It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
A close up of something disgusting. For some reason, these pop up most in comedy and horror, though in practice, it's more Nausea Fuel
than anything else. If done in an animated series, the close-up is usually much drawn in a much more detailed style
than the rest of the show.
Beetlejuice began the fad
, but The Ren & Stimpy Show popularized
it as it became more iconic in animaton. The phenomenon spawned many copycats of both the Gross Up Close Ups
, the original show's disgustingly revolting aesthetics
and the revived Deranged Animation
. Currently, this trope can be spotted in a number of shows and usually leads to visual Memetic Mutation
Essentially the opposite of a Discretion Shot
. Compare Nightmare Face
, a trope that gets a lot of these kind of close-ups. Frequently occuring in many a Grossout Show
. Also a staple of Sensory Abuse
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- An early example of one of there can be found in the famous "Yuck Mouth" PSA, in which Yuck Mouth discovers a new cavity in his mouth and the camera zooms in on the rotting, holey tooth.
- A European advert for the first Playstation depicted a family having a conversation at the dinner table, but they only communicate through video game SFX. It then zooms in on their mouths to show that their uvulas are in the shapes of the PS buttons!
Anime and Manga
- Junji Ito loves these. There are many reasons Uzumaki, The Enigma of Amigara Fault, and Gyo are infamous for nightmarish images, and this is one of them.
- In the Haruhi Suzumiya anime, there was a brief scene after the Locked Room Mystery with Koizumi observing a disgusting mole on Kyon's head, while Kyon was talking.. The mole had hairs.
- In Spirited Away, Studio Ghibli spared no expense on the scene where Chihiro's parents turn into pigs. There's a very detailed closeup on the food dripping out of their pig mouths and the flying spittle.
- In an example which takes the page out of the usual Western cartoons, the 23rd episode of Pani Poni Dash! features two gross closeups of Kurumi (who was suffering from a cold) and Becky (getting paint dropped on, smearing her makeup).
- The Live-Action Adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!; We would rather not have seen the Grinch's "termites in [his] smile"...
- Serenity has a number of zooms on and flashes to the semi-decomposed remains of people who died on Miranda.
- Not to mention the close ups of people who survived on Miranda, before venturing out for a spot of raping and pillaging.
- Theres Something About Mary, at least in some edits, features a rather gratuitous scene showing the hero's Beans above his Franks.
- The mole scene in the third Austin Powers movie. Moley moley moley moley moley!
- ...MOLE. MOLEYMOLEYMOLEYMOLEY.
- MOLE! BLOODY MOLE! WE'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO TALK ABOUT THE BLOODY MOLE BUT THERE IS A BLOODY MOLE AND IT'S WINKING ME IN THE FACE! I WANNA CUT IT OFF AND CHOP IT UP AND MAKE IT INTO GUACA'MOLÉ!
- The closeup of Lt. Aldo Raine carving a swastika into Landa's forehead in Inglourious Basterds.
- Rob Zombie seems to like these. In his Halloween II (2009), we're treated to close views of Laurie having her head sewn shut, a man's face after he's mutilated by a crash, a guy having his head sawn off with broken glass, Big Lou Martini getting his arm snapped...
- There's plenty in the original series as well. For example, in Halloween II (1981) (which is where the gorier trend of the series began), Micheal kills a nurse by repeatedly dunking her head into scalding water. Every time he pulls her out, we get an up close look at the effect this has on her skin. Suffice it to say, it's horrifying.
- Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers shows a close-up of Michael tearing a man's throat out with his bare hands.
- Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, which shows Jamie being impaled on a corn thresher.
- The toilet in Mystery Team as Duncan put it:
- The Mouth of Sauron in The Lord of the Rings.
- In Female Trouble by John Waters, we get a whole screen full of the diseased-looking penis of the man who is raping Divine's character.
- Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle has the creepy tow-truck driver's pustulatent boils shown close up.
- Carry on up the Khyber Pass. The Brits have been thrown into an Afghan prison, awaiting horrible torture.
Belcher: Let me out! You can't do this to me! I'm a man of the cloth!
(Afghan guard charges up so close we can only see his blackened teeth)
Guard: What do you want, Englesh PEEEEEEEEEEG!
Belcher: Err, I was going to ask you for the name of a good dentist but I don't think I'll bother.
- Daybreakers has lots of these shots.
- Vampire's Kiss has a close-up of Peter eating a cockroach. To make matters more disturbing, Nicolas Cage actually ate a real cockroach. It took three takes before the scene was finished.
- Happens to Gulliver when he meets the Brobdingnag. Because of their enormous size all the tiny imperfections of their faces are that much easier to see.
Live Action TV
- Graphic closeups of dead body parts are common on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Television Without Pity calls it "TMI Cam."
- Bones also seems to like "TMI Cam".
- Graphic closeups of internal structures are common on House.
- "Resignation", where when the patient was having an MRI, she started saying that her head hurt. The camera zoomed in on her head... her scalp and skull were split open, showing her brain!
- "Big Baby", where they were testing the patient by attaching electrodes to her brain, first by cutting the top of her skull off.
- Let's not forget (though anyone who watched it wishes they could) the eyeball popping out in "No Reason".
- Dexter's morning routine, shown in extreme close-up and shot to be reminiscent with his hack-n-slash murders.
- In 30 Rock when NBC gets High Def cameras, Liz Lemon walks in front of one revealing her horrible complexion, much to the disgust of the viewers.
- The contents of pretty much any gross stunt on Fear Factor will get zoomed in on.
- Young Blades: Oliver Cromwell's fabled mole in "The Exile" has close-ups complete with dramatic music and gives King Louis some surreal nightmares.
- In the Supernatural episode "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part One" (S02, Ep21), there is a close up of an arm with the skin burnt off to show the muscle in the forearm among the debris of the burnt down Roadhouse.
- One of the earliest cases comes from the Jack Benny Program of all things. In the opening of one episode, Jack explains that the reason he hasn't aged too much is he has the camera move back every season so it's harder for it to see what he looks like. He then has the camera do a zoom in on him. His face suddenly becomes horribly wrinkled and shriveled, making him look like Pruneface from Dick Tracy.
- In general, this can happen in games when an enemy or other character which is ugly, disgusting, etc., gets too close to the in-game camera, such as zombies getting right in your face in a game with first-person perspectives.
- Played for horrors in Snatcher when Gillian and Metal discover the Snatchers' morgue. They go down... and then the player sees the digitised but otherwise photorealistic face of a rotting corpse, dripping with wriggling maggots, and its eye drops out. Squick.
- Used for horror in Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, with the infamous "bathtub scare" that features a vision of Alexandra Roivas's mutilated corpse in a bathtub of blood.
- In The Binding of Isaac, this is given to pretty much everything involving Isaac's abusive mother, save the opening cinematic.
- The cutscenes from The Legend of Zelda CDi Games, due to their hideous and awful animation.
- Metal Slug 2/X/3 all use the same character selection screen with four characters in their creepy expressions on standby and selected. Metal Slug 5 adds this with Scary Flashlight Face.
- This is a staple of Image Macros, especially of the Rage Comic variety. Several of the more artistically complex ones can get truly disgusting in this regard.
- asdfmovie has these during the lines "YOU'RE DEAD TO ME!" and "I AM PUNCHING YOUR SALAD!".
- In Vaguely Recalling JoJo, A gross picture of Cursed Devo is shown whenever he says, "Damn you, Polnareff!" The only time where that didn't happen is the time he fell off the Singapore hotel balcony.
- Trope Maker and Ur Example: Ren and Stimpy.
- Rocko's Modern Life
- Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
- The Angry Beavers
- Invader Zim
- In the only two episodes of ¡Mucha Lucha! where they are shown, The Flea's rotten teeth might be a example of this.
- Those in The Fairly Oddparents are especially weird, considering its simplistic art style.
- Extremely frequent in newer episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants, but a few older ones did this too. "Nasty Patty", anyone?
- "Is this how you get your sick kicks?!" "What? It's just an ordinary Krabby— OH MY GOODNESS! SQUIDWARD!!!
- "To Love a Patty" has some particularly nauseating ones.
- Does this look UNSURE to you?!◊
- Is there something wrong with me?◊ Warning: SCARY
- There's also the episode "Wormy" where the titular caterpillar turns into a butterfly, and upon seeing the closeup, Patrick and Spongebob are so terrified they think it's a monster. (Fun fact: the close up is of a horsefly, not a butterfly)
- The closeups of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy after makeup artist Squidward is done preparing them for their Spongebob-directed fan movie.
- Mermaid Man's mouth and lips closeup. Gyuuhh.
- Mr. Krabs' back. Oh, so much.
- Sanjay And Craig uses this at least once per episode.
- A lot of Rugrats episodes start with a weird closeup of something in this manner.
- Yin Yang Yo had one when Carl turned the twins ugly with a spell.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy also uses this often.
- The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack uses this trope frequently. Often accompanied by "AGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH."
- Dexter's Laboratory: In the episode "Fantastic Boyage," Dexter went into his pet dog to get rid of a disease.
- Another episode had Dexter trying to improve his eyesight by giving himself laser eye surgery. Everything goes Gone Horribly Right when he finds out his vision is TOO clear, his family's smallest physical flaws and imperfections are magnified a thousand fold by his vision. Through his eyes, his mother, father, and sister look like disgusting, malformed mutants.
- Drawn Together plays this trope quite a few times. The third episode, Gay Bash, has an especially effective one when Xandir retrieves his ring.
- The cartoon short "Tales of Worm Paranoia" from the What A Cartoon! Show is full of these.
- Dr. Satan in his huge, monstrous form in The Haunted World of El Superbeasto provides a lot of these.
- Happens frequently on Jimmy Two-Shoes.
- Used in The Dirdy Birdy.
- One episode in Time Squad has the trio appear in the American Revolution to help Betsy Ross, who was going to make the US flag. Instead, the troops and Betsy were all acting like hippies. One of the guys says he's "made his own soap". Cue the camera closing in on his "soap" to show it's actually done from dirt among... other things.
- Of all shows, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic gets one of these in "A Bird in the Hoof", which has a close up of the sickly bird Philomena's blood-shot eyes.
- In "Secret of My Excess", Spike claims that he wouldn't wash the cheek on which Rarity kissed him. When it cuts to one week later, it turns out he meant it.
- This trope is employed in a rare, non-comedic fashion note when Two Face is unmasked after his surgery in Batman: The Animated Series.
- Used in the 90's Looney Tunes short "Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers" when the Daffy clone is talking to Bugs at one point it cuts to a closeup of his face showing that he has a live action human's mouth on his beak.
- In Ed, Edd n Eddy, Edd is looking at Ed's face through a microscope for clues and is rather disturbed by his uncleanliness.
Edd: Oh, my... Ed, there's this new invention called soap; have you heard of it?!
- There was also the episode where Edd stuffs lint into his belly button.
- Used once (and thank the Lord) in Sonic Sat AM. The quote alone is enough to make viewers cringe:
Dr. Ivo Robotnik: Snively, what color is my heart?note
- The Emperor's New Groove has a close-up of Yzma's wrinkly face as she is talking to Kuzco, eventually focusing on a piece of spinach in her teeth. Not particularly gross but notable in that, unlike most animation examples, it's presented in full motion, rather than as a still image.
- Also done a couple of times in the spin-off cartoon the Emperor's New School, including one episode where Kuzco wishes that he wasn't emperor anymore, in that particular episode Kronk is the school principal and there's a close up shot of his runny nose.
- The bit in Toy Story 3 where the little kids are playing rough with the toys and we see a shot of a kid sticking his/her tongue on Buzz's helmet from Buzz's point of view. Yuck.
- The Futurama episode "The Thief of Baghead" features on of these when Bender tries to get a good picture of the gang together at the aquarium, one of the shots he takes is a closeup of Professor Farnsworth's wrinkled warty face.
- The Disney Channel show Fish Hooks uses this regularly with Shellsea.
- In Frankenweenie, the cat feces in the shape of letters. They made sure to zoom in on each one real good, so you can see all the tiny details, and hairs on the feces too.
- Happens with Alice at points in Superjail!, with special attention paid to body hair, scabs, and mucus in different close up shots. One example in the first episode even depicts lice crawling on her bared abs.
- Shows up in an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures with Ralph the guard (before Animaniacs aired) having a close up of his hand. Doesn't sound gross, until you notice the knuckle hair and discoloration of his fingernails. Yeesh.
- Used from time to time on Animaniacs such as Wakko's special salad he gives to the mobster in "Mobster Mash" and the plate of cockroaches and dung beetles Slappy gives Daniel Boone in "Frontier Slappy".
- Used in the "Mickey Mouse" cartoon "Ghoul Friend" with the close ups of the zombie Goofy's rotting flesh, teeth, the fungus growing out of his body, and the slime dripping from his mouth.
- The Baby Huey Show uses this pretty much every time Baby Huey accidentally hurt someone, it was animated by Carbunkle Cartoons who worked on The Ren & Stimpy Show so it shouldn't be a surprise.
- Used occasionally in Duck Dodgers, a few instances include in the episode "Samurai Quack" when Dodgers complains of his aching feet followed by a close up of his foot covered in blisters and in another episode Dodgers tells the Eager Young Space Cadet that he has perfect teeth which then shows a close up of his rotten cavity filled teeth.