"You've seen it all before, folks, and you're seeing it all again!"
A shot or series of shots that are frequently reused in a show. Copies of this footage are kept on hand and spliced into a show as needed.
Almost every show has some degree of Stock Footage involved — establishing shots
are the most common of these, along with their kin the Aspect Montage
. Some shows, though, rely on it to an extensive degree, and some — like Magical Girl
anime — have made its use into an artform. Not a well-liked artform, but an artform nonetheless.
Stock Footage is used mainly because it is inexpensive — filmed once and used multiple times, it makes for a great return on your investment, as long as you don't care whether or not your audience gets tired of the sequence(s) you recycle.
Sometimes, Stock Footage is used which was not originally shot for the show in which it is used. This appears most often for military footage, when the producers don't have the budget to shoot a convincing battle scene and aren't Backed by the Pentagon
. In such cases, the quality of the Stock Footage can be substantially different (and several decades older), making for an especially jarring effect. On the other hand, historical fiction dealing with (for example) World War II
or the Vietnam War, may deliberately use period-era footage as stock. As a stylistic choice, it can help with the mood of the story a lot.
With digital compositing and other effects, one can stretch the stock footage further. A single effects shot can be overlaid into many scenes. In animation, data is often stored in layers, either as original animation cels or digital files, allowing character animation to be re-used on new backgrounds, sometimes reversed.
Occasionally, stock footage from other sources is used in cartoons for comedic effect; a series of stock footage clips are shown, each one more absurd than the last.
Not to be confused with the AATAFOVS
episode Stock Footage
Compare Limited Animation
, and for news reporting, B Roll
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- In general, anime is somewhat notorious for this, as it is (or was) seen in Japan as an acceptable way of keeping budget down, especially in the pre-digital-rendering era. While less ubiquitous now, a lot of classic shows that had otherwise tight budgets tend to use stock footage quite a lot - as outlined below.
- Sailor Moon and other Magical Girl anime are built upon Stock Footage — transformation sequences and standardized attack routines can easily provide upwards of 25% of the film needed for an episode, reducing production costs dramatically.
- Sailor Moon's first season was particularly low budget and it showed because more than just the usual transfomation, attack, and speech footage got recycled — pretty much anytime you saw a cool shot, you could expect a later episode to rip it out and use it again out of context, and in one early instance, a shot of Sailor Moon dodging a punch just ripped a few seconds out of her transformation sequence. Since this show also had many different animators, it could get jarring to see recycled footage appear because the characters would look completely different. Egregiously, the season's final episode has the entire sequence of Usagi hitting Mamoru in the head with her test paper repeated using mostly the same footage from the first episode. While there was a plot reason for this, the animation quality of the first episode was dramatically lower than the final episode, making it extremely obvious what was being recycled.
- In Ronin Warriors, the five heroes each have their Transformation Sequence and sure-kill moves, and one hero eventually gets a second set for his Super Mode. Also, the Big Bad's four lieutenants each have stock footage for their own sure-kills.
- Beautifully averted in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha and its sequel series. While the series makes some use of the typical transformation sequences, they are quickly shortened over the course of the series and then eventually phased out all together and absolutely nothing about the fight sequences is stock.
- To specify: Nanoha's transformation sequence was used only five times in the first season. It's shown once again in the first episode of A's. Nanoha, Fate, Hayate and the Wolkenritters' transformation sequences in A's were only used once. And their StrikerS transformation sequences as well as the Unison In sequences were used only once, too (Hayate didn't even get one of them in StrikerS). The Forwards' transformation sequences were used twice, but the second time was shortend.
- Notably, Nanoha and Fate's transformation sequences in StrikerS were actually shortend. You can see the full version only in the DVD extras.
- Nanoha and Fate's transformation sequences in the movies are only used once in each movie.
- Wedding Peach had the bridal transformations, and the warrior transformations. You could tell how much animation budget was available for an episode depending on whether they did the warrior transformations or not.
- The first anime season of Slayers had stock footage for some of the spells, as well as Gourry drawing out the Sword of Light. The second and third seasons remarkably avert this, even though all three of the original 1990's seasons had cheap budgets (and it shows at times, especially during the end of the first season and parts of the third). When the series revived in 2008, they, too, averted this.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion, Revolutionary Girl Utena and (especially) Serial Experiments Lain use Stock Footage to conserve their animation budget for when it's needed most. This is why an episode can go from the same repeated close-up of a telephone line to incredible pyrotechnics.
- It should be noted that Eva's infamous "elevator sequence" (51 seconds with Asuka and Rei, not speaking) was considered important/intentional enough to show up in its entirety in the "Death" compilation movie. They even reanimated it! (In "Death" and the director's version, Asuka gets a nose twitch at about the 40 second mark).
- Eva also uses a few bits of Stock Footage all through the series — Misato's beer-guzzling shot, Gendo and Fuyutsuki, and the pilots in their EVA cockpits all jump to mind.
- The most extreme example of this is Episode 25 of NGE, which contains roughly five seconds of original animation: a four-second sequence, a half-second sequence, and about three dozen individual frames that are variously panned, zoomed, or just held there with a voice-over.
- Let's not forget the 1 minute+ static scene in episode 24 where Shinji kills Kaworu.
- The use of the Stock Footage "Lain walking under telephone lines casting creepy shadows" montage in Serial Experiments Lain actually heightens the impact of a sequence in the last episode, in which the same footage is shown without Lain in it after she erases herself from existence.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena pushed its use of stock footage to new heights when, after viewers had gotten used to seeing footage from early duels re-used in later ones, the animators replaced Utena's hair with another character's so they could use sequences of her losing one of the early duels to depict a completely different character losing a duel.
- Parodied in Puni Puni Poemi, which reused footage of the Transformation Sequence from the first episode, despite the fact that it (intentionally) only had two episodes to begin with.
