A character holds up a cue card
for another character to read, usually while hidden. Expect the reader to be Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud
Also included are Teleprompters
. See also Cue Card Pause
, Throwing Out the Script
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy has the main character relying on teleprompters to the point of not knowing what he's actually saying.
- Fatal Instinct: as Ned Ravine is reading a captured bank robber his Miranda rights, his partner holds up cue cards with the words written on them.
- In Idiocracy, President Camacho starts his speech by declaring "Shit!" followed by a long pause. Cut to the teleprompter which reads "Shit!" and is still slowly scrolling to the next line.
- A blooper reel shows two of the main cast of Star Trek Into Darkness being pranked this way.
- In Captain America: The First Avenger, Cap uses cue cards (taped on the back of his shield so he can read them easily) during his first USO show.
- The Sarcasm Sign on The Big Bang Theory.
- In the made-for-TV-movie The Adventures of Captain Zoom in Outer Space, Ty Farrel, the actor who plays the hero on a 1950's children's TV show is actually such an incompetent actor that he reads all his lines from cue cards.
- Since Saturday Night Live is a live show with guest stars who are often busy or not even actors, they tend to use cue cards. Often for humor purposes, the cue cards are deliberately shown or otherwise used humorously.
- One sketch depicts a morning talk show where the teleprompter suddenly break down. The hosts, without anything telling them what to say for the first time, panic and go completely insane.
- When Andy Kaufman guested on Fridays he went (Kayfabe) off script, saying "I can't do this;" cast member Michael Richards went off camera, grabbed the cue cards, and tossed them at Kaufman. Link.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Under the Lake", Clara has cue cards for the Doctor in case he says something insensitive because of his Lack of Empathy.
- A Spitting Image American special had a send up of Bob Hope who is so dependent on cue cards that he needs a cue card guy to feed the question, "Where are my cue cards?"
- Several episodes of You Can't Do That on Television featured production assistant Ross holding up cue cards for the kids to read on the link set. In some scenes, the kids would also be shown holding cue cards containing Ross' lines, usually while trying to make a point about the series' spontaneity.
- Angel: In "That Old Gang of Mine", Angel is apologising to Merle for torturing him for information the previous year. Merle has his doubts that Angel really means it, as he's reading his apology from cue cards.
- Marlon Brando read most of his lines in The Godfather off cue cards. IMDB also says that in Superman his lines were written on baby Kal-El's diaper. Brando was notorious for not bothering to memorize his lines or often even to read the script, and then turning in amazing performances anyway while reading his lines from a cue card.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy: Edd holds up cue cards for Ed to read while he talks with Johnny. Despite screwing up, he manages to find Johnny's problem.
Ed: Sit down and say hello, Johnny!
Johnny: Uh... hello?
Ed: Ask him how he is!
(Johnny is confused, Edd holds up a sign saying "How are you?")
Ed: I'm fine. A little hungry.
- The Simpsons naturally have had their go at this trope. From Krusty pausing during sentences to Homer yelling "NEXT CARD!"