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"It's 2015, and a game that looks and plays like it's from 1999 is one of the biggest, most exciting, and visually-polished game of the year."

Media produced in an intentionally old-fashioned style, designed with the intentional appearance of being decades older than is actually the case. The term is a portmanteau of the Latin word "retro," meaning "backwards" or "in the past," and the French word "faux,"note  meaning "false."

Whereas steampunk involves a setting that is faux-retro, this trope is entirely one of how the medium is painted — entirely stylistic, in other words. Film will use vintage cameras and faded colors, audio will be worn down and scratchy, and video games will look at home in the arcades of old. Some works go out of their way to open with vanity plates pulled directly from the era that they depict (see Logo Joke for that).

Retraux may involve Deliberately Monochrome, Deliberate VHS Quality, Antiquated Linguistics or Silence Is Golden, and can also lead to a Decade-Themed Filter in case on invoking 20th century period films. If it's a supposedly past speculation about The Future or 20 Minutes into the Future (i.e., the present), it will inevitably invoke Zeerust or Raygun Gothic. The presentation's outdated nature often overlaps with Stylistic Suck. Genres such as Analog Horror and Digital Horror use this to unsettle and terrify by combining nostalgia with a sense of wrongness.

In video games, retraux is common in freeware and indie projects for practical reasons — pixelated sprites, low-polygon models, and chiptunes are a lot simpler to make than quality 3D assets, high-resolution 2D art, and orchestral studio recordings. Another emerging artform is the Video Game Demake, in which a game is adapted for an earlier-generation platform (or an emulation of such).

Compare Genre Throwback, where a production is made evoking old-style works but with modern production values (in contrast, something that's Retraux can be mistaken for an actual old-style production). Can overlap with Newer Than They Think when done especially well. See also Retraux Flashback when this is combined with an Art Shift in an otherwise more modern looking work.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Air Master - The anime version ran from 2003-2004 but wouldn't look out of place in early 90s. It's probably an Affectionate Parody.
  • Baccano!:
  • In 2012, Bandai recreated and updated their Emotion division's first logo (an '80s logo, mind you) for modern audiences, complete with a recreation of the logo's jingle.
  • The ADV Films trailer for Chrono Crusade has narration mimicking the style of voice-over used on old-fashioned newsreels. (However, the anime itself doesn't use many Retraux effects outside of a few scenes in the opening and the grainy episode title cards and eyecatches.)
  • Cowboy Bebop intentionally uses a drawing style and character design reminiscent of anime from the 1970s, despite being made in 1998. One DVD release for the show also has the DVDs looking like LPs; the DVD covers emulated packaging for jazz albums of the 1950s with a single dominant color on the front and a text-heavy back cover. So do the LaserDisc releases.
  • The Dear Brother manga came out in the 1970s but the anime came out in the early 1990s. As a result, the anime has a '70s shoujo art-style compared to other contemporary anime.
  • The 2018 movie for Dragon Ball Super, animation wise, resembles an HD version of the Saiyan Saga — a style which just so happens to be easier to animate, thanks to being less detail-focused.
  • Gekiganger 3, a Show Within a Show in Martian Successor Nadesico, more so in the actual show than in the defictionalized OVA. Interestingly enough, according to Word of God, despite its 1970s-esque appearance, it was actually made in the 2090s (about 100 years before Nadesico takes place), which means it's an example of this even in-story.
  • GaoGaiGar has an art style rather reminiscent of giant robot anime from the 1970s.
  • Go For It, Nakamura! is a manga from The New '10s, but its artstyle and character design is much more reminiscent of manga from the 80s, and the mangaka actually has her art style marketed as "Neo-80s".
  • Many of the Gundam works set in the Universal Century deliberately try to maintain an consistent art style reminiscent of the 1980s, right down to the '80s Hair. If you look closely, you'd notice that the characters of Gundam Unicorn wouldn't look out of place in Zeta Gundam.
  • Kaiba looks like a sixties children's anime.
  • Kill la Kill's art style is evocative of older anime despite airing from late 2013 to early 2014. The use of different art styles is even used to foreshadow a plot point: while the whole show looks like something from the '80s, Doctor Matoi looks like one of those old scientists from 1970s robot anime, and Soichiro Kiryiuin seems to come from an early '90s series. They're actually the same person.
    • Same with the Ninja Slayer ONA, using Limited Animation techniques that ran rampant during '80s and '90s anime as well as being in Square Standard Definition rather than in HD Widescreen.
  • In Lucky Star, Meito Anizawa and the other Animate store employees are drawn in a style reminiscent of anime (especially Super Robot anime) that's some decades older than Lucky Star. There's even a visual effect that makes their shaded areas be of non-uniform color tone and change their color tone slightly over time, simulating the look of cel animation. That's because the Animate employees were around long before the Lucky Star manga was even created, plus they were designed by G Gundam character designer, Kazuhiko Shimamoto.
  • The raw footage of Megalo Box, the 50th anniversary retelling of the 1968 manga Tomorrow's Joe, is downscaled and then re-upscaled to HD to create the effect of making the series seem like an old '90s cel-animated anime that's been remastered. In fact, the character designs and the series' general aesthetics, especially the small details of the setting, harken even farther back, to the mid-'80s Golden Age of Anime, specifically to the influential Sci-Fi, action and cyberpunk titles like Riding Bean, Bubblegum Crisis, Super Dimension Fortress Macross and Wings of Honneamise: Royal Space Force.
  • The anime adaptation of Monogatari Second Season features the Kogarashi Sentiment OP, part of which is drawn in the style of 90s shows and juxtaposed with a more modern style. Bonus points: it features a tacky duet by Senjougahara and Kaiki, the latter of whom is terribly out of tune.
  • When Studio Ghibli released Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea on Blu-ray, they added Post-Processing Video Effects to simulate film grain, gate weave, and a slight softness to replicate the look of analogue 35mm film and vintage cel animation while working with digital ink and paint. Studio Ghibli's previous all-digital films (starting with My Neighbors the Yamadas) had this filter retroactively applied for the Blu-ray remasters to simulate how the films looked when they were originally released in cinemas via. 35mm prints. All future films from Studio Ghibli (and successor Studio Ponoc) would later have this filter on home video releases and digital theatrical printsnote , even in the All-CGI Cartoon Earwig and the Witch.
    • The Wind Rises takes this further on top of having the 35mm filter, since the film was also mixed in monophonic sound despite being released in 2013, to enhance the feeling of taking place during The Great Depression, just before World War II.
  • Episode 9 of the second season of Pop Team Epic starts with a segment done in the style of 90s' anime
  • The first few seasons of Pretty Cure (Futari wa Pretty Cure, Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash★Star, and Yes! Pretty Cure 5) look as though they were made in the '90s, with an artstyle that emphasizes heavy shading and desaturated colors reminiscent of cel animation. Despite this, the series began in 2004 and was digitally animated throughout; Yes! was even produced in HD widescreen. It's likely this is part of a deliberate Genre Throwback, as Pretty Cure has much more in common with the early '90s Magical Girl Warrior genre than its immediate predecessors did. Starting with Fresh Pretty Cure!, the series takes on a more modern style with bright, eye-popping colors and greater incorporation of digital effects.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, especially the opening. Lampshaded in the episode about Detuning (doing less than your best): Among the examples for detuning is "Deliberately adding imperfections to give the impression of an old film." followed by a cue card saying "This show does it too".
  • An unintentional example, Rui Araizumi has not significantly changed his art style since the 90s, so newer Slayers media has a very distinctly retro look that's consistent with the older entries in the franchise.
  • The 2004 version of Tetsujin 28 deliberately captures the aesthetics and atmosphere of 1950s Japan, right down to the soundtrack.

    Comic Books 
  • Alan Moore's 1963 looks and reads like a classic Marvel comic (complete with Moore spouting fake Stan Lee style hyperbole and including fake '60s-style ads).
  • It's not unknown for a flashback or "never before told" story to be drawn in the style of a certain time period. An excellent example is Age of the Sentry miniseries, whose titular hero was supposedly Marvel's Superman Expy in the 1960s, but was forgotten by all of humanity until his "return" in 2000. The flashback scenes are drawn to resemble 1960s Jack Kirby and 1980s Frank Miller. The front cover even has a fake "Approved by the Cosmic Code Authority" logo.
  • Alias by Brian Michael Bendis features a flashback to Jessica Jones attending the same school as Spider-Man, drawn in a style reminiscent of Steve Ditko era Spider-Man. Jessica's early superhero days as Jewel get '80s-like artwork in addition to old school credits ("Bashful Brian Bendis", "Magnificent Mike Gaydos", "Marvelous Mark Bagley").
  • The Avengers #1½ resembles an issue from the 60's, and parodies some of the ads.
  • Batman #600 has three "lost inventory stories" that aren't: a Golden Age time-travel tale in the style of Finger and Sprang; a late Silver Age Batgirl and Robin story in the style of Carmine Infantino; and a groovy seventies parody that could have appeared in Plop! or MAD, which is actually by Sergio Aragonés.
  • Batman: Black and White:
    • In "The Heist", all the shading is done with old-timey screentone dots.
    • "Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder" by John Byrne is drawn in the style of a Golden Age Batman comic and is written accordingly as well. Batman and Robin smile throughout the story, deliver wisecracks and best the villains via a clever scheme.
    • "Urban Renewal" features some nostalgic flashbacks by characters to the "old days", and the flashbacks are drawn in the Golden Age style as opposed to the more realistic present-day scenes.
  • Big Bang Comics is a pastiche of Golden and Silver Age DC, with the artstyle and writing to match.
  • Also by Brian M. Bendis, the Golden Age Daredevil features 3 periods of time: the '40s, the '60s and modern day, each drawn in styles reminiscent of what was found in comic books of respective eras. The Retraux is especially noticeable in the colours.
  • As Deadpool features a lot of both meta-commentary and time travel, this tends to come up in his book. The best example is when he gets set into the past to Amazing Spider-Man #47, and infiltrates himself into the story, Forrest Gump style.note  All the panels and dialogue are drawn in John Romita's style, and all the characters (except Deadpool and friends) talk like Stan Lee wrote them. (Indeed, enough panels are lifted from the original work that Romita and Lee are credited as co-authors.)
    • In case you're wondering why specifically Spider-Man, it's because Deadpool's costume bears no small resemblance to that of the ol' Webhead, meaning it was a snap to redraw Spidey as 'Pool.
    • Deadpool vol 5 #7 (from the Duggan and Posehn run) is supposedly an inventory story from 1979, crossing Deadpool (who, of course, didn't exist at the time to write inventory stories about) into the Iron Man "Demon in a Bottle" storyline, with 70s Spidey and the Power Pack also making appearances. The art and writing style both reflect this, and it even has oversaturated Bronze Age colouring. Later issues in that run follow on from this, having Deadpool show up in what are claimed to be inventory stories from other eras, with the writing and art in the style of those periods. Including one from Deadpool's actual early days, with a Rob Liefeld in-joke as the characters have everything possible hiding their feet.
  • DC Comics Retroactive event features covers and stories set in different comic eras.
  • Marvel's Flashback event has covers somewhat resembling older covers in terms of style and layout, but still has plenty of '90s influence.
  • The Orson Randall one shot issues of Immortal Iron Fist are often drawn in the style of pulp era artists.
  • One sequence in The Incredible Hercules features Herc hallucinating that he's reliving previous adventures due to being poisoned. When action is presented from his view, the comic suddenly appears to shift to a seventies artstyle and coloring. They even pan from Black Widow's modern look to her look from when she was on the Defenders with Hercules to emphasize it.
  • Iron Man and Doctor Doom once travelled back in time to a New York City circa the Silver Age (thirty years earlier in real time, perhaps ten or twelve in terms of Earth-616 chronology) in Brian Michael Bendis' run on Mighty Avengers. The art was drawn and colored to resemble the comic book art of that period.
  • Another flashback example, 2000 AD Prog 2010 features a Judge Dredd story that starts on Christmas Eve 2098 (the first published Judge Dredd story takes place in 2099), which is presented in the style of an early 2000AD strip complete with black and white art and yellowing pages. The second half of the story takes place in the "present day" of Christmas Eve 2131, and switches over to a modern style colour strip.
  • The 25th anniversary (1983) Legion of Super-Heroes story had multiple segments that took place in pastiches of different parts of the Legion's history, using the original logos, original artists, and plot elements based on stories of the time. A weaker version of this was done for the 30th anniversary in 1988.
  • One of the Elseworlds stories in L.E.G.I.O.N. Annual #5 is a Silver Age pastiche imagining what a L.E.G.I.O.N. story would look like if written and drawn in the style of classic Legion of Super-Heroes. Specifically, the story where Stealth (renamed Silent Girl) raped and killed Vril Dox. There is a slight tonal mismatch, which is of course the point.
  • The convention variant cover for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) #32, right down to the logo.
  • New Mutants (2019) has the cover art styled after the '80s, clearly inspired by the style of Bill Sienkiewicz's covers from over thirty-five years ago. The logo is updated, but rather than modernizing it, looks even more '80s than the original.
  • Writer and artist Tom Scioli has built his whole career around Retraux, specifically around mimicking the style of Jack Kirby and other creators of his era. Overblown narration, worn-out looking art, Used Future aesthetics, ridiculous amounts of puns, Kirby Dots everywhere, and an overall “mythic” feel to everything. See American Barbarian, Transformers vs. G.I. Joe and GoBots for examples of his style.
  • A Variant Cover of Shirtless Bear-Fighter! #4 is a pastiche of 1950s Pulp Magazine covers. In fact, it is very specifically a pastiche of the covers Wil Husley used to do for Man's Life and True Men, which mostly portrayed a man in a swamp fighting off animals in order to defend a woman who is falling out of a red blouse.
  • The second issue of Star Trek Waypoint has an Affectionate Parody of a Gold Key Star Trek comic, not just with a ridiculous story, not-quite-accurate uniforms, and jet-fire blasting from the warp nacelles, but with white flecks where the ink's "come away".
  • A Stormwatch issue concentrating on the history of century-old Jenny Sparks depicts her in each decade as she would have appeared in the comics of the time, with the '80s flashback in particular being a clear homage to Watchmen.
  • The alternative comics series Sunnyville Stories was launched in 2010, but its hand drawn artwork done in nib pen more resembles 20th century Newspaper Comics.
  • The humorous one-shot Superman/Batman: World's Funnest featured the two magical imps Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite accidentally destroying countless alternate universes, most of them drawn in the style of a certain artist—Curt Swan, Sheldon Mayer, C. C. Beck, Jack Kirby, Alex Ross, Bruce Timm and so on.
  • Another one from Alan Moore, Supreme has flashbacks with an art style that corresponds with the time those flashbacks happened. This is justified in-story; from Supreme's perspective, his recollections of (for example) Golden Age events have such a simple, rough style to them because it was such a long time ago and everything seemed so simple back then.
  • The The Transformers: Robots in Disguise 2012 Annual issue has flashback segments of Nova Prime and his inner circle done up in the style of the old 80s Marvel Transformers comics, including pages that have been made to look yellow with age, and glorious, page-long infodumps where each character takes the time to explain who they are in great detail just as characters being introduced in the old comics had a tendency to do (to encourage their readers to go buy their toys.
  • The Transformers April Fool's comic Shattered Expectations was done in the style of the Generation 2 comics - drawn similar to Derek Yaniger and full of Furmanisms.
  • A mild example in Ultimate Spider-Man: Requiem where in a flashback, the art goes back to Bagley's style, rather than the current penciller for the series, Immonen.
  • Viz does this a lot, notably with the strip Jack Black, which is a parody of wartime comics and books such as The Famous Five series. The occasional one off strip drawn by the same artist will often involve surreal stories. Some 'news' articles are done in the same manner.
  • Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? by Brian Files is about a boy who is a fan of the Comic Within A Comic Space Age Adventures featuring Captain Crater And The Cosmic Kid. Four different issues of the comic (spanning the 1930s to 1970s) are presented in the book, each printed on newsprint (as opposed to the thick glossy paper of the rest of the book) and drawn to resemble comics from the appropriate era including imitation poor colour registration and printing blemishes.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 2 #200 has two back up stories in the style of Golden Age and Silver Age comics. The Golden Age one in particular is a very close parody, with the Holiday Girls, the Kangas, a robot duplicate and spanking ... except that the villain is a version of the Greg Rucka-created Veronica Cale.

