Or So I Heard
"Vince McMahon did stage his own death a couple of years ago, his limo blew up. How do I know that? I read it in a... in a book somewhere. I wouldn't have known it otherwise." [clears throat]A trope wherein a character delivers some advice or information relating to a field which it would be incredibly embarrassing or contrary to their public image to know. For instance, Mannfred M. Manly informs you on the plot of My Little Pony, or Chastity McInnocence blurts out directions for Amsterdam's red light district. Whatever the subject and whomever the person, they then try to cover up their association with it by appending "Or So I Heard", "or so I've been told", "I read it in an article", etc. Please do not pothole links to here where they don't belong. Related to Suspiciously Specific Denial and It's for a Book.
— Chris Cotter, FOX Business
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Anime and Manga
- Tonto says this when he is called out by the Lone Ranger in Dynamyte's comic book series.
- Preacher: Cassidy, the Vampire — "This gravy tastes like semen.." Seeming to understand the implication of his choice of words hastily adds "Or so I'd imagine". This becomes a Harsher in Hindsight moment when Jesse learns more about his friend's history than he'd care to know.
- In Vacation 1975 a time-traveling Harry who's pretending to be Snape's future son comments that the then-current Divination professor is probably miles better than Sybil Trelawney.
Harry: She is a complete fraud. She spends most of her time predicting her students' deaths; all you need to do to pass her class is predict your own death in the most gruesome way. Or...well, you know, that's what I've heard.
- Sister Act:
Sister Mary Lazarus: Id rather sing than do anything.Sister Mary Patrick: Itís better than ice cream!Sister Mary Lazarus: Itís better than springtime!
- Serenity: Inverted during a dialog in the Firefly movie.
- Mal: "Yes, I've read a poem. Try not to faint."
- Mr. Deeds: features Deeds telling his butler, Emilio, that he dreamt about a girl he liked, after an entire night of drinking booze. Emilio anwers, "Usually, when you're black out drunk, you don't dream" which elicits a suspicious stare from Deeds. Emilio then explians "... so I read".
- Early on in Speed, Jack wonders why the villain set a bomb off early, and Harry speculates he "probably couldn't hold his wad. It's a common problem among middle-aged men...or so I'm told."
Live Action TV
- Subverted in an episode of Happy Endings, Max, Brad, and Penny complain about 'thumb-face' Larry. Brad doesn't like how he forcibly looks at his shirt tags, Penny doesn't like his repetitive stories, and Max has this to say...
- Max: Yeah, plus he's bad in bed. *Shocked looks from the others* I've heard. From people. Who are me.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 - During The Atomic Brain, Mike compares a scene to The Facts of Life Go to Europe. ("Not that I've seen it...")
- During the opening credits of Overdrawn at the Memory Bank:
Crow: "Wanda Cannon"? That's a porno name if I've ever heard one!...Not that I've ever heard one. I don't subscribe to lots of publications or anything.
- During the opening credits of Overdrawn at the Memory Bank:
- Ashes to Ashes: "It's like something out of a German porn film... apparently."
- Father Ted: Uses this in one episode, wherein the titular character and his fellow priest, Father Dougal, accidentally find themselves in "Ireland's biggest lingerie section, I understand. Yeah I read that... somewhere." They then proceed to meet a number of other Priests who have "accidentally" found themselves in the store, and the scene turns into a war film parody as Ted leads the band to escape out the fire exit without anyone noticing half a dozen priests surrounded by ladies' intimate items.
- Torchwood: uses this in the episode "Sleeper," when the Monster of the Week comments on Jack's bedside manner, Gwen responds "You should see his manners in bed, they're atrocious. Apparently, so I've heard..."
Ianto: Oh, they are. I remember this one time -Jack: (coughs loudly)
- In the NCIS episode "Singled Out", McGee describes a speed dating service as "designed to introduce successful men to a wide assortment of eligible women. Each night brings the promise of romance and the chance of finding your soul mate." His team mates look at him questioningly and he hurriedly adds "... or so I've heard."
- Bones: Not referring to a work of fiction specifically, but does reference this.
Booth: Yeah, well, a woman finds out a man is cheating on her, she can get really angry. (Others stare at him) That's what I heard, okay?
- Detective Beckett in Castle says this after making reference to Showgirls.
Alexis: If I'd seen it, which I haven't.
- Alexis also does this when speaking about a specific scene from a horror movie she's not supposed to have seen, fairly unsubtly.
The phone sex line dispatcher: It's not just about the sex. That's the part of this business most people don't understand. Guys call, girls call; they're looking for release. Sometimes, that release is sexual, but sometimes...Castle: It's therapy. Beat Or... so I've been told.
- Even Castle himself does this once, regarding a phone sex line:
- On an episode of Law & Order, Briscoe tells Curtis about a dockside location where detectives in the old days would go to waterboard difficult suspects. He immediately follows up with "or so I've heard."
- In Boy Gone Astray an ex-boyfriend of ADA Connie Rubrirosa tells her and her boss information on various drug cartels. Quickly adding "So I hear" after each piece of information.
- From Cops L.A.C: note :
Samantha: Our dead stripper reported a break and enter about two months ago. Someone broke into his place, shredded his clothes and left him a message on the lounge room wall.Rhys: "Romnett liar"?Samantha: Yeah. He was living in Gladesville then. He moved soon after - can't blame him.Rhys: What's Romnett?Therese: It's an online dating agency. So I've been told.
- Though she straight up admits to being a member later, when they find someone using Brandon's account despite him being dead.
- White Collar:
Neal: You'd need some muscle, a cargo plane, and a few grand in bribe money just to get started.Peter: You would?Neal: And who knows what else, because I have never considered stealing gems in Burma.
Klinger: I get my lingerie from Chicago.Trapper: And it's beautiful . . . I hear.
- One character on Little Britain is a retired actor who always steals his sister's Meals on Wheels dinners. He is very bad at hiding at, as he tends to praise the meals to the delivery boy's face, adding "Kitty said," when he realises he's almost given himself away.
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 12 Episode 9:
Pharmacy employee: He looked a little young for a penis pump.Detective Fin Tutuola: One of those vacuum tube things they sell on the back of magazines to make you bigger... (seeing Stabler's smirk) or so I've heard.
- Another episode had Fin telling the others about the lifestyle of black men who have gay sex on the D.L. while living straight lives with wives and children. He then responds to their weird looks with "Don't look at me,; I just know stuff."
- In a Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch about Nazis hiding in England:
Landlady: This is Ron Vibbentrop.
Mr Johnson: Oh, not Von Ribbentrop, eh?
"Ron Vibbentrop": (shouting) Nein! Nein! (calms down) Oh. Ha ha. Different other chap. I in Somerset am being born. Von Ribbentrop is born Gotterdammerstrasse 46, Dusseldorf Vest 8... so they say!
- During the opening of one episode of The Colbert Report, Colbert gives "a shout-out to all of my Bronies", followed by an insincere "And I do want to reiterate that I do not know what that means."
- In an early episode of Seinfeld, Jerry and Elaine are planning to see a film together, but when Elaine is busy, Jerry watches the film without her knowing and later tries to get out of seeing it again.
Jerry: It's so bad, there's no story, it's really boring . . . I've heard.
- In an early episode of Angel, Doyle tries to talk Angel into wearing a magical ring that makes him invulnerable to sunlight, and comes out with:
I know a couple of strip clubs that have a fabulous luncheon buffet ... I mean, it's ... I've heard.
- A variation appears in The Golden Girls, when Dorothy asks her prospective daughter in law's mother if it's true about black men in bed. Blanche shouts "Oh yes, definitely!" When everyone stares at her, she amends it to "Oh yes, definitely that is something I would like to know too."
- 30 Rock: Jack and Tracy find out that Liz has been taking pain medication. To find out why, Jack asks Tracy what building is next to Penn Station. Tracy says "The Manhattan Center for Penis Enlargement? I know because my friend goes there. His name is Tracy".
- The Devil in Old Harry's Game does this whenever he is describing one of his own deeds while disguised as a mortal.
- In an episode of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, the panellists are playing a game based on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire...except all about hats.
Humph: Who is the odd one out of Henry Ford, Fred Astaire, Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln? ...I'm sorry, Tim, the answer is Henry Ford. His hat size was six-and-seven-eights, and the others were all seven-and-one-eighths. And I have to tell you that these are all true, I don't believe this—six-and-seven-eights?Tim: That's tiny! That's a schoolboy's size! ...I'm told.
- Ace Attorney: There's a running joke that Miles Edgeworth is a big fan of the tokusatsu Show Within a Show Steel Samurai, although he tries to distance himself from it. He invokes Or So I Heard a lot when the Steel Samurai and company becomes a major part of the final case of Ace Attorney Investigations.
- Optional dialogue in Mass Effect 2 between Mordin and a krogan scientist. The real kicker is that Mordin actually did make the krogans more infertile by upgrading the genophage when it looked like the krogan were recovering.
Mordin: Salarians created genophage - I've heard. Still trust them with medicines and agriculture?Fortack: Yeah, yeah, what else can the salarians do to us at this point? It's not like they can make us even more infertile. Actually, wait, forget I said anything.
- In Dragon Age II, Isabela says a little too much if you bring her on the early Act II quest "Blackpowder Courtsey".
"There's no way this Javaris stole from the Qunari. That's hard...I've heard."
- How does Solas from Dragon Age: Inquisition know so much about historical events, court intrigue and godhood? Why, he saw it in the Fade, of course! Incidentally, one of the few times you gain disapproval for asking questions is when you come close to calling him out on this. That said, most of it really could come from seeing it in the Fade. He was asleep for centuries, and the Fade is the world of dreams...
- This strip from Loserz.
Cuz that's when you black out and come to stark 'naked with your ankles behind your head and some guy you don't even know licking your asshole...or so I hear.
- This strip from It's Walky!.
It's not as good since Brock left. At least that's what Walkerton tells me.
- Shabot6000 asked a Rabbi about Kosher Bacos:
They don't taste like real bacon...or so I've been told.
- Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire: "Gosh... That could explain... (beat) Uh... All sorts of things. That I've heard. From other people."
- Most Definitely Not Ferretina in Girl Genius side story, on giant rabbits.
- Big Boss, currently secretly possessing his son Liquid, remembers The End in The Last Days of FOXHOUND.
- Eerie Cuties, when Tiffany with her next scheme of staking her vampire best friend and presumably-vampire boys tried to involve Melissa:
Melissa: Why do you even want to kill vampires? Sure, they're snobby and insufferable... uh... I mean... I'd imagine so, anyway...
- In the Square Root of Minus Garfield strip "Blubber Lumps! They're chewy!", Garfield says that certain types of lumps of blubber can go for a pretty penny on Ebay. Or so he heard...
- El Goonish Shive: "But, that uh... that's just a theory and not at all based on anything from my first year of college...
- Black Mage of 8-Bit Theater has an unfortunate habit of doing this, as he tends to forget that the mass-murderous evil he so gleefully perpetrates is rather frowned upon by the general populace. For instance, when questioned by the city guard, he carefully details his flippant murder of a cobbler and only realizes after the fact that he'd all-but-confessed before attempting a recovery.
Black Mage: [...]Of course, that plan assumes that my knife can cut through bone, which as I discovered last night, it can't. ...Er, hypothetically speaking, as I don't have any knives.
- In Cinema Snob Reviews Frozen (a fan comic where The Cinema Snob reviews Frozen), Snob says that Anna is lying about not judging Kristoff for crying about ice. He says that she'll just mock him over it on Facebook when his back is turned. "Not that it ever happened to me!"
- This comic based on Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series.
- Tim Minchin tells of a time when he caught Mariah Carey lipsynching.
Tim Minchin: All of a sudden the magic that is Mariah Carey is gone. It's like watching a cheap drag show, but without the intrigue of transvestism. [pause] To my knowledge.
- Skippy's List has examples:
207. The Chicken and Rice MRE is *not* a personal lubricant. (Skippy wanted this noted for the record that this is not something he has ever attempted or considered! It was something we heard at dinner on 22 September 2001 and it was just so obscene it had to go here.)209. An airsickness bag is to be used for airsickness *only*. (Also not a Skippy-ism...this was the same dinner.)
- South Park episode "The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers" plays this for laughs; all the men in town only have to hear the title "Backdoor Sluts 9" and they all know exactly which porn it is.
Mr. Stotch: Backdoor Sluts 9 makes Crotch Capers 3 look like Naughty Nurses 2!Mr. Brovloski: It is the most depraved, vile porno ever made...Mrs. Brovloski: And how do you know?Mr. Brovloski: I, uh, read about it in People.
- The Fairly Oddparents: When Wanda takes over her father's business, she put a ficus in the meeting room. One of the men comments on a gardening tip for it, then quickly invokes this trope when the others stare at him surprised.
"A ficus? That's gonna need more light... not that, I would know."
- Not only has he said this about at least 2 other things, he later says "I hear the ficus is doing quite well" *everyone looks at him* "...or so I heard", the name of the trope.
- In "The Tale of the Dash of the Dark" on Peter Rabbit, Benjamin says this when Peter's sister Cottontail is having trouble sleeping and he says that nightlights are good for helping little kids to get to sleep.
- Actual quote from a review by Germany's leading culinary critic Wolfram Siebeck:
"The soup tasted the way I imagine packet soups would taste."
- Sometimes, this can happen when trying to teach Martial Arts to others.
"Yeah, if you cut the quadriceps right here, the other guy will drop like a rock.""... Not that I would know personally, though."