• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

Similar to the Deadpan Snarker routine but without the emotional range. These are gags sneaked into the middle or ends of conversation without changes in inflection or pacing. The delivery should be matter-of-fact, not sarcastic (usually). For obvious reasons, the more outstanding or shocking the statement, the better.

The point is to move the conversation to the next subject before the audience has time to react to what just happened. This can help make a Dead Baby Comedy more palatable by pretending the Dude, Not Funny jokes never occurred. Did you just hear what you thought you did? No, don't be silly. We're talking about something else now. These aren't the jokes you're looking for. Move along.

Pretty much the antithesis to using a Laugh Track. Compare Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick, Distracting Disambiguation and Rapid-Fire Comedy.

Examples of Breathless Non-Sequitur include:


Anime and Manga


  • One of the signatures of the Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker style of parody, its seen throughout Airplane!, The Naked Gun, and the Abrahams series Hot Shots. Sometimes, the other participant follows them down this road a bit and then they swerve it back into the main conversation with no net effect.

Topper: Out of all the jungles in all the countries in the world, you had to come into mine.
Ramada: I didn't want to, Topper, but I had to, it was a sequel.
Topper: Do you have any idea what the critics will say? The same warmed-over characters?
Ramada: Oh Topper, you're just using this whole casting thing to distract from what's really bothering you.


Miles: I'm a nice person! I have healthy life drives and good goals. I don't drink. I don't smoke. I would never force myself sexually on a blind person.


Duke: I was a relatively respectable citizen — a multiple felon, perhaps, but certainly not dangerous. And when the Great Scorer came to write against my name, that would surely make a difference.


Anna: I'm sure you meant no harm, and I'm sure it was all just friendly banter and I'm sure you all have dicks the size of peanuts. Enjoy your meal, the tuna's really good.


Live Action Television


Barry Zuckercorn: Oh, I could kiss you on the [bleep].
Michael: Yeah, fine — What!?


The Todd: Doctor Turk should be chief because he's skilled technically, he's super efficient, he's got an awesome dong, he's great with laparoscopic procedures, uh, patients love him--
Dr. Cox: (whistles sharply) What was that middle one?
The Todd: Laparoscopic?


Liz Donnelly: I can't believe that son of a bitch had the nerve to come after me! You pull him out of that jail cell, don't bother bringing him to Court! I want to kick his ass myself!! You didn't hear any of that.

  • Firefly has Simon give a very calm explanation to Jayne that despite the latter's behavior toward the Tams "he is always safe" on Simon's operating table. After he leaves, River follows up with "Also I can kill you with my brain."
    • Couldn't nearly anything River says fit into this trope?
  • During a flashback to Reverend Jim's straitlaced college days on Taxi, his girlfriend tries to hide the special brownie ingredient this way.

Jim: Now come on, Heather, what's in the brownies?
Heather: Sugar, eggs, chocolate, marijuana, flour, and walnuts.
Tom HanksGordon: You've been feeding us walnuts?!

  • In Season 3 of 24, Tony is interrogating Nina Myers. After he finishes demanding the information they need on Marcus Alvers, whom it became obvious that she knew quite well despite her claims, she replies, "Your neck is bleeding".
  • The Saturday Night Live character Mr. Subliminal (played by Kevin Nealon) hinged on rapid firing of these into a normal monologue.
  • Brittany from Glee is made of this trope.



Don't call me at work again no no the boss still hates me
I'm just tired and I don't love you anymore
And there's a restaurant we should check out where
The other nightmare people like to go
I mean nice people, baby wait,
I didn't mean to say nightmare


Tabletop Games

  • In these sorts of games, the sourcebooks being text-based as they are and thus subject to the speed of the reader, these are usually meant to be obscured in the middle of the text and only caught on a careful read-through, and may even need referencing to make sure.
    • For example, in describing a particular series of overly-chatty droid, one of the commentators in Star Wars Saga Edition's Scavenger's Guide to Droids, the supervisor droid who has worked with a wide variety of model, casually notes that she had to rip out its vocoder to get it to shut up. She also comments on how a particular droid of another model that failed its master would have been turned inside out by her. This is explained if you paid attention to the text and saw that she was an EV-series droid, a supervisor droid model detailed in the book, described as having a number of units accidentally getting a torture droid's motivator installed. (The head of Jabba's droid retinue in Return of the Jedi was an EV-series droid.)
    • The West End Games' Imperial Sourcebook has a bit in the fluff describing the myriad problems that occurred in getting the first Star Destroyers built. "The Navy loved it, of course, and through a combination of bribes, political pressure, and a rash of mysteriously-crushed tracheas, it slowly brought others into line."
    • The Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Dungeons Master's Guide has this one from a table of "100 random traits": "No sense of humor, see #24". Of course, the list only contains 99 items. Guess which one is missing.
    • The Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Expanded Psionics Handbook contains a very long list of powers. One of these powers, called "Deja Vu", is listed once in its proper placement alphabetically, and again a couple of pages later (still in the D's, so it is quite possible, while skimming through, to think neither is out of place).

Video Games

  • GlaDOS from Portal. By the time you figure out what she just said, you're stuck in the middle of another Death Trap.
    • Cake and grief counseling?

"You will be baked. And then there will be cake."


Web Original

  • Zero Punctuation consists largely of this trope.
  • When The Nostalgia Chick reviewed Disney's Pocahontas, of course there's a point where she mentions some of the discrepancies between the movie and actual history: "...and needless to say, he (John Smith) was a short, portly brown-head, not the golden-haired Adonis that we see before us in the movie. Also, Pocahontas was twelve."
  • Pretty much everything out of Raocow's mouth is this. He just rambles and doesn't stop, and it often results in some very, very bizarre Let's Play commentary.

Western Animation

  • Family Guy, and Seth MacFarlane shows in general, are well-known for this.
  • Danny Phantom has a few examples. Here's an exchange from the episode Maternal Instinct, where in one scene, Vlad is attempting to convince Maddie to ditch Jack:

Vlad: ...Causing the accident that ruined my life, stealing you, the backwash incident...
Maddie: Wait, what was that last part?
Vlad: The backwash incident?
Maddie: No, before that.
Vlad: Causing the accident that ruined my life?
Maddie: (frustrated) IN. THE. MIDDLE.