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"Now our credits can't have distracting words or visuals in them so they can be squeezed and babbled over. But we miss old end credits and here's why. Proper end credits provide a mental breathing space, bookending each show and giving you time to let your mental food go down. It's a bit like the moment you finish a novel. It's nice to gaze wistfully out of the window for a few moments and reflect. But how much shittier would that be if the minute you finished, someone tried to get you to read another book and another book!?"

You know ... where they squeeze the credits into a tiny fraction of the screen and show ads in the rest. If you are using a DVR and that has a "zoom" feature, you might be able to pick out things like who shot the thing (!), and who played "Pretty Older Woman".

Very popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it seems to have lessened recently with new programs, due to the fact that modern end-credits have been reduced to, basically, a Vanity Plate, perhaps in response to this trend. Channels which mostly show repeats of older shows, however, have this in spades. Also vaguely rude to the creators of the show whose names are obscured.

The ad shown in the rest of the screen is always a promo for the station or a particular program on the station, and never for something that would actually give the station money. An interesting thing, however, is that on networks that do this, this is generally the only advertisement shown between one show and the next; once the pushed credits are over, the next show immediately starts, greatly reducing the amount of time a viewer isn't "attached" to a show and likely to turn the station. On those that don't do this, the very same advertisement appears a few seconds later. On some networks, the credits are pushed back for the start of the next episode.

It should be noted that rarely is this controlled by the studio which made the show, and was far more often done by the network or, in the case of syndication, local affiliate which is showing the episode, often placing news teasers in the other "window", such as the episode of The Simpsons where Bart becomes Krusty's assistant.

This is especially annoying if a show tends to do The Stinger during the Credits Roll, and is squished so you can't see it. What, you have the vision and resolution necessary to get a good view anyway? Oh, screw you, we'll just make the original audio inaudible. I bet you miss that credits music now!

Also referred to as "Credit Squeeze" (Charlie Brooker often uses this term) or "Credit Crunch" (After the term for the current Global Recession)

There are two common versions of this: the broadcaster will simply squish the credits to the side, or the bottom of the screen, run a promo alongside them, and maybe give them back the whole screen by the time the Vanity Plates (considered by broadcasters the most important part of the credits) appear. Some networks, however, show the plates first, then cut to a specially designed display with the credits on them.

See also Commercial Pop-Up.


Real Life examples:

Common Usage

  • Speeding up the credits towards the end of the promo to get them all in is a very common practice for television airings of movies:
    • The most absurd example of Credits Pushback may have been when NBC aired Titanic for the first time and still had to squash it into four hours because of an insane amount of advertising. The stars and bigwigs still got their time...everyone else that worked on the massive epic got a nano-second as 250 screens of credits in 3 point Helvetica flashed by in 45 seconds on half the screen while the local news anchor teased the amazing things they found during their investigation of Uzbekistani Days down at the fairgrounds.
    • Another disconcerting version of this is used in the Cartoon Network airings of some of the later Pokémon movies, which show the credits during an epilogue scene. Not only is the screen squished and the audio muted, but the credits are sped up for time, making the entire epilogue scene go in fast-forward.
    • Surprisingly, this was also done during the U.K. premiere of the Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy movie premiere. One must wonder what was going on with Johnny and Plank in The Stinger.
    • When AMC showed Brian De Palma's Raising Cain, the screen was minimized right before the final shot -- which contains a major twist.
    • The Disney Channel has also been doing this with theatrical movies, plus The Suite Life Movie. Thankfully, most of the other Original Movies are spared this; at least, in you live in the States[1]
    • This has even been know to happen with Made For TV Movies, which usually have much shorter end titles anyway - BBC2 once did it with a screening of O Pioneers!. The end credits for that movie last 52 seconds and they STILL sped them up!
  • Even worse than pushing back the credits: in the days when the networks showed credits on the side instead of the bottom of the screen, local stations would cut them off sometimes to get to the news faster. Some stations even made unnecessary modifications to the display, such as KYW in Philadelphia (made odder by the fact that it is owned by the network; you'd think they wouldn't allow it).
  • Most anime aired on Western television have their credits pushed off to the side. In addition to this, and along with the earlier Pokemon movie example:
    • When aired in the U.S. .hack//SIGN had its credits cut to all of thirty seconds as well as its ending animation replaced with a simple montage. Granted the Japanese version does feature a naked Subaru (darkened). The credits were restored to their full glory on DVD.
      • .hack//Roots avoided this surprisingly and even had fully translated credits.
    • Surprisingly Digimon Frontier had a full credit reel with out being pushed or talked over.
    • A rare example from a DVD on The Girl Who Leapt Through Time which had a tremendous amount of space to write translated credits with out the need to wipe clean the Japanese credits; Bandai chose instead to write tiny lines of translated text running parallel to the Japanese credits in the opening part of the movie.


