This is where a television show or film will have something go back the way it came by literally playing part of the video in reverse. The comedy comes from the actions becoming outright absurd and/or Squicky
because people are walking backwards, falling upwards
dying, vomiting up their food and/or eating their vomit,
etc. Audio is unintelligible due to it being played in reverse, but can add to the comedy due to its unusual sound.
The Inverse of Fast-Forward Gag
. Compare Now Do It Again Backwards
and Rewind, Replay, Repeat
Anime and Manga
- At the end of the Red Dwarf novel Better Than Life, Lister finds himself in an alternate universe where time runs backward. Initially it's played more for drama than gags, both because Lister has no idea what's going on at first and because Lister had just died, and his comrades stuck him in the backwards universe so he would undie and recover from the other traumas the novel had inflicted, but the sequel, Backwards develops the comedic possibilities more.
- In Cheaper by the Dozen, after one of the family's mealtimes is shown in fast-forward, Dad comments that it could have been worse; at least it didn't rewind it so it looked as though they vomited their food onto their plates.
- In both the original and remake of Funny Games, the villains use a remote control at one point to rewind the scene like a video tape when things didn't turn out the way they planned.
- Top Secret! has a scene in which the characters speak Swedish, except it's actually English recorded backwards. The entire scene was filmed in reverse, which becomes more obvious as it goes along.
- When doing the summation in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Ace rattles off his conclusion towards the accused. He then says "Let me run that back for you", reverses his actions, and speaks like he's rewinding.
- The 6th Day rewinds the film to just at the point where Adam Gibson's syncording takes place right before the end credits.
- America's Funniest Home Videos likes to do backward video montages sometimes.
- The Red Dwarf episode "Backwards" has the Dwarf crew landing in Backwards Earth and exploring all the possibilities inherent in time running backwards. These include the Cat's horror when he realizes what logically happens when eating and digestion run in reverse — indeed, what must happen a day or so before regurgitating a very good meal onto the plate.
- Blackadder the Third: In "Amy and Amiability", the Prince, reading a newspaper article about his fiancée Amy being an infamous bandit, remarks that "They say she had an accomplice." Blackadder, who had plotted with Amy to rob the Prince blind, drops the serving tray he's carrying. Then the Prince adds "But they don't know who it is," and the tray zips back up into Blackadder's hands.
- The Stargate SG-1 series finale, "Unending", plays this trope more seriously. SG-1, aboard the Tau'ri vessel Odyssey, activates an Asgard Time Dilation device to avoid being destroyed by an Ori warship's energy weapon, and spend decades coming up with a plan to save the ship and its repository of advanced knowledge given to them by the Asgard from destruction. They finally come up with a way to channel energy from the beam weapon to quite literally rewind time to a point before their destruction, so that Teal'c can prevent the ship from getting hit in the first place.
- A hilarious and rare, if not unique, live version occurs in Mork & Mindy, where someone tells Mork to "Back up to where you said..."—and Robin Williams (as only he could do) physically reverses every action he's done for the past few minutes, at high speed, while making the "reverse dialogue" noises himself. Everyone else just stands there looking bemused until he finishes.
- Near the end of the video for "Amish Paradise", "Weird Al" Yankovic sings through one scene which obviously plays backwards. Most notably, a buggy rolls past in the background backwards.
- Keith Urban's "Days Go By" has a scene where he walks toward the camera while everything around him appears to be happening in reverse, similarly to the Yankovic scene above.
- The video for "Drop" by The Pharcyde runs entirely in reverse. Thus, we see the band members spring to their feet from a lying position, rolling up stairs, repelling a bucket full of water upwards, and near the end, instantly piecing together a mural painted on glass with a hammer before wiping the paint off with paintbrushes.
- The video for Coldplay's "The Scientist" plays backwards from the singer lying on a mattress on a random British street, him walking through the countryside, him getting up and walking after a massive car crash (that killed the girl he was driving with and sent said car down a hill) leaves him uninjured, the crash itself, and the events up to it, leaving him back in the car on the road with the girl buckled up properly (she had unbuckled before the crash, and was through through the windshield during it).
- Josh Turner's 2008 single "Another Try" has a scene of a man discovering that his lover has left, and throwing a suitcase full of belongings off a high bridge. This footage was filmed backwards, to represent the song's theme of wanting to reverse time and have "another try".
- Internet musician Rob Scallon has several videos where he sings a song entirely backwards, and then reverses the recording so that it comes out sounding forwards, but strange-sounding. He has done this with renditions of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "Enter Sandman", plus the original composition "The Backwards Song".
- The Magic School Bus: "The Busasaurus", when the bus and class go back in time, everything important in geographical history happens backwards.
- The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: This (as well as a bit of Fast-Forward Gag) happens over and over again in "Sorry, Wrong Era", with Jimmy's Rewind, Replay, Repeat invention. Let's just say that Hugh abuses this power for his own amusement...
- Family Guy: The entire point of "Yug Yimlaf". "WE ATE SO MUCH VOMIT!!", sex in reverse, the chicken fight goes backwards, Stewie having his diaper unchanged...
Stewie: Oh God, that all just went back into me!
- The Dexter's Laboratory episode "sdrawkcaB" has Dexter inventing a belt that makes its wearer go forward and backwards by pulling a lever that controls the time. Dee Dee ends up using it on Dexter, but he gets back at her at the end by having her wear the belt while she fell up and down from a high place.
Dexter's Dad: Dexter, what have I told you about running up and down the stairs?! SLOW DOWN, YOU'RE GONNA HURT SOME-(Dexter trips him and he falls down the stairs.)
- In one episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy, Ed puts his finger on Edd's head to make him repeat a sentence, complete with the sound of rewinding a video cassette.
- Often done on the Goofy "How-to" shorts, when the narrator asks for the scene to play again. A notable example is "How to Ride a Horse", where the run before a failed jump is run backwards (complete with backwards music) and the horse ends up running up a tree.
- Saludos Amigos has two examples: In "Lake Titicaca" when the boy with the llama plays his flute in reverse and the llama's animation runs in reverse; and in "Gaucho Goofy" when Goofy catching an ostrich is run back so it could be shown in slow-motion.
- Played With in the Disney short film Get a Horse!. When Mickey Mouse literally breaks the fourth wall, he discovers he can use this trope to help him defeat Peg Leg Pete by rotating the screen. He rewinds and fast forwards the on-screen events in order to wear Pete down.
- The Credits Gag for the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Toon Physics" lists the top 5 "Facts" for that episode. Fact number five states that the short, "A Cub For Grub" becomes funny when it is watched backwards.
- The Amazing World of Gumball: In "The Wand", when Richard casts a rewind spell, Gumball pretends it works by saying the words of his previous sentence in reverse order, and Darwin corrects him by actually speaking backwards.
- In The Smurfs episode "No Time For Smurfs", when Handy turns the hourglass filled with Father Time's Sands Of Time, he causes time to go backwards, as in fishes swim backwards, deer leap backwards, and the Smurfs do their everyday things and even speak backwards.