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Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace
Something tells me that he objects.
Donkey: Shrek! Hold up, Shrek! You got to wait for the line!
Shrek: [about to burst into the cathedral] What are you talking about?
We've all heard this one before.
The Love Interest
is about to get married to the Romantic False Lead
and everything seems to be going smoothly. But then the cleric gets to the infamous line. You know, the one the trope's named after. The point of the ceremony when objections to the marriage are invited.
Sure enough, Just in Time
, The Hero
bursts in with a flowery declaration of love (and/or a denouncement of the hypotenuse as the utter Jerk Ass
he/she really is). Or if it's the hero and love interest at the altar, some other lover will object. Either way, once that line's uttered
, someone's bound
to not hold their peace.
harbors a sinister secret that is known to the audience but has managed to keep it well concealed from his bride-to-be, her family and guests. The hero – not necessarily a romantic rival – bursts in, exposes the villain, and all hell breaks loose
In the end, most of the time, The Rival
is deposed, the hero and Love Interest
kiss and make up (and might even get hitched on the spot, after all; Why Waste a Wedding?
?), and they all live Happily Ever After
Nevermind that the original point of asking was to check if an unknown legal reason would invalidate the wedding, such as an existing marriage
; any reason will suffice when true love is at stake. On the other hand, it is
before the Wedding Deadline
Usually subverted these days: either the officiant doesn't even have time to get to the line before the seething tensions break loose, or the one character who objects to the union is petty, superficial, and thankfully silent at the fatal moment. On the other hand, sometimes when the line is said, everyone turns to a person present who obviously seems to have a problem with the marriage, only to have that person in embarrassment tell the officiant to keep going.
It's not even played straight in Real Life
these days; the officiant's words and the couple's vows are different for every wedding. Many weddings exclude this line altogether, but it's still legally enforced in some jurisdictions — for example, in the Church of England. The only place most people will ever hear of it is through the media. Interestingly, one of the reasons it was removed from many liturgies was the tendency of certain self-important and arrogant jerks to disrupt strangers' wedding ceremonies
by objecting, usually by accusing the bride of being a disease-ridden whore
. Ha. Ha.
(Or better yet, the intruder is a Stalker with a Crush
who somehow believes he/she and the target were meant to be together
.) Remember, this line is supposed to be used to uncover impediments to the marriage, for instance that one of them is already married or the bride and groom are actually closely related.
See also The Graduate Homage Shot
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- The Volkswagen television commercial "Big Day" features this as the only line of dialogue. The rest of the commercial is a man frantically driving cross-country in a race against his beloved's wedding to another — which he can accomplish in record time, because he's driving the make and model of Volkswagen they're advertising — and throwing the church doors open right as the priest says, with dramatic reverberation, "speak now or forever hold your peace". The commercial ends with the caption "fasten your seatbelts".
- A twist on the trope was used in a series of Christian-themed commercial spots about doing the right thing, where someone is just about to declare his/her intentions before someone arrives, interrupts and presents evidence on why the protagonist should reconsider or do something else. One example was a city council that was about to vote on a lucrative development project, which would involve the razing of a building used as a community center for troubled teen-agers; just before the mayor was about to call for the vote — and a well-timed "speak now"-type silence — supporters of the community center burst in at the last second and urged the council (successfully) to stop the development.
Anime and Manga
- As shown in the picture above, points for scale go to Gundam SEED Destiny. Forced into an Arranged Marriage with Yuna for the "sake" of her country, Princess Cagalli is despondent and resigned as she approaches the altar. Cue dramatic music as Kira Yamato arrives at the wedding, landing his Gundam two feet away from the center aisle. He doesn't say the line, but the implication is pretty clear given where he breaks in on the ceremony. And it works like a charm. (Notice that there's a small subversion: the objection more often than not comes from the bride's love interest, but since her then-boyfriend Athrun was away, the job was "taken" by Cagalli's twin brother Kira, who also doubles as Athrun's best friend.)
- In Mai-Otome, as a variation, Akane's lover Kazuya disrupts her Meister ceremony, just as she is about to become the King of Florince's Otome, proclaims that he loves her, and the two flee away. As a subversion, it is later revealed that Kazuya becomes the new King of Cardair and Akane is forcefully contracted to him as his Otome, allowing them to be together but effectively cancelling the possibility of sex between them.
- In Speed Grapher, Kagura Tennouzou tries this in the wedding of her mother Shinsen and her henchman Suitengu. Not only didn't it work, but Shinsen dies.
- Saiga tries this later, when Kagura herself is about to be forced to marry Suitengu. It works much better this time.
- Also happens with Sanji saving Nami from marrying Absolom in One Piece. Subverted in that Sanji gets told off, and that it's Nami's friend Lola who really breaks it up.
- Sad version occurs in Billy Bat: An African-American woman's wedding is broken up when, at the crucial line, her white groom's family can't keep their peace (it's 1959). The groom ultimately decides not to go along with them, or at least catch up to her and apologize.
- Rainbow Nisha Rokubou No Shichinin has a rare scenario for this trope: Mario defies this trope after Joe attempts to convince him to invoke it. It ends up as a subversion where Mario witnesses Setsuko's wedding and does nothing about it, smiling to give her his best wishes.
- Code Geass in the second season. Xingke interupts the Arranged Marriage of Tianzi and Oddeysus. Seeming subverted as his speech was political in nature and his overt reason was to spite Britania, but his relationship with Tianzi and Tianzi responding with a blush when Kaguya asked if she was in love with him, play the trope straight after all.
- In My Bride is a Mermaid, this is pulled in a Shinto wedding ceremony from the titular Mermaid-Bride. And as she's a big time Mermaid Yakuza boss's daughter interrupting a wedding involving another Marmaid Yakuza daughter, she's carrying a big ol' katana.
- The manga Negima Neo has a moment for this which degenerate into ranged battle. Curiously, in this verse Fate was the perfect Prince Charming Asuna was marrying. Negi stopped the wedding just because he felt it was a waste — there is not the slightest reason to think Fate was secretly evil.
- In Strawberry Panic, Nagisa and Tamao are possibly about to be announced Etoile. Most Etoile pairs end up becoming couples if they aren't already, and Shizuma bursts into the chapel at the last minute to prevent this.
- Parodied in Kimagure Orange Road, where Kyosuke tries to stop Madoka from getting married. Or so he thinks, because Madoka was only replacing the true bride (her older sister) during a wedding essay.
- Combined with Wedding Smashers in The Castle Of Cagliostro. Lupin, via recording, interrupts the Archbishop (Who is actually Lupin in disguise) right after he says the trope name.
- My Life As A Teenaged Von Neumann Device plays this essentially straight in Chapter 11, except for the line "If any should dare oppose it, let them feel the full weight of the empire upon them!" instead of the traditional one, as it's an alien wedding and all.
- Reunion, a Kim Possible fanfic, has an interesting variation. Ten years after high school and six years after Ron disappeared from Kim's life, Kim is about to marry a guy named Ray Beam, who is secretly a villain trying to destroy both Kim and Ron. When Ron, now a costumed ninja hero named Ronin, returns to Kim's life, Beam frames him for his attacks on Kim. At the wedding ceremony, when the priest says those magic words, Wade (who had secretly been working as Ron's backup after the break-up of Team Possible) interrupts the ceremony. The fact that Wade, who was notoriously agoraphobic and seldom left his family's house, attends the ceremony to challenge Beam causes the priest to take him seriously.
- In a Gargoyles fanfiction by Christine Morgan (appropriately titled "The Wedding"), Brooklyn suggests that the line be omitted on the grounds that their enemies shouldn't be given a cue to interrupt.
- In "The Private Diary Of Elizabeth Quatermain," a wedding is broken up at precisely this moment. Played for laughs in that the heroes arrive just a little too late for the line, so they get the minister to say it again in order to achieve the desired effect.
- In "White Devil Of The Moon", Miyuki Takamachi treats Jadeite's attack on Kyouya's wedding as one of these after the fact. Jadeite along with several youma and robot drones attacked the wedding in an attempt to assassinate Nanoha, the reincarnation of Princess Serenity in this fic. Kyouya, Miyuki, Shiro, some of the guests and security guards, and Fate are able to hold off Jadeite's forces until Sailor Venus arrives. Venus takes out the youma while Fate finishes the drones. Jadeite attacks Nanoha, but is intercepted first by her father and then by Venus. While Venus stalls him, Nanoha obliterates Jadeite with a Divine Buster. Then Miyuki speaks to the guests. She wipes her swords off on her ruined bridesmaid's dress and says, "Does anyone else have a reason why these two should not be wed?"
- In Story of Three Boys Kurt, Puck and Finn have been in a relationship for years, although it's been mostly secret with only Kurt and Puck as the "official" couple. Eventually, Finn decides to marry Rachel, because that's what everyone (his mother in particular) expects. In a short AU within the AU, Puck and Kurt speak up during this part of Finn and Rachel's wedding, telling Finn that he doesn't have to marry her if he doesn't want to. Finn is all relieved, because he really thought he had to do it, and happily leaves with them in the middle of the ceremony. (In the fic's canon, Finn does marry Rachel and is miserable, in what is frequently referred to as "a farce of a wedding and a sham of a marriage".)
- Subverted in Big Trouble in Little China, wherein the heroes find themselves forced to stand by and allow Lo Pan to marry their girlfriends, because it is only after doing so that the villain will become mortal and thus, killable.
- Played with in The Baxter, which actually starts with this scene: Caroline is about to wed her perennial Romantic Runner Up fiance Elliott when her ex-boyfriend bursts in, ready to win her back. He does, of course, but the movie isn't really about them.
- In Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, the mortal heroine Victoria chooses not to interrupt the marriage of Victor to the titular Corpse Bride, Emily, even though it will involve his death. It is Emily herself who stops the marriage; she is the Corpse Bride because her lover abandoned her, and she can't inflict that pain on another person.
- In the 1980 version of Flash Gordon, Flash objects to Ming's forcibly marrying Dale by impaling him with a war rocket he's crashing into the capital of Mongo. Also, Dale herself objects to the proceedings ("I do not!")
- Played mostly straight in Four Weddings and a Funeral. Except that the "speaker" is the only one in the room who can't actually speak.
- The speaker, in fact, is the groom's deaf-mute brother and best man, who forces the groom to interpret his sign language because no one else can. The effect is a Crowning Moment of Funny.
- The often-parodied archetype is the penultimate scene of The Graduate (Though technically, he shows up after peace has been held).
- In Wayne's World 2, Wayne re-enacts the famous scene, only to discover that, oops, he's in the wrong church. And then steps outside to discover that there's an identical church across the street. And goes in and does the whole thing over again, as everybody in the wedding, including the minister, calls him a "son of a bitch". At least this time, he's in the right place.
- The Lonely Guy pulled off a full subversion years earlier. Steve Martin's character gives a long and impassioned spiel about why his one true love shouldn't get married, only to find out that it's the wrong chapel and he's too late to stop the right wedding. However, for what it's worth, his speech does convince the other bride not to go through with it.
- In The Guru, not one but two men interrupt Sharonna and Rusty's wedding: Ramu has come for the bride, and Randy has come for the groom.
- This occurs in the climax to Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. All the standard cliches apply, of course.
- Played dead straight in Made Of Honor.
- Subverted in Mambo Italiano. Gay main character Angelo's boyfriend Nino is closeted, which had put a strain on the relationship before Nino was browbeaten into marrying a woman. As the wedding begins, we see Angelo make up his mind and purposefully get in his car. Then at the "forever hold your peace" bit, the church door bangs open. But it's just a late arrival ("Scusate! Scusate!"). Angelo, on the other hand, has gone off to hook up with the nice guy from his volunteer job.
- Also subverted in The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green (while we're on the subject of gay comedies), in which the title character tries to stop the wedding/commitment ceremony of his ex-boyfriend and the ex-boyfriend's new, villainous 'Log Cabin Republican' partner. The big, climactic 'running in to interrupt the wedding' scene actually doesn't pay off, but Ethan and his ex do end up getting back together eventually.
- Happens in Norbit. Interesting case, as the objector is married (though very unhappily).
- Skipped, of course, in The Princess Bride.
- Luckily, most of the rest of the wedding was skipped, including the 'I do's.'
- Subverted, then subverted in a different way in Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves. Robin stops the (forced) marriage of Marian to the Sheriff just before they kiss. Then later, King Richard objects to Robin and Marian's wedding, but only because he wants to do it over so he can give the bride away.
- The ending wedding in Mel Brooks' Spaceballs is a prime example of this trope, right down to Lone Star discovering his status as a genuine prince to be able to marry Vespa.
- It happens again in Robin Hood Men In Tights. The Sheriff of Rottingham forces Marian to marry him by holding Robin captive on a gallows with a noose around his neck. When Achoo shoots through the rope, however, Marian's "I do" quickly becomes "I dooooooo not!". Then later on when Marian and Robin are getting married King Richard turns up and objects* to their marriage on the grounds that as King he's allowed to kiss the bride first.
- Played with in Three Men And A Little Lady: the apparently senile vicar reaches this part and asks the question multiple times, and almost confuses someone's hat moving as an objection. Nevertheless, he continues and the marriage happens. Two of the titular three men finally prove to the woman her husband's real plans after it's apparently too late... Only for the vicar to remove his makeup and costume to reveal it is the third man, therefore revealing his earlier stunt (and his performance during the wedding in general) as a means to gain time and that, obviously, the marriage is null and void.
- Owen Wilson's character does this in Wedding Crashers.
- Although this one is a bit different in that he doesn't want to stop the wedding, just talk to one of the bridesmaids.
- Averted in What About Bob??, where the titular Bob is marrying his psychiatrist's sister. The good doctor, having been driven insane by his patient, is only able to gurgle at the critical moment—he then regains his speech (first words: "Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!") after vows have been exchanged.
- Spoofed in While You Were Sleeping, in which the main character—having been pretending to be the fiance of a man in a coma in order to spare the feelings of his family, is now in the chapel about to be married to him when she's in fact fallen in love with his brother—doesn't even let the priest get past "Dearly beloved..." before she raises an objection. And then the brother, who is the best man, feels he must also object. And then the groom's real fiancée storms in and objects. And then her husband objects to her objection...
- The climactic scene of Rugrats in Paris was one of these, and doubles as a Big "NO!" and a Crowning Moment of Awesome since it is Chuckie's first word: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!".
- Spoofed in the first Shrek movie. Shrek goes to interrupt the wedding of Fiona and Farquaad, but Donkey tells him he has to wait until the priest does his "speak now or forever hold your peace" bit before barging in and shouting "I object!". On further investigation, they find they missed that part, so Shrek barges in anyway.
- Played mostly straight in A Night At The Roxbury, where the groom's brother interrupts the wedding with a boombox held high, in homage to Say Anything.
- In Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Lo very vehemently disagrees about Jen's loveless marriage to a man of her parents' choosing.
- In Saving Face, Wilhelmina breaks up her mother's wedding because her mother is in love with someone else.
- Subverted in Atonement: Briony does not speak up, realizing it would be futile.
- Spoofed in the Power Rangers Turbo movie. Divatox wants to marry the demon Maligore, and tells anyone who objects to SHUDDUP before she even busts him out of his prison. She starts having second thoughts once she gets a good look at him.
- In The Best Man, Olly rushes across London to get to his beloved's wedding before she marries Olly's best friend (who turns out to be a cad) in time for The Words — and he might have, too, except that he shows up at the wrong quainte olde church. Fortunately his roommate, played by Seth Green, is at the real wedding and is able to stall the ceremony until Olly can get there.
Live Action TV
- Coronation Street has played this trope straight more than once (one example has the bride herself objecting), but it's the subversion of this trope that's actually one of the most well known. At Peter Barlow's wedding to Shelly Unwin, there was no problem getting to the altar, except for that fact that Peter was already married and had just had a baby with someone else. It was set up to look like either Peter's troublemaker little sister Tracy or Kieran, his best man and old friend, would spill the beans (both had known about this for ages), or his wife who had just happened to walk by with the baby would interrupt. The Friday episode ended almost on this line exactly. However on Monday no one said anything, and the baby starting fussing, forcing Lucy to leave.
- Subversion: The Vicar Of Dibley: At Alice and Hugo's wedding, a woman bursts in insisting that she has the papers to prove that the groom is already married, but when Hugo turns around, she looks sheepish and says "Whoops, wrong church." In yet another subversion, Geraldine dreams that she has accepted marriage to her perennial nemesis David Horton, but at the last second Sean Bean (whom Geraldine has a long-standing crush on) bursts into the church to stop the wedding and the dream.
- In another dream, Geraldine fantasizes that she's the one breaking up a wedding, while singing "It Should Have Been Me".
- And at Geraldine's wedding, no-one objects, but the officiating vicar, who's had a crush on her since the seminary, tries to encourage people: "It can be anything at all."
- Also spoofed in Ugly Betty:
Betty: [Barging in] I object!
Priest: We haven't gotten to that part yet!
- Subverted in M* A* S* H during Margaret's wedding. The priest gets to that line and everyone (including Margaret) turns to Frank, who was Margaret's lover for the past few seasons and eventually fell in love with her. Frank shifts awkwardly and replies, "Well, I'm not going to say anything!".
- An episode of Monk involved Monk interrupting a woman's wedding to convince her to take back her ex-husband. Then, when Monk figured out that the ex-husband was a murderer, he interrupted their remarriage ceremony to convince the woman not to take him back after all.
- Monk has had a couple other... interesting weddings. He and Captain Stottlemeyer get roped into going to Natalie's brother's wedding in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding" after someone tries to kill Lieutenant Disher (posing as Natalie's date) with a car. To try finding the culprit, Stottlemeyer goes undercover as a photographer and takes photos of the guests. Then the body of the photographer who failed to show up is discovered dead in a mud bath. Monk soon realizes that the woman Natalie's brother is marrying is in fact a black widow, which causes an incident where he gets a knife held to his throat.
- In the Tie-In Novel Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii, a wedding gets used as a plot device. In this case, Natalie's close friend Candace is getting married in Hawaii, and she gets invited to be maid of honor at Candace's wedding on the island of Kauai. Unfortunately for Natalie, any hope she has of spending a quiet week outside the mainland United States is dashed when Monk takes Dioxynl to follow her on the flight to Kauai. When Candace's wedding happens the next day, Monk ruins the entire thing by using a Sherlock Scan to expose her fiance as a bigamist. Candace storms away when she realizes that Monk's deductions are true.
- And then after the wedding, Monk and Natalie find themselves on a Busman's Holiday after they find a police investigation into a death at a nearby bungalow.
- Candace's fiance gets a Humiliation Conga - in addition to his wedding being ruined, his car is later vandalized in the parking lot.
- In Waterloo Road, Tom discovers that the 16 year-old girl he's looking after is going to marry her long-term boyfriend. He rushes to the Registry Office, enters at the correct point and states the marriage is unlawful. It isn't - she's got the required permission from her estranged father, her mother was killed at the end of the previous season and he has no legal authority over her. Turns into a fight afterwards, though.
- Parodied in The King of Queens. The priest gives the line, Spence is about to object on the grounds he still loves the bride...only for someone else to stand up and do so before he does.
- Subverted in Peep Show, where Mark, desperate to get out of marrying Sophie, actually looks hopefully around the church for someone to come up with a reason. No-one does.
- Parodied by Monty Python's Flying Circus in their 'Scotsman on a Horse' skit, in which the wedding is interrupted at a similar point by the titular scotsman entering the chapel, walking down the lane and, without missing a beat, wordlessly carrying off... The groom.
- Subverted in Twin Peaks. An elderly man is about to marry a (reputed) nymphomaniac, despite concerns that she may cause him to have a heart attack through overexertion. After the priest's call for objections, the groom's equally elderly friend stands and proceeds to castigate the bride, only to have the sheriff take him by the elbow and gently steer him outside, still ranting. The wedding continues uninterrupted.
- Subverted in The Nanny. During Fran's wedding, the priest says the line, but Sylvia simply glares at everyone present as a warning of what will happen if anyone objects.
- Neatly used in an episode of Psych; Shawn's objection has nothing to do with why the bride and groom should not be married, but it's the only opportunity he has to do The Summation and reveal how the maid-of-honour committed the crime.
