Ironic Echo: Western Animation
- Avatar: The Last Airbender
- Toph is stuck inside a metal cage, while Xin Fu tells her "You might think you're the greatest earthbender in the world, but even you can't bend metal." She does exactly that, and declares, "I am the greatest earthbender in the world!"
- In "The Ember Island Players", when the rest of the Gaang is upset over how they're portrayed in the play, Toph tells everyone, "Listen, friends, it's obvious that the playwright did his research. I know it must hurt, but what you're seeing up there on that stage is the truth." Later, when Toph's character, played by "a really buff guy" is introduced, Katara tries to get back at her:
Katara: Well, Toph, what you hear up there is the truth. It hurts, doesn't it?
Toph: Are you kidding me?! I wouldn't have cast it any other way!
- There is another more subtle example in "The Ember Island Players", when in the play Zuko is siding against Iroh.
Play!Zuko: I hate you! And you smell!
(two episodes later, when Zuko is apologizing to Iroh after tracking him by scent)
Zuko: It wasn't that hard [to find you], uncle. You have a pretty strong scent.
- In the first half of the second season opener of The Legend of Korra, when Korra is attacked by a spirit Unalaq calms it telling it "Go in peace." This is what Korra later says when she banishes him in the season finale.
Zhu Li: Guards, do the thing.Varrick: (as the guards drag him away) No! Not the thing! NOT THE THING!
- In the final season, when Zhu Li ostensibly gets sick of Varrick's attitude and declares her loyalty to Kuvira, she dispatches him with his own Catch Phrase:
Bolin: "You may now... do the thing.
- Used again in the final episode during Zhu Li's and Varrick's wedding
- Korra delivers another one to Zaheer. She tells him he killed the Earth Queen only to create a more powerful leader.
- Rugrats: When Angelica's parents send her to her room for refusing to eat her broccoli, her mother tells her, "We tried to reason with you, but you wouldn't listen." Later, Hilarity Ensues when Angelica sues her parents. When Charlotte tries to reason with her, Angelica tells her, "It's too late for talk now, Mommy. I tried to reason with you, but you wouldn't listen."
- Also, "And you'll never see your mom, or your dad or your dumb old dog ever again! Ah hahahahahahah!!!
- Danny Phantom loves this trope. One of the earliest examples is in "Maternal Instinct"; when Vlad first uses the Plasmius Maximus on Danny to temporarily De-Power him, he smugly tells him, "I've seen your grades, and I know you're bad at math. I'll give you five minutes before I send my minions to destroy you.... Five minutes, five seconds — oh, apparently, I'm bad at math, too." Later, after Danny gets the better of him:
Danny: I'll give you a five-minute head start, Plasmius.
Danny: Minutes, seconds... you know how bad I can be at math.
Sam: (at the concert with Danny and Tucker) I can't believe we're sitting next to those losers!
- And in "Shades of Gray", Valerie was planning to go to a concert with the other popular kids, but subsequently had to sell her tickets online to pay for a moving truck. Paulina then asks her who bought them ("We don't wanna have to sit next to any losers at the concert."). Later, it turns out that Sam did:
Valerie: I never thought a ghost could be anything but trouble.
- "Life Lessons" begins with a great example. When Danny is fighting Valerie, he says "I don't wanna hurt you," to which she replies "What makes you think you can?" Later, after finding out that they were assigned to the same Home Economics project, the teacher mocks them, referring to them as a married couple. Danny says "I am so not kissing the bride" to which Valerie replies, "What makes you think you can?"
- As it happens, that episode has another instance of this trope; after they finally manage to beat Skulker and remove the handcuffs binding them together, Valerie apologizes to Danny (Phantom).
Danny: That's because you never bothered to get to know one.
Danny: Wow, this is like the worst job ever. I didn't know this is the job you were talking about.
- And a few scenes later, when Danny (Fenton) finds out the job Valerie has...
Valerie: That's 'cause you never bothered to get to know me.
The Box Ghost: Beware.
- The Box Ghost's catchphrase of all things became this, when Danny went into the future during The Ultimate Enemy and found his enemy's Future Badass self. It used to be a joke emphasizing how nobody took the Box Ghost seriously. Now...
- In the DuckTales episode "Where No Duck Has Gone Before", Scrooge obtains ownership of a studio that produces a show that Scrooge dislikes, and the star, Major Courage, constantly reminds Scrooge that he has a five-year contract, especially after he accidentally blasts off into space with the nephews and upon finding out he really is in space, finds a way out and leaves them behind, refusing to come back for them. At the end, Scrooge turns the studio into a space museum, where Courage is forced to do humiliating work as a mascot and candy vendor, to which Scrooge reminds him of his five-year contract.
- In the Season 1 finale of Metalocalypse, Charles Foster Ofdensen, Dethklok's manager, saves an unconscious Dethklok from a masked assassin, saying "That's my bread and butter you're fuckin' with." In the Season 2 finale, Dethklok saves Charles from the Revengencers, repeating the line word-for-word.
- From Batman Beyond: "Remember. There may be some momentary discomfort." Doubles as a Pre-Mortem One-Liner.
Joker: (to Bruce/Batman) It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic. (Beat) Eh, what the heck, I'll laugh anyway. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!(later, at the climax)Batman II: You make me laugh...but only because I think you're kinda pathetic. Hahahahahahaha...!
- And in the movie.
- In Code Lyoko episode "Straight to Heart", Yumi tries to clear up her relationship with Ulrich by claiming they're "Friends, that's all." The sentence comes back bitterly several times in the episode, and (with some variations) throughout Seasons 3 and 4.
- The prologue has another example in its second part. When Yumi accompanies them to the factory and she and Ulrich come to the ropes leading down, he pauses. Yumi, unaware of his Vertigo condition, says, "Don't tell me you're scared?" Ulrich repeats the line a few minutes later, a grin on his face as the scanner doors close on him before he's virtualized, effectively provoking Yumi into going to Lyoko as well.
- In Xiaolin Showdown episode "A New Order", Jack asks Chase "Who would you rather be right now? You, or me?" after trapping him in the Sphere of Yun. Later, Chase asks Jack the same question after Omi lets him out.
- Batman: The Animated Series
"I am fear incarnate! I am the terror of Gotham! I! Am! The Scarecrow!"
- "Nothing to Fear":
"I am vengeance. I am the night! I! Am! BATMAN!"
- And another one from the episode "Baby Doll". Baby's catch-phrase on the show (after causing some mayhem) was "I didn't mean to!", à la Bart's "I didn't do it." At the end, she's hugging Batman's leg and crying, saying simply "I didn't mean to..."
- In "The Clock King":
- Compare the scenes where Fugate was being a Mean Boss and when the Judge gave him No Sympathy.
- Also invoked by Fugate: The Distant Prologue shows that Hill's Advice Backfire was given at the subway. Seven years later Gotham Central Station's speakers will lampshade Hill's incompetence just before the Sinister Subway scene.
- In an episode of The Legend of Zelda, Zelda borrows Link's shield and leaves him to fight off Ganon's invasion alone:
Zelda: You hold them here!
Link: Hey! Thanks heaps, Princess!
- Later, after moblins are sent after the duo in the underworld...
Link's Ghost: Just hold them a while!
Zelda: Thanks heaps!
- Occurs in the South Park episode "Fishsticks," where Cartman "helped" Jimmy write a joke, then is concerned that he won't get proper credit, and asks Kyle for help. Kyle doesn't give him any, but tells Cartman:
Kyle: Yes, I believe that you believe you helped write that joke. That's how people like you work! Your ego is so out of whack that it will do whatever it can to protect itself. And people with a messed up ego can do these mental gymnastics to convince themselves they're awesome, when really, they're just douchebags!
Cartman: Jimmy, you really believe that you came up with it all on your own? Oh my God, wait. I totally get it now.
Jimmy: What? I, I still don't get anything.
Cartman: All this time I've been mad at you, Jimmy, for trying to take all the credit, but, now I realize it's just that your ego has made you believe things happened differently. That's what Kyle was trying to tell me. That you have such a huge ego you do these mental gymnastics to make yourself a part of things.
Jimmy: Rih, r-r-really?
Cartman: I thought you were just trying to Jew me out of my part of the credit, but now I realize that... some people just have egos that are so out of whack that no matter what people tell them, they can't accept the truth of who they are. Jimmy, I owe you an apology. I realize now you can't help believing you created the entire joke, because your ego won't let you think otherwise. I just have to accept that.
- And in "Coon 2: Hindsight" and "Coon vs. Coon and Friends." You got poop, don't you?
- Beast Wars: Rattrap is angry at Dinobot for the latter's recent betrayal, maliciously snapping "Oh yeah, he's a slag-spouting saurian, but at least you know where he stands! Well, guess we live and learn." Later, when Dinobot sacrifices his life to protect the early anthropoids, in a more reverent and somber tone: "Like I said: You're just a blasted, slag spoutin' saurian... but it's nice to know where you stand."
- X-Men: From "Beyond Good and Evil Part 4" in the final battle with Apocalypse when Magneto gets attacked and saved by Wolverine:
Wolverine: Oh, look who I'm saving. You'd think I was Xavier.
Magneto: Look who I'm saving. You think I were an X-Man.
- Then Magneto returns the favor when Wolverine is attacked by Apocalypse and saved by Magneto:
- Justice League:
Flash!Clayface: Looks like I didn't need you after all, yo, but you can help me tie him up.
- One of Clayface's attempts at impersonating The Flash leads to an overuse of slang and leads to Batman Spotting the Thread more or less instantly:
* After Batman exposes Clayface*Clayface: ...What gave me away?
Batman: **Completely deadpan** You overplayed your part, "yo".
- In "Only a Dream", Batman uses "Frere Jacques" to keep Dr. Destiny from completely invading his mind. Once Dr. Destiny accidentally doses himself with a sedative intended for the sleep-deprived Batman, we see him as a catatonic John Dee again, eyes wide open but with Frere Jacques going through HIS mind now.
- The one thing Ace said to Joker near the end of "Wild Cards", after the mind control device was taken from him and turned off. Right before warping Joker's reality enough to make him simply stare bug-eyed, drooling.
- In the Unlimited episode "Alive!", Tala tries to worm her way back into Lex's good graces after a failed mutiny by saying that she's a "sick person", implying that she just couldn't help herself. When Lex uses her as a living magical battery in a device that will resurrect Brainiac at the cost of her life and Tala realizes that Lex planned on using her for this even before she betrayed him, he gloats "What can I say? I'm a sick person too." Tala gets a posthumous last laugh by resurrecting Darkseid instead of Brainiac.
- In Angels Friends - In episode 2, Raf and Sulfus see Andrew's friend Jacob getting picked on by three bullies:
Raf: What do you mean; three against one?! That's not fair!
Sulfus: Let me think about it...you could slap a fine on them!
Sulfus: Three against one? It's not fair!
- Then later when Urie and Dolce show up to help Raf in a challenge:
Raf: Slap a fine on me!
- Gargoyles: Used in a very dark context by first Demona and then her enemy John Canmore:
- "It may not be worth much now, but in a thousand years..." First by Xanatos, then by his much more moral father.
- In ''Tokyo Mater'', Kabuto actually threatens Mater that if he loses the race to Tokyo Tower, then Kabuto will strip him of his modifications and as a result Mater will become "stock." At the end of the short, Mater beats Kabuto to the top of the tower, and as a result it's Kabuto that ends up being stripped of his modifications. As the other cars in Tokyo start laughing at him because of his nudity, Kabuto immediately screams "I'M STOCK!!!"
- In the first song of the Dr. Seuss special Halloween Is Grinch Night, Grandpa Josiah repeatedly sings, "I wouldn't go out on a night like this for" a given amount of money that increases with each verse, such as "six dollars and sixty cents!". Later, the Grinch starts poetically talking about what a wonderful night it is in the same rhythm as Josiah's song, ending with "I wouldn't stay home on a night like this for sixty dollars and sixty cents!"
- Disney's Lilo & Stitch: The Series has an episode where Gantu is immediately rebuked for his idea of how useful an experiment would be. When 625 discovers something that could vindicate him, he's too angry to listen.
Gantu: Quiet! I do not want to hear anything more about 113.625: But—Gantu: But nothing. Go make a sandwich!625: Well gee, you don't have to be a jerk about it!Gantu: Yeah? What are you gonna do about it, trog?625: Look, I'm trying to tell you that—Gantu: (covers his ears) I'm not listening! Na na-na na-na-na.
Gantu: Why didn't you say so before?!625: (chuckles, then holds up a tape recorder) Caught it all on tape.Gantu (recording): Quiet! I do not want to hear anything more about 113.Gantu: But—Gantu (recording): But nothing. Go make a sandwich!Gantu: You can't talk to me like that!Gantu (recording): Yeah? What are you gonna do about it, trog?Gantu: (pulls out plasma gun and holds it against the recorder) Insolent device! SILENCE!Gantu (recording): I'm not listening! Na na-na na-na-na.
- And then later, when 625 tells him what he found out, we get one of the best instances of this trope ever thought up:
- Blasting the recorder didn't do much to mollify him, either.
- The Sponge Bob Square Pants episode "One Krabs Treasure" has an Ironic Echo done in a way. First in the graveyard when Mr. Krabs comes to steal back the "valuable" novelty soda drink hat, he comes across a depressed Squidward mourning his hopes and dreams. Krabs replies "What a baby." Later after Krabs finds out that the soda drink hat has no value after others are found, he sobs and Squidward passes by saying "What a baby." May count as a Crowning Moment of Funny.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series: The Daredevil story gives us a three-fer. In Flashback we see Kingpin going to prison for his father's crimes, with his father saying "Sacrifices must be made". Later in the flashback Kingpin says the same thing when disposing of his father, as the last link to his old identity. And at the end, he says it again when he lets his own son take the rap for his crimes.
- Jimmy Two-Shoes:
Beezy: Misery? You told me to be causing anguish.Lucius VII: Anguish? That's barely worse than worry!
Lucius VII: But... look at the anguish on that man's face!Lucius VI: Anguish? That's barely worse than worry!
- In the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "They Call Him Mr. Ed", Eddy says to Nazz "You Got Spunk" for coming to him for a job. In Grand Finale, it's said again by Eddy's brother to Edd...after SLAMMING HIM INTO THE GROUND.
- Being The Voiceless/the eyes and ears for the Decepticons, Soundwave from Transformers Prime "speaks" by replaying recordings of others, and as such a lot of his "dialogue" can turn into this. For example, in the episode "Masters And Students" once Starscream learns that Megatron survived the SpaceBridge explosion, and just before going off to find him, there's this exchange:
Starscream: Remain here and monitor the outcome. When Skyquake snuffs Prime's spark... I must bear witness. *Flies off*Soundwave: ..."Must bear witness"... *Discreetly sends Laserbeak after Starscream*
- The season two arc of Teen Titans uses this twice. First off in an episode where it's revealed that Terra has been working with Slade to help her control her powers, when she attempts to protect Beast Boy from Slade he tells her that she doesn't have any friends. Then after the truth comes out, she begs Beast Boy to forgive her deception. He turns his back on her, replying "Slade was right. You don't have any friends." The second time it's used is in the 2-part finale. Terra, now bitter and completely sided with Slade, is tearing up the town, and Beast Boy attempts to reason with her and begs her to stop, stating that he's still her friend. Terra coldly replies, "Don't you remember? I don't have any friends."
- An even larger example involving Beast Boy and Terra. In Aftershock when Terra is about to finish Beast Boy while controlled by Slade, he utters this "It's your life Terra, your choice, it's never too late to change."
- In the show's finale:"Things change, Beast Boy. The girl you want me to be is just a memory.... you're the Teen Titan. That's who you are. That's not me. I'm not a hero. I'm not out to save the world. I'm just a girl with a geometry test next period and I haven't studied."
- In the prom episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, Montana Max delivers a "Reason You Suck" Speech to Elmyra , but when it doesn't get through to her, he exclaims, "I! Don't! Like! You!" Needless to say, she was crushed. Monty then tried to move in on Dizzy's date Mitzy, only to get a similar speech from her (right down to the "I don't like you" quote). He takes it about as well as Elmyra did.
- One episode of Garfield and Friends has Wade Duck remove a mattress tag because he thought it was "a bookmark". He wonders "What harm can it do?" throughout the episode, once in the form of a musical number! At the end of the episode, Booker and Sheldon play a prank that the police have come to arrest Wade. When Sheldon asks Booker about it, he says "What harm can it do?"
- In the Young Justice episode "Secrets", when Artemis tries to fight Harm, he says she's too riddled with doubt to be an effective fighter: "How can it fight Harm when it is busy fighting itself?" When Harm is shaken by being forced to confront the ghost of his sister, who he murdered to remove "weakness" from his life, Artemis throws the line back at him.
- In the Simpsons episode "Bart's Girlfriend", the Lovejoys' daughter Jessica arrives in town from boarding school, and Bart is instantly smitten. Lisa reminds him that his chances with her are slim to none, saying "She's a sweet, kind reverend's daughter, and you're the devil's cabana boy." Bart begrudgingly adopts a "good boy" persona to get into the Lovejoys' good graces, which doesn't take. Neither does it matter, because Jessica proves to be a troublemaker on par with himself. They go on a petty crime spree, wherein Bart realizes that Jessica actually outclasses him in terms of amorality. When he tries to break off their relationship next week in church, Jessica retaliates by dumping the contents of the collection plate into her purse and pinning the theft on him, which leads the entire town to ostracize him. Bart later confronts Jessica about her betrayal and vows to let the town know who the real culprit is. She replies, echoing Lisa's earlier sentiment, "Who would believe you? Remember, I'm the sweet, perfect minister's daughter, and you're just yellow trash."
- In the Dexter's Laboratory episode "D&DD", when the players of Dexter's Mazes and Monsters game accuse him of cheatingnote , Dexter launches into an A God Am I speech ("I am the Game Master and you are my pawns!"). Later, when Dee Dee is allowed to take over the game, she has Dexter play as "Hodo, the Furry-Footed Burrower"; when Dexter complains, the other players throw that rant right back in his face.
- In the Double Dragon cartoon, Jimmy becomes drunk on the power of the Eye of the Dragon, causing him to (temporarily) break the bond between him and his brother at an inopportune time. At this point, "I hold the power" becomes his Madness Mantra, and while under the influence of the Eye's power, he comes within a hair's breadth of killing the Shadow Master until he shows Jimmy a captured Billy, forcing him into a Friend or Idol Decision with the phrase "The end of your enemy... or the life of your brother? Only I hold that power."
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
Discord Surely you saw this coming.Fluttershy: I didn't! I really didn't!
- Played with, during "Sonic Rainboom", Fluttershy says to Rainbow Dash (who's suffering from a bad case of stage fright) that there's no reason to feel nervous about facing a crowd of ponies who will watch, criticize, and judge each and every one of her moves. Later, during "Green Isn't Your Color" Photo Finish gives Fluttershy a similar speech when the nervous pegasus is about to begin her first modeling pass.
- "Pinkie Pie, you are so random" has a very different connotation between "Griffon the Brush Off" and "Swarm of the Century".
- In "Party of One", Pinkie says "Okie dokie lokie" with great enthusiasm. The next time she says it, however, it's with great skepticism.
- In Twilight's Kingdom Part 2, Discord betrays the ponies to join Tirek.
Applejack: Surely you saw this coming.Discord: I didn't. I truly didn't...
- Applejack then delivers a stinging echo after Tirek betrays him:
- From a dramatic stand point, Tirek gave Discord the medallion which turned out to mean nothing to him. Discord later gives the same medallion to Twilight for freeing him, and this turns into one of the keys needed to unlock the power to defeat Tirek.
- In the Bojack Horseman episode "Say Anything," Bojack pulls one on himself. He spends the episode asking Princess Carolyn "what are we doing?" in a jovial tone, meaning that he believes they are obviously in love with each other and asking what are they doing trying to deny it. At the end of the episode after going through a bad experience that shatters his (always tenuous) self-esteem, he cancels a date with her by dejectedly asking, "what are we DOING?". This time, he's asking what they're doing pretending that they're really in love when they're obviously just trying to temporarily deny their own crushing loneliness.
- In Wat's Pig, Wat asks "Me?" in awe when his brother (the king) presents him with the opportunity to wear the shining armor. Later, his brother asks him "Me?" in horror when he's offered the plow after The Bad Guy Wins.