[[quoteright:326:[[WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the-flintstones-cigarette_8373.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:326:Hey, wait a minute! When did they start smoking? [[AnachronismStew And... er... how?]]]]

You're enjoying a movie, a TV show, a book, a comic when suddenly out of nowhere one of the (presumed non-smoking) characters lights a cigarette without any real reason. It's not part of the plot, it doesn't tell you anything about the character or it is in fact the first time in the entire work that a character is revealed to be a smoker. Often, the character will never light up again, and their smoking will never be discussed again. Thus making it a grave SeriesContinuityError.

Welcome to the world of Random Smoking Scenes.

In other circumstances a smoking scene can be useful to the plot. A character is [[MustHaveNicotine nervous]], [[OfCourseISmoke wants to impress]] a potential love partner, [[SmokingHotSex just had sex]], is a well known smoker (UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill, UsefulNotes/FidelCastro, Creator/HumphreyBogart can not be portrayed as non-smokers), is a [[SmokyGentlemensClub rich business executive]], a [[DistinguishedGentlemansPipe classy, intellectual pipe smoker]], a [[PeacePipe Native American making peace with other tribes]] or an [[GoodSmokingEvilSmoking evil person]]. Or he's just a [[SmokingIsCool badass]]. However, the random smoking scene has no real purpose and could have easily been left out the story without affecting the plot. In a few instances it even becomes pointless {{padding}}. Sometimes it even makes no sense because the story takes place in a time period when tobacco hadn't yet been introduced, or the character smokes in an area where it is normally not allowed. In other circumstances it's even highly questionable because the story is actually aimed at or popular with children or teenagers. Let's face it: there's no real necessary reason to have little children smoke on screen. It's TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior that could easily be faked or avoided on screen, without hurting the story.

Most of these random smoking scenes are just included in the story because...
# U.S. cigarette companies can no longer advertise smoking on television, so they pay directors and actors money to let their characters light a cigarette in a film or TV series. ProductPlacement can be really useful to inspire people into smoking.
# The actor just wanted to smoke on screen and didn't care whether it was appropriate for the story.
# It's an old movie from before the time scientists discovered in 1964 that smoking is hazardous for your health. Expect EverybodySmokes to overlap with this trope.
# Perhaps they want to be controversial, though this could backfire if such a smoking scene is in a work [[NoSmoking aimed at kids]]. See NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity.



* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhm-22Q0PuM This ad]] for Herman Cain (at the time a candidate for the [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPoliticalSystem 2012 Republican nomination for President]]) features Cain's Chief of Staff Mark Block talking about what Cain hopes to achieve by running...and then, towards the very end, a shot of him taking a drag off his cigarette. It comes out of nowhere and counts as a BigLippedAlligatorMoment, as well. Combined with the closing shot of Cain slowly turning to the camera and slooooooowly smiling, the ad [[MemeticMutation quickly went viral]]. This is also a very clear case of Type 2: WordOfGod says that Block happened to be smoking throughout the taping, but the cigarette was out of frame, and the editors thought it would be cool to [[ThrowItIn throw in a shot of him taking a drag]].
* A rather infamous anti smoking TV commercial from the 1980s featured [=C3P0=] condemning [=R2D2=] for smoking a cigarette. Well intended, but probably the best illustration of a "random smoking scene", since [=R2D2=] was never seen smoking in the ''Franchise/StarWars'' movies. They even had to "add" an arm to the robot to make him able to smoke.

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* In Jiraiya's debut episode of ''Anime/{{Naruto}}'', he was shown smoking a pipe. However, this is the only time you actually see him smoking.
* In the comedic Naruto spin-off, ''[[Manga/RockLeesSpringTimeOfYouth Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals]]'', it showed a scene of Orochimaru dressed as a woman in a bar smoking. Subverted in chapter 14 of the manga. Gamakichi was comparing his relationship with Gamatatsu to Neji and Hinata's. After a brief montage, it showed Hinata dressed as their father, Gamabunta, complete with a pipe. However, smoke wasn't coming from the pipe.
* In the OnePiece movie, ''Strong World,'' Brook was shown smoking something dressed as a hippy.
* Gray of ''Manga/FairyTail'' was seen smoking in his first few appearances. Laxus smoked a cigar in his first appearance. None of them has smoked since. GoodSmokingEvilSmoking may be in effect here as a way to characterize them, since Gray is mostly heroic, while Laxus initially was a straight-out {{Jerkass}}.
* Bulma in ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' is seen smoking two times during the early part of the Majin Buu Saga, which are pretty much the only times you actually see her smoking.

* ''Film/WhatWomenWant'': After Marshall's female psychiatrist discovers that he can hear what women think she is so shocked that she decides to smoke a cigarette. She admits it's "highly unorthodox", but yet it's still a strange reaction.
* ''Film/StarTrekVTheFinalFrontier'': Smoking is implied to be exceedingly rare or non-existent among humans in ''Franchise/StarTrek'', but St. John Talbot, the human ambassador to Nimbus III, is nevertheless smoking a cigarette in one scene. None of the characters seem to notice or point this out. (Then again, he ''is'' on a CrapsackWorld.)
* In ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1990'', a bar with bad little children is shown. Some of them are smoking huge cigars. The smoking was to demonstrate the super-child-unfriendly environment fostered by Shredder and the Foot, (along with other evils like gambling, stolen electronics, truancy, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking skateboarding]]). This scene may be a bit explicit and jarring to modern viewers, who expect some minimal level of euphemism when dealing with the plight of wayward urban youth.
* ''Film/PaperMoon'': Child actress Tatum O' Neal plays a con artist in this film, alongside her own father, Ryan O' Neal. You would think that he would at least guard her from being exploited by the director, but no. The ten year old actress is seen smoking in several scenes. And she won an Academy Award for her portrayal!
* In the biopic ''Film/EdWood'' (1994), Creator/SarahJessicaParker plays the role of Creator/EdWood's wife Dolores Fuller. Fuller lived to see the movie adaptation of her husband's life, but didn't like the way Parker portrayed her on screen since the actress smoked all the time, while she actually always has been a non-smoker. (http://www.elvis.com.au/presley/interview_doris_fuller.shtml)
* In ''Film/ChildsPlay2'' little Andy is seen taking a drag from a cigarette in one scene. This happens really out of nowhere and serves no further purpose to the rest of the story. Also, in the first film he was just a regular nice little boy. You really wonder why the director would include such a scene, especially since we're talking about a small kid.
* In ''Film/ItsAWonderfulLife'' George lights up a cigarette while outside of Harry's party. It might represent his depression, since Harry's getting a lucrative job offer and George is still stuck in Bedford Falls, but otherwise it never comes up again.

[[folder: Literature]]
* In his introductory scene in ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'', [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Karkas]] is smoking and [[SecondFaceSmoke blows some into Tash's face]]. He's not otherwise shown smoking, [[spoiler: even when [[GrandTheftMe in Tash's body]], perhaps because she's not yet fourteen.]]
* The novel ''The Guns of Navarone'' has a section near the end where some of the characters meet at a local Greek bar before beginning the final stage of their mission. One of the English soldiers is already waiting there and is noted to be smoking with some of the locals. The leader of the group informs his comrade he is in fact smoking hashish not tobacco and advises him to stop. The soldier, not realising his mistake obliges but no further mention is made of the fact one of the commandos was going into live combat stoned.
* When first introduced in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' series, head wizard Mustrum Ridcully is, in ''Discworld/ReaperMan'', a militant non-smoker. He adamantly refuses a cigarette claiming that if you could see the inside of your own lungs you'd think twice. But in ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'' he is seen searching his rooms, late at night, for smoking materials, as he really needs tobacco. Either the pressures of the job made him take it up or this is a continuity error/random smoking scene.

[[folder:Live Action Television]]
* This is seen frequently in ''Series/{{Dexter}}''. Sometimes smoking is relevant to the plot (such as DNA from a cigarette butt, or cigar ash as evidence) but sometimes random, normally non-smoking characters smoke.
** Lieutenant Laguerta smokes a cigarette while interrogating Neil Perry, a suspect in the Ice Truck Killer case.
** Masuka is seen smoking a cigarette with Debra outside of the police station on one occasion.
** Rita is seen randomly lighting up once or twice, but this is [[JustifiedTrope justified]] by the fact that she is a former smoker lighting up out of stress.
* Dana Scully from ''Series/TheXFiles'' smokes exactly once in the entire series out of stress while she is by herself in a hotel room, but does not mention it to anyone or even make note of it onscreen. The cigarette is just ''there''. Creator/GillianAnderson is a smoker. In that episode, everyone involved became temporary, literal {{Cosmic Plaything}}s thanks to a rare planetary alignment. It briefly turned the town into a CityOfWeirdos, including the visiting agents.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS1E1AnUnearthlyChild An Unearthly Child]]", the First Doctor is shown [[GoodSmokingEvilSmoking lighting up a pipe]] upon landing on prehistoric Earth - the story is about him being captured by a group of cavemen who want him to create fire for them, but he loses his matches. This was 1963, and public opinion about showing heroic characters in children's shows smoking changed soon afterward, meaning that neither he nor any of his future incarnations are ever seen smoking again. (The ExpandedUniverse, which is a bit less child-friendly, has it that Four occasionally smokes a pipe too or at least enjoys sharing them socially, Eight has a taste for cigarettes and Two is [[TheStoner a bit of a stoner]].)
** "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS14E3TheDeadlyAssassin The Deadly Assassin]]" has a scene where the Fourth Doctor uses a hookah and a pile of his clothes in a chair as a DecoyGetaway, so as to create the illusion that he's smoking in the corner with his back to the door when the Time Lord guards break into his TARDIS. Since he isn't ever seen smoking on screen, it comes across as a bizarre part of the illusion. He isn't shown actually smoking it, though he [[OralFixation pops the end of the pipe into his mouth]] while he's setting it up. Later in the story, though, he [[WakingNonSequitur wakes up from beside a machine that's been burned out]] by saying "do you mind? This is a non-smoking compartment."
** The Doctor has a cigarette case in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS14E4TheFaceOfEvil The Face of Evil]]". It only has jelly babies in it, though he mimes with them like they're cigars.
** Ian lights a cigarette while trying to help Barbara after a car crash in the [[Literature/DoctorWhoNovelisations Target book]] ''Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks''. He never smoked on the show, let alone in the story the book is an AdaptationExpansion of.
* Dixie [=McCall=], while on a break, in one early episode of ''{{Series/Emergency}}''. Although most of the show's actors smoked, this is one of the rare times any of the characters is shown doing it. Of course, this was before hospitals banned it in general.
* Happens frequently in ''Series/{{Grantchester}}'', playing up its [[EverybodySmokes 1950s setting]].

* ''VideoGame/StarcraftII'' has a scene where Raynor and Horner light up big cigars to celebrate their victory over Mengsk. Completing Hanson's missions sees Raynor ''finally'' put the pack of cigarettes he carries in his sleeve to use, but she knocks the cig out of his mouth before he can light up (she is a doctor after all).
* In [[GrandTheftAutoV Grand Theft Auto Online]]'', after a team of characters successfully completes a special mission, sometimes they are briefly in a cut-scene seen smoking a cigarette and stubbing it out.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Parodied in ''WebComic/ExterminatusNow'' with the introduction of [[http://exterminatusnow.co.uk/2003-10-03/comic/meet-the-crew/syrus-the-virus/ Virus]]. He doesn't smoke, but he tries in his opening, and ends up hacking up a lung. This is lampshaded in the next page.
-->'''Eastwood:''' Since when do you smoke?\\
'''Virus:''' I don't.\\
'''Eastwood:''' Then what the hell were you smoking for?\\
'''Virus:''' I was setting the scene, the situation just seemed to call for it.\\
'''Eastwood:''' You mean [[LampshadeHanging it was a lame attempt to look like a badass]].\\
'''Virus:''' Did it work?\\
'''Eastwood:''' Nah, you just looked like a ''regular'' ass.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* WesternAnimation/ClassicDisneyShorts: In the WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse cartoon ''Disney/TheBraveLittleTailor'', the story takes place in a fairy tale setting in the Middle Ages. Yet the giant decides at one point to roll himself an enormous improvised cigarette! Perhaps the historical setting started to annoy him?
* Happens often in the classic ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'', yet in their defense: back in the 1930s-1950s these cartoons were more aimed at adults than children, and the hazardous effects of smoking had not yet been proven. Montage of several smoking scenes in ''Looney Tunes'' can be seen [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaTDAE9FncE here.]]
* Happens a few times in ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'', but in Great Britain these scenes have all been censored thanks to the complaints of a concerned parent.
* Although not in the show itself, ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'' did commercials in the first two seasons extolling the great taste of Winston cigarettes.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** Near the end of the episode "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS5E6MargeOnTheLam Marge on the Lam]]," Marge is seen smoking a cigarette in a [[SmokingIsCool Badass Smoker]] pose. This is really awkward because she normally doesn't smoke and for most of the episode her friend Ruth Powers was acting out the Badass Smoker part.
** In the episode "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS8E9ElViajeMisteriosoDeNuestroJomer El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer]]," Marge is also seen smoking a cigarette to distract Homer from the chili festival in town. Her plan backfires because Homer knows "she doesn't smoke." Later, Homer dismisses her with the words: "Sheesh, why don't you have a cigarette or something?" whereupon Marge concludes: "Mm, I suppose I could."
** In the episode "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS11E12TheMansionFamily The Mansion Family]]," the Simpsons take care of Mr. Burns' mansion. Bart then lights a cigar, only to have it slapped away by Marge.
** In fact, it even [[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/5423098/The-Simpsons-promotes-smoking.html attracted criticism in Australia.]]