Absurdly Short Episode
A story arc, episode, or work that ends almost as soon as it begins.


(permanent link) added: 2012-11-12 05:34:15 sponsor: SonicLover edited by: ShiningArmor87 (last reply: 2014-08-04 16:39:11)

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Do We Have This One?? Needs a Better Description. Up for Grabs since I'm afraid of spoilers.

An Absurdly Short Episode is pretty much Exactly What It Says on the Tin: it ends in about a tenth of the time the audience is accustomed to.

The difficulty of pulling this off can vary depending on the medium. It'd be hard to do in a book because the book's thickness gives a pretty good estimate of its length, and all those pages have to contain something; likewise, a television episode wouldn't work because those tend to fill strict half-hour blocks. In digital media, on the other hand, it's more common.

A common trick of the Trolling Creator. Not to be confused with Short Runners.

Ending Trope! Beware of spoilers!

Examples

Film
  • The Monty Python movie And Now For Something Completely Different subverts this, with "The End" appearing very soon after the opening credits (or maybe even right after the opening credits, I don't remember exactly), complete with someone announcing that the film will be shorter than expected but then the rest of the film (a collection of some their shorts from TV in a linked film format) plays after that and it isn't necessarily a short movie.
  • Man on the Moon starts with Jim Carrey as Andy Kaufman's Foreign Man saying that, due to massive editing (cutting out all the stuff that didn't really happen that way), this is actually the end of the film. He exits as the Closing Credits roll; then Carrey-as-Andy comes back on with a film projector and shows home movies (which are the actual film).

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • One episode of Blossom reveals that Blossom, Six, and Joey are taking a film-making class and we see the results of their latest assignment. After we see Joey's Fan Sequel to Aliens, Blossom's art film, and Six's thriller, it's revealed Anthony took the same class when he was in school and we see his film. After a lengthy opening credit sequence, we see Anthony walk up to a woman and exchange greetings, then the closing credits run. Anthony admits he received the same budget as the others, but blew it on drugs.
  • On an episode of Entertainment Tonight , Leonard Maltin's movie review of Transylvania 6-500, started with a little bit of the movie's theme song (a parody of the song Pennsylvania 6-5000), then:
    Song: Transylvania 6-5000!
    Maltin: ...stinks.
And that was the segment.
  • The Father Ted Christmas Special starts with someone ringing the protagonists' doorbell. When he goes to answer it, Ted finds out that someone has left a baby on their doorstep! The woman then comes back, having realised almost immediately that she's left the baby on the wrong doorstep.
  • Night Gallery sometimes put small vignettes, anywhere from one to five minutes long, in between its longer segments.

Newspaper Comics
  • Taken to its logical extreme in a FoxTrot story arc where Jason made a No Budget remake of the 2005 King Kong. The movie was literally nothing but the opening and ending titles.
    Jason: The good news is I have a three-hour blooper reel.

Professional Wrestling
  • In the WWE Chris Benoit pinned Orlando Jordan in 26 seconds to win the Intercontinental Championship. A program developed from there, where Benoit would demonstrate all the other things he can do which take more time than beating Jordan - such as getting a cup of coffee or going to the bathroom. Jordan got livid and demanded rematch after rematch, all of which took even less time. Finally, Jordan outlasted the 26 seconds - and as he was celebrating, Benoit took the opportunity to pin him.

Radio
  • The Goon Show. The episode "The Curse of Frankenstein" is less than five minutes long. The rest of the half-hour running time is filled by another normal-length episode that has nothing to do with Frankenstein at all.

Theatre
  • Samuel Beckett's play Breath is about 25 seconds long, with only the sounds of a baby's scream and breathing, and scattered rubbish for the set. The film of the play compensates for the length by making it part of anthology of Beckett's plays.

Video Games

Web Comics
  • Act 6 Act 4 of Homestuck opens with one of the webcomic's characteristic Flash animations. The very next panel? "END OF ACT 6 ACT 4". Andrew Hussie has a reputation as a Trolling Creator; although he's faked early ends to acts before, this one was genuine.

