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A Smash Cut cut occurs without warning in the middle of a scene and transitions abruptly to another, and is often intended to startle the audience. Very often, it goes something like this:
Can also be combined with Gilligan Cut, or Ironic Echo, though a Smash Cut is defined by the lack of warning that it is coming and the fact that it usually cuts someone off mid-sentence. This is also a popular technique for going to credits, or for when someone wakes up from a Nightmare, so it often overlaps with Catapult Nightmare.
Not to be confused with the upcoming Canadian movie Smash Cut, though it's entirely possible that the movie will employ smash cuts in production...
- In Mahou Sensei Negima, Chapter 83, we follow Yue briefly after she sees Negi and Nodoka off on their date. In the last two panels of the page she bumps into someone and apologises. The scene then abruptly cuts back to Negi and Nodoka, and it's not until four chapters later that we return to this scene and find out that she bumped into Negi himself.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion uses this quite a bit, usually skipping from an Eva having its ass whooped to a replay of the damage.
- Employed in many horror movies, especially in Screamer Trailers.
- The movie War had these just about every second to the point where you say "This is ridiculous!" ten minutes into the movie.
- A Serious Man: When the truth is found to be lies, and all the joy within you dies...
- The ending to Inception: Cobb's totem starts to wobble as the scene smash cuts to black and the credits begin to roll
- Used any time Jason puts together a costume in Mystery Team.
- Used comically in John Carter.
- An Angel episode had Wesley happily declare "We're winning!" during a battle. Smash Cut to the aftermath of the battle and the group tied up.
- In fact, something like this happens in almost every episode of Angel.
- Joss Whedon does another one in Serenity, when we cut from River being told to "lie down" to her having a needle shoved into her forehead in a lab. Joss admits on the commentary track that much of the camera work in the first few minutes, which includes several Smash Cuts and Hard Cuts, are designed to show River's fractured mental state, and by contrast when we first see the titular ship it's done in a Oner to establish a sense of safety.
- Yeah, Joss Whedon loves these. A particularly heart wrenching example is in the Buffy episode "Selfless" which goes from Anya singing an upbeat song (during the Musical Episode) about how much she loves Xander to her with a sword through her chest after Buffy impaled her, she gets better quickly but the audience doesn't for a while
- Several more appear in "The Body", cutting from imagined scenes of Joyce's recovery to her dead body.
- A more light-hearted version from the Musical Episode is cutting from the midst of Tara's highly-suggestive love song ("You make me--" (complete)) to Xander hinting Tara and Willow have slipped away for some nookie.
- The Lost episode "The Constant" uses Smash Cuts to show Desmond's jarring transitions between 1996 and 2004.
- A Stargate Universe episode had body-swapping communications devices "blink" as a result of the spaceship carrying them going in and out of FTL. This resulted in people who were temporarily borrowing other people's bodies thousands of light-years away, getting jerked back into their own for a few seconds with no warning at all.
Destiny drops out of FTL.
- Lampshaded in 30 Rock episode "Smash cut to".
- Happens at the end of the Doctor Who serial Revelation of the Daleks when the Doctor is telling Peri where he'll take her for some peace and tranquility. "I'll take you to-" (closing credits).
- In an episode of The George Lopez Show, Benny vows do something horrible to George for rigging a productivity contest. George thinks she's bluffing. Cut to George crying over his broken golf clubs.
"AY DIOS MIO!!!"
- In the Strong Bads Cool Game for Attractive People episode Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective, this happens when Strong Bad tries to edit around Coach Z's bad acting. It fails:
Dangeresque: I solved the kidnapping case, Renaldo! She was kidnapped by a monster with a broken heart.
- Happens fairly often in the Homestar Runner series, notably the Strong Bad Emails.
- Another Joss Whedon example in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog - a particularly bleak one and heartwrenching one at the very end that will have you desperately waiting for another scene. There isn't one.
- A scene from G Mod Idiot Box uses one of these, when Coach suffers from a volatile form of gonorrhea.
[Nick sitting at a computer.]
- Every episode of The Venture Brothers ends with a smash cut into the ending credits.
- In Futurama, we have the producer's favorite smash cut ever from the episode "Put Your Head on My Shoulders":
Bender: Wait. You mean people will pay good money for romance? Hmm. I think I have a scheme so deviously clever that I--
- Another example happens right at the end of "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back", when Zoidberg starts to sing his song and it smash cuts to the credits. We then hear Zoidberg sigh.
- Most of "Time Keeps On Slipping" is held together entirely by Smash Cuts, with the twist that the characters don't remember what happened in between.
- From Bender's Big Score
Nudar: Tough times earth chumps. We're repossessing your TV. Seems you can't afford it now that you're unemployed!
- In "Proposition Infinity", Amy and Bender have a torrid and illegal romance. They spearhead a campaign to make robot/human relationsihps legal, and actually win. Amy says now they can openly have a serious, monogomous relationship.
Bender: That's righ-- monogamous?
- Batman the Brave And The Bold: The new Justice League, still a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits at this point, is about to go take on Darkseid. Martian Manhunter encourages everyone with a Rousing Speech...and we cut to everyone chained up in Darkseid's dungeon. While he got to finish his sentence, it was sudden and unexpected. And hilarious.
- From Ponyville Confidential: Rarity, at Sugarcube Corner, is dismissing the idea that Sweetie Belle is Gabby Gums. "How could you say such a thing, Twilight?! [Sweetie Belle] is the most innocent, most lovely-" *cut to Rarity, back home, finding her diary in Sweetie Belle's saddlebag* "MOST EVIL PONY IN EQUESTRIA!
- Happens a lot to Helga and Arnold on Hey Arnold!.
Helga: "There is no way I am taking the subway!"