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Rewind, Replay, Repeat

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Someone is watching a video presentation or listening to a recording of themselves or someone else. They catch a moment on the recording of a crucial misstep, or something important. They rewind and play it again to be sure they heard it. They rewind and play it again, to get it for sure. They rewind and play it again to help commit it to memory. They rewind, and play it again, to be sure they can repeat it accurately. They rewind and play it again ...

Sometimes The Hero will do this as a form of self-torture, replaying over and over and over again the moment they consider My Greatest Failure.

While it can be Played for Laughs, the trope is often used in dramatic scenarios. Detectives who stumble across clues will rewind and replay. Grieving family members or lovers watching the last happy moment with a now-missing-or-departed loved one will rewind and replay. Determined people who wish to prove someone is guilty or innocent will rewind and replay in hopes of finding something to exonerate or condemn.

This trope is used by heroes and villains alike and can be a Sister Trope to Engineered Public Confession or, in an entirely different way, to Enhance Button. Common in Crime and Punishment Series, and in Speculative Fiction, one can expect to see the video's speed slowed down to a frame at a time, and/or enhanced to focus on a tiny, miniscule but very important detail.

If the movie is old enough, or the scene in the medium old enough, (or in completely inappropriate contexts, because of The Coconut Effect), expect to hear the gibberish noise of a tape being rewound.

Since this trope is closely associated with The Reveal, expect unmarked spoilers ahead.


    open/close all folders 

  • A 2011 Canon printer ad spends the entire ad doing this to illustrate that the printer can find the exact frame of a movie and turn it into a still.
  • This British public information film depicts a grieving mother repeatedly rewinding a video of her dead child, before the voiceover tells the viewer to get a smoke alarm.
  • This commercial about the VHS release of Terminator 2: Judgment Day deals with this very trope.

    Anime And Manga 
  • In the 2009 anime of Golgo 13, Golgo is hired to shoot a single violin string without damaging either the violin or the player. He's provided with concert footage of the target, and plays out this trope when he notices a moment when the player tilts his violin enough so that the string is exposed.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind: Abbachio's Stand, Moody Blues, has the ability to do this with real-life surroundings. Abbachio gives it a command, usually to replicate a person at a given time in the past, and this allows him and his allies to observe that person's actions as they occurred. Moody Blues can pause, fast-forward, and rewind the replication as necessary.

    Comic Books 
  • In Avengers Academy, the more anti-heroey of the students decide to find the Hood, beat him up, and put him begging for mercy on YouTube, in revenge for his attack on Tigra. While Tigra believes this was a totally inappropriate action and chews them out for it, she can't resist watching the scene, again and again...
  • In a Punisher story, he attacks a meeting of crimelords and assorted scumbags to find out just what the big item for sale is. It ends up being an unconscious man in a van. After he watches the video, he finds out why it's so big. It was Bruce Banner, aka the Incredible Hulk!
  • In Transformers: More than Meets the Eye, Chromedome spends a while after his spouse Rewind dies watching and rewatching Rewind's last message to him, a video thrown through the escape pod door right before it sealed. On the final watching, the "I love you" at the end is replaced by a bloodcurdling scream.
  • In more of a case of paying attention to detail than a case of Rewind, Replay, Repeat, the Marvel Scooby-Doo story "The Faceless Phantom" deals with the inventor of a chamber that can send its passenger from one coast of the country to the other in no time. Shaggy and Scooby are flown from California (where the mystery takes place) to New York and report to the gang via closed circuit TV. The inventor's assistant then puts them in the chamber at that end and they are transported immediately back to the chamber in California. Or were they? There was a clock in back of Shaggy that Fred spots which read the same time as where he, Velma and Daphne were when it should have been three hours ahead. The inventor turned out to be a scammer upon further evidence turning up. (Oh, the phantom? He was just a nutcase who tried to stop the invention because it would have made airplanes—and worse, stewardesses—obsolete.)

