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Double Take
Erika: (translating for Largo) She likes your cell phone.
Meimi: <Yuki's was eaten by her pet zombie zilla.>
Erika: Yuki's was eaten by her pet "zombie zilla". <Wait, her what?>

"Takes" or Reaction Shots are a staple, in live action and animation.

The Double Take is when the actor glances at something or someone without much emotion and turns away, then, in a moment of realization, snaps the head around with a big expression. Sometimes this can be done as a Triple Take, but take it much further and you move into the realm of parody.

Bonus points if you include an Eye Take, Spit Take, GASP!, or if the words which prompt the Double Take are, before the take, unthinkingly repeated by the Double-Taker (as in the example above).


Examples!

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In an early episode of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Lacus is being transferred from the Archangel over to ZAFT. In order to fit into the spacesuit, she had to remove her bulky skirt, which she then stores inside the suit, making her look pregnant. When she's handed over to the ZAFT soldier (who just so happens to be her fiancé Athrun), he does a visible Double Take at the sight of her "belly".
  • In episode 8 of the first season of Sekirei, Minato feels at ease after having a private talk with Tsukiumi about her not losing a fight, which he had with Musubi in an earlier episode. He then wonders out loud if they're not the same despite their differences. He opens the door slightly, and sees Musubi standing by the door. He nonchalantly closes it for a few moments, then opens it again, and after she says something to him, he screams, wondering if Musubi just heard what he said comparing the two girls.
  • In episode 22 of Azumanga Daioh, Osaka passes Yomi on her way to awaken Yukari-sensei by banging on a frying pan. Yomi doesn't think much of it at first... then suddenly turns around in fear, the first clue that the resident Cloudcuckoolander is NOT carrying a frying pan.

    Comedy 
  • In one of Dane Cook's skits he tells he did a a twelve-take, when he saw under his dad's robe when the dad was not wearing any underwear.

    Fan Works 
  • A running gag on Dragon Ball Z Abridged would be for something like this to happen:
    Vegeta: What, are you dense? The Ginyu Force could be here any second and then we're...
    Ginyu: Hi, Vegeta.
    Vegeta: Hi, Ginyu. And then we're...``
(pauses and notices exactly who he just said hi to)
Vegeta: Son of a *** ***ing f***face! Why the f*** does all this ***ing sh** happen to me?

    Films — Animation 
  • Even robots can fall victim to the double-take: see WALL•E. EVE has a big one when she sees WALL•E for the first time on the Axiom, since he has nothing to do there.
  • In The Tigger Movie, this is Tigger's reaction to Roo asking him to teach the Whoopty-Dooper-Loopty-Looper-Alley-Ooper Bounce:
    Tigger: Asa-bwah-ja... WHAT?
  • Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas does this when the paper snowflake he was trying to make ends up, against all laws of symmetry, looking like a spider. That's right, even the laws of symmetry think Jack sucks at Christmas.
  • Done quite a few times in Pinocchio. Examples:
    "Honest John": (noticing Pinocchio skipping by) Look Giddy, a little wooden boy, yes... a little wooden boy?!

    Gepetto: Who's there?
    Pinocchio: It's me.
    Gepetto: Oh it's me... "me!?"
  • The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina
    Daniel: What do ya see, Godfrey? What do ya see?
    Godfrey: The usual, Daniel, the usual. The usual insects, amphibians, indigenous plant life, raccoon guano, tiny girl floating in a sardine can.
    (both nod and retreat into the hole; beat; both return)
    Godfrey & Daniel: Tiny girl floating in a sardine can?!
  • In Disney's Hercules, while Meg and Herc start talking and falling for one another in a garden, Meg backs up into something pointed (which turns out to be a statue of Cupid, the point being his arrow). Cue a subtle, but definite double take from Meg.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A funny one in Dinner at Eight where Carlotta reels in shock after flighty Gold Digger Kitty Packard mentions that she actually read a book.
  • In the film version of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Pippin does one of these when he realizes that the tree he is climbing is, in fact, sapient.
  • The French soldier in Monty Python and the Holy Grail does a big double-take when he sees the huge "Trojan rabbit" being wheeled up to the gate.
  • In Monty Python's Life of Brian, after Brian falls into a passing spaceship, the two aliens inside do a double-take at the sight of him. More exactly, their eyestalks do a double-take.
  • James Bond:
    • A rather (in)famous one in Moonraker, with a Venetian pigeon doing a Double Take at Bond passing by in a gondola-hovercraft.
    • Another in You Only Live Twice when Osato sees Bond in the SPECTRE control room.
    • Licence to Kill, when Bond takes a look at Pam's secretary outfit.
    • GoldenEye, when Bond sees Alec held at gunpoint by Ourumov (and all the others pointing their guns at him); the shock is evident on his face the second time he emerges from behind the canister.
  • Alan gets one in The Hangover when he's peeing, sees a tiger in the bathroom, continues to urinate, then turns at the tiger again in utter horror and panic.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze features not a double take, but a triple take when Keno notices the Turtles running up behind him.
  • In Return of the Jedi, when Han Solo instructs C-3PO what to say to the Ewoks, and keeps pulling him back for new orders, finishing with "Hurry up, will ya? Haven't got all day!" the droid responds with a double take.
  • As the French king of physical comedy, Louis de Funès' Double Takes were nothing short of epic. A good one in Delusions of Grandeur, when Don Saluste guides the king of Spain to the bedroom where they expect to surprise the queen with her lover... only to find her old gouvernante, Doña Juana, in the arms of Blaze the valet. Saluste double-takes, closes the door hastily and starts speaking gibberish out of shock.
  • The Three Stooges, fairly constantly.
  • In Titanic, the chief engineer does one when he realizes the engines were ordered full astern.
  • Happens when Lalu is reading a story to Brittany and Alvin with Gilda the cockatoo is watching during Little Alvin and the Mini-Munks when a splash of water appears on the page Lalu was on. It's revealed to be Simon who's all wet. After explaining that the toilet exploded, everyone goes back to reading before instantly turning back to Simon.
  • In The Mummy's Shroud, a servant who is about to taste the wine from his secret stash takes a glance at the corpse next to him that he completely failed to notice before, takes another look with eyes widened in horror, and runs away screaming.
  • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the T-1000 does this when he runs into a store mannequin that resembles his liquid metal form.

    Literature 
  • Unseen Academicals has several of these, usually from Glenda, who gets very involved in her thoughts before reacting.
  • Kill time or die trying has this example:
    James: Where's Steve?
    Brad: He's getting his character sheet from the faculty office.
    James: Ah. Well, I've got Douw's campaign notes here, and it seems that last session you... Wait. What?
  • In the Aunt Dimity series, this is another way Lori wears her heart on her sleeve. Notably, when the ghost of Cyril Pennyfeather wrote in the blue journal for the first time: "I glanced down at the journal, did a double take that nearly sent Reginald flying, and lowered my arm very slowly."

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of Workaholics, Ders is mocking Adam's obese cousin Big Fat (Devin), saying he's the kind of stain that makes Adam throw his underwear away. Adam shouts an encouraging "Get em!" before thinking for a second and saying "What?" in confusion.
  • Chuck gives us this gem in its very first episode.
  • In an episode of Father Ted, Bishop Brennan is coming to stay and he is terrified of rabbits. Ted comes down in the morning and the lounge is bizarrely full of rabbits. He sits down and starts to read the newspaper for a while, before finally noticing, leaping up and screaming his head off. A similar thing happens when he completely destroys a car donated as a raffle prize by the diocese in the process of trying to tap out a tiny dent. In the appropriately-titled episode "Kicking Bishop Brennan Up The Arse" he also doesn't realise that Ted has just kicked him up the arse until he's in Rome at an audience with the Pope, at which point it dawns on him and he goes running out.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • When Vampire!Willow (a second Willow, from an alternate dimension) is spotted by Angel...
      Angel: Buffy, I...I just... something's happened that... Willow's dead. (sees Normal!Willow next to Buffy, waving) Hey, Willow. (very confused) Wait a second...
      Xander: We're all right there with you.
    • This wasn't the first time he'd do this. Just turned evil, Angelus sides with the psychotic Drusilia and The Judge, who's meant to be invincible. That was before Buffy has something stolen for her, a rocket launcher. When Angelus sees it he just knows that it's time to get out of there, and we get a second close up Double Take of fear in case it was missed in the first wide shot.
    • Oz does a double take when he sees the girl sitting next to him is the same girl he's had his eyes on for weeks.
    • Spike gets one in a season six episode due to Buffy's bad phrasing.
      Buffy: When I kissed you? You know I was thinking about Giles, right?
      Spike: (double take) You know, I always wondered about you two.
  • In the House episode "Alone", Wilson kidnaps House's guitar to force him into hiring a new team. He leaves a ransom note made of letters cut from a newspaper taped to House's wall. When House sees this, he barges into Wilson's office to reclaim his guitar. Wilson smugly proclaims his innocence, then signals the conversation is over by opening his newspaper... the paper with all the bits cut out, causing House to do a (hilarious) double take.
  • Dollhouse gives us this:
    Zone: Who doesn't want to spend some quality time with these awesomely normal people?
    Mag: I don't know, it could be all right. The little Asian is kind of cute.
    Zone: She's a tech-head. Mag. ... She's a girl, Mag!
  • While it may have happened at some point in Star Trek (with five different shows and nearly a dozen movies, you check them all to see one), there was definitely one from its creator, Gene Roddenberry. He married Majel Barrett, who had been removed from her role as Number One due to Executive Meddling (this was just after "The Cage" had been shot). Barrett, in order to get back on the show (albeit in a different role) dyed her hair, and was talking to a producer or someone when Roddenberry walked through, said hi, began walking out, and double-took.
  • In one "Superheroes" skit on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Ryan was Double-Take Boy.
  • One of Harry Enfield's sketch shows featured recurring characters "The Double-Take Brothers", a pair of gormless unobservant idiots who react this way to everything.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Time Crash"
      • When the Tenth Doctor encounters his other self, the Fifth. He first apologizes for bumping into him while working on the TARDIS's console, and reacts a second or two later.
      • A huge ship has just crashed through the TARDIS, knocking the Doctor off his feet. He says, "What?", then takes another look and goes, "What?!", and when he sees the name of the ship (SS Titanic), he has to look at it twice before saying "What."
    • For the Eleventh, during the episode "The Pandorica Opens" the Doctor is talking with Rory, who was erased from existence a couple episodes ago, about missing something important. He walks away before coming back with the following:
    Doctor: Rory, I'm not trying to be rude, but... you died.
  • In the Supernatural episode "Hammer of the Gods", the brothers are in a creepy (4-star) hotel, and Dean walks around with his EMF detector, trying to pinpoint their Monster of the Week. As he walks down the hallway, he passes an open door, with an elephant in the room. He takes two more steps, looks up from his EMF detector, takes two steps back, and the elephant is gone, replaced by a fat black man. Dean walks away, extremely nonplussed.
  • Friends:
    • In the last episode, Chandler and Monica make their way back home to their old, soon-to-be-vacated apartment, where the rest of the gang is waiting to see their kid. Monica shows up with one of the babies, then Chandler enters the scene with the other. Cue massive Double Take from everyone; especially egregious with Joey.
    • Joey has a lot of these over the course of the show. When Chandler and Joey have won the girls' apartment from them, they stop by to give them a consolation gift and walk in...to find all their stuff back where it was before, because the girls switched everything while they were out. Chandler stands shocked in the doorway, while Joey strolls in, gets a beer and sits down... and then realizes.
  • Basil Fawlty of Fawlty Towers has a few;
    • In one episode, he's in the lobby when the Major casually walks past him carrying an enormous shotgun. Made even funnier by the fact that he's got it to kill 'Basil'.
    • When he comes back to find that O'Reilly has completely filled in the door to the restaurant, he walks as if to go through it, stops and looks around as if he's taken a wrong turn, and then does a magnificently over-the-top full-body double take when realisation dawns.
  • In the first series of Blackadder, when Edmund sees the ghost of Richard III.
  • In Sister Sister, Tia is being told off for causing the star player of High School to become dangerously close to flunking due to her tutoring skills. Tia denies that she was doing it, and also denies ever tutoring him. However, mid-sentence, she realizes... cue double take, Tamera apparently disappearing when she was present beforehand, and then a cutaway to the outside of the school with Tia's voice screaming "TAMERA!" at the top of her lungs and in a long manner.
  • Hawaii Five-0: Steve McGarrett pulls off a beauty when Danny Williams exhibits an in-depth understanding of roller derby.

    Theater 

    Video Games 
  • In Dissidia 012 Duodecim, Kefka does a (fittingly) hilarious one upon realizing that Vaan had taken Terra with him.
    Vaan: We'll finish this next time! For now, I'm just gonna take the girl! Catch ya later!
    Kefka: (waving) Yeah, it's been a pleasure! Wait, you're, you, you're you w-w... WHAT!?
    (beat)
  • In Donkey Kong Country 3: Baron K. Roolenstein does a triple take upon seeing the Kongs defeat KAOS the second time.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • While trekking through Dreamy Pi'illo Castle in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, Mario runs into Luigi and simply nods at his younger brother before heading further into the area. Then he turns back around and remembers that Luigi is back in the real world sleeping, then freaks out before Dreamy Broque Monsieur tells him that this is actually Dreamy Luigi, the dream counterpart of the other Mario Bro.
    • Played for drama later in the game, when Toadstool and Starlow was told by the Mario Bros. that the princess they were trying to protect was an imposter and that the real one was already kidnapped, they both spoke in a relieved voice before becoming shock moments later.

    Visual Novel 
  • In Fate/stay night, Shirou is agonizing in one route about how to explain to his guardian, Taiga, that Rin Tohsaka is now staying at his house. Taiga walks in on dinner, Shirou braces for the storm... and Taiga just casually greets Rin and goes to the fridge. Shirou is stunned, a few seconds pass, and then Taiga suddenly flips out and demands to know what Rin is doing there.

    Web Animation 
It's a jibe at the game's Artificial Stupidity — the program's pathfinding tendencies to lead one's units through the shortest route possible, even if it isn't the safest way around. It's lampshaded by the Commando that ordered the Harvester to come home and the Harvester's seemingly Simpleton Voice.
Nod Commando: Harvester Number Two! I want the resources back to the base a.s.a.p.! And don't take a goddamn shortcut!
  • In the DSBT InsaniT episode "The Camping Webisode", Koden does this when Alex tries to repeat their dialouge from the first episode.
    Koden: Uhh, Alex, what the heck is that?
    Alex: (holds up Frets, a living guitar) Its called "pin the strings on the base"!
    Koden: You just— Wait, whaaaa?

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Tom and Jerry short Tom's Photo Finish, Jerry shows a sleeping Tom an incriminating photo. Tom goes back to sleep, then does a Wild Take with his head detaching from his body and crossing to the other end of the Cinemascope screen...
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
    • Step Four for the patended SpongeBob SquarePants Bubble-Blowing Technique: Double Take 3 Times.
    • A downright epic one takes place in "Home Sweet Pineapple": Spongebob has his house eaten by wild nematodes and tries to spend the night at Patrick's house, only to find it to be miserable, and sneaks into Squidward's house while he's asleep. Squidward, in a half-awake stupor, is blissfully unaware that his ultimate annoyance has taken residence in his home, fetches him a glass of water, and lets him hop in bed with him, completely out of it — until...
      SpongeBob: (yawns) Good night, Squidward.
      Squidward: (while yawning) Good night, SpongeBob. (drifts back off to sleep)
      (beat)
      (Squidward's eyes snap open)
      Squidward: GOOD NIGHT, SPONGEBOB. (kicks him out of his house)
  • One Garfield and Friends episode actually shows it during their special episode describing some of the cartoon clichés.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender. Aang does a big one at the end of episode 12, Book 2, when he reaches the top of the Ba Sing Se wall and sees for the first time the Fire Nation's Giant Drill.
  • CatDog. When Cliff and Lube find out Shriek is a girl, they QUADRUPLE TAKE.
  • Occurs about once per Rankin/Bass Christmas Special.
  • The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, after Felix is bummed out that everyone has a magic bag like him:
    Roscoe: (flying through the air, hand stuck in out-of-control magic bag) Hi, Felix.
    Felix: Hi, Roscoe. (aside) Even Roscoe. (realizes what just happened)
  • Chris on Family Guy will often neglect to see something shocking, carry on a perfectly normal conversation and then snap back with his patented "WHAAAAAAAAAT?!?"
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Party of One", Rainbow Dash first casually says "Hi, Pinkie Pie." to a disguised Pinkie... before freezing on the spot with her mane and tail hair completely straight when she realizes (she was trying to avoid her today...).
    • In "Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2", Tirek has a delayed reaction on passing before the window mural showing Twilight rising as an alicorn, stopping in mid-evil gloating.
      Tirek: Is this meant to be HUMOROUS?!
  • Superfriends 1973/74 episodes.
    • "Dr. Pelagian's War". When Marvin tells Wendy that a penguin has walked up to Wonder Dog (who is sunning himself on a beach) she does one.
    • "The Planet Splitter". The doctor at the orphanage does one when he sees Superman (as a baby) swinging from the ceiling light. The orphanage director does one when he comes in and sees Superbaby lifting the doctor in the air.
    • "The Power Pirate". Wonder Dog does one in disbelief when Marvin starts boasting about his brain power.
    • "Too Hot to Handle". Marvin does this when he sees that the wax figures in the Justice League museum are melting.
    • "The Weather Maker". Wendy does it when she looks at her buttermilk biscuits and realizes that the technique she learned in order to make them properly will also help the Super Friends locate the villain.

    Real Life 
  • In a somewhat funny example, the US Department of Defense's exercise codeword for Defcon 4 is DOUBLE TAKE. Appropriate as Defcon 4 pretty much means "huh, what?" in terms of readiness.
  • Of course, double-takes do happen in real-life. If we are focused on some activity, or just a train of thought, then we may not appreciate the salience of some new information. We notice a stimulus, recognize it doesn't affect what we're currently doing and dismiss it, then realize it's actually something of significance. Real-life double-takes are usually much quicker than the fictional kind though.


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alternative title(s): Wait What
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