There's a climactic battle going on all around. Suddenly, something happens and both sides
turn and stand around watching in horror or surprise. They may even exchange glances, shrug, or give up fighting altogether
The results of this trope are usually Delayed Reaction
, a resumption of hostilities, or total embarrassment.
Supertrope of Battle Halting Duel
. See also Mid-Battle Tea Break
. Can result in a Pass the Popcorn
this trope tends not to cover arguments but does cover fights of all other kinds.
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- In a Volkswagen commercial, a pair of praying mantises halt their fight to watch a beetle (representing the VW Beetle) cruise by.
Anime And Manga
- In Sora No Woto, "Amazing Grace" is all that is needed to stop the Helvetican and Roman armies from charging at each other.
- Issei in High School DXD somehow manages to summon the freaking breast god. EVERYONE stops fighting and turns to look at him like he was going crazy.
- Mummymon, Arukenimon, Tapirmon and Digitamamon's reaction to Azulongmon appearing in Digimon Adventure 02.
- One Piece:
- Towards the conclusion the Marineford arc, everyone pauses to watch and listen to Koby's desperate plea to stop all the fighting.
- For a more humorous example, Luffy and Whitebeard exchange words after the former arrives at Marineford. To Ivankov and Buggy's disbelief, Luffy loudly declares to the world's strongest man that he's going to be the Pirate King, not Whitebeard. Cue a collective Jaw Drop from all the Marines and pirates in the vicinity as they raise their hands in shock.
- In one Archie Comics episode, Archie and Reggie are judging a boxing match, proud that they're too civilized to do anything so vulgar as box. They start arguing, and the last panel is the two boxers watching Archie and Reggie beating the crap out of each other.
- A one-shot page in a furry comic had the Godzilla fight going on outside a skyscraper window coming to a halt while they ogle the female skunk in the room as she's disrobing and presenting them with a perfect view of her backside in the process.
- In the horror miniseries North Forty, a small rural town in the American South has been cut off from the rest of reality and a number of its inhabitants either turned to monsters or granted superpowers (the line can be blurry). The local sheriff (unmutated) is facing a clan of hostile trailer trash (several mutated, including one who made a Hulk-like transformation, but retained his normal - which is to say, sub-standard - intelligence). Both groups are attacked by a scrap-metal construct built by a third party. The Hulk-like character tries to attack the construct, only to be sent flying. The Sheriff and the leader of the trailer trash pause in their dispute to watch him fly by.
- In chapters 93-95 of A Growing Affection, everyone in a certain large battle stops to stare when Minato (or rather his soul that Orochimaru accidentally summoned) announces that he is Naruto's father.
- Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act III: In chapter 8, Dark is outright trying to murder Tsukune, convinced that Tsukune can't be trusted to keep the ghoul contained, with Mizore and Felucia agreeing with him and fighting Moka and Kokoa to prevent them from intervening. All fighting stops when the edge of the cliff Dark and Tsukune are fighting on gives way, forcing the four girls to drop everything to pull the boys back up... which leads to Dark, Mizore, and Felucia seeing just how durable the Holy Lock is and accepting that the ghoul is indeed sealed away.
Films — Animated
- In the Fox and the Hound sequel, Cheif and Todd pause their chase to watch Amos Slade, who has wound up on the back of a cow, in his underwear, covered in mud and with a beehive on his head. Copper joins them to watch the spectacle, all of them sharing glances and a simultaneous "Uh Oh."
Films — Live-Action
- Happens occasionally in Tales of the Branion Realm, usually when an Animal Battle Aura appears over the battlefield or an Angst Nuke knocks both sides off their feet.
- In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix this happens near the end when Ron, who is befuddled by a spell, picks up a floating brain from a tank and everyone turns to watch in horror.
- In the scene "What A Game" of Ragtime the Braves and Giants fans suddenly stop their confrontation when something exciting happens on the baseball field. The confrontation is not yet physical, but it is implied that it is approaching physicality.
- In Blood Rites of The Dresden Files, an entropy curse results in a vampire being killed by a frozen turkey fallen from a passing plane. The melee (between Harry, two vampires, and two of another kind of vampire) stops to stare in confused silence because, "Even by the standards of the quasi-immortal creatures of the night, that ain't something you see twice."
- This happens during the rock fight in Stephen King's IT: all of the kids (Ragtag Bunch of Misfits and Jerk Jocks alike) stop fighting and turn to watch Victor Criss and Bill Denbrough start a dual rock-throwing Unflinching Walk towards one another. Even Henry pauses to watch.
- In Unseen Academicals, the game is nearly over anyway (just not officially over; the Dean hasn't blown his whistle) when the sudden appearance of Pedestriana stops everyone in their tracks. Even Andy stops, though he makes the unwise choice to resume hostilities afterwards.
- The Far Side by Gary Larson has one where two sides of a battle stop to wait for a hornet to calm down.
- Even better? The "battle" is Little Big Horn.
- In the Doctor Who story Battlefield, the King Arthur one, there's a moment in Mordred and Ancelyn's final duel where they break apart for a moment — and the Doctor walks right between them,◊ casually tipping his hat as he passes, on his way to his own final confrontation with Morgaine. Mordred and Ancelyn stare after him for a moment before remembering that they were in the middle of fighting to the death.
- In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Anne", Buffy's fight with the demons is interrupted by the head demon holding a knife to Lilly. He announces that their fight is lost and he'll kill Lilly to make an example. Lilly kills him instead. A beat later, the main fight resumes.
- In Band of Brothers, when Spiers makes a suicidal run through Foy to make contact with I Company, both sides stop firing for a brief moment simply because they couldn't believe what they were seeing.
- There's a scene in The Wire where Chris and Snoop, the most lethal enforcers for the Stanfield gang that owns West Baltimore, come to intimidate the leader of a rival gang into becoming part of their organization. In the middle of this, a sixth grader suddenly rides past in an expensive SUV that he carjacked, music blaring from the windows. Everyone takes a couple of moments to stare before getting back to business.
- Girl Genius: Mid-combat, when the circus wagons come to life, there's a good pause where Wooster and Dupree just gawk.
- An early Sluggy Freelance arc is titled "Game Called On Account Of Naked Chick," which starts when a fight between Torg and Bun Bun comes to an abrupt end when they stumble into a lake where Oasis is bathing.
- Homestuck: In [S] Caliborn: Enter, PM and Jack Noir stop for a moment to survey the foreboding cracks in reality.
- When a total eclipse of the sun occurred while Lyda and Media were fighting a battle in ancient times, both commanders recognized the wrath of the gods when they knew it. They signed a peace treaty, went home and never waged war against each other again. This is actually the earliest historic event that can be dated to an exact day: it was May 28, 585 B.C.
- One source claims that in an aerial battle over Germany, a B-17 pilot attempted to bail out. His parachute got snagged in an aircraft and he was basically being dragged behind the plane. The writer recalls the entire battle coming to a stop while people stared in horror, until a fighter pilot put him out of his misery.
- The Mount Vesuvius Eruption of March 1944. Fighting (at least on the ground) came to a halt as both sides watched the event.