News programs love controversies. Documentaries (even educational ones) are more interesting when there's a fight or one-sided argument. And Reality TV shows thrive on conflict between the contestants. Theoretically, the conflicts are all the more gripping because they are real — no scripts, no second takes, and little editing. Everything that happened really happened, just as it's shown.
And if you believe that, I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you.
In point of fact, there are writers on reality TV shows, documentaries, and even the news. There can be "OK, can you say that again, only this time with more emotion". And there are certainly editors whose job it is to compress a long discussion into a few sentences. While the specific events may be outside of the producers' direct control (although that varies depending on the show — and don't count out less direct influences), editing often compresses hours, days, or weeks into mere minutes, and how the events are compressed can alter the meaning of a scene, twist a person's apparent attitude, and alter "reality" to the point that it's barely recognizable to those who were present for the actual events.
Some common forms of Manipulative Editing include:
- Missing or misused context is the single most common type of manipulative editing, and is at least an element of virtually every other kind. At the most basic level, it creates a relationship between two unrelated events, or removes a connection that should have been there. This one is much, much Older Than Television, as people have been quoting their rivals out of context to make them look bad since time immemorial.
- Cherry-picking quotes from an interview or Confession Cam can turn a fair and balanced statement into a one-sided snark-fest. It's easy to cut off the buts and excepts that would soften a statement, and that's without deeper shenanigans.
- The "Frankenbite" is where different soundbites are stitched together to create a new whole. Sometimes this is done with the best intentions; people ramble and digress, give examples, and in general do not speak in well-formed soundbites. Often, editors will cut out the unnecessary pieces of a sentence to get to the heart of the matter in a timely way. But it can be misused just as easily; splice together the start of one sentence with the end of another or remove a phrase to change the meaning. Or just take the words needed, without their context. A hint for catching this one if the scene shifts mid-sentence, there's no guarantee that all the words came from the same discussion. The phrases being spliced together may not even be talking about the same person or event.
- Cherry-picking scenes. Showing only certain parts of a relationship can easily create an illusion that has little to do with the reality. Imagine if your entire relationship with your best friend was to be summed up in ten minutes. Now imagine that the summation consisted of your combined worst ten minutes your loudest arguments, your worst fights, your angriest moments ever. If someone who didn't know you or your friend saw only the summation, he might well conclude that you had once been friends, but were now mortal enemies.
- Worst-side shooting. This is particularly present in Reality TV, which can have a demanding schedule, and the days can be stressful to the point of exhausting. If it's a Reality TV Show Mansion show, then the contestants are also in near-total isolation, with no phones, no laptops, no music players... They have nothing to interact with besides each other, twenty-four hours a day, for weeks on end. It's natural that tired, stressed people get upset and have fights over little things. Without being in that situation, it's easy to conclude that some or all of the people are petty and cruel, when in fact they are just acting like stressed, bored people in close proximity.
- Invoking Poe's Law. Imagine if you were to do an impression of something that's intentionally done to look and/or sound silly. It's filmed, and the part where you indicate that you're doing an impression and laughing at yourself is left on the cutting room floor so it appears that you really are like that.
- Causal deletion. It's true that, sometimes, people do things for no reason. Most of the time, though, they have very good reasons — but if the reasons get left on the cutting-room floor, it looks like they don't. This can make even the most justified anger seem petty and immature. For example, if the producers are casting Bob as a bad guy and Alice as a nice girl, they might cut out several days of on-and-off sniping and backbiting on Alice's part, showing only the moment when Bob has had enough and shouts at her, making Bob look like an unreasonable, overreactive jerk.
- Denial of information. Sometimes important information, like an alliance forming or paranoia setting in, gets removed, which makes some acts seem like a snap decision when the people involved were actually mulling it over for hours, or even days.
- Accentuating the Negative. If Bob is a decent person most of the time but gets moody under stress, expect his nicer moments to be cut out—including any apologies—to make him look like a complete and utter jackass.
- Pointed questions. Just because you don't see an interviewer does not mean one isn't there. An unseen, unheard producer may ask the person to talk about a particular subject or ask questions designed to provoke "better" sound bites, and then use only the most interesting bits. In older reality shows, this is often deceptively presented as if it were from a Confession Cam (which, theoretically, has nobody else in the room), by having the person look directly at the camera while answering the producer's questions. Most shows nowadays are more honest about the fact that the person is being interviewed by someone offscreen, and in a few rare instances the producer themselves can be heard responding or asking a question, usually to underscore how dramatic or unusual a situation has become.
- Prompting. Sometimes the interviewee (often a contestant on a reality show) will simply be told "say this". It happens.
- Temporal shenanigans. Two events which took place days or weeks apart are shown to have happened nearly simultaneously, or close-together events get spaced out. This can add additional context that did not actually exist, or make emotions seem buried when they were actually dealt with much sooner. For example, if Bob says something about Alice just as Alice walks into the room, it's possible that Bob had actually said it several hours earlier, and Alice didn't hear it.
- Switching around the order of events. This can be a tricky form of manipulative editing that makes the aftermath of an event appear to be its cause, or even make it seem like someone willed an event to happen (such as an injury) when they were talking or joking about it later. Combine this with cherry-picked comments for extra deception. For example, a shot of a worker looking at a piece of jury-rigged equipment and commenting, "That's not gonna hold for long," might be shown before the failure that necessitated the quick fix, making it appear that the worker predicted the failure and was ignored.
- Music. Take a shot of a guy staring off into space. Add music, and suddenly he is heroic, wistful, or on the verge of launching his career as an Ax-Crazy killer.
- This Trope is often used in commercials for Italian live-action shows (and sometimes cartoons) to make the characters talk with the narration.
- Ads for beauty products (or just about anything) with "Before" and "After" Pictures. It's the same woman, and the photos themselves are unedited. They just take the before photo under less than ideal lighting to make the blemishes more visible.
- Similarly to beauty products, ads for weight loss or fitness programs will often rely on unflattering lighting, bad haircuts, poor posture, and other tricks to make people in the "before" pictures seem more out of shape, while the "after" shots are done with different lighting (lights shining from below a person, for example, casts shadows on their bodies to make muscles look more defined), better-cut clothing, and other optical illusions to sell the program.
- One fitness model Youtuber demonstrated that in some cases, the person is already in phenomenal shape—the "after" picture is taken first. The model then pigs out on high-salt food and drinks over a gallon of chocolate milk; the combination bloats his belly and makes him generally appear puffier. The "before" picture is taken with the addition of bad lighting and posture, and behold—an extremely muscular, lean guy now looks like he desperately needs the product that's being hawked.
- In-universe example: a villain in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann tricks Kamina into leaving his mecha in exchange for removing some censorship blurring, the implication being that the beautiful women being blurred are nude. When the blur is removed, it turns out they're wearing towels.
- In Deadman Wonderland, Ganta gets framed and arrested for murdering everyone in his class. He talks to his lawyer and mostly talks about how scared he is and wondering why this is happening to him. At his trial, footage from security cameras of his talk with his lawyer is played, and Ganta is horrified to find it has been altered to depict him swaggering and incessantly bragging about killing everyone. Since his lawyer is part of the conspiracy, he claims this is the truth, and Ganta has the book thrown at him.
- The Transformers Animated tie-in comic book miniseries The Arrival had a story in the fourth issue called "The Insincerest Form of Flattery", where human antagonist Porter C. Powell attempted to market a SWAT vehicle known as the Bulkhead, which he named after the Autobot without his permission. When Bulkhead attempts to decry his namesakes at the first unveiling, Powell edits the footage to make it look like Bulkhead approves of the vehicles named after him without his consent.
- David Barton's documentary Four Centuries of American Education shows how manipulative editing can be used to make something look stronger than it really is. For example, he has an actor portraying Benjamin Rush recite a quote; this quote is modified by having the phrase "if we remove the Bible from schools" added, a sentence skipped, and "soul of republicanism" replaced with "soul of our government". The modified quote appears on various websites, but not in the original text.
- Lampshaded in Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed when Fred calls Heather Jasper-Howe out on doing this... and she then proceeds to do it to the footage of him calling her out on it.
Fred (before editing): Wait a minute! I know what you're doing! You're trying to make it look like I think Coolsville sucks! N-no, wait-!Fred (after editing): I think Coolsville sucks!
- Granted, the newcasters actually are the villain.
- The movie adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma was cherrypicked by its own trailer in a quite sloppy fashion it juxtaposed clips of Emma saying "I love John" (caption: Emma loves John) and "I hate John" (caption: Emma loves Frank). Austen fans would know that John Knightley is actually Emma's brother-in-law and the love interest kissing Emma in the trailer is John's older brother George. IMDB has the full quote in context.
- It's a major plot point in the 1987 movie The Running Man, specifically Ben Richards and his refusal to go through with the Bakersfield Massacre after seeing that those he was sent to kill were unarmed women and children all despite the police ordering him to fire. The edited footage has the police ordering him to retreat and Richards refusing.
- In the 1994 comedy Clifford, Martin Short plays a mischievous child who ruins his uncle's (played by Charles Grodin) life. In one scene, he has a recording of his uncle describing Clifford as "...a ticking time bomb that no one can stop. Even I do not have the patience to deal with this boy." Smash cut to Clifford editing the sound clips to send in a bomb threat. "I—-have a bomb that no one can stop. A ticking time bomb."
- Michael Moore does this in his documentaries. A lot.
- Bowling for Columbine:
- The opening scene featured a bank that offered a free rifle for opening a bank and showed him walk in, open the account, and then cut to him in the parking lot with said rifle in hand to imply the bank just handed it to him. Yeah... no. The bank actually did offer a free rifle in the form of a voucher you had to take to a participating sporting goods store to redeem, and you most definitely had to pass the background check and be legally entitled to own the firearm to begin with. Of course that's a pretty reasonable way to do things so the parking lot scene was filmed later and spliced in to "prove" Moore's point.
- He showed what a heartless bastard Charlton Heston was for holding an NRA fundraiser in Colorado shortly after the Columbine massacre and gloating with the "cold, dead fingers" speech to mock the victims. While the NRA did indeed hold an event in Colorado —because rescheduling it was legally impossible by that point— sharp-eyed viewers may notice that Heston is wearing a different suit for the "cold dead fingers" line than he wears in the rest of the footage.
- Another recurring and particularly blatant example is essentially any interview scene with a clock in the background of one or both participants. Mismatched times between the interviewer and the interviewee, not enough time elapsed between answers for the question presented to have been the one asked, time strangely jumping forward and backward in general... some of the complaints are not so much that the editing's manipulative as the insult to the viewer's intelligence implied by how obvious it sometimes is.
- One infamous example is from Fahrenheit 9/11 where Moore is trying to prove a point about how callous politicians are in sending soldiers off to war. He approaches a Congressman outside Capitol Hill and asks if the man would willingly send his son to Iraq. The man stands mutely for a couple seconds before the camera cuts...to hide the fact that the Congressman answered that he has a nephew who's currently serving in Iraq.
- Bowling for Columbine:
- The documentary Teenage Tourette Camp focused intently on a fight between two girls, apparently editing out clips of them getting along. The editors also, very obviously at times, edited the footage to make it look as though a person was spewing out a succession of tics that probably happened over several minutes. Not to mention that half of the tics shown were the rare ones of involuntary swearing.
- In Helmut Dietl's Late Show, a sleazy reporter photoshops two unrelated pictures (of the wife of a radio talkmaster-turned-late-night TV talk host, who had a riding accident, and his Porsche which was wrecked, but by someone else for completely different reasons). Justified in that he makes this story up for the German tabloids, where truth is optional. (Nowadays the photo would look so 'shopped, but keep in mind the movie is from 1999. Technology Marches On.)
- In the movie Black Sheep (1996), the corrupt incumbent governor sends some thugs to burn down the children's activity center that her rival's brother Mike works in, to cause speculation that he is unbalanced and smear her opponent. A photographer manages to snap some pictures of the arson, and threatens to go to the press with them...or the governor can pay for some that show Mike fighting the fire, which make him look like the culprit.
- Earlier in the film, the same photographer sells pictures of what appears to be Mike boozing it up with a bunch of teenagers to the newspapers. The pictures were actually of Mike giving those teens an impromptu talk about the dangers of underage drinking, after he spotted them with a bottle of liquor, though that's not apparent just looking at the pictures.
- In Chris Maker's film Letters from Siberia, he showed the difference a voiceover could make by using the exact same footage of a Soviet town three times, making the first an absurdly patriotic advertisement for the USSR, the second making it a fascist nightmare, and a final, more neutral commentary on the scenes.
- Here's a rare case of manipulative editing portraying the subjects in a more positive light: in Morgan Spurlock's documentary Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope, one of the storylines follows James Darling, who plans to propose to his girlfriend Se Young at the Kevin Smith panel. This video shows how the proposal went down. In the film, James' question about Kevin Smith's fleshlight and Se Young mentioning that she's "had sex with a lot of people" were edited out, presumably to make the moment appear more romantic and less awkward.
- This serves as a plot point in the romantic comedy 27 Dresses. Jane, as her sister Tess's maid of honor, is tasked with creating a slide show for her rehearsal dinner. Unfortunately, Tess is marrying Jane's boss, George, who Jane has secretly loved for years; to make matters worse, Tess has lied to him in an effort to impress him (including saying she loves animals and is a vegetarian and virgin). Jane writes a moving speech for the slide show...which is filled with images of Tess being mean to a cat, eating barbecue ribs, and making out with other guys. The wedding is called off—but surprisingly, Jane's friends chew her out for being such a jerk and publicly humiliating Tess, instead of being open about her feelings.
- In Mr. Deeds, Deeds rescues a woman and all her cats from a burning building. The next morning, he watches the news and is dismayed to find the news footage has been altered to make it look like he killed the cats and then forced himself on the woman.
- Crucial to the plot in The Last Broadcast.
- The 2002 French mockumentary Opération Lune, also released with an English-language narration as Dark Side of the Moon, was created to demonstrate how documentaries can slant their subject using techniques such as manipulative editing. It includes interviews with luminaries including Henry Kissinger, Donald Rumsfeld, and Buzz Aldrin, who are made to appear as if they are talking about the entirely fictional conspiracy that the film purports to be documenting.
- French movie Les Ripoux was shown in Soviet Union with several minutes cut out at the end, completely changing the tone. Specifically, Soviet version of the movie ends with main character being released from prison and realizing nobody is there to meet him, while in the original after a few seconds his old partner arrives and gives him his fair share of the profits of the crime. Soviet censors had trouble with a crook getting a happy ending.
- The ending credits of Jem and the Holograms featured clips of real fans allegedly talking about what they loved about the movie, but said fans were actually asked what they thought of the original 80's cartoon and the clips were edited and spliced with movie scenes to give the impression they loved the film instead. Naturally fans were not amused by such a shallow trick to give the movie props and The Nostalgia Critic went off on a rant about this in his review, likening it to an outright betrayal of their fanbase.
- In the horror film Unfriended: Dark Web, the group of hackers use edited clips of AJ's videos to call the police with, suggesting that he plans on undergoing a murder spree in a mall. This ends up with the police swarming the house, and leads into AJ's death.
- Most of the trailers for Hercules take certain lines out of context and dub them over completely different scenes. For example, the end of the original teaser trailer makes it look like Meg sings "Yes indeed!" at the end of "Zero to Hero," when actually it's one of the Muses, and a later theatrical trailer shows the adult Hercules seemingly praying to the statue of Zeus and asking how to become a true hero, when actually that prayer and question are uttered by Young Hercules the first time he visits the temple and the clips of his older self talking to the statue are from a much later scene, and makes it like Hades is calling Hercules "Jerkules", when it was another person whose voice is used.
- Referenced in the Ben Elton novel Dead Famous to draw in ratings for her Big Brother-esque reality show, the producer creates a mock lesbian scene between two contestants (running an unrelated dialogue about finding head massage sensual over footage of one of the women washing the other's hair) and tries to make another contestant look unpopular by splicing together sound clips to have her say that she hates the other housemates.
- In the same book, this very same technique also runs the risk of backfiring badly on the producers; one of the housemates is an insufferable animal-rights activist who proceeds to drive the other contestants mad with his very poor hygiene (he believes that, since fleas are living creatures, it's immoral to kill them and soon the entire house is infected) and hypocritical self-righteousness. However, because the audience likes him his appearances are edited to present him in the best possible light while the others are unfairly made to look like bullies, with the result that much to everyone's horror he gets kept on. However, the other contestants immediately catch on to what's happened and call the producers out on what they've had to suffer through with regards to him and the obvious skewing they've been doing, threatening to walk off the project and leaving the producer with the choice of either getting rid of the activist or having him be the only contestant. Fortunately for her, he once bashed in a girl's head on a protest march and the police soon come a-calling...
- It also features the rarely-seen aftermath of such skewering; the first contestant to get kicked off the show finds that everyone on the outside hates her thanks to the way she was depicted and she's basically trapped in a life as a scorned joke. While she is shown to be a bit obnoxious in the house, she's no worse than the other housemates, and is understandably bitter about the whole thing as a result.
- Also done in Ben Elton's later book, Chart Throb, about a Pop Idol-style show. They call them Frankenbites.
- This is used in Skeleton Key, where the President of Russia is asked about a baggage handlers' strike and gives the answer "This is my holiday, I'm too busy to deal with that" (he is very, very drunk at this point). The Big Bad's plan is to cause a nuclear disaster and change the question to "What are you going to do about the Murmansk incident?"
- In Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years when Bert Baxter, a centenarian Dirty Old Man was interviewed during his 105th birthday celebration, his answers were censored, so as the interview could be broadcasted before the Watershed:
Lisa: Bert, you are 105 years old. Whats your secret?Bert Baxter: Well, I reckon that the sixty Woodbines a day Ive smoked have sort of put a healthy lining on my lungs. Ive never jogged or played games or been to bed sober, so Ive slept well. I shagged my way around Europe during the war, and I live mainly on beetroot sandwiches, Spotted Dick and custard. But the secret of a healthy life, and Id tell any youth this, is dont let your sperm collect up inside your balls, let it out! (Laughs) Let em all out! (Coughs) Light me a fag, Pandora, theres a good gel.What was transmitted was this manifestation of the TV editors black art.Bert Baxter: Beetroot sandwiches have kept me healthy, Ive slept well, and played a lot of ball games in my youth. Ive never smoked and Ive jogged my way around Europe.
- Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure: On a Monster Slayer shoot (an in-universe reality TV show where the star travels the U.S. countryside slaying monsters that returned to the world along with the Greek gods in 2009) outside Las Vegas, Tracy mentions that they can edit out some of the monster's cuter moments to make Jason killing it seem more heroic. It's moot, however, as the monster in question becomes far more fearsome shortly thereafter.
- Our Miss Brooks: In "Public Speakers Nightmare" and "The Tape Recorder", innocuous recordings are accidentally misplayed to produce Miss Brooks saying scandalous things about Mr. Conklin, and Mr. Conklin insulting Mr. Stone, Head of the Board of Education. These recordings, incidentally, are played in front of Mr. Stone . . . .
- 30 Rock parodied this trope when Tracey's wife Angie got her own reality TV show. An argument that Tracey and Liz had was edited to seem like an apology and the producers went so far as to have actors portray the two so that the scene could end with a hug. Also, Jack was edited to appear gay and badly hiding it.
- A 1999 episode of The Bill featured the police officer characters being filmed by a documentary crew ala Cops. This practice was cleverly referenced in the plot itself one of the production crew blackmails Detective Sergeant John Bolton by claiming she can manipulate the editing, and portray him in a negative light by making it look like he lost a murder weapon during a raid on a flat. Ultimately this is turned the other way, as the weapon was eventually recovered, and the TV team then went back and filmed some close-up shots of it in its original location so they could re-edit the footage of the original raid and make it look like the weapon was recovered in the first place.
- Dr. House was a victim of benevolent editing when the documentary crew filming a patient he cured changed the context of his usual comments, turning them from the verbal abuse of a man who belittles his staff, the patient, and the crew itself into a heartwarming portrayal of a kind man who became a doctor "because of the movie Patch Adams".
Cuddy (after watching the early copy, wiping away fake tears): It's difficult not to be moved.House: Oh, stop it. Suddenly I don't feel I can trust Michael Moore movies.Cuddy: Where are you going? Kittens to get out of trees, blind kids to read to?House: I owe it to the world to make sure this evil never sees the light of day.
- There was also some Manipulative Editing done for the previews. In one episode, the preview showed them entering the house of a patient who was a hoarder. The preview ends with a cut after they lift up a blanket and see a pair of legs underneath, heavily implying it to be a dead body. However, in the episode, the "Dead body" was actually the patient's wife who was hiding.
- Jimmy Fallon has had his editors search through five years of footage of head NBC news anchor Brian Williams and stitched them together to form covers of rap songs like "Rapper's Delight" and, most recently, "Gin and Juice."
- Estate of Panic: On any given episode, you can hear sound bites of some of the contestants' interjections five or six times over the course of the show. One show in particular had a 10-second long or so sound bite of a contestant from another episode screaming repeatedly.
- Babylon 5:
- Used in the episode "The Illusion Of Truth". The editing makes it look as if Sheridan is hiding plans to replace humans with aliens (They were hiding things from the news crew, but it was something completely different). Far more subtle is his apparently live, unedited interview with a psychologist, where the reporter uses leading questions and careful phrasing to plant the idea in the viewers head that Sheridan is suffering from a version of Stockholm Syndrome (though it was accidentally called Helsinki Symdrome).
- Also used when Londo meets a technomage and tries to tape their conversation in a way that looks like they are allies. The technomage defies it by causing the recorder to explode, then lets Londo just how much he doesn't appreciate being used. For the rest of the episode.
- In the Season 4 finale of Dance Moms, Abby and Christi break out into what would be their last heated argument over the latter's daughter Chloe. When Abby's back is turned to the camera as she walks away, her voice is heard saying that Chloe is "washed up" and Christi goes ballistic. Later, Chloe tearfully tells her mother that she "heard what Abby said" and they leave the show for good. After the episode taped, Christi said in a now-deleted series of tweets that Abby "made fun of Chloes appearance caused by a health issue" and that her comment would likely "be edited to protect her". Once the episode aired, fans quickly discovered that Abby's final comments to Christi were spliced together from a different episode where Abby was arguing with her main rival Cathy and that Abby's insensitive remark was made less harsh both in order to protect Abby (as Christi predicted) and to make it look like Christi flipped out over nothing.
(Abby's edited comment to Christi) Chloe is finished! Your kid's washed up.(Abby to Cathy in a different episode) Cathy! You're finished! You're washed up, you're old, you're nothing!
- The mothers have also stated at fan events that their reactions to Abby are often taken from harsher situations to make it look like they're flipping out over something petty. At one meet-and-greet, Kelly Hyland, who had two daughters on the show, said the following regarding manipulative editing:
"The bad stuff that Abby does, they take our reactions, the moms' reactions, like... her throwing a chair at Paige. Obviously, any mother is going to flip out like, 'You just threw a chair at my kid', right? But then they'll take that reaction that I gave to something bad like that and use it towards Abby saying 'Oh, Paige, you didn't point your feet' and that's so not what I was flipping out about. Like, I'm watching the show on Tuesday night thinking... I just want to like, hop on the screen and tell everybody 'That's not how it happened! I'm not really that psycho!'"
- The mothers have also stated at fan events that their reactions to Abby are often taken from harsher situations to make it look like they're flipping out over something petty. At one meet-and-greet, Kelly Hyland, who had two daughters on the show, said the following regarding manipulative editing:
- In an episode of The Surreal Life, Erik Estrada opened his bathrobe in front of Tammy Faye, and his crotch area was blurred. What you didn't see was Erik's underwear.
- Similarly, while a raucous party was going on at the house, it showed Tammy looking on with disapproval. She later said that she went to bed when the party went on and that those shots were from earlier, with a different context.
- The Trope is referenced in Britain's Got The Pop Factor And Possibly A New Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly On Ice, where the viewer is teased before the break with Geraldine giving an interview in a bad mood. In the actual interview, it turns out she was in a perfectly good mood and she was merely quoting that R Wayne was fed up with this Trope.
- The promos for Hell's Kitchen make liberal use of cherrypicking to add drama. In Season 4, one episode saw Matt accidentally cut the tip off his thumb during the challenge, and food critics showing up for dinner service; the promos made it look like the events were one and the same, implying that the severed portion of Matt's thumb ended up on the critic's plate.
- And again in Season 5, where the women's team slips while carrying a cow carcass into the kitchen and briefly panics when they see blood, learning to their relief that it just came from the meat. Guess which part wasn't shown in the promos?
- The show doesn't even bother trying to hide that they are editing previews of the next episode and are much easier to spot. Season 6 had a preview of the chefs being woken up in the middle of the night and being told there's a fire and firetrucks show up. The reality? There's no fire at all and Ramsay just woke up the chefs so they can serve food to a bunch of firefighters for the next challenge. Season 7 showed two contestants seemingly getting romantic in one scene, then Ramsay saying "I am going to do something I have never done before" as if he was going to make them choose between the relationship or the trip to London as part of the prize everyone wanted. The end result? Ramsay's statement was just based on him doing something different for the next challenge.
- On Colombian Telenovelas, the things that happen at the promos for the next episode at the end almost never happen they way they make it seem they will. The same goes for the promos for The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
- An in-universe example happens in the Leverage episode "The Juror #6 Job" Hardison splices together the question "Who finds in favor of the defendant?" with the jurors' reactions to the question "Who wants pizza for lunch?"
- Used in this Jon Stewart Emmys bit. Stewart explains that he was asked to pretape his speech about Katrina so the censors could check it over. The speech has been obviously chopped up (and dubbed over, and fast-forwarded) and he ends up accusing officials of being "incompetent, unacceptable, and shockingly inept".
- Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In did a skit a few times that pretended to be this. They'd interview some celebrity (such as John Wayne) and then announce "Now we'll show you what could be done by unscrupulous editing of this interview." The modified version had Wayne saying of critics "They can kiss my Levis!"
- Professional Wrestling does it all the time, specifically to exclude people that have left the company...whether they're working elsewhere, left on bad terms, or...well, you know (Chris Benoit). A recent WWE example was in the videos used to hype Triple H vs. Randy Orton for Wrestlemania 25. In the part that made reference to HHH and Stephanie McMahon being married, they used wedding footage with Stephanie and a guy with long blond hair (presumably HHH, only seen from the back). However, that man was actually Andrew "Test" Martin and the footage was from their "wedding" on Raw in late 1999 that HHH interrupted. Surreal when you consider that Test died not too long ago.
- When CNN interviewed John Cena for their "Death Grip" documentary, CNN edited it to make it appear that Cena admitted to taking steroids. WWE cried foul over this, and aired the unedited version of Cena's interview.
- In Mick Foley's second book "Foley is Good!", he talks about an incident when he appeared on ABC News Primetime to talk about wrestling. Diane Sawyer showed him two videos of "backyard wrestling". The first was pretty harmless and Mick said "that looked like a lot of fun...but I suspect you've got something else to show me too." They then showed him a much more brutal match. He said that he actually grew nauseous and asked the tape to stop before it was completed, then condemned the second video as unsafe and unprofessional, saying that he would never recommend anybody go this route in pursuit of a professional wrestling career (ironic given his background, but at least he had a solid education in the basics). When the show aired, they broadcast footage of the second match followed by Mick's reaction to the first match.
- Again with professional wrestling, the reality show Total Divas, focusing on a handful of the WWE's female wrestlers, engages in a healthy bit of this that's easily obvious to knowledgeable wrestling fans. One of the most common is showing clips with the caption "Live on Raw" when it's clear that it's actually clips taken from one of the company's B-Shows, Superstars or Main Event, which are taped before Raw, but aired later in the week. This is slightly justified, though. Total Divas airs on the E! network, a channel devoted to pop culture and entertainment. As such, its audience is more concerned with the soapy drama and likely don't know (or really care) about the inner workings of the WWE. Paring down the distracting details helps to cut down on confusion and make it easier for non-wrestling fans to get into the show.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic's celebrity interviews.
- The Green Beret and Spetsnaz representatives of Deadliest Warrior reveal in the comments section of The Aftermath - Green Beret vs. Spetsnaz that some level of Manipulative Editing is done to make both parties seem more confrontational to each other. For example, a finger gesture directed at the director for joking about the Spetsnaz was edited so that it looked like the Spetsnaz was flipping off the Green Beret as they were walking in.
- Used on 24 in Season 2, where during President Palmer's impeachment proceeding it is made to look like the President ordered the torture of an innocent man by erasing the portion of a tape where he confessed to helping the terror plot.
- Self-aware news parodies admit to doing this from time to time...because, well, it's funny and that's their job. Other times, you have to give the contributors credit...they really are just that good at getting people to look silly and say things they don't realize will make them look bad.
Jon Stewart: You think by now, they would know what we do. Why does anyone still agree to come on this show?!
- Inverted by The Colbert Report back in 2007: Stephen, having heard that democratic Congressmen were being barred from appearing on his program due to this trope, staged an interview given by PBS's Gwen Ifill, gave many phrases in list form that would allow for easy editing during the interview, then invited the audience to edit the interview and post it to Youtube.
- On Just Shoot Me!, a couple of the characters splice up the boss' words to force another to do their bidding, with very obvious pauses and changes in inflection.
If you—value your—jobs... donut—mess up.
- The Fast Show spin-off Swiss Toni had an episode where the titular character was invited to appear on a television show. His employees gave fairly positive responses when queried on whether he was a good boss, but they would be edited to remove the positive aspects; one employee stated that he's usually good, but occasionally "he's a tosser"...but the edited version simply said "he's a tosser".
- Parodied on Dead Ringers with a sketch based on the health show You Are What You Eat (the name is changed to You Are What We Edit). After the subject describes his perfectly healthy lifestyle to the presenter, she declares "That's not nearly unhealthy enough to give our viewers a smug sense of superiority!" and edits it.
Original Line: Well, I can't bear to lounge around on the sofa staring at the telly. I'm always careful what I eat. For instance, I avoid eating snacks, as I don't want to get fat, and I'm trying to exercise regularly to keep myself looking good.Edited Line: Well, I / lounge around on the sofa staring at the telly. I avoid / exercise / f/or / snacks. / I eat / fat, and / fat, and / fat. / Good.
- Worth noting that the man in question would not have objected to this: Trevor admitted straight off that "I don't really have a weight problem, but I've always wanted to feel vaguely important, so I'm desperate to appear on a Channel 4 makeover show."
- Contestants auditioning for American Idol don't go directly to the celebrity judge panel; they first sing for staffers who try to sort people into "maybe good enough to be on the show", "not good enough to be on the show", and "so terrible it'll be funny". Former contestants have alleged that the producers spliced together footage of their initial screening by the staffers so as it make it appear that they were singing in front of Randy, Simon, and Paula. This apparently happens frequently if a contestant sings badly for the show's staffers and is put through to the judges as a "joke contestant", but then pulls it together and gives a significantly better performance before the judges. The producers simply edit things to make it appear that the "so bad it's funny" attempt was done before the judges, and the contestant's mildly-mediocre performance before the judges is never seen by viewers at home. This seems to explain instances where contestants appeared to give horrible performances that should have elicited scathing comments from Simon, but were dismissed with a much milder "sorry, it's just not good enough" comment.
- The show facilitates this by encouraging the contestants to wear the same outfit to every audition. At least until Season 9, where the wording was changed to be a bit softer, but it was still stressed verbally. If you want to catch some manipulative editing, look at what jewelry the contestant is wearing and how their hair is done when they talk to Seacrest outside, versus what they're wearing when they're singing. Because most kids will remember what dress/shirt they wore, but won't remember what jewelry they had on.
- There are also reports of the producers asking contestants to sing a different song that they aren't prepared for during the initial audition screening and recording the results, which invariably sounds terrible because the contestant hasn't practiced the song and/or doesn't even know all the words. The producers then edit this footage in with shots of the contestant walking in and out of the judging room so that they appear to have been badly botching the audition in front of the judges, when in fact during their actual appearance before the judges they sang a completely different song.
- X Factor finalist Rhydian Roberts was a victim of manipulative editing during the audition shows, thanks to the editors' attempts to make him the show's Pantomime villain. The live shows proved he was really a nice polite boy from Wales...and really good. Following a few performances like this Moment of Awesome, he went from being the outsider to the bookies' favourite.
- If Kurt Harland (of Information Society) is to be believed, the 2004 VH1 series Bands Reunited took this Trope one step further. Besides plenty of manipulative editing, they manipulated actual events they staged a scene where three out of the four band members reunited (even though the three of them had driven to the site together), and had the host wait outside for Harland even though the producers and the other band members knew well ahead of time that he had decided not to do an interview.
- Actually done on Survivor a lot:
"In the episode they say that Russell planted a "Russell Seed" in Tyson's head, and that that got Tyson to switch his vote. But that's complete B.S. Remember, the episodes also claim that Russell impregnated Helen of Troy and started the Trojan War. If you'd like to know how badly the producers fudged this to make it look like Russell had anything to do with it, go read Tyson's post game interviews. Tyson thought he was being tricky and he essentially voted himself out."
- The several trailers for Samoa made it seem like Russell was being targeted for elimination. The episode itself showed no such talk of elimination. The focus on Russell is actually discussed in this column; the writer, an acclaimed Survivor columnist and possibly the foremost expert on the show, points out how Russell's many, many mistakes in the Heroes vs Villains season were either a) buried by the editors, or b) made to look like really good moves. As he puts it at one point:
- In the first show of one season, Courtney Yates was made to look like more of a villainess than she really was when Stephanie Lagrossa's shoulder was dislocated in a challenge. She didn't seriously yell at her teammates to "break her shoulder", she actually said that after Stephanie's shoulder was dislocated and was intended as a joke. But when it's said before it happens? Sounds an awful lot like an order, doesn't it?
- In Australian Outback, one person was edited to look like a Lazy Bum. Months later, his fellow tribemates immediately leaped to his defense. In "Back from the Outback," the former of two "Back from" editions that addressed what the contestants had been up to since their return, an educator even went on to say that no one there ever graduated by being lazy.
