Description Cut

Sweetheart thinks this trope should have "ironic" in its name

A basic humor formula that goes like this:

Alice: Bob must be [description].
Bob: [immediately says or does something contrary to that description]

Different from Ironic Echo Cut in that it doesn't involve an echo. A subset of Hypocritical Humor and, much like it, depends on a Contrived Coincidence. Sometimes, there isn't even a cut involved.

Can be Played for Drama, if the cut is to a sufficiently somber scene.

The inverse of this is I Resemble That Remark.

Compare Gilligan Cut, Anti Climax Cut. Contrast Answer Cut.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Darker Than Black, when Mao is captured by Evening Primrose, he assures his fellow prisoner that his partner, being a Contractor, would certainly not be foolish enough to attempt to rescue him. Hei is doing just that.
  • In the medieval arc of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, Mikami and co. hide from Dr. Chaos' remote-controlled airplane's machine-gun fire. Except for the princess, who just stays there saying, "Dr. Chaos would not shoot at them". Cut to the doc smacking his control and screaming "Where the hell are you pointing at?!". And then the princess ducks for cover.
  • Lyrical Nanoha
    • The fourth Sound Stage of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S has the following:
      Mariel: Oh that reminds me, how's Subaru?
      Genya: She's as happy as she can ever be at Mobile Six.
      Ginga: I'm sure she's having the time of her life with her friends and comrades.
      (cut to Subaru and her fellow Strikers moaning in pain after a session of Training from Hell)
    • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vi Vid, after Otto and Deed had just seen Micaiah slice a bus in four with an ordinary katana, they discuss how she'll likely be a difficult opponent for her majesty, Vivio. However, they also believe that Vivio could still beat her since Vivio has completed her training against slashing weapons and besides...
      Otto: Sacred Heart is also working hard!
      Sacred Heart: (cut to him playing around with Asteon)
  • Happens in Planetes when Cheng-Shun assures a friend that Hachimaki is a lot more subdued now than he was the last time they met. Guess who comes running past them playing space-ninja at that very moment?
  • Episode 3 of season 2 of The World God Only Knows has a visit from Elsie's fellow demon/classmate Haqua:
    Haqua: The age of barbarism has ended. We demons are rational, intelligent creatures!
    (cut to Elsie fangirling over fire engines)
    • The scene's pretty much identical in the original manga.
  • Ash, feeling confident, once bragged about how awesome his Pokémon are. Max, however, shows the audience how Ash's team are not exactly looking impressive at the time being, each one sporting a Balloon Belly and content to sleep lazily.
  • Episode 7 of RahXephon:
    The TERRA staff witness Ayato walking through a portal.
    Megumi: What's going on?
    Kim: I don't know. Maybe Dr. Kisaragi would know.
    Megumi: Yeah, it seems like he knows everything.
    Cut to the other side of the portal, where Itsuki Kisaragi is observing the RahXephon.
    Itsuki: Honestly, how does all this work?
  • During Azusa's introduction in the K-On! manga:
    Azusa: I heard the recording of the live performance at last year's school festival. The guitarist was so awesome! I really admire her!! The level of this school's Light Music Club must be really high, right?
    [Next panel, showing Yui practicing in the club room]
    Yui: How do I play a C chord again?
  • Bleach: Upon hearing Kisuke Urahara was once captain of the 12th division, Ichigo Kurosaki expresses surprise and awe that Urahara is such a great man, after all. The scene immediately cuts to an anime-only shot of Urahara suffering constipation in the bathroom while cursing Tessai's medicine.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Xenophile's Guide to Equestria, after Twilight writes to Celestia about the possible relationship building between Rainbow Dash and Lero and the betting pool Applejack has started on them, Celestia ends her response with, "This is a delicate situation, which I am sure you and your friends shall handle with same tact and sensitivity that I and my sister would surely display." Immediately afterwards, Twilight gets a letter from Luna, who asks to bet ten bits on successful consummation within a month.
  • The Twilight Child: After hearing from Spike about a lopsided duel that Trixie was in, Twilight Sparkle remarks that she's glad nopony in her family is that crazy. The scene immediately cuts to Cadence stealing Shining Armor's helmet and teasing him about it.
    • Many chapters later, Spike asks who exactly would be willing to stare at a hole in the floor for hours at a time. Then there's a scene change, and Spike and Fluttershy are both staring at said hole.

    Films - Animated 
  • Disney:
    • In Cinderella, the Grand Duke sarcastically describes the king's hopes for the ball ("Suddenly he stops! He looks up! Alone, there she stands!") plays out perfectly as the Prince first sees Cinderella.
    • A Goofy Movie and An Extremely Goofy Movie have several examples:
      • When the families meet at the campground, Pete tells Max that PJ must be loafing around in the RV. Cut to PJ buffing the floors and dusting the trophies while singing and dancing.
      • A variation with an inanimate object being described—Pete tells Goofy that the extension cord to the RV is tiny and unnoticeable before ordering PJ to bring it in. PJ enters the room carrying an enormous pile of tubes so heavy he visibly strains under their weight.
      • After Bradley dismisses PJ and Bobby, Max defends them by calling them "serious athletes." Immediately afterward Bobby is shown putting spoons and straws all over his body while PJ acts self-conscious and gives him a mortified look. However, in this case, Max is actually right and the behaviors only appeared to be contrary to the description.
    • Frozen starts off with Anna and Elsa's parents closing the gates of their castle and never coming out due to Elsa's abilities to conjure ice and snow. When they finally prepare to open up again years later, we hear a couple of townspeople discussing how beautiful and elegant the princesses must be. Cuts to Anna fast asleep, with fantastically bad bedhead, snoring, drooling on the pillow, with a lock of hair in her mouth.
      • Shortly later we get two more of those, though without cuts, while Anna is singing "For the First Time in Forever":
      Anna: ...The picture of sophisticated grace... [accidentally slaps herself]
      Anna: ...Nothing's in my waaaay... [bumps into Hans's horse]
  • From Chicken Run:
    Mrs. Tweedy: They're chickens, you dolt. Apart from you, they're the most stupid creatures on this planet. They don't plot, they don't scheme, and they are not organised!
    [Cut to the chickens having a (not very orderly) meeting.]
  • In the beginning of Astérix and the Vikings, the narrator describes Asterix's village as a place where its Gauls share mutual respect, harmony, and admiration. Cut to the villagers having one of their frequent fish-fights. (Of course, since this is Asterix, this pretty much is the Gauls sharing mutual respect, harmony, and admiration.)
  • In Madagascar when Alex and the others find that Marty had left the zoo for the "wide open spaces" of Connecticut.
    Alex: He's probably out there lost and cold...confused. Poor guy.
    [Cuts to Marty calmly strutting down the NYC sidewalks to the tune of "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees]

