[[quoteright:350:[[Webcomic/{{Chainsawsuit}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/no_straight_answer.jpg]]]]

->''"I don't like when they encounter something amazing in Engineering or wherever and call up to the bridge and say 'Captain, you'd better get down here.' Explain what it is! THAT IS WHAT PEOPLE DO. I don't call up my friends and say, 'Utahraptor, you'd better get down here.' and he says 'Why?' and I say 'Oh Utahraptor, if only we had descriptive language; if only I could describe something using my words. But you know as well as I that I can only point and say, lookit.'"''
-->-- '''T-Rex''' (on why [[PetPeeveTrope this trope]] bugs him), ''Webcomic/DinosaurComics'', [[http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=1270 #1270]]

A giant bug-eyed monster has just appeared in the engine room, and is asking to borrow a cup of sugar. Someone on the bridge calls down and asks what's going on.

Now, if this were a real spaceship [[note]]okay, we don't actually have spaceships complex enough to have "bridges" or "captains" yet, but just bear with us here -- and the point also applies just as well to the mundane sea-bound ships we ''do'' have[[/note]], your duty would be to give a short, concise description of the problem. To do otherwise would be irresponsible to the point of criminality.

But this is TV, and we need TheCaptain in this scene. That is why you Never Give the Captain a Straight Answer. Instead, you say something like, "You'd better come see for yourself," or the ubiquitous "Sir, I think you'd better (come) see this...," giving the character a reason to enter the scene, with the added bonus of allowing a surprised reaction to the crisis when he arrives.

Occasionally, [[JustifiedTrope some rationale]] is offered. Perhaps the person who encountered the weirdness is simply too stunned to explain what's going on. Another possibility is that the situation is too sensitive to discuss over a possibly insecure line of communication. Or perhaps the person who encountered the weirdness doesn't ''know'' what's going on, and is calling someone who might be able to figure it out.

Of course, there's the option of you giving out a description, then the Captain responds "What!? I'm coming down there to see for myself!"

Variation crops up in most SpaceOpera. Though less common in other genres, it still occasionally shows up as a way to perform the RoomShuffle in response to an unexpected guest or sudden crisis (Often phrased as, "There's {{no time to explain}}, just get here right away!"), or to hold off TheReveal until the moment of maximum [[RuleofDrama drama]]. Can lead to some FridgeLogic that if this ship is the WeirdnessMagnet that it has a reputation of being, why isn't there any training to reflect that? Compare FigureItOutYourself.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* A too-flustered-to-explain variant occurs in the first season of ''Anime/StrikeWitches'', with Lynette unable to explain to Mio that Yoshika is fondling Shirley. For the most part, though, the show avoids this.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/ExMachina'', Mayor Hundred's chief of staff drags him to the Brooklyn Museum of Art to look at a painting of Abe Lincoln with the word "nigger" across his face, claiming he needed to see it for himself.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon2'': When Stoick tries to drag Hiccup out of the dragon sanctuary, Gobber, after learning that Valka is alive, just tells Stoick, "You might want to take this one...hooboy..."

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/{{Alien}}'', Science Officer Ash does this to Captain Dallas twice.
** The first time occurs after the alien facehugger releases itself from Kane's face and disappears.
--->'''Ash:''' I think you should have a look at Kane. Something's happened.\\
'''Dallas:''' Serious?\\
'''Ash:''' Interesting.
** The second is when Kane wakes up.
--->'''Ash:''' Dallas, I think you should see Kane.\\
'''Dallas:''' Has his condition changed?\\
'''Ash:''' It's simpler if you come.
*** The novelisation has Dallas envisioning all kinds of horrible scenarios as he rushes to Medical, only to find Kane awake and alive, so it wasn't very nice of Ash to do this.
* Almost every time the ''Sea Tiger'''s intercom rings in ''Film/OperationPetticoat'', chances are good [[Creator/CaryGrant Lt. Cmdr. Sherman]] will have to deal with this sort of call. One sequence revolves around about half a dozen of them happening in a row, chasing him from one end of his sub to the other and back.
* ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan''. Without Kirk's knowledge, [[spoiler:Spock]] went down to Engineering and took a lethal dose of radiation while saving the ship. Kirk calls down to Engineering.
-->'''Kirk:''' Engine Room? Well done, Scotty.\\
'''[=McCoy=]:''' Jim! I think you'd better get down here.\\
'''Kirk:''' Bones?\\
'''[=McCoy=]:''' Better... hurry.
** As [=McCoy=] says that last line, Kirk turns to look at [[spoiler:Spock at the science station]], but only sees an empty chair. That, combined with the tone of [=McCoy's=] voice, tells Kirk ''exactly'' what he needs to know, and he immediately charges through the ship to get to Engineering.
* ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'' also has this. In fact, [[spoiler:it's the exact same setup as ''Wrath of Khan'', down to the lines -- only Kirk is the one dying, Spock is the one being called down, and Scotty is the one doing the calling]].
* In ''Film/{{Interstellar}}'', Cooper's father-in-law gives Cooper a call on CB, refusing to explain the situation on his end but instead requests him to come down to the farm and see for himself. Cooper does and sees the harvesting machines acting up, which could have been explained on the CB already. However, Coop is literally the only person on the farm with the technical know-how to actually maintain and fix said machines, so perhaps his dad thought it would be better if he just came in person.
* In ''Film/{{Predestination}}'', when the Barkeeper offers John to try his real job, the latter asks what his job was but the Barkeeper refuses to explain right out.
-->'''John:''' What is it?\\
'''Barkeeper:''' I'll show you. ''[moving towards the backdoor]''\\
'''John:''' No. Fuck that, no. [[DefiedTrope Stop playing games. Just tell me right now.]]

* Subverted in ''Literature/JonathanStrangeAndMrNorrell'', where the Greystones' servant says he has to show something to Drawlight. He says it can be seen from the edge of the canal... and then he kicks Drawlight into the canal.
* In ''Literature/ThePrincessBride'', Buttercup's parents do this to each other just to be jerks. "You look; you know how."
* Creator/DeanKoontz's ''Literature/{{Phantoms}}''. In one house Deputy Frank Autry finds a room with bullets (not complete cartidges, just the part that shoots out of the gun) all over the floor. He realizes that they're all of the bullets that have been fired at the mystery monster during the book. He calls his superior Sheriff Bryce Hammond on the radio.
-->'''Autry:''' Sheriff?\\
'''Hammond:''' What is it, Frank?\\
'''Autry:''' We're still here at the Sheffield house. I think you'd better come over. There's something you ought to see.\\
'''Hammond:''' More bodies?\\
'''Autry:''' No, sir. Uh, something sort of weird.\\
'''Hammond:''' We'll be there.
* Inverted in the ''Literature/HoratioHornblower'' series. Hornblower doesn't give his ''crew'' a straight answer--he simply gives them whatever relevant orders re necessary to carry out his plans. He does this for two reasons; one so that success will be more impressive to them, and two because he's mortally afraid of talking about an idea only to have it not work.
* Within three pages, ''[[Literature/{{Temeraire}} His Majesty's Dragon]]'' has Royal Navy Captain William Lawrence being told "there is something queer in the hold" of the French ship his crew just captured. No hints concerning the new bulkhead or [[EggMcGuffin heavily secured crate beyond]] are given.
* ''War Junkie'' by Jon Steele. "Trust me, words cannot describe what is coming up the road." [[spoiler:In this case, an air-to-surface missile launcher from a helicopter gunship, mounted on the back of a goods truck.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' in its various incarnations is far and away the most common user.
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''. In "Skin of Evil" a monster made of sludge rises out of a pool of slime. When Commander Riker is ordered to report on the situation, all he can come up with is, "Trouble."
** Ditto on ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' when Major Kira commanding the ''Defiant'' returns through the wormhole where, on the station, Commander Sisko asks the major what she found. Kira, visibly terrified, says, "Trouble!"
** And again when Odo calls Sisko to the promenade, saying that he'll "let [Sisko] be the judge" of whether or not what's going on is a problem. Somewhat {{Justified}} in that what's happening is that Kira's been possessed by a Prophet, and only Sisko would know if it is a problem.
* This seems to happen to Creator/StephenColbert offscreen. Experienced fans know that "We have some footage -- now, I have not seen this..." is the cue for an immediate fit of rage and/or tears when the clip actually rolls.
* Fairly JustForFun/{{egregious}} in ''Series/DoctorWho''
** Invoked in "Robot". The Brigadier tries to explain to the Doctor what the situation is like before he leaves, but the Doctor refuses to have any of it for DramaQueen reasons:
--->'''Brigadier:''' The thing is, there's been another robbery--\\
'''The Doctor:''' ''[heading out of the door]'' Tell me on the way, Brigadier, tell me on the way! ''[as if a stage school teacher]'' You must cultivate a sense of urgency!
** "The Stolen Earth". Independently and all over the world, Sylvia Noble (Donna's mum), Sarah Jane Smith, Martha Jones, and Captain Jack Harkness all desperately try to find out what's just happened to the ''entire planet'', only to have whoever's nearby insist that they have to see it for themselves.
** Subverted in "The Time of Angels". Christian and Bob request clarification when told to "Come and see" by a squadmate: "It's not a school trip. Just tell me." [[spoiler:It is, in fact, the Weeping Angel -- using their companions' voices. It still kills them.]]
** It happens all the time in ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'', too.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'':
** Abby has been known to continue this even while Gibbs is ''standing right in front of her''. Abby's excuse for wasting time explaining technical details of her forensics before getting to the useful information also explains this. She works alone in her lab most of the time, and even though [[IWorkAlone she doesn't want an assistant]], she still likes to have company.
** Ducky does it as well. Why simply tell Gibbs about the results of his autopsy when he could show him in gory detail?
** And [=McGee=] and his {{technobabble}}...
--->'''Tony:''' Oh, twenty bucks says [=McGee's=] about to say something nobody understands again.\\
'''[=McGee=]:''' The GPS coordinates came bundled in a proprietary packet. Since it was a beta, I thought--\\
'''Gibbs:''' I'm starting to think you can't help yourself, [=McGee=].
* A rather cruel example comes from the ''Series/InspectorMorse'' episode "In Service of All the Dead", when Morse and Lewis climb a belltower. Morse is badly winded by the climb and clearly suffers from terrible vertigo (he can't bear to look up or down, or even move around). Lewis, by contrast, is skipping around happily when he sees a corpse far below and tells the elderly Morse that he'd best come see for himself.
* Inverted in ''Series/StargateSG1''. In "Fallen", SG-3 come across someone who appears to be one of the natives of Vis Uban, but turns out to be an amnesiac Daniel Jackson, [[spoiler:post-descension]]. The next scene involves SG-3 showing up and informing Jack O'Neill that "we found something you might want to see," but rather than making him go anywhere, it turns out that they actually brought Daniel along with them so he immediately enters the scene. It's not even drawn out for [[TheReveal drama]]; the audience clearly sees that it's Daniel in the same instant that SG-3 recognize him initially.
** It's still pretty common for someone to call Sam's lab or Daniel's office to insist they report to the Gate Room immediately.
%%* On the ''Stargate'' bandwagon, ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' does this rather rampantly.
* Shows up occasionally on ''Series/{{Firefly}},'' usually with Wash calling Mal up to the bridge.
* Shows up in ''Series/{{Lost}}.''
-->'''Jack:''' You wanna tell me where we're going, Sayid?\\
'''Sayid:''' It's better that you see it for yourself.\\
'''Jack:''' [[LampshadeHanging No, I'm not so sure it is]].
* ''Series/{{Eureka}}'', pilot episode. "That's not all we've found better come take a look."
* ''Series/BabylonFive'': It is ALWAYS "Captain, I think you need to see this" or "you'd better get down here". (They really need to work on adding some security to those links.) The station is ''five miles'' long, so the captain may have to travel a considerable distance to "see this." The lifts and core shuttle help speed up the trip, but they also break down or get sabotaged a lot, typically while the captain is trying to use them.
* As pointed out later on in [[http://www.qwantz.com/archive/001270.html the comic quoted at the top of this page]], television news frequently follows the FilmAtEleven version of this trope, [[ViewersAreGoldfish so as to keep us hooked]].
* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode [[Recap/SupernaturalS02E21AllHellBreaksLoosePartOne "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part One" (S02, Ep21)]], Ash insists Dean comes to the Roadhouse to find out what he has learned about the Yellow-Eyed Demon, but this may be a JustifiedTrope as he did not feel comfortable discussing his discovery over a phone line.
* A rare example from not only a non-genre series but a comedy, at that: In ''Series/TheOfficeUS'', Kevin calls Michael from a supermarket and tells him he'd better get over there and see... [[spoiler:what turns out to be a pregnant Jan]].
* In ''Series/{{Stranger Things}}'', "Chapter Two: The Weirdo on Maple Street," Police Chief Jim Hopper is called via radio to check out for himself [[spoiler:an apparent suicide at Benny's Diner.]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/StarFleetBattles''. ''Captain's Log'' magazine #47, short story "Into the Eagle's Nest". After a battle with the Romulans, Ensign Caldwell calls up the bridge from the shuttle bay. {{Justified}} because the Ensign was ordered by a superior officer to only tell the Captain what was going on face-to-face for security reasons.
-->'''Ensign Caldwell:''' You'd better get down to the shuttle bay as soon as you can. There's something you need to see here.\\
'''Captain Lester:''' What is it, Ensign?\\
'''Ensign Caldwell:''' Just come quickly! Please, Sir?

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}}'', where it's the "captain" that calls the "crew", and a rationale is offered.
-->'''Prophet:''' Nomad. Get to the rendezvous ASAP. There's something here you need to see.\\
'''[=Nomad=]:''' What have you got, Prophet?\\
'''Prophet:''' Just get up here. You wouldn't believe me if I told you.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Parodied by [[http://chainsawsuit.com/comic/2014/07/14/the-star-trek-dilemma/ this]] ''Webcomic/{{Chainsawsuit}}'' strip.
* Simultaneously {{invoked| Trope}}, {{subverted| Trope}}, and {{lampshade| Hanging}}d in a ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2003-07-20 strip]]:
-->'''Tagon:''' That ''is'' suspicious.\\
'''Ennesby:''' See how much time we could have saved if you'd taken my word for it the first time around?

[[folder:Web Original]]
* WebVideo/CinemaSins dubs this the "You better come take a look at this" cliche.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Parodied in (what else?) ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': In "Lemon of Troy", Nelson bursts into Mrs. Krabappel's class and says, "Everyone come quick! {{No time to explain}}!" All the children start to run across town, but have to stop when Nelson needs a drink of water. Someone asks if it wouldn't be faster just to tell them what happened, and he snaps, "No! I said there was no time to explain and I stand by that!"
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' Terry says he can't return to the cave immediately because something has come up. When Bruce asks what, he is told to look out the window as it is something he has to see for himself (In Terry's defence it is [[spoiler: The BatSignal so he probably thought Bruce would get a kick out of seeing it above Gotham again]]).