American Networks

  • Cartoons on Disney Channel and Cartoon Network like American Dragon Jake Long use The Stinger during the credits to get extra gags in. This practice screws the gags over big time.
    • When Kim Possible returned for its Post Script Season, the creators added over-the-credits gags that hadn't existed in seasons 1-3. On the night of the four-episode premiere, Disney Channel covered the first such Stinger with a voice over for another show. They caught on eventually.
    • The Emperors New School once lampshaded the fact that the credits were too small to read with a sundial's singing during the credits (since a clock radio during the Incan time period would be ridiculous).
    • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends has end-credits gags (usually quiet, low-animation ones) that weren't always pushed back in the early days of the show, but of course that since became rarer and rarer.
    • "You don't know what you're missing..." "..If you aren't in the kitchen." Or if you live in the States, apparently.
    • Cartoon Network is also doing this with The Looney Tunes Show. Since the show tends to pay homage to classic Looney Tunes, Porky Pig takes his familiar place and waves to the audience. Is he just saying "Th-Th-Th-Th-That's All Folks!" or making one last joke for the audience? You'll never find out, because the network has drowned him out and shoved him to the side so they can get in yet another plug for The Amazing World of Gumball or Adventure Time, as if, somehow, you are unaware of those shows' existence.
    • Ironically, most people wouldn't know that Adventure Time itself had ending credits unless they saw the show video on demand. And what really sucks is the credits are pretty awesome.
    • Conversely, the credits for the new Clone Wars series are pushed to the bottom of the screen. When it aired on Adult Swim, nothing showed up top except a black box as Adult Swim doesn't use credits pushback normally. So the credits for this show are designed like that?
    • The Life and Times of Juniper Lee and Kids Next Door had a few stingers as well but CN advertising of course ruined the last minute jokes.
    • After ThunderCats (2011) airs, learning the spelling of featured characters' names (much less who performed them) is often a matter of consulting the manual, since the Heroic Fantasy has typically eccentric naming conventions, but the text is smooshed into illegibility.
  • ABC Family is a huge offender when they air shows which aren't made for the channel. If your name's not Secret Life, Pretty Little Liars or Make It or Break It, all you'll get is a Vanity Plate 1st, then this.
    • The Secret Life of the American Teenager recently does this, but instead of pushing the credits and air promos in the credits, they show the credits earlier while the last few minutes of the show is airing, in the bottom left side of the screen to avoid interrupting the scene showing. The Vanity Plate shows up after the credits (also in the bottom left side of the screen), and the promos air after the show is done. (I wonder if they still show the "Executive Producer: Brenda Hampton" part before they go to the promo/next show...)
  • Nickelodeon is an EXTREMELY horrible offender. They never even showed credits after 1999. Instead, they made their own credits which rolled by at high speeds on the leftmost-third of the screen, putting emphasis on the commercial they have filling up the other two-thirds.
    • Following its abandonment of its commercial-free standpoint and adding to its Network Decay, Nicktoons Network makes active use of it. Eliminating probably the only place one can be able to hear the ending theme tune to shows on Nick. In fact, if a show lasts too long, the credit squeeze will often start before the show is actually done. This happens a lot with Transformers Animated and Avatar: The Last Airbender/The Legend of Aang.
    • Really horrible with some shows, like Hey Arnold, who would occasionally have hilarious gag audio over the end credits. Thanks to the commercial, the credits are also muted, killing that joke.
    • For some reason, Nickelodeon mistreats the credits, but leaves the Vanity Plates intact (after the promo next to the credits ends, it cuts to the plate(s)). They also often seemed to mix up with the Frederator logo for The Fairly Odd Parents and My Life as a Teenage Robot. The very end of the closing theme can be heard over it, but apparently, Nick had trouble remembering which theme song went with the two shows.
    • And unfortunately, it happens with their live action ones, but the almost averted examples are Victorious and Big Time Rush. So yeah you don't get to see their original credits of the shows, but in the mentioned shows, you get fast and squished credits, but instead of a promo, you get at least a shortened music video from the singer of the show, making it look like actual ending credits. One of these being Victoria Justice's "All I Want is Everything" playing in the squished credits of Victorious.
      • However, in the two examples, They don't show the vanity plates for the production credits, since the vanity places are shown before the main credits in small stills of it in the place where the squished credits would play afterward. The only Vanity Plate they show in these "Music Video ending credits" is just "Nick".
      • Victorious and ICarly often have credits which include a video intended to draw viewers to the tie-in site. It's a crapshoot if it actually manages to get shown without being squashed or overdubbed, especially outside the US. Fortunately airings of the two shows on Teen Nick retain the original ending credits, averting the trope.
    • It Got Worse. Now the credits are running on the bottom third of the screen during the last minute of a show (similar to the ABC Family example above). In this way, it looks horribly tacky and distracting.
  • TV Land is awful about this. For the past several years, they had done your basic pushback (squeezing the credits to the right, running a promo or a "up next" bumper on the right, then letting the credits have the whole screen again), but they've stopped doing that. They now run the end credits over the final scene of the show in a little blue box, with the logos shown in full, in little boxes. They only do this with shows run during the day; those that run late at night, like M* A* S* H and Three's Company are spared, or only have their credits pushed to the bottom of the screen momentarily.
    • To be fair it should be noted that TV Land did resist the practice until about 2002, but gave up on it around the time they switched from "Oddball short lived shows you haven't seen before" to "Shows that have been rerun to death".
  • Particularly annoying with any show by Chuck Lorre, whose Vanity Plates have long and funny rambles on them. Credits pushback makes the small text illegible, even if a TiVo or similar is used to pause the footage long enough to read the plates.
    • CBS spares the Lorre plates at the end of Two and A Half Men and The Big Bang Theory (though replacing the music with a network jingle that exists so a voiceover can be done over it), then they go to a credits display.
  • The American Sci Fi Channel does this to the anime Gurren Lagann, covering up the ending theme in the process. As they do to all their anime, and probably all their live action programs as well.
    • A particularly egregious example was Mobile Suit Gundam 00, which had many episodes with stingers that were cut, including the final episode of the first season, which led directly into the second season.
  • GSN (Game Show Network) does this very annoyingly, squishing them to the point of illegibility and even cutting off the VanityPlates on most shows. Most of the time, this also nullifies the fee plugs read by The Announcer (though those, strangely, these are still closed-captioned). They were at least smart enough not to do this on Let's Make a Deal, because Monty Hall kept the show running during the credits.
  • Fox is terrible for this.
    • In recent times, The Simpsons has been able to run full-length, full-screen end credits. This is probably indicative of how much clout the show really has.
    • One of the funniest examples of the producers getting their way in this matter was in the episode "Sunday Cruddy Sunday." According to the DVD commentary of the episode, the credits of the episode were allowed to be shown full-screen because the producers told Fox there was animation over the credits. Which is technically true...the scene over the credits is Homer sitting in a chair as "Spanish Flea" plays, the only animation being his eyes moving a few times.
  • Comedy Central has become a really bad offender in general, but they treat Futurama particularly badly: Not only do they credit push each episode for the episode after, but the credits cover up the the next episode's opening screen Couch Gag.
    • They have two other forms of this: on some shows, like Comedy Central Presents, the credits are shown in a box, on a display, next to a few promos (and maybe a network ID, just to give them an excuse to screw over the credits some more), and shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have a more conventional design, which echoes the network's circa-2004 "graffiti" look.
    • Comedy Central has long been an envelope-pusher on abusing end credits. Back in the heyday of Mystery Science Theater 3000, they had Penn Jillette (whose annoying bellow was then unavoidable on the channel if watching for more than 15 minutes of any show) talking all over the stately Love Theme of the show's end credits (admittedly, even by then a widespread practice, but still loathsome). Fans revolted, and the network relented ? by spending a week or two (every day) superimposing an extra-long, extra-belligerent rant by Penn Jillette about how doing this will harm the network, and, by extension, said fans' favorite show.
  • E! Entertainment Television and it's sister network Style doesn't even bother with credits at the end. Within the first minute of the show they're put on the bottom of the screen on every show in see-through mice type that blurs by at a ridiculous rate, and when the show ends, the E! logo just appears and swipes into the next show without a care in the world.
    • Of course, if it involves what Giulliana Rancic wears during E! News and what shoes Ryan Seacrest wears to be visible on-camera, the company plug is shown quite clearly. Because they paid the money to get their credits visible; the caterer didn't.
    • Also, on E!'s reality shows, if they have Vanity Plates, they are shown coming out of the last commercial break. The lone exception to this is The Girls Next Door, which (jarringly) cuts right to the plates at the end of the show, without credits.
  • TBS is a horrible offender, during their late-afternoon block of syndicated programming. They won't even play a commercial. The show will end, you'll see exactly one frame of the credits (ie: Executive Producers - Alice and Bob), then the credits will be pushed back and the next show will begin immediately, alongside the credits. And half the time, it's the same freakin' show!
    • TBS's sibling, TNT, does the same thing with its off-network reruns.
  • The LOGO (gay & lesbian, with a smattering of bi and trans programming) has started re-runs of Buffy. Unfortunately the squish the credits (both acting and crew) and run them undernesth last minute and half of the episodes. To top it off they completely cut out the ending theme tune, and the Mutant Productions logo.
  • Almost every show on HGTV (and a growing number on co-owned Food Network) run their credits on the bottom of the screen (as the major networks have been doing since 2005), under the closing scene where someone talks about how great their house's redesign was. Almost nothing from before 2005 is reran on HGTV, so full-screen credits are uncommon.
  • The Discovery Channel and its entire family cuts the credits entirely, superimposing credits typed by the network over the final 30 seconds of the program, including logos. (For instance, How It's Made normally shows the logo of the National Film Board of Canada, but the one as shown on Discovery has its name simply written in the same white Arial as everything else)
  • When the Hallmark Channel airs episodes of Frasier, the end credit gags are often shrunk, squashed, and/or sped up to the point that you can't tell what's happening.
  • The Me TV Network openly defies and eschews this practice, showing full-screen closing credits at the end of every show. "End credits at the end of the show... that's the way it's supposed to be!"
  • Big round of applause to Antenna TV which (as of this writing 4/1/12) still shows end credits for its lineup of classic shows such as The Burns and Allen Show, The Jack Benny Program, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.


Commonwealth Telly

  • The guidelines for BBC end credits have angered arch TV cynic Charlie Brooker, as they forbid any speech during the credits (basically the precious last 60 seconds of his show's slot) so continuity announcements or trailers may be run. In response, he ran the end credits at the start of his show, replete with a mock pushback, scuppering any opportunity for actual credits pushback [2], and just dumped his viewers directly back onto the channel when he finished talking at the real end. To promote this show, he often appears ranting in the background of the general [BBC4] channel ident. How odd.
    • In a more recent episode, his footage for the end credits was someone's arse shaking with googly eyes stuck on it, so when the BBC put in a continuity announcement (which they did) it looked like the arse was talking.
      • In the BBC 4 broadcast the continuity announcer sounded incredibly embarrassed and offended by this (the poor sod had had this sprung on her with no warning) but did her best to laugh it off. On the BBC 2 repeat later they let the credits run without commentary from continuity staff. The message to creators is clear, talking arses prevent Credit Cropping.
    • And who could forget the special offensive end credits aired at the time of the Ross/Brand scandal?
    • James May of Top Gear once put together a version of the show's end credits composed entirely of the notes of different cars' exhausts. They played this composition over the end credits... at which point the continuity announcer started his spiel with "Sorry to talk over that, but right now on BBC 1..." Oh, there were complaints.
  • In fact there are very few channels in the UK that don't do this now, and those that don't are probably too low-budget to be able to afford to.
    • Channel 4 and its sister channels' in-house shows now leave enough blank space around the credits that they can be compressed without losing anything; Skins is a great example of this, where the credits naturally run down the middle of the screen but can still be read when the continuity announcements boot them to the left-hand side.
    • Some BBC regional variations avert this. Episodes of Doctor Who can go without any interruption from pop-ups or voiceover if you watch the Northern Ireland version of BBC 1, depending on which announcer is on duty.
  • Children's BBC (at least when it airs on BBC 1) almost always gets its credits squashed - often into an area as small as 1/4 by 1/4 of the screen (seriously) - just so that the broadcasters could give an extra 20 seconds for the linking announcer to ramble on uselessly during. This got so bad at one point that even the children who watched these programs began to write in to complain about not being able to see the credits (which was rude to both the actors and the film crews, who never got their due credit). Children's BBC's response to this? They squeezed the credits of even more programs, so that the continuity announcer could read out the letters from the children who were complaining about the practice of credit squeezing. And then the announcer actually started mocking the kids for wanting to see the credits.
    • Why would BBC One squish credits? They don't air advertising, and the only reason this trope exists is so broadcasters will have more time for commercials! That, and their announcers would probably have plenty of time in between programs to talk.
      • The time in between programmes is devoted to promos.
        • BBC programmes in peak (prime) time are usually squashed so that titles and stills from three upcoming shows on BBC networks can be shown. Just occasionally averted by wildlife programmes.
    • As of 2010, this doesn't happen anymore (how long will that last, I wonder?) This is largely because there's no longer a live linkperson for the children's block.
  • One of YTV's first credits commercials for Malcolm in the Middle was oddly meta, and displayed the credits for Malcolm in the Middle, with the narration "Don't look at those credits, look at these credits!" And then asks what a Key Grip is. A more proper commercial that actually describes the show was later made.
  • YTV also did this to the second season finale of Transformers Animated, in which Megatron and Starscream 's severed head bicker entertainingly during the credits while floating about abandoned in an unidentified area of space. Many Transformers fans were irate at having a random Canadian lad talking over the snark fest, and were forced to wait until a transcription of the banter from Closed Captioning came out.
