Follow TV Tropes


Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!

Go To
...what's dis ting do 'gain?

"Hi, Tick! I'm your mind! Sorry we don't talk much, but I'm easily distracted by shiny objects."
The Tick's Mind, The Tick

Hello, Tropers. Welcome to the page of multiple interruptions for picking up stuff off the — Ooh, a page telling us to describe this trope here!

In media, the symptoms of attention deficit disorders tend to be exaggerated to the point of absurdity. Sufferers seem to be on a constant caffeine high. They are unable to maintain focus on anything for more than a few minutes before getting distracted by a shiny object, hence the trope title.

In reality, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) consists of a whole set of symptoms, some detrimental and some beneficial. For example, one person with ADHD might be very social and loves talking to different people, gets excited about discovering new things, and sometimes loses track of what's happening around them; and another might be reclusive and shy and unable to perform well in a controlled setting, but really opens up with a close friend or when talking about something that interests them (for more information on ADHD in real life, see our useful notes page).

There are a few simple reasons for this trope. First is a rampant misunderstanding about what ADHD actually is (in which case you should go do some research), resulting in the oversimplification and exaggeration.note  Second, it's much funnier to have a character who just fidgets and spaces out occasionally without having to worry about the realism of adding other dimensions to their personality.

If this type of character has Animal Motifs, they're often associated with dogs, squirrels, kittens, or ferrets.

See also Hollywood Psych, Hollywood Autism, The Schizophrenia Conspiracy, and "L" Is for "Dyslexia". Similar types include the Absent-Minded Professor, Forgetful Jones, and the Cloudcuckoolander (who may or may not have a disorder). This exaggeration is frequently seen in Genki Girls and Keets. Can often overlap with Easily Impressed where people are amazed easily rather than distracted. These symptoms are well within the very wide range of symptoms that you might see in any character with an unspecified diagnosis. Attention Deficit Creator Disorder may be what you get when an artistically inclined individual has a case of this in Real Life.

Closely related is What Does This Button Do?, which you can expect to hear often from such individuals. Hilarity may or may not ensue. Liable to Forget To Eat, right up until the point that a Delicious Distrac- HEY! Are those chocolate chip cookies?! Mmmm....

Not to Be Confused withoh, wow! Look at all the examples!

Woo, example subpages!

Hey, what's this? More examples?

    open/close all folders 

    Card Games 

  • Bill Burr on his podcast takes an adult ADD Test at his wife's insistence, and despite his claims he didn't have it, couldn't even make it through the first question without being distracted.

    Comic Books 
  • Deadpool: Deadpool has complete ADD, along with a very unique form of insanity.
  • Green Lantern: Larfleeze, a.k.a. Agent Orange. His greed makes him distracted to almost anything, making his scenes hilarious. In fact, he says that shiny things are his weakness.
  • Impulse: Bart Allen, the aptly codenamed Impulse. Until he got kneecapped, read an entire library in under 2 hours, and took up the Kid Flash mantle. So, apparently, the (temporary) cure for ADHD is kneecapping. It came back when he came Back from the Dead in Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds.
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Johnny seems to have ADD trouble. On a positive note, it makes it hard for him to commit suicide because he tends to lose focus on it halfway through. It got downplayed as the series got Cerebus Syndrome, though. Jhonen Vasquez is apparently very close to a Real Life example of this.
  • Loki: In Loki (2019) #1, it’s not long before Loki leaves Jotunheim out of boredom to go gambling in a supervillain casino.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): Bean the Dynamite, occasionally. In his first appearance, Fiona distracts him by throwing some shiny keys away. Later, Sally does almost exactly the same thing with one of his own bombs.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes has definite traits of this, though he's most often distracted by his own fantasies and daydreams rather than anything external.
    • Which is a symptom/behaviour that some people with ADHD experience in Real Life.
  • While not a commentary on ADHD, there was a strip from The Far Side showing a group of warriors storming a castle, running across the moat bridge while one guy points to the water and exclaims "Ooh, goldfish, everyone, goldfish!" Gary Larson stated that he's fond of that one because "that's me on the bridge."
  • A Frazz comic calls this "A.D.H.L.A.S." or "Attention-Defi-Hey-Look-A-Squirrel".
  • Garfield was grateful for the trope when a dog that was chasing him suddenly decided to chase the mailman instead. The dog then decided to chase a squirrel instead of the mailman.
  • In a series of early Peanuts strips, Lucy is shown to be a golf prodigy. Charlie Brown notes: "You're going to make a great golfer [...] if only you didn't lose interest so fast..." as she sits down in the sand to make a sand castle.

    Eastern European Animation 
  • Masha and the Bear: The hyperactive Masha can easily be distracted by things that surround her.

    Films — Animation 
  • Aladdin has the Genie, a character reflecting Robin Williams's stream of consciousness, which goes from Jack Nicholson to vintage cars, true love and speaking animals in less than a minute. Cloud Cuckoo Lander on crack, if you will.
  • Cars 2: At the World Grand Prix kickoff party, Mater scatters off and Lightning tries to watch him, but gets called away by two of the other racers to talk with them.
  • The Emperor's New Groove: When Yzma tries to make up an excuse for running the kingdom behind his back, Kuzco is more focused on studying her face. And a piece of food stuck in her teeth.
    Kuzco: [thinking] Whoa. Look at these wrinkles. What is holding this woman together? What the— how long has that been there?
  • Finding Nemo: Dory fits the bill, though her "disorder" is rather attributed to a condition of "short term memory loss". As she can only remember a relatively short span of time clearly, it's easy for her to forget what she was originally doing and thus is likely to switch to a new topic. It runs in her family... she thinks. This is actually a disorder known as Anterograde Memory Dysfunction or AMD. This is the same mental condition shown in the Christopher Nolan movie Memento.
  • In the Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Cosmic Clash animated film, Supergirl exhibits this trait when a cute kitten makes her distracted while fighting an army of robots: "Focused? Oh, they don't come much more focused than me, Cyborg. Oh, look! A kitten!"
  • In Monsters vs. Aliens, both Insectosaurus and B.O.B. are like this. The former because he has the personality of a dog. The latter because he has no brain (turns out you don't need one). Both of them were distracted during the fight with a giant alien robot.
  • The "What's This" sequence in The Nightmare Before Christmas: Jack even ends up running into a pole. This, naturally, leads some fans to speculate that Jack has ADD. This is most likely not the case: Jack had been doing the same thing, in the same place, in the same way for an untold number of years. This was the first time he had seen anything like this; he's not distracted by "the shiny" as much as he's trying to take it all in at once while being very (musically) enthusiastic about it.
  • Hammy in Over the Hedge behaves in a hyper, caffeinated manner and exhibits Hollywood's definition of ADD. A plot point relies on giving caffeine to th— SQUIRREL!!
  • All of the dogs in the Pixar film Up seem to have thi—SQUIRREL!!... ... ...s problem. And a new meme is born. Note that this may not be an accurate representation of human ADHD, but it's a much more accurate representation of dog psychology. If there's even a suspicion, a dog will do exactly what it does in the movie, minus speaking — jerk its head away and stare waiting to see its target. If it spots it, it wi— SQUIRREL! ...will typically bark or growl uncontrollably.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In every adaptation of 12 Angry Men, Juror #12 is the most easily distracted member of the jury. To be fair, jury duty can be excruciatingly boring.
  • The 1972 live-action adaptation of 1776 had this little bit, when John Adams was addressing Senator Chase, who was enjoying his lunch? Dinner? On the matter of American independence:
    Adams: America awaits on your decision, Chase. The whole world waits on your decision. [beat, points towards Chase's plate] What's that, kidney? [Chase angrily slaps Adams' finger away from his food]
  • Doug Remer in BASEketball seems to suffer from this. It serves as a demonstration for one of the reasons Ted Denslow is so interested in his Coop Cooper's new sport.
    Denslow: People today have attention spans that can only be measured in nanoseconds!
    (Coop looks over to see Remer staring at a bird)
    Coop: I hear you.
  • The movie Charlie Bartlett has a scene involving the title character taking too much Ritalin. It was depicted as causing him to run around, singing in his underpants.
  • Clerks: The stupid customers...
    Video store customer: Do you have that one with that guy who was in the movie that was out last year? ...Oooo! Navy Seals!
  • Used in the Dungeons & Dragons (2000) film. When Ridley and Snails are sneaking into the magic school, Snails is in a position where he's too scared to jump down a few feet, and Ridley says he'll catch him. Cue Ridley being distracted by an off-screen creature grunting and drawing his attention for just the right moment.
    Ridley: Sorry. I thought I heard something.
    Snails: You did. Me hittin' the ground.
  • In the Iron Man films, Tony Stark's eccentric nature makes him prone to zoning out of what he's supposed to be doing.
    Stern: Mr. Stark? Mr. STARK!
    Tony: [turns around] Hmm, yes, dear?
  • The main character's younger sister in the film Pecker is diagnosed with ADHD, when in reality she just consumes way, way, way too much sugar. After being prescribed Ritalin, she acts quite zombie-ish, culminating with her nearly choking on a pill after she refuses to wash it down with a soda. By the end of the film, she's off both the sugar and the meds.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog has the title Sonic, whose Super-Speed causes his attention to move as fast as him, which results in it rapidly jumping from one thing to the next as they catch his attention.
  • Venom: Venom shows shades of this, owing to his nature as an alien with non-human priorities.
    Dapper dog-walker: Hey. Don't give up on her. Either of you.
    Eddie: We won't.
    Venom: Who was that guy? [notices dog] Wait, this thing looks delicious!
  • The White Balloon: Child protagonist Razieh can't walk for a minute without focusing on something that she has never seen or is forbidden to see. Her curiosity is what causes her to lose the 500 toman bill that she wants to buy a goldfish with.

  • The obligatory Lightbulb Joke:
    Alice: How many kids with A.D.D. does it take to change a light bulb?
    Bob: How ma—
    Alice: Hey, wanna go ride bikes?
  • One comedian talked about his difficulties in school:
    "They said I had A-D-H- that's a nice necklace!"
  • Referenced in a Bill Engvall sketch about parent-teacher conferences. The teacher asks if there's a history of ADD in the family, and Bill says "Yes, we add, subtract, multiply... why are you spelling it?" His wife then says, "M-O-R-O-N. She means attention deficit disorder." And by that point, Bill is looking out the window at birds.
  • As seen on an A.D.D. T-shirt:
    "I don't have A.D.D., I'm just — look, a chicken!"

  • In the Amber Brown books, Amber can sometimes be easily distracted. She has to go for special classes because she has trouble concentrating to take standardized tests.
  • Isaac Asimov's "The Author's Ordeal": In this case, the "shiny" is the new Science Fiction plot in the author's head. It is sufficiently distracting that a traffic accident is caused when you sideswipe another car.
  • In The Camp Half-Blood Series, pretty much all half-bloods are ADHD. The explanation given is that it's their natural battle reflexes and helps to keep them alive in battle (which they go through on a regular basis).
  • In the Clémentine books, especially in the earlier titles, Clementine has to be reminded often to pay attention in school and has trouble sitting still. As she explains...
    "Clementine, you need to pay attention!" the art teacher said one more time. And just like the other times, I was paying attention. I was paying attention to Margaret's empty seat.
  • Greebo from Discworld tends to keep his cat personality even when human, which leads to a somewhat ADD-esque behaviour pattern.
  • In The Extraordinaries Nick Bell is canonically has ADHD.
  • In Fire Engine By Mistake, a fire engine driving through the countryside is such a novelty that sheep stop nibbling, cows stop chewing, and horses stop dusting each other with their tails.
  • In Genie Team G Jiken Note, Nako's issue with inattentiveness causes lots of problems for her; right in the beginning of her spinoff she was on the verge of being expelled from Shumei Seminar not only for her poor grades, but also due to her being seen as a troublemaker who disturbs other students. This is despite the fact that in terms of raw intelligence, she's the highest of the Tachibana siblings.
  • I Need A Wee: Alan keeps being distracted from his need to use the bathroom by seeing random things he wants.
  • Helen Burns from Jane Eyre probably had inattentive type ADD. The list of personal flaws Helen confesses to Jane all match the diagnostic criteria: "I am... slatternly; I seldom put, and never keep, things in order; I am careless; I forget rules; I read when I should learn my lessons; I have no method; and sometimes I say... I cannot bear to be subjected to systematic arrangements." She goes on to describe how, although she does very well in classes that catch her interest, her thoughts "continually rove away" during uninteresting lessons.
  • Joey Pigza, the title character from his series of books has ADHD and a central point of the series is his ongoing struggle to think before he acts and learn to calm down. By the end of the first book, he changes his medication and then a central element in the second book is his newfound ability to calm down and think.
  • The Bandar-Log (monkeys) of The Jungle Book are this. We're told that nothing they ever do lasts more than five minutes because they're distracted by something else, and would likely have forgotten Mowgli in the snakepit after kidnapping him.
  • Katt vs. Dogg: Both Molly and Oscar are easily distracted by small animals. It's what got them lost in the woods in the first place (Molly got lost chasing a butterfly, and Oscar got lost chasing a flying squirrel).
  • In The League of Peoples 'Verse, the entire Cashling species suffer from this: always bored, easily distracted, and unable to focus their attention on anything for very long.
  • David suffers from this problem while trying to study at the beginning of The Magic Map. Not because he has ADHD, but because his geography book is so boring that it’s legitimately more fun to watch two ants carrying a twig.
  • Elin from Of Fear and Faith is easily distracted by all kinds of things, including bugs, noises and pickles, and her narration will sometimes take notice of and ramble on about random pieces of scenery that are completely unimportant to anything other than Elin's curiosity (such as the aforementioned pickles).
  • In Anne Bishop's The Others Series, the Crowgard fit this behaviour to a T. Really reinforced by the revelation that the Crowgard of the Lakeside Courtyard run a shop called Sparkle and Junk.
  • In Phenomena a character says that both main characters have this. It's said to be a strength. The author has it himself, and has said that he finds it really hard to focus on writing at times.
  • Mr. Smith, father of P. G. Wodehouse's Psmith.
  • In the somewhat farcical Star Wars Expanded Universe novel Darksaber this trope becomes a crucial "plot point", as the Hutts' titular superweapon is let down by the Taurill workers who constructed it, who as a race seem to have this trope as their Hat. They're very fast workers, but something as simple as a passing asteroid can distract the whole Hive Mind and have them all shift positions for a better view — so when they start working again, they're in the wrong places, putting the wrong parts together. The resulting superweapon is completely nonfunctional.
  • The Spren Sylphrena or "Syl" in The Stormlight Archive is very curious, excitable, and easily distracted by something new. In Rhythym of War, she admits that she feels like she has two brains; A rational brain that can focus on important topics, and a childlike brain that constantly jumps to the nearest thing she notices. She regrets that her impulsiveness usually wins out.
  • In The Time Machine, the Time Traveller's description of the demeanor of the Eloi matches the DSM's criteria for inattentive ADHD.
    A queer thing I soon discovered about my little hosts, and that was their lack of interest. They would come to me with eager cries of astonishment, like children, but like children, they would soon stop examining me and wander away after some other toy.
  • Nathan in You Are Dead (Sign Here Please) pays very little attention to what's going on around him and tends to drift off and start thinking about cereal jingles when people try to tell him more than a few sentences at a time.

  • System of a Down has oft-changing time signatures and desperate, screaming lyrics in their songs to mimic the signs of Attention Deficit Disorder, according to Word of God. They also take stances against the pharmaceutical drugging of youth, with the title track off of the album Toxicity representing the poison of complacency that medication offers, in their opinion.

    Myths & Religion 
  • According to one Japanese creation myth, mankind has this trope to thank for mortality. The legend goes that, when the creator god got around to making humans, he asked the chief god in the heavens what he should make them out of. The chief god originally instructed him to make humankind out of wood; however, he later changed his mind, and sent an otter to the creator god instructing him to make humans out of stone instead. Along the way, the otter got distracted by a pool of fish, and as a result he ended up delivering the message after mankind had already been created. According to the myth, mankind would have been nearly indestructible had it been made from stone like the chief god intended.
  • The reason that the Dog came in as one of the later animals in the Chinese Zodiac is because of this trope. It got distracted by all kinds of things and spent way too long playing in the water, so that it could be considered a miracle that it made it to the list of12 at all.

  • How Did We Get Here?: The podcast is based upon this idea, as the hosts constantly get off topic and don't stay on any given topic for much time. Jacob has stated that he has ADHD and joked that this podcast was based on it.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • A frequent aspect of wrestling matches is the "distraction", where it often leads to cheating... or, in the broadest sense affects the outcome of the match. A typical example is someone coming to the ring to taunt his foe, the foe going over to argue with them, and the foe's opponent for the match (which may only be starting right at that moment) sneaking up from behind and rolling him up for the pin. Another example is the manager, valet or other second distracting the Easily-Distracted Referee long enough for a rule-breaking wrestler to use a foreign object to hit his opponent, knock him unconscious and get a win. During tag-team matches, one of the partners of the face team will try to get the referee to notice illegal double-teaming of his partner by the heel team, but the referee is preoccupied with trying to escort him — the non-legal face wrestler — out of the ring.
  • George Steele: Bobby "the Brain" Heenan once exploited Steele's crush for Miss Elizabeth by bringing out a poster of the beautiful valet of Randy Savage to "the Animal's" match against "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff and showing it to him at critical points in the match. Orndorff was able to get an easy win over the lovestruck Steele.
  • Miss Elizabeth: Played the part perfectly during the Hulk Hogan-Randy Savage vs. Ted DiBiase-André the Giant match at the 1988 Summer Slam, when — just as it seemed the hellish Mega Bucks team had victory wrapped up — she took off her skirt to reveal a bikini bottom. DiBiase was stunned and couldn't concentrate, and heel-leaning referee Jesse Ventura was also distracted (Andre, portrayed by the announcers as also being distracted, was actually yelling at Ventura to pay attention to the match). All this distraction allowed Hogan and Savage to regain their bearings and rally to a victory.
  • "Sick" Nick Mondo admitted he used to have this problem, linking his inability to pay attention to his discovery of the fact there are professional wrestling schools.
  • Maria Kanellis once lost a match because she was too busy posing for pictures being taken by the troops in Iraq to notice her tag team partner Candice Michelle needed a break against Trish Stratus and was trying to tag out.
  • Leva Bates once lost a triple threat match to Su Yung because she was too busy doing an impression for the fans of the woman she just appropriated her new bandana from to notice La Rosa Negra was being pinned by Yung.

    Puppet Shows 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Kender race in the Dragonlance setting embodies this trope. They even have a racial ability to "Detect Shiny".
    • The distract spell (3.5th Edition, Spell Compendium) can give this condition to several foes, making them fascinated by everything around them for a short moment. It inflicts serious penalties on skills such as Concentration, Spot, Listen and Search, and makes them unable to act as much as normal since they can get distracted even mid-combat.
  • The Batwinged Bimbo From Hell class in Macho Women with Guns (both being Exactly What It Says on the Tin, by the way) has access to the skill "distort reality"; by shifting their attention completely to something like their nail polish, a run in their stockings, or a shiny object, they can avert any attack by not paying any attention to it at all. If the skill roll succeeds, the attack instead targets another player.
  • Goblins of Pathfinder have this problem, to the point where nothing can hold their attention for more than a few seconds. This ADOS even shows up in the middle of combat, when a goblin may waste a turn to do something completely stupid.
  • Warhammer:
    • There is a running joke among players that creatures with the Stupidity rule (which means there is a chance the unit will do nothing other than wander forward a few inches for a turn) suffer from this, in particular Dark Elf Cold Ones (dinosaur horse thingies) thinking "kill kill kill kill, ooooh shiny".
    • This is actually accurate in the case of Sigvald the Magnificent, who at random times during the battle will actually become so distracted by how awesome and shiny his armour is that he will stop fighting and demand that his henchmen polish it and tell him how wonderful he is.
  • Corax in Werewolf: The Apocalypse have this as one of their racial flaws. Their other flaw being an allergy to gold, this doesn't usually work out too well for them.

  • In Hadestown, during "Road to Hell," Orpheus is distracted from cleaning tables by a red dishrag and uses it as musical inspiration. He misses his cue from Hermes and only notices the audience when his name's called again.
  • The Marriage of Figaro (Cherubino) and The Magic Flute (Papageno), both composed by Mozart. Those who were close to the composer marveled at how familiar the characters seemed.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • Button's Adventures: Button is highly impulsive and forgetful of his belongings, but can also be held captivated by his gaming for long periods of time.
  • Atlus employees suffer this, at least according to Yahtzee's review of Catherine:
    Atlus developer: ... Wait, I'm confused. What was I fixing again? Oh, look! A puppy!
  • Captain Distraction is about a superhero who gets easily distracted.
  • Chicken of Chicken And Moose has this, seemingly paired with hallucinations. He gets distracted by a "rainbow," which is actually an oil slick.
  • Jafar winds up distracted by Frollo's fishing line during a climactic battle in The Frollo Show, much like Ganondorf from Twilight Princess above.
  • Happy Tree Friends: Nutty has a hard time focusing on anything that's not candy or sugar-related.
  • Isabelle Ruins Everything: The Mayor gets everyone to forget about the protest by pulling out a butterfly from his pocket and telling them to "go get it."

  • Crops up very frequently in Survival of the Fittest. Some portrayals of ADHD (such as Lance Barrett) are very low-key and realistic. Others, however, like with Owen Fontaine, are of the plain old bouncing off the walls variety.

    Web Original 
  • Uncyclopedia has a self-demonstrating article on the subject.
  • The Monday Morning Mooks can rarely finish a sentence, let alone a discussion
  • WALLE Forum Roleplay: Spectrum, oh so very much.
    Spectrum: Hi! You're colorful!
  • Whateley Universe example: Joanne Gunnarson, code name Murphy, but her problem is written fairly accurately. Has ADHD, and has just manifested as a mutant so her meds don't work right. Spends all her time walking around drinking coffee. When she gets distracted or upset, her power kicks in, which is bad. She's a Reality Warper, and reality usually warps so that she gets the short end of the stick.
  • Brandon from Trinton Chronicles has this problem.
  • My Opinions On Every Pokemon Ever: "Ooh, look! He's wearing a bowtie!"
  • NigaHiga on YouTube claims to have ADHD and has vlog segments of what he's like when he's "Off the Pill".
  • Noka: Found has the brilliant idea of smashing the furniture down and refashioning all of it into a fort-igloo hybrid. Albeit, he did almost none of the work and spent most of the time searching for his bacon-print underwear to fly as the fort's flag, he still managed to convince Abel and Solo to help him.
    Found: ...Convince?
    Az: Yes! Convince! How do you sell someone the angle of "Wanna destroy the furniture in this room and turn it into a fort? We can stick my underwear on top and call it the flag!" — actually that's pretty convincing in itself...
  • Dan Carlin's hardcore history says that the Romans describe Germanic invaders in more or less this way. Tall, strong, unbelievably brave, skillful with weapons, a monstrous horde descending on Rome! Then they get distracted by Spain for a few years.
  • #6 on Cracked's If Everything Got An Adorable Mascot is Addie the ADHD tornado. "Let us help you learn to cope with... Ohh!!! Shiny!!!"
  • In Worm, Kid Win is constantly leaving his projects half-done thanks to this. It's notably portrayed as a serious frustration for him, on top of his many other stresses.
  • In Constable Frozen's photo edit Go Away Anna, Anna breaks down the door of Elsa's ice palace, only to be distracted by her pizza.
  • Cao Cao in Farce of the Three Kingdoms, although Guo Jia and Big Xun usually manage to keep him on track.
  • Nobody Here: "Dreaming" shows an animation of someone repeatedly writing the phrase "i will not dream", but if the cursor is left idle for long enough, they will get distracted and begin doodling on the page until the cursor is moved again.

    Web Videos 
  • Call Me Kevin is, by his own admission, very easily distracted.
    Kevin: (playing Vampire Survivors) My attention span has been compared to a squirrel.
  • Newer to the Let's Play scene team Drak and Shadow Let's Plays also have a serious problem with waning conversations. Their Let's Play of Shadows of the Empire particularly This episode where they go off on just about anything BUT the game they're playing. Both are well aware of this fact.
  • This completely derailed Funday Night Gaming's Let's Play of Skyblock in Minecraft for most of the series.
  • The Game Grumps often put their conversations on hold when something unexpected pops up in the game they're playing.
    • Of specific note, is whenever they get into a row over what is and isn't a Kaiju. It's happened enough times to be significant with arguments between Arin, Ross, and Holly over whether Clifford the Big Red Dog, Paul Bunyan, Dan if he was twice as big, King Kong, Big Bird, and "that giant chicken from YouTube" are or are not a Kaiju, and they actually get pretty heated complete with mic drops. They stopped for about 5 straight minutes to argue the fact during their stream of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, until Dan had enough and demanded they keep playing... and the arguing continued for another good 10 minutes or so while Arin half-assedly played.
  • It's Alive! with Brad: Whenever Brad Leone gets distracted in the kitchen, which is often, the editor will throw in some bizarre cartoon (a pickle playing drums), sound effects (That Poor Cat), or Caption Humor.
  • Markiplier has claimed to have been diagnosed with ADHD in at least one of his videos.
  • Matthew Santoro:
    • In Do You Have a Short Attention Span?, Matt says that he doesn't have a short attention span, and immediately gets distracted by a bird.
    • In The A.D.D Test, Matt says that he doesn't get distracted easily, and immediately gets distracted by a bird.
  • New Life SMP:
    • Much of Katherine's 1st episode is spent on her being distracted by rocks and sticks on the ground, modded mechanisms, pretty flowers, and cute animals, then her chiding herself for being distracted.
    • Sparrow repeatedly shows this trait, especially during his stints of being non-human:
      • As a Copper Golem, he's quite easily distracted by buttons and has to restrain himself from pushing them whenever he sees one. The first time he finds out he can gain redstone dust from this, he immediately gets distracted by this ability to the point it takes Scott stopping by for a visit and physically breaking the button (after gaining 7 stacks of redstone) for him to snap out of it.
      • While holding the Sculk origin, he's still repeatedly distracted by various ventures on his journeys — even with a fixed goal in mind, if he stumbles across any big, at times cursed structures, he'll explore it.
  • The Nostalgia Chick:
    • Similarly, the Chick gets constantly distracted by puppies, cute jewelry or her team's antics.
    • Speaking of her team, Dr. Tease gets distracted by gerbils when she's trying to warn the Chick that Dark Nella is closer than she thinks.
  • The Nostalgia Critic during FernGully 2: "Is this what you humans call ADD? I feel like I can't focus on anythin– oooh, a housefly." (moves off after it) He also displays this in other reviews, especially when he wanders off during a boring film.
  • PeanutButterGamer shows shades of this during the Hardcore series or other Let's Plays. In his Super Mario 64 LP on the DS, he mentions in his first video wanting to explain why he's playing on the DS and not the Virtual Console 64 version. He forgets it during that video and has to focus multiple times to recall he hasn't explained yet in the second video. In one livestream, he mentions that both viewers and friends have suggested he may have ADHD, but hasn't really bothered to get a professional opinion on it.
  • ScrewAttack: Stuttering Craig suffered from it during his Vortex review.
    Stuttering Craig: Seeing something pretty will never be more important than gameplAY- what is that over there. [pauses] That looks really– I'll be right back. Hold on. That looks really cool. [runs off] IT'S SO SHINY!
  • Travis from SMPLive gets distracted very easily. It makes sense given his IRL counterpart actually does have ADHD.
  • SuperMarioLogan:
    • In the episode "Bowser's Cookies", Chef Pee Pee tells Toad to watch the cookies in the oven, and not to get distracted. And then:
      Toad: Don't get distracted. Don't get distracted. Don't get distracted. Don't get— (GASP) KITTY!
      [switch to another scene]
      Toad: Kitty! I know where you're in! (chuckles) I'm-a get you! Come here! Come here, where are you?
    • Bowser Junior himself is also prone to this. In "Bowser Junior's Candy Bar!", he says that he would not want anything at the gas station (Chef Pee Pee went there with him to buy something), but a Gilligan Cut occurs and he gets distracted by the candy being sold there. He winds up stealing a Hershey's candy bar.
  • YouTube personality Tobuscus is this trope personified in his "Lazy Vlog" series, which are often more of a Motor Mouth-fueled stream of consciousness than anything planned. Some recurring distractions approach the level of catchphrases, such as "Ooh, an airplane!" or "Hot hot hot!" when seeing an attractive female. He also has a Let's Play channel (called TobyGames), in which he can be counted on to constantly lose track of what he's supposed to be doing, leading to amusing (if occasionally frustrating) misadventures.
  • Vsauce: Michael will often get sidetracked and start talking about something only tangentially related to the subject in the video's title. Michael justifies it in video; his goal is to discuss and teach any subjects that he can with the questions in the title only being "hooks" to get the viewer's attention.
  • An average stream by Joel from Vinesauce (Vargskelethor) will go like this: Joel will play a game, go on a tangent about a topic after seeing something in a game or talking about it, spend several minutes looking up pictures and videos of it, go back to the game, and repeat. Other times, he'll spend way too much time Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer or doing something silly in a game, sometimes to the point until the game literally crashes.

Ooh, another trope!

Alternative Title(s): Distracted By The Shiny, Easily Distracted, No Attention Span, Attention Deficit Oh Shiny


Run Away Rayman!!!

Rayman rapidly runs away from raving, rampaging Rabbids!!!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChaseScene

Media sources: