1. Man is in his house. His wife gets home with their child. Man and woman argue. Man beats up Woman while child hides inside. Man goes back inside and when he notices the child, starts in on Child. Woman comes in to get Child. Man chases them off, then smashes up the house.

    1. That is what I got. Not pleasant. Should be shown after the watershed.
      (Obviously tongue in cheek there)
      Says something about the prevalence of male violence towards children and women that this is the most apparent interpretation.
      Or at least, it says something about our expectations of male behaviour.
      As a footnote – (a serious footnote) –
      Probably preaching to the converted on here though. Should save my ire for the MSN message boards.

    2. Wow. And I thought I was anthropomorphizing a lot. I just didn’t put that much story into it. Domestic violence never occurred to me, perhaps because I have the good fortune to come from a family where such a thing was completely unheard of.

  2. The large triangle seems to be isolated or trapped or something inside the box. When the small triangle helps it out, the large triangle is aggressive towards the outsider. When the circle enters, the largge triangle takes pity on it for knowing it was in the same situation as the large triangle once was. The circle, having witnessed the whole scenario, knows the small triangle in the ‘good guy’ and escaped with him.


  3. The two triangles are competing for the love of the ball. The small triangle wins and the larger one kicks the walls down in disgust. (Strange how I see some of it abstractly and some in terms of human emotions, and also that I think of the triangles as 2D and the ball as 3D)

  4. My first reaction was oh my god its the ring video! Then it looked like some teen girl had brought her boy friend home and her dad got maaaad

  5. For me it’s kind of all over the place, and so I can just fall back and be all hyper-literal about geometric figures doing stuff. Sometimes it seems like the beginning of some Flatlanders’ porn gone wrong though.

  6. Large triangle = father, smaller triangle = mother, circle = child. Mother and child come home, mother happy to see father to start with, father starts beating her whilst child hides in another room. Father goes into the room and child is very scared. Child goes out to greet mother and they run off. Father gets in a rage and starts wrecking the house.

  7. Is it an early audition tape for the opening credits of Dad’s Army? (The large triangle didn’t get the gig in the end and was *furious*). Those isosceles are all total divas.


  8. At first I could make no sense of it,then I tried various anthropomorphic ideas and could make several scenarios fit….is it Rorschach in motion?

  9. I’d go with “Man is in his house. His wife gets home with their child. Man and woman argue. Man beats up Woman while child hides inside. Man goes back inside and when he notices the child, starts in on Child. Woman comes in to get Child. Man chases them off, then smashes up the house.” as above. Only thing is I would have said Woman and Child run away and escape rather than are chased off.

  10. The large triangle is lonely but doesn’t know how to interact when the small triangle tries to help, both of them seem to fight over the affection of the circle, who goes with the small triangle because the big triangle gets defensive and aggressive.

  11. I know it’s just a bunch of shapes but it does make me sad! First I felt that the large triangle looked aggressive but that might just have been just because it was bigger and more pointy. On second viewing it just looked like the large triangle trying to make friends with the other shapes and was then distraught when the others ran off together and left it alone.

  12. Here is a perspective from someone with asperger’s. If you know what to look for, you will probably see asperger’s traits in the following perspective, such as the fact that I pay lots of attention to minuscule details and not so much attention to the story as a whole. Anyway, this is my perspective.

    Until 0:05 they’re basically just shapes.

    Then we see the shape inside the box starting to interact with the shapes outside the box, showing that the box is not impenetrable to the senses (it has a window or you can hear through it or something).

    So the first triangle is very happy to see the second triangle, and comes out to greet her at 0:07, and at 0:08 they start kissing.

    However, at 0:09, for whatever reason, the first triangle starts being violent towards the second.

    This makes the circle, whom we can take to be a child, uncomfortable, so at 0:14 the child goes inside the box/house to be alone.

    The child hesitates, is not sure whether things are really OK or not, so watches tentatively from the door for a while, trying to understand.

    But it is all too emotional and at 0:30 the circle shuts itself inside.

    At 0:34 the first triangle, which we’ll call the father, comes inside. The circle still wants to stay away from all the emotion and anger, is not really happy to see the father right now.

    The father, around 0:40, seems to understand and respect this, and tries talking gently to the circle from a comfortable distance away.

    The circle’s emotions, from around 0:46 are mixed, but mostly distressed and uncomfortable. It is not so easily reassured.

    At 0:49, the father gives up on the gentle approach and starts being insistent and angry towards the child. The child backs into a corner.

    At 0:51, the mother comes in. At 0:55 the circle runs into the arms of the mother, escaping from the distress of being with the angry father.

    The mother and child share many of the same emotions. At 0:58, a wavy white line cuts through both of them, signifying that they both feel emotionally broken. The child finds some comfort in the mother’s company.

    At 0:59 the father comes out of the house and the mother and child run away.

    At 1:08, when the mother and child are gone, the father is fuming, He has no-one to take out his anger on. So at 1:12 he kicks the house down.

    1. Oh, and yes, I know I wasn’t conforming to asperger’s stereotypes there … which is in itself partly why I mentioned it: in the hope of challenging some of the simplistic stereotypes that people might hold. But I wouldn’t be surprised if people with the training or experience to see beyond the stereotypes can spot hints of asperger’s symptoms in my description, e.g. (as I said) in the analytical attention to detail.

    2. Clinical diagnosis is not based on stereotypes, its is based on symptoms. If you don’t have the symptoms, you don’t have the condition. Simply making your comment longer than everyone else’s, and making sure to add the timestamps isn’t terribly convincing.

    3. The first half (that clinical diagnosis is not based on stereotypes) is strongly implied in what I said. So I can’t imagine why you would bring it up as though it were a counterpoint.

      The second half seems cynical and even a bit insulting. Are you insinuating that I might have put in the timestamps etc in some kind of manipulative way? Like, some sort of con? That’s just … bizzare. I just gave it as I see it.

    4. No, he’s implying that you’re trying to be interesting by telling everyone to look for signs of your neurological disorder in your description. Which I don’t think you were doing — I do believe that remark was intended for prof. Wiseman, who is a psychologist, or others with an interest in psychology. But I also see how it can come across that way.

      It’s interesting to see you connect your interest in the timestamps and in giving an extensive description to your Asperger’s, though. I have Asperger’s as well, but my description (below) is fairly brief and undetailed. I suppose I’m atypical?

    5. Well, if I try to make something interesting, it’s invariably because I’m interested. 🙂

      I was wondering at the time whether asperger’s would influence my perspective on the video in any detectable way – not enough to look suspicious in itself, but enough that a psychiatrist might say something like ‘now that you mention it, that doesn’t surprise me’. Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn’t, but I was basically conveying my own curiosity.

      At the same time, I thought that some readers might imagine that people with asperger’s would have considerable difficulty with a task like this, involving attribution of emotions and so on, and I wanted to take the opportunity to challenge that stereotype, to make the point that if there’s a difference, it’s subtle, and that it’s not that easy to tell us apart. Stereotypes bug me. (In response to your closing question, then, you know as well as I do that there’s no such thing as typical…)

      I hope this attempt at clarification is not misinterpreted in any way and can thus serve as the last I need to say on the subject.

    6. Heh, well, I do know that everyone is different, though most of us share a certain set of traits/symptoms. Yeah, that was a bit of a tease, that remark.

      Must say I did wonder if my own description was recognisably AS too, as I saw that others assigned roles (husband/wife, parents, jilted lovers) to the shapes and I merely assigned motive and didn’t see them as metaphorical so much. But then I saw that you did assign roles, so I assume it’s just coincidental.

      I didn’t mention the connection myself, because I have found that mentioning AS frequently annoys people. Not exactly sure why.

    7. To LordManley,
      Munchhausen comes to my mind. some people just want the attention.
      (not the case, just an answer to your question)

      but i found Steve’s comment offensive. people tend to get aggressive on the internet for no reason, but i always thought that nobody would do that to someone who just admitted having a social disadvantage.

      and also, i found Flesh-eating Dragon’s response brilliant. made me think who the “unfitted” one really is

  13. Parent waiting for child to get home. parent yells at child’s boyfriend/girlfriend and makes child go inside. yells at bf/gf more and goes inside to scold child. bf/gf comes in as parent is talking to upset child. child runs outside with bf/gf they have an emotional conversation then take off to be together away from parent.

  14. I thought the big triangle was trying to defend the “house” which it then smashed at the end in frustration. Not sure what that says about my emotional empathy!

  15. I seem to have viewed it as Shape = Gender and Size = Age. And hence, my interpretation, a daughter introducing her new boyfriend to her father, who becomes enraged; he reacts violently to the boyfriend, she hides in the house. The father goes into the house and confronts her, the couple flee.

  16. Like a couple of other people I think the big triangle is dad, the small circle his daughter and the small triangle is her boyfriend – who the dad doesn’t appear to like or approve of. Eventually the youngsters run off together after dad tries to keep the daughter in the home.

  17. A mating dance.

    Large triangle has taken possession of a “nest”

    Pair approach looking for a spot. Big triangle comes out to intimidate small. Ball gets tempted in waiting for triangles to ‘fight it out’. Big one comes in and circle not happy but can’t get out. Eventually escapes. Big triangle chases but pair hide then run off. Big triangle smashes nest in frustration.

    Facinated about why everyone else sees parents and a child. What does this say about us?

    1. I agree with D. It’ was weird reading the comments and seeing how so many people assigned a family relationship to these shapes. I saw them acting and thought of them as animated shapes with, yes, human emotions and motivations but none of that “mother, father, child” thing. The emotional state you can get from the actions of the shapes but the relationship? No. That’s a step too far for me.

  18. I may be reading too much into this but I think a large triangle, a smaller triangle and a circle (it could be big, I have nothing to compare it with on the circle front), have been filmed to look like they are moving around, inside and outside a box. All using a pretty bad lens.

  19. I thought it was that the triangle was in his house then two burglars come and e goes out to confront them (not the best of ideas) and while he’s confronting one of them the other one slips inside his house so he goes in and chases it out…the burglars hang around the house untill the triangle chases them away, at that point he destroys his house which stumped me but i guess it could be a fit of rage because he didn’t manage to catch the burglars or because he was frustrated or something…anyway it’s kind of a weird video!

  20. Medium t has something big t and circle want. Med t persuaded to come out and circle slips into room ready to search. At first big t asks then starts to get aggressive seeking info. Circle starts to search as big t enters room. Big t suspicious circle found whatever and starts to become aggressive to circle. Some general aggro then med t and circle run off with whatever and big t pissed of so trashes place. I love the way different ‘stories’ can be attached to some 2D shapes apparently moving. Imagination a powerful force.

  21. For me the two triangles are definitely fighting. The angry one is a parent, the circle is a small child, and the other triangle is a protector. So either another parent, or a big brother/sister who helps the small child escape. And then the angry parent takes out their rage on the room.

  22. I don’t know in fact it seems silly and futile to try and project any meaning into it. All I pondered on is what is cartoon is supposed to find out from the viewers responses? The author of the cartoon must being using some predetermined sybolism which passed me by. But judging by the responses so far it seems to work as the proverbial Rorschach (as mentioned above) blots and therefore there is no meaning just.. ooops I’m playing along with the game and I didn’t want to do that. So it worked on me damn

  23. it uncannily looks like a violent man being mad at his wife and child for little reason … basically my first interpretation is same as many of the above …

    some have put it in hilarious terms like big triangle getting mad on small triangle and circle … trying to play too cautious and ending up a joke …

  24. I find it interesting so many of you thought it was two parents and a child. I saw it as a male (large triangle) who sees his wife (dot) arrive with another man, her lover (small triangle). He beats up this other man, while his wife cowers in the doorway.

    Man goes into house with wife, she is upset and tries to talk to him. He starts to get aggressive with her, but she manages to escape with her “lover”. I see the woman and her lover kiss before they run off together, apparently happy. The man is left behind in the house and flies into a rage, wrecking the place.

    I wonder how big a role personal experience plays in our interpretations of it? If you saw child being beaten/dad angry at your boyfriend/violent possessive husband is that because these are more relevant to you? I’d say my interpretation more closely matches my own experiences.

    1. Yep, I agree with this one – I didn’t think of parents and child either. I guess the point is how easily we can construct meaning from abstract forms?

    2. Yep me too. Although I started off by thinking the little triangle was a kid who’d kicked his football against the big triangle’s house! Got a bit confused when the football started moving around independently…

    1. That site is terrible … on my computer, at least, the video has *no* buttons to pause or rewind it or anything … so it plays for a couple of seconds, waits for a couple of seconds for the buffer to catch up, plays, waits, plays, waits … and with no controls to press there’s nothing to be done about it … whereas with the original Youtube video, you can if need be pause the video manually in order to let the buffer get well ahead, and then it will play smoothly.

  25. The box is the home. The larger triangle is the husband. He comes home and finds no one in. The wife is the circle and comes back with another man. The husband pushes the wife in the house and beats up the other man. He then goes into house and threatens wife. Other man rescues her, and husband wrecks house in a rage.

  26. At first, you feel sorry for the large triangle being kept trapped in the square whilst the small on and the circle are out together, but once the large triangle escapes and starts attacking the other smaller objects so aggressively, perhaps life-threateningly, you end up wanting them to escape from the large triangle. You want it to be trapped back in the rectangle. It’s a relief to find that the small triangle and circle have got away safely, as the large triangle is a real psychopath!

  27. For a while it was just shapes, then the big triangle became a dangerous male aggressor, the circle a woman and the small triangle her partner protecting her. Having read other people’s interpretation I’m off to the psychiatrist.

  28. Some evil person/thing is trying to protect its territory, but does so in a very violent way. Both fighting and fleeing doesn’t seem to let the evil thing come to its senses.

  29. Large triangle is in his house.
    He is disturbed by small triangle and circle.
    He fights with smaller triangle and circle takes refuge in the house.
    Circle escapes, dances with joy with smaller triangle and they taunt large triangle by hiding.
    Circle and small triangle race off, and enraged large triangle smashes things up.

    I don’t (or at least didn’t) see any family analogies here.

  30. I see a abusive father who attack the mother while the child hides in the room. Then the father goes after the child who manages to escape with the mother. This upsets the father who starts breaking stuff.

  31. All I managed to work out was that the large triangle was a bully. Couldn’t tell what relationship the other shapes were to him.

  32. Why would the male “dad” and female “mum” both be represented by triangles? Would it not make more ‘sense’ if the triangles were both male (ie father and son) and the ball female (or vice versa if you want to think that way)?

    1. Also, the smaller triangle that enters from the top of the frame is very excitable and skittish, not like the typical “mum” character at all. This, I think, backs up the fact that this triangle is a younger male.

  33. I’m amazed by the different interpretations (though watching it back I can see how some of them came about). To my mind, it couldn’t have been clearer that this was an abusive father attacking his wife and then going in to start on the child who hid from the violence but who then managed to escape with his mother, leaving the father to take his frustrations out on the house.

    Fascinating stuff

  34. Angry lesbian abuses submissive partner and their pug.

    (Seriously, why does it always have to be male violence? And, I don’t know what this says about me, but I’ve always felt that triangles were feminine symbols…you know…vaginas.)

  35. There is three kids playing and they found a weird box witch door opens and closes randomly. One is caught inside and the other two came mock him about it. He gets rages and beets up those two. While he’s beating up the another, circle goes in and get caught there. Triangle gets to rescue him and gets trapped again. This time he decides to get rid of the whole thing and breaks it.

  36. I saw much of what other commenters shared: larger, more aggressive triangle attacks smaller, less aggressive triangle, who retreats, but then comes to the rescue of the circle, and eventually the smaller triangle and the circle leave the area together, and the large triangle is left alone and destroys its “home” in anger.

    I didn’t see the domestic relationship (parents & child) that many others saw, but did see an “outsider” (the circle) drawn into a pre-existing conflict and then rescued by a former victim of a bully. It really is fascinating.

  37. The round ball is a sheep. The small triangle is a puppy sheepdog trying to round up the sheep. The big triangle is an adult sheepdog, rounding them both up. When the sheep and pup escape then the big sheepdog goes mental and smashes up the sheep pen.

  38. Two siblings come home from being out playing, parent (I’m thinking mother) comes out to find out where they’ve been. The circle is a younger sibling (a sister?) who hides from its mother, while the older sibling (a brother) takes the blame. Older sibling tells on the younger, the mother comes after the younger, she manages to run out of the front door, and the two siblings run off again. Not quite sure why the mother smashes up the house, but hey.

  39. Large triangle defends the box. Small triangle attacks, while the large triangle is distracted the circle enters the box. The large triangle returns to the box and ousts the circle. The large triangle destroys the box?

  40. It reminded me of one of my favourite poems



    There once was a Square, such a square little Square,
    And he loved a trim Triangle;
    But she was a flirt and around her skirt
    Vainly she made him dangle.
    Oh he wanted to wed and he had no dread
    Of domestic woes and wrangles;
    For he thought that his fate was to procreate
    Cute little Squares and Triangles.

    Now it happened one day on that geometric way
    There swaggered a big bold Cube,
    With a haughty stare and he made that Square
    Have the air of a perfect boob;
    To his solid spell the Triangle fell,
    And she thrilled with love’s sweet sickness,
    For she took delight in his breadth and height—
    But how she adored his thickness!

    So that poor little Square just died of despair,
    For his love he could not strangle;
    While the bold Cube led to the bridal bed
    That cute and acute Triangle.
    The Square’s sad lot she has long forgot,
    And his passionate pretensions …
    For she dotes on her kids—Oh such cute Pyramids
    In a world of three dimensions.

  41. At first, I assumed the animator had rotoscoped geometric shapes over a film of fish swimming but, as the animation progressed, it became clear that the animator intended the shapes to represent more complex beings. By that time, though, I was so caught up in what the animator intended that it was difficult to project my own preconceived notions onto it.

    If I had to pick one of the various possible scenarios, I’d go with the jealous lover / rivals for affection one.

  42. Very interesting. My mind was trying to formulate a plausible story throughout, that shifted and adapted as the video played through, wanting to make sense of it. It seemed very violent – or is that just a reflection on me! I’d be fascinated to know if there is a story to it and indeed if it is a room with characters or just moving shapes on a page.

  43. The large triangle is hiding when the small triangle and circle track him down and ridicule him out into the open. The triangles push and shove eachother for a moment with the larger one getting the upper hand. The dot sneaks away to enter the hiding place to see what it can steal. When the coast is clear it enters. The large triangle notices the dot has dissapeared and fears an ambush. his fear fules a burst of anger which overpowers the small triangle. Believing the fight is over the large triangle retreats back into his hiding place only to notice the sneaky dot pissing all over the place. He finally snaps wanting to now torment the dot now that it is cornered and alone but the dot escapes saved by the weaker small triangle. He the chases them off and realizes he never again needs to hide for he is all mighty. He prooves this to himself by destroying his hiding place.

  44. School bully scene. Big triangle big bully. Small triangle and small circle the ones being bullied, but small triangle is able to fight the bully while small circle is more timid.

  45. I just saw it as shapes – triangles, circle and lines – moving about, with maybe the bigger triangle chasing the smaller one. I didn’t read any relationships into it or attribute roles e.g. father, mother etc. to them. Jings, does that mean I am disassociative or lacking somehow? I’m just surprised that folks are reading so much into it.

  46. I saw it as a triangle is in a house and a smaller triangle and circle come by and see the triangle who is possibly trapped. The smaller triangle tries to help the larger triangle but it becomes aggressive (possibly because it didnt need or want help). During the altercation the circle goes inside the house and the larger triangle enters possibly to get it out of its property or harms way. The circle with the help of the smaller triangle manages to escape and seem to celebrate after which the larger triangle attempts to destroy the house.

    I in no way whatsoever saw them as partners with a child and was surprised so many people did.

  47. I wasn’t sure why the large triangle, the BULLY, shut itself in the room. Maybe it was angry and needed to think through its feelings. The small triangle was SMITTEN with it at first and tried to kiss it, maybe make it feel better, maybe it had no idea the BULLY was feeling badly until it shook its ‘head’ in a ‘no’ and started shoving the SMITTEN triangle away. Perhaps love is blind. The circle, unsure what to do, hides in the room, but the BULLY can’t let the circle get away with it saw, or now knows. Perhaps the circle knew all along the BULLY was a terrible match for the SMITTEN triangle. The circle attempts to get away, the SMITTEN triangle comes to the rescue, opening the door and they escape. The BULLY then becomes so enraged, it breaks the ‘room’.

  48. Wow did I not see any of that ……only thinking someone had a LOT of free time but knew nothing about video….even less than I know….now that is bad…..oh dear what does that say about me…lol….with my back ground I should have picked up on some of that stuff…..guess my foggy dain bramage is working at a steady pace…lol…..

  49. I saw two small shapes playing around outside a large triangle’s “home” (more like a hidey hole, I guess, than a home). The large triangle came out and the small triangle was intrigued by it. It didn’t intend to provoke anything with its (somewhat aggressive) curiosity but it did nonetheless. The circle hid from the now quarreling triangles until the larger triangle came back to its “home”. It wasn’t pleased by the intrusion. The circle escaped with the help of the smaller triangle and the two friends ran off to play somewhere else. This made the large triangle very angry and it wrecked its house in a fit of pique.

    The large triangle somehow reminded me of a moray eel hiding in a hole and some small fish cavorting outside its lair. I doubt an eel would destroy things after the fish flee though. That’s where my impression of its being an eel falls apart.

  50. I thought the small triangle and the circle were trying to lure the larger triangle away from it’s secure place/place of value. I thought they were trying to trick it. I didn’t understand the smashing up bit at the end.

    I was amazed that comments all focussed in on domestic violence/disharmony – and I didn’t see it at the time. It made sense once I read the comments – but I’m amazed I didn’t see it as I watched it…

  51. It’s fascinating how much people have anthropomorphized the shapes here and built complex stories. I thought I was guilty of reading too much into the whole thing, but I haven’t gone nearly as far as others. Maybe I lack imagination. The big triangle gets angry at the small one for something, he’s a bully, goes on a rage fest, and when the small triangle and the circle escape him he smashes everything in sight.

  52. Things I like:
    – the head-shake from the Large Triangle after the Small Triangle darts in at him a few times at the beginning.
    – the way the circle seems to know the ‘house’ well in a way the Small Triangle doesn’t
    – how scared I am for the Circle when the Large Triangle advances slowly on the Circle in the ‘house’

    I go with the Father/Daughter/Boyfriend dynamic. Bloody violent though!

  53. I felt sorry for and protective towards the small triangle. Then again, before I watched the video someone did tell me I owned that triangle. 😉 What was his name? Heider? Simmel? Something like that…

  54. Just watched it again and got something completely different when I realized that the small triangle started it. Seems more like the small triangle picks a fight with the big one to distract him while the circle sneaks into his house and robs him blind.

    1. Here’s my new complicated story: An older man gets home from work and is enjoying a quiet evening in his house, when a couple of teenagers outside start making a ruckus. The man goes out to ask them to quiet down and one of the teens attacks him, hitting him several times. Finally the man hits back and a fight commences between him and the teenager. The man seems to be winning, but it’s all really a distraction so the other teenager can go in to the house and steal and vandalize the man’s home. The man realizes what is going on and goes in the house. He closes the door behind him and threatens the second teenager and chases him around the house. The first teenager watches from the door and when the second one is able to get to the door and get out they slam the door in the man’s face and high five and laugh about it. The man chases after them and they run around the house and finally get away. Finally the man throws a huge fit of rage at what they’ve done to his house and smashes everything.

    2. watch closely, the circle is standing in the doorway watching the entire time and when the large triangle finally pushes small triangle against the wall and deals him multiple blows the circle comes out as if she was trying to stop him, at which point he notices her and is about to advance towards the house while the small triangle runs away. But large triangle notices small triangle is not where he was before, since large triangle was distracted, so it goes after him again, but then decides that he is going inside to confront the circle.. once the circle retreated into the house it stands by the door as if waiting, and when large triangle comes in the running around commences. If it were a robbery, that means that the circle is ransacking his house right in front of big triangles face and he just stands there?

  55. WOW! I’m amazed by all the family references. I came up with friends, allegiances, motivations but nowhere near equating it with a family event. I don’t know if that says more about me or the other posters.

  56. I didn’t see parents/child at all. In fact, I saw the little shapes as the aggressors.

    First I saw the large triangle as being trapped, but later I decided he was just timid and that’s his house. The little shapes let him out/draw him out and then the little triangle provokes the larger one for no reason. The larger triangle responds by overreacting, striking the little triangle and driving it away. It’s odd that the little triangle only hits first, not in defense.

    In the mean time, I saw the circle as being bored and curious about the open door of the house. Oh! Could it be the little triangle’s antics were supposed to be a distraction so the circle could sneak in? It goes in uninvited, in any case. The large triangle comes back but doesn’t immediately see the circle. The circle jumps out. “Here I am, in your house!” The larger triangle is mad. The little triangle gets the circle out and the large triangle chases them around the house before they go away.

    Lastly, the large triangle goes home. Is there something on his door that the little shapes left? Or is he just slamming it in frustration at the bullying? Either way, he breaks the door and then a wall.

  57. Wow – where dose the image of the child come from in so many viewers? amazing.?
    I saw the two triangles as men fighting over a woman (circle), with the circle obviosly wanting to be with the smaller one and not the bully….

  58. This is an abusive family with the large triangle being the father. He beats up the mother, while the child hides behind the door, terrified, but watching. Once, the child thinks he/she must help and runs out but immediately runs back in, slamming the door and hiding in the corner until it is “over.” The father then comes after him/her, but they escape, joining forces with the mother. They then flee the scene. The angry father goes into a rage breaking everything in sight. (I posted my comment before I read any of the others so I can’t wait to see if others have similar thoughts. Here goes!

  59. I think that this video can be a trauma reminder (also called a “trigger”) for people, and should probably have a warning of some sort.

    Especially since the first part could look like domestic violence, rape, a mugging, or any number of other violent things, depending on the previous experiences of the person watching it.

    I’ve never experienced domestic violence directly, myself, and it still made me feel ill.

    1. But the domestic violence doesn’t even make sense, how could the mother be a triangle and the father be a triangle yet their child is a circle? Shouldn’t it be an even smaller triangle? Look at it again and imagine the triangles are all males and the circle is a female. It makes so much more sense, either seeing it as a cheating wife .. in which case he never hits the wife just chases her around, or a daughter and her boyfriend.

      Why should this have a warning label when it’s clearly a dad teaching a kid a lesson or beating up another guy. Its a bunch of shapes bumping together, how do you get rape out of that? He doesn’t even touch the circle, just chases it around, you can see them almost talking about something when the big triangle first enters the house. They put violence on tv and video games, always people beating up other people, and its tv 14 on cable.. so.. putting a warning label on a cartoon is a little ridiculous.

  60. Wow! I too wonder how much past personal experience we project onto the shapes. I felt it was incredibly obvious from the get-go that this depicted domestic violence and was surprised at the number of folks who just saw some shapes moving around. This is EXTREMELY interesting.

  61. It just made me feel really, really anxious and creeped out, but I’ve got violence in my childhood – the pattern of agression and affection reminds me of the behaviour of an alcoholic – everything starts out ok but it takes less than nothing to tip them into rage.

  62. I got the Domestic Violence thing impression as well with the big triangle the father, the small triangle the mother and the circle the child.

  63. I see an abstraction designed for the viewer to project some element of their personal life situation upon, thus allowing the tester/therapist an insight into the viewer’s state of mind.

  64. I read it as some sort of custody battle – big triangle as the father, smaller one the mother and the circle as the child coming to dad’s house for a visit. Mum and dad get into a row while child hides in house. Dad goes back in but child is frightened and runs out back to mum. Dad so angry at child leaving that he destroys the house.

  65. I wonder if it may be used on victims of conflict to try and identify underlying neuroses particularly in children. Before they think too much about what to say. Many adults are too self aware of the concept of the psychological mind not to censor their words.

  66. The triangles (larger one being the alpha male) fighting over the right to mate with the circle. The alpha male fights the smaller triangle, the circle seemingly waits for the victor in the room. When the alpha male tries to have his way with it, the circle escapes together with the smaller triangle and the alpha male knocks down the walls in frustration.

  67. The big triangle is a bully. The small triangle and the circle are afraid of the big triangle. They collude together to trap the big triangle in the box and when it gets out, they run away together.

  68. I thought there was a representation of a cat, and then its ears became two birds fighting. Only felt slightly uncomfortable and scared near the end when the screen flashed dark but think that was an association with scary films. Could definitely tell it was a psychological film.

  69. Big triangle is angry parent, small triangle is child, circle is dog. Child comes home late, parent is angry, parent hits child, dog sneeks inside, cowers in corner, tries to impress angry parent with playful capers, angry parent hits dog, dog and child escape and run away, angry parent wrecks house in frustration.

  70. Big triangle gets isolated (probably in jail or something). Then it gets released and tries to mind its own business but small triangle keeps bothering it. So then big triangle behaves badddly. Circle is someone weak and undecisive, so big triangle tries to trap it and exploit it. Small triangle saves circle and they love each other so they go away together and big triangle is left angry and alone

  71. The small triangle is a Scientology Priest and the circle is me, the choirboy. He stalked and followed me all the way home and when i finally was in front of the Vatican, Better believe it: The Pope himself came out and started questioning me. ‘What was i doing outside with the Scientology Priest?”

    When i told the Papo that he followed me back home, Papo became so mad and angry that he started beating the ST-Priest up. I quickly hid inside Papos’-mobile but darn me, when he had managed to chase him away he came inside and told me he wanted to do things with me : I tried to avoid him as much as possible in the little mobile and then the Scientology Priest was peeping in on us as Papo tried to have his way with me. Then the Priest opened the door and offered me a way out but only if i promised to give all my money to him ánd work for them for free for the rest of my life. as you see, i agreed, tried to escape but that was a useless attempt.

    I can now call myself a Scientology-ChoirBoy though. :/


  72. I saw the fighting etc. but didn’t think of assigning the shapes to be members of a family, I just saw them as shapes and I didn’t see the box as a home, just as a different area – what does that mean??!

  73. the large triangle guards something in the box. The small triangle provides a distraction, but is hopelessly outmatched. The circle sneeks in and steals the artifact being chased thrugh the compound by the now aware large triagle. It escapes with the little triangle and they lock the large triangle in to buy some time. In a fit of rago over it’s defeat the evil large triangle resorts to mindless violence

  74. My assumption was that Triangles are Male and Circles are female. I assumed it was a father disapproving of a son bringing his girlfriend home. beating up the son and threatening the girlfriend then they run away together causing him to smash everything

  75. No idea. It looks random to me with no definitive discernible pattern. I know we are compulsive pattern recognizers as a species but whatever story I could concoct to fit the sequence would be anthropomorphic and, I suppose, neither more nor less valid than anybody else’s version. Interesting to read the interpretations here, though.

  76. Didn’t think of mother and child, instead two children playing.
    They disturb the larger, aggressive triangle. The circle leaves his friend to hide. Smaller triangle takes the brunt of it until the larger triangle goes back inside to get the cowardly circle. Instead of running away the smaller triangle tries to rescue his friend. The circle thanks him and they escape. The larger triangle, having been defeated and with nothing to vent his frustration on destroys the only thing he has.

    Though i did get the idea that the arger triangle was provoked to anger somehow. Strange.

  77. Odd… I saw it as two dogs and a cat. Most of the time. I also saw it as three kids, briefly. A some point they formed a face. I did see changing aggression and friendliness between the triangles and circle, like a lot of other people.

  78. I didn’t think of father/mother/child at all. Maybe because there was no violence in our family…

    I saw circle and big triangle as married but small triangle dates big’s wife. So big went mad outside while his wife hides in the house. When big is trying to catch his wife she escapes and runs away with his (ex) wife.

    1. have you ever cheated or been cheated on in your life? I cheated on a boyfriend recently and I saw the exact same thing at first, before reading comments. Then, I watched it three times and realized that it has to be younger kids. It makes more sense that way, at least, because the circle and triangle are roughly the same size pointing more toward a younger girl boy relationship the father does not approve of. Watch it again and see if you notice it.

      I am just wondering because I realized that I might have only seen that as a result of feeling guilty, but I figure it could also work the other way around.. if I had been cheated on maybe I would have still seen the same thing. So I was just curious 🙂 Oh and I don’t condone cheating in relationships, but this one was brand new, and after a week I finally got together with a guy I’ve been trying to be with for a while but one of us has always been in a relationship…so I had to break up with him the next day. So I’m not a bad person, I swear!

  79. The big triangle wants to attack the small dot, and the smaller triangle wants to protect the small dot so the big triangle attacks it as well. When the smaller shapes run, the big triangle destroys its home/lair thing in its rage. Not a very nice triangle at all.

  80. Big Triangle = Husband with violence problem

    Small Triangle = Wife of big Triangle

    Circle = Adopted child of Triangle family (because I mean, if two triangles had sex surely they would produce another triangle?)

  81. Fuck me – OK here goes; I know this might sound a bit crazy…

    A triangle and a circle in two dimensions viewed from an abstract ( and unknown to them ) third dimension, wander accidentally towards a rectangle, which they cannot see because their two dimensionality prohibits perspective and hence any meaningful form of binocular vision. Unaware even of each others presence they are only alerted by chance collisions. These collisions cause an auto-responsive set of pre-programmed movements designed to calculate the boundary limitations and surface area of the potential assailant, as well as the speed of their reactions, as a self guide to fight or flight reaction.
    The circle gathers enough data to risk a fight; the ensuing fracas alerts the inhabitant of the rectangle via two dimensional sound and pressure waves, so it opens the door to tell them to shut the fuck up in a flat monotone, lacking any emotions due to its inability to modulate its pitch. Because of the lack of feeling in his voice, the circle and triangle do not register any anger and choose to visit the large triangle. Unable to see them approaching, the large triangle goes outside to find them. Unable to see him coming to find them, the small triangle accidentally wanders into the rectangle.
    When the large triangle finds the circle, he has to do an elaborate series of movements to gage with what shape he is inter-reacting. From above this looks like a meaningful dance, but to the circle and the triangle, it feels like a rapid, irregular series of pinpricks.
    Being observed from above begins to induce in all three shapes a strong sense of paranoia. The large triangle soon realises something is wrong; in fact he suspects he is victim of a two dimensional burglary, and knowing how low the arrest and prosecution rates are for the 2D police (largely because the 2D CPS know how difficult it is to get a conviction) he decides to deal with the matter himself, like a good old fashioned 2D vigilante / have a go 2D hero. Back in the house he tries to corner the small triangle, and even manages to get a few punches in; but the small triangle is young and quick, and escapes empty handed.
    Outside, the small triangle finds his friend, but the large triangle gives chase and almost catches him, but once again, his 2D body is not as fit as it used to be and the small triangle gets away.
    Finally, the small triangle and the circle scoff at the exhausted large triangle, shouting names at him in a flat monotone.
    Then, realizing they are outside of spacetime, they watch in awe as the laws of physics collapse around them and their very existence becomes everything and nothing simultaneously.

