Talking Is a Free Action
"[Wolverine] says much during one leap, no?"
"Excellent observation, Ilaney... I believe lengthy speeches in mid-leap are a form of mutant power."Time in comics is flexible. Each panel shows a single event, which is usually accompanied by a length of dialog, which must take some time to say. This disparity is usually accepted if it isn't taken to extremes. But often, characters will exposit when it's most needed: at the story's climax, when both the intricacies of the plot and the intensity of action hit their highest. While the Heroes Outrun the Fireball, Mr. Exposition might explain why the Evil Overlord's death caused the explosion. The Action Girl can deliver impressive lectures on why the monster's Achilles' Heel will work, while still engaging in Waif-Fu. The Superhero can quip to his heart's content and explain his abilities while dueling one insignificant mobster, or deliver a Kirk Summation during the course of a single Finishing Move. Sometimes even apparent mere mortals can give a lecture on what is happening when it would be a much better idea to simply run like hell. Without stopping to breathe, apparently. This has become less common in the era of Decompressed Comics, possibly because it was taken to silly degrees at times, but has never really gone away. This is mostly found in comics and Web Comics, as it compares time to talk with time to do. If a comic is translated to a medium where time is a factor, then this can become obvious. A slightly less unbelievable example is often found when Calling Your Attacks. However, those also have a tendency to become Free Actions, particularly with those with long names and explanations attached. Anime versions of Manga, for example, sometimes end up having Midstrike Monologues, where it almost seems like Time Stands Still for the purpose of attacks, but not for the hero to deliver an In the Name of the Moon speech. Character Filibuster can also be another, albeit less extreme, version of Monologing Is A Free Action. Another variant can occur in roleplaying Video games, where battle can stop for dialogue scenes, either for Character Development or rules description. Sometimes this is with enemies present, but refusing to attack. Maybe they're caught up in the romance or wonder of the moment. Or maybe they realise they're doomed cannon fodder and think it best to savour their last moments of life. The Trope Namer is Dungeons & Dragons, in which certain actions (most notably talking) are designated "free actions" and can be taken in addition to any other actions within the normal limit of a turn. Talking does not distract the player from any other actions and there is no word count limit on how much the player can say. This is a case of Rule of Fun - spouting a Bond One-Liner during combat is awesome but no one would do it when it would impair combat performance. Compare Inaction Sequence, Comic-Book Time, Webcomic Time, Expolabel, Wall of Text. Compare Changing Clothes Is a Free Action or Transformation Is a Free Action for the apparel equivalent. Talk to the Fist is this trope's feared enemy, and Killed Mid-Sentence is the biggest subversion/aversion. Contrast Distracting Disambiguation, where there is some amount of cooperation on the enemies' part that enables this, and Holding the Floor, where a character talks to deliberately buy time. See also Exposition Beam, which bypasses this. And see Magic Countdown, which can be an example of this if the characters are talking during an artificially slow countdown. Compare also Acoustic License, where the noise around the characters is ignored rather than shortness of time. See also Year Inside, Hour Outside and Plot Time.
— Deadpool number 27
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- An ad for Red Bull subverts this for laughs when two people are falling from the plane. One of the people took too long to give exposition on how Red Bull could save them (by giving them wings, of course) that by the time he's finished, they have already crash landed into the ground, prompting the other to say "Too late." (They only survived due to Toon Physics, but even then, they're seriously injured).
Anime and Manga
- At least once every episode in Cutey Honey, Honey goes into a long speech, with a formula, for crying out loud. It typically goes like this: (Ha! Ha! Ha!) Sometimes I'm (some form she took earlier in the episode), sometimes I'm (another shape from earlier), and Sometimes I'm (whatever shape she's in now) but the truth is... HONEY FLASH! (Goes through her transformation sequence to her fighting form) Lovely warrior! Cutey Honey! - Subverted and lampshaded in one episode, where the villain, instead of waiting for her to finish her speech, runs off and Cutey honey says "Hey! It's not polite to run off while the hero is talking!"
- Abused in Transformers: Super-God Masterforce when Ranger is introduced — Ginrai is able to give him a tutorial on transformation while Ranger is falling from a cliff.
- Frequent in Naruto. The worst offender is Lee, who can kick his opponent into the air, jump after him and deliver a 30 seconds exposition before performing a finisher.
Hokage: "He attacked during a flashback! He's not going to become hokage that way! He's just fine as a genin."Naruto: "Damn you old man!"
- Naruto is a rather bad offender of this as well. He'll somehow manage to spout of a speech while dodging/delivering attacks. When he finishes his speech, he'll usually use clones or Rasengan to finish off his opponent (or both).
- Then there is the wonderful fight between Sakura and Sasori, where the former injects herself with an antidote that will protect her from poison for the next three minutes. The characters then proceed to spend five minutes talking before they resume fighting (another half hour), all before the three minutes manages to expire.
- The anime offers a justification for the beginning of the fight, where Sasori is willing to stand around while Chiyo and Sakura discuss their strategy to defeat him. Chiyo explains that's because she has a lot more combat experience than him, so he is wary of making a rash attack.
- While fighting Kisame, Killer Bee and Sabu manage to easily talk to each other even when they are underwater.
- Not to mention that while Kisame is fighting them, he's able to analyze Killer Bee's attacks even when said attacks are being thrown at him from less than two feet away, and he gives lengthy explanations on all of them!
- In chapter 257, Itachi's underling-clone-thing stays completely still while Kakashi and Chiyo have a nice long conversation about how best to defeat him without getting caught in the Sharingan, and what to do if someone does get caught.
- Justified given that he was only trying to delay them.
- This happens in the same way at least twice when Jiraiya fights Pain and Sasuke fights Danzo. In both cases, the latter was behind the former for a total surprise attack, and first taunts the person they are about to attack. Instead of the victim TURNING AROUND as soon as they hear a voice behind them, they wait until AFTER their attacker finishes before reacting, thus allowing themselves to get owned.
- Now being a Deconstructed Trope in the Fourth Shinobi War, with one side made up of Came Back Wrong ninja whose bodies are being manipulated by Kabuto but their mouths are not, and who are often acquainted or friends with ninja on the other side of the war. The ninja often try to have friendly conversations or at least the manipulated ninja try to tell their opponents how to fight them...all while the two sides are fighting each other. Hilarity Ensues.
- Also important, dramatic emotional moments unhindered by the 'why the hell are you doing this in the middle of a fight' problem. Such as Gaara's reconciliation with his dead father. Also note: a large number of hated bastards, like Hanzou of the mist and the Fourth Kazekage, acquire Freudian Excuses and sympathetic character development here.
- The best in this trope include several ex-kage who are very detailed about their powers and who should avoid what they're about to do and how to stop them, and Uchiha Itachi who keeps attacking from behind while announcing "behind you," and this time it's not for Rule of Cool.
- Kabuto himself lampshades the series' tendency: Itachi and Sasuke discuss what to do with Kabuto while he stands eight feet in front of them. Kabuto sarcastically thanks them for the "play-by-play" and hopes that it'll go as they planned.
- In Chapter 642, Naruto of all people ends up exploiting this trope, figuring out that his Sage Mode can bypass the Big Bad's AntiMagic, charging up Sage Mode and formulating a strategy with the Second Hokage all while Obito is in the middle of a Hannibal Lecture.
- A hilarious example comes early in the series, during the Land of Waves arc. Naruto's plan to release Kakashi from Zabuza's water prison succeeds, which infuriates Zabuza. As he is about to slash his sword to kill Naruto, Kakashi blocks it with his kunai. They both remain still in this position until Naruto has finished explaining his plan, and resume their immediately after the said explanation is done.
- Parodied in the Abridged Series, attacking someone mid-sentence or mid-flashback is considered rude or dishonorable.
- In Volume 7 of Hellsing, a vampire manages to explain how he can tell the difference between bloodtypes by taste all the while a shell from Harkonen II floats ominously over his shoulder before impact in the next panel.
- Father Anderson reels off whole Bible passages before he actually starts fighting his opponent. Said opponent usually waits patiently for him to walk over and engage them.
- The final volume of Death Note features an entire chapter of infodumping which supposedly takes less than 30 seconds. Even more blatant in the anime, in which the monologuing takes a good nine minutes of screentime to deliver but still is portrayed to be confined to a less than 30 second timeframe. In one case, time even appears to stop while said infodumping takes place.
- Happens all the time in Kinnikuman and Ultimate Muscle. One of the most blatant examples is the match between the newly-returned Ramenman and Motorman in the Throne arc. Although one of the shorter fights in the arc, it still goes on for a solid 9 or so minutes during the anime...even though they clearly state in the next episode that the fight only last 37 seconds.
- Taken to ridiculous extremes in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. The lengthy situational analyses in the manga (often spoken out loud, often in the time it takes a bullet to travel less than a dozen feet) are egregious enough, but the anime managed to extend nine seconds (the canonical duration of Dio's time-freezing ability, as explicitly stated in both manga and anime) into nearly a minute of gloating. The 2015 adaptation of Stardust Crusaders, true to form, does it again, even when Dio's limit is five seconds, he ends up really taking his sweet time when he's actually moving in for the kill, and even counts down the last second of one of these sequences with absolutely no irony.
- This is also evident in the PS2 game Golden Whirlwind. Here we see Bucciarati, who has no time-slowing powers, thinking really, really fast.
- That is actually fully appropriate, if the incident depicted match their train fight in the manga. If Gold Experience's main power is used on a living being, they perceive themselves as having been sped up, but the body cannot keep up with the hastened mind, and loses control as a result. It doesn't come up any time afterwards as this is a pretty lame power, all in all, but Bruno gets to analyse it in detail when it happens to him.
- In the 2012 anime, Jojo, Dio and Zepelli manage to have a full conversation while two of them are hanging in midair.
- This is also evident in the PS2 game Golden Whirlwind. Here we see Bucciarati, who has no time-slowing powers, thinking really, really fast.
- Mobile Suit Gundam saga just loves doing this, especially during epic battles.
- To be exact, it varies by series. Gundam0083 had a reasonable balance between this and "Talking Will Get Your Ass Shot Off". Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, however, is a SHAMELESS follower of this trope.
- Inui of The Prince of Tennis defeats his opponents by memorizing the percent chances of any particular action occurring during a game. This can end in him rattling off a list of percentages in the middle of his through-swing.
- Heck, in almost every game in the series and certainly during every training exercise, someone will either manage to shout the name of a move about to be used, describe exactly how a certain move works, point out a forgotten fact, or generally manage to get in a good three minutes of talking, all before the ball manages to get to the other side of the net.
- Somewhat lampshaded when just as much(or less) talking can cover up to five games being won/lost.
- Heck, in almost every game in the series and certainly during every training exercise, someone will either manage to shout the name of a move about to be used, describe exactly how a certain move works, point out a forgotten fact, or generally manage to get in a good three minutes of talking, all before the ball manages to get to the other side of the net.
- Gantz. To excess. Then again, everything in Gantz is a free action, and nothing happens unless directly caused by such a free action, in what can only be described as the anime equivalent of event-driven programming. This is vitally necessary, as the show's protagonists are perhaps the single most hesitant gaggle of mooks in all of anime.
- It's probably the only show where even sex is a free action.
- The aliens OR ARE THEY? seem to be getting about as tired of this as us, with Inaba being stomped to paste after his triumphant return and the Hiroshima team member having and arm and part of his head taken off mid-conversation.
- The Law of Ueki does this quite often, both with the standard talking and occasionally with flashbacks. Apparently it takes less time to revisit all your motivations for becoming a fighter (taking five minutes of screen time) than it does for a fist to cross a foot or two. At one point Ueki pole vaults onto someone, and they manage a four line dialogue explaining his move before he even gets close to landing.
- On the other hand, in one episode, Ueki defeats an opponent in one blow in the middle of his adversary's explanation about his powers. Ueki is apparently not interested in knowing what he can turn stones into.
- Hunter × Hunter has fun with this trope. In one chapter, one of the character thinks several paragraphs worth of stuff, then realizes that he's thought entirely too much in so short a timeframe. He then realizes that the reason this is happening is because one's perception of time slows greatly in the seconds before one is about to die. Zoom out to reveal the guy he's fighting, all set to beat the shit outta the first guy.
- Mocked in Real Bout High School. After Ryoko effortlessly takes out a powerful hood, his friends get angry. The leader is calmed by his Dragon, who wishes to test his sword skills against hers. Well, that's the sentiment he was trying to express. He got as far as "She's good. I'll g-" before she smashed his face in with her wooden sword.
- Happens all the time in Eyeshield 21. Football players and spectators can have entire conversations in the middle of plays that last five seconds.
- Put to its absolute limits in Deimon vs. Shinryuji game, where Agon is constantly demeaning Sena in the middle of just ONE chop. Within just ONE play, Sena manages to have roughly FIVE FLASHBACKS before scoring a touchdown. And boy, these outside spectators have a LOT of time to comment on it, too.
- Poked fun at in manga Kotaro Makari Tooru, where in a martial arts tournament one of the contenders launches a mid air attack, whereupon the surprised announcer proceeds to exclaim his shock, admiration, expectations, exposition of the move, and prediction in the same panel. A little pop-up head in the corner of the panel quips, "How much time does he have to say this much anyway?"
- Subverted in the final episode of Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, where Tsubaki's Pre-Ass Kicking
One LinerSpeech is long enough for Sousuke to calmly find his bag, take out his gun, load it with rubber bullets, carefully aim for his head, and shoot him.
- A Certain Magical Index. Probably a side effect of having been adapted from light novels, but that does nothing to excuse the fact that several minutes of conversation happen while a character is running across a room no more than twenty feet wide. To its credit, this sort of thing becomes less common as it goes along, though.
- There actually was a justification for that in the novels that was left out of the anime. Specifically, Touma's opponent had used magic to warp space inside the room, so he really was running across a significant distance.
- In Ichigo's second fight with Grimmjow in Bleach, his hollow mask stays active for around 11 seconds, but the fight lasts for five minutes in the anime. Even if you do assume that the characters are moving at superhuman speed and can take more actions in 11 seconds than most people can, the dialogue that both characters say would easily take longer than 11 seconds combined.
- One of the better known cases is during Ichigo's final fight with Byakuya. He speed blitzes behind a shocked Byakuya, and instead of just stabbing him in the back, he TAUNTS Byakuya beforehand (who only turns around in shock after Ichigo is finished) and only moves to stab him after the taunt—when it's too late.
- Subversions are fairly common in Bleach- near the end of the Soul Society arc, the just-revealed Big Bad is attacked in the middle of the twenty-minute explanation of his Gambit Roulette. Being a Bad Ass, he just shrugs it off, sends his attacker reeling, and goes on talking. In a later episode, D-Roy attacks Rukia in the middle of some exposition, and then again in the middle of her introductory speech. Given the result, maybe D-Roy should have just let her talk...
"Ye lord! Mask of blood and flesh, all creation, flutter of wings, ye who bears the name of Man! Inferno and pandemonium, the sea barrier surges, march on to the south!"
- D-Roy's case is rather odd, in that he interrupts Rukia by attacking (and this is commented upon), but only after letting her talk for nearly 5 minutes straight.
- But the original and by far the most widespread example is Kido. The incantations for these spells are so wordy, one is left wondering how they could ever realistically be used in a combat situation. Here's an example of one of the more basic bindings:
- And that's the incantation for what is essentially a basic fireball spell. Is it any wonder the more powerful Soul Reapers have taken to learning how to cast without the incantations?
- Even then, not using the incantations does have a downside; the spell will be a great deal weaker than it would have been if the whole incantation had been said. And even so, this still doesn't stop some Kido from being a mouthful. For example, the high-level Hado (offensive Kido) no. 88 is called "Hiryu Gekizoku Shinten Raiho", and even if you don't recite the full incantation, you still have to say "Hado" and the number of the specific spell before you even say the name. In short, the only way to be an effective Kido user in the Bleach universe is to be a Motor Mouth.
- Starrk and Aizen do not appreciate Kyoraku's terribly rude habit of attacking them mid-sentence.
- Strangely, the first half of the fight between Soifon and Vega was spent subverting this. After a little pre-fight banter, they fight seriously, but exchange banter while slashing at each other. Then they start playing this totally straight, while viciously lampshading it, as the majority of their stopped-fight dialogue is about how they don't do this.
- Though guilty of this trope, Bleach makes fun of it quite a bit too. Both the Bount Mabashi and the Espada Baraggan have mocked their opponents for having "strategy meetings" in the middle of a fight. On two separate occasions Ichigo has hit Ishida when the other was taking too long explaining something. Also, the Visored Rose once gave a speech about enemies banding together in times of crisis, only for his ally Love to smack him in the head and tell him to concentrate on the battle.
- While most Shinigami have commands to release their Zanpakuto that is just a single word or a few words-long phrase (IE, "bite," "stab," "lower your head"), there are some that are quite a bit longer, such as Soifon ("sting all enemies to death") and Yamamoto ("reduce all things in the universe to ash"). But even they can't compete with Kyoraku and Ukitake, whose release commands are basically haiku.
- Averted in one episode of Ojamajo Doremi. Doremi makes an attempt to stop an antagonist from escaping by trying to cast a spell. The spell requires a lengthy Magical Incantation to cast, giving said antagonist plenty of Mid-Season Upgrade, though said upgrade had the Magical Incantation simply took far less time to say in order to work rather than playing this trope straight.
- Like the Bleach example above, in the climax of One Piece's Arabasta arc, the Straw Hats are able to call out to each other while executing an improvised plan over the course of less than a minute, which lasts three minutes in the anime, and their dialogue also would have taken up the entire allotted time.
Luffy: "Defp"? Just what the hell are you trying to say?!
- However, it's also subverted earlier in the Alabasta arc: During Luffy's first fight with Crocodile, Luffy doesn't stop fighting once while Crocodile repeatedly tries to finish his statement that No matter how hard you try, you will never defp'' (See chapter 177)
(Cue Crocodile face seething with rage)
- Parasyte! uses this to highlight an increase in the main character's reaction time. We see a punch fly at his head, he pauses to muse on the source of his new found strength for a couple of paragraphs, and then parries the attack without difficulty.
- Dragon Ball of course, where every villain has the urgent need to talk a lot. It usually is necessary to talk about evil plans or the like.
Buu: ALL YOU PEOPLE DO IS TAAAAAAAALLLK!
- When Piccolo, Gohan, and Krillin were fighting Nappa they went into detail about their plan to grabbed Nappa's tail, rendering him defenseless, while Gohan blasted him. All this while Nappa was only a few feet away. Vegeta heard some of the plan and wished them luck.
- Taken to insanity in Dragon Ball Z during Goku's fight with Freeza. Freeza destroys the core and gives the planet five minutes until implosion. Ten episodes (approximately three hours of screentime for each of the scenes that are playing out simultaneously) and over three hundred lines of dialog for the two fighters later the planet finally collapses.
- Lampshaded snarkily in the dub. With ten episodes to go, Freeza has a line to the effect that the planet is "a tough one... it'll probably last another two minutes."
- Also lampshaded in Dragon Ball Z Abridged when, at the culmination of their fight, Goku asks Freeza if he has a watch because he doubts that Freiza knows what a minute is.
- Averted in this encounter between Goku and Jeice during the Namek saga. Dragon Ball Z Abridged parodies this by having Jeice get punched again when talking or thinking, a total of eight times.
- As pointed out by Master Roshi, Goku took advantage of this during the Piccolo Jr. fight; he used the time Piccolo spent talking to rest.
- Exploited by Piccolo later on. He lets Cell talk about who he is, where he came from, his end goal, and such while Piccolo recovers his strength with the added bonus of learning everything there is to know about Cell.
- Super Buu actually lampshaded it once when he got sick of Gotenks' conversations with Piccolo, before averting it himself.
- Averted in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, when all the talking between Goku and the Big Bad actually lasts long enough to run out the time limit on the Super Saiyan God transformation.
- Frequently the fighters will even talk to each other mid attacks, which since these fighters move faster than the speed of sound on a routine basis, they actually shouldn't even be able to hear each other.
- Not exactly talking but, in Pokémon, flashing your Pokédex at an unknown Pokémon causes all other activities to cease. Even if said Pokémon is hellbent on the protagonist's destruction, it will politely wait until said protagonists know exactly what they're facing up against.
- Subverted in one filler which started off with a VERY random Giratina attack (caused by a Murkrow's illusion).
- Taken Up to Eleven in one episode featuring a trainer who gave her Pokémon complex maneuvering instructions (complete with degree measurements) during battle.
- The Team Rocket motto is usually a free action. For some reason, Ash & co will wait for them to finish before defeating them, and the Rockets drop anything else to introduce themselves. However, on occasion people will interrupt the trio, especially Barry (who has never actually heard the entire motto for this reason).
- Lampshaded in the Orange Island episode "The Wacky Watcher", where the protagonists are visibly bored, waiting for Team Rocket to finish their motto so they can say "Team Rocket?!"
- Also subverted in the Battle Frontier episode "Off the Unbeaten Path!" when the gang freed all the captured Pokémon during the motto.
- Some episodes have the heroes rescue Pokemon or people while Team Rocket recites their motto, which offends them greatly
- Paul also followed Barry's example, not waiting to hear the full motto before ordering Chimchar to blow Team Rocket away.
- Subverted in a Best Wishes episode, where Cilan's evaluation time speach is interrupted by Stephan, who has his Sawk Karate Chop Cilan's Pansage and fling it into Cilan.
- Parodied in a later chapter of Hayate the Combat Butler. During a Flashback chapter that explained the first meeting between Nagi and Tama (in the African jungle, by the way), Nagi had to save the then-baby Tama from a group of wild animals ready to pounce on and eat it... and also Nagi and Jenny, as well. Her resolution to protect Tama, complete with her saying as much, was interrupted by said animals closing the distance with them. Jenny even pointed out that they caught up while she was talking.
- Subverted much earlier than then, at the time of the Hakuou Gakuin marathon. Nagi is getting cold feet, so Hayate gives her the typical Dare to Be Badass speech that would be expected of such a moment... only for the starter to interrupt them to tell them that the race has already started, with all the other contestants no longer in sight.
- Code Geass often uses this in a Gundam-like manner, especially with pilots talking during Knightmare battles (a good example would be during Urabe's sacrifice in R2 episode 2) and Lelouch making dramatic remarks even when his opponents just stand there pointing guns at him.
- Current state of the plot in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. They've been in the middle of the final battle with the Big Bad for a dozen chapters now, each of which seems to cover about two seconds and eight pages of exposition.
- Especially evident in the Rain Guardian battle in Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, where the fight stops every minute for Combat Commentator Reborn to explain what Yamamoto just did.
- Lampshaded early in Elemental Gelade. The Eden Raids (living weapons) transform and can be commanded to perform various actions only after singing short songs. Coud begins going into an extended piece to unlock Ren's power against a foe, when the enemy moves to attack him in mid-song. Cisqa keeps the enemy back with a warning shot, saying, "When someone sings, listening until the end is good manners."
- Happens twice in Great Teacher Onizuka when Onizuka accidentally knocks people off ledges on top of high buildings. Somehow there's enough time in midair for several paragraphs of internal monologue, lots of screaming from astonished bystanders, and for him to finally reach a decision and run down the side of the wall to catch them.
- Well, with the bystanders, it's probably that they're all supposed to be talking at once.
- Used fairly frequently in Genesis of Aquarion. Basically, any time the focus is in the Vector cockpit, you can rest assured that the Monster of the Week will wait patiently for the pilots to finish whatever strategic discussion, Character Development, or general exposition may be going on.
- One episode of Air Gear had several people carry on a full length conversation (including a character's arrival) in the time it took the main character to fall down two floors.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. The action in any fight will typically pause so that the bad guy can listen to whatever Kamina has to say. For example, episode 4 has him delivering a speech on the true nature of combining, while individual mecha from the 16-part combiner just orbit Gurren Lagann rather than dare interrupting such a suspiciously homoerotic speech.
- Then again, this is a series where Epic Speeches can actually destroy enemy armadas.
- Hajime No Ippo. It is used to add more drama during fights.
- Somewhere between this and Changing Clothes Is a Free Action is Luke from The Sacred Blacksmith and his magical sword forging. The first time he does it he tells Cecily to hold off the giant crystal spider that's attacking them and she instead watches him. The spider is happy to wait.
- Lampshaded in Busou Renkin, when during a kendo sparring session between Muto and Shusui, four people comment on Shusui's reverse-dou strike between the time he starts swinging and the time it connects.
- Rurouni Kenshin - During Saitou's fight with Usui, they jump and meet each other in midair. Saitou tries to use a stab, but Usui deflects it with his shield. In between deflection and counterattack, while still midair, Usui gets off a couple lines about how round his shield is.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion - Apparently, there isn't enough time for Rei to dodge the sixteenth Angel's attack in the incredible fast and agile EVA-00 during the 23rd episode, but there's certainly enough time for Hyuga to point that out.
- Note: He takes about two seconds to say his line after Rei is told to dodge.
Misato: "Rei! Evasive action!"Hyuga: "She can't! There's not enough time!"
- Slightly more believable than in most such situations, because the Evas are so damn big they need to cover a lot more distance to dodge anything.
- Note: He takes about two seconds to say his line after Rei is told to dodge.
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Negi has at least once spouted out a two-sentence declaration before launching an attack that was supposed to only be fast enough to attack because he effectively teleported to his opponent beforehand. Otherwise it's averted; since Negi has to speak in order to use magic, he has to strategically plan out his spellcasting so he's doing it while not in danger of being cut off. He found out very, very early in the series that talking is NOT a free action; in his first fight with Evangeline he was easily dealt with by Chachamaru punching him in the face every time he started to recite a spell.
- This occurs quite a bit in Claymore. The characters will face off against enemies that can bring them to their knees within seconds (and they do). Instead of killing them, though, their opponent will politely wait while they discuss how they were beaten and how they might be able to turn the fight around.
- Since a lot of the card game in Yu-Gi-Oh! and its sequels involves somebody attacking and the other guy making a miraculous recovery, giant blasts of raw holographic energy must understandably be paused while the card is activated and its effects are explained. This gets especially obvious when the shot is drawn so that the attack is in view, like when Red Daemon's Dragon/Red Dragon Archfiend patiently waits with a glowing fist so that it can punch into the oddly named Scrum Force.
- Played with in one scene of Inazuma Eleven with Megane talking to Shuuyou Meito, a team of Otaku. As he's kicking the ball down the field, Megane starts with an annoyed lecture about Shuuyou Meito's reliance on dirty tactics. In mid-speech, one of the Shuuyou Meito players try to steal the ball from him. Megane's response directly mentions this trope:
Megane: How dare you attack in the middle of a stirring lecture or a fusion! As a robot otaku, you fail!
- Subverted in Fullmetal Alchemist, where, during the Curb-Stomp Battle between Roy Mustang and Envy, Roy almost never lets Envy finish a complete sentence.
- In the 2003 anime version, Basque Grand is killed by Scar in the middle of his speech explaining just how outmatched the latter is against him.
- Battle Angel Alita, especially in the Last Order sequel. Characters can exchange threats or discuss each other's every move while fighting at supersonic speed.
- The two Combat Commentators of the television network are an odd example. On the one hand, they frequently have to resort to slow-motion replays, as the actual attacks were way too fast for them to even see. But on the other hand, they watch and comment those replays while the combat is still going on. Presumably the characters take a minute's break between each series of blows to allow the commentators to catch up.
- In Digimon Tamers, when Beelzemon shoots his bullets on Takato and Megidramon, the others, who try to warn Takato, suddenly talk in slow-motion, as do the flying bullets. During this time, Takato and the de-volved Guilmon have apparently an extremely fast talk which takes about two minutes of screen-time.
- Exaggerated in an episode of Digimon Xros Wars - Zamielmon can Flash Step, but after doing so he freezes for a split second. When Taiki realises this after he does so for the last time, it takes him a good ten seconds to explain it to the audience before Shoutmon DX actually gets in there and kills him, but Zamielmon is still frozen.
- Played with in Scrapped Princess. In an early episode, Raquel fights an enemy spellcaster, who never gets to complete his lengthy invocation because her own invocation is much shorter and the spell interrupts him. He even protests that there shouldn't be any spells that quick.
- Lampshaded and Played for Laughs in the chapter 107 bloopers omake of Kuroko no Basuke, where Kuroko misses the ball he's trying to pass because of the speech he's making. Used frequently in the anime especially during the last few seconds of a quarter in a basketball game when players commentate on their own plays or make a lengthy explanation.
- Motoko Kusanagi exploits this trope in order to take down an assassin in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. The assassin is hired to kill a low profile billionaire. She walks up to his bed and points her gun at him, thinking that she's all alone in the room, and decides to monologue about the problems with Capitalism. Motoko uses this time to sneak up and arrest her. She even lampshades it.
Motoko: "A SMARTER hitman would have shot first."
- Similarly, this trope is invoked in episode 4 of Infinite Stratos. While fighting a rogue IS that interrupted their match, Rin and Ichika realize that it stops attacking every time they talk to each other. Gee, it's almost as if it's curious about their conversation. The fact that it is, is a pretty big clue to its creator's identity.
- Subverted in Berserk. Then again, if a person is spouting a speech about how good his troops are, or how screwed his enemy is, or... thus marking him out as important or high ranking right in front of our protagonist nicknamed the Hundred Man Slayer, he probably deserved to be cut off in mid sentence.
- In InuYasha, characters often explain what's going on during a Fight Scene or speak defiant lines to their opponent in the middle of the action. The most extreme example (probably not unmatched) might be in the Final Battle when Sesshoumaru is in one panel about to get a faceful of Combat Tentacles, these about half a metre off and coming in fast, and he speaks a whole decent-length sentence about what's going on in the next panel, and then effortlessly destroys the attacking tendrils in the panel after that before they hit.
- Being a deconstruction of the Fighting Series Played for Laughs, Muteki Kanban Musume played this trope so straight it could be a parody at episode 2B: Kankuro and Miki are less than ten meters apart before their fight. Then Kankuro begins to run towards Miki to attack her, and he manages to imitate the voice over of a local train before fighting. Miki stays immobile while she begins to imitate the voiceover of a bullet train and adopts an Ass Kicking Pose. Then she begins to run towards Kankuro. Akihiko desperately cries to Kankuro to stop. Kankuro manages to answer that he will increase the power. Miki and Kankuro take one minute and ten seconds running into themselves a distance of less than ten meters. And it’s epic.
- The subversion is a plot point in Blazing Transfer Student. The delinquent villain wins every fight because he can call his attack, "Insect Punch" faster than his opponents (who have elaborate names for their attacks) thus allowing him to get in his strike first. You're apparently not allowed to actually do the attack before you say it. He is defeated in the end when the Love Interest convinces him to adopt an extremely long-named attack, allowing the protagonist enough time to pronounce his own attack and do it. Note that these are normal Japanese students without superpowers or anything like that.
- In Attack on Titan, the characters use grappling devices to swing rapidly between buildings or trees, and must retract and re-launch their cables every few seconds as they fly past each grapple point. They can also blast themselves along, jetpack-style, but only for very short periods. When they need to have a lengthy in-flight conversation, though, all these rules go out the window and they can levitate through the air horizontally at a constant speed, seemingly on cables that are thousands of feet long.
- In Slam Dunk, characters sometimes manage to have long conversations in the time it takes to sprint from one end of the court to the other. Sakuragi and Rukawa once had a heated argument while attacking on a fast break, both insulting the other all the way down the apparently very lengthy basketball court.
- Happens all the time in YuYu Hakusho. Particularly egregious examples include:
- When the super-fast flier Jin is flying at Yusuke with his Tornado Fist; Hiei and the Masked Fighter take several seconds to explain what will happen if Yusuke fires his Spirit Gun point blank into the tornado fist. Then Yusuke has time to say, "Let's see who can take a bigger ass-kicking" and call out his attack.
- Toguro is running at Yusuke to punch him, Yusuke prepares to catch it, and Kuwabara has time to say "Are you crazy?! There's no way in heck you can block his straight-on punch!"
- Episode 3 of Ginga Densetsu Weed has a especially ridiculous example. Weed and the other dogs blabber on and on, and Kaibutsu even has time to turn around and prepare to attack, while Weed is in mid air. He was not near far enough away before he jumped for them to have done and said all that. He had to have just floated there or flew slowly or something, despite the action lines that seem to indicate he's moving at a fast speed through the air.
- Exaggerated in Noragami, wherein Yato manages to carry out a very extended conversation with a potential customer, going as far as to exchange business cards, as they both plummet from a skyscraper. This does not go unnoticed by his Shinki, Yukine.
Yukine: Is it just me, or is this a really long fall?
- Invoked inconsistently in Date A Live anime. Protagonist's date occasions are often steered by dialogues with both his partner and his prompter (via discreet headset). Sometimes he gets called out on being distracted, other times things are as if quite smooth.
- While its source material's panel blocking is ambiguous, Act 1 of Sailor Moon Crystal has Tuxedo Mask fully introducing himself and assuring Sailor Moon he'll remember her in mid jump, while looking over his shoulder at her, almost suggesting full power of Flight.
- Averted for laughs in Sailor Moon Super S, when Cere Cere summons a Monster of the Week named Toge Toge Jo. While Toge Toge Jo is arguing with Cere Cere, Sailor Moon and Chibi Moon then attack Toge Toge Jo and defeat her, The "defeated monster" screen then shows with Toge Toge Jo saying, "I haven't even DONE anything!"
- Captain Tsubasa's adaptations, espcially the original 1994 anime, characters spend time monologuing so much half of the field seems twice as long as it should be. The newer adptations use slow motions and abridged matches, which causes another problem where everbody is capable of thinking illogically fast.
- Fairy Tail: Averted. As the Quirky Mini Boss Squad is introducing themselves in Chapter 32, Natsu hurls two giant fireballs at them mid-sentence.
- A vicious subversion in Chapter 81 in Erza's childhood. one of the other slaves tries to confess his love for Erza only to be gunned down viciously. It should be noted that this took place during the middle of a violent REVOLT so this was to be expected. Seriously the slave was holding the Idiot Ball in that case.
- Spider-Man has a reputation for having panels over half-full of him talking. Justified artistically during action scenes when Spidey is drawn in 3 or 4 different places in the same panel to highlight the maneuver of him leaping from one spot to the next, using his agility and witty banter to annoy the hell out of the enemy, who is drawn in a still shot in the same panel.
- In fact, some gamers even refer to this phenomenon as "Marvelling", referencing ol' Web-Head himself. One of the reasons Spider-Man came off as more emo in the films is because they couldn't logically work any of his usual in-battle joking into live-action fight scenes.
- In early Marvel, this was a characteristic of many characters, including Daredevil and the Thing, as well. This became significantly muted as other writers took over for Stan Lee.
- The introduction of the Inner Monologue also contributed to this becoming something of a Dead Horse Trope (unfortunately it is not one). So, when Spidey is swinging through the city, loudly proclaiming about his problems at work, with girls, and his Aunt May's health, and saying "If only I could tell them that Peter Parker is Spider-Man!", we can probably assume that he's not really saying these things out loud.
- Spoofed/lampshaded in an issue of Keith Giffen's Justice League, where General Glory is falling from a height and spends several paragraphs describing the improbable maneuver he is performing as he performs it. It prompts one of the other characters to ponder how he can say so much so quickly.
- Lampshaded and justified in a scene in the DC Comics mini-series DC One Million where a Badass Normal hero from the far future delivers, in the space of a single flying kick, an implausibly large infodump about the fact that he's delivering an implausibly large infodump in the space of a single flying kick:
"You see... this is a martial arts move developed by a telepathic octopus species inhabiting the oceans of Durla; the attack's telepathic as well as physical, and by the time you realize this sentence seems way too long..."
"...it'll all be over."
- Parodied in an issue of Deadpool. Wolverine gives a long speech during a single leap, making Ilaney (a friend of Deadpool's at the time) wonder how that's even possible. Former supervillain (and current therapist) Doctor Bong then puts forward the hypothesis that lengthy mid-air speeches are some kind of mutant power.
- One member of the X-Men Banshee will frequently talk to himself or others while flying. To the unaware, in order to fly Banshee has to scream constantly.
- Mostly justified in The Authority with a clever plot device: the main characters communicate via telepathy in combat, not speech.
- Occurs in Watchmen, most notably in the climactic fight, where Ozymandias manages to get in an entire Just Between You and Me Monologue revealing all the twists and turns of the mystery plot while dodging attacks by Rorschach and Nite Owl using a dinner plate and fork... without even interrupting his dinner!
- Also any scene where Rorschach's journal is read while the "camera" zooms in and out. This is made more obvious in the Motion Comic, which is made up of animated panels of the book, where the zoom-out is done rather slowly, even though barely half of the dialog in that scene is shown.
- Parodied in a Radioactive Man comic, during which a character is standing next to a huge mainframe when it topples toward him. His reaction: "No time to leap out of the way! Only time to talk about it!"
Radioactive Man: Talk, you Commie rat!Crook: If you want me to talk, why are you knocking me into unconsciousn-
- Humorously subverted, however, in the scene in the first issue where RM is punching out a Communist sympathizer.
- In a 1960s The Flash comic (Barry Allen), a villain tells Flash "I'm hitting you with a beam traveling at light speed, and nothing moves faster than light." Flash responds "Nothing except the Flash," while running across the room, apparently at double the speed of light, to grab the villain and drag him in front of his own beam-weapon.
- Pointedly averted by Max Allan Collins in Wild Dog and elsewhere, since Collins never had people talk during fight scenes. In an interview in Amazing Heroes #119, Collins noted that he found this an annoying cliche, and DC editors would describe his scripts as lean since he never had people talk during fight scenes.
- In a Peanuts Sunday comic (October 1956) Snoopy gets a scrap of hot dog. He has an entire monologue between the throw and the catch about the little scrap, while the scrap flies as in slow motion between panels. Then Snoopy lampshades this by remarking "Its funny how much can pass through your mind between the toss and the gulp...".
- In the climax of the Batman storyline, A Death in the Family, The Joker releases a deadly gas at a UN meeting. Superman saves everybody by inhaling the gas and then, with his mouth securely shut to prevent any gas from escaping his lungs, shouts some instructions to Batman before flying off. Yes.
- Lampshaded in the Image comics miniseries Meltdown, when Caliente (aka. "The Flare") monologues how, unlike in comic books, in real fights you're too busy trying not to die to engage in witty banter.
- Daredevil: An old man who can beat up ninjas and talk while doing a flip. here
- At one point in the second issue of the original Cyberforce ongoing, Ripclaw said enough to fill five speech bubbles in the time it took him to pounce on Velocity from a tree; 1-1.5 seconds at the most, a paragraph of dialogue. (And somehow this was simultaneously enough time for him to say all this and not enough time for Velocity, whose power is super-speed, to avoid his attack.) It used to be the page image, but the text wasn't large enough to read at the maximum allowed image size.
- Averted in the Tintin story The Crab With The Golden Claws — Tintin needs a cab to follow a car, but firs tneeds to convince another man to get out of the cab. The short conversation allows the car to get away, so there's nothing left to follow.
- The Dark Tower: At the end of Treachery, in the small fraction of a second during which Roland turns, aims and fires, he has enough time to utter a 21-syllable Badass Creed. But not enough time to realize he's shooting his mother.
- Subverted in Loki: Agent of Asgard: After a Princess Bride reference by Sigurd, Loki begins to say they've seen the movie as well — and is kicked out the window by Sigurd, taking advantage of their distraction.
- Averted in Fractured, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands crossover and its sequel Origins. Characters often lampshade that this trope is not in effect, as battles that started while they were talking have kept going, or them talking actually takes them away from something they need to be doing.
- Sometimes played straight, sometimes averted/subverted in The Tainted Grimoire.
Luso: I still can't believe you blew up our wagon...Adelle: Well...I'd like to think of it more as...saving a life...Sir Loin: IF YOU GUYS DON'T MIND, WE COULD USE SOME HELP HERE!
- Played straight: Crow took time out to explain how a certain spell was possible during a duel with Luso.
- In The Service takes the Lyrical Nanoha tendency to talk a lot and subverts it: usually if somebody is talking or allowing their opponent to talk, they're doing it to buy time for more serious firepower to arrive.
- Also generally averted in Game Theory (Fan Fic), another Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha fanfic. People trying to hold a conversation in the middle of a fight are likely to get smacked in the face.
- Often played straight in The Wizard in the Shadows, usually by Harry. Since he's a Motor Mouth in the Spider-Man range, this isn't entirely surprising.
- Played straight, reconstructed, and averted in A New Order. Sailor Moon occasionally indulges in her In the Name of the Moon speeches, but she's been attacked in the middle of a few of them, and consequently sometimes skips the speech, or uses it to stall and distract.
- Once a youma attacks Tuxedo Kamen in the middle of speech and begins mocking him for talking, only for Moon to cut it off mid-sentence with an attack of her own.
- Played straight and Averted in Kyoshi Rising; during most fights both combatants have enough time to say a few things, but they usually keep it simple. The aversion comes when Kyoshi gets into a fight with a Fake Ultimate Hero, who stops fighting briefly to try and make a Badass Boast. Unfortunately, Kyoshi keeps attacking him, wearing him down until she is able to knock him out.
- Averted in the Golden Age series. The highblood captain repeatedly attacks Queen Jane as she offers his crew asylum. Of course, since she showed up as a hologram, his attacks weren't exactly doing anything.
Films — Animated
- Subverted in The Incredibles. During the initial encounter between Mr. Incredible and Syndrome, Mr. Incredible attempts to catch Syndrome off guard by attacking him while he's explaining the source of his powers.
- Averted in Mulan. Just as Yao is on the verge of saving Mulan and Shang from getting knocked off the cliff by the avalanche by firing a rope-tied arrow to them, he takes the time before grabbing the rope to say out loud that he should grab it, causing him to just miss it.
- Played straight in The Legend of the Titanic. The female lead finds out she can communicate with dolphins, who jump out of the water to the level of the ship's deck to speak with her. They can apparently fly, because whenever the dolphins jump they conveniently pause in mid-air for several seconds while they say what they wanted to, sometimes getting out multiple sentences at a time.
Films — Live-Action
- At the climax of Point Break, Keanu Reeves's and Patrick Swayze's characters fall out of an airplane at four-thousand feet and have a ninety-second shouting match which, as MythBusters demonstrated, is about three times as long as it would take to actually fall that distance. And that's not getting into the problems with being able to hear someone in free fall.
- Crank takes the above shouting match and cubes it by having a character fall out of a helicopter (at what looked like a relatively low altitude), have a fight to the death, and still have time to pull out his phone, connect to an answering machine, wait through the message, leave one of his own, and hang up.
- In Ferris Bueller's Day Off, narrating is a free action for Ferris, and none of the other characters are aware that he's doing it.
- Subverted in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. A bounty hunter who tried unsuccessfully to kill Tuco right at the beginning of the movie locates him again much later, in the bath, naked. He's clearly got the jump on him, but can't resist going into a speech about how glad he is to have finally cornered him. Tuco immediately whips out the revolver around his neck and kills him, saying to the corpse, "If you have to shoot, shoot! Don't talk!". A memorable Throw It In.
- Both parodied and played straight in the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie, when Will and Elizabeth ask Barbossa to marry them during the final battle. Barbossa tries to deliver the "Do you (insert name here) wish to" -speech, but has to constantly stop to fight Davy Jones's crew. Played straight in that when he finally gets enough and yells: "Just kiss!", Will and Elizabeth kiss for several seconds and not a single pesky enemy tries to kill them during that.
- Completely straight in 2012. John Cusack's character is given an pretty short Exact Time to Failure before going to unjam some machinery, but the time he takes to speak to his family doesn't count.
- Also done straight in Armageddon. Bruce Willis knows that he has only a few minutes to press the detonator that will destroy the giant asteroid and kill him in the process. So naturally he finds a camera and spends several of those minutes giving a tearful goodbye to his daughter, still managing to press the button at the last second.
- In Run, Lola, Run, anachronic editing makes it look like Lola drops a bag full of money, then walks over to her dying boyfriend, remembers a lengthy flashback, and shares a few words with the boyfriend, all before the bag hits the ground.
- At the end of Fight Club when Tyler, who is really the narrator is holding the narrator at gunpoint and there are only sixty seconds before the bombs wrapped around the bases of the buildings explode via a pre-programmed detonation sequence. Yet Tyler starts monologuing for at least five minutes and nothing explodes until after the narrator has shot himself in the head to remove the delusions of Tyler and has had time to give the Space Monkeys orders and has had a touching scene with Marla Singer. Honestly, watch the movie and start counting to see when the explosion should have happened.
- It is the entire point of the movie that the whole conversation with Tyler was his imagination and that he came to the conclusion that he needs to shoot himself in a few seconds.
- The final battle in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare suffered from this.
- In The Backup Plan, the main character goes into labor, but miraculously stops having contractions to have some important dialogue with the lead male.
- Spoofed in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, where Ramona has enough time to tell Scott about Roxy's Achilles' Heel while Roxy is throwing a kick at his face. The lines are slightly slowed down, which mostly just makes them sound drunk.
- It's also deconstructed in the first attempt of the final battle with Gideon, where Scott manages in-between the fight to tell both Ramona & Knives that he cheated on both of them. Only for Gideon to sneak up on Scott and stab him from behind, killing him. However, Scott did get better, thanks to the 1-Up.
- The Avengers:
- Averted when Coulson confronts Loki. He talks about how the gun he's holding is a Super Prototype, but is cut off by Loki stabbing him. He still manages to monologue about Loki's eventual downfall while dying, however.
- Averted again when Loki begins to give a dramatic monologue, the Hulk, well, smashes.
- Exploited in Captain America: The Winter Soldier in which uploaded!Zola only keeps talking to allow a missile to hit his position and prevent Cap and Natasha from escaping.
- Also averted in The Dark Knight Rises when Talia's Evil Gloating over a wounded Batman allows Gordon time to attach a jammer to the fusion bomb, preventing her from triggering it remotely.
- In the opening scene of Galaxy Quest, while the space ship is under attack and the core is about to explode, the crew still finds time to debate on their best course of action with no interruption by further bombardment or alarm signals.
- Played with in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014). When clinging onto a structure falling from a 54-story building, Raphael makes a long-winded speech to his brothers about how he loves them despite being hard on them... while the structure and accompanying debris falls in slow motion. Right as he's caught up in the speech, however, he discovers that they have made it safely to the ground in the time that he's taken to make the speech.
- Nearly every Star Wars film shows the characters exchanging dialogue during fight scenes, especially lightsaber duels. Often, the fighting will cease entirely just so the villain can taunt the heroes about his allegedly superior skills or the success of his Evil Plan. This sometimes backfires when the hero either is unaffected or it spurs him to defeat the villain.
- The Phantom Menace is notable because of the absence of this trope. There is no dialogue whatsoever during the lengthy duel between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Darth Maul.
- In Attack of the Clones, Dooku tries to intimidate Obi-Wan with threats and Force lightning, but Obi-Wan disregards it. He also tries to intimidate Yoda with his Force powers, but Yoda just responds by blocking all of his attacks.
- In Revenge of the Sith, Dooku taunts Anakin which just angers him and drives him to defeat Dooku. Also, General Grievous tries verbal intimidation on Obi-Wan during their duel, but it doesn't work. Finally, Obi-Wan and Anakin exchange words during their duel with Obi-Wan trying to reason with Anakin, but it doesn't work in that case either.
- In A New Hope, Vader taunts Obi-Wan during their duel, but Obi-Wan calmly dismisses him.
- In The Empire Strikes Back, Vader tries psychological warfare on Luke, which Luke resists at first. But then the famed I Am Your Father speech leads Luke into a Heroic BSOD.
- In Return of the Jedi, Luke turns this trope around by trying to convince Vader to return to the Light Side while Vader tries to do the opposite to him. Ultimately, Luke is successful.
- All of this is disregarding the multiple instances of Casual Danger Dialogue during the many firefights in the series.
- The Eye of Argon:
"All that you hear is less than I hear! I heard footsteps coming towards us. Silence yourself that we may find out whom we are being brought into contact with. I doubt that any would have thought as yet of searching this passage for us. The advantage of surprise will be upon our side." Grignr warned.
- In Orson Scott Card's novel Empire the main characters, while fighting for their lives during surprise-attacks-in-peacetime with never-before-seen giant mecha, basically have a full conversation, complete with sarcastic political commentary.
- In the Japanese play Chusingura, the character of Kanpei commits sepukku (suicide by splitting his diaphragm with a sword). Before his death, his companions arrive with news. Kanpei proceeds to have several pages worth of dialogue before he finally succumbs.
