->'''Gandalf:''' What did you hear?! Speak!\\
'''Sam:''' N-nothing important! That is, I heard a good deal about a [[MacGuffin ring]] and a [[EvilOverlord Dark Lord]], [[BreadEggsMilkSquick and]] something about [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the end of the world]]...
-->-- ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings''

%% One page quote is sufficient. For additional entries, please create a quotes tab.

AliceAndBob are speaking to each other, and Alice tells something to Bob in confidence, only intending for it to be heard by Bob.

As she says it, Eve, a third party who may or may not be the topic of discussion, walks up behind Alice, within earshot.

Alice realizes that someone's behind her, sometimes when she sees Bob trying not to panic. Alice turns around and, red-faced, asks "Er... how long have you been standing there?"

This also works in more serious settings, where Alice is a villain. She blabs her evil intentions. Eve, the hero, responds: "Long enough for me to know what you're up to!" or the like.

In both scenarios, Bob is superfluous, as Alice can simply be just muttering to herself.

Related: RightBehindMe, ExactEavesDropping



* In ''Anime/CowboyBebop'', [[FemmeFatale Faye]]'s conversation with [[TeamPet Ein]] about [[spoiler:her past life]] is overheard by [[DeadpanSnarker Spike]] from a nearby bathroom.
-->'''Faye:''' How long were you in there listening?
-->'''Spike:''' Too long. Your story needs editing.
* In the English dub of ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' after Ranma defuses Ukyou's vengeful wrath by observing that she's cute.
-->'''Akane:''' Ahem!
-->'''Ranma:''' How much did you hear?


[[folder: Fan Fiction ]]

* Played with in ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero''. Kyon discovers his sister eavesdropping Haruhi when [[spoiler:she's outlining Mikuru the base of her plan for a {{polyamor|y}}ous relationship]]. While Tsuruya wonders what she overheard, Haruhi doesn't really care about how much exactly she knows: she just cares that she doesn't tell anybody else.
* In the ''FanFic/PonyPOVSeries'' 7 Dreams/Nightmares side-collection, [[spoiler:Twilight asks this of Zecora after it's discovered she was listening to Twilight, Pinkie, and Luna read Bonbon the First's journal and thus about the G2 and G3 Apocalypses. The answer? [[OhCrap All of it.]] Though it turns out Zecora isn't as freaked out as they expected; she already believed in {{Reincarnation}}, so now she just knows who she was reincarnated from (Ms. Hackney and Kimono).]]
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' fanfic ''FanFic/MemoriesBornOfFire'', when Kirk realizes Spock walked in on him getting scolded by Komack, he asks, "How long have you been standing there?" He had tried to keep the fact that he had disobeyed direct orders a secret.

[[folder: Films -- Animated ]]

* In ''WesternAnimation/IceAge3DawnOfTheDinosaurs'', after Manny, Diego, Crash, Eddie and Buck's "laughing-gas-trip" in ''The Chasm of Death''.
-->'''Manny''': I'm not sure how much of that you could hear?
-->'''Ellie''': Oh I heard all of it.


[[folder: Films -- Live-Action ]]

* Employed for a {{glurge}}scent moment in ''Film/TheGoonies'', wherein the rest of the gang enter during Mikey's heart-to-ribcage talk with a very dead pirate.
* Was done well in the movie ''Film/TheFellowshipOfTheRing'' (see the quotation above).
** And in the books too, naturally.
** Failed in [[SoBadItsGood Bakshi's animated abomination]], where Sam adds "And elves, sir!"... even though elves were never ''mentioned''.
* Tom Hanks' son overhears Hanks talking about his college conquests in ''Film/SleeplessInSeattle''.
---> '''Sam:''' What did you just hear me say?
---> '''Jonah:''' (defiant) Six girls in college, maybe seven!
---> '''Sam:''' Seven. EIGHT! Mary Kelly!
* ''Film/DoubleIndemnity'': As he is finishing his recorded confession of murder, Neff looks behind him to see Keyes standing in the doorway.
-->'''Neff''': How long you been standing there?
-->'''Keyes''': Long enough.
* ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'':
-->'''Dark Helmet:''' Did you see anything?
-->'''Colonel Sandurz:''' No, sir! [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial I didn't see you playing with your dolls again!]]
* ''Film/ItsAWonderfulLife'': Annie, the Bailey family cook, eavesdrops on a conversation between George Bailey and his father. From the dialogue, it's implied that the Baileys are used to this from Annie:
-->'''George''': Pop, you want a shock? I think you're a great guy. (aside) Oh, did you hear that, Annie?
-->'''Annie''': [[ServileSnarker I heard it. About time one of you lunkheads said it.]]



* In Creator/AstridLindgren's ''Literature/TheBrothersLionheart'', this happens to Karl Lionheart. He overhears some of the bad guys talking at their campfire, while hiding in a cave. In reality he can hear quite a lot. When they find him the next morning, he claims to have slept all night and not heard anything. "You can't be serious", says one of the bad guys, "have you really not heard anything of our partying and singing last night?" Karl squirms: "Well, maybe I sorta heard you sing a bit" - and they release him to (what they think is) his home.
* Variation in ''Literature/TheLionTheWitchAndTheWardrobe'': After getting a big lesson on the situation in Narnia from Mr Beaver, the Pevensie children suddenly realize that [[spoiler: Edmund]] is missing. The whole party then tries to remember how much [[spoiler: he ]] has heard, and thus will be telling to the Witch...

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* In the ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' episode "Heart of Gold," Inara engages in a confidential conversation with an associate of hers, and right after she gets finished, she looks up and sighs, facing away from the door to her shuttle.
-->'''Inara''': "I suppose you heard all of that?"
-->'''Malcolm Reynolds''': ''(leans in through the door)'' "Only 'cause I was eavesdropping."
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' had a variation of this in ''The Power of the Daleks'', where a character overhears the BigBad telling a colleague that said character has to be killed. What he ''doesn't'' know is that the BigBad has his colleague more or less at gunpoint.
** Happens benignly in ''Into the Dalek'' as Danny Pink is berating himself over what he should have said to Clara, she reveals her presence and that she heard a lot of what he was saying, and is fine with accepting the revised version.
* In an episode of ''Series/TheNanny'', Max is talking to Fran about something confidential. When he's done he presses the intercom button and asks "Your big fat ears catch all that Niles?"
** It's a running joke that Niles knows about everything going on in the house long before any one else does by eavesdropping.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Community}}'', Abed, in an attempt to mess with Troy's head, is pretending to be an undercover alien. At one point he pretends to send transmissions while hiding behind a bush Troy is sure to walk past. When Troy comes by and overhears him, Abed asks "how long have you been standing there?" to further the illusion that he's hiding something.
* In ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Robin catches Ted playing with his model of the Empire State Building.
-->'''Robin:''' Ted? Are you reenacting the last scene of ''SleeplessInSeattle'' with little dolls?
-->'''Ted:''' How long have you been standing there?
-->'''Robin:''' Ten seconds.
-->'''Ted:''' Yeah, just the last scene.
* In a first season episode of ''Series/TheCloser'', an arrogant entitled rich kid had murdered his parents' Mexican maid's daughter, and then fled to Mexico where the LAPD had no jurisdiction, taunting Brenda with his intention to vacation there permanently. Brenda requests that the Mexican authorities arrest him prior to an extradition process, and then visits him, during which time Brenda threatens to arrest his parents for the crime, listing all of the circumstantial evidence which could be made to point to his mother and his father's complicity after the fact in arranging the kid's escape to Mexico. The kid agrees to a full confession if Brenda agrees not to prosecute his parents. Brenda then announces that while she had no authority to arrest him, ''the Mexican police officers standing behind her'' were fully fluent in English and had just heard him confess to killing a Mexican citizen, do have the authority to arrest him, and that the Mexican prisons and prisoners were probably going to be a whole lot worse for him than the American version.
* On ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'', paired with RightBehindMe, Vivian walks in on Phil bragging to the boys about how he stands up to her if and when she tries bossing him around. She reveals her presence and demands to know how long he's been badmouthing her.
--> '''Phil''': That depends. How long have you been standing there?
* On ''Series/OneLifeToLive'', as a character concocts a foolish plan with two of his friends to help his girlfriend get over her fears about marrying him, said girlfriend walks into the room. Although she wasn't exactly eavesdropping, the hurt and angry expression on her face makes it clear that she's heard everything. Aside from reinforcing her decision to leave him, she's now furious with his friends as well.


[[folder: Video Games ]]
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'', Firion asks this of Leila after he discovers Leila was eavesdropping on his private discussion with Princess Hilda. [[spoiler:Seeing as said Princess was a demon posing as the Princess, [[TalkLikeAPirate "enough to know you shouldn't be letting yer guard down around fetchin' young ladies"]].]]
* One of Shepard's lines to Joker after the latter [[MomentKiller interrupted an]] AlmostKiss in ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' is "Are you spying on us, Joker?"
* Happens between Ratchet, Clank, Captain Qwark, and a monkey in ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClankUpYourArsenal''.
--> '''Qwark''': ''[to Skrunch the Monkey]'' It was ''mating season''. How was I to know she was your sister? ''[Notices a [[{{Squick}} squicked out]] Ratchet and Clank standing behind him]'' How long have you been there?
--> '''Clank''': ''Too'' long.
* Said in the RPG ''VideoGame/GoldenSunTheBrokenSeal'' at the beginning of the game, after the HeroicMime overhears the {{Knight Templar}}s' plans to steal the MacGuffin of the game. It does not go well for him.
* One Private Action in ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory'' involves Claude or Rena overhearing Celine fretting in her room at the inn. Getting too close to the door causes them to trip (and reveals to the ''player'' just what she was worrying about), drawing her outside. She immediately asks if they overheard her, and they can choose to deny hearing anything or try and comfort her. (The best course of action is to [[spoiler:walk away before you get too close and trip, as she reacts negatively to both possibilties]].)

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* Used, {{Lampshaded}}, subverted, and inverted in the SpriteComic ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge''. [[VideoGame/MegaManClassic Dr. Wily]] was the usual victim.
** Also [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/030827c Dr. Light denies -- and asks George what he saw]].
* Done twice in the {{webcomic}} ''Webcomic/DominicDeegan: Oracle for Hire''. Both times, "Bob" was Dominic and "Chet" was Siegfried.
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Hinjo confronts Shojo after hearing him talking to Roy about how they're working behind the Sapphire Guard's back and violating Soon Kim's noninterference oath, asking "Have you been lying to us?" Shojo says his answer "all depends... on how much you just overheard."
* Lampshaded straightforwardly in [[http://www.multiplexcomic.com/archive.php?name=408 this]] ''Webcomic/{{Multiplex}}'' strip.
* ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob.'' Bob overhears Fructose Riboflavin muttering to himself about his tragic, secret motivation for everything he's done. Bob offers a word of sympathy. Riboflavin realizes Bob has been standing there, shouts, "That was not meant for your ears!" and launches himself at Bob. [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20100911.html And crashes into a wall.]] It's dark, you see.

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* More of "What did you see?", but in ''Roleplay/DarwinsSoldiers'' Shelton almost [[http://z7.invisionfree.com/thegangoffive/index.php?showtopic=7319&view=findpost&p=9188683 asks this]] after Agito implies he witnessed Shelton and Shakila [[RelationshipUpgrade upgrading their relationship]] in the closet.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' had a story to the West where the character Jade represented overheard Valmont's ancestor's plans. She averts the usual villainous capture by speaking in Chinese. The bad guys assume she doesn't understand a word of English and lets her go. [[SoLongSuckers Too bad she does.]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' had Knock Out overhear Starscream taunting Megatron's lifeless corpse, [[spoiler:bragging about how he killed him]]. Of course, since Knock Out has been casually assisting Starscream to overthrow Megatron he suffers no punishment.
* On ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', the King of Ooo and his henchman are talking about how they've been scamming Sweet P in order to rob people and would have to "take care of him" if he ever found out, when they hear him standing right outside the door. King of Ooo invokes this trope but the henchman points out it doesn't matter ''how much'' the kid heard, "[[OhCrap NONE OF IT WAS GOOD!]]"