Distantly related to the Description Cut
, the Anticlimax Cut
is a scene change where the resolution to a setup is much less exciting, sexy, dangerous, or supernatural than what the audience was led to expect. The resulting Anticlimax
is Played for Laughs
, making this a Comedy Trope
For example, Bob's in a tricky situation and at the end of his rope. He announces with much drama
to his friends that he's about to head into the lion's den to do battle. Cut to: Bob in Alice's
apartment, begging her for a loan.
This may also play on a specific
audience expectation: For example, if Bob is the holder of a Dangerous Forbidden Technique
and declares that he must now "do something he'd promised never to do again", you can expect some befuddlement when the scene cuts to Bob at his old part-time job as a Burger Fool
Works very effectively in hybrid genres such as action/comedy or dramedy
, as the audience might have a reasonable expectation of something sexy/dangerous/supernatural/etc. happening. In pure comedy, almost any dire pronouncement is liable to end in an Anticlimax Cut
, making them easier to spot coming.
Compare Charge Into Combat Cut
, Description Cut
, and Not So Dire
. See also Anticlimax
. If only the audience
perceives any Anticlimax while the characters take it seriously, may overlap with Mundane Made Awesome
or Faux Horrific
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Anime and Manga
- The final episode of Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu features the entire class (and, after much Hilarity Ensues, the entire school) being accidentally infected by a biological weapon Sousuke brought to the school. At the episode's climax, Sousuke brings his Love Interest Kaname to the sick room, puts her on a bed, and tells her to strip. Kaname obviously expects a specific trope — until a cut reveals that the 'biological weapon' was an experimental nylon-dissolving bacteria. It only causes light flu-like symptoms in humans, but dissolves practically all clothing on the school grounds. Sousuke brought her to the sick bed because it was the closest source of cotton curtains Kaname could use to stay modest.
- In the 2000 remake of Bedazzled 2000, Brendan Frasier's character wants supernatural proof that the Devil is who she claims to be. He wishes for a Big Mac and a large Coke. Cut to...them riding on a bus, then standing in front of a counter at McDonalds, where the Devil orders a Big Mac and large coke, and stiffs Brendan Frasier for the bill. There's a similar scene in the original, except that Stanley wishes for an ice cream, and ends up having to pay for it.
- The Man Who Knew Too Little: In one scene, Wallace tells Lori that he's not completely a good guy, and that if she wants his help, she'll have to do something for him. The dialogue is set up to make the viewer think Wallace is talking about sex...then the scene cuts to Wallace driving Lori's Cooper Mini.
- In Orgazmo, Chode-boy thinks back to the time he vowed never to use his hamster style again. Cut to a little kid telling his father, "I'm not going to do hamster style anymore." "Okay."
- Kung Pow! Enter the Fist uses this in a series of flashbacks, when Master Tang reveals his knowledge of the Chosen One.
Master Tang: He told me there would be a Chosen One
Ling's Father (in flashback): There will be... a Chosen One!
Master Tang: And then he told me of the significance.
Ling's Father (in flashback): It will be...significant!
- In The Muppets Rowlf complains that he wasn't shown in a montage of Muppets being recruited for a revival show. Cut to his scene:
Kermit: "Hey Rowlf, you wanna get back together?"
- In Go, the Victors head to L.A. after their run-in with Simon to take revenge on him. They track down Todd (whose credit card Simon was using) instead. A brutal beat down follows? Nope. Instead, we see Todd and the Victors sitting a table together while Todd draws a map to Simon's place.
- Scott Pilgrim vs. the World features this as Scott is about to face Nega Scott (a Shout-Out to Dark Link). Scott warms up to take him on: and then it cuts to Scott and Nega Scott talking about having pancakes as they exit the Chaos Theater.
Live Action TV
- The Order of the Stick
- #328: After having passed the Tests of the Body and Mind, one guarded by a hydra and the other a riddle, the Order finds themselves face-to-face with the guardian of the final Test of the Heart.
"Pray to what gods you serve that you will be deemed worthy of this rare honor! Find your reserves of courage, warriors, for the Test of the Heart begins—NOW!!"
Cut to: Roy in a chair at a doctor's clinic, a stethoscope over his heart.
"Pulse rate is 60... blood pressure is 85 over 60... You pass. Next!"
- Happens again here, when Nale has disguised himself as Elan and wants to find information about the Gates:
Nale: "I need to devise some scheme, some elaborate machination, by which I could unearth more information concerning this gate..."
(cut to Shojo telling the heroes, and Nale, everything about the Gates)
- Irregular Webcomic! lampshades it here, with a link to this page. Despite the link, the actual trope the comic seems to be referring to is Offscreen Moment of Awesome.
- At the end of Book 12 of Schlock Mercenary, Tailor and Ennesby discuss what will happen in Haven Hive after they removed the prior power structure, leaving Shep with a squad of milspec robots to control things. Right after Ennesby predicts some unscrupulous outsider will take charge, it cuts to Shep's mom, in charge, with one of the 'bots holding a tray of lemon bars as she orders the drains vacuumed.
- From Danny Phantom:
Tucker: Looks like we're gonna miss the movie.
Sam: Unless we find some way to ignore all speed limits, red lights, and certain laws of physics.
Closeup on Danny looking sly. Cut to: ...the kids in an RV going about 120 miles an hour, driven by Danny's dad.
Tucker: Couldn't you've just flown us?
Danny: The way my dad drives, this is faster.
- One episode of Family Guy has an obvious Cutaway Gag setup where Stewie complains about missing an awesome F-16 airshow featuring nude cheerleaders performing acrobatics all choreographed to the music of Queen. "I remember that day!" ...cut to Stewie sitting on his couch, bored. "Shoulda gone to that thing."
- A different gag shows "The worst day in that man's life": a man is in Hiroshima late in World War II. He hears a falling noise, sees a shadow form directly underneath him, and has enough time to yell "Oh... my... GOD!" right before... an ape falls on his face and starts attacking him.
- From ''Futurama:
You mean people will pay good money for romance? I think I have a scheme so deviously clever that I— *Smash Cut
$500 and time served. Bender:
Stupid anti-pimping laws.
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold: while working with the Marvel family, Batman is deaging, and Mr Mind has managed to get the Marvels to stop working with each other. Batman, by now a toddler, muses on how he can bring them back together with cunning psychological manipulation...which, since The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body, takes the form of using bat-gadgets to send each one a crayon sketch of them fighting while Baby Bats cries in the background. It works.
- The follow-up comic "The Promise" makes this out of Zuko's last scene in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Zuko confronts his father in prison and demands to know where his mother is. Ozai's response? "Bring me some tea."
- The Fairly OddParents: When Timmy, Cosmo and Wanda entered a scavenger hunt, one of the items was a Pot of Gold from the 15th century. Timmy commented on how leprechauns are usually protective of their gold. Cut to a leprechaun willingly giving them his pot.
- In the Kung Fu Panda special Secrets of the Furious Five, Po is telling Viper's story to a group of rabbit children:
Po: Now I bet you're wondering... where's the kicking butt?
Po: Patience, o small ones. It begins... NOW!
(scene cuts to a night sky)
Po: Okay, well not right now...