Twisted Echo Cut

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

When a subject is being discussed by one group and the 'camera' cuts to another where the dialogue seemingly continues, is in answer to, or is vaguely linked to the first scene...but isn't really linked except on a stylistic level.

For example:

Bob: I'm sorry Samantha, I don't think I can see you anymore. We just aren't right for each other.
Cut to a different group of characters
Leslie: You can't see me?
Jessie: Yeah! You've turned completely invisible!

The context and subject have been changed, but an element of the last conversation has been carried over, creating the impression of a clever link when none actually exists. Often takes the form of a question.

See also: Switching POV. Contrast Answer Cut, Ironic Echo Cut and Two Scenes, One Dialogue, where the dialogue is intrinsically linked. Compare Match Cut, when it's done with an object, and Movie Match Up, which is what you get when you combine this and a Show Within a Show.

Examples of Twisted Echo Cut include:

Anime and Manga

  • In the second to last chapter of Fruits Basket, Tohru and Kyo affirm their love in front of her mother's grave and walk off hand-in-hand, followed by a "NO!" from the direction of the grave, and two pages of disembodied dialogue lamenting Tohru's fate... which is revealed to be a flashback to Kyoko's dying thoughts as she panicked that her daughter would be left alone, and reveals she actually wanted Kyo to watch over her.
  • In the Loguetown Arc of One Piece, Dracule Mihawk arrives at the island headquarters of his rival Shanks, and then shows Shanks a newly-printed Wanted Poster, showing that Luffy (Shanks' protege) now has a 30 million bounty. Shanks glares at him and ominously says, "You realize now I can't allow you to leave..." Cut to them and Shanks' crew holding a big party to celebrate Luffy's "official" entry into the world of piracy.[1]

Comic Books

  • Watchmen uses this repeatedly, especially at scene changes from the comic-within-a-comic Tales of the Black Freighter to the main plot—for example, from the newsstand owner talking about how newsvendors are tough survivors, to a shipwreck survivor standing on a beach crying. Or from Nite Owl saying "It'll be like coming home," to the shipwrecked man finally arriving on the mainland. "I could be no more than twenty miles from Davidstown. I was home."


  • Austin Powers does this multiple times in its famous 'Johnson' joke montage.
  • At the very beginning of Cars 2, Finn McMissile's interrupted dialogue while escaping the Lemons' oil rig is suddenly finished by Mater in Radiator Springs.


  • Aquilla was very fond of this.
  • Terry Pratchett's Mort has a cut from Keli telling Cutwell, "I think there's something I ought to tell you" to Death saying There is? because Mort has just said the same to him — then lampshades it with a passage about the technique.
  • Common in the novel Catch-22. Often, it's done so subtly that you don't even realize you've changed scenes until a few sentences in.

Live-Action TV

  • Scrubs uses this sometimes. A character will be walking through the hospital and pondering their predicament, and their thoughts fluidly pass into another character's thoughts by sharing the same dialogue. This happens a few times in a row and the characters' problems are pretty much entirely unrelated. Here's one bit of one of the better examples:

Carla's Narration: ...In a lot of ways, I guess I'm as stubborn as he is. I wish I could make some sense out of...
Janitor's Narration: ...this. Thirty cents to be exact. Damn riddle! Easy, Janitor. You'll get this.

  • Frequently used on Archer.
  • One Tree Hill: Many episodes use this with a single word, as well as with questions.
  • The game "Film, TV and Theater Styles" on Whose Line Is It Anyway? frequently results in this when the genre shift imposed by a new style is significant enough.


  • The Miss Susie song could be considered this. Each verse has a Last-Second Word Swap which leads into the next, unrelated verse. Such as:

Miss Susie had a steamboat
The steamboat had a bell
Miss Susie went to Heaven
The steamboat went to
Hello operator
Please give me number nine...


  • There's an Improv Theater Game called "Freeze" that has this as its base. It uses two pairs of people: one pair starts a scene and at some point "freeze" or another stop word is called, the other pair go up and start their own completely unrelated scene using the last line from the first scene as their first line. Then back again, with both scenes continuing.

Web Comics

  • Girl Genius has this scene. And yes, if she were there, that was what she'd say, most likely.

Web Original

  • Dragonball Z Abridged occasionally does this to tie an episode together. Sometimes, they'll cut between two plots repeatedly like this.
  1. Note that this was long before the fans knew exactly what Shanks was capable of, but it hinted as such.