Reg: Mr. Wentworth just told me to come in here and say that there was trouble at the mill, that's all - I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition!
On some shows with a Drop-In Character
or a Wacky Guy
, the drop-in's appearance is sometimes immediately presaged by an ironic or insulting comment born from another context entirely but which could be applied to them. In Horror
works, the character may appear in answer to an ominous remark or question. In comedies, the character's appearance may be immediately preceded by a gleeful "DID SOMEBODY SAY [word]?!"
Often features Walk In Chime In
Compare Speak of the Devil
, And Here He Comes Now
. Sometimes results in an Answer Cut
. The inverse of Phrase Catcher
. Contrast Incoming Ham
. See also Nothing Can Stop Us Now
and Gilligan Cut
. Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace
can an example of this trope, but is specific enough to warrant its own page.
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- The commercials for the Egyptian cheese brand Panda Cheese work this way. Whenever someone mentions that they do not need Panda Cheese, the product's panda mascot will appear out of thin air to troll their day hard. Well, if that ain't aggressive advertising, then what is?
Anime & Manga
Live Action TV
- Laverne and Shirley is a famous example; Lenny and Squiggy would never enter the girls' apartment without such a "cue" being uttered first.
Lenny and Squiggy: Hello!
- Golden Girls often employed this gag when Stan visited. For instance, in "Mother Load," Rose goes to answer the door, expecting a visit from a co-worker for whom she must conduct a roast. She tells the others, "Be on the lookout for any quirks or oddities." She opens the door; it's Stan. In another episode, Dorothy discusses balancing her checkbook, saying, "I can't think of anything I hate more." When she opens to door to find Stan, she says, "I spoke too soon." Later, when Rose finally agrees to talk to her boss about the stress that's causing her neck and shoulders to tense up, Dorothy says, "Good for you, *doorbell* cause there's nothing worse than a pain in the neck." She opens the door, it's Stan, she promptly says "I must be psychic."
- The "Spanish Inquisition" sketch in Monty Python's Flying Circus is another example of this.
- Whenever someone utters the phrase "I wasn't expecting some sort of Spanish Inquisition," they barge in and the leader yells, "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!"
- Subverted at one point: the phrase is uttered, and all characters present turn their attention to the door, but no one enters. Made doubly funny by the fact that the Inquisition in question was shown rushing through London to get there and say their line before the episode ends while the credits roll on-screen. They make it just in time to get their catch phrase cut off by the end card: "Nobody expects the Spa- oh, bugger!"
- Done a couple of times with managing agent Bebe on Fraiser:
Daphne: Well, I've done enough clothes shopping for your father. I'm pretty good at pretending to like things, no matter how horrifying I find them. (opens door) Bebe, how nice to see you.
- The aforementioned use in Laverne and Shirley is parodied. Dr. Kelso tries to scare people into getting a full body scan to make money. When Dr. Cox asks who would be stupid enough to get the scan, Harvey Corman, a recurring character who is a massive hypochondriac pops up behind him and says "Hello, Laverne."
- In another episode, Turk says to Carla that he wants their next child to be a boy, because as things are, he's surrounded by girls. "There's you, Izzy, Elliot..." Carla asks "Who else?", and then J.D. enters the room. Carla finds this highly amusing.
- In The Muppet Show, there was a character named Crazy Harry who would drop in and blow stuff up whenever someone mentioned dynamite or other explosive-related w- "Did someone say 'dynamite'?!" *KABOOM!*
- The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis used a gag similar to Laverne and Shirley: whenever another character (typically an adult one) would mention something filthy or disgusting, Maynard G. Krebs would instantly pop up with a trademark "You rang?"
- In Will and Grace, the arrival of Beverley Leslie was often preceded by such a comment. A specific example is when Jack and Karen were deciding on dessert, and Jack said that he wanted something "small with lady fingers." They often lampshaded it themselves, such as when Will and Grace are considering moving.
Will: Do you know what the worst part of living here is?
(Jack barges in.)
Will: I swear I wasn't gonna say that.
- Used in a Parks and Recreation episode in which Ann was inviting people over for her Halloween party:
: The people in this room now
are the people I invited, plus Leslie and Donna, so don't tell anybody. April
: Who's not invited then? Tom
: (entering the room)
Hey, what's going on, cupcake?! Excited about the party tonight? Ann
: Oh. Oh, you're coming. I was just about to tell you. Tom
already told me. Can't wait to see how tiny your costume is.
- In the Community episode "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design", Britta declines Troy and Abed's invitation to their blanket fort, then sarcastically asks, "Who wants to hang out in a blanket fort with grown men in tiny Underoos?" Right on cue, Dean Pelton appears.
Jeff: Not much could ruin today.
Dean Pelton: Hello, Jeffrey!
Jeff: Aw, man! End of days? Could anything suck harder than this?
Shirley: That's a suicide mission!
Chang: Did someone say crazy PERSOOOOOON?!
Chang: Well, I heard it.
- On Family Matters, it was never a good idea to loudly state: "It sure is quiet and peaceful around here!" Doing so would inevitably herald a high-pitched, nasal "HI-DEE-HO, WINSLOWS!" from Steve Urkel.
- Used as a Rule of Three Running Gag in one episode of Boy Meets World. Alan and Amy are up in the middle of the night and Alan says that they should go to bed because "only creeps and weirdos are up now". Eric then walks in the door. Eric then says the exact same thing and Shawn walks in the door. Then Shawn says it and Mr. Feeny walks in the door.
- Happens frequently with Ted Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show:
: (discussing disaster coverage on the news)
How many big disasters are there in Minneapolis? Ted
: (entering) Hi, guys! Murray
: Nice timing, Ted.
- Mocked in a Saturday Night Live skit featuring Conan O'Brien as "Moleculo", a superhero who is unable to keep his identity a secret because, whenever he hears his name mentioned, even if out of costume, he loudly bellows: "THE MO-LEC-U-LAR MANNNN!" He finally gives up and moves to Mexico - only to constantly repeat his mistake. In Spanish.
- Also in the the "We're not porn stars Anymore" skits. The third ex-porn star will walk in and ask "Did somebody say [pun relating to the item being sold]" - only its subverted because the cue is never said, and eventually the main girls just have the third one do their schtick regardless.
- In Part 1 of the Doctor Who serial "The Curse of Peladon," the Peladonian high priest relates an ancient legend to the visiting delegates. The moment he comes to the part about a prophecy that a stranger will arrive to bring peril to the planet, the Doctor walks through the door.
- The Nanny loves this trope. It's commonly used to not-so-subtly insult a character. For example, in "The Nanny Napper", when Fran brings home a baby:
Fran: Niles, do we have any old nipples around the house?
(door opens and C.C. walks in)
C.C.: Hello, hello!
(Niles stuffs a coat in his mouth)
- It wasn't insulting, but in the pilot episode of Friends, Ross is lamenting his marriage ending. When the others try to tell him to enjoy being single, as soon as he says, "I don't want to be single, I want to be married," Rachel barges into the coffee shop, wearing a wedding dress. Chandler lampshades it, saying "and I just want a million dollars," while staring at the door.
- On Sesame Street there was a sketch in which saying anything that rhymes with "air" would summon a marching band led by Guy Smiley, who would shout "DID SOMEBODY SAY 'AIR'?" and launch into another verse of his musical spiel about air.
- From the Cougar Town episode "What Are You Doin' In My Life?"
Jules: Laurie, we all have our embarrassing family members.
Bobby (entering) Hello! (beat) That wasn't a coincidence. I was outside waiting for an entrance line.
- In Neighbours, Karl and Susan become laughing stocks after Karl admits to writing an erotic short story set a fictionalised version of Ramsay Street. When Susan asks him to retract his claim on it, he talks with Toadie, who notes that he just needs to find someone who would be willing to take credit for writing an erotic story. At that moment, Lou Carpenter enters in the background.
- The BBC series Trevor's World of Sport used this in every episode, to presage the entry of Ralph Renton, one of their most irritating clients. Generally, a character would be talking about something unrelated, which would end in a string of unflattering adjectives, followed (without missing a beat) by the words "Hello, Ralph."
- While attending a holiday party in Ink City, Twilight Sparkle jokingly thinks to herself her friend Pinkie Pie might've helped set it up. Needless to say, she's floored when Pinkie bounds through the door.
- Lampshaded on Futurama in "Bender Should Not Be Allowed on TV":
Fry: What kind of bozos would start a Bender protest group?
(Professor Farnsworth and Hermes enter the room)
Farnsworth: Good news, everyone! Hermes and I have started a Bender protest group!
Zoidberg: That was uncanny.
- A 1995 episode of The Simpsons shows Bart watching TV and hearing that The Flintstones Meet the Jetsons is about to come on. "Oh, brother," Bart groans. "I smell another cheap cartoon crossover." Right on cue, Homer and Jay Sherman (from The Critic) walk through the front door.
- In Garfield and Friends, any time Garfield asks about stupid acts, either Odie or Jon would perform such an act. And subverted in one episode when Odie doesn't do the act Garfield suggests, lampshaded as even Odie not being so stupid.