Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!

"But how could they be jamming us if they don't know ... if we're coming? [beat] Break off the attack! The shield is still up!"
Lando Calrissian, Return of the Jedi

Bob has the situation under control, and is explaining it to his partner, Alice. While he initially thought everything was fine and going to plan, it's only once he stops to think about it and hears himself say it aloud that he realizes how much trouble he and Alice are really in.

Essentially, a case of in-universe Fridge Logic (or Fridge Horror) catching up to the characters, can be played for laughs or drama. Can be triggered by the listening party's Let Me Get This Straight putting a new perspective on Bob's explanation. If the character doesn't realize how screwed they are until after they're done explaining, it's Delayed Oh Crap!.

The Oh Crap! can also be simply that there really is No Time to Explain. Some situations go further with this, having the feared event happen directly after it's realized, which is a case of Five Second Foreshadowing.

The Placebo Eureka Moment is an inverse, in which the act of explaining leads to a solution rather just than a realization that there's a problem. Not to be confused with I Can Explain.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima!, as the students of Mahora set up to deal with Chao's impending invasion in an hour, Setsuna starts thinking out loud:
    Setsuna: So, Chamo, what if Chao sees what we're up to out here and abandons her plans?
    Chamo: Then we celebrate. The festival event will be a major bust, though...
    Setsuna: Supposing she delayed her plans?
    Chamo: No way. It takes time to set up a spell like that, and the magical energy needs to be used at its exact peak. She could delay an hour, tops.
    Setsuna: Then what about moving up her plans to trip us up?
    Chamo: Erk. *long pause* That's a possibility...
    *The invasion force starts appearing, over an hour early*
  • In the Sonic The Hedgehog movie, there's a scene where Knuckles and Tails find out that Metal Sonic showed up at Sonic's home and trashed the place. Once they get the news, they're at first relieved that nobody was home at the time, but:

    Fan Works 
  • In the EVE Online Machinima Clear Skies 2, we get this little exchange between two characters in an escape pod wondering why their captain is trying to ram a Titan.
    Burke: I think he's going for the hydrazine tanks behind the engine.
    Fodder: But that stuff's stable!
    Burke: Not when the warp core goes up near i-oh my word!
    Fodder: How big a bang's that gonna make?
    Burke: How fast does this pod go?
  • From Calvin and Hobbes Get XTREME!:
    Calvin: This is my grueling competition. A little sun… cool water… my best friend… a monster shark… a scared sea gull… Wait a minute. A MONSTER SHARK!
  • Fallen King has this played for drama and tears. After narrowly escaping death, Joey suddenly remembers his promise to Serenity and how she'll now be blind forever.
    The world, my friends, my family...
    Joey's eyes shot open as reality slapped him in the face.
    "Serenity," he whispered.
  • A Game Comes to Equestria: Right in the middle of an explanation of Pinkie Sense, we get this exchange:
    Pinkie Pie: Well, my tail's all a-twitchy witchy, my knees do ache a bit, and my left ear's all wobbly and shaky.
    Wishing Star: And that means...?
    Pinkie Pie: That means we're about to get ambushed!... Uh-oh. That's not GOOD. We're about to get AMBUSHED!
  • First Try Series Kiri nin, Mizuko Sanbashi and Kampachi are investigating the aftermath of an ambush where they trace the source of Jinchuriki. They try to figure which Jinchuriki it was and deduce that the people ambushed and the source of the energy had to be someone from Konoha. They initially believe that Konoha doesn't have a Jinchuriki, Mizuko realizes which Jinchuriki was there when he explains which villages do have Jinchuriki and figures out that Konoha has the Kyuubi by process of elimination.
  • In The Hell-er-Nator: Chaos Machine Xander and Cordelia are explaining to Rory (Xander's uncle) that anyone who bought their costume from Ethan's Costume Emporium became their costume and that some won't/didn't change back, including Larry Blaisdell (who is now a Terminator hunting Cordelia), when Xander suddenly remembers that Harmony bought a Terminator costume as well.
  • In the third story of the Facing The Future Series, Danny and Sam have this moment when Tucker offhandedly comments that it seems like the ghosts are trying to play Relationship Sabotage, which they are.
  • A comedic example occurs in Minimum Requirement when Hizashi accidentally discovers Naruto's parentage.
    Hizashi: "Hey there little fella. You look an awful lot like Kushina. In fact, I think you are Kushina's. Did you know I could've been your father if my marriage hadn't been arranged since childhood and Kushina hadn't been so in love with...with... Holy Crap!"
  • This trope is how Shinji realized his mother tampered with his mind in Alpha and Omega. When Shinji starts rambling about all the different signs that the Asari were genetically modified, Aria asks how he could possibly know all that. Shinji's in the middle of explaining how he has a doctorate in evolutionary biology and three Ph Ds when he remembers that he never finished high school.
  • Discord of all creatures, gets one in Misunderstandings. Throughout the story, the human protagonist Peter has been absorbing the magic around him and channeling it to Earth, only now a sabotage of Twlight's experiments has cut off that connection. Discord starts out explaining how it happened in his strange way-he pulls off one of his horns to symbolize the conection- but starts to get very nervous when he realizes the magic building up in the broken conduit will eventually cause Peter to explode.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness:
    • In Act III chapter 46, Kou is explaining to the headmaster that the Chrono Displacement spell that Fairy Tale stole was stored in a secret archive on the Shuzen family estate that only Issa and his daughters knew about... and then realizes that the only way that Fairy Tale could possibly have known about the archive, let alone the spell, is if Akua and Kahlua were working for them.
    • In Act VI chapter 13, Kyouko insists that Talon can't be evil because he's targeting those who were part of Fairy Tale... and then remembers that since Dark, Akua, and Kahlua are ex-Fairy Tale agents themselves, they're on Talon's hit list too.
  • Sight When Ichigo is explaining how his ability to see zanpakutou works, he tells Shinji that he couldn't feel Shinji's zanpakutou, Sakanade when he first met Shinji. Only to realize since Sakanade was Hollowified, it means that Shinji would have had to lock away his own zanpakutou spirit.
  • Occurs in Majority Rule when Tony explains to the rest of the Avengers that, by human standards, Thor's age would come out to be about seventeen.
    Tony: There's a bigger issue. Namely that Thor isn't the only Asgardian we deal with.
    Bruce: Well, but Odin is definitely an adult, and—
    And then he stopped, as he and everyone else at the table remembered Thor's brother. Thor's homicidal suicidal megalomaniacal little brother.

    Films — Animated 
  • From Pinocchio, when Jiminy discovers that the boys on Pleasure Island ends up turning into donkeys.
    Jiminy: Boys? So that's what...PINOCCHIO!!!
  • Played for laughs in The Lego Movie, when Emmett tries to argue that President Business can't be a villain.
    Emmett: But he's such a good guy. And Octan... they make good stuff: music, dairy products, coffee, TV shows, surveillance systems, all history books, voting machines... wait a minute.
  • At the climax of Treasure Planet, Robot Buddy B.E.N. gets his memory back... just in time to recall that Captain Flint's hoard of treasure is booby-trapped.
  • Finding Nemo has a scene where Peach wakes up to find that the tank has been cleaned overnight by a new filter system, foiling the gang's plan to escape.
    Peach: The sun is shining, the tank is clean, and we are getting out of—(gasp) The tank is clean. THE TANK IS CLEAN!!!
  • During the heist scene in Over the Hedge, the coffee maker turns on and we get this exchange:
    Vern: What is that?
    RJ: That is what gets humans up in the morning.
    (Three seconds later, they turn to the surveillance camera to see the upstairs bed is empty)
  • Team America: World Police: Kim Jong-Il's translator has a moment of this while translating for Kim during an arms deal. Unfortunately for him, it's the second-last thing to ever go through his head.
    Kim Jong-Il: *vaguely Korean-sounding gibberish*
    Translator: He asks what part of the deal you did not understand. He says that perhaps his translator did not make it clear to you. He says he should... fire his... translator?
  • Hercules: Meg having fallen in love with Hercules, refuses to work for hades any longer—-which unfortunately, convinces Hades that SHE is Herc's weakness.
    Hades: Meg, listen. Do you hear that sound? It's the sound of your freedom, fluttering away, forever!
    Meg: I don't care! I'm not gonna help you hurt him!
    Hades: [sighs] I can't believe you're getting all worked up over some...guy.
    Meg: This one is different. He's honest, and sweet...
    Hades (rolling his eyes) Please...
    Meg: ...he would never do anything to hurt me...
    Hades: He's a guy!
    Meg: (smugly) Besides, O Oneness, you can't beat him. He has no weaknesses! He's gonna—
    (turns and sees Hades smirking at her)
    Hades: I think...he does, Meg. I truly think... he does.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars:
    • A New Hope
      Luke: But if they traced the robots here, they may have learned who they sold them to, and that would lead them back... home!
    • Return of the Jedi provides the page quote.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail has a variation with the Trojan Rabbit, as King Arthur and his knights — including Bedevere, Lancelot and Galahad — watch the large wooden rabbit they've constructed be towed into the French castle from a distance:
    King Arthur: What happens next?
    Sir Bedevere: Well, now, uh, Launcelot, Galahad, and I wait until nightfall, and then leap out of the rabbit, taking the French by surprise — not only by surprise, but totally unarmed!
    King Arthur: ... Who leaps out?
    Sir Bedevere: Uh, Lancelot, Galahad, and I. Uh, leap out of the rabbit, uh, and uh...
    [Sir Bedevere looks around and realizes that he forgot to explain the bit where they are supposed to climb INTO the rabbit, and said named people are not actually in the rabbit. Everyone begins to Face Palm]
    Sir Bedevere: Um, l-look, if we built this large wooden badger... [Gets Dope Slapped]
    • "RUN AWAY"
  • Dr. Strangelove - Hell yes, the bomber has a chance to make it through! General Buck Turgidson explains that if the pilot's really good, they can fly "on the deck", below Soviet radar. Meanwhile (due to a malfunction, not strategy) the bomber in question is doing exactly that.
    Major Kong: Well, boys, we got three engines out, we got more holes in us than a horse trader's mule, the radio is gone and we're leaking fuel and if we was flying any lower why we'd need sleigh bells on this thing... but we got one little budge on them Rooskies. At this height why they might harpoon us but they dang sure ain't gonna spot us on no radar screen!
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    Tony: He crossed a line. He made this personal.
    Cap: That's not the point,...
    Tony: No, that is the point. That's Loki's point. He hit all of us right at where we live. Why?
    Cap: To tear us apart.
    Tony: Yeah, divide and conquer's... great... but, he knows he has to take us out for him to win, right? That's what he wants! He wants to beat us; he wants to be seen doing it. He wants an audience.
    Cap: Right. I caught his act in Stuttgart.
    Tony: Yeah, that's just previews, though. This is opening night! And Loki, he's a full-tilt diva, he wants flowers, he wants parades, he wants a monument built to the sky with his name plastered -
    (Beat; Cap raises his eyebrows pointedly at Tony's choice of description.)
    Tony: Sonofabitch. (He realizes Loki will use his own Stark Tower for summoning the Chitauri.)
  • In Machete, Booth's guards go through this when Machete infiltrates their boss's mansion by posing as a menial gardener. They let him through without any real check, then question why they weren't more thorough because he could be anybody, then realize their stupidity.
  • In Small Soldiers, the designers of the Commando Elite get a call from the main character claiming that the toys have caused major damage to his house. The more mercenary of the two not only doesn't believe him but is even planning on suing because the toys weren't released yet...
    Irwin: What if this kid's telling the truth? We can't have toys out on the market that may be dangerous.
    Larry: [lackadaisical] How can they be dangerous? Everything on them is standard. The design is standard, the materials are standard... the mechanicals are standard. Even the... [sudden Oh Crap! face] Oh.
    Irwin: What's "Oh"?
    Larry: What?
    Irwin: You just said "Oh".
    Larry: No, I said "Oh!"
    Irwin: You mean "Oh" like, "That's interesting" or "Oh" like, "We're screwed"?
    Larry: No. I mean, "Hey! Whoa! Oh!". Look, forget the "Oh". l'm gonna head over to legal and get the ball rolling on the countersuit. I-
    Irwin: The chips! That's the "Oh"!
  • From Serenity, after they see the destruction of Haven:
    Jayne: How come they ain't waitin'? They know'd we was comin', how come they only sent one?
    Zoe: ...they didn't know we'd come here. Get on the Cortex. Wave the Sanchez brothers, Li Shen — anyone who's ever sheltered us after a heist. Tell them to get out. Get out now!
  • Star Trek Into Darkness: Kirk has something bothering him, and Admiral Marcus asks him to speak up. Kirk points out that the normal response to an incident such as Harrison's terrorist attack is to gather all the available captains and first officers in a single room. Like the one they are in now. And then he looks out the window.
  • Averted in Hero. The emperor calmly explains that Nameless is clearly lying about the earlier assassinations, and therefore must be there to kill him. When Nameless asks how long he's known, he replies that he figured it out while they were talking, too late to stop Nameless from getting close enough to kill him. He never shows any emotion at the fact that he's moments away from death.
  • Towards the end of Now You See Me, Thaddeus mulls over how the Horsemen are still a step ahead of him and realizes that Dylan, who he's talking to, is the fifth Horseman.
  • In Danger: Diabolik, having received word that Diabolik survived, Inspector Ginko receives what his sergeant believes to be Diabolik's death certificate but he knows is actually Ralph Valmont's death certificate. He then connects Valmont's cause of death to Diabolik's next big hit, based on what he knew about the emerald necklace that Diabolik had stolen.
    Ginko: Sergeant... this is our friend Valmont's certificate. Cause of death: eleven machine gun shots.
    [close-up on Ginko's eyes as he realizes the meaning of this]
    Voiceover: Eleven emeralds... eleven bullets...
    [Ginko suddenly gets up]
    Ginko: To the morgue!
  • Demolition Man features a scene where John Spartan discusses with his two partners and the police chief what Simon Phoenix's next move would be. Spartan insists that it will be to get a gun, which the police chief insists is ridiculous — the only guns in San Angeles is in a museum...
  • In Godzilla (2014), when the MONARCH team discovers that the two Mutos have been communicating with each other, Serizawa explains that the female Muto's egg is currently located at the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository — which is not only filled with radioactive waste (which the Mutos feed on), but also happens be located right outside Las Vegas.
  • In Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Grover recognizes one of the statues at the Garden Gnome Emporium:
    Grover: Check this out...he looks just like my Uncle Ferdinand. *notices a mole on the statue's forehead.* That's crazy. Got the mole in the same place. *beat* Nah, that's not my Uncle Ferdinand cause my Uncle Ferdinand was killed by *Oh Crap! face* Medusa.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze: When they discover that the Shredder plans to turn Tokka and Rahzar loose in Central Park unless the Turtles agree to fight them again, Donnie asks, "How are they gonna avoid all those people?" It's only after he says this that he realizes that Tokka and Rahzar aren't going to avoid the people.

  • In Timeline, one character is trying to convince the others that it is possible to travel to the past via a wormhole. Another character points out that it is impossible for a physical body to safely go through one. The first character retorts that the same can be said about a fax machine. The second character launches into trying to explain that the fax machine first has to convert the scanned data into a "stream of electrons", before realizing that the first character is talking about the same for the wormhole with a big "Oh shit!".
  • A comedic version in the Ciaphas Cain novel The Traitor's Hand. Cain is discussing Mauve Shirt "Jinxie" Penlan with the command staff when her reputation comes up, and...
    Cain: "But she's not nearly as accident prone as she's supposed to be. I'll grant you she fell down an ambull tunnel once, and there was that incident with the frag grenade and the latrine trench, but things tend to work out for her. The orks on Kastafore were as surprised as she was when the floor in the factory collapsed, and we'd have walked right into that hrud ambush on Skweki if she hadn't triggered the mine by chucking an empty food tin away..."
    My brain finally caught up to what I was saying and I trailed off rather lamely. "Well, you know how soldiers exaggerate these things."
  • Discworld: Vimes does one of these in Jingo when he works out how 71-hour Ahmed got his name.
  • In Wizard's First Rule, first book of the Sword of Truth series, Zedd invokes this on a mob that's coming to burn him for being a witch. Zedd asks them why, exactly, they want to burn him, and they say it's because of his horrible magic powers. Zedd asks them to elaborate and be more specific. As they list all the different ways that they think Zedd can throw magical wrath around, the crowd slowly realizes that attacking someone who can shoot fire out of his fingertips might not be the brightest idea after all.
  • The Canaris Fragments by Walter Winward takes place during the Nuremberg trials of 1945. The main characters have discovered that a group of SS men plans to liberate the prisoners and have had the courthouse surrounded by security, but then they start discussing why a group of SS men would go through so much trouble and realize that Kaltenbrenner, the only high-ranking SS member among the defendants are not in the courthouse, but at a hospital in the other end of the city.
  • A rather charming one in The Belgariad when Jeebers, an elderly personal tutor of her little Imperial Highness Ce'Nedra, explains to the heroes that the emperor has the utmost trust in him. Which is exactly why "the princess knocked on his door deep at night, revealing to him that he got tasked to help her to disguise herself, then sneak her out of the palace without anyone else noticing, and to then escort her (alone) across half the country" ...in a time when people are murdering each other in the streets due to all sorts of politics. Which is when he notices in sheer horror that the emperor had nothing to do with it and that this was all rebellious little Ce'Nedra's idea. Poor guy.
  • A variation occurs in Animorphs #16: The Warning:
    Tobias: Wait. You're saying I'm in a toilet bowl. And someone sat down. But then...oh, man.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the second season episode of White Collar called "By the Book" there is a Let Me Get This Straight moment when Peter points out the flaw in the Perfect Exchange but later when Mozzie figures it out its more of one of theses as he exclaims 'There is no middle man!'
  • Firefly plays with this in the episode "Out of Gas". The crew of Serenity is in a dire situation with the life support system failing. They are in a deserted region of space with little chance of any ships wandering around there. Wash has lost all hope, when Mal suggests a way to boost the SOS signal.
    Wash: What do you expect me to do, Mal?
    Mal: Whatever you have to. And if you can't do it from here, then get a suit on and go outside on the side of the boat...
    Wash: And what? Wave my arms around?
    Mal: Wave your arms around. Jump up and down. Divert the nav sats to the transmitter. Whatever.
    Wash: Divert the - Right! Because teenage pranks are fun when you're about to die!
    Mal: Give the beacon a boost, wouldn't it?
    Wash: Yes, Mal, it would boost the signal. But even if some passerby did happen to receive, all it would do is muck up their navigation.
    Mal: Could be that's true.
    Wash: Damn right, it's true. They'd be forced to stop and dig out our signal before they could even go anyplace.
    [Beat, Mal waits for Wash to get it]
    Wash: [Still yelling as if he's angry] Well maybe I should do that, then!
    Mal: [Yelling back] Maybe you should!
    Wash: Okay!
    Mal: Fine!
    Jayne: [enters the room] What the hell do you two think you're doing? Fighting at a time like this? You'll use up all the air!
  • Blackadder, after the titular character has mistakenly executed Lord Ponsonby: "And when the Queen gets back from seeing Ponsonby, we'll... ohh, God!"
  • Happens once in Frasier where the eponymous character tried to set Daphne up with his co-worker, only to later find out that there had been a slight fault in communication.
    Frasier: What on Earth could have made him think that I was interested in him? I just asked him if he was attached, and then we talked about the theater and men’s fashions - oh, my God. Niles, do you realise what this means?
    Niles: Yes, you're dating your boss.
  • Doctor Who:
    • From the Tom Baker episode "The Pirate Planet"; the Captain used his technology to loot the planet Calufrax and had constructed a psychic-jamming device to defeat the telepathic Mentiads. The Doctor insisted that the device couldn't work because it required very rare minerals to supply power;
      The Doctor: And as far as I know, they occur naturally on only one planet, and that's...
      Fibuli: Captain, the crystals from Calufrax.
    • In the Sylvester McCoy story "Remembrance of the Daleks", the Seventh Doctor has just disabled a Dalek transmat device and mentions that it'll slow the Daleks down until the 'operator' can restore it.
      Ace: Operator?
      The Doctor: [Distracted with the transmat] Yes, the Daleks usually keep an operator on station in case of any malfunctions.
      Ace: Which would be... another Dalek?
      The Doctor: [Realizing] ... Yes.
    • In the episode "A Good Man Goes to War", the Doctor runs into this when it turns out that Amy and Rory's daughter Melody Pond is part Time Lord, which the supporting cast assume was a result of her being conceived on the TARDIS. He insists that this can't be possible as, between the various cosmic retcons that went on the previous season, the first time they were on the TARDIS together in this version of reality was the night after their wedding - oops.
    • A milder example takes place in a flashback scene in "Let's Kill Hitler", when teenage Amy explains to Rory why he has to be gay; "In the whole time I've known you, when have you shown the slightest interest in a girl?" (Penny in the air...) "I mean I've known you for what, ten years? I've seen you practically every day. Name one girl you've paid the slightest bit of attention to... Oh my god. Rory!" (And the penny drops.)
    • In "Asylum of the Daleks", the Doctor notices the humans with Dalek eyestalks were created by nanogenes that infect living or dead human beings. Amy realizes he said "...or dead" in a room full of dead bodies. The Doctor continues to explain until he realizes he's also in the room with dead bodies. Uh oh.
  • That '70s Show: In one episode, Kitty drags Hyde to a jewelery store to see the ring she thinks that Red is buying for her behind her back. The jeweler shows her an engagement ring on reserve from a Mr. Forman. There's an inscription, "To Donna..."
    Jeweler: You're a lucky woman, Donna. [...]
    Kitty: Oh my goodness. This is from Eric to—
    [She looks at Hyde in complete horror]
  • Red Dwarf does this in the episode "Out Of Time". The cast are going through unreality pockets, making them believe different things. One makes them believe Lister is actually a droid. A droid less advanced than Kryten, and therefore lower ranking. Kryten takes advantage of this to give him humiliating orders. Then comes this exchange:
    Rimmer: So we just crashed through an unreality pocket?
    Kryten: Which created a false reality making us believe... Mr... Lister was... oh my. (cue awkward silence for a few seconds)
    Cat: You mean he's not a...
    Kryten: No.
  • Sherlock, the eponymous character often does after a Sherlock Scan.
    • At the end of "A Study in Pink," when Sherlock agrees to help Lestrade figure out who killed Jeff Hope.
    Sherlock: The bullet they just dug out of the wall is from a hand gun. A kill shot over that distance from that kind of a weapon? That's a crack shot you're looking for, but not just a marksman. A fighter. His hands couldn't haven't shaken at all, so clearly he's acclimatized to violence. He didn't fire till I was in immediate danger, though, so strong moral principle. You're looking for a man probably with a history of military service, nerves of steel...
    (Sherlock looks over at John, and realizes that he was the shooter)
    Sherlock: Actually, you know what? Ignore me.
    Lestrade: Sorry?
    Sherlock: Ignore everything I just said. It's just the...the shock talking.
    • In "The Blind Banker" Sherlock is looking through an apartment and talking to John (well, sort of- John's left grumbling outside the door, can't hear a thing and might as well not be there).
    John: You think maybe you could let me in this time? Oh for heaven's sake. Can you not keep doing this, please?
    Sherlock: I'm not the first.
    John: What?
    Sherlock: Someone else has been here. Someone broke into this flat. He knocked that vase, just like I did. Size 11. He was tall. But not heavy. Long, thin fingers. Our acrobat.
    John: What are you saying?
    Sherlock: Why didn't he close it when he left-? *beat* Stupid. Stupid. It's obvious! Because he's still in here.
    • In John and Sherlock's Christmas party in "A Scandal in Belgravia," when Sherlock does his Sherlock Scan on a Christmas present that Molly brought, smugly trying to explain what was on Molly's mind when she wrapped it. Then he realizes who she brought it for.
    Sherlock: Oh come on. Surely you've all seen the present at the top of the bag. Perfectly wrapped with a bow. All the others are slapdash at best. Must be someone special then. Shade of red echoes the lipstick. Either a subsonscious association or one that she's deliberately trying to encourage. Either way, Miss Hooper has love on her mind. The fact that she's serious about him is clear from the fact that she's giving him a gift at all. That all suggests long-term hopes, however forlorn. And that she's seeing him tonight is evident from the make-up and what she's wearing. Obviously trying to compensate for the size of her mouth and breasts.
    (Sherlock sees the tag on the present, which reads "Dearest Sherlock, Love Molly")
    Molly: You always say such horrible things. Every time. Every time...

  • Stargate Atlantis: The Team is on another planet and has found a crashed Wraith ship. Sheppard wants to know if one of the Wraith could still be alive.
    Sheppard: I'm just thinking out loud here…
    McKay: What?
    Sheppard: How long do you think the Wraith could feed on all those humans back there?
    McKay: Well, they're capable of hibernating for hundreds of years at a time, but, I mean, think about it. Ten thousand years ago was roughly the dawn of human civilization.
    Sheppard: So there's no chance that uh—
    McKay: No, no, no, no, no. Are you kidding? (beat) Well…maybe.
    Sheppard:(annoyed) McKay.
    McKay: No. No. No living thing could survive that long under those conditions. It's ridiculous.
    Sheppard: Okay.
    McKay: That would require an incredible power source capable of sustaining the stored humans in suspended animation almost the entire time.
    Sheppard: So it's possible?
    McKay:(horrified) Oh, my God. It is possible. We've got to get out of here.
  • In Home Improvement, Jill has a rather lighthearted version when her sons tell her they want to be The Three Stooges for Halloween:
    Jill: Why do you want to be the Stooges? They're obnoxious, they're always hitting each other - it just became clear.
  • In Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, when Kit explains to Drew Lansing/Torque why he shouldn´t fight Grant Stanley/Camo and realizes he has been tricked, his expression is utterly priceless.
    Kit: Torque, stop, listen. Xaxiax has been tricking the other riders, offering each one something he wants. He told Incisor he'd give him a million bucks to take out Wing Knight. This guy (points to Camo) wanted a challenge. Xaviax told him Wing Knight was the toughest man on two worlds. Everyone who's after Wing Knight... (realizing he has been tricked) is working for Xaviax...
    Torque:(laughs) Congratulations, Kit. Thank you for playing. Let's tell him what he's won... a one-way pass to the Advent Void.
  • In the Friends episode "The One With The Memorial Service", Chandler and Ross have been having a prank war posting bogus information on each others' college alumni webpages. This culminates with Chandler announcing Ross's death.
    Ross: Your little "Ross is dead" joke didn't work, okay? There were no responses. Nobody posted anything on the website, nobody called my parents. So the joke, my friend, is on you. Nobody called, nobody wrote anything. Nobody cares that I'm dead! (Beat). Oh my God! Nobody cares that I'm dead?
  • Used several times on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • In an early episode, Buffy and Xander have assumed that Willow will be targeted by a demon that wants to steal a good brain. Willow idly wonders if they should warn Giles, to which Xander responds "Don't worry about Giles, I mean he is really... smart." Cue them running out of the library.
    • When the group is reconciling after the events of 'The Yoko Factor', Buffy lets the others come to their own conclusions to realize that it was Spike who played them off against one another.
    Giles: Well, Spike can be very convincing, and... we're very stupid.
    • And before this in the same episode, Spike and Adam are discussing the success of Spike's plan - he has successfully separated Buffy from her friends, now they just need Buffy to work with her friend to decode the information disc. Adam points out the contradiction here. According to the episode commentary, this was actually a bit of an Author's Saving Throw from when they had the same realization.
    Spike: Our little witch gives her the info and pop - Alice heads back down the rabbit hole.
    Adam: The witch.
    Spike: Uh, Willow. About so high, perky, good with math. Natural choice.
    Adam: Her friend.
    Spike: Right.
    Adam: One of the friends from whom you've so efficiently separated her.
    Spike: Damn right I did. You should've seen 'em. They won't be talking to each other for a long, long... [beat] Hang on. I think I might have detected a small flaw.
    • Glory buys supplies for a dangerous summoning from The Magic Box before Giles actually knows what she looks like - he only has Buffy's vague description of a superpowered girl. Later, when Anya is horrified to see what he sold, Giles assures her that it's no danger because "The young woman would have to have tremendous power... oh god."
    • After Glory attacks Tara, Willow leaves the hospital enraged. When talking to Dawn and Spike later, Buffy assures them that she calmed down the powerful, heartbroken witch by talking to her. Spike and Dawn point out that if Buffy herself was in that position, she'd just pretend to be calmed down so her friend would leave.
  • In the Tales from the Crypt How We Got Here episode "Dig That Cat... He's Real Gone," homeless guy-turned-guinea pig Ulric, who's had a cat's special gland implanted in him which gives him nine lives, has been buried alive for his last ever stunt (he gets killed but always comes back, and he's got one more life - his ninth), which will earn him beaucoup bucks. Unfortunately it's only then that it occurs to him that the cat had to be killed to get the gland out. Meaning he only had eight lives...

  • Eminem's "Stan."
    I seen this one shit on the news a couple weeks ago that made me sick.
    Some dude was drunk and drove his car over a bridge,
    and had his girlfriend in the trunk, and she was pregnant with his kid,
    and in the car they found a tape, but they didn't say who it was to.
    Come to think about, his name was... it was you.
  • In Jon Lajoie's "WTF Collective", MC Uses Time Machines Irresponsibly does this:
    Then I traveled in time to the night I was conceived
    I met up with my parents and we hung out all night
    Come to think of it, they didn't have any alone time... NOOO

  • Deianira has shades of this in The Trachiniae as she talks to the chorus about the "strange sight" that is the bubbling, disintegrating piece of cloth she used to smear a love potion onto a shirt she just gave her husband.

    Video Games 
  • Starcraft: "It's a zergling, Lester. A smaller type of zerg. But one of them wouldn't be out this far unless... OH SHIT!"
  • Star Control II: The Slylandro purchase a probe from the Melnorme, which would explore the galaxy, replicate itself periodically, and report back once it finds something interesting. However, in the midst of an in-depth discussion of said probes with the player, they realize that, due to an attempt to get the probes to replicate faster (by changing the priority of replication to 999, the highest setting on the dial), they have inadvertently caused their probes to attempt to procure raw materials for replication from ANYTHING they encounter, with a special priority on alien ships. This has effectively transformed their peaceful exploration fleet into a Horde of Alien Locusts.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, you can meet an Outlaw Couple who think that an antique machine gun makes them dangerous enough to go on a crime spree through the Strip. If the Courier sarcastically says it's the most brilliant plan he/she has ever heard, the Bonny of the duo starts gloating about how they've got it all worked out, gradually noticing all the holes in the plan until she realizes they have no idea what they're doing and hands the gun over to you.
  • In Psychonauts, after a training session gone awry in Sasha's mind, Raz asks him what would happen if one were to block off all of a mind's censor outlets, which needless to say he'd just done.
    Sasha: Well, there would be a buildup of censor energy within that would, ah, eventually... Run, Razputin. Very fast.
  • Mordin Solus' introduction and Establishing Character Moment in Mass Effect 2 begins with Mordin performing a Sherlock Scan on the newly-arrived Commander Shepard and his/her team, while verbalizing his inner monologue; assuming the player doesn't interrupt him, he determines that the characters aren't from the area, too well-armed to be refugees, too informally-dressed to be any of the local mercenaries, and that they aren't there to wipe out the Vorcha or to investigate The Plague's usefulness as a bioweapon. Eventually, he decides that they must be looking for someone important, someone with secrets... and then realizes that they're almost certainly looking for him.
    • It happens again a minute later when Shepard explains that he/she was sent by a privately-funded human group to recruit Mordin. Immediately, Mordin starts sorting through a long list of possible candidates for the aforementioned group. After disregarding the Alliance, the Spectres, the Terra Firma Party, he finally realizes (with some shock) that the most likely candidate is Cerberus, a terrorist group with human-supremacist leanings.
    • There's a darker example in Mass Effect 3 that also involves Mordin (or Padok Wiks, if Mordin died in the second game). If Shepard chooses not to tell anyone that the salarian STG sabotaged the genophage cure years ago and Shepard was informed of this in advance, and then tries to dissuade Mordin/Padok from going up the Shroud tower, Mordin will wonder why, since Shepard doesn't seem concerned for his safety. So is Shepard convinced Mordin might discover something? Well then it must be sabotage, but whose?...Ah. In Padok's case, he'll wonder why Shepard would abandon his/her goal after having come so far...unless there's something up there he/she doesn't want Padok to discover. The temperature malfunction wasn't an accident; Shepard knew about this!
  • Odd inversion from Kingdoms Of Amalur Reckoning where Agarth starts off angry then calms down as the facts hit (He just saw you Screw Destiny and use it as a weapon).
    Agarth: "What are you!? DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'VE DONE!? Do you know how many lives will remain untouched by his death!? How many children won't be born!? (calming down) How many people... he won't kill..."
    • It helps that the destiny you just screwed happened to be the one that would have resulted in his messy death not two minutes prior to the conversation.
  • Kingdom of Loathing's "Heavy Rains" special challenge path replaces most of its usual bosses with a watery imitator. Luckily, there's absolutely no way that would ever work on the Icy Peak!
    I mean, it's freezing up here! A water-based giant winged yeti would have to be...made of...oh, crap.
    A huge winged yeti that appears to be sculpted out of ice emerges from the mist, takes off into the air, and swoops toward you.
  • Pretty much anytime Phoenix Wright or other characters point out a contradiction that puts their client into deeper hot water is bound to turn into this. Bonus points if it requires the prosecutor to explain why this is a problem for them.

    Web Comics 
  • It happens in this page of Jack (it's safe, for once.)
  • It's more of an Explain Explain Oh My moment, but... Freefall has one somewhat like this.
  • Schlock Mercenary's Kevyn learns that there is a right time and a wrong time to invoke this on someone here.
  • xkcd: "How did the pole vaulters get up to our balcony?"
  • In Darths & Droids this happens to Annie when she finally tells Jim that she'd lost her job and in that same frame of time realizes it wasn't his fault entirely.
  • El Goonish Shive had a hilarious version with female Tedd and too reasonable Susan.
    • And another, slightly more dramatic one with Elliot: "I care deeply about her and I want her always to be a part of my life! I don't want to hurt her! She's like a sister to me!" ... When talking about his then-girlfriend, Sarah.
    • Later, Grace is sure that if Justin has a magic mark, he must know about it.
      How could he miss a small flame shaped mark colored slightly different from the rest of his skin on a spot high up on his back where he'd need a mirror and probably have to make a deliberate effort to dammit
  • In Gene Catlow, Gene Catlow and CatsWhisker are discussing the First Animen, who are hostile to them. CW wonders how beings so ancient who have been in psychic contact with so many minds remained sane—and Gene realizes that they didn't.
  • In "The Comics Must Flow", a strip from The Order of the Stick, Belkar is chugging spice in the middle of the desert. Seeing his eyes change color, Haley insists he read the warning label to avoid getting sick.
    Belkar: No, it doesn't say anything about eye color change. Just a disclaimer that the distributor is not liable for any gruesome violent deaths resulting from consuming this product in an open desert. So, see? It's perfectly safe for— ...Ah, crap.
    (cue giant sandworm bursting from sand)
  • In this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic, a woman claims she has invented a time machine and went back twenty minutes, where she saw a a huge flash of energy and then an empty void. She concludes that reality came into existence twenty minutes ago. Someone takes a look at the footage and tells her that she's wrong. The machine was set to look forwards in time instead of backwards.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Pinky and the Brain episode "Brinky," Pinky's genetic material accidentally gets introduced into Brain's cloning experiment, essentially resulting in their having a child together.
    Pinky: I'm a mommy, I'm a mommy!
    Brain: Pinky, that's absurd! You are nothing of the kind. Its chromosomal makeup just happens to include both of our genetic building blo— AAAH!! ...Oh my Lord, you are its mommy.
  • Futurama, "A Clone Of My Own", with Prof. Farnsworth's clone, Cubert:
    Fry: Nothing is impossible! You'd know that if you really took after the professor, like I do.
    Cubert: You're his uncle, dummy. He takes after you.
    Fry: Uh, wha?
    Cubert: Wait a minute. That means I also take after you! AAAH!
  • The Simpsons:
    • One scene in an episode has Homer asking why he's such a loser. Bart replies, "Your father was a loser, and his father, and his father - it's genetic, man!" (beat) "D'oh!"
    • In the episode "Team Homer", the rain turns the students' gray school uniforms into bright rainbows.
    Principal Skinner: I don't understand; I bought them the same place I buy Mother's dresses—oh dear God, Mother's in the park!
    • Plus, in "I'm Going To Praiseland", Ned finds out that the citizens that were having "visions" were actually the effects of a gas leak in his Christian amusement park. Homer tells Ned to ignore it because his park spreads a positive message of equality. Then comes this...
    Homer: Rich laughing with poor, bullies breaking bread with nerds, orphans lighting candles over a leaking gas line—LIGHTING CANDLES?!?!?
    • Inverted in the Treehouse of Horror episode, "The Island of Dr. Hibbert," when Homer is trying to argue against Dr. Hibbert's insane experiments:
    Homer: All you can do is eat, and sleep, and mate! And roll around in your own filth! And mate, and eat—where do I sign up?
  • In the Halloween Episode of American Dad! where Stan is trying to make his haunted house better than his neighbors by displaying live serial killers in glass cases.
    Roger: Stan, don't worry I've fixed everything...I let the prisoners out!
    Stan: You what?!
    Roger: Yeah, Francine was right. A shark's not intimidating behind glass, but when you're in the ocean with it-
    Claus: But Roger, they're going to kill us all!
    Francine: AND CHOP OFF MY HEAD!
    Roger: Scary, right?....ahh, I never think things through.
    • In another episode, Stan's on a fishing trip, and says he's glad to be out of the house, because it's the first anniversary of a huge fight he had with Francine. When asked what the fight was about, he says he forgot their anniversary. His co-worker is about to point this out to him, but Bullock stops him. Stan then screams when he realizes what he's done, and Bullock smiles and says, "There it is!"
  • In the Kim Possible episode "Clean Slate", Dr. Drakken starts describing how he drove all the soldiers off a military train by activating an overload alarm... and then reveals/realizes that he caused an actual engine overload rather than a false alarm.
  • Brainy Smurf in The Smurfs episode "The Sky Is Smurfing", who tries to remain calm while explaining the current situation of Mount St. Smurf erupting before he has the Oh Crap! moment.
  • In an episode of Xiaolin Showdown, a Face-Heel-Turned Raimundo is chasing some of our heroes around in a forest. This is what our heroes wanted, however, as a diversionary tactic so an attack on Wuya's palace could succeed. Eventually, Raimundo realizes that the chase is taking much longer than it should.
    Raimundo: What's wrong with you guys, why don't you just fly away?! It's like you're not even trying to get away...because you're NOT! Quick, back to the palace!"
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In the episode "Keep Calm and Flutter On", Discord decides he's not going to go through with the ponies' attempts to turn him good. Why should he? He's free at last, and the only things that can really stop him, the six Elements of Harmony, aren't working due to Fluttershy (one of the six Elements) giving her word that she will not imprison Discord again as a show of trust. Discord breaks this trust, saying he doesn't care if Fluttershy stops being his friend. Why should he care? She was only the first real friend he's ever had...
    Discord: Well played, Fluttershy, well played...
  • In Donkey Kong Country, as part of a Zany Scheme, DK flies around in Funky's bi-plane.
    DK: Hey, it's Dixie's pet crab! Aw, isn't cute, eatin' through all those funny-lookin' wire- This is definitely a bad thing. Ahh! The plane is out of control!!
  • In Moral Orel, in one episode Orel popularizes a song from the point of Judas called "I Hate You Jesus". It becomes a hit in town, and soon everybody starts singing it in church. Orel is at first pleased with its success, but then this trope comes into play as he says, "Wow, everybody sure hates Jesus! Whoops."
  • There's a delayed-reaction example in Rugrats. It takes place during an Imagine Spot where the babies are all characters from the famous Moses and the Ten Plagues story. Angelica plays the hard-hearted Pharaoh in this retelling, and interestingly she's still her child self, rather than an adult. Of course she refuses to let Moses' people go even after most of the plagues, so eventually God gets to the last one, killing off the "firstborn" of every Egyptian. Angelica laughs it off at first...and then she asks her father who the firstborn of her family is. Her father explains that since Angelica is an only child, the firstborn would be her! Her father doesn't know about the coming plague, but the implications certainly sink in for Angelica, whose reaction is this trope.
  • In the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Monkey Fun", Dr. Hamilton theorizes that the bacteria that just attacked him and his team grew because of exposure to a strange gas and then Earth's atmosphere. Then he remembers that Titano had the same exposure, and he and Superman both have a moment of this.
  • In the Sponge Bob Squarepants episode "Just One Bite", Squidward has one when he breaks into the Krusty Krab to steal a Krabby Patty and triggers the burglar alarm.
    Squidward: This is our burglar alarm? A bucket of water? (Opens the door causing the bucket to spill) That was too easy. (Sniffs) Hey, this isn't water, this is... gas! (Match drops)
    • This scene was actually removed from the episode, as it occurred Too Soon after 9/11.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons:
    Robotnik: (to cartoonist) "Hm? You haven't escaped. I would have noticed that. The Hedgehog!"
    • In one episode of Sonic Underground, Robotnik creates a potion that gives its taker super-speed, which allows his minions, Sleet and Dingo to catch Sonic. Later, Robotnik sees Sleet's feet expand to the point where he can't move.
    Robotnik: "Must be a side-effect. What a waste of a good invention. I wonder if the same thing's happened to- Dingo's guarding Sonic!"
    • In a different episode of the same series, Sonia and Bartleby are talking about something strange that a robot was doing, making them want to talk more about Dr. Robotnik.
    Sonia: "What did I say? Chili, shampoo, massage, hm... (gasp) Oh no! "Cramped, dirty secret rebel base!" I can't believe I said that!"
  • The Real Ghostbusters episode "A Ghost Grows In Brooklyn" includes this conversation as the four guys are climbing a wall, following the roots of a giant, monstrous, destructive plant back to its source:
    Egon: Do you think there might be some significance in the fact that the giant plant is a geranium, just like the one I gave Janine?
    Ray: Pure coincidence, Egon — there must be a million geraniums in this city.
    Egon: Right... besides, if it was the same plant, then the center of the whole thing would be...
    (They've now reached the top of the wall and can see where they are.)
    All: Janine's apartment!
  • Dragons: Riders of Berk; In the second season finale, Hiccup, imprisoned by Dagur the Deranged, sends a message to the other Dragonriders, telling them they need to lure the Whispering Death dragon that is threatening Berk to Outcast Island. Fishlegs suggests using dragon-root, which acts like catnip to dragons, to attract the Whispering Death.
    Snotlout: Just one problem; all our dragons go nuts when they go anywhere near it!
    Fishlegs: If you recall, not all the dragons are affected by the dragon-root. For example, as a boulder-class dragon, Meatlug is...(the others stare at him)...and I've said too much.
  • In one Looney Tunes cartoon "Canned Feud", Sylvester realizes that his owners have left on vacation and accidentally locked him in the house.
    Sylvester: They forgot to put out the cat! Ha, ha, ha! (beat) The cat?! I'm the cat!
  • In Family Guy, after Brian has staged an intervention for Stewie, who had become addicted to cough syrup:
    Brian Griffin: "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go to Chris's room. We're doing a masturbation intervention. I got a bunch of his friends sitting in a circle in there...OH DEAR GOD!"
  • In the Thomas the Tank Engine episode, "Duck In The Water", Sir Topham Hatt demands an explanation on what happened when Percy and Oliver bump into James and Rocky, who were in the process of lifting Duck out of a flooded track. Rocky takes the blame for accidentally knocking over a signal, until James sticks up for him:
    James: "It was nobody's fault, it was an accident! I was in a hurry to go, and Rocky wasn't ready, so... so..." (beat) "Oh. Actually, Sir, I suppose it was my fault. I didn't give Rocky time to secure his crane arm properly. That's why he was swinging about."
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: In "Road Apples", Ren is annoyed that everyone in the RV is asleep and keeping him awake with their snoring. Then this happens...
    Ren: Grrrrr. Everyone's asleep except me. (beat) Wait, if everyone's asleep...THEN WHO'S DRIVING THE RV!?!?!?
  • Dragon Tales: "Small Time" Emmy and Max are shrunken by Shrinking Violets (as in, literal violets that shrink anything when in bloom) just before the dragons arrive. The dragons are confused about only finding the kids' backpacks right by the flowerbeds. They realize what happened when Wheezie finds Emmy's kickball that also shrunk.
    Wheezie: Hey, what's this? [picks up the shrunken kickball] I found a marble that looks like a dragon ball.
    Cassie: Say, that looks just like Emmy's kickball. It must've shrunk. [gasps] What if Max and Emmy touched the Shrinking Violets?
    Zak: Well, then they'd shrink down to teeny, tiny—OH, NO! They shrunk!
  • In one episode Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003, when the turtles are fighting Baxter Stockman, the Mad Scientist gloats about his cyborg components each having its own power supply...including the machine gun arm the turtles cut off, which Donatello aims at Stockman.
    Stockman: Oh no. (Is blown out the window into the sky and explodes)
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: "No Rabbit's A Fortress": When it's the last straw for Rabbit because Pooh, Piglet and Tigger keep messing up his garden, he builds a fortress around it, complete with booby traps. However he soon realizes that he has trapped himself inside the fortress!
    Rabbit: Now for some quiet gardening. Where'd I leave my shovel? Oh, yes. It's right outside THE DOOR?! [panics] OHOHO! DOOR! I FORGOT TO MAKE A DOOR! I can't get out! I can't! I'm doomed!

    Real Life 
  • Rubber Duck Debugging is a case of trying to forcefully invoke this trope in real life with a Companion Cube.
  • Socratic dialogues consist of constantly asking further explanation from another person who proposes a certain theory, until said person reaches a point where their argument falls apart, thus highlighting the hidden weaknesses in their theory. Socrates himself concluded that no-one really knows anything, since the technique always tripped them up eventually.