Harold: I guess you're right. But at least things can't get any worse.
: Aaaaugh! You did it again
! Now when you turn the page
, something even worse
is going to happen! You've gotta learn to keep your mouth shut at the end of these books!
Stock response to many an egregious Stock Phrase
, especially What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
. Essentially Lampshade Hanging
by the Genre Savvy
of Tempting Fate
. Simply put: One should never say that it can't get any worse, because sooner or later, it will. Usually preceded by frantic, ignored pleas of, "Don't say it, don't say it, don't say it... You Just HAD To Say It, didn't you?!"
Occasionally said by the speaker to themselves, after the fact.
Common variants include:
- I/You had to ask!
- I/You had to open my/your big mouth!
- Sorry I asked. (original speaker only)
It can also be a response to something said in spite of someone else requesting Let Us Never Speak of This Again
Contrast I Always Wanted to Say That
. See also Never Heard That One Before
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Anime & Manga
- In Hayate the Combat Butler Nagi and Ayumu have fallen into a ruinous basement, Hinagiku and Hayate have followed them in for rescue. While they're leaving, Hinagiku thinks out loud that the ruins haven't been repaired and might fall apart. *rumble*
- In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40000 Ultramarines novel Dead Sky, Black Sun, the Lord of the Unfleshed says that they will probably eat the captive Space Marines, whatever they say. Vaanes demands to know why they are bothering with dragging them to the lair if so, the Lord of the Unfleshed says that the weak of the Tribe need to eat, and another prisoner observes that he had to ask.
Live Action TV
- Played with in the last episode of Angel:
: Their strength flows through my veins. My blood is filled with their ancient power.
Angel: Can you pick out the one word there you probably shouldn't have said?
- Becker: The title character thought he had a Christmas miracle when the package he meant to deliver ended up being delivered, despite him being stuck in traffic and dealing with a hitchhiker. Turns out the package was Becker's gift; the hitchhiker stole it. The package had already been delivered by Becker's secretary. However, Becker is actually happy about all of this, because he "always thought Christmas sucks," and can now prove it. After walking out, a diner patron delivers the line "You had to tell him."
- In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Spiral", Dawn says "At least things can't get any crazier. Right?" followed immediately by an arrow puncturing the wall of the mobile home they're riding in, the beginning of a siege.. Buffy replies, "You realize this is your fault, right?"
- A similar event occurred in Season 2's episode "School Hard"
Xander: As long as nothing really bad happens between now and then, you'll be fine.
Buffy: Are you crazy? What did you say that for? Now something bad is gonna happen!
Xander: Whadaya mean? Nothing's gonna happen.
Willow: Not until some dummy says, "as long as nothing bad happens."
Buffy: It's the ultimate jinx!
Willow: What were you thinking? Or were you even thinking at all?
- Being a Genre Savvy show with many references to pop-culture, this inevitably turns up on Chuck. Many times Sarah or another character will make a comment on how a situation can't get any worse, only for Chuck or Morgan to call them out on it.
- In an episode of EUReKA, fate is tempted:
Carter: Bottom line, if Reverend Harper is responsible, we're in for a lot more.
Henry: Yeah, like, uh, plague of locusts, or firey hail, or... total darkness.
All the lights go out
Carter: You had to say it.
- Get Smart series uses this as Running Gag, every time main character gets into trouble.
Max: Don't tell me [something that is obvious that is happening]
99: Max! [saying that something]
Max: I told you not to tell me
99(usually as a response, doesn't happen always): Sorry Max, I keep forgetting that.
- iCarly: In iStake Out, Spencer meets his old camp bully again and Freddie asks why Stu is nicknamed 'Spanky'. Spanky shows Freddie why, and Spencer sarcastically thanks Freddie for asking while being spanked in the butt with his own umbrella by Spanky.
- LOST: In "This Place Is Death," the left-behinders need to get to the Orchid to stop flashing through time. Upon arriving at the station, Juliet remarks, "Thank God! What are the odds that we would end up in the same time as this thing?" They immediately flash to a much earlier time. Sawyer replies, "You just had to say something!"
A variation occurs an episode or two later, when our heroes are paddling in a canoe while being pursued by people shooting at them. The situation looks grim, but then the sky starts to flash. Sawyer turns to the sky and shouts "Thank you God!", only to find that they've flashed in the middle of a tropical storm, still in their canoe. Cue Sawyer shouting at God "I TAKE THAT BACK!"
- This happens on Misfits whenever the group are trying to convince themselves that things are under control, then Simon instils paranoia in them all by detailing the worst case scenario with gloomy relish:
Alisha: We would've been arrested by now if they'd found the bodies...
Simon: (quietly) Maybe they're waiting until we're all together.
Nathan: Now WHY would you say something like that?!
- On MythBusters, the Build Team is working on a rig to crash a boat into a channel marker. Grant gives a quick status report to the camera:
You just had to mention the weather, didn't you?
- Power Rangers Ninja Storm has "Shane's Karma Part 1", where four of the rangers are celebrating a birthday at the beach and the Sixth Ranger, their Techno Wizard, tells them that the only one absent, the red ranger, is likely to be in trouble.
Tori: Birthday or not, I think we better get back.
: Yeah, let's get outta here before some Kelzaks
Blake: Aw, you had to say it, didn't ya?
(Blake points to another part of the beach where Kelzaks are shuffling by)
(Kira is picking all of the green MnM's out of a jar per her new boss's orders)
Kira: This job couldn't get any worse.
Kira: Now, why did I have to say that?
- Then we have the team-up between Ninja Storm and Dino Thunder ("Thunder Storm", from the second half): Hunter, Blake, and Cam are forced to go spelunking in the Abyss of Evil to reclaim their powers before they join the fight against Lothor and Mesogog. They find one easily:
Cam: The Samurai Amulet!
Hunter: I can't believe there's no one guarding it.
Blake: You had to say it, right?
(Hunter shrugs regretfully)
- Rome, during a tempest-wracked sea-voyage.
Vorenus We'll be fine. A very good offering was made to Triton before we set off.
Pullo If Triton can't keep me drier than this he can suck my cock!
(The ship's mast cracks and an even bigger wave slams into the characters)
Vorenus When will you learn to keep your big mouth SHUT?
- Stargate SG-1. Context omitted so as not to spoil anyone.
Vala: What? We're already trapped in here. How much worse can it get?
*bad thing happens*
Daniel: How about that much?
Vala: I knew it was a mistake the moment I said it. The moment.
- Inverted in this hilarious gem from "Enemies"
Jacob: We're not gonna make it!
[they make it]
Jack: Excuse me. I distinctly remember someone saying "We're not gonna make it!" I think we made it.
Jacob: I'm sorry, I overreacted. At the time, it looked very much like we weren't going to make it.
Jack: Yes, well, next time maybe you'll just wait and see.
Jacob: And blow the last chance I might ever have to be right?
Sam: Welcome to my life.
- Used in Top Gear thanks to Richard Hammond becoming Genre Savvy.
Clarkson: ...after all, how hard can it be?
Hammond: Don't say that!
- A slight variation can be found in Vic Reeves Big Night Out thanks to his Catch Phrase "You just wouldn't let it lie, would you?!"
- In Warehouse 13, the team, joined by Regent Benedict Valda (Mark Sheppard), is staring down a Death Course filled with saw blades slashing across the floor. Pete says "At least it can't get any worse." The floor predictably starts spewing flame. Valda turns to him and simply says, "Thanks for that."
- QI sometimes has cases of this where a panellist has just fallen into a particularly forseeable forfeit trap. A few times, the inverse has happened, where one panellist is begging for the other panellists not to give a particular answer...and Alan gives it anyway.
- In one of the Garfield comic strip's rare strings of positive continuity, Garfield, Odie and Jon are on a camping trip which has been plagued with calamities.
Jon: This camping trip's been a total disaster. The wind blew our food everywhere, the ants ate my cherry pie...
Garfield: No, Jon! Don't say it!
Jon: What else could go wrong?
(It promptly starts raining.)
Garfield: You said it!
- Or of course this alternative version:
Garfield: He's gonna say it!
Jon: *looks left*
Garfield: It wouldn't be Jon if he didn't say it!
Jon: *looks right*
Jon: *looks left* What a long train.
Garfield: I knew it!
- The episode of Rupert Bear when Rupert, his mother, and Pong Ping end up on the Mountain of Many Perils:
Ladybug: The Guardian [of the Mountain] will set many traps to catch you.
Rupert: What kind of traps?
(An earthquake starts and rocks rain down on the group.)
Pong Ping: Rupert, why must you ask such a question?!
- Battlefield: Bad Company: Haggard says: "Oh yeah? You and What Army??" in response to a demand to surrender their weapons - those giving the demands being from the US Army he just defected from. He apparently always wanted to say that because it sounds cool. Cue the rest of the US Army arriving.
- Used in the video game Halo, when the Master Chief and a squad of marines board a Covenant ship. As they arrive in the ship's cargo bay:
Cortana: No covenant defenses detected.
Marine A: What? There's no Covenant here? Looks like maybe nobody's home.
Marine B: Contact! LOTS OF CONTACT!
Marine C: No Covenant. You had to open your mouth!
- Also at the beginning of Halo 2: Sergeant Johnson spends the first cutscene lauding the new Orbital Defence Grid:
Johnson: The Cairo is just one of 300 geo-sync platforms. That MAC gun can put a round clean through a Covenant Capital Ship. With co-ordinated fire from the Athens and the Malta, nothin's gettin' past this battle cluster in one piece.
- Cue the appearance of a Covenant fleet, who board the ODG stations and promptly blow up the Athens and the Malta with bombs, allowing a huge Covenant cruiser to pass straight through the killzone and land on Earth.
- From Link: The Faces of Evil
Link: Gee, It sure is BORING around here!
King: Mah Boi! This peace is what all true warriors strive for!
Link: I just wonder what Ganon's up to!
Gwonam: Your majesty! Ganon and his minions have seized the island of Koridai!
- Mass Effect 2, during the "Lair of the Shadow Broker" DLC:
Liara: The drones are disorganized. They'd be much more effective if they worked together.
Shepard: Please don't give the mercs ideas.
After fighting off another wave of enemies
Liara: The next wave looks like a big one.
Shepard: You just had to give them tactical advice!
- From the opening cutscene of the PC version of The Fairly Oddparents: Breakin' Da Rules:
- Used in Girl Genius here:
Oggie: Vot - dose tings? Dey don't look like much.
Maxim: Oh, now hyu iz just asking for it.
Zola: Another annoyance courtesy of that meddling Barry.
Lucrezia: urk! He's here?
Zola: No, no. He made it to keep her from breaking through. But he's been missing for years. He's no threat—
(two-panel significant pause)
Lucrezia: Do you want him to show up?!
- Every time Rob from Dimension Heroes utters a bad pun.
- Schlock Mercenary uses variants of this line a lot. Most of the officer's corps of Tagon's Toughs are Genre Savvy and do not appreciate "taunting Murphy", in some cases even cutting off people before they can say it.
- In The Order of the Stick, some old guy sees Tsukiko getting her ass kicked by a Chlorine Elemental, and brags to Nale about how smart he was to stay in jail instead of taking Hinjo's deal to defend the city for a reduced sentence, and how much safer it is inside. In the very next panel, Tsukiko casts Shout, which breaks off a sizable chunk of the building, crushing him.
Nale: Well, now, really, what did you expect after a line like that?
- "You know, I really need to learn how to keep my fucking mouth shut.""
- "I JUST HAD TO OPEN MY MOUTH! I JUST HAD TO SAY IT! AS SOON! AS I FINISH SAYING IT! YOU! SUCK! YOU! SUCK! GAME!" In case some people are curious, that's from episode 26 of his Pikmin 2 LP.
- Red vs. Blue Season 1 Episode 13: Human Peer Bonding:
Church: The way I see it: The Reds have absolutely no idea of how many Freelancers out here. So all I need from the two of you is to run around in the middle of the canyon wearing black armor while I sneak in the back of the base.
Sounds good! But Church... where the hell are we gonna get two suits of black armor? (Church and Tucker look at the nearby teleporter.) Oh, fuckberries!
- Touhou Nekokayou, Create.swf Adventures has the narrator try it:
- In Freefall, Florence, caught in a hurricane and bleeding following an extended dunk in near-freezing water, explicitly thinks that she could ask what else could go wrong, but knows better.
- In Faux Pas, Randy is thinking what else could go wrong while stuck in the well, but then it starts to snow.
- Teen Titans:
Slade: I'm taking the girl.
An endless expanse of Trigon's demonic monsters appear.
Cyborg: You just had to ask, didn't ya'?
- Beast Boy does this again in 'Kole', despite normally being the Genre Savvy one. After an explosion almost causes the ice beneath the team's feet to give way, he promptly tempts fate...and it starts shaking ominously. Raven calls him out on it this time.
- Justice League Unlimited: (after The Big Three have reversed Grodd's master plan)
Superman: Is everything okay?
Well, I'm sort of missing Flash's Obligatory Joke
about Grodd having made a monkey out of us.
Superman: Just couldn't let it go unsaid.
Wonder Woman: Obligatory!
- A Looney Tunes cartoon where Porky Pig shows the audience a certificate saying that the ship was unsinkable. He then asks: "I wonder if that goes for hurricanes..." Immediately, a hurricane hits, sinks the ship, and strands him on a deserted island. Afterwards, Porky angrily muses: "I had to open my b-b-b-b-big mouth!"
- In Riff Raffy Daffy, homeless vagrant Daffy Duck is shivering in the cold: "Coldest night in 64 years...no place to sleep...all I need now is for it to start snowin'." He's instantaneously buried in powder, prompting the comment, "I had to open my big beak!"
- Bugs gets himself into predicaments like this just as often. In Rabbit Punch, he heckles boxing champion Battling McGook, who throws him into the boxing stadium. After landing in the corner of the ring, Bugs says to himself, "Me and my big mouth."
