[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/ACharlieBrownChristmas http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dance.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Are you ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBPcoI4OE9Y sure]]'' it's not a mass epileptic fit?]]

->''"That's right, Princess, move that one leg! Pull off the geriatric drowning look!"''
-->-- '''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic''', on a scene from ''WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster''

Animation is hard work. The advent of computers in the hands of professionals have given cartoon characters more lifelike movements and mannerisms than we had ever seen before, but that's not the way they had it in the good old days, when each individual twitch on [[WesternAnimation/ClassicDisneyShorts Mickey's]] eyelid had to be put in motion one frame at a time. Besides, animation is ''expensive'', meaning that if you've completed this one sequence, and it looks good enough, you're going to see the characters behave in ''exactly'' the same way whenever the story demands that particular action, [[GoingThroughTheMotions to the point that it looks jarringly obvious]].

And so, when the story calls for our {{Toon}}s to show off their stuff on the dance floor, you'll see that Music/MichaelJackson had not a thing to worry about. Their movements are stiff, twitchy, and repetitive; often, no two characters will dance to the same beat, and none of them will pay any mind to the kind of music that's actually playing. If a series features more than one dance scene, for example, you'll notice that all the characters waltz the same way they tango. Finally, there are one or two distinct moves per character, which they will repeat over and over and over again. One really must wonder whether this is a dance at all; for all we know, the characters have just finished watching that one episode of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' that gave a bunch of people [[EpilepticFlashingLights epileptic fits]].

This trope was very widespread in UsefulNotes/TheSilentAgeOfAnimation. It continued to show up a lot in most of Creator/WaltDisney's and Creator/FleischerStudios work in the early '30s too. It had a big comeback when animation got cheap again in UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfAnimation.

Of course, this trope is a veritable gold mine of NarmCharm. No work that pays homage to the ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' animated series will fail to mention the piano-accompanied dance scene from ''WesternAnimation/ACharlieBrownChristmas'', for instance. The Internet has really taken a liking to it, too, the "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" dancing banana avatars (and all variations thereof) and [[CaramelldansenVid Caramelldansen videos]] being the two most noticeable memes.

In VideoGames, this falls under GoingThroughTheMotions.



* UsefulNotes/{{Kmart}}'s "Gifting Out" ads for the 2013 Christmas season feature various people dancing maniacally and laughing hysterically at the fact that they saved so much on Christmas gifts at Kmart. Said dances are looped and looped and looped throughout the commercial, and the looping is so bad that you'd swear it was a form of StylisticSuck. For instance, in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca5ltKyy9oY this one]], the lady's briefcase keeps respawning in her hand after she tosses it.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' is a gorgeous magical girl show about ballet that subverts and plays with its genre of metafairytale at every turn, buuut... on a limited budget. Sometimes you have intricate dances and beautiful animation, and then other times the ballet performances are shown in a series of panning stills.
* The first ''Manga/UruseiYatsura'' ED is a prime example of this. Just [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtlfnNg3-TY see]] for yourself.
%%* Part of the reason hentai is animated: Sex scenes are ''all about'' repetitive movements.
* You can distinguish between early-Miyazaki and late-Miyazaki by watching his heroine's hair when she's running. In his early work, the hair movement will be on a loop. In later work, when he had all the budget he'd ever need, every cel is original.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Actually averted in the little-known animated film ''The Scarecrow'' about a dancing... well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a scarecrow]]. The movie isn't great but the dance sequences are crisp, smooth and imaginative. In the final dance near the end there's even a well-animated swing dance number.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls'':
** ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsRainbowRocks'': The animation is overall excellent; if it does use a few loops, it's mostly for background characters, and too short to be noticeable. The exception is the distant shot of Trixie and the Illusions at the final concert, whose moves are a bit repetitive.
** Also shows up for a bit towards the end of the AnimatedMusicVideo short "Friendship Through the Ages", where all seven girls are seen dancing together.
** Another notable example is in the "Bloopers Reel" for ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsLegendOfEverfree'': the CHS students dancing in the background behind Pinkie Pie and Sunset Shimmer are using a repetitive animation loop.
* Not even Disney is immune to this. Animators on ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'' turned to CGI to achieve the massive crowd scenes, with hundreds of moving figures visible. However, their actions are all drawn from a relatively limited pool of looping sequences, which are reused in multiple scenes and are hard to un-notice once you've noticed a few. Still an impressive achievement for the time though.
* All Creator/DingoPictures movies are extremely prone to this.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Foodfight}}'' has a particularly egregious case. During the scenes that take place at the Copa Banana (as well as pretty much all the scenes that involve large crowds), upon closer inspection three oddities are noticeable. One, most of the crowds consist of only a few generic human models which are sometimes not even palette swapped. Two, the crowd only has about three or four "dancing" animation loops, most of which just involve flailing the arms and legs with no rhythm. Three, sometimes two or more individuals dance in perfect sync with the exact same movements, meaning that the "dancing" animation loop was copy-pasted onto multiple models without even adjusting the timings.
* Towards the ending of ''Animation/TheElmChantedForest'', all the animal and miscellaneous characters have a celebration dance, which mostly just involves running in a circle repeatedly.

