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"I Know What We Can Do" Cut

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"This is Gordon Freeman how do we contain the meltdown? I know!"
And he used portals to push henemy headquarters into a portal so Dallas wouldnt melt down and it would only go off harmless in Atlantic ocean.

You've probably seen it. A character says, "I know what we can do!" or some variation.

Cut to "we" doing the thing as the character says what it is we're doing, not in voiceover, but while there.

Sort of an aversion of the Unspoken Plan Guarantee: We hear the plan described while it's happening, so as to avoid telling the audience what's going on "in advance".

Compare with Answer Cut and Gilligan Cut.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Azumanga Daioh's Hiccup Hijinks part of episode 2, "Osaka's Day", Tomo says, "Oh wait! I know!" Cut to Tomo explaining that she heard that taking a drink from a cup balanced on chopsticks is an effective cure, while Osaka is already attempting it.
  • Used in Bakugan. After Dan and Masquerade team up to beat two Elite Mooks, both having Elemental Powers akin to their Mons, it is revealed that every downfall and failure the duo takes was in fact all part of their Unspoken Plan Guarantee.

    Films — Animated 
  • In The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, SpongeBob and the gang have a little trouble walking on a sidewalk because of people roller-skating and riding bikes.
    SpongeBob: Now what?!
    Squidward: We're never gonna make it!
    (SpongeBob notices a bike. Cut to the gang riding it.)
  • In Big Hero 6, after the team sinks their car and gets all wet, Fred announces "I know a place." — Cut to them arriving at Fred parent's Big Fancy House.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Done in the modern remake of Ocean's Eleven and its sequels.
  • In Monty Python's Life of Brian, the PFJ's plan to kidnap Pilate's wife is described over the scene of it happening: "Now will be the moment for Habakkuk to get out his prong."
  • White Christmas: Phil has come up with a plan to delay the sheriff by lipsynching the song Betty and Judy had just performed. We're not told this in advance, only shown him holding the record. He drags the reluctant Bob away, then we cut to the two of them wearing feathers and carrying fans. Hehe.
  • The end of The Italian Job (1969) ...although we never do get to find out what the brilliant idea was...
  • Parodied in Shaun of the Dead, where Shaun has to explain a plan in this way three times (with minor alterations) until he gets a version that he and Ed are both happy with. In addition, the footage that we see while he's describing the plans makes them look laughably easy, all finishing with everyone smiling and happy and a shot of Shaun sipping a tea (or beer) and winking smugly at the camera.
  • The A-Team remake movie does this twice: with the mission at the beginning of the movie and part of its finale and the ending itself.
  • Happens in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Harry and Ron get the idea to use the flying Ford Anglia to get to Hogwarts.
  • Played with in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, when a car wash is suggested to raise enough money to save the Average Joe's gym. Cut to a series of shots of sexy, scantily-clad women washing cars...only to reveal that it's actually Globo Gym's car wash next door, while Average Joe's car wash is completely floundering. "What are the chances? Same day, right across the street..."

  • The Brave Little Toaster: The scene where the appliances try to figure out how to set upon their journey to the city. Lampy and Radio get to try first. Hilarity Ensues.
  • At the climax of Sandy Mitchell's Warhammer 40,000 novel Cain's Last Stand, Ciaphas Cain tells them what they can do, tells us that they opposed it, but does not tell the reader until he actually does it: calls up Varan and proposes a meeting to discuss surrender terms.)
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel False Gods, at the end of Horus's temptation by Chaos, while Erebus and Magnus are arguing over him (Magnus desperately trying to save Horus), Horus roars that he has made his decision. End scene. End of Horus's POV. The unfolding of it is revealed through the eyes of other characters. (Not that there was any doubt as this is Back Story to the universe.)
  • Captain Underpants uses this as a running gag.
  • Liv in the Future: Liv tells Alix about her plan to break into the morgue, which has far too many action movie elements present to be realistic. After shutting her plan down and thinking for a minute, Alix says he has an idea. The next scene has them walking through the front door and claiming they’re delivering a pet to “Josh” in order to get in.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played for Laughs in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. When asked, Bucky describes to Sam how Zemo would hypothetically escape the German prison. We see the "hypothetical" play out. Then Zemo walks into the garage with them.
  • Firefly employed this for the team's heists.
  • An episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine does this in an episode involving, of all things, a casino heist. However, they actually end up showing the whole thing again because when they actually go to pull off the heist, not everything goes according to plan.
  • An interesting example occurs in an episode of Leverage, where a character describes how impossible a painting would be to steal, including all the specific next-to-impossible obstacles they'd have to overcome... while a different group of thieves are busy overcoming all those obstacles. The team gets in just as the painting has been replaced with a stock Dogs Playing Poker.
  • In an episode of NUMB3RS, two bank employees are taken hostage to force their boss to cooperate with an ATM hacking scheme. The team figures it out and confronts him, and he finally agrees to tell them the truth. His description of what's supposed to happen according to the kidnappers is overlaid over video of him playing his part (basically, appearing to go along with the scheme), intermixed with shots of the FBI's behind-the-scenes actions.

  • Pulled off fairly well in this comic of Furmentation.
  • In Erfworld, Wanda describes the plan to use Jillian to bait a trap for Ansom as we see the setup being carried out.
  • Narbonic used this trope for a minor cliffhangar in the vaguely Steampunk-themed Alternate Continuity of the Sunday strips. Helen is rather dejectedly contemplating the fact that her attempt to reanimate a corpse has instead resulted in her discovering Anti-Gravity, which wasn't really what she had in mind (not to mention the fact they're going to have to somehow get the dead body down from the ceiling before it goes manky) when Mr Davenport the statistician has a minor "Eureka!" Moment. The last line of dialogue in the strip is him saying:
    "I have an idea."

    Western Animation 
  • In a Simpsons episode, we cut to Moe saying "Me too". His only patron questions his, and Moe explains that he assumes someone somewhere else is also planning to.
  • In the Thunderbirds Clip Show episode "Security Leak", Jeff Tracy outlines his plan to return the young stowaway home while we see it happening.
  • In the Futurama episode "Time Keeps on Slipping", Hermes claims to have come up with a way to stop the time skips. This is immediately followed by a time skip to them implementing the plan - Hermes is playing the steel drums, everyone else is in a conga line, and they're all naked.
    Hermes: I don't even know how this was supposed to work!
  • In Clerks: The Animated Series, Dante and Randall realize that a predicament closely resembles an episode of The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer. Cut to the bad guy getting arrested, apparently having been seduced by a cross-dressed Randall.
  • The plan Lana comes up with in the Archer episode "Jeu Monegasque" is presented this way.
  • "Ferb, I know what we're going to do today!"
  • In The Beatles episode "I'll Be Back," three tone-deaf outlaws steal Ringo's diamond-studded gold guitar. In thinking of how to get it back, Paul says "I've got an idea!" Then dissolve to a hilltop, where the boys are about to send Ringo down the hill into the outlaws' hideout in a mine car.
  • Sonic Boom:
    • In the episode Cow Bot, while Sonic, Tails and Eggman are waiting for Cow Bot to (very slowly) get to the fortress, Sonic gives Coconut Hurl another shot, this time with Sonic trying to throw Eggman. Sadly, Eggman is too heavy. Later, Eggman says that he has an idea. The scene cuts to Sonic using a catapult to launch Eggman, and that causes Sonic to get a new record in Coconut Hurl.
    • In the Episode Battle of the Boy Bands...
    Tails: How are we gonna convince this guy we're in the music biz?
    Sonic: I know just what to do...
    Cut to Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles in Sonic's house
    Sonic: We'll form our very own boy band!
    Tails: Did you really have to bring us all the way down here to finish that sentence?
    • Given a call back later in that same episode, after moving from Amy's house to Tails' workshop:
    Tails: ...thus, the Measureometer!
    Sonic: It's fun to bring people a long way to finish a sentence, isn't it?
    Tails: It really is!
    • Done with even more Lampshade Hanging in the episode Sticks and Amy's Excellent Stay-Cation...
    Amy: Thankfully, I know something that is my cup of tea...
    Cut to Amy's House
    Amy: A cup of tea!
    Sticks: Why did you just say that?
    Amy: Remember before when I said, "I know something that is my cup of tea"? I was just finishing the thought.
    Sticks: But you said that like an hour ago.
    Amy: Yeah, but imagine if you were an outside observer just watching pieces of the conversation.
    Sticks: You see them too?!
  • Big Hero 6: The Series lampshades this in the episode Major Blast. When asked if Boss Awesome ever talked about a villain named Major Blast, Fred announces that his father "should have a record in his..." Fred stands up and leads the team to the limo, which is driven back to his house, where the team enters Boss Awesome's secret lab and all start looking through boxes until Fred pulls out the "...punch card database!"
    Honey Lemon: It's pretty impressive you didn't say anything the whole way here.
    Fred: It's called 'dramatic effect' and I just used it perfectly!