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Freeze Frame Bonus / Live-Action TV

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  • Every episode of everything by Chuck Lorre Productions. He uses his Vanity Plate like a blog (making the concept of blogging Older Than The Internet). And if you miss it, you can always find the archive on his site.

  • 24: In the first season finale, as Nina Myers attempts to escape CTU after being exposed and covers her tracks, some pictures of the cast and crew are shown.
  • 30 Rock: Liz makes a large pro and con list for her deadbeat boyfriend Dennis. Pros include "too lazy to cheat", "already seen me throw up twice" and "takes good care of his feet". Cons include "listens to Winger", "doesn't like his mother", "his mother doesn't like me" and "I don't like his mother".
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  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: In "The Well", the online message board of a neo-paganist hate group is shown for about a second. If you pause it and read the messages, you'll notice that one is amusingly off-topic.
  • Arrow, In the 3rd episode, "Lone Gunman", a bit of plot development is revealed as one of the names tattooed on Deadshot's chest during a camera shot is Andrew Diggle.
  • Babylon 5:
    • In the pilot movie "The Gathering", an assassin scans his hand to enter the quarters of a tech smuggler. Some fans with lucid freeze-frames on their VCRs noticed that the authorization message read, "Laurel Takashima cleared". This hinted at a plot in the planned arc in which it would turn out that Laurel Takashima, the executive officer of Babylon 5, was a mole from a hostile force. Unfortunately, between the pilot and the series, the character of Laurel Takashima was Put on a Bus and her planned plots divided between other characters.
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    • In the episode "And Now For a Word", a commercial for Psi-Corps has the line "The Corps is your friend, trust the Corps" flash for a brief moment.
    • In the Finale Credits pictures of the production and filming crew are inserted in this manner. With the narrator of the ISN Special Documentary telling the viewers at home who are recording the show what is about to happen.
  • In early episodes of Barney & Friends, A letter board in the classroom would have short messages on it, "Such as "Friends are special," Or the names of letters, colors, numbers, or shapes. The classroom which was in use at the end of season five was too small to accommodate the returning cast for Sing and Dance with Barney, so a small chalkboard in the treehouse fills that role in that instance.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: At the end of the episode "Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind", a character is seen in a classroom opening up a book which is supposed to be about assassination techniques. The page is shown just long enough for the audience to parse a more on-topic chapter heading, but most of the other text consists of the lyrics to "Happiness Is A Warm Gun".
  • Community:
    • In the cold open of the episode Basic Rocket Science, the Dean's desktop wallpaper is of two people in dalmatian costumes, a Call-Back to the season 1 finale.
    • In the second-season episode "Aerodynamics of Gender", Abed imagines himself as RoboCop with a first-person heads-up display. Reading the margins of the screen shows Abed reminding himself to record Cougar Town, keeping a running synopsis of the episode, and tracking the female characters' monthly cycles!
  • In a Criminal Minds episode, criminals are hiding their activities by listing fake business names in their appointment books that are all named for video game characters. There's one more than the names spoken out loud by the characters: you can briefly see one of the appointment books with "Ezio's Flower Shop" listed on it.
  • If you pause the title sequence of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at just the right moment, "Thanks for pausing your DVR" is printed right under the globe.
  • In an episode of Dance Academy, a class ranking is posted on a bulletin board. The names go by quickly, but this class apparently has students named "Marie Taglioni" (the name of a famous 19th-century ballerina) and "Samantha Strauss" (the show's main screenwriter). Since the show focuses on about six students, with the rest mostly being nameless extras, they had to populate those lists somehow…
  • Daredevil (2015):
    • Sunita Deshpande, who plays Ray Nadeem's wife Seema in season 3, has pointed out that a close observer may notice that all pictures on the walls in the Nadeems' house are of Sunita's family (though none of Jay Ali's family, as he had to move across the country to New York when he got cast as Ray).
    • A close observer will notice in Foggy and Marci's apartment in season 3 a photograph of the two at a fancy party on a table adjacent to the couch in their living room. Turns out it's a photo of Elden Henson and Amy Rutberg taken at the Daredevil season 2 premiere in March 2016.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Almost any text appearing in the series proves on inspection to have more flavour than Lorem Ipsum. In "The Sound of Drums", for example, a newspaper article allegedly about Harold Saxon that appears for less than half a second really is an article about Harold Saxon.
    • "School Reunion":
      • Deffry Vale school is plastered with posters exhorting the students to "EAT MORE CHIPS".
      • In a rather charming moment, pausing right at the end of the Doctor and Sarah Jane's reunion shows that both of them have the same "8D" grin.
    • "The Idiot's Lantern": The label of the video tape the Doctor traps the Wire on has some scribbled-out Circular Gallifreyan writing on it, like he couldn't think of a good name for it.
    • "Love & Monsters": When Elton and Ursula come back to get her phone after dramatically storming out, Kennedy is reading a newspaper. Taking a good look will reveal that the headline is "SAXON LEADS IN POLLS".
    • Another one from "The Sound of Drums": Martha's TV has a Magpie Electricals sticker on it.
    • "The Poison Sky": Rose can briefly be seen on the TARDIS' viewscreen yelling the Doctor's name before it switches to a view of the UNIT control room.
    • "The Waters of Mars": The Doctor makes a big deal out of Mia Bennett being only 27 years old. But taking a look at the articles shown about the other members of the crew reveal that Yuri is also 27 and Roman is 25. In fact, Roman's article describes him as the youngest member of the crew.
    • "The Eleventh Hour":
      • The fire truck the Doctor hijacks has a "Vote Saxon" sticker on the front.
      • When Amy runs out of her bedroom in her nightie, she passes by the stuff in her room, including her wedding dress, shown in greater detail in the slow pan that closes out the episode.
    • "The Time of Angels": There's a bright red panic button on the TARDIS keyboard, and below it is a green button labelled smith.
    • "The Pandorica Opens": While talking to Amy about how forgotten things or people can come back if they're remembered, the Doctor very briefly mimes Rory's Gag Nose.
    • "The Big Bang":
      • Blink-and-miss museum exhibits include the Penguins of the Nile and Dinosaurs in Ice.
      • Looking closely as Amelia shoves her way through the crowd to see the Pandorica, you can see the Doctor edging out of shot, presumably getting ready to steal her drink.
    • "A Good Man Goes to War": The soldiers who are being briefed about the Doctor as the Fat One and Thin One enter a teleporter are standing next to a display showing the sonic screwdriver and the text "1) Is not Sonic; 2) Is not a Screwdriver".
    • "Time Heist": When Psi is going through the list of criminals, it flashes through several previously introduced characters from the Doctor Who universe, including the Gunslinger, John Hart and Abslom Daak, with Daak becoming the first Doctor Who comic strip character to enter televised canon (as a further bonus, rather than trying to find a model who resembled the character, they simply used an image of the character's face from the comic strip).
    • The spaceship in "Robot of Sherwood" has an image of Second Doctor Patrick Troughton as Robin Hood as part of its database on the character.
    • "The Woman Who Fell to Earth" twice shows a YouTube video posted by Ryan. The video is simply titled "Hey", has only been seen by a few people, and two of them were heartless enough to give it downvotes. Some fans praised this exceptionally realistic portrayal of the website. Most of the other videos visible are variations on how to create a successful vlog.
    • "The Tsuranga Conundrum": When the Doctor and Mabli look up the Monster of the Week in the ship's database, images of a Cyberman, an Ood, a Weeping Angel, a Slitheen, a Sontaran, a Silent, a classic-series Silurian and a Zygon are briefly seen before the computer pulls up a match.
    • "It Takes You Away": In the alternate universe, the Doctor's Fashionable Asymmetry earrings and hair part, as well as the writing on Erik's shirt, are mirror-reversed, since the access point was via a mirror-portal.
  • ER: The names of patients on the wall behind the nurses' station were actually that of various crew members and occasionally the real life names of the cast. Then, in the final season, as several doctors prepared to leave, they were taken down to the basement to put their name plates on the wall. On closer look, indeed, the names of every doctor/nurse who had left the staff/cast by whatever means was present (making this a nice Continuity Nod as well)).
  • Fear the Walking Dead: Freezing on John Dorie's rental movie list reveals what films he's been watching and his short reviews of each:
  • Firefly: received freeze-frame bonus shout outs in Battlestar Galactica and, strangely enough, Futurama, as seen here and here respectively.
  • Friends: In "The One After the Super Bowl" (Part II) when Ross' monkey Marcel cannot meet him at his apartment he goes out to eat with Joey and Chandler, the bonus is on the menus of the restaurant that say Marcel's on them.
  • Fringe: Americans in the alternative universe have identity cards. Freeze-framing Alt-Broyles's card in Season Four shows that they have dates in the Anglo-European DD-MM-YY format instead of the US MM-DD-YY format.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The book Ned consults to discover the true parentage of Robert Baratheon's children has a page listing several members of House Targaryen mentioned in the novels: there's King Viserys II, King Aegon IV, Queen Naerys, Princess Daena the Defiant, King Daeron II, Queen Myriah Martell, Princess Daenerys (GOT Daenerys' namesake), Prince Baelor, King Aerys I, Prince Rhaegel, Prince Maekar and even the Blackfyres: Daemon, Aegon, Aemon and Daemon II.
    • The White Book of the Kingsguard. For show-only viewers, this book makes the first reference to a very important event in the backstory, concerning Robert's Rebellion: the fight at the Tower of Joy, where Ned Stark and Howland Reed killed three members of the Kingsguard and ultimately, his sister Lyanna died.
    • The necklace Ser Dontos gives Sansa is missing one of its fake gems when Littlefinger takes it off Sansa aboard his boat, and which Littlefinger confirms contained the poison used to kill Joffrey. Even better: the gem is already missing during the Purple Wedding. Freeze frame right after Olenna touches the necklace.
  • Glee: In the season 1 episode "Hairography", Quinn Fabray and Noah "Puck" Puckerman get into a fight over the fact that Puck was sexting Santana Lopez during a babysitting gig with Quinn. The freeze-frame of Quinn searching his phone for evidence reveals that Puck might be the worse sexter ever; one sent message features the creative and eloquent line, "You so hot and stuff and stuff."
  • Good Luck Charlie: The chalkboard on the fridge has a section for chores, as well as sections for each Duncan, even Charlie. If it's visible, expect it to at least vaguely be in the episode and most of the time a huge part of the episode.
  • Heroes was very good at this in the first have of S1, with tons of stuff in each episode. For instance, Suresh's map with color strings. There was bits of Foreshadowing regarding upcoming characters as early as the first episode. The folders in Old Suresh's file cabinet are labelled with the names of powers featured in later episodes. During the second half there was considerably less of this and in later seasons these little clues appear to be largely absent.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Many of the animated Guide entries contains bits of info and jokes that require pausing to read.
  • Home Improvement had "Watch Tool Time" flash quickly several times in the intro of later seasons, when the cast members were shown on screen. A screenshot of this can be found here.
  • Horrible Histories:
    • When George IV is first mentioned in the refrain during the Kings and Queens song, he can for a second be seen pointing to himself in an Attention Whore manner.
    • There are also plenty in the "historical character uses the internet" sketches. For example, Cleopatra getting a mail from her sister and Henry VIII's mistress Bessie Blount being on his top 8 on Yebo.
    • In Draco's appearance on Stupid Deaths, Death asks for his autograph as a big fan of Draco's work. Freeze-framing is only really needed to see the entire set of names, but other autographs include Attila the Hun, Ivan the Terrible, Henry VIII and Emperor Nero.
  • Kamen Rider Gaim: In Episode 27, Ryoma Sengoku looks through computer data on the prototypes for the Transformation Trinket; pausing the list shows not only some amusing concepts (the pictured belt is based off of a faucet), but Shout Outs to previous Kamen Rider showsnote .
    • In Episode 33, when the protagonists look over a map of Zawame City, close examination reveals that it's actually a map of Gotham City. This was changed for the home release, presumably to avoid a potential lawsuit.
  • Kamen Rider Build: One shot of Evolving Credits first used in #29 shows Kazumi Sawatari examining a violoncello in the background. His actor, Kouhei Takeda, played violin as Otoya Kurenai in Kamen Rider Kiva.
  • Law & Order:
    • In "Rebels", Detective Curtis is reading a BBS posting about a murder in a bar. For a brief moment, Curtis's computer screen is visible. The email is the same paragraph repeated twice, followed by an extended rant by the prop guy, who wonders if he's filled up a screen yet with his nonsensical ramblings. Also, the email gets the name of the bar wrong.
    • In Criminal Intent, there is one episode where you get to see Eames' e-mail account briefly. The first mail is plot-relevant, the rest is from a shoe shopping site.
  • Intentionally invoked on Letterman. During a viewer mail segment, Dave read a letter from a guy who said he recorded the show and watched it later. Often, there would be a quick shot of the cue-card boy, and the viewer would pause the tape, and read the joke before Dave told it. When Dave finished reading the letter, there was a quick shot of the cue-card boy holding a nasty note for the guy that wrote the letter. For the lulz.
  • In the Leverage episode "The Reunion Job", pausing on the alumni personnel profiles reveals that the bios are just a long string of gibberish styled like Purple Prose.
  • Lost, in spades:
    • Appearances by Jacob, the beechcraft in the corner of Charlie's dream, changing picture frames, briefly seen documents in the hatches.... Most notably, the Blast Door Map which, while only visible for several seconds, contains numerous references to future plot points, such as The Flame, Magnus Hanso as the captain of the Black Rock, the date of the Incident etc.
    • Once in a while, though, something the creators intended as a joke was noticed and overanalyzed to death by crazy fans, like the Dharma Shark, who was then jokingly named "Ezra James Sharkington" by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, and popped back up in a sixth-season episode, presumably as a Shout-Out to crazy fans.
  • The Mentalist: The episode "Seeing Red" briefly flashed a computers screen showing the charitable contributions of a wealthy murder victim. She wrote checks for "Organization for the fight to end Women's Suffrage", "Society for Teaching English to Americans", and "P.A.N.I.C. (People Against Naming Infants Chad)".
  • Modern Family: In Connection Lost, in The Stinger Claire quickly scans over the first sentence of Alex's college admissions essay before giving up and just texting her that she loved it. If you pause long enough to read the actual essay visible on the screen, one sentence has "I know you're not reading this, mom" inserted in it.
  • An episode of The Outer Limits (1995) features an old Holocaust survivor who occasionally remembers the horrible day that his young daughter was dragged off by camp guards, never to be seen again. Looking closely during those flashbacks, one can see that the "guards" are actually the survivor's adult son and a time traveler from the further into the future. In the episode's climax, the pair have traveled back in time as part of a plan to bring one of the camp guards to justice; the survivor's son made a spur of the moment decision to rescue his half-sister by bringing her back to the future.
  • Person of Interest uses Machine POV a lot, which can lead to this, particularly by use of its Color-Coded for Your Convenience method of identifying individuals. Of note are the split second in Control's debut episode where she has a red "threat" box, and the season one finale where the Victim of the Week has the yellow box indicating that she knows about the machine because she's really Root.
  • Due to a stock footage blunder in the Power Morphicon trailer for Power Rangers Dino Charge, Kamen Rider Wizard appeared for one brief second. This lead some people to speculate that Saban had renewed the "Power Rider" license and was intending to adapt Wizard... but nothing came of it.
  • Revolution:
    • At the end of episode 3 ("No Quarter"), Maggie's iPhone reactivates thanks to the power-activating pendant, and the lock screen shows the date as Monday, September 17 - the date of the show's premiere in 2012.
    • In episode 5 ("Soul Train"), Hutch is seen with a Harry Potter manuscript.
  • One episode of Sam & Cat had Cat presenting a list of babysitting rules, one of which is "You should not freeze-frame on this. Click play and continue watching the show".
  • Selfie: Eliza's Twitter followers include @trenzlore [sic] and @souffleb0y, which appeared together. Doubles as a Shout-Out.
  • In the seventh episode of A Series of Unfortunate Events, there is actually a spoiler that can be viewed by freeze-framing. As Violet searches for answers about her parents in the Lucky Smells Lumbermill library, she finds one book that has not had its contents redacted. If you pause when she opens the book, you can read that the Baudelaire parents were responsible for putting out the lumbermill fire, not setting it, and that the arsonist was likely a disgruntled mill worker. Comically enough, the final sentence of the page sets up for a reveal of Sir's real name, but continues to the other side right before the name is revealed!
  • Sherlock:
    • For a few seconds, you can see Sherlock standing on the roof of St. Bart's hospital, a small tease for the finale of Season 2.
    • There are several newspapers shown throughout the series, each with relevant articles in them. The most hilarious are the article revealing why Sherlock was kicked out of the courtroom in Reichenbach Fall and the various newspapers Janine brings to the hospital in His Last Vow.
  • Smallville:
    • Kinetic: "For Lionel Luthors eyes only". Note the lack of an apostrophe.
    • Lexmas: A lot of fans apparently wondered what dream Lex did to get a humanitarian award, but a simple freeze frame would reveal it is work for the homeless as stated on the certificate.
    • Abyss: As Brainiac starts to delete Chloe's memories of Clark, she begins to have a flashback to the Dark Thursday kiss before the image of Clark is pulled away from her, interspersed with flashes of a white Superman symbol.
    • Salvation: Clark wearing the traditional Superman suit could be seen briefly as a reflection in the Daily Planet globe. There are even briefer frame of Superman flying pass the camera and a flash of the Superman symbol as the vision ends.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: In the opening sequence, as the camera passes through a comet tail composed of shiny CG dust, there are images of the Kirk-era crew formed by the dust. Spock is the easiest one to see (they are very hard to make out, but but he's really there).
  • Touched by an Angel: At the conclusion of an episode in which the angels were trying to aid a detective who specialized in missing children's cases, one of the cast members revealed that the numerous "Missing" posters seen in the background throughout the episode were in fact those of real missing children. Pausing the footage allowed the viewer to get a much closer looks at the details present.
  • A Touch of Cloth, during a scene in which Cloth is running through a hospital corridor. For about a second or two, there's a sign visible on the wall behind him listing the various hospital wards: pausing reveals that they have joke names such as "Hattie Jacques Ward", "Shayne Ward", and "Pause Button OCD Ward".
  • Trailer Park Boys: In one episode, a character reads a written note aloud as the camera focuses on it. After he is done, the camera pans down slightly for a split second to reveal extra text, which says "If you're freeze-framing this on DVD, you're fucked!"
  • The Vampire Diaries: Stefan is calling Isabel and on his phone you see a number, a real number, 919-399-2507. If you call it you get audio of Katherine, Stefan, and Damon talking about Klaus and who to trust.


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