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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. The first time Smith is introduced, when he gets out of the garbage truck after trying to crush Trinity, is this.
    • 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 1959 is introduced to a forlorn child with this shot.
  • 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 Majestys 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.
  • Godzilla's first entrance in the airport scene in Godzilla (2014) has the camera panning from the male M.U.T.O. past a line of exploding planes before showing his big scaly foot. It also serves to emphasize Godzilla's size by showing how big his foot alone is compared to the massive M.U.T.O.

    Live-Action TV 

    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".
  • Tom Petty's character is introduced this way in the Heartbreakers' post-apocalyptic music video for "You Got Lucky"

    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.


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

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