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Picture this hypothetical scenario: someone corrects a mistake you just made, or makes a point that you don't have a ready counter for, or levels a rather cutting remark against you that leaves you unsure of how to respond. You're not an especially witty individual (again, hypothetically), so you don't want to go home and spend all night trying to think up a clever comeback. And why would you do that when you can just give a dismissive flick of the hand and utter the pre-fab zinger that's sure to leave 'em flustered?

Yes, it's "Whatever": a catch-all retort for people who can't be bothered to come up with good retorts. The line is often used by teenagers, especially Caucasian female ones of the Valley Girl variety, and often emphasizes the last two syllables, as in "what-ever!"

The full version is: "And I was like, whatever..."

This is Truth in Television when used in moderation. If it's used in every sentence then it falls under Totally Radical.


Anime and Manga
  • In a classic Subbing versus Dubbing moment, the official English release of the first Naruto movie has Sasuke reacting to something by saying "Whatever" (but the official sub was more like "Preposterous")

Comic Books
  • In the comic Young Justice, in a special where the members of are projected into strange fictional worlds (basically an excuse for the writer and artist to spoof other genres), one of these is a Western. Archer heroine Arrowette becomes a stereotypical Indian brave with buckskin, feathers and warpaint, and decides to team up with the other heroes' posse...
    Arrowette: Me join your war party, ugh!
    the other heroes: "Ugh"?
    Arrowette: Whatever!
  • In the New Avengers comic, before a sparring session between Wolverine and Squirrel Girl (who is the nanny to Luke Cage's baby daughter, and was there watching him and Iron Fist spar before):
    Wolverine: Just like old times.
    Squirrel Girl: I don't think you remember the old times the same way I do.
    Wolverine: No claws. Just show me what you got.
    Squirrel Girl: Whatever! (pounces at him)

  • Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights has this conversation between Rabbi Tuckman (Brooks) and King Richard (Patrick Stewart):
    Richard: [hands Tuckman his sword] Hold this, Father.
    Tuckman: Rabbi.
    Richard: Whatever.
    • After Richard has thoroughly kissed the bride, Maid Marian (Amy Yasbeck):
    Richard: Now you may marry them.
    Tuckman: Thank you. Here's your knife.
    Richard: Sword.
    Tuckman: Whatever.
  • A similar example in Spaceballs
    Twins: Hi, President Skroob.
    Skroob: Oh, hi Charlene.
    Marlene: I'm Marlene.
    Skroob: Oh, hi Marlene.
    Charlene: I'm Charlene.
    Skroob:...Chew your gum. note 
  • The classic example is probably Clueless. There was even a "W" hand gesture!

  • Within the Xanth novels, one of Demoness Metria's quirks is that she frequently uses the wrong word, specifically a synonym of a homonym of the correct word. The running gag involves a character questioning her use of word whereupon she begins naming synonyms, a character makes the correct word suggestion and she replies, "Whatever." This is played with a number of times including people guessing the wrong word and one time where someone made the suggestion of "whatever" and she snapped back the correct word before doing a Double Take.

Live Action TV
  • Catch Phrase of one of Catherine Tate's characters.
  • Pops up memorably in the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Buffy sings that fighting evil has become mundane and repetitive:
    Buffy: Will I stay this way forever?
    Sleepwalk through my life's endeavor?
    Rescued guy: How can I repay—
    Buffy: Whatever...
  • Whenever it comes close to dying down and become discredited, some show or person crops up, achieves popularity, and further perpetrates the trope, most infamously shows like The Hills or Laguna Beach.
  • In the various Muppets shows and movies, whenever the question of Gonzo's species arises, Gonzo identifies himself as a "Whatever." (At least, before Gonzo discovered that he's an alien in Muppets from Space.)
  • Boston Legal: Lori Colson's response to everyone's stunned stares after she kissed Alan Shore under mistletoe.
  • One of the Shows Within A Show on All That was called "What-EVERRRR" (may have the wrong number of R's.) It was Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • In the That 70s Show episode "Cat Fight Club", Hyde teaches Jackie how to "be Zen" and ignore Laurie's insults. This is one of the key phrases she has to learn.

  • See also: the Liam Lynch song, "United States of Whatever."
  • Avril Lavigne's song Girlfriend: "She's like, so whatever!"

Video Games
  • Used liberally by Squall Leonhart in Final Fantasy VIII to emphasize just how distant and apathetic he is, when he doesn't just stick to Visible Silence.
  • Princess Daisy, to an extent.
  • Yashiro Uzuki. "Like, so whatever!"
  • The Zombie Apocalypse Shooter Left 4 Dead
    Francis: I'm not gonna let these damn vampires eat me.
    Bill/Louis: They're zombies, Francis.
    Francis: Whatever!
  • Meganekko Lisa Crocket (now Crockett) from Backyard Sports uses this phrase all the time.
  • Juri Han in Super Street Fighter IV says this when doing a quick recovery (pressing the punch buttons as you get knocked to the ground, springing right back to your feet), but it's said in a bored/disgusted fashion.
  • This actually appears as an enemy in Mother 3; apparently, the researchers at the Chimera Labs had just thrown a bunch of things together for no real reason, creating the 'Whatever'.
  • Though the actual word isn't used, this is clearly the sentiment being expressed between two NPCs in the first Assassins Creed whose conversation you eavesdrop in on at one point.
    Civilian 1: Well, the Bible does say, “God helps those who help themselves.”
    Civilian 2: Nah, it doesn’t actually. That’s from one of Aesop’s Fables. The Bible says quite the opposite, in fact. Many passages about being patient and faithful, and waiting for the Lord to decide if he wishes to assist.
    Civilian 1: Well, I say we’ve waited long enough.
  • 'Whatever' is a common dialogue option for the protagonist in Persona 3 along with the closely associated 'I don't care'.

Web Comics
  • Bob and George, though it was in response to what could be labeled a curse...sort of...
    Skull Man: Death is not the end!
    Mega Man: Whatever. (annihilates Skull Man))

Western Animation
  • Lumpy Space Princess is in love with this word. She has a password: "Whatevers2009".
    Lumpy Space Princess: I was just trying to help, but whatever. ...No. No, not whatever!
    • Finn's response to having both his legs snapped in two different places is to suppress the pain and utter a strained "Whatever". It's kinda awesome.
  • In ''Aladdin, Jafar does not care that Prince Ali's name is not Abooboo. He simply says "whatever" when Ali corrects him.

Real Life
  • In some areas, it's such a pronounced problem that many schoolteachers will make a point of penalizing kids who answer a question with "whatever."

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