Kurt: Old man have safe.
Luis: And he's gone for a week.
Scott: All right, there's an old man, he's got a safe, and he's gone for a week. Let's just work with that.
A sister trope to It's a Long Story, this is a Stock Phrase, usually pulled out when a character sums up something really complicated with a few choice words. Either that, or they're using the phrase ironically.
Character A: And then what happened?
Character B: Well, to make a long story short, I won't be going to the Noodle Emporium anytime soon.
And for the second variety:
Character 1: ...and so, to make a long story short, we ended up using two chopsticks, a scarf, a bottle of shampoo, a dead moose, and the tophat from Monopoly to make our escape.
Character 2: You call that story short?
If it's used ironically, see Unaccustomed as I Am to Public Speaking....
Compare Rambling Old Man Monologue.
Contrast with Short Story Long.
- Nabari no Ou:
Shijima: Long story short, we're bound together by destiny.Kouichi: That's a really abridged version of the truth! It's not like that at all!
- In the movie version of Clue, Wadsworth repeatedly says this, with the other characters always shouting "Too late!" in unison afterwards.
- Terminator Genisys. Detective O'Brien offers Sarah Connor his help if she'd just explain what's going on, but acknowledges that any explanation involving time travel is likely to be complicated.
Sarah: We're trying to stop the end of the world.O'Brien: I can work with that.
- In Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, Bridge sums up where he's been since the end of Power Rangers S.P.D.: "Oh, uh, yeah, well, long story short, our mentor who's, well, a dog, got promoted to head of SPD which was run by a bird but he retired to Miami, and Sky got promoted and I got promoted. That's why I'm the Red Ranger, or will be."
- Red Dwarf, "Gunmen of the Apocalypse":
Rimmer: Well, if you'll just bear with me, I think I've devised a fair and equitable system of choosing who should survive. It's based on age, rank, seniority, usefulness...to cut a long story short it's me. I was as stunned as you are, which is why I demanded a recount. But blow me! If it didn't come out as me again!
- Scrubs: Kelso uses this a lot. To give one example: "I was one of the most promising young shortstops ever to come out of Altoona Pennsylvania. Then came the Dominicans. Long story short...calling them all 'Pepe' was apparently just racist enough to get me a life-long ban from the Appalachian Rookie League."
- Veronica Mars: An episode had Veronica's friend Wallace happily taking his sweet time, now that he got to tell the story about how he weaselled information out of somebody, getting to the point. After which he summed up with, "To make a long story short..." to which she replied "Ha!"
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Subverted multiple times, usually along the lines of:
Willow: Oz is a werewolf.Buffy: It's a long story.Oz: I got bit.Buffy: Apparently, not that long.
- In one episode of The Red Green Show Red says "So to make a long story, well, fairly long..."
- Despite saying the opposite, Polonius in Hamlet proceeds to go on a long winded rant of 'advice' to his daughter Ophelia. To boot it's pretty useless and patronizing advice.
- ''The Simpsons:
- In "Hurricane Neddy'', Ned Flanders asks Rev. Lovejoy if God is testing him, Lovejoy answers, "Short answer: yes, with an if. Long answer: no, with a but."
- And in another episode with Grandpa Simpson telling a long, pointless story to the rest of the family...
Grandpa: Anyway, long story short... is a phrase whose origins are complicated and rambling...
- Inverted horrifically in the South Park episode "I Should Never Have Gone Ziplining": one of the other folks on the ziplining tour basically tells everyone his life story... prefacing each part with "To make a long story short...". For the boys, it practically becomes a Madness Mantra.
- The McSweeney's article Stories Ending With "Long Story Short" That Could Actually Use Some Elaboration is really, really funny. To give one example:
"So, earlier today, I went to get some lunch at Quizno's, but on the way I ran into Emily, who was going to Burger King instead, so we thought we might as well go to lunch together ... so, long story short, two plus two doesn't equal four anymore."