troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Knows A Guy Who Knows A Guy
SpongeBob: Why, once I met this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy who knew this guy's cousin...
Squidward: YOU'RE RIGHT!

This trope is where a character states a relationship with someone else through a long and indirect chain of connections. The chain can be simple (I know this guy who knows this guy) to elaborate (My uncle's drinking buddy's doctor works with this guy whose brother's fiancee...). And yet the person acts as if he or she knows the person really well.

Usually the elaborate case is used as an hope/promise for a plan, which very rarely delivers.

See also Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!, where this is not only true, but makes a character significantly powerful.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Fan Fic 

    Film 
  • From The Emperor's New Groove:
    Chicha: So, remind me again how you're related to Pacha?
    Yzma: Why, I'm his third cousin's brother's wife's step-niece's great aunt. (beat) Twice removed.
  • This is how Six Degrees of Separation works.
  • Spaceballs: Dark Helmet is Lone Starr's father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate.
    Lone Starr: So... what's that make us?
    Dark Helmet: Absolutely nothing... which is what you are about to become!
  • From Ferris Bueller's Day Off:
    My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy that knows this girl who's going with a guy that saw Ferris passed out at 31 flavors last night. I guess its pretty serious.
  • From Hot Fuzz: "That's Auntie Jackie's sister's brother's boy". That he doesn't just say 'my cousin' suggests complicated relationships... or just Rule of Funny.
  • From Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure:
    "I texted Bridget, who e-mailed Constance, who tweeted Bethany, who IM’ed Jenn, who Facebooked Kara, who has an ex-friend who she caught with her boyfriend, who she then dumped, so now Kara’s her friend again, who knows of a New York apartment available in a luxury townhouse."
  • From Jetsons: The Movie
    Judy Jetson:"I just found out Doris told Susie and Susie told Mary and Mary told Francie and Francie told me Helen took my date with Cosmo!"
  • Monsters, Inc.: Boo is Sully's cousin's sister's daughter. Why he didn't just say cousin's daughter is probably trying to invoke this for "Bring an Obscure Relative to Work Day".
  • From Sexy Beast:
    Don:"I know a bloke, who knows a bloke, who knows a bloke. Now you know this bloke."
    Gal:"Do I?"
    Don:"This is a bloke you know."
  • In Conan the Destroyer, Conan's sidekick told the heroes that his "brother's sister's cousin" knew a secret entrance into the Big Bad's palace. (Exactly why his "brother's sister" wasn't also his sister is something he doesn't explain; fortunately, the secret entrance is there.)

    Literature 
  • In Life, the Universe and Everything, Effrafax of Wug got rid of the mountain he was supposed to render invisible with the aid of "his friends, and his friends' friends, and his friends' friends' friends, and his friend's friends' friends' friends, and some rather less good friends of theirs who happened to own a major stellar trucking company".

    Live Action Television 
  • SyFy's Alice has:
    Hatter: I know some people, who know some, well, other people.
  • This is how Saul arranges a meeting between Walter White and Gus Fring in Breaking Bad.
  • From Cheers:
    Sam: I know a guy who knows a guy...
    Diane: And he's a bookie?
    Sam: No, but he knows a guy who is.
  • In Burn Notice, Sam's key role is being "the guy who knows a guy". The amount of contacts he has is absurd.
  • This is the only explanation for where the martial artists of Power Rangers Jungle Fury got their hands on high tech morphers. Y'see, the substitute mentor knows a guy who knows a guy who has an uncle who's has a connection ...
  • The pilot of A Bit of Fry and Laurie closes with the following snippet:
    Stephen Fry: ...I'd just found out that Dernik isn't my real father.
    Hugh Laurie: He isn't? Then who is?
    Fry: I am.
    Laurie: Then that must mean that you must be...
    Fry: Exactly. Devlin's half-sister's wife's doctor's cousin's niece!
    Laurie: Well then who the hell am I?
    Fry: I dunno mate, but it's your round!
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Odo teases Dr. Bashir a little over the latter being nominated for a very prestigious medical award.
    "Well, according to my friend, her friend heard something from his cousin, which his wife heard from the council member, which I thought you might find interesting...."
  • Subverted in That '70s Show when Eric and Kelso are buying promise rings for Donna and Jackie, and Kelso brings them to an alley.
    Eric: Kelso, this doesn't look like a ring store.
    Kelso: Don't worry, I know a guy who knows a guy.
    [Leo walks into the alley]
    Leo: Hey, dudes.
    Eric: Wait, Leo's the guy? I thought you said you knew a guy who knew a guy.
    Kelso: Yeah, I do.
    Eric: I know Leo.
    Kelso: OK, so you're the guy.

    Music 
  • Tom Lehrer's song "Lobachevsky" has an exaggeratedly long one of these:
    I have a friend in Minsk,
    Who has a friend in Pinsk,
    Whose friend in Omsk
    Has friend in Tomsk
    With friend in Akmolinsk.
    His friend in Alexandrovsk
    Has friend in Petropavlovsk,
    Whose friend somehow is solving now
    The problem in Dnepropetrovsk.
Then the next verse runs through the whole thing again backward, somehow adding two more towns into the "chain".

    Mythology 
  • Urban Legends are often purported to happen to such people. In fact, folklorists who study Urban Legends have the acronym "F.O.A.F." which stands for Friend Of A Friend.

    Video Games 
  • Played with in Driver: San Francisco: One mission involves playing as two undercover cops to defuse a couple of truck bombs on the highway. Once the madman reveals he has around half a dozen more cruising the city, Tanner remarks the trope name. This is referencing Tanner's shifting ability to possess any driver on the road which he uses to locate and defuse the rest of the bombs.
  • A note found in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is from a bandit who claims that he "knows a guy whose cousin knows a guy" that could set them up for life, if they steal more than their take from the bandit leader. By the way, you also find his corpse later.
  • In Grim Fandango, two guys can be overheard discussing Double-N Tickets (which are rumoured to be sold by the Big Bad Hector). One of them points out that these tickets can't be just bought, leading to this exchange:
    Guy 1: Well I know somebody who knows somebody who knows-uh... HECTOR LEMANS.
    Guy 2: Wow. You know EVERYBODY!

    Webcomics 
  • Rogue in 8-Bit Theater has "I know a guy" as his catchphrase. One of said guys is even Thief.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Belkar suggests selling some captured enemies into slavery, adding that he "know[s] a guy who knows a guy" to contact for this.
    • Much later, we meet the guy in question, Buggy Lou. His best supplier on the Northern Continent was pals with Belkar.
  • In Exterminatus Now, Eastwood knows a guy who knows a guy that can examine the artifact that a bunch of heavily armed mercenaries tried to steal from them. He forgot exactly which friend he knew this guy through, though...which bites him in the ass since said friend turns out to have been Silas Morth, who is behind the whole operation and is blackmailing the examiner into delivering the artifact to him.

    Western Animation 
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Spongebob tries to warn Squidward. "Sea Bears are no laughing matter, why, once I met this guy who knew this guy, who knew this guy, who knew this guy, who knew this guy... who knew this guy, who knew this guy, who knew this guy's cousin-"
    • In "The Suds", Patrick tells SpongeBob of the horrors of the doctor's office which he knows because "I know a guy who knows a guy who went to the doctor once".
  • Totally Spies!: When asked how Clover was able to get tickets to an event, she says:
    "Oh it was easy! The manager of the arena has a cousin who lives next door to a guy who's best friends with a man who's married to a childhood classmate of a mother of a guy I know from the football team. I just flirted with him and he got the tickets for me."
  • Animaniacs: Yakko explains in song why he is now the king of Anvilania:
    Yakko: I'm the cousin to the sister / Of son's niece's brother / Of the uncle's daughter's father / Of the nephew's sister's mother / And my grandpa's only cousin / Was the King's daughter's sibling, / But they're all gone,
    Crowd: So that is why
    Yakko: I am now your king!
  • In Ben 10: Omniverse, this is Fistrick's explanation on how he was able to reach another planet, learn about their exploitable resources, and turn the local wildlife into a massive army;
    Ben: How did you get on Renovah?
    Fistrick: I know a guy.
    Ben: And how did you know about the fruits?
    Fistrick: I know a guy who knows a guy.
    Ben: And how did you learn the Muroids how to operate technology? Oh, let me guess: you know a guy.
    Fistrick: Knew a guy.

KiaiDialogueLame Comeback

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
21312
32