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Overly Long Gag / Live-Action Films

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Overly Long Gags in live-action movies.

  • This IBM sales-meeting film, featuring Rowlf, includes a typewriter falling down a flight of stairs for 33 seconds (from 1:42) as Rowlf looks on in horror.
  • Marx Brothers:
    • Chico Marx's endless piano solo in Animal Crackers.
      Chico: I can't think of the finish.
      Groucho: That's strange, and I can't think of anything else.
      Chico: I think I went past it.
      Groucho: The next time you come around, jump off.
    • Harpo's harp solos in many of the films. Though not meant as a joke, they seem funny just because you don't expect to see his utter Cloudcuckoolander characters sitting down and playing an incredibly beautiful harp solo.
  • Airplane!:
    "I just want to tell you both, good luck. We're all counting on you."
  • Austin Powers made good use of this trope:
    • Dr. Evil's neverending maniacal laughter, which continues through two full cycles of funny, then not funny, then funny again.
    • "Evacuation compl....Evacuation com..."
    • The "Sshh!" gag. Dr. Evil just will not let his son say anything! Followed by "Zip it!"
    • Austin himself, after dispatching a villain, will sometimes react by letting loose a series of Bond One Liners until another character tells him to knock it off.
      Austin: [After a villain is decapitated] Not the time to lose one's head.
      Vanessa: Indeed.
      Austin: That's not the way to get ahead in life.
      Vanessa: No.
      Austin: It's a shame he wasn't more headstrong.
      Austin: He'll never be the head of a major corporation.
      Vanessa: Okay, that'll do.
      Austin: Okay.
  • The second stinger of The Avengers featured the heroes silently eating lunch at a shawarma restaurant, exhausted from the effort to save the world. It lasts about a minute, with nothing happening.
  • Batman: The Movie (1966): "Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!"
  • Being John Malkovich: When John Malkovich goes into his own head, he enters a world where everyone has his face and says nothing but "Malkovich".
  • The notorious "baked beans" scene in Blazing Saddles. Mel Brooks was asked to cut down the number of farts, but he realized the length of the gag would enable people to get over their initial shocked reaction and start laughing.
  • The multiple police car pileups in The Blues Brothers. The ones in Blues Brothers 2000 go on for so long they cross the line three times.
  • In a deleted scene from Borat, Borat explores an American supermarket:
    Borat: What is this?
    Employee: That's cheese.
    Borat: And what is this?
    Employee: That's cheese.
    [repeat ad nauseum and back again]
  • When Dragon Amilyn (played by Paul Reubens, a.k.a. Peewee Herman) is staked in the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he writhes around on the floor lamenting his fate, dying...and Buffy eventually gets sick of it and just leaves. At the end of the credits, he's still going.
  • In one scene of Cannibal! The Musical, there's a relatively short example: Alferd Packer and his party enter a store and all six of them greet the shopkeeper individually with a "Howdy!". The shopkeeper responds in kind each time, and they cut between the shopkeeper and the party member every time this happens. Later on there's a much longer overly long gag in the form of an extensive Not Quite Dead sequence.
  • CJ7 has a scene where the alien shits on the boy's face like a machine gun for over a minute.
  • Clue: The Multiple Ending Summations are built on this. But the one with the bullet-counting just rides it into the ground and lets the ground have the last laugh.
    Guests: Get on with it!
    Wadsworth: I'm getting there! I'm getting there!
  • Crank has the very last scene, where Chevilos is freefalling thousands of feet through the air to his death. It takes a few minutes, enough for him to even leave a heartfelt goodbye to his girlfriend.
  • In Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, Steve Martin's character is making another character "some of my famous Java" by continuously shaking coffee grounds from a bag into a saucepan. This goes on for forty-five seconds of him shaking coffee out of the packet. Thirty seconds in, even Martin's character is looking glazed and he actually sighs with boredom, and shakes the last few grounds out of the packet...and then more coffee keeps coming out, and he goes back to shaking it again, then the packet nearly runs out again, and once again he shakes out the last few grounds...and then more coffee keeps slooshing out of the packet, and he goes back to regularly shaking it. By the time he's finished, the audience has long since been bored to death, and resurrection, and rebirth.
  • In the spoof film Epic Movie, the main characters decide to party before the big fight the next day. While Peter goes into a tent to have sex with Mystique, Lucy and Edward convince Susan to drink a little. She ends up chugging an entire keg. This leads to her puking all over two guys. Twice. In the unrated cut, she insists she's fine, before puking on another two guys. And again, twice. This already is very gross. She then locks lips with a Legolas-Look-alike presumably to continue puking in his mouth. It justs goes on and on...
  • Feeding Frenzy: When Jesse and Christine are attacked by monsters in a hardware store, Jesse calls for Christine to toss him an Improvised Weapon. Christine looks over an array of hammers, picks and saws on a nearby workbench and becomes paralyzed with indecision over the embarrassment of riches. She spends a long time waffling and second-guessing which implement to grab, all while Jesse is screaming in pain. Ultimately he has to help himself.
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Ferris' teacher, played by Ben Stein, taking role. "Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?"
  • Forrest Gump: The Long List of shrimp recipes and each Imagine Spot for Lieutenant Dan and Bubba's ancestors.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005):
    • When showing the Vogon Constructor Fleet around Earth, the camera jumps back with every "beat" of the music. When this effect is put into play, it usually only happens about three times. In the movie, it happens a grand total of 55 times.
    • Another one happens when the microphone the Vogon will use to read poetry to the hostage Arthur and Ford is being brought out. It comes out of the ceiling, and ends up falling all the way down the ship to the bottom.
  • The retinal scan scene from Hobbs & Shaw, where Shaw attempts to bypass a retinal scanner by hauling maybe a dozen unconscious mooks, one at a time, before the scanner. You'll get "access denied" playing in your head over and over again long after the credits. Seen here.
  • In Home Alone 2 the McAllister family at the airport, passing Kevin's luggage one after another, each one saying "Give this to Kevin." When the last kid in line finds Kevin's not next to him, he passes the luggage back, and each and every one of them says "Kevin's not here."
  • Hot Rod:
    • The scene where Rod locks Kevin out of the house. Rod falling down an impossibly tall hill probably counts too, as does Jonathan shouting "wait babe! wait babe! wait! BAAAAAAAAABBBBEEEEE...Wait!"
    • "Cool beans."
  • As Iron Man 2 approaches its finale, Natasha/Black Widow infiltrates Hammer Industries accompanied by Happy Hogan, Tony's friend and bodyguard. Happy engages only one of the guards, which, juxtaposed with Widow's takedown of nearly a dozen of the same mooks, felt really drawn out. And Black Widow finished them all off much faster than he did.
  • In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, during the climactic montage, Jay and Bob are about to beat up one of their internet detractors. The man shushes them, as he is on a call. Jay and Bob end up standing there for about two minutes while the man nods and Uh-Huhs, before they start choking him with the phone cord and punching him. The commentary said that originally the scene was much shorter, but the longer it went the funnier everyone found it, so they kept lengthening it until it reached its present length.
  • The Jerk:
    • "I know we've only known each other four weeks and three days, but to me it seems like nine weeks and five days."
    • Navin leaving his girlfriend and picking up random objects, claiming that he's only taking this one thing...and also this other thing...
  • Jojo Rabbit: When the Gestapo arrives, each member gives a "Heil Hitler" to whomever they're talking to, one at a time, with each mention getting a "Heil Hitler" in response. This happens with four different people, though the final occurrence is decidedly not funny, since the character in question is a Jew trying to hide from the Gestapo.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze × OOO: Movie Wars MEGAMAX: At the final act of the film, the eponymous riders (Gentaro and Eiji, respectively), rendezvous with Shotaro and Philip, a.k.a. Kamen Rider Double. When Shotaro realizes he and Gentaro are not so different, well...
    Shotaro: You're a good kid after all!
    Gentaro: Yessir!
    Shotaro: Right on!
    Gentaro: Yessir!
    Shotaro: Right on!
    Gentaro: YESSIR!
    Shotaro: RIGHT ON!
    Gentaro: YESSIR!
    Shotaro: RIGHT ON!
    Gentaro: YESSIR!
    Shotaro: RIGHT O—!
    Eiji: Uh, can you tell us about the guy who took the medals?
  • This occurs a number of times in Kung Pow! Enter the Fist, such as the dramatic camera movements and sounds before a fight.
    "Choooseeeen!..." "I'm coming!..."
  • There are a few of these in The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, but they are all used quite well. One of the better examples is Dr. Fleming's maniacal laughter scene, which somehow gets funnier and funnier as the scene plays out. The sequel, The Lost Skeleton Returns Again, has the "Slowly!" gag.
  • Tom Hanks' 30-second laugh in The Money Pit.
  • At least a third of the jokes in Monty Python and the Holy Grail could be considered these. (Lancelot's charge, the Knights of the Round Table song, the entire ending sequence). The miracle is that they remain funny even though you're expecting them.
  • Monty Python's The Meaning of Life: The part where Gaston the waiter leads the camera a very, very long way to the house where he grew up, turning around every few steps to beckon and say something encouraging.
  • The second Night at the Museum film has a few, but easily the most irritating is the climactic trade-off between Larry and Kah-Mun-Rah. For at least three minutes, Larry insists that Kah-Mun-Rah hand over Jebediah first, while Kah-Mun-Rah insists that Larry hand over the tablet and the combination first. Eventually it just degenerates into an extended "do not cross this line" segment before the audience is finally put out of their misery when Al Capone arrives with the combination and Kah-Mun-Rah just snatches the tablet out of Larry's hands.
  • One Cut of the Dead: In the first act, at the climax, the camera focuses on the Final Girl while her boyfriend and a lunatic fight off-camera. She screams as she watches them fight...then screams some more...then inadvertently glances at the camera and keeps screaming until finally the camera spins to look at the resolution of the fight. In the end, it's played a second time from a different perspective, revealing that the whole thing was a movie scene, and there was a mishap between the boyfriend and the lunatic off-camera, requiring the actress to fill time while the filmmakers struggle to fix the scene. People watching the program live comment, "This is going on too long, isn't it?"
  • The Party:
    • The film starts with this. One actor, playing the part of the trumpeter for a charge, goes on...and on...and on. The funny part of it is that the other actors keep SHOOTING at him to make him stop, but he keeps going on...and on...and on...
    • Later, he's in a bathroom, and accidentally drops a painting in a toilet tank. He grabs a piece of toilet paper to dry it, and the roll spins and keeps spinning...and spinning...and spinning. He just stands there watching as the entire roll of paper spools on the floor.
  • In The Producers, Carmen Ghia receiving the protagonists: "yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss?"
  • John Goodman's incessant primal screaming in Raising Arizona is both this and a Running Gag.
  • The death of Kinney, the unfortunate executive near the beginning of Paul Verhoeven's science fiction action film RoboCop (1987) was very much along these lines. After being instructed to challenge a prototype police robot as part of a demonstration, Kinney finds himself riddled with bullets by the malfunctioning machine; and it just doesn't stop. The studios lobbied Verhoeven to shorten the sequence, with the odd result that the R-rated cut seems more brutal than the cartoonishly exaggerated unrated edition.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: "Janet! Dr. Scott! Janet! Brad! Rocky!" (Bullwinkle!)
  • A Black Comedy version in Schindler's List, of all movies. Big Bad Amon Goeth deems that a Jewish munitions worker has been deliberately making hinges too slowly, and has the man dragged outside to kneel and be shot. Goeth aims his pistol and pulls the trigger...and nothing happens. He tries again, nothing. He tries again, nothing. He checks the gun, nothing's jammed. He asks for one of his men's guns, pulls the trigger...still nothing happens. He spends the next half minute futilely trying to get the gun to fire, nothing happening every time. Finally he smacks the worker with the gun and leaves in a huff, throwing both guns away. This event actually happened.
  • Spaceballs opens with a huge spaceship that scrolls into view and keeps on scrolling for 90 seconds (parodying the opening shot of the Star Destroyer in Star Wars). At least three times something that resembles a tail section comes into view, and the background music segues into the next piece, only to false-start and cut right back to stalling. The orchestra is clearly getting increasingly frustrated with the endless length of the craft. As it finishes, the camera pans to the rear of the ship, which has a bumper sticker saying WE BRAKE FOR NOBODY. Mel Brooks actually said in the commentary that he would've let that sequence go on for hours if the studio had let him. Lampshaded later in the movie, as President Skroob is seen running onto the ship's bridge. "The ship is too big! If I walk, the movie will be over!"
  • Space Cop does this twice, due to RedLetterMedia's love of Anti-Humor.
    • Space Cop spends about a minute of screen time punching in the combination to unlock his refrigerator.
    • Space Cop's commander (played by Patton Oswalt) struggles awkwardly to end their video conference for quite a long time while Space Cop just stares blankly at him.
  • In the 2.1 version of Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker spends over thirty seconds wrestling with the contents of a janitor's closet (and several more picking web off the pizza boxes) before delivering the memetic "Pizza time" line. Averted in the original cut, where the scene is a lot shorter.
  • Spies Like Us: When our two heroes pass themselves off as surgeons, they meet a group of actual doctors. Each of our heroes individually greets each individual with "doctor," prompting the person to respond with the acknowledgement, "doctor," leading to about 30 seconds of screen time of people saying "doctor" over and over again.
  • In Spy Hard's opening theme, "Weird Al" Yankovic holds a note so long his head explodes.
  • The Star Wars Holiday Special has the cooking show scene where a four-armed chef goes "Stir, whip, stir, whip, whip, whip, stir! Stir, whip, stir, whip..." Then she adds a "BEAT!" There's another segment where Lumpy watches an instructional video on how to assemble a computer. And we get to see the entire thing. The video goes on for so long and in such painstaking detail that you could probably actually use the instructions in the video to assemble such a device, if one actually existed.
  • Japanese comedy Tampopo features a fist-fight scene that lasts...well, nobody really knows, because they always fast forward through it.
  • Team America: World Police
  • In They Came Together, Joel goes to a bar to drown his sorrows after finding his girlfriend cheating on him:
    Joel: Give me another one; make it a double.
    Bartender: You look like you had a bad day.
    Joel: Heh, tell me about it.
    Bartender: Well you came in here looking like crap, and you haven't said very much.
    Joel: You can say that again.
    Bartender: Well you came in here looking like crap, and you haven't said very much.
    Joel: Heh, tell me about it.
    Bartender: Well you came in here looking like crap, and you haven't said very much.
    Joel: You can say that again.
    [etc., until finally someone in the Framing Device interrupts and tells him to get on with the rest of the story]
  • The John Carpenter classic They Live! has the infamous alleyway fight scene, the rare instance where this trope overlaps with a Moment of Awesome. Nearly six uninterrupted minutes of Roddy Piper and Keith David beating the shit out of each other, and you think it's done after David puts Piper down for the second time...the third...the fourth...the fifth...
  • The 1986 movie ˇThree Amigos! used this trope in its theme song, where one note is held for an uncomfortably long period of time.
  • Tropic Thunder: the cast's reaction to the director having been blown up by a land mine.
  • The Way, Way Back: While overseeing the queue for a waterslide, park employee Roddy repeatedly tells a woman in a bikini that she must pause at the front of the slide until it is working properly again. It’s a ruse for Roddy to give him and his male co-workers a better look at the woman’s body. The camera zooms in to the woman’s derrière in a gag that lasts about three minutes, which is a beat too long (though undoubtedly a satisfying scene Fanservice-wise).
  • Where's Poppa?: After falling in Love at First Sight, Gordon and Louise stare deeply into each other's eyes and draw closer and closer. Gordon softly sings a verse of a love song to her, but instead of following it up with a Big Damn Kiss, he sings another verse... and then another verse... and then another verse. Clearly waiting to be kissed, Louise gets increasingly flustered when he launches into each new stanza.
  • Wild Wild West:
    • Loveless and West toss about half a dozen jokes back in forth in a single conversation about Jim being black and Loveless being in a wheelchair with no legs.
      Loveless: I knew him [General McGrath] years ago, but I haven't seen him in a coon's age.
      West: I can see where it'd be difficult for a man of your stature to keep track of even half the people you know.
    • Develops into a Brick Joke at the very end of the film.
      Loveless: How did we arrive in this dark situation?
      West: I have no idea Dr. Loveless, I'm just as stumped as you are.