O who will show me those delights on high? Echo.
Thou Echo, thou art mortal, all men know. Echo.
—George Herbert (1593-1633), "Heaven"
A character asks a question out loud. A voice answers — but not in its own words, just repeating the last few words of the character’s question. The voice in question may just be an echo of the character’s voice; in which case they may or may not mistake it for another character. If the answering voice is in fact a separate entity, expect the character asking the question to assume the answering voice is their own echo, whether or not it sounds like them.
Normally either Played for Drama
or Played for Laughs
- Echos from the Boogiepop novel can only communicate like this.
- In the Serendipity Books series of children's picture books, there's a story of a short-tempered baby elephant who mistakes echoes for a person and gets in a pointless argument with them.
- Done subtly in the Edgar Allan Poe story "Never Bet the Devil Your Head":
"What right," said I, "had the old gentleman to make any other gentleman jump? The little old dot-and-carry-one! who is he? If he asks me to jump, I won't do it, that's flat, and I don't care who the devil he is." The bridge, as I say, was arched and covered in, in a very ridiculous manner, and there was a most uncomfortable echo about it at all times-an echo which I never before so particularly observed as when I uttered the four last words of my remark.
- In Heroes Of Olympus Leo and Hazel meet Echo, whose name is literally in the trope.
- The aria "Treues Echo dieser Orten" from J.S. Bach's secular cantata Hercules auf dem Scheidewege. Much of the music of this cantata, including this aria, was adapted into the fourth part of the Christmas Oratorio.