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Run over your plan one more time, 'cause I'm struggling with it. You neuralyzed
memory of the Light but left yourself clues. A photo pointing to a key in a pizzeria which opens a locker at Grand Central. In the locker, we'll find another clue. Kay:
I like to keep my enemies confused. Jay:
We're all confused, Kay.
A form of quick exposition
, used to sum up the crazy situation that the characters have gotten themselves into. Can be for a few different reasons. Maybe someone's playing a game of Xanatos Speed Chess
or Xanatos Roulette
, or there's a Gambit Pileup
going down, and the character(s) are assessing the problem to make a quick decision on their feet. Maybe someone is about to do / has done something insanely stupid
, and another character tries to talk them out of
/ calls them out on
it by pointing out the idiocy of the plan
. Sometimes a character, finding themselves in an unfamiliar
/ Mind Screw
situation, speaks to him/herself to clear their own head. And sometimes a previous character has just explained it for the first time, either offscreen, but presumably at too much length to show the audience, or onscreen, but in a way the audience is not expected to comprehend
. Could happen as an Inner Monologue
, or by speaking to a mirror
or some other object
Frequently begins with the words "So let me get this straight...", and also frequently ends with "... is that about right?" However, it can also be pulled off without saying either of those phrases. Often, after the Let Me Get This Straight
exposition is provided, a character will support the plan by saying that it's Crazy Enough to Work
When done well, may double up as a Crowning Moment of Funny
If the exposition puts the whole plot or certain point in a nutshell, there is a very high chance that the line will be used in the trailer for the movie/episode.
Truth in Television
; which one of us hasn't
done this at least once?
Not related to Kirk Summation
. Is usually delivered by a Deadpan Snarker
. When the characters are talking about something the audience aren't aware of, it's As You Know
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Anime & Manga
- The English dub of Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone tries to use this to cover up for an As You Know in the original script - Ritsuko had explained Misato's plan to Misato just so the audience could hear it.
- In The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, Koizumi says this in regards to the things Kyon said he did in the "normal" world.
- Double points for the implication that they wouldn't have minded if she only ate one.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- Page quote is from Men In Black II, from Agent Jay to Agent Kay.
- The Blade Trilogy: Blade is a bit surprised when he hears the vampires' proposal:
Blade: Let me get this straight; you want me to hunt them — for you?
- Al from Sahara:
Al: We're in a middle of a desert, looking for the source of a river polluting wells, using as our map a cave drawing of a civil war gunship which is also in the desert. So I just wondered when we're gonna have to sit down and reevaluate our decision-making paradigm.
- And in a deleted scene: "I just realized the funny part" "What's that" "We're a couple of oceanografers, probably gonna die in a desert, chained to-to truck parts? So, when they write our obituaries," both: "That'll be the funny part."
- Ben Grimm in Fantastic Four:
Ben: Okay; we're now officially enemies of the United States of America, Victor is out there with unlimited power, and we've got a giant intergalactic force that's about to destroy our planet in less than twenty four hours. Did I miss anything?
- Played straight in the Dawn Of The Dead 2004 remake, where the resident character with the Jerkass Fašade points out all the flaws with the proposed plan of action... then signs on to help anyway.
- Nice Guy Eddie does this in Reservoir Dogs when he refuses to believe Mr. Orange's explanation for why he had to shoot Mr. Blonde:
Nice Guy Eddie: Okay, let me just say this out loud, cause I wanna get this straight in my head. You're saying that Mr. Blonde was gonna kill you, and then when we got back he was gonna kill us, take the satchel of diamonds and scram, I'm right about that right, that's correct, that's your story?
- Ocean's Eleven : "Let me get this straight: say we get past the door we can't open and down the elevator we can't use and past the guards with the guns and into the vault we can't open; what then? Do we just walk out with a hundred and fifty million dollars?"
- The Dark Knight: "Let me get this straight: You think that your client, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world, is secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands. And your plan is to blackmail this person? Good luck."
- Inception: "So, now we're trapped in Fischer's mind battling his own private army, and if we get killed, we'll be lost in limbo till our brains turn to scrambled egg."
- Back to the Future: "Let me get this straight: You built a time machine... out of a Delorean?"
- Alien 3:
- The film features an outrageously straight version of this trope. "All right. Let me get this straight. You want to burn it down and out of the pipes, force it in here, slam the door — and trap its ass? And you want help from us Y-chromo boys?" One can only wonder how Ripley managed to explain the plan in a way convoluted enough that Dillon had to get it straight.
- Also, more humorously: "Let me see if I have this correct, Lieutenant - it's an 8-foot creature of some kind with acid for blood, and it arrived on your spaceship. It kills on sight, and is generally unpleasant."
- Star Trek First Contact has the crew of the Enterprise having to explain the situation to the inventor of warp drive.
Zefram Cochrane: Let me see just make sure that I understand you correctly, Commander. A group of cybernetic creatures from the future have traveled back through time to enslave the human race, and you're here to stop them?
Riker: That's right.
Cochrane: Hot damn, you're heroic.
- Road to Morocco has this exchange:
- Spaceballs has exposition by Col. Sanders and Dark Helmet in this style.
- Highlander II The Quickening has this exchange that almost seems like a lampshading on just how stupidly convoluted the rules of immortality have become:
Louise: Okay, now let me just see if I can get this straight. You come from another planet, and you're mortal there, but you're immortal here until you kill all the guys from there who have come here... and then you're mortal here... unless you go back there, or some more guys from there come here, in which case you become immortal here... again.
Connor: Something like that.
- Commando has this priceless exchange:
Cindy: You steal my car, you rip the seat out, you kidnap me, you ask me to help you find your daughter, which I very kindly do, and then you get me involved in a shoot out where people are dying and there's blood spurting all over the place, and then I watch you rip a phone booth out of a wall, swing from the ceiling like Tarzan, and then there's a cop that's going to shoot you and I save you and they start chasing me! Are you going to tell me what's going on or what?!
- Charlie Wilson's War has this:
Zvi: Now, just to sum this up in a nutshell; you want me to steer Israel towards an arms deal with Egypt, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Charlie: And Saudi Arabia.
Charlie: I know.
Zvi: Pakistan and Afghanistan don't recognize our right to exist!
Charlie: Calm down.
Zvi: We just got done fighting a war against Egypt, and everyone who has ever tried to kill me or my family has been trained in Saudi Arabia!
- In Dead Again, Carlisle says this to Mike Church when Mike explains in their past lives, Mike was Margaret Strauss, and Grace was Roman Strauss.
- In The Last Starfighter, Grigg explains that they'll be facing wave after wave of Ko-Dan fighters, but the biggest threat is the communication module on the bottom of the Ko-Dan command ship, which allows the fighters to act as a single coordinated unit.
"So to defeat the fighters we've gotta take out the command ship, but to get to the command ship we've gotta get through the fighters
. We're dead."
- From Argo, (although the stock phrase itself is not actually used)
you wanna come to Hollywood and act like a big shot...?"
- Possibly justified in some cases; Thrawn tends to refer to knowledge so esoteric, or seemingly trivial, that explanation is warranted.
- In The Mysterious Benedict Society, the eponymous group forms a plan that's described as being "bold, ill-formed, and likely to fail, and all of them knew it." "So let me just review the plan..." states Constance and launches into a series of nitpicks about all of the problems with it. "'So I ask you again,' she concluded, 'exactly how are we supposed to distract the Helpers?' 'Just be yourself,' Kate said with a sigh."
- In the first The Kingdom Keepers book, Finn's mother says this line after Finn explains to her what's been going on, but he cuts her off, saying that she won't understand.
- Animorphs frequently had Marco invoke this trope, followed by a decleration of its insanity, Occasionally used with other characters.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Once when Buffy rubs it in Snyder's face after getting back to school:
Buffy: So let me get this straight. I'm really back in school because the school board overruled you. Wow. That's like having your whole ability to do this job called into question, when you think about it.
- And once by Spike in the episode "Crush":
Spike: So, uh, let me get this straight. Darla got mojo'd back from the beyond... you vamped her... and now she and you are working on turning Angel into his own bad self again.
- Subverted repeatedly in episode 5.20: Glory, the Big Bad, and Ben, the nice doctor, are the same person. There is a spell on them that makes Humans forget this. Spike explains the curse, but the Scoobies continually forget it.
- And once in Angel, by (of course) Cordy:
Cordelia: So, let me get this straight. Angel gets the visions of people who are gonna die, and he tells you, and you go out and slay, and — this is how you make your living? This — got to be the suckiest job in the world.
- Will And Grace: "OK, so let me get this gay..."
- In House:
Foreman: Let me get this straight, instead of picking up the phone and talking to a patient for 5 minutes, you gave up on sleep and you drove in here?
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: From the season six episode "The Sound of Her Voice":
Jake: So let me get this straight — you have fifteen cases of stolen Denevan crystals...
Quark: Allegedly stolen.
Jake: ...allegedly stolen crystals hidden somewhere down in Cargo Bay Three. And you're planning to sell them to a Nausicaan friend of yours — who just happens to be a known criminal...
Quark: Alleged criminal.
Jake: So, how are you going to get an "alleged" criminal onto the station and deliver the "allegedly" stolen goods to him without Odo getting wind of it? And what does any of this have to do with his anniversary?
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The episode's case is summed up in the first scene after The Teaser and the opening theme:
Captain Cragen: Let me see if I got this straight — some girl is being sexually abused by some guy somewhere in Manhattan?
Elliot Stabler: Something like that.
- Law & Order does this at least once an episode — usually twice: at the twenty-minute mark (just before catching the suspect, so set up Why This Crime Is Bad) and the forty minute mark (just before moving to the courtroom, to set up Why This Guy Is or Isn't That Bad).
- Done quite clumsily in Charmed. Just when the antics are starting to get interesting, Piper puts her hand on her hips and says they still need to defeat the monster of the week. It wouldn't be so bad if she could have some real danger (of the monster) of annoyance (of the antics) in her delivery. It just comes across as flat, and a way to remind the viewers of the plan they made just ten minutes before.
- Red Dwarf
- While not the actual plan, but in response to the crew trying to explain around Rimmer's temporary insanity: "So let me get this straight. You want to fly on a magic carpet, to see the King of the Potato People, and plead with him for your freedom, and you're telling me you're completely sane?"
- Played annoyingly straight in a series 6 episode ("Rimmerworld") where Rimmer does this repeatedly in the first part of the episode.
Rimmer: So let me get this straight. If we board that ship and we get captured, we're finished. However, if we board that ship, don't get captured but the superstructure disintegrates around us, we are finished. On the other hand, if we board that ship, don't get captured, and the superstructure doesn't disintegrate around us, but we can't find any fuel, we are in fact finished.
- The West Wing, "The State Dinner": at the end of The Teaser, C.J. recaps everything that's going on (that will unfold as the episode does), and laments how the press corps has other priorities:
C.J.: So, let me see if I have this... a hurricane's picked up speed and power and is heading for Georgia, management and labor are coming here to work out a settlement to avoid a crippling strike that will begin at midnight tonight, and the government's planning a siege on 18 to 40 of its citizens, all the while we host a state dinner for the President of Indonesia.
(sounds of assent from the others)
C.J.: Amazingly, you know what I'll get asked most often today? (turns to a reporter hovering nearby) Black suede and velvet Manolo Blahnik slides with a rhinestone and mother of pearl toe buckle. (reporter scribbles, thanks C.J., and leaves)
- This is usually how Scully reacted to Mulder's paranormal theories on The X-Files. One clip show featured a collection of all the times Scully had a line with some variant of, "Mulder, are you saying that [ghosts/aliens/the Loch Ness Monster/werewolves] did it?". The collection took several minutes.
- Used almost invariably at the top of the third act of NCIS, apparently to fill in those who missed the first thirty minutes. Usually the agents are in front of the squad room's plasma screen, summing up the case so far.
- Married With Children. Back when the topic was still kind of edgy.
Pete: I just think you oughta know, that your wife has been seeing my husband.
Al: So let me get this straight... pardon the expression.
- Fringe practically lives off this trope, at least in the first season, to sum up it's more ridiculous plot points.
Peter: So you're telling me that this guy was exposed to X, which caused his body to Y, and your genius plan to fix this is to Z?
Walter: (surprised at being questioned) Yes.
Peter: (sarcastically) Of course!
- Used quite frequently in Stargate SG-1, using the exact words of the trope.
- In "There But for the Grace of God":
Okay, wait a minute, wait a minute, let me get this straight. You want us to give up our last chance to strike back at the Goa'uld, so we can save ourselves in... what... what? Carter: Alternate Reality
Not just yourselves, everyone on Earth! O'Neill:
Your Earth. Jackson:
The Jack O'Neill that I know, would do it. O'Neill:
Well apparently, you and I have never met.
Landry: So let me get this straight. You need to get this ship, to get the power coil, to get the necklace, to get this guy to tell you how to undo whatever is keeping you two connected?
Mitchell: Yeah, that about sums it up.
Now let me get this straight. We figured that you guys would try to escape and we set this trap for you, not realizing that you'd figured out that we'd figure you out
and you'd set... your own. Teal'c:
- White Collar. "By the Book" has Neal explaining the perfect exchange with Peter's only question being "What happens to the middle man?"
- Chuck has General Beckman use this at least once, observe:
General Beckman: Let me get this straight, a girl just walked in off the street and picked up the asset?
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Undersheriff Jeffrey McKeen: Let me see it I understand this correctly: You let one of the members of your team drive his personal vehicle to a crime scene investigation. And then, even though there was a perfectly good crime scene vehicle there, that personal car was crammed with every bit of evidence collected at a major murder investigation, because two of you were maxed out on overtime. And then the driver of said car — instead of securing that evidence in the lab — gave priority to his need for runny eggs. And the aforementioned vehicle was stolen from a parking lot filled with police cars. Is there anything I missed?
Grissom: Just this: Even if we recover the vehicle, the chain of custody has been broken, so all the evidence has been compromised. No judge will allow any of it to be admitted into court. Also, we released the crime scene, so it too is compromised, leaving us nothing to go back for.
McKeen: Thank you for clarifying the situation.
Brass: Let me get this straight, Larry. An old man refuses to let you steal his money, so you jack a Hummer and try to run over his taco stand?
Grissom: I think this is the dumbest thing we've ever heard.
- In It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Charlie will always be completely confused by the current plan the gang has devised off-screen, forcing someone to explain it to him as if for the twelfth time.
- A humorous example in Breaking Bad when Hank is interrogating a suspect.
Hank: So, let me get this straight, Russell. You got this meth from "some guy", in khaki pants, who — you're eighty percent sure — had a mustache. And... that's it. That's your brain working at maximum capacity?
- Doctor Who: In "Blink", when Sally Sparrow (in 2007) talks with the Doctor (in 1969) via the Timey Wimey Ball:
Sally: Okay, let me get my head 'round this. You're reading aloud from a transcript of a conversation you're still having?
- "Now let me get this straight, you put the lime in the coconut and drank 'em both up?"
So, do it again "and you'll feel better." (Does that seem right to you?)
- The first words of Anberlin's "A Day Late": "So let me get this straight, say now you loved me all along."
- Happened in Geist after Raimi rescued Bryson. May be justified in that 1), Raimi is a Heroic Mime and 2) Raimi had been turned into a ghost and was possessing a female nurse. They might have thought that going right to the next action scene was too jarring, but they couldn't show Raimi talking.
- Uncharted 2 has this exchange:
So let me get this straight: you're competing with a psychopathic war criminal for a mythological gemstone
When you put it that way, it does
sound pretty stupid. Nathan:
Thanks for the input, Jeff.
- An example from Thief Deadly Shadows:
Garrett: Let me see if I've got this right. You want me to find Gamall's lair, learn what she wants your treasure for, and find and destroy this final glyph? Anything else?
- During the ending of Mass Effect 2's "Arrival" DLC:
Admiral Hackett: All I know is I sent you to break Amanda Kenson out of prison, and now an entire system's been destroyed. I hope you can fill in the logic between those two events.
- Said by Phoenix Wright in the case "Reunion and Turnabout" when he presses Lotta on her testimony, which describes something he did.
- Phoenix will use this when trying to verify details of a witness's testimony, right before showing evidence to prove contradictions.
- Red vs. Blue
- Tucker is quite accurate in his summary of events soon after Tex arrives.
- As is Grif, later on in the series, discussing a plan.
Grif: Let me get this straight: we're going to steal a bomb from our enemies — a bomb that can be remotely detonated I might add — and then we're gonna bring it back to our base, and all huddle around it. What a great plan.
Simmons: Well sure, it sounds stupid when you say it like that.
- Episode 13 starts out this way, with Tucker using the trope.
- Done multiple times in "The Greatest Caper Ever" by Strong Bad and The Cheat. Normally, when this trope gets used by Homestar Runner, it's someone translating Pom Pom or The Cheat for the benefit of the audience, but in this case it's justified; Strong Bad and The Cheat are trying to retrace their steps to figure out A) how they got Homestar onto an ice floe somewhere in the Arctic Circle, and B) how they have satellite coverage of Homestar on his ice flow in the Arctic.
- South Park does this often.
"Ah all right, just let me get this straight: the head of Homeland Security ordered you to fly us, five kids, to Peru, but had you land way up in the Andes Mountains of Peru so that other government people could meet us and then... somehow tell us how to go to the capital of Peru, way over in Lima, and take down their government. And that makes sense to you?"
- Rugrats: All Grown Up!, "Susie Sings The Blues": after the school vice-principal has just discovered that Tommy and Chuckie have been playing pranks on him, the first line of the scene where they're in the office goes thusly: "So this whole thing was to take risk and break Chuckie out of some pathetic rut he's in."
- Daria, "Arts N' Crass". When Principal Li called Daria's mother to tell her about a serious offense committed by Daria and her friend Jane Lane, Mama Bear quickly surmises the truth of the matter:
All right, Ms. Li, let me make sure I have this straight. You took my daughter's poster from her, altered its content, exhibited it against her will, and are now threatening discipline because you claim she defaced her own property, which you admit to stealing? Ms. Li: (flustered)
That's not what I said at all! Helen:
Ms. Li, are you familiar with the phrase "violation of civil liberties"? Ms. Li:
And the phrase "big fat lawsuit"? Daria: (smiles as she sees Ms. Li go down in flames)
- Avatar The Last Airbender:
Let me get this straight: you expect me to clean mud out of Appa
's toes while you two go splash around and have fun? Aang:
Mud AND bugs! Sokka:
- Happens a lot in Futurama, usually said to the Professor. For some reason, the Professor usually interrupts and explains again:
Leela: So what you think you just explained to us is that...
Farnsworth: Correct! This box contains our own universe!
- The eponymous penguin of Tennessee Tuxedo And His Tales would often restate exactly what someone had just said to him.
- From My Little Pony: The Princess Promenade:
Pinkie Pie: So let me get this straight. It's pretty dark. It's kinda scary. And it reeeeally stinks. (nervous laugh) And they want me to follow them where?
- From Metalocalypse, we get this gem when Dethklok cluelessly shops for food at a grocery store after their personal chef got torn apart by helicopter blades and Pickles finds the lobster counter:
Pickles: Let me get straight: you put these in boiling water then they shriek, turn red and die?!? This is the most metal thing I ever heard in my life.
- A variant of this phrase "Let's get the facts" was one of Keisha's catch phrases in The Magic School Bus, usually said when the class is going through something that should be impossible.