The floating sign unnerves me. I'm not sure why or what it means, but I look forward to learning in class tonight!''
-->-- You in {{Literature/Dream High School}}

A character, or more often a whole group of people, has something elementary and basic explained to them, but for some reason, they just aren't getting it.

They aren't being [[SelectiveObliviousness deliberately obtuse and stupid]]. They simply do not understand the rather obvious implications of what has been said to them. To the character trying to do the explaining, and to the audience, the train of thought is painfully easy to make work logically, but the target simply isn't getting it. Usually, this is because the concept is so foreign to them that they cannot grasp it. This is not a case of WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove, where an alien species has no concept of the idea, but rather a case of a greedy character not understanding the concept of charity, or someone with a ComplexityAddiction failing to grasp a MundaneSolution.

Sometimes this is because of SelectiveObliviousness or ObfuscatingStupidity, but only rarely does the audience know this at the time. Compare SustainedMisunderstanding.



[[folder: Anime & Manga ]]

* In the ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'' movie, when Yami finally confronts Anubis, he asks him [[ForTheEvulz why]] he wants to destroy the world. Anubis doesn't understand the question, even as Yami exasperatingly repeats that he surely must have a ''reason'' for destroying the world, considering all the trouble he went to to do it.
* This happens pretty much ''every single time'' someone tries to explain something to Manga/{{Naruto}}.
* Anytime someone on ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' tries to explain romance to [[ObliviousToLove Ash]].
* Touta from ''Manga/UQHolder''. Ikkuu and Jinbei convince him that he needs to go "all the way" with [[spoiler:Kirie]] during their trip to Kyoto; she is told the same thing by Karin (everyone in UQ Holder is shipping them pretty hard). When the two are using an outdoor bath in their hotel room, he tells her he's going to go all the way with her (both of them are naked), and...he just kisses her. When she gets confused, he tells her he thought that kissing in a romantic context was going "all the way." In the very next scene she tries to explain what sex is through a flower metaphor. He doesn't get it. She then explicitly tells him what it is. He still doesn't really get it. She puts on some porn. He (apparently) finally gets it.
* In ''LightNovel/KyoKaraMaoh'', OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Yuuri Shibuya tries to explain to his new royal retainers that he's straight, after he mistakenly winds up engaged to another boy. [[EveryoneIsBi They never really seem to grasp the concept]], and eventually he stops bothering to argue.


[[folder: Comedy ]]

* Creator/AzizAnsari has a bit where he claims that he was sitting in a restaurant when he overheard 50 Cent asking for grapefruit juice, receiving grapefruit juice, and repeatedly not understanding why the grapefruit juice wasn't purple.


[[folder: Fan Works ]]

* Rupert and Earl, villainous aliens from ''Fanfic/TheCalvinverse'', believe Calvin is the Earth Potentate solely because Galaxoid and Nebular told them. They steadfastly hold this to be true, and dismiss any evidence to the contrary (including Calvin himself straight-up telling them). ''Fanfic/RetroChill'' finally subverts this when they get their hands on a guide that tells them that the Earth does not have a Potentate.
* ''Fanfic/TheBridge'': Several {{Kaiju}} get sent to Equestria and transformed into native species, including Destroyah, who looks like an Alicorn. After she [[AccidentalHero saves the Cutie Mark Crusaders from Timberwolves (she only attacked them because they were attacking her as well)]], the CMC repeatedly cheer her as a princess and a hero. No matter how many times she says she's not a princess, that she's actually a villain, and that they are annoying, they don't stop.


[[folder: Film ]]

* This happens in ''Film/MysteryMen'' when one of the characters realizes that Captain Amazing is just ClarkKenting. The other characters don't understand the way this train of thought works, since without glasses, Captain Amazing would not be able to see.
* ''Film/{{Idiocracy}}''. Joe Bauers encounters this problem in every scene where he tries to explain something to someone, or tries to be subtle about something, because everyone in the future is TooDumbToLive. The most notable instance is when he is explaining to the Cabinet his plan to use water on crops instead of Brawndo. He has to pretend that he can talk to plants before they listen to him.
* ''Film/AustinPowersInternationalManOfMystery'', during a discussion of Austin's [[BritishTeeth teeth]].
-->'''Vanessa:''' And then there's this. (shows Austin a dental hygiene kit complete with floss, toothpaste and toothbrush)
-->'''Austin:''' Let me guess. The floss is garrote wire, the toothpaste is plastic explosives, and the toothbrush is the detonation device.
-->'''Vanessa:''' No, actually. Since you've been frozen, there have been fabulous advances in the field of dentistry.
-->'''Austin:''' What do you mean?
** Cleverly inverted in the scene where Scott Evil wonders why they are going to all the trouble of putting Austin and Vanessa into a {{deathtrap}}.
-->'''Scott Evil:''' [[JustShootHim I have a gun.]] In my room. You give me five seconds, I'll get it, I'll come back down here. BOOM! I'll blow their brains out!
-->'''Doctor Evil:''' Scott, you just don't [[ContractualGenreBlindness get it]], do ya?
* In ''Film/TalladegaNightsTheBalladOfRickyBobby'', Cal Naughton Jr. just doesn't seem to understand why his friendship with Ricky Bobby should be affected by something trivial like [[YourCheatingHeart Cal sleeping with Ricky's wife.]]
* In ''Film/TheLastSamurai'', when the samurai Katsumoto learns the story of General George Custer and Custer's Last Stand, he admires him as a warrior who fought to the bitter end without fear of death. Algren tries to tell him that Custer was an [[TooDumbToLive arrogant fool who needlessly got himself and all his men killed]] and not a man to be admired at all, but Katsumoto fails to see Custer's faults.
* One of the most famous moments in ''Film/SpinalTap'' cuts both ways from the point-of-view of the other character. Marty can't seem to make Nigel get that "ten" could be made louder to make for a more intuitive numbering system, while Nigel can't seem to make Marty get that "eleven" is clearly better than "ten".
* In ''Film/JohnWick'', Iosef has a hard time grasping that he's just pissed off Death incarnate by stealing the title character's car and killing his dog. He repeatedly brushes off his father's warnings, and at one point even says that he'll go back and kill Wick himself. It takes a club full of mooks getting systematically slaughtered right in front of him before he starts to grasp just how screwed he is.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'', Rincewind doesn't understand that he can just leave the growing wizard problems behind if he stops being a wizard, which would be easy for him since he can't do magic. Subverted later when he finally does get it, but says that he can't just stop being a wizard since it's more than just the ability to do magic.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* One sketch on ''Series/AllThat'' has Superdude, played by [[http://www.starpulse.com/Actors/Thompson,_Kenan/ Kenan Thompson]], being confronted by an impostor played by an 11-year-old [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004789/bio Amanda Bynes]] wearing a copy of his costume. The townspeople, incapable of [[SpotTheImpostor determining the fraud]] based on physical appearance, are further unable to distinguish the difference in PowerLevels when they see Superdude bending a giant pipe and the impostor tearing up a piece of paper.
* [[EntitledBastard Russell Hantz]] ''still'' has no idea why he lost ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' twice in a row, despite everyone from interviewers to fellow contestants, to JeffProbst himself explaining that you ''just can't'' piss off the people who will be casting the votes that decide whether or not you get the million. Instead (like some of the [[FanNickname Hantz Nation]]), he's going with the theory that ''the game'' is flawed - especially since the two girls he lost to beat him by being less reprehensible than himself. Even Parvati was seen as the lesser of two evils in ''Heroes vs. Villains'' (and received three jury votes).
** He and his allies also didn't realize why he was evicted from ''Redemption Island'' so early despite that unlike the first two times he played, people ''knew'' who he was, and he had made ''no'' visible effort to change his game. (There is more or less ''no'' excuse outside of having never seen the show before for ''not'' knowing Russell's game by now.)
-->'''Jeff, in a sneak preview for Redemption Island:''' "He ''still'' doesn't get it! He still thinks that everybody loves him."
* ''Series/RedDwarf'' has this exchange from the episode "Stasis Leak":
--->Cat [to Rimmer]: What is it?
--->Rimmer: It's a rent in the space-time continuum.
--->Cat [to Lister]: What is it?
--->Lister: The stasis room freezes time, you know, makes time stand still. So whenever you have a leak, it must preserve whatever it's leaked into, and it's leaked into this room.
--->Cat [to Rimmer]: What is it?
--->Rimmer: It's singularity, a point in the universe where the normal laws of space and time don't apply.
--->Cat [to Lister]: What is it?
--->Lister: It's a hole back into the past.
--->Cat: Oh, a magic door! Well, why didn't you say?
** Not to mention the TropeNamer for EverybodysDeadDave, where Lister simply cannot comprehend that all of his shipmates have been killed. Either that or he can't get past the [[FiveStagesOfGrief first stage of grief]].
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'''s fifth season, the fact that [[spoiler: mild-mannered doctor, Ben, is actually part of the Big Bad, Glory (they morph into each other) is concealed from anyone who finds this out by means of a spell which makes them instantly forget it. When several of the Scooby gang actually see Ben morph into Glory in front of them they cannot comprehend what they saw, even when directly and repeatedly reminded of it by Spike, who is immune to the forget spell.]] This, of course, drives Spike to utter distraction.
** Particularly when the spell no longer works:
---> '''Xander''': Wait, guys... [[spoiler:I think... Ben IS Glory!]]\\
'''Spike''': Well, ''look at the big brain on you!'' I've only been saying that for the last two weeks!
* One sketch on ''Series/ThatMitchellAndWebbLook'' featured a young doctor working in a ''Film/CarryOn'' style saucy seventies hospital, where everyone communicated in sexual DoubleEntendre and he responded by offering to get his cock out. He was ultimately fired after failing to understand the difference.


[[folder: Radio ]]

* One of Frank Muir's {{Feghoot}}s on ''Radio/MyWord'' ends with him having to explain to a man that his fiancée and his best friend have just eloped. Frank attempts to explain this in several different ways, but the man's mind is just incapable of grasping the concept. Finally Frank works out that the only way he can comprehend the message is if it is expressed as a nautical metaphor.


[[folder: Theatre ]]

* In ''Theatre/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' (the 2013 musical), Willy Wonka sings the IAmWhatIAm song "Simply Second Nature" when he realizes that the adults in the Golden Ticket tour group don't understand why he created the beautiful but largely "useless" Chocolate Room -- [[DoingItForTheArt he simply loves to create beautiful things]]. The lead-in dialogue is as follows:
-->'''Mr. Salt''' (''a businessman''): Look here, Wonka, the waterfall makes sense, but what's the point in all the rest of this stuff?
-->'''Willy Wonka''': The point?
-->'''Mr. Salt''': Well, what's it for?
-->'''Willy Wonka''': It's my creation.
-->'''Mr. Salt''': How does it make money?
-->'''Willy Wonka''': It doesn't.
-->'''Mrs. Gloop''' (''a FatAndProud glutton''): It's a little cupboard of treats for a midnight feast.
-->'''Willy Wonka''': No, madam.
-->'''Mr. Beauregarde''' (''a showbiz ShamelessSelfPromoter''): You use it for photo shoots.
-->'''Willy Wonka''': Certainly not.
-->'''Mrs. Teavee''' (''a StepfordSmiler housewife''): It's therapy.
-->'''Willy Wonka''': No.
-->'''Mr. Salt''': Well if it isn't for anything and it doesn't make money then why on Earth does it need to exist at all?
-->'''Willy Wonka''': You really don't see, do you?
* In ''Theatre/AVeryPotterSequel'', when Lucius Malfoy explains the evil plan he had just choreographed to travel back in time and kill Harry Potter, the other Death Eaters just don't get it:
-->LUCIUS: "The Dark Lord would have survived, had they never met."
-->DEATH EATER #2: "So you're saying that he wouldn't be destroyed?"
-->LUCIUS: "He'd be alive, what don't you get?"
-->DEATH EATER #3: "Still not understanding..."
** Ironically, it's not until he explains it in a more ''convoluted'' way that the lightbulbs go off and they all suddenly get it.


[[folder: Visual Novels ]]

* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyJusticeForAll'': Adrian Andrews doesn't seem to understand that refusing to testify, legally permissible or no, will not help her frame Matt Engarde for murder when the evidence now points to her instead. Justified however in that she does have a mental illness that would cause this behavior.
* ''VisualNovel/DanganronpaV3'': Gonta Gokuhara, upon leaving a virtual reality simulation, claims to not have any clue what anyone's talking about when they mention a "ver-chew-ul world". Justified in that he's an idiot [[spoiler:and plugged the cords into his VR headset incorrectly so that his memory of the virtual world was wiped upon logging out]].


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* In this [[http://cad-comic.com/comic/no-point/ strip]] of ''Webcomic/CtrlAltDel'', a man is confused about the phrase "Exit Mech" while playing the demo for ''VideoGame/{{Titanfall}}''. Another man explains that its for when you want to leave the giant robot suit, however the man playing the game claims to hear only gibberish when the other man talks about anything other than piloting the suit.
* Agatha of ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' has trouble [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20140326 understanding the idea]] of ''not'' bringing lots of tools
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'', where Annie keeps trying to explain her completely rational reasons for [[spoiler: splitting her psyche in two rather than dealing with her anger over her father's actions]], but Ysengrim keeps dismissing the explanations, and she eventually tells him this. In actuality he understands quite well; he's trying to get her to face the real reason she's angry by pointing out how feeble her given reasons are.
* ''Webcomic/GirlsWithSlingshots'': No matter how many times or how extensively Hazel's lesbian friends try to clue her in, Hazel can't let go of the idea that lesbian sex isn't primarily "taking turns with a strap-on."
* Jennie of ''Webcomic/TheDevilsPanties'' has a bit of an [[http://thedevilspanties.com/archives/8831 addiction to cake]].


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* ''{{Literature/Dream High School}}'' opens with a floating sign telling you you're dreaming. Your response?
-->'''You:''' "The floating sign unnerves me. I'm not sure why or what it means, but I look forward to learning in class tonight!"
** Readers could have voted on an option to invoke this trope again immediately: "I pinch myself."
** You even quote the sign on Page 5 and still don't get it.
* Shown in many ''Website/NotAlwaysRight'' stories. For example:
** [[https://notalwaysright.com/the-cake-is-a-lie-part-3-2/75543/ A woman enters a bakery]] and asks them to create a wedding cake and bill her for it, totally ignoring the submitter's insistence that they don't sell cakes or send bills out before she leaves; naturally, none of what she asks for is accomplished. She then begins sending attorneys to the bakery, apparently oblivious to the reason why they all immediately drop her case against the bakery, and ends up going through ''four'' of them, probably wasting thousands or even millions of dollars in the process, before she gives up (or, less charitably, before she gets enough of a bad rep amongst attorneys that they won't take her case).
** To summarize [[https://notalwaysright.com/terrified-of-baggage/76479/ this story]], "Do I need bags for this vacuum?" "No you don't need bags." "Okay, but do I need bags?"
** [[https://notalwaysright.com/dog-gone-cruelty-will-make-your-dogs-gone/78530/ Another perfect case]], where a woman drops a pair of dogs off at an animal shelter[[note]]please note, by "drops off" we mean that literally - [[KickTheDog dropped from the top of a five-foot fence just so she didn't have to pay a fee]][[/note]], then comes back long after said dogs have been adopted by someone else looking for them, assuming the place was a boarding kennel and refusing to believe otherwise. She ends up dragging a police officer into the mess, who immediately arrests her for animal cruelty and neglect - and the story ends with the reveal that she also had contempt of court charges added to that, for ''still'' not understanding that the place was not a kennel and even ''[[WhatAnIdiot spitting in a judge's face]]'' for siding with them in the case.
** To [[https://notalwaysright.com/incheon-further-away-from-the-answer-part-4/78763/ this elderly customer]], "born and raised here in this very town" is apparently meaningless gibberish.
** "[[https://notalwaysright.com/making-a-monumental-mistake/ I don't care if the Washington Monument is closed]], I want to visit it now!"
** "[[https://notalwaysright.com/stay-barred-or-behind-bars/ I don't think you understand]] the whole "[[PersonaNonGrata you're not allowed in here]]" part."
** [[https://notalwaysright.com/at-lagerheads-part-4/ This customer]] completely fails to comprehend the bartender telling her three times they don't have any Carlsberg. Especially odd in that she does understand the other half of what he's telling her, it's just "we don't have Carlsberg" she's completely tuning out.
** [[http://notalwaysright.com/discussing-green-cards-until-youre-red-in-the-face This customer asks for a Green Card photo]], and the photo tech in charge explains that the software won't allow it. Multiple times. As the customer in question speaks very good English, and is accompanied by his wife (who speaks even ''better'' English), it's not a case of LanguageBarrier. When the customer ''finally'' gets what he's being told, he has the gall to ask:
-->"Well, why the [[SoundEffectBleep h***]] didn't you just tell me that?!"\\
"I did, love. Five separate times. Have a great day, folks!"
** [[https://notalwaysright.com/the-whole-nine-yards-of-unreason/ This person]] doesn't seem to understand the concept of a ''yard sale'', and threatens to report them to the BBB for selling used items.
** [[https://notalwaysright.com/living-in-her-own-pizza-pie-in-the-sky/ This customer]] refuses to listen to a pizzeria worker when calling in an order: no response when asked whether it's a delivery or carryout, to two requests to pause the order when the computer crashes, or to a request to be put on hold. After the worker gets the computer fixed, the caller hangs up, calls again, and asks why they were hung up on.
** [[https://notalwaysright.com/your-part-in-this-is-over/ This customer]] seems to be interpreting "we know what you're asking for, but we don't have it" as "we don't know what you're asking for", because the customer restarts his description of the part ''every time'' he gets the former answer. Eventually the manager passes the buck by telling the customer to try a big box retailer...who he knows doesn't have the part either.
* In the ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' episode "New Challenges", Jaune decides to get the rest of Team JNPR to defeat their opponents through tag team attacks similar to what Team RWBY does. However, when he does so, tossing out the names "Flower Power" and "Arkos", the ''entire match'' grinds to a halt as Pyrrha, Ren and Nora are confused about Jaune's talking about and their opponents are confused as to why they're arguing in the middle of a match.
* ''Creator/AchievementHunter'' once featured a scene where Gavin marvels at his newfound realization that ''Franchise/StarWars'' is ''not'' set in the Milky Way Galaxy in the distant future, while the others marvel at how he never picked that up from the fact that every movie begins with the words "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away", which he ''still'' fails to grasp is pretty explicit as the conversation goes on.
-->'''Gavin:''' It has actually blown my mind that it's way in the past and really far away. They should have put ''that'' at the beginning of the movie.\\
'''Everyone Else:''' [[SpeakInUnison THEY DID!!!]]


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* The centerpoint of the Chicken Boo sketches on ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' is that the OnlySaneMan is trying, and for most of the sketch failing, to explain why Chicken Boo, who walks like a chicken, clucks likes a chicken and looks like a chicken is, in fact, a chicken.
* This happens pretty often in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', where one of the kids tries in vain to explain the facts of the situation to the adults, and the adults either just don't get it or else get it horribly, horribly wrong. For example, in two separate episodes, Stan and Kyle (respectively) try to demonstrate that psychics are fake by explaining their methods. Both times, they are revered as psychics themselves.
** Another episode has a [[EvilCannotComprehendGood moral equivalent]] to this when Butters [[DisproportionateRetribution is arrested]] for toilet papering a house when the main characters were the ones who really did it. Cartman ''cannot'' understand why the others think this is a bad thing, since he's a sociopath who simply does not care about other people in the slightest.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'', the titular character was simply unable to grasp the notion that a [[InsistentTerminology rigid airship]] filled with non-flammable helium was considerably safer than, say, UsefulNotes/TheHindenburg.
** Lampshaded at one point:
-->'''Lana:''' What part of that aren't you getting?
-->'''Archer:''' Obviously the core concept.
** Archer is, in fact, unable to grasp a number of basic concepts related to his job. He's ''competent'', but also ''an idiot''.
--> '''Mallory''': Most secret agents don't tell every hooker from here to Hanoi that they're a spy!\\
'''Archer''': ...then why ''be'' one?
* In ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' when Peter is trying to help Mort get more business for his pharmacy he explains the concept of sales and selling things at a discount, however all the [[GreedyJew stereotypically Jewish]] Mort can hear is gibberish. He understands just fine when Peter talks about sales at others business's, just not his own.
* ''WesternAnimation/VeggieTales'': The silly song "ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything" features Pa Grape singing about never steering ships, Mr. Lunt about never swabbing poop decks, and Larry about never throwing his mashed potatoes up against the wall. Pa and Mr. Lunt try to explain to him that "we're supposed to sing about pirate-y things", but get sidetracked into a debate on whether Pa looks like Cap'n Crunch. Larry sings another gleefully un-piratey verse and Pa shakes his head and proclaims "you just don't get it" before the song ends.
* ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'': Averted in an episode. The Professor shows everyone a complex equation. Amy gasps as she realizes it describes the impending end of the world. Then Hermes reacts as he realizes what it means. Fry just says "Don't wait for me."
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons:'' Homer Simpson more than once.
** Most famously when the doctor was trying to tell him that he needed a coronary bypass/heart surgery, and Homer continually asking him to use simpler terms until Hibbert said: "Were going to cut you open and tinker with your ticker," in a slow and deliberate fashion as though talking to a child. Homer still asked him to dumb it down.
** In another episode, the family is in a witness re-location program, and given the surname Thompson. Homer is given instructions to say "hello" back when someone says "Hello, Mr. Thompson." Homer claims to understand that he is Mr. Thompson, but doesn't respond when prompted immediately afterwards. Time passes and the next thing we see is Homer failing to even non-verbally acknowledge the agent stomping exasperatedly on his foot, believing the other agent to be the "Mr. Thompson" that the first agent is trying to talk to.
* ''WesternAnimation/SheepInTheBigCity'': This is frequently the case between the Angry Scientist and General Specific.
--> '''Angry Scientist''': We are not needing a plan! We simply go having to the house of Little Lisa Rental!\\
'''General Specific''': I see. And she knows where Sheep is?\\
'''Angry Scientist''': She has Sheep! She has Sheep! What she calls a dog is really Sheep! The dog is Sheep! Can I be making it any clearer to you!\\
'''General Specific''': Perhaps. Do you have any charts? I love charts!\\
'''Angry Scientist''': ''The dog is Sheep! The dog is Sheep!'' '''The dog is Sheep!'''\\
'''General Specific''': I'm finding you hard to believe without any charts.\\
'''Angry Scientist''': '''AAAAAAAAAAARRRRGH!'''
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'': Dr. Doofenshmirtz, who is at least mildly competent at the whole MadScientist thing if it wasn't for the fact that he just ''cannot'' grasp that Phineas and Ferb's pet platypus is in fact his arch nemesis Perry The Platypus. As long as Perry doesn't wear his NiceHat, Doofenshmirtz is simply incapable of recognizing him, even if he changes right in front of him.
* ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'': This is Dib's problem. No matter how much he tries, no one believes his claims that Zim is an alien from another planet. Whenever he's not foiling one of Zim's schemes (or trying to), he's trying to get the proof he need; but even when he does get something, something else happens and he loses his credibility. (His sister Gaz knows, she just doesn't ''care'', mainly because she realizes Zim is too incompetent to actually conquer Earth.)
-->'''Dib:''' ''ZIM IS AN ALIEN! Why do I even have to try and prove it this much!?''"
* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales2017'': In an episode, Launchpad's response when Mrs. Beakly suggests he try driving a subway train ''without'' crashing it is confusion at the concept.
You still don't get it, do you?