Web Original
  • As an April Fool's joke, Linkara once had a video that consisted of the opening titles, him saying "It sucks!" and throwing down a comic, and then some very elaborate closing credits.
  • Subverted in the Eskimo Bob episode, "Look! A Box!" While the episode appears to just consist of Alfonzo asking Bob what was in the box and running away when the seal pops out of it, the ending screen says, "the end...?" Attempting to replay the episode reveals the real episode, which is about a businessman entering the show and trying to change it.
  • For April Fools' Day, Maddox produced a video called "Facebook Quizzes Are Stupid". "Welcome to The Best Show in the Universe, I'm Maddox. Facebook quizzes are stupid. That's it for now. Until next time, I'm Maddox." The rest of the video is spent satirizing the "calls to action" seen at the end of most YouTube partner videos, in which he indulges in self promotion such as a fake release schedule and faux topical videos such as a parody of "What Does the Fox Say?", and casually tells his viewers to click on irrelevant things. He posted the reactions of those who either fell for this video or had poorly thought their comments out on his website.
  • Taken Up to Eleven with the Potter Puppet Pals episode "Albus Dumbledore Lists Your Good Qualities" (originally named "The Awakening of the Incorruptible") which is only 11 seconds long, consisting solely of the title card, the Dumbledore puppet appearing for a split second, followed by the ending card.
  • Inverted with RWBY: the norm is short with the occasional long episode.
  • Movie reviews at Spill.com usually run for five minutes and are censored. Their review for Vampires Suck, on the other hand, ran for twenty seconds and only consisted of Korey Coleman staring into the camera before uttering an uncensored "Fuck you."
  • For April Fools' Day, TV Trash made a review of Reality TV...which was the opening titles, Rowdy saying "Welcome to TV Trash. Reality TV sucks! See you next time!", the end titles, and ten minutes of a black screen.
  • Ultra Fast Pony
    • "Stay Tuned". Almost the whole thing is a fake Previously On parodying a typical Cop Show, featuring Pinkie Pie's investigation of Applejack's mass criminal conspiracy. Then we get to the episode...and it's 4 seconds. It's even lampshaded in the titles, which declare "Get ready for the shortest episode!"
    Twilight Sparkle: It was a surprise birthday party all along!
    Pinkie: Yeah, okay that makes sense.
    (end titles)
    • They broke their own record with the 20 second Christmas Special. Minus Phil's introduction and the end titles, the entire thing is this:
    Twilight: I'm not making a video on Christmas!
  • Zero Punctuation did this at least three times: once as a fake ending in his Fallout 3 Review, once as an April Fools joke (where he spends a full minute reading really slowly), and once as a "There's no ZP this week because I'm on Christmas vacation. On a Beach!".

Western Animation
  • Bambi Meets Godzilla shows about one minute of Bambi grazing as the opening titles roll, followed by Godzilla stomping Bambi. Cue ending titles.
  • Garfield and Friends
  • Space Ghost Coast to Coast
    • Subverted in the episode "Urges" — after the usual Cold Opening and Title Sequence, Space Ghost greets us and goes to the desk, only for Zorak to cue up the credits music, announcing that the show is over. Moltar, who was distracted by "the Lava Network", notices the music and quickly switches to the Closing Credits... but then Space Ghost stops everything and Zorak attempts to convince him that the show is over. Space Ghost eventually realises that Zorak is lying about the whole thing, and Zorak admits he just needed an excuse to participate at the mating season on his planet.
    • The episode "Joshua" had a really long cold opening in the form of an infomercial for "Space Ghost 2000". The actual episode is rather short, featuring the winners of a "Haikuin' for Space Ghost" contest, who show up long enough to recite their haikus.
  • Patrick's famous story in the Sponge Bob Square Pants episode "Something Smells":
    It's called The Ugly Barnacle. Once, there was an ugly barnacle. He was so ugly that everyone died. The end.
  • In Time Squad, one episode centers around Nicolaus Copernicus and Poland as it was back in 1520. Basically, they tell Nicolaus what he's supposed to be doing, he goes off to do just that, and the rest of the episode is just them standing in place and waiting for the time machine to recharge while absolutely nothing happens (save for one old lady dragging firewood). The episode lasts for merely 3 minutes, while all others are 10 minutes long.
  • In one episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, the students all have to make an animated cartoon for a school film festival. Plucky's ends up being cut so short that it ends when it starts and he wins because it was so short.

Other
  • This was something of a meme in boxing when Mike Tyson would end bouts just a few rounds in (or even less than one round), due to heavy pummeling his opponents would get.
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