[[quoteright:269:[[WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/scooby_doo_3_3688.jpg]]]]
->'''Random Guy:''' What's the matter? You look like you've seen a ghost!
->'''Random Guy #2:''' ''(points to Martha)'' I just did! Look!
-->-- ''Literature/HalfMagic''

A SubTrope of LiteralMetaphor. When characters enter screaming and running from a ghost (or any supernatural creature that would frighten your average [[{{Muggles}} Muggle]]), it is customary for a [[GenreBlindness Genre Blind]] character to say in complete jest, "What's wrong with you? You look like you've seen a ghost." Alternatively, the line may be said mockingly by the 'ghost'--whether they're literally a ghost, some other kind of undead, or merely [[ReportsOfMyDeathWereGreatlyExaggerated wrongly believed to be dead]]--themselves.

[[TheParody Parodied]] and [[SubvertedTrope subverted]] like crazy these days, but the mystery abounds as to why this isn't a DeadHorseTrope yet. A SubTrope of IWasJustJoking.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Ryo uses this exact wording in the ''{{Manga/FAKE}}'' manga when Dee and Bikky race into his room after seeing a young girl's ghost in the mansion they're staying in. When Dee and Bikky insist that they ''did'', Ryo's hidden DeadpanSnarker tendencies come out and he says coolly, "There are no such thing as ghosts."
* With the main characters appearing as spirits and investigating paranormal events in ''Anime/GhostHound'', the characters and spirits around them often get this reaction.
* Line used by [[spoiler:the immortal]] Luck Gandor in ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'' when speaking to a man involved in his "ventilation".
* One of Tetsuo's lackeys asks a different corrupt follower what's wrong and makes this remark when he first sees Tetsuo's horrifically mutated arm in the ''Manga/{{Akira}}'' manga.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* This line accompanies TheReveal of the villain's identity in Chapter 12 of ''FanFic/TheMadScientistWars''.

* Loveless says this in ''Film/WildWildWest'' after he gets out of the Abe Lincoln Cake.
* Used by Lady Van Tassel in Tim Burton's ''Film/SleepyHollow''. [[spoiler:Shortly after said character had faked her own death.]]
* In ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartIII'' , Doc says this to Marty after Marty finds Doc's grave. "You're not far off, Doc."
* ''Film/StarTrekVTheFinalFrontier'' has Kirk say this to Spock when he sees his long-lost half-brother.
--> '''Spock:''' [[OneLinerNameOneLiner Perhaps I have, Captain. Perhaps I have.]]
* ''Film/{{Tombstone}}:'' "Why, Johnny Ringo, you looked like somebody just walked over your grave."
* ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesIITheSecretOfTheOoze'' has Raph saying "I thought I just saw a ghost!" as he's infiltrating the Foot Clan's new headquarters with Keno, and with good reason--he's just caught a glimpse of the Shredder, who he thought was dead following the last movie.
* Averted in ''Film/{{Outpost}}''. "You look like [[IBangedYourMom I've just fucked your sister]]."
* In ''Film/{{Scream 1996}}'', [[spoiler:Billy]] says this to Sidney when he reveals himself as the killer. [[spoiler:Or rather, one of them]].

