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You've probably seen it. A character says, "I know what we can do!" or some variation.

Cut to "we" doing the thing as the character says what it is we're doing, not in voiceover, but while there.

Sort of an aversion of the Unspoken Plan Guarantee: We hear the plan described while it's happening, so as to avoid telling the audience what's going on "in advance".

Compare with the Gilligan Cut.

Examples of "I Know What We Can Do!" Cut include:

Anime & Manga

  • In Azumanga Daioh's Hiccup Hijinks part of episode 2, "Osaka's Day", Tomo says, "Oh wait! I know!" Cut to Tomo explaining that she heard that taking a drink from a cup balanced on chopsticks is an effective cure, while Osaka is already attempting it.


  • Done in the modern remake of Ocean's Eleven and its sequels.
  • In Monty Python's Life of Brian, the PFJ's plan to kidnap Pilate's wife is described over the scene of it happening: "Now will be the moment for Habakkuk to get out his prong."
  • White Christmas: Phil has come up with a plan to delay the sheriff by lipsynching the song Betty and Judy had just performed. We're not told this in advance, only shown him holding the record. He drags the reluctant Bob away, then we cut to the two of them wearing feathers and carrying fans. Hehe.
  • The end of the original Italian Job ...although we never do get to find out what the brilliant idea was...
  • Parodied in Shaun of the Dead, where Shaun has to explain a plan in this way three times (with minor alterations) until he gets a version that he and Ed are both happy with. In addition, the footage that we see while he's describing the plans makes them look laughably easy, all finishing with everyone smiling and happy and a shot of Shaun sipping a tea (or beer) and winking smugly at the camera.
  • The a Team remake movie does this twice: with the mission at the beginning of the movie and part of its finale and the ending itself.


  • The Brave Little Toaster: The scene where the appliances try to figure out how to set upon their journey to the city. Lampy and Radio get to try first, Hilarity Ensues
  • At the climax of Sandy Mitchell's Warhammer 40,000 novel Cain's Last Stand, Ciaphas Cain tells them what they can do, tells us that they opposed it, but does not tell the reader until he actually does it: calls up Varan and proposes a meeting to discuss surrender terms.)
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel False Gods, at the end of Horus's temptation by Chaos, while Erebus and Magnus are arguing over him (Magnus desperately trying to save Horus), Horus roars that he has made his decision. End scene. End of Horus's POV. The unfolding of it is revealed through the eyes of other characters. (Not that there was any doubt as this is Backstory to the universe.)
  • Captain Underpants uses this as a running gag.

Live Action TV

  • Firefly employed this for the team's heists.
  • An episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine does this in an episode involving, of all things, a casino heist. However, they actually end up showing the whole thing again because when they actually go to pull off the heist, not everything goes according to plan.
  • An interesting example occurs in an episode of Leverage, where a character describes how impossible a painting would be to steal, including all the specific next-to-impossible obstacles they'd have to overcome...while a different group of thieves are busy overcoming all those obstacles. The team gets in just as the painting has been replaced with a stock Dogs Playing Poker.


Western Animation

  • In the Thunderbirds Clip Show episode "Security Leak", Jeff Tracy outlines his plan to return the young stowaway home while we see it happening.
  • In the Futurama episode "Time Keeps on Slipping", Hermes claims to have come up with a way to stop the time skips. This is immediately followed by a time skip to them implementing the plan - Hermes is playing the steel drums, everyone else is in a conga line, and they're all naked.

Hermes: I don't even know how this was supposed to work!