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Dismissing A Compliment
A character doubt a compliment's sincerity.


(permanent link) added: 2012-09-09 19:22:03 sponsor: Goldfritha (last reply: 2013-02-28 20:36:27)

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Fuschia: Oh, I bet you say that to all the devil girls.

Jill hears a compliment -- of any type and quite possibly sincere -- from Jack and says that it was not sincere, such as doubting he meant it for her particularly, or calling him a charmer, or a rogue, a silver-tongued devil or other less than honest characterization, or it flattery, or telling him to stop it.

The compliment can be sincere; Jill can even know it. It's a ploy to avoid having to take the compliment at face value, and respond accordingly -- assuming it's not fishing for more compliments.

Ranges from a simple form of banter or flirtation, or even trying to avoid appearing stuck up, through indicating that the character is not to be won over by flattery or manipulation, to a belligerent repulse of sociability, to a crushing lack of confidence.

A socially awkward Jack will often make only semi-coherent protests of sincerity, which never ends well in that scene. Many characters will be frustrated. Some will regard it as a challenge. When it's banter, the other character may banter back.

A wise reaction to The Casanova.

Think Nothing of It overlaps when it combines with gratitude. Compliment Backfire is the Sub-Trope where the compliment person is actively angry over the compliment.

Truth in Television

Examples

Fanfic

Film
  • In Tangled,
    • when Rapunzel says she likes Eugene Fitzhubert better than Flynn Rider, Flynn says that if so, she's the first person to do so.
    • when Shorty praises Mother Gothel as a Statuesque Stunner, she laughs and says, "Go on, you big lunk."
  • In Treasure Planet, Captain Amelia tells Silver he can save the flattery for his spaceport floozies.

Live-Action TV
  • "Guardian Angels" in House M.D.
    I bet you say that to all the guys.
  • "Miss Red" in The Mentalist
    Ah, I bet you say that to all your arresting officers.
  • "Hell-Bound" in Angel
    Bet you say that to all the spirits.
  • "Angels on the Street" in Charlie's Angels
    I bet you say that to all the girls.
  • Hey Arnold!, "Married."
    Arnold: You are the most beautiful girl in the world. Your eyes are like shining diamonds.
    Helga: Aww, go on.
    Arnold: All right, I'll stop.
    Helga: No, I mean go on, go on.
    Arnold: Your eyes are like two diamonds, shining brightly amidst a sky of pale blue heaven...
    Helga: Ohhh! Go on, my love. Go on, go on...

Music
  • Meatloaf's "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth" begins with a romantic conversation that essentially says, "I give my heart and soul to you." At the end, when he asks her if she's his (albeit more poetically) and she answers, "Yes", he says, "I bet you say that to all the boys." Then the song starts.
  • Bruno Mars, "Just The Way You Are"
Oh, her eyes, her eyes, make the stars look like they're not shining
Her hair, her hair, falls perfectly without her trying
She's so beautiful, and I tell her every day
Yeah, I know, I know, when I compliment her she won't believe me
And it's so, it's so, sad to think that she don't see what I see

Web Comics

Real Life
  • Body Dimorphism Disorder means that the person with it automatically believers that the compliment is false because they know that what is being complimented is ugly and the person giving the compliment cannot possibly mean it.

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