A SoapOpera staple, the MelodramaticPause is the perfect way to pad out time, show everyone's up-close reaction to a [[TheReveal provocative statement]], build tension after same, discovering an affair, and otherwise give the actors and orchestra a [[LargeHam chance to ham it up.]] Basically, it's the swiss army knife of SoapOpera cuts for scenes and episodes. This is the Drama Queen big sister of the DramaticPause.

The set up varies but will usually go like this:
->'''Alice:''' ''Bob?! Explain yourself!''\\
'''Bob:''' ''[[TheReveal Dramatic line!]]''\\
''JumpCut to''\\
'''Alice's''' face: ''*Dramatically appropriate expression of grief, shock, hunger, indifference, puppies, etc.*'' \\
''There is a {{Sting}} and then a JumpCut to''\\
'''Bob's face:''' ''*Dramatically appropriate expression of defiance, anger, leprosy, epilepsy, narcolepsy, etc.*''

This continues through all of the characters present, and if this is a comedy, some irrelevant characters will be [[{{Bathos}} eating or doing something terribly mood breaking.]]

The noise between {{Jump Cut}}s is usually a heartbeat, thump, clang, or in Spanish soaps, a musical flourish. Frequently used in episodes where there's FourLinesAllWaiting.
When used in text, this generally represented by... [[DramaticEllipsis ELLIPSIS!]]

A SubTrope of {{Melodrama}}.


[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* A frequent occurrence on Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion.
* "The time of Rukia's execution... got changed." Not quite as bad in [[Manga/{{Bleach}} the original]], but...
* The English dub of the original ''Speed Racer'' TV series did this, though it wasn't completely on purpose. Usually, at the beginning of an episode, there would be a dramatic pause for no discernible reason. This was because when the show was aired in Japan, the episode title would appear where the dramatic pause in the dub is.
* Sometimes it seems like at least half of ''DragonballZ'' is every other character reacting with a shocked expression to whatever it is Goku/Gohan/the BigBad just did.

[[folder: Film]]
* In the Bollywood movie ''Gumnaam'' (part of which was shown on the TV in the beginning of Ghost World) this trope is taken to excess and flogged like a dead horse. Each of the main characters, and there are a lot of them, had to have the same length of film devoted to closeups. After every dramatic thing happens each actor has their own reaction shot such that a one second scene is then followed by seven seconds of reactions from each of the characters.
** This trope also applies to every single Bollywood TV show. Accompied with music so dramatic you expect it to be the final scene in the episode. Except, it's not...

[[folder: Literature]]
* The characters in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' [[ConversationalTroping discuss]] this trope, when the alien Ax is discovering TV for the first time, and decides to incorporate this trope into his own speech. Yes, Ax does have a streak of the FunnyForeigner in his character, and he's treated accordingly whenever he comes up with an idea like this.
** Rachel calls it a Soap Take.

[[folder: Live Action Television]]
* ''Series/{{House}}'' does this nearly OncePerEpisode right before commercial breaks. They say some dramatic line, like "our treatment is killing him" or "What's causing this? I have no idea.", and it cuts to the reactions of all the doctors present, including the doctor who said the line in the first place.
* Rather hilariously played with in one of Red's fantasies in ''Series/That70sShow''. Red's lost his job and is stuck at home watching Soap Operas all day. When he imagines Kitty leaving him, it plays out in this fashion, complete with absurd statements and a dozen rapidly changing facial expressions.
* Joey calls it 'smell the fart' acting on ''Series/{{Friends}}''; when you hear a shocking phrase, you act like you're trying to figure out who just farted.
* Creator/NathanFillion, who got his start on a soap, as a guest on Creator/EllenDegeneres' show, ran through the three faces you might have to make when going to a commercial.
* Parodied on the recurring ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' skit, "The Californians".

[[folder:Reality TV]]
* Reality TV is a goldmine for melodramatic pauses. For example, there was a twenty seconds of crowd noise between the words "is" and "Joe [=McElderry=]" in the 2009 final of ''Series/TheXFactor''.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* Spoofed in the Show Within A Show "All My Circuits" on {{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}. "I have... amnesia!"
** Spoofed even further several seasons later with Calculon, one of the ''All My Circuits'' actors, demonstrating his ability to do a dramatic..............................'''''pause!'''''