Cut a Slice, Take the Rest
Bob is preparing to take his share of a large item (a pie, money, or as in the page image, a pizza) that is clearly meant to be split between several persons. He cuts a small, Bob-sized portion out from the main lump — and then leaves that behind while he makes off with the rest. The smaller the initial portion, the funnier the joke becomes: what appeared at first to be moderation and restraint on Bob's part is actually just more greed, since he gets more for himself if he cuts out a tiny fraction to leave behind.
This is most commonly seen with cake, where Bob will cut a slice and take the rest for himself. It's also seen often with money, where Bob pulls a few bills from his wallet and then his wife Alice takes the wallet. The gag can be further subverted if Bob takes the larger portion and then returns to get the tiny remainder too.
Most often seen in Western Animation
Compare I'll Take Two Beers Too
Anime and Manga
- In Skip Beat!, Kyoko cuts a normal slice of cake for her and then grandly presents the rest of the cake to the famous actor she's temporarily working for. He's touched she's learned his eating habits so well.
- Doronjo divides the cake the group receives like this in the first episode of Yatterman.
- In Astérix and Cleopatra, Obelix is asked to cut three slices from the Special Iced Arsenic Cake. He cuts out two normal-sized slices and takes all the rest as his own piece. ("Well, I did cut three slices, didn't I?")
- One issue of The Dandy had Sneaker invite Crawford round for tea. He does this twice with cutting cakes ("One tiny little slice...for you! And the rest for me!"), and the third time he pours a small glass of pop for himself...and sprays the rest onto Crawford.
- In the Spanish comic El Capitan Trueno, Goliath does that with a 4 lb. sphere of Edam cheese.
- In Mean Girls, during the time when Regina is unknowingly being manipulated into gaining weight, she can be seen cutting off the end of a loaf of French bread and biting the loaf. Tina Fey notices this on the first time during the DVD Commentary and actually remarks that Bugs Bunny used to do that.
- A variation is used in The Nutty Professor 2 when Sherman's family devours an entire buffet leaving only the salad.
- A Deleted Scene of The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was to have Wallace about to eat a wheel of cheese, but tells Gromit to make the slice smaller than usual. He, of course, eats the bigger part instead.
- Variant in Grumpy Old Men: John brings beer to his dad at his ice shanty. His dad takes one out of the six-pack and hands it to John, then takes the rest inside and shuts the door.
- Happens frequently in Discworld. For instance Nanny Ogg will take one spoonful of sugar, put the rest of the contents of the sugar bowl into her tea, and then put the one spoonful back in the bowl.
- A variation in Red Dwarf, Lister carefully measures out a spoonful of curry powder, throws the rest of the can into his mix, and dumps the spoonful back into the can.
- A hungover Bernard Black does a similar thing when making coffee in Black Books: he takes a spoonful of coffee from a full jar, then pours boiling water into the jar and drinks from that.
- And Compo of Last of the Summer Wine does it with sugar and tea.
- This gag was a staple on The Electric Company, the slightly more mature companion series to Sesame Street from the 1970s. When it was used in a live segment, the character doing so remarked that he'd "learned this from the Spellbinder" (Letterman's animated foe, who did indeed do this trick when the hero turned a snake into a cake).
- Sesame Street did this joke too once, as Ernie was cutting cake for both himself and Bert. He gives Bert a tiny sliver, and himself a large slice.
Bert(Paraphrasing): You know Ernie, if I was offering, I would give you the big piece, and myself the smaller piece.
Ernie: But Bert, you have the smaller piece so why are you complaining?
- In an episode of The Golden Girls, depressed Blanche puts a normal serving of lasagna on a plate, then leaves the plate on the counter and begins eating the rest from the casserole dish.
- The Benny Hill Show:
- During an extended sketch parodying Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Benny (as Butch) and Jackie Wright (as Sundance) are enjoying a stolen picnic dinner. Benny offers to cut a slice of cheese from a large - like 2 feet long - cube. Sundance makes him move the blade so the slice is thinner, and thinner, and thinner until it's practically a paper thin slice; after Butch cuts the thin slice, Sundance picks up the rest of the cheese and starts to eat it. (Seen here starting about 2 minutes in.)
- Another stock gag on the Benny Hill Show is someone taking out a bottle of liquid medicine, pouring themselves a spoonfull, then drinking what's left in the bottle & pouring the spoonful back in when they're done.
- In The Vicar of Dibley, this was done on more than one occasion by Geraldine, the titular vicar. She would cut a slice of cake and eat the rest, or break off a piece from a chocolate bar and then eat the rest, or one example when she poured a glass of wine, then downed the rest of the bottle in one continuous gulp.
- On an episode of Family Ties Alex's uncle asks for a beer. He takes most of the six pack and hands one back.
- On one episode of Home Improvement, one of the students from Tim's shop class does this with Jill's cake when Tim has then over for dinner.
- On a 2013 episode of the American version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, in a "Helping Hands" sketch, a quirky medical doctor explaining things to an assistant is acted by Ryan, with Colin controlling the arms. The doctor demonstrates pouring out a small dose of "cough syrup". Then (in a funny choice by Colin) chugs the whole bottle. This actually goes back to the old US series, with full size wine bottles so Ryan never actually finishes 'the rest' in any case.
- In an episode of What's Happening!! , Rerun is handed a bowl of pretzels and is told "Take one and pass it on." Rerun takes out a pretzel, and hands the pretzel to someone else.
- In Call the Midwife, series 3 episode 2, Sister Monica Joan does a version of this. Faced with a tray of cakes, she takes one, then another. Resident Deadpan Snarker Sister Evangelina responds by suggesting she takes them all. Sister Monica Joan, being senile and Sarcasm-Blind, does.
- In Leverage functioning alcoholic Nate pours himself a glass of alcohol and then starts drinking from the bottle saying that the glass is "for later". At the end of the scene one of the characters angrily takes the bottle off him and he picks up the glass and continues drinking.
- Seen in Garfield.
- Indeed, in one episode of Garfield and Friends, Garfield hesitates about taking the cake, realizing that Jon and Odie should have some. So he cuts a small slice, eats the rest, and says to the audience, "You knew I was gonna do that." Then he takes the slice and eats it too, commenting "You knew I was gonna do that too."
- In another episode, Garfield is giving a lecture on Odie. At one point, he pulls down a pie chart, made with a real cherry pie, meant to represent Odie, to explain what a dog like him is made of. According to Garfield, two tiny pieces of the pie, which he eats one at a time, represent Odie's brain and common sense, respectively, while the rest of the whole pie, which he then eats, represents Odie's tongue.
- In one strip Garfield is getting ready to scoop him some ice from a container into a bowl he asks himself, "One scoop or two?" he then scoops all the ice cream into his bowl save for one scoop saying, "I think I'll leave one scoop."
- Also used in FoxTrot, where Roger noted that Peter had taken a normal-sliced piece of pizza and asked if he was feeling all right. While saying, "Sure, why do you ask?" he took the remaining seven-eighths and started munching on it, leaving the plate with the small slice in its place. This let Roger know that his son was still his gluttonous self.
- He had the audacity to suggest that for one holiday dinner, the portions should be thus: a slice each for Roger, Jason, Andy, and Paige, and the rest of the turkey (or was it ham?) for himself.
- Roger also did this once with coffee. He pours a cup and leaves it on the counter while grabbing the pot.
- Andy then notes that Roger really is cutting back as she takes the mug for herself
- In Hägar the Horrible, Hagar was at a party and the hostess encouraged him to take a piece of cake. Despite the fact that there was still about seven-eighths of a whole cake left, Hagar demurred, "Oh, I don't like to take the last piece"—indicating that in his mind, this trope is the normal way to take a piece of cake.
- Played with in Ctrl+Alt+Del, when Ethan attempts to create a web show based off of "Will It Blend", using rocket fuel on various objects to see if they launch. Ethan says that he cleverly calculated the amount of rocket fuel needed to test to see if a brick will shoot off, and holds up said amount. Zeke then points out that since what he's holding is the calculated amount, Ethan just used the rest of the fuel on the brick. Cue an Oh, Crap face from Ethan and a brick through the wall.
- A variation in Housepets!, as Four Finger Discount Jack pours some lemonade for Poncho, then drinks the rest of the pitcher full himself.
- StupidFox does this when Raccoon offers a piece of cookie.
- "Taxman", by The Beatles, seems to fit this trope well:
Let me tell you how it will be/There's one for you, nineteen for me/'Cause I'm the taxman,/Yeah, I'm the taxman
Should five percent appear too small/Be thankful I don't take it all/'Cause I'm the taxman,/Yeah, I'm the taxman
- This was Truth in Television. When the Beatles recorded this song, 95% was indeed the tax rate in Britain at the top tax bracket, which the Beatles' earnings put them in.
- Actually, at one point in the 1960s, the top rate on some earnings exceeded 100% due to sloppy surcharges. This also happened during WWII, but that case might well have been intentional.
- Used on The Flintstones when the Rubbles were living with the Flintstones; Wilma sets out two pieces of cake, one small, one huge. Fred let's Barney choose, so naturally he scarfs down the larger piece. Fred objects that if he got to choose first, he had picked the smaller; Barney counters, "What are you complaining about? You got it!"
- Jeremy Clarkson describes his attempts to reduce the pain of consuming Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce:
So, dimly remembering that Indians use bread when they've overdone the chillies, I cut a slice, threw it away and ate what remained of the very expensive Daylesford loaf, like a dog.