Created By: TMOverbeck on August 16, 2013 Last Edited By: TMOverbeck on June 29, 2017
Troped

Resolved Noodle Incident

A longstanding Noodle Incident finally gets expounded upon in a new episode.

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You know your favorite episode of your favorite TV series by heart. You especially liked the scene in which Alice and Bob are arguing and Alice brings up that birthday party with the pink and green emu. Although they've never shown what happened at that party, you chuckle at the thought of what crazy stuff might have been going on at that point.

Time goes on. Your show progresses through the years. That birthday party dialogue gets referenced as a Noodle Incident in the show's trope page. Then one day, as you're watching the latest episode, you realize, hey, they're doing a flashback to a birthday party. And wow, an emu just burst out of a giant cake. Wait... is that pink and green paint all over it???

That's what a Resolved Noodle Incident essentially is: an incident that was brought up once, only to never be mentioned or depicted again... until many years later, as part of either a Flashback Episode or The Prequel.

Sometimes it can come about as a result of Writer's Block: desperate for ideas to build a story on, a writer may do an Archive Binge of the series, and come across an interesting reference to a story that never got its due... and there go those creative juices flowing!

There must be a minimum of one television season, one movie sequel installment or one book volume for a Noodle Incident to become Resolved, otherwise it's little more than foreshadowing. A Resolved Noodle Incident may contain any number of Chekhov's Whatevers, but these do not make the trope. It may also be a very elaborate Call-Back.

This is, in short, when a reference to some past event that had been made finally gets its story told.

Can lead to Doing In the Wizard.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In one episode of Code Geass Kallen and C.C. mention how once at Aomori they had an incident involving everyone lacking clothes. Other media showed that the Black Knights were almost caught by Britannia while they were at a hot springs. They had to run away in Modesty Towels.
  • Naruto: Suigetsu once tried to mention a past incident between Karin and Sasuke but the former punches him beforehand. Later on it's revealed to be not quite as embarrassing as she makes it out to be, with the incident being Sasuke saving her from a bear during the Chunin Exams.
  • Pokémon: In the Pokemon anime, Dawn's childhood friend Kenny likes to call her "Dee Dee", which makes her angry. In the episode "Yes, In Dee Dee, It's Dawn!", it is explained that "Dee Dee" stands for "Diamond Dandruff". This nickname comes from a childhood incident where a Plusle and a Minun (electric Pokemon) shocked her, causing her hair to stand on end and sparkle due to the static. In the Japanese version, Kenny simply made up the nickname Pikari to tease her (her Japanese name is Hikari) — it really is a Lucky Translation both ways.

    Comic Books 
  • The Authority: Kev. We know Kev is forced to perform menial Black Ops jobs for his hateful boss because of "that thing with the tiger". It turns out a mission to escort a government official with a prostitute went very wrong, because to keep him from the press they shoved him into a cellar, which turned out to contain a tiger, which belonged to the squadmate whose apartment they were using. Everything was hushed up, but Kev's career was ruined.
  • The early appearances of John Constantine were riddled with references to a big screw-up he made in a Newcastle exorcism. The details of this weren't revealed until issue 13 (I think) of Constantine's solo book.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Avengers, there's a random exchange between the Black Widow and Hawkeye about Budapest. At first the writers refused to give any canon because they believed fans had built it up so much they'd just be unable to deliver and come out hated. When a comic was published which told the story, it more than delivered, telling it as in Budapest the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (including the superiors) are all mind screwed, their memories altered so even though they're all fighting the same people, they all remember it differently. This little Noodle Incident we now learn was also referenced later on, when Hawkeye asks the Black Widow if she knows what it's like to have your mind messed with.
  • Star Wars:
    • For years, the Clone Wars were just a mention in a recollection of Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope. It would be a quarter-century before we actually saw - in Attack of the Clones - the clones being produced, and Yoda declaring that the Clone Wars have begun.
    • In the Opening Crawl of A New Hope, it is mentioned that rebels had managed to get the the secret plans to Princess Leia's ship, where the movie starts. For Forty years, that was all that was said on the subject... then came Rogue One, which is pretty much telling the story of the people who did just that.
  • The World's End: Multiple references are made to an "accident" that caused the falling out between Gary and Andy. Towards the end it's finally revealed: Gary fled the scene after a car wreck that nearly killed Andy.

    Franchises 
  • Star Trek:
    • The discrepancy between the smooth-forehead Klingons foreheads in Star Trek: The Original Series and the ridgy foreheads in all subsequen series was acknowledged in DS9 when Worf said "We do not discuss it with outsiders!" The writers in prequel series Enterprise decided to explain it as a genetic engineering experiment gone wrong.
    • In Star Trek (2009) Captain Kirk's "solution" to the Kobyashi Maru no-win test was a long standing noodle incident in Star Trek lore. The 2009 movie shows us what happened: That he deliberately did nothing or flung the test towards failure — it wasn't designed to have people not try to best it, and so actually failed its failure, letting Kirk win and/or kind of just was so unprepared for his actions that he didn't (they weren't a sequence that could) lose. Though it was known that Kirk "cheated", this was just the Noodle Incident, and his actual method wasn't known. It also shows that he was originally admonished for his defiant behaviour, rather than congratulated for thinking outside of the box (though this makes sense, the test is designed to be unbeatable to see how someone will cope with impending doom; Kirk was nonchalant and, in real life, trying to lose is almost always going to make you lose, rather than trick a computer).

    Literature 
  • Ciaphas Cain:
    • (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!) repeatedly makes references to having cleared a Space Hulk and having spent time with the Reclaimers chapter of Space Marines, but not until The Emperor's Finest do we get to see it.
    • Several of the short stories from the omnibus editions of the novels expand on the Noodle Incidents from the stories;
      • "Echoes of the Tomb" explains the encounter he had with necrons (and why he's so terrified of them) in "Caves of Ice". It's also the story of why he has two augmetic fingers (Which TEF expounds on, since it starts immediately after).
      • "The Beguiling" gives the story of Cain's encounter with a Slaaneshi cult which is mentioned and has a returning villain in "The Traitor's Hand".
      • "Sector 13" is about Cain's first encounter with genestealer infiltrators (which is mentioned in pretty much every book where it comes up).
    • The very first book notes how he was reactivated and brought back into service shortly after writing it (since he mentioned enjoying his retirement) thanks to the beginning of the Black Crusade. Six books later, "Cain's Last Stand" is about how this happened.
    • In addition to following immediately on from the events of "Echoes of the Tomb", "The Emperor's Finest" is about the time he spent acting as Imperial Guard liaison to some Space Marines (not to mention his often brought up memories of their armour being sliced open like butter by purebreed genestealers every time he fights them).
  • Discworld: For several books, the battle of Koom Valley is an ancient battle between dwarves and trolls, the only one where "both sides ambushed each other". In Thud!, we finally see it being used as a selling point by dwarves and trolls alike to keep the emnity strong. In fact, it was a peace meeting that went wrong when everyone attacked each other, thinking themselves under attack.
  • Michael Moorcock's works left it unclear for decades what, exactly, recurring villain Gaynor the Damned had done to get horribly cursed. It was finally revealed in the 2000s novel The Dreamthief's Daughter aka Daughter Of Dreams, and boiled down to successively betraying a Lord of Law and a Lord of Chaos, in hope of gaining personal power, leading to both of them briefly ganging up and making an example of him.
  • The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of Sherlock Holmes short stories by Adrian Conan Doyle and John Dickson Carr which expand upon the Noodle Incidents from various canon stories.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: In the first book, an atomic warhead headed for the Heart of Gold becomes a potted petunia, which thinks "oh no, not again" before plummeting to the ground. Two books later it is revealed that the pentunia was Agrajag, who is (per the other wiki) "a piteous creature that is continually reincarnated and subsequently killed, each time unknowingly, by Arthur Dent." Agrajag mentions one death at Stavromula Beta, which Arthur has never been to. Two books after that, it turns out that Arthur is at a night club owned by one Stavro Mueller, it being the second of his nightclubs it is called "Stravo Mueller Beta".
  • Warlock of Gramarye: Christopher Stasheff wrote 27 novels in the series from 1983-2004, which had "Saint Vidicon of Cathode" mentioned as the Patron Saint of computers. Only in 2005 did he decide to actually write Saint Vidicon's story.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Early in Better Call Saul, Jimmy/Saul's brother, Chuck, mentions having to bail him out of an Illinois jail after Jimmy performed an unidentified act called a "Chicago Sunroof". Chuck also comments that Jimmy narrowly avoided being labeled a sex-offender. The final episode of the first season explains what a "Chicago Sunroof" is/what the incident involved: A drunken Jimmy saw someone he disliked parking their car and so Jimmy climbed on top of the car and defecated through the sunroof. Unbeknownst to Jimmy, the owner's children were in the back seat (which is why he was almost tried for a sex crime).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Vampire William the Bloody is better known as Spike because he likes to use railroad spikes as a torture device, even though we never see that happen. Eventually in an episode of Angel we discover that before he was turned he was William the "bloody awful" poet, and one person says he'd rather have a railroad spike driven through his head than hear any more.
  • Deep Space Nine: The main plot of the episode Facets. Jadzia Dax hosts a symbiont who has been in 7 other hosts before her. As a result she shares their memories and personalities. Throughout the series, she keeps dropping Noodles about what her previous hosts were like. In this episode, she goes through a ritual that transfers the memories and personality of each host into another person. This allows her to interact with each host, and the viewers get to meet each host. Most noatable was Curzon Dax, who was the host right before Jadzia, and also the main characters Sisko's best friend. Curzon transfers into a shapeshifter, who shapeshifts to look like Curzon. In this episode we see Curzon Dax in the flesh, and also get to see Sisko interact with Curzon.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • The ultimate one is how he meets the mother — the point of the series is much more Slice of Life New York Sitcom rather than actually telling the story, which makes it a Narrative-Frame Noodle Incident. It obviously gets revealed by the Grand Finale. Moreso is the incident that caused him to tell his kids the story, which is suggested in The Pilot and also eventually revealed in the final episode: the mother died shortly before, Ted is thinking of giving it a go with Robin again.
    • The montage of five-word sentences containing bad ideas includes a shot of Marshall standing on a roof, saying "I can jump that far". The incident forms a central plot point in that season's finale.
    • Another one involves Ted telling a strange story to his kids and constantly forgetting the details, before eventually remembering that the events took place much later and dropping the story altogether. The last we see of it is a shot of Ted walking into the bar wearing a green dress. Sure enough, Ted eventually does get around to explaining these events properly- just not during that particular season.
    • The Pineapple Incident. There are so many noodle incidents in this episode that get resolved (after a The Hangover-style night), except for the appearance of a pineapple in Ted's room. There's a scene included in the box set that tells us how the pineapple got there: The Captain would place a pineapple on the porch as a sign of hospitality. The night when Ted was super drunk, he grabbed it, thinking it was funny to have a pineapple on the porch.
  • In Hustle, Ashley Morgan is nicknamed "Three-Socks", a nickname indicated to have been picked up in the prison showers. For several series, this is unexplained and the viewer is fairly likely to suspect it involves some method of escaping Prison Rape. However, it eventually turns out to be a reference to a physical characteristic of Ash.
  • Smallville: people kept holding an unexplained incident at Club Zero over Lex's head and pointed it as a prime example of his money getting him out of trouble. A later episode (appropriately titled Zero) showed a flashback to what happened there and the Villain of the Week was relative of someone that died in the incident trying to kill Lex for revenge.

    Video Games 
  • Mass Effect 2: An alien scientist you recruit, who happens to be ex-Special Forces, will mention that once he killed with a farming equipment. In the DLC that revolves around fighting a shadowy figure that has records of nearly everything and everyone, it turns out that he stabbed a krogan - notoriously hard to kill aliens - through the eye with a pitchfork, during a clandestine mission.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: In the first game, it talked about how Gregory Edgeworth exposed Manfred von Karma's use of flawed evidence, which led to von Karma getting a penalty on his otherwise perfect trial record, which then led to von Karma murdering Edgeworth in revenge. No other details of the trial they were involved in were revealed. The full backstory of the conflict between von Karma and Edgeworth ended up being revealed in the second Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth Gaiden Game, released ten years later after three sequels to the main game and the first Miles Edgeworth game.

    Webcomics 
  • Best Friends Forever: Teddy and Vincent act weird about each other and it's only evcer referenced that something happened over the summer they spent together. It turns out that during that summer, Vincent got drunk and attempted to kiss Teddy, who turned out to be his Closet Key. Teddy thought Vincent was messing with him due to the fact other football players called him girly. Even further, when Vincent tells the story to louis, he reveals that that time was simply the only one Teddy noticed, but he actually tried to kiss him several times during the summer.

    Web Original 
  • Some noodle incidents from the Whateley Universe have been explained in the Hank stories:
    • They have a literal Noodle Incident that Generator was behind. It's Generator strangling Hank by blocking his windpipe with a noodle.
    • Three new noodle incidents appeared recently: Team Kimba faced an Unwinnable Training Simulation and got their asses handed to them the first time that term (the Grunts, the supposedly the best team in the Sims, needed three or four tries). Generator proposes a strategy that includes a Radioactive Condor Girl and scares the crap out of battle-hardened combat teachers. After the weekend, they (apparently) try this scenario thrice more, ending with the Radioactive Condor Girl strategy. And win. We don't have any details, however.

    Western Animation 
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: In early episodes there are mentions of a villainous dolphin named Dr. Blowhole, which were implied to be one of Skipper's delusions. Come the end of the first season, Blowhole is introduced as a real character.


Community Feedback Replies: 100
  • August 16, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    On Smallville people kept holding an unexplained incident at Club Zero over Lex's head and pointed it as a prime example of his money getting him out of trouble. A later episode (appropriately titled Zero) showed a flashback to what happened there and the Villain of the Week was relative of someone that died in the incident trying to kill Lex for revenge.
  • August 16, 2013
    Chabal2
    • Discworld: For several books, the battle of Koom Valley is an ancient battle between dwarves and trolls, the only one where "both sides ambushed each other". In Thud, we finally see it being used as a selling point by dwarves and trolls alike to keep the emnity strong. In fact, it was a peace meeting that went wrong when everyone attacked each other, thinking themselves under attack.
    • Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!) repeatedly makes references to having cleared a Space Hulk and having spent time with the Reclaimers chapter of Space Marines, but not until The Emperor's Finest do we get to see it.
    • The Authority:Kev. We know Kev is forced to perform menial Black Ops jobs for his hateful boss because of "that thing with the tiger". It turns out a mission to escort a government official with a prostitute went very wrong, because to keep him from the press they shoved him into a cellar, which turned out to contain a tiger, which belonged to the squadmate whose apartment they were using. Everything was hushed up, but Kev's career was ruined.

  • August 16, 2013
    Larkmarn
    This desperately needs a better name, because this is utterly nonsensical without knowing about Noodle Incident. And even then, it's not entirely clear from the name.
  • August 16, 2013
    arromdee
    I would just call it Ascended Noodle Incident. It still refers to the other trope, but in a context which makes it a little more obvious that "noodle incident" is the name of a trope. Don't abbreviate it to "noodle" or make puns about eating noodles, just use the trope name straight.
  • August 16, 2013
    ChunkyDaddy
    This trope was the main plot point in Deep Space Nine episode Facets. Jadzia Dax hosts a symbiont who has been in 7 other hosts before her. As a result she shares their memories and personalities. Throughout the series, she keeps dropping Noodles about what her previous hosts were like. In this episode, she goes through a ritual that transfers the memories and personality of each host into another person. This allows her to interact with each host, and the viewers get to meet each host. Most noatable was Curzon Dax, who was the host right before Jadzia, and also the main characters Sisko's best friend. Curzon transfers into a shapeshifter, who shapeshifts to look like Curzon. In this episode we see Curzon Dax in the flesh, and also get to see Sisko interact with Curzon
  • August 17, 2013
    TMOverbeck
    Good point, arromdee. Noodle Promoted To Plot was my second choice (and was a bit more descriptive), but let's see how this goes.
  • August 17, 2013
    TonyG
    In early episodes of The Penguins Of Madagascar there are mentions of a villainous dolphin named Dr. Blowhole, which were implied to be one of Skipper's delusions. Come the end of the first season, Blowhole is introduced as a real character.
  • August 17, 2013
    Bisected8
    • Also in the Ciaphas Cain series;
      • Several of the short stories from the omnibus editions of the novels expand on the Noodle Incidents from the stories;
        • "Echoes of the Tomb" explains the encounter he had with necrons (and why he's so terrified of them) in "Caves of Ice". It's also the story of why he has two augmetic fingers (Which TEF expounds on, since it starts immediately after).
        • "The Beguiling" gives the story of Cain's encounter with a Slaaneshi cult which is mentioned and has a returning villain in "The Traitor's Hand".
        • "Sector 13" is about Cain's first encounter with genestealer infiltrators (which is mentioned in pretty much every book where it comes up).
      • The very first book notes how he was reactivated and brought back into service shortly after writing it (since he mentioned enjoying his retirement) thanks to the beginning of the Black Crusade. Six books later, "Cain's Last Stand" is about how this happened.
      • In addition to following immediately on from the events of "Echoes of the Tomb", "The Emperor's Finest" is about the time he spent acting as Imperial Guard liaison to some Space Marines (not to mention his often brought up memories of their armour being sliced open like butter by purebreed genestealers every time he fights them).
  • August 17, 2013
    IAmATropist
    • In the Pokemon anime, Dawn's childhood friend Kenny likes to call her "Dee Dee", which makes her angry. In the episode Yes, In Dee Dee, It's Dawn!, it is explained that "Dee Dee" stands for "Diamond Dandruff". This nickname comes from a childhood incident where a Plusle and a Minun (electric Pokemon) shocked her, causing her hair to stand on end and sparkle due to the static. In the Japanese version, Kenny simply made up the nickname Pikari to tease her (her Japanese name is Hikari). In other words, there is no connection between the two events in the Japanese version.
  • August 17, 2013
    IAmATropist
    ^Dang, the Japanese text and acute accent don't work in YKTTW. I can fix it upon launch, though.
  • August 27, 2013
    ChunkyDaddy
    Is this abandoned?
  • August 27, 2013
    dragonquestz
    I think we could call this Finally Explain The Noodle?
  • August 27, 2013
    CrypticMirror
    Captain Kirk's "solution" to the Kobyashi Maru no-win test was a long standing noodle incident in Star Trek lore. The 2009 movie shows us what happened. It was underwhelming to say the least.

    Might want to put in the description that these rarely live up to the audience's expectations.
  • August 27, 2013
    Bisected8
    I'm pretty sure that the fact Kirk "cheated" was well established in the Trek Canon (in fact the movie changed it slightly; in the original continuity he was admired for thinking outside the box, not punished).
  • August 27, 2013
    jamespolk
    I suggest Noodle Incident Revealed for the title.

    And it's funny that this trope was suggested today because I just saw an example of a Noodle Incident that was actually explained in the work.

    • In The Worlds End, multiple references are made to an "accident" that caused the falling out between Gary and Andy. Towards the end it's finally revealed: Gary fled the scene after a car wreck that nearly killed Andy.
  • August 28, 2013
    Arivne
    ^ x 5 @Chunky Daddy: The OP TM Overbeck It last posted on August 17th, 11 days ago. According to Up For Grabs a YKTTW proposal is automatically considered abandoned 2 months (!) after the OP's last post.
  • August 28, 2013
    MorganWick
    Current title really feels like a bad snowclone.
  • August 28, 2013
    Arivne
    It is a Bad Snow Clone, because it requires the reader to know what Noodle Incident is.
  • August 28, 2013
    MorganWick
    It's a bad snowclone just because it misuses the "ascended" prefix. If you compare it to Ascended Meme or Ascended Fanon, this title makes no sense even knowing what a Noodle Incident is. The closest you'd get to something that makes sense is a fan's explanation for the incident that becomes canon.
  • August 28, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ If you compare it to Ascended Fridge Horror, though...
  • August 28, 2013
    jamespolk
    Noodle Incident also requires you to know what Noodle Incident is, and that trope is doing just fine, with 4,448 inbound links and so many examples that they are split up by subsection rather than all being on the same page. Not seeing the problem there. If the word "Ascended" is the problem, then I again suggest Noodle Incident Revealed.

