Speech-Bubbles Interruption

Speech Bubbles are graphic interpretations of characters' speech. Therefore, cartoonists show interruption or talking over another person's speech most conveniently by Painting the Medium — specifically, obscuring a speech bubble with something.

Obscuring with another speech bubble means that the character is interrupted or drowned out by another. Obscuring with Written Sound Effects means the same for sounds. Sometimes a speech bubble may even be obscured with an object: Either this object produces loud and specific sounds that drown out the speech or the character stops talking immediately. Or perhaps it just shows that the other characters weren't listening.

The Wall of Blather uses this on Wall of Text to indicate "long lecture that no one listened to."

A form of odd-shaped speech bubble, and so a Sub-Trope of Painting the Medium, often used for Curse Cut Short. When the speech bubble blocks something else, it's Speech-Bubble Censoring. See also Sound Effect Bleep.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Soul Eater:
    • Excalibur is infamous for interrupting other characters' sentences with his own non-sensical speech, and his speech bubbles reflect this as well. A particularly notable example appears in the last chapter, where he obscures most of Kid's mourning speech about his father.
    • Black*Star provides another example when he fights Crona. When he starts screaming in response to Ragnarok's scream resonance, his screaming bubbles block out Ragnarok's scream bubbles.
  • Pokemon Special used this to avoid revealing Lady Berlitz's first name until the release of the game she'd be named after. (It turned out to be Platina, after Platinum Version) Every time she'd introduce herself, it would be covered up by another character's speech.
  • Karen in My Monster Secret is an occasional victim of this, notably in her introduction chapters where her "demon" act falls apart and no one listens to her threats. The author seems to have become particularly fond of this trope in the post-120 chapters.
  • Played for drama in the Episode 3 manga of Umineko no Naku Koro ni, when Battler screams to not hear the self-destructing red truths that Beatrice delivers to eliminate the witch EVA (because he considers he has to discover these truths by himself).

    Comic Books 
  • It appeared in Empowered at least once. Searches needed.
  • In The Tick, when our hero first encounters the Chainsaw Vigilante, his nigh invulnerability gives CV some difficulty. CV's investigation is censored as follows...
    CV: He has an upper arm of steel! I chin of steel! An elbow of steel! MY GOD! He has a...
    The Tick: HEY WATCH IT! (The words are centered on his crotch)
    CV: ...of steel!
  • Invoked in Ach!lle Talon, when the title character tries to explain the conception of a strip but gets a bubble saying "that text" glued onto his speech by an incompetent assistant. The entire end of the strip has him trying to speak while the glued bubble gets in the way of his text.

    Comic Strips 
  • There was a For Better or for Worse strip that did this a few years ago, in which April cut off her friend Becky with an overlapping speech bubble when Becky referred to a mentally disabled character as a "retard".
  • Played with, hilariously, with Get Fuzzy. In order to make their lives "edgier," Bucky begins censoring Satchel by yelling beep over his speech bubbles. He even tries to use a little black box to cover up written swearwords. Of course, Satchel reveals he is trying to say, "oh sugar," but with Bucky beeping him, all you see ''oh s—." Rob ultimately stymies him by holding up a speech bubble out of Bucky's reach.

  • In the Horrible Histories book The Awful Egyptians, the narrator refers to the fact that at times, after great military victories, ancient Egyptians would gather the genitals from dead enemy soldiers and pile them up in public. In a caricature illustrating such a pile, a son says to his father, "Look at this huge pile of" "That's enough, son!"

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Some of Seanbaby's articles for Cracked do this, in conjunction with his irreverent, highly stylized writing. Such as in "Man Comics: Number One Adventure Series Among Non-Pussies!" when Captain Marvel Jr. finally confronts The Punchmaster:
    Captain Marvel Jr.: The good citiz—(PUNCH!)This spoiler tag is just her to better demonstrate how there's a huge speech bubble, but only the first two and a half words are in it and he's cut off by the sudden punch to the face.