Harold: I guess you're right. But at least things can't get any worse.
George: 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:
— Captain Underpantsexplanation
- I/You had to ask!
- I/You had to open my/your big mouth!
- Why did you say that? (generally not used by original speaker)
- Sorry I asked. (original speaker only)
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Anime & Manga
- Hayate the Combat Butler: Nagi and Ayumu have fallen into a ruinous basement, and 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*
- One Piece:
- In Whiskey Peak, Zoro says this to Vivi when she reveals Crocodile's identity to them…right after saying that if they found out, they would be in great danger, and she wasn't going to tell them.
- In Dressrosa, Bartolomeo is hoping that Luffy shows up soon, mentioning that there are things even they can't hold off. Then he invokes this trope when one such thing comes rushing towards him: Admiral Fujitora.
- DuckTales: At the end of "The Littlest Gizmoduck", Fenton picks up a piece of the makeshift Gizmosuit the nephews and Webby made and asks who's going to wear it for an upcoming school event. The last panel shows Webby putting the Gizmosuit on Fenton, who laments, "When will I learn to keep my big beak shut?"
- In Blood Quill Consequences several of the students are complaining about the substitute Potions teacher.
- In Harry Potter and the Marauders of the Mind Barty Crouch Jr. escapes Azkaban - again - and Draco and Narcissa Malfoy are promptly taken into Ministry custody as suspects. Narcissa tells Draco to make the best of things.
Draco: There is no way this whole situation could get any worse!
[Guards let in Harry and an invisibility-cloaked Hermione]
Draco: Sometimes, I should really learn when to keep my mouth shut.
Narcissa: I've been trying to tell you that for years, darling.
- In Harry Potter and the Prince of Slytherin Mrs. Weasley starts arguing with Gilderoy Lockhart about the potential expense of thirty-five of his booksnote during his book signing.
Ginny: That's it. Mom is going to be dragged out of Flourish & Blotts by the aurors. I cannot imagine how this day could get more embarrassing.
Blaise: Never say things like that! I swear, I keep telling people not to tempt the gods of irony, but they don't listen!
- In A Crown of Stars, when Shinji and Asuka test their brand-new Transforming Mecha, Asuka complains about winning too easily. Shinji mutters that she's just tempted fate.
Asuka: I just wanted my new debut battle to be a bit more flashy than hopping around Berlin on one leg or getting pile-drivered headfirst into the dirt by Israfel. This was too easy.
Shinji: Oh, now you’ve done it. Next time it will be Godzilla because you said that. I know how these movies work.
- Harry Potter and the Rune Stone Path:
Tracey: Can this day get any weirder?
Harry: Trust me you don't want to ask that. It's better not to tempt the universe.
- Emerald Flight Book One: Union:
Martha Kent: Jonathan, do you think Kara’s okay?
Jonathan Kent: Martha, don’t worry, what’s the worst that can happen?
Martha Kent: I hate that question. Nothing good comes out of it.
- In Chapter 39 of This Bites!, after Spandam tempts fate one time too many, with an apoplectic Sengoku on the Transponder Snail that Kaku is holding.
Kaku: A-Ah, Fleet Admiral? Before you proceed to rip my superior a new one… executive permission to speak freely?Sengoku: Make it fast.Kaku: Thank you, sir. (gives Spandam a flat look) You had to say it, you absolute fucking idiot.
- Black Sky:
Dorea: [Hermione]'s much less of a trial than Draco, certainly.
Tracy: I don't see how anyone could be worse than Draco, Rhea.
Daphne: Trey, no tempting fate.
- In Reinforced Magic Harry and Reinforce witness Draco Malfoy challenging Ron Weasley to a wizard's duel.
Harry: ~Well, Reinforce, what do you think? Both of them are pure bloods, it's likely that they both have received prior training, even if just by being around magic all their lives. I'd like to see how things turn out.~
Reinforce: ~You mean that your curiosity is getting the better of you, don't you? You do have something of an adventurous spirit, as buried as it is, so I already know you plan to go yourself. It will be interesting I suppose, so sure, why not? What could it hurt?~
Harry: ~You're tempting fate, Rein, that's never a good thing.~
"What are you laughing at?"
"You...you just had to say it didn't you?"
"We fight in the shade!"
- A silent one in Young Frankenstein:
Frederick: What a filthy job!
Eyegore: Could be worse.
Eyegore: Could be raining!
Lighting crashes and rain begins to pour. Frederick slowly turns to stare at Eyegore...
