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Common in animated shows, the Ad Break Double Take is an establishing shot or establishing line that appears on both sides of a Commercial Break; the show being wound back a few seconds to allow the scene to be reintroduced to the viewer in a coherent fashion.
Sometimes the scenes on both sides of the break are identical, but some shows change the second part by giving the repeated line to another character, or having them rephrase it. To the outside observer, the Ad Break Double Take thus looks like the hero standing calmly waiting to be decapitated while saying "This doesn't look too good." followed by a pause and then "Man, this is baaad!". In extreme cases, the heroes may even be in less danger upon the return from break, in which case you have a Cliffhanger Copout.
Medium Aware characters might be able to sense the slight stitch in time and take advantage of it (much to the confusion of the unAware villains), but it's hardly necessary: the heroes will always recover from the threat in plenty of time. Genre Savvy types sometimes hang a lampshade on the repeated line with a yell of "I know we're in trouble, stop saying that!".
It's usually not edited out when released for home video or syndicates that use less commercial breaks than the original broadcaster. Unless commercial breaks are punctuated by an Eyecatch, this leads to odd situations where a dramatic line us uttered, fade to black, fade back in, then the dramatic line is uttered again.
- The DiC dub of Sailor Moon had this added on occasion.
- Sailor Moon Abridged parodies this with Venus's entrance.
Luna: I already said this line!
- Digimon Adventure did this a lot. Most of it was Casual Danger Dialogue and Lull Destruction that wasn't actually in the original version.
- Done a few times in Samurai Pizza Cats. One of the Clip Show episodes parodied this, by having the repeating clips be the result of a projector fault.
- The 4Kids dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! is notorious for this.
- Common in 80s Strontium Dog, where the first panel of each installment would often be a repeat of the previous week's final panel.
- That crazy woman (Kathy Bates) in Misery talks about something similar to the Buck Rodgers example below.
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang follows up its intermission with a replay of the scene preceding it.
Live Action TV
- Every episode of Hells Kitchen ever.
- Project Runway: during runway elimination.
- The Biggest Loser: during weigh-ins, repeatedly.
- This was actually a common practice during the Film Serials of the 30s, 40s and 50s. Episodes would end with the hero in a supposedly hopeless situation (Commando Cody starts off Radar Men by getting trapped behind an exploding console)...only to reveal in the next episode that he actually got out just in the nick of time (Cody is shown to have rolled away).
- Human Target (the latest one) likes this trope, and oftentimes the double-take is paraphrased a bit.
- How I Met Your Mother has very few commercial breaks without the double take.
- Ice Road Truckers exemplifies this trope.
- In Tales of Monkey Island, at the end of episode 1 and beginning of episode 2, Morgan Le Flay apparently says "Guybrush Threepwood! I've been waiting a long time for this!" twice, as his response is different in each episode.
- Parodied in Friendship Is Witchcraft, when lightning strikes a tree next to Twilight's house (and Spike, who's on the roof holding the lightning rod in place).
Spike (first time): Augh!
Spike (second time): Augh! Not again!
- Sonic SatAM
- Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog Lampshaded this in one episode when Robotnik declares that Sonic is trapped and "Mobius is mine! All mine!" Fade to commercial break. When we return, Robotnik declares that Sonic is trapped and "Mobius is mine! Did I say that already?"
- Aladdin, the series.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series
- The Simpsons season 3 episode Separate Vocations spoofs this when Bart is about to be run down by a car. After the break, the action returns with the announcement of "Act II: Death drives a stick" and Snakes cry of "See you in hell little dude" is repeated.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: Particularly obvious with Momo's introduction.
- Happens in several The Land Before Time movies, which is OK when you watch them on TV, but especially awkward when you watch them on video.
- The DCAU.
- DuckTales did this quite a lot.
- Parodied in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, "Sweet and Elite": Rarity is surprised by her friends greeting her unexpectedly and faints, as they may catch her in a lie, and we go to commercial. When the show returns, Rarity wakes up, and Pinkie Pie says "Hi again!"
- Played straight in "Bridle Gossip" with "What if she's making Apple Bloom soup?".