That Could Be Anyone
A detailed or obvious connection is dismissed as vague


(permanent link) added: 2012-03-16 05:50:55 sponsor: VolatileChemical (last reply: 2012-03-21 14:58:01)

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A character dismisses an extremely explicit, detailed, obvious and/or incontrovertible connection as too vague. This might be a Hail Mary attempt at denial, avoiding a conclusion with some cognitive dissonance, or sometimes earnestly just failing to connect the dots. The first variety is frequently used as a knee-jerk response to open-and-shut accusations. Example: The police say the bank robber was a one-legged man with a pirate hat, a parrot on his shoulder and a name tag saying "L.J.S.", to which Long John Silver replies, "Oh, well, that could be anyone!"


Examples:

Film
  • In Youth in Revolt, after causing a large fire, Nick Twisp uses this defense when his mom's cop-boyfriend reads out a description of the arsonist that perfectly fits him ("white teenage male, approximately 5í9, 135 lbs, dirty blond hair, last seen pulling a trailer with the words 'Godís Perfect Asshole' painted on the side").

Western Animation
  • Mayor Quimby from The Simpsons is a fan of this defense:
    • Marge vs. the Mororail
    Chief Wiggum: Hey, I got pictures of you, Quimby.
    Mayor Quimby: You don't scare me, that could be anyone's ass.
    • Bart After Dark
    Mayor Quimby: [upon display of a photo clearly showing him walking out of the Maison Derriere, "Mayor" sash and all] Uh, well, that could be any mayor.
  • In Family Guy with Lois denying increasingly specific evidence that her brother Patrick is the fat guy strangler:
    Peter: What about that dead fat guy under the bed?
    Lois: Coincidence?
    Brian: What about that other half-dead fat guy?
    Half-Dead Fat Guy: Patrick did it.
    Lois: It could be any Patrick.
  • Futurama, when Bender denies that his thoughts are being received by nearby electronics.
    Woman: They're on my cell phone too!
    Bender: Madame, I believe you're mistaken...
    [Bender's voice from cell phone: "Wow, that lady's got a huge ass!"]
    Bender: Those could be anyone's thoughts, fat-ass.
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