Created By: Stormtroper on April 29, 2011 Last Edited By: Saints22 on December 4, 2014

Awestruck Overflow

A character is filling something. Something big happens. The person stares in awe as whatever s/he\'s filling overflows.

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A classic visual gag, this is when a character is filling something (say, pouring coffee in a cup) and is then distracted by something so interesting, so awe-inspiring, or so dumbfoundedly weird that they don't even notice when the cup starts running over. Played for laughs, and used to underline the impressiveness of whatever is going on.

  • Happens early in Fullmetal Alchemist during Father Cornello's Engineered Public Confession. The waiter doesn't realize he's overfilled a customer's mug because both of them are staring furiously at the radio.
  • Inverted in Arrested Development. Michael is trying to make a clean escape from his first one-night-stand when his date walks back in the bedroom with coffee. She gives him a mug and begins to pour, telling him to "say when," except she misses the mug entirely, pouring coffee on the ground. Michael is dumbfounded for a moment before he places his mug under the coffee. Turns out his date is blind.
  • Happens twice in the Ichabod segment of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad: once during Katrina's song, and once in Brom Bones's song. Actually, thrice, if you count Ichabod emptying a whole shaker of pepper onto a hardboiled egg by mistake.
  • Happens in Strange Voices (a Lifetime movie about schizophrenia) when the patient is apparently distracted by her delusions and pours orange juice on the table. Drama ensues.
  • Happens in Mulan where she tries to impress the Matchmaker during the tea ceremony. As she prepares to pour a cup, she notices that the Matchmaker is accidentally smearing black on her face and she freezes in shock while the tea continues spilling over the table.
  • There is a scene in "Shaolin Soccer" where Iron Head and Steel Leg start singing at the local bar and everyone freezes in mid-bite or in the middle of pouring beer as they are stunned by their appalling performance
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • April 29, 2011
    jaytee
    Inverted in Arrested Development. Michael is trying to make a clean escape from his first one-night-stand when his date walks back in the bedroom with coffee. She gives him a mug and begins to pour, telling him to "say when," except she misses the mug entirely, pouring coffee on the ground. Michael is dumbfounded for a moment before he places his mug under the coffee. Turns out his date is blind.
  • April 29, 2011
    dalek955
  • April 30, 2011
    TBeholder
    Distraction Deluge?
  • April 30, 2011
    Artemis92
    Happens twice in the Ichabod cartoon; once during Katrina's song, and once in Brom Bones's song. Actually, thrice, if you count Ichabod emptying a whole shaker of pepper onto a hardboiled egg by mistake.

    Also, I like Awe Overflow as it is. Or actually, maybe if it was Distracted Deluge... Of course, "overflow" will be more easily understood than "deluge".
  • April 30, 2011
    MorganWick
    Awe Overflow makes me think of something or somebody overflowing with awe. Like an in-universe Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
  • April 30, 2011
    dragongirlhellfire
    ^ I agree, Awe Overflow surprised me when I read the description. Also, I don't think it should be specifically 'awe' because this seems to happen with more distractions than just awe. Sometimes characters just zone out.
  • April 30, 2011
    Rolf
  • May 1, 2011
    Arivne
  • May 1, 2011
    AGroupie
    Happens in Strange Voices (a Lifetime movie about schizophrenia) when the patient is apparently distracted by her delusions and pours orange juice on the table. Drama results. So Bad Its Good?
  • May 3, 2011
    neoYTPism
    The title is misleading, it makes it seem like the awe itself is overflowing in someone... and in a way it is, but that does not reflect the concept of the trope itself.
  • May 6, 2011
    neoYTPism
    Bump.
  • September 1, 2013
    Artemis92
    Awestruck Overflow? Also bump.

    Gonna edit the thing, put the examples in. For the record, last sponsor was Stormtroper. Didn't know it would show that. Good.
  • September 1, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Yeah, definitely needing a better title than the OP.
  • September 1, 2013
    Artemis92
    Took the liberty of changing the title while I was at it. Gonna look at the description now.

    Could use more examples.
  • September 1, 2013
    Larkmarn
    In a way, sort of an inverse of Dramatic Drop..
  • December 3, 2014
    DAN004
    Buuuump
  • December 3, 2014
    Alucard
    This happens to Mrs. Brief in Dragon Ball Z when Vegeta crash-lands in the Capsule compound on his ship.
  • December 3, 2014
    SharleeD
    Note that, while overfilling containers with liquid is probably the most common, this trope might also apply to someone, say, dumping way too much flour into a mixing bowl when something remarkable happens in a kitchen.

    For that matter, variants that don't involve pouring stuff might be possible, like when someone is holding a lighted match and then gets so distracted that they forget to blow it out and get burned.
  • December 3, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ so how should we call it? Jeopardized By Awe? Unfocused Clumsiness?
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