“Squirrel!” A reference to the dog, Dug, in the movie Up who is easily distracted by the presence of squirrels.
The reference was specifically named on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, first in its August 16, 2011 broadcast (repeated subsequently) when Stewart compared the media's apparent susceptibility to being distracted by the new and different, such as a new entrant's entry into the Republican race for the presidential nomination. The trope plays on our knowledge of the tendency of any predator to be distracted by sudden movement by perceived prey and in particular our familiarity with dogs and their relationships with squirrels.
You can see a clip with the scenes from the film Up, here.
And the clip from the Daily Show, here.
1. Docter, Pete , and Bob Peterson. P. Docter and B. Peterson, writers. 2009. Up. Burbank, Calif.: Walt Disney Pictures, W. D. S. M. Pictures.96 min.
2. The Daily Show Episode #16.108 2011. In The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. NEP Broadcasting
Comedy Central. Aug 16.