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A cinematic term when in a movie or television program, an actor or actress removes their top, or appears without it for no apparent reason.
The scene from "Swordfish", where Halle Berry moves her book to show her boobs for no reason is a classic case of The Shatner Effect.
by Russell The Love Muscle January 13, 2015
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Distinguishes between films made for a theatrical experience and movies made for television by assessing the performance of the actors in a non-qualitative but descriptive manner. Originates from the distinctive acting style of the inimitable William Shatner. The Shatner Effect occurs when it is obvious a work of entertainment is made for television based upon the delivery of the actors.
You: "How can you tell this movie was made for TV?"

Me: "Note that actor's dramatic gesticulations. Observe the overly tremulous voice. Check out the zipper on that alien costume. The Shatner Effect, totally."
by contemptible June 21, 2008
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