Created By: JAF1970 on May 4, 2012 Last Edited By: JAF1970 on September 8, 2012

I Don't Even Know What That Means

A character admits they don't even know what they just said.

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A character admits, usually amusedly, that they don't even know what they just said. Sort of a self-deprecating admission of Insane Troll Logic.


  • In the RiffTrax for The Star Wars Holiday Special, there's this exchange.
    Kevin: Hey, they stole the background to Family Affair! Wait until Mr. French finds out.
    Mike: They'll find out why they call him "Mr. French."
    Bill: (laughing) I don't even know what that means!
  • From RedLetterMedia's review of The Phantom Menace.
    George Lucas: It's like poetry, it's sort of, they rhyme.
    Plinkett: Yeah, George, that's true, but the only thing poetic is that I was vomiting in stanzas. (beat) I don't even know what that means.

Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • May 4, 2012
  • May 5, 2012
    Actually I think there is a trope here, though. It's common enough without necessarily using that exact wording.

    I can't think of a title that doesn't sound like dialogue though.
  • June 25, 2012
    • Another example
      Khalil: You see the whale as half-empty. I see the whale as half-full!
      Jonah: I have no idea what that means.
      Khalil: Neither do I.
  • June 25, 2012
    Futurama's "Why Must I Be A Crustacean In Love":
    Amy: And, Bender, your beer belly's so big your door won't even close. And that doesn't even make sense.
  • June 25, 2012
    The Futurama example isn't an example of this. Amy is just describing what is literally happening, so she knows what she's saying. It's lampshade hanging on a nonsensical situation.
  • June 26, 2012
    • From Demolition Man:
      Raymond Cocteau: How did you get in?
      Simon Phoenix: Wish I knew. I got pass codes, routes to secret underground kingdoms, complete access to the "industrial data-grid interface". I don't even know what that shit means.
  • September 2, 2012
    How about "Doesn't Understand What He Said" as a name.
  • September 2, 2012
    What about Insane Troll Logic Admission?

    • An episode of Babylon Five has Londo giving a long, complicated reason for why he's staying with Lennier, who's in a coma in Medlab, the says, "I'm not sure that made sense, but I'm afraid if I go back to try and figure it out, I'll start bleeding out of my ears."
  • September 2, 2012
    Or "They puke (meaningless) words", or something like "My nonsense jibber-jabber". This trope could also be related to 'Cloudcuckoolander', where one aspect is the pointless babble with no definition.

    Also, Bon Cop Bad Cop could walk this line. (The film is 'bilingual', dealing with a Quebec cop and an Ontario cop.) For the English version, though, the scene with the French coroner is untranslated and passes by quickly. The French cop later admits he didn't understand what was said, either.
  • September 3, 2012
    Lucky Day: Not so fast El Guapo! Or I'll pump you so full of lead you'll be using your dick for a pencil!
    El Guapo: What do you mean?
    Lucky Day: I don't know.
  • September 3, 2012
    How about What'd I say?
  • September 7, 2012
    I was just listening to the song "No Good Deed" from the Wicked stage play and I believe it comes up there. Elphaba expressed this frustration of not knowing what the magic spells even do.
    "I don't even know what I'm reading!"
  • September 7, 2012
  • September 7, 2012
    Hasn't Zaphod Beeblebrox admitted he has no idea what he's talking about a few times?
  • September 8, 2012
    In an episode of Angel Angel comes across some low-level mooks from the Evil Lawfirm Wolfram & Hart performing some kind of ceremony, including a Latin-sounding spell. They freely admit to Angel that they have no idea what they're saying or doing or what the end result is supposed to be; they simply got assigned to "magical ceremony" duty and are following the book like a recipe.