    Film — Animated 
  • The Incredibles: The teacher tries to catch Dash by taping him. When he shows it to Mrs. Parr and the Principal, they only see a quick blink in the film. The teacher is dismayed, and the implication is he played it over and over to spot that tiny blink before he brought it into the office.
  • At the very beginning of Monsters, Inc., Flint actually notices that Phlegm Bile, a monster-in-training, had accidentally left the closet door open in the simulation room by watching his actions on her monitor. Later, at the end of the film, Mike Wazowski actually uses Flint's technique to expose Waternoose after Sulley and Boo lure him inside the simulation room as an attempt to get Boo back inside her "bedroom." Mike continuously replays one particular moment to drive home just how far Waternoose was willing to go.
    Waternoose: I'll kidnap a thousand children before I let this company die, and I'll silence anyone who gets in my way!
  • Zootopia: After Officer Judy Hopps tricks Nick into confessing his tax evasion as a conman, she plays it back to mock and blackmail him into helping her investigation. After they become Fire-Forged Friends and then she ruins it with her bigoted comments about predators, she tearfully apologizes saying that "I really am a dumb bunny!". Nick uses the same recording carrot pen to play it back multiple times to rib her before assuring her she's forgiven.
  • At the start of Cars, as the Piston Cup officials try to resolve the photo finish in the final race, they're seen skipping backwards and forwards through the footage, frame by frame, over and over again.
  • In Big Hero 6, when Hiro and company find the footage from Project Silent Sparrow, they rewind several parts and replay them as they try to piece together who Yokai is and what his motive could be.
  • In Shrek 2 Shrek's friends do this to a preview for the show "Knights" after the handsome human they see being arrested is indeed Shrek turned into a human. After hearing him shout out that he is Shrek, they rewind it to be sure.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Back to the Future has: "They found me... I don't know how, but they found me... RUN FOR IT MARTY!" replayed by Doc Brown. It was this moment that made Marty remember what Doc's fate will be in the future.
  • Batman Returns: Batman recorded remarks the Penguin made believing he was more or less in private, only to replay them for Gotham City. The gibberish rewind noise was there even though the recording was on compact disk. Going for a cheap laugh, Bruce even did some scratching with the disks, as if they were vinyl records.
    Penguin: [on recording] I played this stinking city like a harp from Hell! [rewind, replay]
  • The Michaelangelo Antonioni film Blowup is something of an Unbuilt Trope version, revolving around a detail in a photograph that may or may not indicate a murder, which the photographer obsessively enlarges and examines to no conclusion. It directly inspired The Conversation (which is the Trope Codifier) and the much later Brian De Palma film Blow Out.
  • In Casino Royale (2006), Bond checks the security tapes at the Ocean Club.
  • Click has at least these two:
    • A debatably funny one. Michael uses the rewind function to serve his own Male Gaze and rewatch bouncing boobs and behinds over and over...
    • And an extremely Tear Jerkery one. The magic remote given to Michael behaved according to his preferences — choices of how and when he used the remote. So since he had developed a habit for fast forwarding past moments he considered not worth living through — moments usually involving spending time with his family in favor of work, the remote fast forwarded him past several important and milestone moments in his life ... including the death of his father. Grief stricken, he tries repeatedly to rewind reality back to before that moment. The one who gave him the remote tells him it can't be done, because he wasn't there. So instead, Michael rewinds to the last time he ever saw his sweet, doting father alive. This also causes Michael to repeatedly watch himself be a huge Jerkass who gives his father a brusque, negligent brush-off, resulting in the poor old man having to hide his tears... and replays that moment over and over again.
  • The Conversation: Harry Caul is a surveillance expert who records conversations and then exhaustively replays them to catch information. He becomes especially obsessed when he thinks he has uncovered a murder plot through a snippet of conversation.
  • The Day of the Jackal. The Action Service intelligence analysts are shown doing this as they transcribe Wolenski's torture interrogation, not helped by the fact that some of the tape involves him screaming in agony from Electric Torture.
  • In Death Becomes Her, Helen Sharp during her Heartbreak and Ice Cream point in her life following the marriage of her fiance Ernest Menville to her rival Madeline Ashton constantly replays a scene in a movie she's watching of Madeline's character being strangled to death, all the while as the landlord has the police break into her apartment and drag her away.
  • Featured in Ed Wood. After Bela Lugosi dies, Ed spends the day re-watching cuts of the last footage he shot with Bela over and over.
  • Escape from the Planet of the Apes did this with the tape of Zira's accidental slip of the word 'dissection' during her talk before the committee.
  • In The Fighter, Dickie Eklund relives his Glory Days by constantly watching the boxing match where he scored a knockdown on Sugar Ray Leonard, even though Leonard eventually won that fight.
  • This happens in The Fugitive (1993). While Deputy Gerard and his subordinates are listening to Dr. Kimble's phone call to his lawyer, Gerard asks for part of it to be enhanced and repeated so they can hear it clearly. They use it to figure out that Kimble has returned to Chicago.
  • There is a scene in Hannibal where Agent Starling replays a recording of Hannibal Lecter talking to her.
  • I, Robot: "One day they'll have secrets... one day they'll have dreams..."
  • In the Oliver Stone film JFK Jim Garrison uses it to show the jury that Kennedy's head snaps "back, and to the left...back, and to the left...back, and to the left..." (That this contradicts his previous statement of Kennedy's head going "back and to his left" is left uncommented.)
  • In Johnny English Reborn, Kate checks CCTV footage recorded before an assassination, revealing an important clue.
  • Will Graham does this in Man Hunter when reviewing video recordings of the victim's families, leading to a "Eureka!" Moment and Wham Line.
  • In Stone's follow-up film Nixon, Richard Nixon hears the taped conversations of The White House over and over again.
  • In Quiz Show, Dick, while watching footage of 21, spots the clue he was looking for, noticing a surprised Double Take from the host. He rewinds and replays it three times.
  • The first Saw film has Dr. Gordon replaying the part in his Hannibal Lecture-via tape that he has received from Jigsaw where Jigsaw says that "Diana and Alice will die".
  • Sneakers. The protagonists are trying to find a "Little Black Box" that Dr. Gunter Janek is working on. They repeatedly watch a videotape of Janek in his office, trying to see him enter his computer password. A woman in the room is saying "I leave message here on service, but you do not call," each time. Finally one of the group realizes that since Janek uses a phone message service, he doesn't need an answering machine, so the answering machine on his desk must be something else - the Little Black Box.
    Whistler: Guys, the little black box is on his desk, in between his pencil cup and the desk lamp.
    Mother: Uh, Whistler, I hate to tell you this, but you're blind. [Which he was!]
    Whister: Don't look! Listen!
  • Combined with Enhance Button in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock when Kirk watches a recording of the events of the previous movie and sees Spock transferring his katra to McCoy.
  • When Klingons were spying on the Enterprise-D using their hack of Geordi LaForge's VISOR in Star Trek: Generations , Lursa notices the LCARS displaying the Enterprise's shield modulation, orders one of the Klingon Officers to replay to a specific time index of the video, magnify a specific section, and enhance.
  • Uhura does this in Star Trek Beyond with one of the final recordings of lost Starfleet Captain Balthazar Edison. It helps her figure out that Big Bad Krall is actually Captain Edison.
  • Star Wars: A New Hope has, "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi! You're my only hope!", because R2D2's playback is slightly damaged. The full version plays when Ben Kenobi repairs R2.
  • Taken contains this. Bryan Mills replays the recording of the kidnapper's voice over and over in order to be able to later recognize him by sound.
  • A real life version of this plays out in Supersonic Saucer, with Meba the Venusian using his ability to rewind time to make a hapless group of criminals continuously run up a set of stairs after rewinding them back to the bottom each time.