    Comic Strips 
  • Spider-Man stuck with its ‘60s art style all the way to its ending in 2019, probably helped by the fact that the creative team consisted mainly of Silver Age figures like Stan Lee himself (who worked on the strip longer than he worked on the actual comic books), Larry Leiber (Stan’s brother), and Joe Sinnott. This applied to the writing as well, with the strip staying dumber, wackier, and overall more fun than the comic books which had long since shifted into Darker and Edgier territory. You could show them to someone and say you found them in your grandfather’s attic and nobody would know the difference.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs: A black and white title sequence resembles older cartoons. There is a black and white Steamboat Willie scene.
  • The Incredibles:
    • The newsreel at the beginning.
    • One of the DVD bonus features is an "authorized adaptation" of a Mr. Incredible adventure, in the form of a cheaply animated and simple-minded old kiddie cartoon with considerable "aged recording" noise, very similar to Clutch Cargo. (The cartoon can also be viewed with Mr. Incredible and Frozone chiming in their comments, MST3K-style.)
  • The Peanuts Movie is computer animated, but its design is reminiscent of the classic Peanuts TV specials.
  • The ending credits of The Tigger Movie run against sepia still images of scenes from the film redrawn in the style of E.H. Shepherd's line drawings from the books. Tigger in particular looks completely different from the Disney version.
  • The clips of Woody's Roundup in Toy Story 2.
  • To promote Toy Story 3, two commercials made to look like they were from The '80s were commissioned, featuring the defictionalized Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear doll — one English, one Japanese.
  • The opening sequenceof The Triplets of Belleville has a visual style reminiscent of Max Fleischer classic cartoons.
  • The 1930s style song "The Spirit of Adventure" over Up's closing credits is in lo-fi monophonic sound.
  • Winnie the Pooh (2011) follows the style of the original shorts fairly closely, right down to details like photocopy lines and the backgrounds.
  • Wreck-It Ralph pays homage to vintage video-game styles with its protagonist being the villain in an 8-bit style game modeled after Donkey Kong. The closing credits play with this further, notably when Ralph and Vanellope help demolish the car in the Street Fighter II bonus level. The end also invokes this trope, after the "Wreck-it Ralph" game becomes more popular than ever with the inclusion of a "Q-Bert" bonus round.
    Ralph: They say we're retro. I think that means 'old but cool'.
  • The Stinger of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has Spider-Man 2099 thrown into Earth-67. His model is deliberately stilted to match the Limited Animation of the original series, and the audio is compressed and monaural.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The French musical 8 Women. The look of the film evokes the look of films made in the 1950s, and the songs are all performed in a 1950s style, despite some of them being from as late as the '80s.
  • Just about anything directed by Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, his American Express commercial, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The French Dispatch) is full of it. Actually, Wes Anderson himself is pretty Retraux. (Have you seen how he dresses?)
  • Apollo 18, in keeping with its Blair Witch-esque premise, is entirely portrayed as found footage from a 1970s space mission, with all the accompanying film grain and video artifacts.
  • 2011 French romantic comedy The Artist is shot in the old 4:3 Aspect Ratio, is Deliberately Monochrome, and is a silent film.
  • The war film The Ascent (1977) is made up to look like a film from the 1940s, with its World War II setting, uses of Academy ratio (an aspect ratio long disused by then) and black and white cinematography.
  • The Aviator is shot entirely in the color found in film of that era, most notably the part that takes place in the 1930s, which is entirely in red and blue.
  • The Ballad of Narayama: The whole movie is staged in the manner of an old kabuki theater play, starting with a masked joruri who introduces the story, and continuing on with a narrator who comments on the action while playing a samisen. Additionally, the film is shot on obvious stages with obviously painted backdrops.
  • The Bayeux Tapestry-esque opening of Bedknobs and Broomsticks, complete with the film's Nazi invasion depicted in Medieval tapestry style.
  • Black Dynamite is a movie from the late 2000s that's made to look like the cheaply made blaxploitation films of the '70s, with grainy quality, obviously bad effects, and choppy editing.
  • This trope is a specialty of Larry Blamire:
  • Part of the scene where Dracula is walking around in the daytime in London in Bram Stoker's Dracula looks like color film from the late 1800s' early 1900s' because the production team got a hold of a period camera, put some modern film inside, and recorded the footage they needed for that scene.
  • The 2005 The Call of Cthulhu movie looks like a silent movie, produced when H. P. Lovecraft first wrote his classic tale. (Even the trailer!). Likewise The Whisperer in Darkness was made is the style of a 1930s Universal Horror movie.
  • The official website for Captain Marvel (2019) is done '90s style, to reflect the film's setting.
  • Catch Me If You Can a movie set mostly in the 1960s has a Saul Bass style animated opening credit sequence.
  • Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022) was shot digitally with CGI elements but the film had Post-Processing Video Effects of film grain and gate weave to simulate an older 35mm film, specifically Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which the film is a Spiritual Successor and Stealth Sequel to.
  • Orson Welles used this trope in Citizen Kane with the newsreel in the beginning, which contains footage of the title character meant to be shot during his heyday in The Gay '90s. Not only is undercrank used to mimic the unnaturally choppy and fast look of films from the era, but Welles also had the film stock sandpapered to look old and worn.
  • Several parts in C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America are made to look like older films, including an old, silent movie.
  • Down with Love is an Affectionate Parody of a certain subgenre of early-1960s romantic comedies, filmed with more than a few retraux touches. It's particularly noticeable in the set design and background music.
  • Dune (2021) and The Batman (2022), both films with cinematography by Grieg Fraser, were shot digitally and then printed out to 35mm film. This gives the films a cleaner, less-nostalgic look compared to films shot on 35mm but not as clean and artificial as the raw digital film files.
  • The director and cinematographers of the film Ed Wood went out of their way to exaggerate the dark, grainy, ill-lit look of low-budget 1940s–1950s films.
  • Far from Heaven, set in The '50s, imitates the look of movies produced back then, specifically Douglas Sirk's movies — the plot is almost lifted from All That Heaven Allows. The score is by Elmer Bernstein, who composed music for several famous films in the '50s.
  • Deliberately Monochrome cult musical Forbidden Zone looks and feels like an old film processed through a New Wave psychedelic filter.
  • The Bloody Hilarious short film Forklift Driver Klaus was shot in 2000, but not only did it use costumes and props from the 1980s, it was also shot on VHS and looks like it had been copied several times before being digitized.
  • In Godzilla (2014), scenes taking place in The '50s are edited to look as if they were shot on film stock of the era. The cinematographer even used a camera lens not used since The '60s.
  • Good Night, and Good Luck.: Filmed in black and white, with only archive footage of Joe McCarthy used to portray the senator.
  • The Turkish movie GORA has a brief flashback scene to the early 1900s, shot in the scratchy, silent, black-and-white footage of the first 'moving pictures'.
  • In The Great Race, the credits are rendered in the period-appropriate style of a Magic Lantern show.
    "Ladies, kindly remove your hats."
  • Most films by Quentin Tarantino are full of this, being Genre Throwbacks. This includes Grindhouse, which he did with Robert Rodriguez. It is a '70s B-Movie pastiche which was presented in its theatrical cut as a double feature with scratched-up film, missing reels, trailers for fictional films and an ad for a Tex-Mex restaurant adjoining the theatre.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Thor: Ragnarok are both done in a style evocative of pulp ’60s to ’80s Science Fiction and the works of creators like Jack Kirby and Walt Simonson. Used Future aesthetics, synthesizer-heavy soundtracks, bright and colorful scenery, aliens that look like people with funny skin colors, and many references to ’80s pop culture.
  • In keeping with Peter Jackson's striving for an accurate portrayal of early 1950s Christchurch, New Zealand in Heavenly Creatures, the title cards are done in an early '50s style, with the actors' first names in Italics and last names in CAPITALS. The font is period as well.
  • Hobo With a Shotgun is made to look like it was made in the early '80s, complete with Technicolor, music, and film grain.
  • The Holdovers, set in December 1970, is done up to actually look like a film from that era, from the opening logos to the transitions between scenes.
  • The House of the Devil is an homage to 1970s horror films, from the setting to the credits to the music. It's even being released on VHS.
  • House of the Wolf Man emulates the style of Universal Horror Monster Mash films from the forties.
  • 2014 Polish film Ida is shot Deliberately Monochrome and in the 4:3 Aspect Ratio. The director has said that this was a deliberate effort to evoke the Polish films of his youth in The '60s.
  • Iron Man 2 features the song "Make Way For Tomorrow Today" over the end credits, performed by the Stark Expo Singers. The theme song for Stark Expo '74, it sounds a lot like various songs from Disney movies and theme parks, most notably "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow", the theme to the Carousel of Progress attraction. This is no accident. The Stark Expo theme was written by Richard Sherman, who wrote that and many other memorable songs as a Disney employee. An expanded version of the song also appears in Captain America: The First Avenger (composed by Alan Silvestri instead of John Debney).
  • Killers of the Flower Moon:
    • Scenes in colour were mostly shot with modern film in modern cameras, with low-light scenes shot on digital. The footage was then all colour-corrected to give four distinct looks based on old film stocks, changing according to the time period shown and the mood of the scene.
    • Scenes in black and white were shot on black and white film, in director Martin Scorsese's very own hand-cranked 1917 model camera.
  • Kung Fury is an extended conceptual exercise in 80s nostalgia. Among other things, it uses artificial VHS tape tracking errors as a stylistic technique, as well as aping 80s typefaces, music and anime.
  • Kung Pow! Enter the Fist used old footage from an actual Hong Kong martial arts flick that was worn, so most of the new parts edited into the movie were artificially worn to match the rest of the film.
  • Interesting quasi-example in The Limey: Terence Stamp plays an aging gangster, and the film occasionally shows flashback clips of him as a young man in the 1960s. These sequences have the look and quality of a film from that era—because they are from that era. Specifically, they're clips from the 1967 film Poor Cow, one of Stamp's early films. It's a recycling of an existing film, rather than filming a sequence specifically for the film that attempts to replicate the era, in order to produce a retraux feel.
  • La La Land: The film, despite taking place at the present day, was deliberately styled after 1950s and 60s Hollywood musicals, even opening with a CinemaScope title card similar to 20th Century Fox films of the time. The film was shot in 35mm film and used the ultra-wide 2.55:1 aspect ratio of earlier CinemaScope films like The Robe through combining the extra width of Super 35 and anamorphic lenses. (Films shot anamorphic usually use standard film stock for a 2.39:1 aspect ratio; while La La Land uses Super 35 film stock in combination with anamorphic lenses to get the wider 2.55:1 aspect ratio.)
  • The Lighthouse: Besides the black-and-white cinematography, the film is deliberately shot on 35mm film and presented in the intentionally cramped 1.19:1 aspect ratio, as was common for films shot in the 1920s and 30s. To enhance the image and make it resemble early photography, a custom cyan filter emulated the look and feel of orthochromatic film from the late 19th century. Also, the audio is deliberately mixed in mono.
  • The Love Witch pays homage to 1960s Technicolor thrillers, complete with the psychedelic colour sensibilities, rear projection, prevalence of smoking, old-school film stock and period fashion and hairdos. Only the presence of modern 21st-century cars and cellphones detract from the overall atmosphere.
  • 1989 short film The Lunch Date is shot in black-and-white, with a rather old-timey classical music score and an old-style font for the opening title card.
  • Nearly all of Guy Maddin's films, including The Saddest Music in the World and Brand Upon the Brain!, are made to replicate the look of films from the '30s and the silent era, with considerable success. Archangel looks and sounds like an early talkie, complete with poorly-dubbed dialogue and a noticeable flicker.
  • The Mexican (2001) had the flashbacks filmed in a hand-cranked camera to evoke this trope.
  • The Moulin Rouge! commentary track mentions how much trouble they went through to put imperfections in the film in order to evoke this.
  • The 2003 remake of The Music Man uses acting and dialogue styles from the mid-20th century, as well as a slight sepia tint, soft focus on certain shots, and somewhat degraded audio. One scene in a bar even has people drinking just water and milk. The only signs that it was made in the 21st century are the higher visual quality, the extensive racial integration of the town (and of some romances in the background), and one scene in which the mayor writes with his left hand, which would've been incredibly unlikely when the movie is set.
  • The Mel Gibson crime movie Payback is very stylized film-noir; colors are washed out, characters wear vintage clothing, even the cellular car phones are rotary dial.
    • The film uses Schizo Tech to enhance its atmosphere; the 1930s Art Deco Outfit building along with the aforementioned telephones clash with cars which are mostly from the 70s. The blue-grey color filter was removed in the Director's Cut.
  • At a time when shooting movies on film had fallen out of favor in Hollywood outside of the indie scene, Pokémon Detective Pikachu stood out for being shot on film in order to reflect its Film Noir style, rather than digitally as commonly done now. According to Justice Smith, this was done to pit the Pokémon franchise against an urban backdrop. Also applies to parts of the video segment introducing Howard Clifford with news footage of him in the 1990s, with the video quality and aspect ratio being made to resemble footage from that time; and Howard having '90s Hair to contrast his hairstyle in the present day.
  • Serenity was deliberately filmed using old camera lenses to give it a more old-time Western feel.
  • Low-budget 1989 independent film Sidewalk Stories is quite similar to The Artist—it isn't shot in the 4:3 aspect ratio, but it is a Deliberately Monochrome Silent Movie, and a remake of Charlie Chaplin's The Kid to boot.
  • In Shin Godzilla, the military weapons and Godzilla's flamethrower Atomic Breath use sound effects from the Showa films of the 1950's to the 1970s.
  • The Mel Brooks film Silent Movie is filmed in color and includes a music track that's part of the film (rather than separate — but this was common in the last years of the silent era). Nonetheless, it was done in the style of... a silent movie, with actors "speaking" their lines, followed by a dialogue card: something that's partially parodied throughout the movie.
  • The model shots in the 2014 film Space Station 76 look exactly like 1970s model shots. You can even see the strings! Likewise, the sets are designed with all the limitations seen in actual science fiction of the period.
  • Newer Star Wars films (The Force Awakens onward) are designed to evoke the look and feel of the Original Trilogy and similar films of that era, with boxy, outdated looking technology, heavy use of practical effects (including depicting Yoda with a puppet instead of CGI), and fight scenes influenced by old school Kung-Fu movies. They're also shot on 35 mm film just like the Original Trilogy, in contrast to the latter two prequel movies which were among the first major films to be shot entirely in digital.
  • They Cloned Tyrone: The film has an intentionally grainier look, complete with “cigarette burns” to give it the feel of being played on an old film reel.
  • The Mel Brooks remake of To Be or Not to Be features a montage of World War II footage of Poland being attacked, in the style of the newsreels of the time. The montage ends with main characters appearing in the same gritty black and white style.
  • Turbo Kid is a very deliberate (and splat-stick laden) 1980s-style homage to Mad Max and BMX Bandits, as well as early Direct to Video imitations of them. There's even a scene where VHS tapes are used as firewood.
  • Werewolf by Night (2022) is shot in black-and-white and looks similar to a Universal Horror film with trademarks of said films — jump cuts, use of shadows, paused zoom-ins and even cigarette burns — with a title card that honestly looks like Universal made it themselves. The poster for said film also reflects this by being both aged and creased.
  • The Westlake Film Company has one silent movie comedy in their arsenal. To: Steve, From: The Devil was even shot with that kind of camera used long ago, along with the same good old improvised piano music, which makes Painting the Medium successful in this case.
  • The "Maroon Cartoon" opening of Who Framed Roger Rabbit is made to look like an animated theatrical short from the 1940s, when the movie is set.
  • The WNUF Halloween Special is a Found Footage horror film painstakingly made to resemble an actual 1987 small town TV station news broadcast, including cheesy fake low budget commercials. To make it look authentic, the director even went as far as shooting the film digitally, transferring it into VHS and copying it to other tapes five times, in order to achieve the proper degradation that a 1987 recording would suffer.
  • The picture that Bruce delivers to Diana in Wonder Woman (2017), that features her, Steve, Samir, Charlie, and the Chief, was actually shot on a camera from that time period, and developed on a glass plate. This was done because simply modifying a modern digital photo would look fake.
  • A Wounded Fawn: The movie is shot on 16mm film, with visible grain and saturated colors that are meant to emulate the 70s. That said, the movie is very strongly set in the modern era and hides nothing of the technology and trends of the time.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • Everything in X-Men: First Class, has very '60s/'70s sensibilities, from Emma Frost's Bond Girl costumes to the BBC science documentary-like credits sequence.
    • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, the 1973 Sentinels are clearly based on their Silver Age comic inspirations. In sharp contrast, however, the 2023 Sentinels look more alien than robot.
  • Woody Allen's Zelig is a Mockumentary about a "chameleon man" of the 1920s and '30s. The supposedly archived footage of the era was actually filmed using cameras and such of the period. This, in addition to Forrest Gump style editing (though this movie predated that one by over ten years), created a nearly impenetrable illusion.
  • Karel Zeman uses 19th-century artistic mediums and styles to eye-popping effect in his films.
    • In particular, one reviewer noted that Zeman's The Deadly Invention isn't just set in a charmingly Steampunk 19th-century world; it looks and sounds as if it had actually been made within that world. Along the same lines, another reviewer said something to the effect that, while it's normally easy to guess what decade a film was made in, it's well nigh impossible to say even which century this one is from.

  • The Baroque Cycle consistently uses antiquated spellings of words, most often by hyphenating compound words that had yet to become fused together by common usage.
  • It's not in the actual text, but some printings of The Bible contain supplementary material that looks like a seventeenth- or eighteenth-century pamphlet. For instance, "deluxe" versions of the New American translation contain, in the preface, a "Synchronous History of the Nations, Showing Their Origin, Chief Events, Changes or Extinction, from the Earliest Period Through New Testament Period." This version was printed in 1970.
  • The Collector series of Urban Fantasy novels by Chris F. Holm, have covers remeniscent of 1960s Fontana paperback trade-dress, including fake scratches, stains and spine creasing for the "found in a charity shop" effect.
  • Following the success of their re-releases of classic Doctor Who Novelisations, with original trade dress etc, BBC Books published several new novelisations in 2018 (Rose, The Christmas Invasion, The Day of the Doctor and Twice Upon a Time, plus a repackaging of City of Death; one of James Goss's novelisations of Douglas Adams Fourth Doctor stories, which had been published in a completely different format). These replicate the appearance of the 1970s books, complete with Target insignia, Pertwee logo, and Anthony Dry doing his best Chris Achilleos impression for the cover illustrations. The only clues that they aren't well preserved books from the period (apart from, you know, the actual contents) are the BBC Books insignia on the spine, the fact the logo is foil, and that the original "Changing Face of Doctor Who" notes (explaining to kids for whom the TV Doctor had always been Tom Baker who these other guys were) weren't so tongue-in-cheek. (The one for City of Death, for example, not only notes that the Fourth Doctor changed his face when he "lost an argument with gravity", but is followed by a "Changing Face of Scaroth" note.) They followed this up in 2021 with Dalek, The Crimson Horror, The Witchfinders and repackagings of Goss's The Pirate Planet, Eric Saward's Dalek stories (Resurrection and Revelation) and Gary Russell's novelisation of the McGann TVM. The Witchfinders is the odd one out, maintaining most of the trade dress, but with the Wittaker logo. The 2023 releases use the 60th anniversary version of the diamond logo, but without the diamond, in the same way as the classic diamond logo without the diamons was used for much of the Tom Baker years.
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is a fantasy tale written as a Jane Austen pastiche, right down to using obsolete spellings of common words.
  • The Onion Presents: Our Dumb Century "reprinted" the front pages of dozens of issues of The Onion, going back to the early 1900s. (In reality, The Onion was founded in 1988.)
  • Thomas Pynchon's novels Mason & Dixon and Against the Day are both written in prose styles similar to literature from the eras in which they're set.
  • S.. was deliberately planned to look and feel like a book written and printed in the 1950s. The cover has woodblock print letters and graphic, there's a library sticker on the spine as well as a library "borrowed/returned" stamp in the back (with numerous dates of having been "borrowed"), and all the pages have yellowing and foxing to them. The story itself is written in a faux-translated from German mystery, with decidedly dated word usage and structure.
  • The Scarlet Letter was written in the 19th century, but it's often taught in high schools as an example of 17th-century writing.
  • Stephen Baxter's The Time Ships is a sequel to The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, and written in a similar late-19th century style.
  • The Wake is a 2014 novel by Paul Kingsnorth set during and after the Norman Invasion of 1066. The novel uses a "shadow tongue" created by its author to mimic the Old English language that would have been used by the characters. The vocabulary is meant to be a cross between modern English and Old English, there are no capital letters or any punctuation but periods (because they didn't exist in the eleventh century), and words are spelled as to avoid letters (such as "k" and "x") that Old English didn't have.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 4400: The cold opening of "Fifty-Fifty" featured a video of Devon Moore, an employee of the 4400 Center, injecting herself with Promicin. In spite of being produced with a professional camera by wealthy individuals in 2006 and being distributed on the Internet, the video contained static/distortion, minor skips, and VCR tracking lines. This example could arguably also be considered Anachronism Stew.
  • Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule has a faux-VHS look that adds to the show's appeal. They actually recorded the show through a VCR to get that distinctive look.
  • Chuck: "Chuck vs. the Role Models" has a Cold Open of a '70s/'80s style Special Edition Title (mostly a parody of Hart to Hart's credit sequence.)
  • Cold Case flashbacks are filmed to evoke the period they are from (e.g. black and white for times that predate colour film).
    • In addition, the flashback sequences often feature popular music that likely would have been featured in a TV show episode from whatever year the flashback would have taken place in.
    • Occasionally, Cold Case will feature original music with the style of the episode's time period. For instance, the song "Scarlet Rose" from Season 4's "Static" sounds exactly like a ballad from the late 1950s.
  • Danger 5 deliberately looks like a low-budget 60s action flick. An action comedy about a team, Danger 5, fighting Stupid Jetpack Hitler in a 60s Alternate History, it also includes Retraux Toku action, in which Hitler gains command of mechanically enhanced Japanese supersoldiers. Season 2 upgrades to The '80s, with associated look.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In both "The Two Doctors" and the show's 50th anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor", the first few seconds were in black and white, with the latter also featuring the original title sequence from the mid '60s.
    • In "Time Crash" starring the Fifth and Tenth Doctors, the background music used in the Fifth Doctor's era is heavily featured throughout.
    • The "Day of the Daleks: Special Edition" DVD release has a brand-new version of the "only three Daleks" onslaught, new voices by Dalek aficionado Nicholas Briggs, and new CGI sequences. An unbelievable amount of care was taken to ensure that nothing would look out of place within the 1973 milieu: the Dalek voices were re-created with older, analog equipment (also, Briggs uses a slightly less-deranged voice set than he does on the New Series); the new film sequences were done with a period BBC film camera; and the CGI was made to look a little more like a model set.
    • "The Crimson Horror", set in 1892, has a sepia-toned flashback sequence designed to look like a Victorian kinetoscope.
    • The 2017 reconstruction of the unfinished serial "Shada" features model effects footage shot to look exactly like the kinds that the show used in 1979; likewise, Mark Ayres' newly-composed incidental music is done In the Style of Dudley Simpson's scores for the show. Barring the HD animation used to fill in the material that was never taped, the results are an accurate approximation of what the serial would've been like had it made it to air at the start of 1980 as intended.
  • Eerie, Indiana: In "Scariest Home Videos", the Deliberately Monochrome film Bloody Revenge of the Mummy's Curse emulates the style of the Universal Horror films, of which it is an Affectionate Parody.
  • Firefly was deliberately filmed with old camera lenses to give it that authentic 70s Western feel.
  • Fringe, for an episode set entirely in The '80s, used an 80s-style opening Special Edition Title. Hilariously, they replace the normal flashes of futuristic fringe sciences (teleportation, dark matter, etc) with things that were futuristic at the time (cold fusion, in vitro fertilization, personal computing) but have either become commonplace or totally debunked. Compare to the usual opening.
  • Garth Marenghis Darkplace genuinely looks like some low-budget sci-fi/horror show from the 1980s, despite having actually been made in 2004. One episode includes the original song "One Track Lover", which is the style of a cheesy pop song from The '80s.
  • Glee's Show Within a Show during the third season's Christmas Episode was deliberately filmed in black and white, and invoked the feel of holiday variety shows from the 50s to the 70s, albeit with a little tongue-in-cheek humor about the whole thing.
  • The Goodies. In "Kung Fu Capers", the scene where Bill Oddie's Ecky Thump school is marching on London to take over the country is filmed in the style of a 1930's Communist propaganda film.
  • Harry Enfield did this a lot in his sketch shows, especially with the Cholmondley-Warner and Grayson sketches on Harry Enfield and Chums. His later series Harry and Paul featured Retraux versions of modern films, such as a 1930s melodramatic version of The Bourne Identity and a silent version of Brokeback Mountain starring Laurel and Hardy.
  • Heil Honey I'm Home! is presented in 1950s sitcom style, despite being filmed in 1990.
  • Hustle: In "Whittaker Our Way Out", an exposition scene explaining how an old-style con worked was done in the form of a black-and-white silent movie.
  • The TV version of In the Heat of the Night used a brilliant pastiche of a 1960s title sequence.
  • The DVD menus of The IT Crowd. The first series is a pastiche of vintage computers, complete with tape loader and extremely elaborate (for a DVD menu) parodies of Head over Heels and Jet Set Willy. And the second series does to 16-bit games what the first did to 8-bit.
  • Leading up to the first episode of The '80s-set It's a Sin, Channel Four used its original idents for a whole day. They can be found here.
  • Jimmy McDonald's Canada was a parody of current events shows from The '60s, filmed in black and white, and occasionally stopping to advertise cigarettes. Richard Waugh, who played Jimmy, somehow managed to convey "The '60s" in his very speaking voice.
  • Knots Landing: In "Silver Shadows", the Silent Movie director Andrew Douglas shows Abby one of his films starring The Lost Lenore Terry Clarrington, who looks exactly like Abby.
  • The Larry Sanders Show does this a little:
    • We occasionally see clips of Larry's shows from the five years prior to the start of the series. Not a terribly long time compared to most examples of this trope, but the producers take care to make these clips look different from Larry's "current" shows.
    • Larry's talk show is, itself, rather Retraux. Like Johnny Carson, Larry does a lot of big, broad sketches where Larry and Hank wear elaborate and silly costumes. This style of comedy sketch became more or less extinct in late night after Carson's retirement, however. Characters occasionally remark In-Universe that none of the other talk shows do this sort of thing anymore.
  • Late Night with Jimmy Fallon's annual Video Game Week features opening credits with visuals and music straight out of 8-bit Nintendo games of The '80s, including direct visual references to Mega Man 2 and Ninja Gaiden.
  • Life on Mars revelled in this trope for advertising, even going as far as having a recreation of the BBC 1 Colour ident of the 70s precede broadcasting of the second series. The American version did the same with the ABC logo.
  • Look Around You mimics 1980s educational TV despite being made in 2002 (for the first series) and 2005 (for the second).
  • Lovecraft Country opens with Atticus dreaming of his wartime experiences, but in the form of a monochrome 1950's war movie. Things turn weird when it changes to a color flying saucer invasion movie instead.
  • Mad Men on AMC is supposed to be set in the early 60s, and is filmed with a dark, slightly fuzzy/grainy look to it. This is in keeping with the show's obsessive focus on setting — the furniture is all vintage, along with the clothing. Even to the point of making the actors wear authentic undergarments that are never seen.
  • The Peter Serafinowicz Show, from the creator of Look Around You, has featured faux 1970s public information films (complete of course with authentic faded colour, grain and scratches).
  • Saturday Night Live: "A Lady's Guide to Throwing a Party", from the January Jones episode in 2009, is shot in the style of an old educational film.
  • The opening of Silicon Valley looks like a 16-bit SimCity-esque map of Silicon Valley.
  • Smallville has a Film Noir episode framed as Jimmy Olsen's dream sequence.
  • A Spitting Image sketch claimed to be celebrating the show's 100th anniversary, and showed a clip from the supposed first show in the 1880s. This was a black and white scene of two Punch and Judy style puppets, and silent movie captions reading "I say, Mr Gladstone! You're not very good!"
  • Star Trek loves to use the holodeck for this kind of thing. Jean-Luc Picard's noir adventures as detective Dixon Hill were a fan favourite (and won the show an Emmy for costume design), as were Tom Paris's Buck Rogers-style Captain Proton stories, which were actually filmed in black and white; and Deep Space Nine's forays into fictional nightclub crooner Vic Fontaine's club.
    • Special mention must be given to the Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations", which features time travel back to the era of TOS. In addition to inserting Deep Space Nine actors into existing footage, new scenes aboard the old Enterprise and the space station were filmed using 1960s-style lighting — they even used 1960s film stock because the colour saturation properties were different.
  • Stranger Things enjoys this trope, befitting its Eighties setting. The opening titles have burn-in, film specks, and slight flickering, making them look like the opening titles to a show from the Eighties. In addition, the show's electronic background music deliberately sounds like something that John Carpenter might have done back then. The Target edition of the season 1 DVD even has a design resembling an old VHS tape. It can be jarring to see modern CGI against the carefully researched early-'80s look.
  • Top Gear did a 1970s style intro for a fake detective series, The Interceptors, complete with era-appropriate Porn Staches.
    • They also applied a very convincing early-1980s videotape look to parts of the "Which Eastern Bloc car was worst" sequence.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): "Once Upon a Time" guest starred Buster Keaton as Woodrow Mulligan, a man who travels forward in time from 1890 to 1962. The parts set in 1890 are filmed in the style of an old Silent Movie. Given Keaton's involvement, this is also an Actor Allusion.
  • WandaVision: The first couple of episodes are (mostly) black-and-white and use primitive special effects (objects on wires, jump cuts) to evoke the feel of 1950s-1960s sitcoms.
  • White Rabbit Project: Several of the older legends are re-enacted in black and white with an old film effect filter in place. "The Granddad Gang" legend has one scene done with "8-bit animation" (sprite animation).
  • Yo Gabba Gabba! has an 8-bit sounding opening, prominently features chiptunes during scene changes, and occasionally features episode filler scenes that pays homage to 80s video games, complete with blocky graphics.

  • The Beatles sports a heavily '60s-inspired aesthetic, which includes simulated EM scoring reels and sound effects.
  • The Big Lebowski has an LCD screen, but simulates a DMD like most pinball machines since The '90s have used. Manufacturer Spooky Pinball has also decided to go in this direction.
  • Capcom's Breakshot (1996) is a Shout-Out to '70s electro-mechanical pinball machines, with a single-level playfield and simpler rules. The score is even shown as a digital copy of old-fashioned scoring reels, and the game includes digitized musical chimes.
  • The Edutainment Game The Brain was made by modifying The Simpsons Pinball Party; it uses digitized electro-mechanical pinball chimes to replace the original game's sound effects.
  • Deadpool: A significant portion of the game's visuals and sound effects are patterned after The 16 Bit Era Of Console Video Games, including the battle modes being depicted as fighting games with life bars and finishers. It also uses sound effects straight from 1980s pinball games.
  • Downplayed with Stern's James Bond 60th Anniversary Limited Edition. While the game consciously takes after older pinball machines, including using electromagnetic-style reels for scoring in lieu of a digital display, it still utilizes newer technology (including an LCD screen on the playfield). In addition, the player can choose one of several sound packages at the start of a game, ranging from various chimes from '70s-era machines to a more modern soundtrack.
  • Loony Labyrinth switches its modern sound effects and music for simpler sounds and chimes when the player activates the Time Travel Wizard Mode.
  • The Munsters plays chimes typical of electro-mechanical pinball machines whenever the ball bounces between the bumpers.
  • The "Snooker Champ" table of Silverball simulates an electro-mechanical pinball table.
  • In Data East's Time Machine, if the player character travels back to the 1950's, the background music goes out and the only sound remaining are the bells, chimes, and knocks of the electromechanical machines from that decade.
  • Total Nuclear Annihilation heavily indulges in '80s aesthetics, with a neon grid and cyberpunk-like designs and motifs all over the backglass and a full synthwave soundtrack playing during the game proper. Fitting, since its gameplay is a Genre Throwback to less complicated pinball games from that era.
  • WhizBang Pinball's Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons was made by cannibalizing parts from a 1957 electro-mechanical pinball, then using the components in an all-new playfield design with original art and modern imaging techniques. The result is a boutique pinball table that plays like it stepped out of The '50s but with a modern look.
  • When nothing else is going on, The Who's Tommy emulates the reels of an electro-mechanical pinball table on the DMD display to display the player's score.

  • In Sequinox, partway through the battle with Sargas, Vivaldi starts playing a classical violin cover of "Woman" by Kesha to power up the magical girls.

    Print Media 
  • Doctor Who Magazine:
    • The 50th aniversary issue included an insert which imagined what DWM would have looked like in 1964, celebrating a whole year of Doctor Who (DWM actually started in 1979). Highlights included "Galactic Guardian" (because it couldn't have been called Gallifrey Guardian before 1973) and a review of the first Novelization, Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks, which was incandescent about the fact They Changed It, Now It Sucks! — while being somewhat vague as to what had actually happened in the TV story, because it was a year ago and there wasn't any way of seeing it again.
    • While they didn't do the whole magazine like this, #550, looking at the season that included the Sherlock Holmes pastiche "Talons of Weng-Chiang", had a cover resembling an 1880s edition of The Strand.
    • The comic strip has also occasionally gone retro. "Doctor Who and the Nightmare Game" has the Doctor investigating alien involvement in a 1970s football club. The Monochrome Past flashback is actually duotone, making the strip look like a contemporary issue of Roy of the Rovers. Part Nine of "Liberation of the Daleks" has an opening page in the style of Terry Nation's sixties Dalek comic strips.
  • TIME Magazine magazine published a special Bicentennial "July 8, 1776" edition in 1976. The entire issue is written as if Time had actually existed in 1776, with all its usual sections (with a few obvious exceptions like Film and Television.) It apparently sold well, and was followed by a "1789" edition covering the first inauguration of George Washington.
    • More recently, Time has tried to revive its pre-1990s letterhead (the word "TIME" in bright red letters in a smaller font and dead in the center of the top third of the magazine). Really, the only difference now is that the letters aren't outlined in white or yellow.
  • #120 of Vortex, the Big Finish Doctor Who magazine, was advertising the adaptations of the Fourth Doctor comic strips, and had a cover in the style of 70s DWM.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The short-lived Wrestling Society X was home to Matt Classic, a wrestler who had been in a coma since the '50s, and wrestled in the same style that won him the World Heavyweight Championship in 1952 — including such devastating moves as the head vice, the abdominal stretch, and the airplane spin. Matt Classic was portrayed by Colt Cabana, who was in his mid-20s at the time.
  • WWE decided to do an "old school" night on Raw in November of 2010. They threw up a classic looking WWF set and ramp, swapped out the barriers with old-fashioned rails, and even used a retro-styled WWE logo (though this has actually appeared on a few John Cena promotional items in the past). They even had Michael Cole dress up as an old-school Vince McMahon, since Vince was on commentary duty during the era the show was representing.
  • They did this again in 2013, with Michael Cole having to wear that horrible mustard-coloured jacket, although the WWF logo was notably absent, in favour of the block W.
  • The 2008 Royal Rumble was, to a lesser extent, also done in a retro style. Not only did it take place in Madison Square Garden (where professional wrestling in the U.S. actually began), but it was introduced by classic announcer Michael Buffer, was shot on slightly fast-stock photography, and used close-ups and multiple cameras sparingly - all to capture a pre-Hogan '80s look.
  • Southpaw Regional Wrestling, a series of videos about a renegade promotion called Southpaw Regional Wrestling created by the WWE and staring various Superstars and announcers, and is an Affectionate Parody of 80's wrestling
  • Similarly, Impact Wrestling's 2019 Thanksgiving week episode (traditionally a light-hearted, out of continuity episode as the holiday week has few viewers) was made to look like an 80s studio wrestling episode of a fictional regional predecessor.
  • In mid-November 2020, All Elite Wrestling ran a promo online for their latest episode of Dynamite. Said promo included a backdrop reminiscent of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and featured Tony Shiavone interviewing Cody Rhodes.
  • The entire presentation of the National Wrestling Alliance since it was taken over by Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has been in the style of 80s NWA studio-based wrestling shows, complete with near-perfect recreations of 80s vintage sets, lighting, and camera angles. Some fans love it for its authenticity to the period, others see it as painful nostalgia for a style best left to the past.

  • An alternate term for Retraux in sports uniforms is "fauxback", in reference to throwback uniforms; if a design is meant to emulate a specific historical uniform, it's a "throwback", but if it's a new design meant to look old (particularly if the team itself isn't that old to begin with), it's a "fauxback".
  • The granddaddy of the fauxback is the set of uniforms worn by the Chicago White Sox from 1976 through 1981. Eccentric owner Bill Veeck wanted a retro look for his team, so he clad them in collared pullovers inspired by their earliest days (except the collars stopped at the shoulder seams). The cap, bearing the team's then-brand-new "SOX" wordmark, didn't quite fit the retro look, though.
  • Also in 1976, several MLB teams adopted the old-style "pillbox" caps to celebrate the centennial of the National League. Most teams reverted to the modern style after a single season, but the Pittsburgh Pirates kept the pillbox caps for a decade.
  • The National Hockey League created Retraux alternate jerseys, especially among teams too new to have large amounts of history to tap into. Many of the teams that have participated in the annual Winter Classic outdoor game have used one-off fauxbacks, which occasionally get promoted to a full-time alternate jersey.
    • A trend in the NHL (and throughout North American hockey) is to include a cream (off-white) color usually called either "vintage white" or "antique white" to approximate the natural discoloring of an eighty-year-old wool sweater. The first instance in the NHL was with the Minnesota Wild's introduction of their third jersey, and the All-Star Game jerseys from that year (which they hosted), all in a fauxback style, though the off-white was part of Minnesota's official color scheme (called "Minnesota wheat" by the team). The NHL has since only used "antique white" on designs not of genuine NHL vintage, instead using them for mash-ups, original designs, and uniforms throwing back to, or inspired by, non-NHL teams (such as the Calgary Flames' Heritage Classic homage to the Calgary Tigers, or the Vancouver Canucks' Millionaires uniforms).
  • The Australian Football League's "heritage round" has teams wear old-style versions of their guernseys. Hawthorn fans seemed to particularly like their heritage strip, and there is a push for the team to change back to it permanently. In 1996 the AFL turned the clock back a hundred years to when it began, bringing out vintage cars, styles of dress and radio to celebrate.
  • The throwback jerseys worn by the NBA's Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers were such a hit with fans that the two teams changed their logos permanently.
    • The Washington Wizards eventually changed to the classic red, white and blue striped uniforms and colors of the Washington Bullets... albeit while keeping the Wizards name and logo (in red, white and blue as well).
  • The Tampa Bay Rays, who entered MLB as the Devil Rays in 1998, introduced uniforms in 2012 that are meant to show how the team might have looked if they existed in 1978. They cribbed heavily from the San Diego Padres of that era with contrasting raglan sleeves, front cap panel, and even the way the team name is styled on the front of the jersey.
  • NFL teams are allowed to wear throwbacks up to three times a year. Of note were the Green Bay Packers 1929 throwbacks with brown helmets to stand in for leather.
  • Many American historical reenactors organize vintage base ball teams and play matches against each other. All of the equipment and uniforms are reproductions, and actual 19th century rules are used.
  • Indycar and NASCAR cars are sometimes painted in retro paint schemes for one-off races. Sometimes for nostalgia's sake, or to celebrate a milestone, but usually to sell more diecast models. Usually this involves putting an older corporate logo on the car too. Seems to be particularly prevalent among drink manufacturers; Budweiser, Coke, Pepsi, Miller, Coors etc. have all done it.
    • Starting in 2015; the Bojangles' Southern 500 moved from Mother's Day weekend (where it was moved to in 2005) back to its original slot on Labor Day weekend, and to commemorate the move NASCAR came up with the idea of having the race as a "throwback weekend", with 32 of the 43 cars using retro-themed paint schemes and (for the 2015 race) NBC bringing legendary broadcasters Ken Squier, Ned Jarrettnote  and Ned's son Dale while even using 1970's era logos for the broadcast. The concept proved such a hit that NASCAR has made the throwback theme a permanent part of that race.
  • Each team in the Australian Football League has its own team song, usually drawing the music from a range of old sources (ranging from music hall, marches, a couple of otherwise unknown works, and even La Marseilles) and writing new lyrics about the team, but the newest teams have had songs written for them, some of which have aged terribly (the West Coast Eagles' song just sounds like an Eighties power ballad). The exception is the Greater Western Sydney Giants, who have got a club song written by Harry Angus, which is decidedly oompah to hit the century-old feel of every other team song.
  • After a few decades of concrete and steel multipurpose stadiums shared with football teams, Major League Baseball began a shift towards baseball-specific ballparks with decidedly retro elements such as red bricks, archways, and asymmetrical outfield fences beginning with Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, which opened in 1992. It proved such a popular ballpark that every park since has taken on some of these elements, and even ones that predate Camden Yards have retro-fitted some of those elements into the parks.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Cartoon Action Hour kisses up to the action cartoons of the 1980s.
  • Chronica Feudalis is a historical fantasy RPG presented as if it were based on a role-playing game created in 12th century Europe by medieval monks and scribes.
  • The Digimon Card Game released a booster set called Classic Collection which utilizes art from the original Hyper Colosseum cards for almost every card in the set, including Options. There are also rare alternate art cards with a special edition frame that matches the Hyper Colosseum frames almost exactly, with the only changes being the ones necessary to keep the cards playable in the modern game.
  • Encounter Critical, deliberately designed to look like a mid-70s D&D-knockoff made by a pair of sci-fi fans.
  • There's Forgotten Futures, shareware "Scientific Romance Role Playing Game" by Marcus L. Rowland — as the name says, it's designed for this sort of adventures.
  • Goodman Games used the slogan "Third Edition Rules, First Edition Feel" for their Dungeons & Dragons 3E products. They intentionally copied the style of D&D 1E to appeal to fans of that game who never converted to 2E or 3E.
  • Labyrinth Lord is a Retraux as well — this time much closer to the original version of Dungeons & Dragons
    • As well as "Swords and Wizardry," which draws on Sword and Sorcery as opposed to Labyrinth Lord's High Fantasy and which also takes out the Thief, leaving us with the Fighting Man, the Magic User and the Cleric of original D&D.
    • There are a fair number of other retroclones out there, including OSRIC and Basic Fantasy for 1e. In addition, the makers of "Labyrinth Lord" also made "Mutant Future," which is a close-as-you-can-get-it remake of Gamma World using the Labyrinth Lord rules.
  • Magic: The Gathering's Coldsnap set was designed in the style of the Ice Age and Alliances sets from a decade earlier, most blatantly the use of "slowtrips," the clunky, slow version of cantrips that hadn't been used since less than a year after Alliances.
    • And cumulative upkeep. Don't forget that.
    • The joke set Unhinged, the nostalgia set Time Spiral, and the online-only reprint sets all bring back retired frame designs to evoke this trope.
    • A common special treatment given to various special edition cards is the retro cardframe, making them resemble cards that were released decades earlier instead of the modern ones.
  • Mazes and Minotaurs is a What If? on Dungeons & Dragons if Gygax and Arneson used Greek mythology instead of medieval fantasy and it's also a playable game.
  • The games of Sine Nomine Publishing are descended from the Labyrinth Lord rules, though several mechanical subsystems (particularly the Heroic mechanics first seen in Scarlet Heroes and refined by Godbound and Stars Without Number Second Edition) do their own thing but are designed to interface with existing OD&D mechanics. Kevin Crawford explains that this cross-compatibility is to make the Game Master's job easier by letting anyone grab published modules from any other retroclone, refluff them to fit whichever Sine Nomine setting you're using, and voila, instant adventure.

