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Double Take

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"Fluffy... why did you put a leash on an eggplant?"
Erika: [translating for Largo] She likes your cell phone.
Meimi: <Yuki's was eaten by her pet zombie zilla.>
Erika: Yuki's was eaten by her pet "zombie zilla". <Wait, her what?>

"Takes" or Reaction Shots are a staple, in live action and animation.

The Double Take is when the actor glances at something or someone without much emotion and turns away, then, in a moment of realization, snaps the head around with a big expression. When done verbally, the usual response is often a quick "Wait, what?" when they have the realization to either a visual or verbal event.

Bonus points if you include an Eye Take, Spit Take, Gasp!, or if the words which prompt the Double Take are, before the take, unthinkingly repeated by the Double-Taker (as in the example above). See Delayed Reaction for a longer-term version. May involve a Record Needle Scratch. Commonly overlaps with Stopped Dead in Their Tracks.

Not to be confused with the camera trick called Repeat Cut. If the actor is flummoxed on their first look, the reaction is probably a Flat "What". May result in Sarcasm Failure.


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  • Nipper & Gramophone's Christmas Tales: Gramophone does one in "The Snowman" after Nipper walks by an incredibly lifelike snow sculpture of himself that Gramophone has mistaken for the real thing.
  • Silentnight Beds: In the "My First Bed" advert, if you look close enough in the board game sequence, you can see Henry the baby hippo doing this out of joy when he sees how much Dee-Dee (the kid duck) rolled.

  • In the very first episode of Happy Heroes, Doctor H. thinks he's finally gotten away from the junkyard's guard dog, but the dog reappears right in his car seconds later. Doctor H. looks to his right where the dog is sitting, doesn't react and keeps on driving like normal, and then realizes what he just saw and panics.
  • In the Lamput episode "Zoom Oil", the docs find Lamput snacking. He opens his eyes, sees the docs, closes his eyes, then gasps a second later and runs.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf provides the former page image. In the Joys of Seasons episode "Candy House Fantasy", Wolffy looks at a candy house and says, "Am I dreaming, or is that a candy house I'm looking at?" Then he sighs and walks away from the house. He does a double take and says, "A candy house! I wasn't dreaming about it."

    Anime & Manga 
  • In episode 22 of Azumanga Daioh, Osaka passes Yomi on her way to awaken Yukari-sensei by banging on a frying pan. Yomi doesn't think much of it at first... then suddenly turns around in fear, the first clue that the resident Cloudcuckoolander is NOT carrying a frying pan.
  • Dr. STONE: Senku manages (after several months of grueling labor) to recreate a primitive cell phone in the Stone World, and tests it by letting some of the villagers talk to each other. The Stone Age villagers, who had never even seen iron before he invented it, cheerily say "it's like a speaker!" Senku says it's not like a speaker, it is a speaker... and then realizes that there is no possible way they should know what a speaker is. This leads him to discover that his father, who founded the village thousands of years ago, left behind a glass record hidden in a grave marker, with a few hints in the stories that only a modern human would recognize.
  • In episode 13 of Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works], Tohsaka tells Shirou that they're going on a date. His first response is "Oh, you and I are going on a date." After a second or two it zooms in on his face as he screams "WAIT, WHAT!?"
  • Gundam: In an early episode of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Lacus is being transferred from the Archangel over to ZAFT. In order to fit into the spacesuit, she had to remove her bulky skirt, which she then stores inside the suit, making her look pregnant. When she's handed over to the ZAFT soldier (who just so happens to be her fiancé Athrun), he does a visible Double Take at the sight of her "belly".
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable: While looking for lottery tickets in the trash in the hope of winning something, Okuyasu stumbles upon a winning ticket. He looks at the number on the ticket and at the winning numbers on a small guide a couple of times, and then asks Josuke if they would be allowed, when finding a winning ticket, to cash in the prize. After the latter's positive response, this is when he does a Third Take and realizes they've won five million yen.
  • Komi Can't Communicate: The first time Komi sees Manbagi, she glances at her, and then does a massive double take. The two eventually become each other's closest friend, but only after Manbagi tones down the gyaru aspects somewhat.
  • Rebuild World:
    • When an officer is giving Akira his assignment in a forced government contract to clear an Underground City ruin, the officer dismisses Akira due to his youth, then upon seeing his combat record that makes him look like a One-Man Army, does this.
    • When Akira rescues Sheryl from a Hostage Situation in an enemy gang headquarters and gives her a Bridal Carry out, Akira calls Carol there and puts Sheryl in her arms (to escort her out while he pursues another objective), making both women double take and Carol tell him he’s bad with women.
  • In episode 8 of the first season of Sekirei, Minato feels at ease after having a private talk with Tsukiumi about her not losing a fight, which he had with Musubi in an earlier episode. He then wonders out loud if they're not the same despite their differences. He opens the door slightly, and sees Musubi standing by the door. He nonchalantly closes it for a few moments, then opens it again, and after she says something to him, he screams, wondering if Musubi just heard what he said comparing the two girls.

  • In one of Dane Cook's skits he tells he did a twelve-take, when he saw under his dad's robe when the dad was not wearing any underwear.
  • One of Harry Enfield's sketch shows featured recurring characters "The Double-Take Brothers", a pair of gormless unobservant idiots who react this way to everything.

    Comic Books 
  • A staple of Mortadelo y Filemón is characters doing double takes towards something freaky. The story Valor y... ¡al toro! demonstrates this when Mortadelo opens his door disguised as a crocodile.
  • Spirou & Fantasio: In Le Tombeau des Champignac, as the characters make their way toward the princess's resting place, Fantasio snarkily points out "signs" that they are nearly there, such as sand in his shoes, dust in his eyes, and a princess in a preserving jar. A Beat Panel passes as he realizes the last thing he said, and he grabs Spirou, stammering that he saw the princess.
  • Young Justice: The entire team pulls one when Impulse accidentally lets it slip that Conner has a child on Gemworld. This includes Conner himself and Amethyst's horse.

