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Conjunction Interruption

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Dr. Evil: Shh!... Knock-knock.
Scott Evil: Who's there?
Dr. Evil: Shh!
Scott Evil: But...
Dr. Evil: Let me tell you a little story about a man named Shh! Shh! even before you start. That was a pre-emptive "shh!" Now, I have a whole bag of "shh!" with your name on it.

When a character attempts to justify himself versus a figure of power (a parent or hierarchic superior), 90% of the time he will be interrupted after "but" or "and". More generally, a sentence starting with "But Mom..." will never be completed. The interruption is of the form "No buts!", "Because I Said So" or "Not Now, Kiddo!" depending on the situation. Inevitably leads to One Side of the Story (even worse if You Know What You Did), and if the poor character finally gets a chance to justify himself, he will get a "Why didn't you just say so?" answer (typically when he got served with "not now").

A favourite of courtroom dramas when the witness tries to give context to a "simple yes or no" that the questioning lawyer doesn't want the jury to hear or the record to show.

It seems like a parody when the interruption occurs in a written response to a written argument, but it actually happens in Real Life: the text following the "but" already exists. Nevertheless, the responder responds with "No buts" and apparently stops reading at that point.

Catchphrase Interruptus applied to a Stock Phrase. Not to be confused with a concussion interruption.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In March Comes in Like a Lion, Rei has a conversation with his homeroom teacher Hayashida while he's depressed over a recent loss. As Hayashida reasons with Rei as to why he should consider moving back in with his adoptive family as well as join a shogi study group, Rei repeatedly attempts to interject with a "but," only to be cut off by the rest of Hayashida's spiel.

  • The Austin Powers example in the page quote.
    • Later repeated in the second film with "zip it," and in the third film with "Scotty don't!"
  • In the film of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, this happens to Harry Potter at his trial with Cornelius Fudge cutting off all explanation. This time, he's actively trying to rig the trial against Harry, for the crime of contradicting his "all is well" propaganda.
  • In Turning Red, as Mei shoos her friends out of her room, Miriam objects and Mei responds "No buts, Mir".

  • In Honor Harrington, when someone's internal monologue gets a dramatic interruption to the face, the last word in said internal monologue will inevitably be "and".
  • Mercedes Lackey uses it so often in her Heralds of Valdemar novels that the word "But" has become a cue to trigger an interruption.
    • One time that this trope was averted, the speaker who said "But..." froze up instead.

  • This trope goes back at least to Henry Fielding's 1730 play Rape Upon Rape, which is allegedly the origin of the related Stock Phrase "but me no buts". The relevant quote is too long to reproduce here, but Google Books has it.

    Visual Novels 
  • Koihime†Musou: When Chouhi or any of the characters try to object to a plan, they're usually cut off before they can finish.

  • Girl Genius:
    • Agatha keeps trying to interrupt with questions while Master Payne explains how one of the muses came to join the circus until Krosp drops a bucket over her head.
      Agatha: The MUSES?! Moxana is one of the Storm King's muses?!
      Payne: The same now—
      Agatha: But they were lost!
      Payne: They lost themselves. Now—
      Agatha: But—mmf
      Krosp: I'm listening.
    • When the "rescue party" is trying to figure out how to escape the caverns they're in climbing is brought up right after Dimo's arm is amputated and Lars' attempt to point out the problem is quickly brushed aside by Maxim.
      Maxim: Ve ken climb down.
      Lars: But Dimo—
      Maxim: Aw, he bounce pretty goot!
    • Van can't seem to get a word in edgewise with his self appointed assistant.
      Vanamonde: Who are you?
      Vidonia: Oh, not this again. I am the person who is putting you to bed.
      Vanamonde: but—
      Vidonia:For the first time in days.
      Vanamonde: but—
      Vidonia: Because you've already done everything you possibly can and you need to sleep now or you will be of no use whatsoever to this town when the attack comes!
    • Obsidian is taken off guard by Tarvek's recovery time and ability to pretend to still be unconscious.
      Terebithia: You may stop playing possum now, Tarvek dear.
      Obsidian: What? No he's—
      Tarvek: Thank you for your desire for my continued well being grandmother.
      Obsidian: But—
      Terebithia: Thank you, mister Obsidian. You may leave us.
  • In El Goonish Shive, the last time "Tengu" is interrupted in this strip he only manages to get out "Yes, but—".
  • Shortpacked!: Cut her mic!

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • One instance parodies this.
    Bart: But mooom!
    Marge: ...what?
    Bart: Uh, that's all I got.
    • Another one:
      Homer: If if's and but's were candy and nuts..." eh, how does the rest of that go?
      • Homer is actually prone to this a lot. A Running Gag is Homer's arrogance to anyone correcting him or even vaguely giving him an order or suggestion, leading him to quickly brush them off. This at one point escalated to him snapping at a judge to shut up just so he could have the last word.
  • In TaleSpin, this is often the bane of Molly and Kit's lives, usually issued by Rebecca (the more Genre Savvy Baloo even notes a couple of occasions it might be worth listening to them).