Breathless Non Sequitur

Similar to the Deadpan Snarker routine but without the emotional range. These are gags snuck into the middle or ends of conversation without changes in inflection or pacing. The delivery should be matter-of-fact, not sarcastic (usually). For obvious reasons, the more outstanding or shocking the statement, the better.

The point is to move the conversation to the next subject before the audience has time to react to what just happened. This can help make a Black Comedy more palatable by pretending the Dude, Not Funny! jokes never occurred. Did you just hear what you thought you did? No, don't be silly. We're talking about something else now. These aren't the jokes you're looking for. Move along.

Pretty much the antithesis to using a Laugh Track. Compare Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick, Distracting Disambiguation and Rapid-Fire Comedy.


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    Anime and Manga 


    Live Action Television 
  • Happens continuously throughout Arrested Development. A prime example:
    Barry Zuckercorn: Oh, I could kiss you on the [bleep].
    Michael: Yeah, fine — What!?
  • On The Colbert Report, Stephen discussed the possibility of a giant space spider merging with his DNA (It Makes Sense in Context) having "Stephen Colbert's cunning and taste for human flesh"; in the midst of such a crazy monologue, you could blink and miss that.
    • Also used by Colbert as Raven in Wigfield.
  • On Scrubs:
    The Todd: Doctor Turk should be chief because he's skilled technically, he's super efficient, he's got an awesome dong, he's great with laparoscopic procedures, uh, patients love him—
    Dr. Cox: (whistles sharply) What was that middle one?
    The Todd: Laparoscopic?
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 10 finale:
    Liz Donnelly: I can't believe that son of a bitch had the nerve to come after me! You pull him out of that jail cell, don't bother bringing him to Court! I want to kick his ass myself!! You didn't hear any of that.
  • Firefly has Simon give a very calm explanation to Jayne that despite the latter's behavior toward the Tams "he is always safe" on Simon's operating table. After he leaves, River follows up with "Also I can kill you with my brain."
  • During a flashback to Reverend Jim's straitlaced college days on Taxi, his girlfriend tries to hide the special brownie ingredient this way.
    Jim: Now come on, Heather, what's in the brownies?
    Heather: Sugar, eggs, chocolate, marijuana, flour, and walnuts.
  • In Season 3 of 24, Tony is interrogating Nina Myers. After he finishes demanding the information they need on Marcus Alvers, whom it became obvious that she knew quite well despite her claims, she replies, "Your neck is bleeding".
  • The Saturday Night Live character Mr. Subliminal (played by Kevin Nealon) hinged on rapid firing of these into a normal monologue.
    Phil Maloney (asking a woman on a date): "If we finish dinner early hot sex maybe we'll go back to my apartment hot sex and watch some television?"
  • Brittany from Glee is made of this trope.
  • American Horror Story: Murder House's Chad invokes this so well in "Halloween", it works In-Universe:
    Pat: [leaving] I'm hitting the gym.
    Chad: Well make sure you wear a condom. And pick me up some gala apples. I thought these golden delicious would look dramatic in the bobbing bucket, they just look dull and depressing... there's no contrast.
    Pat: [re-enters] Why would I wear a condom at the gym?
    Chad: Maybe because you're screwing that twink trainer of yours? And I need gourds. I'm going to hang them on the tree out front... spray paint them and they're going to be these clever, little, organic ghosts.
  • In Gilmore Girls, Lorelei explains to Max that this is her method of dealing with Taylor at town meetings. She gets progressively stranger until he gives up and moves on.


    Tabletop Games 
  • In these sorts of games, the sourcebooks being text-based as they are and thus subject to the speed of the reader, these are usually meant to be obscured in the middle of the text and only caught on a careful read-through, and may even need referencing to make sure.
    • For example, in describing a particular series of overly-chatty droid, one of the commentators in Star Wars: Saga Edition's Scavenger's Guide to Droids, the supervisor droid who has worked with a wide variety of model, casually notes that she had to rip out its vocoder to get it to shut up. She also comments on how a particular droid of another model that failed its master would have been turned inside out by her. This is explained if you paid attention to the text and saw that she was an EV-series droid, a supervisor droid model detailed in the book, described as having a number of units accidentally getting a torture droid's motivator installed. (The head of Jabba's droid retinue in Return of the Jedi was an EV-series droid.)
    • The West End Games' Imperial Sourcebook has a bit in the fluff describing the myriad problems that occurred in getting the first Star Destroyers built. "The Navy loved it, of course, and through a combination of bribes, political pressure, and a rash of mysteriously-crushed tracheas, it slowly brought others into line."
    • Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Dungeons Masters guide has this one from a table of '100 random traits' "No sense of humor, see #26". Of course, the list only contains 99 items. Guess which one is missing.
    • The Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Expanded Psionics Handbook contains a very long list of powers. One of these powers, called "Deja Vu," is listed once in its proper placement alphabetically, and again a couple of pages later (still in the D's, so it is quite possible, while skimming through, to think neither is out of place).
  • The second Edition GURPS rulebook had one of these: its index of Skills listed a Fnord skill, to be found on page 257. Naturally, the book had only 256 pages.

