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I Can't Believe I'm Saying This
Sometimes, someone says something that is completely out of character for them. It may be agreeing with another character who is usually either prone to dumb ideas or of an opposite mindset. Or maybe someone is disagreeing to another's point of view when the other person is so obviously wrong/making the wrong arguments. In other cases, someone is in a position that is so unique that if the phrase were to be taken out of context, it would stick out like a sore thumb. Either way, this phrase is used to highlight the oddness of one person saying it.

Another common phrasing is: "I never thought I'd say this, but..." and "As much as I hate to say this, ...". Very similar to A Rare Sentence. Inverse of I Always Wanted to Say That. Similar is, "I can't believe I'm agreeing with X", where X is the The Ditz and the person saying it is often the Only Sane Man, in which case it would be Dumbass Has a Point.

For added irony, this may precede the Flashback to Catchphrase.

Not to be confused with Can't Believe I Said That.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Said word for word in Chapter 551 of Naruto.
    Naruto: I can't believe I'm saying this, but thanks for the save, Itachi.

    Comic Books 
  • Groo The Wanderer became hyper-intelligent during one miniseries. Everyone who knew him was shocked by this, because his normal state is hyper-unintelligent. When the witches Arba and Dakarba saw him reason out a solution to a problem, Arba exclaimed, "Groo, you are brilliant!" and then thought, "There is a sentence I never thought I would say."

    Fan Works 
  • From Game Theory:
    Fate: I never thought I'd say this, Nanoha, but I think you should have used more firepower when you shot it the first time.

    Films — Animated 
  • Hoodwinked!: Upon realizing that he needs to get Twitchy to relay an urgent message to the police, the Wolf also realizes he needs to give Twitchy coffee:
    Wolf W. Wolf: I can't believe I'm saying this but... drink up.
    [Gives Twitchy a coffee mug]
    Wolf W. Wolf: We may want... to stand back. [Twitchy sips the coffee; seconds later, his eyes bulge and he starts shaking wildly like he's high]
    Wolf W. Wolf: Go get 'em, boy. [The Wolf plucks the mug out of the air; Twitchy bounces off several trees like a pinball, laughing maniacally, and then speeds away over the hill, so fast that he leaves a long trail of dust behind him]
    [a sonic boom is heard]
    Wolf W. Wolf: What... have I done?
    Granny Puckett: Now the rest is up to us.
    Kirk: [sniffs] Can I have coffee?
  • In Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, after finding himself in agreement with the Russian tiger Vitaly, Skipper comments:
    "I never thought I'd say this on American soil, but the Russky's right!"

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In The Dresden Files, The Gatekeeper in Summer Knight can't believe he's saying "What the Council doesn't know won't hurt it".
    • Also from Turn Coat:
      Dresden: I can't believe I'm about to say this. So think real careful about where this is coming from. Have you people ever considered talking when you've got a problem?
  • In The Fifth Elephant, Lord Vetinari: "I swore I'd never say this, but send for Sergeant Colon. Promotion, alas, awaits."
  • In The Heroes of Olympus, Nyx, the Goddess of Night, is trying to find some annoying heroes:
    Nyx: Somebody give me some light!

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Happy Endings, Season 2, Episode 18, Alex is trying to save Penny's birthday (which is being sabotaged by a fighting Jane and Brad, a starving Max, and the presence of Dave-her ex-fiance's-ex girlfriend as their waitress), so despite not liking the other girl, she tries to mend some fences.
    Alex: Brad, you go fix things with your wife. Just go I cannot believe I'm going to do this, but I am gonna go and smooth things over with Jackie.
  • Chuck:
    • From the episode "Chuck Versus the Alma Mater":
    Chuck: I can't believe I'm saying this, but I have to go back to Stanford.
    • Later in "Chuck Versus the Dream Job" by Casey when Chuck tells General Beckman that Operation Bartowski is their best team.
    Casey: (to himself) I can't believe I'm going to say this. (aloud) Chuck's right.
  • NCIS: Kate suggests illegally hacking a government database, and is promptly amazed that she would say that.
  • Drop the Dead Donkey
    Helen Cooper: I can't believe I'm saying this, Dave, but while I'm away you'll be in charge of ethics.
  • Home Improvement episode "Mr. Wilson's Opus"
    Tim Taylor: I can't believe I'm even saying this, but you're taking all the fun out of Shakespeare.
  • The Office (American) episode "Weight Loss"
    Jim: I can't believe I'm saying this, but Michael is actually killing it with Holly.
  • As Time Goes By episode "What Now?"
    Harry: I never thought I'd say this, but... You're a mate.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
    Wanda: I thought I'd never say this, but Larry is right.
  • Episode 4 of the Doctor Who serial The Underwater Menace.
    Jamie McCrimmon: You know I never thought I'd say this, but well it's great.
  • Used in the Red Dwarf episode "Rimmerworld" in conjunction with Take Me to Your Leader.
    • And in "Holoship", when Rimmer realises he's just paraphrased a line from a sappy movie he was mocking earlier.
      Rimmer: Oh, and, sir, you're wrong. We won't be apart, we just won't be together. (Beat.) I cannot believe I just said that.
    • And in "Tikka To Ride", when Rimmer explains why it's not a good idea to mess up the timeline further and risk dying at the hands of their future selves ''again'' just so Lister can restock the curry supplies.
      Cat: You know I'd rather wear sideways-pressed flares and a clip-on polyester tie than agree with goalpost-head, but this time, he's right.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Dear Doctor"
    Captain Archer: I never thought I'd say this, but I'm beginning to understand how the Vulcans must have felt.
  • Hannah Montana episode "My Boyfriend's Jackson and There's Gonna Be Trouble"
    Robbie Stewart: I never thought I'd have to say this to any of my kids, but why didn't you break up with your sister, Jackson?
  • Midsomer Murders episode "The Magician's Nephew"
    Cully Barnaby: Now, Dad, I never thought I'd have to say this: "Put your teeth in!"
  • Prison Break episode "First Down"
    Brad Bellick: I never thought I'd say this, Scofield, but I thank God for the day you walked into Fox River.
  • Seinfeld
    Jerry: Kramer, I never thought I'd say this, but that's not a bad idea.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "What You Leave Behind"
    Admiral Ross: I never thought I'd say this, but thank God for the Cardassians.
  • That 70s Show
    • Episode "Let's Spend the Night Together"
      Jackie: I never thought I'd say this to someone wearing cashmere, but I don't think we can be friends.
    • Episode "Who Wants It More?"
      Red: I never thought I'd say this. I'm glad you're my friend.
      Bob: Red, I never thought I'd say this, you smell nice.
  • The Office (British) episode "Training"
    Tim: I never thought I'd say this, but I'd actually like to hear more from Gareth.
    • This is moments after Gareth has revealed that he has a lesbian Twincest fantasy.
  • From Spicks And Specks:
    Adam: "I never thought I'd say this, but listen to Hamish, he's right!"
  • Stargate SG-1: When SG-1 is given the time-traveling Puddle Jumper for a mission:
    Hammond: Okay, people. Let me remind you. This mission is recon only. Do not engage the enemy. I'm allowing the use of this ship because of the obvious tactical advantage it provides you. Under no circumstances is it to be used to travel through time. (beat) Never in my life did I imagine ever giving that order.
  • In an episode of Frontline, Sam says this before telling Emma to page Mike. This is the punchline of a running gag with Mike reminding everyone of his pager number, oblivious to the fact that no one wants it.
  • In the series finale of Mash, Klinger says this when he announces he's staying in Korea to marry Soon Lee and help her track down her refugee family.
  • In an episode of Power Rangers Zeo, when it seemed Prince Gasket was finally about to destroy the rangers, Lord Zedd was Genre Savvy enough to understand it would prevent him from ever having a chance to take over the world, so he decided to help them but commented on how he never thought he'd say that (and was ever reluctant before saying). Rita even fainted from hearing Zedd saying that.
  • On QI, one correction ends up being like this.
    Stephen Fry: The language of the Flowerpot Men is actually called Oddle-poddle. "Flobbadob" means "flowerpot" in Oddle-poddle. I cannot believe I just said that.
  • Life On Mars - By-the-Book Cop Sam Tyler and his Old-Fashioned Copper boss Gene Hunt have this memorable reversal of roles when discussing how to get information out of a suspect
    Sam Tyler: We pull him in, we put the squeeze on him. Why is that so hard for you to agree to?
    Gene Hunt: Because I am policing in the full glare of the public bloody eye, and the Chief Super is taking a personal interest and we also have no flipping evidence! And I can't believe I just said that!
  • Kenan & Kel were once arguing about who was the best superhero: Skunkator or Mothman. Roger Rockmore agreed with Kel and lampshaded the trope by admitting how odd the idea of him agreeing with Kel sounded.
  • The Slammer: After the Governor gets Easy Amnesia following a blow on the head, Gimbert suggests jogging his memory. Mr Burgess's response is "Good idea, lad. I can't believe I just said that".
  • From the Buffy episode "Listening to Fear":
    Xander: I still don't get why we had to come here to get info about a killer snot monster.
    Giles: Because it's a killer snot monster from outer space. ...I did not say that.
  • Doctor Who, from "World War III":
    Doctor: Mickey... and I may choke before finishing this sentence... I need you.
  • One of the Polish partisans in the German World War II Mini Series Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter says to Viktor:
    "I never thought I'd say this to a German; "Farewell, and have a good life.""

    Video Games 
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge: After the Soviet player saves an Allied base from Yuri's mind control in the London mission.
    Special Agent Tanya Adams: I never thought I'd say this to a Commie, but... thanks.
  • Fur Fighters: Viggo's Revenge
    Juliette the Cat: I never thought I'd say this, dog, but I'm glad you're okay.
  • Blaze Union
    Jenon: I hate to say it, but Nessiah is right.

    Western Animation 
  • Beast Wars: Transformers episode "Crossing the Rubicon"
    Ratrap: I never thought I'd say this, but I'm gonna miss her.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers episode "Bug Off"
    Wheeler: [Linka has a cold] I never thought I'd say this, Linka, but what you got, I don't want.
  • Kaput and Zosky: The Ultimate Obliterators episode "Me, Me, Me!"
    Zosky: [Having escaped his enraged clones] I never thought I'd say this, but it feels good to get away from myself!
  • SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Krab Borg/Rock-a-Bye Bivalve"
    Squidward: I never thought I'd say this, but SpongeBob, let's get that poop.
    • Also in the episode 'Born Again Krabs':
    Squidward: Mr. Krabs, I can't believe I'm saying this, but how could you trade Spongebob for 62 cents?!
    Mr. Krabs: (examines coins) You think I could've gotten more?
  • The Simpsons episode "Dangerous Curves":
    Homer: I never thought I'd say this, but [mumbling to himself] stupid Flanders.
    • Bart, when he becomes famous as "the I-Didn't-Do-It Boy" and the whole class is waiting for him to say his line:
    Bart: I can't believe I'm saying this, but...shouldn't we be learning something?
  • In one episode of The Proud Family, in which Suga Mama's sister, Spice, comes to town and swindles people out of their money, she and Wizard Kelly try to get people to see the light, one of her lines is, "I can't believe I'm saying this, but everybody listen to the Wizard!"
  • Family Guy episode "Hell Comes to Quahog":
    Peter: Meg, that was a wonderful thing you just did for me. I can't believe this is coming out of my mouth, but... I love y- (interrupted by a tank crashing into the building)
    • In "PTV", Lois says this when she admits Peter was right about the FCC.
    Lois: I can't believe I'm saying this, but Peter, I think you were right.
  • Fanboy and Chum Chum episode, "I, Fanbot", in which the titular duo's class will be rewarded with a bouncy house if everyone passes a test.
    Fanboy: I'm about to say two words I never thought I'd say... let's study!
  • Zig-zagged in The Hair Bear Bunch episode "Raffle Ruckus," after Hair Bear has all the zoo animals secluded from the zoo prior to the superintendent's pending visit:
    Peevly: Oh, I hate myself for doing this but...(kisses Hair's hand) You've got to help me get the animals back before the superintendent arrives!
  • In the most recent version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Splinter has a moment of this.
    Splinter: You made a wise decision, Michelangelo.
    Turtles: Huh?
    Splinter: Yes, I never thought I'd hear myself say that, either.
  • The Legend of Korra: When Amon tried to intimidate Republic City into not holding the pro-bending tournament finals, Korra wanted the finals to be held despite Amon's threats. Chief Lin Bei Fong, despite how she usually feels about Korra, agreed with her.
  • Stoked: When two girls asked Reef out on a date, his refusal by claiming he was taken was this trope.
  • The Looney Tunes Show: After Sylvester explains his plan for getting home in "Ridiculous Journey":
    Tweety: "You're a genius, puddy tat! <beat> Whoa! I can't believe I just said that!"

    Web Original 
  • Red vs. Blue: Agent Washington is not very pleased by his first encounter with Caboose
    Washington:I'm investigating a critical issue and you seem to be the only person with the knowledge and experience necessary to help me. (Beat) And I just realized how ridiculous that sounded once I said it out loud.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series: "This goes way beyond leather pants, Téa, and I never thought I'd say that."

Hypothetical Fight DebateDialogueI Gave My Word
I Can See My House from HereStock PhrasesI Can't See Myself

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