    Films - Live-Action 
  • In Scooby Doo Monsters Unleashed:
    Daphne: They must be running around, helpless and terrified.
    ''*cue Scooby and Shaggy coming down the elevator, happy and satisfied*
  • In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Gandalf describes Radagast the Brown as a great wizard, the watcher and protector of the forest. Slam cut to Radagast, a doddering old man covered in bird poop and dirt.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Dr. Jones attempts to bluff his Nazi captors:
    Indy: Brody's got friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan, he speaks a dozen languages, knows every local custom, he'll blend in, disappear, you'll never see him again. With any luck, he's got the Grail already.
    [Cut to a crowded marketplace in the Middle East, Marcus Brody wearing bright suit and white hat, sticking out like a sore thumb]
    Brody: Uh, does anyone here speak English? Or even ancient Greek?
    • Later, when the Nazis aren't around and Jones is in a more candid mood, he says that Brody "once got lost in his own museum".
  • The movie Stuart Little 2:
    Stuart: Don't worry about Snowbell, he wouldn't hurt a fly.
    Cut to Snowbell catching a fly.
    Snowbell: [burp] Oh, those flies really repeat on ya.
  • In The Fifth Element:
    President Lindberg: Is that your idea of a discreet operation?
    General Munro: Don't worry sir, I know my man. He'll calm things down.
    [Cut to Korben Dallas as he shoots a dozen Mangalores.]
  • Ace Ventura Pet Detective:
    Melissa: Is Ace in trouble?
    Emilio: Don't worry. If there's one thing I know, it's that there's nothing Ace can't handle.
    Ace Ventura: (cut to him sobbing while being held at gunpoint) Please don't kill me!
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back: Justice's friend asks why Jay was kissing her hand:
    Justice: "Maybe he just has manners!"
    (Cut to Jay outside the store, screaming at a random girl.)
  • In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Kirk gets wrongfully imprisoned in a Klingon mining colony. Spock, on the Enterprise, tells the crew, "If I know the Captain, he is well into planning his escape." Cut to Kirk brawling with a huge alien while the other prisoners cheer them on.
    • Although, given the way that Kirk often falls backwards into crisis resolutions through random serendipity, this kind of thing may be exactly what Spock meant. Spock does have a wry sense of humor, and Kirk's avenue of escape does open up as a result of this fight.
  • Jurassic Park: Tempting Fate by saying "We'll be all right as long as they can't open doors". Cut to a raptor doing so, with some difficulty.
  • In Lethal Weapon 2. Murtaugh is trapped on his toilet with a bomb underneath set to explode if he gets up. His partner Riggs goes to call the bomb squad:
    Murtaugh: "Riggs! Let's try to keep this quiet, okay?"
    Riggs: "Hey sure! (zips his lips) Trust me."
    (Cut to complete chaos outside his house with sirens wailing, lots of policemen, firemen, medics, and a crowd of onlookers.)
  • In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Hermione is nagging Harry to find a date to take to Professor Slughorn's Christmas party.
    Harry: I'll just ask someone I like. Someone cool.
    (cut to shot of Luna "Loony" Lovegood, Hogwart's resident Cloud Cuckoo Lander, in a sparkly silver dress, which looks like a Christmas tree, waiting for Harry in the hallway.)
    Luna: (as they walk to the party) "I've never been to this part of the castle! At least while awake. I sleepwalk you see. That's why I wear shoes to bed."
  • Casino. Ace Rothstein, the Las Vegas casino manager for the Chicago mob, loses his gaming license. The head of the mob talks to a middleman about telling Ace to lay low and keep quiet about the situation. Cut to Ace Rothstein hosting his own glitzy late night talk show in the casino and challenging the gaming commissioner to a debate on it.
  • Occurs in Hot Rod. While Rod is unconscious, one of his friends comments that he must be having a profound out-of-body experience. Cut to Rod, dressed in white and in a white, cloudy place...where he witnesses a fight between a giant taco and giant grilled cheese sandwich.
  • From Scotland PA
    Pat McBeth: You know, the most important thing is that we carry on [Duncan's] legacy. You know, keep his name alive!
    [Cut to construction workers tearing the "Duncan's" off the front of the restaurant. Joe and Pat McBeth look on, smiling.]
  • Hellboy:
    Tom Manning: Let me tell you - let me tell you something about the Bureau of...
    Television Host: Paranormal Research and Defense.
    Tom Manning: ...of Paranormal Research and Defense: there is no such thing.
    [Cut to establishing shot of BPRD headquarters.]
  • A Hard Days Night - Ringo ducks out of the theatre just before show time to have some fun on his own. The band manager dreads his cutting loose on "wine, women and loose living" once he gets a taste of it. Cut to Ringo in a dreary little pub trying to eat a stale sandwich that's threatening to poke him in the eye.
  • In Enchanted, when asked about Edward's stepmother, Giselle says this.
    "I've never met Edward's stepmother but I've heard she's lovely."
    (cut to Narissa entering the human world, all dark and ominous)
  • In Midnight in Paris, Inez's parents wonder what Gil, their daughter's fiancé, really does when he takes late-night walks through the streets of Paris. Since Inez has gone dancing with friends, her father comments that they know he isn't dancing. Cut to Gil dancing the Charleston in 1920s Paris.
  • Played for drama in District 9:
    Piet Smit: You know Wikus. He never was very strong.
    (cut to Wikus fighting off his captors and breaking free)
  • The Santa Clause: Scott and his son have pulled into a Denny's to eat.
    Charlie: I don't want to eat here.
    Scott: What are you talking about, everbody loves Denny's it's an American institution!
    (cut to the restaurant is packed with a party of Japanese business men.)
  • Roger And Me: A pretty depressing one. Roger Smith, who the film criticizes for laying off 30,000 General Motors employees, and devastating the town of Flint, Michigan, gives a speech on Christmas Eve on how the holiday brings out the generosity and warmth in everyone. We cut back and forth to this speech, and a bunch of families being evicted from their homes on Christmas.
  • A variation in Vera Drake: one scene ends with one of Vera's patients saying that "men don't understand anything." Cut to Susan getting a legal abortion by lying to her psychiatrist, after she was coached on what to say by her male physician.

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: At the very end of Chapter 9, "The Writing On The Wall", Hermione comes up with the idea of using Polyjuice Potion to get information from Malfoy. However, the book with info on how to make it is in the Restricted Section of the library, and they need permission from a professor to take out the book, which would raise suspicion from any professor they ask.
    "Oh, come on, no teacher's gonna fall for that!" said Ron, "they'd have to be really thick..." * end chapter*
    * start of next chapter* Since the disastrous episode with the pixies, Professor Lockhart had not brought live creatures to class...
  • A favorite of Peter David for his chapter breaks.
  • Inverted quite neatly in the Honor Harrington book The Short Victorious War, when a pair of Peep battlecruiser squadrons accidentally runs into a Mantie dreadnought. First we see the watch officer on the dreadnought (a communications officer and a self-proclaimed tactical ignoramus) order his ship to swing around to port simply because the starboard sidewall came up first, and then we cut to the flag deck of the battlecruiser squadron:
    Admiral Pierre swallowed a groan as the dreadnought snapped around and her sidewall swatted his broadsides contemptuously aside. He'd never seen a ship that size maneuver so rapidly and confidently. She'd taken barely ten seconds to bring her sidewalls up and get around—her captain must have the instincts and reactions of a cat!

    Live Action TV 
  • In "The Shershow Redemption" episode of Happy Endings, Penny is upset that her safety, Shershow (who is depicted as a pretty big screw-up) is getting married, but she tries to cover it.
    Penny: Come on, Max, I was never gonna marry that guy. And anybody who would must be busted in la fache. *laughs and agreement from the gang.*
    *Shershow enters with his beautiful fiance.*
    Dave: More like awesome in la fache.
    Brad: Damn.
  • Doctor Who:
  • A promoter turns the club from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia into a hot night spot, but they quickly find out that it's because he secretly promoted it as a gay bar. Dee goes to chew him out, saying that the guys are not happy with the new change.
    Charlie and Dennis: Look at all this money!!! Wooo!!
  • Torchwood got one of these, too. In "Everything Changes":
    Jack Harkness: All alien technology stays on the base. No one's allowed to take anything outside.
    Cut to Tosh in her apartment, having taken something alien home in her purse.
    Cut to Ianto, who has something alien in his cabinet in the shower.
    Cut to Suzie, who also took something home in her purse.
  • Stargate SG-1, "Cure":
    Dollen: They are sending their most respected team of representatives. No doubt the leader of this group will be a brilliant and savvy negotiator.
    Tegar: We must be at our best to match the challenge.
    Dollen: Personally, I cannot wait to meet a man of such genius.
    [SG-1 enters through the Stargate]
    O'Neill: Howdy, folks!
    • Extra funny in that O'Neill is a brilliant and savvy negotiator. Just highly unorthodox.
  • In Heroes, Ando insists that Hiro will never leave his side. He turns to look at Hiro for support, only to find he's walked off. Hilariously, when it cuts to Hiro, the movie playing in the background provides a cymbal crash.
  • Similarly on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip:
    Matt: Where the hell did you go?
    Danny: Sorry about that...
    Matt: I said "He's never not been there for me", then there was a follow-spot on a basket of dinner rolls!
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • Used in the episode where Spike is introduced: Spike asks about the Slayer, "Is she tough?" And then it cuts to Buffy brushing her hair, saying "Ow. Ow."
    • Buffy comes home to find (awkwardly) that her mom has a serious boyfriend. She insists she's fine with it — cut to her whaling on a vampire with enough violent fury to creep out Giles.
    • In season 2, Buffy and Angel decide to team up to hunt the Gorches brothers, a duo of evil vampires.
      Xander: Yeah, I see a lot of hunting getting done in that scenario.
      Buffy: Please. Like Angel and I are slaves to passion. Grow up! (cut to Angel and Buffy passionately making out instead of hunting vampires)
    • In "Out of My Mind" Buffy is talking about Spike.
    Buffy: Hanging out in that crypt all day, you just know he's doing something nasty.
    Cut to Spike and Harmony playing 20 Questions.
    • Plus literally a hundred other instances. That is, literal as in 'literal'. Joss Whedon loves this trope.
  • Angel
    • In the episode "Waiting in the Wings". When Cordelia and Fred are shopping for dresses to go to the ballet, Cordelia makes a sarcastic comment to the effect of, "Oh, right. Angel's gonna spend the whole day worrying about his outfit." Cut to Angel worrying about his tux, which baby Connor had just spit up on.
    • From the episode "I Will Remember You": After Angel temporarily becomes human, Doyle mentions that Angel is now immune to the "perfect happiness" curse (implying he and Buffy can now have sex without repercussions) and says sarcastically that they're eating tea and crackers. Cut to Buffy and Angel enjoying some tea and crackers. Then subverted when after talking for less than a minute, they practically leap into each others' arms.
    • Angel is explaining to Connor how, despite having supernatural entities on the payroll, Wolfram & Hart is still a boring lawfirm. Cue Spike getting punched through the doors, swearing bloody murder, and walking back in.
  • In iCarly, after Freddie gives up his 6 month cruise to Missy to keep her from trying to split Carly and Sam up and keep Carly for herself, Freddie is somewhat disappointed that Missy gets to go on the cruise. Carly mentions that Missy used to be seasick as a child but likely got over that. Cut to the boat, where Missy is puking and miserable on the boat, obviously seasick.
