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Anime & Manga
- Used extensively in Code Geass, where Rolo's Geass stops time (or close enough). Once unpaused, characters continue to fight in their mechas, monologue, or beg intermittently for Rolo to stop using his Geass.
- A variation occurs in One Piece with Foxy's Slow-Slow Beam, which allows him to slow down people/objects for 30 seconds. While slowed down, the target will appear to be doing the same thing, even if, say, a huge, powerful fist flies right into their face.
- In SD Gundam Force, people who are revived from petrification are this, especially if they were moving when petrified. Princess Rele in particular needs a few minutes to adjust, thinking that it's still the moment she was turned to stone when it was actually two years.
- Used in the short term in Kill la Kill, where Aikuro briefly paralyzes Mako in the middle of one of her rambles with an acupuncture needle to give Ryuko some advice. She continues to ramble after he removes the needle and re-dons his disguise.
- Not played for laughs in an issue of Planetary where a dead woman is successfully revived, and finishes what she was doing when she died: screaming.
- In an issue of Excalibur, the team is fighting a team of interstellar mercenaries when two other characters show up and temporally freeze the mercenaries so they can conduct some unrelated business with Excalibur. The freeze wears off about five minutes later... by which point Excalibur has moved them around such that their unpaused attacks are aimed at each other.
- Like the Planetary example above, but this time Played for Laughs, in Dragon Ball Abridged, when Krillin is revived, he's screaming just like he did before Frieza killed him.
- In the Star Trek: Voyager Slash Fic "The Relevance of Discretion", B'Elanna Torres switches off the holographic Doctor so she can shout at Seven of Nine, who keeps switching the Doctor back on, with the Doctor demanding to know "What the—" "—hell is—" "—going—" "—on!"
- Happens to George in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World when he's paralyzed in the library basement, having been mistaken for the aggressor. He was trying to explain that he was actually the one who saved the day, when suddenly he finds himself lying on a table upstairs. His explanation shifts into an expression of angry surprise.
- He was caught this way in With Strings Attached as well, but he was just standing around when it happened, so this trope doesn't apply in that case.
Films — Animation
- In Rango, Beans has occasional catatonic fits. When she snaps out of them, she continues with whatever she was saying as if nothing had happened. Sometimes it's entirely different topics, such as Alien Abduction. More specifically, she doesn't pick up where she left off, but rather continues her rant as if she wasn't "paused", but more like she was "muted".
Films — Live-Action
- Batman: The Movie. The United World Security Council members are dehydrated while they're arguing with each other around a conference table. While dehydrated their molecules were mixed together, separated and thoroughly scrambled. When they're rehydrated they immediately pick up where they left off — but each speaking the language of one of the other council members.
- The Empire Strikes Back. C-3PO is damaged by Imperial stormtrooper fire. When he's repaired and reactivated, he replays what he was saying and thinking when he was attacked.
C-3PO: I'm terribly sorry. I didn't mean to intrude. No, please don't get up. Stormtroopers? Here? We're in danger. I must tell the others. Oh, no! I've been shot!
- In the film Support Your Local Sheriff, James Garner escapes a brawl at a restaurant by yelling "Hold it!" and quietly stepping to one side, taking his food with him. Once he's out of harm's way, he says "Okay, go ahead on!" and the brawl resumes exactly where it stopped.
- In Ella Enchanted, Ella is frozen mid-leap, and when she's unfrozen she falls and crushes the barrel beneath her, drenched in wine.
- In Jurassic Park, Tim is in the middle of counting to three before getting zapped unconscious by the perimeter fence. Upon waking up, he finishes: "...three."
- In Kung Pow! Enter the Fist, the movie freezes just as Betty is about to hit Master Tang with his claws. Tang then narrates:
Master Tang: Okay, so here were my options. a) quickly duck left, dodge the claw and take him out with a spinning back kick, or b) take the claw in the face, roll on the ground and die. (unpause) Hmm, should've gone with a.
- In The Mask the title superhero responds to a order to "Freeze!" by doing exactly that — stopping dead in midair, covered in icicles. When told by the exasperated cop to "Unfreeze" (because otherwise he can't obey a further order to put his hands up), he finishes his leap and gets tackled by the cops.
- This happens a few times in the X-Men films, thanks to Professor X's ability to "pause" people with telepathy.
- In Click, Adam Sandler's character can pause reality and things will continue as if nothing happened when he hits play... but if something does happen — if he interacts with the world while it's paused — it will take effect as soon as he unpauses it. Example: pause, kick ex-wife's boyfriend in the crotch, unpause, watch poor bastard hit the ground with no idea why he's in so much pain.
- In The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, Sir Osric is about to kill the Sorceress for slaying yet another hapless peasant when the monk paralyzes him. Flynn happens to walk in front of him just as he unfreezes and completes his swing.
- Older Than Radio: In the Brothers Grimm's "Briar Rose" (a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty), when the princess pricks her finger the entire castle falls asleep instantly; the cook in the palace kitchens falls asleep in the act of boxing the kitchen boy's ears, and finishes delivering the punishment one hundred years later when the castle wakes up.
- Near the end of The Colour of Magic, Rincewind and Twoflower's current captor uses a spell to freeze in midair a bottle hurled towards him, arresting its momentum. Eight hours later, when the spell wears off, he happens to be standing in the same spot... (Note that in TCOM this is intentional; the deity that the protagonists are speaking with specifically manipulates the laws of chance so that the bottle just happens to be in the exact place and time to hit the guard and allow them to escape.)
- Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers. When Johnny Rico is put to sleep via post-hypnotic suggestion and then woken up again, he doesn't realize he's been asleep for more than an hour. He continues talking to the commanding officer who put him to sleep as if it hadn't happened. The topic of conversation? Rico's refusal to get some sleep.
- One trait of the aliens in Harry Harrison's story "The Streets of Ashkelon" is that they resume interrupted conversations in mid-stream even if days have passed since the interruption. Obviously, they have better (or at least differently-wired) memories than humans.
- Happens to the narrator in H.P. Lovecraft's The Shadow Out of Time, in a way. After suffering an odd "attack" during an economics lecture he was giving followed by over five years of strange behavior, he eventually appears to return to his senses (though with no memory at all of that time)... and the first words he utters are clearly a reflexive continuation of that very interrupted lecture.
- In the first episode of Pushing Daisies, the first thing Chuck does after Ned brings her back to life is grab his tie and bang him on the lid of her coffin in self-defense against her killer.
- This was the entire schtick of the paralyzing horn in El Chapulín Colorado.
- The episode of The Twilight Zone entitled "A Kind of a Stopwatch" has this in it, until the stopwatch breaks.
- In the The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Brain Killer Affair", Illya is zapped with some kind of hypnosis device just as he's about to make a call on his cigarette-case radio. When Napoleon snaps him out of the resulting catatonic state hours later, he immediately starts talking into the radio.
- There's a scene in Eureka where Beverly is hypnotizing Fargo. She gives the standard end-of-hypnosis "when I snap my fingers, you will return to normal and forget all about this" speech and snaps her fingers, causing him to finish explaining to her exactly why hypnosis is impossible.
- In The Dick Van Dyke Show episode "My Husband is Not a Drunk" Buddy is in the middle of explaining that he can't be hypnotized, then gets hypnotized. When he gets snapped out he continues his sentence about being unhypnotizable. Subverted though, in that Buddy was only pretending to be hypnotized.
- Happens to the holographic Doctor in Star Trek: Voyager when Seven switches him off in the middle of a sentence.
- There is an early (season 1 or 2) episode of House where a patient is having seizures. He will stop in the middle of a sentence for a few moments before going right back to what he was saying, unaware that he lost any time.
- Done hilariously in the notorious train episode on Due South. An entire train car full of Mounties is gassed and pass out while singing early in the episode. Right before the climax, every single one of them wakes up simultaneously, at which point they resume singing the chorus.
- Red Dwarf:
- Episode "Pete: part 1". Kryten, Kochanski and the Cat come upon a team of Canaries frozen by the Time Wand. When Kryten tries to fix them, they instead intermittently unpause.
Canary: Don't mess... [long pause] with that thing, it can re... ally screw... ew-ew-ew... you up!
- Later, they use the Time Wand to freeze the entire crew, including a pair playing ping-pong who, when later unfrozen, suddenly find the ball they had in mid-air was suddenly missing because Lister had taken it away while they were frozen.
- Episode "Pete: part 1". Kryten, Kochanski and the Cat come upon a team of Canaries frozen by the Time Wand. When Kryten tries to fix them, they instead intermittently unpause.
- Saved by the Bell has a Running Gag where Zack would say "Time out!", causing the other characters to freeze in place. Although this was normally only used only to address the audience, Zack wasn't above occasionally messing with the scene while it was frozen, such as using it to escape a punch (Mr. Belding, who had been behind him, got hit instead).
- Stargate SG-1:
- At the beginning of the episode "Urgo", the team is going through the Stargate while O'Neill is making some joking aside. When they emerge from the event horizon, O'Neill is pursuing his monologue... except they're back at the SGC after a three-hour timelapse, and have no memory of visiting another planet.
- There is also the running gag of someone (usually O'Neill) being teleported mid-sentence by the Asgard. Upon arriving on the alien ship or back on Earth, they usually conclude whatever they were saying before looking around in annoyance.
- In Charmed, this is Piper's primary witch power, to Freeze and Un-Freeze things and people. While useful for combating demons and warlocks, she uses it mostly to get a handle on various arguments between people or just to get a breather.
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does a variant. Coulson and Ward are tossed off a train, and the bad guys throw a grenade after them, then the train disappears in front of their eyes. It's only in a flashback from another character's perspective that we discover the grenade actually paralyzed them for about an hour; the train rolled away at normal speed.
- Doctor Who:
- In "The Ark in Space", the Fourth Doctor attempts to talk Noah into shutting down the stack before the creature feeding off its energy is strong enough to break out, causing Noah to blast him unconscious with a stun pistol ("If you'd been down there with me, Noah, y—"). After several minutes of plot has elapsed, Sarah wakes him and he announces, "—ou wouldn't find it so amusing". He then complains he was "cut off mid-sentence! I could have been saying something important.... I was saying something important."
- Played for laughs when the Doctor has to leave Rory to take The Slow Path guarding the Pandorica. The Doctor warns Rory about various perils, concluding with "and however bored you get, stay out of—" before he's abruptly transported away. Rory must have spent almost 2000 years wondering what the Doctor was warning him about. However the last word was only "trouble", which the audience hears when the Doctor arrives at his destination in the present day.
- Paranoia supplement Acute Paranoia, adventure "Me and My Shadow Mark IV". Markie (the Mark IV warbot) is talking to the PC's when a piece falls off of him, sending him into a catatonic state. (It's a barometer. It just messed with his superiority complex.) When the piece is re-attached, Markie continues talking right where he left off. If they call him on it, he makes up a story about cosmic rays or something. If they keep pushing the issue, he blows them away with a tacnuke.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- The "Time Stop" spell stops time within a limited area. When it ends the creatures inside have no idea any time has passed and continue acting as they were before.
- Rod of Inertia, the precursor of Immovable Rod back from Basic D&D (Companion Set) stops at one command and continues its movement on another. It also doubles as a spear +3... and yes, pre-set ambush/trap item was one of suggested uses — another being fall-stopping perch.
- Star Fleet Battles. Some Klingon ships have a stasis field, which causes time to stop for other ships placed in it. When the field lapses the ships don't know that time has stopped and continue maneuvering as they were before the field took effect. The game's intricate energy management system requires extensive adjustment to deal with the missing time.
- In The Curse of Monkey Island, Elaine is gearing up to punch Guybrush right before she is turned into a statue. Once revived, she floors him. (Granted, he had it coming).
- Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando:
- The frozen Gadgetron scientist. When broken free from his ice block, he's still celebrating the success of his Thermanator (which froze him in the first place). "It worked! It worked!"
