Bail them out of the conversation
Big Damn Conversational Heroes
Needs Examples Better Name Description Needs Help

(permanent link) added: 2011-08-11 03:18:10 sponsor: MetaFour (last reply: 2013-01-27 08:06:48)

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Definitely Needs a Better Title.

Alice and Carol are having a conversation, and it suddenly turns tense and awkward. Maybe the discussion turned towards a subject that's embarrassing for Alice; maybe Carol catches Alice in some kind of lie and begins passive-aggressively grilling her on this. Either way, the longer the conversation goes, the deeper Alice digs herself. Suddenly Bob, butts into the conversation. He overheard enough of the conversation to realize how distressed Alice was, and now he's here to save her, either by providing a plausible-sounding explanation for Carol's awkward questions, or by forcefully derailing the conversation towards a more innocuous topic.

Example:
  • Gunnerkrigg Court has a variation. Things get awkward when it becomes increasingly obvious that Paz is crushing on Matt, and Matt doesn't know how to react. But Winsbury's attempt to defuse the situation--"Hey Matt. Why don't you tell us about that girl you're always on about?"--doesn't make things any less awkward, just a different kind of awkward.
  • In Saving Private Ryan, the squad of soldiers are contemplating killing a German POW in cold blood after winning a battle. As things get really serious, Capt. Miller starts talking about a bet they have about what he did before the war, distracting them from their intentions and saving the German.
  • In Scrubs, JD is confronted by both an old flame he still has feelings for, asking if she should go through with her wedding, and by the mother of his unborn child asking why he's been avoiding her. He escapes when Carla intervenes to talk to one of them.
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