Created By: MrInitialMan on July 20, 2012 Last Edited By: MrInitialMan on July 11, 2014

Deliberately Missing The Point

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Pretty much Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The person missing the point may be doing so for a number of reasons:

  • They are trying to avoid admitting something
  • They think the point is invalid
  • They think the person making the point is missing the real point.
  • They are trying to annoy the other person and/or making a joke.

No Real Life Examples, Please!


Newspaper Comics
  • In For Better or for Worse, Elly is complaining that Elizabeth is going to friends, not family, to confide. Her friend points out Elly is doing the exact same thing, and Elly responds "that's different", though she clearly knows that her friend has a point.

  • In Horrible Bosses, Nick deliberately pretends not to get Kurt's Lampshaded Double Entendre during one of their break-ins, presumably out of annoyance.
  • In This Is Spinal Tap, the famous up to eleven discussion.
  • In There's Something About Mary, the 7-minute-abs talk:
    Hitchhiker: You heard of this thing, the 8-Minute Abs?
    Ted: Yeah, sure, 8-Minute Abs. Yeah, the excercise video.
    Hitchhiker: Yeah, this is going to blow that right out of the water. Listen to this: 7... Minute... Abs.
    Ted: That's - that's good. That's good. Unless, of course, somebody comes up with 6-Minute Abs. Then you're in trouble, huh?
    Hitchhiker: No! No, no, not 6! I said 7. Nobody's comin' up with 6. Who works out in 6 minutes? You won't even get your heart goin, not even a mouse on a wheel.

Live-Action Television
  • In Fresh Prince Of Bel Air episode "Papa's Got A Brand New Excuse" Uncle Phil tries to get Will's dad to live up to his promise of taking Will on the road. All Will's dad will do is agree that Uncle Phil is a better man than he is, and refuses to take his son on the road with him, breaking Will's heart.
Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • July 20, 2012
    Sorry, I have to discard this for being example less.
  • July 20, 2012
    All right, I'll throw in the closest thing I can remember. I --know-- I've seen this before, I've done it in real life (for the second and third reasons), I just have troubles remembering occurances in fiction.

    Besides, aren't these tropes here to gather examples? You gave this, what, only half a day?
  • July 21, 2012
    There are way worse YKTTWs out there than this one. This is obviously an actual trope.
  • July 21, 2012
    In the fanfiction Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Harry asks Quirrel what would happen if you threw a dementor into the sun. He responds that the sun would probably be all right, but he wouldn't want to try.
  • July 21, 2012
    Happens all the time in politics and political discussions between followers of opposing philosophies. Let's leave it at that.
  • July 21, 2012
  • July 22, 2012
    Isn't this a common real-life troll tactic?
  • July 22, 2012
    Yes, it is.
  • July 22, 2012
    • Truth In Television - the urban legend of bankrobber Willie Sutton, who was asked by a crime-writer why he robbed banks; Sutton allegedly answered "because that's where the money is." He knew what the writer meant, but deliberately avoided the point because that was his only reason.
  • July 26, 2012
    Even if this is Truth In Television I would suggest putting No Real Life Examples Please... because it causes Flame Bait.
  • July 29, 2012
    Good idea.
  • September 17, 2012
    Here's an example from Fresh Prince Of Bel Air episode "Papa's Got A Brand New Excuse" Uncle Phil tries to shame Will's dad into becoming a more responsible father. All Will's dad will do is agree that Uncle Phil is a better man than he is, and refuses to take his son on the road with him, breaking Will's heart.
  • December 17, 2013
    So, what, this is Comically Missing The Point played seriously?
  • December 17, 2013
    I think this could at times overlap with Comically Missing The Point if the person did it deliberately but the effect was comical.
  • December 18, 2013
    Compare Dramatically Missing The Point and Changing The Uncomfortable Subject for when this trope is done for a good end.
  • December 18, 2013
    @StarSword: This trope's about intentionally missing the point for his own reasons.

    It has to be unintentional if it's just Comically Missing The Point played seriously. (But they can overlap. IE, the person comically missed the point intentionally.)
  • July 11, 2014
    ^ That's more like Sarcastically Missing The Point. :P
  • July 11, 2014
    There's a risk of finding examples where you can't be sure it's deliberate. Tin reference is not enough.

    Troll mention is needed in description.

    Also, it is bound to be in the arsenal of Obfuscating Stupidity users.

    Again people throw hats based on their idea of tropeworthiness, rather than presentability of an article it looks like.