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Reveal Shot

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The camera is focused in — just enough so the viewers can't see the whole set. Then the camera pans out a bit, or cuts to a wider view. We now see something else, which significantly changes the situation, often for the worse.

Sometimes preceded by a Reaction Shot to build suspense. Other times, there's no warning, usually because the characters are seeing it the same time as the viewers are.

This trope probably evolved from radio, where a standard gag was to slowly reveal what something looked like, with the last bit totally changing the situation.

Usually the preferred method of filming Innocent Innuendo.

Contrast with Unreveal Angle, where nothing gets revealed and the audience is left wanting to see more. Sometimes paired with Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick. Not to be confused with Wham Shot.

Specific types of reveal shots:


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  • This classic advertisement for The Guardian shows a black-and-white video of a man running. Another shot is shown, seemingly showing the man fighting with another one. The final shot shows us he was helping the other man escape from being hit by falling bricks.
  • Old Spice:
  • A commercial for WNBC radio in the 1980's had people talking about Howard Stern, and ended with Don Imus saying "Please don't listen to any of these people. Howard Stern is just as same as I am." - then the camera pulls back to show Imus wearing a straitjacket and standing in a padded room.
  • This PIF for TV licensing shows a couple in the backyard seemingly getting a small pool ready and other gear. Then the camera pans up to show that—because they didn't pay their license—they are camped next to a nuclear plant.
  • A classic PSA from the Partnership For A Drug-Free America shows a close-up of a man as he starts to talk to his son about the dangers of drugs. Then he starts to get emotional as he speaks, and the camera slowly pans out to show that he's standing alone in a cemetery, next to a small headstone.
    "But I never thought... I'd have to be telling that to a thirteen-year-old..."
  • Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo used it in one of their TV commercials: an extremely zoomed-in view of black dots on a white background as the narrator describes a man who saved his war-torn country's economy and loved art. Rapid zoom to reveal that the black dots formed a picture... of Adolf Hitler.
  • A series of drunk driving PSAs used this:
    • One opens with two pairs of hands polishing a wood surface while two men talk about a friend of theirs who's a known party animal. It seems like they're polishing a bar...until the camera pulls back and reveals they're polishing a coffin. The men then talk about the friend's death as a result of a drunk driving accident.
    • Another opens with a close-up of flowers while two women talk about a date one of them went on. The flowers were a gift from her date, right? No. The camera pulls back to reveal they're actually laid in front of a tombstone. The woman who went on the date then talks about how she wishes she'd gone on the date with the man whose name is on the tombstone.
    • A third has the camera panning across a nice car while two men talk about it. One of the men is the brother of the car's owner. When the camera gets to the front of the car, we see the front end is severely damaged as if it hit something. Then owner's brother then reveals that his brother drove while drunk and crashed, totaling the car. (He also implies his brother died as a result.)
  • A commercial for Temptations cat treats has a man sitting on his patio tossing the treats to a cat that's jumping and catching them in mid-air. Near the end of the commercial, a woman comes out of the house and asks the man what he's doing. He tells her "Watch this" and tosses the cat another treat. This time, we see the patio is on the second floor and the cat is jumping from the ground.
  • A commercial for the American Red Cross opens with a woman playing "What The World Needs Now Is Love" on a piano in a nice living room. As the camera pulls back, we see the part of the house we initially saw was the only part that was nice. The rest is in ruins, implied to be the result of a natural disaster.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Assassination Classroom: Karasuma sees a happy group photo of Takaoka with his JSDF students. He then finds a photo from the reverse angle, which shows that the students have their hands tied behind them and welts and scars all over their backs.
  • Ayakashi Triangle has several risque examples:
    • Reo falls in front of Suzu's crotch, then starts smelling it. The next page starts with a zoom in on Reo grabbing a body part that looks like the folds of a woman's bare genitals. The panel below zooms out to show Reo was holding Suzu's leg, which had her knee bent to the point her thigh and calf were touching.
    • After Matsuri tackles Soga to the ground to talk to him, the panels only show their faces and upper bodies up close. Once Matsuri is finished talking, the view zooms out to show Matsuri landed his crotch directly in front of Soga's face, which Matsuri didn't previously notice.
    • We're shown a back view of Suzu undressing after school when she gets a text message. The angle reverses to show Matsuri, hidden by an Invisibility Cloak to bait out Suzu's assailant, typing out that she should hurry up with getting dress.
    • After Kanade hands Matsuri a Love Potion she says to use on Shadow Mei, the next page begins with a zoom in of it being poured. The panel after shows Matsuri is dumping it out, as he refuses to use it (but just ends up getting it on Mei anyway).
  • Chainsaw Man: As Asa and Yuko talk in chapter 111, there are alternating closeups of their faces where Asa is just saying Yuko's name with increasing urgency. Then a zoom out shows Asa was shouting out for help because Yuko was unconsciously strangling Asa with one of her newly grown tendrils.
  • In One Piece, Cactus Island has several cactus-like mountains that dominate the landscape, complete with thorns. When Mr. 8 declares that Zoro needs to die, the camera zooms in on the mountains to reveal the "thorns" were actually hundreds of tombstones from the island's victims.
  • Serial Experiments Lain did this a lot, with Lain or her friends having a Reaction Shot followed by the Reveal Shot of whatever horror they just saw.
  • Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!: In episode 10, we see Uzaki and her mother (fully clothed, mind you) breathing heavily and moving slowly back and forth, and then see Sakurai doing the same while squeezing something that looks suspiciously like a pair of breasts in a white shirt...We even get a "Harder, senpai" and "You're so good at this" before it pans out to reveal that the three of them are kneading dough for udon.

    Comic Books 
  • In Astro City story "Pastoral", when Cammie follows the kitten into the barn, we get a shot of her fact, half in shadow, showing her shock; then we get her back in the house working on a new email that shows she's decided to become a Secret-Keeper for Roustabout's Secret Identity. Only after her finishing it do we we get the Reveal Shot that shows Roustabout and her cousin kissing.
  • Tintin: In The Broken Ear, Tintin and General Alcazar are apparently having an in-depth political discussion in his office. Tintin remarks seriously, "It's a difficult position," and there are several close-up panels of the two of them deep in thought. Then the panel pans out, and the General exclaims, "Checkmate!"
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Artemis opens a large hanger style door and is shown with a look of tense shock on her face, before the next panel shows the White Magician in his giant demonic One-Winged Angel form ready to attack her.

    Comic Strips 
  • Beetle Bailey:
    • The first panel shows a close-up of someone asking Beetle whether Ms. Buxley had walked past in a bikini. The next panel shows the larger scene with Beetle having stepped in his can of paint and a general mayhem around them with soldiers still staring transfixed and having crashed their cars and whatnot. Yes, she had.
    • One strip has a close-up of Plato and Beetle looking at each other when Plato says "Did you know that if it weren't for the Potato Famine, John F. Kennedy would never have become president?" In the second panel, we see they're peeling potatoes and Beetle says "Plato, only you could think of that at a time like this."
  • A story arc in For Better or for Worse concerns Elizabeth having to wear a mouthpiece to get her to stop sucking her thumb. Because of it, she feels like an outcast until she talks to her teacher, Miss Edwards. She gives Elizabeth a pep talk that it's not so bad to be different from your peers. The final panel shows that Miss Edwards knows what it's like to be different from others. She's in a wheelchair.

