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Faux Final Line

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Alice and Bob have just defeated the Monster of the Week, but there isn't time to celebrate—they need to get back to school before the teacher notices their absence. Luckily, they manage to return seconds before the teacher enters the room. The pair tries to act as if they'd been there the entire time, having a normal conversation. There's no time to really come up with something, so Bob simply turns to Alice and says, "Anyway, that's what I did this weekend."

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There we have it: The Faux Final Line.

This is when Character A pretends they've been conversing with Character B by making a random and conclusive statement just as Character C approaches. It's done to give the illusion of normality or to avoid being humiliated, exposed as heroes or villains, etc.

It's important for this trope that there was no actual conversation taking place between the two characters—it was only falsely implied to be—and that it was done to make an oblivious character believe that things were going smoothly or normally when the opposite is true.

Often overlaps with Phoney Call. Compare Orphaned Punchline (for when we see a character deliver a punchline, but the setup happened off-screen). Contrast Last-Second Word Swap, where a conversation was indeed taking place, but words were altered to avoid exposition or embarrassment.

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Examples

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    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: In the January 23, 1989 strip, Calvin is ordering power tools over the phone. When his mom passes by, he pretends he's calling Susie about homework ("So, the assignment is pages two through four?") until she leaves.

    Film-Live Action 
  • Obsessed Features this. Lisa tricks the babysitter into letting her into the house so she can kidnap the child. She pretends to have a conversation with Sharon (the child's mother) and even implies that she is angry . It's taken Up to Eleven when Lisa offers the phone to the babysitter , who declines it.
  • Murder by Numbers Zigzags this trope. In order to make Justin believe they have a tape of the murder, Cassie instructs her fellow detective to whisper something into her ear. He says "Remember what I said about switching partners?" She responds "Are you serious? Where did you find it?"
  • Peter Rabbit features an example. When Peter and McGregor are in the middle of a huge fight with one another, Bea keeps reentering at random moments at which point they pretend to be getting along fine. During one of these instances, McGregor grabs a book and says "and that's what makes us different from the French."

    Literature 
  • Pinocchio has an instance of this. Honest John and Gideon pretend to engage in conversation just as Pinocchio is about to approach them.
    Honest John: Ah yes, Giddy. As I was saying to the duchess only yesterday...
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    Western Animation 
  • The Wild Thornberrys Has an example in the episode "Pal Joey" Having been tasked, with babysitting a young Kangaroo, Eliza ends up in serious trouble but is ultimately able to get Joey back where they're expected to be just as his mother hops up. She says: "and that's why in Tolgo, Biscuits are called Joeys, the end".
  • Phineas and Ferb Has an example in the episode "Flop Starz." Realizing that she acted very strangely as Jeremy approached, Candace straightens up, looks at Stacy and says "And that is what a gorilla looks like when you try to take its food. "
  • Big Hero 6: The Series: has one in the episode entitled "Rivalry Weak." In an ultimately unsuccessful effort to hide the fact that he and his friends are planning an elaborate prank on the rival school, Hiro responds to Professor Granville's abrupt entrance by saying "and that's why covalent bonds share electrons. Super interesting."
  • "Lard of the Dance" from The Simpsons had Nelson discuss huckleberries with some other boys when Principal Skinner walks up to them, causing Nelson to hesitantly say, "So anyway, I kicked the guy's ass." Skinner then leaves, and Nelson resumes the prior discussion.


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