"You'd best put in your earplugs, Father, 'cause when that bomb goes off they'll hear it all the way to the North P-" [cut to North Pole] *BOOM*
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.
Anime and Manga
- Anime shows featuring characters who use the Earth-Shattering Kaboom as a battle tactic will feature these as well. Slayers, Dragon Ball, etc...
- 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".
- 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.
- 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: 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.
- 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...
- Also, 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 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.
- 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.
- 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 it, but the fourth game in particular gets a lot of it, which includes mushroom clouds visible from space, the moon getting blown up, and the world getting blown up in an explosion so huge that it also engulfs nearby planets.
- 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
- 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.
- In Final Fantasy VII, 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. This is all done through one of these.
- 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.
- VG Cats uses a variant in this strip in the form of a literal F-bomb.
- This El Goonish Shive strip. And again (the revelations gone supercritical).
- Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One (whew) has this. A support character attacks by means of a big (pink) explosion that becomes stronger every time you use it. First few times and it's just the battle screen. Then, it zooms out to show the explosion in the area. Then in the city. Then it zooms out further...
- Inverted in This Ps238 strip: In a secret facility far underground, the toddler son of two superheroes is being tested. They ask him to strike a target as hard as he can. Cut to the surface, where a tiny "pop" in the ground makes a little kid trip. Back in the lab, the machinery has been demolished.
- An example occurs in the first episode of the webcomic Flintlocke's Guide to Azeroth, when the title character uses a high-power explosive on a squirrel. Cut to a pair of dwarves halfway across Loch Modan, observing the mushroom cloud in the distance, and correctly identifying it as Flintlocke's handiwork.
- Dead Winter: Lou comes up with a plan to get into the supermarket, but Liz's role in the plan isn't pleasant. Upon hearing the explanation, she isn't happy.
- Touhou Nekokayou has this reaction to Reimu using "Hax Sign 'Deus ex Machina'": "(BOOMIES, EXCEPT THERE'S NO SOUND IN SPACE)"
- Happens several times in The Whiteboard, being that half of the story arcs are about blowing ordinary everyday items such as coffee pots and refrigerators up.
- In Tweep, although to a lesser extent than usual, when Jack pulls a prank on Lily.
- xkcd shows the effects of endless wings (and the people's reactions to that).
- 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.
- The Strong Bad Email "hremail3184" from ''Homestar Runner" actually does it when Strong Bad blows up the Lappy.
- 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.