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On some shows with a Drop in Character or a Wacky Guy, the drop-in's appearance is sometimes immediately presaged by an ironic or insulting comment born from another context entirely but which could be applied to them. In Horror works, the character may appear in answer to an ominous remark or question. Compare Speak of the Devil. Sometimes results in an Answer Cut.
- The commercials for the Egyptian cheese brand Panda Cheese work this way. Whenever someone mentions that they do not need Panda Cheese, the product's panda mascot will appear out of thin air to Troll their day hard. Well, if that ain't agressive advertising, then what is?
- In Bride of Frankenstein Elizabeth describes a vision of an evil apparition which will entangle Henry, and says she sees it drawing nearer -- nearer -- and is immediately answered by the evil Dr. Praetorius knocking at the door.
- In Draculas Daughter, just when Dr. Jeffrey Garth asks the question, "What could have made those two small puncture marks over the jugular vein?", a maid announces: "Countess Zalenska!"
- Played with in a scene from Batman Returns. Batman crashes through a window into the top floor of a dark, abandoned building to rescue the Ice Princess, who's been tied to a chair and muzzled with a cloth by the Penguin's goons. He quickly frees her, informing her that he's been framed for her kidnapping. The Ice Princess's response? "No problem. I'll just tell the police that I was kidnapped by an ugly bird-man with fish breath." Immediately afterward, someone announces: "Did somebody say 'fish'?" and a familiar figure drops from the rafters. Is it the Penguin? No, it's another notorious criminal who dresses in the manner of another animal well known for eating fish...
- Laverne and Shirley is a famous example; Lenny and Squiggy would never enter the girls' apartment without such a "cue" being uttered first.
- Golden Girls often employed this gag when Stan visited. For instance, in "Mother Load," Rose goes to answer the door, expecting a visit from a co-worker for whom she must conduct a roast. She tells the others, "Be on the lookout for any quirks or oddities." She opens the door; it's Stan. In another episode, Dorothy discusses balancing her checkbook, saying, "I can't think of anything I hate more." When she opens to door to find Stan, she says, "I spoke too soon."
- The "Spanish Inquisition" sketch in Monty Python's Flying Circus is another example of this. Whenever someone utters the phrase "I wasn't expecting some sort of Spanish Inquisition," they barge in and the leader yells, "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!"
- Subverted at one point: the phrase is uttered, and all characters present turn their attention to the door, but no one enters. Made doubly funny by the fact that the Inquisition in question was shown rushing through London to get there and say their line before the episode ends while the credits roll on-screen. They make it just in time to get their catch phrase cut off by the end card: "Nobody expects the Spa- oh, bugger!"
- Done a couple of times with Frasier's agent, Bebe:
Daphne: Well, I've done enough clothes shopping for your father. I'm pretty good at pretending to like things, no matter how horrifying I find them. (opens door) Bebe, how nice to see you.
- The aforementioned use in Laverne and Shirley is parodied. Dr. Kelso tries to scare people into getting a full body scan to make money. When Dr. Cox asks who would be stupid enough to get the scan, Harvey Corman, a recurring character who is a massive hypochondriac pops up behind him and says "Hello, Laverne."
- In another episode, Turk says to Carla that he wants their next child to be a boy, because as things are, he's surrounded by girls. "There's you, Izzy, Elliot..." Carla asks "Who else?", and then J.D. enters the room. Carla finds this highly amusing.
- In The Muppet Show, there was a character named Crazy Harry who would drop in and blow stuff up whenever someone mentioned dynamite or other explosive-related w- "Did someone say 'dynamite'?!" *KABOOM!*
- The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis used a gag similar to Laverne and Shirley: whenever another character (typically an adult one) would mention something filthy or disgusting, Maynard G. Krebs would instantly pop up with a trademark "You rang?"
- In Will and Grace, the arrival of Beverley Leslie was often preceded by such a comment. A specific example is when Jack and Karen were deciding on dessert, and Jack said that he wanted something "small with lady fingers."
- Used in a Parks and Recreation episode in which Ann was inviting people over for her Halloween party:
Ann: The people in this room now are the people I invited, plus Leslie and Donna, so don't tell anybody.
April: Who's not invited then?
Tom: [entering the room] Hey, what's going on, cupcake?! Excited about the party tonight?
Ann: Oh. Oh, you're coming. I was just about to tell you.
Tom: Jerry already told me. Can't wait to see how tiny your costume is.
- In the Community episode "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design", Britta declines Troy and Abed's invitation to their blanket fort, then sarcastically asks, "Who wants to hang out in a blanket fort with grown men in tiny Underoos?" Right on cue, Dean Pelton appears.
- From the episode "Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps":
Jeff: Aw, man! End of days? Could anything suck harder than this?
Dean Pelton: Helloooooo!
- A non-Dean example: from "Celebrity Pharmacology 212":
Shirley: That's a suicide mission!
Chang: Did someone say crazy PERSOOOOOON?!
Chang: Well, I heard it.
- On Family Matters, it was never a good idea to loudly state: "It sure is quiet and peaceful around here!" Doing so would inevitably herald a high-pitched, nasal "HI-DEE-HO, WINSLOWS!" from Steve Urkel.
- Used as a Rule of Three Running Gag in one episode of Boy Meets World. Alan and Amy are up in the middle of the night and Alan says that they should go to bed because "only creeps and weirdos are up now". Eric then walks in the door. Eric then says the exact same thing and Shawn walks in the door. Then Shawn says it and Mr. Feeny walks in the door.
- Happens frequently with Ted Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show:
- Mocked in a Saturday Night Live skit featuring Conan O'Brien as "Moleculo", a superhero who is unable to keep his identity a secret because, whenever he hears his name mentioned, even if out of costume, he loudly bellows: "THE MO-LEC-U-LAR MANNNN!" He finally gives up and moves to Mexico - only to constantly repeat his mistake. In Spanish.
- The BBC series Trevor's World of Sport used this in every episode, to presage the entry of Ralph Renton, one of their most irritating clients. Generally, a character would be talking about something unrelated, which would end in a string of unflattering adjectives, followed (without missing a beat) by the words "Hello, Ralph."
- A Very Potter Musical gives us this little exchange:
Strong Sad: (in Strong Bad's memory) You'd have to be some type of idiot to take on Trogdor alone.
Homestar Runner: (walking up) Hey, Strong Bad! Whatcha doin'?
- Skin Horse has the variant "Something *silly* this way comes."
- It may be worth noting that the character speaking the line does not have thumbs.
- While attending a holiday party in Ink City, Twilight Sparkle jokingly thinks to herself her friend Pinkie Pie might've helped set it up. Needless to say, she's floored when Pinkie bounds through the door.
Fry: What kind of bozos would start a Bender protest group?
(Professor Farnsworth and Hermes enter the room)
Farnsworth: Good news everyone, Hermes and I have started a Bender protest group.
Zoidberg: That was uncanny.
- A 1995 episode of The Simpsons shows Bart watching TV and hearing that The Flintstones Meet the Jetsons is about to come on. "Oh, brother," Bart groans. "I smell another cheap cartoon crossover." Right on cue, Homer and Jay Sherman (from The Critic) walk through the front door.
- In Garfield and Friends, any time Garfield asks about stupid acts either Odie or Jon would perform such an act.