  82. A triangle and a circle in two dimensions viewed from an abstract ( and unknown to them ) third dimension, wander accidentally towards a rectangle, which they cannot see because their two dimensionality prohibits perspective and hence any meaningful form of binocular vision. Unaware even of each others presence they are only alerted by chance collisions. These collisions cause an auto-responsive set of pre-programmed movements designed to calculate the boundary limitations and surface area of the potential assailant, as well as the speed of their reactions, as a self guide to fight or flight reaction.
    The circle gathers enough data to risk a fight; the ensuing fracas alerts the inhabitant of the rectangle via two dimensional sound and pressure waves, so it opens the door to tell them to shut the fuck up in a flat monotone, lacking any emotions due to its inability to modulate its pitch. Because of the lack of feeling in his voice, the circle and triangle do not register any anger and choose to visit the large triangle. Unable to see them approaching, the large triangle goes outside to find them. Unable to see him coming to find them, the small triangle accidentally wanders into the rectangle.
    When the large triangle finds the circle, he has to do an elaborate series of movements to gage with what shape he is inter-reacting. From above this looks like a meaningful dance, but to the circle and the triangle, it feels like a rapid, irregular series of pinpricks.
    Being observed from above begins to induce in all three shapes a strong sense of paranoia. The large triangle soon realises something is wrong; in fact he suspects he is victim of a two dimensional burglary, and knowing how low the arrest and prosecution rates are for the 2D police (largely because the 2D CPS know how difficult it is to get a conviction) he decides to deal with the matter himself, like a good old fashioned 2D vigilante / have a go 2D hero. Back in the house he tries to corner the small triangle, and even manages to get a few punches in; but the small triangle is young and quick, and escapes empty handed.
    Outside, the small triangle finds his friend, but the large triangle gives chase and almost catches him, but once again, his 2D body is not as fit as it used to be and the small triangle gets away.
    Finally, the small triangle and the circle scoff at the exhausted large triangle, shouting names at him in a flat monotone.
    Then, realizing they are outside of spacetime, they watch in awe as the laws of physics collapse around them and their very existence becomes everything and nothing simultaneously.

  83. In short; I think the big triangle is a single father, drunk, depressed, violent and the box is its house; the other triangle is the estranged wife/mother of the circle which is the child. The mother’s brought round the child to see its dad, the triangles argue, the dad gets violent while the child watches from the door to the house. Then the dad gets angry/violent towards the child whereupon the mum appears at the door, the child esapes with her and the dad trashes his home out of despair.

    My guess; haven’t looked at anything else yet but I imagine similar.

  84. Now that i read all the “abusive father/husband” comments, I see it too…BUT first, I saw it as racist dad and interracial couple, son bringing home girl (the circle) the meet dad. Dad is PISSED, confronts son, confronts girl, they all fight, son and girl run off and dad loses it, starts tearing things apart.

    now watching it a second time, with the abusive father in mind that is all I can see.

  85. Two invisible people can’t decide if they want to throw the Doritos or the meatballs away. Just throw them away, I say! The bus is just half block away! We gotta GO!

  86. dad in house…. daughter coming back from date…. dad doesn’t like the boyfriend… dad and boyfriend fight…. dad goes in house to yell at daughter… daughter runs away with boy friend… dad brakes house….

    soo dramatic…

  87. It was a bit odd and I did watch it twice, I saw the Dad, not approving of his daughters new Boyfriend and being very aggressive about it.
    I saw the same thing both times and was surprised to read the Father abusing the mother and child version- not because it didn’t make sense, it was just that it hadn’t occurred to me at all!

  88. It makes me think on some Chaplin’s movie (The boy?). Big triangle being a poiceman, small triangle Chapli and dot, the boy.

    I started thinking on domestic violence, but the way Big Triangle (BT) puches small one, the tension created in the room, closing BT inside and running around the house… Don’t know, makes me think on Chaplin (old cinema effect helped, also).

    In fact, is weird, as I haven’t seen the movie…

  89. I see some shapes moving about. That’s all.

    If I follow the above thoughts, however, the interesting omission in most of the comments is that, if the jabbing motions are to be considered ‘punches’, the small triangle attacks first.

    I would, from this, extrapolate that the circle is loved by the larger triangle and the smaller triangle is trying (and succeeds in) taking it away from the big triangle.

  90. Big triangle is Hitler, small triangle is Britain, ball is USA?

    I mostly got the ‘domestic violence’ thing, though. This is how most of the animal kingdom behaves, to be honest.

  91. Looks like a Theory of Mind test for autistic spectrum people. Typically, people attribute mental and emotional qualities to things and events that don’t have them as a way of understanding, often forming them into a narrative. A.S. people put more emphasis on description of detail and systematically ordered explanations.

    From a personal perspective, I find such narrative interpretations annoying and irrelevant. I really don’t get why people respond in this fashion. It just muddies the facts.

    1. I know that’s the theory, but I’ve always loved stories and made them up about things, even though I am on the spectrum (Asperger’s). I’m often rubbish at attributing motive to actual people, because they use forms of expression that I’m not too good at (tone and facial expression), so I misinterpret or miss them. And yeah, I do often go into detail far too much when retelling a story, because to me all parts seem equally important.

      But while I didn’t see the shapes as people (parents or lovers, as most people seem to call them), I did see them as characters with motives. If it’s a theory of mind test, I think I passed it. 😛

  92. At first I was thinking some kind of domestic violence issue but at the point where the little circle was trapped in the house with the big triangle, I suddenly thought of Hansel and Gretel. Despite the lack of oven, the story seems to work – until the end when the big triangle begins to damage the box.

  93. I definately got a bullying vibe from the big triangle with it’s immediate target being the smaller triangle but when it went it turned it’s attention to the circle. The domestic violence scenario (Father, Mother and Child) mentioned numerous times above seems to fit it well

  94. You guys have it all wrong! The two triangles represent males, the bigger male may be a father. The circle is a female. The circle and her boyfriend triangle come home and the father opens the door and catches them outside. Then, the father yells at the boyfriend and soon he is beating him up, because he does not want them together. The girl runs inside scared of what’s going on. When he finally thinks the boy has learned his lesson and had enough, he goes inside to yell at his daughter. He is mad and chases her around, while the boyfriend sneaks the door open and she makes a run for it with him. You even see them kiss, that intertwining line probably is a symbol of their love. At the end we see the father breaking his house because he had no one there before, there’s no sign of a mother, he must be left alone betrayed by the only person he had left. Probably why the anger is that high.

    The abuse theory makes no sense. Did everyone fail to notice at the beginning that the large triangle notices the little triangle and circle outside? And the shapes.. why would two triangles have a child that looks like a circle? The whole idea about the circle being an adopted child, it makes no sense because the father of the girl goes inside and you see them mingling for a while, obviously she is trying to make her case and tell her dad she wants to leave with him, get married, whatever.. her father then goes off on her and we see the circle trying to avoid him. If the child was adopted and the little triangle her mother, why would the child be seen interacting in a non-violent way with the father when he comes inside, followed by an outburst of anger?

    1. Upon further analysis it seems as though I missed a part. When the boyfriend gets pushed against the wall by the father the girl rushes to intervene, the father spots her and she runs inside, and the father notices that the distraction has caused the boyfriend to run to the side of the house. Father comes after him, but this time does not have any contact like what we observed prior to this, and appears to have given up on fighting him.

      He goes inside to confront his daughter, she is angry/horrified and sitting in the corner , but the father just stands there and doesnt move so she begins explaining herself and how she wants to be with him, maybe expressing her disbelief about what just happened or just going hysterical. Either way we see the father make no movements and just listens until she backs into the corner.

      *if you notice there is a split second where the large triangle is moving back and forth white the small circle is in the corner, as soon as he moves over to the left the small triangle is clearly visible to the circle, and the circle shakes and darts to the left, and begins to run around and the triangle THEN chases her.*

      The girl spots her boyfriend in the doorway while her father and her are arguing, and then begins to run around and the father comes after her. She already knows there’s an escape route so she darts out the door with her boyfriend, we see them kiss, and the father is left to trash his house in sheer anger.

      This video is so interesting, because even after examining the fine details it can also be seen as the girl is with a horrible guy and her father hates him for good reason.. There are many other interpretations as well, but as far as the test is concerned, how many times would the subject be able to view the video? If the amount of times viewed was controlled by a number so as to not allow fine details to be notices, responses may serve well when administered along with a personality or behavioral assessment, I wonder what kind of correlations would emerge.

  95. It is a series of still pictures presented in sequence; apparently hand drawn, and photographed onto B&W film stock, then replayed to form a mildly convincing impression of fluid motion.
    That is all.
    (I have Asperger’s, BTW)

  96. A man in his house, later his wife arrived with another man, this latter one stayed around as the woman goes in, since violence seems evident the woman goes out, and meets the other man. The bigger triangle, the first man, kind of chase them, he remains by himself and destroys the house. I would consider the triangle size related with the stereotyped violence, and it was larger with the lonely, first, triangle…

  97. It’s been fascinating comparing all the interpretations posted here with what people made of the film footage over 60 years ago. This and very similar footage was central to the methodological design of “An Experimental Study of Apparent Behavior by Fritz Heider & Marianne Simmel.”

    I’ve just finished making the original article available for free download so that you can also compare interpretations then and now. See following link.

    Click to access fritz-heider-interpersonal-perception.pdf

    If for any reason you cannot access the PDF version of the article, you can also read and download the article via the All About Psychology website. See following link.


    If anybody is looking for ideas regarding a psychology project/thesis/dissertation topic, this classic article by Fritz Heider & Marianne Simmel would be a great place to start. I’m sure you could come up with lots of testable hypotheses/research questions based on the original findings.



  98. Wow, I didn’t see domestic violence at all. More like an intense game of tag with someone who doesn’t want to be bothered right now…

  99. I didn’t get the family violence vibe from the video. To me it felt more like watching two children playing noisily outside the house of someone who is in some way outside of society, perhaps an elderly person. He goes out to tell the kids to clear off, but the older of the two gets cocky, which leads to the old man losing his temper and chasing him off with his stick whilst the younger child hides in fear.

    WHen the old man returns to the house, at first the young child attempts bravado, but this almost instantly disappears until he is rescued by his friend, at which point they happily lead the old man a merry dance round his house before running away. By this point the old man is furious at both the children, but more so at his own failure and humiliation and lashes out in anger in the only things he has control over, his own surroundings.

    Story telling apes is about right.

  100. A man beats up his wife and then he tries to rape his kid cause he’s retarded cause he’s a circle. Then the man become crazy and he destroys the house.

  101. The big triangle “asks” the medium sized triangle why the smallest triangle looks like a circle. After the smaller triangle runs away with her little circle the big triangle breaks the rectangle apart in a desperate effort to create more triangles.

  102. ok this is whats going on
    the guy triangle is in his house when the girl triangle comes with her son
    when the guy triangle sees that his wife cheated on him he starts beating her when the circle runs in to the house because his scared and then the triangle starts beating him too then her mother comes and saves her then leaves. after that the guy triangle gets angry and starts destroying the house.

  103. I thought of bullying instead of domestic violence, though I have a personal history with it. I didn’t think of them as a family until I read the comments section.

  104. Man (large triangle – perhaps a single father) comes home from work and settles in his favorite chair/place. His young daughter (circle) comes home with her young boyfriend (small triangle). The boy asks the father for permission to marry his daughter. Father indicates “No” and then begins to chase the boy off. The boy puts up a little resistance but is no match and so, retreats. During the confrontation, the girl has watched and moves to intercede but backs off and eventually goes into the house. When the father reenters the house, she cowers in the corner then moves about in agitation and panic. Her movements toward the door are thwarted by her father but she finally escapes when her boyfriend opens the door slightly. (The boyfriend realizes he’s no match for the father so hasn’t physically entered the house.) The girl escapes, kisses the boy a couple of times, they cavort about in their happiness before running off together – perhaps to make more little circles and/or triangles. The enraged father then destroys his house. There can be no other interpretation : )

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