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- The Avengers (1998). Steed and Mrs. Peel are at Wonderland Weather getting a tour from the receptionist. There's a noise (telephone ring?) elsewhere and the receptionist leaves, allowing Steed and Mrs. Peel to look around unnoticed.
- Speed (1994). Howard Payne happens to be using the bathroom precisely when the police activate the camera spoof, thus allowing the deception to work.
- Bastian always has something happen that lets him swipe The Neverending Story from the librarian's grasp.
- The heroes of Galaxy Quest are left hanging for a dramatic moment when their contact on Earth has to run to take out the trash.
Live Action TV
- Used twice in the TV adaptation of Goosebumps' "The Haunted Mask", both with a ringing phone— the first time, the mask shop owner is called away, allowing Carly-Beth to explore the forbidden section of the mask shop where she finds the haunted mask. Second time, Carly-Beth's mother wants to check on her costume (she thinks Carly-Beth is going out as a duck), but a phone call draws her into another room, allowing Carly-Beth to slip out.
- Wonderfalls uses this from time to time. Once, Eric faints at a wedding chapel and the receptionist goes to help him, allowing Jaye time to steal info from their records. Another episode, Jaye's mother leaves suddenly because she "has to pee like a racehorse;" once she's gone, Jaye can speak privately with her therapist.
- Law & Order does this a lot- pick a series, pick an episode, someone answers their cell and walks out of the scene.
- Often seen in non-comedic candid camera shows like What Would You Do?, To Catch a Predator, and Mystery Diners, where the actor playing whoever it is will often be asked to give an excuse to get away from the action to see what the mark will do when left alone / what, if anything, the marks will say to the other actor they temporarily left behind.
- In the Enemy at the Door episode "No Quarter Given", Major Richter is called out of a meeting with Dr Martel to deal with an urgent message from Generalmajor Miller, giving Martel an opportunity to notice and read the plot-relevant paperwork on his desk.
Role Playing Games
- From Dino Attack RPG:
- When Rex and Chompy were captured and held in the Dino Island Laboratory, Dr. Rex was conveniently brought out of the room to interrogate another batch of prisoners, giving them their opportunity to break free. Then, said batch of prisoners were also able to escape when Dr. Rex was, again, conveniently led away by Libo in disguise.
- Amanda's search for "Gun" left Rex alone in the headquarters lobby, allowing the Second Headquarters Squad to rush in and drag him into their mole hunt without Amanda's intervention.
- Numerous times, Ben Gunn conveniently exits the scene just before Frozeen enters, preventing readers from ever confirming that one theory regarding Ben Gunn's true identity.
- In One Touch of Venus, Savory is called away by Molly to settle something with Customs House about that ancient statue of Venus he has just acquired, leaving it alone with Rodney. When Savory returns, the statue is gone. So is Rodney, the only person who saw Venus come to life.
- At the beginning of Far Cry 4, the protagonist Ajay is captured by soldiers of the tyrant Pagan Min, leading to a tense No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine scene. During the meal, Pagan Min has to leave to deal with urgent tyrannical business, giving Ajay an opportunity to sneak away. (The game allows the player to choose not to take the opportunity, in which case Pagan Min will return after a few minutes and it turns out he's an old friend of Ajay's mother who genuinely just wants to help him out, short-circuiting the entire rest of the game.)
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "A Bird in the Hoof" has Princess Celestia, who is in town for a meet-and-greet with the locals, called off to a meeting with the town mayor after she introduces her pet to Fluttershy, but before she can explain that her pet is a phoenix near the end of a molting cycle. Fluttershy assumes the Princess is too busy with her duties to care for a sick pet, and Hilarity Ensues.