"You're gonna need a bigger boat."A Stock Phrase, usually spoken in response to an emergent situation wherein the speaker suddenly realizes either the sudden absence of a necessity, or that the one in his/her possession is woefully insufficient. They need more. Context is key here. If someone misreads their cookbooks and buys four eggs instead of six: "I'm going to need more eggs" is not this trope in that context. Someone turning up with six eggs and being told they have to feed cake to eight hundred cranky children and remarking "I'm going to need more eggs" IS this trope. In comedy, the trope can be played with by using it in a situation where no quantity of the specified item would be sufficient to overcome the problem. A sister trope to More Dakka, when you need a stronger attack; and Tim Taylor Technology, when you need MORE POWER! A subtrope of Dramatic Deadpan, containing that trope's top example.
open/close all folders
- The series of commercials advertising action figures featuring characters from the movie Aliens commonly featured the Marines battling the featured ghoulie, and in the case of the flying alien queen they "NEED BIGGER GUNS!"
- A Taco Bell commercial cross-promoting the first American Godzilla has the chihuahua trying to catch Godzilla using the old box-stick-and-string trap and calling out to him: "Here, lizard, lizard, lizard, lizard...". When he actually sees Godzilla, he says, "Uh-oh... I think I need a bigger box."
- A Babybel advert had a pair of tiny cheese makers standing underneath a cow much, much bigger than them while trying to milk it. One of them says "We're gonna need a bigger bucket."
Anime & Manga
- In Garth Ennis' Preacher, the Saint of Killers — who is functionally immortal — is hit by a nuclear bomb. When the smoke clears, he simply says "Not enough gun".
- Upon reading the news of Barry Allen's return in Flash: Rebirth and realizing that The DCU now has three Flashes, one member of Flash's Rogues Gallery (actually called the Rogues in this case) says "We're gonna need more Rogues."
- The Body Doubles (a pair of villainous super-hero impersonators) commenting on their latest job; Impersonate Power Girl: "We're gonna need a bigger bra."
- In Part Two of the Doctor Who Magazine comic story "A Wing and a Prayer", the Doctor traps an alien insect in his fez and learns it's a police officer tracking another of its kind. When the Doctor encounters the other alien, and finds that it's managed to bulk up to about five times the size of a human, he says "I'm going to need a bigger fez".
- In the Batman Zero Year side-story in Detective Comics, which focuses on Jim Gordon, he's using a flashlight to signal his partner, unaware the man is a Dirty Cop. When he instead gets rescued by Batman, he reflects on how lucky he was the Dark Knight happened to see the signal, and decides that next time he's going to use a bigger flashlight.
- In the September 15, 2007 Garfield comic, Garfield's normal Running Gag about crushing spiders with newspapers was interrupted when Jon saw a spider with a hard hat walk by, chuckling to itself. Garfield followed it saying, "I'm gonna need a bigger newspaper".
- In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kyon is drinking milk (a common way for him to calm himself) when he is called by Nagato to her apartment. After he arrives he is told the reason for his summoning: the IDSE decided she's a liability and thus she's going to be deleted in a few hours. Since he realizes he won't be calm no matter how much he tries or how much milk he drinks, he comments, "There isn't enough milk in the world."
- In Nightmare Night and Nyx, Ink Spot arrives to pick up Twilight for their Nightmare Night date. When he arrives, Twilight has just used her Butterfly Wing spell on herself, and when Fluttershy opens the door, she erupts with laughter to see him wearing an explorer outfit with a butterfly net on his back and a field guide on his hip. His response: "Heavens, I think I'm going to need a bigger net."
- In You're My Density Harry and Hermione offer to teach second-year Defense Against the Dark Arts to any friends who refuse to subject themselves to Gilderoy Lockhart. After the class with the Cornish pixies, most of the rest of their yearmates show up and demand to be included.
Hermione: We're going to need a bigger classroom!
Films — Animation
Films — Live Action
- Perhaps the most famous example appears in Jaws. The line was actually an improvisation by Roy Scheider, but the scriptwriters and the author of the Book have both said that they'd have given their right arm to write a line that good. It's often misquoted as "We're..."note .
Brody: You're gonna need a bigger boat.
- The misquote ("We're...") of the Jaws example is used during the "salsa shark" bit in Clerks.
- When the protagonists of 2012 realize they need to fly to China. "We're gonna need a bigger plane."
