Exact Words / Western Animation

  • The Adventures of Puss in Boots has Dulcinea showing Puss the treasures of San Lorenzo, and after explaining that the spell that protects that town would be broken by removing even a single coin, Puss awkwardly holds up a single coin that he took, and the spell begins to break.
  • On Adventure Time, Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig's whole wedding party is thrown in jail because Princess Bubblegum objects to it being performed by the King of Ooo (who, to be fair, seems to be some kind of Cult leader). The King of Ooo winds up escaping, angrily telling Tree Trunks "you can perform your own ceremony!" Mr. Pig points out that, taken literally, this means they don't need him anyway, and Tree Trunks recites the vows herself.
  • Aladdin: The Series:
    • In "The Citadel," Mozenrath kidnaps Genie in order to blackmail Aladdin into helping him capture the Thirdac, a Magic Eater he seeks to use to conquer the world. Aladdin successfully places the control collar Mozenrath designed on the Thirdac, but then turns the tables, declaring that he'll take off the collar and set the Thirdac loose on Mozenrath himself unless he sends it back to its home dimension. Mozenrath assumes he's bluffing, stating that Aladdin isn't that ruthless; Aladdin agrees that he isn't, but points out that Iago is.
    • In "Sneeze the Day", Genie has a cold, and Iago knows where there cure is... but claims it's a very dangerous place, from which nobody has ever claimed it:
    Aladdin: (firmly) My friend needs help.
    Iago: (grabs Aladdin's vest, angrily) Stop right there! You've got that "let's put the bird in jeopardy" look in your eye!
    Aladdin: (kindly) Iago, you know I'd never ask you to do anything dangerous.
    Iago: (perking up) Really?
    Aladdin: (grabs Iago by his tail feathers) So I won't ask.
    Iago: (grumbling) I knew there was a catch...
    • Later in the same episode, when they arrive at the cavern where the cure is, a guard tells them that they must face three trials. The first is to stick out your tongue and touch your forehead with it. Aladdin (after a lengthy discussion about how the test seemed rather lackluster compared to the danger he was expecting) sticks out his tongue and touches his forehead... with his index finger. The guard facepalms, but admits that Aladdin passed the trial.
  • American Dad!: Stan really wants to give Steve his first firearm for Christmas. Francine protests.
    Francine: Steve is too young for a gun, Stan. Promise me you won't get him a gun for Christmas!"
    Stan: I promise I won't get Steve a gun for Christmas!
    (Stan hands Steve an AK-47)
    Stan: Merry Wednesday, son!
    • In "Haylias", Hayley's brainwashing causes her to become an unstoppable killing machine, and she won't snap out of it until her handler, Stan, is dead. After she shoots Stan in the head, he wakes up in the hospital to see her back to normal; it turns out he was technically dead for about six minutes.
    • In "Office Spaceman", candid photographs of Roger begin appearing in the media, which Stan is furious about because it could get the family in trouble for harboring an alien. Stan discovers that Roger has been taking the photographs himself and selling them to the press, and demands that he stop. Roger agrees to put an end to the candid photographs. Immediately thereafter, we see Roger gleefully snapping more photos of himself, only this time the pictures are carefully posed rather than being candid.
    • In "Morning Mimosa", Francine gets into an argument with Steve for playing a video game when he was supposed to set the table for dinner. Steve says "I didn't ask you to cook for me", and after he screams a "F**K YOU!" at Francine when she unplugs his game, she hands out dinner to everyone except Steve, saying "You didn't ask me to cook for you, remember?" She refuses to cook anything for him as punishment, and doesn't even allow him to eat any food she makes, going so far as to invite Barry over to eat the leftovers.
  • Archer is constantly said to be the world's most dangerous spy - regardless of if you're on his side or not.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!:
    • Iron Man says he strongly disapproves of Hawkeye's vendetta against Widow, and says he should just let it go. Since Hawkeye's going to ignore this anyway, Cap and Panther tag along to make sure he doesn't get killed. When things go wrong and they have to call for backup, Tony chews them out for not listening to him, but they point out he didn't directly order them not to go; he only strongly suggested it would be a bad idea.
    • Hank dismisses the idea that a strange probe involved aliens. When it turned out to actually be an alien probe, Hank defended his previous statement by pointing out that he said there was no organic material involved, thus not precluding the possibility of it being an alien robot.
  • In the direct-to-DVD Barbie as Rapunzel, after Rapunzel refuses to tell Gothel the name of the man she's been seeing, Gothel casts a spell to seal Rapunzel in the tower forever. However, the exact words of the spell are "Never release your prisoner with a lying heart", and since Rapunzel genuinely didn't know the man's namenote , she doesn't have a lying heart, so the spell doesn't affect her. Gothel, on the other hand...
  • One episode of Batman: The Animated Series has Catwoman promise to go into police custody after helping Batgirl on a case. She does, only to escape not a minute later, saying "I said I'd let them take me. I never said how far."
  • BattleTech:
    • Val has trouble boarding a Clan ship despite having receive zero-gravity training. He never said he passed his training.
    • In the final episode, Adam challenges Nicolai to a Trial of Possession for Somerset. Adam wins, and Nicolai honours their agreement to the letter, giving Adam the planet... but taking all the people with him.
  • In Beast Wars, Waspinator attacks Rattrap with his fists during a ceasefire, saying, "Waspinator not shoot."
  • Combines with Literal Translation to get Beetlejuice in trouble frequently. In one episode, an ill-timed quip of "Two heads are better than one!" gets his head stuck on the same body as the Monster Across the Street. In another episode, a band of former foes of his tricks him into saying "I'm coming apart at the seams!" Yet another had him trying to do nice things for his Neitherworld neighbors, such as making Ginger the Tap-Dancing Spider feel wanted. He has Ginger's face on police "wanted" posters.
  • In the Ben 10 episode "Ghostfreaked Out," Ghostfreak, having escaped the Omnitrix, seeks to possess Ben to steal his power. After possessing Gwen to force Ben into a Sadistic Choice, Ben gives in, on the condition that Ghostfreak not hurt Gwen or Grandpa Max. Ghostfreak concedes, and then gives Thumbskull, Acid Breath, and Frightwig, whom he had forced to help him, free reign to attack Gwen and Max, leading to this:
    Ben: We had a deal, you Halloween reject!
    Ghostfreak: You made a deal with me, not them.
  • In the 2003 animated The Berenstain Bears series story "The Female Fullback," Betsy never told Brother, Freddy and Too Tall's football team that she would play in their big game, only that she would help them. And though they didn't realize it at the time, she did, by putting them variously through regimens of basketball, track and ballet, which provided them with needed skills for their football game.
  • In an episode of The Boondocks, Huey and Uncle Ruckus interrogate a security guard to give them the password to the building's computer. When the guard responds, "Eat my ass!", Ruckus starts repeatedly kicking him in the crotch, demanding that he reveal the password. It takes a few minutes for Huey to realize that "Eat my ass" is the password.
  • Nearly proves deadly to Darkwing Duck. A trucker and conspiracy theorist tells Darkwing that while vampiric red potatoes are fairly reasonable, russets are nigh-on beasts and can only be beaten by shaking a specific species of plant (which fortuitously turns out to be Bushroot) and saying potato backwards. After fruitlessly shaking Bushroot and shouting "otatop" over and over, Gosalyn asks what he thinks he's doing. He tells her that to beat the vampire potato he has to shake Bushroot and shout potato backwards — which makes the potato cringe, and Darkwing realizes the trucker was speaking literally, and the key phrase was not "potato" backwards, but "potato backwards". Yeah, it was a really strange episode.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: In "Dexter's Debt", one of Dexter's attempts to raise the money he owes to NASA was a garage sale. Two aliens showed up saying they would take his "light converters". When Dexter told them the price, they repeated they would take the light converters and threatened him with a laser gun. Dexter got the message.
  • In the Dragon Tales episode "Head Over Heels", Trumpy the tollbooth troll only said that you have to do a cartwheel to cross his bridge. Emmy's only just learning to do cartwheels, but he never said the others couldn't help her, which is just what they do.
  • In the DuckTales episode "Robot Robbers", Gyro employs exact words to explain to Scrooge why he made the titular robots.
    Scrooge: Gyro, I thought I told you never to build another robot!
    Gyro: You said never to build another robot for you. So I made these for Mr. Glomgold.
    • Gyro continues to justify himself in holding the the spirit of the request as well. The prior robot incident was problematic due to its AI going rogue. These new robots were strictly piloted... which naturally turns into a problem of its own.
  • Occurs quite frequently in The Fairly OddParents!, usually when the wording of one of Timmy's wishes ends up screwing him over:
    • In "Most Wanted Wish", Timmy wishes he was the most wanted kid on Earth (as in, attention-wise). Not only does he become pestered by everyone on Earth, as well as every fairy godparent, but he also becomes wanted, as in "dead or alive". It flips around the other way when he wishes he were ignored at the end. His fairy godparents end up poofing to France.
    • In another episode, he wishes for "parents that could care less". When this naturally backfires, as his parents' carefree nature causes the family's life to fall apart, he tries to unwish the wish only to find his godparents were also affected by the wish and couldn't care less either.
    • At the end of one episode, Cosmo finds the President's "Big Red Button to destroy the world"... and presses it out of sheer ignorance. The button then blows up Pluto. The President never said which world it would destroy.
    • In the episode "Tidal Wave," while in the middle of taking a bath, Timmy wishes to be sent to the comic store so he can pick up the latest issue of the Crimson Chin comic to read while he bathes. Cosmo and Wanda do so... but don't bother to actually dress him in the process.
    • "The Big Superhero Wish" has a double dose of this. Firstly, Timmy wishes for everyone on Earth to have superpowers, but "everyone" means everyone, including Vicky, Francis, and Mr. Crocker, who are all transformed into supervillains. When Timmy realizes this, he tries to undo it by wishing for a world "without superheroes or supervillains", but before he can say "supervillains", the Nega-Chin clamps his hand over Timmy's mouth. While Cosmo and Wanda are perfectly aware of what Timmy wanted to wish for, they're forced to grant the wish that he actually made, depowering every superhero on Earth while the supervillains keep their powers. Oops.
      Wanda: [reluctantly granting the wish] These loopholes are so annoying.
    • In one episode, Timmy wishes to become a talented (and very tall) basketball player, partly to earn enough money for a games console and partly to save the failing local basketball team from closure. Upon the wish being granted, the now-giant Timmy promptly bashes his head on a light fixture and adds, "-at least until I have enough money to buy a V-Cube. Then I never wanna be this freakishly huge again". When he earns his first paycheck, just before a game they need to win to guarantee their survival, he's suddenly returned to normal. Cosmo reminds him of the wording of his wish: since he has enough money to buy a V-Cube now, the wish has been undone and can never be redone.
      Timmy: I have got to be less specific with these wishes.
    • On some occasions, however, this trope does play into Timmy's hands:
      • When Timmy engages Remy Buxaplenty in a magical duel, the deciding round is that whoever is turned into the most fantastic animal wins. Remy comes up with a much more exotic animal than Timmy, but thanks to Cosmo's distractions, Juandissimo's spell misses and hits Timmy instead. Remy claims victory, having produced "the most amazing creature ever", but Wanda points out the wording of the challenge: the child who is turned into the most fantastic animal wins. Because Timmy was the one transformed, he is the winner, not Remy.
      • The first time the Nega-Chin escapes from his comic book, he makes several wishes, including one preventing Timmy from just wishing him back into the book. Timmy's eventual solution is to summon the Crimson Chins of every comic book era, and have them beat the ever-loving crap out of the Nega-Chin until he wishes himself back into the book.