- Avengers: Age of Ultron, during the climax:
Thor: IS THAT THE BEST YOU CAN DO?
Ultron: (summons a small army of Ultron Sentries)
Steve: You had to ask.
- Tremors 5: Bloodlines: When Burt is locked up in a cage and left for dead in the bush, he actually chides himself for asking if it's over yet and a hungry friend appears.
Burt: Oh, great! Cue the freaking lion!
- 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: No?Miguel: Nope.Tulio: You sure?Miguel: Absolutely, I revise that whole thing...
- From the 8th The Land Before Time movie when the gang is lost in thick snow
Littlefoot: 'How could this get any worse?
(cut to the gang struggling through a blizzard)
Cera: You just HAD to ask, didn't you?!
- In Juan of the Dead, the protagonist and his team of for-pay zombie killers gets backed into a room by a swarm of undead, and the resident idiot asks "How could this be worse?!", which of course causes the lights to go out. Juan launches into a profane example of this trope.
- In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 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.
- In Deadline, Shaun runs down a list of their current problems, then he just has to say:
Shaun: Okay, people, can anyone come up with a way to make this day any worse?Cue outbreak sirens going off and Mahir calling to tell his colleagues they have no way out.
- The Wandering Inn: Ryoka just had to say it, when her party was leaving a dungeon that is infested with undeads, "Come on. We are nearly out. Just a bit longer and we can all rest." Once they exit the dungeon Gazi appears and tries to abduct Erin and Ryoka.
Live Action TV
- Played with in the last episode of Angel:
Hamilton: 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? (Angel vamps out and drinks Hamilton's blood)
- 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?"
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?
- A similar event occurred in Season 2's episode "School Hard"
- 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.
Sarah: So there's a stolen Intersect out there somewhere.Casey: Guess we're not retired after all.Sarah: Well, it doesn't change the plan. It just means we have one last mission.Morgan: What?!Chuck: Nooooooo!Casey: My God, Walker.Sarah: What?Chuck: Things never turn out well when you say "one last mission!"Sarah: Is this because of some stupid movie?Chuck & Morgan: YES.Casey: You never say "one last mission."Chuck: Never!
- 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 outCarter: 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 me99 (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:
Grant: The prep for the boat myth is going great so far. I just hope that the weather holds out.Rob Lee: You just had to mention the weather, didn't you?
- Power Rangers:
Tori: Birthday or not, I think we better get back.Dustin: Yeah, let's get outta here before some Kelzaks show up.Blake: Aw, you had to say it, didn't ya?(Blake points to another part of the beach where Kelzaks are shuffling by)
- 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.
(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?
- Power Rangers Dino Thunder seems particularly fond of Tempting Fate. One notable instance in "It's a Mad Mad Mackerel", which has Yellow Ranger Kira as an intern for a boss who's proving himself to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
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)
- 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 morphers before they join the fight against Lothor and Mesogog. They find one easily:
Tyzonn: That was exhausting.Rose: Let's get moving before someone else comes looking for these relics.(Will detects someone coming with his super senses)Will: (coldly) Had to say somethin', didn't you?
- Power Rangers Operation Overdrive has this in "It's Hammer Time". The Rangers, with two MacGuffins in their possession, had just finished fighting off a monster from one of the Big Bads, Kamdor:
Mack: This isn't so bad.(falls down a couple of stories through a loose patch of ground, landing on a rough patch of forest floor)Mack: (wincing) Next time, Mack, just keep your mouth shut.
- It also does this in "Once A Ranger Part II", when Red Ranger Mack is searching for a MacGuffin in a forest:
- 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?
- Seinfeld's Kramer has trouble keeping secrets. When George dates a lady that looks like Jerry, Kramer is the first one who pipes up about it. He, of course, gets scolded.
- 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.
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?[Beat]Jack: What?Sam: Welcome to my life.
- Inverted in this hilarious gem from "Enemies"
- In a season 5 episode of Supernatural, Dean and Bobby are locked in a closet with a group of zombies outside.
Dean: They can't pick a lock.[a hanger is pushed into the lock and begins twisting, working the lock open]Bobby: [Death Glare] Don't you ever get tired of being wrong?
- Used in Top Gear thanks to Richard Hammond becoming smart.
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 Season 2 episode "Buried" features 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."
Steve: All you have to do is beat this last card. How bad can it be?(Enter apparition, a menacing knight with a helmet from which black fog is flowing out, and a skull-shaped mask hiding all of his face except for a pair of Glowing Eyes of Doom, red, no less.)Pete: Eh, you had to ask.
- In Season 5, Steve and Pete have this when the only way to neutralize an artifact is for a nerdy guy to win a fight against a knight, with said knight being an apparition from the artifact.
- 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.
- Inverted for the most part in the Supermarioglitchy4s Super Mario 64 Bloopers episode "The Pirate Plumbers". Right when Cap'n Lardbutt is about to cut Mario and Luigi's butts off because they weren't telling him what they were doing in the sewers, Ben (who you may know as Nintendofan997's roommate from "Two Great Friends!") appears out of nowhere and tells them they were here to find his pet squid named Mr. Squidge. Lardbutt mistakes it for a legendary squid monster and therefore welcomes the trio aboard.
Mario: BEN! You little sh*t! You've doomed us all!
Ben: (holds a chainsaw, aiming at Mario) I'M RAPE YOU!!
- 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!(It promptly starts raining.)Garfield: You said it!
Garfield: He's gonna say it!Jon: *looks left*Garfield: It wouldn't be Jon if he didn't say it!Jon: *looks right*Garfield: 3..2..1..Jon: *looks left* What a long train.Garfield: I knew it!Jon: Well, there's a blizzard outside...Garfield: Don't say it.Jon: We're snowed in...Garfield: Don't say it.Jon: The cable tv has gone out...Garfield: Don't say it.Jon: And we're out of hot chocolate.Garfield: Don't say it.Jon: What else can go wrong? [lights go out]Garfield: You said it.
- Or of course this alternative version:
- 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.
Cortana: No covenant defenses detected.Marine A: What? There's no Covenant here? Looks like maybe nobody's home.*Doors all around the bay unlock and waves of alien troops pour in, starting with cloaked Elites with Swords*Marine B: Contact! LOTS OF CONTACT!Marine C: No Covenant. You had to open your mouth!
- Used in Halo: Combat Evolved, when the Master Chief and a squad of marines board a Covenant ship. As they arrive in the ship's cargo bay:
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.
- Also at the beginning of Halo 2: Sergeant Johnson spends the first cutscene lauding the new Orbital Defence Grid:
- 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 assault carrier 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 enemiesLiara: 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:
Cosmo: [to Timmy] At least your parents aren't going away for the weekend and leaving your evil babysitter Vicky in charge!
Vicky: Surprise, twerp! Your parents are going away for the weekend and left me in charge!
Wanda: You gotta stop saying things like that!
Cosmo: It is my gift; it is my curse!
- Perfect Dark:
Joanna: Here goes. I just hope dataDyne haven’t done anything to prevent this…Dr. Caroll: Virus detectedJoanna: Me and my big mouth!
- In Embric of Wulfhammer's Castle a lightning bolt nearly strikes the carriage Embric's fiancee is riding in during a heavy rainstorm.
Wilhelm: IT COULD STILL BE WORSE, YOUR GRACE!
Duchess Elstwhere: DO YOU NOT WISH TO LIVE? STOP TEMPTING THE FATES!
- 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?!
- And here as well:
- 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 smart 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?
- The Nostalgia Critic: From his review of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and The Legend of Zelda, when the opening theme starts with the first few bars of the Mario theme:
Critic: Well at least they have the original video game music. I mean, it's not like they'll try to modernize it with like some retarded rap or something.(rap starts)Critic: You know, I gotta learn to keep my fucking mouth shut.
- Chuggaaconroy: It's particularly funny coming from a guy who's famous for being a Large Ham with No Indoor Voice. During his Pikmin 2 LP, in his exploration of the Submerged Castle, he tentatively mentions that the thing he's afraid of hasn't been set off yet. Not two seconds later, the thing he's mentioning, the Waterwraith, drops in, and...
Chugga: 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!
- 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.Tucker: 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:
Page 0297: Yeah, not like it's one of those super-powered end-of-stage fairies with a ton of hitpoints and danmaku that puts some spell cards to shame.
- 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.
- There's a magical girl in To Prevent World Peace who uses bad luck cliches to attack people. You really don't want her to say "Things can't get worse."
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!:
- We get this gem:
Vision: That was of minimal difficulty.
Hawkeye: Did you just say that was easy? You never say it was easy! Ever!
(mind-controlled Thor appears)
Hawkeye: That's why.
- And in a later episode...
Hawkeye: We took one of them down easy enough.
Vision: As I recall, you once told me "Never to say how easy something is."
- We get this gem:
- 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?
- From the Danger Mouse episode "The Long Lost Crown Affair", with DM and Penfold in an ancient South American temple and DM is fighting off an alligator:
Penfold: (groan) We could've had a day in Brighton!
DM: Penfold...I don't wish to know that!
- Justice League Unlimited: (after The Big Three have reversed Grodd's master plan)
Superman: Is everything okay?
Wonder Woman: 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!
- Superman: The Animated Series, "The Main Man, Part II".
- Justice League Unlimited: (after The Big Three have reversed Grodd's master plan)
- 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.
Peter: Oh yeah? Him and what army?
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: Don't say his name!
Freakazoid: You mean "Don't say Candle Jack"?
(Gilligan Cut to Freakazoid tied up with the others)
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!")
Candle Jack: Oh, I love that bit!
- 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!"
[Dementor flies away].
Kim: You just had to say it, didn't you?
- Loonatics Unleashed had this example in episode seven, "The World is My Circus", where the whole team has been turned into Mix-and-Match Critters:
Lexi Bunny: Well, look on the bright side. It can't get any worse than this.
(giant monster shows up out of nowhere and grabs everybody)
Ace Bunny: You had to say it, didn't ya?
- The Looney Tunes cartoon "Robinson Crusoe Jr." has Porky Pig showing 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!"
- Happens often in The Magic School Bus as the impetus to a crazy field trip, and Arnold is typically the one to invoke this trope.
Keesha: I've been thinking: I want more drama, more excitement!
- 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.
- Another one in "The Magic School Bus Gets Ants In Its Pants", when the bus is shrunken into an oversized
OreoMallowblaster and being carried towards an anthill by ants:
(the entire bus lurches and shakes, knocking everyone off-balance)
Arnold: I wish you hadn't said that.
Ralphie: Sorry, Miss Frizzle, I didn't tell him to do it!"
- In "The Magic School Bus Flexes Its Muscles", Ralphie manages to make a robot in an attempt to help with school chores, but it doesn't respond well to commands and causes trouble when he orders it to clean the bus without realizing it, thinking he didn't tell it the command yet.
Dorothy Ann: Yes, you did, Ralphie! He heard you say you wanted him to "clean the bus".
(The Ralphie-Bot hears the command and approaches the kids, grabbing a mop, with Arnold still holding onto it, pulling him yelling along with it)
Dorothy Ann: Me and my big mouth.
- 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.
Twilight: I hope you're happy, the both of you. You've ruined my very first Slumber Party: the makeovers, the s'mores, Truth or Dare, the pillow fight! I mean, is there anything else that could possibly go wrong?!
(Lightning strikes a nearby tree, threatening to collapse it on her house)
Twilight: Sorry I asked."
- The season 3 finale has Twilight sing about what a perfect day it is before everything goes to crap.
- 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!
- In Rugrats, Chuckie has a habit of giving his friends ideas, which he ends up getting involved.
"When am I ever gonna learn to keep my big mouth shut?"
- In "Mine Your Own Business", Shaggy says the "you had to ask" variant to Fred, and in another episode, after asking how they were going to get the villain to the trap, he rhetorically questions, "Oh, why don't I just keep quiet?"
- The "big mouth" variant happened twice in What's New, Scooby-Doo?:
Shaggy: Hey, it's Titanic Twist! Good thing it's just on the monitor, eh, Scoob?
- 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 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)
Meadowlark: Whoever wants to volunteer, say "me." Curly...will you take the first watch?
- Inversion: "The Ghostly Creep From The Deep" (1972 episode with the Harlem Globetrotters) has the Trotters and the gang spending the night in a deserted mansion in a swamp. Meadowlark calls for a volunteer to stand the first watch.
Meadowlark: I'm proud of you Curly. You said "me." So you stand the watch.
Curly: (to us) Sometimes I wish Meadowlark would learn to keep my big mouth shut!
- Star Wars Rebels: In "Relics of the Old Republic":
Hera: [talking to Kanan over a comlink] I'm still working on the repairs, but there's no sign of the Empire. [a Star Destroyer drops out of hyperspace] Just had to say that.
- The Steven Universe episode "The Test" features an exchange between Steven and Pearl where Steven learns that his first mission was rigged, and both Garnet and Amethyst are quick to point out Pearl's flubs.
- Teen Titans:
(after the Titans have seemingly defeated a giant flame golem)
- "Forces of Nature":
Beast Boy: Is he out?
(The golem emerges from the smoke, roaring)
Raven: You had to ask.
Slade: I'm taking the girl.
- "The End, Part 1":
Beast Boy: You and What Army?
[An endless expanse of Trigon's demonic monsters appear.]
Beast Boy: <high-pitched shriek>
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.