Exact Words / Fan Works

American Dragon: Jake Long
  • In Coming Back, Jake Long fathered a newborn named Benjamin. When Rose asked Lao Shi if Ben will become a dragon, Lao Shi said he didn't know and that they would know "when he is older". Soon after that, Ben let a "small burp" show that he has fire-breathing. Lao Shi replied that "He is a few minutes older from when I made the statement."

Calvin and Hobbes

  • Mass Effect Clash Of Civilizations: Sergio Augusto said that the main armament of the Eternal Light of Sol was used on "a barren, resource-poor planet". He dind't mention that it destroyed every single Jiralhanae ship in its orbit.
  • In Masters of Death, after Draco insults Mandy while trying to befriend Harry, Harry declares that their friendship will last the rest of Draco's life. They kill him right after the train arrives in Hogsmeade.
  • A rather humorous example occurs in the Harry Potter/World of Warcraft crossover The Next Great Adventure when one of Harry's companions (Jasmine) keeps pacing, worried that Harry is going to get into trouble with Stormwind.
    Arko'narin: "Pacing isn't going to help and you're going to wear a hole in the floor if you keep pacing in the exact same spot."
    * Jasmine takes a step sideways and continues pacing*
  • In A Pony Out of Place, Arceus agrees to let "the Ponyta" Flare Blitz stay in Equestria if he wins the Solar Run. Flare evolves into Rapidash mid-race, thus invalidating the agreement.
  • In Princess of Themyscira. Hippolyta brings this up when Soarin' asks if Diana cheated by cutting a knot with a sword during an Intelligence Test; Hippolyta said to undo the knot, not untie it.
  • Turnabout Storm: Phoenix Wright winds up summoned to Equestria. According to Twilight, she was trying to summon the best defense attorney in Equestria, but she accidentally forgot that last part, thus summoning the best defense attorney period. This turns out to be a lie, as she summoned him directly following Princess Celestia's advice.
  • In End of the Line, Sailor Moon's spell drew magic out of "everything fighting" to power a barrier that would protect her hometown from an apocalypse the Sailor Scouts had foreseen. Xander furiously berates her and Luna for this because "survival of the fittest" means everything alive is constantly fighting to survive. As a result, they ripped magic out of everything, causing the apocalypse in the first place.
  • As demonstrated in the Danny Phantom/Beetlejuice story, Say It Thrice, Betelgeuse isn't afraid to take advantage of these along with his normal Loophole Abuse. For example, as a child, he bet that he could move a heavy barrel from the ground to the table top with one hand behind his back. He didn't say he would lift it, allowing him to create a ramp to roll it up.
  • When Xander fakes his death in The Nighthawk Chronicles as part of a duel between him and Batman, Batman is later surprised to see he's still badly injured. Xander snarks that he only faked dying, Batman still shoved a sword into his chest.
  • In Sifjarson, Lady Sif is seduced by Loki and becomes pregnant. When she decides to abandon her son in Midgard, Heimdall tries to convince her to look after him despite her insistence that Thor would never marry a woman with a bastard son. Sif asks if she'll be able to marry Thor and have his children if she keeps her son, to which Heimdall simply says "No." It's later revealed that the Norns prevented him from saying more; namely that she will marry Thor but the Norns will take her fertility for abandoning her child.
  • In A Hunter's Tale, on the advice of Mayor Wilkins, Whistler decides that the current situation in Sunnydale is technically what it's supposed to be. Angel is going through hell (Because he and Buffy broke up), Buffy is devastated and heading to LA (for the same reason), and Acathla is out of commission (by being covered in protections and dumped in the ocean).
  • In Thousand Shinji, Shinji challenged Asuka to a duel using wood axes. During the fight he punched her, and she called him a cheater. His answer? He never said that fight would be just with axes.
  • In Emperor of Zero upon retrieving the specified love letter from Prince Wales, Agnes promptly throws it into a fire. When Prince Wales yells at her for disobeying Henrietta's order she promptly shuts him down.
    Agnes: "What command? Her exact orders were 'Obtain the letter, and prevent the Reconquista from laying their hands on it even if you must give your life to do so.' Reconquista will never get their hands on the letter now, and so I have done my duty."
  • A ritual used in Wizard Runemaster is designed to summon and subjugate the Burning Legion's "most deadly foe". The dreadlord Banehollow believes this will summon Tyrande Whisperwind, the Legion's most powerful foe. Instead it summons Harry Potter, who killed thousands upon thousands of demons during their invasion of Earth.

Dangan Ronpa
  • There has been two cases so far in Graduate Meeting Of Mutual Killing:
    • In Chapter 2, Monobear stated that since Matsukaze had suffered internal bleeding, his statement that “there was no significant blood loss” was true, since most of the blood was still inside Matsukaze's body
    • Also in Chapter 2, the graduates use this against Monobear, stating that since Hikasa had received authorization from one of the Monobear spares, he had not broken the rule about not entering the Principal’s Office without authorization, even if the permission itself didn’t come from the real Monobear

Death Note

  • In Hunting The Unicorn, a statement that Blaine made ("I've never been anyone's boyfriend") is played with in the most depressing manner possible: He really hasn't had a boyfriend before Kurt—but not for lack of trying. He tried to invoke Sex Equals Love because he was a naive and lonely sixteen-year-old. It was a disaster, and the emotional fallout is responsible for his Relationship Sue tendencies in canon.
  • In The Tainted Grimoire, Ewen only promised to let Clan Gully leave the building alive.

Harry Potter
  • In Fates Gambit, Child Services went to the Dursley household to ask questions about their treatment of Harry Potter. Dudley told it all and, when asked if his Dad ever asked him not to tell anything, he told his Dad told him never to mention anything if it's outside the house. Fortunately, Dudley didn't understand it'd be equally bad for his parents to have it mentioned to the authorities inside the house too.
  • Draco Malfoy gets screwed out of a couple of Sex Slaves this way in The Harem War. The Death Eaters forced the Greengrass family to make an Unbreakable Vow that their two oldest daughters would be sold as slaves to the next Lord Black, assumed to be Draco. Unfortunately, thanks to Sirius' machinations, Harry turns out to be Lord Black instead, and thus, he gets the daughters instead.
  • In the fanfic Oh God Not Again!, there's this:
    Harry: Wait... Didn't Draco order you not to try to save my life or to try and drive me from the castle?
    Dobby: Dobby wasn't trying to save the Great Harry Potter's life nor was he trying to send him away from Hogwarts. Dobby was trying to break Harry Potter's arm.
  • Old Soldiers Never Die has Harry refusing to turn over Death Eater prisoners to Dumbledore, knowing the ministry will just let them go free again. When Dumbledore asks for any Death Eaters that will not be an imminent risk to the community, Harry has one of his subbordinates take him to the 'harmless Death Eaters', a room full of the terrorists recently killed in a retribution raid for the murder of several muggle families.
    Dumbledore: Has there been a mistake? Did you take me to the wrong room?
    McLain: No mistake. You may have as many as you wish.
    Dumbledore: But they're dead!
    McLain: That they are. Did you perhaps want more of them? I'd be happy to... render more Death Eaters harmless if you require more.
    Dumbledore: You'd really kill innocent people?
    McLain: Nope. But I'd have trouble finding an innocent person among their ranks, wouldn't I?
  • In Faery Heroes, Harry, Luna, and Hermione go back in time to a parallel world and decide to restart the DA but with only a few students. Before the students join, Luna warns them that they can't talk about the club. When two of them try to tell their housemates two weeks later, they learn that they've been jinxed to speak random nonsense (such as learning knitting or how to mutilate kittens) instead.
    Harry: "Do you remember our first meeting, when we explained the rules to you? Luna said that you couldn't tell anyone about this. Not shouldn't. Not that we didn't want you to. Couldn't, as in we made sure it wasn't possible. We weren't sure we could trust you to keep a secret, and clearly our concerns were valid."

