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Stock Footage Failure

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The U.F.O. flew contemptuously through the ack-ack bursts of a destroyer. A beam of energy stabbed down, and the hapless vessel was instantly transmuted into an exploding WW2 battleship.

Stock Footage is a Necessary Weasel in most broadcast productions. Your average studio just can't afford to have 42 cars on hand to be blown up on camera (108 backups for when the take goes bad). So they have 13 scenes using 4 models of cars. These are supposed to represent all of those 42 cars the show will be going through this season, in all of the various settings the show will go to.


The cars and settings are usually similar enough that it takes a while (and perhaps multiple viewings) for the viewer to notice a discrepancy.

This trope is for when the viewer notices it right off. Without having to leave the couch. It's also for when the error is so obvious, it has the viewer screaming "How did they slip that up?!"

Often, using the wrong car, setting, clothing, person, hairclip, etc., will call the series' continuity (or at least the writer's grasp thereof) into question.

Compare Special Effects Failure, where the pretty lights and sounds added to a scene filmed for the production are not up to par, and Obvious Stunt Double, when it's obvious that a stunt double is being used instead of the actor.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • While Sailor Moon was usually very good with the stock footage for the transformations, attacks and pre-battle speeches, there were a couple background errors with the Inner Senshi's "Star Power" sequences in the R season. The first happened in the very first sequence; although the colorful whooshing background shouldn't fade in until after Sailor Mercury's nails are colored, the sequence didn't start with a black background the first time. There was also a group transformation a few episodes later where Sailor Mars was given the wrong background for part of her transformation. Ordinarily it would look something like this, but she got Venus's background for the first part.
  • Sailor Moon Crystal has a sequence where Sailor Moon shouts out one attack but the footage uses another.
  • In Fist of the North Star, the third episode of the rather detailed and well-animated Season 4 re-uses a shot of Kenshiro cracking his knuckles from Season 1, back when the animation was stiff, simplistic, and sort of stylized. The contrast between this shot and the rest of the episode is quite jarring, particularly because this is the only time in Season 4 that something like this occurs.
  • Lampshaded in Puni Puni Poemi.
    It doesn't flow very well visually, but this is the bath time version!
  • The iDOLM@STER - The last episode uses several footages from the first and second openings, but when Azusa and Takane are dancing they appear to be in front of a set of stairs, just for in the next take they be shown to be still descending the same stairs.
  • In the third and fourth Pretty Cure All Stars movies, they constantly show Yuri's transformation sequence with her Pretty Cure Seed being rebuilt... despite the fact that, at the end of her series, the seed was fully repaired after she retrieved the other half of it.
  • Akazukin Chacha has stock footage of the Power Trio using their artifacts to transform Chacha into "Magical Princess." Normally these are fine, but they use the same stock footage even when Shiine and Riiya are chained to a wall and shouldn't be able to move.
  • A few Season 1 episodes of Pokémon show Ash with his hat backwards while throwing a Poké Ball—even when he didn't turn his hat backwards.
    • The episode "Battle Aboard the St. Anne" had a sequence where multiple Pokémon of the same species gang up to fight Team Rocket grunts. The Pikachu team up is shown by recycling part of the scene from "Pokémon Emergency" where every Pikachu in the Viridian Pokémon Center team up to protect and help Ash's Pikachu, with the background changing in an obvious way (the inside of the Pokémon Center has off-white walls and roof, while the St. Anne's interiors have a blue roof and upper floor walls)
    • "Pallet Party Panic" features a really funny example of this, when Ash is stuck in a true with a bunch of scared Pidgey. Deciding to release his Pidgeotto to protect them, the same clip of Ash throwing his Poké Ball is used, right after he is clearly shown to be hanging onto a branch, and therefore physically unable to move like that.
  • In the last episode of Digimon Frontier, when the Chosen Children fuse together into Susanooomon, the evolution footage shows Takuya and Koji's first Digivices rather than their current ones.

    Films — Live Action 
  • All Monsters Attack is basically just one big "stock film".
  • The octopus in Ed Wood's Bride of the Monster is a classic example. The stock footage shows a real life octopus swimming around underwater, but in scenes when actors tangle with it, it's a limp, unmoving and obviously fake one made of rubber sitting in a puddle of water.
  • Godzilla vs. Gigan was quite infamous for its over-use of stock footage. Particularly grating is the fact that the fight scenes would randomly shift from day-to-night due to the film using footage from Destroy All Monsters and Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. Likewise, there's Mothra's accidental cameo within said stock footage of GTTHM... even though she wasn't even supposed to be in the film Godzilla Vs. Gigan at all.
  • Gigan, in turn, is a source of stock footage for Terror of Mechagodzilla. Note how the orange muscle car belonging to the Interpol agent turns into the orange hatchback from Gigan when it blows up.
  • Like All Monsters Attack, Gamera: Super Monster re-uses fight scenes like mad.
  • Likewise, Godzilla Raids Again has out-of-place stock footage. One of the most baffling examples takes place during a nightclub scene, when Tsukioka is taking his girl out on a date prior to Godzilla's attack. One of the shots includes an elaborate stage show consisting of a number of women with umbrellas. All of this is fairly normal, except for one important detail. The footage was very obviously sourced from pre-1945 propaganda films, as evidenced by the presence on either side of the stage of Japanese, Fascist Italian (the pre-1943 flag with the arms of the Kingdom of Savoy) and Nazi German flags. As this presents a fairly large problem for anyone who wants to release the film or show it on TV, a common expedient is to digitally cover the swastika note  with a grey or black disc. However, as the digital disc is stationary and does not move with the film's frame jitter, this ends up letting the offending symbol peek through slightly.
  • In one of the Batman movie serials there's a scene where a black car goes over the edge of a cliff. But the stock footage used for the car actually going over is a black van.
  • In the 1966 Batman: The Movie, stock footage of a Polaris missile is used twice. Unfortunately, the second time it appears, it's been horizontally flipped, meaning that the letters on the missile labelling it a Polaris all appear backwards.
  • Invasion of the Neptune Men uses footage from the 1960 nuclear war film World War III Breaks Out in what is supposed to be a kid's movie. "They blew up the Hitler building!"
    • It's been suggested that that particular shot was not an example of stock footage failure. Apparently, this may have been a reproduction of the giant billboards for 1960 Swedish documentary "Mein Kampf" about Hitler which were scattered through downtown Tokyo.
    • Kevin Murphy has said that not only did they cut every scene of the stock footage they could out of the movie for its MST3K riffing on moral grounds, but that the stock footage was so abhorrent to them that they riffed the film a new one with a vehemence that made merely bad films like Manos: The Hands of Fate, Monster a-Go Go and The Castle of Fu Manchu pale in comparison. He even has a song for the occasion...
  • Manos: The Hands of Fate itself has a notable one near the end, where the family is trying to escape into the desert at night and the father shoots his gun at a snake—which is shown in close-ups shot in broad daylight.
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture: A lot of the film's many many many Leave the Camera Running sequences were used to depict the Enterprise from then to the very end of the TOS movies. Even Star Trek: Generations uses Klingon Bird of Prey footage, and at one point the Enterprise-B is the Excelsior. That's the one that really doesn't work, as some tweaks were made to the model, and the scene of the Excelsior at warp is very recognizable.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan reused several scenes from the previous film. While the Klingon ships are an in-universe recording of the V'Ger incident and therefore excused, it's amazing how in the 12 years since the previous film that guy in the spacesuit is still standing on spacedock doing flips.
  • In The Hunt for Red October, a damaged aircraft crashing on the deck of the carrier changes from what should be a modern (for the time) jet to an F9F Panther, an aircraft 30 years older than the one it is supposed to depict. The look of both the footage and the plane is obvious. Also, a Soviet torpedo launched from a turboprop splashes down looking precisely the same as the American torpedo later dropped from a helicopter.
  • In the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice, for an American rocket launch they used stock footage of a Soviet Soyuz rocket, and for a Soviet rocket launch they used stock footage of an American Gemini rocket.
  • As a necessary inclusion to this list: the So Bad, It's Good Plan 9 from Outer Space features stock footage of Bela Lugosi walking. It is, sadly, an appropriate metaphor for both the actor himself and the movie he was to appear in.
  • Birdemic: Shock And Terror uses chunks of stock footage from Getty Images during the in-universe news broadcasts. Fair enough, right? Except they did not actually shell out the money for the footage, and some of it as a result has a great big Getty Images watermark plastered over it.
  • In Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, when Baraka is thrown into a fire-pit in the shape of the MK logo, it shows an earlier scene of Rain falling in before being consumed in flames.
  • Proving no film is above this, at least in the pre-CGI era, Citizen Kane has a jungle picnic scene in which the background footage is lifted from The Son of Kong. You can plainly see pterodactyls flying around. Maybe Charles Foster Kane founded InGen...
  • In Gokaiger Goseiger Super Sentai 199 Hero Great Battle (an HD movie), during the battle against the Black Cross King's evil Ranger clones, the clones of the Changemen, Flashmen, Turborangers, Livemen and Maskmen attack the Gokaigers and Goseigers with their BFGs...and by "their BFGs", we mean unremastered stock footage from their original series in The '80s of them firing their BFGs. Considering how amazingly gorgeous the rest of the movie was, the jump to mid-80's quality stock footage was jarring. This happens again later, in the battle against the Black Cross Colossus, with every mecha joining the fight. Nearly all of the finishers used by the mecha are the stock footage of the finishers from their respective series. It can be jarring when it goes from a finisher used in a 2000's series to one used in the early 1990's. Adding insult to injury, the non-mecha vehicles from Goranger and JAKQ, Variblune and Sky Ace, respectively, get shiny new CGI models (and Variblune even gets a combo with Gokai-Oh), yet none of the mecha (that didn't already have CGI models) do. On the other hand, at some points it's subverted within the same scene, with certain finishers being seamlessly edited together (such as Battle Fever Robo and Dai Bouken).
  • The Day After lifts tons of footage from First Strike (a documentary speculating about nuclear war). At one point, a character mentions that Beale Air Force Base has been nuked. Later, in First Strike stock footage, Beale Air Force Base is reporting that Soviet missiles are incoming.
  • All over the place in Midway. Mitigated somewhat in that casual audiences might miss them, but stick out blatantly to anyone with even a little knowledge of WWII aviation:
    • A crashing SBD Dauntless dive bomber at the end of the film uses what may be the same footage of an FH-1 as in The Hunt For Red October, as listed above.
    • When Ens. George Gay is forced to ditch his crippled TBD Devastator the clip is of an F6F Hellcat.
    • Speaking of the F6F, stock footage of Hellcats is used for pretty much every scene intended to depict the F4F Wildcat. The Hellcat wasn't deployed in combat until September of 1943 (the Battle of Midway was in June of 1942) and though sharing a family resemblance, there's really no mistaking a Hellcat for a Wildcat. This includes takeoff, landing and dogfighting scenes, and the famous scene of Tom Garth crash-landing his damaged fighter and splitting it in half after striking the tower.
    • Most combat scenes of the Devastator torpedo bombers instead uses the TBM Avenger. While there were Avengers involved at Midway, there were only six, all of them from a squadron on the island.
    • For that matter, the American dive bomber attack tends to replace the two-seater SBD Dauntlesses with single-seat F4U Corsairs. The Dauntless looks pretty much nothing like the Corsair. Other times SB2C Helldivers were used. Much like the Hellcats-for-Wildcats example above, the Helldiver appeared much later in the war. Unlike that example, it bore no resemblance to the Dauntless whatsoever.
    • A B-17 crash-landing at Midway was stock footage also used in Tora! Tora! Tora!. Doubly egregious because the aircraft not only is flying an earlier-war paint scheme, but because the runway it was utilizing was at a large and fully-paved airbase. Midway was...not.
    • The same B-17 crash-landing stock footage was also used in the 1990 film Memphis Belle. While closer to actual (the runways looked correct), the early-war paint scheme and the poor CGI slide, in the opposite direction to the spin in the stock footage, afterward makes this one stand out also.
    • Generally averted, surprisingly enough, with the Japanese aircraft. Most footage of Zeros, D3A Dive Bombers and B5N Torpedo Bombers utilizes the modified T-6 Texan Aircraft Understudies rather than stock footage, and what footage is used tends to depict the correct aircraft.
  • A Hard Day's Night: When The Beatles get into the cab to their hotel, they're all wearing suits and ties, but when we cut to them driving off, John Lennon is inexplicably wearing a turtleneck and jacket, in footage taken from one of their tours.
  • During the surgery scenes in Night of the Bloody Apes, taken from a medical instructional film, three sets of hands are present - two operating and the third administering anaesthesia - even as the long shots indicate that only the protagonist Dr. Krallman and his assistant Goyo are present in the room.
  • The 2013 horror film Friend Requestnote  includes an establishing shot of a police car driving past a police station, represented by Shutterstock footage. We know this because there's a giant Shutterstock watermark over most of the frame, suggesting the filmmakers were too cheap to buy the stock footage in question.
  • The In Memoriam opening of Spider-Man: Far From Home has a lot of stock transition effects that anyone who has ever played with Windows Movie Maker will recognize, and a stock image of some clouds with a giant Getty Images watermark stamped over the top. Justified, as it's created by high-schoolers in universe, and is thus a case of Stylistic Suck.

  • The Hunger Games has an in-universe example of this. The stock footage of District 13 has the same mockingjay in it: it ends up being one of the factors in the revolution movement. Also that same clip is shown every year for seventy-five years, and somehow the background is always burning.

    Live-Action TV 

In General:

  • Netflix garnered criticism in 2018 and 2019 when several of their original productions were revealed to have used stock footage of real disasters where people had died:
    • Death Note (2017) was revealed to have used footage of a fatal Belgian train crash, prompting anger in the country.
    • The third season of Travelers and Bird Box were called out for using footage from the deadly 2013 Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, train derailment. Although the creators of Travelers quickly promised to remove the footage, it took longer for Netflix to agree to edit Bird Box.

By Series:

  • Frequently parodied in All Aussie Adventures. Most obviously, there's a Running Gag where Russell goes to shake someone's hand, and they cut to a closeup of two obviously different hands shaking. There are also numerous driving shots that were obviously filmed in a different state to the rest of the episode.
  • The series Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World misused film of a Gemini/Titan space launch in a story on an unmanned Mariner mission to Mars.
  • Stock Starfury launch footage on Babylon 5 continued to show Sinclair's fighter launching well after he had left the show.
    • Possibly justified in that the fighter was one assigned to the station, and would have been left behind when Sinclair transferred out, although its next pilot would presumably have had the chance to paint different nose art on it.
    • In the same spirit, a stock CGI model once slipped past them. A shot from the fourth season episode "No Surrender, No Retreat" showed an Earth Alliance warship firing on civilian transports. Since the scene was originally not going to include a closeup of the destroyer, it was given the first set of markings available — those of the "good guy" Agamemnon. Unfortunately, the shot was reframed and the ship's ID was clearly visible in the final version. (This was fixed in later showings; the ship was re-marked as the Pollux.)
  • Beetleborgs, as a Saban toku adaptation, naturally suffered from this. Most obviously in season 1 with the trio's Sonic Lasers; the US footage had them in a red-and-purple coloration (matching the US toy, which had the color scheme for safety reasons), but the Japanese footage would have it as a realistic-looking black-and-silver coloration. Similar issues cropped up with the A Vs, which would be huge in the Japanese model-based stock footage, but not so much when in US CGI form. (However, in a Fridge Brilliance moment, the issues could easily be explained as being Flabber's magic duplicating the inconsistencies of the in-universe Beetleborgs comic book; it'd be expected for the artist not to draw everything looking the same issue after issue.)
  • Battlestar Galactica (1978) was bad about this as well. There are 4 shots of Galactica's guns destroying Cylons, about 6 shots of Vipers destroying Cylons, and about 4 shots of Cylons destroying Vipers. This includes the mirror image shots. No wonder Cylons die so easily. They always attack the exact same way. It is blatantly noticeable in same fight scenes in the same episodes.
  • The Baywatch episode "Lover's Cover" reused footage of a car plunging into the ocean from the Season 2 episode "If Looks Could Kill." The original episode was about a murderer who had a dead guy in her backseat, which means the wrapped up corpse is consequently visible in the "Lover's Cove" scene that contains the recycled shots.
  • On The Brady Bunch the parents drove Bobby to an ice cream eating contest. They left in a blue convertible and came back in a brown station wagon. Must've been a slow news week, because this managed to get into the National Enquirer.
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century has a particularly noticeable example whenever fighter craft are shown coming into the landing bays on Earth. The series only has two stock-footage shots; one of a single fighter landing, and one of two fighters side-by-side escorting Buck's 20th-century space shuttle (from the pilot episode). Whenever more than one fighter craft is supposed to be landing, they try to cut away from the latter shot before Buck's shuttle is clearly recognizeable on-screen, but don't always succeed.
  • In the episode of Dark Matters: Twisted But True about Dr. James Van Allen, the Stock Footage shot of a rocket launch used to represent the Starfish Prime exoatmospheric nuclear test is accompanied by audio (overlapped by the narrator's dialogue, yet still quite coherent) that mentions the International Space Station. Starfish Prime took place in 1962; the first component of the ISS went into orbit in 1998.
  • Doctor Who has a great deal of this to go with its legendary low budgets and Special Effects Failure:
    • "The Dalek Invasion of Earth": An alligator menacing Susan is represented by stock footage of a rather small and ineffectual-looking gavial.
    • In "The Romans", Ian is taken to fight in the arena, and peers out of the bars of his cell to see what it is he's going to fight. What follows is a poorly-edited sequence of lots of different lions in clearly very different zoos, none of which look remotely Roman.
    • Happens in-universe in "The Space Museum", when the Doctor is hooked up to a mind-reading machine so his captor can find out where his companions are using pictures extracted from his memory. The footage extracted this way is useless because it shows where the companions were when he left them a long while ago, not where they are now. By this time, he's figured out a Psychic Block Defense and so, when pressed harder, the screen starts producing deliberately ridiculous stock footage of sea lions, etcetera.
    • Originally, "The Time Meddler" included a very poor quality looking shot of the viking ship approaching. The restoration team used a new scan of the stock footage for the DVD, but found that (by going from a multi-generational 16mm TV recording to a 35mm newsreel extract) the restored stock footage looked too high quality. In the end, artificial grain and softness was added to make the stock footage look like the rest of the episode.
    • Subverted in "The Ark", which starts with a bunch of shots of live animals framed and filmed in a way to resemble stock footage, having Dodo point out an elephant by cutting between a shot of the elephant alone in the frame and Dodo looking at it from the reverse angle... and then walking forward, into the frame with the elephant and touching it.
    • In "The War Machines", WOTAN orders his slaves to make a machine. Splice in stock footage of welders, in completely different lighting, and who (even with the masks on) look absolutely nothing like the slaves.
    • Subverted in "Doctor Who and the Silurians". We're shown footage of a helicopter which cuts back to soldiers travelling about on the hills. Obvious stock footage... until we cut back to the helicopter and we realise it has UNIT written on the side. And then it swerves past the hillside, appearing in the same shot with an actor, as if to say 'ha, look, we CAN afford it'.
    • In the 1970s serial "Revenge of the Cybermen", the launch of a missile on an alien planet is represented by stock footage of a NASA rocket launch, with the rocket's official markings in English clearly visible. This case became far more amusing a decade later, in that it's the same stock footage that early MTV used in its hourly station identification clips, which video-loving American viewers of a certain age have seen hundreds if not thousands of times.
    • "Turn Left" is set in a crapsack alternate timeline where the Doctor died because he never met Donna. The episode goes through The Stations of the Canon about various present-day episodes. When it gets to this timeline's version of the Adipose incident from "Partners in Crime", footage from the episode of the Adipose marching through the streets of London is obviously recycled in a TV news bulletin... despite the alternate version having occurred in the US due to London having been destroyed at this point.
    • "The Name of the Doctor" cuts between stock footage of the Second Doctor and scenes of him recorded with a double from behind. The double doesn't even try to match his movement to the stock footage, especially with the distinctive running style of the character in the footage.
    • "The Day of the Doctor":
      • The Seventh Doctor changes outfits between shots.
      • The Fifth Doctor's hair changes completely in colour, texture and style from the behind shot to the face shot (which had his face pasted onto the body of a double, covering up the ridiculously unconvincing wig).
    • Parodied in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, in which Tom Baker is portrayed entirely with stock footage from the unfinished serial "Shada" (the exact same clips used to Fake Shemp him into "The Five Doctors"). Since he's in-character as the Doctor in the footage, which shows him at about half his current age, the result is hilariously nonsensical.
  • A Running Gag in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has Jazz getting thrown out of the house. The footage of the act in question is always the same, but they've avoided this trope by having Jazz wear the same shirt in scenes where he's about to get thrown out.
  • Because a lot of the flight scenes on The Greatest American Hero reused shots from older episodes, Ralph's hair length would sometimes inexplicably change when he started flying.
  • How I Met Your Mother: A brief Establishing Shot in the Season 6 episode "Baby Talk" ostensibly shows Marshall's old high school in Minnesota, but the flag flying outside is clearly Quebec's.
  • A common situation on I Dream of Jeannie, where the rocket shown on the pad would be different from the rocket later shown lifting off, which was not the same as the rocket seen in the sky. None of the three would match the capsule shown in orbit.
  • An episode of Knight Rider featured KITT's Evil Twin KARR being forced off a cliff; the footage used for this was lifted from the 1977 Horror film The Car featuring a vehicle which does not even begin to resemble a Trans Am. At least it was black... The show also tended to reuse footage from previous episodes in places that didn't make much sense. In the same episode with KARR, a shot that was supposed to show KARR breaking into some building is obviously KITT with silver star decals from a previous episode stuck on him.
  • Like any Government Procedural, Madam Secretary has to use a lot of stock footage for military actions. In season 1, footage of an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is used for a "minesweeper" (on top of saying the minesweeper was armed with depth charges like the destroyer would). In season 2, a dogfight between the US and Russian Air Forces uses a mix of Air Force and Navy target practice videos.
  • Masked Rider:
    • The title hero was based on Kamen Rider BLACK RX, but some scenes taken from Kamen Rider ZO and Kamen Rider J had the suit noticeably change. How? Well, Black RX's suit was mostly green, but had lots of black too. ZO and J's are both entirely green. Noticeably barely begins to cover this.
    • Also, due to some crossed wires when editing out Riderman, when the former Riders (Masked Rider Warriors here) introduced themselves, all but ZX gave the wrong names, leading to the fandom's "I AM AMAZON" meme, where "Amazon" was actually Skyrider.
    • Even Kamen Rider Dragon Knight isn't completely immune. The differences between Kamen Rider Ryuki's Alternative and Alternative Zero are extremely minor, but they're there. The Advent Master has been known to switch back and forth.
    • It's also pretty obvious when KRDK switches from American footage to Japanese footage, since the early-2000s KR series, including Kamen Rider Ryuki (this show's basis) had this weird videotape-esque filter over the image.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • Retroactive example. When the ship returns in Series VIII, it has a different design which is alluded to by the characters. The brief appearance at the end of Series VII (a few seconds of ship footage from which were repeated in Series VIII) used stock footage of the model ship that was filmed during series 1 and 2.
    • In "Meltdown", footage from Gappa, The Colossal Beast is used to represent waxwork dinosaurs, which prompts:
      Kryten: I can't tell you how feeble and improbable those creatures were, sir. I've seen more convincing dinosaurs given away free with a packet of Wheaty Flakes.
  • Saturday Night Live has a potentially invoked example regarding their "The Rock Obama" sketches. When Barack Obama Hulks out into The Rock, the Transformation Sequence shows his shirt and his shoes tearing open. However, later sketches show The Rock Obama wearing a torn shirt, but seemingly un-torn shoes. After Jay Pharaoh replaced Fred Armisen in the role of Barack, the sketches also have him wear a dress jacket that disappears when the transformation begins.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series uses the same shuttlecraft footage every time. This is most egregious in "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", when the shuttlecraft stolen from a Starbase bears the ID number "1701/7". That is, rather than coming from a Starbase, it is a shuttlecraft of NCC 1701, the Enterprise itself! Either that, or 'every' Federation shuttlecraft is the Galileo.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine uses this on occasion during the Dominion War arc, being cheaper to reuse old battle footage than produce new footage for each battle. Sometimes they alter and re-render the footage: for example, several shots in "Call to Arms" reuse clips from "The Way of the Warrior" with Cardassian Hideki-class ships or Jem'Hadar attack ships swapped in for Klingon birds-of-prey. However, after the USS Defiant is destroyed and replaced near the end of the series, the new Defiant sports the previous ship's registry number: Ron Moore stated said the new Defiant was supposed to be NCC-74205-A rather than NX-74205, but they didn't have the budget to redo every shot for a single episode, even the Grand Finale.
  • The Swamp Fox had a huge problem with this. It was often very obvious they were re-using horseback chase scenes from earlier episodes.
  • The Time Tunnel episode "One Way to the Moon" mixed shots of a real Atlas rocket with scenes lifted from Destination Moon. It didn't even fool a seven-year-old in 1966.
  • The HBO film Tuskegee Airmen used actual WWII footage filmed from dogfights to represent the characters' own. This wouldn't be so bad, except the footage isn't meant to represent a filmed engagement but a live occurring one, and since WWII film quality wasn't exactly the greatest, the outside cuts and windshield shots of dogfights look unbelievably grainy.
  • Even for a Saban show made in the 90's, VR Troopers has a surprising amount of Stock Footage Failures:
    • The footage of Grimlord's palace (and the Metalder footage in general) always looks fuzzier, darker, and more low quality than the rest of the show, making it very obvious when the footage switches from Japanese to American.
    • Adapting two different Metal Hero shows meant that JB and Katlin never fight with Ryan when battling a monster (outside of battle grid mode). With 92 total episodes, this becomes more and more obvious through the course of the series, resulting in a very disjointed feel to the action.
    • Due to the limited amount of footage of Grimlord's lair, the amount of soldiers visible in any scene usually fluctuates; sometimes Grimlord would only be addressing the four generals, and the next shot would have the rest of his army suddenly appear.
    • In the first season, the goons seen in Grimlord's court were all monsters who'd eventually get to be the monster of an episode. Since stock footage was used for some villains' base scenes, previously defeated monsters were often right there to greet Grimlord as he arrived, just like last week... and some would do battle again, with or without their past demises Handwaved. Many monsters were seen multiple times, with his personal favorites kept into the second season. The most egregious example is Air Striker. This helicopter-based monster was sent nearly every episode, destroyed nearly every episode, and always came back for more. Of course, given the fact that they're computer-generated creations, he can simply recreate any monster he likes.
    • The air battles footage is even more limited, with virtually the same sequence of shots being used for every battle; if you've seen one, you've seen them all.
    • In "The Great Brain Robbery", when Snowbot is attacking Katlyn and JB with his flamethrower and frost gun, another fighter can be seen next to them (which is the third warrior from Jikuu Senshi Spielban, Helen Lady). Katlin would later get the ability to create a mirror clone of herself, probably written to prevent any more inconsistencies.
    • In "Three Strikes", the look of the apartment rapidly changes between the Japanese and American footage, with the floor and wall changing colors.
    • In "Game Over", Despera suddenly becomes a man when fighting Ryan.
  • Wonder Woman: Fans of Space: 1999 were no doubt left puzzled as to why a future earth city shown in an episode looked like Moonbase Alpha, due to the US show borrowing an establishing shot from the then-still-recent UK-made series. Counts as a fail because in 1977-78, when the episode in question aired, Space: 1999 was still in wide syndication and still a current series.
  • In one episode of "The Substitute" (a Nickelodeon show), when talking about the special effect artists' many movie projects, one of the posters shown is clearly an edited poster made for an Pooh's Adventures project, as shown by the various random characters edited into it. Pointed out here.

  • Jon Stewart once called out The Sean Hannity Show on a story they did about an anti-healthcare-reform rally in Washington. The rally took place in the fall, when the surrounding trees were full of orange and red leaves, but some of the footage showed that the trees were fully green. What had actually happened was that they mixed in footage from a much larger, totally unrelated rally from months before to make the present rally look bigger (it was even reported that there were four times as many attendees than there actually were). This actually prompted an apology from Hannity for falsifying the story.
  • Many a space documentary uses the footage shot during an unmanned early Gemini mission when talking about re-entry, however, when they're using it while talking about something like the Apollo missions, it's extremely noticeable.

    Video Games 
  • The animated cutscenes of the Philips CD-i game Mutant Rampage Body Slam frequently reuse the same animations of the host character and the champion he interviews. This results in bad lip-synch and odd moments, such as the host saying "All right!" in a enthusiastic voice while facepalming.
  • If you use the Satellite Cannon attack on the scenarios where Tifa is kidnapped in Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden, her picture and voice still appears.
  • Until Dawn:
    • The ending credits will show all the death scenes that the player viewed as a montage at the end... except that the player may notice some details are off, such as bruises and the background.
    • Chris can die many ways ...except not really. Almost all of Chris's death scenes are the same footage with different backgrounds. He can get decapitated at the lodge, in the forest, in the mines, but if you removed the background it would basically be impossible to tell the difference between the scenes.

    Western Animation 
  • Just about any Filmation production, due to their over dependence on stock footage, but especially He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) and She-Ra: Princess of Power.
  • The scanner sequence on Code Lyoko always uses the characters' normal outfits, even when they're wearing something else. An episode from Season 4 has Ulrich and Odd heading for the scanners in the factory; they enter with the Season 1-3 outfits and shots of them in the scanners are the Season 4 outfits. This is more egregious as the latter outfits weren't introduced until the next episode. Whoops.
  • There is an episode of Danger Mouse in which Penfold is kidnapped, but they still used the stock footage of DM pulling his car out of the garage with Penfold in the passenger seat.
  • An early promo for Ed, Edd n Eddy has Kevin call the Eds "Dorks", before cutting to the shocked reaction of the kids, including Kevin himself.
  • Super Friends (1973) episode "The Androids". Superman has been kidnapped and replaced by an android. After the rest of the Super Friends figures it out the android Superman takes off, but seconds later the Stock Footage shows him still sitting at the table. Watch it here, starting at 4:00, and watch until around 5:00.
  • The "hero up!" sequence of The Super Hero Squad Show uses Green Hulk even when Hulk is in Grey Hulk mode.
  • Taken Up to Eleven in Spider-Man: The Animated Series. At first it was reused webswinging footage, or it was applicable as a flashback. In the later seasons, everytime Spidey faced Doctor Octopus or the Lizard, the same footage from the villains' first appearances would be thrown in. Also, there'd be the times the Green Goblin would switch between his first glider and his second (much bigger, very different) one from one shot to the next. (Yes, the gliders can separate and link up. No, this is not that.)
  • Even worse in the 1990s Iron Man cartoon:
    • During its first season, Tony Stark would change into his Iron Man suit Once per Episode and we were treated to a crudely done CGI sequence of this. The problem? They only made one animation of this sequence, and Tony would suddenly be in a lab (when he had previously been in space, the desert, in a forest, etc.) and in the same clothes he wore in the first ep.
    • In The Incredible Hulk's guest appearance in Season 2, Bruce Banner's clothes inexplicably change from a khaki Explorer Outfit to a pair of blue pajamas during the scene where he transforms, while the Hulk's design looks completely different from how it does for the rest of the episode. This is because the transformation sequence was actually reused from the Hulk's earlier appearance in the Fantastic Four animated series, which had a different art style and character models.
  • There is an episode of The Magic School Bus where the kids travel inside of Arnold to learn about the human digestive system. In one of the scenes during the episode, Arnold can seen sitting in the bus with the rest of the kids.
  • Parodied in The Simpsons:
    • "Radioactive Man": In an attempt to save the production of the Radioactive Man movie, an editor provides a clip where Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy are stuck in a cave with The Road Warrior types. Shots of Fallout Boy in a grassy field and on a couch were inserted into the scene, then they end up fighting aliens.
      Editor: Seamless, huh?
      Assistant: You're fired.
      Editor: And with good cause!
    • In "Homer the Whopper", the movie's producers were forced to reuse some clips from earlier in the movie in the final fight. Problem was, in half of them Homer was fit and muscular, and in the other half he was his normal overweight self. This lead to a scene where he was jumping off a beam to attack a villain where he was fit one moment, fat the next, and at one point, while he was eating a sandwich. Lenny walks out of the theatre saying that the inconsistencies took him out of the moment and ruined the experience.
  • Towards the end of Felix the Cat: The Movie, stock footage of Princess Orianna getting captured from the beginning of the film is used near the end of the film; the animators didn't even bother to change the background.
  • Team America: World Police features the song "Freedom isn't Free" accompanied by footage of Gary visiting American memorials. Except there are normal people walking in background - in a puppet film. Considering the film is full of Stylistic Suck, this was most likely intentional.
  • In the late 1980s and early 1990s a TV cartoon series was made in Flanders, based on the popular comic Suske en Wiske. While the designs of the character resembled those in the comics the cartoons themselves were so cheaply made that almost every scene was stock footage. For instance, whenever a specific character was walking from one point to another, they always played the same clip. The animators also animated only one expression of a certain emotion for each main cast member. If for instance a specific character became angry, it was always the same scene without any sort of variation. As one can imagine, watching these cartoons can become rather tedious after a while, especially since they follow the stories of the comic book albums almost frame-by-frame in extremely slow pacing.
  • To see just how little the Warner Brothers animation studio cared by this time, witness the double use of a clip of Daffy walking to a window in "See Ya Later, Gladiator" - he was in a different building both times - and neither one looked at all alike (one was a science lab, the other was his house).
  • Thunder Cats had this in chapter 62. One night, Lion-O, Wilykat and Wilykit infiltrate Castle Plun-Darr, then they're ambushed by the Mutants, but the heroes fight back and Lion-O jumps, evading all of Slithe's beam shots and lands just in front of him and then you see it: Lion-O funnily smirking, with a background of a grassy field surrounded by a forest, on daylight. Then, they're back inside the castle. Watch it here, at 4:19.
  • Episode 10 of the fourth season of Winx Club had Musa included in the Transformation Sequence even though Musa wasn't with the rest of the Winx at the time. Episode 11 did it again by having Aisha included in the sequence when she wasn't with the rest of the group at the time.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Rise and Shine", Patrick is seen watching the orange sea anemone (yes, the same one used as a stand-in for pornography in "Your Shoe's Untied) as a morning show.


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