aka: The Triple Take
A visual tool of emphasis, in which the same action, line, or brief exchange is shown more than once in immediate repetition. Often, different angles or takes are used. Sometimes called a "stuttercut" or "triple
take" (not to be confused with Double Take
For example, you might see a close-up of a character's face as he delivers a line, then a close-up of a different character's reaction as the same line is delivered off-screen, then a wide shot including both characters to see how their body language plays. Or, in an action scene, you might see the same sequence repeated several times from different angles or perspectives. This is particularly popular with fight scenes and explosions, as the director tries to deliver the maximum visceral payoff to the audience — or save money on special effects and choreography. This technique was overused
in the late Eighties
and early Nineties
, when it seemed like everything exploded three times if it exploded at all. Now it tends to be used in parodies rather than serious works.
Each cut usually lasts only a second or two, sometimes less; the exact timing can vary slightly from cut to cut. In some cases involving dialog, just the actor's last few words may be repeated rather than the whole line. This can help make it explicit to the viewer that they are seeing the same event from a different viewpoint, i.e. "rewinding" the scene, rather than the event portrayed actually happening multiple times.
May be used in conjunction with Dizzy Cam
or Jitter Cam
, but these are techniques of shooting, whereas Repeat Cut
is a technique of editing. Three
cuts seems to be the favorite, but it's also not uncommon to see the technique parodied
by doing a ridiculously large
number of cuts, often with a running commentary
from the cast. For super extra hilarity
, the characters may even interact with the cuts
. When something completely ordinary gets a Repeat Cut, it's Mundane Made Awesome
For other examples of stretching out an action sequence, see Bullet Time
. May overlap with Broken Record
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Anime and Manga
- FLCL deserves a mention here for using just about every camera technique there is possible in the span of six episodes.
- Eureka Seven shows a triple take of Holland hugging Talho.
- The beginning of Futari wa Pretty Cure shows three different shots from different angles when Honoka and Nagisa first pass each other in the first episode.
- Used in Death Note. In the first episode, when Light is testing the Death Note for its authenticity, he stops an attempted rape by writing the would-be rapist's name in his Death Note with 'Traffic Accident' written as the cause of death. Soon after, a truck wheels in from nowhere and plows into the man. The death is shown three times, each from a different angle.
- Deliciously parodied in the first episode of School Note, which repeats the crash 25 times (we counted), set to dramatic music.
- Also used when Light hugs Misa, down to replaying the same gasp in all three shots, evidently underscoring just how critically consequential this hug is...Or something.
- Somewhat parodied when Aizawa snaps due to prolonged contact with Misa.
- In Bleach, with Ichigo getting slammed by a lightning bolt through the shoulder by the Aloof Big Brother.
- In the dream episode of Azumanga Daioh, we get a Repeat Cut of Osaka pulling off Chiyo-chan's pigtails.
- Excel♥Saga does this with Excel's Reaction Shot when she sees that the Puchu Queen has covered Hyatt in something slimy and really sticky.
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei hammers this trope into the ground.
- Played straight and subverted in Dragon Ball Z, as scenes like Vegeta's first transformation to Super Saiyan get this treatment... but so do some unspectacular punches or kicks (these often get just the same frame/animation repeated rather than a different angle shown).
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. The creation of the titular mecha.
- This is used heavily in Oniisama e..., mostly on still frames.
- Fairy Tail Uses this when Natsu manages to defeat Lullaby with a giant fireball.
- Naruto has used this at times. One that stands out was during the Naruto vs. Haku fight, when a Fox-Demon-Possessed Naruto delivered a massive blow to Haku's head that sent him flying/rolling over 100 feet.
- Another one much later that stands out is the Raikage putting Sasuke into a ground smashing suplex that is shown from three different angles.
- This Trope is Played for Laughs during one of the movies, when Naruto stepps in dog poo and it is shown from three different angles.
- Generally any time Naruto connects a Rasengan gets this (though not a Rasenshuriken, because it's damage isn't from impact).
- Occasionally used in One Piece. Most notable, perhaps, is a scene in which Robin's using her powers to perform a Groin Attack on Franky, which gets a quintuple take! I defy any man to watch that scene and not cringe.
- Quintuple takes are pretty common in One Piece. Chopper starting to cry after Dr. Kureha set off Dr. Hiriluk's sakura snow concept got five as well.
- Early on, Luffy's final blow on Arlong gets SIX!!!
- Occasionally used in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. See Nanoha firing Divine Buster for the first time and the first on-screen usage of the Cartridge System by Vita.
