- A floating head
- The head itself is spinning or moving
- A (usually) multicolored swirl as the background
- A humming '50s sci-fi sound effect or increased echo if the head is speaking.
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Films — Live-Action
- Used in Zoolander, when Mugatu tries to brainwash the title character into assassinating the Prime Minister of Malaysia. "OBEY MY DOG!"
- The Joker in the 1989 Batman film, just after his "Smilex" "commercial".
- The Trope Maker is probably the Dream Sequence from Vertigo, where Jimmy Stewart's head floats over crazy geometric animation.
- This is a recurring theme in Canadian EDM producer Rezz's stage visuals, album artwork and music videos.
- Max Headroom. Honorable Mention must go to the Max Headroom Pirating Incident.
- Doctor Who:
- Played for Drama (it was the 60s) in the Hartnell-era story "The War Machines", in which WOTAN's manipulation of people's minds is depicted using a very faintly super-imposed spiral, usually over a closeup of the victim's struggling face. The Radiophonic Workshop musique concrete score makes it quite disturbing.
- The Second Doctor, (first) Third Doctor and (first) Fourth Doctor title sequences both display a closeup of the Doctor's face in front of a whirling, spiralling psychedelic vortex of light.
- Sam & Max: Freelance Police: Culture Shock'' has this happen to Sam when he gets hypnotized by Brady Culture. "Do my evil bidding, and so forth."
- The villain Vertigo in Batman: The Animated Series episode "Off Balance".
- Apu in The Simpsons episode "Boy-Scoutz 'n the Hood", during Bart's and Milhouse's squishee hallucinations.
- In Phineas and Ferb, Dr. Doofenshmirtz invents a Musical-Video-Mind-Control-Inator, and a Hypnotic Head of him was shown (see featured image above).
- Mr. Mental in The Tick.
- Pinky and the Brain: The Brain during the bumpers in "You Will Buy This Video."