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Sometimes lampshaded.

When a character asks a question, and the work cuts, pans, or otherwise shifts to an image of the implied answer. This comes in a couple of flavors:

  • A direct question followed by a cut to the answer. (e.g., A character asks "who could have done such a thing?" before the shot cuts to the culprit.)
  • A character makes a significant remark (e.g., "Some people just naturally make fools of themselves"), then the camera cuts to another character doing exactly that sort of thing.
  • Another character, completely uninvolved with the initial conversation, answers the question with a line identifying the answer ("What kind of loser takes a job at Burger Fool?" "Hey, did your brother tell you he got a new job?").

The usual question is Who Would Be Stupid Enough?, but there are many questions that can be answered this way. It is a critical tactic if the viewers need to know the answer, but the character asking for it must be kept in the dark.

In literature, the usual accompanying phrase is "As if in response..."

Sometimes used as Foreshadowing. Occasionally used for an Inadvertent Entrance Cue.

Compare/contrast Gilligan Cut, Description Cut, "I Know What We Can Do" Cut, Ironic Echo Cut and Oblivious Mockery.


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  • GEICO's Rhetorical questions advertisements. All of them start with Mike McGlone asking "Could switching to GEICO really save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance?" McGlone then gives another question, which includes the following:
    • Is Ed "Too Tall" Jones too tall? [Cuts to Jones in a doctor's office being measured for his height. Since he is too tall for the maximum length of the measure; the nurse breaks it and decides to guesstimate]
    • Does Charlie Daniels play a mean fiddle? [Cuts to Daniels energetically playing a fiddle in a classy restaurant after taking it from a violinist. Once he finishes, he hands it back and states "That's how you do it, son"]
    • Does Elmer Fudd have trouble with the letter R? ''[Cuts to Elmer hunting and telling us to be vewy quiet while he's "hunting wabbits", the director correcting his rhotacism to the former's frustration, and eventually stalking off while muttering about how "this diwector is starting to wub me the wong way".]''
    • Did the Waltons take way too long to say good night? [Cuts to the exterior of a house, while inside, the Walton family says "good night" to each other numerous times]
    • Does a ten pound bag of flour make a really big biscuit?" [Cuts to a child buttering an enormous biscuit on the kitchen counter humming as his mom walks in with a dismayed look upon her face]
    • Did the Caveman invent fire? [Cuts to the GEICO caveman sitting in a living room on a couch with a female companion. He looks disdainfully at the camera, then activates the fireplace by remote control before scowling at the camera once more]
    • Was Abe Lincoln honest? [Cuts to an old-style black and white film of Mary Todd Lincoln asking "Does this dress make my backside look big?" After a lengthy pause and deliberation, Lincoln sheepishly responds, saying "Perhaps just...", interrupted as she gets up and walks out perturbed]
    • Is having a snowball fight with pitching great Randy Johnson a bad idea? [Cuts to Johnson helping a man to his feet, the latter with a hole in the arm of his jacket, in a snowy street. After lamenting the smashed in garage door behind them, they agree to go sledding instead]
    • Is a bird in the hand worth two in the bush? [Cuts to an Antiques Roadshow appraiser examining a small statue of a bird cupped in a human hand. He tells the owner that the figure is indeed, worth two in the bush]
    • Can fútbol announcer Andrés Cantor make any sport exciting? [Cuts to Cantor loudly and very energetically calling a slow-paced chess match, screaming his trademark "¡GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!"]
    • Does a former drill sergeant make a terrible therapist? [Cuts to...]
      Patient: And that's why yellow makes me sad, I think.
      R. Lee Ermey: That's interesting. You know what makes me sad? YOU DO! MAYBE WE SHOULD CHUG ON OVER TO MAMBY PAMBY LAND, WHERE MAYBE WE CAN FIND SOME SELF-CONFIDENCE FOR YOU, YA JACKWAGON!!!!! Tissue? [chucks a box of Kleenex at the patient] Crybaby.
    • Do woodchucks chuck wood? [Cuts to a jovial pair of woodchucks throwing chopped logs into a river and being admonished by the farmer who chopped them, after which they run away]
    • Did the little piggy cry "wee wee wee" all the way home? [Cuts to a pig named Maxwell riding in the back seat of an SUV holding pinwheels, yelling "wee wee wee" out the window, before being dropped off at his house by his friend's exasperated mother]
    • Does it take two to tango? [Cuts to a man and woman dancing the tango while another man tries to dance with them.]
    • What, do you live under a rock? [Cuts to a man living underground who moves a rock so he can raise his head above ground to see outside, and then gets excited when he sees a GEICO billboard and invites his friend Rick to move his own rock and take a peek]
    • Do dogs chase cats? [Cuts to a dog and cat engaged in a Bullitt-style car chase]
    • Is the pen mightier than the sword? [Cuts to a ninja menacingly demonstrating his swordsmanship to his opponent, who countermaneuvers by using a pen to sign for the delivery of his new taser, with which he promptly zaps the ninja]
    • Would Foghorn Leghorn make a really bad book narrator? [Cuts to a recording studio where Foghorn is reading A Tale of Two Cities — his ad-libbing and talking over the director cause an exasperated Henery Hawk to get up from the control panel and whack him with a club]
    • Do people use smartphones to do dumb things? [Cuts to three office workers using very silly smartphone apps to help celebrate the end of the workweek]

    Anime and Manga 
  • At the end of Episode 15 of the first season of Ace Attorney (2016), Phoenix suspects that Dr. Grey's death was part of a plan to frame Maya for murder. Maya asks, "You think I was set up? Who'd do that?" Cut to Morgan Fey, ominously talking to a photo of her sister Misty and declaring that her moment has come.
  • In Chapter 52 of Assassination Classroom:
    "There isn't a single student stronger than him in this school." [speaking with regards to the Chairman's son]
    [cut to a yawning Karma]
  • Azumanga Daioh: Who screamed at the cockroach first? Who suggested that everyone's stuffed animals be brought and put on display? The answer to both questions appears to be Sakaki, though we have only the editing as proof.
  • Near the end of Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works], Shirou and Rin go to Ryudo Temple to destroy the Holy Grail, only to encounter Gilgamesh, whom they assumed Saber was fighting at the front gate. As Saber climbs the steps, Rin asks, "If he's here, then who's Saber fighting?" The scene then cuts to Saber encountering Assassin, who's still around despite his master Caster's death.
  • During Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer's final battle, Patrick Colasour contacts his mother ship to tell his commanding officer (and wife) Kati Mannequin that his mobile suit has been disabled. She tells him to get out of there, and the film cuts to show that Patrick's cockpit has almost been completely enveloped by the ELS' assimilation crystals.
    Patrick: I can't really do that right now...
  • In Muhyo and Roji, during Episode 17 of the anime, Yoichi discusses Enchu's whereabouts with Muhyo and Biko. Muhyo says, "He could be anywhere now. That dumb jellyfish could've slithered right out of the country." Cut to Enchu in New York City.
  • In My-HiME, Natsuki briefly muses about one's "most important person," some time after hearing that if a HiME's Child is destroyed, her most important person will die. The scene then cuts to Shizuru, who's Natsuki's best friend and most important person.
  • Naruto,
    • Soon after the Time Skip, Shikamaru informs Naruto that he's the only one in his year who hasn't been promoted to Chunin yet. After Shikamaru adds that Neji, Kankuro and Temari are already Jonin, Naruto asks about Gaara. The scene then cuts to the Sand Village, showing that Gaara has become Kazekage.
    • Danzo walks in on a meeting between Tsunade and the village elders, the latter of whom insist on choosing the two ninja who will accompany Naruto on the mission to capture Sasori's spy. Tsunade says if Danzo is here, then that must mean that one of the two ninjas is one of his subordinates. Cut to Sai, who attacked Naruto in order to gauge his abilities.
  • In an early episode of Pokémon: The Original Series, Ash and friends find a Pokémon village protected by various traps, including pitfalls (one of which Misty had triggered). Ash wonders how safe the village is, saying, "You'd have to be pretty stupid to fall into one of those holes." After an indignant Misty yells, "HEY!", we cut to Team Rocket at the bottom of a hole.
    Jessie: This is the THIRD hole we've fallen into!
  • Resident Evil: Damnation: Leon and Buddy are being chased by a Tyrant and get trapped after an elevator locks down before they can reach it. They prepare to fight the Tyrant when the elevator reactivates and opens. Leon is confused why the elevator is suddenly working again and the scene cuts to Ada on her laptop hacking the control system before she makes her own escape.
    Leon: Why's it doing that?
    Ada: [in a different room] You owe me one.
  • Midway through the second episode of Super Cub, Koguma struggles to recall the name of the classmate who spoke with her about her cub. The episode then cuts to the title card for the episode, which is titled "Reiko."
  • Sword Art Online: In the War of the Underworld arc, after Alice drains the spatial resources inside the ravine and uses them for a devastating attack against the Dark Territory forces, Dee Eye Ell rages about this development, noting that even she can't do such a thing, then asks, "Who do they have that is that powerful?" Cut back to Alice.
  • In Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee, when "Roda" tells Lag that "It will consume everything in the capital!" Lag asks what "it" is. Cut to a shot that slowly pans up to reveal Cabernet, a large and powerful Gaichuu.

    Comic Books 
  • In the first Clerks comic book, Randall is seen leaving Steve-Dave and Walt's comic shop after having pissed them off. Walt asks, "What kind of place would hire a guy like that anyway?" Next page: an establishing shot of Quick Stop and RST Video.
  • Lampshaded in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) issue #124. The context is that Robotnik was complaining about being attacked by some alien invader, though the king didn't believe him because of his past treachery. When Sonic asks, as in the page image, who would be responsible if it were true, said alien invaders send out a telepathic message not only about what they're doing but also about why they're doing it. They say that a while ago, they sent an emissary to offer an alliance with the human species, but, instead, humans dissected it, and thus the Xorda are out to destroy the whole planet in retaliation.
  • Fused with Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking in one X-Men comic as Iceman and Angel find themselves taking on a massive alien. Iceman demands to know where the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and military are. Cut to the Avengers being held in force bubbles by Kang the Conqueror, the Fantastic Four being trapped by Annihilus, and the military...well...
    Namor: For the last time, I can't "surrender"! This isn't an invasion of your surface world! I just wanted a bagel!

    Comic Strips 
  • Bloom County: When Steve Dallas, as lead singer and spokesman of the metal band Deathtöngue, negotiates a deal with CBS Records, he quotes the lyrics of their next song which goes "Let's run over Lionel Ritchie with a tank". Cut to the CBS CEO sitting in front of a huge portrait of Lionel Ritchie.
  • In one Dilbert strip, Wally notes how difficult it will be to find a new CEO for the company because "no ethical person would board a sinking ship just to plunder its treasure." Cue Dogbert signing up for the job.
    Scott Adams: This is only funny if you already know how evil Dogbert is. It's the anticipation that sells it.
  • FoxTrot uses this on occasion, usually with regard to something Jason has done.
    Jason: Mom, I was thinking we should go to some tiny tropical island this summer.
    Andy: Oh?
    Jason: It'd be perfect. No phones... no hassles... no extradition treaties...
    Andy: What do extradition treaties have to do with our family vacation?
    Jason: Who's talking about a vacation?
    Andy: NOW what have you done?
    Peter: Man, you wouldn't believe this story on the news about some wayward model rocket...
  • And then there's this bizarre incident from Pearls Before Swine:
    Goat: Did you hear the Vietnamese government has lost the preserved body of Ho Chi Minh?
    Zebra: Lost it?
    Goat:: Yeah...they were having it transported for restoration and there was a shipping mix-up.
    Zebra: But he was their former leader. Where could he be?
    (cut to Pig and Rat standing next to a box with Ho Chi Minh's body)
    Rat: That's the last time I buy rice on eBay.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon):
    • One of the Russian members of the Monarch-Russian military rescue joint operation responds "What the fuck" when receiving footage from Krupin's headcam. Then the narrative cuts to the perspective of Krupin's headcam and shows us what provoked that reaction, before Mariko exposits.
    • Vivienne Graham wonders why a Monarch helicopter is approaching her and San at Yonaguni, and the narrative cuts to show the reader why and who's onboard the chopper.
  • Calvin & Hobbes: The Series:
    Hobbes: How many six-year-old kids get money?
    Calvin: Lemonade stand, why?
    Woman at Calvin's stand: And what do we have here?
  • Doing It Right This Time: In the sixth chapter, Shinji idly wonders what Kaworu and Mari's guardian David "Call me 'DJ' and die" Croft are getting up to together. They're in Siberia, where they've teamed up with Kaji and are currently fleeing from the police in a stolen big rig. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami:
    • In Beryl's Plan, when Morgania's spymaster talks about Ami:
      "Since she is clearly much more powerful than we were led to believe, things don’t bode well for her final opponent.”
      [Cuts to Queen Beryl, clearly implying her as the "final opponent"]
    • From Underworld Army Attack:
      "Oh. OH." Cathy sounded chagrined as she looked at Mercury with pleading eyes. "Please tell me we are not going to charge the enemy army head-on!"
      (Cut to the Underworld Army facing The Avatar, Mercury, Jadeite, Rabixtrel some automatons, and some golems.)
  • Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness: Coop wonders at one point just who in their right mind would enjoy tofu. Cue cut to the kitsune Ran Yakumo, wondering why she feels she ought to defend her snack choices.
  • Feralnette AU: Combined with Tempting Fate: When Amelie calls Gabriel out on "staring at the children with that look on your face", Gabriel immediately asks "Like what?" Amelie appropriately demonstrates an "I dearly wish for your death" glare.
  • Hop to It has this at the end of a long How We Got Here section:
    Chat Noir: So, LB. What's the plan?
    Ladybug: (To Rabbit) The plan was for you to gain CottontailÂ’s trust, figure out her weakness, and lure her away from Alya so Chat and I could rescue her. What was so hard about that?
  • In Jonathan Joestar, The First JoJo, after Josuke nearly kills Joseph for abandoning his mother:
    "Joseph." His voice was serious, and was so uncharacteristic for the usually polite and bright gentleman that it made the elder Joestar jump. Oh God, he really sounded like granny Erina when she was about to give him one of her long lectures, "What happened?"
    "JOSEPH JOESTAR, HOW COULD YOU DO SUCH A THING?!" Jonathan's voice boomed, making the elder Joestar shrink back slightly.
  • The Karma of Lies: After Marinette's Secret Identity is exposed during her Final Battle with Hawkmoth, she idly wonders whether any of her classmates regret how they treated her now that they know she's Ladybug. Cut back to the Agreste Manor, where we see that Lila is the only one who actually recognizes that she might be in trouble — Alya is too busy gushing about how she's supposedly Ladybug's BFF, despite how she'd been treating her lately, and Adrien is privately reassuring himself that it doesn't actually matter that he skipped the final fight because he's still one of the 'heroes'.
  • Kyon: Big Damn Hero's prologue includes, among other things, Kyon being attacked by Asakura Ryouko, having possession of a lot of supernatural tools his canon counterpart doesn't have, and Haruhi not batting much of an eye to Kyon's admission Asakura is a humanoid interface like Yuki. At some point after that, Kyon asks himself, "It started off such a nice day, too. How had it come to this, anyway...?". Cue scene change to the first non-prologue scene.
  • My Dream Is Yours: The final chapter has Olympia asking who could still be affected by the Dream-Transfer-itis epidemic since she and Otis have asked practically everyone in Precinct 13579. The scene then cuts to Orchid, who is asleep in the Pillow Room and having Orson's dream, then it shifts to Ozric attempting to calm a crying Orson as he remarks that the baby agent has been cranky ever since waking up from his afternoon nap.
  • Oversaturated World: From the second chapter, Tones:
    who'd want a school full of disharmony?
    (Cut to Discord, the spirit of Disharmony, or at least his human version.)
  • Parodied in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: What Came After. The sequence goes as follows:
    • Riolu asks his teammates if they think Trevenant will be okay with them going to save his son (he still holds a grudge over Alesia apparently stealing one of his books), and the scene cuts to Trevenant's bookstore where he yells at them not to.
    • Trevenant sarcastically asks Team Everlasting if they think Braviary will permit them to go on the mission, and the scene cuts to Braviary's courthouse where he says yes.
    • Popplio encouragingly asks Alesia, "How big can those woods be?", and the scene cuts to Izolo Woods where Riolu reads a sign saying that the woods are 400 acres.
    • Alesia asks Popplio why he likes his Special Band so much, and the scene cuts to Team Everlasting on the roof of Braviary's courthouse somehow where they understandably wonder how they got up there (but not before Popplio answers the question).
    • Alesia asks if it's safe to jump down from the roof into a pile of leaves, and the scene cuts to them back in Izolo Woods where Riolu affirms that it was.
  • Scarlet Lady: In "Captain Hardrock", Lieutenant Raincomprix is asked who made the noise complaint. The next panel shows Chloé exclaiming "Yoo-hoo!".
  • Triptych Continuum: Multiple, spread across A Total Eclipse Of The Fun:
  • First one:
    Trial run... it still felt like unveiling a masterpiece before the official gallery opening. But really, what harm could it do?
    (scene change)
    The sisters looked over the wreckage in the Lunar Courtyard.
    • Chapter 4, when Luna asks what the problem would be with having Twilight Sparkle write the one-sheet educational briefing on eclipses for distribution to the general public. One location switch later, she gets her migraine-inducing answer. Which included quantum.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Beauty and the Beast the last line of the prologue is "...for who could ever learn to love a Beast?" Guess who shows up onscreen next?
    • Lumière later tells the Beast he "doesn't have time to be timid" with Belle. While he says that, the shot is expanded so the wilting rose is in focus.
  • In Cars, when Lightning McQueen fails to reach California, instead accidentally winding up in Radiator Springs, his trailer opens and is found to be empty. Cue some news reports on McQueen's disappearance culminating in this trope. After the question is asked, cut to McQueen having been impounded for the mess he made in Radiator Springs the previous night.
    Chuck Manifold: They're all asking the same question: Where is McQueen?
    [Cut to McQueen, who's been impounded for last night's mishap in Radiator Springs]
  • Subverted in Despicable Me when the news anchor wonders aloud who could be responsible for stealing the pyramid; cut to Gru, who we later find out did NOT steal the pyramid; it was actually his soon-to-be-rival Vector.
  • Played with in Fantastic Mr. Fox. Having successfully trapped the animals underground, a character asks his fellows, "How long can a fox go without food or water?" Cut to Kylie saying to the camera "Well, I can only answer as an opossum, but I don't think I can last more than another couple of hours before I get completely dehydrated and starve to death." After that, we cut further back and he doesn't appear to be talking to anyone in particular.
  • In Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs:
    Manny: (to Ellie) Boy, you're starting to sound like Diego. Wait a second. Where is Diego? (Cut to Diego trying to hunt an antelope)
  • The Incredibles:
    • At their marriage, Bob asks Helen "We’re superheroes. What could happen?". The film cuts to the scene of Mr. Incredible being sued by someone who didn't want to be saved, leading to Supers being banned. Double as Tempting Fate.
    • After Helen reassures Bob that they can deal with Omnidroid together as a family, Helen calls back to the line "We’re superheroes. What could happen?" Cue Violet screaming as the Omnidroid v.10 drops a tentacle on the RV to crush it. Fortunately, she and Dash escape just in time.
  • Incredibles 2:
    • In the Incredibile, when Dash wonders what he and Violet have to offer to oppose the villain, Jack-Jack in the backseat makes himself known by showcasing his Reality Warper powers.
    • Mr. Incredible who just broke free from the hypnosis wonders why the others talk about escape. His question of who they're escaping from is answered when the other mind-controlled supers break into the room.
  • The Iron Giant: When Mr. Stutz says that he really did call the government and that they were sending someone to investigate, Dean asks, "Who in the hell would the government send?" Cut to the power plant where Kent Mansley gets out of his car.
  • Kung Fu Panda: When the matter of who is worthy to be the Dragon Warrior is addressed:
    Oogway: [serenely] It is time.
    Shifu: But who?? Who is worthy to be trusted with the secret to limitless power?
    Oogway: [shrugging] I don't know!
    [cut to...Po's stomach. But then the camera pulls out to reveal our hero clumsily weaving through the noodle shop customers]
  • In The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, Wyldstyle, having realized that the Systarians aren't actually evil, and actually want good relations with the Apocalypseburgers, asks who the real bad guy is. Cut to Rex Dangervest, who's convinced Emmet to destroy the temple and stop the Queen from marrying Batman.
  • In Lilo & Stitch:
    Jumbaa: So, tell me, my little one-eyed one, on what poor, pitiful, defenseless planet has my monstrosity been unleashed?
    [Cut to Earth — Hawaii, specifically]
  • At the beginning of Mulan, the Emperor responds to Shan Yu's attack by amassing as many soldiers as possible, saying, "A single grain of rice can tip the scales. One man could mean the difference between victory and defeat." Cut to Mulan.
  • At the very end of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Legend of Everfree:
    Sunset: There is one thing I'm still wondering about, though.
    Twilight: What's that?
    Sunset: Where did the magic that hit this cave come from?
    [Cut to Canterlot High, showing a crack in the top of the still-destroyed statue, where Equestrian magic is leaking through...]
  • Raya and the Last Dragon: Raya travels to Talon to confront its chief, Dang Hai, and collect his piece of the Dragon Gem, only to find that he'd fallen victim to the Druun.
    Raya: Who has his gem piece?!
    Chai: (chuckles) The most vicious chief Talon has ever seen.
    (cut to a little old lady leading Sisu into a trap)
  • Shark Tale: "How long must this reef live under siege? Is there no hero among us? Who can stop this shark menace?" Cut to Oscar.
    • Another example occurs later during Frankie's funeral when Don Lino hears about the Sharkslayer, vowing to find out who he is and avenge his son's death.
      Don Lino: I wanna find this guy. I wanna know everything about him. I wanna know where he lives, where he sleeps. He pops a gill, I wanna know about it. Who is the Sharkslayer?
      [scene cuts]
      Guy on PA: Here he is! The Sharkslayer! (Oscar turns around and winks)
  • At the beginning of Shrek 2, Prince Charming asks who Princess Fiona is on honeymoon with. The scene immediately cuts to Shrek's face.
  • In The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, after Plankton unleashes the final phase of Plan Z, turning all of the citizens of Bikini Bottom into his mind-controlled slaves and captures Squidward, who was the only one who figured out what he was up to:
    Plankton: Who can stop me now?! [Evil Laugh] WHO?!
    [Cut to SpongeBob and Patrick driving in the Patty Wagon while laughing silly]
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie: The first big trailer opens with Bowser's army invading the penguins' kingdom and taking the Super Star. As Bowser gleefully shouts "NOW WHO'S GONNA STOP MEEEEE?!", the scene cuts to Mario arriving in the Mushroom Kingdom. In the film, the line is changed to "...and now NO ONE CAN STOP ME!!!" and instead skips to a local commercial for Mario and Luigi's plumbing service.
  • Toy Story:
    • In the first film, while the toys are trying to rescue Buzz after he gets knocked out the window, Rex asks, "Where could he be?" Cut to the gas station later that night, where both Buzz and Woody eventually end up.
    • And on at least three occasions in the third film:
      • When Andy's toys are trapped in the Caterpillar room and Buzz points up to the transom, Rex asks: "Oh, great. How do we get up there?". Cut to the next scene where they have built a Rube Goldberg Device that helps getting Buzz up there.
      • As a Tempting Fate, when Lotso orders Andy's toys to stay at Sunnyside and Jessie asks who is gonna stop them from leaving. Cue brainwashed Buzz Emerging from the Shadows.
      • After the climax, when the group of toys want to get back to Andy's place, Rex concludes "We'll never get there in time". Then the camera pans over to a shot of the garbage truck.
  • Trolls: The Bergens believe that the only way to be happy is to eat a Troll. After all the Trolls have escaped, Prince Gristle asks his father, "What's going to make me happy now?" Just before his father replies "Nothing!", there's a brief shot of Bridget.
  • Turning Red: After Mei defies her mother and refuses the ritual to exorcise her panda spirit, she escapes and joins her friends at the 4*Town concert. As she brags about what she did and says she's unafraid of the consequences, the scene cuts to something she really should be afraid of.
    Miriam: Your mom must have gone nuclear.
    Mei: Who cares? What's she gonna do? Ground me? (she and her friends laugh)
  • In Zootopia, when Nick wonders how Judy could possibly get access to the jam cams, she replies that she knows somebody who could help. Cut to Bellwether at the ZPD headquarters.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The movie Airport, where the Customs agent is curious about the flight his niece will be taking and turns to the Airline Passenger Supervisor, Mrs. Livingston. "Oh, with all this snow, do you think it will take off on time?" The film then cuts to a reservation agent who says, "Flight Two, The Golden Argosy, will depart on schedule", and then cuts back to the man on the phone who had called her, who says, "Thank You." Very slickly done.
  • In Bride of Frankenstein, Elizabeth describes a vision of an evil apparition which will entangle Henry, and says she sees it drawing nearer — nearer — and the camera cuts to the evil Dr. Pretorius knocking at the door.
  • In Dracula's Daughter, Dr. Garth asks "What could have made those two small puncture marks on the neck?", and, immediately, a maid announces, "Countess Zalenska!"
    • This exchange is actually a reference to the original Dracula film.
      Jonathan Harker: What could have caused those marks, Professor?
      Maid: [announcing the arrival of their guest] Count Dracula.
    • And in Dracula: Dead and Loving It, this is picked up once more. One character asks, rhetorically, who in England could possibly be a vampire. Immediately, the maid announces "Count Dracula." The character who asks concedes, "All right, maybe him."
  • Dumb and Dumber When Mary is watching "A Current Affair", where a report about a blind boy who was duped into buying a dead parakeet, Mary ask "Who are these sick people?". Followed by Mary answering the door to Lloyd.
  • In Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Ferris has just called his less-than-enthusiastic friend Cameron to come play hookey with him, leading to this:
    Ferris: I'm so disappointed in Cameron. Twenty bucks says he's sitting in his car right now debating about whether or not he should go out.
    (cut to Cameron sitting in his car)
    Cameron: He'll keep calling me. He'll keep calling me until I come over. He'll make me feel guilty...
  • From History of the World Part I, in a scene set at the Last Supper:
    Jesus: Yea, yea, so you say, but one who sits amongst us has already betrayed me this night.
    Apostles: Who? Who could it be?
    Waiter: JUDAS!
    (Judas gasps)
    Waiter: Do you want a beverage? Try the mulled wine, it's terrific!
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005): "Who would be so stupid as to sign the order to destroy Earth?" Cut to Zaphod wearing a "thinking cap" (fueled by lemons) and grinning like an idiot.
  • Home Alone:
    • In the first film: after the McCallisters board the plane, Kate says, "I hope we didn't forget anything." Cut to Kevin opening the door from the third floor.
    • In Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Harry and Marv climb down a rope from Uncle Rob's townhouse when the latter notices a funny smell.
      Marv: Harry? You wearing aftershave?
      Harry: That's not aftershave, that's kerosene. The rope is soaked in it.
      Marv: (laughs) Now, why would anybody soak a rope in kerosene?
      (cut to Kevin lighting a match)
  • In the 1939 version of The Hound of the Baskervilles, Dr. Mortimer's wife, conducting a séance, asks the spirit of the victim, "Tell us, Sir Charles! Who was it that killed you?" — to be answered by an eerie "AROOOOOOOOO!" from off the moor.
  • In The Hunt for Red October, Captain Ramius discusses the officers' plan to defect with Borodin. Ramius says that the Soviet Navy is not the biggest problem for them, since he knows their tactics, but rather the Americans, since he doesn't know how they will respond. But he says, "We meet the right sort, this will work. We get some... buckaroo?" Cue to Jack Ryan on a jet plane in high turbulence - bucking just like a cowboy.
  • In The Killer That Stalked New York, a 1950 film Very Loosely Based on the 1947 New York City smallpox outbreak, Patient Zero Sheila Bennet's brother Sid tells her "You look like you could kill.", and the scene dissolves to the first fatality of the smallpox outbreak—the porter at Pennsylvania Station, whom Sheila infected and thus indirectly killed.
  • During a conversation at the Hall of Meduseld in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Gandalf asks Théoden, "And what is the King's decision?" with regards to the threat of attack by Saruman's forces. An offscreen voice over starts to say "By order of the King, the city must empty! We make for the refuge of Helm's Deep", cutting to a shot of Rohan refugees preparing to leave.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In The Avengers (2012), Loki has just brainwashed S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives, claimed the Tesseract and escaped. Agent Coulson asks "What do we do now?" Nick Fury doesn't have an answer, but cue the title card. Made even cooler in the UK release as the title there is "Avengers Assemble".
    • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014):
      • Early on, Yondu says "What we do need to worry about is who else out there wants that Orb!" - Cut to an Establishing Shot of the villain's spaceship, introducing us to the Big Bad Ronan.
      • At Knowhere, while waiting for the Collector, Drax says, "This is no respectable establishment! What do you expect us to do while we wait?" Cut to Drax, Rocket and Groot drinking and placing bets on small lizard creatures that are being chased and eaten by a larger alien.
    • In the opening scene of Spider-Man: Homecoming, the Department of Damage Control takes over the cleanup of New York City from Adrian Toomes, who asks who their superiors are. Cut to a news broadcast with Tony Stark as the leader of this cleanup effort.
    • In Avengers: Infinity War, Scarlet Witch enters the battlefield to save the other Avengers from the massive saw-blade vehicles that dig under Wakanda's shield. Okoye asks why she had been up there the whole time, impressed by Scarlet Witch's performance and annoyed that they'd been holding her back. And then Corvous Glaive enters Shuri's lab and is able to attack Vision directly.
    • In Avengers: Endgame, Doctor Strange and his sorcerers are creating dozens of portals to bring resurrected heroes and their armies to the final battlefield. He turns to Wong and asks, "Is that everyone?" Wong, incredulous, replies, "You wanted more?" Then a gigantic Ant-Man bursts out from the Avengers compound's wreckage, bringing with him War Machine, Rocket, and the Hulk.
  • Fritz Lang also did this in Metropolis. After rescuing the children from the flooded worker's city, she asks, "Why are all the lights out?" Cut to the workers dancing around the destroyed machines that caused it.
  • The Mist: early on, Brent's car has been destroyed by a fallen tree. He casually asks, "You wouldn't happen to be going into town today...?" Immediately cut to them in David's landrover.
  • The Mummy (1999):
    Dr. Chamberlain: They are led by a woman. What does a woman know?
    • This is, of course, immediately before we cut to Evelyn explaining exactly what she knows about the situation.
  • In the third film of The Naked Gun series, Rocko, a notorious mercenary is threatened by his sponsor in the event of his failure. He responds with "Fail? show me one man who can stop me!" Cut to Frank Drebin trying to remove a supermarket trolley from a stack.
  • Used both for comedy and as an Establishing Character Moment Little Shop of Horrors:
    "What kind of professional rides a motorcycle and wears a black leather jacket?"
  • This happens twice in No Time to Die:
    • The first instance is a play on the trope. After the theft of the Heracles bioweapon, M asks Miss Moneypenny where "007" is, from which the scene cuts to James Bond sailing in Jamaica. As it turns out, M was referring to the new 007 agent, Nomi, though as it happens, she's not very far from Bond anyway.
    • Later in the film, Q and Moneypenny reveal to Bond that, contrary to what M had previously told him, there is one person the imprisoned Ernst Stavro Blofeld can speak to. As Bond inquires who the person is, the scenes jumps to his estranged Second Love, Dr. Madeleine Swann, heading towards the MI6 headquarters.
  • In Ocean's Eleven, Danny and Rusty decide to ask Reuben to finance their heist. As they leave to go see him, they posit aloud, "I wonder what Reuben will say?" Cut to Reuben shouting, "You're out of your goddamned minds!"
  • In Pacific Rim, when Chuck Hansen asks who is supposed to be his co-pilot after his father got injured, the camera pans over to Marshal Pentecost approaching from the hangar gate.
  • Return of the Secaucus Seven: When Irene greets Mike at the bus station, she asks him, "Is J.T. here?" Cut to Irene hugging J.T. at Mike's house.
  • A humorous variant occurs in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, mid-sentence, no less! As Scott and Ramona make plans to head to a battle of the bands round together:
    Scott: Oh hey, it's tonight! At the Ro—
    (Smash Cut to the venue, emblazoned with the name "Rockit")
  • The pre-title opening scenes of Serenity end with the villain asking the rhetorical question, "Where are hiding, little girl?" re. River Tam. The next frame is the film's title card, which also happens to be the answer. As the scene progresses the title merges with the opening shot, the letters now painted on the side of the ship Serenity herself as the ship gets a loving establishing shop to reinforce the answer.
  • In Sinbad the Sailor, when Sinbad informs the look-out Yusuf that all ships have to fly colors, as it is "the law of the sea", Yusuf contemptuously asks, "What law is stronger than Strength?" Immediately, the evil Emir's Pirate myna-bird swoops into shot, shrieking, "Jamal! Jamal!"
  • The first scene of Sister Act takes place in a Catholic school classroom in 1968, with a young Deloris (the film's protagonist) being a Class Clown and answering her teacher's question of "Name all the Apostles" with pop music references: "John, Paul... George and Ringo!" Her teacher, a nun, scolds her, warning her she's on the fast track to Hell and asking her, "Have you any idea what girls like you become?!" Young Deloris grins. Cut to 1992 and adult Deloris as a nightclub performer singing oldies in a Reno casino.
  • Used in The Sixth Sense when Cole says to Malcom, "I see dead people", it not only cuts to Malcolm, who is dead, but slowly zooms in on him. At first, the filmmakers didn't even want to include this shot, fearing it might give away the ending.
  • Star Wars:
    • At the end of The Phantom Menace, Yoda wonders if Darth Maul was the Sith master or apprentice. Pan to Palpatine, who is the master.
    • In Revenge of the Sith, Yoda discovers that one of the victims at the Jedi temple has been killed by lightsaber rather than blaster fire. Obi-Wan asks: "Who? Who could have done this?" The scene immediately cuts to Vader on Mustafar, who is currently massacring the Separatist leaders.
    • Near the start of The Last Jedi, Poe greets Finn, who's awakened from his coma, and says that he "must have a thousand questions." Finn cuts him off with a simple, "Where's Rey?" Cut to Aach-To, where Rey meets with Luke.
  • A variant of this happens in Superman Returns, when Jimmy shows Lois and Perry a photograph of sky with a red dot:
    Lois Lane: It's a bird.
    Perry White: It's a plane.
    Jimmy Olsen: No, look, it's...
    [cut to Clark entering the office]
    Clark Kent: Were you looking for me?
  • In Take Down, the Minjo Junction High School wrestling team is wondering who they can get as their 185-pound weight division wrestler to take on their rival school's "super jock" Leroy Baron. Cut to main character Nick Kilvitus working at the local steel mill.
  • Fritz Lang does this a lot in his German films. Particularly in The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, almost every scene cut 'responds' in some way to the preceding scene, sometimes subtly and sometimes not.
  • In A Thousand Clowns, Murray says his supervision by the Child Welfare Board "sounds like a parole board." Cut to Chuckles the Chipmunk shilling potato chips: "Yes, it certainly does!"
  • Tremors:
    • In the first movie, the characters debate what to do once they realize the Graboids are closing in on their town. One of the townspeople says they should just sit and wait for rescue, because someone outside their valley will surely notice that the town's phone lines are down and the only road out has been blocked by a landslide and come to check on them. Cut to show somebody did come to try and check on them... the key word being tried.
    • In the first sequel, Earl and Grady realize they're in way over their heads trying to hunt the Graboids, and Earl suggests they might need help. Grady replies that anyone would be crazy to want to help them.
      (cuts to phone ringing)
      Burt (picks up phone): Yeah?
  • The Village (2004): Kitty Walker professes her all-enveloping love to Lucius Hunt, asking him if he reciprocates. Cut to Kitty crying her eyes out as her sister comforts her.
  • The trailer for the 2009 Watchmen shows someone beating up Edward Blake, and immediately cuts to Ozymandias. Twice. A unique example in that you would only notice it if you already knew the answer beforehand.
  • The World's End: Oliver asks Steve and Peter if they'd figured out who the biggest loser was for letting Gary convince them to do the pub crawl again - Cut to Andy who just arrived at the depot.
  • The X-Files: Fight the Future had one of the Consortium say, in reference to Mulder, "Then you must take away what he holds most valuable, that with which he can't live without." Immediate cut to Scully. And Chris Carter claims he's not a shipper.
  • In Zoolander, Mugatu is told he must find a model dim-witted enough to be brainwashed into killing the prime minister of Malaysia. He wonders aloud where on "God's green goodness am I gonna find someone that... BEEF-HEADED?!" Cut to a photoshoot with the title character.
  • In Disney's RocketMan: When asked by Director Ben who is Wick's second choice for replacement astronaut, the latter face slowly turns into a grimace followed by a cut to Fred Randall whooping at his arrival to NASA HQ for the first time.
  • Late Phases: When Westmark the gunsmith mentions he made silver bullets for another man, Ambrose asks who and the camera cuts to James in his apartment, looking at some old bite and claw marks in the mirror.
  • Tevya: The end of the movie has Khave coming back, admitting that she was wrong, renouncing her conversion to Christianity, and begging Tevye to take her back into the family. Tevye isn't sure, because he's still mad about her converting in the first place, plus there's the matter of Golde's Death by Despair. Finally, after musing about forgiveness, he looks up and says "O Lord, what do you say?" The film then cuts to the closing shot of the whole family, including Khave, trundling out of town on the cart.

  • In Baccano!!'s The Grand Funk Railroad, Firo tells Ennis a bit about Claire's circus days and wonders if "Maybe the train's getting treated to a little acrobatics show right about now." The next scene cuts to a woman in fatigues taking an Outside Ride on the Flying Pussyfoot "like an acrobat" and who's eventually revealed not to be Claire at all. The real Claire's been going around drenched in blood and playing the role of the Rail Tracer. And is a guy. He's a bit annoyed with the name for obvious reasons.
  • Discworld:
    • In Pyramids the narrative relates how the greatest mathematician in the world has just looked up in astonishment, having sensed something weird happening with the numbers. Cut to Teppic looking at a camel, who turns out to be that mathematician. Bonus points because, when read the first time, it appears that the camel's mind is wholly engaged in detesting Teppic, because that's what its expression implies.
    • Lampshaded in Mort:
      Princess: You're a wizard. I think there's something you ought to know.
      Death: THERE IS?
      Narrator: That was a cinematic trick adapted for print. Death was actually in his study, talking to Mort. But it was quite effective, wasn't it? It's probably called a fast dissolve, or a crosscut/zoom. Or something. An industry where a senior technician is called a Best Boy might call it anything.
    • In Interesting Times, Ridcully wonders what sort of sad, hopeless person would need to write 'WIZZARD' on his hat. Cut to Rincewind.
  • Used at least once a book by David Weber.
  • The Boscombe Valley Mystery: As Sherlock Holmes is about to reveal the identity of the murderer, a servant announces his entry.
  • In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are trying to figure out how to get a book out of the restricted section, which requires a permission slip signed by a teacher. Ron promptly says "no teacher's going to fall for that, they'd have to be really thick...". The chapter ends right there and the next opens up with a lesson with Gilderoy Lockhart, describing his incompetence in detail.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Lampshaded by Pete on 30 Rock:
  • In the Battlestar Galactica episode "No Exit," Boomer and Ellen Tigh are talking about The Power of Love on the Cylon baseship. Boomer says, "Who would I want to love?" Cut to Chief Tyrol.
  • Breaking Bad: In season 3's "Kafkaesque" Jesse asks, "What's more important than money?" followed by a cut to Walt's family in the hospital.
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, "Earshot", Buffy is bedridden due to being unable to control her temporary telepathy. The only cure is the heart of a certain demon. Giles wonders who will kill the demon, since Buffy herself is out of commission. Cut to Angel beating the crap out of the demon.
    • Parodied in a later episode, where Giles asks Buffy how she plans to fight the incorporeal manifestation of evil itself. Buffy responds that she has "the best plan ever". Cut to her googling the word "evil."
  • Played with on Community, during an elaborate heist episode. An informant tells Troy about the security systems inside the college, narrating over Obstacle Exposition. The crucial element is obtaining a certain key. "And where is that key?" he asks; an Answer Cut shows it's around the Big Bad's neck. Cut back to Troy, who asks where it is. The informant, embarrassed, says it's around the big bad's neck; it was very clear in his head.
  • Used frequently in Coupling. In the episode "Jane and the Truth Snake", the question "What could possibly be more disappointing?" is followed by a cut to Patrick just before he and Jeff each realize that the other one is the "friend" that Lynda invited to their threesome.
  • Desperate Housewives uses this when Katherine taunts Susan, who is working trash detail, by throwing a cup out of her car window. When the supervisor wishes he had seen her license plate, Susan asks, "What could you do with her home address?" Cut to Katherine also picking up trash.
  • In the TV adaptation of The Colour of Magic, again at the beginning, the classic question is answered by a cut to Twoflower.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Partners in Crime": Subverted. When the Adiposian ship makes its appearance, Donna asks the Doctor what it is, and it cuts to the episode villain Miss Foster saying, "It's my ride home." Unfortunately for Miss Foster, it's not her ride home, because the Adiposians think she's outlived her usefulness.
    • In "The Big Bang", after Rory accidentally shoots Amy, he's holding her, wishing for a "ridiculous miracle". Right as he finishes the sentence, in pops the Doctor, wearing a fez and holding a mop.
    • In what might be the filthiest joke to ever pass the censors, in "A Good Man Goes to War" we have the Silurian Vastra and her human sidekick/wife Jenny helping the Doctor secure a military base.
      Jenny: [admiring the Doctor on a video screen] Clever, isn't he?
      Vastra: Rather attractive...
      Jenny: You do realize he's a man?
      Vastra: Mammals. They all look alike.
      Jenny: [looks offended] Thank you...
      Vastra: Was I being insensitive again? I don't know why you put up with me.
      [Vastra notices one of their prisoners trying to escape and knocks him out from across the room with her prehensile tongue]
      Jenny: [smirks]
  • Dollhouse:
    • "Omega", the finale of Season 1 as originally aired. Ballard asks where Caroline's original imprint is. Cut to a shot of Wendy waking up in a chair with Caroline in her head.
    • A few episodes later DeWitt and Topher travel to DC to meet with some of Rossum Corporation's higher-ups, one of which asks Topher, who's in charge of monitoring the Actives, to which Topher replies "the only one I trust". Cut back to the Dollhouse we see that the person Topher is referring to is Victor, imprinted with a copy of Topher's consciousness.
  • At one point in Dr. Death, the district attorney claims that no one could possibly be more annoyed with Kirby than he is, due to his constant calls. Cut to Kirby with his dirty feet on his very long-suffering colleague Henderson's desk, as he explains to him he hasn't changed his socks in three days.
  • Los Espookys: Andrés considers going through with his Arranged Marriage to the obnxious Juan Carlos because his parents are threatening to cut him out of his inheritance if he doesn't. Úrsula tells him that, though she has to work her ass off and sometimes can barely pay the bills, she has her independence, and she asks him if it's worth living a life of luxury if he has to do it under his parents' total control. Cut to Andrés telling Juan Carlos he's agreed to get married.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In "Baelor", Lord Tywin gripes that Robb Stark and 18,000 men are unaccounted for. Tyrion asks; and where are they? Cut to the Whispering Wood.
    • In "Fire and Blood", Lancel wants to know what's in the message Cersei is reading. Her response is Silence, You Fool! and get back in my bed. We then cut to Lord Tywin growling, "They have my son."
    • Played With in "Stormborn". Jaime tells Randyll Tarly how he doesn't know anyone better suited to be Warden of the South than him... then the scene cuts to Sam in the Citadel.
    • In "The Bear and the Maiden Fair", Jon tells Ygritte she'll never hit the deer at that range. She smirks and draws back her bow—cut to a dead deer being carried into the wildling camp.
    • Used to answer a long-held question in "The Winds of Winter". After the young Ned Stark (in Bran's vision) reaches his sister to find that she has given birth, and with her dying breath, she asks him to protect the child, the camera focuses first on the infant's face and then makes a cut to the face of the adult Jon Snow, heavily implying that Jon is Ned's nephew, rather than his illegitimate son, as had been believed to be the case.
    • In "Oathkeeper", Littlefinger talks about his new allies and a friendship "growing strong", then we cut to Margaery and Olenna strolling the gardens.
    • In "Mockingbird", Tyrion asks who Cersei's champion will be, then we cut to Gregor Clegane using condemned prisoners as dummies for his morning sword practice.
    • When cautioned to hide his face because of an enormous bounty on him, Tyrion muses, "How many dwarfs are there? What's Cersei going to do, kill them all?" Cut to a dwarf's severed head being presented to Cersei.
    • In "The Bells", one of the mooks on the sea-facing walls loads the ballista to aim at Drogon and yells out, "Fire" only for Daenerys to immolate him immediately.
  • House of the Dragon: Between Viserys's lecture to Rhaenyra about Aegon the Conqueror's vision of the Long Night and the actual swearing-in of the lords (Lord Rickon among them) in the pilot episode, key emphasis was given on how it will start with "a terrible winter gusting out of the distant North"—emphasizing not only the importance of maintaining House Stark's loyalty, but their centrality to the larger myth of "the Song of Ice and Fire."note 
  • The Friends season 7 finale. Chandler asks Monica, "If you're not pregnant, who is?" Then the camera settles on Rachel.
  • In episode 7 season 1 of The Good Fight:
    Adrian Boseman: We need to find out what (Andrew Hart) said to the grand jury about our firm.
    Barbara Kolstad: How do we do that?
    (Boseman, Kolstad & Diane Lockhart all turn to look at Elsbeth Tascioni)
    Cut to: Andrew Hart sitting in the witness box.
    Elsbeth Tascioni: What did you say to the Grand Jury about the plaintiff's firm?
  • Janda Kembang: Done twice in succession in episode 19. Salmah agrees with Malik that her salon is in need of employee, but she wonders who could be one. Cut to Slamet (and Wulan) whom the audience know is looking for a job. Then, when Malik meets Slamet and says he has a job for Slamet, Slamet has a feeling he wouldn't like the job. Cut to an unhappy Slamet in Salmah's salon.
  • Kamen Rider Gotchard: Hotaro has to make the weight of two Chemies equal, except this is usually through alchemy which is something he doesn't know. When Rinne sees the cards weigh the same, she asks how Hotaro did that. We then cut to him begging the Chemies on a swing set to change their diets.
  • Done repeatedly to hilarious effect in Laverne & Shirley when, in a typical example, someone would ask, "Who could be stupid enough to do something like that?", resulting in Lenny and Squiggy's iconic "HEEEEELLLOOOOO!"
  • On Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, while The Squad is investigating a group of toughs who assault the homeless, Finn suggests luring them out with "the laziest filthiest bum they've ever seent." Cue Munch roaming the streets shouting conspiracy theories.
  • Lost, "The Other Woman": Goodwin asks Juliet, "What could Ben do?" about their affair. Cut to the plane crashing, and Ben sending Goodwin off to infiltrate the tail section.
  • In episode 56 of Mimpi Metropolitan, Prima asks where Bambang is since he has borrowed Prima's motorcycle for too long. Cut to Bambang sulking while driving.
  • At the end of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode featuring Mitchell, when the Mads learn of Joel's escape from the Satellite of Love, Frank nervously suggests shooting someone else into space, to which Dr. Forrester angrily retorts, "Who are we gonna find at this late date to send into space?" Just then, Mike Nelson, whom the Mads had hired as a temp to help with an audit, shows up asking them to sign his time card. Cue the Mads laughing maniacally and a confused Mike joining in.
  • One episode of NUMB3RS has Nikki ask a question of an awards show director, cuts out (in a broadcast, this is where there would be a commercial), and then cuts back in for Nikki's reaction to the director's answer, literally cutting out only the extremely brief moment where the director actually answers the question.
  • In Once Upon a Time "Witch Hunt", Emma and Regina conclude they need to make everyone think that they have made a cure for the memory loss in order to draw out the Big Bad.
    Regina: (grinning) I know just who to tell...
    (cut to Grumpy bursting into Granny's diner)
  • In the Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Prudent Prosecutor", Hamilton Burger agrees to try to connect a friend to a criminal attorney. He asks the friend who he was thinking of. Cut to Perry Mason on the phone, asking "Me?".
  • The Professionals. In "Rogue", a suspect Bodie and Doyle were meant to pick up for questioning has fallen out the window. Doyle moans, "What do we tell Cowley?" Cut to Cowley barking: "Everything! Tell me everything!"
  • In The Rat Patrol episode "The Field of Death Raid", this is how we're introduced to the Villain of the Week.
    Troy: Somebody's trying to kill us.
    Hitchcock: Well, yeah, but who?
    [cut to:]
    Hardt: Major von Brugge! Our targets are moving.
  • Sadakatsiz: Gönül wonders where her brother Melih has spent the night. The scene then changes to a shot of him and Bahar sharing Bahar's bed, both naked.
  • Star Trek: Picard:
    • In "The Impossible Box", immediately after Picard says, "Unless someone has concealed her," the scene switches to a close-up of Narek, who is indeed the person who brought Soji to the Zhal Makh chamber, which has been shielded from the Artifact's internal sensors by the Tal Shiar.
    • In "Broken Pieces", Narissa contacts her subordinate to inquire if he has found "the freak," and a Hard Cut promptly follows to clarify to the audience that their target is Elnor.
  • In The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, the Tipton employees compete for "Employee of the Month" and start advancing their work, such as Maddie converting a maid's cart into a candy cart. Mr Moseby asks Maddie where she got the maid's cart and Maddie gets an Oh, Crap! look. Cut to a maid upstairs being forced to carry her cleaning supplies by hand.
    Maddie: Online.
  • Supernatural:
    • In "How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters"; Dean's "Who the hell is Dick frigging Roman?" cuts to a news report on the man.
    • In "Safe House", Dean says in the present day that there has to be an easier way to dig up graves. Cut to Bobby and Rufus in the same cemetery with a backhoe several years earlier.
    • In "Lebanon", as the Winchesters realize the timeline has been altered, Sam openly asks what else is different. Cut to an alley as Castiel and a very much alive Zachariah appear.
  • Used numerous times throughout the seasons of Top Gear (UK), usually a response to "How hard can it be?"
    • The Vietnam special had this amusing moment:
      Richard: Do you think [Jeremy's] enjoying his first biking experience?
      *Cuts to Jeremy riding alone on a road, pitch black, except for his own self-blinding headlights*
  • Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color: Done cleverly at the beginning of the first episode, in which The Teaser is a clip from Donald in Mathmagic Land. After Donald Duck asks himself "What kind of crazy place is this?", the scene cuts to the title sequence.
  • Subverted in The West Wing sixth season episode "Things Fall Apart". When classified information about a military space shuttle is leaked to the press, Annabeth remarks to Toby that the reporter wouldn't have gone public without a very reliable source. "Whoever leaked it, it's somebody big," she tells Toby. Cut to CJ sitting silently in her office. The following season reveals that it was not CJ, but in fact Toby himself who leaked the information.
  • When the Camellia Blooms: In episode 19 Ja-young comes over to the Camellia bar to shoot the breeze with Dong-baek. They chat for a while, and then Ja-young asks if Dong-baek has any hard liquor in the place. Cut to Gyu-tae and Dong-baek carrying a drunk off her ass Ja-young to the car.
  • Young Sheldon: In "Babies, Lies and a Resplendent Cannoli", Georgie asks Mandy if she's sure he's the father of her baby. Cut to Georgie telling Dale "She did not appreciate getting asked that question."

  • I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again
    Radio Announcer: We have just heard that David Hatch has left Radio Prune to create his own radio station, and it falls upon me to say...three years later.
    (gentle piano music in background)
    David Hatch: (drunkenly) Where...where did it all go, Sam?!

  • In Noah Smith's stage version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a montage of short scenes shows Utterson's investigation into the identity of the mysterious Mr Hyde. In one scene, Enfield tells him about how Hyde attacked a girl and bought off her family with a cheque for a large amount of money. As he starts to tell Utterson whose name was on the cheque, the scene shifts to the next flashback, which begins with Jekyll admitting to Utterson that the signature on the cheque was his.

    Video Games 
  • Kingdom Hearts: Xemnas asks Roxas what his true name is...and before Roxas answers, it immediately cuts to a flashback of Sora, complete with Kairi saying "Sora?" almost immediately after the cut.
  • From Age of Mythology:
    Arkantos: "You don't think [these ships] will make it to Atlantis?"
    (behind him, one of them gently sinks into the sea)
    Ajax: "No."
  • Late in Final Fantasy VII, Cait Sith informs the rest of the party that Rufus plans on using the Sister Ray, the massive cannon last seen in Junon, to destroy Sephiroth, and to that end, he moved it to a place where Mako is gathered. Cloud asks where that is, and a cutscene shows the Sister Ray mounted on Midgar.
  • The final battle of the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3 ends with Shepard and their clone hanging from the ''Normandy'''s shuttle bay. The latter asks what makes Shepard and them different, at which point the camera pans to Shepard's crew moving to help them up, while the Clone's sole named ally leaves them behind. The answer is clear: Shepard has friends.

    Visual Novels 
  • Early in his first season in Queen of Thieves, Nikolai informs the heroine that they'll be breaking into a museum soon so that she can practice for her part of their upcoming heist. Cut immediately to the next night and the heroine hissing incredulously to Nikolai as they break into:
    Heroine: The Louvre?!

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles: In "Sibling Arrivalries", Church is worrying about what could be on the ship that Red Team claimed. Cut to Simmons stating the answer;
    Church: Could be a whole new squad, or a Freelancer, or-
    Simmons: Grif's sister!?
  • Red vs. Blue: Family Shatters: In West's dream in "Hard Boiled", Tiny comes to him for help — some people are after her for something that's been stolen from her. When West asks what they want, Phase and Diesel burst in brandishing guns, the former commanding: "Fork over the MacGuffin, Tiny."

  • Hilariously done in this strip of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja.
  • Hannelore's dream man in Questionable Content.
  • Used often in connection with the Rumormongers in the webcomic Station V3.
  • A nice, kind of subtle one in Sluggy Freelance:
    Torg: Gwynn, Fred was shaping his rice cakes like people and biting off their heads! He was unbalanced! Crazy! The closest thing I've seen in your world to homicidal. After weeks of training, the best he could manage in a life-and-death situation is one barely squashed demon-toe. Do you know what that means for the rest of you?
    Zoë: (comes in with a plate, offers the contents) "Toast?"
  • Lampshaded in this Femmegasm strip:
    June: Heh, don't you like it when life answers your questions for you?
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Even if this page is not foreshadowing... Susan spends the first four panels contemplating her not being attracted to anybody in part because she is uncomfortable with men being attracted to her, then wonders just what kind of guy would be her "type"... and then is interrupted by Elliot, who is by far the least pervy (straight) guy that she knows and is comfortable around.
    • During an online conversation between Justin and Susan, Susan asks what kind of person "lurks around like a vulture waiting for a couple to break up." The next panel cuts to Diane who was obviously planning to do just that.
  • Rusty and Co. has Yuan-Tiffany asking Who Would Be Stupid Enough? to invade a vampire stronghold without means of hiding from the undead?
  • The Order of the Stick:
  • In the Y2K Kevin & Kell storyline, Rudy is worried about the animals that are leaving civilization in panic, since the Wild contains a cult that "gains strength with every confused, easily influenced and slightly dim person who joins!" Cut to his Uncle Ralph signing up.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: When Onni and Lalli reunite via the Talking in Your Dreams system for the first time since Lalli has left, Onni asks Lalli if he has made any friends on the expedition and Lalli answers he may have made one. The comic promptly cuts back to Emil and Sigrun's plotline, with visual focus on Emil.
  • Late in 8-Bit Theater, D'rizzl wonders whether there is anyone in the world who doesn't have a grievance against the Light Warriors. Cut to Thief planning to levy a "savior tax" where everyone in the world has to pay them for saving it, neatly demonstrating that the answer is no.

    Web Original 
  • Protectors of the Plot Continuum: Gabrielle wonders why the Flowers assigned her and Doktor Trollenfisch a badfic that would usually be handled by the Department of Bad Parody, as the two of them work for the Department of WhatThe. The story promptly flashes back to Doktor Trollenfisch practicing the sousaphone next to the office of Admiral Pansy, who happens to be the Department Head of Bad Parody, at three in the morning.

    Web Video 
  • I'm a Marvel... And I'm a DC - In Happy Hour, Joker tells Harly to "Name one (hero) who could possibly stop me." Cut to Spidey serving drinks at Stan's Place. Considered a crowning moment of funny.
  • Todd in the Shadows:
    • In his Best Songs of 2011 video, when delivering an extended seizure warning for #2, Todd asked what kind of ####### would release a video that causes seizures in this day and age. Cut to footage of Kanye West's most notorious moment at the MTV Video Music Awards.
    • In his Van Halen III episode of Trainwreckords, he mentions how Van Halen had a new generation of rock to compete against in 1998, asking who that year was going to listen to "a dinosaur cock-rock band that started in the goddamn '70s", before immediately cutting to the music video for "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing".
    • In episode 45 of Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Goku tries to cheer up Vegeta by mentioning there's a place they can do a year's worth of training in one day, inside Kami's Lookout (or just the Lookout at that point):
    Goku: Either way, they call it the-
    (cut to Popo)
    Popo: -Hyperbolic Time Chamber.
    Vegeta: (offscreen) WHAT THE F*CK IS THAT?!
  • In one of the "Evil Council" videos of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Dartz is telling his minions who will soon be joining them, saying that the newest member "is none other than..." Cut to Marik saying "Bakura," addressing his second-in-command while unknowingly finishing Dartz's sentence.
  • It happens in a Philosophy Tube video, Steve Bannon, although it easy to miss the first time round. After Abigail asks if anyone smells gasoline, we get a shot to the arsonist reading a paper.
  • In Screen Rant Pitch Meetings, each meeting ends with a cut to an article related to the topic of the meeting. Most cases fall into Description Cut, such as news of the film bombing at the box office despite the Producer's optimism, but there are a few cases of an Answer Cut, such as in the pitch meeting for the original The Lion King (1994).
    Producer: Well, (The Lion King) sounds great. I can't wait to cash in on it a few times.
    Screenwriter: What do you mean, "a few times"?
    Cut to "The Lion King Gets A Summer 2019 Release Date"
  • StacheBros: In "Toadsworth's Funeral", when it turns out Toadsworth was alive the whole time, Mario, Luigi, and Daisy call Peach out for getting them worked up over thinking that Toadsworth was dead. When Bowser arrives, Mario tells him to kidnap Peach to make her think about what she's done:
    Peach: About what I've done?! Oh, really! Please, enlighten me! What could I possibly have done to deserve all this insolence?!
    Luigi: Well, for starters, you forgot to tell us that Toadsworth is alive this whole time.
    Peach: Seriously?!
    Mario: Yeah, you actually forgot to do a lot of things today.
    Peach: LIKE WHAT?!
    [Peach wakes up from her sleep]
    Toadsworth: Oh, thank goodness! You're awake! You forgot to take your meds today and passed out. You've been screaming a myriad of pointless things in your sleep ever since.
    [Peach stares off in a confused manner]
  • Suburban Knights ends with the Nostalgia Critic considering going after the Necronomicon, and Linkara trying to talk him out of it;
    Linkara: Who are you going to find to come on some random quest for something that may or may not even exist?!
    (The Critic thinks for a moment, then smirks. Cut to Chester A. Bum opening an envelope)
    Chester: Oh my God I won a car!
  • Call Me Kevin, in one Bitlife video:
    Kevin: Why does it always end with me going to jail?
    Youtube thumbnails for Kevin's past videos "Bitlife but I am a complete psychopath", "Bitlife but I make the worst possible person ever" and "Bitlife but it is the worst life ever"

    Western Animation 
  • In American Dragon: Jake Long episode "Fu and Tell", Haley needs a Show and Tell item to outdo a classmate's exotic pet cat. "But what could be better than a kitty?" Cut to Fu Dog, who adamantly refuses to be brought in- until Haley mentions that her school cafeteria is serving Sloppy Joes that day.
  • A Running Gag in Archer, as a transition between Two Lines, No Waiting, where a character usually asks a question near the end of a conversation with a cut to another scene where another character begins a conversation with a line that could serve as a pertinent response.
  • Big City Greens:
    • From "Backflip Bill":
      Tilly: I'm sure we're all thinkin' the same thing, folks! Is there even an award high enough to honor such a stunnin' performance!?!
      Bill: Wow, sixth place!
    • From "Big Deal":
      Cricket: Who goes shopping on Thanksgiving?
      (Cut to the Greens inside Price Busters facing the Retail Riot before them.)
    • From "Quiet Please":
      Cricket: But where in the city are we gonna find a place with an endless catalogue of books?
      [Cut to...]
      Cricket: Oh, the library!
    • From "Dirt Jar":
      Cricket: Where could it be?!
      (Cut to Bill rummaging through a bag of trash in the backyard)
      Bill: It's gotta be here somewhere!!
  • From BoJack Horseman:
    Sextina Aquafina: [Sarah Lynn] should go wherever famous people go when they're done being famous and nobody cares wherever they live or die!
    (Cut to BoJack and Diane in his office as the doorbell rings)
    BoJack: Who could that be?
  • Castlevania (2017): When the mob of Gresit comes for the Speakers, they find only Trevor waiting for them.
    Priest: Where are the Speakers?
    Trevor: I've put them somewhere safe.
    [cut to the Cyclops dungeon, next to its corpse]
    Speaker: I swear it just moved.
  • DuckTales (1987): In "Where No Duck Has Gone Before", as the Phoenix approaches the Asteroid Thicket, Courage hammily declares that the boys don't need to fear because he's here, and then adds as an aside that this is just a TV show anyway. The camera then cuts to Launchpad, carefully controlling his terror as he tries to save the ship from the very real danger.
  • From The Fairly OddParents! after Mark Chang flees from marrying Princess Mandie.
    Princess Mandie: WHERE IS HE!?
    Crocker: Earth. Which I will someday rule.
  • "What could be strong enough to leave claw marks in solid stone?" Fade to the title: Gargoyles.
  • The Hair Bear Bunch episode "Whatever Happened To Goldilocks and the Three Bears?" has a movie director asking who would be dumb enough to play a chew toy of an evil prince in his revisionist version of the fairy tale (with the Bunch as the three bears). Right on cue:
    Peevly: They're around here somewhere, and I'm gonna find 'em!
  • Done regularly in Invincible, which features a Running Gag where the titular hero's name is regularly cut off by the opening title sequence.
  • In Men in Black: The Series episode "The Little Big Man Syndrome", Kay and Jay manage stop the Fmecks' attempt to blow up Arquilia by redirecting the Death Ray. Afterwards, Jay asks:
    "So where did I just send the mean, green beam to anyway?"
    (Kay says nothing and just smirks as it cuts to the Fmecks' performing a planet-wide evacuation)
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic we get a very straightforward example.
    Spike: If that was an Ursa Minor... what's an Ursa Major like?
    * answer cut to the actually rather scary reveal*
    Twilight Sparkle: You don't wanna know.
    • In Twilight's Kingdom Part 2, when Tirek screams "Where is your magic?!?", immediately cut to Twilight blowing the door off her library, blowing a crater in the town square, and blowing past Rainbow Dash with a sonic boom.
    • In "The Summer Sun Setback":
    Fluttershy: Twilight needs us! Whatever happened, we can fix this!
    Spike: What did happen?
    (Cut to Tirek, Chrysalis, and Cozy Glow hiding in the bush amongst all the disasters sporting Slasher Smiles)
  • This is one of the Once per Episode Running Gags in Phineas and Ferb:
    Phineas: Hey, where’s Perry?
    [Cut to Perry putting on his secret agent hat and entering his lair]
    • In an in-universe example, in "The Fast and the Phineas", Candace asks Linda to turn the TV on so she can see Phineas' interview at the Swamp Oil 500 so she can bust them. But by the time she does so, the interview has ended and she only sees a dandruff commercial. After Linda asks Candace, "Is there something you're trying to tell me?", we cut to Phineas in her tricked-out car at the starting line.
  • In The Raccoons episode "Easy Money!", Bert, Cedric, and Lisa go on a rescue mission to find Bentley after he gets lost in the Endless Echo Caverns. When Cedric points out that a stream used to flow through the caverns, Bert asks where all the water has gone. Cut to Bentley and the Pigs, whose area of the caverns they're trapped in is slowly filling with water.
  • In the Ren & Stimpy episode "Hermit Ren", Stimpy asks Ren if he had a nice day at work. The scene then cuts to Ren carrying a pink slip with skid marks on the back of his head, plus a knife and ""Kick Me" sign on his back.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle subverts this and combines this with Breaking the Fourth Wall in the Goof Gas storyline, after a think tank in Washington has sent their smartest investigator to investigate the country's brain drain, and he comes back as an idiot:
    Professor: We must start from the opposite direction. We have to find a stoop with no brain to affect. We need the services of the greatest numskull in America!
    (Dissolve to Bullwinkle)
    Bullwinkle: And that-
    The Narrator: No. (Bullwinkle looks at the camera, confused) You're getting ahead of the story.
    Bullwinkle: Oh.
    • And then played straight a few seconds later:
      Professor: (holding a piece of paper) Gentlemen, on this one nitwit rests the fate of our entire nation.
      Other Committee Members: And his name?
      (Dissolve to Rocky holding an envelope)
      Rocky: (reading the envelope) "Bullwinkle Moose, Frostbite Falls, Minnesota."
      Bullwinkle: Now?
      The Narrator: Yes, now.
      Bullwinkle: You called?
  • In the Rugrats episode "Sour Pickles", Grandpa Lou tells a story of when Stu and Drew got in trouble for fighting when they were babies.
    Didi: So what happened next, Pop?
    Lou: Well, I was angrier than a swarm of hornets. It was time to teach 'em a lesson.
    Angelica: What'd you do, Grandpa? Push 'em in the mud? Make 'em eat bugs? Put itching powder in their diapers?
    Lou: Nope. Something much worse...
    (flashback to Lou switching off the television set)
    Past!Lou: No more Blocky and Oxwinkle!
  • In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, the Queen of the Ren-Faire says to keep out people dressed as pirates because "Who knows what shambling low-lives will arrive?" Enter Shaggy and Scooby dressed as pirates.
  • South Park lampshades it in "Proper Condom Use" while explaining the problems with over reliance on in-school sex ed:
    Chef: I know it can be hard, parents, but if you leave it up to the schools to teach sex to kids, you don't know who they're learning it from. It could be from someone who doesn't know, [pans to Mr. Mackey] someone who has a bad opinion of it, [pans to Ms. Choksondik] or even a complete pervert. [pans to Mr. Garrison]
    Garrison: What— why did you pan to me just now? What the hell is that supposed to mean?
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "Graveyard Shift", when a mysterious customer visits the Krusty Krab at 3 a.m.:
      Squidward: What a stupid idea! Who wants a Krabby Patty at 3 in the morning?
      (cut to Patrick, sleeping. His alarm clock rings at 3 a.m.)
      Patrick: Oh boy, 3 a.m.! (opens his blanket to reveal a Krabby Patty underneath, eats it)
    • "The Smoking Peanut" has an interesting variation where the answer isn't exactly correct.
      SpongeBob: Now, let's see now. Who could never hate me no matter what I do?
      (cut to SpongeBob knocking on Squidward's door)
      SpongeBob: Squidward! Squidward! Oh, Squidward!
    • In "Clams", when Mr. Krabs announces that he's taking SpongeBob and Squidward on a trip in honor of him making his millionth dollar.
      Squidward: I can't believe it, Mr. Krabs! Where we going? Fancy Springs?
      Mr. Krabs: No.
      Squidward: Pamper Island?
      Mr. Krabs: Try again.
      Squidward: Ooh, ooh, Bikini Bottom Folk Village?
      Mr. Krabs: Better than that!
      (cut to all three on a boat wearing raincoats)
      Squidward: Clam fishing? This is the reward we get for all our hard work? Fishing for stinky clams on a smelly, old boat on a filthy lagoon?
    • In "Krusty Love", Mr. Krabs falls in love with Mrs. Puff and learns she's single despite her prefix.
      Mr. Krabs: Then what happened to Mr. Puff?
      (cut to a live-action shot of a hand turning on a blowfish lamp)
      SpongeBob: She doesn't like to talk about it.
    • In "Fear of a Krabby Patty", right when Plankton yells, "Why won't you wake up?!", we cut to the hypnosis-induced dream SpongeBob is having, which is curing his fear.
    • In "Jellyfish Jam", Squidward asks "How can you possibly have fun with a jellyfish?" Cue SpongeBob and the jellyfish dancing for 12 hours straight.
  • Teen Titans (2003) used a bit of a subversion. Robin is approached by Slade about joining him, and asks "Do we have a deal?" There's a shot of Starfire trying to reach Robin with her communicator, then we see Robin dressing up in his new outfit.
    • A straight (and very awesome) example occurs in the fifth season finale. The Brain is making his big villain gloat to a captured Robin, and at the end he asks, "Who among you can possibly stop me now?" It promptly cuts to Beast Boy. He's defeated the agents the Brain sent to take him out and blowing up his communicator and ship so they can't track him.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks:
    • Two of them in "No Small Parts":
      • Freeman is ready to take the Cerritos away from Beta III when she learns that there are still crewmembers planetside.
        Freeman: I didn't authorize that. Who is it?
        (cut to the surface)
        Mariner: Art supplies! Get your art supplies!
      • When Mariner explains her plan to upload a virus to the Pakled ship, Ransom says that whoever can create the virus "must be some kind of morally bankrupt genius". Cue Badgey.
    • Twice Played for Drama at the end of "Trusted Sources", where Captain Freeman transfers Mariner to Starbase 80 for allegedly badmouthing the crew to a visiting reporter, only for it to turn out she was actually praising them, leading to Freeman getting branded a monster by the media. As the main characters deal with this PR nightmare, Rutherford says "I can't imagine how the Captain's feeling" before cutting to Freeman anxiously trying to contact Starbase 80 to undo her mistake and save face. After learning that she'd quit Starfleet in disgust, a remorseful Freeman looks longingly into the vast emptiness of space and muses "Beckett, where are you?". Cut to Mariner riding in the ship of Petra Aberdeen, having the time of her life as a civilian.
  • A rather hilarious variation occurs at the very end of the Thomas & Friends movie Big World! Big Adventures!:
    Percy: If he's [Sir Topham Hatt's] not with you...
    Thomas: Then where in the world is he?!?
    [Cut to a northbound ship going to who-knows-where, where Sir Topham Hatt is still looking for Thomas until he encounters Ace.]
  • In the Total Drama special bridging Season 1 and Season 2, the contestants are fighting over the million dollar briefcase. When it lands in Lindsay's hands, Justin parachutes from the staff airplane. Cut to Chris and Chef watching from the "Playa De Losers" resort. When Chris rhetorically asks how Justin got the keys to the plane, his aide looks at an autographed photo of the mega-hot Justin, conceals it, and professes ignorance.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: Near the end of "Heart of the Lion", when Sendak's forces foil the Paladins' attempt to disable his Zaiforge cannons thanks to a traitor in their ranks.
    Keith: Sendak must have known we were coming! But how?!
    (cut to Sendak speaking to Admiral Sanda aboard his cruiser)
    Sendak: Your intel was correct after all.
  • Wander over Yonder: In the premiere episode "The Greatest", one of the Binglebops sees the devestation Lord Hater has wrought and cries out, "Oh, whoever will save us now?!" Cut to Wander and Sylvia on a hillside.



Gumball, Darwin and Masami are trapped in the basement and when Gumball calls for help, there's no one home. Gumball asks why and we see that his mother and father have taken his sister to the hospital.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (18 votes)

Example of:

Main / AnswerCut

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