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Split-Screen Reaction

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The villain of the day has dropped a bombshell revelation. To show the reaction shots of all the protagonists at once, the screen is split into sections, with a reaction shot in each section. The reactions may show up one at a time and accompanied by a clang sound effect.

Alternatively, the split screen may show the faces of all of the protagonists as they act in unison. This is especially popular in shows with Combining Mecha, Colors or Powers. Just about every Shōnen series does this when a particularly harsh blow lands. To be fair, most anime where there is any sort of competition will show something like this.

A typical Split Screen is just two people and a thin vertical divide between the two halves. The Split-Screen Reaction often has stylized divisions at strange angles. It may not even be a true "split", but a series of picture-in-picture bubbles that pop up. (Also see Odd-Shaped Panel and Hexagonal Speech Balloon.)


Characters with Medium Awareness may be able to use the split to interact with the other characters where it wouldn't usually be possible.

When parodied, it's usually part of an overdose of Anime Effects, resulting in Mundane Made Awesome.

Compare Multi-Part Picture.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Assassination Classroom, Nagisa earns a seven-panel one after pseudo-assassinating Takaoka.
  • Used a lot in Mons shows like Pokémon, where an off-screen character will yell commands or encouragement to the onscreen characters as they act.
  • Bleach tends to use this effect a lot. The first few frames of this epic spoof are an example.
  • Ditto for Naruto; well at least during the Chuunin arc.
  • Happens in the first episode of The Law of Ueki, when Ueki's tree appears from the river.
  • Happens occasionally in Outlaw Star.
  • Happens several times an episode in Katekyō Hitman Reborn!.
  • Seen in the AKIRA manga. Plenty of characters, plenty of shocking events to make them react.
  • In Corsair this happens over dinner when Ayace suddenly announces his relationship with Canale. Everyone at the table gets a reaction panel, with expressions ranging from awkwardness to surprise to confusion.
  • The Fairy Tail anime has split-screen constantly, with a lightning bolt-like separation. Most of the time the screen is split just in two, though there are a few multiple splits too.
  • Given that Saint Beast has six protagonists and gets a lot of mileage out of Shōnen tropes, it was destined to happen.
  • Similarly, One Piece has several protagonists with a strong tendency to overreact (with the exception of Robin), so this trope is a given.
  • Constantly used in Girls und Panzer, showing reactions amongst team-mates sitting in different positions or even different vehicles.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Community (of course) during their anime moment in the Foosball episode. A cat is added to the mix for good measure.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 
  • Another live-action example, Noob can indulge into this for shocking revelations.

    Western Animation 
  • Can be seen in Wakfu, as with the above picture. Not surprising given the show's Animesque roots. Especially common during the Bontarian Gobbowl arc.
  • Happens in Steven Universe episode "Tiger Millionaire".
  • In an episode of Kappa Mikey, the group does this when they realize how most of their personal secrets were revealed on a reality show they were doing,
  • Quite common in The Amazing Spiez, which regularly uses comics-style separations for the screen. Alongside the regular, rectangular panels, you'll have the sharp angles typical of this trope once or twice an episode.
  • Happens once in Sabrina: The Animated Series episode "Food Tude".
  • Also a common sight in Monster Buster Club. Including one in the Action-Hogging Opening.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The episode "Boast Busters" has one with Snips and Snails screaming while the Ursa Minor is roaring. And later with Spike, as the three receive mustaches.
    • "Hearth's Warming Eve" uses it (both times in association with Finish Dialogue in Unison) to show the three leaders coming to the same conclusion. Played With on its second use when the three, announcing the new land as their own, discover they are all claiming the same piece of land less than twenty feet from one another.
    • "Pinkie Pride" has a nice six-part one with Rarity, Spike, Applejack, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle reacting to Pinkie Pie challenging Cheese Sandwich to a Goof-Off.
    • "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?" has another six-part one as the Mane Six wake up from their nightmares.
    • "School Daze – Part 2": After they learn that all of the non-pony students are missing, we see Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Applejack react to the shocking news with a Big "WHAT?!" in the same Split Screen used for the revelation.
  • Popular too in Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes. Most often with four panels.
  • Used quite often in Jackie Chan Adventures.
  • Happens in Miraculous Ladybug when Nino blurts out that the girl he's fallen in love with is Alya (because he can't spit out it's Marinette); we get a screen split in three showing the reactions of Adrien, Alya and Marinette (the first two horrified, the latter gleeful).
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: In episode 3, Star casting her "Combo Nuclear Butterfly Blast" elicits many panicked reactions from Ludo and his monsters (as well as Marco), on a screen unevenly split in seven parts.
  • We Bare Bears: In "Go Fish", the Bears have a three-way reaction to their fishing boat captain being Swallowed Whole by a giant goldfish.
  • The Loud House: In "Sitting Bull", the older girls berate Lynn when a babysitting client fires them because she roughhoused her charges on her first sitting job, so she gets back at them by answering their other clients' calls behind their backs and taking their jobs to prove that she's a good sitter. In the following scene, we get a four-way split of Lori, Leni, Luna and Luan as they receive calls from their clients and shout in unison, "Lynn did what?!"


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