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Don't Ask

Some honcho in a cushy office on Earth says go look at a grid reference in the middle of nowhere, we look. They don't say why, and I don't ask. I don't ask because it takes two weeks to get an answer out here and the answer's always 'don't ask.'
Aliens

A Stock Phrase That comes up in several situations:

  • 1. As a response to "How was your day?". Used this way, it implies that it's been a very bad day indeed.
  • 2. As a response to "How did that happen?". Used this way, it implies It's a Long Story.
  • 3. As a response to "How do you know that?". used this way, it implies a more detailed answer would provide Too Much Information.
  • 4. Before anybody could even ask when they see the character in something awkward.

Sometimes the statement is made preemptively, before the other person can even ask a question. Usually used to avoid recapping events the audience has already witnessed, or used to set up a Noodle Incident.

See also You Do Not Want To Know.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Film 
  • Arabesque
    Yasmin Azir: This is like a recurring dream I used to have.
    David Pollock: How did it end?
    Yasmin Azir: Don't ask!
  • As Good As It Gets
    Carol Connelly: How are you?
    Simon Bishop: Don't ask.
  • Heat
    Nate: What happened out there?
    Neil McCauley: Don't ask.
  • Outlander
    Wulfric: This is where your ship went down?
    Kainan: That's right.
    Wulfric: In a lake?
    Kainan: Don't ask.
  • The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Daredevils of the Desert
    Indiana Jones: What happened? How did you get away from those Arabs?
    Maya: Don't ask.
  • The Great Escape
    [Materials being used for escape clothes]
    Bartlett: Where in God's name did you get these?
    Griffith: Hendley.
    Bartlett: Well, where did he get them?
    Griffith: Well, I asked him that.
    Bartlett: What did he say?
    Griffith: "Don't ask."
  • The Secret of NIMH
    Teresa: What are you doing here?
    Jeremy: Good question, but don't ask.
  • Trouble Man
    Mr. T: What's happenin', Willy?
    Willy: Don't ask. Also don't have daughters who marry schmuck husbands.
  • Murder by Death
    Milo Perrier: (Bursts into the room wearing the dead butler's clothing) Don't ask me!
    Dick Charleston: What are you doing in the butler's uniform?
    Milo Perrier: I said don't ask me! I don't know. It all happened too quickly!
  • From Legally Blonde:
    (Emmett staring at Elle as she stands in line to buy a computer, wearing a Playboy bunny outfit)
    Elle: Don't ask.
    Emmett: Wasn't gonna.
  • From Charlie's Angels
    (After Dylan arrives in a small motorcycle and clothes obviously too small for her)
    Dylan: (to Natalie and Alex) Don't ask.
  • Tommorrow Never Dies
    James Bond: [While in bed with his Scandinavian language tutor, and on the phone with Moneypenny] I always enjoyed learning a new tongue.
    Moneypenny: You always were a cunning linguist, James.
    Moneypenny: [M walks up from behind Moneypenny] Don't ask.
    M: Don't tell.

    Literature 
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
    Luna: (regarding her father) He's always saying he'd believe anything of Fudge; I mean, the number of goblins Fudge has had assassinated! And of course he uses the Department of Mysteries to develop terrible poisons, which he secretly feeds to anybody who disagrees with him. And then there's his Umgubular Slashkilter —
    Harry: (to Cho Chang) Don't ask.
    • Madame Pomfrey seems to know not to ask. In all her years at Hogwarts she probably has seen a fair share of students with injuries the result of things students shouldn't be doing. Just looks at Ron's dragon bite there's no way that she bought Ron's story that a dog bit him.Also given her status as a healer it's very likely she knew Hermione had a mishap with Pollyjuice Potion. Could also be a case of I Dont Want To Know.
  • In Going Postal the Post Office has a long list of things not to ask about, Mrs Cake is featured three times. Later when a Golem that used to work in a messenger service for an ancient empire is hired it turns out that the ancients also had a very similar list. The Goddess C'zol appears multiple times. Naturally Moist finds himself asking, only to be told "Do Not Ask!".

    Live Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Wrecked"
    Willow: Magic wasn't all great. I won't miss the nosebleeds and the headaches and stuff.
    Buffy: There you go.
    Willow: Or keeping stinky yak cheese in my bra. Don't ask.
  • Castle episode "Home Is Where the Heart Stops"
    Kate Beckett: [shows her badge while wearing a slinky dress at the fancy charity ball]
    Richard Castle: Where was the badge?
    Kate Beckett: Don't ask.
  • Farscape episode "I Shrink Therefore I Am"
    Rygel: There's a wrinkled old woman floating outside the forward portal.
    John Crichton: Whoa. Gigantic oops. [to D'Argo] Can you do me a favor? Pop outside the tier three treblin side hatch and haul Granny in.
    D'Argo: Noranti is outside?
    John Crichton: Yeah. Don't ask.
  • Just Shoot Me! episode "La Cage"
    Elliot DiMauro: Nina, I told you I'd never work with Nikki Ellston.
    Nina Van Horn: I thought you said Mickey Rooney.
    Elliot DiMauro: Why would I say Mickey Rooney?
    Nina Van Horn: Oh, that's right. I won't work with Mickey Rooney. Don't ask.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Taken"
    Detective Tutuola: He lives at 1634 Broadway.
    Detective Munch: Not unless he's one of the nuts lobbying for yet another extension of "Cats". That's the Winter Garden Theatre. [Fin gives Munch a look] Don't ask.
  • Malcolm in the Middle
    Doctor: [after Dewey's stomach is pumped] We didn't find any candles, but we did find some marbles. And the waistband to a pair of underpants.
    Dewey: Don't ask.
  • In Monk:
    • In the episode "Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas", Monk's instruction to Natalie when she walks in to see Stottlemeyer singing a karaoke version of "Ain't No Sunshine".
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife," Leland quietly says this to the garbagemen when they discover Monk is throwing away water in a garbage bag.
  • NCIS episode "Silver War"
    (Abby hugs Bert, the stuffed hippo that farts)
    Tony: (to Ziva) Don't ask.
  • Skins episode "Sid"
    Chris Miles: Last night, man. Cool. Total blast. Everything you could ever want from an evening. Songs, choir girls, colourful costumes, fellatio, rabbits...
    Maxxie: Rabbits?
    Chris Miles: Don't ask, man.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "In the Cards"
    Giger: Where's the hydrosaline solution?
    Jake Sisko: We should have it soon. Nog just got the bear...Don't ask.
    Bashir: Where have you been?
    O'Brien: I don't want to talk about it.
  • The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles episode "Palestine, October 1917"
    Indiana Jones: Where have you been?
    Rashid: Don't ask. Next time, you play the dead man!
  • In The Goodies, Graeme has fallen into a hole where he decides to do some archaeology. He deduces that when he calls up to the surface to Bill and Tim there is a seven second delay, causing this exchange:
    Graeme: (to himself) Let's see, I could do with my archaeology kit and...oh, a bite to eat. (to above, loudly) Yeah, chuck us down my old tweed suit. Oh, and a couple of doughnuts.
    Bill: (into the hole) Do you want anything to eat?
    Graeme: (delayed) Yeah, chuck us down my old tweed suit.
    Tim: Anything to wear?
    Graeme: (delayed) Oh, and a couple of doughnuts.
    Bill: (to Tim) Where's, uh...where's he gonna wear them?
    Tim: Never mind!
  • The Cat says this to the others in the Red Dwarf episode "Backwards", having just found out what going to the loo in reverse is like.

    Music 
  • "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" by Warren Zevon, third verse:
    I met a girl at the Rainbow Bar
    She asked me if I'd beat her
    She took me back to the Hyatt House....
    [spoken] I don't wanna talk about it...

    Video Games 
  • Destroy All Humans!! 2
    Crypto: This gas is noxious. Smells like Pox's underwear. Don't ask me how I know that.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles episode "Have We Met?"
    [Snip description of bizarre events involving time travel and a rocket launcher]
    Church: [to yellow Church] Well, what did you do?
    Church: Dude, don't ask. Trust me, it - it didn't work.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • The Nostalgia Critic, at the end of his review of Casper
    • It's exactly at the end of the video. As he is exiting from the GMX expo. In a Ghostbuster suit. And he is completely soaked. Don't Ask.

    Western Animation 
  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series
    Rolly: What things could a chicken possibly want?
    Lucky: Don't ask.
  • Transformers Animated
    Starscream: So, which part of me did you come from?
  • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
    Elephant(with trunk tied in a knot): Don't ask.
    Melman: Ha, someone's been knotty.
  • Recess
    T.J.: My older brother used to play on Old Rusty.
    Spinelli: My mom used to play on Old Rusty!
    Mikey: Heck, my Uncle Mary used to play on Old Rusty!
    Vince: Your Uncle Mary?
    Gretchen: Don't ask.
  • In the Danger Mouse episode "Turn Of The Tide," D.M. and Penfold are on the moon trying to find the cause of earth's oceans flooding land masses. They meet Keith, an alien who manages a junk shop there and they find the crater of Copernicus is jammed with wrecked space vehicles:
    D.M. It's all this mass! There's too much heavy metal!
    Penfold: Yes, too much heavy metal is enough to make anyone go barmy. I'm into electric boogaloo.
    Keith: What's he on about, mate?
    D.M.: Don't ask. Please. Don't ask!
  • In Young Justice: Invasion, Tye Longshadow question about Blue Beet (Jaime) he was able to talk to Asami in Japanese.
    Tye: Dude, you speak japanese?
    Jaime: Scarab translate, don't ask.
  • In Archer the Italian prime minister is found shot dead in Malory's apartment, which happened during a sex play, that involved him in a full-body latex suit and with a dildo up his ass. Only Archer and Lana gets this story, before the rest of the ISIS staff is called in to depose of the body.
    Ray: Speaking of, why the hell is the Italian Prime Minister here?
    Archer & Lana: Don't ask.
    [...]
    Malory: Oh God, that reminds me— Kreiger!
    Kreiger: Yeah, I found it.
    Cyril: What?
    Archer & Lana: Don't ask!
    Kreiger: Can I keep it?
    Cheryl: Keep what?
    Archer & Lana: DON'T ASK!
  • One of Santa's reindeer says this in The Story of Santa Claus, when a bird sees them flying and starts flapping in place with a shocked look.
  • In Dexter's Laboratory episode "Sister Mom", Dexter and "Mom" (a disguised Dee Dee) attend a conference with the school principal. When the principal's secretary calls them into the office, "Mom" joyously dances around singing "Dexter is in trouble!"; Dex shoots the secretary a sideways glance and says "Don't ask!" in a flat, annoyed tone of voice.


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