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Mid-Battle Tea Break

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Mortal enemies, but they at least know how to have a good tea party in the middle of a fight.

"You know I just don't get these Britons; every time we get a good punch up going, someone behind the line yells "Tea's up!" and they all disappear!"
Mark Anthony, Carry On Cleo

Two adversaries are locked in brutal combat, and the tension is thick enough to cut with a knife. Naturally, the writers grab a knife and cut it.

In the midst of combat, the fighting will suddenly stop. All parties involved will turn around, take a few deep breaths, then turn around again and simultaneously resume fighting. Occasionally, the fighters will resort to something more nonsensical during the break, such as fixing their hair or yelling at a friend/sibling/teammate. A common cause is when a character crosses a joke version of This Is Unforgivable! - usually through burning a hole in the opponent's favorite jacket, a chopping off a chunk of hair, or, well... In those cases, the tea break takes the form of a "Dude, why did you do that?" (or, in the protagonist's case, "What the Hell, Hero?") Bonus points if the hero and the opponent do something fun together as part of the tea break. Ridiculously rich characters might take this even further by summoning a whole spread of tea party for a literal tea break.

As for the initiation of the tea break, one party may call a time out or some variant thereof. ("Hold on just a second.") If the tea break takes place in the middle of a Montage battle (especially parts of battles that are just a sequence of stills), expect the tea break to appear completely randomly and then end just as quickly.

Obviously a comedy trope. A Combat Pragmatist may grab a weapon or heal himself during such a break and launch an attack before the opponent realizes the break is over. See Anticlimax, where the fighting never resumes, Inaction Sequence, where a break in the fighting isn't for comedic purposes, and A Truce While We Gawk, where the fighting is interrupted by something that draws both sides' attention away from the battle. See also Uncomfortable Elevator Moment and Chaos While They're Not Looking, which can be variations.


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  • M&M's: In "The Chase", a montage is shown of Red and Yellow trying and failing to catch the Minis. Midway through the commercial, a brief scene of Red, Yellow, and two of the Minis playing a card game is shown.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Kenshin and Soujiro pause during their second fight in Rurouni Kenshin so Soujiro can get a new sword (which Kenshin broke earlier) and change his sandals, while Kenshin bandages himself up. Then they promptly resume fighting. Lampshaded by the other characters watching this as being bizarre. Not Played for Laughs, as the interlude marks the turning point of the fight by revealing Soujiro's Freudian Excuse for being a Stepford Smiler.
  • Played with in the first season of Slayers. Rezo's clone has been unstoppable the last few episodes, having absorbed the demon Zanaffar into himself. Lina has been critically injured, and Sylphiel has retreated with her in order to heal her. Meanwhile, the rest of the party are fighting a desperate holding action against Rezo until Lina can recover. Right about then, Prince Phil, Amelia's father and designated comic relief, shows up on a horse and proceeds to make a wonderful mess of things. Gourry protests, but Zelgadis simply puts a hand on his shoulder and tells him they can't let the show get too serious.
  • In Naruto, during his fight with Kimimaro, Rock Lee calls for a break to allow him to take his medicine. Hilariously, he does this just as Kimimaro is about to kill him. (As it turns out, the 'medicine' was actually sake, and the inebriated Genin proceeds to wipe the floor with his opponent.)
  • In Tenchi Universe, Kiyone tries to arrest Ryoko upon first meeting her. The show then goes to commercial break, and when it returns everyone is having a very pleasant lunch together. Suddenly Kiyone shouts "What's going on? What happened to the scene I was just in??" and the fight resumes.
  • In a rare non-comedic example, in Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Fate demonstrates his Reality Warper powers by causing he and Rakan to go from being in a deadly battle to a high-class tea party in the blink of an eye. He then tries to tell Rakan that he is completely unbeatable and that Rakan should really stop trying. Rakan... does not stop trying.
  • Strangely averted in Umineko: When They Cry, as we have in one scene the last of the survivors about to meet their fate, when it suddenly cuts to a tea party with no explanation how they got there. Then it tells us that that was the end of the Episode and everyone was in Purgatory. It happens again in a later Episode but with different characters. Doesn't help that there's no reveal to who's the culprit in any of these scenes.
  • In One Piece, during a flashback between for Chopper, he and his father-figure get into a fight after an incident with a group of guards. But during the fight, both of them each take a pause respectively (Chopper to wipe his brow and his father figure to take a breath) before they each continue to fight.
    • When Franky is battling Fukurou, Franky accidentally uses green tea as fuel instead of cola and he attempts to start one of these. Fukurou kicks him across the room.
  • Invoked by Jaden in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, who calls a time-out halfway through his duel with Zane so he can eat lunch. He does duel much better afterwards, going from losing badly to pulling out a draw.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL has the climactic Duel between Yuma and Arc Villain Tron/Vetrix grinding to a temporary halt when Yuma gets hungry and decides to have a snack in the middle of it before taking his turn. In front of thousands of spectators, and in the middle of his combined Golden Super Mode with Astral, no less.
  • Ash's Charizard in Pokémon: The Series tended to take a nap when it was disobeying Ash. Surprisingly Realistic Outcome occurs when this leads to Ash's loss in the Indigo League.
  • Vividred Operation: Wakaba is chasing Akane through the school building when the pair crash into a teacher, who drops all the files they're carrying. Both girls stop to apologise and help pick up the files, with Wakaba glaring at Akane the whole time. They then resume their chase at walking speed before gradually speeding back up to a sprint once they're out of the teacher's sight.
  • Overlord (2012): During the demon lord Jaldabaoth's invasion of the kingdom, Momon, Nabe and Evileye face off against Jaldabaoth and his combat maids. Momon concentrates on the demon lord, leaving Evileye and Nabe to split the maids between them, Nabe ending up out of sight for a while... so that she can have tea with the other Pleiades. Meanwhile, Momon smashes Jaldabaoth into a house, where they both dust each other off and exchange pleasantries so Jaldaboath (Demiurge with a mask) can give Ainz a status update on their Engineered Heroics.

