Meanwhile, Back at the...
"Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice"
A phrase for cutting between different storylines. The phrase itself probably originated in theater, then became common in radio drama, where all scene changes had to be signaled verbally. Also a very common Stock Phrase
in Comic Books
From "Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch," the narrator's Catch Phrase
announcing such a scene-change in Bonanza
A side effect of Two Lines, No Waiting
Meanwhile, in the Future
is a related trope. See also Meanwhile Scene
, which only happens for a short scene rather than an entire plot thread. Sometimes brought home with an Establishing Shot
Meanwhile, in the examples...
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Anime and Manga
- In Silent Hill, Rose's husband is seen wandering the non-Dark version of Silent Hill as Rose descends further and further into the Dark version.
- Parodied in the film Spaced Invaders as Blaznee spins through the radio dial while stuck on board the spaceship while it's hidden in the barn as "Meanwhile, elsewhere on the planet..." which lets him discover that the whole invasion was caused by misinterpreting the Orson Welles War of the Worlds Halloween radio broadcast being done by a local radio station.
- The second book of A Series of Unfortunate Events repeats the Bonanza line several times - each time swearing to never use it again afterward.
- Philip Pullman's Spring-Heeled Jack begins every chapter with a quote. "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..." begins the second chapter, and names the first book in which it appears. Later in the book, the line "Meanwhile, back at the orphanage..." is used. The source? "Philip Pullman, ''Spring-Heeled Jack.'"
- There's a children's book titled Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch, about a farmer who takes a trip into town while his wife stays home. Guess who has a more exciting day.
- The children's book called 'The Meanwhile adventures', part of the Rover's adventures series by Roddy Doyle, is riddled with this trope, as is the basis of the entire plot.
- Parodied on Mystery Science Theater 3000: when a scene change results in an Establishing Shot characteristic of some other show, they'll mention it, as in "Meanwhile, on Trapper John MD."
- Also parodied in M*A*S*H, when during a break in another character's long and serious speech, Hawkeye leans to Trapper and solemnly intones, "Meanwhile Aunt Martha, after taking a tramp through the woods, is lying in a ditch at the edge of town."
- Sex and the City: Meanwhile, across town...
- The Adam West Batman series used it.
- In the Ray Stevens song "Shriner's Convention", the cut from the refrain back to the next verse is always "Meanwhile, back at the motel..."
- The Cadets' song "Stranded in the Jungle" (covered by the New York Dolls) contains this, transitioning between verses and choruses using "Meanwhile, back in the jungle" and "Meanwhile, back in the States"
- Also done in "Meanwhile Back at the Ranch" by the Clark Family Experience, a short-lived country music band composed of six brothers (who are also cousins to Ryan Tedder of One Republic).
- "Meanwhile Back At The Ranch/Should I Smoke" is the last song on Badfinger's Wish You Were Here album.
- Parodied in Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Movie: "Meanwhile, thousands of miles away" was stated at almost every scene change, even when the scene was shifting between two rooms in a building.
- In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, the narrator says the Bonanza line to cue a scene of the all the side characters talking about the earlier series when they actually, y'know, did things besides watch fights on TV and collect the corpses afterward. The subsequent scene shift is the narrator delivering a deadpan "Meanwhile, back at the plot..."
- Done a few other times, too, including the Hall of Justice version once.
- In The Secret Life Of Dolls, Cleolinda Jones parodies this, linking to this trope page:
I will leave behind the Middle-earthers (and the annoyerist fugitives) for a moment, if only so that I get to say, "Meanwhile, back at the ranch" and mean it literally. So. Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: The Abridged Series: Meanwhile, At the toolshed...
- Slowbeef of Retsupurae is fond of parodying this trope, particularly when MSTing video games with silly or nonsensical plots. It's gotten to the point that, in "Resident Seavil 2," he mentions that several comments on the previous installment complained about his overuse of the joke. He subsequently spends the rest of the video trying not to say it, only to grow increasingly frustrated with himself as he repeatedly does so without meaning to.
- The last post in ''Darwin's Soldiers: Ship of State starts with "Meanwhile, back at the bridge"...
- The 'Meanwhile, in X' meme (X filling in for any location.)
- Ultra Fast Pony. The very first words in the series are the narrator's "Meanwhile, in Equestria. Oh yeah..." Then the second episode opens with "Meanwhile, in the previous episode..."
- As suggested by the quote at the top of the page, played straight on Superfriends.
- South Park parodied this (and of course Superfriends) in the episode "Super Best Friends", including "Meanwhile, at the exact same location..."
- Family Guy did this in the episode "A Perfect Castaway" with a Frank Welker soundalike dating Meg. "Meanwhile, under Megan's bra..."