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Anime & Manga
- About half of the anime Serial Experiments Lain seems to be reaction shots (both kinds). When it isn't setting up a Reveal Shot, it's usually a reaction shot chain — Lain reacts to a friend, the friend reacts to Lain's reaction, Lain reacts to the reaction to the reaction, and so on.
- Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth: Tenten, being the Only Sane Man, gets these a lot.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion has these in droves: a scene will usually have two characters talking with one another, backs turned to the viewer, before cutting to a reaction shot. This was common due to the series' issues with money: not animating the characters talking stretched the budget.
- If you rewatch Puella Magi Madoka Magica, you will notice that Homura gets many reaction shots. Some of these are extreme closeups on her mouth. The shots don't make sense the first time you watch, because you don't know about Homura's backstory yet.
- In Astro City story "Pastoral", when Cammie follows the kitten into the barn, we get a shot of her face, half in shadow, showing her shock; then we get her back in the house working on a new email that shows she's decided to become a Secret Keeper for Roustabout's Secret Identity. Only after her finishing it do we we get the Reveal Shot that shows Roustabout and her cousin kissing.
- During Siege, the Void tears Ares in half vertically in a splash page. Below that, you see the horrified reactions of The Avengers, Dark Avengers, and civilians.
Films — Live-Action
- Our Miss Brooks: We see Miss Brooks' reaction to the wackiness of the characters around her, especially in the first part of this theatrical series finale as we see her arrival in Madison retold in cinematic form.
- Street Angel: Gino paints a portrait of Angela. Before we see the painting, we watch for almost half a minute Angela's reaction to it.
- The final moments They Might Be Giants. 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".
- In both versions of The Producers, the theater audience watching the premiere of "Springtime For Hitler" is a gold mine of these.
- The Gondola Scene from Moonraker derives much of its humor from this.
- The Toxic Avenger: Each fight scene is intercut with reaction shots of the people the Toxic Avenger is rescuing. Our hero is so brutal to the villains that even their former victims react with shock and horror at what he does to them.
- During the church fight in Kingsman: The Secret Service, the camera pans away to show Eggsy and Valentine separately reacting in horror and disgust.
- The Crossroads of Twilight from The Wheel of Time series is basically just this whole concept spread out over 700+ pages. Essentially, the major plot twist of the previous book is shown to many different groups of characters just so the reader can see how each of them react.
- Our Miss Brooks: Miss Brooks' reactions are something to see. One notable example is her look of horror in "Home Cooked Meal", as Mr. Conklin's about to light a match in a gas-filled kitchen....
- Game of Thrones:
- In "The Wolf and the Lion", Lord Renly Baratheon stands up and gasps after the Mountain hits an unarmed Ser Loras Tyrell with a sword for the second time. Renly is terrified at the prospect that his boyfriend might die.
- After Renly reveals that his brothers consider him to be a spoiled child, Loras' facial expression and his silence strongly indicate that he agrees.
- After King Joffrey informs Margaery Tyrell that he plans to put all homosexuals to death in "Dark Wings, Dark Words", her facial expression betrays her nervousness for a split second, as she is now worried for the safety of her gay brother.
- In "Second Sons", Loras lowers his head after King Joffrey chuckles at Tyrion Lannister for being too short to place a cloak over Sansa's shoulders, unable to hide his exasperation over the boy-king's immaturity.
- When Tyrion tells Prince Oberyn Martell in "Two Swords" that he no longer partakes in whores because he's now married, Oberyn has a puzzled frown, as if to say, "Huh? What does marriage have to do with it?"
- In "The Lion and the Rose", after Joffrey makes a cruel comment to Sansa Lannister about her dead father at the wedding breakfast, Lord Mace Tyrell lowers his head in sadness; he plainly feels bad for the girl.
- It's subtle, but Loras does sigh as the septon is speaking during Joffrey and Margaery's wedding ceremony. Loras is understandably upset that his sister is marrying a Psychopathic Man Child, and is probably thinking how this union is so much worse than Margaery's marriage to Renly.
- After King Tommen is crowned, the only two guests in the crowd who don't immediately applaud are Queen Cersei and Loras. Cersei is still in deep pain after Joffrey's death, and is in no mood to celebrate. Loras begins clapping after a few seconds to maintain decorum, but he's obviously distracted by his own emotional turmoil. His expression is fairly severe when we get a close-up of the Tyrells, especially in comparison to his smiling sister and his exhilarated father. (Most likely, Loras is still furious over the way Joffrey had dishonoured him and Renly's memory at the wedding banquet.) And of course, both the Queen Regent and the Knight of Flowers are dreading their upcoming wedding.
- The last shot of Dallas (as a regular series) with Patrick Duffy saying "Oh my god".
- In an episode of Are You Being Served?, the employees pass around a box containing a birthday present, each in turn reacting and saying what a wonderful gift it is. Mr. Humphreys finally steps through the fourth wall and admits, "We're not going to show you what it is."
- Saturday Night Live based a well-known sketch around this, as Steve Martin led a group of yokels staring in befuddled awe at an unseen something. Each in turn tries to guess at what it is, eventually falling back to "What the heck is that?"
- In the fourth season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xander's dream sequence involves heavily tarted-up versions of Willow and Tara kissing... but because girl-on-girl kissing couldn't be shown, we only see Xander's expression, as he's unsure of whether he's more disgusted with himself for looking or turned on by the show, in a very, very long reaction shot with smoochy noises playing on the soundtrack.
- When the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew reviewed the trailers for The Lost World: Jurassic Park they made the claim that the reaction shot is Steven Spielberg's trademark. They showed all the reaction shots together; the sheer volume was a compelling argument.
- In fact, the Spielberg Reaction Shot or "Spielberg Face" is the subject of a brilliant video essay by Kevin Lee. See and read about it here.
- Higher Ground's Crowning Moment of Funny, when Peter and the Cliffhanger girls attempt to make Sophie a birthday cake without a recipe. The cake isn't shown when they first take it out of the oven.
Kat: Oh dear lord.
Daisy: It's hideous.
Shelby: [grabs a cleaver knife] We must kill it.
- Occurs occasionally on Jeopardy!, most notably on the episode where Nancy Zerg defeated Ken Jennings, who at that point had won an unprecedented 74 games in a row and the camera cut instantly to her surprised reaction. This reaction shot is dubbed the "Zerg Cam" both by fans and by the show itself.
- In Doctor Who, after Jack reveals his old nickname, Martha's and the Doctor's faces slowly change from grinning to "No freaking way" at the exact same time.
- In Sherlock, Martin Freeman's John Watson is the king of these. That's because he's the king of them in real life as well.
- If Martin Freeman is the king, then Bea Arthur was the queen. According to Norman Lear, "Bea could get more laughs raising her eyebrow than any other actress could with three page of dialogue." Her time on The Golden Girls used this for all it was worth.
- Passions: The look on Sheridan's face when she sees Luis naked after he gets out of the shower.
- Average Joe: Hawaii has the first type of reaction shot when Larissa Meek watches the Hunks take their shirts off for the Shirts vs. Skins dodgeball game.
- Charlie's Angels: In one scene from the "Toni's Boys" episode the trope is inverted◊ and then played straight when Kris sees Bob Sorenson with his shirt off and watches Arnie the male stripper rehearse.
- Based on her body language and eye contact, the reporter thinks the New Year's Eve reveler who's mooning her in this live report has a nice butt.
- One explanation for the abrupt cut-to-black ending of The Sopranos is that the final scene builds up a pattern of reaction shots establishing that we are seeing Tony being whacked, from Tony's point of view.
- As the comic that the page image 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.
- A panel of the character panicking appears above the special gauge upon being knocked down and taunted or running low on hp in Jojos Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle.
- KOing a character with a super move in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future ends the match with the usual super finish background but with a slight twist: an image of the shocked and bloodied opponent will flash on screen as well, even showing appropriate damage as well (Such as being cut-in half when killed by Chaka or Black Polnareff's Dimension Slash super, full of holes when killed by Hol Horse's Gun super or DIO's knife throw or bloody when killed by DIO's blood drain super.) The same image also appeas when the opponent falls victim to Kakyoin's Punishment Time super or DIO's blood drain super.
- Awkward Zombie spoofs Golden Sun: Dark Dawn for its overuse of these.
- Junko has some nice reaction shots in these MegaTokyo strips.
- Ménage à 3 illustrates Gary's (frankly incomprehensible) appeal to three different women through their reactions here.
- In The Specialists, Hartmann is presented to the Specialists. The bottom of the comic is no less than six reaction shots.
- In Rusty and Co. level 8-30, there is the audience's reaction to a bloody dismemberment when a troll is lured into a saw blade trap.
- Hadriex: Many reaction shots in his Let's Plays and Reviews, but his most extreme is probably this one.
- 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.
- Many websites where you can add images into a user comment or post (e.g. Imgur, 4chan and other imageboards, etc.) fall prey to the ubiquitous "reaction image" — a picture or animated gif cropped from some media that effectively shows the reaction of the user that posted it. Mostly posted without accompanying text for full effect.
- In Sita Sings the Blues, during Sita's short speech after Ravana has kidnapped her, every sentence is interspersed with the same dramatic cut to Ravana reacting in shock and anger.
- 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 Kids' WB!'s short-lived Road Rovers, many episodes featured shots of the Rovers reacting to Muzzle siccing 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:
- 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."
- Total Drama:
- 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 occurrs 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. It's also early Foreshadowing that Azula is seriously cruel and messed up.
- Parodied in Futurama: Calculon tells his crew to "edit in some reaction shots of [him]" and the shots used are blatantly out of context. One has Bender, indoors, saying something; Calculon somehow reacts to this while lounging on a beach.
- The Looney Tunes Show: The episode "You've Got Hate Mail" has reaction shots from the characters that Daffy Duck accidentally sent insulting e-mails to.
- Star Wars Rebels cuts away from the beheading of Aresko and Grint by immediately switching to Co-Dragons Kallus's and Tua's horrified reactions the second the blade touches their necks.
- On Batman Beyond you get to see the effect of Derek Powers mutagen on a plant (which withers and dissolves in seconds) and the man witnessing it is quite impressed. Then Powers shows it's effects on livestock: we don't get to see that, but we get to see the reaction of sheer horror to whatever it did to the poor cow. Then we get to see the effects of it on a human one day after infection, and two hours after that; we only get to see the horrified reaction to three hours later.