- In The Angry Birds Movie, we don't learn why Terrance is at the anger management class, as Maltida was too horrified by what she read in his file to elaborate. The only clues we get are sirens, screams, and Terrance's Slasher Smile and Evil Laugh (For Terrance, anyway)
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire had one, as well.
Milo: What's Mole's story?
Dr. Sweet: Trust me on this one. You don't wanna know. Audrey, don't tell him. You shouldn't have told me, but you did. And now I'm tellin' you: (Points at Milo) You don't wanna know.
- In the sequel, Atlantis: Milo's Return, it was revealed that Mole was raised by naked mole rats. Kida comments "That explains so much..."
- The Book of Life:
- Whatever each of the Detention Kids did to be called "Detention kids".
- We never find out exactly how La Muerte and Xibalba became estranged. Allusions are made to Xibalba cheating to win a previous wager, but no other details are given.
- In A Bug's Life, Thorny mentions Flik's Tunnel-Within-A-Tunnel Project. It took the whole Engineering Department two days to dig him out. And Molt trying to tell everyone about the story where Hopper nearly got eaten by a bird.
- When the leaf falls in front of the line of ants bringing food to the offering, Mr. Soil mentions that it's nothing compared to the Twig of '93.
- In Cats Don't Dance, animal agent Farley Wink is speaking on the phone and says "Send over two lions and two chickens. And don't send 'em over in the same car this time!" (Although what happened is pretty obvious.)
- In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, when Flint asks Sam what she wants to eat, Steve the monkey exclaims, "Gummy bears!"
Flint: Steve, no. You know how you how get around gummy bears.
- Not so noodled when the climax has Steve encounter zombie gummy bears, however.
- In Finding Nemo:
Marlin: Hold my fin. Hold my fin.
Nemo: Dad, you're not gonna freak out like you did at the petting zoo, are you?
Marlin: Hey, that snail was about to charge.
- The Great Mouse Detective:
- Ratigan mentions "the Big Ben Caper" and "the Tower Bridge Job" in his Villain Song. The latter was apparently a major jewel theft.
- One of them involved the drowning of several widows and orphans as well....
- An alternate version of Ratigan's song adds more detail to The Tower Bridge Job. It apparently involved Ratigan throwing innocent victims into the Thames River, and shooting any that managed to surface. A wonder why this verse wasn't used in the film.
- Oh claims the Boov have three methods of excreting waste. "Number 1" and "number 2" seem to be analogous to humans, but "Number 3", which they only have to do once a year, is evidently quite uhh...spectacular.
- Also, Almost Home has a mention of "Carnivorous unicorns, remember those?"
- Red Puckett runs into Japeth, a mountain goat who claims that he was cursed 37 years ago by a mountain witch and can only sing everything he says. We are left to our imaginations to figure out exactly what Japeth did to justify being "cursed".
- Flippers recognizes the Wolf from snooping around "three years ago on the Stiltskin case". Although it makes sense if you know that Rumpelstiltskin was a con artist in his tale, apart from the fact that the Wolf admits to coming close to getting the guy's real name, we don't know many more details.
- Hotel Transylvania has Jonathon's backpacking trip, with only mentions of a guy stealing his shampoo and almost being eaten at a Slipknot concert.
- Apparently, Clopin has bound, gagged, and then hanged, quite a few others accused of being Frollo's spies before attempting this on Quasimodo and Phoebus in The Hunchback of Notre Dame; when he asks the two if they had any last words, all they could do is make indecipherable sounds as a result of being gagged. Clopin's response: "That's what they all say".
- One is mentioned in the beginning of The Iron Giant when Hogarth brings a new pet he's caught to show his mom. She adamantly refuses. "Remember the raccoon, Hogarth? (*shudder*) I remember the raccoon."
- Justice League Dark:
- Wonder Woman not only mentions the events of Justice League VS Teen Titans in talking about magic, but also run-ins the League had had with Circe and Felix Faust, the latter also appearing in Dark.
- Apparently at the prompting of Zatanna no less she and Constantine once made an unsuccessful attempt to save monkeys trapped in a cage in Sumatra. Constantine still somewhat holds it against her, which annoys Zatanna greatly.
- In Kung Fu Panda 2 after Po and the Five surrender to the wolf and gorilla troops:
Tigress: I hope this turns out better than your plan to cook rice in your stomach by eating it raw and then drinking boiling water.
Po: This plan's nothing like that plan.
- What happened then can more or less be left up to the audience's imagination.
- How Simba and Nala managed to get rid of Zazu before heading for the Elephant Graveyard in The Lion King (1994) qualified as such, with the only thing known is that it apparently involved getting a Rhinoceros to sit on Zazu.note
- Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters, a prequel of sorts to Mad Monster Party, had a scene where the other monsters talked about the Frankenstein monster's glory days to reflect on how things will change now that he is getting married. At one point, one of them discusses something the Frankenstein monster did at an office party, but we are not given further details.
Frankenstein's monster: (groans)
Igor: You not tell that one!
- Meet the Robinsons has the "dark day at the Robinson house" that left the first time machine nothing but a single nut.
- Mulan: Mushu's previous chance to prove himself worthy of protecting the Fa family somehow led Fa Deng to being decapitated. Fa Deng is still pretty bitter about the whole thing.
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: They briefly mention "last spring's debacle" and how Sunset Shimmer humiliated the last girl who tried to stand up to her. It is explained in the novelization: Sunset humiliated Rarity by showing a recording of her pretending a mannequin was Prince Charming and kissing it.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas: In "Jack's Lament", some of the lyrics are thus: "To a guy in Kentucky, I'm Mister Unlucky! And I'm known throughout England and France!"
- In Ratatouille, one of the chefs at Gusteau's, Horst, has done time, but his story changes every time someone asks him about it, claiming among other things that he robbed the second-largest bank in France using only a ballpoint pen, and that he killed a man with his right thumb.
- Rise of the Guardians has the Blizzard of '68. Nothing is known apart from the fact that it was on Easter Sunday, and Bunnymund wasn't happy about it.
- In The Road to El Dorado, as they are preparing to meet certain doom:
Miguel: I just want you to know, I'm sorry about that girl in Barcelona.
Tulio: You mean you - you...
- Tangled: How Rapunzel got Pascal the chameleon as a pet in the first place.
- Yellow Submarine: During the Blue Meanie's initial attack on Pepperland, the Chief Meanie gleefully declares, "I haven't laughed this much since Pompeii!"
- The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension:
- "Why is there a watermelon there?" "I'll explain later." Three entirely different reasons for the watermelon were given by the DVD Commentary track and two other DVD extras. (The "real" answer, from the commentary, was that it was a test to see if an overzealous nit-picking producer had stopped checking the daily rushes.)
- The reason why Perfect Tommy can't use any strike teams.
- Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Alan is surprised to learn that the mobile studio is in storage in the basement. He had assumed it would still be in the police impound lot following the incident with boy scouts.
- In the Tim Burton adaptation of Alice in Wonderland (2010), it's stated that Chessur did something that, when mentioned, launches the Mad Hatter into an Unstoppable Rage. Naturally, Chessur denies that it was his fault.
- The marines discuss "Arcturian poontang".
- One character also asks if this is gonna be "just another bug hunt", implying that they were involved in combat operations against some kind of critters before. The logo on their dropship depicts an eagle with combat boots and the motto "Bug Stompers - We endanger species".
- Apone: "I want a nice clean dispersal this time!
- Madame Suzanne, the café manager does this when discussing a recipe:
Georgette: (complaining about "au gratin" sauce) I can't stomach it, like you with horse meat.
Suzanne: It's not my stomach, it's my memory. (beat) ...I'd rather cook human flesh.
- Played with later (subverted but separately played straight through explaining the noodle incident with another vague/noodle incident) when it's revealed that she was in a circus related accident involving a horse falling over and a trapeze artist dropping her.
- Whatever it was that happened "This one time, at band camp..." in the broadcast TV version of American Pie. Those who watched the film elsewhere got to hear about it in more detail.
- In The A-Team, most of the action takes place "eight years and eighty successful missions" after the team was formed. As such, they frequently reference past missions.
- Austin Powers in Goldmember makes use of this, when Austin and his father speak about a certain incident, using subtitles and British colloquialisms, regarding an insane maid. The actual gist of what happens is a barrage of unintelligible gibberish (with no subtitles), though apparently it ends with "... and then she shat on a turtle!"
- This was also a brilliant Shout-Out to Airplane!, including some word-for-word of the jive talking scenes, as no one would get the reference unless they'd seen both movies. (One might even say it's a recursive Noodle Incident.)
- The Avengers: As Hawkeye and Black Widow fight off the invading alien army:
Black Widow: Just like Budapest all over again!
Hawkeye: *deadpan* You and I remember Budapest very differently.
- A minor example from Back to the Future Part III: The Doc has just angered his love interest, Clara Clayton, and miserably goes to the bar to drink his sorrows away. The bartender is reluctant to oblige him however because of 'what happened on the 4th of July'.
- Batman Returns has a couple.
- When the Penguin is telling Max Shreck about all the secret information he knows in order to blackmail Max into helping him, and brings up "Fred Adkins, your old partner." Max immediately gets spooked and half-lies that Fred is "on an extended vacation" - which prompts the Penguin to remove a bleached severed hand from a sack and reveal that it once belonged to Fred. Of course, the mystery here is not what happened to Fred; the mystery is why Max killed him. Was he jealous of Fred's individual success? Were they collaborators in some insider-trading scam, only for Fred to have an attack of conscience and try to spill the beans? We'll probably never know.
- An even more chilling example is heard when Selina Kyle is pretending to have partial amnesia: "And the time I forgot to wear my underpants to school...and the name of the boy who noticed was Ricky Friedburg. [suddenly stops smiling] He's dead now." This has inspired wild speculation on the part of fans on exactly how Ricky managed to die so young, and how Selina would have known about it. One theory proposed is that Ricky Friedburg was the criminal whom Selina, as Catwoman, had clawed to death in an alley the night before.
- A much simpler example is heard when Commissioner Gordon and Batman are walking through Gotham Plaza and Gordon remarks, "It appears the [Red Triangle] Circus Gang is back." What makes this so spooky is that this is the night before anyone in Gotham City is able to publicly verify the Penguin's existence, yet the Penguin has been leading the Red Triangle Gang from the very beginning. Meaning, the Penguin has been wreaking havoc in Gotham for years and practically no one was aware he was even there!
- In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, when Lex Luthor starts creating Doomsday, a mutated hybrid of Kryptonian and human DNA, using General Zod's corpse and Lex's own blood, he gets a warning from the Kryptonian AI that what he's doing is forbidden. We don't learn exactly what happened, except that it clearly did not end well.
It has been decreed by the Council of Krypton that none will ever again give life to a deformity so hateful to sight and memory. The desecration without name.
Bruce: Twenty years in Gotham, Alfred. How many good guys are left? How many stayed that way?
- Also, upon learning that Doomsday is a Kryptonian, Diana's reaction hints at her long history of being a badass:
Diana: I've killed things from other worlds before.
- There's also a couple of visual Noodle Incidents in the film. We never learn exactly how Wayne Manor became a burnt-out shell, nor the exact details of Robin's death (although the latter can be easily guessed at, especially since Word of God confirms that it's Jason Todd's costume).
- The Christopher Guest film Best in Show has a couple examples.
- In Big Game, there was apparently an attempt at president Moore's life before start of the film, but all we know about it is that Morris ended up Taking the Bullet.
- In Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, Melanie Daniels's mischievous character is established by reference to a prank she pulled that resulted in the shattering of a plate-glass window. Though she supposedly had to appear in court because of it, the nature of the prank is never explained. That makes her impulsive decision to impress a man she's just met by buying a pair of lovebirds, driving 50 miles, and delivering them via breaking-and-entering more believable.
- In the movie Broadcast News Albert Brooks's character is speaking to Holly Hunter's character over the phone when he tells her, "Ok, I'll meet you at the place near the thing where we went that time."
- Casablanca: Referenced by both Major Strasser ("Richard Blaine, American. Age 37. Cannot return to his country. The reason is a little vague.") and Captain Renault ("I've often speculated why you don't return to America. Did you abscond with the church funds? Did you run off with a Senator's wife? I like to think that you killed a man. It's the romantic in me.") Rick's deadpan reply: "It's a combination of all three."
- Cecil B. Demented: "I haven't had this much fun since my last livestock mutilation."
- Played straight (initially) in Clerks. The original movie never revealed what caused Dante and Randall to knock over the casket of their fallen classmate at the funeral home, forcing them both to make a hasty exit. The tenth anniversary DVD finally reveals what happened.
- In Clerks II, the whole Pillow Pants conversation. Kevin Smith was told he needed to film a pussy troll, and he said nothing he could film would be half as funny as what the audience is picturing.
- In The Dark Knight, the Joker occasionally will ask someone, "Do you know how I got these scars?" while holding them at knife-point. We don't know, Joker. You keep changing the story on us every time you tell it.
- Wade Wilson in Deadpool (2016) mentions having been to Jacksonville during his time as a Special Forces operative. He refuses to say what he and his team did there, only that they have "a wonderful T.G.I. Fridays." It comes up again during the climax when one of the mercenaries Wade fights turns out to be his old Special Forces partner Bob, whom he hadn't seen since Jacksonville (and the T.G.I. Fridays).
- Dirty Work:
Mitch: I've never seen so many dead hookers in all my life!
Creepy Guy: Lord knows I have...
- Dogma had this in the scene where Loki and Bartleby were judging the board members of the Mooby's franchise. Everyone's big, revolting sin is mentioned, except for board head Whitland:
But you, Mr. Whitland, you have more skeletons in your closet than the rest of this assembled party. I cannot even mention them aloud. (Bartleby whispers something in Whitland's ear) Loki: You're his father
, you sick fuck! (Whitland starts crying)
- This quote from Dunston Checks In. Exactly what he did is never explained.
Remember what happened to your brother... *claw-spike-things
shoot out of his cane* Samson liked to play games... and we all remember what happened to Samson.
- Elf: The Central Park Rangers were put on the naughty list by Santa for an unknown reason in the past, and they have never forgiven him for it, leading them to chase down Santa in the climax.
- Escape from New York:
- Everyone says to Snake that they thought he was dead.
- He also gets asked if he "flew the Gullfire over Leningrad" (implying participation in some black-ops mission in the past, possibly during World War 3).
- Don't forget Escape from L.A.: Snake's past adventure in Cleveland.
- Once the members of Fight Club begin doing Tyler's "homework assignments", we get a scene of Tyler cutting out newspaper articles. All you get are some hilarious headlines with no context.
POLICE SEIZE EXCREMENT CATAPULT, PERFORMANCE ARTIST 'MOLESTED', FOUNTAIN BEFOULED, MISSING MONKEYS FOUND SHAVED, POWER OUTAGE AT LOCAL MALL
- Forrest Gump's speech during the Vietnam protests, lost to everyone except those standing near him because the microphones have been sabotaged, but it moves those people to tears. According to Tom Hanks, it goes something like this:
Forrest: "Sometimes when people go to Vietnam, they go home to their mommas without any legs. Sometimes they don't go home at all. That's a bad thing. That's all I have to say about that."
- Several in the Friday series.
- From the first Friday, we have:
- The circumstances behind Craig being fired from his UPS job
- Craig nearly getting choked by Deebo in Smokey's back yard
- Big Worm having someone who crossed him "smoked" for fifty bucks
- Willie mentioning how Craig's uncle found out the hard way why violence (in this case, guns) isn't the answer. Slightly implied in Next Friday that Elroy is the uncle in question.
- From Next Friday we have:
- What the Jokers did to land in the pen.
- Why Carla and her mother keep trying to get away from them.
- The circumstances surrounding Elroy's bad back.
- From Friday After Next:
- Craig and Day Day are never told what happened to the last security guards; they figure it out soon enough, though.
- How Damon landed in the pen.
- Too many others to name individually.
- My Favorite Year:
- Alan Swan tells his chauffeur to make a reservation for the Stork Club: "You sure you mean the Stork Club?" Swan:"Certainly, it's been a year. Surely they've repaired the wall and the bandstand by now."
- From Russia with Love:
- James Bond does this across all the films by not actually being shown having sex. It just builds up the legend. Tatiana Romanova in particular makes references to things they did last night when they're on a boat that aren't fully explained.
- M and his staff are listening to a recording of Bond and Tania. Tania asks "Am I as exciting as all those Western girls?" Bond: "Well once when I was in Tokyo with M..." M stops the recording at lightspeed.
- Galaxy Quest has innumerable references to the events in various episodes.
- "Go for the eyes, like in episode 22!"
- "I died in episode 81!"
- "You're starting to act just like to did in Episode 17, you scene-stealing hack!"
- From Ghostbusters (1984):
- Hackers: "It's in that place where I hid that thing that time." At least we do get to find out that "that place" is behind a pillar inside the boys' restroom at the school, used for transmitting vital information out of the range of eavesdroppers.
- The Hangover:
- This film can be seen as a variant on this trope, where it starts off a noodle incident, and it becomes clearer as the movie goes on. Only two things are never explained: why that one chair is smoking. & why was there a chicken in the room?
- According to the director, at least unofficially, the chicken was for feeding the tiger.
- There are a couple more involving Alan.
- Why is he not allowed within two hundred feet of a school or a Chuck E. Cheese?note
- What is the story behind him finding a baby at a Coffee Bean? And did that have any connection with why he can't be near a school or a Chuck E. Cheese?
- How the bad guys got the piece of Stone Henge in Halloween III: Season of the Witch.
Conal Cochran: Hahaha! We had a TIME getting it here. You wouldn't believe how we did it.
- Heartbreakers: Two scammers are discussing how to get a free room at a hotel. Says one, "I was thinking the Trogden Triangle." Says the other, "Right...but where are we going to get a trumpet and a talking parrot?"
- Watson mentions several in Holmes & Watson, with the most notable being when he thinks he is about to fight Klinger and says it "won't be the first time I've beaten up a cripple".
- Hot Tub Time Machine:
- Adam, Nick and Lou twice perform a reverent (and unexplained) round chant of "Great white buffalo..."
- Whatever happened in Cincinnati. Lou is horrified that Nick kept something from the incident in his closet, labeled "Cincinnati" no less, but Nick implies that it would be too dangerous to try to dispose of it.
- Played for no laughs at all in The Hunted (2003). The police finally capture rogue black ops agent Aaron Hallam, played by Benicio del Toro, who proceeds to name the classified operations he'd been made to carry out by codename, until Tommy Lee Jones stops him.
- There are several in Inception:
- Every aspect of the dream sharing technology is kept purposefully vague. There are a few interviews online that set up the plot. Cobb's father-in-law is noted as the inventor of the technology. Apparently, the technology was outlawed or regulated some time ago because of some unspecified incident.
- Cobb references "The Stein Job", in which he had previously used the "Mr Charles" gambit. Arthur points out that it didn't work.
- There weren't a lot of legal opportunities for extraction after an incident which may have been Cobb "killing" Mal or maybe something else entirely.
- In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Chattar Lal, Prime Minister of Pankot, mentions one where the Sultan of Madagascar threatened Indy with the loss of his head or nose or his... misunderstanding.
- The scar on Aldo Raine's neck in Inglourious Basterds is never explained, though it appears to have come from a failed hanging. He also says he's been "chewed out before" by his superiors.
- Hell, the script even says the scar "will never once be mentioned."
- From Inspector Gadget:
Robo-Gadget: You know how to dance, don't you?
Gadget: Well, actually, I was taking lessons not too long ago, in the hopes that one day I—
Robo-Gadget: Shut up and dance!
- Iron Man:
- From the remake of The Italian Job.
Left Ear: This dude got dogs. I don't do dogs... I had a real bad experience, man.
Charlie Croker: What happened?
- In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, we never find out the details of why they've had to develop this code in the first place, but Miramax Studios Security has Code 10-81, "disappearing a dead hooker from Ben Affleck's trailer."
Miramax Studios Security Guard Gordon: "Sorry to interrupt sirs, but we've got a 10-07 on our hands."
Matt Damon: (exasperated) "Oh Jesus, again Ben?"
Ben Affleck: (cocky) "No, bullshit, because I wasn't WITH a hooker today, ha-HA!"
- A more dramatic example in the John Wick series, with John's "Impossible Task" that he successfully completed to be allowed to leave the criminal underworld. All that is known is that John, with the assistance of mafia Don Santino D'Antonio, elevated the Tarasov Crime Family to a major criminal empire, by leaving behind an ocean of corpses over the course of a single night.
- Jumanji could also fit this trope considering all we know is that Alan spent and somehow survived 26 years in the "deepest, darkest" jungle. Although if the animated series of it is anything to go by, it could be borderline Nightmare Fuel.
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle: Spencer never reveals what happened that makes him so insistent that Bethany 'aim' when she is learning how to urinate as a man. Apparently, it's not a story for mixed company.
- At the beginning of Jurassic Park III, Billy is relating to Alan Grant the tale of how his "lucky backpack" saved him. The lucky backpack saves him again later in the film.
- Justice League (2017) gives us a Noodle Incident regarding one of Batman's earlier adventures.
Alfred: One misses the days when one's biggest concerns was exploding wind-up penguins.
- In Kangaroo Jack: "How was I supposed to know those greyhounds were being used to smuggle diamonds?"
- Leon Phelps from The Ladies Man gets fired when he tells a nun a very raunchy story. We never hear what it is but it's enough to give her a heart attack. All we hear is that it begins with a "Missionary Position".
- The Lone Ranger:
- The Linguini Incident is named after this, and the titular Linguini Incident is, indeed, a noodle incident.
- A similar (albeit cleaner) variation of the above scenario occurred in the Abbott and Costello movie Lost In Alaska. When an Eskimo chief communicates to his tribe in sign language, an exasperated Costello mimics some fake signs. The chief laughs, saying that Costello had just told a very funny joke. Costello later displayed the same set of fake signs to a female eskimo, only to get slapped in the face. Evidently it was that kind of joke.
- Live and Let Die starts with Bond in bed with "Miss Caruso," an Italian secret agent who was implied to be the Bond girl from a past adventure (and her government is looking for her since she hasn't checked in since finishing it). Who is she, and what did she and Bond do on "the Rome affair" that M congratulates James about? We're never told.
- Mallrats features a smaller example when T.S, Brodie and Gwen were talking about a high school costume party the three were at:
How many chances do you get to see Smokey fuck the Bandit
Didn't I look just like Burt Reynolds? Brodie and T.S.:
Except for the moustache.
- In the 2004 remake of The Manchurian Candidate, Delp says he still owes Marco one for "what happened in Albania".
- From The Marine:
Morgan: Timothy. Tim. Johnny Whiplash. First he offered me friendship...then he offered me rock candy...then he offered me something I never should have accepted.
- Men in Black: Agent K tells Agent J, "You should've been here for the Zeronion migration in 1968."
- Men in Black II: J is bringing K up to speed about what's happened with him since K left MIB. J, trying to sound badass, tells K that he stopped a invasion by Kreelons. K snorted and said that they were "the Backstreet Boys of the Galaxy. What'd they do, throw snowballs?"
- Guest and his collaborators seem to like this one; and each of his improv films include at least one such reference. In A Mighty Wind, several comments are made about Mitch's highly troubled period after his breakup with Mickey, and his anger management issues which were "not healthy... for anyone." There's also Laurie Bohner's past as a porn actress where she "was known for doing a certain thing, that most of the other girls, wouldn't do."
- After they go off the reservation, Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) meet with a colleague to find out what they're up against.
Eddy: Remember Canada? That was kid's stuff next to this.
Jane: [deadpan] That was you?
Eddy: Is that a turn-on? Didn't she try to kill you with a car?
- Early in Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Sherman mentions, "Let's just say that the Leaning Tower of Pisa wasn't always leaning."
- Whatever happened in the Michael Keaton film My Life involving two boys with jumper cables playing "Frankenstein."
- Fairly early in The Natural, the New York Knights' supply manager is kitting Roy out with cleats and a uniform. Roy asks to be number eleven. The manager tells him number eleven's unlucky, but he won't go into it. Roy settles on number nine.
- The movie Nightflyers (but not the George R. R. Martin novella on which it was based) includes a character who hasn't been the same after what happened on Centauri. He and his old pal make many vague references to that time on Centauri, but we never learn what happened.
- Ocean's Eleven:
Reuben Tishkoff: Look, we all go way back and uh, I owe you from the thing with the guy in the place and I'll never forget it.
Danny Ocean: That was our pleasure.
Rusty Ryan: I'd never been to Belize.
- Also in Ocean's Thirteen when Rusty talks about the towel and the surprise.
- A former mobster, coincidentally nicknamed "Noodles", in Once Upon a Time in America returns in 1968 to New York City for the first time since he quit the mob life back in 1933. Nothing is revealed of what his life has been between those 35 years, except hints that he's lived an ordinary, law-abiding life under a different name.
- A kind of Historical In-Joke in Oscar: "You were in Chicago. It was St. Valentine's Day?"
- Petticoat Planet: While explaining how easily he gets drunk, Steve mentions an incident of a space station involving tequila shooters and Jolt Cola, before deciding that the story doesn't really need to be told.
- Pink Flamingos: After assassinating the Marbles, Divine and Company decide where to hide out next.
Cotton: Let's move to Boise, I always wanted to go there!
Babs Johnson: Boise, Cotton? Why, that might not be a bad place!
Crackers: Were you ever there?
Cotton: Only once, we robbed a transit bus there, remember?
- Pirates of the Caribbean has a number of them:
- Jack Sparrow's list of charges at the end of Curse of the Black Pearl. Almost every one is a Noodle Incident (piracy, smuggling, and depravity are to be expected of Captain Jack), and Jack smirks at the memory of the cleric impersonation incident.
Said crimes being numerous in quantity and sinister in nature, the most egregious of these to be cited herewith: piracy, smuggling, impersonating an officer of the Spanish Royal Navy, impersonating a cleric of the Church of England, sailing under false colors, arson, kidnapping, looting, poaching, brigandage, pilfering, depravity, depredation, and general lawlessness.
- As Elizabeth is falling into the water in the first film, Jack says, "... and then they made me their chief." In the writers' commentary, they explain that this is one of the many stories about how Jack survived his being marooned. It's also a reference to one of Johnny Depp's favourite shows, The Fast Show: "And then they made me their chief. Which was nice."
- Jack's line, "Clearly you've never been to Singapore."
- Jack's ruminations on whether or not he "deserved" any particular slap from any particular woman.
- Jack alludes to having almost been killed by Tia Dalma, to which she made him admit he in fact "enjoyed it at the time".
- Just what sort of run-in are Beckett and Jack referring to, when they talk about "each leaving his mark on the other"? We do know how Beckett marked Jack; Cutler made the above statement whilst displaying the metal 'P' he used to brand Jack as a pirate. Sparrow's mark on Beckett, however, was never explained- the look on Beckett's face when Will asked about it suggests it's a touchy subject.
- Sao Feng bears a long-standing grudge against Jack due to an "insult" the latter once gave to him, to the extent that when the two meet in person in At World's End one the first things Sao Feng does is to smack Jack in the face. Exactly what it was and whether or not Jack did it to Sao Feng on purpose are both left unexplained.
- The "trick we perfected in new Guinea" Gibbs uses to take care of the guards on board the Queen Anne's Revenge in On Stranger Tides.
- Jack has a conspicuous new scar in On Stranger Tides; a small red X on his right cheekbone. Such a distinct shape suggests a deliberate infliction, but no explanation is given for it.
- "What were you doing in a Spanish convent?"
- Mr. Cotton had his tongue ripped out years ago, so he trained his parrot to talk for him. No one's yet figured how.
- Jack's adventure in the Turkish prison at the beginning of Dead Man's Chest. He snuck in to steal (apparently) a drawing of the key to Davy Jones' chest. He left by having himself nailed inside a coffin and tossed into the sea, then using a dead man's leg to row himself out to the Pearl. When asked what happened all he ever said was "complications arose, ensued, were overcome".
- Sheriff Hague from Planet Terror doesn't trust Wray at all, and won't allow him to carry weapons despite a Zombie Apocalypse going on. The movie randomly cuts out at one point and flashes forwards a few hours later; Hague's opinion of Wray has done a complete 180.
Sheriff Hague: Sorry, I didn't know you were... (melodramatic tone)... El Wray. Give him the guns. Give him all the guns!
- In Predator, soldiers occasionally remind each other of past operations, referencing them by their locations such as "that little job in Libya."
Do you remember Afghanistan? Dutch:
I'm trying to forget it!
- Real Genius - A little more detail than usual, but the most horrific elements are left to the imagination.
Kent: You're all a bunch of degenerates.
Chris: We are? What about that time I found you naked with that bowl of Jell-O?
Kent: Look, it was hot and I was hungry, okay?
- Both Red films end with one:
- The first one sounds like a Sequel Hook, with the team getting ready for a job in Moldova. Then we see Moses pushing Marvin (in a dress and makeshift leg splint) and a nuclear bomb in a wooden handcart while they dodge mortar fire with the army chasing them. "Moldova sucks."
- In the sequel, Sarah is performing as a cha-cha dancer in Venezuela, suddenly pulls out an SMG in the middle of her act, and starts gleefully firing into the air. Marvin stands by as Carmen Miranda.
- The botched heist in Reservoir Dogs is both a noodle incident and a MacGuffin that drives most of the plot without ever being depicted or fully described.
- The second Revenge of the Nerds film had Gilbert in the beginning wearing a leg cast and lamenting "I'm probably the only person who got a broken leg in Chess Club!" Lewis responded, "Hey, it was a very difficult move."
- Rush Hour 3 has an interesting conversation between Lee and Carter which alludes to an incident (Carter's fault) which causes Lee to break up with his girlfriend. Apparently it involved Carter shooting her in the neck — nonfatally but causing her one eye to be droopy — and leading to her working for some time at El Poco Loco and then returning to the FBI as soon as she was able. Lee is shown to be very unhappy about this as he feels that had the accident not happened, they would have eventually slept together.
- In Sahara (2005), the boss of a couple of Americans is trying to get a member of the U.S. Government Intelligence Community to help rescue his men. The man doesn't want to do it. He then mentions a date, something like "October 22, 1988," and the other guy says, "I figured you might bring that up. If I help you out on this, we're even."
What's a Panama?
- Scary Movie has two such incidents
- In one scene, Bobby tells Cindy he was watching The Exorcist and it got him thinking of her. Cindy responds with "If this is about the time I puked green slime and masturbated with a crucifix, it was my first keg party Bobby!"
- Later in the film, the characters get into a car accident and are trying to decide what to do about it. Buffy tells Cindy "We'll just pretend it never happened, like the time we got drunk and went down on each other."
- Scary Movie 3 does this; Tom says "I'm not a stoner anymore" and the flashback almost starts before his friend says "Goodbye Tom", before driving away as quickly as he can.
- In Secondhand Lions when Uncle Garth is recanting the story of how he and Hub ended up in the Foreign Legion to Walter, he says, "there were these two girls. Twins. And they..." Walter is enthralled, and he immediately coughs and continues with his story, sans reference to the twins.
- In Sherlock Holmes (2009), when Irene first shows up to ask for Holmes' help and he reflexively grabs her wrist to stop her from pulling something out of her jacket pocket. The lines suggest a whole slew of noodle incidents to choose from.
Irene: Why are you always so suspicious of me?
Holmes: Shall I answer chronologically or alphabetically?
- In Sister Act: "There was a hooker living next door named Buckwheat Bertha, who..."
- Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow:
- Polly Perkins is visibly annoyed when Sky Captain shares a hilarious recollection with fellow Ace Pilot (and implied ex-lover) Action Girl "Franky" Cook.
Sky Captain: Franky, you remember our milk run over Shanghai, don't you?
Franky: We had the target buttoned up and he was jinxing in the flak...
Sky Captain: Pops a rivet, thinks he's taken a hit...
Franky: And started yelling...
Both simultaneously: "Protect the rabbits! Protect the rabbits!"
- We also never find out the exact circumstances in which Joe's plane was sabotaged, whether or not Polly did it (although it's hinted that she had sufficient motivation), or what, exactly, happened to Joe in the aftermath.
- Slap Shot: The hockey team which is the star of the movie becomes a vicious bunch of goons, so the other team brings out the worst of the worst hockey players to challenge them, including ones that had retired, such as one who's "been living in semi-seclusion running a donut shop in Moosejaw, Saskachewan, ever since the famed Denny Pratt Tragedy."
- In Smokey and the Bandit, the Sheriff's son makes a noodle-incident reference:
Buford T. Justice: Nobody, and I mean NOBODY makes Sheriff Buford T. Justice look like a possum's pecker.
Junior: Except for that...
Buford T. Justice: Shut your ass.
- The Specials is full of these; the Pterodactyls, the anal slugs (it's a pretty good one), the Colossal Blister, Amok and the Scabies(not Scurvy) incident, and why Deadly Girl's action figure is not available in Vermont.
- There is a brief mention of a Noodle Incident in the first Spider-Man film. While Peter's class is visiting the laboratory at the beginning of the film, several of the students are screwing off, prompting their teacher to say, "Remember, it is a privilege to be here. We're guests of Columbia University's Science Department, so behave accordingly. Let's not have a repeat of our trip to the planetarium."
- Spider-Man: Homecoming features a surprisingly dark one when the supervising teacher gives a statement to the media following Spider-Man saving him and his students at the Washington Monument:
Mr. Harrington: I couldn't bear to lose a student on a field trip... Not again...
- In the beginning of the third act of Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter wakes up in a Dutch municipal jail with three kindly Football Hooligans. Theyre all wearing the national teams kit. Its never stated what exactly they did to get there but theyre on First-Name Basis with the guard so it seems like a regular event.
- Star Trek
- In Star Trek (2009), Scotty's been exiled to the middle of nowhere for some experiment involving transporters and "Admiral Archer's prized beagle." It is heavily implied — but not actually said — that he transported the beagle to prove his theories. Indirectly subverted — if inexplicably — in the novelization when the beagle rematerializes on the Enterprise. Try not to think about it too hard.
- In Star Trek Into Darkness, Bones tells Carol that he once performed a Cesarean-section on a Gorn and delivered octuplets. The Noodle Incident is how he found himself in that situation to begin with (the Gorn aren't friendly with the Federation).
- Star Wars had a handful of examples, nearly all of which are explained in detail in the Expanded Universe.
- In Episode 1, Jar Jar is found to have been banished from Otoh Gunga, the Gunga's underwater city. When Obi-Wan asks, Jar Jar replies, "It's a longo tale-o, buta a small part of it would be mesa...clumsy." Later minor incidents demonstrate that he has the potential to trigger Disaster Dominoes. According to the EU, one particular chain of events flooded half of Otoh Gunga.
- During their introductory shot in Episode II, Obi-Wan tells Anakin to "Relax. I haven't seen you this tense since we fell into that nest of gundarks." Anakin responds with "You fell into that nightmare, Master, and I rescued you."
- In Episode 3, Anakin and Obi-Wan have one listed under their adventures.
Obi-Wan: Anakin, let's be fair. Today you were the hero and you deserve your glorious day with the politicians.
Anakin: All right. But you owe me one, and for not saving your skin for the tenth time.
Obi-Wan: Ninth time. That business on Cato Neimodia doesn't... doesn't count. note
- Until Attack of the Clones was released, the Clone Wars (originally mentioned briefly in passing in A New Hope) was this.
- The Original Trilogy had a bounty hunter on Ord Mantell sometime between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. It's been explained at least three different ways in the expanded universe.
- When Han and crew are attempting to land at Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back and the security cloud cars are giving them a hard time, Chewie suggests something that is, as usual, unintelligible. Han responds, "Well, that was a long time ago. I'm sure he's forgotten about that." He hasn't: "You've got a lot of nerve coming here... After what you pulled." This, too, has been explained in the EU - in the third novel of The Han Solo Trilogy, Han and a bunch of other smugglers aided the Rebel Alliance in taking the planet Ylesia with the expectation that they'd be paid. Instead, the Rebels took everything for themselves, and the other smugglers believed Han was in on it the whole time (he didn't, and got stiffed too, but nobody believes him), with Lando telling him he never wanted to see Han again when Han comes to him sometime afterward. This incidentally also explains why Han (and later, other smugglers) is very reluctant to join or work with the Rebels after that.
- How Lando Calrissian managed to get the position of General in the Rebel Alliance in Return of the Jedi was also a Noodle Incident, with the only thing known about it was that it involved a maneuver during the Battle of Tanaab that was strongly implied to be ace-level (the novelization added that he did it purely because somebody wagered that he couldn't). The EU explains this where he manages to down about 20 enemy ships with nothing but a tractor beam generator and some asteroids within Taanab's rings.
- In Empire, when Darth Vader tells Boba Fett "No disintegrations". This gets a mention in the Star Wars Legends anthology Tales of the Bounty Hunters, but remains a noodle incident because all Fett thinks on the matter is Vader always said that after that one time... It was later explained in Enemy of the Empire as Fett having dropped a renegade Imperial commander he was pursuing into a pit of molten lava, his first bounty for Vader, who the Sith Lord had wanted alive. In the new canon it was because some Rebel agents he was hunting came at him with ion disruptors, and he happened to be wearing a device that made their weapons backfire on them. End result: several piles of ash and an unhappy Darth Vader, who had wanted them alive.
- "What of the reports of the Rebel fleet massing near Sullust?" Like the above noodley incidents, this too has been elaborated on in the EU, more specifically the game Star Wars Battlefront Renegade Squadron, where the titular squadron laid waste to an Imperial Base on Sullust with the intention of causing enough of a distraction to lure a large enough number of the Imperial forces guarding the Death Star at Endor so the rest of the Rebel Alliance could easily infiltrate Endor to blow it up. The Imperials don't take the bait, obviously.
- The Force Awakens has Finn refer to the Trillia Massacre, which involved creatures called Rathtars, but he pointedly doesn't elaborate on it to Rey. The novelization only describes it as "an incident so vile and depraved that he wished only to assure himself she knew nothing about it."
- State and Main has a bunch:
- A number of buildings were destroyed or damaged in "a spate of suspicious fires" in 1960. Hints that a disturbed teenager and arson were involved, but no details. Also, the fires were somehow the inspiration for the formation of the Waterford Huskies.
- At the train station, the writer notices that the Waterford Huskies have won the championship every year except for 1975 — and there is a blank space for that year. A station worker explains what happened that year, but a train passes by so that the audience can't hear the story.
- The film crew has apparently been kicked out of New Hampshire (the entire state.) No one is willing to talk (at least onscreen) about what happened there.
- Stroker Ace, after a cut to the present, shows Stroker driving his rental car with one tire missing and Lugs hanging out the passenger door to keep it balanced. No explanation is ever given, but we do know that he does things like this on a regular basis.
- Suicide Squad (2016) has a few, mostly as a Freeze-Frame Bonus when introducing the various members of the Squad. For example, Deadshot is appartenly an expert with (amongst a number of other ranged weapons) potato cannons and muskets. Harley Quinn was an accomplice in the murder of Robin and Captain Boomerang has robbed every bank in Australia at least once. Also, we learn that Enchantress was overthrown and imprisoned thousands of years ago when her worshippers turned against her, but we never learn the details.
- In Sunset Limousine, the bereaved never really make it clear why they expected the deceased to not show up at his own funeral.
Male Chinese-American mourner: We all knew Fong very well, so it came as no surprise to me that he didn't show at his own funeral!
- Super Troopers:
- References are made frequently to Farva's "School Bus Incident", giving that as the explanation for his relegation to desk work instead of active duty. The trope is subverted at the end of the film, when during the credits they play a clip of "archived footage" recorded from the police car, detailing said incident.
- There's also "And that was the second time I got crabs."
- Teen Wolf: Scott's rather shady basketball coach takes him aside and tells him three rules he lives by, which include never playing cards with a man who has the same first name as a city and never getting involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. He never explains how he came by these pearls of wisdom.
- In That Thing You Do!, when the Wonders are on a radio show, Lenny mentions a time "When we stayed up way past midnight and we—" and we never learn more, as he dissolves into giggles. Of course, he's mainly being a smartass and having a laugh at the expense of the band's squeaky-clean image (i.e. the idea that staying up "way past midnight" is itself crazy and transgressive).
- This Is Spın̈al Tap: Talking about the band's first drummer's death:
David St. Hubbins: He died in a bizarre gardening accident...
Nigel Tufnel: Authorities said... best leave it... unsolved, really.
- Thor: Ragnarok has Thor and Loki use the "Get Help" ploy, with the heavy implication that they've used it multiple times before.
- Timeline: Decker says the last time he'd seen Gordon, he had three arrows in him as the former escaped by time travel, leaving him behind.
- While in the first two Transformers films Megatron's main alt-mode is portrayed as a bizarre Cybertronian jet-tank hybrid, in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, he becomes an armored truck instead. Yet we never see him obtain said truck mode at all. The truck he supposedly scanned is presumably in Africa, which is where we first see him in that movie.
- Bumblebee cannot speak in the first film because, according to Ratchet, his vocal processors were "severely damaged in battle", never explaining further in the film itself. Oddly enough, despite regaining his ability to speak at the end of the first movie Bumblebee loses his ability to speak again before the events of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, with no explanation given for this whatsoever.
- Tropic Thunder drops a lot of clues about the prior roles of the cast, but a particular one is their pyrotechnics guy, Cody, who claims he lost a finger on the set of Driving Miss Daisy and almost blinded Jamie Lee Curtis in Freaky Friday (2003). To raise even further questions, neither of those films actually involved pyrotechnics, so presumably there's one hell of a Director's Cut in that universe...
- Used in True Lies when Gib is trying to convince Harry not to pull agents off routine surveillance to follow Helen (Harry's adulterous* wife) and Bill Paxton (her wannabe lover).
You tell on me, I tell on you. Gib:
Whatya talking? I'm as clean as a preacher's sheets, babe. Clean as a— Harry:
What about that time you trashed a six-week operation because you were busy getting a blowjob? Gib:
You know about that? (Harry nods. Beat.) Gib:
Okay, let's take Franklin. It's a lot quicker.
- Undercover Blues may be legitimately considered as a series of noodle incidents connected by a script, including several subversions of the trope.
- Will and Ned of Unforgiven often talk about their past exploits as well as members of their old gang.
- During the interrogation sequence in The Usual Suspects, the police try to get Fenster to crack by telling him that McManus broke and gave them the whole story. Fenster's reply? "What, is that the one about the hooker with the dysentery?"
- Warriors of Virtue: We know that Yun killed Elysia's brother. But we never learn anything else about it or the circumstances of it. It's possible that he was a civilian and he may have gotten caught in the crossfire of Yun and Komodo's minions' fight. Another possibility would be he followed Komodo, just as Elysia ends up doing.
- In The Way of the Gun, Dr. Allen Painter is reminded of "what happened in Baltimore," an apparently shameful incident that is never elaborated upon.
- That one time years before the events of The Wrong Arm of the Law when Nosy Parker brought Pearly Gates in. They were Nosy Parker and Pearly Gates then, and Nosy Parker and Pearly Gates they'll always be!