Three... Two... One...

A Genre Savvy character knows what's going to happen next when the Genre Blind character does something stupid. So they voice that outcome and count down.

"Three... two... one..."

The outcome happens exactly when the countdown ends.

Related to Exact Time to Failure and Improbably Predictable. Not to be confused with the gameshow 321 or the Class 321 Electric Multiple Units. See On Three for characters synchronizing a joint action.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Strips 
  • Dilbert proposes adding a battery backup to a company product. Hearing no immediate response, he counts in his head until the Pointy-Haired Boss suggests it as his own idea — whereupon Dilbert points out that the product doesn't use batteries.

    Films — Animation 
  • On the first Ice Age movie, Manny and Diego do this in unison as Sid sits in a geyser, with Manny mentioning how faithful it is.
  • Kovu does this in sequel to The Lion King. In this case, he is counting down the time until Kiara tries to pounce on him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Joker in The Dark Knight, waiting for the bombs to go off at the end. Subverted that time.
  • In The Goonies, Mikey passes the framed treasure map to Chunk because he knows Chunk will smash it open by accident which will give them an excuse to scrutinize it. Mikey even counts down to the crash.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Married... with Children:
    [Al has gone outside to fix the roof]
    Peggy: You know how you are always complaining that your father never does anything with the family? Well, just watch that window and your father has a big surprise for us. Right about now - three, two, one...
    [Al screams and falls past the window, family laughs and claps]
  • Sports Night episode "Quo Vadimus"
    [Isaac has told Dana about a new bid from Quo Vadimus]
    Dana Whitaker: Isaac doesn't trust that when he tells me something, I can be cool. He thinks it's gonna spread around and the information'll get all twisted and I'm going to show him he's wrong.
    Isaac Jaffe: [while in his office] Three, two, one...
    Jeremy Goodwin: Isaac, I don't know if you heard. Six this morning there was a bid from an Italian airline called Platypus.
  • Out of This World does it when the uncle has some Love Potion in the form of cologne on, and when he is about to take a swim, the daughter and mother count down for when the instant harem will abandon him.
  • Double subverted in a Cheers episode. A beautiful woman walks into the bar while Sam is in his office, and Carla does the countdown. It's as if the show is admitting how predictable it is, but Sam is two seconds late. He comes out, asking, "Where is she"?
    Carla: He's slowing down, but he's still got it.
    Sam: Gimme a break, Carla. There's lead pipes down there. Interferes with the radar.
  • By Community's second Christmas episode, the glee club have become so predictable that Annie can count down to their "hip-hop remix" of carols.
  • Stargate SG-1: In the episode "Window of Opportunity", O'Neill and Teal'c are stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop. Since he knows exactly what is going to happen, at one point Jack can be seen counting from three on his fingers, and right on cue Daniel calls him in the hallway to talk to him.

    Video Games 
  • One of the ODSTs in Halo 3: ODST does this with explosive charges that he set, as they fly away.
  • Captain Briggs in Limbo of the Lost, in circumstances that are truly indescribable.

    Web Animation 
  • In "The Fairy Fountain", Dr. Wolf counts down from three after Sliver Quill calls Lightning Bliss "cute", knowing it will annoy her. Right on cue, this is followed by an explosion and Silver Quill is on fire.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Bubbles in The Powerpuff Girls, during an episode in which the girls try to defeat a particularly tough monster in their own ways.
  • In Superman: The Animated Series, Gsptlsnz counts down how many seconds it takes Superman to defeat Mxyzptlk.
  • In an episode of Garfield and Friends, Garfield does this when Jon has walked out of the house without pants. Slightly inverted as he counts up instead of down. In another episode he does to see how long it takes for Jon to realize that Garfield accidentally brought a baby home.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Celestial Advice", during Twilight's third fantasy vision for Starlight's future, Spike realizes it will take the same pattern as the previous two and counts down to the moment Twilight starts to panic again.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ThreeTwoOne