"I just wanna see the scene where Bruce has to explain his goddamn expense report!"When the past events of the episode or series are revisited via a looking over of damages and expenses. In short, a common Framing Device for a Clip Show. Often played for laughs.
Examples:Anime and Manga
- Used explictly in the anime Speed Grapher episode "Audit the Wicked".
- In one episode of Excel Saga, Il Palazzo justifies his decision not to include Excel on the current mission by showing her a Clip Show of all her mission failures from previous episodes.
- The Avengers has done this a few times. The story "Lo! And There Shall Come an Accounting!" was about this. In the end, the money-counters let the super-heroes off the hook. Who's going to rag on Captain America for saving them?
- Played with in Slumdog Millionaire, where the accounting is not of expenses, but of the main character's life experiences that led to his presence on a quiz show, and his knowledge of esoteric answers despite a dirt-poor childhood.
- Gateway by Frederik Pohl does this; In the "present", the hero is obscenely wealthy, plagued by guilt, and going through therapy with a computer-generated psychologist. Most of the actual plot of the book is in his explanations to the computer of where the wealth (and guilt) came from.
- The book Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold is actually a thinly disguised short story collection, with an audit as framing device for the stories.
- Night Court did this plot once.
- The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations" is told via flashback as Sisko explains what happened to the Department of Temporal Investigations.
- The Clip Show episodes of Stargate SG-1.
- In Angel, Doyle asks Angel to snoop around his ex-wife's new fiancée, leading to an awkward scene where Angel spots the beau with a knife and tackles him through a plate-glass window. The next day, Angel grouses that Richard belongs to a family of a harmless restauranteurs "with some pretty expensive windows."
"Illyria destroyed 11 torture units before she found your man; 2 troop carriers, an ice cream truck, and 8 beautifully maintained lawns."
- The episode "Time Bomb" had a suit, Marcus Hamilton, reading off a list of damages caused by Angel's flunky during a rescue mission.
- JAG: In "Soul Searching", Harm and Bud goes over the budget request for the office in which it appears that Harmís firing of an H&K in the courtroom (two seasons earlier in "Heroes") has caused a structural damage to the roof. Through clever lawyering, Bud makes the outstanding expense go away under a building health plan.
- The radio drama "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar" used this as the show format. Each of Johnny's adventures was narrated as he went down the list filling out his expense report.