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Impossible Shadow Puppets
Dear Strong Bad, how do you make shadow puppets with boxing gloves on?
Crapfully yours, TV Tropes
Shadow puppets are a fun manipulation of light, shadow, and one's body parts (generally hands) to create images that are unexpected given the standard human body design. However interesting they are, there's only a limited number of times you can show "doggy, deformed rabbit
, hand-shaped cactus
" before it gets old.
Not with this trope.
With Impossible Shadow Puppets, a character makes a shadow of something else that is clearly not possible to create using only one's hands or body, or a normal sillhouette. For maximum effect, this is usually preceded by several more plausible shadows.
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- A commercial for Nationwide Insurance has the Nationwide sales rep doing shadow puppets to illustrate the company's policies to a client. The shadows become more and more improbable, even adding a third hand... at the end of the commercial the insurance agent is shown having three arms.
Anime and Manga
- A chapter opening image early in the Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple manga shows Shigure doing a shadow puppet of Apachai (who will be starting his tutoring of Kenichi in said chapter) against a spotlight to scare Kenichi... And her hands look like she's just doing a dog or something.
- Inverted in One Piece: Gekko Moria's Shadow Revolution allows him to manipulate shadows into any shape and, with it, the shadow's caster, as demonstrated when he turned the giant Oars into a Rubber Man and a giant ball.
- In Killer Klowns from Outer Space, one of the Klowns makes hand shadows that come to life and kill a group of people waiting for a bus.
- During the theater takeover in Gremlins 2: The New Batch, one of the gremlins manages to create Abraham Lincoln with shadow puppets.
- At the end of Despicable Me, one of the Minions makes a perfect shadow puppet of Gru.
- Austin Powers:
- In The Spy Who Shagged Me, guards see what seems to be Felicity Shagwell removing various different objects out of Austin's ass. It's actually a bag on a table next to Austin, who's hunched over a map.
- In Goldmember, a mook believes he is seeing an impossible silhouette of a man with a small arm for a penis, who shakes hands with it and bites it before giving birth. It turns out to be Austin, Mini-Me, some tubing and an apple.
- A trailer for MouseHunt has the Mouse making shadow-puppets, one of which is the DreamWorks logo.
- In Mulan, Cri-Kee makes a little shadow puppet of Mushu — especially impressive since he doesn't have fingers.
- In Moving Pictures, Victor's uncle does (so he claims) "Lord Henry Skipps and his men versus the trolls at the battle of Pseudopolis" and mopes when nobody can guess it.
- An episode of Scrubs has the cast (in one of J.D.'s Imagine Spots) create an impressive naval battle out of shadow puppets.
- Complete with a small human shape running along a ship, with visible tiny arms and legs.
- One video from America's Funniest Home Videos once had a woman doing some impressive puppets, a dove, a peace sign, the Seattle skyline, and a 1980s Mustang. It was an illusion; the shadows were done using props by an off camera puppeteer.
- In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin makes a shadow puppet which looks like, as Hobbes calls it, "a bug-eyed tentacled thing." Turns out it's the real thing, to the duo's horror.
- Subverted in The Broons. The family have just watched a home movie and the children want to make shadow puppets in the light from the projector. The final shadow puppet is a remarkably realistic cat, which turns out to be made by a real cat that has just stolen the salmon that they were about to have for lunch.
- Strong Bad in the Homestar Runner episode "theme song" makes a "Trogdor" shadow that breathes fire. Wearing gloves without fingers.