  • All Dressed in White revolves around the disappearance of bride-to-be Amanda from a hotel. While Laurie, Grace and Jerry are reviewing the surveillance footage the hotel sent them, Laurie spots something strange and tells Jerry to go back and replay it. They realise that the footage shows a man surreptitiously following Amanda hours before she was last seen, indicating she may have had a stalker, which wasn't uncovered by the original investigation.
  • In the first Artemis Fowl book, this is done twice with Root's recording of Artemis during their conversation. The first time, they repeatedly replay his statement "I am special, because I know how to escape the time field" to try and work out whether he's telling the truth. The second time, they repeatedly replay his statement "None of you have permission to enter this building while I am alive" upon realising this means they will have permission to enter once he dies. Artemis counted on the fairies zeroing in on the latter statement, and evades their attempt to kill him by escaping the time field just as he said he could.
  • Countdown: A Newsflesh Novella has Stalnaker catching Dr. Kellis saying "distribution channels" and rewinds, repeats, replays a few times as an idea forms in the Journalist's mind for a method to spin the story a certain way.
  • Frederick Forsyth's thriller The Day of the Jackal has Inspector Lebel listen to tapes of OAS courier Kowalski's interrogation because the transcript seems contradictory. Repeated replays cause Lebel to amend "bon" to "blond," and later revise "rascal" to "killer." He then realises that Kowalski witnessed his boss hiring a blonde foreigner who is a professional assassin.
  • In the Discworld novel The Truth, William de Worde finds a Demonic Organiser that "recorded" a conversation between Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip and their employers. He gets the imp to repeat the last sentence over and over, because it's his father's favourite phrase, and the clue that Lord de Worde is involved. Meaningfully, he also rewinds it slightly less each time, until "A lie can run around the world before the truth has got its boots on" has been reduced to "the truth has got its boots on".
  • There's a scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire where, at the Quidditch World Cup, Ron spots a wizard picking his nose with some Omnioculars...
    Ron: "Blimey, I can make that bloke down there pick his nose again... and again... and again..."
  • In the New Jedi Order novel Rebel Dream, Danni Quee is doing this with a piece of footage recorded by holocam operator Tam Elgrin, which shows footage of Yuuzhan Vong soldiers pursuing Tam and his group. She eventually realizes the problem was that there were too few footsteps on the soundtrack; after she has the Wraiths analyze the recording, it's revealed that there only were enough footsteps in the recording for the eight Yuuzhan Vong warriors in pursuit, plus one more person—Tam himself. He'd not been part of a group as he'd claimed; he'd been alone, and had in fact been captured by the Yuuzhan Vong.
  • Pretty Girls has Claire rewind one of the torture videos because the masked man is whispering something to his victim. She increases the volume and rewinds over and over, until she can hear what the masked man said. "Tell me you want this." which is a line that Paul had said to her before and revealed to her that he is the masked man, which she had thought to have crossed off before.
  • The book version of Michael Crichton's Sphere has a minor running sub-plot of Beth watching a particular part of a surveillance video where she and one of the Navy women are talking again and again. This is thought of at first as a sign of mental fatigue by protagonist Norman Johnson (because this conversation was one of the last times that said woman was seen alive, and everybody's running on empty at this point in time). In reality, Beth keeps watching the video again and again in order to determine that the titular sphere, which was on a monitor on the background and opens at one point of the conversation, can be opened if you think about it hard enough because it runs on Your Mind Makes It Real.
  • In Smaller & Smaller Circles, this is how Joanna Bonifacio discovers the possible murder weapon—she notices a bright flash in the video footage of a crime scene and reviews it over and over, and later prints out a frame. Fr. Saenz later confirms it to be a dental elevator [1], which normally is used to pull out teeth by the roots, but which the Serial Killer uses to remove his victims' faces.
  • Quiller has to do this with RAF photo reconnaissance footage to find a plane crashed in the desert in The Tango Briefing. Typical of the Bureau's methods, he's not even told what he's looking for to prevent preconceived bias.