  • Friends: In the episode where Heckles dies, Monica and Rachel feel touched when they are named in his will. Cut to his apartment, which is a dump with a bunch of tacky items, which Monica proceeds to complain about and claim it was his final revenge.
  • Done very amusingly in the Top Gear race across London during the middle of rush hour. Not quite the same, as it's not referring to a specific person, but entertaining anyway
    Jeremy Clarkson: (in a boat on the Thames, leisurely cruising) This has to be the most stress free and relaxing Monday morning rush-hour commute since the dawn of time.
    Cut to the helmet camera of...
    Richard Hammond: (on a pedal bike, dodging traffic, lots of noise) Oh no, not another set of sodding lights... Ah, bloody hell!
    • He spends a lot of this segment being censored. That was one of the few cases he was actually polite enough to be pre-watershed. (Top Gear generally has an 8pm-9pm slot in the UK - on it's original broadcasts anyway.)
    • On another episode, the Parkour one, after driving through Liverpool (and getting a bit lost, needing to ask for directions, getting stuck behind lights), he arrives at the Liver Building, seemingly beating his opponents in a race, commenting on there being "No sign of baggy shorts or camo pants"; cue to his opponents, Parkour runners, on top of the Liver Building, one just staring out over the city, the other doing a railing handstand.
    • In a similar challenge, Jeremy competes to with a climber to reach the top of a mountain and return to the base first. Driving back down, he confidently asserts that there's no way the climber can return from to the foot of the mountain before him. Meanwhile, the climber reaches a cliff and BASE jumps from it.
    • While showing how rally cross was cheaper than golf:
    Jeremy's Description: James was kindly asking the other racers to be nice to me.
    James: Don't be nice to him...just muller 'im.
  • Fraggle Rock:
    "Fraggles are graceful creatures—"
    a Fraggle immediately falls into shot
  • In Firefly episode The Message, Zoë explains how things work on the battlefield to a new recruit:
    Zoë: First rule of battle, little one, don't ever let them know where you are.
    Cue Mal coming in, guns blazing and screaming.
    Mal: I'm right here! I'm right here! You want some of me? Take it! Come on!
    Zoë: 'Course, there are other schools of thought.
    • In another episode, the crew are being interrogated separately. When asked why she is deflecting questions about her marriage to Wash, Zoe is stone-faced.
    Zoe: Don't see how it's any of your business, is all. We're very private people.
    (cut to...) Wash: Her legs. I'll definitely have to say it was her legs. You can write that down!
  • On The Office (US), In "PDA", Holly has a talking head in which she describes Michael as basically exuding sex, all the while a montage plays of Michael being anything but sexy, culminating in a shot of him slouched in a chair with his face and bits of his suit smeared with Cheese Puff dust.
  • Scrubs
    • In one episode, Dr Cox's long-suffering psychiatrist is amazed that he has actually made a positive decision that could benefit his career, on JD's advice.
    Psychiatrist: If there is anyone in that hellhole who can actually make you listen, then keep them close, because that person is a genius.
    (Cut to JD in the elevator) JD: Everybody was kung-fu fighting, hah!
    Elliot: Okay, we have to tell them.
    Carla: They're so close, maybe they'll help each other through it.
    Elliot: Oh come on, Carla. They're guys. They're not going to get all touchy-feely.
    (cue the overwrought love song "Guy Love")
    • Another example on the same theme as above:
    Carla: (To Turk) You're such a guy. You can't even begin to understand anything this deep on any kind of real emotional level.
    J.D.: (Comes up to Turk and Carla) Hey, Turk. I'm really sorry about the whole poster thing. It was racially insensitive of me. I should've been more aware of your feelings before I went ahead and spoke for you.
    Turk: It's OK. Your intentions were good, and there's never been an issue of race between us. Since the day I met you, you've been nothing but a friend to me.
    J.D.: I love you, man. (He leaves)
    Turk: (To Carla) We've got some things to work out, but we'll get there ... we'll get there.
  • Castle features a few of these:
    Castle: [Discussing a suspect's photo]: She's got cruel eyes. I bet she enjoyed watching Wilder suffer.
    [Cut to the suspect, crying like a baby and babbling hysterically]
  • In the Xena: Warrior Princess episode "The Titans":
    Thea: She may appear sweet, but who knows what destructive powers she may possess?
    [Cut to Gabrielle fruitlessly trying to break a nut with her fist]
  • On Oz and James's Big Wine Adventure, California series, Oz and James ride shotgun for a V8 muscle car drag race between "bone-idle vintners" who have nothing to do when not harvesting except fish and race cars.
    Oz : [voiceover shot of him not enjoying himself] Only a simpleton could possibly get any pleasure out of this futile activity.
    [cut to James in the other car with a huge grin on his face and laughing with glee]
  • Corner Gas, "Tax Man":
    Brent: I can't just turn over my father. There's a bond between father and son that's strong and sacred.
    [Oscar storms in]
    Oscar: [to Brent] Hey! Idiot! You left the lid on the dumpster up last night! Crows have scattered garbage all over the place out there and I'll be damned if I'm gonna clean it. It'll be you out there on your hands and knees scrapin' up crow crap!
    Brent: I'll tell you whatever you need to know.
    • "Cousin Carl":
    Mrs. Jensen: With him, the customer was always number one. Oscar always treated people with great respect.
    Oscar: [to Brent] Hey jackass, stop talking to this old wingnut and pump my gas!
    • Note that both of these examples are done without the Cut.
  • In The Rockford Files episode "Dirty Money Black Light", Angel Martin is in jail due to being caught with some of the titular dirty money. Jim assures Beth that Angel won't say anything without a lawyer present. Cut to Angel attempting to pin various crimes on Jim and his dad.
