Reaction Shots are...well, they're pretty self-explanatory. They tend to happen in two distinct ways:
When a character says or does something and the camera cuts away to another character to show them react in some way. Used in every sort of show around. In interviews, the reaction shot will simply show the interviewer nodding wisely (so that the audio could be edited - Charlie Brooker did a take on this
). In a Sitcom
, the other character is often doing an Eye Take
See also: Double Take
, Eye Take
, Loud Gulp
, Shrug Take
, Spit Take
, Split-Screen Reaction
. An extreme form of this, usually reserved for Sequential Art
with all but the most physical of comedians
, is the Face Fault
When a character (or characters) are shown reacting to something 'off camera.' Either precedes or precludes a Reveal Shot
. In the latter case it becomes a Take Our Word for It
. Can be used for laughs as the characters describe what they're seeing. One of the more clever forms of censorship (if you can't show something unspeakable, show people reacting to it and let the audience picture it for themselves!) Head-Tiltingly Kinky
is an example. The effect can give the offscreen event more impact than a direct depiction
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- The final moments of the 1971 TV movie They Might Be Giants (yes, from which the band took its name). George C. Scott (playing a man who thinks he's Sherlock Holmes) and Joanne Woodward (as his psychiatrist, Dr. Mildred Watson) are about to come face-to-face with what may or may not be a very real Professor Moriarty; the film ends with a Reaction Shot from them as they apparently see Moriarty for the first time.
- The director of Once has said that although the film is meant to be focused on the two main characters, it's helpful for the audience to occasionally show the reactions of other people to their music.
- In The Princess Diaries, Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews improvised some of Mia's princess lessons. Cutaway reaction shots of the Queen's secretary Charlotte were so often used to break up the improvisations, that the credits give her full name as "Charlotte Kutaway".
Live Action TV
- As the comic that the image page comes from parodies, the Golden Sun games have a lot of these, but as smileys that pop up above people's heads. In fact, Matthew's part in conversations usually isn't a simple yes/no response, but a smiley whose mood the player gets to choose: satisfaction, joy, anger, or sadness.
- The online viral video of the prairie dog turning dramatically to the camera is an example of this, complete with fitting music.
- Parodied in darksideincorprorated's Yu Gi Oh GX The Abridged Series. One of their running gags is saying "Reaction Shot!" whilst doing said reaction shot.
- Half the point of the web series Reaction & Review by Emer "Hellsing920" Prevost and React by the Fine Brothers.
- Most of the, uh, fun of shock sites comes from watching YouTube videos of people's squicked-out reactions.
- The Weekenders, "Pru": Pru shows the main characters a room for popular kids. We only see them peering into the room, but also hear them say that there's a tennis court and waterfall in there.
- This type of shot may be used to hide "unsuitable" content: in WB's short-lived Road Rovers, many episodes featured shots of the Rovers reacting to Muzzle sicking some villains.
- Alternatively used to hide the other kind of "unsuitable" content. Often a Toplessness From The Back shot is seen in the foreground.
- In one episode of Reboot, a game character is faced by a Binome in a trenchcoat. The Binome flashes the player (seen from over the Binome's shoulder), and a second after he opens the coat there's a wet, meaty thump of something hitting the ground. The player's eyes bulge in horror, he screams and runs away, and the Binome looks over his shoulder to wink at the camera.
- The Simpsons Movie, after the woodland creatures help Marge and Homer undress. Although nothing is heard or seen, the aghast expressions on their faces tell us more about the Simpsons' love life than we needed to know.
- Including the young deer's father shielding his child's eyes as a Crowning Moment of Funny.
- In the episode "Bart's Friend Falls In Love," Bart's class watches a sex-ed film, Fuzzy Bunny's Guide to You-Know-What. In it, Fuzzy marries his girlfriend Fluffy, and the film graphically shows what happens on the honeymoon. We only see the reaction of the students, who all shout "EW!", and Mrs. Krabapple, who snarks, "She's faking it."
- The second type occurs in Total Drama Action. In order to try on a special boot, Lindsay takes off her shoes and the camera immediately cuts to the other characters looking horrified, followed by dozens of big feet jokes, and Chris saying that the shoe only fits on one toe.
- The first type occurred in the first few Aftermaths. Often it cut to a shot of the non-participating contestants giving an Eye Take or responding nonverbally (ie: crying at Trent's love song or laughing at Owen) to whatever was happening onstage.
- In Avatar The Last Airbender, this combines with three different kinds of Discretion Shot to show us how Zuko got his scar. We see◊ Iroh looking horrified, Zhao looking Smug, and Azula looking oddly triumphant.