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Boredom Montage

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A character is delighted at some job or performance he's been assigned and jumps into it with a bright beaming smile.

A series of repeating short scenes show the various tasks as they go by.

But as the montage repeats, the pace of the character's work begins to slow, the music tempo falls to a crawl, the happy smile becomes a scowl and with a final *clunk* the character stops what they're doing and yells "I can't take it anymore!" or words to that effect.

The repetition of the job has finally overcome him.

Common and easy to do in animated shows since the character animations can be recycled over and over to instantly create the effect.

Often involves the character's face holding in place (and slowly changing expression) while everything else happens around it. For added hilarity points, a character may look up at the clock after boredom has set in to see that a very short amount of time has passed.


Compare Writer's Block Montage. Can sometimes overlap with Time Passes Montage.


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    Comic Books 
  • In a DCAU comic book, Blue Beetle Ted Kord is on overnight monitor duty in the Watchtower. We see him pass the time by raiding the fridge, trying on other heroes' uniforms, and searching for himself on "Yahoogle".

    Films — Animation 
  • The opening number of Tangled is both this and an "I Want" Song, showing Rapunzel's frustration after being stuck in a tower for her entire life up to that point.
  • Shrek Forever After has a montage of Shrek getting increasingly agitated and annoyed with the things that go on in his life now that he's settled down with a family. It gets so redundant and irritating that Shrek regrets ever having a family.
  • Megamind has one after defeating the superhero defending the city. After looting all the banks, he runs out of ideas on what to do next, and ends up just staring at a dipping bird.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Little Shop of Horrors, the three employees of Mushnik's flower shop sitting around bored to show a complete lack of business. Then suddenly Audrey gets the idea of Seymour displaying his plant (Audrey 2) out the windows, and cash pours in by customers who feel obligated to fund the store for housing the unique plant, despite how sickly and small the plant was.
  • General Zod and his cohorts easily take over the White House with brutal force in Superman II. They soon realize that Victory Is Boring and decide to take down Superman in order to escape their boredom.
  • In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter gets locked in a high-security warehouse and decides to wait until morning and slip out during shift change. Then he realizes that his accelerated perception makes thirty-seven minutes feel like thirty-seven hours. He'd never noticed before because he always had stuff to do.
  • In Good Burger, after the opening of rival neighbor Mondo Burger, the crew of Good Burger become idle from a lack of work to do as nobody wants to buy food from them. Only Ed, the Cloud Cuckoolander who lives in his own little world, isn't bored since he occupies his mind stacking up good burgers into burger towers and sticking fries up his nose.
  • In The Martian, astronaut Mark Watney who is stuck on Mars quickly gets bored with his isolation and starts hunting for the most fun he can have on an empty, barren planet such as by driving his Rover and filling up his station with 1970s tunes to keep his mind occupied.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Stargate SG-1 episode "Window of Opportunity" has Jack and Teal'c caught in a "Groundhog Day" Loop where the only way out is to translate the writing on the device causing it, and the only ones who can do it are Jack and Teal'c since they're the only ones who'll remember. As they sit listening to Daniel try to teach them Ancient, a series of loops are shown with Jack getting more and more bored with each one, making paper balls, spinning his chair around... in one loop Daniel looks back to see Jack and Teal'c both juggling. It got to the point that they took some loops off to play around just to maintain their sanity and for Jack to kiss Carter.
    Daniel: Guys are you getting this, because this it important?
  • The episode "Welcome to Storybrooke" from Once Upon a Time has this montage for Queen/Mayor Regina. On the first day, she's high on her victory at "winning", due to finally being able to cast the Curse. However, because of the Curse, every day in Storybrooke is so similar it's effectively a mundane version of a "Groundhog Day" Loop. By day three, she's bored enough to run to Mr. Gold to complain about not being happy.
  • In The Big Bang Theory episode "The Pirate Solution", Sheldon and Raj have one while the prologue to Eye of the Tiger is playing, as they are stuck trying to solve a gamma ray equation.
  • When Samwell Tarly joins the Citadel in Game of Thrones, while he's never exactly delighted to be scrubbing old men's bedpans and lugging books around the library, he starts out an eager apprentice in expectation of his dream of being trained as a maester. As the montage drags on he becomes exhausted with the endless monotony.
  • The Crystal Maze: Contestants who completely messed up a challenge would be locked in. When the team had to decide whether to free them or not, there would be shot of the imprisoned contestants looking bored.

    Video Games 
  • In BattleToads (2020), after the toads are pulled out of the simulation bunker, they're left to get jobs. Zitz and Pimple handle theirs with ease, while Rash is shown handing out stamped papers with a smile that drops down after it's shown his job is handing the papers to a celebrity doing autographs.

  • At the far, far end of Kid Radd, Bogey, a bottom-level enemy from Kid Radd's video game, is relegated to walking back and forth in a tiny two-dimensional grid. He seems to like it a lot until he doesn't; fortunately, it also turns out that he can just turn to one side and hop out.

    Western Animation 
  • In Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "Laugh Ed Laugh", the Eds have one when they can't pull off scams to make money as the Cul-de-sac is sick with chickenpox with Ed even drawing circles in the ground and later on they settle for a mundane, boring game of "Kick the Can". Eventually, the lack of kids to scam becomes too much for Eddy to handle and he goes insane.
  • Dexter's Laboratory:
    • In "Space Case", after aliens kidnap Dee Dee, Dexter's newfound joy of being able to experiment without interruption gradually fades as guilt sets in.
    • "Dee Dee and the Man"; after Dexter "fires" Dee Dee, he repeatedly goes through his routine in the lab with manic glee that gradually fades to despair when he starts to miss Dee Dee's antics.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • "Squidville": Squidward moves into a new neighborhood where everyone has the same interests and hobbies as he does, and gradually gets sick of doing the same things every day, as shown in the page image.
    • A few Krusty Krab episodes such as "Employee of the Month" and "Can You Spare a Dime?" have Squidward reading magazines, sleeping or counting the suckers on his tentacles whenever there's no customers.
  • Rocko's Modern Life:
    • "Schnit-Heads": Heifer joins a sausage cult and started eating nothing but delicious sausages. At first he enjoys it but then he gets bored.
    • In "Old Fogey Froggy," Ed is seen happily going through life back in The '60s as a handsome, young, newlywed go-getter. In The '90s, he's slowed down and become unhappy. It's implied that these are the Book Ends to such a montage, wherein Ed becomes more dissatisfied with life.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Rainbow Dash goes through one of these in "Read It and Weep" while stuck in the hospital recovering from an injury. Subverted when she glances up at a clock, showing that the montage wasn't a montage - everything we just saw happened in real time.
  • In Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Camp Keep a Good Mac Down", Bloo has one when he's put in charge of fishing but he's not having any luck. He then hoists the fishing duty on Coco, and she immediately catches a huge salmon. (Or techincally, the salmon caught her).
  • When Pinky and the Brain begin a seven-month submarine journey, Pinky doesn't take it so well. The montage could have accounted for more than half the time, but it turns out to be only 15 minutes.
  • On an episode of American Dad! Francine is shown performing the same cooking, cleaning and other mundane daily activities repeated over several days, to the tune of ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky". Her expression changes from her usual perky self to completely bored and deflated. Also her cooking gradually "deteriorates" as she loses her enthusiasm to the point where she is cooking zucchini slice. Horror ensues.
  • Steven Universe: In "Frybo", this happens to Peedee when he rides the seahorse at the arcade. When his face goes in and out of camera range, his expression slowly changes from excitement to boredom.


Video Example(s):


O'Neill & Teal'c are Bored

O'Neill & Teal'c are bored & while translating text in a time loop with Daniel.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / BoredomMontage

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