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"Screw this quandary with a fucking jackhammer. Let us just talk about whatever we were discussing before this shitstorm started flailing about the room."
The God-Emperor of Mankind, If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device

Some characters feel a current line of discussion is really inappropriate, and they make it clear they should move on to something else. Sometimes they say "moving on" or "I'd rather not talk about it", or just leap into another topic.

Reasons the current subject isn't working can vary. It may be too Squicky for the character's comfort, might be close to personal events they've experienced, or even something like a Metaphorgotten line.

When Played for Laughs, the character will sometimes say "How 'bout those [local sports team]" or Talk About the Weather.

There's a hand gesture that shows up frequently in anime and manga that means basically this.

Compare Stunned Silence and Shutting Up Now. Contrast Digging Yourself Deeper (trying to talk your way out of an uncomfortable subject, and utterly failing).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Monster Rancher: After Hare angrily defends the absent Tiger's strength, Holly comments on how unusual it is for him to stand up for his rival. Suezo starts teasing him, only for Hare to firmly suggest that they drop the matter:
    Suezo: Does Tiger know he's got a fan~?
    Hare: (pressing up against Suezo's eyeball to scream in his face) Grrraaaaaaaahhhhh—! Let's just change the subject because we can't do anything anyway!
  • In Saint Beast, Luca is the main instigator of this, knowing that relating mutinous sentiments is very dangerous under the tyrannical rule of Zeus. Pandora also tries to guide Judas away from defiance at the end of the prequel series, but Judas indicates that he's done silencing himself and intends to openly defy Zeus' rule.
  • Snow White with the Red Hair: In a sidestory Rona gets a cold and can't attend a ball she was looking forward to so requests Eugena describe it when he visits her sickbed afterwards. He tries to talk to her about books she could read while abed instead since he spent the ball wishing he could leave and hiding behind Sakaki.

    Comic Books 
  • Beasts of Burden: In "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie", after the Orphan gives his somber insight into life as a stray, the dogs all look at each other uncomfortably, and Whitey makes a feeble attempt to change the subject.
    Whitey: ....Say...uh...anybody wanna bat a ball around or something?

    Fan Works 
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Peter smells after living on the streets for days, so Izuku shows him the public baths. Being an American, he's not particularly enthused about the idea, so Izuku offers to show him inside. Peter quickly asks to change the subject while doing his best to forget the idea of being led by a naked, awkward teenager into a bathhouse full of other naked men.
  • Boldores And Boomsticks:
    • When Team RWBY and Riley are comparing notes, Weiss asks who unlocked Blake's Aura. She's clearly uncomfortable having to talk about her former mentor Adam, and so Yang abruptly asks Lucario what being inside a Pokéball is like. Lucario notices the intent and doesn't fight it.
    • When Team RWBY are uncomfortable after explaining the bigotry that Faunus suffer on Remnant, Gary says "Speaking of changing the subject..."
    • When Will brings Team RWBY and Casey to Alola, his Xatu brings up incidents that occurred in bars on previous visits to Alola, causing him to change the subject, and rather loudly.
  • In A Change in Destiny Harry briefly mentions his abusive relatives and several of his friends give speculative looks.
    Hermione: Oh, look at that cloud! Doesn't it look like a bird?
  • The Chosen One and The Half-Blood Prince:
    Ginny: Eli, how have you already encountered Harry's hospital wing avoiding tendencies? It better not be what I think it is.
    Eli: I think you know that it is what you think it is.
    Harry: It wasn't that big of a deal. How long do you think the Fat Lady has been trying to break that glass for?
  • At the end of Chapter 36 of The Command Quarters, Megatron asks Starscream what the latter was doing in the oil baths, which are off-limits to everyone regardless of rank. Starscream distracts him by having sex with him.