  • The editors for The Amazing Race especially love this. Their favorite tends to be showing a team who thinks they're way ahead gloating about their position, only to cut to another team that's currently beating them.
    • Season 1, Episode 5:
      Joe & Bill (wandering around in the desert): The fatties [Kevin & Drew] must have gotten lost.
      (cut to Kevin & Drew dancing it up at the Pit Stop oasis)
    • Season 10, Episode 8:
      Tyler (at the Fast Forward): No team is going to finish a Detour and a Roadblock ahead of us.
      Rob: We're going to be so far ahead.
      (cut to Dustin finishing the Roadblock, her and Kandice about to take first place on that leg)
  • The Man From UNCLE, "The Bat Cave Affair":
    Clemency McGill: That was a right fine movie. Do you like spy movies, Mr. Solo? Napoleon?
    Napoleon Solo: I'll tell you, they're all right if you like light entertainment. I just think they're... pretty far-fetched.
    [cut to Illya Kuryakin tied up in a cage, being attacked by vampire bats]
  • The Lost Girl episode "Bloodlines", after Trick, Kenzi, and Dyson determine that Bo's been kidnapped by Aife.
    Trick: If Aife has Bo in her grasp, there's no telling what hell she's putting her through.
    [cut to Bo waking up in an opulent bedroom with three buff shirtless guys at her beck and call]
  • Used as a running gag in Scrapheap Challenge:
    Host: Time for a little precision engineering...
    [cut to a contestant smashing the crap out of something with a very large hammer]
  • The first episode of the second season of Game of Thrones features an entirely nonhumorous example:
    Bran Stark: Dragons are all dead. Been dead for centuries.
    [cut to a very not-dead baby dragon]
  • In M*A*S*H, after being informed that Hawkeye and Margaret are stuck behind enemy lines in the midst of heavy shelling, BJ, Radar, and Potter are extremely distressed about what's happening to them.
    BJ: They must be going through hell out there!
    [cut to Hawkeye and Margaret passionately making out in a hut while bombs rumble in the distance]'
  • From Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Sisko suspects that a ship was blown up by the Romulan Empire. Garak suggests he confront them directly, but Sisko remarks bitterly than he doesn't expect the notoriously secretive and untrustworthy Romulans to be forthcoming.
    {cut to}
    Romulan: Yes, we destroyed the Flaxian's ship.
  • From Muppets Tonight;
    Clifford: When Heather Locklear agreed to guest star here on Muppets Tonight, she said she wanted to do something cultured and sophisticated. This is what we came up with. (cue Stylistic Suck B-Movie parody)
  • The Canadian Made-for-TV Movie Net Worth has a lawyer defend the new NHL players association to the press by saying that they have reasonable requests "so we expect a reasonable response." Cut to the Detroit Red Wings general manager storming into the dressing room throwing things and screaming to his players about how they betrayed him.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    Lily: How come Marshall isn't doing anything crazy?
    [cut to Marshall and Barney in the midst of an Escalating War with a guy across the street]
    Marshall: So all we need is one large shipping box, and one hundred white mice!
  • On Married... with Children Bud dates Alpha Bitch Heather McCoy, who put his underwear on the flagpole in sixth grade. He plans to get his revenge only to be humiliated again. Kelly tells him she took care of the situation as she talked to Heather in the hall and they worked things out like ladies. Cut to Heather Bound and Gagged next to a sign reading "Don't mess with a Bundy".
  • In the Frasier Whole Episode Flash Back "Crock Tales", in a scene set shortly after Niles and Daphne's Relationship Upgrade, Niles alludes to the fact he and Daphne have been "a bit distracted" and then says "If Daphne knew I was speaking so indiscreetly, she'd be mortified." Cut to Daphne describing the sex in detail to Roz.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Mirror, Mirror," Kirk, Bones, Scotty, and Uhura are transported into the Mirror Universe. Kirk briefly wonders what sort of horrors their mirror selfs are doing on their Enterprise, only to cut to the prime Enterprise and showing that Spock has the situation well in hand.
  • In the Full House episode "Joey Gets Tough", Joey feels bad about having to punish D.J. the previous night, but Danny tells him that he had to do it and that she can't be mad at him forever. D.J. then walks in and greets everyone cheerfully except for Joey, who she speaks to with a stern "Hello, Joseph".
  • Played for Drama in an episode of Babylon 5 where Sheridan mentions how he believes that Londo is back on Centauri Prime celebrating and partying over his coronation as Emperor. Cut to Londo sitting on his throne, contemplating quietly, and utterly alone.
  • Adam Adamant Lives: Adam refers to Georgina as a 'poor, frail, defenceless girl.' Immediate cut to Georgina smashing a teapot over her captor's head and making her escape.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • During a Calvin and Hobbes story arc in which the family returns from a trip to discover that their house was robbed, Dad says this must "really be scary for a little kid like Calvin." In the next panel, Calvin is grinning excitedly and saying to Hobbes, "Gosh, I can't wait to tell everyone at school how our house got robbed!"
    • Another time, Calvin complains about having to go to bed and says that he would rather stay up and do "something fun, whatever Mom and Dad get to do!" The next panel shows that Mom and Dad have fallen asleep on the couch.
  • One The Far Side cartoon:
    Man: Does she know I exist? I love her, but I don't know if she knows I exist! I really hope she knows I exist...
    Woman (elsewhere): You know, I really like vanilla.
    Caption: Same planet, different worlds.
  • One Garfield strip shows Jon speaking to the readers about the good qualities of cats, which Garfield is acting the opposite way in the background.

  • A theatre cut is done usually by having two different sets side by side on the same stage.
  • A Very Potter Musical is fond of these when it comes to Snape.
    Dumbledore: There's no way that Severus Snape is, was, or ever shall be a servant of Voldemort.
    [Cut to:]
    Snape: All hail Voldemort!
    • And in the sequel, just as Remus assures Harry that "no one at Hogwarts hates [him]," Snape suddenly appears (having 'sneaked' into the scene with his cloak over his face) with a shout of "What the devil is going on here?!"

    Video Games 
  • Halo Wars has the Arbiter (no, not that Arbiter) mopping the floor with resident Sergeant Rock John Forge.
    Arbiter: Like the rest of your race, weak and undisciplined. *throws Forge headfirst into a wall*
    Cut to Spartan Red Team kicking Elite Honor Guard ass in a way reminiscent of 300
  • At the end of the Netherbattle DLC in Disgaea 4, the gang learns that Artina is still on collection duty. Artina assures them that this time the money won't go to waste. After all, what's Flonne going to do, use it to build another giant robot? Cut to Flonne planning to do exactly that.

    Web Comics 
  • The Order of the Stick does this often. Understandable, given that the surprises that come with warfare lead to a lot of splitting up and improv, and the characters' thought patterns vary so widely that the plan is going to go off the rails sooner or later.
    • One of the earliest examples features three in a row as Roy speculates about the upcoming battle and the fate of a kidnapped ally.
    • There's another triple example at the end of the first major Story Arc, as Elan lists the group's (as far as they know at the time) victories.
    • And just for fun, there's this one, where the evil-opposites team has just learned about the protagonists' new quest.
      Nale: The knowledge that the fate of the entire multiverse hinges on their every action must be a terrible burden, haunting them constantly.
      [Cut to...]
      Durkon: Who's up fer Parcheessi?
    • Along those same lines, there's this one.
      Roy: Xykon cares for nothing but your complete and total -
      [Cut to...]
      Xykon: YAHTZEE! Yes!
      [Cut back...]
      Roy: -destruction.
    • When Tarquin kills Nale, he walks away saying that anyone who's ever known Nale would at least entertain the idea of killing him. The next panel shows Sabine, who watched her boyfriend get killed, pissed as all Hell.
  • This Better Days strip.
    Fisk is always so pensive. Look at him over, so quiet. I wonder what he's thinking about this. I wish I could get in his head and find out.
    Fisk: Mmm. Potatoes.
  • The same variation in Misfile here.
    Ash: This is... Weird. I'm at the movies with Emily. It's so...Date-like. Dammit! Just watch the movie! But I wonder what she's thinking...
    Emily: This popcorn is WAY too salty...
  • This Darths & Droids strip. The author even mentions this page in The Rant.
    • Also this one and the one that follows. Let it be known that Yoda (or "Darth Sein") is far more of a Cloudcuckoolander at this point of the comic than he is in the movie.
  • Subverted with a lampshade in this Irregular Webcomic! strip; the author references this page in the footnote which says: Herein subverted.
  • Used for a throw-away gag in Schlock Mercenary:
    Cop: That Evvi-bot is a miracle of modern science, Griz. Holographic imaging, multi-band spectroscopy, five nines of non-destructive observation, and at the end of five minutes it can hand you a verdict.
    Evvi-bot: Attempted suicide! ...Oh, wait... The victim is dead. Lemme think about this one.
    • Of course, a bit of a subversion in that technically "attempted suicide" is fairly accurate.
    • Inverted, somewhat adorably, here:
    He escaped into the river and he looks like a giant turd. Wastew-water is a logical place to look. Besides, he's a criminal. Dark places for dark souls.
    [Their target is sitting under a tree in a park, with a little girl buying a balloon in the background.]
  • xkcd: The female character tries to talk the male one out of challenging Nathan Fillion to an electric skateboard race because he's Captain Reynolds:
    Megan (?) : "He has his own life to live, and I'm sure the last thing he wants to do is indulge a fan by playing Mal for him."
    Nathan Fillion: [standing in front of a mirror wearing Mal's coat]: "Name's Captain Reynolds, ma'am. *ahem* Name's Captain Reynolds, ma'am."
  • Subverted with a healthy helping of Lampshade Hanging in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures . Alexsi is being reassured that Dan can do a good job of showing off the Lost Lake Inn in her absence. Cut to Dan (disguised as Alexsi)...doing a good job of showing off the Lost Lake Inn in Alexsi's absence.
    Critic: I must say, this place is very charming!
    Dan (as Alexsi): What did you expect? Comedic irony?
    • Played straight, though, later on.
    Dan: I didn't think about a lot of things, unfortunately. Which means I will have to be extra cautious for the next time. I doubt I will catch [Regina] off guard again.
    Regina (thinking): Yeek. These peeps expired like twelve years ago. Uncle Aliph really needs to keep better tabs on his food reserves...
    • And played straight again, when Mab and Pyroduck were sent to get a cake:
    Wildy: You don't think they're going to the moon?
    Jyrras: Of course not. There are no bakeries on the moon.
    Mab: Stardate... today! We have learned that there are no bakeries on the moon!
  • Subverted in a different fashion in Dominic Deegan. Suyan imagines that Donovan is being welcomed by whatever orcs found him with open arms. Cut to just outside the cave where Donovan is being held, where Donovan is screaming for mercy. Then cut to inside the cave, where a completely unharmed Donovan is faking it while his interrogator is telling him to pretend to scream for mercy.
  • Erfworld: Here, Parson goads Ansom into striking before he's ready by claiming that his (imbecilic) overlord Stanley is superior to Ansom's royal status (a sensitive issue with Ansom) due to Stanley's possession of a divine artifact. Cut to Stanley chocking a subordinate in frustration.
  • Gigantic example of this trope appears in The Wotch, here, where Jason explains all the reasons why the others' scheme will not work, only to be immediately proved wrong on all counts. "Okay, so I suck."
  • This episode of Everyday Heroes, where both characters speed towards each other thinking "As long as I don't run into any trouble..." ("Did anyone else just hear a crash?")
  • Freefall: Florence looks at the Asimov.
    • Done again much later, with Florence concluding that she has to assume very dedicated and experienced programmers are helping with Gardener in the Dark...while the final touches on automating its release are being done by a pissed-off intern, who is fired immediately after finishing. Perhaps fortunately, Mr Kornada is not a man who knows how to get the best from his workers.
  • This El Goonish Shive: Squirrel genius works in mysterious ways (particularly while mopping)
    A plan that hinges on grace passing for Elliot is doomed. She's far too bubbly and upbeat.
    Grace: I hate everything. [She's reading a book titled 1,001 Depressing Historical Facts''.]
  • This strip of Snowflakes.
    Every day outside this orphanage is a day of warm sunny bliss, where every day your new parents hug you and kiss you and tell you how great you are.
    Two hundred miles south...
    [A girl drags a plow through a field.]
    Farmer: PLOW FASTER!
  • This is one of the more common forms of humor in Wapsi Square. This strip is a good example.
  • In Tales of the Questor, Quentyn uses an "arcane racconan art" to gather intelligence on the dragon.
  • For a webcomic built entirely around this trope, see Basic Instructions.
  • Manly Guys Doing Manly Things: Malachite tries a plan to lure the Sailor Scouts in, but Brainwashed Tuxedo Mask says they are not idiots. The following panel proves Brainwashed Tuxedo Mask wrong.
  • In one Electric Wonderland comic, Trawn invites Natasha to visit the Home Base of her newspaper staff. She says the other members must be "humming along", but unbeknownst to her, they're engaging in a recreational battle.
  • Dangerously Chloe has this when the resident Cassandra is rationalizing her Cassandra Truth.
  • Skin Horse: Pedantic talking dog Sweetheart invokes the trope (and TV Tropes) by name in the 2014-10-11 strip, which does also illustrate it.

    Web Original 
  • The Nostalgia Critic
    • Done four times in his review of the Bebe's Kids video game:
      "Oh my God, I will never get tired of this!" [cut to later] "Oh my God, I am so tired of this!"
      "Thank God, I don't think I could've taken much more of this." [cut to later] "OH MY GOD, I CAN'T TAKE MUCH MORE OF THIS!"
      "OK, all right, I got one in the corner. This oughta make things go faster." [cut to later] "C'MON! DIE!! DIE, GODDAMMIT, DIE!!"
      "Now I have to get this asshole. I hope he goes down a lot faster than the other guy." [cut to later] "OH, SWEET BUTTERY JESUS!! This is like a test in psychological torture!!"
    • Reviewing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies:
    "After two movies, they must have got it right, so let's sit back and enjoy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III!
    Caption: Five minutes later...
    [Hugging his knees and rocking back and forth in the shower] "Oh my God, it's so terrible! It's so terrible!"
  • Used in episode four of Kickassia:
    The Cinema Snob: "Look, I'll have a talk with the Critic, see if any of this is true."
    Paw: "What if he suspects us going behind his back?"
    The Cinema Snob: "He won't suspect us. I'll put it very delicately."
    [Cut to.]
    The Cinema Snob: "Everybody thinks you're nuts."
  • In Awkward., Lester verbally sets the scene for his first encounter with dream girl Steph by explaining he was reading "a very intellectual book". Cut to him reading The Legend of Zelda manga in the computer lab.
  • Used in Red vs. Blue
    Simmons:"Any minute the blues are going to come over that hill yelling, Charge!!!"
  • We're Alive: From Chapter 3:
    Saul: Whatever, Michael would have done the same thing.
    Angel: Well he's not here now. He's probably back at the Tower surrounded by ladies.
    (Cut to Michael and the other Tower residents besieged by zombies)
    Michael: Shoot that bitch in the face!
  • Todd in the Shadows: While going over his "10 Best Hit Songs Of 2011" he warns that the following music video has been marked as inducing seizures:
    Todd: What kind of asshole makes a video that gives people seizures?
    Kanye West: Yo Taylor, I'm really happy for you and imma let finish...
    Todd: Of course.
  • Lampshaded in Saint Seiya Abridged:
    Shun: (Facing Gemini saint): Let's Hope Seiyar and Shiryu don't meet the same difficulties.
    (Cut to Seiyar and Shiryu facing an other Gemini Saint)
    Seiyar: I have the awkward feeling that someone just said something in total opposition with our current situation.
  • To Boldly Flee:
    Obscurus Lupa: Be discreet.
    Todd in the Shadows: Don't worry, they'll never see me coming.
  • This is a regular thing in Code MENT, usually in the form of Character A commenting on character B being smart - cut to character B doing something stupid.
  • Used for drama in Demo Reel, as a scared, dying, abandoned Donnie tells the camera Rebecca and Tacoma must have been the only ones worried about him when he was missing. Cut to the two of them drinking, flirting and having the best time.
  • In the very first episode of Mirai Nikki The Abridged Series has Yuki watching an episode of School Days.
    Yuki: Wow, that girl sure is crazy and scary! It's a good thing nobody like that exists in real life!
    *cut to Yuno Gasai, who later becomes his homicidally-obsessive girlfriend*
    Yuno: I just traveled to a parallel universe and killed myself in order to take my own place! And I did it all for the sake of love.

    Western Animation 
  • This appears to be the main source of humour in Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • After Aang and Toph are kidnapped by Xin Fu:
      Toph's Mother: (crying) Poor Toph — she must be so scared...
      [Cut to] Toph: You think you're so tough?! Why don't you come up here so I can smack that grin off your face?!
    • Also this, from the fourth episode when Zuko sees the erratic path the Gaang is taking to the North Pole:
      Zuko: He is clearly a master of evasive maneuvering.
      [Cut to] Sokka: You have no idea where you're going, do you?
  • Used multiple times in succession in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Pretty Poison".
    Pamela Isley: "Shouldn't we wait for your friend?"
    Harvey Dent: "Bruce? Nah, he's always late. He probably got hung up on business."
    [Batman hanging onto a helicopter full of escaped convicts.]
    Pamela: "I hear he's rich."
    Harvey: "Yeah, Bruce runs around in a high-class crowd."
    [Batman chasing a convict.]
    Harvey: "But he still manages to get his kicks."
    [Batman kicking the criminal.]
    Harvey: "There's nothing we don't know about each other."
    [Batman threatening the crook.]
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold has this during an argument about how well heroes treat their sidekicks.
    Aqualad: "We're tired of being treated like second-class superheroes!"
    Green Arrow: "I think that's a bit of an exaggeration. I've always treated Speedy well!"
    Flashback to Green Arrow and Speedy atop a pool filled with crocodiles.
    Green Arrow: "Quick, retrieve my bow from that crocodile pit!"
  • On Family Guy, Meg asks her mom how she got blueprints for the D'Amico house.
    (Flashback to office visit) Can I have the blueprints to the D'Amico house?
    Clerk: (handing them to her) Sure. Here you go.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes:
    Jimmy: That horse is probably thrashing him!
    (Cut to Beezy and the horse playing cards.)
    • Also:
    Jimmy: Your dad's a reasonable guy. I'm sure he'll understand.
    (Cut to)
    Samy: Seventeen, sir.
    Samy: Eighteen, sir.
  • Kim Possible has "The Twin Factor". What is the Big Bad supervillain more likely to do with a Mind Control chip?
    Ron: "Drakken has total mind control power?!"
    Kim: "Yet another "Take Over the World" thing!"
    Ron: "That, or he's gonna force people to listen to those stories about his twisted childhood..."
    Drakken: "Then, in fourth grade..."
  • Pinky and the Brain has Brain trying to prove he's really a mouse (with the excuse that he was turned into one in a freak lab experiment).
    Lawyer: In your experience with other mice, would you say that they are intelligent?
    Cut to Pinky, trying and utterly failing to control Brain's human suit, and making a mess in the process
  • In The Problem Solverz episode "Zoo Cops":
    Horace: I've got the perfect plan.
    Lidget: I bet your plan isn't a master plan.
    Horace: Oh, it is. It uses one of the most, cunning, stealthy Problem Solverz you'll ever meet.
    (Cut to Alfe breaking items and a shelf loudly crashing to the floor)
    Alfe: Uhhh... this thing just, like, broke.
  • Raw Toonage had Cro-Magnum PI (a caveman Private Detective):
    Just I needed, another beautiful woman in my life. I did everything I could to get rid of her [cuts to the caveman getting her a chair, brushing his teeth, and getting his hair done.]
  • The Simpsons:
    • Invoked intentionally by Homer
      Marge: (explaining to her sisters): He's a complicated man.
      Homer: [pokes head out of a window and smashes a plate over it]: Wrong!
    • In "Brother's Little Helper" when Bart runs away from home, Marge is panicking and says "He must be feeling so helpless and scared!" Cut to Bart driving a tank through the town, smashing everything in his path. Which he did while gleefully singing the famous lyrics of "Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac in time to crushing a row of cars.
    • Earlier in the same episode, Marge is incensed that Principal Skinner wants to put Bart on an antipsychotic drug, saying that he's not "some hyperactive monster". They then look out the window to see Bart chanting in cheerleader garb.
    • This scene in "Bart's Comet":
      Homer: It's times like these I wish I were a religious man.
      Reverend Lovejoy: It's all over, people! We don't have a prayer!
    • In "Brother from Another Series" Sideshow Bob is released from prison much to Bart's dismay.
      Bart: Don't you see what you've done! Sideshow Bob hasn't reformed, he's pure evil! Oh, if only you knew what he was thinking.
      (Cut to Sideshow Bob in car)
      Bob: (thinking) I hope they still make that shampoo I like.
  • South Park
    • "Make Love, Not Warcraft" has a scene where someone kills the boys' online characters in about ten seconds. Stan surmises that "Whoever he is, he must be one tough badass." Cut to an overweight nerd who obviously spends too much time at his computer.
    • "Casa Bonita"
      Cartman: Kyle, when have I ever ripped on you for being a Jew?

