Simply put, a phone call in which only one half of the conversation is heard. This trope is sometimes used in conjunction with a NoodleIncident or NoodleImplements (see the ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' example below).

It can involve RepeatingSoTheAudienceCanHear, if the audience is intended to understand both sides of the conversation. It becomes quite funny when the speaker repeats the exact words from the other side of the line, for no other reason other than this. Alternatively, the audience can be deliberately left in the dark and forced to imagine what the person on the other end is saying. This can lead either to drama and tension, or to [[HilarityEnsues hilarious misunderstanding]].

Alternatively, both halves of the conversation may be heard, per se, but from the audience's perspective, the words being spoken [[TheVoice by the person on the other end of the line]] come through as comically sped-up babbling or some other form of [[TheUnintelligible unintelligible gobbledygook]] (sometimes done to hide [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar really vulgar language]]).

[[TropeNamer Named]] after Creator/BobNewhart, who used it in his RecordedAndStandUpComedy routines in the 1960s as well as some of his works below.


[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* In the ''Franchise/YuGiOh'' fic [[ "Loaded Bones"]], Bakura rings Marik to find out whether his SuperPoweredEvilSide is having him on about having used their shared body to have sex with Marik. Marik's side of the conversation isn't given, but is implied by Bakura's (mainly flustered) responses.
* The premise of [[ No More Phones in the Grocery Store]] is that the unnamed viewpoint character was doing some shopping and overheard one side of a very odd phone call.
* In ''Fanfic/AGemOfADay'', [[spoiler:Sunset Shimmer has one with Applejack when the latter calls to say she and Rarity are in jail]].

* In ''Film/DrStrangelove'', we hear President Muffley's side of his call to Soviet Premier Kisov explaining [[ApocalypseHow the situation]]. From the way Muffley has to keep explaining things in simple terms and nudging the conversation back on topic, it's clear that (as the Soviet ambassador warned) Kisov is [[VodkaDrunkenski thoroughly drunk]].
* ''Film/HellIsForHeroes'' is a 1962 film about WWII [=GIs=] who have to hold an outpost until their relief arrives. They occupy an abandoned German pillbox with a microphone linked back to enemy headquarters. Bob Newhart plays an army clerk who makes fake radio reports so the Germans will believe that the squad is bigger than it is. Many of them are quite funny.
* Early on in ''Film/MyCousinVinny,'' one of the defendants calls his mother to let her know that, first, they've been arrested and second they're being charged with murder. Judging by his dialogue, she reacts exactly as you'd expect.
* ''Film/ASpecialDay'': How we learn Gabriele is gay. His long talk with the person on the other end of the phone, obviously his lover, ends with him addressing the other person as "Marco".

* Creator/MarkTwain's short story [[ "A Telephonic Conversation"]] describes one of these.

[[folder:Live-Action Television]]
* Practically OnceAnEpisode in ''Series/TheBobNewhartShow'', and a RunningGag in ''Series/{{Newhart}}''.
* ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' in the 1970s did this at the beginning of Weekend Update with Chevy Chase, in which Chase would be on the phone with a woman, talking about a bizarre medical condition, sexual act, or [[NoodleIncident something that happened that isn't described in full detail]] before realizing he's on camera and hangs up.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''. While Dean is saying on the phone "It totally rocked my understanding of the word 'necrophilia'," a passing woman shoots him a look of disgust.
* Referred to on ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' when Mike refers to an uneventful scene of a man talking on the phone as "the unfunny half of a Bob Newhart routine''.
* A particularly hilarious one from ''Series/{{Coupling}}'':
-->'''Steve''': Jeff, calm down. Jeff, just listen, okay. Three things. One, you should not be using your mobile phone on an plane. Two, the name of the island is pronounced Les''bos''. ({{beat}}) Yeah, well that was fairly optimistic of you, wasn't it. Three, the behaviour of breast implants at altitude isn't a subject I can claim great knowledge on. ({{beat}}) Yeah, I'm fairly sure you can't raise it with a complete stranger. ({{beat}}) No, whatever danger you think she's in. ({{beat}}) No Jeff, not even with the people in "shrapnel range"! Okay, look, I'm going to hang up now. ({{beat}}) Because I don't want to endanger a planeload of innocent passengers by prolonging a conversation about the hazards of breast inflation.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Roseanne}}'', she gets a call at work reporting on something DJ did:
--> '''Roseanne''': Hi Darlene...I can't hear you, tell Becky to stop screaming...How could he do that? He's not even home...okay, put it in a trash bag and I'll bury it when I get home.
* Done semi-regularly on ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus''. On several occasions the person on the phone is apparently asked their shoe size for no apparent reason.
* A recurring gag on ''Series/BarneyMiller''. One episode in which a heavy rainstorm hit New York:
-->'''Barney''': No sir, I'm not aware of any ordinances against ship-building within city limits...Sorry, but for animals you'd have to contact the Central Park Zoo...No, I don't know how many feet are in a cubit...
* Creator/ShaunMicallef is fond of the gag. Commonly the call will come after/in the middle of the joke to "correct" Shaun on something. For example, Shaun starting a segment talking about Jimeoin[[note]]a popular comedian[[/note]] being accused of being a war criminal, only to have the caller apparently correct him and explain that it's Jim Molan[[note]]an unpopular Australian politician[[/note]]. Perhaps the most noteworthy use was on "Micallef Tonight" when he called up the Channel 9 switchboard live on air to complain about the quality of his own programme (shortly before it was cancelled).

