Stock Visual Metaphors
aka: Stock Visual Metaphor
A visual metaphor uses an image to represent something else entirely. Some have become standard through use and re-use — some even to the point of having standard parodies or subversions. For internal emotions and sensations, visual metaphors mostly serve the Rule of Perception. For external actions and events, they can serve as unusual euphemisms for sex and violence. See also Briffits and Squeans.
- Background Halo
- Battle Aura: passion/determination
- Big Little Man
- Big Shadow, Little Creature
- Catching Some Z's: sleep, formerly snoring
- Circling Birdies: concussion
- Confused Question Mark: confusion, surprise
- Eye Colour Change
- Fire-Breathing Diner: hot, spicy food
- Heart Symbol: romantic crush
- Hearts Are Health: health or life force
- High-Pressure Emotion: anger/embarrassment
- Idea Bulb: receiving inspiration
- Marked Change
- Personal Raincloud: sadness or depression
- Power Makes Your Hair Grow
- Shameful Shrinking: literally shrinking in shame.
- Spirals around the head: Mental tampering, usually forcefully.
- Thunder Shock: shock
- Hot, strong emotions such as anger or lust:
- Small rising bubbles: Carries special meaning for drunkenness, but can also represent several other states of reduced mental function (including sleepiness, laziness and even hypnosis). Also known as Squeans.
- Getting clocked:
- Pile driver
- Broken Faceplate
- Hot dog
- Elephant (in Japanese things) - also eggplant (traditional phallic symbol) and turtle's heads (pun on a slang term for foreskin)
- Large rocket lifting off
- Train entering a tunnel
- Geyser spouting
- Parodied in a Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch, where a couple are revealed to be watching a home movie of these visual metaphors instead of having sex.
- The Benny Hill Show did the same thing.
- Also parodied in a Simpsons scene, where Homer and Marge are having sex while the kids are at a Stock Footage Festival, with no idea what their parents are doing. Also during a romantic scene, Homer and Marge use the metaphor while looking lustfully at each other, right before they begin launching literal fireworks.
- Something Else Also Rises - visual metaphors for erections and/or orgasms.
- Phlegmings uses saliva or phlegm to suggest fear and fright.
- Power Glows uses glowing to show the presence of energy.
- Time-Compression Montage uses cuts to imply that a large amount of time has passed without showing the time directly.
- Audible Sharpness is sometimes accompanied by the blade twinkling or shining as it makes the noise.