"Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,Introducing a character by showing the feet and either panning or cutting to the rest of the body, ending with the face. Evidently, shoe selection is a big element for characterization. Or the director is just into feet. This trope is often used to introduce characters who are evil or sexy, or both. Someone may be crouching down or laying prone for some reason (perhaps injured) and a pair of shoes will step directly in front of them, creating unease. Or a number of people - maybe even a huge crowd - are waiting for someone to arrive, and that arrival is heralded by footsteps and then the appearance of feet. Either way, the camera will travel upward very slowly, building anxiety as the audience (whether in-universe or out) receives the full effect of being towered over by an intimidating figure. She's Got Legs may come into play, but not necessarily. The same can also be applied to Fearsome Foot. Sometimes the trope is used for reasons other than villainy or sex appeal. A character's feet, for example, might be a clue to their personality. Extremely colourful shoes can indicate someone either mischievous or buffoonish, while bare feet might signal anything from a Noble Savage to a person determined to triumph despite poverty. And sometimes the character's face is just so worth waiting for that the creators put off The Reveal until the last possible second. They might even cut back and forth to whoever is looking at this character to draw out the process even more. A Giant Foot of Stomping is, as you might expect introduced this way. Not to be confused with Dynamic Entry, which sometimes also happens feet first.
I'm a woman's man: no time to talk"
I'm a woman's man: no time to talk"
— The Bee Gees, "Stayin' Alive"
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- A Sky Italia commercial featuring giant soccer players introduces two of them with closeups of their large feet.
Anime & Manga
- In Hellsing, Alexander Anderson is introduced this way, with the slight twist of it being him walking down some stairs.
- Misaki from Excel Saga is introduced this way. However, the camera keeps stopping at her breasts and her face is blurred out in various ways before finally showing what she looks like.
- Yuji's hitherto missing father, for almost half the episode, in Shakugan no Shana.
- In the Fatal Fury film, Kim Kaphwan's gorgeous wife Myeungseuk is introduced legs first. A Justified Trope, so to say: her and Kim's youngest son Jae Hoon is with her, and he's a tiny Cheerful Child no older than six.
- In the InuYasha anime, the first thing we saw of Kagura was a close-up to her always bare feet.
- The first we see of Yukari in The Garden of Words is her feet and shoes as seen from Takao's POV. A nice touch on the "getting on your feet" symbolism in the movie.
- Digimon Adventure tri.: The first thing we get to see of Mimi are her feet with her stylish sandal boots.
- Oddly Reiji Akaba from Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V is always introduced this way.
- Not counting the cover Gambit of X-Men fame is first introduced in #266 walking towards a de-aged storm.
Films — Animation
- The Saturday Night Fever example below is parodied in Madagascar with Marty the Zebra, complete with "Stayin' Alive" in the background.
- Toy Story: This is how Buzz Lightyear is actually introduced.
- Cinderella is introduced this way in Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.
- In Beauty and the Beast, when the Beast steps into a spotlight to reveal himself to Belle, the camera shows his lupine feet before his monstrous face.
- In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games:
- This is how Sunset Shimmer, running to the school, is introduced. It's also the movie's first shot.
- When Human Twilight is properly introduced in Crystal Prep uniform, it's with a pan up from her feet.
- Cars: As Doc Hudson drives into the courtroom and takes the podium, the camera is focused on his tires.
- Massive manservant Max from Cats Don't Dance enters the soundstage via an Impact Silhouette in the wall, and his feet are shown in polished shoes that create tremors with every footfall. The next shot shows his brutish head way up among the Kleig lights. His last footstep squishes a rubber duck.
Films — Live-Action
- Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery: We first see Vanessa Kensington via a slow pan up her entire body.
- Jem and the Holograms: When Erica Raymond is first introduced in the film, her heels are shown walking up the sidewalk and kicking a skateboard.
- James Cameron has used this a few times. One of his trademarks is a low-angle boot coming into frame shot.
