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"Mirror on the wall, here we are again. Through my rise and fall, you've been my only friend. You told me that they can, understand the man I am! So why are we, here, talking to each other again?"
—Bruno Mars, Mirror
A character talks to their reflection in the mirror. Usually, it's a male character giving himself a pep talk.
If the reflection talks back, it's a case of The Man in the Mirror Talks Back. If they're practicing a speech to someone else, it can be a Trick Dialogue — and may feature Unaccustomed as I Am to Public Speaking. If it's delivered to some other object--a pet, a tombstone, a skull--it's a Surrogate Soliloquy. If the character winds up shattering the mirror in a fit of anger or sorrow, it's Rage Against the Reflection. If they say something along the lines of "You Talkin' to Me?", it's a reference to the famous scene from Taxi Driver.
Anime and Manga
- In Sailor Moon SuperS Sailor Jupiter's mind is increasingly befuddled in Nehelenia's lair and she finds herself having a conversation with her reflection. Her "reflection" convinces her to give up, since it controlled by the Big Bad. Next goes on to Mercury, Venus and Jupiter, but only Moon is unconvinced for once.
- In the Death Note anime, Light does this while contemplating the likelihood that he'll have to kill his little sister. Misa listens outside.
- The Flash villain Mirror Master has an inner monologue in front of a bathroom mirror, where, for the first time, his history is divulged. He gets over his depression by doing some cocaine of a hand mirror, thinking "I'm still in Wonderland."
- The latest Transformers movie with Sam.
- The much-parodied "You Talkin' to Me?" scene from Taxi Driver.
- Lampshaded in Sliding Doors, after Gerry almost had his "secret romance" revealed to his live-in girlfriend:
Gerry [looking in the mirror]: You have two head problems. One, that was close, very close. Put in layman's terms, she nearly caught you. Two, and this is far more worrying than the first one, you're talking to yourself in the mirror again. Really bad sign.
- Later brought up again by his friend:
Russell: You've been talking to yourself in the mirror again, haven't you?
- Willem Defoe did a really good one in the first Spider-Man movie. He was talking to his Goblin side.
- Ash Williams in Evil Dead 2 tries to use a mirror to reassure himself that everything's going to be fine. Since evil spirits are running loose, however, his mirror image immediately comes to life, mocks him and tries to strangle him. He does the same thing at the start of the video game Hail to King: in this case, his reflection not only responds, it emerges from the mirror to become his Evil Knockoff.
- The intro to Montgomery Brogan's rant in Spike Lee's Twenty Fifth Hour.
- The opening of The Truman Show has one of these. It's a little more complicated than that, though. Since he's doing dialogue for two other characters watching from behind the mirror... Much of a later scene of him doing the same thing and drawing on the mirror was apparently improvised by Jim Carrey.
- Tristan in Stardust, after he lost his job:
Tristan: (to mirror, rehearsing to tell his father, Dunstan) Father, I lost my job. Father, I...I lost my job, I'm sorry. Father...
- In Disney's Mary Poppins the title character sings with her own reflection.
- In Kenneth Branagh's version of Hamlet, Hamlet does the "To be or not to be" speech into a mirror. However, the mirror was actually a one-way mirror, so Claudius and Polonius hear everything. Later, Hamlet realizes that he is being spied upon, and ends up delivering a rant/ultimatum to the hidden Claudius while still ostensibly in monologue mode.
- In Pulp Fiction, Vincent Vega gives himself a pep talk in order to avoid sleeping with Mia Wallace.
- In Phantom of the Paradise a young rockstar's suicide attempt is interrupted by the devil speaking to him through his reflection in the bathroom mirror. A Deal with the Devil follows, and the villain Swan is created.
- Pictured above, Don Logan does the nutter variety of this in Sexy Beast, eventually talking himself into attacking Gal in his bed.
- In Reservoir Dogs, Mr. Orange's pep talk before going undercover for the first time, as well as preparing his "criminal" anecdote.
"They don't know. They don't know shit. You're not going to get hurt... They believe every word because you're super cool."
- Michael Clayton cuts back and forth between Tilda Swinton character laboriously practicing her comments as a mirror monologue and the "final version" she delivers. This shows that her air of self-confidence is an agonizingly crafted facade hiding stark terror just below the surface.
- The Lord of the Rings: Gollum/Smeagol's argument with his reflection in the water before he and the Hobbits get to Cirith Ungol.
- Possibly one of the first uses of this trope: the Laurel and Hardy short Helpmates opens with Ollie scolding someone for throwing a wild party while his wife was away. Camera pulls back and we see that he's talking to himself in the mirror - but back then it wasn't a cliche.
- Done straight in Joe Dirt to show how naive the title character is.
- Launcelot Gobbo in the 2004 movie of The Merchant of Venice. Interestingly, he gets an entire monologue in the original stage play, but the movie cut the monologue and left him with one (slightly altered) line from its opening to say into the mirror--"Certainly my conscience will not serve me to run from this Jew my master."
- Kevin in Home Alone does this while washing up in the bathroom.
- Comically used in the Bollywood movie Amar Akbar Anthony. Anthony gets drunk and beat up. In the next scene, he berates himself in the mirror using the third person. Then he proceeds to apply first-aid to his mirror self, which results in a patch of band-aid sticking to the mirror.
- Redwall's narcissistic Emperor Ublaz Mad Eyes does one of these near the end of Pearls of Lutra.
Live Action TV
- On Friends, Ross is hiding under the bed when his girlfriend's father (Bruce Willis) gives himself a pep talk in front of a mirror.
- Angel featured an eerie inversion of this trope as an episode teaser. Lorne, due to having his need for sleep allegedly removed, and then staying awake for several weeks on end, is slowly losing his mind, and his control over his powers. After he retreats to a dressing room to take a breather, his reflection starts giving him the cheerful pep talk he's too exhausted to give himself. The real Lorne suddenly flies into a rage and tells himself to shut up, shattering the mirror and snapping himself back to reality.
- In the Xena: Warrior Princess episode "If The Shoe Fits...", Aphrodite's reflection convinces Aphrodite to get the little girl back as her apprentice/whatever.
- Liz Lemon did this in Thirty Rock.
- Variation in "Swan Song," Supernatural's Season 5 finale: Sam talks to himself in a mirror; however, Lucifer is in Sam's body, while Sam is communicating through the reflection.
- This variation was used for a similar purpose in the Charmed episode "Coyote Piper."
- And in Heroes with Niki and Jessica.
- An episode of The Twilight Zone had a cowardly criminal talking to a more confident version of himself in the mirror. By the end of the episode, they had switched places.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, during the Musical Episode, Dawn looks at herself in a mirror and starts to sing a sad song... only to be interrupted and kidnapped after singing the first line.
- In the final season of Hannah Montana, Miley is confronted by her own guilty conscience, represented by herself as Hannah in the mirror. After years of Miley being generally obnoxious to other people, it's incredibly amusing to watch her try to out-sass herself.
- Lampshaded in Sex and the City: Carrie thinks her boyfriend is about to propose to her in a restaurant; panicked, she excuses herself to use the bathroom. Cut to her, staring at herself in the mirror, and she asks herself aloud "What are you doing?", to which a woman using one of the stalls responds "Are you talking to me?"
- Showed up in cartoon strip Doonesbury, with the mirror talking back.
- The same gag was subconsciously stolen by Berkeley Breathed for Bloom County (Milo talking to the mirror).
- The song "I Believe In You" is sung twice in the musical How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying: once by Rosemary to Finch, and once by Finch to his reflection in the executive washroom mirror.
- In the show A Lie of the Mind, Jake talks to himself in the mirror.
- In The Sims games, your characters can work on building charisma by talking to themselves in the mirror.
- Prey starts with the player character disparaging himself for being unable to confess his love to the Love Interest. He finally does it after he is forced to kill her.
- In Sinfest,
- Bloo, from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, has a conversation with his reflection while he is sick and delusional. It quickly grows as surreal as you'd expect from a fevered hallucination, culminating in his reflection sprouting a trumpet from his face and playing a jazz tune before Bloo suddenly snaps back into lucidity and finds himself standing alone in front of an ordinary mirror again.
- Mulan: It's her "I Want" Song.
- Pocahontas 2 has Pocahontas singing to her reflection in the ice as well as imagined reflections of people from her past. Later, when she runs away from the royal ball, she sees her reflection in a pool and starts splashing water on her face to wash off her make-up. She imagines she sees herself in her tribal dress with her hair loose rather than the ballgown and elaborate hair-do she really does have.
- Kick Buttowski gives us one without words. When fighting with his best friend, Kick briefly looks down into a puddle to see his reflection nudge him into an apology and make up.
- In the penultimate episode of Clone High, JFK's reflection ends up daring him to give Gandhi an Unnecessary Makeover.