Follow TV Tropes


Another Story for Another Time

Go To
Sure they do.

Nasthalthia Luthor was not found. She had gone to ground shortly after introducing Lex to the two villainesses, intending to come out if he managed to be successful this time. She stayed undercover, was fired in absentia from her job as vice president of the San Francisco TV station for which Linda Danvers used to work, and, when the authorities learned of her part in the plot, was the benefit of an APB issued to all law enforcement agencies.
But they didn't find her. Kal and Kara both suspected that someday, they would.
Another tale, another time.

When someone gives out Exposition, they'll often mention something that pertains to a certain event. Questioning the character about it would elicit this response. The line is often used as an obvious Sequel Hook, leaving the sequel (or prequel or interquel or what have you) to actually show said story.

Compare the very similar It's a Long Story where the audience is already familiar with said events from a previous installment or episode, but it is a newcomer character that needs to be brought up to speed. In this case, the story is usually told in summary, even if reluctantly (and to explain to audience viewers who may be new, just missed or forgot that previous episode) while with Another Story For Another Time, the other party does not typically press the issue since it just may be a hook for another yet to be written installment. See also Noodle Incident.

Due to The Law of Conservation of Detail, this story may later turn out to be relevant. It can also be Left Hanging: even if the issue is never acknowledged, the simple existence of unmentioned stories that take place beyond the current one is a good trick for Worldbuilding.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Inuyasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time, after Kagome delivers her exposition on herself and the others, she explains the other side of their journey is to be saved for another time.
  • The narration in Marginal #4 mentions that the Romeo and Juliet play Rui was a part of was a huge success, and was one of the funniest and most memorable highlights of the whole festival. Cue this trope.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: The first season ends with Rimuru saving Shizue's students from their curse, afterwards he explained that also helped Ramiris with her problems, but states it's a later story.

    Comic Books 
  • Back to the Future: Doc tells Marty that his mom kept $85,000 in cash at home because, after The Wall Street Crash, she stopped trusting financial institutions. Doc also says she didn't trust safes either but that was another story.
  • Batgirl (2011): In issue #0, Barbara Gordon reveals she retired from the hero business one year after becoming Batgirl because she "messed up", but that was a "story for another time".
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe Carl Barks' story The Lost Crown of Genghis Khan features Donald asking Scrooge just how his agents found the titular Crown. Scrooge responds with these exact words. Years later Don Rosa would cover that other story during the events of Return to Xanadu.
  • Loki told a story in issues #6 and #7 of the 2015 run of The Mighty Thor, which included some tangents about the 9th century AD version of some Marvel characters (Ghost Rider, Black Panther, the Atlanteans etc.) "but those are stories for another day, perhaps".
  • The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: It is one of Swerve's goals in life to have an excuse to say this. He finally gets a chance sitting in on a storytelling session of Rewind's, when the historian shifts the story's focus.
  • In The Phoenix Saga, Magneto's first fight with the All-New, All-Different X-Men on Muir Island leads to a room labeled "Mutant X" being damaged, the narration noting this trope. The "another time" ends up being nearly two years later in real time.

    Fan Works 
  • Amber and Emerald:
    The goblin who was the teller at desk five that day would later be considered one of the most fortunate of their kind. Indeed, he came to bear the name Festergrip the Fated until the end of his days, but that's a whole different story to tell.
  • And the Giant Awoke: In what's practically a Running Gag, the story keeps mentioning things that will happen in both the near and distant future as a result of the actions of Tyrion and others, usually on a global scale... and then says "But that's another story".
  • Both the Fairy Godfather and Lady Delphine have a tendency to say something to this effect at various points throughout the Contractually Obligated Chaos series. Most of these stories have yet to be told.
  • In Goals & Privileges Harry asks how Sirius knows what nachos are and Remus replies "A night of frivolity in London, instigated by your father, and a story for another time."
  • In Kara of Rokyn, when the minions of Lex Luthor are being rounded up, his niece Nasthalthia is nowhere to be found. Supergirl and Superman suspect they'll find her again someday. But that's "Another tale, another time".
  • In The Legend of Total Drama Island, The Storyteller uses the phrase, "but that is another story for another time" as a foreshadowing device, signaling that the details of the incident in question will be part of a later Tale. note  The delays between the mention and the telling range from a few chapters to three quarters of the story arc.
  • In Teaching Darkness, Mephiles almost says it word for word when asked how the battle with Iblis ended.

    Film — Animated 
  • Arjun: The Warrior Prince begins with the young Prince Uttar practising sword fight when he is called to retire to his dormitory. There, he asks Brihannala to tell him a bedtime story. Brihannala tells him the story of Arjun but she doesn't end the tale. And on every night, when the young prince is about to retire, she puts the end of the story off for another night.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Art of the Dead, while explaining to Louis how to create the cursed paintings, Dorian Wilde casually mentions that Jack the Ripper is a friend of his and he knows Jack's true identity, before finishing "But that's a story for another time".
  • Used as a Sequel Hook in the ending of Conan the Barbarian (1982), where narration by Mako tells us that in time, Conan "became a king by his own hand, and this story shall also be told." A different cut of the film uses on-screen titles, rather than narration, and ends instead with, "...but that is another story."
  • Maz Kanata uses this line in Star Wars: The Force Awakens to brush off the question of how the heck she ended up with the lightsaber Luke lost back in The Empire Strikes Back.

  • Artemis Fowl: "...but that's another story" becomes something of a catchphrase for the first book's narrator. Most of these stories are eventually told as side plots in books 2 and 3.
  • The Ciaphas Cain series is presented as the autobiography of the eponymous officer, suitably edited by one of his long-time allies. Since he's basically laying out his life story to a recorder over many, many sessions, he naturally rambles at times and elides lots of important detail (which has to be cleaned up by the editor, of course). Occasional footnotes to the effect of "this is a fascinating story which need not detain us right now" crop up every once in a while. (Perhaps the crowning example is an entire novel which is presented as having been, in the main, an aside brought up in a completely different account in the "original text".)
  • The Neverending Story ends many of its chapters with a reference to what happened to a side character who had been important in the chapter, but "that is another story and will be told another time." This turns out to be relevant to the plot, since the characters then have to try and resolve all of them, and every plot thread generates new ones.
  • In The Sword of Shannara when Allanon tells Shea the history of the races of the world. The trolls and gnomes are humans whose ancestors were mutated by radiation; dwarves are humans who hid underground, and through natural selection became accustomed to subterranean habitats. Noticing the obvious odd-one out, Shea asks about the Elves, and Allanon invokes this trope. Not only is it eventually followed up on, it can be considered a Sequel Hook, since the next book is all about the Elves and their history.
  • There's a variation in Edgar Pangborn's short story "Tiger Boy", after the villager Bruno meets the title character. Bruno wonders where Tiger Boy came from, why he is traveling with a tiger, and what he intends to do with his life, but doesn't ask because he is satisfied that Tiger Boy will tell him if he feels like it. This is no doubt Pangborn's way of hanging a lampshade on the questions the readers must be asking themselves. In the event the questions remain unanswered when Bruno and Tiger Boy are killed.
  • In The Weapon of a Jedi, Threepio says this about Luke's return to Devaron.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Due South used to use a variant a lot, with Fraser going "...But that's not important, what is important..."
  • In the Forever (2014) episode "The Ecstasy of Agony," when Jo first sees the scar on Henry's chest she asks Henry what it is. Henry, who has just been rescued from almost being tortured to death, tells her it's "a story for another time." He starts to tell her something in the bar later, but gets no further than telling her he was shot before they're interrupted and whatever explanation he was going to give is Left Hanging.
  • Commonly used in Good Eats by Alton Brown as a catchphrase is "But that's another show" when talking about foods that are tangentially related to the theme of the current one.
  • Sophia, on The Golden Girls, occasionally said something like this during some of her many "Picture it" stories. Possibly the most memorable one was when she mentioned having been briefly engaged to her own brother.
  • Often happens on How I Met Your Mother, usually referring to events in future episodes. Subverted in one episode when Older Ted says this of a security guard and his band, then decides that he'll probably never get to it and gives the Cliff Notes version ("They had one song, it didn't suck, end of story.")
  • In The Investigation Led By each episode of the show host Leonid Konevsky ends with the phrase "But that's another story".

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons module DA1, Adventures in Blackmoor. The DM Background section is written like someone telling a story. At one point it starts describing the destruction of Blackmoor, but then says "But of the sinking of that fabled land - another time! Today, we speak of other things."

    Video Games 
  • In Kings Quest (2015), if Graham discovers the cave behind the river in Chapter 1, Gwendolyn asks what's on the other side, with Graham stating he'll save it for another time.
  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - Second Chapter, the Ancient Dragon informs Estelle and Joshua even though they saved Liberl from disaster, more dangers from the forces they fought against will occur elsewhere. Cassius assures them that other heroes will go through the same hardships and challenges they faced, and their tales would be told for another time.
  • At the end of The Longest Journey, Lady Alvane, who has been acting The Narrator of the story is asked by her audience about the further events, since her story leaves the big open questions of what further happened to the heroine, April Ryan, who might have completed her quest but was left in another dimension, far away from home the end of it and what exactly happened during the War of the Balance, an event that was constantly teased throughout the story and which April's first quest was sort of a prelude to. Lady Alvane excuses herself by telling them she that she is quite tired, but she will gladly tell that story... some other day.
  • In the movie short Reunion of Overwatch, Echo asks what happened to McCree after all the years and he said that Overwatch recalled, but when Echo examines McCree's metal arm, McCree states it's a story for another time.

  • Jade Harley from Homestuck has a special sort of precognitive prognostication that lets her know when and where her friends are and know what will happen to them in the future. Due to her flighty nature, she often leaks potentially paradox-causing information in casual conversation, and is quite bad at recovering from such events.

    Web Video 
  • CGP Grey's videos end up using this so much it's become a Running Gag for his channel, due to the desire to keep videos at manageable length while continually finding new questions that are tangentially related but going into detail risks derailing the whole narrative off-topic. For example, the video on "Who Owns the Statue of Liberty?" is chiefly about the centuries-old squabbling between the colonies/states of New York and New Jersey over who actually has jurisdiction over Liberty Islandlong story short , far outdating the US federal government's interest in the island and declaring it federal land — that leads to the question of "what IS federal land, anyway?" which Grey acknowledges exists but forcibly keeps the book closed on for the video because it gets off topic (he did release a later video that answers that question).

    Western Animation 
  • In Max the Cat, the title character ends his narration of every episode by saying, "But that's another tale for another time."
  • In the "Unfair Science Fair" episode of Phineas and Ferb, the boys build a portal to Mars, but we don't see them use it for the first half of the episode. After the first half's plot is resolved, Phineas mentions that he and Ferb had gone through the portal, but as Ferb said, "That's another story." The second half of the episode is entitled "Unfair Science Fair Redux (Another Story)", and focused on their trip through the portal during the events of the previous half.
  • In "Homer's Barbershop Quartet" from The Simpsons, Bart and Lisa still have questions after Homer finishes his tale of a Beatles-like career.
    Lisa: How come we never heard about this until today?
    Bart: Yeah, and what happened to the money you made?
    Lisa: Why haven't you hung up your gold records?
    Bart: Since when could you write a song?
    Homer: (laughs) There are perfectly good answers to those questions, but they'll have to wait for another night.
    • That last question does get answered in "That '90s Show", where Homer was revealed to have been a grunge musician while Marge was in college.
    • In "The Seemingly Never-Ending Story", after Homer gets stuck in a cave, Lisa passes the time by telling a Nested Story about a hidden cache of gold. Once Homer gets unstuck, he reveals that he took them to the cave in search of that same cache of gold:
      Homer: I figured [Rich Texan] wouldn't mind if a few pieces went missing, money we could use to pay for Bart's operation.
      Bart: I need an operation?
      Homer: [reassuringly] That's a story for another day.
  • The opening episode of Season 4 of Thomas & Friends ends with Duke being apparently imprisoned forever in his shed, abandoned after his little railway closed. This is a story Thomas has been telling to the other engines, and there follows a cliffhanger:
    Percy: That's not a happy ending!
    Thomas: Ah... there will be. But that'll have to wait until next time.