Exact Words / Animated Films

  • Toy Story
    • From the original: Woody's (initially harmless) attempt to supplant Buzz as his owner's favorite toy goes awry, and nearly kills Buzz. Buzz eventually catches up to Woody, and they have a chat:
    Buzz Lightyear: I just wanted to let you know that even though you tried to terminate me, revenge is not an idea we promote on my planet.
    Woody: Oh, well, that's good.
    Buzz: But we're not on my planet. (pause) Are we?
    Woody: Uh... No? (Buzz attacks Woody)
  • Peter Pan
    • Captain Hook initially promises Tinkerbell "not to lay a finger on Peter Pan." This leaves a pretty obvious loophole, which Tinkerbell closes by making sure he specifies that he won't use his namesake Hook Hand either. A Time Bomb, on the other hand, is neither a finger nor a hook...
    • In the sequel, Return to Neverland, Hook promises Jane (Wendy's daughter) that he won't harm a hair on Peter's head. When he captures Peter, he plucks out the one hair he won't harm and gives it to Jane.
  • In Aladdin, Aladdin uses this on the Genie, provoking the Genie's pride so that he saves them from the Cave of Wonders without ever actually wishing for it: "I never actually wished to get out of the cave".
    • For that matter, at the end of the story Aladdin points out to Jafar that the Genie has a lot more magical power than Jafar himself does. Jafar then uses his third wish to become a Genie himself. While it is true that genies are far more powerful in magic than any human sorcerer... they are also trapped within lamps and bound to serve whomever holds the lamp, and nothing in their magic allows them to go against that. Phenomenal cosmic power... itty-bitty living space.
  • In the sequel Aladdin: The Return of Jafar, literal Literal Genie Jafar found a fun little loophole in a Genie's rule about killing: that rule says nothing about causing non-lethal harm.
    Iago: [coughs] "You'd be surprised what you can live through."
  • In The Sword in the Stone, during the wizard's duel between Merlin and Mad Madam Mim, Mim sets among the rules: "No mineral or vegetable, only animals," and "No make-believe things, like, oh, pink dragons and stuff." She later turned into a purple dragon, saying, "Did I say no purple dragons? DID I?" Merlin beats her at her own game by turning into an animal... a germ, which infects Mim, causing her to become violently ill and lose the duel.
  • The Princess and the Frog
    • Dr. Facilier told Naveen that there was "green" in his future and that he'd be able to "hop from place to place" like he always wanted. Soon afterwards he turned Naveen into a frog. For Naveen's assistant, Lawrence, Facilier told him that his future is becoming exactly the man he always wanted to be. And surely enough, Lawrence was given a charm that turns him into Prince Naveen, as part of Facilier's plot to gain Big Daddy LaBouff's fortune.
    • Later in the film, Mama Odie points out that while Naveen does indeed have to kiss a princess to break the spell, there is no requirement that the princess be born royalty; the girl only has to bear the title as is the case for Charlotte, Princess of the Mardi Gras parade. This also applies to princesses who get the title by marrying a prince, which is how Naveen and Tiana end up breaking the spell; when she marries him and he kisses the bride, the kiss finally returns them to normal.
  • Ice Age
    • This quote, which also qualifies as a Be Careful What You Wish For moment:
      (Diego manages to jump over an impossibly long gap in an erupting volcano)
      Sid: Man, I wish I could jump like that.
      Manny: Wish granted!
      (Manny kicks Sid all the way to the other side)
    • And the second movie has this gem:
      Vulture: There is some good news though. The more of you die, the better I eat.
      Everyone: *Gasp*
      Vulture: I didn't say it was good news for YOU. (flies off)
  • Rango
    • The mayor who has Beans hostage tells Rango to "hand over the gun". Rango has no choice but to comply. But the mayor said nothing about handing over the bullet.
    • Also, throughout the story, the Owl band leader continually says Rango is going to die. Well he does. Everyone does eventually.
    • In the beginning, an armadillo tells him that to find water, he must first find dirt. Dirt is the name of the nearest town.
  • In Cinderella, Lady Tremaine makes a deal with Cinderella that she can go to the ball if she gets all her work done and if she has something to wear. She and her daughters then load her down with chores, and when Cinderella's animal friends make her a dress anyway, she subtly provokes her daughters into ruining it. It's also implied that she often uses this to allow her to technically keep her word more than a few times.
    Drizella: Mother! Do you realize what you just said!?
    Lady Tremaine: Of course. I said "if".
  • Midway through Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, Prince Charming pulls this on his father, who has just told him not to go any further down the stairs. The prince agrees...and then leaps out the window, abseiling down some conveniently-placed ivy.
  • In Doug's 1st Movie, Roger Klotz has the twins build Robo-Crusher to deal with the monster of Lake Bluffington that's been revealed that was supposed to be giant (using a diagram that shows himself as the scale of the size). They then build Robo-Crusher, only for it to be shown to be extremely smaller than intended (It was about Roger's height at best). When Roger points out that it's supposed to be much larger, the Twins agree... and then shrink Roger down to the size indicated on the graph, with Roger then commenting that this wasn't funny and demanding to be changed back.
  • Rapunzel in Tangled is known not to break promises, which is part of the reason why she doesn't leave the tower in the first place. The promise she agrees to at the end of the song "Mother Knows Best" is "Don't ever ask to leave this tower again." Key word: ask.
  • In The Lion King, Simba asks whether he'll like the surprise at the ravine. Scar then tells Simba that the surprise "is something to die for." Let's just say that Scar was being perfectly honest about it being "something to die for."
  • In Brave, Merida wished that her mother would "change" without specifying in what manner. The prince in the legend asked for the strength of ten men. The witch granted both of these wishes by turning her mother and the prince into bears. Merida also takes advantage of this when the contest for her hand is declared among "the firstborn of each clan", including herself.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, King Candy goes to confront Ralph over Vanellope. When Ralph confronts him, ready to punch his face in, Candy tries to stop him by pulling out a pair of glasses, slipping them on and asking him "You wouldn't hit a guy with glasses, would ya?" Ralph pulls the glasses off and hits him with them.
    King Candy: You hit a guy with glasses. That's... that's well-played.
  • The Soothsayer in Kung Fu Panda 2 has a habit of telling her fortunes in this manner.
    Soothsayer: If you continue on your current path, you will find yourself...at the bottom of the stairs.
  • In The Thief and the Cobbler, the Witch says that to defeat One-Eye they need to "attack, attack, attack!". Later, Tack realized that what she was really saying was "a tack", so he shoots one of his shoe tacks at the One-Eyes' army, causing a chain reaction that takes them all out.
  • In Beauty and the Beast, when Maurice is trying to get people in the tavern to help him after Beast has locked Belle in the dungeon, Gaston says "All right, old man. We'll help you out." He literally has people help Maurice out: they escort him out of the tavern and into the snow.
  • In Monsters University, the only rule in the Library challenge is "don't get caught by the librarian". Oozma Kappa exploits this by misdirecting and distracting the librarian so that they could all leave the library safely.
  • In Rock & Rule, the computer tells Mok that only "one voice, one heart, one song" can send his demon back. When Mok demands to know whose voice this is, the computer replies, 'No one. There is...no one." As Mok discovers, as he's being dragged into hell, the computer did not mean there was no person able to sing the demon back, but that no single person alone could do it, since it took Angel AND Omar to sing the demon back to hell.
  • Pabbie, the elder troll in Frozen, does this twice, and both times his exact words are misinterpreted. First, when the King and Queen of Arandelle bring Elsa to him for help, he warns them that "fear will be her enemy." Her parents believe that the outside world would fear her, so they try to keep her powers a secret. But ultimately it is her own fear that causes her to lose control of her powers, and living in self-imposed isolation only sets those fears in concrete. Later, when Kristoff brings Anna to Pabbie to heal her when Elsa accidentally froze her heart, Pabbie tells them that only "an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart." Anna believes this means True Love's Kiss so Kristoff races her home to be reunited with her True Love Hans, who turns out to have been Evil All Along. In the end, it is Anna's own Act of Love (blocking Hans' sword from killing Elsa just as she froze solid) that thaws her heart.
    • Played for laughs when Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf arrive at Elsa's ice palace, and Anna tells the boys to give her a minute alone with her sister. Olaf sits down and starts counting (presumably to sixty), and Kristoff eventually joins in. Bonus points because if you watch the time on the screen, he comes in exactly a minute later!
    • "You can't marry a man you just met." This not only refers to Anna's instant engagement with Hans but also serves as a warning that Hans is not what he seems.
  • In Despicable Me, when Agnes is heartbroken at not winning the stuffed unicorn she was after in a (very likely rigged) carnival game, Gru invokes this by saying "My turn!" and using his own gun. The game operator only said that the target had to be knocked over; he said nothing about not destroying it in the process, along with most of the rest of the stand.
    • At the climax of third movie where Balthazar Bratt has kidnapped the girls, trapping them inside his giant robot replica of himself Edith demands "let us out!" and Bratt opens the prison compartment, picks up the girls with his giant robot's hand, and casually places them on the edge of a skyscraper!
  • It's an interesting blink-and-you-miss-it moment, but in Hercules, when the Fates tell Hades of the prophecy, one warns him that "Should Hercules fight, you will fail." He takes it that he just needs to kill Hercules before ultimately just stealing away his Super Strength. But the prophecy doesn't say, "Should Hercules fight and also have his strength, you will fail." Then, Hades makes the mistake of sending the Cyclops to wreck havoc prompting a weak and heartbroken Herc to go out there...
    • This also ties into Hades' deal with Herc: in exchange of Herc's strength, Hades promises that no harm shall come to Meg. During the Cyclops' rampage, Meg is grievously hurt. Since she was harmed as a direct result of Hades' actions, the deal is null and void, restoring Herc's strength in time for the Heroic Second Wind.
    • Another one is when Pain and Panic kidnap baby Hercules and force him to drink the potion that would steal away his godly gifts. Pain specifically says he must drink "every last drop". However, a wandering couple pass by and spook the two demons, causing them to drop the bottle and allow "the last drop" to be wasted, thus Hercules retains his insane super strength while he doesn't have his godhood anymore.
  • In Shrek Forever After, Shrek turns himself in to Rumpelstiltskin in exchange for the release of all the ogres in his dungeon. However, he still keeps Fiona imprisoned, as due to her curse she's not "all ogre".
    • The whole plot is the result of this: when Rumpelstiltskin first meets Shrek, he offers him a day to be a live like a proper ogre (ie, scaring villagers, outrunning angry mobs), in exchange for "a day from your past that you don't remember". Turns out, the day Shrek gave away was the day he was born, meaning Rumpelstiltskin is in power, Fiona was never freed from the tower, and none of Shrek's friends recognize him.
  • In Zootopia, Nick employs this in his pawpsicle hustle when he states the lumber made from the pawpsicle sticks is "red wood" ("wood" that is "red" with a space in the middle). Later used when Chief Bogo is about to force Judy to resign for not finding Mr. Otterton in time, and Nick notes that Chief Bogo said he gave her 48 hours and they still have 10 hours left.
  • Cars 3: McQueen technically wins the Florida 500, despite not being the number 95 car that finished the race, so he wins his bet against Sterling and doesn't have to retire.