    Films — Animation 
  • Chicken Run has Rocky teaching the chickens to fly. One shot has him getting all the chickens to run off of the roof of a coop. When it gets to Ginger's turn, she runs, jumps... and stays in the air, flapping her arms. Then she looks down, and it turns out she's standing on the pile of chickens who had gone before her.
  • Frozen (2013) has a scene where Anna leaves Kristoff to climb a mountain herself. The scene shows Kristoff watching Anna climb away from him, then cuts to show that Anna hasn't made any progress at all.
  • The Incredibles: Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible has just lost his temper with his callous Mean Boss Mr. Huph and thrown him through a wall. Camera pans to the hole, revealing that Bob had thrown Huph through four walls.
  • In Shrek 4D at Universal Studios, Shrek and Donkey are grabbed by what first appears to the evil stone dragon they were running away from, until the camera pulls upwards to show that they were actually grabbed by Dragon.
  • In Up, Carl holds down his floating house using a garden hose while Russell tries to climb the hose to get up to the house. The camera focuses on Carl's face as he gives Russell directions and the sounds of Russell's struggles get fainter. When Carl thinks Russell has made it to the top, he looks up - and the wide shot reveals that Russell has climbed about a foot.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Blues Brothers: The Brothers speak with agent Maury Sline to get a gig for the following night in a sauna. After closing the deal, we see that the entire ten-person band has been there the whole time, the rest just offscreen.
  • Tomorrow Belongs To Me, from Cabaret. Starts out as a nice song, and then the camera pulls back and you start to see the swastikas...
  • Downhill: Two in a row in the same scene.
    • Roddy, who was thrown out of the house by his rich father, is shown wearing a tux, seemingly indicating that he's doing fine. Then the camera zooms back to reveal that he is actually a waiter, serving drinks.
    • Proscenium Reveal: The couple that Roddy is serving gets up and starts dancing, then the camera pans right to reveal that the action is taking place on a stage in an auditorium, and that Robby is actually a background performer in a musical show.
  • The climax of Eyes of a Stranger uses two of these in quick succession to show the danger the Damsel in Distress, Tracy, is in. The first reveal shows off her strangled dog, confirming the Serial Killer has made it into her apartment; the second shows him right next to her (being deaf and blind she is oblivous to his presence).
  • We first see Hobbs from The Fate of the Furious in close-up as he gives a pep talk to his squad and discusses strategy. Then the camera pulls back to reveal his squad is actually his daughter's soccer team.
  • In A Fish Called Wanda, one scene begins with a shot of what looks like Archie standing against a building, beginning to deliver what sounds like a sincere apology to Otto. Then the camera flips upside down and pulls back, revealing that Otto is dangling Archie out of a window by his feet.
  • An appropriately epic one is given to the title character in Godzilla (2014). There are several indicators that something massive is coming beyond the MUTO that has already been rampaging. Said MUTO already been shown causing mass chaos and destruction, dwarfing the planes, helicopters, and airport buildings that it's been smashing at Honolulu's airport. And then, after a massive seismic shock, the camera pans over from the MUTO's head over to a large reptile... and the camera then has to pan up to reveal Godzilla, who punctuates his first appearance with his trademark roar.
  • The Hunt for Red October:
    • The film first reveals the full size of the submarine this way. The "Typhoons" really are big submarines -- biggest ever built. Combined with glorious Awesome Music, this scene ranks as one of the best moments in the film.
    • Later in the film, when the Red October a shot follows a torpedo as it is seconds away from striking the Red October, when we suddenly see The USS Dallas interceding herself between the torpedo and its prey to draw it off. The only warning the audience or characters get is the extra pinging sonar sound a few moments before.
  • Used in I Love You Phillip Morris. Early in the movie it is suggested that Steven (the protagonist) is heterosexual and happily married. In a scene he is shown passionately kissing his wife, and the camera cuts into a scene of Steven having sex, his sexual partner being off-screen. One can't help but to assume he is having sex with his wife, until the camera pans out revealing his sexual partner to be a man... To top this off Steven narrates: "Oh, did I forget to mention I'm gay?"note 
  • Innerspace:
    • The opening credits occur over weird, shifting, oddly coloured shots which suggest a bizarre, alien world, in keeping with the film's plot. Then, the camera pulls back... to reveal we've been watching ice cubes swirling around a glass of whiskey.
    • When we first see Martin Short's doctor's office, it's a close-up of some palm trees. But then the camera zooms out to reveal it's simply a poster.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring — we open with a shot of a dark menacing tower in Mordor, apparently Barad-dûr, home of Sauron. Then the camera pulls back... and back... and back... until we are able to get a full view of the ungodly immense, dozens of times larger and infinitely more menacing tower that is the true Barad-dûr, revealing the initial tower we saw as one of the hundreds of (relatively) tiny lookout towers spaced around Barad-dûr's outer wall.
  • The finale of Mystic Pizza does this with a woman and her fiancé, who were at odds throughout the movie. The camera pans out to reveal her wearing a wedding dress, showing that she decided to go through with the wedding despite everything.
  • This is how Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl introduces us to Captain Jack Sparrow. Standing proudly atop his ship's mast, hero music blaring... and then widens to reveal that not only is his "ship" a dinghy, it's almost totally sunk, hitting the bottom as he jumps onto the dock.
  • The short movie Powers of Ten (and imitators) is entirely based upon this trope.
  • The opening scene from Safety Last! makes it look like an execution is about to unfold. We see the hero behind bars, the gallows waiting in the back, his sobbing relatives and a minister comes to shake his hand. Cut to a shot from a wider angle which reveals the setting to be a train station and the occasion to be a Train-Station Goodbye.
  • Star Wars:
    • The opening scene of A New Hope. First Leia's ship the Tantive IV, goes overhead, everything is normal. Then the Star Destroyer starts to slowly go overhead... and goes... and goes and you realize that the ship is HUGE. At this point, if you were first watching it in 1977 when it came out, you suddenly realized how awesome this movie was going to be. Differs from the others in that the Star Destroyer enters (and enters and enters!) as opposed to the camera zooming out. (Parodied, of course, in Spaceballs.)
    • Used brilliantly again in The Empire Strikes Back when early in the movie, the Star Destroyers are shown again in their majestic glory when all of a sudden they start getting eclipsed by something. The audience is keenly aware that something massive is above these things we were so in awe of in the first movie. The camera switches to a lower angle pointing upwards as a Star Destroyer looks so small compared to the ship above where just a portion of it fills the scene. Then, the camera reveals in all its glory Vader's new flagship, the Executor, a Super Star Destroyer that makes every other ship look like an insect.