Lost Girl
  • In The Human Doctor, the terms of Lauren's servitude with the Light are: full servitude and no contact with the outside world, in exchange for offering her the full resources of the Fae to cure Nadia of her illness, with the stipulation that she never be used to harm to kill anyone. The exact wording is used against her twice. When a Fae clan is suffering from a STD, Lauren is forbidden to treat them, as the Ash is punishing them. He justifies it by pointing out she isn't harming them, the disease is. This does not alleviate her guilt, but she has no choice. Later Lachlan reveals that the Ash knew all along that Nadia wasn't sick, but cursed and knew how to end it, and was merely exploiting her. If Lauren directly asked him about it, he would have to answer truthfully. But since she didn't ask, he didn't tell. Note that this is actually better than the canon version, where he actually ordered the curse in the first place.
    • Lauren later panics when she learns that Kenzi made a deal with The Morrigan, musing that she read the fine print and the Ash still screwed her; and Kenzi's deal is far too broad for them to have any chance. She then says that if Kenzi makes any other deals with the Fae, to please have her, Trick, or Dyson go over it and look out for exact wording.
  • In Trading Places, Lauren has finally crossed the Despair Event Horizon and travels to the Norn, asking to be given her freedom in exchange for "that which is most valuable". The Norn says she will make the trade for "that which you value most." Lauren is smart enough to spot the difference, and asks for clarification. That which is most valuable for humans is the heart (which is what Lauren wants to give), that which she personally "values most" is her mind. Lauren is unwilling to make this exchange, and leaves.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
  • In 120 Days of Blueblood, Prince Blueblood does this twice. In the first chapter, he arranges for Rarity and Sweetie Belle's father to be framed and arrested, and Prince Blueblood promises Rarity and Sweetie Belle that if they service him to his satisfaction, Blueblood will reunite them with their father. Rarity and Sweetie Belle assume that this means he'll let their father go, but actually, their father was executed a while ago. Blueblood reunites Sweetie Belle and Rarity with their father as he said he would, by executing them as well so they can be reunited in death. In the third chapter, Blueblood has Pinkie Pie arrested on a false charge of being a witch. Pinkie Pie manages to persuade Blueblood to let her go home unharmed if she does everything Blueblood wants. After Pinkie Pie provides him the services he asks for, Blueblood has his guards make sure Pinkie Pie arrives back in her gypsy wagon safe and sound, exactly as he promised he would. Then he has the guards seal the wagon's doors and windows shut and has the wagon thrown in the ocean so Pinkie Pie drowns. After all, Blueblood never made any promises about Pinkie Pie being unharmed after being escorted home.
  • A Brief History of Equestria: King Aurum uses this to insure that Princess Platinum takes the throne without having to marry (and give power to) any of the corrupt nobles. As he points out, Unicorn law says that Queens can't rule, but not that a mare can't be King.
  • In Diaries of a Madman, both Navarone and Discord love this trope. The former practically makes it an art form, given how often he does it.
  • Inner Demons: When Applejack is captured by Queen!Twilight's forces while trying to rescue Rarity, she promises to not try to escape. As she and Rarity are breaking out, she explains that she has no intention of trying to escape; they are going to escape.
    • This also pops up during the Final Battle — Queen!Twilight said that she would wait for the heroes in Tartarus to fight them one final time. However, as Scootaloo points out, she didn't say that her army would wait, and indeed her Elite Mooks start marching on Ponyville while she's fighting the Element bearers. Fortunately, the Royal Guard shows up to keep them busy.
  • The Nuptialverse: Chrysalis sold out the Founders of Equestria to Discord when he offered to give her the power of all three pony races, which she took to mean he'd turn her into an Alicorn. Instead, he turned her into a changeling — apparently, he found the idea of just turning her into an Alicorn too boring.
  • The Powers Of Harmony: Technically speaking, everything the Guards tell the Mane Six about their pasts are true. They just leave out that it all happened a thousand years ago.

  • Naruto promises a traitor in Black Flames Dance in the Wind: Rise of Naruto that if she cooperated, he'd heal her fatally injured brother. After she tells him everything she knows, he does heal her brother... then immediately kills him.
    Naruto: "There are two rules to making a deal with a demon. 1) Don't. 2) If you have to make a deal, be sure to read the fine print."
    • This fanfiction features several instances of the trope in action. In chapter 45, Naruto and Anko capture a traitor and make him watch as his cousin is killed right before his eyes. When he begs not to be killed, Naruto tells him that HE won't, provided the traitor cooperates. Anko makes no such deal. So when the traitor spills everything he knows, Naruto walks away, keeping his word, but leaving Anko, or one of her summoned snakes, rather, to finish the traitor off.
    Anko: "Your cooperation has been much appreciated!"
    Traitor: "You're welcome."
    Anko: "And to show our appreciation, I won't have Uwabami-chan, here, eat you alive!"
    Traitor: "Thank y-"
    Anko: "She's still gonna eat you; you'll just be dead."
  • In Swapping The Cage, when Neji questions Kuushou about his unusual chakra, Kuushou responds that he "can't say". Neji tries to elaborate only for Kuushou stress that he "can't say", making Neji realize the information is classified.
    • Earlier Kuushou asks why Sarutobi is doing some paperwork and after receiving an explanation of how paperwork keeps the village running, Kuushou elaborates that he's not asking why the paperwork is being done but why Sarutobi is the one doing it. Some of it might require the Hokage's input, but someone wanting to expand their restaurant definitely does not. Sarutobi does some research and learns there's roughly a dozen Chuunin whose job it is to go over all the paperwork he receives, handle the trivial stuff, and forward the more important paperwork to him.
  • In Kyubed: Shinobi's Revenge on Naruto the Kyuubi makes a contract (later revealed to be a marriage contract) with Naruto that so long as a treasure he's given (their son) is unharmed, she'll will never attack Konoha. When the Hyuuga later try to have Naruto and/or his teammates killed because his secret technique renders both the Byakugan and Juuken useless, Naruto reminds Hiashi about said pact. Not only is Naruto now the king of a magical race found everywhere on the continent, but Kyuubi only promised not to attack Konoha as a whole; she never said anything about wiping out an individual clan.
  • In Eroninja Kyuubi shares that any of Naruto's lovers who are past their physical prime will be (over time) reverted back to it. This becomes noteworthy when some, like Tsume and Shizune, are getting younger, Tsunade is getting older because she'd previously been rejuvenated to eighteen.
  • When Anko informs Naruto in Scorpion Disciple that she can't teach him anymore, it takes him a moment to realize she's saying she's been forbidden from doing so, not that she has nothing more to teach him. After thinking on the situation, Naruto asks her an important question.
    Naruto: Is it because you're teaching me? Or because you're teaching me?

Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • A Crown Of Stars: Invoked. At an early chapter Shinji and Asuka felt an empathic echo of the emotions of their hosts Daniel and Rayana. Rayana promised Asuka that she would feel that way again soon (meaning she would feel happy again). In chapter 13 Asuka asks Daniel if they will hit her with that echo again, since that would satisfy the letter of her promise. Daniel replies that is not their style.
  • Advice And Trust: Shinji and Asuka use a lot of double wording to hide their relationship from everybody. Their guardian Misato calls and Shinji tells "We'll get to bed early, both of us", omitting the "together in the same bed" bit. People observes that Shinji's piloting skills are improving and Asuka tells that is due to "how much of she has rubbed off on him" omitting that all of her has rubbed off on him several times.
    Shinji: "Well, it's about what I would have said anyway, before, and it's still true, so I'm not lying or anything..."
    Asuka:"Heh. Technically correct, the best kind of correct."
  • Evangelion 303: Chapter 13 is titled "The Death of Asuka Langley Soryu". She accepts Shinji's marriage proposal, meaning she will change her name.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: When Kluge hints that he'll kill Keiko if Nakajima doesn't cooperate, Nakajima protests that he never said anything about that child. Kluge retorts that he never said that he'd not threaten her.

The Outer Limits
  • In Farewell Match, boxer Ricky Redman faces a powerful alien in a match where "the loser dies". Despite his best efforts, Ricky loses, only to be informed that, "You will die the death of obscurity, human. While your physical existence will continue, your name will be forgotten, and your former fame will fade into nothingness. You will never again throw a punch inside a ring! That, human, is your fate!" The crowd and his sleazy manager starts mocking him, but Ricky gets the last laugh by pointing out that they never said anything about throwing a punch outside of the ring, and beats the crap out of his manager. Or, in other words, it's "A Game of Pool", but with boxing and with the original ending, but more bittersweet.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica
  • This, so Kyubey claimed, was what doomed Joan of Arc in A History Of Magic. She had wished that France would hear God through her and free herself. And it was true, she would become an inspiration and spur France to free itself from English rule. She just had to die to do it. That knowledge was enough to turn her into the witch Elektra.
  • In Persephone's Waltz, Sayaka makes a different wish than in canon: to find Madoka (who has been kidnapped and missing for days), with the unspoken assumption that she'd be powerful enough to free Madoka once she did. Upon being kidnapped by Madoka's captor, she realizes how naive this was.

Rosario + Vampire
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness:
    • In Act II chapter 29, when Moka and Kokoa explain the Eia Dreahl, they explain that, as per their agreement, the first girl to give Tsukune a nosebleed wins the right to be his mate, and the loser will have to forfeit their right to him forever under penalty of death. However, as Dark points out to them, Kokoa said the first girl to give him a nosebleed wins, which means that any girl who gives Tsukune a nosebleed can claim him for her own; cue Oh Crap! when Moka and Kokoa realize this, as well as the fact that Yukari has already picked up on it and seizing the opportunity.
    • In Act II chapter 30, Inner Moka uses the exact wording of the Eia Dreahl to her advantage, realizing that the pact only said to give Tsukune a nosebleed; it didn't say how.
    • In Act III chapter 9, according to the elder in Heaven, the Holy Lock can withstand almost anything on Earth. Key word, almost: even it can't take the strain of Tsukune's full monster energy without cracking.
    • In Act III chapter 44, the gang accuses the headmaster of lying when he said that Fairy Tale was destroyed. However, Mikogami points out that he only said that the dark lords had informed him that Fairy Tale had disappeared and that they wanted the school reopened; he never explicitly said that the organization was destroyed.
    • In Act VI chapter 2, after knocking Ran senseless with a multitude of washtubs, Yukari agrees to respect Ran's feelings and not to hit her with any more of them. However, as she points out, she never said she wouldn't use her earth powers to bury Ran alive if she inflicts Marshmallow Hell on Ahakon again.

The Silmarillion
  • Several examples in A Boy, a Girl and a Dog: The Leithian Script:
    • Beren swore that his hand would hold a Silmaril the next time Thingol saw him. When they met again, Beren's hand was inside of the stomach of the Wolf of Angband… but it WAS holding a Silmaril, so that he fulfilled his vow.
    • Before leaving them, Beren ordered Huan to stay with Luthien. So that Huan carried Luthien on its back when they went after Beren.
    • Finrod had promised to Vairë to not move the walls again. When he threatens her with doing it…
      Vaire: Don't you dare, you miserable wretch!
      Finrod: [polite] Don't compel me to the choice, then, Ma'am.
      Vaire: What of your promise?!?
      Finrod: You only told me not to amuse myself by rearranging your home. This isn't a jest, my Lady.

Star Trek

Steven Universe
  • In Crystal Gem Academy, Rose tells Steven that she doesn't have any children attending the Academy yet. Since Steven isn't at the Academy yet, this is technically true. And, as a bonus, it allows Rose to conceal her true relation to him.

Super Mario Bros.
  • In Chapter 14 of ''Can A Boo Be Friends With A Human?'', Kamek releases Peach from her cage and tells Luigi that Peach won't be put in harm's way (not that Luigi has much choice in the proceedings). Luigi agrees to hand himself over to save the others. As soon as this is done, he immediately binds Luigi with magic and puts Peach back in her cage before Luigi gets the chance to do anything.
    Kamek: What better way to keep somebody out of harm's way than by putting them in a cage?

Thor: The Dark World
  • In Chapter 10 of Canid, Fenrir invokes this in a horrifying way after a short-tempered Tyr harasses him to end his suicidal hunger strike.
    Tyr: You stubborn, spoiled brat, you will eat something!

  • In Quicken, villain Hookwolf promises a rival thug that he'll not kill him if he answers his questions. And he didn't kill him. Hookwolf's parner did.
    “I – I won, didn’t I? I won the game! You said you weren’t going to kill me!”
    “I’m not,” Hookwolf said distantly, still thinking about what Jürgen had said. “He is.”

X-Men: First Class
  • Stars From Home: Charles considers forbidding Scott from sleeping outside, specifically not mentioning 'only sleep in your bed' because he knows Scott will think he's in trouble if he falls asleep watching TV. Later, Ruth promises whoever's most helpful clearing the table won't have to wash dishes. Ororo and Laurie point out they were the fastest. Scott points out that no one said anything about being fastest.

  • From Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, episode 51:
    Kaiba: I'm shutting down your research lab, Nesbitt.
    Nesbitt: Mister Kaiba, I beg you to reconsider!
    Kaiba: Kay.
    (shot of lab being blown to smithereens)
    Nesbitt: But you said you'd reconsider!
    Kaiba: I did. I was going to have the building renovated after I shut it down.
    Nesbitt: Then why did you—
    Kaiba: I reconsidered.
    • And this gem in Episode 55…
    Kaiba: Oh hey, that reminds me of a joke. Why did the obnoxious green-haired punk cross the road?
    Noah: What?
    Kaiba: To show that he had guts. And man, did he have guts.
    Noah: That's not funny.
    Kaiba: I guess you had to be there.
    Noah I WAS.
    Kaiba: And that's why it's so funny.