- Tenshi Ni Narumon used this trope at the end of the first 12 episodes, with a repeated sequence of Micheal opening the Book of Chaos mystically, then making some generic philosphical statement. It then subverted itself in a later episode, when Raphael interrupted the statement to ask, "Didn't you say that one already?"
- Lampshaded in one episode of Digimon Savers in which two of the protagonists are fighting successive waves of enemy Digimon. Stock footage is re-used for the appearance for every wave, causing one of the protagonists to comment that "they keep showing up the same way like all the others!"
- The Digimon series in general had this problem with major attacks for the Digimon themselves. The problem is that instead of using a generic action line background, they keep the background the move was first used in. It's really annoying when the characters are fighting in a desert and Mifafomon keeps shooting fireballs over an arctic tundra background.
- That, and all the "Digivolve" sequences. They were shortened a lot of the time in later episodes, but the first series spent a long time re-using the same animations of the main digimon powering up.
- Digimon Tamers has this to be seen frequently in the early episodes.
- Notably used in an interesting way in the Savers short film. The usual "Burst Mode" evolution scene is shown, but it has been re-animated and is shown in a more dynamic way, from a different angle.
- Particularly bad in Macross 7. Almost every space battle was composed of 80% stock footage, to the point that Gavil dodging Gamlin's laser cannon burst to the chest of his Humongous Mecha, a piece of stock footage used to defeat him over a half dozen times before, was simultaneously shocking and mixed with hints of "Why didn't he do that ''before''?"
- Needless to say, Voltron had 22-minute episodes that consisted of about 16 minutes of original footage and 6 minutes of the Lions leaving their lairs, forming Voltron, etc.
- Oddly, Voltron also suffered from stock dialogue. Voltron I (Vehicle Voltron) and Voltron III (Lion Voltron) both used the same combination spiel. But Voltron I's head was a separate piece from the torso and piloted by the main character. It doesn't make sense in Voltron III to say "And I'll form the head!" because the head is part of Black Lion... though the neat close-up on the head makes up for it.
- Gundam SEED and its sequel Gundam SEED Destiny were notable offenders, especially in combat scenes. However, in what's too meticulously animated to be unintentional, they animated three separate Gundams blowing up three different grunt Humongous Mecha in the exact same way◊...despite all participants being different every time.
- Being digitally animated, SEED and SEED Destiny were able to take stock footage to new levels. The system they used allowed for taking footage from one scene and digitally replacing the mecha in it with different mecha. Thus, stock footage could be created that used the same animation, but depicted different machines. The animators took advantage of this at nearly every opportunity, sometimes resulting in entire battle scenes that are almost frame for frame identical.
- And Kira switches between Freedom and Strike Freedom in some scenes.
- In a very odd example, the stock footage of Strike Freedom's Alpha Strike shows it firing all its beams in a single direction...which is always followed by a stock shots of enemy machines being struck by beams from several different angles.
- In all fairness, this is hardly unique to SEED, and Stock Footage pops up in nearly all Gundam shows.
- Mobile Suit Gundam reuses a shot of Dopps swooping in to attack the White Base quite a few times, as well as a shot of a Musai-class ship exploding, and who can forget the classic "Zaku gets shot through the cockpit"?
- Not only that, but they constantly reuse the shot of Amuro jolting back and forth in his cockpit whenever he is hit.
- The high-budget OVAs are mostly exempt, but even Gundam 0083 reuses some shots of Gato destroying Salamis-class ships with the Neue Ziel.
- Gundam ZZ likes to reuse the ZZ's docking sequence whenever Judau decides to dock, although they begin to cut away some parts of the sequence as the show progresses.
- Victory Gundam managed to avoid using much stock footage for much of its run. In fact, the only really noticeable stock footage is... a brief one-second explosion that takes up the entire screen when transitioning between scenes.
- Gundam Wing reuses two shots of Heero blowing up Leos with the Wing Gundam's BFG quite a lot, as well as a shot of Duo cutting a Leo up with the Deathscythe's...erm...scythe. Wing Zero firing its twin buster rifle (while spinning) is also a sight you'll become familiar with, and they reuse the shit out of footage of Virgo mobile dolls destroying Leos. And, almost every single time Heavyarms is on screen, it's probably one of the same few attack animations. Given that Heavyarms only uses More Dakka, it's expected.
- Heck, Heavyarms' most common stock footage even has a Fan Nickname: Disco Gun (since it moves the Gatling in roughly the same fashion as John Travolta's infamous Saturday Night Fever finger-point).
- A particularly amusing example is the two Leos that Sandrock bisects in its first appearance. One is a command type with shoulder cannons. The only other time you ever see this variation fighting a Gundam is... every other shot where Sandrock does that specific move.
- Gundam 00 managed to avoid using stock footage for almost the entirety of the first season, second season it wasn't so lucky, the 00 and 0-Raiser combining sequence gets used more than a couple of times.
- The one time that stock footage was reused in 00's first season was of Virtue's transformation into Nadleeh. To be fair, it only transforms twice in the entire first season, so it's fairly minor.
- A little more that. Careful eyes spotted during the Moralia battle that Patrick's Enact from episode 1 (thrusting its dagger at Exia), was re-painted as a black Hellion craft. Again no harm done though.
- The absence of such transformation sequences and large scale battles is the main reason Turn A Gundam uses virtually no stock footage at all.
- In fact, Turn A Gundam DOES reuse old footage... From older Gundam shows, though, but since it's not part of the show itself, and rather helps expose the characters to the Dark History, it doesn't really count.
- Of all Gundam shows, G Gundam was the worst possible offender. Several scenes are actually stock footage, with each episode seemingly only 80% new content in many later episodes. Heck, anyone whenever they use their Finishing Moves (Shining Finger, Shining Finger Sword, Bakunetsu God Finger and Sekiha Tenkyoken in Domon's case) are usually reused footage. Hell, the scene where Domon suits up to pilot Shining Gundam was constantly reused, and even later, God Gundam's 'Suit Up'-scene was reused several times.
- Of course, it comes with the territory.
- This can be seen most easilly when, after Domon first aquires the Burning Gundam, he still calls the Shining Gundam.
- Gundam AGE has a blatant example in episode 33. A Guncannon Expy is shown outside Rostuloran. A bit later, it's destroyed. And some minutes later, the first shot of the Guncannon is used again, with nary a trace of damage.
- The anime Akazukin Chacha had stock footage to transform the titular Chacha into a holy princess with a magic bow, having her two friends activate their powers (Shiine kissed his ring and Riya thrust his bracer into the air). This was normally fine, except these two could do it at any time, including when under water, trapped in glass prisons, and even once when their arms were tied to their sides with rope.
- In the earlier seasons, Ash would turn back his cap over a green action blur, following a closeup of his eye, whenever throwing a Poké Ball. Around the time the show began using computer coloring, this footage stopped appearing.
- Pokémon still uses Stock Footage, although it's mostly limited to within the episode. If a trainer calls out an attack more than one time in a battle, chances are that it will be the same footage that was used the first time.
- The main and recurring characters also get this, but each of them has a way bigger set of animations that get recycled throughout the whole series instead.
- Best Wishes in particular is notorious for it's overuse of stock footage for Pokémon attacks. Most of them have only one animation.
- XY got rid of this with a simple solution: recycle the attack footage, but use a different background matching the scenario each time it's used, instead of generic motion lines.
- The footage from the "Team Rocket vs. Team Plasma" two-parter - where the Relic Castle's mechanism is activated, revealing the Meteonite - was reused for the scene in BW 2-12, in which the Abyssal Ruins are activated to uncover the Reveal Glass.
- Speaking of Team Rocket, their motto usually recycled scenes for some of their lines from time to time, but since Best Wishes! Season 2: Episode N onwards, the motto is 100% stock footage.
- Dinosaur King has several attack and transformation sequences used throughout the episodes. The transformation sequences were eventually shortened, since the producers had figured out that the audience didn't need to see the same long transformation sequence a second time.
- By contrast, Transformers Cybertron did not realize this. Stock footage of transformations and Cyber Key Powerups were essentially used to fill up chunks of time (to the ridiculous extreme that they'd cut to extremely short transformation sequences, flashing backdrop and everything, and then back to the real world). The dubbers did eventually cotton on to how boring this was, however, and had the characters talk ''while'' the stock footage was happening. Its predecessor, Transformers: Energon, while also using the same type of stock footage, was not that bad about it.
- This is subtly parodied in a DVD extra for Transformers Animated, where Optimus Prime dramatically turns into his firetruck form in a sequence that directly parallels the stock footage transformations of earlier series. Starscream does this as well, complete with an anime-esque glint on his teeth just at the end.
- However, Cybertron's stock footage,made more interesting by the dub or otherwise, does have a use. Being a Transformers series, it is Merchandise-Driven, existing to sell toys. Being a post G-1, post Beast Wars series, the character models hew far closer to those toys (Hell, Evac's model shows the push-button that makes his toy's rotor spin). The final instruction sheets packaged with those toys, especially for the American releases, are in some cases done by idiots (Particularly Optimus Prime. The US instructions show his Super Mode with the wings upside-down). The stock footage Transformation Sequences, on the other hand, show the transformations correctly. Ergo, by watching the stock footage you can see how to properly transform the toys.
- Brilliantly spoofed in The Big O, where, before a Combining Mecha pastiche does its thing, the video fades to black as if it were transitioning to stock footage despite the robot only appearing in one episode.
- GaoGaiGar has lots: the titular mecha's transformation and attack sequences, along with all the transformations and attacks of various other robot cast members. In fact, later robots' transformations seem to be traced over the originals (as they are newer versions or copies of the same robot). Interestingly, there's slight differences in the footage sometimes: once, during the "Program Drive!" part of Final Fusion, Mikoto pauses to let out a tired sigh right in the middle of her stock footage.
- Clips of Leo, Uchiyama, and Hyuuma piloting the GaoMachines are also spliced into the Final Fusion sequence when EI-15 destroys the Program Drive and forces GGG to do it manually. In fact, GaoGaiGar is notable for not only using ridiculous amounts of Stock Footage but also for interrupting it on a routine basis.
- Also, all the stock footage was partially recycled, part reanimated for FINAL. Only Volfogg's combination sequence was completely reanimated, due to his subordinates being slightly redesigned.
- Any scene where the Dragon Torque comes into play in Noein reuses the same stock shots of it appearing and vanishing. The series does have a nice play on the whole Recap Episode thing though, with the point being trying to work out how the footage differs from its original use.
- Anime/Naruto After the timeskip managed to turn almost every flashback into stock footage, sometimes even the episode after it is revealed.
- Azumanga Daioh would frequently use the same animation for different parts of conversations or for different scenes altogether. For example, a scene from episode 22 has Kagura open part of her school uniform to show Osaka how tanned she had gotten. A later scene uses the exact same footage for a completely different conversation. Yes, it's easy to notice... and kinda gives the viewer the wrong idea.
- Almost frustratingly averted in Suzumiya Haruhi, the "Endless Eight" series in the second season. They all depict the (almost) exact same sequence of events, down to dialogue, but the entire episode is completely re-animated each time. And yes, there are eight episodes.
- Axis Powers Hetalia has a particularly grating example on one of the episodes where they're stuck on a desert island: About 10% of the footage is reused from the previous desert island episode, and then the rest of the episode is literally footage that repeats twice EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. Fandom has named that island 'That F-ing Island', just to poke fun.
- Another episode reuses that same sequence but offers a minor punchline change with England having rebuilt Busby's Chair to test on the Axis, only for Russia to sit on it and make it explode. And yet another episode reuses the footage to replace the whole setting of one of the Christmas strips from the manga.
- Another piece of stock footage that has been reused is an anime-original sequence of Holy Roman Empire waking up in bed to an alarm clock in the 17th century. It was created presumably for the anime producers to explain away the Chibitalia side stories being adapted after the main story was, with them being HRE's "dreams".
- Monster has a stock montage of images from the red light district, but this only occurs three or four times in the entire run. That said, the amount of flashbacks and repeated sequences within each episode can reach drinking game levels (how often is that girl going to jump off those steps?!).
- The first few episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! used stock footage for Yugi's transformation to the Other Yugi. The Japanese version usually showed the shortened version, while 4Kids' dub used the full transformation for the entire first season. Eventually Yugi would start changing his outfit configuration (so to speak) when transforming, and the animators would use a different sequence per episode (or no sequence at all, just the Millenium Puzzle flashing).
- Powerpuff Girls Z, being a Magical Girl show used stock footage for transformations and the like. The There were about 3 or 4 as the girls changed outfits (one even had them in their Pjs) and others had minor errors that got fixed in later episodes (outfit pieces being there when they shouldn't and not being there when the should) There was also the episode where they used the animation from their transformations for dancing....
- The shifts between each of Haru's swords in Rave Master use this.
- Fairy Tail uses this for just about any spell the main characters use. Lucy has one for summoning, Gray has one for creating an ice form, Erza has one for changing into her more notable armors, and Natsu has one for everything from his cool fire-breathing spell to his punch
- In Hell Girl, there are very, very few episodes that don't show the "Ai gearing up" sequence.
- Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, where they don't limit to using them in transformation and singing sequences...
- Mai-HiME and Mai-Otome are especially good at averting this—Mai-Otome especially. Every girl has a unique transformation sequence, but we only see it twice for each girl, tops.
- Mahou Tsukai Ni Taisetsu Na Koto Natsu No Sora has some very conspicuous background characters reappearing throughout the series. Of special note are the exact same two groups of people that pass by during the establishing shots of Sora's Tokyo residence.
- Used a lot in the Future GPX Cyber Formula series, especially when the cars uses their Nitro Boosts and when the cars shift.
- The shot of Kirby's Warp Star being summoned appears in almost every single episode of Kirby of the Stars. While more varied, and occasionally spoofed, Kirby's transformation sequences for his Copy Abilities also count.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has stock footage for the Giga Drill Break. A rather egregious offense was in episode 15, after Gurren Lagann got a pair of wings; the old stock footage was used, so the wings vanished for that one move. Also, it is pretty obvious that the stronger Gurren Lagann mechs are vectored over the original footage for their Giga Drill Break attacks.
- THE iDOLM@STER - The last episode has this in spades.
- Though it only happens with one clip, the footage reuse in the first two OVAs of Dominion Tank Police is both highly obvious and rather strange. The scene involves the Tank Police dropping down ropes from an upper floor of the precinct into the tank hanger so they can get in their tanks and head out into the city to fight crime and cause massive amounts of avoidable property damage. This scene makes sense in the first episode, when they are on an upper floor when they get the order to move out. In the second episode, it seems totally nonsensical, because they were already in the hanger when the deploy order came, meaning that between scenes they left their vehicles and climbed up a flight of stairs just so they could slide down a rope to reach the vehicles they had just left behind. The one member of the cast who this action would actually make sense for (Leona, who wasn't in uniform when they got the deploy order, but was in her next scene), isn't in that footage.
- K uses stock footage both lazily and intelligently. Certain SCEPTER 4 characters have stock sequences of them drawing their swords, used both in the anime's opening sequence and in certain fight scenes. Seri's is the most obvious because it's also gratuitous to the point of Narm. Two scenes in which HOMRA members chant "No Blood, No Bone, No Ash" are also recycled. However, there is one creative use of stock footage of Shiro, and it actually makes the anime quite beautifully cyclical. The sequence in the opening where he smiles and shuts his eyes while falling is reused for his death scene.
- Sometimes animation is reused during the right scenes in Ginga Nagareboshi Gin, leading to the same dogs getting killed over and over again. One dalmatian in particular has all the bad luck dying again and again. During the battle with the bears in the last few episodes, Gin and a couple other dogs are shown hanging off a bear when they had already jumped off.
- D.N.Angel is not usually bad about this trope over all, but Episode 24 has a example of this trope done really badly. Animation of With becoming Dark's wings and attaching to his back is reused. The problem with this is in the reused animation, Dark is hundreds of feet in the sky free falling. Before the reused animation, he was standing on the ground. Dark and With can't jump that far, but they don't even try to pass it off as them jumping, which they could have easily done by having a nearby character comment "what a jump!" or something.
Films — Animation
- Avoided out of necessity for the Futurama movies. We see some scenes from past episodes in Bender's Big Score but they had to be re-animated due to production shifting to HD.
- Titanic: The Legend Goes On is a pretty glaring example. Much of the footage is constantly re-used over and over.
- A lot of people are kind of ticked at Disney because some bright light has discovered that they reuse animation from one movie to another, such as any scene when characters are dancing (with Robin Hood obviously being the worst offender). Another is a pair of scenes from the 1967 Jungle Book film and the 1963 The Sword in the Stone movie. In Sword in the Stone, the main character comes home and is promptly tackled by a pair of dogs that give his face a good licking. The same animation is used in The Jungle Book, though due to the latter film being produced later (and with a noticeably higher budget), the animation is better. Mowgli comes to visit his wolf family and is promptly tackled by two of them and his face is licked in much the same manner. Another Jungle Book example would be the scene where Baloo and Bagheera are shown escaping with Mowgli from the Bandar-Log, which reused footage from the climax of The Wind in the Willows segment of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.
- The story goes that Disney was in financial trouble at the time most of these overlapping films (shown in the video and mentioned above) were made, so they needed to do things cheaper and still make memorable movies.
- Winnie the Pooh is also a pretty big contender, reusing footage from & The Blustery Day in And Tigger Too!, as well as using some footage from The Jungle Book for the epilogue for Many Adventures.
- It was a different world when these films were made - the home market didn't exist, and the odds that someone would watch The Jungle Book and Sword in the Stone back-to-back (or close enough to recognize the similarities) were minuscule.
- These films (The Jungle Book, The Sword in the Stone, The Aristocats and Robin Hood etc) are all directed by Wolfgang (Woolie) Reitherman. Reitherman was one of Disney's Nine Old Men of animation who became chief animation director in 1961 with 101 Dalmations. According to animator Floyd Norman, the reuse of animation sequences had nothing to do with budget constraints and "doing things cheaper" - the reuse of footage was simply one of Reitherman's directorial trademarks.
- Beauty and the Beast was the last animated Disney film to reuse footage from an earlier Disney film (in this case, the final scene from Sleeping Beauty).
- The two scenes are obviously very similar, but given the time gap in between them, one can make the argument that Beauty's scene was at least partly an homage.
- There have also been instances where Bambi's mother can be seen grazing on some grass.
- A fridge moment was had with Anastasia. A woman was being interviewed and pretending to be the princess for the money had the exact same body and hair as the main character, but had a different face. It was a little unnerving as the way she moved was just as light and floaty as they made the 'real' Anastasia move.
- From the animated BIONICLE movies:
- Mask of Light: The puzzled crowd shot from the end of the film is used twice, as is the sequence of the Energized Protodermis ball shooting out of the floor with Takanuva and Makuta jumping after it, as well as Makuta walking up to Takanuva before and after their fight. The last one creates a continuity goof, as the first instance shows Takanuva holding his staff before he gets it out of Hammer Space.
- Legends of Metru Nui: A group-shot of the Toa standing in the Great Temple with Vakama talking is shown twice, though the second time, it's Nokama who is talking. Many shots of Turaga Dume are likewise reused on the Coliseum's giant projector screens... even if the Mouth Flaps don't line up.
- Web of Shadows: The awakening of Makuta is represented by a quick series of shots (some ran backwards) from the previous movie with heavy filters applied. The recap at the beginning, of course, is also reused footage.
Films — Live Action
- Many of the Sector General stories and novels use exactly the same expository paragraph to briefly describe the setting.
Live Action TV
- Some of the playfield art for Gottlieb's Target Alpha was reused for Solar City (and both games were rethemed versions of their earlier El Dorado). Unfortunately, it's a poor fit, as Target Alpha is about smiling future people target-shooting for fun, while Solar City is about a tribe of alien Native American expies.
- In September of 1990, the AWA ran out of original footage and could no longer afford to run TV tapings. They filled their shows by airing old matches with new commentary and pretending that they were new. Luckily no one was watching by this time, or it could have been a huge embarrassment.
- Sometimes, wrestlers will feud with somebody they've already feuded with before. WWE will often use stock footage of their previous feuds alongside more recent footage in the promo packages. It happened a lot between Triple H and Shawn Michaels who feuded on and off between 2002 and 2004.
- A North Korean propaganda video depicts a Korean man dreaming of exploring space while New York City is in flames. The Internet became amused when it was noticed that the footage of New York in flames was taken from the Call of Duty series.
- Thunderbirds involved a large amount of stock footage showing the pilots being conveyed into their craft, the craft to their launchpads and finally the launches themselves (as well as stock flight footage). However, rarely would the entire elaborate sequences be shown in any one episode, and the different parts used were not always the same (so, for example, one episode might show Virgil sliding down the ramp into Thunderbird 2 but would not show the equipment pod being loaded). Also some of the stock shots were actually re-filmed from several angles for variety. This provided variation despite the stock nature. The pitfalls of stock footage still occasonally afflicted the show, however, such as a "night" launch in broad daylight.
- This meant that every time we saw the extending bridge carrying Scott over to Thunderbird 1 he was wearing the same light-blue jacket. Had he been thinking straight, he might have concluded that every time he put it on, a disaster happened somewhere in the world, and got rid of it.
- The stock footage launch sequences meant that small errors were repeated every episode, such as the "2" on the side of Thunderbird 2 being a different size during launch than at other times (because a different, smaller model was used for the take-off scene). After the sequences were filmed but before broadcast someone noticed that the Tracy brothers enter their craft in their "civvies", but then are seen wearing their International Rescue uniforms. So they added extra shots of the uniforms on hangers rising out of the floor, after they are sitting in their pilot seats. (Presumably they stand up to put their uniforms on, off-camera, while the swimming pool and palm trees move out of the way).
- The Metal Gear series from Solid onwards will regularly throw in stock footage of JFK, the Hiroshima explosion and previous entries in its own series whenever Kojima wants to establish some backstory or drop an anvil.
- Assassins Creed II uses stock footage and photos in "the truth" segments to prove the fact that we've been lied to.
- LaserDisc-format arcade games had three options: create a film-length animation, shoot a live-action film, or make use of stock footage. Dragons Lair averted this trope by dedicating a significant portion of the development to putting together an animated film (under Don Bluth). Several of the companies that simply wanted to Follow the Leader, however, hacked together scenes from then-obscure anime hoping that that nobody would notice. Examples include:
- Atari's 1984 laserdisc game Firefox, which was based on the motion picture, was drawn from almost thirty hours of first-personal flight footage shot especially for the film (as previously mentioned, some of this also ended up in the second Back to the Future film).
- Many rhythm games that use full-motion video for backgrounds will employ "generic" videos for a number of songs, Dance Dance Revolution and Beatmania IIDX being two major examples.
- Soviet and Nuclear Strike use stock footage a lot for when they need to show video footage of military actions.
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution uses stock footage to illustrate the closing monologues
- In Super Smash Bros.. Brawl, both times King Dedede revives Bowser (and Bowser's subsequent roar) use the same footage.
- Pom Pom from Homestar Runner speaks entirely in bubbles, which were made from blowing bubbles into a glass of milk. Only one recording for Pom Pom was ever made, and it is still being used to this day.
- Played for Laughs in Girl Chan In Paradise, which has a few moments of recycled footage (like Yusuke falling down a flight of stairs and his "I'll attack them head on!" pose,) but the most obvious are Kotomaru being seen almost all the time in the exact same "arms crossed, eyes closed, looking slightly irritated" pose (with occasionally an arm holding a gun sticking out) and Kenstar having the same vaguely determined frowny face copy-pasted onto his body in 90% of his appearances.
- When Green Guy's death is retconned due to the the (in-universe) English VA's complaints, he's just sloppy photoshopped into various shots (including on top of Yusuke in one shot.)
- There is a fair amount of Stock Footage in Blues Clues in the first couple of seasons:
- In the earliest episodes, the same clip of Steve grabbing the notebook from Side Table Drawer ("Blue's Clues! I'm so excited!") plays over and over again, leading to some nitpicking when Steve stands up, and in the next shot, his hairstyle is changed.
- The recycled footage of Steve singing the rules of the game at the beginning of each episode. There were a few versions of this that were used in multiple episodes. In later episodes, the theme starts immediately after Steve receives his notebook.
- A few Stock Voice Clips were also used of the unseen children, most notably "Notebook!" (at the beginning of each episode) and "No, it's a clue!"
- The recycled footage of Steve singing the ending theme in the first season only (which starts with him giving a thumbs-up to the kids).
- Space Ghost Coast to Coast is made entirely of Stock Footage from Space Ghost & Dino Boy. The most obvious examples are when Space Ghost points at something, or when the Camera zooms in on his head. Also, the Characters hop around rather than walk, basically making them cardboard cutouts of the originals.
- Sealab 2021 (at least it's better than the original) was also made with Stock Footage at first.
- Stock Footage is used in some of the Cold Openings of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.
- And for one entire episode, "Turner Classic Birdman".
- Several episodes of Drawn Together use a piece of stock footage known as "The Monkey Man", which comes from the 1925 film version of The Lost World. It is often inserted into scenes where a character is supposed to be thinking deeply, or during moments of tension. It was mainly used during the first two seasons.
- Keeping with the general Animesque feel, The Avengers: United They Stand reused the same lengthy Transformation Sequences in every episode.
- The Proud Family has several episodes that use the same clip of Trudy trying to make a souffle, but then it collapses. As you'd expect, it is often used in scenes where someone (usually Penny and her friends or Oscar) is making a lot of noise and Trudy is supposed to notice or react to the noise, while giving her a reason to also be angry if she's supposed to be in that scene.
- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) features the same footage of Prince Adam transforming into He-Man in front of Castle Greyskull in every episode, regardless of where Adam actually was at the time.
- Everybody in the show had the same two or three stock footage movements. Man At Arms walking up toward the screen, Orko bouncing up and down like an idiot, etc.
- Filmation animated series in general use a lot of stock footage. Flash Gordon is a wonderful series, but you do start to feel bad for those same two Hawkmen who get disintegrated by enemy fire every single time the Hawkmen get in a fight.
- Filmation were notorious in their heyday for using the same animation sequences regardless of what show they were making. One particular shot that was in almost everything they made in the mid-60s to mid-70s period was a charge directly at the camera by a main character immediately prior to a scene change. Superman, Superboy, Aquaman, Batman, Captain Kirk, Spock... they all did it (those are only the ones this troper can remember; there were more). Same movement, just different characters.
- Another famous bit, Filmation kept a library of scenes from previous productions. One of their later shows was to feature a dinosaur attack. Word came back, "we don't have any dinosaur footage, can you use elephants?" (Presumably from Tarzan)
- An especially egregious example comes from the 1970s live-action / animated Saturday morning program Shazam! Filmation, the production company for the animated segments, only made footage of Billy transforming into Captain Marvel (which, of course, was used once or twice every episode). When they needed to show Captain Marvel changing back into Billy, they just ran the footage backwards. That wouldn't have been so bad, except in both directions the sequence starts with a lightning bolt called by the magic word "Shazam", and they didn't bother to edit out the bolt "un-hitting" Billy at the end of the reversed footage.
- Lampshade Hanging: In an episode of Dave the Barbarian, Fang goes on a rampage. As she breaks things, the Narrator comments. "And so Fang destroyed a bunch of rocks! And a bunch of larger rocks!" (the image of her smashing the first ones repeats) "And a bunch of rocks that looked the same as the first bunch, but were not the same!"
- In the 1960s Spider-Man animated series, several animated cycles of Spidey swinging were used constantly.
- A couple of episodes also used footage from the (now largely forgotten) Space Opera series Rocket Robin Hood. One of these episodes, "Revolt in the Fifth Dimension", a surreal Something Completely Different story revolving around a Cosmic Horror named Infinata, was pretty danged awesome.
- The 90's series also used a stock footage of a (poorly-rendered) CGI model of New York's streets whenever Spidey swang around. This was dropped in later seasons.
- The 90's series was notorious for its rampant use of stock footage, made even worse by the fact that they didn't even fit at least half of the time.
- Clever subversion, in Megas XLR: in classic Humongous Mecha style, the mega-attack of the week is triggered by a Big Red Button on the dashboard of Megas. Coop pressing the button looks like Stock Footage, but the label on the button changes every time he presses it. It even references this internally; on one occasion the button reads "Save the World", and on another it's "That Same Button Coop Always Presses", after using it only a few minutes before to do something totally different.
- A military intervention in the Angry Beavers Halloween special was illustrated by stock footage of planes taking off, tanks driving away, navy vessels sailing on the sea, cavalry riding across the screen, sumo warriors struggling, baby turtles running across the beach, and Zulu warriors cheering. In that order.
- Muppet Babies used stock footage from old movies and TV shows all the time.
- Thomas the Tank Engine uses stock footage for the engines puffing across Sodor's railway lines; like Thunderbirds this often caused small continuity problems (in one episode Percy's trucks changed from coal, to slate, to coal again).
- Code Lyoko: Not only are the transfer scenes reused in pretty much every episode, even the first episode, as they were first made for the pilot (admittedly, they were changed a bit in the second season), but quite often, entire battles will be reused with different dialogue.
- Season 4 is better about this, showing off the bigger budget by avoiding Stock Footage from the previous seasons during battles (the new outfits of the heroes are making any reuse of scenes from the previous seasons too obvious anyway), although footage from battles earlier in Season 4 is often re-used. There is still plenty of footage reused around the Digital Sea and the Skidbladnir's standard operations, but it is much less jarring.
- The first two seasons of The Batman have Stock Footage scenes of Batman suiting up, jumping into the Batmobile and driving off. Probably more of a Shout-Out to the Adam West Batman TV series, which went through a similar sequence. By third season the suit-up scene was reduced and later dropped altogether.
- Also Lampshaded with a split-screen shot of Batman and Catwoman dressing up and driving out/hopping on rooftops to the same spot at the same time to confront the same villain.
- In the 1990s and 2000s, Kids WB (The WB 's children's block of programming) made notoriously heavy use of recycled stock footage in their promos. Footage of Pinky (from Pinky and the Brain) and the Warners (from Animaniacs) singing and dancing, Yakko pointing at something, stock shots of Superman and Batman, etc. (all sometimes crudely looped looking) would be used in a Warner Bros. studio lot setting, with new dialog dubbed in to promote whatever the show (or Saturday morning marathon event) of the time dictated. Sometimes actual clips of episodes of these shows (with new dialog dubbed over) would also be used.
- Used in Freakazoid! to comic effect, including live action shots of bear wrestling, and a man being hit in the belly with a cannon ball. No, it doesn't make much more sense in context.
- Used to great effect in Trumpton (and Camberwick Green and Chigley). As well as the extended narrated opening sequence, copious use of establishing shots, and the use of closing bandstand performances and the odd square dance, Trumpton Fire Brigade got called out to an emergency in every single episode. As a result, every Briton born between 1963 and 1990 can recite the Trumpton Fire Brigade roll call by heart, and a whole minute of every 15 minute episode was dealt with — they just needed to dub in Captain Flack's half of the phone conversation.
- Charlie Brown Thanksgiving uses the same clip of Snoopy handing out food (toast pile noticeably does not lessen until after he finishes handing it out).
- You're in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown has three interstitial sketches of Woodstock and his fellow birds curb-stomping oversized opponents, ranging from cats and dogs to bison. The exact same footage is used in all three sketches, only with the opponents replaced each time, resulting in bison who are no bigger than cats.
- Scooby-Doo Where Are You? often kept reusing animation over and over. You often saw the same animation cycles of the Scooby-Doo gang walking, running, the same poses when the humans are talking, and in one case, even a shot of Scooby-Doo eating something was reused a few times!
- House of Mouse, thanks to its premise as a nightclub showing cartoons, frequently reuses crowd shots, and pads out the length of the episode with shots of the band performing.
- Robot Boy uses the exact same "super activation" sequence whenever Robot Boy turns into his giant fighting robot version (which is at least once per episode). Many of his shooting, flying and fighting animations are reused between episodes too.
- Early episodes of KaBlam!! would sometimes re-use old Henry and June segments for different episodes, however with the lip-syncing re-done to match the episode's lines.
- The Super Hero Squad Show reuses the same footage whenever the characters hero up, usually just cutting it to remove any heroes that aren't there.
- Winx Club:
- All of the transformations, from regular fairy form to Enchantix and beyond have their own stock transformation sequences, unique for each girl and transformation.
- Winx wasn't so bad about this in regular scenes until the fourth season. The Frutti Music Bar scenes were constantly and inexplicably reused. The strangest example, however, is a shot from the theme song of the Winx flying in their Enchantix forms. It was used at the end of the last episode, implying that the Winx had returned to those forms, but in the fifth season the Winx are still using Believix, implying it was an error.
- A few of Disney's Wartime Cartoons reused footage from older shorts and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
- The scenes in between the actual songs in Disney's "Sing-Along Songs" videos were composed almost entirely of stock footage of mostly-forgotten shorts overdubbed with new voice work, up to and including the iconic opening theme.
- The Hot-Dog dance from Mickey Mouse clubhouse. With the exception of special episodes, it does not matter which guest characters were in the episode or which main characters aren't in the episode or even how far they are from the clubhouse. It always shows just the main characters suddenly entering the clubhouse and dancing.
- Before The Simpsons switched to HD, the same shot of kids cheering for Krusty was reused in several episodes. Other scenes were repeated occasionally too, like outside shots of the nuclear power plant or the Simpsons' house.
- Parodied in Another Simpsons Clip Show when Bart and Lisa watch an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon that we as an audience have seen in a previous episode, causing Marge to ask them 'how many times they can watch that particular cartoon'? They lampshade by answering that it's a new episode made from stock footage. This is also selfreferential comedy because the entire episode itself is made from stock footage from previous Simpsons episodes, only with occasional new dialogue spliced over them.
- Played straight in a season three episode Radio Bart where the police notify Homer and Marge of Bart being trapped in the well. The footage is taken from the Thanksgiving episode from the previous season.
- You know Looney Tunes absolutely loves Stuff Blowing Up when they reuse the exact same explosion animation in multiple shorts. "Three Little Bops" in particular brings this practice to its natural conclusion.
- In fact, The Three Little Bops does recycle a lot of stock footage within itself, mostly of the Three Pigs playing their instruments and the Wolf playing his trumpet.
- Batfink. Seriously, about 80% of the episodes were stock footage!
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force uses fire footage recorded by the animators on a camping trip whenever burning is represented on screen.
- Used egregiously in The Archies' Funhouse, where the same clips of animation would be used over and over with the only difference being the characters' clothes... and sometimes, not even that!
- Despite Phineas and Ferb being one of the more well animated cartoons and thus rarely ever using Stock Footage, in "Rollercoaster: The Musical!" there are scenes when the kids are riding the rollercoaster that clearly shows that the animators just reused scenes from the original Rollercoaster episode. In the original it was background characters riding, while in the musical it's the Fireside Girls, Baljeet, and Buford. They switch between characters at certain parts.
- A few of the scenes between Doofenshmirtz and Perry were also reused, but it is slightly justified since they are only remaking the episode as a musical and most of their parts are the same.
- The training course in Rollbots, though in 09:F9:11, it was spliced with a scene of Daso chanting to create a chilling effect.
- In the music video segments for Beavisand Butthead would often reuse the same footage from different episodes, such as shots of them snickering, head banging, dancing, throwing stuff at the tv, fighting,etc.
- Played for laughs in an episode of The Amazing World of Gumball, in which Gumball and Darwin are learning how to channel their rage into a violent vocal release. Darwin attempts to do so, only to create a giant bubble of "fish-gas". Their teacher then pops it, cuing black-and-white footage of a house caught in the middle of a nuclear bomb test.
- Spoofed in Futurama, in a segment parodying Anime, there's a scene where a squad of flying cars are defending Earth from alien ships, the sequence where they are destroyed are played twice, as well as the audio ("Launch all missiles!").
- Also spoofed in the episode "Saturday Morning Fun Pit" in a segment parodying Scooby-Doo. A shot showing the Planet Express headquarters pans down to reveal the words "establishing shot, reuse in every episode" written below the drawing.
- Jimmy Two-Shoes barely uses stock footage, except for one blatant case in the episode "Heinous vs. Clown" where, early in the episode, Samy fell off the roof of a building as Jimmy and Beezy were walking out of an alley dressed as clowns. Later during a fight scene, a clown gets hit off the screen and the same exact clip of Samy falling off the roof was used. One had to wonder whether it was intentional or not.
- This happens twice with Hun during his last battle with the turtles in Turtles Forever. Not being very happy with his Metamorphosis into a mutant turtle, there are 2 occasions of the same footage where Hun's face is up-close to the screen as he complains about becoming what he hates the most... MUTANT! TURTLE! FILTH!!! It can be seen here at 57:43, then at 58:12.
- Animaniacs reused footage many times, the most common being "Wakko doing drum roll." Also notable in the "Yakko's Universe Song," where they reused footage from his "Planets of the Solar System song" (particularly blatant, since Yakko goes from flying around in a saucer to a rocket during those bits).
- South Park does this from time to time, most notably in the earlier episodes. Two of the greatest examples would be:
- In "An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig", they re-used footage from "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" when they are talking to Pip at the cafeteria.
- In "Starvin' Marvin IN SPACE!", when Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Marvin go through the wormhole again, they simply rehashed footage from earlier on in the episode. Notice how Kenny appears with them on the ship, even though we saw him frozen in carbonite on Sally Struthers' ship earlier.
- The Rugrats episode "Autumn Leaves" recycles animation of Tommy pulling the red tab from the box of leaves, the babies playing in the leaves afterward, and Stu walking into the yard only to be shocked by the dozens of leaves everywhere.
- At the end of the episode, Chuckie jumps in the leaves about 6 times.
- Although sometimes it isn't as apparent in the earlier episodes, Superjail utilizes a lot of stock footage, in part due to being done in Flash, where character models and animations can be easily saved and recycled when needed. Season 3 seemed to rely a little more on recycling, having re-used background and specific animations from previous episodes in the run (or even earlier) for the later portion.
- There's one case in "Oedipus Mess" where footage from the pre-credits sequences of two previous episodes get recycled, when showing Jacknife's past crimes that he's committed.
- Gawayn is extremely fond of this trope.
- Breadwinners. It sometimes reuses animation, like when Sway-Sway tries to wake Buhdeuce up, and when the two summon the Bread Maker.
- Dinosquad abuses the Transformation Sequence so much you'd think it was a magical girl anime.
- A lot of the Tom and Jerry cartoon "Advance And Be Mechanized" is made up of footage from "Guided Mouse-ille or Science On A Wet Afternoon." Since both were produced by Chuck Jones, the animation is at least in the same style - it helps that both were released in 1967. The previous year's "Matinee Mouse," on the other hand, features new animation alongside footage from T&J cartoons from the '40s and '50s. Suffice to say they don't mesh terribly well.
- The episodes of The Beatles animated at TVC-London (with some farmed out to Group Two Studios in seasons 2 and 3) had stock animation of the boys playing their instruments during the episodes' songs.
- Los Trotamúsicos: In this adaptation of The Bremen Town Musicians the makers re-used the same shots of the band playing, the animals running away, the robbers driving across the road, the robbers running away again and again in every episode.
- Ozzy and Drix would occasionally use clips from the film it spinned off from, Osmosis Jones. This was extremely noticeable, as the animated film footage was significantly more complex and higher quality than the animation made for the show.