Don't Celebrate Just Yet

The party of heroes just defeated the Big Bad. He's finally dead. Hurray! Now we can all go back and live peacefully.... BUT WAIT! During that final encounter with the villain, they completely forgot to deactivate the self-destruct mechanism he activated. It's not that they couldn't, but they just were a little pre-occupied with a certain antagonist.

Cue the Oh, Crap! moments.

Well, for whatever reason may be, the heroes have survived, but now have somehow been separated during the quest. Friends, Family, or just people that are happy to see each other. When they finally meet back up, they take a moment to celebrate their reunion, but it must be cut short. They are quickly reminded that they have no time to spare to continue on with their goal.

This trope is used to describe when a situation arises when a character or group of characters accomplish something worth celebrating over, but the moment is cut short when someone or something, usually the Only Sane Man, reminds them that they're not out of the woods just yet... Or they just simply forget. This is very much Truth in Television in athletic contests - sometimes someone showboats a bit too soon and winds up blowing their chance at victory because of it.

This is mostly a comedy trope, though sometimes played seriously. Sometimes a disaster could be averted if someone had just remembered it.

See also Your Princess Is in Another Castle, for times when it's the audience who realizes that it isn't quite over yet.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In one episode of Pani Poni Dash!, the miserable rabbit Mesoussa has a time bomb placed on him by a adorable and polite "Jinx in Training" who wants him to be unhappy. Becky and a few of her students start trying to figure out how to defuse the bomb over the course of the episode. With less than a minute left before the bomb goes off, Becky arrives just in time to tell Mesoussa that they figured out how to remove it. Mesoussa is overjoyed, everyone starts praising Becky for a job well done, and everyone just starts celebrating at the accomplishment... *BOOM!*
  • This exact phrase gets thrown around from time to time in numerous battles in Bakugan.

  • From Con Air: "Think you're free? Well, think again."
  • In Galaxy Quest the crew celebrates their defeat of the bad guys and successful return to the solar system when out of no where, the Big Bad shows up. Twice.
  • Pulp Fiction: Jules and Vincent have just cleaned out the car into spick-and-span ship-shape, and everything seems hunky-dory when the Wolf reminds them that they still have a dead body to dispose of: "Well, let's not start suckin' each other's dicks quite yet. Phase one is complete, clean the car, which moves us right along to phase two, clean you two."
  • In Star Trek (2009), the crew gets this one and a half times. First, they destroy Nero's ship... but then before they can even think about celebrating, the Enterprise starts getting sucked into the black hole! Once they've freed themselves from THAT unpleasant demise, the Crew doesn't celebrate. Instead, they share a collective sigh of relief. In the commentary, director JJ Abrams said he was trying to avoid having the crew cheer or anything like that. He wanted to avoid "Woo Hoo we kicked ass!" and instead go for "Holy shit did we just do that? I need to catch my breath!"

    Live Action TV 
  • Subverted in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Fear Itself". The fight's over, everybody's back home and stuffing their faces with chocolate when Giles, reading up on the Monster Of The Week they'd just killed, suddenly exclaims,
    Giles: Oh, bloody hell, the inscription. I should've translated the inscription.
    Buffy: What does it say?
    Giles: (referring to the monster which had been dramatically revealed to be a tiny little demon that ended up being squashed by Buffy in two seconds flat) "Actual size."
  • In the Doctor Who episode "The Doctor Dances", the Doctor was celebrating the fact that everyone lived for once. Rose then reminded him of Jack Harkness, who had taken the bomb that was meant to save them elsewhere. They rescue him too.
  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Epideme", Lister's heart is stopped prevent him from being killed by the Epideme virus, and once the virus is successfully removed the others walk away to celebrate, only to rush back upon realizing that they forgot to revive Lister.
  • On Maury, this happens with the lie detector tests. The men will often start celebrating after the first question only to fail the rest of the test. For example, the first question may be "Did you cheat with [Specific Person]", to which the man correctly answers no. However, the next question is often "Have you ever cheated", to which the man also answers no and lies.


    Video Games 
  • In Banjo-Kazooie, after you rescue Tootie, the credits roll and there's a cutscene of the victorious Banjo, Kazooie, Mumbo, and Bottles celebrating with a barbecue—then Tootie comes out and reminds them that they still haven't defeated the Big Bad, and that Banjo had better get off his butt and do it.
  • Star Fox 64: Second boss Shogun invokes this with the line "Don't party just yet!"
  • The intro to Left 4 Dead shows the survivors run from a Witch, fight a zombie horde, deal with special infected, set off a car alarm, and just barely escape from a Tank before they catch a moment's rest on a rooftop.
    Louis: We made it! I can't believe we made it!
    Bill: Son, we just crossed the street. Let's not throw a party till we're out of the city.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker features Link doing a comical but upbeat Victory Dance whenever he kills a dungeon's boss. He begins doing said dance after the first stage of the boss battle with That One Boss, but true to his trope, he gets back up, transforms, and probably destroys the player several times over between his second and third forms.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time; when Link defeats Ganondorf here, Link is victorious, right? Wrong. The villain tries to take him and Zelda with him, his final spell causing the castle to slowly start to collapse, giving the player only a limited amount of time to get himself and Zelda out of there before they're crushed, in what could likely be called the "Escort Mission from Platform Hell", even then, Link and Zelda's celebration is cut short, because Ganondorf is Not Quite Dead; cue Oh, Crap! from Link and the true Boss Battle.
  • Metal Slug 6 has the the Alien Queen Final Boss. She's initially fought in a membrane-bubble-egg thing that can't move/attack, and only summon a few mooks, while you're armed with the titular tank and some of General Morden's own Rebel Army soldiers help you a bit too. When it's defeated, the Rebel Army soldiers begin celebrating as epic music plays... until the Queen's eyes glow insanely, shooting lasers that fry your allies, and the monster starts crawling towards you. Time for the actual final boss.

    Western Animation 
  • In Danny Phantom episode "The Million Dollar Ghost", Jack had just defeated Plasmius (yes, Jack Fenton defeated Plasmius) when he and Danny remembered they still have to change the ecto-filtrator to prevent the Fenton Portal from exploding. Then there was a cut to an explosion scene but it was just Jack showing Danny a simulation of what would have happened if they failed.
  • In part two of the second season premiere of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, after Rainbow Dash is restored to normal, the girls all cheer and hug each other. Then a herd of buffalo in tutus dances across the screen, and they remember that they still have Discord to deal with.
    Maybe it's a little early for a group hug.
  • The Powerpuff Girls go into celebratory hugs after stopping a crime in "Mime For A Change," until Bubbles notices that the color has been drained from the landscape.
  • The villain in The Real Ghostbusters episode "Slimer Come Home" (named "Mr. Ugly" by the heroes in-story and "Ghash" in the Storyboards and Script files) is a massive poltergeist who becomes far stronger by absorbing the power of other poltergeists. The heroes manage to bust him after he combines with dozens of them, but then, as Egon tells them in near panic, the ghost trap now has far more ghosts in it than it was designed to hold, meaning they have to floor it back to the firehouse and transfer them to the containment unit before they break free explosively.