aka: Interrupted Catchphrase
Runaway Bus Passenger: Excuse me, uh, do you think you could skip your catchphrase and just hurry up and save us?!A subversion of the Catch Phrase or One-Liner where another character interrupts the expected line, usually with something disparaging. Usually takes advantage of the Dramatic Pause in the middle of the Catch Phrase. Also a sure sign that the once cherished phrase is now at risk of gettin' old. See also Talk to the Fist, Subverted Catch Phrase. Compare Musicalis Interruptus, which is this trope applied to songs, and Finish Dialogue in Unison.
open/close all folders
Anime And Manga
- Angel Beats!: Takeyama's catchphrase ("Call me Christ") became more and more prone to interruptions as the episodes go.
- In later seasons of Pokémon, it became increasingly common for someone to interrupt Team Rocket in the middle of their super-long Catch Phrase.
- Latter seasons? It started already in the latter part of the original series, but then reverted to the status quo after each Theme song change.
- As spoofed here in VG Cats.
- Though Ash actually attempts to do this as early as the fourth episode, only to be met with "Nobody interrupts the Team Rocket motto!" and then they finish it.
- Team Rocket still gets annoyed if they're not allowed to finish the motto, though even they apparently clued in on how old it was getting to an extent, since they've gone through a couple of new (still long) replacement mottos.
- During the Sinnoh arc, they would get interrupted by Barry every time he appeared.
- In one instance, they're about to deliver their motto when they find "the twerps" in Team Rocket outfits, who then declare it to them. Jessie is furious.
- Cilan's "Tasting Time~!" is interrupted midway by Stephan (who proceeds to defeat him) when they battle each other in the Donamite.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has a somber and poignant version of this: The last time anyone says "Who the hell do you think I am", the speaker now aged Simon, cuts himself off because the listener isn't paying attention, so he decides to say that he's no one.
- In the Slayers light novels, Xelloss's last appearance ends with him storming off in a huff after Gourry pre-empts his catchphrase.
Xelloss: Now, I owe you nothing. So with regards to what we were discussing...Gourry: It's a secret, isn't it?Xelloss: Gourry-san, you spoiled everything!
- In episode 5 of Tiger & Bunny, Blue Rose's catchphrase "My ice may be a little cold, but your crime has been put on hold!" is interrupted, much to her dismay.
- From the Wolverine anime: "I'm the best there is at what I do. And what I do isn't very niiiiii-"
- In Tom Strong, Timmy Turbo's catchphrase, "Holy socks!", which precedes nearly every sentence he says, grates so much on his friends that, well...
Holy so- hey, I wasn't really going to say it, guys, I- ow...
- Teen Titans - Raven is chanting her mantra while battling Dr. Light, but Light blasts her before she can finish.
Bit of advice. Find shorter magic words.
- Of course, it turns out she doesn't need to say them to do magic but to maintain control of herself, as he finds out to his misfortune.
- Ironically, the one time Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl manages to finish his catchphrase, "This is the day you will always remember as the day you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow", he is actually caught.
Norrington: Well, I trust it you will always remember this as the day that Captain Jack Sparrow almost escaped. Take him away.
- In X2: X-Men United, Nightcrawler repeatedly tries to introduce himself to people by saying "My name is Kurt Wagner, but in the Munich Circus I was known as the Incredible Nightcrawler", but always gets cut off before he can finish.
- Kevin Smith's Superman Lives script had the phrase "This looks like a job for Superman!" said twice (once by Lois attempting a Borrowed Catch Phrase), and both times it was interrupted before Superman's name could be said.
- In Galaxy Quest, Alexander can't stand the catchphrase of his character ("By Grabthar's Hammer!") and interrupts another character quoting it.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
HYDRA Soldier: Cut off one head, two more shall...Captain America: Avengers—
- Captain America: The First Avenger finds a HYDRA trooper cornered by US soldiers:
[smash to end credits]
- The Silver Chair:
"Many have taken ship at the pale beaches," replied the Warden, "and—""Yes, I know," interrupted Puddleglum. "And few return to the sunlit lands. You needn't say it again. You are a chap of one idea, aren't you?"
- Star Wars Expanded Universe
Random extra: ... But I gotta tell you, I've got a bad—
Han: No time for that now.