    • YTV seems to do this to a lot of shows.. sometimes they'll not do it to a show until an episode with a new credits sequence or an over-credits plot element occurs and then push the credits back.
    • Speaking of griping about YTV, they (usually) start their shows 3-5 minutes before usual (so you miss the first 3-5 minutes of whatever you were watching before).
  • The major networks in Australia have lately been doing this a lot. The most Egregious example might be when Channel Ten was showing a broadcast of one Grammy awards ceremony, and squished the end credits to an unreadable size along with a loud voiceover. The problem? The credits were rolled over the 'big finale' of the awards, with Bruce Springsteen and an all-star band performing some song... not that anyone could hear it.
    • Channel Ten is now doing it in the middle of shows - during an episode of Futurama the entire screen was shrunk to show an ad for the following episode of Friends... three or four minutes before the closing credits.
    • They've even been known to shrink the screen and lower the volume without even having an ad running. Apparently they've set it up so it happens automatically?
    • A particularly amusing instance of this happened when Channel Ten cut out the audio on a broadcast of Casino Royale. I had momentarily forgotten this practice was in effect with any movie they showed, so I was getting ready for the big Theme Music Power Up at the end of the movie, only to be cut off for an ad for the show on directly after the movie.
    • Mediawatch (not to be confused with the U.K. organisation) called them on this once, when the long Credits Gag of the Mick Molloy flick Crackerjack was pushed back. They interviewed Molloy, who was understandably pissed. He then pushed back the credits of Mediawatch, cheerfully pointing out that what he was doing was annoying, useless and disrespectful to the people working on the show.
    • Channel Seven are also terrible at this; not only do they squish the credits into the bottom fifth of the screen, they speed up the credits so that they don't have to show them in full screen or something. It's terrible when you want to know who that guy was.
      • One of the worst was when they screened Monsters, Inc. and actually cut off the left side of the screen to avoid showing the Blooper Reel and "Put That Thing Back Where It Came From Or So Help Me." This was a few weeks after they'd done something similar to A Bugs Life (speeding up the credits as usual, blooper reel included) and had attracted complaints over it.
      • For some TV shows, the credits sequence is a complete replacement instead of squashing the original picture. The credits text is at least readable this way. (We missed out on the nice tune at the end of every Lost episode.)
  • In New Zealand, TV2 manages to do this in a respectable way: while the top two-thirds of the screen is devoted to a promo, the bottom third has all the credits transcripted in columns, and displayed in a nice, legible font.
  • Comedian Toby Hadoke does a bit about this in his show "Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf"
    • We're so sophisticated now that we can't be expected not to turn over if 'writing' comes up on the screen. So the credits are squashed to one side so ITV 1 can advertise whatever edifying box of delights it's got on next be it "Alan Titchmarsh's Favorite Sandwitches" or "Celebrity Gynecology: Live".
  • Chris Morris's very disturbing sketch comedy show Jam didn't feature any credits; instead it briefly displayed a URL which you could visit to find out the cast and crew.
    • Which of course viewers couldn't do, because by the end of each episode they were curled up in the foetal position crying...
    • Talkin Bout Your Generation also does this. After Shaun's closing monologue, a plug for the site appears, sometimes mentioning the page where you can read the credits.
  • In the 1990s, when cartoons were shown as part of Saturday morning programmes on both The BBC and ITV, the credits would either be squashed or cut (or in the case of Road Rovers accelerated - usually; they were left intact at least once). The worst example was Animaniacs, when ITV would lop off most of the end credits except for Steven Spielberg's and then have The Stinger... fortunately, most of them were eventually shown in their own slots.
  • Hilariously parodied in The Chaser's War on Everything when Andrew begins singing a song to take the show out

 I've been writing songs since God knows when,

And every gig I score I give a promise to them

I say I'll write it catchy and not too long,

But they always run credits over my songs.

Oh, all I want is my face on TV

But they're always rolling text over me.

And now I'll probably be squished into a corner, no doubt,

So the bloody voiceover can drown me out.

Fictional examples:

Live Action TV

  • Spoofed in Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Time Chasers": During the credits of the movie the main characters are watching, Observer (AKA Brain Guy) uses his omnipotent psychic powers to squeeze the whole screen over so he can parody this kind of advertising ads. You can even hear Mike and the 'Bots reacting to what he says.

 Observer: She's a wiccan, she's a nun! Tune in next week for the premiere of Which is Witch?

    • The gag gets interrupted when Pearl yells at Brain Guy, causing him to get down on himself and call it a stupid joke. The guys remark on how hard he's being on himself and say the gag was Actually Pretty Funny. Servo adds that he'd like to see Which is Witch?: "It sounds like must see TV! I MUST see it, dammit, I MUST!"
  • Ernie tried to do this at the end of the 1969 preview special This Way to Sesame Street when he didn't want the show to end.

 Bert: We have to have credits, Ernie. It's a rule!

Video Games

  • Donkey Kong 64: The credits push into the ending cutscene from all sides.

Web Animation

  • Parodied on Homestar Runner, in the Strong Bad Email theme song, over the fake credits. As Strong Bad says, "And on the off-chance that you actually wanted to hear the theme song... we've taken care of that, too." It happened again "for real" at the end of the email.

Western Animation

  • From Stroker and Hoop, after finishing a guest star role as a reward for saving a rapper's career:

 Hoop: It's sure going to be a thrill to see my name speed by in the squeezed credits under the start of the local news.

  • An episode of The Simpsons where Bart works on Krusty's show has a scene with all of Bart's friends and a bunch of his classmates watching the credits intently for Bart's name. Unfortunately, the credits get squashed to illegibility by a promo for the news. Nelson punches Bart for supposedly "taking credit for other people's work".

Notes

  1. Southeast Asia, for one, has it especially bad, since it's random; it varies per film featured.
  2. (even going as far as running a station ID, a la Monty Python's Flying Circus, linking into a Victoria Coren piece on corners, before invading said piece about a minute later to rant about this trope, replete with the page quote)
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