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If you want things to be not-weird between you and Marty and I, stop actin' weird about them! Be normal!

Coined by Eric Burns of Websnark, and large parts of this entry copied from his post.

Sometimes, relationships don't work out. It's a shame, but in romantic comedies, it's also a goldmine. What if one person moves on? Even better, what if they move on to one of their mutual friends?

The common trope in this situation is for the new couple to tiptoe around the old partner, trying to spare their feelings and avoid negative repercussions.

A Sorkin Relationship Moment is a moment where that person gets fed up and demands that the other people just stop it, already. This is just too much. It is uncomfortable. It is unpleasant, and it is unfair.

The Sorkin Relationship Moment doesn't have to be romantic. It is, however, an attempt to resolve a tense situation through direct confrontation -- shouting, in effect, stop it! from one person to the next.

Named after Aaron Sorkin, who has had quite a number of these, and coined after the situation appeared in the Web Comic Questionable Content.

Compare/contrast Ignore the Disability.

Examples of Sorkin Relationship Moment include:

Anime and Manga

  • You're Under Arrest has Natsumi yelling "What did you NOT want to tell me last night?" at Tokairin before they kiss in the airport.



Live Action Television

  • Sports Night: Dana and Casey twice, Natalie and Jeremy many times. A classic example would be when Natalie insists everyone treat her like normal after they discover an athlete grabbed her arm and exposed himself to her in a locker room.
  • The West Wing: Josh did this three times.
    • And a slightly unusual but very funny version of the trope, Leo and Sam with regards to Sam dating Leo's daughter Mallory in the first season.
  • Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip: Danny and Jordan, and Matt and Harriet have had it countless times.
  • Unsurprisingly, all three shows listed above were penned by Aaron Sorkin.
  • How I Met Your Mother uses this trope with regards to Ted, Barney and Robin.

Web Comics

  • Questionable Content: Several times, including the strip that lends the above quote, Faye frustratedly tells Dora or Marten that it's OK that they're dating and sleeping together now, even though Faye and Marten had been interested in each other (but not dating) previously, and that they don't have to hide it from her. In fact, it ends up being Dora who develops a neurosis about it.
  • A non-romantic version in Gunnerkrigg Court Kat calls out Antimony and Reynardine's awkwardness, and demands that they be friends again. While holding a pair of wire strippers.
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