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Found on 24-Hour News Networks, such as CNN, this line of scrolling text provides viewers with the headlines while they are watching a report on, say, tax evasion. Also called a news ticker. Any spoof of a news report is almost guaranteed to have a silly headlines populating this bar for the entire time for bonus jokes, which often requires one to rewatch the scene twice to catch everything. Said headlines may or may not be about a Noodle Incident.

While these seem fairly ubiquitous now, the idea of a 24-hour news crawl on the screen didn't become popular with many television news networks until after September 11th, 2001. Prior to this, a few networks did run constant crawls, but mostly with stock information, sports scores, or weather updates.

Not to be confused with Dungeon Crawl, the video game Crawl, the 2019 film Crawl or Dungeon Crawling. Almost always either a Funny Background Event or a Meaningful Background Event. For a related trope for conveying the latest situation visually without the narrative stopping to exposit, see The Big Board.


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    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • A rare print example occurs in Stephen King's Carrie. During Carrie's rampage and destruction of the school, the narration occasionally cuts away to a transcript of coverage of the story on the crawl for the national news.

    Live Action TV 
  • 30 Rock featured a fake news crawl with headlines such as "Panda Murder-Suicide Shocks China"; "Wolf Blitzer Injured In Wolf Blitz"; "Mysterious Visitor From Future Wins Lottery Again"; "Anne Heche Leaves Husband For Pony."
    • The season 2 episode "Somebody to Love" reused the news crawl from a previous episode, then added “NEWS CRAWL AFFECTED BY WRITERS STRIKE — USING REPEAT TEXT FROM PREVIOUS SEASON.”
  • Several series by the Australian comedy team The Chaser have done this, beginning with News Parody CNNNN and continuing in their 2004 and 2007 election specials, The Chaser Decides. One episode even had a news crawl that summarised the original news crawl, and one had a news crawl for the vision impaired which basically filled the entire screen (in other words, you only saw three or four letters of the crawl at a time). It was also used briefly in the first episode of The Chaser's War On Everything only to be abruptly dropped.
  • Used on Doctor Who and its spinoffs, whenever footage from BBC News or the fictional AMNN news channels appear.
  • The Community episode "Intro To Political Science" has one of these during Troy and Abed's coverage of the class election. Examples: "Professor Slater Still Missing", "Basketball Team Loses Ball", "Professor Duncan Quits Drinking Again" and (pictured) "Tickers: Do we watch them? Story at 12".
    • Analysis of Cork-Based Networking has one briefly that reveals LeVar Burton and "non-celebrity" (Troy) were captured by pirates.
  • Back when The Weather Channel was still using teletype, a crawl would be shown at the bottom of the screen, detailing local businesses (typically the ones sponsoring the Local on the 8's), as well as amber alerts, other types of Emergency Broadcast, severe weather alerts, lost pet alerts, etc. (Today, there's one showing a brief local forecast, plus any severe weather alerts.)


    Professional Wrestling 
  • Ring of Honor's HD Net and Sinclair television shows would sometimes have crawling text updating fans on where ROH wrestlers not currently on the show were wrestling or where ROH would be coming next.
  • Ashley America's The All American Report had such claims as her causing the riots that shutdown three events not up to her standing and promises to do the same in Valkyrie Women's Pro Wrestling.

    Video Games 
  • In Super Mario Sunshine, while out in Delfino Plaza, a news crawl will be shown that gives updates on happenings all around the Isle Delfino. These updates are based around things you do in game that has effects on the island's status, such as the sunshine slowly returning and appearances of Shadow Mario, just to name a few.
  • In a trailer of sorts for the Lost and Damned download content for Grand Theft Auto IV, done in the style of a Weazel News report, talks about bikers causing violence while the crawl below reads things like 'Laid off worker gets laid', 'Stimulus package includes vibrator', and 'Bologna recall totally fucks worker's lunch plan' among others. And it's done again in a similar trailer for The Ballad of Gay Tony, with the main report focusing on illegal guns trade while the crawl has lines like 'Swine Flu scared by woman in mask' and 'Parents demand school closing - saying public education is socialism'.
  • SimCity 3000 has a news ticker which alternates between items giving genuine information about how you're doing and daft stories such as "Mayor denies kitty kibble shortage". And if you had disasters enabled, you'd better pay attention to the ticker, 'cuz if it says something about earth rumblings, crop circles, rowdy demonstrations or malfunctioning satellites, it's time to smash the doomsday siren button!
    • Ditto for SimCity 4, albeit vertically-scrolling and with less kitty kibble shortage.
  • Saints Row features a few of these in cutscenes for the in-game news channel. Most of them are pretty humourous, including an announcement for a film starring the Real Life voice actor of a character.
  • Ridge Racer 7 has one that's relatively serious. The crawl occurs between races and shows off the top times of certain series. These are interspersed with news stories related to the game and its setting.
  • Celestus has one at the bottom of the screen, providing advice, lore, and stupid jokes.
    Looking for a job ? Try the Administrative Bureau of Bureaucratic Administration of the Adrean Republic !
  • The UNN crawl in Starcraft II actually provides a complete story, about a drug-addled celebrity (the one painted on Tychus' shoulder) who christens a battlecruiser, runs away from rehab and is found hiding in a zoo.
  • Exaggerated for satire in Metal Gear Solid 4, where an in-universe nature documentary about octopuses (Ocean of Gossip) has two news crawls that bounce all over the footage, all showing batshit insane weird news, mostly to do with horrific civilian militarism.
  • Viscera Cleanup Detail has the News Ticker machine on some levels which runs a series of stories. Most of them are fluff pieces about heroes they idolize along with some Shout Outs and other jokes.
  • In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the situation room has a news ticker which adds some flavor to in-game events. Every mission, every council request fulfilled or denied, results in a news item.
  • At one point in Undertale, Mettaton forces you to watch the live feed from his TV station of the action. The crawl at the bottom displays humorous news stories about enemies you've encountered, and differs depending on whether or not they lived. If you let the scene run long enough, the crawl finally ends with "HISTORIC NEWS TICKER HEADLINE SHORTAGE."
  • Disgaea 5 features a "Nether News" ticker that runs while you're in the home base. Its stories mainly consist of interviews with character class representatives, advertisements for the various base shops, and the occasional details on the Lost's advances and conquests.

  • In the Ozy and Millie series about Isolde becoming a reporter, the news story she's covering features in its crawl "A public service announcement followed me home the other day" (a reference to R.E.M.'s song "Bad Day" and possibly the music video for the same; see above) and "Help me I'm shrinking."
  • Grrl Power featured one of these as a Funny Background Event when a reporter is interviewing Sydney.
    News crawl: Please make this girl stop cursing. It feels like I'm playing Diablo with the censor button.

    Web Original 
  • Jib Jab's video "What We Call the News" uses a crawl as subtitles.
  • The Onion News Network, naturally, features joke headlines in its crawl.
  • In the same vein as The Onion, gaming parody site The Eggplant has a joke headline crawl.
  • In The Joker Blogs, there is an episode which is a news report with a crawl full of Mythology Gags.
  • The browser game/forum RP Imperium Nova features a news crawl across the top of the page displaying the three most recent galactic events. Elections, natural disasters, weddings, wars, assassinations...
  • Star Wars Uncut: The discussion between Darth Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin, and Admiral Tagge about the Imperial Senate is presented by Talking Heads on ENN along with a text crawl underneath: "Senate Dissolved...Moisture Farmers See Record Low Season"
  • Reason TV featured a rap where two reporters are delivering stories of the Yet Another Baby Panda quality when one rapper notices the ticker and tries to call out his co-host on their Worst News Judgement Ever. The co-host agree there are more important matters... and transitions to a story about Pokemon Go.
  • FreedomToons: The bottom crawl on The Echo Chamber is deliberately hostile and condescending to the audience as part of its Strawman News Media nature.
  • In Hazbin Hotel, during the news report about the turf wars in Hell, one lengthy crawl zips past that starts off relevant to the story, but quickly derails into the typist making puns, complaining about an orangutan he claims made a face at him at the zoo, and blaming his wife for leaving him after he cheated on her with a cleaning lady.
    "Breaking News: A large scale turf war is underway in Pentagram City between Sir Pentious and Cherri Bomb. The surrounding areas are covered in debris, so please avoid downtown on your commute today. Traffic is “hella” backed up. Get it? “Hell”, but with an “A” at the end? That’s a word younger people seem to enjoy using. I don’t really like it though. I wrote it because it seemed like the natural kind of pun to make for this situation. But now that I see it in text, I feel like it was a mistake. A mistake I can’t take back…like cheating on my wife. I’m so sorry Martha. I shouldn’t have done it, but you did gain a lot of weight after the baby and I really needed some space. You know what? No, that was a good call. I banged the cleaning lady, and that was a pretty nice time. Even though she laughed at me when I told her I couldn’t get off unless she licked my foot first. I don’t see how that’s a weird request. Maybe if I’d just gotten a hooker she would have been more agreeable. The point is my wife was a fucking bitch. One time we went to the zoo and I got really mad because I thought the orangutan was making fun of me. He kept doing that stupid duck lip face? The one where their lips get all puckered? Then it started screaming, and that really pissed me off. My wife told me it was just a monkey and to calm down."

    Western Animation 
  • George & A.J., a short film by Pixar related to Up, has this during the news report, and it makes humorous references to the feature film, among other things.
  • In one episode of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, which parodied the War on Terror, Phil Ken Sebben installed a news crawl in the cafeteria.
    • The news crawl actually appears at the beginning of the obligatory court scene as well, where Mentok tries to predict what it's going to say next before finally just shutting it off.
  • On The Simpsons, one episode showed the Krusty the Clown appearing on Fox News, with an identical news ticker that lampooned Fox News' conservative bias (featuring headlines like "Do Democrats cause cancer?" and "Rupert Murdoch: Terrific Dancer"). Fox News was not amused
    • The gag was repeated in "Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson", with such headlines as "Obama calls mulligan on first term" and "Europe puts Greece on eBay".
  • The into to Karl's "Monkey News" segment on The Ricky Gervais Show features a monkey newscaster with a crawl reading "EEEP... SCREECH... OOOH..."
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man (2012), crawls ALWAYS appear as a Funny Background Event when the Daily Bugle's new screen is shown. "Mistress Death opens new cupcake shop" is a hilarious example.
  • The Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Fightan Titan" opens with a news report on TV with the crawl saying things like "Celebrity gives baby stupid name", "Something bad happens in country most Americans can't find on map", and "Random person reads fake news scroll at bottom of cartoon".
  • American Dad!: In "Bullocks to Stan", Hayley breaks up with Deputy Bullock over the phone during a news conference, and the "C-Spin" ticker shows headlines regarding the scenario.

    Real Life 
  • During the events of September 11, 2001, many news station tickers continued to show other headlines of the day, even as footage of the atrocity took place.
    • The events of September 11th are the reason why tickers were brought back in the first place. With so many information coming in during the attacks and not enough time to read them on air, Fox News began running a ticker at the bottom to broadcast these additional informations. CNN and MSNBC soon followed, and the rest is history.
    • As of 2021, however, both Fox News and MSNBC decided to retire their tickers. Only CNN has its ticker in place.
    • Financial networks like CNBC and Bloomberg have two tickers at the bottom of the screen during trading hours — one tracking commodities and the other tracking stocks.
  • Once when the comedian Lewis Black was being interviewed on CNN, he demanded they take the crawl off the screen so people could pay attention to the interview.
  • G4 does this, usually with things that'll later show up on The Feed.
  • Local channels in America do this all the time for a number of reasons, including warning of severe weather, or to warn that a regularly scheduled show will be preempted.
  • Both local channels and actual networks may use a crawl to break a major news story or update a major news story when they do not want to interrupt a program in progress, especially during prime time.
  • The first known example of a news ticker was used on Today in 1952, very early in the program's life. The ticker took the form of a typewritten strip of paper scrolled across the screen and superimposed via split-screening. It was quickly retired due to its unwieldy nature; it would take until the advent of computer-generated graphics for news crawls to catch on.
  • Japanese TV networks use news crawls on top of the screen, known in Japanese as "telops", to announce breaking news without interrupting the program in proccess. It's not just used for breaking news, as it also is used for weather updates and earthquake warnings.
  • The headquarters for major news agencies may have purpose-built ones wrapped around the buildings they're located in to serve both as a news delivery mechanism and an implicit advertisement of that agency. The New York Times was the first major newspaper to install one with moving letters on lights, called the motograph, in 1928. New York's major stock exchanges (the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ) have also installed these on the exterior of their buildings to display the latest stock quotes of the companies they have listed.
  • Predating the regular news networks' use of news crawls during September 11, ESPN and its first sister network ESPN2 started using them in the mid-1980's to display the scores and upcoming matches for the various sports they covered so that the main newscasting feed could go more in-depth with particular stories for the day.

Alternative Title(s): News Ticker