- In Avatar, for example, it emphasizes Jake's joy (he's a paraplegic) in being able to move his toes and feel the dirt between them after linking with his Avatar. On a more subtle level, the first shots of the bare feet on Jake's Avatar are also used to show off the unprecedented level of detail in the wrinkles of the fully CGI models. And Quaritch is introduced boots first.
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day begins with a close up of a Terminator stepping on and crushing a human skull. After first acquiring his clothes, Arnold the T-101 gets a Bad to the Bone intro this way. Sarah Connor's nightmare sequence begins with her combat boots striding across the grass.
- Lindsey Brigman in The Abyss is introduced feet first in high heels.
- 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.
- Spy Hard used a similar gag, panning from the feet and up the legs... before a similarly-dressed woman comes in front of the giant statue.
- 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, walking in opposite directions, 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.
- Cyd Charisse gets this in Singin' in the Rain when Gene Kelly drops his hat and she picks it up with her foot, showing off her lovely physique in the process.
- 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.
- Used for creepy effect in the 1997 movie for the introduction of pedophile 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.
- The Title Sequence of the Stanley Kubrick adaptation has a closeup of Humbert's hands painting Lolita's toenails.
- 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.
- 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.
- Done for both Davy Jones and Blackbeard in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Jones is also heralded by his ominous, mismatched footsteps; Blackbeard is seen as a menacing silhouette against the smoky interior of his cabin before he is fully revealed.
- In The Ascent, Portnov the evil collaborator is introduced this way, when Sotnikov the patriotic Russian soldier is thrown into the interrogation room and at Portnov's feet.
- Subverted at the start of Jurassic World, when two wicked claws slam down like Giant Feet of Stomping. What terrible creature do they belong to? An ordinary bird.
- Coming to America: During King Jaffe's grand entrance with his motorcade in Queens, he's shown feet first stepping on the rose petals his servant girls throw down wherever he goes.
- Intouchables: When the camera pans over the men waiting for the job interview, it goes for their shoes. All highly polished, combined with ironed trousers... and then it reaches a pair of worn trainers, after which Driss is shown in an establishing shot. With this simple trick the audience knows how much he doesn't fit in there.
- Done with Kristy in the film adaptation of The Babysitters Club. Justified because during her introductory scene, she was getting dressed. Her feet were the only part of her that could be shown without being way too risqué for a kid's movie.
- For the first three minutes of 14-minute film Meshes of the Afternoon, all we see of the unnamed protagonist is her feet as she walks up a concrete driveway and then into her home.
- Hannibal Chau from Pacific Rim. The first time he properly appears, the shot starts on his gold-plated shoes and pans up to his face.
- In Suburban Commando, the first thing we see of Shep Ramsey is his boots as he is shooting down Suitor's men.
- Nothing but Trouble: The deputy sheriff is introduced shoes first as he gets out of his police cruiser.
- Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th: The masked psycho killer is first seen walking into frame wearing a very distinctive pair of boots. This is a set-up to a later gag because multiple unrelated characters are also wearing this type of boot.
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit: The first thing we see of Jessica Rabbit is one of her legs peeking through a curtain. Followed by one of her breasts.
- On Her Majesty's Secret Service: This is Tracy is introduced in the ice rink in Switzerland later on in the film. Diana Rigg (the actress playing Tracy) couldn't ice skate, so a stunt double was used until the camera panned upwards to reveal the real actress.
- Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman: The Machine Gun Woman enters the story with a shot of her Combat Stilettos striding through the town square, sending pigeons scattering.
- The NEB soldier approaching the Alliance base at the start of Screamers. He doesn't keep his feet for long.
- In The Sign of Four: Sherlock Holmes' Greatest Case, the first shot of the Big Bad Jonathan Small is his wooden leg—making its distinctive clopping sound—striding along the prison corridor towards Major Sholto's office.
- In Sunset, Wyatt Earp first appears with his boots climbing down the steps at the rear of the train, far away from the hoopla happening at the other end.
- X-Men: The Last Stand: The feet that step out of the limousine belong to Charles Xavier. It's a surprise because he's always been seen in a wheelchair. A subtitle appears: "Ten Years Ago".
- A plot point in the Hercule Poirot novel, One, Two, Buckle My Shoe. Poirot first meets Miss Salisbury-Seale while the latter was coming out of a taxi and took a particular notice of her shiny, buckled shoe. The state of this shoe is what helps Poirot realise who the murderer is.
- Our first introduction to Claire in Whale Music is her bare feet, under the covers while she sleeps on Desmond's couch.
- The Day of the Triffids (2009). Torrence steals and wears a distinctive Saville Row suit early in the series, so just his familiar slacks are shown striding into view for the final act after the protagonists think they've long seen the last of him.
- In The Flash (2014) Live Action series the first time we see Barry Allen in his Flash outfit is as a slow pan up from his feet.
- On Supergirl When Veronica Sinclair or Roulette in introduced in her fight club, it shows her heels first then scrolls up her body to her face.
- 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.
- After Xander has cast a love spell that's gone haywire, causing every girl in Sunnydale High to fall for him, we see his feet as he strides down the school hall, Walking in Rhythm to the Average White Band's funky "Got the Love" — as the camera pans up, we see he's in a deer-in-the-headlights state of panic as girls eye him lustfully and the boys Death Glare.
- Spike's badass 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 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.
- Done for a Rule of Threes in "The Wish". Cordelia exits her hotrod convertible giving everyone a long look at her long legs in a leather man-eater outfit. After her wish creates an Alternate Universe, Vampire Willow makes her introduction high-heeled boots first, then up to her own leather catsuit and Undeathly Pallor. The third is a Rescue Introduction to our Darker and Edgier Wishverse Buffy, from her entirely unfashionable combat boots and cargo pants to the grey tank top and Rugged Scar across her lip.
Gunn: "You expecting somebody else?"
- Subverted in the Cold Open of "Release" from the usual badass 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.
- Used for a Bait-and-Switch in "War Zone". We're meant to think the sword-wielding Badass Longcoat is Angel, but it's our introduction to series regular Charles Gunn.
- 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. "Honey, I'm home!"
- 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. In Dean's version, she has black pumps, dark stockings, a sleek, black, cocktail dress, and a diamond necklace.
- 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.
- Get Smart. Our first look at 99 is a Male Gaze shot from Barbara Felton's feet up to her face.
- Nikita uses this a lot with Amanda—not uniformly, but enough to make it a visual trademark for her.
- Wynonna Earp. The episode that started with Waverley in her cheerleader costume & matching cowboy boots (s02e03).
- 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"
- The Talking Heads concert film, Stop Making Sense begins with a close-up of David Byrne's feet as he walks onto the stage.
- Dissidia 012: Duodecim: Each of Yuna's matches begins with brief cutscene, where the camera focuses on her feet as she enters the frame, before revealing who she is. Her feet are even something of a meme, because they were how she was confirmed to be appearing in the game at all.
- Twilight Princess: Ilia's introductory cutscene begins with a close-up of her barefeet, then slowly pans up her body, stopping just shy of fully showing her face. Though you get to see her smile, before she leads Epona offscreen towards the Ordon Spring.
- 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.
- Dekar in Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, when he meets with Idura.
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice introduces some witnesses and defendants in the courtroom this way.
- In "Music to My Ears", the first short preceding My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, DJ Pon-3 is introduced with a pan up from her feet. It notably brings attention to her new shoes, having switched the blue boots she wore in the first movie with tricolor sneakers.
- 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.
- Used a few times in Bad Moon Rising in the first story, first with Madison and Chloe's arrival at the bar, and then again with Persephone.
- 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 is from Ruel's point of view, and his eyes are 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 accidentally 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.