      After the montage, he adds, "Okay, except maybe for that one time."
    • A similar scene in "Quest for Ratings" when Cartman wonders how Kenny can betray him by working on Craig's show after he's always been supercool to him. Cue flashback where Cartman gloats about doing a news show which Kenny can't be on because he's poor.
  • From the Sushi Pack episode "But is it Art?":
    Ikura: Maguro, how'd you ever get that museum director to put up Tako's paintings?
    Maguro: We had a meeting of the minds.
    Cut to Maguro in the director's office, brainwashing him
    Maguro: You will hang Tako's paintings. You will hang Tako's paintings.
    Director: I will hang Tako's paintings.
  • Happens a couple of times on Transformers Animated. For example:
    Megatron: No Autobot would be foolish enough to fire on their greatest weapon.
    Cut to Sentinel Prime in the Council chamber, bashing his desk with a fist.
    Sentinel Prime: I say we fire on Omega Supreme!
  • Visionaries had Ectar assuring the local residential committee that the soldiers of New Valoric are a well disciplined and non-rowdy bunch. Cue Witterquick crashing into the room and landing onto the meeting table.
  • The Rocko's Modern Life ad "How to Tell if Your Dog is Brainless" has Rocko try to defend Spunky with contrasting clips being shown similar to the Garfield example above.
  • The Powerpuff Girls episode "Octi Evil" has the narrator commenting on a quiet evening at the Utonium household. This is followed by Blossom angrily shrieking "SHUT UP, BUTTERCUP!!!" as she and Buttercup lock horns with each other.
  • In Hercules episode "Hercules and the Parents Weekend", a monster captured some of the parents. Adonis' Dad said he was probably taking "swift and decisive" action. Cut to the next scene showing Adonis decided to have himself crowned the next King of Thrace.
  • In Superman: The Animated Series Leslie Willis states her disdain for Superman:
    Leslie: First, he's never around when you need him.
    (Superman arrives just in time to save a falling construction worker)
    Leslie: Second, everything's just so darned easy for him.
    (Superman grabs a falling crane, which judging from his reaction is heavy enough to strain even him)
    Leslie: And third, all he cares about is himself.
    (The crane breaks away, and Superman races to catch it before it falls on the people below.)
    • In "The Main Man", Professor Hamilton muses about the "great achievements" and "brilliant minds" to be found in civilizations on other worlds. Cut to Lobo in a seedy alien bar letting loose a loud belch.
  • In The Fairly OddParents episode "A Mile in My Shoes", when Cosmo and Wanda apologize that their mandated trip to Fairy World means they won't be able to teleport Timmy to school, Timmy says that he'll be okay as long as his dad didn't do anything stupid to his car. Cut to Timmy finding his dad in the process of converting the car into a giant robot to compete with the Dinklebergs when they did the same thing.
  • In the Futurama episode "A Fishful of Dollars", the newly-rich Fry buys an ancient can of anchovies because he wants to eat them, not realizing that the fish oils in the can are extremely rare and valuable in the future. Corrupt Corporate Executive Mom and her sons mistake him for a shrewd businessman who plans to hold the can for a handsome ransom.
    Walt: This Mr. Fry must be a mastermind of the highest order!
    (Cut to Fry in his underwear, watching Sanford and Son in the dark)
    • In "My Three Suns", Fry is in trouble and needs Leela's help, but they had just gotten into a nasty fight beforehand. Amy says they should go to her since she's not the type that holds a grudge, before cutting to Leela beating on a punching bag with Fry's picture taped to it.
  • In the Rugrats episode "Runaway Angelica", Drew sends Angelica to her room for playing in his study and assumes that she's mature enough to handle her punishment. The scene then cuts to a furious Angelica trashing her room.
  • In Gargoyles, Xanatos says "Pay a man enough, and he'll walk barefoot into Hell." Cut to a demolition crewman wearing huge robotic boots, walking through the not-at-all-hellish courtyard of Castle Wyvern.
  • In the first episode of Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Star is bestowed the Royal Magic Wand and the Queen tells her to use it responsibly.
    Star: Don't worry Mom, I can handle it.
    (cut to the kingdom up in flames)
    King and Queen: She can't handle it.

Alternative Title(s):

Ironic Description Cut