Created By: gimmieindie on February 13, 2011 Last Edited By: gimmieindie on March 10, 2011

You Have My Attention

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I know this is probably already on here, and I've searched the site but haven't found anything specific, I'm mostly just curious to learn its name for future use.

Anyway, this is where the hero/heroine need to learn more about what they're seeking, so they search out the expert (more often than not an embittered old person who has no time for anything at all). Anyway, the expert is dismissive until a keyword/phrase is mentioned, at which point they are immediately cooperative.

I saw this in A Wild Sheep Case by Haruki Murakami, where the narrator talks to the Sheep Professor, who is highly dismissive of him until he mentions something about a divine sheep with a star on its back. Then he is fully cooperative. So something like that.
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • February 14, 2011
    I think the tropes here are NotNowKiddo and WhyDidntYouJustSaySo respectivly. So something like that?
  • February 14, 2011
  • February 16, 2011
    It's not exactly Not Now Kiddo or Why Didnt You Just Say So. It is pretty much just like the scene with Miracle Max. Something like that.
  • February 16, 2011
    • Played For Drama in The Count Of Monte Cristo. In a Hope Spot, it looks like Edmond Dantes is about to go free, until he mentions the name of the man to whom he was supposed to deliver the letter that caused his arrest. The judge, formerly neutral and leaning towards sympathetic, suddenly takes a very personal interest in the case and decides that Edmond had better be thrown in prison after all.
  • February 16, 2011
    The Secret Of NIMH: Mr. Ages catches Mrs. Brisby on the rat's lair and orders her to go back home, but is taken aback when she mentions that she went to see the Great Owl. Impressed that she had survived a visit with the Owl, he begrudgingly acompanies her.
  • February 17, 2011
    Back To The Future: Doc Brown ignores Marty as a raving lunatic until the words "flux capacitor" are mentioned.
  • February 17, 2011
    This can overlap with Trust Password, especially like the Back To The Future example.
  • February 17, 2011
    Similar to the Back to the Future example, a What If episode of Ben Ten has Grandpa Max dismissing Ben's alien talk, until he mentions Vilgax, whereupon he nearly shits himself.
  • February 18, 2011
    • Jeff Foxworthy has as a bit when two people approach him and tell him that if they ever met him they had to tell him about the time one of their relatives got his nipple bitten off by a beaver. Jeff's reaction is a deadpan "You have my attention."
  • February 24, 2011
    • The Sting. After his mentor Luther Coleman is murdered, Con Artist Johnny Hooker goes to see Coleman's old friend Henry Gondorff to learn how to play the "big con". A woman is sweeping the stairs at the address he was given.
    Hooker: Excuse me, I'm looking for a guy named Henry Gondorff. You know him?
    Billie: No.
    Hooker: You sure?
    Billie: Beat it. [Turns and walks up the stairs]
    Hooker: Luther Coleman sent me.
    Billie: [Stops, turns and looks at him] You Hooker?
    Hooker: Yeah.
    Billie: Why didn't you say so? I thought maybe you was a cop or somethin'. We heard about Luther last night. Come on.
  • March 10, 2011
    • Doctor Who, "Genesis of the Daleks": The Time Lords attempt to recruit the Doctor for a special mission:
      Doctor: I won't do it. Whatever it is, I refuse.
      Time Lord: Daleks.
      Doctor: Daleks? Tell me more.