    Comic Books 
  • Played for Drama in an issue of Black Panther, where one of the rules for tribal duels is that opponents get a break from combat whenever either of them requests it.
  • The Ren and Stimpy comic book once did a story about Ren becoming Dogzilla and then fighting a giant hairball monster. During the fight, they stop for a lunch break.
  • Not exactly "fun," but in an old Mickey Mouse comic, Mickey and a sword-toting foe realized in mid-fight that they had each taken severe Clothing Damage (sufficient for us to tell that Mickey isn't anatomically correct.) They stood still in shock for a moment, then rushed to the nearest two barrels.
    • Explained in a Super Goof one-pager, "Dogs of War", in which Super Goof and a fiery foe fight — and promptly pause for a wienie roast.
      Super Goof: These super-badguy battles could really tire a feller... If we didn't have lunch breaks!
  • Asterix in Britain has the Britons observe Afternoon Tea religiously enough that they stop in the middle of battles for a tea break (though until Asterix introduces the leaf in question, they only drink hot sweet water). Julius Caesar, military genius that he is, responds to this and their habit of taking two-day weekends with the highly effective, albeit terribly unsporting, tactic of beginning his attacks at mid-afternoon and on weekends.
  • Done randomly and hilariously in Hack/Slash short comic "Deadbeats".
  • Played for Drama in Swordquest: Waterworld, when two characters in a Combat by Champion Duel to the Death pause halfway to offer prayers to their respective gods.
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, in Year Two Harley Quinn and Black Canary are fighting when all the sudden Dinah calls a halt just as Harley's about to bring her mallet down on her head. While confused, Harley complies and hands Dinah a bucket at her request, which she immediately throws up into. Harley quickly realizes it's Morning Sickness and starts laughing about the idea of Dinah heavily pregnant and still in her trademark fishnets, and then it gets sad, as she reveals that five years ago she had a daughter who lives with her sister since she decided to Give Her a Normal Life and whom The Joker, the child's father, doesn't even know about.
  • A non-battle variant occurs in Ms. Marvel (2014) when Ms. Marvel and Red Dagger have to deal with a Runaway Train due to a power surge. Since the train is only going about 25mph (which she can easily catch up with), Kamala hops off to grab some snacks at a corner store in-between obstacles.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Occurs in I'm a Marvel... And I'm a DC's "After Hours" special, when Lex Luthor and Dr. Doom halt their shock battle to pant from exhaustion.
  • In the One Piece fanfic This Bites! Conis and Su are attempting to save Robin (they already rescued Franky) sneaking through the traincars when they come across Captain T-Bone and his men. Due to being members of MI-5, T-Bone and his men break out the teabags and have tea with the three pirates.
    • During the Thriller Bark arc, Perona is calling out Hogback for falling for the Straw Hats' Engineered Public Confession gambit before preparing to unleash her Negative Hollows on the group... only to find that they're ignoring her in favor of salvaging what's left of the welcome meal that Hogback and Cindry had prepared for them.
  • In a FictionPress story called Snakesss, Corny the corn snake (The Hero) has assembled many snakes and other animals in the Big Cypress National Reserve to fight against the Big Bad (Hood the cobra) and his army of venomous snakes in an epic Final Battle. But when it suddenly starts snowing, one snake yells for everyone to run away and hibernate. They do it for three months, and when spring finally arrives, they quickly come back to continue their fight.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Snoopy, Come Home, Snoopy suddenly takes a break from fighting Lucy by prepping himself up before fighting her again.
  • In The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Gromit and Philip are fighting in a coin-operated bumper car that starts winding down. They stop fighting to insert some more change, then resume as soon as the car starts working again.
  • In the climax of The Aristocats, while Edgar and the alley cats are fighting, Roquefort the mouse is trying to open the trunk Duchess and the kittens are in. Unable to hear the tumblers of the lock, he yells a loud "QUIET!", causing everyone to hold perfectly still, with Edgar and the cats still gripping one another. The second he cracks the lock, the fight resumes.
  • A variation occurs in Penguins of Madagascar — after the penguins escape from being shipped to Madagascar, they use an inflatable bounce house to land safely in the middle of the desert. A short cut later, it's revealed they spent the last hour bouncing on it instead of heading for civilization.
  • In My Little Pony: The Movie (2017), Captain Celaeno and her crew are about to make the Main 6 walk the plank, but then a whistle sounds. Not only do they stop for lunch, they pull the Main 6 and Spike in to join them.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the film of Bridget Jones' Diary, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth briefly suspend their fist fight in a restaurant to join in a chorus of "Happy Birthday".
  • Hot Shots! Part Deux:
    • The shadows of President Benson and Saddam Hussein continue Flynning in the background while the actors towel themselves off and exchange drinks in a break.
    • Earlier, Topper and Saddam are sword-fighting - well, Saddam's using a sword, Topper is using a phone with an extended metal antenna — when the phone rings, and Saddam obliges while Topper answers the phone, finds out it's Saddam's wife on the line (Hillary Rodham Hussein), and then lies to her to cover for Saddam. Makes sense, it's Saddam's phone, after all.
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights also had have Robin and the Sheriff playing with shadow puppets in the middle of their final fight.
  • In the Borat movie's famous... birthday suit scene... the angry fight stops as both characters wait awkwardly in an elevator with a woman. Once they leave the elevator, the violence starts again.
  • Kill Bill pauses its opening action scene for a coffee break and Exposition Break, in a rare instance of this trope being Played for Drama. (Well, semi-Played for Drama. It's Quentin Tarantino.)
  • Casino Royale (1967) - there's a bit of background business at Q Branch where a prisoner is being brutally beaten in an interrogation...the tea cart comes around moments later and he's amicably drinking with his interrogators.
  • Spill joked about the lack of dramatic tension in X-Men Origins: Wolverine with Wolverine and Sabertooth's fight just being "cut and then heal", saying that the two should have taken a break to get pizza together and then just play the rest of the movie for laughs.
  • Sherlock Holmes (2009). Twice in the same brawl first Sherlock and then the other guy Dredger ask (and are granted) a second to catch his breath and get his bearings.
  • In Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Holmes is being attacked by four thugs and coming off worse, when they have to stop because of a pair of policemen walking past. The thugs adopt an overly casual demeanor while Holmes—rather than calling to the police for help—meditates to prepare himself for the next bout, in which he does a lot better.
  • The Princess Bride has a variant. Wesley wears himself out just climbing up to where Inigo Montoya is waiting for him, so Inigo (who wants to defeat Wesley in a fair fight) politely waits for him to catch his breath before their fight, and they have a chat about Inigo's origin story.
  • During a long brawl in The Quiet Man Thornton and Danaher end up in a bar where they stop to have a shot of whiskey and each politely offers to pick up the tab. This soon turns into an argument and they end up fighting again.
  • The epic Schwartz duel between Lone Starr and Dark Helmet near the end of Spaceballs has a couple of these — first, when Helmet accidentally kills a member of the camera crew., then tries to blame Lone Starr for it,note  then, when they get their Schwartzes tangled up and have to work together to separate them.
  • Oddball takes one of these during the final battle of Kelly's Heroes when his tank breaks down.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: During Sano's fight with Kanryu's bodyguard, Inui Banjin, the brawl manages to break through the walls into the kitchen, at which point Sano calls a time-out to sample some of the chicken and wine. He offers Banjin some of the chicken too, but he turns out to be a vegetarian and is distraught at the fate of the poor bird. Banjin nonetheless takes a swig of the wine, after which they continue brawling.
  • In The Phantom Menace Darth Maul and Qui-Gon Jinn's final fight is briefly interrupted when they move into a hall full of shifting energy doors that separates them. Maul restlessly hits the door in front of him a few times with his lightsaber and paces like a caged animal while Qui-Gon takes a moment to meditate and gather his thoughts until the doors shift again and they resume fighting. Obi-Wan, farther back from both of then stands impatiently outside the hallway. The scene has no dialog whatsoever but their respective actions perfectly demonstrate the differences in their characters.
  • In Deadpool, after Angel Dust punches Colossus a good distance away at the beginning of the final fight, Deadpool turns to Negasonic Teenage Warhead, expecting her to take over for her mentor... except the teen is busy typing a tweet on her cellphone. This grinds the action to a halt until she's finished; strangely, even Angel Dust politely waits for her.
  • Chazz and Stranz get one in during their Low-Speed Chase in Blades of Glory when their skates get stuck in the escalator steps. They have just enough time to chit-chat about Stranz's costume before they can get off the escalator and resume the chase.
  • Used twice by the protagonist in Support Your Local Sheriff, first during a Cafeteria Brawl,note  and second during the final gunfight. The first time, he wanted to get to the sidelines and eat his lunch undisturbed; the second time, he was getting to one of his allies to discuss strategy. Both times he stopped the fight by yelling for everyone to wait, as though he was going to say something meaningful. Once he had gotten where he wanted to go, he simply told everyone else to carry on.
  • The Man Who Would be King. A pilgrimage of holy men walk across the battle field and the war stops, with all combatants dropping on their faces. This foreshadows the role they play later on in the film when the protagonists adopt a God Guise, but find they must appease the powerful religious faction in the process.
  • The Last Jedi: The film's opening space battle breaks when the Resistance fleet jumps to Hyperspace, then promptly picks up again when the First Order fleet unexpectedly tracks them to their destination immediately. After a brief but intense scuffle that proves inconclusive, both fleets engage in a Stern Chase, with the Resistance fleet staying far enough ahead of the First Order ships to avoid destruction, although the First Order keeps picking off stragglers through the course of the movie.
  • Legend: Ronnie and Reggie Kray take a moment during their fight to nurse their shattered nose and bruised testicles respectively, during which Ronnie helps himself to someone else's whiskey. Then Ron picks up a bottle and they start again.
  • Willy's Wonderland: The Janitor was told to "remember to take breaks" before he started his job, and treats this suggestion (and all of the other instructions he was given) like it's the law. He sets his watch to beep every hour on the hour, and when it does, he will stop whatever he is currently doing to go drink soda and play pinball in the break room, even if what he is currently doing is fending off Hostile Animatronics trying to rip his head off. Even the animatronics are confused by this.

  • Justified due to the nature of sea chases in the Aubrey/Maturin series. The stakes may include death, imprisonment, or financial ruin; but a chase may last hours or days and for most of the crew there's not that much that can usefully be done once the sails are set. The daily life of the ship goes on pretty much as normal including eating, sleeping, and playing music even though the crew is engaged in a deadly struggle with an enemy.
  • BattleTech Expanded Universe novels:
    • Binding Force has a full scale planetary invasion by the Capellan Confederation put on hold for three days by request of the local civilian government for... a traditional Chinese boat race. Surprisingly, the invaders agree (mostly because the invading force is House Hiritsu, a Warrior House whose thing is a strong empathy for Chinese culture above and beyond that normally experienced by House Liao).
    • Close Quarters has the freewheeling Seventeenth Recon Regiment, the heavily Latino-inspired Camacho's Caballeros, anticipating an impending attack on the defensive compound of their paylord, Chandresakr Kurita. A few initial skirmishes are protracted and bloody, but before the real assault comes in, the Caballeros spend precious resources and man-hours stringing up colorful banners, making tamales, and decorating sugar skulls. An impending Battlemech brawl two hundred participants strong isn't an excuse to miss Día de los Muertos.
  • Also played straight in Eric Flint/David Drake's Belisarius novel Fortune's Stroke, in a duel between two mutual Worthy Opponents:
    In the tales of bards, and the lays of poets, truth takes on a rosy tinge. More than a tinge, actually. The reality of a single combat between two great warriors becomes something purely legendary.
    There is little place, in legends, for sweat. Even less for thirst and exhaustion. And none at all for urination.
    But the fact remains that two men do not battle each other, for hours, without rest. Not even if they were fighting half-naked, with bare hands - much less encumbered by heavy armor and wielding swords. Single combat between champions, other than a glancing encounter in the midst of battle, is by nature a formal affair. And, like most formalities, has a practical core at the center of its rituals.
  • In Book 3 of Codex Alera, Tavi and the Canim general besieging him pause their battle and play a game of Iudus to pass the time. It allows the Canim to recover their dead and injured, takes up enough time for conditions to shift towards night (when the Canim will have the advantage), and allows the general a chance to slip Tavi some information regarding the Big Bad Wannabe's weakness.
  • In the Council Wars the wood elf Bast is fighting a heavily mutated Brainwashed and Crazy elf, they stop regularly to catch their breathe and drink some water (Bast insists that the forces friendly to her provide water to both of them to keep it fair).
  • In one of the Icelandic sagas, a fight to the death is put on hold so one guy can tie his jacket around his belly after a wound made his guts spill out.
  • Similarly, at several points in The Lost Fleet series Captain (later Admiral) Geary finds himself taking a walk to the messroom to grab something to eat while the fleet are on an intercept course with the enemy, and ordering his captains to let their crews do the same. Justified and in fact arguably enforced by the fact that it can take anything up to a day's travel at best speed before they enter weapons range and keeping the crew locked down at their battle stations would mean going into battle hungry and tired for no good reason. It also gives Geary a chance to talk to the sailors on his flagship, getting a feel for their morale and giving them some words of encouragement where needed, although he's also been known to use the downtime to visit the the ship's chapel when his morale is flagging.
  • Used in the lesser-known sequel to The Pilgrim's Progress, when Great-Heart fights the giant, Maul. Both combatants tire after a while, and take an hour-long break before resuming.
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms: In some duels throughout the novel, both fighters will call a pause in order to switch out their exhausted horses for fresh ones. One notable example is the duel between Xu Chu and Ma Chao, where both fighters are so evenly matched they have to briefly break off in order to get new horses before they can continue.
  • Used seriously in David Eddings's The Sapphire Rose. Sparhawk and Martel agree to a quick breather in the middle of their fight to the death. In this case it is said that this is a formal tradition in a duel, whose rules they are both honoring.
  • C. S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces:
    The softness did not last. I have seen something like this happen in a battle. A man was coming at me, I at him, to kill. Then came a sudden great gust of wind that wrapped our cloaks over our swords and almost over our eyes, so that we could do nothing to one another but must fight the wind itself. And that ridiculous contention, so foreign to the business we were on, set us both laughing, face to face—friends for a moment—and then at once enemies again and forever.
  • Troubled Range by J.T. Edson features an epic Cat Fight between Calamity Jane and Belle Starr. In the middle of it, the two combatants break off, stagger to the bar, down a drink, and then start waling on each other again.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played with in The Aquabats! Super Show! episode "ManAnt!". While ManAnt's goons are beating up everyone but the MC Bat Commander, the Commander stops to look at some grilled chicken. "It's like no one wants me to eat! I'm starving, okay?!"
    • And then Jimmy the Robot fires a buttermint at the Commander, after which ManAnt lampshades the trope: "What is this, a kindergarten snack break?!"
  • In one episode of Frasier, Niles and his opponent take a brief break when one of them smashes a vase during their sword fight.
  • Legends of Tomorrow: One episode has Sara Lance and Ava Sharpe in a prolonged one-on-one fight that ends in a Double Knockout and a water break.
  • On How I Met Your Mother, Marshall and Lily have been known to do "time outs" during their (verbal) fights to have sex or do something else more fun.
  • Married... with Children: In the episode "Peggy and the Pirates", the pirates Captain Courage (Al) and Rubio the Cruel (Steve Rhoades) are engaged in a furious fencing duel, which they pause at least twice:
    • The first time, a bell rings, and they retreat to their respective corners as if they are boxers who have just finished Round 1;
    • The second time, they continue to fence (albeit without much effort) across the dinner table while both are seated and eating supper.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: In the bookshop sketch, shortly after the evil Diabolical Mastermind makes his dramatic entrance, the hero observes that it's lunch hour. Everyone walks off for a lunch break except the hero, who uses the time to gain a decisive advantage.
  • The Power Rangers Time Force two-parter episode "Movie Madness" has a part where, during the Chase Scene, the Rangers stop running from the Big Bad to grab a snack at the craft services table. There's also a part where one of the Mooks pauses in fighting one of the rangers so that it can help her straighten her clothes.
  • In Power Rangers RPM, Green Ranger Ziggy (who became a ranger by accident and had significantly less combat training than the other four) has a tendency to yell "time out" whenever he's put into an inconvenient position. In Episode 12, the Mooks actually listen to him, and let him get his leg out of a car door before resuming their attack.
  • Get Smart: At a hospital, Max, Chief and Larabee were fighting three KAOS agents. At some point, a member of the hospital staff informed Max that his wife gave birth to a boy. The fight was then interrupted so his allies and his enemies could congratulate him. A similar interruption happened soon after as Max was informed about his daughter's birth. (99 gave birth to twins).
  • An episode of The Kids in the Hall did something similar with a police chase— when the criminal's car runs out of gas, both criminal and cop pull into a gas station to fuel up. While pumping, they glare at each other but the cops do nothing to arrest the criminal. At the end of the skit, the criminal gets past the border without getting caught.
  • In the UK version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? (here, starting at about 1:16), Colin and Brad take a mid-sketch tea break while Ryan narrates.
  • In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode The Screaming Skull, a prank gone awry results in Mike panicking and attacking Crow with a variety of weapons, while Tom Servo tries in vain to calm Mike down and prevent further violence. Eventually Mike brings his bag of golf clubs. Both he and Tom are briefly distracted by admiring his new driver, before Mike resumes hitting Crow with it. (Even during this break, Mike continues his panicked screaming.)
  • In The Colbert Report, Stephen has to chase down Jon Stewart to reclaim his SuperPAC (which he'd given over temporarily for legal reasons). The chase becomes increasingly hammy and over the top, until at one point they start doing backflips and somersaults — cut to Stephen and Jon sipping tea as they admire the stuntmen's work. Then it's back to the chase.
  • Three Kingdoms: When Cao Cao launches his assault on the warlords of Liang, Ma Chao issues a challenge to Cao Cao to face him. Cao's bodyguard Xu Chu accepts, and both warriors engage in single combat. They're both so evenly-matched that after some time, both Cao and Ma's ally Han Sui recognise their horses are worn out and sound drums calling on them to withdraw. Ma and Xu agree to get new horses to continue the fight, then withdraw to their respective camps. Cao and Han both lend their personal steeds to their respective champions, and Xu also takes the opportunity to strip down so as to improve his mobility. Even then, they're still so equal that their duel is finally called off when night falls.

  • Quarter-time, half-time, etc. breaks in sporting matches could be seen as this. The Cricket Rules include two literal tea intervals per day of play (along with a regulated lunch break).

  • Hamlet is probably an early example that is also a deconstruction. Hamlet duels Laertes, then Claudius breaks the fight and lures Hamlet into having a cup of poisoned wine. Unfortunately for him, his wife messes up his evil plan by drinking it herself. Justified in that it was (allegedly) a fencing match instead of an actual duel, at least at first, so a break between rounds would not be out of place.
  • In the Sheik, Rattle and Roll, the Forty Thieves have been unionized and get union mandated beaks. One of these occurs during the middle of a sword fight. The fight goes on around them as the non-unionized combatants keep fighting each other.

    Video Games 
  • In the Street Fighter EX series, the character Skullomania has a move sharing the command input of Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu, called the Skullo Dream. The results have always been a sendup of the traditional Henshin Hero or Sentai Super Hero genre, but from EX2 onwards, there's an alternate version (executed by pressing Back instead of Forward) which includes a Mid Battle Tea Break, complete with mini fridge, tea and coffee table. Naturally, he carries it over into Fighting EX Layer, in which the alternative input also includes Flipping the Table shortly thereafter.
  • In Sid & Al's Incredible Toons/The Incredible Toon Machine, one of your usable parts is a lunch whistle. Assuming they're in a condition to stop what they're doing, pulling the whistle stops all Sids and Als currently in the machine for a lunch break, even if Sid's being actively chased by Al. Sid's lunch is a gigantic sandwich, Al's is a proper tea break, complete with tea cart and crumpets.
  • Mario Party 10: Upon completing a game of Shy Guy Shuffle, there is a short cutscene of the player characters sitting at a table and enjoying some doughnuts together before the results are shown, after which the game will return to the board, and the players go back to being rivals.
  • Princesses in Miitopia have a literal version of this, where they can share a quick teatime with one of their allies, restoring MP for both of them.
  • Invoked by Princess Peach in the story mode of Super Smash Bros. Brawl in order to stop a fight between Sheik and Fox.
  • One of the Unison Attacks in Suikoden II involves the hero and his sister Nanami combining to beat the crap out of one enemy for more damage than either can inflict alone, but unbalancing Nanami (preventing her from attacking for one turn). However, rarely, instead of attack, Nanami can instead cheer on the hero for a bit, then have a quick solo tea party while he does all the work. If this happens, the attack does normal damage, but Nanami is not unbalanced and gets a Regen effect for several turns.
  • In the updated re-release of Persona 5, Ryuji stops in the middle of a fight to enjoy a beef bowl made by Yusuke. When the Shadow barges in to continue the fight, Ryuji and Yusuke unleash a hail of bullets on it in anger before blowing it up with a grenade before finally enjoying their meal.
    Ryuji: [flashing a Death Glare] I'm trying to eat here!
  • Spore: The Quirky Bard has the "Soothing Song" power, which sets all relationships with enemy empires to a minimum 0 for two minutes. This means that even if engaged in a vicious war with another empire, you can call a ceasefire to retreat, recharge, or trade with them. Perversely, this can mean letting your enemy heal you up to full health and sell you the very weapons used to beat them senseless with.
  • Played for Horror in Darkest Dungeon 2. The Plague Eater-type of enemy will sometimes stop fighting to eat lunch-by which we mean, the nearest corpse, or, if present, a Livestock. This heals them and gives them new abilities.
  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV, Renne's S-Craft, Nemesis Party, involves her remotely controlling her scythes to damage the enemies while she enjoys a cup of tea.
  • Dungeonmans: Starting one of these is available to a Southern Gentlemans as an ability called "Refreshments are Served". It both nullifies attacks from any monsters during that round, and heals both you and them for an amount based on your current Ire as you partake in a quick iced tea party.
    You see here fellas the classy thing to do, regardless of how hot and furiously my hatred for you boils, is to offer the lot of you these cool glasses of refreshing Iced Tea. Now drink up. Drink. Up.
  • Atelier series:

  • This Sheldon comic:
    The superhero battle royale crashes across the metropolis! Skyscrapers crumble! Buses are crushed! Quick break for lunch. Then back to the fury!
  • In this Skin Horse Tip and Konstantin put their traditional Russian mud-wrestling on hold in order to sort out Konstantin's inadequacy issues in light of the recent union crisis. None of the living women are impressed. Comedic Sociopath Unity is still completely turned on.
    Unity: Hot! All peacefully working out their differences and crud. I don't get why they're not beating each other up. It scares me but I can't look away.
  • In this strip of Flaky Pastry, Zintiel and Mona put their fighting on hold to take a breather and have some drinks.
  • Emergency Exit: Lord Kyran really does enjoy those family outings.
  • From Brawl in the Family there's this Earthbound comic.
  • In Homestuck, the Final Battle between Jake and the Felt is interrupted upon Nannasprite delivering a vast load of cookies, both sides stopping to indulge in them.
  • In Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic, during the "Pirate Adventure" story arc, Arachne the drow is fighting lady pirate Giovanna. Sometime during their long, drawn-out sword duel, they pause to rest and share a drink.
  • In Looking for Group, this is perfectly in character for Richard, but it's a bit abnormal for the Bloodrage he's fighting.

    Web Original 
  • A variation occurs in the Rooster Teeth short "Paper Cut." Joel and Matt have been running around town screaming because of their head injuries, only to take a break in an elevator, before resuming running and screaming.
  • Channel Awesome:
    • The Cat Fight between The Nostalgia Critic and The Nostalgia Chick in their joint Ferngully review is broken up by a random clip of them having a pillow fight and giggling, only to go right back to fighting.
    • During the first of the final battles between The Nostalgia Critic and The Angry Video Game Nerd, they pause momentarily to allow the Critic to close a door. Fighting resumes posthaste.
    • The first brawl also had a moment where the Critic was pushed into a pile of boxes, yelled at the Nerd for keeping boxes around, and the feud devolved into them name-calling and firing F-bombs at each other for about 30 seconds straight.
    • The TGWTG Year One Brawl also features a pause in the Nostalgia Critic and the Angry Video Game Nerd fight as they go down in an elevator.
    • And in the Team Brawl, while everyone else is still fighting, the Critic and the Nerd pause to play a game of "Geek Fight" with their trademark cards (also a bit of Product Placement).
    • In Suburban Knights, the TGWTG crew's second group fight against the Cloaks in a jungle gym, and had to stop and move to another "battlefield" after a mother sends them away to allow her daughter to play. However, the group runs off after moving location, making this a subversion.
  • During the Felicia vs Taokaka DEATH BATTLE!, they pause their epic Cat Fight to play with a butterfly...up until Taokaka accildentally kills it.
    Toakaka: Whoops!
    Felicia: No, no, no!

    Western Animation 
  • Tex Avery:
    • In "Lonesome Lenny", Screwy Squirrel is being chased by Lenny (a dimwitted and dangerously strong dog seeking companionship) when a whistle blows and the two adjourn for a coffee break, Screwy Squirrel commenting "Strong union!"
    • In "Happy-Go-Nutty," Meathead and Screwy stop their chase long enough for each to have a bottle of Coca-Cola.
  • Arcane. In "The Monster You Created", Vi and Sevika have a Brutal Brawl in The Last Drop. We cut away to another scene, then cut back to show Vi, who heads to the bar and downs a shot while Sevika takes a breather on the couch. Then Vi chucks the shot glass at her and the fight resumes.
  • An Animaniacs episode features the Brain trying to cause an everlasting one of these after watching one in the middle of the arrest of the Hyde Park monster, trying to take over England by making the Big Ben stop during tea time.
  • One animated film version of Around the World in Eighty Days has the villain's plan revolving around the knowledge that Fogg would interrupt anything, even a chase scene, if offered a tea break.
  • Big City Greens: In "Welcome Home" as the Greens are being chased by vicious guard dogs at a towyard, Tilly spots a playground slide and plays with it.
  • Invoked and exploited in the Chowder episode "Big Ball". Mung and Truffles and their teams are fighting when the horn sounds for "official tea-break time". Unfortunately, while Mung and his team are drinking tea, Truffles uses the opportunity to score a goal.
  • In the Courage the Cowardly Dog episode "Invisible Muriel", a bunch of commandos burst into the room and proceeds to make exciting action poses, when suddenly all their watches ring. They stop, proceed to eat breakfast (namely, a piece of buttered toast that they grab from their suits), then go back to their routine.
  • The Danger Mouse episode "Ee-Tea!" starts off with our heroes having traditional tea. It ends with Colonel K ordering Miss Boathook to get the cups out after a tidal wave of tea floods his office.
  • Played with in the Danny Phantom episode "Memory Blank." As Danny's memory returns via a montage of still frames of his heroic deeds, one frame shows Danny using his powers to enter (or rather exit) the girls' locker room. Unlike all the other images, this one is shown twice, and accompanied by goofy music both times.
  • In "Dan Vs. the Wolfman," after Dan's brass knuckles get confiscated by a police officer, he goes on an angry rant while tearing apart the police station room. He then proclaims that he's going to "confiscate some water" out of a water cooler. He fills up a cup, drinks it and smiles with a "ding" sound effect before getting angry again.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: Abra-Catastrophe!: The ex-Trope Namer. Cosmo's fight with Crocker is a sequence of stills. One of the stills randomly features Crocker, Cosmo, Wanda, and Timmy sharing tea with an oddly Sugar Bowl background.
  • Family Guy:
    • A very long version happens in in one of the Peter vs. Ernie the Chicken fights. They pause to wonder what they were fighting about, apologize to each other, and Ernie takes Peter to dinner with his wife. Only when both refuse to let the other pick up the check do they continue to fight.
    • There's the textbook example in "Ready, Willing, and Disabled": while fighting during the night over the money, Meg, Chris and Stewie are occasionally seen only while there's lightning. During one of those frames, they're wearing old fashioned clothes as they just calmly stand next to each other, a parody of early photography.
    • One of the earlier Stewie and Bertram fights took place in Peter's body where Bertram got into Stewie's ship. The two went hand to hand for a bit with both using leg lock sleeper holds on the other. This eventually ended up pausing the fight as both fell asleep from their moves. Stewie awoke first, went for some coffee, then, upon seeing Berterm waking up, took the advantage to pin him down.
    • When Stewie and Bertram swordfight on the playground in "Sibling Rivalry", they both stop the fight when they reach the slide, slide down it complete with "wheeeeee" and then go back to fighting.
    • When Brian and Peter rescue a talking cow, they're chased by two guards. The montage shows them all in a band, playing music together.
    • One episode finds Herbert in a battle against an old Nazi who had Chris locked up in his house. They take a break from their fight to take their daily medications.
  • The short film A Gentlemen's Duel features the two eponymous gentlemen pausing to enjoy an actual afternoon tea party with the object of their mutual affections — under the shade of their steam-powered Humongous Mecha. Which are frozen in the position they were in when the bell rang. And a bird perches on the spot where one mecha was in the middle of throwing a punch at the other.
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy movie Big Boogie Adventure, while Grim, Billy, Mandy, and Irwin are racing against the Boogie Man and his pirate crew for possession of Horror's Hand, both parties stop in the middle of the race to eat lunch. Though in this case, taking a picnic break was described as part of the race itself when the deadly course was initially being laid out.
  • Kim Possible:
    • On various occasions, Kim and Shego pause in mid-battle to snark back and forth about Ron and Drakken or comment on Drakken's latest plot.
    • In "Sick Day", Kim and Shego both catch a cold. They both stop a few times in the middle of a fight to sneeze, and immediately start fighting again.
    • In "The Big Job", while Kim and Shego fight in San Francisco, Ron and Señor Senior Junior each drive around the block looking for a parking space.
      Ron: Kim! I'll keep circling! There's nowhere to park!
      Shego: You too, huh?
      Kim: Yeah, what is up with this city?
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In the Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog cartoons, the lunch whistle will frequently go off just when Sam the Sheepdog is about to pummel Ralph Wolf. They have their lunch, talk and smoke together. Then when the lunch whistle goes off again, they resume the beating with Ralph sometimes even putting his neck back into Sam's grip. Taken to an extreme in at least one cartoon, where in the middle of a beating, the whistle blows to signal the end of the work day. One or both of them then leave, and have a new wolf and sheepdog show up for their shift, picking up exactly where Sam and Ralph left off.
    • In "The Old Grey Hare", a chase between Baby Elmer and Baby Bugs Bunny is briefly interrupted for naptime.
    • "Porky's Road Race" (Tashlin, 1936) has the four occupants of the Cheerio Special noticing it's 4:00, so they drink a cup of tea while driving ("Pip pip! Cheerio!")
  • In Paul Rudish's Mickey Mouse episode "One Man Band", the guards chasing Mickey stop immediately when Big Ben rings, prompting a quick teatime meal with Mickey.
  • In My Gym Partner's a Monkey's one-hour special "Animal School Musical", Adam and Jake interrupt their Big Ball of Violence twice to skip together and play chess.
  • The Owl House: In "Wing It Like Witches", Luz's Training Montage has her and her friends at one point stopping to have a tea break in otter costumes, something which bemuses Gus.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • The title characters are driving cattle through a mall, and everyone (including every last bovine) stops at the food court to eat something before resuming. Yes, this even interrupts a musical number.
    • PnF provides a literal example in "Doof N Puss," where Perry and Doofenshmirtz-as-platypus pause during a fight (and, yes, musical number) for a tea break.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls What a Cartoon! short "Meat Fuzzy Lumpkins", during Bubbles' No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Fuzzy for her meat hair, there's a bit where Fuzzy is walking cheerfully down the sidewalk and gets tripped by Bubbles.
  • A reoccurring joke in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo is the Chase Scene with the Monster of the Week is paused (along with the music) usually by Daphne who has to go shopping, fix her hair etc.
  • The Snooper and Blabber cartoon "The Lion Is Busy" has a chase scene interrupted briefly so Snagglepuss and the Major can have tea.
  • Robbie the Reindeer: In "Legend of the Lost Tribe", while Robbie is fighting Blitzen, Donner complains to him about how she feels he doesn't appreciate her, and Robbie just tells her that they'll talk later. Finally, tired of hearing them quarrel (because "How can we have a decent fight if you're going to have some ghastly heart-to-heart?!"), Blitzen ends up pausing the battle so that they can settle things between them.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "The Fry Cook Games", Mr. Krabs and his arch-rival Plankton spot each other from across the stadium and stalk menacingly towards each other. The camera jumps from one to the other repeatedly... until the two suddenly break out into a brief tap-dance routine, which turns into Krabs playing piano while Plankon plays a tuba. Because Plankton loves messing things up.
    • In the same episode while Spongebob and Patrick are doing a quick montage of events against each other, right before the Bun Wrestling match, they're briefly seen dancing in Carmen Miranda costumes.
  • In the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Mxyzpixilated", while Mister Mxyzptlk is trying to build a giant robot to destroy Superman, he apparently still has time to take a break for a cucumber facial and a pedicure.
  • In a Tiny Toon Adventures Sherlock Holmes parody, an exciting rooftop chase scene (with horses and carriages!) is stopped at 4 pm sharp for teatime (with horses!).
  • T.U.F.F. Puppy: In "Mall Rat" as Kitty is fighting Snaptrap, the two stumble into a photobooth which snaps five pictures of the brawl, with the two striking a silly pose for the second-to-last slide.
  • The Venture Bros.: The Monarch has the Ventures tied up over a candiru-infested swamp when Dean starts yelling in pain. The Monarch then lets Rusty take Dean to see a doctor while he holds Brock and Hank as collateral. Justified as Guild Law states The Monarch has to let them go if the ailment is unrelated to the arching. Once Dean is treated and recovers, and the family is tied up in the same spot by The Monarch .
  • Wakfu: Qilby's fight with Adamaï and Grougal has a brief one when Adamaï bursts into hysterics over Qilby's rather amusing reaction to seeing a baby dragon in his face despite himself. Grougal and Qilby both join in in laughing with him for several moments, before Adamaï stops and the fight resumes.

    Real Life 
  • The famous Christmas Truce of 1914, whereupon fighting on World War I's western front abruptly halted for the holidays.
  • This is standard behavior for the British Army whenever they're not in combat, routine camp duties or marching somewhere. British armored vehicles are even equipped with a "boiling vessel" so they can brew tea and heat field rations on the move. Putting a wet on (or brew if you're so inclined) is a routine camp duty, so when this device was not provided, soldiers would fire their cannons or machine guns to get heated water. The boiling vessel was actually quite useful; not only did it give the British the ability to brew their tea in between battles, it also served as a way to boil and purify water on the battlefield to make it safe to drink, and, hey, it turns out boiled water is perfect for brewing tea with! What a coincidence!
    • In WWII, after landing on the beaches on D-Day and meeting far less resistance than expected, the British decided to brew up and wait for their allies to get their stuff sorted out. Unfortunately, this gave the Panzer Divisions that were supposed to resist them time to get in position and forced the Canadians at Juno to pull back because the British were now too bogged down to protect their flank.
    • During Operation Market Garden, an American soldier recounted finding the remains of a destroyed British convoy along the infamous "Hell's Highway." The Germans had pulled out before they'd had the chance to loot the convoy, and so he and his buddies found the destroyed trucks filled with food items such as chocolate, biscuits, and, yes, brewing equipment. He then noticed that some of the equipment was set up, and came to the conclusion that the British had been ambushed when they'd stopped for tea.
    • The Brits did it again in the Falklands. Trapped between the ocean and a brutal artillery barrage, the British grunts decided to put the kettle on while the ruperts were figuring out what to do. In an understated way this is badass. Well come now. Just because there's a war on and the officers are chasing their tails, doesn't mean you have to skip tea.
  • In general, if two combatants are in a drawn-out battle, and one of them decides to break engagement, the other may very well follow suit rather than pursue them. Thus, both sides have a chance to do some Damage Control and come back better prepared to continue the battle later.
    • This is actually common on a battlefield. Typically, the objective of a major battle isn't to slaughter the entire enemy formation to a man, only to force them to either retreat from their objective or surrender completely. Thus, when the enemy unit retreats, this is a perfect time to lick your wounds, consolidate your forces, and catch a few minutes of down time, so that your new position is properly fortified in the event that the enemy stages a counter attack. Chasing the retreating enemy down is usually ill-advised, as it can result in further losses and wasted time, or worse, the enemy turning the tables on you by leading you into an ambush.
  • Some Yanomamo tribes of the Amazon tie their... man-bits up with a cord that fastens around the waist. Even if two men are involved in mortal combat, if one's cord comes undone both parties will stop everything and wait until he's fixed it before resuming the fight.
  • Cats are well known for pausing fights with each other or toys to get in some much needed grooming, only to go back to fighting once they're done.
  • Three Kingdoms – Shu, Wei, Wu:
    • The profiles of some officers (e.g. Cao Ren) mention that during some battles, soldiers selected for Death Or Glory attacks would be celebrated with a feast before the mission began. This was often done to boost their morale, and it certainly helped that most often these missions were led by generals known for their combat prowess and courage that were practically revered by their men.
    • Occasionally weaponised by besieged cities, which would offer to surrender if relief did not arrive within a certain time limit. This was often justified by the city's commander claiming that if the city fell too soon, then his family would be executed as punishment. Of course, this also bought both sides to make proper preparations, in case the besiegers decided to try to take the city by storm.
    • During Cao Cao's second invasion of Sun Quan's territory (the one people forget about in favour of the more famous Chibi campaign), both sides reached a stalemate with Cao's forces being unable to hold bridgeheads over the river due to counterattacks, while Sun's forces were unable to significantly damage Cao's naval forces. A change in the weather caused both forces to temporarily halt hostilities. Sun Quan sent a letter to Cao Cao informing him that as people of the south they knew that the weather would get much worse, and so advised Cao that withdrawing his troops would likely save their lives. Cao actually accepted this advice and ordered his forces to retreat... but also put Xiahou Dun in command of 28 separate armies all along the river. Xiahou was an expert in logistics, and his 28 armies were kept in good supply and a certain level of comfort, all the while applying pressure on Sun's forces (because Sun's troops were forced to maintain a high level of alert in case those 28 armies suddenly launched an attack).


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Crocker Tea Break, Combat Intermission


Crocker Tea Party

During a series of stills of Cosmo kicking Mr. Crocker's butt, there's a brief shot of the main characters laughing while having a short tea break.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / MidBattleTeaBreak

Media sources: