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Rewind Gag

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"Is it just me, or did someone hit 'rewind'?!"

This is where a television show or film will have something go back the way it came by literally playing part of the video in reverse. The comedy comes from the actions becoming outright absurd and/or Squicky because people are walking backwards, falling upwards, undying, vomiting up their food and/or eating their vomit, etc. Audio is unintelligible due to it being played in reverse, but can add to the comedy due to its unusual sound.

The Inverse of Fast-Forward Gag. Compare Now Do It Again, Backwards and Rewind, Replay, Repeat. Frequently contains Sdrawkcab Speech.


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  • Commercials like to do this right before a Set Right What Once Went Wrong moment, right before revealing the product that they're selling/promoting.

    Anime & Manga 

  • The 6th Day rewinds the film to just at the point where Adam Gibson's syncording takes place right before the end credits.
  • When doing the summation in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Ace rattles off his conclusion towards the accused. He then says "Let me run that back for you", reverses his actions, and speaks like he's rewinding.
  • Fred Levine's videos, such as Road Construction Ahead and House Construction Ahead feature explosions made to clear rocks from where construction will happen, which then repeats in reverse. This is followed by clearing the exploded rocks from the area.
  • In both the original and remake of Funny Games, the villains use a remote control at one point to rewind the scene like a video tape when things didn't turn out the way they planned.
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Time Stone allows you to selectively do this to reality.
    • In Doctor Strange (2016), Strange uses it to rewind the destruction of the Hong Kong sanctum and surrounding area while Mordo and Wong fight Kaecilis' zealots. The sorcerers use this to their advantage, trapping the zealots in structures as they're being un-destroyed.
    • In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos uses it to rewind Scarlet Witch's destruction of the Mind Stone.
  • Used several times in the film Supersonic Saucer to save on animating Meba's flights around Surrey and London when he changes into his flying saucer form.
    • It's also one of the powers used by Meba the Venusian himself - with his eyes spinning when he uses it throughout the film. His most notable use of this power is in the film's climax, where he uses it multiple times.
  • Top Secret! has a scene in which the characters speak Swedish, except it's actually English recorded backwards. The entire scene was filmed in reverse, which becomes more obvious as it goes along.

  • In Cheaper by the Dozen, after one of the family's mealtimes is shown in fast-forward, Dad comments that it could have been worse; at least it didn't rewind it so it looked as though they vomited their food onto their plates.
  • At the end of the Red Dwarf novel Better Than Life, Lister finds himself in an alternate universe where time runs backward. Initially it's played more for drama than gags, both because Lister has no idea what's going on at first and because Lister had just died, and his comrades stuck him in the backwards universe so he would undie and recover from the other traumas the novel had inflicted, but the sequel, Backwards develops the comedic possibilities more.
  • In Slaughterhouse-Five, Billy briefly becomes Unstuck in Time while watching a war film and sees it in reverse. This results in a really bizarre interpretation of the films events, for example, a benevolent fighter squadron sucking bullets and shrapnel out of enemy bombers, and lifting some wrecked bombers on the ground back into the air.

    Live-Action TV 
  • America's Funniest Home Videos likes to do backward video montages sometimes.
  • The Red Dwarf episode "Backwards" has the Dwarf crew landing in Backwards Earth and exploring all the possibilities inherent in time running backwards. These include the Cat's horror when he realizes what logically happens when eating and digestion run in reverse — indeed, what must happen a day or so before regurgitating a very good meal onto the plate.
  • Blackadder the Third: In "Amy and Amiability", the Prince, reading a newspaper article about his fiancée Amy being an infamous bandit, remarks that "They say she had an accomplice." Blackadder, who had plotted with Amy to rob the Prince blind, drops the serving tray he's carrying. Then the Prince adds "But they don't know who it is," and the tray zips back up into Blackadder's hands.
  • The Stargate SG-1 series finale, "Unending", plays this trope more seriously. SG-1, aboard the Tau'ri vessel Odyssey, activates an Asgard Time Dilation device to avoid being destroyed by an Ori warship's energy weapon, and spend decades coming up with a plan to save the ship and its repository of advanced knowledge given to them by the Asgard from destruction. They finally come up with a way to channel energy from the beam weapon to quite literally rewind time to a point before their destruction, so that Teal'c can prevent the ship from getting hit in the first place.
  • Another serious version in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Obsession" when the Monster of the Week first appears in its cloud-like form, moving stealthily towards Spock. However, when Spock demonstrates that he's armed (firing on a rock to obtain an ore sample) it reverses out of sight.
  • A hilarious and rare, if not unique, live version occurs in Mork & Mindy, where someone tells Mork to "Back up to where you said..."—and Robin Williams (as only he could do) physically reverses every action he's done for the past few minutes, at high speed, while making the "reverse dialogue" noises himself. Everyone else just stands there looking bemused until he finishes.
  • One of Dr. Pierce's hallucinatory conversations on Perception (2012) had him riding a bicycle backwards.
  • On an episode of America's Funniest People, a man named Dan Gertz submitted a video of himself singing "Pop Goes the Weasel" backwards and then reversing the footage. The producers then assembled a music video of him performing "It's a Most Unusual Day" backwards, and then reversed the footage so that things around him (balloons popping, a person riding a bicycle, and a man eating a banana) appeared to be happening in reverse.
  • My World… and Welcome to It: In "The Mating Dance," John and Ellen reminisce about the circumstances under which they got engaged while attending a dance. John tells his version first, painting himself as having vanquished Ellen's bullying and Jerk Jock interloper Rick Feldspar with a punch to the face that floors him. Ellen then tells John that's not how things happened at all, following which we see John's version of the tale run backwards in fast motion. When the action restarts, it's shown that John's punch to Rick's face had no effect at all — and when his rival floors John with a roundhouse right, Ellen runs to comfort John. She asked John to marry her shortly afterwards.

  • One part of Dog Police's "1-800" has a reversed shot of a lady getting colored blue by a paint sprayer, captioned "No more embarrassing stains".
  • Near the end of the video for "Amish Paradise", "Weird Al" Yankovic sings through one scene which obviously plays backwards. Most notably, a buggy rolls past in the background backwards. He is apparently singing the song while doing so, so to make this scene he must have learned how to lip sync backwards.
  • Keith Urban's "Days Go By" has a scene where he walks toward the camera while everything around him appears to be happening in reverse.
  • The video for "Drop" by The Pharcyde runs entirely in reverse. Thus, we see the band members spring to their feet from a lying position, rolling up stairs, repelling a bucket full of water upwards, and near the end, instantly piecing together a mural painted on glass with a hammer before wiping the paint off with paintbrushes.
  • The video for Coldplay's "The Scientist" plays backwards from the singer lying on a mattress on a random British street, him walking through the countryside, him getting up and walking after a massive car crash (that killed the girl he was driving with and sent said car down a hill) leaves him uninjured, the crash itself, and the events up to it, leaving him back in the car on the road with the girl buckled up properly (she had unbuckled before the crash, and was thrown through the windshield during it).
  • God Lives Underwater's music video for "From Your Mouth" plays backwards, where it looks like a Japanese competitive eater is pulling food out of his mouth.
  • Josh Turner's 2008 single "Another Try" has a scene of a man discovering that his lover has left, and throwing a suitcase full of belongings off a high bridge. This footage was filmed backwards, to represent the song's theme of wanting to reverse time and have "another try".
  • Internet musician Rob Scallon has several videos where he sings a song entirely backwards, and then reverses the recording so that it comes out sounding forwards, but strange-sounding. He has done this with renditions of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "Enter Sandman", plus the original composition "The Backwards Song".
  • Rascal Flatts' "Rewind" is about wanting to "rewind" a special moment with a loved one just for the sake of doing it a second time. Naturally, this also occurs in the music video.
  • The video for Fleetwood Mac's "Big Love" starts with the video playing forwards, and then at the end rewinding its way back to the near beginning, stopping only at the close-up of Lindsey Buckingham's face.
  • The last minute of Alan Jackson's "Like Red on a Rose" music video is just the rest of the video rewinding itself back to Alan Jackson walking backwards.
  • Moonbaby's "Here We Go" (the original song before the Totally Spies! cover) features everything in reverse while the singer continues walking forward; and each time before the main chorus, that is reversed and it turns into a quick Fast-Forward Gag.
  • The last track of Master Sword's Shadow And Steel album, a collection of The Legend of Zelda remixes, has a stinger where the Song of Time is played, and the album is rewound to the beginning before it restarts with the drum intro to the first track. The effect is spoiled a little with the special version Kickstarter backers received, which includes a bonus track after the original final track.
  • The video for Rather Unique's "Good Dayz" is just the rest of the video rewinding itself back to the near beginning before the music came back.
  • Parodied and averted in the video for Mitch Benn's "Everything Sounds Like Coldplay Now", which doesn't reverse the film during the scenes parodying "The Scientist", and just has Mitch walking down a street backwards, bumping into people.
  • Played horribly straight in the music video for Burning Benches, by the band Morning Runner. It starts off with the members of the band underwater and it is quickly revealed that the video is being played backwards, as they reach ever-decreasing levels of panic as the water recedes. Also counts as Nightmare Fuel as the video ends with them entering an elevator, with no idea what is to come.
  • In the video for Genesis' "Anything She Does", this was used for the security guard played by Benny Hill to clean up the mess left behind by the uninvited guests to the after-concert party for the band.
  • At the start of Electric Light Orchestra's "Fire on High" (from their 1975 album "Face the Music"), a backwards voice is heard. Played in the opposite direction, he says "The music is reversible but time is not. Turn back...turn back...turn back...turn back."


    Video Games 
  • Played for Drama in the game Braid. The final level, World 1, has time flowing in reverse for everyone except for Tim, accentuated by the music also playing backwards (which then plays normally when you use the time rewind mechanic). In order to progress through the levels, you need to Goomba Stomp the enemies, which results in them "undying" and walking along the path as if they had been spawned from a different cannon.

