Wild Take

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—Pretty much anyone who does a cartoon Wild Take.

A variation on The Take. If The Take is reaction, the Wild Take is massive over-overreaction.

For example, say a mouse ran across the kitchen floor. A take would be to jump back, startled. A spit take would be to drop the roast on your feet while shouting. A wild take would be to scream at the top of your lungs and jump high enough to leave a hole in the roof.

Most characters who engage in this behavior tend to be high-strung at the best of times. Don't ask about the worst of times.

Mostly an Animation Trope, though it can be CGI'd into live-action shows (most often, but not exclusively, those intended for a younger demographic and "live-action cartoons"). See also Eye Pop.

Examples of Wild Take include:

Anime & Manga

  • Almost constantly in the comedy scenes in Sailor Moon. In general anime has a lot of this.
  • Brief does one at the end of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt when he discovers Panty's chopped-up remains.
  • Everywhere in One Piece. You're hard bound to find a chapter that doesn't have one. Bonus to point to Usopp for doing this so much it might as well be his regular face. Especially once he dons the persona of Sogeking and a mask. The mask completely averts the Expressive Mask, but Usopp's jaw sticks out from below the bottom of the mask so you can still see his wide take.
    • Best examples? Falls. Especially in Skypiea.
      • Even the boat does a Wild Take.
    • Averted by Nico Robin (and how). Ever since her introduction in Chapter 114 of the manga, she has never had a single wild take. EVER. When she and her crewmates see something surprising, they'll have their eyes popping and jaws dropping (Zoro and Nami sometimes have more composed expressions, but they've had their fair share of wild takes), all while Robin has an unexaggerated shocked expression... or even better, she'll keep her composure.
    • Dracule Mihawk also averts this trope. He takes surprising news in stride, such as Sengoku revealing the identity of Luffy's father. Most of the people around him are dumbfounded by the news. Mihawk's reaction?

Mihawk: It's hardly surprising at this point.

  • Fullmetal Alchemist in both the manga and Brotherhood series has the occasional Wild Take in comedic moments, espcially in regards to Al and Winry's interactions.
  • Nichijou: Happens often but Yukko's reaction to stabbing herself with a pen results in a Galactic piercing scream.
    • Also Yukko again and Mio as well after being bit by Mai's dogs.
    • The Professor actually installed this onto Nano as a feature.


  • A rare live-action example in Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Del and Neal are driving on the wrong side of the motorway at night completely unaware of it until two huge trucks come up either side of them. Their car scrapes up against the two and the pair scream. There is a series of fast cuts between the outside and inside of the car, and at one point we see that both Del and Neal have been replaced by google-eyed skeletons just to elevate the sheer cartoonish shock. This is followed by Neal looking over at Del and seeing him dressed as the devil himself, laughing maniacally. The two end up on the other side, pull the brakes and their suitcases fly off the back of the car and land on the road. Neil's fingertips are embedded in the dashboard and Del has bent the steering wheel.
  • The Mask, being a live-action cartoon, gets off several, the most extreme probably coming when he exits a city park and turns to find himself confronted with the entire Edge City police department.
  • The "Large Marge" scene in Pee-wee's Big Adventure features one done in Claymation.
  • The title character in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is prone to wild takes. Other Toon characters get at least one, including the weasels, Jessica and Judge Doom.

Tabletop Games

  • The RPG Toon includes these as part of playing its characters. A character who is "Boggled" (stunned for a round or two) by a shocking event will pull one of these off.


  • On The Muppet Show, Kermit the Frog is (in)famous for the wild takes he does when the craziness on the show gets to be too much, with hands waving in the air screaming. It's rather funny.
  • An episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? featured a game of Unlikely Superheroes, where Colin was Horribly Frightened Of Everything Man. Priceless.
  • Sister, Sister once had a character do this as a one-off visual gag utilising CGI effects. When Tamera first sees her romantic interest in the opening of the episode "Boy From The Hood", her eyeballs cartoonishly bug out of their sockets. She also contorts her mouth into the shape of a stretched out Klaxon horn to produce the archetypal "aooga" noise that typically accompanies Wild Takes.

Video Games

Web Comics


Black Mage: Hey, Fighter. You've got... a giant spider on your face!


Web Original

Western Animation

  • The titular dog of Courage the Cowardly Dog. He does these whenever he's scared, i.e. every thirty seconds. These are often cut to quickly and make the occasional surreal things on the show even scarier.
    • In "Night of the Weremole", early in the episode, when he sees a snarling Muriel raiding the refrigerator, he starts screaming, then clutches his chest with a yelp, and collapses. Then it cuts to an ambulance racing across Nowhere, followed by Courage recovering in Dr. Vindaloo's office. Of all the insane things he would go through during the series, that is the one thing that literally gave Courage a heart attack.
    • This trope was done to the point that it became a Chekhov's Skill in one of the last episodes - Courage's panicked yelling is what wound up defeating the villains by causing the ground beneath them to split from the force.
  • Wade, the paranoid duck on the "U.S. Acres" segments of Garfield and Friends, had this as his primary character trait. Everything elicited a Wild Take from him.
  • The Planet of Easily Frightened People on Earthworm Jim was a Planet of Hats based around constantly having Wild Takes. ("AHH! Something green! AHHH! Something not green! AHHHH! Air!")
  • In one Tiny Toon Adventures episode, Plucky Duck got stuck in a Wild Take, leaving him as a giant eyeball with legs for the bulk of the cartoon. This happens after Plucky sneaks into an "Advanced Takes" class taught by Daffy, instead of the basic class taught by Bugs - suggesting this is one of the only things Daffy ever topped the rabbit in, probably because of the way his luck often turned out in the series. The take itself is the same one Daffy did in the 1946 short Book Revue.
  • In Animaniacs, Slappy Squirrel was fond of pointing these out while watching her old cartoons; "Ah, wild take no. 32, regular as clockwork. Wish everything was as regular as clockwork around here."
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: "Excuse me sir, I hope my horrible ugliness won't be a distraction to you." "Not at all, boy-DEUUEAUGH!"
  • On Fairly Oddparents, Mr. Crocker would frequently do wild takes when ranting to himself about Timmy's "FAIRY-GOD-PARENTS!"
  • Ren often did this in Ren and Stimpy; such examples include after making fun of their drill sergeant only to realize he's standing right next to him when he sees this he screams, his eyeballs pop out of their sockets, his brain pops out of his skull, his skin melts off his head, and his bones connecting to his neck pop off, and when he is under the influence of Stimpy's happy helmet he makes a different and wackier expression after each word as he says "I MUST GO DO NICE THINGS!".
    • Most of John K's works are pretty much built around this trope.
  • Tex Avery largely codified this trope. The short Red Hot Riding Hood is the likely codifier, but Northwest Hounded Police is more imaginative.
  • Super Mario World: Larry 'Cheatsy' Koopa does a wild take in the episode 'Gopher Bash'.
  • Characters on The Simpsons have these in Treehouse of Horror episodes such as Bart and Lisa when they see Itchy and Scratchy about to fire weapons at them or Homer when he sees the hole in the third dimension.
    • Wild Takes were also common in the original Tracey Ullman shorts.
    • According to Dr. Hibbert, the medical term for this is called "Tex Avery Sundrome."
  • The titular Eek! The Cat does these whenever he's scared.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: Rocko often did the impressive brain-pops-out-of-the-skull ones, and was surpassed only by Ren and Stimpy at the time in terms of creative and somewhat gory wild takes.
  • Darkwing Duck
  • Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy does this constantly with almost all the characters at some point.
  • Happens to the titular character in Kick Buttowski during one of the Halloween episodes. In a very rare instance he's frightened in a haunted house and his skeleton practically tears through his skin and leaps out.

Real Life