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File:Cit seto no hanayome art shift suddenly manliness.jpg

Same guy, same show.

Scene in animation or print where the art suddenly and intentionally shifts into a different style, usually for homage or parody purposes. Frequently occurs during flashbacks, particularly Rashomon Style sequences. Particularly abrupt shifts can be rather scary.

Anime uses this extensively in gags where The Take is a homage to a particular famous manga artist.

Not to be confused with instances where the art unintentionally changes as a result of, for instance, the animation being subcontracted to several different studios. For this, see Off-Model. Neither should it be confused with cases where the style changes because two or more unrelated anime have been stitched together by an American distributor—for this, see Cut and Paste Translation.

Also should not be confused with Art Evolution, which is a gradual and more permanent art change over time as the artist gets the hang of drawing the series.

Can overlap with Show Within a Show, Deep-Immersion Gaming, Disneyesque and Super-Deformed.

Compare Non Standard Character Design. Contrast with Medium Blending, where it isn't just the art style but the whole medium (animation to live-action, 2D to 3D, etc.) which changes.

See also Stylistic Suck, a phenomenon used to visually distinguish a show-within-a-show from the work that uses it.

Examples of Art Shift include:

Anime & Manga

  • Many scenes in anime (especially Gag Series) involving fighting will often make a visual reference to Fist of the North Star.
  • This happens many times in Excel Saga, most notably in episode 17, where there are so many rapid-fire shifts (from Looney Tunes to Disney to DC Comics to The Simpsons and beyond) that it's impossible to keep track of them all.
    • And then there are the Puchuus, who suddenly change from Ridiculously Cute Critter to something Golgo 13-esque when you kill them. The also utter something mean-spirited/action-movie-ish when it happens (reflecting their true, evil nature). Sometimes it happens without them being killed, if the gag demands the nasty phrase (e.g. in a scene parodying the survival action-movie fad from The Nineties, a Puchuu cuts Excel's rope and spits out, "Burn in hell.").
  • Repeatedly occurs in Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai, with each world often having its own unique art style.
  • Done in episode 5 of FLCL. When it flashes back to Amarao asking for a "manly" haircut in a hair salon, it's done in the same animation style as South Park. There's also "manga sequences" in episodes 1 and 6, during which the standard animation style is replaced by pans across (semi-animated, with voice-overs for the dialogue) manga pages. This was incredibly hard to animate, and the second one is brought to an abrupt end by Kamon, who breaks the fourth wall to point out "Why can't we be a normal anime!? The animators asked us not to do another manga scene."
    • There's also the grayscale style used for collisions, which comes up a few times.
    • There's also the scene in episode 2 where Haruka, Mamimi and Naota are all talking and the animation style has suddently changes to a more abstract style. As soon as Canti comes back though, the art goes back to normal.
  • Similarly used but played straight in Bleach, during the climax of the duel between Ichigo and Ikkaku, the sequence suddenly turns into the manga page.
  • Similar to Excel Saga, Pani Poni Dash! often shifts art styles for scenes or takes or even just eyecatches.
  • When Haruhi and Kyon are trying to solve a murder in Suzumiya Haruhi, their suppositions are Art Shifted. Haruhi's is in low-res red-filtered live-action (possibly mimicking the CSI Necro Cam), and Kyon's is simple crayon sketches.
    • Also, in the gag series Suzumiya Haruhi-chan no Yuutsu, when Kyon tells Itsuki he loves him, the camera shows Itsuki's face. The simple art style turns in to a shoujo style, with Itsuki's hair blowing in the wind and rose petals in the background.
  • In Trigun—sometimes for absolutely no reason other than the Rule of Funny—Vash suddenly looks like Duke Nukem.
  • Hellsing Ultimate rather distractingly switches from very elegant animation to ugly animation for what's apparently supposed to be comedic effect. This is an effect taken directly from the manga, which the OVAs are doing its damnedest to be close to—their purpose, after all, was to stick closer to the manga than the TV series did.
  • Some parodies of Initial D go the extra distance and reproduce cars with Conspicuous CG. Though to be fair, Initial D First Stage's computer animation isn't too great either.
  • When Saki in Genshiken gets really, really, angry or emotional, she becomes crudely animated, often with triangle-teeth, somewhat oversized head, jerky movements, and pupil-less eyes.
    • Also, the episode where she and Madarame are in the clubroom together. Madarame goes through the possible scenarios of telling her there's a loose nosehair coming out of her nose, and the art style frequently shifts to look either more like a visual novel or more like Kujibiki Unbalance when these scenarios play out in his head.
    • And Ogiue's Yaoi fantasy episode with the guys Art Shifted to Bishonen.
  • Lucky Star makes frequent use of art shift as part of its many anime and video game parodies and Shout Outs—everything from Konata imagining an athletic competition as Track and Field for the NES, to Konata changing to a more "refined" appearance to match her Mariasama ga Miteru-influenced behavior, to a rather lengthy Initial D parody done entirely in its art style.
  • Nagasumi of Seto no Hanayome is especially fond of doing this, turning from Ordinary High School Student to musclebound icon of manliness whenever his fighting spirit kicks in (see page picture above).
    • This is most likely a visual Shout-Out to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
    • Hell, everybody in this show does this, all the time. It's rare to go more than a few minutes without a completely different animation style popping up.
  • Sakura in Bludgeoning Angel Dokurochan occasionally does this whenever he is expressing extreme emotion or is in a harrowing situation.
  • Minami-ke loves switching from its normal style to Bible Black-esque art during close-ups on character's faces. It is... somewhat disturbing. Probably intentionally.
    • The last episode of the second season contains a series of stills showing an intimate moment between the sisters, done in the style of the previous season, which had been produced by a different company. The background music also switches to the first season's opening theme, which creates a nostalgic mood.
  • Episode 7 of Zoku Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei has the show art shift to Magical Girl style, complete with the show's remarkably realistic Hair Colors turning into a rainbow of phenotypes.
    • Another segment in the same episode is completely dedicated to this trope, with the art constantly shifting to styles such as silhouette animation and Claymation, finally climaxing with an actual video of a pair of hands flipping through a flipbook.
    • The first segment of the second episode of Goku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is done in the author's original drawing style. The third segment is animated in a shoujo style.
    • And in yet another episode they were doing acoustic art shifts by switching voice actor around between characters, more or less at random.
    • Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei's eighth episode, the third of the Three Shorts (the "Mystery Train" segment) is animated in a radically different style made up of rough sketches and cardboard cutout animation. It comes across as sort of trippy.
  • In Naruto, Itachi's Amaterasu technique, which, in the manga at least, produces flames that look they came out of a sumi-e painting (think Okami) drawn with an ink brush.
    • Also, Sai's Choujuu Giga technique involves the drawing of ink charicatures of animals which he uses to scout, attack, and fly, that are clearly inspired by actual "choujuugiga" (meaning beast scrolls) style artwork.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann episode 11 contains a number of flashback-type sequences which resemble elaborate paper cutouts.
    • Due to having a guest director, the entirety of episode 4 is either Off-Model or an extended Art Shift.
    • In his first appearance, the Spiral King Lordgenome is uniquely drawn in a rough, sketchy style perhaps as a reference to the style used whenever Kamina and Simon are passionate.
    • The Eyecatches throughout the series show various character in a very angular style resembling the previous Hiroyuki Imaishi directed work Dead Leaves.
    • When Kamina dies, the moment is shown in a white/light blue sketchy style, as a homage to the iconic final shot of Ashita no Joe.
  • Ichigo in Tokyo Mew Mew thinks in chibis. Also, later in the series, the art style evolves so that everyone older than Ichigo, even by one year, looks obviously older.
  • Jubei-chan does this constantly, to the point where you'll have several characters in the same scene drawn in completely different styles.
  • One episode of Kirby of the Stars featured quite a few rapid-fire art shifts in King Dedede's homebrew Stylistic Suck anime, presumably because none of the (in-universe) art staff was given a specific style to work with. The style switches between dramatic Death Note style to contrasting bright and cartoony before eventually settling on crude crayon drawings.
    • Becomes extremely noticeable with some of the characters (especially King Dedede), where sometimes they're hand-drawn, while other times they're CGI.
  • Crayon Shin-chan, while maintaining the overall art style, shifts to a more detailed, shaded art style in one episode. The FUNimation dub lampshades this with the narration, "Will we be able to afford that sweet animation used at the beginning again?"
  • This happens to Tamaki in the 19th episode of Ouran High School Host Club where a closeup of his face is in a heavily-shaded Fist of the North Star-esque style. A sign even pops up to indicate that he's Tamaki for any confused viewers.
  • In Doctor Slump, Senbei Norimaki often changes from a fat, short, ugly man into a tall, handsome, muscular one... and then back in a matter of seconds. "He's like Ultraman... kinda."
  • In Samurai Champloo's eleventh episode, Gamblers and Gallantry, Shino, the woman with whom Jin falls in love, is drawn in Hayao Miyazaki's style in the beginning and in the end, but not in the middle when she works in the brothel. Why? You guess...
  • Petite Princess Yucie is generally quite fluidly animated, which only mild occurrences of super deformity. Some episodes are suddenly very cartoony though, with over-the-top slapstick effects all over the place. Whether this is done deliberately or out of budget reasons is not clear.
  • In Sket Dance, the art style changes to old-school shoujo whenever Saotome Roman turns on her Otome Vision.
  • Paranoia Agent's strikingly detailed character designs and animation give way to animation that looks like cardboard cut-outs when a character is sent to a Lotus Eater Machine.
    • The art style shifts about in more subtle ways throughout the series, complementing the characters' delusions and breakdowns.
  • Washizu Vision and Tsubasa Vision in Asu no Yoichi!. The first one brings out the Bishie Sparkle and the Love Bubbles on Ibuki and turns Yoichi into an evil stick figure, while the second one depicts Washizu in a flowery shoujo manga style.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni did a rather comical (and creepy) art shift for a second at the first season's grand finale to show how the gang is back to their normal happy lifes. Too bad that they all die, except Rena who seems the happiest in that scene. I suppose that scene was before she was sent away with Irie, who must have came back.
    • Actually this was a new world. As proven by Ooishi telling Rika that Takano and Miyo recently died. He already told Rena that.
    • The manga also uses an Art Shift to a style evocative of ancient Japanese artwork when describing the history of Hinamizawa.
  • In Saikano, the art frequently shifts to Super-Deformed when Chise and Shuji are talking with their friends, especially when Chise gets embarrassed or Shuji gets mad.
  • The first Dragon Ball Z movie, The Dead Zone. There's an abrupt art shift in flashbacks that's used to unbelievably creepy effect.
  • K-On!'s manga had one made out of Nightmare Fuel—a Shout-Out to legendary horror mangaka Kazuo Umezu's characteristic style.
  • In the anime of Axis Powers Hetalia, the anime once has England shift out of the default Moe style to the serious style of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure as he plans to get back at Germany.
    • The manga and anime both have France occasionally shifting to a 1970s shojo look. While in the comic itself, America was once shown in New York-style doodles. And that's not counting the chibis...
  • The opening scene of Project A-ko 3: Cinderella Rhapsody, which showed the three main characters playing pool, had less-cartoonish character designs, dimmer colors, and higher-framerate animation than the usual art style of Project A-ko. This is because the scene is C-ko's dream.
  • The Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle anime had almost an entire episode with Syaoran, Sakura, Fay, and Kurogane all drawn in chibified forms. A few other characters they met on their travels also showed up in the episode as chibis. The Art Shift can be explained, though; Mokona was the artist drawing the cast and making up the story. The episode was appropriately named "Doodler Mokona."
  • Chibi Maruko-chan has an episode where Maruko gets a stomach ache (it later turns out to be appendicitis). However, despite her moanings and groanings no one will take her to the doctor thinking it's a simple stomach ache (they don't realise it's appendicitis until later). This prompts Maruko to wonder why she can't pull a look on her face to resemble extreme pain. As this happens we momentarily shift from the style of animation normally used to one normally used in anime where we see Maruko drawn in regular anime style.
  • Bakemonogatari uses art shifts all over the place. Hell, the art shifts over to Doraemon for a short while in episode 3.
    • They happen so often that it's almost like the series doesn't even have a "normal" art style.
  • Happens often in Ninin ga Shinobuden. Especially Onsokumaru, who rarely goes for more than a minute or two before changing art styles.
    • The second half of episode 9 was done in a completely different art style, but with more subtlety (Compare the eyes, chin, and hair of Shinobu with the first half of the episode). It was probably done to see if anyone noticed.
      • Ironically, Onsokumaru looks the same in both renditions.
  • In episode 3 of Death Note, the animation shifts to a far cutesier shoujo-esque style for the scene where Light is tutoring his younger sister Sayu.
    • Later, in episode 6, the backdrops for the scenes where Light is lying to Naomi Misora are almost photorealistic, in a clear divergence from the usual style.
  • In To Aru Majutsu no Index, when the Freaky Friday Flip situation is hitting its peak before Touma figures out what's going on, he sees Kuroku giving an address of Yes! We! Can! and temporarily shifts into a crudely drawn cartoon figure.
  • White Album uses art-shifts extensively, occasionally shifting into a style reminiscent of a pastel painting.
  • In Change 123, in which the characters are generally drawn very realistically (at least from the neck downwards), various chibi versions of the main female character are used throughout the series to indicate certain visible moods of hers, but always with a sense of good measure, varying the degree of chibiness. Also, sometimes the artist uses a different line style (a soft pencil style or a charcoal style) to indicate various internal emotional states of characters.
  • Ode to Kirihito by Osamu Tezuka uses an art shift to denote a character's descent into madness.
  • Hidamari Sketch, following the lives of several art students, appropriately throws in numerous brief scenes that use a wide variety of different art styles. Yuno's daydream during an art history class starts imitating the painting styles they are being taught about (Fauvism and Cubism); watercolour-style art is occasionally used in particularly emotional scenes; other scenes use imitations of collage, silhouette, pencil sketches and a variety of other media.
  • In Monster, all the sequences of Franz Bonaparta's story books are portrayed this way—most notably, "The Monster Without a Name".
  • In Hayate the Combat Butler, during a Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann parody, the animation and drawing shift to Gainax-style, providing a rather amusing sequence.
  • Used profusely in Otomen. One of the main characters is a shoujo mangaka who bases his story on his friends; another character is always drawn in classic seventies shoujo manga style; one who tends to fantasize about himself as a hot macho guy is sometimes drawn as a shoujo-style "sexy bishounen;" and Ryo's very manly and macho grandfather is always drawn as if he came from a stereotypical seinen manga.
  • Usumaru Furuya's surreal Fourth Wall-less, genre-hopping gag manga Short Cuts does this a great deal.
  • The Tower of Druaga does this in the first episode during Jil's transformation, where the artwork turns extremely sketchy and deformed as a homage to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann's more Hot-Blooded moments. There's also episode 5, where various characters try to navigate a part of the title tower that's covered in magical booby traps, some of them changing the victims into video game sprites, and the background into the background from the original game.
  • Happens several times in Arakawa Under the Bridge. Oddly enough one was referring to a western cartoon.
  • In a very brief moment in Baccano!, the art shifts to an almost childlike colored pencil sketch animation when Isaac and Miria entertain the idea of Jacuzzi being eaten by the Rail Tracer (who, in their minds at the time, is represented as a comical giant green worm terrorizing the train corridors.)
  • Makoto of the Futari Ecchi manga whenever he feels "desperate" in having sex.
  • Happens often in SEX whose art fluctuates between normal "manga" and realistic styles as a Rule of Cool effect.
  • The anime anthologies Batman Gotham Knight, The Animatrix and Halo Legends being created by different studios show their own unique art styles for the pieces.
  • In Berserk, elves, Puck especially, seem to exist in their own personal Art Shift dimension, appearing as chibi more often than not. Bratty Half-Pint Isidro gets his fair share of super-deformed moments as well.
  • Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt loves this trope. In addition to the default Thick Line Animation style, it frequently shifts into Super-Deformed Flash-style animation during the comedic bits, detailed anime art during the fanservicey moments, and even a realistic style that's reminiscent of Satoshi Kon's work. It also uses rotoscoping in a couple of (more) surreal scenes, live-action sequences with the blown-up models of the defeated Ghosts and with the pair of feminine legs stomping on the Big Bad at the end, and intentionally half-assed Flash animation in the Sanitarybox shorts.
  • In Nurarihyon no Mago, the artwork changes into Sumi-e style whenever yokai characters release their powers.
  • In Kochikame, Honda is a shy, weakling motorcycle patrol officer, but when gets on a motorcycle or anything alike, he transform into a mean tough motorcyclist.
  • Basically anything involving the witches in Puella Magi Madoka Magica will have this. Otherwise, the show is surprisingly free of this trope for a Studio Shaft production. Aside from Kyouko's flashback and that bit with the blood in episode 9...
  • This trope is somewhat Enforced within Neon Genesis Evangelion, in that in the last two episodes, Studio Gainax ran out of money, and so had no choice but to include Art Shifts to crayon and Copic drawings where they couldn't have animation, i.e. storyboards. This can go on for minutes at a time. Thankfully, they did it well enough that it can be passed off as Artistic Licence.
  • In the OAV Green vs Red, the final showdown between Red Jacket and Green Jacket Lupin is animated in the style of Monkey Punch's original manga, just one of many homages to Lupin's 40 years old history scattered through the film.
  • In Warrior Cats: The Rise of Scourge, the art changes during Tiny's made up story about how he defeated a dog.
  • Macademi Wasshoi parodies Kaiji at one point, and the art style momentarily changes to emphasize this.
  • In THE iDOLM@STER, whenever Kotori gets into an Imagine Spot, this happens. Thus far, the art sometimes shifted into Shojo style, or JoJo's Bizarre Adventure style.
  • In Tsuritama, the first episode's introduction and the ending credits use a computer-generated artstyle based around clusters of circles.
  • Frequently used as a visual gag in Lotte no Omocha, as well as when Naoya tries to draw, or when Asuha is being particularly crafty.
  • For Sakura Gari, Yuu Watase sets aside her super prettified usual style to favor a still pretty-looking, but more realistic one. It fits well with the very, VERY dark setting.


  • In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin's fantasy sequences were often drawn in a very realistic and detailed style, unlike the rest of the comic strip. This led, quite intentionally, to the effect of fantasy looking more realistic than reality.
    • Similarly, Suzie Derkins's fantasies (seen on the rare occasions that Calvin plays with her) are illustrated in the style of a soap opera comic strip. One excerpt from Calvin's comic book collection is shown in a similar style.
  • This Mad Magazine parody of the classic comic Bringing Up Father, pictured here and here (courtesy of here).
  • The comic Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane uses the art shift a couple of times, both times it is used to indicate a character is flashing back.
  • The first issue of the Super Mario Adventures comic (it ran in Nintendo Power during the 1990s) featured a scene where the plumbing in Peach's castle goes haywire—upon running up to the courtyard, Mario almost immediately shouts out "Mama mia! It's a pipe-o-rama!" What makes this scene unique is that the artist shifts—for this one panel only, and never again—to a hyper-realistic, almost Uncanny Valley rendition of the titular plumber.
  • The comic book version of Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again uses this to differentiate between the familiar version of the Archie characters (who are done in the usual art style and seen through flashback) and the older version (drawn by Gene Colan).
  • Also done in Archie Comics style is Hack Slash #6. This time, however, the purpose is to contrast Archies clean, light atmosphere with Hack Slashs massively violent slasher action.
  • Most of Spotlight: Kup is drawn in a scratchy style to represent Kup's deteriorating mental state. The art shifts to a cleaner style when the point of view shifts to Springer and his rescue mission, and both styles are used together when the two plots converge.
  • The Superman Alternate Continuity miniseries Superman Secret Identity culminates with "real-life" Superman and his daughters flying across the sky, then suddenly shifting into various Golden Age, Silver Age, and even Timmverse art styles that progress through the panels, in a loving homage to the character and the many artists who have drawn him through the ages.
  • If Fred Hembeck appears in your comic, it is a fact that he will appear as drawn by the man himself in that signature goofy style of his, no matter how much it might clash with the style of the rest of the characters.
  • In the Alan Moore run of Supreme, the story became involved with the history of comic books and comic tropes. When Supreme flashbacked to the 1950s, he entered into EC Comics artwork, first from their horror and SF comics and finally from Mad Magazine. In the lens of Mad, Supreme transforms into something very similar to their old parody, "Super Duper Man".
    • This is a favorite storytelling style for Alan Moore. In Tom Strong, Strong's flashback sequences were often written in classic comic book styles, with artwork to match. In Promethea, during the title character's tour of the worlds of the Khaballa, each issue was drawn(by J. H. Williams III) in the style of a different artist(ranging from Van Gogh and Da Vinci to Escher and Salvador Dali).
  • Stormwatch had an issue where Jenny Sparks relates her historical adventures in the style of the cartoons from those periods. This includes duplicating the look of The Spirit, Dan Dare and Watchmen, amongst others.
  • Brian Bendis loves this trope:
    • Flashbacks in Alias and New Avengers, and scenes after time travel in Mighty Avengers that are set somewhere in the sixties or seventies are imitiating Silver Age style.
    • Similiary, scenes in Mighty Avengers that happen in the middle ages are imitating old paintings.
    • In Dark Avengers, scenes in Norman Osborn's mind are drawn by a completly different artist.
  • In the DC Comics Harley Quinn comics series, occasionally the art would shift between a semi-realistic form (when the story was being told by sane characters) and a semi-Timmverse style (when the story was being seen from Harley's... unique viewpoint).
  • The Post-Crisis reboot of Plastic Man was drawn in the style of his old 40's-era comics—because that's how he saw things. Shortly after falling in a vat of acid, and emerging with goofy shape-shifting powers, he realizes that the acid—like that other type of "acid"—had affected his mind too. He even says "I never saw a car like that [comical 40's-style sedan] before, outside of a comic book." It qualifies for this trope because the first page or two of each issue was done in a realistic style by a different artist, and was referred to as a "reality check" in the credit box.
    • His guest spots in Superman and Power of Shazam both featured a couple of scenes drawn from his viewpoint.
  • In the early episodes of Buddy Longway the otherwise realistically drawn characters have Orphan Annie style white ovals for eyes. Later on they get more realistic, but when Buddy tells his kids a story from his bachelor days, the characters in the flashback have white ovals for eyes again.
  • The final pages of the MAD parody comic "Mickey Rodent" shifted (with considerable Lampshade Hanging) to a less cartoony style with realistic shading, shadows and five-fingered hands.
  • Amelia Rules is drawn in the style of Peanuts for when Tanner and Mary were kids, of Archie for when they were teenagers, and so on.
  • Desolation Jones often switches styles, from paintings to sketches, black and white inks, two-tone chiaroscuro, and the standard inks and coloring, though it maintains a similar feel throughout.
  • During the middle of the Marispan affair (or the beginning of the Bet Your Life arc) in Spy Boy, the art changes from anime-style to something out of Mike Mignola's mind and back again.
  • In Dirty Laundry, Robert Crumb and his wife Aline Kominsky-Crumb each draw themselves in the comic. At one point when debating what Aline sees as her lack of drawing skill, R. Crumb draws her to show how beautiful she looks to him.
  • Criminal: Last of the Innocent sees the art shift from a gritty, realistic-noir style for the protagonist's present life and a colourful Archie Comics style for when he has flashbacks to his teenage years, which were supposedly more innocent. The Nostalgia Filter is gradually punctured by the gradual realisation that events in his teenage years weren't exactly rosy even if he wasn't aware of it.
  • In "Hounded" in Knights of the Dinner Table #183, Sara has a dream about the Untouchable Trio Plus One. The dream is illustrated using art from Knights of the Dinner Table: Illustrated by the Fraim Brothers.

Films — Animation

  • In the CGI Horton Hears a Who an entire sequence narrated by Horton is done in the style of a colorful anime. The producers explain that this was simply for the entertainment of the children watching.
  • El Arca has this, though whether or not it's intentional is debatable- The art noticeably shifts depending on how many characters are in a scene. In a scene with only one or two, or even a small handful, the art is of quality comparable to Disney. However, in scenes with many characters present, like when Kairel is trying to get everyone organized right after they get on the Ark, and Xiro completely ruins her efforts, the designs quickly become comparable to a toddler's scribbling.
    • An example that was clearly on purpose would be when the Villain describes his future plan for the prey animals, and visualizes what it will be like.
  • WALL-E: During the credits, the art goes from simplistic cave paintings up through the history of art. It's implied that this is humanity slowly regaining its artistic ability as they readjust to life on Earth.
    • Not only that, the video message of the President is live action footage of a real human being, so the implication may be that humanity became "animated" as we essentially de-evolved.
  • Utilised in Space Jam when Mr. Swackhammer fantasizes his use of Michael Jordan in Moron Mountain after Jordan makes a bet with him but before he seals the deal. In this sequence, Jordan is animated rather than live-action, and the characters are drawn in a shadowed solid color.
  • The Prince of Egypt features a dream sequence that plays out in the form of an animated mural, drawn in the exact style used by ancient Egyptian painters.
  • The film version of Watership Down begins in a simplistic, limited-animation style while explaining the legend of El-ahrairah, but then shifts to lush, photorealistic animation of the English countryside for the rest of the movie.
  • In The Princess and the Frog, Tiana's vision of her restaurant in "Almost There" is done in the same Art Deco style (inspired, according to the director's commentary, by Harlem Renaissance artist Aaron Douglas) as the picture she carries with her.
  • In the Studio Ghibli film Pom Poko, the tanuki shift from realistic to Funny Animal to Super-Deformed.
  • The entire point of Osamu Tezuka's short film Legends of the Forest (along with a Green Aesop). It shows the long, epic story of a forest's slow cannibalization by humans, showing the passage of time by shifting through the different styles of animation. It starts out by panning across realistic-looking woodcuts, moves into an early, B&W Disney style, and then turns to color, Termite Terrace influenced style, and then into a more lush, Cinderella style, and finally into something similiar to Fantasia.
    • MW uses art shifts, often as tribute to classical works. And then there's a chase scene, where a still cartoony looking Shunsaku Ban is being chased down by a grotesquely realistic attack dog.
  • Used all over the place in The Secret of Kells, which plays with perspective and the draws inspiration from the different styles of medieval illumination. Notable examples include Brendan's slate sketches, the tale of Colum-Cilles, and the Viking raids.
  • The song "I Just Can't Wait to be King" from The Lion King featured stylized character designs and backgrounds based on traditional African fabric patterns.
  • The story in the middle of The Nutcracker Prince.
  • Kung Fu Panda seems to love this trope. While it's primarily filmed in CGI, it opens with a flash animated Dream Sequence and a traditionally animated Creative Closing Credits; Secrets of the Furious Five shifts to traditional animation to show the Five's backstories; and the holiday special has yet another 2D Dream Sequence. Then there's Kung Fu Panda 2, which opens with a sequence resembling Chinese shadow puppets, and has a few traditionally animated flashbacks and one Dream Sequence that are animated traditionally. Plus, there is at least one cut-out animation sequence in every episode of the TV series.
  • A dream sequence seen about halfway through the song "A Girl Worth Fighting For" from Mulan appears to be animated in the style of traditional Chinese watercolor paintings.
  • "The Backson Song" in Winnie the Pooh is done as colored chalk drawings.

Films — Live Action

  • During the stretch of Spike Lee's Crooklyn that takes place away from Brooklyn in rural Virginia, the image is horizontally squashed, leaving everything looking freakishly tall and skinny. Those scenes were filmed in widescreen but with anamorphic correction deliberately left unapplied.
  • Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 also feature this. A sword fight is completely done in silhouettes, the begining of Vol. 2 starts in black and white and O-Ren's backstory is completely anime.
  • The stop-motion animated musical dream sequence with dancing hamburgers in Better Off Dead. Yes, the whole movie is cartoonish, but otherwise as realistic as 80ies teenage comedies go.
  • In the movie version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a stylised cartoon accompanies each of the Guide's definitions. As well, at one point the characters briefly turn into stop-motion-animated yarn puppets after the Infinite Improbability Drive has been used.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, the medium switches to stylized animation when Hermione recites The Tale of the Three Brothers.
  • Melancholia: The opening montage is shot in a completely different style than the rest of the film.
  • The Wizard of Oz may be one of the earliest and most in your face uses of this trope in film. The switch from the sepia tones of Dorothy's Kansas to the technicolor world of Oz is almost jarring.


  • Mervyn Grant illustrates Where's My Cow with three different art styles. Sam and Young Sam (and the later scenes featuring Ankh-Morporkians) are realistic; the world of the book within the book is all pastels, and the third, Young Sam's imagination, is cartoony. Then they start to blend together...
  • Used in The Heroes of Olympus series via book cover art to highlight and visually accentuate the cultural differences between the Greek and Roman demigods.
  • David Macaulay won a Caldecott medal for his picture book Black And White, which tells four overlapping stories simultaneously, mostly about cows, using four markedly different styles of illustration.
  • In David Weisner's picture book retelling of The Three Pigs, the pigs realize partway through the story that they can escape their book and visit characters in other stories, all of which are illustrated in different styles. This one also received a Caldecott medal.

Live-Action TV

  • An odd live-action one occurs in the final TV movie of Saved by the Bell, which is filmed on more traditional film cameras and lacks the show's brighter lighting and soundtrack. (Compare this to the show's first TV movie, "Hawaiian Style", which is filmed using the show's cameras.)
  • Going the other way, the Scrubs episode "My Life in Four Cameras" had J.D. musing on the concept of life as a sitcom being able to solve problems, which turns the normally naturalistic filming style of the show into a garish, brightly lit set with a laugh track, a silly plot about a talent show and all the female cast members in overly sexualized outfits, before revealing that it was just wishful thinking, and the problems posed in the episode (a man discovers he has terminal cancer; budget cuts force a loved employee to be fired) have depressingly real consequences.
  • In the famous Stargate SG-1 episode "Heroes", the interviews filmed by reporter Emmett Bregman are done either using different equipment or different film, and as a result look distinct from the rest of the show. The show usually has more of a "cinematic" feel compared to the more "live TV" feel of Bregman's footage.
  • House does things like this a lot. The episode with the father and daughter with nearly no emotional reactions is done with a blue filter until they get cured. When House has insomnia all scenes with him in have a bloom effect, etc.
    • Many of cold open scenes in House are directed in the distinct style of a different kind of series or show, so much that they may confuse a less savvy viewer.
    • The season 5 episode in which Kutner dies has strangely subdued lighting throughout, presumably to emphasize its serious tone.
  • Mash had an episode where the various characters were interviewed by a film crew about their experiences during the war. The interview segments were very tight shots, using a very grainy, black-and-white newsreel style, which contrasted greatly to the clear, open, full-color photography used for the rest of the episode.
  • Community: The second season Christmas episode "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" was Stop Motion-animated. In fact, Abed's noticing of the Art Shift that no other character notices is central to episode's plot.
    • In Season 4, Jeff and Shirley engage in a game of table football which is shown in anime. There's no real explanation - it appears to be for no reason other than the fact that they couldn't think of a better way to make table football suitably dramatic.
      • More likely Harmon was playing on the fact that anime tends to contain a lot of Mundane Made Awesome.
  • In a rather unexpected example, we have Fringe where in the episode LSD, in Olivia's mind it suddenly changes to a cell-shaded/cartoony style when Walter and Bishop enter Bell's Room. Apparently they couldn't get Leonard Nimoy to appear in person so they had to use this.
    • "Walter: Bellie, why are you a cartoon?"
  • Stargate Atlantis, Season 5 ep 19 "Vegas" has an alternate universe Shepard in a CSI-like cop show, complete with recurring camera-zoom-in to a close-up of the evidence he's talking about at the moment. The crime he's investigating turns out to have been committed by a Wraith who is on a covert mission on earth.
  • Farscape. When Harvey turns out to be Not Quite Dead, Crichton sees him as Nosferato in a scratchy black & white film.
  • Hustle does this for certain exposition scenes. A description of a very old con trick is done via a B&W silent movie, and an explanation of fugu fish preperation is done via anime.
  • Eureka used this in their latest (Christmas) episode. A machine in town malfunctioned and turned everyone into various animated styles. They used everything from Peanuts to claymation.

Video Games

  • Zero's art changed so radically from Mega Man X 5 to Mega Man Zero that fans were left wondering if it was really the same Zero.
    • Zero 3 answered it in a rather confusing manner.
      • To be precise about it, it's revealed that Zero's body in the Zero series is a completely new body. When you fight the final boss, Omega, his final form is Zero's original body. Which wouldn't be so confusing, except Zero's "original" body looks just like his new one!
    • The Zero and ZX games in general have a different art style from the X series. Likely to accommodate the transition from TV screens to tiny handheld displays.
      • Both the Zero and ZX character designs were done by Toru Nakayama. The original and X series was still done by Keiji Inafune.
        • Keiji Inafune only handled the character designs for Mega Man 1-6, 9, 10 and X 1-3. Hayato Kaji was responsible for 7 while Shinsuke Komaki worked on 8. Haruki Suetsugu for X4-X6 and Tatsuya Yoshikawa for X7 and X8. Inafune more or less draws the same as he did in the Famicom era.
  • In Final Fantasy IV the After Years, although most of the game's sprites have a FFVI-esque appearance, flashbacks will show them with the same dwarfish proportions they had in the original.
  • The developers of Killer 7 hired two different anime studios to create brief, fully animated cutscenes for some of the game's more bizarre levels, one level featuring what look like flash-based animations while another level is filled with more traditional cel animation, which serve as a welcome break from the game's usual in-engine cutscenes.
  • Crash: Mind Over Mutant enjoys abusing Art Shift for its animated FMVs for no apparent reason other than to amplify its wackiness. Across the 17 such scenes, there are twelve art styles used in total!
    • These styles include: Shadow puppet cutouts, hand puppets, old frame animation akin to the old Marvel shows, somewhat abstract yet technological-looking, more streamlined and flash-like animation, chinese and SD-like animation, South Park-ish construction paper cutouts and an anime style akin to Dragonball Z.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 4, Snake dozes off on his way to a location and has a dream. The dream is all in the same graphics and engine as Metal Gear Solid for the PS1. (This is because it's actually a real section from the original MGS1.)
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, in the Timeless River area, all the characters shift to the style of 1930s Golden Age Disney cartoons (into their own character designs for Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Pete).
    • Port Royal and the characters in it are more detailed than the rest of the game and feature a lot of Real Is Brown since they are based on a live-action movie. Sora and his friends point out that this world looks different when they first arrive.
    • The final cutscenes are also generated using much more realistic-looking CGI. It can be a bit of a shock the first time you see it, but it looks extremely good.
    • More subtly, weapons and common Heartless get their textures shifted in Halloween Town and Space Paranoids into darker, detailed textures for the former and Tron Lines for the latter while keeping their models (the heroes do get shifted in those worlds too, but their changes are more drastic than a simple texture swap). To wit: a regular Soldier, a Halloween Town Soldier and a Space Paranoids Soldier.
  • Elite Beat Agents and Osu Tatakae Ouendan do this cleverly; while the agents/ouendan dance in 3D on the bottom screen, the results of their cheering is shown on the top screen in a mix between manga style (there are manga effects and word bubbles) and limited animation. The most clever use is in the Jumping Jack Flash stage of Elite Beat Agents: as all of the agents' clients try to break the agents out of their stone status, the bottom screen is black. When they are freed, the agents jump down onto the bottom screen and start dancing.
  • In Rakugaki Showtime, which is done normally in a low-detailed, scribbly art style, does a momentary art shift in its intro movie. Yukiwo, the main character, is momentarily rendered in typical anime style for comedic effect before a dramatic attack.
  • Used a lot in the Wario Ware series for the mini games, where even igoring the deliberate retro style choices in 9-Volt (and 18-Volt)'s microgames, the games seem to range for sprite to cartoon to semi photo realistic style on a per game basis. The music changes about as frequently as well.
  • Super Mario RPG had a part where you would go behind a curtain and Mario would go from psuedo-3D isometric to 8-bit just as he appears in the original Super Mario Bros..
    • Paper Mario had a similar scene that was a Shout-Out to the same scene from SMRPG.
      • Paper Mario the Thousand Year Door would also 8-bit-ize your partners in yet another room. It's almost a running gag in the series.
      • Super Paper Mario has power-ups (Pal Pills, and the Superstar) that summon up "mini" 8-bit versions of your current character, and turn you into a GIANT 8-bit version of your current character respectively. And they stay when you switch characters. So yes you CAN get Peach surrounded by her own legion of 8-bit Bowser protectors.
  • Several scenes in the Tsukihime sequel Kagetsu use this. Notable example, the curry restaurant scene with Ciel where she acquires blank white eyes, three v shaped teeth, cartoony hands... oh, and a head larger than her torso.
  • Combined with Art Evolution in Adventure Quest, as one quest involves a distortion in time, thus causing characters' art to reverse to its original and first images.
    • One monster-hunting quest has never had its art updated, but had a Lampshade Hanging added to it halfway through when your character complains about searching for aquatic beasts in a picturesque lake.

 "Also, [this NPC's] pants look funny."

  • In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Maria asks Alucard if he has seen Richter Belmont. Maria has a thought bubble depicting a Sot N style Richter sprite. Alucard responds with a remembering of when he fought alongside Trevor Belmont, who he remembers in the form of the NES Trevor Belmont sprite.
    • Also, in variation, the sprite used for Richter Belmont in that game is the same as his Rondo of Blood sprite, which doesn't match the artwork for the game. However, the Sega Saturn version has the option to play as him in a more accurate get up.
  • Rayman Origins looks a lot different to the previous games. The game features 2D environments with enemies from the first game, but with a somewhat darker colour scheme much more similar to the 3D games. Other than this, the characters have much more exaggarated character models, possibly as an homage to wacky, Ren & Stimpy esque cartoons.
  • Fate/hollow ataraxia occasionally switches to intentionally bad chibi figures for the main cast at different times such as Ilya's castle or certain bonus scenes.
  • In The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings, the art shifts from normal game play to an anime styled motion comic when Geralt sees visions of his past. Additionally, though I'm not sure if it's a true art shift, in the The Witcher the art would shift from game play to paintings done in the Renaissance style.
  • Due to being a dolled-up version of an unrelated Famicom game, Super Spy Hunter has a completely different art style.
  • Prototype uses real-life photos with special effects mixed with in-game footage, sometimes together at once.
  • The cutscenes for Super Mario 3D Land are all CG animated, but the "photos" Bowser took of the captive Peach are hand-drawn.
  • Super Meat Boy has a rather large contrast between somewhat realistic in-game environment, cartoonish style in menus and cutscenes and pixellated in-game characters.
  • The Darkspawn visibly changed their look from Dragon Age Origins to Dragon Age 2.
  • Golden Sun Dark Dawn has the "Sun Saga" books-within-a-game, retelling the events of the original Golden Sun games with simplistic 2d figures instead of the rest of the game's lush cel-shaded 3d animation.

Web Animation

  • Homestar Runner does this all. the. time. Several alternate versions of the main characters exist to parody various media genres, such as the "20X6" anime versions, the old-timey versions, the 60's cartoon mystery-solver versions... all of which have their own art style.
  • Red vs. Blue: In the original series, a few episodes were filmed with the game Marathon when Church gets sent back in time. And now that Monty Oum (the creator of Haloid and Dead Fantasy) has joined the Rooster Teeth staff, a few scenes in the latest season, Revelation, have been made using CGI alongside the Halo game-generated content.
    • In Season 9, instead of trying to integrate them together, they have the flashbacks involving the freelancers in CGI and things involving the Blood Gulch teams in machinima.
  • Bowser's Kingdom
    • The scene where Hal fought Donkey Kong in episode 6 was 8-bit. Hal and Jeff used sprites rom the orginal Super Mario Bros., while Donkey Kong used the orginal Donkey Kong sprites.
    • The story in episode 9. Everyone was drawn in Flash.

Web Comics

  • What's Shakin uses this in every flashback. Each flashback has a different art style.
    • Page 37 - Ell's flashback uses the old B&W animation style.
    • Page 38 - Pai's flashback uses a childish crayon style.
    • Page 39 - Nith's flashback is in a B&W manga style.
    • Page 40 - Coffin's flashback uses an old disco painting/tarnished style.
    • Page 49 - Fred's flahback has a monochrome red grunge style.
    • Page 52 & Page 53 - The Sister's flashback uses an old cartoon, like Scooby Doo kind of style.
  • In an odd non-animated example, College Roomies From Hell!!! has at times shifted to a more realistic style of art for dream sequences and flashbacks, only to fall back on the usual stylized designs when returning to the present storyline.
  • In Order of the Stick, the multi-strip Flash Back to the legendary events that shaped the world are drawn in the distinctive stick-figure style, but with crayons.
    • This strip has a police sketch artist draw up a picture of two antagonists, which he does in a much more realistic style than the comic itself. Naturally, he was then sacked for being rubbish at art—I mean, it looks nothing LIKE them! (This one was actually a bit of a Take That to critics claiming that the comic's style was due to a lack of talent rather than an aesthetic choice.)
  • Loki's first person in Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki is rendered as an impressionist painting, in contrast with the comic's Animesque style.
  • This Sinfest webcomic.
  • The KAMics has some series done in different art styles, although sometimes an art shift happens on an artistic whim.
  • This Sluggy Freelance uses Art Shift to make the Dream Sequence that much Mind Screwier.
  • This Elftor strip.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court switches to more detailed shading and exaggerated perspective when Kat narrates a flashback to her childhood, and when Annie uses the Blinker Stone to see. And it switches to stylized, Native American-inspired art whenever Coyote tells stories.
  • Eight Bit Theater has done this a few times.
  • Suicide for Hire uses a shift into poorly-drawn cartoons with scribbly shading here in a flashback sequence; the character narrating the flashback is telling very flimsy lies, and the listeners know exactly how untrue his allegations are, hence the art being, in the artist's words, "as poorly composed as his story".
  • The Cyantian Chronicles: All comics written/drawn in The Cyantian Chronicles have at least some changes in the art style over the years. Although the Art Shift is especially apparent in Cesilee's Diary (Available via purchase only) and in Genoworks Saga.
    • Typically, major art changes occur between the published comic books.
  • YU+ME: dream: Throughout the second section of the story, which takes place in the Dream World, the webcomic basically lives on this trope as the style changes every time the characters walk into a different area.
  • In Digger, the art switches to extremely simplified "cave painting" style when Ed tells a hyena legend about She-Is-Fiercer, and later when he talks about his exile.
  • In Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic, comic #674 is a Homage to Order of the Stick, with the art changing to its characteristic stick-figure style.
    • Also, strip #1076 shifts to medieval tapestry style to go along with the "bardic" rhyming narration. This is an homage to Ed Gorey and the theme song to the TV show Mystery!, for which Gorey did the animation.
  • Played for laughs in this Fey Winds strip.
  • In Slightly Damned, happens several times during Dream Sequences.
  • Khaos Komix shifts between realistically-drawn and chibi characters, with the chibis usually representing inner thoughts or moments of high emotion.
  • Although Union of Heroes is a photo-comic, if the background of a character is told, the strips are drawn.
  • In Rusty and Co you get several, once-a-frame Art Shifts in a few strips, thanks to a "Girdle of Genre Bending".
  • The Extremely Post Modern Adventures of Flint and Hinawa Had one of these, in response to the "Fan Art" it recived.
  • Nature of Nature's Art uses a slow transition (along with a medium painting shift of the usual site's black background to white) to illustrate the character XZ/Nutsedge, previously conceived as innocent and childlike by the viewpoint character no longer appearing as such to the aforementioned character. The original stylized appearance the character was drawn in shifts into a more realistic rendition until the end of that story arc.
  • Homestuck uses several noticeably different art styles. Theoretically they have become a "language" within the work, although Andrew insists that no such thing is taking place.
    • The primary style uses sprite sheets that give the main characters a Super-Deformed (babyish) look and emphases that they are characters in a game.
    • A highly pixellated sprite style reminiscent of Super Nintendo-style game graphics.
    • Less stylized artwork with more realistic proportions—if anything the characters become more willowy. Referred to as "hero mode", used when the characters are intended to be taken more seriously, in combat and some moments of high emotion: for example, high passion or grief. Also possibly because it looks totally awesome.
    • A shaded form of the above, featuring a great deal more detail (and noses, for the first time!). Possibly this is purely an exercise in style. This is sometimes referred to as "Hussnasty mode".
    • A scribble-style used occasionally for a few Running Gags. For example a character tasting something horrible may shout "Bluh" while going into scribble mode, an occurrence occasionally referred to as "doofus mode" or "scribble mode". Where John is involved, this may be accompanied by a yell of "THIS IS STUPID!"
  • Nicktoons Tales does this occasionally, but the most notable shift is in the Nicktoons Tales of Terror segment, When The Crickets Cry.
  • The comic Doodle Diaries is made by three different people, who draw eachother in very different styles.
  • Arthur, King of Time and Space has the heavily-stylised "triangle" format, which indicates either Arthur's comic-within-a-comic or that Paul Gadzikowski has less time to draw than usual or a broken scanner. A not quite as stylised version (the same one used for his fanfic comics) was used for the Alternate Continuity of Arthur King of Time And Space 2.0
    • Merlin's comic (now Nimue's) is done in a different style as well.
  • SSDD added a bit of realism in one comic.

Western Animation

  • Adventure Time, "Guardians Of Sunshine": Finn and Jake get stuck inside a video game and consequently, the art style becomes a sort of blocky 3D animation style complemented with green and black graphics for the in-game characters and levels.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, "My Peeps": Billy gets eyestrain, and Grim uses his magic to fix Billy's eyes, accidentally giving the boy precognitive powers. Grim ends up repeatedly altering Billy's sight in an effort to fix things, demonstrated by point-of-view shots through Billy's eyes as the art shifted to a sketchy Jhonen Vasquez-inspired style, then an Animesque style, then a cutesy little-kids' show style.
    • The Big Boogie Adventure movie also did this when the characters have to paddle through a vortex, briefly turning them into puppets (Billy even lifts up his shirt to reveal a arm underneath causing the others to scream) Grim comments it as "disturbing" once they exit out of it.
    • The show even switches to the style of The Powerpuff Girls at the end of one episode, after Mandy smiles and breaks the laws of physics.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door, "Operation Report": Numbuh 1's scene is CG. Numbuh 2's scene is comic-book style. Numbuh 3's scene is kid-drawing style. Numbuh 4's scene is Animesque, and an obvious parody of Dragonball Z. Numbuh 5's scene is in the style of the works of Mo Willems, the series' co-creator. The short framing scene at the end is done normally.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot has an episode in which Jenny has dreams, and the dreams all have a different style. The longest dream sequence, during which Jenny is awake but sees all her friends as villains, has a Dr. Seuss illustration style.
  • The Powerpuff Girls, "The Bare Facts": Scenes narrated by Buttercup are done in sketchy green, black, and white stills, scenes narrated by Bubbles are done in a kid-drawing style, while scenes narrated by Blossom are done in the normal animation style but tinted red.
    • Also, in "Substitute Creature", the (imaginary) scenes of the monstrous-looking but ultimately harmless substitute teacher wreaking havoc are done in a black-and-white comic book style - with the kids drawn as adults, for some odd reason.
    • In "Jewel of the Aisle", the girls are watching an ad for Lucky Captain Rabbit King Nuggets on TV, which is animated just like the actual "Lucky Charms" and "Trix" commercials. Just before the commercial, they also have a short clip of the series they're watching, "Mech-Animals", which is done in CGI.
  • Batman the Animated Series: "Legends of the Dark Knight" featured scenes told by children about what the "real" Batman was like. One featured a 1950s-era story done in the style of Dick Sprang, and another showed a scene taken almost word-for-word from The Dark Knight Returns, done in Frank Miller's art style.
    • A more blatant art shift occurred when Superman: The Animated Series was first being produced, the budget for BTAS was being reduced and the decision was made for both shows to be more streamlined (i.e. the were made to look more like Bruce Timm's work). While this presented a debatable drop in quality for Batman, it lead to the formation of the DCAU.
  • A similar thing was done in a Justice League Unlimited episode where Grodd was telling the story of the Viking Prince. They showed a series of still pictures in the style of Joe Kubert (who drew the Viking Prince comic).
  • Similarly, an episode of Samurai Jack has each of a group of bounty hunters narrate his "defeat Jack" plan in a culturally-appropriate animation style.
    • The episode with Aku telling Fairy Tales to children is similar.
    • There is also an episode where Jack drops down a rabbit hole into a world that looks like a '60s era cartoon, complete with the associated physics.
    • Samurai Jack plays with art shifts quite a lot. One episode has Jack and a demon/ghost facing off in a spectral realm, shown in flickering, insubstantial monochrome; another episode features Jack and a ninja darting between black and white scenery, playing with the visuals of light and shadow all the while.
  • Once more in an early The Rashomon-esque episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender. In "The Great Divide", when the Gan Jins ("clean" in Mandarin chinese) tell their side of the story, the animation is clean cut and refined; when the Zhangs ("dirty") tell their side, the animation is craggy and primitive, resembling that of Dead Leaves. When Aang sets them straight on what "really" happened, the animation is simplistic and reminiscent of anime for preschool children.
    • Also, in "Nightmares and Daydreams," the style gets slightly more cartoonish when Aang starts hallucinating. Especially Appa and Momo, who become funny animals.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the episode "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer", Homer is temporarily animated in a surreal landscape while under the influence of "the Merciless Peppers of Quetzlzacatenango".
    • "Yokel Chords" has an art shift when Bart tells his "Dark Stanley" story, reminiscent of Edward Gorey or Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street original musical posters.
    • In "Lady Bouvier's Lover", when Homer's dad and Marge's mother are dating, Homer thinks that if the two marry, the Simpson kids will become inbred and turn into "horrible freaks with pink skin, no overbite, and five fingers on each hand!" From Homer's POV, the kids briefly change to match this description, utterly squicking him out.
    • The Treehouse of Horror "Homer^3" segment isn't so much an Art Shift as Medium Blending. Homer is rendered in C Gi when he enters the Third Dimension.
    • The Couch Gag for "Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts" was done by John Kricfalusi in his unique, deranged style.
  • South Park: In the episode "Chinpokomon", several characters become choppily animated and develop Pokémon-style anime features. In "Simpsons Did It", Butters has a fantasy sequence in which the show is in Simpsons-style animation. In "Good Times With Weapons", several sequences are drawn in an Animesque style. The latest example would be "Major Boobage", which uses cel animation that's a deliberate homage to Heavy Metal to indicate drug trips.
    • The episodes with Cthulhu has it and other abominations rendered in 3D CG, which greatly contrasts with the cardboard cutout style of SP, to show how alien they appear to normal people.
  • Family Guy makes active use of Art Shift in conjunction with one-off gags. For example, one episode portrayed the family as poorly drawn and badly voiced characters on The Tracy Ullman Show.
    • Another episode provides Film Noir-style reenactments of Dr. Hartman's prostate exams.

 Judge: Come to think of it, I remember it as a pretty standard exam.

Peter: Are you sure, judge? Are you sure it wasn't all evil and grainy and black and white? Think about it.

Dr. Hartman: (evil, grainy, black and white flashback) Relax... I be a doctor!

Judge: (freaking out) Guilty, guilty, guilty!

  • The "Korean Animation" replacement ending from episode 4 of Clerks the Animated Series. "Wait, who is driving? Oh my God, Bear is driving! How can that be?"
  • An episode of Drawn Together featured the characters chasing Live Action Cow through a series of cartoon universes, including "South Park", "The Flintstones", and "The Jetsons".
    • In one episode Wooldoor Sockbat narrows Princess Clara's eyes like an Asian, and she sees Toot Braunstein and Foxxy Love as animesque characters.
  • In the Duck Dodgers episode "Samurai Quack", Dodgers hallucinates that he's a samurai warrior. The animation style of the hallucination follows the plot in being a parody of Samurai Jack.
    • There's also a Running Gag that, when characters react to something unpleasant, there'll be a still image of it drawn in more detail than is practical in animation.
  • One episode of American Dad where Haylie and Steve play a World of Warcraft-like game uses a more elaborate Animesque drawing style for the gameplay sequences.
    • Also, whenever the show deviates into the Golden Turd subplot (which has only been done in "Homeland Insecurity" and another episode so far), the animation quality is changed to give it a more cinematic feel—right down to the reduced screen height for widescreen effect.
    • Stan is drawn in the style of Schoolhouse Rock when he sings a song explaining who Oliver North is and what he did.
    • "In Country... Club" had two short segments in alternate styles - first a flashback to The Vietnam War in a more realistic style, and then later when Roger listens to Barbra Streisand cover songs by Celine Dion, he goes on what is essentially a drug trip that's in 3D.
  • Used in The Emperors New School whenever they switch to "Kuzco's Doodles" segments.
    • Played up during their own Rashomon episode where different characters explain things in their own Doodle segments—Melina has chibi anime style, Kronk's art is closer to classic Disney, the security guard uses a chalkboard with shapes, and Pacha's have a primitive feel.
  • In Code Lyoko, there are flashbacks with still-frames in a more Animesque style. Most notably in episode "I'd Rather Not Talk About It!", where Jim's tall tales are first pictured in highly-detailed images, followed by a super-deformed and more comical style showing what was more likely the truth.
  • Used in Gargoyles as a culture reference in the episode "Mark of the Panther". A character is telling a story based on an African legend, and the animation changes to reflect the very stylized aspect of African art.
  • Transformers Animated begins with Optimus Prime watching old history footage from the war between Autobots and Decepticons that took place long before the present. What did they use to show this? Footage from the original Transformers cartoon.
    • Not only that, but it's from "War Dawn", the episode in which the Aerialbots went back in time and saw the beginning of the Great War in that series.
  • Invader Zim
    • In the pilot episode, it was planned that the foodfight between zim and dib were in CGI.
    • In Enter The Florpus, when the characters enters in the titular portal, the style changes from dogs to puppets to .
  • Class of 3000 did this during the music video portions of the show, with styles done by guest directors.
  • An episode of The Fairly Odd Parents has Cosmo turning the world into a black and white cartoon, making everything look like something made in the Twenties.
    • The second TV Movie, Channel Chasers, makes great use of this since its a send up of animated kids shows. Ranging from golden age to Looney Tunes style to animesque to even puppetry.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants, "Truth or Square" has two segments done in a retro animation style: a 1950s Krusty Krab commercial drawn like a UPA cartoon, and a "vintage" SpongeBob episode done as a '30s Fleischer cartoon.
    • Many episodes also feature highly detailed still frames of a person or object. Usually this is used for a Gross Up Close-Up, but occasionally it is used for other purposes, such as to make SpongeBob look extremely geeky. Probably the most famous one: Does THIS look unsure to you?! (Click the above image if you dare; it's Nightmare Fuel.)
    • Oftentimes the show has live-action segments or cutouts thrown into the animation for comical effect. In "Frankendoodle", we see a live-filmed artist on a boat who drops his pencil. The pencil goes into the underwater world of Spongebob, but it stays live-action even when everything else is cartoony. Also in "The Snowball Effect", at the beginning a live-action shot of a glacier collapsing is shown to justify underwater snow.
  • In the Kim Possible episode "Exchange", when Ron beats Fukushima ("It is my honor to defeat you!"), the art suddenly changes to a still shot of victorious Ron and Rufus in manga style.
  • The Classic Disney Short The Nifty Ninties had Mickey and Minnie going to a vauldeville house and watching a sketchy, non-animated slideshow, Father, Dear Father.
  • The Angry Beavers episode "Pass It On".
  • Whenever Owen of Total Drama Island has a flashback the animation switches to a crayon-drawn style to represent how childlike Owen is; this style is also used during his song "Oh Izzy" in Total Drama World Tour.
    • The group's song about New York, "What's Not to Love?" was done in a monochrome, Broadway musical poster style.
  • Re Boot switches from its usual CGI to Cell Shading during a Pokémon/Dragon Ball Z game.
  • Fish Hooks shifts between the typical cartoon look in the aquariums and a photo collage look outside.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes had a brief scene where it switched to 8-bit video game graphics.
  • Done brilliantly in Chowder. In the episode "Shopping Spree", Truffles falls ill and Mung, Chowder, and Schnitzel take the money box and blow all the money on plastic surgery, cool dude sunglasses, and a robot. Later when a food delivery is made, Mung realizes that there's no more money, and frantically asks, "No more money? Do you know what that means?" Following that he says, "No more money...", the animation quits and cuts to live action, showing the voice actors in studio as Mung's voice actor continues, "...means no more animation!" Everyone continues, in character, and after a carwash fundraising montage, they go back to animated, because they got enough money to get the animation back.
  • The Pink Panther used this trope twice; here, in the episode Hamm-N-Eggz and here in The Texas Toads.
  • "Reincarnation", the season 6 finale of Futurama has three acts each done in three different styles: a Retraux Fleischer Studios-style cartoon, an eight-bit arcade game, and a Robotech/Voltron inspired Anime.
  • In the animated adaptation of BattleTech, some mech battles switch from traditional art, to CG when someone activated enhanced imaging.
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic uses a slightly different art style for the story told during the pilot, as well as for the paintings used to explain who Discord is during the start of the second season; it looks sort of like the Limited Animation of a comic book.
    • In the episode "A Friend In Deed," Pinkie Pie's internal thought process is depicted with felt cutouts.
    • And in "MMMystery on the Friendship Express," Pinkie's Imagine Spots each have a different art style.
  • Transformers Prime does this whenever they explain an event that happened in the past.
  • The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol shifts from 3D CGI to 2D animation during the sequence when Grouchy is visited by the Smurfs of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.
  • In the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Broodwich", Shake finds a cursed sandwich that briefly sends him to a hellish alternate dimension with every bite. The alternate dimension is drawn in a sketchy art style reminiscent of Don Hertzfeldt's Rejected.