  • The Drowsy Chaperone was written as a parody of 1920s-era musicals such as Anything Goes. Without the Man in the Chair present, it could easily be mistaken for one, but then again, it's his commentary that makes the show so funny — otherwise it's just another over-the-top musical.
  • Grease, first written in 1971, is one of the first things people think of when they think of the 50s.
  • Christopher Fry's 1948 play The Lady's Not for Burning is written in the style of a Shakespearean comedy.
  • The Broadway version of Little Shop of Horrors was composed in 1982 with a deliberately 1960s feel, in a nod to the original Roger Corman film. Same goes for the 1986 film remake.

    Theme Parks 
  • For Universal's Back to the Future: The Ride, the short "Doc on the March" was done in the style of an old newsreel, with Doc inserted into various footage Forrest Gump style. See him get an autograph from Thomas Edison! Watch him get a photo of The Beatles! Witness him resisting the urge to bump off Richard Nixon!
  • Many attractions at various Disney Theme Parks are painstakingly worked on to appear genuinely ancient or old.
    • You'd be forgiven for thinking The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was a genuine hotel from the 1930s if it wasn't host to a thrill ride.
    • At Disneyland, there's a newsreel playing in the queue for Indiana Jones Adventure that explains how Indiana Jones found the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, and that Sallah needs you (the rider) to go into the temple to find him. Given that the rest of the queue features period music, it's easy for an unobservant guest to assume that the newsreel is also generic window dressing from the era that they built the ride around. (Given that it features Sallah explaining the safety mechanism of the ride vehicle, you'd have to be really unobservant, but still.)
  • The entire point of theme park Silver Dollar City (near Branson, MO) is that it's supposed to be a mining town in the 1880-1900 time frame. One which happens to be paved almost entirely in asphalt, mind you, but the buildings are designed to appear rustic, weathered, and slapped together from available materials. In the shops and restaurants, they've even gone to the extent of building enclosures to hide the modern electronic cash registers, with only the electronic readout showing from the customer-facing side.

  • The Funko Primal Age line of quasi-medieval Justice League action figures are somewhat squat, overmuscled figures, designed to invoke "What if DC Comics had tried to compete with Masters of the Universe back in The '80s?" They're even advertised with a Limited Animation cartoon.
  • The Ultimate figures for NECA's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) line each come in a vertical rectangular box that imitates the original cartoon's VHS releases, from the art style, to the text fonts, and even the company logos.
  • The Fansproject "Retro-Future" line, originally released in 2013, attempts to duplicate the feel of Transformers designs from the late 1980s (particularly the combiners), with blocky, tiny-headed robots bearing several layers of gimmickry alongside limited articulation. This goes its furthest when dealing with the boxes, which feature very old-fashioned character art, a vaguely Engrish-y tagline ("The Most Wildest Combat Team In The Universe!"), fake damage and wear, and sticker sheets where half the stickers are already applied, as if the original owner couldn't be bothered to finish it. One of them goes so far as to have a completely different box design with all the text written in Korean, a joke on how many collectors end up seeking out releases from different countries to fill out a team, particularly those by Sonokong.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 

  • Issue 1 of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja appears as if it had been printed during The Golden Age of Comic Books.
    • Flashbacks in Dr. McNinja use the shading style of the time when they take place (e.g. when the story was told about how Gordito got his guns, the comic dropped shading.)
  • The Blonde Marvel 11-page story "The Thing That Came" was presented as if it had been published in 1955.
    • The artist did it again in early 2012, with a "Municipal City" series, centered on Commander Marvel, that is supposedly fragments of a long-lost 1950s newspaper comic.
  • In Bloody Urban, Murray's prescription drug-fueled hallucination features inanimate objects with 30's-style cartoon faces.
  • Corgi Quest uses a simplistic pixelated art style reminiscent of retro video games.
  • Crystal Heroes: Not so much the comic itself (though it is made using ink and paper), but the playable RPG scene is done in a pseudo 16-bit style.
  • The Deadly Tower of Monsters takes the form of a B-Movie from the 1970's, with all the tropes that entails.
  • I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space!!! has been run through Photoshop filters because the author/artist wants it to feel like "your parents’ old collection that they forget they left up there, all faded and stained."
  • The Jet Dream comics (and sister titles It's Cookie! and My Jet Dream Romance) are presented as if they were actual comic books published in the late '60s and early '70s by an obscure publisher obsessed with male-to-female sex changes.
    • Evidence in Jet Dream letter columns and other material suggests that the publisher believed in mass-scale wholesome crossdressing by boys to prepare for humanity's future as a One-Gender Race. The wholesome, hoped-to-be Code approved Jet Dream comics were only one of his business ventures aimed at cashing in on a "Fem Is In!" movement that... never quite developed.
  • The Laugh Out Loud Cats is a webcomic based on LOLCats made to look like it's from the early 20th century.
  • The Manor's Prize: It is drawn in grayscale to emulate the look of black-and-white movies. Although it has the aesthetic of an old noir or murder mystery, the plot is a game-show style elimination game.
  • According to Word of God, minus. is done in the style of a Newspaper Comic from the early 20th century. It shows.
  • MS Paint Adventures are done in the style of text-based adventures.
  • Narbonic did one of these, The Astonishing Excursions of Helen Narbon & Co., interspersed with the main comic.
    • Narbonic also had the Dave in Slumberland strips once a year, which were drawn in the style of Little Nemo, and provided immense foreshadowing.
  • The back cover of the first The Order of the Stick prequel book describes the deliberate choice of greyscale as "Past-O-Vision". The use of crayons to illustrate the "dawn of time" backstories also invokes this trope.
  • The Platypus Comix story "Vess MacMeal Starring in: The More You Know!" has drawings resembling 1950s kitschy artwork.
  • Rip Haywire is a parody of old school adventure newspaper comics, so it was drawn in a style typical of the 1940s-1960s.
  • Space Kid has its heroes rocketing around the solar system in an atomic-powered ship. Watch out for the Space Pirates!
  • Unicorn Jelly looks like something drawn in a 16-bit MS-DOS paint program, and with good reason: it was drawn in a 16-bit MS-DOS paint program.
  • Wondermark is made to look like it was made in the early 1900s, and was: the author takes old-style printings and adds dialog.
  • Tiffany and Corey is a webcomic but the hand drawn pen style resembles newspaper comic strips and, to a lesser extent, magazine gag cartoons.
  • In commemoration to Geocities shutting down... Behold! xkcd redesigned as a classic 90s Geocities site! Complete with broken html, pointless marquees, and flashing background graphics.
  • Zombie And Mummy is designed as a homage to late-nineties GeoCities-style web design, with animated gifs and MIDI music abounding. The author, Olia Lialina, has a soft spot for old Internet culture in general, and has written articles about it, in addition to a blog about Geocities.

    Web Original 
  • Neopets has numerous examples of different kinds:
    • The Flash Game "Assignment 53" is done in a pixel art style, which is also available on the main site when painting a pet and is referred to as "8-Bit". Despite the terminology, however, the sprites of both the game and 8-Bit pets are closer to something from The 16 Bit Era Of Console Video Games.
    • "Techo Says" is an Updated Re-release of the first Flash game on the site to celebrate reaching the one thousandth Flash game, but isn't very updated visually, still using the graphical style from 1999.
    • While there are many items on the site with artwork remnant from the early days without being updated, the Unconverted Apple item uses the art style of those items on purpose.
      Item Description: Oh, um... It has a nice gradient?
    • The item name of the above refers to "unconverted pets", which are pets that existed during the 2007 overhaul and kept their old art style at the cost of not being customizable. They themselves are an example; while it's easy to assume that the images depicting them were directly copied from the original site, looking closer at one reveals that they're instead a vector image created in order to work with the new pet format instead of raster drawings like the art originally was. This is also most likely why unconverted pets no longer have the dynamic emotion poses that they used to, instead staying static, as new tracings would have to be created for each pose. Regardless, they're regularly treated as the Olympus Mons of Neopets by the fan base due to their ever-increasing scarcity, with an extensive subculture focused on trading towards specific species and colors.
    • There are two wearable backgrounds to mimic the site as it was before the overhaul, those being the Neopets Circle Background and the Photo Of Me Background. The former mimics the backing circle used on pet listings, and the latter mimics the photo images of the given pet and color that appeared on petpages by default. They're both a loyalty bonus only available to purchase on accounts that have been active for four years or longer.
  • The Onion published a book called Our Dumb Century in 1999, featuring fake front pages of the paper from throughout the 20th century.
  • The footage in Shea Scientific Films is digitally aged to fit the decade it's supposedly from, usually The '70s. Further scuff is added since most of the films are supposed to be film transfers onto VHS that are then digitized.
  • One of the more unnerving "photos" of Slender Man is designed to look like it was taken in the early Nineties. Details of note include a date watermark and added graininess, the latter of which is more pronounced due to the camera distortions that always pop up when Slendy is around.
  • This blog is dedicated to making screencaps and gifs of Steven Universe from rips of VHS recordings, making the footage look much older than it really is.
  • Welcome Home (Clown Illustrations): The website itself evokes web design from the mid-to-late 90s, with its colorful borders, hit counter, guestbook, and abundance of animated gifs.
  • For April Fools' Day 2011, YouTube added a button that would turn the video you're watching into sepia tones, add jittering and scan lines, and replace the audio with jazz music. Its featured video that day was of a few of its most famous videos redone in this style. Even more brilliantly: if you were watching a video that used YouTube's subtitle functionality, the text would appear as intertitles as in a silent film.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: The box art for the 2022 complete series release by Discotek is designed to look like a Sega Genesis game case.
  • In fitting with the Animaniacs backstory as characters locked away since the early days of animation, occasionally a "lost Warner Bros. short" was aired that was done deliberately in the style of WB's original Bosko and Honey cartoons.
    • Additionally, one episode featured clips of the Warners guest-starring on such old cartoons as Calhoon Capybara, Oohooroo, Where Are You, and Obese Orson. For the clips, the producers carefully made sure the animators replicated the low-budget feel of the cartoons parodied.
  • In the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Bat-Mite Presents: Batman's Strangest Cases!", the team up with Scooby-Doo is done in the style of Batman's appearances in The New Scooby-Doo Movies, and the story based on the manga series is done as a badly dubbed eighties anime.
  • The interactive Netflix series Cat Burglar is animated in the style of a Tex Avery cartoon and has film grain and cel scratches.
  • The short-lived Code Monkeys was an animated series done completely in the style of an 8-bit video game, with the cast resembling characters from mid-80s Taito games such as Renegade and Mat Mania.
  • The Cuphead Show!, like the game it's an animated adaptation of, imitates the look of theatrical cartoons from the '30s and '40s (complete with film grain!), though its animation and writing style are more contemporary to its actual release.
  • Dexter's Laboratory has simple comedic plots similar to old Fleischer and Disney cartoons, with episodes like "Fantastic Boyage", "The Continuum of Cartoon Fools", and "Last But Not Beast" as examples.
    • The third and fourth seasons, produced in 2001-2003, were intentionally designed and animated in the style of a 1960s Hanna-Barbera cartoon (which quite a few fans of the show were not very pleased by). One episode was even a complete homage to the original Wacky Races series, complete with the actual music score! Ironically by this time, Cartoon Network Studios was no longer part of Hanna-Barbera, whom had folded into Warner Bros. Animation by that time.
  • The box art for the Double Dragon (1993) Blu Ray from Discotek is done in the style of the NES game, complete with the Eastern Star Logo replicating the old Trade West logo on the front.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: "The 'Good Old Days!'" had Timmy and his Grandpappy having a misadventure in an Inkblot Cartoon Style world.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Back to the Pilot", Stewie and Brian go back in time to the show's first episode, where everything and everyone except them is drawn as close to the show's cruder first season art style as possible. At the end of the episode, the present version of Peter sits on the couch with Quagmire and his stag party friends from that episode, who are also drawn first season-style.
  • Fired on Mars: Smartphones and computers have an interface modeled after Apple Macintosh operating systems of the 1990s.
  • In an episode of Futurama, the crew watches a Harold Zoid silent hologram in black-and-white.
    • Futurama packaging and merchandise also often evokes Zeerust aesthetics (like some things in the show— Bender himself is an example).
    • The episode "Reincarnation" has three different segments each done in a different retro style: an early 1930s black and white cartoon, a 1980s 8-bit video game, and a 1970s anime.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • Xyler and Craz are semi-recurring characters from a Show Within a Show called Dream Boy High, which are sometimes seen in Mabel's imagination. Both it and their character designs have the blocky lines and garish color palette of an 80s cartoon like Jem.
    • "Fight Fighters" features Rumble McSkirmish, a video game character from the eponymous fighting game, appearing in the real world. Rumble is styled after Ken, Ryu, and Sagat from Street Fighter II and rendered completely in 16-bit style graphics (by Paul Robertson, of course), complete with badly translated dialogue ("WINNERS DON'T LOSE!" "YOU CAN HIDE BUT YOU CANNOT HIDE!") and even physical limitations such as not being able to look up or stand still. The game is quite old even in-universe: the arcade cabinet is covered in dust and was made before the fall of the Soviet Union.
    • "Soos and the Real Girl" features another old game, Romance Academy 7, a PC Dating Sim similar to Tokimeki Memorial, apparently from the 1990s. Like Fight Fighters, it has sprite-animation by Paul Robertson and was poorly translated. However, its main character, Giffany, is smart enough to have learned proper English.
  • Relentlessly mocked multiple times in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. Examples include Wiggy Jiggy Jed from "Dream Mutt", a walking pastiche parody of snarky, fourth-wall breaking Hanna-Barbera characters complete with his own theme tune when he walks and cuing laughter from a live audience and the episode "Hill Billy" where the entire world turns into a Inkblot Cartoon Style cartoon, complete with a direct Shout-Out to "The Skeleton Dance."
  • How to Hook Up Your Home Theater takes 1940s Goofy (including that famous Lemony Narrator) and puts him in a contemporary setting. You can read about this here.
  • Infinity Train has film grain effects.
  • Krypto the Superdog is intentionally produced in the style of a Hanna-Barbera series of the 60s or early 70s. They even got longtime H-B designer Iwao Takamoto to do character designs!
  • In The Legend of Korra, the Previously on… segments are done in the style of old movies, complete with a grainy sepia effect and an overly-excited announcer.
  • Looney Tunes Cartoons is designed to imitate the style of the early-to-mid 1940s Looney Tunes shorts (especially the ones directed by Bob Clampett) as closely as possible.
  • The Mater's Tall Tales short "Time Travel Mater", has various old-time to represent the different periods where Mater and Lightning travel to. The film is sepia-toned when Mater meets Stanley, black-and-white when they go to when Stanley met Lizzie and then to two-strip Technicolor when they see Stanley and Lizzie get married.
  • Mega Man (Ruby-Spears): The 2014 complete series release by Discotek is modeled after the American NES box art and even features authentic wear and tear. The disks themselves look like NES carts and the menus are done in a 8bit style and are based on the title screen of Mega Man 2.
  • The 2013 Mickey Mouse shorts are done in the style of the 1930's shorts, as seen in the first short Croissant de Triomphe.
    • The 2013 Mickey Mouse short Get a Horse! (playing before Frozen in theatres) was painstakingly created to look and sound like a late 1920s/early 1930s cartoon, including film scratches, cel mistakes, and poor quality soundtrack - even going as far to include archived clips of Walt Disney as Mickey's voice. That is, before the cinema screen is ripped open, hand-drawn and CG animation come together and the fourth wall is not so much broken as it is shattered into a billion pieces.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot is visually designed to look like an old Disney or Fleischer cartoon complete with the Pie-Eyed pupil designs. It also makes heavy usage of Art Deco in its title cards and a Zeerust style future.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Pinkie Pie's rap song in "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3" is clearly styled after a rap music video from the late-80s or early-90s, complete with looking like it was ripped from a VHS recording (fake scan lines, semi-blurry image quality, and the scene is presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio instead of the show's usual 16:9 widescreen). Crosses into Stylistic Suck as the song itself feels more like a parody of cartoons from that era that liked to include rap music in an attempt to be Totally Radical.
  • The 2022 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short is done in style of original silent cartoon (barring the piano track used as background music) that deliberately sticks to the black-and-white aesthetic of the original Disney shorts, complete with artificially-added film grain, and certain items missing from frames for brief split-seconds (such as the cannon Oswald makes out of an exclaimation point). The only thing betraying the retro nature of the short is the fact that most of it's in widescreen, though the Oswald short shown in-universe still uses an era-appropriate aspect ratio.
  • The Peanuts movie Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown is hand-drawn, has the same style as the classic series, and has voices to a similar effect of the originals.
  • Pibby:
    • Downplayed. The Flintstones scene in the trailer shows Fred and other non-background elements have fake shadows underneath them, emulating the cel animation used in the original show, though otherwise it is not that far off from the "regular" style.
    • The trailer has a brief scene where the background is patterned after an old black and white cartoon, complete with simulated film grain.
  • This little romp into the imagination of Raymond Persi and Matthew Nastuk was made for the 1999 Vancouver Animation Festival. It was done 100% using nothing but what was available for animation in the early 30's, right down to the painted backgrounds and the grooving.
  • Regular Show has a very washed-out color scheme, the soundtrack is sourced from a lot of '80s bands, and the characters always play retro-styled video games on a Sega Master System.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • There were a couple of Scooby-Doo made-for-video movies in 2002-2003, Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire and Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico, that were deliberately done in a retro 1970s-esque style to resemble the old Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! cartoon series (something that What's New, Scooby-Doo? and the other made-for-video movies of the time generally avoided), even going as far as bringing back the original voice actresses for Daphne and Velma (as Frank Welker was already Fred and Scooby-Doo's main voice actor, and Casey Kasem was still available to voice Shaggy any time he was needed), using synth/keyboard remakes of the classic Scooby-Doo background music, featuring many of the old Hanna-Barbera Stock Sound Effects and even putting the gang in their classic 1970s outfits and designing them in the same manner.
    • In Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, the gang is sucked into a video game about their adventures. In the final level they meet themselves (or rather, their video game doubles), who are drawn in the older style.
    • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated has clothing and animation styles similar to the first series, albeit slightly stylized (in a manner not unlike The Flintstones on the Rocks from 2001, itself a retraux example relating to its' original series counterpart).
      • In the episode "The Mystery Solvers Club State Finals", the Dream Sequence uses the original Hanna-Barbera designs, a sharp contrast to the new series' modern drawing style.
    • A flashback to Velma's childhood in What's New, Scooby-Doo? used recolored versions of the cartoonier A Pup Named Scooby-Doo designs.
    • The 2010-era direct-to-DVD films use an art style heavily inspired by the original series, albeit with a darker look and more realistic lightning and shading. The gang is in their classic outfits, and all the humans even have Skintone Sclerae again!
    • Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? applies a similar approach to the direct-to-DVD films mentioned above, while otherwise being a modern take on the The New Scooby-Doo Movies with a half-hour format.
  • In combo with the above many of the half hour Scooby Doo Direct to Video specials and many of the Tom and Jerry Direct-to-Video Film Series have made use of the tactic used a lot at the end of the MGM Animation studio and the 60s and 70s at the Hanna Barbera studio to only animate the main characters and have the background characters remain static in Limited Animation. These caused a lot of blowback from people assuming the studio has simply gotten lazy failing to see a stylistic Mythology Gag in productions that are loaded with them in plots and gags as well.
  • The Simpsons
  • The Tinpo shorts on CBS' Kewlopolis block (which can also be seen online) use 8-bit style music (although one can also hear actual modern electric guitars on the soundtracks as well).
    • The music, incidentally, is by a band named Anamanaguchi, whose members actually write music using an NES music tracker and play the resulting code on an actual NES, with electric guitars to accompany it. It's awesome stuff.
  • Each episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars starts with a WWII-style newsreel either setting the scene or recapping the events of last week's episode, complete with film grain effect and boisterous narrator (who is actually a character in the series, but the two don't seem to have any relationship besides having the same voice).
  • The Toy Story TV special Toy Story That Time Forgot, revolving around a group of action figures known as the "Battlesaurs", was accompanied by a fake commercial for them done in the style of an early/mid-2000's action figure commercial, particularly capturing the feel of the anime boom that the United States was experiencing at the time — right down to Studio TRIGGER doing the animation for the commercial.
  • A short on one of the VeggieTales videos, Going Up, is portrayed like a silent film... even though it still uses computer animation and is in color. The trope is played straighter in an alternate "unrestored" version, seen in the Bonus Features for its video (Sumo of the Opera), featuring it in Black and White, with film grain and damage. On the audio front, it lacks any and all sound effects, as well as the French Peas reading out the text cards in the normal version.
  • The Venture Bros.: The creators admit a genuine love of fake-aging footage and such, and went through great lengths to get the Season 2 DVD to appear to be (but not actually be) worn and decades old, as if it had been in the trunk of somebody's car for 30 years. And the menu screens are done in the style of an old, old slide-show presentation of what people in The '60s thought the future would be like. The third season was all shot in high definition in order to make the footage quirkier and grainier, not sharper or more vector-ey. And the third-season DVD is presented in the style of an Atari 2600 game, down to the packaging and Pitfall!-style menu screens.
  • Wave Twisters: Cover art and video game-like graphics convey Atari-era sensibilities.
  • The short-lived Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? was deliberately drawn to resemble a late 1970s/early 1980s vintage cartoon. The show even used traditional cel animation at a time when it was rapidly falling out of style in favor of digital ink and paint, just to drive the retro look home; as a result, it became the last new cel-animated series in western animation.

