Oblivious To His Own Description YKTTW Discussion

Oblivious To His Own Description
Failing to recognize a definition that fits you precisely.
(permanent link) added: 2011-09-17 19:58:58 sponsor: arbo (last reply: 2011-11-04 17:39:39)

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Character comes across some kind of definition that the audience, or other characters, know to be right about him. The character is the only one who is unaware of that.

Usually Played for Laughs. May come in a variety of ways:

  • Someone tells something about an unspecified someone. The character asks, "Who would be that?" The reply is, "That would be you."
  • The character hears a word or expression for the first time and asks out loud what it means. Perhaps it is beyond the character's vocabulary, perhaps it comes from a Fictionary. Irony is, the character is a walking example of the word.
  • There is a picture, drawing or wanted sign of the character. He fails to see himself in it.

An embarrassed or hypocrite character might act like this, while keeping quiet about knowing the description is accurate.

Compare Failed a Spot Check.


  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Sokka fails to recognize when Suki is talking about him.
    Suki: I lost someone I care about. He didn't die. He just went away. I only had a few days to get to know him, but he was smart, and brave and funny.
    Sokka: Who is this guy? Is he taller than me?
    Suki: No. He's about your height.
    Sokka: Is he better looking?
    Suki: It is you, stupid!
  • Breaking Bad, episode "Cat's In The Bag..." Hot Mom Skyler inadvertently enters a "certain" website.
    MIL Fs? What the hell is a MILF?
  • In an episode of the American The Office, one of the workers is flashed by a pervert. Pam is asked to draw up a description of the man in order to make wanted posters. Pam ends up drawing Dwight with a moustache and asks him to put the posters up. Dwight does so, even mentioning happily that he wants the "pervert" to be caught.
  • Harry Potter: Vernon Dursley is outraged and reacts as he's being insulted when he's addressed as a "Muggle".
  • In Something*Positive, Davan tells Peejee he used to have a crush on a girl, but she didn't return the sentiment. They became really good friends and it ended up being for the best. Peejee insults the girl for not realizing Davan's great, he replies that, no, she's one of his favorite people. He walks away. Peejee catches on and blushes.
  • Doctor Who: The newly-regenerated Eleventh Doctor witnesses the Monster of the Week transform into a perfect likeness of himself, and remarks, "That's rubbish, who's that supposed to be?" Justified, as he didn't know what he looked like at that point.
  • Animal Mechanicals. Certain situations will elicit a conversation like this:
    Team: If only we had someone who could stretch that far... (everyone turns to Sasquatch, who is The Big Guy and resident Rubber Man)
    Sasquatch: Yeah... but who could that possibly be? (beat) I know! The Mighty Sasquatch can stretch that far!
  • Groo the Wanderer, on numerous occasions, specially with synonyms of "stupid".
    What did he mean, "slow of mind"?
  • Happens in Lovely Complex when Koizumi describes Otani as her perfect guy and he does not get it despite it being a perfect description of him.
  • "Notorious", a short story by Joćo Guimarćes Rosa (of The Devil to Pay in the Backlands fame). The narrator, a doctor, is surprised to get a visit from a feared outlaw. It happens a newly arrived guy from the government called him "notorious", and the furious outlaw travels miles... to ask the doctor, one of the few educated men in the backlands, what the word means. Fearing the worst, the narrator answers it means "important", and the outlaw leaves happy.

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