- Terry Pratchett's Maskerade (sic) parodies the use of Singing is a Free Action common in opera, when the villain with a stage sword between his arm and chest takes five minutes to die, while repeatedly jumping up and delivering yet another Info Dump each time.
"You know what really gets me down is the way everyone takes such a long!!!!! time!!!!! ... to!!!!! ... argh ... argh ... argh ..."
- Later invoked by Tiffany in I Shall Wear Midnight.
- Harry Potter, with his wand in his hand, failed to stop Lockhart from using the Memory Charm, despite Lockhart gloating for four lines before activating that Memory Charm. Luckily for him, Ron's busted wand backfired.
- Happens again in Half-Blood Prince, where Draco manages to get out "Cruci-" but, faster than he can say "-o!", Harry shouts "Sectumsempra!".
- Lampshaded in, of all places, The Iliad. Played straight in that Patroclos stopped to give the lampshade in the middle of battle.
Patroclos: My good man, why do you bandy words like this? You are wasting time. Taunts and jibes will not drive the Trojans away from that dead body. Many a man will fall before that! Words are potent in debate, deeds in war decide your fate. Then don't go on piling up the words, but fight!
- Also, just before Hector is killed king Priam sees Achilles charging toward Hector as fast as he can. In the time to takes the two of them to meet Priam gets out a 45 line speech about what he would do to save his son, how much he hates Achilles, how great his wife is and why it's going to suck when he dies of old age rather than in a fight.
- Subverted in Confessor, when Snakeface, as Richard is approaching him with a sword, launches into a speech about how he's been looking forward to the throw down. Or tries to. Five words in, he loses his head, and Richard barely breaks his stride. Apparently, he thought he was the good guy.
- The Magical Rule of Christopher Stasheff's A Wizard in Rhyme series is that magic is controlled by spoken verse—meaning you can make someone feel suicidal by quoting the "To Be Or Not To Be" monologue at them, or basically any poem by Robert Frost. This becomes egregious when characters spout off long passages during battle situations, despite the debut novel demonstrating that rhymed couplets work just fine ("He's going for the extra point! / Throw his kneecap out of joint!").
- Supposedly the power of the spell is influenced by both the quality and quantity of the poetry, with old spells and languages gaining a bonus through repetition and tradition. You'll generally want to go with the longest and most specific spell you can. The fact that (shown in one book) it's possible to get off a couplet in time to stop an already-cast lightning bolt is explained by mages having an innate resistance which suppresses and slows down magic weaker than they are. The use of physical force to shut up a spellcaster often does work in the series.
- The sundry supernatural menaces of the Ghost Finders series seem remarkably polite about waiting for the trio of heroes to speculate, plan, and/or snark off to one another before actually attacking them. Sometimes justified by said menaces merely toying with the heroes, but even mindless entities seem to do the same.
- In The Emperor's Finest, an "editor's" footnote on the main account from the protagonist's journal: "I suspect a little exaggeration may be creeping in here, as close combat against a creature as formidable as a purestrain genestealer is hardly likely to leave enough time for defiant speeches."
- This trope is lampshaded, subverted, and played completely straight over the course of a few pages in the Warrior Cats novel The Last Hope. When the StarClan cats show up to help in the Final Battle, Graystripe is overjoyed to see Whitestorm again. However, Whitestorm points out that stopping to talk isn't the best idea, because "this is a battle, not a reunion". Then, on the next page, a random Dark Forest mook offs Mousefur when she stops fighting to talk with Longtail. And then, when Tigerstar shows up, he stands around talking with Firestar for a few pages before they actually fight.
- One of the characters in Mistborn: The Alloy of Law has the ability to create bubbles of slowed-down time; it's repeatedly used to create moments where the characters can have a quick chat in the middle of combat.
- MaryJanice Davidson's Queen Betsy series has the titular character frequently having internal monologues and musings, only to find she's completely checked out and missed something important. NOT justified since thoughts flash by a lot faster than dialogue. Possibly actually a commentary on Betsy's questionable state of mind.
- Averted in How To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse when The Pollyanna April has a moment of enlightment and starts philosophizing while Duff and Lucas yell at her to shut up and help them fight off the zombie horde.
- Averted in Distortionverse Chapter 5 - Rumori di Fondo. When the Big Bad kills Akima, Michelle starts speaking with her, completely neglecting the Eldritch Abomination which is going to devour her as well. When Michelle exits her Heroic BSOD, she realizes she's still alive only thanks to François's intervention. Obviously, François yells at her in anger:
François: Welcome back, miss. If you haven't realized it yet, we are in serious troubles. Now, what do you think about stopping crying for the dead ones and helping the living ones? Perhaps, they need it the most, don't they?
Live Action TV
- Mocked by Mystery Science Theater 3000 whenever an egregious example appears, with the riff "Oh, he got away" or "Oh, he's dead now" being uttered because the hero or villain monologued too long.
- Doctor Who:
- The Doctor often lapses into long mocking speeches that get his enemies stunned by his sheer audacity. Subverted in "The Idiot's Lantern", when he starts: "Hold on a minute! There are three important, brilliant, and complicated reasons why you should listen to me. One—" and is promptly KO'd with a punch to the face.
- Inverted with the Daleks, who usually take time to shout "Exterminate!" before actually shooting at the Doctor, which gives him time to get away. Or Not.
- Played with in "The Parting of the Ways", where a group of Daleks get in a shoot-out with a robot that's designed to spout a catchphrase before firing.
- Played with in "The Vampires of Venice". The Doctor attempts to stall the pursuing vampires by yelling "Tell me the whole plan!" They don't even pause, causing him to turn and run, saying "One day, that will work..."
- In "The Satan Pit", the Ood pursuing the crew through the ventilation shafts stops several feet out of range of killing the security chief, apparently, for no other reason than to let the captain and the chief of security finish their goodbyes.
- Lampshaded, Subverted and Played for Laughs all at once in "Partners in Crime", the Series 4 opener, where the Doctor and Donna, while spying on Ms. Foster detailing her plan to a captive reporter, spot each other from their vantage points, and begin to mouth at each other. Foster goes conspicuously silent as they prattle on, and when Donna eventually looks at her again, she's just standing, hands on hips, waiting for them to finish.
Ms. Foster: Interrupting you?
- In a similar vein, Power Rangers and Super Sentai all have lengthy morphing, zord summoning and weapon invocation scenes. The giant-sized monsters never seem able to step on the Rangers in the minute or so it takes them to summon and assemble their Megazord.
- Double subverted in an episode of Mahou Sentai Magiranger, where an enemy monster attempts to fire on the heroic mecha as it's going through the motions invoking its final attack. We discover that the graphics superimposed over the motions actually function as an energy shield, and divert the attack.
- Subverted in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, where the Rangers finish morphing only to discover their opponents have vanished, and then have to track them back down.
- And again in Power Rangers Dino Thunder, when the Red Ranger is attacked by the 'monster of the week' while he's doing all the action poses that normally accompany transformation.
- Power Rangers Ninja Storm embraced the Spider-Man version of this trope fully, almost all the fights in the series are filled to the brim with snarky dialogue, Lampshade Hanging, and You Fight Like a Cow.
- And in Lord Zedd's first appearance, when his monster used that time to attack and take control of the Zords before the Rangers could get into them and actually start foiling him, something my 10 year old self had been yelling at the bad guys to do since the 2nd episode.
- This isn't just limited to the good guys; Tenaya 7 of Power Rangers RPM had an early gag where people would interrupt her monologues with attacks or quips.
- One of the more egregious examples of this being played straight is in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue (Hmm Irony) when they first get the Rescue Zords. Between the time taken to get the Zords out of the Lightspeed Aquabase, alter the Zord modes and all the time they spend talking back and forth to one another (particularly Joel), it's a wonder the people stuck in the elevator weren't already dead by the time they got there. Later episodes aren't so bad.
- Gekisou Sentai Carranger, itself an Affectionate Parody of Super Sentai, spoofed this with the series' Psycho Rangers, the Zokurangers. ZokuRed attempts to use his Finishing Move...which has a name that is at least fifteen words longnote , only to get Killed Mid-Sentence by the Carrangers' Humongous Mecha.
- In Charmed whenever using the Power of Three the demons always remain motionless or nearly so, awaiting their destruction for no obvious reason, during sometimes-long rhymes.
- Though if you notice, a lot of the time the Demons are kind of vibrating/shuddering while the spell is being recited, which indicates that a Power of Three spell is not one that instantly blows the demon up once it has finished being said, but proceeds to destroy the Demon throughout the duration of the spell being spoken, climaxing at the end.
- But not when they first defeated The Source, where the destruction chant was so ridiculously long that they did have to find a way to bind it while they spoke.
- In Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Ami invokes her first transformation into Sailor Mercury during a 20-foot-fall — and she does it by reciting a trigger phrase that takes about three or four times longer to say than she should have taken to fall.
- Also averted at several points. For instance, one episode has the Monster of the Week taking out Rei by striking her in the stomach while she's trying to utter her transformation phrase.
- One early episode showed Usagi, Rei, and Ami trying to sync their attacks to the beat of a pop song in order to defeat a monster that could split into three parts and had to have all three copies destroyed at the same time to finish it off. The monster just sort of stands there and taunts them as they keep trying to sync their attack three or four times over (this takes awhile). Semi-justified, however, in the monster really didn't think the senshi could sync-up properly, and was probably waiting for the three to waste their energy trying.
- Inverted in the Season 7 opener of NCIS, where Tony babbles on for several minutes to the terrorist villain, even stopping him from shooting McGee so he could explain his plan for escaping (borrowed from True Lies). The point of his monologue was actually to spend as much time as possible talking to give Gibbs enough time to set up a sniper's nest and shoot the terrorist through the window.
- Subverted in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "The Zeppo" where Xander starts making a speech and the other guy runs off. 'I wasn't finished!'
Xander: Now listen close, because I'm going to ask you a question, and you'd better pray you get the answerOther Guy: Head gets knocked off by a mailbox
- And subverted before that, too.
- And played straight at the climax. Apparently, a scary, manly stare-off has nothing to do with that timer over there, no sir.
- Played so straight it wraps around to being a hilarious aversion on Saved by the Bell, where Zack Morris could literally freeze time while he talked to the audience.
- Kamen Rider Decade: Tsukasa loves making big speeches and people love standing around to listen to them. Pulling out cards, swiping them, and using the K-Touch, however, is blatant off the clock action.
- Subverted twice in episode 14 of Kamen Rider Drive. Kamen Rider Mach gets attacked by the monster of the week while doing his pose-tastic pre-asskicking routine ("Come on man, at least let me finish!"). Then he fights back and subdues the monster long enough just to go back and do the speech again, which is uninterrupted this time, but at the end Mach realizes the enemy just used the opportunity to run the hell away from there and is long gone. The next time Mach transforms he starts doing his catchphrase then just goes "eh, you know the rest." to cut straight to the point and avoid losing the enemy again.
- Averted in Scrubs; sometimes J.D. will come out of his Inner Monologue or fantasy sequence to realize he's missed something and now has no idea what's going on. On other occasions, people complain about J.D. always staring off into space while they're talking to him.
- In the season 3 mid-season finale of Once Upon a Time, there's a terrible curse about to descend on the town, with clouds billowing through the streets to indicate its arrival...and our heroes are still perfectly fine taking 20 minutes or so to discuss how they can stop it, what the result of stopping it will be, and anything else they feel like talking about.
- Star Trek: in various episodes, the Captains are somehow able to record a log (worded in the present tense) in the midst of a dramatic incident. In reality the log is a justification for a voice-over to bring viewers up to speed on events, often after a commercial break. Within the episode however, it often appears that the Captain records a log despite apparently having no opportunity to do so, often with no recording equipment and without moving his lips.
- In By Any Other Name, as the Enterprise approaches the Energy Barrier, Kirk records a log detailing a plan to defeat the Kelvans - while the Kelvans are on the Bridge with him.
- In Encounter at Farpoint, Q makes his first appearance before a commercial break. Returning from the break, Picard somehow manages to record a log summing up the current situation and wondering whether to oppose Q, while Q is stood right in front of him.
- In the "Motorcycle Song," Arlo Guthrie accidentally goes off the road on his motorcycle, 500 feet up a mountain. As he starts falling has a great idea for a song, so he gets out paper and a pen to write it down. Still falling, he finds out the pen is dry, so he replaces the ink cartridge.
- In the opera The Magic Flute Papageno and Pamina sing an entire aria about how they must hurry to escape Sarastro's palace.
"Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of dying, he sings."
- That's hardly unusual. Either Ed Gardner or Robert Benchley said this:
Papageno: "Immer stille und immer stille und immer stille und immer still!"
- Later on, when they're being initiated into the order, Tamino and Papageno are all singing in a test of silence.
- Beetle Bailey: "That's it, Beetle! Now roll with the punch!" Given as actual advice during a fight. Enough said.
- A hilarious, played-completely-straight variant (more like "Fighting is a Free Action") occurred at the 2002 Royal Rumble. Maven pulls off a huge upset by eliminating The Undertaker from the ring when 'Taker has his head turned. Ordinarily the match would continue with new entrants coming out every 90 seconds or so, but this time the match stops dead for several minutes just so 'Taker can dish out some Disproportionate Retribution (attacking Maven and dealing him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that takes them out of the ring, into the crowd, and all the way up to the concession area surrounding the arena where 'Taker slams Maven into an old-fashioned popcorn cart, breaking the glass and spilling popcorn everywhere, before scooping up a handful of popcorn and munching on it). Then - and only then - does the TV camera cut back to the actual ring, where the next scheduled entrant (Scotty 2 Hotty) is only starting to make his way toward the ring, as if he were waiting for the camera to finish filming up in the concession area. (Which, of course, he was.)
- WWE also frequently uses commercial breaks as a free action. Sometimes a wrestler will start posing or spouting his catchphrase at they cut away and be shown doing the same thing when the show resumes, leaving the TV audience wondering if they have just been standing there doing the same thing for several minutes. In reality the audience at the live shows tend to get some smack talk, promos or kiss cam features to keep them entertained. If the show cuts to commercial in the middle of a match then it is guaranteed that the match will not feature any interesting spots while the TV audience are watching adverts, and the match will most certainly never reach its conclusion during that time.
- The trope name comes from Dungeons & Dragons, in which most talking requires neither time nor effort, so requests to "stop talking and get fighting" aren't necessary... in the game world. But in the real world, players debating each move can slow combat to a crawl.
- In the early editions combat rounds were one minute long - it was assumed that most of the round was taken up with other actions with only one chance to actually use an actual in game ability - plenty of time to talk there. (Nowadays, one round is about 6 seconds, so how much information you can relay on your turn will depend on the DM.)
- As of 3.5, it was suggested players could get in a "few sentences" during a free action, but the books also suggested several caveats (such as limiting talking to your turn only, or not at all if you were caught flat-footed). House rules occasionally crop up to limit it further, such as only allowing six words as a free action and only allowing a single free action devoted to talking per round.
- Champions, the original superhero roleplaying game, and its generic outgrowth HERO System after that, originated the rule in the 1980s and is the most explicit example of encouraging people to use this trope for genre reasons in the present day. The in-game term for it is "Soliloquy."
- Mutants & Masterminds has a mechanic called "Monologuing" in which you trick the villain into talking on and on for several rounds, thereby giving your characters a chance to escape. Beyond using this trick however, the villain can monologue as much as he wants as talking is a free action, and Monologuing is a full round action.
- Talking is technically not a free action in GURPS, but Basic Set points out that unless you're going for hyper-realism it's usually best to use this trope.
- The Mayfair Exponential Game System allows one or two free Bond One Liners per phase of combat; however, if the dialog takes more than four or five seconds to deliver, it costs the player an Action.
- Shadowrun recommends the Game Master limit players to somewhere around 25 words in a round (though, as Nale demonstrates, that can be a bit restrictive) and no more than one gesture as a free action.
- Occurs in Rogue Trader. You can even play an Astropath and have "mindtalk" as a free action.
- In Only War, it specifically says that the GM should place limits on how much one can say without it being a Half-Action or Full Action.
- The rules for the Swedish Drakar och Demoner explicitly says that during battle, each 5-second interval can only be used for one action, where speaking is one possible action. Short interjections like "Attack!" are free actions though.
- Ironclaw states that talking is a free action on your turn, you need to wait for another's response until their turn. "Talking may be free, but a conversation is not".
- Unintentionally subverted in the Western RPG Aces & Eights due to combat time being tracked in tenths of a second. In the time it takes to yell "Stop!" the typical gunfighter has already opened fire.
- Averted in FATAL: you have stats for both average talking speed and maximum talking speed (and, being FATAL, it's entirely possible for your maximum to be less than your average).
- Les Misérables: When Eponine gets shot, she still has enough time to sing a full song with Marius before dying. She dies fairly slowly in the book too, though, and it could be handwaved as musket balls then not being as effective at killing.
- Robert Burns described opera as, "...where a guy gets stabbed in the back, and instead of dying, he sings."
- Advance Wars plays this straight, although given that its a turn-based strategy game the player has as much time as they need.
- Spoofed in Days Of Ruin, despite the rapidly dropping altitude of the plane the scene is set on no one except an unnamed IDS agent (who is panicking at her oncoming doom, and even asks if anyone else cares) cares, every other character is casually talking to the Big Bad's Tyke Bomb convincing her to Heel-Face Turn and allowing them to make it out alive
- Played straight in the separately translated EU version Dark Conflict, where the IDS agent does nothing but read the altitude.
- During the "four minutes before death" in Ghost Trick, time only pauses when you're in the ghost world—or when dialogue is taking place. Only justified for between-ghost dialogue, which seems to take place instantaneously via telepathy.
- Metal Gear Solid 2's codec conversations, even if they are purely an act of thought on the part of Raiden (at least when they need to be), are pretty unbelievable. Particularly infamous is the three-minute argument over weapon naming conventions with the AI construct the Patriots built to rule the world that occurs during the final boss battle. And this is just after a twelve-minute long Infodump from the same guys, while Solidus Snake just stands there, waiting to deliver his shocking revelation. Don't worry, he'll wait.
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has a time limit on the final boss battle of ten minutes - when those ten minutes are up, MiG-21's will arrive and bomb the field you're in, killing you both. You can defeat the boss with only one minute to spare, at which point another multi-minute-long cutscene happens, with no MiGs in sight until you're attempting to escape another 5+ minutes later. There is, however, a jokey version of this featured in the Secret Theater short "Metal Gear S", wherein Snake manages to defeat the final boss (after having Sigint steal every other significant accomplishment in the game from him), only to be left behind in the escape and subsequently bombed into oblivion.
- In many, many Fighting Games with "super" special attacks, when a character executes such a technique, the battle will freeze for a split-second while they give a battle cry.
- Fire Emblem sometimes has dialogue or monologue delivered before attacking particularly important characters.
- It also has Support conversations, in which two compatible characters can start gabbing in the middle of battle to raise their stats using The Power of Friendship...but this eats a turn, at least in some of the games.
- Not just gabbing but such activities as: painting (Forde); showing off (Ewan to Amelia); getting intimate (Gerik and Tethys).
- Mechanically averted in Seisen no Keifu. Mounted units are able to move after attacking but if they talk their turn immediately ends.
- It also has Support conversations, in which two compatible characters can start gabbing in the middle of battle to raise their stats using The Power of Friendship...but this eats a turn, at least in some of the games.
- For the sake of flavour, virtually all of the Super Robot Wars games have the characters, whether hero or villain, delivering a couple of lines of dialogue (well, actually monologue) with every attack. This is especially amusing in the case of unmanned drone enemies, who actually go "beep beep beep" in place of their dialogue. Sometimes the characters will chat before they attack, and then they get the "combat chatter" on top of that.
- Using the actual Talk command, however, uses that units' turn.
- And in the case of important dialogue, the villain really is stopping to chat with the protagonist. Throwaway chatter is along the lines of "Villain X! What you've done can't be forgiven! Let's go!", and as for attack animations... it wouldn't be Super Robot without liberal Calling Your Attacks and Invocation.
- Sakura Wars displays a similar behavior to Super Robot Wars. In Sakura Taisen 4, there are even occasions where several minute long cut scenes occur between turns.
- In Final Fantasy Tactics, story fights are often interrupted with dialogue — sometimes including extraordinarily long and detailed monologues. Most ridiculous is if one of the dialogue's participants is a Dragoon, and has been set to do a Jump attack. Said character will fall back to the ground just to deliver his line, before vaulting into the stratosphere again to await his turn to finish the attack.
- In fact, several Final Fantasy games have dialogue scenes for character development or rules description during battle screens, with enemies present, but refusing to attack.
- And in another Square product, Chrono Cross, the enemies are refusing to attack since they're the ones giving the rules and game information; apparently the heroes just stand there and listen.
- Sometimes averted Final Fantasy X: some battles have "Special Commands" available, including "Talk" — which use up a turn.
- Both averted — in the same way as above — and played straight in Final Fantasy Tactics A2; Sometimes main characters go into lengthy monologues mid-battle, and other times you have to use your turn to talk. It seems mostly dependent on if you're talking to yourself or not.
- Perhaps played most notably straight in Final Fantasy VI, in which the first time you have Terra use magic in battle with Locke and Edgar in the party, the Active Time Battle(!) system will pause for a looooooong conversation in which they freak out, break off to the side to whisper among themselves, FAINT, recover, and finally get back to fighting. Naturally, the enemies (usually a pair of Magitek Armors) wait patiently throughout this entire exchange.
- Averted in one hair-pulling instance in Final Fantasy IX. In order to get the Infinity+1 Sword you have to make it to a certain area near the end of the game before someone else does. If they reach it first, all you find is a note about the sword. The time limit for reaching it? 12 hours. Seems normal, right? Except that it's 12 hours of play time, the area is near the END of the game, and the timer starts from the moment you hit New Game, including every single conversation, battle, and yes, cutscene you've ever seen. You have to pull a Speed Run to get the sword. This can be mitigated by the fact that FM Vs are skipped if you open the console's disc cover, but this is impossible if playing a digital version of the game, such as the one available for download on the PS3. The only saving grace is that you can pause at pretty much any time except when an FMV is running and, unlike some Final Fantasy titles, pausing the game will stop the clock.
- In the same vein, Disgaea 2 has a truly remarkable example of this; the party bursts into the middle of a fight, where the brother of one of the main characters is in the middle of a suicidal assault on the Big Bad's bodyguard. Apparently, however, Mook Chivalry prevents them from attacking while brother and sister share a lengthy retrospect, debate the value of life, make plans for the future, and learn new super-moves from their combined powers. Of course, it IS a turn-based game, and the characters are almost universally Genre Savvy, so maybe they were just aware that the enemy couldn't move until someone hit the "End Turn" button...
- Then again, the trope is subverted in Disgaea, in which Etna takes out two out of three Power Ranger knockoffs in the middle of their intro speech, before all their colors combine. This does earn her a stern lecture, though. Later, Laharl gets a scolding from Flonne too when he suggests that they should attack while The Rival is busy monologuing
- It's also subverted by the prinnies at the beginning of Disgaea 2, where they're A-OK with scoring a cheap critical hit while Rozalin is busy with an Internal Monologue.
- It's also lampshaded in the tutorial, where Etna notices that the monsters apparently have the courtesy to wait for their asses to be beat.
- Gets lampshaded by Almaz in Disgaea 3, after the savvy side of Mao waits for Raspberyl and her friends to complete their impromptu graduation ceremony before he attacks.
- Assassination targets in Assassin's Creed have the uncanny ability to freeze gameplay in order to deliver cryptic, rambling speeches about their motives and how you are Not So Different. This despite their having been stabbed through the neck immediately prior. These speeches take place in the Animus White Void Room, implying that the scene in reality may not have played out exactly as it did in the game.
- Body Harvest actually says that when you get blurbs from the girl in your lander, your receiver injects a drug into you that speeds up your perception hundredsfold for a fraction of a second, gives you the transmission, and then dispenses another drug to bring you back down to normal speed.
- In Achaea, talking is one of the few actions that doesn't require balance (which is lost when most actions are used, and takes a few seconds to come back). Even emoting requires balance, which can result in the rather odd circumstance of the character apparently having the composure to recite entire paragraphs, but not being able to blink. Talking is also instant, although this effect is limited by the time the player spends typing it out.
- In Call of Juarez, characters you've just duelled with get last words, despite having just been shot in the head at extremely short range.
- Gawn, from Wild ARMs 4, having already defied physics to shoot down 11 missiles in mid-air and punching the last one with his bare hands, decides to twist up the flow of time too. In the one second or less it takes for the last missile that he had just punched to explode, Gawn manages to give the protagonists an entire speech on reaching for the future. Of course, everyone else has to move in slow motion while it happens. You don't believe me, do you? There is proof.
- The Tales Series of RPGs loves this; typically there will be cutscene exposition before a plot-important fight and then the characters will banter during it, apparently not even needing to breathe.
- Tales of Vesperia takes a jab at this trope when Yuri and Flynn work together to defend a village of refugees from monsters. Yuri can't concentrate if he isn't talking and Flynn can't concentrate when someone is talking.
- And then they fight each other and trash-talk each other while they're kicking each other's ass.
- Played in full force by Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World where there is some quite lengthy dialogue between the party and some bosses, while running round shouting out arte names and casting spells that require incantations.
- Played for Laughs when the party is running from Alice and Decus in the Ice Temple. When they try to hold a conversation in a skit like they always do, Tenebrae reminds them that they're supposed to be running like hell and declares a ban on speaking. It doesn't take long for the party to turn this on him and prevent him from speaking as well.
- Tales of Vesperia takes a jab at this trope when Yuri and Flynn work together to defend a village of refugees from monsters. Yuri can't concentrate if he isn't talking and Flynn can't concentrate when someone is talking.
- In Dragon Quest VII, you can talk to your party members before each round of combat by just choosing 'Talk' instead of picking everyone's next actions. However, if you try talking three times, the enemy stops waiting and gets a free round of hits. (Surprisingly, Maribel does not chew you out if you choose to start the next round by 'Talk'ing again...)
- Neverwinter Nights averts this by not letting you enter conversations in combat and immediately stopping conversations if one of the participants is attacked. Neverwinter Nights 2 keeps the first part, but cinematic conversations pause the rest of the game while they are occurring, so it both averts and plays this trope straight.
- In Neverwinter Nights 2's expansion, Mask of the Betrayer, the player character becomes a spirit-eater and has to replenish their energy by devouring spirits or die, because you constantly lose it as the time passes. Fortunately, the energy meter freezes when you engage in a conversation.
- In Fallout 3, if you manage to Mezmerize an enemy during combat, you can run right up and talk to them, pick their pockets, take their weapons, and slap a slave collar on, all while their allies patiently wait for your conversation to end.
- That's just the start of it... While under enemy fire, you can run up to a computer terminal and access it, then spend as long as you want patiently figuring out the password - as long as you don't quit or use up your four tries - and then browse the terminal's contents at a leisurely pace. When you finally exit, you'll still be in the thick of the firefight - unless one of your free actions was to shut down the turret connected to the terminal!
- At the end of Operation Anchorage, after you open the fortress door, you can waste as much time as you like talking to General Jingwei despite all the fighting happening around you.
- All The Elder Scrolls games will pause indefinitely whenever the Player Character enters dialogue, even in combat. This leads to such oddities as a soldier filling you in on the next stage of an attack plan while a fireball sent from the walls is patiently hovering mid-air not far from his head.
- Not to mention the spot where they lampshade it in Oblivion: when you return to Weynon Priory and find it under attack, you are informed by an NPC after a reasonably long conversation that he's fairly sure a Mythic Dawn agent is right behind him. Sure enough, when you finish the dialogue, there he is.
- Averted rather annoyingly in The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard, where opening dialogue with an NPC leaves you open to attack from any nearby enemies.
- Averted in Skyrim, where one of the selling points is that NPC's continue what they're doing while talking to you, and time doesn't stop during conversations. Can have serious downsides, like a Courier deciding to initiate a conversation with you while in the middle of fleeing from a giant, resulting in both of your deaths.
- Diablo II: In the cinematic between Act II and Act III, Tyrael somehow finds the time to deliver a ten-second monologue to Marius while ostensibly in battle with two Prime Evils.
- The background clearly shows that time has stopped while he does this. Also, he's an angel. And furthermore, the moment his time-stop ends, Baal catches him off-guard and disarms him. Triple justified.
- Averted in River City Ransom: The player can attack bosses while they're still talking.
- Deus Ex features some intricate dialogue with friendly characters -that can thankfully be fastforwarded- while enemies are either advancing on the player or waiting to attack. Notable instances: Paul blabbing away to JC in his room at the 'Ton Hotel while a gaggle of Men In Black and UNATCO troopers are converging on their location, and Illuminati contact Stanton Dowd briefing JC on his next assignment in the middle of a street patrolled by mooks and bots, while a thug visibly hovers behind his back.
- In World of Warcraft many NPCs have prolonged conversations with other NPCs before a fight where they are not viable targets (even killing them with you totally incapable of stopping them), chat arrogantly while you fight them, and give speeches of varying lengths when they die. You can't do that because it would mean you have to stop clicking on the battle keys to talk back.
- Played especially straight in the original Kael'thas boss fight in Tempest Keep, where he delivered a several minutes-long speech every time you initiated the fight, with you being forced to stand and listen to it.
- Particularly bad are times when an NPC or mob will say something and die before they're apparently done talking. One of the most blatant examples of this would be the captured blood elf on Bloodmyst Island, who, as he's being taken back to his cell, commits Suicide by Cop by mocking one of the stronger draenei's dead friends. In this case, his mocking is a long speech, which he's scripted to be killed by in the middle of, at which point the bubble containing his text hovers over his corpse for a good twenty seconds afterward, making it look like his dead body is still talking.
- The game pauses whenever there is dialog in Bunny Must Die! Chelsea and the 7 Devils.
- Bosses in Mega Man Zero (after the first one) always take the opportunity to chat up the hero just before exploding. Even if they've just been visibly bisected down the middle.
- Talking tends to be a free action in Battle for Wesnoth - no matter what the interlocutors are doing (even if they're engaged in a fight to the death), if someone has a message for them, they'll stop to have word. Not to mention the time they'll spend parleying with the enemy general(s) at the beginning of a battle. It's worth noting that all messages can reach any character at any point, and the people don't even have to move, even when they're in opposing fortresses, or over the other side of the battlefield.
- Bioshock: In either game, the important plot-essential monologues will continue no matter what you do, but you can interrupt random lines of dialogue with various actions.
- Justified. In Bioshock, said plot-essential monologues are delivered by radio.
- Though in-game events are (obviously) not frozen should someone talk, Armageddon MUD nevertheless plays this one straight where it comes to talking not interrupting any other actions at all. Telepathic communication still takes time and effort, though; only speech can be done indefinetly regardless of any action the player is performing at that time.
- The final boss of Dragon Age: Origins will sit there on the brink of death, politely waiting while you and Alistair (or Loghain) discuss which of you should be the one to finish it off.
- Averted in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, where the game doesn't pause when you talk to someone, making it very easy to be attacked while you read the dialogue. This also applies to using your PDA, and looking in your inventory. Better to find somewhere quiet, than risk getting your face chewed off.
- In Resident Evil: Code: Veronica, Chris battles with Alexia despite the countdown of the base's self-destruct system (A franchise staple). No matter how quickly you beat her, Chris barely outruns the countdown and escapes. However, the Updated Re-release adds in a lengthy conversation/fight scene with Wesker after you defeat Alexia, but does not change the countdown timer.
- In Sonny, the majority of dialogue in both games takes place during battle scenarios rather than traditional cutscenes (though they've got a few of those too). Veradux, Roald, and Felicity all join your party in a battle scene (Veradux appeals to you for help when ZPCI soldiers chase him down after he takes an experimental armor from them, Roald joins you after he and his ally lower their weapons once they realize that you're not like the other zombies, and Felicity meets up with your party in Hew (complete with Sonny warning Veradux to cover his face)).
- In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, you only have a limited amount of time on any given cycle to do things. Any cutscene or dialogue pauses the timer until it's over. This is only really visible during the last 6 "hours" of the game. This is probably best demonstrated in the good ending to the Anju/Kafei sidequest: Kafei's entrance stops the timer at 1:27, only allowing it to continue when they tell you they'll greet the morning together. Probably a good thing, as the moon would likely crash into Termina while they were talking, otherwise.
- On the other hand, listening to an old lady ramble on and on and on (and falling asleep in the middle of it) is a great way to skip ahead in time.
- Soundly averted in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. In Chapter 2, Crump snags the Crystal Star, starts the timer on a time bomb, and leaves. Neither battle nor dialogue stop the timer, so if you took longer than you really should have, you'd better mash to get through Crump's confrontation with the elder. (Thankfully, he shuts off the timer before actual battle, as he doesn't want to be blown up himself.)
- Played with in Metroid Prime, where scanning is a free action. With your scanner, you can get information about bosses and enemies. While this happens in real time, the game basically pauses so you can read the scan.
- Averted for one specific mechanic of Metroid Prime 2. Safe zones in Dark Aether slowly replenish your health, and if you are standing in one when a cutscene starts, you will continue replenishing health for its duration.
- Inverted in Getter Love!!, where you can only perform one action each time you arrive somewhere, including talking to someone (but not counting your interaction with a pop-up character if you happen to be the first person there; that's a free action). Yet, if someone arrives at the same place after you, they can still talk to you anyway. So, if you had a date with, say, Natsuki, at the Panda Department Store, whether or not you can spend some time gift-shopping first depends on who gets there first. (Unrealistic, in exactly the opposite way of this page's trope, but considering that this was meant to resemble a board game, there you go.)
- Averted in all online games, obviously, since they take place in real-time. There are often text-chat tools you can use, but the battle will continue to rage around and, quite often, at you while you're fumbling around with it. A good reason to invest in a headset mic. Some games offer a limited range of in-character "voice commands", but if the menu is complicated enough, it could run into this issue as well.
- One of the few Acceptable Breaks from Reality used in Pathologic. And you will be grateful for it, given the extremely constrictive In-Universe Game Clock, the plot-heavy nature of the game, and the Walls of Text in most conversations.
- A variant of this trope is used in Alpha Protocol: when talking to his handler over his earpiece, Mike speaks at normal conversational volume, even while in hiding. Every patrol is apparently deaf to it.
- Averted in Bushido Blade - while the enemy is introducing themselves, you are free to walk up and stab them. However, this is blatantly dishonorable, and a quick way to disqualify yourself from seeing the ending.
- Subverted several times in Mass Effect. While certain conversations are in designated cutscenes and therefore enemies will not attack during them, there's a number of times when squadmates make comments or talk to one another without going into a cutscene. If you then enter combat or do anything else, it will interrupt the conversation abruptly.
- Mass Effect 2 has a notable scene with a krogan who goes on a rant that lasts several minutes until the player gets tired of waiting and hits the interrupt key. "You talk too much."
- The Extended Cut of Mass Effect 3 contains a very noticeable example of this. During the desperate charge against Harbinger, your squad mates are injured. The Normandy flies down, picks up your squadmate (complete with a heartwarming goodbye), and then flies away, all without Harbinger firing a single shot. As soon as the Normandy is gone, the charge resumes as though nothing happened.
- The same DLC allows you to have a very long conversation with the Catalyst while spaceships are battling with the Reapers outside. Some of them protect the Crucible, which, if you don't take any of the ending options after the conversation for a couple of minutes or so, will be destroyed, resulting in a Non-Standard Game Over. Before the Extended Cut was released, there was much less dialogue with the Catalyst - kinda more logical, considering the circumstances, but the ending sequence seriously lacked closure and answers.
- Played around with in Asura's Wrath, at certain points during certain deity fights, you can shut them up by punching them in the face. You even get a few trophies for it.
- Talking is a free action for characters in Eternal Sonata when they deliver their lines prior to delivering a charged-up special attack. Which is good, because some of these lines seem to take longer to deliver than all of the time on the Action Gauge. "When the plants die, the earth does not tremble. When the hills crack, the flowers are bright. Morning Frost! Shadow Beam!" (Well, good for your own characters anyway, but the human villains get their own lines and are granted the same sort of immunity.)
- Sonic the Hedgehog seems to like this trope a bit. Whenever he has a conversation with someone while running, he suddenly goes in a straight line and doesn't need to look where he's going. The most prominent example of this is in his team's intro in Sonic Heroes. While running through a rather rocky and cactus-heavy desert, Tails shows up in the X-Tornado and hands him a letter from Eggman, which Sonic reads while running backwards. Tails himself seems to have forgotten to pilot the plane during this, and him and Knuckles eventually just ditch it and run after Sonic.
- Averted in both Knights of the Old Republic games, where occasionally you'll be dragged into dialogue while your party members and possibly even your character will still be fighting. Gameplay doesn't stop at all during dialogue, which makes it a good way to pass time while your Mana regenerates.
- Averted in Kid Icarus: Uprising. Dialog often occurs while Pit is in combat and sometimes may be silenced by certain actions (almost always triggering another piece of dialog). Usually played straight in cutscenes. Subverted once when Phosphora attacks Pit during his In the Name of the Moon speech in the cutscene before battle.
- Parodied in Endless Frontier: at one point, the appearance of a boss causes your party members to have a whole conversation among themselves until it politely coughs to remind them of its presence.
- Averted/inverted in Dishonored. Because of it's sandbox-y type gameplay, time-stopping dialogue would be impractical. Conversely, the developers created a lot of fluff/non-critical dialogue to ensure that characters and the world would seem alive while the player was wandering around. They intentionally made any plot-critical dialogue very very short and succinct since the player could conceivably kill the character at any time.
- One of Joseph's moves in Jojos Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle is a counter taunt that, if triggered, has him stop everything to guess what his opponent is going to say. In a amusingly odd way, the target only gasps in surprise after fully saying their (sometimes rather long) expected catchphrase.
- Frequently occurs in Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, and the other Infinity Engine game. Depending on the circumstances, it's even possible to have lengthy dialogs with some of the villains while arrows and fireballs are hovering in midair, politely waiting for the conversation to end before they explode.
- Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne and Shin Megami Tensei IV avert this: a Press Turn will be consumed if you try Talking to a demon (unless you can't). How many Press Turns are taken up depends on whether you're successful or not.
- Other MegaTen games with demon dialogue also suggest an aversion if not outright declaring it - in many games, if you try to talk to a demon that's hostile or unable to talk, or anger it in dialogue, the demon gets a free attack because it's implied you left yourself open or just wasted too much time trying to talk to something that would rather gnaw off your face.
- Played with in The Wonderful 101 by Wonder Blue, who gets slightly worried by Wonder Red's long winded final attack name. It is fair to note that they are currently staring down an Earth Destroying Laser.
Wonder Red: Final Ultimate Legendary Earth Power Super Max Justice Future Miracle Dream Beautiful Galaxy Big Bang Little Bang Sunrise Starlight Infinite Fabulous Totally Final Wonderful Arrow...Fire!
- Shown in this Achewood comic.
- And again here, where Ray demonstrates Writing Is A Free Action, by writing 19+ words (we don't see the other side) on a board during a pause in a conversation.
- In Darths & Droids the players have a long, complex discussion, while insisting their characters are holding their breath.
- Subverted in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures .
- And again. Owch.
- Demonstrated greatly in this 8-Bit Theater, where Fighter has a full flashback, gets an idea, and draws both swords before hitting opponents Black Mage threw him at that were apparently at most fifteen feet away. In the flash version it's even more obvious, and even funnier.
- The comic for 11/11/08 is literally titled "Talking Is A Free Action".
- Girl Genius doesn't seem to be immune to this either
- VG Cats subverted the trope with this comic parodying frequent offender Metal Gear Solid 2.
- Lampshaded here in Nowhere University
- Although Dr McNinja was busy running away from a horde of killer robots that were almost literally breathing at his neck, he still found enough time to read a note he discovered.
- Seen shortly after Ellen's creation in El Goonish Shive. Sure, she may not have said that much and got interrupted at the end, but it was still a lot more then should have been possible during the time it takes to fall from a second story window.
- Averted by Snatcher who attacks Lightning while he is in the middle of a speech.
- Later lampshaded somewhat in season 2 by a villain while he is fighting against Lamia and Jina.
- Suicide for Hire does this a lot. Lampshaded in the sidenote here.
- Parodied once in Stick Man Stick Man: strip 892.
- In Sluggy Freelance this seems to hold true for Blacksoul and for Bun-Bun.
- Obviously, being a D&D comic, The Order of the Stick not plays it straight after Haley makes a speech to Roy and then proceeds to say "Relax, talking is a free action".
- Not to mention that they talk a lot while fighting, even though they don't mention this trope explicitly.
- Except sometimes that they do.
- Subverted when Vaarsuvius ends up taking twelve seconds to explain that the remaining duration of a spell was three turns. Well, one turn now.note
- Malack takes this for granted; Durkon exploits the absence.
- Not to mention that they talk a lot while fighting, even though they don't mention this trope explicitly.
- How about this Irregular Webcomic!? The characters have taken several strips talking about elven philosophy and gods.
- Lampshaded in this The Way of the Metagamer comic.
- Subverted in DM of the Rings, where the Player Characters normally try to kill villains during monologues since they'd rather get on with it already. This leads to Legolas killing Grima and Saruman, much to the Dungeon Master's frustration.
- And Gollum.
- Elf Only Inn subverts this right before a server reboot here.
- After an eloquent breakdown of his reasoning by Kevyn, Elf in Schlock Mercenary lampshades that comic's aversion of the trope.
- Lampshaded and averted in this pair of Ryan Estrada comics.
- Played straight in this Freefall strip.
- In Something*Positive, not only is talking a free action, but interrupting someone with a highly-detailed threat is even more of a free action. However that works.
- This Awkward Zombie is totally not an example, as Katie assures us she too often has conversations in mid-air with passers-by.
- Used in this strip of Weapon Brown.
- Blade Bunny does this a lot, one memorable example involving a rude poem.
- Lampshaded in this xkcd comic, concerning etymology.
- Apparently not in Manly Guys Doing Manly Things.
- In Rusty and Co., averted with a lampshade in Alt Text.
Mimic: Do somethin'!
Prestige: I can't, I'm too busy screaaaaaaaaming!
- Occurs sometimes in Greek Ninja.
- Parodied in this I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC episode, in which Lex and Gobby are able to have a discussion over whether Ang Lee's version of Incredible Hulk is superior to the 2008 version while the Hulk is shaking the car they're in.
- Subverted Trope for this Braveheart parody animation "Weakheart". William Wallace suffers a Hollywood Heart Attack, and his second-in-command is dubious about fighting. Some of his troops tell him it's his duty to lead the charge and he decides to do it... but then an arrow goes through his throat from behind as he's still trying to finish saying they're going to start the charge.
- The Global Guardians PBEM Universe is based on the Champions roleplaying game. One of the basic rules is that soliloquies are a zero-phase action that take no time at all; technically, a character could recite the entire text of Wikipedia as a Free Action.
- One particularly terrible Mangafox roleplay of Battle Royale had the GM's player have his collar activated in the classroom after the rules were explained and set to detonate after 60 seconds. He and several other players responded with a number of monologues directed at the teacher who activated his collar (the majority of which reacted with very little other than annoyance at the fact that someone was about to splatter gore all over them). While the collar was deactivated before the time was up, the number of monologues took well over a minute to finish.
- From Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do in an RPG:
1335. I can not filibuster in the middle of my dying speech to buy the cleric more time.2033. Even if the rules allow it, I can't conduct a television interview and maintain a choke hold at the same time.
- In Adventure Time, Finn can leap at an enemy & have the time to yell "Get ready for an uppercut, you dog!" or "I'm a cat! I'm an agile cat!" before reaching them.
- The Beast Warriors sometimes abused this, giving speeches to each other before an ambush, then transforming and fighting. Somewhat subverted in the final episode:
Megatron: "Well, come on, let's have it. The usual 'destiny and honor' speech."Optimus Primal: "Speech this!"Then Megatron is punched square in the face by Optimus Primal.
- In Danny Phantom, in the midst of heated battle, foes often seem to just stop and let Danny finish his superheroic, corny jokes.
- A subversion of this appears as well. Danny apparently has no qualms about attacking Technus during his usual lengthy monologues.
- Niko And The Sword Of Light - Combined with the fact that Niko tends to call his attacks and makes use of Large Ham a lot, this is bound to happen.
- Occasionally subverted in The Penguins of Madagascar for gags where Kowalski tries to explain what he is about to do to help the situation only to be interrupted before he gets the chance.
(The Penguins are being chased by the rats)Kowalski: Rico, rat cannon!(Rico spits up a cannon)Kowalski: (Stopping to take aim) Fortunately, I devised an anti-rat missile for this exact occai- (Is tackled by the rats and the cannon misfires)
- In The Simpsons, this occurs whenever the family is watching a Coincidental Broadcast: They all briefly stop to have a conversation regarding the report, spew pop culture reference jokes, bring up past adventures related to it, etc. then when they finally get back to watching, the report is exactly where they left off, almost as if the world stopped just for their conversation. Naturally, its been lampshaded a few times.
- Also directly parodied during Homer's insanity pepper-fuelled hallucination: "An oncoming train! And so little time to get out of the way! ... Now less! ... Now NONE!!"
- The Spectacular Spider-Man, though a very talky series by nature, has a notable subversion. When a net is launched at Spider-Man from behind, he takes the time to say "Woah! My Spider-Sense is tingli—!" only to be caught in the net before he can finish. Afterwards, his sense is shown, but never announced again.
- The all-time winner of this trope is The Marvel Super Heroes cartoon from 1966. These barely-animated six-minute gems were often directly adapted from '60s Marvel Comics scripts — in their full-blown long-winded Stan Lee glory. It often included such moments as Captain America giving an inspiring speech as he leaps across the screen — with the leap dragged out to fill the full length of the speech. Watch a few of these, and you'll see just how damned silly this trope can get in a medium where time actually, you know, happens.
- Superfriends is just as bad with exclamations like "I've only got a fraction of a second to avoid that car!". One episode even had Superman moving at a normal speed, but monologuing about how his super speed could help him rescue Lois Lane. Apparently, when Superman talks, everything becomes a free action.
- Some episodes of Dora the Explorer may be contenders for the crown, though: when Baby Gorilla falls out of a tree, Dora has time to ask the viewer for help. "Will you help us catch baby gorilla? <2 second pause> Great! We have to hold out our hands like this! Can you hold out your hands?". The gorilla takes about 20 seconds to fall 3 meters.
- On and off in Kim Possible, but the episode "The Twin Factor" has plenty of examples of characters visibly hanging about waiting for others to finish their lines instead of taking advantage of the moment.
- Deconstructed in the Futurama episode "Mars University". Gunther the super-intelligent monkey is sitting on a log attached to a vine which is breaking. He is suspended over a waterfall, and begins to debate with himself whether to climb up the vine or not. After listing reasons why he shouldn't bother, he says "On the other hand-" and the vine snaps. He survives, though.
- Played Straight in The Fairly OddParents: Schools Out The Musical. When Cosmo and Wanda are fleeing Fairy World, there is a rapidly approaching wave of Pixie Magic just behind them and the bridge to Earth is rapidly dwindling. However, Cosmo and Wanda can still discuss the situation for two minutes.
- Talking most definitely seems to be a free action for WordGirl when she stops in the middle of a pitched battle to define a word.
- People in Huntik: Secrets & Seekers can hold incredibly long conversations before releasing their titans... all while an enemy titan is rushing toward them.
- Team Umizoomi may be even worse than Dora in this regard. During almost every chase sequence in the show, the team will be stopped dead by some sort of puzzle for several minutes. But no matter what, even if it takes five minutes to get past the obstacles, whatever they're chasing will apparently also stop just out of frame and wait for them to catch up before continuing the chase.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- Subverted when Rainbow Dash lets her reputation as a hero go to her head. She insists on making grandiose speeches before she actually does anything to save ponies in danger, until they ask her to just save them already. Ironically, the request to stop screwing around took far longer than the remainder of her catchphrase.
- In Twilights Kingdom Part 2, after Twilight surrenders her alicorn magic to Tirek, Tirek immediately grows to monstrous proportions and should be able to easily squash the heroes...yet Discord has plenty of time to explain his sincerity in giving the medallion to Twilight as a sign of their friendship.
- Parodied in American Dad!, where Roger (disguised as a Russian exchange student) is wrestling Barry and gets pinned. The referee starts doing a 3-count and Stan tells him to use is super leg strength to get free, but it's apparently opposite day. The two go back and forth until Stan tells Roger to quit screwing around before the ref stops politely waiting for them to finish the conversation and says "3".