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The Last of These Is Not Like the Others
aka: One Of These Things 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.
A Sub Trope
of Non Sequitur
A Super Trope
Compare Step Three: Profit
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- 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....
- 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...
- 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 Forty 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.
- 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."
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.
- "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."
- 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!"
- 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.
- 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
- 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.