[[folder: Films -- Live-Action]]
* In the film ''Lovelines'' about a inter-high school BattleOfTheBands, crowd reaction shots show the audience dancing or air-guitaring or otherwise reacting to the music but not in a way that at all reflects the beat or instrumentation of the music being played (such as doing air guitar during a drum solo).

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* On ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', Xander does the Snoopy's looped dance from ''Charlie Brown'' (as he did every year at Xmas when they were kids) to prove to Willow that he is the real Xander. She stops him after a minute, but given that this is Xander, he probably would have kept looping.
* Shawn and Gus do the Charlie Brown looped dances in one of the ''Series/{{Psych}}'' {{Christmas episode}}s.
* The ''Charlie Brown Christmas'' dance is also referenced in the "[[https://youtu.be/Yt-F8usoQUQ If Elvis Were My Landlord]]" sketch from ''Series/TheKidsInTheHall''.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/EatLeadTheReturnOfMattHazard'' [[DiscussedTrope mentions]] that the dancers in the nightclub are just robots to save memory, explaining their bad dancing.
* In ''VideoGame/DungeonsAndDragonsOnline'', perhaps because both players ''and'' monsters can dance, the majority of dances are extremely short loops. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wzZZW8jbLM See here.]]
* ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' has a /dance command. Using it causes the player's character to dance in an endless loop until another command is issued.
* ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies'': The zombies during the final video clip. Not surprisingly, zombies make ''stiff'' dancers.
* ''VideoGame/{{Scarface}}'': Even Tony Montana will get in on the looping if he gets too close to the dancers.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCity'': An option to make the game progress requires spending cash for an endless looper. Fortunately not required.
* Milla's dance party in ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'' has large amounts of that. Both mental projections and real people just wiggle in place to dance.
* The opening to ''VideoGame/Persona4'' [[UpdatedRerelease Golden.]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* Every ''CaramelldansenVid'' ever. Click on the trope page to see a list of examples.
* Done in ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/onetwo.html here.]]
* ''[[http://www.videogamedc.com/Pixeled_Parodies/Mack_Daddy_Mario_3/mack_daddy_mario_3.html Mack Daddy Mario]]'' is made of this trope.
* This is the basic idea behind the late-nineties fad of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hampster_Dance dance pages.]]
* GIF file animations can be set to run repeated loops. The best ones have the beginning and end synced.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The ''Webcomic/WeaponBrown'' comic, a DarkerAndEdgier parody of ''Peanuts'', refers to the scene from ''A Charlie Brown Christmas'' with the neuromuscular syndrome simply called "The jigs". It is explained to be caused by overexposure to chemicals, and the symptom is violent physical seizures that that are reminiscent of the dance moves from the Christmas special. And the seizures will continue until the sufferer dies from it, usually by a broken spine.
* The [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20100206.html dance scene]] from ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' actually has accompanying animation on [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlI7sKjRgOU You Tube. (Admittedly these are just pencil tests.)]] Molly's dance is a loop, while [[spoiler: Bob & Voluptua's dance]] is not.
* One strip of ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' includes a dance called the "Infinite Waltz".
* [[http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2181 This guest comic]] from ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent''.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* On his website, Music/DoctorSteel had a page where you could animate him doing loops of various dance moves (the monkey, the sprinkler, the cabbage patch, the robot, etc.) by pressing buttons underneath him.
* Despite being live-action, most videos of the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hpEnLtqUDg&NR=1 "Harlem Shake"]] [[MemeticMutation meme]] consist of groups of people doing short, repetitious motions, fitting this trope. Animated versions are [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuTFZLyCq3U about what you'd expect.]]
* Every portal to the Second Dimension that appears in ''WebVideo/TheCartoonMan'' and its sequel shows a loop of various animated objects and animals on the other side.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The aforementioned ''WesternAnimation/ACharlieBrownChristmas''.
** Replicated in live action [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pL2T619kkmA here.]]
** Also [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRQp6dYKUHM here]] by [[http://www.survivingtheworld.net Surviving The World's]] own Dante Shepard.
** Later ''Peanuts'' specials had even lower budgets, and went even further in recycling cels. For example, if Snoopy is riding a motorcycle, and needs to pull off to the side of the road, don't expect him to turn aside. Instead, the road will move out from under him.
** Spoofed in a ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' sketch crossing ''Film/{{Footloose}}'' with ''Peanuts'', where Kevin Bacon's character [[LampshadeHanging remarks]] on the terrible dancing. He singles out the kid in the blue shirt, who seems to be doing some kind of zombie walk; the kid responds "I couldn't think of a dance! I panicked!"
*** An earlier episode of ''Robot Chicken'' has another ''Peanuts'' spoof (mainly a parody of ''Literature/{{Misery}}'') where the kids comment they can goof off from preparing for the Christmas play because Charlie Brown will bail them out and decide to go dance repetitively. "I love dancing repetitively!"
* ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'':
** Done by the Scooby gang in ''WesternAnimation/APupNamedScoobyDoo'' during the big chase scene [[OncePerEpisode in each episode]], often against plain color backgrounds.
** It goes all the way back to ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooWhereAreYou'', episodes "A Tiki Scare Is No Fair", "Scooby's Night With a Frozen Fright" and "Don't Fool With a Phantom".
** Shows up in the Scooby-Doo segment of the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' episode "Bat-Mite Presents: Batman's Strangest Cases!" And they're dancing to a Music/WeirdAlYankovic polka, yet.
* Kevin and Princess Lana did it in ''WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster''. WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic did not let it stand.
* ''Series/TheSuperMarioBrosSuperShow'': [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ifiCH3J5jM&t=15m40s "Bad Rap."]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfSuperMarioBros3'': [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmXXdlf0Mww&t=8m52s "Do the Koopa!"]]
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' is famous for its excessive use of StockFootage [[NarmCharm (not that its fans mind, really)]]. It also has a couple of scenes featuring repetitive dance moves; once in Odd's music video, featuring two girls doing the Endless Loop in the background (along with a song that features no more than five different words) and again at the party during Aelita's first stint as a DJ, wherein Yumi's mad dance skills consist entirely of shuffling slightly from side to side.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheArchieShow'' seemed to have gender-specific Endless Loop dances.
* CGI doesn't mean the end of the Endless Loop -- witness the Hot Dog Dance at the end of every episode of ''WesternAnimation/MickeyMouseClubhouse''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutronBoyGenius''. Careless use of a certain helmet, invented in a phase of genius-hating, will cause the wearer to intentionally break into an endless loop of dancing, while proclaiming the joys of being "loopy".
* In at least one episode of the ''WesternAnimation/TheBeatles'', the animated [[Music/TheBeatles Fab Four]] are seen dancing an endless loop in the sing-along portion of the cartoon.
* Done occasionally in the Creator/KennedyCartoons animated episodes of ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures''.
* Done at the end of the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "Mars University" to the song "[[Film/AnimalHouse Shout!]]".
* Done on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', particularly the episodes done before the show's animation switched to digital ink and paint (where looped and OffModel animation was common). Two notable examples:
** "Radioactive Man" (season seven): The go-go girls dancing at the end of a fight scene from the campy 1970s ''Radioactive Man''.
** "Boy Scoutz 'n The Hood" (season five): The ImagineSpot of Homer dancing with lollipops and ice cream cones while singing "Sugar Sugar" (until they melt because the batteries to the Walkman Homer had [[note]]which belonged to one of Flanders' kids[[/note]] died).
* Any time there is dancing in ''WesternAnimation/TeamoSupremo''.
* The Swivel Dance in ''WesternAnimation/TheJetsons'' consists of a crowd of teenagers on a roughly seven-frame animation loop who collectively move between the floor, the ceiling, and halfway between as the song dictates.
* All of the songs in ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfTeddyRuxpin'' episode "Octopede Sailors" are accompanied by this, especially "The Octopede Shuffle".
* Looping animation is common in ''WesternAnimation/SpacePOP'', especially in the music videos.
* A few rather jarring examples take place in ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'': several times, there have been dance sequences where, naturally, everyone is "dancing" between one or two positions. ''Except'' Roger, who is also in these scenes, who does these extremely complex, fluid dances while everyone around him is just doing the same thing over and over. It practically dips into the UncannyValley.