Alice gets home after a long day. Just as she makes herself comfortable, the doorbell rings. Suddenly the scene jumps to Bob and Claire, who are talking about how they haven't seen Alice this morning. Suddenly the audience realizes that it's the next morning, and we never found out who was at the door. Will Bob and Claire now have to investigate Alice's murder? Or is it all a RedHerring?

Often part of a ColdOpening or used as a way of setting up a case of NotQuiteDead.

This has become almost a staple of murder mysteries, especially in LiveActionTV shows like ''Series/DiagnosisMurder'' and ''Series/{{Monk}}''.
!! Examples:


[[folder: Advertising ]]

* Discussed in a late 2013/early 2014 commercial for the New York Lottery which asks what you will think of when you don't have to think about money. We see a man driving an expensive car and thinking "If you rip the last page out of a mystery novel, does it make it a better mystery?"


[[folder: Anime ]]

%%* ''Anime/TheBigO''.
* The climax of the second chapter of ''LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai'' has [[spoiler: Shiki about to kill Mikiya]]. However, it then skips to Shiki in a coma with Mikiya visiting her in the hospital. While the fifth chapter does give us some idea as to what happened, the viewer doesn't get the full story until the seventh and final chapter.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'': Who killed [[spoiler:Kaji]]?


[[folder: Film ]]

%%* ''Film/JamesBond''.
* ''Film/{{Grindhouse}}''
** ''Film/DeathProof'', which has a 'missing reel' that makes it ambiguous as to whether Butterfly gives Stuntman Mike a promised lap dance. This was inspired by an unintentional version of the trope that Creator/QuentinTarantino's encountered while viewing an Italian crime movie. A missing reel of the film made it ambiguous as to whether OliverReed had slept with the girl. In the scenes afterwards, Reed says he did, but the girl says he didn't.
** The other half of the feature, ''Film/PlanetTerror'', played it gloriously straight with a reel that was never shot. The film cuts from El Wray and Cherry starting to have sex, says "MISSING REEL", and when it cuts back, '''everything is on fire''' and we'll never know why. We'll also never know just ''who'' El Wray really is and why the police chief suddenly has the utmost respect for him.
* In ''[[Film/TheKiss1929 The Kiss]]'', Charles has just caught Pierre kissing Charles's wife Irene. Charles seems to be about to beat Pierre to death, Irene is trying to pull Charles off of Pierre, the door swings shut, and a shot rings out. We don't find out how Charles got shot until the end.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''Literature/InColdBlood'' starts with the murderers arriving at the farmhouse, then jumps to the aftermath. The central mystery of the book isn't "Who killed the victims?" but "Why were they killed?"
* Parodied in "Literature/TheMacbethMurderMystery" by Creator/JamesThurber. An experienced consumer of detective novels, on reading ''{{Theatre/Macbeth}}'' for the first time, notes that if a character is set up with a motive for murder and then shown going to commit the murder, but the action cuts away without actually showing the murder, it always turns out it was someone else who did it.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

%%* ''Series/DiagnosisMurder''.
%%* ''Series/LawAndOrder''.
%%* ''Series/{{Monk}}''.
%%* ''Franchise/StarTrek''.
* ''Series/WithoutATrace'' does this to set up every episode. The episode always begins with the last time that a witness saw the missing person. The detectives generally spend the rest of the episode trying to understand the victim and fill in the timeline after that.
%%* ''Series/TheXFiles''.
%%* Some episodes of ''Series/DoctorWho''.
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' uses this trick to hide some of the crew's [[CrazyPrepared cleverer preparations]]: [[UnspokenPlanGuarantee the audience usually isn't let in on the entire scheme]] until it actually goes down, when the missing steps are revealed in flashbacks.
** Veteran viewers will have little trouble identifying the moments when someone in the crew is doing SOMETHING that is part of the unrevealed plan (ex: Sophie borrowing someone's coat, Hardison working on some random little device, etc) but it's not always possible to tell how the pieces all fit together until the end.
* ''Series/HomeAndAway'' has used this, with the audience never being quite sure about certain things such as Hugo's role in the 2009 mystery, or what the hell actually happened at the Sands on the night Penn died (assuming British viewers have caught up, here's one for those just starting to watch the week of this writing: Will killed him in self-defence after he threatened Shandi/Daria). They usually accomplish this by showing another storyline that ties into the characters involved in the scene.
* ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' likes to do this on occasion, especially in season 4. More often seen is a similar trick where a scene appears to be complete, only for a later episode to reveal that something significant happened right after the apparent end of the scene, or even reveal that the scene itself was [[ManipulativeEditing manipulatively edited]] to hide something in the middle of it.


[[folder: Music ]]

* Possibly unintentional, but Hinder's "Lips of an Angel" starts off with the the singer getting a call from his old flame. He asks why she's calling so late and why she's crying, but we never find out the answers, as the rest of the song is immediately hijacked by him singing about how he still has feelings for her.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' has several instances where it jumps to the next day and only later flashes back to what happened in the previous day. Particularly confusing due to the fact that the nature of the Game means that days normally end in the same abrupt manner.
* The PC version of ''[[TabletopGame/{{Clue}} Clue: Master Detective]]'' started with a still cutscene of Mr. Boddy alive in his chair. There is a blackout signifying an unknown amount of time passing and then we see Mr. Boddy ''dead'' in his chair. Makes one wonder as to how the "where the murder occurred" part of the mystery fits in....
* A few ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' cases start this way, featuring stills of two characters talking and the insinuation that action occurs, but no identification of the speakers or display of the murder itself. Others involve a relatively coherent scene, but the criminal is shrouded in shadows and unidentifiable--and due to the text-based nature of the game, identification by voice is also impossible.
* ''VideoGame/TheHouseOfTheDeadOverkill'', wearing its inspiration from ''Grindhouse'' on its sleeve, has a similar sequence near the end, where Isaac Washington and Agent G both solemnly prepare to do battle with the Final Boss... then one '''MISSING REEL''' later, the two of them are standing outside the burning laboratory, remarking how convenient it was they just happened to find those gatling guns. Then they fight the Final Boss for real. (The "Director's Cut" version later adds the supposed missing sequence back in.)


[[folder: Webcomics ]]

%% Weblinks Are Not Examples * ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'' does it [[ here]].
* ''ComicStrip/{{Fleep}}'' plays with the reader by cutting from the initial shot of the protagonist entering a phone booth and him waking up in ''another'' phone booth surrounded by concrete. As it turns out, that interval is a ''lot longer'' than you might expect...
%% Weblinks Are Not Examples * ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' does it [[ here]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' likes to show scenes in whatever order seems most dramatically convenient. It often leads to the narrator lampshading how we're DEFINITELY going to see what's coming next.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

%%* ''ScoobyDoo''.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' does this when [[spoiler: [[PastelChalkedFreezeFrame the Kyoshi Warriors encounter Azula and her friends.]]]] We don't find out what happens to them until over halfway through the next season.
* Lampshaded in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Wild Barts Can't Be Broken". Homer is asked about what he did the previous night. We see his memory of the event as a sepia-toned silent movie, with [[WhatDidIDoLastNight the parts he forgot due to being drunk]] replaced with a title card labeled "SCENE MISSING".