When somebody is frozen in the middle of an action, they will always resume right where they left off in the middle of the action, often with hilarious results
. May be a Brick Joke
When something is paused in the middle of a physical motion (as by magic), it sometimes retains its momentum
when it's unpaused and sometimes loses it, usually depending on what would be funny
Often a result of Time Stands Still
. Can overlap with Waking Non Sequitur
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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.
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 over a puddle, and when she's unfrozen she falls into the mud.
- 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 HP 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.
- Happened to the holographic Doctor in Star Trek: Voyager when Seven switched 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:
- 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.
- In the clip for "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" by Eiffel 65, the singer is abducted by aliens in a stasis sphere during a concert. When he's released on their planet, he immediately resumes singing, although his audience is now entirely composed of blue aliens. Lampshaded in the Literal Music Video remix.
- 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).
- The frozen Gadgetron scientist in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando. 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!"
- 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 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 midsentence 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.
- 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.