A common trope in movies. What's it called?

Person A: The President was a brilliant man! A truly one-of-a-kind--

Person B: killer, who used his ruthless abandon to get ahead!

  • I’m not sure why you think it would be “called” anything.
    – tchrist
    Jul 15, 2014 at 3:11
  • 1
    This site is filled with questions like this: "What do you call X?"
    – szxk
    Jul 15, 2014 at 3:23
  • I think "interjection" would work.
    – seismatica
    Jul 15, 2014 at 3:36
  • Interjection doesn't necessarily involve finishing the other person's sentence, though.
    – szxk
    Jul 15, 2014 at 3:40
  • 1
    I honestly think that you've found a new phrase, "sentence-hi-jack". I've never heard of the trope in question being referred in one word. TVTropes does have a similar page, but is called, just as it says on the tin, "Finishing Each Other's Sentences" (like when Fred and George starts speaking)
    – Raestloz
    Jul 15, 2014 at 4:10

3 Answers 3


Even TVTropes does not have a specific name for this, but rather sorts it under Finishing Each Other's Sentences:

Closeness and familiarity aren't the only reason for [Finishing Each Other's Sentences]. Others include:

  • Last-Second Word Swap (especially when the audience was expecting it to rhyme):
    Alice: That sexy young farmer has an enormous—
    Bob: Potato gun!
  • Making a quick gag by having the finished sentence be nothing at all like what the first person was going to say.
    Alice: Maybe we should—
    Bob: Tie a banana on its nose and conga under its legs!
    Alice: I was going to say call the police.

As you see, the latter is pretty much what you're looking for but does not have a dedicated name, and the former Last-Second Word Swap subcategory sounds enticing, but if you follow the link you'll learn it's not quite the thing you are after. It also links to Curse Cut Short and Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion, only getting you further away still.

So you are stuck with using the generic Finishing Each Other's Sentences. When even the dedicated site for common tropes in movies does not have a dedicated term for your common trope in movies, you're left with either betting substantial amounts of money on your being out of luck, or with going on and creating the article "Dramatical Hijacking of a Sentence" to see if it sticks.


I'm not an English speaker, but using Portuguese logic I believe it could be called "abrupt rupture".

When you start to explain something and your ideas are broken, it makes a rupture in the dialog, starting another one.

  • We would not say abrupt rupture and your ideas are broken here. And futhermore, what does Portuguese have to do with this at all?
    – Lambie
    Nov 12, 2022 at 17:36

Topic changer/diverter/hijacker
Rechannels the conversation
Snatches the meaning right out of the sentence

  • Hi, how do you use the last phrase? I encourage you to add more information and see the help center, and welcome to EL&U.
    – livresque
    Nov 12, 2022 at 16:55

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