Stalling the Sip
A character takes an inordinate amount of time to sip their tainted drink


(permanent link) added: 2011-04-26 07:58:53 sponsor: TheGoodNamesAreGone (last reply: 2012-02-27 00:29:52)

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Do we have this? Needs a better title, better description, more examples. Rolling Updates

Alice has just poisoned Bob's drink, and Bob is unaware. While talking to Alice, Bob lifts the drink to his lips, pauses, and puts the drink back down to comment on something unrelated. Alice grits her teeth, but remains patient. Bob once again lifts the drink to his lips, opens his mouth for a sip, and pauses again for yet another statement.

This is when one character's drink has been poisoned or otherwise tainted, so that drinking it would prove less than healthy for them. However, due to the character's motormouth, or maybe it's a room full of shiny, it takes forever for any actual drinking to occur. Usually, the person who tainted the drink will be watching the person who SHOULD be drinking. Occasionally, the drink is never consumed, because the drinker's flailing gestures have spilled the drink all over the place, or the person decides they aren't thirsty, or maybe there was an accidental switch, and the poisoner becomes the poisoned. This can be played for comedy or drama, depending on how frustrated the poisoner gets and how ridiculous the soon-to-be-poisoned's procrastination becomes. Note that it does not necessarily have to be a poisoned drink, just that whatever is poisoned takes forever to be consumed.

I know I've seen it a million times, but most of the specific examples are slipping from my mind, will add them in when I can remember.

  • Death Becomes Her played it for comedy, with Ernest holding a drink laced with a sedative. However, his angry rant involves many grand gestures, spilling almost all of the drink. At the end of the rant, he goes to take a sip, before deciding he's giving up alcohol, and throws out the rest of the drink. Then the women trying to knock him out hit him with a shovel.

  • In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones picks up a poisoned date but plays with it for a while before attempting to eat it. His friend Sallah deduces that the date is poisoned and saves Indiana just before Indiana intends to eat it.

  • Played for Laughs and subverted in The Emperor's New Groove. Kuzco finally stops stalling and collapses, only to get better and proceed to yammer throughout his transformation, while Yzma desperately tries to subtly tell Kronk to Just Hit Him.

  • This goes at least back to Shakespeare. The end of Hamlet has a poisoned pearl being dropped into a drink for Hamlet to drink. He never really gets around to it (he's busy swordfighting) before Gertrude proposes a toast and drinks the tainted wine. For that matter, one of the swords in the swordfight is poisoned as well, and takes quite awhile to hit its intended target (and takes down another while it's at it).

  • The Inspector General: Danny Kaye does an entire song while teasing a poisoned drink.

  • The Nostalgia Critic does this when the Nostalgia Chick poisons his tea in Kickassia

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