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You and What Army?

"The trouble is, when you say to a general 'You and whose army?', he just has to point out of the window."
Major Clarkston, Monstrous Regiment

Somebody retorts to some threat, request, or demand with "Oh yeah? You and what army?" The phrase is supposed to be one of defiance, as if to say it will take an army to stop/defeat them. Usually come in three tastes:

  • The most common version: listener cues/points at the army, usually followed by "This army."
    • A (generally comedic) variation is to have tanks or helicopters come over a hill a beat after the question is asked and the person saying "Oh, that army".
  • If the listener is really Badass, s/he will simply say, "I'm the army." or in a punny form, point at his/her arm and say "*THIS* army!"
  • In a rare situation, the listener turns back to where the army was, only to find that they have run off.

A form of Tempting Fate, and one of those StockPhrases that will have teammates, and oneself, yelling "You Just Had to Say It, didn't you?!" For obviously related reasons, liable to Threat Backfire.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • In the second issue of Marvel Adventures: Hulk, Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man, expresses his disappointment that the thugs he's about to beat up didn't use this line. In X-Factor (current Series) #6, they did.
  • Part I of the Cartoon History of the Universe uses this phrase exactly in a footnote about physical changes in human beings over time. After explaining that human skulls were twice as thick before the Neolithic Revolution as afterward, Gonick goes on to say that this is characteristic of domesticated animals; i.e. that humans had also domesticated themselves. This leads to this exchange between two men shaking hands, smiling, and holding weapons behind their backs:
    Man with dagger: Please, let us settle our differences by civilized means.
    Man with spear: You and what army?
  • In Bone, variant three is employed when a Rat Creature army encounters the Red Dragon. After a short round of posturing from the Rat Creature leader and a Badass Boast from the Dragon, the Rat Creature attempts to rally his army only to turn around and discover he hasn't got one any more.
    Rat Creature: Stay back, Worm! Our numbers are too great, even for you!
    Red Dragon: Funny you should mention that — how many warriors do you have between here and the waterfall? A thousand? Two thousand?
    Rat Creature: We're not afraid of you!
    Red Dragon: Who's 'we'?
  • Scrooge McDuck, in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, has been known to ask "You and what glee-club?"
  • Happens between the Teen Titans and Justice League in JLA/Titans - The Technus Imperative.
  • A variation in New 52 Wonder Woman, as War battles with First Born:
    War: You see, it's not only you with an army.
    First Born: Bah! What soldiers would follow you, old man?
    War: All of them.
  • In Superior Spider-Man Team Up #9, Otto asks this of a mole in his Spiderlings. The answer?
    Mole: Your own! HAHAHAHAHA! (cue two page spread of him, Daredevil, and The Punisher surrounded by Otto's men wearing stolen supervillain gear)

    Comic Strips 
  • In one strip, Garfield asks that question when Jon says he'll give Garfield a bath. Jon outsmarts Garfield and he ends up not needing one.
    • Jim Davis' other work had this instance: Orson once used hypnosis to make Wade no longer afraid of anything. The first sign it was working was when Wade responded to a command by asking "You and what army, waller breath"?

    Fanfic 
  • In The Swarm of War, Elegas and Elric have the exchange word for word.
  • In the second story of the Facing The Future Series, Desiree says to Sam that in order to beat her and the other ghosts holding Danny, she'd need one of these. Cue Frostbite, his people, and Danielle.

    Films — Animation 
  • Shrek inverts the usual setup. Shrek said this to the leader of a a group of knights, so he has an army, and the leader turns around to notice that his army has run away.
  • Open Season:
    Boog: Yeah? You and what army?
    Squirrel Army: Reporting!
    Boog: Oh. That army.
  • Recess: School's Out: The Big Bad, Philliam Benedict, asks Ms. Finster that very question. Then, the army of teachers swarms in.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2. After a long Chase Scene Po has just defeated the Wolf Boss, and says, "Next time you mess with a panda you better bring a whole arrrrrrrrhhhh!" as he realises their fight has carried them into the palace which a rather large wolf army is guarding.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop has the head mall security guy asking this of the leader of the New Jersey National Guard. Three guesses how that works out.
  • The Return of the King: The Corsair captain asks Aragorn this question when he, Legolas and Gimli board their ships. Aragorn's response? "This army."
  • Cobra Commander, in a legendary moment of Genre Blindness, says this to Duke of all people in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. It's worth noting that Duke was practically asking him to say it and when Joes suddenly show and surround the fugitives, Duke responds with satisfaction, "MY army!"
  • Hugh asks Bowen this question in Dragonheart. In reply, Draco appears.
  • Aces Go Places
    Mook: Wait right here. I'll get my guys after you.
    King Kong: Your guys? (chases him down the stairs, and runs back up in horror as there actually were more guys downstairs)
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Neville Longbottom completes his transformation into a badass when he says this to taunt the Death Eaters when they try to get past the protective enchantments and three of them end up disintegrating. It's all the more awesome considering Neville says this to about a thousand Death Eaters who are inches away from attacking.
  • Anaconda: During a verbal spat between Ice Cube's character and Westridge, the latter makes this retort after Cube told him he could kill him without breaking a sweat. Cube just counter-replies with Your Mom.

