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It certainly was his kind of belt if it took him that long.
"Ten more years and PETA should realize this exists."
Alice and Bob
are having a conversation. During the conversation, Bob says or does something that you'd think would set Alice off
; however, she goes right on with the conversation as if it never happened. Until 30 seconds or so later...
Alice just had a Delayed Reaction. Basically, her brain somehow took longer to make a connection that the audience makes right away. Doesn't always have to be something designed to anger people, though those work best. Bonus points if the character walks off-screen, then yells something said out loud and races back.
Compare I Take Offense to That Last One
and Late to the Punchline
. See You Are Already Dead
for the combat version. Often follows a Beat
Seen on this very wiki in the form of Fridge Logic
, Fridge Brilliance
, and Fridge Horror
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- One Piece did this with Ivankov, second-in-command to protagonist Luffy's father (who, for context, is the world's most wanted criminal, and only a handful of people in the world are even aware that Luffy is related to him). Luffy remarks "Oh... you mean my dad?" and the person he's speaking to goes through an entire speech before jumping back in shock, yelling "YOUR FATHER?!"
- Non-You Are Already Dead combat version: Luffy's fight with Blueno, which became a Curb-Stomp Battle the second that Luffy starting using his new Gear Second ability, culminates with Luffy using his Gum-Gum Jet Bazooka, and Blueno attempting to guard against it with his strongest Tekkai. Luffy hits him in the stomach, hard, but he just slides several feet backwards from the blow's impact, and then looks up to grin at Luffy. But just as Luffy is about to pull out his other new trump card, Blueno passes out; not even his strongest defense was enough to protect him.
- Luffy has this mindset in general (when not in a fight or angry that is). The best example being during the drum island arc he and Sanji are running through a castle filled with ice and snow, wearing thin clothing and it takes him a few seconds to realize that he's cold.
- In Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou OAV episode "Omoi no Arika", Akane, Tenma and Shimon discover a letter — the audience is aware that it's from Kotengu, who wants to challenge Yasuaki to a duel. Apparently, Kotengu's handwriting is too fancy for them to understand, so they have one of the locals, Tomomasa, read said letter to them aloud. After he finishes, Akane and Shimon are amazed by the fact Tomomasa could read that, saying they are so glad they know now what the letter says, as they could never imagine that it's a challenge... Cue a short pause, with a still shot of the two smiling happily and a dot-by-dot Visible Silence above them... after which both yell in horror: "A challenge?!"
- The first episode of Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Shiroki Ryuu no Miko OAV ends with Karin being told that she is the titular miko; Karin's first reaction is a happy smile... then, a few seconds later, the smile disappears as it finally dawns on her what these words mean: "Eeeh?! Me?!"
- In one episode of Nerima Daikon Brothers, the characters are eating ramen together. Hideki asks Ichirou if he shouldn't be getting to work, and Ichirou replies that he's going to Kabuki-chou (Tokyo's infamous red-light district) tonight instead. The others continue to eat for a few seconds before spit-taking the ramen.
- In The Weatherman Is My Lover the main characters have a manzai dynamic on-screen which mostly entails Amasawa making inappropriate or awkward remarks and Koganei not reacting to them at all. Amasawa manages to catch him offguard twice, leading to noticeably long delays before Koganei resumes reporting-as-usual. The viewers go wild over this.
- In Soul Eater, Asura awakens after centuries of sleeping in a bag made from his own skin and barely displays any awareness of his surroundings. While blindly walking around, he bumps into Eruka, who's slumped on the ground and too terrified of him to even move. He then bends down and opens his eyes for the first time to look at her while she's still paralyzed in fear. After ten seconds of staring, he starts a Reactive Continuous Scream. Why? Because he was startled by her.
- In an episode of Ultimate Girls, the main girls are in various states of dress and undress when the word "monster" gets thrown out. Cue Makoto, resident Kaiju obsessed journalist and Camera Fiend, barging into the room, taking several photos, reloading his camera, and taking more photos before realizing his mistake and walking out of the room in disappointment. Seconds go by before the first girl screams in embarrassment.
- Mikado from Durarara!! had a very funny delayed reaction in episode 3 when Izaya was hit by a vending machine. To be fair, the vending machine was going very fast.
- Yuuichi and Makoto from Kanon share a delayed reaction after Yuuichi, naked, walks in on her bath accidentally; it's so sudden the music cuts instantly for maximum effect. It lasts for almost half a minute.
Makoto: *Blank Stare*
Yuuichi: *Blank Stare*
Makoto: *Blank Stare*
Yuuichi: "Y... Yo!"
Makoto: *Blank Stare*
Yuuichi: "My bad, I wasn't paying attention and didn't notice you were here. ...uh, anyway, it must be fate that brought us here together! I'll just join yo-
- In K-On! each of these bits of bad news take a few seconds to sink in:
- Nodoka mentioning the upcoming midterms to Yui.
- Yui saying she's banned from club activities since she has to take a make-up exam.
- Tsumugi telling Yui their club is not officially recognized, and their request to use the use the gym is denied.
- Lagann-hen has a hilarious moment when the Chouginga Gurren Lagann warps into Anti-Spiral territory and the Big Bad sends a huge wave of what looks like water at them.
Is that... a tsunami?!
- In Sangatsu No Lion, Takahashi brings a tape of Rei's losing MHK Cup match to the Kawamoto residence, not knowing that Rei has kept the fact that he's a professional shogi player a secret from Hina and Momo. When they see Rei on the television screen, it takes them several moments until they realize what the implications are of Rei being on broadcasted television.
- From Broom-Hilda, the titular witch is in a rage, complete with moons, stars, swirls, pound signs, and everything else used to cover up what she's really saying. Another character chides her, saying that "swearing is a childish way to assert one's masculinity". It doesn't occur to her until the next panel what the word "masculinity" means.
- Used as a Running Gag in Groo The Wanderer
Someone: Groo, you can not understand this, since you are slow of mind.
Groo (pages later): ...What he mean "slow of mind"?
- This happens in one scene in the movie House Party (Note that there are scripts of this movie online, but the dialogue in the actual movie seems to be adlibbed somewhat. This is from the movie, not the script):
Thug 2 (saying this while being handed a baseball bat) Alright cool...Finally, a program I'm with. Whatever this is, I'm with it. (While thug 1 picks up a can of gasoline) Oh I hear that, I hear that. We gonna bust their ass as they come runnin out of the burning house.
Thug 2 and 3 (in unison): Burnin house?
Thug 1: Burnin house...
Thug 3: Damn Stab, Stab (Thug 1) hold up for a second. l was talking about kicking some fucking ass...not burning people up.
Thug 2: Yeah now you're going too far.
- From the Sesame Street movie Big Bird in China, Big Bird needs to find a camel. That's all he knows. Naturally, there are no camels in China, so he goes sightseeing in a sculpture garden...
Big Bird: "Oh, look, there's an elephant. And there's a camel. And there's an orangutan. My these sculptures are pretty..." He walks off-screen, then... "A CAMEL?!?"
- In the Russian film Morozko, there's a group of girls picking giant mushrooms in a forest. They see a bear, but it takes them almost 20 seconds to run away. Mike Nelson refers to it as "Delayed reaction syndrome".
- In the 80s Vietnam flic, Hamburger Hill, a radio operator survives a nearby explosion. When the smoke clears, he is still doggedly trying to use his set, until he turns his head to discover that he's lost an arm. Disturbingly, he mutters "Oh." upon seeing his injury.
- Charlie in Mystery Team. He is the last person to connect the dots, attacks Jason ten seconds after realizing it was him, and understands a pun the group made eleven years prior.
- From the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Cost Of Living", featuring Troi, her mother, Worf, and his son. After hearing that Worf and the boy are "having trouble [drafting a] contract", Mrs. Troi goes doting on the boy:
Mrs. Troi: Why of course he's unreasonable, he's a child! And such a child! You know, making children reasonable only gives them pimples!
Troi: Alexander, this is my mother.
Mrs. Troi: Alexander? What a wonderful name! I used to know a warrior named Alexander, he utterly adored me. And we went everywhere, simply everywhere together! Have you ever been anywhere, my little — CONTRACT, WHAT CONTRACT??
- Also from TNG, Star Trek: Generations has Data first use his emotion chip, which sets off the galaxy's biggest delayed reaction ever as he finally understands a joke Geordi made seven years earlier.
- Appears in a Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch involving a series of police inspectors with strange names. When one introduces himself as "Lookout, of the Yard," one of the other characters asks "What will we see?" The inspector starts laughing about 30 seconds later, as he finally gets the joke, when he's in the middle of talking about the murder case.
- The short-lived sitcom "Oliver Beene" had an interesting take on this one. In the middle of a game of charades featuring Oliver's parents, the Dad explodes in fury at his wife, and calls her stupid. She calmly smiles, and offers her guests dessert. The narrator (Oliver) states that for his mother, her anger was like a giant casserole. It's made, and then baked in the oven for an uncertain amount of time. Two scenes later... "Remember that giant casserole of anger? It's done...right...about...now." *DING*
- Father Ted: "THOSE WOMEN WERE IN THE NIP!!!"
- "HE DID KICK ME UP THE ARSE‼"
- Also a bit where Ted thumps Dougal on the head with a pencil, and it takes several seconds for the pain-report to arrive in Dougal's brain.
- In The West Wing when Leo offers a job to Ainsley Hayes:
Ainsley: I'll ask again: for what purpose was I brought here today?
Leo: So I could offer you a job.
Ainsley: I'm asking because I do not think that it is fair to be expected to play the role for the mouse to the White House's cat in the game of...you know the game.
Leo: Cat and Mouse?
Ainsley: Yes. And it's not like I'm not, you know. The fact that I may not look like some of the other Republicans who cross your path does not mean that I'm any less inclined toward...
Leo: Here it comes.
Ainsley: Did you say offer me a job?
- iCarly: Used a bunch of times throughout the series, usually by Freddie and Spencer.
- In iMust Have Locker 239, Freddie negotiates with Sam about getting her half of the locker as Sam mentions that her mom is driving a car to fetch her just after having an eye surgery. Freddie still goes on his negotiation until Sam's statement sinks in.
- In iHurt Lewbert:
Carly: Lewbert got hurt, which brought out your mom's motherly instincts.
Sam: So, what if you... got hurt?
Freddie: Yeah... (pauses) WHAT?!
- Friends. In The One Where Rachel Is Pregnant, the other two girls and Joey are trying to figure out who the father is. Their only clue: a man's sweater left behind in mommy's apartment a month ago. While the three of them are discussing this, Ross walks in, talks with them for a bit, and then says, "Oh, hey, my sweater! I've been looking for this for like, a month!" Cue Eye Take from the girls, while Joey just sits there. Ross leaves, and then Joey freaks out.
- This is almost a Running Gag with Joey, who has several of these throughout the series.
*Joey, in deep thought, can't yet put together that the sex tape in Richard's apartment labeled 'Monica' is probably referring to their friend*
Chandler: GET THERE FASTER!
- On Top Gear, while reviewing a Lamborghini Reventon (the Spanish 'v' is pronounced like a 'b'), Jeremy Clarkson makes a sly comment that owning one would get you "a lot of badge." At least a full second goes by before his co-presenter Richard Hammond gets the joke.
- The IT Crowd: Roy rants that Jen knows nothing about computers and will someday slip up in something she says or does. Moss cuts in to say that the computer Jen is pretending to use isn't plugged in. Roy continues to rant and storms out. Moss says "He'll realise in a moment." He does.
- The failed US pilot delays the reaction further; Roy re-enters the office, claims a pen from the desk, and leaves before the realization.
- In the MST 3 K episode Prince of Space:
Tom: Talking like what?
Mike: Why're you talking like that?
Tom: Well, no, I'm not, I'm just way ahead of you, Mike.
Mike: Well, like that, you know? You're answering my questions before I ask them. [...]
Tom: No, you dope, I mean I'm moving faster than you temporally speaking.
Mike (insulted): Hey, whaddya mean you're way ahead of me?
- In the Doctor Who episode "The Lazarus Experiment", at the beginning of the episode, as the Doctor is planning to leave, he hears a scientist on television talking about how he's going to "change what it means to be human." He takes little notice of it as he sets off, and the TARDIS fades... and then slowly reappears. The Doctor pops his head back out and says "I'm sorry... did he say 'change what it means to be human?'"
- The Doctor gets another one in "The Pandorica Opens" with regards to the reappearance of Rory Williams.
Doctor: Ooooh, I'm missing something obvious, Rory. Something big, something slap bang in front of me, I can feel it.
Doctor: *pokes* Hello again.
- Whose Line Is It Anyway? has Delayed Reaction Man.
- In an episode of Coupling Jane tells Oliver not to worry about his brain, saying "Many plants don't have brains, have you thought about that?" It takes him almost a minute to realize the absurdity of that implication and correct her.
- Sanctuary: Nikola Tesla drops one of these on Helen Magnus when he looks her up after about, oh, fifty years.
: I brought you here for two reasons - because only you can help me finish what I'm working on and because I love you
Helen: Yes, so you keep... what?
- Kenan & Kel- In the episode "Get The Kel Outta Here," revolving around a joke about a sculpture of Kel's head that Kyra has made for school.
Kenan: What are y'all studyin', nasty freak monsters?
Kyra: This model happens to look exactly like Kel.
Kenan: Like I said, what y'all studyin', nasty freak monsters?
*Kenan and Kel share a laugh*
Kel: Ha ha ha! YEAH! Ha ha... ha... hey... that's about me... with the freak monster...
- A real-life example: on the first episode of Season 2 of The Voice, one of the people auditioning was Tony Lucca, who was a Mouseketeer with coach Christina Aguilera ... and she didn't realize that until he'd already finished his audition and left the stage.
- Done more than once on F Troop, with O'Rourke's comment to Agarn "I don't know why people say you're so dumb", followed up several minutes/scenes later with Agarn's "Who says I'm dumb?!"
- In an episode of Good Luck Charlie PJ procrastinates on going to the dentist, so Amy has him take a bite out of an apple to see if his teeth are in such good shape like he believes they are. A few seconds after PJ leaves the room, Amy begins counting, leading up to PJ's pained yell.
- The Pokémon Slowpoke. As described in the Pokedex, "It takes 5 seconds for it to feel pain when under attack." This actually has an in-game benefit as it generally translates into a larger than is typical amount of HP.
- At the beginning of the first Mega Man Battle Network game Yai has one when Dex calls her a shrimp. (The dialogue is as follows)
Dex: Aww stuff it! You sure got a big mouth for such a shrimp! We're not bothering anyone are we Lan?
Yai: Well, I guess... Shrimp! That's no way to talk to a lady!
- In Transformers: War for Cybertron Starscream declares that the Autobots are dumber than Skywarp. It takes a good 15 seconds for Skywarp to respond.
- In Shikkoku No Sharnoth Angie is introduced to celebrity aristocrat Viola Baskerville and is so nonchalant about it that Mary is surprised. A few minutes later, she realizes who she's been making friends with and momentarily stops in shock... but then quickly continues making friends, reasoning there's no reason to start treating her differently now.
- Whenever a girl is over at Shirou's house in Fate/stay night or just near him, Taiga will end up greeting them and chatting for a bit. After a minute or two she generally blows up.
- A running gag on Atop the Fourth Wall: Linkara will read a character saying a stupid plan or inaccurate statement, summarize it in a triumphant tone of voice, and then go "Wait..." with confusion in his voice.
- Dragon Ball Abridged gives us the following gem from their abridgment of the Lord Slug movie.
...and that would make you
no doubt the big, tough, stupid one
You take that back or I'll kill you! Piccolo:
All right, all right, you're not tough. Dordabo:
Wait, didn't you- Piccolo
: Give him a minute. Beat Beat Beat Dordabo
- The first speaking role of a Kanassian after his species is wiped out in the Bardock Special is rife with this. A Scare Chord plays as one emerges from the rubble of his planet... Beat "I CAN SEE THE FYUUU-CHURRR!" He proclaims (upon realizing that they can see him) that he must stop Bardock's team from destroying his race "IN THE FYUUU-CHURRR!" and after they point out that they already did, it takes him a moment to formulate a response. He attacks and in return he is fried with a fiery ki blast, leaving him standing there burning to death for an extended shot... before finally realizing "I'M ON FIRE!" and being finished off.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan-named background pony "Princess Erroria" (so called because an animation error depicted her with both horn and wings) is often depicted riding around on a Slowpoke after people pointed out this animation error... over a year after the episode aired.
- From Todd in the Shadows' review of Britney Spears' "Three":
Todd: "I literally cannot make out what she's saying. 1, 2, 3, Pita Parma, Peter Potamus... I don't know, I don't know."
[video plays with subtitle: "1, 2, 3, Peter, Paul and Mary"]
Todd: "Well, there's your problem right there! It's a terrible rhyme. It's pronounced 'Mary.' Not 'Myea-ree,' whatever your said. That just sounds stupid. It makes her sound like English isn't even her first lan... guage... Peter, Paul, and Mary?!"
- American Dad! demonstrates this trope in the episode where Stan forgets his anniversary, again as seen here.
- One U.S. Acres segment from Garfield and Friends dedicated to discussing animation tropes had the ultimate example of this. Laidback sheep Bo walks past a friend of his, who declares that the farm is being invaded by aliens resembling dishwashing liquid. He does not react, instead heading into his pen and sleeping away the entire winter. Three months later, he steps outside, stretches... and then shouts "Dishwashing liquid?! Head for the hills!" and runs away.
- Garfield himself does this in "The Amazing Odie," when he contemplates: "Everyday it's the same routine, I get up, I walk under the camel, I go to the kitchen, walk back under the camel and, wait a minute let's see, I get up I walk under the camel, go into the kitchen walk back under the camel, UNDER THE CAMEL!?"
- Happens often with Tom in Tom and Jerry, which makes him realize too late that he's carrying a bomb, about to get hit, or that Jerry is right in front of him.
- Played with in The Simpsons where it appears that time is passing normally for the audience, whilst it is revealed that Homer's brain is actually working at the speed of dumb. "Something said, not good."
- Also, Homer's workmates call him "a little slow" on poker night in one episode. By the time Homer responds "Who are you calling 'slow'?", it's hours later, and Lenny's asking Homer to go home already.
- It should be noted that these two occasions are one-in-the-same: Homer's initial reaction to being called slow by Carl was to mull it over and have the delayed reaction. Lenny is in his nightshirt and cap when Homer finally asks about it, prompting him to say "Geez, you really are slow!" Which then causes Homer to go through the exact same thought process again.
- In another episode, Wolfcastle has this happen to him twice. When he realizes Jay Sherman (from The Critic) insulted him, he chases him down with an assault rifle. Sherman says his shoes are untied, and Wolfcastle replies "From here, they appear to be tied, but I will go in for a closer look". Sherman beats a retreat, day turns to night a Wolfcastle stares at his shoes and finally concludes that they don't even have laces.
Wolfcastle: "On closer inspection, these are loafers."
- One episode of Futurama stuck Fry between a jealous Zoidberg and a lovestruck cephalopodian alien.
Dr. Zoidberg: Fry. I challenge you to "clawplach".
Fry: English, please?
Dr. Zoidberg: A fight to the death.
Edna: And if you survive, we'll make sweet love.
(Fry thinks it over for a second, then makes a bloodcurdling scream of terror.)
- George of the Jungle - more than once, George would suddenly laugh at a joke he'd heard minutes, maybe hours, before.
- In an episode of Kim Possible Ron tries tries to rush Kim and her temporarily-good nemesis to a movie:
Tempting, but I promised Shego we're go get our eyebrows waxed. Ron:
Okay, but we're going to have to — [beat
] You wax
What's that about? Kim:
Forget I mentioned it. Ron:
- Family Guy:
Peter: So did your therapist figure out what the problem was?
Brian: Yeah. He thinks I'm in love.
- On Jimmy Two-Shoes, when Lucius wakes up after a day where everyone was pulling revenge pranks, he concludes that everything is back to normal. Then a talking bird greets him through the window with a pleasant "Good morning." Lucius returns it and walks off...then dashes back to the window when he realizes how wrong that is in Miseryville.
- In Dan Vs. "The Animal Shelter," Chris picks at a meatloaf Dan made while Dan describes why he needs to take revenge on an animal shelter. When Dan mentions it involves a poisoned meatloaf, Chris continues to eat the meatloaf for three more beats before what Dan just said sinks in.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Fluttershy has this when she sees Princess Luna (formerly Nightmare Moon) on Nightmare Night.
Twilight: Fluttershy, it's me, Twilight.
Fluttershy: It is you. Ah, Nightmare Moon. [beat] Nightmare Moon!
- Classic one done in Frosty the Snowman, with the traffic cop that meets Frosty...
Cop: Dumb snowmen. When they first come to life, they don't know nothin.
for about two and a half seconds)
Cop: Come to life?!?! (accidentally swallows whistle)
- Done again in the sequel, where the same cop seems to be used to Frosty, and then meets his new wife...
Cop: Well, isn't that sweet. A snow wife.
for about two and a half seconds)
- In the King of the Hill episode "The Texas Skilsaw Massacre" Dale doesn't scream until after he sees that Hank accidentally cut his finger off with the titular skilsaw.
- In an episode of The Cleveland Show, a gang of troubled teens Cleveland has been watching tells him that the "cookies" he took from a rivil gang were actually cocaine and that they're coming for him. Cleveland seems to take it pretty well, the he's suddenly running around the room squealing like a pig.
- One Popeye cartoon had Olive do this when she answered the phone.
Olive: Hello? Oh, you say I won a sweepstakes? That's nice. [Resumes what she was doing for a few seconds, and then...] SWEEPSTAKES?!
- An episode of Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi has Yumi getting annoyed with Ami's strict scheduling, so she sets Ami's alarm clock to wake her up later. This results in Ami's reaction time to certain events being lengthened, such as getting hit by a frisbee and being told a joke.
- In the Sponge Bob Square Pants episode "Home Sweet Pineapple", it takes Patrick a full 30 seconds after seeing that SpongeBob's house is missing and the latter explaining what happened to it for him to exclaim "Hey, SpongeBob, your house is gone!"
- Pulled on Sokka in Avatar: The Last Airbender while Katara and Aang were critizising his (poorly drawn) rendition of Appa.
Sokka: Thank you, I worked really hard on- Why do you feel the need to do that?
- She would also get almost EVERYBODY while on a high speed desert search.
Toph: THERE IT IS!
Everybody else: *excitedly stare in the direction she's pointing, then catch on all at once.*
Toph: That's what it will sound like when one of you SPOTS it. *grins and waves her hand in front of her blind eyes.
- The Guinness Book of World Records lists the man with the slowest reaction speed ever recorded: 20 seconds. He demonstrated on TV by being punched in the face. Twenty seconds later, he felt the pain and reacted accordingly.
- Pokemon was made in 1996, and PETA realized they're against it circa 2012.
- Ironically, when they finally reacted, it was with a badly made parody of the only entry in the Pokemon series that actually questioned the ethics of Pokemon battling.
Groo: What did he mean, slow of mind?