    Live Action TV 
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): Starbuck watching her gun camera footage, over and over again, to an almost creepy effect.
    • In a Deleted Scene from Razor, Apollo is seen rewatching his gun camera footage from the Olympic Carrier incident where he was ordered to shoot down a ship that may or may not have had civilians on board. Apollo swears he can see people moving in the ship's windows but Starbuck can't see anything.
  • The Brady Bunch: Greg has become the photographer for the high school football team (after his injury makes him ineligible to play). During a crucial, contested touchdown he was taking pictures of his girlfriend, a cheerleader. But he manages to catch the foot of the player as he was making the catch in the endzone, so he and his father spend the day blowing the frame up and up and up until they can see whether his foot was inbounds or not. (It was.)
  • Chuck's Harry Tang, extremely upset over an apparent dalliance by his wife, insists that the video footage of her, apparently, setting up the tryst be played over and over and over.
  • Columbo did this several times in order to prove that the tape the murderer was using for his alibi was faked somehow.
  • On Death Valley, Steuback is trying to figure out who broke into the armory so he is watching footage of the captain changing the security code for the armory door. His gut tells him that The Mole obtained the code by watching the captain enter it but the footage does not show anyone else present. He keeps replaying the recording over and over till he realizes that, since the footage came from the documentary crew filming in the station, the other person present was the camera man.
  • Forever:
    • In the pilot, Martinez makes her Techno Wizard do this with footage of the train station just before the subway crash in hopes of finding a killer. Instead, she finds Henry.
    • In "Diamonds Are Forever," Jo does this herself with footage of her late husband conducting an interview with a suspect, which captured his side of a conversation talking to Jo on the phone, including him telling her he loves her.
  • Grimm: "Beeware" has Nick repeatedly rewatching the Flash Mob videos taken by various security cams in hopes of finding the person killing people at each Flash Mob event.
  • At the end of the MST3K episode which featured Daddy-O, Joel becomes obsessed with the "apple-slapping" scene and replays it over and over, mouthing the line "I want an answer!"
  • RoboCop: Prime Directives has the title character replaying the memory of being forced to kill his old partner/friend in his head over and over again. Whether he's deliberately torturing himself or just having a technologically-enhanced traumatic flashback isn't entirely clear (probably both).
  • NUMB3RS: Don begins the episode "Trust Metric" watching Colby's confession over and over, because something about it doesn't feel right to him but he can't quite figure out what.
    • In a later episode, he does something similar, watching a suspect's prison psych interviews repeatedly in an attempt to find an angle. It ends up paying off hugely, as he uses the information he gleans to manipulate one of the suspect's disciples into giving up the location of their hideout.
  • The Seinfeld episode "Magic Loogie" parodies JFK's use of this trope.
  • Happens in an episode of UFO (1970) when Straker catches a subliminal clue about UFO attacks from a documentary film and insists on watching the clip over and over until he figures out what triggered the association.
  • This happens Once an Episode on Unforgettable except there is no video or audio recording. Carrie has Photographic Memory and can replay in her head anything she experienced. She will go over the memory over and over again until she finally spots the clue that she missed when the events actually happened.
  • Happens quite often in The X-Files, usually when Mulder catches a glimpse of something in the footage that everyone else overlooked.
  • A variant during the Babylon 5 episode "Point of No Return": Sheridan gets a message from a superior, General Smits, that warns him of orders issued from the Political Office that would give more power to Nightwatch—specifically, all security personnel would have to become part of Nightwatch or turn in their badge. Later in the episode, Sheridan gets a "Eureka!" Moment which prompts him to replay parts of the conversation. It turns out General Smits was subtly trying to encourage Sheridan to Bother By the Book: the Political Office was outside the military chain of command, so their orders were illegal and could not be implemented. With the help of security officer Zack Allan, who was part of Nightwatch but uncomfortable with their policies, all the members of Nightwatch in Security (excluding those few who wouldn't "play ball") were lured to one place and imprisoned for following illegal orders. It could only buy time until President Clark himself issued the same orders, which he acknowledged freely. As it turned out, the events of the very next episode made the "chain of command" issue a moot point.
  • In an episode of 21 Jump Street, Officer Tom Hanson witnesses his girlfriend being shot in a convenience store robbery and feels guilty that he was unable to stop him. He spends his days watching the surveillance camera tape, replaying the same moment over and over, being obsessed over how much time it would take for him to have been able to stop the murderer.
  • From In the Flesh Freddie is caught replaying his wedding video over and over again, focusing on his (now) ex-wife says she loves him. Kicks off major problems between the couple and her present husband.
  • In Hawaii Five-O, Steve plays and replays one part of a taped conversation between himself and a man who plans to kill someone else, but who is giving Steve a chance to figure out who the intended victim is and protect him. Steve thinks there might be something significant about what the man said, and he's right.
  • In the pilot episode of The West Wing, Josh is repeatedly watching a section of a media appearance where he said something really, really stupid that he expects to get him fired.
  • Chappelle's Show does it once during Rick James' interview, when he denies, and shortly afterwards confirms, that he did in fact grind his feet on Eddie Murphy's couch to show him up.
  • Family Matters: In "I Should Have Done Something", Carl is depressed because it's the one-year anniversary of a hostage situation he responded to that ended with the hostage getting killed. Harriette finds him up late rewinding and replaying a news broadcast from that night where he was interviewed at the scene of the crime.
  • The Expanse: In "Static", Alex becomes obsessed with running the battle simulation of their fight with the stealth ship. Even though they won the battle, they failed to stop one of the Breaching Pods from being destroyed and a railgun shot barely missed destroying their reactor, so he's trying to find a better way of winning.
  • Voice: Kwon-joo is doing this in episode 1-2, continually repeating the emergency call of Jin-hye's death, and particularly the words caught on the recording of the man who killed her: "That's why you shouldn't have run." Kwon-joo, who is blessed with hyper-acute hearing, is listening to the recording to see if there's anything she missed.
  • Following the death of Jane in Breaking Bad, Jesse spends several days doing nothing but redialing her phone to hear her voice again, in the form of her voicemail message. This ritual continues until her phone line is disconnected in the middle of the recording, forcing him to stop cold turkey.
  • The Professionals
    • In "Slush Fund", Cowley plays and replays a recording of a wire tap for Bodie. In a subversion audio analysis has already revealed all the relevant clues; he just wants Bodie's opinion (and isn't happy with the snarky comments he gets instead).
    • In "Dead Reckoning", Doyle is attacked by Bulgarian intelligence agents while videoing a meeting at a Big Fancy House. He plays and replays the tape to find out what they didn't want him to see, eventually realising it's not the meeting but another man who happened to be looking out an upper window of the house at the time.


    Theme Parks 
  • In the pre-show for Shrek 4D at Universal Studios, after the Magic Mirror finishes retelling the story of the first movie, one of the Three Little Pigs requests that the mirror replays Lord Farquaad getting eaten by Dragon over and over again for laughs.

    Video Games 
  • It's up to the player in the endgame of Heavy Rain whether Ethan does this to discover Shaun's location or gets it the first time around.
  • The opening cinematic of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is a Happier Home Movie given this treatment.
  • Ace Attorney: There are several points in trials where you need to review a tape to find the points on it where something either proves or disproves a theory, sometimes rewinding and replaying the same tape several times to find different important things.
    • In the third case of Dual Destinies, one of the central case points is that the threat "You're a goner!" was picked up on a recording around the time of death, believed to belong to the defendant, Juniper Woods. When they watch the recording of the mock trial, Juniper, who was acting as the role of the defendant during said mock trial, says "Yes, I admit I shouted "You're a goner!"..." Upon hearing it, Apollo asks for the recording to be rewound, then hearing it again, he goes to rewind it again, until Robin Newman interrupts him, wanting to know exactly what he's getting so excited again.
  • Life Is Strange: The main mechanic and plot base of the game is Max' ability to rewind time as often as she likes to play through situations again and again, in the process changing them until they have the outcome she wishes or until she has gained information without someone remembering talking to her at all.
  • In Portal 2 GLaDOS reveals that her memory was preserved in a black box that constantly replayed footage of the two minutes leading up to her demise at the hands of Chell in the previous game. It's implied that the time between the two games spanned several hundred years, meaning GLaDOS was replaying that a lot.

    Web Animation 
  • In Red vs. Blue, The Director, aka Dr. Leonard L. Church, was left a broken man who spent his final days constantly re-watching a recording of his last meeting with his wife Allison before she died.
  • RWBY has Jaune constantly practicing combat moves in the night, whilst guided by a recording of Pyrrha. Judging by how tired he looks, it appears as though this has been going for a while.
  • Boomstick of DEATH BATTLE! does this with a clip of Hercule getting bitch-slapped into a mountain by Cell during the former's analysis, outright admitting he could watch that clip over and over.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Miraculous Ladybug episode "Felix", after Adrien sends out a video to his friends, Marinette replays a section where he tells them all "I love you".
  • Dexter's Laboratory episode "Sdrawkcab" shows Dexter building a device that causes this in his actual life. Dee Dee gets him in trouble playing with it, then Dexter takes revenge by making her fall on her bottom repeatedly by reversing the moment and replaying it, over and over.
  • Played for laughs in Ed, Edd n Eddy, where Ed presses down on Edd's head, causing Edd to rewind his statement about fruitcake and Christmas, especially the Christmas part.
  • Family Guy: Peter does this while making love to Lois with the end of the video Lois just made to get him to stop watching porn.
  • In the Mickey Mouse short Get a Horse!, Mickey and Horace discover that by spinning the theater screen in the 3D world, they can control time in the 2D one. They use this to force Pete to literally relive a remixed version of the Humiliation Conga he just went through.
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: Jimmy uses time travel to rewind a moment in time over and over again, making Cindy and Libby relive snorting smoothie from their noses over and over again.
  • The Mighty B!: Honeybee Scouts founder and headmistress Miriam Breedlove watches a number of videos from Honeybee scouts all over the country trying to win a contest whose prize is lunch with her. Bessie Higgenbottom's retro-style video indicates Bessie knows the legend of "The Mighty B", which implies the Honeybee who earns every single badge will be endowed with superheroic powers. As Breedlove comes upon this part of the video, she pauses, rewinds, and replays several times so as to rewatch Bessie enthusiastically shouting, "The Mighty B!" over and over.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: Blowhole's Revenge: Blowhole orders a lackey to rewind a few times so he can catch the exact moment of Skipper's demise, including freezing his death scream.
  • In Phineas and Ferb:
    • The boys' Cloud Cuckoo Lander dad, Lawrence, is seen listening repeatedly to the jingle of an audio tour from a museum; "Fossils! dun dun dun. Fossils! dun dun dun. Fossils...."
    • In "Phineas and Ferb Interrupted", Perry goes to OWCA to rewind and replay the tapes of his most recent fight with Doof; the rewind-and-replay reveals that Doof's latest -Inator fired off hit the boys, and turned them boring.
  • In The PJs episode "Operation: Gumbo Drop", Thurgood discovers that Muriel taped over his "happy tape" to film a documentary about the projects. When he realizes that the footage contains Juicy making his own Gumbo (Thurgood's main conflict in the episode), he decides to take advantage of this and use the tape to study Juicy's cooking methods.
  • The Simpsons: Chief Wiggum does this to a recording with Chincy Pop in the background to isolate it.
  • In the Space Ghost Coast to Coast episode "Urges", Moltar asks Space Ghost if he remembers his explanation of mantis mating habits earlier in the show. Space Ghost promptly heads into the "little ghost's room" to replay it. "...the female typically eats the head and brain of the male... (rewinds) the male... (rewinds) the head..."
  • In the What If…? (2021) episode "What If... The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?", Black Widow leaves Nick Fury a cryptic voicemail just before she's murdered. It then cuts to Fury in a diner, replaying the message over and over again, trying to work out what she meant.
  • The Critic parodies the JFK example in a clip from the "director's cut" of the movie: "Back and to the left... Back and to the left... Back and to the left... Back and to the left... Back and to the left..." and it's implied that this goes on for an hour or so.
  • Much like the Critic example above, Hank Hill does this with a video tape of George Bush shaking someone's hand.
    Hank Hill: (to Peggy, who immediately left the room) Look, surprise, then disappointment. Surprise, disappointment. Surprise, disappointment.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998) have to endure Mojo Jojo repeating a tape of him being bitten in the butt by one of them in dog form and repeating it. Ending with him dropping the artifact that turns people into dogs...and he repeats it on a videotape.
    Mojo Jojo: "The dogs, the biting, the dropping. Once more, the dogs, the biting, the dropping. Once more..."
  • In X-Men: Evolution, Wolverine drops in on Pyro watching footage of Magneto getting killed by Apocalypse and laughing his ass off. Later, when Wolvie leaves, Pyro rewinds the tape just to see Magneto getting blown up again so he can keep laughing his ass off.
    "I never get tired of that part!"
  • Transformers: Rescue Bots: In "Prescott's Bots", Huxley does this to a recording of Graham to try to find something to spice up his "reality TV" show. The rescue team does it to try to determine the identity of the person phoning in fake emergencies. Huxley's rewind, even though it's a digital recording, has the rewinding tape noise.
  • Steven Universe:
    • In the episode 'Log Date 7 15 2' Peridot repeatedly rewinds to the section of her log where she calls herself a "traitorous clod".
    • Steven Universe: The Movie: The villain shows up and announces she knows the story about Steven from watching his broadcast on loop.
      That's right I've heard the story over and over again...
  • Justice League: In "Hereafter", Batman repeatedly watches a recording of Superman being disintegrated by Toyman's weapon, looking for clues (or perhaps just rationalizations) to support his belief that Supes isn't really dead.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Gumball's kid sister has a recording of their mother saying "What kind of horrible mother wouldn't take her daughter to her favorite show?" She rewinds and replays the "horrible mother" part repeatedly.
  • Tom and Jerry: In "Shutterbug Cat," Tom is looking at film of old T&J cartoons to find out what he's doing wrong in trying to catch Jerry. He comes to the scene from "Heavenly Puss" where he gets whacked by a runaway piano. He rewinds it and plays it again.
  • In "The Adventures of the Road Runner," Wile E. Coyote is going through footage of an old Road Runner cartoon to examine his shortcomings (he apparently has the resources to record all his activities on film) and how to correct it. After the atypical end of a particular incident, Wile E. reverses the film and stops it at the crucial point and applies what went wrong for hopefully more positive returns. Of course, it doesn't work.
  • Kim Possible episode "All The News" has Ron so desperate to join the school paper that he repeatedly replays a statement from his interview with Kim so he can spin it into a story by creatively paraphrasing her.
  • Pinky and the Brain: In "This Old Mouse", Brain invents a device to see into the future and discovers, to his horror, that he hasn't yet taken over the world even in his old age. The next scene has Brain, feeling he's wasted his life, watching footage of his elderly self saying "The same thing we do every night, Pinky..." over and over again.

    Real Life 
  • Increasingly used in professional sports leagues. Contemporary rule changes often surround how and when they are used, but they are almost invariably used to sort out complex situations, like brawls. Obviously, video recordings are essential to officiating, and reviewing them can cause extensive delays.
  • Admit it; we've all done this when something risqué unexpectedly comes on.


Video Example(s):


Fossils! Dun dun dun....

Lawrence is obsessed with the ending of a recorded tour.

How well does it match the trope?

3.88 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / RewindReplayRepeat

Media sources: