A character, or more often a whole group of people, has something elementary and basic explained to them, but for some reason, they just aren't getting it. They aren't being deliberately obtuse and stupid. They simply do not understand the rather obvious implications of what has been said to them. To the character trying to do the explaining, and to the audience, the train of thought is painfully easy to make work logically, but the target simply isn't getting it.
Sometimes this is because of Selective Obliviousness
or Obfuscating Stupidity
, but only rarely does the audience know this at the time.
Anime & Manga
- In the Yu Gi Oh The Abridged Series movie, when Yami finally confronts Anubis, he asks him why we wants to destroy the world. Anubis doesn't understand the question, even as Yami exasperatingly repeats that he surely must have a reason for destroying the world, considering all the trouble he went to to do it.
- This happens pretty much every single time someone tries to explain something to Naruto.
- In A Very Potter Sequel, when Lucius Malfoy explains the evil plan he had just choreographed to travel back in time and kill Harry Potter, the other Death Eaters just don't get it:
LUCIUS: "The Dark Lord would have survived, had they never met."
DEATH EATER #2: "So you're saying that he wouldn't be destroyed?"
LUCIUS: "He'd be alive, what don't you get?"
DEATH EATER #3: "Still not understanding..."
- This happens in Mystery Men when one of the characters realizes that Captain Amazing is just Clark Kenting. The other characters don't understand the way this train of thought works, since without glasses, Captain Amazing would not be able to see.
- Idiocracy. Joe Bauers encounters this problem in every scene where he tries to explain something to someone, or tries to be subtle about something, because everyone in the future is Too Dumb to Live. The most notable instance is when he is explaining to the Cabinet his plan to use water on crops instead of Brawndo.
- Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, during a discussion of Austin's teeth.
Vanessa: And then there's this. (shows Austin a dental hygiene kit complete with floss, toothpaste and toothbrush)
Austin: Let me guess. The floss is garrote wire, the toothpaste is plastic explosives, and the toothbrush is the detonation device.
Vanessa: No, actually. Since you've been frozen, there have been fabulous advances in the field of dentistry.
Austin: What do you mean?
- Cleverly inverted in the scene where Scott Evil wonders why they are going to all the trouble of putting Austin and Vanessa into a deathtrap.
Scott Evil: I have a gun.
In my room. You give me five seconds, I'll get it, I'll come back down here. BOOM! I'll blow their brains out!
Scott, you just don't get it
, do ya?
- In Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Cal Naughton Jr. just doesn't seem to understand why his friendship with Ricky Bobby should be affected by something trivial like Cal sleeping with Ricky's wife.
- It's a popular phrase in film.
- In the Discworld novel Sourcery, Rincewind is doesn't understand that he can just leave the growing wizard problems behind if he stops being a wizard, which would be easy for him since he can't do magic. Subverted later when he finally does get it, but says that he can't just 'stop' being a wizard since it's more than just the ability to do magic.
You still don't get it, do you?