- In the first American Godzilla movie, when the monster shows up in Times Square, one of the soldiers comments "We need bigger guns."
- Rutger Hauer's partner (Alistair Duncan) in Split/Second started yelling about needing "Big Fucking Guns!" after seeing the monster for the first time. It becomes his Madness Mantra for a bit.
- Yor: The Hunter from the Future: "We will need a lot more hemp before we're through."
- Just to be clear, the context of the scene is such that the character is probably referring to a need for hemp ropes
- The 40-Year-Old Virgin: "We're gonna need more wax!" followed by "Cancel all my appointments for this afternoon."
- Return of the Living Dead: "Send... more... paramedics..."
- From Men in Black II: "Might I suggest a bigger gun!" Followed by Agent Kay shooting more rapidly with the same gun to good effect.
- In the film Calendar Girls: Chris says this to Lawrence, the terrified photographer as he's about to take the first photograph (one of Celia topless behind a pile of iced bun thingys) — "We're going to need considerably bigger buns."
- In Die Hard, after the helicopter explodes, police chief Duane T. Robinson says, "We're gonna need some more FBI guys, I guess."
- Season of the Witch after the Cute Witch turns into One-Winged Angel with Super Strength who can melt its way out of its cage.
Priest: We're going to need more holy water.
- In the film Fly Away Home, a father is attempting to build an ultralight craft. His first attempt barely gets off the ground, and crashes spectacularly after a short flight. His two friends, standing nearby, murmur: "We need a bigger engine." "Yeah! Yeah!"
- One of several Jaws Shout Outs in Sharknado. "We're gonna need a bigger chopper."
- Harbinger Down (2015). The crew is hunting the morphing monster (last seen slithering Down the Drain in liquid form) with buckets of liquid nitrogen, only to find it's absorbed a couple of bodies down in the engine room and grown to huge size. Lance Henriksen's character barely escapes with his life, and comments, "We need a bigger bucket." From then on they drag an entire tank of liquid nitro with them.
- During the climactic fight in Jurassic World between two Velociraptors and the Indominus rex, Gray (the younger of the two kids) realizes that they need "more teeth." This prompts their Aunt Claire to open the paddock containing big Rexie.
- X-Men: Apocalypse: During Xavier's Battle in the Center of the Mind with Apocalypse, the villain says this to the hero when he gains the upper hand.
Charles: Welcome to my world! You're in my house now!
Apocalypse: You're gonna need a BIGGER house! [grows 30 feet tall]
- Then there's the old mechanic's joke, "If it doesn't fit, don't force it. Get a bigger hammer."
- In the Discworld novel Making Money, when the concept of paper money catches on to a even greater extent than Moist expected, he concludes "We're going to need some bigger notes."
- Nightside: When a future version of Tommy Oblivion pops up in the bar and starts haranguing John Taylor for something he hasn't done yet, Tommy yells that he's going to change the course of events next time around. "Next time, I'll have guns! Big, big guns!"
- In The Hot Gates, the Rangora manage to jam the main door of the Thermopylae closed. Keep in mind that the main door is the size of a city. Tyler says that "we're gonna need a bigger hammer." Then Granatica (the AI running the station's fabber) provides, building a ship that is essentially a giant hammer.
- In Friends, Monica convinces Chandler that taking a bath can be very relaxing. She prepares him a bath and gives him a toy ship to "so it's a boy bath". After a while, Monica comes by to ask whether he likes it:
Monica: Hey when you get out, maybe I can give you a facial.
Chandler: I'm gonna need a bigger boat.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus: The sketch where pharmacist (obCommonwealth: chemist) John Cleese is handing out medication to patients with embarrassing symptoms features this exchange:
Cleese: Right, who's got the chest rash?
(uncredited buxom woman raises her hand)
Cleese: ...I'll have to get a bigger bottle.
- Played straight in River Monsters when host Jeremy Wade says this in one episode when he hooks into a giant freshwater stingray so big that it actually starts towing the boat. It later ends up snapping a heavy-duty saltwater fishing rod designed to handle Marlin!
- A season 3 episode of The Closer involves somebody emptying several rounds of ammo into the car carrying the notoriously difficult, tempestuous and un-diplomatic (but well-loved among her squad) Brenda Johnson. Flynn writes WHO WOULD WANT TO KILL CHIEF JOHNSON?? on the board in the "murder room" and remarks dryly, "We're gonna need a bigger board."
- The Shield, when Mackey and a K9 officer are examining a location where they believe a body can be found:
Dog: Woof woof!
Dog: Woof woof!
Dog: Woof woof!
Handler: I'm gonna need more flags.
- Bones: Temperance Brennan, when called to examine a head, declares that "I need an evidence bag." When the rest of the body falls from a tree, she deadpans that she needs a bigger bag. This being Brennan, she probably wasn't going for humor.
- In one episode of Twin Peaks, Cooper has taken all the files of the local vet to the sheriff's station to search for the file disguised as that of a bird. Turns out the vet's secretary sorted the files by the name of the pets: "We gonna need some more coffee."
- In the Supernatural episode "Changing Channels", Dean makes a giant sandwich, and, after contemplating it for a few seconds, says, "I'm gonna need a bigger mouth." Sam enters: "Wow... you're gonna need a bigger mouth."
- In the Medium episode "Attack of the Zombies", Alison was having a dream involving a zombie apocalypse. In her dream, Joe was breaking up furniture to board up the house to keep the zombies out. Joe looked outside to see hordes of zombies coming closer to the house. "We are going to need more wood."
- The MythBusters often invoke this trope during their experiments. It usually involves explosives.
Adam: I think we're gonna need a smaller scale!
- Inverted in the myth involving pouring water on a grease fire. At one point, Adam and Jamie attempt to produce a smaller fireball by scaling down the size of the pan, the amount of cooking oil, and the amount of water. After their small-scale fireball turned out far bigger than they expected, Adam remarked:
- In an episode, Carter comes up with a plan to capture a small radioactivity-eating blob by luring it out with a stockpile of radioactive material, then grabbing it and putting it back in its container. Too bad for them, it already found the stockpile before they went to place it, and now it's a giant radioactivity-eating blob. Quoth Carter, "we're gonna need a bigger container".
- In the second episode, when they're planning on tracking a ghost, Carter asks about Henry's omni-remote's ability to scan electromagnetic frequencies, the remote that went haywire in the cemetery, where Henry had to pull the battery. Henry's response, "We're gonna need a bigger battery."
- The Jaws example is quoted for humorous effect (but in a nevertheless serious situation) by Xander in the first half of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 3 finale, "Graduation Day, Part 1". Giles has found a picture in a Tomes of Eldritch Lore of the demon Olvikan that the Mayor is going to change into. Giles and Xander stare at the unseen picture, then fold it out, again and again as if Olvikan was the centerfold in the May issue of Playdemon.
- Another Whedonverse example: when the Angel crew first see the fearsome Beast, Lorne (holding a crossbow) remarks that he's gonna need a bigger arrow.
- seaQuest DSV:
- This is inverted to comic effect when Captain Nathan Bridger (played by the same person who said the line in Jaws) is searching for someone infected with a virus on the titular submarine. He says "We need a smaller boat."
- And then he says it again in the season 1 finale, after said submarine is blown up while trying to close a seafloor fault line: "We're going to need a new boat." Roy Scheider certainly got his money's worth out of that line.
- In the Charmed episode "The Devil's Music", Phoebe plans to defeat a soul-eating demon by feeding him a balloon full of a potion that will force him to regurgitate all the souls she's eaten. When she actually encounters the demon, her reaction is, "We're gonna need a bigger balloon."
- Major Sheppard gets the Jaws quote right in the second episode of Stargate Atlantis, when confronted with a huge Energy Being they're trying to trap back into its Ancient confinement artifact.
Sheppard: I think you're gonna need a bigger boat.
McKay: (over comms) Size doesn't matter.
Sheppard: That's a myth.
- An episode of NCIS has Ducky and Jimmy reassembling the skeletal remains of what looks like two bodies by arranging the bones on two autopsy tables. Everything is going more-or-less smoothly until they find a bone that they already have two of, leading Ducky to comment, "We're gonna need another table." They end up reassembling five bodies.
- In the Doctor Who Christmas Episode "The Husbands of River Song", when River doesn't recognise the Doctor and asks how he knows her, he says that explaining that usually requires flowcharts. When she tells him her husband is dying, he adds "I'm going to need a bigger flowchart." (As the title suggests, it's not him.)
- In Jonathan Coulton's song You Ruined Everything, he mentions that he's going to need more money.
- A variation in the Return of the King game: When the oliphants show up, Gimli quips, "I don't have an axe big enough for this one."
- In Baldur's Gate II, when Minsc's weapon isn't powerful enough to affect his enemy...
"No effect? I need a bigger sword!"
- Team Fortress 2
- The Heavy flips it: You're gonna need much bigger guns! Also, if the Heavy blocks the other team from capturing a capture point or moving the payload cart forward, he'll yell "I think you need more men!"
- From the Meet the Engineer Video, when pontificating on how to stop some mean mother hubbard from tearing him a structurally superfluous new behind, he mentions that if a gun doesn't work, "Use more gun." The video then cuts from a slow-firing popgun to a monstrosity with twin chainguns and quadruple rocket launcher.
- Inverted with the Engineer's Gunslinger, a robotic arm that deploys mini-sentries "Sometimes you just need a little less gun"
- The Bubblegum Club's spoof of I'm a celebrity, get me out of here! Known as I'm a bubblegum bod, get me out of here! There's a scene where there's a volcano erupting nearby, and they want to stop it so they don't get hurt. They catapult a rock into the volcano to try to plug it up, but it falls into the crater. Someone says, "We may need a bigger rock," to which the reply is, "Like, duh!"
- Artix Entertainment's game DragonFable has a moment where Artix and the player see a giant undead with a BFS almost as big as he is (and he towers over both Artix and the player). The player then says "I think we're going to need something bigger." Artix then picks up a giant hammer. Subverted in that in the actual fight the hammer gets replaced with the his sword via a glitch.
- Mass Effect
- Mass Effect contains a fantastic "gonna need a bigger trope" moment when the party gets their first look at the Thorian, including — depending on party members and dialogue tree choices — the words, "We're going to need bigger guns."
- After Virmire, where Shepard's team learned the truth about the Reapers, Shepard can try to reassure Kaidan that the turians were also around a lot longer than humanity, yet still got a boot to the ass. Kaidan remarks that they're going to need a bigger boot. How right he was...
- The TV commercials for Left 4 Dead 2: "You and your friends vs. 10 million zombies... (Dramatic Gun Cock) They're gonna need more zombies."
- Medal of Honor 2010: When the operators realize they are facing a much larger force than their intelligence lead them to expect, one of the characters makes the classic reference to Jaws... with the classic misquote.
- To quote Ebeneezer Von Clutch from Crash Tag Team Racing: "When in Doubt, Build a bigger Tank!" (he was also quoting his father).
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, during Gaius and Nowi's A-support, he comments that he's going to need more figs.
- StarCraft: We need more pylons! And more Vespen Gas! And Overlords!
- One of the taglines of LEGO Dimensions was "You're gonna need a bigger imagination."
- In Super Cafe: "Bros Before Marios", Batman says "We're gonna need a bigger booth..." when the whole Avengers team shows up.
- In RPG World, Hero invokes this trope when faced with the gargantuan "Tough Dragon".
Hero: Hm... We're gonna need a bigger sword.
- Early in El Goonish Shive, Elliot realizes that a net is probably not the best item for catching sentient goo. Tedd's answer...
Tedd: Blasphemy! We just need larger nets!
- Girl Genius: "I don't think I've got one big enough."
- MS Paint Adventures
- Early in DM of the Rings, the player playing Gimli is busy frantically sketching out his best estimates of Moria on graph paper, realizes it doesn't fit, accidentally tears a hole in the paper, and then...
Gimli: Uh oh. I'm going to need a lot more graph paper.
- Sluggy Freelance:
"I'm going to need a bigger stick.""We don't have a budget for that."
- In "The Isle of the Ployees", which is a kind of absurd satire of corporate jobs, Riff is expected to tame a huge monster by whacking it on the head with a small stick.
Dr. Schlock: "Riff? We're going to need a bigger bunny."
- "Dangerous Days Ahead", when the heroes and anti-heroes are laying siege to the bad guys and the literal Killer Rabbit Bun-bun fights an alien killing machine and actually starts losing (for about the first time ever in the comic).
- In "Freelance Bums", in a reversed parody of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, a bunch of the guys need to make a gay man look like he's straight and his boyfriend is his straight roommate. When they see the boyfriend (called "Sparkles"), Riff comments "We might need a bigger team." When he sees the immaculately decorated apartment, he says "We need a bigger team."
- Upon coming face-to-face with a giant tiger monster? "Will be needing a larger wetnap than originally thought."
- From A Modest Destiny, "We're gonna need a bigger plan."
- Inverted Trope in Kevin & Kell: When word gets out that Fenton's mother is a vampire bat, people start making excuses not to come to Fenton and Lindesfarne's wedding. Kevin comments "We're gonna need a smaller church."
- Played straight during Danielle's pregnancy, when Kevin's mother commented that the only other time a member of her family had had a single baby was when she gave birth to him and then dryly added "You're gonna need a bigger crib."
- Axe Cop:
Axe Cop: We need another job.
Dinosaur Soldier: Our gun bill is really high.
- Cross Time Cafe: Being unfamiliar with measuring giraffes for dresses, Triac discovers he's going to need a bigger extension.
- In the BIONICLE web serial "Federation of Fear", Vezon nearly quotes the Jaws line upon seeing the massive dragon form of the original Brotherhood of Makuta leader his team was assigned to free, before being cut off by Brutaka who replies: "A bigger boat. I know."
- In The Salvation War, an old lady in a mall shoots a demon six times with her handgun to little effect. When interviewed afterwards, her only words are "I need a bigger fucking gun!"
- In RWBY, whatever Roman Torchwick is planning, he's going to need more men.
- In the Bronies React video for the 100th episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, LittleshyFiM starts by saying that he'll take a bite of a muffin anytime something interesting happens. Of course, barely past one-third of the episode...
LittleshyFiM: I'm going to need more muffins.
- "I'm gonna need more rope!" is one of the few lines the Freakazoid! villain Candle Jack ever says. Hello there.
- Justice League Unlimited:
- In "Twilight", Batman pronounces upon viewing the city of the gods in the sky, "I'm gonna need a longer grapple."
- In "The Doomsday Sanction", Doomsday mocks Superman after his heat vision has no effect on him. Superman replies, "Then I guess I'll need a bigger fire!" then beats him up and throws him into a volcano.
- Teen Titans:
- In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "April's Artifact", Raph grabbed a stick to swat a "lousy little gnat". Leo informs him "You're gonna need a bigger flyswatter" just as a Giant Enemy Bug shows up.
- An episode of Tiny Toon Adventures had Elmyra grabbing a goldfish net in order to catch the fuzzy animal she sees. She gets a better view of the animal and sees it's about on par with common perception of Bigfoot size-wise... she goes back inside to grab a butterfly net.
- In The Simpsons episode "Lisa's Rival", Homer attempts to fix Marge's camera using an electric drill in a somewhat unconventional manner: he uses it in lieu of a chisel, striking it with a hammer. When this fails, destroying the camera entirely, he remarks "I'm going to need a bigger drill."
- In Danny Phantom during the episode "Public Enemies," a massive group of Walker's goons invades Amity Park. Danny pulls out his thermos and remarks, "I'm gonna need a bigger thermos!"
- He then gets quickly taken out and his friend Tucker adds: "And a paramedic!"
- In W.I.T.C.H., at one point, the titular team is about to go out for ice cream when the Psycho Rangers show up. Irma says "we're going to need more spoons."
- In The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, after trying and failing to snow sled, "We need a bigger hill."
- After the New Mutants were added to the X-Men: Evolution cast, Wolverine noted, "We're definitely going to need more instructors. And maybe a couple of tanks."
- When Him has The Powerpuff Girls fight a monster without their powers, Bubbles throws apples at him.
Bubbles: How do you like them apples?
Buttercup: We're gonna need something a lot bigger than apples!
Bubbles: How about grapefruits, then?
- In Sofia the First episode "The Shy Princess", the students of Royal Prep were paired up and each pair had to make a model of their dream castle. Prince James and Prince Zandar made a cannon with a castle on it. When they lost, the believed that should have made a bigger cannon.
- The Life and Times of Juniper Lee: In "Welcome Bat Otter", the fear of bat otters made some magical creatures hide inside a cave. Seeing the size of some of the magical creatures seeking shelter made her believe a bigger cave would be needed.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- In "Hearts and Hooves Day", the Cutie Mark Crusaders make a giant heart-shaped card for Miss Cheerilee. They then remark that they need a bigger envelope.
- In "Apple Family Reunion", when Granny Smith realizes how many Apples will be showing up for the reunion, she says "We're gonna need a bigger cider trough."