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Basically, a Shrug Take is a subversion of a Reaction Shot: A character is given a revelation, or sees/hears something, that is shocking/insulting/disturbing/outlandish/etc. They begin to react accordingly... but then just shrug it off and go about their business. Always played for the laugh.

If the character simply does not react at all, you have The Stoic. Or maybe they've just Seen It All. If the same unbothered reaction is played for smiles and warmed hearts, it's a Milholland Relationship Moment.

Alternatively, the character might see or hear something unusual, but will ultimately dismiss it as "just my imagination" or Somebody Else's Problem. See Also No More for Me.

Examples of Shrug Take include:


  • Used twice in Superman III:
    • Early in the film, when Superman changes identities in the back seat of an occupied police car, the cop in the front seat notices, but then dismisses it.
    • On a picnic, Clark reacts rather mildly to the announcement that he's eating dog food.
  • A recent coffee commercial has a girl who's told the coffee she'd thought was newly purchased just for her is actually several months old -- and was for her brother. She shrugs at the implied insult and keeps sipping.
  • Done in the Total Drama Island episode, "Phobia Factor" where we see a shot of millions of slimy pink worms squirming around in an empty wooden hot tub as Chris reveals that Beth's challenge is to completely submerge herself in them, we then get reaction shots of the other campers gasping, throwing up or even fainting, followed by a shot of Beth herself, who does an Eye Take... then shrugs and calmly does the challenge without complaining.
    • Done again in "Hawaiian Punch", after Heather reveals that she's in love with Alejandro. Beth gasps, Cody gasps, Owen gasps, and Noah... shrugs, since he already knew.
  • The Incredibly Strange Creatures: A woman is aghast that her carnival barker boyfriend's idea of a date is that she "should slave over a hot stove" to cook him steak. However, she quickly accepts his proposal. That carnival barker must be some kind of irresistible.
  • In Despicable Me, Vector takes a bite out of one of the cookie robots that did not activate. Vector stops, looks at the sparks flying out of the cookie, and then shrugs it off.
  • Johnny Bravo was probably the prince of this technique.
  • ...and the Pink Panther was possibly the king.
  • Doctor Who episode "Boom Town": The Doctor finally notices that the words "Bad Wolf" appear to be following him everywhere he goes... and then dismisses it as "like when you hear a word on the radio, and then keep hearing it all day".
  • Something Positive: Monette creates montages out of old comics belonging to Fred: incredibly rare old comics that gave Fred rare respite in his hard childhood. Faye says that he'll be so angry she should move to another country, but Fred takes it very well.
    • One must suppose that being informed you are coming down with Alzheimer disease will alter your priorities a bit.
  • In Demolition Man, John Spartan is told his burger is rat meat. There's a brief pause, then: "Not bad! Matter of fact, this is the best burger I've had in years!"
  • Probably one of the funniest and most memorable examples is the final scene in Some Like It Hot: "Well, nobody's perfect."
  • In the film National Lampoon's Vacation, the family discovers that their sandwiches are all wet because "the dog wet on the picnic basket". Upon hearing this, Aunt Edna sniffs her sandwich, shrugs and continues eating it.
  • This is a Running Gag in Cyanide and Happiness.
  • Used in the Jeff Daniels film about hunting season in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Escanaba In Da Moonlight. Reuben Soady (Daniels) feeds his father, brother, and their hunting buddy with a special "potion" made by his wife (whose consistency appears to resemble a milkshake). All of them compliment the tasty beverage, but when Remnar (Reuben's brother) asks to "steal the recipe", they are horrified to discover that the drink includes ground Moose testicles, insects, worms, and dirt, among other disgusting things. They look at each other, disgusted, but then their hunting buddy raises his jar, toasts, and sucks the rest right down. It helps that they previously established his ability to drink pretty much anything set in front of him.
  • The following exchange from Notting Hill:

 Spike: There's something wrong with this yogurt.

William: Ah, that's not yogurt, that's mayonnaise...

Spike: Ah, right-o then. [pauses, then continues to eat it]

  • Basically used as the punchline for the Shaggy Dog Story "Moose Turd Pie".
  • This has been used to end many Muppet sketches on Sesame Street.
  • In Clerks II, Silent Bob looks like he's about to dispense some wisdom, but he just shrugs and says "I got nothing."
  • Tangled has an interesting variation. Rapunzel, who has been locked up in her tower, has no idea what to do with a tiara. She puts it on her arm; Pascal shakes his head. She uses it as a magnifying glass; Pascal shakes his head. She places it on her head, the music swells, Pascal's eyes widen... then Pascal shakes his head.
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