We Should Get Another Tape
Reuse of a tape that was previously recorded over, without recording over the entire thing, will leave the surrounding footage, and will continue on to it after the newly recorded footage runs out.
And sometimes this is used in a joke, to show somebody (generally the person who owns and then plays the tape) doing something hideously embarassing. The guy involved gasps and stops the tape but it's too late - about a dozen of his closest friends have seen him singing, dancing or performing a sex act on tape and they're never going to forget it.
It doesn't work quite so well with CDs due to their differing format... but since there's still a lot of VHS players and tapes going around, it'll be used for quite a while yet.
Sometimes this trope can be played with where the guy involved accidentally hits fast-forward on the remote instead of stop or eject, and the tape fast-forwards to an even more
humiliating scene, but usually it's played straight.
- A car advert (German, possibly Volkswagen) demonstrated their engineers' fixation with making their cars the best they could with an amateur video from one of the engineers taking geeky delight in the function of door locks, the design of the rear light cluster and so forth. At the end is footage of his wedding.
- Cloverfield does this, as it is ostensibly recorded on a hand-held camera belonging to one of the characters.
- The parody on MAD (the Cartoon Network sketch show based on MAD) had the attack taped on Kermit the Frog's American Idol audition video.
- Oddly enough, some text briefly flashed on the screen at the beginning says that the video was retrieved from a memory card. Since memory cards don't store things sequentially like a tape, this shouldn't have happened. It would have just recorded the incident into a new file and there wouldn't be any of the old video showing up in the new one. If it were on digital tape, which is still in wide enough use, it would've made much more sense.
- And really there shouldn't be such long sections of Coney Island throughout the film even if it was a tape, given that all Hud was doing was stopping and starting the recording. The only part that belonged was the part at the very end, when the tape ran out.
- The Simpsons' Big Damn Movie had Marge videotape her "Dear John" Letter to Homer over their wedding footage intentionally, so Homer would know just how badly he'd screwed up and how seriously she was taking leaving him. After seeing the tearful farewell from Marge, there was a little wedding footage left. He doesn't want to stop watching.
- Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder private eye novel A Dance at the Slaughterhouse begins with an innocent third-party getting hold of a video tape of The Dirty Dozen that also includes scenes of a pair of serial killers torturing and killing a victim. It's unclear to the end whether the killers accidentally lost the tape or whether they deliberately put it into the rental store as a sadistic joke.
- The end of Manhunt has a bit of "video fuzz" before cutting to a weird, alien chef, implying the villain was using old tapes to record his Snuff Film.
- In the The Simpsons episode when Maude Flanders dies, Homer tries to make Ned a dating video...not fully taped over a recording of Marge giving birth to Maggie.
- Yet another Simpsons example: In Mother Simpson, Mr. Burns plays an audio casette recording of Ride of the Valkyries as he storms the Simpsons' household...and the tape quickly cuts to Abba's Waterloo, which Smithers admits he recorded over the original music.
- In the South Park episode "Something You Can Do With Your Finger," Cartman shows a tape of his Boy Band to the mall manager, which continues on to a videotaped BDSM scene of his slut of a mother and Mr. Mackey.
- The Family Guy episode, "I Am Peter, Hear Me Roar," had a scene in which Peter admitted to Lois that he taped over Lois and Peter exchanging their wedding vows with a soft-core women in prison porno (not all of it; the porno cuts back to the wedding ending before anything explicit can be shown) and Lois realizes that she made a copy of the video (not knowing that Peter taped over the vow exchange) and sent it to her great-aunt who lives in a nursing home. Lois's great-aunt comments that the wedding is hot and an old man punches at his crotch to get his penis to "wake up."
- In Stoked!, Johnny is supposed to video the opposing team for a tandem surf competition so Reef and Broseph can study their technique for weaknesses. Instead, he ends up shooting nothing but footage of his crush Emma surfing. The end of the tape shows him pretending the camera is Emma and kissing it; much to Reef and Broseph's amusement.
- In the early days of pre-recorded home video, some companies allegedly re-used old porno tapes for kids' movies, which was fine until the kids' movies finished and the end of the porno movies was revealed...
- A man was arrested for bestiality after he loaned his video camera to his neighbours to tape their wedding. When they played back the tape in the camera, it showed him having sex with a dog.
- Strangely, some rewritable DVDs can suffer from this. If a DVD+RW (not tested with -RW) is quick-erased (marked for overwriting) and new content incorrectly recorded, the video recorded over the old content will play to the end, then the player playing the disc will freeze as it tries to make head or tail of the abrupt transition between the end of the new content and the middle of the old content. Then any parts of the old content that haven't been overwritten will play (if the new video takes up less space on the disc than the old one), usually with glitchy video or sound.
- A real problem for storage devices, being overwritten doesn't always mean being erased. Harddrives leave faint traces of the original data that special equipment can read and flash drives love to secretly redirect writes leaving the original data completely intact.