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

Alice and Bob are in trouble. Bob begins doing some apparently mundane and/or whimsical task not appropriate for this situation, and Alice scolds him: "No time for [activity] now!" Bob then reveals that he was, in fact, solving the problem.

Often coincides with The Cloud Cuckoolander Was Right.

Examples of This Is No Time for Knitting include:

Comic Books

  • In The Outsiders, devils are boiling out of a gate, Thunder swears, and her father, Black Lightning, rebukes her. She wonders that he worries about her language then, and he says that fighting demons is exactly when you don't want to offend Heaven.
  • In the Tintin book Prisoners of the Sun, Tintin and his companions are captured by the Incas and were thrown into prison. Haddock was looking for a way to escape while Tintin was just sitting down reading a newspaper. Haddock called him out but it turns out he was reading about a coming eclipse that he used to fool the Incas letting Tintin and co. go.
  • In a The Smurfs comic book story, Papa Smurf, facing a Weather Control Machine gone amok, hastily makes a kite. The onlooking Smurfs comment that the old man is probably trying to cheer himself up in the dire situation, and proceed to hesitantly engage in some games themselves. Papa Smurf, meanwhile, uses the kite to bring down lightning and destroy the machine.


  • Murder Most Foul (1964), starring Margaret Rutherford as Jane Marple, begins this way. The opening credits play over the accused's trial. As the judge is instructing the jury, Jane, sitting in the jury box, is knitting her head off, making rather more clicky noises than necessary (or, in fact, possible). She has already decided that the man was innocent and is planning how she's going to go about proving it.
  • In the second Scooby Doo movie, after springing a trap and getting stuck in it, when Velma sees the fingerprint scanner needed to get out (it was withing their reach), Daphne started to get into her makeup kit. As it turns out some of the stuff there were essential in activating the lock so they could get out.


  • Appears literally in an Andersen's fairytale. Seven brothers have been turned into swans; they inform their sister that they can only be restored to human form if she knits them shirts with thread made from nettles, and doesn't speak a word to anyone till she's done. Her odd behavior results in her nearly being burned at the stake, since people thought she was a witch; she continues knitting till just before they light the flames, then tosses the shirts over the swans' heads, and her brothers save her.
    • Except the shirt of the youngest brother wasn't quite finished - she still needed to finish the sleeve, but had no time left to do so. For the rest of his life, he had a wing where that arm should've been.
    • Some versions say that the shirt didn't have sleeves at all, so people thought he was an angel when he turned back.
  • In one of the sequels to The Belgariad, Polgara is sewing. Garion asks, frustrated, how she can sit and sew so calmly when they're searching for the people who tried to kill Ce'Nedra. She replies that she's not calm - that's why she's sewing.
  • In Trickster's Queen, Aly, after fighting her way back to Balitang House, is talking to Dove when Dove asks her, "What kind of Queen sits around eating mango when her people are dying?" Aly replies, "A very wise one."

Live Action TV

  • In the pilot episode of Chuck, the main characters are trying to defuse a bomb that is attached to a computer. When nothing else works, Chuck remembers a computer virus he was talking about earlier that episode that is spread by porn sites. So he logs onto the computer and accesses the porn site, eliciting this type of cry.
  • Doctor Who, "Tooth and Claw": The Doctor asks Rose to help him with a giant telescope as they're being chased by a werewolf. Rose comments that it's hardly the time for stargazing. The Doctor replies, "Yes it is!" and uses the telescope to defeat the werewolf.
    • In the episode "Robot" (the first Tom Baker episode), the Brigadier, Harry Sullivan and the Doctor are investigating the scene of a robbery, only to have the Doctor play a seemingly inordinate amount of attention to a squashed flower on the lawn. However, the Doctor explains that he is investigating an important clue, considering that flower was near pulverized by being stepped on by something that apparently weighed a quarter ton, a piece of information that the officers definitely find interesting.
  • The Office, "Traveling Salesmen": Jim and Dwight are on a sales call together. While Jim is talking to a prospective client, Dwight asks if he can use the phone and subsequently starts yelling numbers loudly into the phone. At first, this seems like Dwight's usual bizarre behavior, perhaps even more bizarre than usual. However, when it comes time for Jim to demonstrate Dunder Mifflin's phone customer service, we find out that Dwight has been demonstrating a rival company's phone customer service the whole time. Jim then proceeds to call Dunder Mifflin's customer service line, and has Kelly on the line within a couple seconds, thus successfully demonstrating the difference between a large impersonal company and a smaller company.
  • Pushing Daisies: Emerson Cod's habit of knitting to soothe his nerves proves instrumental as sharp — or at least pointy — needles make a handy tool to get himself, Ned and Chuck out of body bags in "Dummy".
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode, "Court Martial," Dr. McCoy is aghast to find Mr. Spock playing chess against the computer while Capt. Kirk is losing a court martial for criminal negligence. However, Spock reveals that he has been using the chess games to confirm that the ship's computer's memory banks have been tampered with to frame Kirk.
  • In an episode of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, the eponymous character has trouble concentrating on a project he has to complete in 3 days, and has a bet going on with Moze on whether or not he'll actually finish it. She catches him goofing off time and time again with such activites as constructing popsicle-stick ninjas, practicing origami and selling sushi from a stall. It turns out the subject he chose for the project was on Japanese culture, and (surprise, surprise), he wins the bet.

Video Games


 Penelope Chase: Why is your Ghoul friend picking their pockets? This is no time for sticky fingers, Daring!

Herbert 'Daring' Dashwood: It's not what he's taking out, my dear, but rather what he's putting in! DUCK AND COVER!


  • Dark Forces had a mission on Jabba the Hutt's star cruiser wherein Jan, the protagonist's copilot and future love interest, is captured and imprisoned and it's your task to find her, among other things. When you do finally battle your way past a hundred guards and make it to her cell, she starts telling you how relieved she is that you've come to her rescue, whereupon the protagonist tells her, "No time for hugs! Let's get outta here".
    • This quote is also quite famous for being the teleport cheat.

Western Animation

  • In the Dragon Hunters movie, Gwizdo berates Lian-Chu for knitting, and later Zoe (thinking the needles she found were Gwizdo's) points out that it's not very knight-like to knit, yet in the end, Lian-Chu uses his knitting needles to blind the world-eating monster they were after.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Three Amigos are fighting pirates on a ship about to go over the Inevitable Waterfall. Aang suddenly stops fighting and blows the "broken" whistle he bought earlier in the episode. Sokka screams, "Have you lost your mind? This is no time for flute practice!" before learning (along with the viewers) that it's a bison whistle Aang can now use to summon Appa to save them.
  • In an episode of Johnny Test, Johnny — confronted by some giant moon-men — hastily made paper planes and threw them to poke the giants in the eyes, but not before Johnny's talking dog scolded him for making paper planes.
  • An Alvin and the Chipmunks Halloween Special has Simon listing off things they need to save Alvin, Buffy-Speak style. Theodore goes to the snack tabe to get the items Simon was asking for.
  • In Atomic Betty episode "Galactic Guardians No More", Betty announces that it is time to start baking while they're under fire from numerous enemy ships in their own ship — which had been previously decommissioned as a military vessel and turned into a traveling pie shop. Of course, Sparky and X-5 question her timing. This is part of her plan to save the day, of course — she uses the dough as improvised ammunition for the ship's torpedo launcher, then lures the enemies close to the sun to bake the dough into a debilitating mass.
  • In The Simpsons Movie: The Simpsons have to flee an angry mob and they make it to Bart's treehouse. Then they don't know how to get out of there, but Maggie keeps pointing to the sandbox.

 Marge: Maggie, not now! *Maggie keeps pointing* We'll play later. *Face Palm*

Then Maggie jumps into the sandbox and appears on the other side of the dome where the mob can't see her.

Marge: The sinkhole! *they all jump after her into safety*

  • Phineas and Ferb: In the DVD character commentary of "The Chronicles of Meap", Doofenshmirtz is shocked that Candace would play baseball in a life-or-death situation. Monogram, quite rightly, predicts that she's saving the day.
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, "Swarm of the Century": Pinkie Pie spends most of the episode gathering musical instruments while Twilight and the rest of her friends are trying to get rid of the parasprites. Just after Twilight's last desperate attempt to get the parasprites to stop eating all the food backfires spectacularly and she gives up in despair, Pinkie saves the day by leading the parasprites away from town with a one-pony band.
  • In an episode of The Wild Thornberrys, Marianne gets irritated with Nigel when they are supposed to filming a documentary on the bird-eating spider and he keeps being distracted by a series of seemingly unrelated activities. He eventually explains that everything he was doing was to actually help him locate the spider so they could start filming.
    • In "Flood Warning", Nile spent most of the episode working on his "cabalito" project despite Marianne informing him about the dangers their children are in due to an upcoming flood. However, Nile came in just in time to save his children from drowning by getting them on board his cabalito, which it turns out to be a boat.



 Gino: Liam, now is not the time for...