I've Never Seen Anything Like This Before
"Whoa! This place looks just like... it reminds me of.. this is just like that time I... hm. I don't think anything like this has ever happened to me before...
If one of the people questioned during the investigation of a Monster of the Week
is a policeman or a marine or a scientist or some other person who was on the job when they saw the thing or event, there's a good bet they'll say some variation on this Stock Phrase
: "I've been a biologist for thirty-four years, and I've never seen anything like this before", "You see some strange things on this job, but I've never seen anything like this before", etc; much of the time the line is spoken in such a way as to suggest that the speaker will be haunted and traumatized by what they saw to the end of their days. The message is clear: if it's got the professionals spooked, you must be onto something.
It can also be used as a form of As You Know
, or more accurately, "As You Didn't Know." In a setting where everything is unfamiliar to the viewer, special mention needs to be made of things that are unfamiliar to the characters in the setting.
See also Readings Are Off the Scale
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- Dragon Ball Z - Any time that a fighter- hero or villain- attains a new level of strength. "I've never felt a power anything like this!!"
- Expressed constantly by the various sources of technobabble (mainly Ritsuko and the Bridge Bunnies) in Neon Genesis Evangelion. A promo for the show's brief stint on Toonami actually contained this exact line.
- Played Serious in X-Men. When they are examining Wolverine's x-rays and Jean is telling everyone about his adamantium covered skeleton, Xavier ominously says, "Experimentation on mutants isn't unheard of, but I've never seen anything like this before..."
- Likewise played serious in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Especially horrifying is that it's coming from Wolverine, whose Bad Future self would be 178 years old and and has seen more fucked up shit in his life than most normal people could possibly imagine.
Wolverine: I've been in a lot of wars... but I've never seen anything like this...
- Used half-seriously in Transformers: The Movie, where the old Autobot warrior Kup had continuously been playing The Munchausen, comparing current situations to things that happened in his old war days. But when he sees Unicron attacking Cybertron, he's left speechless:
Hot Rod: Doesn't this remind you of anything, Kup?
Kup: Nope. Never seen anything like this before.
- Inverted in the movie Tremors, in regards to a giant burrowing worm-monster:
Earl:: Hey, Rhonda, you ever hear of anything like this before?
Valentine (sarcastic): Oh, sure, Earl, everybody knows about 'em, we just didn't tell you!
- Invoked, then subverted, in Quarantine:
: So, you've never seen anything like this
Lawrence: No, I have never seen anything like this before...mostly because I'm a vet.
- Later played straight (or possibly double-subverted) when the virus turns out to be a form of rabies that he's never seen before.
- In Ghostbusters, New York's police commissioner claims "to have seen every form of combustion known to man", but the destruction of the containment unit (and the firehouse with it) "beats the hell out of [him]".
- The Jeweler in Help!! says the trope name after breaking all his tools trying to remove Ringo's ring.
"Jeweler, you've failed!"
- In the original Doctor Dolittle Richard Attenborough, playing a circus owner, did a song called "I've Never Seen Anything Like It" in which he enthused over the rarity of Rex Harrison's Pushmi-Pullyu.
Live Action TV
- Parodied in The Far Side. Two Eskimoes see two creatures coming out of a spaceship; creatures that look exactly like the Theme Park Version of a tall cactus, with arms and legs added on. One of them exclaims, "They're like nothing I've ever seen!"
- One wizard (or such) comments this when seeing the Monster in the Darkness (then without darkness, but invisible for the reader) in the prequel "Start of Darkness" of Order of the Stick.
- Gunnerkrigg Court has a version of this, after the meeting with Coyote and Ysengrin, about the latter's new Green Thumb (and arm, and bipedalism, and who knows what else) Especially significant since the person saying this is as old as the Earth itself.:
Jones: The way he has distorted his body...I've seen similar, but nothing quite like that.
Headmaster: Coming from you that disturbs me greatly.
- Sluggy Freelance: I've never seen a universe so ... deliberate."
- Hero In Training has a variation, when a character who outlives universes said that he only has seen the current situation three times in his life.
- Averting this is a running gag in The Pigs Ear, with resident Deadpan Snarker Cyril T. Wizard having "this is the third strangest/worst/whatever X I've ever seen" as his Catch Phrase. The first time we hear him say this is when an Eldritch Abomination sticks a tentacle through a dimensional rift in the eponymous bar's men's room, prompting Cyril to remark, "That is the third strangest thing I've ever seen in a pub toilet." It's probably best not to speculate upon what the first two might have been.
- Parodied in The Simpsons when a meteorologist tracking a hurricane informs Marge; "This is the worst storm I've ever seen. And I've seen three storms." Naturally, Marge is horrified.
- In another Simpsons episode, Moe walks in a restaurant full of mafia goons and kingpins who all immediately turn their weapons on him. He remarks that's the "second most guns ever pointed at [him]."
- Used in Avatar: The Last Airbender when Aang has his fortune read by Aunt Wu. Dumbfounded, she says, "I've never seen anything like this before! Your destiny—this is incredible—you will be involved in an epic battle that will determine the fate of the entire world!" Aang, not impressed, says, "Yeah, yeah; I know that already. But does it say anything about a girl?"
- Lampshaded in an episode of the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; when Donatello delivers this line, movie-savvy Michaelangelo says it along with him.
- Regular Show: Skips is incredibly old and has seen just about everything...but for some reason he can only hazard a guess at how to deal with a problem so mundane as getting rid of skunk stink(granted it was a wereskunk).
- Truth in Television: The words you do not want to hear at the doctor's office and why other doctors envy people whose last names were Turner, Klinefelter, Tourette, etc...
- Commonly seen when the investigator will come out and tell the assembled press that this is the worst example of whatever they have seen in their x years of service.