    I think that whatever we title it, that this trope is necessary, to distinguish between a true Noodle Incident--one in which the incident is never explained--and this.
  • August 28, 2013
    BibsDibs
    @jamespolk "Noodle Incident Revealed" sounds like a good name.
  • August 28, 2013
    GoldenDarkness
    In the first Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney game, it talked about how Gregory Edgeworth exposed Manfred von Karma's use of flawed evidence, which led to von Karma getting a penalty on his otherwise perfect trial record, which then led to von Karma murdering Edgeworth in revenge. No other details of the trial they were involved in were revealed.

    The full backstory of the conflict between von Karma and Edgeworth ended up being revealed in the second Ace Attorney Investigations Miles Edgeworth Gaiden Game, released ten years later after three sequels to the main game and the first Miles Edgeworth game.
  • August 29, 2013
    Stratadrake
    I suppose there's always Doing In The Noodle (or Dont Explain The Noodle Incident) for snowclony titles, but those are hardly useful names....
  • August 29, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    there's a proper term for it. and it's not Noodle Incident. in star wars case, it would be Great Offscreen War which is under Show Dont Tell. i suggest calling it "Salvaged Plot Point" or something to that effect. also, Indie's fear of snakes. forgot the exact details, but i bet that counts.
  • August 29, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Vampire William the Bloody is better known as Spike because he likes to use railroad spikes as a torture device, even though we never see that happen. Eventually in an episode of Angel we discover that before he was turned he was William the "bloody awful" poet, and one person says he'd rather have a railroad spike driven through his head than hear any more.
  • August 29, 2013
    eowynjedi
    • The discrepancy between the smooth-forehead Klingons foreheads in Star Trek The Original Series and the ridgy foreheads in all subsequen series was acknowledged in DS9 when Worf said "We do not discuss it with outsiders!" The writers in prequel series Enterprise decided to explain it as a genetic engineering experiment gone wrong.
  • August 29, 2013
    DAN004
    Crowner for title plz.
  • August 30, 2013
    BibsDibs
    @DAN 004(suggesting a name crowner) Yes!
  • September 8, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    does this have a crowner yet? people seem to be obsessed with the noodle part and forgot about expounding on a one off idea part.
  • September 8, 2013
    captainpat
    Please removed the first two paragraphs with the Alice And Bob scenario. That's an Example As A Thesis. You don't need an example in your trope description when you have an example section right below it.

  • September 8, 2013
    SpocktorWho
    I would call it Noodle Incident Reveal rather than Noodle Incident Revealed.
  • September 8, 2013
    Pichu-kun
    • In Naruto Suigetsu once tried to mention a past incident between Karin and Sasuke but the former punches him beforehand. Later on it's revealed to be not quite as embarrassing as she makes it out to be, with the incident being Sasuke saving her from a bear during the Chunin Exams.
  • September 8, 2013
    lakingsif
    • In The Avengers, there's a random exchange between the Black Widow and Hawkeye about Budapest. At first the writers refused to give any canon because they believed fans had built it up so much they'd just be unable to deliver and come out hated. When a comic was published which told the story, it more than delivered, telling it as in Budapest the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (including the superiors) are all mind screwed, their memories altered so even though they're all fighting the same people, they all remember it differently. This little Noodle Incident we now learn was also referenced later on, when Hawkeye asks the Black Widow if she knows what it's like to have your mind messed with.
  • September 8, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ... not another noodle incident... i may be wrong, but i'm prettty sure the OPs referring to Cryptic Background Reference.(did a Wiki Walk) another name: Decrypted Background Reference. since it seems to be directly related.

    anyway comparable to What Could Have Been, when a plot point or work element is abandoned for certain reasons. related to Refitted For Sequel. where a plot point is tweaked for the sequel...
  • September 8, 2013
    BlueGuy
    I think "Explained Noodle Incident" works better.
  • September 8, 2013
    lakingsif
    ^^ if it is Cryptic Background Reference and not Noodle Incident, then we don't need this at all as CBR gives room for when they're explained: "One way of building background is to have the characters refer to things without explaining exactly what those things are. The slight confusion caused is balanced by the sense given of a larger world, outside the plot. If a story is extended to a long enough series (especially when there's a high turnover of writers), most of these cryptic references are explained and/or used as Canon Fodder".

    Though I agree, too many are confusing Noodle Incident with it's lesser-known brother, I believe this is stemming from Noodle Incidents.
  • September 8, 2013
    EKonoMai
    In Mass Effect 2, an alien scientist you recruit, who happens to be ex-Special Forces, will mention that once he killed with a farming equipment. In the DLC that revolves around fighting a shadowy figure that has records of nearly everything and everyone, it turns out that he stabbed a krogan - notoriously hard to kill aliens - through the eye with a pitchfork, during a clandestine mission.
  • September 9, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^^ Noodle Incident also has that: "The Noodle Incident is something from the past that is sometimes referred to but never explained (or, rarely, left conspicuously unexplained until a critical plot point)"

    so this one's completely unnecessary then?
  • September 9, 2013
    Tuomas
    I think the Noodle Incident description needs to be edited, if it says that. A Noodle Incident that's left unexplained "until at a critical plot point" sounds like Chekhovs Gun to me. The whole point of a Noodle Incident is that it's a mystery the plot doesn't require to be explained, it's just there to add some flavour to the story and/or characterization. If a mysterious incident becomes critical to the plot and therefore needs to be explained, then it's not really a Noodle Incident.
  • September 9, 2013
    DAN004
    Is this Up For Grabs yet?
  • September 9, 2013
    lakingsif
    ^^^ That sentence would make Noodle Incident too much like a Chekhov trope (one of them), and maybe more like Cryptic Background Reference, so it probably needs fixing. Anyway, while part of CBR is that the event is explained, Noodle Incident says it might be, as part of the plot, later, maybe; not "most of these cryptic references are explained and used as Canon Fodder".
  • September 10, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    am i the only one here who thinks Noodle Incident is exclusively a comedy trope for mentioned-only incidents or am i understanding it wrong?
  • September 10, 2013
    reflaxion
    Chekhov's Noodle!
  • September 10, 2013
    lakingsif
    ^^ we're not quite sure. There should really be a moderator specifically to wade through tropes and decided which need reiterating differently, clarifying or renaming.
  • September 13, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    removed the laconic link, as it prevents editing either title or laconic.
  • September 14, 2013
    PapercutChainsaw
    Very common in How I Met Your Mother. The montage of five-word sentences containing bad ideas includes a shot of Marshall standing on a roof, saying "I can jump that far". The incident forms a central plot point in that season's finale.
    • Another one involves Ted telling a strange story to his kids and constantly forgetting the details, before eventually remembering that the events took place much later and dropping the story altogether. The last we see of it is a shot of Ted walking into the bar wearing a green dress. Sure enough, Ted eventually does get around to explaining these events properly- just not during that particular season.
  • September 15, 2013
    lakingsif
    ^ when Ted and Robin are about to tell the gang why they're covered in spaghetti but leave and that gets resolved as the plot in another episode.

    Then there's episode The Pineapple Incident (spoiler: the only thing left unresolved is the pineapple).
  • September 15, 2013
    GoldenDarkness
    The idea of the Noodle Incident really being a Chekhovs Gun or some other foreshadowing, isn't it only in hindsight? We don't know if the intent of the creators was to leave that event unexplained or there would be an explanation later, especially if said explanation was a nod to the fans.
  • September 17, 2013
    reflaxion
    Does creator intent really matter, though? I don't think it has to be something that was intended as a Noodle Incident in order to qualify for this - if the creator(s) intended to reveal the mystery much further down the line, I think it could still qualify here.
  • September 17, 2013
    Duncan
    If the creator always intended it to pay off later, then it's Chekhovs Gun or Foreshadowing. I think this should be Word Of God only.

    • Christopher Stasheff wrote 27 novels in the Warlock Of Gramarye series from 1983-2004, which had "Saint Vidicon of Cathode" mentioned as the Patron Saint of computers. Only in 2005 did he decide to actually write Saint Vidicon's story.
  • September 17, 2013
    reflaxion
    Perhaps. I think this would be a good sub-trope of Chekhovs Gun specifically for Noodle Incident type stories.
  • September 18, 2013
    DAN004
    People... gimme Canonical List OF Subtle Trope Distinctions please. For Noodle Incident, Fore Shadowing, Chekhovs Gun and this trope. (Laconical would be better.)
  • September 18, 2013
    Stratadrake
    A Noodle Incident, at least in the context of its Trope Namer, is something purposely left unexplained because it just works better in the audience's imagination.
  • September 18, 2013
    GoldenDarkness
    Then how do we handle the other reveals? Merely just The Reveal?
  • September 19, 2013
    DAN004
    ^^ Then this trope is, in a way, a subversion of Noodle Incident then?
  • September 19, 2013
    PoignardAzur
    Maybe you should define better the difference between a noodle incident and pure backstory then ? Because I don't think the Clone Wars was in the former category.
  • September 19, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Also in the context of the Trope Namer, a Noodle Incident tends to be something that's presumed to be hilarious or absurd, which is part of why it never gets explained. You might say it mixes in a bit of Dont Explain The Joke and What Happened To The Mouse.
  • September 19, 2013
    reflaxion
    I agree with DAN 004's assessment, of this being a subversion of Noodle Incident. I think it works well in that capacity.
  • September 20, 2013
    DAN004
    ...Though, I'm thinking of several ways of how this can become a subversion of Noodle Incident in the first place.
    • Planned all along: The noodle incident will be often talked more than once and not be dismissed as a passing rhetoric. (Though this will overlap with Fore Shadowing)
    • All of a sudden (as a Chandlers Law or sometimes Executive Meddling): It is fully played as a Noodle Incident but then that incident suddenly becomes important. May be a Brick Joke, but not always.
  • September 20, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^^^ but the OP's example (Star Wars) is not supposed to be funny... and neither are most of the other examples.

