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->'''Hobbes:''' What about the [[TropeNamer noodle incident]]?\\
'''Calvin:''' '''''No one can prove I did that!'''''
-->-- ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'', [[http://calvinandhobbes.wikia.com/wiki/Noodle_Incident Noodle Incident]]
The Noodle Incident is something from the past that is sometimes referred to but never explained, with the implication that [[CrazyAwesome it's just too ludicrous for words]]--or perhaps too offensive for depiction--and the reality that any explanation would fall short of audience expectations. Questions about it are often met with [[YouDoNOTWantToKnow "You Don't Want To Know…"]] Persisting is a good way to press a character's BerserkButton.
Commonly introduced to the audience by having characters react to some fantastic and improbable event with [[OhNoNotAgain "Oh no, not again."]] The key to this trope is that the audience is left to imagine what happened based on vague hints or clues, with [[RuleOfFunny funny]] (or [[NothingIsScarier scary]]) results.
Named for an incident referenced by the characters of ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'', where the author admitted he decided against ever stating what happened, as he figured nothing he could come up with would be as outrageous as what the readers thought happened.[[note]]It originated from the [[http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1990/09/14 Sept. 14, 1990 strip]], in which the word "incident" was not used, but was used all the time after that, starting with the [[http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1990/12/12 December 12, 1990]] strip.[[/note]]
Don't be surprised if it was caused by a [[TheTrickster trickster-type character]]. If there's a noodle incident and a trickster happens to be in the main cast, the trickster is almost always responsible for it, or at least ''blamed'' for it.
Compare with CrypticBackgroundReference, InJoke, JackhammeredConversation, NoodleImplements, SecondHandStorytelling, TakeOurWordForIt, ThatMysteriousThing, and WhatDidIDoLastNight Reminiscing about a Noodle Incident by the people involved can result in LostInTransmission for an outsider. Compare and contrast OffscreenMomentOfAwesome, where the off-screen incident would have been better on-screen. See also CowTools. Enough such incidents create a character who has SeenItAll. If a Noodle Incident is essential to solving a mystery, it's a RiddleForTheAges. If it results in the person/people involved being banished from wherever it happened, they've become PersonaNonGrata. And if, many episodes or installments later, we finally get to see the incident and all the details about it (at least one TV series season, book volume, or film sequel has to be in the gap), the ensuing new episode/installment becomes the ResolvedNoodleIncident. See also GreatOffscreenWar. Contrast ObliviousMockery, where characters talk about an event they don't know happened but the ''viewer'' does (most of the time).
In SpyFiction or similar stories with two longtime allies, the Noodle Incident is usually referred to by a place's name. "This is just like Budapest!" "Remember Helsinki?" "God, it's Rio de Janeiro all over again." Sometimes this is elaborated upon, but usually not.
To be clear, this isn't simply a reference to something that is never shown "on-screen". A Noodle Incident is marked by a lack of information, shown or told. Bob saying to Alice, "Remember that time we robbed a bank?" does not qualify, whereas "Remember the bank?" does.
Naturally, this trope is a good source of FanficFuel. Often overlaps with GettingCrapPastTheRadar. Contrast with RememberWhenYouBlewUpASun, which is where the reminiscence is anything ''but'' ambiguous.
Not to be confused with Administrivia/TheGoogleIncident ([[Administrivia/TheSecondGoogleIncident or the second one]]), although you might get this vibe from some tropers.
** ''NoodleIncident/CalvinAndHobbes'' (TropeNamer)