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.
- In Luna's Hubby Luna's mother asks Algernon Croaker about one of Voldemort's horcruxes, commenting "I've never seen anything like that, and I thought I'd seen just about every genre of magic there is."
Wolverine: I've been in a lot of wars... but I've never seen anything like this...
- 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 191 years old and and has seen more fucked up shit in his life than most normal people could possibly imagine.
- 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:
Angela: So, you've never seen anything like this before?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, sings "I've Never Seen Anything Like It" in which he enthuses over the rarity of Rex Harrison's Pushmi-Pullyu.
Live Action TV
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Anya: Yes, 'cause it seems like we're always dealing with creatures from outer space. Except that we don't ever do that.
- Parodied in Get Smart. When confronted with something like an arrow the size of a rocket, Max would say "That's the second largest (arrow) I've ever seen!"
- This gag was also used frequently in the Monkey Island games. The most famous is probably "That's the second biggest monkey head I've ever seen!" Escape from Monkey Island had the line "That's the second biggest... no, wait, that is the biggest conch shell I've ever seen!"
- Sam & Max: Moai Better Blues features a Shout-Out to the above gag, in the form of Max proclaiming "That's the second-biggest Bermuda Triangle I've ever seen!"
- Commander Keen 6, Aliens Ate My Babysitter does this too with the "Second Biggest Sandwich I've ever seen!"
- Sent up in the first episode of Kim Possible in which "Team Go" appeared: "That is the second biggest flamingo I've ever seen."
- The TV show The Zack Files had a character who kept trying to scientifically explain and document the weird paranormal stuff that constantly happened around Zack Greenberg. His catch phrase, upon seeing whatever freaky event was transpiring, was "It's like nothing I've seen before!"
- Used oddly straight, albeit without the stock phrase, in an early episode of CSI: the coroner enthusiastically describes the condition of a corpse as "Weird. Like I may use her in a lecture weird." Turns out the body had been frozen, which doesn't really seem strange enough to justify the reaction.
- Parodied in Whose Line Is It Anyway?, in which Colin makes a Running Gag of saying this at the start of every single Newsflash game.
- Also comes up once as "The good news is, we're naming a disease after you!"
- Given the premise of the show, this line comes up at least once an episode in The X-Files.
- The good people of Star Trek were constantly invoking this trope even when the thing in question was very similar to things they had already come across.
- This was Played for Laughs in an early installment of Star Trek: Voyager. When the crew encounters an unusual nebula, Harry Kim comments "I've never seen anything like it" and Tuvok comms him to say that statements like that make the junior officers nervous. Later, when Janeway asks Tuvok for his opinion regarding a barrier, Tuvok says that he's unable to identify it and Kim comms "Kim to Tuvok. In other words, you've never seen anything like it. Oh, I promise not to tell the junior officers."
- The Doctor quotes this trope in "The Shakespeare Code" while examining a man who apparently drowned on dry land. An odd example, since he actually has seen an identical death in the Third Doctor story "The Mind of Evil".
- An episode of Bones has the sentiment without the ominous undertones. Fisher is despondent (as usual) that he can't identify cause of death on a body because it doesn't match up with any of the usual suspects (stabbing, slicing, blunt force, etc.), but Brennan tells him that the uncertainty itself is telling. She's been ID'ing remains, including victims of genocide, for years, and has seen just about everything. If it doesn't line up with something she knows, it eliminates quite a bit.
- If forced to think about it Tazz can probably think of something similar to whatever he may have to commentate on, even if it's dates back to some old irrelevant minor league wrassla(as in everyone who didn't work for WWE such as "Exotic" Adrian Street). When he saw Boogeyman though, he had nothing.
- Anyone who tries to read the protagonist's fortune in the Baldur's Gate series gets spooked. Apparently, none of them had ever seen a demigod before.
- Used straight at the beginning of the indescribably scary game, Eternal Darkness, when the police detective describes what's happened to the female protagonist's grandfather...
Alex Roivas: Yes, it's him... He's wearing our family ring. <sobs> I don't understand! Why are you showing me this?! Can't you check dental records or something? What is wrong with you?!Inspector Legrasse: In my 30 years on the force, I've never seen anything like this... and no, we can't check dental records! There's... there's no head.
- Also used when a player-controlled medical doctor autopsies the various monsters he encounters.
- Subverted when Peter Jacob brings the Essence he found to the mansion; Edward Roivas has seen something like it before (the one Edwin Lindsey brought him 2 years earlier), and says so.
- In Kingdoms Of Amalur Reckoning, Agarth the Fateweaver questions whether you actually exist or are just an alcohol-induced hallucination when he is unable to see your Fate in his cards. As far as he knows, no one should be able to exist outside of the Weave of Fate. A bit later in the game after you save Agarth from the Ettin destined to kill him, changing his fate forever, Agarth exclaims "What are you!?" in bewilderment and fear.
- Bill of Left 4 Dead says the trope name when examining zombie corpses in the intro. He takes it as proof that "they're changing".
- Quoted in Persona 3 by Mitsuru, the team's leader and current Mission Control, who gives a subdued "I have never seen anything like this" as they start their battle with the Priestess, one of the Arcana Shadows. This is used to reveal to both the newer members of SEES and to the player that, although the group's been fighting the Shadows for ten years, this is something entirely new to them.
- In Sword of the Stars, when you encounter a Silicoid Queen in combat, your ship personnel may say something to this effect. It gets silly when they say it again in subsequent encounters.
- Variants of this are used at least twice in Half-Life. The first time is early in the game:
Scientist: I never thought I'd see a Resonance Cascade, let alone cause one.
Scientist: Did you see it? They say it was hauled from the Challenger Deep, but I'd swear that creature never swam in terrestrial waters until a week ago.
- Then later, when you encounter the water-dwelling alien creature for the first time:
- 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.
- In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Freeza keeps track of every Badass Boast and tallies every line of Heroic Speech he hears. He's heard everything, and we do mean everything, at least ten times, until he meets Goku, who finally manages to surprise him.
Goku: Imma deck ya in the schnozz!
- A Running Gag in AH.com: The Series is Doctor What, who's Seen It All, instead commenting that something is (e.g.) "The 27th strangest thing I've ever seen", and then listing some of the others.
- 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, well aware that he's The Chosen One, is not impressed and 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).
- In the Gravity Falls episode "Scary-oke", this is Agent Powers' reaction to Dipper accidentally summoning a horde of zombies.
Powers: Kid, we've been chasing the paranormal for years, but we've never seen anything like this before!
- 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.