Follow TV Tropes


Quotes / Padding

Go To

Q: How many Dragon Ball characters does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: One, but it'll take them three episodes to do it.
— Old joke

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
James: I don't get it. Why didn't we do this from the beginning?
Jessie: We have to fill a half hour.
Pokémon, "Hypno's Naptime"

    Films — Live-Action 
Let's not get episodic, okay, old timer? Beginning. Middle. End. Facts. Details. Condense. Plot. Tell it.

    Live-Action TV 
Scan, scan, scan... that's all you people ever do! I've been through every deck on this ship and do you know what I've seen? Bipeds pushing buttons! Bipeds replacing relays! Bipeds running diagnostics! When are you going to do something interesting?

I really think there's more 'nothing' in this movie than in any movie we've seen.

(You talk too much)
You never shut up
(I said you talk too much)
Homeboy you never shut up
—"You Talk Too Much", Run–D.M.C.

Oh, my, my, shit
Everybody talks, everybody talks
Everybody talks too much
—"Everybody Talks", Neon Trees

You know a movie is in trouble when you start looking at your watch. You know it's in bad trouble when you start shaking your watch because you think it might have stopped.
Roger Ebert on Her Alibi (1981)


"Make sure you arrive an hour late so you don't miss out on all the good bits."
Martin/Molloy review of Titanic


    Web Animation 
You know why this game is on three discs? Not because it’s a complex roller-coaster of an epic. It's because it's padded like a menstruating fire hose.

''... and the rest of the Book is dedicated to Hephaestus making Achilles new duds. In BOOK NINETEEN Achilles PUTS ON his new duds [such drama!]... yeah, this Epic kind of drags on in places...

    Web Original 
Oh my goodness, guys, I don’t want to jinx it, but I think … I think … this Apartment 3-G storyline might finally be over... Looks like all’s well that’s ended well after weeks and weeks and weeks of literally nothing happening, oh God, so many weeks, so many nothings.

This movie is slower than the checkout line with the woman reading the bodice ripper and paying with a check.

Here is the movie. Some government guy comes up to Henry and tells him to give the government some steel and Henry tells him to piss off cause capitalism. Then Henry complains and someone asks 'Who is John Galt?' and someone disappears like there is some Objectivist Batman running around or something. Another person comes to Henry asking him for steel and he tells him to piss off. Henry complains and someone tells Atlas to shrug. Then another person tells Henry to give the steel, then lather, then Henry has the court asking him for steel, then rinse, then more government people ask for steel, then repeat. I had it all wrong a few paragraphs ago. This movie isn’t slow in telling a story, it is an endless loop. Ayn Rand is Selena Gomez, she loves this plot point like a love song, and she keeps hitting re-peatpeatpeatpeatpeat. Oh god, this review has me quoting Selena Gomez.
Miles Antwiler on Atlas Shrugged Part II: The Strike

Chris: As you may have realized by this point, this movie is kind of poorly written. But hey, please enjoy two minutes of slapstick as Barb Wire's dog eats a dude's penis in the next scene!
Matt: And, really, that whole scene is the dog bites the guy in the crotch. It is the epitome of a DVD deleted scene. But here it is, in the movie... This movie should not only really get going 40 minutes in. It does not earn that at all. Casablanca can totally do that. It's got atmosphere like crazy and it's really enjoyable to hang out with Rick and Ugarte for a while. It more than earns its deliberate pacing. Barb Wire is a 138-minute movie that should be about 50.
Chris Sims and Matt Wilson on Barb Wire

Data reports the cave is unstable. Glad you're here, Professor. The shaking and falling rocks didn't tip me off at all. He goes with Worf and Picard to find an escape route. They blow out a wall, revealing... more caves! Which Picard suggests they head for. In screenwriting, this is generally known as "padding". For those less than cinematically inclined, just picture this: term paper due in thirty minutes. 100 words away from the minimum length. You get the picture.

Viceroy: [on viewscreen] Hello, I'm a big scary-looking alien. Sorry to keep you waiting in orbit for 17 hours, but our great leader is dying and he will be wormfood in another day or so. That's why we chose theatrics over haste.

Mulder chats to his cellmate in what must be one of the most blatant examples of empty dialogue and Scully examines a rock. Yes, it's that riveting... I'd lost the plot at this point and was swiveling around on my chair because that was the more interesting option.
Joe Ford on The X-Files, "Terma"

Clark has to "let go" of his past, just as Oliver has to "let go" of his self-doubt. They both have to "find the strength within". Oddly, however, Oliver had never really before seemed especially self-doubtful, and Clark has reached this conclusion so many times now it's become embarrassing.
Marc Pritchard on Smallville, "Propecy"

This was not a 1 episode. There were redeeming qualities. As usual, they occur at the beginning and at the end of the episode, when nothing about the episode in question is really happening, but rather, when character motion slugs forward... I often wonder what the length of the actual character segments of this show would add up to. If someone were to cut them all together using Windows Media Player or something, it would probably give us a good three or four hours of work.
Neal Bailey on Smallville, "Tomb"

It's just the Doctor playing the Trilogic Game for four episodes while Steven and Dodo meander through a series of arbitrary deadly challenges. The reason it's four episodes long is... that's how long it is. It could have been one. It could have been three hundred. It doesn't matter, because the plot does not build at all, at any point, anywhere in the entire episode. They just eventually run out of games and go free.

"This was the year TV critics finally realized that having a lot of dialogue does not equal having good dialogue. ZOMG SO MANY WORDS HOW DOES SORKIN DO IT?"
Drew Magary, "The 25 Least Influential People of 2012"

Macho is out in a flash threatening to beat up Sapphire, but then our jiggly hero, Dusty Rhodes comes to her rescue and they beat up Brother Love and spend about 5 minutes in the ring just dancing for no reason.

I used to think that segments like this only happened these days. I’m relieved to see that they are a part of wrestling’s history and entirely inescapable. Jesus.
Cewsh Reviews Royal Rumble 1988

If this keeps up, Charles Nelson Reilly is going to sue me for using his image so much.

It was shaping up to be an amusing episode of Raw. Yes, it was extremely thin on action, but sometimes you’ve got to tease the audience to convince them to buy the upcoming pay-per-view, especially WrestleMania... oh right, this *was* WrestleMania.

Aside from the 2007-2008 writers' strike sliding a cactus up TV's collective asshole, one of the biggest problems with later seasons of Heroes was that the plot simply lost basic direction... Hiro gets a love interest. And then another love interest. And then one more sort-of love interest. Claire wants to be normal and lets us know that through 6 billion rehashed arguments with her father. Sylar turns good. Then bad. Then good. Then ... something with a carnival. It was never really spelled out for us where these characters were going and why we needed to feel a sense of urgency for them to get there. They were just kind of doing things. With powers.

It's here that Chloe has the flight attendant summon her father to hear her "extremely good news." We cut back to Rayford's point of view because this is how [co-author Jerry] Jenkins works: If Chloe sends her father a message, the next scene has to be of her father receiving that same message. This is part of his secret formula for cramming a 200-page novel into a mere 468 pages.

[Banjo-Tooie] has its moments, but Rare's mentality while making this game must have [been] "Big levels are great, so TOTALLY FREAKING GINORMOUS LEVELS must be TOTALLY FREAKING AWESOME" and the game spreads itself too thin.

    Web Videos 
Brace yourself for two movies so unnecessarily long that they include five Volvo commercials, two montages of the previous Twilight movies, four games of chess, and the MOST. STARES. EVER!
Honest Trailers, Twilight: Breaking Dawn (Parts 1 and 2)

Y'see, a guy named William Shakesman once said, "Brevity is the soul of wit."

This just means don't waste my time. Ya keep it nice and simple!

(cut to George Lucas playing with his Gungan figurines)

I said stop wasting my time. STOP IT!

Jack: This movie felt to me like those papers that you wrote in high school, and those papers had to be two pages long and so you made your font a little bit bigger and you put two point spacing in between all of-
Jay: You put 2.5. That tricks them every time 'cause it's just a little bit wider.
Jack: Just make everything a little bit bigger.

"Then it cuts to him like, oh my God. That scene where Harry Osborn goes and talks to his dad, who's dying on his bed, and it's like, "Okay, here's the scene: You're disappointed in the dad and now you're gonna become evil." And it's like ten minutes long and it's just them talking back and forth. I started playing Poker on my phone. I did! I started playing Hold'em on my phone. I really did. I was just sitting there; I was just so bored. And there were so many scenes of talking and talking and talking; this movie was 2 hours and 22 minutes long."

Meanwhile, Ramirez is still in Scotland (you can tell because in Scotland there's constant bagpipe music)... He stops into a tailor for new suit, because when you return from death, you reappear in your old clothes. No money, but hey, your head's still attached; better than a kick in the nuts, I guess. He doesn't have any money but luckily he has a pearl earring which — [beat] is worth nowhere near what a new suit would cost. Is all this necessary? Does this B-plot accomplish anything other than being annoying and raising more plot holes?

For the love of God! Cut half this shit out, c'mon!

Boy, this would be annoying if it were paired with a much more interesting and time-sensitive story.
Allison Pregler, Baywatching ("Armored Car")

This is gonna be a really short video. But it's a kinda short level, even for Yoshi's Island, it's — Bonus challenge! Oh, well, okay, we can artificially pad things up with Bonus Challenge here. (Whew!)

You see, when you have this little footage, you apparently can't afford to cut any of it, so even though this movie is a scant 62 minutes, every scene goes on for-fucking-ever! That guy doing the bad Iggy Pop impression? Forever! The fountain dance? Forever! This song lasts seven whole minutes, and it feels like hours!
Todd in the Shadows, on A Certain Sacrifice

"A big truck goes by and Howard shows signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as he panics and flashes back to his abduction. Which we saw ten minutes ago, and reflects a stress that is so severe...that it is never brought up again. Your movie is damn near two hours long. Hey, here's a thought - how about putting shit in there that actually has a point?"

"The game says it takes fourteen hours to complete. If you knew where to go, it'd take three."

"Wait, I don't understand, the narration's done, but there's like ten more minutes of video?"

"Yes, you're reading that correctly and it's no lie: 72 minutes. They went over an hour with this one. And if you're wondering how they came up with enough material to fill a 72 minute run time when they barely had enough to fill a 22 minute run-time last movie, the answer is they didn't.

    Western Animation 
"Coming up next, we have nothing. We didn't have enough news to cover the whole show tonight, so I'm gonna say absolutely nothing in the cadence of a news story, and I hope I'll get away with it."
Kip Schlezinger, The Amazing World of Gumball


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: