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{Homer and Lisa are editing a video of Flanders}

Homer: OK, from here we star-wipe to a glamor shot of Flanders paying his bills, then we star-wipe to Flanders brushing his--

Lisa: Dad, there are other wipes besides star-wipes!

Homer: Why eat hamburger when you can have steak?

Lisa: I'm taking my name off this thing.
The Simpsons, episode 11x14: Alone Again, Natura-Diddily

The use of unusual wipes, dissolves, or otherwise strange scene transitions. Where most scene transitions try to avoid drawing attention, so as to focus the viewers' attention on the on-screen action, but Idiosyncratic Wipes practically scream, "Hey! Look at me! Did you notice there's a new scene about to start?! Here it comes!"

Idiosyncratic Wipes can be employed for artistic or humorous effect, or just because they look cool. They can be used for only a few scenes, or they can be used for every scene transition, in which case they serve as a show's trademark.

Examples of Idiosyncratic Wipes include:

Anime and Manga

  • The DiC Entertainment-dubbed version of the first two seasons of Sailor Moon added these through CGI (with sounds to boot!), which just made the crappy first-season cel animation that much more noticeable in contrast.
    • The Cloverway dub did the same for Sailor Moon S and Sailor Moon Super S, but not as often.
  • Keroro Gunsou uses these as well, in the form of a few of the Keroro Platoon's symbols (Usually Keroro's star - symbols for human characters like Momoka sometimes come up) flying across or spinning on the screen. It changes sometimes according to episode, such as when Taruru appeared, his symbol was used in one of these wipes.
  • A rare example in Azumanga Daioh: a scene featuring Tomo, Ayumu, and Kagura begging Yomi for help on a test ends. Yomi then walks across the screen (not scene; the shot ends, I think, with an overhead of all four), and uses her as the boundary.
  • Pani Poni Dash! features a large amount of these scenes, many featuring resident magical girl Behoimi.
  • Fruits Basket has a unique "ka-ching wipe" for each commercial break, and between certain scenes of the show. There is an extra feature on the American DVD release that plays them all sequentially.
  • Princess Tutu uses an effect reminiscent of flipping pages, in keeping with its fairy-tale motif.
  • One of the final episodes of Kimagure Orange Road had Mega Neko Jingoro walking out of frame, right into the eyecatch (where he fell over as always).
  • Paradise Kiss featured wipes consisting of either rustling flowers or chittering stuffed animals.
  • Red Mantle Wipe!
  • Dancougar Nova uses sometimes an element of the incoming scene as a wipe. Notably, one of the early episodes used Aoi's butt.
  • The Deltora Quest anime (even in the Japanese version)
  • The World God Only Knows uses alot of these. Usually featuring Elsie.


  • Star Wars has a very recognizable style in its use of screen wipes (never in the same direction twice).
    • Parodied and lampshaded in Spaceballs, where, when the screen does a dissolve from night to day on the desert planet, Barf comments, "Nice dissolve."
    • The styles of wipes used in Star Wars were among many Homages to Akira Kurosawa's Jidai Geki films, particularly The Hidden Fortress.
    • The insane amount of different wipes in III is mindboggling, though. It looks like a cat has walked on the editor's wipe buttons.
    • Star Wars' use of them is often reminiscent of - and probably intended in homage to - 1930s film serials, a general source of inspiration to George Lucas.
  • Elaborate and often bizarre examples can be found in the Saw movies. In one example from Saw 4, a camera follows two people crashing through a large mirror into a set at a police station.
  • In The Movie of Spawn, each scene would burn away in a blaze of fire across the screen, leaving the next scene below it.
  • The Movie of Speed Racer has so many horizontal wipes with character faces in between, you could make a drinking game out of it. In fact, near the grand finale there were over half a dozen face wipes all at once.
  • Battlefield Earth had quite a number of unorthodox wipes. The director claimed he was aiming for a 'live action cartoon'. The annoying wipes did help distract from the obnoxious camera angles, but not from the performances.
    • The only wipe was the centre-screen split. Which made the other three or so transitions look like masterpieces.
  • Hulk (2003), in an attempt to mimic panels, seldom had any two scenes transitioned with a standard wipe, including, at one point, wiping by chroma-keying the background behind a random fern in one scene. Another example is when they super-imposed two camera angles of some flying helicopters (making the perspective look very strange) in order to transition between them. Strangely, actual panel-like transitions tended to be used sparingly.
  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery uses brief shots of Austin and his Fake Band, Ming Tea.
  • The recent Tim Allen vehicle, Zoom, a kid superhero team movie, uses the logo.
  • Uwe Boll's House of the Dead used footage from the first, second and third games as wipes.
  • The movie version of Underdog used the canine hero's "U" logo; it zooms into the screen, turns around to reveal that the next scene is at the back, and then fills the screen with it.
  • The Batman example below is parodied once on Flushed Away.
  • Before the Devil Knows You're Dead shifts between the last frame of one chapter and the first of the next several times while making "WHOOSH" noises before transitioning.
  • While Casablanca itself was fairly staid in its transitions, its original trailer used every wipe known to the science of the time.
  • The Sting occasionally uses an artsy wipe, such as a side-to-side wipe in which the transition follows a merry-go-round horse.
  • In Tank Girl scene transitions involved showing some comic book panels in between scenes.
  • The Inspector Gadget movie had CG wireframes or renders of Gadget's pieces.
  • Xanadu
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show had wipes that sometimes matched the action onscreen (a windshield wiper wipe when driving in the rain, a dripping wipe when outside in the rain, etc)
  • The first Woody Allen film, What's New Pussycat?, includes wipes with ridiculously elaborate borders.
  • The Laurel and Hardy short Thicker Than Water parodied the wipes by having Ollie reach out to the edge of the frame and physically drag the new scene across the screen as he and Stan exit. Later in the film Stan tries it but in his haste the new scene slips from his fingers and slides back, and he has to double back and do it again.


  • In one of the stupendously silly Samurai Cat books, the characters (in the middle of an affectionate Seven Samurai parody) employ a Kurosawa-esque wipe to end a scene. Everybody shouts "WIPE!" and voila, the scene changes ...

Live Action TV

  • Batman. The bat symbol (with a spinning psychedelic background sometimes) would flash on screen with a snippet of the theme music. Whenever idiosyncratic wipes are played for laughs, this is the one most often parodied.
  • Home Improvement was one of the more prominent shows to employ the technique in recent years. Every single scene transition employed a unique wipe, and they always had something to do with the plot or the conversation at hand. For example, if Tim was talking about mowing his lawn, then a large lawnmower might appear and "mow" the current scene away to reveal the next.
    • Late Night With Jimmy Fallon uses a similar graphic during "Name That Guy". According to Jimmy, old wipes from the some were all they could afford.
  • Terry Gilliam's animated sequences on Monty Python's Flying Circus.
  • That 70s Show
  • Angel (which used a Blipvert transition)
  • Numb3rs sometimes does Idiosyncratic Wipes into (and out of) commercial breaks.
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun used goofy CG shots of planets as bumpers between scenes.
  • Reba
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody uses wipes while inside the Tipton. These wipes consist of boarding the Tipton elevator and going to the floor where the next scene is (Floor 23 is the boys' room).
  • An episode of Bones that took place in Las Vegas ended with a pile of chips falling onto the picture, and a pair of hands sweeping them away to reveal the end title card.
    • All of the wipes in that episode were things like that-chips, cards being dealt (might have only shown up on the DVD like that, though).
    • Also, in "The Headless Witch in the Woods", featuring video footage, all of the wipes are white noise static changing into the next scene.
    • Throughout the series scenes often change with everything brightening until the screen is white, then darkening into the next scene.
  • Tru Calling. A very distinctive wipe (courtesy of Zoic's CGI staff) was used to denote the activation of the "rewind" power, and a variation of it was also used going to and from commercial break. It was kept on the DVD release, too, where it still functions as a sign of an act break.
  • The 2007 Robin Hood series used arrows.
    • Also, once per episode, right after the climax is resolved, it uses an archery target that spins similar to the Transformers symbol wipe.
  • Frasier had humorous "chapter headings" on black as bumpers.
  • Just Shoot Me had a similar device, using the headlines on the latest cover of Blush, the show's fictional fashion magazine.
  • The Wild Wild West TV show had a unique one. During the Animated Credits Opening, the screen was divided into five panels, the vertically rectangular center containing a cartoon "hero" who interacted with characters in the surrounding square panels. Each episode was divided into four acts. At the end of each act, the scene (usually a cliffhanger moment) would freeze and a sketch (in the pilot - also the only episode where the "hero" was himself replaced - and from season two's "The Night of the Flying Pie Plate" onwards) or photograph (in all season one episodes other than the pilot, and for about the first third of season two) of the scene would replace one of the panels, creating a "freeze-frame vignette". (The completed work also appeared behind the end credits of its episode in all seasons except the last.)
    • Our House and The Book Of Daniel later did something similar.
  • Kenan and Kel features these, often in ways that had some connection to the situation at hand.
  • Attack of the Show uses a zooming "attack" to cut between segments.
  • Power Rangers Dino Thunder, SPD, Operation Overdrive, and Jungle Fury have featured these involving helmets, morphers, police cars (in SPD) and sliding bits of metal (in Overdrive).
  • Pushing Daisies really goes to town with this.
    • Especially in the second season, with wipes related to the episode's theme.
  • Millennium would start scenes with a slow fade-in from white, usually accompanied by a heavy, ominous drum.
  • NCIS does this by going to commercial breaks with the "phunt" of a camera flashbulb, the scene turning monochrome, and a slow zoom of a still shot of the ending of the next scene. The early seasons had the actors moving in this shot; later seasons (around season 4 or so) featured a freeze-frame of the scene.
    • The sound is actually creator Donald Bellisario making said noise into a mic.
    • The spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles has something similar, except it uses a rapid-fire stream of photos.
  • Later episodes of Get Smart had the picture building up from jigsaw pieces at the start of an act and breaking down again at the end.
  • Myth Busters loves to do this for scene transitions. Anything from flames to ninjas to exploding water heaters have been used for wipes.
  • Wonderfalls used the rotation of a View-Master® reel
  • The Red Green Show often used these, generally explained as Harold being overelaborate; some wipe devices would show up without wiping the screen. Two relatively consistent wipes were a lantern moving in with its light beam showing the last host sequence, and a can tossed in that explodes to introduce 'Adventures with Bill'.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place uses sped-up shots of New York City, where the show is set, to transition between scenes.
    • Also scenes of the characters, usually Alex or Justin, dancing across a psychedelic background.
      • It's deeper than that- you can tell which main characters are going to be in the next scene by looking at who's in the transition.
  • Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! uses just about every wipe in the library.
  • H₂O: Just Add Water uses splashes of water.
  • Kenny Everett would often lampshade the use of digital transitions by appearing to pull or push them across the screen.
  • A few game shows use this trope:
    • Since the 1996 set change, Jeopardy! will often transition from the opening title card to the studio using a wipe that's themed after the title card.
    • Wheel of Fortune has many central to the theme of the week.
      • Since 2002, the show has used a special wipe for Toss-Ups and the Jackpot space. A "Final Spin" wipe has been in use since 2004 (mainly to mask any editing done if Pat should hit Bankrupt or Lose a Turn on his final spin), and a "Prize Puzzle" wipe has been in use since at least 2005. Also, from roughly 1997-2000, when Pat opened Round 4 by mentioning that there was a $5,000 space on the wheel, the $5,000 space would rotate, and on its side would be the iconic shot of Vanna and the puzzle board.
    • Most idosyncratic wipes used on The Price Is Right were introduced when R. Brian DiPirro took over as director. They're usually themed after the pricing game or prizes being offered. Among the more notable:
      • While George Gray describes the small prizes in Spelling Bee, a hexagon appears on a yellow background and "flips over" the next prize.
      • Similarly, Cliff Hangers uses the mountain climber as a transition.
      • Danger Price uses an inverse Iris Out shaped like an octagon to transition between prizes.
      • Also, since at least 1997, the consolation prizes shown before the second Showcase Showdown are transitioned by flipping against a background with the logo. The original wipe, used when Bob Barker hosted, was a 3D flip against a montage of TPIR logos.
      • Dice Game uses a spinning die wipe effect after its prize is revealed.
  • Ninja Turtles the Next Mutation uses ninja weapons in its wipes.
  • In The Amanda Show, screen transitions were an animated character that looked like Amanda literally wiping the screen away to the new one.
  • Hellcats has a cheerleader doing cartwheels across the screen for transitions. It's a very cheesy effect.
  • In Warehouse 13, scenes inside the Warehouse often end with a wipe of a crate slamming shut; scenes out in the field, with a wipe of a Farnsworth shutting off.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "200", one scene has Martin Lloyd talking about budget cuts to the "Wormhole X-treme" movie they're helping him with:

 Martin: Oh, this is just great, this totally ruins the end of act 3!

Carter: Why, what happens at the end of act 3?

Martin: At this point, nothing! Act 3 just ends! (the scene then just ends)

    • In the same episode, Vala's trying to pitch show/movie ideas from various Earth shows/movies. At one point, she pitches a The Wizard of Oz spoof with Michelson as the Scarecrow, Daniel as the Lion, and Teal'c as the Tin Woodsman. There's a shot of them in make-up and costumes for those rolls, then the screen fades to the room they were in with them in the same position they were in before the wipe (now normal-looking).
  • In the Ghost Whisperer episode "On Thin Ice," revolving around the author of a comic book, the acts all end with the final shot turning into a comic illustration.
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. used kaleidoscopic scene wipes (done by panning the camera rapidly along boards splashed with paint); these rapid wipes were later done on other shows such as the original Hawaii Five-O. The show also blurred the image before the fadeout at the end of every act.
  • Student Bodies often used this trope, having the scenes change by using an animation style similar to protagonist Cody's drawings.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess often employed screen wipes a la Star Wars.

Video games

  • Banjo-Kazooie uses a Banjo-head silhouette when you get a Jiggy or beat a level, and a Grunty shaped one when you die, get a Game over or leave.
  • No More Heroes freezes the screen, replacing each of the different levels of shade with a pattern. When the next bit has loaded, a load of barely theme-appropriate junk is thrown on to the screen and peeled off again. Thankfully this is only done sparingly.
  • Most Super Mario Bros. series games from Super Mario 64 onwards will have a Mario/Luigi-shaped iris when you beat a level and a Bowser-shaped iris when you lose a life. Most levels begin with a round iris, and in both Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2, if you lose all your lives the iris out will be shaped like the words "Game Over" instead of Bowser's head.
  • Pretty much any game that employs Fight Wooshes.
  • The Streets of Rage Remake, of all games, allows the player to swap the level transition fade-ins/outs with one of these.

Web Original

  • Parodied the Homestar Runner S Bemail, Videography, where Strong Bad goes through several transitions he can do, which are used constantly through his own commercial on videography.

Western Animation

  • The Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy episode "1+1=Ed": In one of that episode's many No Fourth Wall moments, Edd quips "An original scene transition! Interesting," as one of them occurs.
    • Another example involved Ed saying "End of first sequence, and fade to black." as the screen did just that.
  • Transformers transitions by showing the insignia of the side featured in the previous scene flip over to reveal the side to be featured in the next.
    • The repackaged "Generation 2" version of the original cartoons tried to 'improve' these, by having the prior scene rotated away on a screen attached to some sort of mechanical cube. The cube would spin and produce the next scene (Already in progress, since this took a bit longer than the usual faction symbol flip.)
      • They also dramatically increased the number of wipes, often using them to transition not only between scenes, but between individual shots within the scenes, leading to some substantial cuts to the actual episodes to make room for them.
  • Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law uses three distinctive ones - a courtroom gavel banging, a briefcase falling, and a fast car of some sort. This makes for an excellent drinking game.
  • When W.I.T.C.H. switches between Heatherfield and Meridian, it tends to have either a portal changing the scene, or the Heart of Kandrakar swinging over it.
  • The original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe would either show the series logo flying toward the screen, or He-Man's power sword spinning. Both were punctuated by a flash of light and a reverberating voice saying "He-Man". The revival did something similar.
  • Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends typically transitioned by having blue and red spider-webs spin across the screen, in opposite directions.
  • Some incarnations of Superfriends (particularly Challenge of the Super Friends) would do a similar transition, with prismatic flashes of light. This trope would appear to have been very common in 80s action cartoons.
    • The scene transitions in the 1976 All New Super Friends Hour used a swirling rainbow with an "SF" shield coming toward you in the center. The 1977 Challenge of the Super Friends instead used a shot of deep space with (apparently) three photon torpedoes coming toward you. This latter transition shot became so popular with the show's creative team that later reruns of the 1976 series replaced the swirling-rainbow-SF-shield transition with the photon torpedo transition.
  • The Spectacular Spider Man sometimes uses things like Spider-Man's Chest Insignia and herds of crawling spiders to move between scenes. During the black suit Story Arc, they used the symbiote crawling across the screen.
  • Totally Spies: When the girls change from casuals to spy outfits between scenes, there's a transition that shows the girls in casuals flipping to show them in their spy outfits. The reverse has also happened.
    • This only happened in the "Undercover" seasons. On the other hand, the show in general has a number of idiosyncratic wipes.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Homer shows a strong preference for star wipes when video editing. Then, a star wipe is used in the episode itself.
  • The second season of American Dragon Jake Long featured zooming from one bit of a map to another when changing locations, accompanied by a scratching record.
  • Gargoyles uses a "claw wipe" - criss-crossing parallel tears, as though from a gargoyle's claws, through the previous scene into the new one.
  • Dexters Laboratory, until the 2001 reboot, used a transition similar to the 1970's Batman, but with a yellow "D" on a white-and-purple spiraly background. The Justice Friends Show Within a Show also used a "JF". The sound that played during the transitions was exactly the same as the 1980's Superfriends wipe.
  • Johnny Bravo (the episode with Adam West)
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: When they're not simply zooming the show's logo in and out between scenes, they zoom these instead.
  • Kappa Mikey. Dancing sushi, anyone?
  • Chowder has various food items swish across the screen in between scenes. Sometimes, what's used is actually tied into the plot of the episode — "Grubble Gum", for example, obviously has bubble gum pieces being manipulated in several ways, and "Shnitzel Makes a Deposit" features different types of currency being stacked and shuffled about.
  • Three Delivery has quickflash cut images of each of the main three characters doing martial arts poses.
  • The wipes on Arthur are also related to the plot.
  • The original and revived Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons would rapidly cut back and forth between two scenes (to the beat of the Sting) instead of simply dissolving.
    • Something similar was used on Easy Rider, but as to which used it first...
      • The good captain started in 1967; Easy Rider came out in 1969.
  • In Widget the World Watcher, they use the letter "W" from the show's title logo.
  • Joe 90 would end each scene by shrinking the picture into a small box, and begin the next scene with the process in reverse.
  • Freakazoid often parodies the Batman example above, the Batsymbol replaced with Freakazoid's face going "whoooOOAAaaaa..." as he gets zoomed in and out.
    • Sometimes it would instead use Freakazoid's symbol. And sometimes Freakazoid's head would hit the screen, causing a sound and him to be (sometimes) frowning when he zoomed back out.
  • One Hundred and One Dalmatians: The Series had a couple. One was dalmatian spots appearing, blackening the scene, and then disapearing to show the next scene.
    • Another one used the same format, but with paw prints.
    • One was silhouetted puppies running across the screen, and sometimes it was Cruella's car.
  • Family Guy used this once, to parody Home Improvement's use of wipes: Peter decides to build a bar while under house-arrest and says "I feel just like Tim Allen. I build stuff, and I have a criminal record." Tim Allen then snorts the screen up his nose through a straw.
  • To complement the show's setting, SpongeBob SquarePants usually uses bubbles (and an appropriate sound effect) for its wipes, other than the occasional brief cut-away, or whenever else quick transitions are needed.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters features star wipes in a flashback sequence. An echoing voice saying "Star" is even heard when the wipe occurs.
  • Filmations Ghostbusters does this with the show's insignia. It had a different facial expression each time.
  • Bravestarr occasionally did this with the shape of the title character's badge. There were two versions, with one of them being done similarly to the Ghostbusters example above.
  • Robot Chicken's use of bursts of static (as if changing the channel) have become a trope in and of itself, having inspired such fan works as AMV Hell and The Gmod Idiot Box.
  • Hanna-Barbera often did the "spinning" wipe in its various 1960s and 1970s shows.
  • A Running Gag on Spliced is to have wipes that say funny things on them, most often addressing the audience.
  • Like Bravestarr, Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers was a Space Western cartoon whose wipes sometimes featured the heroes' badges.
  • In the episode of The Fairly Odd Parents in which Timmy's parents get superpowers, some scene changes get accompanied with the parents' heads zooming towards and away from the camera against a swirling background. In one transition, Timmy's dad zoomed in to close to the camera and hit himself, making Timmy's mom look embarrassed as she zoomed away.