Immediate Self-Contradiction
Calvin's clearly got a future as a lawyer.

"This isn't a game, you know."
"All right, now these games will determine which of you has the most important qualities I'm looking for..."

This is for when a character says something clearly contradictory, if not completely opposite, to what they literally said right beforehand.

May sometimes happen in the context of a Hurricane of Excuses. When a contradiction seems immediate to the viewer but is not immediate in in-universe time, that would be a Gilligan Cut. See also Verbal Backspace, I Resemble That Remark!, Ironic Echo Cut, Instantly Proven Wrong, Confession Deferred. Subtrope of Hypocritical Humor.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Dragon Ball's Bad Future, Blooma tells Trunks nice things about his father while her thought bubbles reveal she really knew him only as a cold blooded killer. When Trunks returns with good stories of Vegeta she's genuinely surprised, though she doesn't let Trunks see it.
  • In the dub of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Bobobo explains to the wealth-obsessed villain Halekulani that there are things more important than money. Like money!
  • Aquarion EVOL: Right in the middle of one of her "boys are disgusting, you should always turn them down firmly" rants, Mix suddenly remembers that she had promised to meet up with Andy, whom she's been very obviously crushing on for some time, and runs off.
  • In the 10th anniversary edition of Azumanga Daioh, Osaka overhears Kaorin gushing about Sakaki and asks if Kaorin is gay. Kaorin corrects Osaka, telling her that the correct term is "lesbian"... and then has a panic attack as she denies that she is a lesbian. Whereupon she immediatelly tries to play off her feelings as a "teenage thing", and when she was gushing over Sakaki she was doing it platonically anyway, and just to prove she's not a lesbian: She wouldn't mind if Sakaki was a guy... Osaka became confused.

    Comic Books 
  • Ach!lle Talon has a bulldog-faced American general claim, with absolute sincerity, that if there's one thing he hates more than the Chinese, it's racism.

  • Monsters vs. Aliens:
  • Constantine. Chas Kramer has been bugging the title character about being able to get into Papa Midnite's bar for some time.
    Chas Kramer: Can you please get me into this bar, John, please? I'm begging you, John, please?
    Constantine: Sure, you can get in.
    Chas Kramer: I can get in?
    Constantine: If you can get in.
    • What John means in this case is that Chas is allowed to get in if he is capable of getting in. He won't object to the kid being in the bar if he can pass the psychic door test.
  • Austin Powers has this memorable quote from Powers Sr.: "There's only two things I hate in this world: People who are intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch."
  • R.O.T.O.R. is loaded with jarring discrepancies between dialogue and on-screen imagery.
    • During the establishing shots of Dallas, a traffic reporter describes severe traffic congestion, while the viewer can see that the highway is clear.
    • Coldyron claims that R.O.T.O.R. has no 'tubes', precisely as the camera is panning over the robot's... tubes.
    • Coldyron claims to have 'crippled' R.O.T.O.R.'s motorcycle. Meanwhile R.O.T.O.R. zips away at full speed, totally unscathed by Coldyron's bullets.
  • Defending Your Life: A Running Gag is the fact Daniel is told he's not on trial, but he's being tried.
    Daniel: Oh my God! So I'm on trial for being afraid!
    Mr. Diamond: First, we don't like to call it a trial. Second, yes.
  • Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has several occasions of saying something, then stopping, and exclaiming "Strike that! Reverse it!"
  • Couples Retreat has this quote:
    Dave: What we need to do now is get focused and stop pointing fingers. [points at Joey] You're a problem. You're a real, real problem.
  • Norman Bates of Psycho has a habit of doing this, which makes him a strangely Bad Liar for someone who has a lot to hide.
    Norman: [about his mother's abuse] I don't mind it anymore.
    Marion: Oh, but you should. You should mind it.
    Norman: I do, but I say I don't.

  • A man is suspected of a bank robbery. After a long trial, the judge finds him not guilty. The man is overjoyed at the verdict, and asks, 'So does that mean I get to keep the money, Your Honor?'note 
  • There's an old joke about a man being accused of breaking his neighbor's teapot. He responds: 'I never touched it, it was broken before I got it, it was in perfect condition when I returned it, and there is no teapot.'
  • An old joke: I do not smoke, do not drink, and do not swear... Shit, I dropped my cigarette into the cognac again!

  • Peter Pan, in the book: "That's not why I was crying! And besides, I wasn't crying."
  • Dave Barry often uses this. For example, an attack ad claiming a politician had relations with a sheep named Bernice. The politician denies the whole thing, and besides, her name was Jennifer.
  • In Devin And The Teacher the unnamed narrator insists the title character Devin isn't a troublemaker; then promptly lists all the times he had caused trouble.
  • A Finish logic textbook has an example where you have to figure out for yourself why it's a contradiction. The rabbit is on trial and claims not to be guilty, but when the prosecutor claims that if the rabbit did it, he had an accomplice, the rabbit says that that's a lie — whereupon the judge deems him guilty. If the "if" is interpreted as a material conditional, then the only way the claim "If he did it, he had an accomplice" gets the value "false" is if he did it and he didn't have an accomplice. You might even apply some similar reasoning with normal language, but it gets much more uncertain.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The A-Team, "Chopping Spree". When Hannibal figures out that Tony Victor is planning on killing the D.A. trying to punish him at Judge Holloway's funeral, Face protests that Victor's "not crazy enough" to do something like that. After a brief pause, he admits that, yes, he is crazy enough.
  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor gives explanations for various things, only to immediately say that the explanation is wrong, since a lot of the time, he doesn't seem to have an answer or he thinks his companions need it dumbed down for them. The Eleventh Doctor is especially prone to discarded analogies.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • In episode "Zoo or False" Marshall simultaneously claims that he was and was not "mugged" by a monkey in the Central Park zoo. He was mugged by a person but he says it was a monkey in order for Lily to not want to get a gun, then feels guilty when he learns that the monkey he has accused is going to be deported.
      Lily: You weren't mugged by a monkey?
      Marshall: Yes, I was!
      Robin: So you were mugged by a monkey.
      Marshall: No, I wasn't!
    • In one episode, Barney says that it's impossible for a man wearing overalls to seduce a woman. He then vows to do exactly that.
  • In the British show All Creatures Great and Small, Siegfried is often guilty of telling his employees to do something, then at some point negating what he just said (he has a very bad short-term memory).
  • Firefly: Mal going back on a job for a client after finding out what exactly that job entails:
    Mal: Now this is all the money Niska gave us in advance. [...] We're not thieves. Well, we are thieves... point is, we're not taking what's his.
    • The comic book sequel Better Days echoes the exchange, with a contact asking Mal his price for delivering a stolen drone. Mal answers the price is what they bargained for before, as this isn't robbery — or at least, he's not robbing the contact.
  • Saturday Night Live did a parody Biography entry of a singer played by Queen Latifah whose songs were all very blunt bawdy songs. At the end Jack Perkins (Darrell Hammond) reads off a list of her hits, which include "I Won't Do Oral" and, a few seconds later, "Okay, Fine, I'll Do Oral".
  • On M*A*S*H in the episode, "Alcoholics Unanimous", Frank gives Hawkeye and Trapper a quiz about drinking to see if they're alcoholics. They say no to all the questions, but do exactly what the questions ask. For example:
    Frank: Question #2: Do you ever gulp drinks?
    (Hawkeye and Trapper both down the martinis they're drinking in one gulp)
    Hawkeye: No.
    Trapper: Never.
  • There's the "no, no, no, no, no, no, yes...." man in The Vicar of Dibley (Jim's Verbal Tic).
  • Monty Python:
    • The Spanish Inquisition sketch in
      "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise, fear and surprise; two chief weapons, fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency! Er, among our chief weapons are: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, and near fanatical devotion to the Pope! Um, I'll come in again..."
    • One sketch had Eric Idle playing a host at a nightclub. As he's introducing the next performer, he slowly begins to sink lower into a groveling position until he's practically prostrate on the stage, calling the next performer an "infinitely superior being" and "a man whose boots I would gladly lick clean". When told by someone off-stage that the performer cancelled last minute, Idle immediately drops the act, rises to his feet and grumbles, "Never mind. It's actually not all it's cracked up to be."
  • The "Prepared for Terries" sketch on Key & Peele has two absurd self-proclaimed terrorist fighters do this with no subtlety whatsoever to a reluctant potential "comrade":
    "I got an idea, feel free to say no, but can we switch seats? I will not take no for an answer..."
  • Rick James on Chappelle's Show:
    "I never just did things just to do them. Come on, what am I gonna do? Just all of a sudden jump up and grind my feet on somebody's couch like it's something to do? Come on. I got a little more sense then that... Yeah, I remember grinding my feet on Eddie's couch."
  • A defendant on Judge Judy lets Judge Judy know that there wasn't an earpiece in the wallet he didn't steal.

  • Star Trekkin by The Firm, Captain Kirk's line is "We Come in Peace ó Shoot to Kill."
  • Blondie's song "I Know But I Don't Know" from Parallel Lines is made up of a number of these, starting with the title.
  • The hook to Rae Sremmurd's "No Type" starts with the line "I ain't got no type; bad bitches is the only thing that I like".

    Mythology, religion and folklore 

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In this Dilbert strip, the Pointy-Haired Boss goes right from an optimistic forecast of company profits to an explanation that the company can't afford to give out raises this year. There was supposed to be something else in between, but his secretary messed with the agenda.
  • The page image from Calvin and Hobbes comes from this strip.

  • Bleak Expectations: Flora Diesearly, Pip Bin's incredibly short-lived first wife, becomes this after they marry, going on about how she loves clouds, or getting scores of kittens, to which Pip agrees, only for her to immediately act like Pip's the one who suggested this things in the first place.

    Video Games 
  • The Flash game series Arise has, in the very first game, this wonderful claim left in a book for the player to read: "This is not a joke, and it's not a test. I put you in this shack to test you." Retsupurae called the authors out on this:
    slowbeef: Like right there! I mean, come on!
    Diabetus: Oh man, my backspace key doesn't work, but I gotta keep writing my narrative!
  • EarthBound has the Onett librarian offering you a map.
    Librarian: All of the information is there, except for the information that isn't there!
  • Diablo III: The Cow King, when letting you into Whimyshire.
    "This is no time to be silly. The level of sparkling happiness and rainbows awaits you!"
  • How many people interpret Pokemon Black and White's N, who does a little spiel about freeing Pokemon from abusive, battling trainers just before challenging you to Pokemon battle.
  • Vegetoid in Undertale is a sentient carrot. Attempting to talk to him will cause him to say "Plants Can't Talk, Dummy".
  • Clover from Virtue's Last Reward says there's no way on Earth she would seduce Sigma into betraying Tenmyouji so she could escape the facility with 9 BP. What's the first thing she does half a minute later, when she's alone with Sigma in the AB room? Seduce Sigma. Or trying at least, if you ignore her and choose "ally" anyway.
  • Steve Burnside in Resident Evil Ė Code: Veronica makes a big one after clearing a path for Claire. First he says that guns are more reliable than people and how people can't be trusted, then immediately says that Claire can trust him. This makes him a huge Hypocrite, though Claire never calls him out on it.

    Web Comics 

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue: O'Malley does this during the second season finale.
    O'Malley: Prepare for an oblivion... FOR WHICH THERE IS NO PREPERATION!

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In Sonic Boom, Amy is going crazy over a new pop star named Justin Beaver. While trying to convince her friends to listen to a song, she says "I don't want to overhype it... but he's the greatest entertainer who ever lived!"
  • From My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "May the Best Pet Win!" by Rainbow Dash
    "This isn't a game, you know." [Beat] "All right, now these games will determine which of you has the most important qualities I'm looking for..."
  • The Simpsons:
    • This conversation from an educational film in "Lisa the Vegetarian":
      Jimmy: Mr. McClure? I have a crazy friend who says its wrong to eat meat. Is he crazy?
      Troy McClure: (laughs) No, Jimmy, just ignorant. You see, your crazy friend hasn't heard of the food chain.
    • This classic from "Crimson Tide":
      Grampa Simpson: My Homer is not a communist. He may be a liar, a pig, an idiot, a communist, but he is not a porn star!
    • When aliens assume the forms of Bill Clinton and Bob Dole in a Treehouse of Horror special, the fake Clinton gives a Meaningless Meaningful Words speech that first says the country must move forward, then immediately after that he says it must move upwards, not forwards.
  • Futurama:
    • Professor Farnsworth continually. E.g.: "You're going to be going on a highly controversial mission!"
      Fry: Controversial?
      Farnsworth: Oh my, no!
    • From "The Duh-Vinci Code":
      Morbo: Are you ready to play?
      Fry: I didn't come here to play; I came to win. Now let's play.
    • From "The Sting"
      Leela: What's the mission?
      Farnsworth: Collecting honey. Ordinary honey.
      Leela: That doesn't sound so dangerous.
      Farnsworth: This is no ordinary honey!
    • Multiple examples occurs in the following exchange from "Love's Labors Lost in Space":
      Farnsworth: It's a sunny little doomed planet, inhabited by a number of frisky little doomed animals.
      Leela: Animals?
      Farnsworth: That's right. Animals in desperate need of rescue. You see, Vergon 6 was once filled with a super-dense substance known as dark matter, each pound of which weighs over ten thousand pounds.
      Leela: Wait! What about the animals?
      Farnsworth: Well, dark matter is extremely valuable as starship fuel. That's why it was all mined out, leaving the planet completely hollow.
      Leela: Yes, but what about the animals?
      Farnsworth: The wha?
      Leela: The animals.
      Farnsworth: I didn't say anything about animals. Now it seems that the planet will collapse within three days. Incidentally, this will kill all the animals.
    • In short the works of Matt Groening regularly employ this trope for quick gags.
  • Justice League: In "The Great Brain Robbery", Flash and Luthor are mind-swapped. Flash does an absolutely dreadful job of passing himself off as Luthor (fortunately, his colleagues attribute his odd behavior to him getting a bit brain-fried in the mind-probe attempt that led to the situation).
    Flash-as-Luthor: My fellow bad guys, I, Lex Luthor, your leader, will speak now about my, Lex Luthor's, plan. My villainous, villainous plan. Question the plan at your peril! (pause) Uh... any questions?

    Real Life 
  • Calvin really could have made a good lawyer: in law you do something called "arguing in the alternative" e.g., "I didn't do it, and besides, I have diplomatic immunity so you can't prosecute me."
  • One of Vice President under George H.W. Bush Dan Quayle's infamous gaffes was, when following up on a statement that "The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history," said (paraphrased by reporter), "No, not our nation's, but in World War II. I mean, we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century, but in this century's history." He also said "I believe we are on an irreversible trend towards more freedom and democracy, but that could change."
  • Step 1: Meet person with sore throat. Step 2: Have said person with sore throat say "I can't talk." Step 3: Profit.