    Visual Novels 
  • A sudden, non-comedic Retcon in Doki Doki Literature Club! plays out like this. In Act 2, the player character leaves the clubroom to look for Yuri when she's taking too long coming back, only to walk in on her cutting herself. The game suddenly rewinds back to before he left the classroom with the player character instead deciding to wait for her. This can happen twice depending on player choices, with the second time ending in Yuri remarking that she has a feeling of Déjà Vu.

    Web Original 
  • A frequent gag on YouTube Poop videos.
  • Ryan North's published the video "hott entropy action", which is just reversed footage of someone scrambling an egg... with a porn soundtrack playing over it. The joke is that this is porn for people who have an "entropy reversing in a closed system" fetish, inspired by this page of Dinosaur Comics.
  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, a running gag throughout the first three seasons is the "Krillin owned count", which appears onscreen with a "ding" and ticks up every time Krillen gets defeated, whether literally or metaphorically. In the season 3 finale, it counts all the way back down to zero over the course of his Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex with Android 18. Complete with "gniD" in the subtitles.

    Western Animation 
  • The Magic School Bus: "The Busasaurus", when the bus and class go back in time, everything important in geographical history happens backwards. Ralphie even provides the page quote.
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: This (as well as a bit of Fast-Forward Gag) happens over and over again in "Sorry, Wrong Era", with Jimmy's Rewind, Replay, Repeat invention. Let's just say that Hugh abuses this power for his own amusement...
  • Family Guy: The entire point of "Yug Yimlaf". "WE ATE SO MUCH VOMIT!!", sex in reverse, the chicken fight goes backwards, Stewie having his diaper unchanged...
    Stewie: Oh God, that all just went back into me!
  • The Dexter's Laboratory episode "sdrawkcaB" has Dexter inventing a belt that makes its wearer go forward and backwards by pulling a lever that controls the time. Dee Dee ends up using it on Dexter, but he gets back at her at the end by having her wear the belt while she fell up and down from a high place.
    Dexter's Dad: Dexter, what have I told you about running up and down the stairs?! SLOW DOWN, YOU'RE GONNA HURT SOME-(Dexter trips him and he falls down the stairs.)
  • Often done on the Goofy "How-to" shorts, when the narrator asks for the scene to play again. A notable example is "How to Ride a Horse", where the run before a failed jump is run backwards (complete with backwards music) and the horse ends up running up a tree.
  • Saludos Amigos has two examples: In "Lake Titicaca" when the boy with the llama plays his flute in reverse and the llama's animation runs in reverse; and in "Gaucho Goofy" when Goofy catching an ostrich is run back so it could be shown in slow-motion.
  • Played With in the Disney short film Get a Horse!. When Mickey Mouse literally breaks the fourth wall, he discovers he can use this trope to help him defeat Peg Leg Pete by rotating the screen. He rewinds and fast forwards the on-screen events in order to wear Pete down.
  • The Credits Gag for the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Toon Physics" lists the top 5 "Facts" for that episode. Fact number five states that the short, "A Cub For Grub" becomes funny when it is watched backwards.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball:
    • In "The Wand", when Richard casts a rewind spell, Gumball pretends it works by saying the words of his previous sentence in reverse order, and Darwin corrects him by actually speaking backwards.
    • In ''The Return", Richard "retraces his steps" by doing exactly what he did in reverse, including the background music and the damage he caused.
    • In ''The Sale", Gumball tells Nicole to "take [her] words back", and Nicole does this by repeating what she said in reverse.
  • In The Smurfs (1981) episode "No Time For Smurfs", when Handy turns the hourglass filled with Father Time's Sands Of Time, he causes time to go backwards, as in fishes swim backwards, deer leap backwards, and the Smurfs do their everyday things and even speak backwards.
  • In the wraparound preceding the SpongeBob SquarePants episode, "The Sponge Who Could Fly", Patchy goes into a Heroic BSoD when he sees that the lost episode of SpongeBob consists of a bunch of cheap walk cycles, wherein he gets rid of all of his SpongeBob merchandise and runs away. When Potty finds out about the real lost episode on the tape, he tells Patchy to come back, and the footage of Patchy getting rid of his SpongeBob merchandise is played in reverse.
  • In the Rocky and Bullwinkle "Hidden Treasure" serial, Boris Badenov hears the narrator whisper a vital clue about the treasure's whereabouts. When Boris demands to know what he said and the narrator won't oblige, he has the scene rewound then played again so he can hear the clue.
  • The Oh Yeah! Cartoons short "Hubbykins vs. Sweetie Pie" has a bit where Sweetie Pie glares at Hubbykins for tracking mud into the house and throwing his suitcase onto the floor, afterwards Hubbykins walks backwards as the mud prints disappear from the floor and his suitcase flies up back into his hand.
  • Looney Tunes: At the end of the 1989 TV special Bugs Bunny's Wild World of Sports, Foghorn Leghorn wins a sports award and we're treated to a montage of clips showing his athleticism. A clip of him getting a softball hit down his throat is given the "instant replay" treatment, with Foggy interrupting before he has to swallow that ball a third time.
    Foghorn: Hold it—I say, hold it right there! You use that instant replay on me one more time, and I mi—I say, I might not live to enjoy it.


Road Construction Ahead

Stuff blowing up... in reverse!
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