- And then of course Foghorn Leghorn just has to comment on things, invariably making them worse; in "Crockett Doodle-Doo" he dismisses Egghead's attempt at producing a thunderstorm: "Some storm. Where's the thunder and lightning?" KA-BLAMM!!! "I had ta ask, I just HAD TA ask!"
- Loonatics Unleashed had this example in one episode where the whole team has been turned into furries:
Lexi Bunny: It can't get any worse than this.
(giant monster shows up out of nowhere and grabs everybody)
Ace Bunny: Ya had to say it.
- From the Ed Edd N Eddy episode "Sir Ed-A-Lot"
Eddy: Next thing you know she's gonna want a throne.
(Scene transition to later, with Sarah sitting on a makeshift throne)
Eddy: (raises glass) A toast, to my big mouth!
- Family Guy:
Chris: Dad, I tried to go to school, but some guy won't let me.
Chris: The US Army.
Pan to a shot of soldiers, tanks, etc. crowded around the Petorian border.
Peter: Oh, that's a good army...
- Classic Freakazoid! example:
Freakazoid: Well, if it isn't...
Freakazoid: What? I was just gonna say...
Dr. Hanker: Don't say it!
Freakazoid: Don't say what?
Steff: Freakazoid, why did you say his name!?
Freakazoid: 'Cause I-I wanted to do one of those funny things, like on - you ever watch F Troop? - where Agarn says "There's no way I'm wearin' a dress! Absolutely not! No dress!" And O'Rourke's like, "Yeah, you're wearing that dress! You're gonna wear that dress!" And they wipe *blblblb* and Agarn's wearin' a dress!
(Quick cut to a clip from F Troop of Agarn in a dress, shouting "Yoo-hoo! Look out, fellas! Look who's here for you!")
- Any given episode of Megas XLR
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, "Look Before You Sleep": Twilight Sparkle has a by the book example, fitting of her character.
- The season 3 finale has Twilight sing about what a perfect day it is before everything goes to crap.
- Kim Possible arrives to save a hostage from Professor Dementor, who says the evil scheme is costing him more in equipment than than the ransom would make "with the robot helicopters and henchmen and nano-jetpacks!"
- The Road to El Dorado:
(After a very narrow escape in a tiny rowboat, with a horse that just ate all their provisions)
Miguel: Tulio, look on the positive side, at least things can't get—
(Thunder sounds and it starts raining heavily)
Tulio: Excuse me, were you, were you going to say WORSE?
Miguel: ... No.
Tulio: You sure?
Miguel: Absolutely, I revise that whole thing...
- Happens often in The Magic School Bus as the impetus to a crazy field trip. Notable example: in the episode "The Magic School Bus Meets the Rot Squad", Wanda says "Just look at it!" regarding the eyesore of a log near her house. Minutes later, the class has shrunk to the size of bugs and taking a VERY close look at the log. Arnold's usually quick to call people on it, saying, "Quick! Take it back!"...right before the bus transforms.
- Reboot Season 3 Episode 15:
Matrix: That's that. What's next?
(Multiple tears appear behind the Mouse and the Web Surfer.)
Mouse: I think we're about to find out, sugar!
- Beast Wars, from episode 1-13, "Dark Designs":
Rattrap: Oh, man. What else have we got to look forward to?
(A missile drops down nearby, the force of it throwing Cheetor up against the cliff and then onto the ground.)
Cheetor: (struggling up) Agh. You had to ask, didn't you?
- The "big mouth" variant happened twice in What's New, Scooby-Doo? show:
- In the episode "Large Dragon At Large", while the girls are hiding and watching Fred trying to help Shaggy and Scooby who are being threatened by the eponymous dragon, Velma says it's too bad they don't have a damsel in distress because dragons like such damsels. Daphne immediately pushes her out of their safe hiding place. Not much later, Velma, waving her hand at the dragon, mutters to herself: "I had to open my big mouth".
- In the episode "Fright House of a Lighthouse", Shaggy states with relief that he doesn't see the Creepy Keeper around - only to hear said Keeper clear his throat (or rather HER throat, as the villain turned out to be female). Shaggy then screams: "I had to open my big mouth!".
- The regular version happens in "Wrestle Maniacs" when Freddy, Shaggy, and Scooby are looking for clues. They're distracted when they see Daphne and Velma acting like genuine female wrestlers on a nearby monitor, only to see the Monster of the Week shove the image aside to show his face.
Shaggy: Hey, it's Titanic Twist! Good thing it's just on the monitor, eh, Scoob?
(Shaggy chuckles and reaches out to touch the screen, but touches the monster's actual forehead)
Shaggy: (weakly) I had to say it. (runs away screaming)
- In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, we get this gem.
Vision: That was of moderate difficulty
Hawkeye: Did you just say this was easy? Never say that!
*Mind controlled Thor appears*
Hawkeye: That's why