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Combat Uninterruptus

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Alice and Bob are fighting. Carol enters with a message for Alice, who calmly carries on a conversation just as if Bob weren't trying to kill her. Usually used to demonstrate just how much better Alice is than Bob, but if she kills Bob without taking notice, it can also show disregard for life.

Sub-Trope of Excuse Me While I Multitask. Related to Dissonant Serenity. For a "make love, not war" version, see Coitus Uninterruptus. Compare Kinda Busy Here, when the messenger is on a phone.


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  • A GEICO commercial during their "it's what you do" campaign has a spy being chased by mooks when his mother calls. He fights them off while talking to her and asks if he can call her back.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball Z: King Kai and Guru are telepathically discussing a plan to move everyone on Namek to Earth. Then Goku, in the middle of his fight with Frieza, interrupts them, telling them to leave him on Namek to defeat Frieza.

    Comic Books 
  • A Running Gag in PS238 is that, whenever almost anyone phones The Revenant, he is busy fighting some supervillain or other and calmly carries on the conversation while fighting.
  • Done in Zot!. Zot is fighting two thugs while Jenny berates him for selling out.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Used brilliantly in Grosse Pointe Blank, with John Cusack blasting a houseful of assassins to death one by one, while conversationally exploring the meaning of his own existence and declaring his love for Minnie Driver's character.
  • Played for laughs by Cary Elwes in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, from Mel Brooks.
  • Under Siege: The hero is in a ferocious firefight with the villains when he gets a satphone call. He takes the call while blasting the baddies. This example does use the trope to add humour to the proceedings by having Ryback's Side Kick initially take the call as though she were a bad PA: "Is Ryback there?" "I'm sorry he's in a gun fight right now. I'll have to take a message."
  • In Wayne's World 2, Wayne takes a phone call in the middle of his fight with Jeff Wong, without any break in the Kung-Foley sound effects or the Hong Kong Dub.

     Live-Action TV 
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in the first part of season 3's finale, Buffy hands Giles a newspaper article about a murder while he's practicing fencing with Wesley. Giles effortlessly parries all of Wesley's advances with one hand and almost no attention.
  • Princess Silver: Rong Le and Wu You calmly continue a game of Go while a battle rages around them, occasionally pausing to ward off attacks or stop drops of blood from splashing them.

  • Destroy the Godmodder: All of the posters. Not only can people respond to others while taking on massive fights, but they can also charge up attacks and summons and direct troops at the same time.
    • Partially averted with the revised ruleset introduced in Defeat the Godmodder, in which charging summons or attacks costs Battlefield actions. Roleplaying and commanding entities are still free actions, though.

     Tabletop Games 

     Video Games 
  • Used in the first Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan game in the Salaryman stage. Our hero receives a phone call in the midst of battle with a giant mouse. Failing to perform well here actually means he gets his ass kicked, while passing this portion plays the trope straight.

  • This Girl Genius page is particularly illustrative—one character does it and, seconds later, another one does something that would be it if he hadn't only just arrived.
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Dr. McNinja does a variation of this at one point; the Doc calls Gordito and the clone of Ben Franklin on his cellphone while fighting ninjas, and at one point one of the ninjas grabs the phone from him.