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Wild Take

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Pretty much anyone who does this

One of The Twelve Principles of Animation is exaggeration of movements and facial expression, and the Wild Take is the prime example of this principle, bringing The Take to anatomically impossible levels.

If a mouse ran across the kitchen floor, a take would be to jump back, startled. A Spit Take would be to shoot out your coffee dramatically out of your mouth and start 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 and Jaw Drop.

Compare with Super-Deformed.


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  • A few Cheetos commercials animated by the creator of Cow and Chicken has Chester wild taking upon seeing the new products.

    Anime & Manga 
  • 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.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, despite its somber tone with all the demon slaying the series does not shy away from many comedic moments, the characters pull the most extreme face reactions imaginable, one of the male leads, Zenitsu, is the undisputed king of it as he is the resident overreacting wreck of the bunch.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has the occasional Wild Take in comedic moments, especially 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.
  • One Piece:
    • This trope is so prevalent in One Piece that 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. This is true even when he puts on a mask as part of his Sogeking persona. 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. And no one can forget his example in the Dressrosa Arc, which was so scary that it knocked out Doflamingo important crew member, Sugar, undoing her toy power, returning the toys to human form and giving memories of them back to Dressrosa citizens, which was the beginning of Doflamingo's downfall.
    • Best examples? Falls. Especially in Skypiea, when Luffy half-seriously suggested the coming Inevitable Waterfall only for the others to dismiss the idea. Later, at the end of that arc, when falling back down to the Blue Sea, even the ship does a Wild Take. This actually foreshadows the fact that it has a will of its own.
    • Nico Robin:
      • Robin averted this for the longest time. For nearly six hundred chapters of the manga, starting from her introduction in Chapter 114, 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. Even after 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.
      • It's not until chapter 711 that Robin finally performed one in reaction to over-trusting nature of Tontatta. Getting one to release her with promises that she intends no harm and won't reveal them to anyone else is one thing. All of them believing that, based on nothing but the first one vouching for her, that is what finally makes the overly serious Robin wild take for her first time in the series.
      • She pulls some wild takes again in chapters 728, along with Usopp and Franky, again due to the Tontatta, who blindly trust falsified news of Doflamingo stepping down as one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, because the Straw Hats were partly responsible for bringing about that false news. In chapter 928, during the Wano arc, she has a wild take alongside everyone else in the crew upon learning that Luffy, who she hasn't seen in weeks and is supposed to be in hiding, has been captured by Kaido after a failed ambush attempt.
    • 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 Shichibukai 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 Fish-Man 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 Sizeshifter.
    • 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 is terrifying enough to knockout Sugar just by seeing it. And then he weaponizes it, sending an image of his wild take to the same target later!
    • 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
  • In one episode of Outlaw Star, when Gilliam sees hordes of Mecha-Mooks charging up his gantry, he does a proper one.
  • Brief does one at the end of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt when he discovers Panty's chopped-up remains.
  • Pokémon: The Series, while they've done these before then (albeit rarely), began indulging in these more often in the Denser and Wackier Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, and they are done Once an Episode. The official Pokémon website even made a list of their personal favorites (they even used the term)!
  • Almost constantly in the comedy scenes in Sailor Moon.

    Comic Strips 
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • In Peanuts, the Running Gag of Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown usually involves him launching himself into the air as his legs kick at nothing before landing on his back.

    Films — Animation 
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven:
    • Killer springing in mid-air, his eyes bulging in and out, and screaming, after he retrieves and puts back on his glasses, when he sees Charlie and Itchy are out of prison clearly enough the second time.
    • Carface gets two. The first is when Charlie is freed from the anchor. The second is when he sees King Gator swimming towards him.
  • An elephant does one in the ending of "I Just Can't Wait to be King" in The Lion King (1994) when it falls buttocks-first on an antelope's horns, with a loud scream and pink and white circles forming in its eyes.
  • Coco: Héctor's eyes drop out of his eye sockets and into his mouth when Miguel tells him that he is the great-great grandson of Ernesto de la Cruz.
  • Monster Mash (2000): Mrs. Tinklemeister's first scene has her eyes bug out in shock at seeing that a fly is tracking dirty footprints all over her window.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Holli Would does one of these towards the end of Cool World. After seeing Jack return the Spike of Power to the Cool World, she reacts with a physically exaggerated scream followed by her eyeballs bulging to the size of her entire body. It's a little contrasting due to Holli being, by comparison, one of the more realistic looking Doodles in the movie.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • The title character in Who Framed Roger Rabbit is prone to wild takes. Other Toon characters get at least one, including the weasels, Jessica and Judge Doom.
  • In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the French Knight does an incredible take after seeing the Trojan rabbit King Arthur and his knights built.

    Pro Wrestling 

    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 

    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. Even the Lee Brothers do this in their crossover game with the Toads!
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and its sequel are pretty light on the Wild Takes outside of Gonk characters like Hifumi and Teruteru, but Kazuichi in the second game manages one when he hears Ibuki 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.
  • In Pizza Tower, Pepino will bug out if he comes into contact with a bomb, then start panicking and running with it. He also has his share of takes for encountering bosses, and in the TV display related to his current situation; he's a very expressive man. On the other hand, just about every Mook in the game will have one of their own paralyzing them in place when Peppino comes barreling at them at full Mach 3.
  • In the Puyo Puyo series, Ringo has a specific shocked expression (round white eyes, mouth wide open, body is drawn more rigidly) she uses often... even if the situation wouldn't cause that much of a reaction, such as merely running into someone she's never seen before.
  • 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.

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • Used frequently in The Amazing World of Gumball. Not a lot in Season 1, a little more in Season 2, and almost Once an Episode from Season 3 onwards. Some of the more realistic ones could count as Nightmare Fuel.
  • 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."
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, being Animesque series, occasionally indulge in this.
  • Tex Avery largely codified this trope. The Tex Avery MGM Cartoons short Red Hot Riding Hood is the likely codifier, but Northwest Hounded Police is more imaginative, as seen here.
  • Parodied in Big Mouth, with Nick making an outrageous wild take when he falls in love with Tallulah Levine. Unfortunately, his eyes and tongue don't go back in and just lay on the floor, much to his distress.
  • A Running Gag in Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoons is non-ghost's exaggerated reactions to seeing Casper.
  • 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.
    • Early in the episode "Night of the Weremole", 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 wound up defeating an alliance of his most notorious villains by screaming so powerfully that it caused the ground beneath them to split from the force.
  • 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.
  • 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").
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy does this constantly with almost all the characters at some point.
  • The titular character from Eek! The Cat does these whenever he's scared.
  • On The Fairly OddParents!, Mr. Crocker would frequently do wild takes when ranting to himself about Timmy's "FAIRY-GOD-PARENTS!"
  • 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.
  • Kaeloo characters are quite prone to doing this, as Word of God says that the series was heavily inspired by Tex Avery's cartoons. Kaeloo and Stumpy in particular often have their eyes pop out of their heads when they look at something shocking.
  • 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.
  • A very common trope in "Looney Tunes", especially when the characters get scared.
    • One of the most famous examples in Western animation is from Book Revue, where at the sight of the Big Bad Wolf, Daffy Duck temporarily transforms into a giant eyeball.
    • In one Tiny Toon Adventures episode, Plucky Duck tries to replicate this trick, which Daffy refers to as the "Clampett Corneal Catastrophe". Unfortunately Plucky gets stuck in it, leaving him as a giant eyeball with legs for the bulk of the cartoon, and on Picture Day no less.
  • The Mask: The Mask pulls this any time he gets scared, horrified and shocked which gets to the point that he sometimes comment on it at times.
  • Happens to Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy in Mickey Mouse Works episode "Locksmiths".
  • In Once Upon a Girl Jack does this upon seeing the large breasted gypsy he was given in exchange for his cow.
  • My Pet Monster has every human react this way.
  • The titular characters from Pib and Pog does these whenever they scared.
  • A Pup Named Scooby-Doo had some wonderful examples, usually as the gang's reaction to the Monster of the Week.
  • The two scientists', the street crowd's, and the girl scout's reaction to Dr. Crocker's abstract art-styled head and face transformation in the Quack Pack episode, "Pardon My Molecules".
  • 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. Judging by the many, many styles of animation he's trashed and badmouthed over the years solely for not employing exaggerated reactions, the Wild Take is evidently one of the only animation tricks that Kricfalusi has any respect for.
    • Heck, if the page image is to be believed, Ren is the reigning king of this trope.
  • 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)
  • 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.
    • "Homer's Triple Bypass" not only has Homer giving multiple wild takes while having a heart attack, but the scene also has a cutaway of Homer's heart having its own wild take.
    • "Krusty Gets Busted" gives Krusty his own heart attack-induced wild take as well.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Happens occasionally, especially past Season 9 when the animation would become more expressive and zany.
  • Super Mario World: Larry 'Cheatsy' Koopa carries out a particularly dramatic 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.
    • Mario's reaction during a flashback in "Rock TV" after he and Luigi receive a shockingly expensive phone bill, followed by Fainting in shock:
      Luigi: Remember the trouble we got into with that 'Speak to Santa' Hotline back in Brooklyn?
      (Luigi gives Mario the phone bill)
      Mario: Phone bill— amount due: $1,295.31! Ooooh!
  • Tom and Jerry:
    • Jerry does one in Little School Mouse when he tells Nibbles to retrieve a whisker from Tom, only to discover that Nibbles dragged Tom over to the mousehole by his whisker.
    • Tom does one in Mouse Cleaning after inadvertently creating a mess of blue ink on the wall after trying to clean up a tomato-related mess.
  • 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".
  • 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 bird. 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.
  • In the Xiaolin Showdown episode "Dream Stalker", upon first crossing paths with a giant jellyfish monster, Omi’s entire head turns into an eyeball.


The Big Sleep

Whilst in the dog pound, Ren freaks out when he realizes what Jasper meant about Bill being put to sleep.

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