I Have Just One Thing to Say

Dumbledore: You both realize, of course, that in the past few hours you have broken perhaps a dozen school rules.
Harry/Ron: Yes, sir.
Dumbledore: And that there is sufficient evidence to have you both expelled.
Harry/Ron: Yes, sir.
Dumbledore: Therefore, it is only fitting that you both receive ... [beat] ... Special Awards for Services to the School.

A character is giving a climactic speech expressing disgust for the actions of another character. It sounds like a stern rebuke, and builds to "I have just one thing to say!" The audience expects a final slap in the face, but instead the character says something entirely positive, revealing the speech to be a put-on.

Sometimes the "one thing to say" is, "Gotcha!" A fairly common alternative in children's media is, "Tag! You're it!"

Compare Arson Murder And Life Saving. May be the climactic turn of a Milholland Relationship Moment.


  • Dumb and Dumber had a good one, when Lloyd traded their van for an extremely tiny mini-bike:
    Harry: You know, Lloyd, just when I thought you couldn't possibly get any dumber, you go and do something like this. [Beat] ...and totally redeem yourself!
  • Super Babies movie where the Kid Hero's 'last words' were "Duck!" A vehicle of his was coming for him.
  • Done in the first Rush Hour.
    Cpt. William Diel: What you did was Reckless! And completely against policy! And on top of that... You did a good job!
    Inspector Carter: Say what?!
    • This was a subversion, as the captain did not think Carter had done a good job at all, but was merely putting him on so he would accept a humiliating assignment as a supposed reward.
  • Major League
    "I've only got one thing to say to you: strike this motherfucker out!"
  • Three To Tango Matthew Perry's character has spent the entire film pretending to be gay, while actually in love with Nieve Campbell. When she finds out, she yells at him for daring to lie to her, and ends with "I have just one thing to say to you... I take the left side of the bed." Cue coy smirks and Ironic Echo inundation.
  • Monsters, Inc..
    CDA Agent: This is the CDA. Come out slowly with the child in plain sight.
    Mike Wazowski: Okay, okay. You got us. Here we are. Here's the kid. I'm cooperating. But before you take us away, I have one thing to say. (sticks out tongue, revealing a sock) Catch! (throws sock at CDA agent)
  • The Hobbit:
    Thorin (to Bilbo): You! What were you doing? You nearly got yourself killed! Did I not say that you would be a burden, that you would not survive in the wild and that you have no place amongst us? I've never been so wrong in all my life. (embraces Bilbo)


Live-Action TV
  • The Golden Girls "Til Death Do We Volley": Dorothy has pulled a Counter Zany in response to a friend's practical joke. The friend declares angrily, "Dorothy Zbornak, that was the sneakiest, most underhanded practical joke you have ever pulled, and I Have Just One Thing to Say: boy, have I missed you!"
  • Three's Company "And Baby Makes Four": Cindy is irate that Jack and Janet thought she was pregnant. She rants, "Stop treating me like a child! I'm an adult and I can take care of myself. I Have Just One Thing to Say: you two are the best friends a girl could ever have."
  • Frasier, "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue" - Niles comes home chipper, which the uncouth Simon Moon attributes to his having had sex (and completes the image with a few hip thrusts). Niles rears himself up indignantly: "I find that remark rude, boorish and impossible to deny!" — now grinning fit to bust.
  • A version happened in Doctor Who in "The Stolen Earth". Davros gives a speech about their history, while the Doctor responds with "After all this time, after everything we saw, everything we lost, I have only one thing to say to you...Bye!," making it clear he has no personal interest in Davros. This is also an Ironic Echo of his conversation with the Master last season, where he was the one trying to get his enemy to stay and talk, who shut him down with the same word.
  • Appears at the end of the Christmas episode of Modern Family. Jay has been annoyed for the entire episode over the Columbian traditions of his new wife and stepson. Finally, he explodes on them at the end.
    Jay: From now on, we'll do Columbian things while we're in Columbia, and do American things when we're in America! That means no fireworks, no practical jokes, and none of your damned cheese balls! {exits and reenters} Innocente! What, did I not do it right? You should have seen your faces! And do you know how hard it is to find fireworks at Christmastime?
  • Babylon 5: Shortly after Sheridan's return to the station from Z'ha'dum: "Hey, I heard that you three [Ivanova, Lyta, and Delenn] went to Z'ha'dum after me. That was foolish and dangerous. And I can't thank you enough for trying."
  • Sesame Street: When Telly asks Samara, who is deaf, to teach her some American Sign Language, Alan interprets for her.
    Samara: Sure. Let's start with an easy one. *taps Telly on the shoulder* Tag! You're it! *runs*
  • Castle; his response to learning that the "murder" he witnessed across the street was staged as part of a birthday surprise for him (especially since the reveal comes mere minutes after seeing Beckett struggle with a man holding a carving knife):
    "This is... without a doubt... the greatest birthday gift of my life!"
  • The Thick of It has an example in one of the very final scenes. Various characters are forced to resign throughout the series, and usually exit with a standard "The Reason You Suck" Speech (deserved or otherwise) or a "fuck you" of some kind to their former allies/enemies, but Malcolm Tucker himself goes with one of these. After his lawyer informs the baying press-pack that his client won't be making a statement, Malcolm then says "No, I want to say something," and looks like he's gearing himself up for one of his trademark rants - but he says, "It doesn't matter," in a tone of voice that is more exhausted than anything else, and walks off without another word.
    • Possibly played with, because in some ways, that is actually the most devastating condemnation of his line of work and the people in it in the series; it perfectly shows the sheer disgust, weariness and contempt he feels for everything, coupled with demonstrating that he knows nothing he would say would make a difference, and he cares so little that he's not even going to try any more, or even bother thinking up a final insult.


Professional Wrestling
  • An episode of Raw in 2004 saw Triple H and Batista tease a split, culminating in Batista allegedly laying him out backstage, leaving Triple H's steel cage match with Chris Benoit cancelled. They met later that night in the ring for an impromptu brawl..... where Triple H invoked this trope, revealing that he just wasn't in the mood to wrestle a cage match that night. As it would turn out, this was major Foreshadowing towards Batista making a Heel-Face Turn for real in 2005.


Video Games
  • In Wing Commander III, after Blair accepts a simulator duel against arrogant test pilot Flash, the captain takes Blair aside and starts a lecture on how reckless he's being. He ends it with the following statement: "Kick the little twerp's ass."

Western Animation
  • Superman: The Animated Series, in the episosde "Heavy Metal", after Steel saves Superman by taking down Metallo.
    Superman: You're going to hear this a lot from now on, so you'd better hear it from me first. (Beat) Thanks.