- Most of tribal council is omitted due to time constraints.
- It's assumed that Purple Kelly on Nicaragua was intentionally edited to be Out of Focus as revenge by the producers for quitting. Naonka at least had a lot of stuff to create drama and that impacted the game so she couldn't have been as edited out as Purple Kelly was.
- Hell, THE ENTIRE SHOW might fall under this trope. The great bulk of footage for Survivor has never been released. While the show isn't "staged" or anything like that (it legally can't be), this leaves room for a viewer to cry Manipulative Editing for practically any scene in any episode.
They especially do this to make a "story". In Redemption Island, 90% of the cast appeared to have been edited into animated dummies while the editors, who were obviously hardcore Boston Rob fans, made sure the audience never forgot how much they loved him, as well as Matt and Phillip. The hardest hit was Kristina, who found the idol in episode one, was voted out and eliminated third and never mentioned again. The plan to eliminate Russell was actually Sarita's idea; we didn't even see her until Dave was arguing with her. Dave was supposed to be a really good competitor, yet all the time we got to really see him compete was when he lost, and the other footage that existed of him was just him fighting with Sarita. Did you also know that Russell and his alliance actually took rice while everyone else was fishing?
- In Thailand and Africa, when Jeff comes back to read the votes for who won the million dollars, it's actually a quick cut to the reunion...with the stage diguised as the tribal council area, making it at first look like Jeff was revealing the votes right there. You can actually catch this in Thailand, where finalist Clay seems to suddenly gain about 10-20 pounds in between the time where Jeff tallied the votes and then came back to reveal them.
- Most often, they actually do this to have a bit of fun. One of the most famous of these incidents is in Micronesia. Episode two, Kathy asks who they're voting out and Joel tells her "Mary". Kathy asks, "Who?". The next episode, Jeff announces that Mary was voted out, and Eliza says, "Mary?!". It looks like they have no idea who they're actually playing the game with. In actuality, Kathy was asking for clarification and Eliza was expressing shock at how it was her that was voted out and not Chet. Of course they knew who Mary was; but it was still pretty funny regardless.
- In Tocantins, Coach was portrayed as this lying crazy guy who was always making up weird crap. In reality he is an incredibly nice, if offbeat, guy. Each week after an episode aired he would answer questions about what really happened, rather than what it was edited to look like. Many times, they actually ignored how he was joking or was just putting on a show for everyone else. Coach seems very aware of this; and in Heroes vs. Villains and South Pacific, he acts almost nothing like it.
- Lex in All-Stars was shown having an epic Oh, Crap! face after Kathy decides she's going to keep her immunity necklace. According to Lex post-game, he knew Kathy was going to keep it and even encouraged her to do so, but the transition from Kathy saying "I'm going to keep it" to Lex's look of sheer terror was - story-wise - a fitting conclusion to the Villainous Breakdown that Lex went through in his last episode.
- Big Brother would often do this, since it's an abridged live-feeds show. Examples of this include:
- Jeff's homophobic comments and outbursts are essentially a Noodle Incident - the way you see him on the show, you'd think he's a perpetually nice Stepford Smiler.
- It also helps that Big Brother 13 in general has been a bunch of Pandering to the Base. The editors have taken a couple cues from the Survivor editors and have made sure that the show revolves all around the editors' favourites and the eight guest stars known as the "newbies" as well. Did you know Porsche and Lawon were even in the house? Did you even know Kalia was in the house until week four? Well, if you forgot about Porsche, you're not alone - the editors seemed to have forgotten about her too, until she appeared out of virtually nowhere.
- People who watched the feeds can tell you a different story on what happened at week 5. Shelly approached Kalia with the idea to backdoor Porsche so that Jeff, Jordan, and Rachel would forgive Kalia and it would get her further in the game. Then that's when Daniele got upset with Kalia in the HOH room in that last part of the episode. However, the editors made it seem like Rachel, one of the Producers' Pets, did all the work and gave Shelly no credit whatsoever. It makes it look like Shelly and the other newbies are complete idiots. This got incredibly weird later in the series, when Kalia and Daniele mention Shelly coming up with that idea.
- In season 8, Jessica appears to be saying something rude about Carol when she was evicted. In actuality, that wasn't her goodbye message. They didn't even play it because it was "Too nice".
- Jeff's homophobic comments and outbursts are essentially a Noodle Incident - the way you see him on the show, you'd think he's a perpetually nice Stepford Smiler.
- Charlie Brooker discussed the phenomenon at length in Screenwipe. As an example, the show put together a mini-reality show which showed several sections played naturally and then strategically edited to present the participants in best or worst light for example, a bit where Brooker cracks a self-admittedly lame joke which receives a moderately good-humoured response in reality, but is then strategically edited to appear as if it bombed.
- An episode of Jonathan Creek features two examples in the same filmed segment. It begins with Jonathan's boss, magician Adam Klaus, filming a segment for a TV show in which he approaches a member of the public and predicts the number they will tell him by revealing it under his shirt. Of course, he's had the number "36" tattooed on there in advance, which prompts a long afternoon filming him stopping random passers-by in the street, asking them a number, and getting increasingly frustrated when they give him every number but "36" (or, in the case of one guy, punching him for no reason). Later, when they've finally found someone to give him the right number and are editing it together, Adam remarks that he doesn't remember the woman laughing so much when he makes the big reveal; Jonathan takes rather malicious pleasure in telling him that this is a bit where she was actually laughing at him stepping in some dogshit in the street, and they've spliced it in.
- On NCIS, this Trope gave Gibbs trouble in the Season 3 episode "Model Behavior" when reporters misrepresented him on camera impressive given how little he said while storming through the press mob with a scowl on his face. The edited footage made it look like Gibbs cut an interview short when a reporter asked him if the military was doing something illegal and inappropriate. He had actually stormed away because the reporter had accidentally spilled his coffee.
- One example from Robot Wars in an otherwise completely unremarkable fight between Chaos 2 and an otherwise unremarkable robot called Medusa 2000. A 15-minute battle in reality becomes a 5-minute battle where Medusa 2000 can't escape Chaos 2 at all.
- In The Amazing Race, the bottom two teams in any given leg are always made to look as if they're neck and neck, no matter how far apart they really are. The one exception is in the finals, where instead it's the top two teams (Seasons 7 and 16 were especially bad, as the top two teams finished, respectively, 45 and 25 minutes apart).
- Paranormal State is apparently quite fond of editing footage for maximum drama.
- Even True Life is guilty of staging some scenes, though usually only so that they can get scenes that are important to the theme of the episode. For most folks with really extreme life circumstances, though, all they have to do is follow them around. Usually there isn't much actual editing or splicing of the tape, since it is supposed to be "True Life".
- Then-18-year-old pornographic actress Sasha Grey was openly unhappy about her interview on The Tyra Banks Show. Grey claims that she was forced to wear a deliberately girlish wardrobe that she was handed, made to wear blusher and tie her hair to appear more childlike, and that all her responses to Tyra's questions had been edited out, making her appear as if she had nothing to say in response to Tyra, and overly demonizing her and her line of work. At the end of that vlog entry, Grey also adds that Banks' wardrobe department had stolen her earrings.
- In the Christmas episodes of the British version of The Office, Pointy-Haired Boss David Brent — who has fallen on hard times after losing his job and failing to jumpstart a media career on the back of his appearances in the show, which has shown him to be largely a jerk — argues that the film crew who followed him and his employees around 'stitched him up' by doing this, presenting a top-heavy depiction of the moments that made him look like a clown (which, to be fair, there were lots of) and not showing enough of the moments where he actually did do a good job and / or managed to charm people. Interestingly, the Christmas episodes go some way towards rectifying this, showing him in a more charming, competent light, as if the documentary makers felt bad about this and were trying to make it up to him.
- iCarly: In "iFight Shelby Marx'', Nevel makes a fake video using a line from iCarly and manages to fool the teenage wrestler Shelby Marx into thinking that Carly deliberately pushed down her grandmother during a press conference when it was really an accident, leading to Shelby actually wanting to hurt Carly during the wrestling match they had organized to raise money for charity. In the end, Shelby and the iCarlies realize the deception and Carly, Sam, and Shelby give Nevel a brutal beating offscreen.
- Hilariously done on Top Gear, during the Electric Car challenge. The team attempt to edit the footage to make it look like their Epic Failure of a car, The Hammerhead Eagle i Thrust passed the safety tests. They wind up making some of the most obviously edited footage imaginable. "Tuokool!"
- Parodied in an episode of Victorious where several Hollywood Arts students are asked to star in a reality show. The producers splice together Tori's conversation with her grandmother with Beck ordering a pizza in a way that made it sound like the two were having an affair.
- JAG: In "Desert Son", Lt. Williams has a female DJ (who has a crush on him) edit a tape recording of a radio conversation to make it sound like Lt. Boone transposed a set of numbers, when in fact Boone had perfectly relayed the incorrect coordinates Williams had sent him. Harm picks up on the editing because there's an analog hiss on the edited portion due to the DJ's different equipment.
- This was shown in one episode of My Name Is Earl where Earl helps out a reporter on his list by being the protagonist of a reportage about him and his family. What was a heart-warming interview went through incredible amounts of cherry-picking to make Randy look even more stupid on purpose.
- Shown in an episode of That's So Raven when Raven and Chelsea were on a reality show together. The interviews were manipulated to make it look like the best friends really hated each other, in the hopes of starting an actual argument that could be filmed. For example, when Raven said Chelsea is a great friend and she would never want to lose her, it's edited to make it sound like she was saying Chelsea is a loser. The girls catch on and expose the scam.
- Invoked in an episode of MythBusters, where they showed a clip of Adam and Jamie solving Rubik's Cubes - Jamie while blindfolded, and Adam using his feet. They then revealed that they had actually filmed clips of themselves scrambling the cubes from a solved state and played it backwards, and had one of the researchers walk backwards across the room in the background to add verisimilitude.
- Likewise, a lot of testing tends to get cut for time constraints; but normally these are just replicating the results, so it's rather justified.
- An episode of Storage Wars shows Barry giving Dave a hat with his bidding Catch-Phrase (a loud, obnoxious "Yuuuuup!") on the front, so that he would shut up and point to the hat instead, with poor results. However, later that episode, Dave's employees show up to the locker he won with "Yuuuuup!" and a copyright mark on their T-shirts. Dave's hat already has a copyright mark on it as well.
- Done in-universe in an episode of Even Stevens. Ren's long-time rival Larry Beale is running against her for class president. He goes over to her brother Louis and asks him some random questions, with his friends secretly recording the conversation with a videocamera. They then have Larry record a bunch of questions about Ren that make Louis' answers seem like he's insulting or making fun of her. Of course, nobody pays attention to the fact that Louis is clearly sitting in the cafeteria while Larry's background is completely different.
- Invoked in The X-Files: In one episode, Mulder and Scully appear on encounter a camera crew from Cops, and the episode is filmed in the style of that show. At the end, Scully remarks that they didn't manage to find anything, to which Mulder replies, "Depends how they edit it together".
- Most seasons of So You Think You Can Dance are edited to make it look like the finalists are chosen at the end of "Vegas Week". In fact, not only are the final selections are made about a month after Vegas Week ends, but they are made in southern California; the set is made up to look like they are still in Vegas.
- Good Luck Charlie: Jo tricks Gabe into letting her record footage of him claiming it'll help him in his campaign for class president, but edits the footage out of context to make him look bad.
- Used in-universe in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. One person on an in-universe version of To Catch A Predator met up with the girl just to tell her not to do this, to "take off your clothes and put something decent on", and to think more about who she meets on line. It was edited to make him seem like he was preying on her, with him saying "take off your clothes".
- Done in the pre-commercial promos/flashbacks from the intake parts of Rehab with Dr. Drew. When interviewing patients about past drug use he usually keeps a blank/concerned facial expression, probably to avoid them feeling judged. However in the promos, it showed them recounting an extreme drug history, but then panned to Dr. Drew's pained or shocked expressions, actually from his reactions to things they said when they were talking about their lives rather than their drug history.
- Parodied in Conan O'Brien's "Alex Trebek Is Losing His Mind" segment, which plays clips of Jeopardy! where the answers Trebek reads out are complete nonsense like "Despite a broken leg, Tobey Maguire nailed this Romanian girl with the over 300 year-old reticulated slither" and "This ugly guy, Will Smith (not the black one) can sometimes track down one of these Irish fairies, in this type of marriage." Eventually, Alex Trebek shows up during the skit and gets revenge by showing some clips from Conan's show edited in the same manner.
- An episode of Alien Nation has a camera crew following the main characters to crime scenes. George tries to be his best, as he doesn't want to be an embarassment to the Newcomer community. When the news report is finally shown, George's human partner is barely even mentioned, while George is made to look like Sherlock Holmes. It turns out the purpose of the piece was not to show a working partnership between a human and a Newcomer but to put the best light possible on Newcomers in the workforce. George is initially pleased with this, but later even he gets sick of the camera and the stink-eye that the human cops are giving him.
- Some of the King of the Nerds contestants have spoken about this. Danielle from the first season said that they showed the worst parts of her and made her come across as far worse than she actually is, and Nicole in the second season pointed out that, for the nerd-off votes in the episode where she was eliminated, it was edited to imply that she betrayed Zack and voted for him, even though she did not.
- The Shake It Up! episode "Reality Check It Up" entirely revolves around this. Kind of makes sense given it's a Reality Show.
- In the Doctor in the House episode "Doctor on the Box", the medical students at St. Swithin's Hospital are being interviewed for a documentary, and the director also films a few scenes of choreographed revelry at the bar. In one scene, one of the students says the popular perception of medical students is that they spend all their time "boozing, playing rugger, chasing nurses," whereas they actually spend "hardly any time at all" doing those things. When the documentary airs, the footage is edited to portray the students as drunken, skirt-chasing clowns, and the interviewee now appears to be claiming that students do spend all their time "boozing, playing rugger, chasing nurses," leaving "hardly any time at all" for the work they are supposed to be doing on taxpayers' money.
- Done for an entirely different purpose in an episode of Burn Notice. In order to get rid of a Columbian drug cartel enforcer who's harassing their client, Sam phones up the enforcer and asks several leading questions. Then the team cuts up the recording and pastes it back together in different order to make it sound like the enforcer wants to turn state's evidence so the cartel will get rid of him for them.
Sam: I've heard legitimate recordings that sounded a hell of a lot worse.
- This caused a major problem for ACN in The Newsroom after they air a news story that they discover was doctored, forcing them to retract a falsified, high-profile story about American troops using sarin gas on foreign soil. As a result, the several characters are threatened with losing their jobs for not spotting the fabrication and the one who did edit the video was fired, showing why you do not edit high-profile news stories.
- In general, trailers and "Coming up" bumps are cut this way to increase interest, even if what was actually going on on the show was different. So even the edited show is edited. For example, Face/Off had one where the "coming up on Face-Off" showed Glenn saying "I do not like this" and an unhappy reaction shot. Once the episode actually came back...he was delivering a Bait-and-Switch Comment. "I do not like this. I love it." Granted, the reaction shot was real, because Glenn paused long enough after "I do not like this" for the contestant to react.
- Sometimes done on Wheel of Fortune of all shows. If a cycle of turns goes around once without affecting the score (e.g., all three contestants consecutively call wrong letters, hit Lose a Turn, and/or hit Bankrupt when they have nothing to lose to it), then the cycle is usually cut out to save time. However, this can be more obvious than most sometimes, a cycle that does affect proceedings is edited out, and cycles of three or more consecutive wrong letters in the Speed-Up round are typically masked by a Jump Cut to the host.
- In 2011, a video surfaced online titled "Most Awkward Wheel of Fortune Moment Ever" showing a contestant (obviously chroma keyed) calling an "N" followed by a shot of the puzzle board reading "CLAM _IGGER". After an awkwardly-long pause, Pat says "No N. Hmm..." as if he was expecting it to be there. The video went viral with many debating whether the clip was real or not. In actuality, the footage itself was taken from a then-recent rerun of a 2009 episode, with the letters on the board and onscreen category taken from other puzzles throughout the episode. Pat saying "No N." was actually from the beginning of a new puzzle, hence his "Hmm..." due to "N" being a common letter and a frequent first choice of contestants.
- Also done on Jeopardy! at times. If nobody buzzes in on the last clues of a round, then they are typically edited out to save time. As a result, it merely appears to the home viewer that they ran out of time instead.
- One episode of C Hi Ps had a team of reporters travelling around harassing Ponch and Jon while they performed their duties. At one point, the lead reporter falls down and Ponch helps him back up. They also have a very harsh argument. Later, the team edits the argument to make it sound like he's threatening the reporter and they run the footage backwards to make it look like Ponch is knocking him down.
- Jessie: In "The Rosses Get Real", a mean reporter named Corrine Baxter interviews the Ross family but edits their words out of context to make them fight each other and uses their heated arguments to juice up the ratings for her show. Fortunately, the family formulates a plan to get rid of her.
- Played for Laughs on Newsradio. Bill records a promo for their coverage of the upcoming baseball season. Unfortunately, it's too long to air and has to be cut down. However, Bill rejects any attempt to minimize it. Eventually, the editor gets frustrated and makes a less than flattering statement.
Original message: The crack of the bat. The roar of the crowd. Baseball's back. I'm Bill McNeil and if you like the boys of summer, check out opening day on WNYX Newsradio.Edited message: I'm Bill McNeil. I'm/ on/ crack. I/ like/ boys.
- In The Good Wife Cary Agos is charged with conspiracy to transport narcotics based on a recording of him telling some members of Lemond Bishop's drug ring how to evade detection, taken by a CI. However the CI had conveniently left out the part where they were all clearly talking about fictional drug dealers in the movies.
- In one episode of the short-lived series Over There, a reporter is embedded with the squad the show follows. After they get into a shoot-out with insurgents, the reporter's video makes it look like the squad's heavy gunner was shooting blindly - spraying and praying - and killed several non-combatants. At the end of the episode, after he's been chewed out by his CO, the gunner confronts the reporter, who tries to brush him before finally admitting that his bosses cut the video to make a "normal" shoot-out into something newsworthy.
- Done, to many guest's consternation, on America Unearthed.
- The 2015 Easter Monday preview for My Kitchen Rules made Steve appear more combative in his argument against Pete's criticism when he answers the judge's rhethoric, "By putting something you can't eat?" with a definite "Absolutely". In the actual show, Steve finally concedes to Pete's negative feedback after that statement, and he actually said, "Absolutely" in response to the judges asking if his team could beat Carol and Adam in the Sudden Death Cook-off they were both sent to.
- The season finale of Other Space plays this in-universe: the crew realizes the entire ship has been fitted with omnipresent microscopic cameras and the resulting footage has been edited into a highly manipulative trailer of their time.
- Played for Laughs on Boy Meets World: when Cory makes a video for class interviewing various people about sex, he uses this technique to have some fun at his teacher's expense.
Topanga: (in video) What is the most important advice you have for teenagers about sex?Mr. Feeny: (in video) Be careful with that valuable equipment!Mr. Feeny: (watching the video) Cheap editing trick.
- An episode of Everybody Loves Raymond had Robert and Ray tasked with creating a tribute video for Frank. They decide to interview his lodge brothers, but get only negative comments and complaints. Ray then hits on the idea of asking the men how they feel about chocolate; the pair then clumsily edit the video to cut between the lodge brothers saying "Frank Barone" and then positive remarks about the dessert. Frank notices something is up when the video includes people talking about how much they'd like to eat him.
- Ru Pauls Drag Race has what fans have called the "Bitch Edit," when a queen becomes the "villain" of the season by making all their lines and actions come off as completely dickish, even though most of the time they A) were asked for their opinion and simply gave an honest answer, B) were responding to a bitchy comment one of the "good" queens made, or C) apologized afterwards. These little details are always conveniently edited out, requiring the queens to explain on social media how things really went down. However, Season 5 "villain" Roxxxy Andrews deserves credit for not blaming the editing for her behavior. She says that the editors may manipulate, but they don't make things up; the bitchy comments that got aired are still things she said, and even though she apologized, saying "sorry" doesn't undo the initial hurt she caused. This was her reason for seeking "Rudemption" in All-Stars 2. On the other side of the spectrum there's Phi Phi O'Hara, the "bitch" of Season 4, who has accused the show of grossly abusing the manipulative edit when she returned for All-Stars 2. She claims that when the season wasn't providing a suitable villain for drama, the producers took her out of context and harshly edited her. RuPaul denied these claims, but some of her fellow contestants backed up at least some of them.
- A sketch in Alas Smith and Jones had Detective Griff Rhys-Jones interview petty crook Mel Smith recorded on video. The clock in the background moving forward and backward in time is the least of the signs the tape has been edited.
- MAD makes fun of this a couple times, where they make fun of dating reality shows to make them sound like perverts.
"Your eyes are so beautiful. I can look you in the eyes all night until morning.""Awwww, thank you."
- In one, they add in bleeps in strategic places:
"Your eyes are so beautiful. I can *bleep*k you in the *bleep* all night until morning."Awwww, *bleep*k you."
"We hear you visited the grand canyon recently, what did you think about it?""Man, it's huge! It's beautiful, everyone should see it!"
- And in another, they mention switching questions around.
"Describe your best feature.""Man, it's huge! It's beautiful, everyone should see it!"
- Common in experimental music built around sample editing. It can range from the puerile (Stunt Rock's earlier works, Teh Soup Rebellion) to the utterly bizarre (Wobbly's "Wild Why," containing such gems as "Them brain transport young boys who sport" and "There's no bedroom in the shower on the patio," or John Oswald's "The Case of Death.")
- Vaginal Bear Trap opened "stream" with an edited sample from a newscast;
"...couldn't be here today, he was murdered and set on fire while celebrating his birthday."
- Fuck it, fuck it, fuck it, fuck it...
- A sound college of Ronald Reagan painting him as a Cloudcuckoolander, which appeared in an issue of Raw Magazine.
- Invoked in Calvin and Hobbes, where Calvin attempts to establish a fictitious childhood by having Hobbes take pictures of him out of context so it looks like he is always behaving that way.
- In one FoxTrot strip, Jason uses this to blackmail his sister, Paige. He records her saying, "Mr. Vivona wants us to cut five articles from the newspaper every day this week for social studies, and the only scissors I have are, like, totally dull" and then splices the audio so it sounds like she's saying, "I cut social studies every day this week. Mr. Vivona is totally dull."
- In Adventures in Odyssey, Cryin' Bryan Dern tells Jimmy Barclay about the the application of this Trope record someone when they don't know about it and broadcast it in such an order that it makes them look stupid. Jimmy uses this on Eugene, and then has the tables turned on him by Dern.
- This was the premise of the Radio Free Vestibule sketch "Laurence Olivier for Diet Coke".
- It's very popular to do this using the voice clips of the characters in Team Fortress 2. With good timing and some creativity with voice commands, it's even possible in-game.
"All of you are stupid, stupid, STUPID!""Just lay your weapons down and- place a dispenser here!From The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: "Poo-tis-POW! Haha!"note
Merasmus: "Merasmus arrives on a tide of CUM!"
- While in Garry's Mod/Source Filmmaker animations, there's videos called "smexuals", in which the characters speak nonsense gibberish and sexually suggestive phrases.
- Somewhat done in Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego, in which the player has to get a spool of thread from a factory that's closed so Thomas Edison can get his light bulb completed. What has to be done is put the phonograph below the window and record the Factory Guard's boss saying "Do not give those rascals a spool of thread!", then playing "Give those rascals a spool of thread!" to the guard who can't see you.
- There's a puzzle like this in Torin's Passage which requires you to manipulate a recording so that someone appears to be saying something they aren't.
- This sad fate befell Final Fantasy X, as YouTube videos show the Annoying Laugh scene. If you view them, it looks like Tidus and Yuna just laugh like madpeople or ducks for no good reason. Yet if you view the scene in context, or even the original Japanese version, you'd be surprised to find that they're actually intending to sound fake and over-the-top. At this point in the story, they're forcing themselves to laugh, because events have caused them to doubt they'll ever be that happy again.
- From Tribes: "I am the SHAZBOT!" note .
- Mass Effect 3: If you did not save the Salarian Councilor on the Citadel, Udina will magically conjure up an edited clip mere minutes later that makes it look like you did the deed yourself instead of being there trying to stop it, to try and implicate you.
- Persona 3 plays this for drama when it turns out Yukari's dead father told the future not to kill the full moon shadows, but the not was edited out.
- In Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within, Gabriel splices a recording of his conversation with Herr Doktor Klingmann to convince the zookeeper to let him into the wolf kennel.
- Penny and Aggie, here. Sara is about to go on a reality show, and to prevent this sort of editing her friends advise her to constantly change her physical appearance to make it harder to splice together clips from different days. They do it anyway.
- Screencap comics are this trope, albeit justified in that that's how they are made in the first place. The creator of DM of the Rings noted that he could find a picture of Aragorn looking stoned/hungover in almost every scene he was in. ("Ive come to think of him as Stareagorn").
- This VG Cats strip is basically the same idea as the Left 4 Dead parody above.
- In Girl Genius, Agatha records a warning for Baron Wulfenbach that she's been possessed by the Other. Before it gets projected over the entire town, the Other turns it into an accusation that the Baron is the Other.
- In the Longshoreman Of The Apocalypse arc of Schlock Mercenary, a news team interviews Schlock. What they show, however, features a spliced-in video of their anchor, who asks questions that make Schlock's answers sound even worse than how they really were.
Schlock: I didn't say those things that way. I didn't talk to that Frank Hannibal anchorman at all. But they chopped up my words and fixed the pictures so well I'm starting to feel like that's actually how it happened.
- One Vegan Artbook strip features a photo of a dying fawn huddled next to his dead mother. The intent was to portray hunting as a malicious and senseless blood sport. While the comic's creator later admitted to having known beforehand that the doe was hit by a car rather than shot, she defended her use of the photo on the grounds that it got her point across.
- Maddox accuses Penn & Teller: Bullshit! of doing this to him. He was asked to make an appearance in an episode about senior citizens, where he was interviewed and, at one point, posited that old people smellnote . He tied this into his overall thesis that old assholes are still assholes, and thus don't deserve any more leeway than a young asshole. The editors completely cut out his thesis and supporting argument, tried to "disprove" him with a completely unrelated experiment, and made him look like a gigantic tool. Maddox made a video about it (years later), causing his fanbase to start angrily Tweeting at Penn Jillette. Penn apologized on Twitter and Maddox considered the issue over.
- Hadriex took this so far that in his Undertale videos he started putting warnings at the front of them.
- Television Without Pity snarks on one particular Frankenbite in this recap.
- There is a particular species of Fan Vid which basically involves editing together scenes from a movie/TV show/game/whatever in order to make it look like a gay love story. A related strain involves editing wholesome family movies to look like terrifying horror flicks, or vice versa.
- One would actually be very surprised at how much Mary Poppins looks like a movie where the nanny wants to terrify and kill the children with the right clips, or how The Shining looks like a simple family comedy. There's even a trailer in which it's implied that in Cinderella, the title character goes Ax-Crazy after the stepsisters ruin her dress...
- There's a similar video which uses strategic censoring to make Count Von Count from Sesame Street say...something that wouldn't appear in a kid's show.
"Because I really love to ***!"
- A popular gag in YouTube Poop videos is to edit a character's dialogue so they end up saying something weird, dirty, or both. This practice is known as "Sentence Mixing" (where single words generally stay intact) and "Word Splicing" (where words are cut up, put together and somehow, it works). For example, Robotnik's Face is Politically Incorrect changes Dr. Robotnik's line "I, the baron of badness, the knight of nastiosity, am on the brink of my greatest success!" to "I'm on the brink of incest!"
- Robotnik's YouTube Poop catchphrase, "PINGAS!" (which sounds like "penis") is also an example: it comes from the phrase "Snooping as usual, I see!" It was discovered by Stegblob and first used in Robotnik Has a Viagra Overdose.
- There's also its much less popular equivalent, "PINESS", from a line in Sonic's Christmas Blast where Robotnik says "Hap-PINESS is always so much more enjoyable..." Also "PIENDISH" and "PEINOUS" from "fiendish" and "heinous" respectively.
- Another very popular phrase comes from the intro to the Zelda CD-i game Link: Faces of Evil where Link says "How about a kiss, for luck?"
- This is also part of the "THIS VIDEO WILL BE FLAGGED" fad, which involves editing a clip to make it sound like a character is doing or saying something dirty.
- Then there is the "I made this while doing X" meme, where a character's dialogue is used to form a song title followed by that song being played. The meme-maker was through_the_fire_and_flames.wmv.
- Robotnik's YouTube Poop catchphrase, "PINGAS!" (which sounds like "penis") is also an example: it comes from the phrase "Snooping as usual, I see!" It was discovered by Stegblob and first used in Robotnik Has a Viagra Overdose.
- A couple of enterprising (no pun intended!) fans edited the novelization of Star Trek (2009) into this (audio is EXTREMELY NSFW).
- The Irate Gamer is known to do this. In his review of Super Mario Bros. 2, he slows down the footage.
- As a joke in his review of Tengen's Tetris, he edits Van Halen's "Panama" into the game as a music option.
- In the Kid Icarus review, he claims that Uranos shows up as early as the Underworld fortress, when it only appears in Skyworld. He also "shows" that the Snowmen enemies are named "Snowball Flinging Assholes" in the instruction manual.
- As a joke in his Duck Hunt review, he shows himself on level 666.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd also does this, since he can't show us his entire run of the game without causing the video to go on forever. If you keep a careful eye on the score, timer, or health bar in any game, you'll see he does this very frequently for the sake of humor, emphasizing a point, or simplification. One of the most arrant examples of this is in his Castlevania 64 review. He says that the music sucks because there is no music and proves it by showing one of the stages where there isn't music. This becomes quite odd and contributes to the research failures, since he later on shows where he got stuck at...and you can clearly hear background music.
- He also claims that Zelda's Adventure doesn't have any music; when the game actually does and only shows parts of the game that don't have music. However; this could likely be a result of him not getting far enough into the game since he also states that the game will not save for him.
- He even shows off some of his editing tricks in The Making of an AVGN Episode, particularly how he needs to carefully splice moments together to keep the melody of the music from jumping around. He sometimes even makes a lengthy recording of the stage music and lays it over his cuts to hide his edits, and only refrains from doing this often due to the amount of effort required to do it.
- Down Haven Entertainment: His show is basically what happened if you mix Youtube Poops and Reviewer Shows together.
- Todd in the Shadows did this in his review of Bedrock.
Todd: Hey, Gudda Gudda, how would you describe (Lloyd)?Gudda Gudda: No Stevie Wonder.Todd: Right on!
- The Greatest Freakout Ever videos are most likely a good example of cherry-picking and "Worst-side filming", since the only videos of Steven appear to be of him throwing a tantrum and his parents yelling at him.
- These are one of the main tools to make Ghost rage: Just splice together something he would never say about one of his many Berserk Buttons, play your splice when he takes your call, and hear the cans fly.
- Gamer Poop is a long-running YouTube Poop that runs off this, using various games and putting characters in ridiculous situations with equally ridiculous people.
- The video "Goofy Racist" takes a clip from An Extremely Goofy Movie but replaces Max's dialogue with a Richie line from Static Shock making it sound like Max was angry with Goofy for being racist and driving his best friend away. Since Jason Marsden plays both characters, and Max's best friend is ostensibly a different species from Max and Goofy (not that it actually matters to any of them), this is surprisingly convincing to the point some people were actually unclear about whether or not it was real.
- The Nostalgia Critic has done that a few times in his reviews, like making the "Grape Nose Boy" scene in Good Burger seem longer than it really is, and cutting out the part where Jon punches the villain in the Garfield movie.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic's "celebrity interviews" consist of bits from some interview with a celebrity between shots of Al appearing to ask questions and respond.
- One of Dunkey's Running Gags is shouting "CUT THE VIDEO!" just before he dies. Although most of the time he leaves his death in.
- The Onion parodied this in their Raw Justice video "Man Had Sex With Wife Thousands Of Times Before Killing Her". The "real" story is about a normal couple where the husband accidentally killed his wife when they tried out doing a "donkey punch" while having sex in the kitchen. Raw Justice's version turns it into an oversensationalized crime story about a "coital boogeyman" who held his wife captive for years as a Sex Slave before finally committing premeditated murder. They use every editing trick in the book to make the husband seem like a monstrous rapist and the wife as a battered victim with Stockholm Syndrome, while the actual content of the story is anything but horrific.
Dean Raid's description: In the kitchen where he would eventually murder her, John would have Mary prepare him sumptuous meals. He would force the captive Mary to listen to his rambling anecdotes about his job. Sometimes John would flex his power over her, demanding she tell him about her day as well. Sometimes... they would watch TV.
- A viral parody video shows Chef Gordon Ramsay on the US version of MasterChef Junior using foul language at a child during a critique of his dish followed by shots of the other young contestants with their mouths agape in shock. In reality, the judges are much less harsh towards contestants on the Junior series than on the adult series and Ramsay almost-never swears (and in the rare moment that he does, it's never directed at the kids). Ramsay's comments were strategically spliced from an episode of the adult series.
- It's rather popular on youtube to take normally innocent video clips, and add Sound Effect Bleeps to make them sound dirty. Such as this.
- It's rather popular in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom to take screencaps or video clips from the show and remove the context, generally making them look like something completely different is happening. The result can range anywhere from ship tease, to accidental innuendo, to making it look like the characters are having sex.
- Strip Search has a surprisingly minimal amount of this for a reality TV show — Graham Stark, the host, commented at a PAX Q&A that he kept noticing opportunities to play games with the footage, but passed them up in favor of producing a more true narrative. That said, there are a few occasions where what they show the artist doing seconds before the timer runs out on a challenge doesn't match what the artist claims to have been doing at that point.
- The plot of Glove and Boots' #CancelGloveandBoots is kicked off when Mario is filmed saying "I don't like juice", which is taken out of context as evidence of antisemitism (with his accent, "juice" does sound a lot like "Jews"). In the process of defending his friend in an interview, Fafa mentions that he doesn't like "The Chinese bubble tea drinks", which of course is cut down to "You know what I don't like? The Chinese".
- The Third Rate Gamer uses this a couple of times:
- At the beginning of his Chip n' Dale review, he complains there is no two-player mode, but he really just hid the option and said they buried it too deep into the menu. This was to parody The Irate Gamer's Tekken 6 review.
- He draws a cross over the Koopas in Super Mario Bros. while complaining there was more than one enemy in Yoshi's Island, which had not happened in a Mario game before.
- In his review of The Lion King, he tells the audience to see how slow Simba is running "in this unedited footage", said as he then abruptly slows down the footage.
- Parodying the Irate Gamer's Super Mario Bros. 2 example above, he slows down the footage and complains about how slow the star is. Unlike the Irate Gamer, he didn't bother to mute the music.
- In his Daze Before Christmas short review, he plays a death montage to show how difficult this game is, and it's the exact same death scene played multiple times, with him exclaiming "Shit!" each time.
- This article on Cracked points out the various editing shenanigans from The Biggest Loser, as related by a former contestant.
- An advertisement in Mickey Mouse Magazine #8 was edited to change Mickey's use of the word "that" into "my", which results in his dialogue becoming more suggestive.
- Something of a Running Gag with Game Grumps, where one of the guys will say something deliberately outrageous, then add "Please don't take that out of context." Flipped around in the Super Mario Sunshine series, where Arin and Dan deliberately say provocative, sexual things, and Barry edits the audio into something completely innocuous:
"Thirty-seven [...] ducks [...] do [...] little backflips. Twenty [...] ducks [...] lie [...] on the ground. The [...] crazy [...] duck [...] is [...] my favorite duck."
- Using deceptive edits in a serious context is why Arin strongly dislikes Reality Television, believing it's bullshit that "reality" television would do this. Having been on such a show once, he claimed they did this constantly and described how they took a clip of him fake-crying and, with careful editing and adding sad music, made it look as if he was crying for real.
- It's also the reason they'll never say certain things or words. They're savvy enough to know they're one n-bomb away from someone taking that sound bite out of context and dragging them through the mud with it, and they also simply don't want such a sound bite to become an internet meme or anything like that. They'll go far enough to actually bleep such words out if they slip or quote something just to ensure they're never caught on mic saying it.
- Parodied in Atop the Fourth Wall in an April Fool's Day episode parodying The Irate Gamer. He turns the pages upside-down while complaining they printed the pages upside-down, complains that it takes forever to turn a page while slowing down the footage, and skips to the end while complaining that there was nothing in the comic book. Linkara even gives credit to Third Rate Gamer for inspiration.
- Frequently used as a comedic device on RedLetterMedia's work, both in picking the most embarrassing/silly parts of a film or interview clip to keep showing over and over, and by recutting the hosts' own words to mock them (sometimes with an "Edited by [x]" credit displayed over the footage).
- In Red vs. Blue The Reconstruction, The Meta records a conversation between Agent Washington and Command, and rearranges the dialogue so he can send a communication to Sarge in order to set the Red Team on Wash and the Blues. The Meta combines this with The Tape Knew You Would Say That as the conversation is styled to anticipate Sarge's comments, somehow. This could be explained by Tex, Omega, and Gamma being among the AIs the Meta collected, and had enough experience with the Reds in order to guess how a conversation would go.
- Randy Rainbow uses creative editing to spoof interviews (and, earlier, phone calls).
- A lot of CinemaSins videos conveniently edit out scenes of characters explaining or justifying a thing. For instance, their Return of the Jedi video complains about the bone in the Rancor's mouth shifting position, cutting out the split second where Luke shifts its position.
- In Drawn Together, the Jew Producer is known to edit the show to make it even more outrageous, a practice to which Foxxy and Toot object. At one point, the practice is parodied when Foxxy's Confession Cam segment is interrupted with rapid cuts after every single word to make it appear she says "My... taint... is... made... of... bacon!", just before she actually says that.
- Mocked, like everything else in this archive, by The Simpsons season 6 episode "Homer Badman". Homer is accused of molesting a college-aged babysitter after peeling a rare gummi candy off the seat of her pants, so he goes to an interview on the news show "Rock Bottom" to explain himself, but his testimony gets warped into an admission of guilt (even better with the clock in the background that noticeably changes back and forth with each cut - something the writers admit on the DVD commentary makes no sense, since the original dialogue only takes Homer about a minute to say):
Homer (actual dialogue): Ehh, someone had to take the babysitter home. Then I noticed she was sitting on the gummi Venus, so I grabbed it off her. Oh, just thinking about that sweet, sweet candy...(moans lustfully) I just wish I had another one right now. But the most important thing is—"Homer (edited dialogue): Ehh, someone had to take the babysitter home. Then I noticed she was sitting on / her / sweet can / ...so I grabbed / her / sweet can / (moans) / just thinking about / her / can / I just wish I had / her / sweet / sweet / s-s-sweet can...
Godfrey Jones: So, Mr. Simpson, you admit you grabbed her can. What do you have to say in your defense? (shot of Homer during his interview, with obvious "paused VCR" artifacts) Mr. Simpson, your silence will only incriminate you further. (the shot of Homer zooms in to suggest his apparent advancement on Jones) No, Mr. Simpson, don't take your anger out on me. Get back! Get back! Mist—Mr. Simpson—nooo!"
- The editing fun didn't stop there, however:
- A similar gag is used in an episode of British sketch comedy Not The Nine O'clock News, featuring the tape of a suspect "confessing" his crime to an Old-Fashioned Copper the camera makes obvious cuts every few words, the clock on the back wall jumps around, and hideous bruises appear and disappear from his face.
- In a Treehouse of Horror episode, Homer finds that he is very efficient in killing celebrities, and so is payed to kill whoever the Corrupt Corporate Executive wants to use in his adverts without actually paying them. Que a soda commercial where different shots of John Wayne are used; The actor's clothes and backgrounds change between each word and even go B/W every now and then.
- 80-90% of the jokes in many episodes of Space Ghost Coast to Coast come from the clumsy, often surreal manipulation of interview footage.
- The Fairly Oddparents:
- Vicky plays an obviously fake recording of "Timmy" confessing to cheating on a test. When Timmy denies it, Vicky reveals a second tape recorder, and uses his denial from two seconds ago to make a more convincing version.
Tape: [Timmy's voice] Hi, I'm Timmy, and I— [Francis's voice] cheated on my math test.
Timmy: I never cheated on my math test!
[Vicky reveals second tape recorder]
Second Tape: [Timmy's voice] Hi, I'm Timmy, and I— cheated on my math test!
- Timmy does the same thing later after Vicky is de-aged, as a way of getting back at her.
Tape: Hi, I'm Vicky, and I— stole from my mom's purse.
- For those wondering, the "Hi, I'm Timmy" portion of the tape was from the first episode she cut Timmy off by telling him he was going to bed.
- And also in the episode "Playdate of Doom", where Foop manages to cleverly trick Jorgen into speaking the exact words for his hidden tape recorder, and edit the recording.
"Cosmo... and... Wanda... I am Jorgen von Strangle! Foop... is completely rehabilitated and ready for a playdate with Poof?!"
- Vicky plays an obviously fake recording of "Timmy" confessing to cheating on a test. When Timmy denies it, Vicky reveals a second tape recorder, and uses his denial from two seconds ago to make a more convincing version.
- One episode of Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes played this one for drama. Johnny manages to hack off some aliens somehow, so they rig up a kangaroo court and challenge Sue, Reed, and Ben to prove to them that they shouldn't execute his irreverent ass right on the spot. Every time they try to say something in his defense, the aliens replay a moment from the past where they said the exact opposite thing in the heat of the moment after Johnny did something annoying. Attempts to call the aliens out on this Trope were met with a response not dissimilar to "Well, we're the ones with the video playback, jackass, so what are you gonna do now?" It took a natural disaster during which Johnny could perform an altruistic act at great risk to himself to get him off the hook.
- A guilt trip by her mother leads to Daria turning what was intended as an unflattering video expose of Quinn for a class project into a more positive piece.
- On Jimmy Two-Shoes, when Lucius tries to claim he didn't say something, Jimmy pulls a television screen out of nowhere.
- Played with on Family Guy where Tom Tucker "interviews" Dustin Hoffman. The interview is Tom's shots, then a reply using a scene from a Dustin Hoffman film. It's not even the same film for the entire interview:
Tom Tucker: Great to see you, Dustin. You're looking good.Hoffman in The Graduate: Are you trying to seduce me (in an obvious dub) MR. TUCKER.Tom: No, I am not trying to seduce you, Dustin Hoffman. So, what are you working on now?Hoffman in Rain Man: Uh-oh, ten minutes to Wopner.Tom: I know, you're a busy guy! Well, thanks for coming by. Is there anything I can do for you?Hoffman in Hook: BRING ME PETER PAN!Tom: I'll keep an eye out for him.
- American Dad!!: Hayley wants to break up a couple so she can date the guy. She and Steve call the chick in question, ask random questions, then edit them to make it appear the chick has called her BF by accident, and said a bunch of non-GFish stuff.
- Done deliberately in the South Park episode "The Return of Chef," where the titular character'snote lines are spliced together from previous episodes in an incredibly obvious manner, making his speech sound unnatural to highlight the fact that he's been brainwashed.
- In the syndicated opening to Aladdin: The Series there is a scene where a large, angry Genie is shooting lightning bolts that are destroying Agrabah, and the citizens are fearing for their lives. In truth, this "scene" takes shots from three separate episodes, Genie is trying to stop a time loop, and it's really more standard villains destroying Agrabah.
- In the Archer episode "Viscous Coupling", Archer does this to audio of Barry to make it sound like he's cheating on Katya. Katya pretends to believe it.
- In Superman: The Animated Series this happens to Jimmy Olsen when Angela Chen edits footage of Jimmy talking to make it look like he's pals with Superman. This attracts Jimmy some unwanted attention by others.
- Happens in Recess when the kids are noticing some strange woman trying to film them. They're initially suspicious, but when they find out she's only trying to make a documentary about recess, they agree to teach her about their free time. They later find the film and decide to sneak a peak before she's supposed to air it, but are horrified to find she her documentary was actually against recess, and that she edited it in such a way that clips of them playing look like horrific events. They decide to retaliate by doing some filming of their own and using her narration from the documentary, create a far more humorous film that inadvertently ends up helping the researcher, as the donors she was trying to impress love the piece and agree to give her plenty of funding and a cushy job to continue exploring the recess phenomenon.
- Happens in one episode of Rocket Power where the gang is filmed at the skate park by a crew. All of their tricks are edited so close together that it looks like Sam did each trick, when the only trick he did was an accident.
- In the Arthur episode "Matchmaker, Match Breaker", when Muffy's older brother Chip and Francine's older sister Catherine start becoming really good friends to the point where it seems like they're dating, Muffy and Francine get into an argument and both try to break up the "couple" to spite each other. Muffy's method involves having her butler Bailey call Catherine with a survey of random questions and recording her (obviously expected) answers with a tape recorder, which she will edit into a voice message to send to Chip.
Bailey: Is your first name Kate?Catherine: No, it's Catherine.Bailey: Do you prefer pickle-flavored ice cream or chocolate chip?Catherine: Chocolate chip.Bailey: How would you describe your feelings towards liver?Catherine: I hate liver.Bailey: What letter comes after "T" in the alphabet?Catherine: ..."U"?———————————————Catherine: (on Chip's voicemail) Chip it's Catherine. I hate "U"?
- In the Bob's Burgers episode "Broadcast Wagstaff School News," a jealous Tammy frames Tina for randomly pooping all over the school by (rather sloppily) cuts together clips of Tina's school news field reports into a confession.
Tina: Me / Tina / are / Mad Pooper.
- In a Clip Show episode of Phineas and Ferb, Isabella is given some footage of Phineas to edit into a birthday tribute, but takes the opportunity instead to splice together clips of Phineas saying "We'll - be - together - forever, - Isabella" and "Isabella-will-you-marry-me?"
- In The Powerpuff Girls (2016) episode "Presidential Punchout", Princess tries to turn everyone against Blossom when they run for class president by editing together clips of Blossom saying unflattering and incriminating things like "This school's students are doody" and that her true goal is to become "the (fart noise) Queen".
- The school election episode of Clone High has JFK and Joan of Arc poorly edit footage of Abe eating spaghetti into Abe eating a baby.
- Justice League. In "Eclipsed", the Flash complains that a talk show host has edited footage of him throwing a tantrum while filming a commercial, so that he looks like a complete jerk. While this is true, his fellow League members clearly believe that not much editing is required.
- The BBC got into trouble when it showed a roomful of journalists at a press launch a trailer which appeared to show the Queen storming out of a portrait sitting. Actually, she'd been walking in. This resulted in a high-level resignation.
- This is a staple of almost every aspect of modern politics. Political campaigns commit this in just about every attack ad and the infamous (in the US) 'October Surprises' that just about every major politician pulls on their opponents always include some variation of this. Further, it is also done by news outlets of all stripes. TV broadcast, cable, radio, newspaper, website...no news source is immune to this trope. It is more wide spread than The Virus and claims about one side being worse than the other are the stuff of fools and trolls.note note Best to leave those on political blogs or forums.
- The worst of these are the ones that are demonstrably false (particularly the ones involving Quote Mining), because even if a retraction is made, some damage has been done to the targeted person/party.
- An example made on paper The Ems dispatch, work of our favorite Magnificent Bastard from Prussia, Otto von Bismarck. He made it seem like the Prussian king (and later, German emperor) had abruptly rejected the French ambassador, which hadn't been the case...but Just as Planned, the French fell for the provocation and declared the Franco-Prussian War. Which also meant that they were blamed for starting it... which is never a good thing, as we know.
- Discussed in this article by The Guardian. Among the points the author, himself a former reality show participant turned therapist, notes is that few people consider the possible psychological effects to someone who's been publicly demonized in this fashion by such techniques after they leave the show.
- Channel 4:
- The channel once made a documentary called Fat Girls and Feeders with real feeders and feedees brought in to tell their stories. According to the feeders and feedees who took part in the documentary, Channel 4 edited the footage to make it look like the feedees were sad and the feeders were abusive. Here's what just one of the feedees had to say.
- British ASMR Video creator Sophie Michelle gave an interview on Channel 4 in late 2018 talking about ASMR and her career making videos. The studio later edited the footage in a manner that was quite unflattering and showed said footage without her consent on Gogglebox, which led to the people on that show rudely criticizing her and her work.
- For a YouTube summary from a former journalist of how this is done in real life, see: TV tricks of the trade by potholer54, AKA Peter Hadfield.
- This also leads to a Vocal Minority. The media will always hunt for the most unstable people, and sometimes cut parts out of interviews to make them look more crazy.
- In Chile there was a lot of controversy regarding a condominium where maids and workers were forbidden from entering on foot (so they had to use a special van). Inés Pérez, a woman who lived in the condominium, was interviewed in Chilevisión about the whole issue. She said that this wasn't a case of discrimination, since it was a free service for the workers, and the people living there were paying it.
Inés Pérez (rough translation): Can you imagine all those maids walking outside, all those workers walking on the street, and your kids there riding bikes? Can you imagine all those maids walking on the street in winter (...)? (...) I live almost at the end. I go running around the condominium, and it's half an hour from my house to the lodge. I mean, can you imagine my maid walking to my house everyday, in winter under the rain? I mean, impossible!
- However, the channel had the brilliant decision of cutting the clip right after the your-kids-riding-bikes part, making it seem like she was terrified of maids walking in the street. This case is especially notable because this one editing trick caused even more of a controversy, to the point of creating a whole meme, with insults and mocking directed at her coming from everywhere in the internet.
- ABC News's highly criticized report on out-of-control Toyotas accidently made it clear that there was something up with its report when the shot of the tachometer rocketing up also had the door open, parking brake, and check engine lights all on, meaning the car was stopped, and it wasn't a shot from when the car was supposedly accelerating out of control. They later apologized and said it was hard to get a shot of the tach while the car was moving, and replaced the shot with one that was even more staged.
- Australian current affairs programs (such as Today Tonight, A Currant Affair, The Bolt Project) utilize this trope frequently in their reports, though it does not go unnoticed. Whilst the video is at least five years old, this weekly segment from The Chaser's War on Everything covers real-life examples of the trope that still happen today.
- New York Times journalist Jacques Steinberg has had his headshot manipulated and shown on Fox News. A similar editing job was done to television editor Steven Reddicliffe, which stretched his forehead into nearly a seven-head.
- Some sociology students on a college actually did this as a project - they intentionally amassed volunteers to showcase how this can paint an inaccurate picture about a social group. What they did was showcase the (consensual) engineering students as complete idiots in one video; wherein they showcase engineers who cannot answer simple math questions and are unaware of who is running the country or simple historical facts. Meanwhile, the non-engineers get the questions all right, and can solve puzzles much faster than engineering students.
- The second video showcases what they did not show. It started off with the volunteers being briefed on what it was, them consenting to it, and engineers intentionally answering questions wrong. (Trying not to give too outlandish an answer, despite being told that people might actually believe they thought that) Also shown was how they "Randomly" selected someone from a crowd who happened to have been a volunteer who was planted there, always searched for someone who was tired or drinking coffee (Because they would be more likely to mess up), engineers taking their time solving a puzzle whereas the non-engineers were shown the solution ahead of time and had practiced, so they could place it together quickly.
- NBC was found to have done this against George Zimmerman in regards to his 911 call. The actual call went something like this:
Zimmerman: This guy looks like he's up to no good. Or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about.911 Police Dispatcher: OK, and this guy is he black, white or Hispanic?Zimmerman: He looks black.
Zimmerman: This guy looks like he's up to no good. He looks black.
- NBC however presented the call like this:
- CNN also did this to Ron Paul after he cut an interview short with correspondent Dana Bash. When initially reported on Paul was presented as being incredibly rude to Bash for virtually no reason. It was later revealed that Paul cut the interview short because Bash kept asking him about controversial racist articles published in Paul's campus newspaper two decades earlier, and though he answered the question repeatedly Bash kept asking the question as though she wasn't satisfied with his answer.
- Another from CNN—Susan Roesgen was sent out to cover a Tea Party rally. She seemed to only go out of her way highlight the most controversial signs in the crowd and tried to make it seem like the people she interviewed didn't know what they were talking about. She also appeared skiddish and openly told the newsroom reporter she feared for her safety in the crowd—despite the protestors behind her not actually doing or saying anything threatening.
- MSNBC did a story about the Tea Party movement, and specifically focused on an unidentified man holding an automatic assault rifle at one rally. After showing the image, the panel expressed concern about alleged racism in the Tea Party and that only white people attend the rallies. However, it was revealed that the video had been cropped to hide the fact that the wielder of the assault rifle had been African American.
- Australia's Nine Network decided to go to war with Gordon Ramsay on behalf of their reporter Tracy Grimshaw. The short of it is that Gordon and Tracy do not get along and Gordon referenced her at a conference (but did not use her name) and made disparaging comments about her. Tracy retaliated by lying about what Gordon had actually said (i.e. claiming that Gordon made offensive comments about Tracy being a lesbian), and in response reporters for the network harassed Gordon in public places while he was in Australia over what he'd allegedly said. And despite the fact that they were harassing him (and that Gordon at one point had to hail security at his hotel), the Network continued to present him as a bully.
- This was a staple of propaganda broadcasts in Eastern Europe during the Communist era. A particularly noteworthy example happened during Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu's final speech on 21 December 1989. In a bid to calm the unrest that had boiled over in the previous weeks (after simmering below the surface for most of his dictatorship), he promised various wage and pension increases, and the crowd were shown waving Romanian flags and shouting pro-government chants. However, the same shots were re-used multiple times, and the flags and banners noticeably did not match the live footage of the crowd, while the sound audibly cut in and out between shots of Ceaușescu speaking and shots of the "audience reaction". The crowd had really been booing and heckling Ceaușescu, leading to a break in the live transmission until order could be restored (the cameras continued rolling, pointed at the sky but still picking up the sound of the stunned Ceaușescu acting as though his microphone was malfunctioning), after which the crowd greeted the speech with stony silence.
- One (most likely apocryphal) story about Cold War tensions plays this for laughs with a healthy dose of Exact Words. Race car engineers from each country decide to see which of their technologies makes for a faster vehicle with a one-on-one race. After the American car wins, the Russian media (conveniently leaving out the number of racers) reports that the Russians came in second, while the Americans finished "next-to-last."
- Happened with Andrea Mitchell during the 2012 US Presidential Elections. Video was aired of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney supposedly being "amazed" by the use of a computerized screen to custom-make a sandwich at a Wawa, a Pennsylvania sandwich chain note . However, the full footage was actually Romney making a comparison between the chain's innovation to the mountain of paperwork a friend of his filled out with the United States Postal Service just to change his address. Mitchell aired the unedited footage without apology the next day.
- After a drive-by shooting involving two teens, Chicago CBS affiliate WBBM aired a "disturbing" interview with a 4 year old African-American boy who "wasn't afraid of nothing" and, when asked if he was going to stay away from guns when he got older, said "no, gonna have me a gun". Unfortunately, they left out the next sentence where he said he was going to have a gun because he was going to be a police officer.
- A documentary hosted and executive produced by Katie Couric called "Under the Gun", in which dead space and pauses were added after the reporter asked questions about background checks to a gun-rights group, to make it appear as though they had no answers to her questions. However, unedited footage showed they had clear, prompt, and articulate answers to her questions. As a result, Couric and the producers face a $12 million defamation lawsuit from the group.
- Educational Documentaries:
- Despite being Don't Shoot the Message titles with expert opinions and good intentions, even these aren't safe from this. Repeated offender Media Education Foundation  edited excerpts from Disney and other films and TV shows  out of context to let viewers think about the dangers of mass media (violence, racism, sexism, commercialism, etc.).
- Pretty much every nature documentary use this trope. The animal the film focuses on will be treated with complete reverence, their rivals and predators will be treated like antagonists, and their prey will seen as nothing but a food source.
- Eric Holmberg, a religious fundamentalist Moral Guardian, and his docs Hell's Bell's  and Pandoras Box Office . BEWARE OF THE MEDIA INDEED.
- In a particularly egregious example, ICE agents in the US detained 23-year-old Daniel Ramirez Medina in 2017 as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration, accusing him of having gang ties in part because of a tattoo he has, despite having undergone three background checks to qualify for "DREAMER" status. Where this trope comes into play, though, is that they erased part of his written statement to give themselves better proof.
Original: I came in and the officers said I have gang affiliation with gangs so I wear an orange uniform. I do not have a criminal history and Im not affiliated with any gangs.
Edited: I have gang affiliation with gangs so I wear an orange uniform. I do not have a criminal history and Im not affiliated with any gangs.
- In May, 2018, the judge presiding over the case tore into ICE for both their persistence and their attempt to conjure up "evidence" fraudulently.