looking at them when they photograph you (this is pretty much the only hazard they pose, apart from occasionally giving your position away to a strider).
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', your character being blinded by one on his birthdays as a child is used to transition to the next point of your character's childhood/the tutorial.
* The video game ''Academy of Champions: Soccer'' has one character use a weaponized camera flash as a special move that blinds other players.
* In ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'', Peter Jacob (a WWI journalist) has a flash pan with a limited amount of powder which he can use to stun enemies (which is good, since you don't really start off with any particularly powerful weapons in that chapter).
* This is one of [[VideoGame/DeadRising Frank West's]] moves in ''[[VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3 Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3]]''.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'', [[{{Otaku}} Francis]] can use his camera to [[InterfaceScrew make the screen go white temporarily.]] He doesn't try to capitalize on it, so it's purely for the sake of annoyance.
* The second stage in ''VideoGame/ScottPilgrimVsTheWorld'' had a unique paparazzi enemy, every snap of the flashbulb stunned your character (the ability was even called 'flash stun' in the credits) it doesn't do damage but stalls the character enough to let other enemies gang up on you.
* ''VideoGame/{{Spelunky}}'' can give the player a camera which will stun enemies (or kill them if they're weak enough); when used on the indestructible Ghost, it causes him to pause briefly and pose. The flash can also be used to illuminate darkened levels.
* In the ''[[VideoGame/HomeAloneSega Home Alone]]'' LicensedGame for the UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis, one of the weapons Kevin can assemble is a flashbulb shotgun, which provides this effect on Harry and Marv.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''
** As the strip title put it, [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2005-08-24 "Dude, Like, Sarah Just TOTALLY Flashed Female Justin"]].
** PlayedForDrama much later, during the [[http://www.egscomics.com/index.php?id=1339 boar attack]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* This happens in an episode of Creator/TheBBC's kids' show ''Kerwhizz'', when contestant Ninki is trying out her new camera on her canine companion Pip, much to his annoyance.
* ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' had an entire episode revolving around a camera.
* Used on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' as a weapon against crazed robot Itchys and Scratchys at Itchy and Scratchy Land. Flashing them with cameras caused their brains to go haywire.
* In the "school photo" episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}},'' there's a RunningGag about people being blinded by the camera and wandering around dizzily.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/WackyRaces'', Muttley photographs Penelope Pitstop during the race. Penelope is blinded so severely by the flash that she has to stop driving momentarily.
* Muttley does it again, to Dick Dastardly, in the ''WesternAnimation/DastardlyAndMuttleyInTheirFlyingMachines'' episode "Lens a Hand".
* In the WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck cartoon "Grand Canyonscope", Donald asks the ranger to photograph him atop his burro. The flash blinds the burro, leaving him stumbling along the steep Grand Canyon trail.
* Often used as a RunningGag in ''WesternAnimation/EekTheCat''.
* This happens to Zach at the beginning of the ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresFromTheBookOfVirtues'' episode "Honesty", when he touches his dad's camera and accidentally breaks it.
* In the WesternAnimation/{{Goofy}} cartoon "How to Play Football", a player is blinded by flashbulbs and fumbles the ball. He scores only because no one else can catch the ball, and he eventually stumbles upon it at the goal line.
* In ''WesternAnimation/FilmationsGhostbusters'', a camera-like device called the Ecto-Strobe sometimes has this effect on ghosts.
* Happens to WesternAnimation/MrBogus in the claymation short shown after the second act of the episode "[[Recap/MrBogusS1E11LightsCameraBogus Lights, Camera, Bogus]]", when he attempts to take a picture of himself and checks the camera to find out why it didn't go off earlier.
* WesternAnimation/ThePinkPanther mistakes a case of camera flash bulbs for eggs and swallows them. Every time he hiccups, he goes off in a flash from the bulbs, blinding a bear in a cave and, after entering a photographer's dark room, ruining the photographer's negatives (short "Smile Pretty, Say Pink!").
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLittleRascals'' episode "All the Loot That's Fit to Print", photographer Alfalfa gets this when he tries to take a picture of Darla and Waldo, but mistakenly turns the flash toward himself.
* Twice used in ''WesternAnimation/SonicBoom''.
** In "Next Top Villain", Dave takes a pic of himself to celebrate his presumed victory, only to blind himself and lose control of his stolen Octopus Bot long enough for Sonic to stop it.
** In the first season finale "It Takes a Village to Defeat a Hedgehog", Dr. Eggman takes a picture of himself with Shadow, but this trope happens and Shadow is blinded long enough for Sonic to recover and defeat Shadow.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* On top of museums banning photography (usually flash) to sell their own mementos, there's the problem of this. You're bound to have someone take a flash photograph every minute or so, dizzying everyone present. There's also the fact that, in the case of precious paintings and other valuable displays, lots and lots of flash photography can wear out colors.
* It's also the reason why there's no flash photography allowed during plays of any sort.
* Supposedly what killed Diana, Princess of Wales: The paparazzi following her blinded the driver with incessant picture taking, causing him to lose control.
* The ''WebVideo/{{React}}'' episode about an '90s camera has several of the kids try to take a selfie. Needless to say, they find out why this didn't catch on until the invention of cell phone cameras.