[[quoteright:330:[[Film/TheFourHundredBlows http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/400_blows_end.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:330:His stare will last [[TitleDrop 400 blows]].]]

A common trope, this is the use of a freeze-frame at the end of a work.

The moving image, most typically if not always a close up of a character's face, turns into a still. It may or may not get a zoom. The character is usually in a dramatic pose, or with a specific expression. Freeze. Roll credits.

The character is usually the protagonist, and the pose can be of a variety, but often a smile, laugh or a DoubleTake.

Though now a technique used more meaningfully -- often to connect with the character -- or as parody, in some [[TheEighties Eighties]] whodunits it was treated as [[OnceAnEpisode a standard]] of its television show format.

In the field of Film Studies, scholars promote Creator/FrancoisTruffaut's ''[[Film/TheAdventuresOfAntoineDoinel The 400 Blows]]'' as the earliest notable use (or UrExample). At the end there is a freeze and then zoom on the young protagonist's face as he looks, conflicted, at the camera. The scene was also used as both the original promotional and cover image for the film, possibly the first time such a scene has made it into mass marketing.

One variation is a 'flash' sequence, when there is a freeze frame featuring the initial credits before possibly a [[TheStinger Stinger]] and then the actual credits.

This trope can be specific kind of [[BreakingTheFourthWall Fourth Wall-breaking]], in instances when a character looks directly into the camera, but still is not completely breaking the fourth wall as it is often treated as an addendum to the actual work. It may also be a PastelChalkedFreezeFrame. Compare GroupPictureEnding.



* ''Anime/PokemonGenerations'': Episode 8 ends with Archie and Shelly screaming in front of Kyogre's gaping maw, freezing just as Kyogre opens its mouth.

[[folder:Live-Action Film]]
* ''Film/SixteenBlocks'': The last shot is a freeze frame where the hero holds up a photograph.
* ''Film/TheFourHundredBlows'': As young Antoine finally reaches the coast from his perpetual series of bad luck and federal injustice. He's still being chased, and has nowhere to go beyond the coast, but is enjoying the beach and an innocent sense of freedom, causing him to smile back towards the land and, consequently, into the camera. The camera then freezes and zooms on his face.
* ''Film/BarryLyndon'' ends with a freeze-frame on Barry, after he's lost a duel and his whole life has been ruined due to his own selfishness.
* ''Film/ButchCassidyAndTheSundanceKid'': The original BolivianArmyEnding, the frame freezing just as [[spoiler:Butch and Sundance, hopelessly outnumbered, come out firing. The massive gunfire heard during the freeze frame implies they did not make it.]]
* ''Film/DangerousMen'' ends suddenly on a freeze frame of the villain getting arrested.
* ''Film/DejaVu'' ends with a freeze frame of the hero in his car.
* ''Film/{{Gallipoli}}'': Famously ended on Archie's senseless death.
* ''Film/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban'' ends with a freeze-frame of Harry flying towards the camera on his brand-new Firebolt broomstick.
* ''Film/PlanesTrainsAndAutomobiles'' ends with a freeze frame shot on the smiling face of Creator/JohnCandy's character.
* ''Film/{{Rollerball}}'' concludes with the crowd chanting "Jonathan!" as TheHero takes a victory lap. The camera freezes on the face of the man who refused to be beaten as the credits appear in succession.
* ''Film/SistersOfDeath'' ends with a freeze frame shot of Judy laughing after she and Mark have cleared the gate and escaped the mansion. [[spoiler:And she has just shot Mark]].
* ''Film/ThelmaAndLouise'' ended on the duo driving their car into the Grand Canyon, freezing mid-flight.
* ''Film/WomenOnTheVergeOfANervousBreakdown''/''Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios'', one of Creator/PedroAlmodovar's famous films, has the film end of a freeze frame of Pepa and Marisa on the Very Important Terrace. Interestingly, the entirety of the credits runs over the freeze frame, there's no black background.
* ''Film/ATaleOfTwoSisters'' ends on a freeze frame on Soo-mi as she wakes away from the house.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]

* {{Sitcom}}s do this extensively, especially during TheEighties, usually punctuating a last gag. Kenneth parodied this in an episode of ''Series/ThirtyRock'', when he did his own personal freeze frame ending, while everyone else puzzled at him suddenly standing in a frozen MilkingTheGiantCow pose.
* ''Series/AnotherWorld'' would end all its episodes like this in the eighties.
* ''Series/ABitOfFryAndLaurie'': Parodied in the pilot episode. The final sketch is a send-up of terrible Australian soap operas, and ends with a dumb joke and a freeze frame...except that the camera is still rolling. [[OverlyLongGag The credits roll in their entirety]] while Hugh does a ridiculous expression and Stephen balances on one foot.
* ''Series/{{CHiPs}}'': {{The Stinger}}s use multiple freeze-frames during the scene.
* ''Series/CornerGas'': Every episode ends this way, and it is actually lampshaded in "Lacey Borrows".
%%* ''Series/DaysOfOurLives''
* ''Series/HogansHeroes'': First utilized a flash-freeze frame [[EvolvingCredits beginning in Season Five]], when previous producer Edward H. Feldman had been promoted to executive producer (a position the series didn't previously have); this carried on for the remainder of the show's run.
* ''Series/TheKrofftSupershow''. Each of the show's recurring segments ended this way to highlight the specific writers, directors, and other crewmembers for those particular segments.
%%* ''Series/MagnumPI''
* ''Series/{{MASH}}'' began using the flash variation in Season Six, usually to acknowledge the show's ever-changing story editors (or script consultants as they were eventually called), program consultants, and to acknowledge creative consultants Gene Reynolds (co-creator and previous producer) and Alan Alda. Also depending on the nature of the episode, the variation of the music cue would differ: standard episodes included a short variation of the show's main theme, sombre and poignant episodes would exclude music altogether, and particularly dramatic and Downer Episodes would use a slower and more melancholy arrangement. This continued up until the GrandFinale.
%%* ''Series/MurderSheWrote''
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'': This happens not just at the end of each episode, but the end of every segment, as well. The freeze frame is always black and white.
* ''Series/OrangeIsTheNewBlack'': The season 4 finale, focusing on [[spoiler:Poussey's backstory in light of her death]], ends with the image of her by the river in New York City, smiling into the camera. The actress noted how that's not a thing that OITNB does, but after seeing it knew that the producers and directors were right to do it. Aside from ending the story well, the set-up of the shot evokes ''The 400 Blows'', and so may be additionally referring to and invoking a lot of the unfair judicial practices and discrimination.
* ''Series/PoliceSquad'' frequently parodied this by having the actors ([[BadBadActing try to]]) freeze still and failing, often with faces contorted into rictus laughter, while the credits rolled.
* The ''Series/RedDwarf'' episode "[[Recap/RedDwarfSeasonIBalanceOfPower Balance of Power]]" ends on a freeze frame of Lister leaping into the air in victory. This was done as a pragmatic measure: while filming the scene, Creator/CraigCharles landed badly and injured his back, rendering the end of the shot unusable and preventing reshoots.
* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' had the short freeze frame from the beginning for Larry David (Seasons One through Seven) and Jerry Seinfeld (Seasons Eight and Nine) as executive producer, and co-executive producers George Shapiro & Howard West.
* ''Series/{{Threesome}}'' did this routinely, sometimes with the main cast's credits over it, before TheStinger.
* Used at the end of the final episode of ITV mini-series ''Series/TinaAndBobby'', after a silent montage of Tina and Bobby having fun and laughing together after coincidentally meeting on a train. As Tina is laughing, she turns and it freezes when she is looking into the camera, then fades to the "doom slate".
* Happens on plenty of the ever-quirky "TV show you and I used to be on together" skits from ''Series/TheTonightShow''.

* ''Theatre/TheInspectorGeneral'' by Creator/NikolaiGogol ends with the officials hearing that the ''real'' inspector wants to see them. According to the author's instructions, everyone is supposed to freeze in place (in thoroughly described positions) until the curtain falls over a minute later. Few performances have managed to follow these demands to a letter; Vsevolod Meyerhold actually used dolls for the scene.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The last episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'', "The New Black", ends with a photo of [[ItMakesSenseInContext Riley Freeman running away from an angry mob of retarded children]].
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': parodied in an episode where Peter leaps into the air in a happy victory and the scene seems to freeze but then Lois asks how he's remaining in mid air to which Peter panicky states he has no idea what's happening and can't get down.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS19E18AnyGivenSundance Any Given Sundance]]" parodied the ending of ''Film/TheFourHundredBlows'' ([[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsPnM3mTQjg compare]]).