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Wild Take

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Pretty much anyone who does this

A variation on The Take. If The Take is reaction, the Wild Take is massive over-overreaction.

For example, say a mouse ran across the kitchen floor. A take would be to jump back, startled. A Spit Take would be to drop the roast on your feet while shouting. A wild take would be to scream at the top of your lungs with your eyes popped out and duplicated many times and with a giant mouth and jump high enough to leave a you-shaped hole in the roof.

Most characters who engage in this behavior tend to be high-strung at the best of times. Don't ask about the worst of times.

Mostly an Animation Trope, though it can be CGI'd into live-action shows (most often, but not exclusively, those intended for a younger demographic and "live-action cartoons"). See also Eye Pop.

Compare with Super-Deformed.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Almost constantly in the comedy scenes in Sailor Moon. In general anime has a lot of this.
  • Brief does one at the end of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt when he discovers Panty's chopped-up remains.
  • Everywhere in One Piece. You'd be hard-pressed to find a chapter that doesn't have one. Bonus points to Usopp for doing this so much it might as well be his regular face. Especially once he dons the persona of Sniper-King and a mask. The mask completely averts the Expressive Mask, but Usopp's jaw sticks out from below the bottom of the mask so you can still see his wide take.
    • Best examples? Falls. Especially in Skypiea, when Luffy half-seriously suggested the coming Inevitable Waterfall only for the others to dismiss the idea.
      • When falling back down to the Blue Sea, even the boat does a Wild Take.
    • Averted by Nico Robin for the longest time. Since her introduction in Chapter 114 of the manga, she never had a single wild take. When she and her crewmates see something surprising, they'll have their eyes popping and jaws dropping (Zoro and Nami sometimes have more composed expressions, but they've had their fair share of wild takes), all while Robin has an unexaggerated shocked expression... or even better, she'll keep her composure. However, in Chapter 728, she finally performed one along with Usopp and Franky!
      • Here's another one. This is when Luffy says he picked a fight with Big Mom, one of the Four Emperors. Everyone reasonably freaks out, but what does Robin do? She calmly smiles, most likely because she expected nothing less from Luffy.
    • Tony Tony Chopper, a reindeer who ate the Human-Human Fruit and the crew's doctor, occasionally has a Wild Take where his hat pops off of his head... along with his antlers. Of course, it's always for good reason.
    • Dracule Mihawk averts this trope. He takes surprising news in stride, such as Sengoku revealing the identity of Luffy's father. Most of the people around him are dumbfounded by the news. Mihawk's reaction?
      Mihawk: It's hardly surprising at this point.
    • In fact, most of the Warlords of the Sea were relatively unfazed. As some of the strongest pirates in existence, they need to be able to keep a clear head... though most likely due to Luffy's influence, Jimbei proves in the Fishman Island Arc that he's Not So Above It All.
    • The Z's Ambition Arc, a filler at the start of the New World Saga, justifies this trope to the point where it can be lampshaded by giving it to a Size Shifter.
    • While Usopp is the Wild Take king in One Piece, Camie the mermaid is definitely the queen. Her expression whenever she's surprised about something... let's just say that if The Simpsons had Wild Takes, the characters from said show would definitely have Camie's expression. Which finally reaches its obvious end here.
    • This trope is even made a ''plot point'' in this series, when Usopp's agonized expression after eating a Tatabasco ball actually scares unconscious the linchpin to Doflamingo's entire plan for keeping control over Dressrosa. And then he weaponizes it, sending an image of his wild take to the same target!
    • When Eneru realizes that Luffy is immune to his powers, the resulting Oh, Crap! face takes up an entire page in the manga.
    • Oda even listed in Volume 81, just for laughs, how many times the Straw Hats (Plus Buggy and Vivi) had performed a wild take or other shocked expressions up until that point. in descending order, they are:
      • Usopp: 428 times
      • Nami: 295 times
      • Zoro: 263 times
      • Sanji: 246 times
      • Chopper: 129 times
      • Luffy: 112 times
      • Franky: 92 times
      • Buggy: 57 times
      • Vivi: 40 times
      • Robin: 16 times
      • Brook: 15 times
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has the occasional Wild Take in comedic moments, espcially in regards to Al and Winry's interactions.
  • Nichijou:
    • Happens often but Yukko's reaction to stabbing herself with a pen results in a Galactic piercing scream.
    • Also Yukko again and Mio as well after being bit by Mai's dogs.
    • The Professor actually installed this onto Nano as a feature.
  • Beauty from Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo often does this because she's the Only Sane Girl in a Cloudcuckooland, though the other characters do this occasionally.

    Comic Strips 
  • Scott Adams sometimes illustrates wild takes in Dilbert. One particular 1996 strip had the Pointy-Haired Boss informing the main characters that the company had just been bought out by their rival. When he mentions that the new company already has engineers who are doing the same jobs as their department for less pay (which he thinks is supposed to reassure them that they won't get laid-off), the panicked reactions of the cast to that news include Alice's hair jumping off her head, Wally's skull flying out of his mouth, and Dilbert's head spinning in circles.
  • Calvin and Hobbes has some wild takes from the title characters, particularly in one Sunday Strip where Calvin manages to sneak up on Hobbes from behind when he comes home (only to get mauled by tiger anyway).

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Zero Mostel made a career of this, especially in The Producers. The opening credits even freeze frame on one of them.
  • Ben Turpin made a living playing a cross-eyed doofus. He even had insurance on his eyes in case they ever uncrossed!
  • A rare live-action example in Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Del and Neal end up driving on the wrong side of a freeway at night, completely unaware of it until two huge trucks come barrelling towards them. Their car scrapes between the two semis and the pair scream. There is a series of fast cuts between the outside and inside of the car, and at one point we see that both Del and Neal have been replaced by google-eyed skeletons just to elevate the sheer cartoonish shock. This is followed by Neal looking over at Del and seeing him dressed as the devil himself, laughing maniacally. The two end up on the other side, hit the brakes and their suitcases fly off the back of the car and land on the road. Neil's fingertips are embedded in the dashboard and Del has bent the steering wheel.
  • The Mask, being a live-action cartoon, gets off several, the most extreme probably coming when he exits a city park and turns to find himself confronted with the entire Edge City police department, which involves his entire skull popping out of his mouth.
  • The "Large Marge" scene in Pee-wee's Big Adventure features one done in Claymation.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The RPG Toon includes these as part of playing its characters. A character who is "Boggled" (stunned for a round or two) by a shocking event will pull one of these off.

    Live-Action TV 
  • An episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? featured a game of Unlikely Superheroes, where Colin was Horribly Frightened Of Everything Man. Priceless.
  • Sister, Sister once had a character do this as a one-off visual gag utilising CGI effects. When Tamera first sees her romantic interest in the opening of the episode "Boy From The Hood", her eyeballs cartoonishly bug out of their sockets. She also contorts her mouth into the shape of a stretched out Klaxon horn to produce the archetypal "aooga" noise that typically accompanies Wild Takes. It can be viewed here.

    Puppet Shows 
  • On The Muppet Show, Kermit the Frog is (in)famous for the wild takes he does when the craziness on the show gets to be too much, with hands waving in the air screaming. It's rather funny.

    Video Games 
  • In the Ace Attorney games, witnesses will do a Wild Take if you manage to put a particularly large hole in their testimony; these are generally known as "damage" animations. Some notable ones from the first game.
  • In Battletoads, the titular 'toads do a Wild Take when they encounter a boss, also losing whatever weapon they may have been holding.
  • One dream in Tomodachi Life features the dreaming Mii reacting by having his/her face pop off (including the outline of his/her nose) and fly into space.
  • Danganronpa and its sequel are pretty light on the Wild Takes outside of Gonk characters like Yamada and Hanamura, but Souda in the second game manages one when he hears Mioda sing for the first time, and discovers that her music of choice is death metal, resulting in a shocked face in a completely different art style.
  • In the Metal Slug series, human mooks freak out and scream whenever a player character respawns.
    • In Metal Slug Defense, your army is represented by a single Rebel Soldier on the mission select screen, who does this when encountering a boss.

    Web Comics 
  • From 8-Bit Theater:
    Black Mage: Hey, Fighter. You've got... a giant spider on your face!
  • Jean, being rather temperamental (often with reason), does a lot of these in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, such as here, here, here, here, and here.
  • Paranatural has a lot of exaggerated facial expressions, including a fair share of wild takes.

    Web Videos 
  • One YouTube channel, under the same name, has set out to collect media examples of wild takes. It's even made a music video collage of them.
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • During the Son of the Mask review, Critic's reaction to the Balloon-head baby is incoherent screaming terror, complete with bugged-out eyes.
    • His reaction to the Arnold Baby from Junior is much the same, except he charges off to the bathroom, arms a-flailing and vomits for 24 hours straight.

    Western Animation 
  • Tex Avery largely codified this trope. The short Red Hot Riding Hood is the likely codifier, but Northwest Hounded Police is more imaginative, as seen here.
  • The titular dog of Courage the Cowardly Dog. He does these whenever he's scared, i.e. every thirty seconds. These are often cut too quickly and make the occasional surreal things on the show even scarier.
    • In "Night of the Weremole", early in the episode, when he sees a snarling Muriel raiding the refrigerator, he starts screaming, then clutches his chest with a yelp, and collapses. Then it cuts to an ambulance racing across Nowhere, followed by Courage recovering in Dr. Vindaloo's office. Of all the insane things he would go through during the series, that is the one thing that literally gave Courage a heart attack.
    • This trope was done to the point that it became a Chekhov's Skill in one of the last episodes - Courage's wound up defeating the villains by screaming so powerfully that it caused the ground beneath them to split from the force.
  • Wade, the paranoid duck on the "U.S. Acres" segments of Garfield and Friends, had this as his primary character trait. Everything elicited a Wild Take from him.
  • The Planet of Easily Frightened People on Earthworm Jim was a Planet of Hats based around constantly having Wild Takes.
    Easily Frightened People: "AAAH! Something green! AAAH! Something not green! AAAH! Air!"
  • In one Tiny Toon Adventures episode Plucky Duck tries an "advanced" Wild Take, the "Clampett Corneal Catastrophe". Unfortunately he gets stuck in it, leaving him as a giant eyeball with legs for the bulk of the cartoon, and on School Picture Day no less.
  • In Animaniacs, Slappy Squirrel was fond of pointing these out while watching her old cartoons; "Ah, wild take no. 32, regular as clockwork. Wish everything was as regular as clockwork around here."
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: "Excuse me sir, I hope my horrible ugliness won't be a distraction to you." "Not at all, boy-DEUUEAUGH!"
    • In fact, wild takes are a good source of SpongeBob's humor.
  • On The Fairly OddParents!, Mr. Crocker would frequently do wild takes when ranting to himself about Timmy's "FAIRY-GOD-PARENTS!"
  • Ren often did this in Ren & Stimpy; such examples include after making fun of their drill sergeant only to realize he's standing right next to him when he sees this he screams, his eyeballs pop out of their sockets, his brain pops out of his skull, his skin melts off his head, and his bones connecting to his neck pop off, and when he is under the influence of Stimpy's happy helmet he makes a different and wackier expression after each word as he says "I MUST GO DO NICE THINGS!".
    • Most of John Kricfalusi's works are pretty much built around this trope.
    • Heck, if the page image is to be believed, Ren is the reigning king of this trope!
  • Super Mario World: Larry 'Cheatsy' Koopa does a wild take in the episode 'Gopher Bash' after Mario, Luigi and Yoshi defeat his Monty Moles, thus foiling his plans to steal the vegetables.
    • Lemmy also does one in 'A Little Learning' when he notices the volcano starting to erupt.
  • Characters on The Simpsons have these in Treehouse of Horror episodes such as Bart and Lisa when they see Itchy and Scratchy about to fire weapons at them or Homer when he sees the hole in the third dimension.
    • Wild Takes were also common in the original Tracey Ullman Show shorts.
    • According to Dr. Hibbert, the medical term for this is called "Tex Avery Syndrome."
    • Parodied in an episode regarding a film adaptation of Radioactive Man, when Principal Skinner announces that the film will be made in springfield and that they will cast kids from the city to star in the movie as Fall Out Boy, the kids hats fly from their heads, then Skinner says that they will fix the AC.
  • The titular Eek! The Cat does these whenever he's scared.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: Rocko often did the impressive brain-pops-out-of-the-skull ones, and was surpassed only by Ren & Stimpy at the time in terms of creative and somewhat gory wild takes.
    • When Rocko went to get his driver's license, the eye test doctor actually invoked the Wild Take intentionally (by leaving a terrorizing message) so Rocko's eyes would be big enough to examine easily. He then forced Rocko to hold the take pose until the test was complete. (Link to clip)
  • Darkwing Duck did this at times, which is actually extremely unusual for a Disney cartoon. Also, whenever a Disney series was animated by Glen Kennedy's team, they would give the characters blink-it-or-miss-it wild takes which were quite extreme compared to how quick they went by.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy does this constantly with almost all the characters at some point.
  • Happens to the titular character in Kick Buttowski during one of the Halloween episodes. In a very rare instance he's frightened in a haunted house and his skeleton practically tears through his skin and leaps out.
  • In Once Upon a Girl Jack does this upon seeing the large breasted gypsy he was given in exchange for his cow.
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog tended to do this at least Once an Episode, almost always from Robotnik or his bots when they realize they're about to be on the receiving end of something painful. Sonic and Tails occasionally had some of their own though.
    • AoSTH having wild takes is no shock, considering that some of its lead animators were veterans of Ren & Stimpy.
  • Happens a few times in the Woody Woodpecker cartoon "A Fine Feathered Frenzy".
    • When Woody Woodpecker hears Gorgeous Gal's sexy voice on the phone and she invites him to come over to possibly marry him his eyes bulge out of his head and he jumps up and down all over the place with joy. His feelings change once he meets her and realizes she's an overweight and elderly crow. She in turn falls in love with him but her reaction intensifies once she holds him down and kisses him on the lips several times. After this Gorgeous Gal looks at the Woodpecker with a wild eyed expression, becomes ecstatic and her entire body flies at him with her giant red lips puckered like cupid's love arrow when he tries to escape. The cartoon is also filled with several other wild takes, but mostly Woody's horrified reaction to Gorgeous Gal's flirting and sexual advances. With his most extreme reactions occurring when he gets locked in a dungeon room and spots Gorgeous in a wedding dress with a priest ready to become Mrs. Woodpecker.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, being Animesque series, occasionally indulge in this.
  • The Urpneys engaged in these frequently in The Dreamstone (Urpgor in particular would often pull multiple elaborate ones in a single casual sentence). The heroes were usually animated far more tamely, though weren't void of them completely (eg. their Mass "Oh, Crap!" in "The Dream Beam Invasion" or Amberley's in "Wildit's Whistle").
  • Animator Jim Tyer came up with his own variation, the "shrink take", where the character gets smaller in anticipation to the big take. He first used it on the Popeye cartoon "Too Weak to Work".
  • A Pup Named Scooby-Doo had some wonderful examples, usually as the gang's reaction to the Monster of the Week.

    Real Life 
  • From The Paranoid's Pocket Guide to Mental Disorders You Can Just Feel Coming On: Hyperexplexia, a.k.a. Exaggerated Startle Reaction — "What if every time a door slammed shut, you jumped into the air and jerked your limbs wildly? [...] Hyperexplexia is a genetic neurological condition, which means that when you hear a door slam, even your DNA gets scared."
  • Ham among hams Jim Carrey is pretty well capable of pulling off as close to a non-CG, non-special effect, real-life wild take as you can get.


Example of: