Created By: PapercutChainsaw on January 14, 2011 Last Edited By: PapercutChainsaw on January 26, 2011
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You Won't Feel A Thing

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Stock Phrase uttered by a character who is about to do something potentially nasty to someone. They tell their victim that what they are about to do won't hurt at all. This often turns out to be a blatant lie.

This is often done by doctors or friends of the victim who genuinely mean well, and are just trying to help them. However, it can also be used as a sarcastic PreMortem/Pre Ass Kicking One Liner by someone who is about to inflict a lot of deliberate pain on their victim.

Another common variant is "This may hurt a little." This variation tends to be popular with Mad Scientists .

Often used to set up False Reassurance.

Rolling Updates.

Examples

Anime and Manga

Film
  • The Remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still: Klaatu says "the pain will only be momentary."
  • The 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street reboot: "This won't hurt one... little... bit..."
  • Robots. After Rodney is assembled, an extra piece is found.
    Mr. Copperbottom: [chuckles] We did want a boy, right? [He takes the piece and a hammer] This won't hurt a bit, son. [He hammers the piece in, Rodney cries]
  • Casper
    Carrigan Crittenden: [stalking after Dibs, carrying a huge battle axe] Damn it, Dibs! This won't hurt a bit!
  • Being There
    Doctor Allenby: This won't hurt a bit. [Sticks Chance with a needle]
    Chance the Gardener: It did hurt.
  • Chill Factor: An assassin tells one of the protagonists, as she is about to execute him: "Don't worry, I'm a professional, this won't hurt a bit.
    • Given an Ironic Echo a short while later after he ends up gaining the upper hand: "I'm an amateur, this is going to hurt like hell."
  • Variation in Monsters vs. Aliens:
    Dr. Cockroach: Now, you might feel a slight pinch in the brain. Mwahaha... Sorry.

Literature
  • In Ender's Game, Ender is told "it won't hurt a bit" to have his monitor taken out, but Ender knows that adults say that when it is going to hurt.
  • Discworld has the troll retrophrenologist truthfully informing his client "This won't hurt a bit" as he readies the mallet. (Phrenology being the pseudo-science based on determining a person's mental state and personality by measuring the skull and variations thereof. Retrophrenology "works" by introducing new variations to the skull to modify said mental state and personality...)

Live-Action TV
  • House episode "The Itch".
    Dr. Gregory House: You won't feel a thing... Except this excruciating pain.
  • One Tree Hill episode "I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight"
    Doctor: Don't worry, you won't feel a thing.
    Dan Scott: So tell me Doc, how many heart transplants have you done?
    Doctor: [Takes electric saw from nurse and turns it on]
    • Luckily for Dan, it turns out to be a nightmare.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Similitude"
    Captain Archer: Dr. Phlox is going to have to perform an operation.
    Sim Trip at 8: Will it hurt?
    Dr. Phlox: Not at all. You won't feel a thing.
    Sim Trip at 8: Doctors always say that.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Death Roe"
    Beatrice Mailer: This won't hurt a bit. [Holding her father's bleeding hand, she squeezes lemon juice onto an open knife cut as he silently flinches] Remember the first time you told me that?
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode "Attack of the Giant Leeches"
    Dr. Forrester: Now this leech [snip] when applied to the neck or head area, will suck any desire to smoke out of Frank.
    Frank: [loudly protests]
    Dr. Forrester: But this won't hurt a bit.
  • Seinfeld, "The Glasses", has a subversion:
    Elaine: It's not going to hurt a lot, is it?
    Doctor: Yes, very much.

Toys

Western Animation
  • The Batman Beyond episode "Meltdown":
  • The Simpsons "The Springfield Files"
    Dr. Nick Riviera: Don't worry. You won't feel a thing [exhibits a swirling mechanical device]...till I jam this down your throat!
  • The Penguins of Madagascar:, "Roger Dodger":
    Roger: A mind-switching machine. Is this gonna hurt?
    Kowalski: Just a slight pinch, followed by the brief sensation of a thousand suns exploding in your skull.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Pirates of Orion"
    Dr. McCoy: [about to give an injection] This won't hurt a bit, Spock.
    Mr. Spock: An unnecessary assurance, doctor, in addition to being untrue.
    Dr. McCoy: That's the last time I waste my bedside manner on a Vulcan.
  • Subversion in The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie:
    Dennis: Don't worry, this'll only hurt a lot!

Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • January 14, 2011
    ParadiscaCorbasi
  • January 14, 2011
    Prfnoff
    In Ender's Game, Ender is told "it won't hurt a bit" to have his monitor taken out, but Ender knows that adults say that when it is going to hurt.
  • January 15, 2011
    AFP
    • Chill Factor: An assassin tells one of the protagonists, as she is about to execute him: "Don't worry, I'm a professional, this won't hurt a bit.
      • Given an Ironic Echo a short while later after he ends up gaining the upper hand: "I'm an amateur, this is going to hurt like hell."
  • January 15, 2011
    MGmirkin
    The 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street reboot: "This won't hurt one... little... bit..."
  • January 15, 2011
    MGmirkin
    @ ParadiscaCorbasi: Methinks "this will only sting for a second" is slightly different from "this won't hurt a bit!" The former admits it will hurt but the hurt will only be transitory. The latter denies outright that it will hurt at all, which is generally a blatant lie.

    Maybe I'm just splitting hairs. I dunno. But, methinks the speaker has to be blatantly lying and know that this will in fact hurt A LOT, with no grain of understated truth involved.

    But, that's just me being overly picky, and I'm not the OP. ;)
  • January 15, 2011
    Prophet
    Also common with Mad Scientists

  • January 15, 2011
    PapercutChainsaw
    I think the " will only hurt for a second" variants can be included for now. If the page gets ridiculously long then I'll consider a split, but I think they're similar enough to be lumped together for the time being.
  • January 15, 2011
    MGmirkin
    Mmm, yeah, probably so, in hindsight. Which is often 20/20. ;)
  • January 15, 2011
    Arivne
    IMDb for "won't feel a thing" and "won't hurt a bit"

    Type 1:

    Film
    • Robots. After Rodney is assembled, an extra piece is found.
    Mr. Copperbottom: [chuckles] We did want a boy, right? [He takes the piece and a hammer] This won't hurt a bit, son. [He hammers the piece in, Rodney cries]
    Carrigan Crittenden: [stalking after Dibs, carrying a huge battle axe] Damn it, Dibs! This won't hurt a bit!
    Doctor Allenby: This won't hurt a bit. [Sticks Chance with a needle]
    Chance the Gardener: It did hurt.

    Live Action TV
    • House episode "The Itch".
    Dr. Gregory House: You won't feel a thing... Except this excruciating pain.
    Doctor: Don't worry, you won't feel a thing.
    Dan Scott: So tell me Doc, how many heart transplants have you done?
    Doctor: [Takes electric saw from nurse and turns it on]
    Luckily for Dan, it turns out to be a nightmare.
    Captain Archer: Dr. Phlox is going to have to perform an operation.
    Sim Trip at 8: Will it hurt?
    Dr. Phlox: Not at all. You won't feel a thing.
    Sim Trip at 8: Doctors always say that.
    Beatrice Mailer: This won't hurt a bit. [Holding her father's bleeding hand, she squeezes lemon juice onto an open knife cut as he silently flinches] Remember the first time you told me that?
    Dr. Forrester: Now this leech [snip] when applied to the neck or head area, will suck any desire to smoke out of Frank.
    Frank: [loudly protests]
    Dr. Forrester: But this won't hurt a bit.

    Western Animation
    Dr. Nick Riviera: Don't worry. You won't feel a thing [exhibits a swirling mechanical device]...till I jam this down your throat!
    Dr. McCoy: [about to give an injection] This won't hurt a bit, Spock.
    Mr. Spock: An unnecessary assurance, doctor, in addition to being untrue.
    Dr. McCoy: That's the last time I waste my bedside manner on a Vulcan.

    Type 2

    Film
    The Tall Man: Now this won't hurt a bit. Well, maybe just a little bit.
  • January 15, 2011
    TonyG
    • Monsters Vs Aliens:
      Dr. Cockroach: Now, you might feel a slight pinch in the brain. Mwahaha... Sorry.
    • The Penguins Of Madagascar:, "Roger Dodger":
      Roger: A mind-switching machine. Is this gonna hurt?
      Kowalski: Just a slight pinch, followed by the brief sensation of a thousand suns exploding in your skull.
    • The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie:
      Dennis: Don't worry, this'll only hurt a lot!
    • Seinfeld, "The Glasses":
      Elaine: It's not going to hurt a lot, is it?
      Doctor: Yes, very much.
  • January 15, 2011
    Prophet
    Aversions, (e.g. "This will hurt a lot") should be labeled as such.
  • January 15, 2011
    GymQuirk
    Discworld has the troll retrophrenologist truthfully informing his client "This won't hurt a bit" as he readies the mallet. (Phrenology being the pseudo-science based on determining a person's mental state and personality by measuring the skull and variations thereof. Retrophrenology "works" by introducing new variations to the skull to modify said mental state and personality...)
  • January 16, 2011
    Arivne
    ^^ In that case my House and The Simpsons examples are aversions.
  • January 16, 2011
    PapercutChainsaw
    I'd say "this will hurt a lot" are more inversions/subversions. Should I make a separate section for them?
  • January 16, 2011
    Tiiba
    How about that time in Tenchi Muyo? "I won't hurt you... Too much!" --Ryoko
  • January 26, 2011
    chelonianmobile
    • In Friendly Hostility, when Charlotte is testing an invention on Derringer: "Now in a few seconds you may or may not feel a tingly death ..."
    • Nonhumorous variation in Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb".
    • Possible variation also in The Penguins Of Madagascar:
      "Is it dangerous?"
      "Just a little incredibly so ..."
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