  • Date A Live: Altered Timeline: Phantom is explaining trying to explain things to Tohka, and tells her to seek out Shinji and Mana, when Tohka mentions that she has an important question that she wants to ask them to ask them:
    Tohka: I want to know why the taller of the two (Shinji) didn't have these on his chest! (pushes her breasts up)
    Phantom: (while turning completely pink) Uh... t-the reason you need to find them is because t-they're important to the Spirits, and that's all I c-can say about it for now, so... please d-don't ask any further on that subject.
    Tohka: (thinking) She completely ignored my question!
  • In Death Note: The Abridged Series (kpts4tv), when Misa cheers that Light's plan must have worked perfectly and then the show jumps to a Description Cut that shows it most definitely did not:
  • In the Ace Attorney fic Dirty Sympathy, when Trucy tries to ask why Klavier was kissing Apollo in the middle of their kitchen he tries to distract her by asking why she got up so early for donuts.
  • Doing It Right This Time: Rei having her period caused her and Asuka to arrive at the mall a little later than they planned. Asuka states the two were talking about girl stuff when Shinji asked. Shinji's follow-up question is whether or not they want to eat something first, having wisely gotten the hint.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: When it becomes clear that Freeza was mistaken about thinking Zarbon was gay, he murders a minion that came to warn him about Vegeta escaping confinement to avoid having to admit it to Zarbon's face.
    Mook: Lord Freeza, Vegeta's broken out of the healing taaaeegh!
    Freeza: Oh no, that minion died. Could you go fix that? We'll continue this conversation never.
  • Eleutherophobia:
    • In Back to the Future, Steve doesn't want Tom to talk about Yeerks in front of his great-grandmother, even though Tom was trying to defend himself when she blamed him for not going to Rosh Hashanah when it was really Essa 412's decision.
    • In A Straight Line Down Through the Heart, Tom kicks Bonnie's ankle when she's about to mention how they kept morph-capable hosts contained in the Yeerk Pool. Presumably, it was a traumatic experience for him.
  • In the Dead or Alive fic Kunoichis Like Us, when Alex asks Kasumi exactly why she was attacked by her own clan, Kasumi calmly tells him that she would rather not talk about it.
  • The Legend of Spyro: A New Dawn: Sparx mentions to Spyro that their father insisted on giving him "the talk" before they left the swamp.
    Sparx: Change of subject, now.
    Spyro: But...
    Sparx: NOW!!
  • In A Meeting By Moonlight, Luna and Twilight do this after Luna's Aborted Declaration of Love is cut off by their discovery that Spike is listening to them. Back to the original topic of their conversation: Pony spaceflight — which was actually very relevant to what Luna was trying to tell her.
  • Naru-Hina Chronicles:
    • Naruto tries to talk about Hinata's outfit after his fiancée witnessed his then-latest encounter with Nanami.
    • When Mina tries to convince Kei to go on a date with Sai, Kei asks her if she managed to have sex with Kiba yet. Mina blushes and remains silent for a moment before saying they should continue eating their ice cream:
  • Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!:
    • While the two of them are looking for the spaceship Izuku arrived on Earth in, Izuku inadvertently starts up a conversation about how he'd turned down Toshinori's off of One For All. Izuku then awkwardly asks All Might to focus on their search instead.
      Izuku: Well, as great an offer it was, and it really was a great offer, I'm still really, really, really, really, really thankful for it, receiving a Quirk like that would be kind of redundant when I'm already really strong, right?
      All Might: Redundancy isn't the issue, even if it's a good point.
      Izuku: But more than that, I want to try and get a full handle on the powers I already have, and I don't think I'll be able to do that if I have another power to work on. So like I said before, I don't think I can accept your offer. Not yet, anyway. Maybe. I don't know. Let's just get back to this, please?
    • This trope gets Played for Laughs when Jor-El's Virtual Ghost is surprised to learn that dogs, cats and monkeys all exist on Earth. After an awkward silence between him and Izuku, both agree to drop the subject.
  • Opening The Box: Usopp repeatedly attempts to do this when Sanji starts asking questions about why he refuses to take the credit for anything he did as Sogeking. Unfortunately, this doesn't work very well, especially since he keeps letting a little too much slip and trying to gloss over those remarks.
  • The Ouroboros:
    • The Alternate Donatello acts this way whenever the spacefarers ask him about how they're meant to complete the Stable Time Loop. It's a touchy subject for him, given how there is no time loop — he and their other counterparts lied to them to get them away from Earth so they could slip into their lives unchallenged.
    • While trying to explain the concept of 'losing time' to Mikey, Donnie mentions that one of the ways that can happen is through PTSD, citing Leo's panic attacks as an example. Leo immediately interrupts, loudly pointing out that their call has gone through.
  • In Sailor Moon Abridged, Serena called Raye "emo", and everyone else Gasped, likely because that was a running joke about Sasuke in Naruto: The Abridged Series. Then Luna said this line.
  • Scarlet Lady:
    • When Mme. Bustier gives her students a special Valentine's Day lesson about how fairy tales employ The Power of Love, Max points out that many stories that employ True Love's Kiss sidestep the question of consent. Mme. Bustier opts not to address that, wishing her class a happy Valentine's Day. Doubles as Foreshadowing of how Bustier herself completely ignores the matter of consent when she's akumatized into Zombizou a couple seasons later, who combines Love Freak with Control Freak.
    • When she first meets André the Ice Cream Man, she starts grilling him on his questionable business practices, such as the fact that he's not wearing gloves, never posts his location online and leaves it to potential customers to track him down, and wondering how he handles the matter of allergies. André distracts her by offering her a cone of Marigold-themed ice cream.
    • André also winds up having to do this when he attempts to convince Luka that soulmates exist by claiming that his "magical lovers' ice cream" can help him have a relationship as wonderful as that his parents share... unaware that Luka and Juleka were raised by their single mother, with a visibly annoyed Luka declaring that he doesn't have a father. André hastily assembles some "friendship" ice cream for him.
    • During "Party Crasher", Adrien asks the other guys why they're not letting him answer his phone, talk to Marinette, or invite her or any of the girls to join their impromptu party. Nino dodges the question by asking Max and Markov to cue up some music.
  • This human AU of Steven Universe has White Diamond asking Pink if she would like ice cream after the latter asks the former how she got inside her mother's belly.
  • In the Pokémon fic Symbiosis, when Misty and Brock ask Aaron/Ash why he doesn't call his parents more often, Ash immediately asks why they never call their parents. This immediately shuts them up.
  • Tales of Karmic Lies Aftermath: When Alya starts to rant about how she and Marinette are "temporarily estranged" following their falling out in The Karma of Lies, Jessica tries to deflect by asking why the Miraculous heroes' roster has changed. Specifically, she asks about the absence of Chat Noir, only to discover this is a Berserk Button for Alya, forcing Aeon to step in and switch subjects again.
  • Tattered Capes Under a Shattered Moon: Colin puts in a valiant effort to move the conversation away from Lillie's estranged grandfather, but all he comes up with is asking if they passed the combat trials they all won.
  • In Thieves Can Be Heroes!, Inko and Izuku decide to go out for dinner while she's visiting him in Tokyo. Inko then invites Sojiro to join them. However, before she can even suggest bringing Futaba along, Sojiro quickly interrupts her saying that he needs to watch over the cafe and tells them to go on without him.
  • True Potential: During the preliminaries for the Chuunin Exams, Naruto teases Kurotsuchi by declaring that she doesn't need to worry about Ino as potential competition, and that Shikamaru is all hers. Both she and Shikamaru ask him just what he means by that, making Naruto nervously point out that oh look, the next match is starting...!
  • In Undertale: The Surface, it turns out that the creator of Mew Mew Kissy Cutie is not a good person, something that completely devastates everyone who learns about it, to the point that Undyne laments that "God Is Evil, Alphys is broken, and we're all going to die." Later, when Papyrus unwittingly brushes across the subject, Undyne does her best to distract him and his brother:
    Sans: Dunno. Though, I will say that I've been getting a bunch of texts from Tori lately... apparently Chara's been acting the exact same way. Whenever anyone asks them anything about Mew Mew Kissy Cutie or the creator of it, they start getting weird like this.
    Undyne: NON-SPECIFIC-YET-OMINOUS SUBJECT CHANGE! Papyrus, we gotta get you caught up on Steven Universe first!
  • Will-Powered: After Casket accidentally shoots a dolphin, he and the rest of the Straw Hats are shocked silent. Usopp recovers first and asks how he got so skilled with a bow, successfully distracting everyone enough to lighten the mood.
  • Yet again, with a little extra help features a Double Subversion. After all of Naruto's friends learn about how the Kyuubi was sealed into Naruto, Lee tries to lighten the mood by suggesting they all attend the upcoming festival with their friend, only to belatedly realize that said festival is celebrating the day that the Kyuubi was defeated... which also happens to be Naruto's birthday. Kin immediately notes how awful that has to be for Naruto, before Sai asks why they can't just throw their own party for him.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Emperor's New Groove: In the opening, Kuzco asks for a flashback to where the story began, but the flashback goes back too far:
    Kuzco: See, this is a little too far back. Ooh, look at me! That's me as a baby!
    (Baby Kuzco throws a fit on breaking his toy, only to cheer up when off-screen servants offer him several replacement toys)
    Kuzco: OK, moving on...
  • In Toy Story 2: After Buzz said the word s'mores wrongly:
    Buzz: In just a few hours, you'll be sitting around a campfire, with Andy making delicious hot schmoes!
    Woody: ...They're called s'mores, Buzz.
    Buzz: ...Right, right, of course. Has anybody found Woody's hat yet?
  • In the Novelization of Turning Red, when Miriam brings up the subject of Devon around Mei's mother, Mei first pretends he's no one special, then distracts everyone's attention by shouting to Mr. Gao and finally leads her friends away from her mother shouting that it's time for the temple tour she promised.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, throughout the anniversary party, Felix tries to keep the peace between Ralph and the Nicelanders through avoidance and subject changing, but to no avail.
  • In Zootopia, after Nick Wilde opens up to Judy about a traumatic childhood event that shaped who he decided to be, he decides to change the subject to the traffic after Judy tries to physically comfort him, which he then realizes is a lead on their case.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Ripley and Clemens both do this in Alien³.
    • Clemens asks Ripley several times why she is inspecting Newt's corpse (for Xenomorph embryos) and her reasons for wanting to cremate both her and Hicks's body, and her need to retrieve Bishop to check the flight data. Ripley continually deflects the question (one time by sleeping with Clemens) because he probably won't believe her.
    • Ripley asks Clemens several times how he came to Fury 161, but he deflects the question repeatedly. Eventually he does tell her — he was previously an inmate.
  • In the James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me, he's initially amused and impressed as Agent XXX recites his dossier — until she mentions his late wife and he immediately ends the conversation. And in The World Is Not Enough:
    Elektra King: Have you ever lost a loved one, Mr. Bond?
    Bond: (pauses) M sent me because your life might be in danger.
    • The uncomfortable look on his face, slight shifting of posture, and invoking of this trope was a dead giveaway to any long-term, die-hard Bond fan.

  • Colin Fischer: When Colin's father tries to question him about why he left school early on his first day, Colin keeps changing the subject to a meeting he knows his father is dreading. Later, he tries to talk about asparagus while his father lectures him about all the rules he broke.
  • The Dresden Files: In Skin Game Harry has trouble answering his own subconscious's question about why he hasn't gotten together with Murphy.
    Harry: Because we aren't...We haven't gotten to...there's been a lot of... [exasperated] Look, just fuck off.
  • In the Harry Potter books, Rubeus Hagrid has a habit of doing this, usually fairly obviously. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, when he first meets Harry, he mentions to him having been expelled from Hogwarts. However, when Harry asks him why he was expelled, he replies loudly "It's getting late! Lots to do tomorrow" and completely ignores the question.
  • The Nowhere Girls: Erin is sick of telling Grace about Lucy's rape, so she says "Did you know that otters rape baby seals?" in the hopes that the shock will distract Grace from the previous subject.
  • In Unidentified Suburban Object, Chloe Cho's parents don't like to talk about their lives in Korea before they came to America. When Chloe tries to ask them about their family history, they distract her by buying an expensive new violin, then a bow, supposedly because her mom got a bonus. It works for a few days.
  • Princesses of the Pizza Parlor: In Boyfriends and other Minor Annoyances, Bianca's asked to explain the status of the Wandering Court's Mistress of Fortunes, and she doesn't get beyond stuttering "She's" before she immediately changes the subject to questioning new companion Dell's circumstances for running away from home.
  • In the Warrior Cats book Tallstar's Revenge, while Tallpaw and Barkpaw are eating, Tallpaw is so grossed out by Barkpaw's descriptions of infected wounds that he decides to change the subject by asking about Barkpaw's mentor.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A hilarious version in one episode of The Big Bang Theory where Penny is desperately trying to break up an uncomfortable fight between Bernadette and Amy about their respective boyfriends' careers and sex lives by switching to a more comfortable subject: Brazilian waxes. It doesn't work.
    "You know, I remember the first I got a bikini wax. My sister did with melted Crayolas and duct tape. It was a bad idea."
    • Bernadette does this in another episode. As everyone goes off to a prom, she notices that Raj's latest girlfriend, a redhead named Emily, has a tattoo of Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas on her back. She points out how it's not just because she's also a redhead, but more that she's covered with scars and can pull her own limbs off and sew them back on. Bernadette looks visibly uneasy.
      Bernadette: I like Cinderella.
      Emily: Did you know in the original book, the stepsisters cut their toes off with knives in order to fit in the glass slipper?
      Bernadette: (even more uneasy) I like "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo".
  • Frank Reagan of Blue Bloods nearly always does this if asked to take sides in family arguments at the dinner table, bluntly shutting down others' queries for his opinion by complimenting the food or asking someone to pass him a dish.
  • Happens a couple of times in Criminal Minds:
    • While the team was eating in a Chinese restaurant in "A Real Rain", they were talking about the case and then Elle asks to change the subject. Hotch asks if she's seeing anyone and then Elle begs for them to talk about the case again.
    • A case of Right Behind Me in "The Bittersweet Science".
      Garcia: (via webcam) Okay, Rossi, out with it. Is Hotch dating anyone?
      Rossi: (leans in to the webcam) I. Don't. Know.
      Reid: You know, statistically, widowed men start dating much faster than females, but Hotch is refuting the data. It's been two years and 19 days.
      Garcia: Venus has aligned with Mars, which means love is in the air and maybe we will have weekends off.
      Morgan: (sees Hotch and clears throat to warn Garcia)
      Garcia: What? Is he standing there? He's standing there, isn't he?
      Hotch: Hello, Garcia.
      Garcia: Hello. Someone talk about the case.
  • In the Doctor Who serial "The Ice Warriors":
    Jamie: You see how those lassies were dressed?
    Victoria: Yes, I did. And trust you to think of something like that.
    Jamie: What? Couldn't help thinking about it.
    Victoria: Well, I think it's disgusting, wearing that kind of thing.
    Jamie: (mocking) Oh, aye, so it is, so it is. You er, you don't see yourself dressed like that then?
    Victoria: Jamie!
    Jamie: Oh, I'm sorry; it was just an idea.
    Victoria: We will now change the subject, please.
  • Frasier: Frasier Crane does this a lot.
  • Ross in Friends does this when other people have raised the subject. "The word you're looking for is 'Anyway...'"
    • Ross is on the receiving end of this when Chandler and Monica reveal they know he's been learning to play the bagpipes because they heard him from across the street.
      Ross: Were you the ones who called the cops?
      Chandler: That's not really important right now.
  • Lampshaded in an episode of Roseanne:
    Jackie: How's the job, Becky?
    Becky: Why?
    Jackie: I'm changing the subject, Becky.
  • On Seinfeld, George and Jerry do not like it when someone does this; they prefer to let conversations continue until they reach a natural end. There's a reason this show's the Trope Namer for Seinfeldian Conversation.
  • On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, it's a minor Running Gag for Sisko to change the subject whenever Dax mentions a Noodle Incident involving him and Curzon.
  • In The Vicar of Dibley, David constantly does this when the council meetings go off topic. "Moving on..."

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • In Collar × Malice, in Yanagi's route, he wants to know if Ichika is still frightened of him from their Forgotten First Meeting twelve years ago and asks if she remembers him. Ichika does not and is understandably confused and he quickly tries to play it off as a way of flirting with her. Ichika knows he is lying but is fine with the topic change, even teasing him for (supposedly) reading the sappy pick-up book from Enomoto.
  • Spirit Hunter: Death Mark's DLC chapter has an early conversation where Dr. Daimon Shuji, a grown man, asks for tickets to Idol Singer Ai Kashiwagi's latest concert . Madoka Hiroo assumes the worst.
    Daimon: I'd like to go as well (to the idol concert). It's a rare opportunity.
    Madoka: You're a little too old for idols... You have a thing for girls?
    Daimon: I'm a connoisseur of music. Idols have nothing to do with it.
    Kazuo: (...A subject change right now would be wise.)

  • Bicycle Boy: Poet quickly decides to talk about something else when Machk attempts to make conversation about his cyborg body.
  • In Captain SNES: The Game Masta, Relm and Celes do this after Terra mentions that she saw her parents conceiving her in a vicarious flashback.
  • Champions of Far'aus: After Catharine tells Daryl, Skye, and Rom how she became Sarengal’s champion when she was a child, Daryl shifts the conversation to the N.E.U.U festival, starting his sentence by declaring “Obvious topic change:”.
  • The Dreadful:
    Liz: Where did that beam go, anyway?
    Kit: Let's not dwell on questions about how the Dreadful works!
  • In El Goonish Shive, Tedd doesn't want to talk about the trauma associated with his mom so Diane changes the subject to her biological father. Later Tedd offers to change the subject back after the conversation becomes uncomfortable for Diane and again when it becomes uncomfortable for Susan.
  • In Girl Genius Gil quickly changes the subject and sends Wooster out of the room when Agatha asks about a rather steamy book titled Trelawney Thorpe, Spark of the Realm: In the Seraglio of the Iron Sheik and Wooster comments that he thinks it's one of Gil's favorites.
    Agatha: The Glass Dirigible. Interesting, but what about that Seraglio one—
    Gil: Um—Hey! What do you think of This?
  • In Godslave:
    Anpu: What happened to you? You've always been close with Asir's family, but this? If I had to guess... it had to with a woman.
    Sobek: ANYWAY...
  • Done in a Sequential Art story, when everyone is trying to decide what to do during a rainy day. Resident ubergeek Pip suggests a complicated tapletop RPG (Its rules only span three books!), but Kat shuts him down. Genius Ditz Scarlet suggests "Monopolop", but Art points out she cried last time they played because she was told to "Go Directly to Jail" (No-one told her what she did wrong...). So Art suggests Cards Against Humanity. They all set up to play, when Scarlet, looking at her cards, innocently asks "What's a Fleshlight?" They decide to play Monopolop instead.
  • Sleepless Domain:
    • When Outrageous Lime sees Undine and Heartful Punch together for the first time and gets told by HP that they're together, she remarks to HP "So that was your type." Heartful Punch responds by sweating bullets and asking if they could not talk about that, while Undine stands there completely missing the implication.
    • In chapter ten, when Heartful Punch is telling Undine about how her mother died, she remarks that the monster responsible was still in the room and attacked Starlight Spear, the Magical Girl on the scene who told HP the story later, with the implication that Starlight lost an arm in the process of defeating it. HP goes quiet at that point and when Undine expresses concern HP declares "Anyway!" and continues with her story.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, this can happen because other characters are too weirded out by all the stuff the main characters have got involved in, because it won't fit any sane worldview, and they don't want to know about it. A lightly paraphrased conversation from Chapter 73: "The Immortal King - Lost and Found":
    Zoë's dad: You need to tell your mother and me what's going on with you. Is it drugs? If it's drugs, we can talk.
    [a strange creature flies to Zoë]
    Zoë: This is my pet two-headed dragon I picked up in another dimension.
    Zoë's dad: Never tell us what's going on with you!
    Zoë: Exactly.

    Web Original 
  • Happens in The Champions, when Steven Gerrard is asked about Frank Lampard's less-than-stellar managerial career:
    Gerrard: Lampard as a midfielder was a great rival.
    Producer: And how about as a manager?
    Gerrard: ...Lampard as a midfielder was a great rival.
  • Done in this review by Classic Game Room of Art of Fighting 3, when the reviewer lost his train of thought.
  • In The Crystal Gems Say be Anti-Racist short See Color. Amethyst points out the common phrase "I don't care if you're black or white or purple" is little more than a way to downplay the experiences people of color have with real world racism and shut down discussion of systemic racism and its pervasiveness altogether.
  • Donnie DuPre in Demo Reel obviously has issues with his mother, as anyone who asks about her gets blown off. All he divulges is that she was an actress. And because Donnie was the character that shared the most Doug qualities, it's only fair that Doug in "The Review Must Go On" dodges uncomfortable questions just as hard.
  • The Game Grumps sometimes do this, when they (either accidentally or deliberately) get a wee bit too close to saying something racist or sexist. Such as their playthrough of Shovel Knight when Dan comments on Black Knight as if he's, well, Black:
    Arin: Aw, man. They both love her, but Black Knight realizes he could never love her as much as Shovel Knight.
    Danny: Yeah, because he's... Black.
    (3 seconds of awkward silence)
    Danny: Anyway...
  • Geoff, after losing several rounds of "Hunting Pack" in Grand Theft Auto V when he had previously been winning with Gavin (normally The Load) on his side, has this to say:
    Geoff: I liked it better when, uh, when I was winning...
    Gavin: Say it! SAY IT! You liked it better when you were on my team! Say it!
    Geoff: LET'S STOP!
  • Often on Honest Trailers, the Narrator will find himself in an awkward position and whisper "Go to 'Starring'! Go to 'Starring'!"
  • Played for Laughs in Just Bad Games when playing Chicken Blaster when they're describing the various types of enemies and spot a Mook that is a literal Arab suicide bomber wearing a turban:
    Shane: You've got your flying chickens, your helicopter chickens, your samurai chickens, your chickens with dynamite strapped to their— oh! Uh... oh no...
    Adam: H-hey, let's talk about how bad the animation is!
  • During a Team Four Star podcast, Kaiser goes too far with a comment about eggnog. After a Stunned Silence, Lani loudly begins to talk about his holiday.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: In the episode "Brobot", Hugh Neutron says "I want pie! Anyone else want pie?" after his son starts to explain how he and Judy could conceive a sibling.
  • The Batman Beyond episode "Babel" begins with Bruce describing an incident from his days as Batman. When Terry notes that he would have been trapped with no way out if Robin hadn't shown up in time, Bruce changes the subject to the damaged Batsuit they're working on. At the end, Bruce asks Terry if he would have sacrified himself if he hadn't found another way to save Gotham City, and Terry uses the same ploy to dodge the question.
  • In the Beavis And Butthead episode "Beware of the Butt," Beavis asks Butt-head why he's so interested in Beavis' butt, to which Butt-head asks "Uh...did you hear the new GWAR album?" to avoid his obvious Ho Yay.
  • In Gargoyles episode "The Mirror", Elisa Maza has been transformed into a gargoyle, and Goliath finds himself falling for her in her new body. She wryly asks him if he believed she was ugly beforehand; since they're in the middle of a flying lesson, he stammers out a warning about an updraft to get out of answering.
  • Kaeloo:
    • Kaeloo manages to drag Mr. Cat into going on a date with her, but he doesn't seem interested in talking to her and starts reading the news. Kaeloo asks him if she can talk to him, and when she asks about his family, he quickly changes the subject by loudly and rapidly reading an article from the newspaper.
    • In Episode 180, Kaeloo is hanging out with Pretty and Eugly. Pretty tries to ask Kaeloo to explain her "weird relationship" with Mr. Cat, to which Kaeloo responds by asking Eugly about the book she's reading and then asking where the bathroom is.
  • In the very last scene of Kim Possible, Professor Dementor is taunting Dr. Drakken about his success at saving the world after failing miserably in his attempts to conquer it.
    Dementor: You must admit that it is exquisitely amusing.
    Drakken: Okay, Dementor, I'd really rather not talk about it.
    Dementor: But the irony! As a mad scientist, you have been a total failure your entire career!
    Drakken: New topic please!
    • The "new topic" turns out to be Dementor asking how Drakken's skin turned blue, which Drakken starts to explain just as the show ends.
  • The Looney Tunes Show has an episode in which Porky gets tickets for a football game. He invites Bugs and Daffy. Unfortunately, Daffy and Porky get into a fight over French Fries. Unwilling to lose a chance to go to the game, Bugs sends each a gift basket with a note that says they were right all along. While in line, Bugs and Daffy warmly talk about the gift basket. Bugs tries several times to change the subject but eventually they learn the truth. Porky furiously rips up the tickets, much to the chagrin of Bugs.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: In "No Small Parts", the Season 1 finale, after the Titan saves the Cerritos from the Pakleds, Captain William Riker contacts Ensign Beckett Mariner and the two start reminiscing. When Ensign Brad Boimler asks how Mariner knows Riker, she mentions that he gives her some of his contraband while the comms are still active and in front of Riker's wife, Deanna Troi. Riker quickly cuts off the comms as Troi asks what that was about before Riker points out that they are still at Red Alert and they need to keep fighting the Pakleds, leading Troi to grumble "We'll talk about this later."
  • In The Simpsons:
    • In "The Springfield Connection", Marge becomes an officer in the Springfield Police Department. One day, she gives Lisa a tour of the Springfield Police Station. When Lisa points out that it's better to address the causes of social inequality instead of simply putting people into prisons, Marge tries to switch the subject with a sockpuppet.
      Marge: Look, Lisa, it's McGriff the crime dog! (in deep voice) Hello, Lisa. Help me bite crime! Ruff-ruff!
    • In "My Sister, My Sitter", Flanders calls Lisa to ask her to babysit his kids — the morning after he and the townsfolk accused her of being a cocaine-addicted psychopath who incapacitated Bart. When Lisa asks him if he's worried she might get coked up again do horrible things to his kids like allegedly with Bart, Flanders skips the question after a Beat and asks when she is coming over to his house, likely to change the subject.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Changing The Uncomfortable Subject


Mr. Cat's Parents

Kaeloo asks Mr. Cat about his family, unaware that his parents were abusive and he'd rather not talk about them. Mr. Cat responds by loudly reading a newspaper article and ignoring the question.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChangeTheUncomfortableSubject

Media sources: