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Don't Celebrate Just Yet

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"Assignment complete! Uh, oh no, wait, my bad. There's still one mission to go. Apologies..."

The party of heroes just defeated the Big Bad. He's finally dead. Hurray! Now we can all go back and live peacefully.... BUT WAIT! During that final encounter with the villain, they completely forgot to deactivate the self-destruct mechanism he activated. It's not that they couldn't, but they just were a little pre-occupied with a certain antagonist.

Cue the Oh, Crap! moments.

Well, for whatever reason may be, the heroes have survived, but now have somehow been separated during the quest. Friends, Family, or just people that are happy to see each other. When they finally meet back up, they take a moment to celebrate their reunion, but it must be cut short. They are quickly reminded that they have no time to spare and must continue on with their goal.

This trope is used to describe a situation that arises when a character or group of characters accomplish something worth celebrating over, but the moment is cut short when someone or something, usually the Only Sane Man, reminds them that they're not out of the woods just yet... Or they just simply forget. This is very much Truth in Television in athletic contests - sometimes someone showboats a bit too soon and winds up blowing their chance at victory because of it.


This is mostly a comedy trope, though sometimes played seriously. Sometimes a disaster could be averted if someone had just remembered it.

Compare Out of the Frying Pan and Hope Spot. See also Your Princess Is in Another Castle!, for times when it's the audience who realizes that it isn't quite over yet.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In one episode of Pani Poni Dash!, the miserable rabbit Mesoussa has a time bomb placed on him by an adorable and polite "Jinx in Training" who wants him to be unhappy. Becky and a few of her students start trying to figure out how to defuse the bomb over the course of the episode. With less than a minute left before the bomb goes off, Becky arrives just in time to tell Mesoussa that they figured out how to remove it. Mesoussa is overjoyed, everyone starts praising Becky for a job well done, and everyone just starts celebrating at the accomplishment... *BOOM!*
  • This exact phrase gets thrown around from time to time in numerous battles in Bakugan.
  • In the fifth Dragon Ball Z movie, the heroes are celebrating Cooler’s death when Salza, who had been ignored during the final battle, prepares to kill them. Luckily, Salza is quickly killed by Piccolo.
  • In a part of the ninth episode of Asteroid in Love adapted from the twenty-ninth chapter, Mira starts putting welcoming banners around her house when she hears from her mother that Ao's mother is willing to consider the plan for Ao to live in the Kinohata residence, and will discuss with her husband. Misa has to remind Mira that it's hardly a done deal.
  • Subverted during the Land of Waves arc in Naruto. All seems (relatively) good with Zabuza taking out Gatō and coming to terms that he really cared about Haku plus Sasuke survived his injuries from his battle with the latter. Too bad Gatō's remaining thugs call to the heroes' attention that with their boss dead, they're going to raid the village just to break even. Fortunately, they don't get that far before Inari and the newly-inspired civilians come along to save the day and make the thugs retreat...with a little aiding bluff from Naruto and Kakashi.

    Comic Books 
  • In a Superman annual story that is part of Armageddon 2001, in the future timeline where Superman goes off into space after the death of Lois Lane and his unborn child and falls in love with Maxima, his rival Decine threatens to destroy the earth under the pretense that this was what Maxima actually wanted (when it really wasn't). Superman and eventually Maxima show up to destroy Decine's spacecraft before he could accomplish this task, but as the two of them kiss, Decine in his dying breath tells them that his spacecraft is about to crash down into the earth and destroy Metropolis. Which prompts both Superman and Maxima to use their combined powers to stop the spacecraft and send it hurtling back into space.
  • In the second Atari Force series, Martin Champion dukes it out man-to-man with an Evil Knockoff version of himself that is the last incarnation of the Dark Destroyer and prevails, felling him to the ground and standing over him in victory. Dart tells him not to celebrate yet, because she has failed to stop the Dark Destroyer's anti-matter bomb from going off due to her tampering with the failsafe mechanism.

  • From Con Air: "Think you're free? Well, think again."
  • In Galaxy Quest the crew celebrates their defeat of the bad guys and successful return to the solar system when out of no where, the Big Bad shows up. Twice.
  • Pulp Fiction: Jules and Vincent have just cleaned out the car into spick-and-span ship-shape, and everything seems hunky-dory when the Wolf reminds them that they still have a dead body to dispose of: "Well, let's not start suckin' each other's dicks quite yet. Phase one is complete, clean the car, which moves us right along to phase two, clean you two."
  • In Star Trek (2009), the crew gets this one and a half times. First, they destroy Nero's ship... but then before they can even think about celebrating, the Enterprise starts getting sucked into the black hole! Once they've freed themselves from THAT unpleasant demise, the Crew doesn't celebrate. Instead, they share a collective sigh of relief. In the commentary, director JJ Abrams said he was trying to avoid having the crew cheer or anything like that. He wanted to avoid "Woo Hoo we kicked ass!" and instead go for "Holy shit did we just do that? I need to catch my breath!"
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has this happen quite a few times.
    • Jack celebrates getting away from Rexy in the opening just before the Mosasaurus leaps out of the lagoon and chomps him.
    • Franklin celebrates getting up the ladder away from the Baryonyx, but not only does the ladder slip and drop him down into the lava-filled room with the hungry predator again, when he climbs up, she manages to follow him.
    • Eversoll frantically punches in the code to the elevator to escape the Indoraptor, barely avoiding him getting in, and he and the other rich guests share a nervous laugh...and then the Indoraptor, whether deliberately or by accident, hits the elevator controls with his tail, opening it and giving them just enough time to react in terror before he slaughters them all.

    Live Action TV 
  • Subverted in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Fear Itself". The fight's over, everybody's back home and stuffing their faces with chocolate when Giles, reading up on the Monster Of The Week they'd just killed, suddenly exclaims,
    Giles: Oh, bloody hell, the inscription. I should've translated the inscription.
    Buffy: What does it say?
    Giles: (referring to the monster which had been dramatically revealed to be a tiny little demon that ended up being squashed by Buffy in two seconds flat) "Actual size."
  • In the Doctor Who episode "The Doctor Dances", the Doctor was celebrating the fact that everyone lived for once. Rose then reminded him of Jack Harkness, who had taken the bomb that was meant to save them elsewhere. They rescue him too.
  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Epideme", Lister's heart is stopped prevent him from being killed by the Epideme virus, and once the virus is successfully removed the others walk away to celebrate, only to rush back upon realizing that they forgot to revive Lister.
  • On Maury, this happens with the lie detector tests. The men will often start celebrating after the first question only to fail the rest of the test. For example, the first question may be "Did you cheat with [Specific Person]", to which the man correctly answers no. However, the next question is often "Have you ever cheated", to which the man also answers no and lies.


    Video Games 
  • In Banjo-Kazooie, after you rescue Tootie, the credits roll and there's a cutscene of the victorious Banjo, Kazooie, Mumbo, and Bottles celebrating with a barbecue—then Tootie comes out and reminds them that they still haven't defeated the Big Bad, and that Banjo had better get off his butt and do it.
  • In the Borderlands DLC The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, your character has defeated Dr. Ned and the credits start rolling. Then Undead Ned shows up and says "It's not over yet."
    Intro reel: Undead Ned - Holy F*#king Shit!!!
  • The intro to Left 4 Dead shows the survivors run from a Witch, fight a zombie horde, deal with special infected, set off a car alarm, and just barely escape from a Tank before they catch a moment's rest on a rooftop.
    Louis: We made it! I can't believe we made it!
    Bill: Son, we just crossed the street. Let's not throw a party 'til we're out of the city.
  • The first The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky uses this for a Cliffhanger. The coup has been defeated, the capital is celebrating the queen's birthday and Estelle is finally going to tell Joshua how she feels... except before she does, a recurring NPC approaches Joshua, reveals himself to be the true Big Bad and that Joshua is a Manchurian Agent, and that everything that happened was all part of his plan. Cue the second game.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Link storms Ganondorf's Tower, defeats him, and then escapes the Collapsing Lair with Zelda when the villain tries to pull a Taking You with Me. Afterward, Link and Zelda stand next to the pile of rubble that used to be Ganondorf's fortress, and Zelda begins a post-victory conversation... only for a tremor to shake the area. When Link goes to investigate, a Not Quite Dead Ganondorf emerges from the rubble and transforms into Ganon, the true Final Boss.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker features Link doing a comical but upbeat Victory Dance whenever he kills a dungeon's boss. He begins doing said dance after the first stage of the boss battle with That One Boss, but true to his trope, he gets back up, transforms, and probably destroys the player several times over between his second and third forms.
  • Metal Slug 6 has the the Alien Queen Final Boss. She's initially fought in a membrane-bubble-egg thing that can't move/attack, and only summon a few mooks, while you're armed with the titular tank and some of General Morden's own Rebel Army soldiers help you a bit too. When it's defeated, the Rebel Army soldiers begin celebrating as epic music plays... until the Queen's eyes glow insanely, shooting lasers that fry your allies, and the monster starts crawling towards you. Time for the actual final boss.
  • Halfway through Portal 2, GLaDOS gets unplugged from the mainframe and replaced by your friend Wheatley, who celebrates by throwing confetti while juggling various objects and speaking Spanish - right before he goes mad with power and becomes the second antagonist.
  • Star Fox 64: Second boss Shogun invokes this with the line "Don't party just yet!" when he shows up after you destroy the pair of bosses before him.
  • In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, after Strike One successfully assaults the aliens' terrestrial base and defeats the Sectoid Commander leading it, XCOM HQ is full of cheering personnel and triumphant music plays. When Dr. Vahlen asks Central Officer Bradford whether the victory celebration is "a bit premature at this juncture," he replies that "We just neutralized their central command, we've got no other alerts on the entire system, and we took out their leader. In my book, that's a win." Vahlen just gives him a Disapproving Look before walking off. Sure enough, the Sectoid Commander wasn't the only one of its kind or the highest-ranking part of the aliens' forces, and the war is far from over. And with the Enemy Within expansion, less than a month after you destroy their base, the aliens launch their own assault on XCOM's headquarters in the Base Defense mission.

  • Skin Horse: In an acknowledged invocation of the trope in this strip, Nera and Jonah are fleeing the bad guy base when they reach an exit. Their celebration is instantly cut off, though, as a mutant venomous axolotl drops down from the ceiling in front of the door, his mouth smoking. the corridor lights go out and are replaced by emergency lighting, a klaxon begins, and the energy cannons over the door begin charging.

    Web Original 
  • In the ending of Dream's Speedrunner VS 2 Hunters video, George and Sapnap knock Dream off the End island and remove his water flow, dooming Dream to eventually fall into the void when his remaining water runs out. George then celebrates by killing Sapnap, which causes Sapnap's Ender Pearls to fall into the void... and right into Dream's hotbar. What follows is Dream using the Pearl to teleport back onto the island, using George's shock and confusion to utterly own him in their final fight, and killing the Ender Dragon soon after with no difficulty. What makes this an even more notable use of the trope is that George and Sapnap had every reason to celebrate, as if George hadn't killed Sapnap Dream would have died, as he had no Ender Pearls until Sapnap's dropped onto him.
    • In the "3 Hunters Grand Finale" video, George, Sapnap and Bad make a trap near the End entrance platform (namely, they've encased it in blocks and intend to relentlessly bombard Dream with attacks once he enters). They then proceed to taunt Dream about the trap, believing he can't do anything about it. Well, Dream can't... but thanks to them telling him about the trap beforehand, that handy amount of TNT on-hand can. Had they kept quiet, Dream certainly would have waltzed into the End and died without a clue about the trap.

    Western Animation 
  • In Danny Phantom episode "The Million Dollar Ghost", Jack had just defeated Plasmius (yes, Jack Fenton defeated Plasmius) when he and Danny remembered they still have to change the ecto-filtrator to prevent the Fenton Portal from exploding. Then there was a cut to an explosion scene but it was just Jack showing Danny a simulation of what would have happened if they failed.
  • In part two of the second season premiere of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, after Rainbow Dash is restored to normal, the girls all cheer and hug each other. Then a herd of buffalo in tutus dances across the screen, and they remember that they still have Discord to deal with.
    Maybe it's a little early for a group hug.
  • The Powerpuff Girls go into celebratory hugs after stopping a crime in "Mime For A Change," until Bubbles notices that the color has been drained from the landscape.
  • The villain in The Real Ghostbusters episode "Slimer Come Home" (named "Mr. Ugly" by the heroes in-story and "Ghash" in the Storyboards and Script files) is a massive poltergeist who becomes far stronger by absorbing the power of other poltergeists. The heroes manage to bust him after he combines with dozens of them, but then, as Egon tells them in near panic, the ghost trap now has far more ghosts in it than it was designed to hold, meaning they have to floor it back to the firehouse and transfer them to the containment unit before they break free explosively.
  • Danger Mouse: In "Day Of The Suds," DM and Penfold appear to have wrapped things up nicely after disposing of Baron Greenback's army of renegade washing machines. But not only is a TV reporter hounding DM of leaving London with dirty laundry, but the chemical residue from the washers has created a giant detergent monster.
  • Dick Dastardly thinks he's won the Wacky Races contest "Creepy Trip to Lemon Twist" until the judges insist on seeing a replay of the finish. Dastardly is shown having extended the nose of the Mean Machine ahead of the others, thus disqualifying him.


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