Fill In The Missing Dialogue
A character acts out dialogue that he feels should have been said.
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(permanent link) added: 2010-11-13 15:10:52 sponsor: carla edited by: willthiswork (last reply: 2013-04-08 10:11:11)

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Laconic: A character acts out dialogue that he feels should have been said.

Index: Dialogue, maybe Oh Great, a Snark Index?

Alternate titles: Thanks For Asking, Dialogue Said For You, Informed Dialogue, Snark Dubbed Dialogue, Solo Dialogue.

Tags: Seen It a Million Times, Needs More Examples, Needs a Better Title, Rolling Updates, No Launching Please.

A type of snarky quip or Self-Deprecation when a character interjects dialogue he/she believes some other participant of the conversation should have said, but didn't. Bonus points if they try to imitate their fellow characters' voices.

Usually happens in situations such as:

  • The character has just been in some kind of accident, but the other character(s) are in too much of a hurry to express their concern-- he/she's alive, that's all that matters.
    "Oh my god, Alice, are you okay? Does anything hurt, do you need me to take you to the hospital? Oh, I'm alright, Bob, just a few bumps and bruises. Don't worry about me, just go on and save the world..."
  • A character is so eager to get to the point that he/she skips proper conversation etiquette.
    "Hi, Alice. It's been a while, how are you doing? I hope things are going well. Oh, I'm doing good, Bob, thanks for asking. You're so polite, as always..."
  • A variant where the character continues or alters a serious conversation between other characters in a completely inappropriate direction, just for Rule of Funny.
    "Okay, bye, Alice! Bye, Bob. By the way, did I ever tell you that I think you're hot and I want you so bad it hurts? Oh, Bob, I feel the same way! Kiss me, kiss me now!" (Smooching sounds).

Generally Played for Laughs, and usually said in a mutter or a whisper, or when the other characters are out of earshot. If the other parties in the conversation do hear it, expect eye-rolling or someone feeling sheepish for being impolite.

May prompt a My Friends... and Zoidberg. Compare Snub by Omission.

Examples:

Film

  • In Date Night, the Forresters plays a game where they guess the "story" of other couples in the restaurant. In one case, both Forresters start mimicking dialogue for the other couple.
  • In the National Treasure 2, Riley also fills in the missing dialogue for Ben and Abigail when they are (very blatantly) seeming to disregard him after he has chosen to stay behind. "I've been doing the math too... just promise you'll come back for me. [In a high pitched voice] Riley! No Riley! We won't leave you behind! [Back to his normal voice] No, I'm kidding, just go."

Literature

  • Gaspode the Wonder Dog in the Discworld series, especially in Moving Pictures.
  • In the first book in The Dresden Files series, Harry gets a call from Karrin Murphy, head of the Chicago PD's "weird stuff" unit:
    Murphy: Harry, I need you at the Madison in the next ten minutes. Can you be there?
    Harry: Why, Lieutenant Murphy, it's good to hear from you too. It's been so long. Oh, they're fine, fine. And your family?
  • Ben Gunn in Treasure Island. His thing with "X, says you; Y, says I" is a very good way to get across the point that he's been marooned for too many years.
  • Deadline: After Shaun risks the wrath of the AI in Maggie's home killing him to get a wireless signal booster, the entire team hops online without a word once it connects.
    Shaun: Thank you, Shaun. We really appreciate your getting us back into contact with the rest of the world, Shaun. You're awesome, Shaun.

Live Action TV

  • Angel:
    • In his first scene Spike hilariously fills in both sides of a dialogue between Angel and the woman he's just rescued while lurking on a rooftop watching them.
    • In the season 5 episode "Hellbound," Fred brings a problem to Wes that needs solving right away.
      Fred: I need these as soon as possible. (Turns to walk out of the room).
      Wesley: Hello, Wesley. Nice to see you.
      Fred: (Turns back to face Wesley). Oh. Sorry. Little preoccupied.
  • In an early episode of Bones, Hodgins calls Brennan to inform her of something he discovered on the victim's corpse. Once he's said what he has to say, Brennan abruptly hangs up on him. He stares at the phone and goes: "Good job, Hodgins. What would we do without you?"
  • Friends:
    • Chandler, being the resident Deadpan Snarker, uses pretty much every variant of this.
    • Phoebe uses it a few times, as well. "Ooh, Rachel, I'm so sorry. That's okay, Ross, let's get back together. Okay! (Beat). Hey, did anyone hear that?"
  • Humorous example from Happy Days: Richie is trying to talk to Fonzie who's apparently ignoring him so Richie finally resorts to this trope. It's only his horrible impression that finally gets a reaction from the Fonz.
    Fonzie: I don't go "Heeeeey." I go "Ayy."
  • House mocks the original Ducklings in the second season episode "No Reason," imitating their voices and mannerisms:
    House: Okay, I'll be you guys: [With a thick Aussie accent] "No way, mate, too much blood to just be a vein!" [Trying to sound "gangsta"] "No way, hizzy! If it was an artery, he'd still be bleeding." [In a high-pitched voice] "Actually, he'd be dead." [Pathetic face].
  • On How I Met Your Mother, Barney to Lily: "Yeah, yeah, yeah... Barney what are you doing here... I can't believe it's really you... Come in, have a seat... You want some tea... I know the apartment's small but I don't need much space... let me show you some of my paintings... I think it's some of my best work ever. JUST STOP IT!"
  • Abby in NCIS has done this several times, once acting out an argument between Gibbs and Director Shepard to stop them from arguing ("The kids don't like it when mommy and daddy fight,"), and once acting out a conversation between herself and Gibbs (complete with digression on her part and "Gibbs" having to remind her to stay on topic).
  • In Stargate SG-1 Jacob comes through the Stargate, talking about how much trouble everyone's in, causing Jack to invoke this trope, resulting in a hilarious exchange.
    O'Neill: Jacob!
    Jacob: Jack, we've got a problem. We need to talk.
    O'Neill: "Hi! Hello. How are ya? Long time, no see. What's doing? What's up? Hey, buddy!"
    Jacob: I'm sorry, Jack. It's good to see you again. Congratulations on your promotion.
    O'Neill: Thanks.
    Jacob: You deserve it.
    O'Neill: Yes. Well... What's up?
    Jacob: The Replicators. They've launched an all out attack on the Goa'uld. If the Goa'uld can't find a way to stop them, the Replicators will easily overrun our galaxy, in a matter of weeks.
    O'Neill: Why didn't you say so?
    [Jacob gives O'Neill a look and walks off]
    O'Neill: [after a pause, hurrying after Jacob] I'm sorry. You said we have a problem, not a big galactic emergency.

Tabletop Games
  • KULT supplement Rumours. The introduction to the chapter "Violence and Destruction" is a story about a man named Nathaniel switching out a prop gun with a real gun in a play in order to commit a murder. When he hands the gun to an actor named Mannet, Mannet ignores him. Nathaniel walks away mumbling "Why THANK YOU, Nathaniel for your kindness. Oh, you are so welcome, Mr. Mannet."

Western Animation

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender : Toph directs a rock slide away from Sokka. Sokka is only concerned about his girlfriend Suki (who who had been pushed out of the way already).
    Toph: Thanks for saving my life, Toph. No problem, Sokka.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: Robin saves Batman from Kyodai Ken and gets no thanks.
    Robin: Thanks for saving my bacon, Robin. Hey, no problem, Batman.
  • From the Dan Vs. episode "The Wolf-Man":
    Dan: What took you so long?!
    Chris: Nice to see you, too.
  • In the Real Adventures of Jonny Quest episode "The Alchemist," Hadji falls down a scaffolding in a museum. Jonny and Jessie barely pause to see if he's alive before running off in pursuit of the antagonist du jour. As he gets up and brushes off the dirt, he goes on a small "Hadji! Are you alright? Yes, my friend, do not worry about me" rant.
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