- Turns up in the Torchwood episode "Something Borrowed", with the twist that the interrupter isn't a romantic rival, as most of the congregation assume, he's stopping the wedding because the bride has been implanted with an alien egg, causing her to look nine months pregnant, and the egg's mother is coming to rip it out of her.
- Subverted in Californication, where Hank, having spent the whole season trying to convince his ex to choose him over Bill, not only doesn't object at the wedding, but tries to stop Bill's daughter when she objects.
- Edmund Blackadder tried to get married quickly, in order to avoid having to marry the Spanish Infanta; his hastily-arranged-bride-to-be's husband objected.
- Doubly invoked in The Dead Zone episode "Speak Now", first to inform the bride and groom that according to Johnny's visions the bride's beloved previous fiance is not dead, but a POW, and then a second time when the bride and groom themselves call off the ceremony, having realized that they can't go through with it while that situation is unresolved.
- In the Season 1 finale of the BBC's Robin Hood, Marian is about to go through with her promise to marry Guy of Gisbourne. In an interesting twist, it isn't Robin that crashes the wedding, but his servant Much (Robin turns up on horseback soon afterwards though).
- In The Sarah Jane Adventures episode "The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith", the registrar's reading of the words ("Now, I have to ask this...") is almost drowned out by a strange wheezing, groaning noise. Guess who bursts through the door yelling "Stop the wedding!" Of course, given the show, the wedding is actually an elaborate trap and the poor groom is just an Unwitting Pawn.
- Used/subverted in A Different World. As Whitley prepares to marry Byron, Dwayne walks in just as the minister is reciting the ". . .hold your peace" line. He's about to speak, but thinks better of it and sits. However, when the time comes for Whitley to recite her vows, she freezes. Seeing her uncertainty, it is * then* that Dwayne leaps up, declares his love for her and begs her to marry him instead of Byron.
- Lampshaded in Amen. When asked if their are any objections to her marrying Reuben, Thelma turns around and glares at everyone, then walks up and down the aisle to ensure that no one interrupts.
- Used many times in soap operas. A particularly notable example was in ''General Hospital'where Laura's ex-husband Scotty shows up to catch the bouquet at her and Luke's wedding to protest the marriage long after the vows have been said. Guess something about his wife leaving him for her rapist must really bother him.
- In the third season finale of Gavin and Stacey, this gets quadruple-subverted at Nessa and Dave's wedding. The vicar does the standard speech and no-one says anything. He says "That's always a tense moment". Then Smithy shows up. He tries to persuade Nessa not to marry Dave but she says she loves him. Then Dave persuades her that she really doesn't and just wants a father for Neil the Baby.
- Bones has this done with the wedding of Angela and Hodgins. As it turns out, Angela was already married.
- Touched by an Angel had an episode that played the trope right: a guy who'd been in a coma brings an injunction to stop his exwife from marrying his friend, who had been given power of attorney and signed off on the divorce in the first place(which is what allowed him to get the injunction).
- Everybody Loves Raymond Ray's brother Robert is about to wed his longtime girlfriend Amy when the priest asks if anyone objects, Robert's mother Marie stands, much to everyone's horror. The kicker is that Marie actually likes Amy (much more than Ray's wife Debra) and has been pushing Robert to marry her for years. She declares that she may have been wrong to put so much pressure on them. Unfortunately she chooses that moment to say so, basically ruining their day. It may have been the moment when the character crossed the Moral Event Horizon from Meddling Parent to Evil Matriarch.
- Subverted on the 9 September 2010 episode of The Young And The Restless, which featured the wedding of Billy Abbott and Victoria Newman. The minister (played by Elinor Donahue) begins to say the line when Billy suggests she skip it. Given the large number of extended Newman and Abbott family members in attendance, this was wise. Subverted again when the cops break up the wedding for unrelated reasons.
- In Lois and Clark, Perry and Inspector Henderson burst in and prevent the wedding of Lex and Lois, playing the trope completely straight like the Big Damn Heroes they are.
- A late entry: Get Smart has Max marrying a KAOS femme fatale. It's a fake wedding - the Chief is officiating so it won't be legal - but this doesn't stop a very pregnant and jealous 99's loud disruptive sobbing through the ceremony. The Chief gets to the "hold your peace" line, getting ready for the worst, Max rolls his eyes and looks back at her, everyone in the congregation turns around to look at her... and she just groans, waving them off.
- In Soap Tim's mother curses his marriage with Corrine on his wedding day when this comes up.
- Played for laughs when Michael and Ben get married in Queer As Folk, as Brian is notoriously anti-marriage:
Official: If anyone knows of any reason why these two people should not be joined marriage, speak now or forever hold your peace.
Brian: *looks like he's about to say something*
Debbie: You say one word, and you will be holding more than your peace.
- In Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Horace and Myra were getting married. Just as the Reverend reached this part of the ceremony, Hank walked in. (Myra used to work in Hank's salon, 'entertaining' customers, and he had previously refused to attend the wedding as he is in love with her. Or what he considers love, anyway.) Everyone stared at him until he waved the Reverend on and sat down, giving his blessing to the wedding.
- Yale used the comedy version when Bess and Morgan (re)married in Earth 2. 'If anyone has any reason why these two should not be wed, keep it to yourself or deal with me.'
- On How I Met Your Mother, when Lily is getting ready to marry Marshall, her ex-boyfriend Scooter asks when in the ceremony people will be invited to object to the union. When told that weddings don't really do that part anymore, he decides that gives him license to object at any point in the ceremony he wants.
- Stella's ex-fiancé, Tony, does the same thing in the movie version of Ted and Stella's wedding. In real life, Tony talked to Stella before the wedding, but because it was a movie...
- On Party Down, during Constance's wedding, it happens twice in a row. First her ex-boyfriend shows up claiming he still loves her and came after he got her message, which she left after drunk-dialing him a few days earlier. Then, once he's gone, Ron stands up and objects to an entirely different marriage, since his Love Interest Danielle and her fiance are at the ceremony too. Constance insists he go on with his objection anyway.
- A double-subversion on Home and Away when Dan and Leah's mothers successfully stop their elopement, but not until after they've run into one wrong church.
- Played straight with Paul and Rebecca's first wedding on Neighbours. Lyn arrives at the right moment to reveal that she and Paul are still legally married.
- On CSI: New York, Mac once interrupted a wedding because the groom's tuxedo had been contaminated with toxic chemicals. Unlike most examples, the ceremony is implied to resume as soon as the groom has changed clothes and been checked over by the EMTs. Three guesses which line the minister had just uttered when Mac interrupts....
- In the Charmed episode "A Paige from the Past", Piper bursts into a church to object to the marriage of (the ghosts possessing) Phoebe and Cole, who are holding a priest at gunpoint to force him to marry them. The priest protests that he didn't get to say the line...
- In Dallas, when J.R. and Sue Ellen are getting re-married, when the minister says the line, Sue Ellen's ex-lover & J.R.'s business rival Cliff Barns stands up and opens his mouth. This is the end of the episode. The next episode shows him closing his mouth and walking out. Talk about a 'Cliff hanger'!
- In The Odd Couple, Oscar is elated when his ex-wife, Blanche, decides to remarry, as it means he'll no longer have to pay alimony. However, when the minister says the line during the ceremony, Felix objects, because he feels Blanche is marrying the wrong man. Blanche agrees and the wedding is off. The next scene shows the angrily brooding Oscar, at home later that day, playing a recording of the wedding on his turntable, and lifting the needle to hear Felix's "I object" over and over. Then Felix comes home from the church.
Felix: I stayed for the funeral.
Oscar: What'd you do, stand up in the middle and say he wasn't dead?
- In Vegas, Dan goes to his secretary's wedding to stop her from marrying a guy who plans to marry her, then kill her and her son in order to collect the very large trust fund from her father which otherwise would be payable to her son. He has the police run a patrol car up to the church with siren, telling the guy that they found the witness that will prove he did this before. The guy panics and runs. It doesn't hurt that there's probably a lot of UST between Dan and his Secretary anyway.
- A pretty... depressing example happens in Cheaters, a show dedicated to uncover infidelities. Jamie, a divorced mother with a kid was dating some dude named Michael for years, and it turned out that not only he was cheating on her, but was about to get married to another girl, who had no idea of WTF was going on. So they crashed the wedding to reveal this right before the marriage itself, and it not only had Jamie totally calling out Michael the Jerk Ass scumbag, but with her actually having to both show the truth and comfort the weeping bride.
- In Eureka, Carter briefly objects at his own wedding. He wants to make sure that Allison is really marrying him because she wants to, and not just because they're a minute away from drowning.
- Lady Edith in Downton Abbey's third series is jilted at the altar by her husband-to-be, who has second thoughts on whether their May-December Romance will last.
- Done in a sketch for Comic Relief 2013. As Simon Cowell is in the middle of marrying a mystery bride, his fellow male X-Factor judges begin to burst through the door, wearing wedding dresses, to declare their love. Their fight over who gets to marry Simon turns into the entire room declaring their love for him, until the priest has to silence them all to continue the ceremony. They finish the wedding with the intended bride, he lifts up the vail, and it's Simon Cowell.
- Played in an unexpectedly dramatic way in an episode of Cheaters. A single mom dating an apparently normal dude suspects that he's cheating on her and goes to the show... it turns out not only he's cheating, but he's marrying a foreign girl. She and the people in charge crash the wedding to confront the jerk ass groom and tell the bride what kind of person she's about to marry, the bride sincerely has no idea and breaks down crying, with the girlfriend even taking time from the What the Hell, Hero? to the cheater to try supporting the other girl.
- In the sixth season finale of 30 Rock, Liz lives in fear of this trope befalling the renewing of vows between Jack and Avery, which she is officiating. After several guests ask about the "speak now" bit, she tries to get through it as quickly as possible. In the end, nobody interrupts, prompting the not-so-happy couple to deride all the guests as cowards, since the renewal was a fairly obvious attempt to patch up their doomed marriage.
- "It Should Have Been Me", performed by Gladys Knight and the Pips, Yvonne Fair, and Dawn French (see above):
Then the preacher, oh yeah, the preacher asked,
"Will there be silence, please?
If any objections to this wedding, speak now,
Or forever, forever hold your peace."
Then I shouted:
"It should have been me!"
- Elton John's "Kiss the Bride" is about an ex-lover who chickens out at this moment despite planning to do this.
- Taylor Swift's "Speak Now" is about a (possibly) successful example of this trope.
- Etta James' "Stop the Wedding" opens with this.
- Billy Ray Cyrus's "Could've Been Me" mentions the trope:
My buddy John said you looked real pretty
And you acted like you were in love
He said the preacher asked for objections
And he thought about standing up.
- Fabulously subverted in the video for Train's song "Save Me San Francisco," which you can see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zftcZYdOl3Y
- Played for drama in Death Cab For Cutie's "Company Calls Epilogue", where the narrator crashes through the wedding doors, drunk and screaming. It's supposed to be sympathetic, but not of a heroic or righteous character.
- Subverted in the wedding of Edge and Lita on WWE Monday Night Raw, as the minister said the famed line, only for (the recently fired) Matt Hardy's entrance music to fill the arena. The whole proceedings stopped for several seconds... only for Edge to start laughing uproariously at the joke he had just played on the Smart Marks in the audience.
- At Test and Stephanie McMahon's wedding on Monday Night Raw in 1999, when the minister says the line, Triple H comes out onto the stage to inform everyone that Stephanie is already married ... to him! He then rolls the footage of him and Stephanie getting married at a drive-thru wedding chapel in Vegas. Never mind that Stephanie was drugged and H had to forcibly move her lips to get her to say "I do."
- On Saturday Night's Main Event in 1985, hillbilly Uncle Elmer was marrying his wife, Joyce, in the ring. When the minister said the line, Roddy Piper came out with a microphone and declared, "You stink, you stink and this whole damn wedding stinks!"
Stand Up Comedy
- Jeff Foxworthy once noted that anytime a pastor utters this line, any groom will be deathly terrified that someone is about to jump up and yell "I love her, and she's carrying my baby!"
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Episode 6: Battler's mind is trapped in a logic error. Erika wants to take his position of Territory Lord by marrying him while he's a powerless breathing doll, trapping his mind forever. She actually succeeds and the "guests" are all enjoying themselves… when a resurrected Beatrice comes to crash the party, curb-stomping Erika and releasing Battler (who had bet on this happening all along). After that Battler and Beatrice have real, uninterrupted wedding this time.
- In the Bonus Stage episode "Rya's Wedding", Joel and Phil arrive to crash... um... Rya's wedding, but the priest says they've still got an hour of reading to do. When he finally gets to the line, nobody objects.
- In a Shortpacked guest strip, this happens at David and Maggie's wedding. Not because Batman really thinks they shouldn't get married, but because some running gags just can't miss a cue.
- And in their Real Life, pirate-themed wedding, "speak now or forever hold your peace" was answered angrily by a pirate troupe member, "shot" by another pirate troupe member, and then as the ceremony proceeded the body was carried off by the rest of the troupe.
- In Fisher, during a wedding ceremony, Tom Fisher raises his hand and pretends that he wants to say something in response to this line. Then he adds "No, never mind", and whispers to his girlfriend "I've always wanted to do that!". She is clearly not impressed with his quirky sense of humor, and responds "Now you die."
- In the last arc of Ozy And Millie, Millie's father interrupts the wedding between Millie's mother and Ozy's father. Of course, he's not so much objecting as he is seeking confirmation that Llewellyn really loves his ex-girlfriend.
- Averted in CaptainSNES during Locke and Celes' wedding. Although there are almost no word bubbles shown during the ceremony, words are definitely exchanged, and the trope line is marked by Edgar (the master of ceremonies) raising his auto-crossbow threateningly. Nobody says a word. Ultros had been planning to kidnap the bride at that very moment, but fell asleep and missed his chance.
- In The Order of the Stick, Elan is at the re-marriage of his parents and notices something's wrong when Nale doesn't want to object. So he objects, realising that the Order are trapped in a Lotus-Eater Machine.
- Defied in The Law Of Purple. During Red and Rose's wedding, the (rather intimidating) pastor tells the guests that anyone who objects to their union should "please leave the premises now." The entire assembly is figuratively frozen in their seats.
- Looney Tunes:
- "Hare Trimmed" – Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam are romantic rivals to Granny, with Bugs out to stop Sam from marrying Granny (here, established as a rich widow) to clean her out. In the climatic scene, "Granny" (Bugs in disguise) agrees to marry Sam, but at the church, when the pastor says the requisite line, Sam notices who he's about to actually marry and runs out, screaming that he won't marry her for even a billion dollars! "Boo hoo hoo! Always a bridesmaid but never a bride. Boo-hoo-hoo-hoo," mock cries Bugs at the iris out.
- An inversion of this occurs in 1941's The Henpecked Duck, where Daffy's wife wants a divorce for losing their egg (he made it disappear doing prestidigitation and couldn't make it reappear). The wife browbeats to Daffy "Well, don't just stand there! Say something!! Say something!!" Just as Daffy is about to speak, the wife interrupts "Don't you dare open your mouth!!"
- Played with in The Looney Tunes Show. Bugs is forced to marry Lola Bunny, and when the priest says the line, Bugs desperately looks around to find someone who will object. Much to his surprise, Lola does.
- Subverted on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, where Bloo totally destroys a wedding he believed was his best friend's. Turns out he was just the ring-bearer.
- A similar subversion was done in an episode from the third season of Garfield and Friends in which Garfield thought Jon was getting married (he was in fact serving as the best man at his cousin's wedding).
- In Justice League, Wonder Woman vehemently objects, with a tank, to Princess Audrey of Kasnia's wedding to Vandal Savage. Vandal Savage, however, simply knocks Diana out and continues with the service.
- Variant in an episode of The Proud Family, where the objector is the groom's son; the groom is apparently senile and unaware of what year it is, among other things. He had a tendency to get in relationships with (and even marry) other women, only to wander off and forget about them.
- ReBoot. Dot is about to marry who she thinks is Bob and just as they get to the line, the real Bob comes in to interrupt.
- When this question pops up in one episode of The Simpsons, Homer knows that Troy McClure doesn't love Selma. So what does he do? He hums to himself, missing the opportunity all together.
- In another episode, Marge interrupts Patty's wedding to another woman. At first Patty thinks it's because Marge can't accept the fact that she's gay (which did happen earlier in the episode), but in reality it's because Marge learned that Patty's spouse-to-be was a man in drag who was deceiving her.
- Another episode had Grandpa Simpson and Mr. Burns both fighting for the romantic attention of Marge's mother. Abe interrupts her wedding to Mr. Burns with a declaration of love and a proposal of marriage, but she says no, having decided she doesn't want to marry either of them.
- Played with in the episode of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog where Robotnik gets married. Thing is, he knows that the woman to which he's getting married is not the right gal. (The reason why he's getting hitched is that the woman demands it because she's so lustful for him.) Just as Sonic's about to marry the two, Robotnik's mother comes in screaming "You bet I object!" Turns out that Sonic hired her to storm the spot because It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time.
- In Ben 10, the priest was shot in the mouth by the bride's parents, who were aliens made of slime. They objected to their daughter marrying a human groom, despite the fact that this would unify both their races. Oddly, they were around for the entire episode while everyone prepared for the wedding, but specifically waited until the ceremony and that line to ambush the proceedings.
- Done on an episode of the animated series Beetlejuice, in which Lydia was being forcibly wed to outlaw Bully the Crud, a large and mean-tempered bull. The quivering official, terrified of the groom, invited anyone who objected to either "hold up a hand — or hoof — or forever hold your, uh, cud." A few of the attendees held up their hands, briefly, until Bully threatened to shoot them. Fortunately, BJ himself showed up at literally the last possible second to interrupt the proceedings.
- In the Family Guy episode "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Fonz", Peter's father flashes back to Peter's behavior at a cousin's wedding:
Priest: And if anyone knows of any reason why these two should not be married let him speak now.
Peter: (looking around) Really? Nobody's going to speak up? I'm the one who's going to have to say it? ahhh. Alright. GENITAL WARTS.
- The Princess and the Frog: When the priest asks if "anyone objects to this union..." during Charlotte LaBouff's marriage to Naveen's impostor, the real Naveen, trapped in a box in frog form, tries screaming, "Me! Me! I object!" he and Ray are forced to become Wedding Smashers.
- One of the many spots of All My Circuits on Futurama makes fun of this trope. But then, they cover all the soap opera cliches with that Show Within a Show.
- Parodied in Pucca, when Garu's enemy, Tobe, is about to get married. Since Garu never talks, he raises his hand and waves it around, unnoticed, while the presider looks around, saying, "What's that? Nobody? Oh well, moving on then."
- While they don't wait for the line (they miss it), this happens in the second Season Finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, with a twist. The one who does it is Princess Cadence and Twilight Sparkle to stop Queen Chrysalis, Cadence's impostor and the shapeshifting Big Bad, from marrying Cadence's husband-to-be/Twilight's older brother Shining Armor.
- The Bakshi Mighty Mouse cautionary tale "Mighty's Wedlock Whimsy" has a hysterical inversion. Mighty Mouse is getting married to Pearl Pureheart, with Deputy Dawg—conducting the ceremony—starting it with "You have the right to remain silent...anything you say may be used against you..."
The Straight Man
- There was one time at the end of World War I where a priest was conducting a ceremony between an Austrian POW and a Russian woman. It was interrupted by someone from his town shouting that he was already married to His Girl Back Home.
- Speaking of World War I, there was an isolationist political cartoon drawn near the end of the war that showed Uncle Sam getting married to a woman with the words "League of Nations" written on her dress. When the priest said the trope words, a man with the word "Congress" written on his clothes smashed through the window holding a piece of paper saying "will of the people."
- Subverted by at least one pastor when he performed wedding ceremonies. He would replace the normal line with, "If anyone has reason why these two should not be wed, SHUT UP!"
- Averted in many cases. Instead, the officiant asks the guests to pledge their friendship and approve the wedding rather than asking for objections.
- There's one video where after the pastor says the line, the bride turns around to the guests and says "Yeah, go on, I dare you."
: ''Yes! Me!''
, come on!