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Conjunction Interruption

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

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


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     Anime and Manga  

  • In 3-gatsu no 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 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.


  • 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 Novel  

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


     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).


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