- The opening to the first episode of Planetes plays this straight, showing a piece of debris impacting the window of a low-orbit vessel three times.
- Soul Eater uses this for Maka's Demon Hunter finishing blow on Mosquito. Kidd's "Death Cannon" technique frequently evokes the trope as well.
- Fushigi Yuugi uses this trope a number of times. Arguably, the most popular example would be the scene in the 20th episode where evil Tamahome rips up the love letter he'd written for Miaka when he was still... you know, benign.
- Midori no Hibi, when Ayase hugs Seiji after confessing her love to him.
- Kamichama Karin, first episode, when Karin punches Kazune in the face.
- Tiger & Bunny uses a stuttercut to emphasize a particularly impressive Asskicking Pose Kotetsu delivers◊ at the end of episode 21.
- Sergeant Frog uses this when Giriro makes his first appearance and the TV explodes.
- Nichijou takes the cake - one scene involves Takasaki-sensei lightly hitting Yukko on the head with a binder, which is followed by a Repeat Cut sequence of that action consisting of over 50 hits in 25 seconds.
- In Axis Powers Hetalia, this happens a couple of times in one episode when America jumps through a window.
- Gag Series +tic Nee-san, with a healthy serving of Mundane Made Awesome: this clip demonstrates what happens when one accidentally breaks Okamoto's plastic ship model... without admitting it.
- The Repeat Cut was pretty much invented by the great Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein, who made constant use of it.
- One famous instance is in Battleship Potemkin when a sailor smashes his supper dish in disgust. What would usually be done in one or two shots is done in nine, with the plate smashing twice. Thus, this is the Trope Maker as well as the Ur Example.
- In another Eisenstein film, October, Alexander Kerensky climbs the same flight of stairs repeatedly as all the titles and offices he assumed in 1917 flash by the screen.
- One of the earliest uses of the technique in an action film appeared in the climactic battle of Akira Kurosawa's Zoku Sanshiro Sugata, with a karate chop nearly missing the main character's face, setting the stage for one of action cinema's most enduring cliches.
- This technique was popularized in contemporary Eastern Cinema by the Jackie Chan film Police Story back in 1985, wherein the stunt in which the hero slides down 4 stories of Christmas lights was so impressive that the editor could not bear to throw away ANY of the 3 angles at which it was shot.
- Also done in Operation Condor as Jackie avoids a flying car.
- A rare Western feature film example is a moment in Ferris Buellers Day Off, in which we see the antagonist getting kicked in the face from three different angles.
- In the MST3K experiment, Laserblast, a gas station and car get blown up — with the explosions repeatedly viewed from different angles. This gives a rather convincing impression to Mike, the bots, and the viewers at home that several different items are being blown up, not just the one featured in the scene.
- Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior uses this for nearly every impressive stunt in the movie, showing the action from different angles and different speeds. Of course, given the damn impressive nature of the stunts, wouldn't you want to show them off as much as possible?
- Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof shows the same collision multiple times, each time focusing on exactly how a different victim was mangled to death.
- The Longest Day about the Normandy landings, has a scene where a glider crash lands in France. The shot alternates four times between the glider running along the ground and the men inside shaking about. The shot of the glider skipping on the ground is the same exact shot each time.
- Used quite blatantly in early Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. The end of his fights could pretty much be summed up as him doing a split when striking, and then showing the strike from twenty different angles.
- Used a few times on Tom Cruise's character in The Last Samurai. In particular, one fight scene that was completely repeated in its entirety, albeit in black and white.
- In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the words "buried alive" in Khan's taunt are repeated as we switch to Kirk hearing it over the communicator. Then Kirk yells Khan's name, which is also repeated as we switch to a shot of the planet they're on, which officially turned the whole thing into Narm.
- Famously done in The Shining with Jack going through the window.
- Used twice toward the end of Blue Thunder — first, to show the explosion of Cochrane's helicopter, and again in the final sequence to show Blue Thunder being smashed by a train. In both cases, the scene was shown from three different angles.
- The Ingmar Bergman film Persona does this with an entire scene: first, we see a monologue with the camera looking at the speaker, and then we see the exact same monologue again, this time with the camera focusing on who the speaker is talking to. Bonus points: this isn't a simple shot-reverse shot, this is an entire sequence, with each shot being a perfect mirror of the opposite angle for each corresponding shot.
- Used in the introduction of Simba in The Lion King.
- The breach of the Deeping Wall in The Two Towers.
- Used rather effectively towards the end of Joy Ride.
- In Natural Born Killers, one character mentions that "Repetition works!" We then see it again from another angle.
- A hard-to-spot example in Monsters, Inc. is at the point where the door that Mike, Sulley and Boo are riding on hurtles down a steep slope (It Makes Sense in Context). In the first shot, you see them travelling down most of slope from behind, then you see a shot of them from the front, followed by a POV shot. But judging by the first shot, it takes them a rather long time to go down the last part of the slope, meaning that there must have been a repeat cut.
- In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the scene where Lancelot is running up to the castle to save the "damsel in distress" after an arrow hits his squire is played numerous times before he finally makes it to the castle and starts slaying everything in sight.
- In Tears of the Black Tiger, after the hero kills someone using his Improbable Aiming Skills, a text screen comes up: "Did you follow that? No? Okay, we'll show it again!" Then the action sequence is repeated, in more detail this time.
- In Commando, Arnold's character remote detonates the barracks of the Big Bad's base, showing the explosion nine times from different angles.
- In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, when the Cyberdyne building blows up, the camera cuts between four angles of the same row of windows exploding outward.
- The climatic car jump in the original Gone in Sixty Seconds.
- The climax of Brian DePalma's The Fury features John Cassavetes exploding 13—count 'em—13 times from various angles. And then the credits roll.
- The original version of The Omen shows David Warner's character being decapitated by the sheet of glass sliding off the back of the truck several times from different angles.
- In Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle, when Harold sees Neil Patrick Harris has stolen his car, we have repeated cuts of Harold screaming his head off.
- Done, believe it or not, in a book. In Catch A Killer by George Woods, the death of the titular killer is described in a Narmy way that evokes this image.
Live Action TV
- This technique was a common quirk in Homicide: Life on the Street, although Executive Meddling led to it being heavily cut down in later seasons.
- It turned up, as a stylistic parody, in the Documentary episode (named The Documentary, oddly enough). Their crimescene videographer's documentary uses the effect, and the characters (watching it) mock it as an amateurish editing mistake.
- Reality Game Show Fear Factor uses this trick to the point of irritation.
- Often used on the Action Series to emphasize the power or destruction of a chase, car crash or explosion sequence.
- Since much-reviled producer Bruce Kalish came along, Power Rangers has abused this to insane levels, to the point of anything in action scene, particularly Stuff Blowing Up, being shown repeatedly and in extreme slow-mo. Sometimes, explosions occur without a source just to facilitate this (making it all the more ridiculous: at a random point during a fight scene, quite literally nothing will explode massively four times, slowly, from three or four angles. Oookay...) This has even been granted a term by the fans, "Kalishplosions".
- Beakman's World also liked to do this, either to emphasize Stuff Blowing Up or just to see Lester getting pied in the face over and over in rapid succession.
- Doctor Who featured one in "Forest of the Dead" when the Doctor realised just why his future self gave River Song the sonic screwdriver...
- As well as in "The Waters of Mars" after he has a particularly crushing Heel Realization
- When something big happens (either good or bad) in particularly intense parts of Retro Game Master, we're shown the mistake as Arino makes it onscreen, and then his reaction.
- Particularly common when American shows are shown in other countries. In children's shows, after the ad break, a repeat cut is shown of the action happening just before the ad break. In countries with different ad policies, the ads aren't shown. To the people watching these shows, there would be at least two repeat cuts each episode.
- Seen on The Office during Michael's home-made action movie Threat Level Midnight. It's a scene of a character's head exploding several times. Said character is played by Butt Monkey Toby.
- Eye of the Tiger montage
- Walker, Texas Ranger features a prominent use of the cut for Walker's signature Roundhouse Kick, often in slow motion.
- In the video for "One Voice" by Billy Gilman, toward the end of the song, when a boy takes a gun out of his backpack and throws it into the river, it repeats the splash four times.
- Used all the time when replaying footage of an attack, to distract from the fact that little or no physical contact was actually made, and/or to make it seem like the attack was actually repeated during the fight.
- One of Sylvia's superhero powers in Viewtiful Joe 2 is Replay, which triples the damage of any attack used while it's in effect. When the hits are shown, it's from three different angles.
- Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door shows you a cannon going off three times. (Presumably cause it's bloody huge.)
- Spike's capture of Specter in the original Ape Escape. "Gotcha!" "Gotcha!" "Gotcha!"
- In Sonic Rush, the last hit of every boss fight is displayed in this manner.
- In Devil May Cry 4, if you defeat the final boss with a special grab move, a Repeat Cut replays the exact moment of the finishing blow.
- In Super Robot Wars Original Generations, the SRX's HTB Cannon/Tenjou Tenga Ichigeki Hissatsu Hou is shown this way.
- In Dead or Alive 3, if you defeat your opponent with a certain type of move, the instant replay will show it again three times.
- The final battle of Colony Wars: Vengeance finishes by depicting the enemy's fighter exploding from eight different angles.
- In Tales of Symphonia, when Sheena activates the Mana Cannon, her dramatic pointing is shown three times from different angles.
- In Tales of Xillia 2, Bizley's Mystic Arte uses this to emphasize just how hard the victim is getting punched.
- In Golden Eye 1997, any time Bond dies, it's played back from three different angles.
- Although, curiously, it wasn’t actually a replay. Bond simply performed the death animation three times while the in-game camera “cut” to three different angles, but any action taking place in the scene was continuous between the three “shots” and not repeated - e.g. a timed mine that was dropped just as the player died would go off in the first shot, the smoke would be clearing in the second shot and nothing would remain in the third shot; or, the enemies that shot Bond would be shown continuing to shoot his body (ouch!) throughout all three shots, while moving position and otherwise behaving as if time was just advancing normally.
- Used whenever a Tyrant dies by means of rocket launcher in Resident Evil.
- Tanya's neck snap Fatality in Mortal Kombat 4 is replayed from three angles. A few other fatalities also do this.
- In later installments of the Deception series, the moment a trap connects will be repeated once; if the trap strikes the killing blow, it's repeated three times.
- Happens whenever a character uses a special technique in Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage.
- In Kid Icarus: Uprising, when you defeat Medusa, the moment she stands there with her arm in the air is repeated four times.
- Happens in Asura's Wrath when Asura does his Second to last punch to Chakravartin's face, 4 times!
- Action MMO Vindictus tries to make the end of every boss battle as epic as possible: time slows down, and screenshots are taken from multiple angles over the next 0.5 seconds of ingame time, and automatically saved to your game folder.
- Mario & Luigi: Dream Team does it in the Giant Luigi battles, if you manage to score an Excellent with the Finishing Bros. move. The resulting collision is shown from three different angles.
- Super Mario Bros. Z has numerous examples of this. Just watch the series.
- Particularly Episode 4, where the heroes fight the Koopa Bros.
- First, there's the Koopa Red kicking Shadow in the face, who was sent spinning after dodging Koopas Yellow and Green and then getting hit by the Koopa Black.
- Sonic flipping forward after making collisions with Koopa Yellow.
- Luigi headbutting Koopa Green after beating him and Koopa Yellow up with Sonic.
- And then in episode 6, there's Mecha Sonic interrupting the fight between the heroes, the Koopa Bros, and the Axem Rangers X by plowing through the turtles, who were performing their special attack. And they had a Chaos Emerald.
- The animation project Big Buck Bunny has a scene where the flying squirrel unfurls his "wings" before jumping out of a tree; the unfurling is repeated several times from different angles for greater effect, in a parody of this type of scene in action movies.
- Used in RWBY when Ren is killing the black head of the King Taijitu with the view angle shifting between each one.
- A gratuitous instance occurs in the lonelygirl15 episode "Purple Monkey", as a result of Daniel experimenting with editing techniques.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender :
- In "The Southern Air Temple", when Zuko trips Zhao during their duel, it is shown three times from different angles.
- Another example is the first time the Blue Spirit is shown, although this set of 3 shots is of the zooming in variety.
- Also done from 3 angles is the shot of Zuko's ship being blown up.
- The Grand Finale had Avatar State Aang airbending Ozai into a pillar shown three times.
- Teen Titans used this in some of its fights. It seemed to be a favorite of one of the animation teams.
- Frequently appears in Samurai Jack, often taking the form of three bars filling the screen one by one.
- This is also the form it takes on Megas XLR, which also does this a lot.
- Another Western example: ReBoot did this in one episode.
- In Family Guy Brian and Stewie dive out of a house just before it explodes, and the explosion is — along with their jump — shown about thirty times from different angles.
- In Transformers: The Movie, this happens when Rodimus Prime opens the Matrix of Leadership.
- In Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show, this happens when the Eds escape Eddy's house in a car (flying out the roof), starting a huge chase sequence throughout the cul-de-sac and surrounding area.
- On Surf's Up, Cody wiping out on his first wave at Pengu Island is repeated four times. It is shown after a shot of him talking about how you'll want to see that first ride over and over and over again.
- Used over and over in the first D.Y.N.A.M.O. episode of Powerpuff Girls.
- In the Animaniacs segment "All the Words in the English Language," Yakko said "absent," "libation," and "liberty" twice.