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Meanwhile Scene

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A scene that takes place somewhere else than where the main characters are. Usually used to cut to villains or other plot-important characters to show what they're doing, in order to build up Foreshadowing and drama. Beware of Cryptic Conversations often done by the Omniscient Council of Vagueness.

Often used as part of the Third Line.

Differs from Meanwhile, Back at the… because the transition only happens for one scene, rather than cutting to another plot thread or viewpoint.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In episode 7 of Kotoura-san, Haruka haven't been able to contact Manabe and asked Yuriko and Dai'chi for assistance. Yuriko thought he might have been having sex with Hiyori, but Dai'chi disagreed, saying she's still still struggling for her summer assignments. The scene then cut to the Moritani dojo and we see Hiyori's desk was moved to the middle of the hall, being surrounded by trainers.
  • One Piece has an interesting variation of this in the manga. Instead of jumping during the story, each cover for each chapter (besides the one with Non Sequitur) develops a mini-story exploring what happened to characters from a previous arc.

    Film — Animation 
  • The Incredibles:
    • Jack-Jack Attack focuses on what happened with Jack-Jack and babysitter Kari at the Parr house during the events of The Incredibles, with the other Parr family members fighting Syndrome and his Mooks on Nomanisan Island.
    • Auntie Edna focuses on what happened with Jack-Jack and Edna at her mansion during the events of Incredibles 2, with the other Parr family members being absent.
  • In Turning Red, there is a brief scene of Mei's friends waiting for her at Tyler's birthday party before it cuts back to what Mei is doing.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Parodied in the French film La Cité de la peur: while the film is set in Cannes, France, it sometimes cuts to Vera Cruz, Mexico, with the obligatory off-voice narration "Meanwhile, in Vera Cruz..." The Vera Cruz scenes have absolutely no relevance to the plot and only show a woman shopping at a grocery store.

  • In William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Act III scenes 2 & 4 overlap timewise. In scene 2 Sir Toby, Sir Andrew & Fabian have a scene, then Maria comes to get Toby & Fabian to see how ridiculous Malvolio is acting in front of Olivia. In scene 4 Olivia has called Malvolio, he appears and acts ridiculous at her, Maria disappears; then Olivia leaves and Maria reappears with Toby & Fabian.

    Video Games 
  • Last Scenario does this often, usually to what the current villain is doing, or to foreshadow a Man Behind the Man. A Running Gag in Keltena's screencap Let's Play:
  • Exit Fate too, usually with lots of Cryptic Conversations.
  • Dhux's Scar also does this a lot, usually to Maikas or Halbarad. Lampshaded if you open the game with RPG Maker, where all the Maikas scenes are named "More Maikas", "Even More Maikas", etc., finally culminating in a map named "Nowthisistoomuch".
  • Each chapter of MARDEK ends with a cutscene involving the members of the Governance de Magi.
  • A slightly different flavor in the first two installments of Paper Mario, where you actually control the character the scenes revolve around (in both cases Peach) instead of a cutscene. Played straight in Super Paper Mario, with cutscenes of Count Bleck and his minions.
  • The music that plays during such scenes in Final Fantasy IV is called "Meanwhile, At This Time..." in Japanese or "Somewhere in the World..." in English.
  • Several cutscenes between the sectors in Jumper Two switch their viewpoint to the Boss' dialouge with his minions.
  • Radiant Historia occasionally cuts to the villains after a mission is complete.
  • Repeatedly used in The Secret of Monkey Island. In the Sequel it happens so much the narrator falls asleep during one of the transitions.
  • Project Firestart occasionally interrupts with a cutscene of something happening elsewhere on the Prometheus.
  • This trope is actually a game mechanic in Final Fantasy IX, where you can see what other party members or even NPCs are doing by looking at "Active Time Events". A few of them can grant items, but most of them are just for fun. Some are mandatory, but most aren't.
  • Happens often in the Fire Emblem series, usually showing the Big Bad and their top enforcers discussing what to do next. In several cases, this conveys information to the audience that the characters won't find out until much later.
  • Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] has scenes between every level that shows what the supporting cast is up to, usually Yen Sid, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. Kingdom Hearts III follows suit, with cutscenes after each of Sora's adventures showing either Riku and Mickey's journey or the machinations of Organization XIII.

  • Tower of God - Has this a lot during the first season, showing the behind the scene machinations with the test administrators and the journey of Yuri Jahad. In the second season, Khun also has some meanwhile scenes, as do some of the rankers again.
  • Godslave has some:
    • When Turner starts to throw Edith around like a rag doll, we cut to the lawn in front of the museum to see the police standing in front of it, held back by the masquerade.
    • Chapter 2 opens with a few pages showing Oziris and Heru having a Cryptic Conversation in Duat.
  • Skullkickers. After Shorty dies in a shipwreck a number of the following pages show the focus characters going about the main plot - but the last panel on each page cuts back to Shorty's corpse floating in the ocean.

    Web Original 
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device does this twice, both times when Kitten accidentally angers Emperor's. The first time, they cut to Imperial Guard regiment stuck in the severe Warp storm, the other, we see a group of Mars techpriests talking about a newly-discovered STC.


Video Example(s):


Meanwhile at the X-Naut base

A cutscene after Chapter 1 is completed revealing Peach's imprisonment in the X-Naut Fortress.

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Main / MeanwhileScene

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