No sidebars meaning 'no distractions/no more talking'

I’ve just learned on Ozark that ‘no sidebars’ can mean ‘no disctractions/no additional talks/agreements’ depending on the context. That would never had occurred to me if I had just seen the phrase as a standalone. Very interesting…

Here is the snippet:

Ruth: Marty, can I talk to you for a sec?
Marty: Okay.
Clare: No, no, no, no sidebars.


It’s possible that some people actually say this, but I’ve never heard it. This is probably pure Hollywood. In other words the writers totally made it up. It seems like quite a bit of that show is like that. Hollywood types can’t be normal.

I understand what it means though. It’s a reference to sidebars in books. Sidebars might be considered side conversations. So they want to keep it to the point.


In court, a sidebar is a discussion that the jury can’t hear. It’s private.

Here Claire is saying she doesn’t want Ruth and Marty talking without her.

I’ve heard it used in large meetings for a discussion within a smaller group separate from the larger group.

In magazines and newspapers, it’s a side article usually explaining something in the main article.


Interestingly enough, neither DeepL nor Google Translate knows the expression ‘no sidebars please’.

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