Same bat-time, different bat-place. Or Different bat-time, same bat-place.
January 17, 2011 12:57 AM   Subscribe

Movies, shows, or even commercials where a plot twist revolves around two characters (or sets of characters) appearing to be in the same physical location throughout, only to reveal that they were each in different places the whole time, or were in the same place but at different times?

This is a tricky question to ask since it requires complete spoilers, so I suppose if you can think of something, maybe post the title as an IMDB/Wikipedia/YouTube link, or even in rot13. And if there was anything on the Twilight Zone that came remotely close, that'd be excellent. Thanks.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing to Media & Arts (37 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
The ending of Fvyrag Uvyy pretty much does this.
posted by knave at 1:05 AM on January 17, 2011

posted by empath at 1:20 AM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Others
posted by neushoorn at 1:25 AM on January 17, 2011

Silence of the Lambs.
posted by sharkfu at 1:30 AM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's definitely a little bit of a stretch but gur fxryrgba xrl
posted by phaedon at 1:38 AM on January 17, 2011

The first minute and 15 seconds of the first episode of thisfunnyseries.
posted by jsturgill at 1:51 AM on January 17, 2011

They're both a bit of a stretch, but if individual episodes count I can think of at least two episodes of Lost that might apply:

One, Two(mentioned close to the end of the synopsis)
posted by sprezzy at 2:00 AM on January 17, 2011

The big raid scene in *The Silence of the Lambs* does this.
posted by rokusan at 2:02 AM on January 17, 2011

One interpretation for this film --- following the plot of this novel --- can be taken to fall under your description.
posted by Dr Dracator at 2:11 AM on January 17, 2011

Perhaps Somewhere in Time?
posted by at the crossroads at 2:23 AM on January 17, 2011

posted by mohrr at 3:01 AM on January 17, 2011

Not exactly to your specifications, but there's an excellent moment in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind where the protagonist appears to be sitting in a booth opposite a girl. They exchange glances, smiles, and then the camera shot moves out and they're sitting 5 booths away from one another in an empty diner.
posted by distorte at 3:40 AM on January 17, 2011

There was an episode of How I Met Your Mother that did this. Three Days of Snow was the title.
posted by Nothing at 4:41 AM on January 17, 2011

There was an episode of Mad About You where they each flashback to trips to the Natural History Museum.
posted by double bubble at 5:11 AM on January 17, 2011

That's pretty much the case in this film about dead people.
posted by about_time at 5:50 AM on January 17, 2011

The first episode of Spaced starts with this trick
posted by minifigs at 6:00 AM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

a scene in "Fellowship of the Ring" (at the Prancing Pony) did this.
posted by alchemist at 6:22 AM on January 17, 2011

Towards the end of Silence of the Lambs, there's a sequence that works like this, cutting back and forth between Buffalo Bill in his basement and a SWAT team breaking down what we (and they) presume to be his door.
posted by longtime_lurker at 6:55 AM on January 17, 2011

They do this pretty constantly in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, although it becomes less of a plot twist and more of an editing maneuver to show off how spaced-out Scott is.
posted by griphus at 7:10 AM on January 17, 2011

At least a couple of the Saw movies did this sort of playing with time. In one of them, it was a key part of the trap; in another, it was just there to mess with the audience.
posted by Etrigan at 7:19 AM on January 17, 2011

There's grfn blrgr and flx ngra.
posted by fairmettle at 7:24 AM on January 17, 2011

This describes gur cerfgvtr very nicely.
posted by adamrice at 7:38 AM on January 17, 2011

Didn't Scott Glen tell Agent Starling exactly where he was going to capture Buffalo Bill? Clarice thought she was tying up a loose end. The tension created by the split locations was around whether Glen or Starling was correct, but I don't remember thinking that they might have been in the same location.

I seem to hold the minority opinion, apparently.
posted by stuart_s at 8:49 AM on January 17, 2011

The climax of the first episode of Fureybpx. There are two identical buildings and the show is edited to make you think that the protagonists are in the same one.
posted by painquale at 9:28 AM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Dark Knight. The Joker tells Batman where Rachel Dawes and Harvey Dent are being held hostage in separate locations, and we presume that Batman has arrived in time to save Rachel. But the Joker has lied, and when Batman bursts into the room, both he and Harvey are surprised and disappointed to see each other.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:54 AM on January 17, 2011

stuart_s: Starling is hunting down Mrs. Lipman, the old seamstress that Frederica Bimmel used to work for.

Scott Glen is at a raid of a house outside Chicago. As the fake flower delivery man rings the bell of that house, the edits cut back and forth between that house and the basement of Buffalo Bill. His door bell/alarms are going off every time the flower delivery guy rings the bell at the house in Chicago.

It's not until Buffalo Bill opens the door and meets Starling that the audience realizes what's going on, and that Buffalo Bill is NOT in the house in Chicago that's being raided. She doesn't realize she's found Buffalo Bill until she sees a death's head moth in his house and puts together that his initials are J.G.

Ted Levine is awesome in that movie :)
posted by wwartorff at 10:15 AM on January 17, 2011

What about Sliding Doors?
posted by wwartorff at 10:18 AM on January 17, 2011

Oreo commercial.
posted by Temeraria at 10:26 AM on January 17, 2011

I think there are two scenes in The Fugitive where we're meant to think the police are about to catch Richard Kimble - in the first they're actually catching the other prisoner who escaped with him, and in the second they're actually nabbing his landlady's son.

In the first episode of Sherlock, Dr Watson is running all over the building where the killer has taken Sherlock, but then he sees through a window (and we discover along with him) that he's actually in the building next door.
posted by srah at 10:47 AM on January 17, 2011

It's been a while since I saw it, but I think this premise was at the core of Bprna'f 11
posted by adamrice at 11:10 AM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Not a film thing, but this book series has this come up at the end of book 2, and book 3 is spent trying to figure out how to resolve the problem.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:49 PM on January 17, 2011

This film, with an uber-creepy performance by acting teacher/legend Uta Hagen, and the Tom Tryon novel on which it is based, seem to qualify (and don't confuse them with the pluralist version linked above by neushoorn!)

"Holland - where is the baby?!"
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 1:41 PM on January 17, 2011

There's the Lost episode "Ji Yeon," which does this.

Also, "Three Days of Snow" is one of the greatest of all HIMYM episodes.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:37 PM on January 17, 2011

One more! This pretty much happens as the final twist in this recent film.
posted by sprezzy at 6:24 PM on January 17, 2011

The start of this McRib commercial fits. (I didn't think a fast food ad was worth rot13ing, hope nobody minds).
posted by vytae at 7:11 PM on January 17, 2011

Tobey Maguire's character intro in Pleasantville opens with him speaking to a female classmate about going out. The camera pulls back to show that he has been talking to himself, while the girl is many yards away talking to another boy.
posted by JDC8 at 5:03 PM on January 18, 2011

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