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Most music videos usually have the song play through uninterrupted while the band performs, quite possibly with a narrative that has nothing to do with the song. This is when the flow of the song, narrative or both are interrupted, usually by talking. Less charitably, kind of the MTV version of those annoying comedy sketches that hip-hop albums have between some tracks, but worse because they turn up in the middle of the video.

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They don't have to be funny, but they usually are in order to justify interrupting the audience's entertainment. Of course, they're not usually funny after the second or third time - and considering how often videos are replayed, that means they get old very, very quickly indeed.

Sometimes these are put in as a deliberate pause or fake ending first and a piece of entertainment second, in which case they work similarly to Stop and Go or a Fake-Out Fade-Out.

Compare Talky Bookends, which open and/or close the video instead of interrupting it.


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Examples by genre:

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    Alternative / Indie 
  • New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle" interrupts the music for the following odd exchange: "I don't believe in reincarnation because I refuse to come back as a bug or as a rabbit!" "You know, you're a real 'up' person." In the middle of a video with no narrative. This is what is known as a Non sequitur.
  • Jack Johnson's video for "Taylor" has this with Ben Stiller.
  • The video for "Chunky Chunky Air Guitar" by The Whitlams is a mockumentary about the 9th Annual Air Guitar World Championships. The example of this trope is a promo for a contestant's instructional video, "How To Air Guitar Like A Pro."
  • The video for the NateWantsToBattle song “Phantom” has one of these where a young magician sells his soul to the titular Phantom for magical powers.
  • In the "Stressed Out" video by Twenty One Pilots, the music stops for 10 seconds to the lads can do their Secret Handshake. It starts again once they're done.

    Hip-Hop and Rap 
  • P Diddy's "Bad Boy for Life" video features a short skit midway through in which neighbour Ben Stiller visits and unsuccessfully tries to intimidate him. This despite Mr Diddy's first name being "Puff".
  • Any hip-hop video with a cameo by John Witherspoon (Willy Jones from Friday, Grandad from The Boondocks) is pretty much guaranteed to include one of these.
  • The Beastie Boys's "Triple Trouble" opens with a Talky Bookend where the group insults Sasquatch, whom had held them captive for a year. Sasquatch, enraged, looks up their location on Google Maps and runs to their location. After the first two verses, there's a skit wherein Sasquatch attacks and reabducts the band.
  • Eminem:
    • Dr. Dre & Eminem's "Forgot About Dre" replaces a rather violent portion of Eminem's verse with it getting acted out - Slim drunkenly crashes his car into his next door neighbour's house, followed by a screaming match with her and her dog, and a fake news report in which Slim is interviewed as an innocent bystander to the arson, denying he had any role in it.
    • "Phenomenal" has several - a scene with John Malkovich as a mysterious crime boss, Eminem stealing the car of a random bystander, and an amusing bit where he kicks him out after he turns out to be taking selfies with him.
    • "Lucky You" has a skit where Joyner Lucas explains to Eminem that the zombielike creatures are copying their motions exactly, leading Eminem to amuse himself by making them dab.
  • The beginning of Will Smith's "Wild Wild West" music video is a Talky Bookend in which Will's character from said film, Jim West, wakes up from a nightmare involving the movie's villain Dr. Loveless. Salma Hayek's Rita Escobar comforts him, goes to get him something and is promptly kidnapped by Loveless' henchwomen. Just after the last third of the song starts up, a chandelier comes crashing down, kicking off a scene where Jim rescues Rita.
  • Busta Rhymes' "Dangerous", which is itself a Whole-Plot Reference to Lethal Weapon, takes a break after the second verse so Busta can do his impression of Sho'Nuff, the Shogun of Harlem. Then Riggs(also played by Busta) fights with Sho'Nuff during the chorus.

    Metal 
  • Metallica:
    • The video for "One" contains several clips from a film version of Johnny Got His Gun between the vocal sections. This is justified, since the song is based on the book. This is also what is known as Sampling, and has been used frequently in audio-visual art.
    • Their cover of "Turn the Page," where the video pauses for the protagonist to give a short interview excerpt.
  • Megadeth: The video for "Peace Sells (But Who's Buying?)" briefly interrupts the song to have a two-line argument between "Father" and "Son" about watching the news.
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     Other 
  • Cat Hairballs: Not so much mid video skit as mid vid dialogue, but the early-middle point of the song has Ren growing tired of what Stimpy has already hwarfed up for him.
    Ren: "Hey, hey, hey, what am I supposed to do with all these smelly old hairballs?! I already got a suit!"
    Stimpy: "Ok then. Well... how 'bout this?!..."

    Pop 
  • One of the earliest ever examples of this is Michael Jackson's Thriller, which takes the trope to extremes. Compared to the album version of "Thriller," the song here is reshuffled, abridged and interrupted several times in service of this video's plot line.
    • Likewise his 2001 video, You Rock My World. While there are two version of the video, a long drawn out one that has a longer narrative and a shorter one for broadcast which cuts out the opening. The song does stop for a bit in either version where Micheal and Chris Tucker are confronted by thugs sent by Marlon Brando and headed by Michael Madsen and Billy Drago leading to the two to call for some backup of their own and both sides sizing each other up before the song resumes.
  • In the middle of Madonna's "Music", driver Ali G turns down the radio and tries to audition for her next single. Fortunately, she cuts him off, ensuring that the skit lasts less than ten seconds.
  • From Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video: "Let's make a sandwich!"
  • Maroon 5's "Don't Wanna Know" (In which the band portray Pokemon-esque creatures) has one, where the director asks Adam Levine to put on a Pharrell Williams-esque hat. Levine refuses because it would make him look "silly". He says this as he's still dressed as a Squirtle lookalike.

    Rock 
  • Weezer's famous Concept Video for "Buddy Holly" presents the band as playing a gig in Arnold's from Happy Days, opening with Talky Bookends from the show. At the end of the second chorus, the music stops and cuts to the show's "Stay tuned for more Happy Days" bumper, then almost immediately the music starts again. Fortunately, it's just long enough to make the viewer wonder if the video's over.
  • Fall Out Boy's "I Don't Care" features a still picture of a cat for a few seconds in the middle of the video. The clip falls silent while the picture is on the screen. The band purposefully had these put in due to censor additional Product Placement shots they didn't approve of.
    • Most of Fall Out Boy's videos are like this, except with skits, usually (for example: "This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race," "Dance, Dance," and "A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me")
  • All Time Low's video for "I Feel Like Dancin'" features several short ones, used as a framing device to mock needless sex appeal, product placement and Executive Meddling in music videos.


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