Eat the Camera

Edd: You should know better than to eat the camera, Ed. Just think what it can do to your digestive tract!
Ed: Boy, I can't wait to see that part, Double D.
Edd: Yes, well, let's not and say we did, Ed.
Ed, Edd n Eddy, "An Ed Is Born"

This is a visual effect where a shot is ended by having the screen zoom into a character's wide open mouth, or vice versa, usually while this character is screaming or singing. Usually done in animation, since, among other things, it's likely to be a Gross-Up Close-Up in live action. Or, it can be used for a seamless transition to another scene through an inversion. Frequently done during commercials.

Sometimes, it is done to represent something literally entering a character's mouth; usually, however, it is solely a visual effect (similarly used with eyes, noses, open doors, and motion picture screens).

Not to be confused with Mouth Cam, which is technically its opposite, or Mouth Screen, which is a shot on the mouth, or Chewing the Scenery. Sub-Trope of Body Wipe.


Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • The Wendy's Kids Meal commercials that involve kids going through outer space end this way when segueing into whatever toys are promoted, with a Wendy's bag zooming in to fill the screen with black ("Back to Wendy's Kids Meal, and see what's inside!" *goes black*)
  • The Rice Krispies Treats commercials from 1996 feature a kid doing this when he or she goes insane, his/her face turns claymation and screams "I... WANT... ONE!!!" before zooming out and turning back to normal (also a notorious Nightmare Fuel source).
  • Done at the end of this 1999 Alpha-Bits Cereal commercial (due to them "screaming for ice cream.")
  • An advertisement played at Walmart stores for Walmart's money transfer system has a dollar bill similarly zooming in very quickly and overtaking the entire screen.

    Anime 
  • Done once in one episode of Pokémon. When Ash was battling Sabrina, Sabrina had Kadabra create a dragon and make it chase Pikachu. When the dragon-like Psychic hits Pikachu, Pikachu is sent flying with Pikachu's mouth filling the entire screen.
  • Happens in the first episode of Mon Colle Knights at one point prior to a crash.
  • Done exactly three times in the first episode of Happiness Charge Pretty Cure. In the first two (Hime crying over losing another battle and Megumi gushing over the Pretty Cures), Super-Deformed versions of the characters in question were shown inside their mouths, with the camera continuing to zoom in.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Peter Pan, the camera zooms into the Chief's mouth during "What Made the Red Man Red?".
  • In A Goofy Movie, the camera zooms into a fat lady's mouth and zoom out of Powerline's mouth near the end of "I2I".
  • The scene in The Thief and the Cobbler where King Nod despairs about the magic balls being stolen ends with a closeup of his mouth, then goes into an Astronomic Zoom out.
  • Rock-A-Doodle begins with the camera flying through space and toward Earth, where it then flies all the way toward a farm located somewhere in the midwestern US and into Chanticleer the rooster's mouth, showing a closeup of his uvula as he is calling forth the Sun with his crowing.
    • Later on in the film, as the blackmailing Control Freak Pinky shouts "Make-up," the camera zooms in on HIS uvula, and then fades out!
  • Hopper's death at the end of A Bug's Life.
  • In the Disney movie Teacher's Pet, at the very end of the song "I Wanna Be a Boy", Spot runs towards the camera screaming.
  • In the end of a deleted scene from Cars called "Community Service", Lighting McQueen (as a steamroller) does this while yelling a Big "NO!" when he notices that there was a lot of the road that had yet to be fixed. Then again, it was All Just a Dream.
  • In Oliver & Company, the camera zooms into Dodger's mouth with its waggling uvula as he is singing "Why Should I Worry?"
  • In Cool World, the camera appears to pass all the wat through the digestive tract of the largest goon.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Matrix. While Morpheus and his crew are searching for Neo's body in the real world, Neo touches a mirror. The mirror spreads over him like quicksilver and flows down his throat with the camera following. The scene changes and Neo wakes up in his real body. Watch it here.
  • One early short film depicts a man jabbering in front of a camera, getting closer and closer. The shot looks as if the camera ends up the man's mouth, then the camera pulls back out.
  • The Animated Credits Opening to George of the Jungle end this way.
  • The 1970s version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers famously ends this way.
  • Little Shop of Horrors appropriately does this with Audrey II, particularly during "Feed Me".
  • The Mask does this as Stanley/Mask falls to the pavement.
  • Tales from the Darkside: The Movie had a Second Person Attack shot, leading to an Orifice Invasion.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Voldemort kills Charity Burbage, a professor at Hogwarts whom he considered repugnant for supporting Muggles. He tells his huge pet snake Nagini that "dinner is ready", and she slithers across the table, until the camera enters her mouth as she starts devouring Burbage's corpse.
  • Batman Returns does this as the Penguin screams in anger.
  • A Simple Wish, the camera zooms into Mara Wilson's screaming mouth when her godfather poofs himself and her to escape from being crushed by a giant rabbi.
  • Inverted in Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, when the camera zooms out of Ted's screaming mouth and pull back to Bill and Ted falling to Hell.
  • On Cool World, a character falls toward the camera, which then winds down its digestive track (passing Geppetto and Pinocchio on the way) and comes out the other end.
  • In Spider-Man 3 Eddie Brock does this when he first becomes Venom.
  • In The Smurfs 2, a transition starts with the camera zooming into a Smurf's mouth and inverts out of Smurfette's mouth as she's calling for help.
  • City Slickers does this at the start of the movie when Mitch gets horned in the butt by a bull. After the credits, the camera does a coming out of his mouth shot as we find he's being treated in a hospital.
  • Count Yorga sorta ends this way after Donna is revealed to have been turned into a vampire. Going into a Second Person Attack when Paul turns to her. Freezing right on her gaping maw.
  • The after-credits Easter Egg in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl shows Jack the Monkey re-undeadifying itself and eating the camera.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ends the opening credits for Round the Twist.
  • It's not uncommon for scientists or nature documentary filmmakers to leave automatic cameras in the wilderness, only to return to collect the film and find the camera has been mauled by some curious animal. The recording, if recoverable, often looks like this. As an example, this is the only way you want to see the inside of a grizzly's mouth this close.
  • In The Day Today's "War" episode, the broadcast features precision-guided missiles "with nose-mounted cameras" which provide a POV perspective of the missiles' path. One such missile is so precise that its camera shows the missile entering a soldier's mouth and going down his throat before the camera's transmission cuts to static, signifying an explosion in the soldier's stomach.
  • Sesame Street also loves this trope. One example was in the New Years' special, when Telly runs away screaming after Oscar scares him straight with lies on how bad New Years' is.
    • Another is the end of every installment of Monster Clubhouse, as the Goodbye Song ends.
  • The Community episode "Regional Holiday Music" includes a shot-for-shot parody of the aforementioned example from Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
  • Criss Angel Mindfreak used this frequently going into commercial breaks.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures episode The Gift, as the Rakweed spores enter the attic through the window, the camera follows them as they pass through the air... and are unknowingly inhaled by Luke.
  • Averted at the last second in Good Luck Charlie when Teddy and Emmet trick PJ into going to the dentist. The camera starts to slowly zoom in as PJ lets out a Big "NO!", before his toothache forces him to close his mouth at the last moment.
  • Up to Eleven in CSI Crime Scene Investigation during an episode on cannibal fetishists. A video from an endoscope was shown from just outside a woman's mouth to her stomach, where it caught a shot of her being stabbed from the inside.
  • In one episode of The Crocodile Hunter, one of the zoo's crocs chomped an overhead camera.

    Music Videos 
  • Inverted twice during the chorus in Huey Lewis and the News’ “Hip to Be Square.”
  • In the animation sequence for Cyndi Lauper’s “She Bop.”
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic’s “Jurassic Park” — accompanied by outstretched hands.
  • Mariah Carey: “Fantasy” has a clown do this.
  • Featured in the clip for Rompin’ Ronnie Hawkins’ remake of his own classic “Mary Lou” (shown when we get to the part about the “crying shame”).
  • Inverted early in the Crash Test Dummies' "He Liked To Feel It."
  • OK Go’s interpretation of The Muppet Show Theme Song plays it straight in the blast that follows Miss Piggy's held note (though it is not her) and inverts in the very next breath, from bed.
  • Toward the end of Crowded House's "Fall at Your Feet".
  • Inverted during the Papa Roach music video for "Between Angels and Insects"; the camera, at various points, zooms in and out of the band members' bodies, and at one points enters guitarist Jerry Horton through his leg and zooms back out of his mouth.
  • How the music video ends for Sum41's "Motivation".

    Pinball 

    Video Games 
  • In a French commercial for the first Rayman game, the camera zooms into Rayman's mouth, and then it cuts to gameplay footage.
  • One of the early footage clips of Luigi's Mansion involved a screaming Luigi as the camera zooms into his mouth before cutting to the title.

    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic does this sometimes. For instance, with the exasperated Rarity during the "Art of the Dress" song (interestingly, quiet sloshing sound effects appear when this happens), or with Bon-Bon at the end of a creepy Imagine Spot in "Hearts and Hooves Day".
  • Looney Tunes has a few examples:
    • "To Beep or Not to Beep," with Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner: As the Coyote falls off one side of the cliff – where a bridge stood only a few seconds earlier – one of the uprooted cactus plants on the other side fails to clear the bridge and falls after him. It catches him on his rear end and causes him to leap into the air, screaming into the lens. A Fade Out follows.
    • The penultimate shot of "Stupor Duck" shows Daffy Duck on a rocket ship. The very next shot is an inversion, but from the back, as the rocket heads toward the moon.
  • The Roger Rabbit Short "Tummy Trouble" has a shot of Roger swallowing a rattle from the rattle's point of view.
  • The Skeleton Dance has the first skeleton jump towards the camera, which goes through its mouth and out the ribcage.
  • Done literally in an episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy, Ed swallows the video camera that Double D and Eddy were using to film their home movie to Eddy's brother.
  • Done in some episodes of Metalocalypse. For example, in the first episode, when Nathan yells "WHAAAAAAAA?" after Toki tells him that they left the food back at the grocery store, the camera zooms into his mouth and down his esophagus, then transitions to the next scene. In fact Nathan does this alot through the series whenever something that displeases him comes up.
  • In the first few minutes of the Gravedale High episode "Monster Gumbo", Max Schneider's class argue amongst themselves over various things and it all erupts into chaos in the auditorium, leading to the boys stealing Coach Cadaver's trophy and ends with Max being chased by the other teachers as we see the camera zoom towards his mouth.
  • Parodied (of course) in the Animaniacs episode "King Yakko". Before the first commercial break, the villain of the episode does an Evil Laugh and the camera zooms into his mouth. Cue the villain yelling, in a muffled voice, "Get that camera out of my mouth!"
  • Rugrats did this in a good amount of their episodes (often when an episode would end with a character screaming or crying, such as "Dummi Bear Dinner Disaster," "Brothers Are Monsters" and "Piggy's Pizza Palace.")
  • Done at the end of Bart's nightmare on The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror II," The nightmare parodies an episode of The Twilight Zone where Bart can read minds and abuses his powers. After he turns Homer into a jack-in-the-box, Marge takes them to a psychiatrist who suggests for them to bond. It goes well and Bart turns Homer back to normal. After exchanging "I love yous", Bart wakes up screaming.
    • In the end of the second part of "Simpson Safari" where the Simpsons raft goes to a scary path. Everyone screams and Homer eats the camera.
  • Done in the Sponge Bob Squarepants episode "Wormy" when he and the rest of Bikini Bottom are running away from Sandy's pet butterfly, the eponymous Wormy. Also done at the end of "Banned in Bikini Bottom", when Miss Priss eats a krabby patty with Plankton hidden inside.
  • Taken literally in one episode of Drawn Together where half the members (including one dimensional fat joke, Toot Braunstein) win a life time's supply of food. A camera installed in the refrigerator shows Toot partaking of its edibles, getting progressively larger each time she opens the door, until the last shot is of her grabbing and lifting the entire thing in the air and gorging on its contents in a parody of the Sarlacc Pit camera and all.
  • The end of the first part of the Adventure Time episode "Holly Jolly Secrets" where Jake is screaming while the camera zooms into his mouth.
  • In some of episodes of What's New, Scooby-Doo?, at the prologues of "Roller Ghoster Ride", "The Vampire Strikes Back", "A Terrifying Round with a Menacing Metallic Clown", "Homeward Hound", "E-Scream" and "Diamonds are a Ghoul's Best Friend". Here's a video of them.
  • The end of the first part of the Lilo & Stitch: The Series episode "Swirly" where Stitch is whining and saying "Look at This" and he eats the camera.
  • In the episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy "The Nerve" where Billy persuades Grim to help him get Mandy's nerve. Grim laughs and the camera zooms into his mouth.
  • Happens in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends a lot. Most specifically in "Squeakerboxxx" near the end where Bloo swallows a squeaking elephant from its point of view.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: Happened at least all these times.
  • In the Recess episode "Mama's Girl", after the student body begins taunting Spinelli for accidentally calling Miss Grotke "mama", she screams a Big NO and the camera zooms into her open mouth.
  • At the end of the South Park episode "You Got F'd in the A", Butters is traumatized that his dance killed the rival dance team, causing his team to win. The kids cheer him and carry him closer to the camera while he screams a Big "NO!".
    • Also at the end of the episode "Mexican Staring Frog of Southern Sri Lanka" when Jesus banishes his producer to hell. She lets out a scream after meeting Satan and Saddam, who decide to go out shopping for furniture.
  • Inverted in the Arthur episode, "Play It Again, D.W.," the camera zooms out of D.W.'s screaming mouth when she realizes her Crazy Bus CD is gone.
  • In the second act of the Mr. Bogus episode "Totally Bogus Video", after Bogus gets kicked by the ballerina while attempting to mimic some ballet moves, he winds up flying towards the screen, his mouth filling up the screen.
  • In the Rabbids Invasion episode "Rabbid, Are You There?", after the Rabbids hit a robber, the light the robber was wearing is sent flying into the air, and then, as the light falls into the open mouth of one of the Rabbids, the camera follows. A few seconds later, the scene switches back to the scene where the alarm is set off.
    • In fact, this is done at least once in some episodes.
  • Aladdin: Ends the first act of "Mudder's Day," on the Genie's mouth.
  • The 1993 Pink Panther series did this at least twice: going into the commercial break with "Downhill Panther" and partway through one act of "That Old Pink Magic." Inverted, albeit with a Fade In, in "Rob'n Hoodwinked."
  • George of the Jungle: Happens around the middle of the "Super Chicken" introduction.
  • Jonny Quest: Ends the first act of "The Monolith Man."
  • The All New Popeye Hour: "The Sword of Fitzwilly" goes into the commercial break this way, albeit with a Fade Out.
  • Kidd Video: Ends "Grooveyard City" (the one with the "Ghostbusters" clip).
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: happened with three different characters (including Hamton) in a single episode, none of which went into a commercial break.
  • Ends a teaser in The Alvin Show, when Alvin hands David a load of helium-filled balloons and David ends up floating away. Cue the signature scream, rapid zooming in, and echo.
  • Taz-Mania: "Autograph Pound." Poor Taz gets literally tied into knots by a wrestler Constance adores. The only way to get the wrestler’s autograph? Beat him in a match-up. Constance is thrilled by the idea. Guess how Taz responds.
  • Veggie Tales: By Larry in the silly song "Sippy Cup".
  • The Flintstones: "Surfin' Fred" (also shown in the preview of the episode, where Fred lands on Wilma's shoulders while catching a wave).
  • The principal James Hound episode title card, showing a hideaway and some variety of bat, had this effect ("The Phantom Skyscraper," "Rain Drain," and "Bugged By a Bug" among them).
  • A few Walt Disney shorts did this. One short had a dancing Mickey Mouse playing the trope straight and inverting the trope seconds later.
  • Ends the intro for the Joking Around with the Little Clowns teaser, without the usual scream or musical crescendo.
  • Ends the intro for Mowgli's Brothers. Inverted frame-for-frame after the commercial break.
  • Ends the intro for the NBC Land of the Lost (not the ABC one), but coupled with a Fade Out.
  • More than one episode of Superfriends did this.
  • The Season 9 intro for The Smurfs has a transition where the camera zooms into Brainy's mouth and changes to the Smurfs (now wearing caveman clothes) coming out of a dinosaur's mouth.
    • In "The Blue Plague", the camera zooms into Gargamel's mouth as he laughs at the end of his version of "Mean, Sour, Crafty, And Cruel" from Yogi's First Christmas.