    Jokes 
  • There's a well-known joke about the U.S. President that says "never challenge a man who can answer the question 'you and what army?'" or a variant thereof.

    Literature 
  • Lampshaded in the Horrible Histories book The USA, in the chapter about The American Revolution:
    The Governor: This is revolution. We're going to stop you!
    American Settler: Oh yeah? You and what army?
    The Governor: Er... the British Army, actually.
  • Discworld
    • Night Watch: "Yeah? You and what army?" "Mine, as a matter of fact."
    • Monstrous Regiment, as seen in the page quote.
    • In Carpe Jugulum, Nanny Ogg reflects that this is a bad line to use when arguing with a king. So is "Who died and left you in charge?"
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, this line goes: "You and what Sith Lord?"
  • In Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain, Scott Adams writes that one of his wishes to become rich enough to hire a private army and a private island for them to march on solely to subvert this phrase.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Said by a villain in an episode of Chuck. It turns out, a platoon of the U.S. Army, APCs and all, were waiting outside to arrest him and his men, in a Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
  • Saturday Night Live
    • Sketch: Abraham Lincoln is in Ford's Theater watching a play, and is acting in a rude and obnoxious manner.
    Theatre patron: (Deep South accent) Will you shut up, suh?
    Abraham Lincoln: Hey, hey, you gonna do something about it?
    Theatre patron: I may, suh!
    Abraham Lincoln: Yeah, you and what Confederate Army, cracker-barrel?
    Theatre patron: I warned you, suh!
    Abraham Lincoln: Yeah, well, why don't you come up here and do somethin'? What, what are you gonna do, shoot me, pal, huh?
    Host: And the rest is history.
    • Decades ago, when the fake Hitler diaries showed up, Saturday Night Live had a sketch with Hitler recounting events in his diary. One event was one where he said something like, "I'll show you!" and the other guy replied, "Yeah? You and what army?"
    • When Richard Pryor hosted in 1975, one demand was that Garrett Morris, the sole black cast member, should be the one to say "Live from New York", something usually done by Chevy Chase. The Cold Opening is that Chase has not been informed of this, as Garrett enters, playing the same role. A short argument occurs, as Garrett is whispering to Chevy. Chevy answers with the line, Garrett whispers again, Chevy looks concerned. "Oh, that army..."
  • Played perfectly straight in Primeval:
    Connor: I've come for the lizard.
    Asshole: Cost you three grand.
    Connor: How about you bring him here and give him to me, or I go in and get him?
    Asshole: You and whose army?
    (Connor stands to one side, revealing Becker and two other squaddies standing around casually.)
    Connor: Mine, actually.
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Lovers Walk". Spike is threatening Joyce in the kitchen of Buffy's home:
    Angel: You touch her, and I'll cut your head off!
    Spike: Yeah? You and what army?
    Buffy: That would be me.
  • In Torchwood: Children of Earth:
    Prime Minister Brian Green: You and whose army?
    Lois Habiba: Torchwood.
  • Variant on Doctor Who: Amy finds a Cyberman head that still manages to be a threat thanks to Combat Tentacles. After she gets some distance...
  • In Mind Your Language, Mr. Brown realises that the headmistress is about to be conned, and confronts the Con Man by himself - "what army" turns out to be all his male students standing there and looking menacing.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, the episode "The Defector" has Commander Tomalak smugly imply this when he has the Enterprise outgunned by two Romulan Warbirds. Picard simply responds by signalling three Klingon Warbirds to drop their cloak, revealing they've got the Romulans flanked.
    Professional Wrestling 
    Video Games 
  • At the end of Day Of The Tentacle, the Purple Tentacle reveals his army of Purple Tentacles pulled from various points in the timeline.
  • Battlefield: Bad Company had its explosives expert, Haggard, taunt a helicopter using this. He Always Wanted To Say That. Of course they were surrounded by an army. Yeah, he really wanted to say that. The army they just defected from, in fact.
  • In Star Wars Starfighter, Nym and Vana Sage have this exchange after Vana had sold him out:
    Nym: You and whose army?
    Vana: Yours.
  • In Oni for the PS2, if you let your former boss live, despite the fact that he tried to murder you and turned your loli robot handler into an "put me out of my misery" weapon, Then at the end of the game your brother, the Big Bad looks to you with his goons as you stand on the rooftop and says "You think you can defeat me? You and what army?" Cue choppers rising up from the side of the building and your commander pointing at your brother and his forces as your backup leaps down to help you in the final battle. If you don't save your former boss you have to face your brother as a giant monster.
  • Monkey Island: Guybrush Threepwood can have this as one of his options after Wally threatens him in The Curse of Monkey Island.
    Guybrush: You and what navy?
  • Fallout
    • In Fallout: New Vegas, depending on the ending and choices taken, the player can have a army of Securitrons (Elite Mecha-Mooks) to be used in "negotiating" with The NCR.
    • In Fallout a dialogue option with one of raider leader's bodyguards when she informs you she'll kill you if you cause trouble: "Yeah, you and which army?" — she's recruited Smith and Wesson.
  • Over the radio in the second mission of Saints Row: The Third:
    Philippe Loren: I am going to cut your disrespectful tongue from your mouth.
    Johnny Gat: Oh yeah? You and how many of your... (beat) Oh, that many.
  • "You and what army?" is a preloaded taunt in Age of Empires II. The next taunt is "Oh. That army."

    Web Comics 
  • The page picture, from minus., which demonstrates why you don't want to ask such a question of a Reality Warper.
  • Schlock Mercenary
    • In one strip, it's a business-card which explains exactly what army, but it still has much the same effect.
    • The first variant is employed straight in another strip. Given that the character asked was a general in the UNS military, they really should have seen that one coming.
  • Parodied in the webcomic Patchwork Heroes.
    Guard captain: (to prisoners) All of you. The Emperor commands your presence?
    Adam: Him and what army?
    Guard captain: Um... the Muroshi army.
    Tarn: Adam...
    Adam: I'm sorry, it just slipped out.
  • In Girl Genius, the "army" is the one with the comeback: "Oh... that would be me."
  • Erfworld
    • Inverted:
    Decrypted Ansom: We will conquer the whole world.
    Parson: Oh, c'mon. "Conquer the world." Right, with what—
    (Wanda reanimates a massive crowd with the Arkenpliers)
    Parson: —army.
    • Possible example; Ansom has approached Jetstone with what appears to be his usual choice of units, Infantry and Siege. Ossomer mocks him for using the same old tactics;
    Ossomer: You made it easy! Bringing your usual siege-heavy infantry assault? Come now, Ansom. Someday, you must develop some tactical imagination!
    Ansom: (to one of his "soldiers") Dispel the veil.
    (the siege units are revealed to be dwagons, and there are now archons among the infantry)
  • Darths & Droids, "Episode 276: Gloat 'n' Free".
  • 8-Bit Theater, describing the "army".
  • Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic: Strip 244: "Grave Reinforcements".
    Captain Matheson: Who, you and your piddly little cog crew? Come now, Fang. We outnumber you three to one.
    Arachne: Truuuuuuue. But do you outnumber them? (points)
  • Bob and George: Bob's army of Robot Masters. It's pretty big.
  • This trope is used in George the Dragon as King Dale the Lobster attempts to dismiss a threat from another kingdom.
  • El Goonish Shive has Gerald, ex-not-quite-boyfriend of Nanase who threw a tantrum on account of meeting her on a double date. When told off by the third party, he slipped into "tough guy" posturing and uttered this one. He only had to shift focus...
  • Played with in Life And Death, here. Not an army, but a giant squid, and the person doing the asking is already highly aware of the squid, but was just trying to make a joke.
  • Played with in A Modest Destiny.
    Maxim: You and who's army?
    Morris: Why, the army of Ninjas I brought along. Actually, I'm suprised you didn't seem them stand behi— (turns around and sees Maxim performed his trademark Decoy Getaway while Morris was looking at the ninja) Poop.
  • A recent Vexxarr strip has the title alien ask this of his former-minion-turned-robotic-space-pirate. Turns out he actually had some very polite Mecha-Mooks waiting in the wings. Maybe not the world's most intimidating army, but still effective enough...

    Western Animation 
  • Teen Titans:
    Beast Boy: Oh, yeah? You and what army? (an army of fire creatures appears; Beast Boy screams)
    Cyborg: You just had to ask, didn't ya?
  • Family Guy
    • When the Griffins form their own nation-state in the episode "E. Peterbus Unum":
    Chris: Dad, I tried to go to school, but this guy won't let me.
    Peter: Oh yeah? Him and what army?
    Chris: The U.S. Army. (points to tanks and soldiers on the other side of the fence)
    Peter: Oh, that's a good army.
  • Seen in The Tick before a Mad Scientist attacks with a horde of elephant, mongols and ninja.
  • The Simpsons
    • Seen in the early episode "Bart the General".
    • And a later one, "Mountain of Madness". Homer and Burns are in a cold cabin, slowly going mad. Eventually, Burns snaps and threatens to kill Homer. Homer responds with this... and then imagines an army of snowmen wearing army helmets supporting Mr. Burns. His response? Scream and claim he has special powers, Political powers. Then Burns imagines the ghosts of world leaders backing Homer up.
  • The last episode of Megas XLR had some fun with this. When main character Coop popped the question, he was already inside the fortress that was clearly holding the army in question.
    "You and what army?!"
    "... No doubt that one."
  • Used for an pun in Rugrats:
    Angelica: You and what army?
    Susie: (makes a fist) Me and this arm-y!
  • Talespin: "You and what army?" "Shere Khan's."
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: "Never ask that question, Speedy."
  • Used in a Celebrity Deathmatch episode, where "Weird Al" Yankovic asks that of Al Gore, who replies with "the United States Army". Of course, the guys who immediately pounce on "Weird Al" are Secret Service, not US Army.
  • In Jimmy Two-Shoes, Beezy often asked this question to his father Lucius, ruler of Miseryville.
    Beezy: (to Lucius) You never get tired of that one, do you?
  • In The Real Ghostbusters, when fighting the Boogieman:
    Egon: You go on ahead. I'll hold him off.
    Peter: Yeah? You and what Starfleet?
  • In The Transformers, Megatron using this line while smacking Starscream around is actually what gave the latter the idea of building the Combaticons, converting abandoned WWII military vehicles into Decepticons.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Plankton's Army".
    Plankton: (over megaphone) Attention Krusty Krab management! This is your better speaking.
    Mr. Krabs: What?! (Plankton is standing outside the Krusty Krab with a megaphone)
    Plankton: (over megaphone) I have the restaurant surrounded. Give me the secret formula or I'll destroy the Krusty Krab! (Mr. Krabs and Squidward run outside to Plankton)
    Mr. Krabs: Ah, you and what army, bub?
    Plankton: What army? What army?! Look around ya, Krabs! (scene pans out to show the Krusty Krab surrounded by something green)
    Mr. Krabs: ...Ya planted grass?
    Plankton: GRASS? (starts laughing maniacally, joined by his family)
    Mr. Krabs: Uh-oh.
  • An episode of Sheep in the Big City had General Specific asking this to his Identical Grandson. The response is "My army, of course!"
  • In the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode Hot Buttered Eds:
    Sarah: HEY!! Get outta our spot!
    Eddy: You and who's army?
    Edd: You'd think you would've learned by now, Eddy...
  • Xiaolin Showdown, when Jack Spicer arrives at the temple to distract the monks while Chase Young goes after the Eagle Scope Shen Gong Wu. He announces his intention to take the temple, and the following dialogue ensues;
    Raimundo: Oh Yeah? You and What army?
    Jack Spicer: I was hoping you'd say that...
  • Used as a throwaway gag in Space Ghost Coast to Coast, after one of Zorak's regular death threats against the host:
    Space Ghost: Yeah, you and what army?


    Zorak: The, uh... the Kiss Army!
    KISS Army: (off-camera) YEAAAAHHH, DETROIT ROCK CITY!!!
  • Biker Mice from Mars: When Lawrence Limburger's Mooks and later Greasepit and Karbunkle went on a strike, he hired someone to train a better team of mooks. Unfortunately, the villain he called decided to overthrow Limburger, who decided to ask the question, and the betrayer showed the new mooks and answered: "YOUR army!"
  • Danny Phantom:
    Jazz: You're toast!
    Danny: Yeah? You and what toaster?
  • Gargoyles: Fang, the Token Evil Teammate of the Mutates, decides he's had enough of Talon's leadership. He sees an opportunity when he finds a hidden cache of advanced weaponry. When Fang announces his intent to overthrow Talon and Talon asks "You and what army?", Fang reveals his now heavily armed Mooks and answers "This one. And our first prisoner of war is you."
  • Danger Mouse
    • Danger Mouse uses this against his evil alter ego in "The Good, The Bad and the Motionless".
    Evil DM: Very clever. But you won't beat me that easy.
    DM: Won't I? Who's to stop me?
    Evil DM: I am.
    DM: Ha! You and whose army?
    Evil DM: Me and the army behind you! (3 demons appear behind DM)
    • Greenback uses this is "The Dream Machine", a cloud programmed to make anything Penfold says appear:
    DM: I've come to take you in.
    Greenback: You, and... to use a childish phrase... whose army?
    DM: Funny you should say that, Greenback. Look at this! (a thousand Danger Mouse clones appear from the door) ...Penfold said "Danger Mouse" one thousand times!


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