    Video Games 
  • GlaDOS from Portal. By the time you figure out what she just said, you're stuck in the middle of another Death Trap.
    • Cake and grief counseling?
    "You will be baked. And then there will be cake."
    • Cave Johnson could give master classes:
    Johnson: Allright, this next test may involve trace amounts of time travel; so, a word of advice: If you meet yourself on the testing track, don't make eye contact. Lab boys tell me that could wipe out time. Entirely. Forward and backward. So, do both of yourselves a favor and let that handsome devil go about his business


    Johnson: Oh, in case you got covered in that repulsion gel, here's a little advice the lab boys gave me: Do not get covered in the repulsion gel. We haven't entirely nailed down what element it is yet, but it's a lively one, and it does not like the human skeleton.
  • Miss Pauling at the end of the Team Fortress 2 video "Expiration Date", when Scout offers to help her with her work:
    Miss Pauling: Let's see, tomorrow I’m… belt-sanding the fingerprints off of filed corpses.
    Scout: Ah, no!
    Miss Pauling: Oh! You can help me yank the molars out of a box of heads.
    Scout: Ah, no! No to that.
    Miss Pauling: Well, Friday I have to kill someone who pressed a briefcase alarm button, and… Oh you’re already going to be at that one… note 

    Web Original 
  • Filthy Frank: A large portion of the humor of the show. Also, the tags in the descriptions of the videos.
  • Zero Punctuation consists largely of this trope.
  • When The Nostalgia Chick reviewed Disney's Pocahontas, there's a point where she mentions some of the discrepancies between the movie and actual history: "...and needless to say, he (John Smith) was a short, portly brown-head, not the golden-haired Adonis that we see before us in the movie. Also, Pocahontas was twelve."
  • Pretty much everything out of raocow's mouth is this. He just rambles and doesn't stop, and it often results in some very, very bizarre Let's Play commentary.
  • PONY.MOV: "...My daddy makes me put glass in my vagina."
  • From Not Always Right:
    Caller: “Oh, so you’re an umbrella corporation, then?”
    Me: “Yes, sir, that’s correct. Except we don’t have zombies.”
    Caller: “I’m sorry, what?”
    Me: “Never mind, sir. Did you have any other questions today?”
  • Mike does it on Idea Channel all the time.

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy, and Seth MacFarlane shows in general, are well-known for this.
    Party Planner: We have many flavors of ice cream: vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, and people.
    Peter: What was that last one?
    Planner: Chocolate.
  • Danny Phantom has a few examples. Here's an exchange from the episode Maternal Instinct, where in one scene, Vlad is attempting to convince Maddie to ditch Jack:
    Vlad: ...Causing the accident that ruined my life, stealing you, the backwash incident...
    Maddie: Wait, what was that last part?
    Vlad: The backwash incident?
    Maddie: No, before that.
    Vlad: Causing the accident that ruined my life?
    Maddie: (frustrated) IN. THE. MIDDLE.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: All the ponies are arguing amongst themselves about the reasons why they should get the extra ticket to the Grand Galloping Gala. When Twilight yells at them to be quiet, all of them do except Pinkie Pie:
    Twilight Sparkle: BE QUIIIIIEEEEEEET!!!
    Pinkie Pie: then I said "Oatmeal? Are you crazy?"

  • In an interview, Stephen Fry described a game he and his friends used to play in hotels and places like that, where they had to go up to someone who worked there and say something wildly inappropriate ("Could I lick you out?" in the example he used), but disguise it this way and get away with it. If you do it fast and don't change your tone, either it won't register at all or people will assume they misheard you.
  • Derren Brown has some tricks like this, where he apparently gets people to hand over their wallets, watches and other valuables by casually asking for them in the middle of getting directions. The end credits of one episode of Trick of the Mind featured some Hilarious Outtakes of this not working.