    • The Force Awakens: While fleeing from the TIE fighters' bombardment on Jakku, Rey dismisses the off-screen spaceship Finn is suggesting as "garbage", but the other ship they were heading to gets blown up. This leads to the decision that "the garbage will do", with the camera panning to reveal to the audience that the aforementioned piece of junk happens to be the Millennium Falcon.
    • In Rogue One, there are a couple of Star Destroyers on screen, when the light changes and what looked to be the stars behind them is revealed to be the lights on the surface of the Death Star.
  • In Tremors 2: Aftershocks, when Earl calls up the beloved Burt Gummer, the camera pulls back from Burt to comedically reveal a graboid head mounted on his basement wall.
  • In The War of the Roses, the opening credits play over billowing folds of white fabric which appear to be a bedsheet but turn out to be a handkerchief once the camera pulls back.
  • Wanda: At first Mr. Dennis seems to be the bar owner, who is agitated when Wanda entered through the unlocked door after closing time. Then the camera moves and reveals that the bar owner is Bound and Gagged on the floor behind the bar.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The second season of 24 had Kim and her boyfriend arrested for the murder of her boss' wife. They're desperate to escape because of the nuclear bomb that's set to go off, so they force the police transport they're in to crash. Kim's able to escape, but her boyfriend is trapped in the wreck. Much later, Kim is taken into custody where she learns that she and her boyfriend have been cleared of the charges. She calls him and we see him lying in a hospital bed. He breaks up with her over the phone and then hangs up. Then the camera pulls back to reveal his leg has been amputated.
  • Used as a fakeout and then straight-up within one scene in the Alias episode "Phase One", which ends with Sloane telling Sark to 'check in on [their] new asset'. The sound of a ringing phone transitions to the next scene, where it is revealed Sark is calling...Francie! However, the camera then pans around to another angle to show the real Francie's corpse with a bullet wound in the forehead.
  • Arrested Development was a big fan of this trope:
    • One particular example from the episode "Bringing Up Buster": George Sr. is detailing to Michael all the ways Buster has failed him as a son. We hear a prolonged, familiar yawn and the camera pulls out to reveal Buster sitting between them; he then states simply, "We're just blowin' through nap time, aren't we?"
    • In "Spring Break-Out", Lucille is shown climbing out of her car and walking away with the narrator explaining that she had decided she was too drunk to drive. She then walks past the front of the car which is crumpled against a column. The narrator then adds it was after a failed attempt to do so.
    • The first episode of the fourth season has Michael finally able to secure funding to complete the Sudden Valley housing development. The remaining houses are built and Michael basks in his success...just in time for the housing market to collapse. After hearing this news, he walks out of the model home in a daze and strolls out to the sidewalk. There, he looks around and says "No, that's not a great sign." The camera pulls back to reveal a vulture perched on a transformer.
  • Band of Brothers. In "Crossroads", there's a flashback scene where Captain Winters apparently shoots a lone, unarmed, and surrendering soldier. Later in the episode we get more details; turns out he's opening fire on a whole company.
  • Breaking Bad.
    • In the season 4 finale ”Face Off” we first see Hector Salamanca repeatedly ring his call bell while angrily staring at his old rival Gustavo Fring. At first Gus is confused, but as the camera goes lower we see that the bell is connected to a pipe bomb which then proceeds to blow up both Hector and Gus. However after the explosion, Gus calmly walks out of the room seemingly unscathed. But as the camera pans closer to him, it's revealed that half of his face got blown off.
    • In the last episode, Marie calls to warn Skyler that Walt has been spotted back in town and is most likely going to try and contact either her or Flynn. She assures Skyler that the many police officers guarding both the house and the high school will make it impossible for Walt to even get close. The call ends and Skyler says "you have five minutes", at which point the camera slowly pivots to reveal to the audience that Walt was already in the room with Skyler while the call was being made.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In the second episode Giles is giving Buffy a speech in which he says she's allowing herself to be enslaved by a cult. The camera then turns to Buffy in a cheerleading outfit.
    • "I Was Made To Love You" opens with Buffy pounding away at what appears to be a punching bag, but a wide shot reveals it's Xander in a huge padded sumo suit.
    • Willow is shown apparently casting a love spell when she calls on the Goddess Hecate to "send me the heart that I desire." Turns out she's playing a poker game.
    • Andrew is apparently being talked into doing a Human Sacrifice by the First Evil. Then we see it's actually a pig he's about to slaughter.
  • In Coupling, Jeff is trapped in a photocopier (It's a Long Story), and in order that his colleagues shouldn't know that it was him trapped, refuses to come out until they've all gone home. He walks into work the next morning, secure in the knowledge that no-one knew he'd made a prat of himself the previous day. He sits down at his desk. And the camera pans up to reveal... 500 A4 photocopies of his head, pasted to the wall behind him.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "School Reunion": After Sarah Jane, stunned, backs out of the storage room where the TARDIS has been stashed back into the gym, there's a well-done panning shot revealing the Doctor standing there waiting for her.
    • "The Pilot": Bill is flustered on stepping out of the TARDIS to realize she's no longer in a university basement, but a city in broad daylight, and the Doctor's clearly enjoying it — then he steps aside so she can see the excellent view of the Sydney Opera House.
  • Drive (2007) had Wendy assigned to remove Ivy from the race (or at least her team). She first delays them by shooting out one of the tires on their Land Rover, then tries to shoot Ivy herself. However, she hesitates and Ivy disarms her. After finding out why Wendy is in the race , Ivy decides to team up with her instead. When they get into Wendy's minivan together, Wendy nervously says "I think that maybe I should have shot you." Cut to outside the van and the reveal that Ivy shot out the other tires on the Land Rover as a parting shot.
  • Father Ted:
    • "Think Fast, Father Ted". Jack crashes a car into two lorries. When Ted and Dougal inspect the car, the front (all we can see) looks okay, and Dougal hopes the car isn't damaged. Cue the Reveal Shot, and we see that the back of the car has been scrunched like an accordion.
    • "Kicking Bishop Brennan Up the Arse". It's the end of a long "Fawlty Towers" Plot, and Ted is performing the last bit of fast-talk he needs. It looks like Brennan is about to be fooled. Then comes the Reveal Shot, and we see that Ted is (without realizing it) standing next to an incriminating photo that has been blown up to the size of a house.
  • In the pilot episode of Frasier, Frasier reacts with horror to the news that the mysterious Eddie will be moving in to his apartment, along with with his Dad. Cut to Frasier and Martin watching TV — and then we get our introduction to Eddie, himself.
  • One episode of Full House, "Is It True about Stephanie?", sees Stephanie make a date with a boy named Jamie. Unfortunately, Gia, the school bully, likes Jamie too, and so spreads a nasty rumor that Stephanie paid him to ask her out. An upset Stephanie teams up with her friend Mickey to get revenge by stealing a copy of Gia's abysmal report card and enlarging to poster-size, then hanging it in the school hallways for all to see. Stephanie goes over to gloat to which point the other girl turns around and shows that she's silently crying. This promptly causes a My God, What Have I Done? moment for Stephanie, who eventually offers friendship to Gia as an apology.
  • House of the Dragon: At the end of the second episode of Season 1, when Corlys Velaryon, frustrated with King Viserys, takes his request to someone else, the camera stays on Corlys's face for a longer than average time before swiveling over to reveal that he's talking to Viserys' brother Daemon.
  • Ted from How I Met Your Mother tries to restart a romance with a former girlfriend. Their breakup was especially painful because he broke up with her on her birthday. This is revealed with a shot of her answering machine as Ted leaves the breakup message on it. When he meets with her, she reveals that the breakup was worse than he thinks. We cut back to the answering machine as he leaves the message and the camera pulls back to reveal her friends staring at it in shock as they wait to perform a surprise party.
  • Island of the Sea Wolves: Cedar is shown nursing Dagger's pups, then stands, revealing two more pups behind her — her own. This reveals that Cedar's pups have been living alongside Dagger's.
    Narrator: … Cedar starts to nurse the pups. And not just two... [Cedar moves aside] There are four of them. It seems both mothers have given birth to two pups in the same den.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia had one episode where Charlie and Mac got a mail room gig to qualify for the company's health benefits. Mac dumps all the responsibilties on Charlie, who then does... this
  • In the first episode of Janda Kembang, Malik apologizes to Salmah for the cramped seat even though there should be only two of them in his single-cab pickup. Camera pans to reveal that Neneng and Seli also ask for a ride after seeing Salmah gets one.
  • Lost:
    • In season 1, used for comedy. Michael and Jack appear to be having an intense discussion about a dire problem, but they turn out to be debating a golf shot. In season 4, this is repeated with Sawyer, Hurley, and Risk.
    • Of course, it's also used for drama, such as the end of "The Economist", where a pan reveals Sayid's associate to be Ben.
  • Married... with Children: One episode begins with Al telling someone he's tired of seeing that someone lazing at the couch. While long-time viewers of the series would at first assume he's talking to Peggy, it's revealed that he's talking to his neighbor Jefferson, who complains that his wife won't allow him back home until he gets a job.
  • Mimpi Metropolitan: Bobby is seemingly alone near the watchman's station when he phones a sleeping Alan. After confirming that Alan is still at home, Bobby moves out of the camera way, revealing that their boss is there the whole time.
  • In Monty Python's Flying Circus, what looks like a sheer mountain slope that climbers are arduously inching along is revealed to be a Dutch Angle of the pavement of the Uxbridge Road.
  • One episode of NewsRadio ended with Dave being forced to give the eulogy for Ted, a man who he (along with everyone else) barely knew a thing about. The scene starts with a close-up shot of Dave on a podium, clearly uncomfortable. It then slowly pans out to reveal the reason: he's talking in front of an audience of KKK members, white robes and all.
    Dave: Apparently he was also a devoted member of the Ku Klux Klan. A fact I learned only moments ago. Sure wish someone had mentioned it.
  • Odd Squad:
    • The Season 2 premiere, "First Day", opens up with the Cold Open of Olive and Otto helping Ronnie and Donnie with an odd problem, seemingly retconning "O is Not For Over" and undoing them becoming Odd Squad Directors and running their own precinct. However, as Ronnie and Donnie go for a celebratory chestbump and become stuck in midair, calling for Odd Squad again, the scene is paused, and the camera pans out to show that it's merely a clip being played on the monitor of a classroom at the Odd Squad Academy.
    • At the beginning of "O vs. the Ballcano", Olive and Otto are shown in the Breakroom, with the former holding a timer and instructing the latter to keep his hands steady and to "cross the red one over and through the blue". As Olive counts down, the scene cuts to a wide shot of the pair, and it's revealed that Otto was tying his shoes and was attempting to beat his record of how fast he can tie them.
    • In "It's Not Easy Being Chill", Omar is shown building something and tells Orpita, an agent-in-training that he is tasked with caring for, that he's going to teach her something that she won't learn at the Odd Squad Academy. The camera then pans out to show that what he's building is a stack of nachos, which he places a jalapeno pepper slice on.
  • On Scrubs, J.D. and Carla are each trying to convince Turk that the other is responsible for their kiss. The scene cuts between each bad-mouthing the other to Turk. In the final cut J.D. says something about Carla and the camera pans out to reveal he is actually talking to Carla.
    Carla: You think you're talking to Turk right now, don't you?
  • The Sketch Show: In one sketch it looks like a haggard Tim is being tortured by Ronni during a hard interrogation. The shot then reveals that she's dragged him along to go shopping.
  • Stargate Atlantis does such a shot when Shepard has to climb a few stories to shut down a self-destruct because of a malfunctioning quarantine system, revealing it's a long way down.
  • The Terror: Infamy plays this for tearjerking drama. In one episode, Yamato-San meets an old friend who's arriving in the afterlife. Yamato asks what became of him, and the friend says that his father moved to Hiroshima, where he himself grew up, married and had two children, three grandchildren and a great-grandchild. The Foregone Conclusion sets in just as the camera spins slightly around to reveal the man's entire family, down to the small great-grandchild, standing behind him.
  • On Top Gear: The caravan holiday. James May, standing next to what looks like a Lotus Exige, explains they've got something very special as the tow car for their caravan. Perspective flip and pan out to reveal... the inauspicious-looking Kia Cerao.
  • In Vikings, when King Aella of Northumbria hears that a "Great Heathen Army" has landed in England with the intent of conquering the English kingdoms, he arrogantly believes that since the pagans cannot possibly have God's favor he can defeat them with only his own forces and without calling for aid from the other English kingdoms. Aella first encounters a small advance force of the army, and snarks about how the Viking army isn't so great. Then the rest of the army comes into view, showing that it is many times larger than Aella's forces, (an episode or two later an English character will be asked how many men were in the army, and will respond "How many blades of grass are in a field?") and since Aella killed the father of the army's leaders, they are intent on bloody, vicious vengeance.
    Northumbrian Bishop: [crossing himself, terrified] God help us!
    King Aella: I don't think He can.

