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Feet-First Introduction

"Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,
I'm a woman's man: no time to talk"
The Bee Gees, "Stayin' Alive"

The commonly used method of introducing a character by showing him from the feet and either panning or cutting to the rest of his body, ending with the face. It can be (and has been) done any number of different ways, including a character walking down stairs, putting the camera at ground level when he gets out of a car, using his feet to hide his face while reclining on a chair, etc.

It's almost always a way of telling the audience that the character is a Badass of some sort. And as you will see from many of these examples, very often used to reproduce a gaze of the male or female variety. It can also be used for shock value; one ogles the entire body but then...sudden Butter Face!

It is also used to show off a female character's very sexy shoes (and/or legs).

Not to be confused with Dynamic Entry.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery: We first see Vanessa Kensington via a slow pan up her entire body.
  • James Cameron has used this a few times. One of his trademarks is a low-angle boot coming into frame shot.
  • Parodied in The Naked Gun 33 1/3, where the camera just keeps going up the legs...and up the legs...and up the legs. It passes the knees twice.
  • Saturday Night Fever: The first thing we see are Tony Manero's feet as he struts down the street.
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull reintroduces the titular character by having his boots walk into shot then panning up to the iconic shadow as he replaces his hat. Obviously included just for the trailer, but damn it works.
  • The first appearence of Cora Smith (Lana Turner) in the 1946 film version of The Postman Always Rings Twice.
  • Done cleverly in Strangers on a Train. The protagonist and antagonist are both introduced by showing their feet as they make their way to the titular train, the first of many instances of the theme of duality the movie uses.
  • The Matrix. Neo's entrance to the building where Morpheus is being held prisoner.
  • Mystery Men. When The Spleen enters the cafe, the camera focuses first on his shoes, which then pivot and he walks forward as the camera pans up to his face, as seen here.
  • The shiny-shoed assassin in Jumpin Jack Flash, though that was to conceal his identity from the audience.
  • Similarly used in The Usual Suspects to hide the identity of Keyser Söze. This is cleverly used as Book Ends for The Reveal, as Verbal Kint's limp slowly changes to a confident stride as he walks away from the police station.
  • The titular character in the incredibly surreal Mexican B-movie Santa Claus is introduced to a forlorn child with this shot, to hilarious effect.
  • The killer in the 1984 Clint Eastwood movie Tightrope is first shown via his trainers as he stalks a woman. She's aware someone is following her, but runs into a uniformed police officer who escorts her home safely. The camera then tracks down to show the 'police officer' is wearing the killer's trainers.
  • Played for laughs in Legion with an old lady and her walker.
  • The remake of The Parent Trap uses this with Annie, so that it takes viewers some time to realise she looks like Hallie.
  • Done with jingling spurs in The Quick and the Dead for the introduction of the villain. When he duels the Lady at the end of the movie, her introduction when revealed as Not Quite Dead also has the jingling spurs.
  • Lolita (1997). Used for creepy effect for the introduction of paedophile Quilty. Dolores is on her hands and knees, petting his dog. The camera does a slow pan up from Quilty's shoes to his face...which is still hidden from the audience behind part of the chair. Instead we only hear Quilty's voice as he talks to Dolores, and he continues to be a shadowy figure for much of the movie.
  • One of several shots used to introduce Mad Max, who's shown either from a distance, from behind, via a close-up of his hands fiddling with his engine, or his boots calmly striding around his Pursuit Special in deliberate contrast to the violent Car Chase his police colleagues are engaged in.
  • Virgil Tibbs is introduced this way in In the Heat of the Night.
  • Used for the Big Damn Heroes moment in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. James Bond is trapped in an ice-skating rink while SPECTRE mooks search through the crowd. Bond is in despair, expecting to be captured again; he sits at a table with his collar up and his head down, hoping to blend in with the other tourists. Suddenly one of the ice skaters comes to a halt right in front of him. Bond looks up from the ice skates past well formed legs to...a smiling Tracy di Vincenzo, whom he last saw in Portugal. And who has an ice-modified fast car to get him out of there.
  • Used for a Big Little Man gag in Elf when legendary writer Miles Finch (played by Peter Dinklage) enters the room, revealed only by his feet and the awed expressions of onlookers. We only see his height when Miles pushes away a chair so he can stand at the conference table that everyone else is sitting at.
  • Parodied in Top Secret! when Nick breaks back into Flurgendorf prison and finds himself crawling towards a pair of guard boots... which pan up to reveal that nobody is wearing them.
  • Yukio and Viper from The Wolverine have these with their "badass in boots" look, as well as a She's Got Legs intro when Viper gets out of her car at the funeral.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Day of the Triffids (2009). Torrence for his finale, along with the slacks of his distinctive Saville Row suit to give the audience an Oh Crap moment.
  • In The Flash Live Action series the first time we see Barry Allen in his Flash outfit is as a slow pan up from his feet.
  • Jacqueline's male disguise is introduced this way in the first episode of Young Blades.
  • In an episode of 1000 Ways to Die "Dead Before They Know It", the first death story opens up with the bare soles of Shelly as she is lying down in a tanning bed.
  • Played for laughs in one episode of Police Squad! where an unknown assassin is shown this way during his attacks. When his identity is revealed, he turns out to be a woman wearing a men's shoes and suit trouser-legs reaching from knees down.
  • Worf received this treatment when he first boarded DS9.
    • Similarly, near the end of season three of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Wesley got one of these when he was field-promoted to full ensign and got to put on the Starfleet uniform.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • Entirely justified with the demon Sweet in "Once More With Feeling" as he wears a great pair of dancing shoes which he puts to immediate use.
    • Also Spike's first introduction on the series, as he steps out of his Cool Car. Subverted when the scene is repeated in a later episode...except the first thing we see is a bottle falling out of the car.
    • Played for laughs when the Scoobies think that Evil!Spike has returned, and we immediately cut to a striding pair of black combat boots, black leather duster and black shirt...worn by geek Big Bad Wannabe Andrew.
  • Angel. Subverted in the Cold Open of "Release" from the usual Bad Ass version — the shoes of an exhausted Wesley and a severely battered Faith slowly step into frame, then drops of blood from Faith's wounds drip onto the floor.
  • How I Met Your Mother has an in-universe example. Barney finally gets his hands on a picture of Ted's new girlfriend and deliberately decides to zoom in on her feet and scroll up, commenting on her various attributes along the way. He's in for a bit of a shock when he finds the face of his sister at the top.
  • The opening credits for Dinosaurs work this way, creating an impression of huge dinosaur stomping the forest... before zooming on the face.
  • In the "Rashomon"-Style episode of Supernatural, Sam catches Dean chatting up a girl in a bar instead of working the case. In both cases we get a Male Gaze view from her legs on up: In Sam's version, she has silver high heels with fishnet stockings, a denim miniskirt, a short tank top showing a pierced belly button, blue eyshadow, lip gloss, and bleached blonde curls. "Next To You" by Junk Food plays during her introduction. In Dean's version, she has black pumps, dark stockings, a sleek, black, cocktail dress, and a diamond necklace. The soul music song "Brenda and Me" by the Rhythm Machine plays during the introduction of the character.
  • Red Dwarf: In "Demons and Angels", the evil version of Rimmer is introduced walking down a stairway to menace Lister, revealing that he's dressed as a sexually sadistic dominatrix.

    Music Videos 
  • In the music video for "We Are the World" by USA for Africa, the camera starts at Michael Jackson's glittery socks and pans up slowly from there. Given that this was near the highest point of his career, his appearance was clearly meant to be the video's Moment Of Awesome, so the suspenseful introduction makes sense.
  • The video for Tanz Mit Laibach loves this trope, and boots, and marching.
  • A barefoot, mostly-nude Gotye gets this in the music video for "Somebody That I Used To Know".

    Video Games 
  • This is how Yuna of Final Fantasy X is introduced before every battle she's fighting in in Dissidia 012: Duodecim. Her feet are even something of a meme, because this was how she was confirmed to be appearing in the game at all.
  • Twilight Princess introduces Link's childhood friend and implied love interest Ilia this way. The camera pans up from her feet, stopping just shy of actually showing her face.
  • In Brain Dead 13, when Lance stumbles into Vivi's Salon and gets up, the first thing he sees is her neon purple high-heeled shoes before the camera pans up from her legs to her Gag Boobs, and finally to a close-up of Vivi herself, looking at her facial mirror.
  • The Riku Replica is introduced like this in Re:Reverse/Rebirth when the real Riku first meets him.
  • In Super Mario 64, all three Bowser fights begin with the camera focusing on Bowser's feet.
    • Super Mario 64 DS tries to do the same, but fails since the new Bowser model is smaller and more hunched over, which leaves his face in the frame.
  • Outside the dream sequence intro, this is how Kid is introduced in Chrono Cross.

    Web Comics 
  • In The Water Phoenix King, an interesting twist: the first glimpse we have of our unconventional hero is his bare foot as he lies sprawled on a bare wooden floor, in near-rags, not bothering to light the lamp as the sun goes down. It perfectly symbolizes his state of psychological deadness, at the bottom of Fortune's Wheel, right before everything changes and he rejoins the fray:
    Gilgam: Moving furniture is a lot of work. Work is a lot of work. I'm happy to lie here.
    Anthem: If you had any self-respect you'd be drunk. Lying on the floor while sober smacks of indolence.
    Gilgam: Not indolence! A proper sense of the world's fundamental pointlessness! I have a philosophy. The philosophical are never indolent.
  • Francesca from The Thing That Would Not Leave.

    Western Animation 
  • Justice League: When Luthor and the Legion of Doom think they've resurrected Brainiac, the smoke clears to reveal the feet of... someone else. The camera pans up to reveal Darkseid, and before it can fully sink in what's happened, he starts to blow things up.
  • Throughout the first season of Code Lyoko, Yumi "entered the screen" this way. Admittedly, it was never meant to be a surprise.
  • Though one can see her in class, in Iron Man: Armored Adventures when Pepper Potts fully introduced herself to Tony, the camera focused on her feet first.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls episode "Impeach Fuzz". When Miss Bellum is introduced in her new "uniform" by Fuzzy, she is introduced bare feet first. Seen here.
  • Amalia in Wakfu is introduced feet first. Mainly because it was from Ruel's point of view, and his eyes were more focused on the golden foot cuff on her saddle.
  • Spoofed in The Cleveland Show when Cleveland meets an old school friend of his who grew up to be really hot. His eyes travel up her body, but when he gets to her head the view suddenly and quickly goes over the top of it. We then see that Cleveland accidently fell over backwards while checking her out.
  • In Recess, Principal Prickley's replacement Dr Slicer steps out of his car in this fashion. On the day he takes over, he steps out again, but it is actually Prickley, taking his old job back because (ostensibly) the salary was too low.


Fearsome FootThese Tropes Are Made For WalkingFertile Feet
Everyone Meets EveryoneCharacter Introduction IndexIncoming Ham
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron BurgundyImageSource/Live-Action FilmsPants-Free

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