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"Shh! Even before you start. That was a preemptive 'shh!'. Just know I have a whole bag of 'shh!' with your name on it."
Alice tells Bob to shut up, and he hasn't even said anything. However, she just knows that Bob's about to offer an opinion—or at least that he would be justified in doing so. This is often used to lampshade Hypocritical Humor
or Blatant Lies
, or to forestall the obvious answer when Alice has walked into a Double Entendre
or Rhetorical Question Blunder
Similar stock responses include "Don't say it," "Don't say a word," and "Not one word." For extra humor, the person being told to shut up is occasionally He Who Must Not Be Heard
. Compare Inner Monologue Conversation
It can be an effective source of Rapid Fire Interrupting
. Contrast Shutting Up Now
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- Raven does this to Beast Boy in this chapter of Adaptation by Cyberwraith9.
- Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery has the bit between Dr. Evil and his son, Scott Evil, where Dr. Evil says 'Shh' to anything Scott says, including almost trope-naming with 'That was a preemptive Shh'. Redone in The Spy Who Shagged Me with "Zip it!".
- At one point, Jennifer Jason Leigh's character in The Hudsucker Proxy gives Tim Robbins an ass-chewing liberally sprinkled with very well-timed Preemptive Shut Ups every time he starts to open his mouth in his defense.
- In Snatch, the following exchange:
Errol: Oi, fuckface, was he speaking to you?
"Fuckface." I like that. I'll have to remember that, next time I'm climbing off your mum
Brick Top: (to Errol) Not now.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Watership Down. "Shut up," said Bigwig, before anyone had asked a question.
Live Action TV
- In That '70s Show, when Kelso shows up for the police academy not knowing that his friends gave him a Hitler mustache, his sergeant walks right up in his face, asks Kelso to explain himself, and yells for him to shut up before Kelso can even twitch.
- Claire does this a lot to Cliff in the diet episode of The Cosby Show.
- Angel gives one of these to Spike in the episode "Smile Time" when Spike discovers that Angel has become a puppet.
- On Friends, Chandler proposes a rather transparent con to try and fool Joey. Monica responds by saying, "Don't you think Joey will figure that out?" She then immediately realizes how unlikely that is and cuts off Chandler's rebuttal with, "I heard it."
- From Sherlock:
Sherlock (examining a crime scene): Shut up.
Sherlock: You were thinking. It's annoying.
- Babylon 5 has a scene where Londo challenges an agent of the Regent to arrest him. After a confident boast, he is standing in the cell with G'Kar, who he pre-emptively snaps "Shut up" at.
- NCIS, "The Good Samaritan":
Gibbs: Don't say it, DiNozzo.
Tony: I wasn't gonna say anything.
Gibbs: Don't think it.
Tony: Too late.
- Dorothy gets in a few of these on The Golden Girls-usually phrased something like "Not a word, Ma!" or "Shut up, Ma!"
- One of the crowners, when Sophia was about do deliver what would have been a doozy, Dorothy turns and says "One word and I cut off your supply of Metamucil."
- One episode, she doesn't even bother with the shut up and covers Sophia's mouth.
- Quote Beckett, in an episode of Castle, as they break into a guy's van, in which he's busy using a large saw to break into a safe: "Take your hand off your tool, Marco!" (beat) (To Ryan and Eposito, who are trying not to crack up:) "Shut up."
- Bottom Live: When Richie learns he's about to be brutally murdered, he protests "I'm too young to die!" then quickly adds "Shut the fuck up!" before Eddie can get a word in.
- Supernatural. In "Meet the New Boss", Death has been freed from a spell the Winchesters used to bind him. As The Grim Reaper calmly eats fried pickles, Sam silently indicates to Dean that a grovelling apology might be in order.
Death: Shut up, Dean. I'm not here to tie your shoelaces every time you trip.
- In the later M*A*S*H seasons, Colonel Potter has come to know his officers (particularly Hawkeye) well enough to deliver one a couple of times, mostly during discussions in which the doctors are likely to start complaining or about to throw an insult or two around. In one episode, he even preempts Margaret demanding that he tell Hawkeye to shut up.
Potter: "Hawkeye, before Major Houlihan tells me to tell you to shut up, shut up."
- Roseanne Dan is blasting the girls for hurting Roseanne's feelings (took her to a beauty salon under the guise of being nice for Mother's Day when in fact they just wanted permission to go to an out of town concert). Becky sasses him, Dan snaps at her to "shut up", then turns to Darlene and declares, "and just to get it out of the way, you shut up too!"
- Earlier in a show, Eddie Izzard talks briefly about Prince Philip and his tendency to say un-PC things (specifically, to a group of British students in China, "Don't stay here too long or you'll end up all slitty-eyed."). Later on, he's brought up again, this time among the Greeks hiding inside the Trojan Horse:
"Uh, hello. Oh! Have they gone? Oh, damn. Uh, we were just cleaning up. Yeah! I'm Agamemnon, this is Ajax, and this is Prince Philip of England. (beat) Don't say a bloody word! Do NOT say..."
- In Psychonauts, Lili gives one to Raz after he grimaces because of her ranting about a comic book.
- Seen in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Rarity and Fluttershy are both unhappy, but pretending to be excited so as not to hurt the others feelings, and confide in Twilight. Twilight realizes that just talking would solve everything, but whenever she tries, Pinkie appears out of nowhere and looks threateningly at her.
- From the Phineas and Ferb special "Summer Belongs to You":
- Another one in "We Call It Maze":
Phineas: Labryinths should be cool, fun, and exciting! Ferb..."
Ferb: (holds up a hand) You don't even need to say it.
- Jetsons: The Movie, when George walks in the house after getting stuffed into a sprocket box.
George: Don't say a word!
- In Batman Beyond, a group of gangsters are having a card game, despite the new Royal Flush Gang staging various crimes themed around cards. After being attacked by them, one mobster smacks another.
"What was that for?"
"For saying 'I told you so'!"
"But I didn't!"
"Well you were gonna!"
- Regular Show episode, Picking Up Margaret
Margaret: Wait, are you sure you want to give me a ride and not because someone bet you could or...?
Mordecai: Pfft, What? C'mon! When have I...(Rigby starts to say something behind him, Mordecai instantly points to him without looking) BE QUIET!
- Archer: "And you never mind and also shut up".
- Attorneys often do this to their clients, not out of exasperation or any other ill-will, but to prevent said clients from saying something that might be used against them in the courtroom.