Gross Up Close-Up

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A close up of something disgusting. For some reason, these pop up most in comedy and horror, though in practice, it's more Nausea Fuel than anything else. If done in an animated series, the close-up is usually much drawn in a much more detailed style than the rest of the show.

The Ren and Stimpy Show started, as well as popularized those in animation. The phenomenon spawned many copycats of both the Gross Up Close-Ups, the original show's disgustingly revolting aesthetics and the revived Deranged Animation. Currently, this trope can be spotted in a number of shows and usually leads to visual Memetic Mutation.

Essentially the opposite of a Discretion Shot. Compare Nightmare Face, a trope that gets a lot of these kind of close-ups. Frequently recurring in many Gross-Out Shows. Also a staple of Eye Rape.

Examples of Gross Up Close-Up include:


  • An early example of one of there can be found in the famous "Yuck Mouth" PSA, in which Yuck Mouth discovers a new cavity in his mouth and the camera zooms in on the rotting, holey tooth.

Anime and Manga


  • The Live Action Adaptation of The Grinch; We would rather not have seen the Grinch's "termites in [his] smile"...
  • Serenity has a number of zooms on and flashes to the semi-decomposed remains of people who died on Miranda.
    • Not to mention the close ups of people who survived on Miranda, before venturing out for a spot of raping and pillaging.
  • There's Something About Mary, at least in some edits, features a rather gratuitous scene showing the hero's Beans above his Franks.
  • The mole scene in the third Austin Powers movie. Moley moley moley moley moley!
  • The closeup of Lt. Aldo Raine carving a swastika into Landa's forehead in Inglourious Basterds.
  • Rob Zombie seems to like these. In his Halloween II remake, we're treated to close views of Laurie having her head sewn shut, a man's face after he's mutilated by a crash, a guy having his head sawn off with broken glass, Big Lou Martini getting his arm snapped...
    • There's plenty in the original series as well. For example, in Halloween 2 (which is where the gorier trend of the series began), Micheal kills a nurse by repeatedly dunking her head into scalding water. Every time he pulls her out, we get an up close look at the effect this has on her skin. Suffice it to say, it's horrifying. Halloween 4 shows a close-up of Michael tearing a man's throat out with his bare hands. Or Halloween 6, which finds Jamie being impaled on a corn thresher.
  • The toilet in Mystery Team as Duncan put it:


  • Gulliver's Travels: Happens to Gulliver when he meets the Brobdingnag. Because of their enormous size all the tiny imperfections of their faces are that much easier to see.

Live-Action TV

  • Graphic closeups of dead body parts are common on CSI. Television Without Pity calls it "TMI Cam."
    • Bones also seems to like "TMI Cam".
  • Graphic closeups of internal structures are common on House.
    • 'Resignation', where when the patient was having an MRI, she started saying that her head hurt. The camera zoomed in on her head... her scalp and skull were split open, showing her brain!
    • 'Big Baby', where they were testing the patient by attaching electrodes to her brain, first by cutting the top of her skull off.
    • Let's not forget (though anyone who watched it wishes they could) the eyeball popping out in 'No Reason.'
  • Dexter's morning routine, shown in extreme close-up and shot to be reminiscent with his hack-n-slash murders.
  • In Thirty Rock when NBC gets High Def cameras, Liz Lemon walks in front of one revealing her horrible complexion, much to the disgust of the viewers.
  • The contents of pretty much any gross stunt on Fear Factor will get zoomed in on.
  • Young Blades: Oliver Cromwell's fabled mole in "The Exile" has close-ups complete with dramatic music and gives King Louis some surreal nightmares.

Music Videos

Video Games

  • Played for horrors in Snatcher when Gillian and Metal discover the Snatchers' morgue. They go down... and then the player sees the digitised but otherwise photorealistic face of a rotting corpse, dripping with wriggling maggots, and its eye drops out. Squick.
  • Also used for horror in Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, with the infamous "bathtub scare" that features a vision of Alexandra Roivas's mutilated corpse in a bathtub of blood.
  • In The Binding of Isaac, this is given to pretty much everything involving Isaac's abusive mother, save the opening cinematic.
  • The cutscenes from The Legend of Zelda CDi games.

Web Comics

Web Original

  • This is a staple of Image Macros, especially of the Rage Comic variety. Several of the more artistically complex ones can get truly disgusting in this regard.

Western Animation

  • Trope Maker: Ren and Stimpy.
  • Rocko's Modern Life
  • Aaahh Real Monsters
  • The Angry Beavers
  • Invader Zim
  • Those in The Fairly OddParents are especially weird, considering its simplistic art style.
  • Extremely frequent in SpongeBob SquarePants. "The Nasty Patty", anyone?
    • "Is this how you get your sick kicks?!" "What, it's just an ordinary Krabby- OH MY GOODNESS! SQUIDWARD!!!
    • Does this look UNSURE to you?!
    • Click here, if you dare.
    • There's also the episode where "Wormy" turns into a butterfly, and upon seeing the closeup, Patrick and Spongebob are so terrified they think it's a monster.
    • The close-ups of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy after makeup artist Squidward is done preparing them for their Spongebob directed fan movie.
    • Mermaid Man's mouth and lips close-up. Gyuuhh.
  • A lot of Rugrats episodes start with a weird closeup of something in this manner.
  • Yin Yang Yo had one when Carl turned the twins ugly with a spell.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy also uses this often.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack uses this trope frequently. Often accompanied by "AGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH."
  • Dexter's Laboratory: In the episode: "Fantastic Boyage," Dexter went into his pet dog to get rid of a disease.
    • Another episode had Dexter trying to improve his eyesight by giving himself laser eye surgery. Everything goes Gone Horribly Right when he finds out his vision is TOO clear, his family's smallest physical flaws and imperfections are magnified a thousand fold by his vision. Through his eyes, his mother, father, and sister look like disgusting, malformed mutants.
  • Drawn Together plays this trope quite a few times. The third episode, Gay Bash, has an especially effective one when Xandir retrieves his ring.
  • The cartoon short Tales Of Worm Paranoia from What a Cartoon Show.
  • Dr. Satan in his huge, monstrous form in The Haunted World of El Superbeasto provides a lot of these.
  • Happens frequently on Jimmy Two-Shoes.
  • Also used in Dirdy Birdy.
  • One episode in Time Squad has the trio appear in the American Revolution to help Betsy Ross, who was going to make the US flag. Instead, the troops and Betsy were all acting like hippies. One of the guys says he's "made his own soap". Cue the camera closing in on his "soap" to show it's actually done from dirt among... other things.
  • Of all shows, My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic gets one of these in "A Bird in the Hoof", which has a close up of the sickly bird Philomena's blood-shot eyes.
    • In "Secret of My Excess", Spike claims that he wouldn't wash the cheek on which Rarity kissed him. When it cuts to one week later, it turns out he meant it.
  • This trope is employed in a rare, non-comedic fashion[1] when Two Face is unmasked after his surgery in Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Used in the 90's Looney Tunes short "Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers" when the Daffy clone is talking to Bugs at one point it cuts to a close up of his face showing that he has a live action human's mouth on his beak.
  • In Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy, Edd is looking at Ed's face through a microscope for clues and is rather disturbed by his uncleanliness.

Edd: Oh, my... Ed, there's this new invention called soap; have you heard of it?!

  • Used once (Thank the Lord too.) in Sonic Sat AM. Only the quote is enough to make viewers cringe.

Dr. Ivo Robotnik: Snivley, what color is my heart?...

  • The Emperors New Groove has a close-up of Yzma's wrinkly face as she is talking to Kuzco, eventually focusing on a piece of spinach in her teeth. Not particularly gross (this is Disney, after all) but notable in that, unlike most animation examples, it's presented in full motion, rather than as a still image.
    • Also done a couple of times in the spin-off cartoon the Emperor's New School, including one episode where Kuzco wishes that he wasn't emperor anymore, in that particular episode Kronk is the school principal and there's a close up shot of his runny nose.
  • The bit in Toy Story 3 where the little kids are playing rough with the toys and we see a shot of a kid sticking his/her tongue on Buzz's helmet from Buzz's point of view. Yuck.
  1. considering its use in an animated show