At the beginning of each episode of NCIS and several time during it, there is a sequence of black and white pictures of previous and coming scenes with a sound imitating photo shooting on a crime scene.

Does this have a name? Is that used in other series?

  • An animated transition. Plenty of others use them. Warehouse 13 did it. I think Eureka. Plenty of cartoons.
    – cde
    Sep 26, 2016 at 20:01
  • This one is the best youtu.be/V3DoNzZIKbk also the Adam west batman had one.
    – cde
    Sep 26, 2016 at 20:07

2 Answers 2


According the NCIS wiki, the unofficial name for the effect is a 'foof', which is very onomatopoeic.

  • That's just the sound effect.
    – cde
    Nov 24, 2016 at 21:42

The term for the showing the picture at the beginning and end of an act or chapter is Bookends, literary and cinematic framing device:

Matching scenes at the beginning and end of a story, often to show how things have changed through the course of the series, or to demonstrate that they haven't changed at all.

Much like an prologue and epilogue bookend the entire show/movie/etc.

Specifically for NCIS (though unsourced trivia):

Fade to black and white. (Oh! Also … that sound you hear? That “thump” when it goes to black and white? Yeah, that’s actually exec producer Donald P. Bellisario’s voice. He wanted a bookend sound to each act, so he made that sound with a microphone, and boom (or thump) history is made. I know! I’m just full of the trivia nuggets this evening!)

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