    and now that you mentioned What Happened To The Mouse, i guess we can call this The Mouse Came Back... or Behind The Scenes Of The Mentioned? damn, this one's hard.
  • September 28, 2013
    RandomSurfer
    In The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy an atomic warhead headed for the Heart of Gold becomes a potted petunia, which thinks "oh no, not again" before plummeting to the ground. Two books later it is revealed that the pentunia was Agrajag, who is (per the other wiki) "a piteous creature that is continually reincarnated and subsequently killed, each time unknowingly, by Arthur Dent." Agrajag mentions one death at Stavromula Beta, which Arthur has never been to. Two books after that, it turns out that Arthur is at a night club owned by one Stavro Mueller, it being the second of his nightclubs it is called "Stravo Mueller Beta." Since author Douglas Adams was notorious for not plotting this sort of thing ahead, it's counts as the second version (per DAN 004^^).
  • April 7, 2015
    Hodor2
    • In Hustle, Ashley Morgan is nicknamed "Three-Socks", a nickname indicated to have been picked up in the prison showers. For several series, this is unexplained and the viewer is fairly likely to suspect it involves some method of escaping Prison Rape. However, it eventually turns out to be a reference to a physical characteristic of Ash.

    Another example, albeit not a very "longstanding" one:

    • Early in Better Call Saul, Jimmy/Saul's brother, Chuck, mentions having to bail him out of an Illinois jail after Jimmy performed an unidentified act called a "Chicago Sunroof". Chuck also comments that Jimmy narrowly avoided being labeled a sex-offender. The final episode of the first season explains what a "Chicago Sunroof" is/what the incident involved: A drunken Jimmy saw someone he disliked parking their car and so Jimmy climbed on top of the car and defecated through the sunroof. Unbeknownst to Jimmy, the owner's children were in the back seat (which is why he was almost tried for a sex crime).
  • April 7, 2015
    DAN004
  • April 7, 2015
    DAN004
  • April 7, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
    "I think "Explained Noodle Incident" works better. "

    I concur.
  • April 8, 2015
    Snicka
    (Nevermind, that was a misuse)
  • February 5, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Bump.
  • February 12, 2017
    morenohijazo
    ^^^^ How so?
  • February 12, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    @lackingsgif A deleted scene tells us where did the pineapple came from. The Captain would place a pineapple on the porch as a sign of hospitality. The night when Ted was super drunk, he grabbed it, thinking it was funny to have a pineapple on the porch.
  • February 16, 2017
    Rubber_Lotus
    The early appearances of John Constantine were riddled with references to a big screw-up he made in a Newcastle exorcism. The details of this weren't revealed until issue 13 (I think) of Constantine's solo book.
  • February 16, 2017
    TimG5
    I'd take that Stars Wars bit out and instead, give it an honorable mention as a Trope Codifier or Logical Extreme.
  • February 17, 2017
    Chabal2
    Harry Potter: Defense Against The Dark Arts teachers only last a year (of those seen, one's dead, one's amnesiac, one's fired, one's impersonated, one's kicked out, one gets promoted, and one gets arrested) with rumors of the position being jinxed, but it's treated as something of a Running Gag, until it's revealed Voldemort actually did jinx it when the job was refused to him. Not (just) out of spite, but because this would ensure the wizarding world in general would have had no coherent training against magic (as demonstrated when the best defense the Ministry can provide its own staff is a hat with a built-in shielding effect, originally sold as a novelty joke).
  • February 17, 2017
    LondonKdS
    Michael Moorcock's works left it unclear for decades what, exactly, recurring villain Gaynor the Damned had done to get horribly cursed. It was finally revealed in the 2000s novel The Dreamthief's Daughter aka Daughter Of Dreams, and boiled down to successively betraying a Lord of Law and a Lord of Chaos, in hope of gaining personal power, leading to both of them briefly ganging up and making an example of him.
  • February 17, 2017
    Omeganian
    'The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes' is a collection of Sherlock Holmes short stories by Adrian Conan Doyle and John Dickson Carr which expand upon the Noodle Incidents from various canon stories.
  • June 26, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    • In one episode of Code Geass Kallen and C.C. mention how once at Aomori they had an incident involving everyone lacking clothes. Other media showed that the Black Knights were almost caught by Britannia while they were at a hot springs. They had to run away in Modesty Towels.
    • Naruto: Suigetsu repeatedly makes mention of an incident between Karin and Sasuke, however Karin always hits him before he can finish what he was saying. It was eventually revealed that he was talking about how Sasuke rescued Karin during the Chunin Exams back when they were 12, but that doesn't explain why Karin is so embarrassed by it.
    • Pokemon: Dawn's Childhood Friend Kenny keeps on calling her the Embarrassing Nickname "Dee-Dee" ("Pikari" in Japan, where Dawn's called Hikari). It's eventually revealed that as preschoolers, Dawn was electrocuted by a Plusle and a Minun. Thus why she's called "Pikari", referring to the electrocution. In a Lucky Translation case, Kenny calls her "Dee-Dee" as a shorthand for "Diamond Dandruff", referring to how the electricity frizzed out her hair.
  • June 26, 2017
    lakingsif
    anyone claiming this? If not, I will.
  • June 26, 2017
    Getta
    I don't see any difference between this and Chekhovs Gun or Chekhovs Gag.
  • June 26, 2017
    lakingsif
    ^ a Chekhovs Gag is where the punchline comes much later, right? This is not that. It's when a Noodle Incident is later explained. That can be a Chekhovs Gun (or Chekhov's mysterious reference), but isn't necessarily so as it doesn't have to be used to advance plot, and it may be for fun or drama rather than conservation of detail (Noodle Incidents alone typically go against LOCOD).
  • June 26, 2017
    Generality
    This can easily result in Doing In The Wizard.
  • June 26, 2017
    lakingsif
    Do you think we should add a note saying 'This isn't a Chekhov's Noodle Incident. One of those would be the work saying "remember that mysterious reference from earlier? Look, it's going to solve the plot now!" — which might not even need to explain it. This is an [insert name of trope], where the story more or less says "remember that reference from earlier? Here's the full story!" — which is unlikely to directly advance plot.'