- In Animorphs, there's at least one time where Marco cuts off Rachel's traditional "Let's do it!" so he can say it himself. He interrupts her another time to make a bet with Jake as to whether or not she'll say it—she finishes with "Let's go for it!" out of spite.
- In Lois McMaster Bujold's A Civil Campaign, perpetual Phrase Catcher Ivan "You idiot" Vorpatril manages to pre-empt Miles' traditional greeting.
Miles: Ivan you idi—Ivan: Don't . . . say it. I just saved your ass, again. And what thanks do I get, again? None. Nothing but abuse and scorn. My humble lot in life.
- In A Christmas Carol, Scrooge "tried to say 'Humbug!' but stopped at the first syllable."
Live Action TV
- CSI: one of Greg's many transgressions against the Quip to Black is that he sometimes interrupts Grissom, who owns that riff.
- Perfect Strangers: In early seasons, Larry would announce the Zany Scheme of the week by saying "I have... a plan!" In later seasons, every instance of this Catchphrase would replace the "..." with someone else saying "Oh god."
- Mystery Science Theater 3000: Revenge of the Creature. Upon finding himself in orbit around a Planet of the Apes, Mike tries to launch into a sequence of Charlton Heston Catch Phrases, only to have each one interrupted by Professor Bobo, who's heard it all before. ("Damn us all to hell, yes, yes, I know.") Also happened while they were parodying a Catch Phrase.
Tom: To infinityyyy...Crow: Ahem. Disney? Lawsuit?Tom: ...a-and other places!
- In later series of Black Adder, Edmund would frequently anticipate Baldrick's announcement that he had "a cunning plan". Only a Catchphrase Interruptus when he stops Baldrick at "Fear not, my lord", rather than pre-empting the whole phrase.
- In Black Books: In 3rd season episode Party, Manny had convinced Bernard to go to a Parteyh.
Manny: Let's paaaar...Bernard: DON'T YOU DARE USE THE WORD 'PARTY' AS A VERB IN THIS SHOP!!Manny: Let's... poooootter along... in order to attend the party!
- Here's an extreme example: in the second season finale of How I Met Your Mother, Barney starts his Catch Phrase "It's gonna be legen... wait for it..." when the episode ends. It was not until the third season premiere four months later that he got to finish with "..dary!" Also a Brick Joke.
- There was a shorter one earlier on, when Barney fainted from the flu after finishing the first half of his catchphrase, and then waking up at the end of the scene to finish it.
- In the last iteration of the Spanish Inquisition sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus, the Cardinal is cut short by the end of the episode, leading the to the phrase "Nobody expects the Spa... oh, bugger".
- The only time in the entire Star Trek franchise that the Borg were shown to be easily defeated was in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager where they got as far as "Resistance Is -" before being blown out of the sky.
- John Belushi once held Saturday Night Live hostage by refusing to say the show's Opening Catch Phrase. He had a list of demands.
- SNL also did an show-opener parody of American Idol and its unfathomable level of padding in which Jimmy Fallon as Ryan Seacrest kept cutting to commercial, including immediately after returning from commercial ("Welcome back to American Idol. We'll be right back.") and finishing with, "Kimberly, you are... LIVE, FROM NEW YORK... We'll be right back."
- During a time period where SNL was being heavily criticized for being uninspired and lazy, Steve Martin and the cast opened the show with an elaborate musical number about how they were not going to phone it in for once, only to end with Martin booming in grand Broadway fashion, "LIVE FROM NEW YOOOOOOOOOOOORK..." then an awkward pause, then, "...line?"
- Only Fools and Horses has this exchange...
Uncle Albert: During the...
Del Boy: [interrupts Albert] If you say during the war one more time, I'll pour this cup of tea over your head!
Uncle Albert: I wasn't going to say "during the war" actually. You bloody know-it-all!
Del Boy: [Backing down] All right.
Uncle Albert: During the 1939-1945 conflict with Germany.
- Happens all the time to Tenaya 7 in Power Rangers RPM. All she wants to do is finish her speech about how she's the doom of mankind once.
- This exchange from Reba:
Barbra Jean: Yoo hoo! I'm here! And I'm —Reba: Oh, shut up and grab a doughnut!
- In Kamen Rider Decade, DiEnd interrupts his summoned Den-O Sword Form's "I have arrived!" by shooting him with a Final Form shot, turning him into Momotaros. The first thing Momo does is to start bawling out DiEnd for cutting him off mid-sentence.
- In the very next episode, DiEnd performs Decade's usual "World of Cardboard" Speech. When Tsukasa/Decade says "Quit stepping on my lines!", Daiki/DiEnd completes the theft: "I was a 'passing-through Kamen Rider' long before you ever were!"
- Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger episode 14 has the team come out of their Transformation Sequence with Captain Marvelous ready to fight, starting his catchphrase "Let's make a show of it!", only for it to be interrupted when it turns out the villains escaped during the sequence.
Daigo: Hear our roar!Debo Meteor: I'd rather not! (Launches attack)Daigo: The fanged- (Attack hits)
- Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger episode 21 has a more vicious version.
- In the Supernatural episode "Devil May Care" (S09, Ep02), Dean punches Crowley in the face after he says, "Hello" and before he is able to say "boys".
- Frasier's catchphrase from Cheers ("You will rue the day you did that!") only appeared once in Frasier in "Look Before You Leap", and it got cut off by Niles.
Frasier: No, Niles! You can’t leave me now, I need you more now than ever.Niles: Oh, give it up. No one who’s followed your little “take a leap” philosophy has ended up even remotely better. I don’t care what you’re saying, I’m going to Maris.Frasier: You will rue the day- !Niles: (interrupting) I don’t care! Niles gotta have it!
- In Arrested Development the Bluth family's has the shared catchphrase "I've made a huge mistake..." But in season 4, as Maeby finds out that she has inadvertently committed statutory rape, this happens:
Narrator: And Maeby was about to realize that she had made a huge mis-
Maeby: (unconcerned) Nah, I'll be fine!
- Doctor Who:
- In "The Robots of Death", the Fourth Doctor begins his catchphrase of "Hello-o-o, I'm the Doctor. Would you like a jelly ba-" before getting the bag of jelly babies smacked out of his hands by Borg, who is stressed out of his mind. The Doctor gives him a hurt look and tells him just a polite 'no' would have been sufficient.
- In "Kill the Moon", the Twelfth Doctor attempts to say the Second Doctor's catchphrase of "when I say 'run', run..." but is cut off before he can say the final "RUN" by being asked who made him the boss. He responds, "you say 'run', then!"
- Used with an especially long delay in an episode of WWE Raw: Booker T began to yell his catchphrase, "Now can you dig that... SUCKA!" into Christian's face, only for Christian to interrupt by punching Booker, causing a brawl that had to be broken up by officials. Not to be deterred, Booker T reappeared nearly an hour later to finish, bellowing "SUCKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" to Christian, in a hilarious moment that must have horribly confused anybody tuning in late.
- Despite his impeccable mic skills, The Rock has had his catchphrases interrupted many a time, usually with the one interrupting to finish saying whatever it is they had to say. Sometimes, they finish The Rock's phrase themselves. This is often played for laughs and usually ends up badly for the interrupter, as NO ONE interrupts the Great One.
- "Stone Cold" Steve Austin managed to get one over on The Rock several times in a single promo with The Rock returning the favor. Hilarity ensues.
- The Rock did this to himself while going through a list of catchphrases from different WCW wrestlers .note —Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Randy Savage, Bret Hart—until he finally gets to the Most Electrifying Line in Sports Entertainment Today: if ya smell what the Rock is cookin’!
- Mel Blanc, playing a train conductor on The Jack Benny Program, once went into his Catch Phrase, "Train leaving on Track Five for Anaheim, Azusa, and Cuc...", went offstage for a five-minute routine by other members of the show, then came back on stage to shout, "amonga!"
- In the very early gameplay demo of Diablo III in a dialogue between the barbarian hero and Cain, Cain is about to say "stay a while and listen" But before he finishes the word "stay" the barbarian tells him there is no time for idle talk.
Cain: (disgruntled) No one ever listens.
- A silly variant happens in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. Link (being a Heroic Mime) does not have a spoken catchphrase, but he does have that standard animation and tune every time he holds up an important item, and that's what gets interrupted.
- Throughout Tales of Monkey Island, Guybrush tries to say, "You Fight Like a Cow!", but then gets interrupted. The first time is at the beginning of Chapter 1, when he gets interrupted by Elaine; the second is at the beginning of Chapter 2, when Morgan cuts off his hand before he can finish; and the third is in Chapter 4, when both Guybrush and the human LeChuck start saying the catchphrase at the same time, but both stop themselves before they can finish, then look at each other and laugh.
- In episode 26 of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Seto Kaiba commits Catchphrase Interruptus on himself, cutting off Yami's "did you just summon a bunch of monsters in one turn?" before he can actually finish the straight line.
- This happened to Bandit Keith's "In America" as well.
Joey: Let me guess... "In America".Bandit Keith: I wasn't going to say that! (Beat) In America.
- This happened to Bandit Keith's "In America" as well.
- Captain Hammer in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.
"Eeeeeeveryone's a heroooooo in theeeeeeeeeir-" ... gets frozen in time, an entirely different song begins and ends, then gets unfrozen ... "waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay"
- Oh let me guess, "the only way to open a casket is to burn it"?
- During Riley Mcllwain's first season on Is It a Good Idea to Microwave This?, he interrupted Jory's catchphrase (Nobody likes roasted nuts) in every single episode for that season.
- From Red Panda Adventures, after setting up the second "behave yourself" from the episode:
Kit: Have you ever considered a leotard?Red Panda: Kit Baxter-Kit: We've done that bit...
- Red vs. Blue LOVES this trope...
Sarge: Agent Washington, you just got - (blows up the barrels next to Washington) God dammit, I messed up my one liner
- Season 8:
Washington: What the hell? It bounces? Who designs a gun that bounces? This is the worst gun ever. Of all - (Carolina tackles him)
- Season 9:
Mook 1: HeyMook 2: Yeah?Mook 1: You ever wonder why we're - (Cue Pelican)
- Season 10: Not really anyone's catchphrase but a symbolic line for the series anyways
- In the second season of Kim Possible Ron uses his "That would be so cool if it wasn't going to hurt us" twice but gets interrupted both times: first by Wade and another time by himself.
- In an episode of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Bruce Banner attempts his iconic "You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry" catchphrase, only to stop short when he realizes The Falcon has drugged him.
- The second and third seasons of South Park did this in almost every episode with Kenny's deaths, as Stan and Kyle's collective catchphrase from Season One ("Oh My God, They Killed Kenny!" "You Bastards!") would be subverted in some way (In "Prehistoric Ice Man", Kyle wasn't speaking to Stan and so refused to say his line, and in "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000" it was used flatly after Stan and Kyle were the ones responsible for Kenny's death: "Oh my god, we killed Kenny." "We killed Kenny?" "Yep, we're bastards.").
- Done as early as the first season, such as the episode where Kenny dies in a microwave, and Kyle angrily calls the appliance a bastard.
- Or an episode where they have flashbacks and remember everything wrong...including one where they're outrunning Death. Kenny stops, flips him onto his back, and jumps up and down on him, to as speechless "Oh my God, Kenny, you... killed... Death..." "Yeah, you... bastard?"
- Though they occasionally go to great lengths to maintain it. Once Kenny was killed in a mosh pit with only Cartman to witness it. Cartman dutifully breaks out the first half of the phrase, and we cut to a wide outdoor shot wherein Kyle walks up from nowhere and yells the conclusion, then leaves.
Stan: We need you to promise not to tell anybody!
- Though not as well-known as a previous example, the boys had a standard exchange with Chef ("Hello, children! How's it going?/"Bad."/"Why bad?") that was subverted on two occasions: once when Chef scolded them for not being able to solve their own problems, and another time when the boys said that everything was fine, thus tipping Chef off that they were in serious trouble.
- There was also the subversion of Chef's usual practice of having a song for every occasion:
Chef: Now, children, every problem can be worked out. What was it?
Stan: We... killed our teacher and they found our sea-men in her stomach.
Chef: Oh, children, that's a problem we all have to face at one time or another. Here, let me sing you a little song that might cheer you up: ♪Sometimes you kill your teacher / And they find your semen in her stomach / And then you-♪ Wait, what the — WHAT?
- See also The Simpsons episode in which Mr. Burns hires actors to impersonate the Simpsons and Homer's says "B'oh!" ("Homer Simpson doesn't say B'oh!, he says..." * flips through notes* "...D'oh!")
- In a Halloween episode Nelson is in the middle of his catchphrase ("Ha Ha!") when Bart stops time and removes his clothes. A nude Nelson ends up saying "Ha Huh?"
- Reversed in Transformers: Beast Wars, in an instance where instead of getting his Catch Phrase interrupted, Rattrap was left to say the Catch Phrase response himself.
"We're all gonna die... Yeah, yeah, I know, 'Shut up, Rattrap.'"
- In Futurama Bender's Catch Phrase "Bite my shiny metal ass" is interrupted in three occasions. In War is the H-Word, Fry stops Bender from saying the last word because it triggers a voice-activated bomb inside him. In "Roswell That Ends Well", Bender's head falls off the ship as he says, "1947 can bite my shiny metal AAAAAAHHHHH!" In "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings" Bender realizes that he had traded his "butt plate" to the Robot Devil, so it comes out "Bite my shiny metal... Oh, no!"
- Also in War is the H-Word, A list of Bender's most often used words form "Bite my shiny daffodil ass."
- Prof. Farnsworth's "Good news everyone!" was among the first of the show's catchphrases to be parodied. At first by following it with something contradictory ("Good news everyone! There's a news report on the TV with some very bad news...") and finally out and out parody (e.g. "Bad news nobody. The super collider super exploded."). Not to mention;
Cubert: * using a voice changer to sound like the professor* Good news everyone! I'm a horse's butt!Farnsworth: I am? That's not good news at all!
- One of Commander Feral's usual lines in SWAT Kats is "Bring me chopper backup!" By the end of the first season, he starts getting regularly interrupted mid-line - typically due to his helicopter crashing, melting, or what-have-you.
- Occurs in El Tigre when Manny enters a supervillain contest with a bunch of huge hairy men. He tries to console himself...
Manny: You know what they say. The bigger they are...Frida: The more likely they'll cause internal bleeding! I know!
- Tends to happen to Darkwing Duck. Usually due to him being injured or otherwise inconvienced in the middle of his "I am the terror..." routine..
Darkwing: I am the terror that flaps in the night! I am... all out of my trademark blue smoke.Darkwing: I am the terror that flaps [SPLAT] ... on your windshield?
- Occurs in the version first episode of the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. When Michelangelo is about to shout his catchphrase "Cowabunga" from the 1987 series, he gets interrupted by Raphael.
- Regular Show:
Muscle Man: I know someone who can help...Benson: If you say your Mom, you're FIRED!(pause)Muscle Man: My mom!Benson: GET OUT!Muscle Man: It was Worth It!
- In Star Wars: The Clone Wars: "Utinn—" *KICK!*
- Dr. Rockso the Rock n' Roll Clown's constant declarations that he does cocaine are so annoying that many people cut him off either verbally or physically.
Dr. Rockso: I do co—Murderface chokes him with a balloon bass.
- Phineas and Ferb has a horrific scene from "Phineas and Ferb Get Busted", where the boys are sprayed with water (as if from a fire hose) whenever Phineas tries to say "Hey Ferb, I know what we're gonna do today".
- A less vicious one occurs at the start of "We Call It Maze" where Phineas starts, but Ferb just raises his hand and tells him "You don't even need to say it"
- In "Ready for the Bettys", Dr. Doofenshmirtz is interrupted from completing his line "Curse you, Perry the Platypus!" because he keeps getting shot by a tennis ball launcher full of mops.
- In "Candace Disconnected", Dr. Doofenshmirtz gets as far as "Curse you, Perry the—" before his cell-phone rings with a call from his daughter Vanessa. He answers the call, chats with Vanessa a bit, then briefly puts her on hold so he can finish: "—Platypus!"
- From the beginning of an episode of The Powerpuff Girls.
Narrator: The City of—Mayor: Never mind that hoohah! I've got an emergency!
- At the end of Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders:
Steve: And we would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for...Officer: Yeah, yeah, yeah...