Follow TV Tropes


Take Five

Go To

Capt. West: Commander Galloway, why don't you get yourself a cup of coffee?
Lt. Cmdr. Galloway: Thank you, sir, I'm fine.
Capt. West: Commander, I'd like you to leave the room so we can talk about you behind your back.
Lt. Cmdr. Galloway: Certainly, sir.

One character wants to talk to a second character about something private, but a third character is in the room. The first character suggests that the third character step out and take a coffee break. Often, the third character doesn't get that he's being asked to leave for privacy reasons, no matter how obvious it might be.

Compare Talk About That Thing, where the two characters make up an excuse to leave the room together, Stepping Out for a Quick Cup of Coffee, where the departing character makes an excuse to leave to provide privacy for someone else and plausible deniability for himself, and Privacy by Distraction, where the third character is tricked into leaving the pair alone. Hide and No Seek is a specific form of this where adults try to get the children out of the way using a game.

Not to be confused with the piece in Uncommon Time by the Dave Brubeck Quartet or the former British boy band of the same name.


    open/close all folders 


  • In A Few Good Men, as quoted above. It also demonstrates that when you're in the military, you don't need to bother with an excuse.
  • Bad Boys (1995):
    Marcus Burnett: Mike. Go downstairs and have a Coke and smile.
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, Col. Phillips tells the corporal who's been typing his letters to get a cup of coffee before he begins dressing down Peggy for taking Steve on his unauthorized rescue mission.
  • The Parent Trap (1998): After summer camp, Martin finds Hallie's stuffed rabbit, Cuppy, while he's unpacking Annie's suitcase and approaches her about it in front of her mother. Once Anne!Hallie tells Martin that he'll mail Cuppy to her sister, she quickly dismisses him, getting him out of the room before he can come any closer to blowing her cover.
  • In the remake of The Italian Job, Skinny Pete tells his girl "Go relax, babe." when he wants to have a private meeting with someone.
  • From Kelly's Heroes: Crapgame tells his assistant to get a haircut when Kelly wants to talk business in private.
  • In Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), when Jane recognizes John on the security footage of her last botched hit, she gets her assistants to leave by saying, "Why don't you go make some coffee?"
  • From The Green Mile
    Paul Edgecombe: Percy... they're moving house in the infirmary. Why don't you go see if they could use some help?
    Percy Whetmore: They got all the men they need.
    Paul Edgecombe: Why don't you just make sure?
    {A pause, in which Percy doesn't move}
    Paul Edgecombe: I don't care where you go, as long as it's not here at this moment.
  • In London To Brighton, Derek sends Chum out to wait in the car while he asks Kelly to find him an underaged prostitute.
  • In The Hunt for Red October, Jonesy comes to Captain Mancuso to tell him something important, and Mancuso tells the guy nearby to get himself a cup of coffee and send up some tea for Mancuso himself.


  • In Making Money, Lord Vetinari is in the post office trying to talk to Moist but some postal employees are there (and logically so; it's their office he's invaded) so he says that it's time for them to take their tea break. They try to take it in the office until Vetinari looks at them and says, "Somewhere else."
  • The Way of Kings (2010): Highprince Dalinar orders his workers to rest while he digs the latrine they were supposed to be building using his Powered Armor. Everybody stands around awkwardly for a few minutes, until Teleb, the captain of Dalinar's guard, orders the workers to sit down and "converse in a lighthearted manner."
    From someone else, that command might have been said with a smile, but Teleb was as literal as the rocks themselves.

     Live Action TV  

  • Used expertly in the 'South Atlantic Raiders episode of The Comic Strip, in which the hero, Stan, would like his somewhat dim-witted mate Billy to leave the room so that he can get acquainted with the woman he thinks is his long-distance girlfriend:
    Stan: Billy, can you take a hint?
    Billy: Yeah. What is it?
  • In one CSI: Miami episode, Eric wants to talk to Calleigh about a possible corrupt cop, but some low-level techie is in the room with them.
    Eric: "Hey, why don't you go get a cup of coffee?"
    Techie: "No, I'm good."
    Eric: -glares at Techie-
    Techie: "Oh, um... I guess I did need to take a break."
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Prophecy Girl", Xander wants to get Buffy alone so he can ask her out:
    Xander: Willow, don't you have a thing?
    Willow: A thing? The thing! That I have! Which is... a thing I have to go to. See ya later.
  • Babylon 5:
    • In the episode "Voices of Authority", Sheridan wants to have a frank conversation with the Political Officer Earthside wants to saddle him with:
      Sheridan: Zack!
      Zack Allen: Yes, sir?
      Sheridan: Take a walk!
      Zack Allen: Yes, sir!
    • Earlier in the show, a security guard offered Sheridan the chance for this so they could have a private conversation with the prisoner,* and Sheridan declined.
  • Used in The George Lopez Show where George and Angie have to talk about their finances and Ernie just opens a can of orange soda during the discussion. He doesn't want to leave since "he just opened this can," and George gives him a rather nasty look.
  • The following exchange from Merlin:
    Arthur: Go get some more firewood, would you, Merlin?
    Merlin: I thought Morgana was doing that.
    Arthur: Well, go and see if she's all right.
    Merlin: Why wouldn't she be?
    Arthur: I don't know, maybe there are wolves in these woods.
    Merlin: No... I don't think so.
    Arthur: Merlin... (mouths: 'YOU' and jerks his head implying get out. Merlin looks over and notices Gwen, finally getting it. Arthur nods in exasperation)
    Merlin: Oh. yeah, yeah of course. THE WOLVES.
  • In The West Wing, the phrase is, "Everyone, can we have the room for a minute?" And since it's the president asking, everyone leaves...
  • Similar to the West Wing example, in an early episode of Bones, Agent Seely tells the Jeffersonian technicians that he needs the room for a few minutes, to a room full of blank faces. Hodgins ends up explaining to them that Seely wanted them to leave so he could talk with Bones in private.
  • In Stargate SG-1 the phrase "Give us the room" is used fairly frequently, although characters can only do that to people they outrank. General Hammond especially liked this one (the other generals didn't use it as often).
  • Due South: When Detective Vecchio wanted to talk with Don Zuko in private after Zuko had Constable Fraser beaten to a pulp, Zuko told his men to go get him and Ray some coffee. Not too long after they left them alone, Ray proceeded to beat Zuko senseless.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Inverted by Sheldon who, after Penny asks if she can talk to him privately, turns to Raj and tells him to leave his apartment.
  • Used on the Law & Order spin-offs, usually in an interrogation scene to get a certain cop out of the room. Depending on the particular ploy, the cop may or may not protest the suggestion to "go get [the suspect] some water" or the cop to get some coffee.
    • It's also used frequently to get rid of the parent/spouse/child of a victim (or sometimes a suspect) so the cops can speak to them alone.
  • In the Supernatural episode "What Is And What Should Never Be" (S02, Ep20), Sam asks Jessica and Carmen to leaves so he can talk to his "brother for a sec".
  • The Andy Griffith Show: Andy wants Opie to leave the room:
    Andy: Do your homework, Ope.
    Opie: I already done it, Pa!
    Andy: Do it again.
  • Baywatch. Shauni shows up at Mitch's house to tearfully tell him that her boyfriend has been arrested for statutory rape.note  Mitch instantly turns to his son, "Hobie. . ." His son reminds him that he knows what rape means. Mitch tells him, "I know you do, but. . ." quietly, but firmly making it clear that he's to leave so that he and Shauni can talk.
  • Happens occasionally in Star Trek, especially in the transporter room: someone in the main cast relieves the on-duty officer in order to give the guest of the week a private goodbye, or to make a transport that clearly violates regulations.

  • In The Men from the Ministry when One and Two are about to have a heated argument, One usually tells Mildred to answer the telephone in the outer office, even though it's never actually ringing.



  • In Suikoden V, days after the Godiwn Uprising, the the Prince and his allies find temporary sanctuary at a mountain shrine. When night falls, the Prince has the option to dismiss his bodyguard by saying "You should get some sleep Lyon". She'll take the hint and quickly leave the room while wishing him "good night"... after which The Prince will quietly curl up on the floor, mourning for his family.
  • In Dawn of War, Inquisitor Toth wanted Colonel Brom dismissed so that he can talk with Gabriel Angelos on the Exterminatus of Cyrene. Considering his status, he made his demand clear.
    Toth: Colonel Brom. The Captain and I must attend to matters of faith. If you would leave us, please.
    Brom: But surely this involves me as-
    Toth: Forgive me for not being clear on the matter. I said please when in fact I meant, now.

     Web Original  

  • In Worm, Chapter 23.3 has Glenn Chambers sending all his subordinates out of his office when Weaver drops the bomb about the Vegas heroes defecting.

     Western Animation  

  • Done in The Weekenders in the final episode. Tino's mother tries to get some privacy for a talk with her ex-husband by telling Tino to go do his homework. Tino replies that he did it all on Friday. She then tells him to do that thing in his room upstairs. Tino gets the idea, hinting at its lack of subtlety.