There is a saying "The grand piano in the bushes" ("рояль в кустах"). What does it mean precisely, how to correctly use it in speech, and what is its origin?

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There is a pretty good article on Russian Wikipedia Рояль в кустах. I will translate a part of it as close as I can:

This was a part of a sketch "Simply by accident" by Arkadii Arkanov and Grigory Gorin in 1963, where the usual Soviet television documentary cliches were exploited. The journalist "accidentaly" meets the old man in the street that happens to be a "передовик производства". During the interview "accidentaly" all the required people and objects appear.

When the journalist finds out that the old man can play the violin, the instrument happens to be available. And finally they find a grand piano in the bushes in the street that the old man can play for the TV audience. The phrase "accidenataly" is used by the journalist all the time.

After this sketch the "рояль в кустах" become a famous meme.

And here is a part of this scenario:

Серегин: Да, я случайно взял с собой в сквер скрипку. Я исполню вам на ней «Полонез» Огинского! (Достает скрипку, играет.)

Ведущий: Превосходно! Браво! Вы, оказывается, талант!

Серегин: Да!.. А еще я играю на пианино. Здесь как раз в кустах случайно стоит рояль, я могу сыграть… Я исполню вам «Полонез» Огинского.

Ведущий: Благодарим вас, Степан Васильевич, к сожалению, мы ограничены временем… Скажите пожалуйста, а как отдыхает ваша семья?

Серегин: Моя жена всё больше отдыхает по хозяйству. А сын работает на Дальнем Востоке… А! Вот и он приехал. (Поднимается навстречу сыну.)

Ведущий: Какая приятная неожиданность…

Here is an article on Gramota.ru and on Russian Lurkmore.

The typical "grand piano" has the following attributes:

  • It's an object, ability or knowledge that allowes the heroes to cope with the situation.
  • It appears exactly when needed.
  • Before that moment there are no hints that it exists.
  • It is used just to support a one specific moment of the plot and is not used or influence the situation aftewards.

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