"I had the right to remain silent...but what I lacked was the ability."Someone lets something slip that reveals plot-sensitive information to another character. Sometimes this is a pure accident, to move the plot along. Sometimes this is the result of the protagonist pulling an Exasperated Perp. In a non-crime-related plots, it's used to create dramatic or amusing conflict. Subtropes:
— Ron White
- Endangering News Broadcast
- I Never Said It Was Poison
- I Never Told You My Name
- I Can Explain
- I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!
- Loose Lips
- Suspiciously Specific Denial
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Ōkami-san gives us a moment, as well. After her bout with Easy Amnesia, Ryoko is walking home with Ringo. Ryoko informs Ringo that she doesn't remember anything from the time where she had regressed to her younger self. When Ringo asks Ryoko if she's hungry, Ryoko tells her she's still full from the parfait she ate. Except she ate that parfait during the time she claims she can't remember. Ringo quickly realizes that Ryoko does indeed remember, and uses that information to blackmail her into wearing a cute little ribbon in her hair.
- In the Alabasta arc of One Piece, Chakka says aloud that the royal guard currently fighting Sir Crocodile have used a Deadly Upgrade and will die shortly. Crocodile overhears this, and retreats to a rooftop to watch them die uselessly.
- CP9 agent Fukurou, in spite of having a giant zipper over his mouth, tends to blab intel to the enemy. The mission before the Enies Lobby battle was complicated by his jabbering, and the Straw Hats were able to plan their rescue of Robin thanks to his 'hints.'
- In the Arlong Arc, Nezumi accidentally reveals that he's working for Arlong to prevent Nami from earning enough to fulfill her end of the deal to buy back her village this way. When he and some Marines come to confiscate her treasure stash and they're having trouble finding it, he yells that they're specifically looking for 100 million Berries, the amount that Nami was supposed to give to Arlong (although she is a few million short as of their arrival). Nami immediately realizes that Arlong was the one who informed them.
- Happens many, MANY times in Detective Conan, whenever the culprit is confronted.
- In the Ace Attorney manga, Turnabout Showtime features an example in which it is not revealed that the person has made a mistake until very late in the trial. Raymond Spume yells at Julie Henson for "biting her nails during the show just like (she is) now!" when pulling the murdered Flip out of his costume. It turns out that Sparklestar's (the mascot Raymond plays) back was turned to Julie while she was biting her nails, meaning that Raymond could not have seen her doing it unless he was wearing his costume backwards, which would enable him to unzip it and stab Flip, who was also wearing it the same way so that he could perform a backflip the same way he did a front flip.
- The main reason why the Nyan Nyan girls get punched into the stratosphere is because none of them can keep their mouths shut and always end up saying the wrong thing in the worst moment possible.
- Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple gives us Rimi, also known as the Yomi-member Atlantis. She tends to blab otherwise confidential things when she first appears, including what she's doing.
- In Bakuman。, Nanamine, who is working with a group of online consultants changed the first chapter even though his editor was fine by it. When Kosugi, his editor, asks about it, he says "You might have been satisfied with it, but everyone else wasn't." Kosugi then realizes what's going on and Nanamine shows him his plan.
- Played with in Death Note. L tries to get Light to mention something that only Kira would know, only for Light to know this from the start and carefully avoid saying anything. However his skill at doing this just makes L more certain that Light is Kira.
- In the Girls und Panzer "Little Army" manga, after Chihiro sprains her ankle, the group of herself, Miho and Hitomi needs a driver to get home. At this point, they see Emi, who is on her way home, and who starts to leave, offering to call for help. Miho then points out that, based on some of Emi's earlier statements indicating that she knows German tanks are strong and her identifying the tank type moments before, she knows much about driving a tank, and can drive. Emi sheepishly says that she "said something stupid like that without realizing it".
- In the Haiyore! Nyaruani short "Cooking", Nyarko says that the dish of the day is Cooked Whole *BLEEP*, and holds up something that's red, writhing, tentacled, and pixelated. Mahiro freaks out, and Nyarko says this is a really hard ingredient to obtain, thanks to the Space Washington Treaty...and immediately thinks to herself "Crap, I shouldn't have said that."
- A humorous example in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, Goku is talking about how awesome it was for Vegeta to stand up for Bulma after she was slapped by Beerus, getting that massive power-up from it. In his talking, he haphazardly mentions that they should get Bulma slapped again to get that boost again, leading to Bulma slapping Goku... before Piccolo realizes something: How did Goku know about the incident? As it turns out, Goku had been watching from a distance the whole time.
- In Gotham Central, as a result of having been working long hours and being generally tired and depressed, Renee Montoya accidentally lets slip to Maggie Sawyer, captain of the Major Crimes Unit, that Romy Chandler had her weapon taken by Batman after she tried to shoot him.
Marcus Driver: "What, you figure I should just shoot over to this Tailor's place, get myself a Batman costume? Dress up and try to make Dunning wet himself?"
Josie Mac: "Yeah, on second thought it's probably not such a good idea, Romy might try to bust a cap in your ass."
Renee Montoya: "Yeah, well, he'd have to give her weapon back, first."
Maggie Sawyer: "What was that?"
Renee Montoya: "Oh, Hell."
- Children of an Elder God: In chapter 5 Gendo reprimands Asuka, warning that she can be replaced. Asuka retorts according her foster mother, training a replacement is hard. Gendo asks what other classfied information she has been given, and Asuka wonders if she has not accidentally gotten her foster mother in trouble.
- Doing It Right This Time: After getting an impressive score in his first synch test Misato asks Shinji if he is sure he has never done this before. Of course he denies it, but later he wonders what she would have done if he said “yes”… not knowing Ritsuko was listening.
- In Thousand Shinji, when Kaworu talked to Shinji for first time, he referred to humans as “Lilim”, clueing Shinji in on his true nature.
- Once More with Feeling: When Shinji was interrogated by SEELE, he accidentally slipped how much Misato means to him, and he realized belatedly that he gave SEELE a leverage to manipulate him. Worse still, his body language gave away that he knew who Khiel -someone who he supposedly had never met before- was, and Khiel noticed.
- Chapter 5 of The Second Try gives an interesting version. After the battle with the 14th Angel, Misato finds (a little too late) an "anonymous" note from Shinji, meant to warn her about EVA-03 being possessed by the 13th angel... That he had written out by hand. She, of course, recognizes his handwriting, and a quick peek at his schoolwork confirms that he wrote it. She then remembers his and Asuka's odd behavior, and realizes that Asuka may know something about the letter. When she confronts Asuka, who is extremely distraught at the time (for very good reasons), Asuka breaks down and lets the facade drop.
- Quicken: When Danny talks about how happy his daughter Taylor used to be, Emma gets worried, because he's unintentionally revealing that her best friend hasn't been happy for a long, long time.
He reminisced some more as I listened, but I wasn’t paying attention to what he said so much so as what he didn’t say. He kept talking about how happy Taylor had been before with the two of us, back in the past, not how she was now. Unease wound itself inside me, as I thought about the implications of what he wasn’t saying, what he had left unstated.
- In the Miraculous Ladybug fic Fermeture, Marinette tries to arrange a reunion with her former partner Chat Noir, who she hasn't seen since they both lost their powers five years ago, as they never learned each other's secret identities. She uses the Ladyblog to ask him to meet her at their "favourite spot", assuming he'll recognise it as the Eiffel Tower on Christmas Eve before midnight, and ends up waiting there with her former crush Adrien, who's also waiting for someone - Marinette assumes this to be Chloe, who she overheard talking with Adrien on his cell phone a couple of weeks earlier. Midnight passes, and Marinette believes she's been stood up (or that Chat didn't see the invitation to begin with) and prepares to leave, but when she mentions Chloe and the phone call, Adrien explains that the call was just Chloe telling him about the blog post in which Ladybug asked Chat Noir to meet there tonight.
Marinette: Wait. You said she told you they were meeting here tonight. How did you know that? The note never said where they were meeting!Adrien: I, uh … Did I say that? I mean, it was just a guess, really. They, uh, used to spend a lot of time here, so …Marinette: (believes his answer, and starts to tear up at another seemingly crushed hope) Was it really? Was it really just a guess?Adrien: Wait. You asked how I knew. How I knew, not why I thought so. Is this really where they were going to meet? Why are you so sure? How are you so sure?Marinette: Because I’m the one who wrote the damn thing in the first place!
- In What's Done in the Dark..., when Brother Veritas is attempting to console his student Princess Cadance after the latter sees her husband Shining Armor and aunt Princess Luna kissing, he namedrops Luna as Shining Armor's mistress even though Cadance hadn't named her, causing Cadance to realize that he had known about the affair and ruining his attempt to calm her, in fact triggering her Superpowered Evil Side.
- In Chapter 9 of Intercom, Riley is casually talking to her friend Ann about the latter's choice of hair dye, until she accidentally kets it slip, "Disgust likes it too, it matches her scarf." Interestingly, many of Riley's problems in later chapters could have been avoided if she had just kept her mouth shut.
- In Robb Returns, the first Green Man Brynden and Brienne meet accidentally reveals the two will marry in the future.
- From Back To Us:
- During Emerald Shell's debut as the Turtle Miraculous holder, he almost immediately blows his identity to Ladybug by identifying Alya as his girlfriend. Marinette repays him by visiting Nino the next day and giving him an album cover design with a turtle motif, claiming to have been inspired by Emerald Shell, a name which he hadn't gone public with yet.
- When Adrien and Marinette's Valentine's Day date is interrupted by an akuma attack, both Ladybug and Chat Noir give each other a few too many clues, leading each to suspect the other by the end of the night. Specifically, Chat mentions the earrings he gave Marinette which he thinks she doesn't like, and Ladybug apologises for kissing him on the cheek after the fight, saying that she knows he's seeing someone - information that Chat had only told Marinette. She also tells him to wipe the lipstick off before he sees his girlfriend again, echoing advice Marinette gave Adrien that day.
- While the four are usually pretty good about not revealing information to outsiders in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, the disguised George and Ringo get so comfortable with the Six Step Combo that Ringo accidentally reveals that they're much older than they look, and George accidentally reveals that his guitar is not the one-of-a-kind prototype that he claimed it was. Luckily, the Six Steppers already knew they were frauds and didn't care.
Film - Animated
- In The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie, when Psycho for Hire Dennis corners SpongeBob and Patrick, he tells them that Plankton ordered him to step on them so they would never find out that he was the one that stole Neptune's crown, then realizing he probably said too much.
- In '"The Little Mermaid'', Flounder tries explaining to King Triton why Ariel missed the concert and mentions their meeting with Scuttle, letting slip that she had been to the surface.
- In Coraline, when Coraline finds herself unable to return home during her third trip to the Other Mother's house, she has an encounter with Other Father. He starts rambling, and nearly gives away the Other Mother's true intentions, forcing his self-playing piano to shut him up.
- In The Lion King, Scar "accidentally" lets slip to Simba that the forbidden area beyond the Pride Lands has an Elephants' Graveyard (which, of course, piques Simba's interest) and laments the fact that he said too much - but not really, as it's part of his Batman Gambit to get Simba killed.
Film - Live-Acton
- It ends up being a crucial plot point in L.A. Confidential - Capt. Dudley Smith reveals that he's the one who killed Jack Vincennes by asking Ed Exley to investigate a name Vincennes dropped as his last words - "Rollo Tomasi". Except that "Rollo Tomasi" happens to be a name made up by Exley for his father's unknown murderer; he'd told the story to Vincennes on the previous day.
- Moulin Rouge! first has a heavily sarcastic version:
Nini: (to the Duke) I don't like this ending. Why on earth would she go with the penniless writer? Oops! I mean sitar player.
The Duke:' Why shouldn't the courtesan marry the maharajah?
- The second one comes as a response to this:
Christian: Because she doesn't love you! ...him. She—she doesn't love him.
- The first example is a deliberate leak, while the second is accidental.
- In Two Days In The Valley, Teri Hatcher has hired killers to murder her husband. One of the police detectives notices that she says, "They killed my husband," implying that there were multiple murderers when the police hadn't established this fact yet. His partner brushes it off as a figure of speech.
- Several instances in Mystery Team
"I wish they'd all disappear like The Lost Colony Of Roanoke. But they'd probably go, 'What's Roanoke?' And I'd go, 'Shut up, Caleb. '""Following your dreams is never stupid, unless you dream about water and then you pee the bed last Thursday.""Forensic pathologists study the dead. Goths dress like the dead and date closeted gay guys named Ember.""We won't tell the police." "Oh man, now you sound like Dad."
- Parodied in Casino Royale (1967). Mata Bond is looking for information on Le Chiffre:
Frau Hoffner: Come along, child. The auction is about to begin.Mata Bond: Auction?Frau Hoffner: Tonight we are selling one of the finest art collections in Europe.Mata Bond: Le Chiffre's collection?Frau Hoffner: Who?Mata Bond: Le Chiffre.Frau Hoffner: Who is Le Chiffre?Mata Bond: The man who owns the collection.Frau Hoffner: What collection?Mata Bond: The collection that's about to be auctioned.Frau Hoffner: Who said anything about an auction?Mata Bond: You did.Frau Hoffner: Who am I?Mata Bond: Frau Hoffner.Frau Hoffner: Never heard of her. You are insane, my child, quite insane.Mata Bond: I think she's right!
- The Djinn in the first Wishmaster film disguises himself as a friend of Alexandra, and comments that Alex's boss would really like her apartment. Alex notes that she never mentioned who she worked for. The Djinn manages to talk his way out of it.
- In Kiss the Girls, Kate first starts to suspect that she's alone with the killer when he knows where her colander is without being told. He then proceeds to discuss in detail what kind of information a bad guy could get by going through her trash, before finally dropping pretense altogether to tell her exactly what he discovered when he went through her trash.
- In The Book of Life, after La Muerte discovers that Xibalba cheated to win their wager, he puts himself in even deeper hot water when he accidentally reveals that he gave the Medal of Everlasting Life to Joaquin. Whoops.
- In Annie (2014), Grace absolutely has friends and under no circumstances is in love with Mr. Stacks.
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Chekov unintentionally informs Khan that the Reliant wasn't look for him, and they had in fact assumed they were on a different planet. It takes several minutes for Khan to realize this, but when he does, things rapidly go downhill for Chekov and his captain.
- Return of the Jedi: Palpatine, Magnificent Bastard, mastermind of two sides of a galactic war, commander of The Empire...and can't resist gloating like a third-rate comic book villain when Luke is about to finish off Vader, which causes Luke to realize just how close to The Dark Side he's going and stop himself.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Ego the Living Planet has been looking for Peter for decades, takes Peter to the planet, gains his trust by playing the part of long-lost dad perfectly. He's got Peter eating out of his hand, and almost ready to join up with the cosmos-spanning big plan. But then Ego blows it by admitting he gave Peter's mom cancer to dispose of her. Queue Peter going from entranced and willing to Guns Akimbo and unloading them on Ego.
- In The Godfather Part II Fredo inadvertendly gives away that he's the one that betrayed Michael after he excitedly tells someone that Johnny Ola was the one who showed him the sex club they were in...after claiming he never met Johnny Ola before much earlier.
- In Isaac Asimov's story Galley Slave a professor sues US Robotics, accusing a proofreading robot of altering his work. When the robot testifies, the professor blurts out "Damn you, you were instructed to keep your mouth shut about..." Oops. He had made the changes himself, then brought the case to make a point against automation.
- The real twist is that the robot wasn't going to tell the truth anyway, since the First Law (manifested as a desire to protect the professor's reputation) trumped the fact that it would be scrapped if it didn't speak out (Third Law), as well as the order to be quiet (Second Law). The only reason for US Robotics' lawyer to call the robot to testify was in order to trick the professor, who distrusted robots and was deliberately ignorant of how they worked, into making that slip, by providing the robot with a higher-level First Law trigger that trumped the initial one.
- Harry Potter
- Poor Hagrid is prone to this, especially when he's distraught or talking to the Power Trio. He lets slip the means to calm Fluffy the Terrible, the name of a warlock who helps immensely with a search he doesn't want them to succeed in, and several other pieces of relevant information over the course of the books. Often lampshaded by Hagrid himself immediately after: 'I shouldn't have said that'.
- It's also how Harry discovers the imposter in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
- Moist von Lipwig fell into this trope in Making Money when he was attempting to talk his way around Captain Carrot's Exasperated Perp tactic by telling Carrot that he knows what he's trying to do to him. Carrot then promptly thanked him... for informing him that he's quite familiar with that tactic and thus implying his rather shady criminal past. Whoops!
- In The Diamond Age, Inspector Chang returns Hackworth's top hat, saying that he got it from a suspect. Hackworth thanks Chang for having "arrested him" despite Chang not having mentioned anyone being arrested, inadvertently admitting that the hat was stolen from him. He had wanted to keep the theft a secret, because the thieves had also stolen from him an illegal copy of the Primer that he had made.
- America (The Book) has a footnote listing countries where the U.S. has carried out secret/illegal military operations, ending with "Cana-... we've said too much."
- In almost every Encyclopedia Brown story involving Bugs Meanie, this sort of thing gave Bugs away; he usually had to defend a lie with another lie that made what he said earlier contradictory.
- In the Commonwealth Saga short story "The Demon Trap", Paula Myo is investigating a terrorist who has not only had his memories wiped, but a completely different set of memories implanted, but still proves his involvement because of a DNA match at the scene, and a mismatch where the person whose memories he has was sick. The head of the political party with the same aims as the terrorist group denies any involvement, but decries punishing a man for a crime his current personality didn't commit. In the process he describes the stewardess in sufficient detail to convince Myo that he provided the fake memories. It eventually transpires the entire movement consists of genetically-altered clones with a Hive Mind.
- In Douglas Hulick's first novel, Among Thieves, the main character Drothe has been tracking down a powerful book that there are rumors about, but which nobody has much information on, for his boss, Kells. Eventually he finds it, but when Kells asks what he's found, he tells his boss that he's not going to give him any information about "that damned journal" until Kells tells him what's going on. Kells realizes he's found the book, as everyone else has just been calling it "the book": nobody else knew it was a journal specifically.
- In Daughter of the Lioness, Aly is keenly aware of this trope and tries very hard not to fall into it, which is difficult when Dove and Sarai are specifically asking for stories about legendary Tortallan figures who are part of Aly's family, like her mom and Daine the Wildmage. She also has to work hard to avoid sounding as well-educated and astute as she really is, but Dove still notices every time Aly slips up.
Live Action Television
- From Angel 5.15 "Shells":
Knox: I don't just care about Fred - I practically worship it.Gunn: You said "it".Knox: What?Gunn: "Not "her". You said "'I worship it".Knox (smirking): Oops.
- In this context, "it" refers to the goddess Illyria, about to be reborn via the sacrifice of our beloved Fred. Fred is the "her". In this case, Knox believes that only Fred was worthy to be Illyria's host.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In the final episodes of season 4, Spike, using "the Yoko Factor," has successfully turned Buffy and the Scoobies against one another by exploiting the existing tensions within the group. In the next episode, Spike, having realized that he gave the information necessary for Adam's plan to Willow, and now Willow won't be speaking to Buffy, meets up with Buffy and tells her that just because they had a falling out doesn't mean they can't focus on decoding the info; as Spike wasn't around to see their falling out, Buffy puts two and two together and realizes that Spike set them up.
- Game of Thrones:
- Loras does this in "Kissed by Fire" when he reveals his secret betrothal to Olyvar.
- In "Two Swords," after Brienne calls Renly "our king" while speaking to Margaery, the Tyrell lady gently, but sternly, reminds Brienne that Joffrey is king now. Brienne would get her head chopped off if Joffrey ever found out that she is still faithful to Renly's memory.
- Whenever Stephen Colbert gets carried away in a rant and forgets he's not supposed to be talking about himself. On how High School Musical could be made more realistic:
Stephen: If [the main character] went anywhere near the theater department, the football team wouldn't join him in a peppy dance number! They'd string him up on a goalpost by the tights of his home-made Romeo costume, and chuck stale Tater Tots at his head until I wet my pants! - his pants, his pants!
Stephen: Oh, my. I have misjudged him. And perhaps said too much.
- Another example, after 'Papa Bear' Bill O'Reilly appeared on his show, Colbert showed a clip of The O'Reilly Factor the next day where Bill says "Colbert blew me right away." Cue rant from Colbert how this was supposed to remain secret, how heartless O'Reilly was and it wasn't right away, they had dinner first. He goes onto his next segment where he uses the same phrase and realizes what Bill meant.
Steve: [on why Elian Gonzalez shouldn't go back to Cuba] Well, isn't it obvious, Stephen? A delicate boy like that shouldn't be with his father. I mean, think about it. If he goes there and lives with his father, you know what he's gonna hear. "No, Elian, Daddy can't go camping this summer, things are just too crazy at work," or, "No son of mine is going to take pottery class," or, "Why aren't you tougher? You get beat up in school, you fight back! You don't go crying to the principal like a wussy little girl! Suck it up! Suck it up! Suck it up, Steve!"
- This was common when he was on The Daily Show, too. Several installments of "Even Stevphen" ended with him and Steve Carell having turned the topical "debate" of the day into a thinly-veiled or not-at-all-veiled discussion of their personal lives.
- 30 Rock:
Jack: Lemon, we have a problem.
Liz: I have this whole Tracy-Josh thing under control!
Jack: What are you talking about?
- In Red Dwarf, Lister is reading Rimmer's diary to the Cat. Rimmer is outraged by this betrayal of privacy, and Lister tries to mollify him by saying he can read Lister's diary if he wants.
Rimmer: Why would I want to read your diary? It's full of puerile nonsense about Kochanski.
Lister: Ah, so you have read my diary.
- Law & Order: UK: During the prosecution of an accused rapist/murderer, the key witness is a young woman who saw the man lurking around the building where the crime took place (she may very well have been the intended victim had she not evaded him). The man denies it, angrily accusing the girl of lying and referring to her tattoos before covering his mouth in horror as he realizes his mistake. Although the girl's arms were indeed covered with tattoos, she was wearing a jacket while in court. The only way he could have known about her tattoos was if he had seen her previously.
- Cuddy intentionally says too much to Wilson in an episode of House. She and House kiss, after which Wilson tries to trick her into confessing by asking her if everything's alright in a sort of leading tone of voice. She sees through the ruse and has no intention of denying the incident.
Cuddy: Everything's fine with my kissing House, oh God, you dragged it out of me, you're a genius.
- Supernatural - Castiel eavesdrops on Dean, Sam and Bobby arguing about their suspicions that he's working with Crowley. Bobby suggests that if there's any chance they're dealing with "a Superman who's gone dark side", it's a good time to stock up on Kryptonite. Later, after Castiel convinces them they were wrong about him, he makes one fatal mistake.
Castiel: It is a little absurd, though. Superman going to the dark side...
- On Community, Troy has a tendency to do this, adding "Whoops" without changing the tone.
Troy: How do you know it was our design? We submitted in anonymously. Whoops.
- In Castle's pilot, the brother of one of the victims, when asked about an alibi, provides alibis for the three murders. Castle feels downhearted, but Beckett points out that, while it is possible he'd know his alibi for his sister's death, the fact that he was prepared for all three murders (without even asking when the other victims were killed) is quite suspicious. He did it.
- Doctor Who:
Clara: (looking at the picture of Victorian Clara from "The Snowmen") That's not right.Angie: You were in Victorian London.Clara: No; I was in Victorian Yorkshire- (cue Oh, Crap!)
- In the serial "The Time Meddler", the Doctor has disappeared in 1066, and in order to find him Steven interrogates a suspicious monk who swears up and down he hasn't seen him. Steven asks the Monk kindly to keep an eye out for him and asks "Do you remember the description I gave you?" to which the Monk responds by listing off the Doctor's physical traits - long white hair, a walking stick, and strange-looking clothes. Steven leaves to tell Vicki that he's confirmed the Monk has seen him, as he never gave him a physical description.
- In incomplete episode "Shada", Chronotis blurts out his real identity (the extremely powerful and dangerous Time Lord outlaw Salyavin, who is being sought by the villain as a vital component to his plan) in a sudden slip of the tongue at the exact point when the villain thinks Salyavin is gone forever, is patching things up with the Doctor and is just about to give up on his plan and go home - basically, the worst possible time. Since this is a case of the character having his brains splattered across the wall by the Idiot Ball (as he'd kept his identity a secret for over 700 years until then), the novelisation alters this to have the companion figure it out and announce it to the Doctor (and the villain, who he is comforting after a Villainous Breakdown), thinking Salyavin is a danger to the Doctor and not realising that Salyavin being alive is crucial to the villain's plan, and plays it for excruciating Dramatic Irony.
- In the episode "The Unicorn and the Wasp", the Doctor is trying to solve a murder mystery, and accusing everyone in the room about certain facts that could point towards them being the killer. He points to one man who is wheelchair bound. Who in turn cracks under the pressure and admits that he can walk and was only faking being paralyzed, afraid that that was the only thing holding his marriage together. The Doctor then admits he wasn't actually going to confront him about anything.
- At the end of "The Crimson Horror," the kids Clara babysits confront her with pictures they had found of her from time period that she couldn't have possibly been alive (or at least not in her twenties). They also stumble upon a picture of one of Clara's echoes, which she hasn't yet found out that she has.
- In Yes, Prime Minister, Sir Humphrey has a tendency to manipulate Prime Minister Hacker for his own self-serving ends, but on one occasion tries to prevent him from appointing a reformer to the position of Chairman of the Bank of England in order to prevent a massive scandal that would destroy Hacker's government. For once, Humphrey is genuinely looking out for Hacker's best interests, but when Hacker finds himself in yet another awkward situation thanks to Humphrey, he furiously confronts Humphrey, leading to this exchange:
Hacker: I don't understand it, Humphrey. What's your game? Why should you be adamant that I allow another cover-up? What's in it for you?
Humphrey: [Urgent] Nothing, Prime Minister! I assure you, I have no private ulterior motive. I'm trying to protect you from yourself. I'm entirely on your side.
Dorothy: How can we believe that?
Humphrey: Because this time it's true! [Hacker raises an eyebrow; Humphrey realises what he's said] I mean... this time I'm particularly on your side.
- In the Supergirl episode "The Darkest Place", Winn's protests to Alex that National City's newest superhero, the Guardian is innocent of the crimes he's been framed for makes her realize Winn knows Guardian's Secret Identity, and it doesn't take much for him to reveal it to her.
- Dark Matter: One of the things which tips off Six to the fact that he's in a simulation is Three knowing his wife's name, which he never told him.
- Preacher (2016): Lara slips up, mentioning Tulip robbed banks in Dallas, which wasn't part of their conversation. Tulip first agrees she must have just forgotten, but then when she's still suspicious, Lara gets F. J. to come over acting like her supposed abusive ex-boyfriend when her very identity is questioned. This works to make Tulip believe it.
- Million Yen Women: This is used to reveal who the invitation sender is. In an early episode, one of the characters asks for a certain piece of information. Later on, it turns out that the asker should have known that piece of information at the time, which makes the fact that they asked very suspicious.
- Death in Paradise: In "Murder on the Day of the Dead", Finn Anderson apparently receives a voicemail from his wife in which she is being attacked by someone with a knife. He runs to find DI Mooney to inform him that he believes his wife has just been murdered, but Mooney finds it curious that he would say she was murdered, rather than attacked, without knowing for sure that she was dead and correctly guesses that Anderson already knew his wife was dead, and was involved in her murder.
- Near the end of Persona 4, after guessing out the identity of the killer, the Investigation Team go to the hospital to interrogate him. While he initially tries to give off some basic and non-specific answers, the continued grilling from the team (and Detective Dojima) gets him to blurt out:
Tohru Adachi: "Namatame was the one who threw them in!"
- The funniest part about this: He spent most of the game pretending to do this in order to manipulate the investigation team, only to be exposed when he does it for real, thereby exposing that he knew the method by which the people were being killed, and the existence of the TV world.
- The real kicker is that he subverts it earlier on. When Naoto finds Namatame's journal, he remarks on the names of all the victims being in it. Adachi agrees and says that it proves Nametame is the culprit... except Naoto explicitly mentions that it has the names of those people who were abducted, but not killed and therefore weren't part of the investigation, meaning Adachi should have been asking them why in the blue hell Namatame would even know who they are.
- In the 1st Degree. If you play the game right, Tobin will end up blurting out information that makes him guilty right there in the courtroom.
- In Catherine Thomas Mutton assumes that Vincent has figured him out and accidentally confesses his involvement when he was never under suspicion in the first place.
- Occurs in Suikoden V after the battle between Barows' army, Godwin's army, and the Armes army. Salum Barows feigns ignorance about Armes being there even though he arranged for them to be there. Then, Euram Barows runs in and practically confesses that they were working with them. Then, he goes a bit further by suggesting using the Dawn Rune which up until then had been thought to be in the hands of the village of Lordlake.
- In Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, the Prince, obsessed with finding and killing the Vizier, hears a woman scream, and heeds the advice of his dark half to keep going. Farah asks him if he heard it and he says that they should continue, because he is "sure she will be all right." Naturally, Farah realized he heard and is outraged, resulting in him going to save the women in the brothel.
- In L.A. Noire we get Jean Archer who can't seem to help but give information by mistake in the case appropriately titled "A Slip of the Tongue".
- At the start of Azure Striker Gunvolt, Gunvolt is receiving a mix of Electric Torture and A Taste of the Lash. The torturer, convinced Gunvolt has no chance of escape, tells him the Muse, whom Gunvolt was looking for, is aboard a freight train. Turns out Gunvolt has electricity powers and the torture actually helped him recharge his energy. He then escapes with extra knowledge of where to look for the girl.
- In Demonbane, Ennea at first appears to be an ordinary girl, but accidentally outs herself as a sorceress with this exchange:
Ennea: Hahaha! It's so rare to see such a relationship between a mage and his grimoire!Ennea: Oh... oops.
- Used a few times in Professor Layton, usually in the I Never Said It Was Poison variety.
- In Diabolical Box, Flora lets slip that the titular box has a goat on it, even though in its current state it looks nothing like a goat. This causes Layton to point her out as the villain in disguise.
- In Last Specter, when confronting a child about the coin of the raven, they tell Layton they don't know anything about " a coin with a raven's tail on it". Layton says that he never said about about a tail.
- A variation of this is used in Azran Legacy, when Layton is confronting Detective Bloom, having accused him of being the mole and replaced the artefacts with fakes. Bloom responds casually that such an accusation is absurd, and that any one could have replaced them with fakes. Layton then points out how odd his reaction is: The fact the artefacts were fake was only discovered recently and is something only a select few, such as Layton, know. Surely the lead detective on the case should have responded to such a sudden revelation and accusation with at least some surprise, rather then a casual denial.
- In an interestingly meta example from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, even deities can apparently make this mistake. At one point, on a quest to destroy a powerful artifact of the Daedric Prince Vaermina, your NPC companion is in the middle of the ritual to banish it when a woman's otherworldly voice whispers in your head that he's tricking you and that you should kill him before he uses the artifact against you. Since there are at least two female Daedra who can be classified as good or at least non-evil and you might not have heard them yet, an unaware player might be fooled into following these orders (and thus losing a potential ally for the rest of the game)...had she not then added, "Vaermina commands you!"
- In RWBY, Blake and Weiss spend an entire episode arguing about the White Fang; when Weiss openly declares them to be nothing but a group of liars, thieves, and murderers, Blake snaps and shouts, "Well, maybe we were just tired of being pushed around!", inadvertently revealing to the rest of the group that she's both a Faunus and connected to the White Fang. Cue Oh, Crap! when she realizes that she let it slip and subsequently flees the room.
- The second variation was seen in Narbonic, when Helen was preparing to tell Dave that he's a latent mad genius.
Helen: There's something I have to discuss with you... Artie made me promise.Dave: Uh-oh... is this about the sentient meme that took over the net in Blue Sector and keeps threatening to vaporize us via spy satellite?Helen: No, this isn't about the sentient meme! I didn't even know there was a sentient meme!Dave: Oh. Good.Helen: On second thought, let's make this about the sentient meme.
- El Goonish Shive:
- Mr. Verres once revealed to Tedd, with absolutely no prompting that Grace cannot get pregnant in her hybrid form. Seeing as Tedd and Grace had shown quite a bit of interest in each other already, this new information didn't exactly slow them down.
- When Susan starts Pulling The Thread of Tom's web of lies, she eventually gets him to the point where he yells out "I am a FANTASTIC liar!"
- Catalina is absolutely terrible at keeping her mouth shut. Her relationship with Rhoda is supposed to be a secret, but she continually spills more and more information to Susan until she gives up and covers her mouth. Only the fact that Susan has no clue who Rhoda is saves the secret from getting out.
- Ménage à 3:
- When Zii breaks one of Gary's most prized Transformers and learns that it was a highly rare Overlord, she tries to pin it on a cleaning woman she made up: "Tragic, I know. Poor Overlord... never knew what hit him!" Gary than asks how did she know it was an Overlord.
- Later, Kiley's attempts to reassure Gary about his sexual performance soon have her telling herself to shut up. She does tend to turn into a Motor Mouth when under stress.
- In Kid Radd, Captain QB, after meeting with Crystal in a room they think is soundproof to discuss killing Radd, sees Sheena on the way out and asks if she heard any of it. Sheena responds that "like your friend said," the room is soundproof. Thankfully, since QB isn't too bright, he never suspects anything, enabling Sheena to leave without incident and help save Radd.
- Sisko in D&DS9 informs the DM that he (the DM) didn't realize he rolled a Critical Hit, unaware that the DM plans to railroad him into a Dark backstory.
- In General Protection Fault, after being shown the diary detailing her plans, Trudy launches into a rant about how Ki shouldn't have been able to find it, before stopping herself and asking if she had been "saying something incriminating." The damage has been done, though, and Nick no longer trusts her.
- This Death Note fan comic.
- In Between Failures, to get Nina off her badgering about starting a relationship with Thomas, Carol tries to change the subject to Nina's Harry Potter Fan Fic. However, Carol forgot that Nina had only sent it to Thomas - Nina quickly figures out that this means that the two already started going out. In a way, this works out, as Nina moves on from trying to get Carol to start dating Thomas to begging for info about their relationship.
- Sticky Dilly Buns: Ruby doesn't want to admit that she has a libido (and the stress of the denial is pretty clearly getting to her), but Dillon manages to draw her into discussion of the book of yaoi manga which she recently gave him. She soon lets slip enough to show that she has been reading it.
- Played for laughs in a Bruno the Bandit flashback story, when King Orenthal of Rothland murders his wife due to his growing lust for Eunyce, Warrior Hottie.
Unnamed court official: Your majesty, th-the queen! She—
King Orenthal: —Was poisoned by three drops of skull-spider venom placed in her wine?? NOOOOO!!
Unnamed court official: I was going to say she had a heart attack...
King Orenthal: I'll find the scapeg— real killers if it's the last thing I do!!
- In Nan Quest, Henry winds up accidentally outing themselves as the Pilgrim by reassuring Nan that if she gets attacked by the Pilgrim again, she can just escape out the window like she did the last time he attacked. Problem: the other person wasn't there at the time, only Nan and the Pilgrim were, and Nan had never explained how she had escaped to anyone. /tg/ was quick to call them on this this:
- In Sword Art Online Abridged, Kirito figured out that Heathcliff was actually Kabaya when he got suspiciously defensive after the players started bitching over the ridiculously glitchy state of the game, with Kirito himself referencing TRON. Heathcliff angrily shouts "Oh, now you've seen TRON" ... leading to Kirito realizing that he was referring to Kayaba asking who had seen TRON when making the Death Game announcement, and getting no answer.
Kirito: Of course I've seen Tro- wait, "now"?
- The Simpsons:
Parson: I remember when she [Helen Lovejoy] used to be Helen Schartzbaum. Heck, I even remember when she was Harold Schartzbaum!Rev. Lovejoy: What?Parson: Perhaps I've said too much.
- "I'm sorry, I can't divulge any information about that customer's secret, illegal account. [hangs up phone] Oh, crap, I shouldn't have said he was a customer. Oh, crap! I shouldn't have said it was a secret. Oh, crap! I certainly shouldn't have said it was illegal! Oh, it's too hot today."
- From the episode "Wedding for Disaster":
- Beavis and Butt-Head had this happen a couple of times.
- On one occasion, they get a Hot Librarian to write a school report for them, and end up getting detention from David Van Driessen when they let slip that the librarian wrote the paper.
- Another instance had our heroes being tried in juvenile court for egging Tom Anderson's house. Butt-Head tries to discredit Anderson's testimony by claiming that his vision wasn't strong enough to see exactly who threw the rotten eggs, pointing out that it could as easily have been Stewart Stevenson. The prosecutor then asks how Butt-Head could have known the eggs were rotten, unless he was the one that threw them. Oops.
- In Batman Beyond, this is how Terry McGinnis almost immediately proves that Willie Watt is responsible for the strange occurrences at their high school.
- In the Adventure Time episode "BMO Noire", Beemo is playing at being a hard-boiled private investigator while trying to find Finn's missing sock. At one point he asks Lorraine the chicken about the missing sock, and Lorraine "blabs" that she knows that it was Finn's sock that was stolen before BMO mentioned it.
- American Dad!: In the episode "Escape from Pearl Bailey," Steve's girlfriend Debbie is running for class president against Lisa Silver, but her chances of election are ruined when someone posts a slam page against her. Determining that Lisa and her posse posted the page, Steve sets up an elaborate revenge scheme against them (by having buffalo feces dropped on one, injecting another with fat, and giving Lisa herself an STD); when he admits it to Debbie, however, she tells them point-blank that he's no better than they are and dumps him on the spot. When he's mourning the loss of his relationship with his friends, his friends try to comfort him by stating that Debbie wasn't good enough for her. Then Barry quips that Debbie isn't "fit enough to wear people clothes," the same lame insult from the slam page, which makes Steve suspicious; in response, Snot confesses that they were the ones who posted the slam page in an effort to free up Steve's time, since he had been spending so much time helping Debbie's campaign that he had been neglecting them (of course, they never anticipated Steve would go so far).
- In the Teen Titans Go! episode "Staring at the Future", Cyborg casually informs Nightwing (Robin's future self) that he is building a time machine in order to get him and Beast Boy back from their "Bad Future". Nightwing, who likes how things are, disagrees and calls his fellow ex-teammates in order to stop them.
- In the Rugrats episode "The Trial", the babies hold a trial to figure out who broke Tommy's clown lamp. When Tommy notices something wrong with Angelica's alibi, she admits that she did indeed break the lamp and boasts that there's nothing the babies can do about because they can't talk. However, Angelica forgets that Didi and Betty were in the kitchen and heard the whole thing.
Angelica: That's right: I did it! And I'd break it again if I had the chance! But you know what? There's nothing you babies can do about it 'cause you can't talk! Hahaha! I did it! I did it! I DID IT!
Didi: ANGELICA PICKLES!
Angelica: Oops. I didn't do it! I didn't do it!
Betty: We heard the whole thing, Angelica.
Didi: So, you broke the lamp, young lady! Well, you can just sit in the kitchen with us until your father gets back! (carries Angelica to the kitchen)
Phil: What do you think they'll do to her?
Lil: You think she'll go to jail?
Tommy: I dunno.
Angelica: NO! NOT THE CHAIR! NOT THE CHAIR! (Angelica is strapped into the high chair) Hmph!
Chuckie: Does this mean the persecutor did it?
Tommy: Yep, I guess the persecutor's the poopatrator this time.
(Episode ends with the spirit of Mr. Fluffles overlooking the room)
- The Eighties version of Alvin and the Chipmunks had Alvin do this twice in one episode. He has a basketball game coming up, but he won't be allowed to play if he doesn't turn in his book report. He falls asleep and never gets it done, so he plagiarizes one of Simon's and turns that in. Saying Too Much one occurs when the teacher is praising Alvin for his report and asks if he had an interest in the sport. Alvin confirms his love for basketball, but the book report was about a tennis player. She sends him to school court for judgment, but he's overjoyed to find out that Simon is the judge...until Saying Too Much two occurs when he lets it slip that he copied Simon's old book report. Now that Simon knows he's guilty, he has to step down and let them find a new judge.
- In one episode of The Emperor's New School, Kronk tried to scare Kuzco away from a field trip by pretending to be a ghost, telling him to leave so that he couldn't pass class and Yzma would become empress. Yzma tells him he's saying too much so he tries to fix it by telling Kuzco to pay no attention to the people behind the curtain, with Yzma asking "What curtain?".
- In one episode of Yin Yang Yo!, Yin and Yang capture one of Herman's soldier ants when they invade and steal an Artifact of Doom. He invokes Name, Rank, And Serial Number, except that his rank contains a lot of information about Herman's plan.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), Baxter Stockman lies to Leatherhead that the Turtles were enemies of the Utroms. When the turtles discover Leatherhead and Stockman building a transmit to go to the Utrom home world they are attacked by Stockman. While Stockman is beating them up he lets slip that he used to work for the Shredder, thus revealing his lies to Leatherhead.
Leatherhead: The Shredder? You worked for the Shredder!? He was the Utroms' most hated enemy! You weren't intending to help me with the transmat! YOU USED ME!
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Just for Sidekicks", Spike and the Cutie Mark Crusaders greet the Mane Six at Ponyville's train station. Sweetie Belle accidentally reveals they had stowed away on the train from the Crystal Empire with them, prompting Spike, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo to motion for her to be quiet. It's obvious that Rarity doesn't buy her excuse, yet she goes with it anyway.
- OJ Simpson made this mistake while discussing his polygraph test with a reporter. When asked whether he had ever taken a polygraph test, Simpson replies with an emphatic "No." He then goes on to explain how he did go to the police station, did get hooked up to the machine, and watched the needles jump whenever his victims were mentioned.
Reporter: It sounds like you took a polygraph.Simpson: YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT POLYGRAPHS!'
- Simpson then goes on to discuss in great detail how he took a polygraph, and why he doesn't believe it "counts" as a "real" polygraph.
- A classic riddle has you as a detective trying to determine which of three people pistol-whipped a man to death. They all know the gun used is in custody. Inevitably, the one who did it is the one who says, "You don't think I beat him, did you?"
- That trope happened in reality when a man in Florida vanished shortly after winning millions in the state lottery. The prime suspect was a woman whom he hired to manage his funds but was apparently embezzling them. After the man's body was found, she was again questioned by the police. Afterwards, she called a press conference and tearfully proclaimed her innocence, declaring that she "had been falsely accused of shooting another human being." However, the police had not revealed to anyone exactly how the man was killed.
- The case of "Balloon Boy" and his family being interviewed on the news. "Falcon, why didn't you come when you heard us calling you?" "You guys said that, um, we did this for the show." "…Man." The next day the poor kid was brought onto The Today Show to be further questioned about this, and he got so nervous about getting his parents in trouble that he vomited.
- The Japanese organization PRIDE FC used to sell DVDs of their fights months after they'd happened with English commentary dubbed in. The commentators would pretend to be watching the fights live. This came apart during an infamous incident in which the play-by-play man forgot what was going on and began telling his partner an amusing anecdote...about the fight they were calling. Written about here by Seanbaby (#4 in the list).
- A similar incident happened on American Idol. While commenting on one of the performances, Paula Abdul accidentally gave her critique of a song which hasn't been performed yet, revealing that the judges sometimes write their critiques beforehand, based on the contestants' dress rehearsals.
- A British farmer and his son were murdered early in the reign of Queen Victoria. His daughter and a servant girl, who were wounded but survived, recognized the masked attacker as another neighbor and farmer who owed a mortgage to the victims, James Blomfield Rush, because of his portly constitution and characteristic gait. At the trial Rush declined a court-appointed lawyer and opted to defend himself, calling five "witnesses" that claimed they saw the attacker the night of the murder but did not identify him as Rush. When one said that she passed "within a few feet" of the masked attacker, Rush absent-mindedly asked "Did you pass me quickly?" The jury returned a guilty verdict in ten minutes.
- The 1962 US case Nance v. United States involved a defendant accused of robbery, who chose to ask his own questions at the preliminary hearing. On cross-examination of the key witness, he asked "How do you know it was me when I had a handkerchief over my face?"
- In September 2015, Republican congressman Kevin McCarthy announced his intentions to become Speaker of the House. But in one interview, while explaining why he'd be qualified, he inadvertently explained that the numerous hearings on the 2012 attack at the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya were primarily a preemptive attack against Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, causing much outrage on both sides of the aisle: Democrats* , who already had suspicions in that direction, were outraged that the Republicans actually were using the deaths of four Americans as a cheap political stunt, and Republicans were outraged because nobody from their side was supposed to admit what they were doing. McCarthy dropped his bid in October.