While NPCs getting bodied in the middle of a chat with your Starfield character is plenty funny, I've a far less slapstick thing to be afraid of now. While this hasn't happened to me yet, now I know it's only a matter of time. After all, once is chance, twice is a coincidence, three times is a pattern.
The first incident comes from Starfield Reddit user welshscott5, who had an unwelcome visitor lean into view mid-sentence, then drift back into the ether with a look of raw disappointment. Starfield's NPC expressions can sometimes be uncanny, which makes the surprisingly true-to-life disdain on display here all the more hilarious. Maybe they stole his space sweetroll or something.
Then there's this moment from ArduousAttempt, where Cora turns from likeable space-tyke to hallway girl from The Shining, staring death into the back of Sam's skull at the worst possible time. The lighting in this one's really doing most of the work, she looks like a spectre risen from the grave to punish him for his misdeeds.
The hattrick in this trend of accidental jumpscares comes from user Zealousideal-Tie4755, whose NPC bonding turned into a complete horror show. I'm undecided as to whether this stare is meant to be warning the player away from self-confessed mushroom liker Muria Starkiewicz, or threatening them like a jealous lover.
What was at first an isolated incident is now, for sure, something that can just manifest mid-conversation. The comments in these threads are rife with people sharing their own experiences of NPCs butting in, which is both a delightful quirk of Starfield's real-time conversations and a quiet threat. I will be experiencing this eventually. It's inevitable, like the heat death of the universe or a meteor strike on Earth, and I'm unfortunately a big wimp who spooks easily.