Let's say a conversation that's supposed to be about a particular subject is starting up. Perhaps it's part of a meeting at work. Perhaps you're being confronted about something you did in the past. Perhaps you're just chatting with a friend who is hell-bent on quickly discussing that subject.
One side of the conversation will start it with flattery and/or small-talk, perhaps out of fondness for such things, or perhaps simply as a way to put off addressing the relevant subject. The other side, however, will have none of it; they want to get straight to the point, and won't let flattery or small talk distract or delay them. They tell the other side to dispense with the pleasantries and get down to business right away.
Often overlaps with Don't Call Me "Sir". Shut Up, Hannibal!/Shut Up, Kirk! moments may qualify as this if the corresponding Breaking Speech or Kirk Summation is polite in tone. It's one reason for Talk About the Weather.
Truth in Television, of course.
Sister trope to Hates Small Talk
- In Haruhi Suzumiya: Remote Island Syndrome, Haruhi starts out extremely polite to the owner of the mansion. He then mentions that he's surprised since he has heard she's rather... direct. At this point she dispenses with the pleasantries and launches a barrage of questions about how many mysterious events, murders, etc. have taken place there.
- Dragon Ball: When a squadron from the Red Ribbon Army comes to recruit Master Roshi, thinking he is a scientist, The Leader of the group utters this phrase word for word after an extended conversation where Roshi is mocking the organization.
- In Cross Ange, Ange is not a fan of small talk when Misty is distraught at the fact that the former is a Norma.
- In the Sandman graphic novels, at one point Morpheus sends Lucifer a message, wrapped up in highfalutin' diplomatic language. Lucifer cuts the messenger off midway through his recital of Lucifer's full list of titles and asks for "just the content".
Cain: From the Lord of the Dreamworld, Prince of Stories, Monarch of the Sleeping Marches, His Darkness Dream of the Endless, to His Infernal Majesty, Lucifer, called Morningstar: greetings. Our right trusty and well-beloved cousin -Lucifer: No. Not the message. Just the content.
- In Oliver & Company, when Fagin is visited by a mafia loan shark named Sykes; one whom Fagin owes money to and is implied not to be able to pay it back in time; he tries to put off admitting this by talking about the weather and about Sykes' dogs.
Fagin: Oh, lovely evening, I was just saying this to your two lovely pure-bred...Sykes: ... the money, Fagin.
- Kung Fu Panda 2
Lord Shen: Good afternoon, gentlemen. Now, we've got the pleasantries out of the way. Please leave my house.
Storming Ox: Your house?
Lord Shen: Yes, didn't you see the peacock on the front door?
- As implied by the page quotation, Vader's blunt dismissal of Jerjerrod's flattery in Return of the Jedi provides the trope name.
- Downplayed in Pretty Woman, where it at first seems to be this, but turns out to be about redirecting the flattery to someone else.
[After Edward informs salesclerk Hollister that he will be spending an obscene amount of money buying clothes for Vivian at Hollister's shop]Hollister: Mr. Lewis? How's it going so far?Edward: Pretty well, I think. I think we need some major sucking up.Hollister: Very well, sir. You're not only handsome, but a powerful man. I could see the second you walked in here, you were someone to reckon with...Edward: Hollister.Hollister: Yes, sir?Edward: Not me. Her.
- God to King Arthur in Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
GOD: Arthur! Arthur, King of the Britons! Oh, don't grovel! If there's one thing I can't stand, it's people groveling.Arthur: Sorry—GOD: And don't apologize. Every time I try to talk to someone it's "sorry this" and "forgive me that" and "I'm not worthy". What are you doing now!?Arthur: I'm averting my eyes, oh Lord.GOD: Well, don't. It's like those miserable Psalms— they're so depressing. Now knock it off!
- D.E.B.S. Ms. Petrie (the team's boss) arrives for a visit.
Max: I just want to say what a pleasure it is to meet you.Ms. Petrie: No time for pleasantries.
- From the 1997 Leave It To Beaver movie:
Eddie Haskell Jr.: You looked as though you just walked out the runway.June Cleaver: Eddie?Eddie Haskell Jr.: Yes Mrs. Cleaver?June Cleaver: Cut the crap.
- In Lean on Me, Clark makes abundantly clear at a teachers' meeting that flattery isn't going to work on him.
Mr. O'Malley: We want to welcome Mr. Clark to Eastside; we've heard so much about you; and tell you what we have done in anticipation of your arrival. Mrs. Levias, your other vice principal, and I, have appointed an executive committee to oversee certain areas where we have noted a need for improvement, and Mr. Zirella, for example...Joe: You may sit down, Mr. O'Malley.
- In The Fifth Element, Korben asks the President to stop thanking him and tell what the problem is now.
- Used in The Naked Jungle. It's a bad sign when this happens at your first meeting.
- Murder on the Orient Express (2017). Ratchett has been getting anonymous death threats and wants to hire Hercule Poirot as a bodyguard, but he's been ignoring him. Eventually Ratchett sits down at Poirot's table, saying he hates dining alone. Poirot quickly sees through his attempt at small talk.
Poirot: I am of an age when I know what I like and what I do not like. What I like, I enjoy enormously. What I dislike I cannot abide. For instance the temporary pleasantries before what is determined to be a business discussion.
- Inverted by Agatha Christie in The Pale Horse where Mr. Bradley is shocked at Mark Easterbrook dispensing with the pleasantries.
- In The Count of Monte Cristo, this is a typical trait of the Baron Danglars's conversations; he's a very strict man with little tolerance for small talk.
- In Pyramids, Pteppic keeps asking Dios to say something without prefacing it with all of his titles, which are extremely lengthy and Dios insists on announcing at the start of every sentence. Dios ignores him.
- In The Hobbit, Beorn loses patience after the first handful of dwarves bow to him and say, "At your service," proceeding to brush the next ones off before they can say anything by telling them he doesn't need their service and they should just say their names.
- Tony Soprano usually has little tolerance for beating around the bush, particularly when in an irritable mood (which is a lot of the time). He's very much a "let's get straight to business" kind of guy.
- On 30 Rock, Josh's sleazy agent does this with Jack, phrasing as it as the lovely analogy, "Let's skip the foreplay and get right to the penetration."
- From Malcolm in the Middle, when Mr. Herkabe tries to give a villainous speech, but gets interrupted as such:
"Can we just skip the evil speech and explain how you're gonna try to torture me?"
- The Vocational Guidance counselor sketch in Monty Python's Flying Circus begins with the client opening up with attempts at pleasantries before the councillor cuts him off with "enough of this gay banter".
- Inverted in Stargate SG-1 episode Full Circle when Daniel (who has at this point Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence) shows up again and immediately launches into a detailed explanation of what Anubis is up to and what they need to do about it. O'Neill gets upset because Daniel didn't even bother with such basic pleasantries as saying hello to him first, and forces the conversation to restart with greetings and pleasanties.
- Person of Interest. In "Mors Praematura"
Root: We're on a bit of a clock here, so let's dispense with the temper tantrum.
- Game of Thrones. Lady Sansa and Jon Snow must appeal to the ten year-old ruler of House Mormont for armed support in attacking Winterfell. They try to flatter Lady Mormont by comparing her to her namesake Lyanna Stark and talking about her uncle Jeor, but she will have none of it and demands to know what they want.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: On more than one occasion, Sisko has told Weyoun that he can skip his whole Affably Evil act.
Weyoun: How delightful. You feel comfortable enough around me to make jokes. I'm so pleased to see our relationship evolving beyond the stale adversarial stage.Sisko: No it's not. But before you twist that into a compliment, let me be blunt. I don't like the Dominion, I don't like what it stands for, and I don't like you. So let's dispense with the hollow pleasantries and stick to business.
- In the Star Trek: Enterprise Mirror Universe episode "In a Mirror, Darkly", Mayweather helps Archer oust Captain Forrest and become The Captain himself, and is rewarded by becoming Archer's personal bodyguard.
Mayweather: And Captain...I'd like to be the first to congratulate you on a brilliant stratagem. I'm certain that in years to come—
Archer: You've already got the job, Sergeant. Don't talk yourself out of it.
- In the NCIS episode "Doppelganger", as Not-Tony tries to hit on Kate, inviting her to dinner:
- Seinfeld. Jerry is perplexed at the forwardness of a woman he encounters in a store—asking him out, suggesting that they go back to his place, immediately jumping on him—without any lead-in to any of these activities, until she breaks down and tells him her husband asked her to behave like this.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "Amends", Buffy manages to combine this trope with "Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?":
The First: You think you can fight me? I'm not a demon, little girl. I am something that you can't even conceive. The First Evil. Beyond sin, beyond death. I am the thing the darkness fears. You'll never see me, but I am everywhere. Every being, every thought, every drop of hateó
Buffy: Alright, I get it. You're evil. Do we have to chat about it all day?
- Parodied in one Spaceman Spiff adventure. When Spiff is brought before the Zorg despot, it tells him that if he cooperates in handing over the information they need, his death will be quick and painless. He tells the twisted space crustacean to dispense with the pleasantries and just tell him what information they want.
- From the Magic: The Gathering novel Agents of Artifice:
Tezzeret: You do us great honor with your presence. It is my hope, Nicol Bolas, that together we can come to a mutually beneficial—
Nicol Bolas: Shut up. I hate you, artificer, and I find rare cause to bother hating anyone anymore. The only reason I'm not currently picking your spine out from between my teeth is because you were smart enough to arrange these wards ahead of time. More to the point, I know full well you feel the same about me, no matter how you choose to doll up your words and trot them out like perfumed trollops. So perhaps we can save the pleasantries for those who actually care about them, and simply tell me what you propose?
- In Twelfth Night, Olivia will not allow Viola to continue with Orsino's declaration of love to her. In her case it's that the message is nothing but pleasantries, and nothing she hasn't heard from Orsino's messengers a hundred times before.
Viola: Most sweet lady, —Olivia: A comfortable doctrine, and much may be said of it.
- In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Act Two's first song is "Strike That, Reverse It", in which Willy Wonka is determined to greet each of his guests and get the adults to sign an incomprehensible contract as quickly as he can so he can start the tour. Since most of the participants are obnoxious kids and coddling parents, what little small talk he is willing to make in the process of this is peppered with teasing, Stealth Insults, Ice Cream Koans, etc. Typical example:
Mr. Salt: Wonka! Sir Robert Salt! Salt's Salty Nuts!Willy Wonka: (very quickly) Pleased to meet you, Bob. Peanut business treating you well?Mr. Salt: Well, actually...
- A recurring motif in West Side Story, especially in interactions between the two gang leaders:
Riff: Set íem up, Doc—Cokes all around!Bernardo: Letís get down to business.Riff: Bernardo hasnít learned the procedures of gracious living.
Riff: (before the planned fight) Come center and shake hands.Bernardo: More gracious living?
- From Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Dracula responds to Richter's Shut Up, Hannibal! with this:
Dracula: What is a man?! A miserable little pile of secrets! But enough talk, have at you!
- From Kingdom Hearts II, Luxord begins his battle saying, "I'd rather we just skip the formalities."
- In Mass Effect, one sidequest, "Our Own Worst Enemy," involves Shepard coming across the aggressively pro-human political party Terra Firma. Their party leader, Charles Saracino, comes up to greet Shepard, with the brusque Renegade response as follows...
Saracino: Commander Shepard? I'm Charles Saracino of the Terra Firma party. It's an honor to meet you. (reaches out to shake his hand)Shepard: (swats his hand away) Cram your honor. What's this riot about?
- The World of Warcraft dungeon "Trial of the Champion" makes the player party fight a series of encounters on a tournament arena. Normally, when you say "I am ready" to the announcer, he will start introducing each of the enemy champions separately in colorful expressions, in a scripted scene that takes about two minutes to play out. Naturally, since players tend to run the same dungeons over and over for loot, they quickly got bored from listening to the same announcements for several times in a row. Eventually, Blizzard added the option to tell the announcer to "skip the pageantry", letting the party proceed straight to the combat.
- Kefka does this in Final Fantasy VI during the scene on the Imperial base outside Doma. Where some of the other examples are intended to underscore the workman-like nature of the characters who do this, Kefka's example just underscores his barely-concealed psychosis.
- Parodied in the Futurama episode "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back", Hermes receives an inspection from the Central Bureaucracy which he fears demotion thanks to Bender's antics. Sure enough, the inspector, Morgan Proctor arrives and the two introduce themselves and their grades (19 and 35, respectively) before reading, signing, and stamping several pages of each others' folder reports. The ever stoic Proctor announces that the time for small talk is over and she would like to begin the inspection.
- Justice League Unlimited S 2 E 4 Task Force X: After seeing Sans Souci doing The Tease to Lawton, Captain Boomerang and Clock King want to talk business:
Harkness: Enough of this talk, let's get talk of out the business at hand, will ya?.Fugate: Agree, time is of the essence.
- After being freed in Jackie Chan Adventures, Po Kong the Mountain Demon tells her sibling "Enough fanfare. What's for supper."
- In the pilot episode of The Legend of Korra, Korra has been arrested by the abrasive Chief Lin Beifong who refuses to cut her any slack despite the fact she's the reincarnation of her mother's best friend. Tenzin arrives and begins to barter with Lin, starting by saying she looks "radiant", only for Lin to immediately growl at him to cut the crap. The gruff response also partially stems from the fact that the two used to be in a serious relationship which ended in a nasty breakup.