* Spoofed in a ''Ghost Twins'' book when one of the titular twins returns from an encounter with another, yet more mysterious, ghost her brother asks if she saw a ghost, to which she gives him an odd look and says, "I'm looking at one." Moments later, she confirms his suspicions.
* In Creator/DanAbnett's ''Literature/GauntsGhosts'' novel ''Sabbat Martyr'', after a miraculous cure, the cured Ghost tells the doctor checking him that she should sit down, she looks like she's seen a ghost. She sits and laughs very hard.
** Rather more obvious as the Tanith First-and-Only are ''called'' the Ghosts due to their preturnatural ability to simply disappear, especially the scouts. [[spoiler:Eszrah]] even calls Mkoll sidthe, which means... ghost.
* ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'': The ghost of Herald-Mage Vanyel says this very cheerfully in ''Winds of Fury'' after interfering with a CoolGate (which was supposedly impossible) to bring the main characters to the Forest of Sorrows instead of where they wanted to go. Vanyel has been dead for about 600 years at this point.
* Played with in Creator/ArthurCClarke's story "Breaking Strain", in describing one astronaut's reaction to discovering that a meteor has punctured their reserve tank, leaving [[ColdEquation insufficient oxygen to reach their destination]]:
-->[=McNeil=] was just standing in the doorway, looking as if he had seen a ghost. The trite metaphor flashed into Grant's mind instantly. He did not know for a moment how near the truth it was. In a sense [=McNeil=] ''had'' seen a ghost--the most terrifying of all ghosts--his own.
* In ''Discworld/GoingPostal'', the face of a dead postmaster is described as looking like he'd seen a ghost. What really happened was that the post office's accumulation of letters gave it [[GeniusLoci something like a soul]] so Postmaster Ignavia saw its past. Unfortunately, he was standing in its present, and out of shock, fell over where he shouldn't.
* Played with a bit in ''Literature/OldMansWar'': John Perry is rescued from near-death on the battlefield by a soldier who is identical to his long-deceased wife. His friends later try to convince him he was just hallucinating but stop suddenly... then they inform him that said woman was not only not a hallucination, but she is in line to buy a hamburger [[RightBehindMe right behind him.]]
* In Creator/DevonMonk's ''Literature/MagicInTheBlood'', after Allie's father starts to haunt her.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/AreYouAfraidOfTheDark'' has actually used this multiple times:
** In "The Tale of Old Man Corcoran", the new boys in the neighborhood realize that the kids who have been telling them ghost stories about the old gravedigger [[spoiler:are actually the real ghosts]].
--->'''[[spoiler:Old Man Corcoran]]:''' What's the matter with you two? You look like you've seen a ghost.
** In "The Tale of the Room For Rent", the two girls see their archetypal-creepy-old-woman-psychic-inclined next door neighbor summon a ghost that descends from the ceiling and walks by them right through the wall. They run screaming into the one girl's grandfather's house.
--->'''Grandpa:''' What's the matter with you two? You look like you've seen a ghost...
--->'''Friend:''' Bingo!
--->'''Granddaughter:''' We did!
* Played straight in the next to last episode of ''The Omega Factor'' after Tom seems to see apparitions of [[spoiler:his dead wife]].
* A usual {{pun}} of Doubting Dave's on ''Series/MysteryHunters''.
* On ''Series/{{Covert Affairs}}'', Jai says this to Annie when she realizes that [[spoiler:Jai was Ben's contact in Sri Lanka.]]
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''
** The Winchester brothers say this to Bela Talbot, after she sees a [[PortentOfDoom ghost ship]] captained by an angry ghost who's going to come back a few hours later and kill her.
** Used again in "A Little Slice of Kevin" at the start.
--->'''Sam:''' You look like you've... well, I was going to say you look like you've seen a ghost, but you'd probably be stoked.
* Used more than once [[ZigZaggedTrope in several ways]] on ''Series/{{JAG}}'', first when Harm meets a Vietnamese woman who reminds him of someone he saw die years before in "Déjà Vu", again when he meets Major Sarah [=MacKenzie=], who is a [[{{pun}} dead ringer]] for Lt. Diane Schonke, a murdered Naval officer Harm used to know ("We The People"), and finally when Mac confronts the officer who murdered Schonke, who is so startled by what appears to be the ghost of their murder victim that they stumble backwards off a pier and are crushed to death by the ship moored there, in "Death Watch".
* On ''Series/{{Medium}}'', Alison learns something particularly shocking and Joe says this to her. Then he remembers who he's talking to adds "For someone who doesn't see them on a normal basis."

* One of the lyrics from "Sometime Around Midnight" by the Airborne Toxic Event, said by the singer's friends to him after he encounters his ex in a bar.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Lampshaded in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''. Upon turning in a quest dealing with the ghost/spirit/essence of the BigBad's innocence, Thassarian says to the player "What's the matter? You look like you've seen a ghost... Not that that would be all that unusual in these parts now that I think about it..." Also worth pointing out Thassarian himself is among the undead, albeit a Death Knight, not a ghost.
* This is among the final lines of ''VideoGame/MysteryCaseFiles: 13th Skull'', when two {{Muggle}} [=NPCs=] find the Master Detective lying on her back in the Louisiana swamp. [[spoiler:She's just watched a GhostPirate drown the people who were going to murder her.]]
* Spoken verbatim by resident LadyInRed FemmeFatale Ada Wong in ''Videogame/ResidentEvil6'' when protagonist Leon Kennedy first meets her in an underground catacomb. Considering the circumstances under which they last saw each other and what happened in the previous game, his reaction is actually rather understandable.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In Episode 1 of The Dr. Steel Show, Music/DoctorSteel sees a ghostly vision of a magical transforming toy ("Winky") hovering about his lab, but it disappears into an air duct before he can get a Polaroid snapshot of it. Slightly inverted as he was more awed by it than scared.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Spoofed in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'':
-->'''Danny:''' ''[to Tucker and Sam]'' Guys, what's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost, or... something really scary that we don't see every single day.
* Happens all the time in ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo''. Usually followed by the second person opening the door or what not, not seeing anything, then Scooby or Shaggy opening the door again, and seeing the ghost... and then everyone else seeing it the third time... cue ChaseScene.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated,'' Starscream says this to Megatron after coming BackFromTheDead. "Well, maybe you HAVE!" May also be a ShoutOut to the ghost Starscream episodes of [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers some]] [[WesternAnimation/BeastWars past]] [[Anime/TransformersEnergon series]]. ''This'' time, Starscream's not a ghost, just [[spoiler: immortal thanks to [[Manga/InuYasha jewel shards]], uh, I mean Allspark fragments]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' "Ghostfreaked Out", Ghostfreak has just gotten loose from the Omnitrix. Ben's grandfather, not knowing this, goes up to Ben and says the phrase.
* In ''[[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Bah, Humduck!: A Looney Tunes Christmas]]'', Bugs says this to Daffy (who has just received a JacobMarleyWarning).