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Rudely Hanging Up

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Councilor Tevos: Do not cut me off again, Commander. I fail to find it amusing.
Commander Shepard: (hangs up on the Council) Whoops.

It can be hard to get out of a face-to-face conversation, but getting out of a telephone conversation is as easy as hanging up. Of course, this is generally considered rude, and as such it can be tremendously funny to watch the frustrated reaction of the person who was hung up on. More rarely, the camera follows the person doing the hanging-up.


May be followed by a Phoney Call if the person on the receiving end is surrounded by other people and tries to pretend the conversation is still going on.

Compare TV Telephone Etiquette, where nobody says "goodbye" at the end of a call, and Fake Static, in which one of the characters pretends that they can't hear the other person due to static on the line, then hangs up.


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    Fan Works 
  • In "Frostbite", Dalsh Ruul has taken Tess and most of her away team prisoner and tries to bargain with them as hostages after Eleya blows up the Breens' ship in orbit. Ruul is trying to stall for time so his men can set up transporter scramblers, but:
    Eleya: Breen commander, this is Captain Kanril Eleya of the Federation Starship Bajor. Release your prisoners immediately and surrender.
    Ruul: Kanril Eleya. I have heard that name before, in intelligence briefings. Since you have apparently destroyed my ship, you will provide my men and I with a shuttle—
    Eleya: Wrong answer.
    Ruul: (to Tess) She hung up on me.
    Breen soldier: Dalsh Ruul! Transporter signatures!

    Film — Animated 
  • In The Iron Giant, Kent calls General Rogard about the giant robot he thinks is roaming the town. Rogard, upset that Kent called him at home for a non-emergency, tells him that he first needs evidence to send troops, and while Kent raves about it, he calmly hangs up on him in mid-rant. Kent doesn't take this well.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the arms dealer Ulysses Klaue is introduced shouting at a business contact who had sent him a shipment of bad parts, before slamming the phone down and switching to another caller.
    Klaue: You pay your account in full by this time next week, or the next missile I send you will come very much faster! *hangs up, picks up other line* Now, Minister, where were we?
  • Alexander Knox in Batman (1989) is trying to interview someone, as the Joker's deadly antics start ramping up. The target of his questions hangs up on him. He then stares in faux-astonishment and declares, "...they. Hung. Up!"
  • Happens a few times in the Danish Police Procedural The Guilty (which is told from inside an emergency services dispatch center, meaning that it basically all plays out over the telephone), such as when Asger reveals to Michael that he knows that he had done time in prison.
  • The Negotiator: After Roman executes a hostage and calls the negotiator for his next demands, Sabian hangs up the phone on him several times even though Roman still has hostages, both to signal his anger and to make it clear that he will refuse further negotiations if people get hurt.
  • Happens early on in Sweet Smell of Success, when a client of the hero expresses dissatisfaction with the work done for him and hangs up.
  • V for Vendetta has a brief scene of Lewis Prothero yelling at his producer over the phone while watching his own show, telling him to fire the cameraman because his nose looks too big or else Prothero will fire him. He then hangs up the phone without waiting for an answer.
  • The Rock: General Hummel does this during all his interactions with the FBI.
    Womack: I wanna know who I'm speaking with.
    Hummel: This is Brigadier General Francis X. Hummel, United States Marine Corps, from Alcatraz. OUT.
  • John Wick has Viggo calling John to apologize for his son stealing John's car, beating him, and killing his dog. John not only doesn't say a single word during the call, he hangs up on Viggo mid-sentence.

  • Aeon 14: Destiny Lost and Set the Galaxy on Fire. See Tanis Richards argue with Bollam's World Admiral Senya. See Senya start ranting at her. See Tanis close the channel in mid-sentence.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: During Skye, Fitz, and Simmons' first stakeout, Skye called Ward with questions about going to the bathroom, where the snacks are, until a fed up Ward ends the call.
  • In the final season of Boardwalk Empire, Nucky's men kidnap Benny Siegel with plans to hold him hostage to use against Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky. When they call Luciano to inform him, though, Luciano and company assume Benny is off doing one of his typical crazy, stupid things like hooking up with a new girl in the middle of a Mob War. So Luciano assumes the worst when he gets on the phone, starts talking right over Siegel's attempts to explain, chews Siegel out, and tells him to stop being a dumbass before hanging up on him. It's only when they call back and Nucky is the one to talk that Luciano starts to listen. Scene.
  • In the Burn Notice pilot episode, Michael is trying to find out from his old handler how and why he got burned, and the secretary on the other end refuses to patch him through.
    Michael: Please, we trained together. There's a lucite plaque on his desk with a bullet hole in it. He drinks Sprite. He's a friend.
    Secretary: Sir, I can't help.
    Michael: No, no, don't hang up on me! Oh, you hung up on me!
  • Elementary: Joan Watson walks in on Sherlock Holmes angrily hanging up on someone and using an old-school rotary phone to do it. Sherlock admits that, having made a series of increasingly irritating phone calls that day, he dug out the phone so that he could hang up with more emphasis.
  • In the series Murdoch Mysteries, Inspector Brackenreid will occasionally get out of awkward phone conversations by hanging up, sometimes preceded by his jiggling the hook and loudly claiming to have a bad connection. Recipients of this tactic include his wife and Chief Constable Stockton (one suspects Stockton's successor Percival Giles wouldn't fall for this).
  • In one of the comedy sketches that open Seinfeld, Jerry talks about how difficult it is to do this with a cell phone. He acts out a bit where someone tries to hang up rudely with a cell phone by pulling it away from his ear, searching for the "end" button, and pressing it. "I guess I showed him!"
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Ensigns of Command", after being berated all epsiode by the Sheliak, a race whose hat is Bothering by the Book and who have been insistently invoking the exact wording of their very long peace treaty with the Federation to claim a planet in three days that will take three weeks to evacuate the human population, Picard exploits a loophole that would delay their plans by six months. He then hangs up on them and strolls about the bridge for a minute when they call back. To be fair, they had hung up on him several times previously during the episode.
    Riker: You enjoyed that.
    Picard: You're damn right.
  • NCIS: Mobster threatens Gibbs over the phone, is nonplussed when the threat backfires.
    Mobster: ...I'll kill your brothers, your uncles, your father. And after their funerals, I'll kill you.
    Gibbs: No brothers, no uncles, my father passed years ago. I do have three ex-wives, whose names and addresses I will gladly fax on to you... Huh. He hung up.note 

  • "The Heretic Anthem" by Slipknot ends with a phone loudly being tossed back onto the cradle, as if to imply the entire Angrish rant that was the song was being screamed into somebody's ear.

  • Sir Gregory in The Men from the Ministry ends most of his phone-calls into the General Assistance Department by hanging up on One whenever he's halfway through his sentence.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Jeff Dunham has a sketch where Grumpy Old Man Walter complains about his wife calling back right after he hangs up on her:
    Walter's wife: Did you just hang up on me?!
    Walter: I dunno, did it sound something like this!? *click*

    Video Games 
  • Mass Effect:
    Tevos: Commander, is this some kind of game? Are you calling in a report just so you can cut us off again?
    Shepard: You know it! (click)
    Joker: That never gets old, does it?
    • Mass Effect 3: In a Continuity Nod to the first game, Joker at one point suggests calling the Council so you can hang up on them again.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda continues the tradition in Liam's loyalty mission. Early in the mission, the self-important Monster of the Week calls into the cargo bay you're in a couple times, and you're offered quick time events to disconnect the call. The second time, you're in the middle of arguing with Liam about how badly-planned the mission is, and you just shoot the console with whatever gun you have equipped when the villain calls and keep yelling at ​Liam without missing a beat. The villain subsequently starts ranting over the intercom about how he's going to kill everyone who disrespected him, which he doesn't do without the interrupts.
  • StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty: When Prince Valerian pointedly doesn't answer Jim Raynor's question as to why he'd help them, Jim cuts the communication, waits for a few seconds, then turns it back on.
    Valerian: I can see why my father wants to kill you.

    Western Animation 
  • In one Donald Duck cartoon, he and Daisy have an argument over the phone. She hangs up so hard, the phone booth Donald's in explodes.
  • In the Futurama movie The Beast with a Billion Backs, Hermes is instructed by Professor Farnsworth to hang up on Wernstrom in "the most rude way possible". Apparently, this is defined in the 31st century, as Hermes pulls his pants down and uses his buttcrack to hold and slam down the phone. Wernstrom is able to watch (video phone) and can only protest before being hung up on.
    Wernstrom: No, not the buttslam! *call ends*


Video Example(s):


Hanging up on the Council

Female Commander Shepard repeatedly hanging up on the Citadel Council mid-conversation. (Video by YouTuber Taina Pereira)

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Main / RudelyHangingUp

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Main / RudelyHangingUp