    Also suggesting calling it Eaten Noodle Incident — it might not make much sense out of context, but you really need knowledge of the Noodle Incident for this trope, so that's fine.
  • June 26, 2017
    Arcana4th
    • Best Friends Forever: Teddy and Vincent act weird about each other and it's only evcer referenced that something happened over the summer they spent together. It turns out that during that summer, Vincent got drunk and attempted to kiss Teddy, who turned out to be his Closet Key. Teddy thought Vincent was messing with him due to the fact other football players called him girly. Even further, when Vincent tells the story to louis, he reveals that that time was simply the only one Teddy noticed, but he actually tried to kiss him several times during the summer.
  • June 26, 2017
    Getta
    Chekhovs Gag is when a joke becomes not a joke later. Delayed punchline is Brick Joke.

    If the noodle incident becomes ascended, that means there's a conservation of detail, right? That means this trope definitely is a part of Law Of Conservation Of Detail.
  • June 27, 2017
    lakingsif
    ascended is inaccurate here, hence I called for a rename. Still, your logic about LOCOD seems very wrong — how does being 'ascended' (however you mean it) necessarily mean that the work has included only what is needed for plot (especially when this is explicitly supra-plot)

    How you're describing Chekhovs Gag sounds like Funny Aneurysm Moment. Also, a Brick Joke is where the same joke keeps being referenced, not what you said.
  • June 27, 2017
    NightShade96
    A more indicative name might be Explained Noodle Incident. Also, this hasn't been edited since September 2013, so someone should grab it.
  • June 27, 2017
    Gosicrystal
    Well, Brick Joke is just when the punchline is very, very delayed, to the point the audience has most likely forgotten about the setup. It doesn't have to keep being referenced. That sounds like a funny version of Chekhovs Boomerang.
  • June 27, 2017
    hszmv1
    • A better Star Wars example would be evident in the Opening Crawl of Star Wars A New Hope, which mentions that rebels had managed to get the the secret plans to Princess Leia's ship, where the movie starts. For Forty years, that was all that was said on the subject... Then came Star Wars Rogue One, which is pretty much about the people who did just that.
  • June 27, 2017
    Berrenta
    While this has the hats needed, we still have yet to see examples added to the draft. If we don't hear from the OP, we may have to declare this as Up For Grabs.

    Edit: Checked their status, and they made an edit to the wiki last week, so they're still active. I'll message them.
  • June 27, 2017
    Getta
    Gosicrystal got Brick Joke right.
  • June 28, 2017
    Arivne
  • June 28, 2017
    Getta
    So merely "explained", not necessarily "ascended"?
  • June 28, 2017
    lakingsif
    • Changed the title to reflect consensus
    • I'll add the examples from comments
    • Asking again if we should add a paragraph (example somewhere above) to further explain the trope's not-Chekhovs Gun-ness,
  • June 28, 2017
    Malady
    Web Original:

    Whateley Universe: These Noodle Incidents have been explained in the Hank stories:
    • They have a literal Noodle Incident that Generator was behind. It's Generator strangling Hank by blocking his windpipe with a noodle.
    • Three new noodle incidents appeared recently: Team Kimba faced an Unwinnable Training Simulation and got their asses handed to them the first time that term (the Grunts, the supposedly the best team in the Sims, needed three or four tries). Generator proposes a strategy that includes a Radioactive Condor Girl and scares the crap out of battle-hardened combat teachers. After the weekend, they (apparently) try this scenario thrice more, ending with the Radioactive Condor Girl strategy. And win. We don't have any details, however.
  • June 28, 2017
    TMOverbeck
    Well, this was a pleasant surprise... I thought this proposal-formerly-known-as-YKTTW was left for dead with the others I came up with. :) I should be able to get this thing ready for launch in the next few days.
  • June 28, 2017
    lakingsif
    ^ [tup] description needs some tweaking, but pretty much good to go.
  • June 28, 2017
    Getta
    "De-noodled" isn't a word.
  • June 29, 2017
    Arivne
    This proposal is suffering from a TLP bug that prevents edits from taking effect in the displayed text.

    The title has been edited to "Explained OR Resolved Noodle Incident", it just isn't showing up.
  • June 29, 2017
    lakingsif
    ^ done
  • June 29, 2017
    Getta
    What would be the trope when it's finally shown What Happened To The Mouse
  • June 29, 2017
    TMOverbeck
    I like "Resolved" better. And I would just remove those examples that take place within the same season or episode (which would just make it a Chekhov's Whatever).
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