- Also Dr. Nefarious, who picks up where he left off like nothing happened whenever he gets knocked out of one of his glitches.
- In Borderlands' fourth DLC, the claptrapped version of Commandant Steele, who died at the end of the main game finshes the speech she was giving before being impaled by the Giant Space Flea from Nowhere Final Boss.
- Sonic Generations opens with the villain apparently destroying time and space, banishing Sonic into a white limbo, kidnapping most of the extended cast, and blasting a chili-dog out of Sonic's hand. Upon restoring the world, Sonic's first action? Catch the falling chili-dog.
- In The Order of the Stick, Haley is petrified in mid-sentence, then finishes the sentence when she's restored 30 strips later.
- In Girl Genius, when Andronicus Valois, the first Storm King is freed from the Time Stand Still effect of Prende's Chronometric Lantern, he doesn't realize that two hundred years have gone by. For him, it was mere seconds ago that Van Rijn betrayed him.
- Double Subverted in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. The title doctor freezes Captain Hammer right before his song's big finish. When he's unfrozen, he punches the doctor in the face, and then finishes his line.
- In Chrono Hustle Aphrodite at one point freezes a bunch of the heroes in time. It wears off after some time, although at different rates for different people, and has them continue saying or doing whatever they were in the middle of, before realizing that they've since been moved.
- In the first episode of Futurama, Fry pushes Leela into a stasis pod mid-lecture, and sets the release time for later that day. When she comes out later she's still yelling at him.
- In the Justice League episode featuring Deadman, Superman gets possessed mid-sentence while talking about a restaurant in Smallville where "the milkshakes are so thick..." When he regains control of his body, Supe's first words are "...you have to eat them with a spoon! (glances around) What am I doing in Africa?" What makes the exchange even funnier is that, at the moment of possession, the first thing Deadman uses Superman's body to say is "I need your help," prompting odd glances from Batman and Wonder Woman. That's pretty thick, indeed.
- During an episode of Voltron Force, King Lotor, hopped up on haggarium, declares that "This is the day that I—" and gets blasted by Voltron's new guns. When he is later revived back at his castle, the first thing he says is "—destroy Voltron!" ... and smacks face first into a wall.
- Played with in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. In a spoof of the old Birdman cartoon, Phil is frozen mid-sentence: "A madman is freez—". When Birdman unfreezes him: "Ha ha ha, —ing!"
- In a Halloween episode of The Simpsons, Bart jumps out of a window yelling "COWA-", then hits the ground and goes into a coma. When he later wakes up, he jerks upright yelling "-BUNGA!"
- In an episode of the eighties Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, Donatello has invented a device that will freeze a person mid-action. Michaelangelo, skeptical, offers to test it out. He takes a leap into the air, and Donatello freezes him in mid jump. Donatello then tells the others that when Michaelangelo is unfrozen, he'll have no idea that any time has passed, and will probably say something like "See? I told you it wouldn't work!" Which is exactly what happens when he's unfrozen.
- In Steven Universe, Peridot is Poofed Mid-Sentence. When she's reformed an hour later, she finishes her exclamation before realizing the change of locale.
- It is said (but not true) that when the BBC started broadcasting again after World War II, it picked up from the same place in a cartoon where it had stopped... The TV transmitter was shut down in the middle of a Mickey Mouse cartoon. After the war the television service did apparently resume with the same cartoon, but from the start.
- Jack Paar left The Tonight Show on-air to protest the censoring of a joke. He said,
"I've made a decision about what I'm going to do. I'm leaving The Tonight Show. There must be a better way to make a living than this, a way of entertaining people without being constantly involved in some form of controversy. I love NBC [...] But they let me down.
- After he was convinced to return almost a month later, he began his monologue with...
"As I was saying before I was interrupted... I believe the last thing I said was 'There must be a better way to make a living than this.' Well, I've looked... and there isn't."
- One of the better-known variations of a Flashmob involves everyone showing up at a certain time and pretending to freeze for a few minutes, after which this trope is invoked.