      • At the end of School's Out! The Musical, this is ultimately how the Pixies get defeated. Their contract with Flappy Bob grants the Pixies control of Fairyworld, and states that Earth will be safe and fun "as defined by Flappy Bob", effectively giving them control of Earth too, since they've raised Bob to share their boring definition of "fun". However, after his Heel–Face Turn, guess what Flappy Bob's definition changes to? "Everything back the way it's supposed to be!"
    • In Channel Chasers, Timmy is grounded by his parents and not allowed to watch TV. He gets around this by wishing for a magical remote that lets him travel into the TV, so he's not technically watching it.
  • In the infamous episode "If It Smells Like An Ed" from Ed, Edd n Eddy, Jimmy tells Eddy to "reach out and touch somebody." Eddy does just that, and gives the latter an atomic wedgie.
  • In the Family Guy episode "When You Wish Upon A Weinstein" Peter tells Lois about his Zany Scheme to make Chris smarter by converting him to Judaism. When Lois says that she doesn't want to hear another word on the subject, Peter signals to Chris that she won't have to because they mastered sign language.
  • On one episode of The Flintstones, Fred goes back to college and winds up on the Princestone football team. When he explains how a teammate is to kick a field goal, we get:
    Fred: I'll hold the ball, and when I nod my head, you kick it between the goal posts.
  • Futurama: During an episode where the crew go fishing, Leela boasts that she's the most experienced fisher, and even owns her own harpoon, causing Bender to remark "Harpoon, my ass". Leela proceeds to do just that.
  • Garfield and Friends:
    • One episode has Jon as "King Jon the Wide", ruling over a kingdom where ancient treaties mean it receives a gift of gold from the neighboring kingdoms equal to the weight of the one "who wears the crown upon his head." An evil and jealous duke who wants an excuse to impose taxes on the kingdom has a witch give King Jon Garfield's ancestor as "royal food taster"; being a Big Eater extraordinaire, the cat soon starves Jon the Wide into Jon the Skinny. Just when it seems that the kingdom is on the verge of ruin, King Jon realizes that the ancient laws explicitly say the gift of gold must equal not the weight of the king, but the weight of the one "who wears the crown"—so he puts the crown on Garfield's head. The kingdom gets more gold than it ever did before, although Garfield's enormous appetite and the subsequent food bills lead King Jon to wonder if they're actually making a profit.
    • In the U.S. Acres segment "The Ugly Duckling", Orson was telling Booker and Sheldon a version of said fairy tale. That version had Bo as a wizard who worked at a bar. Whatever you do, you must never ask him something like "Make me a sandwich". He'll turn you into one.
    • In the U.S. Acres episode "Big Bad Buddy Bird", Roy ends up working for the Buddy Bears, and his role is to be the antithesis of the Bears' group mentality lessons. Whenever he disagrees with the group (such as wanting Chinese food instead of going to a salad bar for lunch, or chocolate ice cream instead of french vanilla), a 16-ton safe gets dropped on him. He eventually gets the Bears to promise to stop doing that, and when he declares that he wants to ride a roller coaster instead of a horsey ride, they keep their word and don't drop a 16-ton safe on him... they drop two of them. The was also a Sequel Episode called "Roy Gets Sacked" where Roy ends up working for the Buddy Bears again, and he is informed that the Bears no longer drop 16-ton safes. In practice, however, they just drop other heavy objects on him. At the end, when they appeared to have broken this vow and dropped a 16-ton safe on Roy again, they immediately clarify that they actually dropped a 27-ton safe.
    • The Buddy Bears are especially prone to this—in another episode, Garfield hires them to clean the house for him, then doesn't offer them any money. When they protest, he points out that they've sworn to always agree with everyone—so by claiming they haven't been paid, they're disagreeing with him and thus breaking their own rules. The Bears are frustrated by this, but are forced to accept.
    • One U.S. Acres Quickie saw Roy opening a lemonade stand and offering "all you can drink for a dime." Wade pays a dime and gets a single glass of lemonade; when he asks for another, Roy charges more money, explaining that he's given him one glass, and "that's all you can drink for a dime!" Of course, karma bites Roy in the tail feathers when Orson's brothers show up and, after giving Roy their dimes, demand buckets of lemonade; Roy knows better than to try the same trick on them, and ends up squeezing lemons all day.
  • Gargoyles:
    • Magic on the show runs on this. Curses can be lifted via the very literal language of the spell. For example, when the Gargoyles were encased in stone for a thousand years, the spell noted they would stay that way until the castle was above the clouds. How did Xanatos counter it? Put the castle on top of a skyscraper. During the "City of Stone" four-parter, Xanatos and the Manhattan Clan discover that Demona's spell to turn New York's humans into stone by night would only be broken when the sky burns. His solution is to load the gargoyles and his Steel Clan robots with packs loaded with flammable gas, and then ignite the gas after they fly all over the city dispensing it. Greg Weisman stated that adding a counter measure to spells/curses makes them a lot easier to cast. However, it never had to be said that the counter measure was easy to perform (how likely was it for a castle to be raised above the clouds in the 10th century).
    • Puck, a noted trickster, loves to use this trope to screw with humans and gargoyles alike. In one instance, Demona wanted him to destroy Elisa, and so commanded him to "get rid of that human." Puck did so...by turning her into a gargoyle. In a reversal of this, Demona also requested to no longer turn to stone during the day; Puck granted her wish by having her change into a human during daylight hours (which is a nightmare for Demona, who loathes mortals).
    • In another episode, Puck (disguised as Goliath For the Lulz) does a spell to put Coldstone's good personalities into living bodies; the hosts have to volunteer for it to work. Broadway, Angela and Brooklyn all volunteer, though since they only need two people, Brooklyn backs out. The problem is, volunteering to be possessed means that Coldstone's evil personality winds up inside him and tries to ruin everything. Then, during the climax, Lexington says "I could use a little help, here," which is apparently enough to allow baby Alex to possess him and fix everything.
  • Meta example: Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. Hey, the original song never explicitly says she dies, so maybe she turns out to be Not Quite Dead with Easy Amnesia instead?
