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Non Sequitur Distraction

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A character goes on a rant, presumably induced by some slight, and is caught up in a spot of Angrish. Or maybe they are giving a stirring speech, and are really on a roll, when they let out some Non Sequitur. When the rant or speech ends, the person being chewed out or preached to, with a perplexed tone, ignores 99% of the speech in order to single out the Non Sequitur.

Compare I Take Offense to That Last One, where the target (if being lambasted) only disagrees with one of the insults, implying that they admit the others are correct. Also compare Grammar Correction Gag, where in a situation you expect someone to have a strong reaction to a statement or insult they single out bad spelling and grammar.


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    Anime And Manga 
  • A Running Gag in Bleach has Rukia trying to explain things to Ichigo using a series of drawings. But all he can ever seem to focus on is how terrible the drawings are.

    Comic Books 
  • Kitty Pryde provides us this example from Astonishing X-Men, though in this case what Kitty points out was the thing she was most concerned over.
    Emma Frost: Three students were missing from my ethics class. Seventeen overall. Logan had to break up two fistfights and a mystical swordfight. And that dreadful Guatemalan crab-boy is at Benetech telling reporters this is every mutant's only chance to avoid burning in everlasting hellfire. This is eating us from the inside out.
    Kitty: Oh my God ... you teach ethics?

  • The former Trope Namer was Animal House; towards the end, Bluto gives a stirring speech about not giving up, and at one point says "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" Otter, in reaction, looks confused for a moment and mutters, "Germans?" to which Boon responds "Forget it, he's rolling."

  • A common joke about dictators is about them deliberately invoking this trope to distract from their crimes:
    • About Adolf Hitler and The Holocaust:
      Hitler meets with his high command and tells them, "I have decreed that we shall murder every Jew in Europe and one clown, and no one will care about them!"
      "But my Führer," one replies, "Why the clown?"
      "See, and that's why nobody will care about the Jews!"
    • Another, from Russia, deals with a former leader known for tyranny (usually Ivan the Terrible or Josef Stalin) coming back to life and giving instructions to his successors:
      While Vladimir Putin is asleep in bed, he wakes up to see the ghost of Stalin appearing before him.
      "Vladimir," the ghost says, "you must do these two things to save Russia! First, round up all your political opponents and have them shot! Second, you must paint the Kremlin blue!"
      Putin looks confused and asks, "Why blue, though?"
      "I knew you wouldn't object to the first part."

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of Titus; Erin is chewing Ken out for being a bad father, at one point calling him a "Motard". When her rant ends, he just looks at her funny and says "Motard?"
  • On an episode of Barney Miller a riot breaks out in front of the precinct station. Barney gives an impassioned speech to a representative, saying among other things "Maybe we are all going to hell in a handbasket." When things quiet down, Dietrich says to Barney "Hell in a handbasket?"
  • This is a stock gag on Top Gear. with Jeremy Clarkson (and occasionally Richard Hammond) going off on a long-winded, over-the-top rant at one of the others (usually James May), at the end of which May will react to only one small part of the entire rant.
  • In one episode of Parks and Recreation, the gang is auditioning mural ideas. Jerry starts to give a touching speech about how his idea was influenced by his mother, but he accidentally calls the mural a "murinal." Seeing as how he's the Butt-Monkey, nobody lets him live it down.
  • In Supernatural after Castiel Molotov Cocktails St. Michael, Dean calls Castiel on his choice of epithet.
  • Semi-subverted in The West Wing. Toby Ziegler, about to leave for a meeting on federal estate taxes, delivers a towering rant against the "death tax" while striding about his office picking up papers, getting dressed... the phone rings, Bonnie answers, then starts calling "Toby!" Ginger actually says "He's rollin'..." as Toby comes to a thunderous conclusion, sails out the door and comes to a screeching halt as Bonnie yells "Toby, they cancelled the meeting!"

    Recorded Comedy 
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus is dotted with this in the Live At Drury Lane sketch "Cocktail Bar," where four businessmen stop in to order some rather unusual drinks ("Special with a twist of lemming," "Harlem Stinger," etc.)
    1st Businessman: (reading newspaper) I say, it was in page eight...Nixon's had an arsehole transplant.
    2nd Businessman: Y'see, they stopped press there. The arsehole's rejected him.

    Web Original 
  • On 4chan, someone told the story about how his mother's bakery was broken in to, and to protect the merchandise, she had him store all the cakes on hand at his apartment—about forty of them. He laments that he already housednote  one of them, and didn't know what else to do. This was the immediate response:
  • The Animal House scene was referenced in the second episode of Team Neighborhood; as BLU Soldier is giving his idea of a Rousing Speech, he declares the team to be "red-blooded Americans", prompting Blu Medic to remark that only one in three of them are actually American. BLU Heavy then deadpans, "Forget it, he's on a roll."

    Western Animation 
  • In Young Justice: After Arsenal wakes up and is told everything that has happened since his capture, including an alien invasion, the formation of a team by all the sidekicks and Ollie growing a goatee:
    Red Arrow: We try not to call ourselves sidekicks.
    Green Arrow: (deeply offended) You don't like the goatee?!
  • In the Daffy Duck wartime cartoon "Scrap Happy Daffy," he's going through a verbal list of items for his war effort scrap pile, which included a bathing suit as depicted as a picture of a girl in a bathing suit. After several items later, the scene zips back to the girl as Daffy gives out with a wolf whistle.

Alternative Title(s): Forget It Hes Rolling, Distracted By The Non Sequitur