* "Shriner's Convention" by Music/RayStevens consists of a one-sided dialogue, via hotel phone, between two members of the Hahira, Georgia, delegation: leader "Illustrious Potentate" (Bubba), and member "Noble Lumpkin" (Coy). Over the course of the conversation we hear from Bubba about Coy's various exploits which include getting his Harley-Davidson motorcycle into his hotel room and on the high diving board of the hotel swimming pool, and his girlfriend streaking through their banquet yelling out the "secret code," wearing nothing but Coy's fez.
* Multiple Music/MindInABox songs have one-sided phone conversations with Black talking to his supervisor, White, on the other line. ''Forever Gone'' in particular is almost entirely a Newhart phonecall as Black reports his progress while tracing a target.

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* One of the regular skits on GLOW were the ''Easy As KGB'' segments, featuring Col. Ninotchka (a typical anti-American Russian wrestler) on the phone with her very stupid subordinate, Vladimir.
* [[Wrestling/PaulHeyman Paul E. Dangerously]] used to regularly carry a cell phone with him at all times in WCW, sometimes talking to someone while a match was in progress. Naturally, only his half of the conversation got shown on TV.

* A RunningGag on ''Radio/FibberMcGeeAndMolly''. Whenever Fibber would make a telephone call, he would get sidetracked by a conversation with the operator ("Is that you, Myrt? How's every little thing, Myrt?") and would never get connected to whomever he was calling. Myrt's half of the conversation was left to the listener's imagination.

[[folder:Stand-Up Comedy]]
* Bob Newhart had a lot of routines using this, perhaps the most memorable of which is his ''[[Film/KingKong1933 King Kong]]'' routine, in which a security guard at the Empire State Building's first night on the job is interrupted by the ape's ascent. Listen to it [[ here]].
* Lily Tomlin's Ernestine character was a telephone operator. Audiences heard only her half of her conversations.
* Shelly Berman was good at this sort of thing. His most famous bit was ''[[ The Morning After The Night Before]]'', where he calls his friend after a wild party, and hears about his unremembered drunken behavior.
* Creator/AlanBennett's 'Telegram' sketch, in which he attempts to dictate a telgram he wishes to send to the operator over the telephone and keeps being sidetracked.
* The Two Ronnies well-known "crossed-lines" sketch, where we hear only half the conversation of two people standing next to each other. Each half, on its own, would be innocent enough but hearing them together produces...hilarity!
* Georgie Jessel often did a routine where he talked to his mother on the telephone this way.
* One of the earliest hit comedy recordings, from 1913, was called "Cohen on the Telephone". A man with a thick Yiddish accent tried to call someone and among other things, was constantly having to repeat things because the person on the other end kept misunderstanding him.
* One of Creator/EllenDeGeneres' early routines was her acting out a phone call to God. She got her big break performing it on ''Series/TheTonightShow With Johnny Carson''.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' does this [[{{Stinger}} after the credits roll]], with a conversation between Revolver Ocelot and [[spoiler: the President, a.k.a., Solidus Snake]].

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/WeAreTheWyrecats'', K.A. walks in on a tense phone conversation her dad is having. The audience can only hear his side of the conversation, but it's easy to see what the discussion was.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The premise of ''WebVideo/JonathanPie'' is that Pie is a TV journalist talking to his director between takes. The director talks through his earpiece, giving this effect.
* Deciding to reference and poke fun at his own lack of knowledge about (association) football, Chris Denker starts off the sixth episode of his FIFA17 series with one of these in response to getting loaned out from Manchester United to Oldham Athletic, a team two leagues down from where he started.
-->'''Chris:''' ...the ''only'' reason we won the Champion's Trophy is because of me so, honestly, what is this bullshit about?! ... W-What's that mean, ''how many times did I go offside?'' That's... not relevant to this conversation! ... ''Okay,'' I called it "soccer" ''a couple times''. ... No, I can't name five players on our team but I don't think that this is pertinent!
* In the ''WebAnimation/StrongBadEmail'' "50 emails", Strong Bad is interrupted by a phone call while in the middle of trying to answer fifty emails in a row. From what we hear, he appears to be trying to sell [[ButtMonkey his little brother Strong Sad's legs]] on the black market.
-->'''Strong Bad:''' No, they're more like elephant feet. Yeah. So what do you think, like, 50 bucks? Sounds good. (''whispers'') I'll leave the key under the at-may.
* In episode 6 "Present" from ''WebAnimation/SaladFingers'', Salad Fingers has one of this, except it's a toilet, not a phone. The next scene seems the be the conversation from the other side.


[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'': In the ''StarWars'' episode, Palpatine is on the phone with Vader when Vader tells him that the Death Star blew up. Palpatine is angry with Vader and makes Vader cry over losing Padmé.
** Also used in a skit where [[InspectorGadget The Claw]] learns that his cat is dying of cancer.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Used humorously when Bart finds himself trapped in Knoxville, Tennessee with no money to fly home. He calls Lisa for help:
-->'''Lisa''': Alright, alright, what about a courier? They travel for free too.\\
'''Lisa''': No, that's a terrier. They're dogs.
** It happens again later in the same episode, when Marge has to answer phone calls stemming from Bart's misadventures.
--> ''(phone rings)''\\
'''Marge''': Hello? Oh, hello, Principle Skinner. No, Bart has never been to Hong Kong. Goodnight.\\
''(phone rings)''\\
'''Marge''': Hello? Tennessee State Police! No, my son's car is not crushed in Knoxville. I don't know where to begin telling you what's wrong with ''that''. Goodnight.\\
''(phone rings)''\\
'''Marge''': Hello? No, Bart is not available tomorrow to deliver a human kidney to Amsterdam. ''(slams phone down)'' Homer, are you laughing at me?
* The pilot episode of ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' features one of these while Candace is talking with her (as yet unseen) best friend, Stacey:
-->'''Candace:''' "What are the boys doing? Why do you ask? ''What do you mean you can see it from your house?'' SEE WHAT?!"
* ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'': Dexter's Dad gets a couple of these at the end of "Average Joe".
* ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'' uses this in one episode:
-->'''Farnsworth''': Oh, how awful. Did he at least die peacefully? *pause* To shreds, you say. Tsk tsk tsk. Well, how's his wife holding up? *pause* To shreds, you say.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'': Whenever [[TheGhost Ursula]] is talking on the phone with Stumpy, this happens so that the audience doesn't see her.

* Happens all the time when someone you're in the room with answers a phone.
* In some online forums, you can block a particular person so that they cannot send you messages and you cannot see anything they post. When other people do not have them blocked, it can create surreal situations where you see people replying to posts you can't see, leaving you to guess what the blocked person is saying. If one of the other people are feeling [[ItAmusedMe particularly puckish]], they might invoke this trope, replying to imagined comments instead of real ones because they know you can't tell the difference.
** This may also happen when the other person has canceled their account, or "unfriended" you, even if there was no blocking involved.