->''"Now we implement the three Ws of a [[TheStakeout stake-out]]. We wait. We watch. We whittle."''
-->-- '''Darkwing''', ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck''

The trap has been set. Now, it's time for someone to fall into it. Or, the heroes have discovered the evil plan, but there's nothing they can actually do about it until the plan is in motion. So you line up the cannon, circle the horses, and...

->'''Sidekick:''' What do we do now?\\
'''Hero:''' We wait. (or "Now we wait." or "We wait. What else can we do?")

If it's the hero having this exchange, it's often followed by a TimeCompressionMontage. If it's the villain, [[NoDelaysForTheWicked we generally cut directly to our heroes approaching the trap]].

Note that if someone [[LeeroyJenkins gets tired of waiting and attempts pre-emptive action]], the consequences are usually dire.

Used to be commonly rendered as "And now we play the Waiting Game...", but this line is now ''[[DeadHorseTrope never]]'' [[DeadHorseTrope played straight]]. Take this example from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':

->'''Homer:''' And now we play the Waiting Game...\\
''[Several seconds of silence]''\\
'''Homer:''' Ah, the Waiting Game sucks. Let's play Hungry Hungry Hippos.

The WaitingPuzzle is the video game version. Compare TheStakeout.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Said by veteran Igarashi to rookie Rin in salvage manga ''Manga/WaGaNaWaUmishi''. Rin whines about the team having fun when people are in trouble. Igarashi shoots him down: Being a pro means doing nothing unless the time is right.
* Lampshaded in the Neighbourhood Cluck ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' abridged parody of the first movie, ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=691QC67dUAs]] ''
-->'''Piccolo:''' It's a rule of Dragon Ball: We wait.

* Invoked in the penultimate confrontation of ''Film/TheBluesBrothers'': Bob and the Good Ole Boys have bought tickets to the Blues Brothers' show, and must now wait for the band to actually come on stage.
** Subverted by the police, who must also wait, but in their case, it's because the officer in charge wants to see the band play before they arrest them.
* While planning to drug the tiger in the bathroom, the character Alan is set up to deliver this line in "Film/TheHangover".
* In ''Film/HarryPotter'' when Hermione and Harry see their past selves in Hagrid's hut, Harry wants to rush in and capture Peter Pettigrew [[spoiler: who is hiding as Scabbers, Ron's rat]]. Hermione says they must wait until actions they take won't disrupt what for them are past events. She and Harry are forced to wait until the group comes back out of the tunnel, knowing that Pettigrew gets away and Lupin will change into his werewolf form.
** Since this was a StableTimeLoop world, it wasn't just that they shouldn't - logically, they couldn't.
* In ''Film/StarTrek'', [[BigBad Nero]] says this when his ship arrives at the coordinates where Ambassador Spock is going to enter the alternate timeline. In this case, they only have to wait for about a minute.

* The ''Literature/{{Doom}}'' novels had this trope invoked frequently from the second book through the fourth book, generally expressed as "Hurry up and wait."
* Many Franchise/SherlockHolmes stories include Holmes, Watson, and Lestrade waiting for the criminal to fall in Holmes' trap.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' Illyrio Mopatis' [[spoiler: plan to restore the Targaryens has involved over 15 years of this.]] As changing events required repeated extensions of the wait time, [[spoiler: Lord Connington gets tired of it and goes off-script, invading Westeros with Aegon without reaching Danaerys.]]
* In Creator/LarryNiven's ''Literature/{{Protector}}'', the transmogrified super-intelligent Brennan is taking the hero on a sub-light {{Ramscoop}} ride to Alpha Centauri. The hero is riding in a stasis chamber, so that the years-long journey will pass in an instant for him. Mid-way through the trip, though, a battle with a Pak ramscoop forces them to throw the stasis chamber at their attackers, thus depriving the hero of a means of waiting out the remaining years to their destination. Brennan asks, "Just how much boredom can you stand?"
* In part 2 of ''Literature/LifeOfPi'', this was one of Pi's strategies for dealing with Richard Parker. He was originally going to outlast and wait for the tiger to die of starvation/thirst. But eventually after realizing the tiger would be desperate enough to attack him, as well as hearing it offer a sound of friendship, Pi decides to keep the tiger alive on the lifeboat, and establish an Alpha-Omega relationship with it to protect himself.
* ''Literature/{{Edgedancer}}'' (a novella of ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive''): Lift tells this to Wyndle as they begin TheStakeout. This being said, she gets tired of it pretty quickly and goes to sleep, telling Wyndle to hold the fort and wake her up if anything happens.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/OurMissBrooks:'' Miss Brooks stakes out a burglar in the episode "The Burglar".
* Used for comedy on 'What It's Like Being Alone', on which this is EmoTeen Aldous' favourite pastime. When asked what they're waiting for, she replies "Well, eventually, we die."'
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Vincent and the Doctor" shows why the Doctor fails at this trope.
* The producers of ''Series/TheAmazingRace'' are famous for subjecting their contestants to a variation of this trope. At the beginning of many legs of the race we're told "''[=Racer A=]'' and ''[=Racer B=]'' who arrived first at 1:53 p.m. will now depart at 1:53 a.m." And with the last place team we're told "''[=Racer M=]'' and ''[=Racer N=]'' who arrived at 4:14 p.m. will now depart at 4:14 a.m." Then the teams race to the airport to find that the first available flight to their destination doesn't leave until noon. Or they race to some local tourist trap that doesn't open until 10 a.m.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'' Season Five: The characters have become {{trapped in the past}}, which is still an improvement over random, erratic and increasingly frequent {{time travel}} they've been experiencing. When asked "{{Now what}}", Sawyer replies "[[TheSlowPath We wait]]".

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' has the aptly named card [[http://magiccards.info/od/en/102.html Standstill]].
--> "Take your time."

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', when Tidus asks what they should do while Yuna is praying to the Fayth, Kimahri answers: "Pick spot. Shut up. Wait."
* NES action-adventure/rail shooter ''VideoGame/TheGuardianLegend'' has this advice for opening a locked door: "Wait, wait forever..."
* The Mother in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening'' reacts to the loss of Kal'Hirol with this and a fine, healthy and educational [[EvilLaugh evil laugh]].

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' [[TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness Hereti-Corp]]'s overall plan for finding Dr. Steve's base lab is to wait until Torg (one of only three or four living people who's been there) gets scared enough of Oasis that he goes to the lab looking for a tool or weapon to stop her with. May be the best strategy, since their two attempts to force the information out of Torg both ended with a lot of Hereti-Corp personnel getting killed.
** The Fate Spiders, after they [[WindsOfDestinyChange make some alterations to the Web of Fate]], sit back to see whether their efforts save the world, since the actions of character(s) who are ImmuneToFate make even their long term predictions somewhat uncertain.
** And the [[http://sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/20070912 Sentient Cream Pies With Great Comic Timing]].
--->'''Banana Cream Pie:''' What do we do, Chocolate?
--->'''Chocolate Cream Pie:''' We bide our time, Banana. We bide our time.
* ''Webcomic/{{Jerkcity}}'' [[http://www.jerkcity.com/jerkcity652.html uses this]] after they seek help from a [[QueerPeopleAreFunny god of dicks]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Salacia, the leader of TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness watching Dethklok in ''WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}}'' is constantly telling his underlings, "We Wait," "We Watch," "It's too soon," or some variation thereof. When two of them actually try to do something, one gets killed, and the other eventually gets brainwashed. [[spoiler:Salacia ''[[MoleInCharge wants]]'' Dethklok to bring about the prophesied Metalocalypse, and thus prevents his Illuminati-like group from taking action to prevent it.]]
* Subverted by Mr. Burns on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''.
-->'''Mr. Burns:''' I could crush him like an ant, but it would be too easy. No, revenge is a dish [[BestServedCold best served cold]]. I'll bide my time until ... Oh, what the hell. I'll just crush him like an ant.
* A ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' manatee joke has Peter as Zan of the Wonder Twins. He/Jayna get called on a mission. She leaves, he turns into a tampon and jumps into her purse:
-->Now we play the waiting game.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' revolves around the main characters sitting around and waiting to see exactly how the titular characters inventions keep disappearing right before their mother gets home. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qia8DnY6-mg They even break out into a song about how they're waiting for something to happen.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheAwesomes'' Dr. Malocchio proclaims that with the first stage of his plan complete all they have to do now is wait. Then one of his minions suggests that instead they go get sushi and come back, which he agrees is a better plan.
* ''WesternAnimation/DangerMouse'': In "The Great Bone Idol," Count Duckula has found the Great Bone Idol. Greenback has opened it and released the imprisoned bark of Cerebrus eminating from a bone which is calling upon all the dogs in the world. With the bone in his hand, Duckula asks what's next. "We wait," says Greenback. Duckula then tosses the bone back into the idol and it locks back up. Greenback, Duckula and Stiletto are now overwhelmed by dogs with no way of controlling them.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The idiom "Hurry up and wait"
** Used a lot in the theatre and music worlds, where you need to be in a specific place at a certain time for a certain time, often well before you actually have anything to do there. Most calls for rehearsals or performances are ''at least'' half an hour before a player is needed on stage.
** Airports, where you're supposed to be there two hours ahead of time for the security stuff, and spend an hour and 45 minutes waiting on it. (Unless, of course, you show up on time, [[SodsLaw in which case it'll take two hours...]])
* [[BreakingTheFourthWall Half of your life seems to be that]]. [[ComicallyMissingThePoint Because sometimes there is nothing better to do]]. Still waiting for that reply to your application? Too bad, the employer's having lunch right now.
* Every single armed force ever. Especially if you are traveling via military airlift. Show up two hours early, and ''then'' expect to sit on the plane for another two hours before the engines start.
* From Website/ChuckNorrisFacts: "Chuck Norris doesn't sleep. He waits."