Removed From the Picture

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search


Bob's relationship with Alice has fallen through, and he never wants to see her face again. Rather than just throw away all the pictures with her in it, he burns, cuts, tears, or marks over her face in every single photograph of Alice he has, or maybe just one really important one, like a wedding photo.

Alternatively, Alice is Bob's Stalker with a Crush, and has several photos of Bob and his girlfriend Carol, with Carol's face burned, cut, marked over, torn out, or otherwise mutilated, sometimes with her own face glued in. The photos may even be pasted all over a Room Full of Crazy. In these cases, it may not be that Alice actively hates Carol, just that she thinks that she deserves Bob more. (Or maybe she does actively hate Carol after all).

Unperson is this being done for political reasons. Compare Burn, Baby, Burn, when the entire photo is burned, pulped, shredded, etc., not just Alice's face.

Examples of Removed From the Picture include:


Bob Hates Alice[edit | hide | hide all]

  • In Afro Samurai: Resurrection, Sio's photograph of herself, Jinno, her vassals, and Afro has Afro's face burned out of it.
  • In Futurama, after she realized the guy she went on a date with was a jerk, Leela had Bender burn a hole in a photo of her and him together. Bender burns the face away, and just that second, Fry comes in, his face in the hole in the picture.
  • There's a commercial for Dell computers where it shows a series of pictures of a guy with his girlfriend. Midway through the commercial, it stop at one picture being shown in Windows Vista's picture app. The app then goes and crops the guy's girlfriend out of the pic. As you might guess, it reveals the guy sitting at a Dell PC doing this. (At the end where it shows off the PC, its monitor is showing a picture montage of the same guy and his new girlfriend.)
  • A variation, though with a band rather than a couple—On the panorama that forms the cover of The Beatles Anthology CDs and DVDs. There's a poster of the band in their early days with Pete Best's face torn out.
  • In the Lindsay Lohan remake of The Parent Trap, each parent kept their own part of a picture that they tore in two after their marriage fell apart. The girls brought the parts to camp, where they were reunited...
  • Cordelia does this when she breaks up with Xander in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • Paprika: Dr. Tokita's face is cut out from one of Himuro's pictures.
  • Ignacia of Wildguard uses her heat vision to burn her own face from a photo after a particularly crappy day.
  • In One Hour Photo, Sy has an entire wall of pictures of the Yorkin family. When he discovers that Will Yorkin cheated on his wife, he scratches Will's face off the pictures.
  • Skulker in Danny Phantom crushes a picture of his girlfriend, Ember after she criticized his hunting skills. He spent the rest of the episode trying to prove otherwise, but whether they got back together is never concluded.
  • In Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen, Joey, having survived attempted murder by her husband (who believes her dead, as do the authorities), secretly returns to his house and, using cuticle scissors, cuts herself out of a wedding picture, which she places under his pillow. Her confidant Mick Stranahan immediately recognizes this as a typical feminine ploy; apparently, it happened to him with his third wife.
  • In Maus, as Art's father relates what happened to his family members that survived the Holocaust, he mentions how one of his brothers committed suicide when his lover left him. As he says it, we see a picture of that brother with the woman in question, her face burned out.
  • The Muppets reveals that after Kermit and Miss Piggy broke up, each of them still kept half of a photograph of their wedding in Manhattan Melodies. They show this to each other backstage during the telethon, creating a Heartwarming Moment.

Alice Loves Bob[edit | hide]

  • A variation in Harry Potter: Severus Snape, finding a photo of Lily and James Potter with a year-old Harry, tore off and kept the side with Lily, leaving the side with James and Harry for Harry to find.
  • In the Spider-Man story "The Death of Jeanne De Wolff" Spidey is looking through Jeanne's belongings after she was murdered (in search of clues and finds that she's saved just about every picture of Spider-man taken... And cut out pictures of his (then GF) Black Cat (although they had broken up by the time Jeanne was murdered.)
  • Kat in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, back in her Dark Action Girl days. She kept a picture of Tommy and Kim, with Kim's head cut out.
    • No, she just tore it in half and kept the half with Tommy in it.
  • An early episode of Castle has the titular writer-sleuth realize that a photo of the family she works for in the home of a nanny is the same as the photo he saw in the family's home, except with the mother cropped out of the picture so it looks like the father, the nanny, and the kids are a standard nuclear family. Of course, this is a clue that the nanny did it.
  • Fry does this to a picture of Lars and Leela in Futurama: Bender's Big Score.
  • In SHUFFLE!, after Rin and Asa start going out together, Primula finds some photos of Rin and Asa together, and notices that in each one, Kaede has drawn over Asa's face with a pen. She makes it downstairs just as Kaede starts attacking Asa in a jealous rage.
  • In the X-Men animated series, Wolverine keeps a picture of Jean and Scott in his room that has Scott's face sliced out.
  • At the end of the first episode of Ask Dr. Rin, Tokiwa's first appearance shows him looking at a photo of Meirin with Asuka's face scribbled out. He spends the next few episodes alternately trying to steal Meirin's affections, kill Asuka, or both.

Non-Romantic[edit | hide]

  • In Maus, we see family photos where the faces of those who fought in the Nazi army were clipped out.
  • Kallen Kouzuki from Code Geass thinks that her Japanese mother has become a slave to the Britannians out of fear and cowardice, so she places a sticker on their family picture that covers Mrs. Kouzuki's face. When Kallen sees that her mom actually chose slavery for her, she takes the sticker off.
  • In G Gundam, Domon Kasshu goes around showing half a photograph to people and asking if they've seen the man depicted therein. A few episodes later we learn that "that man" is in fact his older brother Kyoji, who is responsible for the death of their mother and the imprisonment of their father only not really, and that the second half of the photograph shows the family together and happy; young Domon is even sitting on Kyoji's shoulders.
  • Real Life example: a fourth character was originally planned for LucasArts' The Dig, and the game's box art was originally drawn with four characters in space suits, but when the fourth character was dropped, the box art was altered to show only three characters - though the cover of the novelization in audio book format still shows the old four-character version.
  • In Snatcher, JUNKER mechanic Harry Benson has a photograph of himself when he was still a child that has the surrounding portion ripped out, omitting the faces of his supposedly dead parents. It later turns out that his parents are none other than Gillian and Jaime, the main character and his wife, who were kept in cryogenic sleep for decades and were now younger than their own child, who was now in his 50's.
  • The photographs in Irisu Syndrome look normal at the beginning of the game, but are mutilated over the course of the plot. Characters who've vanished and are probably dead are blacked out. Getting a better score and preventing one character's death returns her picture to normal. Getting an even better score reveals she probably died in a different way, and whites out her picture instead. Getting a high score in the expansion pack saves her again and returns the picture to normal again.
  • Home Movie has this trope prominently displayed on the cover, which depicts a desecrated photo the father finds in his psycho kids' clubhouse.
  • In Hatoful Boyfriend, Kazuaki has a marked-out photograph of his dead brother Nageki, although his feelings towards the subject in the photo are far more complicated than simple love or hatred:

Kazuaki: That was a photo of the most important bird in my life. I thought we could live through anything, just the two of us. But...one day I looked around, and I was alone. [...] As I looked at the photo every day, I realized I couldn't tell anymore. Couldn't tell if I felt love when I saw that face, or if...if I felt hatred. After a while, I couldn't stand to see it anymore. But even as I tried to forget, some part of me didn't want to.