  • Gravity Falls:
    • In "Headhunters", when Dipper and Mabel suspect that Manly Dan was the one who decapitated Stan's wax statue, Dan claims he was "punching the clock" at the time. No, he wasn't working, he was punching a clock.
    • In one "Dipper's Guide to the Unexplained" short, Grunkle Stan really wasn't lying about not having a tattoo because, as revealed in "A Tale of Two Stans", it's actually a brand-like burn scar.
  • Gumby: In the episode "Shady Lemonade", Gumby and his friends see a sign on a nearby soda shop advertising "Lemonade: All You Can Drink For 10 Cents". After helping themselves to some lemonade and asking the soda jerk for another round, the soda jerk tells them it'll be 40 more cents. When Gumby points out what the sign says, the soda jerk responds, "That's all you can drink for ten cents."
  • House of Mouse:
    • In "Donald's Lamp Trade", Jafar give Donald an offer to take over the house of mouse if Donald brings him "The Lamp". Donald enters the cave of wonders and brings the lamp to Jafar, but it turns out that he meant the decorative lamp from Mickey's dressing room.
    • In "House of Magic", Mickey asks for Jafar's help in getting the House of Mouse back after Daisy makes it disappear. In return, Mickey promises the city of Agrabah. Upon putting the house of mouse back into place, Mickey gives Jafar a snowglobe containing a model.
    Iago: We've been [[Pun Agrabamboozled]] by a mouse.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: Jade is the chief offender of this trope, using it very often to slip out of Wait Here, but others get in on the action as well. For example...
    • On a few occasions, Jackie tells her to "stay with Uncle." He's referring to the character named Uncle... trouble is, he himself is called Uncle Jackie.
    • In "The Stronger Evil", Jackie and Captain Black head out to foil an armored car robbery; Jade quickly says "Can I—" but the two adults cut her off by yelling "NO!" When they leave, Jade complains that they didn't even let her ask... which means that they didn't specify what it is that they said "no" to. In the same episode, Jade tries to operate a jetpack, prompting Jackie to tell her not to operate machines if she doesn't know how they work. She then asks the inventor to give her a lesson on the controls. Notably, in that instance, Jackie didn't object... probably because she had used said jetpack to pull off a Big Damn Heroes moment.
    • When the Monkey King turns Jackie into a puppet, the only way to counteract the spell is to have the prank-pulling primate pull on Puppet!Jackie's leg—but the leg doesn't have to be attached to Jackie at the time, which is ultimately how he and Jade defeat the trickster.
    • One episode has Jade discover a mysterious temple that is guarded by a cursed little girl who transforms into a hideous monster that attacks intruders. Jade gets around this spell by telling the girl to invite her into the temple—technically, she's no longer "intruding" then.
    • Jade later gets a taste of her own medicine in "Jade Times Jade." When Jackie specifically makes her promise to "stay [in Uncle's shop] and do her homework," she does so... then remembers that she has a duplication spell on hand and uses it on herself, figuring that her clone can do her assignments while she plays Tagalong Kid to Jackie. But to her surprise, the clone comes too; when Jade protests that "we promised Jackie" to do homework instead, Clone!Jade points out that only the original Jade made the promise, meaning that she (and the countless clones that eventually show up) are free to do whatever they want.
    • When Shendu first agrees to release his demonic brothers and sisters from their hellish prison, they cast a spell that binds him to the body of the first human he possesses until all seven of them are liberated. When he finally uses Valmont and the Dark Hand to open the last of the portals locking them in, his sister Bai Tza refuses to undo the magic, pointing out that the rest of their siblings are still "trapped in the void" due to the Chan Clan's quick work in resealing them whenever one escaped. Shendu counters that he did exactly what was asked of him by freeing all of his brothers and sisters; there was nothing stated about keeping them that way. Bai Tza doesn't buy it.
  • In John Callahan's Quads! Riley sells his soul to The Devil in exchange for being able to get an erection once more, on the condition that he only have to pay up when he dies. The Devil shows up about a day later to claim it, pointing out he never specified when Riley would die.
  • In one episode of Johnny Bravo, Johnny chases a leprechaun in order to get a wish. He finally succeeds, and wishes to be attractive to "all the chicks". The leprechaun grants the wish (remarking on how odd Johnny is), and seconds later Johnny is stampeded by lovesick chickens, who coo things like "Ooh, he's a big one!"
  • In the first episode of Johnny Test:
    Dukey: Hey, isn't that your dad's new camera which he specifically told you "touch it and die"?
    Johnny: (operating the camera with a stick) Well, yes, but notice how I'm not physically touching it.
  • Justice League:
    • In Justice League Unlimited, a villain torturing The Question, a first-order conspiracy nut, repeatedly orders him to "Tell me what you know." The answers he gets include: "There was a magic bullet. It was forged by Illuminati mystics to prevent us from learning the truth", and "The plastic tips at the ends of shoelaces are called aglets. Their true purpose is sinister."
    • Lobo appears in the episode "Hereafter" and is gunning to replace the recently-deceased Superman. When the two parted ways in Superman: The Animated Series, Superman made Lobo swear "to leave me, and everyone else on Earth, in peace". Nobody said anything about leaving just the Earth in peace, so with Superman out of the equation... notably, when Superman turns out to be not dead and returns in the end, Lobo's promise kicks in again and he leaves without a fuss. By his standards.
  • Kaeloo:
    • In the episode "Let's Play Figurines", Kaeloo, Quack Quack and Mr. Cat refuse to let Stumpy play with their new figurines. Later, they realize that Stumpy has stolen the figurines. When they call him out on it and say he stole them, he says that he borrowed them. Kaeloo says borrowing is when you ask someone before taking their things, but Stumpy points put that he did ask - but they refused.
    • When tha gang are playing truth or dare, Pretty "dares" Stumpy to buy her a Prada bag. Kaeloo says that the dare is supposed to be something like "walk using your hands" or "hop on one leg", so Pretty dares Stumpy to buy her a Prada bag while hopping on one leg.
    • In another episode, the gang are playing restaurant. Mr. Cat asks Kaeloo for an alcoholic beverage with ice. Kaeloo refuses to let him have it, so he decides to ask for one without ice.
    • In a season 3 episode, Mr. Cat gets angry at a bunch of sheep and decides to throw them all off a cliff. Kaeloo tells him not to throw all the sheep off the cliff, so Mr. Cat throws just one of them off and the rest of them follow the other one and jump off themselves.
    • In the episode "Let's Play Gangster Poker", Mr. Cat tricks Kaeloo into thinking she owes him money. When she points out that nobody has any money, he reminds her that she has a piggy bank, describing it as a "little piggy which rattles when you shake it". Kaeloo gives the piggy bank to Mr. Cat. Mr. Cat opens it and finds out that there's no money inside... it was rattling because there was a soda can tab inside.
  • The Kids From Room 402:
    • Nancy promised not to tell anyone Jordan is wealthy. However, she didn't promise not to tell anyone that she (Nancy) has a wealthy friend.
    • Three girls decided to dress like a celebrity known for, among other things, wearing a bell as a pendant. Not liking that, Mr. Besser threatened to make all students wear uniforms if he ever heard any of those bells again. The girls then stuffed their bells with socks so Mr. Besser wouldn't "hear" them. The loophole worked until one of the socks fell and he heard a bell, after which he made good on his threat.
  • Kim Possible: When Dr. Drakken was searching for a weather machine at a shop that sells them, upon finding the right one, he declares that he'll take it. Unfortunately for the owners, he and Shego proceed to literally take it rather than (as the salesman expected) settle on a price. This also acts as a deconstruction of the trope, as Drakken's hasty action also resulted in him leaving without the manual, eventually forcing Shego to return to the depot to steal the manual, coincidentally at the same time that Kim Possible had arrived to investigate the theft.
  • King of the Hill: When Luanne suggests that Hank recieves acupuncture for his constipation, Hank said that if anyone tried that, he'll kick their ass. Later in the episode, the acupuncturist does that, much to Hank's chagrin, prompting to him to kick him directly in his ass.
  • In The Legend of Korra episode "A Leaf in the Wind", The Mentor Tenzin wants young hero Korra to focus on her airbending training, and so forbids her from watching "frivolous" pro-bending matches so as not to be distracted. As she later points out after being caught, he never said anything about listening to one on the radio.
    Tenzin: You—you knew what I meant!
  • In an episode of Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Lilo says she can beat Mertle at "any time, any place, any game" when it comes to baseball. Later, when Mertle challenges her to a game of basketball instead, she quotes the "any game" part.
    Mertle: You said any time, any place, any game.
    Lilo: I did?
    Stitch: (checks memory) Yeah, you did.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In "Bugs and Thugs", gangster Rocky gives his lackey Mugsy a gun and tells him to take Bugs Bunny into the other room and "let him have it". Once in the room, Bugs asks for the gun because, as the boss said, Mugsy was suppose to let him have it. Mugsy gives Bugs the gun, and you can probably guess the rest.
    • Another example from "Bugs and Thugs" is when Rocky tells Mugsy to button his lip, he does exactly that.
    • In "Strife with Father", a sparrow is teaching Beaky Buzzard to catch chickens, and gives him a club to hit them with. When a rooster confronts Beaky, the sparrow shouts to Beaky to "Let him have it!" So Beaky lets the rooster have the club, which he uses to wallop the sparrow.
    • In "Stop, Look, and Hasten", Wile E. Coyote tries to catch the Roadrunner in a Burmese tiger trap. The only thing Wile E. manages to catch in it is a (rather angry) Burmese tiger (Suprisibus suprisibus!). Similar gags were done in later cartoons with a giant mouse trap and giant flypaper.
    • In "Feather Finger", Daffy apparently shoots Speedy into nothing with a pistol and, noticing that he's disappeared, says "I musta blown him to smithereens". It turns out Speedy rode the bullet all the way to Smithereens, Mexico.
    • In Duck Dodgers in the 24˝th Century, Marvin the Martian prepares to shoot Duck Dodgers with a disintegrating pistol, but Dodgers shrugs it off, telling the audience that he is protected by his Disintegration-Proof Vest. When Marvin fires, Dodgers crumbles to dust, while the vest remains intact. Later on, Dodgers tries to surprise-attack Marvin with a disintegrating pistol of his own. Since his is an ACME-brand pistol, the gun itself disintegrates the moment he pulls the trigger.
  • The Magic School Bus: In the second episode, "For Lunch", Miss Frizzle allows Arnold, who is not a big fan of her crazy field trips, to take her next field trip off. She ends up taking the field trip into him—specifically, his digestive system.
  • Megas XLR:
    • The junkyard dealer wanted to get Coop out of his hair and told him everything in a certain pile was two bucks. When Coop accidentally discovers the wrecked remains of the title mech:
    Coop: Two bucks, huh? I'll take it! [To add insult to injury, he never actually paid the two bucks]
    • In another episode Kiva makes a deal with Captain Warlock; her life for Coop and Jamie's. While Warlock DOES in fact let them go he "lets them go" in such a way that they'd be lucky to survive the crash to the nearest planet.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
    • The two-part premier makes use of this. After Twilight reads the legend of Nightmare Moon and warns Princess Celestia of her possible return, Celestia replies, "You simply must stop reading those dusty old books!" and sends her to supervise the Summer Sun Celebration in Ponyville and make some friends. Later, after Nightmare Moon does return and is defeated by Twilight and her friends, Twilight accuses Celestia of dismissing her warning. Celestia reminds her that technically she had done no such thing; she told Twilight to stop studying and make some friends because she knew that Twilight could never defeat Nightmare Moon by herself.
    • Also happens (sorta) in "Swarm of the Century". Faced with the Parasprite swarm devouring every and anything edible in sight, Twilight Sparkle casts a spell to make them "stop eating all the food". It succeeds. They stop eating food... and start devouring everything else, wrecking Ponyville completely.
    • Before the final challenge in "May The Best Pet Win", Rainbow Dash sets down the win condition: her pet will be the one that "crosses the finish line with [her]", her assumption being that due to her speed, she'll be the first across. Following an avalanche that pins her wing under a rock, she ends up crossing the finish line last, on the back of a tortoise. Her friends inform her that a falcon won, but by now Rainbow Dash is attached to the tortoise... so she points out that while the falcon might have crossed first, the tortoise (due to carrying her) crossed with her. The falcon takes it quite well.
    • And then there's "The Last Roundup", where Pinkie is royally pissed at Applejack for skipping breakfast and breaking her Pinkie Promise where she promised she'd tell the others why she's refusing to return home; instead using the chance to escape town. When Pinkie confronts AJ about it, she counters that technically she didn't break the promise as she said she would have told them the truth at breakfast. Of course, rather than being technically correct, this relies on a rather unnatural interpretation on the exact meaning of the wording used. For this reason, Pinkie doesn't buy it.
    • In "Where The Apple Lies", Granny Smith tells Apple Bloom that one of Applejack's lies once "sent the whole family to the hospital." It turns out that none of the family was sick or injured. Applejack had kicked off a "Fawlty Towers" Plot involving a claim that Granny Smith was suffering "Apple Blight", and had dragged everyone to the hospital in an attempt to maintain the ruse.
  • In "The First Bluebell" from Peter Rabbit, Sammy Whiskers approaches the group and says that he can get them a bluebell. They ask what he wants in return and he says he'll give them a flower in exchange for the oat cake that Benjamin happens to have. They agree, but when they give it to him, he gives them a snowdrop. After all, he never said he'd give them a bluebell, he said he'd give them a flower.
  • Phineas and Ferb: In Across the 2nd Dimension, we learn about Perry's "So You've Found Out Your Pet is a Secret Agent" O.W.C.A. pamphlet. "Happy Birthday, Isabella" reveals its exact terms: if Perry's host family finds out about his secret agent status, either their minds must be erased or he gets relocated. Stacy has just witnessed a Perry-Doofenshmirtz fight, and avoids the mind-wipe by pointing out she isn't part of the host family, promising to keep Perry's secret.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • In "Bought and Scold", Princess buys Townsville, becomes mayor, and puts out a decree that makes crime legal (and crimestopping illegal). The girls are frustrated... until they realize they can steal Princess' goodies without retribution. Not knowing that the girls stole her goods, Princess hastily retracts the decree, the girls go back to crimefighting, and then dump Princess' goodies onto her lawn in exchange for her giving the original Mayor back his position.
    • "Him Diddle Riddle" had the girls solving riddles set up by Him, who is holding the Professor hostage. They had to solve the riddles within the amount of time they had, otherwise the Professor would "pay"... full price for the pancakes at the "Otto Time" dinner Him happens to own for some reason.
    • In "Helter Shelter" the Professor tells Bubbles to stop bringing animals home as they don't like to be locked up in closets. She then brings a whale home knowing he won't fit in a closet.
    • In "Schoolhouse Rocked", Ms. Keane uses this when she witnesses the Gangreen Gang bully and beating up the children on the playground. As a result of this (and due to the fact that Ms. Keane forbids fighting in the classroom), Ms. Keane exploits this by giving facial hints to give the girls permission to attack the gang to defend the students.
    Ms. Keane: Girls, you know there's no fighting, so go outside and play dodgeball instead. Understand? (She winks at them to show what she is referring to. Her meaning dawns on them.)
  • Deconstructed in the Regular Show episode "Wall Buddy"; after taking care of a deadly AI that was supposed to act as a temporary wall between Mordecai and Rigby, their boss, Benson, becomes furious over the fact that they caused a lot of damage to the park, then says he should technically fire them, just shortly after the former two try to claim that since the room was cleaned, they can't be fired for it.
  • In The Ren & Stimpy Show episode "A Yard Too Far" Ren realizes that if he goes into a yard with hog jowls cooling on a windowsill, he will likely be attacked by an Angry Guard Dog. He tells Stimpy to make sure there isn't one and is relieved after being assured there is no dog. Ren goes into the yard, and is promptly mauled by a guard baboon.
  • In Rick and Morty, Rick leaves Summer in his car/ship with the instruction to the A.I. to "Keep Summer Safe." When the car then kills a threatening thug, Summer orders it not to kill anyone... so it permanently paralyzes the next thug. When the military shows up, she orders the A.I. not to physically harm anyone... so it resorts to psychological torture. Finally, when she orders it not to harm anyone, the A.I. guarantees their freedom by negotiating peace between the humans and the psychic spiders, thereby keeping Summer safe.
  • In the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Snowballs" Rocko and Heffer go to a ski resort where everything is $5. After paying the initial fee, the two ask for skis. When they are told that will be another $5, Rocko points out that they already paid. It is explained that at the resort everything is $5.
  • The Rocket Power episode "Great Sandcastle Race" has various contestants creating all sorts of cool sand sculptures—Oliver's team builds a Perpetual Motion Machine, and the four protagonists put together a replica of the boardwalk, to name a couple examples. The winner of the competition ends up being Mackenzie's simple sandcastle... because it's a sandcastle contest and her entry is the only one that's an actual sandcastle.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle: Mr. Know-It-All falls victim to the old "when I nod my head you hit it" bit with Rocky in showing how to open a jar of pickles.
  • In one episode of Rugrats, Angelica pushes Chuckie out of the way of an oncoming Big Wheel. Chuckie interprets this as having saved his life, and Angelica tells him that, once someone saves your life, you have to be their slave. At the end of the episode, Angelica is stuck in a closet, Chuckie frees her, and Angelica gushes that he saved her life. Tommy points out what that means, and while Angelica tries to backtrack, in the final scene, we see her muttering as she drives Chuckie around.
  • The angry professor trapped in the body of a Hibagon responds "very poor choice of words" to Drew saying "put him down" on The Secret Saturdays.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Home Away from Homer", Marge witnesses Homer and Bart watching a soft-core film and demands that Bart look out the window. Bart obliges, since unlike his mom, he knows that the soft-core film is also being filmed in Ned Flanders' house. When Marge realizes this, she is even more horrified, and proceeds to drag Homer by the ear to Flanders' house, forcing him to tell Ned about what his lodgers are doing behind his back.
    • In "Dead Putting Society", when Bart and Todd face off in a miniature golf tournament, Homer and Ned make a bet on it: the father of the child who "doesn't win"note  has to mow his neighbor's lawn while wearing his wife's Sunday dress. Ultimately, Bart and Todd tie, meaning that neither of them won and both fathers have to go through with it. Homer is happy to go through with it as he wants to see Ned get humiliated... but to his annoyance, Ned doesn't feel humiliated in the slightest.
    • In the episode "And Maggie Makes Three", Marge makes Patty and Selma promise not to tell Homer about her being pregnant with Maggie. Of course, the agreement only stated that Patty and Selma not tell Homer, which means they're free to call up the biggest gossips in town about the news and plan a surprise baby shower for Marge just before Homer gets home from work.
    • A couple of times, when a suspicious Marge asked Homer what he was up to, Homer would reply, "Marge, I'm not gonna lie to you", and then immediately carry on without saying anything more.
    • This exchange between Bart and Principal Skinner:
    Bart: What now, Principal Skinrash?
    Skinner: My name is Principal Skinner, and you shall refer to me as such.
    Bart: Sure thing, Such.
    Skinner: I shall deal with your insubordinate wordplay later.
    • This shows up twice in the "Treehouse of Horror IV" segment "The Devil and Homer Simpson". As the title implies, the episode's plot centers on Homer making a Deal with the Devil (Ned Flanders) in exchange for a doughnut. The first example regards their contract: Homer's soul will be damned the moment he finishes the doughnut, so if he doesn't finish it, he will remain safe. Of course, Homer being Homer, he ends up eating the last bite later that evening. Lisa gets Ned to agree to a trial for Homer's soul; just as the jury is about to find in Ned's favor, Marge enters with a photo from her and Homer's wedding day. The back of the photo has a message from Homer written on it, in which he offers Marge his soul in exchange for her marrying him. The jury decides that since Marge is technically the owner of Homer's soul, it wasn't his to sell to the devil in the first place, and lets him off.
    • In "Treehouse of Horror II", Homer uses a magical monkey's paw to wish for a turkey sandwich without any "weird surprises". The paw summons up a sandwich in which the turkey is a little dry.
    • In the episode "Lisa On Ice", Lisa has a dream where she is sentenced to Monster Island, which the judge assures her is just a name. Cue Lisa and other prisoners being chased by Mothra, Gamera, and Rodan.
    Lisa: He said it was just a name!
    Prisoner: What he meant is that Monster Island is actually a peninsula.
    • In "Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish"", when he was a WWII sergeant, Grandpa Simpson and his Flying Hellfish platoon establish a tontine for German artwork, as proposed by Mr. Burns, with the last remaining Hellfish member receiving the tontine. In the present-day, Burns tries to murder Grandpa in order to make himself the last remaining Hellfish, and in the end, Grandpa invokes his authority as sergeant and has Burns kicked out of the platoon, thereby taking away Burns' claim to the tontine.
    • In "Brother from the Same Planet", Lisa gets in trouble for repeatedly calling a magazine hotline and racking up a huge bill, so Marge makes her promise not to call the hotline from their house anymore. Lisa manages to hold out until she sees Dr. Hibbert leave his phone unattended, holding true to her literal promise that their (the Simpson house) phone would never be billed for another call to that number.
  • In the South Park episode "Christian Rock Hard", Kyle bets that Cartman will be unable to produce a platinum album with a Christian rock band. Cartman starts one with Butters and Token and does, in fact, sell more than one million albums. Kyle is all set to admit defeat and pay the money he bet—in a huge ceremony Cartman arranged to receive his platinum album, too—only to discover that, in the South Park universe, Christian music awards Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh albums. Kyle smugly remarks that the bet was to see who could get a platinum album, not a Myrrh album, and states that he doesn't owe Cartman anything. When he discovers that he can never get a platinum album and win the bet, Cartman's so furious that he throws a huge cursing fit, alienates his Christian fanbase and pushes Token's patience so far that he punches him in the face.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants :
    • In the episode "Big Pink Loser", Patrick get a job waiting tables at the Krusty Krab, but obviously isn't told what he's supposed to be doing, as the first time SpongeBob rings up an order, Patrick immediately eats it. SpongeBob prepares another tray and tells Patrick to take the tray to the customer. This time, Patrick eats the food offscreen and gives the customer the empty tray. SpongeBob then prepares another order and tells Patrick to make sure the food gets to the table, which Patrick accomplishes before eating it again.
    • In "Aargh!", when Mr. Krabs drags SpongeBob and Patrick off on a treasure hunt, he insists that they're not allowed to look at the map. When he leaves the map in his tent, folded up but otherwise unguarded, Patrick walks up and starts prodding it. When SpongeBob objects, Patrick counters that Mr. Krabs didn't say anything about touching the map. SpongeBob and Patrick happily start prodding the map until it unfurls, whereupon they start looking at it anyway.
    • Then, of course, there was the memorable scene in "Fools in April" where SpongeBob uses this trope to prank a customer:
      SpongeBob: April Fools'!
      Customer: [angrily grabbing SpongeBob's shirt] WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY DRINK?!!
      SpongeBob: [trying not to laugh] I... I...
      Customer: YOU WHAT?!!
      SpongeBob: You asked for a couple of ice cubes in your drink, and I only put in one!
      Customer: I guess that is pretty funny. [chuckles and walks away]
    • In the episode "Good Ol' Whatshisname", Squidward repeatedly attempts to get the name of a customer in order to win a contest hosted by Mr. Krabs, only to be rudely told "what's it to ya" with each attempt. It's only after grabbing said-customer's driver license that Squidward discovers his name is literally Mr. What Zit Tooya.
    • In the episode "Krusty Towers" when Squidward orders a Krabby Patty with cheese, toenail clippings, and nose hairs and forces Mr. Krabs to eat it, SpongeBob tells Mr. Krabs that it isn't really a Krabby Patty with those ingredients. He eats it only to spit it out. SpongeBob then mentions that the cheese was the missing ingredient as Patrick had used it all up for his hotel room.
    • Deconstructed with Mr. Krabs in the episode "Wishing You Well." When Mr. Krabs doesn't believe Spongebob when the latter and Patrick said they discovered magic, Mr. Krabs ends up wishing he was " was steamed and served with a side of melted butter." Cue a moment later, and Mr. Krabs regrets his wish and begs and pleads that he does believe in magic.
      • Played straight with Squidward in the same episode, however. When Squidward wished to be far away from Spongebob, he gets subsequently hit by and stuck to the front of a bus that's heading "far away" moments after making the said wish.
  • In one episode of Steven Universe, Greg says he'll take Steven to "the best diner in the world". The diner turns out to actually be called "The Best Diner In The World".
  • In Superman: The Animated Series, Darkseid recruits Bruno Mannheim as one of his human agents, promising to make him "a king". When Darkseid has no further use for Mannheim, he leaves him next to a reactor about to overload and answers his protests by saying that he is a king: a king of fools.
  • In Teen Titans, Val-Yor repeatedly refers to Starfire as "Troq." When Cyborg asks her what it means, Starfire comments that "it means nothing." Later, when Cyborg himself calls her "Troq," he's confused when Starfire reacts with anger and orders him not to call her that again. When Cyborg questions it, thinking that Starfire simply meant that the term "didn't mean anything," Starfire explains that "Troq" literally means "nothing"; it's a racial slur that implies that someone is worthless.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987). In one episode, the city unveils a fully automated sanitation system with robotic garbage trucks and an advanced AI system; Shredder naturally sees the weapon potential, and reprograms it to do his bidding, telling it to use the trucks to hunt down the Turtles. Unfortunately, he fails to specify that he wants mutant turtles, so the trucks start grabbing every turtle they can find, including a female member of an endangered breed about to lay a clutch of eggs. The episode quickly becomes a Race Against the Clock for the heroes, who have to fight the device and get the poor turtle to water so she can do so.
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures short "The Just-Us League of Supertoons", BatDuck and Decoy the Pig Hostage (Plucky Duck and Hampton Pig as Batman and Robin parodies) are invited to join the titular team by SuperBun (Buster Bunny as a Superman parody). When asked about his super powers, BatDuck mentions his hi-tech gadgets, his fearsome image... and his clog dancing skills! Annoyed and disappointed, the duo are rejected on the grounds that they are the Just-Us League of Supertoons. "It's 'just us'." Ironically, Keen Arrow (Calamity Coyote as a Green Arrow parody) also doesn't have super powers, but he's still part of the team.
  • In the Total Drama episode "Basic Straining", Chef Hatchet assigns the campers to write a 300-word essay about why they love him. When he reads Duncan's essay, it says, "I love Master Chief Hatchet, because he is very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very..."
  • In Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race Josee promises the Cadets she'll "help them" (the Cadets were trapped in a prison cell) if MacArthur says Ice Dancing is the greatest sport in the world. MacArthur reluctantly complies... and the Ice Dancers walk right past their cell.
    Sanders: You promised you'd help us!
    Josee: I am. I'm helping you go home.
  • In Transformers Animated:
    Issac Sumdac: You are friends with the Autobots, right?
    Megatron: Oh, we have quite a history.
  • Benign version from TUGS: in "Jinxed", Captain Star seems to have had enough with an unlucky tug named Boomer, and says ominously that he's "never to be used as a tug again". The other tugs assume Boomer's being scrapped, but find that he's actually been converted into a houseboat (and is quite happy with it).
  • Comes up a couple of times near the finale of W.I.T.C.H. The heroes team up with the previous seasons Big Bad, Phobos, to take down Nerissa. They make him swear on the Heart of Kandrakar that after Nerissa is defeated, he will not use her power for himself. He then backstabs the heroes and tries to take over Kandrakar anyway, which is exactly what the heroes had counted on. Due to the nature of his vow, if he had even set foot in Kandrakar with hostile intent he would have forfeited all of his stolen power. It would have worked too, if his dragon Cedric hadn't used his own to steal his power before he could break the vow.
    Cedric: He offered me a fraction of his power. I choose five fifths, maybe four fourths. In other words, all of it.
  • In the 2009 Wonder Woman (2009) animated movie, after breaking free of his imprisonment, Ares goes to Hades to remove his Restraining Bolt. Ares believes Hades is the only one of the Greek Gods who might consider doing so, largely because the simple act of Ares walking around on Earth without said restraining bolt will cause a Hate Plague complete with violence and conflict... and many of the people who die as a result will become helpless slaves to Hades. Hades notes that Zeus begged Hades not to help Ares if Ares came to him, but eventually Hades does set Ares free. At the end of the movie, after Wonder Woman has killed Ares to stop his plan, Hades reveals that Zeus begged him not to help Ares... because if Ares got himself in trouble once again, (as Zeus foresaw he would) Zeus would not be able to save or show mercy to him once again. So Hades "helped" Ares, knowing that Ares would almost certainly attempt a scheme too ambitious for him to actually carry out, and once Ares died as a result of that scheme, Ares himself would become a slave of the Underworld under the dominion of Hades. So essentially everything in the movie after Ares breaks free is Hades setting a trap for Ares, Ares blundering right into it, and then Hades sitting back and waiting for the inevitable to happen. Wow.
  • Woody Woodpecker once told his nephew and his niece about some of their ancestors. One of them worked on railroads and was told "When I nod my head, you hit it". Charlie Bear Senior should have known better than reciting these words to his son.