Twisted Echo Cut

When a subject is being discussed by one group and the 'camera' cuts to another where the dialogue seemingly continues, is in answer to, or is vaguely linked to the first scene...but isn't really linked except on a stylistic level.

For example:

Bob: I'm sorry Samantha, I don't think I can see you anymore. We just aren't right for each other.
Cut to a different group of characters
Leslie: You can't see me?
Jessie: Yeah! You've turned completely invisible!

The context and subject have been changed, but an element of the last conversation has been carried over, creating the impression of a clever link when none actually exists. Often takes the form of a question.

See also: Switching P.O.V.. Contrast Answer Cut, Ironic Echo Cut and Two Scenes, One Dialogue, where the dialogue is intrinsically linked. Compare Match Cut, when it's done with an object.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In the second to last chapter of Fruits Basket, Tohru and Kyo affirm their love in front of her mother's grave and walk off hand-in-hand, followed by a "NO!" from the direction of the grave, and two pages of disembodied dialogue lamenting Tohru's fate... which is revealed to be a flashback to Kyoko's dying thoughts as she panicked that her daughter would be left alone, and reveals she actually wanted Kyo to watch over her.

Comics and Graphic Novels
  • Watchmen uses this repeatedly, especially at scene changes from the comic-within-a-comic Tales of the Black Freighter to the main plot— for example, from the newsstand owner talking about how newsvendors are tough survivors, to a shipwreck survivor standing on a beach crying. Or from Nite Owl saying "It'll be like coming home," to the shipwrecked man finally arriving on the mainland. "I could be no more than twenty miles from Davidstown. I was home."

Fan Fic
  • From Calvin and Hobbes: The Series:
    Calvin: [to the dark Socrates] You borrowed bits of that speech from something, didn't you? I don't know what, but you did.
    Sherman: [outside, trying to fix Socrates' transmitter chip] I borrowed bits from an old software. I should be able to trick the chip's systems into thinking it's an all-new upgrade.

Film
  • Austin Powers does this multiple times in its famous 'Johnson' joke montage.
  • At the very beginning of Cars 2, Finn McMissile's interrupted dialogue while escaping the Lemons' oil rig is suddenly finished by Mater in Radiator Springs.
  • A non-verbal example in Letter Never Sent, a movie about four geologists searching for diamond deposits deep in the Siberian forests. Tanya and Sergei are digging in the trench when he seems to lose his senses, and approaches her menacingly as if to rape her. A clearly frightened Tanya says "Sergei, you're tired", and he snaps out of it and leaves the trench. The next shot shows Tanya sobbing in the trench, seemingly frightened by her experience—but in fact she is sobbing from joy and overwhelming emotion, as she has just found the diamonds.

Literature
  • Terry Pratchett's Mort has a cut from Keli telling Cutwell, "I think there's something I ought to tell you" to Death saying THERE IS? because Mort has just said the same to him — then lampshades it with a passage about the technique.
  • Common in the novel Catch-22. Often, it's done so subtly that you don't even realize you've changed scenes until a few sentences in.

Live-TV
  • Scrubs uses this sometimes. A character will be walking through the hospital and pondering their predicament, and their thoughts fluidly pass into another character's thoughts by sharing the same dialogue. This happens a few times in a row and the characters' problems are pretty much entirely unrelated. Here's one bit of one of the better examples:
    Carla's Narration: ...In a lot of ways, I guess I'm as stubborn as he is. I wish I could make some sense out of...
    Janitor's Narration: ...this. Thirty cents to be exact. Damn riddle! Easy, Janitor. You'll get this.
  • One episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer has an infamous example of this:
    Willow: "Dawnie, you can help me research. We'll hop on-line, check all the—"
    [Smash Cut to Buffy in an asylum, a doctor talking to her parents.]
    Doctor: "—possibilities for a full recovery, but we have to proceed cautiously."
    Buffy: Anya, Xander's my friend. I know what he did was wrong, and ... if it had happened to me, I'd—
    Anya: (hopefully) Wish his penis would explode?
    [Smash Cut to the Magic Box.]
    Dawn: I never use that word anymore. note 
    • This is a Running Gag in "Pangs" when Buffy is trying to organize a Thanksgiving Dinner and hunt down the Monster of the Week at the same time. Conversations on the latter keep cutting to equally serious conversations that turn out to be about food.
    Buffy: (noticing something has been stolen from a museum case) Early 1800 Chumash knife. There's a picture.
    Willow: What's it look like?
    (Cut to Buffy in Giles' kitchen)
    Buffy: Pretty darn scary...it more like a riot than a Ralph's. I thought I was going to have to use Slayer moves on this one woman who was completely hoarding the pumpkin pie filling.
  • Likewise on Farscape when the action cuts between one of Crichton's hallucinations and what's happening in real time.
  • Lois and Clark had an episode where a TV reporter was trying to find out Superman's identity, repreatedly calling it "the story of the century", one of which cuts to Perry at the Daily Planet talking to his reporters about an unrelated story of the century.

Music
  • The Miss Susie song could be considered this. Each verse has a Last-Second Word Swap which leads into the next, unrelated verse. Such as:
    Miss Susie had a steamboat
    The steamboat had a bell
    Miss Susie went to Heaven
    The steamboat went to
    Hello operator
    Please give me number nine...

Theatre
  • There's an Improv Theater Game called "Freeze" that has this as its base. It uses two pairs of people: one pair starts a scene and at some point "freeze" or another stop word is called, the other pair go up and start their own completely unrelated scene using the last line from the first scene as their first line. Then back again, with both scenes continuing.

Web Comics
  • Girl Genius has this scene. And yes, if she were there, that was what she'd say, most likely.
  • El Goonish Shive
    • These two consecutive comics take place in different rooms, and the characters can't hear each other. But:
    Rhoda: I don't know. Grace abruptly changed the subject after telling me.
    (Next comic)
    Ellen: Speaking of changing the subject, ...

Web Original
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged occasionally does this to tie an episode together. Sometimes, they'll cut between two plots repeatedly like this.
  • commodoreHUSTLE does this sometimes, most notably in "Mustache You a Question."
    Kathleen: James! Why are you wearing a scarf?
    Cut to Matt playing with his cell phone while Paul scolds him for it.
    Matt: I'm not!
    Paul: Yes you are! You're doing it right now!

Western Animation
  • South Park:
    Cartman: (watching the Queef Sisters at his house with his friends) "Dude! What the hell is this disgusting crap?!"
    Philip: (watching the Queef Sisters at CBC with Terrance) "What the hell is this disgusting crap?!"