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Twisted Echo Cut

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Bird-Watching Woman: Wait! that's not a woodpecker. It looks like someone's—
[cut to a boot camp]
Army Sergeant: PRIVATES! We have reports of an unidentified flying object! It is a long, smooth shaft, complete with—
[cut to a baseball game]
Umpire: TWO BALLS! [looks up from game] What is that? That looks just like an enormous—
[cut to a Chinese school]
Teacher: WANG! Pay attention!
Succession of people being distracted by Dr. Evil's penis-shaped rocket in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

When a subject is being discussed by one group and the 'camera' cuts to another where the dialogue seemingly continues, is in answer to, or is vaguely linked to the first scene...but isn't really linked except on a stylistic level.

For example:

Bob: I'm sorry Alice, I don't think I can see you anymore. We just aren't right for each other.
Cut to a different group of characters
Leslie: You can't see me?
Jessie: Yeah! You've turned completely invisible!

The context and subject have been changed, but an element of the last conversation has been carried over, creating the impression of a clever link when none actually exists. Often takes the form of a question.

See also: Switching P.O.V. and Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption. Contrast Answer Cut, Ironic Echo Cut and Two Scenes, One Dialogue, where the dialogue is intrinsically linked. Compare Match Cut, when it's done with an object.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • In the second to last chapter of Fruits Basket, Tohru and Kyo affirm their love in front of her mother's grave and walk off hand-in-hand, followed by a "NO!" from the direction of the grave, and two pages of disembodied dialogue lamenting Tohru's fate... which is revealed to be a flashback to Kyoko's dying thoughts as she panicked that her daughter would be left alone, and reveals she actually wanted Kyo to watch over her.

    Comic Books 
  • Watchmen uses this repeatedly, especially at scene changes from the comic-within-a-comic Tales of the Black Freighter to the main plot— for example, from the newsstand owner talking about how newsvendors are tough survivors, to a shipwreck survivor standing on a beach crying. Or from Nite Owl saying "It'll be like coming home," to the shipwrecked man finally arriving on the mainland. "I could be no more than twenty miles from Davidstown. I was home."

    Fan Works 
  • From Calvin & Hobbes: The Series:
    Calvin: [to the dark Socrates] You borrowed bits of that speech from something, didn't you? I don't know what, but you did.
    Sherman: [outside, trying to fix Socrates' transmitter chip] I borrowed bits from an old software. I should be able to trick the chip's systems into thinking it's an all-new upgrade.
  • This Bites!: Immediately after Trafalgar Law states that Luffy's fight with Lily Carnation isn't over, the story cuts to Basil Hawkins wondering how could it possibly not be over despite being many miles away. Law as using Awesome by Analysis while Hawkins was using Tarot Troubles to reach the same conclusion.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: Used at one point in "Nightmares Yet to Come"
    Falling Star: (on volunteering for what she thinks is a government job) I'm in.
    (cut to four years later, on the roof of the Manehatten Museum of Natural History)
    Sunset Shimmer: (in the midst of anti-heroic burglary, for Falling Star) We're in.
  • In Magic Knows No Boundaries But Those We Believe In Harry is in a bad mood and Bellatrix offers him ice cream.
    Bellatrix: Now. Say aaaah.
    [cut to the London docks]
    Voldemort: Ahhhhh.

    Film — Animated 
  • From Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas:
    Forte: (playing music to attract Belle) Yes, my dear... Come to me...
    Belle: (follows the music; calling to Sultan) Come here, boy... Come here...
  • At the very beginning of Cars 2, Finn McMissile's interrupted dialogue while escaping the Lemons' oil rig is suddenly finished by Mater in Radiator Springs.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Austin Powers:
  • In Jeepers Creepers 2, Jack Sr. examines the Creeper's knife closely, and the camera focuses in on the scrimshawed etching on one side, depicting a blazing sun. There's an immediate transition to the broken-down school bus, and a bunch of young athletes lying on its roof basking in the sun.
  • The Little Rascals: While the girls have a slumber party and the boys are in the treehouse it cuts to both the girls and boys having conversation at different times.
  • A non-verbal example in Letter Never Sent, a movie about four geologists searching for diamond deposits deep in the Siberian forests. Tanya and Sergei are digging in the trench when he seems to lose his senses, and approaches her menacingly as if to rape her. A clearly frightened Tanya says "Sergei, you're tired", and he snaps out of it and leaves the trench. The next shot shows Tanya sobbing in the trench, seemingly frightened by her experience—but in fact she is sobbing from joy and overwhelming emotion, as she has just found the diamonds.
  • An American Werewolf in London has a scene where a man, Sean, finds his friend Harry Berman's severed hand. As he prepares to scream, it suddenly cuts to Dr. Hirsch's phone ringing loudly, so that appears as if Sean's scream is Hirsch's phone ringing.

  • Terry Pratchett's Mort has a cut from Keli telling Cutwell, "I think there's something I ought to tell you" to Death saying THERE IS? because Mort has just said the same to him — then lampshades it with a passage about the technique.
  • Common in the novel Catch-22. Often, it's done so subtly that you don't even realize you've changed scenes until a few sentences in.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Scrubs uses this sometimes. A character will be walking through the hospital and pondering their predicament, and their thoughts fluidly pass into another character's thoughts by sharing the same dialogue. This happens a few times in a row and the characters' problems are pretty much entirely unrelated. Here's one bit of one of the better examples:
    Carla's Narration: ...In a lot of ways, I guess I'm as stubborn as he is. I wish I could make some sense out of...
    Janitor's Narration: ...this. Thirty cents to be exact. Damn riddle! Easy, Janitor. You'll get this.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • In "Normal Again", Buffy is hallucinating that she's insane.
    Willow: "Dawnie, you can help me research. We'll hop on-line, check all the—"
    [Smash Cut to Buffy in an asylum, a doctor talking to her parents.]
    Doctor: "—possibilities for a full recovery, but we have to proceed cautiously."
    • Used for in "Entropy" when vengeance demon Anya is trying to get someone to unwittingly curse Xander.
    Buffy: Anya, Xander's my friend. I know what he did was wrong, and ... if it had happened to me, I'd—
    Anya: (hopefully) Wish his penis would explode?
    [Smash Cut to the Magic Box.]
    Dawn: I never use that word anymore. note 
    • This is a Running Gag in "Pangs" when Buffy is trying to organize a Thanksgiving Dinner and hunt down the Monster of the Week at the same time. Conversations on the latter keep cutting to equally serious conversations that turn out to be about food.
    Buffy: (noticing something has been stolen from a museum case) Early 1800 Chumash knife. There's a picture.
    Willow: What's it look like?
    (Cut to Buffy in Giles' kitchen)
    Buffy: Pretty darn's more like a riot than a Ralph's. I thought I was going to have to use Slayer moves on this one woman who was completely hoarding the pumpkin pie filling.
  • Likewise on Farscape when the action cuts between one of Crichton's hallucinations and what's happening in real time.
  • Lois & Clark had an episode where a TV reporter was trying to find out Superman's identity, repreatedly calling it "the story of the century", one of which cuts to Perry at the Daily Planet talking to his reporters about an unrelated story of the century.
  • Happens twice in Sherlock episode "The Empty Hearse" when scenes of John dealing with his patients is intercut with scenes of Sherlock dealing with his humdrum clients:
    • Sherlock learns from a client that her email pen-pal has broken it off with her and that she's now too heartbroken to date anyone else; he realises (in a Shout-Out to the original Holmes story "A Case of Identity") that the woman's stepfather has been posing as her online boyfriend in order to break her heart and ensure that she won't leave the household and take her income with her:
    Sherlock: Mr. Windibank, you are a complete and utter-
    [cut to John Watson in his doctor's room]
    John: [holding up an empty urine sample jar to a patient] Pisspot.
    • Before that, Mrs. Hudson asked Sherlock to talk to John.
    Sherlock: I tried talking to him. He made his position quite clear.
    (cut to John inserting his hand into a pair of surgical gloves, middle finger first)
    [cut back to Sherlock]
    Mrs. Hudson: What did he say?
    Sherlock: "Fu-"
    John: "-cough".
  • Used in El Chavo del ocho, the scene keeps cutting back between a conversation between el Chavo, Quico, and Doña Florinda regarding a missing toy, and one with Sr Barriga chastising Don Ramón for hiding to avoid paying rent.
  • Used in El Chapulín Colorado as well, the scne keeps cutting back between the conversation of an old lady receiving instructions from her doctor, and one with her nephew plotting with an assassin so he can get the inheritance.

  • The Miss Susie song could be considered this. Each verse has a Last-Second Word Swap which leads into the next, unrelated verse. Such as:
    Miss Susie had a steamboat
    The steamboat had a bell
    Miss Susie went to Heaven
    The steamboat went to
    Hello operator
    Please give me number nine...

  • Incredibly common in Find Us Alive, often used during particularly action-packed scenes in order to emphasize the disorganization and chaos.
    Love: Five bullets. There were FIVE BULLETS in my FUCKING GUN. I was NOT-
    Klein: -completely prepared for what happened. I’ve got this in the bag. Hell, I’ve been doing this shit for-
    Lancaster: -two whole minutes, before anyone actually reacted to what we saw.

  • There's an Improv Theater Game called "Freeze" that has this as its base. It uses two pairs of people: one pair starts a scene and at some point "freeze" or another stop word is called, the other pair go up and start their own completely unrelated scene using the last line from the first scene as their first line. Then back again, with both scenes continuing.
  • In the song "Sounds While Selling" from She Loves Me, overlapping conversations between the sales assitants and their customers result in seeming non-sequiturs. For instance:
    Georg: If you want to clip your...
    Kodaly: ...earlobes...
    Sipos: You may want to dye your...
    Georg: ...hangnails...
    Kodaly: Dab a little on your...
    Sipos: ...husband's face.
    Women: Won't he be surprised!
  • In Noah Smith's stage version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, there is a sequence of flashbacks during which one flashback ends with Utterson telling Jekyll that "Hastie has wanted to tell you how pleased he is with all this charitable work you're doing", immediately followed by a flashback to the next night, and Lanyon apparently picks up the conversational thread with, "Precisely. It is good to see you back to your old self." However, the audience knows, having already seen the second scene from Jekyll's viewpoint, that Lanyon's comment is actually a response to something said by Jekyll.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue: The Shisno Trilogy: Following the Party Scattering, in "Lost Time", there are three scenes that directly answer each other (Grif finds a shuffle button, Tucker questions it; Sister asks "How's this fuckin' thing work?", Sarge replies "Watch your language, Simmons!"; and Sarge says "You tell that lazy idiot to wake up!", cue Caboose going "Wake up! Wake up Lopez!").

  • El Goonish Shive
    • These two consecutive comics take place in different rooms, and the characters can't hear each other. But:
      Rhoda: I don't know. Grace abruptly changed the subject after telling me.
      (Next comic)
      Ellen: Speaking of changing the subject, ...
    • Also done in this strip, with Diane at the video rental store asking Susan how she finds time to work there, and a cut to Justin at Tedd's house answering Ashley's question about how he finds time to work at the comic store. In The Rant, Dan says he picked this trick up from Archer.
  • Homestuck^2: Chapters 8 and 9 happen around the same time, with the speakers respectively asking about an old friend and writing a half-hearted eulogy.
    JOHN: so where's dave?
    [Cut to the Battleship Condescension]
    JANE: (Where is he?)
    JANE: (It's a question I've found myself asking many times in recent days.)

    Web Original 
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged occasionally does this to tie an episode together. An example occurs when Goku travels to Namek:
    Bulma: [about Vegeta] I just wanna grab him and—
    [cut to Goku on the spaceship doing sit-ups]
    Goku: Sixty-nine ... seventy ... seventy—
    [cut to Vegeta on Namek]
    Vegeta: One time you've defeated me, Zarbon...
  • commodoreHUSTLE does this sometimes, most notably in "Mustache You a Question."
    Kathleen: James! Why are you wearing a scarf?
    Cut to Matt playing with his cell phone while Paul scolds him for it.
    Matt: I'm not!
    Paul: Yes you are! You're doing it right now!
  • The Ultra Fast Pony episode "The Longest What Now?" uses one of these to subvert an Ironic Echo Cut.
    Foreign leader: You have insulted me and my country. Good day, sir.
    Twilight: Well, crap. Hope that doesn't come back to bite me in the ass.
    Celestia: Twilight, I'm here to bite you in the ass!
    Twilight: Princess Celestia! Oh crap, you're probably upset about the waving incident, aren't you?
    Celestia: What? What waving incident?

    Western Animation 
  • Featured at least once in every episode of Archer. It's practically a trademark of the show's comedy.
  • South Park:
    Cartman: (watching the Queef Sisters at his house with his friends) "Dude! What the hell is this disgusting crap?!"
    Philip: (watching the Queef Sisters at CBC with Terrance) "What the hell is this disgusting crap?!"
  • In The Venture Bros. episode "SPHINX Rising", after the O.S.I. defectors who had become the new Team SPHINX return to O.S.I. under new management, Gary is left behind as the sole SPHINX member. Both teams do a recruitment drive, and their orientation speeches are presented simultaneously. The result is a string of Twisted Echo Cuts built into a parody of Two Scenes, One Dialogue to highlight the difference in priorities and seriousness.
    SPHINX recruit: Where's the bathroom?
    SPHINX Commander: [...] Well, if it's wicked bad—
    O.S.I. General: There's the door. You're afraid of blood? There's the door.
  • Done in Birdz on the episode "Father and Son Camp Out":
    Eddie: (reading a clue) "Ancient as the earth itself." It's easy! They're—
    (cut to Betty and Steffy at home)
    Betty: —your father's underwear!
    Betty: And since it's almost lunchtime, why don't you gather the tools while I cook us up a nice, juicy—
    Eddie: —fossilized rock!


Video Example(s):


Room Service

The guests at the Paradise Hotel all call Room Service at once, causing much confusion for Stuart Farquhar, the representative of Wundatours Travel Agency.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

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Main / TwistedEchoCut

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