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Three Second Silence

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A music video trope. Kind of the opposite of the Talky Bookend, this does not impart any kind of story or feature any kind of talking whatsoever. Instead, the camera continues to roll for up to three seconds over a silent (or background noise-only) image. Usually something symbolic of a song's meaning, like a bird flying into the sky or a grave or something. Alternatively, it will just be the singer staring into the camera like a dog that wants a biscuit.


This has a practical use on music networks, when there is a risk that a song that finishes suddenly and a song that starts suddenly will be placed next to each other and cause them to merge. By using this, the video's director can ensure that the video remains separate from what came before without relying Talky Bookends that are overlong or distract from the preceding song.

Often used as part of On a Soundstage All Along.



  • The Bravery's "An Honest Mistake" involves a Rube Goldberg device designed to fire a crossbow at a target. In the end, the bolt misses. This trope shows the band's Reaction Shot.
  • Cinderella's video "Don't Know What You've Got (Till It's Gone)" ends with a shot of the band silhouetted on the beach. The singer is dancing, the drummer is idly tapping the (now silent) song's rhythm on his legs, and the other two are just standing there.
  • Many Heart videos ended with a static shot of Ann Wilson staring into the camera.
  • Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" ends with a few seconds of Beyonce staring at the camera and breathing heavily, showing the rock she got.
  • Audioslave's "Doesn't Remind Me" begins with a shot of Uncle Sam, which becomes a recurring theme in the video.
  • My Chemical Romance's "Ghost of You" ends with Gerard looking in shock while the camera clumsily almost crashes into his eye.
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  • The Used's music video for "Blood On My Hands" begins with a silent shot of Bert, and ends with a silent shot of a dangling corpse.
  • Inversion: Every video in this Top 10 online comic series ends with the music continuing for a few seconds after the footage has faded away. Each video also begins with 3 seconds of silence played straight.
  • P!nk: Sober music video.
  • At the end of Mos Def's "Sex, Love and Money" video, he stands and looks at the camera for several seconds, seemingly looking hollow and dejected, after the women he had a one-night stand with leave before he wakes up.
  • Lisa Loeb's "Stay" ends with her opening a door to her apartment, walking outside to a (non-fenced) terrace overlooking another building, and turning around before staring at the camera for several seconds.


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