    Fan Works 
  • Epiphany: As Sephiroth is standing outside Aerith's church just before Cloud drops in, Reno comes up with an entourage of troopers. Sephiroth,who everyone thinks is dead, greets him amiably enough.
    Sephiroth: Reno.
    Reno: General. [Beat] Huh?
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Referenced by name within the story.
    Italy: Wow Ludwig... [crystalline tears finally dried] Someone incredibly wise must have taught you this.
    Germany: [chuckle] Yes, I learned it from you.
    Italy: Right... [double-take] What?! Me?!
    Germany: [fond smile] Yes, you.
  • In chapter 8 of Harry Potter And The Rune Stone Path, Neville Longbottom asks Harry Potter what the glowing rune on his robe sleeve means. Harry Potter calmly explains "Someone's trying to get into my trunk," then realizes what he just said and repeats angrily "Someone's trying to get into my trunk!" He runs off to confront the thief.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Essentially the group's reaction when they're in Canterlot High and a student mentions the names "Principal Celestia" and "Vice-Principal Luna" to them.
  • This Bites!:
    • Cross performs one while observing what a nice day it is in Water 7:
      The sun was shining...
      The seagulls were cawing...
      Clouds were drifting...
      Miss Friday was eating water-water meat on the railing of that upcoming bridge...
      Waaaaaaaaait a second.
    • Cross has another one during the Thriller Bark Arc. While in the Florian Triangle, the Straw Hats sing "Binks' Sake" in order to keep up their spirits. It's while observing the others' activities that Cross realizes that Brook had floated up to the Sunny and joined the party.
  • Bjorns Happy End starts with this exchange:
    Bjorn the fell-handed: WHO AWAKENS BJORN? IS IT TIME FOR WAR?
    Brother-Captain: It is indeed time for war, mighty Bjorn. We have awakened you to do battle with our foes!
    Bjorn: [resigned] FIGURES. IT'S NEVER TIME FOR — WAIT, WHAT?

    Films — Animation 
  • The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina
    Daniel: What do ya see, Godfrey? What do ya see?
    Godfrey: The usual, Daniel, the usual. The usual insects, amphibians, indigenous plant life, raccoon guano, tiny girl floating in a sardine can.
    [both nod and retreat into the hole; Beat; both return]
    Godfrey & Daniel: Tiny girl floating in a sardine can?!
  • Frozen:
    • Anna does this all the time, making "wait, what?" something of her catchphrase. It's actually a quirk of her voice actress that was adapted in.
      Anna: This is awkward. Not you're awkward, but just because we're— I'm awkward, you're gorgeous. Wait, what?
    • And Kristoff gets his own at the happy ending:
      Kristoff: I could kiss you!... I could. I mean, I'd like to. I... may I? We me? I mean, may we? Wait, what?
    • Frozen II confirms that Anna had this verbal tick when she was much younger.
      Young Elsa: You've seen an enchanted forest?
      Young Anna: Wait, what?
  • In A Goofy Movie, happens when Goofy and Max are headed toward an Inevitable Waterfall:
    Goofy: [in his usual cheerful tone] Ah-hyuck. A waterfall. [Beat] A WATERFALL!
  • In Disney's Hercules, while Meg and Herc start talking and falling for one another in a garden, Meg backs up into something pointed (which turns out to be a statue of Cupid, the point being his arrow). Cue a subtle, but definite double take from Meg.
  • A brief case of this pops up in Pixar's Inside Out, when during Riley's first day of school, she notices some popular girls nearby, and Joy is eager to make friends with them.
    Joy: Let's go talk to them!
    Disgust: Are you kidding? We're not talking to them! We want them to like us.
    Joy: Oh, yeah. Wait, what?
  • The Jungle Book:
    Bagheera: [half-asleep] There's no use arguing anymore. Now, no more talk till the morning.
    Kaa: [chuckles] He won't be here in the morning.
    Bagheera: Hmm? Oh yes, he will. I... KAA!
  • Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas does this when the paper snowflake he was trying to make ends up, against all laws of symmetry, looking like a spider. That's right, even the laws of symmetry think Jack sucks at Christmas.
  • Done quite a few times in Pinocchio. Examples:
    "Honest John": [noticing Pinocchio skipping by] Look Giddy, a little wooden boy, yes... a little wooden boy?!

    Gepetto: Who's there?
    Pinocchio: It's me.
    Gepetto: Oh it's me...Huh?!

    Gepetto: Oh, Pinocchio, how did you get down here?
    Pinocchio: I fell down.
    Gepetto: Oh, you did...Oh! You're talking!
  • In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Mario sneaks past Peach's castle guards, who give him a hello. It takes the guards a few seconds to realize Mario is an intruder and chase him.
  • In The Tigger Movie, this is Tigger's reaction to Roo asking him to teach the Whoopty-Dooper-Loopty-Looper-Alley-Ooper Bounce:
    Tigger: Asa-bwah-ja... WHAT?
  • In Turning Red, Mei does this verbally when Mr. Gao is talking about the ritual she will undergo.
    Mr. Gao: Oh, well, I've got 50 years' experience as a shaman. This will be a piece of cake. And mostly painless.
    Mei: Thanks, Mr. Gao. Wait, "mostly"?
  • Up: Carl does one when he spots Russell on the porch after his house is airborne.
  • WALL•E: Even robots can fall victim to the double take.
    • First, while scanning the EVE units one by one upon their return to the Axiom, GO-4 scans WALL•E in passing. He keeps up moving to the next, stops in shock and backtracks, but WALL•E is already gone.
    • Later, EVE initially waves WALL•E off when he tries to get her attention on the Axiom. Then she realizes he's not supposed to be there.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 7 Faces of Dr. Lao: Ed Cunningham does one when he realizes that Angela has finally started showing some.. interest in him.
  • In All the President's Men, Carl Bernstein does this when one of his colleagues at the paper tells him she knows who wrote the so-called "Canuck Letter" (a letter that sabotaged Edmund Muskie's campaign for President).
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: Happens when Lalu is reading a story to Brittany and Alvin with Gilda the cockatoo is watching during Little Alvin and the Mini-Munks when a splash of water appears on the page Lalu was on. It's revealed to be Simon who's all wet. After explaining that the toilet exploded, everyone goes back to reading before instantly turning back to Simon.
  • At the start of Baby Driver, Griff gets into the getaway car and points forward as a signal to Baby to start driving. He can't quite believe it when they start speeding backwards (in preparation for a reverse J-turn).
  • Back to the Future Part II:
    • Jennifer does one when she lays eyes on the 47-year-old, drastically different Marty from the closet she's hiding in.
    • While driving his car, Biff Tannen distractedly looks to the side, but doesn't react immediately at the sight of Marty McFly trying to steal the Gray's Sports Almanac.
  • Batman: The Dark Knight features a rare case where we don't see the face of the person doing the double take. During the Extended Disarming sequence, a police officer is shown taking many knives out of the Joker's clothes. The final one is a potato peeler, which the handler briefly reexamines clearly thrown by its inclusion in the weapons. Given that its The Joker, we're probably better off not knowing what he uses it for.
  • In Call Me Bwana, Soviet goons go into Matt's darkened tent to kidnap him during his bath, not knowing he's been chased out by a lion cub. As the goons carry the cub out wrapped in a sheet, Matt walks by in a Modesty Towel. One of the goons does a double take.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • SHAZAM!: While still trying to figure out his new powers, Billy-as-Shazam interrupts a convenience-store robbery and gets shot with no effect. Freddie suggests returning the robber's gun and getting shot in the face to see if he's really bulletproof, or if it's just the superhero suit. Billy enthusiastically agrees, and then objects as he belatedly realizes the problem with this idea. (Fortunately, it turns out that he's invulnerable all over.)
    • The Suicide Squad: Just as the Squad is about to raid the presidential palace to free the captured Harley Quinn, Rick Flag hears "What are you guys doing?" and does a double take upon seeing... Harley Quinn, free as a bird.
  • Exaggerated and played for laughs in Deadpool. When villain Ajax frees himself after getting pinned to a wall, Deadpool, who has been busy arguing with Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead before noticing, turns his head back and forth between the empty wall and Colossus about 10 times.
  • In Death Becomes Her, Ernest has a particularly fast (and funny) one when he sees Madeline has taken a shotgun from his gun cabinet.
  • As the French king of physical comedy, Louis de Funès did a lot of double takes. A good one in Delusions of Grandeur, when Don Salluste guides the king of Spain to the bedroom where they expect to surprise the queen with her lover... only to find her old gouvernante, Doña Juana, in the arms of Blaze the valet. Salluste double-takes, closes the door hastily and starts speaking gibberish out of shock.
  • A funny one in Dinner at Eight where Carlotta reels in shock after flighty Gold Digger Kitty Packard mentions that she actually read a book.
  • In A Fish Called Wanda, Otto is about to gun Archie after forcing him to climb into a barrel of oil. Archie is at first stalling for time, then in desperation shout "LOOK!" while pointing away. Otto is at first persuaded that he's trying to pull a Look Behind You, but since Archie can't exactly run, he reluctantly glances in this direction. Only to do a double take when he realizes that, indeed, Archie was pointing at Ken coming at him in revenge, with a steamroller.
  • Alan gets one in The Hangover when he's peeing, sees a tiger in the bathroom, continues to urinate, then turns at the tiger again in utter horror and panic.
  • In the 1943 oddity Hi Diddle Diddle, Billie Burke leads her on-screen family in a round of deliberately staged (if apt) double-takes after a waiter does a 'real' one and she remarks that it is "just like in the movies."
  • James Bond:
    • In Dr. No, Bond does a double-take when he sees Francisco de Goya's Portait Of The Duke Of Wellington in Dr. No's lair. At the time the movie was made, the portrait's theft was a high-profile story and was still missing, thus the film implying that No was the culprit.
    • Played tragically in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. While Bond is removing wedding flowers from his car and conversing with his new wife at the side of the road, Blofeld and his henchwoman drive past and open fire on his car. Bond survives the attack and storms into his car, announcing that it's Blofeld. Upon getting no response, he repeats himself under the impression that his wife didn't hear him. Then he glances to her, back to the road and then quickly looks at his wife again, realising she had been shot and killed in the drive-by.
    • You Only Live Twice: When Osato sees Bond in the SPECTRE control room, he first turns back to his console and then turns slowly to look at him again with a stunned look on his face.
    • A rather (in)famous one in Moonraker, with a Venetian pigeon doing a double take at Bond passing by in a gondola-hovercraft.
    • Licence to Kill, when Bond takes a look at Pam's secretary outfit.
    • GoldenEye, when Bond sees Alec held at gunpoint by Ourumov (and all the others pointing their guns at him); the shock is evident on his face the second time he emerges from behind the canister.
    • The World Is Not Enough, when Bond takes note of the gorgeous Cigar Girl.
  • Spanky does this a lot in The Little Rascals shorts. He admitted later that he picked it up from Stan Laurel
  • In the film version of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Pippin does one of these when he realizes that the tree he is climbing is, in fact, sapient.
  • In Mad Love, Matt and Casey do a highly dangerous trust-building exercise that involves Casey covering Matt's eyes while he drives and giving him instructions on how to steer. As they pass a truck, the driver does a double take.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: After a lengthy argument, Yondu explains to Rocket that they are about to go fight a planet (the Living Planet, Ego, Peter Quill's father). Rocket seems all pumped up at this until... "Fight a what?"
    • Once Scott Lang returns to Earth in Avengers: Endgame, he visits a Decimation Memorial to see if his daughter Cassie was one of the victims. And then does a double take when he finds his own name there.
  • The exasperating divorce judge from Midnight does a huge double take when he finds out that Eve and Tibor weren't even married in the first place. It's followed with a "WHAT?!"
  • The French soldier in Monty Python and the Holy Grail does a big double take when he sees the huge "Trojan rabbit" being wheeled up to the gate.
  • In Monty Python's Life of Brian, after Brian falls into a passing spaceship, the two aliens inside do a double take at the sight of him. More exactly, their eyestalks do a double take.
  • In The Mummy's Shroud, a servant who is about to taste the wine from his secret stash takes a glance at the corpse next to him that he completely failed to notice before, takes another look with eyes widened in horror, and runs away screaming.
  • The Shaggy Dog: As Wilby begins turning into a sheepdog for the first time, he passes by a mirror before pausing and noticing his hair turning white.
  • In The Shawshank Redemption, Andy's friends decide to get him a "welcome back" gift after a month in the infirmary. Red mentions that Andy likes to play chess, and suggests getting him some rocks. Heywood nods, then after a couple of seconds of processing glances back at Red in confusion.
  • Sons of the Desert: Stan and Ollie have separate takes when they discover a newspaper headline saying that a cruise liner (that they told their wives they were going on before sneaking to a convention) has sunk.
  • In Speed, after Jack Traven does a Flashed-Badge Hijack on Maurice (a civilian driver) so he can catch up to a bus that has a bomb on it, he tries yelling this news out to Sam, the bus driver:
    Jack: I'm a cop! LAPD! There's a bomb on your bus! There is a bomb on your bus!
    Sam: [can't hear him] What?
    Maurice: There is a bomb... WHAT?!
  • Star Wars: In Return of the Jedi, when Han Solo instructs C-3PO what to say to the Ewoks, he keeps pulling him back for new orders, finishing with "Hurry up, will ya? Haven't got all day!" The droid responds with a double take.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze features not a double take, but a triple take when Keno notices the Turtles running up behind him.
  • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the T-1000 does a subtle one when he runs into a store mannequin that resembles his liquid metal form.
  • In Titanic, the chief engineer does one when he realizes the engines were ordered full astern. (The helm is issuing this desperate order in an attempt to avoid colliding with the iceberg.)
  • Twin Dragons have this happening when the titular twins, John and Boomer (respectively played by Jackie Chan and Jackie Chan), Separated at Birth, sees each other for the first time in an adjacent urinal. Both men thought they're looking into a mirror...

  • Animorphs: Rachel does one at the end of the book where Tobias acquires his human self's DNA so he can be human for two hours at a time once he shows up for the school dance.
  • In the Aunt Dimity series, this is another way Lori wears her heart on her sleeve. Notably, when the ghost of Cyril Pennyfeather wrote in the blue journal for the first time: "I glanced down at the journal, did a double take that nearly sent Reginald flying, and lowered my arm very slowly."
  • Discworld: Unseen Academicals has several of these, usually from Glenda, who gets very involved in her thoughts before reacting.
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, upon his arrival to Hogwarts Harry notices that the coaches are no longer horseless and does exactly this.note  The text plain out calls it a "double take".
  • Kill time or die trying has this example:
    James: Where's Steve?
    Brad: He's getting his character sheet from the faculty office.
    James: Ah. Well, I've got Douw's campaign notes here, and it seems that last session you... Wait. What?
  • The Reivers: "I saw McWillie do what you would nowadays call a double take", when rival jockey McWille glances behind him and then takes a second, shocked look back after realizing that Lucius and Lightning the horse are not alongside him but in fact are far behind.
  • Sherlock Holmes: Older Than Television; Arthur Conan Doyle describes one client's reaction to the obligatory Sherlock Scan in "A Case of Identity":
    "Do you not find," he said, "that with your short sight it is a little trying to do so much typewriting?"
    "I did at first," she answered, "but now I know where the letters are without looking." Then, suddenly realising the full purport of his words, she gave a violent start and looked up, with fear and astonishment upon her broad, good-humoured face.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the first series of Blackadder, when Edmund sees the ghost of Richard III.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • When Vampire Willow (a second Willow, from an alternate dimension) is spotted by Angel...
      Angel: Buffy, I...I just... something's happened that... Willow's dead. [sees normal Willow next to Buffy, waving] Hey, Willow. [very confused] Wait a second...
      Xander: We're all right there with you.
    • This wasn't the first time he'd do this. Just turned evil, Angelus sides with the psychotic Drusilia and The Judge, who's meant to be invincible. That was before Buffy has something stolen for her, a rocket launcher. When Angelus sees it he just knows that it's time to get out of there, and we get a second close-up double take of fear in case it was missed in the first wide shot.
    • Oz does a double take when he sees the girl sitting next to him is the same girl he's had his eyes on for weeks.
    • Spike gets one in a season six episode due to Buffy's bad phrasing.
      Buffy: When I kissed you? You know I was thinking about Giles, right?
      Spike: [double take] You know, I always wondered about you two.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Sun Makers": The Doctor is busy tearing into a Corrupt Corporate Executive when a minion puts a gun to his neck. His reaction is a bored, "Oh, it's you again." He turns back to the villain, and then the gun suddenly registers. "What'd I say?"
    • In "Shada", the script called for the Doctor to enter Chris Parson's room and instead see a woman he hadn't expected to find in there. Tom Baker had added in a gag where he would burst the room in a grand way, see the woman, leave, and then a beat later burst into the room in the exact same way as before as if the first time hadn't happened. Sadly the serial wasn't finished, but the book adaptation made a point of preserving this gag.
    • This scene appears in "Last of the Time Lords", "Time Crash" and "Voyage of the Damned": A huge ship has just crashed through the TARDIS, knocking the Doctor off his feet. He says, "What?", then takes another look and goes, "What?!", and when he sees the name of the ship (SS Titanic), he has to look at it twice before saying "What."
    • "Time Crash": When the Tenth Doctor encounters his other self, the Fifth. He first apologizes for bumping into him while working on the TARDIS's console, and reacts a second or two later.
    • "Partners in Crime": The Doctor and Donna are looking through opposite windows as the villain gives someone else the Just Between You and Me speech, and as they're scanning the room, they notice each other. The paired double-takes are just the start of the comedy.
    • "Vincent and the Doctor": Near the end, the Doctor and Amy take Vincent van Gogh to the future so he can hear art expert Dr. Black give an admiring speech about where he thinks Vincent ranks in the history of art. Vincent is so overwhelmed with emotion that he gives Black a hug and kisses him on the cheeks before leaving. Black's reaction afterwards is to quite noticeably double take when he sees a self-portrait of Vincent on the wall and is reminded of the man who just hugged him, before he decides that there's no way he just met van Gogh in person.
    • "The Pandorica Opens": The Doctor is talking with Rory, who was erased from existence a couple episodes ago, about missing something important. He walks away before coming back with the following:
      The Doctor: Rory, I'm not trying to be rude, but... you died.
  • Dollhouse gives us this:
    Zone: Who doesn't want to spend some quality time with these awesomely normal people?
    Mag: I don't know, it could be all right. The little Asian is kind of cute.
    Zone: She's a tech-head. Mag. ... She's a girl, Mag!
  • In an episode of Father Ted, Bishop Brennan is coming to stay and he is terrified of rabbits. Ted comes down in the morning and the lounge is bizarrely full of rabbits. He sits down and starts to read the newspaper for a while, before finally noticing, leaping up and screaming his head off. A similar thing happens when he completely destroys a car donated as a raffle prize by the diocese in the process of trying to tap out a tiny dent. In the appropriately-titled episode "Kicking Bishop Brennan Up The Arse" he also doesn't realise that Ted has just kicked him up the arse until he's in Rome at an audience with the Pope, at which point it dawns on him and he goes running out.
  • Basil Fawlty of Fawlty Towers has a few:
    • In one episode, he's in the lobby when the Major casually walks past him carrying an enormous shotgun. Made even funnier by the fact that he's got it to kill "Basil".
    • When he comes back to find that O'Reilly has completely filled in the door to the restaurant, he walks as if to go through it, stops and looks around as if he's taken a wrong turn, and then does a magnificently over-the-top full-body double take when realisation dawns.
  • Friends:
    • In the last episode, Chandler and Monica make their way back home to their old, soon-to-be-vacated apartment, where the rest of the gang is waiting to see their kid. Monica shows up with one of the babies, then Chandler enters the scene with the other. Cue massive Double Take from everyone; especially egregious with Joey.
    • Joey has a lot of these over the course of the show. When Chandler and Joey have won the girls' apartment from them, they stop by to give them a consolation gift and walk find all their stuff back where it was before, because the girls switched everything while they were out. Chandler stands shocked in the doorway, while Joey strolls in, gets a beer and sits down... and then realizes.
  • Game of Thrones: Ned has a tiny one when Jory is killed. Everyone's reaction to everything Bran says in Season 8.
  • In Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance, a disinterested Prince Harry arrives late for his blind date with Meghan Markle, barely even glancing at her as he introduces himself, only to pull an awestruck version of this upon seeing how beautiful she is. (and perfectly conveying the Love at First Sight feeling he claims to have had).
  • Hawaii Five-0: Steve McGarrett pulls off a beauty when Danny Williams exhibits an in-depth understanding of roller derby.
  • In the House episode "Alone", Wilson kidnaps House's guitar to force him into hiring a new team. He leaves a ransom note made of letters cut from a newspaper taped to House's wall. When House sees this, he barges into Wilson's office to reclaim his guitar. Wilson smugly proclaims his innocence, then signals the conversation is over by opening his newspaper... the paper with all the bits cut out, causing House to do a (hilarious) double take.
  • In Kamen Rider Zi-O, Woz's transformation sequence ends with the BeyonDriver declaring "Kamen Rider Woz! Woz?!" as if the belt itself cannot believe that Woz is a Kamen Rider.
  • Law & Order: UK: As Natalie, Ronnie, and Matt sit around discussing the case, Natalie rifles through some files and notes that "Alesha Philips was the prosecutor". She and Ronnie both look at Matt and he pulls a classic one of these as he realizes that they're aware of his crush on Alesha.
  • Legends of Tomorrow: Both Sarah and Stein take twice when resident bruiser and thug Mick Rory announces that he loves the musical Fiddler on the Roof.
  • Mr. Bean have the titular character doing this in a few episodes. Notably at the end of "Back to School Mr. Bean" where he sees his car getting flattened by a tank, causing Bean to look at the wreckage, then at the pastry he's eating, then back at the wreckage.
  • Odd Squad:
    • In "Xs and Os", Olympia, in a rush to gather $100 to save her workplace by the end of the day, passes by Xavier and Xena putting sticky notes with X's on them on everything in the bullpen. She gives a brief glance but continues on her way before coming back a second later and inquiring about what they're doing.
    • In "Two Agents and a Baby", Olympia asks about taking Baby Genius with them to stop Marty Marmalade. Otis says that it's fine since he's with Orson, and the two look with calm expressions on their faces...seconds before an Oh, Crap! settles on their faces instead.
      Olympia: Baby fight, baby fight!
      Otis: We'd better take him with us.
    • In "O for a Day", Osmerelda and Oswald are walking along a bridge in their quest to search for a tool to help Oswald be less afraid of oddness. As they're walking, Osmerelda looks to her left, then to her right, then immediately back to her left as she spots odd plants coming towards her and Oswald, and the two of them make a run for it.
  • Radio Enfer:
    • Maria has this reaction after Jocelyne announces that she decided to become a bachelor and thus divorce from her husband Gilbert.
    • When Maria is preparing a Pupperwhale presentation, she makes sure everything is okay while checking the location for said presentation:
      Maria: Okay, my Pupperwhale dishes will remain there, I'm gonna place my vice-president here, my guests will be a little bit everywhere, I'm gonna be over there... [notices a rat behind the couch] the rat won't be h... [looks back at the rat again] The rat!? [jumps on the couch and screams at the top of her lungs]
  • Red Dwarf: Many times, usually by Rimmer, when someone insults him, as it often takes a moment for what they've said to sink in. Kryten also gets one in "Tikka to Ride", as he explains to the Cat that JFK was assassinated by a gunman shooting from the Dallas Book Depository. Then he noticed the boxes labelled Dallas Book Depository he's leaning on.
  • Saturday Night Live has a case done as Enforced Method Acting: in one Coffee Talk sketch, Linda Richmond looks to the left, and then looks again, because it's Mike Myers discovering an unexpected guest.
  • The ending gag of the Seinfeld episode "The Nap" plays this straight with a funny bit of misdirection as to what's causing the reaction. Jerry comes home with groceries, opens one of his kitchen cupboards—where George is sleeping with a pillow on the top shelf directly at his eye level—and puts a box away on the smaller bottom shelf. As he's walking away, he stops in his tracks, opens the cupboard again...and takes the box out to examine it more closely, closing the door on George again.
    Jerry: Can't believe I got the low-fat!
  • Selfie: During "With a Little Yelp From My Friends", Saperstein is holding a meeting asking everyone to look around and say what they see. They give innocuous answers, except for one blind man who says "Dark? Eternal night?" The meeting moves right along, but Henry gives the blind guy a glance, and then another one, obviously surprised.
  • In Sister, Sister, Tia is being told off for causing the star player of High School to become dangerously close to flunking due to her tutoring skills. Tia denies that she was doing it, and also denies ever tutoring him. However, mid-sentence, she realizes... cue double take, Tamera apparently disappearing when she was present beforehand, and then a cutaway to the outside of the school with Tia's voice screaming "TAMERA!" at the top of her lungs and in a long manner.
  • While it may have happened at some point in Star Trek (with five different shows and nearly a dozen movies, you check them all to see one), there was definitely one from its creator, Gene Roddenberry. He married Majel Barrett, who had been removed from her role as Number One due to Executive Meddling (this was just after "The Cage" had been shot). Barrett, in order to get back on the show (albeit in a different role) dyed her hair, and was talking to a producer or someone when Roddenberry walked through, said hi, began walking out, and double-took.
  • Star Wars, The Mandalorian: In "Chapter 7: The Reckoning", the Child mistakes a friendly arm-wrestling as a threat toward the Mandalorian and he starts Force-choking Cara Dune. Mando initially doesn't understand what's going on and double-takes when he realizes it's the doing of his adoptive son.
  • In the Supernatural episode "Hammer of the Gods", the brothers are in a creepy (4-star) hotel, and Dean walks around with his EMF detector, trying to pinpoint their Monster of the Week. As he walks down the hallway, he passes an open door, with an elephant in the room. He takes two more steps, looks up from his EMF detector, takes two steps back, and the elephant is gone, replaced by a fat black man. Dean walks away, extremely nonplussed.
  • Taskmaster: Greg does a double take in "The Pendulum Draws the Eye" when he sees Rhod's submission for the fez task: Greg's mum, wearing the fez in the bath.
  • Top Gear: May at Hammond's Vauxhall Nova crossing the finish line of the Supermarket Sweep race on its side, in the Old Hatchback Challenge from the first episode of the 21st series.
  • In one "Superheroes" skit on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Ryan was Double-Take Boy.
  • In an episode of Workaholics, Ders is mocking Adam's obese cousin Big Fat (Devin), saying he's the kind of stain that makes Adam throw his underwear away. Adam shouts an encouraging "Get em!" before thinking for a second and saying "What?" in confusion.


    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed III: Those men you were recruiting to free a slave trade, and your merry party? Those are the Templars, and your player character (Haytham Kenway) is the Grand Master of the Colonial Rite of the Templar Order. And yes, you just helped them set it up in America. Desmond (and the audience) had a quite fitting "Wait, what?" look on their face at the revelation.
  • Baron K. Roolenstein in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! does a triple take upon seeing the Kongs defeat KAOS the second time.
  • Final Fantasy: In Dissidia 012 Duodecim, Kefka does a (fittingly) hilarious one upon realizing that Vaan had taken Terra with him.
    Vaan: We'll finish this next time! For now, I'm just gonna take the girl! Catch ya later!
    Kefka: [waving] Yeah, it's been a pleasure! Wait, you're, you, you're you w-w... WHAT!?
  • Right before the Point of No Return in Jak 3: Wastelander, Onin advises that her assistant, Pecker, would escort Jak to the catacombs. Onin cannot talk, so Pecker usually has to translate. While doing so, he unwitting translates that he'd serve as the escort, and doesn't catch on for a few seconds. When he does, Pecker is outraged, and quickly bails when things get dangerous.
  • In Kingdom Hearts III, upon returning to Port Royal, Sora is so caught up in his pirate roleplay, that it takes him a few moments to heed Goofy's warnings that they're heading for an Inevitable Waterfall into the Abyss.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, Link and Zelda notice Byrne walking away during their friendship hi-five with a double-take.
  • Memoria Freese: Goblin Slayer of all people does in the Dungeon and Goblins crossover campaign when Bell Cranel tells him he can cast Firebolt up to 70 times in a row before passing out from magic overuse. Given that miracles that can be cast more than once a day are rarity in Goblin Slayer's world, it's understandable why he'd be impressed.
  • In Puyo Puyo Tetris, since Sig is running away from Schezo, Klug is reluctant to tell the dark mage where Sig went. Schezo tries assure Klug that it's not a problem... in a weird way that takes the latter a bit to notice.
    Schezo: I just want to examine him all over!
    Klug: Ah, okay. ... Wait, WHAT?!
  • Arthur from Red Dead Redemption II does one of these when he realizes that the Hillbilly Horrors pig farmer couple with whom he's eating dinner are siblings.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team:
      • While trekking through Dreamy Pi'illo Castle, Mario runs into Luigi and simply nods at his younger brother before heading further into the area. Then he turns back around and remembers that Luigi is back in the real world sleeping, then freaks out before Dreamy Broque Monsieur tells him that this is actually Dreamy Luigi, the dream counterpart of the other Mario Bro.
      • Played for drama later in the game; When Toadsworth and Starlow were told by the Mario Bros. that the princess they were trying to protect was an impostor, and that the real one was already kidnapped, they both spoke in a relieved voice before becoming shocked moments later.
    • Yoshi's Island uses this trope as a gameplay mechanic. Should Yoshi get hit while his shoes are planted on the ground, Mario will float off his saddle. Yoshi will stop and look around frantically for about two seconds at which point the player can control him into rescuing Mario.
  • Undertale:
    • There's an exaggerated one from Papyrus and Sans when you surprise them having a private conversation and they turn back and forth somewhere around a dozen times.
    • Later in Snowdin, you find a sign that says "WARNING: Dog Marriage". If you read it a second time, it says "Yes, you read that right."

    Visual Novels 
  • In Fate/stay night, Shirou is agonizing in one route about how to explain to his guardian, Taiga, that Rin Tohsaka is now staying at his house. Taiga walks in on dinner, Shirou braces for the storm... and Taiga just casually greets Rin and goes to the fridge. Shirou is stunned, a few seconds pass, and then Taiga suddenly flips out and demands to know what Rin is doing there.

    Web Animation 
  • Seen (from 6:40 to 7:42) in "Command & Conquer - Tiberium Ecstasy", a satirical animated short of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn when a Tiberium Harvester from one side returns to its home base by making a calm, friendly drive past its adversary's base without getting shot at. The base's guards get carried away, only to realize that they've just let an enemy Harvester escape under their noses. "Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" It's a jibe at the game's Artificial Stupidity — the program's pathfinding tendencies to lead one's units through the shortest route possible, even if it isn't the safest way around. It's lampshaded by the Commando that ordered the Harvester to come home and the Harvester's seemingly Simpleton Voice.
    Nod Commando: Harvester Number Two! I want the resources back to the base a.s.a.p.! And don't take a goddamn shortcut!
  • In the DSBT InsaniT episode "The Camping Webisode", Koden does this when Alex tries to repeat their dialouge from the first episode.
    Koden: Uhh, Alex, what the heck is that?
    Alex: [holds up Frets, a living guitar] It's called "pin the strings on the base"!
    Koden: You just— Wait, whaaaa?
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, this happens when Kitten mentions Sensei, his human descendants.
    Emperor: You mean the descendants of the shamans who gave their lives to form me? Isn't that, like, all of humanity?
    Kitten: Not exactly what I meant...
    Emperor: Good. I never liked uncle Ragnar anyway. But really, though, what in the fuck do you me— [suddenly realizes that he has biological children] Fuuuuu....
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • Tucker does this in Season 4, when confronted with Crunchbite for the first time.
    • This is also the standard reaction to anything Sister ever says.
      Anyone who ever talks to Sister: Yeah! Wait, what?!

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 
  • Brandon Farris likes to review life hack videos in attempt to imitate them. There are occasions where he has to pause and rewind the video to double-check either the method or the intention of a video because it is not being applied as he was expecting.
  • CollegeHumor: A spectacular one caught on camera in part of the infamous prank war between Streeter and Amir.
  • A running gag on Dragon Ball Z Abridged would be for something like this to happen:
    Vegeta: What, are you dense? The Ginyu Force could be here any second and then we're...
    Ginyu: Hi, Vegeta.
    Vegeta: Hi, Ginyu. And then we're...
    [pauses and notices exactly who he just said hi to]
    Vegeta: Son of a *** ***ing f***face! Why the f*** does all this ***ing sh** happen to me?
  • In Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Captain Hammer gives Penny one when he realizes that the girl he just "saved" is kinda cute.
  • Hellsing Ultimate Abridged: Episode 2 has Jan Valentine give one after bragging that, thanks to his ghouls' riot shields needing an anti-tank rifle to pierce, Walter calmly asks Police Girl (Seras) to do so.
    Walter: Police Girl, if you may~
    Seras: Bitches Love Cannons!
    [Seras fires, blowing multiple holes through both the shields and the ghouls holding them]
    Jan Valentine: [calmly] Oh fuck, that's an anti-tank rifle— [realization hits] OH FUCK, THAT'S AN ANTI-TANK RIFLE!!
  • One literal trailer for the fourth Twilight film: "Edward looks shocked, and Bella looks stunned. Twilight, Breaking Dawn... Part 1?" It then cuts to the person literalising, who can't quite believe what he just read, then does a Curse Cut Short.
  • In Josh Scorcher's video "Top Ten 2020 Fails":
    Josh: With everyone's health at risk, only certain businesses were deemed essential to keep open; such as grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, Gamestop, and— [Record Needle Scratch] Wait, WHAT!?
  • Patrick Stewart demonstrates the quadruple take. Even he can't perform four takes naturalistically.
  • In Sword Art Online Abridged, the reveal that Heathcliff was Kayaba all along goes this way, as Kirito doesn't get it immediately that Heathcliff referenced TRON, as the only person who referred to it was Akihiko Kayaba, in the very beginning.
  • Todd in the Shadows has this reaction during his review of Katy Perry's "Dark Horse", after he hears Juicy J's line comparing Katy to Jeffrey Dahmer.

    Western Animation 
  • Justice League Action: In the short "Something in the Hair", Plastic Man strolls into the watchtower and waves off Batman and Poison Ivy before realizing something's not right:
    Plastic Man: Good night, Bats! Good night, Poison Ivy... POISON IVY?! You're supposed to be down in lock-up!
  • Looney Tunes: "The Wearing of the Grin": When Porky Pig is heading for the bed, "Seamus" comes to him, asking if he's seen the lower half of his body. Porky nonchalantly directs him to it before continuing towards the bed. Porky comments on what he saw, and then it clicks in his head, causing him to look back and see "Seamus" and his lower half standing next to each other.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Party of One", Rainbow Dash first casually says "Hi, Pinkie Pie." to a disguised Pinkie... before freezing on the spot with her mane and tail hair completely straight when she realizes (she was trying to avoid her today...).
    • In "Twilight's Kingdom – Part 2", Tirek has a delayed reaction on passing before the window mural showing Twilight rising as an alicorn, stopping in mid-evil gloating.
      Tirek: Is this meant to be HUMOROUS?!
    • In "The Cutie Re-Mark – Part 1", Twilight Sparkle keeps on giving her lecture even as her gaze wanders over the attending unicorns, which include Starlight Glimmer in their midst. Only on taking a pause in her speech does she realizes this and backtracks, but the fugitive has already vanished. Of note, since no particular attention is drawn on Starlight, a lot of first-time viewers likely did a double take too.
    • In "The Saddle Row Review", Rarity has a two-part Eye Take reaction when she catches sight of one of the raccoons acting as waiter at her grand opening.
  • Rosie's Rules: In "Rosie's Twin Day," Rosie tells Marco that she's going to find a twin. To that, Marco says "Muy bien," only to then go "Wait, what?"
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Home Sweet Pineapple": SpongeBob has his house eaten by wild nematodes and tries to spend the night at Patrick's house, only to find it to be miserable, and sneaks into Squidward's house while he's asleep. Squidward, in a half-awake stupor, is blissfully unaware that his ultimate annoyance has taken residence in his home, fetches him a glass of water, and lets him hop in bed with him, completely out of it — until...
    SpongeBob: [yawns] Good night, Squidward.
    Squidward: [while yawning] Good night, SpongeBob. [drifts back off to sleep]
    [Squidward's eyes snap open]
    Squidward: GOOD NIGHT, SPONGEBOB. [kicks him out of his house]
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • "The Citadel": When the strike team is unfrozen from carbonite, Anakin has this reaction after groggily greeting Ahsoka, who he had explicitly barred from coming along on the mission.
    • "A Distant Echo": Rex, impatiently keeping watch outside the barracks while Anakin privately holo-calls Padmé inside, does this when he sees Obi-Wan approaching.
  • Superfriends 1973/74 episodes:
    • "Dr. Pelagian's War". When Marvin tells Wendy that a penguin has walked up to Wonder Dog (who is sunning himself on a beach) she does one.
    • "The Planet Splitter". The doctor at the orphanage does one when he sees Superman (as a baby) swinging from the ceiling light. The orphanage director does one when he comes in and sees Superbaby lifting the doctor in the air.
    • "The Power Pirate". Wonder Dog does one in disbelief when Marvin starts boasting about his brain power.
    • "Too Hot to Handle". Marvin does this when he sees that the wax figures in the Justice League museum are melting.
    • "The Weather Maker". Wendy does it when she looks at her buttermilk biscuits and realizes that the technique she learned in order to make them properly will also help the Super Friends locate the villain.
  • Thomas & Friends: In "Long Lost Friend", Gator, Percy's sidekick from Tale of the Brave comes to visit for the winter to deliver rock salt; he greets Thomas at a junction, who casually greets him back...then he suddenly stops with a halt upon realizing who he had seen, and instantly reverses.
  • In the Tom and Jerry short Tom's Photo Finish, Jerry shows a sleeping Tom an incriminating photo. Tom goes back to sleep, then does a Wild Take with his head detaching from his body and crossing to the other end of the Cinemascope screen...
  • Transformers: Prime gives us a radio conversation between Arcee, who's out on patrol and Bulkhead, who's off on a rescue mission at the Decepticon Warship, with Miko in tow. He tells Arcee he has a situation and the following is Arcee's reaction.
    Arcee: Bulkhead, they're children. Humans. Just do whatever. [beat] You're WHERE?! SHE'S WHERE?!
  • The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, after Felix is bummed out that everyone has a magic bag like him:
    Roscoe: [flying through the air, hand stuck in out-of-control magic bag] Hi, Felix.
    Felix: Hi, Roscoe. [aside] Even Roscoe. [realizes what just happened]
  • Work It Out Wombats!: In "Racecar Wombats," Ellie offers the wombats to ride with her and Mr. E. Mr. E nods his head only to go "Wait, what?" Clearly, he wouldn't like to share his Ellie with the wombats.

    Real Life 
  • Referenced: the US Department of Defense's exercise codeword for Defcon 4 is DOUBLE TAKE. Appropriate as Defcon 4 pretty much means "huh, what?" in terms of readiness.
  • Of course, double takes do happen in real-life. If we are focused on some activity, or just a train of thought, then we may not appreciate the salience of some new information. We notice a stimulus, recognize it doesn't affect what we're currently doing and dismiss it, then realize it's actually something of significance. Real-life double takes are usually much quicker than the fictional kind, though.
  • This pilot when he's flying a light plane and spots a cat inside the wing (the reaction occurs at 1:00).
  • Even cats themselves can get in on it, as this one does with a dose of Aside Glance to boot when its owner walks past with a balloon.
  • Ferrett Steinmetz's anecdote The Amityville Corps mentions him doing this, when he took several paces, trying to focus on switching to leading with the other leg, before realising his fellow band member had fallen over and become trapped under her drum.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Wait What


Tom's Photo Finish

After Jerry finishes processing the incriminating photo he took of Tom framing Spike for raiding the fridge, he shows a copy of said photo to a sleeping Tom. Tom then falls back asleep, and then does a wild take with his head detaching from his body and crossing to the other end of the Cinemascope screen...

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / DoubleTake

Media sources: