The Last of These Is Not Like the Others
"It’s called the science of listener attention. We did repetition, we did floating opposites, and now you end with the one that’s not like the others."
, The West Wing
, "Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail"
A dialogue trope where a character makes a list of items, groups or individuals and then deviates from the pattern established with the last one, sometimes the penultimate one. Usually Played for Laughs
In literary criticism, this is called a syllepsis, or semantic zeugma.
Typically used for comedy, the last item is normally a focus of insult or Butt Monkey
status. However it is possible to just delight in the subversion of the theme listing.
of Non Sequitur
A Super Trope
- And a Diet Coke: When a Big Eater orders lots of unhealthy food and just adds one small concession to health.
- And The Rest: When several characters are deemed important enough to call them by name, except for a few unworthy others who are dismissed as the "rest".
- And Some Other Stuff: Summarizing ingredients, but keeping the last few a mystery.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Listing strong, serious examples and then a weak, trivial finale.
- Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...: Naming things you receive in the mail, whereupon the third thing is usually something different than the rest.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Naming nice, good things, save for the last one, which is horrible.
- Caps Lock, Num Lock, Missiles Lock: The first few buttons have no drastic consequences when pushed, the last one does.
- Famous, Famous, Fictional: Naming famous real life people or things, only to have the last one be of fictional origin.
- Flight, Strength, Heart: When the last of the awesome powers given to superheroes sounds really lame in comparison.
- Ladies and Germs: When one part of the audience is supposedly not a lady or a gentlemen.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: Separating your friends from one individual.
- Odd Name Out: When the last name mentioned in a group sounds really odd in comparison to the other members.
- The Runt at the End: All individuals are similar, except for the last one.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: When a song has a refrain or line that contrasts with the tone set at the start of it.
- The Triple: Two normal items followed by a non sequitur or humorous third item.
- Weird Aside: A strange line which contrasts with the topic of the conversation.
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- The oaths of various Lantern Corps all have a ryhming scheme, save for the Orange Lanterns Corps's oath.
- One panel has several superheroes reacting to a warning of doom for them and anyone they've touched — the rest worry about their female signifiant others; Batman worries about Robin. Of course, what makes it funny is the insinuation that the last one isn't really all that different....
- Batman and Robin #10 (Jun 2012) has a subplot where a villain assembles a bunch of Mooks who have been permanently given Hideously Amusing Injuries in their encounters with Batman: a guy with a footprint across his face from a kick, another guy who has permanent ligature marks from being strung up in the air a long time, a girl who got a Batarang stuck in her ear (and enhanced it with other piercings), the guy who tried to throw a Batarang back at Batman and got it stuck in his head... oh, and the three guys who were knocked into a vat of toxic waste and fused into some kind of gawdawful monstrosity. Wait, what?
- When Bella is describing the Cullens in Luminosity:
[N]ow I had identifications for all five: Emmett the bear, Jasper the lion, Rosalie the Aphrodite, Alice the pixie, and Edward, the one who expected something to happen with or to or near me that wasn't[.]
- The Immortal Game: When Twilight is performing a Sherlock-esque asskicking on Esteem and his troops, she lists the special abilities of herself and her friends as she uses the bond granted by the Elements of Harmony to copy them: Unicorn power, mastery of pegasus martial arts, unnatural strength, instant translocation, skill with blade, whatever it is Pinkie Pie does...
- In The Dresden Files fic A Bird in the Hand, Ivy tells Billy's fortune:
Ivy: You’re stubborn, but smart enough to ask for aid and guidance when you are in over your head. And your car is about to be towed. They’re writing up the ticket now.
- In Nerve Damage Shirou summons Arturia Pendragon, Arturia 'Alter' Pendragon, Arturia 'Lily' Pendragon and.... Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus
- In Officium Est Electionem, Feferi invokes this when trying to distract an unwanted suitor.
After fifteen minutes of his endless, self-centered prattling, Feferi finally shuts him up by launching into her longest speech at him since he arrived. She talks ceaselessly about reforms, the election, and the likelihood of rain tomorrow.
- Red Fire, Red Planet: One of the protagonists asks the station computer to give the top five results from a list of 447 possible explanations it came up with for a tachyon burst.
Microsingularity interacting with gravity wave. Nadion inversion field. Cloaked starship entering normal space. Quantum flux— OS2. Kybok:
Repeat the third item.
- The Tagline to A Clockwork Orange:
Being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are rape, ultra-violence and Beethoven.
: But what will come out of this? Some claw-tooth monster? A new Mask of Power
? A Matoran marching band?
- Played with brilliant subtlety in Ghostbusters when Peter Venkman introduces his team at the library:
Roger Delacorte: I'm Roger Delacorte. Are you the men from the university?
Dr. Peter Venkman: Yes, I'm Dr. Venkman, Dr. Stantz, Egon...
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire:
Milo: What else have you got in there?
Vinny: Oh, you know: gunpowder, nitroglycerin, notepads, fuses, wicks, glue, paper clips (big ones). You know, just office supplies.
- Well, they're office supplies for him.
- In The Three Stooges short "Fight Night", Moe and Larry watch Shemp in a boxing match Behind the Black:
There goes Shemp with a left jab! There goes Shemp with a right uppercut! There goes Shemp with a haymaker! [Offscreen Crash]
There goes Shemp...
- An unintentional one in Plan 9 from Outer Space, though not at the end of the list.
We once laughed at the horseless carriage, the aeroplane, the telephone, the electric light, VITAMINS, radio, and even television!
- In The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Andy reads out the names of some of his porno tapes, such as Hairy Twatter.
- In Wreck-It Ralph, King Candy is the last character shown in Sugar Rush and his design, name and age are noticeably different than the rest of the characters in the game. There is a reason for this.
- Predators is a movie about incredibly dangerous people being brought into an extra-terrestrial game preserve on another world. This vicious band of misfits is comprised of a former black ops mercenary, an IDF sniper, a drug cartel enforcer, Spetsnaz commando, a convicted murderer/rapist, a death squad leader, a Yakuza mafioso... and a nerdy, bespectacled doctor. Guess who's the most cold-blooded killer of them all.
- In The Naked Gun, Frank, trying to break Jane's sensory-induced hypnosis, says "Jane, since I've met you, I've noticed things that I never knew were there before... birds singing, dew glistening on a newly formed leaf....stoplights."
- Guardians of the Galaxy:
- One of the sections of Gulliver's Travels is titled "A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib, and Japan." Admittedly, at that time Japan was almost completely closed off to foreigners and thus almost as fantastic as said other countries.
- The Doctor Who Expanded Universe short story "Walkin' City Blues" by Joffy Brown has the Doctor describing a Femme Fatale's "glamour implants" to his companion "A subtle combination of exotic pheromones, AI wetware wit-routines, genetically-enlarged pupils, and a spray-on tan."
- In Demon Haunted World, Carl Sagan laments how people often choose pseudoscience over science when science discovers so many more cool things: Quantum Physics! The building blocks of life floating in space! Colliding continents! Ancient Syrian beer advertisements!
- The Heroes of Olympus:
The coffee shops were doing a brisk business, and street musicians filled the air with the sounds of guitar, lyre, panpipes, and armpit noises.
- In Brandon Sanderson's short story I Hate Dragons, Skip is trying to explain the pain that his ability to hear the spelling of wordsbrings him.
Why, just today, I’ve heard the word dragon spelled ‘dragoon,’ ‘daragon,’ ‘dragen,’ ‘deragin,’ and ‘blarsnaf.’ Sorceress:Er . . . ‘blarsnaf’? Skip:
That was from Pug the cook. He speaks Lukarvian, but the word should actually be spelled ‘blarsnef’ in his language.
- Also, Skip's three magical powers: hearing spelling, hearing punctuation, and smelling so delicious to dragons that they go crazy with the desire to eat him.
- Dave Barry Slept Here states that, at the time of the Suez Crisis, major international crises were also happening in "Hungary, Poland, Lebanon, and the quiz-show industry."
Live Action TV
- On QI, Alan is always treated as the Butt Monkey of the group and there are several running gags to this effect. For instance each episode has a theme for the buzzers and then Alan will always reveal his one last as something comedically different e.g. the first three together are sections of the Westminster Chimes and his is a cuckoo clock; the first three get a cow bell, a bicycle bell, a tea bell and then Alan gets Leslie Phillips going "Ding Dong!". They also are often introduced with some extraordinary adjective or other theme and then a similar twist for Alan e.g.
Stephen (introducing the panel as "four people who look a bit like other people"): Please welcome Tony Blair (Rory Bremner)... Tommy Cooper (Phill Jupitus)... Ruby Wax (Ronni Ancona)... and... Alan Davies.
- On 3rd Rock from the Sun the Solomons try persuading an alien why he should spare humanity
Dick: You are missing the real earth, like the happiness in a child's eye, when a loving parent tucks him in at night.
Sally: Or the wonder of two young lovers as they stroll down the beach, dreaming of what is yet to be.
Tommy: Or the quiet contentment of a couple in their autumn years as they sit and reflect on a life well spent together.
Or hookers (Beat
) Cheap painted hookers.
- The Daily Show
- From Covert Affairs:
- After losing a lot of money at craps, intentionally And, ironically enough, almost failing to do so as she suddenly won 30.000 dollars betting on snake eyes; Auggie's astonished expression is gold, Annie is talking to the woman they're hoping will try to turn her:
Annie: My sister's husband lost his job a couple of months ago, so they... they burnt through all their savings, I don't have anything, I don't have anyone to go to... *increasingly emotionally* I'm totally screwed, God! And if I can't leave the country, I'll probably lose my job, — I mean I have to tell them why I can't come back, and my TOOTH hurts!
- From The Big Bang Theory:
Rajesh Koothrapali: Doctor Gablehauser.
Eric Gablehauser: Doctor Koothrapali.
Leonard Hofstadter: Doctor Gablehauser.
Eric Gablehauser: Doctor Hofstadter.
Sheldon Cooper: Doctor Gablehauser.
Eric Gablehauser: Doctor Cooper.
Howard Wolowitz: Doctor Gablehouser.
- One Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode had John Munch give a strange set of statements, "Yeah, and I want the troops home, the Kyoto Protocol signed, and a Tijuana oil job from Miss February." to a high school girl. He might have been playing up some I Take Offense to That Last One to the "old" part of being called a Dirty Old Man.
- The Golden Girls, "The End of the Curse". Dorothy insists that the minks have to go. Rose counters:
Rose: We are not giving away Fluffy, Muffy, Buffy, and Joanne.
Dorothy: Rose, they are non-breeding minks who eat their weight in food every day—Joanne?
- Angel: This conversation about Angel's Soul Jar:
Willow: There's lots of jars in the world — can't shatter them all. I mean, you could, but good things come in jars. Peanut butter, jelly, those two-headed fetal pigs at the natural history museum. (Wes doesn't respond) Come on, everybody loves fetal pigs.
- Sesame Street is the Trope Namer (One of these things is not like the other) from a routine on similarity and difference, where, for example, they'd show three different breeds of cats, and a dog.
- Scrubs: Dr. Cox often makes long lists of things he dislikes or doesn't care about, and usually ends with, "and Hugh Jackman."
- Monty Python's Flying Circus: They loved this trope. Many sketches feature odd lines or characters that come across as being totally out of place.
- For instance, in the sketch where German and Greek philosophers play a game of soccer the German team also has Franz Beckenbauer playing along, who wasn't a philosopher but a famous soccer player. The commentator notes: "A bit of a surprise there".
- In an inversion of Famous, Famous, Fictional, Saturday Night Live featured Jonah Hill as a porn-ified version of Martin Scorsese, director of such shining films as Raging Boner, Gangbangs of New York, The Departed (Hymen)...and The Wolf of Wall Street.
- Sukone Tei's ships are mostly focused on Yanderes, until you get to Tension; which she is shipped with Hatsune Miku.
- "The Genius Next Door" by Regina Spektor:
In the morning the film crews start arriving
With donuts, coffee and reporters
- "We Are the World" (the original one from the 1980s, not the remake made in light of the earthquake in Haiti) had an all-cast of musicians...and Dan Aykroyd.
- "Major Denial" by Bowling for Soup:
Would you like to hang around and get to know me?
Tell me things you'd like to show me?
Tie me up like I'm a pony?
- The 1812 Overture list of instruments seems fairly ordinary until you get to the percussion section:
Timpani, a bass drum, a snare drum, cymbals, a tambourine, a triangle, a carillon and a cannon.
- Australia's Today Tonight ran a story in early 2007 about a man who was, quote, "an armed robber, drug traffiker, and shonky builder."
- Bigfoot's cave in White Water houses five items, discovered in this order:
"Hey, a flashlight!"
"Hey, a map!"
"Hey, a key!"
"Hey, a camera!"
"Hey, a... COW?!
- Cyrano de Bergerac: After Cyrano wounds Viscount De Valvert while singing a ballade in his honour, Burgundy Theater's public comments about the duel:
(Acclamations. Applause in the boxes. Flowers and handkerchiefs are thrown down. The officers surround Cyrano, congratulating him. Ragueneau dances for joy. Le Bret is happy, but anxious. The viscount's friends hold him up and bear him away.)
The Crowd (with one long shout): Ah!
A Trooper: Tis superb!
A woman: A pretty stroke!
Raguenau: A marvel!
A Marquis: A novelty!
Le Bret: O madman!
- In the opening scene of The Most Happy Fella, Cleo describes what her customer left on her table:
"Seven million crumbs and a gravy spot,
Teaspoon stuck in the mustard pot,
Napkin on the floor,
Ashes in the cup
And—one Canadian dime!"
- In Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier Disney villains are singing about their reasonable goals or sympathetic motives that have been distorted in the retelling. Except one:
Cruella deVille: I only wished to to have a coat made out of puppies!
Others: Just leave!
Jafar: Why would you do that?
Others: That's insane!
Others: Get out!
- Wily Shorts:
Top Man: I want to be in the Indy 500!
Quick Man: I want to break the sound barrier!
Turbo Man: I just want to sit at home and eat chips.
- Zero Punctuation loves to do these these in the animation. In the L.A. Noire review, there is a mention of the main character "hopping around between four different police departments", which is illustrated with four doors marked Traffic, Homicide, Vice and Biscuits.
- In Bonus Stage, the last of the Cool And Unusual Punishments that Joel gets to choose from when going to hell is eating Satan's mom's spaghetti, when the first two were related to watching something 24/7.
- How It Should Have Ended: Mortal Kombat has the free-for-all confrontation between Liu Kang, Scorpion, Shang Tsung, and ... a guy with a gun.
- In the fifth episode of Anyone But Me, Jonathan, Vivian and Sophie are all late to class. Their reactions?
- This quote from Shit My Students Write
Napoleon a great leader had three main keys to his success as a leader, the terror he brought, his military, and he was a go getter.
- From Cracked:
- "Martha Stewart, for that two percent of Cracked readers who don't know, is a media mogul known for her cooking, gardening, etiquette, arts & crafts and pure evilness."
- From "6 common movie arguments that are always wrong", we face a turn from the classical to popcultural:
-There's really only so many basic stories that can exist. The main character is trying to get somewhere (the Odyssey), get something (the legend of the Golden Fleece), win someone's heart (the Iliad), get revenge (Cain and Abel) or save the world (Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure).
- The Onion published a list of those we lost in 2011. Unless you have a particular hatred for the author of Family Circus, this trope is in full effect, since boring cartoons are not akin to mass murder.
- The news aggregator website Drew Curtis' Fark.com allows viewers to submit news articles for discussion with new, (hopefully humorous), headlines, many of which follow this trope.
- This video explaining Tumblr when it gets on the videos:
- The Homestar Runner cartoon "Why Come Only One Girl?" has a montage of scenes towards the end showing what might happen if any of the planned female characters were ever put in a cartoon. Cue Strong Bad...
—Strong Bad: ...my style. (gets slapped, cut) ...my types. (gets slapped, cut) ...my stuff. (gets slapped, cut) ...The Cheat. (gets slapped, cut)
- On Reddit, a fan of The Dresden Files tried to compile all of the titles Harry had gained in-universe. They were all suitably regal and dramatic note , except for the last one:
Father of Two.
- The "differenze linguistiche" meme. It involves taking a word and translating it into different languages, with the last one, usually German or Finnish, sounding very different.
- In The Simpsons "Bart Gets An Elephant", Lisa asks someone if they're an ivory dealer, with the reply "Well, little girl, I've had lots of jobs in my day: whale-hunter, seal-clubber, president of the Fox network..."
- In the "Treehouse of Horror IV" segment The Devil and Homer Simpson when Satan brings out his jury, ending with Richard Nixon, Nixon objects that he's not dead yet.
- Futurama in "A Head in the Polls":
"I now present: puny human #1, puny human #2, and Morbo's good friend Richard Nixon
- From the pilot:
Let me show you around. That's my lab table, and this is my work stool, and over there is my intergalactic spaceship
, and here's where I keep assorted lengths of wire.
- The Justice League episode "Secret Society" had this:
Gorrila Grodd: [We are not in it for the money] Sinestro has a blood oath against all Green Lanterns, Parasite simply hates Superman, Giganta is totally devoted to me.
The Shade: And the other one?
Gorrila Grodd: Killer Frost? She just likes to kill things.
- The Invader Zim episode "Hobo 13" features Zim requesting extra ordnance from his leaders, The Tallest. His malfunctioning robot GIR adds a few items to the list, managing to combine Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking and Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick
Zim: Just a few supplies I need to complete my mission.