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When your characters need to see what's going on in that room over there, but they don't quite wanna risk coming all the way out into the open...
...when your characters all want to see rather than just sending one person to check so s/he can come back and tell the others, what do you do?
The Scooby Stack! We've all Seen It a Million Times in cartoons and comedies: one head pops out from behind a corner or doorframe. Another head pops out above the first. And one more above that.
Because Cartoon Physics works differently, you can even get a Scooby Stack of people popping out from behind a tree or other item too thin for the thinnest person to hide behind.
Occasionally thwarted by someone surprising them by opening the door so they all fall on top of each other.
Not to be confused with the tall, stacked sandwiches enjoyed by Scooby and Shaggy.
Anime & Manga
- Done in episode 19 of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
- At least once on Eureka Seven, with the crew snooping on Renton and Eureka. Moondoggie is always on the bottom.
- This scene from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha.
- When investigating Mugen Academy in Sailor Moon, the "Inner Senshi" get a Sailor Stack, but they get discovered by a security guard and their resulting panic causes them to fall over (except Makoto).
- It makes sense she didn't fall. She was standing up in the back without leaning on another one of the girls, so nobody would have made her topple over.
- Here in Mahou Sensei Negima. With the inevitable conclusion here.
- Comes up every now and then in Nerima Daikon Brothers, and lampshaded in episode 5, where the main characters pop up from behind a door, stacked horizontally, and stay in place until Hideki points out what they're doing.
- Occurs in Bleach anime episode 138. While Captain Ukitake is talking to Rukia in the Soul society, his two lieutenants and Orihime Inoue perform one of these at the side of the doorway.
- Ash and two Pokemon form one in a sewer during the Pokémon episode "Leading A Stray!"
- FLCL episode "Full Swing". Haruko, Naota's father and the robot Canti look through the center of a door.
- Yui, Mio and Ritsu from K-On! do it to spy on Tsumugi and Azusa. Then Azusa makes them fall.
- In the final episode of Omamori Himari, we get a Scooby Stack featuring the entire Extended Harem. It's so tall, the camera has to pan up to have room for them all, and even then, the Ojou has to walk out into plain view since there's no more room along the doorframe.
- Hanaukyo Maid Tai
- Original series episode 7. While Taro is in the hot springs changing room his 3 personal maids form one around the corner of the door.
- La Verite episode 8. Three of the security maids protecting Taro during a trip to the city do this behind a vending machine while following him.
- Happens twice in Persona 4. Once when Chie and Yosuke spy on Kanji and Naoto and again when the rest of the group spies on Kanji and Hanako on the camping trip.
- In Ghost Stories the group does this and Hajime (in the English Dub) points out how he's "on top".
- Used in DC's Legionnaires #44 with Sensor, Umbra, and Magno.
- Often used in Lucky Luke with the Daltons. Considering their relative sizes, it is a Justified Trope.
- The Three Stooges did this all the time.
- The Little Rascals may also have done it a few times.
- Charlie's Angels
- Seen in the movie version of On the Town.
- In Monty Python and The Holy Grail, the French taunters do this.
- Happens in The Spanish Inn when the tenants want to find out how the negotiation between Xavier and the landlord is going, but don't dare get involved themselves.
- X-Men: First Class: Beast, Angel, Darwin, Banshee and Mystique do one despite Havok's warning for them to keep back because of how unpredictable his powers are.
- Done in Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix.
- Happens in the animated version of Asterix and Cleopatra. Caesar sends three triplet Egyptian mercenaries to capture Getafix on the building site. They stack at the corner of a tent.
Live Action TV
- A Thanksgiving episode of Friends had half the cast looking around a bolted door like this for most of the episode. It was lampshaded by Chandler, who referred to them as "the floating heads".
- The kids in El Chavo Del Ocho did it when spying on Doña Clotilde's house.
- Pushing Daisies episode "Dim Sum Lose Sum".
- Heroes S3 episode "Our Father".
- Done a lot on Welcome Back, Kotter.
- That's So Raven has the three main characters look around the corner like this in one episode.
- Done in an episode of Hannah Montana where Oliver, Lilly and Miley are stacked up like this watching Jackson fail to convince Robbie Ray to up his curfew.
- The 2000 TNT Original version of Don Quixote did this at one point, with Don, Sancho Panza, and Sancho's donkey all peering around a boulder.
- Misfits has one with Curtis, Simon, and Rudy pondering the presence of Seth the Power Broker in the Community Centre.
- Golden Sun The Lost Age, the characters are fairly realistically trying to organize one in this shot.
- While the main couple in Tales of Hearts is having their penultimate Sweet Moment, the rest of the party spies on them this way from behind a nearby pillar. They fall over on their own.
- Happens frequently in LEGO-themed games such as those based on Star Wars.
- The cover artwork for Ufouria.
- Persona 4 does one with Yosuke and Chie while spying on Kanji. And Chie's on all fours.
- Lampshaded in Questionable Content once, here.
- This Shortpacked! strip.
- Sequential Art: The squirrel girls express their fear of open spaces by hugging a doorway in a Stack.
- College University did this once - with Parks, Jay, and "Macho Man" Randy Savage.
- College Humor parodies this in their sketch Hardly Working: Snooping, where each consecutive person on top crushes the bottom guy more and more until his head explodes.
- In the "Gay Chicken" episode of Commodore HUSTLE, Alex, Kathleen and Kathleen's cat do this when Morgan asks if he can stay with them for a few days.
Graham: ...we're full.
- Scooby Doo, as the Trope Namer naturally.
- You can also spot the Scooby Stack on every one of the Hanna-Barbera teenage sleuth cartoons:
- Happens in the title sequence and in-show on Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks.
- Jimmy, Sheen and Carl do it in a mystery-solving episode of Jimmy Neutron.
- Used many, many times in Looney Tunes shorts.
- My Life as a Teenage Robot in "Mama Drama" has the "hiding behind something extremely thin" example.
- Izzy, Eva and Noah perform one in the season one finale of Total Drama Island while waiting for Justin.
- Bridgette and Courtney do it in "Not Quite Famous" from behind a curtain.
- Played With in one episode of SpongeBob SquarePants that focuses on SpongeBob trying to train Gary, his pet snail, for the coming snail race. After unsuccessfully trying to get Gary to practice sprints a couple of times, but Gary immediately goes to watch the television, Squidward leans in a nearby window to taunt Spongebob and boast about his purebred snail's chances of success. Cue Patrick leaning in the window above, boasting about his "snail"(it's actually a rock). Squidward lampshades when he asks what Patrick is standing on, cutting to the outside of the windows to see Patrick actually standing on Squidward's back. When Squidward later leaves, Patrick falls out of the window he's in and then pops back in Squidward's window.
- Jay, Cole and Zane do it behind a column in the first episode of Ninjago: The Way of the Ninja.
- My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has done it in at least one episode with Big Mac, Applejack and Granny Smith. It's been turned into a macro.
- Done in Max Fleischers Gullivers Travels with the goofy spies Sneak, Snoop and Snitch.
- The Tom and Jerry short "Johann Mouse" has five people popping their heads through a door.
- Strawberry Shortcake Berry Bitty Adventures has Lemon, Raspberry, Blueberry and Plum all Scooby Stacking in Lemon's doorway doing the "after you, no after you" schtick to avoid being the first to say something they fear will hurt Lemon's feelings.