    Real Life 
  • Consumer-level video editing programs such as iMovie and Windows Movie Maker have their share of effects that make things look brown ("Sepia"), old (old reel marks), or even very old (choppy action and faded borders). Of course, these are abused by amateur video makers.
    • Effects like those are even built into some camcorders; Sony's Digital-8 decks are a good example, as are some flash and DVD-based cameras. Needless to say, people who do serious video work tend to recommend not using them under any circumstances and doing all that sort of thing in postproduction.
    • Ditto for digital cameras, that very often include options to take pictures in sepia and/or in black-and-white.
    • Digital filtering programs such as Instagram achieve similar effects with still photography.
  • "Vintage" T-shirts for sale at retail stores. Brand new shirts deliberately faded and cracked to look like they're 30 years old. Pre-ripped jeans also count.
  • Certain slot machines (mainly those manufactured by IGT) are still being made with mechanical reels and levers to pull, even though they're all run by computers now and these are no longer required. Many people prefer these for a more authentic experience. Even in Minnesota, where mechanical reels are not allowed, the video versions of these same games are still built with levers. Sadly, machines that dispense payout in coins/tokens (instead of tickets) are much rarer, if not extinct.
  • Computers and laptops built with false-wooden frames, buttons and similar accessories are fairly popular among various groups, particularly steampunk.
    • Along those lines is a remake of the Commodore 64. It has the same shell but with modern hardware and operating system. But it also includes a Commodore 64 emulator for the full experience.
  • Various architectural styles like Neoclassicism or Gothic Revival. Amusingly, the latter was a reaction to the former: Neoclassicism was seen as "Enlightenment" and "liberal" (in the old sense), so Romantics and (old-sense) conservatives invented their own revival to counter it, drawing Romanticism Versus Enlightenment into the field of architecture in the ugliest (except for the buildings, all of which were beautiful) possible way. The debate didn't end until the Bauhaus-educated German Modernists, driven from Nazi Germany for being "degenerate" (or worse, Jewish) came out of nowhere to destroy them both. (The Soviet Vkhutemas was doing much the same thing, but since they were Dirty Communists they were ignored in the West).
  • Many alleys of Budapest's Inner City were redesigned to look 19th century, complete with lamp posts that look like gas lanterns.
    • The goal of the Margaret Bridge's reconstruction was explicitly to restore the bridge to its 1936 design.
  • Reliced musical instruments. Fender is particularly guilty of releasing guitars and basses that are purposely beaten and aged in the factory that look like they have 50 years worth of abuse on them. This is also the entire business model of Nash guitars, which are really beat up Fender copies for about twice the price of new Fenders. Needless to say there is quite a bit of contention amongst guitarists as to whether this is an affordable alternative to vintage instruments that can run up to $70,000 a piece or if they are bought by posers who want their guitars to look worn without actually putting the work into having a guitar get that beat up through touring and playing constantly.
    • There's also another aspect to this. From the 50s to the 70s all instruments used nitrocellulose lacquer, but as it was rather hazardous, polyurethane is the standard finish today. Nitro is very "fragile" and easily comes off and ages very nicely (fading, yellowing and so on). This is why real vintage guitars have a special sort of relic to them. Polyester on the other hand is very hard and thick, has no real aging and hardly ever comes off, which makes getting a played in feeling with many modern guitars is close to impossible. It's thick and goopy and dampens the sound, but protects the instrument and offers a wider selection of colors. Polyurethane is somewhere between nitro and polyester — only a little bit thicker than nitro so it doesn't kill your harmonics, but with durability and color choices comparable to polyester. It still doesn't age quite the same, and opinions vary as to whether that's good or bad. Still, it's generally considered an acceptable compromise.
    • On the subject of musical instruments, there's also been a movement in classical music called "historical performance practice" which is exactly what it sounds like - to use certain styles of instruments and vocal techniques to perform early music works as they would have sounded at the time of their premieres. When instrumentalists aren't playing on actual older instruments (like those of the various Cremona violin makers in the 17th century), they build new ones with the style and sound of older ones.
  • Doritos re-released three chip flavors (Taco, Sour Cream & Onion, and Salsa Rio) that they discontinued in the 1970s or 80s in 2012, and put them in bags made to look like the bag design from that era as well. In Canada, they reissued the discontinued Ketchup flavor for a while in early 2015.
  • Part of Harley-Davidson's appeal is in motorcycles that resemble those from the old days, particularly those from the Fourties and Fifties, but with modern conveniences added such as the Softail rear suspension made to look like the rigid frames of yore. Add to the fact that the engines used on Big Twins aren't really that far removed from the original Knucklehead of 1936; the Twin Cam is an all-new design, but it's still conceptually similar.
    • Enthusiasts either install or fabricate accessories to make their bikes more vintage looking, e.g. a FLD Dyna Switchbacknote  customised to more closely resemble a late 50s to 60s FL, or build a reproduction bike that is practically identical to the original vintage models, save for more modern materials and production methods.
  • Though more subtle than most, there has traditionally been a lot of demand for "film look" coming from digital video cameras, to the point of making things like 24p frame rates standard even on relatively low-end camcorders. The adoption of DSLR cameras like the Canon 5DmkII specifically aimed to duplicate the Depth of Field effects film cameras traditionally give by using standard interchangeable lenses and large image sensors; the jury is still out as to whether "film look" has been truly achieved for The Rest of Us, or if its proponents have created a new, unique DSLR look.
  • Pepsi and Mountain Dew Throwback use cane sugar instead of the high-fructose corn syrup found in modern soft drinks (in countries where the latter has replaced sugar). They also feature vintage brand logos on the packaging.
  • The Seattle Space Needle celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2012. As part of the celebration, the whole thing was painted the "only in the 60's" shade of "Galaxy Gold" paint that it was during the 1962 World's Fair.
  • In the 1990s, McDonald's built several locations in the style of their earliest restaurants. Many of these had only walk-up service, just like the earliest ones.
  • A few years ago a bunch of breakfast cereals, such as Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms, went retro by selling them in their much older box designs.
  • The art of Randy Regier consists of authentically crafted vintage/Atomic Age toys, complete with the occasional aging, packaging, printed media and shopfront setups, that range from high quality (i.e. "The ToyGantic" and "Go Fast Daddy-0"), to intentionally shoddy (i.e. the John Manshaft line and "Electric Man Waiting for a Train Set") and absurd (i.e. the "Blazing Sun Model" and "Tardy the Manpony").
  • It's fairly common in Indonesian to intentionally write using the spelling pre-EYD to give an old, Dutch-occupation era feel (even though the EYD was released in 1972, more than 20 years after the Dutch surrendered). For example, the Dutch restaurant specializing in Indonesian cuisine called "Tempo Doeloe" (roughly translated to "past" or "the good old days") — the proper spelling is actually "Tempo Dulu".
  • There seem to be literally dozens of applications for adding a rotary phone dial to a smartphone.
  • 8mm is a app that simulates Super 8 8mm analog home movie effects for use on iPhone camera videos. Celebrities such as Hilary Duff and Selena Gomez have (according to Word of God) used it for effect on Instagram videos.
  • Many airlines have at least one plane in their fleet painted in a retro livery. Either one from the airline, or from an airline that has been amalgamated into the current brand that the airline owns the rights to. American Airlines for example has several planes in their 1960s livery, US Air has liveries from Pacific Southwest Air (PSA), Allegheny and Piedmont (all defunct), and British Airways has painted one plane in 1970s livery with plain "British" logo on the fuselage.
  • Also a common practice with railroads:
    • Union Pacific led the way, ordering a number of heritage engines representing railroads they acquired, complementing the authentically historical locomotives and railway cars UP also maintains. note 
    • The Norfolk Southern Railroad went all out, ordering twenty heritage units painted in the liveries of predecessor railroads, such as the Central of Georgia, Erie, Norfolk and Western, Penn Central, and Wabash.
    • Amtrak also introduced liveries in 2011 for its 40th anniversary that resembled its 1970s and 1980s paint schemes.
    • Canadian Pacific joined in in 2019, ordering freight diesels in its 1950s-era tuscan and grey paint scheme.
    • In October 2020, Canadian National introduced heritage liveries of their own, with a rebuilt freight locomotive displaying their pre-1960 livery, and newer locomotives painted in the liveries of railroads that were acquired by Canadian National; including Grand Trunk Western, BC Rail, and Illinois Central.note 
  • This review of The Wizard of Oz on the CED format, written in 2013 from the point of view of a 1981 reviewer who took on the then-new CED release from MGM/CBS Home Video.
  • A number of toy and model kit manufacturers over the years have released older items in current packaging, designed to remind one of the old packaging. Hot Wheels Redliners are still available in some places, Matchbox once released a series of diecasts in modern blister packaging but with a little box similar to their oldest form of packaging included, and Round 2 Models, who own a few of the older brand names of model kits known to older Americans, often use the original box art for kits first released in the 1960s, unless there are legal issues to work around (such as losing the licence for The Munsters while still being allowed to sell the kits of the cars). One problem with that is that the kits haven't been re-tooled since they first came out, such that the tooling is as old as the hills. Another example is the reproduction lithographed tinplate toys currently being released solely for the collector's market.
  • You can still have a house built in older styles from the 19th century onwards; Queenslanders, for example, are still being built, albeit with current materials and techniques, and are available in many styles echoing the older styles, including Victorian, Federation, Edwardian, and Ashgrovian (a 20th-century style adapted from American California bungalows.)
  • Gentrification or renovation of large urban areas can lead to large-scale renewal of some of the oldest parts of a city, as the place is done up to attract people with fresh paint, unbroken windows, and verandahs and awnings overhanging the footpath that no longer look like they're going to collapse on top of you when you walk under them, and to celebrate the history of the area. Some of these can go a bit far in their presentation, as they are given extra atmosphere by means some might consider an excessive amount of faux-historical packaging, such as Flinders Street East (second picture sepiatoned in GiMP) in Townsville, Queensland; the road is designed to make horse-like clopping sounds when cars are driven along the street.
  • The British electronics store Maplin is selling a reproduction ZX Spectrum, with in-built bluetooth 3.0 and HDMI television compatibility. It looks exactly the same as the original 48K version.
  • Many old towns in Europe were either entirely leveled or significantly damaged by bombings in World War II. While some were redesigned in the then modern "car friendly" style (now widely decried as an abomination against urbanism), some were then or have been since rebuilt in the original style, more or less faithfully. One of the best known is probably the Frauenkirche in Dresden that was rebuilt faithfully except for the weird placement of the original stones (distinguished by their blackened appearance which is neither due to fire or pollution, but owed to age) — in 2005. However, infill development in those neighborhoods is also often also built "in the original style" which may or may not work, but is often vastly preferred to some "hyper modern" glass palace in the midst of buildings centuries old.
  • Several boutique car companies, such as Excalibur from the 1960s to the 1990s built small numbers of "neo-classic" cars, mimicking designs from the 1920s and 1930s.
  • The whole Keep Calm And... meme, with the memetic introduction set underneath a generic crown, is based on a typeface font Gill MS, first devised in the early part of the 20th century as an official font for public signage provided by the London Underground. This was widely adopted by British government institutions and the stark, spare, lines of Gill MS are now absolutely, iconically, linked to British government publications in The '40s and the "stiff upper lip" ethos of WW2.
  • It is fairly common for well-known food and drink brands to offer some kind of product that is heavily inspired by its classic recipe and presentation.
    • Pepsi in the United States and Canada has 'Pepsi-Cola Made with Real Sugar', which as the name suggests is made with cane and beet sugar instead of the high-fructose corn syrup that became ubiquitous in American sodas in the 1980's.
    • Walkers crisps in the UK have a 'Salt and Shake' flavor, which are completely plain crisps that come with a separate sachet of salt that you are intended to use by pouring it into the bag and shaking it, which is how packets of crisps were sold before 'Ready Salted' packets became popular.
  • Some affiliates of MeTV will - in keeping with the network's classic television theme - use variations of older station logos such as Dayton, OH's WHIO and Norfolk, VA's WVEC.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Faux Retro, Retreaux


"I'm ready to go to work!"

The episode has a brief throwback to old 1930's black & white rubberhose cartoons, mainly Disney cartoons from that era, such as Mickey Mouse. Also, "Flickering Funnies" is a spoof of Silly Symphonies.

How well does it match the trope?

4.6 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / Retraux

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