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To Be Continued... Right Now

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As Alice and Bob take their Wiki Walk, they find something... new. What could it be?

You'll find that out and more On the Next... I mean, on this very page.

Wait, what?

A reveal or plot resolution is set up to be explained in the next episode or following a commercial break, but is then immediately explained. As you probably can guess; this trope is pretty much always Played for Laughs.

This effect can also be caused unintentionally in, for instance, a DVD release of a TV show or made-for-TV movie, or in syndication; where the commercials would go, you instead get a Fade to Black that fades right back in to show the characters in exactly the same positions.

Contrast Cliffhanger, To Be Continued. Compare The Reveal, Find Out Next Time.

Due to the trope's nature: beware of unmarked spoilers in the examples!


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    Anime and Manga 
  • One episode of Cromartie High School, two plots to it, one of which was that no one ever cares to know "Hokuto's Lackey"'s name. The other plot was resolved in the next episode. the teaser for the next episode plays with this by informing in advance that Hokuto's Lackey will never be named.
    Narrator: Will anyone learn Hokuto's Lackey's name? What will happen with the Boss Championship? Many questions will be answered in the next episode of Cromartie High School... and many will not. We hope you will join us then.
  • Dont Cry Maou Chan has a chapter where the title character's administrator Fatalite somehow gets roped into a battle royale for her hand in marriage that's being hyped up to start the next chapter, only to be resolved on the last page with Fatalite herself having beaten up all of her suitors and saying she's not marrying anyone.
  • When the Straw Hats meet Brook in One Piece, he explains that the reason he's a skeleton and the reason he has no shadow or reflection are two different things.
    Brook: To be continued.
    Sanji: TELL US NOW!!
  • One recap episode of Magical Princess Minky Momo ends with "The End" however after a few words later it is changed to "Not The End" with "To be Continued" in the bottom.
  • Chapter 104 of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War ends with the narrator talking about how the current storyline would continue in the following chapter. The anime kept this line despite chapters 104 and 105 being adapted as part of a singular episode.

  • On Another Monty Python Record, the first episode of the radio play The Death of Mary, Queen of Scots is followed by an announcer saying, "Episode 2 of The Death of Mary, Queen of Scots can be heard on Radio 4 almost immediately." Followed, of course, by Episode 2.

    Fan Works 
  • Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami: Matt and Yotsuba are struggling for the Death Note when the car crashes. One of them dies instantly while the other escapes with the Death Note, ending with "It was... you'll have to find out later!" The very next paragraph cuts to Blud telling Light that Matt survived and has a Death Note.
  • At the end of one chapter of React Watch Believe Yikes, Yang and Weiss are struck by a Dust compound that is making them horny with an already sexed-up Ruby and Blake offering them relief. The chapter appears to end with offering the readers a choice to let them accept or not, only to have them decline a few line breaks later. Given the sheer number of Yuri Fans RWBY attracts, that was probably the smart decision.
  • In one chapter of This Bites!, when the Straw Hats learn that Merry's keel had cracked and she was going to die, it seemed like it would end on a heartbreaking cliffhanger...right before a Part 2 is shown. While the cliffhanger is something the writer would do, the word count wasn't up to their standards.

    Films — Animated 
  • The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part: The film seemingly has a Second Chapter Cliffhanger, when Emmet is tricked into starting Armamageddon by Rex Dangervest, who turns out to be an evil, embittered version of himself from an alternate future who strands Emmet on Undar of the Dryar. Then Lucy protests that the movie can't end on a cliffhanger like that, and she eventually rallies her friends and the citizens of the Systar System into escaping the Bin of Storage and going to rescue Emmet.
  • The Simpsons Movie does this around the start of Act IV, with "To Be Continued" appearing on screen, and then followed by "Immediately" not long after.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • There's an infamous moment in The Guy from Harlem where the scene fades to black and then cuts to the exact same scene.
    Mike Nelson: Guy from Harlem will continue aft— And we're back.
  • Lampshaded in I Remember Mama. Boarder Jonathan Hyde, an actor with a spellbinding voicenote , reads to the children every night from a collection of classics:
    Mr. Hyde. "Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!" [shuts book] .... To be continued in our next.
    Children. Awwwww!
    Mr. Hyde. If you're interested...
    Children. Oh, yes, Mr. Hyde!
  • Jagged Mind: Being put in the time loops by Alex makes Billie suffer from blackouts, memory loss (so she doesn't clearly remember this happening), and progressive brain damage. Rose warns Billie that she will die if she doesn't break the loop.
  • Similarly in a variant from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. King Arthur and Bedevere crossing the Bridge of Death to some pulse-pounding adventure music is interrupted by a ten-second "Intermission" title card and some upbeat organ music.

  • Older Than Print: Lampshaded in The Divine Comedy.
    Merely consider, reader, if what I here begin
    went on no farther, how keen would be
    your anguished craving to know more!
    But you shall see for yourself what great desire
    I felt to hear about their state from them
    as soon as they appeared to me.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A go-to Running Gag in The Stinger of Arrested Development episodes. They would all be set up with The Narrator saying "on the next Arrested Development..." followed by the resolution of a gag in the current episode, and the next episode having nothing to do with that gag. Particularly noticeable in the episode "The Ocean Walker", where the stinger is the next couple seconds of the same scene, and the next episode is set days later.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Before the 2005 revival, the show was repackaged in several other countries, particularly the US, as "movies" with a full story — or leastwise four or five episodes — all put together in one presentation, cutting out the opening/closing credits for all but the opening of the first and closing of the last episode. So the cliffhanger of any given episode tends to be resolved immediately.
    • The Big Finish Doctor Who audio plays also tend to end each episode with a cliffhanger as a homage to the Classic Series, even in releases that only come out as a complete story on CD/download and so, until you hit the last episode on each disc (which usually stores two episodes at a time), there's nothing but the theme music separating the parts. It made more sense when they were on cassette, and each cassette had one episode on each side.
  • Get Smart: Before the third season, episodes would be wrapped up before a final humorous scene after a commercial break. However, starting early in the third season, many episodes would have a cliffhanger before the final break, which would be resolved immediately when the show's final scene resumes.
  • Heroes Season 3 originally aired with the first two episodes back to back. The first episode ended with "To be continued..." and then "Now!" and then the second episode. Later airings and the DVD release ended the first episode like any other episode.
  • Penn & Teller Tell a Lie: During the "Linen Armor" sequence, they appear to cut to commercial, featuring an American Chopper ad, only for Penn and Teller to interrupt, saying they're in charge here, and they're not going to make you wait 3 minutes to see what happens.
  • The Gift Shop Sketch from That Mitchell and Webb Look consists entirely of Previously on… and On the Next segments, meaning that it does a lot of this.
  • The third episode of Parks and Recreation's seventh season ends with Ron and Leslie being Locked in a Room by their friends so they'll resolve their differences. However, it premiered airing together with the next episode, so the end title card was "To be continued immediately".
  • The first episode of the Season 2 finale of Galavant ends with the Jester starting to reference the previous season's cliffhanger, only to cut to black. Fortunately the next episode aired less than 30 seconds afterward or the fans might have gotten mad again.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Discussed Trope in the episode "Overdrawn at the Memory Bank" joking about the weird beeping theme music.
    *Theme song beeps plays*
    Mike: And now the news!
    * Theme song beeps repeats* Beat
    Mike: That was the news...
  • Star Trek: The Original Series was screened in Britain by the BBC, which does not have commercials. British fans were perplexed first by Americans maintaining ST had hour long episodes ("What are the Yanks on about? It's only just forty-five minutes!") and then by the seemingly inexplicable bits in every episode where an action scene might momentarily go to black for no readily obvious reason, then resume as if nothing had just happened, sometimes from a different camera-angle. It had to be explained that this is where American TV would put in all those long, interminable commercial breaks which are not a factor in BBC programming (and, incidentally, why US TV scheduled an hour for every episode, rather than those 43 minutes of actual content).

  • The Weezer song "Buddy Holly" has a break in the middle. So, the music video, framed as a Happy Days episode, has a "To Be Continued" card turn up on the break, briefly cutting to the show's title card with Ron Howard's voice saying "Stay tuned for more Happy Days..." before resuming.
  • Electric Six: Toward the end of "Improper Dancing," Dick Valentine shouts, "Stop!" causing the music to immediately halt. After about two seconds, he shouts, "Continue!" and the music starts up again.


    Video Games 
  • Eternal Darkness has an insanity effect that tells the player the game is to be continued in the sequel, then the effect ends and the game continues.
  • Borderlands 3 has an abrupt Sequel Hook, where the screen goes black and the game is to be continued in 4...3...2...1... And the scene continues.
  • The ending of Black & White 2's Battle of The Gods expansion. Congratulations, you've won! You've defeated the Undead God and his Skeleton Warriors! But wait! There's a skeleton overlooking your town, laughing! Maybe the Undead God isn't completely defeated? Cut to credits. After the credits, said skeleton is killed in a hail of flaming arrows. Game over.
  • The Ace Attorney series is kind of like this in its stories. After the player gets through an investigation/court day/testimony, the game will show a "To Be Continued" screen. All it takes is a short moment at the save screen to start the story off again.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm seemingly ends on a massive cliffhanger, with the true villain revealing himself and seizing control of STORM, the Mechanical Abomination our heroes have spent the whole game trying to stop. But if you’ve finished all the Inbox sidequests, then the story keeps right on going into an epilogue bonus chapter that deals with those events.
  • Amazon: Guardians of Eden: After clearing an episode, the game says "Don't miss our next exciting episode!" Shortly after, the next episode starts with a title card and recap. You don't even get a prompt to save.
  • Mary Skelter 2 has an interesting example: as the game is revealed to be a prequel to the first game, the game's True Ending shows Little Mermaid getting killed by Red Hiding Hood, as shown in the prequel novel. And then, right after the credits and one final scene, the remake of the first game is loaded and the opening plays.
  • Solatorobo: Red the Hunter pulls this on you after going through and entire adventure and finishing off the Disc-One Final Boss. The day is saved, the credits roll, and The Stinger plays out... only for the game to then immediately tell you that you can now play the second half of the game by loading up your "completed" save file. This is where the true Big Bad shows up and the story really begins.

    Web Animation 
  • Ducktalez: In episode 2, Scrooge, Dewey and Louie are being chased by monsters in Scrooge's mansion. In the middle of it, there are two cards that appear for a few frames each: "Intermission." and "INTERMISSION'S OVER!"

    Web Original 
  • Arfenhouse The Movie has a scene where the animation stops and the words "to be continued..." are displayed on the screen. After a short pause, the words disappear and the animation resumes.
  • The 13th episode of Dragon Ball Z Abridged ends with this, as the narrator talks about the appearance of Frieza and his lieutenants, Zarbon and Dodoria.
    Narrator: [Dramatic music stars playing] A new evil has revealed its face. Who are these mysterious enemies? And do Gohan and Krillin stand a chance? The answer to these questions will be revealed... [Music swells] right now! [Closeup of each villain] Zarbon, Dodoria, Frieza, and oh my, no.
    Krillin: Wait, wh- [closing credits]
  • Parodied in the low-budget stop-motion animation short, Attack of the Zombie Cupcakes, in which the introductory comic leads into this phrase.
  • Also parodied in the The Nostalgia Critic's review of Captain America (1990), to the tune of the the '60s Batman show tune
    How will Captain America get out of this one???? Will he turn the White House into rubble? Or will he escape to have his American ass beaten once more???? Tune in next time... which is... Right now!
  • The Strong Bad Email "Cliffhangers" does this a lot, with Strong Bad calling up "cliffhangers" (That had not been seen in any of the shorts before that email) and showing the resolutions right after the cliffhanging "To be continued". Best example would probably be the one with Strong Bad as Space Captainface.
    Narrator: Will Cap and Strap make it out of this one? Tune in next time to-
    Strong Bad: Yeah, no. Just cut to the resolution.
    Narrator: Okay!
  • The Atop the Fourth Wall episode for One More Day was in two parts, with the first ending with "To Be Continued...Right Now!"
  • In the bill wurtz video "ball & stick," after the ball is told to go to the castle, a title card appears saying "to be continued," followed immediately by another one saying "continuing."

    Western Animation 
  • The South Park episode "Professor Chaos" teased at several questions in the final scene... "Will Professor Chaos's latest plot succeed and be the final undoing of Earth? And which boy has been chosen to be the replacement for Kenny? And which of these six South Park residents was killed, and will never be seen again?" You'd think that this would be a two-parter and none of the above mentioned questions were going to be answered until next time, until the narrator closes the episode by saying "The answer to those questions will be answered... right now: No. Tweak. Ms. Choksondik." The following episode does give more context to these answers, however.
  • The Simpsons:
    • "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase" had this: "Chief Wiggum, P.I. will return... right now!"
    • The "Treehouse of Horror XXVII" story "Dry Hard", which spoofed The Hunger Games, had title cards for "End of Part I", "Part II", "End of Part II", and "Part III", in reference to how The Hunger Games had split The Hunger Games: Mockingjay into two parts.
  • Used to a low extreme fairly often on WordGirl. The narrator adds drama to the climax of the episode with "Will WordGirl make her way out of (this situation) and defeat (villain)??" But most of the time, everything concludes right then. As the series began as two-minute shorts where such cliffhangers were played straight, it's implied the narrator just does this out of habit.
  • The 1967 Spider-Man cartoon was made to be shown a few minutes at a time. When it was repackaged as a full half-hour program, this ended up happening.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: "I See a Funny Cartoon in Your Future", patterned like an episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle, has the girls in a Literal Cliffhanger with the announcer entreating us to not miss the next episode to see what happens. After an ersatz commercial with the Mayor and Miss Bellum, the episode continues.
  • Frisky Dingo: One episode ends with a Literal Cliffhanger while the assorted cast bunches together at the edge of a cliff, while reporter Grace Ryan dangles off it. The episode ends, but then:
    Narrator: Next time, on Frisky Dingo...
    Killface: Oh my god, she fell.
  • A late 40s Mighty Mouse cartoon, close to its conclusion, starts to iris out over a presumed cliffhanger. As the narrator entreats us to join the proceedings next week, the iris stops, the frame freezes, and the narrator says "Gosh, we can't wait till next week, Show us what happens now. Won't you?" The iris opens back up and the cartoon resumes to its resolution.
  • Every episode of Batfink has the heroes—Batfink and Karate in a dire strait with the scene frozen as the narrator intones what they can do to save themselves. The action resumes afterwards and justice is served.
  • The Bugs Bunny cartoon Hare Trigger ends with a spoof of Film Serial Cliffhangers, as Bugs is Bound and Gagged and suspended over a bridge, and Yosemite Sam is cutting the rope to send the rabbit falling to his doom.
    Narrator: Is this the end of Bugs Bunny? Will our hero be dashed to bits on the jagged rocks below?
    Bugs: [walks onscreen dragging a tied-up Sam] Is he doomed to utter destruction? Will he be rendered non compos mentis? Eh, he don't know me very well, do he?
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has occasional two-part episodes, but since they are always aired in tandem, they end up doing this. You'll get the To Be Continued card, followed by the credits, then jump right into the next part right after, with a Previously on… recap of the episode you've just watched.
  • Whenever shows designed for airing on commercial TV channels air on PBS Kids (for example, Cyberchase), they show the Commercial Break Cliffhanger, except there's no commercials so the episode simply just fades back in immediately after the fade out, Ad-Break Double-Take and all.

Will this page have a stinger...?

Find out!... Three seconds ago.


Video Example(s):


"Oh my, no"

The narrator plays this straight at the end of the episode. When he gives away the identity of the new enemies and if Gohan & Krillin stand a chance.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / ToBeContinuedRightNow

Media sources: