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Delayed Reaction

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She took that better than expected.

"Ten more years and PETA should realize this exists."
BananaMammoth in response to this little ditty by Tom Lehrer

Alice and Bob are having a conversation. During the conversation, Bob says or does something that you'd think would induce a reaction in Alice; however, she goes right on with the conversation as if it never happened. Until 30 seconds or so later...

Alice just had a Delayed Reaction. Basically, her brain somehow took longer to make a connection that the audience makes right away. Bonus points if the character walks off-screen, then yells something said out loud and races back.

Truth in Television, obviously. People with slower reaction times tend to take longer to realize things. Also often tends to happen when people aren't really paying attention to things they should be before suddenly realizing the importance of what they just witnessed.

See subtrope Late to the Punchline when Alice makes a joke, Stealth Pun or Stealth Insult on the expense of Bob and he doesn't get the true meaning right away. See also Post Wake Up Realization when Alice wakes up not knowing the situation around her until she fully opens her eyes. Compare I Take Offense to That Last One! and Comeback Tomorrow. Compare Delayed "Oh, Crap!" and Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!. See You Are Already Dead for the combat version. See Repeated Cue, Tardy Response when trying to set up a cue with someone but they missed the cue and they have to repeat it until they get it. Often follows a Beat. Someone else watching may say "Three... Two... One..." as the delay unfolds.


Seen on this very wiki in the form of Fridge Logic, Fridge Brilliance, and Fridge Horror.


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  • In numerous Frozen Pop Tarts commercials, there was a yeti who would try and tell kids that they should freeze their Pop Tarts. He gave an explanation as to why in his own incomprehensible language that was translated with subtitles for the viewer. Only after he finished talking did the kids (who didn't realize he was a friendly yeti offering them advice since they couldn't understand him) freak out and scream, scaring him away.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Mikado from Durarara!! had a very funny delayed reaction in episode 3 when Izaya was hit by a vending machine. To be fair, the vending machine was going very fast.
  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de:
    • In Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou OAV episode "Omoi no Arika", Akane, Tenma and Shimon discover a letter — the audience is aware that it's from Kotengu, who wants to challenge Yasuaki to a duel. Apparently, Kotengu's handwriting is too fancy for them to understand, so they have one of the locals, Tomomasa, read said letter to them aloud. After he finishes, Akane and Shimon are amazed by the fact Tomomasa could read that, saying they are so glad they know now what the letter says, as they could never imagine that it's a challenge... Cue a short pause, with a still shot of the two smiling happily and a dot-by-dot Visible Silence above them... after which both yell in horror: "A challenge?!"
    • The first episode of Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Shiroki Ryuu no Miko OAV ends with Karin being told that she is the titular miko; Karin's first reaction is a happy smile... then, a few seconds later, the smile disappears as it finally dawns on her what these words mean: "Eeeh?! Me?!"
  • Yuuichi and Makoto from Kanon share a delayed reaction after Yuuichi, naked, walks in on her bath accidentally; it's so sudden the music cuts instantly for maximum effect. It lasts for almost half a minute.
    Makoto: [blank stare]
    Yuuichi: [blank stare]
    Makoto: [blank stare]
    Yuuichi: Y... Yo!
    Makoto: [blank stare]
    Yuuichi: My bad, I wasn't paying attention and didn't notice you were here. ...uh, anyway, it must be fate that brought us here together! I'll just join yo—
  • In K-On! each of these bits of bad news take a few seconds to sink in:
    • Nodoka mentioning the upcoming midterms to Yui.
    • Yui saying she's banned from club activities since she has to take a make-up exam.
    • Tsumugi telling Yui their club is not officially recognized, and their request to use the use the gym is denied.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Lagann-hen has a hilarious moment when the Chouginga Gurren Lagann warps into Anti-Spiral territory and the Big Bad sends a huge wave of what looks like water at them.
    Cybela: Is that... a tsunami?!
    Dayakka: Why is there one in space...? [wave tumbles the planetoid-sized mecha over like a toy] WHAT THE HELL IS A TSUNAMI DOING IN SPACE?!
  • In the beginning of Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, it took Sakura four hours to realize Nozaki was a mangaka. She even helped him with his manga the whole time!
  • In March Comes in Like a Lion, Takahashi brings a tape of Rei's losing MHK Cup match to the Kawamoto residence, not knowing that Rei has kept the fact that he's a professional shogi player a secret from Hina and Momo. When they see Rei on the television screen, it takes them several moments until they realize what the implications are of Rei being on broadcast television.
  • In My Monster Secret Chapter 98, the protagonists are playing dodgeball against their teacher (or more accurately, they're trying not to get slaughtered by her). While they're plotting their strategy, Sakurada says "If we win this, I think I'll confess my feelings to Komoto-sensei." The planning continues for another panel before everyone starts saying things like "I feel like I just missed something" and they ask Sakurada to repeat himself; he admits that he's got a crush on their teacher and wants to confess if they win, prompting a nine-person Big "WHAT?!"
  • In one episode of Nerima Daikon Brothers, the characters are eating ramen together. Hideki asks Ichirou if he shouldn't be getting to work, and Ichirou replies that he's going to Kabuki-chou (Tokyo's infamous red-light district) tonight instead. The others continue to eat for a few seconds before spit-taking the ramen.
  • One Piece:
    • Done with Ivankov, second-in-command to protagonist Luffy's father (who, for context, is the world's most wanted criminal, and only a handful of people in the world are even aware that Luffy is related to him). Luffy remarks "Oh... you mean my dad?" and the person he's speaking to goes through an entire speech before jumping back in shock, yelling "YOUR FATHER?!"
    • Non-You Are Already Dead combat version: Luffy's fight with Blueno, which became a Curb-Stomp Battle the second that Luffy starting using his new Gear Second ability, culminates with Luffy using his Gum-Gum Jet Bazooka, and Blueno attempting to guard against it with his strongest Tekkai. Luffy hits him in the stomach, hard, but he just slides several feet backwards from the blow's impact, and then looks up to grin at Luffy. But just as Luffy is about to pull out his other new trump card, Blueno passes out; not even his strongest defense was enough to protect him.
    • Luffy has this mindset in general (when not in a fight or angry, that is). The best example being during the drum island arc he and Sanji are running through a castle filled with ice and snow, wearing thin clothing and it takes him a few seconds to realize that he's cold, though that could have something to do with the way rubber conducts heat.
    • When Luffy and Jinbe reunite at Fishman Island, the latter somehow missed the 55-foot mermaid with them:
      Shirahoshi: A pleasure to see you, Jinbe! It's been ever so long.
      Jinbe: Yes. What an unexpected meeting, but a welcome one! To what do I owe the WHAAAA!?!?!
  • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Ginji's Rescue Team: Ginji uses a fire attack on Xatu, but Xatu takes seconds to actually react to it thanks to being in a psychic trance.
  • In Soul Eater, Asura awakens after centuries of sleeping in a bag made from his own skin and barely displays any awareness of his surroundings. While blindly walking around, he bumps into Eruka, who's slumped on the ground and too terrified of him to even move. He then bends down and opens his eyes for the first time to look at her while she's still paralyzed in fear. After ten seconds of staring, he starts a Reactive Continuous Scream. Why? Because he was startled by her.
  • In GO-GO Tamagotchi! episode 15a, it takes a beat for everyone to fully realize Miraitchi and Clulutchi's Knock Tap has gone missing. They react to the news with a disappointed "Awww..." at first before yelling "Ehhhh?!" a few seconds later.
  • In an episode of Ultimate Girls, the main girls are in various states of dress and undress when the word "monster" gets thrown out. Cue Makoto, resident Kaiju obsessed journalist and Camera Fiend, barging into the room, taking several photos, reloading his camera, and taking more photos before realizing his mistake and walking out of the room in disappointment. Seconds go by before the first girl screams in embarrassment.
  • In The Weatherman Is My Lover the main characters have a manzai dynamic on-screen which mostly entails Amasawa making inappropriate or awkward remarks and Koganei not reacting to them at all. Amasawa manages to catch him offguard twice, leading to noticeably long delays before Koganei resumes reporting-as-usual. The viewers go wild over this.
  • Joey from Yu-Gi-Oh! has a memorable moment in Season 5.
    Kaiba: Anyone late for registration will be disqualified. Mokuba, makes sure Wheeler is late.

    Asian Animation 
  • In the Lamput episode "Fracture", the docs, who normally chase after and try to capture Lamput, help him to get back into shape when he breaks the one bone in his skeleton. At the end of the episode, Lamput runs off free, and it takes the docs a few seconds to realize they let him off free and start chasing after him again.

    Comic Books 
  • From Broom-Hilda, the title witch is in a rage, complete with moons, stars, swirls, pound signs, and everything else used to cover up what she's really saying. Another character chides her, saying that "swearing is a childish way to assert one's masculinity". It doesn't occur to her until the next panel what the word "masculinity" means.
  • Green Lantern: According to the narration of one issue, it took Katma Tui several days to realize she'd heard one of the Guardians of the Universe actually make a joke. At which point she dropped the lunch she was carrying.
  • Groo the Wanderer:
    • Used as a Running Gag.
      Someone: Groo, you can not understand this, since you are slow of mind.
      Groo: [pages later] ...What he mean "slow of mind"?
    • In one extreme case, he utters this phrase in response to a childhood flashback.
    • Extreme in a different way: he once calls himself "slow of mind" and then later wonders what he meant by it.
  • Joker does this when talking on the phone with Harley Quinn in Mad Love, also done in the animated adaptation.
    Joker: Harley? Oh, where the heck have you been, hmm? Mm-hmm? Yeah, yeah... Batman, eh? You don't say... YOU HAVE WHO TIED UP WHERE?!?
  • The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye: At the beginning of one issue, Rodimus is told the ship's being chased by a planet. He just nods and goes "cool". Then he realizes what he's just heard, which even for the Lost Light is a ridiculous sentence.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 

In General:

  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan-named background pony "Princess Erroria" (so called because an animation error depicted her with both horn and wings) is often depicted riding around on a Slowpoke after people pointed out this animation error... over a year after the episode aired.


  • Dragon Ball Abridged:
    • It gives us the following gem from their abridgment of the Lord Slug movie.
      Piccolo: ...and that would make you no doubt the big, tough, stupid one.
      Dorodabo: You take that back or I'll kill you!
      Piccolo: All right, all right, you're not tough.
      Dordabo: That's better.
      Gohan: Wait, didn't you—
      Piccolo: Give him a minute.
      [beat, beat, beat]
      Dordabo: ...Hey!
    • The first speaking role of a Kanassian after his species is wiped out in the Bardock Special is rife with this. A Scare Chord plays as one emerges from the rubble of his planet... Beat "I CAN SEE THE FYUUU-CHURRR!" He proclaims (upon realizing that they can see him) that he must stop Bardock's team from destroying his race "IN THE FYUUU-CHURRR!" and after they point out that they already did, it takes him a moment to formulate a response. He attacks and in return he is fried with a fiery ki blast, leaving him standing there burning to death for an extended shot... before finally realizing "I'M ON FIRE!" and being finished off.
    • During the Namek arc:
      Freeza: Why aren't the Ginyus showing up?! Oh, they're dead. [beat] WHY ARE THEY DEAD?!
  • Vision of Escaflowne Abridged: Van Fanel, who in this version is a happy-go-lucky dumbass, brings us this gem when told the night before a battle, regarding a girl he's carried a torch for all series...
    Allen: Van, I wanted to let you know that I've asked Hitomi to marry me.
    Van: Oh, that's cool. So I was thinking if I charged forward with the ground troops and hold the line, do you think you could bring the airship around in a flanking maneuver and — WAIT, WHAT?!
  • In Excuses... Excuses..., Twilight has the sudden realization that she's bisexual after having already gone out on a date with Applejack.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Italy had one after Germany basically called him "wise".
    Italy: "Wow Ludwig..." Crystalline tears finally dried. "Someone incredibly wise must have taught you this."
    Germany: Chuckle. "Yes, I learned it from you."
    Italy: "Right..." Double-take. "What?! Me?!"
    Germany: Fond smile. "Yes, you."
  • In Irrational Fear, a fanfic of The Loud House, it takes Lincoln a few moments to realise that Luan was joking when she asked if he tried asking Lisa's roommate (who's only a year old) where she is.
  • Lani from Offspring often has delayed reactions because she's blind. She doesn't notice things as easily as her peers.
  • In the How to Train Your Dragon/The Lord of the Rings crossover "Ring of Fire", after Hiccup and Toothless arrive in Middle-Earth, when they wake up it takes them a few moments — and at least two sentences each — to realise that Toothless has started talking.
  • In Harry Potter and the Dream Come True, Dumbledore drops in to visit Lupin and Sirius to discuss recent unusual magical activity around Godric's Hollow, and when he realises that they have another guest Dumbledore simply comments with a smile that he hasn't seen James Potter for ages before he realises exactly who that is and why he hasn't seen James for so long, sitting down in the nearest chair in shock (James takes the opportunity to try and get payment for an old bet with Sirius on whether or not it was possible to fluster Albus Dumbledore).
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic The Queen's Secret Crush, Rarity is royalty and her bodyguard Twilight is her lover. Her teenage sister Sweetie Belle finds out about her crush on somepony and tries to find out who she is. Rarity won't directly tell her but heavily implies it's Twilight Sparkle. She even starts blatantly flirting with Twilight, however Sweetie Belle doesn't catch on.
    "Can't think of anypony who fits the description except for Twilight." Sweetie shrugged and looked back at the two mares. "I'll figure it out, though! Apple Bloom knows everypony in the castle, so she might help. Anyway, see you for dinner, Sis! Bye, Twilight!"
    The second Sweetie Belle had left the room, Twilight turned to look at Rarity. "I'm really sorry to say this, but the princess is really dense. We couldn't have been more obvious even if we had put a sign that sai—"
    Rarity put her hoof on top of Twilight's mouth, silencing the unicorn. "Now, now, Twilight. Wait a moment, will you?"
    A few minutes later, a high-pitched "OH MY GOSH" rang through the halls of the castle, followed by the sound of running hoovesteps. Sweetie Belle's head suddenly poked into the room, her eyes wide as saucers.
    "Are you two..."
    "Yes, dear."
    "For how long have you..."
    "A while now, darling."
  • Ichigo does this in Red Duty, Black Honor when Rukia talks to him while he's doing paperwork and informs him they're getting married (and keep in mind they're not even dating at this point). Kira, meanwhile, watches it all unfold nearby.
    Ichigo: Now, Rukia, what did you just say?
    Kira: Five, four...
    Rukia: I said, we're getting married. You and I.
    Kira: Three, two...
    Ichigo: That's what I thought you said.
    Ichigo: Are you out of your mind?!
  • Sachiko and Yumi's Alphabet: Yumi has a delayed reaction to Sachiko's Love Confession. This turns into shock and confusion before she ultimately confesses back.
  • In Skyhold Academy Yearbook, one of the teachers learns that he's going to be a father and makes an almost casual announcement to the students. They all start talking to each other and, after a moment, do a sort of collective "Wait, what?"
  • Cassandra does an exaggerated one of these in Beyond Heroes: Of Sunshine and Red Lyrium. Varric makes a remark to Bethany Hawke saying, simply, "Burlap sack," referencing a bit of party banter from the Mark of the Assassin DLC. This doesn't register with Cass at the time, but roughly six weeks later, she suddenly puts the pieces together and remembers that Varric said that Bethany can make a burlap sack look good.
  • Date A Live: Altered Timeline: After a shared trance makes them leave their school's respective shelters, Shinji doesn't realize he's outside until he asks Mana the same question.
    Shinji: Mana? What are you doing here? [Beat] Wait, why am I here?
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail: After Chloe says she's going to fight Ash Ketchum, Champion of Alola, Goh goes to the Cerise Lab kitchen to drop off curry ingredients to Mr. Mime. He then states how excited he is to see Chloe fighting off the Alola League Champion...before he pauses and realizes what this means.
    Goh: EHHHH!!!! Ash is the what?!!!!

    Films — Animation 
  • In Beauty and the Beast After the Beast releases Belle from the Castle and informs Cogsworth.
    Cogsworth: Well, Your Highness, I must say everything is going just swimmingly. I knew you had it in you, ha ha!
    Beast: [sadly] I let her go.
    Cogsworth: [chuckles] Yes. Splendid... You WHAT?! How could you do that?!
    Beast: I had to.
    Cogsworth: B-But why?
    Beast: Because... I love her.
  • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games, after Spike is exposed to Fluttershy's magic drained out of her by the device, Human Twilight asks him if he's okay. Her initial reaction is relief when he tells her "Um... I think so." And then she freaks out as she realizes her pet dog just talked.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Death Note, Ryuk wonders why Light was ignoring him. When Light in the convenience store explained to Ryuk that the former has a feeling that he's been watched via CCTV which means no Apples for Ryuk, it takes a few seconds for the Shinigami to realize what Light meant and reacts in sorrow.
    Ryuk: Nooooooooo!!!
  • From Dumb and Dumber, in a scene where Lloyd finds a newspaper clipping of the Moon Landing (over 25 years before the film was made):
    Lloyd: I can't believe it! We landed on the Moon!
  • Ernest Scared Stupid: It takes Ernest 10 seconds of careful, calculated thinking before he realizes that his fingers have been slammed in the lid of a dumpster and that he should scream in pain.
  • In The Fifth Element, a cop car is getting lunch from McDonald's. The driver informs dispatch that they're on their way in pursuit of Korben's cab, before quietly adding as soon as they're done with lunch.
    Cop: I'm too old, too tired, and too hungry to go chasing some hot rod. [interrupts his colleague who's flirting with the drive-thru attendant] And I'm definitely too thirsty.
    Korben: LOOK OUT!!!
    [Korben sideswipes the patrol car, causing the cop to spill his drinks and knocking over their Big Macs]
    Cop: [after a moment] ... whoa.
  • In the '80s Vietnam flick Hamburger Hill, a radio operator survives a nearby explosion. When the smoke clears, he is still doggedly trying to use his set, until he turns his head to discover that he's lost an arm. Disturbingly, he mutters "Oh." upon seeing his injury.
  • This happens in one scene in the movie House Party (Note that there are scripts of this movie online, but the dialogue in the actual movie seems to be adlibbed somewhat. This is from the movie, not the script):
    Thug 2: [saying this while being handed a baseball bat] Alright, cool... Finally, a program I'm with. Whatever this is, I'm with it. (While thug 1 picks up a can of gasoline) Oh I hear that, I hear that. We gonna bust their ass as they come runnin' out of the burning house.
    Thug 2 and 3: [in unison] Burnin' house?
    Thug 1: Burnin' house...
    Thug 3: Damn Stab, Stab [Thug 1] hold up for a second. l was talking about kicking some fucking ass... not burning people up.
    Thug 2: Yeah, now you're going too far.
  • Inspector Gadget:
    Penny's Friend: Is Penny with you, Mr. Gadget?
    Gadget: No. You can call her at home.
    Friend: I called her at home. There was no answer. I'll try again.
    Gadget: OK. [hangs up, beat] What does she mean there was no answer?
  • Mary Poppins: When Mr. Banks comes home at the start of the movie, he is in such a good mood that he doesn't quite notice that Katie Nanna (his children's nanny) is leaving for good. Even as he is helping her with her luggage. A few minutes after she's gone, he finds out that she lost the children (again), and is about to fire her...and then realizes that he can't.
  • In the Russian film Morozko, there's a group of girls picking giant mushrooms in a forest. They see a bear, but it takes them almost 20 seconds to run away. Mike Nelson refers to it as "Delayed reaction syndrome".
  • Performed twice by Jack Lemmon's character Daphne in Some Like It Hot:
    • At the beach when he glances at Joe in his millionaire costume, he walks away only to stop in his tracks and return to have a closer look.
    • When he stashes away Osgood's wristband case, he stops after a second and reopens it to notice that the wristband is gone.

  • Discworld:
    • Referenced in a story when Nanny Ogg tells Casanunda that she "nearly fell off her broom from laughing" when she saw a burial mound from the air. Said burial mound is two circular mounds connected to one end of a long barrow mound, so...
    • Another example is in Jingo where Leonard of Quirm very briefly mentions in the middle of a long rambling conversation full of useless information that many years ago he did some sketches of an island that has supposedly only appeared recently. The person he's talking to doesn't realise the implications of this until he's left the room, at which point he quickly comes back to ask for clarification. Two things are notable about this example: 1) The person he's talking to is Lord Vetinari, who is normally very quick to notice important details, making it particularly funny that he should be a victim of this trope, and 2) Unlike many uses of this trope, the relevant information actually is quite easy to miss if you're not paying attention, and the reader may end up doing exactly what Vetinari did.
  • Played for drama in The Girl from the Miracles District, when Nikita flies into a berserker rage the night after the inciting incident, which is to say at the worst possible moment.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur sees several big yellow bulldozers outside his window, but he's so hung over that only pieces of the concept register at first, one at a time. It takes several minutes for him to remembernote  they've come to knock his house down.
    The word bulldozer wandered through his mind for a moment in search of something to connect with.
    [later in the scene]
    The word yellow wandered through his mind in search of something to connect with.
    Fifteen seconds later he was out of his house and lying in front of a big yellow bulldozer that was advancing up his garden path.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 1000 Ways to Die has a pair of deaths involving this. One involved a psychopath subjected to electro-shock therapy in the 1950s, where the full effects of the electricity didn't hit him until he was in the middle of an escape attempt, where the arrhythmia from the shocks induces a heart attack. Another involved a Nazi officer from World War II who got shot in the head, miraculously surviving - but with the bullet still lodged in his head, close to a major artery. It remains inside him for fifty years without any ill effects until he bumps his head while getting milk from the refrigerator, upon which the bullet finally severs the artery, killing him in short order.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • In an early episode, Raj gets drunk and talks to Penny about his inability to talk to women. Leonard is about to mention this, but Howard interrupts, wanting to see how long it takes him to figure it out. Penny ends up telling him.
      Sheldon: And now we'll never know.
    • And later, when Penny and Raj are talking and Penny is saying it's the booze that's making Raj feel down, he says he hasn't had a drink since last night. It takes a couple of beats to realize that Raj is now talking to women without the aid of alcohol.
  • In El Chavo del ocho, Quico is often prone to these, especially when someone makes a remark about his lack of intelligence.
  • In an episode of Coupling Jane tells Oliver not to worry about his brain, saying "Many plants don't have brains, have you thought about that?" It takes him almost a minute to realize the absurdity of that implication and correct her.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Lazarus Experiment": At the beginning, as the Doctor is planning to leave, he hears a scientist on television talking about how he's going to "change what it means to be human". He takes little notice of it as he sets off, and the TARDIS fades... and then slowly reappears. The Doctor pops his head back out and says "No, I'm sorry. Did he say he was going to 'change what it means to be human'?"
    • "The End of Time": Starting as he means to go on, after regenerating, the Eleventh Doctor initially fails to notice that the TARDIS is now on fire and severely damaged, being more concerned with checking that he's not missing any body parts.
    • "The Pandorica Opens": The Doctor gets an epic one with regards to the reappearance of Rory Williams.
      The Doctor: Ooooh, I'm missing something obvious, Rory, something big, something slap in front of me, I can feel it.
      Rory: Yeah, I think you probably are.
      The Doctor: I'll get it in a minute. [walks out of the room carrying two Cyber-guns]
      [a clang is heard, and the Doctor slowly walks back in, staring at Rory]
      The Doctor: [pokes Rory in the chest] Hello again.
    • "The Pilot": New companion Bill Potts takes quite some time to realize that the TARDIS is Bigger on the Inside, instead thinking it's a "knock-through" to another room. Of course, she has known the Doctor for months by then and in all that time has only ever seen the TARDIS parked in the corner of the Doctor's office flush against two walls. She only catches on when she exits in a completely different location... after assuming the TARDIS to be a lift when the Doctor takes off.
      The Doctor: Is it just me, or is this taking longer than normal?
  • Father Ted has several examples.
    • From "Speed 3", Dougal has taken over as milkman after Ted gets Kavorka Man Pat Mustard sacked. The housewives on Mustard's route, still expecting Mustard, answer the door nude when Dougal comes knocking, but Dougal seems completely oblivious to this as he delivers the milk. At the very end of the episode, he suddenly sits bolt upright in bed and shouts, "THOSE WOMEN WERE IN THE NIP!!!"
    • In "Kicking Bishop Brennan Up the Arse", Ted does just what the title says after losing a bet with Father Dick Byrne. Bishop Brennan is so shocked he cannot process what has just happened until some time later, when he is in Rome for an audience with the Pope. Just as he is being introduced to His Holiness, Bishop Brennan roars, "HE DID KICK ME UP THE ARSE!!"
    • Also a bit where Ted thumps Dougal on the head with a pencil, and it takes several seconds for the pain-report to arrive in Dougal's brain.
    • In "Think Fast, Father Ted," Ted tries to knock a dent out of a car before it's given away in a church raffle, but only causes another dent, and so on until he's ruined the whole car. He's oddly calm about this until he wakes up that night screaming.
  • Friends:
    • In "The One With the Red Sweater", Rachel is pregnant, and the other two girls and Joey are trying to figure out who the father is. Their only clue: a man's sweater left behind in mommy's apartment a month ago. While the three of them are discussing this, Ross walks in, talks with them for a bit, and then says, "Hey, my sweater! I've been looking for this for like, a month!" Cue Eye Take from the girls, while Joey just sits there. Ross leaves, and then Joey freaks out.
    • This is almost a Running Gag with Joey, who has several of these throughout the series.
      [Joey, in deep thought, can't yet put together that the sex tape in Richard's apartment labeled "Monica" is probably referring to their friend]
      Chandler: GET THERE FASTER!
    • Probably the most memorable is in the finale when Monica and Chandler bring home their adopted children, which everyone believed was only one child, not two. Everyone reacts in shock except for Joey, who asks what the big surprise is, putting 2 and 2 together shortly afterward.
  • One of the many Running Gags in F Troop involved Cpl. Agarn making a snide comment about their current situation, like "It's a shame we can't get someone to sing in his place." The other person, realizing that this is actually a good idea, says "Agarn, I don't know why everyone says you're so dumb!" Later, usually after the next scene change, Agarn suddenly shouts "Who says I'm dumb?"
  • In an episode of Good Luck Charlie PJ procrastinates on going to the dentist, so Amy has him take a bite out of an apple to see if his teeth are in such good shape like he believes they are. A few seconds after PJ leaves the room, Amy begins counting, leading up to PJ's pained yell.
  • The Hogan Family. Sandy turns on the TV to do her workout and goes through the motions for several seconds before finally doing a horrified Double Take upon realizing that she's actually watching the pornographic video Mark and Willie rented.
  • In a season seven episode of How I Met Your Mother, Lily calls her father and tells him that she is pregnant. To Lily's dismay, her father remains nonchalant and hangs up the phone as if he didn't hear the news. However, at the end of the episode, he comes over to congratulate her; a flashback reveals that after he hung up he started screaming, "My daughter's having a baby!!!!" and made a scene at the board game convention.
  • iCarly: Used a bunch of times throughout the series, usually by Freddie and Spencer.
    • In "iMust Have Locker 239", Freddie negotiates with Sam about getting her half of the locker as Sam mentions that her mom is driving a car to fetch her just after having an eye surgery. Freddie still goes on his negotiation until Sam's statement sinks in.
    • In iHurt Lewbert:
      Carly: Lewbert got hurt, which brought out your mom's motherly instincts.
      Sam: So, what if you... got hurt?
      Freddie: Yeah... [pauses] WHAT?!
  • The IT Crowd: Roy rants that Jen knows nothing about computers and will someday slip up in something she says or does. Moss cuts in to say that the computer Jen is pretending to use isn't plugged in. Roy continues to rant and storms out. Moss says "He'll realize in a moment." He does. The failed US pilot delays the reaction further; Roy re-enters the office, claims a pen from the desk, and leaves before the realization.
  • In the M*A*S*H episode "38 Across", Radar was walking across the compound and passed Klinger, who said he was eating a jeep. Radar went on about his business and until he got back to his office, then suddenly processed what Klinger had said and told Col. Potter.
    • Another time, the entire camp had a delayed reaction to Hawkeye being naked. He walked right across the compound and into the mess tent without anyone noticing, until a corpsman dropped his tray in shock, getting everyone's attention.
  • In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Prince of Space:
    Tom: Talking like what?
    Mike: Why're you talking like that?
    Tom: Well, no, I'm not, I'm just way ahead of you, Mike.
    Mike: Well, like that, you know? You're answering my questions before I ask them. [...]
    Tom: No, you dope, I mean I'm moving faster than you temporally speaking.
    Mike: [insulted] Hey, whaddya mean you're way ahead of me?
  • The short-lived sitcom Oliver Beene had an interesting take on this one. In the middle of a game of charades featuring Oliver's parents, the Dad explodes in fury at his wife, and calls her stupid. She calmly smiles, and offers her guests dessert. The narrator (Oliver) states that for his mother, her anger was like a giant casserole. It's made, and then baked in the oven for an uncertain amount of time. Two scenes later... "Remember that giant casserole of anger? It's" (DING)
  • Our Miss Brooks: Mr. Conklin does this often for comedic effect.
  • Sanctuary: Nikola Tesla drops one of these on Helen Magnus when he looks her up after about, oh, fifty years.
    Tesla: I brought you here for two reasons — because only you can help me finish what I'm working on and because I love you.
    Helen: Yes, so you keep... what?
  • In the Seinfeld episode "The Wallet", when Kramer lights a Cuban using Jerry's stove, he also lights his hair on fire. It takes him a good ten seconds before he screams.
  • From the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Cost Of Living", featuring Troi, her mother, Worf, and his son. After hearing that Worf and the boy are "having trouble [drafting a] contract", Mrs. Troi goes doting on the boy:
    Mrs. Troi: Why of course he's unreasonable, he's a child! And such a child! You know, making children reasonable only gives them pimples!
    Troi: Alexander, this is my mother.
    Mrs. Troi: Alexander? What a wonderful name! I used to know a warrior named Alexander, he utterly adored me. And we went everywhere, simply everywhere together! Have you ever been anywhere, my little — CONTRACT, WHAT CONTRACT??
  • On Top Gear, while reviewing a Lamborghini Reventon (the Spanish "v" is pronounced like a "b"), Jeremy Clarkson makes a sly comment that owning one would get you "a lot of badge." At least a full second goes by before his co-presenter Richard Hammond gets the joke.
  • A real-life example: on the first episode of Season 2 of The Voice, one of the people auditioning was Tony Lucca, who was a Mouseketeer with coach Christina Aguilera... and she didn't realize that until he'd already finished his audition and left the stage.
  • In The West Wing when Leo offers a job to Ainsley Hayes:
    Ainsley: I'll ask again: for what purpose was I brought here today?
    Leo: So I could offer you a job.
    Ainsley: I'm asking because I do not think that it is fair to be expected to play the role for the mouse to the White House's cat in the game of... you know the game.
    Leo: Cat and Mouse?
    Ainsley: Yes. And it's not like I'm not, you know. The fact that I may not look like some of the other Republicans who cross your path does not mean that I'm any less inclined toward...
    Leo: Here it comes.
    Ainsley: Did you say offer me a job?

  • From the Cool Kids Table game Bloody Mooney: It takes Shannon, and by extension her character Keri, a few minutes to understand a joke JT (played by Josh) made about her. Once she does get it, she smacks him again.
    JT: One minute, Keri, for one minute leave me alone!
    Keri: No! I'm always on top of everything that happens in this school.
    JT: Yeah, that's what I've heard...

    Puppet Shows 
  • From the Sesame Street movie Big Bird in China, Big Bird needs to find a camel. That's all he knows. Naturally, there are no camels in China, so he goes sightseeing in a sculpture garden...
    Big Bird: Oh, look, there's an elephant. And there's a camel. And there's an orangutan. My these sculptures are pretty... [he walks off-screen, then...] A CAMEL?!?


    Video Games 
  • The Pokémon Slowpoke. As described in the Pokedex, "It takes 5 seconds for it to feel pain when under attack." This actually has an in-game benefit as it generally translates into a larger than is typical amount of HP. On the Internet, it translated to a meme in which a person masquerading as Slowpoke responds in a delayed way, such as "Am I too late for 5 Million?" on the 6,000,001st post of a forum, or reporting on the death of Elvis Presley days after the death of Michael Jackson. The funniest of these was someone posting on 4chan about a plot reveal in Code Geass. The first response was someone stating that "I don't have a Slowpoke slow enough to respond to this, so I'll wait 2 years and do it then." Cut to 2 years later...
  • At the beginning of the first Mega Man Battle Network game Yai has one when Dex calls her a shrimp.
    Dex: Aww stuff it! You sure got a big mouth for such a shrimp! We're not bothering anyone are we Lan?
    Yai: Well, I guess... Shrimp! That's no way to talk to a lady!
  • In Transformers: War for Cybertron Starscream declares that the Autobots are dumber than Skywarp. It takes a good 15 seconds for Skywarp to respond.
  • In Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, on the P3 side, Rei eats Yukiko's horrible cookies and comments that it was fine. But only after she notices that Zen ate the cookies and passed out standing up, the cookies take effect and she passes out suddenly.
  • In Devil May Cry 5, during their fight, Dante taunts Vergil about his abusive parenting and how the latter tore Nero's arm off. Vergil's response was "My son ... means nothing to me!" which was very cold-hearted, even for Vergil. But the following cutscene after finishing the fight, is Vergil asking in disbelief, "... Nero is my son?", implying that they were so caught up in their determination to kill Dante that they reflexively countered Dante's insult without realizing what it means and it was only afterwards that they caught on to the revelation.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Shikkoku no Sharnoth Angie is introduced to celebrity aristocrat Viola Baskerville and is so nonchalant about it that Mary is surprised. A few minutes later, she realizes who she's been making friends with and momentarily stops in shock... but then quickly continues making friends, reasoning there's no reason to start treating her differently now.
  • Whenever a girl is over at Shirou's house in Fate/stay night or just near him, Taiga will end up greeting them and chatting for a bit. After a minute or two she generally blows up.
  • In The Eden of Grisaia's Prologue To Grisaia short story, Michiru accidentally goes to a middle school called Mihama rather than the actual Mihama high school and doesn't notice her mistake for two months, at which point she's finally clued in by the fact that her uniform was different from everyone else's.
  • In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, upon The Reveal that Chihiro Fujisaki was actually a boy pretending to be a girl, it takes a little while for it to sink in with Hifumi.
    Hifumi: (calmly) Ah, I see. So "she" was actually a he. Interesting. Thank you for confirming this fact.
  • Steins;Gate Linear Bounded Phenogram:
    • In the "Ghostly Rendezvous" chapter, Suzuha informs Itaru/Daru of the identity of her dad, a major reveal form the first game (since he himself is her father). His response:
      Suzuha: My dad's name is... Hashida Itaru.
      Itaru: Hashida Itaru. I feel like I hear that name a lot. If anything, I'm kinda tired of hearing it... wait, isn't that me?
      Suzuha: Yep. Apparently.
      Itaru: ...Wh-wh-what's that supposed to mean!?
    • Later on in the same chapter, Kurisu walks on Suzuha undressing to get in a shower with Itaru.
      Suzuha: Um... I was thinking of taking a shower with Dad.
      Kurisu: Ooh, a shower. Gotcha.
      Suzuha: Should I have asked for permission first?
      Kurisu: No, no. You're a lab mem, too. No worries... W-wait, did you just say with your dad!? You're talking about Hashida, right?!

    Web Animation 
  • Among other jokes about Caboose's lack of intelligence in Red vs. Blue, he will occasionally slow down mentally. He once thought an Elite was using telepathy because his mind was only registering the alien's words after it stopped talking. Another time it took him a few minutes to realize that Agent Washington had pulled a Stealth Hi/Bye. And when Grif was speeding around on an out-of-control speed enhancement, he said, "Hey, Grif." several seconds after Grif raced past him.

  • A few instances of this occur in Exterminatus Now — like triggering the decoy Self-Destruct Mechanism.
    Virus: Damnit!
    Lothar: Ha, I win! ...Wait, shit.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Mrs. Kitsune gets through half a sentence before realizing Nanase just mentioned Tedd having a girlfriend.
  • Pixie and Brutus:
    • Brutus, trying to take a nap, initially responds without much thought to Pixie trying to show him a movie she found, "Nighttime on Elmo Street". A few seconds after she confirms that one of the characters is called "Freddy Krueger", Brutus snaps awake and smashes the screen just in time to prevent her from seeing a bloodbath.
    • Played for Drama in another strip. Brutus, again trying to rest, pays the bare minimum of attention to Pixie chattering about a bird. Then Pixie says that the bird seems to get bigger the longer she watches. Brutus cracks an eye in suspicion...and just misses his chance to stop an eagle from carrying Pixie away.
  • In Weak Hero, Ben asks Gray if he wants to hang out at the pool hall, but fully expects Gray to refute him like he'd done before. So when Gray agrees to it, it takes Ben a second to stop saying he understands to brighten up instead.
  • In The Whiteboard, Sandy's gotten quite a bit quicker over the years, but right after she was hired, it took her a bit to catch this gag.

    Web Videos 
  • A running gag on Atop the Fourth Wall: Linkara will read a character saying a stupid plan or inaccurate statement, summarize it in a triumphant tone of voice, and then go "Wait..." with confusion in his voice.
  • From Todd in the Shadows' review of Britney Spears' "Three":
    Todd: I literally cannot make out what she's saying. 1, 2, 3, Pita Parma, Peter Potamus... I don't know, I don't know.
    [video plays with subtitle: "1, 2, 3, Peter, Paul and Mary"]
    Todd: Well, there's your problem right there! It's a terrible rhyme. It's pronounced "Mary". Not "Myea-ree", whatever your said. That just sounds stupid. It makes her sound like English isn't even her first lan... guage... Peter, Paul, and Mary?!

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad! demonstrates this trope in the episode where Stan forgets his anniversary.
  • On Avatar: The Last Airbender, this often follows Toph making snarky jokes about her own blindness:
    • Pulled on Sokka when Katara and Aang are criticizing his (poorly drawn) rendition of Appa.
      Toph: It looks just like him to me.
      Sokka: Thank you, I worked really— Why do you feel the need to do that?
    • She would also get almost everybody while on a high-speed desert search.
      Toph: THERE IT IS!
      [everybody else excitedly stare in the direction she's pointing, then catch on all at once]
      Toph: That's what it will sound like when one of you SPOTS it. [grins and waves her hand in front of her blind eyes]
  • In an episode of The Cleveland Show, a gang of troubled teens Cleveland has been watching tells him that the "cookies" he took from a rival gang were actually cocaine and that they're coming for him. Cleveland seems to take it pretty well, then he's suddenly running around the room squealing like a pig.
  • In the Courage the Cowardly Dog episode "The Transplant", after Eustace experiences chronic back pain due to his transplant earlier, he walks into the bathroom, where he slowly transforms into a kangaroo monster. When asked by Muriel to see what's happening in the bathroom, a drowsy Courage walks to the bathroom and opens the door to see Eustace's transformation. Courage makes no reaction and nonchalantly shuts the bathroom door and walks back into the bedroom. When asked by Muriel what happened, Courage casually stares back for a few seconds right before letting out his trademark scream.
  • In Dan Vs. "The Animal Shelter", Chris picks at a meatloaf Dan made while Dan describes why he needs to take revenge on an animal shelter. When Dan mentions it involves a poisoned meatloaf, Chris continues to eat the meatloaf for three more beats before what Dan just said sinks in.
  • In DuckTales (2017), after Della chastises Louie for embarking on a dangerous Get-Rich-Quick Scheme without thinking about the possible consequences or the people he could hurt, Louie sarcastically wonders "who [he] got that from". Everyone else gasps in shock, aside from Launchpad who needs another two seconds to understand what Louie meant by the quip.
  • At the beginning of the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "Honor Thy Ed", the Eds are making "tacos" out of paper plates, grass, and crayon shavings and Eddy adds his older brother's Armenian Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce. None of them feel its effects at first, then it kicks in shortly after Eddy expresses his disappointment with it.
  • Family Guy:
    Peter: So did your therapist figure out what the problem was?
    Brian: Yeah. He thinks I'm in love.
    Peter: Oh my God... you can talk!
    • Also a semi-recurring gag where Chris hears some surprising news, talks nonchalantly about it and then goes, "Whaaaaaaaaa?!" This was done with Meg, with obvious less success, and many seasons later, Peter.
  • The Flintstones: At the end of "The Surprise", Fred has this reaction when he gets the news that he's going to become a father.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: In "Phone Home", Bloo is jealous of Wilt always rescuing and bringing home abandoned imaginary friends and decides to outbeat him. However, Bloo mistakenly kidnaps a man in a cellphones accessory advertisement costume thinking it's an imaginary friend and starts gloating about it in front of Wilt. When Frankie corrects him that it's a man in a cellphone costume, Bloo continues to gloat before he realizes what she just said.
    Bloo: I say you're jealous because I brought home...
    Frankie: A man in a cellphone suit.
    Bloo: That's right! A man in a...say what?
  • Frosty the Snowman:
    • Classic one with the traffic cop that meets Frosty...
      Cop: Dumb snowmen. When they first come to life, they don't know nothin'.
      [beat for about two and a half seconds]
      Cop: Come to life?!?! [accidentally swallows whistle]
    • Done again in the sequel, where the same cop seems to be used to Frosty, and then meets his new wife...
      Cop: Well, isn't that sweet. A snow wife.
      [beat for about two and a half seconds]
      Cop: A snow wife?!?! [accidentally swallows whistle]
  • Garfield and Friends:
    • One U.S. Acres segment dedicated to discussing animation tropes has the ultimate example of this. Laidback sheep Bo walks past a friend of his, who declares that the farm is being invaded by aliens resembling dishwashing liquid. He does not react, instead heading into his pen and sleeping away the entire winter. Three months later, he steps outside, stretches... and then shouts "Dishwashing liquid?! Oh no, man!" and runs away. Bo apparently isn't even close to the record for this trope, as according to Orson the record is over 11 months.
    • Garfield himself does this in "The Amazing Odie", when he contemplates: "Every day it's the same routine, I get up, I walk under the camel, I go to the kitchen, walk back under the camel and, wait a minute let's see, I get up I walk under the camel, go into the kitchen walk back under the camel, UNDER THE CAMEL!?"
  • An episode of Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi has Yumi getting annoyed with Ami's strict scheduling, so she sets Ami's alarm clock to wake her up five seconds later. This results in Ami's reaction time to certain events being lengthened, such as getting hit by a Frisbee and being told a joke. Briefly inverted later in that episode when Yumi was trying to set the alarm clock right but set it a few seconds ahead. This results in Ami saying "Gesundheit" to a sneeze Yumi was about to have.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, when Lucius wakes up after a day where everyone was pulling revenge pranks, he concludes that everything is back to normal. Then a talking bird greets him through the window with a pleasant "Good morning." Lucius returns it and walks off...then dashes back to the window when he realizes how wrong that is in Miseryville.
  • Kaeloo:
    • In Episode 81, Mr. Cat offers to demonstrate the ancient Egyptian technique of removing the brain through the nostrils on Stumpy, but then says he can't because Stumpy probably doesn't have a brain for him to remove. Stumpy concurs that he must be right, and Mr. Cat gets up and leaves. After he leaves, Stumpy finally realizes that he was insulting him.
    • In another episode, Stumpy is granted Sudden Intelligence and starts inventing stuff. Soon, he decides to make a bomb, and as soon as he mentions it, Olaf shows up and demands that Stumpy give him the bomb. Stumpy asks him to pay for it, and Olaf starts looking through his money before realizing that Stumpy is supposed to be The Ditz and asking why he is being so smart.
    • In Episode 65, Kaeloo gets angry at Mr. Cat and starts to look for him. In this episode, everybody has Full Body Disguises of everyone else, so Mr. Cat dresses as Pretty, tells Kaeloo that he went the other way and walks off. Kaeloo thanks him, but only after he's gone does she realize that the voice she heard was clearly Mr. Cat's.
    • In the episode "Let's Play Tennis", Stumpy is sitting in a tennis umpire chair. It takes him several minutes until he realizes that he's very high up... and a few more seconds to remember that he has acrophobia.
  • In an episode of Kim Possible Ron tries tries to rush Kim and her temporarily-good nemesis to a movie:
    Kim: Tempting, but I promised Shego we're go get our eyebrows waxed.
    Ron: Okay, but we're going to have to — [beat] You wax your eyebrows? What's that about?
    Kim: Forget I mentioned it.
    Ron: Done!
  • In the King of the Hill episode "The Texas Skilsaw Massacre" Hank accidentally cut Dale's right index finger off with the titular skilsaw. It takes a total of nine seconds after the digit is severed (and actually seeing it curled around his cigarette) for Dale to scream.
    • In "Aisle 8A", Connie gets her first period, but she's too embarrassed to tell Hank out loud, so she writes a note for him to read. It takes Hank a full second to process what he just read before screaming out in horror.
    Hank: (reading) "Mr. Hill, I just got my first period." (Beat) BWAAAHH!
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • "Luna Eclipsed": Fluttershy has this reaction when she sees Princess Luna (formerly Nightmare Moon) on Nightmare Night.
      Twilight: Fluttershy, it's me, Twilight.
      Fluttershy: It is you. Ah, Nightmare Moon. [beat] Nightmare Moon!
    • "Secret of My Excess": Rarity has one upon first hearing Spike intends to eat the Fire Ruby.
      Rarity: Is that a Fire Ruby? That must be at least 20 carats! No inclusions, pristine facets...
      Spike: And totally delicious.
      Twilight: Uh, you guys don't mind?
      Rarity: Oh, of course. I just came by to see if you had any books on historical fashion. Did you say "delicious?"
      Spike: Sure did!
    • In "Hurricane Fluttershy", Fluttershy keeps flying around in circles even after the tornado has disappeared.
    • "Trade Ya!". Twice by Rainbow Dash:
      • After being turned down so many times for trying to trade her horseshoe, one pony actually asks for it, which Rainbow takes a moment to realize.
      • When she finally gets the Orthros, only for the book's owner to say that she doesn't want an Orthros anymore, Rainbow freezes with her manic grin still plastered on her face. Several seconds later, she reacts by fainting.
    • "Pinkie Apple Pie": When the Apples are bickering with each other for their misfortunes.
      Apple Bloom: There wouldn't have been an overboard if Big Mac hadn't overpacked the jalopy!
      Big Macintosh: Eeyu— Hey!
    • "The Maud Couple": Pinkie Pie is disagreeing with Mudbriar that her sister Maud wouldn't like surprise parties, so they ask her...
      Maud Pie: I like surprise parties...
      Pinkie Pie: Hmmmm.
      Maud Pie: ...because I know they make you happy when you throw them for me.
      Pinkie Pie: See? [beat] Wait, what?!
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • In "One Good Scare Ought to Do It", Dr. Doofenshmirtz takes inventory of all the things in his escape jet:
      Doofenshmirtz: Let's see, I've got my old basketball, the lamp, the Christmas lights, the umbrella, Perry the Platypus, the Disinte-vaporator, my golf — Perry the Platypus?! (Scare Chord) The Disinte-vaporator?! (Scare Chord) My golf clubs?! I don't even play golf!
    • "Doof Dynasty" casts Isabella as a sheltered princess and Major Monogram as her guardian. When she requests to meet some of the other children, Regent Monogram tells her that it wouldn't be safe with a would-be evil conquerer on the scene. Less than a minute later, Doofus Khan's Mooks reveal themselves and snatch Isabella from the royal jiao.
      Regent Monogram: Now, you see this is exactly what I was — THE PRINCESS!!
    • Another in Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel, a Crossover with the characters from the Marvel Universe.
      Candace: All right, boys and girls, listen up, Mom's on a walking tour of Danville and Dad's tinkering in the basement, so I'm in charge. That means no shenanigans! Hey, Spider-Man. So I'll be over at Stacy's all... (realization) d-d-d-daaay???!!!
      Spider-Man: 'Sup?
    • In "Face Your Fear", Jeremy's dad explains the global surveillance satellite system, which could, in theory, be used to spy on anyone's backyard. Jeremy is just a bit too Genre Savvy:
      Candace: Wow, that's gotta be handy for something.
      Jeremy: And three... two... one... (points to Candace)
      Candace: What?
      Jeremy: Really? All right.
    • It dawns on Candace she could use the satellite to bust her brothers in the next scene, after she and Jeremy have gotten lunch.
      Jeremy: (as a frenzied Candace runs off) I was wondering how long that would take.
  • One Popeye cartoon has Olive do this when she answers the phone.
    Olive: Hello? Oh, you say I won a sweepstakes? That's nice. [resumes what she was doing for a few seconds, and then...] SWEEPSTAKES?!
  • The Powerpuff Girls: In the episode "Burglar Alarmed", a burglar breaks into the Powerpuff Girls' house and starts robbing them in the middle of the night. Bubbles wakes up to get a glass of milk and walks right next to the burglar who is emptying the fridge (and he even gives her the milk). Neither of them seemed to notice each over, until Bubbles started walking away and they both stare at each other for several minutes in pure shock. However, Bubbles simply sighs and goes back to bed.
  • Rugrats combines this with a Non Sequitur, *Thud* as Angelica and Susie are competing to see who's better. One of the competitions is to see who can jump farther off the swing. Angelica does, but lands on her face.
    Angelica: I did it! I jumped off the swings farther than you! Now all I gotta do is beat you a million-bazillion more times and... gee, what pretty colors!
  • On Samurai Jack, the penultimate episode reveals that Ashi was created from Aku's essence. In the final episode, when Jack goes back to his original time period and destroys Aku in the past, Ashi inevitably disappears from existence. Where most characters in her situation would disappear almost immediately after their progenitor's destruction, she doesn't disappear until what was likely several hours later.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In the episode "Home Sweet Pineapple", it takes Patrick 16 seconds after seeing that SpongeBob's house is missing and the latter explaining what happened to it for him to exclaim "Hey, SpongeBob, your house is gone!" Later SpongeBob stays the night in Squidward's house, and it takes a half-asleep Squidward 48 seconds to realize this just happened.
    • In "Ugh", SpongeGar and Patar put their hands in their recently-discovered fire for a good 10 seconds before screaming in pain.
    • In "Scaredy Pants", as he lowers SpongeBob down into the Krusty Krab, a jellyfish comes up behind Patrick and stings him in the butt, and it takes Patrick a few seconds to react before running around screaming in pain.
      • After realizing that it was SpongeBob's brain instead of a pink hat, Patrick runs off like everyone else. What makes this a really delayed reaction was that Patrick was the one who shaved SpongeBob down to his brain.
  • Steven Universe:
    • "Off Colors" introduces the outcast Gem Padparadscha, who has this as a tic; unlike a regular Sapphire, who can predict the future, Padparadscha can only predict things that have just happened, and usually when she blurts out these visions, they sound like Non Sequiturs.
    • "Change Your Mind":
      • When Steven fuses with a poofed Amethyst to form Smoky Quartz, it takes them a bit of time to realize that's what happened. While plummeting through the air.
      • After de-fusing from Rainbow Quartz 2.0, Pearl is complimented by Amethyst about her new outfit, and Pearl says she's most excited about the jacket before remembering that she and Steven fused.
      • Padparadscha's delayed reaction to seeing the Diamonds on Earth notably startles the Off Colors thanks to her yell of fright.
  • Teacher's Pet: Spot does this when he finds out why Moby and his spouse Charlotte can't go home to his human family:
    Moby: ...Time for our family to be born.
    Spot: Uhh... run that by me one more time?
    Charlotte: I'm about to have puppies.
    Spot: Ohh; that's nice. She's about to have puppies... [he walks out frame for a second and then zooms back into the picture] PUPPIES?!
  • Tom and Jerry:
    • Happens often with Tom, which makes him realize too late that he's carrying a bomb, about to get hit, that Jerry is right in front of him or in one case, sitting on a hot stove.
    • Jerry also has this happen to him in the 1945 short "The Mouse Comes to Dinner". As Jerry greedily munches on cheese and crackers, Tom hits him on the head with a spoon. Jerry keeps eating for a few seconds longer, then reacts to the blow on the head and keels over.
  • Spud in Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race has a delayed reaction to everything, including pain. In "Brazilian Pain Forest", his hand gets bitten by several ants, and it takes him over two hours to realize the pain. His team partner Rock is able to take full advantage of this in future episodes, as he knows exactly when the pain will register. This makes things difficult for them in Finland, when Spud gets bitten by a seal while trying to cross an ice floe.
  • Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner: Wile E. Coyote usually realizes very late that he's walking on thin air. Once he does, he falls down.

    Real Life 
  • The Guinness Book of World Records lists the man with the slowest reaction speed ever recorded: 20 seconds. He demonstrated on TV by being punched in the face. Twenty seconds later, he felt the pain and reacted accordingly.
  • Pokémon was made in 1996, and PETA realized they're against it circa 2012. Ironically, when they finally reacted, it was with a badly made Redundant Parody of the only entry in the Pokémon series (Pokémon Black and White) that actually heavily questioned the ethics of Pokémon battling. And to add insult to injury the villains eerily resemble a very thinly-veiled parody of PETA... and PETA praised said villains, having apparently skimmed the very beginning of a description of them, said "this sounds like us!", and assumed them to be heroes.
  • America (The Book) lambasted Bruce Tinsley's Mallard Fillmore over the heavy-handed nature of its messages and the lack of anything resembling punchlines ("Oops! I forgot to tell a joke!"). Nine months later, Tinsley responded with a series of strips claimed that the book was trying to convince people that the parody strip was real, culminating in a strip where a hook-nosed Jewish caricature of Jon Stewart joked about being a pedophile. Stephen Colbert described said caricature as "clip art from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." In a later interview, Tinsley responded that he'd been unaware of Stewart's Jewish heritage. He still felt the need to criticise Stewart over changing his name from Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, though.

Groo: What did he mean, slow of mind?

Video Example(s):


"...these are loafers."

When Rainier Wolfcastle threatens to kill Jay Sherman, not only does he fall for the "Your shoe's untied" gamble, it takes him the whole day to realise, that he's wearing loafers.

How well does it match the trope?

4.8 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / DelayedReaction

Media sources:

Main / DelayedReaction