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Next Thing They Knew

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The plot counterpart of dialog's One Thing Led to Another. A sexual pairing is portrayed with a couple opening lines of flirt (or normal conversation), then an immediate cut to the bedroom. Often used for comedic effect. In poorly written scripts, the pairing may be unlikely and the device is used to gloss over this fact. However, it's most likely that the writers themselves have so little experience with seduction that they wouldn't know how to illustrate it believably, even if there were time.

Differs from a Gilligan Cut not only in that it is specifically used for sex, but that the lines or actions leading up to the cut do not necessarily refer directly to the upcoming sex or post-sex scene. Often used for character with Instant Seduction skills.


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  • Coca-Cola at one point had a particular ad campaign for Coke Zero which boasts it has great taste AND zero sugar. The gimmick was that people weren't satisfied with something they got until they said "And...?" and were thus rewarded for being so forward. In one commercial, one of the scenes showed a girl complimenting a guy trying on jeans at a store where she worked. She comments, as he tries on jeans in front of a mirror, that his jeans are nice, and after he asks, "And...?" she adds that she "gets off at four". Cue a quick montage of symbolism of them getting it on, from the obvious clothes hitting the floor and the lamp being switched off to rabbits sitting next to each other, waves crashing onto rocks, and a volcano erupting. This scene doesn't show up in later edits of this particular ad, so it might have been cut for implying this trope.

  • There was a (now deleted) Teen Titans one-shot called "Feral" where Raven comes to talk to Beast Boy, who is upset and stays locked in his room due to his feral side trying to emerge. She talks to him, then there is a Pinky Swear that he won't be so upset anymore... cut to the morning, and Raven reflecting on how well she slept due to being exhausted by the night activities.
  • In Chapter 3 of Son of the Sannin, Tsunade and Jiraiya go for a few drinks and the next morning, they wake up in her bedroom, naked and embracing each other. They talk about this, and while they admit to have developed feelings for each other, they decide to take things slow. Then the next morning, Shizune finds them sleeping on the couch...

  • l'aventure: Sandrine and Fred switch from speaking to each other then in the next scene having sex. Later this also happens with her and Greg.
  • Bicentennial Man: Andrew tries to convince Portia that she's making a mistake in marrying Charles, and asks for a kiss to prove he's right. After a couple of intense kisses, we cut to both in a bed, expressing how much they enjoyed themselves.
  • Brokeback Mountain: Jack and Ennis start working together herding sheep and steal glances at one another over time, then the scene abruptly cuts to them getting it on in their tent with no real build-up to the sex.
  • In Cabin Fever, Marcy casually suggests to Paul that people who are in a certain-death situation would probably just want to have one last screw, with any available partner. Literally the next thing we see is the two of them naked, and Marcy is throwing a seemingly reluctant Paul down on the bed to ride him vigorously. The foreplay was apparently so brisk that Paul didn't even have time to ask Marcy about using a condom until after they were already having sex.
  • Duck Butter: Multiple times scenes cut from Nima and Sergio talking or doing other things together onto them having sex.
  • Four Weddings and a Funeral: Charles and Carrie flirt a bit while sharing a drink, but swear nothing more will happen. We then cut to them lying in bed together the next morning.
  • One exception, where a seduction is shown with far more detail than normal, occurs in Groundhog Day, as Bill Murray is living the same day over and over and the writers have a chance to show the (fantastical) process of failure and correction.
  • In Iron Man, a few lines of accusatory interviewing between Tony Stark and a female reporter are enough for a one-night stand. One minute they're arguing about war profiteering, the next they're leaping into bed together. It's an Establishing Character Moment for Tony, as that one line was not only enough of a seduction (to someone who was very much not in the mood a few seconds previous), it was enough for a drastic change in venue.
  • Kimi: Terry comes to Angela's door, has a conversation briefly with her, then the next scene cuts to them having sex in her bed.
  • Used in Lost in Translation. The lounge singer sits down next to Bob, says "Hi", and this trope occurs. Well, it cuts to the morning after.
  • Miss Meadows: A scene abruptly shifts from Mike speaking to Miss Meadows, then the pair of them having sex in bed.
  • Shark Attack 3: Megalodon: "The Line" immediately cuts to John Barrowman in a Shower of Love with Jennifer McShane.
  • The Summer of Sangaile: The scene cuts from Saulius taking Sangaile to a place they can hear planes, to her having sex with him in his car (as she listens to them). Beforehand, there was no real buildup to any of this, and it's unexplained why Sangaile did it.
  • Theresa & Allison: A woman runs into Theresa on the street and kisses her. The scene instantly cuts to them having sex after this.
  • Young & Wild: Once she denies being a tease after Antonia's accused her of this, Daniela is seen abruptly in bed with her while having passionate sex together.

  • In one Inspector Morse book, Morse opens a book at random and finds that it jumps straight from a couple flirting in a car, to them waking up in bed the next morning. Deciding that he can't bother with such "anticlimactic pianissimo porn", he shuts the book and gets back to detecting.

     Live Action Television 
  • The Wire: Jimmy McNulty frequently produces these. Memorably, he once manages to pick up a waitress from an all-night diner while drunk out of his mind and having just crashed his car. Twice. In the same place.
  • The Affair: After Noah and Helen break up, he runs into the swimmer who flirted with him in the first episode, who tells him she's now engaged. Commence sex scene.
  • On an episode of The Shield, Vic is getting friendly with a domestic violence worker. She asks if he's married and he replies that he's separated. The next second they're screwing in a motel room.
  • Das Boot: Carla comes into Simone's apartment, they share a long soulful look, kiss and then we see them lying in bed together after having had sex. This may come as a surprise to many in the audience, who didn't sense any attraction between them beforehand (though Carla apparently did).
  • Dates:
    • Kate and Erica dance seductively together, then start making out. Then we cut to them in bed together the next morning after they had sex.
    • Jenny and Christian are talking while on their date, then the following scene has them loudly having sex in his bed.
  • Nos4a 2: A young woman comes into the library to ask Maggie about a book. With no interval, we then see her giving Maggie oral sex in the stacks.
  • Hightown: Jackie is shown chatting with a number of women before it cuts to them having sex (or in one case, lying together afterward). One of these is Played for Laughs as she was talking to her ex-girlfriend who was chatting with a friend, as she flirts with her ex it cuts to her having sex with the friend instead.
  • Jessica Jones (2015): Jessica is about to leave a bar, and a male patron says, "Nice ass." She turns and asks, "What did you say?" in a tone that suggests she's about to deck him. He repeats himself, and then there's a Smash Cut to them having wild sex in the bathroom.
  • We Are Who We Are: Maggie and Jenny are first seen talking, go into an empty apartment then abruptly start kissing then undress to have sex, with it only having been implied before that either found the other one attractive.

     Video Games 

     Web Comics 
  • In the webcomic Skin Horse, with Tip and Dr. Lee. Played for laughs, since Tip's ability to convince women to sleep with him is something of a Running Gag. It also has a No Fourth Wall gag by implying it really does transition instantly to them being in bed (while, at the same time, being entirely consensual). In fact, when it doesn't happen with Tigerlily Jones, he starts hitting the panel borders in case they're broken.
  • Arthur, King of Time and Space does this, rather abruptly, with the Western arc version of the beginning of Lancelot and Guenevere's affair. According to The Rant, this is because Paul had a great idea for how they would get together, which would make it clear that it wasn't about Arthur ... and then didn't write it down.

     Web Original 
  • The season 3 finale of The Guild, with Cyd and Fawkes.

     Western Animation 
  • Futurama:
    • Zapp Brannigan and Leela in the episode "Love's Labours Lost in Space". Used as a quasi plot-device because Leela is bewildered ever after as to why she slept with him.
    • In "Proposition Infinity":
      Amy: Don't tell me to shut up! You know what happened to the last guy who told me to shut up?
      Bender: What?
      (Cut to them in bed)

Alternative Title(s): Cut To Sex