1 Days Left to Support a Troper-Created Project : Personal Space (discuss)

Distant Reaction Shot

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"Better get out the earplugs, Father, because when that milkfloat goes off, they'll hear it all the way to the North P-"
[cut to North Pole]
*BOOM*
Pat Mustard being Hoist by His Own Petard, Father Ted

The camera cuts away to some far-off and completely unrelated setting (such as space) and we see the rather minor (by this perspective) result of The Take. The obvious implication is it must have been pretty spectacular at ground zero. If it's not being Played for Laughs or visual spectacle, expect a reaction shot from the horrified witnesses.

When a distant reaction shot is used for censorship reasons (whether to cover up bad language, violence, someone about to throw up, or sexual intercourse), then it's a Discretion Shot.

Often used for the Apocalypse Wow. The Scream is a specific version of this.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Azumanga Daioh: English teacher Yukari Tanizaki attempts teaching math. She grabs a textbook, and from space can be seen the planet Earth, so is the sheer overwhelmingness of math.
  • Battle Club: Suplexes have a distance reaction shot from the outside of buildings.
  • Dr. Slump: Superman can punch so hard, the Earth cracks and splits in half.
  • Excel Saga: How much is Hyatt bleeding? Enough to cover the Earth.
  • The first OVA episode of Tales of Symphonia use this when Lloyd actives the exsphere in Iselia.
  • Dragon Ball does this from time to time. The video games love to use it for moves that destroy the battle arena.
  • An extravagant example comes from the F-Zero anime, in which light from the explosion of Black Shadow's Dark Reactor covers a rather large chunk of its home spiral galaxy and extends farther than the galaxy is thick. The famous scene is often posted, making it seem as though Captain Falcon's signature attack triggered the explosion.
  • The Lighthearted Rematch between the Mid-Childa Mages and Belkan Knights in the last supplementary manga chapter of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's ends with Nanoha and Fate launching a Combination Attack that Hayate intends to meet with her own obscene Wide-Area Attack. Expecting the worst, Yuuno maxes out the Containment Field surrounding the area and assures Chrono that the training room they're using won't get damaged. Cut to a distant shot of the Time-Space Administration Bureau's orbital headquarters and one section of it exploding.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann pulls it from time to time, when it is not filling the screen with explosions. One notable example would be when Simon detonates a hole in Lordgenome's chest with the contact key of his mecha.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion shows a small red patch on the globe. We soon find out that a miles-wide circle got wiped out when one of the new Evas had a... glitch.
    • A less extravagent scene occurs whenever an Angel is destroyed: the camera cuts to a far-off place where the audience can see a massive cross-shaped explosion. Happens to EVA-04 in the above example, as well as with every human on the planet during the Third Impact.
      • In a flashback to the Second Impact, there is a scene which shows the event from a satellite in four photographs, which show the event creating a huge expanse of nothingness when seen from orbit forming over the South Pole, as well as the White Moon which spawned the Angels.
  • FLCL does this when the satellite is hurtling towards the town in "Full Swing".
  • Toriko does a comically-lengthy version of this with the dropping of the Dodurian Bomb (basically a natural Stink Bomb turned Up to Eleven). The moment the fruit's olfactory onslaught is unleashed, we first get a bird's eye view as the fruit's giant stink cloud explodes. We then see 17 different characters react to it all across Human World. Most show variants of "What the smell?!", one (Teppei, the guy who sent Toriko and Komatsu there) prays, and another (Sunny) collapses in reaction to it. Only one (Zongeh) doesn't react due to smell tolerance, but the two next to him do.
  • In Urotsukidoji, this is done with the Overfiend's conception. At that moment, the movie rapidly cuts to several other major characters, as they react to the "disturbance in the Force", and then cuts to a shot of the whole Earth, wreathed in purple light, with especially creepy sound effects. Nothing will ever be the same.

Comic Books

Films — Animated
  • Over the Hedge: when R.J. opens the bag of chips, the dust forms a huge mushroom cloud visible from space. Later on when the security system is activated, we see pan out to see the entire galaxy with a small flash of light at our location.
  • Parodied in Bolt. A Calico helicopter is blown up in the opening action sequence. It pulls back to three different angles, then pulls back even further to a shot from across the bay...where the explosion is tiny, and barely knocks over an empty paper cup sitting on a ledge.
  • Used in How to Train Your Dragon to show the final fireball in front of a really big volcano.
  • When the naval mines explode in Finding Nemo as a result of them being hit by a torpedo launched out of a sunken ship, the blast actually causes a bubble to pop under a pelican above it, and the other to fly away, thinking the first one, well...
  • When Finn McMissile blows up Tony Trihull (also a large ship) at the end of Cars 2.
  • The end result of the Wuxi Finger Hold in Kung Fu Panda was shown through one of these...conveniently keeping us from knowing if the villain truly died...
  • In Rise of the Guardians, during the competition North, Jack, Bunny, and Sandy are holding to collect the teeth, North jumps down a chimney. Below, Bunny lights up a fire and says, "Ho-ho-ho." We then cut to outside of the house as an explosion comes out of the chimney and we hear North scream.
  • At the end of The Boxtrolls, Snatcher's Death by Gluttony happens this way, with a cut to a distant shot of Cheesebridge and a huge cloud of orange-yellow mist erupting from the Portley-Rind mansion.

Films — Live-Action
  • Done in the film 300 when the Spartans cause Xerxes's stock of black powder grenades to explode.
  • In Deep Impact, the comet Beiderman enters the atmosphere and leaves a titanic smoking trail across the sky. Helpless people stand and watch as it plummets towards Earth. Then it hits in the Atlantic ocean, and before there's even a sound, the camera cuts to an outer-space view that shows the tremendous shockwave clearing away clouds for thousands of miles, and a funnel of flames rises from ground zero all the way to the ionosphere. Likewise, when the Messiah plunges into the depths of the larger, deadlier ''Wolf'' comet, the camera follows it almost all the way through...then we cut to the exterior of the comet as it explodes into harmless chunks.
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Starting with an extreme close-up of his screaming mouth, the shot pulls back to the car, then the block, the city of Chicago, and finally the planet Earth to punctuate Cameron's reaction to reading of the odometer of Cam's father's Ferrari.
  • Midway-ish through Titanic (1997), as a distress rocket is fired - the scene cuts away briefly to a very isolated blip of light above the ship which is otherwise surrounded by darkness.

Literature
  • From outdoor humorist Patrick McManus's short story "How to Get Started in Bass Fishing:"
    "He then used the air in his lungs to power a long, quavering scream of anguish that echoed up and down the lake, and for miles away fishermen said to each other, 'Smokey Joe must have lost a trophy bass he thought was a log.'"

Live-Action TV
  • The Dune mini-series has a dead-serious one of these with a spice-blow right after Liet Kynes realizes that he's right on top of it and begins screaming, "I AM A DESERT CREAT-"
  • Father Ted did this in one episode where a milk truck (in...well...near Ireland) is filled with explosives and blown up. The audience doesn't witness the actual explosion, but instead cuts to a shot of an Eskimo ice-fishing somewhere far above the Arctic Circle. He juuust hears the blast, looks around, shrugs and goes back to his fishing. This is also a Gilligan Cut, as it happens in the middle of the Hoist by His Own Petard villain giving the page-quote above.
  • Inverted a few times in Battlestar Galactica for the same effect - a large explosion's impact was emphasised by having debris hit the camera.
  • Malcolm in the Middle did this in the episode where Francis tried to catch a rat in the crawlspace of a cabin, and screamed when about 100 rats came out of the rotten wood, enough to be heard throughout Mamu.
  • On Friends, Ross is aghast that not only did his co-worker swipe his special sandwich (leftover Thansgiving turkey with bread drenched in gravy), but that his boss got full and threw the rest away. His anguished cries of MY SANDWICH?! is cut to the outside of the building, then birds flying away in Central Park.
  • During the last season of Cheers, when Carla realizes she had sex with Paul, she screams while various shots around Boston are shown.

Video Games
  • Chrono Trigger: In the bad ending, the Day of Lavos, Lavos emerges from the surface and shoots projectiles that cause explosions. The planet, visible from space, covered in explosions, becomes red, then gray. note 
  • The makeshift nuke on Virmire in Mass Effect 1 causes a huge explosion that can briefly be seen from orbit. Pretty painful for the team-member that got left behind.
  • Quite a few attacks in the Disgaea series use this, and it gets progressively more ridiculous with each game. Examples include mushroom clouds visible from space, the moon exploding, the world exploding, the solar system getting disintegrated, and even the entire galaxy getting wiped out.
  • Smoke, one of the cyborgs in Mortal Kombat 3 has a fatality in which he drops a whole bunch of bombs. Cue the shot of Earth - which promptly blows up. SMOKE WINS - FATALITY
  • Final Fantasy VI: When the World of Balance ends, the planet can be seen from space, with explosions.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, Bahamut ZERO's Tera Flare zooms to outside the planet and pans through space. Sephiroth's ultimate attack causes a meteor to smash through the solar system, destroying every planet in its way, before hitting the sun, causing a Super Nova.
  • Final Fantasy VIII: The Eden Guardian Force arrives from space, bending space-time around the enemy to bring the enemy close to the ship, firing a beam of energy, zooming out to show the energy beam crossing a great expanse of space, colliding with a galaxy, causing the galaxy to explode from its center in a massive explosion, surrounded by smaller explosions.
  • In Final Fantasy IX, the attack of the Eidolon Ark culminates with a bolt of magic that smashes into the enemy from on high. As the screen whites out from the shockwave, the scene cuts away to outer space, where a brief burst of light shoots out of the planet and illuminates the adjacent area.
  • Used in a soccer game from the game Touhou Soccer when Mima uses her Twilight Spark.
    • Used in the bad endings of Highly Responsive to Prayers.
  • When Combat Instinct 2's final boss is defeated, four ion beamers blast him simultaneously for the final blow. Cue massive explosion across space.

Web Comics

Web Original
  • Dragon Ball Abridged: When Vegeta discovers that Gohan swiped his stashed Dragon Ball, we get a string of these showing that Vegeta's yell is audible from the Z-warrior's hideout, Frieza's base, Goku's spaceship (still in space), Yemma's house in the afterlife, and Earth 20 years in the future.
  • In the stickman gif starting with "If the door doesn't open, break it down" and ending with "If pushing doesn't work, try pulling", the final attack resembles a Final Fantasy summon, showing the planet from space, as a beam spreads out and narrows into a focused blast of explosive energy.
  • The Strong Bad Email "hremail3184" from ''Homestar Runner" actually does it when Strong Bad blows up the Lappy.

Western Animation
  • American Dad! uses (and mildly subverts) this in the episode "A Smith in the Hand". Steve attempts to use a hot iron on a piece of wood placed directly over Stan's crotch. When the expected Hilarity Ensues, it cuts to a mountain range with forest animals as we hear Stan's scream, and an avalanche occurs. Later, Stan is rubbing ointment on the wound, which results in a... different type of scream. The same cut is used, and another avalanche occurs, at which point one of the animals asks why they keep grazing there.
  • Dexter's Laboratory does this with Dexter letting off an extremely powerful fart. First it zooms out to show his house (shaking from the fart), then it zooms out further to his neighborhood (shaking from the fart). After that, it zooms out showing the planet, and finally, it zooms out, showing the universe. Throughout this, we hear Dexter farting, the indication being that it was so loud, the entire cosmos could hear it. When we zoom back in, we see that he embedded the TV in the wall.
  • Futurama does this in the episode "Roswell That Ends Well", with a nuclear test going off and obliterating the man Fry thought was his grandfather. The scene then cuts to a diner where Professor Farnsworth and Leela are sitting down to eat as the mushroom cloud from the explosion appears in the window. Neither they nor the residents of the town seem to pay it much mind. Believe it or not, that was realistic - during the 1950s, atomic tests in the desert southwest were so commonplace that people eventually stopped paying them much attention.
  • Disney's Hercules: Hades is so mad at his minions for buying Hercules merchandise that he causes a brief eruption on the volcano he's in. This is seen from the background as the scene cuts to Hercules some miles away.
  • Megas XLR uses this in the episode "Universal Remote" several times when Megas is trying to destroy Skalgar when he's got his shield.
    • Coop has Megas unleash everything it has on a planet sized alien, when it hits the alien, the scene cuts miles away to which the whole alien can be seen, and the explosion is shown to be a mere firecracker on the alien.
  • Beast Wars has perhaps the world's only depiction of destructive Transformer flatulence, caused by a bad reaction to wild beans. The establishing shot is from high orbit. The enormous blue mushroom cloud of gaseous Energon that results is larger than all of north Africa, billows out past the stratosphere, and causes massive atmospheric ripples. Pretty impressive for one techno-organic rhinoceros of average size.
  • An occasional gag that would pop up in Hey Arnold!, whenever Helga would get frustrated with Arnold. She would look up and shout, "ARNOOOOOOOOLLLD!" Cut to Arnold and Gerald (who would usually be on the other end of town). Arnold would look up, turn to Gerald and ask, "Did you hear something?" To which Gerald would reply, "Nope."
  • One or two examples in SpongeBob SquarePants.
    • In "Dying for Pie", Squidward had thought that SpongeBob had exploded from eating a pie bomb. But it turns out he had been saving it for them to share. And just as SpongeBob is about to offer the pie, he trips and the pie flies in Squidward's face, and the camera cuts away to a massive live action explosion (and Squidward's understated "ouch".)
    • In "Band Geeks", Squidward is the conductor of a band, and urges the band to play really loudly so that they sound good. And as soon as he motions the band to play loudly, the camera cuts to the exterior of the hall and the windows shattering. The camera then cuts back to Squidward's distorted face and him suggesting that maybe they should play so quietly no one can hear them.
  • Family Guy
    • In "Dial Meg for Murder", a hardened Meg steps into the shower with a loofa while Peter is in it. She tells him "Don't worry about it", and then...]
      Peter: AAAAAHHH! YOU TOLD ME NOT TO WORRY ABOUT IT! I SHOULD'A BEEN WORRIED THE WHOLE TIME!
    • In "Quagmire's Dad", Quagmire's sex-changed father Ida tells Quagmire that she met someone, and he excitedly asks her the man's name. The scene then cuts to outside his house, where we hear Quagmire shout a Big "NO!" from finding out that "someone" is Brian.
  • Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy: In "Rambling Ed", one of these from the other cul-de-sac kids follows Rolf's frustrated cry of "The burden of hospitality is too great for Rolf!!"

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