Noodle Incident / Comic Books

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  • Caballistics, Inc. worked one into Lawrence Verse's backstory; all that is known about his past is that he had to leave the Catholic priesthood after using a chainsaw during the Rite of Exorcism, the details of which are never clearly or fully known to the reader.
  • In Alpha Flight #5, Puck mentions the affair of the Brass Bishop. Never explained further by the original creator, but two different (and contradictory) Brass Bishops have shown up since. (The original story still isn't told, though.)
  • Astérix:
    • In Astérix and the Cauldron, the Gauls mention to visiting chief Whosmoralsarelastix that the Romans only tried collecting taxes from their village once. The unspecified treatment the Gauls gave to the tax collector apparently scared him away to the point where neither he nor any other tax official will dare enter the village. Vitalstatistix fondly reminisces: "What fun we had! Remember when we..." Unfortunately, the sentence is never completed, as a hysterically laughing Getafix drowns out the rest.
    • Another one: Obelix isn't allowed to drink any magic potion as he fell into a cauldron of it as a kid and nobody knows what might happen. This is event is referenced a lot but never documented any further until a very late book tossed that rule and did a short story on exactly this topic. Apart from a few drops in Cleopatra, he's been off the potion for most of the albums — and then he finally snaps and drinks a whole cauldron of it, so we find out that what happens is he is turned to stone.
  • In Astro City it remained unexplained for a long time why the statue of the Silver Agent was inscribed "To our eternal shame." It was finally revealed that he had been unjustly executed for a murder he committed under mind control because the government wanted to make people know they still had control over metahumans... and he still returned to save the world several times afterwards (through the use of time travel.) Furthermore, he gave himself up without a fight when it was to be executed..
  • In Atomic Robo, Phil Broughton - Tesladyne's resident nuclear safety officer - mentions one set of calculations he did once involving plutonium and an unidentified region of an intern, and that luckily for the intern he only ran the numbers and never actually applied the plutonium.
  • Batman:
    • Averted in the story arc "Prodigal"... eventually. Dick Grayson assumed the role of Batman while Bruce Wayne left Gotham to work on a case, the details of which were not made clear for some time. Several years later, in No Man's Land, the "case" was revealed as an excuse for him to secretly set up several mini-Batcaves throughout Gotham.
    • In another comic where The Joker is on death row (for a crime he didn't commit, ironically) and a preacher tells him to confess his sins, the last one we the end of he says "...And that's the last time I ever used glass" whatever he did with the glass was so horrible it causes the priest to flee in terror.
      • Under the Red Hood may give us a clue...
    • The 'One Year Later' circumstances that saw Jim Gordon once again become Commissioner of the Gotham City Police Department and Detective Harvey Bullock returned to duty despite having been kicked off the force previously, along with a shake-up of the department which saw the previous commissioner removed from office, ended up becoming one of these. Reportedly, it was supposed to be explained in 52, but the authors of that series ended up following completely different plotlines.
    • The second man to call himself the Mad Hatter claimed that he was Jervis Tech, the original one, but it was eventually revealed that he was an imposter. Eventually, after this villain was sent to Arkham, the real Tech showed up, claiming that he had "taken care of" the imposter. (Most took this to mean that Tech killed him, although no details of the incident were given. The "imposter Hatter" didn't show up for awhile, but he did show up later, so exactly what Tech had meant regarding their meeting remains unknown.)
  • The Big Trouble in Little China comic book gives us the story of Jack's second marriage, which apprently involved a fake pregnancy, Mexican bikers, and a Babylonian death cult... or possibly a taco truck.
  • Phoney Bone's schemes. The only one described in detail was the disasterous campaign picnic, which resulted in an out-of-control giant balloon, and a town-wide case of indigestion caused by cheap food.
    Fone Bone: Maybe you'll think twice before you build an ORPHANAGE on a HAZARDOUS WASTE LANDFIL!!
    Phoney: What is wrong with that?! That's two community services rolled into one!! It was th' ULTIMATE TAX SHELTER!
    Fone Bone: You never learn, do you?
    Phoney: I shoulda stuck with my first idea!
    Fone Bone: What? Combining a slaughter house with a petting zoo?! (Sarcasm Mode) Oh, yeah! That was brilliant!
    (Later on...)
    Smiley: Remember th' first time you got us run out of town? You opened a chain of franchises— Bone Enviromental: Nuclear reactor and endless salad bars!
    Phoney: That wasn't a silly idea! Th' lettuce' wouldn't spoil for decades!
    Smiley: What about th' second time you got us run out? When you started The New Age School of Lamaze and Bungy-Jumping! Even I knew that was dumb!
    Phoney: (Sarcasm Mode) Oh, yeah, you're a brilliant judge!
  • The British newspaper strip Bristow, set in an office, has the following examples:
    • It often includes references to "the great tea-trolley disaster of '67", since moved up to 2002 to cover the current occupants.
    • In addition, there is the "Great Luncheon Voucher Swindle of ?68", possibly involving a younger son of Sir Chester Perry. This is spoken of in hushed tones and never referred to when the Boss is around.
  • In Death's Head III #15, Mys-Tech's Algernon Crowe says, "When was it last? London... 1997? The offer still stands, Death's Head." The incident is not shown.
  • Used in a Dennis the Menace strip in The Beano where a certain not fully explained and not shown incident involving microwaves, mobile phones and the fire brigade being the reason for Dennis not being left at home on his own.
  • D.R. & Quinch:
    • At the start of Go Straight, the eponymous duo were found guilty of, among other things, "thirty-two offences so unusual and horrible they do not have names. "
    • D.R. & Quinch Get Drafted begins at the tail end of one and immediately Hangs A Lampshade on it.
      Waldo "D.R." Dobbs: I have no idea how I came to be in this incredibly strange, confusing situation. Actually, it has nothing to do with the following totally awesome story and I'd advise you to forget it, man.
  • Several cases in Empowered. Thugboy cosplaying, Thugboy wearing Empowered's suit, etc. Reason: Several storylines were (presumably temporarily) cut from the books, moved between books, etc.
  • Has come up several times for the Fantastic Four, usually with Johnny Storm as the cause of it. After Johnny suggests time traveling in issue 501:
    Mr. Fantastic: This had better not involve Davy Crockett again. You've already given that man too much trouble.
    • John Byrne combined this trope with Leaning on the Fourth Wall in one issue; the Fantastic Four were just getting back from a mission in outer space, the details of which were never actually revealed. She-Hulk (who was subbing for the Thing at the time) commented that their mission should give the company that publishes the FF comic book material for some great stories, but the Human Torch answered, "I dunno, Shulkie. Right now there's a theory that 'Cosmic doesn't sell'."
  • In the graphic novel, Generation Zero, the main characters, Johnny, Dancer and Kube are called before the Council. (The ruling government of their post WWIII arctic underground city.) As they head for the meeting place, they wonder what kind of trouble they are in this time and there are discussions about Level 13 and the Congressman’s wife. Sadly the details are never given.
  • In The Goon noodle incidents are discussed frequently by the main characters, sometimes involving a man actually named Charlie Noodles who is never seen by the reader.
  • Green Arrow: Post-Flashpoint, something that is alluded to a lot but never explained is whatever caused the falling out between Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) and Roy Harper (Speedy/Arsenal). Roy mentions it vaguely but often in Red Hood and the Outlaws whenever the subject of mentors comes up and Ollie brings it up in Green Arrow whenever Roy comes up. Andy Diggle, when recalling his past with Oliver Queen, says they were a perfect team, but that something screwed it up as soon as Roy walks into frame. He doesn't expand. In the DC Rebirth, when Black Canary mentions how all of Oliver's friends work for him, he alludes to Roy's time with him but doesn't explain further. It was eventually explained in 2017, six years after it was first alluded to.
  • The Intimates' signature info scrolls at the bottom of most pages contained many of these concerning virtually every character at one point or another. The details behind Commander Presence's divorce, Dashman's nervous breakdown/super speeding accident, Sgt. Stomp's PTSD, the numerous arrests of Travis Duke by his sheriff's half-brother, Kefong's relationship with the Asia's youngest female assassin, and the future event where erectile dysfunction might ruin both of Punchy's marriages (to name but a few examples) are all never expounded on.
  • Alan Moore's Jack B. Quick stories sprinkled Noodle Incidents liberally, such as the "giant bee incident," the "business with anti-matter Girl Scout cookies" and the time Jack "blinded Santa with those lasers, the Christmas before last."
  • Justice League's 2011 reboot fast-forwards from the group's formation to its heyday; in between, as only depicted through a single, non-explanatory splash page but referenced many times throughout the book's stories as a crucial plot point — the Martian Manhunter (a founding member of the group in its earliest appearances in real-world publication before the reboot removed his status as a founder) first joined the League, then broke from them in an incident that pitted the character against all his teammates in combat. What's worse is that this incident was apparently so bad that it's why the League hasn't even attempted to recruit new members since.
  • Knights of the Dinner Table has a couple. One, involving why Johnny Kizinski stopped gaming, was eventually covered through various characters' recollections, but the one involving why Brian gave up running his game is apparently a mystery for good.
  • Laff-A-Lympics: When Daisy Mayhem brings up the fact rule 996-W is the rule against doing high-dives into tapioca pudding, Yogi is surprised "they ban that again".
  • The purpose of Don Rosa's The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck was intended to round up all of the Noodle Incidents mentioned in the stories by Carl Barks and create a biography for the character out of them. Rosa refers to these as "Barksian facts", and he has only had to leave out very few that are completely against the rest of the story.
  • Justified in Marvel 100th Anniversary Special - the comics are supposedly from the future, and the issues where the incidents in question occurred obviously haven't been released yet.
  • In Mastermen #1, apparently one of the many opponents Overman and his world's league faced was the "Luthor League". No further details on that are given, however.
  • The Maze Agency: Jen apparently once cleared Ashley's name when Ashley was accused of murdering her husband. The details of this case are never revealed. Jen occasionally mutters that she sometimes regrets doing it.
  • My Gym Partner's a Monkey: Whatever Jake did last year at Bull Sharkowski's birthday party that Bull holds as a reason not to invite Jake for the next parties resulted on the pool having to be steam-cleaned.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW):
    • Averted in one place, as the reason for Celestia's absence is revealed to be a giant magical cockatrice attack is documented in the 2 page short "In the Interim" of Issue #4.
    • On the other hand, the giant marshmallow pony attacking Manehatten appears to go unresolved, with a poor Princess Luna having becoming lost on her way there.
    • In Issue 9, Big Macintosh's sojourn through the Summer Wrap-Up carnival involves him accidentally going through a time warp at the science fair, saving Ponyville from mutant apes, and coming back 5 minutes before he left.
  • Nightwing and all Dick Grayson-related comics post-Flashpoint have managed to completely avoid telling the reader why Dick quit being Robin and became Nightwing. Dick alludes to it in his #0, something intended to show his origin, which it did... specifically his Robin origin. At the end of the issue, his narration references him eventually going solo as Nightwing, but doesn't even slightly hint as to why. It's not even clear if Dick quit or was fired.
  • In the second volume of Scott Pilgrim, one is implied in reference to Scott living with Wallace, though the story is somewhat explained later.
    Kim: How'd you end up living with that guy anyway?
    Scott: I'd rather not talk about it
    Kim: Is it a really gay story?
    Scott: The story is somewhat gay, yes.
  • The nuclear war that provides much of the backstory in Strontium Dog isn't detailed much further than, "Nobody ever knew who fired the first missile — but suddenly the whole world went crazy!"
  • Supergirl:
    • Volume 6 #32 -during the Red Daughter of Krypton story arc-, Supergirl mentions briefly that she had to take a short side trip before entering the solar system but she never explains what she exactly did. It was finally revealed in New 52 Action Comics #32 that she met and tried to help her cousin during the events of Superman: Doomed.
    • In Supergirl Vol 2 issue #20, upon meeting up with his cousin Superman mentions off-handedly he just fought the Parasite (In Action Comics #555) but he doesn't elaborate.
    • In Bizarrogirl, Supergirl is rooming with Lana Lang after being gone for six weeks after the [[Comic Book//New Krypton New Krypton-Earth War]]. Worried, Lana asks the Kryptonian girl where she went and what she did, but Kara doesn't want to talk about it.
      Lana Lang: I don't want to pry, Linda, but... Where did you go?
      Supergirl: What?
      Lana: Well, you were gone for six weeks. I was worried when we didn't hear from you after all... of everything, so I just was wondering—
      Supergirl: Lana, it... it doesn't matter. Can we change the subject, please?
  • In Superman/Supergirl story War World, Martian Manhunter mentions he already fought -and kicked the butt of- villain Mongul, but the circumstances are never explained.
  • A Super Mario Bros. comic from Nintendo Comics System has Wart from Super Mario Bros. 2 kidnapping King Toadstool. It's then implied that this has happened before:
    Mario: Adding it all up, it's perfectly clear - Wart snatched the king... again!
  • The Scavengers get seven of these in quick succession in one page of The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye. Among other things, images from their datapads come to life, they battle a giant monster that can apparently only be dealt with by correctly conjugating a verb, they visit Magisteria VI, they're cursed to sing all their lines, they get trapped in two dimensions, and they're turned into their own first generation toys. There are also some tragic ones - we don't know anything about Chromedome's first three conjunx endurae, because he erased his own memories rather than deal with the pain of their deaths - but the Scavengers' are weirder, and thus, more interesting.
    Fulcrum: (playing Jenga against a space jellyfish) The fate of the entire universe rests on my next move, Spinister. And the worst thing is, if we win, we won't remember this moment - or the perfectly logical sequence of events which gave rise to it.
  • Transmetropolitan:
    • "The Terrible Night of the Telephone" is an apocryphal story of how journalist Spider Jerusalem caused half a dozen politicians in Prague to commit suicide over the telephone. No other details are given, but the incident is referred to several times over the run of the comic.
    • This is almost repeated on screen, as he also manages to talk a TV show host into attempting suicide in a live broadcast. One presumes that the original incident was something similar, or else he simply threatened to reveal some serious dirt on the politicians.
    • On a more serious note, when asked later in the series how many people he's killed, he says soberly, "Sixteen." He also notes that all of them were in self-defense, except one. The one he considers to be Vita Severn. As for the others, at least two are in the comics, towards the end of Year One. Two guys not pleased with one of his exposés really did come into his apartment and tried to kill him. He killed them first.
  • Twisted Toyfare Theatre had Iron Man and Robert Downey, Jr. in court at the beginning of the story.
    Judge Quintesson: In the case of Stamford, Connecticut, The Chuck E. Cheese Corporation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, The Kingdom of Atlantis, The Night Thrasher Estate and the Hooters on Route 9, versus Iron Man and Robert Downey Jr., the jury finds the defendants guilty! Your drunk and disorderly reign of terror is over!
  • Watchmen does this a little bit in the early chapters, like Hollis's reference to the Screaming Skull, but some references (like "Rorschach's nuts. He's been nuts ever since that kidnapping he handled three years back.") are revealed in full later on... and are downright horrifying, probably worse than most people imagined.
    Rorschach (narrating): Wasn't Rorschach then. [Was] Kovacs pretending to be Rorschach.
  • X-Men has had several during a year long gap between the end of Uncanny X-Men #381/X-Men #99 and Uncanny X-Men #382/X-Men #100: the story of how Psylocke and Jean Grey switched powers, how Sage joined the X-Men after they freed her from Elias Bogan's minions, the resolution to the Baby Version of "Age Of Apocalypse" Apocalypse's take-over of the Mojoverse....
    • After the events of Secret Wars (2015), Cyclops seems to be hated by everyone, including his past self, for... Something. Yeah. Apparently Cyclops did something rather heinous, but nobody's saying what it is. It's more annoying than suspenseful at this point.
  • A particularly literal case is found in volume 6 of Xxxenophile, after the villainess' main henchman is found trussed up and suspended. "Forgive me, Mistress. They had... macaroni."
  • The "thing with the tiger" that ended Kev Hawkins' career was treated as one of these in his original one-shot. A later four-part miniseries revealed all the gory details - He and the gang were forced to take an insufferable, perverted minister to their buddy's country house, and then bring him a prostitute to have sex with. Said buddy happened to have a tiger in the basement. The perverted minister ended up in the basement, and the tiger ate him.