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Sorry to Interrupt

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"Heya, CatD-oh...! Nevermind."
Leo: Oh my God!
Max: You mean "oops", don't you? Just say "oops" and get out!
Leo: Ahahahahahahahaha...
Max: Not "ahahahahahahah"! "Oops"!
Leo: Oops! (slams the door)

Irene needs to talk to Alice and Bob. She goes to Bob's room, opens the door and sees Alice and Bob in a compromising position. "Ok," Irene thinks, "just slowly back out of the room and close the door."

This trope is when someone opens a door, sees something unexpected, and does an about face. They may mutter something like, "I'll come back later," "You seem busy," or "Sorry to interrupt." Now what the people in the room are doing may be Not What It Looks Like, and often isn't even sexual at all. The two people may be summoning a ghost, or conversing with their toys. On the other hand, this covers solo acts.

Afterward, outside the door, the interrupter may start ranting, screaming or searching for Brain Bleach.

A common variation is to play the scene from the other side of the door. Albert and Brenda are doing something innocent, and just at the wrong moment, someone opens the door. As per Finagle's Law, they're invariably caught when the potential for Not What It Looks Like is at its highest.

Especially embarrassing when the person accidentally interrupting had previously been purposefully sent away. Or in...certain other situations. If shown from the perspective of the couple interrupted, see Interrupted Intimacy.

Related tropes include Backing Away Slowly, which is a slightly different take of getting away from an awkward situation, and Screw This, I'm Outta Here, when a character walks away from an uncomfortable situation happening around or involving them rather than one they just walked into.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • From Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • "Wawawa wasuremono... Sorry. Enjoy yourselves!". Thus spoke Taniguchi when he wandered into a classroom and found Kyon and Nagato on the floor together, just as they had finished fighting Ryoko.
    • The multiple occasions when Kyon stumbles in on Haruhi molesting/changing Mikuru into a costume. Became almost a running gag within the first six episodes.
  • A few Furo Scenes in Ranma ˝ feature this.
    • In fact, this is how (male) Ranma and Akane first met. She walks in on him, gets a good look, calmly backs out of the bathroom, shuts the door slowly, quietly turns around, and suddenly screams bloody murder before racing to grab something to bash him over the head with.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, we have Negi , who is posing as a fifteen year old with the help of a magic pill while having wounds treated by Ako, who is in love with older Negi. As she treats his wounds, Negi, who is naked, faints and falls on top of her. As Ako struggles to get Negi off her, Natsumi opens the door... only to quickly excuse herself and leave.
  • In the Beach Episode of My-HiME, Mai says, "Sorry for interrupting!" to Takeda and Natsuki.
  • In an episode of Saiyuki, Gojyo and Goku are fighting (what else?) over the one bed in the hotel room they all share. The hotel maid who opens the door believes they are, well, not fighting, and is highly embarrassed.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ: Mashymre Cello spends some time (rather poetically) expressing his love and admiration for Haman Karn to the rose she gave him, which he treasures. Then his first officer Gottn is found curiously listening at the door. Mashymre is not amusednote .
    Mashymre: much did you hear?
    Gottn: Nothing, sir! I heard nothing about a rose or a lamb, sir!
  • In Baccano!, a member of one of the more sympathetic characters' True Companions enters a train with a knife drawn and orders everyone to get down. At the same time, two rival factions of mobsters enter with guns and do likewise. He promptly leaves.
    "Sorry for the confusion."
  • In Get Backers, Genji is in the hospital with Himiko keeping him company. Genji is eating some melon and throws one slice straight in, causing him to choke on it. Himiko leans over to make sure he's okay; cue Natsumi coming in to say hi, and immediately assuming she's walking in on a kiss.
    "Sorry for interrupting."
  • Shimoneta: In chapter 10, Ayame enters the girls' locker-room and sees Oboro pinned on the floor, while Tanukichi is shirtless and holding Oboro's legs open. Made more incriminating since Oboro's skirt was bunched around his waist, leaving his panties fully exposed. Ayame jumps to the obvious conclusion and hastily exits the room without a word.

    Comic Books 
  • Robin: Tim Drake pulled off an amusing version in his introduction when he meets Starfire while looking for Dick Grayson. He interrupts her day, realizes Dick isn't there while revealing he knows Dick is Nightwing and then apologetically runs off into the city leaving Kory in a panic about the weird random kid who knows the Batfamily's secrets. The whole of the Teen Titans are looking for Tim as a possible villain before he even tracks down Dick.
  • In Superman storyline The Jungle Line, Clark Kent walks in one couple of Daily Planet co-workers making out in a storeroom, apologizes and leaves hastilynote .

    Fan Works 
  • In the Kingdom Hearts fanfic Other Halves, and Other Tales, it's a Running Gag.
  • In a one-shot for The Hearth Series, one of Vash's attempts to arrest Maddox ends with Maddox handcuffed to a lamp post, with his legs wrapped around Vash's head. While they are in this position, Ramon thinks he hears someone calling for him and looks outside.
    "Hello," said Maddox, looking at the man at Vash's back.
    "Never mind," Ramon said. It did not take long for Vash to hear a front door open and close.
  • In Dirty Sympathy when Apollo is about to kiss Klavier, Trucy interrupts with them a hearty good morning when she's bringing in donuts.
  • The Invader Zim fan-made Most Horrible Short Ever.
    Dib: "Haha! I've got you now, Zi— [long, awkward pause] You know what? I'm not going to try today."
  • In the fan-made Hetalia: Axis Powers game Project NA, one of the endings results in Matthew and Alfred stuck in a broom closet together, hiding from Natalia. She throws open the closet door, thinking her brother is there...only to stare as those two fall out. After sputtering for a bit, she quickly excuses herself and leaves.
  • In chapter 65 of A Crown of Stars, Ching called Asuka while she and Shinji were "busy" to remind them that they had to return to work again. She prefaced her warning with a "I'm sorry to have to interrupt" comment:
    "I'm really sorry to have to do this, as I can make a pretty good guess what I'm interrupting, but you two are due overhead in 15 minutes."
  • Played for Drama in Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide. Maya walks in on Misato and Ritsuko, just as the former is holding the latter at gunpoint and demanding she spills the beans on the strange going-ons with Unit-02. Witnessing her boss being threatened on her life by her other boss is the culmination of an already incredibly bad month for Maya and it reduces her to a tearful wreck.
  • 221B:
    • Watson and Mary, preparing for their wedding, stop for a kiss. At exactly that moment, Holmes wanders in to ask Watson about some case materials, sees what's going on, and hastily excuses himself.
    • Holmes is putting the finishing touches of a female disguise on Watson when Mrs. Hudson comes in to ask if they want something, only to rebuff an explanation and slam the door when she sees what's going on.
  • This fancomic of Steven Universe has Lapis walking in on Peridot singing and dancing in the bathroom to Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off".
  • This human AU of Steven Universe has White Diamond, with a blanket draped on her body, tearfully eating a big tub of ice cream while watching a romance movie. Hilarity Ensues when one of her daughters, Yellow, walks in on her.
    Yellow: (panicked, to Blue) Don't go in there, I think Aunt Flo is in town.

    Film — Animated 
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm has this multiple times. Both times including Alfred walking in on Bruce having a makeout session, and Alfred making a quick 180 to give Master Wayne some privacy.
  • In Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, a mook opens a door to see Batman there. The two stare at each other for a moment before the mook quietly and discreetly closes the door and leads his partner away from the room.
  • In Cars, Lightning McQueen goes to talk to Doc Hudson and walks in on Sheriff getting a tune up, which, judging from McQueen's reaction, appears to be the car equivalent of a colonoscopy.
  • In Hotel Transylvania, Dracula and Johnny are lost in the secret tunnels, and walk in on a skeleton woman taking a shower. Drac is quick to apologize, and the skeleton woman's husband asks "What is wrong with you people?", as Johnny had stuck his hand in her ribcage, earlier.
  • The Incredibles: Mr. Incredible has been invited to dinner by Mirage. Peeking through the door, he sees her talking to her mysterious employer (though he can only be partially seen). So Mirage won't know he's been spying, he then pretends he's just arrived when she goes to the door.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Spaceballs, Colonel Sandurz interrupts Dark Helmet while the latter is playing with his dolls.
    Dark Helmet: (quickly hides his dolls) Knock on my door! Knock next time!
    Colonel Sandurz: Yes, sir!
    Dark Helmet: Did you see anything?!
    Colonel Sandurz: No, sir, I didn't see you playing with your dolls again!
  • In The Producers, Leo interrupts Max "feeling up the old lady", but Max has to prompt him to fulfill this trope.
  • Airplane!. When Otto the Autopilot starts deflating, Elaine tries to re-inflate him by blowing into a tube at his waist. Dr. Rumack walks into the cockpit and sees her apparently performing fellatio on Otto, then turns around and walks out with a stunned expression on his face.
  • Independence Day. Somebody walks in on what looks like a pilot proposing to another pilot.
  • In Star Trek: First Contact, Picard is admiring the first human-built warp ship and trying to explain to Data how being close to something makes it seem more real.
    Troi: Would you three like to be alone?
  • Ultraman Cosmos 2: The Blue Planet: Shau, an alien girl, finds out how fun it is spraying champagne out of a bottle, when her fellow alien partner Jin walks in on her. After an awkward moment of silence, Jin promptly backs away without a word.
  • In The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren, second-in-command of the New Order, finds out that his captive, Rey, the only one with information leading to finding Luke Skywalker, has escaped. He whips out his light-saber and starts trashing the equipment in the room. Outside, two stormtroopers come around the corner, see what's happening and slowly back up, turn and leave.
  • During The Coup in The Death of Stalin, two of Beria's NKVD goons burst into the Presidum's chamber to see what all the fuss is about, only to see their boss being held at gunpoint by Marshal Zhukov and his men. They awkwardly try to back out.
    Aslanov: Ssssorry, comrades.
    Kobulov: Wrong room.
    Zhukov: (To one of his soldiers) Er, go and kill them, will you?
  • A rare outside example in Cool Cat Saves the Kids. In the background during a scene where Cool Cat's standing on a lawn, you can see a (likely non-staff) neighbor leave his house, see Cool Cat from across the street, and calmly walk back inside.

  • In the Robert A. Heinlein novel Have Spacesuit Will Travel, Kip enters the room and finds Peewee crying. She doesn't notice him, so he sneaks out and then starts to head back while making a lot of noise so she can hear him coming and hide the fact that she was crying.
  • In The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole:
    Came home from school early with a severe migraine (missed the Comparative Religion test). Found my father watching Play School and pretending to be an acorn growing into an oak.
    Went to bed too shocked to speak.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Friends, when Joey, on his way to the men's room, sees Ross kissing Chandler's mom. Joey turns and says, "I'll just pee in the street."
    • In another episode, Joey walks into a room, where Ross suddenly accuses him of proposing to Rachel — Joey "realises" that "This isn't the right room!" and quickly escapes.
    • When Monica catches Ross and Rachel kissing (long after they've broken up) she says: "I'm sorry, apparently I've opened the door to the past."
  • Lampshaded in an episode of House, during a sequence in which at least two people (Wilson and Cameron) separately walk in on the title character receiving a vigorous massage of his bum leg by a physical therapist. Realizing how suggestive it looks, he shouts, "It's not what it looks like!" to both.
    • Another time Cameron and Chase are making out in a janitor's closet. House opens the door suddenly and simply tosses his garbage out before leaving.
  • Used and played with in Believe Nothing when Hannah walks in on the main character receiving a vigourous and suggestive back massage from his dogsbody.
    Hannah: I'm going through something of a homophobic phase — not that I have any objection in principle to men slathering each other with lubricants prior to penetration.
    Adonis: Hannah! There are no sexual undertones whatsoever in this scenario! Are there, Albuman?
    Albuman: ...Oh.
  • In Torchwood Gwen walks in on Jack and Ianto doin' it in the greenhouse. It's followed by a totally unrelated argument between Jack and Gwen, and then Jack drags Ianto back into the room and is seen undressing again.
  • Once in Matlock, Matlock was being hugged by an old flame (I think), and is walked in on by assistants Cliff and Jerri. Jerri looks shocked, while Cliff says "Whoopsiedoodle," and drags Jerri back out the door.
  • In The George Lopez Show, Max catches George and Angie's sister kissing. Angie's sister, having just gotten divorced, wanted some loving and had grabbed George and started making out with him.
  • In the Seinfeld episode "The Kiss Hello," George enters the room just as Kramer kisses Jerry on the lips. He stands in the doorway for a few seconds, then backs out again.
  • Farscape. John Crichton enters a door after hearing Chiana say, "Yes!" in response to whether he can come in, only to quickly walk out again on finding she's actually having sex with D'Argo.
  • Taken to extra hilarious heights in Riget, when the Minister of Health decides to pay an impromptu visit and inspection to the haunted neurosurgical ward where the story unfolds, right as the climax of several of the show's running plot-lines are going down. The Minister and his delegation first manages to inadvertently bump into Mrs. Drusse, Bulder, and Dr. Krogshøj's exorcism of a ghost in the hospital basement. They then walk in on Dr. Bondo's liver transplantation, right as the drug-addled Bondo starts raving about how he doesn't want to have his cancer-infested liver removed. They then happen upon Dr. Petersen laying in labor with spread legs on an examination table as she attempts to have her supernaturally large baby aborted. Finally, they enter the sleep laboratory right as Camilla is in mid-coitus with Mogge.
  • Frasier: In the episode "The Wizard And Roz", Frasier discovers that Roz has slept with his old mentor Dr. Tewksbury after he finds him at Roz's apartment wearing her bathrobe. To try and help Frasier work through his discomfort, Tewksbury puts Roz's robe on again and starts asking Frasier what "deep feelings" it brings up in him. Naturally, this is when one of Tewksbury's students walks in.
    Tewksbury: Ah, Peterson. Here for your make-up test?
    Peterson: I was, but... I'll just take the D.

    Video Games 
  • An example of this occurs during the ServantFes summer event in Fate/Grand Order. Jeanne Alter tries to wake a sleeping protagonist, only for them to turn away. Jeanne Alter turns this into a game, climbing onto the bed and trying to get them to wake up by pinching their nose shut. As she's playing with them, Osakabehime enters the room flanked by Nitocris wearing her medjed shroud and Caster of Nightless City. They even say the trope name word-for-word as Jeanne Alter vehemently denies that anything is happening.
  • Persona 4: When sitting on the girls' side of the table during the group-date café, Rise walks in to say hi to Yu, only to immediately walk back out when she sees what he's doing.

    Visual Novels 
  • If the title character of Melody keeps fooling around with Sophia, eventually the protagonist will walk in on them. He’ll quietly get out, but if he is getting some on the side with Sophia as well, he’ll have an opportunity for a three-way relationship with the two girls. If he doesn’t pursue a three-way, or if he’s not been doing anything with Sophia, he and Melody will go back to having an exclusive relationship.


    Web Video 
  • Essay channels Hbomberguy and Philosophy Tube had a joke cross-over in the videos "Flat Earth: A Measured Response" and "Why Does Britain Still Have a Queen?" where Hbomberguy was visiting Abi to ask about epistemology and flat earth (while wearing a Sobek mask and a T-shirt questioning the moon landing) just as Abi was doing a skit on English attitudes to the monarchy (by pouring a bottle of Worcestershire Sauce over her face). The scene is present in both videos (without the surrounding context of what the other essayist is doing) and filmed from their respective POVs, and both end with Hbomberguy promptly fleeing the scene (and, in his own video, fleeing the UK altogether).

    Web Original 
  • Has happened several times to Phase in the Whateley Universe:
    • The first time was walking into his room to find his roomie Bladedancer doing something to a mostly naked Jade Sinclair. (It was acupressure therapy — Bladedancer is a healer.)
    • There's another hilarious incident when Phase figures out a new technique to fend off bullies — he can, by phasing just right, steal clothes off people's bodies and leave them unharmed. A number of his friends — and his girlfriend — walk in just in time to see him in front of an undressed mannequin holding women's underwear.
    • Yet another incident occurs when Phase figures out a way to make everyone back off- after being asked for a favour from a regen called Peril, he decides to set up a scene where Peril verbally abuses him, he seems to snap and phases through Peril, taking Peril's dick with him. To do so without anyone actually getting hurt, Phase gets Bugs to create a model penis. Cue everyone walking in just in time to see Bugs kneeling down next to his very erect penis. Including his girlfriend.
  • During the RiffTrax for 300 Disembaudio walks in during the rape scene:
    Disembaudio: "Hey, guys, I made you some snickerdoodleGOOOOOD LORD! WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING?!"

    Western Animation 
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: At the beginning of "The Blue Car Line", Gaia finds Wheeler all wet and Ma-Ti laughing his head off and immediately tells them she doesn't want an explanation before saying that they need to get to the Crystal Chamber for another mission briefing.
  • In one episode of CatDog where Winslow walks in on Dog with Cat all the way down his throat and then some. He immediately turns around and leaves saying, "Never mind."
  • A variation occurs in Xiaolin Showdown, when Chase Young has his animal slaves shapeshift to their human warrior forms. Cut to Dojo slithering in, carrying a tray of food... and turning around and slithering right back out without missing a beat.
  • In Robot Chicken, Keith Crofford does this when he enters a public toilet and sees Ted Turner painting himself blue in an attempt to become Captain Planet.
  • Gravity Falls: In The Stinger for "Northwest Mansion Mystery", Agents Powers and Trigger attend the party in weird disguises and go into a closet to talk to each other about their findings. When the conversation turns into a petty argument, Tambry walks in on them, says "Not even gonna ask" and walks out.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "The Summer of 4'2", Marge walks in just as one of Lisa's friends says his mom would have embarrassed him by now with a tray of Rice Krispie squares and Tang. Marge pulls a perfect U-turn, carrying her tray of Rice Krispie squares and Tang.
    • In "Bart After Dark", Grampa strolls into the burlesque house and hangs up his hat, spots Bart at the desk and turns around, collects his hat and exits. Subverted in that he comes back in.
    • In "Strong Arms of the Ma", Homer walks out of the bathroom at Moe's Tavern to find Marge tearing the place apart in a steroid-fueled rampage, then silently walks back in.
  • In an episode of Hey Arnold!, Helga is hiding in her closet shrine to Arnold to perform a bizarre, pseudo-spiritual ritual which involves donning a costume and face paint. As she thrashes around reciting invocations, there's a cut to her father Big Bob in the living room, where he hears the noise. Later, he goes upstairs, opens the bedroom door, finds Helga lying on the floor in her outfit, and grunts "I'm not even gonna ask" before slamming the door again.


Video Example(s):


Sonic Shorts

Rouge and Topaz come to check up on the Thorndyke Residence, but seeing the absolute chaos that is the dinner party, they decide it's not worth pursuing further and walk out.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / SorryToInterrupt

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