Argument of Contradictions
"Mom says 'Why can't you agree?' I say 'It's her fault, don't blame me!' 'Is not!' 'Is too!' 'Is not!' 'Is too!' "Is not, is not!' 'Is too, is too!' 'Is not, is not, is not!' 'Is too, is too, is too! Ha!'"
—"Is Not! Is Too!" - children's song by Bill Harley
A quarrel between two characters in which neither side really has any valid points to back up their argument, or they just aren't listening to each other, so for want of trying to win, the argument descends into bickering in the basic format of "Is not!" "Is too!" "Is not!" "Is too!"
Another form this can take is for two characters to simply shout their side loudly and repeatedly, e.g. "Red is the best color to paint it!" "No, blue is the best color to paint!" "Red!" "Blue!" "Red!" "Blue!..."
Often used to indicate general childishness or immaturity.
This may end with any the following:
- A character ends the argument or tries to end it by declaring "Is too - infinity!"
- May result in the other character declaring is "Is not - infinity +1!"
- One of the characters eventually gives up through sheer tiredness
- The characters eventually realize their argument is silly
- The characters don't stop their argument, but do agree that this way of arguing is silly and actually have reasonable discussion about their problem. Hey, it does happen sometimes.
- One character ends the argument by employing Duck Season, Rabbit Season, a subtrope of this
This may date back as far as Commedia dell'Arte
, making it Older Than Steam
. See also No, You
, a similar form of bickering, but one in which insults are specifically involved. Also compare Argumentum Ad Nauseam
in which only one side keeps repeating their side of the argument, hoping eventually nobody will care to respond anymore.
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- A couple of boys are shown doing this at the end of a holiday 2012 advertisement for KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) and their father gives them cookies included as part of the meal being promoted to shut them up.
Films - Animation
Films - Live Action
- Hot Shots has a similar argument:
Topper Harley: Are too too too too too too too too too too too...
Kent Gregory: Not not not not not not not not not...
Topper Harley: Are too times ten.
- Loaded Weapon 1 shows at least one way to settle one of these arguments.
Luger: I'm driving.
Colt: I'm driving!
Luger: I'm driving!
Colt: I'm driving!
*Luger punches Colt*
- Garion and Ce'Nedra argue with each other a lot in The Belgariad, and their arguments occasionally descend to this level when neither is willing to concede the last word or admit defeat. One fight in particular is mostly just the two of them shouting "Spoiled brat!" and "Stupid peasant!" back and forth at each other until the adults finally break it up.
- In The Ring of Solomon, a prequel book in the Bartimaeus novels series, Bartimaeus and the
assassin "hereditary guard" Asmira get into this after he insists that her supposed great skill with magic is, in fact, all a bluff. (He's more or less correct.) After a bit of "It is not!" / "Is so too!", he takes the argument itself as another point in favor for his side, commenting "How many real magicians do you think get involved in stroppy little verbal spats like this? They'd have hit me with the Dark Scouring by now and had done with it? ... You don't even know what a Dark Scouring is, do you?"
- In The Sword in the Stone, Sir Grummore and King Pellinore have a rather lengthy one following a battle, first about whether Pellinore said "Pax" or "Pax Non," then about whether or not he's a cad, then a bit later about him being a cheat. The whole thing continues on and off for about a page.
- In Dragon In Distress Princess Florinara Tansimasa Qasilava Delagordune and Drafir get into this over whether Sir George would hit a girl. He would.
- In E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core!, Book 2 of The Guardians of Childhood , North and E. Aster Bunnymund get into one when North complains that Bunnymund talks too much about eggs. The book describes the child Katherine's opinion that they're both behaving like a pair of brats despite being respectively oldest and wisest creature on Earth & the greatest warrior-wizard of the age. As the argument continues into the next page, she decides to tune them out.
- In Bill Wallace's Snot Stew the brother-and-sister owners of the brother-and-sister kitten main characters argue "Is not!" Is too!" so often that it starts running together through careless diction and the kittens misinterpret it as the title phrase.
- In I'm a Frog! from the Elephant & Piggie books, Gerald and Piggie get into one of these when Piggie asks Gerald if he, too, wants to be a frog and Gerald replies "I cannot." They go back-and-forth with "No, I can't! "Yes, you can!" a total of six times, before Gerald shouts "No! I CAN'T!" and Piggie decides to ask Gerald just why it is he can't pretend to be a frog. The punchline? "Because I am a cow. Moooooooooooo!"
- Train!, a children's picture book by Judi Abbot, features a young blue elephant named Little Elephant who loves trains and loves playing with his toy train. He's excited when his parents take him for a ride on a real train as a treat, but is disappointed and upset when none of the other kids on the train want to play with his toy train. One of them, Cat, only wants to play with a toy plane and another, Penguin, only wants to play with a toy car. They argue back and forth - "Train. Plane. Car," and then another kid, Rabbit, joins in with a digger. Little Elephant finally gets so upset that he actually descends into Argumentum Ad Nauseam and has a "terrible train tantrum" - "TRAIN! Train! Train! Train! Train! Train! Train!" Then, however, something happens which causes the group to realize that it can be fun playing together and Little Elephant learns a new word - "friends."
Live Action TV
- Monty Python's Flying Circus:
- In the "Argument Clinic" sketch, a man goes to the eponymous clinic for an argument, but all he receives is negation - which is to say, this.
An argument isn't just contradiction. Mr Vibrating:
It can be. Man:
No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition. Mr Vibrating:
No it isn't. Man:
Yes it is! It's not just contradiction. Mr Vibrating:
Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position. Man:
Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.' Mr Vibrating:
Yes it is! Man: No it isn't!
- In the "Flying Lessons" sketch, Mr. Chigger and Mr. Anemone get into an argument over whether the latter is on a wire, which degenerates into shouting "Is!" and "Isn't!" back and forth until the narrator decides to cut away from this "pointless bickering."
- The album Another Monty Python Record has Norman St. John Polevaulter, who contradicts people.
Host: St. John Polevaulter, why do you contradict people?
Polevaulter: I don't.
Host: But you told me that you did.
Polevaulter: I most certainly did not.
Host: (beat) Oh, I see. I'll start again.
Polevaulter: No you won't!
Host: Shh! I understand you don't contradict people.
Polevaulter: Yes I do!
Host: And when didn't you start contradicting them?
Polevaulter: I did! In 1952!
Host: Twenty-three years ago.
- On Top Gear, most arguments between Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson end up in this.
- Turn on any sleazy daytime talk show like Maury or Jerry Springer / The Steve Wilkos Show and get ready to watch the trailer trash let this fly. "Yes, you did cheat on me, nine times!" "No, I din't." "Yes, you did!" "No, I din'!" "And the lie detector said... that was a lie!" "'What?!!!! #@#$# (bleep bleep)"
- Happens in 8 Simple Rules in a phone conversation between Paul Hennessey and his daughter Bridget, though the viewers only get to hear Paul's side of the conversation:
Paul: "Dob" means date of birth. ... Yes, it does. ... Yes, it does. ... Yes, it does.
- It comes up again when he tells her in a phone conversation to "break a leg" and may be a Running Gag.
- The "You Never Know What You Can Do Until You Try Out Something New" song in "The Sprites' Snow Day" from Johnny and the Sprites features several of these as Basil tells the other Sprites that their ideas won't work and they insist that they will.
Lily: Pretty soon, she'll be flying home in her hot chocolate air balloon.
Basil: That won't work.
Lily: Yes, it will.
Basil: No, it won't.
Lily: Yes, it will.
Basil: I'm afraid that won't work out at all.
Lily: And why not?
Basil: Because she's too big and that balloon's too small.
Lily: Oh, good point.
- In Tales of Graces, Pascal and Hubert have one when he tells her that her that just because her sister's mad at her doesn't mean that she's to blame, and she thinks that he's consoling her, but he insists that he's not. The skit is titled "Am Not, Are Too."
- In Total Distortion, you can get into a few variations of these in dialogue with the first Guitar Warrior you meet.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus has a bonus game where Mr Gumby can win more points the longer he can keep contradicting a Minister For Pointless Arguments.
- Kingdom Hearts II, when the fairies from Sleeping Beauty disagree over the color of Sora's new outfit, much like they did in the film, before finally landing on a stylish multi-colored outfit that can transform into other outfits patterned after a single color that give Sora special powers.
- Star Control the guys living in the gas giant tend to devolve into this.
- In the first installment of Kingdumb Hearts: 14 Days and 5 Min, Xemnas has a brief argument of a contradictions with a couple of the other members of Organization XIII over how many members there are now in the Organization - he says 13 and they say 14. One of them tries to end the argument by calling in the The Count, but Xemnas ends it by killing one of them.
- In "Did Not! Did Too!" on Baby Looney Tunes, Bugs Bunny and Lola have an argument over whose flag to plant in a block tower. They go to their rooms and have a "Did not! Did too!" argument over who asked who to help each other.
- In another baby example, Phil and Lil on Rugrats have repeatedly resorted to this.
- An episode of Dave the Barbarian has Dave and Fang arguing over how to deal with a band of monsters coming to Udrogoth. The argument eventually degenerates into chasing each other around a table while shouting "Yes!" and "No!" By the end of the episode, they get tired of always coming back to this.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic examples:
- In "Look Before You Sleep", Applejack and Rarity's argument at the beginning of the episode eventually degenerates into this:
Rarity: How does muddying my hooves serve any useful purpose?
Applejack: Y'all wouldn't know useful if it came up and bit ya!
Rarity: Haha, that doesn't even make any sense.
Applejack: Does so!
Rarity: Does not.
Applejack: Does so!
Rarity: Does not.
Applejack: Does so!
Rarity: Does not.
Applejack: Does so, infinity! Hah!
Rarity: Does not, infinity plus one! Hah!
- In "Stare Master," Apple Bloom and Scootaloo do this in an attempt to get arguing cutie marks.
Maybe that's our special talent: arguing! Scootaloo:
Is not! Applebloom:
Is too! Scootaloo:
Is not! Applebloom:
Is too! Anything yet? (beat
- Pinkie Pie has one with her alligator Gummy in "Just for Sidekicks," though, of course, we only get to hear her side. "No, I love you more! No, I love you more! No, I love you more!"
- In "Kid Court" on PB&J Otter Peanut, Jelly, and Baby Butter are having an argument over which of them should get to watch their favorite TV show. They decide to have Pinch solve as a judge in a mock court and Peanut has Flick testify on his behalf. Flick says that Pinch must rule in Peanut's favor because of Peanut's Law, which states "that if your name is Peanut and the ring toss relays are on, then you get to watch them." Jelly protests that Flick is making that up. "Am not!" "Are too!" "Am not a hundred times." "Are too a hundred times infinity!" "Ooh, she's good." In another installment, there is a brief argument of contradictions over what terms the Otters and the Snooties use to refer to their toys.
- Some arguments between Sonic and Sally devolve into this on Sonic Sat Am.
- As revealed in the Season 2 episode "Blast to the Past Part 1", they've been arguing thusly pretty much all their lives. Sally's older self even lampshades this after overhearing her younger self and Sonic's argue over whether his messy eating and subsequent belch was cool or disgusting: "*sigh* Some things never change."
- Adventures from the Book of Virtues: Annie accusing Zach of causing her bike accident results in a "Yes you did!" "No I didn't!" "You did too!" argument between them until Plato stops them from bickering. Then it's lampshaded when Plato tells Annie that arguing with a friend isn't the right answer to an accident.
- On "Franklin's Halloween" from Franklin, Beaver and Fox have one throughout over whether or not there are real ghosts.
- In "Rocky Friendship" from Timothy Goes to School, Fritz and Charles have an argument that eventually descends into this when they each find a rock at the same time and are unsuccessful in sharing it.
- Timothy and Fritz have one in "Abracadabra" after Fritz accuses Timothy of teaching Grace his magic trick, until Grace puts a stop to it by revealing that she peeked at Fritz's book.
- In "Hop Hooey" on JoJo's Circus, Trina and Croaky have a rapid-fire series of these over a trivial problem in a game before doing the "infinity times a kazillion and one" thing and then squaring off against each other and not talking to each other. JoJo, however, solves things by teaching them a trick she learned from her parents to calm herself down when she's angry.
- Mr. Bogus and Brattus end up in one of these in the first act of the episode "Nightmare On Bogus Street", when arguing about Bogus's denial about putting Brattus in a stewpot, when Bogus was still in his werewolf form.
- In the Kim Possible episode "The Full Monkey", Ron and Wade spend several minutes yelling at one another about whether Wade "can not" or "can too" fight monkey magic with science.
- Blossom and Buttercup have an "Nuh-uh!/Uh-Huh!" session in The Powerpuff Girls episode "Makes Zen To Me" after Blossom calls Buttercup to the carpet for going overboard pummeling Fuzzy Lumpkins.
- They both get into this in "Three Girls And A Monster," arguing whether Blossom's brains or Buttercup's brawn will work in fighting a gigantic lizard monster. Bubbles gets rid of the beast by being beguilingly sweet.
- Ludwig von Beethoven and the Three Bears have one of these in "The Play Date Problem" on Peg + Cat and then follow it up with another about the best way to argue.
- On Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs, in "It's Made of Cheese!", Harry and Charley have one about whether the moon is made of cheese or peanut butter, with Harry advocating the former and Sam the latter. When Sid tells them it's made of rocks, they decide to travel there themselves to find out once and for all what it's made of. It turns out that none of them are right, and that Steggy instead got it right— it's made of chocolate chip cookies.
- The anti-logic Gremlin from the Danger Mouse episode "Gremlin Alert" uses contradiction against his protagonists. It works until D.M. lights a Logic Bomb and lobs it at the Gremlin.
- Arthur season 18 has a feature called "Which Arthur character are you?" One of these shows one girl who says that she's like D.W. because she's funny and another that's like Arthur because she's smart. The funny girl says that they don't argue like Arthur and D.W. do, but the smart girl disagrees and they argue back and forth in this manner, interspersed with clips of Arthur and D.W. doing the same, before finally agreeing that they really are like Arthur and D.W.
- In "Tails You Lose" on Dragon Tales, Zak is conducting a game of freeze dance with the song "The Wings on the Dragon," a variation of "The Wheels on the Bus." He conducts and sings the song very slowly, leading Wheezie complain that fast music is better for the game. Zak responds "Is not," she says "Is too!" and they're off, until Wheezie snatches the baton and conducts the game to a fast version of the song.
- Sadly, there has been at least one case of a person murdering their spouse/lover at the height of a heated argument dealing with who loved who more.
- Levied by some as a complaint regarding the behavior of President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney in the first 2012 U.S. presidential debate. Barack Obama repeatedly stated that Mitt Romney favored a five trillion dollar tax cut and Romney repeatedly replied that this was not his plan. A letter to the editor in Dayton, Ohio city's Dayton City Paper stated "The debate quickly turned into an argument between two teen-aged siblings 'Yes, you did.' 'No, I didn't.' 'Yes, you did.'" Following the debate, Obama's campaign began repeatedly airing a commercial which showed Romney stating in the debate "I'm not in favor of a five trillion dollar tax cut. That's not my plan." The commercial then discussed how an independent analysis found that such a cut would be required under Romney's plan and then stated "If we can't trust him here [the debate], how can we ever trust him here? [seat in the Oval Office]"
- Who hasn't done this with their brother, sister, friend, or at the very least overheard someone else doing it?
Is too infinity!