Created By: AwSamWeston on June 22, 2014 Last Edited By: AwSamWeston on August 4, 2014
Troped

Unfolding Plan Montage

The scene cuts between characters devising a plan, and those same characters as they put it into action.

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Page Type:
Trope
So the Unspoken Plan Guarantee says that if you explain the plan beforehand, it will fail. But what do you do if you want to show the characters forming a plan that works?

One way to circumvent this is to show the plan both in its forming and execution: Rather than have two separate scenes (one to lay out The Plan and one to enact it), the scenes are instead edited together as a montage.

For example: We see Alice, Bob, and Charlie as they look over blueprints. Bob explains the plan, and we switch to a voice-over where he explains "and then Alice cuts the power to the building." Meanwhile, Alice flips a switch and the lights go out. Repeated ad nauseam until the plan is complete.

A variation will start with an unspoken plan, and the villain will think he has the upper hand, but lo! the heroes have gotten the drop on him! How?! Then the heroes explain their plan while we see them carrying it out in a flashback.

May utilize a Split Screen to follow several people executing the plan at the same time.


Examples

Film

Live-Action TV
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: At the end of "Halloween", Peralta explains to Captain Holt his plan to steal Holt's medal of valor, while in flashback we see the other members of the squad executing the plan.
  • Laverne and Shirley: Laverne outlines a plan to break into an office and steal back some important papers. As she explains it, we see the plan in action, which they pull off perfectly. Then it turns out it was just a visual depiction of the plan being described. Once they implement the plan it goes awry and Hilarity Ensues.

Western Animation
  • The LEGO Movie: Seen when the master builders break into Lord Business's tower.
Community Feedback Replies: 41
  • I feel like we have this but for the life of me I can't remebmer what it's called.
  • June 23, 2014
    notafraid
    In The Matrix Reloaded, three hovercraft crews band together to take down a power station so that Neo can reach the source.
  • June 23, 2014
    Arivne
    ^^ If we do have it it isn't on the The Matrix Reloaded page.
  • June 23, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    ^^^ I thought we might have it too, but I've scoured the wiki for anything like it and I can't find it.
  • June 23, 2014
    RedneckRocker
    In TheATeam, this sort of scene happens near the beginning.
  • June 24, 2014
    MorganWick
    Hmm, I smell a forgotten YKTTW somewhere...
  • June 24, 2014
    Quatic
    This is the sort of thing where we see the characters in the planning room with the blueprints and such, and then as the main planner begins outlining the plan, it switches to a voiceover, so for example he'll be explaining "and then Joe cuts the power to the building" while we see a quick clip of Joe ninja'd up and using a bolt cutter to chop the power line to the building."

    Sort of done in Death Becomes Her where Goldie Hawn is explaining to Bruce Willis her plan for him to kill his wife, as we see Willis carrying out the steps — but that was all in her head, as the plan does not get carried out anything like that.
  • June 24, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    ^ So could we say it was subverted in Death Becomes Her?
  • June 24, 2014
    surgoshan
    This often dovetails with the Unspoken Plan Guarantee in that it will start with an unspoken plan, the villain will think he has the upper hand, but lo! the heroes have gotten the drop on him! How?! Then the heroes explain their plan while we get to see them carrying it out in a flashback.
  • June 24, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    ^ Could be a variation. I haven't seen much of that version.
  • June 24, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    I'm gonna be honest, here: This is my first YKTTW. How would we explain subversions, double-subversions, etc.? 'Cause normally it's on a separate page, but we don't really have that here.
  • June 26, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    Any more suggestions? Is this publishable as it is?
  • June 26, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Hold your horses. This has only got one hat so far.

    Besides, even if the draft might technically be publishable, it's always recommended to launch a page with something like ten or more examples so it has a better chance of thriving in the future.
  • June 27, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    @Quatic: I watched the scene you mentioned from Death Becomes Her. I'm not quite sure it fits the trope, but I put it in for good measure. It could be an Ur Example, or at least a Trope Maker of sorts.
  • June 28, 2014
    yisfidri
    Basic Trope: The scene cuts between characters devising a plan, and those same characters as they put it into action.
    • Straight: We see and hear Alice explaining to Bob how they are going to carry out a robbery, with the camera cutting alternately to showing the two of them carrying it out.
    • Exaggerated: The camera shows the two of them carrying out the plan in all its elaborate detail, with only the voice-over of Alice explaining it. (?)
    • Downplayed: We mostly see Alice explaining the plan to Bob, but the camera cuts once or twice to them carrying out the beginnings of their plan, but not showing the rest of it.
    • Inverted: ???
    • Subverted: The shots of them carrying out the plan are revealed to be an Imagine Spot, and not real.
    • Double Subverted: ...but then it is revealed that the plan was carried out after all, just not in the way that the Imagine Spot showed. (?)
    • Averted: The camera does not show the plan being carried out while it is being explained.
    • Enforced: The writers want to show the characters' plan without invoking the Unspoken Plan Guarantee.
    • Parodied: The scene cuts between characters explaining a plan and the same characters carrying out something completely different and unrelated.

  • June 28, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    ^ Yeah, I know that's how it's formatted (and really good job, there!) but I'm wondering how we'd handle it on this YKTTW page, when we know it'll go on a Playing With page.
  • June 28, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    @yisfidri: Maybe the inversion is The Summation with a montage-and-voice-over?

    In fact, I could see The Summation being related to this trope.
  • June 29, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    Has a good chance of utilizing Split Screen to follow several people executing the plan at the same time.
  • June 29, 2014
    JoeG
    • Brooklyn Nine Nine: At the end of the episode "Halloween", Peralta explains to Captain Holt his plan to steal Holt's medal of valor, while in flashback we see the other members of the squad executing the plan.
  • June 29, 2014
    randomsurfer
    Death Becomes Her ain't no Ur.

    • Laverne And Shirley: Laverne outlines a plan to break into an office and steal back some important papters. As she explains it, we see the plan in action, which they pull off perfectly. Then it turns out that that was just a visual depiction of the plan being described. Once they implement the plan it goes awry and Hilarity Ensues.
  • June 30, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    ^ Which is why I didn't put it in. Thanks for correcting me.
  • June 30, 2014
    Statzkeen
    It does seem like we don't quite have this - the Unspoken Plan Guarantee includes both extremes "Explain the plan, it fails" and "Don't explain it, it succeeds", and this covers the middle ground of avoiding the above logic by explaining it as it goes along. Does seem like a new trope.
  • July 2, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    Bump for more examples (and a couple hats).
  • July 3, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    Another bump. Is this ready to be a Trope?
  • July 5, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    Final bump. If nobody objects within 24 hours, I'm gonna start the trope page.
  • July 5, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ moar examples plz.

    You also need 5 hats to launch.
  • July 6, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    Well darn.

    More examples, then?
  • July 8, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    Bump for more examples/hats.
  • July 15, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    More examples/hats please?
  • July 16, 2014
    Chernoskill
    • In Shaun Of The Dead, at multiple points Shaun explains his plan to collect his closest friends, mom, and stepdad, and then barricade in the Winchester pub "until this whole thing blows over", while the movie shows the plan taking place how he envisions it.
  • July 16, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    Seen in Thick as Thieves where Ripley and Gabriel plan to break into the vault of some Russian jewelers.
  • July 18, 2014
    Skylite
    • Bill And Teds Bogus Journey has this in the climax. They are facing off against the Big Bad, each of them telling their plans and how they enacted them, which results in weirdness out-of-flashback, as Bill & Ted and the bad guy, De Nomolos, both have time travel devices.
  • July 18, 2014
    marcoasalazarm
    The A Team: We get to see two montages of this type: the raid to capture the plates convoy at the beginning and the "misdirection" assault on Los Angeles Harbor at the end. Both also include A-Team Montages of the team gathering equipment.
  • July 19, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    At current count, we have 11 examples. Any chance we can get 2 more hats?
  • July 20, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    11 examples and 4 hats. One more and I think that means we're ready to launch, right?
  • July 20, 2014
    Generality
    This is typical of the Mission: Impossible films. Can anyone say if it occurs in the series also?
  • July 21, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    ^ Care to explain a specific example?
  • July 21, 2014
    CapitaineSchizo
    Subversion but: But the subversion is basically the logical result of the Unspoken Plan Guarantee. If anything, the latter should be retooled to include that.
  • July 21, 2014
    Arivne
    ^^^ Over the years I have watched many (though not all) Mission Impossible episodes. I cannot remember seeing this trope in any of them.

    In all the ones I remember, The Plan was briefly summarized at the beginning of the episode (usually without specific details), then was implemented throughout the rest of the episode.
  • August 4, 2014
    AwSamWeston
    So it looks like we're ready to launch. 5 hats and plenty of examples. Any objections? If not I'll give this a few more hours before I launch.
  • August 4, 2014
    DAN004
    Go right ahead, son.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=a1qzdjvugy1g0f8h3n4pfa2p&trope=UnfoldingPlanMontage