Tell Me Again

Aragorn: Would it kill you to pay attention once in a while?
Legolas: Probably not, but why take the risk?

A subcategory of As You Know is Tell Me Again, as in when two characters are driving somewhere in a car, and the passenger says to the driver, "Tell me again why we're going to the pillow factory." The only reason the passenger asks to be told again is so that the audience can know.

Can sometimes be justified in two ways. One; there's a Gambit Roulette going on and the character giving the explanation originally wasn't very clear. Two: For snarking purposes. The latter is particularly common when the character knows why they're going there, but doesn't want to.

This is Truth in Television, as many real-life Deadpan Snarkers will employ option two. Compare Let Me Get This Straight....


Comic Books
  • In All Fall Down, Pronto requests a recap of the Pantheon's plan in the flashback in chapter two.

Fan Works
  • The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World: When George starts chapter 14 by asking John “Remind me why we're doing this again?” as they walk down a dusty road. John answers, “'Cause it's better than sittin' round playin' with ourselves while the others suck at the Guardians' tits.” Which leads into a flashback as to really why they're walking down the dusty road.

  • Parodied in this exchange from Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
    Sir Bedevere: And that, my liege, is how we know the earth to be banana-shaped."
    King Arthur: This new learning amazes me, Sir Bedevere! Tell me again how sheeps' bladders can be employed to prevent earthquakes.
  • Mystery Men
    Mr. Furious: Why am I doing this again?
    The Sphinx: When you can balance a tack hammer on your head, you will head off your foes with a balanced attack.
    Mr. Furious: And why am I wearing the watermelons on my feet?
    The Sphinx: [beat] I don't remember telling you to do that.
  • In the film version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Ron asks Hermione to explain again why they're making a potion in a girl's bathroom.

Live-Action TV
  • Slightly clunkily done in Castle in which Lanie asks the police detectives to remind her who the 'Westies' are. While not entirely unlikely, you'd kind of expect a city medical examiner to have some passing awareness with The Irish Mob.
  • In the Lost episode "Namaste," Frank and Sun have paddled a canoe two miles from Hydra Island to the main island. Only after this, as they're pulling up to the dock, Frank asks, "You wanna remind me why the hell we're doing this?"

  • Justified when Lennie and George do it at the beginning of Of Mice and Men: Lennie is mentally handicapped and highly forgetful of things that don't interest him, so he legitimately has no idea where he and George are going or why they're going there.
  • Shows up once in The Chronicles of Amber, when Corwin is talking to somebody who's under the impression Corwin is somebody else disguised as Corwin - and that the disguise shows he still can't accept the subject matter of the conversation and so needs to hear it all yet again. (Ultimately it becomes unclear whether the person was really deluded or knew from the start he was talking to Corwin, so this may or may not be an in-universe trope.)
  • Greg Egan's novel Diaspora. "Tell me again professor how wormholes work." The justification being that experimental reality had shown that the physical theory was fundamentally flawed, so the character wanted to review the fundamentals.
    The avatar gave ver something approaching a look of exasperation, but Blanca pleaded stubbornly, "Remind me."

Video Games
  • At the beginning of one of the missions in Desperados, Sanchez asks Kate to once again explain the plan to him. The game justifies this by portraying Sanchez as a bit dense, noting Kate's annoyance as she has apparently explained this plan to him several times already.
  • In Destroy All Humans! 2, all conversations end with the option of Crypto asking for a condensed version of the conversation, which often makes the characters exasperated at Crypto's lack of attention.
  • In Earthbound the player can invoke this trope pretty much anytime anyone explains anything to Ness, as often as necessary.
  • Kaepora Gaebora is a recurring character in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time who gives you exposition. At the end, he asks whether you would like to hear all that again.
  • Infamously used and abused in Ultima IX, where the Avatar asks about everything he hears, having apparently forgotten his entire past.
    What's a paladin?
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, despite the player being ostensibly an outsider to the titular region, s/he can come off as clueless when asking certain questions about the current political climate that anyone would have been familiar with. For example, they don't know about the Thalmor, the Great War and the circumstances behind Ulfric Stormcloak's rebellion. When asking Ralof about the latter, he replies in disbelief that the player character doesn't know, who replies in turn that they "haven't been informed on current events".

Web Comics
  • Exploited in a clever way in The Order of the Stick. Elan's Evil Twin Nale has switched places with him without Elan's friends noticing. Nale now wants to learn some secret information that the heroes learned without tipping them off that he wasn't actually around to hear it. He gets Mr. Exposition to tell him again and is surprised at how well it works.
  • Parodied in Zebra Girl, when Crystal asked Sam about Tool, here.

Web Original
  • Double Subverted in the Bandwidth Exceeded video by LoadingReadyRun. Graham walks into his house and is punched in the face by his roommate, Matt. Next scene: Graham and Matt are both standing in the kitchen, and Graham has a bag of frozen peas up to his head.
    Graham: Okay, explain to me again... where we got frozen peas. Because I didn't buy them, and I'm certainly not going to eat them.
    Mat: *explanation*
    Graham: Oh. Well, next question: why did you hit me?
  • Lampshaded in Naruto: The Abridged Series when Itachi and Kisame show up to kidnap Naruto.
    Kisame: Itachi, why are we looking for this kid again?
    Itachi: Kisame, I've already told you five times.
    Kisame: Can you tell me again for exposition's sake?
    Itachi: No. Now shut up or you're not getting any Soylent Green snacks.
  • Subverted in the opening to an episode of Museum of Idiots:
    Chickensuit: So remind me again why we're going on vacation to a small Western town.
    Student: No.
    (long silence)

Western Animation
  • Another place where this trope was used in a good way was in the Justice League episode where the Flash and Lex Luthor have switched bodies. The Flash is pretending to be in charge of a crew of villains. Since he has no idea what their nefarious plot is, he informs them that they are to tell him how everything goes so he can "be sure they know what they're doing." They're rather annoyed at having to go over a plan that he introduced to them that very morning.
  • The Simpsons have lampshaded their need for this trope numerous times — perhaps most famously in "Principal and the Pauper":
    Homer: Okay, once more. Where are we going?
    Edna: To Capital City.
    Homer: And why are you and the old lady in the car?
    Agnes: We're gonna talk Armin Tanzarian into coming back.
    Homer: And why is Marge here?
    Marge: I came up with the idea.
    Homer: And why am I here?
    Marge: Because the streets of Capital City are no place for three unescorted ladies.
    Homer: Why are the kids here?
    Marge: Because we couldn't find Grandpa to sit for them.
    Homer: Why is Grandpa here?
    Abe: Because Jasper didn't want to come by himself!
    Homer: Huh, fair enough.
  • In The Hair Bear Bunch episode "Bridal Boo Boo," Hair has an idea to get rid of the battleaxe that wants to marry Peevly and take control of the zoo.
    Peevly: Quick, Hair. Tell me again before she gets back!
    Hair: Of course, sir. As you know, a truck is leaving this afternoon taking some empty cages to the Alaska, if the future Mrs. Peevly..
    Peevly: (nervously) Er, don't say that!
    Hair: As you wish, sir. If she were to hear that some animals were trying to escape in that truck, she'd try to stop them. Right?
    Peevly: Yes? Yes?
    Hair: Now, if by sheer accident, mind you, she happens to get locked in that truck...
    Peevly: Say no more. Pull this off and I'll wipe off all your demerits. But if you fail, I'll double them. Even triple them!
    Hair: It's a pleasure doing business with a man of your intelligence, sir!
  • Combined with Storyboarding the Apocalypse in the first episode of The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police, "The Thing That Wouldn't Stop It", the Freelance police are stalking a mutant TV dinner through a pocket dimension in Darla Gugenheek's refrigerator.
    Max: Tell me, Sam, why the heck are we doing this again?!
    Sam: It's simple, Max. If this so-called "Thing" could somehow find its way into our world, devouring unsuspecting citizens who have no natural fear of frozen entrees, they would surely cause a nationwide mistrust of pre-manufactured foods of all kinds, forcing producers of salty, overcooked, man-sized portions to go bankrupt. To safeguard American businesses, Max! That's why the heck we're doing this!
    Max: And because we get to use these babies! (brandishes a flamethrower)