  • Daniel Amos's Vox Humana. The front cover is a very 80s photo of the band. The back cover pulls back just far enough to show the giant robot foot that's about to crush them all.
  • The cover of The Cranberries' To The Faithful Departed shows the band in a yellow room, a seemingly happy image. But when you take the liner notes out of the CD case and unfold it, you can see that the "room" is actually a set in the middle of a dark, dreary-looking forest.

    Music Videos 
  • The video for "Godzilla" by Double Experience teases the titular creature throughout the song, only to reveal that it's actually a bulldog who is wrecking havoc on the city.
  • The video to "Stripsearch" by Faith No More features a seemingly normal guy leaving his apartment in what seems to be a police state, and having officials turn on him. At the end it revisits the opening scene with a wider shot... revealing a submachine gun on a coffee table, hand grenades near the door and a body tied to a chair lying on the floor.
  • The video for "Perfect World" by Huey Lewis and the News shows the band performing on a pink stage. During the chorus and second verse, newspapers start to blow into the band members. We cut to cameras further back and we see that the stage is in the middle of a dump.
  • Miserable by Lit opens with multiple shots of the band interspersed with close-up shots panning over a woman in a bikini as she lounges around. The camera then pans out and we see that the woman is in fact gigantic and the band is actually standing on top of her butt.
  • Sheila on 7: After the Bouquet Toss in "Lapang Dada" music video, the bride turns around and the camera pans to show the person behind her who catches the bouquet: her friend whose proposal she rejected.
  • The Lonely Island's "I'm on a Boat" has a reveal shot to show that T-Pain was in the room with them the whole time. "Woah, free boat ride for three! Now who should I take? Keef! And....T-pain."

  • In Ruiner Pinball, the "Ruiner" table consists of two pinball playfields placed side-by-side. Starting multiball causes the camera to zoom to show both playfields at the same time.

  • The Jack Benny Program used the audio equivalent a lot. In one episode, the cast is traveling by train, and Phil is complaining about having to share a bunk with Jack due to Jack's cheapskate nature. They begin to argue... and then Dennis pipes up, "Shut up, I'm trying to sleep!"
  • Then there was The Goon Show.
    [knock knock knock]
    Seagoon: Come in.
    [knock knock knock]
    Seagoon: Come in!
    Bloodnok: It's you that's knocking!
    Seagoon: Oh! Then I'll come in!
  • "Reveal Shots" were a regular fixture of ensemble comedy shows on BBC radio. In The Burkiss Way you might get an elaborate setup like:
    Midwife: Mr Smoth? Your wife's had her baby... errr... you might want to prepare yourself for a shock.
    Smoth: Is it a boy?
    Midwife: no.
    Smoth:Oh, it must be a girl!
    Midwife: well... no.
    Smoth:[perplexed] Then what is it?
    Midwife: I'm afraid it's an...
    [Eric Pode voice cuts in] Eric Pode of Croydon!
  • John Finnemore, writer of Cabin Pressure and his Souvenir Programme sketch show, has cited this as a reason he prefers writing for radio over TV; jokes like this (which he really likes) are much easier when the characters are by default inhabiting a Featureless Plane of Disembodied Dialogue. A particularly elaborate example comes in the John Finnemore's Double Acts episode "The Goliath Window", which waits right to the end to reveal the two characters are identical twins, something that would be completely impossible to conceal in a visual medium.

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • It's announced over the school's PA system that one of the teachers has been replaced for the final exam. It then cuts to the classroom and reveals that the replacement is Sarah Travers, a government agent that's been tracking the superpowered protagonists. Cue Oh, Crap! from the characters in her class.
    • Hyeon gets one of these when he sees Daigo talking with Harriet in the corridor. He gets a little closer, and realises with shock that he isn't talking to her- he's strangling her.
  • This is how Ruby Quest first revealed what genre it was. Ruby looks through a slat in a door, and sees only Stitches's eyes. When she finally gets the door open, she sees his face... then sees that his head is the only part of him that's fully intact.

    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: During her visit beneath Freeway 42, Ann is hit by an attack and loses consciousness, after-which she finds herself in Hinterland following a voice calling her name. Once she reaches the center, the camera pans out to show an Eldritch Abomination Pinned to the Wall by an ancient weapon.
  • The original Doom ends this way: After defeating the final boss, the player character is teleported back to Earth, where we see an idyllic grassy field. Then the camera pans left, the music gets Darker and Edgier, and we see a city. In flames. Followed by a bunny head impaled on a pike (which is later implied to be the head of the Space Marine's pet rabbit).
  • Fallout 3: The intro cinematic begins with a shot of a radio playing "I Don't Want To Set the World on Fire", then zooms out to reveal a wrecked bus and the nuclear war-torn ruins of Washington, DC. Fallout: New Vegas handles this the opposite way: the game opens with a shot of the ruined Lucky 38 casino, set to "Blue Moon," only to pan out further, showing the Strip itself, which is a thriving community, and further, that society in the Mojave is actually functional.
  • Quake IV: A Marine is facing away from the camera, which then pans around to show that he has been violently dismembered and is floating in space amongst the wreckage of a ship and the similarly mutilated remains of its other crew members.
  • In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the game beings with the exact same "Welcome to the World of Pokémon" sequence as the original Ruby and Sapphire, down to the GBA graphics and music. Then the camera pans out to reveal that it's playing in-universe on the player's PokéNav before displaying the land of Hoenn in the same glorious 3D graphics introduced in X and Y.
  • Kingdom Hearts III references the use of this trope in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl during the arrival at The Caribbean. After the expository cover of A Pirate's Life for Me, we cut to Sora humming the tune against a mast in a night sky. Camera angles and Donald and Goofy looking up at him serve to hide the fact that they're rowing a raft until Sora bemoans their not having a better ship. And then they go over the falls to the Locker
  • The ending of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger that reveals that the series plot is only just getting started: After pulling Ragna out of the Cauldron and saving him from Nu-13, Noel hears her superior Hazama call to her from offscreen. She turns and looks, and we see a shot of him - with the Terumi ghost superimposed over Hazama's body. He's been waiting for someone to deal with Nu for him.

    Web Animation 
  • Played for laughs in If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device:
    • Magnus's speedy run to the palace is halted:
      Magnus: There's still time to warn him! I could save everyone... [zoom out] If there wasn't a f***ing WALL IN THE WAY!
    • After Lucius explains the concept of Slaaneshmas, Ahriman has his doubts:
      Ahriman: I don't think this sounds like a good idea at all. I mean... [zoom out, showing dead bodies all around them] If your goal is spreading happiness to people, you're clearly not very good at it...
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks Shorts: In "Guitar Centered", we see a pair of blue hands closing on the two necks of the guitar Rainbow Dash has chosen... only for the view to zoom out and show that one of those hands belongs to Trixie. Cue tug-o-war for the guitar.


    Web Videos 
  • A Scotsman in Egypt does this to hide the victor of the duel between the Scot king Edward and the Mongol Khan. The duel ends, and everyone looks at the snarling head of the Khan... currently being held up in Edward's hand. It later does the same with a picture to show the massive Timurid army outnumbered by the Scots.
  • Used in Episode 1 of World's Greatest Adventures to reveal that the springs Talltales has 'discovered' are actually a tourist resort.

    Western Animation 
  • 6teen: After Jonesy says that things might actually work out after all (by which he means that he can cope with Nikki's departure), the last scene in the finale zooms out to show the other characters going about their business; what this, of course, means is that her leaving only really affects the five main characters.
  • In an episode of Adventure Time, after a scene transition, a shot of the main characters' house is shown. Then the camera zooms out to reveal that the shot was just a framed picture of the characters' house. A definite Rewatch Bonus.
  • DuckTales (2017): In "Quack Pack!", Huey asks his family if they've ever had a proper look at the fourth wall, whereupon he, Louie, Della, and Scrooge all look at the camera. Then a Reveal Shot shows they're staring at an in-universe studio audience and camera crew.
  • Ego Trip: When Number Twelve is summoned by his boss, the camera makes a point to not show his face as he's getting dressed, until he steps out of the shadows to show that it's Mandark. The build-up, however, is ruined by Mandark's voice being recognizable.
  • Futurama:
  • In one episode of Jem, Eric is about to tell the small crowd that he has that "The Misfits" are the winners of the first annual Starlight "Battle of the Bands" — but before he can, new music is heard — and the crowd goes off in that direction. The camera pans out to show "Jem and the Holograms" performing for the first time.
  • Justice League: Similar to the Tintin example, in the Unlimited episode "The Fies That Bind", two heroes are in conversation:
    The Flash: Tell me the truth, Ralph: Do I seem immature to you?
    Elongated Man: Not in the least.
    [pull back to show they're playing Brawlin' Bots]
    The Flash: Hah! I bopped your bot!
  • Korgoth of Barbaria: When Korgoth and Gogmagog's mooks climb down to the pigeons, it's only obvious that the birds are giant-sized (they looked small from a higher vantage point) with a sudden camera reveal.
  • The Loud House: In the episode "A Tattler's Tale", Lincoln is snooping around the twins' room trying to find a secret about Lola, then he hears Lola coming and becomes alarmed. Lola enters and shouts, "BUSTED!", then a zoom-out reveals she was actually directing her attention at her teddy bear sitting at the tea table.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: In "Dragonshy", there's a scene where Fluttershy (whose wings have locked in fright) makes a big deal about not daring to jump over a chasm after the others. From all the shots so far, it looks like the chasm is pretty wide, though the other ponies clear it easily. When Fluttershy finally gets enough courage to try, Twilight Sparkle says a Don't Look Down right in the middle, which somehow seemingly causes Fluttershy's jump to terminate in the middle because she gets frightened. She falls — and the camera pans out to show both sides of the chasm at once for the first time, showing that the chasm is narrow enough that she's just left with with her back hooves on one edge of it and front hooves on the other. It's still not a short jump to make, she has to stretch her legs to do that, but the perspective earlier made it seem much longer.
  • Rugrats has a tendency to open episodes with something extremely close-up and then reveal it as the camera zooms out.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Homer crashes his car in snowy conditions. He gets out to inspect the damage and says "well, at least I got him as well as he got me". Then he turns his head to see his family standing at the doorstep of his home, looking shocked. Cue pan-out, revealing that he'd made it to his driveway and the car he hit was in fact Marge's car.
    • In another episode, Lisa seeks to reassure Homer that Smithers, who was fired because of Homer's actions, "can get a great job at any corporation he wants." The next shot is a close-up of AT&T's wordmark. Panning out, we see that Smithers has gotten a job at "NEAT & TIDY Piano Movers."
    • Used twice in rapid succession when Homer is talked into climbing a mountain called the Murderhorn. He looks in front of him and gasps at how big it is, then he's told that the mountain he has to climb is to the right, and the camera pans out to reveal an even taller mountain. Then he's told that the mountain he has to climb is even further to the right, and the camera pans out to reveal an even taller still mountain.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: At the end of "Shanghaied", the group is supposedly sent home from the grasp of the Flying Dutchman after SpongeBob wishes he was a vegetarian. The camera pans out from SpongeBob's pineapple house only to reveal that it's a real pineapple, and they've all been turned into fruit and stuck inside a giant blender.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: "The Gungan General" opens with Anakin waking up in a cell and realizing that he and Obi-Wan were drugged and have been captured. Then the camera pans to show who their cellmate is: Count Dooku.



When Orel thought Shapey was using the watering can for the rain, it turns out he was just drooling.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / RevealShot

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